Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell, 2012.

I still cannot believe that today is New Years Eve.
Even at 1am this morning as I was jumping around our apartment, hyped up on fructose and yelling at my boyfriend "It's the last day of the year!!" I didn't truly believe that it was.
And yet today, here it is.

Last year I posted a summary of my year, and throughout 2012, I've found that going back and reading that has really grounded me in knowing what I want for the year.

My Goals / Aspirations / Excitements for 2012:

  • I'm so excited for my trip to Bali with my amazing boyfriend.
    Going overseas was such an amazing experience. I know life-changing is such a cliche way to describe it, but it really does change the way you see yourself and your own situation. 
  • I'm excited for my sister, who will be finishing her last year of high school. I hope I'll be able to be there and support her through her HSC.
    My sister received amazing results this year, and I could not be more proud of her. 
  • I'm excited to move house (maybe).
    In April, I moved in with J. We got a little kitty cat, and I could not be happier. Our apartment has had quite a few issues, but this is the unfortunate reality of renting in Sydney.
  • I hope to further my experience in my chosen profession.
    I lost my job at the law firm halfway through 2012, so I don't think I can really cross this one off. That said, I am a year further into my degree so I'm sure that counts even just a little bit. 
  • I hope to get back into volunteer work.
    Unfortunately, I did not, which is a regret. 
  • I'm excited to continue learning ... both at uni and in my new hobby, pole dancing.
    Overall, with uni I had a good year, and I have progressed so much further in pole dancing than I ever thought I would in a year. 
  • With that, I hope that I'll be able to treat my body a bit better. I want to increase my strength, and my stamina.
    I think this is the healthiest I've ever been, and the most positive I've felt about myself. My eating is the healthiest it's been in quite a few years now - and I mostly have my boyfriend to thank for that. 
  • I also hope to save a bit of money next year.
    This definitely did not happen. We had some ridiculous electricity bills, I lost my job part-way through the year and overall, things were just really tight financially. Luckily, money is not everything. 

2012 was an okay year for me. It was pretty horrible financially. Like I said above, I lost my job, and we had electricity bills that together, equalled in the thousands. I had numerous fights with Centrelink over eligibility, and I lost my health care card which just makes things so much more expensive and tighter.

I did fairly well at uni, despite lacking all sorts of motivation, and this is definitely something I want to change in 2013.

I lost my Nan (from my mum's side), leaving me with no Grandparents. The thought really upsets me, and I miss her still. I was really lucky to get two of her rings, and I wear them almost every day. Luckily, they're my style anyway, and every time I look down at them I think of her.

My mum moved to Queensland. It's been pretty hard not having her around the last few weeks. It has been made easier with how wonderful technology is, though. I'm so grateful that we don't have expensive STD phone calls, and can video chat for free over Skype. I'm also so grateful that it's free to call over our mobiles.

But good things have happened too.

We went to Bali - my first time overseas ever. It was both super relaxing, and adventurous all at the same time!

I moved in with the love of my life, and we have a little kitty-cat who provides us so much joy and happiness.

I performed on stage at pole, for the first time ever. Just generally, I have made so many improvements and had so many achievements in this area of my life. I forget that this time last year I was learning to just take my feet off the floor!!

About 2 months ago I got a new job, and I love it - even though it's retail and that's never something I thought I'd be interested in. I really appreciate everyone who has been in my life over the past year - -to all the new friends I've made through blogging, who have transcended online friendships to IRL friends, and to all my "old" friends who I know I can always count on: Thanks.

I don't really know what 2013 will be like. I think if this year has taught me anything it's that you really don't know what's going to happen tomorrow (Which I already kind of knew anyway, hence my back tattoo). I really hope next year is a better one for me. I hope to travel lots to see my mum, I hope to get better at photography and always improve on blogging for you guys. I hope to only keep improving in pole, and I really am going to put more effort into uni next year. No excuses, this time.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: PMD Personal Microdermabrasion System*

So a few months ago I received the PMD personal microdermabrasion system (for the rest of the post we'll shorten it to PMD for both yours and my sakes!). I was really excited to try it out, after having read many reviews on the product and now, after trying it for almost two months I'm excited to present the results to you!

