Friday, 17 November 2017

A Story About A Counterfeit Dress

Several years ago, whilst at Sydney's Royal Easter Show, I spotted a stand that had this dress I'd had my eye on for months. As you'll see below, it's blue, it's dotty and it's sooooo me. Despite being a size too big and ill-fitting in certain parts (I've since had it altered twice to suit my body & tastes), I happily purchased it + a red belt (because, you know, accessorising) without a second thought. It wasn't until I got it home & searched for a laundry label that the "fun" began. This dress doesn't have one, which struck (and still strikes) me as odd.


So what does a girl do when she needs info in a snap? She turns to the interwebs of course.

Monday, 13 November 2017

No Body's Perfect

Whilst on my holiday of a lifetime last year, I had an epiphany in (of all places) a change room. As I stood there looking at myself in the mirror, wearing only a sports bra/crop top & ¾ tights, I realised that my body wasn't half as bad as the voice inside my head said it was. That my legs didn’t deserve all the grief I’d given them for not resembling those of a supermodel. That I actually looked none too shabby whilst rockin’ the activewear activewear.

I’ve had various body image-related epiphanies in change rooms over the years & this was yet another powerful reminder that I needed to stop giving myself so much shit for not looking like some perceived ideal. Granted, I’m still not consistent in the messages I feed myself – every now & again I'll plunge into a self-esteem shit spiral over eating too much chocolate & not exercising enough  – but I know I’ve got better with body-positive self-talk as I’ve got older.

However, like every other woman out there, I haven’t always felt great about myself.

Friday, 10 November 2017

How To Make Your Own Nut Butter


Hola mi amigas! Today I'm going to deviate from the norm just a little & deliver my first ever food/recipe-related post by teaching you all how to make your own nut butter.

Over the past 12-18 months I've begun to think a little more about what goes into our food, or more specifically, what I was putting into my mouth at breakfast. On any given day, I typically eat peanut buttered toast with a bowl of fruit for breakfast. I started thinking that the commercial peanut butter I was eating was filled with sugar & salt, something I didn't feel my body needed as I was getting enough of both throughout the day. I eventually switched to a peanut butter made by a health food store I like to frequent; but that habit began to get expensive as this fresh peanut butter was priced by its weight (and I was going through it + their almond butter far too quickly), so I thought "why not make it myself? Surely it can't be that hard!"...and it isn't. Making your own nut butters might be an adjustment for your tastebuds, but I personally feel it's worth it because at least you'll know exactly what's gone into them. I won't lie, I still occasionally buy a commercial peanut butter, but I make sure it doesn't contain sugar or salt.

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Monthly Happy List (October)

Stock photo - not me!
Hola mi amigas & happy Monday!

When I think about the month that has been, I'm stumped as to how to describe it. I guess it was neither here nor there. There were some highlights though & that's what I'm (naturally) going to focus on right here.

Let's see what made me happy in October:

Friday, 3 November 2017

Empties Time! (September/October)


Hola mi amigas & happy Friday!

Despite the image above, I can't say I finished up a whole lot of stuff during the first 2 months of Spring; but what I can say is that I finally used up a couple of things that I'd been itching to finish & replace with other products.

Let's get into it:

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

My Current PM Skincare Routine

Hola mi amigas & welcome to my night-time skincare routine post! If you missed the AM version, you can catch up here.

Just a quick refresher about my skin if you missed that aforementioned post: my skin is sensitive, combination & dehydrated, with some skincare concerns like a bit of pigmentation, open pores around the sides of my nose + a few open pores on my forehead & chin, the early signs of ageing & some redness. Basically, I've got the works lol.

When it comes to my PM skincare routine, I'm much more diligent with it than I am in the AM. Rarely do I go to bed without having washed off the pollution of the day - I have to be absolutely knackered & not wearing makeup or sunscreen to go to bed without going through my routine. I feel it's more important for me to have a night-time routine as opposed to a day-time routine, but I also know I feel better when I cleanse in the AM as well.

Without further ado, here's what I'm currently using of a night-time:

Friday, 27 October 2017

3 Ways To Rock A Denim Jacket In Spring

In case you missed it, the 90's are back baby! From chokers to "mom jeans", just about everything that was fashionable when I was growing up is now in vogue again...including what I'm about to show you today.

I'm not quite sure if denim jackets ever really disappeared from the fashionsphere but if they did, then I guess they just had a hiatus of sorts. I can remember rocking one circa 2001, around the time my friends threw me a surprise 17th birthday party (albeit one week after my birthday, but that's what I get for being born on or around Australian Father's Day), so they might have gone out of style in 2002 lol....

Regardless, once this trend reared its head again I wanted back in, especially once I saw all these gorgeous light denim jackets floating around that were nothing like the mid-dark wash I sported back in my teens. I feel like a denim jacket is perfect for when a blazer feels too formal, a coat isn't weather-appropriate (i.e. it's too warm out, yet the mornings are on the crisp side) & a leather jacket feels too badass, too...intense for the outfit you're wearing.

