Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My skin care regime


One of the items on my ‘2014 list’ page was to create a skin care routine and stick with it. Not that I had bad skin to begin with, but don’t we all want to preserve our youthful skin for as long as possible? Well skin doesn’t preserve itself so I went in search of some products that would work for me and my skin. I first put the word out to twitter to see what recommendations I could use and look in to. I was referred to ‘La Clinica’ and actually placed an order but after I hadn’t heard from them for a week and my order had not been shipped, I cancelled the order. Instead of choosing one brand and sticking to that, I decided to think back to what I’d used over the years that had worked and went from there.

I once spent $200 on Clinique products after being pressured by the sales woman and I used it once before I decided it was too harsh smelling for my skin. It smelled toxic and like it would do my skin more harm than good. Since then, I have stuck to items that wouldn’t upset my skin as it is quite sensitive. So, if you have sensitive skin the products below should be good for you to use.

I’ve never (touch wood) had bad acne, so that wasn’t a problem I needed to consider. My skin is fairly normal – not too dry, not too oily, so I was basically just looking for products that would maintain my skin. Not change it in any drastic way.

1. To cleanse my face, I bought some dove beauty bars. They are cakes of soap that can be used on your face, that also include moisturiser so they don’t dry your face out. I use this in the morning and evening and have found they work well to take off all of my makeup. If I have used a lot of makeup (rarely), then I will cleanse my face twice to ensure it has all been removed. The dove beauty bar doesn’t have a particularly nice smell, but also doesn’t have an offensive smell. You can buy these for $4.49 from priceline (2bars).

2. After I cleanse my face, I use witch hazel toner. This is inexpensive and does the trick nicely to remove any further build up on your face. The smell is not the best, but I guess you do get used to it. Like the Dove beauty bar, it hasn’t upset my sensitive skin, so that’s another win there. I bought my witch hazel toner from priceline for $6.59 (240ml).

3. In the morning after these steps, I then use cetaphil moisturiser. It isn’t heavy and can be worn under makeup without your face feeling like it can’t breathe. It is inexpensive at $11.29 a bottle (250ml) and the bottle I have has lasted me a good 6 months already. S also uses this on occasion and he likes it as well. Cetaphil can also be used on children if that is any indication of how strong the product is.

4. In the evening after I have taken my makeup off, I use Nivea q10 plus night cream. The moisturiser is thick, however absorbs well and doesn’t feel suffocating like some thick moisturisers can. Again, this product is inexpensive at $19.99 from priceline.

Obviously, what works for one person may not work for another, so take this list with a grain of salt. You may be able to use some, all or none of the products depending on your skin type.

What products do you use the most in your skin care regime?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea fishing isn't something I ever thought I'd find myself doing, however when it came up as one of the scheduled activities in the group I volunteer with I thought I'd give it a shot. 

I volunteer with a group of people that have Down Syndrome and pretty much once a week the group goes out to an organised activity to catch up with their friends and try something new. While there were only four from the group present yesterday and five volunteers, we still had a great day out on the water. 

It started with getting on the boat at about 1pm. All was well in the water with no-one really experiencing sea sickness until we were just out past the heads (really in the ocean there). After about half an hour of fishing, one fish was caught and in the whole three hours we were out another two were caught. It was about the two hour mark when a few people started to feel a little sea sickness after the waves picked up, so we made the decision to head back in early so we could have a quick BBQ and get anyone that felt sick off the boat. 

The weather was really nice the whole time with the clouds keeping their rain at bay. With the clouds that lasted well until the sun set, the sunset itself was a spectacular pink and purple colour. Shame I didn't take my real camera with me as the iPhone doesn't pick up much in the way of good photos. 

I really love volunteering with this group. The group members and volunteers are all so friendly and it's great to have a chat and find out what everyone has been up to. It's fulfilling to be able to help people maintain a social life and really great to see how excited they are when they get to experience new things or even just see a friend. 

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


Making: Another dress with the Sewaholic Cambie pattern. I made the dress you saw in this post last weekend (I'll write a post on that next week), and hopefully I will make a similar version over the next few weeks with nicer material.
Anticipating: Our engagement party. The weekend. Seeing friends.

