Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Year in Review

The year started with mending a broken wrist, and feeling frustrated that I had lost all strength I once had, and feeling like it would take forever to get it back. In retrospect, it really didn't take too long at all. 

I left behind my retail job as I got a job working as a Judge's Associate. A few weeks after that, I was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW, and officially was able to call myself a lawyer. The firm I had been working at as a law clerk then asked me to start as a full-time lawyer. I was devastated to leave my job with the judge behind, but so excited to start this new chapter of my life. 

I threw myself into 50-hour work weeks (made longer with a commute). It took me a while, but I did eventually adapt to the long work weeks, and settled into an area of law I never saw myself practicing in (and actually kind of loving it) 

I took my Dad to Soundwave in February - impressive, if you knew my dad. J and I rocked out on Day 2 of the festival, and I got to see Slipknot (one of my favourite bands ever) for the first time - Over the past ten years, I keep missing their shows for one reason or another. 

Not that we were to know at the time, but it turns out this was the last Soundwave ever. J and I met at Soundwave in 2009, so it's sad to see the festival to go, even just from a sentimental point. 

So many cute Rommy snuggles all year... 

Was lucky enough to attend two hen's nights, and watch two of my good friends get married to the loves of their lives. 

Spent a few months eating only brussels sprouts and potatoes as I struggled through the RPAH Elimination Diet. Turns out I'm very intolerant to gluten, along with some other food additives. Not the funnest way to find out but I'm glad I did. I've been strictly gluten free for a few months now, and never knew it was possible to feel this healthy. 

J and I moved house. I adore our new house, and feel so much better living here than I ever did at our old place. Even though we're practically only down the road from our old place, it's amazing what a change of scenery can do for your mood, and your wellbeing. 

Brad and I checked out the Festival of Dangerous Ideas - sadly by the time we were booking tickets most of the panels we wanted to see were sold out. We did manage to get into Cybersexism, which was amazing. 

We celebrated J's birthday at Parapark - an escape-the-room type game. So much fun, and now we're looking to try so many more of these. 

Our New Zealand trip in October was a definite, massive highlight of the year. 
Such an amazing, beautiful country - so much to do, so many beautiful people and it will forever hold a special place in my heart as the place where J and I got engaged. 

Probably the best part of the year was saying 'yes' to J asking me to marry him - I now get to spend the rest of my life with my love, my goose. my best friend. 

I think I was overdue for a good year, and 2015 definitely delivered. 
Although I'm sad to see 2015 go, I have so many plans and goals for 2016 and I'm excited to get started. 

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Lately, in Pictures #78

A video posted by michaela (@michaelaarghh) on

It's been a while since I've written one of these posts - this past month has just flown by, and I haven't really been up to much that's worth taking a photo of.

At the beginning of the month, I started parkour training and have since learned how to jump, vault, slide, and roll my way around obstacles. It's so much fun, I feel like such a big kid and the Sydney parkour community is awesome.

I'm sad that the jacaranda trees have stopped flowering. The best thing about my morning commute was getting to stand amongst the discarded purple flowers that lay strewn across the platform. I have not been enjoying the weather these past few weeks. From 40 celsius to 19 celsius, to rain, sun, hail and everything in between, I'm never sure what to wear to work anymore. 

I made Vietnamese rice paper rolls for dinner a few weeks back, and haven't been able to stop thinking about them since. So filling, so tasty and so healthy - one of my favourite meals in spring/summer. 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Nude Collection*

I received four out of five of the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Nude Collection lipsticks in my goodie bag at the Bloggers United AU Sydney event last month, and have been wearing them almost exclusively since. 

There's a few different takes on the "nude" colour, meaning you should be able to find something that suits your skin tone. Rimmel claim these will give you 8 hours of wear. I have found that with a 10 hour workday, I've had to re-apply twice, maybe three times if you count after eating. 

The formulation of these is really nice; the colour is opaque, and you can build it up to a nice intensity. I have fairly pigmented lips, and don't have a problem with getting the colour to show. I find these lipsticks really moisturising, and they apply easily. 

The packaging is okay. Each tube is the same colour, and the colour is identified by a sticker on the base. The tube is made out of plastic, which does feel a little cheap, but this is a drugstore brand so that's to be expected. The lipstick itself winds up nicely, and the lid snaps on with a satisfying 'click'. I don't know if I'd trust the lid not to fall off if it was just thrown in my handbag though. 

Swatch time! From left to right - 40-42-43-48. 

