Second Liebster Award!

HERE we go again!
I was lucky enough to be nominated by the lovely Chanelle from Chanelle Hayley.
If you’re not familiar with this award it’s a great way to find awesome new bloggers and support each other, while learning a little bit more about the person behind the blog!
(I only just ticked over to 200 followers on my Bloglovin page but I still wanted to answer these questions!)

The rules:
– Link back the person who nominated you.
– Answer the questions they put to you.
– Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
– Create 11 questions the nominees can answer.
– Notify your nominees via social media or their blogs.

Without further ado, here are my answers to Chantelle’s questions!

What was the last book you read?
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Biology, evolution and the history of mankind really fascinate me (I actually did a few biology units at university for fun in my first year) and this book covers everything from the start of our universe to the evolution of modern humans and right up to where we began to dominate the planet. A fascinating read and it’s written in a way anyone can understand.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
I have so many places in mind! Paris, Venice, London, Santorini… They all have rich histories I could spend years uncovering and visiting them once is just not enough! (If you’re dreaming of Paris like I constantly am, I wrote a list of 10 awesome things to do in the city of love.)

Favourite item of clothing?
This is a tricky one. It would depend on my mood on the day but probably something either covered in sequins, fluoro pink (like this amazing skirt OOTD) or shiny and metallic!

What motivates you? (Blogging, daily life etc.)
I love setting both short-term and long-term goals for things I really want. By keeping what I’m working towards in mind, this helps me take those first steps and continue on when things get tough. (If you want a bit more of a sticky beak into my goals for this year, I wrote a post on them.)

A fact about your personality?
I can be quite competitive! Sometimes I let this get the better of me when I feel like I can’t be as good as someone (incredible, successful bloggers for example) but I’m trying to turn this into my best asset and compete against my past self instead.

Your idea of a perfect date?
A warm evening, a few drinks, an amazing dinner and strolling around hand-in-hand with my lovely boyfriend. Possibly followed by ice cream!

What did your last text message say?
“Ok” – it was from the aforementioned lovely boyfriend. He’s not one to mince words!

Three of your holy grail beauty products?
These are all ones I’ve featured on this blog – I always love sharing my absolute favourite products with you!
– Lime Crime Unicorn Lipstick in Centrifuschia
– Nutrimetics Moisturising System (this SAVED my dry, irrated, eczema-raged skin!)
– Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (no more scrubbing to remove my make up!)

What nail colour are you wearing right now?
I’ve got light pink glue-on fake nails at the moment! I bought them from a discount store for THREE DOLLARS – making them so much cheaper than acrylics! (If you want to see how I make these look like a $50 set of nails, let me know in the comments!)

Do you have a favourite smell?
Probably some rich, masculine scent – I could breathe that in all day! Nurtimetics has this incredible cologne for men that I got for my boyfriend for Christmas.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
There are so many things I could mention! In five years I want to have a house, be married and be preparing to head back to Europe for another holiday. I see my blog being stronger than ever and myself being in a job where I can utilise my creativity and writing skills. (A magazine would be ideal!)

And that’s me done!
Now I nominate the following blogs:
1. So About What I Said…
2.A Blog for Amy
3. Re[Styled]
4. Almost Apricot
5. Little Grey Box
6. MarahCAR
7. Leather & Lipstick
8. Bubbly Beauty
9. Blame it on the Rain Beauty
10. Juliette Stephenson
11. Eleanormae

My questions are as follows:
1. What is the best holiday you’ve ever been on and why?
2. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
3. What is your favourite song?
4. If you could pick any celebrity, blogger or well-known person to be your best friend, who would you pick and why?
5. Is there a television series you can’t get enough of right now?
6. Who or what inspires your blogging?
7. What time of day do you create the best content for your blog?
8. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
9. What is your favourite social media? (Eg: Twitter, Instagram etc)
10. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
11. What’s your drink of choice?

I can’t wait to see your answers! Good luck!

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Samantha Wills white howlite necklace

LAST week I celebrated my two-year anniversary with my lovely boyfriend and I was lucky enough to be spoiled with a Samantha Wills necklace!
I’d been eying off this Australian designer’s collection for a while now and there are so many things I want from her collection!

Ready for Mexican food!

Ready for Mexican food!

I chose the White Howlite necklace from the minerals collection – a pendant with a fine rose gold chain and a dainty name plate with the stone’s meaning: calming and stress relief.
I don’t really believe in minerals having real-world applications but it’s still really beautiful.
(And hey, worst case scenario, a little calm is something I could definitely use in my daily life.)

