Sunday, December 28, 2014

Festive Break

I've had a bit of a break over Christmas, I've been crazy busy, just like everyone, and my kids have been keeping me on my toes.  Tomorrow I'm heading up north to my in-law's other farm, which is in quite a sparsely populated area of New South Wales.  The town has a sign that reads 'Population 300'.  Not sure how out of date that one is.  My husband has a week of shearing, and for a change I'm going with him, along with the kids.  As a result today was spent shopping for food supplies (with four kids...major nightmare) and cooking a casserole to take for one of the meals, (there is no oven...only an electric frying pan and a microwave so you have to careful think out your meals), two batches of chocolate chip cookies, a jelly slice (hubby's favourite) and 96 sausage rolls for smoko. 

For those who are unaware, smoko is a bit of a shearer's term for morning and afternoon tea, and at both you will find that shearer's will consume a fair bit of it.  Shearing is hungry work!  Anyway, I was cooking and baking for 6 hours straight today and my back is killing me!

So, next week while I am away I will be blogging as normal, I just will be in a different part of Australia and showing you some vastly different landscape from where I live.  I am also planning out my 2015 blogging year so that shall keep me busy!

Looking forward to New Year's Eve, which will no doubt be spent around a 'fire-in-a-barrel', drink in hand, and then on Saturday we are heading off to the Deniliquin Rodeo where my brother in-law is riding a steer!  My husband is also hoping to get a ride.  I am kind of hoping he doesn't!  I will post photos I promise.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 12 Shirts of Christmas

I own a lot of Western shirts.  And when I say a lot I mean 12.  Exactly.  So to be particularly festive I thought I would show them to you, so you could laugh at my excessive amount of check shirts and give you a bit of Christmas cheer.  I also thought that since I own a total of 12 it would make a great count down to the big day.
So my First Shirt of Christmas is this short sleeved pale blue one, which is by the brand Twenty X, at least I think that is what it says...the label is pretty faded.  It also says Oceanside Cowgirl on the collar, which is quite fitting as this is a really nice summery shirt.  The colours in it include turquoise, French navy, beige and chocolate brown.  I love how checked shirts are made up of so many colours, which you can only see when you get up close.
My Second Shirt of Christmas is this pretty pale orange one by R.M. Williams, the iconic Australian brand.  I have so many R.M. Williams clothes.  Actually I haven't introduced you to my R.M. Williams boots yet.  I must do that in the New Year.  Anyway, back on topic.  This one is semi-fitted and has a few fine pleats in the front.  The colours are apricot, pink, pale brown and white.
The Third Shirt of Christmas brings us this 'Steppin' Out Shirt'.  It's a bit flash.  It's a Wrangler shirt and is brighter than my usual pickings.  It is a mix of hot pink, turquoise, aqua green, a burnt sienna and white.  It also has lines of silver thread through it to give it a little sparkle and some turquoise stitching to highlight the pockets and lapel. 
The Fourth Shirt of Christmas seems to make me very grumpy for some reason.  Another Wrangler shirt it has pink (obviously), white and a bit of yellow in there.  The buttons are cute too.  They are those stud kind (which means you can rip off your shirt in a hurry in case you need to) and they have little pink horse shoes on them.
The Fifth Shirt of Christmas is an Australian brand called Bull Rush.  It's even made in Australia, which unfortunately is a rare thing nowadays.  This shirt has more of a linen feel to it and has their logo embroidered on the pocket, which is a cowboy on a bucking bull.  It's pretty cool.  The colours included are three various shades of green and a bright blue.
The Sixth Shirt of Christmas is another Wrangler shirt.  This is a little different in that the checks are diagonal.  It also has diamond shaped pearl coloured buttons.  This one is actually a size 8 and I don't think I've ever been able to do it up, but I like wearing it open over a singlet.  Colours found in this one are light blue, navy, yellow and white.
The Seventh Shirt of Christmas is another by R.M. Williams.  I really like this one.  It has their logo on the yoke of the shirt at the back, which is a the head of a longhorn cow.  The buttons are the snappy kind and are a pretty pearl.  Colours in the shirt include pink, a sort of burgundy brown, white and a little bit of bright turquoise green!
The Eighth Shirt of Christmas is my most festive, I think.  It's by Wrangler and very Christmasy with all the red.  I like the contrast with the navy and white too.
For the Ninth Shirt of Christmas I found this nice rusty old gate and stood against it.  I'm looking in the direction of where my town is.  How nice are the hills in the background?!  This shirt is by Wrangler and is full of pretty colours like pink, orange, brown, white and a hint of green.
For the Tenth Shirt of Christmas I couldn't choose between which photo I liked the best.  I'm sorry, but my daughter got in there too and they were all so cute.  Of her, not me.  My final R.M. Williams shirt is a semi fitted one like the orange one and has the little pleats in the front.  It's got a few shades of mauve running through it, white and navy.
The Eleventh Shirt of Christmas made my little girl cry.  Actually it wasn't the shirt, it was the fact that I got on the swings without her.  This one is made by Thomas Cook, an Australian family owned company.  I remember wearing this at The Royal Melbourne Show one year, after the cattle judging when I went to the Cattleman's Bar.  Let's just say it didn't end well and I don't remember most of it.  It has burgundy, various shades of red, beige, salmon and cream.  It's quite pretty actually.
For the Twelfth Shirt of Christmas I have one of my favourites because it is super comfortable.  It's by Wrangler and has that lovely soft feeling of being washed dozens of times.  It's cream with a bit of beige, burgundy and pink.  It also has three quarter sleeves and I've had lots of good times in this shirt.  In fact I've had lots of good times in all my shirts!
Merry Christmas to you and all your Western shirts! xo




