End Of The Year Book Tag

12/04/2019

In a sense, this is a duo of tags as I did the Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag earlier this year. Now we're in ultimate panic mode as the New Year is fast approaching and let's face it, we all still have multiple books on our TBR that we thought we'd of finished by now. Yikes. Let's just get to the questions that are likely to shame me..


Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
I rarely start a book and don't finish it. Usually if I choose to put it down, I won't then pick it back up as there's something that just hasn't clicked with me. So far this year those books have been The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer and The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. I have, however, started the Harry Potter series this year and am hoping to complete the audiobooks before 2020. (Future Anne adding in: I finished Harry Potter a week or so ago, so yay, I'm home free!)

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
Not a specific book, but I do usually reach for thrillers and YA fantasies more at this time of year. Thrillers are a no-brainer what with the spooky season and eerie atmosphere that Fall gives us. And I equally crave the dark worlds that fantasy offers with forbidden romances, magical powers, and yes, usually love triangles. It's a guilty pleasure!

Is there a new release you're still waiting for?
Surprisingly, no. I was awaiting the second ever book by Stephen Chbosky 'Imaginary Friends' but coming in at a whooping 700+ pages and receiving not so great reviews, I'm in a box of my own fear and am now reluctant to pick it up.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
The three that have continuously been put on my monthly TBR only to be pushed aside for something else are Becoming by Michele Obama, Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, and Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson. The latter two were kept aside for the festive season, but I have no excuse for Becoming. It just keeps getting forgotten.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?
Regrettably, no. A big statement, but I've read so many 5 star books this year that I don't see anything knocking off something. Maybe if I randomly pick up a Taylor Jenkins Reid book? Or if I finally get to Jane Eyre. Oh, you know what, The Secret History by Donna Tartt. That's been on my TBR for so long and I'm determined to pick it up before the end of the year.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?
Yes and no. Me and my husband usually do the Popsugar Reading Challenge together, but we're thinking of giving it a miss as it really put us in a rut this year. I love a good prompt and/or a readathon, so maybe we'll join in on more of those. For personal reading plans, I've put together a book of 20 books that I will 100% try to read next year.

Have you made book plans for 2020 yet? Let me know!

Reader Problems Book Tag

11/19/2019

As we've previously established, I love a good book tag blog post. I just find them fun, and though they may not be my most popular posts, I]they're fun enough to write out that I do them anyway. Today we're doing the Reader Problems Tag. Let's get answering..


1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
I'm a huge mood reader, so I pick up whatever appeals to me in the moment which does often result in books from my TBR taking a backseat. If I pick up a book or genre that I'm not in the mood for, I can guarantee I won't enjoy it. Reading shouldn't feel forced.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?
This heavily depends on the situation. If I'm reading it for a readathon or the Popsugar Reading Challenge, then I'll likely stick with it. Same goes for if it's a huge chunk of a book, and I'm at least 200 pages in. Then I don't want to lose out on the time I spent reading. Saying that, if I'm really hating it, I will DNF it though it will take me a few days to talk myself into putting it down.
3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?
I honestly don't mind mismatched book covers, as controversial as that may be. I buy most, if not all, of my books used from library sales so it's basically a case of buying whichever edition/cover I find. If it's one of my favourite books I may seek out another cover that pleases both my eye and my bookcase, but that's really it. I'm more of a stickler for having an authors collection all in either paperback or hardback.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
My cats. For some weird reason when we discuss books, they always agree with me. How odd!

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?
Shut that baby down as fast as humanly possible. I cry so often when it comes to books that I'll likely already know if a book is going to make me teary before picking it up, so it would not get to venture out with me. Do you cry easily when it comes to books?

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!
Here is where I have to be honest with myself.. I will plan to reread the first book but will undoubtedly let it gather dust on my TBR pile and never actually get round to reading either. I suck at keeping up-to-date with a series, it's too much pressure to reread something. Especially when it may not be a 5 star read for me.

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?
Unless it's a copy of the book that has sentimental value to me, I will probably just go with it and let them borrow it. This is the only thing I have in common with Rachel Green.. I'm a huge pushover. Oh, and the love for fashion. So two things. Ew, that's two too many.

9. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?
I would make an effort to read a book by an author I have a good history with, such as Taylor Jenkins Reid, Fredrick Backman, Jojo Moyes, or Kristin Hannah. A reading slump rarely effects my enjoyment of a book, unless I'm just not in the mood for it. I think we all have books on our TBR that we're pretty sure we'll give 5 stars. I make myself pick up one of those, and try to make the time to have a good hour or two of reading. Reading choppily when in a slump just makes it harder for me to get into a story.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
Unless I'm super lucky and instantly find them at a library sale, a grand total of zero. Instead I'd borrow them from my library, which seems unlikely what with waiting lists and such, but my local branches have a 'Lucky Day! Borrow 2 books for 21 days' section, that doesn't show online but always had new releases available. As you can't renew any of the books, it means you never have long to wait. Just a case of continuously checking.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?
Why are you coming for me like this? As I get them from my library, there is a invisible push to quickly finish them. This of course means that my books at home just seem to sit on my shelves gathering dust. In 2020 I'm hoping to make more of an effort with picking up backlisted titles that just sit on my TBR shelf.
Do you enjoy book tags? Let me know! If this tag interests you, consider yourself tagged! Be sure to send me your blog post. 





Books That Will Make You Cry

11/18/2019


Do you ever choose a book solely to have a good cry? Or am I just overly bleak? Anyhoo, I decided to write up a post of the books I'd recommend you to pick up if you crave a good ole sob. Yay for emotional reads!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This story within a story is a tell-all into the life and many, many husbands of Hollywood scarlet Evelyn Hugo. She approaches a young woman who is trying to make it in the reporter world, and offers to give her the first ever exclusive into her life. Is this fictionalised? Regrettably so, but that doesn't take away any of the magic that these characters bring to the pages.  This was my introductory book into the wonder that is Taylor Jenkins Reid and it made me immediately download all her other books. I cried so many tears by the time I neared the end to this story that I had to down a few hydration tablets. This book is everything and I urge absolutely everyone to pick it up.


The Travelling Cat Chronicles
by Hiro Arikawa
This a story of an unlikely friendship between an older man and his cat as they travel across Japan to visit people who defined periods of the man's life. I went into this book expecting a few laughs (it's mostly written from the cat's POV) and heartbreak. It gave me both, but it also offered a beautifully pure story of companionship that I would recommend to near enough anyone. This isn't a fictional travel memoir, which the synopsis made it seem. It's a book with heart and though I think you'd get more from this read by being a cat lover, it is also filled to the brim with wonderfully written characters who each hold up on their own. I sobbed multiple times reading this, so it definitely deserves a place on this list.


A Monster Calls 
by Patrick Ness
In this story we follow 12-year-old Conor as he struggles with high school invisibility and more importantly, his unwell mother. One night, he gets a visit from a monster (think of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, but less friendly.). The monster promises to tell the boy three stories, and says that the young man will tell him the fourth when it's time. Did Conor dream this? Or are nightmares now in his real life? With his mother's health deteriorating with every turn of a page, the young boy tries to make sense of everything. Though technically middle-grade, this book is one that any person can read, no matter their age. It's a timeless story with such a beautiful narrative, if you aren't wiping away tears as the story comes to a close, you're reading it wrong.


Firefly Lane
by Kristin Hannah
Kate and Tully were always more sisters than best friends. Having found each other in that crucial period of adolescence when you think nobody understands you, they practically kept the other going. But as with most friendships, their relationship took a hit when adulthood and life continuously seemed to pull them apart. Can they get back what they once had? This is a hunk of a novel, both in size (over 500 pages) and story. You can't not care about both women as they equally struggle with the difficulties that life throws at us with age. However, the story does sound simple. I get that, but it's so much more than what it seems on the cover. Without giving away a spoiler, this book takes such a heartbreaking turn that you'll find yourself pulling an Anne and reading the last few chapters sobbing on the bathroom floor. In comparison to TV, this is a mix between the girlhood of Gilmore Girls and the agony of This Is Us. If you like either of this, give this book a try. The sequel Fly Away is also very good, albeit not as good as Firefly Lane.


When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decades worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. This is the only non-fiction on this list, but that's mainly because I rarely find myself picking up anything of this genre. However, this book broke me. It's such an impactful book that really shows the hardships of being diagnosed with such a terrible illness. It was very interesting reading about his transition from surgeon to patient, and the foreword by his wife shred my heart. This is the epitome of bad things shouldn't happen to good people.

What was the last book you read that made you cry? 

