May Favourites

I’m going to do it. I’m going to start a favourites post by saying ‘How on earth did it get to June already?!’ I’m one of those people.

But, seriously. It’s June??
May has been a really busy month for me and I’ve honestly just felt like the whole month passed me by without me noticing. However, there have still been quite a few things that have made me smile this month or captured my interest.

Darkmilk bar, ginger shampoo and a book flatlay

Let’s start with one of my favourite ways to wind down in the evening – TV!

Game of Thrones

Yes, it was controversial. No, it wasn’t perfect. But I really loved watching the final season of Game of Thrones. I won’t spoil it for anyone (but seriously – have you not watched it yet??) so all I say is that although I wasn’t a huge fan of the final episode, the rest of the series really impressed me. The cinematography was incredible, the cast were amazing and I think for the most part the show was wrapped up well.

Chernobyl

So I’m not up-to-date with this one yet, so please no spoilers!
About a week ago, Mr W and I sat down to watch Chernobyl because we had heard so many people saying really great things about it. They weren’t wrong!
This show is so atmospheric, so tense, and just utterly heartbreaking. It is a fascinating drama based on the true story of the nuclear power station accident in Chernobyl in the 1980s and, although I don’t know an awful lot about the real story, I think they are doing an amazing job of telling it. Some of the characters make me so angry! It really is a heartbreaking story and, at times, quite hard to watch. But I would highly recommend it, it’s some of the best TV I’ve seen in a while. (It’s on Sky Atlantic, available via Now TV)

Cadburys Darkmilk

Cadbury Darkmilk

Yum!
Not much to say – it’s a really nice bar of chocolate! But I’m a huge chocolate fan, so I thought I’d give this a mention. It’s a mixture between dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I wasn’t sure if I liked the sound of it, but it’s really delicious. The perfect choice if you want something that is a bit decadent, not completely dark chocolate…. just, yum.

Vans (finally!)

white canvas pair of vans with a bow

I have had my eyes on many different pairs of Vans over the years, but I’ve never been able to justify the cost of buying ‘branded’ shoes, unless they’re for running. But a couple of weeks ago, on the hunt for some decent shoes to replace by old New Look slip-ons, I finally bit the bullet.

I love that the colour of these Vans go with everything but the bow detail makes them just a little bit quirky. They’re really comfy, although I do need to get some new little slip-on socks to wear with them, to avoid blisters. I really hope these are going to last me a long time.

The Body Shop Ginger Shampoo

Ginger Shampoo.png

This is honesty one of the best shampoos I’ve tried in years – I’m so glad I picked it up!

It’s actually an anti-dandruff shampoo, which I bought because I have been experiencing a really dry and itchy scalp recently that was driving me mad! So far, this shampoo seems to be doing the trick, and on top of that it makes my hair feel really shiny and healthy. I love The Body Shop and this is definitely going to be one of my new go-to products from their range.

And last but not least…

Hive

Hive the Game

Me and Mr W love a board game. Some of our favourites for two-player games are Forbidden Island, Pandemic and Plague. I might do a blog post soon about our favourites and why they’re so good!

This month we were in Waterstones and we picked up Hive.* I’d heard of it before but didn’t know much about it, but we played about 10 rounds of it as soon as we got home, and now we’re hooked!

It’s a two-player game, so perfect for couples looking for a new game to play. The idea is to use your pieces to surround the other person’s queen bee. Each piece can move in a different way, and the whole gameplay area becomes the ‘hive’. It’s really easy to pick up, quick to play, and comes in a really handy travel-sized bag that is definitely coming on honeymoon with us!

So they were some of the things I’ve been loving this month. More than I thought!
As always, you can see what I’m currently reading or watching all through the month here.

I really enjoyed writing this post, I hope you enjoyed reading it just as much!

Let me know what you’ve been loving in the comments 🙂

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*Please note – any Amazon links are affiliate, which means they won’t cost you any more, but I might earn a small commission if you buy the product

The Promise by Teresa Driscoll - cover art

‘The Promise’ by Teresa Driscoll – A Review

Trying something new on The Self-Care Sloth today… I am an avid reader and massive book-lover. I always have been. So it seemed silly to shy away from bookish content on this blog. Reading is definitely a self-care activity for me, so I thought it might be nice to start sharing some of the books I read on here.

the promise book review overview

This month, I discovered Prime Reading. How had I been using Amazon Prime for months without realising this feature existed? I don’t know! But I discovered it, very quickly downloaded the Kindle app to my phone and started searching for new titles to enjoy. I was so excited!
(If you’re as unaware as I was, Prime Reading is Amazon Prime’s reading feature that let’s you download and read thousands of books and magazines to your Kindle or Kindle app. You can’t access all of the Kindle library on there, but there seems to be quite a lot.)

Disclaimer: I have absolutely no affiliation to Amazon or Kindle, but I do have an affiliate code for the Book Depository. So any links in this post that direct you to the Book Depository will earn me a small commission if you decide to buy the book. It won’t cost you any extra.

The Promise

While searching through the Discover tab on my Kindle app, I kept coming across ‘The Promise’ by Teresa Driscoll. I don’t know Teresa Driscoll at all, have never read a book by her, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it looked like my kind of thing. I was right – definitely my kind of thing!

What is ‘The Promise’ About?

