I’d been meaning to write about this kitchen hack I did as Nate’s birthday present ages ago but I kept losing parts and therefore putting it off. If you’re a mother you know it’s basically impossible to keep all the parts of a toy together for an extended period of time. Unless you’re one of those ziplock-bag-and-labelled types… in that case, I am sorry for being unworthy of your presence cos I’ve lost pots and pans and spoons and the batteries ran out in that time…
I’m carrying on nevertheless, otherwise I’ll never post this. Or something’s gonna break. Here we go.
So this is the IKEA Duktig I got from TradeMe – there’s a bunch of IKEA sellers on there. The one I got, the seller was selling this kitchen set the cheapest at the time AND it included shipping ($280 at the time). And yep, I’m well aware it’s only USD$99 in the States. We may as well be on the moon for how much we pay to get stuff shipped here.
Anywho. I chose this lil baby over other toy kitchens I had seen cos HELLO LIGHT UP ELEMENTS. All the heart eyes, am I right?
I did consider spraypainting the whole thing white, adding white subway tiles, spraypainting the hardware gold and covering the benchtop with either marble or wood duraseal, but Benji’s at a chompy age… nothing is safe. He would eat the hardware/paint I’m sure of it.
So regrettably letting go of that daydream, I settled for a simple tweak of just adding a tiled splashback and push lights.
I got the lights from Bunnings (3 pack for $9.95, comes with batteries). They’re slightly triangular in shape so I angled the lights so that a flatter side faced outwards (so you can’t really tell they’re triangular from the front). They just stick on and you press them to turn them on or off.
I got the tiles from Mitre10 Mega (linked to different coloured version) – they’re actually just stick on tiles. I’m rubbing my eyes in disbelief at the moment cos I paid $33 for a pack of 4… it currently says it’s only $14.88 for a pack? Maybe there’s limited colours available… back when I bought these they had these grey mosaic tiles, white subway tiles, silvery subway tiles and a couple more colours for this mosaic style.
Anyway, I bought some cheap board, cut it to size, then methodically stuck on the tiles. I had to use all 4 – 3 for the bulk of it, the last one for scraps to fill in the bottom.
Then I just staple-gunned the whole thing to the back of the kitchen.
The silver kitchenware set (pots/pans/utensils) were from Mighty Ape – the kids have misplaced one of the pans. All the utensils minus the mini whisk (kmart) and the wooden items were part of the set.
The lil silver flour cannister and creamer were from a local Japanese dollar store. The marble coaster is part of a set from Kmart. The lil egg cup and salt shaker were part of a wooden breakfast set on clearance from The Warehouse but I’ve since seen it sold at Nood. The lil plant in faux stone square pot (it’s some soft squidgy material) was from Bed Bath ‘n’ Table.
The coffee set is actually part of Fisherprice’s new-ish wooden range – I’ve only ever seen it in one Toy World, ages ago, but I’ve seen NZsale stock it on their website several times – just gotta keep an eye out.
The mini wooden fruit set is from Kmart (the basket and silver tray is from the dollar store).
The linen napkin (used as a tea towel here) was actually something I found in a quaint little linen shop in a wee corner of Avignon. I’m so fond of it and the memories tied to it. I bought 6 of them and considered bringing home a table cloth and some curtains as well but Wayne was like LOL NO.
It’s hard to find non-flowery, non-pink tea or dinnerware sets for kids, so I settled on this very breakable but at least, plain, ceramic tea set from Kmart. It’s plain cos it’s one of those paint-your-own tea sets (comes with 4 sets of cups and saucers – the other 2 are in storage in case these ones are broken hahaha).
The little frame is from Bed Bath ‘n’ Table. The faux succulent was from a dollar store. The boys cologne was bought for Nate by a dear friend and it’s from Zara – it smells amazing.
I bought some stick on mini hooks from the dollar store and put a hook on either side of the kitchen. This side has a baby calendar so Nate sort of gets an idea of what’s going on. For the other side I had intended on sewing him his own lil linen apron but I haven’t got round to it yet.
That’s it! Phew. I’m so glad this is over with hahaha. Now I can lose utensils and break the lights in peace.
If you’d told me last year, that 2017 would be the start of a ‘new year, new me,’ I would’ve laughed in your face. No no, I’m kidding; I would’ve politely smiled and said, “Naw, that’s wonderfully ambitious!” and in my head, laugh maniacally cos I’m about as sloth-y as they come.
My, how the tables have turned.
Me and fad diets go way back. I wasn’t ever overweight, but at 159cm and 55kg, I was definitely… ‘solid’ during my high school years. I distinctly remember my aunt telling me that I needed to lose 2kg to look prettier and that number has been burned into my brain like a cow tat. What are they actually called? Brands? Cow brand? Poked with a hot pokey cow poke?? Cow tattoo. You know what I mean.
