31 March 2011

NOTD: Essence Irreplaceable

I don't usually like light colour polishes especially those with a lot of shimmers. I don't have any gold, beige and champagne colours in my stash. I've way too many pink, red and brown.

Irreplaceable is another new shade from Essence recent release. It is a dark champagne with gold shimmers. Like most Colour & Go polishes, the application for this one was easy. I applied 2 coats and a coat of Seche Vite top coat here. The colour is so beautiful and I can't stop looking at my nails :)

29 March 2011

March Nail Polish Haul

I've a cheap nail polish fever this month. I can't wait to try all the colours especially Essence Nail Art Special Effect Topper.

The first time I saw Essence was 5 years ago. The main reason why I was never bothered to check this brand out because the cartoon illustration made it look cheap to me. I bought a few nail polish last year after reading some good reviews on their Colour & Go. What I can say? I was sold! They cost around 1,20EUR - cheap and available in many fun colours. I'm so in love with the new duo chrome colours. They're so pretty.

From left to right, top to bottom
It's Purplelicious, You're A Gold Mine, Circus Confetti, Edward, Right, Girl, Blue Lagoon, Out Of My Mind, Where Is The Party?, Red-Y To Go, Essence Hypnotic Poison, Irreplaceable, Can't Cheat On Me

I don't shop at H&M much. I only go there when I need some wardrobe basics. Their nail polish have never caught my attention. Am still not sure what got me checking them out a few weeks ago. I brought home Miss Stone Heart and Moody Model. I was surprised to see how easy the application was and it didn't chip for days. I went back there and bought more of them. Happy Purple is my most favourite colour. It's dark purple with gold shimmers.

L->R: Hunt Me Down, Moody Model, Miss Stone Heart, Happy Purple

I picked up Essie top coat - to dry for and good to go! from Sephora. They're 20% off for Sephora Club members last week. I've used good to go! top coat before I started using Seche Vite. Seche Vite is a great fast dry top coat but I hate when it goes thick, adding polish thinner doesn't really help.

What's your latest nail product haul?

26 March 2011

Chocolate Muffins

I love baking but not as much as I love makeup *lol* I love to eat and I enjoy food. I guess I don't really watch my diet (maybe I should) but I rarely eat junk food - maybe once a month. And I believe in exercising regularly.

I baked some chocolate muffins last weekend. I found the recipe from one of the Marks & Spencer cookbooks but I've changed the recipe a little.

Love muffins? You can make your own too!

Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins)
150g Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks plus 50g for sprinkling
2 Large eggs
80g Butter
280g All purpose flour
100g Caster sugar
250ml Milk
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
1 tbsp Baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/8 tsp Salt

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F).
2. Melt butter on a double boiler. Cool before use.
3. In a large bowl, shift together flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder; stir in sugar and chocolate chips.
4. In a medium size bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add in vanilla extract and milk; mix lightly together.
5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined (the mixture should be lumpy).
6. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle the top with the remaining 50g chocolate chips.
7. Bake for 20mins or until risen.
8. Cool for 5mins before removing from pan.

I love my muffins with cold milk. Yum!

25 March 2011

Pandora & Lovelinks ♥

I'm a white gold or silver jewellery kind of girl. I also love beaded jewellery and make most of them myself.

I've had heard about Pandora years ago but wasn't really interested in them until they open a store near my workplace right before Christmas. I went to see what they had in store a few weeks ago. After 20mins, I walked away with a bracelet, a spacer and a bead. A few days later, DH bought me two new beads :) How sweet!

I have a few beads and am slowly collecting more. However, I don't intend to fill my bracelet. I also came across Lovelinks when I was at a jeweller last week. I love the Murano beads but the ones at Pandora are very expensive and the nearest Pandora store doesn't have many of them. I fell in love with Lovelinks ones. They're so pretty. Not only they come in many designs, they are almost 1/2 price cheaper than Pandora's. They fit the Pandora bracelet.

Here's my tiny collection of Pandora beads and Lovelinks Murano glass beads. I'm going to get more Lovelinks ones because they're so pretty.

Do you like Pandora or Lovelinks too?

24 March 2011

The Memory Remains

I remember how painful it was for me to look at the photos I've taken during my stay in Helsinki. I hope one day I'll go back again. I still have friends who live there and I've promised them I'll come back to visit. My last visit was in summer 2007 with hubby. We're dating for only 3 months back then and my past was still haunting me...

