6/30/2015

beauty//my simple skincare guide {masks}

It feels a bit weird to be doing a simple skincare guide for face masks because, look, face masks ain't really necessary. Well, they are necessary to me but the thing is I'm kind of a mask hoarder but not everyone can be or wants to be so I'm just going to lay down the essentials for ya --

Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask -- perfect for absorbing any oiliness and calming breakouts. If your skin is super sensitive this might be too strong for you to use all over so just use it as a spot treatment mask
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Purifying Enzyme Mask -- an amazing all over clay mask that clears congested skin & if you haven't heard this is my favourite mask ever
Origins Clear Improvement Mask -- absorbs oil, gets rid of impurities and reduces breakouts and minimises the look of pores

Origins Ginzing Mask -- the perfect hydrating mask that awakens and refreshes skin. It also smells yum!
Korres Wild Rose Face Mask -- brightens and regenerates skin
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Hydration Boost Mask -- perfect for dry skin and amazing for intense hydration

& then, of course, there's sheet masks and eye masks {which I adore} which I do believe are a tad too complicated and fussy for a simple guide...

6/29/2015

bailey style//wayne jr.

B. received the cutest, fluffiest, jumper from Wayne Jr. for her birthday from one of my friends. This friend is always, in my opinion, impeccably dressed and v. stylish and she always gifts B. the most amazing clothes. If you ask B. this friend is not my friend. This friend is apparently her best friend and one day they are going to get married even though said friend is married. She also refuses to believe we went to university together like people can't go to university together as if that's not a thing that could ever happen ever.

So now I've discovered Wayne Jr. and I am obsessed. And, of course, B. is obsessed because her "best friend" gave it to her. I am obsessed because B. can really pull off fluffy jumpers and the rest of the Jr. range is adorable, amazing and... {I can't think of another a word that works}...

6/27/2015

j style//peter alexander the life changer

There are surprisingly few things to actually know about me. I am pretty much an open book, what you see is what you get in most regards. What I've found though is that people are often surprised by the music and movies I like. Most people think I'm very pop or emo, a major rom com fan and quite mature/boring {or very snobbish} so when they discover that I adore Meatloaf, love horror and am basically as immature and kid-like as possible, well, I think they're surprised.

One of the things that brings me the most joy is watching Disney movies. I adore them. Always have and, hopefully, always will. When Frozen was released on DVD and I spent Mother's Day watching it I was filled with the most wonderful joy and was transported back to childhood where Snow White and Cinderella had done the same. It was quickly added to my favourite films list {along with Enchanted and Tangled among others} and when the stores became filled with merchandise I squealed along with the younger generations, so excited to take some of that wonder home with me.

The sad thing is, it's rare for products from these movies to be aimed at adults and, well, that's pretty shameful I think. There's not much I love more than colouring in, dressing up, toy shopping, etc with or without B. and when I see adorable pyjamas and other such items aimed at her age group I can't help but become wistful. Sure we get Barbie and Hello Kitty but we rarely get Frozen or any other of the truly wonderful things and, okay, I kind of get it, I mean how many adults love the song Let It Go and want to sing about building a snowman?, but all that has changed because Peter Alexander {as usual!} has made all my dreams come true with their new Frozen collection. I happened upon the email last night and screamed until my throat was hoarse and scratchy but I don't regret a second of it because...Olaf. Yep... O-frickin-laf. See here --



I am literally so excited that, as I type, I still have butterflies. My tummy is doing flips. I kind of feel nauseous like when I was pregnant so, the most delicious kind of nauseous ever. My throat burns from excitement. And even though there are no Olaf men's pjs and no Olaf eye mask I feel this insane amount of contentment, as if life has never been so great {or at least not since I watched Human Centipede - ugh!}. I am completely aware that this is quite the overreaction for pyjamas but there's something about having my dreams come true {this was one of mine -- I fully embrace my weird} that is so freaking special. I kind of think I could actually shed happy tears over this.

okay...breathe...

