30 July 2017

July 2017: Roundups, Highlights + Favourites

July has been a super busy month. For two weeks of July we had people staying with us, friends and family. It was really good to see everybody and catch up but its also been great to get back into a routine. It was good to take some time off over the month of July to spend with loved ones, but I'm excited to get back into things. 


Before purchasing this for myself, I had used it previously while doing my makeup with friends. I was really impressed. It blends beautifully and looks so natural on the skin. I wish I had purchased one for myself sooner.

Blush products weren't really my thing in the past, probably because I've always really had naturally flushed cheeks. Over the past year, I have been experimenting with different blush products and this one by Revlon is a current favourite of mine. I adore this blush, and I wasn't surprised because I throughly enjoy a range of Revlon's face products. The blush applies beautifully, but what I like most about the product it the natural colour it leaves on your cheeks.

I mentioned this lipstick in a post, 'Staple Nude Lip' which I'll leave linked, and I go into more detail about the product in that post. But I adore this lip colour, and as the name of the post suggests, it's one of my staples. 

Lush do some of the most beautiful lip scrubs, and during the colder months they're exactly what I need. My lips get super dry and dehydrated in the colder months, and Lush's lip scrubs are great for getting rid of any dry skin on the lips. 

I mentioned this in my 'In-Depth Skincare Routine' and I talked about how much I enjoy using it. If you are looking for a new eye cream, I highly encourage you to look into this one. It's super hydrating due to rosehip and almond oils used but it's also packed with lots of great vitamins for your skin. 

B x

27 July 2017

In-Depth Skincare Routine

Skincare is my downfall, not because I don't do it but because I have way to many products. I enjoy looking after my skin and trying new products. I can't stress how important it is to look after your skin. I think it's also important to think about how having a clean, moisturised face is going to improve your makeup application and the longevity of it. 

In the winter my skin is extremely dehydrated which means that I enjoy using products that having hydrating properties to them. I normally only get the odd hormonal break which really is nothing and pretty easy to deal with. 

In this post I'm going to go into depth about the skincare products that I'm using at the moment. Under each category there is at least two products which I switch between depending on how my skin is feeling at a specific time. I throughly enjoy all of the products I'm about to mention and recommend that you do your own research into each product if you're looking into purchasing them.

I'm really not to fussed about the kind of makeup remover I use, as long as it has a decent job at removing the majority of my makeup. There are two kinds of products I use to remove my makeup. Face wipes for any face makeup and an oil based product on a cotton pad for any eye makeup. In regards to face wipes, I'm not particularly fussy but I do enjoy the $2 Green Tea ones from Kmart. For oil based eye makeup removers, I quite like the Garnier Express 2-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover. It's a beautiful product and removers any eye makeup with no pulling or tugging of the eye. If I don't have any of that specific product on hand, I'll usually just use some organic coconut oil which works just as good.

The number one cleanser that I'm using at the moment is the good ole The Body Shop, Tea Tree Clearing Skin Facial Wash. This really shouldn't be any surprise because I'm always talking about how much I enjoy using this product but it's honestly fantastic at removing any oils on the skin without over drying the skin. It's also perfect for preventing blemishes as tea tree has anti-bacterial properties. Another cleanser I have been enjoying at the moment is by Lush, called Let The Good Times Roll. It acts as a cleanser but also a light exfoliant so I find it perfect for using it the morning when you don't want anything to harsh but still something that is going to leave a radiant look to your skin. Oh, and it smells bloody delicious!

I have one exfoliating product that I'm trying to use up at the moment because I'm looking at trying some new products in the near future but none the less, I adore using this product. The Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub leaves skin looking super healthy, helps removes dead skin and helps prevent any future blemishes. In say that, I'm definitely look forward to try some new products. If you have any recommendations for good exfoliators, then flick them my way.

Again, I only have one toner product on the go at the moment but it's one I've been using for a long time now, and I'm still really enjoying using it. It's the Body Shop, Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Facial Toner and it's great at leaving the skin shine-free but also has great anti-bacterial properties due to the tea tree.

I have a few face masks on the go at the moment because they target different things. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask and The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask will both help with blemishes, with the Tea Tree leaving a cooling calm feeling while absorbing excess oils and removing impurities. The Warming Mineral Mask, has ginger, cinnamon oil and kaolin clay in it which is great for a deep cleanse. Not only is the mask cleansing, but it's oil absorbing and the perfect weekly treatment. I'm currently also trying a few samples of The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask and The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask. If you have tried either of those masks I'd love to hear you thoughts and opinions on them.

