The Bedtime Tag

Tine posted a fun tag a little while ago, and I thought I would “single white female” her and do the same! If you follow suit, please let me know in the comments below so I can head over to your blog and read your answers.

1. What are you favourite pajamas?: I’ve always been a big fan of the PJs at Sussan, everything in their range is extremely comfortable and cute. I also wear a lot of stuff from the GAP pure body range (in particular the modal pants), because everything is so soft and perfect for sleeping in.

2. Current bedtime reading?: At the moment I’m reading You by Caroline Kepnes. Which is a pretty strange read so far, to say the least.

3. What is on your bedside table?: I have a hand-painted watercolour portrait of Ben, that I’m yet to find a frame for. I also have a handful of crystals that I’ve picked up over the years, a hand cream from Scottish Fine Soaps, a Tanda candle (in lychee & black tea), a lamp (IKEA of course), and the book I’m currently reading.

4. Favourite sleepy scent?: I don’t really wear or associate any sort of scent with sleep. Although I do like having a gently scented candle next to the bed to keep the room smelling nice and fresh. Nothing too overpowering though.

5. What is your usual bedtime & wakeup time?: When I’m working I usually go to bed at around 10pm and wake up at 5am, now that I’m on holidays my bedtime ranges but is never later than 11:15ish. I’ve been letting myself wake up naturally, which is usually at around 6-6:30am (or 4am if I’ve had a lot of water the night before).

6. Top 3 bedtime products?: Some sort of hand cream, for sure. Although it has to be something I apply to my skin and let it soak in for a reasonable amount of time before going to bed. I hate going to bed feeling like I’m all lathered up in products. I also apply some sort of lip balm before I turn the lights off, and my favourite is the Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Therapy. A treat for my skin before bed is definitely a nice slathering of Kosmea’s organic rosehip oil. Even though it smells terrible, I don’t care.

7. Your most common sleeping position?: We’re currently living with the world’s most uncomfortable mattress, so whatever position I can twist myself into and feel relatively comfortable I guess. I have to battle with a cat who likes to sleep at my feet, and manages to sneak up there when I’m asleep, so I can’t stop it from happening. In general I’m a side/stomach sleeper.

8. Any strange bed time routines?: Sometimes when Sebastian is away for work, I want Pepsi to come and sleep in the bedroom with me. I just like the company. She’s pretty stubborn, so to get her to walk all the way up the passage to the bedroom I use an app that plays a cat meowing – that sucks her in every time.

9. Are you big spoon or little spoon?: Little spoon 99% of the time.

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.

The 50

Natalie from The Mustard Jumper did this tag a little while ago and I thought it seemed like fun, so I decided to do it myself! Here we go, 50 questions about ME –

1. What are you wearing?
A black pencil skirt from GAP, a blue patterned blouse from Target, a navy cardigan from GAP and black leather ballet flats from Country Road.

2. Have you ever been in love?
Yes.

3. Have you even gone through a horrible breakup?
Yes.

4. How tall are you?
5’7″

5. How much do you weigh?
Really? lol.

6. Do you have tattoos?
No. I’ve never come across an image that I’ve loved enough to want it permanently marked on my body. Never say never though.

7. Do you have piercings?
Just my ears.

8. What is the ideal couple to you?
I feel like this quote by Mindy Kaling sums it up – “I don’t want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun.” Being friends before anything else, and LIKING someone as much as you love them is very important – at least in my eyes.

9. Your favourite TV show?
Currently, I’d have to say either Homeland or The Mindy Project. They’re the ones I’m most excited to tune in for every week. Of all-time, I’d say either The West Wing, The Office (US), The X Files, or Parks and Recreation.

10. Your favourite band?
This seems like such an old-school question, and it’s not one that I can pick just one answer for anymore. I have a lot of favourite artists that suit my different moods. I’d say my top five musical artists would be The Civil Wars, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Laura Marling, and Kings of Leon.

11. Something you’re missing?
Junk food. Sebastian and I have embarked on something of a “clean eating” meal plan, although I’m not throwing it around social media to annoy people. It’s probably closer to an 80/20 diet for us, with the 80 now being the healthy food (a couple of weeks ago it would have been the other way around).

12. Your favourite song?
All Too Well by Taylor Swift

13. How old are you?
30. Which is now surprisingly less terrifying than 31. Is that how age works?

14. What’s your astrological sign?
Scorpio. Through and through.

15. An essential quality for a boyfriend?
Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Oh, and someone with a soft spot for animals always goes up an extra notch in my book.

