December 16th, 2014

Spring/Summer To-Do List – Checking In

A couple of months ago, I wrote up a grand list of things that I wanted to try and do over the Spring/Summer period. I thought it might be a good idea to check in halfway through, not only to see what I’ve managed to achieve so far, but to remind myself of all of the things that I set out to do. Looking back at this list, I can already see a few that I’d completely forgotten about. This is why lists are awesome, people. Team lists! Here’s how I’ve done so far:

– 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 (I think I’ve done this once or twice, not nearly enough)
– Create a new cocktail recipe to drink on balmy summer evenings (I made some musk-infused vodka a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve yet to do much experimentation with what we can mix it with)
– Swim as much as possible (total swims so far: 0)
– Go for walks along the beach (total beach walks so far: 1)
{DONE} Spend a weekend at Rottnest Island
{DONE} Go back down south to the family holiday home for the 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
{DONE} Go to the Royal Show

As you can see, I’m not doing too well. Thankfully, the season is FAR from over. In fact, we haven’t even reached the peak of summer here in Perth. I think we’ve had maybe two 30+ degree days this month, which is absolutely crazy. Not that I’m complaining. I’d take an average of 26 degrees over an average of 36 degrees any day!

December 15th, 2014

December Giveaway #3 – Paula’s Choice

I bet you didn’t think I’d jump straight back into a giveaway this week, did you? Well here we are! And this is an exciting one. If you’ve been a reader of The Belle Lumiere for a while, you’d know that Paula’s Choice is my favourite skin care brand, and their Hydralight range is what I use on a daily basis. I’ve teamed up with Paula’s Choice to offer one reader the chance to win the a pack of products from the Hydralight range. This includes the Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser, Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner, Moisture-Infusing Lotion, and 2 of the Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotions. To win, simply tell me which item out of the Hydralight range you’re most excited to try. For an additional entry, please feel free to share the giveaway on social media – just be sure to post the link in the comments so I can see your post! Please note that this giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Entries close on January 13th 2014 and a winner will be drawn on January 14th 2015. Good luck!
December 13th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) I don’t know about you guys, but I go through phases when it comes to the stuff I watch on YouTube. I’m currently obsessed with Ingrid, and have been churning through her Vlogmas videos like crazy lately.

02) This is an absolutely beautiful rendition of Jewel’s song ‘You Were Meant For Me’. I could listen to this woman sing all bloody day. What a voice.

03) Obama on the Colbert Report was wonderful. Additionally, Colbert makes a mean Legolas.

04) The shopping centre near my house was recently renovated and they added a brand new wing full of new stores – including Mecca Maxima. I was most excited about this news, and took the opportunity last weekend to pop in and spend some of my birthday money. It doesn’t count for Project 50 Pan if it’s other people’s money or a gift, right? Right.

05) Gemma keeps the good links coming with this brilliant collection of animals ruining Christmas.

06) The Ragtime Gals (feat. Steve Carrell) sing Sexual Healing

07) Another powerful piece by Lena Dunham. This woman is a true inspiration.

08) Homeland season four is our current TV addiction. It’s taken a big turn from season three, and I’m loving what I’ve seen so far.

09) Taylor Swift had her birthday party this week, and it seemed like maybe the best birthday party ever. of course. Even Beyonce was there, dammit.

10) This stupid goat vine made my week. I don’t know why I find this so funny, but I just can’t stop laughing at it.

December 11th, 2014

December Giveaway #2 – Clear

It’s time for the second December giveaway! Who’s excited? I know I am. One of my favourite hair care discoveries in 2014 was the Hair Therapy Intense Hydration range from Clear, and what better way to celebrate this new discovery than to share it with you? This week I’m teaming up with Clear to give you the chance to win one of five Clear Hair Therapy Intense Hydration shampoo and conditioner packs. All you need to do to enter is simply leave a comment below telling me what your favourite hair care discovery of 2014 was. For an additional entry, feel free to share the giveaway on social media (just be sure to link me to your post once you’re done). Please note that this giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Entries close at midnight on January 7 2014, and the winners will be announced on January 8, 2015. (PS: if you haven’t already entered our Natural Supply Co. giveaway, you can do so here) Good luck!
December 10th, 2014

The 50

Natalie from The Mustard Jumper did this tag a little while ago and I thought it seemed like fun, so I decided to do it myself! Here we go, 50 questions about ME -

1. What are you wearing?
A black pencil skirt from GAP, a blue patterned blouse from Target, a navy cardigan from GAP and black leather ballet flats from Country Road.