I have three moisturisers that I enjoy using for different reasons', at the moment. I've spoken about the Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream before and it's definitely my go to. It hydrates the skin beautifully and the longevity of the hydration is pretty good too. I enjoy using the Essano Rosehip SPF 15 Moisturiser in the mornings when SPF is needed. It's beautiful on the skin, moisturising due to the reship oil and the vitamin E but also great for to the SPF properties. Another moisturising product I've been testing out as of late is The Body Shop Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion. I love that this lotion has mattifying properties and although I don't have incredibly oily skin, this product is great in the T zone. It provides your skin with lightweight hydration and oil control in one.

The Wild Ferns Manuka Insensitive Refining Eye Cream has quickly become a staple in my skincare routine. With oils such as Rosehip and Almond Oil along with Vitamins A, C and E, which helps hydrates, brightens and soothes the skin. Definitely recommend this product.

Winter is the worst time for dry skin and that includes on my lips. Lip scrubs are perfect for removing any nasty dry skin and leaves lips looking and feeling plump. The one I've been using is the classic Lush, Bubblegum Lip Scrub, and I really enjoy using it, it does everything you need a lip scrub to do.   Lush do a variety of different flavours and scents of there classic lip scrubs, there's something everyone will love.

If there are any other skincare products you think I need to try out or you think I'd love, please let me know.

B x

25 July 2017

Nude Staple Lip

We all love a classic nude lip. It goes with a variety of makeup looks and the up keep can be a lot easier than say a red lip. In saying that, I do also love a classic red lip. 

Over the past three months I've discovered my new staple lip combination and yes, it's a nude. I'd say it's more on the slightly darker side of nude but it still looks gorgeous with a variety of makeup looks and a variety of skin colours. 

I like to pair this specific nude lipstick with a basic nude lipliner but you could definitely play around with colours and shades to get a different end result. 



B x

23 July 2017

Four Things I'm Trying To Implement Into My Evenings

Evenings are my favourite time of the day and with that being said, I've been trying to implement a few new things into my evening routine. Before I was implementing any of these things into my routine, I had a pretty basic routine. It was very simple and it worked well for me but there were a few things I wanted to add to it which would change my routine up a bit.

I'll leave my 'Sweet and Simple Evening Routine' post linked here, which covers the bare basics of my evening routine. 

Power Off Laptop Earlier
I would usually finish up my day around 730PM, however I'd love to be finishing up my day slightly earlier and taking that extra time to pamper and look after myself. I don't think there is any specific amount of time that you should or should not be spend looking after yourself. Finishing up my day slightly earlier means that I'll have an extra hour or so to myself where I can relax and mentally prepare for the following day. 

Cooking From Scratch 
It's simple, I love cooking and I want to start being a lot more creative with it. Trying new meals and foods I have tried before. 

Less Phone Scrolling, More Reading
Although I do read, I feel like I could put my phone down and be reading a lot more. Reading is something I've always loved but I struggle to find the time to do it. If I was to put down my phone, stop scrolling and pick up a book then I think I'd find I have a little extra time to read. 

Mediation is a staple in my morning routine and I want to become a staple in my evening routine as well. Mediation has so many benefits and I think it's going to be the perfect way to relax after a busy day. 

B x 

20 July 2017

Grief: First & Last

I've been thinking a lot lately about all the first's and last's we experience when losing someone we love. I think they're something we think about and all experience regardless of the relationship that we had with those we've lost.

Grief is weird, uncontrollable and sometimes uncomfortable. All the first's and last's I've experienced over the last 6 months, thinking about them breaks my heart but I wanted to make this post to create an awareness to the fact that one day the grief doesn't just end. Grief and loss is something we all experience over our lifetimes.

The last time I told you I loved you. 
The last time I spoke you. 
The last time I laughed with you. 
The last time I received a birthday card from you. 
The last time I hugged you.
The last time I taught you something new. 
The last time you taught me something. 
The last time I spoke to you on the phone. 
The last time I checked your mail for you. 
The last time I sat in your garden. 
The last time I slept in your cold, blue spare bedroom. 
The last time I walked down your driveway. 

Your first birthday without you here.
The first birthday I've had without you around. 
The first time I've seen someone on life support. 
The first time I was with someone take their last breath. 
The first time I really had to say goodbye. 
For the first time I know what it feels like to be heart broken. 
The first time being in your house without you there. 
The first time I helped myself to a drink or food in your cupboard. 

