TRAVEL

Valencia Dreaming..

January 17, 2016
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Well we are well and truly into the year of 2016 and I am feeling really excited by the endless possibilities and all the wonderful moments that lay ahead. I know we all have those day-to-day commitments which often can get in the way of mapping where we want to go and how we want to get there, but it’s so important to have those plans tucked away, even if you’re not intending to visit them anytime soon.. For me there are career goals, personal plans and the capacity to see new places.

..and, on that note, travel is most certainly on the cards. I am definitely ticking some new locations off the bucket list! I got the opportunity to visit some amazing places last year and never shared them with you on Live a Little, so taking a trip down memory lane, I thought it might be nice to be visually taken to the Spanish city of Valencia..


Over the next few posts, there will be some of my favourite snaps from my travels in 2015.. It was wonderful going through all my albums taking in all the places that I went to. Hopefully looking through some of my photo blogs will get you thinking about taking that trip you’ve always dreamed of. After all, it’s always important to live a little.

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

Best of Beauty – Christmas Edition

December 21, 2015
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So we’re officially on Christmas countdown. With less than a week to go, it’s all about those last minute gifts. For my best of beauty December edition, I thought it would be a great idea to share with you some of my stocking filler picks and the added bonus? They’re all under $30!

1. Grown Alchemist – Intensive Hand Cream | $25.15
Every woman adores a hand cream. Given that it is a hand bag and desk essential, it makes it the perfect stocking filler. I am completely in love with the Persian Rose & Argan extract Intensive Hand Cream by Grown Alchemist. With a focus on ‘botanical beauty’, Grown Alchemist products are free from animal derivatives, synthetic colours, petrochemicals, silicones and all that nasty stuff that can be commonly found in so many beauty products. Aside from smelling divine, this hand cream is deeply penetrating and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling. Made up of Persian Rose, Tamanu Oil, Argan extracts, Pomegranate, Grape Seed Oil you know that you are applying something completely natural. I suffer from dry skin and found that despite being a hand cream, this was perfect to use as a body lotion – especially around my knees, ankles and elbows. So you’re keen to try or thinking it might be a perfect gift, well make sure you purchase from Activeskin. Activeskin is an Aussie e-store that stocks a range of beauty and cosmetic products.

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2. The Body Shop – Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder | $24.95
If you’re still on the hunt for stocking fillers, you cannot go wrong with a bronzing powder. It’s my makeup essential – in fact, bronzer is the one product that I could never live with out. I adore this bronzer by The Body Shop. I am loving the shade 04 – the darkest that the Body Shop do at the moment given that we’re enjoying the summer months. During winter I drop back to 03. This bronzer offers a matte finish – perfect for those who do suffer with shiner skin (like me!).

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3. Original Source – Vanilla & Raspberry Shower Gel | $4.40
I have been using this shower gel for quite a while and thought it would be perfect to include as a stocking filler. The one thing is the utterly divine smell. When you open up the lid, you’re hit with vanilla and raspberries! If you suffer from dry skin, then this shower gel is perfect. It’s super hydrating. As a extra bonus, it’s vegan too!
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4. Model Co – Exfoliate Double Sided Body Wipes | $13.00
I stumbled across this product and was intrigued to give it a try and how it works. Normally if I was to remove fake tan and exfoliate my skin I would use a salt scrub. However, what was amazing was how much tan could be removed with these wipes. On one side, there are small bumps, which make the exfoliation really easy and on the other, it’s smooth, so you can wipe the fake tan away. For anyone that uses tanning products, I am sure you can all relate to those small stubborn patches that stick around your ankles, elbows and near your underarms. It’s so hard to get rid of, but this product is exactly what you need to remove them. You can use this product in hard-to-reach places like between your toes. Overall I was really impressed, but will combine the wipes with a body scrub to get an overall exfoliation This is the perfect little stocking filler for ladies that tan!

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5. Lush – Latte Lip Tint | $9.95
You can never go wrong with any product from Lush. In fact Lush regularly feature on my blog – I am such a fan. This lip tint gives off a bronzey, natural tone and has just enough shimmer. It smells divine – imagine being in a coffee shop and getting the very faint whiff of a vanilla latte. The lip tint is a  blend of almond oil, organic jojoba oil and japan wax, giving you the perfect moisture boost, whilst giving your lips a little touch of glamour!

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There you have it – my best of beauty for the festive season.. Take some inspiration from my picks and don’t worry you’ve still got plenty of time to get your shopping in.

Wishing you all the most magical Christmas and a glorious new year!

SOCIAL

We dined en blanc..

December 7, 2015
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Diner en Blanc is one of the most spectacular events I have ever attended. Ever year it blows me away. Visually, it’s unbelievable and logistically, unbelievable too.

To set the scene for you – thousands of people (all dressed in white) get together in a secret location (only revealed the day of the event), set up their own table and chairs, bring their own food and manage to sit in a grid like system. There are very strict rules of what we can and cannot bring – paper napkins are most certainly a no-no and everything must be white. We drape our own tables with fresh flowers, fairy lights or any creative way in which we see fit, drink wine and enjoy each others company. To start our dinner, we wave our linen napkins in the air and to cease our dinner, light giant sparklers. It’s elegant, chic and visually looks stunning.

