Friday Letters: Nearly Home-Time!

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Dear Callie: I miss you but tomorrow night I will be home with you finally! Yay! Dear Bed: Looking forward to spending some quality time together shortly. Dear Surgeon: You seem like a nice, intelligent guy. Please don’t kill me on Tuesday. Dear Summer: Hi, Nice to Meet You. Please let this weather stick around until the 17th of February. Thanks in advance. Dear Mum: Have a lovely trip to Adelaide! Thank you for helping me out work-wise now that I am unemployed and no longer can use being a student as an excuse. I love knowing you are always on my side in helping me tackle life. Dear Mr 5 and Mr 10: Although I am exhausted after our two weeks I will actually miss the chaos of life with you! You are both such amazing and unique people who will grow up to do amazing things. This I know. Don’t ever give up on your dreams or let others beat you down and know that there is always someone who will be on your side and love you unconditionally. What are big sisters for? Dear Monthly Favorites: I am afraid you will be slightly delayed but early November still counts right? Dear Soy Chai Lattes: After detesting soy milk throughout my childhood when I was forced to have it instead of normal milk I now love you. Your nutty flavor goes perfectly with the spices of a chai latte and creates a drink that is almost too delicious. Dear Edd: Sometimes I feel like you love Callie more than me…but I probably make you feel the same so let’s just agree us three all love each other unquantifiably.

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Taking care of my cuticles!

Hi all

Thought I would chuck up a quick post on my favorite products for cuticle care! Since stopping biting my nails I have become more than a little obsessed with nail polish and keeping my nails in good condition. These are 4 of my current cuticle care products, all of varying price and quality. The only other product I want to buy is Lush Lemony Flutter which I know is one of the most popular nail care products but $20 is a little expensive and I rarely go to a Lush store. ¬†Anyhow here are the ones I do have ūüôā I apologize in advance for the rather¬†decrepit¬†state of these but they often travel around and my handbag is not a gentle¬†environment¬† stuffed with books, nail files and goodness knows what else.

First up is another huge favorite on the internet, Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. This is one of my ¬†favorites and the reason why I don’t bother with lemony flutter. This cuticle balm (not a cream as in the name, much more of a solid oil based product) is moisturizing without being overly greasy and I love the scent! It smells like fresh lemon juice, subtle and citrusy. This is a handbag staple for me. Also a little goes a long way so despite the slightly higher price tag compared to the others I think the value is still pretty good. My only negative for this product is the lid can be a pain in the ass to get off and sometimes it is hard to get enough product on your finger to rub on the cuticles.

Orly’s Cuticle Oil is another product I would repurchase as soon as it runs out. This is what I tend to use when I am doing nails at home or putting oil on near all my nail polish stuff as it’s not so easy to carry around in a bag. This is just a liquid oil which has a brush like any of their other nail care products, making application very easy and hassle-free. I love the smell of this, ¬†a soft and sweet citrus scent! And its great for massaging into the nails and cuticles, providing quite long lasting moisture. I believe this retails for around $9 at places like Farmers which I think is quite reasonable as I have had this for ages and use it all the time but it is still half full.

Badger Cuticle Care Balm: This is a similar product to the Burt’s Bee’s in that it is an oily formula in a tin that is easy to chuck in the handbag. The differences for me are that this product is a little less solid and more oily which means I feel it moisturizes better but also is greasier so I tend not to use when on the go/in a rush. It is a lot easier to get product out as it is a slightly softer texture. I love this brand as all their balms are full of organic ingredients! Keep an eye out for one of their products coming up in November favorites! I would rate this above Burt’s Bees purely because it is cheaper and yet bigger in size. Also I think I slightly prefer the smell (a fresh, lemongrass scent) however it is a lot stronger so maybe not so great for those sensitive to strong smells. Definitely recommend giving this or any of their other products a try.

Last up is the newest addition to my cuticle care range: Sally Hansen Cuticle Cream. I picked this up as it was only $8 from the local postie plus. This is definitely a cream, not a balm and I like that it isn’t to greasy and feels quite moisturizing. The smell is pleasant and not too strong and there are lots of oils and what nots to keep the nails healthy.However, of all 4 this is my least favorite and the only one I probably wouldn’t bother getting again. Firstly this was pretty much the contents of the pot when I opened the packaging and to me that is a pretty pathetic amount of cream (whereas the Lemony Flutter cream despite being expensive has a lot more product and would last a lot longer). Its possible I got a dud but who knows. Secondly I prefer some of the other organic products over this as they feel better on my skin in the long term whereas the moisturizing qualities of this wear off pretty quickly. Lastly…well I probably have enough products and don’t need one that I don’t think is quite up to the standards of the other three (might save up for Lush instead). ¬†Not a bad product, just not a favorite.

