27 February 2015

February

February has felt like a bit of an odd month to recap on since I only managed to get my head around the fact that it was indeed February about half way through the month, having written my January recap post about ten days in. Life has been a blur lately, with no stable routine - I'm just floating in and out everywhere waiting for Uni to start, really. Not that I'm particularly looking forward to it - you know, doing actual work after four months of doing nothing is not good. Nevertheless, I guess February was one part lazing around enjoying sleep in's and staying up late and two parts going out and doing fun things slash getting my shit together.

Let's be that typical person who talks about the weather for a moment - summer is basically over and this pretty much signals a big change into Autumn/Winter and real life. I'm going to have a purpose in life after high school and I think this is a good thing. I recently had my Uni Orientation and it made me feel quite a bit better about starting; actually having a bit of insight into what it's like to sit in a lecture room, where everything is, what kind of people are in my course and to be honest I'm just a little bit excited now that I've seen it all. I know that it's got to be hard in some way at some stage, but I need to put things into perspective and see how it all goes first. It seems so odd I'm starting this new chapter of my life, I'm in a bit of a weird place at the moment.
Moving onto some of my favourite things for the month... starting with beauty. As usual among my favourite things I've used most this month are Lush products, beginning with my new cleanser duo, Angels on Bare Skin mixed with some of the 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion. I wanted a light cleanser that would simply clean my face and add a bit of moisture (9 to 5) but I wanted something that was a little more heavy duty to really get rid of the dirt and build up on my skin (enter Angels on Bare Skin). I've heard a lot of people talk about this exfoliating cleanser and I haven't trialled it enough to form a full opinion but I'm liking how my skin feels so far. I only grabbed a sample of this cleanser so I could try it out before committing to a full pot (which takes blimming ages to use up).

A huge favourite of mine this month has been the Daddy-O shampoo. It's actually a really good shampoo and is more clarifying than what I would usually use so I use it once a week. It just works for me and I'm really happy about that because I needed something that was clarifying yet good for my hair with natural ingredients. I won't bore you with anymore Lush apart from the Jackie Oates Colour Supplement which I used about a year or two ago but am now really enjoying using it again. A last beauty favourite is a nail polish; in fact a very budget nail polish, from the brand Miki (it may only be available in New Zealand/Australia? I'm not sure) in a gorgeous purple colour which sort of reminds me of Essie Splash of Grenadine. The formula of this colour is surprising good for what price you pay and it's more of a thin liquid which makes it easy to build up.
Books I read this month included Fangirl, The Selection Series (3 books), The Art of Being Normal and Flat-Out Love which makes me a third through my reading goal this year. My favourites were Fangirl and The Art of Being Normal, for sure. Fangirl is such an amazing, amazing book and I could not stop reading it. I won't be putting detailed reviews on my blog but if you want to see the occasional book review follow my goodreads account. I have my thoughts on The Art of Being Normal there too but this was such a good book as well - the main issue it covers is Transgender and I had never read anything on the topic so it was really interesting and enlightening. If you're going to read two books next month I recommend those ones! I also have to mention quickly The Selection series which I have been reading the last few weeks. The think the second and third books are much better than the first and it's got a The Bachelor and The Hunger Games type feel.

One collective group of things I have been obsessed with this month is the film Submarine, the director Richard Ayoade and the actors of Submarine, Yasmin Paige and Craig Roberts. I've been watching loads of Youtube videos and interviews involving this trio and the next step in my love for this film is to read the book it was based off. (I've gone a step further ordering the best phone case ever from this shop - and a t-shirt of the same design is on it's way). I've been loving watching episodes of Was It Something I Said as well, just because Richard Ayoade is in it. This man is so genuinely funny (well he has the same sense of humour as me).
Another favourite I have this month is my new backpack from Glassons which is the perfect little thing to cart around a few bits and bobs and just enough to squeeze my 13 inch MacBook into. I'll be using this to carry my stuff for Uni in, so if you want me to do a post on What's In Bag for University let me know! A better picture of this bag is here on my instagram.

