Sunday, 7 April 2013

Pointless (The Travel Game)...

Me and my Fiance love watching the TV show Pointless. We always have a laugh playing along, so when I was offered the chance to review the Pointless travel game, I was like 'Yeahhh!'.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the BBC1 game show, it is hosted by Alexander Armstrong and the concept of the game is that you have to try and think of the most obscure answer rather than the best answer (scoring the most points) to each question you are asked (at some point before the show each question is asked to 100 people and they are given 100 seconds to come up with as many answers as they can - only correct answers are considered) and try to score the lowest number of points. Even better is to get a pointless answer which scores zero.

The full sized board game is also available to purchase, but I got to review the travel version. It is recommended for people of ages 10+ and for 2-4 players or teams. It contains 120 questions, 1 question card holder, 1 'Pointless' pencil, 1 answer and score sheet pad (30 sheets which are double sided) and 1 set of rules.

The game is similar to the TV show in terms of the whole concept of the show, so you have to try and find the lowest scoring answer for each question. The game has many differences to the TV show though in terms of the following:

- You can play with as little as two people if you want to. You don't have to play with solely four teams to start with like the TV show.

- In the TV show there are elimination rounds, before the final two teams with the best scores (the lowest scores) compete in the head to head and the winner of that gets to play in the final. In the travel game, there are no elimination rounds, everyone gets to play all the way through to the end, so no one gets knocked out during play. I suppose if you wanted to play like the TV show you could just adapt the rules.

- Each round is the same and the player or team with the lowest score of each round, gets to go first in the next round. When it comes to the end of the fifth round, the player or team with the most Pointless answers (scoring zero) gets to go first. At the end of the sixth round, the player or team with the overall lowest score wins the game.

- Answers are written down on an answer sheet rather than spoken out loud in turn. The scores (that your answers get) are also written down and recorded on your answer sheet.

- One player is to be chosen to be the question master, but can also play the game.

- The game isn't electronic, the questions and answers are on cards (they are also double sided) within a special card holder (which hides the scores from prying eyes ;)), so the questions and answers to choose from are on view and the scores are only revealed when each card is taken out of the card holder.

- All answers are on the cards to choose from, where as in some rounds on the TV show you have to think of some answers yourself.

Players are advised from the rules card that at least one of the answers could be false on both sets of answers on each card and at least one of the answers could be Pointless on each set. Players can't select an answer given by another player, hence the reasoning behind who goes first in each round. There are two sets of answers for each question, so each player or team gets the chance to answer the same question twice (similar to the TV show, where the two people on each team both get a chance to answer the same question).

The above points are the main ones about the travel game, but the rules card explains all :). You can read more about the TV show Pointless here.

There are a few errors within the travel game, on the game cards. I haven't gone through all the cards but whilst me and Si were playing, we noticed a few things. See if you can see what's wrong with the answer sections of both of these cards before finding out below...

Have you seen what's wrong?

On the first card, Nepal is named twice within the two answer sets. If someone answers Nepal from the first answer set and later the score of 10 is revealed, when the second answer set becomes available to choose from, no one is going to choose Nepal again knowing it isn't a Pointless answer and they will already know the score is 10. There is no point in it being there, so it's got to be an error.

On the second card, Estonia is there twice in the second answer set, the top one has a score of 2 and the one further down has a cross by it meaning that it is apparently an incorrect answer...this made us laugh when we saw it...go figure?! It didn't affect our game because there was only me and Si playing, so we just chose answers around the errors, but if there are a lot of you or a lot of teams then it might be different, especially if the error is on the second set of answers, when you have already answered from the first set. If the number of players or teams matches the amount of answers there is to choose from, then you will probably have to just re-start the round.

I kind of wish it was an electronic version as even the full sized board game isn't electronic. It's still great fun though!

You can buy the game from stockists such as: Argos, Amazon, Smyth's, The Entertainer and Tesco. I have also seen the game being sold on Ebay if you like shopping on there. Not all places sell both the travel game and the full sized game, so you will have to check what they have available. The travel game usually retails for under £10 and the full sized game for under £20. Prices vary for each stockist.

Do you watch Pointless? Is this game something you'd be interested in playing?

Let me know if you have any board games that are television shows!

Thanks for reading!
Gem XxOo

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mint Tea To Maori Tattoo by Carolina Veranen-Phillips...

I love a good book! I go through phases where I get into a book and don't want to put it down, then I might not read anything for a while once I've finished and then when I read again I'm like a born again bookworm and can't put a good book down. I love books like that though, that you literally don't even want to put down to go to the toilet!

