3/31/2015

the late night edit//cotton on

Why, hello, dear night-owls who aren't really night-owls just normal-owls people. Look, I'm exhausted. It's just gone 9.30 PM and I'm ready for bed. I was ready for bed an hour ago but I forged ahead with this here post. There's a few reasons why I'm forging on with this itchy-eye area I'm in. My kid insisted on sleeping on our day bed in the lounge room tonight because her Dad is working late in the dining room and I was stuffing around in the lounge and I guess she didn't want to go to bed and miss out on all the action/felt a bit lonely {very much like her mumma}. I'm sticking around this area for a bit to watch her sleep/ensure she's sleeping okay because I'm neurotic like that and also I had so many urges to do this post.

I'm currently on the lookout for a few items to top up my wardrobe for Autumn/Winter that fit my style and aren't too expensive. Cotton On fits the brief here in so many ways so I've compiled a list of all the things on my radar - minus one which will feature on my Friday Five so I'm saving it for that {stay tuned, exciting things to come.... not really but it has a nice ring to it}. Here's the list --

winter dress perfection -- for the colder weather I favour three-quarter sleeve dresses for layering and as I tend to get overheated easily the length is wonderful
draped front blouse -- I love the style of this blouse. I purchased 4 in this style last year and they are amazing and fit perfectly
paws t -- I'm not a big t-shirt fan because some sleeves can make me feel claustrophobic and I'm much more a blouse person. I am learning, however, to buy t's a few sizes too big and that are adorably ridiculous so I'll actually want to wear them
pocket pet t -- I adore pugs and I like the simple pocket size of this one. Also, the tongue. So cute
star wars raglan -- love a good star wars clothing item. Blame my Husband
mickey sweat -- I adore Mickey and I love items like this. I like to dress them up & down but my favourite combination has probably got to be tucked into a cute skirt with flats
strawberry socks -- why not?
i woke up like this -- I feel like I need this but only worn with drool marks on my face and my hair all over the place
donut panic -- I don't know why but I love this shirt. I think it's the donuts and I think this is an around the house/exercise shirt but you never know
bear beanie -- a beanie with ears is a must-have in my book a.k.a a necessary item for all the closets
meh! -- I always say meh because I'm adorable like that. I need this shirt in my life

& that's about it...

Cotton On does it again. They are always on point for quality {ish} affordable clothes and I adore them

date night in//for the nerdy couple

When we arrived back from our honeymoon my Husband and I made an agreement to have a regular date night {either in or out} on the 25th of every month. It may sound silly, in fact it even sounds silly to me now, the picture of Husband and I sitting down to say "hey! let's have a date night once a month to keep the spark alive", as if we aren't two reasonable adults but, also, we're us and we get distracted so a specific date, once a month {to keep the pressure away}, is what works the best.

Our date night in for March just passed and I wanted to share my essentials for a truly delicious night-in --

spot boyfriend nightshirt - for me, cute & comfy
max brenner sparkles - if it's a special occasion {or a Tuesday} I will pick dessert over dinner and these are the perfect date night-in "dinner"  
men's navy classic pj set - my Husband pulls off pj's like this quite well, if I do say so myself
valentine teeny heart mug - x2, perfect for the next item...
milk chokola powder - Husband and I have an affection for hot chocolate and is always a favourite to sip, snuggled up together

& lastly, the perfect watch for a couple like us: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

But, also, lets keep in mind that sometimes life is busy and tiring and sharing some pie together before bed is all a-o.k...

*I'd love to hear your tips for the perfect date night -- leave below x





3/30/2015

being mum//a letter to b.

Dear Bailey,

One day you are actually going to take notice that I take an awful lot of pictures of you while you sleep. In passing, or rather, flicking you have noticed the abundance of them but I think you're too young to fully grasp that your mother is stalking you while you sleep. Right now you're more like:
"hey, you took that while I was asleep. Mummy, you have to ask -- hey a squirrel!"

One you day you may very well dislike the fact that I take photos such as these {or any photos really} and, look, I'm kind of but not really sorry. See, you're really frickin' adorable. And when you sleep your breathing steadies and your entire body relaxes and you are perfection. I can't help myself.

Also, perhaps, now is a good time to admit that I also stare at you a lot while you sleep. I also have quite a lot of disagreements with your father during this time because I want to wake you so we can have a slumber party but he says I'm not allowed. A tired Bailey is not a fun Bailey. And, well, I agree you are awful cranky when you're tired. I don't know where you get that from, not me surely? Okay, I fess up. You get it from me. You also get hangry as do I. We are, quite often, two peas in a pod.

Perhaps if you endeavor to be less cranky maybe we could have more slumber parties with Disney movies and popcorn?

Also, another reason I love to watch/capture you sleep is these eyelashes of yours. Look, it's really not fair. People spend money to get eyelashes like yours and there you are not even knowing how long and thick yours are. You get them from your father {because he deserves them!} and one day I wonder, when you're older, will they become not as long and full and will you spend hundreds of dollars to get them this way again {though, probably never quite succeeding}? Or will you not be interested in make up? Or will they stay this way forever?

Listen kid, I love you so much. I love our snuggles and even though it may not always seem that way, I would drop everything for snuggles with you. Also our Eskimo Kisses and our regular kisses and all the other sweet things we do.

Looking at these pictures now -- your sweet lips and your grubby little face that you usually refuse to wash/have washed {and at bedtime what's the point?}. To me, you are perfection in every way. I know that nobody is, realistically, perfect but, listen, you are perfect even in all your imperfections. Sometimes, I get frustrated with your father because he calls me perfect and I think dammit! I am not! but to him I am. I am not perfect but he loves me, the good and the bad. That's how I love you little one. Good and bad.

I hope this will always be the case. I hope that we will always be pals, just as we are now. I hope we will continue to gang up on your dad but only in fun. I hope you will love me as I love you. Just as you are.

