Thursday, 12 November 2015

Empties One

Hi guys!

So I thought I would start a new thing where I review products as I use them up.
Now, I don't go through things hugely fast so what I will do is take a picture once I've used it (or, if it's already gone - find one on the net) and do a quick review. Once I get to 5 empty products I will publish the post.

So here goes...

Clinique Clarifying lotion 1

This was for dry to very dry skin (which mine tends to be). I scored it for free from the Clinique girl when I used to work at Farmers. She had been given it by Clinique but it didn't work with her skin. Score for me!
It was absolutely fabulous to use. I could feel it tighten my pores and my skin felt extra clean after using this. I would apply it to a cotton pad and swipe all over my face (avoiding my eyes coz that stings!).
I am on a budget though, so I can't afford to purchase a new one. I'll try out some cheaper brands and see how I go with those.

 Clarins Hydraquench Cream

This was for normal to dry skin and a fantastic facial moisturiser. I wish that I could afford a bit bottle of it but I really can't :( It left my skin feeling moisturised - but not greasy at all. My skin felt plump. I got these 5mL bottles in a little pack when I got upgraded to Premium Economy on an Air New Zealand flight.
 Clarins Eye Contour Gel

For puffiness and dark circles. I felt wonderful when applied to my under-eyes. My eyes got visibly less puffy and it soothed the delicate area around my eyes. I would gently pat a bit of gel around my eyes. It lasted a very long timeI've been trying to find a more affordable dupe but nothing comes close. Would buy again in a heartbeat if money was no object
 L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Luminosity Extraordinary Serum

This is the best affordable serum I have tried. One pump into my hand would cover my whole face and I would gently press it into my skin. As well as giving my skin that extra boost of moisture - it also has little light reflecting particles in it that gives the skin an extra glow.
Nivea Visage Young Wash N Refine Daily Wash Scrub

I wasn't a huge fan of this. I used it up though - mainly because I object to product wastage. If I were to use this again - it would not be as a daily face wash but as a once a week exfoliator. It got rid of dead skin - but was harsh to use every day. Seemed to dry my face out a bit too much for my liking. Before it was empty - the product was blue in colour.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Music Madness: Postmodern Jukebox

Hi again guys!

Back in August AJ and I went to see Postmodern Jukebox live and they were AMAZING!!!

All of the singers were incredible and we loved every minute of every one. I loved that they rotated between the different singers and had so many different styles

Postmodern Jukebox are a band that do covers of popular songs. But not just any covers - they do them in older styles of music. For example, they do a cover of Radiohead's 'Creep' but in a old style. You really have to hear it to understand.

You should look at all their other videos too because they are TOTES AMAZEBALLS!!!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Another rambling update type thing.

Hi all you random people :)

Just thought I'd do another quick update type thing on where I hope this blog is going.

The past couple of posts have been sad posts so I hope to make things a bit happier around here.

I haven't really done too many posts about my interests etc so I hope to do so more in the future.

I've recently come to accept that I'm a geek - and a proud one. But I also love music and crafting. You could say that I'm a little bit of an all rounder. Except that I don't play sport. I enjoy watching some sports though.

Anyways, I'm rambling.

The main point of this post is to let you know that I'm going to try to theme my days. It does not mean that there will be a post every day. It means that if a post goes up on a certain day it'll be to do with that days theme.

And with no further ado:

Monday: Domestic Day. Posts could include cooking, baking, crafting, gardening and other random tidbits about my domestic life.

Tuesday: Travel Tuesday. Pretty much what it says. I will talk about places I've visited in the past, places I want to visit and advice I might give to other travellers.

Wednesday: Random Ramblings. This is my day that I talk about whatever I like. It's also the day I'm most likely to actually post something for as I do tend to ramble.

Thursday: 52 weeks of photos challenge. I'll do my best to post the photo for the week on Thursdays.

Friday: Geeky Goodness. This is where I talk about all things that are geeky and awesome. It could be anything from book and game reviews to convention recaps. Basically anything geeky :D

Weekends: I doubt I'll be posting much on weekends. If I do it'll be for a specific reason and I have no idea at this time what it might be.

So there you go. A new direction for the blog. Hopefully it works out. I'm not promising a post every day. But I am (hopefully) going to stick with the themed days.

Hope you're all doing fantastically :)

Ramble over...

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Five years....

It's been five years since you passed away,

I miss you every day.

You gave me advice when needed,

It was definitely heeded.

