Sunday, 15 October 2017

Thoughts of the week

This Harvey Weinstein scandal is fascinating. It's not just him and the film industry though, it happens everywhere, in every industry.

It happens to women so often that we think it's normal and shrug it off as nothing, but it's not nothing and it's not okay. We need to stand up and not let behaviour like this be accepted. We need to do this for our children and our children's children. Men need to stand up too. 

Society as a whole needs to stand up and say that the mistreatment of women is unacceptable and should stop. A women should be able to go about her daily business without the threat of sexual harassment.

Through my career it's happened to me and on none of those occasions did I speak out. The first time it happened was at my first full time job. I was 16, vulnerable and naive. I worked at a shoe shop. My boss, Adrian, was a chauvinist pig of a man. Every time I was up the ladder getting shoes, he'd come to talk to me so that he could look up my skirt. It only stopped when I "accidentally" kicked him in the face. Hah. 

After that he started coming up behind me and putting his arms around me. That stopped when I elbowed him in the belly. I didn't say anything to anyone about those incidents, in fact I didn't think much of them at all, it was just one of those things that happen to women. 

Years later I worked with a federal police officer. I had to go to him to ask for information I needed for my investigations. He wouldn't give me the information for at least half an hour because he wanted to talk to me. It wasn't work talk, it was just personal chat. Not appropriate. I told my supervisors but nothing was done. Unsurprising.

The worst case I had was a boss who harassed myself and our entire team on an ongoing basis for about two years. His behaviour with me was totally inappropriate. Despite being married, he decided he was in love with me and acted like a stroppy, lovesick teenager. I never encouraged him, in fact I actively discouraged him, to no avail. 

The deputy manager suspected something inappropriate was going on so he spoke to my boss, but never spoke to me or the rest of the team. 

When he finally left I gave a file full of evidence to the deputy manager. Why didn't any of us say anything? Because we knew if we did he'd get away with it and we would ruin our careers. So we stayed silent. 

It's time we all woke up, stood up and stopped things like this happening. We should not be silent. It's time to make a change.

Friday, 13 October 2017

FFS Friday - Pants on fire

As a general rule I don't lie to my kids. 

Every now and again out of desperation, I do. It never ends well.

A few weeks ago I was getting the boys ready for a play date. It was really cold but Eljay would not wear appropriate clothing. He wanted to wear shorts and a singlet. It was windy and 13 degrees outside.

No matter what I tried I couldn't convince him to wear warm clothes, so in desperation I told him he needed to wear warm clothes because it might snow.

He excitedly got dressed in his warmest clothes then raced out of his bedroom to tell Chai that it might snow. FFS.

Chai got all excited and was jumping around trying to see if it was snowing. FFS.

I pre warned the other mums that the boys were expecting snow, whilst frantically  back pedalling and telling the boys it probably wouldn't snow.

When we got to our playdate the other mums all gleefully chatted to the boys about snow and pondered when it might snow.

Hah. No chance of that one blowing over.

The next day they were still wondering if it was going to snow. Funnily enough, it didn't.

If you've been following along with my stories the last few weeks you might remember my struggles to get a referral to a psychiatrist for Chai.

Last week I was at the farmers market when I got a phone call from the Dr. She told me that she'd found a great psychologist for Chai. FFS.

Once again I told her that he has a great psychologist but the education department requires a letter from a psychiatrist. She then went on to tell me that the referrals are normally handled by a paediatrician and that she knows I cancelled my follow up appointment with them. What that has to do with anything I don't know.

I told her that I need a referral to a psychiatrist so she said she'd call Chai's psychologist and talk to her about it. FFS.

She did nothing so I went to see the psychologist myself. We had a long chat and she is arranging a referral to a local psychiatrist (the one the Dr said I wouldn't be able to get in to. Apparently I can get in to see them and it'll take around six weeks!)

Then she told me that a Dr is usually the one who does referrals to psychiatrists! FFS.

I'm never seeing that Dr again!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

September Empties

September was a pretty poor month for empties, I have lots of products that are nearly finished but not much that I managed to use up. I did manage to finish a perfume though!

Kora Organics Hydrating Day and Night Cream
I was surprised at how much I liked using the Kora mosturiser. I love that it's a day and night cream, so saves me buying two different products. It kept my dry skin feeling soft and comfortable through the cold winter weather. It worked really well mixed in with foundation to make a tinted moisturiser on those days I only wanted a light base. I'll definitely purchase it again. 

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation 
I'm in love with Born This Way, it's a beautiful foundation. It gives medium coverage, evens out my dark patches and is undetectable on my skin. Once I've finished a few foundations I'll be purchasing this (or I may just buy it anyway!)

Alaffia Deodorant
One of my two holy grail natural deodorants. If only it was available in Australia. I order mine from iHerb.

Lush Rose Jam Perfume
I was so sad to finish this as it's no longer available. It's one of my all time favourite scents. They've just released a body spray in the Rose Jam scent so I'll be buying it asap.

After these four I only have a few samples left, which I hope to finish this month.

I'm in love with the Kevyn Aucoin Illuminator, it's magic. If it was cheaper I would have purchased it already. Candlelight is the perfect shade for pale skinned girls. I mixed it in with my foundation for a beautiful glow.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Facial Oil was lovely too, it's one I'll consider purchasing in the near future.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Last week Kimberley told me about two websites where you can check the date your cosmetics were made. Oh my goodness! I checked three of my MAC lipsticks, one was eight years old!

