Friday, 29 September 2017

FFS Friday - Explosions

Oh my goodness. You know how you have those parenting days/weeks/months where you think you aren't going to survive? We've had one of those weeks. The stupid thing about weeks/days like that is I don't take care of myself which makes me feel even worse. I eat sugar in an effort to help my stress levels but it doesn't help, it makes me feel worse. Silly.

It's been cold and wet so the kids have been stuck inside. Eljay doesn't mind but Chai goes mad. He can't cope with being stuck inside all day. 

I've been taking them out as often as I can, going to the library, setting up obstacle courses in the house etc, but it's not enough for Chai.

His behaviour gets worse and worse, his sensory issues escalate and his anxiety is through the roof. I feel so helpless when he's like this. I can help his sensory problems but have no idea what to do about the anxiety. It's times like this I wonder how I will cope homeschooling him.

Yesterday I was sure that I was going to explode. I tried to arrange catch ups with a few friends but they were all busy. By 8am we'd been awake for three hours and Chai was off his trolley. Tantrums, hurting his brother, screaming etc.

I took them to a playground but it was freezing cold and Chai wouldn't play because his clothes were uncomfortable so we came back home again. He got changed and we headed to Kmart to get some slime in the hope that would keep them quiet for a few minutes. 

On the way home we decided to stop at the park. I didn't have a book or water bottle with us as we hadn't been planning on going out. I usually have a bottle of water in the car but we'd drunk it all so I'd taken it inside and forgotten to put it back in the car. 

The kids played whilst I sat on the chair fuming and trying to cheer myself up. After a few minutes some other kids came to play and the boys were happy. Their mother came over so we sat there chatting and I started feeling a little better. A while later a lady I'd met earlier in the week turned up so we all stood around chatting whilst our kids played. 

We stayed at the park for three and a half hours and got home in the late afternoon. We all felt so much better, it was wonderful. 

That's one thing I love about living in the country, everyone is so friendly. A few hours at the park is all we needed to restore our spirits and reset our mood. 

Here's hoping next week is a better week. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Inika Lip Glaze

Recently I've been trying a few Inika products and loving most of them. Their foundation and BB cream are amazing, as is their primer. I tried their lip glazes a while ago but they didn't have a colour that I liked. They've reformulated and expanded the range so there are now seven gorgeous shades available. There is also a beautiful lip serum which I will be reviewing soon.

Cherry, Hazelnut, Rosewood, Coral, Blossom, Cappuccino, Cinnamon.
Cherry is a deep red with brown undertones.
Hazelnut is cool light taupe.
Rosewood is a cool rose.
Coral is a true coral.
Blossom is a neutral pale pink.
Cappuccino is a warm bronzey brown.
Cinnamon is warm browny apricot.

From bottom to top: Cherry, Hazelnut, Rosewood, Coral, Blossom, Cappuccino, Cinnamon.
I really love the texture of these, they feel weightless on my lips. Unlike matte liquid lipsticks, they aren't at all drying, my lips are left feeling hydrated and soft. Upon first application they look very glossy then settle to a luminous shine. I get around three hours wear before I need to reapply. They wear off evenly and the darker colours leave a stain of colour behind. There is no discernible flavour or fragrance. 

Inika Lip Glazes cost $35.00. The Lip Glazes are natural, vegan, contain 77% organic ingredients and are cruelty free. 

*Note: These products were provided for review.

Monday, 25 September 2017

The products that got me through winter

Winter has drawn to a close here in Australia, however the cold weather is lingering on. I'm looking forward to warmer weather whilst enjoying the last of the cold. 

The Physic Garden Winter herbal tea blend
I love herbal tea in winter. This beautiful blend was a gwp from The Physic Garden. I'm hoping they sell it next winter because it was beautiful. It's a lovely, refreshing and calming blend of lemon balm, peppermint, elder flower and calendula. 
The lemon balm and peppermint are anti-virals, they reduce anxiety and support digestion. Elder flower is an anti-bacterial, immune booster and de-congestant and Calendula supports the lymphatic system and boosts immunity. 