I treasure the moments we had,

I just wish I could have more, it makes me mad.

Cancer is such a horrible thing,

It left us with no more time with you, nothing.

I hope that you are happy wherever you are,

Know that thoughts of you are coming from afar.

RIP Aunty Maureen

Aunty Maureen sitting. I'm the one in polka dots. The others are my sisters and my Dad. This is from years and years ago.

NB: originally this was going to be a normal post. I don't normally write poetry at all. But my Aunty Maureen was a writer and a teacher. It just came to me that this was the way to do it. The day after she passed away I had my interview for Teacher Training College. And the day after the interview was her funeral. Such a week. I hope she knows that she was such an inspiration to me. I really do miss her every day.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

RIP Sandy

Once upon a time, before I left school, I worked at New World,  a supermarket in Havelock North. AJ did as well. I was on the checkout from 4pm - 9pm, four days a week. Also 10am-9pm on Saturdays. 

One of the fondest memories of working there (besides interactions with AJ), was working with a lady named Sandy. She was the bubbliest, nicest person you could meet. We would talk about all types of things and she would keep us all entertained if things were slow. We always had a running joke that I was "corrupting" her, even though it was probably the other way around :P

After I moved away to University, I would always pop back into New World to see her. She was always keen to hear how I was doing and would update me on her kids. She thought it was great when AJ and I started going out (he was still working there). She was even more pleased when we got engaged. Every time we were at the New World supermarket in Havelock North, we would make sure to go through her checkout and have a little catch up. She gave the best hugs.

And now she's gone. I'm not sure of specifics. I'm not sure I care. All I care about is a family that's without a loved Mother, Wife, Aunty etc. The world will be a worse off place without her. 

I'm going to miss her. A lot.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

My blog plan

Hi guys,

So I've been trying to post three times a week recently; as I'm currently not working. However, this isn't working for me.

I'm going to now post once a week. It could be any day of the week. I might post more. It all depends on inspiration and what I get up to etc.

Instead, I'm going to try my hand at different activities. I might do some crafting (you never know, I might actually finish something). I'll try out some of the recipes I've pinned over the years. I might even do some writing and sketching. I also want to get the house and garden in check.

So that's my plan. I hope you'll stick around :D

Monday, 27 July 2015

10 things that make me happy

1. My husband. He is my soulmate and I love him so much. I don't know what I'd do without him.

2. Cuddles. Especially with family members. There's just something about a hug that automatically makes me feel better.

3. Tea. I love tea. I have a shelf dedicated to my different types of tea. It makes me so happy to sit down with a cup of tea. Currently, I have 18 different types.

4. Chocolate. I absolutely love chocolate and when I'm feeling down in the dumps, chocolate will always make me feel better. I'm loving all the new flavours that have been coming out recently as well.

5. Driving. I love driving. Especially in the country. There's just something so freeing about being in control of a car. I love accelerating, going around corners and having the music turned up loud while I do so.

6. Music. I have a very broad taste in music. I primarily go for metal and rock of different types though. Turning the music up loud and singing along (while possibly doing a silly dance) really makes me happy. 

7. The Beach. I love going to the beach. Living in Auckland we have the choice of so many. Sometimes I want the tranquility of the East Coast beaches - where you can look over to the Coromandel Peninsula. There's no surf, and they're generally surrounded by Pohutukawa trees. On the West Coast there's the ones where there's the pounding surf. I love going to both and they make me release the stress of whatever's happening and get happy again.

8. Mountains. I don't get to see them often, but I absolutely love it when I do. I love their magnificence. The towering over everything else. AJ and I dream of living someplace where we can have a view of the mountains. 

9. Snow. I just love the look and feel of the snow. I don't see it very often, but when I do I get incredibly happy. We used to make a trip every year to the Central Plateau for my birthday so I could see the snow, but circumstances haven't allowed recently :(

10. Board Games. This is a relatively recent discovery of mine and it is so much fun! We have quite a collection of board games now, and playing them is so satisfying. You can pretend to be different characters and relieve stress. Just choose who you play with wisely, as you don't want it to get so competitive that things get awkward.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Make sure your husband sees the Doctor!

Last year, my husband AJ was feeling extremely run down. He'd had a few bouts of extreme sickness (throwing up etc) and was very irritable. He couldn't concentrate properly at work and no matter how much he slept, he was still tired.

