Sunday, 25 June 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. We took Chai for Craniosacral Therapy this week. I'm now watching him closely to see if it worked. Time will tell.

2. Why do people argue with strangers online? I don't understand. You don't know them so why do their opinions and beliefs matter?

3. What is it with people thinking that professionals deliberately misdiagnose people? When we told MIL that Chai has SPD she told us that "Dr's diagnose everyone with that." Then this week a massage therapist told us that "Schools like to label children." You can't make up something that isn't there.

4. To my great surprise, I love Justin Bieber's new song 2U.

5. School holidays are nearly here, yay!

Friday, 23 June 2017

FFS Friday - Does that make me crazy?

I'm 90% sure that I've totally lost my mind or am in the process of losing my mind. Kids do that to you. My Dad always used to tell me he wasn't suffering from insanity he was enjoying it. I can't say I'm enjoying it but it's almost definitely happening. A few weeks ago was the perfect example.

Tiger was away, it was the Saturday morning of a long weekend. Long weekends suck when you are solo parenting. I was in the shower. As usual, both boys were with me. Chai has gone back to cling factor ten and I have to be in his line of sight at all times. Fun.

Eljay totally over reacts whenever Chai touches him. Chai will touch him and Eljay will scream as if his arm has been chopped off.

So. I'm in the shower. Both boys are in the room. I'm trying to wake up, de-stress and perform my daily ablutions. Chai touches Eljay on the arm with one finger. Eljay screams, starts crying, chases Chai, grabs him around the waist and head-butts him in the back eight times. Yes, you read that right, eight times. He then lets Chai go and retreats to the other side of the room.

Chai looks at him, walks over and touches him on the arm again. Eljay screams, runs over, grabs him around the waist and head-butts him eight times. He lets him go and retreats to the other side of the room. By this time they are both screaming, crying and yelling. I've only just gotten into the shower. I contemplate getting out then for some crazy reason that even I don't understand, I stay in the shower. 

They continue with this routine the whole time I'm in the shower. I don't know whether to scream or cry so instead I face the wall laugh hysterically, I laugh so much I have tears running down my face. The whole time I'm laughing I'm wondering if I've lost my mind and think that I probably have. I don't know what it feels like to lose you mind but I'm pretty sure it feels like I did when I was in the shower. 

I got out, dried myself, calmed the boys down, fed them, had a discussion about how fighting doesn't make them feel good or happy and took them to the park. The boys fought the whole time. After I'd warned them for the fifth time I'd had enough so told them we were leaving. They both roared with tears the whole trip to the car. Naturally the car was at the other end of the playground so the entire playground watched as we walked screaming to the car. 

Both boys spent the whole trip home crying at the top of their lungs. I turned up the music as loud as I could and cried the whole way home too. Even with the music up full bore I could still hear them screaming. 

Parenting is tough. There are times I think it'll break me. In fact it has broken me, over and over again it breaks me, but like the phoenix I rise again to parent another day.  

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Final Lipstick and Lip Gloss Challenge Update

Well this is awkward. I tossed both of the glosses I'd planned to finish. Oops. I realised that I didn't like the Clinique gloss at all and the Australis gloss was so old that using it on my lips was gross. So they went in the bin. In future I'll make sure the products I'm using in a challenge are ones that I like and will use.

I did keep on using both of the lipsticks so at least I can report my progress on them!

I haven't finished either of them. To be frank, I got sick of using the same lipsticks all the time so started using other products. For my next challenge I'll select at least four lipsticks so I'm not just using the same two all the time, it's too boring. I was planning on tossing the Revlon lipstick but now that I've seen how close it is to empty I'm determined to finish it. 

I feel a bit funny about finishing my Chanel Boy. It's the lipstick that Tiger bought me the day I was being induced with Chai. It's six years old so definitely needs to be finished, but the sentimental side of me doesn't want to finish it. I'll definitely replace it when it's finished. 

So there you have it. Not a very good effort but some progress made.  

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Foundation Files: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

Healthy Mix foundation lovers will be thrilled to know that Bourjois have recently re-released the foundation in a new, improved formula. I wasn't a fan of the original formula, it just didn't work for me, but I love the new version.

I've used Healthy Mix almost daily for the last three weeks and am very happy with it. It gives medium coverage with one layer, lasts all day without fading and doesn't accentuate fine lines or wrinkles.I get the best application when I apply with a foundation sponge.

The shades are the same as they were in the old formula so you don't have to worry about trying to get a colour match. I use shade 52 in the foundation and light in the concealer.

In short, the new Healthy Mix foundation is beautiful. It gives lovely medium coverage that is matte without being drying and lasts all day without fading. 

Any concealer labelled Anti-Fatigue sounds good to me because I'm always tired! Never having used a Bourjois concealer I wasn't sure what to expect. I expect a lot from my concealers. I need them to hide dark circles, brighten up my under eye area, last all day and not sink in to fine lines. It's a big ask that the majority of concealers just aren't up to.

Health Mix Concealer is up there with the best concealers I've used. It gives opaque coverage, hides my dark circles, lasts all day and there is only minimal creasing. I get a little creasing after around six hours of wear, but that is easily fixed with a swipe of my finger or a brush.  

I'm very pleased with both the foundation and concealer, I'd definitely recommend trying them out.