Love you, Boo
x


3/27/2015

friday five//chicks in boots

Happy Friday everyone! Shall we discuss what happened this week? Let's see... Nothing much, really. Just usual parenting things that are fun for nobody aside from Husband and I so I won't bore you with them all here. A sick Husband and I managed to watch a movie while B. was at school this week before he jumped back onto his computer and typed his day away {he's one of those annoying types who emails in sick and then still does work all damn day}. 'Twas a fascinating documentary based on Liam Neeson's life called Taken 2 {yes, I've used that "joke" before and chances are I'll use it again}. Also, in all seriousness, I love Liam Neeson. I have a major "old man" crush on him. Anyway, pip-pip tally-ho, moving on...

Actually, before we get going -- have you noticed how many times I say anyway especially when I just want to move onto a different topic but can't be bothered doing so properly? Should I stop this? Or should I keep kidding myself/pretending it's adorable? Don't actually answer me, I can't bear the truth on this one. Also, anyway....

To be honest, I don't need anymore boots. I want some more boots. And in that sense I need more boots. So here's five boot essentials for this cold chill that's a-coming.



TWO. Target Varsity Ankle Boots - Grey {also available in taupe}
FOUR. Nine West Orion Boot {my top pick}
FIVE. Hunter Original Tour Boots {muddy puddle jumping perfection}

3/26/2015

j style//let's discuss my wardrobe

Over the past week I have been consumed with the idea of having less. Now, I have had these thoughts before but they were only ever really half-hearted. This time I mean business. Honestly. I spent some time waiting for the moment to pass, just in case, because the idea of purging and then instantly regretting it does not sound fun. Also, when it comes to cleaning and organising I am very OCD and can become very manic in my ways. I left time for this side to calm itself before beginning. And then I purged. And it felt good. Really good actually. Great, if you will. But, I still... I don't know...

I still feel as if I have too much but if I were to get rid of more clothes/shoes/bags I would be getting rid of things I still love and still wear. So what is one to do at this point? I adore the idea of a core wardrobe and being a minimalist and when it's time to pick something to wear and you want to wear a black skirt you only have one black skirt so it's easy. That seems like an easy sort of life and one that I admire. But... what about all my other black skirts that I love? What happens to them? Let's take a peek inside my wardrobe{s} to get an idea of what I'm rambling about --

^this is my linen closet and if there's something you should know about me it is this -- i love linen closets. In the house we lived before this we didn't have one and one of the things that we were looking for when we had to move was good linen storage. Huzzah! We found it in this place and then one day on one of my whims I decided to take the doors off and make this area a bookcase which I loved but then the shoe situation started to get out of control and so, a shoe closet it became.

And, look, I know I don't have that many shoes but I have enough and I have to rest each pair on top of each other because there's no room otherwise and the only reason it's look so neat {and not really all that neat anyway} is because I got rid of around 6 pairs. Yet... I still have 3 pairs of purple flats and I rarely wear them {or purple for that matter}. One is a gorgeous Mimco pair, another is a surprise pair Husband gifted to me while we were still dating and the other I purchased on major sale at Target and the jewel on them is divine. I don't want to get rid of any of them but isn't the point of purging to get rid of things you don't wear? So what point are shoes and bags that never get used?

Also, as you can see above some of this stuff I love but kind of don't like {that snakeskin bag for example}. And some of the stuff don't even fit my weird shrunken-after-pregnancy/mutilated-after-broken-toe feet and I still couldn't get rid of them! Yes, I love them. Yes, they cost $150 and, yes, this is my second pair of the same shoe in the same colour because I lost one half of the first pair. But, still! Is this what I've become?

Don't even get me started on the bags. Actually, do. There are 10 bags up there. I use one Mimco satchel on a semi-regular basis. The rest of my bags are stored elsewhere. My Louis Vuitton {duh}, my 2 Missoni totes {for casual occasions} and another Mimco satchel {that's used for decoration more than anything. It is darn cute}.

Donated--
Shoes: 6
Bags: 3

Also {yep there's another one}, I did have my Husband's shoes in here but they were getting in my way so they got moved elsewhere just like his entire clothes wardrobe did months earlier. More on that now...

^my closet is not huge and, sadly, it is not walk-in {sob}. It's roomy enough. Just. I have it separated by pants, jackets, cardigans, dresses, skirts, tops and scarves. There is no room for any of Husband's clothes. None. Zero. I purged recently and, yet, I still feel overwhelmed by it all.

Of course, I am aware, I don't have as much as others but, look, when we're discussing core wardrobes or being a minimalist this is not what I think of. Here's the lowdown:

Pants: 
{of which I still, mostly, detest} 
Donated: 3
Remaining: 8 

Jackets:
Donated: 5
Remaining: 4
{good number, right? Considering I haven't worn any of them since before I had B. I'm not convinced}

Capes:
2
{love these, of course, want more}

Ridiculous Furry/Fluffy Vests:
1
{had for a year, never worn}

Cardigans/Other Knits:
Donated: 3
Remaining: 15
{have many double-ups in colours}

Dresses: 
Donated: 5
Remaining: 45
{some have only been worn once, still feel I don't have enough}

Skirts:
Donated: 6
Remaining: 25
{some are around 3 years old and never worn -- one day!}

Tops:
Donated: 8
Remaining: 35
{most are on high rotation, some never worn}

Scarves:
10-15
{half are for warmer weather, a style of which I grew out of a few years ago}

In Drawers: 
{not pictured}

Drawer 1: full to the brim of more casual or rarely worn clothes like shorts and a ridiculous/awesome Storm Trooper hoodie
Drawer 2: underwear, bras, swimwear and tights {on constant overflow}
Drawer 3: piled high with pyjamas {my most used clothing items}. Always adding more.

So...um...

Look, seeing all of this written down I can see I have enough but, ugh, slap me, I want more. I don't shop outside of my means {full anxiety and depression breakdown last year not included}. I only buy when I have the money so buying more isn't, really, a problem. But I don't need more. I want more, yes, but I also want a more simplistic life that's not overflowing with junk. So, the question is, what the heck do I do?

I need help! Help I say!

Unless, the help involves hard work and then I'm out. 

Hard work leads to stress and stress leads to me and my butt hightailing it to the shops.