Separation Anxiety In Your Cat | The Cat Life

11/16/2019


I've now owned three cats in my lifetime. Two of which have had some weird separation bond with me.. great, cool. Do I just magnate weirdo little felines, or are cats just weird AF? Those are questions that need an entire dedicated blog post. (Not really.. *cue that blonde woman GIF of going 'wait, no, well, maybe' with her face*) Though I'm honoured with how much my pets care for me, it can set one up for the ultimate betrayal when you inevitably have to leave them for a trip home/vacation. I'm blessed in the way of both cats live with me and other members of my family. One with my mum, one with my husband. So not having to board them or leave them with someone unfamiliar is great, and not a problem we've had to face. Though in their eyes the entire notion of me leaving is a problem. I'm now semi knowledgeable with softening the blow to their precious little hearts, so here's a post of my tips and tricks to make the separation a little easier on them. I have yet to discover the secret to not being miserable ourselves, but ya know, one step at a time. #MomGuilt

As a cat owner you probably already know that they're huge scent fiends. You put any item of worn clothing on the floor and they're instantly claiming it as a new bed. They'll nuzzle into your hair as you sleep, knead you like a pin cushion in a bid to claim your blood as their own (too far?), and will get your pillow covered in fur by curling up on it the moment you get out of bed. A huge help for my older cat, Bruno, is having articles of lightly worn clothing when I'm not there. According to the very reliable source that is Google, my scent being around him and not wavering proves to him that I will return. True? No idea, but it's definitely proven to calm him down when I'm away for long periods of time. Sadly it does mean that all my cardigan's are now 70% fur.



This one is entirely up to your cat to figure out if they like it, but face-timing has proven to be a good source of comfort for my younger cat, Dresden. On my first trip away from them, my husband said that the little guy seemed to relax a little after a Skype session and/or hearing me through a phone. Whereas Lea, my other little one, and Bruno can't seem to grasp the concept of a phone and will immediately begin to search for me with a plan that rivals the Dad's from Taken. So, maybe try this tip when you can immediately return home to them. Just at the off chance that it makes them crazy.

If you think your cats are going to struggle when you're gone, be sure to stock up on their favourite food. Bruno took on a starvation tactic when I first left him for two nights, but maybe he'd of been swayed if he had his favourite Hilife freeze-dried chicken pieces. Whereas Lea eats her feelings when I'm not there, so.. this isn't really a problem she has. But it's best to be prepared, especially in a bid to help whoever has sole custody when you aren't there.

Speaking of those first two nights, Bruno did  not handle that well in the slightest. He continuously vomited, refused water or food for the entire three days, and worked himself up into a state of severe anxiety. You can purchase natural plug-in diffusers to help calm your pets down during traumatic events such as firework night, big changes, parties, new houses, or hell.. taking them on a trip. However I think this would be a great thing to have if your cat gets themselves into a bad state when separated from you. They're completely harmless and quite effective (our dog, Jess, used to need one on constantly during firework season. Which, by the way, can we ban home fireworks? So unnecessary). Not cheap, but worth it if you think it'll help them. Amazon or your local chain pet store have a good selection.



One of the biggest mistakes I made when I adopted kittens was not preparing them for life without me. Dramatic, yes, but also true. I'm housewife and spend 95% of my time indoors with the cats running circles around me. So when I finally got my green card and could travel home, they weren't prepared in the slightest. If you don't have a full-time job, try getting out of the house more often especially during the lead up to your trip. Which leads me onto..

Show them that you always come back. When you're reunited with your kitty, it can seem impossible to leave them again, even for an supermarket trip. They may follow you around everywhere while simultaneously giving you the stink eye and refusing to be touched, but you have to get them back into the mental realisation that you'll always return. I try and go outside for at least an hour the day after I return, which though makes them a little angsty, helps in the long run. They quickly stop being so clingy whenever I put on shoes, and thus take me for granted again. Lovely.

In a similar fashion, be sure to have their favourite treat to gift them when you come home. It can help sway their hatred of you and it gives them a little spark of joy. They don't know why you left, if you were coming back, and were likely broken-hearted. You have a lot of sucking up to do, my friend. Best to start straight away.

Most importantly, this is just going to take time. For both you and your fur baby. They may slowly grasp the concept of you leaving with time, armed with the knowledge that you'll come back. Or you may have to implement all of these tips and tricks for each trip. It's a trail and error process, but you'll both get there. If Bruno can chill out, any cat can.