2. If you'd like to check when your products were made, the websites are here and here

3. This is giving me a great starting point for my new year declutter (which I'm planning already!)

4. I'm starting to think about my plans for next year. I've got my skincare very close to where I want it to be, make-up is next. I'm thinking that 2018 will be the year of the no buy or very low buy.

5. I haven't figured out how I'll go about it yet, any suggestions? I think a total no buy is not realistic, however a very low buy is. I'm also considering going cruelty free and maybe even natural products only.

Friday, 6 October 2017

FFS Friday - I can dream

Trying to get things sorted for Chai at school is proving difficult. Very difficult. 

I'm starting to wonder why I'm bothering when I can just home school and save all the trouble (and money).

To get funding for a teachers assistant he needs to see a psychiatrist. 

I'm expecting that will be really expensive.

I took him to the Dr and asked for a referral to a psychiatrist, explained why I need it and why it has to be a psychiatrist not a psychologist or paediatrician.

As she's new to the area she said that she'd find out who to refer Chai to and send the referral to me.

A few days later I received a letter from a paediatricians office saying they'd received a referral for Chai. FFS.

He's already seen a paediatrician who can't help and it was a huge waste of $360.

I called the Dr's surgery, explained the situation and they said they'd call me back that day.


The next day the Dr called me and explained that she'd referred Chai to a paediatrician because they are experts in anxiety, sensory issues etc and they can arrange a referral to a psychiatrist. 

So she wanted me to spend $360 to get a referral? 

I explained to her once again that it had to be a psychiatrist and that he's already seen both a paediatrician and a psychologist.

I also explained to her that seeing the paediatrician cost $360 so I wasn't prepared to spend that sort of money just for a referral that she could provide!

She apologised for the confusion. WTF? There was no confusion, she just didn't listen to me when I explained to her the first time why it had to be a psychiatrist and no-one else. FFS.

As is usual with the country, there's only one paediatric psychiatrist down here so getting an appointment will take at least six months and mean that Chai won't have the report in time for the start of school next year. FFS.

All signs are pointing to no.

I am seriously wondering why I'm playing this game and why I am allowing my boy to be part of a schooling system that doesn't work for him. 

I'm kidding myself thinking that next year will be better, it'll be exactly the same. They'll still have unrealistic expectations that he won't be able to achieve. 

It's not healthy or normal for young children to be sitting still all day. They need freedom and movement.

The difference in Chai since he stopped school is amazing. Not only is he a lot happier, physically he's come a long way. He's so much stronger. His core strength is better, he's less floppy, has more stamina and is making progress so quickly. All this is due to him not sitting down all day at school. 

I wish I'd never sent him to school, that I'd trusted my instincts and kept him home where he needed to be. 

Off the grid or a nomadic lifestyle is looking more and more enticing. If only we could free ourselves of our financial constraints and escape.

I can dream. Not only for me, but for my babies.

Monday, 2 October 2017

What's in my spring make-up bag

Spring is here, the weather is warming up and it's time to crack out the bright, spring coloured make-up. I have a few products that I've nearly used up so I won't be swapping them out, but I am adding in some bright lipsticks and a few pretty eye shadows. I've swapped my foundation for a lighter base and my SPF 15 sunscreen for an SPF 50 version. 

I've been loving purple lately so pulled out my Nars Night Fairy eyeshadow. It's a gorgeous light, shimmery purple. I'm hoping to hit pan on it as I've had it for more years than I care to admit. 

The Natio palette was a birthday present from Tiger, the colours are perfect for spring/summer and it even has a bronzer!
Swatches from top: Eye of Horus Lazuli Blue, Nars Night Fairy, NYX Girl Talk, Colour Pop Bill and Laura Mercier Grey Pearl

The other eyeshadows I'll be using are Colour Pop Bill, NYX Girl Talk and Laura Mercier Grey Pearl (which isn't grey at all, it's taupe). 

I've also pulled out one of my all time favourite eye liners, Eye of Horus Lazuli Blue. It's a beautiful, bright blue that looks great with barely there eye shadow.

Base wise I'll be using two favourites, It Cosmetics CC+ and BYS Pure Silk serum foundation. I love the CC because it has an SPF of 50 which is ideal for spring and summer. 

The BYS Pure Silk foundation is a new favourite. Despite being very light it gives great, buildable coverage. I usually only need one layer with a second layer just on the problem spots. 
Swatches from top: Inika Blossom Lip Glaze, Shanghai Suzy Pink Lady, Ilia Lady Blossom, Shanghai Suzy Peony, Charlotte Tillbury Very Victoria

Now for my favourite, lip products. I've pulled out a few old favourites and added in some new beauties.

Shanghai Suzy Peony for a dark wash of pink and Pink Lady for a beautiful bright pink. Ilia Blossom Lady for a sheer wash of pinky mauve, Inika Blossom for days when I want a light shimmery pink and Charlotte Tillbury Very Victoria when I want the mlbb look. 

Do you change your make-up each season? What are your favourite spring products?

*Note: The BYS foundation and Inika Lip Glaze were provided for review. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I'm loving watching Sophie Monk on the Bachelorette. My favourites are Apollo, Luke Jarrod and James.

2. A new eco shop has opened in town, I'm so excited that we can finally buy eco friendly products instead of having to order them online. I bought some Onya produce bags and have been using them instead of collecting plastic at the supermarket. 

3. Since discovering that I can recycle soft plastics at Coles, I've been astounded at how much plastic we use. Most of it is shopping bags, so I've starting taking my own bags. I put them in the front seat of my car so that I don't forget them and that's working well for me. I used to keep them in the boot and always forget them, with them in the front seat I can see them so always remember. 

