June Favourites

We’re now entering the second half of the year, how crazy is that! I’m excited to see what next month brings. Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been loving this past month.

Unicorn Slippers

unicorn slippers

I feel like I’ve been talking about these a lot lately. They’re cute and protect my feet from the cold floors. As soon as I get home, I pretty much immediately get into them.

Coconut Beach Candle

scented candles

I’ve always liked coconut scented things, so I was bound to like this scented candle. I’ve been using a lot of our candles, but I keep coming back to this one.

Grey Sweater

grey sweater

As always, I tend to include some kind of clothing item in my monthly favourites. I’ve been wearing this sweater a lot lately. It’s so soft. It doesn’t keep me too warm, but once I layer it, I’m good to go. I’ve been pairing it with my overalls a lot lately.

Cross Stitch

hot balloon cross stitch

This whole month I’ve fallen back in love with cross stitching. It’s literally all I do at home now. It’s sometimes led me to forget to do other things, but I just love it so much! It’s so calming and I love seeing the picture slowly come to life.

Hot Water Bottle

hot water bottle

This has gotten so much use the last month. I hate getting into bed at night and freezing myself in the sheets. Having the hot water bottle speeds up the warming process, and it’s so toasty warm climbing into bed. Getting out of bed in the morning is getting harder each day though.

That’s what I’ve been loving this month! Lots of things that give me comfort as I battle through winter.

june faves

What have you been loving this past month?

Angela.

June Photos

I actually didn’t take that many photos this month. I got caught up in my many other hobbies, which I’m alright with. Honestly, I blame winter. It makes me want to stay inside and cross stitch. When it was warmer, I wanted to go out on trips and take photographs of everything!

Anyway, here’s some of my favourite photos from the past month.

Selfies

I’ve noticed that I’ve been lax in taking selfies lately. I always would take them after playing around with makeup, but lately I haven’t been too inspired. I also realized I’m wearing the same sweater in two of them. To be fair, it is my favourite at the moment!

Things

I still really like taking photos of things though. Hot chocolates and bath bombs are perfect for winter. I really loved completing my hot air balloon cross stitch. Also, this canvas print we added to our bedroom is so pretty. We’re thinking maybe we could paint that wall, so it makes it stand out even more. Could be a fun project ahead!

Shadow

Shadow

Finally, I wanted to share this sneak peek of our cat Shadow! We’re getting her in around a week, and I managed to take this photo of her on our last visit. It’s the only non-blurry one I have. The camera on my phone is slow at reacting nowadays, and also I was trying not to take too many photos as we’re still getting to know each other. Her name definitely fits her perfectly though!

That’s it pretty much. As the weather stays cold, I stay bundled up inside with all my crafts and hot chocolates. I do still like taking photos, but it’s been put on the backburner next to my other interests.

What have you been taking photos of lately?

Angela.

Winter Haul

Yesterday, I shared some items I bought from Romwe. It dawned on me that I’ve bought quite a few things recently, so I wanted to combine them all to make a seasonal haul post.

Here we go!

Clothes

I bought two sweaters from a thrift shop recently. I love layering, and every year I always buy more jumpers/sweaters. They’re so comfy and you can never have enough. This ‘P’ one is my favourite. It reminds me of my letterman jacket, and I really like the colours. I also like this black crop knit sweater. It’s super warm! I also got these unicorn slippers which I mentioned in an earlier post.

Accessories

jewellery

I don’t often wear jewellery, or buy it for that matter. But one afternoon, I impulsively bought these. Two pairs of earrings and five rings. I picked gold items, and I do love looking at them. It’s very rare for me to remember to wear any though.

Skincare and Makeup

beauty products

I haven’t been buying makeup much lately. Partly because I’m wanting to save, and also cause nothing has been jumping out at me. I have used up two travel sizes of the UD All-Nighter Setting Spray, so I bought the full size one as I really like it. I also wanted to try a new primer, and decided to give the UD Quick Fix one a go. Recently, I also picked up this little face mask from Lush. It smells nice and calming. I’ve yet to use it, and I hear that the product can sometimes be hard to work with, but I’m keen to try it.

Cross Stitch

cross stitch kit

I’ve mentioned my love of cross stitches a few times, so I ended up buying one. This was before I found my big bag filled with cross stitch kits waiting to be done. Still, this bunny picture was too cute, and I’m definitely going to complete it!