3 Makeup Products I Will Always Repurchase


Repurchasing seems like a no-go in the beauty community. It seems like every guru I watch has a constant rotation of new products going through their routine. I, however, am poor and a creature of habit. I like trusting products and sticking by them. Here are just a few of my all-time favourites that I've repurchased at least 5 times a piece. Surprisingly as I was putting this list together, I realised that all 3 were by the same brand. Originally this was a list of 5 products, but having since learnt that Maybelline isn't cruelty-free I refuse to push or repurchase their products. So, I guess this is a favourites with a spotlight on the drugstore brand Collection.


In the early days of the beauty community on Youtube, the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer was the most hyped product... ever. Every single British Youtuber I watched used this product and raved about it. One might say it was concealed from no one.. heh.. heh... no? It was the first ever concealer I used, and though I've tried a multitude since my early teens, I continue to stand by this affordable gem. The lightest shade is really great for me, especially for a drugstore brand that doesn't necessarily have a greatly diverse colour range ( a low point, granted), and it's cruelty-free which is something I'm really making an effort to look into when it comes to repurchases. As I now live in the US, I make sure to stock up on this product when visiting home. My suitcase is practically brimming with them.


Since the beauty community has grown into it's own and thus made the beauty world expand to such a ridiculous amount, it can be really daunting to even start looking for a palette. It's now a rabbit hole that can cause you to lose hours, and likely come out with a colour range that isn't realistically wearable day-to-day. On my last trip home, I faced the fear of every traveller.. my luggage was lost. The drama. Thankfully, as it wasn't necessarily a vacation and my case turned up 7 days later, this story doesn't have a devastating ending. But for those 7 days of family visits, trips out, and selfies, I needed my brow game back. So I bought my old trusted Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette in Nude Bronze. It was cheap, had what I wanted, and I knew it wasn't glittery. Score. But surprisingly I've fallen back in love with this nude to brown simplistic kit. It has everything I need to create a suitable daily neutral look, and yet it can be transformed into a smoky eye by nightfall. I've also been using the lightest shade to powder my nose and forehead, and it's been working wonderfully. No caking, or clumping. I would highly recommend!


And more Collection, I seem to really like this brand, huh? The Collection Fast Stroke Eye Liner is my second all time favourite liquid eye-liner. The first being the Eyeko but coming at a whooping $22, it doesn't necessarily fit into my daily routine. This collection one however is incredible for the price. It doesn't move at all, is easy to apply after you get familiar with the skinny wand, and doesn't dry out quickly. In fact, I usually have to throw out the product due to it being open for too long not because it gets clumpy.


As I'm no longer repurchasing Maybelline I would absolutely love drugstore mascara and tinted lip balm recommendations! Please leave them below or tweet me at @RootingBranches.


Is A Safety Razor Safe? | First Impressions

11/14/2019


I've been dabbling with the idea of investing in a safety razor for a few years now. I knew it would be far better for the environment, a lifelong investment, and fun to review. However, fear always won out as the thought of having to personally put in a razor blade and not cut myself to slithers was and is terrifying. Nevertheless, last month I finally took the scary plunge and paid $12 on what should be my razor for many, many, many years. How was it to use? Read on to find out..



Amazon has quite a few safety razor options, some from $7 all the way up to $50. How much you're willing to spend is entirely a personal matter. I went with the brand BAILI as it came with 5 free blades which seemed convenient, and was a reasonable price for something that I may hate. Upon first impression, I was very pleased with the razors hefty weight. It feels good to hold, has a study handle, and some little grip ridges that ought to hopefully help in the shaving process (more on that later). The blades came well packaged in their own separate little plastic container (not great if you're buying this mainly to be waste-free), each wrapped up in their individual little envelopes. That pleased me as it made the process of inserting a blade less terrifying. Kind of. To put in a blade you screw off the handle, which opens up the top part of the razor (as pictured), you layer the blade between the two pieces of metal, and proceed to screw it back up. The part of this I found challenging was the slippery metal when tightening it up, as I was afraid of my finger slipping onto the blade. That didn't happen, but still, please be careful. Take your time and maybe even use a wash cloth to help grip onto the sides.


