March Favourites

I have now been sharing my favourite things each month for a year! I love that! Here are five of my favourite things  from the month of March.

Scarf

scarf

The weather is slowly getting cooler and for me that means bringing out some of my favourite layers. One of them being this circle scarf. I’ve had it for a few years and I add it to most outfits. The colour is this purple/maroon shade, and it’s quite light. So I don’t get too hot with it on if the weather isn’t that cold yet. It’s just a nice addition, and I’m glad I’ve been able to start using it this month!

Wedding Guestbook

guestbook

This month had two big anniversaries for me. My blog, and more importantly, my marriage with Rory! I still can’t believe it’s been a year since the wedding. So much has happened since then! I got really nostalgic and going through our polaroid guestbook is always a highlight. So much love and joy from friends and family are always waiting for us in that book. I love it! Plus, it also looks beautiful!

Boudoir Photos 

usb

I mean yes, there’s also the album of boudoir photos which I love, but I have a fondness for the USB. This is what gives me access to share and save all my photos from the shoot. I’ve talked about them a lot this month, but it was seriously such a huge highlight! Also, the USB stick itself is quite snazzy!

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

simon book

I’ve been a bit lacklustre with my reading lately, but this book was so much fun! I read it in a few days. It was fun, refreshing (compared to other books I’d read recently), sweet and a little tender. Becky’s writing style was so easy to read, which for me, is very important in the whole YA/contemporary genre. I had seen the trailer for Love, Simon and it intrigued me. Once I realized it was based on a book, I had to give it a go, and I’m so glad I did!

Too Faced Hangover Primer Mini

too faced primer

I mentioned that my last primer has run out, so I needed a new one. On a whim, I bought this as I’d heard lots of good things. I’ve only been using it for a week, but it’s already made it on the favourites list. It makes my face feel refreshed as well as smooth. I haven’t really noticed if it’s better for keeping my makeup on, as I also use a setting spray I love, but I’m gonna say it does. It also has this coconut scent, which I’ve really been into lately. I’m very happy to have this in my makeup collection!

mar faves

I also like to include some of my favourite blog posts from the past month:

What’s been some of your favourites this month?

Angela.

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March Photos

As always, here are my favourite photos from the past month!

Food

  • My celebratory cupcake for reaching my first blogiversary!
  • I baked some creepy looking Red Blood Cell Cupcakes
  • A delicious Oreo donut
  • My recent baking post for Chocolate Peppermint!

Selfies

  • The first two are my favourite photos from the outfits I recreated from Pinterest.
  • Next is one of the only makeup selfies I took this month, where I tried to recreate my wedding makeup.
  • The next three aren’t photos I’ve taken, but I’ve included them as they are photos of me. More specifically, from my amazing boudoir shoot!
  • The last one is the latest selfie I have taken with Rory. We hadn’t taken any in a while, so I wanted one!

DIY

  • I did two DIY posts this month. The mason jar wall hanging, and marbled jars.

Miscellaneous

  • Two of my favourite flatlays I’ve created recently
  • I’m always a sucker for a sunset!

Those are my favourite photos for the month! What have been some of your favourite photos?

Angela.

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February & March Empties

Another round of empties! I find that I can normally collect a decent bunch of empties (trash) to make into a post if I do them every two months.

feb mar empties

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes

I use these up each empties too, normally a few. Since this one, I’ve bought the water version and I think it’s better. I definitely don’t go through them as fast. However, this is still definitely my go-to for makeup removal needs.

Do I recommend? Yes

Would I repurchase? At the moment I’ve switched to the water version, but I would probably get the wipes again some day.

Garnier Hydra Bomb Tissue Mask

I still have a love/hate relationship with sheet masks. This one wasn’t bad though. I sometimes have issues where there’s product dripping off the mask, but this one didn’t do that. It didn’t make my face feel weird or tingly and just felt refreshing. The masks are always too big for my tiny head though.

Do I recommend? If you’re into face masks, go for it.

Would I repurchase? Nah, I just like trying different masks.

Too Faced Born This Way Mini Concealer

I didn’t use this that often, but I didn’t mind it. I had heard a lot of praise for it, but I think the shade I had was a bit too light. It didn’t blend too well if I used heaps, especially in the summer months as I got tanner. I used a little at a time though, and it was okay.

