Monday, August 19, 2013

Long Time No See!

So... it's been a while since I've been here! Is there anyone even around anymore?!

While I'm here, I thought I might introduce our newest addition to the family to anyone who might still be hanging around these traps! Blog, please meet Ralphie. Ralphie, this is the blog!

Our brand new boy was adopted from a beautiful group who rescue many animals who are often sentenced to death row. We're so pleased to have been able to welcome another rescue pup into our home, and at 10 weeks of age little Ralphie is giving us lots of joy as well as a lot of trouble! But we're loving having him, and teaching him the ways of the world.

He sends his love to the blog world, and hopes you've been well! :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

NOTD : CCO Shellac Review

So in continuing the pink theme for this week's posts, I thought I'd feature my current nails.

For Christmas last year, Liam's sister gifted me some gorgeous UV nail colours to add to my collection.  I've previously used CND (the original) and also Bluesky Shellacs, and whilst I find that CND is clearly the best quality of the two, it can get very costly.

The opacity of Bluesky is quite poor, and requires quite a few layers.  Once you've managed to get it to the desired thickness however, the quality is quite good and will last a good couple of weeks, chip-free.  Unfortunately, it stays on so well that it is an absolute nightmare to remove.  I've tried the foil wrap method as well as soaking my nails in pure acetone, and it never seems to turn flakey like it should.  For that reason, I avoid using it too often as I can't bear the thought of trying to remove it.

I was excited to test out this CCO brand, which is quite a clear copy of the CND.

As you can see, the boxes and packaging are all quite similar. Unfortunately, that's about where the similarity ends.  For my first time testing this brand, I chose a brilliant pink shade, and applied to the whole nail, using about 2 - 3 coats of colour.  Whilst it looked great, and had that brilliant shine that comes with UV nail polish, it lasted only 3 days before chipping off!

I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, and tried it again, this time pairing it with a hardier Bluesky polish to achieve this pink tipped look.

Apologies for the bad lighting! It really does look much better in sunlight! 

Whilst I was thrilled with the results to start with, I am disappointed that just a week later I'm already sporting three chipped nails.  The one pro of this nail polish however, is that it comes off very easily! A quick soak (less than 5 minutes) in acetone will leave it in flaky little chunks which can be scratched off with an orange stick. 

I suppose, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for!  There are plenty of shellac dupes out there at the moment, but for quality you just can't go past the original.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

All Things Pink!

So last Friday was my birthday.  

Since I'm approaching a ripe old age, it's a day I'd rather slip by quietly without much fanfare. For this reason plus the fact that we've just arrived home from a rather expensive holiday, and that we have an engagement party and wedding to save for, I asked Liam not to buy any presents.

He begrudgingly agreed; yet on the day these gorgeous flowers were delivered to my office!

He made sure they included my favourite oriental lilies, and asked for a super smelly bunch.  The fragrance of sweet fresh flowers that is currently radiating all over the house is just divine. Add that to the two lovely bunches my best friend brought by for me last week which are sitting on my bedside, and the orange lilies I bought for the lounge, there's a lovely Spring atmosphere in the air at our house!

That evening we went for dinner with my family and grandparents and mum bought me this fantastic vanilla slice cake.  It's the same cake she bought for my 21st birthday, way back when!

That pink icing on top was soooo good! Yum yum yum.

Speaking of pink, as well as trying to organise our engagement party, I'm also hosting a baby shower for my cousin in a few weeks. The party planning started off with a few hurdles and family politics, but now that we've managed to overcome that, it's time for the fun part!

I found some great free customizable websites, and put together these cute little invites. She's expecting a little baby girl, so I thought we'd run with the stereotypical pink theme!

To decorate, I thought I'd try my hand at  some of those tissue paper pom poms that are all the rage at the moment. Initially I thought I'd just take the easy way out and order them from eBay for about $3 - $5 a pop, but then I realised that they had to be delivered flat packed and I would have to fluff them myself, which is the hardest part anyway.

A quick Google search showed how simple these were to make from scratch, and a quick visit to the shops down the road and $1 a pack later I was armed with the tissue paper I needed to get started!

My first attempt turned out surprisingly well! Subsequent attempts were a little messy; I think I must have gotten a little over-confident with my initial success and was not careful enough with the "fluffing". They're very simple to make, but definitely require a bit of care and a delicate touch!

To get an idea of what they might look like, I strung some up on the deck roof. I will need to make many many more, but I think they look quite nice! I am going to try making them in varying sizes and different shades of pink, and also have them hanging inside above the dining table which I will set up with whatever pink treats I can come up with!

Also, the new deck has been completed, along with a snazzy little boardwalk leading towards the garage. It looks absolutely schmick, and we love it! It's given us a lot more usable space in our already much-loved entertaining area, and turned it from great to almost perfect!

I made the most of the Sunday morning sun, and indulged in a few cocktails with a friend.

First up, was an espresso martini, which I forgot to take any photos of :( but we finished up with a few flavored piña coladas which don't quite run with all the pink pictures in this post so far but I added a nice pink cocktail umbrella in there for good measure!

While we were in Kuala Lumpur we found this bar that served the most amazing cocktails ever! I fell in love with their flavoured piña coladas, whilst Liam got stuck into far too many of their special Long Islands. We ended up paying them a visit every single night of our stay in KL, and the bar manager was so friendly! As a parting gift, he offered me the recipe to my beloved piña colada. So far I have tried the original pineapple and lychee flavours, but am yet to source the ingredients which will produce my favourite passion fruit flavour.

I'll guess I'll just have to keep trying out the options until I find the perfect one!
And once I do find it... I'll just have to keep trying some more! ;)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Back to Reality...

So the post holiday blues have definitely kicked in, and I'm left reminscing about our trip and dreaming of the next glorious holiday!

Unfortunately with a wedding to save for now, it looks like this might not be on the cards until the honeymoon which saddens me to end - but you can be sure I'm going to make it one hell of a trip to make up for it! Don't get me wrong though... I'm still basking in my newly engaged glow, and am loving catching up with family and friends to celebrate the good news with them!

Another thing about being home is having my little boy by my side again!

It is cray-cray how much difference a little red dog makes to daily life! I missed him so much the entire trip, and everything we did I couldn't help but think "Rocket would love this" or "How good would this be if Rocket was here?!"

After weeks of eating out and not cooking, I've also been relishing getting back into my kitchen and producing some tasty food!

I had a killer craving for caesar salad the other day, so I whipped up this baby.

It was only after we'd devoured more than half of the dish that I realised I'd completely forgotten to add my cajun spiced chicken and a gloopy poached egg on top! Whoops.

In other news, the minor reno job we did to the front yard was still looking good when we arrived home, and the new grass we'd planted has been coming on strong! I'm dying to add some colours and pretty flowers to spruce things up, and I will have to share the results once this is done.

We're also going full steam ahead with the backyard revamp, and have got our builder friend working away at our new deck extension as we speak! This is the last time it will look like this...

I'm a keen jellybean to get home and see the results! Our chippy and his beautiful wife (good friends of ours) are absolute perfectionists at anything they do, so I know the result will be stellar!

I'll be setting some time aside soon to go through my holiday photos, so hopefully I'll have a few updates coming up where I can share some snaps! Not to mention talk a bit about my wonderful proposal, and how cute my gorgeous man is!

Until next time :) xx

Friday, March 8, 2013

So It Begins...

Cocktails & club sandwiches by the poolside... not a bad way to begin the holiday. Not bad at all!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday : New Camera!

I have had a brief absence from the world of blogging lately, although I've been checking in every now and then to read what you had all been up to! Things have been so busy lately, and I've just had a complete lack of motivation to sit down and actually write! But I'm hoping that I'll have a blogging resurgence and will be able to re-enter the World of Blogging with a vengeance.

However before I do that, I'm probably going to disappear for a couple of weeks.  Tomorrow Liam and I are off to the airport and we're heading to Malaysia.  We'll be starting in the East, heading to Kota Kinabalu.  We'll be climbing a mountain, adventuring a rainforest, getting on board a steam train, and heading to an island resort where we will do nothing but eat, sleep, drink tasty cocktails and bask in the sunshine! Then we're off to Kuala Lumpur for more food and drink, but also hopefully an immense amount of shopping to be done!

Rocket's missed the blog, and has told me to say hello to you all! And although I know this is a far from wordless post, he's dying to feature in yet another Wordless Wednesday!

 Ahh, time for bed!

WAIT. What's that? A new camera?!?!

Can I see? Pleeeeeeeease, can I seeeeeeeeeee?!

We got a new camera to take with us on our trip, so hopefully I'll have lots of killer holiday snaps to share once we get back! Hope all has been good with everyone, and I'm off to catch up on some of my favourite blogs! :)

Wordless Wednesday happens here, here, here and here!