Thoughts of the week…

01) The entertainment highlight of the week had to be the Oscars. My best dressed was Rosamund Pike in a breathtaking Givenchy gown. She looked absolutely amazing, and honestly most (if not all) of the ladies looked incredible on the night. Jennifer Lopez depresses me.

02) Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music Medley gave me goosebumps.

03) Tanda are having a special offer in March, where a portion of proceeds from sales of the Juniper Breeze Reed Diffusers and Oak Moss & Amber Soy Candles and Melts will be donated to Alzheimer’s Australia. This is a cause close to my heart, so please support Tanda and their efforts by buying one of these products next month.

04) I’m finally making some progress with the final season of Sons of Anarchy, and whoa boy. What a season it’s been so far.

05) Speaking of TV, I have to wait for Sebastian to get home from his work trip overseas before I can watch the series finale of Parks and Recreation (and the season finale of Broadchurch). Oh, and season three of House of Cards has been released. Pass quickly, time! We have important television shows to watch!!

06) The dress debate from yesterday is still doing my head in. For the record, I started out as white and gold, but when I finally saw the black and blue, my entire perception on life changed. Here’s a little bit about the science behind it.

07) I feel like the very best of the internet seems to come through right after something totally ridiculous happens.

08) Madonna’s massive stack at the Brit Awards was pretty epic.

09) Ed Sheeran’s cover of Dirrty is perfection.

10) Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup released the BEST Spotify playlist. I’ve been listening to it non stop since yesterday morning.

To Build A Home: Garden Inspiration

The one area of my new home that seems to have fallen to the bottom of my priority list is the garden. The house came with landscaping as part of the building package, but it is extremely simple landscaping, and not really an ideal garden – at least by my standards. There are a few problems with the garden area that I’ll need to overcome – space, the burning hot Australian sun, and sandy soil. I’ve been browsing Pinterest for some small garden inspiration, and have come across some inspiring images that I thought I would share with you. Here are some of the gardens that have me thinking more and more about my own space –

I think the first step for me is to work out some kind of shade for the back yard area. At the moment there is no shade whatsoever on any of the garden beds, which means the plants need to be extremely resilient (hence the Australian natives planted there already). Wish me luck!

Current Skin Care Routine

I think I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but I’m really amazed at how my skin has changed over the last year or so. I’m putting it down to the turning of time (and me turning 30), but as my skin is changing so are my skin care needs. I find that I’m starting to focus more on hydration rather than trying to keep oil at bay. And of course fine lines are becoming more of an issue now than they’ve ever been. I’m still sticking to the ‘less is more’ approach to skin care, and am sticking with a few hard working basics. Here are the products currently making the rounds in my skin care routine –

Nivea Fragrance Free Facial Cleansing Wipes – These are a staple in my beauty cupboard, and I’m sure they pop up at least once a week here on the blog. I use these every night to remove my makeup before cleansing my face (or on nights where I’m just too lazy to bother with a proper cleansing routine).

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Cleanser – This has been my go-to cleanser for a couple of years now. I love how gentle it is, which works really well with my sensitive skin. I use this every night (or morning, depending on how lazy I was the night before) to properly cleanse my face after makeup removal.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – I decided to give my Clarisonic a break for a bit, and instead am using this microfoliant twice a week to keep my skin looking fresh. I find that twice a week is what my skin likes best at the moment, I used to use this every single day. It’s a wonderful product, and I highly recommend you add it to your skin care routine.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Toner – I’ve been using this toner in conjunction with the Hydralight cleanser for a couple of years, and I feel like they work so well together. I’ve found a lot of toners in the past have left my skin feeling quite ‘tight’ after I use them, but this feels very soothing on the skin. I use this daily after cleansing.

Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Mattifying Fluid – For the longest time I went without SPF in my daily routine (except for what was included in my foundation), but NO MORE. This is my daily moisturiser of choice at the moment, and the ‘youth-extending’ promise gives me hope for the future.