40 is the lightest of all the shades, and is probably my least favourite. It's a cool-toned apricot-y nude. 
42 and 43 are both contenders for my favourite colour, I think they both suit me really well. 42 is a bit more pink, while 43 is a warm-toned apricot. 
48 is a bit dark to be considered nude with my skintone, but would suit darker skintones better. It's a warm-toned burgundy colour. 

top row: nude lips, 40. middle row: 43, 45. bottom row: 48. 

Overall, I really love these lipsticks. They have a great formula, are easy to apply, and I have got compliments each time I've worn them to work (which admittedly never really happens when I wear nude lipsticks). 

Disclaimer: These lipsticks were given to me in a goodie bag at a bloggers event I attended. This review has not been influenced in any way by Rimmel, and all opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for further details. 
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Monday, November 9, 2015

November Goals

I'm slowly getting used to being back in the real world. We were only in New Zealand two weeks, but we packed so much in it felt like a lot longer. 

- Order my sister's 21st birthday present
I ended up having to deviate from my original gift idea, due to the people having no stock, but I hope she will like this present just as much. Hopefully she also won't mind that it's almost a month late. 
- Eat more salads / vegetables
I'm not sure whether to cross this one off - we didn't eat that many veggies while away, but we ate lots when we got back. 
- Start planning Christmas present ideas
Not yet. Maybe this week. 
- Get back into cooking
My friend gave me a recipe book for my birthday, filled with gluten-free recipes. I've gone back to cooking one dinner a week, and started preparing meals to bring to work for lunch too. I'm finding cooking really satisfying, but I hate the mess it leaves. 
- Enjoy New Zealand! 
As if that was ever going to be a challenge. 
- Try to keep up with stretching while overseas
This however was a real challenge. There was a little stretching, but nowhere near as much as there should have been. 

- Have Christmas shopping finished by the end of the Month (or, in the very least, a gift list sorted)
- Practice handstands 5x a week. 
- Stretch 5x a week
- finish editing NZ photos
- Print photos for my desk at work
- Attend two parkour classes each week

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lush Bathbomb and Bubble Bars Haul

I love taking baths - they're relaxing, and they ensure you get about an hour of just "me" time, to pamper yourself, read a book and zone out from the real world. 

I picked up some more bath bombs from Lush a few weeks ago - 

Twilight Bath Bomb: This is one of Lush's best-sellers, and I've read so many reviews on this one that I had to try it. The scent is really relaxing, so I'm hoping it will carry through and be a really relaxing bath. 

Sex Bomb: I've written about this bath bomb before, and I loved it so much the first time I used it that I just had to get another one. I love the colours this turns my bath, and I love how moisturised my skin is after using it. I also really love how good my bathroom smells. 

While in Lush I thought it would be a good idea to pick up some bubble-making bars, because as J says "baths aren't baths without bubbles". I think these are probably a bit better value than the bathbombs, because they can be used multiple times.

Pop in the Bath Bubble Bar: This has lemon, bergamont and mandarin, which sounds really refreshing and rejuvenating. 

Sunny Side Bubble Bar: I was partly attracted to this one because of how pretty it is, partly because of the citrus-y scent it gives off. 

I can't wait to hop into a bath and try these new ones out. 

What is your favourite Lush bath product?

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

OOTD: Leather and Stripes

I was in the market recently for some new jeans. I decided I wanted black skinnys with ripped knees, but couldn't find any that I liked. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and was advised to check out Topshop. 

I'm so glad I did because these jeans are the best - they are super comfy, with in-build stretchy material, they're high-waisted, they're everything I was looking for. The sales assistant advised me to go down a size, because apparently they stretch a lot, but I'm glad I didn't and stuck to what felt the most comfortable. 

- Stripey top: Popbasic Le Breton in navy
- faux leather jacket: Crossroads
- Jeans: topshop
- Shoes: Dotti
- Beanie: Sportsgirl. I think. I've had it for about three years, so I could be wrong. 

Beauty note: Curls by MUK curl stick. 

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Essie Nailpolish Collection, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of my Essie nailpolish collection, click here to catch up. 
This post will take you through the brighter colours in my collection. 

Naughty Nautical: A blue-green colour, stunning for spring/summer. This colour has a bit of subtle shimmer to it (only really obvious if the light hits your nails in the right way), making it quite unique. Is opaque in two coats, and I get compliments every time I wear it.

