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.

January Book Haul – Kindle Unlimited

Flawless by Elsie Silver – “The rules were simple. Keep my hands off his daughter and stay out of trouble. But now I’m stuck with her. There’s only one bed. And well, rules are made to be broken. I’m the face of professional bull riding—the golden boy. Or at least I was, until it all blew up in my face. Now my agent says I have to clean up my image, so I’m stuck with his ball-busting daughter for the rest of the season as my “full-time supervision.” But I don’t need a goddamn babysitter, especially one with skin-tight jeans, a sexy smirk, and a mouth she can’t stop running. A mouth I can’t stop thinking about. Because Summer isn’t just another conquest. She sees the man behind the mask, and she doesn’t run—she pulls me closer, even when she shouldn’t. She says this means nothing. I say this means everything. She says there are boundaries we shouldn’t cross. That my reputation can’t take any more hits—and neither can her damaged heart. I say I’m going to steal it anyway.”

Heartless by Elsie Silver – “Working as a nanny for the world’s grumpiest single dad should have been simple. Except I can’t keep my eyes off him. And he can’t keep his hands off of me. Cade Eaton is thirteen years older than I am and barely looks my way. Until I get him into the hot tub one night for a game of truth or dare. Then all bets are off—and so are our clothes. He’s gruff, a little rough around the edges. But broad-shouldered ranchers with calloused hands and filthy mouths are this city girl’s kryptonite. So who am I to resist? But it’s in our quiet moments together that he softens. It’s when he takes care of me that I realize his hardened exterior is just a façade. It’s when I watch him go all sweet with his little boy that I really fall for him. Someone convinced him once that his best wasn’t good enough. But I’ve never felt more cherished than I do in his arms. My contract may say this arrangement is only for two months. But my heart says this is forever.”

January Book Haul

The Accident by Katie McMahon – “All it takes is a spilt second for everything to change forever. Imogen has always wanted to be a doctor, but the pressure of her job is slowly cracking her fragile mental state; her infatuation with an old flame twisting into something darker. Grace has her hands full as a vet and a harried mother to a recovering anorexic teenager. But when circumstances force her daughter to change school, Grace’s carefully-hidden secrets are threatened with exposure. Zoe, a teacher, is blissfully in love with her new boyfriend, but his old school friend, Imogen, still seems to be obsessed with him… and now her… All it takes is one fateful accident to change all their lives forever. Or was it an accident at all?”

Wildflowers by Peggy Frew – “Meg and Nina have been outshone by their younger sister Amber since childhood. They have become used to living on the margins of their parents’ interest, used to others turning away from them and towards charismatic Amber. But Amber’s life has not gone the way they all thought it would, and now the three of them are together for the first time in years, on the road to a remote holiday rental in Far North Queensland, where Meg and Nina plan on helping Amber overcome her addiction. As good intentions gradually become terrifying reality, these sisters will test the limits of love and the line between care and control.”

2023 Bucket List

I had grand plans at the beginning of 2022. I intended on making it so much better than the previous couple of years, both of which seemed to fly by in a pandemic daze. And it really was an okay sort of year. We moved into our new house, we spent a lot of down time relaxing, and we even managed an interstate trip without either of us catching Covid. But then, of course, we both managed to catch it one random weekend a month or so later, and I developed a back injury which has restricted my ability to move around normally. So if I’ve learnt anything from the past few years it’s that I’m probably not going to tick everything off this list. There is always going to be something that comes up along the way. I don’t want to set lofty goals for the year, I think at this point I’d be happy with a few big ticket items and a lot of time spent doing the things I enjoy.

Here’s what I’m hoping to achieve in 2023:

▷ Make efforts to cure my burnout
▷ Go to the Singapore Grand Prix
▷ Work on rehabilitating my back
▷ Finish setting up / decorating the new house
▷ Spend less of my free time on social media
▷ Rediscover my creativity
▷ Get a puppy (?)
▷ Spend more time at the beach
▷ Read at least 50 books