Before I start this post… Happy New Year! We have made it to 2014 and I hope we all have another enjoyable, safe and loving year full of adventures and memories.
So back on track, every other year my family and I always travelled overseas and attempted to dodge all the Boxing Day and Christmas specials. I can’t even recall the last time we went shopping during this time. This year was the first time we went shopping with everyone on Boxing Day and I admit, I do not miss it. However, here is a list of beauty and skincare products I managed to purchase:
I also bought these 3 products for my mother.
Keep an eye out for product reviews but I can tell you now that it won’t be out for ages.
Have a lovely weekend and let me know of any products you would recommend.
I’ve been loving the idea of Product Empties YouTube videos like this one, this one and this one. So I thought I might share some of my recently used up products with you and what I thought of them.
- Aveeno Stress Relief Body Wash (354mL)
Price I bought it at: $9.99 at Terry White Chemist
Duration: 2 months using it every day
Thoughts: I have very sensitive skin. As a kid I had eczema and I have intolerable reactions to any type of soap or body wash. For this reason I’ve always used Dermaveen, however, since Dermaveen doesn’t foam up as much as I’d like, I always think that it doesn’t wash my body well enough. Also because I’m a sucker for nice smelling things so I wanted to try something new – thus this product! I’ve always used Aveeno moisturizers so I thought I’d give their other products a go. I ended up loving this product but it is still on the price-y side for me. It foams up nicely and it smells amazing!
Where to buy: Chemist Warehouse ($8.39), Priceline ($9.99), Woolworths ($10.74), Coles ($10.84)
- Colgate Optic White (110g)
Price I bought it at: $6.00 at Coles
Duration: 3 months using twice a day
Thoughts: I really think that it does work! I think this is a cheaper alternative than going to the dentist and bleaching your teeth (if you’re not waiting for an “immediate” change) or those whitening strips. It contains 1% hydrogen peroxide so you get a tingling sensation on the inside of your mouth – this is an acquired sensation.
Where to buy: Coles ($8.67), Woolworths ($8.59), Terry White Chemist($6.69), Chemist Warehouse ($5.99), Amcal Chemist ($8.99)
- Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo Nutri-Repair 3 (700mL)
Price I bought it at: $5.97 at Coles
Duration: 3 months using it 2-3 times a week
Thoughts: To be honest, there isn’t much for me to say with supermarket shampoos. I find they all do around the same thing i.e. cleanses my hair thoroughly (except for Palmolive). My deciding factors for choosing the shampoo is A) smell and B) price. So I like the smell and it was at a good price – win, win!
Where to buy: Coles ($12.97), Woolworths ($12.90)
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (125mL)
Price I bought it at: I bought this in bulk when I was in Hong Kong for approximately $50 each.
Duration: 8 months using it twice a day
Thoughts: I love love LOVE this product! I started using this product at the end of 2010 as my cousin introduced it to me and I haven’t looked back since. Every time I return to Hong Kong I buy this product in bulk (i.e. 4 x 125mL). I haven’t tried Kiehl’s other products but they are surely on my lists of to-do’s – maybe my next trip to Hong Kong or when I earn a bit more money.
Where to buy: Myer ($64.00), David Jones ($64.00)
- Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque (250mL)
Price I brought it at: $39.95 at Hairhouse Warehouse
Duration: 8 months using it once a week
Thoughts: Along side of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, this is another one of my holy grail products. Although it is a bit pricey, it surely is worth the hype. I’m sure my hair growth is multi-factorial but I believe I owe it to this product and lots of green veg. Not only does this product smell amazing, my hair feels so soft and tamed straight after I hop out of the shower.
Where to buy: Hairhouse Warehouse ($39.95), Price Attack ($39.95), Woolworths ($34.40)
- St Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub (170mL)
Price I bought it at: $8.20 at Coles
Duration: 8 months using it 2-3 times a week
Thoughts: I’ve tried many scrubs (Clearasil and Neutrogena) but nothing matches St Ives Apricot Scrub. My skin feels refreshed and so clean after using this product.
Where to buy*: Coles ($10.29), Priceline ($9.99), Woolworths ($10.19)
* They do not make 170mL any more, only 150mL.