Finally, after lots of hassling from me, his parents and even some of his workmates, he finally made a doctors appointment. He was told to have a blood test and they would see what resulted from that.

A few days later he got a call from the doctor to make another appointment as there was something up. I actually went in with him this time - scared that it was going to be something serious. The Doctor said that he had a form of hyperthyroidism - possibly Graves Disease. His thyroid hormone levels were 3-4 times what they should be and the thing that regulates them had stopped working. He got prescribed some pills that he had to take twice a day - three at a time. He was also told to make an appointment with an Endocrinologist. About a month later, after another blood test, we headed to the Endocrinologist who confirmed that he did indeed have Graves Disease (though without the bulgy eyes thank goodness). His muscle strength wasn't what it should have been and he was prescribed more of the same.

For the next few months AJ kept getting blood tests and the Endocrinologist would call and tell him how his hormone levels were and that the medication was working. His dosage went down to one pill, twice a day and now he's been taking only one pill a day.

The Endocrinologist has now handed AJ's care back to his GP. AJ has to get a blood test every month and stay on a maintenance dosage of his medication for at least a year.

He's now much better. Still tired, but I think that's just because he's a light sleeper and has to get up really early every day for work. He's not nearly as irritable and his energy levels have increased. It's made us both much happier.

If you or your significant other aren't feeling the best - and it keeps happening - then see a doctor. It's worth it in the long run. The worst they can say is "we can't find anything wrong". But if there is something, then surely it's worth it.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

If I won a million dollars...

Oh, it would be amazing to win a million dollars. I'd want to do so much with the money but I'd have to be sensible first of all and do the following:

  • PUT THE MONEY IN THE BANK! Extra interest would be great :D
  • Pay back both sets of parents all of the money we owe them
  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Pay back my student loan
After all of those debts had been paid off, I would probably do the following:

  • Hire someone to fix all of the things that need fixing in the house and re-do the bathroom.
  • Build a carport
  • Landscape the garden
  • Put the house on the market
  • Buy a house that has enough room for our future family - hopefully closer to AJ's work
  • Donate a certain amount to a charity (would all depend how much I had left - a certain percentage of leftover money)
Then, if there was any money left after all of that, I would:

  • Buy an Audi R8 (my favourite car)
  • Do AJ's dream trip of California and SW USA
  • Go to Europe again
  • Visit Geneva, NY (where I lived as a kid) and tour around the Eastern US
  • Visit Canada
  • Go on an Alaskan cruise

I definitely wouldn't have any money left after all of that (especially because I'd probably be shopping as well :P ). So since we'd have more savings, I'd put it towards buying a holiday home somewhere in the North Island where I could see the mountains.

Of course, once we have kids, these dreams could change...

Monday, 20 July 2015

Random tag thing

Here's a random tag thing that I got from here:

Question 1: How tall are you? 175cm

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what? Nope

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve? Bloggers who don't put arrows to go from one post to the next.

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve? People who break promises.
Question 5: What’s your favorite song? Glitter in the Air by P!NK

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours? I don't really go on Etsy, maybe I will when I have more money.

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone? Watching youtube videos

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food? Chocolate. Don't care what kind. Any chocolate will do.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names? Unfortunately not. Though AJ and I are big kids with lots of stuffed animals.

Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books? I don't really read much non fiction but favourite fiction would probably be anything by David Eddings. I'm currently re-reading the Belgariad (for like the 5th time) and absolutely love it.

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product? Mascara

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened? I really can't remember. I get embarrassed so often and normally blush that I lose track.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be? TEA!!!

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie? The Notebook. And I cry every time.

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep? I was myself. I was in the clique that didn't really fit any of the stereotypes.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Ireland or Scotland. Somewhere in the countryside.

Question 17: PC or Mac? PC

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? Bringing me home chocolate :)

Question 19: Favorite celebrity? Right now I really like Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day and am obsessed with Geek and Sundry

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with? None. As much as I would like to be friends with lots of them, my best friend is and always will be; my husband (corny I know, but it's true!)

So there's a random tag thing. I tag whoever wants to do something random like this on their blog or whatever.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Lament to my Favourite Tree

When we first bought this house, one of the things I loved was the flowering cherry tree that was hanging over to our side of the fence. It also gave some privacy from the neighbours.

The house next door was sold recently and the new owner decided to chop down the beautiful tree. Apparently it was too close to the house or something. Nothing trimming the occasional branch wouldn't have solved.

So here's some photos in memory of my favourite tree.

