Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Round Up #1

This is a new type of post I'm trialling. I am hoping it will keep me focussed on my yearly reading goal, and it will give me an opportunity to provide quick reviews on the books I've read from month to month. 

John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men
 I loved, loved, loved this novella. In such a short amount of words, Steinbeck managed to create fully developed characters so much so that the heart-wrenching ending left me numb for a few days after I'd finished it. Steinbeck's prose is magnificent. Everyone must read this book. At least once. 
Rating: 5/5

John Marsden - Checkers
This one's a re-read for me; I read it as a teenager, and now re-visiting it as an adult I still love it. John Marsden has always been one of my favourite authors. Checkers is the tale of the unnamed author; writing from a mental hospital, this is her story of breakdown following her father's unethical business practices. The foreshadowing of the author's dog being named "Checkers", (Nixon had a dog of the same name, and his infamous Checkers Speech draws parallels to this book) was lost on me when I was younger. A quick re-read, but I'm glad I did. 
Rating: 4/5

Virginia Woolf - A Room of One's Own
One of Woolf's most famous pieces? This extended essay is thought-provoking, inspiring, incredibly well written. A book about writing, and a book about feminism? Totally up my alley. This was excellent. It's only short, you should just read it for yourself. 
Rating: 5/5

Jon Ronson - The Psycopath Test
I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately it fell flat. Ronson's analysis of the mental health industry lacked depth, and was frankly, a bit all over the place. For instance, we've all heard that psychopaths apparently make the best CEO's, and this is a claim that Ronson interviewing one "psychopath" CEO. I disliked how much Ronson inserted himself into the book; this entire book reads as "look at all the interesting situations I got into!" Towards the end of the book there was some more interesting things about the DSM manuals becoming oversaturated with "labels" that might not even be psychiatric illnesses - but again, this was rushed, anecdotal and barely scratched the surface. I'd probably give it a miss. 
Rating: 2.5/5

Susanna Kaysen - Girl, Interrupted 
I've always loved this film, so decided a while ago to purchase the memoir it's based on. This is the story of Susanna Kaysen, who at 18 years old swallows 50 aspirin in a half-hearted suicide attempt. A year later, she visists a psychologist who books her into the McLean psychiatric hospital (other famous patients include Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and Ray Charles). I finished this book in a couple of days; it's mostly observations and short stories about her time in the hospital, other patients, and the nurses. It's not chronological; and might appear a bit jumpy, but I feel like that fits well with the themes of the book. Overall, a quick, interesting read. I really enjoyed it. 
Rating: 4/5. 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Haul: Priceline 40% off.

Priceline recently had one of their famous 40% off sales. I had been eyeing off some stuff, and this was perfect timing to pick it up.

I only ever go into priceline with a list when these sales are on, otherwise there's the potential for things to get out of hand.

So I ended up getting:
- Revlon Colourstay cream foundation
- 3 Rimmel 'The One' lipsticks
- 4 Revlon Ultra HD Matte lipsticks
- 3 Essie nail colours
- Rimmel 'Brow this Way' brow powder kit.

And, I didn't pick this up in the sale, but I recently purchased the Nivea Men Post Shave Balm, after hearing for months about how great it is as a primer. I'm not convinced yet, but still testing it so we'll see.

Did you pick up anything in the Priceline sales? 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Monday, April 11, 2016

April Goals

A photo posted by michaela (@michaelaarghh) on

And just like that, we are more than a quarter of the way through 2016.
Let's review March...

- Host a board game night
Ticked off and it was so much fun! J and I used to have regular games nights, but then we started to go to trivia and they kinda just stopped happening. I'm loving getting back into it, and have already planned one for this month!
- Clear off and out my bedside table
I think I need to write this in my diary as a 'to do' because otherwise it's never going to get done. 
- Cook a new recipe
I cooked a thai chicken lemongrass skewer recipe from Donna Hay! It turned out really well - full of flavour, easy to make, and has now been added to my recipe repertoire! 
- Read 3 books 
Nope, fell slightly behind this month. 
- Go rock-climbing
- Sort already printed photos into photo box
Again, I think this is something that will actually need to be put on a 'to-do' list. 
- Edit NZ photos 
Finally did this! Now to get them printed!! 
- PIF the clothes I've culled from my wardrobe.

