November 28th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) The cricketing world is still reeling from the passing of young Phil Hughes during the week, after a freak accident during a game. My heart goes out to his family, his friends, and especially poor Sean Abbott – the bowler involved. So sad.

02) This is an interesting article about lasting relationships, and the science behind it.

03) I love Sasha and Malia giving Teen Sass Face at this year’s turkey pardoning.

04) Pepsi is always so helpful when I’m working out. She likes to swish around my legs and sit in places where I’m trying to jump rope/lay down/sit etc.

05) The first full Jurassic World preview was released this world. I am excited.

06) I’m not gonna lie, I watched this video early one morning this week and ended up having a bit of a cry over it. If you’re a soft touch like me, or just love dogs, I’m sure it’ll have a similar effect on you.

07) Great news! Serial is set to return for a second season.

08) Beyonce released a new song and clip last weekend, and although the song hasn’t really grown on me I do like the film clip. Especially the part where she stacks it while attempting a dance move.

09) Taylor Swift behind the scenes on ‘The Voice’

10) And to finish of the female singer trifecta, Selena Gomez blew me away with her performance at tha AMAs earlier in the week. Her new song has really grown on me and if this is the calibre of her new music I can’t wait to hear a lot more of it.

November 27th, 2014

Product Review: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface

I’m actually really surprised that I’ve never written a review of Dollface. It’s one of my most-worn blushes. I can’t speak highly enough of the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush formula, it applies evenly and literally stays on my face ALL DAY. Even when I’m having a greasy face day. I can always guarantee that when I go into the bathroom after work to check my face isn’t looking too haggard for public viewing, my blush will still be lookin’ fresh. Dollface is a beautiful light pink shade that manages to compliment my skintone without making me look any ruddier than I naturally do. Tipsy is still my all-time favourite Tarte blush shade, but Dollface is a close second. The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface retails for $26 USD and is available for purchase from Sephora.
November 26th, 2014

Product Review: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Toasted

I’ve been feeling a bit more adventurous with eyeshadow recently (for a long time I was wearing either a bare lid or something very basic), and decided to do a bit of an experiment with two of the shades in my Urban Decay Naked Palette. I ended up loving the results, so I thought I would share them with you. Now, ‘Sin’ is my most-worn shade in the palette and it’s one of my all time favourite go-to shades. But did you know that when you add a bit of ‘Toasted’ over the top, it looks EVEN BETTER. I did not, but now I do. And now there is no turning back. The combination of the two shades is beautiful, and although I may not have captured it perfectly in the photo above, it looks amazing on the lid. Green eyed girls, this is a great combination for you especially. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Toasted retails for $18 USD and is available for purchase from Sephora. Mine is housed in my Naked Palette, which retails for $54 USD and is also available for purchase from Sephora.
November 25th, 2014

Holiday Snapshots

As I mentioned in my previous ‘thoughts of the week’ post, Sebastian and I headed back down south for the weekend to attend the Gourmet Escape food and wine festival. Now, we weren’t really sure what we were in for as for once we hadn’t done a lot of research into what we were attending. So having said that, I will also say that we probably wouldn’t have gone to the event if we knew what we’d bought tickets for. Basically we had General Admission that allowed us to enter the event and do tastings etc. but also pay $7 per “gem” to be able to buy food and drinks from various stalls. If we’d planned the day better perhaps we would have had more fun, but we ended up staying for a couple of hours, spent all of our gems and then left. It was hot, there were a lot of flies, and we’re both introverts (read: large crowds can only be tolerated for so long). Despite this, we still had a nice little weekend away. We stayed in my family holiday home, and made an effort to get out and about and sample a bit of the local cuisine. We went to ‘Musters’ restaurant for the first time, and will definitely be going back again soon. Here are some snapshots from the weekend –

November 24th, 2014

Christmas To-Do List

I like lists, ok? Give me a break. I’ve written up a list of all of the fun Christmas themed things I want to try and do this year, and I decided to share it with you all. Those that know me well know that I am a big fan of Christmas. My birthday is in early November, and after that it’s all systems go for Christmas planning. There are always many things I want to do over the holiday period, and a few of them fall by the wayside. I wrote this list to keep track of what I want to do, and to try and make sure I get as many of them crossed off as possible.

- Buy a new Christmas Tree & Decorations
– Buy Christmas lights
- Buy matching wrapping paper
– Put up the Christmas Tree
– View the Christmas lights in the city
– Make gingerbread lattes
– Make gingerbread cookies
– Make my favourite Christmas shortbread cookies
– Try one of the Christmas cocktail recipes from the Donna Hay magazine
– Christmas Dinner / Secret Santa with my girlfriends
– Christmas Dinner / Secret Santa with the family
– Host Christmas Day breakfast
– Christmas Day lunch with the family
– Watch Home Alone
– Watch Elf
– Watch The Santa Clause
– Watch The Polar Express
– Watch Die Hard
– Write and send/hand out Christmas cards

I do love me some Christmas movies. What’s on your Christmas to-do list for this year?