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dusty Girls Natural Mineral Mascara

The other day I was very lucky to receive a gorgeous new mascara from Dusty Girls as a thank you for sending in a 'before' and 'after' photo, using their makeup, so they could display it on their website.  (The before photo was a little alarming!)  A lovely email popped in my inbox thanking me and asking what product I would like!  I had been wanting to try their mascara, and as I own quite a few of their products already, it seemed the natural choice.
This Natural Mineral Mascara, aptly named "Night Fall", comes in this pretty mauve packaging with their sweet country logo...a rustic timber fence with a well as a piece of wheat taking the place of the 'L' in 'Dusty Girls'.  Their country girl theme suits me to a 'T'!
In terms of mascaras I have been really impressed.  I mean this.  Truly!  A lot of different mascaras I have tried end up putting too much product on my lashes and doing that 'clumping' thing.  Big black blobs of mascara.  Sure they might make your lashes look fuller but a lot just glue your lashes together.  This mascara by Dusty Girls does not do this at all.
It doesn't have a fancy wand, which I like, and it delivers such an even amount of product that it does not put any lumps or clumps of black on my lashes at all.  It combs through beautifully and it doesn't even look like I'm wearing mascara, other than genuinely making my lashes look longer.  I'm a big fan of the natural look so this is perfect.  If you want a more made up look you simply just apply a second, or even a third coat. 
Love love love this!  I highly recommend this mascara, and in fact all of the Dusty Girl cosmetics I have tried have been fantastic.  To read about the other Dusty Girl products I have tried visit my post here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Blogger Friends