and now... happy dance

6/26/2015

friday five//the williams-sonoma edit

Dear Williams-Sonoma, do you know that I love you more than life itself? I do. I haven't written about/to you in a long time. I apologise. I'm sure that you were sitting there wondering what you'd done wrong and if I'm being truthful I must admit that you did hurt my feelings a bit. See, I desperately need you to sponsor my life {or partner with you, whatever} and you haven't and that made me a bit sad. Am I not good enough? But aside from that, no WS, you haven't done anything wrong*. Really. I just figured it might be a bit too much to write about you every second of the day so I gave it some breathing some room but now I'm over that weirdness.

Anyway, Will {can I call you that?}, you've hooked me back in and now, of course, I'm lusting over more than 5 things that you're selling but obviously on Friday I share my 5 most favourite things so don't be mad. Just go with it --

sonoma sweet shoppe sour apples -- how divine does fruit jewels with fresh-picked pucker sound? I swear, Williams-Sonoma could make me crave all manner of things with their delicious descriptions & packaging
open kitchen hand soap -- also, only Williams-Sonoma could make me want to spend double what I usually do on hand soap but, seriously, lemon, basil & olive was just destined to be needed in the kitchen
wild dove round woven place mat -- these come in a wide variety of colours but wild dove is by far my favourite & at $8 these are ridiculously affordable
boos edge grain maple chopping board -- put your hand up if you don't need/want/lust over a Williams-Sonoma chopping board? Nobody... good. It might be a tad cliche but I think something like this makes a divine housewarming/wedding/engagement, etc gift

*actually, Williams-Sonoma I do have a bone to pick with you -- your year-round lack of your pumpkin pecan bread mix is something I'm not sure I'll ever get over. Please have it available always.
love, me x

6/25/2015

watch//the recent happenings

Sometimes life is too hard. All the good shows have finished airing for the season {Scandal I miss you!} and all the really good mid-season shows haven't started yet. I mean what is a mum/wife/writer to do? What else am I supposed to do with my life? Write here? Work on my short stories and/or novel? Clean? Be a good mum and wife? Gasp! How you dare!

Despite the viewing slump I've actually been not really in a slump at all. Does that make any sense? Do I ever? Viewing happenings here --

 Taken 3 was, obviously, milking it but, look, Liam Neeson kicking ass is hot. There's something about an older guy being violent but in a good way that makes me... anyway. But, also, please don't make a Taken 4. It's not needed. Please, Liam Neeson. Just go be Liam Neeson but say no to a number four.

Focus -- I really like Margot Robbie. Okay, not in Neighbours but, also, really, is anybody good in that show? I like a good con movie and this was a good con movie so watch it.

Orange Is The New Black is not anything new but Season 3 is. Husband and I binge watched it and it was awesome. The season finale was hilarious. Chang is my favourite.

Happy Endings is my new binge-watch show. I kind of really like David Caspe. He does good show.

What shows have you been loving lately?
Movie recommendations?

6/24/2015

product rave//pantene nature fusion w/ avocado oil

I have discovered the best shampoo ever! 
& guess what? There's a conditioner to go with it too! 
Funny that...


Best hair products ever -- hands down

I think it's the avocado oil. It makes me touch my hair all the time. All the time. It's so silky and smooth and delicious but it has some body and helps fight the frizz. I love it.

There's also Cassia flower {whatever that is} and grape seed oil and it's awesome and divine. And it's affordable so it's basically all the good things without the bad and hooray.



6/23/2015

beauty//my simple skincare guide {night}

Hey, remember when I did my simple skincare guide for day the other week? Well, today I bring you the simple guide for night. But wait, there's more. I lied. I actually have two guides for you. What? One for the most lazy of nights ever. The other for the non-lazy nights. I know, right...

Lazy? Don't feel bad. Me too. Just don't forget to remove your makeup {if you're not wearing any I still recommend cleaning your face because dirt}. Okay, I admit it. I do sometimes forget to remove my makeup. Actually, I lie. I don't forget I just can't be bothered. 

