Wednesday, 31 December 2014

DIY: body scrub

When I was deciding on what to get my friends for Christmas this year I realised I didn't have much money to spend on them. If I were to get each of them a $20 gift then that'd eventually add up to over $200, and I just didn't have that amount of money if I wanted to get my boyfriend and family members gifts too. Scrolling down through Pinterest, I saw lots of cute little DIY ideas people were gifting loved ones, so I thought, why don't I try?

One of the ideas that stood out to me were body scrubs, as they are so flexible in the way that you usually have the ingredients in your kitchen. Turns out, I had plenty of ingredients, so I got to pulling out what I needed.

For body scrubs, you usually need an oil, a scent, and either sugar or salt. After that, you can add in other ingredients to make it even better!

I used:

  • olive oil
  • almond oil
  • raw sugar
  • white sugar
  • blueberry infused green tea
  • vanilla essence
  • rose oil
The ratio I used was 2:1 sugar to oil, and then adding a little bit extra oil until I got the desired consistency. The rest I threw in as much as I thought was necessary, about a teaspoon of rose oil, 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla essence, and two teabags of blueberry infused green tea.

To make the scrub is easy-peasy, as all you have to do is combine the dry ingredients and then mix in the wet. After you've done that, rinse out some jars to store the scrub in. You can use old jam jars or mason jars, or pick some up from a discount store for a cheap price. I found my jars from The Reject Shop at $1.50 each. After rinsing out the jars, simply scoop the scrub in.

Now here comes the fun part - for me at least. I don't know about you but I love designing packaging and labels and such, so this was a treat for me. You can skip this step and simply gift them as is, but I decided to go a bit further and personalise them. Using a piece of scrap paper, start designing your packaging. You can write whatever you like on them, but some ideas are the recipients name, the ingredients, the occasion, or a cute little drawing. I went for "Body Scrub" and a list of the scents.

It took me a few goes to fit in all the text

Use a circular object to help you get a perfect circle

I used a special pair of scissors that gave the appearance of clouds which I thought was a cute touch.

Once you've finished your labels, stick them onto the jar using double sided tape, and voila, you're done!

I made another sticker for the top to personalise it more.

This is such a fun, easy project that can be made quickly and cheaply. You can find body scrubs in shops retailing for $15 at least, but you can make it at home for less than a third of the cost, and it makes such a thoughtful gift.

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know if you'd like to see more DIY!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

8 Positive Things

Image found via Pinterest

This has been a big week, hasn't it? First off, I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas - I sure did. For those that celebrate it, this holiday is a wonderful time to spend with friends and families and bond over the spirit of giving. I think I did my fair share of giving this holiday season, as I decided to DIY a majority of my presents (posts on that coming soon). But without further ado, here are eight positive things that happened this week.

1) Christmas! It was a quiet one this year, but still wonderful. We had a Christmas dinner party on the 21st with friends, and then Christmas Eve we spent at my grandparents' house. Christmas Day we lounged at home and played a lovely game of monopoly, as we had celebrated the day before and we were still in a food coma from dinner!

2) Leftover Christmas ham. Need I say more?

3) Seeing my sister's face when she got her present. She's quite the beauty addict, so I decided to give her a 3-month subscription to a beauty box, and she was definitely pleased with that!

4) House sitting with the boyfriend. Friday to Monday with the house and car to ourselves means trips to the beach, Grey's Anatomy marathons, long sleep ins, and cooking dinner together. Fun, fun, fun.

5) Going to the Boxing Day sales and finding so many bargains! I'll be sure to write a blog post on the items I bought.

6) Luke and I went to the Salamanca Markets last Saturday and had a meander around before coming to the lavender stall. My god, it smelled heavenly. I couldn't help but pick up a little sachet of lavender which I now keep under my pillow to make me sleepy before bed.

7) Having a proper set of bedlinen. I now have six pillows on my bed! I think it's a sign I'm getting old that I'm made so happy by this.

8) Today is a wonderfully sunny day and 25C, and if that doesn't make you happy, what does?

How was everybody's Christmas?

Monday, 22 December 2014

countdown to christmas: movies

I absolutely love Christmas movies - they always want to make me snuggle up on the couch with a loved one under a soft blanket, enjoying a warm drink and a hot fireplace. Here in Australia it's more likely we'll have singlets and shorts on, but I can dream, right? Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly a summer person! I just wish the festive season was during winter.

Anyway, Christmas movies! Here is a baby list of Christmas movies I love and also watch year-round. I would love to add more to my collection, but most other Christmas movies I've only watched once, and also a while ago now. :'(

For the adults | Love Actually: This isn't just on my list of favourite Christmas movies, but on my favourite all-time movies. I love, love, love this film, and not just because it has Hugh Grant in it. I love the intertwining tales, the characters (little Thomas Sangster, aw!), the soundtrack, everything. This never fails to put me in the Christmas spirit.

