Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review - 'Long Lost' By David Morrell

The only reason I picked up 'Long Lost' to read was because I noticed that David Morrell was the one who created 'First Blood' which if anyone doesn't know is the first story in the Rambo series. Now, being blinded by the fact that I just luuuurve Rambo I thought that maybe another story by this author may be just as good. Well, it was and it wasn't......

The story this book is based around is your typical family member that goes missing story and suddenly out of the blue they turn up years later. But, to make matters more interesting there is a bit of stolen identity thrown into this book along with kidnapping, murder and family issues from the past.

One thing I liked about this book was that the chapters were all so short and sweet but still got the story across. If anyone is a James Patterson fan you will know what I mean as he writes in the same short chapter method. There's nothing worse with some stories where chapters just seem to go on forever and you get lost in too much detail and feel a tad bewildered once something else notable in the story finally happens. Well, there is none of this when reading this book. This means it was really easy to read a few chapters here and there before bed or with my breakfast in the morning and not get lost after putting the book down and picking it up again next time.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was the way some of the plot developed. It had that 'too convenient' feel to it sometimes where I felt like the author set the character up too well and realistically there is no way certain things would work out so perfectly in real life. But, I guess that's why you read a book, to escape real life.

Anyway, overall I give this book a 3.5 out of 5. It kept me reading due to the small easy chapters but really was nothing to rave about in the end.

Next, I am going to tackle a Joy Fielding book titled 'Good Intentions' so stay tuned for my review!

Neem Oil Products

One of our pet Beagles, Barney, has had skin problems ever since we adopted him when he was 16 months old. He is now 3 years old and no matter what I have tried, his itching has never been able to be controlled. From the expensive sensitive skin diets, anti-histamine medication, medicated shampoos, you name it, I tried it. Well, one day my husband was having lunch with an old friend and the topic of poor Barney's skin issue somehow came up and his friend recommended we try this product he'd magically found for his dog who has a similar product. The product was Neem Oil.
As I couldn't see the harm in trying yet another product that could possibly finally be the one that works, I hopped onto the internet and searched for Neem Oil and eventually found Neeming Australia, a small company that makes every product imaginable using this oil, including a range for pets. Their website claims that Neem in "Ayuverda has relieved so many different pains, fevers, infections and other complaints such as Eczema, Psoriasis, even Leprosy that it has been referred to as the Village Pharmacy. In India it is believed that the Neem Tree has miraculous powers and now scientists all around the world are beginning to understand its huge potential."

So, I got a little bit carried away when I made my order and ended up purchasing the following items:
1) Herbal Dog Spray 750ml

2) Herbal Pet Powder 140gm
3) Neem Rich Pet Soap 100gm

4) 5 Special Soaps - including a Lavender Bar, Mango Bar, Ultra Sensitive Beauty Bar, Natural Beauty Bar and Crystal & Olive Oil Bar (I couldn't resist getting something for myself as well :-))

Well, after a couple of months of using a combination of the Herbal Dog Spray and the Herbal Pet Powder on our Barney Boy I must say that his itching has definitely decreased. Most noticeably at night when he would wake us up with such vigorous scratching my husband and I have realised that this doesn't seem to happen anymore. The smell can be a bit overpowering, especially since our dogs are allowed inside the house when we are home, but it tends to fade pretty quickly once the products are absorbed into the coat.
Therefore, I would have to also give my recommendation to anyone who may have a pet with skin problems or know of anyone who has. These products seem to have done what we thought was the impossible. I haven't used the Neem Rich Pet Soap as yet as I only wash our puppies once a month or so during winter but will definitely be using it for their next bath to compound the effect we are seeing already.

As far as the 5 soaps I bought for myself, I've so far used the Ultra Sensitive Beauty Bar and the Mango Bar. I have a tendency to suffer from eczema during winter and I found the first soap to be quite nice to use. I always noticed after using it that I had a kind of oily coating on my skin which the water just beaded off of and this made me feel moisturised for ages after my shower. I amazingly didn't get any eczema this winter either which I almost can't believe.
I am halfway through using the Mango Bar and even though it isn't as nice as using the Ultra Sensitive Bar, it's still a nice moisturising soap to use.

Anyway, that's my Neem Oil story. I wonder how many other unknown natural products there are out there that can benefit common ailments that next to no-one knows about like this little beauty???

