Review_sticker.JPGI go through phases on photo sharing site Instagram, sometimes I use it a lot, sometimes there can be months in between visits…well that pretty much describes most of my habits these days, everything varies. A lot. However I use it though, the app is very user friendly and it’s a great way to keep up with the life/art of people you like.

Earlier this week I came across this site,

Sticky 9 logo

They make fridge magnets from your Instagram photos, or any photos as this screenshot shows,

Sticky9 screenshot

They make other stuff too, a cute frame that holds 9 magnets so that you can swap and change the display, square prints…

Sticky 9 products 

Sticky 9 other products

Prices include worldwide shipping, (love it when places do that) so I decided to try their photo cards. I usually get my cards printed at Moo, but the idea of cute square cards appealed to me. Sadly the page I used to choose the card option didn’t show this photo,

Sticky 9 greeting cards

…if it had, I’d have realised that the cards were actually quite big. My fault for not looking through the whole site first etc.

The main problem wasn’t my fault though. More on that in a moment.

One of my favourite apps is ‘Touchnote’ another printing service, but one that’s designed to send personalised cards and postcards made from your photos. You buy credits. One credit gets you a postcard and includes worldwide postage and the quality and speed are top notch. Their app, like many other printing services I’ve used, has a built in tool that tells you if the image you’re using is too small. 

If an image is too small/low resolution then the print will be blurry and pixelated. Many online printing places just don’t allow you to use images that are too small because it compromises the quality of what they’re producing. 

As a general rule I only post very small images, this is to prevent copyright theft. A small image stolen from my website or wherever will look ok on a screen, but if the thief tries to print it, it will look terrible. Occasionally I forget, this is true of some of my earlier artwork uploaded before resizing became second nature (and easier due to having found a great app to do it with.)

I was doubtful that my Instagram feed would have images big enough, but the magnets looked pretty small so I figured that the cards would be too, and so I had a go. Assuming, (tut tut) that the site would tell me if an image was too small.

It accepted all the images I tried! (Yeah, I know, this should have warned me…) so I chose some favourites and paid with Paypal, making the whole process really quick and easy. I ordered them on Thursday and they arrived today! Yay!

You know what’s coming next I bet…

Packaging cards from sticky 9

Firstly the cards were bigger than I expected. No big deal, just not quite as cute as I imagined. The quality is fine, much better than the likes of Vistaprint or BonusPrint, but not quite as lush as Moo. 

Polaroid style sticky 9 packaging

Alas though, some of the cards are unusable due to the image having been too small. They are blurred and pixilated. I’ll play with them, adding other media on top, but it’s such a shame! 

Greeting cards

Card by sandra lock

Would I use them again? Yes, I think so. The prices are reasonable and so long as I make sure I use images from my photo albums that I’ve checked are big enough, all should be fine. 

Blurred image card example

With the addition of an image size checking doodad Sticky 9 will be a great site for releasing your online photos into the world.Sticky 9 card review

…and if you click the image above, you’ll go to the Sticky9 site. Use this code: FRIEND11E91 and you’ll get a 15% discount.


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Review: the #Lovelula Beauty Box

Review stickerMy inclnation to use organic skincare as well as watching what’s in the food I eat has led me to a slight Lovelula shopping addiction. 

*I’m hoping the reduction in chemicals etc will help my struggling body etc. I did this BF (before fibro) but getting the shingles and then being knocked flat by fibro kind of made me doubt the effectiveness of such a change…but then extreme stress takes its toll no matter what you put in or on your body.

Lovelula do a monthly beauty box, for £12.50 each month you get a box of organic skincare goodies that amount to more than what you’ve paid. It’s a lower cost way to try various organic skincare brands.

This month’s box reflects the fact that last week was organic skincare week and it was filled with products that are endorsed by the soil association.

Danbo and lovelula beauty box

Danbo wondered what would be inside…

September lovelula beauty box

Taa Daa!

Each box includes a voucher code so that you can get a discount on any of the brands in the box until the end of the month.

Lovelula beauty box and danbo

Danbo likes the look of Herbfarmacy’s mallow balm

Balm balm rosehip oil

One of my favourite organic brands is proving to be Balm Balm, I’m totally smitten by their frankincense range, but more about that another time. There was a large bottle of their rosehip serum in the box, which costs £13.25 from Lovelula.

I’d previously tried their rosehip facial range, Balm Balm often do little gift sets with travel sized versions, and whilst I like it, my combination skin just can’t take their serums. They’re just too oily for my currently hormonal skin.

