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The Fight Is On: Quick Tips for Anti-Aging in Your 20s

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February 17, 2015 · 2:23 pm

That Golden Glow: My Love for MoroccanTan Spray Tans

MoroccanTan

I recently tried out Moroccan Tan 2 hour spray tan. I’d read positive reviews about it before I went and I must say I was pretty happy with the results.

Morrocan Tan solutions are free from alcohol, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and parabens, and are “enriched with nourishing vitamins and organic oils”. They have 1, 2 and 4 hour formulas and boast a moisture lock ability which actively keeps the skin hydrated (something I will personally attest to).

My Experience

I had a full body spray excluding my face. Being quarter Filipino, but not having spent much time in the sun lately I had a pretty light yellow brown base tan and I asked to go “pretty dark” (whatever that means lol).

Immediately after the tan you could definitely see the “green” in the tan which helps to stop the orange look of the final result and give a more natural looking tan. It was very sticky and looked REALLY dark when I walked out of the salon. I was pretty nervous the first few hours while I was waiting to wash it off because it just looked so dark!

Even though it is a two hour tan I waited about 4 to rinse off and when I did I thought I’d washed off most of the tan! It looked like I only had a slightly darker tan then before. At this point I thought I’d wasted my money but the next day I woke up with a lovely, natural looking tan. It was definitely several shades darker then what I started with and it looked very natural – I loved the results! So I would wait overnight before you expect to see the final results – it keeps on developing even after the first rinse. If you have a special event to go to, don’t get the tan the same day (even though it is a 2 hour tan), try to get it the day before if possible.

The only thing I will warn about this tan is that my hands did not come out looking blended and natural. This is a common problem with spray tans and Moroccan tan proved no exception – I recommend you ask your technician not to spray your hands to save the patchy, obviously uneven tan around your knuckles and fingers. Also it does smell quite a bit like fake tan which isn’t always pleasant.

My tan lasted a good week and did not wear off patchy or blotchy in any way. The only place I had to exfoliate to even out were my hands. The rest of my body held the tan well.

Tips for Tanning Novices

For those who are new to spray tans, it’s important to start exfoliating your skin a couple days before hand and to make sure you moisturize. The day of the tan, go to your appointment freshly washed and exfoliated, jewellery off and hair tied back. DO NOT put on any moisturizer or deodorant as tempting as it might be as this could affect your end result and wear clothes that are loose and won’t rub too much against your skin (as this could also affect your end results). And unless you don’t mind walking around like an Oompa Loompa, don’t plan in doing anything for a couple hours after until you have had your first rinse. Also wear either black or old underpants (that you don’t mind getting spray tan on), and that don’t sit in a way that will give unwanted tan lines after your spray. The salon I went to, and many other salons I’ve been to in the past will provide you with disposable jocks, but just to be safe, wear some you will be happy with to the appointment.

 * Mummy Tip: It’s actually kind of fun bringing my little girl along to my spray tans – she thinks its absolutely hilarious. I would rather her be comfortable with spray-tanning when she is older than thinking she has to lay out for hours on end in the harsh Aussie sun if she wants to get a tan.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this spray tan as the colour is a more natural looking brown and my skin felt moisturized and soft for dayzzz afterwards. Also, I didn’t have any breakouts from it, which is a huge plus! Silly me didn’t take any pictures of what the tan looked like (I was a bit caught up with family and Christmas etc). As far as I could find, it is only available in Australia and the UK. If you’re a Brisbane local, the salon I went to was Milk & Honey in Chapel Hill. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking to Moroccan Tan next time I need a spray tan, although I would really like to find an organic spray tan that I love – let me know if you have any suggestions!

Until next time dearly beloved!

With love,

Natasha x

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves Romans 12:10

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December 31, 2014 · 4:39 am

Butter London: Does “Natural” Nail Polish Really Measure Up?