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Well, after two months of personal training once a week plus some other gym classes here and there when time permits I decided to weigh myself and see how far I've gotten on my pregnancy weight loss journey.
Well, I came in at 1.3kgs under what I started at. This result was a little bit disappointing but at least it was a loss. My trainer tried to make me feel a bit better by saying that I'm much more toned and have to consider the fact that I've probably built muscle which is of course heavier than fat but that still doesn't make me feel much better. Those things don't bring me any closer to fitting back into my pre-pregnancy jeans but seeing the numbers go down on the scales will!!
Anyway, just wanted to share my good (even though disappointing) news. I must admit I can definitely tell my bulging stomach is alot less bulging but other than that I really can't see much difference in myself considering how much effort I've been putting in. Especially since bub is 5 months old now.
It's just not fair, pregnancy weight is seriously the hardest type of weight to lose when you're not a naturally thin person to start with.
Oh well, here's to a much better result next month (fingers crossed!) :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Lipstick

I have fallen in love with this lipstick since I got it and it has become my most favourite red lipstick ever!
I received it in a 'gift with purchase' from David Jones in the colour Perfect Scarlett which is a very bright red. This is a colour that I would normally be way too scared to wear outside of my bathroon but I have started experimenting with it purely for the fact that the lipstick is so nice to wear.
It is so smooth to apply and doesn't run into the fine lines around the mouth or dry out after being on for hours and hours. I tested it out on my birthday and after first applying it at about 5:30pm just before we left to go to dinner I only had to reapply once during the night after dinner (which was more to brighten it up again than due to it wearing off) and it lasted until sometime after midnight without another re-application. Being that it's not marketed as a long wearing lipstick this really surprised me. I didn't even have a liner on underneath. All I put on my lips beforehand was a bit of lip balm.
I must admit I don't really notice any plumping effect when I am wearing this lipstick though which would be easy to notice on my lips being that they aren't very plump on their own. If this does happen it must be a very subtle effect.
I'm seriously thinking of purchasing another one in a different colour now.

Chat soon :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review - 'Red Dog' by Louis de Bernieres

The book 'Red Dog' is a very lighthearted read that you can get through in pretty much one sitting.
It's an interesting account of life back when everyone was friendly and a local dog could be known by a whole town and cared for by anyone. It makes you kind of sad when you think about how strict we have all become nowadays in relation to our dogs and where they can walk, where they can be off leash, etc, etc, and made me feel a bit of a longing for a time like that portrayed in this book again.
It's nice to read how a dog can manage to become a companion that is worth giving up your time and money for an putting yourself out just to help him. Being a dog lover myself reading stories like this really get to me.
I am absolutely amazed at how many kilometres this dog must have travelled in his short life and still managed to stay relatively safe. It's almost mind boggling!
All in all it's a good little short read to pass some extra time and leave you with a feel-good feeling at the end as well as an appreciation for an animal that so many people take for granted.
Rated: 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review - 'From Dead To Worse' by Charlaine Harris

Well, I must say that 'From Dead To Worse' was probably one of the most un-climactic books in the Sookie Stackhouse series so far for me.
It gives you a great build up on the back of the book by saying how Sookie will find herself facing danger, death and betrayal but after reading it I must admit that I'm left feeling a bit deflated.
The werewolf war, un-climactic; The vampire takeover, un-climactic; and most of all the ending, un-climactic!! I know the ending was probably done the way it was to leave the readers hanging for the next instalment, but I'm not sold.
For most of this book I was just frustrated in one way or another. The whole way she handled the episode with Quinn was just a little odd and the sagas going on between Sookie and Sam and Sookie and Eric are starting to lose their fun now.
I am kind of getting the feeling that the author is starting to run out of fresh ideas so is starting to grip at straws just to keep churning out more instalments. When author's start to obviously do this it really annoys me. I've read quite a few large series before that keep you hanging off the edge of your seat with every book but I definitely don't get that with this series anymore.
I'm just not feeling the excitement of sitting down and opening up the next book and think I will start on something else for a change before I do. Maybe a rest will be just what I need to get me interested in the next instalment. We'll see......
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

My next read will be 'Red Dog' as I am dying to see the movie but must read the book first before I do. I love light hearted stories like this one so am looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nail Polish Haul

Well, I guess not many people can say that they go shopping for shoes but come out with nail polish instead but this is exactly what happened to me the other day when I was at my local Westfield.
I was walking past Rubi Shoes and saw they were having a sale and thought 'Great, a nice new cheap pair of flats would really come in handy' so I went in to have a look. Well, low and behold they had their range of nail polishes on sale as well and they were all going for $1.00. Yes, that's right, $1.00!!
So, me being the nail polish hoarder that I am couldn't resist checking this out and being the undecisive person that I am I just had to get every colour that was left because I just couldn't choose between them. Below are the colours I managed to get:
From left to right they are: Taupe, Miami Coral, Gunmetal, Rose, Emerald City and Sky.

