31 August 2017

August 2017: Roundup, Highlights & Favourites

The fact that I'm sat here writing up my end of month post for August means that Winter is officially coming to a end and I couldn't be more excited for the warmer months. I'm continually blown away with how fast this year is disappearing but with that being said, I'm already getting excited for Christmas! I can't be the only one? 

For the most part August has been a very productive month. I took an unexpected trip to Christchurch for 5 days and it was great to catch up with everyone down there. My plan was to take a proper break while I was down there, but that didn't happen. I did end up taking some work with me, but now looking back on things I'm glad I did because when I got home I hit a bit of a funk. I lacked motivation along with inspiration and it took me a good few days to pull myself out of that. But other than those few days, I've been extremely productive and busy just getting things done. 

One of the main highlights for the month of August was my trip to Christchurch. We've also had a few warmer days this month, which has been fantastic. It's also been great to spend some quality time in the office, getting things completed. 

I only have three favourites this month, which I hope you're completely okay with. I'm not going to have an extensive list of favourites every month, I just don't think that's realistic. You can always follow me on social media if you're looking for more of a peek into the day-to-day part of my life. 

The colder the weather, the drier my skin. Regardless of the scent, all Body Shop Body Butter are incredible. They provide an incredible hydration and leave the skin feeling not only hydrated but also soft and smooth. They have an amazing range of scents, there's something for everybody. Highly recommend! 

Radox have an amazing range of scents within there range. Each fragrance combination is created to transform your mood and to help you feel refreshed and invigorated. Their products are super moisturising and there bath salts and soaks are also up there with some of my favourites. Highly recommend checking them out, they have a huge range of high quality products. 

I won't say much because I do a full review of this book later in September but just know that this book is incredibly inspiring. The authors are amazing women themselves and I just wish a book like this existed when I was growing up. Again, highly recommend but keep a look out next month for my full review. 

B x

27 August 2017

Reading Material: August 2017

Photo Credit To: Crew on Unsplash

August has been a very interesting month and very busy but none the less, I still managed to finish probably one of the most inspiring books I've read this year and what makes it that little more special is that it's written by 19 New Zealander. 

What Cancer Taught Me, Jake Bailey 
"Jake Bailey's inspirational end-of-year speech as head boy at Christchurch Boys' High School was delivered from a wheelchair just one week after he was diagnosed with the most aggressive of cancers. As he lay in hospital fight to stay alive, his speech grabbed headlines around the world. Jake's cancer, and that speech, became the start of a bigger journey that continues today. In this remarkably honest account of his illness, treatment and recovery, Jake shares all that the experience has taught him. His book is an uplifting call to action for people of all ages." 

This book is just an amazingly written book, easy to read yet it's so heartbreaking. It's an incredible account for what Jake has been through, let alone at such a young age. I think a lot of people could learn a thing or two from this book. 

Next Magazine, June 2017
I'm a bit late with this one, but this is what I took with my while traveling earlier this month. It had some really amazing articles in it and I really enjoyed reading it. 

I'm thinking my next read with be, 'Twelve Years a Slave' by Solomon Northup but Im fully aware how heavy this read will be so maybe it's not something I'll reach for at the moment, I'll keep you updated! 

B x

24 August 2017

Obvious Signs You're Working Too Much

It's not just me right? I'll admit that I'm the worse people for working too much and I know I'm not the only one. It takes to be able to recognise and acknowledges the signs you're working before you can even think about changing your work life balance. This is something I'm actively in the process of trying to change and I encourage you all to as well. 

You're Laptop Will Feel Like A Limb
I even take my laptop with me to breakfast. So when I'm sitting down to have my breakfast in the morning, I'm usually checking emails. You'd think I can't focus on a single thing at once. 

You'll Make Excuses Not To Hangout Because You Still Have Things To Do
I'm definitely guilty of doing this so don't be ashamed if you do this either. 

