Things I bought #11.

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Travel is usually a great way to make me go shopping. It’s a bit like free money (and free calories) while you’re away and you start throwing your hard earned at things with far less consideration that when you’re at home. At least I do anyway. I knew Bali wasn’t going to be too much of a shopping holiday for me – I’m past the days of buying local items you’ll never wear again – however I did hit up duty free a little harder than I expected. Last year when I was recording my purchases I didn’t include items I picked up on holiday but this year I’m going to in order to add a bit of extra accountability. Also this week’s post covers the last fortnight so it does include a little more than usual.

18 Lovisa earrings $18 - When I was in Greece last year I bought the tiniest pair of crystal stud earrings from H&M and I loved them. They were super small and just added something extra to a casual outfit without being overwhelming. Sadly they were in the console of my car when it was written off and I never got to retrieve them, so the hunt was on for an equally miniscule pair. I found them at Lovisa in a set of three for $10 and while I was there I picked up these rose gold and crystal ear crawlers (above photo). The latter has become a firm favourite already and they look so pretty and cool on. For $8 you just can’t go wrong and they come in silver as well.

19 J.Crew Cyprus Sandals in Neon Flamingo $70 - These sandals had been on my wish list for sometime when all of a sudden they went on sale and J.Crew had a promo to take a further 30 per cent off sale items. Sold. On the website these are a gorgeous coral colour but in real life (photo above) they are a vibrant almost neon orange. I have another J.Crew item in the Neon Flamingo so I knew what to expect, however I do prefer the more muted website shade. Anyway, they are super comfortable and look really smart but they run small so best to size up. I take a 9.5 usually in J.Crew shoes but got a 10 in these and they were initially a little snug before the leather softened. There’s quite a few other colours including metallic and I definitely recommend them if you are on the hunt for new sandals.

20 J.Crew Painter Long Sleeved Tee in White $15 - I have a few of these and they are a good staple. My white ASOS baseball tee is nearly at the end of the road so I thought this would be a good replacement, however it’s a bit sheerer than I was expecting.

21 Havianas in Aqua $30 - Yeah I went to Bali and faced with a wall of Havianas I bought a pair. They are an aqua green shade and I love them.

22 and 23 Zara Cotton T-Shirts in Navy/White Stripe and Khaki Green $13 each - Kuta Zara is pretty well stocked and had a lot of stuff I could have easily walked out with. Instead I stuck to buying just two slouchy cotton tees, one in a gorgeous khaki green and the other a navy and white stripe. They were cheap as chips at only $13 a piece and will be good staples.

24 Sunglasses $10 - And I couldn’t resist sunglasses from the Seminyak street stalls. I’d wanted a pale gold/blue mirror tortoiseshell pair for a while and there they were.

11 What I bought make up

On the make up and skin care front I was doing OK until I got back. I bought the L’Oreal Skin Perfection Gel Cream Wash (yep, yet another cleanser) and the MUD Matte Lip Cream in Fuchsia before I went away and the rest when I got back. The MUD lip is actually really good – I picked it up for only $5 at Woolworths and it makes for a decent cheap version of the Bite matte lip creams. The Avene Cleanance K was enabled by this Into the Gloss post, while the rest were all wildly on sale at Target. The NYX Butter Goss Trio was a particular steal at just $9.80 for the three and all the shades are fantastic.

As previously mentioned I also hit up duty free and I did a small haul at the Bath & Body Works in Kuta. Those purchases deserve their own posts though so I’m going to leave them for another day.

Things I bought #11.

Thoughts of the week – 29/3

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1. I have returned from Bali, relaxed and refreshed. I thought it was an interesting experience and all up I’d say that while I liked it, I didn’t love it. I’ll do a post on my trip separately in the next week.

2. I am almost happy to be back in the colder weather of Melbourne just to escape the rampant humidity and heat. I sweated like Pat Rafter in the fifth set of an Australian Open semi final while I was there.

3. Of course now I’m back the drama of the unpacking and washing everything begins.

4. Ed Sheeran can make nearly any song better. Don’t believe me? Check this out then.

5. My Bloglovin issues seemed to have self resolved at long last. Which is good, because it was highly annoying.

6. Has anyone bought anything from Colour Pop Cosmetics? Temptalia has done a heap of reviews which speak highly of the products and I’m starting to see their stuff on a few other blogs. It’s quite cheap and they ship to Australia so I’d be interested in doing an order at some point.

7. The comments on this blog post make for an incredible read.

8. Kelly Clarkson + John Legend = beautiful.

9. The Elle Australia cover this month with Rebel Wilson is fantastic and the inside interview is a really interesting read.

10. While I was on the plane to Bali I watched most of the first season of Gotham and I have to say, I really liked it. It was really interesting to see the genesis of a lot of well known Batman characters. Also Ben McKenzie has aged really nicely. Like, really nicely.

11. This might sound ridiculous but I get a lot of joy out of washing my car. I have to hold myself back from doing it more than once every couple of weeks.

12. Less than two weeks until footy season and I’m super excited. This will be such a good year for Port Adelaide, I can feel it in my waters.

