My #BrilliantBooks January 2019

I’ve always loved to read, have been brought up around books and have passed on this love of books and reading to our daughter. And there’s the key. For the past (almost) decade, I haven’t made the time to read, always putting some else’s needs first (rightly or wrongly – there’s a discussion for a separate blog post!).

But I took up reading again and it gave me the idea to share the books that I’ve loved. This won’t be a full-on review, just a personal view of why I enjoyed the book.

My #BrilliantBooks January 2019 review The Woman at Number 24

My take on ‘The Woman at Number 24’ by Juliet Ashton

I’ve mentioned before how I steer away from ‘chick lit’ beach-type reads and I would class this in that genre but there was something that lured me into this one as it sat on the library ‘all donations gratefully received’ shelf.

As I started reading, I wondered if I would regret my purchase because of the Notting Hill setting (I’m not sure how cheesy you can get?!) and the main character being the divorcee of the man who lives in the flat below.

Thankfully though, the author builds up the ex Leo’s ‘darling’ character so effectively that you want to slap him, frankly.

That aside, the deeper tales of deceit, of being true to yourself, of caring, building trust and respecting others’ feelings/opinions kept me reading.

No spoilers here but I got dewey-eyed over a hedgehog can didn’t predict the pitter patter of tiny feet. Not for ‘her’ in any case!

There’s nothing worse (for me) than a fluffy ‘they all lived happily ever after’ ending. While this doesn’t ‘quite’ fit that bill, it comes very close. But as yo know, I don’t post reviews of books that I don’t enjoy. That said, I was looking forward to moving on the next in my TBR pile…

This post contains affiliate links meaning that if you buy something from the link, i will get a few pennies but it won’t cost you a penny more!

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Review of Awebox

Review of Awebox a Customisable Subscription Box

Review of Awebox

What is Awebox?  It’s a fully customisable subscription box where you get to choose from 5 categories that interest you (or the person you’re buying for).  Which brings me nicely onto the ‘box’ options.  You can subscribe for monthly boxes, purchase one-off boxes or buy a gift card.

Review of Awebox a Customisable Subscription Box

The quirkiness of the contents added a little bit of extra character to my box.   But before we get onto that…


How about the packaging?

Due to the fact that this was gifted to me for review purposes, I’d actually forgotten about it.  So when I had to pick up a slightly-bigger-then-medium sized parcel, I had no clue what was inside.  On the outside of the inner layer was ‘Awebox’ proudly displayed, quite simply on the brown reinforced cardboard box.  On opening the box, I was greeted with a sea of pretty dark  blue shredded paper.  Even the quality of this added to the experience.  It reminded me alot of lucky dips which added to the fun.

And what was inside?

Immediately, I was drawn to the nail varnish by Essie even though it was the smallest product.  What a lovely, summery colour and hey, even lovely to brighten up darker days too!  I couldn’t wait to put some on.  Now I’m not a massive nail varnish wearer and go through phases of weeks without having a chance to, or remembering to put any on.  But this was a great reminder.  It went on really well and didn’t take long to dry.  Me and nail varnish don’t wear well.  By that I mean that it chips very easily and that annoys me about nail varnish in general.  I have to say that this one was no exception but I touched up the edges a couple of times and you couldn’t really tell.  There’s no reason for me not to buy this brand again.


There was also cat shampoo which I have to say, did make me giggle because traditionally, cats don’t like getting wet (or so I understand).  We didn’t even try the cat shampoo because giving our cat her flea treatment is a monthly trauma none of us relish!


What next?  Well the herbal tea for dogs intrigued me.  I love the idea of giving your dog a little something with some taste that keeps them hydrated but isn’t as bland as water.  Again, we didn’t actually use this because I didn’t want our dog not to like it and be put off normal water  and vice versa – to only want to drink herbal tea!  It may sound daft to some all of you lovely readers but this is an open and honest review after all!


The candles were next in the ‘lucky dip’.  I chose this category because I love, love, love candles and honestly, everything about them was lovely.  The packaging was just right – pretty, clever, about the right size vs the product size – and the smell.  Oh my goodness!  The rhubarb and raspberry was out of this world!  Highly recommended and possibly the best product from the box.  I loved that the 3 tea lights were made from recycled glass too.  Bee Fayre/Bee Garden who produce these deserve a round of applause.


Finally I had greetings cards which got me to thinking who I could send them to; someone who I don’t interact with online.  To be honest, I rarely ‘do’ birthday cards, simply saying happy birthday and doing lunch instead.  But the designs are very pretty and you don’t just have to use them for birthdays because they’re blank inside.  In a way, it’s a shame these cards were wasted on me because I might have to give them to a friend use instead.


In conclusion then…

Awebox is a great concept and would make a really nice one-off gift for someone.  With 4-6 choices of category to choose from and the option to cancel at any time, the RRP of £20-28 is pretty good value for money and would make a great present.