Well, being the green obsessed freak that I am, of course I had to try the Emerald City colour first and here were the results:
The green is a little brighter than the picture shows due to bad lighting and I absolutely love it!

The only problem I've found with this polish is that you need a good two to three coats as it's quite thin and it has a very strong chemical smell which makes applying a bit unpleasant. Buy hey, for $1.00 who can complain??

And no, I didn't end up getting any shoes :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Blog Hop

Well, I have had a very productive morning checking out all the new blogs on this list that I wasn't aware of. Now, I REALLY must stop procrastinating and do some study!!

Have fun everyone!

Bloom 'Clean with Envy - Green Clay Mask'

Now, I would almost call myself an expert on face masks. Having oily skin with huge pores that can be seen a mile away has made me try almost every mask around in an attempt to improve my complexion. I can now say that I think I have found a winner!
This clay mask is easy to apply, doesn't smell too strong and I just love that while it dries you don't feel as if you have cement setting on your face. You can actually still move your eyes and mouth without feeling like your face will crack, now that's got to be a BIG bonus!
I usually use this mask in the bath once a week so I can just sit back and relax while it works and I usually remove it using a damp face washer so no residue is left on the skin. Afterwards my face feels soooooo smooth and not one bit dry which is also another problem I've found with other masks.
Another plus is that a little seems to go a long way. I've used this product for a couple of months now on a regular weekly basis and I still seem to have over half of the pot left. Talk about value for money!
Anyway, I highly recommend this product to anyone with oily skin who may be sick of other harsh face masks that seem to do more harm than good.

On another note, I'm lucky to be awake right now after one of the most stressful nights I've had in a long time. One of our cats, Caesar, a huge fluffy mega-cat (all 7 kgs of him!) went missing last night and I swear I was as distraught as if he'd been a child of ours. We noticed he wasn't inside after having dinner and after checking the whole house and then calling outside for hours and driving around the streets behind our house the panic started to set in as neither of our cats are outdoor cats and I was terrified he'd get lost, eaten by a dog, hit by a car or all of the above!
Anyway, after a panic stricken night with NO sleep at all (and loads of tears, especially once it started to rain and I kept picturing him laying in a ditch somewhere all soaking wet) we heard a small meowing coming from somewhere near the kitchen this morning. Well, low and behold, we open the pantry doors and out strides one sleepy-eyed cat, stretching and purring as if nothing had happened. If only he knew the distress his little game of hide and seek caused!!

Anyway, talk soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not a Good Day

Well, today was very disappointing......
On Friday's I usually have a personal training session which I started up almost two months ago to try and shift all the unwanted pregnancy weight that seems to have taken hold and won't let go no matter how hard I try. Well, I couldn't go today because I woke up feeling so nauseated and had a migraine from hell! Very unhappy.
Funnily enough it's one of the simple things I look forward to the most every week and now I feel extremely deflated because I couldn't go this week. Oh well, I'll have to try and work twice as hard next week now :-)
I actually haven't been to the gym once this whole week which makes me feel even more guilty. At least I can hope that I'll get more use out of my time starting from next week as I have discussed with my boss that I want to drop back down to working only two days a week like I originally planned when I went back from maternity leave. I somehow got sucked into working an extra day from home but with a small baby it was taking me up to three days just to get one day worth of work done!! This in turn meant no study time was being put aside and don't even mention time for housework!
So, as of next week hopefully life will be a little less stressful and I can enjoy our bub a little more by giving up that extra work day. Financially it won't be so good but I guess you always manage somehow......
At least I got some good cuddle time in with bub today while I was feeling sick. He seems to know to behave when I'm not well which I'm so thankful for. The rest of the fur-kids were happy too judging by the fact there were two dogs and two cats sharing the bed all day with me and bub because they wanted the warmth. Needless to say it was very cosy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Beautyheaven loyalty goodies.....

I was extremely fortunate to receive my Beautyheaven loyalty status goodies in the mail today after only achieving the purple status at the beginning of last week. I wasn't expecting it for ages as most other members have said it has taken them up to 6 weeks to receive theirs.
Oh well, I couldn't wait to open to package and see what I received. Here it all is:

1) A 50ml So...? Sinful body spray (smells divine!)
2) A 50gm MOR Belladonna Body Butter (This is wrapped up so nice I don't ever want to open it!)
3) Three samples of A.S.A.P. products. Each sample containing a 5ml Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub, Sheer Tint Moisturiser and Gentle Cleansing Gel, so that's 3 of each one!
4) Lastly, four 4ml samples of Sundari Sandalwood Cleanser.

