August Monthly Favourites

It’s September already which (forgive me for looking ahead) means it's almost October, which means it's almost Halloween! Not long until I bombard you all with wacky recipes, cosy candles and scary stories…I cannot wait! But for now we’re talking about the end of the summer and some of the things I’ve been enjoying last month. 

Pisces Necklace 

Since I started reading a book all about astrology (I’m gonna save telling you about it until I write the review) I really wanted to get a necklace with my star sign on it, Pisces. I had a look on Etsy as there are always lots of cute things on there and came across a shop called Hanbury Studio, the shop is based in the UK and offers free shipping to all orders in the UK! This was the necklace I bought and it cost £8.49 obviously with free shipping. 

Doesn’t it look beautiful?! When it arrived I was blown away not only with how pretty the Pisces pendant is but also how sparkly the necklace is too. From that moment on for over 6 weeks, it sat pride of place on my necklace alongside my silver peace symbol I got from my parents on my 21st birthday. Around this time I started to notice the necklace was leaving a greenish tint around my neck, I honestly didn't think anything of it, I knew for £8 the necklace certainly wasn’t made of gold and it wasn’t gold plated so I just ignored it. I spoke to my partner about getting a better necklace chain to put both pendants on and we agreed on an 18ct gold chain to match my engagement ring, we’re still looking into the chain but I’ll show you once I pick one, I took the pisces pendant off its chain and now the clasp on the pendant is bent inward so I can’t be certain it will even sit on a new chain! 
I’m so disappointed in it like I say I know the pendant isn’t real gold but it completely tarnished within 6 weeks of owning it and now it's slightly broken and I don’t even know if I can wear it on a chain again, but despite all this I'm determined to do something because of how beautiful and different the Pisces image is, I've never seen something like this before and I get compliments on it so often I don’t want to stop wearing it if I don’t have to. I didn’t make this post to slander the Etsy shop, they offer a lot of other products in completely different styles and almost all of the reviews are so highly rated and positive but I was so disappointed with the quality that I felt I had to talk about it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy from them, the pieces are really lovely but I don’t think they should be worn every day like I did, they might be better being worn on special occasions or for short periods of time so that they don’t wear too quickly, it is costume jewelry, after all, it's not meant to last like expensive jewellery. 
All in all I adore the pendant and I want to make it work with this new chain because it’s too pretty to just be forgotten about, but the quality really isn’t there and I wish it hadn’t deteriorated so fast but, you don’t know unless you try! 

Xprt Satin Floral Anti-Persperent 

This next one is great one for those looking to make more sustainable choices with deodorant but also not looking to spend a fortune. I’ve been experimenting with Tesco’s vegan deodorant choices for just over a year and I've found a couple that I like but this could be my new favourite. Xprt Satin comes in 3 scents at Tesco but the best one I've found is this floral one, it has such a light sweet smell but it still smells fresh and continues to smell fresh for hours after you put it on. 

At my current job I could be sitting down all day, stood up all day or walking backwards and forwards for large periods of time, sometimes that makes me a bit hot but I’m yet to get smelly even at my warmest when I'm wearing this deodorant, and at points I can even smell the deodorant like a nice, light perfume! But out of all this, it’s most important factors are that it's suitable for vegans, offers 48 hour protection ( I don’t know about that but certainly up to 10 hours), has 0% alcohol, is fully recyclable and also apparently has anti-bacterial agents in it too, and if all that wasn’t enough this big can only cost £1! 
I’m going to leave a picture below of the ingredients as well as the little write-up about its scent on the top of the bottle. 

If you are looking for a different deodorant that's still fully recyclable and vegan then I highly reckoned Xprt Satin, I’ve tried all the scents they have at Tesco of this range but the floral one is still a firm favourite, the can usually lasts just over a week for me as well so you may not even need to buy deodorant every week either! 

Garnier Ultimate Blends shampoo and conditioner 

This next one is a little set that I think is perfect for those of us that need to add some deep nourishment to our hair care routine. I’ve been keeping an eye on Garnier recently as I've always liked the look of their products but I wasn’t willing to buy until they made an effort to be vegan and more sustainable, well the Ultimate Blends range has proven that to me, this range of 100% vegan, cruelty free, 98% natural formula with fully recyclable packaging is a huge step in the right direction for the brand. My mum bought me the Aloe Vera and Coconut Hair Food shampoo and conditioner set as a gift, but looking online they do a huge range of other scents ranging from banana to watermelon! 

The product states it's for normal hair and I do agree with it, my hair is pretty easy to care for and doesn’t get particularly dry or particularly greasy but I did find that this product really brought back the shine and glossiness to my hair. Not only that but the scent of this set is incredible! It has a really fresh, clean smell it isn’t overly sweet or fake smelling and the consistency of it is almost gel-like so you don’t need to use too much as it goes quite far, I only used a palm full on each wash and it kept my hair fresh for days. As with all products I’m going to leave the ingredient list here so you can check it's ok for you to use, Garnier seems to be very transparent with their ingredients here, they mention where each ingredient has come from as well as the reason for the use of the more scientific sounding ones. I know that no brand is perfect but I'm glad that a household name like Garnier, that’s been making hair-care products since the 1980’s is beginning to see the benefits of creating more sustainable products. 

As I say, my set was a gift but I have seen them in a lot of supermarkets and Boots as well for about £3 a bottle, which I would say is a pretty standard price for products like this. If you do have dry hair and need to add some extra nourishment into your routine or like me you just wanted something that would boost your hair, then I would suggest giving the Ultimate Blends line a go, it can be used as part of your normal routine and I think you’ll begin to see and feel a difference in your hair from the first use, I know I did! 

And that's it for this monthly favourites, just a couple of small things to catch up on, I recently finished binging every episode of Ghost Adventures on Discovery+ (which was awesome by the way), if you’re in the market for a new subscription service I highly recommend Discovery+, they have everything from reality tv, nature documentaries to crime and the paranormal. But since I've been trying to give each of my tv subscription apps a fair chance, I've moved onto Disney+ now and I’m currently on season 7 of The Walking Dead! I’d seen up to season 5 when it came out but I decided to go back and start again and I'm pleased to say I'm just as hooked as before, if you like horror, gore, zombies and violence then this is for you, if you are sensitive to any of that I recommend you stay well clear because some of it is really really messed up, but after I'm finished with that I’m moving onto Amazon Prime so let me know if you know of any good stuff on there too! 
One final thing, as of last month I am now fully jabbed against COVID-19! I’m really proud to say that and although the second jab did make me feel VERY lethargic for about 2 days I very quickly recovered and it was nice to spend time with my parents and my partners parents all together, sat round the table having a takeaway, knowing each one of us is fully protected to the best of our ability, it gave me some hope that in the sense of spending time with family and far away friends, things can return to normal fairly quickly when you make sensible decisions.

Anyway that's it for August, over the next week or so I'll be putting out another World Series recipe and a book review, so keep checking back for those! 

H x