Home

scented candles

We have been into scented candles more and more. It’s nice to have them fill up the house. I’ve been really loving the coconut one lately.

bedroom decor

We also bought this piece of canvas art to go above our bed. We’ve been wanting to fill up the empty space for a while but we couldn’t find one we liked enough. Rory found this oil painting (Sunrise Sakura it’s called) on Amazon and we really liked it. It reminds us of our Japan trip and it’s also just pretty.

art decor

That’s all for this wintry haul! What have you bought recently?

Angela.

Romwe Haul

So I first heard about this from my good friend Siyana over at Siyana Online. She shared the site, Romwe, and some things she had bought from it. I immediately went to check them out and fell in love with some things myself. The main thing I loved about this site, is that they have an Australian site. Why is this important? Well they’re selling Fall & Winter items! I love ASOS, but they mostly cater to the Northern Hemisphere, so it’s hard for me to find things I like and can actually wear anytime soon! That being said, the items can be a bit of a hit or miss situation.

So, here’s what I got.

Rose Applique Drawstring Skinny Pants

I fell in love with these pants because of the rose patch. It’s so cute, I also don’t really have sweats that often so I thought I could get these. They are really warm and have a nice fit, but they’re waaaay too long on me. I always have this issue since I’m so very short. If I was longer I think this would be perfect. I’ll still keep these as lounging around pants though.

Wide Striped Sweater

I have a thing for patterns, I think I’ve mentioned it before. I liked the colours on this sweater and it looked comfy. The material is knit, so it’s a bit itchy, but not too bad. If I wear something underneath, I’m fine all day. It’s really warm though, and it falls right at my hips which I like.

Cat Faced Print Sweatshirt

I love this sweater! The material is soft and so comfy! It’s long, but not too long. Perfect for both lounging at home and wearing at work all day. The cat print is also adorable, so it’s just a bonus. This is by far, my most favourite sweater at the moment!

romwe haul

That’s all I got this round, as I didn’t want to go overboard. It took around 2 and a half weeks to get to me, and they were all really well packaged. I’m pretty happy with everything I got, and I’ll definitely be checking them out again.

Have you guys heard of Romwe?

Angela.

2018 Goals – 6 Months In

Hoo boy, I have been kind of ignoring these for a while. The last check in I did was in March. I will say that I don’t ever make New Years Resolutions, and now I can kind of see why. I think I work better in short term goals, I normally can push through with motivation, but it’s really hard trying to spread that over a year. I work better with short term goals, as I have a habit of always dropping and picking up new interests.

Okay, let’s get into it.

1) Try a new baking recipe at least once a month – I have two recipe books to choose from, so this seems very doable. Since I have lots of other hobbies I like to spend time on, aiming for at least one a month should be doable.

food collection

I didn’t do any new baking recipes during May, but we were on holiday so I think I can excuse that. Plus most months, I’ve been trying at least two new recipes. So I think I’m still on track for this goal.

2) (Re)Learn new songs on the piano – You may notice there’s no number here. My aim is to learn at least one, I really need to get my rusty piano skills back up to scratch.

3) (Re)Learn new songs on the ukulele – I actually learnt one new song in 2017, but I want to learn more. I really love playing the ukulele and singing along, as terrible as my singing voice is..

I’m stacking these two together because I have done nothing on either. I do love practising music and just messing around on both the piano and uke, but I  don’t. Why? No real reason, I just feel like messing around with some of my many other hobbies. This is what I mean by I always pick up new hobbies. Right now, I’m really into crafts, so I’ve been ignoring music even more. I will leave these on my goals list, cause sometimes I do feel the urge to jam out.

4) Practice photography more – Again, just a vague goal. But I want to take more photos, maybe do more challenges. I want to continue learning more. I don’t doubt I will take more photos this year though.

I had so much fun with this in Japan! There were so much photo ops, and I do feel like I’m getting a better eye with this photo stuff. I would still love to do a photography course at some point.

5) Complete Duolingo course in Japanese – I’ve already started a few weeks back, and it’s been so much fun. Here’s hoping I don’t lose motivation over the year.

Oh dear. So both Rory and I have pretty much dropped this. To the point where I even uninstalled the app. It was fun, but after a while I just couldn’t/didn’t want to keep up with it. I may have to cross this off the list.

6) Do some sort of exercise at least twice a week – running, dance cardio, strength, yoga, just something damn it! Come on Angela, just do it!

So I did really fall off the wagon with this for at least two months there, but I’m getting back into it! I always really enjoy yoga, and I’ve been committing to the 30 Days practice with Adrienne. When I’m finished with it, I plan to try her other ones, or just do a video everyday. So going good with this one!