All in all a nice little surprise I must say! Can't wait to try everything out now :-)

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This was another product I received in my Lust Have It box last week and I am in mixed minds.
I absolutely love the way this product makes my skin feel after use, it's literally baby skin soft (I should know, I have a 5 month old!) but I don't know if it's just me but I feel a little awkward using it.
It comes as a fine powder which you are supposed to sprinkle about half a teaspoon from a sieve-like top into the palm of your hand and then blend with a little water to make a creamy paste. Well, I may be totally uncoordinated but every time I have the powder in my palm and then try to put the lid back on the container I end up losing half of it. Every time! There must be a trick to it that I'm just not getting. I did try to mix it once before putting the lid back on but then the next time I came to use it all the holes in the top were blocked and no powder could come out! If I had any input, I'd say to Dermalogica to just make the product up in the paste beforehand and sell it like that rather than as the powder. Powder and shower water/steam just do not mix.
Other than the awesome soft skin I have now since using it, I find the product smells a little like citrus which is kind of refreshing.
Anyway, I may consider buying this in the future, if I ever get the hang of dispensing it that is :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blog Hop!

What is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.
When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the
exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list.
The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog
to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

BioEffect EGF Serum

Well, the first product from my Lust Have It box that I already have an opinion about is the BioEffect EGF Serum. Even if I could ever afford the high price tag (RRP $180) I don't think I would ever personally buy this product for myself. I've used it every night since receiving it and I just don't like the way it makes my skin feel when it's applied. I guess I haven't used it long enough to see any results that it claims to do as yet but I don't think I would like to use it on a permanent basis even if it did do awesome things to my skin.
It may just be me but when I apply it my skin feels so sticky all night which I really am not a fan of. I feel that everything from my pillow is going to cling to my face when I'm sleeping and touching my face after applying just feels odd.
I must say that on the plus side the product certainly does go a long way and I can see it lasting a long time which obviously makes the large price tag not so bad in the end.
All in all this serum really isn't for me. It may just be that I have naturally oily skin most of the time anyway so putting this on every night could be adding to my greasiness factor which is why I feel so sticky.

Anyway, on a different note, my husband and I met with the celebrant who married us almost three years ago today to start organising our little bub's Naming Ceremony which is exciting. We've chosen to hold it on the 30th October so I now have two and a bit months to find him the cutest little tuxedo so he looks handsome on his big day :-)

Bye for now!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Well, I've finally received my much awaited first ever Lust Have It delivery and I must say that I am actually quite please with what I got. It contained 6 items, 4 of which were brands which I have never tried anything from before.

What I Received (and first impressions):

1) Dermalogica - Daily Microfoliant 13gm - Interesting product, seems to come in a very fine powder which you blend into a cream with wet hands before applying. I'm very intrigued....

2) Bioeffect - EGF Serum 3ml - I don't really know much about this brand so am excited to try something from it. I'm thinking this product may normally be a little out of my price range so it will be nice to feel rich for a little while with my little sample :-)

3) Burt's Bees - Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme 8.5gm - I've got a few Burt's Bees lip balms that I just love so am excited to see what this product in the range in like as well. Have applied it once already and it smells divine.

4) Naken Tan - Goddess Bronze 30ml - Not normally much of a self tanner. I'm part Irish which means I have whiter than white skin and it's normally way too much effort for me to maintain self tan without it looking ridiculous. I might leave trying this product until it starts to warm up again and more skin is actually on show!

5) Mirenesse - Velvet Lip Lift Moisture Shine - I've applied this to my lips already (couldn't help myself) and it feels really nice. I'll have to wait and see what it's like after being on for a length of time.

6) Armani - Sport Code Eau De Toilette 1.5ml - Already I think this smells really nice and can't wait to get my husband to wear some when we got out for dinner tonight

I also was lucky enough to receive my book delivery yesterday so am looking forward to reading 'Red Dog' as soon as I finish my latest Sookie Stackhouse novel. I've decided to have a little bit of a break between reading another one in the Sookie series as I think I need a taste of something else for a little while.

By the way, just wanted to mention that it is the 5th anniversary from when my husband and I first went out today so we're going out tonight for a nice dinner to celebrate. Can't wait!

Anyway, bye for now!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Still Waiting......