- Natio Spa Ultra Hydrating Body Crème (210mL)
Price I bought it at: $14.95 at Terry White Chemist
Duration: 1 month using it everyday
Thoughts: This product absorbed really well without leaving a layer over my skin. It is very rehydrating and smells amazing. I would definitely repurchase this product if it was cheaper or I had more money.
Where to buy: Terry White Chemist ($14.95), Amcal Chemist ($11.95)
- Lacura Caring Cleansing Wipes (30pk)
Price I bought it at: $1.99 at Aldi
Duration: 4 months using it twice a week
Thoughts: Besides Neutrogena wipes I haven’t tried any others and I find that they do around about the same thing. It helps me remove my make up readily (even mascara) – so no complaints here.
Where to buy: Aldi ($1.99)
The other day S brought me to Commune Café before we hiked along the shoreline from Miami/Burleigh Heads to Palm Beach.
The atmosphere was so cosy and everyone was so friendly. S and I ordered and (as per usual) shared Eggs Benedict ($17) and the Seared Salmon Special ($17). Also I ordered the mango smoothie ($5.20) and S ordered the special green smoothie ($5.20).
The food and drinks were amazing! Both the meals were more than enough and we both has great difficulty finishing it as well as the drinks. The Seared Salmon Special was delicious. I loved the texture the tortilla chips brought to the light Greek salad and the refreshing sensation of the peppermint leaves. However, S believed that they went a little heavy with the peppermint.
As for the Eggs Benedict, using my ideal Eggs Benedict criteria from Spendelove, I would conclude that this is by far one of the best places for Eggs Benedict.
- More than enough and very tasty (PS: this is not a complaint)
- Eggs were very runny
- Dry : Wet ratio was unbelievable. I’ve never been to a place where there was more eggs, smoked salmon and sauce than there was bread – so that was a surprise.
Finally this gave us more than enough energy for the hike up to this amazing view towards Coolangatta and beyond.
Keepsake is Australia’s go-to label for directional and beautiful evening wear with a twist. Contemporary and bold lines and silhouettes intertwine with elegant and classic fabrics and colours – Keepsake draws attention for its unashamedly feminine aesthetic and playful details. The Keepsake girl is not afraid to dress up for an occasion and become the visual focus of the event she’s at; she’s the perfect balance of delicate femininity and strong convictions for a modern world. She is very aware of trends but uses them in a way that suits her own, unique style. ~ Keepsake
Keepsake aims to create a balance between detail and simplicity, by also making it affordable for the everyday business woman ($100-$200). They produce a small collection every month with a different theme which flows with the current style and trend.
I love their designs but, unfortunately, it’s still not within my budget. Thoughts on these clean and universal designs?
S introduced me to this cosy alleyway café in Brisbane CBD so we dropped in one day for lunch. The staff there are so lovely and this place reminded me a lot like Java Coast Café. This place is renowned for their coffees, unfortunately, that day S and I both were not feeling like coffee.
Instead, we ordered and shared:
- Trio of dips served with toasted ciabatta ($12)
- Morcilla pintox with white anchovies, mozzarella and watercress ($12)
- Torn lamb shoulder with hommus, almonds, coriander & lime ($18)
I would say that the food here was “average”. I found that the lamb shoulder was rather dry – it needed more sauce. The trio of dips were typical but not “wow”. The dish I liked most was the morcilla pintox. According to S they change their menu seasonally which I found was a nice touch. At the end of the day, I don’t think I will return for a meal but I might return for coffee.
Every week I check out these other amazing people and their blogs/vlogs. They range from recipes to café to fashion to DIY to beauty to random life things. Let’s begin!
- delicioux - This blog is created by a Brisbane-based blogger who enjoys travelling and food. She shares her dining out adventures which often features her husband and her adorable son.
- Christine’s Recipes - Christine is a Chinese-based-in-Australia home cook. She shares her love of culinary arts through her blog with straightforward directions and stunning pictures. She shares recipes from a variety of cuisines especially Caucasian and Chinese. I love her site because her recipes use ingredients found in Australia making shopping so much easier.