Heal Your Gut
Diatomaceous Earth aka fossil shell flour is one of the strangest things I've used. It's a tasteless powder, I take it with my Super Elixir. 
Initially I purchased it for Tiger. He had issues with reflux for years and nothing (even medication) was helping. One month of taking Heal Your Gut and his reflux was gone. He now takes this daily. 
I started taking it because it was there, I've found that it helps the stomach pains I get due to the scar tissue on my bowel (thanks to Crohn's). I haven't had any stomach pain since I've been taking Heal Your Gut. I also notice that I only got sick twice this year, last year we were sick all of winter. 

WelleCo The Super Elixir
I will never be without my beloved Super Elixir. I didn't want to love this because of the price ($85 for 300 grams), but it's a wonder product. When I don't take this I have no energy and struggle through the day, when I do take it I have energy all day long and don't feel tired. It's also reduced my sugar cravings and made my skin look clearer.

Natralus Paw Paw ointment
My all time favourite paw paw balm. I use it on my lips, cuticles, dry patches, sores and rashes. It's one of those all purpose products with endless uses. 

Little Innoscents Winter Blues Balm
This is our Vicks replacement. I find it gentler than Vicks (which burns my sensitive skin) and it's safe to use on the boys too. I put it on the soles of their feet, their chest and their back when they have a cold, are coughing or are blocked up. It quickly clears a blocked nose and helps reduce coughing. Even better, it's organic.
Amazonia Raw Immune
This is a wonder product. It can be taken daily to support your immune system, or when you are getting sick. I don't take it daily, just when I'm feeling unwell. If I'm coming down with a cold I often only need one or two doses. If I have the flu I'll take it daily to ease the symptoms and help me recover faster. 
This year when everyone else got that awful flu that lasted three weeks or more, I was mildly unwell for four days and that's it.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I bought elastic shoe laces on ebay, they're amazing. Life changing even. 

2. It's funny how one small change can totally change your whole life. Taking Chai out of school has been wonderful. I feel like a different person, our home is happy and serene, it's brilliant.

3. I had a meeting with Chai's school this week. I'm feeling a lot more positive about things but I'm still not happy to return him to school. 

4. BYS Cosmetics are proving to be wonderful quality. I've often found the cheaper brands to be not great quality, but BYS are proving me wrong. Their creme lipsticks and serum foundation are excellent.

5. I've got nothing else.

Friday, 22 September 2017

FFS Friday - Towel Theory

So. It's no secret that I'm strange. Anyone who knows me can confirm that. I have many strange ways. One such strange way is my towel theory. I thought everyone had a towel theory but I've recently come to realise that they don't. 

Here goes.

I like to use my towel in a specific way to ensure that I'm not wiping bum germs all over myself. Bum germs are not good. I don't want to wipe underarm germs on myself either. To ensure this doesn't happen I have a specific method of drying myself. Yep, I know.

I dry my face first, using the very end of the towel. Then I wrap the towel around myself and dry the rest of my body. I dry my armpits and bum last, using the middle of the towel. Clever. That way I know that I'm never drying my face with the same piece of towel that I dried my bum with. Easy.

In an ideal world I'd have a towel that was different colours on each side, then I could dry my bum with one side and my face with the other side, in case the bum germs managed to spread along the towel when I wasn't looking. 

For the uninitiated, bum germs are similar to toilet germs. They spread if you are careless and must be treated carefully to ensure that you aren't overtaken by bum/toilet germs. It's a serious business.

A few other things that gross me out:
When you swim in the ocean knowing that the fish wee and poo in there. 
Flying on an aeroplane and breathing recycled farts the whole trip. 
Using public toilets.
Shaking hands with people. You never know where their hands have been. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Small Essence Haul

Essence have two new collections out at the moment, a birthday collection and a colour correcting collection.  I always like to check out their limited edition collections, they come out with some really wonderful products that sell out very quickly.