For the family | Home Alone: A Christmas classic, the feel-good movie that'll make you want to hug your family. It's for the child in all of us, because, admit it, we all laugh at Kevin kicking the bad guys' butts. Home Alone 2 is also good, but don't get me started on 3 and 4. We don't watch those.

For the children | Jul på Månnetoppen: Like an advent calendar, but in TV show form. This is a Norwegian show about the Nisser that live in the mountains and the farms, and it's what I used to watch as a child leading up to Christmas. It's such a cute show, and if you understand the language I highly recommend you watch it!

For the sentimental, aka me | Jul i Skomakergata: Another Norwegian advent TV show. For children, of course, but we're all still children at heart. This show translates to Christmas in the Shoemaker's Lane. It's a treasured series in Norway that aired originally in 1979, and it's just the cutest thing ever.

The one movie I am too afraid to watch | The Grinch: I have a legitimate fear of this movie, and subsequently Jim Carrey. In fact, the fear is so bad that I can't bring myself to google an image, yet alone put one up. Don't judge me! I watched this as a child and found the creature so terrifying that I don't think I'll ever be able to watch the movie, ever.

I know this was a short list but I thought I should share with you some Christmas favourites in the lead up to (in my opinion) the best day of the year. If you didn't see your favourite in my short and sweet list, comment it below and I'll be sure to check the movie out! 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

countdown to christmas: gingerbread

I don't know about you but I love the smell of gingerbread. To me, it just smells like Christmas - cinnamon, cardamom, sweet and spicy scents. That's why making gingerbread feels so festive to me. We always blast Christmas carols while baking the day away and it's just so cosy. While I'd rather be in my grandmother's kitchen with the snow fluttering down outside, I had to make do with a 24 degree Saturday (what a pity) thanks to living in the southern hemisphere.

My boyfriend had come to stay for the night and so following a well-deserved sleep in, we got up and I forced him into we made gingerbread! My mother already had the recipe book out so after a little translation I got out the beloved ingredients.

Everybody has their own recipe out there, so I'll spare you the list and instead leave you with some photos!

And here are the final products (some very fine gif-making ahead)!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

8 Positive Things!

Christmas is three days away and Oliver knows he's a gift in himself!

It's Christmas time! We're so close! It's been a couple of weeks since I last did an 8 Positive Things post so I've got lots of happy things on my mind. I really enjoy doing these posts as I find it nice to reflect on the things that make you smile over the past few days.

1) I got my results for school! While I'm not going to go into detail about how I did, I will say I'm happy with them. Not to mention incredibly relieved.

2) Finally getting some summer weather. Although the air is still a bit on the chilly side, the sun has been shining lately, which always warms it up.

3) Little baby joeys! We live out in a rural area where we get wallabies in the front garden (am I living up to Australian stereotypes enough?), and we've had little joey heads peeking out from the pouches, but now they've come completely out! How absolutely adorable!

4) Family coming to visit. My gran has flown over from her home to visit us for the week leading up to Christmas, and my uncle is over from New York for Christmas, so lots of catch ups in order.

5) Dining al fresco in the summer sun with the significant other. Absolutely lovely.

6) Summer fruit and berries. My mother brought home raspberries yesterday but now I can't find them! Those things never last long in our household, though.

7) My boyfriend getting his first paid photography job. He's done a lot of photography over the years, which he publishes on his website and Instagram, as well as being featured in a few Facebook pages, but he got a job doing photography last week which was very exciting!

8) DIYing Christmas presents. So much more fun than shopping for them.

And as a bonus, 9) Uh, Christmas on Thursday!!

What's been making you happy this past week?

Saturday, 20 December 2014

chi chi nudes

I admit that while I love make up, I don't have a lot of money to spend on it. I'm trying to save up for a trip to Europe, university, and moving out of home, so that doesn't leave much left over. This is why, when it comes to makeup, dupes are such a great idea. Sometimes I'll splurge, such as a Napoleon Perdis lipstick I bought for my formal, or if I'm receiving a gift I'll hint at a specific brand/style/palette *cough, Naked 2, cough*, but if I've heard of a dupe, then I'm heading for it!

I heard via the blogosphere (I'm sorry, but I can't remember where!) that the brand Chi Chi had a dupe for Urban Decay's Naked palette, and as I have Naked 2 and don't feel like I need to buy two very expensive palettes, I decided to go with Chi Chi's Nudes palette.

