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I'm a sucker for good packaging. Always have been, always will be. When my lovely friend gifted me this Grown Alchemist Manicure Set, I was impressed.

I'm not actually sure what the set was called, but it contains the Sweet Orange, Cedarwood & Sage Hand Wash, Hypericum Extract, Neem, Borage Cuticle Oil, and the Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream. It couldn't have been more timely, as my hands and nails were completely battered after a Christmas season in retail!

Grown Alchemist has been one of those brands us Aussies have seen countless times in Priceline or Department Stores, and it has only gotten better and better with time. With a vast array of botanicals available to us locally, it's no surprise that we excel in creating natural, botanical based skin care that works. I've only tried a few of their products before (I'm a big fan of the hand cream) but I'm here to tell you that they have been exceptional.

WHAT'S TO LOVE:

  • Australian made and manufactured. They source locally wherever possible and I wholly support home grown brands.
  • The packaging isn't just incredible to look at, it's also made of recyclable materials and premium PET plastic!
  • Made from natural ingredients that your skin is familiar with in order to best keep adverse reactions and ageing at bay.
  • It's 100% Organic
  • It's cruelty free, yay!
  • IT SMELLS SO GOOD
I'm not going to lie, I am obsessed with smelling my hands after I use the hand wash. I'm such a sucker for anything containing cedarwood - I just find that scent so comforting and fresh and calming! My hands have been absolutely loving this trio, my nails feel stronger and less brittle, and my hands haven't had that horrible parched feeling I've been experiencing in this dry heat! I also love that the hand cream doesn't sit on your hands and feel greasy - it sinks in quickly, but hydrates so well!

If you're a lover of Aesop, you will love Grown Alchemist. The hand wash looks soooo pretty in my bathroom, and you just know you're going to see that hand cream lingering in the background of all my photos!
When a brand with great packaging also happens to have incredible products, it's a win in my book.

Have you tried anything from Grown Alchemist? 

I don't know how I went nearly two months without a post here - must have something to do with the fact the end of 2016 flew by in a blink of an eye! It felt like I had such a crazy end to the year, which I guess comes with the nature of working in retail during Christmas trade! I also seemed to come down with quite a lot of sickness, which is not like me at all, and it kind of bummed me out a little!

I still had a nice Christmas though - it was just my Dad and I this year and although I did miss the buzz of having Christmas morning with all my family and my young nieces and nephews tearing through the presents under the tree, I have to admit it was nice to just chill out, eat some good food, and not have to worry about driving anywhere!
I am a HUGE Christmas person, I just love everything about it, and whilst it did feel very quiet around here (literally my blog AND my house) I just have to remember I have plenty more ahead of me!



And just like that, we welcomed 2017 and I really, genuinely felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I didn't particularly enjoy 2017 - I don't think I came close to achieving any of my 2016 goals, and that upset me probably a lot more than it should have! I feel like I have yet another fresh start, and I'm starting to realise (after 27 years of living - yes, I just turned 27 ughhhh) that I really need to face things with a lot more positivity, rather than hammering myself over and over again for 'failing'.

There's a lot of these posts floating around, because we all love a good cliche post, right? I like it though, it's good for me to write it all down and have it there as a record, and I'm not going to lie - I love having at look at everyone else's to see what everybody else has decided to work towards in the new year! I've rambled on enough though, so here are my goals and resolutions for 2017!

1. HEALTH

Last year I was determined to lose weight and decided that 2016 was the last year I was going to spend being unhappy with myself, physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I had quite a few road barriers that led to me being unable to even remotely get near completing this goal and it definitely had me feeling pretty disappointed. So this year, it has to be the absolute last year. I'm actually getting sick of hearing myself say it!

2. YOUTUBE

I'm starting to become a little bit addicted to making Youtube videos, and it's something I really want to focus on this year. I just love coming home from work and watching videos while I cook dinner, or when I get ready in the morning. I find it relaxing and enjoyable and so easy to watch, but I definitely still feel like there is SUCH a hole in the 'market' here in Australia. I would say I watch almost exclusively UK vloggers only, as I love their style and personalities and lifestyles, however the vloggers we have here in Australia are just not the same. I absolutely respect them for what they do - some are incredible makeup artists, it's just not my style and I wish we had some more relaxed Youtubers here in Oz! That's what got me started in the first place, and I really hope that people are enjoying what I put out! I'm still learning, but I'm loving the experience so far!

