“Accidental” Book Haul

Sometimes you just gotta buy yourself some books to try and lift your mood. I decided to treat myself today, and ordered myself a few books (and one kindle book)… can you tell I’m in a Liane Moriarty kind of mood today? I’m close to finishing ‘What Alice Forgot’, and it’s made me want to read everything Liane Moriarty has ever written. I decided to pick up Gillian Flynn’s short story ‘The Grownup’, because I’ve seen it popping up all over my Goodreads feed lately, and I also bought the kindle edition of ‘The Haunting of Gillespie House’ because it was only $3.99 on Amazon. Now, time to stop buying books and actually read some.

November Health & Fitness Goals

Oh dear, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a health and fitness post. Far too long, I think. I had some grand plans in my head before starting my holidays (hitting the gym twice a day, participating in juice cleanses etc), but very little of that has eventuated. One benefit of being on holiday is that Sebastian and I find it a lot easier to make time for the gym, as he finishes work at around 2pm every day. Having said that, time is easier – motivation is not. I decided to get back into the habit of setting monthly health and fitness goals, as it’s an easy way for me to track what I’m doing while keeping you guys in the loop. Here’s what I’m going to try and achieve over the course of the next month –

– Go to the gym at least 3 times a week
– Do 1 additional non-gym workout a week
– Track physical progress weekly
– Buy a new heart rate monitor
– Make a new gym playlist
– Make fresh juices every week

50 Book Challenge (part 7)

You by Caroline Kepnes 10/10 – Guys, this book was amazing and is my favourite book of the year (so far). Having said that, this is definitely not a book for everyone and I can imagine a few people actually flat out hating it so proceed with caution. I won’t say too much about the story because I think it’s best to go in blind, but if you’re a fan of dark psychological thrillers, this could be one to check out. The sequel comes out at the beginning of next year, and I am VERY EXCITED about it.
Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas 3/10 – I read ‘Dangerous Girls’ by Abigail Haas last year (I think?), and enjoyed it quite a lot but unfortunately I didn’t like this book nearly as much. The story follows a similar sort of path, something big happens and we go on a sort of backwards journey to try and figure out what actually happened on “that fateful night”. The characters in this book weren’t as believable to me, I didn’t connect to them in any way so the ending left me feeling really flat and unimpressed.
The Good Girls by Sara Shepard 5/10 – I’ve never read any of the Pretty Little Liars series, but I know they’re wildly popular so I was excited to read this book to see what Sara Shepard’s writing style was like. I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and enjoyed it quite a lot. It was also a good one to help with my 50 Book Challenge, because it was a very quick read for me. If you’re looking for a bit of fun teenage mystery or if you’re already a fan of the Pretty Little Liars series, this would definitely be a good one to pick up.
The Killing Lessons by Saul Black 9/10 – I’m always a bit nervous picking up a hefty sized book after a couple of light YA novels, because I often get stuck in them and they can be a bit of a speed bump in my reading progress. Thankfully I was captivated within the first chapter of this book, and it was so hard to put down that I finished it in a couple of days. This is an awesome thriller/crime novel, but is very violent and kind of gruesome in parts so again I’d say it’s not for everyone and certainly not for the faint hearted. As a general recommendation, if you liked Intensity by Dean Koontz, I think you will like this.

Christmas To-Do List

HAPPY DAYS everyone, Christmas is right around the corner! Traditionally I wait until after my birthday (this Friday, for those playing at home), before I let the excitement of Christmas really sink in and take over. I’ve not been feeling it that much this year so far, but I have to admit when the first bars of a Christmas carol start to play – I can sense that happy Christmas feeling creep up. There are certain things I like to do each year around Christmastime, and I thought I’d share them with you all in the form of a handy to-do list. I will report back after Christmas and let you know how I went. Here’s my Christmas To-Do List for the year –

Set budget for Christmas shopping
Watch Home Alone
Write a Christmas “shopping” list (presents!)
Watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Organise a Christmas dinner with girlfriends
Watch Elf
Bake Christmas cookies
Put up the Christmas tree/decorate the house
Watch Home Alone 2
Create a new Christmas carol playlist
Watch The Santa Clause
Wrap presents
Watch The Santa Clause 2
Organise a Christmas shopping day with mum
Watch The Polar Express
View the Christmas lights in the city
Drive around and look at Christmas lights

Thoughts of the week…

01) Sebastian and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary recently, and to celebrate we went to a delicious Malaysian restaurant called Pappa Rich. I just found out they’ve opened a new branch close to where we live, so it’s happy days ahead.
02) I did a bit of shopping on with BooHoo yesterday, and it was dispatched within a few hours of me placing the order. I opted for express shipping so hopefully it arrives before my birthday. Fingers crossed!
03) Speaking of which, it’s my birthday next week. How has it been a whole year since my last birthday? Time flies.
04) I recently read ‘You’ by Caroline Kepnes, and it’s up there with my favourite books of 2015. I got so excited when I saw there was a sequel, but devastated when I realised it doesn’t come out until 2016! Argh.
05) Is anyone else disappointed with Sephora Australia? From what I’ve seen so far they have barely any brands that I’d be interested. Hopefully they branch out a bit as time goes on. GIVENCHY PLS.
06) Jason Derulo Carpool Karaoke
07) What Animals Sound Like In 10 Different Countries
08) If Goosebumps Books Were Set In Australia
09) This is just a little bit too real.
10) Creepy Text Theatre with Sasha Grey

