Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wanderlust - My Top Ten Places I Want To Visit



I have had the travel bug for what seems like all my life. I can't remember a time when I hadn't dreamt of places to travel, and I remember extensively mock planning trips when I was younger - down to the hotels, and activities I would do. I love every single aspect of traveling - the planning, the foreign territory, the mistakes, the laughs, the stories, the exhausted feeling that seems to catch up to you at the worst moments...it's such a fantastic learning experience that I feel everyone should go through at least once in their life.

I'm forever trying to decide where to go next, it's always changing and just wish I could do more, and quicker! It seems I can't get enough, even though I've experienced so much already. I saw this post the other idea and thought it was such a lovely idea, I wanted to do something similar on here.

Here's a brief rundown of where I have already been: I travelled parts of the west coast of the US with my dad when I was ten (so basically - DISNEYLAND), and we also travelled to New Zealand when I was 15. In between 15 and 21, I hadn't travelled overseas, but instead ended up seeing almost all of my own country, something that I would recommend ANY Australian to do. We have such a beautiful country, I don't think you can truly appreciate whats over the seas until you know what you are leaving behind!
When I was 21, my best friend and I packed up our enormous backpacks and ventured on a three month backpacking trip to Europe (for 2 months) and the US (for 1 month). It was the best thing I've ever done - ever. The things we saw, the people we met, the stories I have to tell are just...once in a lifetime. It was exhausting, but totally worth it, and I would do it all over again.
A couple of years later, my brother moved temporarily to New York to live with his fiancee (Hi Marisela, I know you're reading) and I decided I would love to go back and visit New York, and going in their Fall and over Halloween proved to be one of the best times to go. It was also one of the best experiences to be shown around by a local - I had already been to NY once before and I got to see it in a totally different light.
My last overseas trip was back to the US again with another good friend, whose friend was getting married in New Orleans, so again I got to explore even more of one of my favourite countries and I had such a good time, even though I'd been to most of the places already.

That wasn't so brief, in the end! But now, onto the good bits. Here's a rundown of where I would love to visit. I love reading and finding out these things about people, and it always inspires me to look into new places to visit!

1. Canada

I think this will be my next 'big' trip. I've wanted to do a big roadtrip for the longest time, and what better place than beautiful Canada? I blame Ben Brown for his amazing vlogs in Canada, as they've completely sold me. Plus, bacon eh?

2. South America

Another one that's been on my mind for a while. I haven't really ever travelled anywhere outside my comfort zone, and it's definitely something I want to do, and I can't imagine anywhere more full of culture and colour as South America. The sights to see are endless.

3. Scandinavia 

I had to lump this into a general area because there's so many countries I want to see. Sweden, of course, has always intrigued me. It seems like such a cool (literally) place, and even though they have some 'interesting' food there, you know I'd be all. over. that. Iceland has been on the top of my list for quite some time also, as I've seen a lot of artist residencies pop up there and the landscape is incredible. Not like anything else around the world.

4. Africa

My best friend just got back from a month long trip to Africa, and I'm absolutely gutted I didn't get to go with her! My parents went to Africa when I was very young, and just like my friend, came back with amazing stories. Really, once in a lifetime experience (I say this a lot, but hey) and the landscape and the animals - I would die! One day.

5. Greece and Croatia

I lumped these two together, probably because if I went back to Europe, these would be the two countries I would want to re-visit the most. I've already been to both, and absolutely loved them. The Greek Islands are my favourite places in the world, and the Greek people are just...the greatest. I miss the food, and the beautiful architecture and history. I loved Croatia for the same reason, everything about it resonated with me and I would love to explore more of the country and do Croatia Sailing!

6. Bali

Almost every Australian would roll their eyes, and it's totally okay. I used to be one of those people who didn't understand why people wanted to go to Bali, but I see it differently now. This would be a great, affordable quick getaway and something I would love to just go all out with, and have a week of total luxury. I love the idea of the quieter places of Bali, like Ubud and absorbing myself into the culture of the place (not Kuta!).

7. Vietnam

It's taken me a long time to really build up any desire to travel to Asia. It's never been a place I've been particularly interested in visiting, but Vietnam has always held a special place in my heart. Some of the friendliest people I've met, and with such a peaceful and culture rich environment, along with great food. I'd love to visit all the historic sites, too. I'm secretly a big history buff.

8. Japan

To be honest, my trip to Japan would probably be food orientated. I love Japanese food so much, I think most of my planning would be centered around the best sushi, the best ramen, and the best teriyaki. I think I would love to go in winter though, and try my hand at skiing in some of the best snow in the world!

