Tender Mercies.

{Lamoreaux family 2012}.
My family experienced a pretty neat 'Tender Mercy' last night.
It's one we'll never forget.

"The Lord's tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence"
- David A. Bednar

{Please watch}.

July Empties / Products I've Used Up

It's Empties time again!  I have another box full this month, but again they're mostly sample/travel sizes:-


 Lush Tea Tree Water
This is my go-to HG toner of choice most days.  Fantastic if you're prone to breakouts and have oily skin like I do.
Repurchase?  Yes

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
Another HG product for me, works beautifully and is a great make-up remover to use in the evenings too.  
Repurchase?  Yes, already have a full size tube of this.

Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant
I've had this lying around for ages and finally decided to use it up.  It's an exfoliator that warms up on your skin.  It was nice to use and I like it, but not really enough to invest in a full size.
Repurchase?  Probably not.

Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone Bright Eyed Flawless Eye Treatment
This was a lovely eye cream that hydrated the eye area well, without ever feeling too heavy or greasy.
Repurchase?  Tempted!


 Percy Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask
I liked this and a little went a long way, but there are other hair masks that I prefer a lot more than this one.
Repurchase? No.

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Shampoo and Conditioner
These two really surprised me because I've read so many mixed reviews.  I really liked them!  Wasn't keen on the scent that much, but they made my hair feel soft and look shinier than it usually does.   Plus they didn't irritate my sensitive scalp which is always a bonus.
Repurchase?  I have some other shampoos to try out at the moment but I'm sure I'll purchase full sizes of these in the future.

Bath & Body
 balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash
I love this body wash, lovely formula and smells good too!
Repurchase?  Yes

Rituals Wai Wang Exfoliating Body Scrub
This was a nice scrub but I just didn't like the scent.
Repurchase? No.

NEOM Tranquility Organic Bath Oil
Loved using this, so relaxing!  Definitely one to try when you want a de-stressing soak in the bath.
Repurchase?  Very tempted to get the mini bath oil set at some point.

Mitchell and Peach English Growers Shower Wash
 Wasn't that impressed with this considering how much it retails for.  The formula is a bit too thin for my liking and the scent wasn't for me either.
Repurchase? No


Jane Iredale Tantasia
Received it in this month's Joliebox and was pleasantly surprised.  It looked quite scary and orange in the tube, but I gave it a go on my face and decolletage area before going on holiday, and it gave a really natural looking, healthy glow.  
Repurchase?   Maybe, I don't really use fake tan much, but if we have another rubbish 
British summer again next year, I'm sure I'll be buying this!

No7 Dual Protection Tinted Moisturiser with SPF 15 in Medium
Got this sample from a GWP goody bag a while ago.  It was OK colour wise, but a bit too heavy for my oily/combination skin.  Dry skin types may get on well with it much better though.
Repurchase? No.

Une Skin Glow Foundation sample
This gives a healthy, light coverage which I really liked, but it's one that I'd only use on good skin days because it is quite sheer.
Repurchase? Maybe if I saw it on offer.

Benefit Lemonaid
I've had this for nearly two years now and I'm finally throwing it out because it's started to separate.  Nearly used it all up though and it lasts such a long time.
Repurchase?  Probably not because I'm using the 
Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer around my eyes instead now which
 is a lot cheaper.

The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer
Another make-up item I'm throwing out because I've had it for ages.  It's nearly used up but has gone a bit gloopy.  This is like a liquid bronzer which you can also mix with your sunscreen or daily moisturiser to add a bit of a glow.
Repurchase? Probably not, I just didn't reach for it that often.

Handbag bits

Burt's Bees Thoroughly Therapeutic Hand Cream
Didn't like this much because I found the formula a little on the greasy side and really disliked the scent.  
Repurchase? No.

balance Me Hydrating Rose Otto Salve
I liked using this on my cuticles mainly and on my heels/elbows when they needed some TLC.
Repurchase?  Probably not as there are other balms/salves that I like more.

