23 January 2016

TOP 5: Creative Prompt Books

Hey everyone,

We all have a blank now and again. If you're me, more often than not.

One of my new years resolutions is to begin more creative projects - however I find that with January in particular being so long, dull, dank and dark my creative juices have a little trouble flowing.

However I am such a fan of creative prompt books, here are my top five favourites.


Okay, this one gets the 'honourable mention' tag because I guess it's not a creative prompt in the strictest sense. 

I love to journal, and have done since I was about 11 on and off. But as time goes on, you work harder and you get home later and there just isn't time for long drawn out entries.

So a simple question a day is nice if you still want to keep journalling in your busy life.
And because it last five years, it's really fun to look back on how you were feeling a year - or years - ago! Think Timehop in book form.

It is also available in separate forms for mothers, teens, kids and couples which would make lovely gifts for specific people in your lives.

Sadly I didn't keep this journal up in 2015...maybe I should catch up for this year?

All about Me is basically an autobiography prompt for those who could never be bothered to write their own. Well, that's one use.

As someone whose teenager years were largely spent filling in quizzes on MySpace that nobody ever read, I do enjoy books like this. Filled with questions - some simple, and some more pressing. There's even a multiple choice section.

The author suggests this book can either be left blank, and the questions can be used as conversation starters. Or it can be filled in to be kept, discussed or even given as a gift.

I decided to write in my copy, but the answers are quite personal so I've shared a blank page.

This is possibly the ultimate writing prompt book.

With prompts such as "A houseplant dying, tell it why it has to live" and "fix the plot of the worst movie you've ever seen" there is plenty to get into.

I must admit, creative writing is not my particular forte so I find this the most challenging of the books I own.

But I'm finding reading pieces which have been completed and uploaded to Twitter and Instagram very inspiring and makes me want to pick this up again.

The cover is actually one of the prompts: "Photograph your parents kissing."

Beginning as an online project in 2002, this book is a collection of submissions over seven years.

Though the online project officially stopped accepting submissions in 2009, and was handed to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art the original 60+ prompts live on in this book and you can of course browse other pieces on the original website.

It's a very interactive book, with users still uploading their work online via Tumblr, Facebook etc. featuring prompts such as "Photograph a significant outfit" and "Sculpt a bust of Steve" I find this especially inspiring when I want to do something outside of just writing.

Also I am such a huge fan of Miranda July - her 2005 film Me And You And Everyone We Know is one of my desert island films. Please check it out if you've never seen it.
(I still need to see her second film: The Future.)

I absolutely love making lists. I have a to do list on me pretty much every second of the day whether it's on my notepad at work or in my phone.

I honestly feel I can't function very well without constant reminders as while my long-term memory is practically photogenic - my short-term memory needs some work.

Of course this series is a lot more fun and lighthearted than your everyday lists. I only have the original Listography and Music Listography in my collection, but I really would like some more.

So now you know.

1. Absolutely anything by Keri Smith

So my ultimate creative writing prompt book is...a lot of books?
Honestly, anything Keri Smith touches is just wonderful.

You may have seen the popular Wreck This Journal which can be found in most bookshops (and also places like Urban Outfitters etc). The purpose of this book is - as the title suggests - completely wreck the journal until it is almost unrecognisable.

Of course as is explained on the very first page - you can completely choose to ignore the prompts and dance to the beat of your own drum which suits me down to the ground.

My journal doesn't look particularly wrecked yet as I've only done half a dozen of the prompts and I really need to pick this back up again as it is a lot of fun. Maybe I'll blog more of my process here?

However Keri Smith does have several other creative books, two of which I own:

How To Be An Explorer of the World

How To Be An Explorer of the World prompts the reader to explore the world as if they have never seen it before. Document it. Go on scavenger hunts. Create mini exhibitions and crafts. Write surveys and document the findings. 
As someone who does find joy in the little things in life, I really do enjoy going through this book for inspiration to leave the house more.

The Imaginary World of.

