My Foxy Reading Corner: #33-38

Hi All!

Today I thought I would quickly throw up my next 6 books in my mission to read 50 books before December 31st. I actually have read ten books total since my last update but thought it might be better to break it up evenly. I’m currently on track to finishing my 50 book challenge which is exciting but I am actually kind of sad about the idea of it ending. I have to find a slightly different challenge that I can try next year….

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#1: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. A pretty popular book and movie to is this sad story about an unlikely friendship. I knew this would be a tear jerker but was still kind of stunned (in a bad way) by the ending ūüė¶ I’m glad I finally read this classic story and it was a nice easy read aimed primarily at a younger audience (although how they coped I will never know). 4 stars.

#2: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. I rather enjoyed the chick flick movie version of this book so thought I would read the book itself. The book lived up to my expectations and was a fun read and a way to turn off at the end of a hard day. Nothing groundbreaking or especially unique but well written with strong characters and an interesting story/setting. 4 stars (maybe a little generous but out of the chick flick genre this is a definite favourite).

#3: Cleo by Helen Brown. Being a crazy cat lady I naturally attract cat related books so I was lent this biographical story of a NZ journalist and her family (fury members included). I am not a big fan of biographies so I was reluctant to read this. In the end I read it purely out of social obligation so I could return the book to my collegue. I ended up really enjoying this, way more than I expected to. The story was sad and funny, real and yet still an escape. The cat, Cleo, was a great character and tugged at my crazy cat lady heart strings. A good kiwi read and perfect for a weekend or holiday at the beach.

#4: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. As I mentioned last time I am a big fan of The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Nighttime so when I saw this book by the same author at a book swap I couldn’t resist. The story was about a dysfunctional family and an older man who believes he is going crazy with old age. Chaotic and messy the story was good and I enjoyed the characters however I found the writing a little hesistant in places and the story seemed to drag on a little bit. Not a bad read but not as amazing as the Curious Incident. 3 stars.

#5: Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden. I read the start of this series as a kid and thought I would revisit is as I remembered the series being good but never got very far. Centered around a group of Australian kids who go camping and upon their return to civilisation find out (*Spoiler alert*) that their town has been invaded in some sort of world war three. Written in a gripping way with likeable characters and lots of action this book didn’t fail to dissapoint and I can’t wait to read the rest. 5 stars.

#6: Crossed by Ally Condie. The second in the Matched YA series told from the two view points of Cassia and Ky who are both trying to find each other in the outer provinces. This was interesting and enjoyable but their are so many great YA dystopian novels that this one doesn’t stand out as anything particularly special. I have the third one ready to read soon and finish off this trilogy so fingers crossed for an exciting end! 3 Stars.

See you guys soon with my next six!

Xx

Tuesday’s Top Ten: Lush Lusts

Hi All, Happy Tuesday!

For this weeks Top Ten post I thought I would do a quick round up of the ten Lush products that I am currently lusting over (by which I mean each week I got into their store and investigate then leave wishing I could buy them all). I have recently gotten more interested in Lush and I think it is because my skin just doesn’t seem to react well to much any more and so natural products have become more appealing. I also love Lush as a brand that is cruelty free and vegan (and the ladies at the Queen

Street office are super nice too!). To be clear, not affiliated or sponsored anyway, as per usual. Just a little obsessed…

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1. Dream Cream: Top of my list and a product I plan to buy ASAP is this soothing body lotion for sensitive skin. A best selling product and after being given a sample last week I now understand why. Filled with good stuff like chamomile and lavender this smells good but feels even better. Not cheap which is why I put it off but a little goes a long way so I think it is probably well worth it. $37.90 for 240g

2. Dreamwash: Another product that I have a sample of and have already enjoyed briefly is this shower soap that is, once again, soothing and suitable for dry, red skin. Full of all my favourite things like chamomile, calamine, lavender, aloe vera and essential oils I am a big fan. A little bit expensive for a shower wash, at $28.90 for 250g  so not something I would straight away shell out for.

3. Rose Jam Shower Gel: Staying on the tune of shower products, this shower gel is a gorgeous new Christmas product, scented with rose and lemon. I originally was lusting after snow fairy but after comparing scents I much prefer this slightly more subtle rose scent and find snow fairy a little sickly. $22.50 for 100g, other sizes also available.

4. Santa’s Lip Scrub: I already love the lip scrubs and am currently using the Mint Julips one (which smells amazing) so naturally I was drawn to the limited edition Christmas lip scrub which tastes of cola. Although this is a relatively simple product, at $12.50 it isn’t too expensive and would make a great gift paired with the lip tint below…

5. Santa’s Baby Lip Tint: A red tinted lip balm that is perfect to use after a little scrub and provides a moisturizing red tint with the flavour of a cola. A great combo with the scrub above, and at $12.50 is a nice treat or gift.