I did a post fairly recently (see it here) highlighting the bloggers who pop over here on a regular basis and leave me lovely comments.  It's always so nice to read them.  It makes you feel loved.  Or at least like you're getting a big squashy cyber hug!  Anyway there are a few more that visit me regularly who I'm always so grateful to see...kind of like a mate that pops over for a quick cup of tea, so I thought I'd share them with you so you can head on over and check out their beautiful blogs.
So to get stuck into it...
Ok you just have to go over and visit Stephanie's blog.  Trust  me, you'll be so glad you did.  She is absolutely hysterical (in a good way!) and is a really good writer.  She is a nail and  makeup artist, so you will find lots of great posts on makeup and beauty products, but you will also see a bit of food, shopping hauls and what is generally going on in her life.  She is very driven and lately has been aiming to stick to her healthy eating goals, which fortunately (or unfortunately for me) she has been achieving very well.  I actually was a little disappointed that she did achieve her goals because she did promise that if she didn't she was going to do a vlog of herself doing a workout to a Richard Simmons tape....which I was dying to see because I knew I'd be in stitches ....(is this selfish of me?!?)  She also does the odd vlog and these are highly entertaining...that great sense of humour again.  Anyway, I always am left with a smile after reading her blog, and even have a good laugh at the witty comments she leaves on mine.  She's good value.  Do go on over and say hello!
Helen is from Scotland and she has her own fashion and style blog which has got quite a following.  She puts together some fantastic outfits and pulls off some really unique looks.  She's also studying a masters course, as well as blogging, which I have no idea how she manages both!  Hats off to her!  I really love the outfits she comes up with because they are so 'wearable'...and by this I mean that they are not a combination of things that you would never wear (ie things that you would wear only if you were strutting your stuff on the catwalk and have legs up to your armpits).  She puts together lovely outfits that are within your comfort zone but are still very unique.  She will also do the odd different post too, sharing a week in photos or reviewing other items, such as jewellery, and lately she's done a couple of great posts on some monthly food boxes she's been receiving in the mail.  Nom nom nom!!
I really like Emma's blog because it is one of those really honest and open blogs that shares a life with you.  A lifestyle blog Emma will also write a little about beauty, makeup and fashion.  She also shares what she gets up to with her little girl who looks absolutely adorable.  Emma has also been open about how she suffers from social anxiety, which I think is very brave of her to admit.  It has been great to read a post here and there where she takes steps to tackle it, which I greatly admire.  Suffering from panic attacks myself I know how difficult these sorts of issues can be.  This blog is one those that is a little like a diary at times, which makes you feel quite privileged to be allowed to share in her life. 
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these blogs and go over and have a look.  Please let me know of any great ones that you read that are worth a look, it's always great to find a new blog!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dusty Girls Natural Mineral Foundation

I like to keep my makeup as natural as possible.  The truth is I've really only just started wearing it..most likely because I had a bit of a freak out when I turned 40 this year (...eekk!) and decided that perhaps I better make an effort to look nice for my husband who is 12 years younger.  Dusty Girls is made by Moo Goo, the skincare brand, who have only fairly recently branched out into makeup.  I reviewed some of their other products I own here, with one of them being the 'Earth Cream', which is a tinted moisturiser that I absolutely love.  It gives you just a light coverage and evens out your skin tone.  I have been finding lately, however, that with the warmer weather I've been looking a little shiny, so I decided I needed a powder.  This is where their Natural Mineral Foundation stepped in.
Normally I'm a bit wary of a powder because it isn't so good on the old crow's feet.  Ok, so mine aren't really crow's, they're more like sparrow's feet...but yes, there's some lines coming in there under the eyes (all that time working outdoors on farms me thinks!)...but powder and lines don't mix so well.  My solution is to simply avoid the eye area and work the powder into my cheeks and forehead with a kabuki brush.  I have a lovely one from The Body Shop which hasn't had a workout for a while so it's good to give it some exercise. 
So far I'm finding that this foundation is doing the trick in reducing the shine, and it will last me ages because I'm only using the tiniest bit.  Dusty Girls is conscious of using natural ingredients and it also has an SPF15, which is really important in Australia.  I got the 'Fair Minerals with Pink Sunrise Tones' and I highly recommend it.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm

Recently I did a post on a Clinique Chubby Stick, which was the first time I've ever bought one of these lip 'crayons'.  Needless to say I love it, and how easy it is to use.  Since then I've been scouting around and trying some different brands.  One of these has been the Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm.