House Project List (update)

Well, I’m one month into my three month holiday and I’ve managed to cross a few things off of my House Project List. Probably not as much as I would have liked to have done by now, but life has been a bit hectic. I’ve asked for a bunnings voucher from some friends for my birthday, so hopefully that will help with all of the garden work I need to do. As you can see, I still have a ways to go!

Front + Back Yard
Plant honeysuckle and start training it against the front fence
Re-spray the honeysuckle pot for re-use
Plant a small lime tree in the old honeysuckle pot
Weed the entire garden
Lay down new mulch in the front and back garden beds
Buy a BBQ
Buy an outdoor setting
Set up a shade sail over the outdoor setting (we ended up buying an outdoor setting with an umbrella instead)
Plant more herbs
Put tall flowering plants outside the study window
Clean the front door
Replace the back door mat
Buy & install an outdoor light fitting

Buy paint
Paint the entire interior of the house
Buy and hang a mirror in the master bedroom
Re-organize the walk in robe
Re-organize under bed storage
Purge clothes
Purge jewelery collection
Re-organize bathroom cupboard
Deep clean the glass wall in the shower
Deep clean the bathroom & laundry air vents
Hang shelf in laundry room
Purge makeup collection
Purge beauty product collection
Take all unwanted books to the book exchange (I took half, I didn’t want to overwhelm them with a million books at once)
Create a gift card storage solution
Re-organize the study cupboard
Re-organize the linen press
Hang plastic bag holder (and possibly an iron holder) in the linen press
Re-organize the small hutch
Re-organize the tall hutch

Deep clean the shower
Purge everything in the fridge and pantry (I’ve only done the pantry so far)
Have light fittings installed
Donate unwanted cat beds and scratching post to the cat haven
Buy + hang a suitable print for the living area
Buy a tall storage solution for the living area
Sort through and donate all unwanted DVDs and games
Organize the cable and electronics drawer

November Goals

I am actually really struggling with having so much free time, how pathetic is that? I was discussing it with my mum the other day, and she agreed with me that the more time you have the less you manage to get done. This has been so true for me, so I’m making a conscious effort to pack as much into each day as I possibly can. Here’s how I went with my October Goals, and some goals I’ve set myself for November –

October Goals
* Make an appointment with the bank to talk about refinancing my mortgage – Nope.
* Go shopping for “school supplies” for my course – Kind of, although I pretty much had everything I needed already, so it was a small shop.
* Go on a girls trip down south – This was much needed, and enjoyed by all.
* Weed the entire garden (this has become a bit of a nightmare) – I’ve gotten started on this, but we still have a way to go.
* Start painting the house – One day, eh?
* Host an afternoon tea & utilise the new outdoor setting – Not yet.

November Goals
* Pick a “death row dinners” themed dessert to make for our pot luck dinner party club dinner – any suggestions?
* Weed, tidy, and re-mulch the back garden
* Cancel an old credit card
* Replace the washing machine (ours broke, can you imagine how frustrating life is without a washing machine? it’s a hundred times worse than what you’d imagine)
* Organize my birthday celebrations
* Write a Christmas shopping list
* Write a Christmas to-do list

October Empties

Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream – You guys know I’m not a huge fan of any particular eye cream, I’m not loyal to any brand or any product because I’ve never had anything really stand out for me in quality. I picked this up from Priceline a long time ago, and only recently managed to finish it up. I actually really enjoyed this eye cream, it worked well with my sensitive skin, seemed to be quick to absorb into my skin, and didn’t irritate my eyes in any way.
Poshe Super-Fast Drying Topcoat – This has been my favourite topcoat for many years, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere online to repurchase. I love it because it really is super-fast drying, and it leaves a really nice shine on the nail once it’s been applied. It gets really gluggy towards the end, but such is life with this sort of product I guess. If anyone knows where I can get this online, let me know!
Tresemme Platinum Strength Deep Conditioning Treatment – This was a good deep conditioning treatment, and one that I could use every couple of days (rather than once a week), because it wasn’t too heavy on my fine hair. It claims to “reverse the look of up to 2 years of damage” on the hair, which I wouldn’t say is true – at least not for me. It was a decent weekly conditioning treatment though, and I would definitely purchase it again.
Paula’s Choice Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner – Ahh, old faithful. This is my daily toner, my holy grail, and you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about Paula’s Choice products by now. Will definitely be repurchasing this, in fact I’m due for a stash refill so I will probably reorder another couple of bottles today!