This year was incredible. Despite heightened security and a bit of a wait to get into the venue, setting up our tables on the Opera House Steps was very special. Surrounded by the beauty of the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and a cruise ship that had docked temporarily, it was one heck of a backdrop.

We dined on a cheese and salami plate, with fresh figs, dips and olives, followed by a gourmet quiche, handmade sausage rolls with salad and finished with a beautiful chocolate cake with caramel sauce. The table was designed and put together by my extraordinarily talented friend Gabrielle, the brains behind Style by Soiree.

What I love the most about Diner en Blanc, aside from being in friends company, is how happy everyone is – everywhere you look people are laughing, smiling and generally just having a wonderful time. I feel very special to be part of something so incredible. Until next year Diner en Blanc! Santé!

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

November 2015: Best of Beauty

November 15, 2015
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I’ve been reviewing some amazing products the past month with two originating from other countries! We in Australia, are so lucky to have access to some of the worlds best beauty brands and it’s getting easier than ever with fast and reasonably priced shipping options. So what are my thoughts? Well read below…

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter 1 hr Tan Mousse | $19.95
I have certainly tried a range of tanning products over the years and have developed my firm favourites. However, when something new comes along I am always keen to see the results. Now, Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter (an Irish beauty entrepreneur) is a beautiful tan – not just the colour, but to use! And, is so reasonably priced. Some tanning products are super pricey and can set you back $50, $60 or even more. You can have a beautiful tan for under $20! So how does it work? Well the mousse is really easy to apply and has a different texture to most other tanning mousses. Do you remember your mum using Wella hair mousse? Well Cocoa Brown is just like that! It’s light, airy and glides straight on the skin. Plus the tan itself develops in just 1 hour, so you’ll never have to worry about your stained sheets or clothes. If you like your tan a little deeper, then you can leave it on for longer, but no more than 3 hours (you just won’t need to!). Colourwise, you’ll end up with a beautiful brown nothing too over the top and certainly not orange. If you like your tan reaaally deep, then Cocoa Brown do have the same formula that is slightly darker. A few little bonuses – it’s paraben free and perfect for sensitive skin, it smells like a tropical holiday with its Tahitian Gardenia Floral Scent and always a firm favourite for me, Cocoa Brown is not tested on animals!

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Jamberry Nail Wraps
 | $22.00

We have seen a huge jump in new techniques when it comes to your nails. With the rise of gel polishes and shellac, wait time for colour to dry is now non-existent. One step up from shellac, nail wraps are fast becoming the manicure choice of many. Jamberry, a US based company started by sisters Lyndsey, Christy, and Keri had an a-ha moment after an expensive trip to the nail salon and decided to create a line of do-it-yourself nail wraps. With hundreds of designs, colours and options available, there will be a nail wrap to suit anyones personality. I was always thrown by the application process as it looked really complex but to be honest it’s super easy:

  1. Clean unpolished nails with alcohol wipe and push back the cuticles.
  2. Match nail (finger or toe) to the nail wrap that best fits.
  3. Peel off nail wrap and warm with a hair dryer for 3-5 seconds or until soft and flexible.
  4. When warm, press the wrap onto the nail. Apply firm pressure around edges to adhere the wrap to the nail. Use rubber cuticle pusher to seal the wrap around the base of the cuticle.
  5. Trim the top with scissors and file off remaining wrap using a downward motion to remove excess.
  6. Apply heat and pressure to the wrap again until it is bonded to the nail.

I’ve also noticed if applied properly, nail wraps will last much longer than painted nails AND doesn’t damage your nails like shellac can do. If you’re all about showing off your personality, then Jamberry should be on your purchasing list.

These are my favourite styles from Jamberry (Champagne Frost, Gatsby & Jewelry Box):
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Natural Pearl Skin Care – ‘Golden Youth’ | $225.00
One aspect of skin care that is really starting to play on my mind is that of anti-ageing. As I approach the latter half of my twenties, suddenly looking after the overall appearance of my skin is becoming a priority for me. Natural Pearl Skincare is the perfect solution. This effective and powerful anti-ageing skin system is made up of marine extracts for the deepest of skin penetration. I was given the opportunity to try ‘Golden Youth’ and so far I am really quite shocked by how well it’s working. Golden Youth’s main active ingredient is Marinoplex™, a natural mixture of powerful marine extracts. Marinoplex™ has potent antioxidant properties due to its rich polyphenol content, reduces sun damage, reduces hyper-pigmentation and clarifies the skin’s colour. In essence, it’s a skin serum,vitamin cream, a moisturiser and a skin lifting cream all in one. You can apply ‘Golden Youth’ before applying makeup and can even use it on the back of your hands – it’s very soft and luxurious to use. A truly beautiful product.