November 21st, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) Sebastian and I are heading down south again this weekend, and I can’t wait to RELAX. I feel like I haven’t had time to stop and breathe lately. This mini-holiday feels much needed. If you’d like to take a peek at some snapshots from our last little trip down south, you can do so right here.

02) What do we think about Kendall Jenner being named as the new face of Estee Lauder? For me it’s definitely not a great match, I would never have associated a Kardashian/Jenner with the Lauder brand, but hey I guess someone out there did. Granted, their instagram following went up by 50k overnight, so it’s working for someone!

03) Gemma sent me this video a little while ago, and I couldn’t stop laughing at it. Cats can be such jerks sometimes, eh? It reminds me of a certain someone…

04) Pepsi says hi!

05) This golden retriever video is by far the best thing I saw on the internet this week. Even if you watched it when I posted it on my TW– it’s worth watching again. I want a golden retriever so bad.

06) It may not be the BEST thing I saw all week (the above video wins that award), but this Panda excited over snow is pretty damn cute.

07) And to round off the trifecta of animal videos for the week. This bear.

08) This week’s Taylor Swift news is that she sent a bunch of her hardcore fans personalised Christmas gifts. What a nice girl.

09) I’m ITCHING to put the Christmas tree up, but I know I have to be sane and wait until at least the first of December… right? In the meantime, Christmas planning is in full swing. I’ve decided to try and make a few Christmassy recipes this year, so I’ll share them with you all if they don’t turn out to be too much of a disaster.

10) Speaking of Christmas, the Pandora Christmas Radio Station is the absolute BEST. Oh, and Michael Buble recorded a version of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside‘ with Idina Menzel, so my year is made.

November 20th, 2014

50 Book Challenge (part 9)

All The Summer Girls by Meg Donohue (5/10) – I downloaded this book a LONG time ago, but never got around to listening to it because ‘Under The Dome’ was taking me forever to work through (I’m still not finished), and put me off listening to audiobooks for a while. When I was back in the swing of listening, I decided to give this ago and was pleasantly surprised. This is the kind of book I’d classify as a ‘beach read’. It’s easy. Nothing too hard to digest, and exactly what I was in the mood for. Having said that, it did make me long for a summer holiday in a beach house, which I won’t be experiencing anytime soon. Sigh.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (8/10) – I’m not big on chick lit. I’ve never been a fan of rom-coms, so guess what? I’ve never seen the Notebook, and I’m ok with that. For some reason a little while ago I watched ‘Safe Haven’ (lets blame Zac Efron’s biceps), and it wasn’t that bad. Because of that, when I was browsing my local library recently I decided to pick up the first Nicholas Sparks book that I’ve ever read. And I did not hate it. In fact, I really enjoyed it. I looked forward to the moment every day where I would pick this book up and read it. I was pleasantly surprised, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of his work in the future.

The Returned by Jason Mott (4/10) – Sebastian and I started watching Resurrection when it first aired, but lost interest after the first couple of episodes. Nevertheless, I’d had the book that the show was based on sitting on my shelf for far too long and I was determined to finally read it. I suggested it at book club, because I felt like there would be many themes and issues that we’d be able to discuss after reading the book. There were. However, did any of us actually like the book? No. I won’t go into too much detail about what happens at the end of the story, but I will say that none of us were left satisfied by the ending of this book.

The Shining by Stephen King (4/10) – I struggled with this one. For some reason I was really in the mood to read it, but once I started I just couldn’t be bothered with it. I persevered though, and managed to finish it off over the course of a few months. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to get into the story, as Stephen King books are usually real page-turners for me. This has been my least favourite of King’s works that I’ve read so far, and it differs so much from the movie which surprised me. I sort of wish I’d read the book prior to seeing the film, but I watched it for the first time many years ago so OH WELL.