I also have to quickly mention my love for a couple movies this month, very different from each other. The first is The Theory of Everything which made me cry about five times and was so touching and amazing. I was beyond happy and excited for Eddie Redmayne when he won the Oscar for Best Actor, just watch his sweet reaction and speech! The other is 13 Going on 30 which my sister and I watched on a Friday night movie marathon. I love the 80s music going on in this movie and oh my, the ending with the the Madonna song makes my heart flutter. Which leads me to music I've been listening to this month...


Rosie introduced me to a cool group called Erato which I have been listening to here and there, which I find relaxing as a bit of background music to working or cleaning up my room. Florence + The Machine also released a new single which is really good. Theres a mix of other stuff in there including the 13 Going on 30 Soundtrack and Uptown Funk which I can't help but love (being overplayed on the radio on the other hand...). Also I have fallen in love with a couple of new (to me) artists - Royal Blood who performed at the Brits and Twin Wild! Enjoy listening if you choose to and you can check out all my other playlists from the past here.

Links + Loves:

* After seeing Fran in EssieButton's vlog I fell in love with her and her artwork
* I've been loving Fleur's vlogs this month
* Rosie's blog post was helpful for workout inspiration/ideas
* With Pancake Day this month, I've bookmarked these delish looking Pancake Muffins for when hunger in the morning strikes
* I found this blog post about which Topshop jeans are the best for you really useful
* This Little Lush Handbook is a life saver!!
* A couple of how-to posts I liked this month: How to be healthy on a budget & Sleeping tricks

That's it from me, loves! Hope you had a good month and I'll see you in March.
SHARE:

26 February 2015

Useful Apps

IMG_8153
I don't know about you, but I quite like reading other people's posts on what apps they have on their phone. I've discovered quite a few from others suggestions. I don't have too many apps on my phone as I want to save storage (8GB i-Phones are not the one!) but nevertheless, here are some apps that I find useful on a regular basis.

VSCOcam: I'm quite sure every man and his dog knows about this photo-editing app, but in case you haven't heard of it or put off downloading it onto your device, this one's really good. I like using the M5 filter most of the time. It's great for brightening images and changing the temperature levels of photos (that's what I use this app for most).

WaterIn: This one is a nifty little app which tracks your water intake and basically makes sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day. I had a little health scare recently and it made me realise how drinking water regularly throughout the day is so important. I feel much more awake and less groggy when I'm keeping up with my eight glasses of water a day (it's really not that much at all). The notification sound for this is the sound of water pouring into a glass which makes you want a drink in no time!

A&T Public Transport: This one only applies if you live in Auckland but it's rather useful. You can check bus and train times and real time boards of transport departures. It has a Journey Planner so it sorts out how to get from A to B in a flash. This is basically a necessity if you travel often, which I will be when I start Uni in March.

Bloglovin': I do like reading my favourite blogs on my laptop as I love seeing the blogs font and pictures in full size/clear quality, but for on the go, when I get a bit bored when out and about (or even if I'm too lazy to pick up my laptop) I've recently been scrolling through my Bloglovin' feed on this app. They recently updated it - it's sleek and user-friendly.

Good Reads: If you love to read, or more document the books you read, this one is for you. You can interact with fellow book lovers, write reviews on books and keep track of everything you've got your mitts on recently with a list of books you've read and also that you want to read. It has this cool feature where you can scan the barcode of a book and it automatically finds it on the app. I was quite mind-blown when I did this for about fifty books in a row. You can follow me here.

P.D: This one's cleverly hidden by the the abbreviation so no one looking through your phone will know you have an app called Period Diary (if you even care). This one's pretty self-explanatory; you can track your periods through a calendar and it will estimate when your next periods due so there are no more surprises and you can see how your periods fluctuate. You can write notes such as how you're feeling, how spotty your skin is or what your appetites like in case you want to look back on those and figure out any kind of pattern in your periods.

