Monday, March 31, 2014

My Week in Pictures #48

I took an unexpected and unplanned hiatus from the blog last week.
Uni is starting to get crazy...

I've even taken to completing assignments in the back room while on my lunch break at work.

Speaking of work, I had my last official days at Kikki as a manager over the weekend. I'm now back to being a casual which is nice, because not having a single day off was starting to get me down.

Politically, the past week has been a bit of a mindf-ck. Mr Abbott reintroduced dames and knights into Australia and apparently we all now have the right to be bigots. Hooray! (obvious facetiousness) I engaged in one too many twitter debates over the topic this past week. You cannot change people's minds when they do not want them changed.

Speaking of Kikki K, I'm obsessed with this 3pk of fashion notebooks we have in at the moment. They are just so pretty! 

I also did a bit of shopping in my lunch break last week, and I can't wait to share what I got! 

Is anyone else a bit over the stormy, rainy weather we've had lately? I think I need to pick up some little ankle booties to wear to work for the rain! 

I also got this really cute surprise present from one of the girls at work! There was the cutest mug inside, and what a sweetie - she had added in a little tea selection for me! Adorable, and so thoughtful!

We buy the Entertainment book every year, and it came with a coupon for Grilled! So J and I had a cute lunch date there in the city. Best thing? We only paid for one meal! 

One of our favourite lazy-night dinners is this semi-homemade pizzas. We buy the base from Woolies (which is just a standard cheese pizza) then we add our own meat and salad on top. Super tasty, and really quick to make. 

And my latest pole accomplishment!  I love this move because it's pure strength. I even shocked myself getting this one because it's one I've wanted for so long, but it has continued to elude me. I don't know what it was, but something clicked and bam those hips came off the floor. Successful cup grip shoulder-mount!!

What did you get up to in the past week?

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Organisation Tips: Dealing with Electronics Cords

I really love technology. I love gadgets and electronics. I hate the cord pile-up that comes with that territory though, and it used to a major frustration for me that they were never organised. Until now, this is what my 'cord box' looked like:

Everything was loosely wound and thrown in. Every time I wanted to find something I had to dig and pull out a million cords to work out which one it was that I needed. Which is time-wasting and frankly, annoying. Not too long ago though, I took a trip to Daiso, and I picked up these cord organisers for $2.80 each:

Firstly, I separated each and every cord and did an inventory of what I owned. I had about 4 'figure 8 cords', and about 6 micro USBs, which is way overkill. So I kept a long one and a short one of each, and then stored the rest elsewhere. This new cord box was all about easy access to the cords I use most.
I got out my trusty label maker, and labelled every cord. I chose to use the yellow plastic labels so that they would stick out amongst the sea of black.
I then evaluated how often I use each cord, and then tied them accordingly.

For instance, the cords for electronics I frequently use, such as my ipod and DSLR got secured together with velcro strips. The pack of velcro I bought was perfect because it was three long rolls in three different colours. I loosely rolled up each cord, and then cut a bit of velcro to the appropriate size. Using velcro also means that I can also secure it around the cord when it's in use, so I won't lose it.

For cords that I don't use that frequently, and don't need their full length, I used cable ties:

These are a more permanent fastener, so I made sure there was enough slack that I could still use it if it was plugged in, but not too much that it tangle.

For me it's enough that I have the lesser used cords to the right, and the more frequently used ones to the left. They're all sufficiently bundled that they won't get tangled and the labels help me to identify at a glance which cord is for what purpose. This way, I can just grab and go. 

How do you organise your technology cords?

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Fit Fridays: What's in my Lunch Bag?

Recently I've made more of an effort to bring my lunch with me to work and uni. This was motivated at first when I realised just how much money I was spending on food...and that I could be spending that on fun things like clothes and make up instead. But I realised as well (which is a bit of a 'duh' moment) that by packing my lunch I'm a lot less likely to impulse eat, and thus pick better foods.