Ainhoa Aquasense Hydra-Vital Cream – This is such a divine moisturiser. It’s a gel cream formula, glides onto the skin, smells fresh (like a combination between roses and cucumber), and leaves my skin feeling heavenly. I’ve been slathering this onto my face every night before bed. It’s like a little nighttime treat every day.

I’d love to know what your favourite skin care product is at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!

Makeup Clean Out (+ makeup collection)

I was getting ready to go out on Saturday night, and decided to try using a different foundation from my stash just to mix things up a little bit. It didn’t go well. The bottle had been sitting in my makeup drawers for so long that it had turned, and came up bright ORANGE on my face. Beautiful. This prompted me to do a big clean out of my makeup stash, which you can watch above. Be warned, it’s quite long and very rambly.

2014/2015

I saw this tag pop up on Natalie’s blog a little while ago (well, quite a while ago now), and thought it would be a fun one to write up for myself! So here I go…

1. What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about? Driving from Adelaide to Perth with Sebastian. I’d done a similar trip when I was a lot younger but seeing it through “grown up” eyes, and sharing the experience with Sebastian was something truly special. It was also a great way for us to discover that we get along really well even when cooped up with each other in a car for an extended period of time, or staying in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception and nothing to do except play pool and try not to get bed bugs from the motel bed.

2. If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be? Change, Growth, Experience.

3. What new things did you discover about yourself? That I over think things way too much (although I sort of already knew this), and that I have quite a bit further to go than I thought.

4. What single achievement are you most proud of? This was a tough one for me. I’m going to say successfully setting up and establishing a house, because I feel like that was a pretty big achievement for me even though it happened naturally over the course of the year.

5. What was the best news you received? That I had long service leave coming up the following year. I hadn’t really thought about it much up until that point, and it’s now a shining beacon of hope on my workday horizon.

6. What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014? I think the Great Australian Bite was a travel highlight for me. Standing at the edge of Australia and looking out at the vast expanse of ocean stretching out beyond it was awe inspiring.

7. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year? My communication and organizational skills.

8. Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on? My partner, Sebastian.

9. Which new skills did you learn? How to implement advertisements on a blog. Which is really straight forward but it was something that I hadn’t taken the time to put into place, and I’m glad that I finally got around to doing it.

10. What, or who, are you most thankful for? If we’re taking about 2014, I’d have to say Sebastian. He was new into my life, and made the biggest impact. I am incredibly thankful for all the happiness he has brought into my life.

11. If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else? A love story. As cheesy as it may be, that was the main theme of 2014 for me.

12. What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014? Love more, worry less.

13. Which mental block(s) did you overcome? I think probably my ability to trust people without question took a bit of flexing in 2014. I’m so glad I worked on it though.

14. What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with? There is one girlfriend of mine in particular that I really got to know over the past year, and have realised that we’re very similar in a lot of ways. It was a happy discovery, and we’re now quite a lot closer than we’ve ever been, which is great. Another one of my best friends had a baby last year, and I’ve loved getting to see her grow and I absolutely LOVE spending time with her. I always enjoy spending time with Sebastian, but you’re probably all getting sick of hearing me talk about him. The time I spent with my mum has changed a lot over the past few years, and I think we’re entering that golden age of 30+ where you really seem to connect with your mum again. Finally, I’ve come to appreciate the time that I spend with my grandmother. She is quite ill, and I’m really trying to make the most of the time we do get to spend together.

15. What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise? Realising that I can ask for career development opportunities and push for various development options (courses, etc). I’ve always been too afraid to ask, and only made the most of opportunities when they were placed in my lap.

16. How did your relationship to your family evolve? I think it continued to grow and evolve, as it naturally does from year to year. I went away mid-year with some of my family, and that was a really fun experience.

17. What book or movie affected your life in a profound way? I don’t think anything in particular really had a profound effect on me, although after reading Intensity by Dean Koontz I became a lot more open minded about reading crime/thriller novels.