The Imaginary World of is actually quite similar to How To Be An Explorer of the World...except the world is imaginary, as the title suggests.

What would this world's manifest be? What would the currency look like? And who would you be in this world?

It's certainly more out there than her previous books, but I also love this one - especially as it was a gift from my bestie Claire after she'd seen some of my Wreck This Journal pages on my Instagram. 

And there you have it. Have I missed any of your favourites out?
Let me know!

Muchos love,

9 January 2016

REVIEW: Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette

Hey everyone

You know when you see a particular item of makeup prior to launch and you know deep down in your chilly little heart that it simply must be yours?

Well, that was me when I first saw the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette.

I already own the original Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, which looks like a large slab of Dairy Milk. 

Without fail, I use it every single day as it is just so versatile - I use them as bases, on my lid, in my crease, as highlights under my brow and on my cheek - and I even use the shade Semi-Sweet to currently fill in my brows.

I was pondering one of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes as an alternative - but the promise of buttery, blendable cocoa-powder induced formulas was simply too hard to resist. 

There has since been a second palette called Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar (which ironically doesn't carry the shade also called 'Semi-Sweet' as before...), but personally the warmer tones just didn't tickle my pickle enough to pique my interest into buying. 

However at the end of last year Too Faced launched a third palette called Chocolate Bon Bons and I was immediately smitten...

Now I'll happily admit I am a complete sucker for packaging - I am particularly drawn to anything cute and ultra-feminine.

And really now, how could I resist a baby pink palette with all the freaking heart-shaped shadows?

I have honestly never seen anything like the packaging for this package. It reminds me of the beautiful boxes of chocolates my parents would buy on childhood family holidays to Paris and Brussels.

Of course, the product is the most important thing.
I already had such high expectations loving the original Chocolate Bar palette so much, and it being such a huge part of my everyday makeup routine.

And so far, it hasn't disappointed.

It's a lot slimmer than the Chocolate Bar, but you still get the same amount of product for your buck.

The same wonderful mix of shimmers and mattes make up the palette.
So far, I have found them all as wonderful as it's predecessor.

I know some bloggers think the cocoa smell is less prominent in this palette as previous, but honestly I can't really see much of a difference.

Some people really dislike the sweet, chocolately smell, but I do have quite the sweet tooth and absolutely love it.
If you can't find the palettes in a shop to physically try for yourself, it's the same smell in the Chocolate Soleil Bronzer which is a lot easier to find.

Otherwise, I honestly think it smells just like Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate when it is still in powder form. So if it like the smell of that, you'll love this!

And even if you're not too keen, it's not pungent enough for me to smell it on myself when the shadows are on my eyes.

Some of my favourite shades Molasses Chip as I always love the way golden colours look with my green eyes. 
I'm also greatly enjoying using Bordeaux, Black Current and Dark Truffle in my crease and also underneath my lower lash line.

The highlighting shade Satin Sheets is almost itentical to Champagne Truffle from the Chocolate Bar - but this doesn't bother me as I use this shade everyday anyway under my brow and sometimes on my cheek. 
And Divinity works really well as a base - especially with Cafe Au Lait or Pecan Praline on top. 

The palette costs £39.00 and I bought mine online from Debenhams.

Have you guys ever tried any of the Too Faced palettes, or any of their other products? 
They're slowly becoming one of my favourite brands so I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Muchos love,

Not sponsored. I purchased this palette with my own money. 
All opinions are - as always - my own. 

3 January 2016

New Years Resolutions: 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you got to ring in 2016 with your nearest and dearest.

Mine was as usual spent at my godfather's with the rest of my family eating a magnificent spread and bitching about how self-indulgent Jools Holland's Hootenanny has become.

There was lots of prosecco, though.

2015 was a belter.
Pink was a running theme. 

Every since I read the Adrian Mole books as a child I've pretty much always set ten New Years Resolutions. They tend not to be pretty major and certainly don't involve goals like dieting or weight loss or anything mind bogglingly tedious like that.

