July 1st, 2015

July Health & Fitness Chat

Long time no health & fitness chat! Well, it’s been a couple of months now. Which I guess in the grand scheme of how quickly this year this going isn’t really that much time at all. I’ve been making some progress in this department, so here’s how I went with the last set of goals I set in May

– Try and cut back on processed ingredients in our dinners
– Write up a fitness goals list/chart for the next few months
– Look at joining a gym in our local area

– Stretch my hamstrings after every workout
– Eat more fruit
– Try a local pilates class

I’m struggling with the fruit thing because at this stage there isn’t much in-season fruit that I like that doesn’t give me stomach issues. Mandarins are the devils fruit but it’s really all I’ve been able to buy recently that hasn’t cost me an arm and a leg (out of season green grapes, I’m looking at you). So fruit has stopped being a priority for me. I’m still making headway in cutting out a lot of processed foods in our evening meals, so that’s good. It just means making a lot of stuff from scratch (rather than using jar sauces, etc), which usually tastes better anyway. Here are my goals for this month:

– Get a personalised fitness plan with my personal trainer
– Go to the gym 3-4 times a week
– Stick to Tuesday/Saturday “treat” days
– Continue to eat gluten free 90% of the time
– Cut back on coffee intake (this has crept up a bit since I started drinking lactose free milk)

How are you all going with your health & fitness goals for this year so far? Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already? Mental.

June 29th, 2015

50 Book Challenge (part 3)

I am way behind on my 50 Book Challenge for the year. This happens nearly every year, where I hit a bit of a road bump with one particular book and lost my mojo for reading altogether. I’m making a conscious effort to read more as of this week, and can hopefully get my total back up to speed ASAP! I have a week off at the end of July, and my long service leave at the end of the year coming up and I’m planning on getting a lot of reading done then! In the meantime, here’s what I’ve read lately –

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 6/10 – I was after a bit of lightheated fun when I picked this book up, which is exactly what I got. I saw the cover of this book pop up on goodreads a couple of years ago and found it quite intriguing. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we all do it. Let’s admit it. This was a bit of a silly book, but had a good heart at the base of it all. If you’re a fan of reality tv (like me), then you’ll probably get a kick out of this.

The Visitors by Simon Sylvester 7/10 – This was one of those books that I get stuck halfway through and it took me ages to finally pick it up and finish it off. The story had a paranormal twist to it, and I had no idea it was going to go in that direction. To be honest, if I’d known this was a paranormal book I probably wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. One thing I did really like about it was the setting. A cold and blustery Scottish island is exactly where I wanted to be transported to when I was curled up in bed reading this on a winter’s night. I’m glad I made the effort to pick it up and finish it off, because I ended up enjoying it in the end.

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers 4/10 – I added this book to my to-read list back at the height of my zombie obsession, which has apparently fizzled out. This book was alright I guess, nothing too exciting and nothing good enough to push me to read the follow up books in the series. I didn’t feel anything for any of the characters, which makes it difficult to care in a life or death situation. I think this book was written very much knowing it would be the first in a series, because there is a lot of build up and very little pay off.

Seed by Lisa Heathfield 8/10 – I was really excited to read this, because it seemed so different from all other YA books I’d read in the past. The story revolves around a group of people living together in a “community” (read: cult), run by Papa S. When outsiders infiltrate the group, things fall to pieces. This was a quick and easy read, and one that I was happy to pick up and not quick to put down.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver 6/10 – This was one of the books I featured in my ‘5 YA Books I Want To Read’ post, and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I picked the ‘twist’ about halfway through but I won’t say too much about it, as this is a book that’s better off reading without knowing too much about the story.

June 28th, 2015

Thoughts of the week…

01) The most exciting thing to happen to me this week was the creation of my forum! Please head over and sign up if you haven’t already. Start some discussions!

02) The second most exciting thing to happen was that Sebastian and I joined the gym! Although my preference is to work outside in the fresh air, it’s nearly impossible during winter where I already wake up at 5am, and don’t get home until 6:30 at night. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s unpleasant. So we’ll see how the gym works out for us.

