In my local area a new cafe has opened up, designed to bring people together over tea, cakes and by putting down technology and interacting with each other by playing games. I love this idea, growing up I enjoyed playing games with friends and families , laughing, arguing, getting competitive but it feels like as the years have gone pass having game nights has become less popular. 

When I saw this cafe it made me want to relive a part of my childhood and have a game night. Radomise is a new fun game where you draw, act or describe random identities for your team mates to draw. Created by Hazel Reynolds she has created a game based on the best elements of her favourite games all in the hopes of luring her younger sister away from her iPad (which was successful.) 
randomise game reviewThe game is really simple and easy to play, You need at least 4 or more players, a watch/stop watch, a pen and paper. 

How to play - the players are split into two groups, you have three sets of cards labelled A, B and C. When it is your turn you declare whether you are going for an easy or hard challenge and whether you are going to describe, act, or draw. Once you have made these choices the opposing team will choose three random numbers (from 1-3) for each card e.g. card A - 2, card B - 1 or card C - 2. You'll then look at each card and act, draw or describe whatever it says for example attractive fisherman making a fire and your team mates have to guess what you are.

Overall the game really achieves what it sets out to do to by making people laugh and have fun and brings out your creative side. I really like that you can chose to act, draw or describe because personally I do not feel confident acting these things out so it made me enjoy the game more knowing I could describe or draw instead. Even the game is a simple one it is perfect for all ages, I would say it is best played with more people but it is still fun with a small group.

and here are a few samples of my drawings.. if only they were as nice as the ones on the box! 

Do you often play games with your friends or family? Let me know!

You can buy radomise of amazon for £9.99 here

CCBox44 - Make a felt mouse.

February's box touch on one of my favourite crafts, making things with felt! This box was to create a cute button mouse from the House of Zandra. The contents included instructions, felts pieces in white and blue, black thread, stuffing and of course the template. 

The project itself is perfect for beginners and wasn't difficult at all to follow, it took me a while to finish which was mainly due to time but it is a project that can be finished in a day. 
crafty creatives felt mouse

At first I wasn't 100% sold on using the black thread, I thought it was too bold. I didn't have any thread that matched the felt so stuck with it and I actually like the end result, it gives the mouse a 'rustic' look and a certain charm. I also added eyelids which in my opinion makes it slightly cuter and adds more personality. Since I wasn't fan of the black thread going around the neck (and if I was too make this again I would alter the template slightly to avoid this) I put on a bow tie, I now feel it would be completed with a top hat. 

Have you got up to anything crafty lately, let me know.
Crafty Creatives is a monthly subscription box that sends a new craft to your door each month (£15 + £2.95pp)  to view past boxes click here.

Doing things by yourself

In this day and age I feel like there is a stigma attached to doing things by yourself, going out for dinner by yourself draws up the assumption of being stood up and going to the cinema to see a film by yourself is considered odd. It just seems to paint a picture that an individual is lonely or without friends. In reality it is quite the opposite people don't look at you and give you sympathy looks, waiters don't question someone eating by themselves etc. 

"I have no one to go with... no one wants to come with me... everyone is busy..."

I have overheard the following sentences and even been guilty of saying them myself but there is something so liberating about going out and doing things by yourself. Yes, it is sometimes nice to have company but I have always been a firm believer that if you really want to do something then you should not stop yourself from doing it just because no one will come with you. 

Even though I am a shy person and can really struggle with social interaction, I have always considered myself to be an independent person and having to do something by myself never bothered me. Growing up a lot of my friends had no interest in doing the things I was interested in for example going to gigs. My thought at the time was why should I miss out on seeing a band I like/love just because no one would come with me, I actually went to so many gigs by myself when I was younger. I remember queuing up outside Rock City when I was 15 years old waiting to go see The Kooks, this to me was also my first 'real' official gig (because it wasn't blue, steps or Gareth Gates) I was slightly apprehensive at first, worried people might notice I was there by myself but I also realised I wasn't the only person who had come alone, and to be honest once you are inside everyone is crammed together that no one even notices not that they cared in the first place. The gig itself was such an amazing experience which I would have missed out on if I didn't go alone. 

Doing things by yourself may come easier to some than others, I can understand that there are those who may suffer from social anxiety. However, if you are one of those people who uses the above sentences I challenge you go to do something by yourself. 

Below I have compiled a list of things I like to do by myself. 

- Go shopping, okay this is an easy one and I assume most people are comfortable going shopping alone but if you aren't this may be a perfect way to ease yourself into trying something solo.
- Have something to eat or drink, I can recall the first time I went somewhere to eat by myself and I just wanted to rush eating my food because I genuinely thought people was staring, it was silly really, I've seen plenty of people enjoying food alone and never gave it a second thought.
- Going somewhere new or getting a new hobby, you should really be doing this for yourself because life is too short not to explore or try new things! 