2. Have you ever been in love?

3. Have you even gone through a horrible breakup?

4. How tall are you?

5. How much do you weigh?
Really? lol.

6. Do you have tattoos?
No. I’ve never come across an image that I’ve loved enough to want it permanently marked on my body. Never say never though.

7. Do you have piercings?
Just my ears.

8. What is the ideal couple to you?
I feel like this quote by Mindy Kaling sums it up – “I don’t want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun.” Being friends before anything else, and LIKING someone as much as you love them is very important – at least in my eyes.

9. Your favourite TV show?
Currently, I’d have to say either Homeland or The Mindy Project. They’re the ones I’m most excited to tune in for every week. Of all-time, I’d say either The West Wing, The Office (US), The X Files, or Parks and Recreation.

10. Your favourite band?
This seems like such an old-school question, and it’s not one that I can pick just one answer for anymore. I have a lot of favourite artists that suit my different moods. I’d say my top five musical artists would be The Civil Wars, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Laura Marling, and Kings of Leon.

11. Something you’re missing?
Junk food. Sebastian and I have embarked on something of a “clean eating” meal plan, although I’m not throwing it around social media to annoy people. It’s probably closer to an 80/20 diet for us, with the 80 now being the healthy food (a couple of weeks ago it would have been the other way around).

12. Your favourite song?
All Too Well by Taylor Swift

13. How old are you?
30. Which is now surprisingly less terrifying than 31. Is that how age works?

14. What’s your astrological sign?
Scorpio. Through and through.

15. An essential quality for a boyfriend?
Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Oh, and someone with a soft spot for animals always goes up an extra notch in my book.

16. Favourite Quote?
“The things that are meant for you don’t pass you by.”

17. Favourite Actor?
Probably Tom Hanks. Who doesn’t love Tom Hanks?

18. Favourite Colour?

19. Do you listen to music at a low or high volume?
High. I can’t stand having things on low volume – probably because my hearing isn’t great. I spent most of my “youth” at gigs with friends and I think the effects of that are starting to show.

20. Where do you go when you are sad?
Bed. Or the couch to tune out.

21. How long do you stay in the shower?
It used to be FAR longer, but now I’d say 10 minutes or so.

22. How long does it take to get ready in the morning?
In total, from waking up to getting out of the door in the morning it’s about an hour and a half. If it’s just showering, doing my hair and makeup, and getting dressed, then I’d say about 30-40 minutes. I shower every day, so that cuts into my time a little bit.

23. Did you ever get in a fight?
Physically? No.

24. Something that seduces you in a man?
Tall, broad shouldered, dark hair, with a bit of stubble – all works for me.

25. The most repelling thing in a man?
Someone who is selfish. Or stupid.

26. Why do you have a blog?
Because it’s fun, and I love the community element of it.

27. What are you afraid of?
Flying, falling from a great height, elevators. Most things that could result in me dropping/falling to my death. I’m guessing that’s how I went out in my last life.

28. The last thing that made you cry?
Today at lunch I watched the video of Watson hitting his 63 and the crowd’s reaction made me shed a little tear.

29. The last time you said “I love you”?
This afternoon before I hung up the phone after speaking to Sebastian. He likes to sneak one in at the end.

30. What does your blog name mean?
Beautiful Light. It sounds pretty, and I’ve always loved the way the two words look together.

31. The latest book you read?
The last book I finished was Tampa by Alissa Nutting.

32. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading ‘The Vacationers’ by Emma Straub I’m only a little way in but am liking it so far.

33. The latest TV series you watched?
At the moment we’re switching between a few TV shows. I’m watching 30 Rock, American Horror Story, Homeland, The Newsroom, The Mindy Project, New Girl, and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

34. The last person you talked to?
My boyfriend.

35. Who did you last text with?
My sister, who was asking me to babysit for her on Thursday night.

36. Your favourite food?
Hot chips with chicken salt. And I love the batter on deep fried fish and chips. I like to eat the fish from the inside and save the batter until last, because I am a despicable human being I guess.

