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What I got for Christmas | The Book Edition

4 Jan 2017




Last year I set myself a target of reading 18 books over the year. I failed. Miserably. This year I have set myself a more realistic target of 12 books. I have a whole book case full of books that I haven't read, however I love receiving books as gifts, especially ones that have been recommended. This year I received a variety of books from different people, some which will count towards my 12 books once read, others that are more for fun.

When I am not travelling, I love to travel vicariously through others. So what better than a Bill Bryson book - the king of travel. Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, as you may have guessed is all about the driest, flattest, hottest inhabited continent, Australia. I have yet to read a Bill Bryson book so I look forward to tucking into this one and wanderlusting over Australia. 

I also received The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman from my Secret Santa. The book is about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who face a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore holding a dead man and a crying baby. Having struggled to conceive after many attempts, they decide to keep the baby and live with the consequences. It sounds like a real tear jerker, so I will save this for when I have a bit of time at home.


From my parents I received If it Fits, I Sits - Cats in Awkward Places as they know how much I love cats. This includes some very cute pictures of cats getting into the most troublesome situations. This is a nice book to pick up when you need a little pick me up as you can't help but smile. 

Lastly, I received Lonely Planets Best Ever Photography Tips. This little book includes 55 tips to help improve your photography, including 10 golden rules of travel photography. If you know your stuff then this isn't for you, but is great for beginners like me. I love that the book is small enough to carry with you when travelling, and will come in handy when trying to get that perfect shot!

I also received an Amazon Gift Voucher, which I am looking to buy a few more books, so please let me know your book recommendations!

What books did you receive for Christmas?
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New Beginnings

1 Jan 2017



Five years ago I launched Vanilla Crush, a blog about all things beauty. Whilst I still love writing about beauty, in those five years a lot has changed. I have moved out of my family home, my Wanderlust is stronger than ever, and most obviously - I am five years older. I now spend my days researching new travel destinations, hunting down the perfect coffee table and spending most of my money on candles.

To be frank, I have out grown Vanilla Crush. I had been contemplating a name change for a while now, but it never quite felt right. Having taken some time out from blogging, I feel it is now the perfect time for a new beginning. So, this is the launch of Carissa May.

Carissa May will still include posts about my favourite beauty products and all things beauty related, however the focus will no longer just be beauty, but travel and lifestyle too. I do hope you like the new blog and I look forward to writing about some new topics.

I would love to hear from you if you have been with me since the beginning!
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Yankee Candles from Love Aroma (Discount Code included)

10 Sep 2016

Love Aroma Yankee Candle

Love Aroma Yankee Candle

Love Aroma Yankee Candle

Did you know Britons spend around £90 million on Candles every year?! That is an insane amount of candles, and I myself can never have enough candles. If you open my kitchen cupboard you will see hoards of candles just waiting to be burnt. I was recently contacted by Love Aroma and they asked if I would like to try out some of their candles, so of course I said yes. Love Aroma is one of the UKs fastest growing home fragrance specialist and the largest independent retailer of Yankee Candle. They also sell my favourite, WoodWick.

They kindly sent me the Yankee Candle Riviera Escape 6 Votive House Gift Set*, which includes six beautiful summer fragrances for just £10.99, and a votive candle holder*. I personally love these gift sets as they are a great way to try out multiple fragrances before you commit to a larger candle. The candles came well wrapped and protected, which is always a worry when buying candles online. The parcel also came scented with lotus flower and jasmine, one of the candles they sell, which was a lovely surprise! 

Delivery is reasonable at £2.99 if you spend under £30 or free if you spend over £30. It was very speedy, and overall I would highly recommend you check them out. 

Enter VANILLACRUSH at checkout to receive 20% off your order - it expires at the end of September.

Let me know what your favourite candle is!
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The Eye of Horus Liquid Metal Eyeliner in Imperial Bronze

14 Aug 2016

Eye of Horus Liquid Metal Eyeliner in Imperial Bronze

Eye of Horus Liquid Metal Eyeliner in Imperial Bronze

I have spoken about my love for Eye of Horus many times on my blog, my favourites being the Maat Dark Temptress Eye Shadow Palette and the Sultry Serpentine Goddess Pencil. I recently found out about the Liquid Metal Eyeliners and this may be my favourite of them all. The liquid eyeliners come in four colours, but the one that I have fallen in love with is Imperial Bronze* - a rich metallic bronze with hints of gold.

I have never really taken to liquid eyeliner, however since using this I am a total convert. The felt tip applicator is very thin and the handle is very long, which I find very easy to use to apply a thin precise line. It is very opaque in one sweep and the colour is just beautiful. Its cruelty, Nut, Gluten and Paraben-free formula is infused with Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Lavender Flower Water and Evening Primrose Oil which means it is very gentle on your eyes.

Eye of Horus Liquid Metal Eyeliner in Imperial Bronze


Once dry this eyeliner does not budge and it does not transfer to the top of your eyelid. It is extremely long wearing - I apply in the morning and it is still there by the evening, without any smudges. The colour is suitable for all skin tones, and looks great with blue eyes. As usual I am very impressed with Eye of Horus and I would highly recommend you try out any of their products. They are more expensive than your typical drug store products, but in my opinion they are worth the extra pennies.

The Eye of Horus Liquid Metal Eyeliner are available now from Beauty Bay and the British Museum for £16.50 and are also available in Alchemy Gold, Ancient Pewter and Sphinx Copper.
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Nicole Miller Phone Cases

10 Aug 2016

Nicole Miller Phone Case

Go back a year and I rarely changed my phone case, however recently I seem to be growing quite a collection. In particular, I have grown quite fond of the Nicole Miller phone cases. I picked up both of these from TK Maxx for a very reasonable price of just £6.99 each, and yet they are very well made. The floral case on the left is a hard case back with Nicole Miller engraved at the bottom and this is the case that first attracted me to Nicole Miller. The clear floral case on the right is a more recent purchase and comes in two separate parts - a soft gel frame to protect the phone edge and a hard case back to protect the back. 

I adore how these look on my phone and there are many other beautiful designs available. Unfortunately it seems they are not particularly easy to get hold of, there are some on EBay, however do pop into your local TK Maxx store and have a look!

Where do you buy your phone cases from?

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