4. Spring is in the air. I'm a winter girl but have to admit that I'm looking forward to the warmer weather. 

5. Pinks new album is out this month!

Friday, 29 September 2017

FFS Friday - Explosions

Oh my goodness. You know how you have those parenting days/weeks/months where you think you aren't going to survive? We've had one of those weeks. The stupid thing about weeks/days like that is I don't take care of myself which makes me feel even worse. I eat sugar in an effort to help my stress levels but it doesn't help, it makes me feel worse. Silly.

It's been cold and wet so the kids have been stuck inside. Eljay doesn't mind but Chai goes mad. He can't cope with being stuck inside all day. 

I've been taking them out as often as I can, going to the library, setting up obstacle courses in the house etc, but it's not enough for Chai.

His behaviour gets worse and worse, his sensory issues escalate and his anxiety is through the roof. I feel so helpless when he's like this. I can help his sensory problems but have no idea what to do about the anxiety. It's times like this I wonder how I will cope homeschooling him.

Yesterday I was sure that I was going to explode. I tried to arrange catch ups with a few friends but they were all busy. By 8am we'd been awake for three hours and Chai was off his trolley. Tantrums, hurting his brother, screaming etc.

I took them to a playground but it was freezing cold and Chai wouldn't play because his clothes were uncomfortable so we came back home again. He got changed and we headed to Kmart to get some slime in the hope that would keep them quiet for a few minutes. 

On the way home we decided to stop at the park. I didn't have a book or water bottle with us as we hadn't been planning on going out. I usually have a bottle of water in the car but we'd drunk it all so I'd taken it inside and forgotten to put it back in the car. 

The kids played whilst I sat on the chair fuming and trying to cheer myself up. After a few minutes some other kids came to play and the boys were happy. Their mother came over so we sat there chatting and I started feeling a little better. A while later a lady I'd met earlier in the week turned up so we all stood around chatting whilst our kids played. 

We stayed at the park for three and a half hours and got home in the late afternoon. We all felt so much better, it was wonderful. 

That's one thing I love about living in the country, everyone is so friendly. A few hours at the park is all we needed to restore our spirits and reset our mood. 

Here's hoping next week is a better week. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Inika Lip Glaze

Recently I've been trying a few Inika products and loving most of them. Their foundation and BB cream are amazing, as is their primer. I tried their lip glazes a while ago but they didn't have a colour that I liked. They've reformulated and expanded the range so there are now seven gorgeous shades available. There is also a beautiful lip serum which I will be reviewing soon.

Cherry, Hazelnut, Rosewood, Coral, Blossom, Cappuccino, Cinnamon.
Cherry is a deep red with brown undertones.
Hazelnut is cool light taupe.
Rosewood is a cool rose.
Coral is a true coral.
Blossom is a neutral pale pink.
Cappuccino is a warm bronzey brown.
Cinnamon is warm browny apricot.

From bottom to top: Cherry, Hazelnut, Rosewood, Coral, Blossom, Cappuccino, Cinnamon.
I really love the texture of these, they feel weightless on my lips. Unlike matte liquid lipsticks, they aren't at all drying, my lips are left feeling hydrated and soft. Upon first application they look very glossy then settle to a luminous shine. I get around three hours wear before I need to reapply. They wear off evenly and the darker colours leave a stain of colour behind. There is no discernible flavour or fragrance. 

Inika Lip Glazes cost $35.00. The Lip Glazes are natural, vegan, contain 77% organic ingredients and are cruelty free. 

*Note: These products were provided for review.

Monday, 25 September 2017

The products that got me through winter

Winter has drawn to a close here in Australia, however the cold weather is lingering on. I'm looking forward to warmer weather whilst enjoying the last of the cold. 

The Physic Garden Winter herbal tea blend
I love herbal tea in winter. This beautiful blend was a gwp from The Physic Garden. I'm hoping they sell it next winter because it was beautiful. It's a lovely, refreshing and calming blend of lemon balm, peppermint, elder flower and calendula. 
The lemon balm and peppermint are anti-virals, they reduce anxiety and support digestion. Elder flower is an anti-bacterial, immune booster and de-congestant and Calendula supports the lymphatic system and boosts immunity. 

Heal Your Gut
Diatomaceous Earth aka fossil shell flour is one of the strangest things I've used. It's a tasteless powder, I take it with my Super Elixir. 
Initially I purchased it for Tiger. He had issues with reflux for years and nothing (even medication) was helping. One month of taking Heal Your Gut and his reflux was gone. He now takes this daily. 
I started taking it because it was there, I've found that it helps the stomach pains I get due to the scar tissue on my bowel (thanks to Crohn's). I haven't had any stomach pain since I've been taking Heal Your Gut. I also notice that I only got sick twice this year, last year we were sick all of winter. 

WelleCo The Super Elixir
I will never be without my beloved Super Elixir. I didn't want to love this because of the price ($85 for 300 grams), but it's a wonder product. When I don't take this I have no energy and struggle through the day, when I do take it I have energy all day long and don't feel tired. It's also reduced my sugar cravings and made my skin look clearer.

Natralus Paw Paw ointment
My all time favourite paw paw balm. I use it on my lips, cuticles, dry patches, sores and rashes. It's one of those all purpose products with endless uses. 