Anyway. High schoolers be impressionable right? So I tried drinking nothing but protein shakes cos I read somewhere that that’s what Nicole Richie did and she’d lost only 5kg, but it’d made a huge difference in her appearance cos she’s short like me? Problem was, I’d binge on ramen after I couldn’t take it anymore after a day of watery vanilla protein shakes. Ew.
I’d read about celebrities eating only lettuce or kumara. Or remember how the Atkin’s diet was big for ages?? Ugh. Seriously, my silly teenaged brain was so vulnerable to all these unhealthy influences.
Anyway, my point? Even if I reached my goal of losing 2kg, I always put it straight back on, sometimes more, once I couldn’t cope on said fad diet anymore. It just wasn’t sustainable.
During university and after some trying times, my weight went completely the other way – 45kg at my lowest point, mentally and physically (life kicked me in the metaphorical balls hah) – but since then, and since I perked back up, I’ve always been around 50-52kg (not including pregnancies), and I’ve been completely happy with my size for the past 8 years. Sure I was never ripped or super toned, but I was ok with that.
Also, I hate exercise. There was a time when I couldn’t make it up the ramp at Coundown without getting puffed. I’m quite petite when you consider the global spectrum, so a lot of people automatically assume I’m healthy and fit, but actually I’m surprisingly unfit. And weak. I’ve always had very low blood pressure and low iron levels so that kinda gives you an idea into the inner workings of this lil boy-looking body.
Since the beginning of this year, Husband started counting every single calorie after about the millionth time I noted his gluttony when it came to meals. With our Fiji holiday coming up, he thought he’d make it his goal to lose the Dad Bod by then. And me being super-awesome-encouraging-wifey-supreme, I started portioning our dinners as all the health textbooks say: smaller dinner plate than your restaurant-standard (cos they’re HUGE) with 1/2 veg, 1/4 protein and 1/4 carbs.
For the first 2 weeks we were so damn hungry. We had to top ourselves up at around 8pm with some yoghurt and fruit to curb them hunger pangs I tell ya. Ugh. Bit of a drag. But cos we were both in it together (I didn’t have any goals; just wanted to support the hubs and be healthier), it was a bit like that whole misery shared thing, which we all know, is… misery halved? Hmm… isn’t it technically doubled in total? Or at least 25% more that you’d feel if you’re sharing all venn-diagram-like? Whatever. I digress.
Fast-forward 5 months, we still portion our food the same way.
Our stomachs got used to the new, smaller portions so the hunger pangs went away eventually. First 2 weeks were the hardest. But now it’s just part of our lifestyle. Being in it together means we hold each other accountable. No scoffing an entire bag of chips every few nights a week!! No more cheese, wine and crackers every other night!!
I admit, there are still times that I indulge terribly (eg. half a block of camembert, whole bag of Starburst Snakes…) but I don’t punish myself for it after or lose hope that that’s me officially ‘off the wagon.’ I just rein it in after, carry on with my new ‘normal.’ It’s a small but effective mental shift that I feel has had the biggest impact on how I live my life.
I’ve also made a smidge more of an effort to be fitter – walking the dog more, walking to my mum’s house instead of taking the car (she’s literally a few hundred metres down the road)… I’ve also been going to dance fitness once a week for a couple of years now (minus late pregnancy and newborn stage).
But I hate running and I hate dedicated exercise. As in, weights, crunches, push ups, planking, lunges, squats etc. I run on the odd occasion (say, during holidays or wedding season, or even winter, when the calorie consumption goes through the roof), but I never enjoy it. I hate it. Every second of it. But to compensate for bonus calories in a bit of long stretch, I know I need to balance it with some extra calorie-burning. Makes sense. It’s basic math; addition and subtraction.
Also in the past few weeks, I’ve attempted to lower my sugar and dairy intake – for the sake of my skin this time, as hormonal acne is a bitch of a problem that I can’t remedy with drugs cos I’m still nursing the little one. So I’ve swapped regular milk for soy, almond or rice milk; I have dairy-free yoghurt in the fridge; I’m trying to eventually make my way to completely sugar-free dark chocolate (baby steps; for the moment, it’s still Whittaker’s, which is high cal’s but not as yummy as their regular creamy milk choc so I’m not tempted to eat half a block in one sitting hahaha).
So far, Husband has lost around 8kgs. Using the MyFitnessPal app, he input his height, weight, usual amount of daily activity and goal to lose weight, and it told him in order to be in a calorie deficit at the end of each day, he needed to consume 1800cal’s. It was pretty painless for him cos the app allows you to scan barcodes at the supermarket and it spits out all the calorie info, right there and then. He still gets to enjoy Maccas, Dominos, Burger Fuel, you name it. So long as he’s under 1800 by the end of the day, he’s sweet.