‘The Promise’ is marketed as a psychological thriller, which is definitely a favourite genre of mine. I would definitely agree with that description, there are a lot of psychological twists and turns to keep you turning the page.

It was their darkest secret. Three schoolgirls made a promise – to take the horrible truth of what they did to the grave.

The book mostly follows a character called Beth who, although now married with two children, spends a lot of time thinking about what happened in her past. From the outset, we know that something dark happened between her and her two best friends, Sally and Carol, whilst they were at boarding school. We get a lot of hints about what happened, but even when we learn that secret, lots of others continue to be uncovered.

The book begins as the women receive an invite to visit their old school before it is demolished. This starts to bring up the past and Beth starts to look for Carol, who has been off of everyone’s radar for quite a while.

…when some shocking news threatens to unearth their dark secret, Beth enlists the help of private investigator Matthew Hill to help her and Sally reconnect with estranged Carol – before the terrible act they committed as teenagers is revealed.

What Did I Think?

I often go into modern thrillers with some trepidation. I don’t know why – I usually enjoy them. I just think it is a hard genre to get right, without going over-the-top with twists and reveals, but Teresa Driscoll got it spot on.

I couldn’t put this book down and it’s by far the quickest I have read a book in the last 6 months. The steady flow of secrets being revealed and questions arising kept me on the edge of my seat. The tone of the book is just right – even during quite dark or violent scenes, the tone of Driscoll’s writing was sensitive, mature and kept the pace moving.

I really liked the main characters of Beth and Carol. Carol in particular was kept so mysterious right until the end, that there was no way of knowing what the truth was. I enjoyed being kept guessing and I certainly didn’t see any of the twists coming! (Although, for someone who loves a thriller, I often don’t see the twists coming – that’s not to say that you wouldn’t either.)

4 out of 5 stars – I would definitely recommend to any fellow thriller enthusiast.

Have you read ‘The Promise’? What did you think?
Are there any other good thrillers you would recommend?

(P.S – if this seems like your kind of book and you want a hard copy, there’s currently 37% off on the Book Depository! Here is the link.)

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Buddy Box Lite and contents

Buddy Box Review

Last month, when I was feeling down, I ordered myself a Buddy Box from The Blurt Foundation as a pick-me-up. I totally forgot about it and had a lovely surprise when I picked up this mystery parcel from the delivery office. If you saw my ‘How I’m Dealing With Stress’ post, you’ll know I had been having a bit of a rough time, and my Buddy Box just made my day.

I have followed and loved The Blurt Foundation for a few years and I think they do a great job. Their aim is to increase awareness and understanding of depression, as well as providing support and resources to those suffering from depression. It’s a fantastic cause, and one very close to my heart, and I would really recommend giving them a follow on Twitter or checking out their website.

buddy box

Their Buddy Boxes are subscription boxes that you can order for yourself or someone else as a sort of care package. As Blurt explain:

Packed full of thoughtful, mood-lifting treats, the BuddyBox comforts, delights and gives you that warm, ‘I’ve been cared for’ feeling inside. In other words – it’s a hug in a box.”

And who doesn’t want a hug in a box?

You can subscribe to the boxes or buy a one-off box. Personally, I bought this box as a one-ff. I bought the Buddy Box Lite, which contains 3 items. The original Buddy Box contains 5. The theme of my box was ‘Become a Rhino-Snore-Us’. Sleep is something I think is really important and one of many things that make me happy! – and it contained some lovely sleep-themed items that I’ll briefly talk about below…

  1. This very cute postcard, that says ‘But first, sleep.’

    I think this is really cute and I might put it up somewhere in my bedroom.
    postcard that reads 'but first, sleep'

  2. The Blurt zine.

Blurt produce this zine that goes in every BuddyBox. It’s full of sleep tips and information.  A really helpful, quick read. This gives the BuddyBox some really beneficial substance that perhaps the products on their own would lack. I think this is a great addition to the box.

Blurt Foundation zine and cat post-it notes

3. To-Do Post-It Notes

Although I do think these have a bit of a tenuous link to the ‘sleep’ theme, I do like them. They’re very cute and I always love a new piece of stationery. Particularly novelty post-its. These are by Gemma Correll and I will definitely be checking out the rest of her stuff if I can.

4. Scentered De-Stress Balm.

This Scentered de-stress balm is a stick of lovely aromatherapy scented balm, which you rub on your pulse points (Your wrists, temples or neck.) to help you feel calmer and hopefully get some sleep. I really like the scent of this and it is really calming to smell when you’re feeling worked up or stressed.

5. Fluffy socks

I’ve saved the best until last in my opinion. Look at these socks! They are fluffy, soft and very, very comfortable. They’re also really long, reaching nearly up to my knees, which I love. These are great for the chilly evenings that are creeping in at the moment and they are my favourite thing from the Buddy Box.

 

So what did I think?

All in all, I really liked the products sent in this box. It really perked up my day receiving the box in the post and the items in it are comforting and great for self-care. My most used item so far has been the gorgeously cosy socks and I have used the de-stressing balm on occasion. Although I liked the post-it notes a lot, I do think there could have been something more relevant to the theme.

Overall, I’d say that if you’re going through a tough time, or you know someone who is, and can afford to splash out a little bit of money (it really isn’t that much actually) to get a Buddy Box sent to your door, it is definitely worth doing. And you know your money is going to a really worthwhile organisation.

Self-care all the way!

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