friday five//fave moments of twenty-sixteen

I think we need to discuss the fact that twenty-sixteen is almost over and next year my kid starts year one. I have a child in year one! And, sure, she started school a year before she really had to but, still, year one. My kid. Yes. Wow. 

An entire year seems weird to break down into five {just five} moments but here they are anyway --

My kid started big school & she was amazing. She's a stickler for rules and complains when school holidays start which is weird because she's my kid. She finished out the school year with an amazing award and many, many tears from me.

B. turned 5. She opted out of a party and, instead, wanted to go get a hotel suite in the city where we ran into John Jarrett at check-in {an actual fear of mine} and she danced in the street.

 Disney on Ice -- just B. & I. I fulfilled a life long dream of mine and got to do it with the best person alive.

Seeing B. be the most amazing flower girl in history at a friend's wedding in August which also happened to be the most wonderful wedding ever {not just because of the flower girl part}. She is just the sweetest.

When we found people who loved and adored B. in the most amazing ways possible.


So 2016 was possibly the most sucky year in ways I'm not ready to talk about yet but it was also really pretty amazing and I'm thankful for friends, family and wonderful memories.


adventures in awesome//christmas lights spectacular -- hunter valley gardens

 Now, I know Christmas has come and gone so this post might seem a bit late {and it is} but it isn't. The Christmas Lights Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens is amazing and it runs until January 26th so you still have plenty of time to go. And I suggest you do because they're spectacular. Really. Truly.

Recently, someone said to me that they don't really like Christmas lights and I kind of lost a lot of respect for them that day. How can you not like Christmas lights? Are you mad? In case you missed the memo, I adore a good Christmas light and so does my kid so, obviously, the HVG was an essential place to visit.

Here's the thing -- there's not just Christmas themed stuff. There's Cinderella's castle. This may have just been the highlight of my life because Cinderella! Come on people.

I'm not a flower fan but how can you not fall in love right here? Also, just being around nature makes me feel more at peace even if there's swarms of people everywhere and people forget how to walk. I don't care. Because flowers and Christmas lights that light up to the 12 Days of Christmas song.

I want this tree in my house all year long.

B. loved it, of course. Her favourite part was the Fun Zone {with bouncy castles galore -- a.k.a my worst nightmare} but I think seeing all this amazingness came a close second.

There's Santa...

& a place to write Santa a letter {and that tongue and concentration are just my favourite things in the whole entire world}.

You leave your name and email address and Santa sends you an email and maybe, just maybe, they'll get your kids name right OR they'll call your kid Saivey and... well, yep that happened. Saivey.

So, yes, in conclusion -- go visit the Hunter Valley Gardens. There's food, light up frickin' mouse ears and just general awesomeness. For more information go here & for tickets go here. So go, go forth and be awesome. 


the more ridiculous the better

When it comes to fashion my "motto" {is that the right word?} is the more ridiculous the better. I don't know how, when or why I became attracted to stupid items of clothing but I am now way past the point of obsessed that I don't think there's any going back. But here's the thing, and something that's been on my mind for a while now, I hate attention and compliments. Detest them. And when I say that I'm not being facetious. I honestly do not enjoy being stared at and/or complimented. It makes me feel weird. Yet, I enjoy loud items of clothing and accessories that people always seem to comment on. Why do I do this to myself?

Regardless of unwanted {and often annoying} attention I have a few must-have ridiculous pieces that are topping my lust list at the minute --

skinnydip liquid sarcasm bag -- this bag pretty much sums up my entire life
keds for kate spade glitter sneakers -- sure, these are on the lower end of the stupid scale but def. worth a mention because these are amazingly ridiculous
modcloth woof bag -- yes, yes, yes
spangled oh hello panda sunglasses -- so much necessity here I can't even begin to describe just how much I need these sunglasses
don't give up on your dreams stay in bed chummy tees t -- but how did they know this was my one main mission in life? 


friday five//the last christmas gift guide

Um... there's only two days until Christmas. When did that happen? 

We all finished up work/school as last week came to an end but I always find it difficult to relax properly in the week leading up to Christmas because the expectation is there. I'm naturally a stressed out person no matter how relaxing the day is/will be. Anyway, here's a last minute Christmas gift guide for anyone who is far too busy/unorganised/really effin laid back/I don't know. Is anyone still doing their Christmas shopping?

