Bon voyage, friends

Santorini

I’m not sure exactly where I’ll be when I hit publish on this post but I sure as hell know where I’m going. I’m flying out tonight to Athens and will spend the next five weeks travelling across Greece, Spain, Portugal, France and the UK. As you can imagine, I’m incredibly excited.

For anyone who’s interested my itinerary goes Athens, Santorini, Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Lisbon, London, Paris, London, Dublin then London one last time. I’ve been to London and Paris previously but the rest will all be a new experience.

As usual I won’t be posting while I’m away so you have five weeks to miss me… See you in mid-November!

Have make up, will travel

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Following on from my packing post, here’s a quick look at the make up I’m going to take with me for the five-week trip. Again, I’ve learned from previous experience that I won’t need 14 lipsticks or a dozen eye shadows. Now is not the time to try a new look – you want tried-and-true when you’re travelling.

Similar to my clothing wardrobe I make sure as many of my products can work together as possible. I need a blush that can cope with nude, pink, orange, coral and red and eye make up that can be smudged on with a finger, not three different brushes. I also like to use tinted moisturiser or BB cream with SPF instead of individual foundation, moisturiser and sunscreen – the ultimate space saver.

I’m also going to visit Sephora and City Pharma in Paris, plus probably every Boots and Superdrug I see, so I expect to come home with more make up than I take. Don’t you worry about that.

Aveeno Radiant Tinted Moisturiser / Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Stick / Cover Girl Tru Blend Fixstick Concealer / NARS Multiple in Maldives / Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale / Essence Gel Tint in Deep Red / Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze / L’Oreal Color Infaillible in Bronze Goddess / Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Bountiful Beige / Rimmel Scandaleyes Khol in Taupe / Sephora Contour Eye Pencils in Snakeskin Dress and Cappuccino / Max Factor Colour Expert Liquid Liner in Deep Black / Maybelline Brow Drama in Medium Brown / Bare Minerals Lash Domination Mascara in Black / Manicare Eyelash Curler / NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl / Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in Lucky / L’Oreal Extraordinare Lip Color in Orang Tempo / Revlon Lip Butter in Sorbet / NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita…

All packed

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This trip is a bit of a nightmare to pack for – I’ll start in Athens and Santorini where there’ll be swimming and sun, then five weeks later end in London and Dublin where the only swimming likely to be done is in rainwater puddles. In between I’ll need to cover pretty much everything except snow, and all from the one suitcase.

I’m a fairly good packer and I’ve refined my style over time. I always start with a list which helps to see everything all at once and then work through and remove anything I think will be under-used. One of the best ways I have found to make sure everything goes together and you have a travel wardrobe that can be infinitely mixed and matched is to choose either navy or black and then silver or gold. It means tops, bottoms, shoes, jewellery and other accessories will all work with each other. I don’t want to take an item if it can’t play well with the other kids.

Unfortunately I’ve also had to accept that hand washing and laundromats are just part of the fun. Anything that doesn’t need to be ironed is a bonus. One of my best tips is to take a couple of seamless sports bras to wear if the weather is hotter as they can easily be rinsed and reused, plus normal bras full of sweat are pretty gross. Same goes for underwear – buy seamless underpants (without a cotton gusset) and these can be washed in hotel sinks and dry easily overnight.

Without further adieu, this is my packing list – five weeks through Greece, Spain, Portugal, England, France and Ireland. I think it’s pretty good but I’ll definitely assess when I get home (plus there’s always one thing that sneaks in that you never bloody wear)…

H&M mid blue skinny jeans / Dorothy Perkins washed black skinny jeans / Target black tailored knee length shorts / Target khaki casual shorts / Big W white denim skirt / Saloni print silk dress / Sussan cobalt tunic dress / Witchery black silk mini dress / Etoile Isabel Marant burgundy sweatshirt / Monki grey sweatshirt / Uniqlo navy crewneck cotton cashmere jumper / Sussan white denim motorcycle jacket / ASOS baseball tees in black and white / Sportsgirl black and white striped long sleeve tee / J.Crew neon yellow long sleeved Painter tee / J.Crew cobalt linen flounce sleeve top / Country Road white tunic top with neon orange embroidery / Gap white logo tee / Country Road grey V-neck tee / J.crew fuchsia pink linen tee / J.Crew purple vintage cotton V-neck tee / Country Road cotton backed tanks in black and mint / Country Road white and chambray tank / Big W white tank / J.Crew red strapless swim top and black bottoms / Witchery khaki anorak / Uniqlo black puffer jacket / Uniqlo black spray jacket / New Balance grey 420s / Toms khaki slip ons / ASOS black double bar sandals / Havianas gold t-bar sandals / Havianas black thongs / Zara gold sequin clutch / Portmans straw fedora / Zara navy scarf / Rayban wayfarers / handful of pairs of earrings…