If you're not entirely sure how to wear one or what to pair it with, here's 3 different looks you can rock during Spring (or even early Autumn):

Monday, 23 October 2017

My Current AM Skincare Routine

I'll be honest as usual & say that I'm really slack when it comes to a morning skincare routine. Some weeks I'll get into a routine where I cleanse/tone/moisturise every morning & then other weeks I simply forget or can't be arsed doing it. I know my skin feels better & rejuvenated when I remember to do it, but I guess old habits die hard.

Before I tell you what I'm currently using in the A.M, lemme mention my particular skin type + concerns I have. My skin is primarily sensitive & could react to products at any time - even stuff that I've been using for a long time. There's at least 1 active ingredient I know I have to limit my use of (Vitamin C) as my skin turns bright red whenever I use it. I also have combination skin, with open pores on either side of my nose (aka the oiliest part of my skin) & a few open pores creeping onto my forehead & chin too. It's also prone to dehydration, even on the oiliest parts of my skin.

In terms of skin concerns, I also have a little bit of pigmentation + I'm seeing the beginning of the ageing process (i.e. crows feet, my smile lines deepening + my skin beginning to slacken a little). I can & do get red every now & again as well. Oh & there's those scars I have from both skin cancer surgery + a biopsy on the other skin cancer I had, but reducing their impact doesn't necessarily come into my skin cancer routine.

When I do remember my morning skincare routine, this is what I use:

Thursday, 19 October 2017

#beautyheaventurns10


When one of your favourite websites in the world decides to throw a big birthday bash to celebrate a milestone, you just know you have to attend, despite being a social hermit....and it was with that frame of mind that I attended beautyheaven's 10th birthday party at Sydney's The Ivy Sunroom last Saturday.

For those of you who have never heard of beautyheaven (BH for short) before, beautyheaven is Australia's #1 go-to site for all things beauty-related, whether you're there for the articles, to write your own personal reviews on products you've tried, or to simply join in the forums & chat with like-minded beauty lovers. It's a community I've been a part of for just over 4 years now & one I can't imagine leaving at any stage. If I'm tossing up over whether or not to buy a product, I will scroll through the member-written reviews to get an honest opinion on it. BH members are responsible for me falling in love with some of my favourite products (and discovering a couple of duds too, sadly), so it's all their fault!

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Lust List #5 (Spring 2017 Edition)


Hola mi amigas & welcome to another Lust List!

As regulars would know, my Lust Lists are like the sister to my Shopping Cart posts, except they're full of stuff I want but haven't bought yet. Pretty straightforward huh?

This edition of The Lust List will be largely fashion-based so if this isn't what you come for, then you might either want to click away now or hold on tight until the last part of this post.

Let's get crackin':

Friday, 13 October 2017

9 Tunes With Mental Health Themes

WARNING: This post contains songs with themes that could be a trigger for some people. If you're feeling particularly sensitive right now, then do not read this post.

As regular readers will know, music is one of my greatest loves. It's something that uplifts me when I'm happy & something I tune into when I'm in another one of my mental health shit spirals. Occasionally I just have to listen to a song that I feel will speak to me in order to get whatever's bugging me out of my system.

Little do we realise that creative types such as musicians also do the same thing, except they put their feelings, emotions & troubles into song for all of us to hear. I read somewhere recently that creatives are more prone to mental health issues either by way of their profession or their own issues drawing them to the profession in the first place & I can't say I'm surprised to read that, just judging by the list I've created for you today & the amount of musicians who have unfortunately taken their own lives or had their addictions & demons fuelled by their profession.

Stock photo credit: Frank Septillion on Unsplash
Before I get into this post, bear in mind that some of these songs are my own interpretations and (possibly) that of my music-loving friends (I asked them for help with this & they've delivered). I will mark those particular songs with an *.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

13 Things That Make Me Anxious


WARNING: This post contains things that could be triggers for some people. If you're feeling particularly sensitive right now, please do not read this post.

I know I spoke a while ago about my battle with social anxiety (and again, I'd like to thank those of you who took the time to comment & to offer support & chats etc), but I never mentioned the specifics of what makes me anxious. Today you're going to get that insight at long last because not only is it World Mental Health Day today, it's also Australia's National Mental Health Week & I'd like to continue the conversation I started back in February. Bear in mind that not all of these things are symptomatic of social anxiety or anxiety in general; they're merely what can induce anxiety in me.

So without further ado, here's all the things that make me want to curl up in a ball & hide, in no particular order (although the strongest situations are higher up this list):

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Monthly Happy List (September)

monthly happy list stock photo
Stock photo - this isn't me!
September was a pretty good month overall, despite a couple of down moments. I don't know about you, but I really look forward to this time of year in Australia. It's a new season, the sun starts shining just that bit brighter, I start shelving all my winter clothes & begin getting my arms & legs out....I've made no secret of my love for warmer weather & Spring is no different for me. I do wish the weather gods would give Sydney some rain though; it's so dry here atm!