13. Despite owning iPhones for nearly six years, I’ve only dropped my phone once – on the first day of getting my 3 back in 2009. I opened the box outside Optus and it hit the deck, luckily it didn’t smash. Since I got my 6 last November, I’ve dropped it at least half a dozen times, cracked and chipped the tempered glass protector in several places and totally destroyed the plastic case. I got a new clear rubber case today so hopefully that stops the destruction, I think the rubber/soft cases work a bit better than the hard plastic ones.

14. Cate Blanchett is, quite simply, the best.

15. I’m off to Tasmania on Monday for a few days. Because my Bali trip was so heavily weighted towards my first week off I didn’t just want to sit at home for the second, so I decided to take another trip and am very much looking forward to it.

 

Thoughts of the week – 29/3

What I’m reading next – April 2015

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Here’s a fun fact about me: I’m not much for cooking. I’m a decent enough cook, when I try, but very very very rarely does the idea excite me. I hate the selecting, the shopping, the preparing and the cleaning. When you only need to feed yourself it seems like a lot of effort for very little return so I’d much rather just eat something simple (like BBQ chicken thrown into salad – which I do not classify as cooking, or cereal) or better yet, something else someone has cooked for me. My one signature dish is smashed avocado on toast, which I make every couple of weekends when I’m at work and again, I barely think throwing a chopped avocado and some feta into a bowl qualifies as ‘cooking’.

That said, I do like a good cookbook. I also like a good blog and Sasha Wilkins’ Liberty London Girl has long been one of my favourites. If you don’t already read it and you like fashion, cooking, shopping, dogs or travel then definitely give it a click. Her food posts are always beautifully done and she cooks a lot of fresh, simple, straightforward, comforting food. There’s nothing tricky or trendy about it; no kale or quinoa or paleo whatever. Just good food. It makes me want to eat at her house constantly.

Last year Sasha published her own cookbook called Friends Food Family and despite my aversion to preparing things myself, I ordered a copy. I love it because it’s full of things I reckon I could make fairly easily and it’s packed with little tips and tricks, like what flowers to use at a dinner party and great places to eat around the world. The book is beautifully done and I’m very much looking forward to reading through it… and hopefully getting some kitchen inspiration. I think it’s a great book to have if you wanted to make dinner for (quite aptly) friends and family. I’ve not seen it in Australian bookstores but I ordered a copy from the Book Depository for around $30.

In other reading news, I took five books to Bali with me and didn’t finish a single one. A caveat though: I am over halfway through Diana Galbadon’s Outlander which is a fair brick of a book. I’m enjoying it but it is dragging a bit and there’s still a long way to go. The story revolves around Claire, a WWII nurse in England who goes on a holiday to Scotland with her husband Frank at the end of the war. While there she enters a circle of standing stones and manages to find herself back in 1743 and adventures ensue. It’s been made into a TV series so being able to watch that is my primary reason for trying to get through the book. It’s the first in a series but at this point I don’t think I’d read any of the rest.

I also read a YA book this month called The DUFF by Kody Kleplinger. This has also been filmed and the movie is going to be coming out shortly, however the story seems to vary between the two. DUFF stands for ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ and refers to the girl in every group who makes the others look better by comparison. In the movie, the DUFF undergoes a kind of She’s All That style transformation at the hands of the handsomest guy in school. The book is more about how the DUFF, Bianca, and the guy, Wesley, find themselves drawn together and how they use each other to distract themselves from problems in their lives. I really liked the book and got through it in about four hours. Needless to say I am also very much looking forward to the movie because if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s a good teen movie.

 

What I’m reading next – April 2015

Travel make up bag – Bali

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While I think there is definitely an art to packing your wardrobe when you travel, the same is equally true of your cosmetic wardrobe. I’ve definitely been that girl on a trip who packed 10 lipsticks but forgot my hair brush. Sure, part of the fun when you travel is finding and buying new things however there isn’t always time and/or opportunity. Lists have become my saviour over the years along with being pretty ruthless when it comes to culling unnecessary items. Here’s what I’m taking to Bali for a five night trip…

  • Erborian CC Crème HD – this doubles as my sunscreen and has a really nice sheer look that’s perfect for travel
  • Revlon Skinlights Highlighter in Bronze
  • Cover Girl Fixstick concealer
  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape
  • Smashbox Tokidoki Skin Tint in Bella – the best bright pink coral blush
  • Benefit Watts Up Highlighter (sample size)
  • Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Bountiful Beige
  • Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Golden Quartz
  • Collection 2000 Eye Shadow Pencil in Hot Chocolate
  • Maybelline Master Kajal Khol Liner in Black
  • Sephora Contour Eye Pencils in Surfer Girl, Snakeskin Dress and Cookie Crunch – my favourite eyeliners of all time
  • L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Medium/Dark
  • L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes So Couture Mascara – I’ve been using this for about a week and so far I adore it
  • Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Sorbet
  • Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick in Lucky
  • Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Sugarbomb

I think this will see me through fairly well and I’m not anticipating that I’ll be buying much (if any) make up over there. A bit eye shadow/liner heavy but then I just couldn’t say no to my favourites… And who knows when they might come in handy?