I personally don’t weigh myself unless I’ve been asked to by the doctor’s, or it’s been a few months and I’m just curious, but last I checked I’ve lost around 2-3kg’s (so around 48-49kg now) unintentionally since we started eating better. My goal was never to lose weight as I thought I was at a good weight anyway and I don’t mind if I gain a bucket-load (as long as I see a bucket-load more definition hehe). I’m not sure if I’m technically in the ‘healthy’ range for BMI anymore but that’s a load of bull anyhow. Just a very rough guideline – nothing to take to heart. It’s more telling to have your fat pinched by a doc with one of them fat pinchy grabbers… jargon. It’s beyond me today.
So yeah. Even without any major change to the physical activity, I’ve somehow achieved more definition. I don’t think I’ve seen my abs since I was 7. All through a healthier diet apparently.
Anyway. Here’s my usual daily consumption.
Toast with Pic’s PB, quarter of a banana, teaspoon of flaxseed
Toast with pesto, roast chicken, red onion, pepper
Toast with pesto, roast chicken, red onion, pepper
Rice/Noodles, with chicken/tuna, veg
or (in case of maj calories of late)
Salad with chicken/tuna
Rice/noodles, with protein (half steak/fried chicken & capsicum/roast chicken/fried fish), veggies
2-4 small squares of dark choc
Dairy-free yoghurt with flaxseed and cut fruit
NOTE: I know I need to eat more fruit. I hate fruit. I’m getting there.
I’m also trying to find a form of exercise I enjoy, to do in the earlier half of the week as currently, an hour of dance fitness on a Thursday night is all I do at the moment. I shall see what I can find. I hate yoga. I hate running. I do prefer dancing cos it’s not like exercise to me so I’ll see if I can find another class nearby and at a baby-in-bed time lol.
Eventually, my goal is to be stronger and way fitter and overall just a healthy lil human being (whatever the scales say). But as I said: baby steps. This sloth has come a long way already and now I gotta nap.
The first month of autumn has pretty much come and gone. And quite uncharacteristically, the chilly autumn weather burst through the door so suddenly and without warning… it wasn’t long ago that we had the fan on, the windows and doors wide open, or the AC on during some of those desperately sweltering, migraine-inducing, 30°+ days. I could’ve sworn in the past, our March’s have still been pretty nice??
Anyway. So to summarise my March 2017, here are some of my obsessions of late.
1. Eyebrow Tint
RiRe Luxe Gel Tatoo (lol… no spellcheck); $7.21, currently 60% off from Yesstyle; shade No.2 Grey Brown.
I got this to hopefully use when we go to Fiji in a couple of months – I don’t really wanna be filling in my brows every day and have it wash off in the pool.
I put aside an hour in the evening and apply the crazy dark and sticky gel, leave it for an hour, then peel. I take a bit of care to not scrub my brows or get it too soapy when I wash my face in the morning and night and it stays for a few days before it’s faded really noticeably 👌
2. Macqueen gel eyeliner
Macqueen waterproof gel eyeliner, $4.55, currently 60% off from Yesstyle, shade French Latte
Wow. It’s almost like a NARS Satin Lip Pencil but an eyeliner version: goes on like butter but once it dries it’s reasonably stay-put. By the end of the day it’s defo a lil faded but compared to other eyeliners (or even eyeshadows) I’ve used in the past, this one doesn’t crease as much. How is this possible?? And the shade I bought is like a gilded chocolate brown. I’m obsessed. I’m buying one in every colour next time😅
3. NYX Lip Lingerie in Bedtime Flirt
This was a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Normally I wouldn’t pay full price for anything at Farmers since they do sales so often, but on a whim (and a serious case of FOMO – everyone’s been using some form of liquid lipstick these days), I got this one for $18.45. So. Expensive. But the silver lining is that I LOVE IT and I’ve been using it everyday. I don’t really like how sticky it feels when it first goes on but you do eventually kind of forget about it. It’s staying power is reasonable and of course, the application is easy, seeing that it’s liquid. Overall, I prefer the non-stickiness and slightly superior staying power of my NARS lip crayons (and it’s ‘high-end’ badge of honour), but this is a solid ‘drugstore’ liquid lipstick.
4. Lush African Paradise body conditioner
I’ve been using this since the peak of summer but I feel its benefits will be appreciated even more come the chilly season when harsh heatpumps, the wind and the cold in general, make the skin on my legs resemble a desert.
The idea is to use it after washing yourself like you would a hair conditioner, but for your body. You’re supposed to rinse it off but I like to turn the water off completely once I’m done in shower, then generously apply the conditioner all over my body. The water that’s already on my skin makes the conditioner go milky and translucent and eventually seems to sorta just get soaked in mostly. I dab off the rest with my towel. No need for moisturiser after and I smell saaaaah gooood and I can’t help but rub my legs together like a creepo cos my skin’s all silky soft!! It is defo hubby-approved 😉 Like his hand just flies off me like a rogue skateboard on a half pipe cos I’m so smooth 😎
5. Affogato at home
If I’m out at dinner, my dessert of choice is either creme brulee or affogato. (I can’t stomach the overly sweet chocolate pudding with cream after such a big dinner 😝 )
I’ve had my coffee machine for a few years now and it never occurred to me that I could easily make affogato’s at home for some reason. Til husband one night was like ‘I wonder how many cal’s in a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream…’ (cos he’s on a less-than-2000cal-a-day diet) and I was like, ‘Boo, boring, how we can make it nicer-‘
* lightbulb on *
So, 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream, 1 square of Lindt milk chocolate (shaved and remainder as decoration), espresso shot poured on top… heaven. It’s like iced coffee; what’s not to love??
6. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Holy shit. MJ lives on. Serious 80s and early 90s vibes all throughout this album and I LOVE IT. OBSESSED.
Nate hates that it’s not the Wiggles but is starting to get fond of Straight Up and Down for the echos in the chorus (‘straight up~ straight up~’) 😆😂 And yes, I know the lyrics aren’t kiddie-appropriate, but you can’t tell me you understood ‘Wannabe’ when you were little hawhawhaw…
6. Live-action Beauty and the Beast
Eeeeeeeeeeek. That was my reaction (x100) when I found out they were making the movie. Finally, it’s almost here. I’m away when they start screening it here but I’ve pencilled in a girls’ night and we watching this. I mean come on. Hermione? Playing book-worm Belle?? It’s almost too perfect. Though, I did see a few trailers (by ‘a few,’ I mean ALL) and I wasn’t too impressed with her singing… seems they cast her cos… well, she’s Hermione, right? Everyone else holds their own regarding singing chops… and is it just me or does Gaston seem WAAAY too old for Belle? Is it cos Hermione has baby-face? Should I call her by her actual name? (No.)
What are some favourites for you lately? Anything new you’ve discovered that’s worthy of sharing? Even if you don’t think it’s worthy, share away! ‘Sharing is caring,’ as I tell my 4 year old 😀
Excuse me – this has taken a while. And now it seems irrelevant cos the weather’s turning hah. Anywho. Just picking up right where we left off (for sake of completion) with the staples in my mum uniform wardrobe…
Silk/linen tank tops
Tank tops are a simple, somewhat boring shape, but having it in an interesting texture like silk (for a more posh vibe) or linen (for a more relaxed vibe), gives it that extra something. If I’m leaving the house and can’t be bothered to put in any effort, I chuck on one of these tank tops and a cardi/jacket on top. It’s minimal effort but looks quite polished.
Witchery brings out plain silk tank tops pretty much season after season; I wait for their sales and thus, my collection is where it is.
Perfect with skinnies, tights and shorts. I tuck mine in the front a lil or tie a knot to give my frame a bit more definition.
Plain long-sleeved T’s
In grey, white, black and stripes. Bonus points for pockets.
If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ll often see me post about my fave basics brands on ShopBop – Free People is one of those brands. They mainly do boho/Coachella-esque/cool-kids type stuff, but they’ve got some neat basics too. It often goes on sale and especially during one of ShopBop’s many Friends & Family sales, you can get stuff dirt cheap.
For when you wanna look a lil smart. This is my last resort cos honestly I hate button ups. I surprisingly own a lot of button ups though ahaha. But they’re really great for when you need to peg back your super skimpy short-shorts or look a bit smarter. They look cool half tucked in and cuffs rolled up roughly. If you like em oversized like I do, find a way to add some definition to your frame either through skinny jeans, a belt or even pointy stilettos.
Handy for layering some warmth or adding a little bit of interest to an otherwise plain outfit. Also great for when your outfit is lookin’ a lil… shall we say… hookerish. Chuck a vest on top. Sussed. It’s been pegged back a tad.
Cos what else do you wear as a cover up when you don’t want to wear anything else? I own too many and in all shapes and sizes and colours… Currently, my Maison Scotch one is getting loads of wear for it’s metallic chunky-knit awesomeness. It has a sort of Serena van der Woodsen vibe in my eyes (xoxo fellow Gossip Girl fans!).
I know it’s a little laughable (like either go full blazer or full hoodie – what’s with the half-assedness?), but it’s bloody comfortable. And it’s sort of smart. Don’t wear it to the office though. It’s good for coffee dates, looking smart on a plane, looking tidy whilst running a billion errands with 2 kids in tow… but for the evening, go for a regular blazer yeah?
It’s like the blazer of rain coats. My current favourite is my tencil one (tencil is cousin of cupro and lyocell) in black from Shilla – I found it on NZSale for $30. I thrash this baby about. Looks kinda glam but it’s honestly like wearing a dressing gown. I repeat: IT’S LIKE WEARING A DRESSING GOWN. Mmmmmhm.
Like the hoodie of rain coats. Aaaand it’s black again. I do have a brown one and a thick khaki one, but my black one goes with everything and I don’t have to think twice. If it’s cold and/or raining, this is my go-to.
That’s it!! Phew. Made it.
Summary of this post:
And I apparently I have a VIP pass or something to DressSmart. Out of the above, the only thing I paid full price for was the Kmart tshirt ackackackack. (Maybe I should do a post on how I shop? How I find a good deal? Hmm.)
