Life Lately: January, February & March

It feels kind of surreal and foreign to be sitting here typing this post after having taken such a long break from blogging. In fact, in the eight years (it was my blog’s anniversary just last week!) I’ve been doing this, it’s the longest I’ve ever gone without posting! The funny thing is is that it was completely unplanned and there was no major life event or anything remotely interesting going on to cause it, but I guess I just all of a sudden found blogging to be a bit of a chore more so than anything enjoyable and that’s when I knew I needed a break. I didn’t expect my break to be this long, but the longer I went without blogging, the harder it became to come back and I really struggled with motivating myself. Things are, however, happening again slowly, but surely and it feels good to be here again! Despite the lack of my presence within the blogging community these last few months, it melts my heart to know that I still have loyal readers and friends who are here waiting for me and encouraging me. It’s definitely a big reason why I could never stop and then when I pick up the camera or I start writing again, I realise I want to be here for myself too.

Hello 2019

Hi, everyone! Long time, no post! It was never my intention to go this long without blogging, but someway and somehow, time slipped right through my fingers and then I found myself in quite a bit of a blogging slump. I’ll elaborate more on this at a later date, but basically, I just needed to get away from it all for a little while, and so now here I am at the end of March finally getting my first post for 2019 up! Although we’re very much into the New Year now, I still wanted to take the time to reflect back on 2018 and the goals I’m working towards for 2019. It’s always made the most sense to me to start a brand new year of blogging this way, plus it’s nice to look back in the future and see how far I’ve come too. Reflecting on last year’s Hello 2018 post, it was a pretty big 12 months for me; I got my first full time job, turned 30 (WHY GOD?! WHY?!), spent my first full year living back in Perth and generally found myself feeling more comfortable with my place in the world. It was one of the best years I’d had in a very, very long time and having spent so long pushing myself to leave my comfort zone, I felt like I had been rewarded and that things were finally starting to come together for me. I had a lot to be happy and thankful for last year and I’m hoping 2019 will be the same. So far, so good!

Life Lately: November & December

Here we are the end of another year and I can’t quite believe it! I realise how cliché that sounds, but December has been so hectic, it feels like it’s been the longest month ever and almost as if it didn’t even happen all at the same time. I only thought this time of year was busy when you work in retail, but I’ve quickly learnt that it’s busy no matter what job you’re in! Working in social media, we were under the pump at work scheduling posts up until almost the end of January and I felt as if my brain was going to melt along with the soaring summer temperatures! We pulled through though and it’s been absolutely blissful taking a break from it all! I’m on holidays until the 7th of January and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in, eating chocolate for breakfast and not knowing what day it is!

My Top 10 Albums of 2018

2018 has been a really good year for me and when I look back over the last 12 months, I have a lot of really good music to remember it by too. From getting to tick one of my all-time favourite bands off my ‘must see live’ bucket list (Slowdive!!!) to making wonderful discoveries and listening to amazing new album releases, this year truly brought about some of my most cherished music memories. I do have to admit that I think I enjoyed last year’s albums just that little bit more than 2018’s, but nevertheless, music is always a constant highlight in my life. With an eclectic mix ranging from R&B, indie rock, synthpop, dance and dream pop, here is my countdown of the top 10 albums I’ve listened to this year.

Spring/Summer Wardrobe Additions

Summer is once again upon us and it’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not because of Christmas! We all know by now how much I love the warm weather and over the last few months, I’ve been working on my spring/summer wardrobe. There were a few gaps that I wanted to fill, some old t-shirts that needed replacing and after a pretty decent purge of clothes that were no longer my style or fit, I felt that justified adding a few new pieces too. All of the clothing that I got rid of was bought at least three or four years ago and I’m getting rid of a lot less whenever I do a declutter now, so I know I’m in the right direction with how I shop these days. It’s taken me a bit of time to curate my spring/summer wardrobe just because it’s not always easy feeling cute and stylish while remaining comfortable in 40+ heat, but after a bit of reassessing, decluttering and simplifying, I feel like I’m finally in the same good place that I am with my autumn/winter clothing. There are a couple of things I’d still like to pick up, but I’m really happy with the new additions I’ve made so far.