Do I recommend? Yes.

Would I repurchase? Probably not. I prefer my Tarte concealer at the moment.

Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation

I have made my thoughts on this very clear. I love this foundation and it’s my go-to/holy grail, and I use it all the time. Which means I use it up fairly quickly. It takes me around two and a half months to finish up a jar. That seems to be typical, as when I looked at their site, you can set up a thing where it automatically sends you one every two months.

Do I recommend? Yes!

Would I repurchase? I already have!

NYX Studio Photo-Loving Primer

After my Rimmel Primer I wanted to try something new. I’ve been using this one and while I do like it more, I’m still keen to try other ones. This one definitely made my face feel ‘smooth’. I had a translucent one, so I don’t know if the other color-correcting ones work, but this one was pretty good.

Do I recommend? It’s worth a try at least.

Would I repurchase? I may try the other variations, but otherwise I wouldn’t.

Lush Sex Bomb Bath Bomb

One thing I am looking forward to with these colder season is I have the excuse to buy more bath bombs. I tried this one on a warm summer evening in hot water, and ended up making the bathroom a sauna. I didn’t actually mind it, but I wouldn’t do it again in a hurry. The bath bomb itself was quite fun. It fizzled and made the water a nice purple/pink colour, and smelt a bit citrusy and floral at the same time. Overall though, it wasn’t too memorable.

Do I recommend? It’s worth a try.

Would I repurchase? I’ve been more impressed with some of the other bath bombs, so no.

Redken High-Rise Volumizing Conditioner

You know what’s funny? I finished the shampoo companion to this over 6 months ago. Why is it impossible to finish conditioner but shampoos go so fast? Anyway, this one was nice, but it wasn’t anything too impressive. I’m keen to try others.

Do I recommend? Nah.

Would I repurchase? Nah.

Have you emptied any products lately?

Angela.

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Let’s Bake! (Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes Edition)

One of our cupcake flavours during the wedding was Choc Peppermint. As my last wedding anniversary celebration post, I wanted to try recreate one of our desserts! I settled on Chocolate Peppermint.

I found the recipe online here. It makes 18 cupcakes.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint essence
  • 100g baking chocolate
  • Frosting
  • Green food colouring
  • Dark chocolate for decoration

choc mint 01

In one bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

choc mint 02

In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and mix each time.

choc mint 03

Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix some more. Add in the mint essence and melted chocolate.

choc mint 04

Spoon the mixture into the tins. Bake it for around 25 minutes at 160 C.

choc mint 05

They rose up a lot in the oven. But because of that, they sank a lot in the middle. I’m not sure what I could do to stop that. It was a bit tricky to work with.

Once they were cooled down, I made the frosting and added a drop of green colouring to change the colour. I piped it on, and added a piece of dark chocolate on top for decoration. It came out pretty good!

choc mint 06

I think I should have added a few more drops to the frosting to make it more greener. It comes off yellow in the pictures which is funny. It was a very light green in real life, I swear!

choc mint 07

I had fun taking some photos and then I dove in and ate one. It was quite sweet, and I think I prefer the other chocolate cupcake recipe I made a few months ago. I always love giving a new recipe a try though!

choc mint 08

What cupcake flavour do you like?

Angela.

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Wedding Anniversary Celebration

It’s still crazy to think that we’ve been married for a year!!

Here’s how we celebrated our anniversary. We originally planned to go up to Taupo but I didn’t have enough leave for Taupo and Japan, so we decided to cancel the trip for now. We pretty much had a chill day together.

In the morning we visited the Neko Ngeru Cat Cafe again. It’s becoming a favourite hang out. They had a new cat there called Jake, he was 6 months old and so playful! There was also another cat called Eva, who was magnetised to anyone who had food. Like Rory. She kept cuddling him while at the same time trying to steal a bite of his pie!

I managed to capture a video of two of the older resident cats having a play fight which was fascinating to me. I’ve never owned any felines, so it was interesting watching them wrestle each other. Then they would stop and have a cuddle.

Sarah was with us, and afterwards, we all had lunch together at a nearby cafe. It was a really good catch up! Once back home, we decided to give each other our gifts. The traditional gift for your first anniversary is paper.