- Find a blogging schedule that works for me
- Read 4 books (to catch up from last month) 
- Cook 1 new recipe
- Improve my speed at wall climb-ups in parkour
- Choose a song for pole audition
- Sort printed photos into photo box
- stretch for 5 hours a week.

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Colour Theory Nails: Spring Collection*

As Sydney is finally starting to get some cooler weather, I'm holding on to thoughts of warmer days with this Spring Collection of nail colours from Colour Theory's SS range "Gelato Dreams"

These are bright, pastel nail colours, that will set you back $4 at any Guardian or AMCAL pharmacy. 
These are made in Australia, are formaldehyde free, are really fast-drying and fairly long lasting.  

L-R: Cool Capri, I Love Bubbelgum, Pistachio Party

These particular colours are a little on the thinner side consistency-wise (especially compared to some other Colour Theory colours I own), but build up to be nice and opaque with a few thin layers. 

I like the packaging of the nailpolish bottles, it reminds me a lot of the Australis nail packaging. The brush bristles are quite short and thin, so it is easier to paint on multiple thin layers, rather than one thick layer. 

The wear time is about three days before chips begin to show; I'm quite rough with my hands as well, so I feel this is pretty good wear time. 

The biggest win for this polish is definitely the price; at only $4 a bottle, you can afford to experiment with colours; and the best thing is, the formula doesn't feel like a "cheap" nailpolish. 

Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for editorial consideration by the lovely people at "Colour Theory". They have in no way influenced this review and all opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for further details. 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review: The Face Shop, Foot Mask

Now, if I'm honest, I really don't appreciate my feet enough. I put them through a lot, and they never complain. So when I saw this mask at the Face Shop, I thought it would be good to pick it up and treat my tootsies. 

All the instructions are in Korean, but they do provide some helpful pictures.

All of the liquid stays inside the mask, meaning you can pop on the "socks", and continue to walk around the house and do stuff without worrying about making a mess. 
The mask has a bit of a "chemical" scent to it - not offensive, but not great either. However, after they were on my feet (which is obviously a fair way away from my nose) I hardly noticed the scent. 
The moisturiser contained in the socks is quite a thin, watery consistency. I was a bit dubious at first - how could this be moisturising if it was so watery? 

I left the mask on for about 15-20 minutes, and when I took them off, I just rubbed the excess in. My feet were left feeling really moisturised, and really really soft. My callouses were still present (Which for foot protection, is a good thing I guess), but my actual feet just felt so nice. 

I can't remember how much the masks retail for, but they were pretty inexpensive, so I feel these are a good option for a cheap, effective at-home pampering session. 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Monday, March 14, 2016

Shopping my stash: Ciate Nailpolish in Ivory Queen

Money's been a bit tight around here lately, which means I've been making a conscious effort to "shop my stash". I was looking for a nude polish to wear for work - although I love bright polish, sometimes I think it's just a bit more/ profesh to wear nude nails to court. 

I found this Ciate mini in "Ivory Queen" in my collection, and after trying it out, I've fallen in love. 

"Ivory Queen" is part of Ciate's "Complexion Collection", and is designed to suit all skin-tines. This particular colour is a warm pink and has the slighest shimmer - almost invisible, but adds a really nice sheen. 

This polish is a little bit streaky, and works best when applied with multiple, thin coats. It lasts fairly well, about a week (with top coat) before chipping. 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March Goals


- Finish 3 books
I actually read four books last month, which means I'm way on track for my reading goal for the year. Hoping to keep up the momentum through March. 
- Perform at my pole studio's Open Night showcase
Yes! I'm so happy that I got this one ticked off. It's been so long since I've been on stage, it was so great to be back out there. I was really happy with how my performance went, and already starting to think of the next show. 
- Clear off our bedside table
I just didn't get around to this during February, so will be moving this to March. 
- Edit our NZ photos
Again, didn't get around to this. Moving it to March. 
- Stretch 5x a week
- Get back into a regular blogging upload schedule
I'm still struggling a little bit with managing my time with blogging. I'm spending so much of my free time training these days that I'm not having time for much else. I think I need to work out a better schedule because I really miss blogging and want to get back into it. 
- Print photos for my work photo frame
- Sort already printed photos into photo box. 

