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!


The Happy List Book Tag

11/12/2019


As you can probably tell by now, I love a good book tag. Today I'm answering the ever positive questions that go alongside The Happy List Book Tag. Yay! The original tag was made by Words & Sunflowers. Be sure to go and watch her answers. Without further ado, let's begin!

1. A book you can always go back to and feel happy
As I always answer with The Perks Of Being A Wallflower so to shake things up a bit I'm going with Secrets For The Mad by Dodie Clark. Though she's a Youtuber (which never really translates well in the book world) and this is essentially a collection of Instagram captions and lyrics, there's just something about her words that resonates with my heart. And that makes me reach for this book when I need a little lift.



2. Your standoms (your number one joy filled fandom or fandoms)
I don't really have a fandom anymore but my younger days were spent heavily in the Twihard community. I ran a popular (well, popular for back then on Twitter) fan account and would pull way too many all-nighters fangirling with fellow fans across the world. I miss those days.


3. Type of book cover you’ll always pick up in a bookstore
Though it's a huge sin, I really do judge a book by it's cover. So anything colourful with a pretty font and maybe some type of illustration. Here are some examples..


4. A book trope that you love
Tropes are fun, but the only answer I could come up with isn't necessarily a 'trope'. I personally have a soft spot for the classic spin on a book about mental health where we have a main character that's socially awkward and lovable, who then comes into their own after a journey of self discovery.

5. An anticipated release that makes you happy when you think about it
There really isn't a book that comes to mind. I'm interested in reading the fifth instalment to the Wayward Children series 'Come Tumbling Down' by Seanan McGuire which comes out next year, so I guess that...? I'm not really huge on new releases unless I'm already familiar with the author, which leads me onto the next question...

6. An author whose full canon of books you love
Taylor Jenkins Reid. 100%.

7. Your coziest go-to reading snack/drink
I've been known to indulge in a bag of Harvest Snaps Pea Crisps at 2am when I'm awake and still reading. This is a terrible habit but glorious. Drink wise, I tend to have peppermint tea at bedtime which is otherwise known as my and @BilliamSWN's 'Marriage Reading Hour'.

8. A book you’ve shared with with family or friends
I share books all the time with my husband, as do you really love a book if you don't make your significant other read it too? The last one I pushed onto his TBR was A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman and he gave it 5 stars.



9. A fellow booktuber or book blogger whose content always brings you joy
It's a tie for first place with BooksWithEmilyFox and BooksAndLala. Both creators make great original content that I enjoy immensely, but most importantly, they both make me laugh. Which is what we need in this Online world. If you're into Bookstagram or you've only just discovered this cosy part of the Internet, I strongly recommend you subscribe to both of them.
10. Name something about the content you create that you love
I like that I'm no longer afraid to mix my content. I'm content with posting a make-up favourites only to then post a book wrap-up, I now just post content that I'd be happy to read. I don't have to put myself into a certain group of bloggers and that's okay.

So, there we have it. My question to you is the last question of this tag. What's something you love about the content you create? Spread the self love. 



The Soundtracks Of My Childhood

11/10/2019


I got this idea after writing up the My Fictional Childhood Heroines post. Who doesn't love a good reminisce session? Today, as per the title, I'm listing all the CD's that defined my childhood. Now, by childhood I'm talking the album's I listened to under the age of 10. Anything else is a teenhood album (maybe a different blog post?). My mum always seemed to have something playing when I was younger and I kind of followed suit. Whenever I was in my bedroom I would put on something as background noise. Is this why I now find silence so difficult? Am I unravelling my issues and my childhood is to blame? Where's a therapist when you need one? Without further ado, here are all the album's that instantly take me back to my childhood.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album
I started my BtVS merchandise collection at a young age - probably 7 or 8. The album was one of the first Buffy related items I found at an old record store where I avidly ventured to for my poster obsession. (Anyone else miss those poster stands in Woolworth's?) I was instantly obsessed with the album because, duh, it's Buffy. But my mum really enjoyed the song variety so it was often played in our household. I can't even count how many times I got ready for school with Bif Naked's Lucky being played on repeat. My personal favourite was Wild Horses by The Sundays, because even as a child, I wasn't very cool with my music preferences.


Natalie Imbruglia: Left of the Middle
This is probably the most played album of my entire childhood. My mum had this on repeat, at what felt like every second of the day. When I was a toddler, she actually managed to convince me that it was her singing. (She had the same haircut as the cover, okay.. it was a confusing time) so I mean, Natalie is practically family! No? Torn, a classic and NOT a One Direction original song, and Shiver continue to be some of my favourite songs. 


Dido: Life For Rent
Okay, the Buffy theme continues. If you are familiar with music videos (or just  a fangirl like me) you may remember David Borenaz, the broody Angel, was in the video for Life For Rent. I watched the music channel so much the previous year waiting for it to come on again. Yeah, I didn't get out much. But alas, my mum's collection soon had this CD in it's midst and she played it frequently. I can't listen to it without instantly being transported to early 2004, going for long walks with our dog Jess, and watching Friends, Buffy, and Angel on VHS.


Grease: The Movie Soundtrack
Grease was my favourite movie growing up, nowadays Grease 2 has overtaken it's place but that's another post for another day. I wanted to be Sandy with every fibre of my being. Pretty sure this was the start of my mum being sure I wasn't going to stay on the straight path. My girl crush was unrelenting. I received the album from a boyfriend of my mum's at the time and I replayed it so much that it started to skip. Yay for that CD life!