- Michelle Phan - If you haven’t heard of her, I am shocked. This chick is such an inspiration in the beauty community. She is lovely, admirable and completely deserving of what she has achieved to this day. I love watching Michelle’s videos because of her soothing voice (which is also the reason I like watching Jenn’s youtube videos).
Fashion and DIY:
- A Pair & A Spare - Geneva Vanderzeil is an Australian-based-in-Hong-Kong DIY fashion and home project extraordinaire. She takes inspiration from everywhere and creates simple, refined and stunning pieces of work. Her photography is minimalistic and straightforward. I actually don’t remember how I came across Geneva’s blog but I still remember it on blogspot.com.
- Shine By Three (Tumblr) – Margaret Zhang is an Australian-born-Chinese fashion blogger. Due to her physique, Margaret has the ability to pull of any piece of clothing (non-form-fitting to form-fitting). She can model high end fashion pieces to vintage pieces. I love her way of writing on her blog and her photography and design of her flat-lays on tumblr.
- Clothes Encounters – Jenn Im is the owner of Clothes Encounters. She and her best friend (Sarah) used co-own Clothes Encounters but after they had to move to different states, the blog now is run solely by Jenn. I love her video editing skills and her soothing voice. I may not be able to pull of some of her outfits but I don’t care she has such a lovely voice.
Vlogs & Others:
- Bubsvlogz: Lindy (aka Bubs) is Irish-born-Chinese-based-in-Hong-Kong beauty, fashion, inspirational, motivational, amazing role model who lives with her husband (Tim) and her 2 gorgeous dogs (Chubbi and Domo). These family members regularly appear in her vlogs. Lindy has so much experience and life lessons which was why I was drawn to her in the first place. Her accent took a while to get use to but it was so worth it.
- Claire Marshall - Claire Marshall is a make-up artist who makes videos of DIY, beauty, fashion and just life. I am came across her by checking out her Tattoos videos. Due to the way I was brought up, I have always associated tattoos with gangs etc and just the negative stigma society has put on “tattoos and piercings”. Claire helped me understand that I have such a narrow-mind and there are so many reasons why people get tattoos which isn’t gang-related.
- Paper Lovestory – Angela Leung is a British-born-Chinese blogger. She reviews stationery and filofaxs and shows her readers how she utilises it in life and in university. She also started a movement on the internet called “My Week“.
Let me know if you checked out any of these blogs.
Every Thursday is O’s religious vegetarian day which isn’t the typical vegetarian. Not only does she not meat, she doesn’t eat onion or any spices commonly associated with marinating meat, cheese or eggs. So it happens that every Thursday for the past few months S, O and I finish class at 11:30am so we decided to utilise this time to check out some cafés. We had to limit ourselves to vegan places that don’t use onion. G (another friend) is a former vegan due to health reasons. When she came down earlier this year we checked out The Cardamom Pod which served delicious food but since it was in Broadbeach a) we couldn’t be bothered travelling that far and b) we wanted to try something new. We came across Giri Kana Café when S and I went to Yuzu Lounge earlier in the year and we’ve been meaning to check it out so this was the perfect opportunity. It was an amazing place which served a delicious menu since we went back there a week later.
The first time we went there we wanted to try EVERYTHING! We ordered an abundant combination plate ($19) which allowed up to pick 5 choices from the mains and the salads, and we were given a free small Mango (or Rose) Lassi which O had. S ordered the Padmasana smoothie (carrot, apple, beetroot, celery, ginger) ($7) and I ordered the Tulasana smoothie (orange, banana, mango, passionfruit) ($7). For the combination plate we chose:
- Sesame Tofu Salad
- Basil Pesto Salad
- Creamy Potato Bake
- Koftas (with sauce)
- Roasted vegetables
The second time O and I ordered the small combination plate ($10) which allowed us to pick 2 choices. Both O and I loved the Sesame Tofu Salad and the Koftas (with sauce), so that’s what we ordered. S ordered the Kofta Pocket ($9). As for dessert S and I shared the Carrot Cranberry Button Cake ($4.50) and the Lemon Macademia Button Cake ($4.50).
There isn’t much I can say about this place it is absolutely delicious. I love, love, LOVE their koftas and sesame tofu salad to no end. I will definitely definitely go back there. Oh and the staff, they were so lovely.