Life Changing Experiences

If you’re not an adrenaline junkie or a thrill seeker it’s easy to get labelled as boring or an introvert. While the majority of the time I would describe myself as the latter two, there have been moments I’ve surprised myself and made ‘big’ decisions. We all have experiences that shape us into who we are, they may not always be good but they all teach us a lesson. If you want to learn about some of the things that have changed me, keep reading!

1. Growing up without my dad

Unconsciously I think living without my dad influences so much of what I do and the decisions I make. I didn’t have experience with boys and relationships with them growing up and that includes my dad. I wonder if that sense of not being important and not feeling wanted stems from this. Whenever I think of my dad I get emotional. When he left I was heartbroken but as time went on I learned to live without him and now I know life was better without him. I’m not a bitter person but I don’t know if I can forgive him for the upset and the emotional damage. My dad doesn’t know my hobbies, my favourite colour, how I did at school or most things about my life. I’m independent and I’m tough and that’s because of him and I’m proud of that. The line in Grease about the only man a girl can depend on is her daddy isn’t always true.

2. Meeting my boyfriend

As a child and at school I was always inexperienced with the male sex. I grew up with my brother but I didn’t have friends that were boys and I had no clue how to talk to them. I hoped one day I would meet someone and I am glad I didn’t put any pressure on myself and it happened naturally. A couple of days before writing this post my boyfriend was talking about fate and I still find it amusing that out of all the people I could have met I met a Brit! I feel like no one gets us except us and we have this beautiful understanding of each other. I don’t feel pressured to be a certain way and whenever I see him I feel free and at ease. Meeting him has given me more confidence, I’m not sure if it’s a sense of belonging and ‘fitting in’ or just experiencing new things and having someone to get to know.

3. Jobs and work

Work can be a tough topic to talk about. I think it’s fair to say we all have an idea what our dream job would be but for some of us we aren’t in that dream job. When I got my first job as a pharmacy assistant I was so proud to have landed a position after job searching for 18 months following my Communications course. I had that job for roughly a year before the pharmacy ownership changed hands and I was let go. At the time I was upset and distraught as I hadn’t done anything wrong and it came unexpectedly out of the blue. My attitude actually became more positive and during the few months that followed leaving the pharmacy I was happy and I found my second job. I made the decision to leave my second job in August 2017 because my head wasn’t in the best place and I had been experiencing anxiety. I am pleased to say I haven’t experienced anxiety again on that level and I am in a better place. I still have down days but not as many. I know what to look for now and I wouldn’t put myself through that again.

4. Singing at a school talent quest

People know I sing and I enjoy it but I don’t actually do it in front of people often. (My mum and cat are privileged as they get private concerts ๐Ÿ˜› ) When I was 14 I took the plunge and entered a school talent quest. Some of the school students knew I could sing and they encouraged me to do it. I sang ‘Issues’ by The Saturdays and I surprised myself with how un-nervous I was. Singing for people you don’t know is easier than singing for those you know well because their opinions matter more. By doing that talent quest I proved to myself I’m more than just a girl who sits in her bedroom singing.

5. Going to my first concert

If you know me well you know music is my biggest love. It’s comforting to know it’s always there and it helps and brings pleasure to so many people. I attended my first proper concert when I was 19 (I saw Ellie Goulding) and I still remember how excited I was and how elated I was the whole night. That feeling doesn’t happen for me very often it’s not one I ever want to forget. For those two hours I was in another place full of happiness and no one can take that away from me or ruin it. I want to be a singer one day and it would bring me joy to know I could be that escape for someone too.


What has impacted/changed your life – good or bad?

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Seventeen of ’17

Previously I have written Sixteen of ’16 and Fifteen of ’15 so it only seemed right to continue this theme! There have been some extremely special moments throughout 2017 and also moments that have been difficult but this post focuses on the positives and sees me discuss what defined my year.


#1. Steps reform + release new album

Steps are my favourite band and on January 1st 2017 they announced they were back. The band originally split up in 2001 and got back together briefly in 2012 for a #1 Greatest Hits album, a Christmas album and two tours. In March 2017 the band announced new music and their long awaited fourth studio albumย Tears On the Dancefloor was released the following month. The album was re-released in October. I have had the album on repeat since April and it is my favourite album of 2017!

#2. My 22nd birthday!