- Host a board game night
- Clear off and out my bedside table
- Cook a new recipe
- Read 3 books 
- Go rock-climbing
- Sort already printed photos into photo box
- Edit NZ photos 
- PIF the clothes I've culled from my wardrobe.

Probably a bit ambitious this month, but I need to get my shit together. How are you going with your new years resolutions and goal setting? Any tips for time management? 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying - Marie Kondo

Okay, I did it. I caved. I bought the book that everyone has been raving about for the past 12 months. I just had to see for myself what all the fuss was about, and whether I could be converted to the dark side that is minimalism. 

Marie Kondo claims that those who use her method (named the Konmari method, taken from her won name) never rebound, and her repeater rate is zero. 100% success rate is a pretty massive claim. 

I found that the book was more about decluttering than it was about "tidying", but I don't think that the Konmari method is about minimalism. Rather, it is about keeping only the items in your home that "spark joy". It is these two words that have been revolutionary; rather than think about what you want to throw away, you think about what you want to keep. Such a simple shift in thinking, yet it makes such a difference in being able to actually get rid of stuff. 

So how do you decide whether something sparks joy? Marie Kondo says you must work by categories (rather than rooms); the true Konmari way is to start with clothes. So, you take all the clothes you own (including accessories, shoes and handbags) and pile them on the floor. This is supposed to be confronting. Then you hold each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. There should be an immediate response - if that response is no, then the clothing gets discarded. 

There is also the Konmari method of storing your clothes; the "Konmari way of folding" (which I have to point out is not anything new. I've been folding my clothes this way since 2012), and hanging clothes (from light to dark). 

There are a few key points to the Konmari method of decluttering: 
  • It must be done in silence; 
  • You cannot Konmari other people's belongings (whether something sparks joy is personal)
  • Don't let your family see you Konmari-ing
  • You should thank your items before discarding them

Generally, I found the book insightful, and it definitely inspired me to declutter my stuff (although I haven't had a chance to properly start). However, I did feel it was slightly too long - the first third of the book was really useful, the final third just seemed to be filled with stories of clients and her own experience which didn't really add anything, and by the end it kind of devolved into full-blown crazy land. 

Marie Kondo talks to all her belongings, she empties her handbag every single day, she doesn't believe in balling up socks because they need time to rest, and she doesn't believe in owning more than 30 books (the chapter on books was really painful to read). 

Of course, I know that not everything I own "Sparks joy" for me. For instance, so much of my furniture is second hand and cheap chipboard. Marie Kondo points out that there is joy to be found in utility, so even though my ugly cutlery set doesn't make me swoon, I find joy in it when I eat my food. I think this is important to remember as you go through the KonMari journey; it would be too easy to get swept up in discarding and replacing, and if you aren't at a point in your life where you can afford to replace all those things that spark joy, this could be dangerous. 

The main thing that didn't sit well with me is throughout the whole book, she goes on and on about throwing out and discarding items. This seems so incredibly wasteful to me. Of course, there are things that can't necessarily be donated, but if your items are in good working order there is no reason why you shouldn't spend a little time making sure you are responsible in discarding them. Whether that's giving them to a local school, charity shop, or local 'Pay it Forward' facebook page. 

Overall, an interesting read, but nothing that can't be learned from the internet.

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Monday, February 8, 2016

February Goals

As always, let's start with a review of last month's goals: 

- Finish three books
Yes! I crossed this one off early in the month, and kick-started my reading for February. I think if I keep this up I will be able to do more regular book reviews. 
- Clean out the linen under the bed.
I spent a whole day clearing out all the linen in our house, throwing away anything was well-worn and had holes, washing everything else, folding it and putting it back into under-bed storage boxes that are clearly labelled. This should make life so much easier when people come and stay - I'll know exactly where to find everything! 
- Clear off my bedside table
I didn't quite get around to this, so I'm moving it to next month. 
- Stretch 5 days a week
I have started off the year strong with stretching, and hope to continue this. 
- Pay off my credit card bill by the end of the month. 
Not quite, but I have paid off quite a bit and have a strict budget for paying it off ASAP. 
- Go trapeze-ing! 
I am hoping to get around to this in March, as February is looking really busy. 
- Clear the hallway
Yes! There were space bags filled with random crap and boxes littering our hallway from when we first moved in (6 months ago). I had a quick clear out of it, and now our hallway is unimpeded. 

