Sunday, 17 January 2021

Thoughts of the week

1. I've started following Jimmy Barnes' facebook page. He posts clips of himself and his family singing, it's brilliant.
 
2. This summer I've been educating the children on classic Aussie singers and old school rock, they're loving it. The old music is so much better than what's around now.
 
3. Awesome news. Juicy Tubes will be available in Australia in the middle of this year! Finally! I can't wait to get my hands on them again. I hope they've used the same formula.
 
4. Home schooling is becoming more popular in Australia, especially since COVID. I really hope that the Education Department looks at the increase of home schooling parents and has a good think about why that might be. The schooling system here really needs to change. It should not be a one size fits all system, it should be flexible so it suits the student, not the student having to fit the system.
 
5. Today we're setting up a garden for Eljay. I bought a big planter box and it's being filled up today. I'm not sure we'll plant any seeds yet as it's going to be really hot this week, so we might leave it until next week when it's a bit cooler.

Friday, 15 January 2021

FFS Friday - Flying Leap

What a week it's been. I'm exhausted. Poor Chai has struggled this week, which means Eljay and I have also struggled. It hasn't been fun. 
 
Want to try a fun experiment? The next time someone asks how you are, tell them that you're not coping and see what they say. Most of the time they just change the subject. Helpful.
 
Anyhow, back to Chai. It's been a rough week. He's had too much excitement and not enough rest time. The trouble with rest time is that he doesn't want to rest, he wants to be constantly on the go. Getting him to rest quietly is almost impossible. 
 
We'll have his ASD test results soon. I'm expecting he'll get a diagnosis. It would explain a lot. I'm not sure what will change if he does get a diagnosis. Tiger and Chai don't want to medicate so things will probably stay the same as they are now. 
I don't love the idea of medication but I think it's worth considering. If he can feel less anxious his life would be totally different and that would be good for all of us. 

I've been reading about ASD in an effort to find out as much as I can. I don't really know how I feel at the moment, I just want the results so that I can take it from there. At the moment we're in limbo, waiting to see what happens. I don't like waiting, I like action. 
 
You know what's annoyed me this week? Another term that's commonly used. Anti-aging. When you think about it, that's a really stupid word. If you aren't aging, you're dead, so why aren't we pro-aging? I'm pro aging. I'll happily age. I don't understand our preoccupation with not looking older. It's just another money making scheme. We're being made to feel that getting older isn't a good thing just so that companies can make money. 
Those companies can take a flying leap. Aging is a good thing. Aging brings wisdom, experience and understanding. None of those are bad qualities.
 
It's time we stopped telling people that perfectly normal things are flaws that need to be changed. They don't. 
Don't believe the lies, you're perfect just as you are. 
 

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

2020 Lip Balm Empties

 

Now that we've seen my sad pile of 2020 make-up empties, it's time to look at my lip balm empties. 
 
I'm quite pleased with this effort. I finished more than one a month and only two of them were minis. 
 
Fourteen finished lip balms and three of them were squeeze tubes. I always feel like squeeze tube balms take forever to finish.  
 
Here's a brief review of each balm.
 
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Kiss
I really liked this and would happily buy it again. I would have loved for it to be flavoured as well as fragranced. The large tube means I only used it at home, it's way too big to carry around.
 
Bite Beauty Agave
As much as I love Bite Beauty products, I'm just not a fan of their Agave balm in the tube. It's thick, waxy and the tube breaks easily. I was happy to see the end of these tubes. I'd buy their other lip products any day, but will give the stick balms a miss. 
 
Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Collagen Lip Cushion
I absolutely loved this. I used it as part of my morning skin care routine. It made a noticeable difference to the lines around my lips. I'll purchase it again once I've got through a few of my other lip serums. 
 
Natralus Cocoa Paw Paw Lip Butter
Natralus has long been my favourite paw paw range, their products are lovely. I always have a tube or two of their paw paw balm on hand. If you can find the lip butters they're lovely. I'll repurchase this if I find it again. 
 
Ladybug Jane Vanilla Cupcake Luxury Lip Care
If I had to chose my top ten favourite lip balms Lady Bug Jane would be on the list. I purchased mine from iHerb, however they're no longer listed on the website so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get my hands on them again. If I find a stockist I'll buy one of each flavour! 

Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Therapy
No matter how hard I try I just don't like the Fresh twist up lip balms. They're way too soft to be usable. I have one of their pots balms and it's lovely, but the twist up ones just don't work for me. I used this as a night time balm and will not repurchase.
 