Picking this up in the pharmacy I decided to step outside my comfort zone and go for a berry red!  How festive of me!
The red I went for is number 150, which is called Enticing.  And that it is.  Put it on and even I want to kiss me.  Wait.  What?? 
Ok so I might want to give myself a big old pash but I'm not too sure that my husband would want to.  Yes, my lips do look really pretty in this, and I love the colour.  I also like how it is easy to apply and it has just the right amount of shine without being glossy or anything like that.  I just know my husband would be a bit...well...scared of lips this red on me.  (He's not really used to makeup on me yet!)  But, you know...I think he might get over it!
The colour actually looks a little more berry red than this, but it does have a hint of pink through it, which I think makes it a more doable red for those of us who are a bit terrified of dark lips.
Now I just need a festive occasion or a big night out and I can wear this!  Christmas party anyone?!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blogger Friends

Blogging is this brilliant thing that opens so many doors.  Everybody who does it says this, I know, but don't you agree?!  For me it helps me practice my photography, keep up the writing on a regular basis, gives me something other than just being a 'stay-at-home-mum' and gives me a real sense of purpose.  It also has given me you.  Yes, you!  You who is reading this and for this I am eternally grateful. 
To all those who read my blog I thank you.  I send you a big squishy cyber hug and I really wish I could round you all up and meet you in person.  What a party that would be!
Anyway, the point of this post today is to introduce you to a few of those 'blogger friends' of mine that I 'see' on a regular basis.  And by this I mean these are the women who read and comment regularly.  These are the women who, to me, kind of feel like 'friends'.  It's sort of an odd thing to say because we have never met but because they leave such lovely comments on a regular basis, when I see I have a new comment from them it is kind of like they have sent me a text or called up to say hi.  It's lovely.
Now I'm sure there are others of you that do read regularly but maybe don't always comment, so for those of you I haven't mentioned here I am sorry, I do adore you too!  Anyway, as some of my American 'friends' are celebrating Thanksgiving (a tradition we don't have here in Australia), I thought I would show a little thanks by sharing with you these fabulous blogs and the bloggers who create them.
I have this weird feeling that Bianca over at Ditsy Sprinkles is the English equivalent of me, (only about 15 years younger!)  We both live in country towns, we are both short and a size 12.  Initially she did a very unexpected and sweet thing by creating a 'share' button for me on her blog and since then we have been in touch ever since.  She requested a copy of the magazine I work for, which I sent over, and it was so lovely to share this with her.  Her blog is a lovely mix of beauty, lifestyle, fashion and she shares lots of lovely information.  I particularly enjoyed her post entitled '6 Husbands'.  Read it.  It has a photo of a shirtless Ryan Gosling.  Much appreciated! 
Laura Mitbrodt is a fashion and lifestyle blogger from Victoria, Canada and does beautiful fashion posts with great photos in beautiful locations with gorgeous outfits.  Her blog came about as a place to share her creativity and appreciation for fashion and photography, and she really does know her stuff as she has a degree in Fine Arts and Diplomas in Fashion.  It was her that really inspired me to do outfit posts.
Wendy is a college student with the most mature head on her shoulders.  She began her blog earlier this year and loves cooking and everything self help, which is evident in the purpose of her help students and young adults on their way into adulthood.  She does some awesome recipe posts, which are great for students on a budget, but really they are fantastic for everyone.  I've tried some out myself because they are quick, cheap and perfect for a big and busy family like mine.  You will also see a bit of beauty and d├ęcor tips too which are great.
Kiki writes a blog about motherhood, food and fashion and has been blogging for just over a year.  Hers is a blog I've only found fairly recently and enjoy reading on a regular basis.  She has a gorgeous little girl, who looks about the same age as mine, and she loves fashion and thrift shopping.
Borka is a fashion merchandising student and stylist and she has certainly got style.  Incredibly glamorous, with such gorgeous outfits, I feel a little overwhelmed that she stops by my little blog!  She is definitely a blogger to watch.
Lux has a mix of beauty, fashion, crafts, lifestyle and food, and honestly...I can't believe she's only 16!  Luxveritatis means 'the light of the truth' which I love, and the little glimpses you get of her in her photos you can see that she is a stunning red head with the most beautiful porcelain skin.  She is apparently very good at art and maths!  Love the combination.  From memory I don't think anyone in her family or her friends knows she blogs, but they definitely should, it's an awesome blog.
So...these are some of my favourites and my regular visitors who I like to imagine are 'friends'!  I hope one day we can all find one another in the same place!  (perhaps I should just issue the invite...come over to my place for a barbeque!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weekly Wishes Goal Setting