Yes, I have an overgrown yard (we're working on it - bit by bit).

Now that the beautiful tree is gone, I want to find something to replace it. I'm thinking of either a jacaranda, pohutukawa, or another (possibly fruiting) cherry tree.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Last Night's Dream

Last night I had an amazing dream. I can only remember one part of it but that was enough to make an impact on me. 

I remember carrying a little girl - only about 2-3 years old. She looked like a cross between me as a toddler and my little cousin Riley. I was wearing sparkly shoes and the little girl was saying 'pretty! pretty!' Then AJ said to her "Let's go get you some pretty sparkly shoes so you can match Mummy". The little girls smile was amazing. My heart melted.

Then I woke up.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Sexism in Sport

Sexism in sport has been on my mind for the past few months. I live in New Zealand, a country who loves its sport and treats sportsmen like heroes. Note I said sportsMEN. We currently have the best mens rugby team in the world and second men's cricket team. These guys get so much attention and glorification from the media and general public.

But what about the New Zealand women's teams? Our women's rugby team were world champions in 2010, but did they get parades or any sort of recognition by the media? Not that I can remember. In comparison, when the All Blacks won the men's rugby world cup in 2011, there was a huge celebration. I'm surprised the government didn't declare the Monday afterwards a public holiday there was so much fuss made about it. The website that I got the below picture from makes some very good points about gender inequality in sport (see link below).


Earlier this year, New Zealand was joint host with Australia for the men's cricket world cup. There was so much fuss made about the men's cricket team and all the matches being held (the fact that our cricket team were doing well helped as well - but that's another story). At the same time, there were several international women's cricket matches going on in this country. Did they get any media attention? No. Despite the fact that they have previously been world champions (the mens haven't).

I remember a few years ago, AJ and I went to Eden Park for a day watching cricket. There were two games on and you didn't have to pay any extra. There was an international women's game first, which was very entertaining cricket. There were a smattering of people in the stadium - despite the fact that it was a nice close game. The further on in the match, more people started to arrive to see the men's match that was on afterwards (in which NZ got demolished).

I just don't get it.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Another Update

Here's another update on things in my life right now.

I finally have a new computer! It's very exciting. Now that I have things worked out, I'm going to try to stay up to date on things again.

As for my goals that I set at the beginning of the year, here's how I've been going.

1. I'm still hunting for a teaching role, and relief work hasn't been cropping up as often as I'd like.

2.I terms of cleaning, I've been kind of naughty with this one. The last couple of weeks I've managed to keep up to date with the washing, dishes, keeping benches clean and I've been putting away at least 50 things a day (that proves how much of a mess things have been). We've got friends coming to stay at the end of August, so I'll have to get the place tidy by then.

3. As for my crafting, I've made a few cards. I made my sister one for her birthday and my Mum one for Mothers Day. Then I ran out of card when I went to make her one for her birthday so I used one out of my stash. Rest of the year will have handmade birthday cards though.

4. Budgeting just hasn't worked out for us the way we'd hoped at the beginning of the year. We've been trying. We really have. But a few spanners have been thrown into the works. In addition to the things I mentioned in my last update post (see here) my old laptop crapped out completely. So getting a new one is the latest big expense. We also need to replace the car stereo (I really miss music while driving) that broke last month. Also, the weather has been very cold the past couple of months, so the power bills have been higher.

5. Because of extra expenses we haven't been able to pay back much.

6. I've finished and passed all the credits for a Diploma in Business from Massey University! :D :D :D Just waiting to receive it in the post. I've gone through two graduations already, I don't really want to hire the gown etc again.

7. In terms of exercise it's been hit and miss. For a while I was doing well, then I stopped. I've recently started up again and let's hope that this time I can make it last.

8. I haven't been eating the healthiest. I really need to get better with this.

9. I've caught up with a few of my uni friends in the past month. My friend Jess was visiting from Australia and because of that I caught up with my friends Elke and Febe as well which was nice :) I'm also going out for dinner with some old Farmers friends on Saturday and next month we're having a Hower (from John Howe forum) friend and her bf stay.

10. I enjoy blogging and hope that now I have a new computer I will post more often. Initial goal will be once a week. Probably Fridays. But will also post on other days as well if I have posts ready. I do have a few in the works.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Quick Update

Just a quick update to let you know what's happening in my world right now.

1) My laptop stopped working. So I'm using AJ's old one which is really slow and irritating. Hopefully I can get a new one soon.