If you have done an empties post this month, feel free to link below so that I can have a look!

[Follow me on:  BlogLovin' - Hello Cotton - Twitter - Pinterest]

July Books List

Books I've read in July:-

(1) Fast Food Nation: What The All-American  Meal Is Doing To The World by Eric Schlosser - Accessible to anyone who is interested in the fast food industry, and the politics and economics that go hand in hand with it.  I guess if you're reading this in 2012, then you may have already heard about most of the horrors that Schlosser goes into detail with, but it's still a worthwhile read and really easy to pick up whenever you fancy reading it.  [5/5]

(2) Delirium by Lauren Oliver So disappointing because the concept sounded interesting (it's a YA dystopia about love being seen as a disease and something that they cure people of), but it never seemed to reach its full potential in the book.  The characters felt very average at best and although the last quarter of the book does make the sequel sound promising, I don't think I'll be reaching for it just yet.  [2/5]

(3) Richard by Ben Myers - Richard is a fictional account of Richard Edwards (the troubled songwriter/rhythm guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers who went missing in 1995 and his body was never found) during his last days, told through his eyes.  Although it wasn't my cup of tea prose-wise, I do think the author did a good job of exploring this concept, though I have no idea who would actually read this if they weren't a diehard Manics/Richey fan!  [2/5]

(4) Lolita by - I have been meaning to read this for years and after watching the Stanley Kubrick adaptation last month, I finally decided to take this off my book shelf.  The subject matter is of course unsettling and disturbing, which makes it a difficult novel to read at leisure so I found myself reading it in chunks throughout the month.  I'm glad I've read it because it's a 'classic' and all, but it's not something I'd ever willingly read again.  [3/5]

(5) Fifty Shades Freed by E. L James - I wasn't expecting this series to be anything more than some easy summer reading trash, but this last book in the trilogy has the most anti-climatic ending! I guess it fits with how the story was going, but why did it have to end like that? What happened to the very-mild-naughtiness that made this series actually bearable to read?!  [2/5]

(6) Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - I struggle reading anything by Hemingway; his writing style is just generally not my thing. Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises isn't one of this famed 'better' books and I feel that this novel shows Hemingway to other people in the way that I see most of his work.  It's not terrible or anything, but nothing extraordinary either.   Just very average, but OK if you're looking for a quick summer read that isn't chick lit.  [2/5]

What have you been reading this month?

[Follow me on:  BlogLovin' - Hello Cotton - Twitter - Pinterest - GoodReads]

Giveaway: Win a bundle of Czech make-up!

I bought this bundle of Czech make-up when I was in Prague to giveaway on We Were Raised By Wolves.  All of the products shown here were recommended to me by fellow bloggers and whilst they're not strictly Czech brands (most are in fact German IRRC), they are all brands which aren't easily available here in the UK. 

One lucky winner will receive everything shown above:-
  • She Stylezone XXL Mascara in Carbon Black
  • Alverde Naturcosmetik Liquid Rouge in 10 Lovely Pink (for cheeks and lips)
  • Alverde Naturcosmetik Eyeshadow Quad in 37 Chocolate (lovely neutrals!)
  • Essence Nail Polish in 11 Disco Disco
  • Essence Nail Polish in 78 Blue Addicted (dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Across The Universe)
  • Czech Beer Cosmetics Lip Balm
To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway is open worldwide and closes on 15th August.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prague Photo Diary

Prague is a beautiful city that is packed full of people and interesting things to see and do.  If you love to walk around looking at incredible architecture, visiting countless art museums and learning more about history and past communist politics, then Prague really is your dream destination right in the heart of Europe.  Honestly, you could spend a whole week just going to art exhibitions and you'd still struggle to see everything!  I really wish I could have stayed an extra week to explore every nook and cranny that this amazing city has to offer.  I strongly suggest coming up with a detailed itinerary if you fancy going, you'll most certainly need one!

