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Friday, 26 August 2016

Thirteen Little Things...


Hello Hello :)

I haven't been posting as much as I'd like to lately, but to be honest, I've been feeling pretty down in the dumps over the past month or so and I just haven't felt up to it. Nothing terribly bad has been happening, but I've just been really stressed at work, dealing with a number of quite negative people that have left me feeling totally drained. 
I'm usually a pretty happy, optimistic person, but being blamed for things that aren't your fault, or questioned about your intentions and skills (when all you are doing is trying your best to help people), really does get you down after a while.

After having a mini breakdown the other day, I decided I just have to move on and not let those negative Nancy's get to me anymore. It's much easier said than done (particularly for someone like myself who takes everything to heart), but I'm slowly getting there.

This blog is my "happy place"  - I want to spread positive vibes and for my little corner of the internet to be a fun, uplifting place to visit, so now that I'm in a better mindset I figured I'd dip my toe back into the "blogging pond" by sharing something that's been helping me to feel a little better, even on a pretty crappy day. 

I think the saying "There's something good in every day" is really true, and so even when I haven't been feeling the positive vibes, I've been trying to look for the little things that make me smile. It might be the tiniest thing that only lasts a few moments, but if you look for it, there's always something good in the day to be grateful for.

So here are just some of the little things, that have made me smile lately...


1. Seeing a rainbow on my drive to work. I like to think of this as a sign that it's going to be a good day!

2. The beautiful cherry blossom (of is it a plum blossom?) tree that's blooming outside our apartment. I see it as I head out the door on my way to work and it always brings a smile to my face.


3. The fact that it's just that little bit brighter in the mornings now as I'm waking up. I'm so excited for Spring - it's always feels like such a fresh start and that everything picks up once September rolls around.

4. A big hug from my Nonna - she's a little lady but gives the best hugs, and on this particular night, I really needed a good hug. It didn't exactly fix the situation that was stressing me out, but it definitely helped me feel a whole lot better about it all.

5. Sipping a hot cup of tea in the morning as I get ready for work (or even better when Tom brings it to me on the weekend when I'm still in bed). There's something pretty amazing about the power of simple cup of tea.


6. Our little apartment (okay so I guess this is actually a pretty big thing!)  - it's really coming together now and feels so cozy and homey. I feel so lucky that we have this space to call our own.

7. Snuggling into freshly washed sheets - one of the best feelings ever!

8. Watching The Bachelor - I originally only started watching it so I could chat to people at work about it and feel a bit more in the loop, but I've actually really got into it and now I'm hooked. It's nice to be able to just escape reality for a little while and enjoy some light hearted entertainment!
(For the record, I think Nikki will win - she seems like such a sweet, down to earth girl and they seem perfect for each other)

9. Listening to the rain while I'm snuggled up inside - I don't think this one needs any explanation, the sound of rain is just so relaxing... 

10. The fact that I can now do proper dead lifts at the gym! I never thought I'd be into lifting weights, but I actually really enjoy it! It's all down to the fact that I have an awesome personal trainer - Matt at Smart Fitness. He's one of my friends from uni so going to the gym just feels like a fun catch up with my friend. If you're in Perth and after an awesome PT you should get in contact with Matt!

11. Watching my orchid that I repotted a couple of months ago growing. The flowers are just about to blossom (for the third time now) and it's so exciting! Tom says I sound like a proud mother when I'm talking about my orchid... I've never kept a plant alive for this long before, so I guess I am a proud plant mum! ;)


12. Going for a walk in the sunshine - even if it's only for ten minutes during my lunch break - it can really help to brighten up the day.

13. Picking Tom up from the airport - my favourite part of the week. He's coming home tonight and I'm so excited :)


After writing that list I'm feeling pretty good about things right now (the fact that it's Friday night is also probably helping with that!)
They're just simple things, but when you look for them you realise how many good things there are. They don't exactly fix all the other things going on, but when you're feeling grateful it's much easier to deal with the harder stuff (at least it seems that way to me).

What little things have been making you smile lately?

Lots of Love
Lauren
xxx

Saturday, 13 August 2016

My Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2016


Heya! :)

Just a quick post today to share my winter capsule wardrobe video here on the blog.
I'm still loving doing this whole "capsule wardrobe thing" and I don't plan on stopping any time soon!

