Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015

This morning I woke up and realized that it was a last day of 2015. I will probably have a quiet but enjoyable celebration of coming 2016 New Year with my husband.




I read my post from last year and it inspired me to reflect on 2015. It seems like I have achieved most of my aspirations from last year. Traveling was probably the highlight of this year.

Locally I traveled to...

Melbourne

Sydney


Byron Bay, Lennox Head and Ballina



Stanthorpe



Internationally I went to...

Austria




Home (Ukraine)





New Zealand




There was some new experiences...like music festival (I went to the Future in March and had so much fun)


...and wine tour in New Zealand (Central Otago)


...and embraced a new hobby of growing orchids



Financially I seems to be better off too. All but one credit card have been paid off and cancelled. My remaining credit card has very low limit and gets paid off in full each month. I use it for travel etc. but I have been using my saving account for majority of my purchases. I also re-financed my mortgage and that took a lot of pressure off. The minimum repayments are well below the current rent rates in the area but I want to pay it off as much as possible to give myself even more financial freedom.

At work I had lots of eventful moments but gained from it a lot as well as having a chance to meet lots of wonderful and challenging people. I negotiated to have Wednesdays off and it made a very nice difference to my work-life balance.

I would like to carry on with my previous aspirations:
  • Practice positive self-talk and be aware of negative thoughts, unjustified assumptions and conclusions. Appreciate what you have and work on aspects you wish to change.
  • Get rid of things you don't need or like.
  • Limit contact with people who bring you down or waste your time. Spend that time instead on quality friends, me-time and family.
  • Continue eating healthy and exercising regularly, aim to make 80% of the meals.
  • Explore! Visit new countries, cities or be a tourist in your own back yard.
  • Keep my unit looking nice - get rid of clutter, keep it clean and replace old and ugly bit.
  • Appreciate what you have :) 
plus add one more thing... drink less alcohol!







Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day 2015

I spent three days at home lounging around, watching TV and taking naps. It was wonderful but I started to get a cabin fever so today I decided to get out and check out the shops.

Shopping on Boxing day in suburban shopping centers scarred me for a while with standstill car parks, people everywhere, screaming kids and mostly useless leftover stock on offer. So I figured Brisbane CBD was my best bet. I found car park on the street straight away only short 5 minute walk from the center. Queen street mall was still packed with crowds and I saw few shops letting only limited numbers of people at a time (Windsor Smith and Hype).

I went to Zara, David Jones and Myer (only one level as I couldn't handle going up the escalators), L'Occitane and Topshop. I didn't bother with the change rooms as the line ups were huge and I though it would be easier to return something instead (like the cute yellow dress I picked up from Topshop but it just doesn't suit me).

Anyways I ended up with...



1. Guerlain L'Homme Ideal Cologne set $58 reduced from $84 from David Jones
It is not the first male fragrance I am more than eager to wear myself. I told my other half that I got it for him but I plan to use it myself (hehehe). It is the most perfect and fresh blend of sweet citrus, almonds and musk with slight earthiness from vetiver.

2. L'Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier L'Eau $35 reduced from $70 from L'Occitane
This must be my favorite version of their Cherry Blossom fragrance. I tested it couple of months ago at L'Occitane outlet at Harbourtown but decided to walk away as I've already spent too much money that day. However I wanted it badly. I went to the L'Occitane boutique with the sole purpose of hunting it down and there it was at 50% off. It has fruity but well balanced opening featuring watermelon and currants minus the headache-inducing nuance of a lot of modern fruity fragrances. Then it mellows to soft floral base. I love the fact that L'Occitane uses high-quality natural ingredients in their perfumes.

3. Illamasqua Nail Polish in Prismatic $8.50 reduced from $24 from Myer
I love every single Illamasqua nail polish I've collected in the last couple of years. They have good coverage, drying time and staying power. Not to mention gorgeous and unique colours. Prismatic is a soft blue shade with lots of pink and purple particles that change to gold in certain lights.