Note: These products were provided for review. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Shanghai Suzy Charlotte Rose Lipstick

It seems a bit mean blogging about a lipstick that you can't buy, but it's a special one so I'm going to.

On Mother's Day this year, She is Sarah Jane along with Shanghai Suzy released the beautiful Charlotte Rose lipstick. It was a limited edition with only 5000 lipsticks made. All proceeds went to Bears of Hope.

The lipstick was made to honour Charlotte Rose, the daughter of Sarah Jane who was born sleeping at 21 weeks. To help deal with her grief and to raise funds for Bears of Hope, the Charlotte Rose lipstick was created. The lipstick is also to honour all the babies who grew their wings too soon. 

Bears of Hope are an organisation who provide pregnancy and infant loss support. Their website contains a wealth of information on miscarriage, infant loss and bereavement. 

I sincerely hope that none of you ever need to use a resource like this. If you do, it can be a comfort to know that other people have had the same experience. When I had my first miscarriage it was the support of my girlfriends that got me through. They listened to me, shared their stories with me and helped me to deal with my grief.

I'm hoping that the Charlotte Rose lipstick will be re-released as it's a beautiful lipstick. It's exactly the same colour as my lips so I wear it like a lip balm. I'm kicking myself for not having bought two of them!

Did you buy a Charlotte Rose lipstick?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Bullet Journaling is still going well. I can see this being my new way of keeping my lists, diary, events and everything in the one place.

2. We've had some wonderfully cold weather lately, I love it.

3. I am so very grateful for the beautiful group of strong women who I call friends.

4. Just putting this out there. I need to raise a few million dollars very quickly to start a private, non religious, free range school that deals appropriately with special needs kids and doesn't expect kids to sit still in a classroom all day.

5. It's become rather apparent that I need a wardrobe overhaul. I'm sick of my daggy mum style, I need to start looking (and feeling) decent again.

Friday, 16 June 2017

FFS Friday - Witty

Sometimes (okay, nearly all of the time) I just can't help being sarcastic with the kids. I know they don't understand it but the temptation is so great that I can't resist.

They ask so many silly questions it's begging for some sarcasm. Here's a few examples from the last week.

We're at the park. We've just got out of the car and I'm waiting for Chai to close the door so I can lock the car.
Eljay: Can we go to the park?
Me: No, we're just going to stand here and look at the park, you can't play. 

When I'm putting yoghurt into cups for them.
Eljay: Can we have some yoghurt?
Me: No, I'm going to put it into the cups and put it in front of you, but you aren't allowed to eat it. 

Whilst waiting for dinner to cook. It's in the oven.
Chai: I'm hungry. Is dinner ready?
Me: Yes.
Chai: Can we have it?
Me: No. I'm waiting for you to tell me you're hungry a hundred times before I give you dinner, you've only told me twenty times so far. 

Standing outside looking at the rain.
Chai: Is it raining?
Me: No.
Chai: Yes it is. 
Me: It's not, someone just turned the hose on.

When we're laying in bed at 5am because Chai has woken us all up early for a change.
Chai: Is it dark?
Me: No, it's broad daylight.
Chai: No it's not, it's dark.
Me: Exactly. 

When they've asked for pizza for dinner, I've made pizza and it's on plates in front of them.
Eljay: Are we having pizza for dinner?
Me: No, we're having lasagne.
Eljay: But this is pizza.

At 5.30am, pre dawn.
Chai: Can we go to my cousins house?
Me: Sure, let's get in the car now, I'm sure they'll be awake.
Chai: Really?
Me: Yes, let's go.
Chai: Everyone is still asleep aren't they Mum?
Me: ....

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

May empties

The Body Shop Shea Butter hand cream 
I love these hand creams, they're one of my favourites. I love how hydrating these are and how quickly they absorb. The little size is perfect for my handbag. I buy them at christmas when they come in packs with the lip butters.

Skin Again Youth
I have a review of Youth and the cleanser coming up soon. The Skin Again products are lovely, as is the philosophy behind the company. I really enjoyed using this serum. Whilst it didn't product any amazing results it did keep my skin feeling smooth and soft. 

Milk Baby Nighty Night room spray
The boys loved this room spray. I'm not sure if it helped them sleep but it smelled nice.

Lush Ultra Blast toothpaste
Ultra Blast is mint and wasabi flavoured. It was okay but I wouldn't buy it again. It'd be great if Lush would release a mint flavour. I thought that the wasabi might make the toothpaste hot but it didn't, it just made it taste a little sour.

It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream
I used this as a night cream and it was lovely. I can't say it did anything amazing for my skin but it was pleasant to use and very hydrating. 

Elektra magnesium cream
I massage the boys feet with magnesium cream every night. It helps them sleep better and they love the foot massage. After going through a heap of the Elektra magnesium creams, I've found a much cheaper alternative so will be using that instead. The Elektra creams are lovely, they have a range of different scents and the tube packaging is convenient.

Korres Cranberry Instant Lifting mask
This was nice to use but did nothing for my skin so I won't purchase it again.

It's the Bomb Sugar Scrub
These are my favourite body scrubs. I still love my coffee scrubs, but the sugar scrubs are a lot less messy and the scents are amazing. This one was Mimosa scented, not sure what scent I'll get next. Whatever scent I choose I know it'll be awesome. 