Talking As Fast As I Can - Lauren Graham -- because she's awesome, Gilmore Girls is awesome, Parenthood is awesome and no I'm still not able to talk about the revival so lets not even go there.

Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask Collection -- grab this gorgeous limited edition collection from Mecca and treat the pamper fan in your life {or yourself because, really, this is essential and just so pretty}.

Typo Frame -- I think a frame gifted with a lovely photo or quote card inside is actually a really cute gift & this frame from Typo is really divine.

NES Classic Edition -- this is sold out everywhere but if you can get your hands on one {they're $99 in Australia, I believe} then do it. Tackle someone to get it if you have to because this is the most essential gift that ever happened.

Lego Amusement Park Hot Dog Van -- I have finished all of B's present shopping {and gone way over budget, of course} but she needs this and I want this and there's a person dressed up as a hot dog so why not?


You know, every time I make a gift guide I think this is the most random one yet! and then I always top it but this gift guide IS the most random one yet. 


love actually decisions

Every year, around this time, I watch Love Actually. I was never really sure why. It was a tad too romantic for me but I do love me some Hugh Grant/Liam Neeson/Colin Firth. It was almost like a reluctant tradition that someone annoying started and you always felt too bad to object to. Well kids, I am that annoying someone and I kind of forced myself into this love-hate tradition with Love Actually.

I was so meh about this movie that I wasn't even aware I had a copy on DVD until I was flicking through a stack and happened upon it, as if by chance. I popped it on, mostly out of boredom and thought at least I'd get turned on by Hugh Grant's accent for a bit. But something miraculous happened. I fell in love with Love Actually. I think it was mostly Bill Nighy's doing, if I'm honest. But that Hugh Grant dance, Liam's sexy accent and Colin's clumsy adorableness certainly didn't harm the movie any. 

But, here's the thing, the part I have always hated about this movie {see above} has now, quickly, become my favourite. The signs are so creepy and corny and this guy freaks me the fuck out but I am now, also, so madly in love with his romantic gesture that I'm half tempted to stick my head out of my front window in hopes that someone will come and do this for me. I mean...

To me, you are perfect...

Is that not the most perfect thing?

For years, my favourite romantic gestures in film have always been Joe Fox talking about sharpened pencils or bringing Kathleen Kelly daisies when she was sick but now... well, sure, nothing can beat Tom Hanks but this scene is pretty darn close.

So, yup, I'll just be waiting... at my house. Anybody feel a strong desire to tell me I'm perfect {even if I'm really fucking annoying?}


the hair mask obsession

You know when you do something really clever and think wow, I'm amazing! This is me when it comes to using hair masks. My hair is not the best. It's fine and flat. Frizzy and falling out. I also have this weird cow lick thing at the back of my head that never lays flat no matter what I do to it. Yet, when I use a hair mask {this one in particular -- argan oil of morocco from ogx} my hair is kind of awesome. Soft and smooth. Wonderfully easy to manage and almost cow-lick less.

This deep-conditioning treatment with argan oil {a natural source of vitamin E} helps to give the hair shine and softness with no hideous residue. OGX describes it as a "personal rescue mission" for your hair and I'm inclined to agree. 

I don't use mine as they instruct because I'm annoying like that. Simply, I just shampoo and condition my hair with whatever I damn well feel like and then slop this on in hair smothering amounts, leave on for about half an hour {in this time I'll do a face mask too} and then rinse off in the shower. I don't care if that's not how it's "supposed" to be used. To be honest, I never bothered to read the instructions until now anyway. Look, it works. It makes your hair all soft and swishy and, once dry, you barely need to style it. 

It's just wonderful. And like I said it doesn't leave sensitive hair {of which mine is very very needy} weighed down and oiled up. It costs about $15. I buy mine from the supermarket. It's like one of those actors/actresses who can act, sing and dance -- a triple threat. Go buy it. Use it. You'll love it. 


being mum//b. & chores

Before I get started on this riveting piece can I just say how much I detest the word chores? Seriously. It's one of those words that just has an instant negative connotation and I hate it. B., however, does enjoy using the word for all her little jobs around the house so I'm going with it. So here's the story...

B. has a few jobs around the house -- she makes her bed {which I struggle to leave alone after she has}, helps put the dishes away, feeds the dogs and tidies up all her toys. It's not unusual for B. to just randomly start cleaning all on her own without any prompting. Usually she'll see someone cleaning something and decide she wants to help so she'll tidy her entire playroom without complaint. After she's done she's always wonderfully proud of her efforts and takes great care to explain to me why she's put things in certain areas and what purpose they serve. When she sees me cleaning the kitchen she asks for some spray and a cloth to clean her own play kitchen/shop/ice cream cart and happily sets to work. 