7) Learn more hairstyles than just a ponytail – I don’t do much with my hair, I just don’t know what to do with it. I need to try some of the many pins I have.

I can kind of do a french braid now, sometimes I throw my hair into a bun. Honestly, I’m fine with just doing that. So, I guess I’m good with this goal.

8) Continue trying more makeup looks  similar to my previous goal, I want to learn to do more with my makeup. Especially with my eyes. It’s fun to play with!

Funny enough, I’ve been heading back into minimal makeup looks. Mostly cause, 5 days a week, I’m getting up at 6 for work, and I can’t be bothered with makeup. On the weekends, I used to get more into it, but since Japan, I like sticking to minimal looks. Sometimes I do just sit in front of the mirror and play around. So I’d say I’m still on track.

9) Try more DIY’s, maybe make a scrapbook, or home decor – I did the travel wall last year, and I’d like to do more! Pinterest will be very helpful with this goal.

I have loved doing more DIYs! It’s been so much fun and I have so much cute little crafts and decor around because of it.

10) Go on holiday overseas – We have plans for Japan which seems like it’ll go through. If something happens though, I hope we still get to go overseas at least once this year.

Done and dusted! We went to Japan, had a great time, and there’s no way we can afford to go overseas again this year!

11) Go on holiday within New Zealand – I always like to say travel locally, so hopefully we can do more of that this year!

Possibly doable. Maybe near the end of the year as spring and summer roll around we can go on a weekend trip somewhere.

12) Keep my journals and planners up to date – I have quite a few journals. One to keep track of my budget, my daily thoughts journal, and my blogging planner. I want to continue to keep them up to date.

Hahaha, no. Even my blogging planner is getting ignored as all I do at home now is cross stitch or do my jigsaw puzzles. So, I want to get back on track with this.

13) Complete a colouring book – I have so many, and none are even close to being finished. Maybe I can finish my small one..

Again, my interests constantly move. At the beginning of the year I may have enjoyed colouring, but now it’s all about the crafts. I will keep this one though, as I may get back into it.

14) Read 30 books – My 2017 Reading challenge was set to 20 books, I finished that and more, so I think I can set my goal a little higher this year! 

Another one I’m losing interest in. Last year, I looooved reading so many books. As I keep saying though, now I’m more passionately driven to other hobbies. I will keep trying though, hopefully I can match last year’s number. I’m only 2 books behind schedule according to Goodreads.

15) Watch 15 movies – I mean new ones, not rewatching ones I’ve seen before. 15 is already a lot, but it seems doable.

I’ve already finished this, actually! I watched quite a few movies on the plane ride to and from Japan, so that helped. Maybe I can double it, make it the same as my reading goal.

16) Continue blogging everyday – I love blogging, and having a post up everyday has been so much fun for me. Here’s hoping I can keep this up for 2018!

After my last catch up post, I scaled back a little. I post from Monday to Friday instead of everyday, which I have really been enjoying! It’s nice to give myself a break on the weekend. I have started considering going back further to just three times a week as well.  With my interests spreading wider, I’ve found myself spending less time on my blog.  I still love it, but I’m enjoying spending time offline as well. So I may adjust this to just continuing blogging.

17) Do more collaborations with fellow bloggers – I did a few collabs in 2017, and I’d love to do more?

Yes! I’ve been doing really well with this, I’ve done quite a few collabs this year. I’ve worked with Anni, Sarah, Rossy, Emily, Pamela, and Sara. I’m keen to do more if anyone wants to hit me up!

18) Reach 5000 followers!  I mean, I never thought I’d get over 2000 by the end of 2017, so why not aim high right? Even if I fall short, it’ll still be more followers than I would have imagined I’d get to! 

Since taking my break to Japan and scaling back my crazy schedule, I have noticed the numbers slow down. I’m still growing slowly, which I’m still thrilled about. Numbers aren’t everything obviously, but it’s a nice feeling to know that people like my blog enough to follow. I’m sure many are bots, but I’m always meeting more fellow bloggers which is pretty awesome!

So there we go, I’m still on track for some, while others I ignore. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me too much. I have never made resolutions before, and this feels like something I will probably continue to do. I prefer working on short term goals, or maybe I’m just making excuses. Who knows? 🙂

What are your thoughts on new years resolutions and goals? Are you someone who still works on them consistently 6 months in?

Angela.