Alaffia deodorant
I've finally found a natural deodorant that doesn't irritate my pits and works in the harsh Aussie summer. Even better, it's under $7 (depending on the exchange rate). 

Schwartzkopf Live hair colour
Now that my favourite hair colour has been discontinued I'm on the hunt for a new colour. This one was on sale at Priceline and turned out quite well. I'll try it a few more times and then decide if I want to stick with it or try something different.  

The Jojoba Company Absolute Serum
Absolute Serum is a silent hero. It's one of those products that you don't realise is working until you stop using it. Having used about five bottles you'd think I'd know how amazing it is and yet I still forget. I finished it a few weeks ago and I've been wondering why my skin has been so crappy lately. It wasn't until I started listing my empties that I realised what the problem is. I'm off to get another bottle today. 

Inika primer
I loved every one of the Inika products in my trial pack, they're all definite repurchases. The trial pack is a great way to test out the range, I got at least a months use out of each item. If you are a fan of the Hourglass primer you'll love Inika's primer, They are very similar. Out of the two I prefer Inika as I find it more effective.

Andalous Luminous face mask
I picked this up with my last iHerb order. It's a single use face mask that's meant to leave you with glowing, luminous skin. It was pleasant to use, although it did tingle a little. When I removed it my skin looked fresh and healthy with no redness.

*Note: Skin Again Youth was sent to me for review. All other products I purchased myself.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Get a winter glow with the Divine Company

I rarely use fake tan for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I'm a total fake tan klutz, no matter how I try I can't get it right. The other reason is because I'm allergic to most of the fake tans I've tried. The first fake tan I found that I could use without irritation is Eco Tan and I've now discovered that I can also use The Divine Company Naturally Bronze.

Being fair skinned I don't want a deep, dark tan, I want to be a little darker but not so much that it looks unnatural. If you are after the same result, Naturally Bronze is what you're looking for. 

Naturally Bronze is certified organic, hydrating and doesn't have that awful fake tan scent, it smells lovely. When I apply this it looks and feels like a moisturiser. The tan develops over six to eight hours, so I apply at night and wake up with lovely, healthy looking skin. You can apply every day if you want a deeper tan, but if you are after a natural looking glow you'll only need to apply twice a week. 

In the interests of testing out how klutz proof this is (and because I knew my legs would be covered) decided to test out Naturally Bronze on one leg. I exfoliated with the Divine Company Body Scrub, haphazardly applied Naturally Bronze, rubbed it in a bit and then waited to see what would happen. To test things even further, I put my pj's and socks on straight away then jumped into bed. I was expecting to wake up with a streaky tan and no tan where my socks had rubbed, but check this out!

An even, streak free tan! How amazing is that! You can even see the mark where my socks were, but the tan didn't rub off! All I did was rub the product in, that's it. I didn't wait for it to dry, although it did absorb almost instantly, I just rubbed it in and then got dressed. So easy!

As this is so gentle it's suitable for use all over the body, even on the face. Now that I know how easy it is to use I'm going to give it a go on my face. I've never been brave enough to use fake tan on my face, so stay tuned to see how I go.

Enter code WINTERGLOW to get a free body scrub when you buy the fake tan from the Divine Company website

Note: These products were provided to me for review. The website link is not an affiliate link. 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. The last few weeks have been a huge struggle. I've felt so very alone. There are times I feel I'm destined to walk my path alone. I'm okay with that, it just gets lonely sometimes.

2. What's with bloggers who block you when you unfollow them on Instagram? It seems so childish. It also quickly ensures that they never get your support again.

3. Did you know that flushing a toilet uses nine to twelve litres of water? It was news to me.

4. Why on earth would there be sweat running down dirty laundry? I don't understand. How? Why? It makes no sense to me.

5. The Candle Shack's Floral Delight candle is divine.

Friday, 9 June 2017

FFS Friday - One thing I don't ask my kids to do

I don't make my children share. 

I know we're all about teaching children to share, it's so important etc. But is it really? Adults don't share so why should children? They won't be expected to share when they grow up and yet we expect these small people who have very little control over their lives to share the one thing that they can have control over, their toys.

Not only do we expect them to share with their siblings and friends, we also expect them to share with strangers who they meet at the park, friends kids who they're meeting for the first time, kids at school etc. It doesn't make sense to me. 

Can you imagine if someone came to our house, walked into our bedroom and started using our things? We'd be so angry and yet we expect our children to be okay with that happening to them. Even my BFF who I've known for twenty years wouldn't go in to my room and go through my things. Likewise I don't use her things without asking.

I tell my boys that we share with the people we love. I also tell them that it's okay for them to have special toys that they don't want to share but it'd be nice if they have some toys that they do share. This works really well for us. They share the toys that aren't really precious to them and don't share their special toys.  

If they don't want to share something that's okay. 

I don't understand why we make sharing such a big deal. MIL got annoyed with me a few weeks ago when I told her I don't make the boys share. Even after I explained why I don't make them share she was still annoyed. Not my problem. 