Weather issues aside, let's have a look at what made me happy during September:

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Shopping Cart (August/September)


It's that time of the month again....no not that one...the one where I round up all my purchases for your voyeuristic pleasure & tell you about each & every one of them.

As always, any sales or links mentioned in this post are correct at the time of publishing. If for any reason the sales are no longer happening or the links are broken by the time you read this post, then I can not & will not be held responsible.

Just a warning before we start: this Shopping Cart post is going to be pretty epic. As September was my birthday month, I did get quite spendy both in the lead-up & afterwards. I was thinking of doing a separate birthday haul post but in the end it didn't make sense for me to do so, especially since I was waiting on orders to arrive & also still deciding how to spend my dosh. I haven't blown it all yet as I'm holding out for a very special event this week, which I'll mention at the end of this post.

Grab a cuppa & settle in!

Monday, 18 September 2017

9 Products I Regret Wasting Money On

Quite a while ago, Di from Max The Unicorn posted her top 7 beauty purchase regrets & that hilarious post inspired me to create my own purchase regrets post (albeit some time down the track)....and here they all are, in no particular order because they're all regrettable in their own special way:

9 products I regret wasting money on: Lanolips Tinted SPF30+ balm in Perfectly Nude, Bare Minerals The Sexy Neutrals palette, Too Faced Hangover Primer, Andalou Naturals Lift & Firm Mask, Eco Tan Natural Coconut Sunscreen (tinted), Nuxe dry oil, Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet, Ego Sunsense Sensitive sunscreen & Butter London - Goss nail polish


Friday, 8 September 2017

The Monthly Happy List (August)

monthly happy list stock photo

August for me was a bit of a trying time. With Mercury having gone retrograde in my star sign (Virgo) last month*, things seemed to be kinda off-kilter. Between me losing internet temporarily before getting it back again, someone not getting back to me to confirm an appointment I'd re-arranged (only for me to turn up & discover no-one was there 😠), transport in Sydney going haywire (I swear there were way more train delays & interruptions during August), me accidentally ordering an extra ticket (which I neither wanted nor needed) to something, people not listening in general & me having my annual existential "crisis" about turning another year older, it certainly was somewhat eventful! Nevertheless, I managed to make it through without too many scars.

Mercury retrograde was useful for one thing though: it inspired me to do a stocktake of my life & look at where I'm at & what I can do to "switch shit up" as I like to call it. Maybe it had something to do with my birthday last week; but whatever it was it acted like a bit of a wake-up call, albeit one that turned me into a brooding bitch for several hours...

Buuuuuuuuut enough about me & my personal life, let's get into the good stuff:

Monday, 4 September 2017

Empties Time! (July/August)

July/August empties

Hola mi amigas & happy Monday! Hope you guys had a great weekend & hope my American readers are having a nice long weekend. If any of you have missed an empties post, you can find them through the Empties tag.

I didn't finish a whole lot in July so I rolled everything over into August instead, where I finished up a couple of items I'd really focused on + at least 1 ol' favourite.

Let's get crackin':

Friday, 1 September 2017

33 Things I've Learnt In 33 Years

birthday

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, happy birthday to ME!

Yep that's right amigas, today's mah bir'day! I'm not going to mention my age because, er, the title of this post says it all 😉, but what I will share with you are some things I've learnt in life to date....starting right now:

Monday, 28 August 2017

In The Spotlight: Essano

Essano, New Zealand beauty, skin care, body care, hand & nail care

Hola mi amigas!

As you guys might've seen from my recent Priceline skincare haul post, I picked up a bunch of skin & body care goodies from New Zealand organic* beauty brand Essano & today I'm going to share with you my thoughts on them. Bear in mind that these thoughts are largely based on my first few uses of these products, although I have been using one of these products on & off for a while.

For those of you who have never heard of Essano before, this hair, skin & body care brand is all about natural & effective products that are neither expensive nor exclusive, hence why they're stocked in supermarkets & pharmacies across Australasia. They're also focused on sustainability & ethics making sure that all their packaging is recyclable, yet at the same time not compromising on ingredient selection for their products. They also claim to be cruelty-free, however I can't find a certification on their website (and I admit I didn't email them to ask), so maybe take that with a grain of salt.

Monday, 7 August 2017

What I Hauled From Priceline's 40% Off Skincare Sale

Priceline, skincare, sales, hauls, Essano, Lanolips, The Ordinary, Carmex, Uriage

Hola mi amigas & happy Monday!

Last Wednesday I made my bi-annual pilgrimage to Priceline for their famous 40% off skincare sale (aka the only sale I live for) & lemme tell you, it was a little stressful & painful (only by the end of the day, when my right bicep was sore from carting my haul + other stuff home), but also fun. Thankfully for me, I got in early so there wasn't much of a crowd at all the stores I went to; but that said I still didn't get everything I wanted. *curses The Ordinary for being über-popular & selling out of the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% before I or anyone else could get their hands on it 😢*

So....betcha itching to know what I got right? Well mi amigas, here's everything I hauled:

Friday, 4 August 2017

The Monthly Happy List (July)



Hola mi amigas & happy Fri-YAY!