If We Were Having Coffee (June Edition)

Another month, another coffee catch up! I missed this last month, what with getting back from Japan and all. It just passed me by, but now I’m ready to sit down and catch up on things. So, grab whatever beverage you want, and let’s do this!

If we were having coffee, I would talk about how much I miss our Japan trip. The post holiday blues are on their way out, but every now and then I do wistfully think back on our trip. The warm weather, the new places to explore, and the fact that we didn’t have to worry about chores.

shinjuku garden 06

If we were having coffee, I would talk about how much I’m loving working on all my indoor activities. I recently completed a 1000 piece puzzle and it was so much fun! It only took a few days and I’m keen to redo some of my older puzzles. I’m working on a Harry Potter one at the moment. I’ve also started really getting into cross stitching again. It’s just so calming and I always feel so happy and at peace when I do it. I finished my little hot air balloon one that I bought at the beginning of the year. I found my old bag filled with other kits I haven’t touched yet. It’s pretty much what I do for most of my time at home now.

hot balloon cross stitch

If we were having coffee, I would say that I’m getting into home workouts again, but mostly yoga. Just yoga actually. I’m finding it more enjoyable than any of the previous cardio or strength exercises. I’ll get back into those eventually though. I’m trying out the 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne, and I’ve been sticking to it really well! I’m halfway through and once I’m done, I think I’ll try some of her other ones she’s done too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we’re adopting a cat! We’ve been talking about getting a pet since we bought our place. But first we wanted to settle in, then we went to Japan, so it kept getting pushed back. These past few weeks we’ve been visiting rescue shelters around town, and seeing the animals. We knew we wanted a cat, preferably more of an indoors one as we live near a busy street. We found a gorgeous black cat called Shadow at one of the centres. She’s 2, and they don’t know too much about her since she was just dropped off at the centre. She’s quite shy and keeps to herself (she pretty much stayed hiding in her corner while the other cats zoomed around), but we got along really well when we visited. We just hung out with her in her corner and she was just so sweet! She still needs some vaccinations so she’s staying at the centre for a few more weeks till we can take her home. We plan to visit her every weekend until then.

Now it’s your turn, what’s been going on with you guys this past month?

Angela.

Morning Skincare Routine (Collab with Emily Knows Makeup)

Emily approached me on Instagram about doing a collab. I love doing posts with fellow bloggers, and we decided to talk about skincare routine. I haven’t done a post like this before, and while I’ve loosely talked about it before, I thought it would be fun to do a full post. I’ll be talking about my morning routine, and Emily will be talking about her evening routine over on her blog.

Fun fact, we both assumed the other was based in the US, as we’re used to most bloggers being based there (or in Europe lol). However, Emily is in Australia, and I’m in New Zealand, so our skincare routines are based around the wintry season we’re currently in. Anyway, let’s get into it!

morning routine

My skincare routine has always been simple. I used to do nothing for the longest time, but I’m slowly building up a routine. Very basic, but it means I can do it quite quickly which is great as I’m always rushing in the mornings.

Cleanser

cleanser

I’ve only tried a handful of cleansers, but this one has by far been my favourite. Since using this cleanser, I’ve noticed less breakouts and my skin is pretty well-behaved. That’s a win in my book. It doesn’t foam when I use it (I like playing with foam), but other than that I have no actual complaints. My face doesn’t feel dry after using the cleanser, it just feels fresh and smooth. Once you find a cleanser that works for you, you want to stick with it. At least that’s my thought process.

Serum

serum

This is another one that I’ve tried a bunch of. Most of them are from previous subscription boxes. The one that I’m currently using and have used the longest is this one. Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum. A mouthful of a title. Anyway, after having cleaning my face, I like rubbing this into my skin. It just feels (and smells) really nice. Also, I was never really sure what the point of a serum was. So I looked up the marketing information of this serum. Apparently it’s a skincare product that goes deeper into your skin than a moisturizer. So it aims to brighten skin, minimize fine lines and wrinkles and improve the appearance of uneven skin tone. I will say that my skin does look brighter after a few months of using this. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I do love this serum!

Moisturizer

moisturizer

Finally, I end on a moisturizer. I have always liked this Aveeno moisturizer. I use it on my face daily and I feel refreshed afterwards. This is especially needed in winter as I love having scalding hot showers and baths.

That’s my whole routine! Three steps and I’m done. Then I start on my makeup and whatever else I need to do in the morning.

Be sure to check out Emily’s blog and see what her skincare routine is in the evening!