But, all jokes aside. My Husband uses the playroom closet as his closet and, yes, it's all well and good because we have the space but, also, shouldn't a Husband be able to stash his clothes in the closet in his bedroom? I don't know...

Leave me some tips/advice/sympathies or encouragement to shop some more below...



3/25/2015

j review//olay regenerist advanced cleansing system


I've been using the Olay Regenerist Adavanced Cleansing System for over a month now and finally feel comfortable writing this review. See, the thing I've found with cleansing brushes is that your skin gets worse before it gets better. That's not to say that you look awful but your skin will have a few minor outbreaks as the brush helps your face get rid of all the yuck. And, yep, you're correct in believing that that sounds kind of scary but don't let it deter you from diving into the deep end -- there is better skin at the other end.


Now, this cleansing brush is not a Clarisonic so if you're hoping for a comparison review this isn't one. The brushes are too different to compare. The biggest difference, aside from price, is the way the brushes move so, basically they do different things with the same goal in mind {make sense?}. Ergo, no comparison. Now we've got that out of the way let's move onto the review.

Olay says:
The cleansing system provides 4X better cleansing {vs. basic cleansing} and helps maximise the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your moisturiser. It is professionally designed with the following features: its 2-speed rotating system delivers daily deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation and is water resistant for use in the shower. The cleansing brush is as effective as a system sold by skin professionals for nearly $200.

Jaye says:
The cleansing brush provides better cleaning than manual cleansing alone and helps other skincare products absorb more effectively. The brush rotates and has 2 different speeds that are easily accessed with the second button on the brush handle. It operates with batteries and is shower safe but I wouldn't say necessarily 100% waterproof.

Pros:
1. Price -- I purchased my brush for just under $30 {from Chemist Warehouse}. Other places, like Priceline, sell the brush for just under $35 {view here}. You can also purchase a box of 2 replacement brush heads for under $10. In the box you get the brush, a brush head, a small Olay cleanser {which I haven't used} and batteries.
2. Battery Operated -- this will also fall under the con category but I'll get to that later. Batteries are easy to come by {we usually always have a stock pile in our home} and there's no need to find space for a charger or to actually remember to charge it. A plus for space-heads/lazy people like me.
3. Small -- the size of this fits perfectly in my hand and the brush isn't too big for my face. It fits perfectly into the contours of my nose. It's also easy to store away when not in use.
4. Easy to Use -- the brush has 2 buttons. One is the on/off button and the other is to change the speeds {I prefer the slower one but both are great and not too rough on skin}. The brush heads and batteries are also easy to insert and/or replace.
5. It Actually Works -- the best factor of all. Yes, the brush works and it works well. At first it purges your face of all the build up that manual cleansing didn't get rid off and then it continues to leave your skin squeaky clean and continues to remove your pores of gunk.

Cons:
1. No Brush Lid -- for a semi-germaphobe like me this a big con. I hate the idea of not covering the brush up especially when the brush is stored in a bathroom. We all know bathrooms breed nasties and I like my toothbrush and cleansing brush covered up. I now store my cleansing brush in a drawer but would still love a lid either way. 
2. Battery Operated -- as I said above, this is a pro and con. The negative part of this equation is that I don't exactly feel comfortable using this fully under the water so I need to be careful. The compartment that the batteries are in seems secure and tight but one can never be too sure and I'd rather the brush stay in working order.
3. No Timer -- I know I said this wasn't a comparison review with the Clarisonic but allow me this. The Clarisonic has a timer/beeps for each section of your face and for when your done eg; 20 seconds for cheeks, 10 seconds for chin, etc. The Olay brush doesn't have any system like this so, realistically, you could be left over cleansing your face. While this could happen at the beginning after a few goes you'll get used to the brush and will essentially become an expert at cleansing with it and knowing your face.

The brush really, truly, is wonderful. Especially for the price. As a previous user of the Clarisonic {which dropped and stopped working the same} I know what excellence in a cleansing brush is, however, saying that I did still get break outs using the Clarisonic as I do using the Olay. 

So, do I have any regrets purchasing it? No, not for a second. In fact, I wish I had taken the plunge and purchased it sooner because it has improved my skin's appearance and texture. It really does remove all traces of make up {although 95% of the time I clean my face with wipes or a cleansing water before hoping in the shower}. My main problem area is my chin which feels rough even after manual cleansing, this brush fixes this issue, which is all I really wanted, so for under $40 I can't complain and, in fact, I have no need to.

Have you tried the Olay Cleansing Brush?
If so, leave your thoughts below.
And if not, I recommend giving it a go.

3/24/2015

watch|j review//fifty shades of grey

The other week I headed to the cinema with my sister and sister-in-law to watch Fifty Shades of Grey. Today I'm going to share my thoughts. Let me preface this with two things:

1. This is not really my kind of movie and the idea of paying $20 to see it is not my usual idea of fun. I had planned to watch the movie at home with my Husband because... alone time. But my sister wanted to watch it and I wanted to get lunch and have a slurpee {sadly the latter never eventuated, Event cinemas shall we discuss?} so....yep
2. I had read all 3 books and hated/loved every minute of it. The books were terribly written as in and then the dog had lunch. And after lunch the dog washed his hands. And then something else happened -- bad. Also I don't enjoy grammatical errors in published works, especially in ones that are so popular. One, I can forgive but any more than that is unforgivable. Still, the activities the book encouraged made it quite lovable. Also, I guess, I was one of those people that didn't read into the book all that much. It was what it was. I guess some people also found the sex scenes too graphic/wild/whatever but I didn't. They were just normal sex acts to me. 

Anyway, with those in mind, let's talk about the movie shall we?

I enjoyed the leads -- Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson -- and the supporting cast. I think the fact that nobody was too well known worked well in the film's favour. I am a big fan of Dornan in The Fall so in Fifty Shades I knew what/who he could be {although I did find him sexier in The Fall, there's just something about psychopaths...}. Going into the film I didn't expect anything which I think is crucial for something like this. Look, this isn't some cinematic masterpiece but does it really need to be? I don't think so.

