March 30th, 2015

Capsule Makeup Collection (Autumn)

I watched quite a few of Melissa Alexandria’s videos during the week, and started feeling motivated to streamline my possessions. I feel like this change has been coming for some time now and I’ve kind of been doing it in a gradual manner over the past year or so (in small ways), but I think I’m going to be embracing minimalism a lot more moving forward. I decided to start by building a capsule makeup collection for Autumn, as it’s around the time that I start digging out some of the more cold-weather friendly shades (gimme those deep plum lips!). Here is what I put together for my Autumn capsule makeup collection -

Foundation – Givenchy Photo Perfexion Foundation in Perfect Ivory
Highlighter – YSL Touche Eclat in #1
Blush – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow
Eyeshadow – Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Shell
Event Eyeshadow – NARS Eye Duo in Kalahari
Eyeliner – Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Hustle
Eyebrow Pencil – Hourglass Brow Arch in Light Brunette
Mascara – Lancome Hypnose
Lip Product – Fresh Tinted Lip Conditioner in Rose
Standout Lip Product – Chanel Lipstick in Rivoli

Let me know if you choose to do something similar this season, because I’d love to know which products you decide fit into your capsule collection.

March 29th, 2015

Thoughts of the Week…

01) You may have noticed a bit of a lull in my posting lately, and it’s because I decided to take a week off. I am a big believer in listening to what your body (and brain) is telling you, and as I had absolutely no motivation to blog last week, I didn’t. It was quite refreshing.

02) We’re currently in the process of re-watching all of the Fast & Furious movies in anticipation for the seventh (and final film) coming out next week. The dialogue in the early movies was absolutely TERRIBLE, and I love it.

03) After realizing that the main character on The 100 used to play a character on Neighbours (back when I used to watch it religiously), I started watching old episodes on YouTube. It seems like I’ve gotten back into the show at the perfect time, as they’ve just celebrated 30 years and a lot of old favourites came back for a reunion. Harold Bishop 4 LIFE.

04) There is nothing this cat loves more than her favourite loafing box. Except maybe Fancy Feast.

05) How many of these books have YOU read? I got 38/100.

06) Sorkinisms – A Supercut

07) Fleetwood Mac are coming to Perth at the end of October, and I am seriously tempted to buy tickets. Someone buy them for me please!

08) I want one of these colouring books.

09) The X Files is officially returning for six episodes. I. AM. EXCITED.

10) My favourite video of the week? This one, of course.

March 19th, 2015

Planning An Overseas Holiday Pt 2.

I’ve been spending a little bit of time planning our US trip (for the end of the year) lately, and I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been up to. The first thing I did after my first ‘broad scale’ planning session, was to write a step by step to-do list of all of the things I would need to plan. And here it is -

Finalize Travel Dates
Research Flight Costs
Solidify Budget
Research Accommodation
Select exact dates per city and research travel between cities
Write to-do list per city
Research to-do list items (cost etc.)
Check Visa requirements etc.
Research weather during travel times
Write packing list (general)
Organise housesitter etc.

So our travel dates have been mapped out, and we have a rough idea of how much our flights are going to cost. At this stage we’re tossing up between two airlines (mostly because Sebastian didn’t have a great experience with one of our options on his recent trip overseas), and once that’s been decided we can start looking at booking things officially. I solidified my own budget, and have a savings plan in place. I’m now at the stage where I’m researching accommodation. Did you know accommodation in New York City is ridiculously expensive? Well it is. I haven’t started looking at Washington DC just yet, but I’ve been told that it will be on-par with New York as far as accommodation and food pricing goes. At this stage, it’s looking like Distrikt Hotel will be the go for us in New York. We can get a 20% discount if we book early, BUT it’s a non-refundable booking, which is a huge downfall. Decisions, decisions.
March 18th, 2015

Autumn/Winter To Do List

Because my Spring/Summer to-do list went so well (ha), I decided to write one up for Autumn/Winter as well. I LOVE winter, it’s my favourite season. I can’t wait for it to arrive – every cool(ish) morning or daytime temperature under 30 degrees celcius we have are giving me hope that it’ll be here soon.