Obviously, there’s tonnes more to the wardrobe but these are my staples. They’re the items I wear day in, day out and if you catch me by surprise while I’m out, I’m likely in a combo of these.
Have I missed anything that you swear by personally? I’m always game to try new styles. See: white puffy moon boots of 2003.
I’ve got lazy dressing down, folks. Turns out the magic formula is black, black and more black. Who knew? What a revelation.
Sarcasm aside, I just thought I’d share with you some of the staples in my ever-evolving and currently mum-life-appropriate wardrobe. I’ve gone from a dedicated Just Jeans Outlet girl, to an almost purely online shopper (naw who am I kidding, I love DressSmart forever). But still! This is a honed skill people! If such a thing existed, I’d have a PhD in sale-shopping. Just call me Doctor McCheapo.
Here’s my list of easily pairable (? it’s not a word?) items – they are the bread and butter of my wardrobe sandwich. Yummy.
I will fight you if you tell me I cannot wear them as pants. They are like pyjamas. I’m 1000% wearing them instead of ‘actual’ pants.
Pro tip: long over-sized tops are bffs with leggings, otherwise, if you have any belly bands leftover from preggo days, slap that over the lower lady lumps as a sort of micro mini. You’re welcome~
*EDIT: cos it’s bloody freezing and I happen to be wearing them today; I have thicker ribbed moto leggings for autumn and winter. Similar here.
Or you could try the leggings that have a mini skirt built over top. Mine are a cheap pair from Korea and you can buy similar off YesStyle or there are some branded versions on Shopbop.
They’re as versatile as the leggings but for when you gotta put in a lil more effort. Yeesh.
My fave. They’re like sweatpants but made of swishy material. This one just below with the side stripe is made of cupro, which is a man made fabric that looks and drapes like silk, is softer and not as garish as poly, and it launders better than silk. Like, talk about being MADE for lazy people. All the heart eyes. Some people get heart eyes for their babies. I get heart eyes for my trackpants. She’s my baby.
For when you really gotta chuck in some effort. Ugh. But I still like mine slack and slightly drop-crotch to keep things edgy and rebellious (kidding: I meant comfortable). Like no, you will not make me go 100% formal. I might get to 95% but come hell or high water, I’m not bringin’ that crotch hem up another 5%.
High waisted jeans
Tummy sucking in properties. It’s like built-in spanx. Need I say more.
Perfect for when the outfit’s a lil prissy and needs some sass. If you’re folding up the cuffs a bit, don’t fold it up in even chunks; fold it up half the distance you want it in the end, use a combo of rolling and scrunching to fold it the rest of the way up, leaving some of the hem visible, otherwise you get stumpy blocky-legs.
Same as above, regarding the prissy-contrast (lol), and adds a bucket load of seks appeal too. My OneTeaspoon pair are a fairly recent purchase cos I randomly started freaking out that I wasn’t edgy enough. PROBLEM SOLVED.
That’s pretty much it. Those are my go-to’s for bottoms.
I’ll be covering the tops next – I split this topic up into 2 parts cos hot dang, I just can’t help myself and get all long-winded.
Stay tuned! It gets frickin exciting.
I’m totally kidding. It’s not really. Unless you’re a total fashion-phile like me and hyperventilate when it comes to wardrobe essentials. I get all crazy-nerd-like all, Where did you buy yours from? How much was it?? How does it wash?? How long have you had it for? Have you tried other brands?? I MUST KNOW!!!
*snort* ohohoho clothes get me all sorts of excited. Like take it all off baby~~ So I can read the fabric composition and care instructions. Ohhhhh yeah.
A make up newbie, I am not. No, I’ve been playing with make up ever since high school. Back in the days, where our largest mirror was actually pretty small and in a dimly-lit corner and there were no Youtubers to guide a keen, but poorly-instructed 14-year-old me.
I’ve had some seeeeriously bad looks. My parents were always working so there was NO ONE to pull me up on my porn-star brows (razored off by a shitty mcshitson korean make up ‘artist’), my spidery lashes, my panda-like smudgey eyeliner, my too-sparkly Caboodles lipgloss… hoooly shit. If I could go back in time and throat-punch dumb little me…
But alas. I cannot. And thank goodness there was no Snapchat back then, cos I can only imagine what the boys would’ve uploaded behind my back 😂🙈 (“porno brows is back. Im callin her PB from now on lololol” “holy shit dem eyelashes tho #spiderman”). Someone would’ve screenshotted it and posted it to their meme account on Instagram for sure. DANG am I stoked I was born in the 80s.
Wow what a tangent – it apparently doesn’t cut me up inside one bit 😂 But if there’s any way forward, it’s by imparting some lil nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned the hard way over the past 15 years. If you’re a make up newb, there’s just four basic principles, I think, that are critical to an overall ‘tidy’ appearance. They’re the two B’s and two L’s: Brows, Base, Lashes and Lips. Sit tight and hold onto your butts, cos this is a long one.