18. What was your favourite compliment that you received this year? It’s funny how little I listen to my compliments compared to any insults or disparagement I might receive. The only compliment I can think of off the top of my head is my friend telling me I have no undertones in my skin, I’m just plain WHITE. lol. Is that even a compliment? No.

19. What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life? One of my favourite things to do is dinner and a movie date night with my partner. Honestly, I get so much joy out of this one little thing it’s crazy. But we have our favourite cinema, our favourite restaurant at the cinema (we both order the same thing every time), and we have the same taste in movies so picking what we’re going to watch is always a breeze.

20. What cool things did you create this year? The only two personal creative outlets I really have are this blog (which I am extremely proud of), and my day planner. I didn’t create the planner, but I do I love playing around with and decorating it with stickers and other juvenile things. It’s quite relaxing really. I think both things are pretty cool.

21. What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)? Introspective.

22. Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year? I turned 30, and I became OK with turning 30.

23. What was your favourite moment spent with your friends? There was a point at the end of my close friend’s baby shower where my group of friends were sitting around and chatting, and it was such a throwback to ‘the good old days’. We all took a photo together with our hands on my friend’s bump, and it’s a memory I will definitely treasure.

24. What major goal did you lay the foundations for? A trip to the USA at the end of this year.

25. Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary? All of them.

26. What experience would you love to do all over again? I would love to go on a long road trip again. There is something about the open road that I just love. The feeling of having a big expansive trip in front of you is quite thrilling.

27. What was the best gift you received? This is a tricky one! I honestly can’t think of something, so I’m going to pass on this question. How pathetic!

28. How did your overall outlook on life evolve? I think I’m coming around to the understanding that I’m at the stage of life where everything has just naturally changed when it comes to my interaction with friends. We definitely don’t see each other as much as we used to, and that’s how life will be from now on. Thankfully we do still make the effort to see each other whenever we can, which is really nice.

29. What was the biggest problem you solved? One of the ways I approach life is to take care of things before they become a problem, so this is a difficult question for me. I was lucky enough that life didn’t throw me any major curveballs to solve (at least ones that were in my control). So I have nothin’ for this!

30. What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it? We’ve created a ‘voice’ for Pepsi that we use around the house, and it makes me laugh every time. We’ve given her the sassiest little personality with a straight up bogan accent.

31. What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever? A pair of Kmart wedges that I have worn to DEATH. They were incredibly cheap ($25 from memory?), and are probably the most comfortable wedge I’ve ever worn.

32. What one thing would you do differently and why? I would not question things so much, because 9 times out of 10, the “issue” is simply in my head and is a waste of my time.

33. What do you deserve a pat on the back for? Getting up every day and getting things done.

34. What activities made you lose track of time? Watching American housewife vlogs on YouTube.

35. What did you think about more than anything else? The future.

36. What topics did you most enjoy learning about? Blogging. I feel like anytime I’m lacking in inspiration when it comes to my own blog, reading about how others stay motivated with theirs is really inspiring for me.

37. What new habits did you cultivate? I developed an obsessive addiction for the Kim Kardashian game, does that count?

38. What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could? Don’t rush. Enjoy the journey.

39. Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year? Yes.

40. What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year? Having my partner move across the country to live with me.

YOUR 2015

41. What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be? Growth and flexibility.

42. What do you want to see, discover, explore? I’d like to spend more time exploring my home town, in particular some of the amazing bars and restaurants we have popping up all over the place. I’m also excited to explore a bit more of the US later on in the year.

43. Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015? I want to keep the bond with my best girlfriends strong this year.

44. What skills do you want to learn, improve or master? I’d LOVE to get back into running, and be back at the skill level I was at three years ago.

45. Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen? Flexibility.

46. What do you want your everyday life to be like? Peaceful.

47. Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of? I’d like to be less lazy.

48. What do you want to achieve career-wise? I’d like to develop myself a bit more professionally, work on my existing skill sets and get some official recognition for the things I am good at.

49. How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now? A year of developing relationships, and setting foundations for the future.

50. What is your number one goal for 2015? To live a little more, and worry a whole lot less.