22 isn’t a milestone birthday but it was special for me as I got to celebrate my first birthday with my boyfriend. I had a massage in the morning as a gift from my mum and in the afternoon my boyfriend picked me up and we went for a walk. We ate pizza for dinner down at the lakefront before he took me on a drive. It was a lovely, relaxing day.

Related post: My 22nd Birthday!

#3. Winning Stash Matters giveaway

I was over the moon when I saw I had won this giveaway! There were so many brands and products I had never tried before and I still use lots of the products on a daily/weekly basis. (I will admit I haven’t tried the eyelash curlers yet though, sorry Stashy!)

Related post: Stashy’s Giveaway Prize + First Impressions

#4. First Valentines Day

This was another super special day as it was the first Valentines Day with my boyfriend and the first time I’ve ever had a valentine. We gave each other soft toys as presents – great minds think alike – and the card he gave me was so sweet. We went for another walk, this time around a lake and I can still remember how beautiful the sky was afterwards.

#5. Winning a polaroid signed by Vanessa White

Vanessa White is one fifth of British girlband The Saturdays (my favourite band after Steps) and on Valentines Day she held a Twitter competition where she was giving away signed polaroid pictures. I was lucky enough to win one of 40 I think it was. A signed Post It also arrived with the picture.

#6. Fit Bit Zip in Magenta

I found my Fit Bit on sale for $29 in March and I have been wearing it most days since it arrived. It is interesting to see how many steps I walk each day and how that equates into distance and calories. My Fit Bit is basic and doesn’t have a sleep tracker or heart rate monitor but I like that I can clip it on and don’t have to wear it like a watch. I’ve heard so many stories about the bands snapping and having to be replaced. The battery life is good too, I’ve replaced the battery once in nine months.

#7. Going to the cinema

Up until this year I hadn’t been to the cinema since about 2007. It got expensive and most movies end up on TV anyway. I have been twice this year and I really enjoyed the experience both times; I saw Logan and IT. Maybe I should go more often?

#8. Saying ‘I love you’ for the first time

I was the one to say ‘I love you’ first and I felt so brave when I did it. Technically it was written not said aloud but I meant it. I didn’t know if my feelings were those of love as I had never felt that way before but I have said those three words countless times since!

#9. 3 years of blogging

In June I celebrated my third blogging anniversary. Three is my favourite number so it felt even more legendary.

Related post: My Three Year Blogversary!

#10. Trip to the MAC counter

I don’t have a MAC counter in my city but ended up at one unexpectedly in July. I got two items, a lipstick in the shade Show Orchid and a travel sized Studio Moisture Cream. I actually didn’t end up paying a cent as I had gift cards and my boyfriend paid for the rest.

#11. Buying a DSLR

Also in July I took the plunge and purchased a DSLR camera. I settled on the Canon 700D as it has a flip out screen so if I ever wanted to try videos or use the screen for difficult, hard to reach angles I can. I love practicing with the settings and using my camera when I can. I’d love to snap some festive, Christmas photos and share them after December 25th.

#12. Essie Glow Your Own Way

This nail polish is one of the most photogenic products I have worked with. I bought it on a whim back in August and it is subtle and glamorous at the same time. It’s easy to apply (a pain to remove) but that doesn’t detract from how nice it looks on. Essie polishes are some of my favourites!

Related post: Essie Nail Polish in Glow Your Own Way

#13. Job at the library

In August I changed jobs. I’ve loved reading and going to the library since I was a child so it’s nice that I am able to work in a place that makes me happy. I am part of the customer services team and believe or not the majority of my days are not spent putting books away. Since I started this job I have been in a much more positive place.

#14. One year anniversary with my boyfriend

Quite a few of these highlights are about me and my boyfriend but they are truly some of my most memorable and happy moments of 2017. At the beginning of September it was one year since we first met in person. We didn’t spend the day together but I did receive a cute text message.

#15. Boyfriend’s 25th birthday

I think I was more excited about my boyfriend’s birthday than my own! I jokingly thought about doing 25 presents as he turned 25 and then as I began coming up with gifts I realised it wasn’t actually a stupid idea. He didn’t know what I had planned and I had a lot of fun buying all the gifts, wrapping them and revealing the surprise.

Related post: Boyfriend’s Birthday Surprise!

#16. NYX Cosmic Metals – Fuchsia Fusion

Hands down this is the prettiest lip colour I own! I have a few fuchsias but this takes the crown. Pink – check, sparkles – check. This is so sparkly and pretty without looking unnatural. The formula is not sticky and comfortable to wear. The pigment is outstanding!