Funny how people think they have the right to question other peoples parenting decisions. They wouldn't question or criticise their diet choices and yet they question their parenting. IMHO people should mind their own business.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Current lip favourites

When I got the idea for this post I was expecting all of my favourite lip products to be the same pinky mauvey shade that I love and always reach for. As I collected my current favourite lipsticks I was pleasantly surprised to realise that they aren't all the same! Some of them are similar, but there are a few surprises in the mix. 

Weleda Berry Red lip balm
Weleda really nailed it with these balms, the formula is perfection. Berry Red is a lovely mauve pink that looks very MLBB on me. The shade names are misleading, I have the pink balm and it's very pale, almost too pale for me to wear. Berry Red sounds like it'd be a bright colour but it isn't. If you have pigmented lips like I do, it's a very natural, wearable everyday colour. 

e.l.f. Berry Sweet lip balm 
This was quite a surprise. It's a gorgeous bright berry maroon shade. I was expecting it to be an okay balm but it's really lovely. The pigmentation is almost opaque, more like a lipstick than a tinted balm. Even better, it smells like mint and tastes good too. I find this too pigmented to use when I'm on the go, I need a mirror to apply or else I end up looking like a clown.

Revlon Ultra HD Gel lipcolor in Desert 
If you are yet to try the new gel lip sticks, get onto it. They're amazing. With a balmy texture and an extensive range of beautiful shades, there's sure to be several colours you'll love. I bought mine when they were 40% off at Big W. Desert is a pink with a hint of peach that warms it up. I love this shade for every day use but am starting to wonder if it's a little too warm for me. 

Revlon Ultra HD Matte lipcolor in Devotion
I mentioned in a recent post that I don't like liquid and matte lipsticks. The Ultra HD Matte lipsticks are the exception. They have a very creamy texture and don't dry down to a horrible matte finish. The comfortable cream texture means they feel good on my lips whilst having the lasting power of a matte lipstick. For those of you who don't like matte liquid lipsticks, these are worth a try. Devotion is the perfect pinky mauve.

Jane Iredale Rose lipstick
I had this on my use it or lose it pile and it was one of the few that I kept. Usually products in the pile end up in the bin, but I really like the way this feels. It feels very moistursing and lasts about four hours. It's a beautiful rosy maroon colour, perfect for winter.

Shanghai Suzy Charlotte Rose
I know I'm teasing you with a lipstick that you can't buy, but it has to be done. The Charlotte Rose lipstick is in the moisturising satin luxe formula that the winter range has. I recommend that you check them out and pick up a few shades, they're all beautiful and the formula is gorgeous, hydrating, long lasting and strawberry flavoured! Charlotte Rose is the exact colour of my lips so perfect for those days when I'm wearing barely any make-up but just want to look like I made a little bit of effort.

Have you tried any of these lipsticks? What lipsticks are you currently loving?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Minimalism: Small handbag update

It's been a few months since I switched to a small handbag so I thought it was time for an update to let you all know how it's been going and if I've stuck to a small handbag or moved back to a larger one. 

You can read my original post here. I quite enjoyed having a smaller handbag. It took a bit of getting used to but it was so much lighter, it didn't allow me to carry around a whole pile of unnecessary items and was much kinder to my shoulders.

Handbag after first declutter
I'd pared back the items in my handbag down to a few essentials and found that there were other things I wanted in my bag and was inconvenienced when I didn't have them. So I added them back in. I'd taken out the baby wipes, but put them back in along with hand cream and hand sanitiser. They are all things that I use regularly and not having them was rather annoying. I also put a notebook in my bag. I'd thought that I could just use my phone for any notes I take but I'd underestimated the number of times that I write things down for other people. Not having paper was very inconvenient. 

As well as adding things in I also took a few items out. I don't need a purse and a coin purse, so the coin purse was removed. Eljay ate the Scooby Snacks and I didn't replace them. The calm spray and little bear toy also went.  

Current handbag contents

I also switched to a larger bag. I realised that I need a bag with a little bit of extra room so when I've picked up the mail from the post office, bought something small or need to put some of the kids toys in there, I have the room.

I'm currently using a bag from The Sak and it's perfect. It's not too big, not too small, it's the perfect size. You can see from the photo that it's not much larger than my other bag, but that little bit of extra space is all I need. I clean it out every afternoon when I get home so that I'm not carrying around anything unnecessary. I'm still contemplating getting a smaller purse but at the moment I can't bring myself to let go of the purse that Tiger bought me. 

In case you're wondering the beautiful bag that I carry now is The Sak Iris Blue Diamond Crossbody.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Last weekend Tiger and I went out on our own for three hours whilst his parents looked after the boys. It was blissful. I don't remember the last time we were alone. Next year it'll happen all the time because both boys will be at school. No doubt then we'll miss the boys and long for the days when they were home with us full time.

2. I get tagged in all sorts of crazy stuff on Facebook and I really don't like it. Recently I discovered that you can hide the comment with your name in it! I wish I'd know that ages ago, I don't like having my name written in the comments of all these weirdo posts.

3. Do people really think that a coffee body scrub will reduce cellulite? I'm no scientist but I have a lot of trouble believing that a body scrub could penetrate the skin and get rid of cellulite. Scrubbing the area might help to increase circulation but any scrub can do that.

4. The cold weather has been wonderful. It'll be even more wonderful when we've got our wood fire installed and I can sit in front of the fire watching the flames with a warm drink in my hands.

