Sunday 22 April 2018

This and That...

this week.

The Princess and I did a bit more work on clearing her room. The Cowboy said her room now looks like she could "up and go at any moment". I have been cleaning, doing laundry, sorting, pottering and fluffing.

Crown Lynn Fashion Rose jug and Hibiscus from my garden
It's school holidays. Enough said :-)

My order from Book Depository arrived. There is nothing like the smell of new books. I am reading the April book for the online book club I joined. The book is Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi and I am obsessed with the story. It is the story of the African slave trade and follows 300 years of a family, from the African slave trade side and the Amercian slavery side.It's horrifying, thought-provoking and makes you question the humanity of mankind. It is a challenging read for me because of the many characters and settings but I have stopped worrying about recalling what I have read and just going with it. Fortunately, it has a family tree at the front of the book which I refer to when I get muddled.
The Cowboy and I been binge watching Designated Survivor on Netflix and now eagerly await the weekly release of each new episode. We have been talking about if it is really like that in the White House or maybe it is the White House staff trying to corral President Trump!
I also started watching Rita, which I can't recommend enough, especially to my teacher friends. I am so not a Rita teacher but kind of wish I was! Disclaimer - not every aspect of Rita's life though haha

My poor Cowboy has been so sick and miserable with a horrible head cold thingy.
The Cowboy's boy came for dinner after work on Thursday, which is a weekly event. He showered here and I laughed when I saw how beautifully he had left the monogrammed towel I gave him as part of his 21st birthday present. If you are stuck for a gift, go for monogrammed towels!
The Princess went to the Halsey concert on Thursday. She looked so cute wearing a denim pinafore. Naturally, she wouldn't actually let me take a photo of her wearing it! She laughed when I told her I was so happy she didn't look skanky haha She came home with this bright yellow hoodie, isn't it such a happy colour.
It is not the Princess but it is her denim dress/pinafore from Factorie and her happy Halsey concert hoodie. The white lump in the mirror is the Princess - hiding - grrrrh

Some of my uni/teacher friends came for lunch on Friday. I made a Chelsea Winter Self-Crusting Spinach and Feta Quiche. Really, really good despite me forgetting to take it out of the oven once it had cooked! The prep time is 15 minutes or in my case one hour!

If alternative living fascinates you, check out Jinti Fell on Instagram and YouTube. Jinti, her husband and little girl lived and travelled Australia in a van, a very little van. They are vegan, into Yoga, meditation, self-development, carbon footprint and beaches. They are currently living in Bali. I love watching Jinti on YouTube, her voice is so soothing and she radiates inner peace and good health. Aspirations (not living in a little van though!)

My hairstylist, yes I have had my second haircut in a year, put me on to this L'Oreal hair product. I call it "Spray Away the Grey", it is a serious game changer for short people like me who always have adults and children looking at the top of their greying head - haha.
I am also obsessed with this L'Oreal Sugar Scrub. The colour is kind of offputting. NZ people, think Karitane Yellow! Oh, my goodness, it is so good, I am using it every second night and my skin is super soft and looks brighter. BTW, I am not a die-hard L'Oreal product person but recently good things from them have come my way!
We have been out for coffee and necessary supplies including ice cream and wine.
The Cowboy is watching motor racing.
The Princess is in bed watching something.
I am here, drinking herbal tea and blogging. I'm also clock watching. Very, very soon I am going to pour myself a big fat glass of red wine.

Thanks for reading.

p.s This little girl cat thinks this bedroom is hers. She does kind of suit the decor!

Friday 13 April 2018

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime - My Review

Sometime last year I joined and in December I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of the trial team for the new L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime. I was sent four full-sized products to trial and write a review on how they performed during the 4 week trial period.

I am still using these products so thought I would share my review with you.