Little Innoscents Winter Blues Balm
This is our Vicks replacement. I find it gentler than Vicks (which burns my sensitive skin) and it's safe to use on the boys too. I put it on the soles of their feet, their chest and their back when they have a cold, are coughing or are blocked up. It quickly clears a blocked nose and helps reduce coughing. Even better, it's organic.
Amazonia Raw Immune
This is a wonder product. It can be taken daily to support your immune system, or when you are getting sick. I don't take it daily, just when I'm feeling unwell. If I'm coming down with a cold I often only need one or two doses. If I have the flu I'll take it daily to ease the symptoms and help me recover faster. 
This year when everyone else got that awful flu that lasted three weeks or more, I was mildly unwell for four days and that's it.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I bought elastic shoe laces on ebay, they're amazing. Life changing even. 

2. It's funny how one small change can totally change your whole life. Taking Chai out of school has been wonderful. I feel like a different person, our home is happy and serene, it's brilliant.

3. I had a meeting with Chai's school this week. I'm feeling a lot more positive about things but I'm still not happy to return him to school. 

4. BYS Cosmetics are proving to be wonderful quality. I've often found the cheaper brands to be not great quality, but BYS are proving me wrong. Their creme lipsticks and serum foundation are excellent.

5. I've got nothing else.

Friday, 22 September 2017

FFS Friday - Towel Theory

So. It's no secret that I'm strange. Anyone who knows me can confirm that. I have many strange ways. One such strange way is my towel theory. I thought everyone had a towel theory but I've recently come to realise that they don't. 

Here goes.

I like to use my towel in a specific way to ensure that I'm not wiping bum germs all over myself. Bum germs are not good. I don't want to wipe underarm germs on myself either. To ensure this doesn't happen I have a specific method of drying myself. Yep, I know.

I dry my face first, using the very end of the towel. Then I wrap the towel around myself and dry the rest of my body. I dry my armpits and bum last, using the middle of the towel. Clever. That way I know that I'm never drying my face with the same piece of towel that I dried my bum with. Easy.

In an ideal world I'd have a towel that was different colours on each side, then I could dry my bum with one side and my face with the other side, in case the bum germs managed to spread along the towel when I wasn't looking. 

For the uninitiated, bum germs are similar to toilet germs. They spread if you are careless and must be treated carefully to ensure that you aren't overtaken by bum/toilet germs. It's a serious business.

A few other things that gross me out:
When you swim in the ocean knowing that the fish wee and poo in there. 
Flying on an aeroplane and breathing recycled farts the whole trip. 
Using public toilets.
Shaking hands with people. You never know where their hands have been. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Small Essence Haul

Essence have two new collections out at the moment, a birthday collection and a colour correcting collection.  I always like to check out their limited edition collections, they come out with some really wonderful products that sell out very quickly.

I picked up a few pieces from their regular range as well as both new collections. 

The birthday collection contains the most awesome four and eight pan palettes with sprinkles in the lid, so cool. I really wanted to buy both the four and eight pan palettes but only bought the four pan as I think I'll use it more. I'm seriously considering getting the eight pan as well, then I could depot some of my MAC eyeshadows. The sprinkles move around the top of the palette, giving me hours of entertainment, haha.

The live, laugh celebrate products are both for the lips. They bright pink one is a lip powder and the light pink is a lip base. The two eye shadows are from their regular range and the little beauty angels colour correcting balls are from the colour correcting range (as you probably guessed). 

Monday, 18 September 2017

BYS Creme Lipsticks

Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi

I have to admit that I usually skip the beauty aisles at Kmart thinking that their products are aimed at teenagers. Due to that I haven't tried many BYS products. It wasn't until I saw a beautiful eye shadow palette on Instagram that I decided to have a closer look. What a great idea that was. I now have a palette, serum foundation and the creme lipsticks, which I will be reviewing in the next few weeks. Today I'm showing you the creme lipsticks. I have five of them, Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi.

Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi

If you like Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lipsticks then you need to try BYS Creme Lipsticks, they are very, very similar. 

The texture is creamy and hydrating, on my lips they feel very balm like. I've been wearing these almost daily since I received them, they truly combine the best of a gloss, balm and a lipstick. The colour is opaque with one layer and wears for about four hours. They do transfer if I eat or drink, which is to be expected with a cream lipstick.

The only negative is that they don't retract. The mechanism clicks up so dispensing too much shouldn't be a problem. 

From top: Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi

BYS Creme lipsticks cost $7.95 and are available from their website, Kmart, Gloss and Cosmetics Plus. All BYS cosmetics are cruelty free. 

Eva, Kate, Christie, Miranda and Gigi
*Note: These products were provided for review.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

Today I have only one thought and it's a question. In view of Connie Johnson dying this week, my question is "have you checked your breasts lately?" That goes for men as well, men can get breast cancer too.

Friday, 15 September 2017

FFS Friday - I can dream

I'm thinking that I'd like to learn to sew. I have wonderful visions of whipping up awesome skirts and dresses to wear and having a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes. I'm sure the reality would be very different but I can dream. 

If only I had a sewing machine. 

Last week we went to Perth for a few days. We had a wonderful time but were all thrilled to come home. 
I've realised that I'm no longer a city person. 

Here's a list of a few reasons why the country is much better than the city:

We have wider parking spaces. 

Finding a parking spot is easy.

The people are a lot friendlier.

No-one tries to run you over. 

The coffee in the city is truly awful. 

Country food is cheaper and nicer.
No pollution. I felt so dirty at the end of every day, it was horrible. 

Next week I have a meeting with Chai's school. Chai heard Tiger and I talking about it and got really upset. Not a good sign.