I try to mix it up to keep it interesting. This is just a snapshot of what I brought this week:

I pack my lunch in this cute lunch bag I bought from kikki.K. It's got insulated padding so it keeps everything cool, and it's little enough that it's not a burden to carry, but big enough to fit all my food in.

For my 'main' food item, I'll usually bring leftovers. We schedule in what we're eating for dinner each week, and we usually try to make more than two servings so I can bring leftovers.
Rather than buying packets of chips, we buy a couple of bags of popcorn and I pre-pop it. One bag of popcorn separates into about 4 lunch baggies. Each serving is more than enough to satisfy my salty cravings throughout the day. This works out to be cheaper, but I also think it's a healthier option. Popcorn is definitely not healthy (the triple butter explosion option is definitely not healthy) but it has less of the bad stuff than chips. It's the lesser of two evils, if you will.

I try to bring snacks that I can easily munch on in class without disturbing everyone. I love apples for my daily fruit (I kind of wish I could bring bananas but I hate them). Nuts are a fantastic option as well because they're full of fats, vitamins and minerals. We buy the Woolworths brand "Oven roasted mixed nuts", because I just love, love, love the mix it comes with. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, and pistachios keep it interesting. I also always try to include some sort of cheese in my lunch, to try and get in some extra calcium. Bega stringers are awesome because they're pre-packaged which means I don't have to do any extra work in the morning; I literally just grab a strip and chuck it in my bag and I'm good to go. Also, who doesn't love mozzarella cheese?

For me, a big part of bringing my lunch is making sure it's easy enough to just throw in my lunch bag and go. This does mean I need to do a bit of prep at the beginning of the week, but with a little extra organising this is not really any extra effort.

Do you bring your lunch to work / school? What do you usually eat?

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What's in My Rubbish Bin? #1

This is my first 'empties' post! I'm not quite sure why I haven't done one before...I think the thought of holding onto rubbish put me off it. I finished off all this stuff kind of around the same time though so I thought now would be as good as ever to start posting! 

Dermalogica Precleanse
This was the first oil based cleanser I ever tried and I loved it. I am pretty sure I got this sample size in a beauty box, and reserved it for travelling. It took me ages to actually finish, even though I never felt like I was skimping on product when I did use it. I think that goes to show that a little goes a long way with this product. 
Would I repurchase? Absolutely, but at the moment I'm using another oil based cleanser so maybe after that. 

LUSH Ro's Argan Body Conditioner
I got a sample of this in a beauty box about a year ago, and fell in love with it and purchased the full size. It is a tad expensive, but it lasted me about a year, so I think I definitely got enough use out of it. I love the way this makes my skin feel (especially in winter) and if your skin isn't as dry as mine you could absolutely get away with using this and not moisturising after. I don't moisturise my upper body after I've used this, but unfortunately my legs are drier than a desert and require an extra little lovin'. 
Would I repurchase? I already have! I jumped in and bought Michaela's from Lather Rinse Repeat when she had a blog sale before she moved to Dubai. 

Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask
I'm not even ashamed to admit that I succumbed to the hype and bought this. I used it as a normal conditioner (I only wash my hair like once a week), and found it worked really well for me. I actually really like this, and find it super hydrating without weighing my hair down too much. 
Would I repurchase? Yes. I've tried so many other hair masks since I used this one up, and they just do not compare.

Lee Stafford Argan Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment
I bought this the last time Priceline had a 40% off hair sale, and I had just ran out of the Morrocan oil mask. This one smells quite synthetic, and whilst I loved the way it made my hair feel under the water, if I let it dry naturally I didn't feel like this did much. If I blow dryed my hair and applied more oil afterwards, then it was in pretty good condition, but that's too much effort for me every single time. It worked well, but not great. 
Would I repurchase? Probably not. 

L'Oreal Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover
A friend told me about this one back in first year uni, and I have barely strayed since. This is my HG eye make up remover. It doesn't sting, it removes all eye make up without needing to tug and pull and this bottle lasts forever. (Spoiler alert, I've already repurchased this). Unfortunately, they've since changed the packaging on this, and now it squirts out all over the place and I've used up half a bottle in half the time. Which makes me really unhappy. Loreal need to do something about that, because I'm not okay with wasting product because of shitty packaging. 
Would I repurchase? see above. Love the product, hate the new packaging. 