What They Say:
"The technology of a clinical microdermabrasion, without paying for high priced treatments"

Okay, so that's a little vague. Let's look at

What it Does:
Microdermabrasion is an intense exfoliation treatment for your skin. It removes the outermost layer of your skin (the Stratum Corneum), tricking your body into thinking the treated skin is injured. This causes the dead skin cells to be quickly replaced with brand new ones! This is done with the use of aluminium oxide crystals and a vacuum suction.

This treatment is best used by people with acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. I have a tiny bit of acne scarring, but mostly in the form of really red cheeks with lots of dry patches.

How You Use it:
The PMD is really easy to use, however you MUST watch the instructional DVD before you try it out. I also did a heap of research on their website before my first use, and they have a really excellent demonstration video on there that you should check out as well. (To be honest, I really think it should be included in the DVD that comes with the device).
It comes with a white training disk (no aluminium oxide crystals are on this one), 4 blue disks for sensitive skin, and 2 green disks for tougher skin. The disks also come in two sizes: a smaller one for the face, and a larger one for the body.
The very first time you use it, practice with the white training disk so you get used to the suction feel, how fast you need to glide it across your face, and how taut you need to pull your skin. This doesn't count as a treatment. Once you think you've got it down, move on to the blue disk.
You should only use the treatment system once a week, given how intense it is. Also, for the first few days after each treatment, make sure you're wearing sunscreen as your skin will be more susceptible to damage.

Do I Think it's Lived up to its Claims?
In short - yes. It has dramatically helped to clear up any redness I once had, making my complexion a lot smoother. I also had a few pimple scars on my chin from blind pimples that I'd picked (bad, I know!) and they have also now disappeared.
I've used this tool for quite a while now, so I can also say with certainty that I have not had any side-effects.
I was quite nervous when I first used it that I would get the dreaded "scabs" that come up in some reviews, but if you follow all instructions properly you have no need to fear this happening.
That being said, I've never had a microdermabrasion done professionally, so I can't comment on how similar the treatments are.

Cleaning and Maintenance:
The PMD system does not run on batteries. Whilst some may see this as an inconvenience as you're tethered to the wall, I can see the benefits in this. It means that you're not going to get a change in power levels at any time during the treatment, which is really important, and it means the device is a lot lighter as there are no heavy batteries inside. The cord is also quite long.
Cleaning the device is also really simple: just wipe down the cap with rubbing alcohol and rinse out the filter in warm water. The disks get replaced every 2-4 treatments, depending on the length of each treatment (as the aluminium oxide crystals wear away after use).

Where you can buy it:
At the moment, PMD are working on expanding into the Australian market. You can buy it online at their store here, however, if you can be patient and wait for them to move down under, the shipping costs will be dramatically reduced due to them being local.

At the moment, it costs $181 USD which is expensive. However, given how much professional microdermabrasion costs, to be able to do it in your own home at a fraction of the pric

Disclaimer: This device was sent to me for consideration by the lovely people at PMD. They have in no way influenced this review and all opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for further details. 

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

December Lust Have It!

I received the December Lust Have it box last week, but was flat out and didn't have a chance to write up a post about it before Christmas!

So firstly - no make-up case. In fact, the products were literally just in the postage box. I don't know why, but it disappointed me. I was really looking forward to what this "new range of collectible packaging" was going to be. Anyway, let's get on to what was in the box!

So the new brand partner is Benefit! That is pretty exciting - there are so many of their products that I've wanted to try and never got around to so hopefully some of those will be in future boxes.

1. Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara 
8.5g = $38

I received a 3.0g sample. I have had a chance to give this mascara a go, and first impressions are that I really like it. Whilst I love the length and volume it gives, I hate how stubborn it is on my lashes, and I struggle to get it off at the end of the day. I couldn't see anywhere on the packaging that this was waterproof, so that did bug me somewhat. 

2. Marc Jacobs Daisy

This one was a "bonus sample" so it's not included on the back of the card. I do love Daisy, and wear it most days in Summer. Although it is lovely getting bonus samples it sucks getting one you already own. 

3. Pelactiv Facial Refiner Deep Cleansing Scrub
150mL = $49.

I received a 50mL sample. My pores have been clogged to the sheep-house lately, and it is driving me mental. So I was really excited to get this in my box. I think I'll do a proper review on it once I've used it to let you know if it's any good or not. The info on the card says it will "dissolve dead skin cells and decongest pores". No idea how it will dissolve my dead skin cells, but hopefully the second claim is true!