9. Hawaii

I almost went to Hawaii last year, but sadly couldn't quite get my funds in order in time. There's something about Hawaii that really intrigues me, and it's not necessarily the tourist-y bits you always hear about. I would love to be a bit more adventurous and discover some of the amazing walking trails on the islands, and be apart of their rainforests and do something crazy and out of my comfort zone. I also love the idea of finding the less populated areas and finding out more about Hawaiian culture. And ya know, the volcanic park.

10. Antartica

Left the weirdest till last, didn't I? Most people give me funny looks when I tell them Antartica, because it's essentially just...water and ice. Honestly, my reasoning is a little childish. I love penguins. I really love them. To see a King or Emperor penguin in their natural habitat would absolutely blow my mind. Not to mention the polar bears! Sadly, it's hugely expensive to travel down there, and I'm not sure my love of penguins could really distract me from the sub zero temperatures and the bleaker side of the South Pole - climate change. There's a whole other story right there...


Bonus destination - anywhere with white sand and palm trees and copious amounts of cocktails. I couldn't narrow it down the just one place.
So tell me guys, where is YOUR ultimate destination? This is one of my favourite things to chat about, so don't hold back. So much to explore!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Books, books, books...


What a creative title, eh? I worked really hard on that one.

I've been wanting to do a post on book recommendations for a while now - it seems 2013/2014 were/are my years for reading because I've read more books in the past two years than I think I have my whole life. Let me just say something real quick though...

There was a huge gap in my life where I didn't read anything. It was predominantly my late teenager years/early adulthood. I almost considered myself a 'non-reader' - I know, yuck. I kid, but really - I hate that term. Anyway, I think I just didn't know what I was into, and before The Gap, I had always read exceptionally GREAT books, and the thought of picking up just any old book that had the potential to not interest me was frankly, terrifying. I know, that could be like, a week of my life...gone.

It was a terrible attitude, and one which I still carry today, but hey at least I've made a pretty big effort lately. I've discovered what I like to read, and I've really jumped into the deep end. I think the bookshop has become my second favourite place to shop (after Mecca, naturally).

My point is - I don't choose books light handedly. A lot of research goes into it, and so far I have been pretty impressed with what I've read. It's addictive, and it's resulted in a book haul, who'd have thought? Me? And now I'm sharing it with you, on my beauty blog.

So, these are not recommendations, as I have not read them yet, but I really wanted to share them all with you because they sound amazing. I would love to do a recommendations post later on though, maybe when I finish these (err, if I finish them...) so let me know if that's something you'd be interested in!

Shatter by Michael Robotham

I discovered this from a Nouvelle Daily Book Club post, and it stood out to me instantly. It's a psychological thriller, so it's right up my alley. Whilst third in a series, it can apparently be read without prior knowledge of the other two, but I'm sure I will end up looking into those as well. The main gist of the story is based on a villain who, using extremely intelligent military skills in psychological warfare, manipulates his victims into killing themselves. The protagonist is a psychologist who seems mixed up in his own problems, and from the reviews I've read, the characters are extremely well developed. Stephen King declared this the most suspenseful book he's read all year, and if that isn't incentive to read it, I don't know what is.

The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell

I actually found this on a Staff Pics shelf at Dymocks. I've never noticed the shelf before, so helpful! It's a book and author I've never heard of before, so I was a bit hesitant but the review from the staff member said 'never has a book had such a lasting effect on me before' and I was like, well.
It's about a young woman who receives a call from a mental institution about to close down, informing her about her Great Aunt who has been under their care for sixty years, and whom needs a place to live now. The catch is: she had no idea she even had a Great Aunt, let alone one in a mental institution. Without wanting to give too much away, it's a story of family secrets, betrayal and human life and from all the reviews I've read, excellently written. I am quite excited.

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson

You have possibly seen or heard about this book recently - there's about to be a movie released starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth based on this book. I really want to read the book before I see the movie, it's never the same when it's the other way around, is it?
I was initially hesitant about picking this up. It's a story of a woman who cannot hold onto memories, she wakes up everyday still thinking she is a child, and keeps a journal to try and re collect her knowledge every time she wakes up. She struggles to learn who to trust, and it all seems a little reminiscent of Memento, don't you think? I'm willing to give it a go though, my love for psychological thrillers will never cease.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

A bit of an odd choice for me, as I feel like this is something that maybe I would have enjoyed more at 16, not 25. None the less, I decided to give it a go - it's only a very short book, and it does come with high recommendations (plus a movie shortly) so I may be pleasantly surprised.
Another recommendation from the Nouvelle Daily girls, this story is told in flashbacks by a girl called Mia, who has been in a tragic car accident, killing all her family and leaving her in a coma. She has to make the ultimate choice - to stay on Earth and face the loss of her family, or die. It reminds me of The Lovely Bones, but I've been promised it's so much more and I know I am bound to cry. I always do.