In relation to books and films, I like reading and watching things that relate to real life, so something that is based on a true story, or actually is something that's happened and is told by the person/persons that experienced such thing(s).

One of the books I have recently finished is a travel book called 'Mint Tea To Maori Tattoo'. It is a book about a unique backpacking experience, taken by Carolina Veranen-Phillips. I love travelling, so was really keen to read this and find out about different places, different cultures, the adventures she got up to and how she adapted to different places. Once I got started, it didn't take me long to finish the book! The book is based on the fact that Carolina woke up one morning determined to change something in her life (I'm sure we all feel this now and again - well she actually went ahead and did an amazing thing!). She'd had enough of her monotonous daily routine and craved something else, something different and unusual. She thought about a trip around the world, where she would be able to discover the world's beauties, meet people from different cultures and learn more about where she fits into society. Her adventure takes her to the Middle East, Africa and Oceania.

Carolina Veranen-Phillips (Image courtesy of Carolina Veranen-Phillips).

Image courtesy of Carolina Veranen-Phillips.

The main thing I like about the book is that instead of just telling you her daily routine and what she did each day whilst travelling, she also includes some history in there aswell, so it's quite educational. She doesn't make it boring either, it is really interesting stuff that she tells you. All the way through the book she comes across as a positive, happy person and has an amazing attitude that we as people, who sometimes take things for granted, can absorb. It really is an inspirational read and I feel a lot of people can learn a thing or two from her. From reading about the way she is, how she portrays herself, how she treats people, how she reacts etc you instantly get a feeling that she is a lovely person to be around and one that wouldn't suck all the energy out of you or ever make you feel bad.

Carolina's passport stamps from her travels! (Image courtesy of Carolina Veranen-Phillips).

I don't want to ruin everything in the book for you, just in case you decide to purchase it, but I do want to give you a few tasters regarding a few things that stood out for me within the book...

. A lucky escape in Tanzania; getting mugged on the beach.
. A funny stamp story.

There are also some things she says within the book that stood out to me, some were her own words and some were other quotes she had read which meant something to her. Here are a few of my favourites that I feel I can relate to...

'Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.'

'I don't have a religion any more. My personal life experience guided me towards having none. Experience and time showed me that I don't need to follow a book to tell me how I should live my life. I have common sense, integrity and moral standards. I use my experience, my feelings, what I hear and read to create my own life path. I know very well when I have done something right or something wrong and I take responsibility for it! I understand that everyone is not like me and I accept the difference. Some people need religion, while others don't. I don't.'

(When talking about the time she was sitting around a fire with her travel group, chatting and laughing when someone decided to raise his voice at her to get his point across). 'Why? Is that a good way to share your point of view? I thought, 'if you shout at me, how can I agree with what you are saying? Or even focus on what you are saying? I am just being bombarded with words?' I felt like this person had the need to 'win' the discussion. I am sure it made him feel better to shout at me! But why? Was he afraid of something? Of being less respected, maybe, if his idea was not accepted? Was it a fear of rejection? Was it over confidence or maybe a hidden lack of self confidence? I see discussion as an exchange of ideas, not a war. The important thing is to share ideas. It doesn't matter if people agree or don't agree with each other, as long as they are patient enough to hear what the other has to say. There is no winner or loser. It is simply an exchange of opinions where both ideas can be good and acceptable. Everybody is different, so we are bound to have different opinions. Aren't we?'

(When losing her passport and not being sure of where it was whilst trying to check into a backpackers (who asked to see her passport) and later realising she had left it at another backpackers place) 'It made me realise that it is not worth worrying about things. Worrying certainly does not help in solving a problem. It probably hinders the process. This experience emphasised for me the importance of trusting life; trusting that everything was going to be all right. Often, situations get better by themselves, without too much work, if we simply trust and stop worrying about it too much.'

'I find it hard to be around people who are quick to judge, who think less of you for no apparent reason and who think they have the answers to anything and know everything about everything. I find it simply too harmful and destructive to be with such people. I try to avoid those people and to protect myself against them. They are energy thieves, sucking my energy resources. The less I come across them, the healthier I feel.'

I could go on all day about this book, but before I basically end up re-writing the whole book in this review, I better stop, ha! I don't want to ruin everything for you anyway as I am aware that some people might just read this as my latest blog post, but some people might also search for this book and this review come up in search results, so like I said I wanted to give a taster, but not give everything away.

If you like a good read, a true read, an adventure read, a travel read, an inspirational read...I would definitely recommend this book!

