Monday, October 30, 2017

Priceline SkinCare Gift Bag!

Hi guys! Despite constant efforts to declutter the house and not add to my beauty stash, I was inexplicably drawn to the latest Priceline Skincare Gift Bag offer. I have been very good though, and haven't really hauled big or bought much other than staples for a fair while. And I've passed on quite a few of these Priceline GWP (Gift With Purchase) offers. So I didn't feel too guilty picking up this skincare bag, and I must say, I'm happy with my decision, for the contents are impressive! A little background info: you had to spend at least $69 on the participating skincare, suncare and tanning brands to qualify for the free Summer Skincare Gift Bag, valued at over $270. And unlike previous similar offers, this was only available for two days, October 26-27.

Here's (nearly!) everything I got in my Summer SkinCare Gift Bag. Note that I couldn't fit all the products into the photo below!

Summer SkinCare Gift Bag Contents:
~ Olay Regenerist Revitalising Thermal Mini-Peel Treatment
~ La Roche-Posay Serozinc
~ Sukin Super Greens Cleansing Oil
~ Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray
~ Alpha Keri Anti-Cellulite Body Butter
~ Cancer Council Watersport Sunscreen
~ Le Tan Uber Dark Self Tanning Foam Marula Oil
~ Swisspers Coconut Oil Facial Wipes
~ L'Oreal Multi-Masking Play Kit
~ Garnier Hydra Bomb Tissue Mask
~ Bean Body Coffee Bean Scrub (Coconut)
~ Natio Ageless Rosehip Oil Cold Pressed
~ Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser
~ 2 x Antipodes Hosanna Skin-Plumping Serum
~ Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask
~ 7th Heaven Cucumber Peel-Off Mask
~ Dragon's Blood Collagen Eye Zone Mask
~ Models Prefer Lip Balm (Dreamer)
~ Model Co Tan Remover Exfoliating Soap
~ Chapstick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint (Rose Petal)
~ Burt's Bees Natural Lipstick (Scarlet Soaked)
~ Sun Bum Moisturising Lip Balm (Pink Grapefruit)

There are so many exciting products here I can't wait to try including the L'Oreal Multi-Masking Kit, L'Oreal Hydra Bomb Mask, La Roche-Posay Serozinc and the Antipodes Skin-Plumping Serum! The sunscreens will definitely get used with summer approaching and I'm intrigued by the Olay Mini-Peel Treatment, too! There are only a few products I won't use, and I'll  probably include them in an upcoming Giveaway. Overall, I'm super-impressed with the contents of this bag, it was definitely worth getting!

The main reason I did the bag offer was that a few of my beauty staples were from the participating brands. So I'd be buying my Garnier Micellar Water and Swisspers Cucumber Facial Wipes at some point anyway, I may as well use the opportunity to stock up and get a free bag of goodies at the same time. I was disappointed that the participating brands were selling at full price, however, because I'm pretty sure with these Priceline GWP offers the participating brands are usually discounted. Correct me if I'm wrong! I wanted to re-stock my staple Olay Total Effects moisturiser, but at $33 when I usually get it for around $20-24, it was a waste of money, and I was better off using my qualifying spend on something not quite so rip-offy, lol. So here's what I bought to qualify for the Gift Bag!

My Qualifying Purchase Beauty Haul:
~ Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
~ Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes
~ Swisspers Cucumber Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes
~ Swisspers Aloe Skin Perfecting Facial Cleansing Wipes
~ L'Oreal Pure Clay Anti-Blemish Mask
~ Formula 10.0.6 Cucumber + Sea Kelp Everyday Cleanser
~ 7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Pac Mask
~ 7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel-Off Deep Pore Mask

This lot came to $69.92, only 92 cents over the qualifying spend. What a pro! Hehe.

Linking up with Open Slather and Life This Week and Mummy Mondays .

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Did you get this Skincare Gift Bag from Priceline? What's your favourite product?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Disappointing Products!

Hi guys! I'm not sure I've ever written a disappointing products post before, so this will be interesting! I know I love reading these types of posts, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Please remember that just because I found a product disappointing, doesn't mean it's universally bad or that you won't like it. We are all different, and something I dislike, you may love, or something that doesn't work for me, may suit other people just fine. OK, time to see what has disappointed me lately!

1. Amie New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish*
I saw other bloggers posting on Instagram that they really liked this product, but it does nothing for me. It is extremely gentle, to the point where this doesn't even polish my skin. There are barely any scrubby bits, as in I'm literally struggling to feel any abrasive action happening. I'm sure this would be great on youthful skin, but for me I need something that's actually going to work as an exfoliant, not a ridiculously gentle creamy wash. I'm not totally against Amie though, as their Petal Perfect Gently Cleansing Micellar Water* did make my Favourites back in March.

2. Oh So Coco Coco Fresh Natural Deodorant
I wouldn't normally use a natural deodorant, and in fact I won this in a competition along with a few other Oh So Coco products, so thankfully I didn't pay for it. I'm so sad about this one, because it actually has a delightful fragrance and contains a lot of my favourite scents, from peppermint to lemongrass, lime and tea tree. But the fact of the matter is, it caused my armpits to break out in a red rash! I simply stopped using it and moved on, so I was surprised when hubby told me he ran out of deodorant so used my roll-on (this is the only roll-on I have) and that it gave him a rash. So two of us used it and it gave us both a nasty red rash. No, thank you!

3. Dr Bronner's 4-In-1 Sugar Lemongrass Lime Organic Pump Soap
This looks so good, the packaging is bold and pretty and I was so excited to use this, but now I'm just begrudgingly using it up and not gaining any pleasure from it. Lemongrass and lime is right up my alley, but the fragrance is underwhelming and not only that, the formula is thin and watery. The soap is also brown, not that gorgeous green that the packaging would have you believe. I ordered this online, so I couldn't turn it upside down in-store, otherwise I would have know it's the plastic bottle that's green, not the soap!

4. Oh Deer Sugar Lemon Lime Bitters Bath Donut (not pictured)
This was an epic fail for me. I drink lemon lime & bitters all the time, and citrus scents are my all-time favourite, but this just didn't smell good. Also, despite packaging instructions claiming it was re-usable, the donut completely disintegrated as soon as I put it under running water. There wasn't the least bit of structural integrity (lol) and it rendered itself GONE instead of re-usable pretty damn quickly. To top things off, it produced minimal bubbles and I had to chuck a Lush bath bomb in anyway to get the water to the point where I actually still wanted to use it.

That's it, you guys! Let me know your thoughts on any of these products if you've tried them, I'd love to get more opinions!

Linking up with the Lovin' Life Linky at Deep Fried Fruit

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Disclaimer: Products marked * were provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

What products are you disappointed by lately?

Monday, October 23, 2017

LUSHoween! It's Lush Halloween!

Do you love a bit of spooky fun? I have managed to not watch one horror movie this month, despite contemplating a Halloween scary movie challenge. I could say I've been too busy, but it's more likely because I'm a scaredy cat! Anyway, here's something to scream over, and not in a terrified way. The LUSH Halloween collection has dropped. Yeah that's right, it's LUSHoween! I was kindly sent some of the range, so let's have a look at the products now!

Monster's Ball Bath Bomb*
The Monster's Ball Bath Bomb is more cute than scary, am I right? Sure, he only has one eye, but so does Mike from Monsters Inc and he's freakin' adorable! My monster is slightly terrifying however, because he's missing the black pupil bit of his eye, lol. I spy, with my little eye .... NOTHING I'M BLIND WITHOUT MY PUPIL YO! This bath bomb is predominantly pink with cute little blue ears and (monster) mashes up neroli and lime oils for a zingy, fresh and delightful scent. Also, it makes up such a pretty bath, as you can see in the above photo!

Pumpkin Bath Bomb*
I'm already hopelessly biased in favour of this because my cat's name is Pumpkin. She's the best ginger kitty cat ever! Another gorgeous-smelling creation, this pale orange bath bomb combines sweet vanilla absolute, spicy cinnamon and pimento berry oil for a sweet and spicy delight. You can't go past the Pumpkin for an aesthetically spot-on representation of Halloween!

Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb*
If you're a fan of the bright green coloured Lord Of Misrule Shower Cream, you'll appreciate its bath bomb counterpart. I love the little speckles of pink and white that dot the green exterior, a prelude to the wine-coloured crackling fun hidden in the centre. Lord of Misrule smells herby, earthy and spicy, and contains patchouli, black pepper oil, gardenia extract and popping candy!

Goth Fairy Sparkle Bar*
I love the inclusion of a sparkle bar in the Halloween range, for something a little bit different! Like most Lush products, this little guy smells amazing. Personally I think if he were coloured black he'd be a truly authentic Goth, but that would leave a black hue over the skin, so it's probably a good thing I'm not designing Lush products! The important points are; this is scented with bergamot, grapefruit and almond, it contains a lot of iridescent gold, green, silver and purple lustres and leaves the skin beautifully soft and moisturised thanks to the inclusion of cupuaca and illipe butters.

Sparkly Pumpkin* and Pink Pumpkin* Bubble Bars
These sparkly goodies are the show-stoppers of the LUSHoween collection in my opinion! Just look at them! The orange Sparkly Pumpkin graced the collection last year, but the (pretty in) Pink Pumpkin is a brand spanking new addition to the range! Sparkly Pumpkin will give your bath water a gold lustre and is fragranced with grapefruit, lime and juniperberry oils for a fresh, uplifting experience. Pink Pumpkin is covered in gorgeous silver and pink lustre and is fragranced with bergamot and geranium oils and jasmine absolute. Both are bubble bars, perfect for a relaxing, late-night soak after Trick or Treating with the kids!

Black Rose Lip Tint*
This is one sexy lip tint! No need to be afraid of the scary-looking black tint, as this baby applies as a deep cherry/magenta shade on the lips, is pretty much budge-proof and leaves a pretty stain. My lips felt incredibly soft after application, probably due to the addition of kalahari melon oil and moisturising jojoba oil. The tint also contains Sicillian mandarin, ylang ylang, orange peel wax and rose wax.

Black Rose Solid Lip Scrub*
This is quite an unusual product to use! At first it felt strange as I couldn't feel any scrubby bits when rubbing this black rectangular solid scrub on my lips, but in reality it just take a while to remove the film and get down to the exfoliating particles. Then I was greeted with quite coarse scrubby bits that excelled at removing dead skin and softening up my pucker. The star ingredients are moisturising murumuru butter, conditioning organic illipe butter, exfoliating caster sugar and a blend of oils including jojoba, organic coconut, spearmint and ylang ylang.  I probably still prefer the Lush Lip Scrub pots (eg Sugar Plum Fairy, Chocolate, Mint Juleps) to a scrub in a solid format.

There are a few other Halloween items that weren't in my box, such as the Ectoplasm Jelly Bomb, Bewitched Bubble Bar, Lord Of Misrule Shower Cream and the Black Rose Naked Lip Tint (not to be confused with the Black Rose Lip Tint in the tube, which I did receive!). If you're interested in these, hit up Almost Posh and How To Girl and The Life Of Laura for their thoughts on them!

You may be interested in Lush Limited Edition Father's Day Range

Linking up with Mummy Mondays and Life This Week and Open Slather

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Disclaimer: Products marked * were provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

What's your favourite product from the Lush Halloween collection?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Restaurant Review: Jamie's Italian

Hello guys! Recently, hubby had a week of holidays to coincide with our son's three day soccer clinic, so we used the time to explore the city's gardens, Glenelg and of course, go to some restaurants for lunch! This is roughly our fourth visit to Jamie's Italian, the restaurant chain of popular UK chef Jamie Oliver, and here's what we thought of it this time!

We always get the Homemade Lemonade and Lime Bitters (containing fresh lemon juice, lime juice & gomme syrup) when we come to Jamie's Italian. It's just a ritual we have and it helps that they are very tangy and refreshing to drink!

We ordered the SuperLunch offer of three courses from a special selection for $30 per person, which is pretty great value for money. For Starters, I had the Truffle Tagliatelle. This is described on the menu as 'Our famous handmade pasta served in a luxurious, silky black truffle butter with aged Parmesan, nutmeg & more shaved black truffle.' I thought this pasta dish was absolutely delicious and I was also pleasantly surprised by the generous portion size, as I was expecting a much smaller amount for a starter. I'd definitely order this creamy, perfectly cooked pasta again!
Hubby ordered the Tomato Bruschetta, described on the menu as 'Slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, whipped ricotta, basil & extra virgin olive oil.' He thought it was OK, but perhaps was overpowered by too much ricotta cheese.

It took a really long time for our mains to arrive, and quite frankly, they didn't seem put together with as much care as our Starters. I was underwhelmed with the look of mine and didn't even bother taking photos, as it didn't look great. I ordered the Gennaro's Chicken Club, described on the menu as 'A soft seeded bun stuffed with chargrilled, marinated free-range chicken, mortadella, spicy ‘nduja mayo, fontal cheese, tomato & rocket.' My main complaint; the piece of chicken in the bun was quite small, and calling it chargrilled is putting it nicely. When the underside is black and the main taste is 'burnt' it's taking 'chargrilled' to another (not so pleasant) level.
Hubby ordered the Fish Of The Day, which is a responsibly sourced market special that changes daily. When we dined, it was barramundi, which he thought was unevenly cooked, as some bits were firm, some were soft and the flesh colour ranged from grey to white.
The waitress did ask how everything was and when I said 'the chicken is burnt' she did offer to get me a new dish, but I declined as we were running out of time, given how long mains had taken to arrive and the fact we still had dessert to come!

If we thought mains took their merry time to arrive, dessert was either just as long or longer. We were seated at 12 noon, and at 1:50 we had to ask for our plates, as it was taking so long. Anyway, I ordered the Epic Chocolate Brownie, which is 'Rich chocolate sauce, salted caramel gelato & caramelised popcorn' with a square chocolate brownie. I've ordered this before and it's a favourite. It's deliciously chocolatey, the icecream is smooth and creamy and the caramelised popcorn adds a fun, crunchy element that suits the dish perfectly. Recommended!
Hubby ordered the Orange Blossom Polenta Cake which was 'served with whipped crème fraîche, fresh orange & pomegranate.' He said it could have had more flavour, but still this is a super-pretty dish that I'm bummed I didn't get time to photograph, as we were rushing at this point!

The standouts for me were the Truffle Tagliatelle and the Epic Chocolate Brownie. We have had better experiences on our previous visits to Jamie's Italian, but still the SuperLunch is a great deal and this is a fun place to dine. Make sure you check out the toilets, which are set downstairs in the old bank vaults. It's like being in jail!

You may also be interested in Lunch Series: Gondola Gondola

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Disclaimer: We paid for our own meals and reviews are honest and unbiased. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Have you been to Jamie's Italian in your city? What type of food do you like?

Monday, October 16, 2017

REVIEW: Weleda KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Wash*

Hi guys! Today I want to tell you about a new range from Weleda, designed especially for kids, the Weleda KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Wash*! I was kindly sent the Happy Orange fragrance for my 10 year old son to try, and he's loving it. To be honest, it's a bit of a struggle to get him into the shower, so anything that's going to make the cleaning and hair-washing process easier gets the tick of approval from me!

I love that this is a multi-tasking product, because that cuts down on time and effort, and just quietly, the barrage of questions being yelled out from the bathroom. "What do I do next?", "Which shampoo do I use?", "Should I use conditioner now?". Kids can use this to wash their bodies and their hair; one tube = less confusion, more speed and less questions for Mum. It's a win win!

We received the Happy Orange fragrance. This is a beautiful citrus scent that's uplifting, refreshing and zingy-smelling (it doesn't make your body tingle though, thank goodness!). I'm really glad we got orange because my son is a big fan and I've always preferred citrus scents over most others. Tangy orange essential oil has been blended with vanilla to create this fruity, happy scent. Alternate fragrances in the KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Wash range are Lively Lime and Very Vanilla. In a world full of gender stereotyping, Weleda have strived to make this range gender-neutral, with their coloured packaging and cute animal-themed design featuring pictures of hippos, dolphins and seals that will appeal equally to boys and girls.

The wash is NATRUE-certified natural, cruelty free, vegan-friendly and free from mineral oils, silicones, artificial preservatives and harsh synthetic detergents. The detergents used in this KIDS range are biodegradable, plant-based and made from fermented sugar and coconut oil. Organic sesame oil helps to preserve the skin's natural moisture balance, since it's rich in vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids.

The formula is lovely and creamy and perfect for kids. Weleda have used carefully formulated ingredients specifically for kids, as their skin tends to be dry with an underdeveloped barrier function before the age of puberty. I actually can't think of anything negative about this product, which is always a good sign! In Mr 10's own words, he described this Weleda product thusly: "the smell of it is really, really good, like an orange lollipop". Hehe.

This is something I'd recommend if you have kids and are after something that's easy to use, multitasking, and smells nice. It may even make your kids enjoy shower/bath-time more!

Weleda KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Wash is RRP$14.95 and available from David Jones, selected health stores, pharmacies and from Weleda's online store.

You may also be interested in Brand Focus: Weleda Skincare

Linking up with Open Slather and Life This Week and Mummy Mondays

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Disclaimer: Products marked * were provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

What's your favourite multi-tasking product?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Hints & Tips: Kids Birthday Party Food!

Oh hey everyone! My son turned the big 1-0 recently, and I really can't believe we've hit double digits. Where has the time gone? I thought I'd post about the food I served at his Birthday Party, just because I spent two whole days baking and I want someone to appreciate it, lolol. We have a party for Mr Now-10 every single year, so I am actually learning a few things along the way, that I can pass on and possibly help you out. Here we go! The most important lesson I've learned is....

1. Nobody Actually Gives A Shit
Yeah that's right. I spent a few years stressing and pushing myself and baking 'til 9:30pm on party eve, perfecting things so everything looked beautiful, then noone really noticed my attention to detail or appreciated it. See the photos below for the effort I went to one year FFS.

My son was too fussy to eat them and the kids barely noticed my beautiful tiny teddies in various highly-entertaining situations.  The parents didn't get to see them because most of them dropped off their kids and left straight away. Spending hours meticulously decorating stuff that will get destroyed in three seconds flat is an exercise in futility, and kids are just as happy with this (see below photo) which is what I went with this year. This is packet mix from a box, using the packet icing (I used to make my own from scratch HAHAHA), simply decorated. Which brings me to...

2. Chocolate Everything
Chocolate will always be a hit. My son suggested two batches of chocolate cupcakes but for some reason I insisted on one chocolate and one vanilla. The vanilla ones were decorated with green icing (I let my son put the colouring in) and M&Ms. Again, simple and fairly quick to do. Kids know best. The chocolate ones were demolished and I think someone took pity on me and ate one green cupcake. Needless to say we had leftover green cuppies for days!

3. Rocky Road Is A No-Brainer
I always make rocky road for my son's Parties. He loves it, it's quick and easy to make and it takes so little effort I can easily do two batches. I do a kid-friendly version that doesn't have nuts or coconut; if you're wondering about the recipe I follow this Planning With Kids one. I prefer to use the large pink and white marshmallows and cut them in half. This time I forgot, but usually I swap the M&Ms for Clinkers, which tastes far better. I just fill a large Glad Bag with Clinkers, pushing out any air, seal it then smash them up a bit with a rolling pin to expose the colours. I still got compliments on my rocky road though, so that was great to hear!

4. Jelly Shots Will Be Popular
I'm not talking vodka jelly shots, although they would be popular, but probably more so with the parents, haha. These are just basically different flavoured jellies set into these little plastic hors d'oeuvre spoons I got from a cheap shop. I've served them before and they were so popular I decided to do them again, because they're quick and easy and look good on the party table! They are a bit annoying to transport to the venue, because they slide around unless you jam them in tight next to each other and hold onto the container in the car (only if you are a passenger, not if you're driving!).

5. Pre-Packaged Treats Are Your Friend
Yes, you will be baking for your kid's Party. But you don't need to make everything! That's way too much work, your body will be screaming in pain and you'll be exhausted before the Party even begins. Showcase a few baked treats that look good, but don't be afraid to fill the party table with pre-packaged goodies as well. The three things I like to go with are popcorn, chips and party mix lollies. There are lots of different popcorn varieties these days; you can go with buttered, caramel, rainbow or one of those fancy flavoured ones. I found a cute popcorn container at a cheap shop and went with a big packet of buttered popcorn. Chips are cool because you can use one plain potato packet, then do flavours like barbecue and chicken. Burger Rings and Cheezels will also be a hit!

6. Don't Forget The Essentials
Now this is assuming you are holding the Party at a venue away from home, otherwise all this stuff will be on hand. We always have my son's parties at a game arcade or laserzone place, so it sucks lugging bags of stuff into the venue each time, but we usually get there 15 minutes early to set things up (ask the venue beforehand if you can do this, as they make have another booking). Inevitably, we always forget at least one of these things (this year it was the spoons, lol) but here's my list of things to take:
~ scissors
~ large knife to cut the cake (careful, there are kids around and you don't want a law suit, haha)
~ candles
~ matches/fire-lighter device (check it's working before you leave home)
~ napkins
~ paper or plastic disposable plates
~ plastic cups
~ enough drink/cordial/water to last the whole party duration
~ a texta to write kids names on the cups otherwise you will have 247 half-full drinks on the table, with noone knowing whose is whose and you will run out of clean cups. This happened to us this time lol.

7. Birthday Cake Cheat
I ordered my son's Birthday Cake from a Bakery, because honestly, who can be bothered after all the party food baking? Doing this saved me a lot of stress and allowed me to concentrate on my other baking and organising the food for transport. The funny thing was, my son's actual Birthday was the day after the party, and he wanted a homemade cake for his special day. I was suitably stuffed, so when he was at school I bought a chocolate mud cake, some ready-made Betty Crocker icing (a new level of lazy for me, lol) and 13 KitKats from Coles, and just decorated the store-bought cake, also using the left over M&Ms from the rocky road. He loved it and it literally only took 15 minutes to decorate, no baking required.

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What's your best tip for running kids parties?