Thursday, 25 February 2016

Birthday wishes

 I'm partly in denial because I don't want to be getting older, but next week is my birthday. I'm not doing a big celebration at all, just grabbing drinks after work with some friends at our favourite hangout. I'm not expecting any gifts apart from my immediate family but nevertheless, here are some things that are currently on my wishlist - I think I may end up spoiling myself with a few gifts-to-me!

1. More Real Techniques makeup brushes to fuel my obsession here and here
2. Moroccanoil Light Oil Treatment to replace my haircare favourite here
3. Cindy-Lou Manizer because a bit of glow never goes amiss here
4. Coloured eyeliner for when your makeup needs that little pop here
5. Intergalactic and Frozen bath ballistics from Lush because hello beautiful here and here

6. Classic ghd styler to make my long hair a little sleeker here
7. Navy satin pillowcase for a bit of extra pampering here
8. Elegant red wine glasses that will always be well loved here
9. Candles for the approaching autumnal evenings here and here
10. A chef's knife to make preparing supper a breeze here

Friday, 19 February 2016

My "Use it, Love it" philosophy

All my life, I've been a hoarder of pretty things. My dad half-jokingly calls my mom and I squirrels. I'm always getting beautiful notebooks, special candles and the like - and then saving them for a "special occasion". Only, there never is a special occasion (because when you're depressed, it's pretty easy to see every day as worthless) and I just end up having all these lovely things in storage and then buying extra, cheaper items to actually use. Sound familiar?

So one of the things I decided to focus on for my birthday resolutions last year was to actually use the things I have. Rather than letting them gather dust in preparation for some future special occasion, I was going to use them in my everyday and show them some love. (This also fitted in with my Project Pan exercise that started at the same time.) So, for the last year, and for the future, this is what I have been doing.

I'm using the beautiful notebooks I've bought and that I've gotten as gifts as daily scrapbook-journals. Now they get filled with memories, with photos, with written musings and with love. (PS let me know if you'd be interested in a post or two on scrapbook journalling)

I burn my favourite candles every week. At bath time, shower time, dinner time, bed time - any time is improved by candlelight and pretty scents.

I use my favourite wine glasses, tea cups and the rest. Why use boring mugs while your pretty chinaware sits at the back of the cupboard? Why use the wine-festival freebie glasses when the elegant ones you got as a gift make you feel like a fancy grownup? Yes, sometimes they break. But you know what? Things break when they get used. And things are meant to be used.

The pretty makeup with the too-beautiful-to-touch packaging? That's my everyday eyeshadow or blush. Because now I smile every time I reach for it. (And remember: makeup goes off! You need to use it before it does!) (The same goes for perfume!)

The fancy Lush soap that costs so much more than ordinary soap but smells amazing? Wash your hands with it every day. The pretty bath bombs or fancy bath oils or shower gels? You guessed it.

Wear the good lingerie. Wear the cute pajamas. Wear the shoes that make you feel powerful or the dress that you always get compliments on. And donate or throw out anything in your wardrobe that doesn't fit, is uncomfortable or just doesn't make you feel good when you wear it.

Don't save things for potential future special occasions. We only have one life on this Earth. Make your everyday special.

PS Images are from Death to the Stock Photo

Monday, 15 February 2016

Adventures in Crochet: Clothes for Tiny Humans

Some friends of mine welcomed an adorable brand new teeny tiny member to their family this weekend! As a baby shower present earlier this year, I decided to try my hand at some crocheted items for the baby-boy-to-be. Fair warning: you spend about as much time fawning over how cute teeeny tiny baby booties are as you actually spend crocheting. I've only ever crocheted flat things before (blankets, scarfs etc) so I thought I'd start with a baby beanie and some booties.

For the hat, I made a standard double crochet beanie. I used this sizing chart - the best one I've found online yet, with everything from preemie babies to adult sizes! Since babies tend to grow lightning fast, I decided to skip preemie/newborn sizes and go with the "2 week to 3 month" size instead. (It looks big because it's all flattened out, it's actually in proportion to the shoes.) The yarn I used was Vinnis Nikkim in Variegated Blues Mix. (I'm a huge fan of Vinnis Nikkim 100% cotton yarn - it's just so soft and beautiful!)

The baby booties were a tad more challenging - I think I made about 6 booties before I had a pair I was happy with! These little slippers are also aimed at a 0-3 month size.  After searching for ages on Ravelry, I finally decided on this pattern- simple clean lines(who is still making old fashioned frilly things and putting them on the internet? why people, why?), a slipper/sock style rather than an ankle boot (more suitable for summer/autumn) and within my skill limits! Because I was making them for a boy, I just didn't make the little flower embellishments. These I made using Vinni's Nikkim in Dark Blue.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Project Pan 53 - 68

If you've been around the blog world for a while, you probably have come across a Project Pan series or two before. (Previous posts can be found here.) For those who don't know what Project Pan is, this is what it is about: basically, you go on a no-buy or low-buy until you use up the things you already have. I'm sure everyone has experienced that point where your bathroom or vanity is overfull of half-empty products, and yet you keep on buying more. The idea behind Project Pan is to (a) finish using the products you already own (or, if you hate them, throw them out!) and (b) not buy products that you already have. So I will be repurchasing things I finish, or buying things that I still need, but no more wasting money on things I already have in my collection. Bonus: who doesn't find empties posts deeply satisfying on some level?

53. Cutex Moisturising Nail Polish Remover
Will I repurchase? Yes - after trying other brands of polish remover, I always end up going back to cheap-and-cheerful Cutex

54. The Body Shop Shea Body Butter (travel size)
Will I repurchase? Yes - I received this one as part of a gift but Shea is one of my all-time TBS faves.

55. Essence Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Gunmetal
Will I repurchase? Yes. Ignoring the "gel eyeliner" claims, this eyeliner has decent staying time even on waterlines and I quite enjoyed the gunmetal shade as a less intense option to black.

56. Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Black Fever
Will I repurchase? Yes - this is my all-time fave for lining upper waterlines. It lasts admirably well and has good pigmentation - and for less than R30!

57. Essence I ♥ Runway Highlighter
Will I repurchase? No. From an Essence range from long long ago, I picked this up on a whim as my first dip in the highlighting pool. Although it was mediocre, it did set me off on a strong love affair with highlighters!

58. Woolworths Dipliner in Charcoal
Will I repurchase? Maybe. This was one of my all-time faves, I think this must be at least my 5th or 6th tube. Again, I love using charcoal grey instead of black. However, from wearing liquid liner every single day, I'm now struggling to remember when last I used this and sadly the remaining product has dried up. If I ever decide to go back, though...

59. Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation in Ivory
Will I repurchase? Absolutely. A great foundation with good coverage and staying power that feels very comfortable on my skin, and for a decent price as well. The lightest shade, Ivory, matches my skin tone well without being too dark or too orange/pink.

60. Revlon New Complexion Oil Control Foundation in Buff
Will I repurchase? No, because my skin's needs have changed (no longer crazy oily, yay!).