Sunday, 19 February 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've been reconnecting with old friends lately and I love it. In the last few months I bumped in to two friends who I haven't seen in over 15 years. Thursday I heard that another great friend who I haven't seen for about five years will be here in April. Happy days.

2. One of my friends, her husband and two children have just packed up and embarked on a journey around Australia for an indefinite amount of time. Living the dream.

3. Ed Sheeran has released another song. I can't wait for the album to come out.

4. I was at the Woolies self serve checkout on Thursday and the lady (who I see all the time!) thought I'd stolen something. Not sure why. She watched me scan everything (I only had 3 items) and then once I'd paid she checked my receipt. Strange.

5. I've read that Coles and Woolies are losing billions of dollars to theft now that they've introduced self service checkouts. I'll bet having checkout staff would cost a lot less than the theft is!

Friday, 17 February 2017

FFS Friday - Synergy

This year I finally organised a birthday party for Chai. 

It's the first time he's had a party, every other year we've just done a small celebration with family.

Tiger and I chose the day, I sent out the invites and then realised that it's on a long weekend. FFS.

I'm hoping that most of his friends aren't going away that weekend. 

Initially I invited 19 kids, but after finding out it was a long weekend I panicked and invited his whole class. I've now invited 32 kids. Oops.

I'm also hoping that the weather is nice because we're having the party at a park. 

My instincts to take the kids and run away are strong at the moment. Chai's anxiety is a lot worse since he started school. I hate to see him suffering. 

I also hate the stupid school system that puts so much pressure on kids when they are way too young to be learning.  

Chai has a meltdown every morning and every evening. In the mornings he cries from the moment we get up and he's still crying when I drop him at school. 

When I pick him up he's happy but it takes the tiniest thing to start a huge meltdown that lasts for an hour and a half. My poor boy.

I saw the Dr and got a referral to a paediatrician and psychologist but I really shouldn't have to. The stupid school system shouldn't be putting kids in a position where they need counselling, it's ridiculous.

When Tiger gets home we're going to talk to the school about putting him back in to Pre Primary. I'll bet they won't do it. If they won't then we're going to seriously consider home schooling. I refuse to subject my child to such pain and pressure. It's not healthy and I will not be a part of it.

I'm also considering lobbying the Education Department to have the system changed. I just need to find out how.

His school is lovely and so is his teacher, but they have to administer the curriculum even though most of them admit that it's too much pressure for the kids. 

I'm halfway through my 30 day Minimalism Game. It's a lot of fun but not quite as easy as I though it'd be. I have a whole pile of things to throw out so I thought it'd be a breeze, and it would be if Tiger was home and I have time to sort through everything. Trying to sort things out with Tiger away is proving difficult. I'm determined though and will solider on. 

 There has been a lot of synergy happening in my life lately and I love it.     

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Things to Try Thursday

Today I'm talking face sprays. In my opinion the humble face spray doesn't get enough appreciation. They're such a versatile product and yet they're rarely mentioned. Let me introduce you to some of my favourites.

Echolife Lavender Facial Mist - If you look closely you'll see that my bottle is all dirty. That's because the boys love this mist and use it all the time. The lavender scent is beautifully calming and the mist is very soothing on sore, irritated skin. The boys like to use it when they're hot, it helps cool them down. I use it when my skin is irritated or if I'm sunburned. I keep mine in the fridge so it's lovely and cool.

Cinch Face Cheat - Face Cheat is the most unique of all my face sprays because it's an anti-ager, primer, moisturiser and illuminator in one. What a brilliant idea. On my dry skin I still need to use a moisturiser, but it does provide extra hydration. I use it two ways, either underneath my foundation as a primer, or over the top of my foundation to provide extra glow. I also use it during the day to freshen up when my skin is feeling dry.

Audra James Orange and Peppermint Aroma Mist - This is another one that I keep in the fridge. The scent is beautifully uplifting, perfect for hot summer days. Because Audra custom makes her products you can get the Aroma Mist in any fragrance you want. I'm planning on getting a floral mix when I finally use up my current stash of face mists. 

Simplicite Hydrating Floral Toning Spritz - The newest addition to my collection has quickly become a favourite. The floral scent is beautifully calming. I like to use this under my moisturiser for an extra boost of hydration. It's also really nice used as a light hair fragrance. 

What is your favourite face mist?

*Note - The Simplicite Spritz was gifted to me.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

I'm doing the 30 day Minimalism Game

As I've said before, this is a year of change for me. I have three main aims for this year; sort our finances, declutter the house and create a calm household. I've been really inspired by The Minimalists and have decided to do their 30 Day Minimalism Game. The idea is that you start on the first day of the month so it's easy to remember how many products you need to get rid of.