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6.Aqua Marina: This is another sample of a popular cleanser that I have yet to try. A pink mousse wrapped with seaweed it is definitely unusual but contains calamine and aloe vera to make it suitable for sensitive and irritated skin, soothing and cleansing. Excited to try this. $18.90 per 100g.

7. Sexy Peel Soap: I love Honey I washed the Kids but this strong citrus scent still outranks it as my favourite soap at Lush. I haven’t bought any but can’t wait to try it properly as the scents of lemon, grapefruit and lime are perfect for waking up to face the day. Yum. $7.49/100g

8. Angel’s Delight Soap: On the tangent of soaps, my favourite new soap is this sweet, colourful one. With cents of tangerines and gardenias the result is a sweet, floral and citrus scent. But mainly I just want it cause its pretty. $7.50/100g

9. Lemony Flutter: I don’t why I don’t own this product yet. This is a popular thick cream that is mainly used for softening cuticles but can be used basically anywhere dry. I love nail creams and seeing as this one is citrus scented (notice a pattern) I am a big fan of this one. At $19.90 for 50g it may seem experience but I know a little goes a long way (I always sample this when I pop into the stores).

10. Vanillary Solid Perfume: Ending with something quite different, I have been umming and ahhing over the Lush perfumes as I do tend to react a little to normal perfume and the idea of something organic and natural is very appealing. This little solid perfume is scented of, you guessed it, vanilla as well as jasmine. The end scent is a warm and grown up vanilla perfume, perfect for winter (but not so much for the season we are just entering). At $10.90 for 12g its not a huge commitment and so may be worth a try for those who like vanilla/burnt caramel scents, as I do.

Whew, I would happily go broke to own all ten of these (edd may not so much). What are the Lush products you lust over?

Xx

Inside My Mind #3

  • Today is Labour Monday in New Zealand yet for some reason I offered to do a ten hour shift instead of enjoy the sunshine. Crazy but just keeping the idea of the money in my mind.
  • Also Christmas is not far away (57 Days according to Christmas clock) and I am 80% excited and 20% terrified at how behind I am. 57 days seems like heaps of time but then I find out that people have already finished their shopping.

  • I have been trialling out Lush’s Dream Cream and I think I might be in love. It isn’t cheap so I am reluctant to shell out on the full tub but I know it will last ages and my skin seems to kind of love it. I also smelt the Snow Fairy shower gel that EVERYONE raves about and I couldn’t stand it…It is SO sweet. I much prefer the new rose jam scent. I must be crazy.
  • Edd sent me this link the other day. Unlikely animal friendships just make me happy.
  • Went to Barillia on the weekend so Mr 12 could experience thier dumplings. Was so excited to try the pork and chive dumplings which everyone raved about but unfortunately every single dumpling had an unexplainable big piece of prawn inside (which being allergic to seafood meant I couldn’t eat). I would still go back in a heartbeat but will have to be super careful in case something like that happens again.
  • I am about to start reading Allegiant and I am very excited. It must be the first time in ages I have bought a physical book from book shop full price (and not just the $2 books at opshops).
  • I am also currently reading The Magic (part of The Secret series) and although it is 80% cringeworthy I am hopeful that the remaining 20% will be useful in making me more grateful for what I have.
  • I am planning to start experimenting in cutting out certain food groups (e.g. doing a month gluten free) and seeing how it affects my skin as well as overall health. I think I will try cutting out gluten first of all so any tips on coping without wheat are very welcome.
  • Edd and I are about halfway through Breaking Bad’s final season and it is so intense! I feel like I am holding my breath for the whole episode. I will almost be relieved once it is all over I think.

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  • On less trendy tv show news I am officially addicted to Beverly Hills Nannies. It is sad and shameful but I thought I should just come out and admit it to you all. It reminds me of being a Nanny but is 100% more glamorous and way more social than my Nannying ever was. I knew I was a sucker for reality tv but I didn’t know it was this bad. Is there some kind of terrible tv rehab because I think I may need it.
  • I can’t wait for this day to be over so I can go home and sleep. Happy Monday everyone!

Tea Time: Worth a Splurge

Hi All!