Reading: The fault in our stars by John Green. This is the first hardcover book I've read since I got my kindle 18 months ago. I was stuck in a rut with the kindle and often would start a book and not finish, so it's nice to read an actual book for a change. So far, the story line is really good.

Listening: Band of Horses. A great band with great music.
Wearing: Warmer clothes. Seriously, how good is Winter fashion? Layers, boots...bliss.
Looking forward to: This day ending!
Also, deep sea fishing this weekend. I volunteer with a group within Down Syndrome NSW and we're off to go fishing. I can't wait!
Watching: The other night, S and I started watching a series called Silicone Valley. Highly recommend it.. it's a HBO tv series and despite my initial reservations, I actually find it quite funny.
Thinking about: The last time I wrote a post like this, the answer was 'A long lost uni friend who I’d love to get in touch with again. I have texted but not sure if she has the same number. Time will tell. It’s a shame I let that friendship slip by because she is a beautiful person'.
Well, I got in touch with her again and wow a lot happens in a couple of years. She had gotten married and had finished uni etc. Actually, she texted me the day Steve proposed, so it was nice to re-connect with such good news!
Apart from that, I am thinking about how hard it is to please everyone. Life is tough, but we get through it!
What about you?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's catch up

It’s been a little quiet around here for reasons out of my control. Ok, in my control..I was just being boring.

I spent most of Friday and Saturday either walking the dog, eating or sewing. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I managed to sew a new ‘practice’ dress that ended up being my Easter dress. I used the sewaholic cambie patterns that I previously had my doubts about, but the end result was a nice fitted dress that fit me like a glove. During the making of the dress and upon recommendations from my bestie and some twitter people, I watched two Disney films – Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. I hadn’t seen Beauty and the Beast before (I haven’t seen many). I think perhaps I might have enjoyed it a little more if I was say, 12…cute nonetheless. The lion king is an old favourite and really, you can enjoy that one at any age.
As we are not religious people, Easter is usually a low-key affair and the Easter bunny takes pleasure in hopping right by our house. We did however, spend Easter Sunday at my parents’ house eating a huge amount of food, followed by backyard cricket and football. Usually I am the more subdued sibling but no, not this year. This year I was the one chasing my dog down trying to stop him from pouncing on a chicken. It’s ok, no chickens were harmed, Ted thought he won and I only tore my dress slightly. Silly me thought Ted would just watch the chicken walk past and I certainly won’t be making that mistake again. He had no intention to hurt the animal, however give him the option of chasing an animal and he will certainly take it.
My Nephew loves playing in the grass!
Monday was spent lounging around the house with Steve sick from something (virus, food poisoning? Who knows) and me with terrible allergies. I started reading The fault in our stars by John Green and so far, so good. It is a little strange to read a hard cover book after having my kindle for a couple of years, though it is refreshing.
Although a quiet weekend, a few good things came out of it. A new dress, a clean house, a few kg I put on (wait, that’s not a good thing!), and some planning for our engagement party. Plans are coming along nicely and I just decided today that I would make some cupcakes ahead of the party. I’ll definitely make salted caramel and if you have any other suggestions for flavours/recipes, do let me know. Perhaps I will write a post on the engagement party plans this week sometime.
It’s always a shame that the weekend has ended, particularly a four day weekend but hooray for a three day work week. What do people usually do on Anzac Day? I’m not sure what to do and Steve will spend it studying so I guess I either stay home or find some people that will be doing something!
How was your extra long weekend?

Friday, April 11, 2014

The weekend that was - A late weekend recap

I went on up Brissy to see my bestie K on the weekend. We spent Friday looking and trying on wedding dresses which was more fun than I thought it would be. Dancing around and peeping through dresses when no-one is watching is a great game to play and kept us both entertained! At one shop we were given some passes to a bridal expo so we trotted on off to that in the evening. It is probably the first and last bridal expo I will go to. So overwhelming and I wasn’t even looking at stuff for myself! The catwalk was seriously cringe worthy and there wasn’t one dress I’d have picked. Anyway, at least it was free. No loss there.