Overall Winner? It was tough to choose between top three but in the end I think the Badger Cuticle Balm is the best value for money! The tubs are only around $10 which is very reasonable considering the large size, great quality and use of organic products.

I have next month a full nail care post with some of my favorite products e.g. base coats, cuticle removers etc in case anyone is interested ūüôā

What do you use for cuticle care?

Xx

Made Me Smile…running late

Hi All!

So I am often running late in life and this post is no exception. I’m sure you were absolutely devastated that I didn’t post this yesterday (! ;)) but I thought Tuesday would do. Looking after my 2 youngest brothers and the animals whilst my Dad and Step-Mum are in New York has been tiring and taken over most aspects of my life including blogging and makeup (which I haven’t touched all week, oops). Here was last week in smiles ūüôā

Edd and Tilly napping after a long tiring day. What a pair of cuties.

Mid-week I got my SampleBar box which was a lovely addition to my day and I was rather pleased with the contents which you can read all about right here.

This is Flick and Tilly and they don’t share much love so this rare moment of happy eating had to captured as photographic proof that food is pretty awesome for bringing people together.

Saturday Night Edd and I went with his family to see the Mary Poppins stage musical in Auckland as a birthday present for his Mum. It was pretty incredible and I was smiling for almost every minute. Definitely recommend to everyone as we all enjoyed it immensely.

Seeing Callie clean her face like this makes me smile/giggle uncontrollably. Seriously, it’s kind of a problem especially in the middle of the night when Callie does this and I can’t help but giggle. Needless to say Edd wakes up pretty confused. I thought I would stop eventually but I have come to accept my brain just literally cannot accept all the cuteness. P.s. I miss Callie and can’t wait to go home to her at the end of this week ūüôā

Amazing clouds in the sky captured mid-evening at a School art exhibition the boys and I trooped along to. Mr 5 was stoked at being able to play on the school playground at 7.30 pm instead of having to get ready for bed and was exhausted the next day haha.

Doggy Kisses. Need I say more?

Other things that made me smile this week: Passing every course for last semester with another strong A- average which I was pretty content to finish on. Soy chai lattes which are incredibly delicious despite me refusing to drink soy milk as a child. Cupcake day at School. Mr 5 being the best swimmer in his swimming class (I felt so proud I could have burst!). Dog walks in the hot sun that means it is almost summer. Making small but steady progress on Wedding planning.

Hope everyone enjoyed their week ūüôā

xxx

Where to from here…?

So if you read my post about what I learnt from Uni you may be wondering what will I do now? (Or maybe it is just me pondering this question).

After spending my life at school and then at Uni with no break in between study feels like my life, what I know, what I am comfortable with. So naturally I planned to carry on with it. Unfortunately the program I wanted to carry on with was a 4 year honors/PhD combined program in clinical psychology which took only 11 students per year and the key quality for them in choosing was Life Experience. I can¬†quantify¬†my grades, I can record every job of every year and every ounce of work experience. But life experience? ¬†Despite my 21 years I feel I do have more life experience than some but I completely understand their reservations in training up someone who has never worked full time, hasn’t been married, has no kids and so on. How can I help others cope with the issues they face when I still have a lot of room to grow and mature? So I applied and in case you hadn’t gathered I didn’t get through. Was I surprised? Not at all. Was I¬†disappointed? Utterly devastated. This is my dream and to be able to get in would have meant the next 4 years being planned and ready. Instead I was left feeling like I had failed (and I take failure a little too seriously some may say). Skip forward a couple days of tears and self-doubt/shame and I was feeling a bit different. I still feel¬†embarrassed¬†to tell people, even though it would have been a very slim chance of getting in I can’t help but feel that sense of not being good enough (which I wasn’t) and having to admit to people that I failed to prove myself this time around makes my heart hurt.

On the flip-side of this rather depressing coin was the positive thinking (which was helped by my amazing mum and fiancee who told me I was silly for feeling like a failure and reminded me of the facts). After 4 years of study I am tired. Mentally, Emotionally and Physically tired. So although clinical psych is what I want to do, going straight into another 4 years of study that would be a lot harder was daunting. To be honest I wasn’t sure I could take it. I needed a break and a change from the study that had consumed my life. So God shut this door for now and to be honest I don’t blame him. Maybe I am not ready right now for this 4 year program and maybe in a couple years time I will be in a better place to cope with what the course throws at me.