5. Lately I've realised that we are becoming a very intolerant country. It was the whole Margaret Court bashing that bought it to my attention. Since when is it okay to harass someone because they have a different opinion to ours? We are all entitled to our own opinions and not everyone is going to have the same opinion. It doesn't give us the right to harass or belittle them.

For the record I think she is totally wrong and I couldn't disagree with her more, but that's my opinion. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

FFS Friday - People are strange

Remember when I said a few weeks ago that Tiger and I had the chance to go out together at night and I didn't think it'd happen? 

I was right.

Saturday morning came and things were looking good.

My stomach was still feeling dodgy but I was well enough to soldier through it.

Chai was feeling better and we were all happy. 

We had breakfast and Eljay didn't eat anything. I didn't think a lot of it because he'd had a chai so I thought he was full.

A little while I noticed five sores on the top of his foot. 

I checked his hands and found blisters there, then tried to check his mouth but he wouldn't open it cause it was sore. 

He had hand, foot and mouth disease. 

I broke the news to Tiger and told him that he and Chai could go to the party and I'd stay home with Eljay.

About half an hour later Tiger came down with gastro.

We all stayed home.

I can't describe how disappointed we were. 

Chai spent a few hours Sunday telling us how disappointed he was that we didn't go to the party.  

You're not the only one kiddo.

It's starting to sink in the we have a special needs child. 

In a way it's a relief knowing why we've struggled for so long, but in another way it feels like such a huge thing to deal with. 

I know we're lucky that Chai's issues are relatively insignificant and easy to deal with but I still find it slightly overwhelming. 

Trying to get Tiger to understand that Chai isn't just naughty is tough. This is made more difficult by me not having a full understanding of how everything affects him. 

It's only early days yet, I'm sure things will get easier as we go along. We've already seen a huge change in his behaviour since we started Occupational Therapy so I'm hoping over time things will sort themselves out and my baby will be a happy little vegemite. 

Working out his triggers will help a lot too. Last weekend he really struggled. We had the in-laws here. Can't say I'm surprised that MIL is a trigger. She stresses Tiger and I out so naturally she has the same effect on Chai.

MIL was really upsetting him so we had a word to her. First thing she said was that he doesn't have SPD and Dr's diagnose all kids with SPD.

We told her that's not right, that a Dr didn't diagnose him and that he's not on any medication so there would be no advantage to misdiagnosing him. Tiger showed MIL information on SPD. After she'd had a thorough read of it she came and told us that it was very interesting and that she used to work with special needs children so knows all about how to help them. I left the room. 

I don't understand why people think that a medical professional would want to misdiagnose a child. What would be the advantage of that?

Also, why would a parent want their child diagnosed with something they don't have? Getting treatment is expensive and time consuming, you wouldn't do it if it wasn't necessary. 

People are strange. So am I.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Beauty Confessions

It's been years since I read or wrote a beauty confessions post. I always enjoy reading them, so if you do one or have done one recently, please leave me a link in the comments.

Without further ado, here are my confessions:

1. I don't really like liquid lipstick. It's too messy, I get it all over the place and it fades so quickly.

2. I think contouring, baking, strobing and other trends like that are silly. To me they just aren't an everyday thing. Sure, for special occasions but who could be bothered doing that every day? Not me.

3. Matte lipstick and I are not friends. They make my lips look all wrinkly and horrible.

4. I rarely use a highlighter. 

5. Despite having several of them, I don't wear bronzer, mainly because I just can't apply it properly. It's either undetectable or I look really silly.

5. I never curl my eyelashes. I have a wonderful heated eyelash curler but I have no idea where it is and frankly, I don't notice much of a difference when I don't curl my lashes so why bother?

6. I've only worn false lashes once in my whole life. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Shanghai Suzy Winter 2017 Treasure Chest Collection Lipsticks

Since they changed their flavour and formula Shanghai Suzy have very quickly become one of my favourite lipstick brands. Whilst the old formula was good, the new formula is amazing and even better, they are now made in Australia. 

I've been eagerly awaiting the launch of their winter range. Sadly not a lot of online stores stock the seasonal ranges and none of my local stores do, they seem to just stick with the basics range. Thankfully you can purchase directly from the Shanghai Suzy website which is what I did. Individually the lipsticks cost $14.95, however they have a great deal where you can get five lipsticks for $50, or you can purchase the whole winter range of eight lipsticks for $80 what a bargain!

I purchased three lipsticks from the winter range, Smoky Topaz, Jewel, Moonstone. The winter lipsticks come in the Satin Luxe formula which means they feel like a lip balm instead of a lipstick. It also means that they aren't as long lasting as the whipped matte range. I don't find that to be a problem, I still get two to three hours wear which is standard for a satin lipstick.

I love every one of the colours that I chose. Smoky Topaz is the one colour I wasn't sure about, Shanghai Suzy describe it as a warm pewter with mauve undertones and I thought it might not suit me. I needn't have worried. On me it's a deep browny mauve with a slight shimmer. It looks very close to my natural lip colour. 

Jewel is beautiful. It's a lovely mid tone, cool pink that stands out without being really bright and in your face. It's a great shade when I want to brighten up my face without wearing something really bold. 

Moonstone is a pale mauve and the colour that I reach for the most, it's a great, easy to wear every day colour. Moonstone is a lighter version of Smoky Topaz.