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Appelles Vitamin B5 Skin Lotion (500ml) | $44.95
Do you know what smells amazing? Mandarin Peel, Rosemary & Cinnamon… and this zingy, invigorating and delicious combination comes in a bottle. I love skin lotion, applying it every day, morning and night. I just had a weekend away in the Hunter Valley and stayed at the gorgeous Chateau Elan. Appelles was the bathroom products that the hotel used and I completely and utterly fell in love with their skin lotion. Apart from its unbelievable scent, the Appelles Vitamin B5 Skin Lotion packs a punch too. The mandarin peel assists circulation and may promote new cell growth, improving skin appearance, the rosemary has antimicrobial properties that can assist with skin conditions, whilst helping tone and moisturise and finally, the cinnamon bark has powerful antiseptic properties that help maintain skin health. With added vitamin B5, this lotion is the perfect option for maintaining clear and healthy skin.
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So there you have it – my beauty picks for the month of November. And dare I say it, these aren’t bad gift ideas either. After all, we’re only seven weeks away from Christmas!

Stay beautiful & always live a little x

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

New, natural and truly beautiful..Tania Louise.

October 20, 2015
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As you’ve probably started to gather (if you read my blog regularly), I am definitely a beauty junkie. A natural beauty junkie. What excites me is that so many independent brands, small businesses and boutique companies are taking the plunge and offering us more options than ever before. Whilst us ladies are always going to go back to our key products, it’s always nice to shake things up and consider something new. So if you’re looking to try something beautiful, that’s most certainly natural and independently owned, then meet Tania Louise.

What makes Tania Louise as a brand even more amazing, is the story of how the company started. Tania Wilson, the owner of her self-titled range was devastatingly diagnosed with thyroid cancer, but saw an opportunity to start something beautiful. It was during her 4 days of isolation in the Alfred Centre, Melbourne during her Radioactive Therapy where she had her ‘a-ha’ moment and started her very own skincare and Botanic beauty range. So what are my thoughts? Well read below..

Body Scrub – Certified Organic Argan & Fair Trade Arabica | $16.95
Are you a coffee lover? Can’t get going in the morning with out your cap or latte? Well to give you that coffee fix in the bathroom, then you need to use this scrub! Subtly scented with coconut oil, it is gentle enough that you can use it on sensitive skin. So how do you get the most out the scrub? Well firstly massage in a circular motion into body, hands and feet. I like to put a towel down before I jump in the shower and almost do a dry rub. It’s super important to concentrate on those problem areas – dry skin, cellulite, stretch marks or scarring. Then all you need to do is hang out for 2-3 minutes allow the caffeine to work it’s magic, hop into the shower and rinse off. According to Tania, “A percentage of the caffeine is absorbed into the top layers of skin and helps to stimulate circulation and shift toxins which are responsible for building up and creating cellulite”.

Argan Oil 100% Pure Certified Organic and Fair Trade | $39.95
Beauty with a purpose? Well this is it. This AMAZING Argan Oil is picked and hand processed by the South Western Womens co-op with proceeds going towards health and education for Moroccan women and their children. How satisfying is that? So what are the benefits of Argan Oil? Well firstly, Argan packed with anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. So it makes it the perfect anti-ageing product out there. No need to rely on preservatives and hefty scientific ingredients we can barely pronounce! If you suffer from acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and/or stretch marks, then this will certainly be your best friend. Slightly too oily for me to use as a hair product, I am currently applying my Argan Oil at night. I wake up in the morning with my skin feeling softer and looking significantly brighter and clearer.


Rose Water Spray 100ml
| $39.95
It’s getting so much more humid and hotter. So to combat the issue, I always like to carry something in my purse to cool my skin. Tania Louise’s Rose Water Spray has been a Godsend. Created with steam distilled oil from freshly picked petals from the Damascus Rose –  Rosa Damascena, this oil has been blended with purified water, for a cooling and refreshing quick-fix. A few pumps of the spray and voila! Instantly cooler. Works beautifully before you apply the Tania Louise Argan Oil.

Mascara in Black | $24.95
I have a love-hate relationship with mascara. Whilst it is a makeup bag must have and I looooove having long, luscious lashes, I find when I use most mascaras, I find that my eyes get irritated and sore. If I ever occasionally commit the cardinal beauty sin of accidentally-going-to-bed-with-my-makeup-face-still-on (which we’re all guilty of.. Don’t deny it!), then I find my eyes are so much worse. I also can’t stand thick, gloopy and chunky mascara. It feels heavy on my eyes and just adds to the irritation. Tania Louise’s Mascara is made in Australia with Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Certified Organic Castor Oil, and Certified Organic Carnuaba Wax with mineral pigments. Not only are your lashes going to look divine, you’re actually treating them! 2-in-1 bonus wouldn’t you say?


I have had the pleasure of trying four products from the range with great success. What I love about Tania’s range is that the range is developed and created in Australia, made up of natural, organic, fair-trade, botanic and mineral ingredients. Plus her packaging is just beautiful – from the logo to the labelling.

Please, please, please give Tania Louise’s range a try if you are on the hunt for something new. You’ll feel the benefits, see the benefits whilst supporting a company that has their morals in the right place. Live a little and be a part of a brand that really does echo beauty with a purpose.

*The images were taken in the lily ponds of the QT Hotel Port Douglas. 

DESIGN

Interior Inspired with Graham & Brown

October 6, 2015
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I am so thrilled to be writing this post..  Another area that I will be exploring on my blog, will be that of interior design! I recently and very proudly purchased my first home and as you can imagine, my mind is running wild with design ideas, interiors and furniture options.