Johnson is kind of brilliant as Steele. She's plain without being too plain and naive without being too naive. As for Mr. Grey himself, well, Dornan allows us to believe that he's sexy and cute and damaged at the same time. And I think they had chemistry, so there.

I will be the first to admit that, yep, I bought into this unconventional love story. I am not a fan of soppy stories so this was a nice change of pace. Some of the romance and wooing {gift of books aside} I could have done without and really should have been replaced with more spanking and bondage because quite frankly, sometimes, spanking is necessary. I have heard quite a lot of talk about Grey being abusive but, look, I don't see it that way. To be honest I understand Grey more than Steele. Pushing people away. Hurting them. Needing that pain outlet. That's all stuff I understand so I wasn't bothered with it.

Watching this movie with someone who wasn't my Husband was a tad uncomfortable but let's discuss the sex anyway shall we? Even in the rougher moments it looked good. Of course, there was more naked Johnson than Dornan which was a tad disappointing {equality for all!}. Yes, there was cheese but it wasn't anything you couldn't get past and, look, there were more important things to be paying attention to. Was it too graphic? Nope. And, honestly, I didn't find anything wrong with the room "of pain" or the things inside it because to me it's all just fun and games and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

I know that the BDSM in the movie has been badly received. People have mentioned Secretary as the "do" and Fifty Shades as the "don't" but, ugh, look, I am not a BDSM expert so... Secretary is a quite kind of film. There's a lot of spanking and not much else and, look, I wanted more. It was a bit of let down in the sense that I'd heard it was graphic and it was not. Fifty Shades is more sexy, more porn-ish, if you will. And, really, if your porn collection is dated you could use the sex scenes in it as the start of something new.

Should I now mention how refreshing it was to see pubic hair? See safe sex being practiced? Blah blah blah. Yada yada yada. Yes and yes.

Will I watch the film again? Yes, but I think just with my Husband while our kid is in a deep, deep sleep.

If it was to be made into a trilogy would I watch those? Yes, I probably would.

Do I hope the DVD/Blu-Ray lets you watch just the sex scenes on a loop? Yep, but that's because I'm kind of dirty like that.

*** out of  *****

3/23/2015

at home//the letter mug obsession

If you've never stopped by here or my Instagram before you may not be aware of my love for letter mugs. The skinny of it is that I love letter mugs and that's pretty much the end of the story. Interesting, huh? Anyway, letter mugs. Yes.

My favourite come from Williams-Sonoma and, sadly, they are only available around Christmas time. The mugs are wonderfully priced {$12} and perfection to use year round. And, also, Williams-Sonoma if you want to sponsor my life I'd welcome that {please, and thank you}. Since, these mugs are only available for a few months out of the year I've put together a selection of others you can purchase right now because letter mugs are awesome and, obviously, an essential to any home.



The mugs from Robert Gordon Australia are the most similar to the Williams-Sonoma ones that have my heart but in my opinion the WS mugs can not be passed up and are so worth waiting until the end of the year for. And the Robert Gordon ones are different enough to purchase also and not feel unnecessary. Also, it can't hurt to have all these other letter mugs too can it? I mean, who is a letter mug obsession hurting? No-one right? Exactly...

3/21/2015

personally j//life lately

Sometimes life is achingly beautiful. Sometimes, for a few days at least, you can get bogged down in the crappy parts of life where your anxiety and depression and all that other junk straps you down to the bed and strips you of your will. So you sleep and you pee and you eat and you try to be something, anything, and then somewhere between sleep and awake you feel cured of all the bad and bam! you're you again.

You get to fully, one-hundred percent, enjoy your Husband for all his strengths and weaknesses and, boy, you missed enjoying his weakness. And you get to appreciate your child who is the most amazing person in the entire world who feeds Ritz crackers to the plants because they're hungry. You get to walk the dogs and bounce along to all the strut inducing songs and you get to invite chaos in and enjoy it and go out and love it. Life isn't always easy with me and my brain because when it's bad it's bad but when it's good it's so very good and it kind of makes it worth it. Also, can I mention that the majority of this is to do with Beyond Blue and the MindSpot Clinic who have been epically wonderful and if you need help I can not recommend them enough.

Anyway, onwards...

 Someone hurt my knee today. Umm, I don't know how they hurt it but they hurt it with their eyebrows and then their fingernails - Bailey Gaff, all forlorn, 19/03/2015, mid-afro.

3/20/2015

friday five//mascaras for lash lovers

Huzzah! It's finally Friday and, yep, that's about it. Because, see, I have startling information people -- the more things you do the busier you are and the less time you have for other things. Other things being writing that is. Anyway, that's about it...

Today, I've selected 5 must-have mascaras for lash lovers. I've done well over the past few months and have existed with only 2 mascaras and, really, only one in use. While Benefit's They're Real Mascara is wonderful I'm missing my mascara-hoarding ways. While I may not purchase all 5 of these I am craving all the picks below --



bareMinerals Modern Pop Lash Domination Volumising Mascara for length, curl and volume from Mecca at $24 
Fairydrops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara for lushes lashes with the wibbly-wobbly brush from Cult Beauty at £18.50 {join the wait-list for the mascara that sold out within 2 hours}
 L'Oreal Paris Big Doll Eyes with Miss Magna Mascara for doll like eyes from Priceline at $15.36 {currently 30% off -- originally $21.95}
Benefit RollerLash Mascara for lifted, separated and curled lashes from Adore Beauty at $38 {join the wait-list for this one also -- is it just me or does a wait-list make everything seem that much more fancy?}

Origins Ginzing Mascara for voluminous, defined lashes with this naturally-derived mascara from Mecca at $26

& a happy weekend to all and to all a goodnight 

3/19/2015

easter musts//for the whole family

Easter is right around the corner and the shops are currently full of delectable Easter goodies. Now, I'm not referring to chocolate here, mainly because Easter treats have been flooding our stores since we said farewell to Christmas and I've been stuffing my face since then. The main excitement over this time of year, for me, are all the other Easter items. Pyjamas. Toys. Accessories. Each one cuter than the last. I am a sucker for all of it and, today, I wanted to share some Easter musts for the whole family --

FOR ME: Peter Alexander Bunny Eye Mask - I can no longer sleep without an eye mask and Peter Alexander always have sweet ones that aren't too lose/tight and cost just under $10. They also last for a good few months before the elastic wears or you just get bored.
Target Bunny Pyjama Set - Blue - this is simple yet sweet. I wear pyjamas abut 3+ sizes too big and I think these will be delicious to wear all long and baggy.

