If you haven’t jumped on the monthly subscription box band-wagon yet, you really need to! There are so many options available and more and more in New Zealand keep popping up by the month. This is super exciting, because a year ago, I was seriously looking into paying through the nose to get an Australian monthly box to my door because there were just no decent monthly boxes available in NZ.
That said, there are now lots to choose from, and i’ve limited myself to two at a time, otherwise i’d be spending hundreds! Goodie Box is one of my favourites that are available in NZ, they have a good variety of products and I think out of the six months i’ve been with them, only one month i’ve been a little disappointed with, but that was a personal disappointment not anything to do with them – I just couldn’t use many of the products.
Februarys box came and I was super excited to get stuck into the products i’d received, because straight away I recognised brands that I already love and a few that I’d wanted to try out.
Products and my review of the February Goodie Box
// Veet – High Precision Wax for Face
When I saw this I got super excited – i’m not gonna lie, I get some pretty ugly hairs above my lips that I really don’t want to be there. Once reading the how-to I got a little scared, I know it says wax but theres a difference when someone else is doing the waxing versus you doing the waxing. On your face.
I’ve not yet used the product so can’t give you a rundown on how it went or how well it worked. I love the idea, so much better than plucking!
// Palmers Eventone Perfecting Cream
Firstly - this stuff smells amazing! I smelt it and travelled back to my honeymoon in fiji. It smells so summery and delicious, I guess the sunscreen in it helps! The sample size was very generous, and managed to use it a total of four times (twice daily on my face and neck, as recommended). I’m not sure I noticed a huge amount of brightening in my skin, but I did notice it reduced the darkness under my eyes once applied. This definitely has potential.
// Scholl Party Feet
These are my go to shoe helper if a pair of shoes are giving me grief. These puppies are great – I discovered them after buying a pair of high heels too quickly and realising they were a little too big for me, needless to say regret ensued. I popped these guys in and the hurting stopped! Also don’t get sore balls of my feet if i’m wearing them all day!
// Blistex Five Way Lip Protection
Blistex has been a brand i’ve known for ages but honestly, hadn’t touched their products in a while. I popped the lip balm in my handbag and have been using all month. It smells and tastes really nice – not that i’ve been eating it, haha. It’s got a sweet vanilla smell, and doesn’t taste gross if you do manage to get some on your tongue. it’s a SPF 30+ which is great bonus and i’ve noticed my lips are smooth and looked after once using it. I would definitely buy this again as an alternative to my normal lip balm.
// Chillax Natural Sleep Drink
I haven’t had a chance to give this product a go – mainly because I really dislike cherries and that’s where the flavour for the drink comes from! I love the idea of a natural remedy to aid in sleeping and it’s really cool that there is something out there like this.
// Nutri Synergy Heel Balm Complex
A heel balm is not something I thought I would ever need or really use – I mean I have OK feet, they’re firm in some places and dry in others, but I just accepted them as normal and didn’t ever think they needed treatment. After using this for a week or so my feet definitely felt softer and less rough. I’m not sure I would buy this product for myself, but I am impressed with how quickly it worked.
// Benefit They’re Real Mascara
This mascara is brilliant, and for the girls who haven’t tried it yet, I definitely recommend spending the money and purchasing – or at least going to a Benefit counter and asking them to put it on you. It’s changed my life, well my eyes forever. I really enjoy using it and was thrilled to receive a sample size in this months box. Look out for a full review of the They’re Real mascara soon!
This months box was a hit with me! If you are interested in getting your own Goodie Box delivered to your door, find out more here, GoodieBox.co.nz. They boxes are NZ$25 + shipping and get delivered at the beginning of the month.
If you’d like to be invited, leave a comment below with your email address!
This months cafe visit wasn’t a planned location but a ‘find’ on a last minute road trip. This summer we haven’t had a real chance to have a holiday so we have made the most of our weekends and taken a few small road trips out of Auckland.
Today we stayed mostly within the Auckland region in the furtherest eastern part of Franklin. We headed out from West Auckland to Whitford and then out to Clevedon and followed the East Coast Road around the firth of Thames, also known as the Seabird Coast.