What are your go-to apps?
SHARE:

24 February 2015

Pauanui Photo Diary

5
7
8
1
6
2
4
As promised, here is my little summer holiday photo diary, as I went to a little place called Pauanui last month which is on the east coast of New Zealand. These photos are pretty much all of the pretty sunset(s). I only took my camera out sometimes as it's a bit awkward to carry around a clunky DSLR all day every day. I'm still wondering if I should or shouldn't bring my big camera on holiday with me to Hawaii in April. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed quickly scrolling through these photos and they are remembrance for myself more than anything.

Also - I've been posting quite regularly recently since I got my laptop back. That's because I've been feeling inspired and also because there was a backlog of posts from my absence, but things on the blogging front will probably slow down shortly as I'm starting Uni (next week - can you believe it?)
SHARE:

22 February 2015

Good Things #2

1. Making pancakes. Pancake Day was on Tuesday and I celebrated it for just about the first time in... forever! I never specifically make pancakes for this day, but I really wanted to this year. I think this is the best pancake recipe I've tried - it's the Jamie Oliver one so I highly recommend. It's so easy making them too. My mood is improved 100% when I have a decent breakfast in the morning so I'm thinking these will become a weekly thing.
jackieoates
2. Discovering an old favourite. This Jackie Oates Lush Supplement from Lush is actually out of date but I tried it out the other day and I really love this. Mostly because it's a lighter, sheerer coverage for a foundation as I'm not a fan of really full coverage foundations. This one has a lot of good things for your skin in it and it's great for pale girls like me. I mix this with some of my Celestial Moisturiser and I'm good to go. I will probably have to pick another one of these up soon!
10986030_325387347652029_30943315_n
3. Looking after cute kittens. Oh boy, if you have any worries in the world just get some kittens. Or you know, offer to look after some. This pair were so cute and even though they were really shy and not playful at all, I would have just happily stared at them all day. This was a little bit of love and happiness in my life I was glad to have recently.
4. Going to eat at new places. I'd seen a few instagram posts going around of the Best Ugly Bagels place (in Auckland, for all you international people) and it looked so good! I got the T.A.B - Tomato, Avocado and Basil. I was not disappointed - the bagels were really delicious and I'm glad we decided to venture out and try this place out. Really affordable and filling. I also went to an amazing little place called Milse for desserts on Friday. There were cute French waiters, what else would you want?
5. Exploring my city more. This post by ALO shows that you can be a tourist in your own city. For quite a while I thought my city was boring and there was nothing to do. But honestly there is so much to do, and I should take advantage of it. On Friday night I went to an outdoor cinema in Silo Park and the experience was really cool. Finding and trying new things to do is really not hard if you investigate and it's really good to get out of the house and experience something different every now and then.
SHARE:

20 February 2015

Health & Well-being Goals

I feel like February is my January... while everyone was making New Years Resolutions I was stuck in the hostile mindset that no, I didn't need to make resolutions... they're cliche and unnecessary. I've since learnt that goals are really important in order to have some kind of self-direction in your life. I feel like after four months of sitting at home after graduating high school (and making it out occasionally), I need to get back into doing something; having a routine, improving my heath and well-being and being happy. This time in two weeks I'll have started Uni and let's face it... those 10 am sleep-ins every morning are nice but are not helping. So in celebration of realising all this, and continuing to try and have a positive mindset, here are some goals for the rest of Feb and beyond...

Aim to wake up around 8:00-8:30am every morning and get ready to go to sleep at or before midnight. This may be a sleep-in for some (and I will eventually have to wake up earlier when Uni starts) but in the two week lead up I'm going to be trying to get my sleeping patterns into whack so I won't be completely shocked by future 6.30 am starts. I've had far too many late nights recently so it's time to get more sleep, and go to bed earlier.

Wear less make-up and have more make-up free days. While make-up might not necessarily cause breakouts unless there's specific products that are irritating your skin, I think it's still generally better to not cake your face with make-up and let it breathe. I'm going to aim to stick to a bit of concealer and not make my breakouts look worse. I also need to quit touching my face at all times and let it be. I need to get into a strict routine of washing my face morning and night because I've been a touch slack lately. I'm also aiming to remove my make-up when I get home and not leave it on for hours after when I don't need to.