B x

18 July 2017

Organisation: Four Things You Can Achieve Today

You all know that I'm an organisation enthusiast. Organisation is a big part of my day to day life. If I'm organised it means that my day is going to run as smoothly as possible but it also means that I can be productive too. Here are four things you can do today which will help you lead an organised life. 

Clear Out Your Handbag
Honestly, my handbag collects so much crap in it, sometimes I wonder how. I'm trying to get into the routine where the only things left in my handbag at the end of the day are my keys and my wallet. This way in the morning, I'm only putting things in my handbag that I need that day. You'd also be surprised how much lighter it makes your handbag too. Clearing out your handbag really doesn't take long and it means you're able to find what you need when you actually need it. 

Sort Clothes Draws
By this I don't necessarily mean doing a full closet clear out but more just making sure what needs to be hung up is exactly that, hung up and those clothes in your draws are folded and everything is neat. Having my clothes in the organised places they belong means that I know where everything is and that I'm not going to be a frantic mess when trying to find something to wear in the mornings. 

Your Nightstand
I don't know about you guys but for some reason my nightstand collects magazines, books, different chargers, lip balms, you name it. Sorting out your nightstand and putting away all the odds and sods will not only make your room look a lot cleaner but it'll also create a clear space for you to look at has to head of to sleep. 

Organise Linens
This was one of the main things we had to organise when we received my Grandparent's belongings. Believe it or not, my Nan was the queen of linen but to be fair I think we all hoard linen, right? It was the perfect opportunity for us to go through our linen cupboard and get rid of anything that we didn't need or had to many of. It really didn't take us long and to be fair, our linen cupboard looks way better for it. 

B x

16 July 2017

My Cold Weather Essentials

Winter has hit us with full force this past week. With tremendous amounts of snow, freezing cold winds and down pours of rain, it would only be appropriate to share the essentials that have got me through the last few weeks without completely freezing my butt off, coming from someone who doesn't particularly enjoy winter. 

Leather Jacket
For the longest time I had been wanting to purchase a leather jacket but I never really fell in love with any particular styles that I had come across in my local shops. When I was down in Christchurch, I hit the jackpot. Not only did I find a gorgeous leather jacket that I fell in love with, but it also had a huge discount off the original price. Bargain, right?! My leather jacket has been such a staple in my wardrobe this winter. Not only does it go with a variety of outfits but I'm able to layer clothes underneath it, meaning my toasty warm when the weather is shitty. 

Another staple in my wardrobe, not only this winter but every winter, is scarves. Ever since I got seriously sick a few years ago, I've had to be super careful especially in the winter with looking after myself. I've found wearing something around my neck and chest provides extra warmth which can help with preventing breathing difficulties, a sore chest, swelling of the glands and all the jazz. But also, lets be honest, anything that adds a little extra warmth is a bonus. 

Face Oil
Winter is never a fun time for my skin. I seem to get super dry skin during the colder months meaning I will switch up a few of my skincare products. Sometimes I'll add a face oil to my skincare routine which just helps add extra hydration to my skin, other times I might switch up my moisturisers. This winter I have stuck to a true favourite, the Nivea Soft Face, Body and Hands Moisturising Cream. However, I've added the Wild Ferris Manuka Honey Intensive Refining Eye Cream to my skincare routine. I've only had the product for a few weeks but so far so good. Check my monthly round up post at the end of the month to see if it makes a cameo. 

I feel like I have lots of other little essentials like my favourite teas, beauty bits, reading material but I'd definitely say my top three are those above. Maybe I'll mention some of my other favourite essentials in my monthly round up post in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for that. 

Feel free to let me know what you cold weather essentials are, I can always do with some help to get through the cold months! 

 B x

13 July 2017

Sweet and Simple Evening Routine

I'm going to keep it sweet and short today just how I like keeping my evening routine these days. 

I start by finishing up the day around 730PM and I have some down time for about an hour before I start organising what I'm going to have for dinner. After dinner, I'll have some down time. This is where I'll check social media and catch up on all those bits and pieces. 

I'll then shower and do my skincare routine which will include a mask. At this point I will generally get into bed, put something on from Netflix, check on social media and maybe do some reading from a magazine or the current book I'm reading. I try and get to sleep around 11PM which means I get at least 8 hours sleep. 

Like I said, I keep it pretty simple which just makes it easier for me to relax at the end of the day. 