Okay whew that was a rambly explanation of what I’m not doing haha. Now onto where I am going in the next couple of years. First up I want to do a 3 week CELTA (English language teaching qualification) which is held in January and is a great way to start earning more than minimum wage in whichever city/country I happen to be in. Then in August/September the idea is that Edd and I will up and leave New Zealand to move to Paris for a year. I will work in English teaching and anything else possible (having just done an art history major I would love to do some work in an art gallery) and Edd will hopefully get some work in software/testing as that is what he has been doing so far this year. Why France you ask? (Probably not as I am sure France is pretty self-explanatory). I did French in high school/uni and love everything about France and Paris and Edd feels pretty much the same way. ¬†Moving away from NZ has its downsides namely leaving our family which we are very close to and leaving Callie! Our lovely baby (Cat) will be relocated to one of our Family’s houses where she will be looked after and hopefully settle in. Leaving Callie feels a little bit like abandoning my child (a total exaggeration I’m sure but not having kids she’s the closest I’ve got haha – cue uncontrollable feelings of guilt haha). If I could easily bring her with me I would. Although leaving our family will be weird and terrifying for me at least, it is also part of why this is a good idea. Being reliant on family is something I need to work on and by moving overseas with Edd I think I can grow and mature in a way I haven’t been able to yet. So after a year in France we will come on back to NZ and I will probably apply for the psych program again hopefully with more life experience and a renewed ability to throw myself in to the program.¬†So there are my next three years penciled out. Is France set in stone? Nope but it’s our main goal at the moment and to be honest sounds close to perfection. Coffees, walks through Paris in the rain, tiny¬†apartments, boulangeries, endless varieties of cheese at local markets, Europe at our doorstep, weekends filled with art galleries and¬†museums… It won’t be easy but it will be an amazing experience for us both.

I guess I should also mention a couple of other things that are fast approaching. First off in a couple of weeks (4th December all going well) I will be having nose surgery  No, not to make my nose beautiful and shapely but to reshape the interior and bust up my misbehaving sinuses, all which should help with my chronic sinusitis and other related health issues. I am a little terrified after being warned of the various risks but excited to get this done. Then after January and the CELTA course Edd and I have our wee wedding in Feb (17th) so that will be a pretty exciting moment in both of our lives! Needless to say I have mountains of wedding planning to work on whilst stuck home in bed for couple of weeks after surgery.

Well, that was a mouthful. There is my life laid out for ya’ll to see. I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m … well I’m still a little removed from it all to be honest. It doesn’t quite feel real at the moment haha. For Edd and I the key is to remain flexible and yet hard working so we can keep saving the money that will allow us to go to France if we decide to.

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken) which seemed rather appropriate now faced with the future. The importance of the choices we make and yet the inability to see the true effects each choice will have on our future rings clear as Edd and I try to make our way through the future. I only pray for the wisdom and strength to choose my paths in life and gain from them the most that I can, with my partner alongside.

Anyway, I am sure this is a pointless post for most but in case anyone was curious as to where my life was heading after Uni I though I would quickly throw this up. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend

Xx

Friday’s Letters: Kitty Cuddles

Dear Flick: Thank you for giving me kitty cuddles when I am missing the lovely Callie spending two weeks not at home. You are a crazy, violent, manic cat but when you are asleep we get along rather well. Dear Callie: Don’t worry, you still hold the kitty part of my heart. Dear Self: You talk to cat’s too much. People will start to think you are crazy cat lady who just uses blog for random ramblings and this isn’t the case at all…is it?¬†¬†Dear Nose Specialist: I appreciate the reason why you have to inform me of every possible risk of my upcoming nose surgery but I would rather remain blissfully ignorant. Blindness, brain fluid leaks and nose perforations are now common features in dreams/nightmares (to name a few). Dear Mr 5 and Mr 10: We are 1 week through my 2 weeks of being your incredibly awesome full time Nanny so thank you for not making this harder than it needs to be and for bring fun and laughter into every day. And yes you still have to eat all your veggies, sorry. Dear Edd: Thank you for being here with me for most nights (save a few to keep Callie company) to suffer alongside me haha.¬†Everything’s¬†easier when I have a partner. Dear Cognitive Neuropsych: I passed you. I actually passed you. I have never been this relieved in my whole 4 years at university. Getting a B was much preferred to the fail I was 90% expecting. Having said that I wish to never see you again.¬†Dear Tilly:¬†I know you hate baths but proceeding to jump out of the bath right onto me was an¬†unpleasant¬†surprise. Furthermore, waking me up at 6am to take you for a walk is great for my fitness but terrible for my sleep. I am not a morning person. End of story.¬†¬†Dear Lovely Mish: I am so happy things are falling into place for you and your amazing family! I am 50% excited for you guys to leave for Aussie but 50% dying inside to lose a friend I only just recently¬†realized¬†I had! Letter writing will be fun though ūüôā and having you as a makeup mule and a holiday house is hardly a bad thing haha.¬†Dear Sleep:¬†I miss you.

 

November Sample Bar Glam Pack

Hi all!

Middle of the month means the new Sample Bar Box (okay actually it’s a bit after the middle of the month but mine was one of the last to arrive, luckily its contents were worth the wait). This month had a them around Glow seeing as it is pretty much summer. I was¬†pleasantly¬†surprised with this month’s box as the previous launch box was okay but not mind=blowing yet I was much happier with this month’s products.