I picked up a few pieces from their regular range as well as both new collections. 

The birthday collection contains the most awesome four and eight pan palettes with sprinkles in the lid, so cool. I really wanted to buy both the four and eight pan palettes but only bought the four pan as I think I'll use it more. I'm seriously considering getting the eight pan as well, then I could depot some of my MAC eyeshadows. The sprinkles move around the top of the palette, giving me hours of entertainment, haha.

The live, laugh celebrate products are both for the lips. They bright pink one is a lip powder and the light pink is a lip base. The two eye shadows are from their regular range and the little beauty angels colour correcting balls are from the colour correcting range (as you probably guessed). 

Monday, 18 September 2017

BYS Creme Lipsticks

Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi

I have to admit that I usually skip the beauty aisles at Kmart thinking that their products are aimed at teenagers. Due to that I haven't tried many BYS products. It wasn't until I saw a beautiful eye shadow palette on Instagram that I decided to have a closer look. What a great idea that was. I now have a palette, serum foundation and the creme lipsticks, which I will be reviewing in the next few weeks. Today I'm showing you the creme lipsticks. I have five of them, Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi.

Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi

If you like Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lipsticks then you need to try BYS Creme Lipsticks, they are very, very similar. 

The texture is creamy and hydrating, on my lips they feel very balm like. I've been wearing these almost daily since I received them, they truly combine the best of a gloss, balm and a lipstick. The colour is opaque with one layer and wears for about four hours. They do transfer if I eat or drink, which is to be expected with a cream lipstick.

The only negative is that they don't retract. The mechanism clicks up so dispensing too much shouldn't be a problem. 

From top: Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi

BYS Creme lipsticks cost $7.95 and are available from their website, Kmart, Gloss and Cosmetics Plus. All BYS cosmetics are cruelty free. 

Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi
*Note: These products were provided for review.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

Today I have only one thought and it's a question. In view of Connie Johnson dying this week, my question is "have you checked your breasts lately?" That goes for men as well, men can get breast cancer too.

Friday, 15 September 2017

FFS Friday - I can dream

I'm thinking that I'd like to learn to sew. I have wonderful visions of whipping up awesome skirts and dresses to wear and having a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes. I'm sure the reality would be very different but I can dream. 

If only I had a sewing machine. 

Last week we went to Perth for a few days. We had a wonderful time but were all thrilled to come home. 
I've realised that I'm no longer a city person. 

Here's a list of a few reasons why the country is much better than the city:

We have wider parking spaces. 

Finding a parking spot is easy.

The people are a lot friendlier.

No-one tries to run you over. 

The coffee in the city is truly awful. 

Country food is cheaper and nicer.
No pollution. I felt so dirty at the end of every day, it was horrible. 

Next week I have a meeting with Chai's school. Chai heard Tiger and I talking about it and got really upset. Not a good sign.

I was thinking that he might go back to school next year, however if he's going to panic at the mention of school he won't be going back.

Day by day his sensory issues are getting better. It's further proof of the stress that he was under at school. Pressure like that for young children is not acceptable.

I'm not sure what the school are going to say or what I'm going to say to them. They are a great school, he just didn't have the right teacher for him. 

I think he needs a free range school where he isn't expected to sit at a desk all day. 

There's only one free range school down here (one of the downsides to living in the country) and they don't answer the phone. Which reminds me, I need to email them.

I don't understand all the fuss over Laura winning The Bachelor. So what if she looks similar to Georgia? So Matty has a type? Big deal! Why aren't people happy that he's found love? Isn't that what it's all about? I'm confused. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Maybelline Tattoo Brow Gel Tint

The beauty world comes up with some weird and wonderful things. One of the strangest things I've found recently is the new Maybelline Tattoo Brow Gel Tint. It's a gel that you apply to your brows, leave on for between 20 minutes to 2 hours and then peel off. It tints your brows for around three days. Interesting. 