Right now, the house is a little worse for wear, with floors ripped up, the kitchen dismantled and doors removed, but over the next few weeks, very gradually I will start to see my perfect home come together.

I am so excited to be partnering with UK based wallpaper and wall decor company, Graham & Brown throughout my project. The company was established in the UK back in 1946 by friends Harold Graham and Henry Brown, over time the company has grown and are now pioneers for providing beautiful options for your walls.

If you weren’t aware, it’s currently Graham & Brown’s National Wallpaper Week (5th – 11th) celebrating all that is great in the world of wallpaper, from its design, craft and heritage to how it can transform a space for even the most novice decorator in a matter of hour.

Each day, throughout the week Grham & Brown will be celebrating the ‘7 feelings of wallpaper’, with a different mood or design concept changing each day. So yesterday, the 5th, was all about the ‘Date Night’, so imagine passion, velvets, purples and rich textures and finishes. Today is ‘Calm’, so think tranquility, fresh air and creating a quiet sanctuary.

Going through each of the days, there was one specific feeling that hit me straight away and this was Wednesday’s. Inspired. In my home, I want to create a space that will radiate positive energy, somewhere where I can sit down at a desk and blog away without a care in the world. I’ve never had a study or workspace that is reflective of my personality and given that I do spend quite a bit of time in front of a computer screen, (you never would have guessed..) designing a beautiful, inspirational study space is definitely on top of my agenda. As Graham & Brown put it perfectly, “With four walls that envelope you in positive vibes, you’ll feel motivated to chase your dreams having spent an afternoon surrounded by this gorgeous theme“.

So after doing a little digging on Pintrest, here are three designs of office spaces that I think are beautiful and evoke exactly what Inspired is about.

From a wallpaper perspective I looked through various colour options on the Graham & Brown site and seemed to get drawn to greys. I am a huge fan of grey, whilst some people see it as dull, I see it as really calming and soothing, plus grey looks amazing with metallics, pops of colour, timber or just white. These were my final choices and the perfect way to start my Inspired space. 

From L - R: Bellagio White, Destiny Grey & Innocence Grey.

From L-R: Bellagio White, Destiny Grey & Innocence Grey – all are Superfresco Easy.

Bellagio White – This ultimate stylish concrete design adds a touch of urban to your home for a cool sophisticated back drop in any room.

Destiny Grey – This grey wallpaper would look fantastic in any room. Whether it’s covering a whole room to make your furniture stand out or simply highlighting a fireplace or feature wall.

Innocence Grey – A beautiful ombre mica sweeps through this tranquil natural twig design wallpaper, underpinned by a delicate calico fabric effect. This grey wallpaper design is subtle enough to use across an entire room whilst still making a real design statement.

I thought it would be fantastic to put together a mood board on how I might dress my study space to work with these beautiful wallpapers. In my head I envisage a mixture of greys, black and timber, with a touch of greenery and copper. Naturally the room needs to feel spacious and light but not clinical.

Rope light - World Effect, Desk, Cactus Canvas Print & Pillow - Zauni, Notebook - Kikki K, Chair & Desk Clock - Target, 'Be the Best You can Be Print - Zazzle.com.au, Candle - Cocolux, Potted Succulents & Wooden Letter Holder - Ikea.

Rope light – World Effect, Desk, Cactus Canvas Print & Pillow – Zauni, Notebook – Kikki K, Chair & Desk Clock – Target, ‘Be the Best You can Be Print – Zazzle.com.au, Candle – Cocolux, Potted Succulents & Wooden Letter Holder – Ikea.

I am really interested in hearing how you’ve treated your study space. What has inspired you? Would this be a sort of design you’d like? Do you have any design tips for me? I am truly excited to start my renovating project and for all my friends and followers to be a part of my design journey. I will certainly be sharing with you all the results over the next few months.

And as I always say, get inspired & live a little!

TRAVEL

A postcard from Port Douglas..

October 3, 2015
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I recently came back from a week-long break from beautiful Port Douglas. For those that aren’t aware, Port Douglas is about an hour north from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. Visitors are a mix – you’ve got Australians requiring much needed sun, backpackers from all over the world and plenty of international tourists. If you’re looking for sunshine, great food, luxury hotel options, the Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Rainforest then Port Douglas is perfect.

When you arrive, you’ll be amazed at all the tours, activities and trips you can do. There is so much to see and do in that area, but for us (Mum and I) we just wanted to pan out, relax and not do too much at all.

Live a little and enjoy my virtual post card! X

Where did we stay | The QT Port Douglas 
Where did we dine | Harrisons, Nautlius, On the Inlet & Sassi Cucina e Bar  
Where did we get pampered | SpaQ
What did we do? | Port Douglas Cruises

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

September Beauty Picks!

September 24, 2015
Shot by Samantha Macabulous.

September is my favourite month in the year. Why you ask? Well it might come across as slightly biased, but it’s my birthday month! Despite every year that goes by, I do enjoy my birthday. A little older, a little wiser (so they say…). Since I turned 25 in the last week, I thought refreshing, repairing and rejuvenating would the focus of my health and beauty picks this month.