But, this is easily absorbed elsewhere on my body, like my neck etc and as with all the Balm Balm products I’ve tried it’s fragrance is lovely without being overpowering. 

Another brand in the box was Skin Blossom. Their range is more affordable than many organic brands and so far I’ve used, and liked, their shampoo. (Although as far as haircare goes at the moment I’m a tad besotted with the John Masters organic range.) The skin blossom product in the box is their facial toner.

Skin blossom toner

Currently my facial routine is a foaming facial wash (I’m trying an Avalon organics one right now.) in the morning and Balm Balm’s Frankincense cleanser in the evening. (On the days when I have the energy to clean my face twice in one day…) I follow up with a spritz of Balm Balm’s frankincense hydrosol. What I tried doing was using a little of the skin blossom toner on a cotton pad to make sure all the cleanser was off my skin before the spritzing, but after a couple of days of this my skin started to look more unhappy than usual so I’ve stopped using the toner for a bit. It may just have been the menopausal roller coaster i’m on, so I’ll try it again in a week or two, but I may just use it after I’ve used a facemask or similar, or to freshen up during the day. The toner costs £5.95 from Lovelula.

Organic hand sanitiser

Bentley Organic hand sanitizer costs £3.65 from Lovelula, and is fab. Most hand santisers I’ve tried leave your hands feeling sticky and then overly dry, and they often have a really strong smell. This is none of those things. It’s a light foam rather than a gel, dries with a more natural feel and has a light pleasant smell that fades quickly. I’m a convert! The ‘nasty’ hand santisers already in the house and car will now only be used for cleaning rubber stamps and my crafting mats etc. (Which they’re ace at. Every art room needs hand sanitiser and cheap alcohol based baby wipes. Top tip.) 

Herbfarmacy balm

 As I’ve already mentioned I’m a fan of balms so I looked forward to trying another brand. Although this is a facial balm i’ve not used it on my face yet, as I suspect it’ll be too heavy. It smells lovely, a very light vaguely citrusy smell with an undertone of rose geranium. It reminds me a little of Balm Balm’s Relax balm. So far I’ve been using it on my elbows and various other dry patches of skin. It sinks in quickly and is light enough that I think those with dry complexions would find it great.

Mallow beauty balm costs £14.50. Yes, you read that right, Septembers beauty box is certainly great value.

And there’s more…

Lip silkEssential Care (now known as Odylique) lip silk costs £5.50 and smells and tastes like oranges. It does indeed feel lovely and silky on your lips and is refreshingly citrusy, but I’m not yet convinced how much it moisturises my lips before wearing off. At least I’m not ingesting anything nasty from it, but I think I’ll probably mostly stick to Burt’s Bees lip shimmer and use this before bed.

The final couple of goodies in the box were two tester size Pai skincare products. Their advocado and jojoba day cream and their exfoliator. The full size of the day cream is £30. I’ve not tried it on my face yet, but like the other products in the box the fragrance is light and pleasant and it’s a light, silky, easily absorbed cream.

It’s the exfoliator that interests me the most though. Here’s their blurb about it:

 Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator marks an innovative and ultra-gentle approach to exfoliation.Unlike other exfoliators, whose uneven grains can damage and irritate healthy skin, Pai’s clever Micro-Sphere system is formulated to protect as it polishes. Perfectly cylindrical 100% natural Jojoba Beads gently roll over skin, lifting away dead skin cells and surface impurities as they go. Enriched with exotic oils, the nourishing gel formula transforms into a silky milk, washing away to leave skin refreshed and radiant. High concentrations of Omega 3 & 6 plus Vitamins A, D & E instantly hydrate and soften your bright new complexion. Ideal for sensitive and problem skin, including skin prone to redness, eczema and acne.

Ultra-gentle Micro-Sphere exfoliation system reveals younger looking skin. De-flakes and polishes skin without damaging skin cells. Gel transforms into a silky milk which washes away to leave skin visibly brighter. Rich in Omegas 3 & 6 to lock-in moisture. 100% Detergent & Alcohol-free.

The exfoliator is £20 for 50mls and I’m looking forward to trying it as my face currently finds most exfoliators way too harsh. I’ve tried it on the back of my hand, and it seems lovely. I really like the way water transforms it into a silky milk that leaves your skin soft rather than stripped of moisture.

Pai exfoliator

So, will I be using my 20% discount voucher this month? Probably! I’ll stock up on my Balm Balm frankincense duo and possibly get another hand sanitiser and I suspect I’ll get the Pai exfoliator, if my face is happy after I’ve tried it of course. I may also try Skin Blossom’s bath soak, sadly I can’t restock the shampoo by them that I’ve almost finished because Lovelula don’t sell it.