I've used it twice now and the verdict is in. I think it's a good idea for people like me who are too scared to dye their brows. I'm now thinking about dying my brows because of the time saving aspect every morning. It's so nice to wake up with brows that are already done. 

Brows before tinting. You can see that the ends are quite pale.

Scary. The boys said I looked like Boss Baby, hahaha. I left it on for two hours and then peeled it off. It peels off easily and doesn't remove any brow hairs.

Immediately after tinting. I love that my brows look so dark and full.

Day one. You can't get your brows wet for 24 hours after tinting, which was a slight problems as I shower in the morning, but I managed to keep them dry.

Day two. You can see here that the colour is looking a little orange, which I didn't like, but it was easily covered with brow pencil.
Day three. Luckily the orange tinge is gone and the cool tone is back.

By day four the colour was all gone and my brows were back to normal. I used the light brown shade, I think the dark brown would have been way too dark for me. 

Whilst I'm not sure I'll buy this again, I'll use up the bottle that I have and then probably get my brows dyed. I love how easy it is to use and the time that it saves in the morning not having to do my brows.

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Lip Lab Fremantle

Last Friday I went to The Lip Lab in Fremantle to get a lipstick and lip gloss made. It was so much fun! I've been wanting to go for a year now and was so excited that I could finally get there. 

My appointment was with Tanya, she's absolutely lovely, if you go there I highly recommend booking with her. 

It takes 45 minutes to make a lipstick and lip gloss, they're made right in front of you as you watch. I found the whole process fascinating. I took in my Chanel Boy lipstick intending to get it duplicated but ended up with something quite different, hahaha.  

With both the lipstick and gloss you get to choose the formula you want, I chose a creme lipstick and hydrating gloss. I also added flavour to both of them, chocolate for the lipstick and coffee hazelnut for the gloss. If I went again I'd get extra flavouring as the flavour is quite subtle and I like it to be stronger. 

I've always wondered if the product was worth the price. $55 for a lipstick is what you'd pay for a YSL lipstick. In my opinion it is well worth it because I have the exact colour that I want. The cream lipstick is opaque with one swipe, feels moisturising and lasts for around six hours. The lipstick case is satisfyingly heavy and feels high end.  

$30 for a custom made gloss is a bargain. It's much cheaper than high end lip glosses and a lot nicer. I chose the hydrating formula (they also have a glossy formula), so it feels creamy and moisturising, like a tinted lip balm. 

Tanya was very patient and changed the colour at least six times before I was happy with it. Once you're happy with the colour, the flavour is added, you choose the lipstick shape you want then it's melted, put into a mould and set.

Getting a lipstick and gloss made costs $85, additives are $3. For the month of September all services at Fremantle are 20% off. Whilst it's not cheap, I do think it's well worth going, if only for the experience. I had a lot of fun and having something that's made exactly the way you want it is wonderful.

They keep a record of the colour you've got so that you can easily re-order. They'll even post products!

 Have you been to The Lip Lab? What did you get made?

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've found the best re-useable coffee cups. They are West Loop by Contigo, they're leak proof and thermal. We got ours from Homes n Things for $23. 

2. At the end of our first full week with Chai at home I am feeling more relaxed and happy than I have in a very long time, it's wonderful.

3. We spent a few days in Perth this week. The coffee up there is crap, really crap.

4. Whilst it was lovely going to Perth, I truly am a country girl.

5. I thought Tiger was going to have a heart attack watching the football last night. I wonder how many people actually did.

Friday, 8 September 2017

FFS Friday - Changes

I mentioned last week that Chai is homeschooling now. It's been a long time coming but I'm happy with our decision.

We had so many problems with his school and it was causing him a lot of stress. I didn't realise how his unhappiness was affecting the whole family until I took him out of school.

I felt stressed all the time. I always felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown and no matter what I did my stress levels didn't reduce. Chai was getting worse and worse. The last few weeks of his schooling he was coming out of class in sensory meltdown. That is not normal or healthy. 