16. Favourite Quote?
“The things that are meant for you don’t pass you by.”

17. Favourite Actor?
Probably Tom Hanks. Who doesn’t love Tom Hanks?

18. Favourite Colour?
Burgundy.

19. Do you listen to music at a low or high volume?
High. I can’t stand having things on low volume – probably because my hearing isn’t great. I spent most of my “youth” at gigs with friends and I think the effects of that are starting to show.

20. Where do you go when you are sad?
Bed. Or the couch to tune out.

21. How long do you stay in the shower?
It used to be FAR longer, but now I’d say 10 minutes or so.

22. How long does it take to get ready in the morning?
In total, from waking up to getting out of the door in the morning it’s about an hour and a half. If it’s just showering, doing my hair and makeup, and getting dressed, then I’d say about 30-40 minutes. I shower every day, so that cuts into my time a little bit.

23. Did you ever get in a fight?
Physically? No.

24. Something that seduces you in a man?
Tall, broad shouldered, dark hair, with a bit of stubble – all works for me.

25. The most repelling thing in a man?
Someone who is selfish. Or stupid.

26. Why do you have a blog?
Because it’s fun, and I love the community element of it.

27. What are you afraid of?
Flying, falling from a great height, elevators. Most things that could result in me dropping/falling to my death. I’m guessing that’s how I went out in my last life.

28. The last thing that made you cry?
Today at lunch I watched the video of Watson hitting his 63 and the crowd’s reaction made me shed a little tear.

29. The last time you said “I love you”?
This afternoon before I hung up the phone after speaking to Sebastian. He likes to sneak one in at the end.

30. What does your blog name mean?
Beautiful Light. It sounds pretty, and I’ve always loved the way the two words look together.

31. The latest book you read?
The last book I finished was Tampa by Alissa Nutting.

32. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading ‘The Vacationers’ by Emma Straub I’m only a little way in but am liking it so far.

33. The latest TV series you watched?
At the moment we’re switching between a few TV shows. I’m watching 30 Rock, American Horror Story, Homeland, The Newsroom, The Mindy Project, New Girl, and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

34. The last person you talked to?
My boyfriend.

35. Who did you last text with?
My sister, who was asking me to babysit for her on Thursday night.

36. Your favourite food?
Hot chips with chicken salt. And I love the batter on deep fried fish and chips. I like to eat the fish from the inside and save the batter until last, because I am a despicable human being I guess.

37. Places you want to visit?
Scotland and Canada are high up on my list at the moment.

38. The last place you visited?
Bali

39. Are you currently sweet on someone?
Actually, I’m having a bad day so I’m currently sour on EVERYONE.

40. The last person you kissed?
My boyfriend.

41. The last insult you were told?
Hmm, this is a tough one. I can’t remember the last time someone insulted me… Or hearing someone insult someone else actually. Sorry!

42. Your favourite candy flavour?
Purple, or pink. They’re flavours, right?

43. Do you play an instrument?
Not for a very long time.

44. Your favourite piece of jewellery?
I have a cheap costume jewelery necklace that I bought from Lovisa (I think?) a year or so ago, and I wear it nearly every time I go out somewhere special. You’ve probably seen it pop up in a few of my Instagram selfies in the past. It’s really good quality and I dread the day that it breaks.

45. The last sport session you practiced?
“Sport Session”. lol. The last workout I did was a little HIIT routine in the backyard a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been on a ‘clean eating’ meal plan for the last week or so which means my caloric intake is WAY down, and my energy levels aren’t up to working out.

46. The latest song you sang?
Baby It’s Cold Outside

47. Your favourite catch phrase?
“HOO HOO HOO” – nobody will understand this except Sebastian.

48. Have you ever used it?
Err day.

49. Your last evening out?
On Saturday night we went to a dear friend’s 30th birthday party at a pub in Fremantle. Neither of us are particularly social people, so being mostly sober in a crowd full of drunk and loud people is something we only really do when we’re invited somewhere. Still, it was wonderful to see all of my friends (as it always is).

50. Who are you tagging?
ALL OF YOU, because I’m lazy.

5 Makeup Product FOTD Tag

The beautiful Jenny from My Funny Valentine invited me to participate in the 5 Makeup Product FOTD Tag, so here we go! The challenge is to pick 5 products to create a ‘face of the day’. It’s amazing how many products it takes to achieve a ‘natural’ makeup look, but I tend to wear less makeup on the weekend so I decided to showcase a fairly typical Saturday look for this challenge.

01) Givenchy Photo Perfexion in Perfect Ivory – This is my holy grail foundation. If you’re extremely pale like me, it’s likely that your number one requirement for foundation is a decent colour match. This often means that all other factors fall by the wayside, but lucky for me I’ve managed to find a foundation that ticks ALL the boxes. I used this on my face and up across my eyelid to even everything out and give the illusion of eyeshadow.