My first winter in Helsinki, 2004

We lived next to the coast. It's beautiful in summer


American flag + Tarja Halonen poster? We're waiting for Conan O'Brien :D

Took a walk on the frozen sea on my birthday in 2006

My last time at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport

Life was hard for me. Right after I graduated from uni, I moved to Helsinki from Australia to be with my then boyfriend of 6 years. Things didn't go well. Finding my first job was so difficult. My first job interview was at Nokia. In the end, everyone told me I didn't have the experience they're looking for. I finally found a job after 8 months living there but the company went out of business after a few months. I was unemployed again but soon found another job at a university as a research assistant. I wasn't there for very long before I had a job offer from my current employer. That changed my life forever :)

Shoes & Sandy

I love shoes! Who doesn't? :)

I bought these pumps from Zara a few weeks ago. They were on sale! I really like the knots, I find them cute. The heels are below 4" and they're pretty easy to walk in.

I'm a big fan of ballerina flats. I wear them most of the time in late spring and summer. The Bloch I ordered last Friday have finally arrived. They're my first pair of Bloch and I absolutely love them! They're so comfy and light! I usually buy my ballerina flats from Vagabond and Camper.

Hubby is on business trip again. Sandy's my best companion. I'm so happy to have him in my life even though he's now next to our front door, waiting for his daddy to come home as usual. His sweet little face always makes me smile ♥

23 March 2011

L'OCCITANE Rose des Neiges Hand Cream

I've been using L'OCCITANE Shea Butter Hand Cream for many years. I picked up Rose des Neiges Hand Cream last week after finishing my last one.

Rose des Neiges hand cream contains shea butter and rose oil. It keeps my hands moisture and soft and I love the lovely scent of white rose which isn't as heavy as many rose scented products I've tried before.

This hand cream comes in the normal 30ml tube, it fits perfectly in my little cosmetic pouch.

What's your favourite hand cream?

21 March 2011

NOTD: Essence Where Is The Party?

I love Essence nail polishes. Not only they're cheap, they are also available in different fun colours. I recently picked up Where Is The Party?. What caught my attention was the duo chrome effect in the bottle! M was with me at that time, even he thought that was cool! My husband is absolutely fine with my nail polish collection because his mom is a nail polish lover too! :) She was the one who got me into all the gel nails and nail art years ago.

Where Is The Party? is a combination of metallic purple, olive green and grey with silver shimmers. I took the picture using a Nikon SB-400 Speedlight, flipped it up so it bounced off the ceiling instead of firing the flash directly to my nails so that it would show better colours of the polish.

From the photos below you can see the colours. Aren't they pretty? It's my first duo chromed nail polish. I hope Essence will make more of them.

2 coats give a perfect finish. The nail polish itself dries pretty fast. That's another reason why I love Essence.

I gave myself a little manicure. I used to get my nails done at the salon every 3 weeks before but have decided to DIY instead. Now I can't wait till my pinky nail grows longer again. It's so ugly.

20 March 2011

Alverde Macadamia Nut Shea Butter Body Butter

I've been using Alverde Macadamia Nut Shea Butter body butter for almost 3 months now. I was a little skeptical and didn't know what to expect because I've never tried any dm brands before. By the way, dm is a German drugstore chain.

I love body butter but the only brand I've tried is The Body Shop. I bought a travel size to try out and I was immediately sold after my first use. The body butter is creamy and it absorbs into the skin quickly and isn't greasy.

I use it every morning after shower on my entire body. It's not heavily scented and it doesn't last long so I don't have to feel like a walking a giant macadamia nut. Ok, I'm exaggerating :) The body butter isn't heavily scented but it does have a faint nutty smell.

All Alverde products are natural and vegan friendly.

19 March 2011

NOTD: H&M Moody Model

It's been a while since my last NOTD post.

I picked up H&M Moody Model a few days ago. I really love the colour and couldn't wait to try it. Even M thinks it's quite a nice colour! He doesn't usually like my non-pink or red polishes, he says they're crazy colours.

This one is quite a unique colour for me since I don't have many greens/teals in my nail polish collection.

Moody Model is creme dark teal. The application was surprising easy, 2 coats give a smooth finish.