Samantha Wills White Howlite necklace

It’s just so dainty!

The rose gold wouldn’t usually have been my first choice as I mostly wear silver but the only necklace in the collection with a silver chain had a black onyx stone that I felt just didn’t suit me.
But I really like how it looks against a whole range of colours, especially black.
Other stones available included amethyst, rose quartz, lapis and a turquoise stone. (See the collection here.)

Samantha Wills White Howlite necklace

I am drooling.

The chain has two extra rings on it to allow you to wear it shorter if you like – I’ve been wearing it at its longest length.
It came in a beautiful wooden box with flowers stencilled into the top – something I’ll definitely keep on display.
For the rest of the outfit, the Portmans shorts were a gift from my lovely friend Candice. (Similar here and for the heels, see a similar pair here.)

black and white Portmans shorts

I love these shorts so much!

They’re quite fitted at the waist and although I’m always paranoid about spilling something whenever I wear white, the tropical print is fun and I think they’ll feature heavily in the rest of my summer wardrobe.
We took these photos before going out for Mexican at my favourite restaurant – he’s always so patient when taking outfit photos!
I really couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend and we’ve got so many adventures planned for the future.
Here’s to many more years!

Extraordinary Days

Nothing says ‘couple’ like matching floral in a tropical location.

What’s your favourite piece of jewellery? Let me know in the comments!

Five songs I’m loving right now

LAST year was a great one for new music so I wanted to share a few of my favourite songs at the moment.

Oh yeah, DJ Roomba! Source: http://tinyurl.com/nhlpax6

Oh yeah, DJ Roomba! Source: http://tinyurl.com/nhlpax6

Odd Mob – Is It a Banger?
This is definitely my summer party track.
Sampling audio from Aziz Ansari’s character Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation, the tune goes through how to pick whether or not a song is a banger.
“Are any acoustic instruments used? If so, not a banger.”

Vance Joy – Georgia
Vance Joy has proved he’s not just a one-hit wonder.
By the time his debut song Riptide topped the Triple J Hottest 100 this January, we were all sick to death of hearing it because it had been overplayed so much.
This relaxed song is just nice to listen to and hasn’t been too badly flogged by commercial radio (unlike his other track Mess is Mine).

Deadmau5 – Avaritia
This dreamy techno track makes me think ‘damn this song is good’ every time I hear it.
It’s up-beat, it’s catchy and it makes me want to party.

Kimbra – Carolina
I’ve really  been enjoying Kimbra’s latest album, The Golden Echo.
It feels like each song is a winner but this one is extra catchy.

Purity Ring – Push Pull
This dreamy song is just so easy to listen to on repeat and I blast it every time it comes on the radio.
Looking forward to checking out the rest of this band’s stuff.

What songs are you loving at the moment? Put any links into the comments below – I’m always searching for new stuff to listen to!

My goals for 2015

I DON’T believe in New Year’s resolutions because I don’t think you need the calendar to flip over to make changes in your life. That said, there’s no harm in choosing things to focus on in the future.
It took me a while to narrow down the list of things I want to do this year but here it is.

2015 New Year's resolutions

It’s going to be a great year!

Take time for myself:
Taking care of myself is the first thing to fall by the wayside as soon as life gets crazy – and with a busy job and a long daily commute (about two and a half hours per day!) this was a struggle for me in 2014.
I found I could always schedule time in for errands, friends and other activities but never put aside enough time to just relax.
Last year taught me that taking time out to rest, get enough sleep and mentally recuperate is incredibly important.
I didn’t realise how tightly wound I was until I went to Europe in June and could actually relax for weeks on end.
Whether I achieve this by going to bed earlier, reading a magazine or having a lazy Sunday morning in bed, I really want to take time out when I can this year – before I burn out.

Get moving:
Exercise is something that I too easily put on the backburner.
Again, with my long commute it’s often quite late by the time I get home but I’ve been lucky enough to house-sit near my work for the past month and having that extra time as well as minding a large dog that needs lots of walking has made all the difference to my exercise schedule.
So for almost four weeks now I’ve walked the dog for between 30 minutes and a hour each day and at the end of last month I started using an incredible yoga app for daily practice as well.
(Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a post on my progress with this app!)
I feel incredible!! My stress levels have gone down drastically, even during the silly season.
Ideally I’d like to take at least half an hour each day for cardio (even if it’s just a brisk walk) and either 15 minutes or half an hour for yoga, with longer sessions of both on the weekend.
I’ve got a Fitbit Flex and it’s helping me keep track of the steps I do each day. Meeting my goals is extremely satisfying.
While the tough part will be keeping this routine when I start finish house-sitting and start commuting again, I’m going to give it my best shot.