So another month is done & dusted & we Aussies are hurtling towards the end of winter, which I for one am rather happy about. I've mentioned before how winter isn't my fave time of year (even though I've found some good things to say about it too), but this year its felt a bit rougher than usual. Maybe that's due to me being sick several times in the last few months (including last month) or maybe I've just felt the cold a bit more than normal; but whatever it is, right now I'm like "roll on spring"!

Personal feelings about winter aside, let's focus on July & see what made me happy last month:

Monday, 31 July 2017

My Priceline 40% Off Skincare Sale Wishlist

Hola mi amigas!

Me posting twice in 1 day is a bit random I know, but I've got some exciting news: the one & only beauty sale I hang out for is starting in a couple of days! That's right, Aussie "drug store" Priceline is holding their bi-annual 40% off skincare sale this Wednesday through to Friday & lemme tell you, I'm bloody excited!

As I just mentioned (and as you may have seen from previous posts), I live for this sale. Forget makeup, forget hair care, forget...whatever....the 40% off skincare sale is my jam & I'm not afraid to say it. I'm also not afraid to say that I've been sweating on this sale for about the last 3 months....kinda like that Instagram stalker chick on the current season of The Bachelor Australia. But that's a topic for another time...

The Shopping Cart (June/July)

The Shopping Cart quote

It's that time of the month again....no not that one...the one where I round up all my purchases for your voyeuristic pleasure & tell you about each & every one of them.

As always, any sales or links mentioned in this post are correct at the time of publishing. If for any reason the sales are no longer happening or the links are broken by the time you read this post, then I can not & will not be held responsible.

Compared with May's madness, both June & July were very quiet on the purchasing front. I guess the end of the financial year might've had something to do with it. However, I am gearing up for a spendy August & September as one of those months is my birthday month & I've got my eye on waaaay too many things!

But enough chit chat, let's get into it:

Friday, 28 July 2017

July Beauty Favourites

Hola mi amigas! Welcome to my first ever Beauty Favourites post!

When I first began blogging, it seemed like these sorts of posts were the shiz, but that seems to have died down a bit now & out of the bloggers I follow, I only see a small handful do these monthly posts.

The next question is: why have I never published one? Weeeeeeeell....for starters, my beauty stash is rather small (aside from my polish collection). I pretty much use the same products month in month out & haven't bought a lot of new stuff recently either. I did do a Beauty Faves section in my March Happy List post which frankly I should've dedicated a separate post to, given the way I type lol. I can't give you guys any guarantees that this will be a regular feature on TNL; I'll probably just pump them out when I feel like it.

So what products have I been lovin' this month? Read on peeps, read on:

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

How To Wear White Jeans In Winter

fashion, white denim, knitwear, ankle boots

There's some rules about fashion that are meant to be followed (don't ask me what they are as I can't think of them right now!) & then there are some that baffle me, like the rule about "not wearing white after (American) Labor Day". I'm sorry but WTF? Who died & decided to restrict our colour palettes? Who says we can't wear white during the colder months of the year?

I say all of this because I broke that stupid "rule" last Thursday night by wearing white jeans to a comedy gig....and I wasn't the only one in the room who did it either. I loved the look of this particular outfit so much that I decided to share it with you today + my thoughts on how you can wear white jeans in winter:

Friday, 21 July 2017

My Travel Bucket List: 11 Destinations I'd Like To Visit

When it comes to travel, I consider myself pretty lucky. I've had the opportunity to visit some great (and, to be fair, not so great) places in my time & I do consider myself very fortunate for holding a passport. I'm of the opinion that travel is a great educator & that it opens you up to all sorts of opportunities & possibilities. Whilst living at the "arse end of the world" (as one of our former Prime Ministers so eloquently put it) isn't ideal for travel, it hasn't stopped me from getting out there & seeing planet Earth & the places it has to offer.

That said, there are still many destinations in the world that I haven't visited yet & would like to visit, hence today's post. Just a word of warning: this post will be largely idyllic & water-filled....because that's my jam. (Although you wouldn't expect anything less from this aquatic-obsessed blogger right?)

Monday, 17 July 2017

My Polish Picks For Winter

Right now Australia is well into winter & one of the few things I like about this season is being able to paint my nails without my polish going all funny like it does during the warmer months. (Well, that + everything else I mentioned here.) It's also a good time to play around with darker, richer shades that might look a bit stark in summer, depending on your viewpoint. I personally reckon that you should wear whatever shades you like all year round, but atm I'm playing around with the concept of tailoring my polish to the seasons (well, spring, summer & winter since we don't really have a traditional autumn).

Not sure about which shades are suitable for winter? Well, continuing reading mi amiga & you'll find out...

Friday, 14 July 2017

My Intentions For 2017 Update

My Intentions For 2017 Update

Hola mi amigas & happy Friday!