Rule no.1: Brows Brows, Baby
If your hair is dark, go 1-2 shades lighter; if your hair is light, go 1-2 shades darker MAX, otherwise the end result can be quite jarring.
Your brows should FRAME your eyes and eye make up (if you’re doing a dramatic cat-eye, same goes: extend out your brows just a tad).
No need to go full-on with the whole Instagram brow look either. Just lightly fill them in with a pencil or powder – doesn’t matter which.
Fill in gaps, even them out and follow your natural brow line. Less is more; if it’s looking too chunky and severe like you’ve used a Sharpie, use a spooly (the stiff miniature toilet brush looking thing) to blend out any harsh lines and touch up again with more pencil/powder if you’ve removed too much pigment. Small, light strokes work best – like you’re drawing on individual hairs.
Step back from the mirror, double check with the front-camera on your phone if you can, to make sure they’re even-ish. Don’t stress over them; the idea is to just frame the eyes, the nipples of the face (name that movie).
If you’re aiming to get a nice arch in there, point your pencil/brush from the corner of your nose through your pupil. Wherever your brush hits your brow, that’s where the arch should be. Do the same thing for the corners of your brow if you’re after a ‘perfect’ brow.
Rule no.2: the Base
You don’t need to go straight to full coverage if that’s not what you’re used to. You can literally just cover up any imperfections with a concealer if you’re after a simple, tidy look (or you’re in a rush to get out the door!). Just set with a teeny bit of pressed powder afterward so the concealer doesn’t slide off.
If you’re wanting a little bit more coverage then you probably want either a tinted moisturiser or BB cream, or foundation. To give the formula more staying power, it pays to cleanse, tone, moisturise, then lay on some primer. Think of when you want to paint over an old wallpapered room: strip, prime, then paint, right?
If fine lines are starting to be a bit of an issue, I recommend a facial oil (after moisturising and before priming) to really plump up the skin – a little goes a long way. I’m currently using a very pungent one from Antipodes but in the past I’ve enjoyed Trilogy and Sukin facial oil as well. Just use a teensy lil bit on areas where it’s dry and you find foundation doesn’t sit as nice.
Next up is the primer. Any primer that leaves your face smoother than a baby’s butt is a winner. Doesn’t have to cost the earth. I really liked my last one from Elf Cosmetics and before that, two different Body Shop ones – one of which I think they discontinued? I really hate when brands do that to my heart – sucker me in, then cut me up with their sudden no-notice, no-show, dick move (I’m still salty, Maybelline Dream Mousse concealer).
I’m currently using a NARS primer but I honestly still like my Body Shop ones better – it has a more silicone-y finish which I find better for resting foundation/bb cream on top of.
Now the paint. What does your skin want? Something hydrating? Something matte? Ugh sometimes there’s just way too much to choose from! But whatever route you choose to venture down, my best tip is this: choose your applicator wisely.
While you can use your fingers for sure, a buffing brush and/or sponge can be the difference between smeary/cake-face and an airbrushed-looking face.
Real Techniques brushes are cheap and generally fool-proof. Sponge-wise, I’m gonna go rogue here and recommend something you prob won’t hear from a beauty vlogger/blogger…
This lil baby is actually meant for cushion compacts (bb cream compacts) but you can buy these separately as a refill for those compacts and I use them for applying any BB cream or foundation. There’s heaps of different brands to choose from and I chose the cheapest one cos they’re pretty much all identical to each other – they all have one dark navy side. Anyway, these are super easy to use and ensure a light and even coverage.
I just put a little bit of product on my palette (the back of my hand 😅), and dab sparingly on my face. Dab dab dab. Dab dab dab. Easy peasy. I also use it to blend out my contour or any blush that’s too bright. It’s my BFFEEE (bestfriend forever and ever and ever and everrrrr). It essentially works like a Beauty Blender but it’s way cheaper and way more sanitary cos you keep your fingers solely on one side.
If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a BB Cream sort of girl – I’ve tried loads of different foundations and I haven’t really found one that I’m truly obsessed with. I find them too cakey, too dry, too oily, too EXPENSIVE… Out of all the different ones I’ve used (Lancome, Bobbi Brown, NARS, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Rimmel etc), I’ve liked the Revlon Colorstay Stay Natural one best, but honestly to this day, nearly 15 years later, nothing beats a good BB Cream for me. I’d say my two faves are the Missha and Etude House one. The Missha one has insane coverage. I’ve also enjoyed the IOPE Cushion Compact immensely too – it’s just a bit pricier which stops me from enjoying it TOO much hahaha.
I mentioned pressed powder before. Don’t use the puffs that come with the compact cos the amount you get on them, combined with when it oxidises on your skin once you’ve pressed it on, generally means you’ll be left with an orange circle on your face. Nope nope nope. Use a really fluffy brush (nothing with dense, tightly-packed, short bristles), swirl, dust off the excess and lightly press onto any areas where it tends to get oily: forehead, nose, upper lip and chin. Less is more.