37. Places you want to visit?
Scotland and Canada are high up on my list at the moment.

38. The last place you visited?

39. Are you currently sweet on someone?
Actually, I’m having a bad day so I’m currently sour on EVERYONE.

40. The last person you kissed?
My boyfriend.

41. The last insult you were told?
Hmm, this is a tough one. I can’t remember the last time someone insulted me… Or hearing someone insult someone else actually. Sorry!

42. Your favourite candy flavour?
Purple, or pink. They’re flavours, right?

43. Do you play an instrument?
Not for a very long time.

44. Your favourite piece of jewellery?
I have a cheap costume jewelery necklace that I bought from Lovisa (I think?) a year or so ago, and I wear it nearly every time I go out somewhere special. You’ve probably seen it pop up in a few of my Instagram selfies in the past. It’s really good quality and I dread the day that it breaks.

45. The last sport session you practiced?
“Sport Session”. lol. The last workout I did was a little HIIT routine in the backyard a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been on a ‘clean eating’ meal plan for the last week or so which means my caloric intake is WAY down, and my energy levels aren’t up to working out.

46. The latest song you sang?
Baby It’s Cold Outside

47. Your favourite catch phrase?
“HOO HOO HOO” – nobody will understand this except Sebastian.

48. Have you ever used it?
Err day.

49. Your last evening out?
On Saturday night we went to a dear friend’s 30th birthday party at a pub in Fremantle. Neither of us are particularly social people, so being mostly sober in a crowd full of drunk and loud people is something we only really do when we’re invited somewhere. Still, it was wonderful to see all of my friends (as it always is).

50. Who are you tagging?
ALL OF YOU, because I’m lazy.

December 9th, 2014

November Favourites

It’s favourites time! I feel like I’m forever using the same products over and over again, and yet I always manage to find something new to mention as a favourite when the time to write up this post rolls around. I guess I have more beauty products than I thought? No surprise there I guess. I’ve rediscovered some old favourites in this month’s stash. Here we go…

Chloe EDP – This is one of my favourite summertime scents. For some reason it reminds me of bubble bath, I do not know why. In any case, it’s fresh and ‘clean’ smelling, which is exactly what I tend to reach for when the weather is HOT and I feel disgusting. Although this is a long-lasting scent (on my skin anyway), having the rollerball of this is so handy because I can chuck it into my handbag for days where I know I’ll need to touch up.

Kerastase Bain Crystal Shampoo – I’d say Kerastase is my #1 haircare brand, so when I discovered this in my stash (after having completely forgotten that I’d bought it), I was most pleased. This is a really wonderful shampoo, and I’d highly recommend it to any of long-haired girls out there.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose – This has been floating around in my handbag all month, which means I’ve gotten more use out of it than any other lip product in my stash. That isn’t the only reason I’m mentioning it in my favourites though, this is one of my absolute favourites – an easy go-to lip that I can wear every day. Love it.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – I haven’t used Dermalogica products on my skin in quite a while, but I had the sudden urge to buy this before I embarked on my Project 50 Pan. Do I regret that decision? Obviously not. I’ve really missed this product, as it turns out, and I still love it just as much as I did a few years ago when I used it religiously on my face. Happy to have you back, Microfoliant.

December 8th, 2014

December Goals

I often feel that as the year draws to a close time seems to speed up a LOT, and this year has been no exception. This is going to be a crazy month for me at work, so everything else in my life seems to have fallen by the wayside. Not only do I not have much free time during the day in the office, but by the time I get home at night I am pretty much exhausted. Such is life, I guess? Oh well, December is an exciting month for me, what with it being Christmas and all. So being a little busier than usual won’t take too much shine off of the month. Let’s check in and see how I did with my goals for November -

– sort out/upgrade my health insurance coverage
– get rid of some of the cat stuff that pepsi never uses
– clear out the boxes near the kitchen
- sort out/renew my building insurance
– have the front verge landscaped
- finalise christmas plans
- put up the christmas tree

Hmm, well I got one necessity done AND the two fun things that were on the list (of course). I’ve handballed my landscaping issue onto my dad, because a) it was getting a bit complicated, and b) I just don’t have time to deal with it at the moment. He’s retired and I think he enjoys having little projects to work on. So he’s looking into that for me at the moment. Hopefully we’ll get that out of the way as we head into 2015. Still no health insurance upgrade. lol. Time for some December goals -

– sort out/upgrade my health insurance coverage
– get rid of some of the cat stuff that pepsi never uses
– clear out the boxes near the kitchen
– have the front verge landscaped
– fill out the council form to have a tree planted on our verge in april 2015
– do ALL of the christmas shopping
– plan new years eve

What are your goals for December?