Shades from L-R, first one virtually invisible

Shades 1-6

Shades 7-12

My top 3: 2 (pink shimmer), 10 (purple-brown shimmer), and 5 (brown matte)

Overall, I would say this is quite good as a drugstore brand. It has nice, sleek packaging, and has a good selection of colours, however the quality and pigment is not fantastic. I wouldn't recommend it for long-lasting wear, but it's fun to play around with, especially for make up newbies. At an RRP of AUD$22.95 it's less than half the price of the Naked palette, so I say go for it!

Some other dupes I love:
Maybelline FitMe Concealer = NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
NYX Eyeshadow Base = Urban Decay Primer Potion

What are some dupes you love?

Friday, 19 December 2014

breakfast + a trip to the museum

My grandmother has come down from the other side of the country to visit! She's a lovely little lady, as most grandmothers are, but the whole family is either at school or work, including me. However, on Wednesday I had a day off, so I thought I might show her the fairly new museum in town. And hey, a day out in town means we need to fuel ourselves, right? So of course, we went out for breakfast.

I drove us in, dropping my mother at work, and my sister at school, before stopping at a great little place for breakfast, Retro Cafe. If you live in the Hobart area, you have to go there - great service, great food, cute spot for a bite to eat. Practically the moment we found a spot to eat we were given menus and asked if we wanted any coffee (soy latte, please!). We both decided to go for mushrooms on sourdough, because a) it was a special, and b) mushrooms on sourdough. Yum! The mushrooms were sourced locally, which made it a thousand times better.

Oh that! That's just a dinosaur peeking out of a window. What else?

I have to add here that this was my first time having a proper coffee in months, and oh my god was it good. I was worried I would've lost the taste for the bitterness but this was a perfect latte. Milky, a little frothy, and just the right amount of bitterness for me. The mushrooms were gorgeous. They were a bit of an indulgence as they were obviously cooked in butter, but that made them so yummy. Lots of pepper on top, and another flavour which I can't quite pinpoint, but it was delicious. All in all, a hearty breakfast! So hearty in fact I couldn't quite finish the whole thing. I'm happy to go back and try again though. ;)

The euphoria of a good breakfast wore off quickly as we found out we had, ahem, forgotten to pay for parking.. Oops. There's a first for everything though, right? Unfortunately even for parking tickets.

We brushed that off quickly and drove to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to get our dose of culture. I'd been there once before with my boyfriend about a year ago, and not much had changed but it was so interesting that I could still go back again twice more! It took a while to find a parking space, but this time we remembered to pay straight away!

The TMAG was beautiful! It was really nicely lit so that the rooms in general were dark, but all the exhibitions were lit up. There were also lots of different exhibitions, but we couldn't get around to them all seeing as we only had 1 hour parking and I was due to meet my boyfriend at noon. I have to say, there is a lot of taxidermy, and although the majority of it was done well, some not so much. A tad creepy to look at, let's say.

I've always found Indigenous Australian culture very fascinating, and really important for society these days to be aware of, so I was glad to see that the Aboriginal exhibition was still up.

A hut that supposedly fits 6-7 people inside.

They even had a recording of an Indigenous woman singing a traditional Aboriginal song, the recording being over 100 years old, if I recall correctly. It was interesting seeing a photo of how they recorded her voice, and how we could listen to that now out of a little speaker.

I love looking at animals, but this display freaked me out a little.

Don't they look creepy just lying there? Dead birds always make me really sad. Unfortunately, having pet cats I do see a lot of them.

We made our way through the museum slowly, until we realised we had taken half our time to only visit three rooms! That was when our saunter turned more into a brisk walk. We didn't exactly want to risk getting another parking ticket.

A room I found really fascinating was one that looked at technology evolving over the years. They had televisions, movie recordings, telephones, maps, cameras, audio recorders, radios, all sorts of things. All things that were in my hand the entire time! It was a funny thought to have.

Something that I can't do with my phone: chocolate making! Looks like something out of Willy Wonka if you ask me.

In the same room there was also a wall covered with political posters that I liked to take a bit of time to read.

My favourite exhibition was the last one we visited on the Antarctic, which unfortunately we had to rush through as we only had ten minutes left before our parking metre ran out. Which meant no photos! Except for this one, for which I can think of a multitude of captions.

They certainly look like they're having a good laugh, don't they?

All in all, it was a lovely morning out. What followed was some very bad city driving, embarrassing parallel parking, and a tiny bit of Christmas shopping. But I got my afternoon with my boyfriend, which made me very happy. :)

How has your week been? Have you had any days off yet, and what have you got up to?

I'll leave you with some various photos from the trip today.

Photo turned selfie thanks to very reflective glass.

Painting near the Antarctic section.

Suit of armour dating back ca. 1630.

Some very creepy puppets.