I was thinking that he might go back to school next year, however if he's going to panic at the mention of school he won't be going back.

Day by day his sensory issues are getting better. It's further proof of the stress that he was under at school. Pressure like that for young children is not acceptable.

I'm not sure what the school are going to say or what I'm going to say to them. They are a great school, he just didn't have the right teacher for him. 

I think he needs a free range school where he isn't expected to sit at a desk all day. 

There's only one free range school down here (one of the downsides to living in the country) and they don't answer the phone. Which reminds me, I need to email them.

I don't understand all the fuss over Laura winning The Bachelor. So what if she looks similar to Georgia? So Matty has a type? Big deal! Why aren't people happy that he's found love? Isn't that what it's all about? I'm confused. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Maybelline Tattoo Brow Gel Tint

The beauty world comes up with some weird and wonderful things. One of the strangest things I've found recently is the new Maybelline Tattoo Brow Gel Tint. It's a gel that you apply to your brows, leave on for between 20 minutes to 2 hours and then peel off. It tints your brows for around three days. Interesting. 

I've used it twice now and the verdict is in. I think it's a good idea for people like me who are too scared to dye their brows. I'm now thinking about dying my brows because of the time saving aspect every morning. It's so nice to wake up with brows that are already done. 

Brows before tinting. You can see that the ends are quite pale.

Scary. The boys said I looked like Boss Baby, hahaha. I left it on for two hours and then peeled it off. It peels off easily and doesn't remove any brow hairs.

Immediately after tinting. I love that my brows look so dark and full.

Day one. You can't get your brows wet for 24 hours after tinting, which was a slight problems as I shower in the morning, but I managed to keep them dry.

Day two. You can see here that the colour is looking a little orange, which I didn't like, but it was easily covered with brow pencil.
Day three. Luckily the orange tinge is gone and the cool tone is back.

By day four the colour was all gone and my brows were back to normal. I used the light brown shade, I think the dark brown would have been way too dark for me. 

Whilst I'm not sure I'll buy this again, I'll use up the bottle that I have and then probably get my brows dyed. I love how easy it is to use and the time that it saves in the morning not having to do my brows.

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Lip Lab Fremantle

Last Friday I went to The Lip Lab in Fremantle to get a lipstick and lip gloss made. It was so much fun! I've been wanting to go for a year now and was so excited that I could finally get there. 

My appointment was with Tanya, she's absolutely lovely, if you go there I highly recommend booking with her. 

It takes 45 minutes to make a lipstick and lip gloss, they're made right in front of you as you watch. I found the whole process fascinating. I took in my Chanel Boy lipstick intending to get it duplicated but ended up with something quite different, hahaha.  

With both the lipstick and gloss you get to choose the formula you want, I chose a creme lipstick and hydrating gloss. I also added flavour to both of them, chocolate for the lipstick and coffee hazelnut for the gloss. If I went again I'd get extra flavouring as the flavour is quite subtle and I like it to be stronger. 

I've always wondered if the product was worth the price. $55 for a lipstick is what you'd pay for a YSL lipstick. In my opinion it is well worth it because I have the exact colour that I want. The cream lipstick is opaque with one swipe, feels moisturising and lasts for around six hours. The lipstick case is satisfyingly heavy and feels high end.  

$30 for a custom made gloss is a bargain. It's much cheaper than high end lip glosses and a lot nicer. I chose the hydrating formula (they also have a glossy formula), so it feels creamy and moisturising, like a tinted lip balm. 

Tanya was very patient and changed the colour at least six times before I was happy with it. Once you're happy with the colour, the flavour is added, you choose the lipstick shape you want then it's melted, put into a mould and set.

Getting a lipstick and gloss made costs $85, additives are $3. For the month of September all services at Fremantle are 20% off. Whilst it's not cheap, I do think it's well worth going, if only for the experience. I had a lot of fun and having something that's made exactly the way you want it is wonderful.

They keep a record of the colour you've got so that you can easily re-order. They'll even post products!

 Have you been to The Lip Lab? What did you get made?

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've found the best re-useable coffee cups. They are West Loop by Contigo, they're leak proof and thermal. We got ours from Homes n Things for $23. 

2. At the end of our first full week with Chai at home I am feeling more relaxed and happy than I have in a very long time, it's wonderful.

3. We spent a few days in Perth this week. The coffee up there is crap, really crap.

4. Whilst it was lovely going to Perth, I truly am a country girl.

5. I thought Tiger was going to have a heart attack watching the football last night. I wonder how many people actually did.

Friday, 8 September 2017

FFS Friday - Changes

I mentioned last week that Chai is homeschooling now. It's been a long time coming but I'm happy with our decision.

We had so many problems with his school and it was causing him a lot of stress. I didn't realise how his unhappiness was affecting the whole family until I took him out of school.

I felt stressed all the time. I always felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown and no matter what I did my stress levels didn't reduce. Chai was getting worse and worse. The last few weeks of his schooling he was coming out of class in sensory meltdown. That is not normal or healthy. 

I had so many meetings with his teacher and yet nothing changed. I spoke to her, his OT spoke to her, we both emailed her and yet nothing would change. Every day he was being punished for behaviours that he had no control over. After observing him in class his OT told me that he would never be able to do the things that his teacher wanted him to. Despite knowing that she didn't change her expectations.

I was getting increasingly angry and frustrated with her, to the point where I couldn't even look at her. I knew that homeschooling was going to happen, the only thing stopping me was worrying about how I 'd cope having Chai home all the time. His behaviour at home was very difficult to cope with and it made me not want to be anywhere near him.

