Blogmas Day 10: Favourite Lush Christmas Products

So last year I got given one of Lush’s Christmas gifts by my girlfriend. This meant I got to try almost all of their Christmas collection last year. There were definitely favourites within what I got to try so I thought I’d share those with you and why I love them.

  1. The comforter bubble bar: This is definitely my favourite not only due to it’s colouring but it smells so good. It’s very sweet so if you don’t like sweet scents you might not like this. I actually like the scent of this so much I bought Paige a bottle of the shower gel :’). It’s also insanely bubble, which is perfect when you want a bubble bath. The only issue I have is that when you do crumble it under the tap it can get really oily and a little bit gross, but the bubbles are worth it. 20171205_162603
  2.  Intergalactic Bath Bomb: This one is just really pretty. Both in the bath and as a bath bomb. I don’t really have much to say about this other than its pretty, and smells good.20171205_162535
  3.  The Magic of Christmas: This is another bubble bar and it’s literally on a cinnamon stick which is pretty awesome. It not only looks very Christmassy but it also smells so amazing and like Christmas in a bubble bar. Not only does it smell gorgeous but the bubbles it creates are insane. 20171205_162429
  4.  Snow Angel: This is a bath melt and it creates such a nourishing bath that is also a little glittery which I love. My skin always feels so amazing after I’ve used a lush bath melt. I can’t remember what oil or butter they use but it works really well for my skin. Not only does it make me feel so good, but it also smells absolutely gorgeous but in a really subtle way. I do know that a lot of people struggle with how strong lush products smell, and this one doesn’t have that issue.  20171205_162515
  5.  Shoot for the Stars: This bath bomb has a very similar style to intergalactic, but I found it didn’t have as much of a wow factor as intergalactic which is why its lower on this list. It’s still a really awesome bath bomb and the fact it’s on this list when there are so many Christmassy products at Lush really speaks for its self. 20171205_162441
  6. Golden Wonder: This is a really good bath bomb for people who have never used it before. It’s a really fun sparkly bath bomb that has a really nice fresh scent, which is a bit surprising the first time you smell it. It creates a really nice bath and in the centre is a little surprise. 20171205_162415
  7.  Butter Bear: This is really similar to Snow Angel so I was a little bit unsure about whether or not to add this to this list, but it is such a novelty and a good bath melt that I really really love. This one is a little more buttery than snow angel hence the name and I do enjoy that aspect to it. It again makes my skin feel so good once I get out of the bath. The only thing I would say is a bit of a negative is that it can make your hair (if it gets in the water) really oily and a bit crazy. 20171205_162504So these are my favourite Christmas Lush Products! Let me know what your favourites are and if they’ve changed any of these products since last year? I haven’t used any of them yet this year.
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Revlon Colour Stay Foundation Review

Finding the correct colour foundation for my face at a reasonable price is the bane of my existence. Luckily, I’ve found the Revlon Colour Stay foundation for normal to dry skin. This foundation is a drugstore foundation that offers buildable coverage and a demi-matte finish, as advertised. As my skin is so dry at the moment it can sometimes look a bit cakey even with a moisturizer and primer underneath. It does have some lasting power and I usually only need around 2 coats to create a full coverage look and once set my powdered contour and highlight palettes tend to blend nicely into it. The real draw card though is the amazing range of colours on offer.  As my skin is so dry I do find that the lasting power is a little compromised and it does cake around my nose and fine lines. This doesn’t bother me too much as I don’t really wear foundation or makeup for large periods of time.

As I am quite pale and I don’t really like fake tanning or real tanning it can be quite hard to find a foundation that matches my skin tone enough to be able to work well. I have I think the third lightest shade and it is possible a little too light but it has the right undertones for my skin so I don’t mind darkening it a little bit with a bronzer once it’s applied. The foundations have the same basic colour with 3 different undertones which make it a really versatile brand and they will have a shade that will fit almost any skin tone which is just amazing.

Here are some photos of me wearing the product

As you can see (although these do have a filter on them) the foundation matches my neck and skin really well. There is minimal photographic dryness. and it just works as a really good base to be able to play around with.

The price point for this is really good. It’s around 14-20 AUD for 30mL which is a lot of foundation! It has a pump applicator which is my preference and comes in a solid glass bottle; unnecessary but adds a certain upmarket feel. I’m in the shade buff/chamois, although I could probably go up a shade (apparently I got a small tan?)

Overall I give this foundation a 7/10. As far as drugstore foundations go its right up there. It applies smoothly, evenly and is very buildable. It’s always lasted as long as I’ve needed foundation. It’s not tacky or hard to use and it does everything its advertised to do. I highly recommend this foundation for all skin types and tones as it is just such a good formula.