Spot Medic | $14.95
Spot Medic is a teeny-tiny weapon of mass pimple destruction. You know that feeling when you can start to feel a pimple brewing ever so slightly under the skin? You touch it and it feels like a football is manifesting itself under your face. Before you know it, it’s red and starting to emerge. Spot Medic to the rescue. These little hydrocolloid gel plasters are designed to zap those pimples away. All you need to do is apply to the pimple and wear overnight. You’ll wake up the morning with a less red, less swollen pimple. So how does it work? Well, the little plasters are non-breathable and made up of non animal derived gelatin, pectin, carby-methylcellulose and other polymers that promote wound healing! I’ve used these little superstars a few times over the past month and I can honestly say they really do work.

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Naturamin Brain Booster Tablets | $35.99
It’s well past halfway when we reach September and sometimes we feel a little drained and exhausted by this point in the year. This is why I am loving Naturamin Brain Booster tablets. These scientifically formulated supplement tables are full of neuro-enhancing ingredients and assist in stronger memory, sharper focus, better cognition, higher levels of productivity and overall greater mental energy. Taken daily, with food, these tablets are a sure way to get you refocused and back on track.

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Scentcillo 5 Essential Oil Box Set | $105.00
You can never underestimate the power of essential oils. Used for thousands of years, oils can awaken you, uplift you, relax you or stimulate you. Applied to certain parts of the body or gently warmed, essential oils are truly magnificent. The essential oils from Scentcillo are inspired by various aromas from around the world. In the 5 pack, there is ‘Oracle’ a blend inspired by the Oracle of Delphi in Ancient Greece, ‘Tango’, a floral scent combined with ylang ylang, palarosa and tangerine that creates an almost passionate and energetic aroma, ‘Shaman’ a refreshing and stimulating scent inspired by the Amazonian jungle, ‘Starlet’, a truly feminine and elegant scent that takes you to old fashion Hollywood and finally ‘Greek Island’, a fresh and invigorating scent that momentarily transports you to the Mediterranean. There are no synthetic or artificial fragrances in Scentcillo’s essential oil blends, with their products packaged in recyclable dark blue glass bottles to protect the essential oils from UV light.

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Ivadore Tanning Treatment (120 ml) | $48.00
I love tanning products. I still stand by the fact that fake tan is the best beauty product to ever be invented. Given that I live in Australia and still so commonly see people cooking themselves in the sun, despite all the warnings, it makes me such a strong advocate of faux tanning. What is a cherry on top of the cake, is when you hear that tanning products are not tested on animals and are plant derived! A double bonus! Meet Ivadore, a natural and organic based tanning product that works a treat. Being so natural, it’s suitable for those with sensitive skin and is even suitable for the face. The product itself goes on really lightly, is super moisturising and has a subtle, but sweet smell. Colourwise, I came out a beautiful golden brown, nothing OTT, but certainly gave me a gorgeous glow. The only downside, if I had to point anything out is that you need to wait 8 hours for Ivadore to develop. There are many brands that are on the market that can develop in just 1 hour, but I still stand by and am loyal to those tanning brands that may require a little more time to develop – you’ve just gotta have a little patience!

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All of these products are going to give you that much needed yes-I’m-in-the-ninth-month-of-the-year boost. I would be really keen to hear from anyone that has used Spot Medic, Naturamin, Scentcillo or Ivadore before as they were all super amazing products to try.

Live a little and always stay beautiful! X

GIVE A LITTLE, STYLE

Is your Dad your superhero?

September 3, 2015
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Every Dad dreams of having his very own ‘man cave’. A private space, where he is free from the stresses of the day-to-day, a place where he can escape for a while and regain his strength. Some of the best man caves in the world are modelled of those owned by superheroes. Whether he is a fan of the Bat Cave, Iron Man’s Stark Towers Penthouse or needs something a little quieter like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, Father’s Day is the perfect time for you to help Dad unleash that superhero inside.

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I have put together my five picks for your Dad to begin to create his very own man cave, after all he’s your superhero and every superhero deserves a place where they can design their ultimate costume and clean their utility belt, sorry I mean, relax and recuperate.

1. Man Cave Chalkboard Print by Almond Tree Designs – $19.95 It is extremely important to establish the space and boundaries of the man cave. Dad will love this humorous chalk board print by Almond Tree Designs. He can hang it in his study, the garage or wherever he has declared in the home ‘man cave’ territory!

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2. Brau Twin Wall Mug 500ml (Set of 2) by Avanti – $19.95 Naturally all superheroes need to hydrate themselves and these 500 ml mugs will be perfect for Dad and his sidekick to enjoy a cold one. They’re double walled for insulation maintaining the temperature, meaning Dad’s beer will stay nice and cold. Plus, they are dishwasher safe and come with ten years warranty.

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3. Zen Bean Bag Set by Epona – $189.95
A ‘man cave’ needs to be a laid back and relaxed space, where Dad’s stress and troubles can fade away. I can assure you, he will love lounging on his very own Zen Bean Bag Set by Epona. Crafted from PU Ostrich leather, the Zen Bean Bag Set is strong, durable but still superhero comfortable.

