Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom I - You Will Always Look Lovely

This here is the quote that I plastered on my Instagram bio, and that I remember everyday when I'm challenged by life with someone who annoys me, with something not going the way I planned, with times when I feel blue.

It's important to remember the magic of life, and to remember that silly little quote that holds a great deal of resonance: "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

I'm known for being the 'positive' and 'airy-fairy' one of my friendship group, and have had that kind of title since I was very's draining to pretend you're happy all the time, but honestly all up until the end of Year 12 I felt that I had a facade to keep up here - and it made me resent it. It made me resent the different moods that others seemed to be able to experience throughout the day, getting mad at someone one minute, crying the next, and then being friends with them by the time the end-of-school-time bell rang. And then I remembered that it's your thoughts that dictate how you feel and how you appear to others.

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

I've grown to love my airy-fairy-ness (if we can call that a word haha) but at the same time I've learned more about how I actually feel by analysing my thoughts - and I'm not always happy. I've grown closer to my friends because I've opened up more about vulnerability and hurt, instead of being all bubbles and laughter, though I suppose that's what the quote is advocating to an extent.

Be a ray of sunshine and others will be attracted to that. It's not always true. Of course, nobody likes a negative Nelly, but no one can feel intimately close to you unless you open up...and become more human, I suppose.

For now, I'm keeping that quote in my mind, as I adore it, and adore the idea of someone who is eternally happy and fun, but I'm also keeping in mind the reality of the idea of eternal happiness - it's not real, but that doesn't mean we can't strive for it. xx

Friday, September 25, 2015

Peacock Cupcakes

Who else spends their rainy days making fondant animals (albeit, creepy fondant animals) on cupcakes? No one? Just me?

^This one's name is Freddie :)

I've always been into baking, and watching baking shows (Cake Boss or The Great British Bake-Off, anyone?) and dabbling in a bit of ~ amateur ~ cake decorating is a fun way to spend an afternoon, trust me.

If you're interesting in making these *ahem* peacock cupcakes, then you'll need some cupcakes (obviously), some buttercream coloured literally any colour you like, some toothpicks, some fondant, some mini coloured chocolate drops, some dragees (for the eyes) and a piping bag with a star nozzle attached.

Pipe your buttercream in single dollops, literally up and down, on your cooled cupcake to make a pretty effect all over the top of the cupcake.

Next, colour your fondant with food colouring (yes, this does get messy!) and shape small bits into a sort of J shape for the head, before sticking onto the butter creamed cupcake. If you don't have a helped, maybe make these heads first, just so your buttercream doesn't dry before you have a change to finish the cupcake!

Either change coloured-buttercream, or stay the same as the base colour, and pipe a cute little collar around the peacock's head. We chose grass green, for some reason. It really looks like the Loch Ness monster is popping his head out of a field of grass, to be honest... Onwards and upwards!

Using your fondant again, shape tiny little balls and form them each onto a toothpick, before placing the toothpicks on the back of the cupcake to make the beautiful tail of the peacock. I'll admit, if I were a peacock, I'd be pretty blasé about my attempt to capture the beauty and colour of the tail, plus more little balls would have looked better. Unfortunately, people don't like to spend half their time picking out toothpicks, so if anyone has a better idea as to how to make the tail, I'd love to hear it!!!

Finally, drop some dragees for the eyes, and pop some coloured chocolate chips to add a splash of much needed colour.

Et voila! They do look a tad creepy all en masse...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Day in the Life III

1. With hot days and a lovely balcony to sit on, strawberry frozen yoghurt is a must!
2. Cuddles and walks with friends (of the dog and human variety)
3. Dancing and twirling under gorgeous fairy lights at dinner.
4. A lovely cocktail and catch up with an old friend xx

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Busy Bee

I wonder if we’ll ever feel like we’ve done enough. I’m sitting here typing away my (probably waffle-y) thoughts and I’m exhausted. I pretty much have one day off a week, with that one day off being used not only to catch up with friends, but also to study. Does study really constitute a day off?

I’m not writing this to whinge. I just want to highlight something that’s been darting in and out of my mind as I balance (like so many other people) the worries and responsibilities of work and university, with friendships, relaxation, exercise and health. Struggle is the only word I can really think of at this moment.

Yet when an opportunity to add something more to our plate is offered, we jump at the chance...or else feel we can’t say no. Recently, I not only had to work a full day, coach a new co-worker, and study when I came home, but I was also called during the day to re-do all the rosters for the next two weeks (involving phone calls, furious scribbling down of days of availability, in between customer service and sales).

We spend all day trying to do our best, pleasing others, and straining to remain light-hearted amongst it all. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve certainly failed to see the silver lining this past week, with added pressures suggesting that I’m falling out or rather drifting from old friends. It hurts. And it’s got a lot to do with over-exerting myself.