Power orange

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One of the best things about drugstore shopping in the US is the enormous range of cheap cosmetics. So many great brands at cheap prices – it’s almost impossible not to want to grab handfuls of $2 lipsticks and eye shadows and nail polish.

Wet n Wild is a brand that’s almost impossible to access in Australia. I saw these lipsticks at Kmart of all places and the matte orange caught my attention. Unlike here, there are very few testers in the US and I couldn’t just look up swatches on my phone as I normally would. This is called Purty Persimmon and while it is absolutely mega watt bright, it’s a total winner.

Firstly, it is orange. Super orange. Not coral, not melon, not orange-red but mega, total, completely orange. And it’s matt, though it still has a fairly creamy texture and doesn’t tend to ‘set’ too much on the lips. It’s a lipstick for attention and designed to be worn with not a lot of other make up. Shimmery bronze on the eye, black liquid liner, tons of lashes and bronzer works a treat.

ORANGE.

It set me back around $2-3 dollars in Hawaii from memory and as I mentioned, tough to get a hold of here. Even Anna rates it so stick it on your US shopping list.

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Things I bought #110.

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I’m not the sort of person who owns 50 pairs of jeans. I generally only run one, maybe two. However over the past year or so I’ve taken an interest in black denim. My ASOS skinnies were looking a bit worse for wear but I didn’t like any of the replacement options, so I had a look at Dorothy Perkins instead.

I ended up going with the Harper faded black roll up skinnies which come in a huge range of sizes and lengths. I bought the long length, which is perfect for me. The jeans have a lot of stretch and so while my usual size fits perfectly, if I was buying a second pair I’d be tempted to size down. I just worry about their looseness over time when the point of skinny jeans is a closer fit. They are incredibly comfortable though and look really good.

Dorothy Perkins always run great codes and sales so it’s worth signing up for their emails. These are around £26 plus £7 shipping to Australia, so you’ll get away with it for under AUD$60.

Thoughts of the week – 27/9

MCG

1. Very disappointing last weekend to see Port Adelaide lose to Hawthorn. Tough to swallow when you have more scoring shots but still lose. That said, so incredibly proud of the way we came back in the final quarter which was indicative of the never say die attitude we had all year. I can’t wait until next season – the future looks bright at Alberton, that’s for sure.

2. As for today, COME ON SYDNEY!!! Watching as I type this and very very very much hoping that they get up.

3. This year I’m sitting at home alone watching the game. Normally I’d be in the middle of the pack with a beer somewhere – preferably at home in NSW with my family – but because I fly out in three days I’ve respectfully withdrawn. I still have too much to do and to go anywhere today would mean losing a whole 24 hours of drinking and recovering.

4. So…. holiday time! I leave on Tuesday night for five weeks in Greece, Spain, Portugal, France and the UK. Can’t wait though it doesn’t quite seem real that the time has arrived. Just sorting through all my last minute errands now.

5. Holiday time means my three-month work secondment is over. A different experience to what I was expecting – challenging in many ways but I’m glad I did it. We shall see what the future holds.

6. God I am over these Dancing With the Stars ads. Don’t watch the show – never have and not going to.

7. I’ve been searching for a loose fit black tank to take overseas and am having a lot of trouble with it. You’d think it would be relatively easy but I am struggling to find exactly what I want.

8. I had to wait until now to get all my waxing done – about three weeks behind schedule – and it was absolutely killing me. Spray tan on Monday.

9. There’s a J.Crew silk shirt dress I have been waiting to go on sale and of course, now that I’m going away and can’t get a courier delivery, it now significantly marked down.

10. And, once more with feeling, COME ON YOU SWANNIES!!!!

A referral

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I love blog tags because they let me carry on in all sorts of inane ways about myself. And let’s be honest, if you write a blog then you’re probably totally into that sort of thing. I also love reading tag posts because I’m infinitely curious nosy about other people’s lives. It can be a bit like opening their bathroom cabinet, either literally or say, the bathroom cabinet of their mind. (That’s pretty deep.)