Here's how it works. On day one you get rid of one product, day two you get rid of two products etc. By the end of the month you've disposed of at least 465 products. You can give away, sell or throw them out, but they have to be out of the house by the end of the day. 

Since I'm not great at following orders, I've changed the rules. I'm not starting at the beginning of the month, I'm not throwing out one product on day one, two on day two etc and I'm not having them out of the house by the end of that day. I'll declutter an area, count how many items I've gotten rid of and assign them to a day. I feel a bit like I'm cheating because I have so many things to declutter that it's not a very difficult task. What I've decided to do is keep on going for as long as it takes me, so I could potentially be doing the 30 day game for six months.

Once I've decluttered all the easy stuff I'll be keeping in mind something I saw on The Minimalist Facebook page. "Would you buy it again?" I'm looking at things and asking myself if I'd buy it again. More often than not the answer is no. The second part of the question is "If you wouldn't buy it again, why do you still have it?" Out it goes!

Have you done the game? Want to join me? The more the better, it'll be fun!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Finally, coconut oil in a tube!

You know those people who use coconut oil for everything? I'm not one of them. My Mum goes through heaps of it, she uses it in place of butter. I can't eat coconut oil because it irritates my belly (thanks Crohn's). Despite that I've tried my hardest to be a coconut oil lover. I've tried using it as skin care, a hair treatment, rash treatment and a whole pile of other uses but it just doesn't work for me. In winter it's hard so I can't get it out of the jar. In summer it's so runny that I make a mess everywhere, it's too much hard work. 

If you feel the same way, let me introduce you to Coco Niu (pronounced coco-nee-you). It comes in a tube!

Why didn't someone think of this sooner? Coconut oil in a tube is magic! In cold weather it squeezes out quite easily and in summer it pours into my hand with no mess. Perfect! I'm now quickly turning in to one of those people who uses coconut oil for everything. I've been loving it as a make-up remover, it quickly removes all my make-up (including eye make-up) without irritating my skin. 
As a hair treatment it's pure magic, I put it through the ends of my hair, leave it overnight, wash my hair in the morning and voila, baby soft hair. 

Coco Niu is made from hand picked coconuts that have been made into virgin coconut oil by cold pressing in a sterile environment. It's 100% coconut oil with nothing else added. 

You can purchase Coco Niu products from their website.
A 100ml tube costs $14, three tubes cost $42 and five tubes cost $70. Shipping is free when you spend over $30.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Chai's school has just started Crunch and Sip. It's where the kids get to eat fresh fruit or vegetables and drink water at a set time in class. Whilst I think it's a brilliant idea, it's sad that it need to be a thing. Chai's school meals are mainly fruit and vegetables, along with a sandwich, some cheese and a treat like fruit ropes or something similar. He only drinks water. 
Apparently a lot of children aren't sent to school with fruit, vegetables or water. What the hell do they eat if they aren't eating fruit and vegetables? What a sad state of affairs. 
Having said that I'm very, very fortunate that both my boys love fruit and vegetables, it'd be awful if they didn't. 

2. Sometimes people really disappoint me. The way they can be so cruel and callous towards others is upsetting. 

3. Tiger and I are finally starting to agree on our finances. For years I've been the saver and he's been the spender, now we're both agreeing that paying off debt and spending less is a good thing, yay!

4. This was Chai's first full week of school and his second week back. He's still struggling and doesn't want to be there. Frankly I don't want him to be there either, I want him at home. Most of my friends were glad to send their kids back to school, I wasn't. I'd love to have him home every day, we had a great time on the school holidays. 

5. So apparently putting a condom over a beauty blender to replicate the effect of a silisponge is a thing. If a make-up artist ever tried to use a condom on my face I'd run screaming. 

Friday, 10 February 2017

FFS Friday - Breastfeeding

After three years and five months, Eljay is finally weaned. Yes, that's right, I breastfed Eljay for almost three and a half years. It's not something I planned, it's just how things worked out because I wanted him to wean himself when he was ready. Turns out he wasn't ready until a few weeks ago. He still asks for a feed every now and again, but I say no now, he's more than old enough to wean.

Chai weaned himself at seventeen months. He was only feeding at night time and wasn't very interested in it so one night I didn't offer him a feed, he never asked for it again and that was it. I was envisioning something similar with Eljay but it didn't happen. Eljay has always loved feeding. Chai loved feeding but was easily distracted. Eljay wasn't. Until he was two he was still feeding during the day. When he turned two I started refusing if he asked for a feed during the day. I continued to feed him to sleep. A few times I tried to talk him out of having a night time feed but he wouldn't be in it. I wasn't going to deny him a feed and have him cry to sleep.

