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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

Snippets of inspiration from around the web

\\  DIY rootless succulents sound so cool!  //
\\  How elegant does this Ikebana floral arrangement look?  //
\\  This crepe paper flower garland looks amazing!  //
\\ A DIY tassel cable portable charger! Funky and functional! How clever!  //
\\  These DIY faux stoneware salt and pepper cellars would make cute housewarming gifts.  //
\\  Lucky Charms cereal and milk cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day anyone?  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

February 2018 Beauty Favourites

My favourite make-up and beauty products in February

One: Tacha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder
My skin is so very temperamental that cleansers are a difficult one for me but I took the (expensive) plunge and treated myself to Tacha's offering after reading multiple rave reviews. It's a water-activated powder, so it has a little bit of grit to it, which acts as a gentle exfoliant, but it's not rough or chunky at all.. it's more of a smooth grit? It's hard to explain but it's a pleasant experience for sure. I have quite sensitive skin at times but this is so gentle (they actually have a gentle offering, too). I've never had a problem with it aggravating my skin. It just leaves my face feeling super clean and smooth. 

Two: Benefit The POREfessional Pearl Illuminating Face Primer*
I'm sure you've all heard of Benefit's newest addition to The POREfessional line*: POREfessional Pearl, by now. As a lover of the original formula*, I knew I had to give the pearl version a go, too! The texture and formulation is exactly the same as the original as far as I can tell, meaning you still get the smoothing and pore-filling properties with Pearl. The new (and exciting) thing about the Pearl offering is its finish. It offers a much more radiant, glowy finish than the mattifying, almost dulling original and has a light pink tinge to it, which is far more brightening than the original nude. If you ask me, Pearl Primer is perfect for drier skin types as it fills and blurs but doesn't leave you looking overly matte and flat. My dry skinned self reached for Pearl (in conjunction with Primerizer - read below) over the original formula over all Summer long for a healthy-looking glow but this would be amazing for colder months to help combat dull-looking skin!

Three: Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil*
The formulation of the Gold offering is the same as the original Chocolate Soleil* (with it's chocolate scent and all), which happens to my favourite bronzer ever, except this one has gold pigments scattered throughout. The product photos online scared me a little at first with how glittery they looked, but the actual product isn't scary at all - when applied, the shimmer is perfectly subtle, not chunky or glittery in the slightest. I've really been enjoying using this over Summer. I feel as though some matte bronzers can give a flat-looking finish, but this bronzer's golden shimmer catches in the light just right, giving the face dimension and a gorgeous glow.

Four: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel Pads
I got a sample pack of these two-step chemical exfoliating pads in my most recent Beauty Loop Box and I instantly fell in love! I immediately went online to purchase the full-sized offering and nearly died when I saw the cost. I probably wouldn't have even thought about buying these had I not tried them out first (the price really does hurt my soul) but I do feel as though it's worth the spend for how amazing my skin felt after using these. Honestly, my skin felt SO soft, which really surprised me because chemical peels tend to dry out and irritate my skin more than anything but these were not harsh on my skin type at all. Of course, they did leave my skin feeling a little dry (my skin is insanely dry, I expected much worse) but once I slathered on some moisturiser, I had the softest, smoothest skin and when used at night, my face felt even better the next morning!

Five: Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer
Two primers in one favourites? Dang, girl.
I'm a bit late to the party with this one but I finally picked up Primerizer over my Christmas break and I've been using it ever since! This is such a good primer for dry skin! The product is quite watery, not thick like most other primers, which means that it feels so very light and is wonderfully hydrating but because it is so liquid-y, it doesn't offer a lot in the pore-filling or line smoothing departments. It is literally just a hydrating, slightly tacky base that leaves my skin feeling smooth and ready for foundation. I actually use it in conjunction with The POREfessional (above) to meet my blurring and filling needs. I slather a pump or two of Primerizer all over my face and then I'll pat a little POREfessional on areas that need a little pore-filling action - mainly the tops of my cheeks, beside my nose. The instructions say that you can use Primerizer in place of a moisturiser but I like to also use a moisturiser as I have very dry skin. Normal skin types could definitely get away with skipping the moisturiser, however.

What products have you been loving lately?