This is a kid who doesn't mind some hard work. I love that. Especially since, like me, she doesn't view it as work. She thinks it's fun. Sometimes I wonder if, when she grows up, if she'll find such joy in organising the pantry/fridge/cupboards as much as I do? Or will she actually have a life?

I know some people don't believe in giving kids rewards for helping around the house and that's fine. I see their point. Help shouldn't necessarily be rewarded and I certainly don't want to raise a self-entitled brat who only helps people for what she'll get in return {don't even get me started on her school asking for donations and encouraging people to donate the most by winning something. No, that's not the way it works. That's like claiming your donations back on your tax. What's the point?}

We do give B. "rewards" for helping. We buy her toys probably way too much. She gets an incentive for adding new chores to her routine but before she receives the incentive she needs to show us that this chore has become a "thing" and won't stop just because she got the pony {she actually wants a real pink unicorn but still...}

Anyway, here's where my ramble becomes a thing that I wanted to write about --

The other weekend B. {hold for tears} started putting the dishes away all by herself. She insisted even when I said that it was the weekend and she could take a day off {read: I was too lazy to get out of bed and help}. Now, of course, she's not a fucking idiot. She knows she's not allowed to touch anything sharp and she never would. Again, she's not a fucking idiot. Her reason for wanting to despite my giving her an out was -- but I love it!

My kid loves her jobs around the house so much that refuses to take a day off from them. Now, she might be silly and exclaim that her bed-sheets are being ridiculous and I might finally drag my lazy butt out of bed to go and help her because everyone needs help sometimes don't they? And, listen, those sheets of hers were actually being ridiculous that day so we just shoved them in a ball and ran away giggling. Anyway...

I always struggle with kids doing jobs around the house. I do think we should treat kids like mini-adults. I don't think we should talk down to them and all that other crap. But I also think childhood is so short and one day in the very near future {help me!} she'll have her own house and she'll have to do this stuff for herself. Why not let her be a kid while she can? 

I know there's a fine line. I know kids {teenagers mostly, probably} are brats but they're also kids, they're learning. I just don't ever want to be the parent who treats her kids like a slave because I fondly {not at all} recall the day I got screamed at and hit because I didn't dust the fax machine adequately enough. I hated that life. And, to be honest, I still have a fear of fax machines. 

But that's not the point of this story -- the point is my kid is awesome and I love her and she's my favourite person in this entire world. The end. 


friday five//furry friend gift guide

I say a variation of this a lot but -- if you don't buy the furry member of your household Christmas gifts then I don't want to know you. People who refuse to buy their furry friends presents are probably one and the same with people who just don't give a crap about giraffes and their cold coffee. How very could you. Anyway, five furry gift picks --

one. this ridiculously adorable KONG reindeer|Dogue -- if this isn't an essential part of life then what is? Water?
two. an attractive cat pod|Myer -- there is such a thing!
three. this burger bean bag|Myer -- for dogs who love a good bean-y cushion
four. alligator dog toy|Petbarn -- this reminds me of a friend who is actually a human but she has a dog so it's fine {right?}
five. this pizza plush toy|peter alexander -- because who doesn't need a squeaky pizza toy with a smiley face on it?   


pretty beautiful//rediscovered love

So, here's the thing, I am a fickle creature. I am also impatient, easily annoyed and I expect perfection from most things in life. In other words, I am an absolute joy to be around zero percent of the time. All "jokes" aside, I am extremely fickle when it comes to beauty products. I fall in and out of love with them about as much as I shower {twice a day, thank you very much}. Case in point -- Too Faced Bulletproof Brows.

Such a wonderful product. Yet, it takes time to figure out just how to use it, to figure out how it's going to work for and with you. Fancy that. So, of course, I hated it and loved it in the same measure. I am the girl who decided she would love to learn to play the drums and then got bored five minutes in because I hadn't mastered it, after all. So I went back to a brow powder. And then just a brow gel. And then back to the powder. And then right back to Bulletproof Brows. And now I'm back in love.

I've finally figured out the perfect way to use it. I've figured out how to hold the brush {the one that comes with is just amazing and the best I've ever used} and I've realised that good brows just take time. I also feel like maybe I'm maturing because I know that some days I just can't be bothered and, sure, my brows look like anorexic caterpillars but that's not Bulletproof's fault. That's all on me.

