Trends in 2016 That I Really Did Not Like



I kept putting off this post because I was worried about offending anyone, but the thing is, I can't please everyone. I'm not trying to directly insult someone, I'm just expressing how I felt about certain trends that were blown out of proportion in 2016. I was inspired to write this because of the roasts by Jackie Alna and Irischel. I laughed so hard during some of the things that the girls spoke about, and I really agreed with a few of them.

I'm so tired today, I've been working on my sleeping pattern because, starting tomorrow, I'm going to be waking up at 5:30 am every Tuesday and Thursday. I start my new job in a little over 12 hours, so I'm trying to get as many posts written and scheduled, so I'm not always trying to scrape together a post at the very last minute just so I can meet my deadline.

My 2016 Makeup Favourites In Action



I've been looking forward to posting this for the past few weeks because it looked like a fun challenge. I uploaded a post at the start of January in which I spoke about my favourite products for the previous year. While writing the post I realised I could technically put together an entire look with these products, as they matched each other. Looking back on them, I think I've got a type when it comes to picking out my favourites.

Yesterday's Priceline 40% Off Skincare Haul!



Woohoo! Another Priceline 40% Off Sale! Yesterday morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn (ahem, 8 pm) and dragged myself off to the nearest Priceline to shop the sales. These sales aren't like the Boxing Day sales, but they do run out of stock quickly, especially if they don't have much left in stock prior to the sales. I like to get there early to ensure that I pick up everything I might need, and to avoid the crowd that's sure to develop towards the middle of the day. I have little patience for crowded places, so, in this case, the early bird gets the worm.

I had a list of skincare products that I had written down for weeks because I didn't want to miss anything and I didn't want to ooh and ahh over everything in the store. As much as I love visiting Priceline, I'm not a morning person, especially if I've only had about 4 to 5 hours of sleep. I spent a lot of time researching the new additions to my routine because I don't want to pick something up that might not be compatible with my skin. Priceline has a no-returns policy on products that have been opened or used, so I don't want to take that chance.

The Rules of Etiquette For Bloggers



This is probably one of my most, if not the most, controversial posts ever on Stephii Mattea. Today, I wanted to share with you all my thoughts on some of the blogging sins that I've witnessed across most of the social media platforms, and what I think is acceptable and what isn't. These days we've seen bloggers become bolder, using methods in order to increase viewers, gain followers and get their blog across the blogosphere.

The problem with those methods is that they rub everyone else the wrong way, and more often than not, they are ignored in favour of bloggers that actually engage with their readers, with other bloggers and across social media.

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.

Happy New Year! My 2017 Resolutions



HAPPY NEW YEAR! I had a relatively quiet NYE at home, writing and organising blog posts and drinking tea, occasionally cooking up a bowl of mi goreng because I can't be arsed making anything healthier. I often have bad luck on NYE, for some strange, absurd reason so I tend to avoid it as much as I can. Unless someone invites me somewhere and I can't refuse without looking like an unsociable bint. This year, however, Sean had to work so I relished the opportunity to just stay home, chill and write, and read fanfiction in between writing because I have a bad habit.

I thought I would reflect on the previous year's resolutions before I list my new goals because I haven't looked at the post since I wrote it. I think I may have accomplished some of them, but I know for a fact that I did not complete the rest. Here's the link to the original post, as even though I summarised most of the goals for this post, it's much more detailed if you read my goals for 2016 separately.

6 Good Things That Happened In 2016



Happy New Year! This is my last post for 2016, and my first of many for 2017. I intended to upload this much sooner, but I was distracted with planning blog posts and editing pictures and I realised that it was after midnight. So, now I have to edit this post so that it is more accurate. However, more than half the world is still in 2016, so I'm just going to be a bit flexible.

I sincerely hope that this year turns out to be much better. I've got a part-time job secured for when the school year starts, and I've got new goals that I hope to achieve this year. I also have my fingers crossed that I'll start studying something more useful.

With this post, I wanted to finish off 2016 by talking a bit about the good things. After the events of the past few days, morale is pretty low in this household and I wanted to remind myself of the positive things that have happened to me, and I would love to share them all with you.