I have decided to join in the Weekly Wishes Goal Setting link up with the fabulously motivational blog The Nectar Collective by Melyssa.  I really enjoy reading her informative blog on a regular basis.
For my Goals I have decided upon these.... (whether I manage to stay true to them will remain to be seen!)
1.  Yoga and Pilates - I desperately need to break out the leggings and dig out the yoga and Pilates DVDs again.  This is a must.  I know...I run out of time.  Constantly.  Where the hell does the day go??  Throw in four kids and this means no 'me' time.  Ever.  But I have a terrible back and I need to strengthen my non-existent core muscles otherwise I will undoubtedly end up in a wheelchair.  And this is probably no exaggeration.
2.  Be kinder to myself - I have to learn to slow down.  I stuff my days full and keep on pushing through, even when I'm feeling lousy, which has recently come to light over this past weekend where I've had a shocking case of tonsillitis. 
3.  Lists - I make lists.  Don't worry about that end of it.  I'm very organised when it comes to planning my blogging schedule, writing my blogging schedule and reading through my blogging schedule but it is not often I find the time to actually squeeze in DOING my blogging schedule as planned.  Ahem.
4.  Snuggle -  What the??  Yeah, exactly that.  Just take some time out to (firstly find my husband under the impressive beard he has unwittingly grown through just being too lazy to shave), and sit and give him a hug.  Sounds a bit ridiculous but in between all his shearing work and all the ploughing and seeding he has been doing lately (to put in a crop for our sheep) I haven't seen much of him and I'm forgetting what he looks like.  Or perhaps it's just the beard that is making me forget.
Anyway, I'll give these a go and see how many of them I can stick to.  I will work on one right now actually...if I can just locate my husband!
What are your weekly goals?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Clinique Chubby Stick

I have gone many years of my life not worrying about makeup.  It happens when you work on a farm, the cows don't care what you look like and the sheep worry even less.  Then suddenly you have four kids and you don't have time to even shop for makeup let alone wear it.  However over the last few months I've been putting a bit of effort in, (maybe because I've hit 40 and I have a husband who is 12 years younger...!)  Anyway, I've never tried the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm's before so I decided to give one a go
The colour I purchased was 'Curvy Candy' (number 14).  It's a really pretty candy pink but comes out a lot less vibrant on the lips, which I like, remembering I'm sort of 'new' to makeup, and prefer a more natural look.  I also think my husband wouldn't recognise me if I suddenly had a face full of vibrant colour!
I find this glides on really well and I do love the crayon look of it!  I think it's cute!  I am a bit worried that my pre-schoolers are going to get a hold of it and use it on their colouring books...and at $36 it will be an awfully expensive drawing (eekkk), but hopefully they won't find it.  I also like the shade, a light pink, perfect for summer.
I know these aren't new, but they are to me.  Does anyone have a recommendation for another great colour in this range?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Too Faced Sweethearts