Today's post is a little different, in that I'm going to sit down & share with you how I'm going with my intentions for 2017 so far, just to see how I'm tracking & also to hold myself accountable for either getting or not getting shit done. If you missed the original post, then you can have a read here. I've broken it down into sections like I did in the original post, but for the most part I'll just ramble on as usual. Oh & a heads-up: don't expect miracles. This is the Queen of Procrastination you're dealing with here. 😉

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Lust List #4 (Winter 2017 Edition)

The Lust List

Hola mi amigas & welcome to another edition of The Lust List!

For those of you who aren't acquainted with these lists of mine, think of them as a sister to The Shopping Cart posts that I do every month or so. The gist of these posts is self-explanatory, so I don't think I need to tell you what they're all about. 😉

Friday, 7 July 2017

Empties Time! (June)

empty beauty products

Hola mi amigas & welcome to another round of Empties Time(!).

June for me wasn't too bad in the empties department. I managed to finish off something that I'd been dying to finish for a while + some usual suspects + I finished off a couple more candles, which is great since I'm trying to reduce my stash bit by bit. Although my empties amount is smaller than previous months, the finished candles take up too much space inside my empties box & I feel the need to empty the box before it gets overwhelming.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Monthly Happy List (June)

monthly happy list lady

OMG it's July already?! Where the hell has 2017 gone? I can't believe it's less than 2 months until my birthday & that next month will mark 1 year since I embarked on my big trip. Crazy! With the chilly weather Sydney has been experiencing recently, I'm wishing I could do it all again this year, but alas, that won't happen unless a big ol' lottery win comes my way soon.....

June for me was a bit of a nothing month, as in nothing really special happened (ok, something a little special did happen...you'll read about that below). I was a bit up & down both physically & emotionally & had to roll with the punches, but I guess that's life for you. I'm hoping to get back on track with my blogging schedule this month, but I'm not going to make any promises for now.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Photo Diary: Good Food & Wine Show Sydney

good food & wine show sydney 2017 collage

Hola mi amigas!

Before I get into today's post, I'll just let you know that I'm gonna be kinda MIA until further notice, so posts will be few & far between. I'm running very low on internet data atm & since I have to share this connection with other people, I have to be mindful of usage. The situation is about to be rectified & improved soon, however that won't happen in an instant. It's frustrating because I know I've been out of whack schedule-wise recently, but this time around I'm not entirely in control of the situation. Hope you guys can understand my absence.

But enough with the babble...let's get into my latest post. Last Friday my Mum & I went to Sydney's Good Food & Wine Show for the 3rd year in a row & had a better time than expected. We decided to go on Friday instead of Saturday this year just to see if it was less busy than our 2 previous Saturday visits & whilst it was still fairly busy, it wasn't as packed.

For those of you overseas who haven't the foggiest idea of what I'm on about, the Good Food & Wine Show is a 3-day event where gourmet & specialist food & wine providers showcase their wares to the public for sale. (Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth also have their own Good Food & Wine Shows on at various times of the year. Poor Adelaide gets gipped, as usual.) There's also live cooking demonstrations courtesy of professional chefs (all of whom have featured on Australian TV), cooking masterclasses, a VIP lounge, free wine tasting classes....you get my drift. As their website states: "Whether you’re into sweet or savoury, beer or wine, we’ve got you covered."

Monday, 19 June 2017

12 Beauty Struggles Pale Girls Can Relate To

beauty stock

As a lifelong, card-carrying member of the Pale Girls Club, I've had my fair share of beauty struggles (pardon the pun). It would seem that most beauty brands & their distributors believe that all women must fit within the light to medium spectrum, when in actual fact us ladies are anywhere from Snow White to Princess Tiana & beyond, each of us with different undertones to the next woman. (Don't get me started on that!) Navigating these waters can be precarious I tell you!

Friday, 16 June 2017

4 Stupid Assumptions People Have Made of Me

WARNING: Prepare for rantage.

Several months back, whilst browsing one of my favourite beauty sites, I stumbled across an article titled 9 Things Girls With Big Feet Can Relate To and of course, I had to read it since I can toooootally relate. In it, the author Sam (my shoe size twin, give or take) recounts all the stupid things people have said to her about her size 10 Australian feet (a couple of which I've had as well) and it got me thinking about what other stupid assumptions people have made of me in both the past and the present:

Friday, 9 June 2017

NOTD: Neve

Hola mi amigas!

I initially wasn't going to publish a post today. I've been sick again this week with the 'lurgy (a cold) & between a runny, stuffy nose & my physical energy levels taking another nose-dive, I just didn't feel up to the task of posting until sometime earlier today. Thankfully my nose has stopped running now & my energy levels are close to normal again; so *touch wood* I'm starting to feel better. I'll also mention quickly that as Monday is a public holiday in Sydney, there won't be a post as usual, so you'll have to stay tuned later next week for anything new. *fingers crossed*

Anyway, the reason why I decided to a post after all is I've got another lil' NOTD for you & I'm itching to show it off.