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Whenever I come across a natural or healthy alternative to an otherwise harmful product, I am always interested to know whether the natural product actually measures up to the chemical laden products, or whether I will just have to shrug off any disappointments in the natural options for the sake of good health. Today I wanted to share with you my experience with Butter London, after experimenting with it over the past few weeks. Having been an OPI fan for a while now, I was really curious to see how Butter London compared. For any of you who know OPI, it is a very reputable nail polish brand. I would consider Butter London to be of the same standing but in natural alternative realms.

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Butter London markets itself as a “3 Free Company” meaning that their products have no formaldehyde, no toluene and no DBP. These harmful toxins are otherwise known as carcinogens, or the toxins that cause cancer. So if I have the option to avoid these toxins, I will, although I don’t maintain this as a strict rule its just more of a preference.image

Colour

The first thing I will say about Butter London is that they have a great variety of colours. To start off our collection here at the house, we ordered (left to right) Trout Pout, Molly Coddled, Disco Biscuit, Squatter, Snog and Keks. They are all opaque bar Disco Biscuit which is a sheer hot pink with blue fluorescent glitter (see image on the right). There is a huge selection of colours on offer so your bound to find one or several that you love. On application, the opaques are really rich in colour and have great coverage. I have tested all of these colours and they paint on just as well as the colour you see in the bottle! Yay!

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Application

We also bought the Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat and Hardwearimage P. D. Luick Topcoat. I applied the basecoat to clean nails, and then used two coats of Squatter (aka fungi green as my sister would call it, or snot green as my mother would call it). The basecoat dried really quickly and evenly however the main lacquer does take a little longer than say OPI to dry. That would be my biggest criticism of this product, is that it doesn’t dry quite as quickly as other good quality nail polishes, which for most people might not pose so much of an issue but when you have a 6 year old running around constantly asking for your attention the quicker the polish dries, the better! As I had to stop and take care of various things in the middle of painting my nails, I had to do several touch ups and repairs before I eventually got my topcoat on. The colour is great – I wasn’t sure how I would feel about wearing this kind of green but I love it for spring. I also love love love Trout Pout.

imageimageA little quirky feature of Butter London is that the rectangle cap actually pulls off, and you un-twist the cap that is underneath that to apply the nail polish.

Longevity

I plan on posting again in a couple of weeks to let you know how my nails went with the base coat and top coat, however I had previously applied Trout Pout to my toe nails and the colour has lasted really well for about two and a half weeks now so I am fairly confident that my fingernails will last. If I can get at least a good week out of them, I will be happy!

 * Mummy Tip: Without the harmful chemicals, Butter London is a safer alternative to mainstream nail polishes imagewhen doing Mani Pedi’s with your little princess. Bailey-Belle had a great time mixing the bright, vibrant colours.

 Cost

Butter London nail polishes are not cheap. At least here in Australia they aren’t. In the stores they retail for around $22.00 a bottle. The base coat and top coat set are around $50. If I didn’t have a particular interest in avoiding chemicals (where possible) I probably wouldn’t spend the extra money and would stick to brands like OPI, however the 3 Free pitch of Butter London makes it worth it for me, especially when my little one likes to have her nails done.

You can find this product in little boutique women’s stores, or purchase online. We bought a few of ours on sale for $14 on The Home website – an excellent website for home wares and chic odds and ends.

Overall, I love this product, I am pleased with the results it provides and will keep purchasing it over other brands of nail polish. I will mention this though, while Butter London is 3-free, it is not chemical free. So if you have chemical sensitivity, this brand still may not cut it for you.

Until next time my lovelies!

With love,

Natasha x

 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy Proverbs 31:8-9

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November 1, 2014 · 12:01 am

Purchase At Your Own Risk: Schleich Collectable Figurines

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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All I Want To Do Is Blog!

Can anyone relate?

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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

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Filed under Beauty.

Thrifted: RAINBOW BEADS

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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

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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)

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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)

 

 

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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!

 

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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

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

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October 17, 2014 · 10:51 am