Rule no.3: Lashes
Unless you’re blessed with long, full, dense lashes, all you need is an eyelash curler and mascara.
If you’ve got very short, lightweight, sparse lashes that naturally point straight down like mine, you will probably benefit from a waterproof formula vs a regular one. Regular mascaras are too wet and heavy for my sad and sorry lashes, causing them to droop and lose any curl I’ve put in. A waterproof formula is drier/tackier in consistency and won’t mess up your curl (you just have to work quicker before it dries fully). If you still want more oomph, you can always layer a regular, wetter, non-waterproof formula on top once that base layer has dried.
Rule no.4 aka the Finale: kissy Lips
No chapped lips. Wear lip balm. Maybelline Babylips is my fave for its cheap but powerful moisturising goodness. I have them all over the house and crevices of my car. You don’t need to go crazy with the lip colour either. A tinted lipbalm is just fine. If you hate touching up lipstick throughout the day, lip pencils, lip stains and lip crayons are the best solution – though the darker the colour, the more likely it’ll need some touching up during the day.
My absolute favourite lip crayons are the NARS Velvet Matte lip pencils – particularly the shade Dolce Vita which is a nice muted red. It’s staying power is unbelievable considering it goes on like butter and doesn’t crackle or strain against any lip movement. Yes, it’s pricey, but I buy mine off Strawberrynet (when they have stock) so they work out to be CHEAPER than what you would get per milligram in a $13 NYX lip pencil.
I’ve made more than 20 purchases (36 to be precise) off Strawberrynet, so I automatically get 10% every purchase. Also, if I hang out for one of their frequent sales, I can get another 10% off. So often times when I’m buying my NARS lip pencils, instead of paying $42 in store, I only pay $28 online. SO worth it.
Here are some honorable mentions in the lip department:
Phew so that’s that. If you managed to stay til the end, kudos to you. You’ve got some stamina on ya. I really, really wanted to share this info with someone – dudes, this is like 15 years of terrible terrible looks and I really feel like I’ve now got this honed down to something simple and do-able, by anyone’s standards. Anyway.
Hope that was somewhat enjoyable, hopefully informative? No? Well at least you got to look at some purdy make up stuff right? Doesn’t it make you wanna play with make up and sit in good lighting with the pretty snapchat filters and take selfies and be like DAAaamn. Just me? What. I do it for poor ugly duckling 15-year-old me with porno brows ok.
One maxi to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
No I’m just kidding. That was just my weird Lord-of-the-Rings-geek segue into this post cos I suck at smooth transitions (see: puberty). Actually, funnily enough, that fandom was a huge part of my awkward teen transition, too (hello Orlando Bloom awooooga).
ANYWAY… so now that I’ve been buying my own clothes for at least half my life, I’m only just starting to get a little tired of it. As in, I don’t like how things go out of style so quickly and needing to buy new things to feel like the wardrobe is fresh and ‘cool’ again…
So I’ve experimented a little today with one maxi dress and wearing it a few different ways in lieu of buying something new that’ll likely end up on TradeMe with the description, “BNWT, Worn Once.”
Here’s the dress: a simple printed strapless maxi I got a few years ago. I’m particularly fond of this one for the amount of fabric it has in the skirt – a lot of chain store maxi’s are straight up and down, but this one is A-line and very SWISHY~~ like it goes SWOOSH when you walk (you’ll see in a minute)…
It’s perfectly fine on it’s own, or paired with a leather jacket and heels for date night, or blazer and sneakers for lunch with the girls, but I’m looking at a more inventive approach today.
Ooh see that’s kinda nice and new… I’ve paired the dress a cropped crisp white shirt (say that 5x) and there’s a sort of ‘opposites attract’ thing going on here. The structured nature of a business shirt looks pretty cool with the swishy, crazier, boho nature of the dress, IMO. Add a statement necklace and some heels, and I reckon this would work on a date night.
If Jason Mraz Were a Girl
So I wore this dress on my way home from the hospital after having Benji and I paired it with a cropped denim jacket at the time. Taking inspiration from there, I tried a denim shirt this time, tied at the waist. I think the key to wearing pieces that threaten to swamp your frame (petite frames in particular) is to define your shape – with a belt, cropped pieces or tying shirts at the waist.
I added my fave panama hat cos straw hats and denim shirts are like a match-made in coachella heaven. Or something like that. Speaking of which…
Imaginary Coachella in Canterbury
For those that dig the bohemian vibe, this one might tickle your dream-catcher-feathered fancy. I paired the dress with an old kimono robe and belted it to define my waist. I layered on a couple more gold jewelry pieces and my wide brim straw hat.