– Make peppermint hot chocolate
– Perfect 3 new cookie recipes
– Go away for the weekend to celebrate Sebastian’s birthday
– Get a professional pedicure
– Paint the house
– Enjoy lazy Sunday mornings in bed and around the table (pots of tea, indulgent breakfast, books)
– Make big pots of soup every weekend
– Re-read ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy
– Buy a nice new winter coat
– Learn how to make a great curry from scratch
– Spend rainy weekend evenings playing board games with the family
– Invest in a good hydrating face mask (and use it weekly!)

So that’s my list for this year, I’ll check in mid-season to let you all know how I’m going. In the mean time, I’d love to hear what little things you love to do in Autumn/Winter to make the most of the cold weather, be sure to leave me some suggestions in the comments below!

March 17th, 2015

Spring/Summer To Do List Roundup

It’s probably quite unAustralian for me to say this, but I hate summer. I am not built for the heat, and I really do not enjoy that time of the year AT ALL. In early spring I decided to write up a list of all of the things I wanted to do to really make the most of my summer and to try and enjoy it for once. Here are the things that I wanted to try and do to bring a little bit of happiness to yet another awful 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

As you can see, there were still a lot of items left unchecked off of this list. I managed to get all of the ‘big ticket’ items crossed off, so I’m happy about that at least. I’ll have a lot more free time next summer, as I’m taking 3 months off of work. Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve a bit more next year. Or I could just hide in the house enjoying the air conditioning for three months. I’ll keep you posted.

March 16th, 2015

March Finance Chat

Money money money mooooney, MONEY! It’s that time of the month again, so lets talk finances. Side note: Is anyone else absolutely horrified that it’s already the middle of March? I know I am. It means that our overseas trip is growing closer and closer, and our budget doesn’t really seem to be growing as much as I want it to. Which means it’s time to knuckle down, a time that always seems to coincide with me feeling spendy. Here’s how I went with my goals for February -

- Cut back on unecessary day-to-day spending
– Continue to use my monthly budget book to track finances
– Change my mindset to be all about saving
- Cut back on entertainment costs

I fell a bit behind on my monthly budgeting, which is due in most part to me not tracking my finances daily. And also me not having the time (sorry, making the time) to sit down and write down an entire month’s worth of spending. I’m going to work on this though, because the budget book will come in handy moving forward. Here are my financial goals for March -

– Continue to cut back on entertainment costs
– Start using up the coins in the coin jar
– Start catching the train into work again
– Track daily spending in my Erin Condren day planner

What are your financial goals for March?

March 14th, 2015

Thoughts of the week…

01) It broke my heart to see the images of “dancing man” looking crestfallen, but when I saw the follow-up story the next day, I felt a lot happier about it. I love that this story was turned around for the positive, I love how genuinely shocked he seems to be at all of the attention he’s receiving, and I want to go to the dance party!

02) I am SO EXCITED for this movie.

03) The cast for the next Independence Day film is starting to be released… Liam Hemsworth anyone? Also, Jeff Goldblum is back! At this stage no Will Smith, but a girl can dream.

04) We watched the first episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and it seems pretty promising. Honestly though, anything with Tina Fey on board is going to interest me – and having Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski starring in the show makes it something I’m definitely going to tune in for.

05) I’m not a huge fan of Ellie Goulding (purely due to how she treated dear old Ed Sheeran), but her cover of Take Me To Church is lovely.

06) Mumford & Sons released a new song this week, and I quite like it.

07) In other music news, Phillip Phillips released an album last year that I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT. I’ve had it on repeat ever since discovering this fact yesterday.

08) I admit, this made me a little bit misty-eyed.

09) I was a big fan of the Dinosaurs when I was a kid. This is brilliant.

10) Well, this is creepy.