Top to bottom: Smoky Topaz, Jewel and Moonstone

I'm in love with all of these colours and can't wait until the next seasonal range is released!

Have you tried any Shanghai Suzy lipsticks? What are your favourite shades?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Why do people think it's okay to speed if you are running late? Do they really think a police officer will let them off? I can just imagine it 
Police: Why were you speeding?
Idiot: I was late.
Police: Oh okay, that's fine, off you go then.
I don't think so. 
I used to work next to the police traffic branch and one of the officers always used to tell me it's better to be late than dead on time. 

2. For a while now I've been wanting to start bullet journaling. I was going to wait until next year but instead I decided to start from June to see how I like it. I spent a few nights this week setting it up and even though it's not June yet, so far I'm loving it. I've already found a few things that I'll change in next years diary, I'm keeping a list at the back of my current journal so that I don't forget.

3. This week Tiger and I went to the dark side. We got iPad's. We've always had Samsung phones and tablets but the tablets die so quickly. We're lucky if they last two years. So far I like but don't love the iPad. It misses some basic functionality that Samsung has, like being able to make phone calls.
I also don't like the way Instagram looks. It's not full screen so looks strange and is difficult to navigate. Notifications are  super annoying. Instead of just giving me one notification per app I get a notification about every single thing. Because I only use my tablet a few times a day it means I can have hundreds of notifications. Very, very annoying. 
I'm sure I'll get used to it.

4. Eljay's kindy application was officially lodged this week. WTF am I going to do next year? And the year after? I'll have no kids at home!

5. Which leads me to my next point. I have no idea what I'm going to do for work. BIL thinks I should do something in health care because there is always a need for it. He has a good point. My BFF thinks that my idea of doing journalism is a good one. I really don't have a clue. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

FFS Friday - Too Good to be True

Last week Tiger was all excited because he'd found a deal where we could get 7 nights in Phuket for $298.

Being me I was very sceptical about it.

The company were ringing him up and wanting him to make a decision straight away. 

That always rings bells for me. Anyone who is pushing for a decision is usually not someone that I want to deal with. 

Tiger was insisting that it was a legit deal and itching to book it.

I asked him to google the company before paying anything.

They wanted payment via paypal over the phone and then a receipt number given to them.

Doesn't sound great does it?

I asked Tiger if he thought it was a legit deal and he said he thought it was too good to be true.

That answered the question for me and I assumed he wouldn't go through with it.

He did. 

I'm not joking.

Once I realised he'd done the deal I googled the company. Whilst they were a legit Australian business, they had 1 star reviews. Great.

It also turned out they were a timeshare company and expected us to sit through an hour long presentation, which they had forgotten to tell us.

I showed Tiger the reviews, he read some more reviews on other sites, then called them to get our money back.

They refused.

I got angry and told Tiger to tell them that one way or another we'd be getting our money back. 

The guy wanted to talk to me and tried to convince me they weren't dodgy. It didn't work. I yelled at him for a while (never mess with a tired, sick Mum who has had very little sleep thanks to two sick children, whilst also having gastro. Bad idea dodgy time share man.)

He still refused to refund our money so I lodged a PayPal dispute, called the bank and cancelled our credit card.

Tiger called them again, told them that his brother would be visiting them to ensure we got our money back (their office is in the same place where BIL lives) and they assured us that we'd have our money back within three days. 

Fifteen minutes later I got an email from PayPal saying my dispute case had been closed as my money had been refunded. Yay!

Unfortunately I'd already cancelled our credit card.

Saturday afternoon I went shopping, tried to use our savings account and I couldn't. 

The bank had failed to tell me that when we cancelled our credit card, it would also mean that we had no access to our savings account (our savings account is linked to our credit card so we use the credit card to access our savings).

Thankfully I had enough cash on me to pay for my shopping and we stayed home on the Sunday.

The bank told us we'd have our new cards within three days. I'd asked for them to be sent to my PO Box. Every day we checked the PO Box.

They arrived to our home address four days later. 

Ah well. There's a lesson to be learned. Two in fact.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Secondly, don't try to reason with a tired, sick and grumpy parent, you won't win. 


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

iHerb Haul

Looking back over my posts I realised that I haven't done a haul post in ages. One of the places that I purchase from regularly is iHerb. They have a great range of products that we can't get here and if we can, they cost a lot more. They even stock Pixi now!

I was stocking up on some vitamins a few weeks ago, but couldn't resist adding a few extras into my basket.

I bought two more of my favourite deodorant. If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a natural, bicarb free deodorant, check out Alaffia. It smells lovely, keeps me smelling nice all day and doesn't irritate my sensitive arm pits. I've seen it at one health store in the city but it was $11. Depending on the exchange rate I pay between $6 or $7 for it from iHerb.

For months now I've been wanting the EOS Sheer Pink Shimmer lip balm but my only local stockist hasn't had it. When I found it on iHerb I added it to my cart immediately. Luckily I did because a few minutes later it was out of stock.

The last product that I purchased was the Andalou Luminous Face Mask. I haven't used any Andalou products before but I needed something cheap to give me free shipping and this looked good. This is a single use mask (great for travel). After it'd been on for a few minutes it started to sting but it wasn't unbearable so I left it on for a few more minutes. My skin wasn't red or irritated so it must have just been the mask doing it's thing. My skin felt soft and looked brighter and more healthier. I'll definitely be adding a few more Andalou masks to my next order. 

