Saturday, December 28, 2013

What I Got For Christmas... 2013

I (like I'm sure most people) love getting presents. I feel like people aren't willing to admit that for fear of coming off as selfish or whatever, but it's true! I also really love giving presents; I love picking out a gift that I know the person will really enjoy and appreciate, and I love seeing their face when they open it. (So much so that I made J film the reaction of his best friend G when he opened his gift from us because I wasn't going to be there to see it)

I love reading these posts, and to be honest I love writing them. I love sharing what I received and showing my appreciation for my friends' and family's generosity. I also love looking back each year at what I received the year before. 

I was well and truly spoilt this year, and received so many thoughtful gifts that I love and will use. 
My mum gave us some money, which we put towards getting theme park tickets for our visit to Queensland in February. I'm so excited for this trip, and now that everything is booked and paid for I'm even more excited! 

My Dad got us a de-humidifier! Which may seem like a really strange gift to get, but I'm honestly so happy and thankful for this. My sister really could not understand why I would want something like this and was convinced I would hate it because it's kind of boring, but I really, really love it. Our house is really old and doesn't have proper ventilation so it can get quite humid. We also have a really big fishtank which doesn't help matters. In winter, we would wake up every morning with condensation on our walls, and our bed sheets slightly damp. It really and truly sucked. So this is an awesome gift. We've already been using it, and it's making such a difference not only in the air but in my asthma as well - bonus! 

J got me a new, thicker yoga mat that came with its own bag which is awesome! There was nothing 'wrong' with the yoga mat I was previously using, but it was really thin which hurt my knees in certain poses. This one is 5mm so isn't super thick, and is still quite sticky. I travel quite a bit to pole with my mat, so the bag is a definite bonus. 

J also picked me up two new Sims expansions and the new Batman ps3 game. Coincidentally my hours at work go back to my normal 22 next week, so I'll have plenty of time to get stuck into these, yay! 

J also got me some coloured pencils, and a really adorable cat scarf ( cute is that print!!!)
I got a Sandy Santa from Lush from my bestie Meg, and J's mate G got me this awesome book "What I Wore Today". It's a collection of style shots from people's blogs from all over the world. I love books like this, and am excited to add this one to my collection.

Some other bits and pieces from Meg...really cute PJ shorts from Cotton On Body, and a 'corkcicle' - you stick it in the freezer and it keeps your wine cool! I've actually never seen anything like this before, I think it's fantastic 

Gifts from my siblings; my little brother got me an expansion for Settlers of Catan...I now own 2 so that's lots of fun. This one seems really complicated so I can't wait to learn and play it!

My sister got me this fantastic tea set from T2. I freaking love the mug it came with, because it's such a great colour and size. I love both pumping pomegranate and strawberries and cream (they taste really good mixed together as well!). I was actually smelling Luminous Rose in store the other day and thinking how interesting it smelled, so I'm smitten I actually received it! This one is an Earl Grey base, with rose flowers in it as well. I cannot wait to drink these all up! 

J's parents very generously got me an e-reader which is really exciting! I was always kind of hesitant to join the e-reader revolution but me oh my I am now wondering why I didn't do it earlier. I've been using it the past couple of days and cannot get over how much I love it and how excited it gets me to be reading (and considering I'm already always excited for a new book, that is seriously something!) 

And last but not least, a new bag from kikki.K, from J. I absolutely love this! It's premium leather, has space for my laptop and lots of compartments inside to keep everything organised. It also has a key hook which is amazing; I'm always losing my keys in my bag. I'm thinking I will do an updated 'What's in my bag post' early next year. 

I am so, so happy with everything I received this year. I feel like my family and friends know me so well to be able to get me gifts that I really, really love. I hope they equally love the gifts that I got them.

What did you get for Christmas this year? Feel free to leave your link in the comments below if you've written up a post - Like I said, I love reading these!

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Christmas 2013

Is anyone else a little bit sad that Christmas is over?
I hope you all had a truly wonderful day! I've been loving catching up with all your blog posts over the past couple of days, and thought I'd share what we got up to.