Treat Yourself

Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford said it best and who doesn’t love treating themselves every once in a while?! I know I certainly do! Since my internship ended back in April and I became an employee in May, I’ve had the privilege of being able to indulge in a few nice things again and it’s felt really, really good. There were things that had been on my wishlist for years that I’ve finally been able to splurge on, products that were bought to replace old ones I had used up and a few homeware bits to spruce up my bedroom and desk area. Seeing as though it was also my birthday not too long ago, I figured that justified splashing out a little as well, so across beauty, style and lifestyle, here are the things that I’ve treated myself to lately.

Life Lately: September & October

Every time I think I’m finally getting on top of blog stuff again, life happens. It’s been quite an eventful last couple of months (all good things!) and although I wouldn’t say I’ve been busy, I’ve just wanted to focus on spending time with my family and friends without thinking that I need to fit blogging somewhere in between those mere two days off we call the weekend. I knew blogging would be hard once I started full time work and it’s definitely frustrating feeling like you’re always behind and can’t keep up, but it is what it is, I suppose. I’m still getting used to the fact that one or two blog posts a month is all I can seem to manage nowadays (I have to alternate my weekends between writing and photographing!), though I’m certainly not complaining because I’ve actually become so much happier since starting the full time work life. I enjoy the routine, being out of the house, as well as being around people, and of course, the steady income certainly helps too! Hopefully my time management skills will improve as I go along, but I think November’s going to be more of a quiet month, anyway, so that’s nice!

What I Wore in Winter

At long last, winter is finally over and I’m so happy for the warm weather seasons to be back! I’m simply not a winter person at all and although you’d think living in Melbourne for two and a half years would’ve got me used to the cold, I still really struggled this year. At first, I thought I was just being a wuss, but it was Perth’s rainiest winter in 15 years and it even plummeted to 4 degrees one August morning! In saying all this though, I actually really enjoy dressing for the cooler seasons. It even inspired me to put together another one of my style roundup posts and since my last What I Wore in Winter post from three years ago, I’ve got a few new things to show you! I still wear a lot of the clothing from my last post too, so I’ll be referencing back to it in terms of what I’m still wearing and what I’ve decluttered (if I didn’t mention it, I still have it!) just to make things a little more interesting and because my wardrobe really doesn’t change all that much year-to-year. I realise it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense talking about winter clothing now, but as I honestly don’t plan my wardrobe nor my blog that far in advance (sometimes I don’t find the right items until the middle of the season too!), it works better for me to do style posts more like a recap. Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere coming into for winter (lol sucks to be you) may find this useful, but for my fellow Southern Hemisphere folk, let’s get ready for skirts, sandals and sunshine!

Out with the Old, In with the New

It's been a good while since I've featured new beauty products on my blog and the simple fact of the matter is that I just don't buy a lot nowadays. In fact, my last haul was posted all the way back in November! Understandably, being out of a job made it difficult to indulge, but even now that I'm back on a steady income, I've had other financial priorities and it's only just now that I've had enough new products to warrant a whole post. Buying a lot in one go isn't how I like to shop either and as someone who, for the majority of the time, will use up products before buying new ones, I was inspired by my blogging bestie Jess of Little Henry Lee and her Beauty New and Old posts. Rather than simply showing you the new products that I've bought, I thought I'd also talk you through the old products that were replaced and why I didn't repurchase them; I think that makes things a lot more interesting too. With skincare being the easiest to finish, that's mostly what this post is made up of and apart from a couple of makeup bits that haven't been replacements for anything (they'll be featured in a different post), this is pretty much all that I've bought this past year. I'm pretty impressed, if I say so myself! There are some products that have blown me out of the water, while others not so much, so we've got a bit of a mixed bag here!

Life Lately: August

August was a pretty nothing month for me and it's been exactly what I've needed! Having felt like the last few months were quite hectic (at least for this introvert's standards, anyway!), I feel completely reenergised after some slow weekends to myself. In fact, I didn't even need to use my Bullet Journal because there wasn't really much to plan or keep on top of. I spent my weekends simply pottering around the house, watching movies, going to brunch (coconut chai lattes are now my new go-to drink) and I spent a nice Saturday homewares shopping with my mum and sister. I didn't get around to posting all those decluttered items of mine on Facebook Marketplace (it's a never-ending cycle, isn't it?), but ugh, it's such a chore! That's on this weekend's to do list though!