Zoya, nail polish swatch, Neve
Outdoors, direct sunlight

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Monthly Happy List (May)

monthly happy list

Hola mi amigas!

Yet another month has flown by & it's now time for me & the rest of my southern hemisphere beauties to bunker down for the winter. (Except there won't be that much bunkering down since it doesn't get to absolutely freezing in most parts of Australia...except maybe Tasmania or somewhere like that.) For me, this is a time to re-charge the batteries (somewhat) & after the fairly busy month I've just had, I think re-charging is in top order! It's also a time to indulge in my love of cooking & baking, but that's another subject for another time.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Empties Time! (May)

May empties

Hola mi amigas!

Another month has passed & yet again it's time for me to take out the beauty trash. There's 3 products in here that I finished at the end of April, but I've rolled them over into this edition of Empties Time(!) because I cba photographing & adding them to that aforementioned empties post. My empties box is quite heavy due to these candles & I'd rather empty it now than roll it over into this month & do a bi-monthly post.

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Shopping Cart (May)

the shopping cart quote

It's that time of the month again....no not that one...the one where I round up all my purchases for your voyeuristic pleasure & tell you about each & every one of them.

As always, any sales or links mentioned in this post are correct at the time of publishing. If for any reason the sales are no longer happening or the links are broken by the time you read this post, then I can not & will not be held responsible.

Compared with previous months, I got spendy during May...real spendy. I guess that's what holidays do to you.

Monday, 22 May 2017

A Small Guide to the Gold Coast

beach views

Hola mi amigas! Today I’m going to chat about one of Australia’s top tourist destinations, the Gold Coast.

Home to various theme parks, beaches, high rise apartment blocks & rabid Schoolies running amok every November, there is more to the Goldie than just flash & glitz. With the Commonwealth Games coming up next April, the GC is about to come into the spotlight in a big way & what better time to visit than now? I just spent a week up there recently & thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It’d been 9 years since my last visit, so seeing it through fresh eyes & getting out & about more was great….besides, sometimes it’s good to get out of the rat race that is Sydney. 😉

This small guide to the Gold Coast will encompass shopping, eating & how to get around, as well as telling you about where I stayed down in Broadbeach (which is just one area of the GC). All of this is based purely on my own experiences & won’t encompass everything there is about the Gold Coast – consider it a mere taste of what to look for & expect.

Without further ado, let’s get into it:

SHOPPING

This was my predominant activity during my time there & as far as I’m concerned, there are only 3 shopping hubs you ought to check out: Pacific Fair, Harbour Town Outlets & Robina Town Centre. I’ll start first with Pacific Fair.

via Gold Coast Bulletin
Since undergoing a major makeover several years ago, Pacific Fair has become a top shopping destination on the Goldie. Its home to Queensland’s first Sephora store; as well as Zara, H&M, Uniqlo & your usual major & minor department stores & supermarkets. If you’re a slow walker, this place will take at least 2 days to conquer, so be prepared to get lost in there as it is HUGE. (I managed to conquer it in a day, but that’s just me.) There are also quite a lot of eateries both in the old & newer parts of Pacific Fair, ensuring that you won’t go hungry. I even went there one night to Comita Cantina because I was craving Mexican…I didn’t take photos, sorry. (Too busy eating food!) Whilst the spicy beef soft tacos I had were pretty damn meh, the chicken one I had as part of the 3 for $18 deal wasn’t bad. It’s also quite pretty in the newer part of Pac Fair (as the locals call it) at night.

Pacific Fair at night

fountain @ Pacific Fair

Next up, Harbour Town Outlets, which will be familiar to you Adelaideans as you guys have one too (apparently). This place certainly beats the DFO we have in Sydney & dare I say it, might even beat Birkenhead Point. I’ve done my fair share of outlet shopping both here & overseas & for me, Harbour Town Outlets was the best of the bunch as I was able to find quite a number of things. Here you’ll find your designer brands like Kate Spade & Michael Kors alongside your usual high street stores like Portmans, Cotton On, Forever New, Peter Alexander & a zillion surf shops. There are also eateries here too, but I didn’t bother eating when I went there. Be prepared to utilise a map because again, you could easily get lost. I scored a number of bargains during my trip here, including a Kate Hill handbag which you will see in the next Shopping Cart post.

Lastly, Robina Town Centre. I was always going to make a trip there seeing as I’d passed it on the bus on my way to Robina train station; but you know a shopping centre is half decent when someone you know swears by it (in my case, my Mum’s friend). Happy to say, this friend of Mum’s was right. Again, it’s big, but not too hard to get around in. (What is it with you Queenslanders, all your shopping centres are frickin’ huge! Not that I was complaining…) Again, you’ll find your major retailers like Myer & David Jones in amongst your high street brands, as well as a few interesting shops in between like The Hat Store & That Shop (the latter a vintage-inspired clothing & accessories store).  For me, this suburban shopping centre was great as whilst it had the same stores I’m used to seeing back home, it also had other stuff to pique my interest. I sometimes feel that Sydney shopping centres have all become cookie-cutter, due to ridiculous rents & the like.