03) Another exciting thing to happen this week was the Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of marriage equality in the USA. Congratulations, America. Australia, it’s time to get to work.

04) We finally saw Jurrassic World and it was everything I wanted it to be. So amazing.

05) 30 YA Novels To Add To Your Summer Reading List

06) In this week’s exciting movie news: it looks like The Office movie about David Brent may be going ahead. Also, Independence Day 2 now has a title!

07) Channing Tatum’s Reddit AMA was incredible. The more I hear from him the more I like him.

08) The Dark Places trailer is out!

09) I couldn’t not share this.

10) Iggy Azalea carpool karaoke.

June 26th, 2015

Product Review: Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Lotion + Giveaway

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s skin suffers during winter. It’s easy to cover everything up with stockings and long sleeves, and having an extra couple of minutes in bed is often more appealing than standing in a cold bathroom slathering moisturiser on your body. However, sometimes letting your skin do it’s thing during the cold weather is not a great idea. When my skin gets dry, it gets itchy. And it drives me insane. So I’ve really been making more of an effort to moisturise my body this winter, and the Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Lotion has been a star in my routine. Clinically tested by dermatologists, the Daily Moisture Therapy range includes two creams and a lotion to nourish and repair dry, sensitive skin. This range also includes a gentle, soap free body wash which is designed to cleanse, soften and hydrate. Physiogel spokesperson Montse Pena said: “According to reports, dry, sensitive skin is a prevalent problem for many in Australia, yet there is reluctance amongst dry, skin sufferers to try new products. We believe this stems from a fear of flair up, and a lack of confidence that the products will deliver results. Physiogel is different. Our creams and lotions with Physiogel BioMimic Technology have the science to deliver visibly healthier skin while being hypoallergenic and free from fragrances, preservatives and colours. Physiogel products have already gained vast support overseas as consumers have discovered an immense faith in the skincare range. We’re now really excited to introduce the new Physiogel range to Australian consumers to address this growing need.” I’ve been leaning more and more towards fuss and fragrance free body lotions, and this one fits the bill. This lotion is exactly what I need, something lightweight but extremely moisturising, is fragrance free (and doesn’t have a weird psuedo-fragrance like some do), and sinks into my skin quickly so I can slap it on before putting on stockings in the morning. The 200ml PhysioGel Daily Moisture Therapy Lotion retails for $16.99 AUD and is available for purchase from Priceline (please note: this product was provided for consideration for review).

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve teamed up with Physiogel to offer a few of their products to one lucky reader. So if you’d like to try the Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Lotion along with the Daily Moisture Therapy Cream, Intensive Cream, and Body Wash, simply leave a comment below telling me what you’re most looking forward to this summer. For an additional entry, share the giveaway on your blog or any social media platforms (facebook, twitter, etc) and link to it below. Please be advised this giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Entries close at midnight on Sunday July 26th, and winners will be announced on Monday July 27th. Good luck!

June 24th, 2015

The Belle Lumiere Forum

I’ve always loved a good online forum. I’ve been an “online” kind of gal since I was a teenager, and online forums have been a great source of entertainment and education for me. I’ve had this little voice in the back of my head for years telling me to create my own forum, but after a failed attempt a couple of years ago I kind of gave up on the idea. I couldn’t ignore that little voice anymore, so yesterday I bit the bullet and set up a site forum. I’m hoping to build a little community over there, I feel like forums are such a great way to share information and inspiration with others. If you’d like to be a part of this budding community and get involved in the conversation, be sure to head on over and sign up!
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June 22nd, 2015

5 Things To Buy From Priceline

I’ve written a couple of these posts recently, one for Sephora and one for Adore Beauty. Today I’m going to focus on the top five things I think you should be dropping your coin on at Priceline. These are my most frequently repurchased products, and anytime I receive a Priceline voucher it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll spend it on something from this list –

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer – This has been a staple in my makeup cupboard for a few years now. I know this is a favourite of many people (including a lot of beauty bloggers), so it’s something that’s clearly working for a lot of different people. If you’re only requiring a little bit of coverage and nothing too heavy-duty from your concealer try this.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad To The Bronze – These colour tattoo eyeshadows were something of a cult favourite when they were first released. The best of the bunch was definitely ‘Bad To The Bronze’, and it’s become one of my favourite cream eyeshadows. This looks great on green eyes, so my fellow green eyed gals should definitely pick this up.