Will I continue my monthly beauty box subscription? (You can pay month to month, six monthly or yearly, but the price is £12.50 whichever option you choose.) I think so, though I’m not sure how much more room there is in my bedroom for beauty products…

You can currently buy this Beauty Box for £19.95, click the photo below to go to their website.

Lovelula beauty box

Each time you shop with Lovelula you get points to the value of 10% of your order, you can use these points to get money off your next order/s. If you click the photo above using my link and buy something, I’ll get a few points, so thanks lots if you do as every little does help 🙂

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Review_sticker.JPGI’ve been trying some new things recently, I’m tentatively hoping that this is a good sign: me taking a bit more notice of things rather than just wanting to withdraw from life. I’m also aware that we tend to find it easier (or more cathartic) to complain rather than praise…as evidenced by my review of ‘Slapiton’. Though to be fair to myself, I wrote that to give readers a laugh. So, I’m going to try and do some reviews here of the things I’ve found that I really like, from food to skin care to online retailers.* I stumbled across a post on the facebook page of Peppersmith UK last week, they’d just started an Instagram account and wanted folks to share photos of their products.

This reminded me how much I like their packaging design and the quirky nature of their approach to marketing et al, and how much I like their mints and gum. I’ve searched for YEARS to find a chewing gum that has something other than nasty artificial sweetener in it, and as far as I know Peppersmith are the only people making any. They use xylitol which comes from beech trees and not only is it natural it’s also tooth kind. (The dental association endorse it.)

peppersmith sugar info This is a screenshot from their website…I know the UK trail behind other countries with regard to a healthy diet, but these are scary statistics. Explains why we find it so hard to have a healthy diet when so much of what’s available in the shops is full of unnecessary rubbish. I already know some of this from having to read ingredients so carefully, but I wish I didn’t have to. Shape up UK food producers…PLEASE. Peppersmith gum and mints (and Tingz) are healthy, made from natural substances, taste good and are kind to your teeth. The gum stays soft after the first flavour hit, unlike many others that go horrible and hard. There are three flavours of mints and three of gum, and they use UK grown peppermint. So…here’s the photo I posted to my IG account. danbo figure and peppersmith gum   As a result of me sharing this, they sent me a gift… peppersmith gift box There’s a box of peppermint mints missing…coz I’d already started eating them. peppersmith packaging See what I mean about their packaging design? The gum comes with a little set of papers for you to put your used chewing gum into. Each one has a fact on it and there’s one for every piece of gum. (You can see part of one in my Danbo photo.) I know they sent me a gift in return for my IG photo, but this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m writing this because I love their stuff and am grateful to have found sweets that don’t use unhealthy artificial sweeteners.** peppersmith camp dogs Another screen grab from their website, can you guess which bit of this made me laugh?

*Well that’s the plan, as with everything I do, don’t expect any regularity…then you have the chance to be pleasantly surprised.

** Mum got another handout and bunch of leaflets from the diabetes clinic yesterday, they still actually RECOMMEND using saccharine and aspartame instead of sugar! NHS: best health care in the world…not. (If you’ve had great experiences with our health care system, I’m delighted for you. Apart from having a great GP, I haven’t. Nor have my family.) peppersmith toy teeth card

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Due to the heat I’ve been using a lot of this:
Avene spray
After a quick google the place with the best prices was somewhere called ‘Slap it on’. They had the other Avène items I wanted too so (without googling for reviews) I made an order.
Review_sticker.JPGFairly promptly a parcel arrived, two correct items, one incorrect and two items missing, though the invoice said that all were included.
I emailed them. Waited over 24 hours, no reply, so emailed again. Waited again…I’d been replying to the email from them so after waiting another day I went to the website and used the contact form there.

Then did some googling about them.
Seems if the order is right, no probs.
But if there’s a problem;
“They don’t answer emails and the phone number is always engaged.”

Anyways, I got a reply today telling me that the items were on back order, they were sorry for missing my emails and not writing on the invoice re the missing items, and that they’d issue a refund.

But I got another email right after that:
Email from slapiton
Let’s hope Daddy is more efficient eh?
(Yes I wrote to tell her she’d emailed the wrong arse…)

My email telling her politely that she’d written to the wrong, ahem, arse, was written at 11am. I got a reply at 3pm confirming the refund and saying how upset she was by my negative review and apologising for the “catalogue of human errors.” 
Didn’t say sorry for calling me an arse though 😉 To clarify: Yes I did receive the correct refund, and no I won’t be ordering from them again. 


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