Your Brain Has Stopped Working. All Ideas Have Ceased
Mind fog has arrived and you're basically a robot? I've been there and done that for sure. 

Your Dreams Are Filled With Work
Because of course, there is nothing better than being at work. Except when you're starting to dream about it.

You Spend Your Free Time Scheduling Work
You have to be on top of your game 24/7 right? Even on your days off. 

You Wake Up On Your Day Off In Cold Sweats Thinking You Missed Your Alarm
It's actually Saturday but you don't remember until you're half-way through putting your trousers on. 

At some point I think we're all guilty of spending too much time working opposed to spending time with ourselves as well as friends and families. It's really important to spend quality time with those we love just as much as it is important to spend time with ourselves and looking after ourselves. 

B x

22 August 2017

Style Staple: White Converse

Converse and I have a bit of a history. I remember begging my parents for a pair of the Converse All Star Hi Plimsolls in Black, in fact if I remember correctly I think I've had two pairs of these in the past. I also remember having a pair Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Black Mono Trainers. And while I loved both pairs of shoes, my love for Converse had kind of dwindled until I recently picked up a pair of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core White Ox Trainers

I don't think I've ever been so happy with how well one pair of shoes can go with so many outfits. They're a little chicer than your normal sports trainer and I find them just as comfortable. 

B x

20 August 2017

3 Things I Never Wanted To Love, Now I'm Obsessed

I'm a pretty sceptical person and when it comes to making decisions I put a lot of thought into it and really make sure its something I want. I'll think about all the pros and cons, and think about how what ever the product may be, will benefit me and my life. It's not always a negative thing, I just don't tend to feed into all the hype and tend to always ask a million questions. And there are definitely some things that I'm not so quick to believe in but here we are with three things I was very sceptical to start with, and now I'm obsessed. 

I don't think I need to say much about this game other than the fact that I first heard of this app a good few years ago, so before it became the hype and everyone started doing sponsorships with the company. Looking back now, I'm not really sure why I was so sceptical about Bestfiends, maybe because it looked so similar to Candy Crush and the hype over that game was ridiculous. For whatever reason, I downloaded the game and I soon released that the concept and objective behind the game was completely different to Candy Crush. It's probably one of my favourite games that I have on my phone and it's definitely the one I've kept going back to without getting bored of it. 

Fitness and Sleep Trackers
I use to be the proud owner of a FitBit, in fact I've had three in the past but that's a story in itself. Before I got one of my own I didn't really understand the hype about tracking your steps, your sleep, how many calories you've burned or whatever. I use to just go workout and that would be that, and it was the same with my sleep. I knew that I was roughly sleeping 8 hours and that was good enough for me. But then someone gifted me my first FitBit and I very quickly became obsessed. The only difference is that now I track both my fitness and sleep on my Apple Watch rather than a FitBit. Tracking my fitness and sleep has been great for me to keep a more in-depth knowledge and awareness of body. 

Bullet Journaling 
You all know how much I love organisation, routines and just being hands on creative. I was very sceptical about bullet journaling to start with because it didn't make sense to me why you'd spend more time planning and organising than you would actually doing the things on your to do list. But with that being said, bullet journaling is my chosen method of organisation along with a few apps on my phone as well. The one person who converted me to bullet journaling was Kara Benz, I'll link her blog, here, where you'll find all her social media links including YouTube and her Etsy shop. 

B x

17 August 2017

Everyday Makeup Products

I love a good ole everyday makeup look. I don't wear makeup everyday but on the days that I do wear makeup, I like to use super natural products and these are some of the products I've been reaching for as of late. 

I've mentioned this product before and I think the biggest thing I love about is how full coverage and buildable it is but at the same time it's very light on the skin. I can use it under my eyes or to spot conceal. It blends beautifully and is great for everyday wear.

I'm going to keep this short. It's a gorgeous natural bronzer which blends incredibly, and a product that I think will be a staple everyday makeup product for a while. 

