Top 3 Fragrances (All Under £45)


We all like smelling nice, I think we can all agree on that. I was never a big perfume girl in my teen years, instead favouring the cheap and cheerful Charlie body sprays. But as I got older, I acquired an yearning for something more "grown up". Something that would linger on my skin for longer than 5 minutes. Insert in, my current favourites. There are only three on this list as I haven't fully divulged into the perfume world yet. But I do really like these, and as someone with sensitive skin when it comes to most products, these all sit fine and my skin doesn't come out blotchy afterwards (yay for that!). Enjoy.

Rain Eau de Toilette by The Library of Fragrance 30ml, £15.00.
The Library of Fragrance is my favourite brand of perfumes. They offer simplistic scents that layer wonderfully, linger on your skin for long after your day is over, and are a bargain at £15 for 30ml. They are also startlingly unique. Rain supposedly captures the scent of that moment when you step outside after the first storm after a dry spell and the sweet, fresh, powerfully evocative smell of fresh rain hits you. Now, I'm no perfume aspect so I can't hand-on-heart clarify that description. But it is a beautiful smell and reminds me of wet plants, but you know, the good kind. Damp flowers and clean air. Give it a sniff if you're in a boots anytime soon, or take a browse at their website. They certainly know how to offer someone variety. I have my eye on Paperback, Jasmine and Thunderstorm. Check out all of the fragrances HERE. There's even a Play-Doh scent!

Blush Eau de Parfum by New Look 50ml, £8.99 (Yes, really)
The New Look fragrances are surprisingly good for the affordable price. Blush is a musky rose scent that is sweet without being sickly. It has an undertone of Jasmine that tends to linger longer than the rose, but is equally beautiful. At £8.99 for 50ml, they obviously don't last as long as some of the higher end perfumes. But I find I have to reapply twice (at most) throughout a 12 hour day to keep the scent strong and crisp on my skin. Wonderfully, New Look also offer each of their fragrances in a purse friendly size of 10ml (as pictured) for a mere £3.99 each. You can't go wrong. My mother uses After Glow which is also a lovely scent, though much heavier than Blush.

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne 30ml, £44.00
Quite obviously the more expensive of my choices, but beautiful nonetheless. A deep earthy smell with a hint of musk and warmth. Spritzing on this cologne resembles a hug in front of a roaring fire on a Winter's night. This is a scent that lingers for days on your clothes, which it ought to do for the price of £44 for a mere 30ml. Worth the price tag? Unlikely, and I very much doubt I will re-own this - mainly because I enjoy being experimental with the more "evening" scents in my life. But if you are near a Jo Malone anytime soon, give their classic a sniff and perhaps have a wander. Just maybe leave your purse at home.

- Anne x

A Cure For Wellness || A Uncomfortable Mess **No Spoilers**


A Cure For Wellness is a mystery/drama starring Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, and Mia Goth. The story follows Lockhart, a newly promoted executive who is set with the task of retrieving his company's CEO from a wellness retreat located in the Swiss Alps. Upon his arrival there, things appear not as they seem. All patients are "sufferers" of the same illness that supposedly only Dr. Heinrich Volmer has the cure for.The questions mount as Lockhart is forced to become a patient himself and befriends a strange girl named Hannah who is said to be a "special case". Will he be able to leave? And what is the cure?

Straight off the bat, this movie had a good idea but was poorly executed. It didn't seem to know when to end, which makes for a crappy time when I tell you that it comes in at over 140 minutes. It had plenty of time to find itself, but sadly just never did. I had more issues with certain aspects/scenes of the movie, but we'll discuss those later, for now, let's start with the moderately okay.