I also finished up some Loccitane samples, but I have another review coming soon for those!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

My Week in Pictures #47

Bit of a quiet one this week...

On Monday I had to go into the city for work, and walking through Hyde Park was such a treat. The weather was absolutely stunning, and the sky was such a bright blue. This put me in such a good mood for the rest of the afternoon. 

I've been dedicating a lot of practice time to the Jade split lately, even though I'm so far away from my splits on the ground. I think it's really paying off. I'm far from completely flat, but check out this picture for how far I've come. This thrills me to bits because I have absolutely no patience, especially when it comes to stretching. Progress shots like this make it so worth it. 


Back at uni, and hence, back to studying on trains. 
J and I had a 'date night' on Saturday, and went to see Wolf of Wall Street at George St Cinemas. 
I absolutely loved, loved, loved the film. Cannot sing its praises loud enough. Although, it was so intense, and had me on the edge of my seat for the whole film that I found the ending a bit of a let down. I've downloaded the ebook now, which will be interesting because I've only heard bad things about it. 

Found this little guy sucking up juices from the flowers on our basil plant and I just had to photograph him. 

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

OOTD: Grown Up Tartan

The weather just could not make it's mind up today on Thursday, so I had to dress for both warm and cool weather for uni. I always find skirts and stockings + a t-shirt is the winning combination for this. 

I absolutely adore this skirt; it's probably one of my favourite wardrobe items. I've had it since I was 14 or 15, and it was one of those pieces that circled around our friendship group and somehow I ended up with it. I'm not quite sure who originally owned it, or where it's from, but I'm pretty happy I landed it as I've worn it ever since.

I paired it with a plain grey t-shirt from k-mart, and to jazz it up a bit added this black lace necklace from Her Fashion Box. I love the detail this necklace adds to what would otherwise be a really boring shirt.

Stockings meant that I was kept warm even though sydney trains cranks up the air-con, and my quilted Dr Marten boots are a practical, yet fashionable, choice for walking around campus.

Currently on my nails is this gorgeous red from Sally Hansen Triple Shine, in 230 Red Snapper. 

Make-up was kept fairly neutral, with just a lip balm on the lips and 'garnet' from the Lorac pro palette across my eye lids. Hair was so low-key I didn't even brush it.

What's the oldest piece of clothing still in your wardrobe?

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Fitness Fridays: Making Time for Exercise

There's no doubt that everyone seems to be pretty time-poor these days.
Whether it's technology that's to blame, high expectations of ourselves an inability to say "no", or a million other reasons...time can be tricky to manage.

At the moment, I'm pretty busy. I'm studying full time, in my last year of a double undergraduate degree. I also work part time as a manager in a retail store, and I'm working part time in a law firm. This leaves me with no days off until mid-April, when (thankfully) my work-load will lessen. I'm one of those people who struggles to say "no", and I cram so much into my days. I like to think though, that I do this without burning out. Once upon a time I didn't think too much about what consequences keeping so busy had on my health, but today I'm hyper-aware of it.
Keeping active is incredibly important to me, and something that I really enjoy so I try to make time for it.

So these are my tips for making time to exercise.

1. Write everything down.
I schedule in every single activity in my day. Every hour, every minute (within reason) is scheduled. This allows me to see where I have a couple of hours here and there as breaks. Even if I don't have hours, I have minutes and those minutes can add up to hours. Being aware of this time is the first key, I think to using time wisely. Which brings me to my next tip...

2. Multi-task when you can.
If I have 40 pages of reading to do for class, I'll get that done on the train to uni. I spend about 4 hours every day travelling to uni, and if I didn't recognise that I had that 'free time' it would get wasted. Using up these dead minutes and hours in my day means that it's one less thing I have to do when I get home, which leaves me with more free time at home. An hour spent on the train reading frees up that hour in the evening, and I can use that time to stretch or go for a run.