This year, J went back to Canberra to spend Christmas with his family, and I went around to my dad's and spent it with my siblings, my dad and both of his brothers. Christmas morning started at 12am on Christmas Eve with a skype call to J. He brought down a present from me and we opened one gift each over skype, which was nice. I was up most of Christmas Eve cooking and prepping the salads and dessert for Christmas Day, which was really stressful fun.
I woke up around 8am on Christmas day, skyped my mum (seriously, I love skype...especially in the festive season) and finished off some last minute food prep.

No fancy table setting here...but plenty of really good food.

Some of the salads I made...

Waldorf salad

Watermelon salad

Beetroot - stained salmon salad with avocado and horeseradish dressing.

My sister got a juicer and a blender for Christmas, so she was in charge of juice and smoothie making throughout the day - so yum! 

Christmas this year was lots of fun. There were lots of presents given and received (check out my post later today to see what I was very generously given!), crackers pulled, bad jokes told and of course; lots and lots of good food and company. 

What did you get up to for Christmas?

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Her Fashion Box: December

The Her Fashion Box was actually on time this month, which was nice! It was really lovely getting this right before Christmas...almost like an early gift to myself! (from myself...)

This month's box contents. To be perfectly honest, this month was a little bit of a let-down. I'm not as excited about the products as I have been for previous boxes. That being said, this is the first in four boxes that I've not been over the moon about, so I guess that's not too bad. 


These were the fashion items in the box. I'm really not keen on the half white-half clear "clutch". It looks and feels cheap. I'm generally not a fan of the see-through clutch/bag trend, so this was always going to be a product that had to work harder for my love. But yeah, it didn't win me over. I could use it as a make up bag, but I honestly have so many of those that I probably won't even use it for that. 

There was also a blue pony-tail clasp which is cool. I actually really like the colour against my blonde hair, and I've never used one of these before. 

 When I first pulled the earrings out of the box I was pretty disheartened. They look kind of cheap, and at first I thought they were pretty tacky. But I think they might work with a dress I have. However, the other problem I have with them is that it's not stated anywhere that they're hypoallergenic or made from stainless steel. Unfortunately my ears are incredibly sensitive so I probably won't be able to wear these without getting infected ears which is sad. So even though I've come around to liking them a little more, I won't be able to wear them anyway. 

I really do like the necklace though; it's got a bit of a vintage vibe to it, and is quite pretty.


The beauty etc products. 

We received a sample of Katy Perry's Killer Queen. I really love receiving perfume samples, especially when they're in this packaging. What I like even more about this one is that it details the scent notes. I was a bit surprised by this scent. It goes on very strong, and I don't like the first hit you get from it. But once it settles, it's a lot more subtle. It's a much more mature perfume than you usually get from celebrity fragrances. 

White Glo toothpaste...not that keen on receiving toothpaste as a sample? I don't know why, it's just kind of weird. Both my parents have had this in the past because they're both smokers and coffee drinkers. So I have used it before. 

A Modelco trio palette in 'smokey eye'. I'm not really a fan of this brand at all. These colours are pretty uninspiring, and quite chalky. That said, they seem pretty pigmented. Haven't given them a proper test run so can't say much more about it. 

I am really keen to try out the 'Heavy Metal' nail art kit. The kit contains 10 sheets of gold leaf foil, 20 square studs, 20 round studs and a little nail polish. I think this will be really fun to play with for some New Years nails.

 Also (not pictured, but is in the first photo) was two sachets of 'super booster' for adding to smoothies, which I think is a cool addition. 

In the magazine that comes with the box, it noted that there was going to be a 'Her Fitness Box' launching soon, which I'm definitely interested in. I might see what's in the first box before subscribing, but it is an interesting take on the subscription box idea! 

What do you think of what I received this month? Do you agree with me on the clear clutch trend, or are you more fashion forward than I am?

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.”

Can you believe it? Only three sleeps until Christmas!
Our tree has plenty of presents underneath it...

As you can see, we went with a red and gold theme for the tree's decorations. I am loving the addition of the Lindt umbrellas, and cannot wait to eat them all up.
I absolutely love wrapping, and this year decided to go with a mix of complementary wraps, topped off with stickers, labels and ribbon.


I love the way they all look stacked on top of each other! 