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4. 746 Traditional Retro Rotary Dialling Telephone by GPO – $119.95
I am sure your Dad will remember the 1960s version of Batman. Just to put it into perspective, a typical episode usually began with Commissioner Gordon, along with Chief O’Hara contacting Batman about the peril that Gotham City is facing via the Batphone – a bright red telephone that provides a direct phone link to Batman. Well guess what? Dad can now have his very own Batphone! These vintage style phones by GPO are designed to look exactly like phones of the past whilst incorporating modern technology to ensure compatibility with modern telephone lines. So Dad can now fight crimes or order himself a pizza – his choice!

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5. Chess Set – Small by Café Lighting – $279.95
Although Dad might not have the capacity to turn invisible, stop a bus in its tracks or fly to the moon and back, he can certainly work on his mental endurance and strength. After all, Dads have to endure work stress, family life and finances on a daily basis. The classic game of chess is the perfect way for Dad to challenge his brain whilst enjoying some personal time.

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6. Attache Case Turntable/Vinyl Record Player by GPO – $199
The final touch to any man cave is a music system. I am sure Dad, given his age, will love this vintage style suitcase record player from GPO. Made of wood and bound in leatherette, this briefcase styled record player features a built in stereo so you can tune in without needing a speaker system. A USB is also supplied so you can record your favourite vinyl and enjoy it in digital format. How cool is that? Dad’s superhero inspired playlist might include, Snoop Dogg’s ‘Batman & Robin’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’, Prince’s ‘Bat Dance’ or Queen’s ‘Flash’ – the choice is his!

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But you better act quick, Father’s Day is just around the corner, but It’s not too late to surprise the superhero in your life. Make your Dad feel extra special this Fathers Day!

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

Spa of the World.. What’s your Ritual?

August 29, 2015
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How wonderful do you feel after a bit of pampering at a spa? Relaxing massages, luxurious body wraps, indulgent hair and face treatments? That feeling of escapism and ultimate relaxation. It’s a beautiful feeling. Once you’ve indulged yourself, you get hooked, well I have! But since I don’t have a limitless bank account, these sorts of trips to spas are for special occasions and when I’m holidaying.

In saying this, it’s still important to treat yourself at home. So what if I told you that you could bring the essence of holiday spa treatments home with you? Are you inspired by Tahiti, Morocco or maybe Japan?

I am so excited to share with you the brand new Spa of the World range by The Body Shop. Their luxurious range of products are inspired by stunning places all over the world and are designed to be used together as a complete ritual. The range is split into three styles of rituals (Blissful – yellow, Revitalising – blue and Relaxation – purple), so if you’re looking to indulge yourself, invigorate your senses or de-stress and calm, there are scrubs, masks, oils and body cremes to feel like you’ve just stepped out of a five-star spa!

I thought I’d share with you my picks from the range, give you a bit of an insight into the ingredients and then give you a sense how to best use them.

Dead Sea Salt Scrub | Revitalising Ritual | $42.95
The scrub is the perfect texture to scrub away dead skin cells, stimulate circulation and invigorate your skin. With its main ingredient being salts from the Dead Sea and plant based oils, it leaves your skin feeling smoother and softer. All you need to do, is apply over wet skin – paying particular attention to drier areas like the elbows and knees and rise off. It has a lovely marine smell.. the perfect pick-me-up!

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Moroccan Rhassoul Body Clay | Revitalising Ritual | $32.95
I love this product so much – if you’re needing to tighten and firm up certain areas, then this body clay is perfect for you. All you do is apply to the body, leave on the skin for 10 minutes, or when the clay has gone hard and then rinse off in the shower using circular motions. Made from Rhassoul clay from The Atlas Mountains in Morocco and is a favourite of Moroccan women for its tightening and firming qualities.

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Polynesian Monoi Radiance Oil | Blissful Ritual | $32.95 
Feel like heading off to the Pacific Islands momentarily? Well when you can come back from your day dream, I can promise radiate skin and shiny hair. The Polynesian Monoi Radiance oil is a beautiful product to use. Used by women of the Pacific Islands for thousands of years, ‘Monoi’ is a blend of coconut oil (ethically sourced from Samoa) and tiare flowers. This multi-purpose oil is a gorgeous body  moisturiser for skin that is absorbed quickly without leaving your skin greasy. If you suffer from dry, brittle or even over coloured hair, then this oil can be used as daily treatment – simply add product to the ends of your hair, like you would a leave-in conditioner – or overnight treatment. After washing your hair, lightly blow dry and add a few drops and sleep with it in.

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Japanese Camellia Cream | Relaxation Ritual | $52.95
I love body butters, cremes and moisturisers and this velvety cream is utterly decadent. Subtly scented of the elegant Camellia flower, you’ll find after applying this luxurious cream, your skin will feel softer, smoother and hydrated. Camellia oil has been used by women of Japan since the eighth century to moisturise their skin and find their inner peace. Relax your soul and find your zen with this beautiful product.

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So I can’t quite give you the tropical getaway or luxury spa treatment that you might’ve been dreaming about recently, but I can assure you The Body Shop’s new Spa of the World Ritual range can help. So live a little and treat yourself to a little DIY spa therapy!