The lovely Jessica from The Belle Lumiere nominated me for a Liebster Award and I have to say, I am tres disappointed that it didn’t come with three wishes because then I would have wished for Port Adelaide to be playing the AFL grand final this weekend and for Port Adelaide to win the grand final this weekend. For my third wish I’m tossing up between the world’s best metabolism, the pair of Valentino Rockstuds I can’t find anywhere or world peace.

In any case, it’s always flattering to hear that someone a) reads your blog and b) wants to know what you think. Jess’ blog is one of my favourites, I’m pretty OCD about going through the posts on Blogovin’ in order but for her I will always skip ahead. The award is a kind of blogger pass the parcel where you answer a series of questions, nominate other bloggers and then create your own 10 questions. I don’t necessarily have anyone specific in mind to nominate but some of the blogs I follow and love and would be interested in their responses include Anissa at Beautifully Glossy, Julia at Chic to Do, Suzanne at Don’t They Know Who I Am, Dee at Year of the Tightarse and Dustyn at Zygomatic Fiend. Because Jess also stole some of my friends.

01) If you could ‘borrow’ the wardrobe of a TV character for the day, who would it be and why?

Anyone remember that old-ish show Lipstick Jungle? All the clothes on that are amazing across each of  the characters.

02) What is your favourite TV show at the moment?

I love Hart of Dixie and The Mindy Project – they would be my two favourite TV shows that I cannot bear to miss. I’m also partial to Nashville, Parks and Recreation and Elementary but I find I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV then end up watching a show in bulk from a DVD or other sources. Probably the thing I watch most on TV is actually sport – AFL and rugby in winter, cricket and tennis in summer.

03) If you could have invented any makeup product, which one would it be and why?

I can’t believe lip crayons have really only become a ‘thing’ recently. That would have been a good one to lead the charge on.

04) What is your favourite thing about blogging/vlogging?

I love the actual process of writing, of committing a thought or opinion to a structure of words. I’m not sure I thought when I started my blog I would still be doing it nearly five years later and for it to become such an integral part of my life. Something that really surprised me about blogging and something I’ve really grown to love is the community around it and the fantastic people I’ve had an opportunity to get to know.

05) What is your favourite ‘beach read’ book?

I like YA or chick lit when I’m at the beach and nothing precious I’ll be upset about sticking next to a wet towel or getting sand through. Maggie Alderson, Cecelia Ahern and Sophie Kinsella are all good, otherwise any teen series tends to work a treat.

06) If you could create your own lipstick shade, what would you call it and what shade would it be?

I would do something dual ended with the same shade. I want a really rich cool toned pink/red raspberry shade with a creamy semi-matte version at one end and then a sheer, shiny version at the other. Honestly, I can’t think of a name that doesn’t sound stupid or inappropriate.

07) How many tabs do you have open on your window at the moment?

None, because I’m writing this at work and I’ve just come back from lunch. I hate having lots open though, I run a tight regime.

08) If you could change one element of your blog/channel what would it be?

I would very much like to have it looking better from a design point of view. I use the most basic free WordPress theme so there’s not a lot that’s fancy about it and I often look longingly at other blog designs. So far though I’ve struggled to commit too much to an idea of what I want or start the process of changing it.

09) What is your favourite movie to watch over the summer?

I love just actually going to the movies in summer, sitting in a frosty air conditioned theatre while it’s 40 degrees outside, watching some trashy big budget popcorn movie.

10) What are you most looking forward to, as we head towards the end of 2014?

I fly to Athens in five days so that’s pretty exciting – I have five weeks across Greece, Spain, Portugal, France and the UK, plus an extra week off when I come home. I also think there’s probably quite a few other changes coming my way in life in general (that’s not code for “I’m pregnant”) so it should be a very interesting finish to 2014. And finally, I’m incredibly excited for the 2015 AFL season already #yearofthepower

And here’s my questions…

1.       What’s a book that’s had a big impact on your life?

2.       How did you choose your career or job?

3.       If you had unlimited budget and could buy any piece of clothing, what would it be?

4.       What are your all time top three favourite products – skin care or cosmetics?

5.       What’s the best place you’ve ever travelled to?

6.       What keeps you motivated to blog?

7.       What’s something you are passionate about?

8.       Favourite song of all time?

9.       Who is someone you look up to and why?

10.   What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?