Saving Money: Creating a No Buy List

So I’d heard of creating a list of things you can’t buy for a set amount of time to a) see if you need them and b) try and save money. I have done some research to try and find a ‘how to’ guide or even just an example of one. Alas I couldn’t find a thing, so I’ve decided to make one myself. I thought I might also explain why I’m doing this.
  1. I’m currently losing weight at ~1kg a week so I am going to eventually go down a dress size, its just not a good idea to be spending tonnes of money on clothes.
  2. To help me losing weight there are certain food items that just aren’t a good idea to buy – that’s not to say have occasionally, but consistently buy
  3. I want to save money to be able to buy good clothes when I do get down to my goal weight, I want to be able to travel and buy a new car one day etc.
  4. It might help me stop impulse buying – something that is destroying my bank account.
After making these goals I set what it was that was a) unhealthy for me to buy or b) unnecessary for me to buy. I am lucky enough to live at home so I don’t pay rent at the moment or very much for food. I do however have to spend a lot on fuel (nearly half of what I do earn goes on fuel) and netflix etc. I do have a budget document on excel which helps me know how much I do have to spend and where a lot of my money goes. The only thing this has really done is shown how much money I spend on useless things.
To help curb my ridiculous spending I’ve decided to impose a ‘No Buy’ List on myself until I am at my goal weight (hopefully around mid next year) to hopefully manage my money better, and to learn what i do and don’t need. So here’s how I went ahead and made it.
Step 1. Create your financial goals within a selected time frame.
               Example: I want to save $1000 in a year
               Example: I want to live within a Budget for a year
Step 2. Create Categories where you are going to stop buying things from
               Example: Groceries, Clothes, TV Providers, Home Decor and Kitchen Ware
Step 3. Write the things you’re not going to buy!
                 No Buy list
Step 4. Try not to buy those things in order to achieve your goals 😀
There you go, my little no buy list. The only thing that I didn’t actually put into my list was when I was going to start buying those things again. This was because I don’t really know when I will be down to my goal weight so I’m just going to leave it as forever for now.
Have fun!
Turtle

Travelling to Thailand and Cambodia

In 2015 I went with a group of 17 other young people from my school on a trip to Thailand and Cambodia. We went with an organization called World Challenge. World Challenge is basically a massive safety net organization that stops bad things from happening to the groups of 15-year-olds that go on these trips. The trip was a month long and we got to organize everything.

Where we were going, how long we were going to stay in each place and what we were going to be doing. It was a really good experience and I am glad I partook in the expedition, but if I could do it again I’d do a lot differently.

Firstly, I’d buy my kit from somewhere a little bit cheaper than Kathmandu. Although everything I got was of superb quality and I still use most of the things I did buy; it was just outrageously expensive for a 15-year-old. I did fundraise a lot of that money, but it really wasn’t enough and I ended up leaving my mum with a big financial loss because of this. I’ve recently stumbled along a website called Travel Factory. Here they sell everything you’d need to go trekking, glamping, whatever it is you’d want to do along with Hotels, Cruises, Car Hire and much much more, all at very competitive prices. It would have helped relieve some of the initial outlay that all of my camping and trekking gear cost (we had nothing). If you want to check them out here’s a link: https://t.cfjump.com/46575/t/3562

Secondly, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go with World Challenge. Although I had a great time and we could clearly see why certain rules were in place, it did feel very restrictive and as if the control we thought we had, was disappearing as the trip went on. I’ve since come across The Working Holiday Club, and although you definitely could not go on one of their trips as a 15-year-old, I think they are the best option for anyone over the age of 18. They are a complete safety net, giving you a job, housing, and a bank card all within the first 24 hours of arrival. The only thing they don’t cover in their very competitive prices is the flight and visa charges. They do however offer a visa service that helps you get the working visa you need to go to your wanted destination. If you want to know more their website has a lot of information about the varying packages and also has an option to enquire to your very own in country agent who can then give you all the information you need. The best part is they aren’t overly spammy. I joined up 6 months ago and I had one appointment to talk through the best option for myself and how I would go about it and I haven’t received any emails since, it’s completely on my terms if I engage with their service which is something I really like.

I would like to put out an honourable mention to the international card company I used. Travelex was the company that I decided to go with and they made it very easy for me to see how much money I had on my card, I also received two cards, which came in handy quite often as I had one on me at all times – that could be easily canceled if  it was stolen, and one safely in my locked backpack that could be used as a backup. They made it really easy for my mum to add money to it if I needed it. They had very competitive conversion rates and this allowed me to keep as much of my money as I could. When it came time to cancel the card it was a very easy process where I went into the store, paid $10 and the card was no longer active, which was a relief as I didn’t have to continue paying any fees or charges and I still have the option to reactivate the cards if I start to travel again. Overall this was probably the best decision I could have made for this trip.

The actual trip was quite fun. We arrived in Thailand and went straight from the airport to the already booked hostel. It was mine and another members’ job to find an appropriate taxi at a decent price for all 20 of us -adults included. We managed to do this fairly quickly (Within an hour) and we were all beginning to become acclimatized to the area. We didn’t spend very long here, maybe 3 days, and then we went to the first camping ground where we would complete our first trek. It was quite small spanning 2 days. The biggest problems I faced was leeches loving me and crawling through the tent trying to eat me and becoming quite sick (we think from the malaria tablets) overnight. That was really not a pleasant experience.