I've had such a change in mindset over the past year that I've been doing a capsule wardrobe, and just trying in general to minimise my possessions and live a little more simply.
In the world of fashion blogs there is definitely a push towards always having something shiny and new and following the latest trends. While there's nothing wrong with that, it's just never really been "me" so I feel so much happier thinking of myself as more of a "capsule wardrobe blogger" rather "fashion blogger".

The idea of quality over quantity and having a smaller collection of really well curated pieces appeals to me so much more than having a wardrobe overflowing with clothes, and I've been enjoying applying this minimalist approach to the rest of my life too.

I've been listening to podcasts, reading blogs and watching videos about minimalism and simple living for a long time now and find them so inspiring, so I'm planning on doing a post about my favourite ones soon :)

Hope you're having a fab day :) I'm soo happy it's finally the weekend!

Lauren
xx

Sunday, 31 July 2016

My Style Diary - Flashback to Sumer in a Strawberry Printed Dress


We're currently in the middle of winter, and I have to say I'm a little tired of the chilly weather. I know I really shouldn't be complaining considering our winter here in Perth is only a little colder than a lot of places in summer (as one of my viewer's from the UK pointed out in a comment on my winter capsule video!), but I'm a summer girl and to me it's been super cold, and that makes me want to just curl up inside all day and drink tea in bed (something I happen to be doing as I write this actually)
 If all days could start off like this Sunday morning I'd be okay with it, but sadly that isn't so! (My main gripe with winter is the cold dark mornings, the rest of it really isn't that bad!)
I can't wait until Spring though when I can start pulling out my bright, printed dresses - like this cute strawberry printed one I'm wearing in the photos!

These were actually taken back in December - on Boxing day to be exact! We usually have a relaxed brunch to catch up with some family friends the day after Christmas, and this fun dress was just the perfect thing to wear. After brunch, Tom and I then headed to the shops to have a look at engagement rings for the first time which was so exciting! As I've mentioned in my previous post about our engagement, Tom knew I'd want to choose my ring (he's a clever one), so proposed without one and we went and looked together once we got back from Tassie.
While we didn't find a ring that day (it actually took many trips to a number of different jewellers before we ended up having something made), it was such a fun day and I have great memories of it!

It's funny how something as simple as an outfit post like this can trigger these memories of such a lovely day! It's definitely one my favourite things about having a blog :)
It's also kinda funny how some days I'll have nothing to write about (which is why these photos have sat in my "draft posts" for months) and then I saw them today and thought - yep it's time to share them!
Does anyone else have that happen to them? Some days I'll have no inspiration, while on others the words just flow so easily!
Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now.
If you're a blogger too - what's your fave thing about blogging? I'd love to know!

Lots of Love
Lauren
xxx
Dress - Princess Highway - Dangerfield
Sandals - Windsor Smith
Bag - Jigsaw

My Travel Diary - Girls Trip To Sydney!

Heya!

Today I'm sharing some photos from a very fun weekend away in Sydney :)
It was a rather spontaneous trip, with a couple of my best friends - Jema and Niki - who I've known since high school and who also happen to be two of my bridesmaids!

I flew into Sydney on a Thursday night and made my way to our hotel - Swissotel, where the girls (who had arrived earlier that day) met me with a seriously delicious prosciutto pizza. We spent the night just hanging out in our room and chatting (we hadn't had a girlie "sleepover" type night since we were back in the early days of uni, and it was just so fun!)

We'd all been to Sydney before (many many years ago in my case though), but had never seen Bondi Beach, so the next morning we hopped in an Uber to visit the iconic location. It's a pretty cool beach, and the weather was beautiful, although coming from Perth, it does seem a bit "hyped up". It was a nice beach, but nothing that we don't have in WA - although I'm happy to have seen it now at least! hehe ;)


After admiring the view and taking a few pics, we went in search of brunch and found a lovely little place called Lox Stock & Barrel which I highly recommend! It was so funny because the waiter was such a stereotypical "Australian Surfer Dude" - just the kind of depiction of an Aussie that you'd see in some American movie, so that gave us a good laugh!
The food was delicous - Niki and I went with the Brioche French Toast, while Jem stuck with scrambled eggs. The smoothie we had was awesome too but I can't remember what was in it sadly, other than one ingredient which was goji berries!

We had such a relaxing time, spending a good couple of hours just chatting and enjoying our food in the sun. It's actually so good to be able to catch up with old friends and spend real quality time with them - they're the kind of friends where I can just totally be myself and completely relax because we know each other so well. Nix and Jem are also a lot of fun - and things are never boring with them, so they make great travel companions! 

