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 décor 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!



Monday, November 10, 2014

Make Over My House

I have had a request to do an interior style post, you know, showing how gorgeous my home is.  But here's the problem.  It's not really that lovely.  I have four kids, three of whom are under 5, and everything....and I mean everything...gets systematically destroyed.
I am also not very good at interior design.  I'm not afraid to admit this.  My talents lie elsewhere.  I can write a decent magazine article, and I can also style an outfit for a fashion shoot, (to some degree), but when it comes to the interior of my home....I have no clues.  Nada.  Zip.  Nothing.
So, I thought I would share some photos of my home..although I do feel a bit 'blergh' about them, but I thought I would throw it over to you.  Seriously...any suggestions for making my house lovely?  My house is very bland to start with and my taste is country style, if that helps!
So here goes..
Starting with my room, I do like my doona cover.  It's new and is by Actil which is an Australian brand.  I had it on layby for a while, and then ordered in the matching sheet set, then paid them off too.  The bedside tables are hand-me-downs from my parents!  They would be over 40 years old.  I'm due for some new ones.  These are looking a little worse for wear.  The print on the wall doesn't match either.  Suggestions?
I do like my antique chair that I picked up years ago.   My parents had it re-covered for me this year for my birthday. 
My piano belonged to a great grandparent, then my grandmother, then my parents and finally it was given to me for my 30th.  It is, without a doubt, the nicest thing I own.  The horse paintings were done for me by my best friend's husband.  You can see more of his work here.
Another horse painting I have which was painted by a local girl who I knew from my cattle showing days.  She's really good.

My kitchen is quite plain, which was deliberate.  When building our house we picked out all neutral colours because we figured it would be easier to sell.  Note the pantry door has no handle on it at the moment...something else that has broken, not sure how that happened.  I do, however, like my matching kettle and toaster which are by Delonghi.  I opted for the toaster that takes 4 slices of bread as I am preparing for the day when I have three teenage boys who will eat me out of house and home.  It's all a bit boring though.  Any thoughts? 
My kitchen chairs and tables are second-hand too, like most of my furniture, but these I painted.
I love this wardrobe.  It belonged to one of my husband's relatives and was a plain brown timber.  My husband sanded it back and painted it up to look a bit shabby chic.  It now sits in my little girl's room and I think it looks really good.  In fact her room is probably the nicest in the house.
I found her this gorgeous quilt and pillow set.  Little Red Riding Hood!  The quilt is actually really large, and not too babyish, so it will fit over most of a single bed once she grows out of her cot.  I am thinking a pretty white lace doona set with this over the top would look nice while she is still a little girl and in a bed.
This is my eldest son's room.  More art by my best friend's husband.  My son has a thing for birds, eagles particularly, therefore the stuffed bird on the bed. 
His room is a big old mess, this is why I have cropped 95% of it out.  He is going to need a desk soon, he's in Grade 6 next year, then after that he is off to High School.  This is a small room so that should be interesting.
Now this is the boy's room, one is turning 5 at the end of this week and the other will be 4 in January.  These matching doonas are it in terms of decoration really.  Not sure what to do here.  One bed has been painted white, but the other hasn't been done yet.  Should I paint both a different colour?  I was thinking some sort of fairy lights for their room, and perhaps my girl.  Would this work?
This is the main living's a disaster generally and I have no clues what to do to make it nice.
Beyond the table and chairs is the main living area (excuse my washing on the clothes horse!) and the television is to the right in this area.  I didn't dare share of photo of this space, I'm too embarrassed.
If anyone has any thoughts or expertise in decorating please share your thoughts.  I'm so bad at it!  Would appreciate all your help!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How to Blog like a Mum