I chose to try it out for the first time in the bath as I figured it'd be the easiest way to take my time, prevent me from having to bend awkwardly, and would make it easier to keep my hand and the razors handle dry to have a good grip. I didn't know how much pressure to apply when shaving, so that was fun. I'd suggest going very very lightly to begin with, and then slowly work up to a pressure that you're comfortable with. This is far sharper than your standard drugstore razor, so the pressure and angle takes some getting used to. But after a few swipes I gained a little confidence. My legs came out of the bath feeling very smooth and with only a tiny cut, which was caused by my main issue.. as this is metal it gets very slippery when wet. I thought the grips would help, and though they kind of do, you still have to be extremely careful, especially when you're tilting the razor at a slight angle to get the back of your legs/ankle area. I've now used it a few times and there haven't been any accidents since, but still, not the best, most notably when in the shower and you can't really control how wet everything gets.

My only other problem is, I have absolutely no idea how to conquer shaving 'down south' with this. As it's double sided, I can't fathom how one gets into close-knit quarters without accidentally cutting the other side of your flesh. If you have any experience with this, please share your tips with me! For the time being, I may stick with a smaller plastic razor just for this. Not really an area you want to "trail and error" with. (Please help)


All in all, I'm glad I made this investment. I think after a few more tries, I will be facing no problems whatsoever. If you've been debating taking the plunge, I would strongly urge you to. It really isn't as scary as you may think it is, and though the price tag is roughly double what you'd spend on a multi pack at the drugstore, it's going to last you much longer and aid in reducing plastic waste. Always good!

Do you have a safety razor?


Goodreads Choice Award Predictions 2019

11/13/2019

It's that time of year where we go to vote for books on the Goodreads Choice Awards only to get a harsh reality when we realise that we really haven't read any new releases. Yay! I have more of an opinion this year solely thanks to my local library which has a great personal selection of new releases. I managed to get Daisy Jones &The Six the day it got released, I mean, pure magic! As with every year though I like to take my guesses as to who will win. I figured it'd be fun to go through my predictions in post form, let's go.. 

FICTION

Prediction: There are so many great nominees this year. I personally would love for Normal People by Sally Rooney to win as that is a book that wedged itself into my mind for weeks after I finished it. The characters were so imperfectly perfect and it made for such an organic read. However, I think The Testaments by Margaret Atwood has a high chance of winning, as people who may of read The Handmaid's Tale will vote for it, even not having read the second instalment.

FANTASY

Prediction: Having not read any of these, I'm going to go with the book I've seen the most hype for. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Though every review I see for Bardugo's first Adult novel is different--it seems as though people either love it or hate it--I think the authors name mixed with the popularity of the book will give it an edge in beating out the competition. It's big contender, in my opinion, is The Priority Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

HISTORICAL FICTION

Prediction: Ph-lease. We all know that Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is going to wipe the floor in this category. Not only is it universally loved but literally everyone and their mothers have read it. It was one of my favourite reads of the year and will forever stand tall in all it's perfection glory. But, I'm not bias. The only other book I could foresee winning from this list would be Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris but I really don't think it received enough hype when it got released to be a true contender.

MYSTERY & THRILLER

Prediction: Over the past few years this genre of books has exploded thanks to the likes of Gone Girl and The Woman On The Train, so this category is one of the hardest to predict. Usually I could instantly say Ruth Ware's The Turn Of The Key as she's such a popular author of stereotypical loved thrillers. However, thanks to it's many, many, many 5 star ratings I'm guessing The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

ROMANCE

Prediction: This is the first category I'm entirely torn on. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren are calling to me. Both took the book world by storm and I truly haven't seen a negative thing said about either. Christina Lauren may have the edge as she already has an established fandom. Gah! Tough choice. Who knows, maybe Colleen Hoover will come out of nowhere and win again. Side-note: I've never read a Colleen Hoover book. Am I missing out? Let me know!

Young Adult Fiction

PREDICTION: On The Come Up by Angie Thomas is going to win, I don't have a doubt about it. Not only is the author already well loved due to her debut novel The Hate U Give, but this secondary novel by her has also had such great feedback from the book community. It ticks all the boxes to win this category.

YA FANTASY

Prediction: This a touch one as so many of the books in this category have an equal amount of love from readers. Cassandra Clare has such a huge dedicated fanbase, but the same could be said about Maggie Stiefvater, Leigh Bardugo and Jay Kristoff. Rainbow Rowell is a marmite writer for people, but her most popular book was undoubtedly Carry On. So it's sequel could easily sway a lot of people to pick up another book by her. My prediction is.. King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. Mainly due to the mass amount of people I've seen reading it online. 

HORROR

Prediction: Though there's already people complaining about Stephan King's The Institute being in this category as it isn't a horror novel, it will undoubtedly win this. People love Stephan King and not many of the books in this are popular, so naturally the people who haven't read any but want to vote anyway will go with the author they're familiar with. King wins every year and this won't be any different. 