3. Incidental exercise.
This is a big one. I walk to the train station every day, which all up adds about 40 minutes of walking into my day. This doesn't even feel like any time since it's broken up across the day into tiny increments. Put that coffee jar on the top shelf and suddenly you're adding stretches into your morning coffee routine. Get off the bus a stop early. Always take the stairs instead of the lift. I always try to do forward bends when I get out of the shower and my muscles are all warm. Rather than bending my knee when shaving my legs, I bend at the waist and stretch out my hamstrings. It all adds up!

4. Get up an hour early
If you set the task you least want to do as your first task of the day, then the rest of the day can only improve. Waking up and exercising in the morning means it's done and dusted for the day and you don't even have to think about it. It also means you're less likely to make up excuses!

5. Work out while you watch T.V.
This is really just more multi-tasking. We usually watch an hour of television while we eat dinner. After our meal, and some time to digest I always make an effort to stretch. That way I'm still spending time with J, still getting to watch T.V, and I'm fitting in a quick stretch session. You can add in crunches, hold planks, do push ups. You really don't need equipment to work out and watching T.V. is the perfect distraction from the hard work you're doing.

6. Make an Appointment
I add in half an hour to an hour of yoga into my week by making appointments to myself. I add them into my diary, and once they're written I can't cancel it. I'm the same with attending pole classes. That's an appointment that I've paid money to attend. So I can't miss it.

What are your best tips for finding time to exercise?

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Katy Perry Killer Queen

I recently picked this up when Priceline had their 40% off perfume sale. I had already received a sample of this, and knew that I liked it so decided to pick up the 30mL bottle.
The fragrance's name gets its inspiration from Queen, with Katy Perry saying:

"Freddie Mercury painted the lyrics of this woman who I wanted to be. She seemed very powerful, and she captivated a room when seh walked in. I named my company Killer Queen after those lyrics. I feel like, after all this time, it was appropriate to use that name in association with something I did. I feel like I'm falling, finally, into that woman Freddie painted" 

The bottle is gorgeous...the bottle itself is very ruby-esque and the lid is like a scepter. The packaging is just so regal, and I really think Katy Perry hit the nail on the head with this one. 

I was expecting a really sweet, almost childish scent when I first came across this perfume. To my surprise, it's a lot more mature than I thought it would be, with musky, almost woody undertones. It's fruity but also quite spicy and I think it would be perfect as a winter scent. 
I've heard comparisons to Flowerbomb, it also reminds me a bit of Rihanna's Reb'l Fleur. 

Ingredients are as follows:

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Her Fashion Box: February

I was really surprised last month to come home to a smaller package than expected sitting on my doorstep, and much to my surprise, the HFB box was a little smaller than normal.

We got a copy of the latest 'Shop til you Drop' magazine, which I wasn't too fussed about, especially as it counted as one of the 'on trend items'. 

Overall though, the box was still good value, with 5 beauty items being included. 

First up, the Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Laquer Stain. I got a really deep red, which I'm stoked about as it will make the most perfect winter vampy lip. I wasn't too fussed about the Urban Rituelle Petit Parfum in Vanilla. Vanilla is such a boring scent, and this has a sickly sweet synthetic smell to it. I'll probably chuck it in my handbag for desperate times.

We also got a 97mL can of Bondi Sands tanning spray. I'm not really into tanning, but I've heard so many good things about Bondi Sands, and this is in my colour so I may as well give it a try. I was really happy to see the Chap Stick Day & Night Lip Balms. Chap Stick is such a trusted brand, and one I have plenty of products from so I'm really keen to try the night repair treatment. 
Also, (not pictured) we received a sample of Shadow Shields, which are little polyester strips you pop under your eye to prevent fallout when doing your eye makeup. What a genius idea!! 

The two main fashion items this month were this matching set of dainty necklaces and bracelets. I think the colours are really pretty and will work with almost any outfit.
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