April Empties / Project 50 Pan (part 7)

Kerastase Nectar Thermique – I’m mentioning this as an empty product, but not including it in the tally because I repurchased another tube right before I finished this one. I discovered this near-empty bottle in the back of my cupboard recently and was so happy to use it again. My hair loves this product. I try to use it every day before I blow dry my hair, and there is always noticeable difference in my hair when I do.

30) L’Oreal Sublime Mousse in Pure Brown – The only thing I keep once I’ve finished up this hair dye is the conditioning treatment that comes in the box, so that’s what I’m sharing with you in this empties post. I had four of these squirreled away in my empties basket, but I definitely didn’t use them all up over the course of one month. I tend to dye my hair every month and a half or so, which is still quite frequent. I only ever use this one hair dye, and you can read all of my thoughts on it here.

31) Schwarzkopf Deep Nutrition Intensive Care Mask – I picked this up back when Sebastian and I were driving from Adelaide to Perth early last year, as my hair wasn’t doing a great job of coping with the travel. I didn’t love it. It was too heavy for my hair, and instead of leaving it feeling nice and silky it felt weighed down and a bit oily. I ended up using it just on the ends of my hair just to use it up, and I won’t be repurchasing it.

32) Fresh Tinted Lip Conditioner in Rose – This has been my daily lip colour for a long time now, and I included it in my Autumn Capsule Makeup Collection to reflect this. This was a travel sized version, and to my horror I’m also down to the last few wears of my full sized tube too. It might be time for a Sephora order soon. Uh oh.

LUSH Big Shampoo – Again, I’m mentioning this but not counting it in the 50 Pan Challenge as it’s a staple in my beauty cupboard and I just had to repurchase it as soon as this tub was finished. I use this every weekend as a clarifying shampoo to help give my hair a really deep clean. I’ve been using Big for a couple of years now, and it’s a firm favourite in my hair care routine. Everyone I’ve recommended this to has loved it as well, I think it’s a worthy addition to all hair care routines. Buy it!

33) Herbal Essences Colour Me Happy Shampoo – I used up the conditioner from this duo back in January but still had a little way to go with the shampoo. I really loved this, and will be repurchasing it again soon (when we run out of all the other shampoo and conditioner I’ve hoarded over the years).

Meal Planning

Meal planning is an important part of keeping a household running smoothly, and I’ve found a way to streamline the process and make it easier for me each week (oh, by the way, I’ve switched back to weekly meal planning as monthly planning wasn’t working for us for financial reasons). I now go to the grocery store once a week, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make in order to save us a little bit of money each week. I used to struggle with coming up with a variety of meals from week to week, that kept everyone satisfied. I would often ask Sebastian for meal suggestions but he would always draw a blank on what he wanted. With this new method in place, it makes it so much easier for him to have a quick glance at the options and tell me what he wants for the week.

I typed up a list of meals that we frequently eat (if you’re creatures of habit like we are, then this should work well for you too), for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I simply hand Sebastian this list when I need him to give me some suggestions for the week, he writes them down, and I go from there. He’ll often give me red meat suggestions, and I try to work in some chicken and fish options into the week alongside these. I’ll then go ahead and plan our lunches taking into consideration what we’ll have leftover throughout the week. Breakfast is pretty straightforward, but I like to mix it up to keep things interesting. I also make sure to check my day planner to see if we have any events coming up that might tie into meal times. From there, I plan out the week.

I fill out my weekly meal planner (this one is from kikki k, but there are a million free options available online), making sure we have a nice variety of meals throughout the week. Because these are all things I make over and over again, it’s really easy for me to then go through the ‘essentials’ list I typed up to highlight everything we’ll need for the week. I set out the essentials list in order of areas I move through while grocery shopping. That way I don’t look down at the list and see something I should have picked up 3 aisles ago, I can easily move through the store and pick up items as I go. I highlight items in pink that I know we definitely need, green is for the things I need to check the cupboard for before I head to the store. So that’s how I meal plan! The last few times I’ve used this method we’ve saved about $40-$50 in “incidental” purchases as I move through the store. So it’s working well for me, and I hope it works well for you!