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Also – another reason to purchase from The Body Shop.. For those that aren’t aware, The Body Shop stand by some incredible values. First and foremost, they are against animal testing, always have been since they were founded by Dame Anita Roddick in 1976. Plus, all their products suitable for vegetarians. Additionally The Body Shop supports a range of community fair trade projects. The company currently has more than 1,200 products, 80% of which contain at least one Community Fair Trade ingredient. Self Esteem campaigns, defending human rights and protection of our planet are all instilled in The Body Shop values. Now, who wouldn’t want to support that?

STYLE

Be ‘geek chic’ with Firmoo!

July 31, 2015
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I love fashion. But then again, which girl doesn’t? As the ever classic Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening..” What is wonderful, is that anyone can interpret the term ‘fashion’ how they wish. It’s interchangeable, fluid and completely subjective. With fashion comes accessories – the pièce de résistance and the final touch to an outfit.

One accessory that is often underrated or sometimes overlooked is eyewear – not necessarily sunglasses, but reading glasses! Once considered bland and geeky (especially when I was at school) eyewear is now a perfectly acceptable fashion accessory. Global brands, designers and celebrities have all rushed to be a part of the optical industry. Take Australian designers Alex Perry and Collette Dinnigan. Both have paired up with Specsavers, releasing their own beautiful line of eyewear. But, with these designer brands, come the designer prices. So often shopping for fashionable eyewear can become quite expensive.

I wanted to share with you my experience with Firmoo, the worlds most popular optical online store. What I love about Firmoo, aside from being able to order your lenses online is the fact that you can get that designer look for a fraction of the cost!

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I’m wearing #F1018, a vintage style of lenses in black. These retail for $40.99 (Australian). 

Shopping Process
Shopping with Firmoo is super easy – all the styles are on site, so you can just browse through at your own pace. You can search by colour type, material, size, shape and price. Additionally you can shop in a range of currencies. There is even a super neat feature where you can upload your own picture and ‘try’ the glasses on.

Ordering Process
Purchasing your glasses is like purchasing anything online. It’s really simple and easy to use. In regards to your prescription you can either upload it or manually enter your prescription details. Payment is via credit card or your Paypal account. My glasses arrived within 2 weeks.

I know it seems odd purchasing glasses online, but there are so many styles and options on Firmoo you’re completely spoilt for choice. Plus, all the glasses are under $70, so you’re bagging yourself a bargain. You can keep changing your look as and when it suits!

I am loving my Firmoo glasses and if you’re a specs wearer, then I thoroughly recommend you have a look next time you’re wanting to update your eyewear. For those who don’t wear glasses, you can still shop their awesome sunglasses range.

Live a little and embrace your inner ‘chic geek’!

BEAUTY + WELLBEING

The Best of Beauty – The July Edition!

July 24, 2015
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So over the past month or so, I’ve been trialing and testing a range of unique beauty products, and I can assure you they’re perfect to get you through the last remaining weeks of winter. I’ve put these picks together as they’ll keep you in tip-top condition from head to toe and inside out. Enjoy!

For the face? Skin B5 Range | @skinb5
So for many of us out there dealing with skin problems is a regular Whether it’s stress, hormones or wearing makeup all day, most of us are prone to breakouts. But for some people, it can be more severe. Some adults have to deal with acne well into their 20s and 30s and some can suffer with body acne, which I can imagine would be so irratating. Whether you occasionally break out or suffer regularly with acne dramas, one of the hardest things is finding products that are natural and still gentle enough for your face/body. As a teen I tried a very well-known acne clearing product that literally burnt top layer off my skin, it was so acidic! I can remember the aftermath was a red, scaly and very sore face. It scarred me for life. The Skin B5 range will certainly not do this to your skin. It’s completely free from benzoyl peroxide, parabens, synthetic fragrances and animal products, is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is proudly Australian. The Skin B5 range is a four step program made up of acne control tablets (in either normal or extra strength), a cleansing mousse, purifying mask and controlling moisturizer. How you use the program is dependent on how severe your skin problems are. I suffer from standard skin issues, blackheads, occasional breakouts and have quite large pores on my cheeks. After just 3 days, I am starting to see my pores get smaller, any pimples that were there are now drying up and my skins texture is so much more smoother.

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For the hair? Hair and Me Treatment | @hairandme_
I am loving Hair and Me – it’s 100% organic and completely natural. Perfect for combatting frizz, split ends and breakage, it works to repair, strengthen and moisturise your hair whilst also stimulating the scalp for hair growth. I have super thick hair and when it’s time for that mid week wash, I get so frustrated because I have to allow at least an hour to just dry and style my hair. But, the best the thing about Hair and Me, is that helps reduce that tedious blow drying time by 30-50%! The consistency of the treatment is quite oily (because it is so natural), so I wouldn’t recommend using the whole lot in one go – you’ll get a few treatments out of one pack. Hair and Me can be used on coloured and highlighted hair as well as hair extensions.