As you know, one of my gifts to Rory was my boudoir album (which was well-received), but I also wanted to get an extra something. I got him a concept art book on one of the Magic the Gathering collections. It’s been a long-time hobby of his, and I’ll be honest, I like the art on all the cards too!

rorys gifts

Rory got me three things, which I was low-key offended by as I thought we agreed on two and he went and one-upped me. But the gifts were all amazing so I’ll forgive him 😛

He got me another of the Harry Potter Illustrated Editions which I was not expecting at all! Soon I will have them all! He also got me two of the blogging books I’d heard lots about and kept talking about buying as I couldn’t find copies to loan from the library. These were Big Magic (all about unlocking creativity), and Capture Your Style (a guide in OOTD, and getting the most out of Instagram). I’m so keen to dive into these books already! I know they’re going to be great for inspiring me! (Also, I can use them in flatlays hehe).

angelas gifts

For dinner we went back to our current favourite restaurant, La Bella Italia. We didn’t eat too much as we were still full from lunch.

food

All in all, it was just a nice relaxed day to spend together and reminisce. We’ve been dating for over 6 years, and now we’ve been married for a year. Things are going great.  My original original plan (before taupo), was to go to Japan, but with work scheduling, we had to push it back to May. So now we still have that to look forward to!!

selfie

I would never have imagined this time last year that in a year we would be living in our own house. Who knows where we’ll be in life when we celebrate our second wedding anniversary?? 🙂

Angela.

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Recreating my Wedding Makeup

To continue with my themed anniversary posts, I got the idea to try recreate my wedding makeup look. I feel like I know more about makeup than I did a year ago, so I could do a similar look at least. When my lovely makeup artist Dom asked me what look I wanted, I said ‘natural’, and a little romantic. My makeup was stunning on the day, and it’s definitely my preferred ‘natural’ look, but a but more glam. I compiled all the photos I had of my makeup, and set about trying to do my own spin on it.

look 01

Obviously, I couldn’t do the hair, as that is way beyond my skill level. The makeup is also out of my level, but I felt like I could at least give it a shot. What I remember the most is she did a lot of work on my eyes. I wanted a bronze/golden eye, but I still stressed the whole ‘natural’ look overall. I think she nailed it. My recreated eye look is a lot more subtle, but I did try to build it up! I also only did one layer of mascara, but on the day, there was a bit more.

look 02

Looking at the photos now, I’m so impressed with how she ‘sculpted’ my face. You know what I mean, contouring, bronzing and highlighting. I tried a bit, but it doesn’t show up too much on the camera. Dom did say that while it feels like a lot of makeup being put on, it doesn’t look like that in the photos. She was right yet again! I don’t know the products she used, except for the lips. We used my only lipstick at the time as it was my favourite. The Clinique Pop in nude.

look 03

All in all, I’m fairly happy with my recreated look. It reminds me of my wedding makeup, but definitely a more subtle version. Which is funny, as my makeup on the day wasn’t that extreme. I always love the opportunity where professionals make me up though, it’s so nice to be pampered!

Here are all the products I used to recreate this look:

  • Primer – Too Faced Hangover Primer
  • Foundation – Bare Minerals Original Foundation SPF 15
  • Concealer – Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Medium
  • Bronzer – Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer in Navigate
  • Highlighter – Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal
  • Blush – Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Perk
  • Finishing Powder – Stellar Cosmic Face Powder in Glow
  • Brows – Maybelline Master Brow Pro Palette in Deep Brown
  • Eyeshadow – Combination of Colour Pop Double Entendre Palette and Tarte Treasure Box
  • Mascara – Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara in Noir
  • Lipstick – Clinique Pop Lip & Primer in Nude
  • Setting Spray  – Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray

Angela.

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Who’s More Likely To? – First Anniversary Celebration

Isn’t that a fun title? It made me snort with laughter.

Anyway, it’s our anniversary today! We’ve now been married for one whole year! It’s crazy to think that. So much has happened since then.

To celebrate, I wanted to do a video. I’d seen these done with couples and friends before, but it’s the “Who’s More Likely To?” tag or challenge or whatever. I copied a bunch of questions, wrote them down, and one evening, Rory and I sat down and answered the questions.

It was a lot of fun, and I like to think we learnt a lot about each other.