02) Stila Convertible Colour Blush in Lillium – I’ve been leaning more towards more natural looking blushes lately, and steering clear of the bright pinks that I used to reach for. Lillium is a neutral pink shade that looks like a natural flush on my cheeks. This is the perfect no-fuss cream blush.

03) Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eye Liner – I rarely wear liquid eyeliner, but when I do I tend to get on a roll and wear it for a few days at a time. I love the Maybelline Master Precise liner because it helps create a very fluid looking line. It’s foolproof for hamfisted folk such as myself.

04) Lancome Hypnose Mascara – This is my all time favourite mascara. This is the perfect mascara. The ultimate. It lengthens and thickens my lashes, and doesn’t transfer to my eyelid (which is something I constantly struggle with when it comes to mascara). It also stays put all day and doesn’t flake underneath the eyes at all.

05) Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss in Truth – My new favourite lipgloss. I have naturally dark lips, and this is a perfect colour match for them. This could quite easily turn into my ultimate ‘your lips but better’ product.

The Ultimate Book Tag

I am terribly slow and when someone tags me in something, I often don’t get around to doing it for YEARS (or perhaps weeks) afterwards. Such is the case with The Ultimate Book Tag. Thank you to Steph from The Book Salon for tagging me. Lets get this show on the road.

Book Q&A Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

What are you reading right now? I have a few books on the go at the moment because I can’t seem to settle on one in particular. I’m reading Columbine by Dave Cullen, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Filth by Irvine Welsh.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? I still have some books left in my winter lineup, Both Flesh And Not by David Foster Wallace, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and the second book in 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I probably won’t get around to reading any of these anytime soon though. I imagine that I’ll be moving on to more Spring-feeling books towards the end of August.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Possession by A.S Byatt, A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, and City of Falling Angels by John Berendt.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now? I don’t read magazines.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? I have a longstanding hatred for Wuthering Heights. I read it years and years ago, so my opinion may have changed since then but I’m not game to try for a re-read. It’s certainly not the most poorly written book I’ve ever read, because I HAVE READ TWILIGHT guys – just putting it out there.

What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like? As a general rule I have absolutely no interest in chick lit, which is obviously incredibly popular with the masses. Also to give a more specific answer, I would rather eat arsenic laced donuts than read 50 Shades of Grey.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? Easily ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak. READ THIS BOOK.

What are your three favourite poems? Just one, by Rilke –

“God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.”

Where do you usually get your books? I shop at The Book Depository a lot. Having said that, if I’m at a shopping centre and I happen to walk past a book shop I always pop in and buy something. I also frequent second hand book stores as often as I can because they seem to be disappearing far too quickly for my liking.

Where do you usually read your books? I commute via train to work, so I get some reading time done there. Other than that I read during my lunch break if I’m not having lunch with someone in particular, and I often read in bed before I go to sleep at night.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? I was a voracious reader when I was a kid, so I flew through most of the book series available at the time. Babysitters Club, Babysitters Little Sister, Pen Pals, Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, Sweet Valley University etc. I remember visiting the local markets and scouring the second hand bookstore shelves for Sweet Valley High or Goosebumps titles that I hadn’t read yet. I was a lot less pedantic about reading things in proper order back then.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down? Sleep is a major joy in my life, so not much tops it and I rarely stay up late reading. I did stay up until after midnight a little while ago reading The Long Walk by Stephen King because I wanted to know how it ended.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book? Not that I can remember, no. Although it’s highly likely I winged a few of my high school English literature exams based on very little reading of the allocated texts.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover? More often than I should.

What was your favourite book when you were a child? The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.

What book changed your life? The entire Harry Potter series was a life changing experience.

What is your favourite passage from a book? “When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist in his face.”

What are your top five favourite authors? J.K. Rowling, Markus Zusak, Khaled Hosseini, Cormac McCarthy, and David Foster Wallace.

What book has no one heard about but should read? Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace (I’m pretty sure people have heard of this book, but still – read it anyway).

What 3 books are you an “Evangelist” for? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, the Road by Cormac McCarthy & A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

What are your favourite books by a first-time author? The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

What is your favourite classic book? 1984 by George Orwell.

Five other notable mentions? (do these have to be classics? I hope not…) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Beach by Alex Garland, We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Schriver, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

A lot of the people I had originally intended to tag in this post have since completed it anyway, so I’m throwing an open tag out there but singling out Dee because I’m quite curious to read her answers.