The final straw came one Monday afternoon when Chai came out of school in sensory meltdown. I checked the board and once again he'd been put it time out. I struggled to get him to the OT and when we were there the OT told me that she'd been to the school to observe Chai. The teacher hadn't bothered to tell me, despite having had numerous opportunities to do so. It's my right as a parent to know what is happening with my child.

I spoke to my cousin who homeschools and she told me to just do it. I made the decision to homeschool and had a mini breakdown on the phone to my sister, worried about how I'd manage to stay sane. I knew I just had to suck it up and do what was right for my child, but I was so very worried that it'd break me. I needn't have worried. 

The next morning when Chai asked (as he did every day), if he could stay home, to his delight I said yes. He was thrilled. During the day we talked a lot about school, if he'd like to be homeschooled and how he'd cope not getting to see his friends every day. I was worried about him missing out on socialising with his friends as he's a very social child. He wasn't concerned. I made sure he understood that he wouldn't see his friends and that he couldn't go to school to play with them. 

We had a wonderful day. He was so happy and a delight to be with. When we were at a playground he laughed and I realised that I couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed. The next day (Wednesday) when we woke up he asked if he could stay home and again I said yes. We had another wonderful day and slowly I began to relax. I realised how stressed and unhappy we'd been. 

The boys stopped fighting, Eljay stopped having screaming tantrums and peace was restored to our household. On the Friday I sent Chai to school. He knew it was his last day. I wanted him to have the chance to say goodbye to his friends. In hindsight it wasn't the right decision.

I took him in to his classroom in the morning and his teacher would not make eye contact with me. That afternoon I picked him up. I went in to his classroom to clear out his desk. His teacher, the teacher's assistant and I were the only people in the room. I spoke to the teacher's assistant, Chai's teacher once again would not make eye contact with me. I made no effort to speak to her as I had nothing nice to say. 

That evening I got an email from her that I needed to get at the start of the year. If I had got it at the start of the year I would have been thrilled. When I got it I was angry as it looked like she was just trying to cover her ass. It was too little too late. The first line said that she was sorry she hadn't got the chance to talk to me that day. Bullshit! I emailed her and told her that Chai would not be returning to school.

After having spent the day at school Chai went backwards for a few days and the angry little boy returned, but when I reminded him that he was no longer going to school my happy child came back again. 

I can't believe how different he is now. I feel really bad that I let my child be placed under so much stress. I also feel bad that I didn't recognise how unhappy he was. How could I not notice my baby was miserable?

Before I struggled to get him to do anything educational, now he's happy to read, write and do learning activities. We haven't done a lot as I'm still waiting to receive the information from the Education Department, but I'm integrating learning in to our every day lives. Chai will even voluntarily read or write now that there's no pressure on him.

Every now and again he says things that make me feel so sad for him. A few days ago he told me that school was a dark, sad place.
He also told me that at home he's a normal boy and at school he's not. How awful. 

I don't know how things are going to look for us next year. Chai wants to go back to school so I suppose if he still wants to go next year I'll let him. I will not let him go back to the unhappy boy he has been this year. I'll give it a maximum of six weeks and if he's miserable I'll homeschool again.

I truly believe our education system needs to be totally overhauled. Six year old children should not be stressed and unhappy because of school. It's not healthy or natural to place our children in such awful situations. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The foundation tip dry skinned people need to know

Every now and again I come across a tip that's a total game changer. This one from Wayne Goss is one such tip. It's so simple and yet so wonderful. 

The video is here, however if you can't be bothered watching here's a summary.

Apply a drop or two of oil to your foundation before you apply. It makes your foundation apply flawlessly and look amazing. It stops the foundation settling in to fine lines and also works wonderfully when used with concealer. 

Wayne suggests using three or four drops, I find that one drop is enough for my slightly dry skin. Experiment with what works for you, if you have drier skin than mine you might need to use more oil. 

I've been using rosehip oil, jojoba works just as well. I just put a drop of oil onto my beauty blender, put the foundation on top of it and off I go. Magic. 

It's important to know that this does not work with water based foundations. I tried it with Too Faced Born This Way and ended up with a flakey mess. 

Give it a go and let me know what you think! 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Mecca Max City Slicker Tinted Oil

We all know how obsessed I am with lip oils. I'm also obsessed with Mecca Cosmetica, so you can imagine my delight when I found out that they were releasing a tinted lip oil. Naturally, I purchased two the day they were released.

There are three shades available, Nude, Apricot and Rose. I purchased Nude and Rose. Nude is a pinky mauve and rose is a mid tone pink. They are both surprisingly opaque. Usually with lip oils the colour is quite sheer, however that is not the case with City Slicker, they have almost opaque coverage with one layer. 
Top swatch: Nude. Bottom swatch: Rose.

The formula is light, non sticky and hydrating. It feels like wearing a light layer of lip balm. If you've tried the Clarins lip oils, these are quite similar in texture, just a little lighter. 

Once the oil has worn off a sheer stain of colour is left behind. I get about three hours wear before the oil wears off, the stain lasts all day. I'm a little disappointed that they have no fragrance or flavour, but I suppose that's the safe option.  

You can purchase the City Slicker Tinted Oils from Mecca Cosmetica for $16. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Pink has released a new single. As usual, it's amazing. You can listen to it here.