Olivia Newton John : Definitive Collection
Sense the theme? I received this album for Christmas when I was, I think, seven. I wasn't familiar with Olivia Newton John's older work but this collection fixed that and I was quickly singing along with Physical while dancing in my Barbie themed bedroom. Pretty sure that was the peak of my existence. Nowadays I can't hear Physical and not instantly have the mental image of Jane Lynch, but ya know, both are great.


Shania Twain: Greatest Hits
I bought this the same Christmas that I received the Olivia Newton John album, what else does a young child use their Christmas money on? Shania Twain was a mystery to me but I knew I loved the song 'Man! I Feel Like A Woman' from the Brittany Spears classic movie Crossroads. Did anyone else love that movie? If I met Zoe Saldana I'd compliment on her role in it, which may end with her just walking away. Who knows? I digress, this album was fast to be replayed 24/7 by me and I enjoyed singing emotionally along to 'From This Moment On'.

What albums instantly take you back to your childhood? 


Books To Read This Fall | Recommendations

11/08/2019


It's officially Fall! It's that time of year when we cosy under fluffy blankets, keep our fireplaces burning, and digest far too much tea, flavoured coffees, and mulled wine. Spices fill our nostrils and cardigans cover our arms. It's magical, and truly warming for the heart. I personally choose to curl up with a good book as I do all the things, as the atmosphere is just right. If that's also your thing, here are some book recommendations that I think go perfectly with this season. There's a romance, sci-i, retelling, thriller, and Gothic tale. Something for everyone!

Side-note: Many find the lack of sunshine difficult this time of year, if that's you, I apologise and hope that you find something comforting to throw yourself into until Spring. You can do this. If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here. Sometimes a stranger can offer what others in your life cannot - a blank slate.


One True Loves
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
When Emma Blair's high school sweetheart/husband goes missing in a helicopter accident and is presumed dead, her entire life falls apart. The grief is unmanageable, she wants out of the life they built together in the city and chooses to move back home to a small town in  Massachusetts. There over a lengthy time period, she falls for a guy from her past - her 'could've been' if you will - and learns to love again. Just when her life is becoming bearable again, the unimaginable happens. Jesse is alive, and he's coming home.

We all know how I feel about Taylor Jenkins Reid books, she's my newly favourite author, as her stories are all so well done. This is no different. Though the synopsis may make this book seem categorised as romance, I think it's more a book on the different paths our lives can take. How a change can happen in an instant and has the ability to change our entire life. But what makes this a good book for Fall? Most definitely the town setting - think Stars Hollow. Emma's parents run the local bookstore and that alone gives you the warm and fuzzies when reading. That combined with the time periods this book covers, hence having Thanksgiving and Christmas makes One True Loves a great pick for October.


The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet
by Becky Chambers
When Rosemarie comes abroad The Wayfarer as their new bookkeeper, she doesn't expect much. All she knows is that it's a tunnelling ship and they didn't notice that her documentation is fake. It's a job. As she comes to know the mixed bag of weird crew members, both human and non-human, she slowly comes to see it as home. But when they take on their biggest job yet, everything is at risk. Will they make it?

For whatever reason, Sci-fi and fantasy books appeal to me more during Fall. This is a heavily character-driven book, which I absolutely devoured. It's had a lot of hype over the past few years, and  it is incredibly justified. This is a story about a crew who will all take up residence in your heart, and you'll be on the edge of seat until you turn that final page. I couldn't think of anything better than reading this during a chilly night, a big cup of peppermint tea, and a desire to read about a unlikely family.


And The Ocean Was Our Sky
by Patrick Ness
This is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the classic novel Moby Dick, told from the whale's point-of-view. The whales of Bathsheba's pod live for the hunt. Led by the formidable Captain Alexandra, they fight a never-ending war against men. Then the whales attack a man ship, and instead of easy prey they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps even the devil himself. With their relentless Captain leading the chase, they embark on the final hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of whales and men.

Patrick Ness has a wonderful knack for mixing the horrors that we have in life with a story that captures the heart. I absolutely adored A Monster Calls, but I didn't want to push that read here as I think it's far more popular than this new addition to Ness's work. This is a dark and twisted story with gorgeous artwork that really glows with this time of year. It's moody, well written, and easy to devour in one sitting. Perfect for Fall.


What She Left
by T.R. Richmond
Alice Salmon is young, smart, and ambitious young girl who should have her whole life ahead of her. But sadly, that is no longer the case. One morning, she's found dead. The cause of death? A mysterious drowning. Nobody knows how she ended up floating in the water. But Alice left a few clues: her diary, texts, emails, and her presence on social media. Alice is gone but fragments of the life she led remain - and in them might lie the answer to what really happened to her.

Fall is the season for thrillers, everywhere I look online people are pushing them. To go a little outside the box, I'm going to recommend this thriller that I really don't see people talk about online. A mix between Into The Water by Paula Hawkins and Reconstructing Amelia
by Kimberly McCreight. I loved this fast-paced mystery, and the added pieces of 'evidence' was such a cool addition to a book of this genre. It made it a lot more fun to piece together. If you'd like to read a longer more in depth review, click HERE.


Rosemary's Baby
by Ira Levin
Rosemary and her struggling actor husband Guy move to their dream New York City apartment building only to be greeted with a supposed suicide, overbearing neighbours, and a home with a reputation for evil. When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and soon finds herself not knowing who to trust.

Though this may seem like a more Halloween read, I think November is secretly the perfect time to pick it up. It isn't as creepy as I was expecting, but definitely gave off a vibe of claustrophobia and an almost Gothic atmosphere (Think Carrie by Stephen King). The book most definitely pairs well with a lit fireplace and a big glass of wine.

What book do you reach for this time of year? Let me know in the comments!


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