After brunch we caught another Uber back into the city (a lot of Uber rides were taken during this trip!) to get started with shopping! As we were driving back though we realised we'd forgotten about the shopping we wanted to do in Bondi! On our way to brunch we'd passed so many cool little boutiques that we wanted to stop in, but afterwards we totally forgot. We decided we'd just have to make another girls trip to Sydney in the not too distant future and come back to Bondi then ;)

After shopping in the city, we headed to a bridal shop in The Strand Arcade called Eternal Bridal where I had made an appointment. They carry Hayley Paige dresses, which are some of the most beautiful, dreamy dresses I've seen and unfortunately aren't available in Perth. I had a particular dress that I was dying to try on and was so excited to have the opportunity to visit this store!

The arcade and bridal store were absolutely beautiful, and there were so many stunning dresses. I tried on the dress that I'd been looking at online, as well as a couple more and completely unexpectedly fell in love with the second dress I tried. By this point, I'd tried on a lot of dresses from numerous different stores in Perth, and none of them had really wowed me. They were beautiful, but none of them had made me think "this is my wedding dress". I'd actually been planning on getting the dress made as I honestly didn't think I'd find something after all the dresses I'd tried on!

This second dress was different though - I don't know what it was but I just felt so good in it, and I just couldn't stop smiling when I had it on! We weren't allowed to take photos, but I was able to skype my mum so she was able to see the dress too. We had some technical difficulties and took ages figuring out how to get skype working on our phones, but Lotta, the sales assistant was so incredibly patient and helpful and helped to make the experience so special!
I decided I needed to sleep on it just to make sure I was making the right decision, but I left the store feeling 98% certain that this was my wedding dress. In some ways it was absolutely what I'd been picturing, but in others it was really different, so I needed some time to think. (*spoiler alert * - I went back and bought the dress the next day!!)

After leaving the bridal shop on a high (I couldn't believe I'd probably found my dress), we headed back to our hotel which was conveniently right around the corner and then eventually headed out for dinner and drinks. 

We went to a place called The Butler in Potts Point and had such a great time there. It had a great atmosphere with dim lighting, candles on all the tables, beautiful paintings of plants covering the walls and an outdoor area filled with more plants and fairy lights (I think there were fairlights, I could be making it up, but there was some sort of pretty lighting out there!)
The food was fab and the cocktails were delicious (I'm not usually one to drink at all, so that's saying something!) and our waiter even brought over a free cocktail for us to share because "we were so nice" apparently! haha ;)
Speaking of "being nice" apparently (according to a few of our uber drivers), Perth people are some of the friendliest around. I don't know if that's completely true, but it's a nice reputation for us to have! 

After dinner we made our way to Opera Bar where we had a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, although it was too cold to stay outside for long! We nestled into one of the booths inside and somehow the time just flew by after that!
The next morning we were up pretty early as we had appointments at Mecca Cosmetica to get our makeup done! (This was a super girlie and also pretty splurgey trip).
This isn't something I ever do, so it was such a treat and I picked up some exciting beauty bits that have quickly become my new favourites so I'll probably be talking about them in a post at some point.


After a little shopping, we headed to the main event of the day - lunch at Sepia. It was a 9 course degustation menu and was amazing. I'm not a big drinker, so while the others did the wine pairing, I had the option to do a tea pairing! There were about six different teas that were chosen to go along with the different courses, starting from a rose ice tea that was served in an old fashioned champagne glass, and progressively warming up to a hot cinnamon tea to go with the dessert. Everything was presented so beautifully and it really was a whole "experience".


After lunch we made our way back to Eternal Bridal where I ended up buying my wedding dress!! I'm so excited about my decision and so happy that I really did have that "this is my dress" special moment! It also means another trip back to Sydney next year for fittings which I'm not complaining about!

The next morning, Niki had an early flight to catch, and Jem was still sleeping, while I (always the early bird) was wide awake, so I headed out on my own to explore a little more. It was a lovely morning actually, just walking around the streets of Sydney, stopping to grab a coffee and making my way towards the Opera House to get a view of the bridge in the daylight! :)

After meeting up for breakfast, Jema and I made our way to the airport and our awesome weekend drew to a close. It was seriously such an amazing few days and I can't wait to do it again sometime! I love travelling with Tom, but sometimes a girls weekend away is just what you need!