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that none of the items mentioned have been sent to me, endorsed or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I. This post does, however, contain affiliate links. I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.

Feel free to find and purchase these products elsewhere if you don't get down like that. :)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

My weekly snippet of inspiration from around the web

\\  Matcha hot chocolate - perfect for St. Patrick's Day!  //
\\  This DIY gold glitter star shoe detail is a fun little fashion craft.  //
\\  Gooey creme egg brownies for Easter anyone?  //
How flippin' cute are these Easter Bunny doughnuts?!  //
\\  I love the idea of these DIY mini gradient egg cup planters for succulents.  //
\\  I'm going to spread birthday cake cookie butter over ALL THE FOODS.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

February Look Back and March Goals

How I went with my February Goals and what I want to achieve in March

How I did with my February goals
Lose 2kg
"Following on from wanting to get back in to a gym routine, I'd definitely like to see some results. I think that I've eased myself back in to a workout routine fairly well. There's still a fair bit of room for improvement, of course, but I think that if I put my mind to it and get myself to the gym 3-4 times a week and watch my diet, losing a couple of kilos is definitely feasible."

Tick: Okay, I lost 1.8kg, but I'm pretty sure that this still counts as a win. This is the first time that I've lost weight when I set out to and I'm just a bit proud of myself right now. 

Go to the beach
"If you didn't already know that Summer is my favourite season, then.. Summer is my favourite season. As February is the last month of Summer (If you didn't know that I'm Australian, then.. I'm Australian. Our Summer is (likely) your Winter) and I'm already devastated that it's coming to an end. I'm even more devastated at the fact that I haven't been to the beach once this Summer. Shameful. I'd definitely like to get my butt to the beach as much as I can to farewell Summer."

Cross: Womp womp. I did think about heading out to the beach, but it was unbearably hot for most of February - not the best beach weather.

Book holiday experiences
"Flights and accommodation: check. Now it's time to book our Whitsunday Island experiences. Helicopter tours, snorkelling, hiking, sailing, you name it, I want to do it! Seeing as we'll be going in September, which is busy season, I'd like to get booking before things fill up too much and we miss out."

Cross: There was no excuse for this one other than "I just didn't get around to it". Oops.

Wall art
"Another my resolutions for this year was to make our new(ish) house feel more like home and we have a lot of blank wall space that needs filling. I've found a couple of pretty pieces of art that I'd like to hang and there are always personal photographs laying around that need to be framed and displayed."

Cross: Yet another incomplete goal This whole month was pretty much one big fail. Oops.

Goals for March
Get back to the gym
I was so slack when it came to getting to the gym last month; I was honestly surprised to see a weight loss (it must be all the extra walking I'm doing with Milla). I'd definitely like to try and get to the gym at least 3 times each week this month. I've done it before, I can do it again.

Book holiday experiences
Third time lucky - I better get on to this soon because I downloaded a countdown app and holy moly there's just over 5 months until we leave!

Find a dog house for Milla
Ummmmmmmmmm so yeah, hi. I have a dog now (!!!!).
She has a bed under our patio, of course, but with the approaching Autumn weather, I'd like to give her a cozy spot to lay out of the wind and rain. It'll be nice on hotter days too, providing some shade, which we don't have much of in our yard.

I got a new Samoyed puppy

Spending ban
It seems a little redundant to have a spending ban directly under a bunch of goals that require money, but I have been extremely naughty when it comes to unnecessary personal shopping over the past few months. With the holiday experiences basically paid for and money set aside for a dog house, I don't want to buy a single non-essential item this month and nurse my poor bank account back to health.

What are you hoping to achieve this month?

See also:


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  These simple DIY sequin skirts are all kinds of cute.  //
\\  How fancy do homemade rosè champagne gummies sound?  //
\\  I don't mean to alarm you, but spiced Guinness pretzels with Irish cheddar fondue! Yum!  //
\\  There's so much goodness packed in to these DIY exfoliating soap bars.  //
\\  I get a kick out of this mug every single time.  //
\\  I want all of the baked puff pastry wrapped brie with fig jam.  //

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Autumn Inspiration Board

At the start of every new season, I like to create a sort of mood board - A little something to get me excited for the months ahead. I think that my Autumn (Fall?) instalment may just be my most important one of all. Something to pull me out of my end-of-Summer funk and remind me that although my favourite season has been and gone, beautiful things still lay ahead of me.