THE REVIEW - January 2018
I was immediately impressed with the packaging of  L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime which is very luxurious and high-end in appearance. The products are showcased in silvery/purple metallic boxes, gold script and red accents. The actual product packaging is equally luxe, with the day and night cream being in heavy glass jars topped with silver/purple metallic lids. The serum is in a glass pump bottle and the eye cream in a tube.
The serum is silky in appearance and easy to apply requiring one or two drops depending on skin dryness. It promises to reduce wrinkles, tighten pores, even and firm skin. On first applying the serum I found the fragrance to be off-putting, reminding me of men's aftershave.  However, I like this product and my skin appears to have improved in evenness and does look firmer.
approx $50NZD
I found the moisturiser to be very thick and heavy in appearance but light to touch. It promises to improve skin’s quality, fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. It also promises to firm, increase denseness and give the face a redefined look. It states to massage for better absorption. When I first started using the day moisturiser I was impressed with the overall improvement in my skin, however, as the days became hotter, I struggled to use this moisturiser let alone massage it in. It slides around my face and ‘sits’ on my skin. It has reduced the improvement I first experienced when using the range. This moisturiser would possibly be better suited to a drier skin rather than the normal to oily combination of my skin.
approx $45NZD
Like the day moisturiser, the night cream is very thick and heavy with a smooth consistency, hence the ‘mask-cream’. It promises by morning your skin will look new, smoothed and tightened. It will visibly reduce wrinkles and repair, re-texturise and transform skin. In performance, it massages well and immediately leaves the skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth. Until I started having problems with the day moisturiser, my skin did look great in the morning.
approx $45NZD
This is the star of the range! It is a lovely lightweight eye cream, easy to apply by using the cooling metal doe foot applicator. It promises to smooth the skin around the eye area, reduce bags and refresh the look of eyes. It promises to reduce wrinkles, firm, tone and lift the eye contour area. My crow’s feet are definitely less defined and smoother looking and my eye area does seem firmer. I love this product and will be re-purchasing!
approx $45NZD
Overall, L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime is a good, affordable skincare range for mature skin. I have been using the range for four weeks and despite problems with the day moisturiser, I have experienced an improvement in my skin tone and smoothness. My skin feels plumper, firmer and looks brighter. The crow’s feet around my eyes are definitely less pronounced. Now if only it would fix the groves above my top lip! 

UPDATE - April 2018
Since I first started using L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime in December, I feel my skin has improved in tone, texture, evenness and brightness. I am still using all four products including the day cream which I persevered with. It definitely performs better now, which I think is partly due to the cooler weather. I have repurchased the serum and am about to repurchase the eye cream. I love it! There is about half of the product left in both the day and night cream, a little goes a long way.

In New Zealand stockists of L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime are Farmers, The Warehouse, New World, Pak N Save and Countdown.

You can read other reviews at and if you want further information you can also check out L'Oreal Paris here.

And finally - no filter, no foundation, photo evidence of my 53-year-old skin after using L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 - Intensive Anti-Ageing Regime for 4 weeks.

January 2018

Thanks for reading.

Friday 6 April 2018

Where it's at...

2017 panned out to be the crappiest of years. The Cowboy and I, and both our families had some really traumatic stuff happen. It felt so good to kick 2017 to the curb and start afresh!

Family things aside, the year passed in a blur of appointments and therapists, routines and exercises, binge-watching Netflix shows with the Cowboy and not remembering what I had watched the night before, discovering makeup videos on YouTube and finding it strangely soothing watching people apply makeup, good days and bad days and just life.

This year has been crazy busy so far, especially the month of March, where we had birthday celebrations for what seemed like all month long, including the Princess turning 15 and the Cowboy's boy turning 21. 

My cricketing Cowboy in batting form.
The Cowboy himself plays cricket (not for Australia - haha) and for the last year or so has been practising hard and talking a lot about getting his match fitness up to par. He really loves it, but oh my goodness I never realised what a dangerous game it is. He always seems to be bruised, I'm talking massive bruises, sprained, torn, twisted or 

broken in or on some part of his body. Anyway, he is currently away for the week with his team, the 'Never Weres', playing in the 'Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018' cricket tournament in Christchurch. He is having a lot of fun but the injury reports being texted to me are increasing on the daily. 