- Finish 3 books
- Perform at my pole studio's Open Night showcase
- Clear off our bedside table
- Edit our NZ photos
- Stretch 5x a week
- Get back into a regular blogging upload schedule
- Print photos for my work photo frame
- Sort already printed photos into photo box. 

Has the start of the year kick-started your goal-setting?

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Innoxa Cover and Correct Cream Concealer Face Palette*

I was so thrilled to receive this in the goodie bag at the Bloggers United AU event I attended last year, as colour correcting helps give your base that flawless finish. 

The cream concealers are housed in a silver, plastic palette with a big mirror on the inside lid. The palette overall is a really nice size, it's not unnecessarily big, and being made out of plastic ensures it's lightweight. The palette closes shut with a snap closure. I love that the back of the palette contains information about what each colour corrects. 

These concealers are definitely creamy, and a little goes a long way - if you use too much product it will be a bit tricky to blend it in. I personally find the best way to use this product is with my fingertips, as the warmth from my skin helps almost "melt" the product into my skin. 

I always apply after primer and before foundation - that way I am really covering up the colour left behind by the concealer. 

This palette contains four colour correcters (yellow, green, lavender and apricot) and two concealers (light and dark). I personally don't get much use out of the concealers as they don't really match my skin tone, but the green and apricot colour correcters get a lot of use. 

(L - R: Yellow; used for neutralising purple under the eyes
Green; used to reduce redness and cover blemishes
Lavender; used to reduce yellow undertones) 

(L-R: Apricot: used to brighten complexion and the eye area
Light Concealer, Dark Concealer) 

Colour correcting is a bit daunting at first. Let's use colour correcting redness as an example: so you apply the green concealer wherever there's redness (for me, on my cheeks), but then you're left with a green tinge on your face; which is a bit scary and less than ideal. However, once you apply foundation over the top, your skin will be left looking flawless. 

Have you used colour correcters before? 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Monday, February 1, 2016

What I Got for Christmas: 2015

So now that it's been well over a month since Christmas was here (I'm still recovering from all that amazing food), I thought it was probably about time I got around to my annual "What I Got for Christmas" post. 

My big present this year was a brand new HP laptop - my old laptop was reaching the end of its life; the graphic card was dying, which meant random blue-screens and constant crashing. It made it really difficult to do anything because I'd get so frustrated and ragequit. I'm so thrilled with this new laptop - larger screen, super lightweight and best of all - no crashing! A few people put in for this gift, and I'm so grateful for it. 

My bestie also got me this beautiful candle from Dusk; Alpine Escape. This scent is really spicy - ginger, cinnamon, patchouli, cloves with a really woody feel. Even though it's been a seemingly never-ending stream of 30 degree days, and this candle is probably better suited to Winter, I've still been burning it non-stop. 

J's parents got me an adorable cow tea-set! Made up of a sugar bowl, little milk jug and a teapot, it's ridiculously cute. 

From J's brother and his wife, I received a year-long Frankie subscription. I've been reading Frankie for years, so it will be really good to receive one every second month! I love receiving subscriptions as gifts, they literally are the gift that keeps giving (as corny as that sounds). 

My brother got me Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and Fallout 4, both of which have been getting plenty of play-time. 

J's sister and her fiance got me a new gym towel, which has been great with all the hot weather we're having and how sweaty working out makes me generally. 
J's parents also got me a bubble bar and bath bomb from Lush - I've spoken before about how much I love these, and I can't wait until the weather cools down a little more so I can start taking steaming hot baths again.  

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Weekend in Melbourne

Would you believe me if I said before this year, I'd never traveled to Melbourne before? We spent just three days in Vic's capital, and I absolutely fell in love with the city. 

J's brother got married in the incredibly picturesque Montsalvat; an artist colony set amongst rich gardens and old European-style buildings. The food was a proper feast, and the tone of the evening was set with a jazz band. We're so thrilled for the couple, and so happy we were able to celebrate with them. 

The next morning we had brunch at Vue de Monde - amazing food and being in the second tallest building in Melbourne, we were witness to an awesome view. 

We spent Sunday exploring the city and partaking in a river cruise on the Yarra. 

I truly fell in love with Melbourne in my short time there, and cannot wait to re-visit the city to do some more exploring. 

