Monthly Archives: October 2014

Purchase At Your Own Risk: Schleich Collectable Figurines

 image

WARNING: These are addictive.

I felt I had to post about this amazing product because they are incredibly chic, beautifully designed, and are a collectible for the young and not-so-young alike.

One of the perks about being a mum is that you have the perfect excuse to buy (and play with) the really cool toys that you come across. I am itching to play with the Lundby Smaland dolls house my daughter has coming for Christmas, but like a good little girl – I must exercise some self-control and wait until Christmas rolls around. I wanted to share with you the latest addition to our toy collection – a Schleich figurine – as well as warn you about the potential damage you will be causing yourself if you purchase one.

The Company

Schleich products are developed with the assistance of parents, teachers and children and are therefore especially designed for children’s hands. They endeavour to make their products as realistic and naturalistic as possible in order to enable children to experience the large variety of nature – from domestic animals on a farm to wild animals in the jungle. Schleich also do comic figurines too but pay careful attention to their character and the message they carry before producing them. So while Schleich figurine’s may be cool to look at, they are primarily designed as an educational tool (another excuse to start collecting).

The Danger

Mummy’s beware –  buying your child a toy that forms part of a collection, particularly a large, expensive collection, is like chopping your nose off despite your face. Let me qualify that by saying I am quite fond of these figurines and,collection schleich having already taken the plunge in buying my first one for my little princess, you can consider me committed (or without a nose, whichever you feel is most appropriate). In fact, I’ve already purchased her second one as a reward for a good result at school. Whoops!

I think it’s the fact that they are so detailed and realistic in their miniature form that you want to collect and play with all of them! Schleich really do accomplish what they promise in providing a good quality, realistic product. As a parent, you want the best for your child – there is no doubt that Schleich make an excellent addition to the toy collection. When it comes to the cost, well each individual figurine is anywhere from $6AUD to $50AUD and then more again for the horse stables and other larger farmyard items. While purchasing one might be quite inexpensive, building a collection is a different story. I found the picture above on Aesthetic Outburst’s blog. This is only a portion of the figurines available… can you imagine the possibilities!?

* Mummy Tip: Before starting a Schleich collection for your little one, create a lovely space for them to be kept. That way your child will know how to take care of them from the start and the fun will grow as your collection does!

Schleich is the type of toy that your kids will have for years, and considering the quality, I imagine it would be something you could pass on to the next generation. I am certainly going to make an effort to keep our collection in the family.

Age Appropriateness

image

Our latest addition: baby chicks!

My daughter is 6 and she is only just getting to that age where she is starting to take care of her things. Up until now, most toys would just end up trashed or missing (in part of in full) unless I kept a very close eye on her while she was playing with them. For my girl, 6 is the perfect age for her to start collecting these as she is taking an active interest in keeping them safe and together. However, Schleich figurines are manufactured for ages 3 and up and have been specifically created in a way so as to ensure that your Schleich toy worlds “do not put you at any risk of injuries whatsoever.” It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to start building a collection while your child is younger in preparation for when they are ready to play with them. They make great decorations in a child’s bedroom so you could even pop them up on a shelf until the right age.

Big Kids

And FYI, these figurines are not just cool for little kids… being detailed, high quality and chic they can make neat little additions to your home décor too. I would love to have a family of Zebra’s chillin’ on my coffee table, that’s if I were ever allowed to keep nice things for myself but I’ll save parenting 101 for another day! I have also heard of people using them as keep sakes on top of birthday cakes and if you check out Pinterest, you’ll find a heap of other cool ways to decorate with Schleich.

Location

I have hyperlinked to the Aussie website, however you can purchase Schleich in the US, UK and several other countries worldwide too. If you are in Australia, I have seen Schleich in K and K Creative Toys and Mumma’s Home (Qld). You will probably find them in the higher end kids toy stores or you can purchase online. Otherwise, check out eBay and you might grab yourself a bargain!

The next one on my wish list is the peacock – here’s hoping Bailey-Belle wants that one too!

With love,

Natasha x

Sing to God a new song; play skilfully and shout for joy Psalm 33:3

Leave a comment

October 31, 2014 · 2:33 am

Something Out of Your Man’s Bathroom: The Beauty of Styling Wax

Hair wax has quickly become my new best friend. After returning to Australia just in time for a scorching summer, I have realised that I need some new ways to style my very long, very thick, very heat-retaining hair. Bring on the up-do! Having all my hair off my face and off my neck makes the Queensland heat (I’m talking 40 Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit)  just that much more bearable. But the question was – how do I do this in a stylish way?

My answer: styling wax.

image

Before applying wax.

Slicking back any up-do with a comb and some styling wax is the perfect way to look chic in the summer heat, but it is also a brilliant way to hide hair that looks greasy within 1 hour of leaving home because you are sweating so bad! And the added bonus – you can find it conveniently located in your man’s toiletries. And if you don’t have styling wax, you can use hair gel or hairspray.

Being an (un)natural blonde I have a lot of flyways from hairs that have snapped, which means that without any product, I look like I’m conducting a lot of static electricity (see the picture to the right).

The best way that I have found to apply the styling wax is by first brushing your hair all the way through, from roots to tips, and then brushing it backwards so that all of your hair is smoothed back from your face.

After applying styling wax.

Take some wax, just one decent size swipe of your finger and rub it between your fingertips. I used VO5 Styling Wax. Then run your fingertips through your hair starting at the root at the top of your forehead and around your face and combing your fingers back to the crown of your scalp (the top, back). Depending on how thick your hair is and the product you are using you may need another scoop. I applied two finger scoops to get my desired effect.

Next, comb your hair back into the desired position that you want your ponytail, making sure that any flyways are flattened down, that your hair is all straight back and flat to your scalp and secure your pony with a hair tie. When doing a messy bun, I typically put my hair into a tight pony before wrapping my hair into a bun. In this example I did a low ponytail and finished it off by wrapping the hair tie with a small section of my ponytail and fastening with a bobby pin.

* Mummy Tip: your munchkin isn’t exempt from this nifty little trick either. If you need them looking tidy (which can be an extremely difficult task at times), hair wax is a great alternative to hairspray, which my daughter doesn’t like because of the smell and the feel of suffocating when you actually spray it onto your hair… I can’t say I blame her.

So begins my friendship with styling wax. I just know we are going to be spending a lot of time together this summer! Until next time beauties!

With love,

Natasha x

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways Psalm 91:11

4 Comments

October 28, 2014 · 10:01 am

Prayer & Meditation: The Road Less Travelled

Purpose

From time to time my mind settles upon a re-occurring theme… I try to figure out exactly how I came to be where I am today – what decision was it that changed my course? Which relationship made me turn? Which door closed right before the open one at which I am standing?

Every time I find myself pondering this thought, the Holy Spirit refreshes my weariness with truth… “Many are the plans in a persons heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21.

There is no sweeter cup to drink from then the one that overflows.

With love,

Natasha xo

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Leave a comment

Filed under Prayer & Meditation

All I Want To Do Is Blog!

Can anyone relate?

IMG_2614.JPG
Life is full on. It’s beautiful, but it’s full on! There are a list of activities that I prioritize above all else – spending time with God through prayer, meditation and reading His Word, enjoying my amazing husband and beautiful daughter, and being with family and friends.

Outside of this, without even knowing how it happens, my schedule fills up with all sorts of things! A lot of days I spend running around and at the end of it think “there just aren’t enough hours in the day!” Today is no exception and I have a list of posts I want to share with you guys but just haven’t had the time to work on them. So in order to somewhat appease my desire to blog at this very moment, I’m creating this quick post on my iPhone in the hope that someone can relate to this feeling – ALL I WANT TO DO IS BLOG!

With love,

Natasha x

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy Psalm 47:1

5 Comments

Filed under Beauty.

Thrifted: RAINBOW BEADS

image

I love op-shopping (aka thrifting depending on what part of the world you are from). Not  to be confused with a consignment store (for-profit, second hand resale stores), op-shops have provided me with endless unique bargains, and today was no exception.

I have recently started looking at designing my own jewelry, and beads have been my inspo… Bright, neon, shiny, sparkly, silver, gold, crosses, pendants and crystals! I am loving all that you can bring to an outfit with a beautifully imagemade set of beads! So I was totally pumped when I found this lovely little accessory in the window of my local RSPCA op-shop for $4!

Right on trend with spring fashion this year, I scored myself a thick collar of rainbow beads to brighten up my simple black shift dress. You know, that has to be the best thing about beads (aside from the fact that they look bomb), is that you really don’t have to put much effort into your outfit if you’re wearing a statement necklace – this may sound lazy, and it probably is, but there are definitely days where life (and my daughter) demand a little bit more of me than my styling regime can handle! And of course on those days, a basic t, skinnies and some in your face beads are my go to.

 * Mummy Tip: the op-shop is the best place to pick up sparkly trinkets and vintage treasures for your little prince or princess without hurting the budget.

Next time you’re at the local op-shop, check out the jewellery rack for some bright, big and beautiful beads! Another favorite of mine for buying beads is Etsy – but who doesn’t love Etsy! Or the much admired 3Strands, which I wrote about in a previous post, who employ women out of human trafficking to bead jewellery and then put all profits towards rescuing and restoring women still in the torturous circumstance.

Keep an eye on this space for more thrifted style buys and tips, and let beads brighten up your day this Spring!

With love,

Natasha x

image

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:3)

5 Comments

October 25, 2014 · 7:50 am

A Controversial Debate: Sponge vs. Brush?

Sponge vs. Brush

Hello my friends!

My mum bought me a foundation sponge the other day and told me to use it because “everyone was raving about them”. I am a brusher, and quite happily so, but I thought I better try this amazing sponge out to appease my mum. I wanted to share with you what I found out about both applicators.

The Sponge:

The sponge definitely gives a more even and better blended finish. There was absolutely no streaking while using thesponge sponge and the end result was a lot smoother, but also thinner than with a brush. If you prefer a light cover of foundation, the sponge will do just that. However, using the sponge, I found it difficult to get in close around my eyes and the corners of my nose. The actual shape of the sponge makes it tricky to get into these awkward places. Perhaps I need lessons on technique (?) but I couldn’t work out how to apply my under-eye concealer properly and ended up resorting to ol’ faithful.

The Brush:

With a brush you can definitely achieve heavier coverage – less is absorbed into a brush than the sponge, and you can apply a larger amount each time. With a brush you can get into the trickier areas more simply. Although a brush is streakier and it takes a fair bit more effort to get a blended finish. My overall conclusion between the brush and the sponge is that they are best used together! Initial application with the brush to all areas, and then blending and smoothing with the sponge. Sorry to be annoying but it seems to be the best technique! If I had to choose one, however, it would definitely be the brush. With my regime and skin type, I need the convenience and versatility of the brush – I can use it easily with foundation, under-eye concealer and blemish concealer.

I have tried several different foundation brushes, including Bobbi Brown, MAC and supermarket brands. My favourite so far has been a generic eI bought from the chemist – it’s so basic it doesn’t even have a label printed on the brush. I threw away the packaging ages ago so unfortunately, I can’t even tell you the brand BUT I can say this – when it comes to foundation brushes, they don’t seem to get better with price. Feel free to prove me wrong!

Chat soon!

With love,

Natasha x

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16)

 

 

2 Comments

October 23, 2014 · 3:05 am

For a Cause: Jewellery by 3 Strands

Hello Lovely Ladies!

I am very excited to take a look at the Cali-based not-for-profit 3Strands with you in this post – this is some awesome jewellery with an even more awesome mission! I first heard about 3Strands when my beautiful sister Madeleine bought me a set of bracelets from them as a gift. Her heart was moved to purchase several items from the shop and I was fortunate enough to reap the benefits. When she explained to me what each bracelet meant and that purchasing products from 3Strands helps to free people from human trafficking I quickly realised why she was so amped over a string of beads!

 

photo 2

 

Talk about guilt-free shopping – all of 3Strands’ products are made by the women who come out of human trafficking. Each piece has a signature red seed or bead that represents the life a Cambodian child rescued from sex trafficking, ready to grow because of the intervention of those who can help.  The mission of 3Strands, which they have clearly accepted, is to mobilize a worldwide community of individuals and organizations to positively change lives by investing in sustainable initiatives that fight human trafficking. Profits raised from all 3Strands sales are put towards the Agape Training Centre which offers a place for women aged 16+ to work and develop skills after they are rescued from human trafficking. What an incredible cause to get behind!

3strands-rescue-restore

Little Treasures…

The jewellery itself is beautifully made, with intricate detailing and very strong materials. Each piece is meticulously handmade by women artisans who pay close attention to the design, color and overall quality of each bracelet. Most of the pieces are made with colourful glass beads although silver metal beads have been introduced as well. These are the sort of pieces that people will ask questions about, giving you the wonderful opportunity to share the fight against human trafficking!

Nepal Mission Bracelets - Aztec Turquoise Love

Nepal Mission Bracelets – Aztec Turquoise Love

* Mummy Tip: these bracelets are well made and strong, I let my daughter wear mine without worrying about them getting broken. They are a great way for introducing our young ones to standing up for what is right in this life and getting behind causes that really matter.

The set my sister bought me cost $30 and included three individual bracelets (pictured left). There are so many different patterns and colours available that you are bound to find something you love! Plus, these are puuuurfect for stacking! Mix and match colours and patterns and add a touch of cool (and freedom) to every outfit!