If you'd like a discount on your next iHerb order enter code YUF175.

Have you tried any of these products?
What do you buy from iHerb?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Chai got his first wobbly tooth this week and he's so excited!

2. I'm considering buying the Welle Co Alkalising formula. It's very expensive but seems good. Has anyone tried it? Thoughts?

3. I'm so very glad that soup weather is here.

4. This week my Dad left for a six week trip overseas. He's meeting a friend there but will spend part of the time travelling alone. I'm equally excited and worried for him. 

5. YSL have just released limited guitar editions of their glossy stains. WTF?

Friday, 19 May 2017

FFS Friday - Excited

Tiger is one of those people who has to complicate everything.

If there is an easy way and a hard way to do things, he'll choose the hard way every time.

It's infuriating.

This weekend we have the chance to go out, at night, together, with other adults!

I'm so excited.

I don't remember the last time we got to go out at night. I don't think we've gone out together at night since we had kids. We've gone to friends houses but not out properly, to a pub or restaurant etc.

I told Tiger about it and he was so excited he had to complicate things.

We're going out and we can take the kids with us, there will be other kids so we don't have to worry about trying to get a baby sitter, Chai not staying with someone etc. It's perfect. At least that's what I thought.

Tiger, instead of being happy that we got the chance to go out, had to complicate things.

"How about we get my parents to come and look after the kids so we can go out on our own?"

"How about we let them stay up late and we'll put them to bed when we get home?"

"How about we get my Dad to pick us up so that we can both drink?"

I say how about we grab the chance to go out, take the kids with us and we'll all have a good night instead of making things overcomplicated and having to go home early because the kids are tired and need us.

We've decided that's what we'll do, but naturally something had to go wrong. 

In the early hours of Wednesday morning I woke up with gastro. 
I timed it pretty well cause Tiger had just got home.

The next day, right after his eye appointment, Chai came down with gastro too. 

Chai was better on Thursday, I'm still feeling off colour. 

What's the bet that Eljay or Tiger will come down with gastro on Saturday so that we can't got out? I'd put money on it. 

Poor Chai just can't catch a break at the moment. Last week he saw the health nurse and we found out that his eyesight isn't very good.

I'm a little annoyed about this because I thought there was a problem last year but our Dr told me he was fine. 

All this time he hasn't been able to see properly and I've done nothing about it!

It just proves to me that I have to trust my instincts and not believe everything that I'm told. 

My job is to advocate for my children and I need to do that to the best of my ability.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Concordia Handcrafted Skincare

A while ago I won a competition on Instagram and received a package of Concordia Handcrafted Skincare products to try.

Concordia Handcrafted Skincare is made in Tasmania by Natasha and James. Natasha is a naturopath who has sensitive skin, eczema and acne. She decided to create a skin care range to alleviate her skin complaints and Concordia (meaning harmony in Latin) was born.

First up, how gorgeous is the packaging? I love the little mermaid (especially her glasses). The other thing I noticed is that the products aren't white! The cleanser is greeny grey, the moisturiser is yellow. It's nice to see products that aren't boring white.

I received the following products:

Purifying Cream Cleanser
Balancing Face Mist
Brightening Moisturiser
plus samples of the hand cream and body lotion.

In short, everything is beautiful. From the packaging down to the products, I love everything. The cream products make a very satisfying plop sound when they're dispensed (it's the little things).

Whilst all the products are designed for combination/oily skin, they work well for my normal to dry skin, I really think they'd work for anyone.

The Purifying Cream Cleanser contains seaweed, green clay, tamanu, mango butter, peppermint and lemon. It plops out looking like a clay cleanser but feels a lot lighter than any other clay cleanser I've used. I was initially worried about using peppermint on my sensitive skin, but it didn't irritate at all, even on my eyes. 

I've found this to be a very effective, gentle cleanser that I'll definitely purchase when mine runs out. It easily removes make-up, smells great and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight. 

Balancing Face Mist is one of my all time favourite face mists. It contains sea salt, lemon balm, rose and cucumber extract so as you can imagine, the smell is amazing. When my skin had it's change of seasons freak out, this was my saviour. I used it prior to moisturising and every few hours during the day to soothe my red, angry skin. After a few days my skin was back to it's normal, happy self. 

Last of all is the Brightening Moisturiser. With seaweed, lemon myrtle, calendula, jojoba and cantaloupe extract, this is a very gentle, soothing moisturiser. Looks can be deceiving with this one, a little bit goes a long way. The first time I used it I pumped out the same amount that I'd use with other moisturisers and had way too much. I managed to cover my face, neck, chest and both arms it went so far! I only need two pumps which looks like it won't be enough but it is. 

This is a lovely, hydrating, quickly absorbed moisturiser. Despite being designed for combination/oily skin it works well for my dry skin and provides enough hydration that my skin doesn't feel parched or tight half way through the day.

I asked Natasha if there is any exciting news and there is!
Later this week there will be a new range of bath soaks available for online purchase and they are currently in the trial phase for a dry skin range which will include a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. They will also have a  facial exfoliant which will all be available hopefully by Spring.