FOR HUSBAND: Monty Python Killer Rabbit Slippers - trust me when I say that I searched HIGH & low for rabbit-themed items for Husband and this was all I could find. Luckily, Husband happens to love Monty Python and slippers so it was a win.

FURRY FRIENDS {a.k.a the Bum & Fredrick}: Peter Alexander Dog Bunny Hoodie - both dogs feel the cold so jumpers are actually more need rather than want. Still, it can't hurt to look ridiculously adorable while keeping toasty can it?
Cuddlies Plush Toy Rabbit - this thing kind of looks really life like and also, is it just me or does this rabbit have hair growing out of its nostrils? Fred will adore this.

FOR B.: Build-A-Bear Buddies - Dark Brown Bunny - my kid needs another stuffed toy about as much as I need another make up product/bag/dress/take your pick but, gosh, what is an Easter basket without a fluffy bunny?
Target Fleecy Bunny Sleeper - B. has a mouse suit that she adores and that should fit her all autumn/winter long but why should she just stop at one onesie? This bunny one is perfection and it has a carrot!
Peter Alexander Girls Bunny Beanie - would this even fit her head? I have no clue but it's adorable so...
Target Bunny Tails Flannelette Pyjama Set - this is adorable also and I am now torn between about 5 bunny pyjamas and have no clue which one to select for her Easter basket. Help!

pin collective//rounded tips

When it comes to nails, a lot of the time, I tend to forget about them. Often, I'm on my way somewhere before I notice my cuticles, my polish or my nails in general are looking worse for wear. With so many things to take care of in a beauty routine my nails seem to always be the last on my list. Lately I've had a stronger desire to rectify that issue and I think the catalyst for this was the purchase & wear of these house of holland glue on nails.

^of course, nails like these aren't practical for everyday but they were fun nonetheless

Since then I've been on bit of a nail kick and there have been countless pins that have caught my attention. Here are my favourites --

{adore the colour, length & shape}

^this 
{probably too long for me but I love the shape}

{love the glitter tips}



3/18/2015

pretty sneaky

Yesterday, I featured some sneakers for exercise alone and today I wanted to share some sneakers for casual outfits. Currently I own two pairs: silver and black & white cheetah {?} print, both of the slip-on variety and, obviously {not really}, I need some more. I came across some fabulous pairs during my exercise sneaker search and now I am obsessed. Here are my favourite pairs --


3/17/2015

sneaky thoughts

I have a confession to make. I am twenty-seven years old and have never owned a proper pair of sneakers. Sure, I've sauntered into stores and picked up a cheap pair here and there over the years but I have never gone into an actual sneaker store and purchased a pair that is perfectly designed to support my arch and provide delicious cushion-y support. And why is that you may ask? I have a strong distaste for sneakers. Over the past year I have grown to like the slip on type that is more fashionably casual than exercise material but I have always resisted buying proper sneakers because the majority are so darn ugly.

Despite my reluctance I know that I need to bite the bullet and buy a proper pair {for walking mostly}. But it's hard people. It's really bloody hard. I don't know, am I just supposed to not care what encase my feet while I'm walking the dogs? Because that's not me. In order to be me I need to feel cute and happy and all the other things that make me me. Acceptance of fugly sneakers is not one of those things. It took a while but here are some of my top picks --


loud & lovely -- adidas zx flux shoes
pink hints -- adizero feather 4 onyx
pattern perfection -- nike free 5.0 

^I think the first pair are my favourites! Does anyone have any sneaker buying tips? Are there any shops I should avoid? -- please name any that make you go on a treadmill and run. I don't need any of that nonsense. Also, I don't run....

3/16/2015

being mum//d.i.y cafe & market for b.


In just under 3 months Bailey turns 4 - eeek! The old me would have had her birthday presents planned before Christmas the year before but somewhere in 2014 I lost my obsessive need to plan and was hit with a certain breed of mind blankness that made picking presents for my loved ones that much harder. Over the weekend I finally planned all of B's birthday presents - a cafe & shop with accessories - and then, well, I got too proud on a Monday while B was at pre-school and Husband was at work and did this little DIY project completely rendering all birthday present plans invalid. Still, I'm quite pleased with my efforts and since it didn't cost a thing, using only what we already had, I wanted to share my tips and tricks with you here.

The Shop Front
Since I wanted the shop/cafe to be in our lounge room {B's room & playroom are already filled to the brim} I decided to implement this piece of furniture with wicker drawers as the "shop front". The drawers originally held gaming equipment, DVD's and console games so I moved all of these out to make room for any food and other items B. might like. I also thought these drawers would work well pulled out at an angle a little to display any food like a market would and unlike an open area the baskets can be closed up so any mess is out of sight when it's not in use.

On the top I laid out cakes, biscuits and other dessert items on a wooden cupcake tower and a ceramic cupcake holder. Bailey is usually very good at playing with breakables so I implemented some of my decorative items into this area for her. I set up a tea area with tea cups and saucers and gave her a little teapot with matching cups of mine so she could actually make and pour "tea" {her last play teapot ended up being squashed into oblivion by Husband, I believe}. In 2 baskets I also put out some fruits and vegetables and cheese, etc. Lastly, I added her checkout/cash register that has a scanner, buttons and screen, conveyor-belt, microphone and credit card slot so she can make sure she's getting paid.

For decoration I added a vase with fake flowers, a pretty wooden storage box with handle, some baskets/bags for purchases and a little blackboard that reads "welcome to b's place - cafe and market - gourmet". Over at her kitchen I added my print that reads "we make a good pear" which I thought would make a wonderful foodie addition and which I'll probably put on the wall at a later date.