Staycation 2015

I’ve felt an incredibly strong desire for a holiday lately, but time and money constraints have made it impossible. I decided that we’d try a ‘Staycation’ and spend one night away from home somewhere in our own city. This ended up being far less expensive than heading away for the weekend, but we still felt like we’d gotten away for a bit. I did a bit of research and decided on Rendezvous Scarborough, because it’s a place we’re familiar with and the location is quite lovely. To add to the experience, I booked us both in for a Swedish Back, Neck, and Shoulder massage at Vanilla Face & Body Spa, which is located within the hotel. We both had a lovely experience at Vanilla. The service was top notch, the facilities were great, and the massage itself was wonderful. The only downside for me was that I came up in a horrible rash (which I noticed the morning after the massage) – but I do not put any of the blame on Vanilla. They gave us a form to fill out prior to the appointment, and I clearly stated that I had no allergies to nuts (which is the oil that was used during the session). Well, as it turns out I do have a kind of allergy. The more you know. After our massage we checked in and headed up to our room, and were happy to see that we had a beautiful view of the ocean from our balcony.

Now it was time for us to wind down. What I’d been waiting for all week. We kicked back, relaxed, and tuned in for some blissful uninterrupted TV time. It’s funny, if we watch TV at home I always feel like I have 100 other things I could be doing and I never really relax. Having all of that taken away from me really made it easier for me to unwind. We watched a couple of episodes of Daredevil, and then decided on dinner. I initially wanted room service, and although there were quite a few gluten free options available on the dinner menu (props to Rendezvous for that), nothing caught my eye. We decided on Grill’d, which is conveniently located at the base of the hotel. Grill’d now offer a gluten free bun option on their burger menu (although I am confused as to why there is a disclaimer that it may contain gluten, no other product that ‘may’ contain gluten that I’ve come across ever calls itself gluten free), and happily it was quite delicious. Yes, that is Seinfeld in the background. We only have one season left!

Sebastian wanted something quite specific for breakfast (a smoked salmon bagel), so we did a bit of a google search and discovered The SandBar just down the road had exactly what we were after. Sebastian ordered his bagel and I ordered poached eggs with mushrooms, bacon, and gluten free toast. I like a big breakfast. The breakfast was delicious, and the gluten free bread was so yummy I even asked the waiter which bread they use and I’ll be attempting to hunt it down sometime soon. After breakfast we went for a stroll along the foreshore and witnessed a man doing some vigorous dancing on the grassed area near the water. What a way to start the day! We headed home mid-morning, and both felt refreshed after our mini Staycation. I think it’s a great way of taking a break without traveling too far from home, or spending too much money.

Product Review: Hourglass Ethereal Glow Blush

I just realised it’s been a long time since I posted a product review on the blog, but this blush is well worth the honour of being the first review in quite a while. I love my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (although I’ve been using it a lot less after dropping and smashing it), so I was really intrigued when the brand released this line of blush. To be honest I couldn’t really justify the price with a cupboard full of blush waiting to be used, so I tucked them away in the back of my mind for future reference. When Christmas came around last year I made sure to pop them on my wishlist, and was lucky enough to receive Ethereal Glow as part of my gift from Sebastian. This is a lovely blush, but I think the reason it works for me is because I have such fair skin. The blush is dusty and the payoff is faint, which means I need to apply a lot of product to get any sort of colour to show on the cheeks. When the colour does show it’s a stunning soft pink with a hint of shimmer to it. I love it so much I even included it in my capsule makeup collection for Autumn. The Hourglass Etheral Glow Blush retails for $46 AUD and is available for purchase from Mecca Cosmetica/Maxima.

Thoughts of the week…

01) It’s been a busy time for blockbuster movie trailer releases lately! Batman vs Superman (Dawn of Justice) looks surprisingly good. I like that they seem to have used a voice distorter for Ben Affleck as Batman. Much better than Ben Affleck putting on a dodgy Batman voice.

02) Speaking of blockbuster movie trailers… NEW JURASSIC WORLD TRAILER.

03) Apparently Perth is getting ALDI stores soon. I’ve been told this is a wonderful thing. So tell me, what’s so good about ALDI?

04) It arrived! And I am in love with it already.

05) Things that are depressing when you’re trying to save money – your favourite musical artists announcing new shows in your city. Ed Sheeran and Hozier, I’m looking at you.

06) I was really disappointed to see that Neil Degrasse-Tyson isn’t having a show in Perth, because I think we definitely would have scrimped our pennies together to see him talk! Everyone else should check this out.

07) This video is absolutely adorable.

08) This video is absolutely AMAZING.

09) This wins the award for cutest news story of the week.

10) To be honest, I haven’t seen much of Amy Schumer’s work, but this video with Tina Fey, Julia Louis Dryfuss, and Patricia Arquette is pretty funny (warning: not for the faint hearted).