November 19th, 2014

November Fitness Chat

Despite us having a week off last week (read: a week where we went out for dinner every single night and made zero effort to workout), I feel like we’re still on track with our health and fitness goals at the moment. For the most part at least. At the core of it we’re both feeling motivated, although translating that to some kind of regular life practice is the hard part. I don’t think I did too badly with my October goals, so let’s see how I went -

October Goals
Although we did make good progress with the month’s worth of workouts, it was a trial-and-error experience for me, and I’ll be changing up my method slightly when moving forward. We’re now in a place where we prefer to workout together, so the few yoga workouts that I’d included on the sheet did not get done. We’ve started strength training after our run, although this is hard because I’m not used to coming up with ideas for male muscle groups. I definitely need to do a bit more research here. Add to that the fact that Sebastian has a leg issue that needs operating on next month, and my regular ‘do 5 million squats!’ method doesn’t work too well. We managed to finish off 8 out of 20 workouts, which isn’t great, but it’s better than we had been doing. We also incorporated a lot of running into our schedule, and made use of the running track near our house – which was another of my goals for the month. So far we’ve stuck to the one takeaway meal for the month, but it’s been easy for us as we’ve been going out for dinner so much recently. So I don’t think that really counts.

November Goals
I plan on sticking to a similar monthly workout method as last month, only this time I won’t be writing down the type of workout that we’ll be doing. Mostly because at the moment we’re doing the same thing over and over again. As soon as we’re in a set routine, I think we’ll mix it up a bit. I also plan on sticking to our ‘one takeaway meal per month’ plan – December will be Sebastian’s choice. I hope it’s something good (I picked fish and chips). I’ve noticed that my water intake has been dropping quite a bit lately, which is not good. I need to bump this back up again. I’m also going to try and switch out my daily morning coffee at work to a green tea. Which is cheaper, and better for me in the log run.

Health & Fitness Goodies
* Bree Loves Beauty mentioned the Pump Up App in a few videos recently, and I decided to check it out. I’ve only just downloaded it, so I’ll let you know what I think of it in more detail in a future post. ** Sebastian is a big fan of Knife Party, so I’ve been listening to their music whenever I’m in his car, and I think some of their songs would be great to workout to. This is my favourite at the moment.

November 18th, 2014

Product Review: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Hustle

I’ve been so loyal to black eyeliner (and perhaps the occasional purple-toned black), that I missed the whole world of beautiful bronze-coloured liners that were available to me. I first saw ‘Hustle’ featured on ViviannaDoesMakeup (either in a blog post or a video), and decided that I needed to own it ASAP. Anna and I both have green eyes and dark brown hair, so I generally trust any makeup item that she recommends (bar foundations, because I never buy those blindly). I decided to take a risk and ordered myself one of these liners as part of a Sephora order earlier in the year. It’s a definite winner. The shade works wonderfully with green eyes and really seems to make them pop. It’s smooth to apply and doesn’t tug at the skin around my eyes, which I’ve found has happened with a few liners I’ve tried in the past. This is a beautiful eyeliner, and I can’t wait to try more shades from the range. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in ‘Hustle’ retails for $20 USD and is available for purchase from Sephora.
November 17th, 2014

October Favourites

Oh look, another month down and another lot of favourites to share. The hardest product for me to pick is always skincare, mostly because I use the same things over and over again. Having said that, I worked something new into my routine this month, and I’m really liking it. So without further ado, here are my favourites from October -

Tresemme Salon Finish Hairspray – My all-time favourite hairspray is the O&M Queenie, but my ol’ faithful bottle has stopped working (the spray nozzle has become clogged with product, and it now either doesn’t spray at all OR sprays out half because I can’t make it stop), so I’ve moved on to something new. My hair is notoriously difficult to work with, curls tend to drop about an hour after I’ve styled my hair, but this hairspray works just as well as Queenie at holding a style for the entire day.

Nivea Moisturising Fluid SPF 15 – I tend to go through a bottle of facial sunscreen once a year, which works out well because you shouldn’t really keep sunscreen for much longer than that anyway. I wanted a cheaper alternative to the La Roche Posay sunscreen I’d been wearing for the past couple of years, and this one is working well for me. It doesn’t leave too much of a white cast on my skin (although to be honest, it’s hard to tell #palefaceproblems), and isn’t overly greasy.

Dove Go Fresh Deodorant in Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena – I never thought I’d be the kind of person to ration my use of a deodorant, but here we are. I placed an order with Catch of the Day recently (I buy a lot of household cleaning items in bulk from there once a year), and picked up a couple of bottles of this deodorant because I couldn’t remember seeing this scent anywhere. Guys, this smells amazing. I love it even more than the nectarine/ginger scent (which also seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth), which has been my favourite deodorant for a year or so now. If anyone sees this scent available for purchase anywhere in Australia, please let me know!

MAC Eyeshadow in ‘all that glitters’ – Remember this bad boy? This is an ooooold favourite of mine that I dug back out of my collection when I was hunting for a bronze-gold eyeshadow similar to the one Laurel wears on ‘How To Get Away With Murder’. This isn’t even close to what she wears, but I’m loving it all the same.