Surya Brazil Chocolate and Mint Moisturising Lip Balm
This is another great brand that seems to have been discontinued. It's a shame because their products are gorgeous, especially this balm. It tastes like an after dinner mint and is super smooth and hydrating. 
 
Alpha-H Absolute Lip Perfector
If I'd paid $10 for my Absolute Lip Perfector I'd give it a different review, however it cost $32 so it gets a meh review. It wasn't a bad balm, it did the job and kept my lips hydrated, but for $32 I expect more. There are balms that work just as well and cost under $10. 
 
A Kiss From The Bees Lip Balm
I wish that this gorgeous balm was easier to find. It's from a local, Western Australian company and they make the most beautiful balms. This is my third or fourth tube and it definitely won't be my last. This balm is rich, creamy and super hydrating. If you find it anywhere, buy two.
 
EOS Lemon Twist
EOS balms are fun because of the cute packaging, however I don't find them to be that practical, they're just a bit too big to carry around. Despite that, they're great quality and I'll happily repurchase. I'd really like to try some of their hemp balms but they're so difficult to get hold of in Australia.
 
Kiss of a Bee Coffee Lip Balm
This is another great Aussie product. It's hand made in Cairns Queensland. I have several of these balms and love them, they're one of my favourites and I'll definitely repurchase. 
 
Susanne Kaufmann Lip Balm
Whilst I had high hopes, I didn't love my Susanne Kaufmann balm. It was lumpy and just not very pleasant to use. I thought I'd got a faulty one however Mecca assured me it was okay. If Susanne Kaufmann thinks that lumpy lip balms are okay then she is on a totally different page to me. IMO when you're paying $27 for a lip balm you do not expect it to be full of lumps. 
 
Crazy Rumors HibisKiss
Crazy Rumors have long been one of my favourite lip balm brands. I've loved their balms for years and always will. They truly can do no wrong. If you haven't tried Crazy Rumors yet, get onto it.  
 
What's your favourite lip balm?

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Thoughts of the week

1. The first full week of the year is done. We've survived!
 
2. Who uses silicon chest pads to prevent wrinkles? I used Wrinkles Schminkles with great results but I'm wondering if there's anything better/cheaper out there?
 
3. I miss the days when beauty forums were active. They were so much fun. 
 
4. There's a nerf war going on around me. I may not survive, I expect to be hit in the head any second now. That's life with rowdy boys.
 
5. I'm embarking on a new nutrition and exercise plan soon, I can't wait to get started. I'm hoping I'll have more energy and not be constantly exhausted. Whilst the plan is being prepared I have to keep a food diary. One day in to keeping the diary and I've realised that I don't eat nearly as much protein as I need to.
 

Friday, 8 January 2021

FFS Friday - Forgetful

I am in pain! I've been in pain for a week now and it's all my own fault. 
 
A few weeks before Christmas I was feeling overwhelmed so stopped doing everything and stayed at home as much as possible. It had the desired result and I felt much better, however current me is now regretting that choice.
When I stopped doing everything I stopped going to the gym. Three weeks later I've returned to the gym and I'm suffering. I did a leg workout on Friday and was still sore when leg day came around again the following Wednesday. 
 
Everything is sore, even my chest. A sensible person would have eased back into the gym. I am not a sensible person. I waltzed back in and did my normal workout assuming my usual "she'll be right mate" attitude. She is not right, she's not right at all, she's sore, very, very sore. 
Ah well, I only have myself to blame.
 
Enough whining. What's been getting my goat this week? Well, I'll tell you. 
Tiger's starting to confuse me in his old age. I'm just not understanding him. Maybe it's him, maybe it's me. I really don't know. For example, last week we had the following conversation:
 
Tiger: What's this? (holding up a recipe card).
Me: It's a protein ball recipe.
Tiger: For protein balls?
Me: Yes.
Tiger: What's it for?
Me: (very confused) A protein ball recipe.
Tiger: Yes, but what's with it?
Me: What do you mean?
Tiger: What's the deal with it?
Me (totally confused) It's a recipe to make protein balls.
Tiger: Yeah, but what's it for?
Me: I don't understand the question. It's a protein ball recipe, to make protein balls. 
Tiger: Yes, but what's the deal with it?
Me: I have no idea what you're talking about.  
Tiger: What's the recipe for?
At this point I just stopped answering him because I had no idea what he was on about. 

Can anyone shed any light? It makes no sense to me at all.