This one is probably my favourite and was inspired by Blake Lively’s first pregnancy announcement a couple of years back. She has a knack for dressing a lot like her character on Gossip Girl and one of those style traits is print-clashing. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure one print is significantly larger than the other: teeny polka-dots and bit fat stripes; teeny flowers and huge argyle. But most of all, be intentional – that goes for anything though. If you wear it and feel stupid, most likely you look like you did an oopsy. Life is short; wear crazy shit and be proud of it. Like me and my 5th form shiny white puffer moon boots. Hoooooooly shit I can’t even blame LotR for that.
Anyway. Hope that was fun and gave you some inspiration for transforming your maxi dress into something a little different and fresh, or you take the idea and do something similar for a different piece in your wardrobe? If you’ve got some cool ideas of your own, please let me know! 🙂
*EDIT: prices have been corrected here – Polyvore converts the price for some reason although they were input correctly in NZD…*
So… Valentine’s Day is just round the corner.
Whether your significant other knows exactly how to play it so you look cool and enviable to all your mates online, or you buy your own shit and pretend like your partner/imaginary-partner gives a toss about Instagram likes, here’s my last-minute gift guide for the upcoming Capitalist holiday (woah, settle down Grinchy).
(For some reason the links aren’t all indexed below like I thought they would be – click on the graphic and it’ll take you to Polyvore where you CAN click each individual item!)
I remember first opening my wardrobe after the fourth trimester (first 12 weeks with a newborn) and feeling overwhelmed with the notion of having to dress myself more appropriately for the outside world again. What do you mean I can’t wear slippers out?
It’s a slow progress, especially in a sleep-deprived state, but I’m happy to report that I’m currently at a comfortable pace in terms of edgy fashion drive. Sure, it’d be great if I could pull off a cami crop top, high-waisted shiny slacks, duster coat, heels and a 90s choker but for now, let’s just embrace the milestone of me no longer wearing harem pants 7 days a week. It’s a big flippin’ deal.
Anyway, so I’ve instituted a personal goal of wearing something purdy at least 2x a week (aim high, people) and showcasing it here.
In an effort to look cooler I try add a teensy bit of seks appeal but pegging it back with, say, an oversized top.
My fave kmart pocket T: it’s thin, it’s oversized cos I went a few sizes up and I throw it in the wash without fretting about whether it’s gonna end up warped.
I love that it’s all a bit disheveled and worn-in looking, but balanced by the structured bag and steely sunnies.
Super comfortable, super casual but still tidy cos of the accessories. My fave outfits are the ones that look thrown on in a hurry, without too much fussiness. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me a good fussy outfit but it bothers me the whole time I’m wearing it and anytime I see anyone else in a fussy ensemble I think, “are you itchy? are you sweating profusely? are you purposely not making any sudden movements so that something doesn’t fall out?” – which is totally fine and something I actually really admire (poise, man), but for baby-wrangling, I’m all for oversized and comfy and boob-safe-and-secure.
ASOS ripped shorts – they’re a tad short, but held back by the huge tshirt. See? Not tooo seksi 😉
And today’s BS (Bag & Shoes) was brought to you today by Chanel and Spurr … mixing high end with low end is no big over here.
Hope this gave you some inspiration to inject some SEKS APPEAL (sans double chin) into your wardrobe if you like that sort of thing. You don’t have to obviously. If you don’t ever suffer from that dowdy frumpy feeling I envy you. Share your secrets with me please!
Hello hello, this is just a brief intro because as we can all appreciate, first anything’s are a bit awkward… first kiss, first page in a diary, first job interview- wait no, that’s absolutely petrifying. Where was I going with this.
Hello! (See what I mean?)
This blog is for selfish reasons, I guess. A way for me to reflect and dote on me whilst I navigate what it is often described as “a thankless job;” motherhood. Like pretty much most mothers out there, I love this gig and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I really love my life and every tangible aspect of it, but just sometimes amongst the chaos that is trying to feed the family nutritious meals, carting the eldest off to kindy on time, vacuuming different rooms on rotation, or drowning under mountains of laundry, sometimes I get all millennial and all, “What about me? It isn’t fair…”
Haha. But you know what I mean? Like you know how good it feels when you’ve been wearing the same trackies and banana-stained tank top for the past week and you finally shower and wear a poppin’ dress and you’re like Damn, you were hiding under there? Or when the subtle whiffy aroma of your own unwashed hair finally starts offending your senses, so you scrub it down and it dries all gloriously fluffy and resplendent (for all of 5 mins before you hastily tie it up into a mumbun)? That wondrous, clean, ahhhh feeling? That’s what I’m on the hunt for, but on a deeper level.
I get my 8 hours sleep, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. I get to eat my 3 (or 4, or 5…) square meals a day and occasionally get to drink my coffee and tea hot, but it’s not enough. I go on date nights and wear stupidly high heels that I can barely stand in, but it’s still not enough.
I know it IS enough, but human nature ensures we always crave more. At least, we think we do.
So. This blog is sort of a way for me to keep on top of my own vicious self; share with you all my silly self-indulgent antics and as I look back on it all, realise, “You got this. It’s all good. Great balancing, babe. Maybe a lil more effort into mopping the floors and it’s perfect.”