Free Comic Book Day 2018.

I'm super late posting this, this year but here is my Free Comic Book Day 2018 post! (Here's 2017, 2016, and 2015!) This year I went with my sister, niece  (who looked very cool dressed as Batgirl) and brother in law and it happened to be the hottest day ever. 

Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May every year and comic book shops give out specially printed free comics from tons of different comic publishers and some stores have events and celebrations going on.
Usually when we go we make a day of it in our city (Birmingham) and get some nice food and have a nerdy treat 'yo self day. This year we were on the poor side so toned it down a bit! But we did go to a delicious cookie dough place in the Bullring and it was GOOOOD!

These were the free comics I picked up. The main one I wanted was Comic Friends Forever which I got (yay!) I missed out on a few others but did get the Forbidden Planet exclusive Doctor Who comic which had a very cool introduction of the thirteenth Doctor.

I was very chuffed to pick up a signed Motor Crush comic and trade set. Babs Tarr is one of my favourite comic artists, and I love Fletcher and Stewart too so this baby is going in a frame.

I've been enjoying reading these True Believer reprints and have been soaking up anything to do with Thanos after seeing Infinity War (twice, because I'm obsessed!)

I also got a whole bunch of cheap back issues and was happy to find a Frison Wonder Woman variant I'd missed out on. Altogether it was a nice day despite the unbearable heat.

Indie Brand: Little Scented Memories.

I recently found Little Scented Memories through Twitter and after seeing some pictures of their stuff and having a browse of their site knew I had to put in an order! Little Scented Memories sell scented wax products, candles and other lovely treats. It is run by Lorraine who makes everything handmade and there are a HUGE selection of scents including well known Lush and perfume scents.

I got a selection of wax pods, a snap bar and a Lush sampler box. The snap bars look so pretty, and I love that a lot of the wax products have cool colour combinations and glitter. It's also worth noting that all the wax is made from 100% natural EcoSystem soy and are vegan.

The wax pods I picked were Karma (which smells exactly like the Lush scent), Snow Fairy, which although isn't exactly like the Lush scent still smells really good, Luscious Violet, and my favourite of the bunch Lolita Sweet- which I picked because it was pink and sparkly. It smells seriously beautiful and is based off a perfume I've not smelt but it smells like sweet cherries.

The Lush sampler box contains 3 mini wax stars in four different Lush scents: Sex Bomb (I believe this is the same scent as Snow Fairy), Jungle Juice, 1000 Kisses and Yummy Yummy. All these smell spot on to me. They are still a generous size and I found using one of these scented my bedroom nicely. 

I found the wax melted fairly quickly and gave off an almost instant scent that lasted well. I'd highly recommend trying out Little Scented Memories- the products are great quality, a good price, arrived super quick and Lorraine is lovely to deal with. There are TONS of different scents to try and I will definitely be ordering again in the future.

Check out Little Scented Memories and use the code 'Senseless' for 15% off! 

Self care Sunday: smells.

Today's post is all about self care tips for your nose!

1. Steam of a hot bath. Drop a fancy bath bomb in and enjoy the nice smells whilst the steam is great for your pores- especially if you put on a face mask or do a face scrub.

2. Dehumidifier with a few drops of essential oils. I LOVE my dehumidifier- I got one from Amazon and put a few drops of essential oils in (my favourites are fresh linen from Amazon, Vanilla from The Body Shop or if I am congested Tea Tree oil) and it released a scented steam. It's really relaxing to have in the room and has a nice gentle sound as well.

3. Make some fancy coffee. Nothing smells better than a fresh cup of coffee. You can pick up some great ground coffee cheap at the supermarket for a french press or cafetiere (my favourite is Starbucks home blend) or if I want something quick and easy I'll make a latte in my Tassimo machine.

4. Bake a cake. If you enjoy baking then why not put an afternoon by to make a cake (and then put your feet up after and enjoy a slice of it!) The baking smells are sure to lift your mood a little.

5. Open the windows. Something simple, but opening the windows and letting in some fresh air really does make a difference. Especially now we are in May- you can't beat the smell of the fresh Spring air.

6. Have a Spring clean. If you are feeling low then you tend to put off chores. Have a little Spring clean and it might make you feel a little better- and it's something to tick off the to do list. Even if you just have a hoover, or spray some anti-bac in the kitchen. It will make your home feel a bit more comfortable and will smell nice and fresh.

7. Same goes for personal hygiene. When your mental health takes a knock normal stuff goes out the window but push yourself to have a quick refreshing shower, and give your hair a wash. Use your favourite smelling body wash. You will feel so much better for it.

I hope some of these ideas were useful!

Previously in my self care senses series: Sounds

My Etsy shop: Self Care Stop

Small Pleasures 3.

Sometimes it's good to celebrate the little things, so here are some of my small pleasures from the last few weeks...

1. Seeing Avengers Infinity War *still recovering*
2. Walks in the park & seeing the pretty blossom trees
3. Music: Janelle MonĂ¡e and Alice Bag
4. The latest episode of SNL with Donald Glover
5. Raspberry Magnums
6. Bargain Seventeen makeup (they are being discontinued)
7. Tales of the Suspense: Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier comic book series
8. Getting a cheap sign board (see below!)
9. Arrested Development Remix (can't wait for series 5!)
10. Going round my Dads to have a curry, play Xbox and watch Bullseye
11. Bargain shoes in the sale from Asda
12. A new member of the plant family

Self care Sunday: sounds.

Today's post is all about self care tips for your ears.

