September 23rd, 2014

September Fitness Chat

Well well well. Another month (nearly) over. We’ve been noticing a steady change in the weather lately, although we did still have a lot of rain and some storms on the weekend. That was a nice juxtaposition against the lovely 34 degree weather of the day before. Ahh, weather. Why you so crazy? As we head towards summer it’s a LOT easier to fit in a workout in the evenings, mostly due to it not being pitch black at 6pm. I’m looking forward to being back home this week so we can take full advantage of the beautiful weather.

August Goals
I have been using the treadmill, but not as frequently as I’d hoped. However, when I have been running I’ve felt the need to push myself further and try to beat my previous efforts. I really miss that feeling, and I look forward to having that back full-time soon. I have started the Lorna Jane Squat challenge, and am steadily making my way through it. I haven’t given up yet, so that’s a good thing. As for my health, I am pretty much back to feeling 100%, and it’s wonderful. I do need to go back to see my doctor at the end of the month to follow up, but we’re definitely on the right track with diagnosing what was wrong with me. Phew.

Monthly Goals
I decided to try to hit a caloric burn goal for the week, from Sunday through to next Sunday. I’m going to try and burn 1500 calories in a week (just during my specific workout times, not counting regular day-to-day calories burned, obviously), so fingers crossed I can reach my goal! I also want to continue with the Lorna Jane Squat challenge, and start planning for next month’s challenge. I want to stick to a healthy meal plan as best I can (we’re going out for dinner quite a lot lately, and have some big social events coming up), and cut out all unnecessary treats.

Health & Fitness Related Goodies
* I remembered that the easiest way to motivate myself to workout is to watch Beyonce clips on Youtube. Trust me, it works. ** This is m favourite workout song at the moment, It’s silly, but it’s catchy and has a steady beat to run to.

September 21st, 2014

Sunday Survey

When I was looking through old posts on the site earlier in the week (before I transferred it over to private hosting), and I came across a few old posts that I used to frequently write. One of which was a weekly survey. I’ll be bringing these back from time to time, and to celebrate the ‘Sunday Survey’ comeback, my partner Sebastian has agreed to do one as well (read: he is sitting next to me as I type this, and I talked him into it).

– – – – –
JESSICA

01 Mood: Happy. We had a lovely day today, and it’s nice to feel a bit of summer in the air.

02 Best thing about this weekend: It was nice to head home and clean our house from top to bottom in anticipation of us returning there this week. I’m also looking forward to dinner with my family tomorrow night, to celebrate my brother in law’s birthday.

03 Last movie I saw: The Adjustment Bureau – I had seen this when it first came out, but went into it with no memory of what happened. It was pretty good, but then anything with Matt Damon in it is automatically pretty good in my eyes.

04 What I’m watching: We’re making our way through a few shows at the moment. Our most watched are 30 Rock, Fringe, and House of Cards. I love all of them for different reasons. Now that we’re up to season three of 30 Rock, it’s really found it’s stride. Fringe is drawing me in more and more with every episode, and House of Cards is just A+ all the way.

05 Makeup lust: There isn’t too much that I’m lusting after at the moment, although the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette looks pretty interesting. I’ll be checking that out soon for sure.

06 Listening to: John Mayer’s album ‘Born and Raised’. I listen to this whenever I’m driving around at the moment. It has the perfect summertime vibe.

07 Skincare Lust: I have run out of ALL of my Nivea fragrance free facial wipes, and I really need to stock up my stash again soon.

08 Haircare Lust: I still want the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry-Spun Finish.

09 Current obsession: My blog! I’m putting more effort into blogging lately, and I’m really enjoying it. I hope this feeling lasts, because it’s a lot of fun.

10 Aim for this week: Exercise! We have been out of our proper ‘routine’ this month, and it’s thrown us both off a little bit. I’m hoping getting back home on Thursday will help us feel a bit more settled, and in control of our weekly routines.

– – – – –
SEBASTIAN

01 Mood: Weird.

02 Best thing about this weekend: Random lunch.

03 Last movie I saw: The Adjustment Bureau – I thought it was very interesting and was probably a metphor for heaven and angels and all of that junk.