B x 

11 July 2017

How To Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed is never a pleasant feeling. We never all want to just one thing, actually we normally want to do it all the things. We find ourselves pulled in a million of different directions and with so much to do, we never know where to start. What do we do? Do you try do it all at once OR do you do nothing at all? Either way, you're not getting anyway. 

These first seven months of 2017 have been ridiculously overwhelming for me. I've had so much going on, not only in my personal life but also professionally with things such as my studies. In the past seven months, I have not had a full month at home and that has lead to an incredible amount of stress and an overwhelming work load. I've been able to work out how I prefer to deal with that overwhelming feeling and it's definitely made things a lot easier. 

I want to say this is an obvious one but it might not be to some. You really need to ask yourself, what is important right now? Go through your list and work out what needs doing immediately opposed to those that maybe aren't so important. By setting priorities you're going to get things done. 

Mind Mapping 
I'm always writing things down, whether that's on paper or on my phone. Writing things down is great but mind mapping is even better. Not only is it a great way to get your thoughts from your mind to paper but it's also a great way to organise any thoughts, ideas and plans. I'm someone that really benefits from putting ideas to paper and I think it's a great way to get organised. It would also be a great way to prioritise as well. 

Get Organised and Schedule
Feeling overwhelmed can often stem from the lack of organisation. Being organised and having things scheduled will help you know what has to be done by when and where you have to be for important appointments. It helps things run a lot more smoothly. 

Set Boundaries 
You have to learnt to say no and be very selective about the things you chose to focus on. Learn to set boundaries and guard your time. It's important to remember that you don't have to say yes to everything, be selective and only do the thing that you're really sure about. 

B x 

9 July 2017

Review: Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant ranks as one of my favourite books, maybe ever. Not only is it about the process of grief but it's about resilience and rebounding back from life's struggles. Option B was first released on the 24 April of this year and could not have been released at a more appropriate time in my life. Before it hit the shelves here in New Zealand I had heard so many good reviews and how the book had such impressionable effects on peoples lives. One of my favourite reviews is by YouTuber Rosianna Halse Rojas and I'll leave it linked if you'd like to look into her review of the book, which of course is amazing. 

The following four paragraphs are from the website, optionb.org which I highly encourage you to check out. It discusses what's covered in Option B better than I ever could myself. 

"After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that her and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Warton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build. 

Option B combines Sheryl's personal insights with Adam's eye opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when Sheryl finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart and her journal to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl's loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere and to rediscover joy. 

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding a deeper means and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children and create resilient families, communities and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. 

Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. "I want Dave", she cried. Her friend replied, "Option A is not available," then promised to help her make the most of Option B. We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it." 

We all experience a variety of hardships in our lives and whether they happened six months ago or six years ago, I believe this book will be of significant help. Grief is a very apparent in my life right now and Option B made me feel understood and although I'm not the only one grieving in my family right now, it made me feel less alone and that what I'm experiencing and feeling is normal. 

I'm going to write some other blogposts at some point covering some of the topics that Sheryl covered in the book, with my opinions and experience as well, so keep a look out for those. 

Let me know if you've already read Option B and what your thoughts were on the book.

B x

6 July 2017

Current Winter Morning Routine

I can't remember the last time I spoke about my morning routine but due to updating it over the past few months, I thought I would chat about the shit I do to get myself ready for the day. 

For the first part of the morning, which is roughly 20 minutes, I'll check my social media and clear any notifications, I'll make my bed and tidy my room. The next part is really what helps me get in the right mind set for the day. 

For me, skincare is the most important step of my routine. Regardless of the fact that we should all be cleaning our faces in the morning anyway, it's important for me because it's what leaves me feeling awake and ready for the day. 

Next  I'll do anything around the house that needs doing. Such as any washing, any dishes and the vacuuming. This time is for me to do just a general tidy up of the house as a whole plus working in a tidy and clean environment is always way more motivating. 

Yoga, mediation and stretching play a big part in my routine for the morning. I'll generally wake up pretty sore in the mornings, don't ask me why, my body just likes to be a pain in the butt, literally. Light stretching and yoga usually helps a little, so that's something that's become super important for me. 

The most important meal of the day, breakfast. While having breakfast I'll check emails, maybe check social media. After breakfast is journaling. This can be a variety of different thing for me, some days it might be writing, other days it might be drawing. I'll also take this opportunity to plan out my day in more detail so I really know what I need to get done for the day. 

If you're struggling with a morning routine I definitely recommend checking out the following posts linked here and here, where one of my favourite people talks about 'The Miracle Morning' by Hal Elrod. I'll also leave his book linked if you're interested in checking it out. 

B x