Around the Back
Since none of the cafe/market area is really closed off I added a Peppa Pig bunting for a cute touch that B. had hanging up in her playroom. Ideally, I would have loved to add a striped bunting that had a more "market" feel but this was all I had on hand. I also placed a stool from Mocka for the shop keeper to sit on or for placement of other items.

The Kitchen
This play kitchen is from Ikea. It is currently just the standard kitchen without the microwave, though I'm hoping to give that part to B. for her birthday this year. The kitchen holds any additional food or utensils and is great for just shoving things into when there's not much time/desire to pack away.

Currently there's not much room for decoration in this area so I just have the aforementioned pear print. When/if we add the microwave to the kitchen I'll hopefully get to add more things here {like a canister of cooking tools, etc}.

Initially, I wasn't going to add the kitchen to the area as I'm not the biggest fan of toys on display but eventually decided to add it as it a) filled out the area nicely and b) made playing with water {or "tea"} much easier and cleaner as the kitchen has a plastic sink.

Additions
There are obviously some things lacking here so I'd like to make some additions:
*To give the area more of a market feel with the baskets we need some more food. I love Ikea's range of play food as it's nice and soft and not inclined to break
*I'd love to buy B. a wooden toaster, coffee machine and, perhaps, a mixer so she can serve more food to her cafe customers
*I'm still playing with this idea but I was thinking of adding some labels {blackboard ones perhaps?} to the wicker baskets to categorise the food for sale
*I'd also like to add 2 rugs/mats to the area. One to the front for the cafe customers to sit at as a sort of picnic area {maybe with some floor cushions} and the other to the back of house to make it look a little more pulled together. If the area was bigger I'd love to add a table and chairs or just some stools to the area but, sadly, we don't have the space

Tips & Tricks
To be honest, doing something like this is pretty simple. Saying that, however, I've kind of become a master at rearranging and re-purposing the furniture in my home so it may be tricky to know what will work and what won't if you're not used to doing that. Here are some suggestions:
*Do some research first. I pinned and googled and pinned and googled for a few days before I did this. With this, I knew exactly what I liked and what I didn't. For some easy to find ideas take a look at my Pinterest here
*After all your research, take some time and think about what materials you have and what will work for and in your home before you begin
*Take all your planning and thinking into consideration and use this as your main plan but also allow some room to move because it may not turn out how you thought
*This one sounds obvious but... take your child into mind when making them something like this. Bailey is usually very good with her things and has always been good with our home decor including breakable things {there have been accidents, of course, but these are rare}. So if your kid can be trusted to play with some decorative and breakable items that you have on hand, use them
*Don't feel like it needs to be perfect and finished in one go. This is a big one for me because I usually think once something is started it needs to be done right and in a reasonable amount of time, however, with this my need to surprise B. with it  asap outweighed my need to have everything perfect
*And, lastly, if you don't have any play food there are tons of instructions around on making your own at home -- I love this tutorial list from apartment therapy

&, hey, if you have any ideas on spicing up the area let me know!
Also, I'd love to see some of your D.I.Y projects -- leave them below.

3/13/2015

friday five//5 must have jackets & jumpers to conquer the chill

I created an original song, a masterpiece if you will, for this here post today. It goes a little something like this:

The colder weather is coming! The colder weather is coming! Hooray! Hooray! I froze my bum off today.

I am a massive fan of the cold. The clothes. The boots. The blankets. The infinite number of snuggles had and hot chocolates consumed. Ah, cold weather, I love you so. I wish I lived somewhere that only had one season and that season was named: cold. In this magical land it would rain infrequently and be hot never. It would snow but one would never have to wear those hideous long puffy parka things. As I've said before, it's good to have dreams and this is one of mine. Anyway, on to the good stuff - 5 jackets & jumpers for you {and me!} to conquer this upcoming chill that I hope will last for months and months on end and then it'll be Christmas and Sydney will be all like "what is this? It's snowing and our Christmas tree is a real tree and we're not melting while we celebrate. Who invented such a miracle?" And then I'll step forth and proclaim: "it was I! You can thank me later. Or now, if you must. Huzzah!" And then we'll all live happily ever after. The end.


one. Lee Cooper Lightweight Parka - throw over dresses & wear unbuttoned {only!} for a casual look
two. Stupid Style I'd Rather Be A Mermaid Jumper - I've always wanted to be a mermaid
three. Gorman Bandwagon Jumper - polka dots!
four. Stupid Style Too Tired To Function Jumper - I am often too tired to function - this is essential
five. Hi There Karen Walker Owl Jumper With Collar - an adorable polished look

3/12/2015

to love & be loved//a happy list


As someone who suffers with anxiety and the annoying jumble of a bunch of others things, which at times feels like all the things, it's important for me to note down what makes me happy. It helps me stay grounded and when times are hard, knowing exactly what can make me smile again is important because sometimes it's easy to forget. I also feel like sometimes, in this busy world of ours, that we can forget to be grateful and give the ordinary attention. Today, I want to share my current happy list --

1. Sometimes I wonder if my life is enough and I let myself get eaten up inside with all of the what ifs? and then, when I let myself just be, I realise that the one thing that consistently makes me happy is this life of mine. I've chosen a simple life. A quiet life. A life without too much stress. A life where my family is never rushed and we can be as leisurely or as busy as we want. It's wonderful.
2. Just simply knowing that I love and am loved makes me ridiculously, butterflies in my tummy kind of happy.
3. Bailey, of course, makes me so giddy with happiness but one thing that I'm loving about her lately is that she says "calm down mummy!" in our conversations in her perfectly adorable exasperated tone. For example {said in the Hermoine Granger voice if you please}; the other day she was sending an emoji-filled text to Husband and I asked if she was done and she half-yelled/half-sighed:

calm down please mummy, it will be your turn soon! 

Why is she so grown up all of a sudden?