2. Does anyone still use Twitter? I rarely use it now, I never seem to have anything interesting to say.

3. This has been a big week for us. I took Chai out of school and decided to home school him. Stay tuned for more updates.

4. The FIFO lifestyle is tough. This swing Tiger has missed his birthday and Fathers Day.

5. Mosquito season is upon us :(.

Friday, 1 September 2017

FFS Friday - Thoughts on blogging

Whilst pondering (and deciding) the future of my blog, I decided that I'm going to talk more about blogging and what goes on behind the scenes. Whilst blogging can be a lot of fun it's also a time consuming and costly hobby.

The way brands interact with bloggers is interesting. Some brands will only give you products to review if you agree to only write positive reviews. Others want to see and edit your review before you post it. I kid you not.

Some brands are brilliant and ask that you write an honest review once you've properly tried the product and that you disclose that the product was provided for review. I like those brands.  

There are other brands that will send you a product to post on Instagram using a specific #. The post they like the most wins a prize. This is only open to specific bloggers and unknown to the consumer.

They also run competitions on Instagram to receive a product. They ask you to post using a certain # and if they like your post the most you get the product. Again, this is only open to certain people and not disclosed to the general public. 

Also, what's with Instagram lately? It's all advertising, promotion and people trying to get you to follow them. What really surprises me is when huge accounts and brands follow you, wait till you follow back and then unfollow the next day. What's with that? What do they think they'll achieve? Do they think you don't know what they're up to? It's pretty obvious when someone with over 10 thousand followers, who follows under 2 thousand people, that they're only following you to unfollow. Crap tactic.

I'm shocked that brands do the same thing. It's a brilliant way to put you off them. You'd think they'd want to keep customers/potential customers happy, not to annoy them. Mirenesse did that to me a few weeks ago. Burt's Bees does it all the time. Every few months they'll follow me and then unfollow a few days later.  

The strangest thing is when you unfollow a blogger and they block you. WTF? I understand if they're doing a giveaway and they don't want you to follow then unfollow, but if they aren't and block you purely cause you unfollowed them, WTF?!

That's the side of blogging and Instagram that most people don't know about. Interesting isn't it?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

August Empties

After last months dismal effort, August was much better. I cleaned up my bathroom counter and found a whole pile of samples so made a huge effort to use them up. I have a few left, but most of them are done now. I also finished a foundation! I'm determined to get through as many of my foundations as possible.

I also had a clean out and tossed a few products that either don't suit me or are old. The ones that don't suit me were given to someone who'll use them and the old products were tossed. Did you know that most cosmetics packaging is recyclable? Just look for the symbol on the bottom.

Frank Bod Coffee Scrub 
I only use It's The Bomb scrubs now, however I found this lurking in the back of my cupboard so used it.  Whilst it's a lovely scrub, It's The Bomb ones are better. 

L'Oreal Botanicals Geranium Shampoo and Treatment 
These are both lovely and I'd happily use them again. 

Clarins Gentle Beauty Soap
I'm surprised at how gentle this really is. I can use it on my face with no irritation. Despite that, I mainly use it on my body as I just can't bring myself to use a bar soap on my face.

Clinique Turnaround Face Mask
Unfortunately it appears that this has been discontinued as it's no longer on their website. It was a lovely mask/scrub that left my face feeling very smooth.

Models Prefer Caramel Lip Balm
Caramel lip balm! How difficult is it to find a caramel lip balm! Whenever I find one I buy it straight away. The Models Prefer balms a lovely, next time you see them on sale grab a few. 

TBX Brow Brush
RIP brush. It disintegrated in my drawer, no idea why.

Simplicite Great Outdoors Moisturiser
My holy grail winter sunscreen, ideal for dry skin. I'll repurchase this next winter. It has SPF of 15, I like to use a higher SPF for summer. 

The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick
Yet another product that is no longer available in Australia. Why do we miss out on so much? Life is cruel.

Clinique Superbalm
This is everything that I don't like in a lip balm and yet I love it. Bizarre. 

L'Occitane Hand Cream
These are my favourite hand creams, they have a range of beautiful scents, they're not greasy and are super hydrating. 

Buddha Balm Burnt Sugar Fig Lip Balm
I could tell you about this but there isn't much point as Buddha Balm are no longer operating.

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel
If I could only use one shower gel for the rest of my life I'd choose Rose Jam, the scent is beautiful. A few years ago they released a Rose Jam perfume which I was lucky enough to get my hands on. I hope they release it again. 

It's The Bomb Body Scrub 
Perfection in a scrub and the only body scrubs that I use now.

Clinique Moisture Surge Foundation
I love this, it was great for travel, gave good coverage and was easy to use. I won't be repurchasing any time soon as I have a lot of other foundations that I need to finish.

Empassion Facial Scrub
I didn't find this scrubby enough for my face, but it smelled lovely so I enjoyed using it. 

Skinstitut Even Blend Serum
Those of you who have dark spots need to try Even Blend Serum. Combined with the Skinstitut Vitamin C, it's a miracle worker for dark patches. I will continue to repurchase this until the end of my days.

Maybelline One by One Mascara
Effective yet unremarkable.

So many samples, no wonder my vanity was a mess! The Concordia and Oils of Life products were winners. The rest were okay but not amazing.

Tosses. That bottle of John Frieda Ocean Waves is vintage. It's their original sea salt spray and would be over ten years old. It still smells great and works as well as ever. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

A few of my favourite cleansers

After many, many years I'm finally getting a regime of skin care products that work for me and I'm happy to stick with. It's such a relief having products that I know work for me instead of constantly searching for something effective. Today I'm showcasing the cleansers I love. 

