iHerb Review (with promo code TRC217)

I love the internet, but I’m not such a fan of shopping online. Reluctant practice has made me a more confident online shopper, but I still refuse to do it unless I can’t purchase the product in a store locally. One of the main sites I use for these things is iHerb. This is my candid review of iHerb as the reluctant online shopper.

iHerb offers a range of health and beauty products for the more natural and healthy minded consumer. These products include two lip balm ranges I am crazy about; Crazy Rumors and Hurraw. The products are well priced and in your local currency both in the browsing and checkout screens (unlike Amazon).

iHerb offers a range of shipping options, including a no-rush cheaper shipping option as well as free shipping to countries outside the US. They also offer a shipping saver option on certain items.

Because I select the cheapest shipping, my items don’t arrive overnight by any means, but they still arrive within a reasonable time frame and iHerb sends a tracking number so I can track the item’s progress and know when it will possibly arrive. The items are also well packaged and arrive undamaged.

If you haven’t used iHerb before enter the code TRC217 and you’ll get 5% off your first purchase 🙂

Happy Shopping,

Krystal xx

Advertisements

Book Of The Month: Library Lovers Mysteries

When I think of the word silhouette, I think of that shadowing figure lurking in the mystery novels such as Sherlock Holmes. Although a little less shadowy than Sherlock Holmes, today’s post is the revival of Book Of The Month, starting with Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lovers Mysteries. This series is perhaps slightly less well known than her Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, but equally as charming.

fddb2fe9-539c-42bc-b546-76966ab16a3b_1-5f17b7532a339289a9534e6bb03180b4Library Director Lindsay Norris, is no cliché shabby librarian with glasses. She is more like a success business woman, trying to keep their small local library (Briar Creek Public Library) up with the times and is joined by a cast of entertaining characters that might her life more colourful, easier and harder in turn.

Briar Creek Public Library features her friend Beth who is the best and most costumed children’s librarian you will ever come across. Ms Cole however is a typical crusty old woman who make’s Lindsay’s life more challenging.

Outside the library there is of course the love interest Sully, who is naturally also just a lovely guy and his sister and her husband who run an excellent sounding restaurant. They are also joined by Lindsay’s landlady are her nephew, who add to the list of people that shape Lindsay’s Briar Creek family.

The series is a perfect cozy mystery without being in a eatery like many of them are. The characters are also engaging and entertaining. Several of the characters are also involved in a book club which reads a different book in each novel. The book includes a book club guide for each novel they read for any readers who may wish to also read these clubs in their book club.

The first in the series is Books Can Be Deceiving. The description is as follows…

Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey’s friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children’s book, but Beth’s boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he’s found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.

This book is a good start to the series, with Lindsay, Beth and Sully shining in particular as characters. The series then goes on to deepen these characters and their relationships, keeping the reader engaged in their lives.

Krystal xx

Silence in NYC: An Infrequent Event

Silence is a moment of stillness or quiet. In New York that is fairly hard to come by and treasured when it does. Here are some moments of silence in the city that really does never sleep.

Silence is a quiet frozen stillness, like on this pond in Central Park.

IMG_3308

Silence is a respectful pause of reflection, like here at the 9/11 Memorial.

IMG_3456

Silence is when you finally get out of the crowds and no one is around, like this little corner behind a wall by Fox.

IMG_2879

Silence for a moment is golden, silence for a lifetime is bleak.

Krystal xx

Viewing Platforms In New York (Manhattan)

It’s been a while, I’ve been doing some exploring around the globe and spending more time writing content for other people than myself, but hopefully in this new year, I’ll be able to share all the latest with you.

Recently, I spent a fair bit of time in New York City and over the next little while I will give you all my tips and tricks to seeing New York. First, I’ll start off by talking about the different viewing platforms.