If you are in NZ and want the details of Sample Bar Box ¬†just click on over to my previous post ūüôā

The first product and the only full size one is this Trilogy Self Tanning Instant Bronzing Gel. I have never used Trilogy products but have heard good things. Normally Bronzers/self-tanners terrify me a little so I’m looking forward to see how easy this is to work with. I also like the fact it uses natural additives as the active ingredients and includes aloe vera for moisture and hydration as well as Vitamin E.

This full size product costs $35.90

Possibly my favorite thing in the box is this 45g sample of Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner by Lush. I have never really bought Lush products despite loving them from afar yet lately I have been picking up/been given a few things so I was so happy to see something else to try! This is supposed to be used in the shower but to be honest so far I have just used it like a moisturizer and it is amazing! Smells delicious (cocoa butter with a little rose) and feels amazing on the skin. I will find it hard to resist purchasing this once the sample runs out.

Full size (225g) is $39.90

Okay so when I saw a Marvis toothpaste sample in the box I was a little¬†disappointed¬† I mean I just grab the cheapest at the supermarket and that is the extent of my toothpaste market research. However! This is actually another favorite along with the body conditioner which was a total surprise to me haha. I am ecstatic with the scent (Cinnamon Mint) which smells exactly like the Cinnamon mints from Eclipse. I am in love with this and the fact it’s from a fancy Italian brand makes it even better haha.

The full size (75mL) is from $14.50-17.50 and I am seriously tempted to buy full size but in the end it is jut toothpaste and I may have some difficulty convincing Edd this is worth it…

Next up is a very cute mini Lipstick from the brand Savoir Faire which I haven’t heard of before (ah the joy of beauty boxes!). ¬†The shade is perfect for summer as its a nude brown colour that is quite flattering for me. The size is perfect for shoving in my over stuffed makeup bag.

The full size price for these lipsticks is only $9.95 which seems quite cheap!

So last up is a sachet sample of Bump Eraiser which apparently removes ingrown hairs (as well as preventing them) and will also moisturize and exfoliate, perfect just prior to using the bronzing gel. Sounds like a good product but I don’t think one small sample will be quite enough to judge it’s effectiveness. We shall see!

The full size price is $27.50 for a 30mL tube.

All these products can be purchased on the Sample Bar website in case you missed out on the box or want to grab any of the featured products.

All in all I was really happy with this months box. All were from brands I don’t normally buy from and I thought value for money was very pleasing to the wallet or the boyfriend haha. Let me know what you thought If you are subscribed!

Xx

20 things university has taught me

Here are some of my lessons learnt from 4 years of University , in no particular order:

1. The love and support from family is something incredible. Feeling like there are people out there who will love you regardless of your grades and will be there for condolences on a bad exam as well as praise for an A+ helped me get through Uni with a clear head and a happy heart.

2. Mums are great at supplying caffeine and chats and reminding me to aim for the heavens.

3. I am not the smartest person and I don’t know everything.

4. Learning is a process that will take me a lifetime and will never finish. This is a good thing.

5. People are interesting and different and incredibly intelligent so make time to chat to strangers and get to know the person sitting next to you. Smile.

6. Tea is a life saver at busy exam periods.

7. Assessments are stressful and there is little that can change this.

8. Retaining a sense of perspective is the only way to keep moving through the really hard times. In the end this is just one aspect of life and there is so much more.

9. My time management skills will never improve and I will always leave things to the last minute. Things could be worse.

10. Having a partner in crime to get through Uni alongside you is amazing and makes the experience much more enjoyable. It also helps knowing someone else is just as stressed as you.

11. Don’t drink large amounts of caffeine prior to an exam/tests.

12. Biology is fun and interesting but beheading and dissecting termites…not so much.

13. Don’t forget to laugh. Alone, with friends, on the phone…let it out and enjoy the funny moments in life.

14. Never leave home with out lip balm and a nail file.

15. Not everything is going to go my way and in the end I have to accept that the future isn’t mine to command and requires some flexibility.

16. Kitty cuddles can make a terrible day better again.

17. I don’t have to be perfect in everything I do. Mistakes are part of how we grow and mature (I must be incredibly mature for my age…) and there is no point beating yourself up about them.

18. Chocolate is great as an emotional study aid but eating healthy keeps the mind and body in its best form.

19. I am stronger now than 4 years ago and I know myself better than anyone else who tries put me down or judge me.

20. Last up Uni has shown me where I want to end up in 10 years time, as a clinical psychologist working with children and living a healthy life full of love and happiness. This might not happen straight away but having some sense of direction for the future is a reassuring thing.

See you all soon with a part 2 post about what’s happening now Uni is over.

Xx

P.s. this is not an exhaustive list, merely my tired minds ramblings on a VERY hot day