Here is a little snippet of what's inspiring me this Autumn:

Autumn Inspiration Board

What's inspiring you this new season?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Finds

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

Weekly snippets of inspiration from around the web

\\  GUYS! A Cabernet latte! Yes! A red friggin' wine latte!  //
\\  I'm obsessing over these cactus macarons.  //
\\  I like the idea of this DIY essential oils wool ball car diffuser. Very cool.  //
\\  How much fun are all of these DIY sock makeovers?  //
\\  How delicious do chocolate covered strawberry jelly shots sound?!  //
\\  These simple gold leaf crowns are killing me right now.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Beauty Products That I Want to Try in 2018

Does new make-up make anyone else insanely happy, or is it just me?Honestly, there is no better way to perk me up, or pull me out of a funk than treating myself to some new beauty bits. My bank account (and boyfriend) don't usually approve, but I'm all about that #treatyoself life.

Make-up and beauty are getting to be expensive passions of mine, what with all of these banging product launches that brands are coming out with these days and all; I feel as though my make-up wish list is never ending. I guess it comes with the territory of being a beauty junkie.

I'm narrowing the plethora of products out there that I want to try down to a handful of the main items that I've been dying to get my hands on for a while now.
So, here are a few of the items that I'm lusting over in 2018:

Makeup and beauty products that I want to get my hands on in 2018

I can already foresee how this post is going to go, so let's make it a little more interesting. Every time I say something about a products' availability in Australia, do a shot of Vodka.

P.S. I've linked stores that offer the best shipping to Australia. These links are not likely to be ideal for 98% of my readership - sorry.

Keihl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
I feel that every beauty blogger and their dog has tried the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Every beauty blogger except me, that is. I love me a good overnight treatment and I have loved everything that I've heard about this one - It especially appeals to me as a dry skinned gal.

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder
Powders don't often work well for me due to my dry skin but I've heard that this offering is great for drier skin types as it contains rose wax and almond oil (!!!) for a more hydrating, creamier texture. A powder that doesn't dry you out and leaves you with an almost dewy looking finish is VERY appealing to me. I've always wanted to try some of Charlotte Tilbury's stuff (ohai, no Australian stockists) and I think that this is the perfect place to start.

This is something that you actually can purchase at Sephora Australia, or at least, you could. It always seems to be sold out.. or they just plain don't stock it anymore as I've never seen it restocked. I've wanted to be the owner of a Marc Jacobs something for so long now, and this bronzer really calls my name! The colour is lovely and the undertone looks amazing. The huge pan just sells it to me even more.

This was first brought to my attention by Nikkie. It's so unnecessary and extra, but that's what I love about it (and her, let's be real). I'm not a huge gloss girl, but this golden metallic shimmer would look amazing over a nude lip!

SO many people have been raving about this stuff! AND I can get it from the UK, too (much better shipping rates)! It's is a bit extra for a face mask, but I really like the idea of a "treat yourself" mask that'll hydrate the skin and leave it looking glowy and soft and from what I've heard, that this is just that. I love me a good watermelon scent, too.

Jackie Aina was the person who first brought this powder to my attention - she raves about it in almost every video but I never bothered to have a look for myself. Turns out I can get it in Australia! I'll have to put it in my next order. Hopefully it works well on drier skin types!

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream
At this point in time, it's impossible to get Fresh in Australia without going through a parallel import site, which I plain don't trust. I've heard rumours that Fresh is coming to Sephora Australia, though, so that's a plus. A good skincare product is always going to be high on my "to buy" list and I absolutely love rose on my skin. Everything that I've heard about this moisturiser, I've liked.

Are there any beauty products or new releases that you'd like to try this year?
Let me know if you've tried anything on my wish list! How did it work for you?