On the laziest nights I use these Neutrogena Night Calming Wipes which are great for sensitive skin and then because I'm way too lazy to apply moisturiser, etc I just spritz with this Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater and then I pop on my Cookie Monster eye mask, crawl into bed and sleep.


step one. remove makeup or pre-cleanse with any cleansing wipes you want to
step two. cleanse cleanse. I use the Olay Cleansing System with the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
step three. a. Rosehip Oil {or any oil/serum}. Do it when your face is dry {obviously} and apply. I love to pat my oils on. But... I don't always use an oil because, blah...
b. a night cream. I use this regenerating cream from Nivea and I love it. I don't always use an oil or serum at night because I'm lazy. Mostly I just use this night cream but sometimes I mix an oil in with it and sometimes I do it after the oil and sometimes I don't. Do what works for you.
step four. eye cream. this Nivea Q10 Plus is the best night eye cream I have ever used. I love it and will repurchase it always. Just like with the day, an eye cream at night is essential. I mean, who doesn't want to wake to really wonderfully moisturised eyes? 

 & that, dear friends, is my simple skincare guide for the night. It might be too simple for you. Or perhaps, is still complicated? Whichever, I don't mind. It's just a jumping off point. Do/use what works for you. The end.

6/22/2015

being mum//a doc mcstuffins party for b.

Husband & I threw a Doc McStuffins themed party for B. We kept it small {inviting family, friends who are like family & a few kids from school} and as casual as I possibly could with my obsessive need to have all the things. It took a few weeks to organise and set up began the day before and it was really quite a lovely day. Here's how it went --

^ we did the cliche party thing of balloons on the mailbox {pink & purple to fit the colour scheme} and I made a sign to put next to our front door {leaning on our piggy planter}.

^ guests walked in to our house with this set up. I put the light-box from Kmart {find in store} next to the thank you for coming gifts and some other random Doc party supplies {bubbles, crayons, book of boo-boos} from Big W which was the only place that had Doc stuff in store. Then I just added some Doc pictures I had coloured in, a few thank you signs that were left over and some Doc books.

^ I used our dining table as the main table inside which is conveniently right next to the back door {I wanted the flow}. We put pink & purple streamers up and a Doc happy birthday banner as the backdrop. I made this Bailey Loves sign where I listed some of B's favourite things. The inspiration for this came from this poster on Etsy and since I'm cheap I decided to DIY it myself.

^ food ideas: make your own stuffin' {fairy floss}, chilly's snowballs, "say ah!" pretzel sticks, 
waffle-y stuffwiches {with nutella}, chilly's cinnamon scrolls, band-aids {vanilla wafers with pink icing love hearts}, lambie's princess rings, chilly's noses, "cotton balls" {marshmallows}, "chompers" {teeth lollies}, "check your heartbeat" {love heart lollies}, "get your calci-yum" {milk bottle lollies}, aurora's milky ways, "vitamins" {gummy bears in mini cups} and gluten free mcmuffins.


^& hey, we had beverages! Punch! Cups & bottles! Doc water {I cut and stuck the labels on! How awesome am I?} We also had a broom!

^ our backyard set up. Since it was a rather small party and rather laid back I just threw down picnic rugs, blankets and pillows and spread out the hospital, train table, play doh table and face painting/tattoo table

^we had a few bits of food laid out with: doritos & salsa, lollies, pretzels, veggies-crackers-dips and a "fix your cupcake" station with a crap ton of sprinkles

^then we shoved some plants into an area and chucked a bear couch down

 ^Bailey was an adorable butterfly. Husband was the face painter and tattoo artist. He did a great job {ha!}.

^a trampoline got filled with polka dotted balloons and the kids jumped and, apparently, kids like to jump on balloons and burst them and are fine with it. Ugh, kids...

^Flynn rode the pirate ship and everyone ignored the mess at the back

^bouncy castles are a must for parties. Fact.