4. Bailey, also, when she unintentionally hurts you {like with an elbow in the boob} will give you a condescending pat on the arm/shoulder/back and say "don't worry mummy it didn't hurt" even though you just said OW! and it bloody well did!
5. My Husband makes me happy {but shhh don't tell him I told you}. He comes up to me with big smile on his goofy face and says "I have to tell you something" to which I say "oh god, what have you done?" and he says "I love you".
6. One of my greatest fears in life is someone seeing the real me and not loving me anymore {I have issues}. But my Husband, well he's seen everything there is to see and heard everything there is to hear and loves me. So, yup, that makes me very happy indeed.
7. Cups of tea that heal the broken soul.
8. Translucent sticky notes - genius idea! In fact, all stationary and organising tools make me ridiculously happy.
9. Hard plums that taste both sweet & sour. So good.
10. The word delicious when used to describe any number of things. Especially bed. Bed is delicious.

*I'm hoping to make this happy list a new series and would love to include some of your happy lists here! Leave a comment or email me at jayegaff@jayebyday.com to be featured here!


3/11/2015

sweetly scented//moringa eau de toilette from the body shop

I wasn't in the market for a new scent but when I happened upon a heavily discounted Christmas music tin filled with goodies at The Body Shop {no longer available} while picking up their wonderful Vitamin C serum {a must for the morning} I couldn't resist. I purchased the tin mostly for the 3 body butters and matching lip balms and was, admittedly, initially hesitant to spend the almost $40 because of the inclusion of this scent. See, I've been a tad mad at The Body Shop since they discontinued my favourite coconut oil many moons ago and some part of me felt like purchasing a scent from them meant I was okay with their choice. And, look, obviously I'm not and I will never forgive them but, also, I realised that I'm ridiculous, they don't give a hoot about our bad blood and, well, this scent was too delicious not to go ahead with the purchase.

Moringa is, apparently, a flower and since I'm no expert on flowers I'm not going to argue that it sounds made up and just go with it. The moringa eau de toilette contains the moringa extract as well as Community Fair Trade organic alcohol which is apparently made "with love and care in Ecuador".

The scent is light and freshly floral and is a delight to wear. When taking your initial whiff the fragrance feels as though it has two layers -- one that is light and dreamy and another that is a little stronger with excellent staying power. I can be sensitive to some fragrances if they are either too sweet or too strong and while this is sweet and has strength it does not make my allergies rear their annoyingly hideous head.

Now, can I get a bit lame for a minute and talk about fragrances evoking feelings deep within my soul? I can? Good!

There's just something in this moringa scent that makes me feel like I've been in a field of the most deliciously scented flowers while rolling around in a pool of my favourite sour lollies. It's as if the flowers and lollies have combined to make this scent that is good enough to eat, or rather, drink, I guess. But don't actually drink it because that would be gross and could also, maybe,  make you sick and once when I was in year 3 I thought you were supposed to spray perfume in your mouth and I did it for a few weeks before my teacher found out and I got sent to the principals office. Learn from me young ones...

Now for the important info: you can find the moringa eau de toilette at The Body Shop {either online or in store}. It retails for $18.95 AUD and comes in a perfectly sized 30ml spritz bottle. You can also find a bunch of other products in the moringa scented range including soap, body mist and body butter. 

3/10/2015

easter must-haves

As Bailey gets older I find that Easter becomes more of a thing in our house. We tend to do more crafts, decorate more and have decked out egg hunts. All of this extra stuff, of course, means buying and/or making Easter things for decor or for gifts. This year, like all the others, we'll be focusing on less chocolate with our Easter baskets usually full of pyjamas and other wonderful goodies with a few edible treats thrown in for good measure. Here are some of my top Easter-themed picks for this year--

ONE. Cotton On Kids Hooded Bunny Gown - I can't pass up a cute hood
TWO. Cotton On Kids Gold Bunny PJ - both Cotton On items, I hope to include in B's Easter basket this year because they are Easter perfection
THREE. Morgan & Finch 2 Standing Fuzzy Bunnies - these are delicious & much needed
FOUR. White Ceramic Bunny Ramekin - throw in some mini eggs {speckled or wrapped} or some lollies for cute Easter decor
FIVE. Hot Cross Buns Tea Towel - a recipe & tea towel in one with an adorable design
SIX. Copper Wire Egg Basket - use for the fun-filled Easter egg hunt and for decor
SEVEN. Soft Bunny Tea Set - B. is probably too old for this but it's so darn cute that I'm willing to buy it in the hopes that she doesn't throw it out of anger {the fact she can't put liquids in the pot or cups will most likely be an issue}. I want it! 

3/09/2015

personally j//embrace your weird

So this post is going to be all about my weird. When I was younger I used to be ashamed of who I really was and now, for years actually, I've been really proud of who I am because, let's face facts, I'm awesome. And so are you! We're all awesome. Let's all do awesome dances for a minute....

Okay, so the other day while I was trying to fall asleep I started insanely giggling and I'm sure I looked insane because I was wearing my panda eye mask and most certainly had some nipple peeking out of my pj's and I really don't know how Husband didn't run away from me. But the point, get to the point!, is that I just got Itchy & Scratchy. As in ITCHY AND SCRATCHY. Hilarious.

Also, here's some more just for fun:

*My Snow White PJ top says "just let me sleep, charming!" and I finally got it the other day. Because she was in an enchanted sleep! And look, I was a bit shocked that it took me that long to get it because I adore Snow White and I've had this pj top for ages now.  

*Years ago I finally realised that Red Rooster was red because it's red.

*I read this thing in a men's magazine where this guy's girlfriend asked "what cow does soy milk come from?" and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why that was supposed to be funny. So I asked Husband the same question and, well, it turns out that soy milk does not come from a cow. So it's not really milk. It's soy juice.

*It took me years and years and years of using a computer and more years on top of that when I was with the neek that is Husband before I realised that a QWERTY keyboard spells out QWERTY. Look, I'm not the most tech-minded person but it now seems pretty obvious and, ok I admit it, I am a bit ashamed at that one.

The shame. I could be that weird freak-o person they trot out at parties to laugh at and you know what? I'd kind of be down with that because I think I'm pretty funny.

Don't let me be the only one sharing some of my weird -- share some of yours below.