Palmers Facial Cleansing Oil
An oil based cleanser is the first step in my night time routine. I'm currently using Palmers, however I also use The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and MooGoo Oil Cleansing Method.

I love the scent of the Palmer's cleanser, it smells like chocolate! One swipe  removes all my make-up, including eye make-up. Unlike some oil cleansers, this doesn't leave a greasy film, my skin is left feeling soft and clean. 

Oil Cleansers are great for people with sensitive, easily irritated skin because they are gentle and yet still able to cut through layers of make-up and skin care. Ones designed for dry skin can also act as a moisturiser as they leave the skin feeling hydrated. 

Grahams Natural Daily Facial Gel Cleanser
I use this every night as my second cleanser. It's a light, gel cleanser that removes all my make-up, including eye make-up, without any irritation. On nights that I'm in a hurry I'll use this alone, however normally I use it after I've removed my make-up with an oil cleanser. I like that it removes all trace of the oil cleanser and leaves my skin feeling soft and comfortable. The pump top is an added bonus. 

Having dry skin I usually stay away from gel and foaming cleansers, but this is not at all drying or irritating, it's as gentle as a cream cleanser. 

Trilogy Cream Cleanser
This is my morning cleanser. I love it because of the beautiful scent and how gentle it is on my skin. Whilst it works well to remove make-up, I use it in the morning as I like to start my day with the lovely, luxurious scent. I'm all about nice scents. 

I could easily use this as my only cleanser, however due to the price ($38.95 for 200ml), I try to make it last as long as possible. 

Two other favourites not pictured as I don't have them at the moment are the Audra James 3 in 1 Skin Cleansing Balm and Concordia Natural Skincare Purifying Cream Cleanser.

What are your favourite cleansers?

Friday, 25 August 2017

FFS Friday - Why?

Do you ever wonder why we do things? Why we blindly follow a path just because it's "what you do"? I wonder that all the time. I've wondered for years. 

I also wonder how we know things are right. Just because everyone says something is right doesn't mean it is. For example. When I was seven my teacher told me my colouring in was messy because I didn't colour inside the lines. I wondered why we should colour inside the lines. I thought perhaps everyone was wrong and we were meant to colour outside the lines. How did I know she was correct? Just because it's always been that way doesn't mean it's right. So, I did a whole picture neatly coloured outside the lines, specially for my teacher. I gave it to her and she didn't say a word. Hah.

I regularly wonder if the rules we live by are correct. I struggle to believe that there can be a one size fits all rule. It makes no sense to me. Lately I've been thinking this about school. It's just not working for Chai. He doesn't fit the mould, he's struggling and it's turning him into an angry, upset little boy. So why do I send him? Because it's what you do. But that doesn't mean it's what I should do or what works for Chai. He's not ready for education. He has too many issues to be able to learn. He needs to get his sensory and physical issues sorted before he's ready to learn. If I take him out of school I'll be expected to homeschool him. Or what? What would happen if I took him out of school and let him be a free range child? I imagine nothing would happen. Sure I might get a few threatening letters and maybe even a visit but so what? My child would be happy and that's what's important. 

I can just imagine Chai when he's older wanting to know why I watched him suffer and did nothing to help him. It's my job to fight for him, even if that means that I fight against societal norms. 

As a child I didn't fit into the school system. It just didn't work for me, not because I had issues but because I was different to the other children and learned a lot quicker. Because of that I got bored. I wanted to be home schooled. I would have loved to be given my work for the year and left alone to do it. I reckon I could have finished the years worth of work in three months quite easily. I feel like the school system failed me. I didn't finish upper school and didn't go to uni because I didn't learn the way everyone else learned. 

I look at everyone blindly following the order of things and wonder what's wrong with me. Why can't I follow along and be happy with the way things are? But I can't. It just doesn't work for me because one size doesn't fit all and what's right for you may not be right for me.

As a society why do we blindly follow along with things that aren't right for us?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've been thinking about my blog lately and I'm glad that it doesn't align with brand values. That's not why I blog and not what I'm aiming for. I'm aiming to align with consumer values. I want to be an honest voice that people can trust, not an advertisement for brands. 
Thinking about the blogs that I read they're all honest voices. That's what I value and what I aim to be. So if I'm not aligning with brand values then I'm achieving what I set out to do. Go me.

2. I do want to appeal to some brands. The brands that are homegrown, small, natural and organic brands. Boutique brands, small businesses, ones run from home. I'm talking businesses like Audra James, Concordia Handcrafted Skincare, The Natural Supply Co. Places like that. They're honest, genuine and they love what they do. When you contact them you talk to the person who makes the product or sources them. That's what I like. 

3. Whilst we're talking about blogging, I've also decided that I am going to continue. I enjoy blogging when I ignore the external crap that goes on (eg BeautyDirectory/Instagram etc), so I'm going to ignore that stuff and continue on.

4. My cousin has just started home schooling her son. It's making me consider even more seriously whether I should home school Chai. I know that it would benefit him in a lot of ways but I think it would be detrimental in a lot of ways too. The other huge consideration is whether I could cope with it. I've been looking forward to next year when Eljay is in kindy because I'll have a little time to myself. Being an introvert I desperately need alone time and I haven't had it for six years. I feel like I'm barely holding on to my sanity. If I home school Chai I won't get that alone time and I'm not sure I could cope.

5. I made banana ricotta bread this week. It was amazing. I used this recipe.