A few months ago he decided that he wanted to start sleeping in the same bed as Chai. I told him that he could either have a feed or cuddle to sleep in Chai's bed. Sometimes he'd cuddle to sleep and sometimes he'd feed to sleep. He started choosing to cuddle to sleep more than he chose to feed and over the last few weeks he only fed to sleep once. It's been about a week now since he's had a feed. He asked for a feed once and I said no. When he asks for a feed I offer him a cuddle and he's happy enough with that. I've told him that he drunk all the milk and there's none left, he seems happy with that explanation.

I'm sure the reason he fed for so long is because it's time where it's just the two of us. It's time where he has me all to himself and he gets a long, uninterrupted cuddle.

Between both boys I've breastfed for five years. My breastfeeding journey, whilst difficult at times, was very satisfying. I'm glad that I was able to exclusively feed both my boys and glad that they both weaned when they were ready. 

I'm one of those fortunate people who only had positive breastfeeding experiences. I fed both boys anywhere and everywhere, in cafes, restaurants, walking around the shopping centre, wherever I happened to be. People were always nice, accommodating and helpful.

There's only one time something happened and Tiger quickly sorted it out. We were at a shopping centre and I was feeding Chai. A man had been sitting on the same side as us but as soon as I started feeding he moved opposite me, put his sunglasses on and sat there staring. He quickly moved on after a few choice words from Tiger, hahaha. 

Feeding Chai was really difficult for the first three months. It was really painful. I didn't get cracked or bleeding nipples but feeding hurt for three months. I saw a lactation consultant who said that he was latching correctly but it still hurt. For the first six weeks getting him to latch correctly was difficult, but in week seven one day he just got it and after that it was easy. I had sore nipples for three months and then it magically stopped hurting. 

Feeing Eljay was a lot easier. I knew what I was doing, he could latch properly right from the start and my nipples only hurt for four weeks. 

I'm not one of those people who loved breastfeeding. I hear people talk about it like it's the best thing in the world. I don't really understand that. I was happy to breastfeed but it's not something that I loved. I liked being able to nourish my babies and loved the convenience of not having to prepare bottles. I'm also very grateful that I was able to successfully feed both boys, I know a lot of people who aren't so lucky. 

I'm ready to stop feeding however it is a time I'll look back on fondly.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Things to try Thursday

After falling off the wagon for a while, things to try Thursday is back!

Today I've got a random bunch of products that I've been loving over the last few months.

Jergens BB Body sat unloved in my cupboard for ages until I finally pulled it out this summer. They claim that it has five beautifying benefits:
  • Hydrates and smoothes
  • Brightens and illuminates
  • Evens skin tone
  • Visibly firms skin
  • Minimises the appearance of imperfections 
I can't say that I agree with all of the claims. It's a body lotion so of course it hydrates and smoothes, that's what body lotions are all about isn't it? Immediately after application my legs do look a little brighter, so I'll agree with the brighten and illumination claim, but as for the rest of the claims I call bullshit. Having said that, BB Body is a lovely body lotion that I'll happily repurchase. It's hydrating, absorbs quickly and smells good which is everything I want from a body lotion. 

Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid has been in my collection for a while now but was very unappreciated. I'd use it every now and again but it wasn't love until recently. I exfoliate my lips regularly and use petrolatum free lip balms, however my lips were really lumpy and no matter how much I exfoliated them I couldn't get rid of the lumps. In desperation I pulled out my Lemonaid Lip Aid and used it one night before bed. When I woke up the lumps were nearly all gone! After the second night they were all gone. It's now become my night time lip balm and my lips love it. No more lumps, yay!

I'm having a bit of a love affair with It Cosmetics at the moment. My latest love is their CC+ Colour Correcting Full Coverage Cream. It has an SPF of 50+ and doesn't irritate my skin at all. On hot days I'll wear it on top of sunscreen but on days where the UV index isn't as high I'll use it alone. It gives natural looking full coverage and I don't even need to use a powder over the top. 

In one of my Nourished Life orders I purchased some Weleda perfume samples. I've been wanting to try their perfumes for a while but don't have any stockists locally, so when I saw that Nourished Life have samples I bought all three of the scents. Whilst they're all lovely my favourite is Jardin die Vie Rose which is a beautiful rose scent. If you are on the hunt for a natural perfume check these ones out!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Rodial Glam Balm Lip

Rodial Glam Balm Lip has been on my wish list for ages but I've never seen it in store. I'm not sure why we don't have Glam Balm Lip here, because we have other Rodial products. I bought mine from Feel Unique a while ago. They don't stock Rodial products any more, however you can purchase Glam Balm Lips from Strawberrynet for $29.50 or from ASOS for $26.60. If you live in the US or UK you can also purchase directly from the Rodial website.