04 What I’m watching: We’re watching a lot. But the last one we watched was Fringe. I am keen to see what Jessica thinks moving forward, as I have already seen it.

05 Computer &/or Car lust: I’m lusting after a new exhaust for my car. Nyeooowwwwww.

06 Listening to: Random kids screaming around the neighbourhood.

07 Skincare Lust: Um…

08 Haircare Lust: Hair that’s not oily.

09 Current obsession: Car speakers.

10 Aim for this week: Don’t die. It’s a good aim.

September 20th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) Lauren Conrad got married last weekend, and I am super excited to see pictures from the big day. We all know that her wedding would have been perfectly styled. So far we’ve seen a snap of her dress, and I can’t wait to see more.

02) I absolutely ADORE the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, so I was very excited to hear the news that an Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is on it’s way! I’ve been meaning to check out their range of blushes, and now I’ll be able to get three-in-one. Perfection.

03) Speaking of beautiful blushes, you ALL need to get your hands on the Tarte Amazonian Blush in the shade ‘Tipsy‘. It is to die for. I can’t say the same for the Power Pigment in the same shade, it’s a very patchy application, and feels quite drying on the lips. I’m really disappointed about that, because I thought the two would make a great pairing for a nice, bright, summery makeup look.

04) Mindy is back! I am SO happy about this show being back on my television, and now I can get back to the important task of stalking Mindy’s wardrobe every week.

05) Speaking of TV, you can see all of the fall release dates (for the US) right here.

06) Paulo Nutini performing ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)‘ on Jimmy Kimmel is just… Wow.

07) I didn’t realise Blake Shelton was so attractive… I love Jimmy Fallon’s lip sync battles, and this latest one is no exception.

08) 21 cats that are better at photobombing than you.

09) This is my favourite song at the moment. It’s from an older John Mayer album, but I feel like it suits this time of year perfectly.

10) If you’ve been dying to try some of the beautiful Tanda candles I mentioned in a blog post a little while ago, now is your chance. The tripe wick candles are reduced to $55 (including the delicious sounding Liptember scent), and from the 26th to the 28th of September there will be specials on tins (2 for $20), small candles (2 for $30), medium candles (2 for $50), and large candles (2 for $50). Only the 29th all orders over $25 will be 25% off using code HAPPY25TH. Enjoy!

September 19th, 2014

Spring/Summer Book Haul

Despite my best intentions to ‘shop my stash‘ and be satisfied with what I found on my own bookshelf instead of succumbing to the lure of the Book Depository… I failed, I hauled, and here we are again. I’m not too mad about it though, as one can never have too many books. Right? Although, I am running out of room in my bookshelf, so it’s probably a good thing that I signed back up to my local library a couple of weeks ago. Free books, and none of the storage issues. Yes. Before doing that, however, I scoured my Goodreads to-read list, and placed an order for these goodies late last month -

The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C Morais
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
The Merciless by Danielle Vega
California by Edan Lepucki
Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro

Do you have any books that you’re planning to read this season? Let me know!

September 18th, 2014

NOTD: Sally Hansen ‘Café Au Lait’

Despite knowing that Sally Hansen is one of the leading nail brands on the market, I’ve onl just started using their products. I was an instant convert, as the nail polish (and the top coat I paired it with) are of an incredibly high quality and I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen from the brand so far. As a pale girl with pink-toned skin, it’s nearly impossible for me to find a nude nail polish that doesn’t make my hands look like they’ve been dead for years. Finding a wearable nude that is balanced somewhere between brown, pink, and grey is very difficult. I knew buying a shade called ‘café au lait’ was a gamble (just how brown would it be? who knows!), but it was one that paid off. Thankfully, the shade isn’t too brown – even on my pink toned skin. The formula of this nail polish is a DREAM. Normally I find that nude toned polishes take a bit of effort to get a non-streaky application but this went on nice and smooth, and two coats gave a perfectly opaque finish. On top of all that, it took an entire week for the first chip in my polish to show up. Winner. I will definitely be picking up more shades from the Sally Hansen range in the future, this one is a little gem. The Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in ‘Café Au Lait’ retails for $14.95 AUD (currently on sale for $11.21), and is available for purchase from Priceline.
September 16th, 2014