On top of that a lot of people might eventually enjoy doing things by themselves, you can go at your own pace, there is no need to make small talk, you can have time to reflect on life. 

Let me know what are your thoughts on doing things solo, is this something you do already or something you want to work on?

Staudust by Neil Gaiman

stardust by neil gaiman

'Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.'

Some of you may know that this book is also a film, one of my favourite films. For a long time I actually refused to watch stardust simply because I thought I would not like it which is slightly absurd since my favourite genre is fantasy. Either way I did end up watching the film having no idea at the time it was based on a book and fell in love with the story that was brought to life on screen. On discovering the film was based on a book I swiftly added it to my to read list and so many years later I finally read it.  

On this occasion as beautifully written as the book was I preferred the film to the book. 

Below are my reasons why (may potentially contain spoilers)

The plot:
In the book the wall is guarded but not to stop letting people through but to warn those who might not know what is on the other side and every year there is a market on the other side with travelers from all other coming to visit. In the film no one is allowed to go through the wall on to the other side and has been guarded by a 97 year old man who considers his life long duty to let nothing through. Personally, I like the fact in the movie it is strictly forbidden, it makes it more mysterious and magical. So of course our character wasn't allowed through the wall in the film (his father got through years before by distracting the guard.) So his father comes clean to Tristan about his mother and presents him with a note and a babylon candle which gets him to the star. In the book however his father is married and he has a half sister. He gains the babylon candle from saving a gentleman from a carnivorous forest and in return for saving his life he gets the candle. There are a few other things I preferred in the film too, for example the lightning catchers play an important part in the film whereas in the book that scene is about a page long and plays less importance. The endings of the films were different as well. Either way both film and book were imaginative, magical, unpredictable and kept me wanting more.

Character development:
The book as you can see in the photo isn't exactly a big book which left little room for character development in my opinion. The film managed to bring the characters to life perfectly, it gave them depth and more of a personality then the book ever did for me. I loved seeing Yvaine and Triston's relationship grow throughout the film in the book for me it never came across as successfully as it did in the film. Also a lot of my favourite quotes and interactions between the two characters never happened in the book. 

I do love Neil Gaiman's writing style he caresses me with beautiful and witty lines and enticing magical worlds and elements but on this occasion I felt like the reader was never allowed into the minds of the characters, we were observing from afar, kept at a distance, so that's why for me the film this time around was my preferred preference. 

Have you read any of Neil Gaiman's books before? Have you ever preferred the film to the book?


Detoxing: To rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. I've seen and read about so many different types of detox's smoothies, juices etc. the list goes on. Some have worked whilst others have been left successful. When I was sent this seven day tea-tox made by Slim Kitten for NutriPlan I was a little dubious. 

What exactly is a tea-tox? A tea-tox is an addition of a specialised herbal tea to your diet that helps aid with digestion, increase metabolism and cleanse toxins from the body. This tea-tox claims to reduce bloating, make you feel refreshed and awake, reduce sugar and carb cravings and boost your immune system.

The tea-tox can be bought by itself for £8.99 or alongside the other detox plans that NutriPlan have. The tea-tox consists of 7 day morning tea bags and 3 evening tea bags to be taken every other day. The ingredients are Yerba Mate, Chamomilla, Hibiscus, Rosa Canina, Siberian Ginseng, Orange Peel, Tamarind, Lemon Grass, Ginger, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Centaurea, Eucalyptus, Fennel and Pimpinella!  

At the start of taking this I was feeling so bloated and genuinely not feeling good about my body and well-being so I was looking forward to seeing if this product would have an effect.

nutriplan teatox slim kitten

To make pour boiling water over the tea and leave to brew for 5 to 10 minutes, any longer may actually cause the tea bag to split (this happened to me when I accidentally left it in for longer.) The teas have a reddish hue and a very fruity taste with a hint of herbs to it. The tea was drinkable but I wouldn't say I enjoyed it so much that I would have it every day. 

Did it work? I really think judging these types of things over a short period of time can be quite tricky. So going through the list of claims, did it boost my immune system? This one is hard to answer, I wasn't ill at the time of trying the product and I didn't notice any physical difference. Does it reduce bloating? Yes, it reduced my bloating so much and it made me feel so much better about myself. Did it make me feel refreshed and awake? The morning tea-tox didn't really make me feel more awake, if anything I've been sleeping more because I've had the time off! Reduce sugar and carb cravings? I did notice over the week I was using this I didn't snack as much, it also made me feel fuller a lot quicker. Overall, my well-being and body felt so much better in comparison to how I felt at the beginning of the tea-tox. 

Detoxing doesn't always work for everyone but for £8.99 I would recommended this one. If you've tried a detox before let me know.

*This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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