You have a full time job, a busy social life, a boyfriend/fiancé/husband and somewhere in there you just gotta have a bit of me time.  How do you fit it all in?  It's a juggle and life is busy.
Then suddenly you pop out some kids.
Suddenly the word 'busy' just doesn't seem to cut it.  You become the Queen of Multi-tasking and that thing called 'me time'?  Well that just doesn't exist anymore.  If you manage to go to the toilet without someone tugging on your leg or asking for some milk it's a miracle, and forget about eating.  If your kids let you sit down for five minutes to stuff some food in your face they will inevitably eye it off and then suddenly have a craving for whatever it is you are chowing down on, then there will be tears and screaming...and lo and behold you have lost your food. 
I'm not complaining.  That's just part of being a Mum.  Seriously, it's all good. 
So, how on earth do you manage when you throw blogging into the mix?  Good question. Trust me, blogging with four kids is a challenge.  But it is, amazingly, achievable, it just takes a little more organisation...and the ability to not worry about the chaos that is exploding in every direction around you.
For example...
...the toys, that have been thrown around the room, plus the doona that has once again been dragged out of the bedroom.... ignore it.
The bed that you got out of this morning.... it will be just as comfortable to crawl into tonight despite the fact that you don't get round to making it.
Things like a messy can just shut the door on this one.
And the inside of my fridge?  Let's not even go there.
These two...however...are a little harder to ignore....
....but you can always just turn a blind eye and clean up whatever they have destroyed later.
And if you get the opportunity, just let sleeping babies lie....
So my tips for blogging when you are a mum.....
  • Have a diary and use it.  If possible, at the start of the week, write down what you would like to get done and on which days.  This includes when you are going to write posts, when you are going to update your social media, when to handle the business side of things, and if you are like me, setting aside time to read other blogs!  Don't panic if you don't manage to stick to it.
  • It helps to take all your photos for the week on the one day, that way you can spend the day devoted to taking and editing photos for your planned posts...that is if the kids let you....and you are not having to whip out the camera each day, set up shots etc, which can be time consuming.
  • Relax about the messy house.  It's not the end of the world.  Have an official time where you stop working each day and then devote an hour (or more) to running about and doing the tidy up.  For me this is somewhere between 4 and 5pm.
  • Also use your diary to work in other errands around your blogging; such as food shopping, washing, taking kids to kinder etc.
  • Have a day off!  (and this one is really important)  I go and ride my horse, help my husband with the sheep, spend some time with family, and importantly I don't switch on my computer!!
What are your tips for blogging as a mum?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cute Pick of the Week

Something unexplained has happened to all the crockery in my house.  The same goes for the glasses and strangely my spoons.  They have almost all but vanished.  I officially own three dessert spoons, three glasses (two of these are freebies from McDonalds), and I have three bowls.  What is it about the number three?  Is it some kind of triangle thing?  Is it a sign?  Is my kitchenware slowly being swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle??
I think I might know what the problem is.  Other than having a tiled floor (which has concrete underneath)...and having children...and being clumsy myself..... add all this together it equals LOTS of broken dishes.....but I also have a husband who is often running late to work, and being a shearer needs to eat a lot, so if I can brave the abyss that is the front of his ute, I should find all my missing tableware.  Or not.
Anyway, this leads me to what I bought today.  Not only do I not have enough bits to eat off and with, my children are also seriously lacking in this department.  I constantly have to put a half full load through the dishwasher and it's just not good for the environment...or my sanity...whatever comes first.
So, I went to my favourite kitchenware shop today, String and Salt and bought some plates, and a bowl, for my kids. cute are they?!  My four year old chose this giraffe plate.
The three year old was at day care today, so I picked this one out for him.
And then for my little girl I got this...... along with the matching bowl because she doesn't have her own set and has been eating out of 'Thomas the Tank Engine' bowls...which is fine, but I thought something pretty might suit her better.  They are 100% Melamine so hopefully even my kids won't be able to destroy them!
Sweet hey?!  These designs can be found at OMM Design.
I also couldn't resist this gorgeous set of stickers for myself from Rifle Paper Co

There are 30 sheets of labels and stickers which I know I will use on cards, envelopes, for little projects and every where else that takes my fancy.  Some of the selection include:
I'm such a huge stationery fan.  How about you?