I've been using this wonderful clay formula {in Universal Brunette} non-stop for a few weeks now and I'm way beyond hooked. Hitting pan hurt almost as much as when I did the same with my favourite Hourglass powder {sob}. I just love it. It's wonderfully easy to work with and, sure, it takes care and precision but it's worth it {promise}. My favourite part, aside from the way it makes my brows look, is that it's a powder, gel, pencil and setting wax all-in-one so there's no need for anything else. The perfect, multi-tasking, brow product.

If you haven't tried it, I suggest you do {my opinions are golden after all}. You can pick it up from Mecca for $44 or anywhere Too Faced is sold. Go on. You know you want your brows to be as hot as mine {obvious sarcasm, I still hate the skinny/patchy things}.


pretty beautiful\\new favourite concealer trick

Now, I'm no concealer expert. I think, mostly, because I detest the current concealer method that's in fashion ala the Kardashians {detest it, I say}. Still, there is one new trick that I've been loving and it's this --

let your concealer sit for a bit before blending

I don't know why I never considered this before. Perhaps, I viewed concealer sitting there as being dirty and gross. It may very well be, I don't know, but I like the effect it has. I slop my concealer wherever it needs to go {mostly around my hideously purple under-eye area} and let it sit for a few minutes. Usually, because I'm impatient, I'll busy myself with my brows and mascara while I wait and then I blend. I don't know why this method is so darn effective and I guess I could go find out but, also, I really don't care. It just is. Let's embrace it shall we?

As you let it sit {rest?} the product sinks into your skin, kind of blending in with whatever area you've plopped it on and once actually blended properly with a sponge/finger/brush it has an almost-flawless airbrushed finish. Of course, since I'm not into the hideous bright-white triangle concealer trend that seems to reach to the end of your nose my under-eye area will never really look flawless will it? Still, I like the idea of makeup being fun and not some hideous cake slopping competition so sacrifices must be made.

Do I really have any idea what I'm on about? Nope, not really. But do I ever? Honestly? Not often...

Still, this concealer trick works I promise! Give it a try and let it melt into your skin in a non-gross cloggy way and see how it feels why don't you?


friday five//pretty pillows

Oh hello. My name is Jaye and I'm obsessed with pillows. Is it wrong that I'd be completely happy if I only ever received cute pillows as gifts from now until the end of time? I think some people just don't get the pure joy of a truly adorable pillow and, look, you're missing out because I know pillow lovers and they are just the best people on this earth.

ladybug knit cushion|country road -- this reminds me of B. so even seeing it brings me pure joy because that kid is awesome. Out of all the pillows in all the world this is the one I need the most.
today has been cancelled|typo -- if your idea of a good day isn't staying in bed while your kid is at school and avoiding all adult responsibilities then I don't want to know you. Naps are life people.
embroidered cushion|ikea -- look, it's just pretty and let's not discount the value of a good tassel.
let's stay in bed|target -- because, yes... always & forever
softie rain cloud|joey design -- just so stinking cute.


watch//how perfect is now & then?

Growing up, Now & Then was one of my favourite movies. It just gave me all the feels, it felt truly special and wonderfully real. As I've grown into adulthood {blegh} this film has held a special place but, sadly, I hadn't kept re-watching it. Heck, I didn't even own a copy. One day, not too long ago, the desperate, overwhelming need to have these girls back in my life hit me so I found a copy and hunkered down, reveling in the awesomeness of being home alone.

Now that the film is back in my life I hope I never let it go again. Sounds silly for a movie but it's just one of those that sits with you and wraps you in a wonderfully cozy hug. Yes, I'm lame. But isn't it so rare to find a movie that just speaks to you, that makes you feel giddy and just gives pure pleasure? 

I adore that the film flashes between childhood and adulthood and shares real heartache. I'm sure that everyone has seen it but if you haven't you need to. Trust me in it's amazing. 


i close my eyes when i get too sad...

When I was a teen I found solace in the song Wonderful by Everclear. No song, at the time and I think, even now, has ever felt so intrinsically me and every time I felt the urge to cut, to drown, to die I'd put this song on repeat and cry until the urge, largely, went away. I close my eyes when I get too sad. I think thoughts that I know are bad... Always.