You know what else has been annoying me? Eljay's dentist. He had an appointment this week. 
They sent me a reminder at the start of the week. 
They rang me the day before his appointment.
They messaged another reminder the day before his appointment and I had to reply with a YES to confirm we'd be there even though I'd only spoken to them a few hours earlier.
At 9pm the same day they emailed me regarding the clinic COVID practises. In this one they asked that I not bring any other children with me. Too late. 
They could have mentioned that the three other times they contacted me, then I might have been able to arrange someone to look after Chai, waiting till 9pm the day before the appointment is too late.

Surely that's a bit over the top. One or even two reminders are fine but four is just a little extreme. 

How funny would it have been if I forgot to go? Hahaha.
I didn't forget.

That's all I have to complain about. 
Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

What I've been trying to say

There's something I've been trying to say on here for a while but I just haven't quite got the words right. 
 
This week, Josh from The Minimalists said exactly what I've been trying to say.
Society, culture, and media have dragged you away from your nature.⁣
⁣You’ve been told to improve that which doesn’t need improvement.⁣
You’ve been convinced that you are lacking.⁣
You’ve been hypnotized into believing that you are incomplete.⁣
⁣These are lies told to exploit you.⁣
To sell you something.⁣

 
That's the message I've been trying to get across. You're all perfect, there's nothing wrong with you. It's just an illusion created to sell you something. Don't buy into the hype. You don't need to change, you're perfect just as you are. 
 
 
Here's the full message, which really resonates with me.
 
Minimalism is not interested in what you have.⁣
You can buy the “best” bag, bookcase, boots,⁣
but none of that will fill the void.⁣

And minimalism is not concerned with what you don’t have.⁣
“Look, ma—no things!”⁣
Because owning nothing doesn’t remove the void.⁣

Minimalism is not busy with doing something.⁣
Decluttering, organizing, and paring down don’t work⁣
unless you first find peace in doing without.⁣

And minimalism is not focused on becoming something—
job titles and achievements merely generate a thirst for more.⁣

Instead, a minimalist focuses on being—⁣
being someone who returns to the natural order,⁣
to the default state of thriving with less.⁣

This does not involve simplifying “tips” or “how-to” guides.⁣
It requires a deep understanding that you were born simple.⁣
Society, culture, and media have dragged you away from your nature.⁣

You’ve been told to improve that which doesn’t need improvement.⁣
You’ve been convinced that you are lacking.⁣
You’ve been hypnotized into believing that you are incomplete.⁣

These are lies told to exploit you.⁣
To sell you something.⁣

But the Truth won’t be found in any store.⁣
It is unearthed in less.⁣

The Truth awaits in the pause between stillness and awareness,⁣
in surrendering to the absence of wanting more.⁣
It cannot be conjured with the swipe of a credit card.⁣

Simplicity is not a task—⁣
minimalism is not a destination—⁣
it’s everything that remains when you⁣
let go of the attachment to every thing.⁣

Monday, 4 January 2021

2020 Makeup Empties

 Now that 2020 is over it's time to look at my make-up empties for the year.

 
2020 really wasn't a year for finishing make-up. Staying home meant that I spent most of the year bare faced or with just my brows done. 
I wonder if it'll be the same this year. 
 
Whilst I got through a whole pile of skincare, I only finished 27 make-up items, 12 of which were travel sizes.
Here's my tally:
 
2 brow gels
3 brow pencils
4 foundations
7 mascaras
1 lip gloss
1 lipstick
1 tinted lip balm
3 primers
2 eye shadows
1 eye liner
1 lip liner
1 setting spray
 
I had fun trying different mascaras this year. I usually stick to the DB tubing mascaras as they don't run when I'm at the gym, however with the gym being closed for a while I started experimenting with other formulas and really enjoyed them. I now use regular mascara on non gym days and tubing mascara on gym days. That way I still get to try out all my mascara samples.
 
The Bare Minerals cream eye shadow is very missed. I love cream shadows but it's so difficult to find one that doesn't crease. If you know of any please let me know.
 
I've used Rimmel brow products for years but sadly they discontinued the pencils I loved. I'm now on the hunt for new brow products. Why is it so difficult to find the right ones? I think I'll just go back to my beloved Shu Uemura Hard Brow Pencil. That was my go to for years until I moved to the country and no longer had access to a Shu counter.
 
This year I'm going to try to finish more lipsticks. I do well with lip balms but lipstick take so long to finish. I'm trying to use up my favourite nude lipstick and I'll hopefully finish at least one other lipstick too. 