So that's it for today! Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I'd love to hear suggestions of your favourite things to do in Sydney if you have any. We only had a very short time so didn't get a chance to visit a lot of the places we would have liked, or do the bridge climb. I'll be heading back there next year though so hopefully I'll be able to fit a bit more in then!

Hope you're having an awesome Sunday :)

Lauren
xxx

Thursday, 23 June 2016

My Style Diary - Polka Dots


These photos were taken back in March and I've been a little tardy with sharing them! I absolutely love this dress - the polka dot fabric is so fun and fresh and the fitted bodice with the flared out skirt is right up my alley.  It's definitely on the shorter side, but given that I love everything else about it, that can be forgiven ;)
Paired with red lipstick and Ray Ban sunnies (which I forgot to wear for the photos!) it definitely has a bit of a 1950's/Taylor Swift feel to it. (You know I love Taylor Swift!)

The day these photos were taken, I had brunch with a couple of my friends (my bridesmaids!) and then we went wedding dress shopping for the first time! It was a pretty fun and exciting day, but it was also a little overwhelming because we went on a Saturday and it was so busy! If you happen to also be wedding dress shopping, I definitely recommend going on a weekday if possible because the experience is so much better and more personal!

Anyway, I'll leave it at that for today - trying to keep it short and sweet after last weeks mammoth post! ;)

I hope you're having a great day!

Lauren
xxx

Dress - Mooloola - from City Beach Surfwear
Sandals - Windsor Smith
Watch - Calvin Klein

Friday, 17 June 2016

A Very Special Day on Cradle Mountain - Our Engagement Story


Heya! :)

I'm finally sharing these photos from December, our second last day in Tassie - the day that we spent about seven hours hiking around Cradle Mountain, and the day Tom proposed!!

Even though Tom and I had talked about getting engaged for a while (we'd been together for 6 years at that point), I honestly didn't think it was going to happen on this particular trip, so when Tom proposed at the (almost) top of Cradle Mountain, I was so surprised!
It was actually a spontaneous proposal, Tom hadn't been planning on doing it that day, so it was a bit of a surprise for him too! hehe ;)

Tom told me afterwards that he'd been trying for a while to think of the best way to propose - something that wasn't too corny or overdone, but that would be really special, and while we were walking along this plateau boardwalk area, amongst the beautiful mountain scenery with no-one else around, the perfect moment just sort of presented itself! We were sitting down on a step having a rest,  I got up to continue on when Tom said "Just wait a moment ... I guess this is as good a time as any... I could plan and plan, but I don't know when we're going to have a setting as amazing as this... so..." 

After that point, I actually can't remember anything else he said, as I was completely surprised. I just teared up and kept saying "Really?! Are you serious?!"  over and over while giving him a big hug and eventually saying "Yes of course!". My response was kinda ridiculous, but I'd been thinking about this moment for a while, and my brain just wasn't processing the fact that it was actually really happening! 
(Thank god no-one else was around to see it though! It would have been very embarrassing!)

So after that, we actually had another four hours to walk back, and the route we took ended up being way more difficult than the way we'd come! There were points where we were scrambling over rocks and thinking ... "we better not fall because there's no-one around and no phone reception!" It was a great walk though, and it gave us a little time to let it sink in - we were super excited and happy, but we didn't really feel any different!
I'd actually been a little grumpy before, after 3 hours walking in the sun and having a little stumble, but after the proposal I couldn't have been happier! My mum joked that Tom knew he needed to cheer me up so that's why he proposed at that moment! When we told Tom's parents, his mum was like "Well you're lucky she said yes - that could have been a very awkward walk back if she'd said no!" ;)

It was such a special and perfect moment and Tom really did a great job at surprising me (and himself too actually!) When we got back to Perth we went and looked at rings together and ended up having a beautiful ring custom made. I honestly couldn't be happier and I really do feel like the luckiest girl in the world. It sound's so cheesy but it's true!

I know this is a very personal thing to be sharing, but I've said it many times before, this blog is like a diary and I love looking back at it, so of course I wanted to document this very special moment here. 
 I'm looking forward to blogging more about our wedding planning so hopefully you'll enjoy seeing  few wedding related posts!

Lots of Love
Lauren
xxx

Saturday, 4 June 2016

My Travel Makeup Bag (basically all my favourite products)


I'm currently down south in Margaret River for a long weekend getaway, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at the contents of my travel makeup bag. These photos were actually taken during our Tassie holiday (and I never got around to sharing them), but everything is pretty much the same!