Well I am still waiting on my Lust Have It delivery which according to the tracking details will hopefully be turning up tomorrow. Typical, I would normally be home tomorrow but for once my husband is working from home so I'm planning on going into work to do a few things so won't be here when my delivery comes. I'm going to be VERY excited when I get home though! (Provided it actually comes).

Currently Reading: Today I finished 'All Together Dead' by Charlaine Harris and will soon be starting the next instalment in the Sookie Stackhouse series which is 'From Dead To Worse'. In a way I'm starting to get a bit tired with this series but will keep persevering as my best friend has already read them all and will kill me if I give up now :-)

I'm a little bit excited about another delivery I'm waiting on from Dymocks which is for two new books. One is 'Red Dog' and the other one is 'Go The F&*k To Sleep'. I've being seeing the previews on television for the movie adaptation of Red Dog and really want to read the book first before I see the film. Hopefully it will be worth the wait!
The second book I bought purely for the laugh factor. I recently watched a You Tube video where Samuel L Jackson narrates this book and it is absolutely hilarious. Being the mother of an almost 5 month old this book is very close to my heart and I'm sure my husband and I will have a lot a laughs over it in the months to come.

Currently Loving: My Garnier 7 Day Repairing Lotion. This moisturiser is one of the nicest I have used and when you look at it's price it's also once of the most cost effective. It feels so silky smooth when I apply it and I just love the smell as it's not too overpowering as some other brands. I don't really know about the 7 days of moisture claim but I must admit that even if I don't put it on every night (sometimes I must admit I'm just feeling too lazy after a shower to apply moisturiser on my body) I haven't felt dry or itchy once which is a really new feeling to me considering I suffer from sensitive skin which is prone to eczema almost all year round.

Currently Eating: My husband decided in his infinite wisdom last weekend that we would try and follow one of the CSIRO Wellbeing diet plans. I must admit I've felt extremely healthy after eating every meal, mainly due to the 17 different vegetables you have to add to every dish (That may be a slight exaggeration...) Unfortunately I have been a little hungry and restless now and then through the day as well so all this effort better be worth it. My husband claims he's got 'sympathy' weight which he put on when I was pregnant and is having as much trouble as me in losing it again. At least I have an excuse!! Anyway, we'll have to see how we both feel at the end of this week. With my gym and personal training workouts in conjunction with this diet I better be looking fine by the end of this week or I won't be impressed :-)

Anyway, that's enough from me tonight. I really should have spent the time it took me to write this a bit more constructively by studying but oh well!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Little Bit Excited

This is my first ever blog and I'm a little excited about the prospect of keeping it up as often as I can.

My main interests are reading, cooking (and eating!), beauty products, scrapbooking and all things animal related so this space will comprise a mixture of all of these elements.

I am a total novice when it comes to most stuff in relation to the design and implementation of something like this so I'll most likely be learning as I go.

Right now, the following items are taking my interest:

Currently watching - Masterchef Australia. Can't wait to find out who will win this years competition. I must admit this season hasn't grabbed me as much as the others and I was VERY disappointed when Hayden was eliminated but I'm still excited to see who will win this year.

Currently Loving - All things Elizabeth Arden. A couple of weeks ago it was my birthday and I decided to treat myself as I am usually a very low maintenance gal who never spends much money on nice things for myself. I wandered into my local David Jones store and got to talking with the Elizabeth Arden representative who totally sold me on their products by giving me a lovely gift-with-purchase and several samples to take home and try as well as the opportunity to have an hour long facial. I ended up purchasing their Intervene Stress Recovery Night Cream which was a little pricey for me at $92 but I've since fallen in love. It's buttery texture and lovely smell has convinced me that you definitely get what you pay for and I've never had softer skin on my face in my entire life. I ended up taking up her offer of the facial last week and literally felt like my face opened up afterwards! My skin was glowing and my eyes lost all signs of puffiness. This could be the start of something big.......

Currently Reading - Number seven in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I've become silently obsessed with this series and am trying to get through them all in between studying my boring CPA material, work and looking after our 4 1/2 month old. Needless to say it's slow going at the moment but I'm hopeful I will be through the series by the end of the year. They are not the most intellectual read but are kind of fun if you just want to relax and chill out from the real work for a little while. I've also become totally obsessed with the True Blood series based on these books and cannot wait for the next instalment every week. Eric is hot!!!

Anyway, that might be all for my first instalment into this wonderful world of blogging. Next time I will have hopefully received my first Lust Have It delivery and can start reviewing whatever lovely products it contains.

Bye for now,


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