2) I have an assignment due next week. I'm one assignment and one exam off finishing my Diploma of Business. A busy few months ahead of me.

3) I've been getting occasional work relieving. Not many opportunities to teach full time locally - I'm still looking though.

That's about all that's been happening in the last few weeks. Once I get a new laptop, and my course is over I'll start posting regularly again (or I'll try to).

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Update on Goals

So at the beginning of the year I made some goals for the year. I thought I'd do an update on how I've been going so far with them.

1. I'm going to continue the hunt for a full time teaching role and hopefully be successful.
I'm still on the hunt. There's not a lot available in my area right now. So I'm applying whenever one comes up. For now, I'm relieving in the local schools (well, only one seems to ring me - but hopefully other ones will hire me too!).

2 - I'm going to endeavor to keep the house clean - need to get it that way first.
I'm still cleaning! I'm trying to get into daily and weekly habits etc. Been mostly successful. I'm also tackling one room at a time. I've so far done the Master Bedroom and the Bathroom/Loo. Next up is the Kitchen and then the Dining/Lounge. Then will make my way to the Spare Room and the 'Room of Doom'.

3 - I'm going to start crafting again - hopefully making cards for some birthdays etc.
I haven't really done anything crafty since the end of last year. Been pinning heaps of ideas but haven't got around to doing/finishing any.

4 - We're going to make a budget and stick to it.
We've been doing our absolute best but things keep coming up. At the beginning of the year we had travel expenses for the two weddings we went to. Also, just before that the alternator in our car went so we had to get that fixed. Then when we got the Warrant of Fitness (WOF) on our car we were told we needed new rear tyres. So had to get those. Also, AJ's power pack on his computer crapped out so he had to get a replacement (because a geeky husband with no computer is bad for everyone). And on top of all that we had to pay my fees for uni because Studylink is annoying and won't let me put it on my loan because I'm only doing one paper. Oh, and the car needs servicing this month.

5 - We're going to finish paying back our parents money that we've borrowed.
We're trying. See previous goal to see why we haven't managed to pay anything back yet.

6 - Finish my Diploma of Business that I started years ago and never completed.
I'm currently taking my final paper in this. First assignment is due a week tomorrow :S It's about Equity and Diversity in the workplace. So far I'm finding it quite interesting.

7 - Start an exercise routine and stick to it. I'm way too lazy right now.
It's been on and off so far. Some days I do it and some days I just go back to my lazy ways. I really need to focus on making this a habit.

8 - Try to eat healthier.
I started the year well. It helped that we had a lot more fresh fruit and veges thanks to our vege garden and Mum and Dad dropping some stuff off. But unfortunately I'm getting into bad habits again. I went through all our cookbooks at the beginning of the year and labelled things with post-its. It's all very organised but I'm getting back into my lazy cooking again (which isn't too healthy).

9 - Make an effort to catch up with friends that I haven't seen in ages.
I haven't really done much about this yet. I'm trying to wait until next month when we might be able to afford a meal out with mates.

An additional goal that I've decided to try and do is to blog more often. Believe it or not, I have quite a few drafts that I haven't finished yet. And heaps of ideas for posts. So I'll be sure to finish those eventually.

So that's how I've been going with my goals so far. Some are going better than others, as can be expected. I'll try to update these every few months.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Goals for 2015

Here are some goals I will do my best to achieve in 2015.

1 - I'm going to continue the hunt for a full time teaching role and hopefully be successful.

2 - I'm going to endeavor to keep the house clean - need to get it that way first.

3 - I'm going to start crafting again - hopefully making cards for some birthdays etc.

4 - We're going to make a budget and stick to it. Because I only do relief teaching right now, there's no guaranteed income for me, so we mostly rely on AJ's income.

5 - We're going to finish paying back our parents money that we've borrowed. I still owe my parents money for my wedding dress (from almost 6 years ago!) and we still owe AJ's parents money for our car.

6 - Finish my Diploma of Business that I started years ago and never completed. Would be a good back up option if my teaching thing doesn't work out.

7 - Start an exercise routine and stick to it. I'm way too lazy right now. I'd love to get back to my wedding weight (I need to lose 17kg for that).

8 - Try to eat healthier. Because AJ is such a fussy eater, I might struggle a bit. I'll see if I can find some nice, cheap, healthy recipes. Bring on Pinterest!

9 - Make an effort to catch up with friends that I haven't seen in ages.