3. FINANCE

I have no problems admitting I stumbled across some financial problems in 2016 - I made a few mistakes and I have certainly been paying for them. To put it simply, I've put myself in a bit of debt and it's more than depressing. It's quite selfish - I just miss being able to buy a few treats every so often, and not feel guilty about it. I miss saving money...and going on amazing overseas trips. I miss having savings, full stop! I don't regret having a credit card - I do find it quite annoying when people boast about never having one and never being in debt blah blah blah. Good for you, but I love my credit card, and I'm sure the banks love me ha ha ha. I've done some amazing things the past two years like go on overseas trips and I bought myself a brand new car, but I really need to buckle down and just get it all paid off. Having it hang over your head is awful! I could possibly be making a move to Melbourne in the future, and I am really going to need some savings to purchase things like furniture and appliances!

4. HAVE A WHITE CHRISTMAS

This is all sort of depending on what happens with my job this year, but it's always been my DREAM to have a white Christmas. I blame Home Alone 2 for making it all look so pretty. As I work in retail, there is absolutely no way I can take time off at Christmas. However, this year might be the year I do something drastic and finally fulfill my dream! Of course, I'll need those savings to allow me to do this...and you know, I'd have to quit my job. We shall see what happens though - I'm thinking Sweden AND New York?! Crazy, I know.

5. GO OUT MORE AND BRING MY CAMERA

I am definitely inspired by Tamira at The Guilty Girl with her 'Things To Do' posts. I love that when she goes places, she notes down all the nice little things to see there, what to do, what to buy and most importantly...what to eat! So interesting! I'm going to try and do something similar myself, as I do go out to eat fairly often already...but I would love to make it a more solid thing, and expand it to places to visit too! I also don't get my camera out enough, or even reach for my iPhone that much. I used to take so many photos and now I feel like I barely do! I feel like this is something I would definitely love to work on this year as a little regular feature on here!

So, some pretty big goals there, but I feel like there's a good mix of 'challenging' and '100% doable' so I've got no excuses to feel productive and inspired this year! I like a good mix of big and small resolutions, so you at least feel like you can achieve something, and that keeps you going!

What about you guys, have you got anything you're going to work towards in 2017? Tell me everything. 

Another year, another round up of my favourite beauty products! I look forward to these every year - I think it's great to see people gather up the products they loved the most, as it gives me inspiration and maybe a little bit of a shopping list too! We all go through our monthly favourites, and phases where we love a product to bits, but I think when you look back at an entire years worth of products, you really realise what the real gems are.

Make sure you comment and let me know what your favourites were - I neeeeed ideas, new year...new makeup? I'm okay with that.



I would LOVE if you subscribed, 2017 is the year I start to work harder on putting more videos out, so make sure you don't miss out when I do!


I'll be 27 by the end of this year, and despite the fact I'm still a few years off being in my 30's, I've been reflecting lately on my 20's and how much I've changed, and how much I've learnt.

It's funny - I was just talking to a friend yesterday about how much my perspective on certain things has changed, and how it seemed to happen overnight. We joked about how 'old' we are now, as we watched a group of 18yr old girls walk past us at 12pm on a Sunday afternoon in pretty minimal clothing and obscenely high heels. Seriously, our judgement could be felt miles away - when did we turn into such nanna's? And when did we become so okay with that?

I thought I'd compile a little list of my own observations, as I find these quite interesting to read. Sometimes I think we all have our own worries, or thoughts, that we think are unique to only us, when in fact, it seems as though so many others have the exact same thought, and it genuinely makes you feel so much better!

So, my twenties, in a nutshell:

1. It's okay to stay in on Saturday night.

I've never been a big 'going out' person right from the get go. When you're young though, it almost seemed compulsory that you went out on a Saturday night. I would have friends of parents ask me why I wasn't going out on a Saturday night, and it made me feel almost humiliated - like I wasn't as cool as their kids. Then there was of course the dreaded question at work - any plans for the weekend? They were just being polite, but my usual answer of 'not much' seemed to illicit looks of judgement from everyone who asked, to the point where sometimes I'd even lie about my plans. LIE. What in the world...? 
I love socialising and being with friends, but sometimes (most of the time) I just like to have a quiet weekend, and at the age of 27, I now can say with complete confidence that I actually LOVE staying in on Saturday nights. I'm not embarrassed to say that, and I'm so glad that feeling of 'needing to impress' has gone away. What a ridiculous thing to lie about - honestly! 

2. Health is so much more important than 'being skinny'.

When I was a teenager, I never worried about 'health' or weight loss or anything like that. I was raised on a healthy diet and school meant I exercised all the time. I never had a confidence issue until I was about 18 and started to put a little weight on. Nearly ten years later, 'health' is something that crosses my mind every single day, and it's made me realise how much it really can mean.