Auckland has so many hidden treasures and this drive showcases one of the most scenic. On the road one of the first beaches you come to, just out of Clevedon, has beautiful white sand. You head inland a short distance, wind through the roads behind the Hunua ranges, and soon you’re following the beautiful Firth of Thames, the white sand has given way to a stony shoreline with deposits of driftwood, and the amazing Coromandel Peninsula is the main mountain range over the water. We followed the main road through the small towns of Whakatiwai and Kaiaua, felt a little bit of location envy of the people living here, through Miranda and finishing the coastal drive in Waitakaruru.
At Waitakaruru we turned onto state highway 25 and started heading back to Auckland, about 5 mins up the road we found the Corogate Cafe and with our tummys now protesting we decided to stop.
From the road, Corogate Cafe looks like your typical New Zealand small town truck stop, but this cafe is far from typical. The owners of this place LOVE the royal family and England, which isn’t at first obvious by the old carriages and vintage WW2 bike out the front, but the cardboard cut out of Kate and Wills and the Royal Crown image in the chain-mail curtain gives an inkling, you are soon confirmed with the amount of Royal collectables displayed on the interior, plates from the queens coronation, royal collectable teaspoons, even a figurine of Kate with baby George.
There are cabinets and shelves fully stocked with all England and royal related trinkets, there was so much to take in. At first I really didn’t know what to think of the place, there were tables inside set with miss-matched table cloths and place mats with pictures of the English country side and of course Royal events and family members. The only food I could see were scones, cakes and sandwiches in a cabinets, nothing of which screamed out EAT ME!!! And then the first Staff member / possible owner walked out, and he also fit in with the decor, the 3/4 shorts tucked into socks, a knitted vest and cheese cutter hat, with of course, the union jack on top. Chris pointed out the menu on the wall which I easily missed and there was a lot on offer.
Mr Man got his usual, scrambled eggs on toast and a flat white, this time I went for a good Kiwi and UK favourite, fish and chips and coke. Mr Man’s flat white was brought out very quickly by a lady in a maid outfit. Our meals quickly followed and were nicely presented like a home cooked meal. The tartar sauce was served in a small pot with teaspoon rather than a squeezy sache. A lot of thought went into presentation to fit the theme of the cafe and the price was very reasonable.
Quality: There is so much to see in this cafe, it has so much character, it also has a lot of information about the area and brochures for local attractions.
Service: Excilent, It was a quiet day, service was fast and the food was good quality. The staff were so friendly and it was great that they git into character with the theme of the cafe.
Value: Very Good, Reasonable prices for the meals and portions we purchased. $24 for both meals and drinks.
Corogate Cafe is worth a stop in next time your down that way. The cafe is so interesting quirky and staffed by some good Kiwi characters.
Bonus time is back, with Clinique!
Simply purchase two or more items from Clinique between March 12th and 30th exclusively at Life Pharmacy counters to get this gift pack – perfect for the upcoming Autumn months!
// What’s in the bag?
You get seven amazing sample sizes of some of their best new range.
Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm
High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief
Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Even Better Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF15
Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream
My favourite products of the bag was the Chubby Stick Intense in 06 Roomiest Rose and the Moisture Surge. I’ve got a few of Clinique’s intense chubby sticks, but didn’t have this one as I thought it looked too purple, i’m so glad I got to try this colour properly, as it’s now my favourite and i’ve not touched my other colours since getting it – oops!
The Moisture Surge cream is a dream to wear, you pop it on and your skin feels velvety smooth and ready for anything
You can see below what the Chubby Stick Intense in 06 Roomiest Rose looks like on my hand – left has a more intense colour as i’ve layered it three or four times, and the right is just a light one layer. In love!
Huge thank you to Clinique for sending these goodies my way!
Simply purchase two or more items from Clinique between March 12th and 30th exclusively at Life Pharmacy counters. 8 peice gift set valued at over rrp$151.
Being in my twenties I cannot express how important it is to look after your skin now, if you’re reading this in your late teens, early twenties or even your thirties – boy or girl – and if you’re not looking after your skin, you need to start today.
I don’t want to come across like I’m preaching. I do constantly get told I have amazing skin and get asked what I do to get it that way.
Honestly? I look after it. It’s that simple.
There is a huge array of skin types out there, and it’s easy to put skin care into the ‘too hard box’ because a couple of the brands or systems you’ve tried aren’t working, or have stopped working.
If what you’ve tried isn’t working: Try something else, go and talk to someone about it. Using the most expensive or most famous brand doesn’t promise good skin.