4. Naked Tan Shimmer
150mL = $29.95

I received a 30mL sample. I quite like the packaging on this, I think it's plain without being boring. This is supposed to help me "enhance my inner sparkle" according to the info card. I've never used a shimmer before so I've not been game enough to give this a try. Tips?

5. Glasshouse Fragrances Hand Creme
140mL = $24.95

I received 2 x 5mL samples. I absolutely adore the scent of Glasshouse candles, but can't burn them because of their wax content. Maybe their hand cremes are the answer to my problems!? I've used the Marseille Gardenia creme, and I love it! Lightweight and non-greasy, 'nourishing' is a great way to describe it. It really does make my hands supple. 

6. Catwalk by Tigi Sessions Series Finishing Hairspray
250mL =$29.95

I received an 80mL sample of this - a great travel-sized hairspray. I seem to always get hairsprays in these boxes. I really like the smell of this one, and hopefully it works well at holding my hair without making it feel like straw. 

7. Lust Have It Exfoliating Glove

Although I've used cloths, I've never used an exfoliating glove. I assume they do mostly the same thing. I honestly did not even know LHI had their own line of products. I'm okay with them including it in the box because this box already had quite a few great products in it. 

We also received a candy cane, but I may have eaten mine before I got a chance to photograph it. Not even sorry. Overall, I'm really happy with this box and think there was a good mix of products in there. I'm really excited they now have Benefit on board and can't wait for next month!

What did you receive in your last beauty box? Have you used a body shimmer before? Give me tips!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012


Hey Guys,

I had hoped to have a few more posts up this week but it has just been so hectic in the lead-up to Christmas!! (Can you believe tomorrow is already Christmas Eve?!)
I was going to take some photos tomorrow afternoon for some reviews I have been planning to write for ages, but alas I am working all day (no, really. 9 hours - and I will be out of the house for more than 12 hours!).
So I thought instead I'd take this chance to say thanks so much for all the support over the past year. I hope you all get ridiculously spoiled on Tuesday morning!

I'll be back after Boxing Day.

Until then - drink, be merry, be kind and loving to one another and appreciate all you have.

Merry Christmas!!

What are your plans for Christmas Day? 

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Bellabox!

I received my Bellabox last Thursday, (13th) before I left for Queensland. I took all the photos and had every intention of posting all about it while I was away, but left the card at home that explained the products. Boo! So, I apologise for its tardiness, but better late than never, right? This month was the "beauty-ful Christmas" box.

1. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme
113g = $16.99

I received a 30mL sample. My mum has been using this product for years, so I'm already aware of how well this product works. This creme is used on dry strands to tame flyaways and reduce fluffy volume. I've been having a few issues with flyaways lately (no doubt the weather is partly to blame) so this will surely come in handy.

2. Reb'l Fleur by Rihanna Perfume
100mL = $79.00

I received two 0.4mL samples. I am hopeless at describing scents. The description card says: "Top notes of plum, delicious druits give way to middle notes that hint at the island life Rihanna hails from. Violet, tuberose, Hawaiin Hibiscus flower and coconut water usher in the base notes of vanilla, amber and musk". Oh em gee. I really LOVE this scent, and feel like I might need to pick some up for myself.  The bottle is kind of ugly, and the sample packaging is a pain to get the product out of, but really - the scent makes up for it. It is long lasting.

3. Allegra Rhodes Hand and Nail Cream in Ocean Mist
175mL = $32.95

I received a 5mL sample of this. I really don't see anything that special with this hand cream. The scent is pretty standard, I don't think it's anything special. Infused with sweet almond nail and aloe vera extract, it does absorb easily into the skin and is lightly moisturising which is good for the warmer weather. Haven't yet tested the claims that it strengthens nails.

4. Anumi Miracle Recovery 
30mL = $65.00

I received a 5mL sample. This is an overnight treatment which is supposed to improve skin's elasticity. Although it is expensive, you only need 2-3 drops, so I imagine 30mL would last a while.

5. Zipette
3 Zipettes = $5.95

I received a full size (3 zipettes). Okay, so when I first skim-read the product info I got really excited because I thought this was to add an extra button type-thing to your jeans to allow you to eat more food (haha). But it's actually to help your zipper stay up. I don't have this problem with all my jeans, but I definitely do with a few so this will be a nifty little invention to try out. The hand-drawn skull logo is also really adorable.