This girl, who hates her
photo taken, turned 15!
It is really strange being home alone. We realised I have never been in this house alone. In saying that, there are some things I am really enjoying such as the free reign of the TV, the towels remaining straight in the bathroom and closing the windows and curtains when I want to. The Princess comes home from her Dad today and the Cowboy comes home on Sunday and I really can't wait to see them both. 

From dark furniture and a gallery wall
to white, bright, clean lines.
We have slowly been working on turning the Princess's room into a sophisticated teenage girl room. This has involved sorting through her belongings and passing things on that she no longer needs or has outgrown, stuff she has had since at least 4 years old! She does not have a hard time letting things go whereas I can find sentiment in anything!

How can I part with it,
it has sparkles and fur!
I have also been working on sorting my wardrobe out my Mum will be pleased) and seriously culling my clothes. I have things in there that date back to pre-Princess that I am struggling to part with. There goes that sentiment thing again or is it just hoarding tendencies? 

I'm making some really good progress with the Post Concussion Syndrome thing. While I'm still symptomatic when I leave the house, my tolerance is far greater and once I adjust to a new environment and am not too fatigued I cope well. 

What's really nice is people at school telling me how much better I look and seem. That makes me happy!

This happened as I was in the process
of finishing this post.
At home, I think I function really well (the Cowboy disputes some areas of this)but I'm doing more and more even if I still stuff the online ordering up, mess up recipes I shouldn't and do really weird things with the coffee machine. I even did some gardening over Easter weekend, it felt so good to be out there giving the hydrangea bush a savage haircut.

I really don't have hair
but I did have to 'arrange'
my fringe for months.

Speaking of haircuts, I had one! I desperately needed it because at some point of last year I had cut my own fringe, not pretty and my hair had gotten really long. The hairdresser told me it at been 11 months and 24 days since my last haircut! 

This year I've had day trips and longer trips away to some of my happy places. At the end of January, we went to Rawene which is a four-hour drive. I was desperate to go to my stepfathers birthday party so we did it! I have also been to Mary Thistle's farm - twice, one of which was to celebrate her birthday. So good!

Port Waikato on a wild and windy day.

My little people loved this writing activity,
the title had huge appeal!

The best thing is that I am back at school parttime. Very baby steps to start with. I'm working with children who struggle to write, a bit like me at the moment! I love feeling like a teacher again and working with small people. It is great to sit in the staffroom and have conversations that are not about me!
Some other things I have achieved are reading books, doesn't matter that I can't remember what I have read, I can read without feeling ill. I am drinking again, that sounds bad, what I mean is having a glass of red wine here and there which does not seem to impact on my condition. Bubbles on the other hand... I have ventured into the supermarket and shopping malls but find it is still a pretty nasty experience. 

Beauty out on the driveway
Things I want to do desperately are DRIVE MY CAR! And, read magazines, there is something about glossy paper and the magazine page size that is still really unpleasant to look at. I really want to go into shops and try clothing on instead of buying online and then returning because they look bad on me. I also want to go shopping with the Princess. I want to be able to do needlework, I've tried to hand-stitch a hem and I can't seem to coordinate my eyes and hands to make nice neat stitches. My hem looked like something a toddler had sewn. 

Mindfulness at work
I have started journalling after receiving this beautiful journal for Christmas (thank you again, you!) and really trying to become more mindful by better looking after myself physically and spiritually. 

Just this week I joined an online book club and I'm waiting for my book to arrive from Book Depository. I'm hoping the discussions will help improve my comprehension and communication skills. You can find the book club here if you are interested.

All in all, life is definitely on the up!

Thanks for reading,