Drink more water. I can see you all rolling your eyes but I've honestly learnt the importance of drinking more water and being hydrated lately. It just makes you feel so much better and it's really good for your skin too. I've redownloaded an app I had on my phone a while ago called WaterIn - it tells you to drink water throughout the day. I'll be drinking 8 glasses or 2L of water a day. Fizzy drinks are really bad for you so I'll be keeping those for special occasions.

Get moving. I am a person who does little to no exercise so I've reached the conclusion that I really need to get moving in some way. There's really no excuse, and it doesn't have to be extreme either. Charlie wrote a post recently about getting back into exercise and from that post I've learnt that it matters what you do today, and not to worry about the future or too much of a routine or anything. Something is better than nothing and I should do it if it makes me feel more awake and happy. The type of exercise I'm attempting to do will all be things I can do from the comfort of my own home - some light pilates, yoga, or even a dance party in my bedroom? Preferably something I can do following along on YouTube. Walking a frequent amount is also always a good thing.

Do you have any new or continuing goals from the New Year?

SHARE:

17 February 2015

Lush Haul


I'll just say it... I have a never-ending list of things I want to try at Lush, but every now and then I average about three purchases of different products from there that I pick up. It's funny because my Lush addiction is shown by the fact that workers recognise me in the shop, with an exclamation of "You're back!".

Since it was Valentine's Day last week and all (in case you're wondering, I don't give a hoot) I had to try at least one limited edition Valentines Lush product from the current range. I chose the Love Locket Bath Bomb as it's huge and will last me three baths. I was pretty excited for the popping candy in it too! I think it's always nice to pick up something from Lush at their holiday launches because there's something you probably haven't seen before, or it's your chance to stock up on your favourite returning and new products.

A new release in New Zealand is their D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap which looks like a pink whipped moose/marshmallow texture and it smells sweet and lovely! The last item I got was the Daddy-O shampoo which also smells sweet and really delicious. It's a really intense purple and because I've recently got my hair bleached lighter, I'm was hoping this will be a good once-a-week solution for softer and blonder hair.

Since buying these I've since had a chance to try them all so I'll tell you what I thought. The bath bomb is huge (and extremely hard to break in half!). I pretty much always enjoy any Lush bath item, and so I did enjoy this one but it's definitely not the best I've tried - it just kind of makes your bath smell sweet and makes the water turn pink. I'm glad I gave it a try though, as well as the Daddy-O shampoo. I really love this shampoo - I think it makes my hair last a bit longer between washes because somehow it makes my hair a little less oily. It smells great and is really moisturising for my hair. The D'Fluff Shaving Soap is good but not fantastic. It does the job of making my legs pretty soft but it's nothing extraordinary.

What have you got on your wishlist from Lush?
SHARE:

15 February 2015

Good Things #1

On and off for a couple of years I have been doing a little thing on my Tumblr called 'Good Things' where I simply state three good things that have happened that day. They can be as little and insignificant as I like, they can be anything at all. The purpose for this was to keep a little record of these small things that happen daily that are really nice, but which I'd probably forget after a month. It's also about enforcing positivity, trying to find good things that happen in your day. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's difficult if I have a bad day, but there's no pressure in having to do it every single day. If I have a particularly bad day, I'll just breathe and focus on the next day. I thought bringing this over to my blog this year would be a cute thing to do weekly - highlights of these posts from the week accompanied by some photos. Taking more photos on my proper camera and being positive is a thumbs up from me.
1. Memories. One of my closest friends has just moved away to another city quite far away for University. There are so many people moving out and to different places at this time and it's an odd feeling because I've never experienced that before. I'm so happy for my friend, as she gets to do a course she wants to do, and I'm planning to visit her sometime this year. Memories of being at my holiday home and the beach are really special from spending time with her. Bringing back this little pinecone from the beach with me means I'll have something to remember the holiday by. I'm appreciative for having some fun times in Jan with friends.
IMG_8119
2. Getting my creative juices flowing. A three week break from blogging meant that I was totally ready to get back into it and think of some rad ideas for blog posts, including experimenting with a bit of photography and controlling the cohesiveness of my blog. I also learnt that I don't need a blogging schedule at this time in my life and when there's a schedule involved, it just limits my creativity and it becomes a chore.
IMG_7950
3. Wearing dark lipstick. I don't know what's so daring and dare I say it - sexy, about wearing dark reds and purples on my lips but I know it makes me feel pretty great sometimes. I purchased a purple lip liner recently and while it may be out of my comfort zone a little, and like nothing I've had before, it's fun to wear it.
IMG_7963
4. Writing more. A certain book I read recently inspired me a lot to start writing fiction. I have wrote some little bits of unfinished fiction on and off throughout my years, but I always get the bug to write on occasion. I love writing fiction - there's something so special about it, and it's why I like reading so much too, but this point also counts for writing in my journal more. The last two years I really got into writing little snippets of my day and feelings in a notebook and I'm sure it'll be extremely entertaining to read when I'm older (that's half the reason I do it - but to also make sure I remember little things that happened daily in my teen years). Writing helps me feel less stressed about certain things, like the popular idea that if you're feeling sad, angry or anxious you should write it all down and your problems will be left on the page.
IMG_7757
5. Amazing sunsets. There's one thing summer's good for and that's beautiful sunsets. I have to say, out in the more rural areas the sunsets are even better and I loved seeing many while I was away on holiday last month. This particular sunset has #nofilter so that's something to look at and be thankful for.

I guess this is all a bit like thanksgiving every Sunday! I hope you enjoyed reading this little selection of photos + bits of thoughts/writing. I'll have to ask - what are some of your good things this week? Check out my Tumblr tag for ideas.
SHARE:

13 February 2015

Stripes and Denim

This post may look a little strange to you, because I hardly ever do outfit posts. I would like to do more though, but we'll see. This was an outfit I wore a few weeks ago when it was sweltering and even this ensemble felt like too much clothing. You can't really go wrong with a crop top and a button up mini skirt. I have wanted one of these type of skirts for a little while, but had never found one I liked. This one I really did like and it ended up being a bit of an impulse buy, (something I'm trying to steer clear of now to save money, quality over quantity and all that jazz) but this skirt is good quality and I can see myself wearing this a lot (and I have been!).
IMG_7897
IMG_7862
Outfit details:

* Top: Glassons
* Skirt: Dotti
* Shoes: Rubi Shoes
* Necklace: Sportsgirl
* Rings: Pandora
* Sunglasses: The Bread and Butter Letter

IMG_7840
IMG_7851
I paired this look with a dark purple lip and cat shoes based on the famous Charlotte Olympia ones you often see Liv strutting around in. I'm already itching to wear tights with this skirt and shoes and swap my pale arms for some cardigan coverage. Yes please. This will be my summer outfit post I guess, as summer fashion isn't really my thing. I love layering and feeling warm and snug. What about you? Is it summer or winter where you are and are you sick of it yet? Because that's how we all get around the third month, don't we? Thanks for reading! x
SHARE:

11 February 2015

January

Oh boy, has it felt like long since last typing up a blog post. January was certainly a month full of up and downs and for much of Feb as well. I haven't been able to get this post together until now as my laptop has come back from being fixed (if you didn't know, water was spilt on it while I was on holiday - complete disaster). With that being a big downer on my month as well getting sick at the end of the month, I'm pretty glad the last couple of weeks are over. But there was much to be grateful in February, including going to one of my favourite places in New Zealand for a week long holiday with some of my closest friends.