EATING

Around Broadbeach (where I stayed) there’s a tonne of eateries – some decent, some not-so-decent. My parents used to go to Rocks every morning & have their $10 big breakfast (which they enjoyed), but I found their so-called “sourdough” toast tasted more like normal white bread. I also went to Sage twice & Koi once for breakfast & found them to be ok (although the people at Koi served my food before my drinks). I also hit up Bootleg Juice Bar twice for a “Cacao Shake” (aka a cacao & banana smoothie) & found it pretty enjoyable. For all you health nuts, their breakfasts looked quite wholesome & their açai bowl looked nice too.

Cacao Shake from Bootleg Juice Bar, Broadbeach
FYI, the polish I'm wearing is OPI's Kerry Blossom.
In terms of dinner, the only place I can really rave about is Mike’s Kitchen. Tucked away on a hill in Merrimac, this family-friendly restaurant has been running for 25 years & it’s easy to see why they get repeat customers. It’s rare that my Dad raves about anything, but he’s gone to this restaurant several times on golf trips with his friends & has come back speaking in glowing terms about their pork ribs, which my Mum & I just had to try when we were up there. Just a warning: Unless you are an absolute glutton with a bottomless pit for a stomach, I’d suggest sharing a full rack of ribs with someone because they are absolutely HUGE. They were easily the largest set of ribs I have seen for a very long time (possibly ever), but to mine & my mother’s enjoyment, they were also the meatiest & lip-smackingly tastiest ribs we’ve both had for a long time.

Full rack of pork ribs @ Mike's Kitchen, Merrimac
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....*licks lips*

TRANSPORT

You can drive of course and in some places (i.e. getting to Mike’s Kitchen for rib-tastic goodness) it is necessary; but it is just as easy to get around the Gold Coast via public transport. If you are staying solely on the GC & going to all the major attractions like Surfers Paradise & the theme parks, then a go explore card is for you; but if you want to venture north into Brisbane & surrounds, or you’re staying longer, then a standard go card is best. It will set you back $10, but you can redeem that + any amount of have remaining on the card either at the customer service desk in Pacific Fair before you leave or via mail after you leave. The card also has a 12-month expiry date, so if you know you’ll be back in the meantime it might be best to hold onto it.

Random artwork @ Currawa Beach

As far as public transport options go, there’s the G:link tram, which goes in both directions from Broadbeach South (which isn’t far from Pacific Fair & is also a major bus hub in the area) all the way to Gold Coast University Hospital, servicing Surfers Paradise, Cavill Mall, Main Beach, Southport & numerous other stops in between. They are in the process of extending it, but I’m not sure where the extension is going to. That said, I caught this tram plenty of times & found it highly efficient, with trams running every 5-15 minutes, depending on the time of day.

There are also plenty of buses servicing the GC, which will take you to the theme parks (there’s special theme park express buses marked with a TX), Robina & Nerang train stations, Gold Coast airport, Robina Town Centre & many other places in between, including the Harbour Town outlets I mentioned earlier (I caught the tram to Southport, then a bus from Southport to the outlets).

If you wish to travel by train into Brisbane & surrounds from the Gold Coast, you’ll need to get to Varsity Lakes, Robina, Nerang or Helensvale station & catch the Gold Coast line north. I did this twice whilst up there & from Robina it took roughly 1 hour 10-1 hour 20 minutes; so my advice would be to get up early if you wish you do it that way because it’ll be a very long day if you do decide to use public transport. (I also went to Indooroopilly on the first occasion...I’ll talk about that in the next Shopping Cart post too.)

WHERE TO STAY

My folks & I stayed in a 2-bedroom ocean-view luxury apartment at Synergy Broadbeach, located right on the Gold Coast Highway. Conveniently located near restaurants, shops (Pacific Fair was about a 10 minute walk, or 1 tram stop, away) & the G:link tram system (the Broadbeach North stop was 50 metres away on foot), these apartments are modern & fairly spacious with a fair amount of storage to boot. Neither my parents nor I felt like we were encroaching on each other at any stage of our stay.

Lounge room @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
Lounge room

Main bedroom @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
Main bedroom - it also contained a mini TV

2nd bedroom @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
2nd bedroom, which I stayed in
Our apartment contained a large en-suite, a 2nd bathroom, a nice kitchen & dining area with plenty of pantry storage, a washer & dryer inside the kitchen (in case you want to wash some clothes, or the towels provided – the apartments aren’t serviced until after your stay) & a large balcony which gave us some views of the ocean (although we were blocked by some old apartment buildings). The complex also contains a pool, spa & gym (none of which I visited), a secure carpark & key system, as well as a reception desk manned during daylight hours (albeit reduced hours on Saturday & Sunday). Ricki/Rikki (who was on that desk most days) was warm, welcoming, friendly & chatty, which certainly made our stay all the more pleasant.

2nd bathroom @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
2nd bathroom - yes, that's me in the corner, that's me in the spot...light, losing my religioooooon...