The first half of A Cure For Wellness is good. You have a entertaining plot (some predictable, but not all), decent characters, and beautiful imagery that keeps your eyes pleased throughout. Actually, the entire movie is shot beautifully and you can get a glimpse of that in the trailer, which I assume you've seen. (If not, click HERE). The actors fit well into their roles - most notably Mia Goth as Hannah, who gave me major Cassie from Skins vibes. Everything was enjoyable.. The story progressed smoothly and although they kept adding questions onto the pile of mysteries, it still had me gripped. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. In the second half, there are a few graphic scenes of gore that I, as a slasher fan, enjoyed. They were moderately graphic and realistic, which was appreciated. The entire movie was wrapped up quite nicely, and neither me or my partner saw some of the outcomes coming (say that 10 times fast) - which is a rarity. In fact, around the halfway point, I was thinking "I'm pleasantly surprised to how this is going.". But then I ran into a brick wall of problems.

As stated on any site that offers the rating of this movie, (it's rated R, just fyi.), there is a scene of sexual assault. Now I didn't know this going in, and I wish I had. Truth be told, I would've likely skipped A Cure For Wellness altogether if I had known. I usually find with these types of movies, the assault isn't needed to progress the story whatsoever. You may disagree, and that is perfectly fine. We're all allowed our opinions. Safe place, people. I might write up another blog post altogether about this particular topic as I find myself having a lot to say on it, but I won't stray too far away from solely discussing A Cure For Wellness here. If you want to go into this movie completely blind or assault in entertainment doesn't faze you, skip down to under the last photo.

The sexual assault was unneeded. Simple as. It didn't add anything new and didn't affect the outcome of the plot. They could've easily ended that particular scene 5 minutes before anything sexual began, and us as the viewers would've known exactly what was being implied without having to sit through the discomfort of watching a human be degraded on film. It was graphic but not in the way you might imagine. It wasn't "artfully" shot, nor was it full on. It was simply.. hollow. And lengthy once you realise it wasn't going anywhere. You could argue it was in there for the shock value and yada, yada. But hear me out, films such as I Spit On Your Grave, Last House On The Left, Eden Lake, and Hills Have Eyes have scenes of graphic sexual violence, but the difference is, they are of the horror genre. A Cure For Wellness is not. It is marketed as a mystery/drama. As told by some, even the non-consensual sexual scenes in Game of Thrones amount to something bigger i.e the becoming of a strong female character or whatnot. (Don't quote me on that, I'm going solely on what I've heard and not seen.) But alas, my roundabouts point stands. In A Cure For Wellness, sexual assault had no place.

Adding onto that, what infuriated me more was the way the movie handled Hannah's character. Keeping in mind that she is said to be in her early twenties and yet the only youthful woman with a large role in this movie, the assault scene is close to coming in at second place when we play the "what made you most uncomfortable about A Cure For Wellness?" game. It felt like large chunks of the movie was spent commenting on how naive and innocent Hannah is, but in the creepiest way one can imagine blokes noticing that. She seemed to constantly be doing things that she didn't want to do/wasn't sure on, because a guy suggested it - all the while they knew she wasn't comfortable, and that fact just never came to light or amounted to anything. It seemed as though viewers were just meant to accept that for what it is, which left a bitter taste in my mouth. She quite clearly had a mind of her own, but you rarely got to delve into that which kinda defeats the entire purpose of having a character like her. They kept her a shell.

The overall character growth in this movie was lousy, and that's a shame as they chose great actors who fit perfectly into their individual roles. Hell, if it wasn't for the two major key points that I didn't like, I may of recommended this movie to you. After all, the mystery aspect held strong, which is what A Cure For Wellness seems to be at heart. It just went astray with disturbing scenes and unnecessary shock value - which just didn't work for me.

Did A Cure For Wellness suffer because it had too much time and not enough story so they added in random crap, or did the editor quit so they just pushed everything together and hoped for a decent outcome? We'll never know. I enjoyed the movie for it's visual beauty and the rare but notable heart-pounding scenes, but sadly that is where it ends. I hope to see Mia Goth in more future roles (hopefully not just as the pretty face, her being a model and all), as she added the much needed depth that the other characters failed to bring. She was the standout for me.