Photos (from top-bottom):- 1. Old Town Square.  2. The famous Astronomical Clock.  3. Tourists in Old Town Square.  4 & 5. 'Little Venice'.  6. A view from Charles Bridge of Vltava river.  7 & 8. Absinthe bars and ice-cream.  The ice-cream is certainly an acquired taste!  9. A delicious Trdelnik (like a spiralled donut).  10. Graffiti in New Town.  11. Decorative door like this one were everywhere.  12.  One of David Czerny's controversial public art pieces.  13.  Another David Czerny piece, depicting St. Wenceslas riding a dead horse.  14.  Franz Kafka at the Prague Wax Museum.  15. Old Town Square at night.  16.  Inside the Sedlec Ossuary or 'Bone Church' in Kutná Hora.  17. The enormous gothic Saint Barbara's Church, also in Kutná Hora.  18.  Visiting the Mucha Museum.  19. Statue of Franz Kafka on the shoulders of a giant headless man in the Jewish Quarter.  20. Art exhibit at AMoYA.  21.  Lunch at the popular student/backpacker hangout, Bohemia Bagel.  22 & 23.  The John Lennon Wall (the handsome man in the red shorts is Tim, our lovely tour guide, Hi Tim!).    

P.S: I have a Czech beauty giveaway coming up later today so keep your eyes open for that!

[Follow me on:  BlogLovin' - Hello Cotton - Twitter - Pinterest]

Ryan's FIESTA!

Last night we hosted a {Going Away} FIESTA for my nephew Ryan.
He leaves this week for a 2 year Mormon Mission in Barcelona, Spain.
We are SO proud of him!

Seems like just yesterday I was changing his diapers...and NOW look at him...

As for the 'party details'....

I made a really simple banner with a free printable font from HERE.
I just printed the letters onto 8.5 x 11" card stock and cut the bottoms to how I wanted them.

Complete with ALL the fixings.

Sweet Pork {super easy - 1 cup brown sugar, 1 jar of red salsa...cooked in a crock pot all day and then shredded}
Homemade Refried beans that my mom made up from THIS recipe ...they are TO DIE for YUMMY!
Nacho Cheese Sauce - if you're doing this for a big group...just buy the big ole can from Costco.  It. Is. Delish!

Green Salsa. Red Salsa.  Chopped onions.  Lettuce.  Tomatoes.  Sour Cream.

Yummy. Yummy. Cupcakes that my sister and brother made up.
{I could pretty much eat that chocolate frosting by the spoonful it was so good}.

I tried to have different pics of Ryan all around the house.  
Printable quote found HERE.

I tried to decorate everything in YELLOW and RED....
the colors of the SPAIN flag.
I found these cute missionary tag printables from Sugardoodle and made em into water bottle labels.

Uncle Kirk with his nieces and nephews.
Ryan and some of his peeps.

The cute fiesta banners hanging from my ceiling were made by my ever so talented sister-in-law Jenny

Not sure what Joe's gonna do without his sidekick for 2 years.
Uncle + Nephew = best of friends.

We are so proud of you Ryan and can't wait to hear all about your AWESOME experiences in Barcleona. You will make such a GREAT missionary!!!

French Toast Roll-Ups.

French Toast Roll-Ups are one of my very favorite things to make when I have a lot of people over for breakfast.  
They're super tasty AND pretty easy to make.  
{I originally found this yummy recipe from THIS gal.}

When I made these up last weekend, I thought...'hey...why not take some step by step pictures so YOU can SEE how to do it?'  I'm a 'visual' person and I always get lots of questions on these puppies. So ask no further...here ya go!

{Warning:  I am SOOOO not a food photographer.  Nor do I ever intend to be.  So don't judge. Just trying to give you an idea here.}

*Any type of white bread will work.
I always buy whatever is cheapest.
Don't buy wheat.  They don't turn out as good.

*When doubling this recipe {which you should always do for a large crowd!} buy 2 loaves.

* These are especially great because you can make them up the night ahead.
Just place in the refrigerator covered with tin foil until you're ready to bake!