6. Savoir Faire Limited Edition Kit in "C'est Le Ton Qui Fait La Musique" (Winter)
RRP = $110.00

This is a seriously impressive item to get in a beauty box. This kit contains 6 eyeshadow shades, a blush, eyeliner, a mascara and a lipgloss. The eyeshadows are all really smooth and creamy in texture, and incredibly pigmented. The eyeliner glides really easily, but does also smudge. I am going to do a post entirely on this product a bit later on, with swatches and a  more detailed review. But seriously, woah.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Recipe Special: Peppermint Hot Chocolate



- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup full cream
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 50g chopped chocolate
- 4 drops of peppermint essence or peppermint extract
- 2 tbps hot chocolate drinking mixture.
- Candy-cane (optional)

What to do:

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add the milk and cream together and stir gently.
2. Add in the sugar, salt and chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and ingredients are combined.
3. Add in the hot chocolate drinking mixture, stirring until dissolved, and add in the peppermint extract.
4. Once all ingredients are combined into liquid-y goodness, pour into Christmas mugs and serve with peppermint candy-canes.

Too easy!! There are so many cute Christmas mugs out at the moment. I have my reindeer one (shown above) and also this cutey that my mum bought me when I was in Queensland last week:

What's your favourite Christmas drink? 

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: Loreal Volume Million Lashes (with special guest appearance!)

I am very fussy with my mascaras. Although I own quite a few, I always go back to my faithful old Maybelline - easy to quickly apply, and I get such great results - why would I change?

I've spent the last few days up in Queensland with my mum, and the other night we went to the Christmas Carols. I was doing her makeup for the night, and asked her to grab me the mascara she uses. 
She handed me Loreal's Volume Million Lashes. 



Firstly, the packaging. As you can see in the photos above, the tube is gold which gives a really luxurious feel to the product.
The brush is larger, but not so big that it makes it difficult to get to smaller lashes. I completely forgot to get a photo of the brush, but as you can see in the second picture there is an inbuilt "scraper" which helps to prevent clumping on the brush, so you don't end up with excess product on the lashes.

This mascara lengthens and builds volume, making lashes really long, thick and sexy.

Check out these photos of my mum for evidence!

This is my Mum's eyes with no make-up on - her lashes are quite thin, straight and not very dark. 

And now with the mascara on:

Even from a distance, the lashes stand out.

Overall, I love the volume given by this mascara, and am thinking of purchasing it for myself!

What's your HG mascara?

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are....

(drum roll)

The winner of my blog giveaway is... Natalie!!

The winner of my youtube giveaway is ... Sue!!

Congrats ladies! I have mailed off both your parcels today!

Thanks to everyone who entered, if you didn't win this time, you might next time so don't lose hope!
To the lovely winners - I really hope you enjoy your prizes!

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My Week in Pictures #18

The best thing about last week was that I got to fly up to Queensland and see my Mum!


We all went and watched the carols. On the left is my Mum and R, and my little bro on the right. What a cheeky smile!

I was also excited to catch up with Snookie girl! I've missed her crazyness. She is definitely enjoying lounging around in the grass. Her favourite thing to do these days is stalk leaves.

Big yawn! It's a hard life being a cat!

Before I left, I wrapped up some Christmas presents. How cute is the ribbon? I cut out some of the white "Happy Christmas" ribbon and have been using it in my hair, haha. 

Ever since Kirryn got me hooked on Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha Frappucinos, I've been trying to replicate the peppermint chocolate at home. J perfected the recipe for me - so stay tuned because it will be up later this week!

I flew back home yesterday morning. I love looking at the clouds when flying above them. Unfortunately the flight back was not that comfortable - the woman in front of me put her seat down (why do people do this on 1 hour flights?) My legs are long and had nowhere to go so they were digging into her seat. She was pretty loudly complaining to whoever she was sitting next to. Not my fault! Put your damn seat up! I swear they've made the seat room smaller as well. 

Got back in time for the last pole lesson of the year. I managed to accomplish this little bugger this week:

This one's called a Cupid and has eluded me for the last 3 months. But I finally got it! (It's an owwie move, which explains the facial expression - mixture of pain and pleasure)

What did you accomplished this week? Tell me some of your worst (or best!) flight stories!

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