If you would like to get involved with what 3Strands is doing, or to purchase their jewellery, check out their website and do your part to care, wear & share!

Be sure to check out my blog for more on beauty, lifestyle & fashion.

With love,

Natasha x

photo 3photo 1photo 2

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed (Psalm 82:3)

Leave a comment

October 17, 2014 · 10:51 am

Dem Tresses: The Best Product for Taming that Mane

photo 1

I have a wild mane. A thick head of hair that I don’t enjoy brushing. The list goes on with all the ways I’ve mistreated my hair. Being an (un)natural blonde means that it is often dry, damaged and knotty. Living between Southern California and South East Queensland, my hair cops loads of sun, chlorine and salt water.  Even when I have split ends I loathhhhh cutting it. And finally, as if my hair doesn’t get put through enough, I am currently taking accutane (aka isotretinoin) for my skin which completely dries out your hair – not to mention your eyes, lips and skin! So to find a product that actually works to hydrate my hair and make it silky smooth is mind boggling! Especially when I The best hair moisturiser out!actually know what the product is, instead of walking out of the hair salon having the “I love the way my hair feels” feeling but never knowing what on earth they used to get my hair to feel that way!

Drum roll please… I would like to introduce to you the much acclaimed yet extremely understated His & Hers Hair Moisturiser Booster! Australian made and owned with protein and UV filters, this little gem actually does what it claims to – protecting, restoring and maintaining moisture balance in your hair!

So how does this product compare to the alternatives?

As you can imagine, I’ve tried a lot of different products over the years to help hydrate my locks.

On that list there have been a variety of oils and serums ranging from olive oil (don’t ask) and coconut oil, to your typical supermarket products, to more expensive salon quality ones. Compared to these types of photo 2products, His & Hers doesn’t leave you with dirty, greasy looking hair and there is no real risk of over-doing it, which I cannot say about oils and serums. The amount of times that I, or one of my sisters have put too much oil in our hair or applied it too close to the scalp, and come out looking like we don’t shower is just silly (but pretty funny). Instead of assisting with grooming, products like oils and serums have often just left me feeling like the inside of a deep fryer. While you only need to use one fingernail size blob of the His & Hers, I have never once ended up with clumped together or oily looking hair, even when I squirt a little too much out the tube. On a side note, I do love to occasionally run some coconut oil through my hair for its restorative qualities but I certainly can’t use it as an every day product like I can with His & Hers.

Compared to the different conditioners I have used (in the shower), I find that the effects of His & Hers is photo 4longer lasting and for those times when you don’t have access to your favourite shampoo and conditioner (because you’re on holiday, you’re at a friends house or you forgot to write it on the grocery list), His & Hers can remedy the effects of a lousy conditioner without any issues. Honestly, if I have my His & Hers it doesn’t bother me what shampoo and conditioner I use in the shower, so its my first pick of hair products to take when I travel.

I have also tried using sprays in my hair – anything from heat protectant to “beach hair” sprays in an effort to smooth my hair. My hair is naturally wavy, so what His & Hers does is level out flyways and soften the individual strands so that my hair still has the beachy look I love but sits smoothly because it is hydrated rather than matted because it is completely parched.

bailey hair* Mummy Tip: this product is what I use to get a brush through my daughters long and tangled tresses – like mummy like daughter!

How to use it?

While your hair is still wet after you get out of the shower, rub a large fingernail size blob between your hands then run it through your hair. Depending on the length of your hair, I would first rub it through the bottom half of your hair, making sure your ends receive most of the goodness then put whatever is left on your hands through the top half of your hair. I normally run my fingers through my hair a few times when applying the product to make sure it is evenly spread. Then, when your hair dries it will be lovely, soft and smooth.

How long does the tube last?

Only applying this product every other day (when I wash my hair), a tube has lasted me 9 months. Incredible, I know! When I am in the sun more frequently, I use more, because it acts as a sunscreen for your hair also.

How much will it cost me?

Now this is actually the best part – this product only cost me $12.95 AUD from my local salon. Bargain!

Even though I luuuuuuurv this product, I want to know about your favourite products for taming your mane or whether or not you have any feedback about this product. Enter your comments bellow! Keep an eye out for my next post as I will be sharing with you a little treasure that will bring style, and freedom to your summer threads. Until next time my beautiful ladies!

With love,

Natasha x

 Grey hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a Godly life. (Proverbs 16:31)

Leave a comment

October 16, 2014 · 8:03 am