I love this photo and it shows the colour/sparkle.

#17. Music

2017 has been a whole lot better for me music wise than 2016. There were some musical comebacks from 90s artists: Steps, Martine McCutcheon and Shania Twain as well as great original material from Una Healy, Dua Lipa and Vanessa White. The majority of artists I listen to are female but a special mention goes to Shane Filan who released his third album in 2017. His voice is beautiful and so easy to listen to.


What have been your favourite moments of 2017?

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Boyfriend’s Birthday Surprise!

This past weekend it was my boyfriend’s 25th birthday! I was super excited to celebrate and spend the entire day with him. I had plans for his birthday for a long time (that he didn’t know about) and I finally got to put them in place. A few times I mentioned a secret project on the blog and his birthday surprise was it. As he was turning 25 the first idea that came to mind was to give him 25 presents. I combined sentimental handmade gifts, with humorous ones as well as some of his favourite sweet treats. The gifts are unique and not what you’d automatically think to buy. I had so much fun buying all of these gifts and putting everything together and I wanted to share how things turned out!

Each present was numbered from 1 – 25 and given a sticker. There was no particular order apart from a few presents; #1 was a birthday card and #25 was a list of ’25 Reasons You’re Amazing’.

I blew up 25 silver balloons and tied them into bunches of 5. They were present #2.

Most of the presents are in this collage. The consumable presents hadn’t been purchased yet. They included Skittles, chocolate and fizzy drink.

All wrapped and boxed up!

I wrote a list of reasons why I chose each present which was the final thing I gifted to my boyfriend after he opened the presents.

The presents all unwrapped and my boyfriend opening a gift from his parents.

My outfit and makeup of the day.

Outfit Details:

  • Jacket – Postie
  • Top – Glassons
  • Jeans – Dannii For Target

Makeup Products Used:

  • Simple Radiance Brightening Moisturiser
  • Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel
  • Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in 101 Ivory Beige
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – 1 Fair
  • Maybelline ‘The Nudes’
  • Max Factor Excess Shimmer – Copper
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – Opal
  • MAC – Show Orchid

We went for an outing to Orakei Korako which is a geothermal area roughly an hour from where we live. There is a short boat ride which takes you to the guided path area where you can walk around the geysers and hot springs. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. The temperature was warm without being too hot and it was also the first time I’d been on a boat. I only wish the boat ride had been longer.

After the trip we drove back and I had fish and chips for lunch – they were delicious! My boyfriend had Subway using the gift card I got him as one of his presents. After lunch I had a nap and we chilled for the rest of the evening.

It was such a lovely day and my boyfriend was very grateful for all the effort I had gone to to surprise him. I almost made him cry after reading the card and that was only present #1!


What did you buy your significant other for their last birthday?

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5 Important Relationship Lessons

It’s not a coincidence I’m sharing this post today. One year ago on September 7, 2016 my boyfriend and I met for the first time. To celebrate our one year anniversary I wanted to share what being in a relationship has taught me and advice my younger self would appreciate.

Let me briefly recap my relationship for those of you who aren’t aware. This is my first ever relationship, I hadn’t had experience with boys before. My focus was school and boys weren’t a priority. I knew I liked boys but I didn’t have male friends and wasn’t in situations to talk to and meet boys. Fast forward a few years to August 2016, I was in a good place, I was happy, recently landed a new job and felt brave enough to take the plunge and try this dating thing. Like lots of people my age, I joined Tinder. My experience was positive, I am a good judge of character and didn’t do anything I regret. After a couple of weeks my boyfriend and I met and we are as happy now as we were in the beginning. 

I am quite private when it comes to our relationship, people know it exists but I don’t talk too much about it.

 So, what has the relationship taught me?

1. Be Yourself

This one is a cliche but it’s true! I can truly say I am an individual and I do things my way and don’t follow everyone else. When I was on Tinder I didn’t feel like I had to act a certain way to get attention or say funny things to make conversation. I’m not afraid to be honest and say what I think. When you act naturally you feel comfortable and the other person picks up on that.

2. Don’t Overthink

Prior to my relationship I was worried I wouldn’t know what I was doing and worried about how I was supposed to act and how relationships work. I stopped that very quickly and actually feel like I’m a natural now. Don’t rush into anything, take your time – whether it’s working up to meeting someone, flirting or dating. Don’t commit to something if it doesn’t feel right and never give in to peer pressure. Know your mind and what you want and you won’t go wrong.