I can't wait to try all the new products! I'm hoping a lip product will be added to the range soon. 

You can purchase Concordia products from their website

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. NBN with Telstra is awful. It's constantly not working and so painfully slow. Dial up was faster than our NBN is some days.

2. Chai's school had a fundraising thing for Mother's Day. For $20 they could design a cup for us. In my opinion $20 is a total rip off but I did it anyway. The cup arrived and it's magnificently funny. I posted a photo on Facebook, most people saw the funny side like I did but a few were telling me that I should treasure it because it's made with love. I do treasure it but honestly, paying $20 for this work of art is really, really funny. 

Even more amusing is that Chai's not happy with it, he's annoyed that he had to spend three days working on it so every time I use the cup he feels angry, hahaha.

3. It's important to be able to see the funny side of life.

4. I'm still trying to decide what job I'm going to do when the kids are at school full time. If only I could get paid to be a coffee drinking, crazy hippie witch.

5. I love this song.

Friday, 12 May 2017

FFS Friday - I have a dream

I dream of a home by the ocean
where I can hear the waves crashing at night.
Where the sound of the ocean lulls me to sleep.
Secluded but not remote,
a sanctuary.

A private cottage, warm and inviting, 
The front yard filled with plants and a backyard free to roam.
With creepers out the back, overhead so I can look up at them.

An inviting fire to warm me in winter and a cool breeze that flows through the house in summer.
A garden full of herbs so I can make salves and potions, 
with rich, fertile soil ripe for planting.

I shall make a fairy garden and plant a weeping willow.
I'll grow gerberas, sunflowers, jasmine and roses.

A window seat where I can lay in the sun and read or sleep.
Curtains on both sides so I can hide when I want to.

Walls filled with books.
An attic to fill with treasures.

A home where my babies can run free.
A place where my soul is soothed and I feel at peace.

This is my dream.

Monday, 8 May 2017

My Essential Winter Skin Care Products

Here in Australia the weather is starting to cool down. We had a very mild summer and it looks like we are in for a long, cold winter. I pulled out the flannel pj's and winter doona's in April!

I've already had to switch up my skin care routine to combat dry winter skin. Some of my favourite winter products are now back in rotation so I thought I'd tell you about them today

Lanolips Allover cream - When it's cold I can get very lazy with my night time skin care routine, I just want to get it done and jump into my warm, cozy bed. Multi-purpose balms are ideal for times like this because I can slather them all over my face, lips and hands then I'm done. All Over cream is perfect for that. It's super hydrating and can be used all over (pun intended). If my skin is extra dry I'll apply an extra thick layer because it acts like an overnight mask. 
Added bonus, it makes a great treatment for dry heels. 

Clarins HydraQuench Bi Phase serum - On those days I need an extra shot of hydration I use HydraQuench. It's very light and feels like I'm putting water on my face, but the hydration is quite amazing, my skin feels noticeably better and I don't get that horrible tight feeling half way through the day. 

Egyptian Magic - I've been using this as a night cream/treatment and it's amazing. My skin feels so soft and smooth the next day. The first few times I used it I couldn't figure out why my skin was feeling so good the next morning, then I realised it was thanks to Egyptian Magic. My sore hayfever eyes love it and it's done wonders for my dried out hands and lips. If you have irritated skin, this is the product you need.

Arbonne RE9 Intense Hydration overnight mask - For lazy/time poor people like me this is magic. It's a sleeping mask! I love that sleeping masks are becoming more popular. Here's hoping more brands release them. 
The Arbonne mask is applied over the top of your usual night time skin care routine. It's super hydrating (as you might have guessed from the name) and leaves my skin soft and baby smooth.

Trilogy Vital Moisturising cream - This is a recent addition to my routine and it's love. Despite being quite a rich, hydrating moisturiser, it absorbs surprisingly quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue. If you have normal to dry skin, get your hands on a tube next time Priceline has a sale.

Weleda Skin Food - Regular readers have probably had enough of me talking about Skin Food but it really is such a great product that I have to include it. Skin Food has a multitude of uses but my favourite way to use it as an intensive treatment. I pick a day when I'm not leaving the house and slather on a thick layer. I put on another layer at lunchtime then wash it off before bed and apply another layer. The next day my skin is amazing! This technique would probably work with any rich treatment, if you try it with a different product let me know how it goes.

Bite Beauty Agave lip mask - Surprisingly my lips don't get drier in winter, probably because they're dry all year round (thanks to Crohn's I don't absorb vitamin B well). One of the most effective lip treatments I've found is the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask. It's a very thick treatment that I apply generously at night. When I wake up in the morning I still have product on my lips, I also have soft, happy lips. I usually scrub off the remaining product with a soft flannel to give my lips a thorough exfoliation. Whilst they call this a lip mask it also works well as a lip balm, there are tinted versions available that are great for days when you want a bit of colour on your lips.

Simplicite Great Outdoors moisturiser - Whilst Simplicite call this a moisturiser, I use it as my winter sunscreen. It has an SPF of 15, it's light, non greasy and quickly absorbed. I find that it makes a great base for make-up, I don't need to use a primer over the top. An extra bonus is the lovely Aussie bush scent.

What are your cold weather skin essentials?