Read more:
I’m a big bookworm but I don’t usually have time to read!
Before bed each night I ususally spend a bit of time reading a book on my iPod Touch but it’s just not the same as flipping physical pages.
This year I want to make more time to pick up a book and escape into another world.

Get in control of my finances:
Saving money is not exactly my strongest area and it’s something I really am going to get on top on this year.
I started by unsubscribing from a lot of store emails – I do not need to know when they have a sale on!
Saving for a house deposit is my main priority and keeping that in mind will hopefully help me keep my spending in check.

Keep up with blogging:
I’m sure most bloggers have the same goal for this year.
I’ve got so many ideas in my little notebook that I can’t wait to get on to but keeping organised and planning ahead will be key.

What are your goals for 2015? Share them in the comments!

My Christmas wish list

CHRISTMAS is almost here so I thought I’d share my wish list with you.

Most of these are things I’ve had bookmarked for ages and I will probably end up buying anyway eventually!

Ice cream sandwich pool bed:
Who doesn’t want to float away the day on a pool toy shaped like dessert? Pick one up here.

More Lime Crime makeup:
I’ve fallen in love with Geradium but I’ve got my eye on some of the Carousel Glosses but too. You can never have too many shades! Check them all out here.

Kikki.K travel diary:
What better way to take notes about all of the beautiful places I go to? See more stationary goodness here.
Also, I’m in love with kikki.K since I picked up my adorable new 2015 diary.

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Printer:
This awesome little box links to your phone via bluetooth and lets you print photos from your camera roll onto Fujifilm Instax film. Check it out here.

A Rosita Bonita necklace:
These dreamy, hand-make necklaces are so beautiful! See more here.

A K is for Kani floral headpiece:
I’ve been following Connie’s blog for ages and it’s impressive to see how far she’s come.
Her hand-made floral headpieces are just beautiful! See more here.

I can’t believe the big day is just around the corner!
What is on your Christmas wish list? Share in the comments!

My favourite dolphin skirt

I LOVE any item of clothing that has animals on it, so this skirt is one of my favourites.
I bought it from a rack of clothes outside a tiny store in Singapore’s Chinatown.

I took this look to a friend’s birthday party this weekend.

I paired the bright skirt with a pop of pink in my handbag and my biggest, shiniest necklace.
The necklace was another travel purchase – I picked it up in Florence in a random boutique.
It was just so over-the-top that I knew I had to buy it!
I’m house-sitting at the moment so today I had a canine helper for my photos!
I also put on Lime Crime’s Centrifuschia lipstick — I can’t get enough of this fun colour. Read my review of it here.

Dolphin skirt ootd

I think he approves of my dolphins.

I'm a cat person but I just can't resist that face!

I’m a cat person but I just can’t resist that face!

Do you have a favourite piece of animal-print clothing? I’d love to hear about it!

New year, new 2015 diary

I CAN’T believe it’s almost the end of the year!
Just a quick post tonight – today has been absolutely jam-packed and I’m beat.
On the plus side – almost all of my Christmas/December birthday present shopping is done.
I managed to restrain myself quite well at the shops – I’m trying to remember that everything I buy gets me further away from saving a house deposit.
But I just couldn’t resist this adorable kikki.K diary.

kikki.k 2015 diary

It’s seriously cute.

It’s full of colourful little pictures and has a year’s worth of whole-month calendars at the start and then shows each week to a page.
There are so many things I need to keep track of so this should really help.
It’s also small enough to carry around in my handbag every day.

kikki.k 2015 diary

Who doesn’t want to see pictures of breakfast foods when they write their appointments?!

kikki.k 2015 diary

Or sausage dogs.

kikki.k 2015 diary

Or whales, for that matter.

I also couldn’t resist this ‘full-time fashion blogger’ shirt.
I’d seen pictures of it as a jumper online and spotted it in an Ally store.
Pick it up here.
A girl can dream!

full time fashion blogger tshirt

I HAD to get myself a Christmas gift, after all.

How are you getting organised in the new year?