After I met a certain nerdy boy I stopped listening to this song as a means to stopper death. It become a distant memory, a song that I listened to because it was good and nothing more. At times, it would become too hard to listen to for the painful memories that would come rushing forward. In some ways I felt free. I no longer needed something to help me cope because coping wasn't necessary. I just was.

And then... now, it's returned to my life as this sad, painful and wonderful thing. I play it on repeat constantly, as if to survive the days. I never thought I would come back to this place, this pain, but here I am, feeling as lonely as teen-aged me. Oftentimes I feel all alone in this life which is full of wonderful people and, yet, the hurt I've experienced over the last three years has finally become too much to bear and I am back in my bedroom with my eyes closed, without the same boy to aide in my rescue, hoping it's all over when I open them. 


giftables//stocking fillers

For me, the stocking is an essential part of Christmas gifting. I adore trekking around all corners of the shops and the web to find the perfect {usually} quirky gift to stuff in the recipients stocking. I feel like you can kind of shove anything random in a stocking and it just magically works. I don't know. Regardless of rambles here's some suggestions --

one. rose gold heart teaspoon|lark store -- because who doesn't need a cute teaspoon?
two. a guinea pig oliver twist -- I do so adore buying stupid books like these {texts from dog is still my favourite}
three. chill pill pin|lark store -- for someone who adores pins and, perhaps, needs a chill pill {me!}
four. twinkle twinkle hair clips|lark store -- how sweet would a little kid look with these pinned in their hair? But, also, yes I'd wear them too.
five. leia's message tee|hard to find -- this is the best shirt I have ever seen in my life
six. violin nanoblock -- for the idiot in your life who has a guitar and a ukulele and still wants a violin {pick one thing!}
seven. makeup brush organiser|mecca -- just gorgeous...
eight. kate spade battery bank -- because everyone with a phone probably needs one of these and if you're going to buy something so bloody boring it may as well be gorgeous
nine. ice cream drink bottle|seed heritage -- I think this is for kids... I need it...
ten. festively flawless sphere -- I guess this could also be used as a tree decoration-gift hybrid but I think it'd make a fabulous filler too. Who doesn't need a festive blender? No, seriously, tell me who...


friday five//want, wear, play, read, need

In the grand tradition of Gaff-giving, here's a want, wear, play, read, need selection {and, yep, that's all I'm going to say because I'm still deep in heartbreak and I haven't even begun to recover} --

want. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit|Mecca -- the perfect gift for any makeup lover {or, really, any makeup user}. I've just hit pan on my favourite Hourglass powder and this palette is on the very top of my Christmas wishlist. Hourglass does powder better than anyone else.

wear. Minnie Mouse Lace Trim Nightie|Peter Alexander -- I've had my eye on this delicious Minnie Mouse nightie for ages now. It's just simply divine and perfect for the pj lover with a mix of casual and fancy. Love.

play. Punderdome Card Game|Asos -- I love giving and receiving a game {or fifty} at Christmas time and this is cute and quirky take on classic card games.

read. Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Michaela McGuire -- I've read an excerpt of this and it seems so adorably sweet and reminds me of how Husband and I came to be.

need. HP Sprocket -- anybody who loves taking photos with their phone needs one of these photo printers. I love the design of this one. So tiny and cute.


musically speaking//current obsessions

I must confess, my taste in music rarely changes. Often, I don't care to be adventurous when it comes to what I listen to. And that's a shame because without adventure and some effort I wouldn't have finally become a Beatles fan. Lately, I've been inspired by those around me more than ever and have some new favourites --
Crush With Eyeliner|R.E.M -- out of all the songs in all the world this is the one I'd least expect to enjoy but I do. I love it. I can't quite explain it but it just makes me happy. You know when someone introduces you to a song that you've never heard and you feel apprehensive because it's... not great? That. Except, later on, you listen to it again and it reminds you of them so it becomes a favourite for that reason alone until you've listened it one hundred times and realise that you really fucking enjoy it? That's this song. Don't talk to me about it.  

Closer|The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey -- I can assure you that everyone around me is fed up with this song but I am not. I just adore it. I don't know what it is really. It's just a really good song to sing along to. 

Crazy|4Minute -- Husband and B. have finally worn me down. I like K-Pop. B. prefers their song Hate {which is wonderful too I admit} but Crazy is my favourite of theirs, mostly because it's most certainly about me and it's also wonderful to exercise to.  


See, I'm branching out. Go me.