I'm not a reviewer so I shan't rate this out of numbers, but I'll give it a strong 'Meh'.

- Anne x

Sierra Mountain Inn, Grass Valley || A One Night Stay


Here I show you the quaint little hideaway that is the Sierra Mountain Inn. I was fortunate enough to stay here due to my tagging along to a family trip that my partner takes yearly with his parents. The trip itself was a wonderful experience that I will treasure for many years to come. Free advice: Road trips are best spent holding the hand of someone you love and reading a cheesy book of love and loss (Me Before You - not as sad as I thought.).

Staying only one night in a place can make for a difficult review. On one hand, initial impressions count, But on the other, can you really get to know a place by solely sleeping in it's bed? It's a pickle, but due to my overall experience of this little hideaway, I figured an in-depth review may be somewhat helpful for anyone who is looking to stay somewhere in the area. 

Straight off the bat.. The staff were friendly and the rooms were clean, two of the most important things you take from a stay. So I'll get that out of the way now before delving deeper than your average Trip Advisor review.

 Um. Okay, time to get more thorough. That was quick.

Firstly, the location of the inn is great - easy to find, and a 10ish minute walk from the centre of town. You could of course drive (the inn offers free parking, just FYI), but in the evenings you may find it difficult - if not impossible - to get a parking spot in town without driving around in circles. So I suggest that if the weather is good, you take the walk to and from the Inn. The houses on the strip are beautiful and although the walk is semi up hill, it isn't overly exhausting. A slow pace and a few stops will see you through, if you find it difficult to get around.

The rooms are generously spacious with a lot of helpful nooks and crannies to prevent a luggage explosion on the floor. You could move freely without getting under each others feet - unlike a lot of other affordable motels/inns. The bed was super comfortable with the added bonus of buttery soft sheets, however the pillows did let it down. You know those cheapo pillows you get from the value section of certain homeware stores that you have to continuously fluff up to prevent your head from resting on a crepe instead of a American style pancake? Yeah, that (Food analogies for the win.). It's just a small factor in the overall experience, but a tad bit of a nuisance. I still don't understand why places don't offer a variety of soft and firm pillows, as you can easily find both at an affordable price. Anyhoo, in the Sierra Mountain Inn's defence, there was a spare pillow and blanket in the drawers which aided in our comfort. (And my warmth. More on that later.)

In your room, there is a tray that offers a variety of hot drinks and even a refrigerator and microwave - which I personally thought was really cool. In the UK at least, it is rare to find an affordable room that offers kitchen appliances which is a darn shame as I imagine if you're travelling on a budget, it'd be helpful to have the option of tucking into a micro meal/fresh crispy salad some days, instead of spending an arm and a leg on a basic sandwich in a cafe. Or you know, cold wine.

The bathroom was beautiful. Roomy with a satisfying shower and sink area. The mirror sat large and proud on the wall which gave the space a luxurious feel, though saying that, if you're of the non-tall community, you may have to hop up onto the counter to properly see your face whilst painting on some slap. I felt semi like a child trying to see themselves in their parents bathroom. 

As you've probably picked on, I liked the place. The only downside of our stay was 100% the heating. In the room there is a semi ancient (reeeeeallyyyy loud) radiator, imagine the one in Home Alone, that you can both get hot air from and air conditioning. It worked a treat at heating the space up, but it felt as though the moment you turned the thing off, Jack Frost took a run through the room. It was icily cold, especially in the bathroom. Thin walls, too much marble, or a ghost. We'll never know. But perhaps pack cosy pj's if you're like me and naturally cold. 

All in all, the place was great for the price and I would be happy to stay in the Sierra Mountain Inn again. Would I be able to withstand the cold for more than one night though? I'm torn on that one. 

- Anne x

PS: I have to mention (sorry, boyfriend)... The TV was in a really weird place. It literally touched the ceiling. So confusing. So weird. 

Latest Instagrams

© Rooting Branches. Design by FCD.