Even to people whom I normally share everything with, there’s a sense of ‘everybody’s been there’ and ‘this is what real life is like, darling’. I struggle to accept that this is what my life will be like though. I’m not here talking about balancing work and life, or else responsibilities over fun, or even talking about being busy in general. That is a concept I’ve understood for a long time. No, what I mean is I find it hard to think that this little rut I’m in because of stresses in my work, uni and social life, are stresses I have to bear for life, just because ‘it’s what everyone does’. I want a life that makes me feel weightless and free, with a sense of purpose and direction, but also the leeway to make changes and set my mind to a project and go at it because I’m passionate about it. I have to keep that in mind. I have to remember to step back every now and then, let go (responsibly and when the time is right) of some things taking up my days that drain me, and restore the balance in me that makes me feel right.

It’s food for thought – and something I hope every keeps in mind. Being busy and accepting that life is full of things that you don’t want to do isn’t what you have to deal with. Make changes, and do you for once xx 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Les Miserables

I find that there's something so exciting, so thrilling, about going to the theatre and watching amazing talent sing, dance and act their way into the audience's hearts.

Of course, The Lion King remains firmly in my favourite ever theatre production spot (coveted position I know hehe) but I'd have to say Les Mis and its enchanting songs really moved me and made me crave an encore performance.

Les Mis is currently on in its final weeks at The Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and so armed with some very Les Mis-savvy friends, I finally went to see the performance. And my oh my I loved it!

I haven't actually watched the movie yet (it's on my to-do list I swear!) and so I wasn't expecting anything in particular. While I loved the musical live, my companions all agreed that the movie was better. But hey, critics, right!

Not only are the performances thrilling and break the fourth wall to really connect with audiences, but the sets are absolutely incredible, with fascinating characters and the plot captivatingly from sad to hilarious to heartfelt.

A definite must-do in Sydney, before it ends.

p.s. not sponsored

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Natio...and a Skin Talk

Hello my lovelies! The sun is shining, I'm currently sat on my balcony typing away with my dog at my feet and the newly-found knowledge that our beautiful flowering tree is actually a Yoshino Cherry Blossom.

All this bountiful Spring energy is loosening me up a little, and I think it's high time I write about something that's been bothering me quite a bit skin.

All through my teenage years I hardly had any trouble at all with pimples or acne. A little spot here or there but they quickly went away. I was known for having clear skin when the rest of my grade was struggling with redness and low skin self esteem.

Yet here I am, officially 20 years old, and my skin seems to have taken a turn for the worst. Especially around my chin and lips, spreading up towards my cheeks. I was so confused when this started happening - at first I put it down to hormones, but as the weeks passed I realised I had not been taking proper care of my skin.

I wrote about the beautiful Sukin products I used daily here, but I must admit, I was hardly using the products consistently. I definitely use the moisturiser daily, but not so much the cleanser, as I usually keep it for when I've been wearing make-up. This 'routine' if you can call it that, was not working.

Enter Natio: an exfoliating scrub with jojoba beads used 2-3 times per week in order to clear the skin of impurities. I've always been super wary of using exfoliating scrubs...I'm worried they'll irritate the skin rather than revive it. But, never having dealt with this sort of problem before, I thought, what the hell, and gave it a try.

I would never lie on my blog, and really, sometimes it's more of a personal log for me to look back on. As soon as I used the product for a week, my skin began to clear. The little spots weren't reappearing or taking on new forms - instead, they were fading into scars from my poor care of them, and eventually, I hope, will disappear forever.

Natio leaves your skin feeling supple and clean - a feeling I really missed.

Here's to better skin, ladies xx

p.s. this post is NOT sponsored :)
p.p.s. Do you spot the Burt's Bees Pomegranate lip balm? I tried it after my beloved grapefruit one ran out, but I think they hit the mark with the pomegranate smell - not appealing at all. Where's my grapefruit!?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Edmonds and Greer

When the weather begins to warm up, and two hellish weeks of assessments at uni die down, there's not better place to be on a Thursday morning than at brunch with an old friend...or at least, no place I'd rather be hehe.

So, I took to the suburbs last week for a much-needed catch-up with my friend, D, and she and I went to an old favourite, Edmonds and Greer.

The cafe/gift-shop (omg amazing candles there!) is usually chock full of people, but being early on a weekday we were guaranteed a seat inside as the chilly Winter air still clung about slightly.

The place is buzzing with energy, and yes, that is an antique table laden with homemade cakes and creams! As much as sweets tempt me, I know I need something a *little* healthier for the morning, and so I opted for the bircher muesli, while D went for French toast with mascarpone.

And, as much as I am a firm tea drinker, there's nothing better than the mason-jar-juices from E&D. I decided on a yogi-style Green Power juice, while my lovely friend went for the Karmarama. I was sooooooo very tempted to go for the 'Radical', which has possibly every ingredient I've ever heard of, including elderberry and blackberry extracts, but it sounded a little much for me.

No trip to Edmonds and Greer is complete without a nosy peep through the wonderful gift shop, with beautiful crafted soaps and candles, and of course, a muffin as you stomp through the door to the rest of your day xx

* not sponsored, just love the place!