The Last of What I Got For Christmas & My Birthday

Today is my kind of day when it is cool and damp and I have more reason to stay inside all day. We've been having rather sporadic weather here in Melbourne these past few weeks, where one day it was blistering hot and dry, and the next it was nice and cool, a breath of relief. Tuesday was awful because I had to leave the house first thing and it was 37ºC/98ºF towards the end of the day. Because I was switching between air conditioned trains and going inside and outside of buildings that were cool, I got a bad headache. I ended up sleeping the afternoon away as soon as I got home.

I've been seeing several of these posts the first two weeks of January, and I thought it was about time that I finally uploaded mine. I was waiting for the last of the gifts to arrive, as Cat was sending me a parcel for both my birthday and Christmas. It arrived on Wednesday, which leads me to this post. As some of you might remember, I had my 25th birthday on the 12th of December, and I did a post on the gifts I received and bought for myself. If you would like to find out what it is that I got, here's the link.

The Mission to Improve My Skin #5

I originally intended to post this last month, but because I was so busy and barely had the time to keep up with this log, I decided to lump two months together and upload it this month instead. After all, my skincare routine hadn't changed save for the finishing up of my night cream, so I wasn't getting much of a difference when it came to the appearance of my skin. However, my skin over the past month has been quite sporadic, so what better time to post the next issue of the Skincare Mission?

If you haven't read my previous issues, I kindly suggest that you go and read them, so that you can see my progress when it comes to my skincare mission. I've got the links right here to take you to these posts: Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3 and Issue #4. These days I'm inspired by Caroline Hiron's Cheat Sheet, and I've been adapting her recommended routine into my own as I add new products to my rotation. I've heard nought but good things about her routine, so that's why I'm using that as the framework for this one.

My Grandmother's Delicious Almond Biscotti Recipe

I originally intended on posting this during Blogmas, as this is a lovely treat to have with coffee or tea. However, because I was so busy during the last week or two, I rarely had the time to sit down and write the post, despite the fact that pictures had already been taken. I didn't even have the time to wash my dishes for days, until after Boxing Day, so imagine coming home from the Christmas festivities to a huge pile of dishes.

Yeah, not fun, but I digress.

How I Organise My Blog Planner and Notebook

I think it's utterly safe to say that I am not the only one with a slight affinity for stationery. I think it's probably an unspoken requirement for most bloggers to be somewhat obsessed with washi tape, notebooks and cute little clips. Just me?

This year I wanted to make more of an effort to be more organised, especially for the blog. It has only been one week, and already I'm finding a huge improvement overall when it comes to engagement across some of my social media accounts. I owe a major part of that to my planner and notebook, in which I keep track of all my activities, tasks and stats.

How To Interact With Deaf People & What Not to Do

Welcome, everyone, to a new monthly collaboration series between me and the lovely Simone, author of The BeautifulxImperfections Journal. Simone, like me, is hearing impaired, though she is based in the UK. We met on Twitter by chance when I came across her feed, and then as soon as I found out that she was a deaf blogger, I not-so-subtly stalked her. On her blog, Simone talks about mental health, lifestyle, her obsessions (the girl is hella fond of Philkas from Eyewitness) and a bit of this and that and everything in between.

We chatted for a bit and then the idea for a collaboration came about. We wanted to talk about deafness and spread a bit of awareness out there. We decided for our first post to be of the Do and Don't variety, because while these things should be obvious enough, a lot of people in today's society lack the common sense or tact when meeting or socialising with us.

My Honest Review on the HelloFresh Vegetarian Box

Okay, everyone. I wanted to go a different route with today's (well, yesterday's) post, and what better than to review something unexpected, something that was decidedly not beauty-related. Last month, Sean got a discount in his email where you get $40 off of your first order. Sean and I were intrigued, we'd heard a bit about the service, but had no idea what other people thought of it. I thought we could try it out, and then I could do a review on it. This first order came with coupon codes for three free boxes to give away. I took one and created an account in order to get another box. I gave the other to mum, and the last one to my brother's family.

HelloFresh is a weekly subscription box, where they deliver a box of fresh produce, along with a set of healthy and nutritious recipes. This is meant to take the trouble out of figuring out what to cook for dinner and buying the ingredients yourself. The meal boxes are prepared according to the recipes, in order to prevent wastage. The only things that the cook would need to provide are basic pantry items such as olive oil, eggs and salt and pepper. The box comes with an ice pack, some insulating material and recipe sheets.

How to Make a Ribbon Page Marker

Almost a week into the new year and I've not done much aside from working on this blog, keeping cool, and watching my vegetable garden grow. Today, I took down the Christmas tree, packed away my Harry Potter Hogwarts Express train set, and ate the last mince pie and that signals the end of Christmas. Now, I'm trying to be more organised to get more stuff done as well as keep on top of my writing. I'm also trying to finish my Dramione fanfiction, and I'm lucky to have a beta reader that spurs me on.

One thing, well, technically, two, that keeps me on track and stops me from getting lost, forgetful and falling behind are my planners. I rely on them every day, to see what needs to be done, to remind myself to drink some water, hell, even to wash the dishes. Having a planner helps me to compartmentalise my days and stop me from being lazy, as I am wont to do.

My Must-Have Beauty Favourites for 2016

I've been excited about writing this post, as I really wanted to do a favourites post for the year, rather than just a monthly or seasonal post. I rarely ever break from my usual routine, so these are the ones that I really obsess about and use regularly. Lately, I got new products for my birthday, Christmas and from my wishlist, and as much as I love them, I don't think it's entirely fair to start talking about those when I've not used them much.

I've been reading some great 2016 favourites posts that I found on Bloglovin' and Twitter and I'm super envious of all the bloggers that talk about the Hourglass Ambient Palette. I've always wanted this particular palette so it gives me the UGH feeling whenever I read the reviews. At the very minimum, I want the Dim Light Ambient Powder.

Meanwhile, until I fulfil my desire to get the powder from Hourglass, I'll make do with the dupe from Makeup Revolution, the Radiant Highlighter in Breathe. It isn't being featured on this post because I got it in December, so I don't think it counts.