While I do have a fairly extensive collection of makeup, I tend to stick with my tried and tested favourites the majority of the time, but particularly when it comes to travelling. I usually go for a fairly simple look with light, shimmery shadow on the eyes and a brighter lip. 

This is basically what I use on a day to day basis, my "Capsule Makeup Collection" if you will...

1. Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer - I love this concealer because, as the name suggests, it does have a lovely natural finish, but also decent coverage. I like a really natural look to my makeup, so instead of wearing foundation, I tend to just pat this concealer onto any problem areas (mainly on redness around my nose and under my darker under-eye area), and then lightly dust a powder over to set. It gives a more polished look than bare skin, but still keeps things very natural. Pretty much a "no-makeup makeup look". I have also been loving the Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector. It's technically for around the eye area,  but I use it around my nose and chin too, just to cover any redness and it works well for me. I love the brightening effect it has. 

2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Dim Light - If you read pretty much any beauty blog you would have heard of this product range before. The idea is the different powders "mimic the effect of the most flattering light", softening the way light reflects on the skin and concealing imperfections. I use this powder pretty much everyday, and I really do love the soft effect it gives. Particularly as someone who doesn't wear foundation on a regular basis, I love the overall smoothing and brightening effect it has - it's barely detectable, but just makes the skin look that little bit more perfect. 

3. Nars Laguna Bronzer - My favourite (and only) bronzer. I've nearly used this all up and will be repurchasing when I do. 

4. Mac Eyeshadow Quad - BrulĂ©, Arena, All That Glitters, Wedge - I love that you can build your own mac palette and the quad is perfect for travel. These four have been my standard "everyday" eyeshadows for a long time now. I use either Arena or All That Glitters all over the lid, Wedge in the crease and BrulĂ© just under the brow. It's light and shimmery and very brightening which I love. I don't often wear eyeliner but when I do I usually just use a darker shadow along the lashline which gives a softer effect. If I'm just bringing the one eyeshadow palette, I'll usually swap out Arena for Mac's Espresso eyeshadow. 

5. Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette - This is the only thing I haven't brought with me on this trip. It's a great palette with a large range of shades, but I do prefer the quality of Mac shadows. I just find them a little easier to work with so tend to reach for them first. This palette is great for travel though as it has everything you need (including a black shadow which I use as eyeliner). 

6. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil - Soft Brunette - I purchased this pencil after watching countless youtube reviews of different brow products and hearing people rave about this particular one. I haven't tried any others, so I don't have anything to compare this to, but I'm onto my second one and still liking it so it gets a thumbs up from me. 

7. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. This mascara gives pretty dramatic lashes which I like, but my favourite and the one I'll go back to once I've finished with this is the Maybelline Full 'N Soft. I prefer the more natural look it gives, but it can still be built up to give a nice full, thick look. I also always curl my lashes first with the Shu Uemura eyelash curler (the best eyelash curler ever - definitely worth the higher price tag)

8. Revlon Just Bitten Kissible Balm Stain - Crush - I love these balm stains because they really are a great stain. Apply, blot and they'll stay for hours. This particular colour is really beautiful. It's  pretty dark and intense when first applied, but once blotted it's a beautiful deep berry/pink that's very wearable.

9. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - Dragon Girl - This will forever be my favourite red. It's bright and bold but with a hint of pink that makes it really wearable, and the fact that it's matte means it lasts well and you don't have to worry about it ending up on your teeth! (A problem I had with the Nars Satin Lip Pencils). Also, this is apparently the lipstick that Taylor Swift wears ;)

10. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet - Nude-ist - My current favourite nude liquid lipstick for when I don't feel like wearing anything too bright. As you can see I like to bring a few different lip products - usually one red, one berry and something a little more natural. This one is definitely on the darker, more pinky side of nudes which is the only nude I ever really go for. I like the matte formula although it can be a little drying, so I'll probably look for something different when this one runs out. Anyone have any suggestions for a similar shade? 

11. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - Exposed - My favourite blush that goes with every makeup look. I have quite a collection of blushes (and I do switch them up fairly often), but when I travel this is always the one I bring as it looks good no matter what lip colour or eyeshadow you're wearing. 

I hope you enjoyed this little look into my makeup bag. I always find it interesting to see what people bring with them when they travel (I love watching those videos on youtube - they're a real guilty pleasure!) What are your favourite travelling makeup products?

Lots of Love
Lauren
xxx