If what you’ve been using has stopped working: Change it. Don’t keep using it – your skin changes and grows and ages, just like your shoe size changes while you grow up. You need to find the right type of system that works and fits your skin type.
If you’ve not really tried anything and your skin is perfect: That’s awesome! Bless your mother’s or grandmother’s skin, but don’t keep relying on it. In your twenties especially, your skin will change dramatically.
Below are some tips that I love to live by for my skin, and your goal for the next month – yep I’m being bossy now – is to do at least two. I was able to get a few inside tips from Billie at the Clinique counter in St Luke’s Mall in Auckland, so look out for them below!
// Drink plenty of water
You’re made up of the stuff, and during the day you use a lot of it up. Your skin gets dehydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re out in the sun. Dehydration results in dry skin, frown-lines, spots, a sluggish complexion and a lack of “glow” … and who wants that?
// Clean and moisturise your skin
Get a cleanser and a gentle exfoliator to clean your skin. If your skin is classed as ‘normal’ be sure to cleanse before bed. Moisturise moisturise moisturise. Go get a moisturiser that suits your skin type and use it. If you’re not sure what kind to get, talk to someone.
“Make sure you use a good exfoliator, this will remove any impurities and give you a natural glow” – Billie, Clinique
// Wear sunscreen
Having a moisturiser or make up that has SPF in it is a great idea. Living in New Zealand has taught me to never go outside without at least SPF 15 on my face. My nose has so many freckles that have started popping up over the last few years, but since consciously wearing makeup that has SPF in it, I’ve slowed down the freckles coming up considerably.
“A protective sunblock is key, as this will keep your skin safe from the sun and prevent aging!”
- Billie, Clinique
// Take off your makeup at night
Hey, we all have done it. In fact I did it the other weekend, then woke up regretting it immensely. Get a face wash, or use your normal cleanser, and take two minutes before going to bed to get that stuff off your face – otherwise it’ll clog up your pores.
“A good makeup remover will ensure your skin is clean before you start your skincare regime, using a makeup remover will stop the clogging of pores and prevent any breakout.”
- Billie, Clinique.
// Get advice
While this might sound like the hardest on the list, it’s actually the easiest. Go and chat to a skin care professional about your skin, find out your skin type, talk to them about what their products could do for your skin. These people are there to help you, to inform and teach you, not to make a sale, so don’t be scared by them!
// Eat better
Bet you knew this one was coming. While I don’t care about other people’s diets, there is absolutely no harm it cutting down on certain things like sugar and processed foods. Not only will your body feel better but your skin will too.
Here’s my daily process for ‘amazing’ skin:
Using a 3-Step System to Cleanse, Exfoliate, and Moisturise. Drinking plenty of water and definitely remove all my make up at the end of the day!
I’m on the #clinique3step challenge with nzgirl- follow my journey here to see the difference in my skin.
Follow Clinique on Facebook for more info facebook.com/cliniquenewzealand!
This months selection was going to be last month’s selection, but got persuaded out of making it the first book club book as it’s a bit heavy- so, without further a do… March’s book club book is, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
I’m really looking forward to reading this book – and by saying looking forward to it – I mean i’ve bought tissues. I’ve been lucky enough not to have the book spoilt for me yet, but have been told to be prepared for a heavy book full of crying and laughter.
// The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.” via Goodreads.
I’m so ready for this book – and cannot wait for the movie to come out this year. The trailer i’ve seen for it gives me a little more than the synopsis above, and makes me scared but excited to read it.
Want in? Here’s how it works
Every month we read a book. Just one book a month nothing too scary. There will be a variety of books – but every book will be a for-fun read.
I’ll announce the book at the very beginning of the month (or a few days before) so you will have time to buy, download or check the book out from your local library.
Mostly (if not all) fiction.
At the end of every month we will host an online discussion of the book on the blog. You should totally join in! If I select something you’ve already read you are still very welcome to join in and connect with us all at the end of the month.
Join us this month for the March Photo Challenge 2014! Remember to use the hashtag #TDCPHOTOADAY, and to follow us on instagram – @dizaincollectiv. Have fun and don’t forget to share with your friends!
Is super easy and lots of fun, and we love seeing your interpretations of our suggested theme for the day!
Save it as your Background
If you have an iPhone 5 and would like to download this as a background for your phone – we’ve made one special for your lock or home screen, as we had a few requests. You’ll need to turn off motion / parallax, found under: General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.