I just come up with a few things I'd like to do. Or do more of.

1: Improve my general health.

This is pretty much in relation to the fact I have had at least seven colds last year – I need to pump up on my vitamin uptake. I also need to sort out my skin which at nearly 27 sometimes resembles a teenager’s, especially when my rosacea flares up.

And I’ve also felt like I spent most of 2015 shuffling from one sinus infection to another – the next time it flares up I’m demanding to see a specialist.

And just in case I ever start to lag on this one - this is me the morning of what was my company's annual garden party.
Which naturally I ended up not attending as I felt like my brains were attacking my face:

Remember Carla: sinutisus means you can't wear eyeliner because your eyes run. 
Just saying. 

2: Read more comics.

I absolutely love reading online comics such as (NSFW!) Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen, Kate Or Die! by Kate Leth and Books of Adam by Adam Ellis.
However I also feel I need more psychical comics and graphic novels in my life.

credit: Adam Ellis.

3: Go somewhere on holiday with Nadia this year. 

My sister and I both fancied a UK break and had such a fun week in Belfast last summer.

If you've never been, I highly recommend going and you can get such good flight deals with Easyjet and RyanAir - most of the time cheaper than a return ticket to London. It's easily one of my favourite cities.

Chilling outside one of Belfast's many many pubs and having afternoon tea at The Merchant

For this summer, we've pretty much set on Berlin - any recommendations would be amazing!

4: Drink less caffeine. 

I am a slave to Starbucks, but cutting caffeine out of my diet has honestly done wonders for my concentration and I'm getting less headaches and anxiety - especially at work.

From my Wreck This Journal, which I need to pick up again ASAP.

5: Bring better lunches to work. 

One cannot live on sandwiches and Wotsits alone (try as I might).

I have so many cute bento boxes which need to finally be used. It's honestly just me being totally lazy the night before and spending my time levelling up my mages on Fire Emblem than actually being bothered to pack a decent lunch.

And no, Carla. You can't just ask your co-workers to pick you up a Greggs.
Yes I know you work in Sunderland and there's two on every corner. But stop it.

6: Create more. 

Whether writing my blog or elsewhere, doing a page from my Wreck This Journal, photography, crafts. I could always do more.

A cute rainbow hama hair clip I made this summer.
I do miss my pink hair.

7: Go on a spa date with Claire. 

We always say we're going to, then make excuses and put off - NO MORE!

We're also going wine tasting sometime this Spring because we're fancy ladies.
(Not really - last time Claire went wine tasting on a date she didn't spit the wine out and he had to carry her to her taxi. If she asks I didn't tell you that story.)

Paris, Summer 2015.
We got off the plane, got to the hotel and then bundled straight into the restaurant across the street where we drank too much wine for 11am and watched cute French boys.

8: Build a terrarium. 

Especially a really cute one with little houses and stuff so it looks like a fairy's garden.
(I tried to explain to Italian Catholic Mother what a terrarium was the other day and she looked at me like I was having a breakdown. She'll like it when it's done.)

9: Create memory frames.

Photos, tickets, postcards etc.
I have so much stuff lying around - especially from my previous Japan trips I really need to display in some way. My plan is to arrange them into clear frames and hang them on the wall.

From the PomPomPurin cafe in Harajuku - I am such a hoarder of business cards, napkins, coasters of anywhere I loved visiting.
And don't even get me started on the stuff I bought at the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert.

10: Keep my bloody diary up!

FUN FACT: I've kept a written diary most years since I was a teenager. To be fair my diary entries these days are less gushing about Brian Molko and scribbled lyrics from The Vines' first album - moreso what I had for lunch (which will hopefully be improving - see number 5.) and when Rhiannah at work though a quail was a baby whale.

Last year was a particular fail - I only kept going for a grand total of 34 days which is a personal low.

In 2002 I accused Pentecost Sunday of being "boring" and in 2001 the York Dungeons were "a load of old crap." Right, then.

How about you guys - have you many any resolutions for 2016?

Muchos love,