Empire State Building

If you’ve ever seen Sleepless in Seattle, you’ll have seen a sneak preview of what it is like up in the Empire State Building. But unless you’re first in the morning or there last thing at night like they were, it probably won’t be so empty. But that is ok, because with so many other attractions you have to line up for ages so you want to be there first thing in the morning. But with the Empire State Building, what really impressed me was their crowd control. When we went first thing in the morning, it was fairly quick to get in. When we went in the afternoon, the line was hallway around the bottom of the building. Yet the line moved quickly and there was a lot of staff making sure things were orderly and being available to provide information. They also kept spaces near doors clear for those going to other places. Then inside there was more moving through the line, going through security scanning and then finally up to the first inside viewing platform. But again the line did keep moving. The inside viewing platform is particularly great in winter (the time I was there) as it is warm. That is on the 80th floor. You can then either take the lift or the stairs up to the 86th floor to the outside viewing platform where they also have the famous binoculars. For a keen photographer like me this was the best place to get photos through the fencing. But going up there at night in winter like we did was pretty chilly. Both viewing platforms offer a good view of the city and particularly of the Freedom Tower.

IMG_3064

One World Observatory (Freedom Tower)

We had to check out One World as it was the newest, the tallest and offered a Winter Wonderland experience. The Winter Wonderland experience was a quick animation in the lift about how New York’s skyline has changed and virtual frosted windows which didn’t work the day we were there. For One World you have to line outside in the freezing cold with a line that doesn’t seen to move (especially if you’re in the voucher line like we were). There is one staff member on waving people through, a lack of information available and did I mention cold? Once you get inside to buy your tickets you can’t go straight up like you did in Empire, you have to come back at a certain time (so I’d recommend buying your tickets online for a set time if you can then just showing up 20 minutes before that time). Out the other side of the Freedom Tower is the Westfield mall and it is in here by the Subway that you line up at your time. It also means you can fill in time there out of the cold in winter until your timeslot. Lining up, the staff weren’t particularly helpful and got annoyed if people lined up too early. Once inside, you are taken up in a lift to floor 102 then run through a couple of presentations before you get to the viewing platform. The viewing platform is inside and at night very reflective. They also ran other presentation up on the viewing platform that you could choose to listen to which was very informative. The view here is the best of the bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River. You can also dine up there with a panoramic view.

IMG_3527.JPGTop Of The Rock

We choose not to do this platform in the end because it was near the Empire State Building, but it is best to do during the day as it offers a great view of Central Park. You can also see the classic Empire State Building. It looked like more of the lining up was done inside so it may also be a better winter venue.

So if you’re going to New York, these are all good spots to see the city from, but if I had to pick one, I’d definitely pick Empire State Building.

Krystal xx

The Zero Waste Period

I came across and article recently about the zero waste period. I had previously heard of the menstrual cup, but it turns out there are far more options (which is a good thing really).

There were three things that I found really interesting to consider with these alternatives. The first of course being their positive environmental impact, the second being people’s statements around how not using synthetic disposable materials has made their monthly cycle more comfortable and the last being around the coast saving. Apparently, women can spend $5000-10,000 on sanitary products in their lifetime. Whereas with the zero waste alternatives, you’re looking more around $1000-$2000 in your lifetime. Or less if your products last well. So, what are these alternative options?

First off, of course there is the option of using a menstrual cup instead of tampons. A cup can last you up to 10 years as oppose to a box every period or so. But it is a rather liberal option being a cup inside your you-know-where.

Secondly, there is the reusable pad option instead of the synthetic disposable pad option. This kind of reminds me of cloth nappies in terms of its philosophy. But I’m willing to consider it as an option.

Thirdly, there is period underwear. This one reminds me of incontinence underwear. But at the same time, I’m thinking that perhaps period-proof underwear is the secret to no leakage.

And lastly, there is the sea sponge. This is the option I am least sure about, because a bit like the beauty blender, how much bacteria is getting in there in the 6 months it is supposed to last?