So today is time for another brief tea post on the two more pricey teas that I currently am enjoying. Tea is my lifesaver at the end of a hard day. My rescue remedy when I am freaking out. Tea is to me like waffles are to Lesley Knope. Hence, every once in a while I don’t mind spending what most people probably consider a ridiculous amount of money on a box of tea. Normally I stick to the $4 approx supermarket tea options however these two were more at the $20 range (which even to me seems a little silly. I would still buy them though).

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1, T2 Turkish Apple
So if I had to choose one tea to drink forever this would be right up there fighting for first place. This is an instant flavoured tisane and is basically just a delicious flavoured sugar. So not the healthiest. I compare it to raro for adults and it is similar in that I could eat this stuff by the spoonful, no hot water needed. However at $22 a box this is a very rare occaision. This is my treat tea but also is an excellent way to sweeten up other herbal teas. When I bought this from the Queen Street T2 store (which has some rather lovely staff!) I was given a couple of samples that I could try mixed with a little Turkish apple. My favourite was the Southern Sunrise (a lemongrass and grapefruit combo) which paired wonderfully with the sweet apple. Delicious and one I would keep spending too much money on. T2 can be bought in NZ at the brand new beautiful Queen street store or ordered online on their website.

2. Harney & Sons Fruit Tea Peach
This is a new brand of tea for me and one I encountered at the Auckland food show. I believe this box was only $10 but normally their teas are a little more expensive at around $15. They have a huge range and you find these in some more boutique Auckland stores such as Smith and Caughies or online at their website. This is a loose fruit tea that smells incredible. Basically made up on dried fruit such as peach, rosehips, apple and hibiscus the tea goes a long way with strong flavour and a beautiful aroma. Don’t use too much as this can easily get overbearing however done right this tea is gorgeous and makes some of the nicest iced tea I ¬†know.

So overall I guess this post was to make me feel better about spending more than normal on tea but everyone needs a treat every now and again and tea is a relatively harmless one (unless you are eating the sugar by the spoonfull). What are your splurges?

October Sample Bar Glam Pack

 

Hi all!
So on this Thursday after a day off work due to relentless migraines/headaches I feel a little like the guy below but don’t look quite so cute. The beginning of this week was less grim with the Auckland book launch for Laura’s amazing cookbook. Meeting her was awesome and spending the subsequent evenings pouring over her cookbook was great. If you haven’t checked out her blog or her cookbook, hungry and frozen,¬† then do!

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¬†Today I also bring you my October glam pack from Sample Bar and the goodies inside. This month’s box came a week or so ago so I am a little delayed but better late then never. This month’s box was actually pretty great and well worth the $25.

DSC_34991. Rosehip Gentle Foaming Cleanser by Essano. I received two 30mL bottles of this soap-free cleanser which contains rosehip oil and other nice and natural ingredients to both cleanse and moisturize the skin without drying it out. I have high hopes for this and am thinking that due to the oils and the natural ingredients it won’t irritate my sensitive skin but I will have to just wait and see. The smell is strange and sweet but not in an unpleasant way, just not what I expected. A full size 140mL will cost you a pretty reasonable $14.99 and can be found at supermarkets which is pretty handy.

2. Dots Laundry Powder. So before we get annoyed that they sent us a washing powder in a beauty sample pack this was a bonus product, so not a part of the 5 proper makeup/beauty samples. Am I super excited by this….no, but it might come in handy.The price for the normal packs range from $6.99-$13.99 at supermarkets.

3, Youngblood Vixen mini lipstick. I love the idea of mini lipsticks so to get a beautiful red one that I can keep in my purse if I decide to pop on a red lip half way through the day of after work before going out is great! This is a blend of natural oils and vitamins which sounds good and is a beautiful true red that is sort of matte. A great product for a sample box in my opinion. These retail for $43.50 for a full size which is pretty expensive for my little wallet.

4. Matte Eyeshadow by Couleur Caramel. Another awesome product this month was this matte eyeshadow that is a beautiful light natural brown colour that would make a great base shadow. Doesn’t seem super pigmented but is buttery and the colour is one I know I will use often. I don’t know how much these eyeshadows retail for but their range of products ranges from $20-$50 approx. I would love to see what some of their other vegan, cruelty free products are like. All of their makeup is also chemical free (not sure how that works) and fair trade. The recyclable packaging is great too!

5. Angel Orange Flower Shampoo and Hairmask. I have never heard of this hair brand (but that isn’t saying much, hair care is not my strength) but am looking forward to trying out these two products. Only downside is that they are for coloured hair so I may have to wait until I have a colour to try and lock in. I hope they smell good… These are $39 each.