I had so many meetings with his teacher and yet nothing changed. I spoke to her, his OT spoke to her, we both emailed her and yet nothing would change. Every day he was being punished for behaviours that he had no control over. After observing him in class his OT told me that he would never be able to do the things that his teacher wanted him to. Despite knowing that she didn't change her expectations.

I was getting increasingly angry and frustrated with her, to the point where I couldn't even look at her. I knew that homeschooling was going to happen, the only thing stopping me was worrying about how I 'd cope having Chai home all the time. His behaviour at home was very difficult to cope with and it made me not want to be anywhere near him.

The final straw came one Monday afternoon when Chai came out of school in sensory meltdown. I checked the board and once again he'd been put it time out. I struggled to get him to the OT and when we were there the OT told me that she'd been to the school to observe Chai. The teacher hadn't bothered to tell me, despite having had numerous opportunities to do so. It's my right as a parent to know what is happening with my child.

I spoke to my cousin who homeschools and she told me to just do it. I made the decision to homeschool and had a mini breakdown on the phone to my sister, worried about how I'd manage to stay sane. I knew I just had to suck it up and do what was right for my child, but I was so very worried that it'd break me. I needn't have worried. 

The next morning when Chai asked (as he did every day), if he could stay home, to his delight I said yes. He was thrilled. During the day we talked a lot about school, if he'd like to be homeschooled and how he'd cope not getting to see his friends every day. I was worried about him missing out on socialising with his friends as he's a very social child. He wasn't concerned. I made sure he understood that he wouldn't see his friends and that he couldn't go to school to play with them. 

We had a wonderful day. He was so happy and a delight to be with. When we were at a playground he laughed and I realised that I couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed. The next day (Wednesday) when we woke up he asked if he could stay home and again I said yes. We had another wonderful day and slowly I began to relax. I realised how stressed and unhappy we'd been. 

The boys stopped fighting, Eljay stopped having screaming tantrums and peace was restored to our household. On the Friday I sent Chai to school. He knew it was his last day. I wanted him to have the chance to say goodbye to his friends. In hindsight it wasn't the right decision.

I took him in to his classroom in the morning and his teacher would not make eye contact with me. That afternoon I picked him up. I went in to his classroom to clear out his desk. His teacher, the teacher's assistant and I were the only people in the room. I spoke to the teacher's assistant, Chai's teacher once again would not make eye contact with me. I made no effort to speak to her as I had nothing nice to say. 

That evening I got an email from her that I needed to get at the start of the year. If I had got it at the start of the year I would have been thrilled. When I got it I was angry as it looked like she was just trying to cover her ass. It was too little too late. The first line said that she was sorry she hadn't got the chance to talk to me that day. Bullshit! I emailed her and told her that Chai would not be returning to school.

After having spent the day at school Chai went backwards for a few days and the angry little boy returned, but when I reminded him that he was no longer going to school my happy child came back again. 

I can't believe how different he is now. I feel really bad that I let my child be placed under so much stress. I also feel bad that I didn't recognise how unhappy he was. How could I not notice my baby was miserable?

Before I struggled to get him to do anything educational, now he's happy to read, write and do learning activities. We haven't done a lot as I'm still waiting to receive the information from the Education Department, but I'm integrating learning in to our every day lives. Chai will even voluntarily read or write now that there's no pressure on him.

Every now and again he says things that make me feel so sad for him. A few days ago he told me that school was a dark, sad place.
He also told me that at home he's a normal boy and at school he's not. How awful. 

I don't know how things are going to look for us next year. Chai wants to go back to school so I suppose if he still wants to go next year I'll let him. I will not let him go back to the unhappy boy he has been this year. I'll give it a maximum of six weeks and if he's miserable I'll homeschool again.

I truly believe our education system needs to be totally overhauled. Six year old children should not be stressed and unhappy because of school. It's not healthy or natural to place our children in such awful situations. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The foundation tip dry skinned people need to know

Every now and again I come across a tip that's a total game changer. This one from Wayne Goss is one such tip. It's so simple and yet so wonderful. 