Download this months Photo Challenge as a background for iPhone 5 here.
// Photo a Day Challenge 2013 - What is it?
Aimed at people with Instagram, but don’t fret if you don’t have it! You can easily do the challenge even if you don’t have Instagram (It is a free app for Android and iPhone, and it’s free to join). You can do the challenge via facebook and/or twitter, just remember to tag us in it, and use the hashtag! We will repost and feature our favorites!
Photo is by Jonas Nilsson Lee via Unsplash.
This colour blocking nail art tutorial is super easy and you can use any colour combo to match your outfit!
// What You’ll Need
You will need some striping tape which you can pick up for cheap from Born Pretty Store or you can trim down any regular tape. If you use regular tape, make sure you stick the tape to your hand a few times before you stick it to your nail, so that it becomes a little less sticky. This will make it less likely to ruin your base colour!
Choose three colours that you like together plus a white for the base which will also show through as the stripes. You also need a base coat to protect your nails, a top coat to protect your manicure and a fine brush to get in the corners!.
My favourite black and white polishes are Orly’s Liquid Vinyl and White Out. I have chosen Layla’s CE42 and 05 as my turquoise and reddish colours and as always I have Seche rebuild and Seche Vite fast dry top coat.
// Get Started!
1. Start with your base coat followed by a couple of coats of White Out. Give it a top coat and wait for it to completely dry before moving on.
2. Cut little pieces of striping tape and place it on your nails to divide each nail into thirds. You can be completely random with this or make each nail the same.
3. Using your first colour paint one section of each nail. I use the bottle brush to paint what I can and then my fine brush to get the edges and corners. Try to paint right onto the tape but not over the tape in to the next section.
4. Repeat step 3 with your second colour.
5. Repeat again with your third colour.
6. Carefully remove your pieces of tape to reveal the white lines. Once your colours are touch dry apply your top coat and you are finished!
DIY nail art tutorials by Serra from Peacock Pie for The Dizain Collective. Check out more inspiring nail art from Peacock Pie on Serra’s website.
// Peacock Pie on Facebook // Peacock Pie on Instagram // Peacock Pie on Twitter
I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Morgan Taylor Nail Lacquer launch this week! I took contributor Katie with me to check out this world famous nail polish brand that i’d heard so much about. Katie and I had SUCH a great time, it was held at The Devereux boutique hotel.
Unbeknownst to me, Katie had never had a manicure before. After spending time deliberating which colour to get manicured with, she decided on a stunning pale blue called Water Baby. She loved the experience, the atmosphere and the amazing job that was done. She can’t stop looking at her nails!
I had shellac on my nails from getting a manicure last week, so instead of a full manicure I got a gold sparkle top coat – which made my deep red nails very regal looking!
It was great to see lots of other bloggers including This is Meagan Kerr - Meagan is the NZ Ambassador for Morgan Taylor.
To get your hands on the amazing nail lacquer that is Morgan Taylor, you can visit Penny and the girls at Monaco Nails and Beauty in Ellerslie. Thanks to all of the girls from Monaco especially Jasmine for her perfect manicures and nail care tips xx
Last week I shared with you some free printables that you could download for around the home. It was a bit of a success and a few of you were interested in seeing some freebies for the office too. After much sleuthing and pinning i’ve found a group of print worthy office printables – all for free! Enjoy, and do let me know which ones you like!
// Desk Calendar
If you saw my free printables for around the home, you’ll know I just love pretty calendars – no matter the language. This set are super simple, have a bit of colour and are just plain cute. Grab these free desk calendars now!
// Daily Work Schedule
Not only is a schedule key to gettings things done on time, it’s great for productivity! This free work schedule printable from Printed Ink Designs is so pretty it makes you want to get organised for the day! Print it out now for your work desk.
// Document Labels
If you are sick of last years binders or perhaps just want a bit more consistency in your office these document labels will definitely come in handy. The Pretty Blog has a selection of themed printables for you to download and utilise around the office. My personal favourite being the receipts label – perfect to pop on a mason jar with a pretty ribbon. To download these printables you do need to sign up for a free account with The Pretty Blog – download them now!
// Geo Ball
This printable is all kinds of me. I have so much random stuff on my desk at work, and in my home office – a few of these and voila! Instant tidiness. Click here to grab the free printable, all thanks to Cherry Plum
I loved doing this round up! When I was searching for these offices ones I found so many more great free printables for around the home and more. I’ve decided to pin them all in one place, in a new pinterest board called Printables, why not follow it for more printspiration?