So, if you want to get on the zero waste bandwagon ladies, here is some alternatives that could long-term be great for the environment, your body and your wallet.

Krystal xx

 

Beauty Test: Cocoa Powder

Natural Beauty is a big thing and something I’m keen to embrace. But do some of these DIY ingredients from your cupboard natural beauty tricks work? This week I tested adding cocoa powder to your shampoo as a way to darken brunette hair.

The biggest challange I found was finding the right container to mix your shampoo and cocoa powder in. Other than that it was business as usual. I put the cocoa powder shampoo in my hair and washed it out just like normal shampoo. Although I did leave it in for 5 minutes whereas normal shampoo I would have washed out sooner. Then I conditioned and dried my hair as usual.

I didn’t find the cocoa powder shampoo made much difference and the slight tint only lasted a couple of days. But for a very natural looking alternative, this one is subtle, doesn’t leave the hair dry or feeling clogged up and it smells great.

Krystal xx

Political Opinion: The NZ General Election

A quick commentary on some of the political commentary surround New Zealand’s election.

TOP

I think the surprise in this election was The Opportunities Party (TOP), run by older gentleman Garth Morgan, the party’s promises which include helping support young people and getting the richest ¼ of elderly to pay for it, has given the party a surprising amount of traction with young people. While they did not get any seats in this election, I think they are one to watch.

The Maori Party and the Maori Seats

The Maori Party gained no seats in this election with all the Maori Seats going to Maori Labour MP’s. There has been two schools of thought around this, one being that Maori have come home to Labour and the second being that the Maori Party have been tainted by their association with National. I tend to agree with the first school of thought. If the Maori Party had been tainted by their association with National, they would have lost their seats before now. I think Labour just put forward stronger competition for the Maori Seats.

A Labour/National Government

Has MMP outlived it usefulness? Has been another question thrown around this week. If NZ First did not agree to a coalition with either National or Labour (with Greens), then it would have to be a National/Labour coalition. And with this train of thought has also come the question of whether first past the post was a better election system.

A National/Green Government

With left Greens form a coalition with right National if National does not wish to work with NZ First. I don’t see this being a harmonious coalition, nor do I see it fitting the Greens party ethics. But only time will tell.

Winston Peters

He’s called the Kingmaker because he often is the deciding force as to which party governs, but what struck me is that he’s in his 70’s. How much longer will he be the King?

Jacinta Ardern

She has impressed me so much, coming in at the last minute she has given Labour the momentum they have been missing. With 3 years now to make the policies her own, I can see her being the next Prime Minister of New Zealand,

It feels like it is time for some changes in New Zealand politics. But what those changes are is still in question.

Krystal xx

Gaming For The Non-Gamer

Hasn’t it been a long time. I’ve been so busy doing other people’s online stuff I haven’t had time for my own.

Today’s article is about gaming for the non-gamer.

I am not a gamer, but I am rather fond of a game called Disney Magic Kingdoms (DMK). It brings back the Disney nostalgia from my childhood and gives me my very own interactive Disneyland on my phone. While there are limited time events to get things like new characters. I feel this is a game you can play at a relaxed pace and play more intermittently without missing out on much in terms of content or losing any skill.

Other phone games I like to play (on places like the train) are the King games. My personal preferences are Candy Crush Jelly Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. They’re easy but like DMK you need to apply some strategy to get to the end more quickly.

Asphalt 8 is a more interactive game for the non-gamer and takes one back to the old PC car racing games, but with some very new and very fancy looking cars.

Another more well known game is Angry Birds. I particularly like the Rio edition. With a lazy flick of a finger you can work on your anger management issues.

And finally, for interactive cuteness; Happy Jump. This cupcake style version of Doodle Jump is deliciously tempting.

So even if you aren’t a gamer, It doesn’t mean you can’t play games. But the games above require less team involvement, keyboard trigger fingers and digital guns.

Krystal x