Spring/Summer To-Do List

The warm weather has been slowly creeping back over the past few weeks, and with Saturday’s temperature set to hit 30 degrees, I thought it would be a good time to start thinking about the things I want to achieve this summer. When I say the things I want to achieve, I don’t mean goals as such. These are more things that I want to make an effort to do, things I always think would be fun to do over the summer but never seem to get around to doing. So without further ado, here is a list of some of the fun things I want to try and do this summer -

– Buy a BBQ and an outdoor setting for the back yard
– Set up the outdoor area in the back yard
– Go for long drives on warm evenings
– Make iced tea to drink on the weekends
– Create a new cocktail recipe to drink on balmy summer evenings
– Swim as much as possible
– Go for walks along the beach
– Spend a weekend at Rottnest Island
– Go back down south to the family holiday home for a weekend
– Get a professional pedicure
– Perfect 3 new salad recipes
– Re-read ‘ All in the blue unclouded weather’ by Robin Klein
– Go for evening walks before (or after) dinner
– Work on perfecting a heat-free hairstyle for work
– Go to the Royal Show

Are there any traditions you try to do every summer, or any things you’d like to try and cross of a to-do list this year? Also, do you think Ben looks beach-fit in the above picture?

September 13th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) I feel like I am forever on the hunt for pretty desktop backgrounds for the three computers that I frequently use (oh, and my iPad and my iPhone). You’d be surprised at how hard it is to find a nice background, especially considering the endless resources that are available online. I always seem to have trouble finding stuff that I like, especially stuff that is free to download and readily available following a quick google search. During the week I stumbled across Design Love, and bookmarked it immediately.

02) Liv Tyler is apparently pregnant again! How exciting!

03) Taylor Swift’s album is available for pre-order (it’s due out on the 28th of October, I think I’ll wait for the release date), and she’s been all over the news this week because of comments she made during her Rolling Stone interview about a famous enemy she has. We all know it’s Katy Perry, and I kind of love it. She also tweeted a link to this video taken on the day of her Rolling Stone photoshoot. It’s lovely. Fun fact: the photographer from that shoot is Liv Tyler’s ex boyfriend. THE MORE YOU KNOW.

04) We went for a lovely drive in the country today, and had lunch in a little country town called York. It was nice to take some time to get away for the day. I loved seeing the wildflowers along the way, although it’s not technically wildflower season yet.

05) Anna Wintour did the 73 Vogue Questions interview, and it was just as awkward and stiff as I imagined it would be. It’s amazing how easy it is to spot the different between ‘performers’ (actors, etc) doing these interviews, and people who don’t put on a show for a living. I swear I saw Anna’s hand shaking at one point during the interview. Perhaps she is human after all? Also, how much does her office look like the one from The Devil Wears Prada. Ha.

06) Urban Rituelle are having a sale (up to 65% off), but hurry because it’s ending on Sunday! Use code BIRTHDAYSALE when placing your order. Happy shopping!

07) This is a really interesting article.

08) I am tempted to buy Ben a spider costume for Halloween in an attempt to recreate this prank.

09) The 29 realest Tumblr posts about being Australian.

10) This live emoji feed is very interesting. I feel sorry for the lesser-used emojis now.

September 11th, 2014

The 50 Book Challenge (part 7)

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis (6/10) – This book popped up on Goodreads a few months ago and it seemed like something I’d like so I ordered a copy when I placed my Autumn/Winter haul. I ended up enjoying this book a lot more than I thought I would (granted it did seem like the kind of book I’d like, but I’ve been let down so often with YA books lately that I didn’t have high hopes). Knowing that this book is targeted at a Young Adult audience, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the female protagonist was strong, capable, and didn’t annoy me in the slightest. There was also a twist at the end that was atypical of standard young adult stories, so that was an unexpected surprise.