Check out my round up of Around the Home Printables here.
Win NEW Clinique for Men Skin Care Essentials arrives in time for Summer.
Men want an easy, straight-forward skin care system that is quick and most importantly - it works. Clinique has transformed its men’s grooming line to deliver a simple solution to achieving the healthiest skin - and we’ve got some samples to giveaway!
Step One… EXFOLIATE with Face Scrub
Face Scrub is a favourite among men. A non-greasy formula containing menthol helps keep skin feeling clean and refreshed. RRP $56.00
Step Two…CLEANSE with Face Wash
It maintains skin’s internal moisture balance so skin feels clean, smooth, and comfortable — never tight or dry. RRP $38.00
Step Three…MOISTURISE with NEW Moisturizing Lotion
NEW Moisturizing Lotion provides all day hydration and strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier to help retain hydration and relieve dryness in dry to normal skin. RRP $55.00
The NEW Clinique for Men range also includes:
Aloe Shave Gel RRP $38.00
Oil Control Face Wash RRP $38.00 Moisturizing Lotion RRP $55.00 Anti Age Moisturizer RRP $88.00
As always, Clinique is allergy tested and 100% Fragrance Free. NEW Clinique for Men is available February 3rd 2014 at Clinique counters nationwide.
Want to get your hands on some? Enter below. Prize is for three full size products from Clinique. Open to NZ Residents only, and entries until end of day Friday 28 February.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It’s been a few weeks since i’ve done a currently! I guess because It feels like i’ve not been up to too much apart from relaxing, wouldn’t have it any other way!
Falling in love all over again with Jimmy Eat World. JEW are tied in first place for my favourite band, the other contender is Incubus. Follow me on Spotify
Getting out and enjoying summer! The last couple of years I felt like there was no summer, and this year I vowed to get out there and enjoy it. Graeme and I went up Maungawhau (Mount Eden) the other night after having dinner out to catch the end of the sunset close to 9 pm – summer, yes indeed! Follow me on instagram
Last weekend Tania and I spontaneously went for a drive up to Goat Island. Just shy of two hours north of Auckland. We went for a two hour snorkel with gear we hired on the beachfront (It’s cheapest on the beach, $20 for full snorkel set and fins). I spotted four or five different types of fish while we snorkelled. Perfect day trip!
Completely obsessed with this monogram/initial ring from Capucinne. In fact, i’m sort of obsessed with all of her jewellery, but if I had to choose one thing, i’d choose this with our initials in it. So sweet, and a potential heirloom for years to come. Hey, it IS my birthday soon….
Usually when I have a bit of spare time or I want to get inspired, i’ll jump on Pinterest and have a look around, last night I was messing about waiting for dinner to be cooked so I quickly headed to pinterest.
One of my friends had pinned an image to some free printables, I checked them out and then checked out pins similar to that pin and then got excited about things I could print out around the home to give it a bit of a fresh feel, or to get me organised. I bookmarked a whole load to print out at work, and thought I’d share some with you here too because, really, you can never have too many printable links!
// Weekly meal planner
Graeme and I have been in a serious rut with meals recently. We’ve been opting for takeaways when we should be making meals. I’m going to print a few of these out and take them with me food shopping to make sure we start getting back into the routine of making home cooked meals again. Download the planner here.
// Floral Collage
These floral collage prints are perfect for sprucing up a bathroom or hallway quickly. Print them out, pin them or blu-tac them and ta-da, you’re done. There is a whole set, i’m just showing off the first two rows of the collage. The site also links to some other wall worthy collage sets available for print. View the full flower collage here, by Mary Watkin
// Weekly To Do List
Get super organised around the home by using a weekly to do list. Organise your chores, blog posts, exercise routine or even TV shows. This simple and free to do list printable from A Pair of Pears is just what you need. Download it now.
// Beautiful Calendar Printable
If you can get past the different letters for the days of the week, this free calendar printable set from swedish designer Sara “SMÄM” Woodrow is stunning.I’m going to print these out really small and pop them on my wall in my home office to liven things up a bit! Click here to grab these calendar printables
Which is your favourite?
I love making sure the right credit is given where it is due, so let me know if I haven’t done so in any of these links.