Aruba Blue: A deep, royal blue, perfect to wear all year-round. This is one of my most favourite in my entire nailpolish collection. The formula is quite thick, and is opaque in two coats.

Peach Daiquiri: This colour is a bit tricky to describe, and I don't think I've come across anything like it. It's a dark coral, pinkish, red, it's bold, it's bright. Although the polish is not a thin consistency, I find this one applies best if you put on three thin coats rather than two thicker coats. Love this even more now that the weather is warming up, and have had compliments every time I've worn it to work. 

In Stitches: This is a muted brown-y pink, almost terracotta colour. This applies relatively easy, but I feel like it takes longer to dry than my other colours, even when I have a quick dry topcoat on top. 

Dress to Kilt: This gorgeous red was part of Essie's fall collection last year. Although this colour is stunning in the Winter months, I think it works all year round. This is a true berry red, only takes two coats to get to opacity. 

Scarlett O'Hara: One of my all-time favourites. This red is deeper than dress to kilt, and almost metallic with subtle shimmer throughout. I always get compliments when I wear this colour, and I actually catch myself staring at my fingernails - it shines like wearing rubies. I feel like I can normally get about 5-6 days of wear with this (and a top coat) before it chips. I love wearing this in Winter, and I love wearing it for Christmas. 

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Haul: Dusty Girls Make-up Products*

A few weeks ago I wrote about some skincare products that I was sent from Moogoo. 
Dusty Girls is the make-up products "farmed by Moogoo" - these products are all created with the same principles from their skincare line; products for people with sensitive skin, with honesty about what ingredients are used. 

I was sent the Natural Mineral Blush in "Pink Ladies" and the Natural Mineral Bronzer in "Sunshine". 

"Pink ladies" is a sweet pink colour that looks really natural on my complexion. The blush is not overly pigmented, which is good if you're looking for a flush of colour to brighten up your complexion. There are some shimmery, almost glittery particles in the pan. I found these don't really transfer to your skin to look like glitter, but it does provide a bit of shimmer. I think this blush is perfect for the warmer months.

The bronzer is warm-toned, and very pigmented. You only need the smallest amount on your brush to give you a sun-kissed glow. It can also be used for subtle contouring, just make sure you blend it out so you don't look streaky. "Sunshine" is the only colour this product comes in, and it's designed to suit all skintones. Again, there are the same shimmery, glittery particles in the pan that are in the blush, but it doesn't translate to glitter on the face. 

I really love the packaging of these products; the cardboard boxes they're housed in are made from 100% recycled materials. The actual plastic containers are really sturdy. I love the design with the logo, I think it's really cute. The products are 15g, and the pans are really large, making it perfect to swirl your brushes in. 

I have also been trying out the Natural Mineral Lip Shine in "Argyle Pink". 
The lip shine is packed with moisturising oils; almond oil, safflower seed oil, watermelon seed oil, apricot seed oil, grape seed oil, shea butter, vitamin e. Similarly to the Moogoo cowlick lip balm, all ingredients are edible as "lip products get eaten....slowly". 
The lip shine looks really dark in the tube, but is not that pigmented at all, and really sheer on the lips. It does add a little bit of sparkle, so I think it would work really well on top of a berry or pink lipstick, or on its own if you're after a bit more than your standard lip balm. 

Disclaimer: MooGoo very generously sent me these products to try out. They haven't influenced my opinion in any way, shape or form, and all opinions are my own. Links in the post are not affiliate links - I've just linked for your convenience! For further info check out my disclaimer
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Monday, October 26, 2015

I'm Back ... and I'm Engaged!

I didn't exactly plan that three-week hiatus, it kind of just happened.
I had planned posts for the two weeks we were away in New Zealand, but then the few days before we left were so busy I didn't manage to actually fit in any time for writing them up and scheduling them in.

Our New Zealand holiday was everything I'd hoped it would be, and so much more.
What a stunning country! We climbed mountains, jumped off cliffs and swung over Shotover canyon, went white-water rafting in Grade 5 rapids, hung out in Hobbit holes, street-poled in the Art Deco capital of the world, went caving, climbed out of waterfalls, laid under a night-sky of glow-worms, ate at Fergberger, sailed on Lake Taupo, relaxed in hot mineral springs, and saw so many cute baby lambs!

I have so many blog posts planned about our adventure, so stay tuned to read more about it!

Oh, and J proposed on our first "proper" night, and I said yes (after asking if he was serious), and we're officially engaged! Perhaps the best part about New Zealand was getting to explore and climb all over it with my new fiance!

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