Missing You by Harlan Coben

Another staff pick at Dymocks, I love those guys. This one was described as the best murder mystery they had ever read, so obviously I was clutching it dearly in my arms. I have heard that Harlan Coben is an exceptional thriller writer, so I have no doubts this will be a good read. From what I can gather, it surrounds Kat, an FBI investigator who is currently working on a missing persons case, whilst simultaneously trying to solve her fathers mysterious murder twenty years ago, and who also came across her ex-fiancee on a dating website who she had not heard from in 18 years. Apparently, all these tie together and although this is a rubbish description...I am really hanging onto 'best murder mystery ever'.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

This is the sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling, the book penned by J.K Rowling under a pseudonym. I spent a lot of The Cuckoo's Calling not enjoying it, I thought it was too slow moving, but then in the end I got really into it, so I thought I would give the sequel a go. There's no doubt she's a talented writer, but I'm still not sold on her crime writing - but I'm still willing to give her a chance. You can't help but think about Harry Potter when reading her other novels, and I wouldn't want to shut her other books out because of the pedestal I have her own because of Harry Potter.

This was a bit awkward to write, as I have obviously not read any of these, but I wanted to share my picks because I was so excited about them! Let me know in the comments if you have read any of these (spoiler free, of course) and any recommendations for other books are most certainly welcomed.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A few new things...



At the time of this being published, I have probably bought 74356 new things, because apparently there is no stopping me. 'Spend less this month' she says. 'You don't need anything new.' she says. HA!

Look, in my defence, it's all totally necessary. I wear makeup to work, I want to protect my eyeballs from ya know, cancer, and well...I needed new summer clothes.

Justified.

The off shoulder playsuit from Dotti though - look at that print! It definitely stands out in my wardrobe of black. I am really into off shoulder tops/dresses lately and this one caught my eye immediately. I have a love/hate relationship with playsuits - so cute, and yet so impractical. I am still vetoing for push buttons in the crotch for those times you really don't want to completely strip in a public bathroom. Come on, please say you're with me on this?

If anyone has ever shopped on Runway Scout you will have noticed that the model on there is a total babe, and also that she always wears these sexy sunglasses - I actually emailed the company and had to ask them where they were from because I loved them so much. Turns out, they were from my beloved The Iconic, and within a minute, they were in my cart and ready to ship. Aren't they so cute? A nice change from my usual Ray Bans.

I won't talk too much about the Loreal True Match foundation I re-purchased, mostly because it's just a re-purchase, but also because I've talked about it extensively on here. You know my love for this foundation, right? I had run out months ago but hadn't re-purchased as I had so many other foundations sitting in my draw, but I couldn't resist and had to get it again. I honestly, no word of a lie, have this up there alongside my Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation as far as HG foundations go - it's serious love.

Two from NARS, because -  why not? First, the ever present Audacious lipstick in Bette. A seriously dark and rich colour, and I'm absolutely in love with the formula of these lipsticks. They're a matte lipstick, but unlike most mattes, they are actually quite creamy and are not drying. I have super dry lips all the time it seems, and these have not caused any problems. When more colours are back in stock, I am definitely stocking up!
My other NARS investment (yes) is the blush colour in Gina. I've been eyeing this blush off for a while now, and finally decided to take the plunge. I've always owned pink tones blushes, and even a few peachy toned blushes, but not something like this. It's extremely pigmented, and I've learnt to really build slowly otherwise I end up with an orange face - not cool. But when worked in properly, I'm in love. I love this shade because it works well on both fair skin and tanned, bonus!

Last, but certainly not least - the new Lancome Grandiose Mascara. Almost deserves a post of it's own, but I'll refrain - for now. This mascara has quickly worked it's way up in the ranks and is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. It has a similar effect to my Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume (aka the HG), it only takes a few strokes for my lashes to suddenly make themselves known - and in a big way. The wand, which is swan neck like shaped (the first of it's kind), is actually extremely easy to use, and I'm loving it's design. The only downside is that I'm finding this a very messy mascara, and seeing as I'm used to working with mascara wands that are enormous, I'm putting this down to formula. It's very wet, and I'm finding I'm getting mascara all over my lid, which is super annoying. I'm hoping this will calm down once the formula has dried a little.

Let me know if you guys have bought anything exciting lately - if I can't spend anything myself (ha) then I must live vicariously through you...

Sunday, 26 October 2014

VIDEO: Makeup Addict Tag


One of my favourite tag videos! Thank you to Tamira from The Guilty Girl for tagging me, I loved it! And everyone should go check out her blog because she's a total babe.





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