Nivea Fragrance Free Face Facial Cleansing Wipes – If you’ve never heard me raving about these face wipes honestly you should probably be thankful because I talk about them A LOT. These are the only face wipes that I use, and I absolutely adore them. They’re a dry wipe, so if you’re after a sopping wet wipe (I hate these so much), this will not be for you. If you’re after something gentle that works, check these out.

Maybelline Master Precise Liner – I’m a bit of a dunce when it comes to applying liquid eyeliner, but this is one of the two liquid eyeliners I’ve ever managed to master (the other is by Stila). The brush tip is nice and small which means you can really get a precise line happening (hence the name I guess).

Rimmel Scandal’Eyes Eyeliner in Nude – I use this on my waterline on days when I need to look more away (read: every day). Wearing a nude liner on your lower waterline can really brighten your eyes and make you seem more alive. It’s a real blessing. This one is cheap and cheerful and does the job well.

I’d love to know what your top 5 products from Priceline are, so be sure to share them with me and everyone else in the comments below!

June 21st, 2015

Thoughts of the week…

01) For a few months now I’ve been feeling sick everytime I have a glass of wine. So I stopped drinking it. Then Sebastian suggested I try preservative removing drops to see if they work for me, and it seems like they do. I can drink red wine again! Happy days.

02) I’m obsessed with Major Lazer at the moment. Great motivating work/workout music.

03) Someone Photoshopped giant cats into Jurassic Park.

04) So…. That Game Of Thrones finale, eh?

05) 90,000 American UFO Sightings Since 1905, mapped.

06) Ed Sheeran heard a girl singing one of his songs at a shopping centre, so he joined her on stage.

07) I’ve become addicted to the Kim Kardashian game again. This Kardashian obsession must stop!

08) This father spent $100,000 retreating Jurassic Park totally out of Lego.

09) I usually hate radio shows but I’ve been listening to the ‘Kate, Tim, and Marty‘ podcast a lot lately. They are hilarious. Because of the hours I work I rarely get a chance to listen to their show in full, so having the podcasts available makes it easy for me to catch up on days I miss.

10) Chris Pratt runs in heels.

June 19th, 2015

June Wellness Chat

I’m noticing more and more that when I let too much time pass between the moments I spend relaxing and centering my mind, I start to feel really run down and stressed. It’s good to know that mindfullness practices work, and I’m 100% sure spending time on personal wellness will pay off in the long run. Now, if only there were more hours in the day! Here’s how I went with my wellness goals for May

– Spend time on Tuesday and Thursday evenings doing things for me
– Meditate once a week

– Spend some time on Sunday evenings in ‘wind down’ mode
– Practice daily affirmations
– Work on a vision board

Not too bad. I have a week booked off of work next month that I am REALLY looking forward to. I feel really mentally and physically ready for a holiday, even though we’re not planning on going away anywhere (except maybe somewhere down south for Sebastian’s birthday). In the meantime, I’ll be trying to work more mindfullness into my daily routine. Here are my goals for June –

– Make more of an effort to read a bit of my book every night before going to sleep
– Spend more time on “pampering” in my nighttime routine
– Work on a vision board
– Make exercise a priority (for mental wellness)
– Write a stress management plan for the things that I know can be sources of anxiety for me

What are your wellness goals for the month?