 It reminds me of an afternoon sky when you start getting all these pretty colours on a blue background.

4. Guerlain Meteorites in Palm Springs (Rainbow Pearls) $49 reduced from $70 from David Jones
I finally got "the ballz"! I've heard a lot about them but never got around to getting them as I used to use more matte and fuller coverage powders. However in the recent few months my skin improved a lot and I have been wearing lighter and sheer formulas more. I tested them first and walked away as I wanted to do a bit more research. Few times the light caught the back of my hand where I tested them and it was illuminated with very pretty shimmer. I was mesmerized. While waiting for my lunch I've also learned that this particular edition came on very pretty and solid metal container as opposed to their paper packaging.


On top of everything they were sold for quite a bit online and David Jones price was very reasonable. I grabbed my lunch and went back to DJ, half of them were gone within an hour.

My pretties <3

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Parcel from Marie Claire - Summer 2015 edition

I was expecting my parcel to arrive in the mail any day now and it finally got here. First thing I've noticed is the wide variety of products included. It made me very happy as it is the whole point of me subscribing to this service.


1. Lonvitalite masks Coconut Milk and Red Wine (value $16)
They are pre-moistened cloth face masks that are supposed to be worn for 20 minutes. I hope they smell nice.

2. Michael Kors Gold edition perfime sample - Rose Radiant Gold 1.5 ml (value $3.30)
I usually don't have a very good luck with MK perfumes but this one is quite nice. It opens up with lush white florals with pink pepper in the background. It is not terribly unique but I will wear it.

3. Sally Hansen nail polish in Right Said Red 14.7 ml (value $14.95)
Classic bright creme red. Too bad I already have similar nail polishes like OPI Vodka and Caviar.

4. Maybelline Colour Elixir in Fuchsia Flourish 5ml (value $17.95)
It looked very bright in the tube and I instantly wished I got the more subtle pink shade instead. However it turned out to be very sheer and looked quite flattering on my lips. It also feels very moisturizing and has the most gorgeous neroli-strawberry scent. 

5. Maybelline The Colosal Pumped Up Volum' Express mascara 10 ml (value $19.95)
I forgot the last time I had to buy a tube of mascara as these boxes seem to provide me with sufficient and constant supply. I am always happy to try volumising mascaras and I am very happy that it doesn't have that plastic or silicone brush that a lot of other mascaras seem to have these days.

6. Trilogy Make-up Be Gone cleansing balm 10 ml (value $4.60)
I haven't tried cleansing balms yet so this product is of great interest to me. It has the most pleasant powdery floral scent and comes as a solid balm that melts when in contact with skin.

7. Swisse Deep Sea hydrating mist toner 15 ml (value $1.20)
Conveniently packed in small plastic spray bottle and has the most lush rosewater scent. It is definitely coming with me on my next flight. If I like using it I will get a big 125 ml bottle of this stuff which retails for just $9.95.

8. OGX Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner 60 ml each (value $5.60)
Perfect size for my next trip.

9. Elizabeth Arden Superstar Skin Renewal Booster 5 ml (value $14)
I thought it was supposed to be a serum but this product is meant to be used before serum. I don't like overly complicated skincare routines but will try using it under my moisturiser.

10. Paula's Choice Vitamin C spot treatment 5 ml (value $23)
I wanted to try Vitamin C product for my neck lines for ages. I had them all my life but as I got older they became more obvious. I've read that Vitamin C is supposed to improve the appearance of those lines so I am very keen to try this product.

11. Zoeva eye shadow brush (value $17)
This is supposed to be a high-quality German brushes. The one I got is nice and soft oval eyeshadow brush and will be perfect for all-over application.

The total value of this box is just over $135 which makes it the best value box I have received so far. I am happy with everything I got this season and will probably give away only face masks as I have other ones I like using.