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For the body? StayLean Tea’s 14 and 28 Day Detox | @stayleantea
There are many forms of ‘detox teas’ out there on the market at the moment. What is scary, is that many contain laxatives. This can be extremely trying on your body often leading to stomach pains, frequent trips to the ladies and dehydration. I must stress that these sort of detox’s should not be used for weight loss purposes, which I see so many young girls do. However, if you’re looking at doing a detox or a tea cleanse, then consider StayLean. All the ingredients are 100% natural and contain no laxatives what so ever. I am currently in the process of completing my 14 day detox and starting to see results. I am looking less bloated and feeling slightly more cleansed. Staylean recommend that you drink 2-3 litres of water during the detox and maintain a healthy and balanced diet throughout the process. I must stress again, that everyone’s results are different, so bear this is mind if you choose to commence one.

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For the feet? Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter by Lush | @lush_ausnz
I am the ultimate Lush fan and have been for many years. They are so ethically conscious about their products in every way from the packaging to the ingredients. Lemony Flutter is one the thickest creams I have ever come across – it’s almost the same consistency as paste. Although advertised as ‘cuticle butter’, Lemony Flutter also works wonders on dry and cracked feet. Just before bed, I slather my feet in the stuff and then put a pair of socks on straight away. When I wake in the morning, my feet feel soft, supple and as a bonus smell like limoncello!

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I am all for supporting natural, eco-friendly and Australian health and beauty brands and I know after reading this, you’ll be super keen to try some of these out. Perhaps you’re already using some of these products and I would love to hear from you! Or maybe you’re an up and coming brand? I would love to try your range! Either way, I love to hear from my readers.

As always, live a little! x

SOCIAL, TRAVEL

A Quintessential English Wedding..

June 23, 2015
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How wonderful are weddings? Aside from the suits, dresses, delicious wedding cake and fabulous food, I love the atmosphere – there is always so much positivity in the air. It’s so lovely to see friends, family and loved ones all come together with one cause of celebration in mind.

I don’t often post personal events on my blog, but this was so worth sharing. Part of my travels earlier in the year was to celebrate my partners’ cousin, Emily and her marriage to her now husband Russ. They were married at St Peters, with her reception at the very grand Dumbleton Hall. Em looked absolutely phenomenal and everything about the day was perfect. From the horse drawn carriage, to the Worcestershire countryside setting, the beautiful wedding cake to the very emotional speeches.

It was a very special day and judging by the photos you can certainly see why.. Enjoy! X

GIVE A LITTLE

Give a little – CEO Sleepout 2015.

June 15, 2015
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Media today is so accessible, and with that accessibility often comes information overload. Naturally charitable organisations can use social media and the internet platform to create awareness and drive donations and it can often all just be all too much. But on this occasion, I would really appreciate if you could read through this post.. I know this may come across as another ‘charity’ pull, but this particular cause is very close to my heart.

For those that know me and my family, most of you would be aware that my father, Philip Crenigan contributes to the Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout every year. For those that aren’t aware of what this entails, it is one night a year where managing directors, CEOs and key business players come together and experience sleeping out on the streets. Over the past decade, they have managed to raise over 10 million dollars to assist St Vincent De Paul and there fight to stop homelessness in this country. In it’s tenth year, Vinnies’ are aiming to raise 10 million dollars.

If you’re new to this whole concept, I thought it might be interesting for you to hear my father’s thoughts and insights from his experience of the CEO Sleepout 2014.


Still a taboo issue, it’s important to be very clear that homelessness exists in this country, with over 100,000 people sleeping on the streets every night. Faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis, many of Australia’s homeless have choices to make. Will they forego food tonight for shelter? Should they purchase a blanket or new clothes this week? Where can they sleep where they don’t have to incur travel costs, but feel safe and warm?

For us, these aren’t decisions, we have our home, our dinner tonight and clothes to wear tomorrow. What is fantastic and really homing in on this issue, is at this years CEO Sleepout, all participants will receive Vinnies CEO Sleepout Dollars. They then will have the opportunity to speak to caseworkers to hear about some of the real choices that many of Australia’s homeless face.

All participants will not receive enough dollars to access all the small comforts like food, cardboard and sleeping bags, so they will have to think long and hard about what is important to get them through the night. Perhaps they will have to sacrifice their meal? We’ll see.

Once again, I understand that you are bombarded with messaging and imagery from many organisations, but I ask that on this occasion you might be able to spare a few dollars and assist my dad in his endeavours at this years CEO Sleepout.

Given that he the sole owner and representative of his business Executive Turning Point, every year he reaches his target. At this moment in time, he is $600 off his $10,000 goal, so if you wish to show your support, please do so by clicking here. Please help him and all the other participants as they all come together to stamp out homelessness in this country.

Don’t forget, giving a little will contribute to living a little.

I am so proud of him and hopefully you are too.

TRAVEL

My London Love Affair!

June 9, 2015
We fell in love with this awesome pub, just around the corner from our hotel.

I am so proud to call London my hometown. It’s a city that just has got it right. Between the hundreds of dining options, beautiful shops, cultural stops, architecture and history everything about the city works. It was wonderful to spend a long weekend there, so here’s what we got up to.

It was a short but sweet encounter with the city. I was so devastated that I had to leave. Especially when I know there are so many other places to explore, to see and to try. London speaks for itself and I recommend it entirely.

It will certainly not be my last affair with London. After all, it is my hometown and that in itself is a perfect reason to go back.

Happy travels! X