Health isn't about dieting, gym routines or calories. It's about your body, as a whole. It's about educating yourself on foods and what works for you, what makes you happy, and embracing what you have. I am always going to love food, and eating. I am never going to be great at portion control, and I'm never going to like quinoa. 
I have also realised that years of not paying attention to what I'm doing to my body is starting to take a toll on not just my stomach or my hips, but also my heart and my mind. If I knew how much damage I was doing to my mind, I would have gotten a hold of it years ago before it got out of hand. 

Listen to your body, don't listen to anyone else. You will know whats best.

3. You cannot pull off winged eyeliner, and it's okay.

I have hooded eyes, which means winged eyeliner gets cut off at the crease and looks really weird. I can do it if I make the wing really thick (and 60's style, which I love!) but it takes a lot of effort and doesn't come across as being very casual. I've definitely learnt after ten years of trying that I'm just not ever going to have the perfect cat eye flick, and it's totally okay. There are other things that suit me better!

4. Stop comparing yourself to others.

This is my biggest and worst habit, especially being in the blogosphere. I have consistently compared myself to others and it's never ended well, so why did I keep doing it?

I think it's natural to compare yourself to others, and in some ways its a healthy thing. It's what helps us learn and grow, but I've realised that there is a point where you have to stop and look at what you have achieved on your own already. Envy is never a nice look, and it certainly isn't ever going to push you in a good direction.

5. Not everything is going to happen smoothly.

I knew from a pretty early age that nothing I wanted to do was going to be easy. It would have been great if I just finished my Business degree and got a job in Marketing, but unfortunately it was decided that I definitely could not, and would not follow an easy path, and whatever it is that's in store for me is not going to be easy to achieve. 
For the most part, everyone always has to work hard to get where they are, that's a given, but I know particularly when you're interested in creative industries, it's always so much harder to get where you want, and I really had to sit down one day and tell myself that if I want to be happy, then I have to stop letting every road bump get in my way.
It may seem cheesy, but I actually got a Latin quote tattooed on my arm a few years ago, as when I first read it, it really resonated with me.

"Fluctuat nec Mergitur."

It roughly translates to 'She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink', which to me seems like a reminder that despite all battles, you must pick yourself up and try again. I think this is something we must all remember in times of hardship!

6. Resist picking at your skin at all costs.

Okay, to be fair, I still haven't quite learnt this. What I have learnt though is that picking at spots ALWAYS makes them worse - why do we keep doing it? Not only does it aggravate the skin further, but it almost always leaves a scar. Nothing good has ever come of it, so why do we keep doing it?

7. Wear sunscreen.

Growing up in a country with an extreme UV index and the highest rate of skin cancer in the world would make you think I am completely sun-savvy. Sadly, sunscreen was just not something of high importance when I was young, and so as a young adult, I was a little too carefree for my liking.

It's mostly the smell - I can't stand the smell of sunscreen, so when I was a kid I would struggle awfully when my mum tried to put it on me and she would end up giving up and letting me go. I tan very easily, I have a naturally olive complexion, however that doesn't mean I'm immune from burning and wow have I had some bad experiences in the past. As a teenager and young adult, you kind of brush it off - yep, it hurts but than tan is so worth it! That's all I really ever saw, so I didn't care.

Fast forward to my late twenties, and I'm a lot more aware of the consequences. Some are already apparent, but others I'm waiting for, paranoid more than ever. I've always been lucky that I've had great skin, never needed skincare until I was about 21, never really needed to wear a lot of makeup. Now though, my face is full of broken capillaries and sun damage, and it's irreversible unless I want to undergo laser surgery. I have so many regrets, as I now feel like the redness in my face is so bad I absolutely have to cover it up, and no skincare can help me.

As for my paranoia, my body is basically covered in moles and small freckles. I mean, not covered, but they're there. On my back, my arms, and a couple on my legs. I have to watch these so carefully, and I know one day I'm going to have to suck it up and visit a skin clinic to get them checked. To be honest, I'm dreading it. It's one of my biggest fears to receive news I may have skin cancer (even if it's something that can be removed easily). The ads on TV do a good job on instilling fear into me, and I just wish I could go back in time and cover myself in sunscreen like everyone else. Couldn't they at least have made good sunscreens earlier in my life? The ones they have on the market now are great!