It was great, overall. I learnt a lot about my friends and myself, namely that living with friends is kind of difficult at times and homesickness sucks. However, I'm so glad I experienced something like it at this time in life before I go off to Uni and that I had the chance to photograph some amazing sunsets and scenery. I'll be showing more photos I took on this trip in an upcoming travel photo diary posts. I have regained my inspiration for blogging in this three week gap from my laptop and am so ready to get started again. Back to the topic of summer, I really do have a love-hate relationship with the season, and by February I'm usually totally over it and want the cold weather to come. I'm feeling like that now, wanting to snuggle up in bed with a good book and a hot drink without feeling overheated.
pauanui2
pauanui1
Nevertheless, in case you didn't know, this post is going to be a monthly recap of sorts, where I share with you photos I've taken over the past month and also where I'll let you in on some of my 'favourite things' - that being anything from beauty and fashion to books/TV shows/films/music. So let's get started.
beautyfaves
First up, let's talk beauty. In December I placed an order for Bioderma after thinking that I was really missing a good and basic make-up remover from my (small) beauty stash. This is a really excellent make-up remover, but something I don't want to waste too much as it's not readily available to me and is more expensive than the likes of the Garnier version (which isn't available here either). This month I was fed up with having dry skin and having my concealer look cakey and gross, so I decided to try out a new one. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a creamy concealer with pretty good coverage. It's not heavy duty like the Collection Concealer, but I needed something to suit my skin a bit better. On a whim I also picked up one of the new Maybelline Colour Drama Lip Pencils (mine is in Very Berry) after seeing someone on Youtube buy/wear it. I love this dark purple shade; it's a little bit daring but I'm sure I'm going to get a bit of use out of it.

My lips had been causing me a bit of trouble with being in a pretty bad condition, so I turned to Lush (where I do at all possible moments) and picked up their Honey Trap Lip Balm. It's glorious! White chocolate and honey makes for a nice combination. Lastly, I just have to mention the Celestial Moisturiser also from Lush which has been SUCH a god send the last couple months. Just go and buy it if you haven't already. It reduces the redness on my face so much and when I wake up I have glowing skin.
january
I have been on a reading kick lately and have read almost a quarter of my 30 books in 2015 goal. The books I read this month were: Girl Online, The Drowning of Arthur Braxton, The Humans and Not That Kind of Girl. My favourite was The Humans by Matt Haig, a truly funny and enlightening read. The story is from the perspective of an alien in a man's body. It really opened my eyes up to what humans are really like and it's so funny in some parts. I don't tend to laugh out loud in books but this was hilarious! It's not like anything I've read before or what I thought I would enjoy. You'll learn something for sure about the bizarre race that humans are from reading this book. I have actually read a few more books but those count as February and I'll talk about them next month.

Some of the pictures above are pretty self-explanatory: going to the hairdresser to get slightly lighter highlights in my hair (change, however subtle is good!), giving my room a little tidy up and putting new things on my wall, and attempting to DIY a bit. The DIYing failed miserably, trying to make a pinecone garland but something to do while I was bored out of my brains waiting to get my laptop back, right?! Entertainment wise I have especially been fixed to the telly/screen (before said laptop incident) watching the TV show Broadchurch. I whizzed through the first season in no time and LOVED it. The second season is on TV in New Zealand now so I'm getting my fix every Sunday night in bed. Another unexpected favourite was the BBC's mini series called The Crimson Field. I found it quite interesting and the three episodes were like movie length.



Music wise there's been an array of mostly some old favourites and a couple new discoveries. I won't go on explaining too much but I've especially been loving the Arctic Monkeys (old songs), The XX and The 1975. Nothing really new there but I love all these songs so much. Enjoy listening to January's Playlist if you do, and I hope you enjoyed this rather lengthly and overdue post!

Links + Loves:

* I loved Hazel's January vlog style video so much!
* I've fallen head over heels for Holly's blog. Her blogger design posts have been particularly useful.
* Earlier in the month I loved watching EssieButton's video on her goals for the year.
* I loved Britney's vlog on January 1st. While I'm at it I'll say I love how Britney makes and edits her videos!
* Rebecca made a post on how to be more productive. Her posts are always so spot on and diverse from what I usually see in my Bloglovin' feed.
* Louise's Uptown Funk lookbook directed by Jack Howard was freaking gold I had to watch it twice.
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig