Saturday, December 29, 2012

Possets Perfumes: Ribbands Perfume Oil Review

Merry Christmas, everyone! I know I haven't posted anything for a while but the Christmas holidays have been busy and blogging is made even more difficult by my lack of internet at home. It's a long story, but hopefully I'll have it up and running in a week or so! Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely time with your family and friends and received a present or two which you've been hankering after!
As I am working abroad, it meant I spent my Christmas without family and friends, so it was very strange not having a big day filled with running around to different places and eating extraordinary amounts of food, giving and receiving presents, so there will be no photos of the presents I received as I didn't really get any...but don't feel sorry for me, Christmas isn't just about presents, and I am just happy that all my family and friends are happy and in good health! I did, however, buy a few small things for myself just so I didn't feel completely left out of the whole receiving presents at Baby Jesus' birthday.

I discovered Possets through my everlasting scouring of the Internets for BPAL perfumes (Black Phoenix Alchemy). Possets is owned by the lovely owner Fabienne (what a cool name, right?) who creates all the perfumes by hand, and works hard to use the best ingredients put there for her perfumes whilst still making sure that her perfumes remain affordable to all those wanting to smell prutty. I browsed through the whole site making a huge wishlist, then I went to the Yule collection (she has season limited edition perfumes, so you gotta get in quick if you want it!) and purchased for myself Ribbands. Now, to summarise it quickly, it's a perfume that is described as being foody, fruity and gourmand. She brings it back every year sue to its popularity. There wasn't much to go by in the actual description of the perfume on the site, but I came across a couple of people's reviews and I thought it sounded amazing so I took the leap and ordered just that to start with.

I placed my order and it arrived in my mail pretty darn fast considering it's international shipping and it was so close to Christmas (I was pretty chuffed!). I received my little bottle of perfume in a tie-up bag with 2 samples from her permanent collection! I was so happy with the little extras, especially since one of them was one of the ones on my wishlist! She obviously took into consideration that I'd ordered a foody type of scent, so she sent me a sample of Bear Lake Shake Utah and Cri de Coeur (Cry of the Heart) (the one on my wishlist!).

I excitedly opened Ribbands and from the bottle it smelt like chocolate and I could possibly make out a tiny bit of a coffee liqueur scent? I dabbed it onto myself, and wet on my skin it smelt just of milk chocolate with a possible hint of mint. There is supposed to be some kind of raspberry/berry element to it, but I was not getting any. But this perfume's notes change fast. Within minutes I smelt like the most deliciously ooey gooey super fudge deluxe chocolate cake! Yum! After another few minutes this fades and a sweet scent I could not for the life of me put my finger on, sets in. After about 15-20 minutes of having dabbed this on, the berry really kicks in and it's a delicious, predominantly raspberry scent nestled in chocolate. 20 mins + and it's a delicious mix of berry and chocolate that slowly fades away.
Unfortunately the lasting power of Ribbands on me is very short and I can't smell it on myself after half an hour (but other people can). I still absolutely adore this scent and I highly recommend you go and get yourself at least a sample because it's just the most gorgeous chocolate and berry scent I've ever smelt in my life. So go! Check it out! You'd be crazy not to!

What is your favourite memory from Christmas day 2012? Favourite present? Did I manage to entice you to at least have a gander at the Possets website? Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fitness Friday: Christmas Version

I know that everyone cuts loose around Christmas, as they should, but sometimes we tend to over-indulge and that creates a problem for the following year. I’m talking having too many Christmas treats starting a month before Christmas, attending too many parties accompanied by too much vino and your favourite choice of alcoholic beverages, using the excuse that ‘Hey! it’s almost Christmas, why not buy it for myself slash that other special person in my life’.

I won’t be there to smack that extra gingerbread man out of your hand, or make you nurse just that one drink for the entire party, and I certainly won’t be there to gently guide your hand away from your wallet containing your credit card, but I can hopefully give you some tips which will hopefully help your waistline, and the waistline of your credit card!

 The Super Duper Christmas Guide to Looking After Yourself this Christmas!

1.    When you are expecting a work function, a party, any kind of gathering involve enough food to feed an army of elephants, prepare for it by making sure you eat regularly the day beforehand AND on the day. That means, have a decent meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), and in between, follow up with healthy snacks such as a handful of walnuts and almonds, a crisp apple, protein shake or some yoghurt drizzled with honey and topped with nuts of choice.

2.    At said work function/party/gathering of small elephants, don’t stop yourself from eating your favourite food, even if it is an almost only mayonnaise creation topped with gummy bears. Load half your plate with healthy things such as salads sans the gummy bears and mayonnaise, and then section off another quarter for food full of protein, such as meat (no fatty bits!), and then the other quarter use for your other not-so-good-for you favourites. No seconds. Only salad seconds are allowed.

3.    If you’re going to drink, have a maximum of 2 glasses of whatever you’re drinking. Just keep in mind that those are liquid calories and they add up a lot easier than whatever you’re eating. There’ll be more parties in the future, plenty of chances to drink then too.

4.    When buying presents for others, or for yourself!, really think about whether the person would appreciate it, or whether they would prefer something actually made by you. For your best friend, why not search up a DIY recipe for a sugar scrub? Inexpensive, yet easy to make, and a great personal touch. Who doesn’t need a good scrub during these winter months? And for the gentlemen in your life? Promise them a completely home cooked meal of their choice, and a week of no rom-com’s.

5.    If you’re forgoing exercising for quality time with friends and family, sneak in exercising WITH friends and family. Go outside and make snowmen, have a snowball fight, go skiing, take a walk around the park (I’m sure it’ll look like a winter wonderland if you’re living somewhere where there’s snow during Christmas time!), go ice-skating, walk your dog three times in one day, making each walk a little longer.

6.    Save your Christmas chocolate, spread it out over the months, re-gift it, even! Saves you the temptation of eating it yourself.

7.    If you've ever wanted to join a gym, Christmas time is usually a great time to join up as gym's are trying to reach their targets and will have great deals going. If you know you're not going to be able to make the gym during December, ask to delay your start date.

8.    Again, think about those really in need, and consider donating money to charities, instead of buying presents for others. Engage the present-receiver and ask them whom they would like for you to donate money to. (Also, talk about it first with the person, this is a slightly touchy thing, especially if they got you what you really wanted this Christmas!).

9.    Do the 100 workout every morning to start up your metabolism for the day.

10.  And best tip of all…just relax, enjoy the holidays, do everything in moderation (apart from having fun, that should be done in the EXTREME), and stay safe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Covergirl Lashblast Fusion Mascara Review

I was an eyelash extension addict. 

Still am.

So it's always a challenge trying to find a mascara that will give me the same length and volume that extensions did. Of course, this isn't possible, but I think I've come across a mascara that makes me pretty happy with my wispy lashes.

Seeing as the eyes are windows to your soul, and all that, shouldn't we at least make them look like attractive looking windows? And most of the time, people are staring at your face, so your eyes are probably most looked at thing out of your whole body (let's not count the perve's who are looking at other things!).

But, back on topic, I don't think any mascara has come close (apart from this one I've completely forgotten the name of) to making my lashes look as good as Covergirl's Lashblast Fusion.

It comes in a very 'murasaki' (that's Japanese for purple!) coloured tube. I didn't think much of it until I opened it up.

Ooh, a brush that is quite chunky, and bristles that go all the way around placed in different areas in a very organised way. How exciting! 
Because of this, the bristles clutch on to your wispy little lashes, and coat your lashes just right. I find that I can get away with even just ONE coating of mascara, but I usually put on two.

I think I've finally realised its status as my "the one" mascara, because it never clumps my lashes, it always the right amount of blackness to them, there's rarely any fall out, it's water resistant so it lasts pretty much the whole day (however, it seems to not be full-on-crying resistant, so watch out! Don't go watching any sad movies, or be breaking up with your beau, ya hear?)

Ahh, no, fine lines! Ignore them!

This is what it looks like after a full day of work, sweat and tears. Okay, but really, just after a full day at work. It doesn't look that impressive in photo, but trust me, it looks pretty impressive in real life.

So if you haven't had the chance to try this mascara, or you're looking for a new one to try out, I highly, highly recommend this. I have it in the shade Very Black, and it suits me just fine. It's a very decent price, which is why it's so amazing as well. Great mascara plus cheap price is a winner in my books!

What is your "the one" mascara? Have you ever had lash extensions done before? I miss mine!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fitness Friday

I know that an issue that concerns a lot of people is staying fit and healthy (or actually just looking good in a new dress slash when they're in their birthday suit). And a lot of people approach these two very broad terms I've thrown out there, in various different ways.
Some starve themselves, then binge, and feel guilty about it afterwards, some avoid certain foods entirely, some exercise too much (but with the wrong form and technique), and other don't exercise at all because they're not really sure what to do etc etc.

With so much information readily available already on the internet, in magazines, books, just ready to slap you in the face with the overload of it all, I thought I'd try and add in my two cents.
I know, I know, I don't have a degree in this, I cannot vouch to being some sort of expert in any of this, but personal experience, my bookworminess and a passion for the gym and group fitness has given me some in-sight which I can share with those who are interested.

I believe that the first step in towards any kind of health and fitness, is...wait for's gonna blow your mind...




Changing your mindset. 

A lot of women, and men!, have a very negative mindset about their appearance. It's common for women to complain to each other about their "problem areas". I have lost count of the amount of times I have been approached by various girls and women, asking me how to lose fat from certain areas. So this is where I have to start with the myth dispelling. You cannot lose weight from certain areas of you body. To make your bum smaller, your thighs narrower, your stomach flatter, your arms buffalo wingless, you need to lose weight overall. That's how serious this is, I'm using bold font. But back to how people perceive themselves; you are your own harshest critic. A lot of things you might dislike about yourself, nobody else will notice.

So first things first.

Search and destroy the issues. Why exactly do you dislike your bum so much? Is it because some jerk of an ex-boyfriend made some remark about it that one time, and now it's stuck? Really think about why you are experiencing low self-esteem in regards to your body, and try to resolve the issue. Imagine how unloved that part/your whole body feels when you look at it and dislike it. It's you! Why would you dislike any part of you? You're entirely unique, one of a kind, ain't no one else out there like you. It's something you should be proud of!

Put it into perspective. Be grateful. In order to gain a fit and healthy lifestyle, and to maintain it, it's going to be a lifelong dedication, and it's going to start with you looking at yourself with more positivity. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and really put it into perspective. You don't like the way your legs look? Hey, at least you HAVE legs which you can use to walk, run, jump, climb mountains with, etc., and there are others out there who don't and would give anything to have a pair, no matter what they look like. You don't like the way your face has too many blackheads/your cheekbones aren't prominent enough? Well, at least you have a face which hasn't been eaten away by acid, or been melted away by fire.
So put things into perspective. Be grateful you actually own functioning body parts.

Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. When you're standing there, looking at yourself in the mirror, and being super mean towards yourself, find at least 3 things you do really like about yourself and don't walk away until you have. It doesn't even have to be a physical trait, it can be something about your personality, or something you've done recently that you're proud of yourself for. And then think, it was this body that helped you achieve this positive thing, why demean it?


Everything has to start with a small step. Let that first step towards a healthier and fitter future start with positive thoughts!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Vanilla Lime Yankee Candle Review

Before I get into my review, I just want to say thank you to all those who took the time to comment on my first review on this blog, you girls are wonderful! Really appreciate you taking the time to check out my review and comment on it!

Burning it wrong, I know!

I adore candles. There's nothing more beautiful than a flickering candle night in the dark. And there's nothing better than when it smells fantastic too. 
Now, I've heard so many people rave about the Yankee Candles, and how fantastic they smelt, and I could only sit jealously and read their reviews whilst sulking about the fact that they're not available either in NZ or Japan. 

Or so I thought. 

Whilst browsing through some stores in the mall by the train station, desperately looking for fairy lights for my Japanese sized Christmas tree, I came across, not one, not two, but THREE stores that sold Yankee Candles. I was over the moon and I couldn't wait to make my purchase. Of course, they were over-priced, but heck, I was going to go home with a candle if I wasn't going to go home with my lights. After much sniffing, and sticking various candles up my SO's nose to also have a sniff, I settled for Vanilla Lime. There wasn't much of a range, and as much as I wanted a Christmas-y one, there just weren't any available.

Lighting my candle at home, (in the completely wrong glass holder for it, I know, I know), I waited happily for this delicious Vanilla Lime fragrance to permeate the air. The tartiness of the lime mingling with the sweet vanilla will be delicious!, I thought.

I had so much expectation for this little candle. But it really didn't rock my world. It smelt a bit funny right when it first started burning, like some sort of sour, not so nice, smell. Then, when I had walked out of my room, and come back about 20 minutes later, the weird smell had disappeared and the room smelt like that generic vanilla scent, the one that car air fresheners use, with a tinge of something that could hardly be called a "lime" smell. Luckily, this candle doesn't have a good throw at all, so I couldn't smell it almost at all when I was sitting on my bed.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this candle to anyone. If you see it somewhere for really cheap, then heck, give it a go, but otherwise, I'd steer clear. I've done a bit of research and a lot of people out there love it, but I'm definitely not with them about this candle.

I probably shouldn't judge the rest of the candles just from one, but I have a feeling that I'll be just as disappointed with the others as I have with this one. I think the reason I wasn't happy with this candle is because I own two Glasshouse candles, which are high end candles made by an Australian company, and they are absolutely divine. They are the type of candles you want burning in your house. I'll be doing a review on two of my favourite ones soon, because I just adore them and I think everyone should try one.

Do you burn Yankee Candles? Do you think I was too quick to pass judgement and should give another scent a go? What are your other favourite candle brands?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

'Tis the Season to be Jolly: Wee Christmas Decoration Haul

I absolutely love Christmas. 

I know that sometimes the meaning and spirit behind it gets lost a bit amongst all the shopping bags, Christmas wrapping, and colourful bows, but I love Christmas because it is the time of year I can spend a day surrounded by some (I have family all over the world therefore I'll never be truly surrounded by ALL the people that I love) of the people I love most in the world. Now, most of my Christmas' have been spent in the sunshine, gorging on lip smackingly good food and hanging out with my cousins. You see, in New Zealand, we're a bit backwards, and we celebrate Christmas during summer! Christmas at the beach, yeah!

However, this year as I am overseas in Japan, it'll be first time in a decade and a half that I'll be celebrating Christmas in the winter, with the possibility of snow. Of course, I have to mark this event with some lots of Christmas decoration purchases! Last night whilst wandering around in the underground mall at the train station, I came across an awesome little store where everything was sold for ¥315. I came across many wonderful things, but only treated myself to three that I absolutely couldn't leave the store without.

This absolutely adorable little wooden tree where you get to hang little wooden ornaments. (I still haven't managed to find a tree that isn't a ridiculous price but a good height.) And the little reindeer, well, it was love at first sight.

There were a few different varieties of baubles, but this one was by far the prettiest.

I've also bought quite a few other bits and bobs, but haven't had the time to take photos of them. The search for the perfect tree, and lights! (I just cannot find them anywhere in this country, why??), continues. Although I'll only be celebrating Christmas with my significant other this year, I am looking forward to it.

Dear readers, what are your favourite Christmas ornaments, and why? What is something special that you do on Christmas?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Korres Pomegranate Lip Balm Review

I have an avid love for Korres products. Unfortunately, I am suckered in by the fact that they're a Greek product and they're all-natural, all-free-of-crapola-we-don't-need-on-our-faces-etc. I have tried a few different things from them, and I've loved them all. If you're not already familiar with the company, they're an eco-friendly manufacturing and product formulating Greek company that has a wide range of cosmetics and body care products. I highly recommend them to anyone who has not tried anything from them before.

As we all know, the Korres Pomegranate lip balm is a cult favourite, and I have leapt on to the bandwagon with the others.

Let's read what it says on the pottle (a little pot)!:"A buttery lip balm (yes) that melts on the lips (that it does do) and offers a shiny, tinted finish (check, again!). The combination of shea butter and rice wax offers deep hydration and softness. Ideal for chapped lips (I agree entirely)."

Korres Pomegranate Lip Balm
 When I first used my finger to swirl it, it was quite tacky, and I was worried that the stickiness would transfer onto my lips, but I'm happy to say I was completely wrong. The colour is a beautiful coral/watermelon one, and it's buildable. I was sceptical about it soothing my winter abused lips, but it really helped make them soft immediately.

New and un-touched
 I love how they give that pop of colour and help make your lips soft at the same time. This lip balm gets full marks from me, I can definitely understand why so many other girls love it!

The only con I can think of with this product is the fact that people might have issues with sticking their (possibly) grubby little finger in the pot, only to then smear it on to their lips. And the price tag is a little high, but a worthy investment, I think.

What are you using to soothe your poor lips this winter? Are you a fan of Korres products?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Keeping the Cold at Bay

Winter Clothes Wants

Winter Clothes Wants by mali-konj featuring faux leather pants

Winter is undeniably here in Kanazawa and trying to keep warm is currently my obsession. I have finally purchased an oil radiator heater for my poorly insulated apartment and I have been living in my bedroom coming out only to eat, shower and use the toilet. I sound like a bit of a crazy person...but I swear I went out a couple of times throughout the weekend! 

So here's a few things which I would like to be wearing right now, and that I have my beady little eye on. You have to excuse my sudden love for Ugg boots. I have forever detested them because of their ugly look, and my hatred for them grew especially after seeing girls wearing them outside with their PJ bottoms, or short denim shorts (even though it's minus a bajillion degrees outside!). But after having been gifted a pair, I have to say, winter is definitely easier to bear with them on. I have a knock-off pair at home, but my real pair of Uggs still reside in NZ, so I'm going to have to plead to someone to ship them over to me. They're warm, comfy and I feel like a bit of a cave woman when I wear them, but I think they're here to stay.

Sweaters I can't get enough of, and I wear at least 3 other things underneath mine, and it hasn't even started snowing yet!

I am currently freaking out because I still do not own a proper winter jacket, and have been living in my leather one, the poor thing has gotten wet one too many time in this horrid constant rainy weather. So I have been scouring eBay and TradeMe for The North Face and Kathmandu jackets. Dear gods of winter, please be kind to me! I am yet also to purchase a pair of proper boots for winter.

And I have been living in my one scarf for the last month and a half. That sounds filthy. I really need to buy more scarfs.

Dear friends of the hellishly cold atmosphere, how do you keep yourself warm, and what winter warmers are you desiring? Any tips for keeping warm in a badly insulated apartment?