The trek itself was really nice, we went over rickety bridges and saw what elephants can do to an environment; we saw all these different types of animals that we would never see in Australia and even some of the plant life was absolutely gorgeous. The campground itself was really beautiful and the tents that were given to us were really quite spacious for 2 people.

We quickly moved on to go up into the mountains for our week long trek. We trekked for over 40km in 5 days and went to a different mountain tribe every night. The treks were gorgeous. The villages were so beautiful and the places we slept in all had these really homely touches that I really wouldn’t expect in the middle of the mountains in Thailand. There are 2 I remember quite clearly. The first one where we ate with the villagers and we played with the children well into the night. The villagers danced for us and taught us their story-time dance. This was a really awesome experience and was definitely the beginning of getting me hooked on travel. The second village that sticks out in my mind was a beautiful village with these big dirt roads that had been mostly washed away by dirt and this really gorgeous common area with a fire pit to one side. This was probably the highlight of the journey for me with the group becoming really close and talking to each other with respect and even some adoration. The view definitely helped with a look out over the canopy of the forest below us (the one we had just trekked through) and the guides we had teaching us how to make plaited rings out of the bamboo that just covered the area.

After we finished this trek we moved onto the Rest and Relaxation portion of our little adventure in the islands of the bottom of Thailand. We actually went way past the normal touristy area of the island and ended up in this really nicely remote area where the beach was right in front of us. There were a few problems here with a couple of people getting heat stroke and a snorkeling trip that could have gone better for all involved. This was the only part of the trip where I remembered to take photos, but honestly, they’re all really bad. It was a beautiful time though, with lots of time spent in the clearest waters I’ve ever seen and seeing really interesting fish.

After only 3 days of rest, we got on a bus and headed over to Cambodia. Here we went into a remote village built a path along the edge of a classroom and some of us painted the side of a different classroom to add a bit of colour to these children’s day. We took turns in working and teaching English, and we all had a really good time. It was kind of funny though because the person who set us the job of building the path underestimated us and we had it done in the first 2 days of our 5-day trip there. We had to keep finding things to do within the school to help these children learn and grow.

The place we stayed at was just someone’s house, they had 2 areas set up, one about where the girls all slept and an open area below where the boys slept. It was really nice and we all discovered a new favourite. The people who ran this place gave us 3 meals a day and I think on our third day of being there they made us this beautiful barbecue pork that none of us could get enough of. I’m pretty sure we demolished this massive pile of pork in less than 10 minutes. Although, there was one night where all we could hear was this weird screaming and panting. We all joked someone was giving birth. I still can’t come up with a better explanation, and I kind of hope that the woman and baby are doing okay now.

After this, we went back into Siam Reap where we did all of the touristy things, and I got sick again and had to stay in the hotel so I don’t really have any good stories. Other than the pancakes that where covered in fruit and my discovery of dragon fruit which is delicious and everyone should try it.

We finally headed home, and that ends the month I spent travelling with a group of 17 young people and 3 adults.

BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

To go along with my little fitness journey, I have been trying to find recipes that are maybe a little bit healthier than what I would normally eat.

Insert Yummly. It a little recipe sharing app I downloaded ages ago now. What I love about it is the fact that you can filter what you want by its nutrients and calorie content. Something I’m interested in as I am trying to lose weight.

Today I tried the BLT Pasta salad. Its total calorie content comes in at around 450kcal which is around what I’m aiming for, for each meal (I used to eat a lot more. A LOT more).

For one person you will need the following things:

1 piece of bacon

1-2 lettuce leaves, or a lettuce mix of about 1 handful

1/2 tomato

1/2 cup of bowtie pasta

1 tablespoon of Mayonaise

1 teaspoon of bbq sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Firstly, bring a pot of water to the boil and add the pasta – it will need around 10 minutes to cook properly so make sure you have the time to do that. Cut up the lettuce and tomato and place in a bowl with the mayo, bbq sauce, and salt & pepper. Cut the bacon into smallish squares and fry. Drain pasta and add that and the bacon to the bowl. Mix well.

Tada an easy and healthier lunch or dinner for anyone. 19380005_1873242582996188_3706984190118461440_n

My Little Polaroid Journal

Last year for my birthday I got a polaroid camera. I quickly had a problem of not having anywhere to put the (kinda shitty) photos I took.

Luckily, I was walking through Dymocks with Paige and we found a little journal with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on the cover with a really soft faux leather cover. I loved it and Paige bought it for me! Which was incredibly nice of her so I started putting my polaroids in there.

If you’re wanting to get the book you can follow this link here https://t.cfjump.com/t/46575/29692/ to the Dymocks website where you will find all the different journals they have on offer. Not only do they have Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children they also have Harry Potter sets and many, many more.

Honestly, I love it. It gives me a little place to put my favourite photos of big moments. I date most of them and this just is a really nice way for me to put photos that mean so so much to me.

The first few pages are really bad but as I continued to take photos you can see the improvement. You can even see when I stopped taking the photos and how bad they got.

Obviously, this is a really personal thing, however, starting it gave me the motivation to start this blog. It holds so many memories within it (some of which are in the photos below) and gives me such joy when I can add things to it.

See ya next week little adventurers.