 ^photo booth shenanigans happened

^Bailey was hopeless at it {tbh}


^Husband & I rocked it {tbh}

 ^& this was the aftermath...

So, verdict is in -- I throw awesome parties and I make awesome themed food and drinks and next time I'm making a proper actual photo booth booth.


6/19/2015

friday five//the five best food combinations

Greetings, fine people. How was your week? Mine? It was pretty darn wonderful, thanks for asking. There were lots of hugs from B. Lots of sleeping in and snuggling with Husband and a Fredrick in a bunny jumper from Peter Alexander. So, yep, pretty great as far as lazy weeks go.

This week has also been pretty food-centric with parties & leftovers, etc. With food heavily in mind I've become inspired to share my 5 favourite food combos. Now, keep in mind that I'm no gourmet anything so my idea of "good food' is pretty ridiculous and I'm also heavily into snacking over actual meals. So that's that. Here's what makes my heart flutter --

^meringues, strawberries & whipped cream

 ^vanilla sponge cake, sliced strawberries, whipped cream & confectioners' sugar sifted over the top

^nutella, whipped cream and pecans

^pasta, carnation light & creamy & garlic {sauce}, pancetta and mushrooms

^eggs, diced potatoes {oven baked until crispy} & diced bacon {oven baked until crispy}

& there you have it, the greatest meals known to man kind. I'm awesome, I know.

pause for applause...

6/18/2015

beauty//my simple skincare guide {day}

Quite a while ago now one of my closet friends {hi!} asked me to do a skincare post because she's kind of stumped. How? When? Why? You get the drift... So here I am doing the post for her and for others who think skincare is a bit too confusing. To be honest, I'm kind of a simple girl and I do what ever the heck I want to do because rules be damned. Just like everything else I live by, and recommend, the idea that you do what you feel comfortable with. I guess, that kind of makes someone like me redundant but, alas, I'm here and I'm giving you my foolproof guide for the day anyway --

step one. cleanse -- I currently use the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and/or the Origins Ginzing Refresh Scrub Cleanser for day and they're both favourites. I think some people think cleansing in the day and night is redundant but I promise it's not. Do both!

step two. serum/oil -- a very important step! I'm currently loving The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost for my day serum. Sometimes an oil is just too much for me so I love this because it's light, absorbs quickly and smells delicious. It also doesn't break me out so if you're finding some serums or oils are making you spotty give this, or something similar, a try. As for why I use a serum, I feel like it adds something else to my skin and helps combat any nasties. The Vitamin C in this also helps provide some added radiance and helps me wake the eff up in the morning. 

step three. moisturise -- as you can probably tell by now I am orange obsessed for the day. As a moisturiser for the day this Origins Ginzing one is fabulous at providing added moisture, plumping the skin and waking it up. But don't feel compelled to switch over to the orange side. Go with what you want and what works for you. But don't feel like a serum and then a moisturiser is too much. It's not. Give the serum/oil time to absorb {dance/get dressed/eat} and then apply the moisturiser. If you're in a time crunch skip one or the other but for non-busy days I recommend both.

step four. eye cream -- I can not stress enough the importance of an eye cream. Some people say just once a day is fine but I prefer the morning and night application and I prefer having separate creams for both. Of course, you don't need to {I just like to}. Apply your eye cream after moisturiser as the last step in your routine and I promise you'll feel instantly transformed, even more put together. 

I'm loving the Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream and the Palmer's Illuminating Brightening Eye Serum {the cooling metal applicator on this is delicious}. Pat under your eye {and on your brow bone, if desired} with a light touch {no pulling!} and you're all done.

And that's it. Pretty simple huh?

I will be sharing my nighttime skincare guide shortly so stay tuned for that. And if you have any questions let me know.

*you may notice and even be wondering -- where's the sunscreen? -- and the thing is I use make up products with a SPF in them and will only apply actual sunscreen if I'm going outside to play, to the park, etc. This is how I like to do it, you may not agree. But I've never burnt on my face and it works for me. I find the majority of sunscreens break me out BUT if you have any recommendations on ones that don't let me know.