Main bathroom @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
Main bathroom

Kitchen @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
Kitchen

Ocean view balcony @ Synergy Apartments Broadbeach
Balcony with ocean views
Normally stays of our kind aren’t cheap, but we managed to get a decent deal (as well as a whole bunch of extra incentives thrown in like restaurant discounts, discounts for endota spa etc) through Luxury Escapes, so if this recommendation plus the photos above & below have convinced you to stay there, then go & check it out. I'm unsure if the deal still remains - if not, keep an eye out for it.

Sunset over Currawa Beach

Views to Surfers Paradise, upon dusk

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this small guide to the Gold Coast!

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Have you ever been to the Gold Coast before? What did you think of it?

Friday, 19 May 2017

NOTD: Nebulous Things

piCture pOlish, nail polish swatch, Australian indie polish

Hola mi amigas!

Before I get into today's post, I'd like to apologise for being absent the past couple of weeks. I went on a brief holiday to the Gold Coast (more on that in the near future) & as usual, didn't have any posts scheduled during my time away. I also came down with the flu halfway through my holiday & felt like a phlegm-y, husky sauna both before & since I got home late last week, so haven't felt like blogging. I am beginning to feel better now, thankfully. At least I've re-gained my voice (YAY)!

But enough about that, let's chat nail polish....or more specifically, what I'm currently sporting on my digits.

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Shopping Cart (April)

the shopping cart quote

It's that time of the month again....no not that one...the one where I round up all my purchases for your voyeuristic pleasure & tell you about each & every one of them.

As always, any sales or links mentioned in this post are correct at the time of publishing. If by chance those links are broken or sales are no longer happening by the time you read this post, then I can't nor won't be held responsible.

After 2 low-buy months, I got a bit more spendy during April, hence why I'm doing this post now instead of the end of May. At risk of repeating myself, I know I've said I'll probably make these sorts of posts a bi-monthly thing; but you never know, occasionally I may have enough to justify an earlier post.

Ok now I'm just babbling for the sake of filling space....get on with it girl!

Monday, 1 May 2017

The Monthly Happy List (April)

monthly happy list

Hola mi amigas!

So we're now into May & hurtling towards the halfway mark of 2017. How are you going with your intentions for the year so far? (If you made any in the first place!) Now might be a good time to reflect on that...or you can procrastinate & wait until after June, that's your call. I've been reflecting on some of mine lately & I feel increasingly ready to put a couple of those intentions into action. I might do a check-in post about this in the coming months, just to see where I'm at.

But enough about that for now....let's get on with the task of seeing what made me happy in April:

Friday, 28 April 2017

Empties Time! (March/April)

March/April empties

Hola mi amigas!

It's time yet again for me to take out the trash. I didn't finish much in March, but somehow managed to finish even more during April. Mind you, I was determined to finish at least one of my April empties, plus some samples I've acquired recently. Feels good to use stuff up!

Monday, 24 April 2017

A Clothing Combination I Never Thought I'd Wear Again...Until Now

Back in the mid-00's, I had a black & white deep-V short-sleeve dress that I used to wear on nights out, teamed with a pair of 3/4 black leggings. The dress was a little short for my liking (although in hindsight I think I was just being conservative & hating on my legs too much) & leggings with dresses were all the rage 10 or so years ago, so it seemed only fitting to jump on-board the trend.

I don't know when I stopped donning this pairing - maybe once the trend had faded from my view or maybe when I stopped wearing the dress altogether & gave it away to charity - but it came to my attention again recently when I had a discussion with Beth about how I could/should continue wearing my French Connection shirt dress (aka the "slutbag dress", as originally seen here) right throughout winter, seeing as I am taking part in her #StyleCost2017 project & all that. Leggings were discussed as a possibility to go with said dress & I have to say that discussion planted a seed in my mind.

And once a seed is planted, it's pretty hard to get out of your head.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Photo Diary: Sydney Royal Easter Show

sydney royal easter show collage

Hola mi amigas, I'm back! How was your Easter? Hope you didn't consume so much chocolate you ended up in a cocoa coma.

Speaking of Easter....today's post is a bit different in that I'm going to shut up try & keep my words to a minimum & just show you how I spent the day at Sydney's Royal Easter Show. My Mum & I went on Easter Saturday & lemme tell you, it was pretty pack-a-rooney. I hadn't seen it that busy for a few years!

For those of you who don't know about this Sydney institution, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is where the city meets the country for 2 weeks over the Easter period. I won't go any further down Description Road because my photos will speak for themselves, but if you want any more information, the website has it all. Other cities around Australia have shows like this too, but at different times of the year.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

That Blogger Made Me Buy It!


that blogger made me buy it!

One of the perils of blogging (and reading lots of blogs in general) is you end up discovering all of these brands & products you never knew you wanted & at the click of a link, you're down the rabbit hole of "must. have. all. the. things".  If you're lucky, you end up finding products that you not only love, but want to tell everybody else about too via your blog or social media...and thus the cycle of enabling continues.