We Were Liars by E Lockhart (5/10) – This book was getting so much hype that I couldn’t resist picking up a copy for myself, and as soon as it arrived it jumped to the top of my to-read pile. This is one of those books that it’s best you go into knowing little to nothing about, so I won’t go into too much detail here. I will say that I enjoyed it a lot and I managed to shoot through it in a couple of days (mostly because I was so eager to figure out what was going on, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end). This would make a good little beach read this summer.

Black River by Dean Koontz (1/10) – I noticed I was 4 books behind in my 50 book challenge so I decided to download a short audio book to listen to and bump my tally a bit. I hadn’t read anything by Dean Koontz before ‘Intensity’ earlier this year (which coincidentally, is one of my favourite books) and this seemed interesting enough so I decided to give it a go. Yes this book was short, so that was good. It was terrible though, so I struggled to get through even the short amount of time it took to listen to it.

In The Blood by Lisa Unger (8/10) – This was another book that I purchased up after seeing it on a friends Goodreads ‘to-read’ list (noticing a trend here?) and it was the last of my autumn/winter haul that I picked up to read. I didn’t guess the surprise element to this story until the very end, which is somewhat rare for me. There were a lot of twists and turns along the way to keep me guessing, which I really enjoyed. This is another easy read that I managed to power through in a few days because I was so eager to reach the conclusion. If you like mystery/thriller books, this is definitely worth checking out.

September 9th, 2014

Product Review: Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

It’s been quite a while since something has come along that is good enough to be welcomed into my daily hair-care routine. The Dove Pure Care Dry Oil has easily been my favourite product over the last few months, and I now use it in place of my all time favourite Kerastase Nectar Thermique (you guys know how much I L-O-V-E nectar thermique, so that should be an indication of how much I like this oil). It’s a medium-weight oil, so I tend to use one pump and distribute it evenly through the ends of my hair before blow drying. It does an amazing job at making my hair soft and shiny, helps reduce the frizz factor (even during the seemingly endless period of rainy days we’re experiencing lately), and smells divine (soft and sweet and slightly powdery). The scent doesn’t transfer to the hair once it’s dry so if you’re not a fan of fragranced products that linger, you’re in the clear. The price is reasonable in my opinion, as this will be a long-lasting product and will end up being great value for money if you use it as sparingly as I do. The Dove Pure Care Dry Oil retails for $19.99 AUD and is available for purchase from Priceline, Coles, Woolworths, and selected pharmacies throughout Australia (note: this product was provided for consideration for review).
September 6th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) We went to see ‘Into The Storm’ last night and it was so good to finally watch a weather-based disaster movie on the big screen again! Although the underlying plot was nowhere near as good as Twister (still one of my favourite movies), the special effects were great and as a whole I enjoyed it quite a lot.

02) Jimmy Fallon & Adam Levine played ‘Wheel of Musical Impressions‘ and it was great

03) A sober nightclub sounds right up my alley, to be honest.

04) Ben says hello.

05) News broke this week that Perth is getting 7-11, which means we’ll have ready access to Krispy Kreme and Slurpees. I don’t care much about Krispy Kremes (they’re nice, but nothing I’d line up for), but I’ve always wanted to participate in free Slurpee day. I guess now I’ll have my chance!

06) These Parks & Recreation Emojis are awesome. I would use the hell out of the Tom Haverford one. #treatyoself #withemojis

07) This woman is courageous and inspiring.

08) So I never actually got around to purchasing tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert later this year, but they price has been reduced to around $80, so I guess that’s a good thing… Now I just need to get off of my butt and organize some tickets.

09) We’re finished with season one and making our way through season two of House of Cards, and the season opener blew my mind. This show is definitely worth watching, if you haven’t already tuned in.

10) We decided to bite the bullet and plan another (very small) little getaway for the end of this year. It’s only for a weekend, but it should be a nice little break. After that there will probably be very few holidays until our trip to the USA at the end of next year. But that will be worth the wait!