I’ve got no reason to think that the shampoo or tea aren’t great products, I just chose not to try them.  I would rather have had a cat/dog treat or toy in the box but having an idea of what you’re getting obviously takes away the surprise element.  In that respect, I feel that the pet categories could be quite limiting.  And I also feel that the other categories were limited in ‘uniqueness’.  I wouldn’t have chosen the pet ones myself but all in all a good idea that can be tailored to the customer.


You can visit the Awebox website and follow them on facebook, twitter and instagram.

What about you?  Have you considered a customisable subscription box?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.


*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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Review of ChoconChoc melt and make chocolate egg heads

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make

chocolate egg heads

For a chocoholic, this is the ultimate heaven isn’t it?  Layers of chocolate all melted together to make a chocolate egg!  Yum!

We tried out a pack that came with full instructions, a mould, a cute little chef’s hat. decorations and, importantly the belgian chocolate drops.

Review of ChoconChoc melt and make chocolate egg heads

I could have eaten these quite easily on their own but ‘luckily’ our 8 yo daughter was there to keep me on the straight and narrow…

So we started off melting the chocolate and because it was good quality, it was a smooth operation.  We then followed the instructions and added a layer to the moulds.

When I read the instructions, I thought it sounded a bit complicated, long-winded and far too techy for a chocoholic mum and her eager 8 yo.  Layering, leaving to cool, layering again and again…  I was a bit sceptical at how our egg would turn out.

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, I was pleasantly surprised.  I mean, we’re not going to be chocolatiers anytime soon but the layers actually worked!  We had made our own chocolate egg.  Very impressive… er so impressive that we broke a bit off to try and ended up devouring the whole lot before my camera had a look-in!  Now that’s a testimonial to the taste of the chocolate.  I don’t ‘do’ cheap, tacky chocolate.  Life’s too short and I’d rather have good quality stuff that melts in your mouth and leaves you licking the inside of your mouth deliciously.

On that basis alone, I’d highly recommend the chocolate egg kit as a fun activity.  It goes great with a decaf.  Oh and wine too!  It’s often the case that with kits containing sweets or foodie things, that you don’t quite get enough, or ‘just’ enough to do the job properly.  In this case, we got generous helpings and even had enough to stick with tradition and lick the bowl.  I say ‘we’ but you know that never happens when you’ve got an 8 yo in tow!

At £12 a kit, this is really good value and I’d highly recommend doing this.

You can visit ChoconChoc’s website and follow them on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and you tube .

What about you?  Have you tried making your own chocolate eggs?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.


*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle

You know when you just want to get snuggly and cosy?  If your home is anything like mine, you’ll be all snuggly in one room, off you go to bed and you get into your cold bed!  Well, not anymore!  Our old hot water bottle had been well-loved, well-used and become unsafe because the rubber had perished.

Enter stage left, this cute owl hot water bottle from The Hot Water Bottle Shop!  I mean, just look at it, begging to be cuddled and snuggled!

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing 2

What I love about it

What I particularly love about this cover is that it’s quirky.  It’s not just any old cover you might get from your local chemist or from a hardware store.  It’s inviting, it’s easy to open, easy to slide your water bottle inside and easy to do up again.

This one has a button which might appear fiddly but it’s not.  It not only keeps your hot water bottle ‘hot’ but it keeps is secure too.  Over the years I’ve found that some covers stretch and you wake up stuck to a hot water bottle that’s now tepid and has left an imprint in your thigh!  Not so snuggly!

What about the price?

At £18.99, this is very good value in my opinion.  The cover is well made and has stood the test over several months in my clutches and through the Beast from the East (if you’re reading this in ‘archive mode’, do you remember that storm?!).  You really can’t get a better test than that!

As the product description says, this: uses an ultra-modern, thermoplastic rubberless design which does not only make it easy-to-use and comfortable but eco-sustainable too. This product is made from 80% renewable materials, is PVC free, recyclable and unlike may other hot water bottle odourless.

Review of Owl Hot Water Bottle Wellbeing

Not only is the bottle odourless, but you can freshen up the washable cover too.  Win, win!

You can follow the Hot Water Bottle Shop on twitter, facebook and instagram.

What about you?  Have you snuggled up with your hot water bottle lately?  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.


*I was gifted this item for the purposes of this review but all views are my own.

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Review ~ Kaya Jewellery pendant and necklace

Review ~ pendant and necklace by Kaya Jewellery

The tagline for Kaya Jewellery is ‘meaningful jewellery for baby, child and mum.’  And what could be more meaningful than having a piece of jewellery given to you as a gift and engraved too?

I was fortunate to be given a piece of beautiful jewellery to review and here it is:

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Review of Palmistry app

Review of Palmistry App Palm Reading Chiromancy Chirognomy

Review of Palmistry app

 I’m a very spiritual person, what with being reiki-attuned, a certified crystal healer and with a recent fascination with the moon and astrology.  My hunger for ‘deeper’ or ‘other level’ things is growing.