How did you go last year? Did you finish many make-up items?

Saturday, 2 January 2021

No Buy?

The new year is here and so many people are starting no buys or low buys. I love reading all the posts and comments about no buys, panning, low buys etc. 
 
I've been on the no buy/low buy/panning wagon for years now and I've learned a few things that I thought I'd share today.
 
Going on a no buy doesn't work for me. 
It just makes me want to buy more so I either break the no buy or do a huge haul when it's over, which totally defeats the purpose of a no buy.
 
Low buys and 2 out 1 in work for me but they get boring.
 
Here's what works well for me.
 
I look at my whole collection. 
When it's all packed away I can't see what I have so when I run out of something I buy another one. Now, I get everything out and keep a tally so that when I use something I can check the list to see if there's anything to replace it with. This works really well with skincare. 
With make-up I know that I have way more than I need so don't need to look at my tally to know I don't need anything.

Stop trying to pan things that I don't love. 
I just don't see the point in forcing myself to use up something that I don't enjoy using. I used to feel bad about getting rid of products that weren't empty, but I've realised that it's better to pass them on to someone who they'll work for, instead of forcing myself to keep using them. 

Don't make impulse purchases
If there's something I'm thinking about buying I don't get it straight away. I'll think about it for at least a week. Usually by the time the week is over I've realised that I either don't need it or don't really want it. 

Stay away from the shops and unsubscribe to emails and social media.
New and limited edition products are very tempting to me, the hype around them really gets me convinced that I need the product. Truth is, I don't. I have enough, I don't need more. The limited edition products can usually be easily duplicated with permanent products, they just have pretty packaging. 
Unsubscribing from brand emails and social media means that I don't know about the new products so I'm not tempted. 
Going to the shops is the same. I use to habitually shop, now I only shop when I need something. 
 
How much do I use?
For the last few years I've been keeping a record of my make-up empties for the year. When I saw how long it took me to finish a product I became very hesitant to buy more. Last year I only finished 27 products, several of which were sample or travel sizes.
The year before I used around 50 products, which still isn't many. 
Knowing how many products I finish in a year makes me seriously consider each purchase.

Understand the why
Knowing my triggers is really helpful. I shop for two reasons. When I'm stressed and when I'm exhausted from looking after everyone else and want to do something nice for myself. 
Now that the boys are at school I am able to do other nice things for myself such as go out for breakfast or coffee, have lunch with a friend etc.
I still feel like shopping when I'm stressed, but that moment is short lived, so instead I message my friends who help talk me down.
 
Have a support group
Myself and two of my friends are supporting each other. We're trying not to buy things we don't need. We each have our own rules and that's okay. What helps is that we regularly check in with each other to see how we're doing and talk each other down when one of us wants to buy something we don't need. 
 
One more thing that has also helped me a lot is realising how much advertising and society has affected me. We're surrounded by obvious and not so obvious ads. I've realised that a lot of media is about making us feel inadequate/unattractive etc so that we'll buy something to feel better. 
 
The media is constantly shaming and criticising women and it's all about money. They try to make us feel bad about our perfectly normal bodies so that we'll buy something to fix the made up problem. 
 
Next time you're reading a magazine or online article about a woman, look at the language they use. 
Then go and read an article about a man and see what the difference is. 
 
You don't see many articles where a man is being shamed for his appearance or being accused of flaunting his body, it's only women we speak about in that way. The only way that will change is if we all stand up and demand change. Look what the Me Too movement did. 
 
We have the power. The movement has started. It's time for all of you beautiful people to love yourself just the way you are. 
I'll tell you a secret. Those flaws you think you have, they aren't flaws, they're perfectly normal. 
You're perfect exactly as you are. 
 

Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020 Happenings

I started this post on the 15th of December 2019 when I got the brilliant idea to write down things that happened through the year so that I could look back on them at the end of 2020. Clever me.
Then COVID happened and everything slowed right down. But that's okay.

January 
We watched pole vaulting live. It was really great to watch, I can't wait to see it again next year (if it's on). 
 
February 
I finally had my ankle surgery. The road to recovery is long and painful, but I'm getting there. 
 
March 
The world went crazy and we went into lock down. 
Chai turned nine on the 9th.
Tiger finished FIFO on the 17th. 
Who would have thought we'd all be staying home for five months? 
 
April to July were quiet, very quiet. We stayed at home and did very little. It was quite nice hibernating in our own little cocoon, safe and warm at home. 
 