Why I'm OK with Being a "Small Blogger"

When I first began reading beauty blogs 10 years ago, the blogging landscape was completely different to the one we know of today. Blogging as a job probably would've sounded absurd, and you never saw the terms "small blogger" and "big blogger" (or even "influencer", for that matter) being thrown around. Although I'm not really sure if there's a clear-cut distinction between the two, I know that I would definitely fall into the "small blogger" category myself; I don't have 10k followers on Instagram (my social media profiles combined don't even add up to that much!), my inbox isn't brimming with PR opportunities and in the seven years I've had my blog, I've never made any money. Being "small" in such a large, expansive community can feel quite discouraging at times, but of all the things that makes blogging so wonderful, numbers have nothing to do with it for me and I think being "small" is just as valid as being "big". In fact, I don't even feel like I need to be anything "more" than I already am and I'm actually pretty content with my place in the blogging world. As someone who's had quite a different blogging experience to the majority of bloggers who have been here as long as I have, I've written a number of similar posts to this in the past, and it's a conversation I never get bored of having because there's always so much to say and I think it's a really important one at that. I’ve learnt to really own my “smallness” here and I certainly don’t believe that "bigger" equals "better" (hence why you'll see scare quotes throughout this post). My intention of this post isn't to undermine what "big bloggers" are doing, but to simply highlight why being a "small blogger" is actually pretty great too.

Life Lately: June & July

Hi, everyone! Long time, no post! I never intended to go this long without posting, but between adjusting to full time work life, a few busy weekends and the grim winter weather (this one being the main culprit!), I haven't had much of an opportunity to put the same love and care that I always put into my blog. I know I let my perfectionism get the better of me at times, but I'd rather take a little bit longer to get a post up if it means I feel 100% happy and proud of what I do, and I just can't seem to let myself settle for anything less than that. I'm so bloody ready for winter to be over because I all want right now is glorious spring sunshine so I can have more than two seconds to take a decent photo! It's killing me!

Life Lately: May

Boy, has May been a whirlwind of a month! All in the best way possible though. I officially went from intern to employee at the marketing agency I've been at since February and that combined with so many social events going on has kept me quite preoccupied. My calendar for June is quickly filling up with more stuff to do and more people to see, but hopefully it'll be a little less full-on because this introvert needs her time to be alone and blog!

Talking About Toner

When I first began developing my skincare routine back in my late teens and early twenties, toner was typically something that was astringent, clarifying and rather quite drying. Laden with a high alcohol content, their traditional purpose was to rebalance the skin's pH after cleansing, but looking back, all they did for me was leave my skin feeling stripped and tight. Thankfully, toner has come a long way since then, as has cleanser, which you'll now usually find is properly pH-balanced. Nowadays, toner is considered a catch-all term for anything that's basically a lotion and they have a wonderful range of benefits for the skin including providing hydration and a refreshing pick-me-up, prepping and helping with the absorption of serum and moisturiser, as well as containing active ingredients that fight against acne and the signs of ageing. Some people also argue that a good toner will remove excess makeup residue left over after cleansing, but in my opinion, a good cleansing routine will do this all on its own without the need for toner and if you're finding traces of makeup, you're better off changing cleansing products.

Depending on your individual skincare needs, you'll probably have different toners in your routine to cater for different concerns. Some people don't find toning an essential skincare step, but it's something I enjoy and couldn't imagine my routine without, and in today's post, I've gone through my collection to talk about the toners I own, what they do and why I love them.

Life Lately: March & April

The last two months have probably been both the best and worst of my life. In the middle of March, my sister fell seriously ill one night and was admitted to the emergency department, followed by the ICU. I unexpectedly ended up taking a break from blogging as not only did I not have the emotional energy for it and needed to be there for my family, but between my internship and being at the hospital every single day, I physically didn't have the time either. I won't go into detail about what happened just because it's my sister's life, not mine, but I also didn't want to leave you guys in the lurch, so I hope this update on where I've been will suffice.