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What's in my Shower?

Since you can never have enough products in the shower to choose from, we have two shower caddies in ours. I prefer to have everything at eye level where I can see it (and thus will be more likely to use it), and I hate having things on the shower floor as they are more prone to get mouldy and gross. 

So... what is in my shower caddies? 

MooGoo Milk Wash* - (review here)
I love this product, it's really moisturising, creamy and basic - for those times where my eczema is playing up or my skin is just generally being shit, this will really calm my skin down. I love the handy pump bottle, meaning I never need to take it out of the caddie. 

J keeps his toothbrush and toothpaste in the shower - mine live next to the bathroom sink because I am not a fan of brushing my teeth in the shower... fun fact. 

Natura Siberica - Oblepikha Shower Gel*

I received this product at a bloggers beauty event a few months ago, and am so happy I discovered this brand. Their products are all organic, using natural ingredients sourced from Siberia. 
This shower gel promises "energizing freshness", and is beautifully fragranced. 

Joico Colour Endure Conditioner

I bought this just before we travelled to New Zealand, and de-canted it into a smaller bottle for my travels. I love that I really don't need a lot of this product for it to work (which is great as my hair is getting so long now, and hair products now get used up so much faster). This conditioner glides through my hair, de-tangles it, and leaves it feeling silky and smooth - after it's air-dried and I run a straightener through it, it's so sleek and beautiful. The product isn't thick and it doesn't weigh my hair down or leave any residue behind. 

Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Razor*

I pretty much only use razors that have replaceable cartridges. This razor has 5 "curve-sensing" blades, and an electric bikini trimmer on the end. The razor takes 1 AAA battery (included) and is totally waterproof. Which is good, because I only ever shave in the shower. I think what I like most about this razor is the white dots around the razor head contains a water-activated moisturising serum, which moisturises your skin as you shave. I also think it's really convenient that the bottom of the razor has a little stand to prop it up when it's laying flat, preventing it from touching any surfaces. Although I keep mine on a wire rack, so that's not really that necessary for me. 

The waterproof trimmer works really well too, with trimmer guides to assist you in maintaining your desired style / length. 

I bought this shower caddie from Howard's Storage World, and it seriously stores so much stuff. It hangs over the edge of the shower, and it has a little hook which I hang my shower cap up on. I also like that it has room at the bottom for a squeegee - convenient storage as our shower is all glass doors.

Natural World Moroccan Argan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo (Review here) 

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil (Review here) - I love this product, and have used it for years and years. Totally decadent, beautiful, luxurious. 

Skin Theory - Aloe Exfoliating Polish*

I try to exfoliate my skin regularly, so keeping an exfoliator in the bathroom assists with that. This is a manual exfoliation, using micro sea salt crystals. The product itself is quite creamy, and the salt dissolves so it's not scratchy on your skin. There's not really a scent to it, which is good. I love how clean and refreshed my skin feels after using this. 

Unfortunately the entire skin theory range is only available at Amcal chemists (unfortunately because I don't really have one conveniently located to me), but it is super cheap at $10.

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel

This smells exactly like the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, also from Lush. I love this shower gel. Smells incredible, and the scent lingers on your skin. 

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

Another product I've used for years and years, have done numerous reviews on, and has appeared quite a few times in my empties posts. I use this as a conditioner when my hair needs some extra love and attention (e.g. right after dyeing it). Leaves my hair feeling and looking healthy, silky smooth, beautiful. 

Milk&Co Face Cleanser* - Review here.

Rosehip Plus Organic Daily Cream Cleanser*

This is a fairly new product, launching in October 2015. I haven't really used many cream cleansers before, but I'm really liking this one. It's a bit heavy, which is awesome for when my skin is dehydrated or dry, but it doesn't really give you that "squeaky clean" feeling, so if that's your jam you may not love this. The thick cream though does help to dissolve your make-up, and I never get my make-up completely removed with gel or foaming cleansers alone. The product contains rosehip oil, jojoba and sea buckthorn. All products are Australian Certified Organic. I'm really impressed with this cleanser. It also smells incredible.

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were provided for editorial consideration. No brand or PR company have 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.

 photo signature_edited-1_zpsas0u1ptz.png

Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Bloglovin
© Where is my mind?. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig