January Wrap Up – Books

Wildflowers by Peggy Frew – I was lucky enough to start the month with a book I really enjoyed, and it was a great way to kick start my reading for the year. This book had a lot of elements I love – family drama, it was set in Australia, well developed characters, a touch of intrigue, and it was beautifully written and captured me from the first chapter. I’ve come to realise over the last few years that I really enjoy Australian literature, and I’ve been lucky to discover so many Australian authors that I love. This was the first book I’ve read from Peggy Frew but it sparked my curiosity to check out the rest of her work.

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz – This was the first book of the year for my work book club, and was picked by a fellow member of the club. I don’t think I would have picked this book up of my own accord, but I ended up loving it. I’ve seen a lot of comparison to The Lovely Bones, and I can see why. A lot of the themes are similar, and the book left me with the same sort of bittersweet anger. I had expected it to be a run-of-the-mill thriller novel, but it ended up being a beautiful story that brought me to tears.

The Accident by Katie McMahon – I just realised every author I read this month is an Australian author. Looks like I am really committing to my newfound love for Australian fiction πŸ‘€ This also had a lot of themes I enjoy – more family drama, well-developed characters, and an element of mystery. It gave me Liane Moriarty vibes. This was another great read, and another Australian author I will be checking out more from in the future.

January Purchases

I have a few personal financial goals this year, and as a part of my budgeting to achieve that I’ve allowed myself a certain amount of money per month for shopping. We have overseas travel planned later in the year and we still have some big ticket items to purchase for the new house, so I’m trying to keep my personal shopping to a minimum and only buy things I need (or really want πŸ‘€). Here are the key items I bought for myself this month:

β–· CoProducts Annual Budget Spreadsheet
β–· NARS Light Reflecting Foundation in Mont Blanc
β–· Soap & Glory Scrub Gloves
β–· Taylor Swift Folklore Vinyl LP
β–· Nike Free Metcon 4 Training Shoes

Favourites – Summer Skincare

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Gummy Bear – Regardless of whether you need a lip sleeping mask, if you liked grape Hubba Bubba as a child, you need this. I absolutely bought into the hype of this product after seeing it everywhere on social media. It’s something I look forward to using at night before I go to bed, the smell makes me so happy and it makes my lip feel very plump and glossy (perfect for sleeping with a CPAP machine πŸ’€). If you’re in the market for a little skincare treat, I’d recommend picking this up.

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ – I’ve always been pretty good about wearing sunscreen but I go through phases of feeling like it doesn’t wear well under my foundation which can put me off wearing it. This is problematic, because I don’t want to look like I’ve aged a single day of my life. This is a beautiful sunscreen, it wears like a lightweight serum and sits well under my foundation without caking or causing too much of a white cast (disclaimer: I am very pale so this is potentially just a coincidence). It also has a lovely light rose scent which does not last on the face but is pleasant while applying the product.

Mecca Cosmetica Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Serum – I was surprised to receive two full-sized products from Mecca as a birthday treat last year, and this was one of them. I have a lot of skincare products that contain Hyaluronic Acid as an ingredient, but not a targeted serum so I was really excited to try this. I have been loving this product, and have now integrated it into my weekly skincare routine.

January Book Haul – Nostalgic Books

Sweet Valley High #84 – The Stolen Diary“Todd Wilkins has decided that he and Elizabeth Wakefield should start dating other people. At her twin sister Jessica’s urging, Elizabeth accepts a date with handsome Kris Lynch, a cartoonist for The Oracle. After a few dates with Kris, Elizabeth is more certain than ever that she’d rather be with Todd, and Todd is realizing that he made a mistake-he still loves Elizabeth, too. Elizabeth tells Kris she can’t go out with him anymore, and that’s when the trouble begins. Rumors about Elizabeth spread throughout Sweet Valley High. It’s up to Jessica to find out who’s behind the gossip before it’s too late.”

Sweet Valley High #90 – Don’t Go Home With John“John Pfeifer, handsome sports editor for The Oracle, is suddenly showing a lot of interest in popular Sweet Valley High junior Lila Fowler. Lila’s never dated a guy like John before serious, intense, and super smart and she’s definitely interested. When John finally asks her out, Lila can hardly wait for their first date. But the evening turns sour when John tries to take things too far. Though Lila manages to get away without getting hurt, she’s too embarrassed to tell anyone what happened. When John crashes Lila’s long-planned costume party, Lila blurts out the whole story to her guests. Now all of Sweet Valley High knows about Lila’s dangerous date, and everyone has an opinion about who’s responsible. The school has become a jury. Will they find John guilty? Or Lila?”

Sweet Valley High #91 – In Love With A Prince“When Elizabeth Wakefield announces that her long-time pen pal, Prince Arthur of Santa Dora, is coming to Sweet Valley for a visit, everyone’s excited about meeting him-except for Dana Larson, lead singer of Sweet Valley’s favorite band, the Droids. Dana thinks the only place for royalty is in the history books-until she actually gets to know Prince Arthur, and the sparks begin to fly! Soon Dana and the Prince have fallen in love. Then Arthur suddenly asks Dana to marry him, and she faces the most serious decision of her life. Dana knows she’s too young to get married to anyone, much less the Prince of Santa Dora. But if she says no, she might lose him forever.”

December Empties

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (mini) – This has been a tried-and true-staple in my makeup bag for many years now. It’s the kind of powder that gives a velvet sheen to the skin and makes you look like you’re glowing from within (which is great because I’m certainly not glowing from within lately, I’ll tell you that much). I’m so pale that I’m also able to use this shade as a sort of bronzing highlighter by layering the product, which makes this a must-have product for me to keep in my makeup bag at all times. And you best believe I had a backup ready to go once I finished this mini.

Johnson’s Extra Sensitive Facial Cleansing Wipes – My friend from work was on the hunt for these wipes earlier in the year when they seemed to be out of stock everywhere. I managed to find her a 3-pack kit at one of the fancy Foodland stores in the CBD, and figured I would pick myself up a packet to try out. I really liked these, they’re gentle on the skin and leave a nice sort of creamy residue on the skin. I know face wipes are not ideal, but some nights you’re too tired to do a full skincare routine and you just gotta do what you gotta do to get your makeup off. I like these enough to want to purchase them again in the future – if I can find them in stock!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater – This has been a staple in my daily routine for a while now. I use it every morning after I get out of the shower and at night after cleansing to refresh my skin before applying the rest of my skincare. It is refreshing, works well on my sensitive skin, and has a beautiful light rose fragrance that I still have not gotten sick of even after all these years. I had another bottle lined up and ready to use once I finished this.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – You’ll probably start to notice a pattern in my empties throughout the year, which is a lot of staple or holy grail items. I know myself well enough by now to know what I love to use, and I tend to repurchase them over and over. This is one of the products that has been in my routine for the longest, and it’s something I never go without. My partner also uses this daily to clean his skin, and his skin has never looked better.