Here’s the video:

Some things we learnt included the fact that Rory is clearly the more romantic one in the relationship, while I’m more likely to either fall over, cry or fall asleep in a random location. Good times!

Today is quite a laidback celebration for us, we do have gifts and a special dinner planned but that’s all. The real fun is in a few months when we go to Japan! I have a few more posts planned out in celebration of our first anniversary, so I hope you guys enjoyed this first one!

Angela.

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How I Try Stay Organized with Daily Blogging

Hey all. As one of the few daily bloggers out there, I thought I would share more on how I keep myself and Life of Angela on track. I wrote a post a while back on how I plan my blog, and I wanted this to be a bit of an update on it. But first, I’ve been having issues with my reader the past few days. They didn’t show, which was confusing, as I was running around trying to get it fixed but nothing was happening. Then it was fixed all of a sudden. I don’t know. Anyway, glad that seems to be all over. Back to my crazy planning ways.

I use a calendar on my laptop to plan out my blog posts. It’s neater as I can erase and rewrite ideas and keep track of my posts. After that, I write it in my physical planner. On my planner, I keep track of the posts I write, and how they do. I also keep track of stats and all those numbers I try not to focus too much on. It’s quite a nice part of my day writing all this out though.

As I get inspired for ideas, I fill them in my digital planner. If there’s any events coming up, I try to think of post ideas based on them. I have them filled in a few weeks in advance. As time moves on, I shift and play around with ideas, deciding which ones I want to stick in around a week in advance.

During the weekend, I plan out photos, excursions, baking/craft activities, etc depending on when I want the post to go up. Sometimes they’re for the upcoming week, or if I have more time, they’re for the following week. I often plan my videos a few weeks in advance so I have time to edit. Once I have my photos, I do a little bit of editing. Then I start writing the posts for the week. I aim to write two-three during the weekend, but I’m often able to write four-five. During the rest of the week, I write the rest of the posts.

At the end of a month, I tend to look back at the posts and see what categories I’ve covered. If I feel like I’ve done too many of one, or not enough of another, then I change some post ideas around. This tends to cycle through each month, but that’s all I really do to keep organized and keep on blogging everyday!

This may seem a bit extreme considering I also work full time, and still want to be sociable every now and then offline, and honestly, it is a bit draining at times. I do have a love of blogging, but sometimes I do feel like I need to pull back a tad. I still have posts planned everyday till the end of the month, but I’m thinking of pulling back and just blogging on the weekdays from the next month. Just to give me time to devote to my many other hobbies, besides blogging.

Angela.

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Trying Manual Camera

I finally did it guys. I’ve been taking some shots on my DSLR in manual mode. Cue the applause! I still really don’t understand it though.

I found this chart helpful though. It’s from PicMonkey.

Your ultimate photography cheat sheet guide. Complete with info about aperture and how it relates to depth of field, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure. All the essentials.

The aspects I control in manual mode are Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and Exposure. It took me a while to figure out how to fiddle with my camera to control these on my camera. The chart does a great job of explaining the feature of each of these aspects, and from here on out, I’m going to be writing about how I understand it, and how I used it to take some photos. I fiddled a bit with the controls as I took photos and I did notice some subtle (and not so subtle) differences.

Aperture is for changing the depth of field of the lens, for deciding what is in focus. The lower the number, the more shallow the image. So if you’re doing a close up shot, or a portrait shot. An object or a person, you want the focus on them. The higher the number, the deeper the focus. So it’s better for wider shots, or landspace shots.

I like how the chart has the shutter speed diagram. Slower is good for night shots, or more blurry shots, but a tripod is recommended. Faster is better for action shots or freeze motion, and handheld is okay.

Next is ISO, which the diagram explains is for light sensitivity based on film speed. If it’s bright, you use it on low (so you’re letting less light in the shot). If it’s night time, or less bright, then you use it higher (to let more light in). Finally this links in a bit with exposure, which basically you want to keep on 0. Otherwise the shot will be either overexposed or underexposed.

These are the main terminology when it comes to using the manual setting on camera. There may be more out there, but this is enough for me to try wrap my head around. I really do want to take a photography course out there. There’s a few options in my town, some one day ones, some longer ones. As well as online options. I’m going to explore a bit and see what I can find.

Have any of you taken a photography class before? What was it like?

Angela.

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