6/17/2015

being mum//crayola color wonder {sponsored}

I was lucky enough to be sent two of the fabulous Crayola Color Wonder packs from Nuffnang* last week. B, Husband and I finally had some time after school yesterday to break them open and have a go and we all quickly became addicted. We were sent the Frozen and Ninja Turtles pack which were right up our alley. B. and I are massive Frozen fans and Husband and I both have a childhood love of Ninja Turtles so it was as if these were made just for us or for people like us -- a.k.a awesome!

If you've never heard of the Color Wonder products before here's the lowdown -- it's magical mess-free colouring with markers that won't colour on skin, furniture or carpets. The clear markers {there's five in each pack} only work on the Color Wonder paper so there's no mess or stress.

The thing I love most about the Color Wonder range, and what sets it apart from others similar, is that there are different colours rather than just one "magic" clear marker. So, rather than have designated colours you can pick and choose what colour Princess Anna's dress is. Sometimes you need a red face and blue hair! Also, I think the fact that the books and markers are sealed in a foil packet upped the excitement factor for B. as if they were one of her highly coveted "egg surprises" or "blind bags".

This is one of the blue markers and even though it's obviously clear the colour grows to what the lid and base of the marker shows. The special ink in the color wonder markers, developed by Crayola scientists, is clear on most surfaces, yet each marker "magically" shows up on the paper. So all you need to do is select your colour, start colouring and discover the hidden designs.

Another thing I really love about these markers is that they aren't wet and even when the colour appears on the page it doesn't stain your hands or anything else around you. It's as if the markers don't need to dry, they don't get any fuzzy clumps like other colouring items and the finish on these is perfectly smooth.

I began with Queen Elsa and was surprised, and quite frankly excited, to discover this little design waiting for me as I continued. I'm a kid at heart, especially when it comes to colouring, and this magic wasn't lost on me. Bailey was even more excited with the secret reveals throughout each page, mostly because she thought she was creating the magic herself which is pretty adorable to watch.


The marker starts off clear-ish grey and grows into its true colour in seconds. It's as if it spreads magically over the page before your eyes and I think this sets it apart from regular colouring. Don't get me wrong, I love a good old colouring book and marker but the Color Wonder range brings such a delicious magical feeling to the process and the addition of the hidden designs make the pages come to life because, of course, unless you're artistically inclined you're never going to pull off something as amazing as Elsa's dress.

And, just because I can, here's some of our finished works --

B's Olaf creation. Note the orange wedge on the glass, the sun, sunscreen bottle and other little details on the page.

 Husband quickly became addicted.

The Color Wonder range is definitely for adults and kids alike and such a wonderful activity to do with your little {or big} one. 

For more information and to see more items in this wonderful range check out the Crayola Color Wonder website.

Final Thoughts: I'd definitely purchase the Color Wonder products and plan to do so in the future. It really is mess-free colouring that brings some magic into your life and makes you feel like you've created something truly special. This mumma has no negatives!

*this product talk is brought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola Color Wonder

**disclaimer: I was sent these products by Nuffnang to review. As always, all opinions are my own.

6/12/2015

friday five//the bailey edit

My kid is pretty much my favourite person in the whole entire world. She's sweet and oftentimes hilariously naughty and I just love her little face. She turned 4 this past Tuesday and the first thing she said when she woke up was an excited "I'm four now!" followed by an even more enthusiastic "now I can jump higher than Kai!" {Kai being her cousin who is exactly 6 weeks older than her and who insists that he jumps higher, mostly because he's older}. As her birthday drew to a close and as we snuggled up together she whispered to me "mummy I still love even though I'm 4" as if 4 was the age where you are so grown up that loving or not loving your parents is a thing. Gee, I love that girl.