The video is here, however if you can't be bothered watching here's a summary.

Apply a drop or two of oil to your foundation before you apply. It makes your foundation apply flawlessly and look amazing. It stops the foundation settling in to fine lines and also works wonderfully when used with concealer. 

Wayne suggests using three or four drops, I find that one drop is enough for my slightly dry skin. Experiment with what works for you, if you have drier skin than mine you might need to use more oil. 

I've been using rosehip oil, jojoba works just as well. I just put a drop of oil onto my beauty blender, put the foundation on top of it and off I go. Magic. 

It's important to know that this does not work with water based foundations. I tried it with Too Faced Born This Way and ended up with a flakey mess. 

Give it a go and let me know what you think! 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Mecca Max City Slicker Tinted Oil

We all know how obsessed I am with lip oils. I'm also obsessed with Mecca Cosmetica, so you can imagine my delight when I found out that they were releasing a tinted lip oil. Naturally, I purchased two the day they were released.

There are three shades available, Nude, Apricot and Rose. I purchased Nude and Rose. Nude is a pinky mauve and rose is a mid tone pink. They are both surprisingly opaque. Usually with lip oils the colour is quite sheer, however that is not the case with City Slicker, they have almost opaque coverage with one layer. 
Top swatch: Nude. Bottom swatch: Rose.

The formula is light, non sticky and hydrating. It feels like wearing a light layer of lip balm. If you've tried the Clarins lip oils, these are quite similar in texture, just a little lighter. 

Once the oil has worn off a sheer stain of colour is left behind. I get about three hours wear before the oil wears off, the stain lasts all day. I'm a little disappointed that they have no fragrance or flavour, but I suppose that's the safe option.  

You can purchase the City Slicker Tinted Oils from Mecca Cosmetica for $16. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Pink has released a new single. As usual, it's amazing. You can listen to it here.

2. Does anyone still use Twitter? I rarely use it now, I never seem to have anything interesting to say.

3. This has been a big week for us. I took Chai out of school and decided to home school him. Stay tuned for more updates.

4. The FIFO lifestyle is tough. This swing Tiger has missed his birthday and Fathers Day.

5. Mosquito season is upon us :(.

Friday, 1 September 2017

FFS Friday - Thoughts on blogging

Whilst pondering (and deciding) the future of my blog, I decided that I'm going to talk more about blogging and what goes on behind the scenes. Whilst blogging can be a lot of fun it's also a time consuming and costly hobby.

The way brands interact with bloggers is interesting. Some brands will only give you products to review if you agree to only write positive reviews. Others want to see and edit your review before you post it. I kid you not.

Some brands are brilliant and ask that you write an honest review once you've properly tried the product and that you disclose that the product was provided for review. I like those brands.  

There are other brands that will send you a product to post on Instagram using a specific #. The post they like the most wins a prize. This is only open to specific bloggers and unknown to the consumer.

They also run competitions on Instagram to receive a product. They ask you to post using a certain # and if they like your post the most you get the product. Again, this is only open to certain people and not disclosed to the general public. 

Also, what's with Instagram lately? It's all advertising, promotion and people trying to get you to follow them. What really surprises me is when huge accounts and brands follow you, wait till you follow back and then unfollow the next day. What's with that? What do they think they'll achieve? Do they think you don't know what they're up to? It's pretty obvious when someone with over 10 thousand followers, who follows under 2 thousand people, that they're only following you to unfollow. Crap tactic.

I'm shocked that brands do the same thing. It's a brilliant way to put you off them. You'd think they'd want to keep customers/potential customers happy, not to annoy them. Mirenesse did that to me a few weeks ago. Burt's Bees does it all the time. Every few months they'll follow me and then unfollow a few days later.  

The strangest thing is when you unfollow a blogger and they block you. WTF? I understand if they're doing a giveaway and they don't want you to follow then unfollow, but if they aren't and block you purely cause you unfollowed them, WTF?!

That's the side of blogging and Instagram that most people don't know about. Interesting isn't it?