This is the first year J and I have had a tree, so I thought it would be cute to start a tradition where we buy a 'special' ornament each year. Funnily enough, it turned out that my ornament doesn't even go on the tree


I absolutely love, love, love reindeer, and this one is a real cutie. 
Rommy was playing next to the coffee table where he was set up the night we brought him home. All of a sudden, Rommy stopped attacking the piece of string we were dangling in front of him, as he noticed the reindeer. He had a good sniff, pawed at him a little and then lost all interest. Cats are peculiar creatures.

Seriously but, dat face!

This little birdy was the one J chose - he's perched on top of the tree with the star. 

What does your wrapping look like this year? Do you go all out with ribbon and labels, or do you prefer the more simple look?

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Week in Pictures #41

I haven't done one of these posts in a little while, because truthfully I haven't been up to much that's worth taking photos of.

I've been working a lot, and it has been crazyyyy busy...

My hours over Christmas were extended to being up to almost full time. I don't mind working hard, and I love my job...but sometimes my feet really, really ache at the end of a long day and I don't enjoy that too much.

I've also been taking lots of time to visit my Dad and siblings. The walk between our houses is almost an hour long (3.5km each way), including an incrediblllllly steep hill (there is a difference of almost 40m height between the highest and lowest points of this hill). But, parts of the walk is along the water which is always nice, and I always feel particularly good about myself after that damn hill. 

My little brother moved back home this week, after spending a year living with our mum in Queensland. Needless to say, I am really happy he is back home :) He also brought his little doggy, Charlie, home too. 

I've been eating so many mangoes lately, I'm surprised I haven't turned into a mango! 
Found a great sandwich place near work as well, that have gluten free bread AND don't charge extra for it. Win! 

Had my last pole class for the year last week, which is sad. So I'm putting in effort to actually practice at home. I finally accomplished my caterpillar. Check out this video for a visual. It also left me with a few bruises, which is funny because I never bruise from pole. 

I took a workshop with the amazing Sergia Anderson and learnt some fun new things. Loved her energy, and her salsa-style warm ups! 

J has really been enjoying the Advent calendar I put together for him (the actual calendar I bought from kikki.K, I just put the gifts in). I've been enjoying my Lindt advent calendar. 
(I love Christmas!)
I've also really been enjoying the second book in the 'Game of Thrones' series. I'm finding this one a lot easier to get through than the first one, and am absolutely devouring it. 

What have you been up to / reading / eating lately?

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Skincare Tips: Blackheads vs Sebacious Filaments

Have you ever gazed into one of those magnifying mirrors...or even a regular mirror...and been well and truly disgusted by what looks like a huge amount of blackheads covering your schnozz?
Have you ever used a pore strip on your nose, and been incredibly satisfied when inspecting it post-rip off, to find heaps of slimy little buggers embedded there?

Well...what I'm about to tell you will blow your mind. No, those are not blackheads on your nose. They are sebacious filaments. Everyone has them, they are never, ever going to go away and you're doing more harm than good worrying over them.

What is a sebacious filament?
Wikipedia's definition summed it up in a nutshell, so I'll just copy+paste that right here: "sebaceous filament is a tiny collection of sebum and dead skin cells around a hair follicle, which usually takes the form of a small hair-like strand". They allow the sebum a path from the pore to the surface. Basically, they are oil glands. Not so gross, right? 

The most comforting thing is that...
Every. Single. Person has these. And, in my experience, once you stop attacking and extracting them, they stop being so inflamed and you tend to notice them a whole lot less. 

How do I know if they REALLY are sebacious filaments or blackheads?
The general rule of thumb is that if they are the same size and shape as every other one on your nose / face, then it is most likely a sebacious filament. If it's bigger or a different shape than the others, it's most likely a blackhead. Also, blackheads are generally a lot darker than sebacious filaments. 

How do I get rid of them? 
Well, like I mentioned, you can't actually get rid of them. They actually form part of your skin. You can however, kind of un-clog them. To do this, you'll need to use chemical exfoliants, for example, fruit acids, or an AHA solution. Trying to squeeze them out, or using pore strips or any other irritating, harsh products will only irritate your skin and make them more noticeable. 
Sebum is only darker in colour once it oxidises (gets exposed to the air). By using harsh products and squeezing and pore-stripping you can actually damage your pores, make them larger, and create a larger surface area for the sebum to be exposed to the air. Thus, making them darker. You can also try treating the skin with benzoyl peroxide, which will lighten them and make them less noticeable. 
Of course, make up is also an option to hide them! 

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