If I remember correctly this mascara was one of the first I ever owned. I decided to pick one up recently because I was interested to see if it was as good as it was when I first started using it. Turns out it's still pretty good but I wasn't surprised because Maybelline have a fantastic range of mascaras. The formula isn't clumpy and the unique brush helps cover all lashes. The brush is also a great size for coating your lower lashes too.

I wasn't going to mention this product because I talk about it quite regularly but it felt weird not mentioning a brow product. Hopefully I find a new brow product that I enjoy using just as much as this one but until then this brow kit is staying a solid staple. I love how pigmented the product is but I also really love how bendable it is. It's definitely one of those products I reach for because I know I can trust it. 

B x

15 August 2017

Review: Wild Ferns Manuka Honey Intensive Refining Eye Cream

I mentioned in my 'In Depth Skincare Routine', linked here, that I had started using the Wild Ferns Manuka Honey Intensive Refining Eye Cream and that it has quickly become a staple product in my routine. I thought I would do a quick review and give you some more information on the product itself. 

"This intensive eye cream containing premium certified Manuka Honey 80+ has been specially formulated to be used around the eye area to hydrate, brighten and soothe the skin. Reship, Borage, Wheatgerm and Hazelnut oils will soothe and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while vitamins A, C and E provide high antioxidants which will help stimulate collagen production." 

That product description sold me on the product right away. It claimed to do everything I wanted in an eye cream, hydrating, brightening and soothing. I was pleasantly surprised when I started using this product, it definitely met the exceptions I had. It's super hydrating and soothing which helps with an puffiness under the eyes. I'm not a hundred perfect sure how I feel about the brightening quality of the product, but the doesn't bother me too much, the hydrating and soothing qualities are really what I was looking for. 

I don't think an eye cream has to be a staple product in a skincare routine for a 19-year-old like myself but my under eye area was starting to get super dry, it was uncomfortable, and makeup never  applied as smoothly compared to when I am using the eye cream. 

B x

13 August 2017

Therapy & What It Taught Me

I never thought I would be sitting down to write this post. Therapy wasn't a decision I made lightly, in  fact it terrified me. I never use to be one to talk about my feelings, so the idea of talking to a stranger about my struggles wasn't something I was looking forward to, but they told me it would help.

I've had my fair share of therapists and for the most part we just didn't connect. I was offered the opportunity through the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board to talk with a therapist who works within the Mental Health and Addiction Community in Nelson. It was one of the best things I've ever done for myself. For a full year I was able to meet with my therapist at least once every month but if I was struggling then sometimes twice a month.

A year of intense therapy, tears and laughter, taught me that regardless of how I'm feeling, my feelings are valid. It taught me that while I care about my friends and family, I need to put myself first. It taught me how to separate my personal life from my working life. It made me aware of what my needs were and helped me develop a daily routine that worked best for me. But most of all, it helped me grow as an individual and I can't thank my therapist enough for helping guide me along the way.

There is no shame in talking to someone and seeking help from others. When seeking help from professionals, it can be disheartening when you can't find someone you connect with but I promise you, you will and when you do you won't look back. I encourage everyone to talk about how they're feeling, whether that's to someone professional or not. It may not seem like it now, but it's so worth it.

Now that I've finished therapy, for now anyway, I'm taking what I've learnt and applying to life along with taking the right steps to ensure that my mind set stays as positive as possible. With that being said, we all have bad days and we just have to embrace them.

B x

10 August 2017

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag

I have another travel post for you all. This one is specifically about the makeup that I'm taking with me on my trip to Christchurch. I'm going to leave every product linked but you can find my opinion of a few of these products in 'My Current Five' post linked here. The majority of the products I'm taking with me are those that I've talked about before so they are very much loved and trusted. I'll also be doing an 'Everyday Makeup Routine' post later in the month which will feature some of these products I use on more of an everyday basis for a minimal look. 