Please excuse my pinky... I broke the nail last Sunday. Ouch! I know :/

7 March 2011

Chanel Lipsticks

I used to be a lipglosses only type of person. About two years ago, I started falling in love with lipsticks. I'm quite particular with the brands I go for because I can't stand some of the scented lipsticks! The smell is just too much for me.

My favourite ones are from MAC (need I say more?), Benefit, Rimmel and NYX. I've never tried any lipsticks from high-end designer brands before. When the department store nearby was having 50% off some selected Chanel cosmetics, I was thinking, why not?

I picked up Rouge Allure Adorable and Rouge Hydrabase Rose Rebelle. Believe it or not, Rouge Allure is US$51 and Rouge Hydrabase is US$49 here, outrageous price for a lippie! Anyway, I shouldn't be complaining too much because I got them at pretty decent prices :) One thing for sure that I'll never pay retail prices for Chanel lipsticks here.

Rouge Allure - Adorable
My first Chanel cosmetic ever! It's from the Rouge Allure Collection in 2009. Just like the name says, Adorable is adorable! It's a gorgeous soft pink - my type of colour.

Rouge Hydrabase - Rose Rebelle
After trying Adorable and how much I like it. I decided to stop by the department store to see if there's anything else I could grab when the sale was still on. I found Rose Rebelle and fell in love with the beautiful mid-tone rosy pink colour. I didn't have a similar colour like this one so I brought it home :) It was part of Chanel Spring 2009 collection.

Rouge Coco - Jersey Rose
I picked this one up from the duty-free shop in the airport on Tuesday. I paid US$31 for this one, I guess that's the normal price you lucky ladies in the US? I absolutely love the pink, slightly peachy tone. It's light and perfect for spring - I'll definitely wear this colour in the summer too.

It's weird to say I can't wait for my next business trip so that I get to buy more cheaper cosmetics. I'm pretty sure my wallet won't be very happy about it :)

5 March 2011

Love/Hate Prague

In a few months time, I'll be celebrating my 5th anniversary with Prague. I moved here in summer 2006 for my current job.

I really didn't like Czech Republic that much in the beginning! No offense to my Czech readers (if there's any other than Yarisse)!

I've had some really terrible experiences in the beginning of my stay. My purse was stolen a month after I first arrived. My friends and I were in a restaurant for a brunch, my purse just disappeared! I was accused of stealing a beanie at Roxy when I was at the counter paying for the hat I wanted to buy. The SAs spoke to me in Czech, I later was told - they were demanding me to give them back the beanie I stole!!! I went to the local hospital to get my dressing changed for a finger infection. The nurse just ripped the bandage off my finger as if I didn't have any feelings. The waiter who told us, 'Who are you to tell me who to serve first?' when we told him we've been waiting for our food for more than 45 mins and why the ladies sitting next to us who came later already had their food served. The list goes on. I was very mad at myself, I wanted to leave but I loved my job (I still do!).

It's been almost 5 years. From the angry foreigner to one who has learned to accept the culture, I've adapted my life in Prague. When SAs are rude to me, I walk away. I take it as they're not having a good day. I've met a lot of great people here, including my husband. Sometimes M will tease me if I want us to move back to Australia and then saying there are many reasons I should love living in Prague.

Reason 1: The nearest M.A.C is 5 mins drive from where we live
Reason 2: Sephora is everywhere (which is true)
Reason 3: Louis Vuitton is cheaper here (he's so darn right!)
Reason 4: My career

There are places in Prague that make me happy. The historical places I've been to many times, numerous great museums in the city and of course, there's Parizska (Paris Street) where you can find all the high-end designer boutiques. My wallet doesn't like that place at all!

Parizska last Saturday

Louis Vuitton Prague. If you're ever going there, ask for the SA named Katka

And... summer!

4 March 2011

New Baby #2

My Net-A-Porter order arrived a day before I left Brussels for a business trip. I was tracking the parcel on the courier site every 30mins *lol* When I received the email notification from our office mailroom, I was thrilled!

It's carefully packed in this black box.

I really like the black bows. I didn't untie the ribbons because they're too pretty! I'm weird like that :)

Tadaaa... Here's my new MIU MIU Matelassé leather clutch.

Now I can't wait to carry this on a night out.

I just came back from Brussels yesterday and am dead tired. My certification exam is next week that means I only have 7 days to study! Now I've a second thought on doing MBA. I'm not sure how I can cope with studying and working full-time especially when my job requires me to travel.