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December 7th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) I’ve been so busy at work this week that I’ve missed out on all of the exciting things happening on the internet. If there is anything you think I might want to see, please let me know in the comments below!

02) If you haven’t watched the Star Wars trailer, please click here immediately.

03) I love this – Diverse holiday feasts from five New York families.

04) Pepsi loves the Christmas tree… Sigh.

05) So there is a documentary on dogs riding in motorcycle sidecars. I must watch this immediately.

06) Taylor Swift announced her Australian tour for 2015 and Perth was not on the city list. Apparently it’s too hard to do both Adelaide and Perth during a tour, and Adelaide missed out on the red tour, so we miss out on this one. Whatever.

07) Although I’m mad at Taylor, I still find this cover of Blank Space utterly beautiful.

08) Parks & Recreation has a release date for it’s FINAL season. Of all time. I am so sad about this, but also really excited for it to start up again. The only downside is that we’re only getting a MONTH AND A HALF of new episodes and then that’s it. Pathetic.

09) House of Cards also released their next season screening date, and I’m SO SO SO SO SO excited for this show to be on my screen again. What makes it even better is that it’s a Netflix show, which means we get the whole season at once. Awesome.

10) Gemma sent me the link to this series of photographs during the week, and I’m seriously tempted to recreate it with Pepsi.

December 4th, 2014

December Giveaway #1 – The Natural Supply Co.

It’s officially CHRISTMAS MONTH, and to celebrate and share my love of Christmas with you all I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite brands to offer a few little giveaways throughout the month of December. First up is from The Natural Supply Co. a natural (yet luxurious) natural beauty, skincare, and lifestyle store, and the brainchild of Celeste Robertson and Catherine Brooks. To win yourself a $50 voucher to spend on The Natural Supply Co., simply leave a comment below telling me which product you’d pick from the store to give as a gift to someone in your life this year. For an additional entry, please feel free to tweet about the giveaway – just pop the link to your tweet in the comments below. Please note that this giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Entries close at midnight on January 1st 2015, and the winner will be announced on January 2nd 2015. Good luck!
December 3rd, 2014

November Finance Chat

Fun fact: I was tempted to buy return flights to Bali at the end of November. Am I crazy? Possibly. BUT they were on sale, so I guess I can sort of justify my momentary madness. Also, I have massive wanderlust at the moment and am craving some sort of extended holiday. Alas, money. It’s hard to think of long term goals when short term satisfaction is at hand. Nevertheless I resisted the sale, and have refocused my attention on our the US trip at the end of 2015. Onwards and upwards. Also, I have a new addiction to scratchies.

November Goals
I did a decent job of not dipping into my travel fund (except for travel costs), so that’s a good step forward. I’m hoping to not touch that fund at all over the next few months, and I’m hoping it will GROW GROW GROW into something substantial soon. I’ve also managed to keep our grocery bill way down from what it used to be, although I haven’t quite reached the goal of keeping it under $100 every week. We’ve also not implemented ‘noodle night’ just yet, but I’m hoping we can make an effort to work this into our schedule during December.

December Goals
I think my biggest goal in December, finance wise, is to be reasonable when it comes to buying Christmas presents. I can’t help myself, every year I seem to go a bit over the top when it comes to how much I spend on presents. This year I’ve set a stricter budget, and I’m going to do my absolute best to stick to it. I also want to reduce unnecessary spending (as in, did I really need the two pairs of jeans I just ordered online? no. unnecessary), and stop shopping for myself for a while. I really don’t need anything, so why waste the money on extra STUFF? I also want to cut back on the coffee I’ve been buying on my way in to work in the mornings. This will be exceptionally hard, as I’m acting in a role that requires me to be ALERT (read: caffeinated), all day every day. Green tea don’t fail me now.