3. Respect One Another

I tend to think about things in a different way to other people. I don’t judge and when I ask questions it’s genuinely because I’m interested in what a person is saying. Listening to what people have to say, taking in that information and processing it is one of the greatest ways to show respect for someone. You feel valued and it makes you more open and willing to share if you know you’re going to be heard. Trust goes hand in hand with respect for me, if trust is not there you’re not going to feel respected and want to show respect. Respect feelings, respect choices but most of all respect what makes someone happy – who are we to judge people’s happiness?

4. True Happiness

Being in love feels wonderful and beautiful and makes you feel in ways you didn’t know you could. Happiness has been difficult for me in the past. Good things would happen but something would go wrong and leave me worrying about the bad rather than focusing on what’s good. Ever since I met my boyfriend I see things in a different way and focus more on simplicity and being happy in the present, happiness is a journey not a destination and all that. I’m grateful whenever we spend time together, we don’t have to do anything in particular, I just enjoy being with him. I’m grateful to have met someone who has become my best friend and I admire the sense of calm he possesses. 

5. Communication Is Key

From day one the communication between my boyfriend and I has always been strong. I don’t think a day has gone by where we haven’t communicated in some form. I’d like to think we have similar mindsets and we always make each other a priority. We always send good morning and good night messages, it literally is the ‘first thought in the morning and last thought at night’ thing. We’re cute if I do say so myself! Never have I been let down or felt I couldn’t rely on him. 


What have you learned from relationships – good or bad?

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8 Date Ideas For Couples

I think I’ve always been a romantic at heart due to my soft, caring nature. Since meeting my boyfriend we don’t go on dates as such but we still do things together. I don’t mind at all because I enjoy spending time with him, it doesn’t matter what we do. We have done a couple of things mentioned in this post and I’m hoping we’ll get to some of the others too. Depending on the type of relationship you have can determine the dates you have. Some couples might be real foodies and enjoy going to dinner (we’re not) or they might prefer to stay in and chill (which is us). I hope you find this post useful and feel free share to date ideas/traditions of your own in the comments!

1. Playground – Who isn’t a big kid at heart? Playgrounds evoke childhood memories of running around being careless and free. Have competitions; who can swing the highest, who can slide down the slide the fastest or keep things relaxed with chat and laughter. This date would be especially fun on balmy summer nights when it stays lighter for longer and the playground is less likely to be busy.

2. Entertainment centre – This is ideal for any weather, if it is raining outside and you still want to be active you won’t need to cancel your plans. Places like this usually have a range of activities and can include mystery escape rooms, trampolines, laser tag and bowling. There are normally day passes or deals available to save costs. A centre like this opened near where I live late last year and my boyfriend and I are planning to go when I take time off work in June.ย 

3. Go for a walk – I do like the simplicity of walking. It’s a chance to put down phones, take a break from technology and enjoy the fresh air. You don’t have to walk very far but it’s nice to be in each other’s company and hold hands and talk. I speak from experience when I say wear appropriate footwear. I went on a Valentines Day walk and I ended up with blisters – luckily they were gone the next morning.ย 

4. Mini Golf – I have never played proper golf or mini golf before but I really want to try it. I feel like I’d either be decent and take it seriously or get frustrated if I wasn’t very good. Physical activities let that competitive streak out. You could even turn it into a wager and whoever loses has to buy dinner or do a forfeit.

5. Couples bucket list – You could discuss small things you want to do together or talk about the future. This is basically anything you want to do/try as a couple and is a good way to get inside the other person’s mind. The list could be as suggestive as you like! ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. Hot air balloon ride – I have always thought hot air balloons look so magical floating through the sky. The balloons are always brightly coloured and beautiful. A picnic inside the balloon would be even more magical.

7. Board game evening – I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to board games, jigsaws and puzzles. Trivial Pursuit is a favourite, I like showcasing my general knowledge and useless facts that aren’t so useless. Pizza to accompany the playing of games would be perfect!

8. Movie night – This is a classic that never goes out of fashion! You can stay in and get cosy or head out to the cinema and catch one of the latest flicks. Create a fort with blankets and pillows for added comfort or in case one/both of you falls asleep.ย 


Do you have any favourite date ideas? Have you tried any of the ones mentioned here?

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