July has been a hot month here in the UK. In some ways I enjoyed the heat, but by about Thursday this week, I’d had enough of it and was glad to see the rain. The houses here in the UK are generally built for insulation, not for keeping cool. We’ve had some good days out in the sunshine, but the garden is glad of the rain, and so am I because it makes everything cooler. Here are some of the other things that I have been enjoying this month.
1. Chilli and cheese festival
This was actually June, but the end of June, so the June favourites post had already gone out! It happens every year and you can go to an event and buy lots of spicy things such as chilli sauces, marinades and cheese with chilli. We also picked up some different types of cheese, along with some spicy sausages. The bag was actually quite heavy by the time we got it back to the car, but most of the things in the header photo have already gone – certainly all the cheese and sausages. It will take us longer to get through the marinades and sauces, but we use a lot of this kind of stuff in our cooking at home, so the chilli and cheese festival is a good way to stock up, and it also supports not necessarily local, but smaller independent companies.
2. Pretty Animalz masks
Ok so this is also about the packaging, which is a bit lost on a blind user, but it’s kind of cool to have a fox or a penguin mask!
The fox is a brightening mask that contains coffee extract, liquorice and vitamin C. It’s intended to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation. When I got these, they were on 3 for 2 at Feelunique. They aren’t any more, but there are often sales on there with as much as 60% off at times, so it’s worth a look. Scroll down to the bottom to see how you can get £10 off your first order.
The penguin mask is a nourishing and purifying mask with lily flower, grapefruit and paper mulberry.
I know it’s just a sales technique with the animals, but I’ve had Masquebar masks before and was pleased with their quality, so I didn’t feel I was just buying into the packaging cuteness.
3. My first Lime Crime product
Because who doesn’t love cherries? I read a review of the Lime Crime wet cherry gloss on another blog, not sure where now, and I had some credit to use up on Feelunique! So I got myself one. I am not so much of a lip gloss wearer, but I thought it would be nice for the summer, and it promised not to be heavy and sticky, which is something you don’t want when you have long hair on a windy day! It comes in a range of shades, so you can choose whether you want
“Juicy Sheer with a translucent burst of colour in nudes, reds, berries and peaches.”
“Sparkly Sheer packed with iridescent pearls that light up lips.”
4. Hair protection spray
This was one of my Latest in Beauty choices. I do have a sun protection spray, but I thought it would be nice to try a different brand – and I love this one from Tigi Bedhead. It was a full-size product on Latest in Beauty too, which meant a saving, and this stuff smells amazing! Mango! I think we all know about the importance of sun protection for our skin, but sometimes forget the need to protect our hair. This does say it’s specifically for coloured hair, which I don’t have, but I don’t see why this would do any harm. My other one is potentially better, because it specifically mentions protecting against sun rays, rather than just heat, but it’s good to have alternatives. Also the other one appears to be out of stock now!
5. Ocado app
I raved about Ocado before in my online shopping post, but at the time of writing, I hadn’t tried out the app. I wish I had! The app is even easier to use than the site itself! You just have to locate the product that you want, and swiping upwards changes the quantity in your basket. I still tend to check out on the laptop, because it’s less hassle to book a slot or add any voucher codes that I want to use, but certainly for dealing with things that I want to buy, topping up things that have run out, and adding new things to the order while I’m out and about, the app is a great way to make this task easier.
6. Meeting online friends
I spend a lot of my time online, working with people in other parts of Europe. Occasionally I get to meet some, which is what happened 2 weeks ago, when S and I drove to a park in Kent to meet with someone whom I’ve known online for the last few years. I met Alf in an online forum on a German website similar to LinkedIn, and when he said that he was coming on holiday to the UK with his wife and little daughter, we all decided to meet up for a picnic. The internet makes so many new connections possible, and it’s great to meet online friends in real life.
7. Coffee bags
Just like teabags, but for coffee. I’m not sure why nobody thought of this sooner. I’ve got a couple of brands to try and although it would be expensive to do this all the time, it’s a great idea for travelling – you know, in the hotel rooms where you get a kettle but rarely find decent coffee? It’s also good because you don’t have to clear up the coffee grounds – they stay in their bag, so you can just throw away the bag, like a teabag. The ones I tried were nice, if a little weak, so I’ll need to leave them in for a bit longer. I’ve also picked up another brand, because I think they will be more intense. I’ll let you know. These were from Ocado, so I imagine you’ll be able to find them in other supermarkets too.
8. New beginning – back to studying
I was a bit hesitant to write about this, because I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen, but now that I’ve paid for the first module, it feels real! From October I’ll be starting a part-time Open University IT degree. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, because I always tell my students that we should never stop learning.
My biggest concern was accessibility – whether the materials could be provided in a way that is accessible to a blind student, particularly where they rely on diagrams and graphical information. I’d had some problems with distance learning in the past, but that was a long time ago, so I wanted to explore my options again.
I may do some more university posts once I’ve started the course, but after several discussions about how we can make things work, I’m feeling more positive about giving it a go, so wanted to include this in the good things that happened in July.
I am looking forward to officially developing my skills in areas that I’ve just been researching and learning myself.
9. Going to the zoo
It was S’s birthday this month and we decided to go on a day out to Marwell zoo with another friend. A lot of the animals were hiding because of the heat, but we did see the giraffes, the tiger, the bongos, the penguins, zebras, capybaras, cheetahs, owls, flamingos, and more! There were also some wooden and metal animals around, which I enjoyed “meeting” so I could get an idea of what they looked like – such as the big hippo and the wooden shark. The most vocal of all the creatures were the penguins, and I had no idea that they could make so much noise. S managed to get a video of them, which was a real highlight for me!
My first product from Origins – this GinZing moisturiser contains GinZing and coffee extract to jumpstart hydration levels and leave you with a radiant and glowing complexion. I like this non-greasy moisturiser that I didn’t know about before, and again this is another reason I like the beauty boxes, because you get to discover new brands. This was from my M&S Summer box, which has now sold out.
What have you enjoyed this month?
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