Travel make up bag – Bali

A little Chanel problem

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I believe “horrified” was the word I used. After laying down my 18 bottles of Chanel nail polish I realised I was looking at around AUD$720 worth of product. Of course, I haven’t actually paid that much; most were bought duty free of as gifts. But still, that’s a lot of polish.

There’s something about Chanel nail polish that feels like such an incredible luxury. Those bottles are gorgeous and looking at them lined up gives me a small burst of happiness. I still remember buying my first, Tulipe Noir, in 2007 at Kuala Lumpur airport and bringing it home and displaying it on my bathroom shelf. “Look at me, I’m so chic with my Chanel” I wanted it to say. I was so proud of it and how grown up it made me feel.

Of course it’s been a slippery slope since then (I do have 18 bottles of the stuff) but what that first purchase did was kick off a little tradition. On nearly every trip overseas I’ve bought a bottle at duty free to mark my holiday. Tulipe Noir for the UK and Paris in 2007, Vendetta for Taiwan in 2009, Holiday and Vertigo for Japan in 2012, Pirate for Thailand in 2012, Tentation for New Zealand in 2013, Mysterious for Italy and the UK in 2013, Charivari for Hawaii in 2014 and Tapage for Europe in 2014. Only in the US in 2011 did I miss out due to the shocking state of LAX which meant no Chanel on offer.

The others have snuck in a variety of ways – Intermezzo, Trapeze and Forbidden were all bought for me by my brothers under duress on trips of their own, Peridot was bought with the proceeds of a particularly large chunk of overtime, Taboo was from a David Jones gift voucher I got for Christmas. The moment I saw Azure I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. Black Pearl, Graphite and Frisson were all pretty much just because.

Now, choosing my Chanel nail polish has become one of my favourite parts of my trip. I love coming home and putting it on months down the track, then getting those happy memories of time well spent elsewhere. And that’s something the $720 doesn’t even begin to factor in.

A little Chanel problem

Travel wardrobe – Bali

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One of the things I pride myself on is that I’ve become a good packer over the years. I still get it wrong from time to time and have been guilty of overpacking as much as the next girl, however I’ve realised that there is an art to it and a bit of structure makes everything easier.

I like to start by writing down all the days I’m going to be away and then compiling the outfits I want to wear for each day. Often you’ll need something to wear through the day then a change of clothes for night so you can go out for dinner etc. I decide if I’m doing navy or black as a base colour (honestly, this makes things so much simpler) and that way I can ensure all my pieces will work together. If an item doesn’t play nice with all your other pieces then it’s just not worth taking. You need everything to be versatile.

It’s also important to take into account the weather where you are going. I’ve learned on previous trips to Asia that sports bras are best because you can easily rinse the sweat from them and wash them each night. Blunt but true. Also there’s not going to be a lot of point taking jeans and jackets because I just won’t need them, and the same goes for a multitude of shoes – Havianas will do nicely. Because this is just a short trip I don’t need to worry about washing my clothes while I’m away but on longer trips it’s definitely something to consider along with the need to iron your clothes after washing.

For this trip I’m going to take the following:

  • Black shorts (Target)
  • Denim shorts (H&M)
  • Blue print pants (Rockmans)
  • White t-shirt (Country Road)
  • Black sleeveless top (Country Road)
  • Grey t-shirt (Country Road)
  • Black and white striped tank (Sportsgirl)
  • White tunic top with neon embroidery (Country Road)
  • Black casual dress (Gap)
  • Black silk dress (Witchery)
  • Cobalt blue tunic dress (Sussan)
  • Print silk dress (Saloni)
  • Grey sweatshirt (Monki)
  • Swimmers (J.Crew)
  • Beach tunic (Country Road)
  • Pyjamas (do not forget this!)
  • Black Havianas
  • Khaki Toms
  • Gold sandals (Witchery)
  • Gold clutch (Zara)
  • Beach clutch (Gypsea)
  • Various pieces of jewellery, mostly earrings
  • Straw hat (Portmans)
  • Sunglasses (Rayban Wayfarers)

The five tops I’m bringing along all go with each of the bottoms with the one exception of the County Road tunic top which won’t work with the print pants. Thongs for day, sandals for night and Toms for closed toe shoe occasions. The sweatshirt is purely for the plane. I’ll be taking a suitcase, however I’ll also have my Longchamp black leather tote with me as well as my khaki Le Pliage as my carry on bag.

Even though that’s a pretty well edited list, I’m sure when I come back there will be pieces that didn’t get a lot of love. I always like to note those so it helps me refine what I need to take next time. I also think it’s important to take spares – one extra top and a couple of extra pairs of underpants because you never know when they’ll be needed. You can definitely underpack and there’s nothing worse than spilling something on your shirt on the first day and suddenly you’ve got a Coca Cola stained top that’s pretty much unwearable for the rest of your trip. Contingencies, people.

Once my list is made I ensure everything I want is washed and dried and then I like to get it in my suitcase a couple of days beforehand. After that I pack my toiletries and once that’s done, all there is to do is grab my passport and go.

Travel wardrobe – Bali