June 17th, 2015

Product Review: Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electronic Foot File

I will go ahead and preface this review with the fact that feet are just one of those things that give me the heebie jeebies. I don’t know why, but they gross me out. If you’ve ever posted a picture of your feet on Instagram and have not had a million other redeeming qualities I’ve probably unfollowed you. Sorry. No I’m not sorry, feet are disgusting please stop sharing images of them on social media. Anyway, on with the review. Winter is the hardest time for my feet, mostly because I hide them away in socks and stockings and easily forget about them. They say summer bodies are made in winter, and I think the same can be said about “summer feet”. My goal this year is to take as good care of my feet during the cold weather months as I can, so I’m happy to put them in a pair of sandals when the blistering heat of summer rolls around. This was an interesting device to use, sort of like a belt sander for your feet. But damn, it works. My feet felt silky smooth afterwards, and I will be using this little beauty time and time again whenever my feet require a little TLC. To use you simply switch it on (it comes with batteries included), and run it over the areas of your feet that need a bit of work. Don’t hold it in one area for too long though, as it can become quite sensitive. To clean you simply remove the roller head, wash it under water and leave it to dry. Easy! The Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electronic Foot File retails for $49.99 AUD (currently on sale for $39.99) and is available from Priceline (please note: product was sent for consideration for review).
June 15th, 2015

May Recap

May is always a bit of a nothing month for me, but it was still an enjoyable time. I love the weather at this time of the year, and I’m trying to embrace the cold as much as possible. Here’s what we got up to during the month.

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We went to BamBamBoo a few times throughout the month, but to be honest we’re both feeling a bit over dumplings. I’m sure that craving will return in full force in a month or so. I’ve fully embraced the Snapchat world. Add me, if you’re on there (my username is jessieleehurt).

I love Saturday morning planning sessions. I always write out a list of things I want to do over the weekend and cross them off as I go. We started working out together around 4-5 times a week, which has been great for both of us. Having us both do it ensures we find the time to do it, rather than making an excuse to skip it. I’ve always found having a workout buddy really beneficial, and although it’s been suggested to me that having a partner be that buddy is not a good idea, it works for us.

I bought a blender! Smoothies galore. I absolutely could NOT get into this book. I’ve had to set it aside for a while (which I hate doing), but hope to pick it up again and finish it before the year is out. I am doing so badly on my 50 Book Challenge, guys. So badly.

This gluten free blueberry jam is delicious. I bought it from iHerb. We went BOWLING! It was a lot of fun, and I had to take a picture of the scoreboard for prosperity.

I posted a review of this product last week, and it’s been a huge game changer for me. I’m so glad to have it in my beauty cupboard. I tried winged eyeliner for the first time in about a year, and it was not a fail. Good times.

Sebastian had leg surgery during the month, and while he was starving to death (having fasted since 8am) and waiting to be taken into the operating room, I was feasting on gluten free burgers at Typika with my parents. #girlfriendoftheyear We celebrated one of my best friend’s hens nights during the month, and I ate this delicious chicken dish as part of the celebrations. Yum.

I smashed a Stila palette, and I’m still not over it. Two of the great loves of my life.

We’re currently living through a choc chip cookie obsession. It’s a dire situation, and we may need some kind of intervention. Benny Boy!

I tried this vanilla flavoured Canadian Ginger Ale during the month, and to be honest it tasted a LOT like medicine. I couldn’t even finish the can, so Sebastian did (he liked it). I’ve been buying some new workout gear lately in an attempt to get me in the mood to workout (it helps, trust me). Target had some really cute tanks for sale at a really reasonable price, so I picked this one up.

I needed to re-order some of my Paula’s Choice staples, but I also picked up the Retinol Serum that I’m already in love with. Isn’t it funny how different brands have different ideas of what “ivory” is?

Kmart have been killing it lately. This super cute work blouse was only $12! Madness. A new restaurant opened up near my work last month, and we decided to have lunch there one Monday. This Popcorn Brittle SemiFreddo was possibly the best dessert I’ve ever had. Amazing.