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that none of the items mentioned have been sent to me, endorsed or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I. This post does, however, contain affiliate links. I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.
Feel free to find and purchase these products elsewhere if you don't get down like that. :)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Recent Reads Vol.4

I think that most of you know by now that I am a major book worm.
At this point in time, I'm just about getting through a book every second week, so I'm always looking to add to my forever growing reading list. Here are my feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of perhaps inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves, too:

A Review of the Books I've Read Recently

This was such a good book! Definitely my favourite from this pile - I enjoyed it from start to finish. A sort of coming-of-age book, where it's not just the kids who are growing up, but the adults too. Following two families (who also happen to be very close college friends) each with their own set of troubles, there's a good mix of drama, intrigue and passion that kept me entertained the whole time. A couple of parts were a little predictable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this whole dang book. The perfect Summer read.

"Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.
Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed."

(also known as Sophie Kinsella)
The fact that this is about a Summer holiday to a gorgeous villa in a beautiful Spanish setting, which is described beautifully, makes this a great Summer read. I'm such a fan of Kinsella's writing style (she's been featured in Recent Reads before, and will be many more times to come). She's able to paint her characters in such a way that you instantly relate, sympathise or hate them.. basically, however she wants you to feel about a certain character, you'll feel it. Two families who are (almost) strangers that come from different lifestyles being unexpectedly forced to live together (and re-live some old memories) made for some behind-closed-doors drama which is what kept my scandal-loving self entertained. There was a little twist at the end that I didn't see coming, too.. Gerard's plan wasn't for the reason that it had seemed.

"Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses and her partner Philip has trouble at work. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.

Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in the granite for the new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it all, he barely has time for his family. But his old school friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.
Both families arrive at the villa and get a shock: Gerard has double-booked. An uneasy week of sharing begins, and tensions soon mount in the soaring heat. But there's also a secret history between the families -- and as tempers fray, an old passion begins to resurface.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Although I wasn't overly excited about If I Stay (reviewed in Recent Reads Vol.2), I ended up picking up  the sequel, Where She Went, which more or less follows Adam, whom we discover is no longer in a relationship with Mia years after her tragedy. As a whole, it was nice to see what became of the girl who lost everything, and heartwarming to learn that she fought to get back what she could. I did like reading about what Adam had been up to as well, but his character just ended up annoying me. He's so completely different to the warm, loving boyfriend in If I Stay. But I guess that goes to show how much heartbreak and anger can change a person. Following up on what the characters achieved in the year after gives the reader a sort of closure. I didn't think it was the best thing I'd ever read, but I'm glad that I did (at least this one has chapter breaks).

"Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite - with wholly satisfying results."

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
Although the premise of this book isn't exactly original, I did still enjoy it. A family of four women, each going through her own struggle, spend a few weeks together and end up fighting/bonding as each works out her own set of issues. All of the characters did end up annoying me at one stage or another through reading, however. They're all grown women who act far too childish. To me, it honestly felt like a soap opera that just so happened to be set on an Island.. Everyone has money, everyone is either unhappy in love or is falling instantly in love, and everyone has money. Stock standard. I did enjoy how well relationships within a family unit come across: strained mother/daughter relationships, sibling rivalry and jealousy.. everyone's emotions were mixed in such a realistic way. The story did have some drama and a small plot twist or two so I did have a good time reading it 0 another one that's great for Summer.

"Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement.

It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles. But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known."

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Oh look, another Sophie Kinsella book!
I don't discriminate against books that fit in to the "Young Adult" category. In fact, almost all of my favourite books are classified as such, but this one may have been a little too Y.A. for me (am I getting old?!). I did enjoy it, don't get be wrong, but I just feel as though it was a little "young" for me. If I'm honest, I almost didn't buy this book because I was worried that it would be a bunch of "love cures mental illness" bullshit but that's not the way that it ended up panning out. Although Linus does help Audrey through some things, it is ultimately Audrey herself who progresses one step (forwards and backwards) at a time. Although this story covers some pretty serious topics relating to mental health, I felt as though it was handled wonderfully. It still managed to be funny, at times, and sweet. Heartwarming, too. But also honest and real. I enjoyed the dynamic of Audrey's crazy family too - it was a nicely balanced read between hard realism and light-heartedness.

"Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house. Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable."

Books I've Read Recently. Book Reviews.

Is there anything on this list that you would like to read?
What has been your favourite read recently? I'd love some recommendations!

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that it does not contain any affiliate links, nor have the books mentioned been sent to me, endorsed, or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.