I went away on the weekend as my husband had to go 'up north' shearing, so this time he decided to take me and the kids, which was lovely as it was great to get away, and I got to visit my sister in-law and three nephews.
Then a travesty occurred.
Somehow in transit my blush exploded and ended up in a big fragmented mess all over the bathroom floor.  I was suitably sad and gave my Natio Mineral Blush in 'Pink Apples' a fitting burial of sorts, (dumped it in the bin) and quickly realised I would have to purchase a replacement. (*clap hands in glee)
So jumping on my favourite online makeup and beauty store Mecca I decided that I just had to have this one...
...the 'Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow' by Too Faced.  I'm a sucker for pretty packaging, and I always figure if you are going to buy a product you might as well get something that is fun and lovely to look at.  I mean...why not!
Encased in this cute cardboard heart shaped box it is a soft pink blush with a trio of shades that blend to create a light pink flush which can suit any skin tone all year round.  Purchasing this online, this was the safest shade to go for as I wasn't able to try it out.
Liking a more natural look this shade of 'Candy Glow' is perfect for me.
What is your favourite brand of blush?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum

Just recently I ran out of my Manuka Doctor Age-Defying Serum, and despite being happy with it, I have been dying to try some of the products from Jurlique.  Having walked past the chemist in Warragul for a while and seen the display for their 'Nutri-Define Superior Retexturising Facial Serum' in the window, I finally went in for a look.  However, at $145 a bottle I just couldn't do it (!), but having a good look at their products I spied this...
.... the 'Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum', which is a youth defence active gel concentrate, and being aware that I'd just run out of my previous serum I knew that it was fate.  Ok, so maybe it wasn't fate, but I just had to give it a try.
For starters it smells gorgeous, with the initial scent coming through being a lovely sweet rose.  You only need a little bit, with 1 to 2 pumps onto your fingers only delivering a tiny amount, then it smooths well over the face.  I really like that Jurlique is an Australian company, it is a leader in natural skin care and their ingredients come from their farm here in Australia.
It is an anti-ageing product with hydration benefits, and claims to help reduce the appearance of fine lines.  It also says it will increase elasticity, restore radiance, increase hydration and has antioxidants to protect you against the harsh environment.  Having only had it a short while it is yet to prove itself, but so far I am pretty confident in it's abilities.  It is, however, lovely to use. 
Do you use a serum?  If so, which one do you like?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cowgirl Relics Designs

One of the things I love about reading other blogs is discovering new fashion, beauty products, accessories and jewellery.  As I follow along with the blog Horses and Heels I was struck dumb with ooos and ahhs at the beautiful wrist cuff that Raquel reviewed from Cowgirl Relics.  Heading straight on over to Lindy's site I found oodles of gorgeous necklaces, earrings, cuffs and other western style trinkets.  Not being able to help myself I just had to have this 'Sierra Western Extra Long Necklace with Leather Fringe'.  Priced at only $40 how could I not?

It is a bohemian-style western necklace that has white round magnesite stones, tiger's eye chips and round turquoise magnesite stones, with an upcycled vintage silver-tone, concho style connector that gives it a lovely south western flair.  The leather tassel is handcrafted deerskin that also has a turquoise magnesite talon shaped stone. 

The style of jewellery at Cowgirl Relics is a mixture of rustic and feminine, ideal for the "cowgirl in each of us", which I absolutely love as this is what my space here stands for too!  The pieces are all hand crafted, with owner/designer Lindy, paying special attention to detail.  Her goal is to bring out your cowgirl spirit!
For Lindy her love of horses, antiques, Texas country music and the great outdoors inspire her pieces, which I feel is truly reflected in this necklace.
I love that she also strongly believes in women's inner feminine strength and that inside us all lies a cowgirl - someone full of "grit and grace".
I have also bought a gorgeous pair of earrings from Cowgirl Relics, which I will showcase in another post!
Fashion today.... my shirt is from RB Sellars, my jeans are Wrangler's Booty Up jeans, (which make your butt look awesome!!) and there are those Ariat boots again.
And this photo is me looking more like my daggy self (true personality shot this one)..instead of a 'try-hard' model.
Note:  All the photos of me in my OOTD posts, including this one, are taken by my 11 year old son, who I think is becoming quite the little fashion photographer!