8. Embrace your weirdness.

It may come as a surprise to some, but I was not a cool kid. Shocking, I know. I'm still not very cool but I kind of like that. I like that I'm a little kooky, and a little weird, and I hope this is something that sets me apart. I'm not sure why or when liking something 'out of the norm' became something to mock, because it's ridiculous and petty. Your weirdness makes you interesting, and no one wants to be dull!
I'm okay with being an absolute Harry Potter lover. I am currently wrapped in a giant Harry Potter blanket I've had since I was ten. I play games on my phone. I don't like Adam Sandler or any of his movies (except maybe Big Daddy and his cameo in Hot Chick). I love reading (although I don't consider this weird, and it's so wrong that it's become 'un-cool' to read). I used to make websites from scratch when I was as young as 13, and yes, sometimes I still want to play The Sims. I just love decorating houses, okay?

9. Prioritise what you want in life and make it happen.

By this, I'm mostly talking about money and where to spend it. I've been told consistently since I was about 16 that I need to save up and not spend my money on rubbish. I'm not sure what 'rubbish' was meant to mean, but I certainly don't think I was spending money on it. For me, I loved (and still do) travelling. I would save up all through my uni months and when it came to holidays, I would fly back home and have a fun two weeks with my friends, whether we took a mini holiday or just spent all our money on food and drinks and movies. Whatever it was, I had a great time and now I have great memories to reflect back on.
In my early twenties, I decided to branch out and travel overseas. I travelled the world for three months on less than $10,000 and saw almost everything I wanted, and had one of the greatest experiences of my life.
This is where I place importance - experience. I know people as young as 21 or 22 who are busy saving for their first home, and who haven't stepped foot on a plane. To me, this is crazy - a house is an investment you are paying off for the rest of your life (especially if you live in Sydney!), why would you throw yourself into that at such a young age?
If this is what you want though, go for it. If that is what will make you truly happy, do everything in your power to make it happen.
If you want to travel to another five countries before you turn 30, don't listen to everyone telling you to save for a car, or a house. Do what you know will make you happy - there is time for everything else later in life. Embrace your youth. We can worry about everything else in our 30's ;)

10. Friendships become harder to maintain the older you get.

This one was hard to realise. The words 'I've been such a bad friend.' have been uttered in my circle of friends more times than I can count. It's silly, of course. It's also a reality of becoming an adult, and your life changing before your eyes.
I think it must happen early in your twenties. We all finish university, or pick up full time jobs. We start relationships, form new circles of friends, pick up new hobbies. Before we know it, 'hanging out' seems like something of the past and something we now have to 'schedule' in. It's a sad reality, but I think it affects a lot of us.
When this was starting to happen, when all our priorities shifted, I realised that we now needed to work harder than ever to maintain our relationships with people, but when you have a great relationship with someone, it's actually, not very hard at all.

I could have come up with a list a mile long, but these are the ones that stood out for me - and yes, learning I could not pull off winged liner was pretty devastating and naturally made the cut.

What about you guys? I can't believe how much of a change you go through in your twenties - adulting is so hard!

It's no surprise that some of my most loved Instagram accounts are those made by fellow Aussies. I love any Instagram feed that allows me to dream of travelling, beaches and good food and it's no secret that Aussie's love to travel and eat well - and boy do they do it well. 

I wanted to share some of my absolute favourites with you today and...sorry not sorry for inducing any post-winter blues with these sun drenched Instagram accounts.



@ _gracek

This Aussie travel blogger has an Instagram made of dreams. Her photos make me want to jump on a plane and go anywhere. A must for vibrant, soulful and crisp photos that will make you rather jealous.


@ life.with.three

Another instagrammer who's feed makes me incredibly jealous. Bright, sun drenched photos which, when scrolling through in your dressing gown as winter has just finished, has you yearning for the warmth of the sun on your skin. I'm not sure if I follow these gorgeous instagrammers because I hate myself or if it's because they're serious #goals.


@ elsas_wholesomelife

This is healthy inspo at it's very finest. It's the perfect mix of travel and good food, and not just any food - the most Pinterest worthy and colourful food you've ever seen. If you lead a plant based diet, or are just interested in consuming more plant based meals, this gal is perfect for you.


@ tashoakley

It's almost cheating including Natasha Oakley but I couldn't not. Co-founder of swimwear brand Monday Swimwear, Natasha's Instagram if full of beautiful location shots, as well as her incredible style. On a personal level, her body is absolute #bodygoals, agreed?


@ the_excursionist

I don't know too much about this account other than the fact their photos are dreamy. They truly capture the experiences of travel, and if there was one word to describe the account, it would be wanderlust. Incredible.



How many days till summer...?
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