Saturday we went for a drive up to the mountains to Maleny. It is a cute, quaint town that has cafes and little stores along the main strip. We chose an ‘organic café’ to get lunch from and when it was brought out I realised it was vegan and raw as well. It tasted delicious but didn’t sit on my stomach well at all and upon reading the menu where it said nothing is heated above 40 degrees, I realised why. After that experience, raw food is not a bandwagon I will be jumping on.

Maleny has a beautiful scenic drive with a few stops overlooking the beautiful valley and Glasshouse Mountains. We stopped twice along the way to get photos.

Once we got home we pretty much had to leave again to make it to the Eat markets in Hamilton that are apparently on every Friday and Saturday night. I finally met Ash from Miss Directions in person and she’s every bit as nice as she comes across on her blog. The markets are really cool and I so wish we had some in Sydney. There were healthy and not-so-healthy options to choose from with plenty of stalls with rich treats for dessert. As well as the food stalls, there were the usual nick-nack stores that most markets have with the added extra of live music in a couple of spots. I loved how the markets were decorated and so well put together rather than thrown together. There was heaps of seating (you’d never see that in Sydney!), it was spacious and an all-round good night.
We weren’t sick of markets yet, so Monday saw another trip to some markets, this time in Eagle Farm. These were just your run of the mill weekend markets with food stalls, nick nack stores and a huge fruit market. It was quite hot on Sunday so we didn’t last long there before we headed to The Burrow in West End for breakfast. That place is a really funky café that seems to do lunch and dinner as well, judging by the extensive alcohol list. I demolished my ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ breakfast that consisted of poached eggs, zucchini, tomato, basil and fetta and we headed home to relax for the rest of the day before my flight.
As luck would have it, after a beautiful weekend of sunshine the storm moved in right when I was supposed to board, pushing boarding back half an hour. No biggie for me and I made it home at a decent time to get ready for the week ahead.
How was your weekend?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Movie Monday - Frozen

Today’s movie Monday sees me reviewing the movie ‘Frozen’. I was interstate at my besties place all weekend and after an exhausting weekend we decided to put on a light hearted kids movie on Sunday afternoon (while both scrolling pinterest of course).

Look, I don’t really do kids movies. I love the Lion King, but I’ve not seen an animated film this side of about 2002. I liked Frozen. I mean, it’s not the best animated film I’ve ever seen, but it was cute, had a good story line and I thought it was appropriate for kids. Take that with a grain of salt though, since I don’t have kids!
Frozen is about a girl who has ‘powers’ and the story of how her sister tries to help her. It is a touching movie, but I won’t be rushing to watch it again. Hopefully since I am home this weekend I’ll have more movies to report on next week.
Did you see and enjoy Frozen?
Do you have any recommendations for great movies?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Let's cook - Zucchini 'Pasta'

I'm not a huge fan of real pasta as it makes me tired and lethargic so I tried out zucchini pasta and I loved it. I've cooked it a few times now, each with varying degrees of success. The past two times have worked the best as rather than grate the zucchini I julienned it.

I cook mine with prawns and a tomato sauce, but of course you can use anything you like. 

To make the zucchini in to a pasta like meal, I peel my zucchini then cut it in to thin slices (thick enough so it doesn't turn to mush later). From there, I cut the slices in to thin pasta like pieces. 
Mine were a little too thick last night, but after cooking it still turned out ok so that's a win.
After cutting up your zucchini, I sautee it in a pan in 2 batches depending on how much you make. The first time I made it, I sauteed in water but it turned out really sloppy so now I just use a touch of oil and it does the trick. I like mine to still be a touch crunchy when done, and this takes about 10 minutes. 

I made a homemade tomato sauce that had tomato, a handful of basil, bacon, salt, pepper, onion and garlic in it that I cooked on the stove for about an hour. I also cooked prawns to put in the sauce. Of course, considering it is 'pasta' you can put whatever topping you like on there. I'd love to try basil pesto with chicken next time.
The finished product. It was delicious and healthy and I wasn't tired afterwards. Also, make sure you hold the knife properly so you don't slice your finger open like I did. Lucky S was there to help....