If you want to relax then sometimes silence is good, but here are some other sounds which are great....

1. Here's a dreamy playlist I made. All these songs are soft, dreamy, gentle and beautiful. This playlist is great to have on while you relax in a bath, lay down with your eyes closed, do some yoga to or to meditate with.

2. ASMR. To find out what ASMR is go here. I love listening to ASMR on YouTube through my headphones at night to help me sleep, or in the day if I am feeling particularly anxious. My current favourite ASMR channels are Gentle Whispering, Calming Escape, Velvet Whispers, Ghibi ASMR, Zacksworld ASMR, and Whisper Red.

3. Audiobooks. It's worth subscribing to something like Audible where you can choose an audiobook each month. It can be really soothing to listen to and if you are feeling too tired or stressed to read this is the perfect alternative. I particularly enjoy listening to biographies read by the author.

4. Guided meditations. This can be really useful, especially if you are new to meditating or mindfulness in general. You can buy the audio's on Itunes or listen to them on streaming sites but I recommend YouTube- there are tons on there- go here.

5. On the same theme maybe you want some relaxing sounds but something more subtle. Again YouTube is great for that (here) you can find all sorts of great sounds. Everything from nature, rain, thunderstorms, fireplace, snow, birds, car sounds or even coffee shop background noise.

6. Going back to basics if you want a steady, constant white noise sound put a fan on. Sometimes if I have trouble sleeping or need a nap the fan shuts out other noise and is strangely relaxing! 

7. Go somewhere quiet to enjoy the (relative) silence. Maybe the library, a museum, an empty park, an early morning walk. Even better take a book or magazine.

I hope some of these ideas were useful!

-My etsy shop: Self Care Stop-

Blog Tour: The Leavers by Lisa Ko.

Hi, and welcome to my stop on The Leavers blog tour!

'One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.'

My thoughts...

The Leavers for me was a slow burn sort of read, but in no way do I mean that as a bad thing. The writing was so beautiful I wanted to take my time with it, and truly savour the story. I loved the vivid descriptions of New York and China, I found myself getting lost in it. I really enjoyed following Deming through his life, and found him an incredibly sympathetic character. I felt like I could really understand his struggle to find somewhere he truly belonged because Lisa Ko wrote it so evocatively.

The Leavers is about identity but also about how a single decision effects the rest of your life. It's about being an immigrant, feeling like an outsider, and the love between mother and son. The writing is very human, and very real. The fact that this is a debut novel is even more impressive.

I absolutely loved The Leavers and felt such an emotional connection to the characters and the writing. I already know this is going to be one of my favourite reads of the year, and I highly recommend it. Seriously: read it!

'He was forever waiting to get past the secret entrance, and when the ropes did part he could never fully believe he was in. Another door materialised, another rope to get past, always the promise of something better.'

The Leavers is out on the 26th April, get it here.

[Huge thanks to Grace at Little Brown for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review]

Blog tour: All Rivers Run Free by Natasha Carthew.

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for All Rivers Run Free by Natasha Carthew!

'A lyrical novel in the vein of Sara Baume and Eimear McBride, about marginalisation, mental illness and the power of nature and motherhood in restoring hope.
A woman on the edge of the sea finds a girl on the edge of life. 

Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall - ravaged by floods, cut off from Europe and descended to military rule. In years of living with Bran - her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband - she's never had her own baby. So Ia rescues the girl. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia - bringing back a memory she's lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver, in search of family. In hope of freedom.

Natasha Carthew tells a tale of marginalisation and motherhood in lyrical prose that crashes like waves on the sand; gritty, beautiful and utterly original.'

Natasha has kindly written a beautiful piece for today's blog post about the setting of All Rivers Run Free...


All Rivers Run Free is set in Cornwall and follows one woman’s journey downriver from the north coast to the south.
The Cornwall I write about is the second main character to Ia in All Rivers Run Free and is both friend and enemy, at times it trips her up, tells her lies and is not to be trusted and at other times it throws clues and sustenance her way.
It was important for me to create a hostile setting that Ia would have to navigate through, the country as we know it is unravelling around her. Through an almost unrecognisable Cornwall ravaged by floods and political unrest, Ia embarks on a journey that will finally bring her love and help her find the self she lost thirteen years ago.
It was central to the story that the setting I created was dystopian; through neglect, weathering and floods, I wanted the towns and countryside to be unrecognisable to the picture postcard image people think of when they think of Cornwall.
The places Ia comes across in All Rivers Run Free are real places on the tourist trail that sit near or alongside the River Tamar. Towns like Launceston and visitor centres like Tamar lakes and Morwelham Quay all play a part in the story. I visited these places in winter, off season, so it wasn’t hard to take the people away from them and imagine them abandoned, messed up, dirty. There is a stately home called Cothele that Ia takes refuge in on her journey on the banks of the river and this is where a lot of crucial things happen in her story, I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read the book, but writing those scenes on that particular riverbank and in the ornate garden was vital in getting the atmosphere right.

Nature also paid a big part in creating a setting that reflected Ia’s emotional turmoil. She is a part of nature and that affinity is reflected in instinct and the way she trusts her environment to help her make the right decision. She is part wild animal, so is at home in the wild weather and the wild setting. The landscape and environmental issues raised in All Rivers Run Free weave their way into Ia’s story and her story in turn becomes a part of the environment; they are interconnected, whilst the river symbolises her passage to salvation.  

The beautiful, poetical and totally original All Rivers Run Free is out now (available here)
Watch out for my full review coming next week!

[Huge thanks to Ana at Quercus books.]