B x

8 August 2017

What I Pack For Carry On Luggage

I'm so thrilled to be taking a week off to head down to Christchurch to spend time with my family and a few close friends. I haven't spend a lot of quality time with them this year and although I've seen them and spent time with them, it hasn't always been in the best circumstances. 

Because I'm flying down to Christchurch I though I would talk through some of the items I take with me in  my carry on luggage. I do also have my handbag with me at all times so in there I have the basic things like my phone, wallet and airline tickets. The flight is roughly an hour, so not a very long flight at all but because I have the worst anxiety when it comes to flying, a lot of these products are for comfort and piece of mind. 

I do the flight to Christchurch and back very regularly and I enjoy having something to listen to throughout the journey. Podcasts are probably my favourite to listen to because most of my favourite Podcasts are roughly 40 minutes to a hour long, so they're the perfect length. Audio books and music are also other great options for things you could listen to on a flight. 

Book or Magazine
If I choose not to listen to a Podcast I'll have a book or a magazine in my hand. Again, this is just another way I choose to distract myself and hopefully make the flight go a little quicker. 

I don't ever use my laptop while on this particular flight. For some reason I don't like the thought of my laptop being in my checked luggage so I take it with me in my carry on. It's one of those piece of mind things. 

I'll always have a jumper with me especially when flying to Christchurch at this time of the year because it's normally a lot colder down there than it is here. But again, it also can be a comfort thing too. 

Water Bottle
The flight attendants usually offer us water but I just like to have my own bottle handy for whenever I might need it. 

Lip Balm
Flying does this terrible thing to my skin where it like to pull all the moisture out and dry it out to the max. Not great where your skin is already dehydrated thanks to the cold weather, but we deal with it. Dry lips are super uncomfortable and it's just nice to have a lip balm handy if you need it. 

Hand Cream 
Something I don't use specifically on the flight but it is great to have handy for when you arrive and get off the plane. Again, the cold weather and my skin don't agree, so it's important for me to have hand cream accessible. 

B x

6 August 2017

My Current Five

As I was going through my makeup collection to find my July beauty favourites, it dawned on me that I had done an everyday look post for awhile. In this post I thought I would go into slightly more detail about my current five staple products in my routine and then later in the month I'll do a full post on every product that I've been using in my everyday makeup routine.

A few of the products I'm going to mention also featured in my July favourites, so I'll leave that linked here if you'd like to check that out.

Bourjois Bronzing Powder
I was pleasantly surprised when I first used this product. It applies and blends beautifully to the skin leaving a super natural finish. I was in need of a new bronzer so I'm happing I finally got round to adding it to my makeup collection.

Maybelline Master Conceal 
The coverage this product has is amazing. It blends seamlessly and is great for covering any dark circles which is typically what I use it for but it would also be great for covering any imperfections. The Maybelline Master Conceal is definitely my current favourite drugstore concealer.

Maybelline Brow Drama
My brows have a mind of there own and in the past I've struggled to find a product that will hold them in place all day long but also still leave them looking somewhat natural. The Maybelline Brow Drama holds my brows in place while leaving them looking natural. I love how this product isn't streaky, it doesn't clump and it doesn't add that terrible crispy look to you brows. I opted for a pigmented brow gel which adds a subtle tint to your brows but is definitely buildable if you're wanted something more bold.

Revlon Ultra Volume Mascara
Revlon have brought out a collection of mascara which are specifically formulated for a variety of different looks. There are six different mascaras in the collection varying from mascaras for length, volume and definition. I picked up the Revlon Ultra Volume Mascara because who doesn't love a little extra volume. This mascara, very quickly, became a staple in my makeup collection. It just beautiful and if the other five mascaras are anything like the Ultra Volume one, Revlon has hit the nail on the head.

Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher
Now this isn't a product I would've picked up myself but it was gifted to me so I gave it ago and turns out it's a fantastic product. It's a sheer, translucent shade which eliminates shine and sets makeup. When I read that it sets makeup I was a little sceptical because don't all powders set makeup? So I put it to the test one day. I was just getting over a cold so I had snot for Africa and knew I would be needing to blow my nose often. I did my usual face makeup and set that with the Revlon ColourStay Pressed Powder in Translucent and then went over my t-zone and around my nose with the Translucent Finisher. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that blowing my nose didn't remover any of the makeup around my nose. That was definitely the point I fell in love with this product and knew that it would be favourite.

B x

3 August 2017

Mid Week Refresh and Restart

Pamper days are some of my favourite days and these usually happen on the weekends for me, just because that's when I have a little more free time. However, sometimes I get to the middle of a week and I just feel completely overwhelmed, unproductive, unmotivated and exhausted. To me this is a clear sign that I need to take a day for myself, and below I'm going to mention the eight things I do for myself in a mid-week refresh and restart pamper. 

Hair Wash
Some of you may know that the length of my hair is slightly ridiculous. Washing it is a massive task on its own, let alone having to brush and then wait for it to dry natural. On a pamper day, I have more time to pay attention to my hair and plus fresh, newly washed hair makes me feel amazing although the process it slight crazy. On days that aren't specifically designated for pamper routines, I wash my hair at night when I have a little more free time. 

Scrub & Shave
I feel like this is an obvious one but maybe it's not? Exfoliating my skin with my favourite body scrub and then shaving, makes my skin feel more awake and fresh. 

This next step goes hand in hand with the one above. After exfoliating and shaving the best thing you can do is moisturise your body. My current favourite body moisturiser at the moment has to be, The Body Shop Body Butters. They have a variety of beautiful scents and the one I'm using at the moment is in the Papaya scent and it is probably up there with one of my favourite scents from the Body Shop. 

Deep Cleanse
This could be too much information, but my skin does incredibly gunky so with exfoliating it regularly, I often like to  do a deep cleanse. Again, this step leaves me feeling fresh, awake and rejuvenated. It's also just really nice to know that I'm doing something great for my skin. 

Face Mask
One of my favourite things is a good ole face mask. Depending on how my skin is feeling on the day, will depend on the kind of face mask I reach for. Generally it'll either be something purifying or moisturising. I'll link my 'In-Depth Skincare Routine' here if you're interested in more information about the types of face masks I'm enjoying at the moment. 

Makeup Brush Cleanse
Another thing that I don't particularly enjoy doing and can take up a lot of time but has to be done, is cleaning my makeup brushes. I'll normally put on my favourite film or TV show, and deep clean my makeup brushes. Using a freshly clean makeup brush on your skin has to be the best feeling so a part of me wishes I clean my brushes more often but another part of me just doesn't like the amount of time it takes! Pamper days are perfect for brush cleaning, because I have a little extra time on my hands. 

Candles are my favourite way to set the mood in a room, especially in the Winter. They add a warm, calming feeling which is exactly what a like on a pamper day. Plus, you can get some really beautiful candle scents which can make your home just smell  bloody delicious. 

Early Night
For me, an early night is a given on a pamper day. It's important for me to get at least eight hours of sleep to even be the slightest bit productive the following day. I think we all underestimate the power of sleep, how amazing it can make us feel and how productive it can make us. 

B x 

1 August 2017

Starbucks, Road Trips and Tattoos

The purpose of my blog is for me to be able to share my life, the good and the bad. I've always said that my blog is place where you'll find a variety of content and this post is about the time I spent with my best friend a few weeks ago. It was the week I was desperately waiting to have off, as the week before was the settlement of my Grandparents house, see post here. 

I want this post to be a compilation of pictures from our week, something we can both look back on. We went into the city purely for Starbucks three days in a row, we did some serious shopping and went on a road trip, where Ash got her first tattoo. It was a jam packed week but we still managed to have some down time, and most importantly have amazing time together. 

Ash, if you're reading this, thank you for coming to stay and thank you for being the amazing best friend you are. 

B x