SCIENCE FICTION

Prediction: This is a genre that I rarely pick up due to it's lack of popularised books. Besides Becky Chambers I really haven't seen a lot of love for other sci-fi books in recent years, however, it seems as though everyone is reading Recursion by Blake Crouch. So, that's my pick. His previous book Black Matter received a lot of praise and it seems his newest story is just as enjoyable. Good for him.

HUMOUR

Humour: I foresee the recently released book Dear Girls by Ali Wong taking a huge rise in popularity next year. We really haven't had a more humorous look on 'girl talk' in the past few years, despite the well-loved How To Be A Woman and Not That Kind Of Girl. I personally loved the Netflix original movie Always Be My Maybe so I'm hoping to pick up her debut book soon.

DEBUT

Predictions: And finally we have the most difficult to predict.. the debut. All these books had a huge surge of popularity in 2019. But I think the standout novel will be, again, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. The book is everywhere and appeals to people who like a variety of genres. There, that's my predicitons.

What book are you backing this year in the awards? Be sure to let me know!



Side-note: As you may of noticed, I didn't predict all the categories. That is simply because I either hadn't heard of any of the books, or I just don't feel right having a say as my knowledge of it's designated genre is sparse. Hope you understand. 

What I've Recently Bought From Amazon


We're all guilty of spending a little too much on Amazon, especially when we're a part of Prime. It's a right of passage to grimace each month when you look at your order history and realise that most of the things weren't actually that necessary. I thought it'd be a fun post to share with you my recent purchases and semi shame myself. This is a 'haul' of the things I've bought from Amazon over the past 8 weeks, enjoy!


For past few years I've been trying to dabble in the world of watercolour painting, but it's definitely a wormhole with far too many options on Amazon. I truly didn't know where to start and my wallet was reluctant to take a hit for a hobby that I might not stick with. However, it's been on my mind for so long that I just took the plunge with some birthday money that's been put aside. Have I yet to have a proper play with my pocketbook Winsor & Newton? No, no I have not. Because I'm afraid to mess it up. Look at the reds! So messy. Yup, so much logic. But I went with this brand as it had the best reviews for the midway price point. The palette itself is incredibly well made and the colours, though boring, all seem great for their intended use. I'm also very appreciative of the colour guide you receive, as pictured below. All in all, I'm very happy with this purchase and will definitely play around with it soon. I'll probably upload my results (failure or not) on my Instagram RootingBranches.


In a similar theme to the paints, I bought yarn. And no, not for my cats, which would probably be your first guess. I'm an old soul and really want to get into either knitting or crochet, not sure which yet as I haven't fully learnt the difference. My goal is to both make adorable hats and strengthen my wrists that are shockingly weak due to Fibromyalgia. Wish me luck! This mustard colour was a must.


A phone tripod? Okay, I was sucked into a daily deal. But in my defence, I have wanted something like this for a while now to make it easier to take family photos, especially with the cats. This UBeesize tripod (usually priced at $24.99 but I nabbed it for $12.99) fits the bill perfectly. It's sturdy, easy to use, and has a bluetooth remote that hasn't glitched once - even the process of syncing it with my phone was a breeze. So though unnecessary, a very fun product that will make aspects of my life easier.


The thought of cutting my cats nails fills me with the kind of fear that rivals that of tripping as you try to sleep. For months I've been putting it off, but my female cat's paws were having non of it. As both my American cats are indoor only, their side claws don't get filed as they should, so we have to take it into our own hands.. doom, doom I say. We basically bought the best reviewed nail clippers on the market that weren't huge or stupidly priced. Pet Republique has a good reputation and the thousand positive reviews swayed us to go with them. They work perfectly, and though the process is still mighty terrifying, it's not difficult in the slightest and my cat isn't even bothered.


Time for the most exciting purchase... deodorant! Who doesn't love a good deodorant recommendation? I'm actually seriously asking this. It took me years to find a product that ticked all the boxes. I didn't want anything perfumed, something that would keep my underarms dry without powder residue, and most importantly, something that worked without me having to reapply multiple times a day. Mitchum is that brand for me. The Amazon duo pack is a much better deal than buying from a drugstore, working out at only $2.50 a piece. Forever repurchasing. (My husband has also tried the 'sport' variety and liked it.)



What was the last thing you ordered from our favourite site? Let me know!


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