August
Eljay turned 7 on the 2nd.
 
Tiger started working locally mid way through August and our FIFO years were officially over.  

We sold my car and paid off two credit cards. Despite the challenges we've reduced quite a bit of debt this year.  
 
September
The boys started school! Eljay was full time straight away and Chai did a gradual start until October when he went full time. 

December
The boys went to their school disco and both of them had a great time. 
 
Eljay had his first play date! It might not seem like a big deal but for a quiet introvert it's a huge thing. In the past we've only caught up with Chai's friends, so it's really lovely that Eljay now has his own friends.
 
Chai had an ASD assessment. We're still waiting on the results. 

For us COVID has been a blessing. It's helped us realise what is important to us. 
Tiger is home.
We now have a weekly Zoom call with Mum's side of the family. I get to see my relatives weekly, whereas before I'd only see them every few years.

We've also started making sure to pop in on one of our family friends. She's alone so we make sure that we stay in touch and visit her every few weeks so that she knows she has support. 
 
My BFF and I make sure to see each other at least fortnightly. We're both lazy and secure in our friendship so used to go ages without talking because we were both busy. We don't let that happen now. I've really enjoyed spending more time with her. 
 
It's probably the only time that we'll get to have a five month holiday together. That's what lockdown meant to us, five months spent together, with our babies at home. It had it's tough moments but overall I loved it. 
 
Whilst 2020 was a rough year for a lot of people, for us it was a wonderful year and I'm so grateful for the opportunities and experiences we had. 

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

December Empties

The end of the year is nearly here so it's time for my December empties. The empties are a little light on however there are quite a few tosses.

Ombra Daily Defence
Thanks to the super cheap price this has been my go to body sunscreen. I originally bought it to use on my face but it irritates my eyes. Hubby likes to use it on his head (he's bald) and because it's so cheap I don't mind how fast we go through the tubes. 

Clarins Recharge Night Mask
Whilst I liked how rich and hydrating this felt, it made my skin quite sensitive so it's not something I'd purchase. 

Botani Olive Skin Serum
I've gone through so many bottles of this gorgeous serum. In summer I use it as a moisturiser, during the drier months I'll use it as a serum. It's light, hydrating and makes my skin feel great. 

Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser
Despite having the name balancing, I found this to be a good cleanser that didn't dry or strip my skin. Usually if a product has balancing in the name it doesn't work for me, so I was surprised at how much I liked this cleanser. 

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Serum
I just don't get the hype with DE. Their Hydra Serum is okay but doesn't perform miracles. The Botani serum is both better and cheaper. 

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturiser
I'd happily purchase the entire Fresh range, in fact if it was cheaper I would. I really enjoyed the Youth Preserve Moisturiser, it's hydrating, absorbs quickly and didn't leave my skin greasy. 

La Roche Posay Anthelios XL
My love for this will never end. 

Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Eye Cream
I liked this but it gave me milia so I wouldn't buy a full sized tube. 

Aesop Body Cream
Oh my goodness, I loved this moisturiser. It smells amazing and I'd love to buy it again. 

Lancome Hydra Zen
This was a great night time moisturiser. It's very rich and hydrating, great for dry, parched skin. 

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base
I really like this, in fact I like it so much that I bought a full size. It has a nice citrus scent and is very hydrating on my dry skin. 

Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser
Jelly cleansers are so much fun. I couldn't use this on my eyes, it stung really, really badly, however it was great for the rest of my face. I like the fact that you didn't have to open the tube, you just twist the lid and the product comes out the lid, it's a great idea. 

Inika Lip Serum
I've added a lip serum to my morning skin care routine and it's been such a great addition. My lips are so much more hydrated and I'm not having to constantly apply lip balm throughout the day. I liked this one because it absorbed quickly and worked well under lipstick.


Masks and samples

 
I don't have much to say about these other than the Fresh Rose Radiance Mask which I loved and will buy again one day. 
Everything else way unremarkable or the sample was too small to form an opinion. 
 
These are all tosses. 
 
I liked the Akin and Tinderbox deodorants for winter but they just don't cut it for summer. They're both nearly empty so rather than having them hang around taking up space until next winter, they got the boot.
 
The Raww Beauty nail polish only lasted a day on my toes and we all know that if something doesn't last on the toes then it truly is crap. 

The face masks and Neutrogena moisturiser just didn't work for my skin and everything else was expired.

Did you get through much this month?