My pot is the old design, the new pots are purple and look really cute, I want another one just so I can have the new packaging.

Rodial says: Rodial glam balm lip is an intensive lip balm designed to hydrate, smooth and protect the lips. Shea butter and vitamin e soothe and soften the skin while hyaluronic filling spheres and rose wax offer optimum hydration to plump up lips. 

I'm disappointed to say that I don't get any plumping effects at all. Despite that, I do like Glam Balm Lips. It smells like roses, has no flavour and hydrates well. The texture is quite light and feels silky smooth. If you aren't a fan of rose scented products this is not the balm for you as the scent lingers, I can smell it until the balm wears off.

I need to reapply every three hours, more often if I'm eating or drinking. Whilst it's not a cheap balm (or very easy to get in Australia), the 10 gram pot means it'll last a long time. The pot is wide and low, I wish all lip balm pots were the same, because I can get the balm out without it going underneath my fingernail. Another great thing about the pot is that the lid is a mirror. I'm not sure if the new packing has a mirrored lid, but from the photos I've found online it appears that it does.

Ingredients: hydrogenated polybutene, diisostearate malate, tridecyl trimellitate, castor seed oil, petrolatum, c10-30 cholesterol/lanosterol esters, synthetic wax, ethylhexyl palmitate, shea butter, rosa damascena flower extract, sunflower seed oil, flavour, benzyl alcohol, pomegranate extract, tocopherol, silica dimethyl silylate, mica, water, dehydroacetic acid, butylene glycol, caprylyl glycol, geraniol, citronellol, sodium hyaluronate, phenoxyethanol, limonene, hexylene glycol, eugenol, linalool, carrot seed oil, carrot root extract, beta-carotene, ascorbyl palmitate, titanium dioxide, carmine.

Monday, 6 February 2017

The everyday face menu

Lately I've unintentionally developed a make-up uniform. I wear the same few looks every day. It makes getting ready in the morning really easy and I'm hoping it'll mean that I actually use up some of my make-up. My make-up needs to last around fourteen hours so I go for products that are long lasting and don't fade, crease or smudge.

I choose my base depending on the coverage I need. If I don't need much coverage I'll just use Insta Flawless. When I  want more coverage I'll use Insta Flawless as a primer with either Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, Rimmel Radiance BB Cream, It Cosmetics CC+ or L'oreal Infallible Matte foundation. If I want a little extra coverage or feel the need to have a matte face I'll add some Maybelline Super Stay powder on top. If you haven't tried this powder you need to, it gives gorgeous flawless coverage. 

Most days I don't bother with concealer but if I do my go to concealer is Maybelline Master Conceal. It's a real gem of a product, the coverage is brilliant and it doesn't settle into fine lines.

I'm using two blushes at the moment, Becca Beach Tint in Watermelon and Givenchy Magic Lip and Cheek Balm. As the name suggests, the Givenchy can be used as a lip balm too. When I use it as a blush I'll dab the excess onto my lips over the top of Maybelline Perpetual Peony.

This year I want to finish Maybelline Perpetual Peony, Revlon Ultra HD Peony and MAC Bare Venus lipsticks so I'm using them exclusively until they're done. I'd thought that I wouldn't like only having three lipsticks to use but I'm really enjoying it. I haven't missed my other lipsticks at all, which tells me that I could happily destash and have around ten lipsticks. I use Dr Brandt's Xtend Your Youth Lip Filler and Volumizer as a lip primer. I'm hoping it'll help get rid of the two horizontal lip lines I've developed, I'll keep you posted on that one.

I'm really loving the new Essence Extreme Lasting eye pencil in Rockin' Taupe. It's a gorgeous colour and lasts all day without fading or smudging. I'm considering getting a backup because I love it so much. On days where I don't want to wear eyeshadow I smudge my eyeliner along my top lashline for definition and a bit of a smoky look, it looks like I've made a lot more effort that I have.

I use my Rimmel Scandaleyes in Taupe smudged on my bottom lashline, it makes my eyes look more polished, not sure why. 

On the days I can be bothered with eyeshadow I use either MAC Painterly Paint Pot or Clarins Taupe Ombre Matte eyeshadow. I use Painterly when I've had a bad night and need to brighten things up and Clarins Taupe when I want to look like I've put in some effort. Both of them are crease free and last all day, however I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance as an extra back up. 

Brows are Shu Uemura Hard Brow Pencil in Acorn and mascara is Nude By Nature Allure Defining Mascara in brown.

Do you have a make-up uniform? What are your go to products?