What’s your current skincare routine like?

Angela.

DIY Collection

A few days ago, I shared all the links for the baking recipes on this blog. I thought it would be fun to see all the DIY I’ve done so far as well. This was also something I wanted to do more of this year, so it will be nice to see all the things I’ve made in one post.

Travel Wall

travel wall update 01

I recently did an update on how my travel wall is going. I have so much I want to add to it still. In general, I have lots of home decor idea, but I don’t want to run out of wall space haha! Looking at my travel wall definitely helps to inspire my wanderlust.

Travel Scrapbook

scrapbook cover

If you don’t know, I went to Peru a few years back. It was an amazing trip and I made a scrapbook detailing where we went and what we did. I love looking back at this scrapbook, and I’ve been thinking about making one for our recent Japan trip.

Element Jars

element jars 03

My first Pinterest inspired craft, and it came out really well! I only needed a few items to make these element inspired jars. They still sit on our windowsill today and look exactly the same as they did 6 months ago.

Rustic Wall Hanging Sconce

flowers 2

This is the DIY project I’m most proud of! I did this as a collab with Sarah over at Vintage Tea Rose. As inspiration, we looked at lots of Pinterest ‘Mason Jar Hangings’, then did our own spin on it. I had so much fun putting this together, staining the wood, attaching the clamps and jars, even buying the flowers!

Marbled Jars

diy jars 05

This little project is easy in theory but tricky in execution. Sometimes you wind up with something incredibly beautiful, while sometimes I end up underwhelmed with the pattern. Either way, it is something I want to try again.

Crayon Art

crayon thumbnail

This is still by far one of the most fun projects I’ve ever done. Melting crayons with a hairdryer on a canvas. I really recommend it, but make sure you protect whatever surface you’re working on.

My “Blue” Zine

travel

Making this little zine made me so happy. I’ve since made another one for my dad’s birthday, filled with pictures of all of us growing up. There’s an endless list of things to make a zine about!

I have future DIY plans that I’m excited to try. Pinterest has so much creativity and inspiration that I always add more to my boards.

What DIY project have you been working on?

Angela.

Let’s Bake! – A Collection of Recipes

So today’s isn’t a new recipe. In fact, it’s a collection of all the recipes I’ve tried! You guys may know that I love baking (especially cookies). I aim to try at least one recipe a month. I’ve been doing this since pretty much the beginning of my blog, so I thought it would be fun to link them all in one post.

So instead of having to search through all of my food category when I’m looking for a recipe, I can just look at this one. Also, it’ll be fun to look back at all the things I’ve made and taken photos of.

Cookies

Ah, my bread and butter. I love cookies you guys. It’s my go-to when I want to bake something easy and quickly. There’s so much variety to choose from. Half the recipes I share on here are pretty much cookies.

Cakes, Slices and Pies

There’s more to make than cookies obviously, and I sometimes branch out. I’d like to try more of these in the future.

  • Carrot Cake – A cake I used to hate and now love. A tart cake with gooey frosting.
  • Carrot Cake Balls – Carrot cake but in bite sizes, covered in white chocolate and cookie crumbs.
  • Lolly Slice – A kiwi classic. A sweet chewy slice filled with marshmallow treats.
  • Apple Pie – A classic pie. Flaky pastry encasing sweet apples.

Muffins and Cupcakes

After branching out from cookies, the next step was muffins and cupcakes. You again get multiple bite sized pieces, but a bit more filling.

Themed Desserts

I love playing with themed desserts. What people can come up with and share online is awesome! From creepy to cute, there’s no end to the creativity! I love to try my own hands at these. Most themed desserts I try are from my Nerdy Nummies cookbook!

  • Star Constellation Cookies – I made these for New Years, and these tiny bite sized lemon-glazed cookies were so good! It’s hard to try eat just one..
  • Smart Cookies – The mascot of Nerdy Nummies bring the chocolate chip cookie to another (adorable) level.
  • Chocolate Heart Cupcakes – Turning chocolate cupcakes into sweet love hearts.

You know, seeing all of these in one list makes me think I may have kind of a baking problem. I mean, these are all spread out over a year, so it’s not like I went and had a baking spree one weekend. I have been loving trying all of these new recipes and sharpening up my baking and decorating skills. It’s also been fun for playing more with food photography and close ups. All in all, it’s become one of the bigger sections of my blog, and I hope to keep trying more recipes!

What’s your favourite thing to bake?

Angela.