6. Pure Fiji Hydrating Guava Body Lotion. Last up we received a small sample of a body lotion from Pure Fiji which is a brand I adore. The best thing about this is the amazing scent which I love about any of these Fijian products. The guava and coconut are a beautiful combination and this will be great as a moisturizer to keep in my handbag for any dryness. The full size moisturizer is $350mL and will cost you $49 which could potentially be worth it just because it smells divine. Yum.

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So all up one of my favourite boxes and what I wish every month was more like. A great range of different products and most of them well suited for me.

Hope you guys are having a great week! I shall leave you with a photo of Callie who was pretty interested in what we were doing and wanted to do some modelling of her own. Such a beautiful girl and who doesn’t love a little chiaroscuro.

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My Big Little City: Diwali 2013

Hi All!

Happy Monday! I did not start Monday well with a few unfortunate events all occurring before 8am indicating a terrible start to the week but overall the day wasn’t too bad, at least not as bad as I was expecting! Apologies for a lack of blog posts last week, I was away from the city (and my internet) for Thursday and Friday last ¬†week which was actually kind of lovely, for a health and safety course of all things. I got two days off the phones at work and instead spent time outside in the sunshine and also with my lovely family who happened to be down where the course was. Bliss. Needless to say I know where I would rather be right now.

Anyway, today I thought I would share a few photos from our Sunday trip with my two little brothers to Auckland’s Diwali festival in the city. I don’t know a lot about Diwali except that it is an Indian religious festival of lights that brings life to Queen street and Aotea Square and is well worth the crowds, especially on a gorgeous Spring weekend. I will let the photos do the talking ūüôā Definitely try it out next year, its free to go and enjoy all the amazing shows and the food is very decently priced (and there is every option available…without meat). I would go again if only to sit in the sun in Aotea square and just enjoy the lively ambiance.

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A face painting station gave me a chance to prove how terrible I am at face painting, luckily Mr 5 was convinced by my “Warrior” face paint and wore it proudly through the day!

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Gorgeous trinkets galore

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The food is one of my favourite things about the Auckland Diwali festival. Mainly because it is all delicious vegetarian dishes and there is more of it than I have ever seen in one spot before. Be ready to face the crowds for some cheap but amazing lunch in the sun. The kettle corn featured below was one of the only stalls that didn’t seem quite cohesive but made for a delicious afternoon tea sitting on the grass in Aotea Square.DSC_3363 DSC_3369

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This guy posing for Edd’s camera may have been the best thing in the whole festival.

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Thanks to Edd for most of these photos! I was too busy eating and enjoying it haha.

Xx

 

 

 

Inside my mind #2

  • Saw Gravity on the weekend and it was almost as good as the hype made it out to be. Glad I saw it in 3D because that stuff was INTENSE. In other news I have no cravings to see space. I’m good down here thanks.
  • I am still obsessed with Pure Heroine by Lorde. Still hasn’t replaced Alt-J’s Awesome Wave as my favourite album of the year so far but is a gorgeous album and I don’t see myself taking it off repeat anytime soon (sorry Edd!)
  • Speaking of Lorde if you like Zelda you may like this cover¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgOfR-M5l4c&feature=youtu.be
  • I finally got myself an audio book so I can multitask at the gym yay! About to start Inferno by Dan Brown tonight and I am quite excited,
  • My lips are super dry thanks to this change in seasons. I have like ten different chapsticks and none seem to be helping. Also my Lush lip scrub dried up and I have no good quality oil to add to it. Life could be worse.
  • Also! I went into Lush yesterday and got their Full of Grace facial serum and although it wasn’t cheap so far I am loving it!
  • I did way too much baking on Thursday night and I think I am stil catching up on sleep. I need to stop volunteering for everything, its getting a bit ridiculous.
  • I really want to do the Colour Run next year but have no one to do it with! ūüė¶
  • Everyone at work hates that “What does the fox say” song but I kind of love it (any song about foxes is my kind of song) and enjoy getting it stuck in their heads whenever possible. I’m annoying.
  • People should not give me iPod chargers. We don’t go well together and they end up broken in the strangest ways. I don’t even know how many I have now destroyed.
  • I still don’t really get Snapchat but slowly using it more and more.
  • I need to cancel my SampleBar but I also want to use my Glam points (I have quite a lot) and as soon as you cancel you lose them. I should just buy something random so I can end this relationship and buy a Mac lipstick instead.
  • Last weekend we went to the zoo and Edd took some amazing photos. I’m not jealous, just angry that he is so much better than me (but not really cause this way he can be stuck behind the camera while I do other things).
Stunning right? And I never thought Emus were that pretty....

Stunning right? And I never thought Emus were that pretty….