Carolina Veranen-Phillips has her own website, where you can read more about her, purchase her book, find out news/events, contact her and read other readers comments about her book. You can also read a sample of her book.

Has anyone already got this book? If so, what do you think of it?

If you haven't got the book, does it sound like something you'd like to read?

Thanks for reading!
Gem XxOo

Monday, 1 April 2013

Fragrances of Ireland - Inis...

Like most women, I love my perfume. It's lovely to have a signature scent and one that you go back to buy again and again! My signature scents are Gucci - Gucci Rush and Nina Ricci - Ricci Ricci. Those are the ones that I go back and buy again and again and am most likely to receive as a gift from those that know me best. I also love trying out new scents, sometimes you can find a new favourite doing this, which is why I love sampling perfumes and receiving new perfumes as gifts.

I recently had the chance to sample a couple of scents from a website called...Fragrances of Ireland. Fragrances of Ireland is an independent perfume house, which means that they don't have a boardroom where they talk about inspiration for a new product, they go out, into the open, surrounded by beautiful things such as a gorgeous blue sea or a beautiful sandy beach. Their products are inspired by the magic, beauty and nature of Ireland! It's such a refreshing thing to know and sounds right up my street. I'd take that over sitting behind a desk talking about a new product any day!

Aswell as perfumes, Fragrances of Ireland also sell premium soaps and toiletries. I got to sample their best selling perfume 'Inis - the energy of the sea' and another of their Inis scents, 'moonlight'. They have such a unique way of describing their products and explaining where the inspiration for each one comes from.


Inis - the energy of the sea: this is Fragrances of Ireland's best selling fragrance. It is also a unisex perfume and in my opinion definitely a day time scent. There is a crispness and freshness to the scent, reminding me of the ocean. Fragrances of Ireland describe the inspiration behind the scent as the powerful message that the sea and an island can give us. The message that no one is an island, we are all connected, not just by the seas, but by our dreams and experiences. I can't stop smelling this...I have just sprayed it on to me a couple of times to help with the description of the scent when it comes to me writing it down here...this is not always an easy job. If only there was smell-o-vision! The notes of the scent notes: neroli, sicilian lemon, bergamot and traces of marine notes. Middle notes: geranium and lily of the valley. Bottom notes: cloves, nutmeg, sandalwood, oakmoss and musk. Such a gorgeous scent! The bottle is simple and frosted and the cap is reminiscent of two large pebbles one could find at a beach. You can buy this perfume in 30 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml, with prices being £19.95, £24.95 and £29.95.

Inis - moonlight: this scent is for women and it gives off a feminine, romantic and sexy vibe, with a light and airy feel. I would use this as an evening fragrance. Fragrances of Ireland worked with Anne Flipo (she has worked with international fragrance houses such as Givenchy, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent and the late Alexander McQueen) to create this scent and when writing the brief, they asked Anne to spend time at the ocean by moonlight to capture the feelings of awe, wonder and opportunity that take hold when one is surrounded by the sound of the ocean and the only light that is the moons rich amazing! I think I need to get a job like this ha ha! The notes of the scent notes: mandarin, cyclamen and watery accord. Middle notes: rose, jasmine and peach. Bottom notes: musk, orris and sandalwood. The bottle is reflective of the blue sea with the glow of the moon up above and the cap is the same as above. You can buy this perfume in 50 ml for £24.95.

I don't think the prices are bad to be honest, especially with the imagination and time taken to create the scents. They aren't much different to prices you would pay for quality scents in say Boots for example.

Inis - the energy of the sea is my favourite scent of the two, but both are gorgeous! If you aren't sure of the notes, try searching a few within Google to try and get a feel for what kind of smell the scents give off. I mean, you might be better at knowing how a perfume smells by its notes, but I'm not an expert when it comes to describing perfumes, I just like a scent or I don't ha ha.

Is it me or do you guys find it more interesting/intriguing to know that something has a meaning/inspiration behind it?

Fragrances of Ireland allow you to purchase small 2 ml samples of their perfumes at just £1.25. They will also give you a discount for the same amount after you have ordered, which can be redeemed against any future order with them...sounds good to me!

Check out their whole product range here, they also have body lotions and other products in the same scents so you can layer, which we all know makes a scent last longer on you :).

They do ship to a number of places, so check out their shipping rates to see if your location is on there, otherwise contact them and they will tell you your nearest Fragrances of Ireland stockist.

Has anybody ever tried any of their perfumes or other products? If so, I'd love to know what you think!

Thanks for reading!
Gem XxOo
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