Anyway, this Friday I wanted to share 5 of my most favourite photos of B. from throughout the years & little tidbits to go along with them --

One of my friends from my old workplace took this picture of B. during a visit and I love it. B. was often a random faller-asleeper and I adore that about her, often because it leads to the most delicious moments of awe. I will always be grateful to this friend, though we've drifted apart, for this photo and for many other things including a certain whiteboard snap and a perfectly timed picture of Minnie after she had passed. 

 This was taken when B. was with me 24/7 and, gosh, it makes my heart ache. I loved being at home with her. I loved that she consumed my every breath. I loved making breakfast, lunch and dinner and catering to her whims. I miss it every single day. I also miss the fun we had from morning until night. Just the two of us. Like when she would put my sunglasses on and pull them off so much better than I ever could and make me giggle and feel so full of love.

I mean...honestly.... she was just so cute! Yes, she's still cute now but she's also very grown up. I do miss this stage where she was beautiful but still so full of baby and gosh, I remember just wanting to kiss those chubby cheeks all day long. And her hair, when it was short {ish} and just a mass of perfect curls and ringlets.

 When I happen upon this photo I feel like I could spend my whole life just staring at it. The love in Husband's eyes. My little newborn day old Boo. She just slept and slept and even though she refused to breast feed and went far too long between feeds because the midwives were so anti-formula and my milk hadn't come in she was just so content and so absolutely perfect. 

I remember, during pregnancy, being so worried to hold her in case she broke but as soon as she was there, in my arms, the thought never entered my mind. Holding her and being with her was, and still is, the most natural thing in my world.

Oh Boo. I'm not quite sure exactly when this photo was taken but it was probably before she turned two {or a few weeks after} because she was still in nappies and stopped wearing them in July 2013. This was taken before our first real "mummy daughter" date. Before we hopped on a bus and went to the toy library, lunch and shopping for the entire day. B. was no longer napping so there was no need to rush. 

I remember being so proud of this outfit and thinking she looked so grown up in her blazer {which she still wears to this day}. Those cat shoes, which she loved so much and was so proud about, made her feel so special. And I adored her hair in pigtails with her chubby, still slightly baby-ish, cheeks and all of her teeth. In this moment I felt like she was so grown up but looking back now she still seems so little.

Anywho, enough mushy stuff from me. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We're celebrating B's 4th with her party so it should be a fabulous one.


6/11/2015

parenting with anxiety & depression

This is something that I've never wanted to write. Why? I don't want to have anxiety and depression and I certainly don't want to be a mum with any of those things. I do want to scream that it's not fair but, hey, I'm slowly learning that this is okay. It will be okay. I also worry that parents with anxiety and depression are automatically lumped in with those who hurt their children and that scares me. Never in a million years would I hurt Bailey and in her 4 years the thought has never crossed my mind. So I'm scared to say hello, my name is Jaye, I am a mum and I have anxiety and depression and leave it at that.

I shouldn't have to give a disclaimer with that statement but I do feel the need to. Constantly. Mostly with myself. I need to remind myself that despite these things, these illnesses, that I am a good Mum. Actually, screw that. I am an awesome mum and I have a kid who calls me her best friend and constantly tells me she loves me and one of her favourite things in the world is to snuggle up with me and have kisses and chat. Bailey and I are so alike and have so much fun together but there are times where I am so anxious or so depressed that I can't be the mum I want to be.

That hurts.

I can get help and take medication and work on myself and just keep swimming but sometimes it's not enough. Sometimes, the bad overtakes you so fiercely and you can't fight it anymore, at least for a few hours. But sometimes it takes an entire day or even days and I can't even...

That hurts.

Because why? I get why I have these issues. I understand the past issues. I understand I've been this way for years. I get that. What I don't get is the brain chemistry behind it and I probably never will. 

When I dreamed of being a mum I didn't dream of this. But this is who I am and so I just have to accept it. I have to say this is okay and get out of bed and be awesome.

Because I am awesome. My kid is awesome. My family is awesome. My life is awesome. Even with anxiety and depression. So that's the mother I am. Sick but still awesome. 

I also give wonderful snuggles.