…which is why I was really excited to hear of this palm reading app.

Review of Palmistry App Palm Reading Chiromancy Chirognomy Continue reading

Review ~ Dr Dunner PhytoVitality supplements

Review of Dr Dunner PhytoVitality Immune System Food Supplement Wellbeing TurmericPUT YOUR FAB KEYWORD DESCRIPTION OF YOUR BLOG POST HERE

Review ~ Dr Dunner PhytoVitality supplements

I’ve been using Dr Dunner PhytoVitality most days for a few weeks now.  Admittedly, I don’t always remember to take a capsule and so from that alone it’s hard to say whether they make any difference or not.  I’ve also had a couple of curries in that time, both containing turmuric so there hasn’t been much of a ‘control’ element to this review.

What is PhytoVitality?

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Review ~ Hypnosis Ninja for hypnosis downloads

Review Hypnosis Ninja Download Sessions

Review ~ Hypnosis Ninja downloads

 When I heard of hypnosis downloads by Hypnosis Ninja, I thought it sounded a bit gimmicky because I’ve seen a couple of hypnosis programmes on TV and I’m a bit sceptical.  Despite this though, I wanted to give one of the downloads a go.

Which session to choose?

I chose the chocolate addiction session because I didn’t honestly know what the hypnotherapy entailed or what the effect would be on me.  Being overly partial to chocolate and almost binging on it at times (especially at the weekends), chocolate is something that I often crave and I felt it needed to be more under control.  Due to my fast metabolism, it’s not a problem weight-wise but energy peak and slump-wise, it’s a bit of an issue at times.  So the chocolate session seemed like a good one to experiment with.  There’s a whole myriad of sessions with a broad range of treatments and there appears to be something for almost everyone.  Review Hypnosis Ninja Download Sessions

So what about the session?

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Review ~ Aqua Carpatica natural mineral water

Review Of Aqua Carpatica Water

Review ~ Aqua Carpatica natural mineral water

Water.  We can’t survive without it.
Given that I drink a lot of water, I’m a pretty good ambassador for the stuff!  I know about the benefits, and feel them too.
Aqua Carpatica is “The purest natural sparkling mineral water in the world.” according to the marketing material.  Quite a claim and one that may put you off if, like me, you’re not a huge fan of sparkling water and prefer your water still.
In the interests of this review, I tried the sparkling and actually liked it, finishing a whole small bottle to myself!)
That said, I’ve since reverted back to still water.  So, let’s stick to the still for the main purposes of this review.
Review Of Aqua Carpatica Water

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Review ~ choconchoc handmade chocolates

Choconchoc Arm Candy Handmade Belgian Chocolate

Review ~ choconchoc handmade chocolates

 First of all, how cute is this bag?
Choconchoc Arm Candy Handmade Belgian Chocolate
Second of all, yes, I did devour it all. by. myself.  (And what of it?!)
Of all the chocolate, Belgian has possibly got the best reputation.  And as a lover of all things chocolate, I can tell you that quality is definitely best.
Predictably in this handbag, the chocolate was as it should be: velvety and totally more-ish.  The detail on the bag was amazing and I was very impressed that all the products are handmade.  Now that is amazing!

A little story…

I love the little story of choconchoc: that it was started by a father and daughter in Somerset and that their first product of noughts and crosses is still stocked and is now called ‘Love and Kisses’.
I love the idea of turning a chocolate bar into a handbag.  It’s cute, it’s quirkey and it’s the perfect gift idea!  The patented layering of chocolate is an absolute chocolate dream too… allll that chocolate!
As for the chocolate handbag, it’s about the size of your average ‘larger’ bar.  You know, the ones perhaps meant for sharing but which you totally don’t share?!  I wasn’t sure about the colour of the chocolate and thought it might make it taste a little cheap and ‘stale’ but I was pleasantly surprised that there was no after taste and that it did, indeed, taste just like a good chocolate should.

The packaging

It was really well packaged, protected in a good wad of big bubble wrap and the chocolate bag itself was held in place securely by a transparent box which slotted nicely around the ‘bag’ and its cardboard surround.  A sweet little touch was the ribbon ‘handle’ of the box.  It’s the little touches that go a long way, isn’t it?
I’d order from choconchoc because quality always wins!

Worth the money?

The RRP of this handbag is £12 and given the work that must go into it, the quality of the chocolate and the concept of the whole product, that’s about right for a gift in my opinion.

If I could change anything…

 It would be my willpower!

Don’t forget to follow choconchoc on social media:

twitter, instagram, facebookpinterest and you tube.

What would you choose from their website?

*I was sent the chocolate handbag ‘Arm Candy’ to review free of charge but all opinions are my own.

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