3/06/2015

30 insane & mundane thinks i thinked on a long sleepy night


Look, when I get tired I get babble-y and weird and I obviously needed to write these things down because what else is there to do aside from watch TV and wait for my Husband to return home from his business trip? I figured wives should be awake to greet their husbands when they haven't seen them in 3 days. And, so, here I am on the couch with droopy, itchy eyes and a sleeping child who couldn't hold off sleep any longer and a dog who decided to sleep on my foot. So why not document some of my thoughts while watching Hulu? Fascinating stuff, yo!

1. I love Sutton Foster. Why did Bunheads get cancelled?
2. She has nice hair
3. Hilary Duff is adorable
4. Why do eyes get itchy? Don't they know that you can't physically scratch them?
5. Imagine if you could pop your eyeball out and give it a rub
6. That sounds dirty and I instantly regret thinking it
7. Being sleepy/lazy and needing to pee is kind of the worst. When is it no longer acceptable to wet the bed? 28?
8. Kerry Washington just yawned, how mean of her. Why does yawning have to be contagious?
9. Right, Scandal is always, instantly, on the mark. How does Shonda Rhimes do it? 
10. Why can't the President just do the job? Yes, sex is good but is it that good?
11. Can someone invent a pill that makes pee magically disappear? Get on it...
12. This episode makes me sad that it's based on fact. How even? Why even?
13. Kerry/Olivia is amazing
14. Yeah, you sit on the chair
15. When does HuckleberryQuinn come into it?
16. Ask and you shall receive... I love Huck & Quinn
17. At what point do you just tell your Husband that you didn't like him enough to stay awake -- so tired!
18. I wonder if my Husband brought me a Husband back from Melbourne?
19. A Husband? A present! A present!
20. My kid is looking so peacefully asleep and I'm suddenly so jealous of her. Why am I so tired?
21. The writing is on point in this episode
22. I just said on point and I'm not sure how I feel about that
23. Where the hell is my Husband?
24. I just, no joke, thought the number 30 came right after 25
25. I know this is a TV show but how can we live in 2015 and still be treating people this way?
26. I think my brain is asleep even though my eyes are open. Can you be capable of typing even if your brain is asleep?
27. Maybe I am part shark. Like, don't sharks still move while they're asleep? I probably watched too many ridiculous shark movies and now I'm part shark. Damn, Jurrasic Shark tipped me over the edge and that movie was not worth the price
28. Lake Placid: The Final Chapter wasn't bad though
29. Olivia Pope is not asleep and, so, my decision seems a bit more bearable. WWOPD?
{also, the last scene in that episode was sad and almost unbearable but perfect}
30. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz




friday five//my favourite things about being a mumma to B.


Hurrah, it's Friday. Today spells the end of a very long week that has been equal parts splendid and exhausting. Having Husband on a business trip will do that to you. I have enjoyed my alone time with B. so much that I am going to being slightly sad when the end of the day arrives and my Husband comes home along with it. The wonderful thing about B. & I is that we're kind of basically the same person and I think that's why we have so much fun together. Despite being so darn tired I adore waking with her, spending all day with her by my side and then curling up to sleep together, our hands intertwined.

Today I wanted to share my 5 favourite things about being a mumma to B. Mostly because I'm not feeling it today and I just want to stay immersed in the play-doh and train world a little bit longer until we have to return to the real world as a family of 3.

1. One of the most surprising things, for me, was that I found being a friend to Bailey the most wonderful thing. She is my pal. I am not naive enough to think that this will always be the way {I fondly remember my teenage years, thank you very much} but I hope, even with the hiccups, that we can still be us. Because, together, I think we're kind of awesome. I love parenting her as a friend {and, yes, I'm aware that sounds ridiculous}.
2. That on certain occasions, usually when I put a dress on, she'll come up to me with no prompting, stroke the fabric and say "oh I love your outfit mummy. You look beautiful". I love her kindness. She makes me a kinder person.
3. I adore that B. loves most of the things I love {make up, clothes, Disney movies, shoe shopping} but I also adore that she loves her own thing. She doesn't buy into gender neutral things and she goes her own way which has inspired me to do the same.
4. Being a mum has made me a better me which is one of my favourite "side effects" of having my vagina ripped open. Right now I'm just being 100% me and not trying to be someone I'm not which is kind of the best. When B. was first born I tried so hard to be the perfect version of me and be a mum who breastfed a baby who wouldn't have it and did everything right. Of course, that's just not practical and my darling girl made all that more transparent.
5. Lastly, and very simply, a favourite of being a mum to this little girl is the infinite number of snuggles she requests a day. She wants me, she needs me, she loves me. It feels delicious. And, yep, it's kind of selfish in a way, I guess, but it feels darn nice to be wanted, needed and loved. And, also, snuggles with my kid is the best start, middle and end to my day. All day, everyday.

Happy weekend  x



3/05/2015

pin collective//house dreaming

I hate myself. I don't, really. I'm kind of awesome. But I do hate myself when it comes to my house because, ugh, a house is never done, is it? Or is that just me? I don't know... Anyway, I have been inspired lately to make some changes at home and Pinterest, of course, has been a wonderful source of inspiration. Here's what I'm currently dreaming of --

^this bed makes me feels so happy. I feel like having this set up with the curtains or net and the lights would be so wonderfully magical and such a huge stress reliever. Also, would your sex life just instantly improve under this or what?


^another wonderful bed set up. This may be a bit too laid-back or boho or whatever for me but I like it. The bed being so low I do not like, how do people even live like that?

^built in bookshelves is a dream of mine. I can just imagine how wonderful life would be in a home like this. Also, if I ever had a room dedicated just to books which I, of course, would obnoxiously refer to as the library, I would be in heaven.

^I love this idea for a bedside table using a simple bookcase like this {I believe Ikea has these}. So much more storage room. We currently have wonderful butler tables as bedside tables and while the space is good for Husband I find that my side is always so jam-packed and ready to burst so this would be wonderful for me. And the accessorising possibilities are endless. 

^using the area underneath a bunk bed for a cubby house is a wonderful idea. And, look, this isn't the best example out there but it's a stepping stone and I'd love to do this for B.