March 13th, 2015

10 Pinterest Recipes To Try

Things that are a bad idea: browsing Pinterest when you’re hungry. Pinterest is a goldmine for delicious looking recipes, and I decided to share 10 that I’ve pinned recently that I have every intention of cooking at some stage in the near future. Well, I’m sure I’ll get around to cooking them one day. For now I’ll just continue staring at the screen dreamily. Delicious.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever tried a recipe that you stumbled across on Pinterest? How did it turn out for you? Do any of the recipes I posted above tickle your fancy?
March 12th, 2015

February Favourites

Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo – I have the kind of hair that needs to be washed every day or it ends up looking like utter shit by the afternoon (I know this is not ideal, but it’s what I’m living with for now). I try to give my hair a break on the weekends and don’t wash it on most Sundays, unless I’m going somewhere I kind of need to look presentable for. This has been my go-to dry shampoo for a little while now, and it’s firmly cemented itself into my weekly routine.

Dermalogica Active Moist – A little while ago I got the urge to start working some Dermalogica skin care products back into my daily routine. Before I discovered Paula’s Choice I was an avid Dermalogica fan, and I still really love a lot of the products from their range. One of the things I decided to start using again was my favourite moisturiser, Active Moist. My skin has been loving this, and I’m so happy that I’ve worked it back into my daily regime.

Essie Nail Polish in Raspberry – I’m going to start saying farewell to my summer nail polish shades soon, but a standout for the season was definitely Essie’s Raspberry. It applies opaque after one coat, is a beautiful BRIGHT pink, and has great lasting power.

The Balm Balm Jovi Rockstar Palette – To be honest, I had completely forgotten that I owned this up until a couple of months ago. I’ve been rotating two of the eyeshadow shades from this palette (Adagio & Third Eye Blinded) for about a month or so now, and I am in love with them both. I’m excited to start trying out a few of the other shades too, as they all look really beautiful.

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March 11th, 2015

Autumn/Winter Reads (+ giveaway)

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favourite things to do when the cold weather rolls around is snuggle up on the couch with a good book. Unfortunately, the reality of life doesn’t always align with this romanticized idea. There are ways of bringing the comfort of a good book into the dreary reality of life though, and for me this is via audiobooks. During the long. depressing drives (or train rides) to work on rainy winter days, I always pop on an audiobook and let myself get lost in the story. I thought I would share a few of my favourite “cold weather appropriate” books with you all, including one that I plan on getting stuck into when Winter finally arrives this year.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – I think if you’re going to spend a length of time listening to someone read a book to you, you’re going to want it to be the kind that really captivates you and draws you into the story. Which is exactly how I felt while reading this book earlier in the year. This was unputdownable for me, and everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved it just as much as I did. The book is set around the time of Easter in Australia, so there some references to Autumn treats (buttered hot cross buns, anyone?), that transported me to that time of year. Perfect.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – I’ve mentioned a few times now that this is my favourite of the three books that Gillian Flynn has published so far. It’s dark, mysterious, and the kind of book you could curl up and listen to when the lights go out during a storm.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy – This is probably one of the bleakest books I’ve ever read, and the barren landscape of the story aligns perfectly with winter in my mind. I love this book, but I’ve recommended it to people who weren’t a big fan of Cormac McCarthy’s writing style and unfortunately they weren’t that keen on it. Having said that, I feel like this book would translate really well to an audio format, and I’m keen to listen to the audiobook this year to see if I still have the same feelings for it as I did after I first read it years ago.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – For some reason I’ve always associated this book with cold weather. I guess it makes sense, with the majority of the book being set on a college campus in the US with quite a lot of mentions of snow. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I’m planning on re-reading this (in audiobook format) this year.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – This is the front runner on my list of books to read this Winter. “I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.” If that doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will.

I’ve teamed up with Audible Australia, and will be giving away one of each of the titles mentioned in this post. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me which of these five books you want to read this Autumn/Winter season. Please note, this giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Entries close at midnight on Sunday April 12th, and winners will be announced on Monday April 13th. Good luck!