Baby in a bucket. Matai Bay, New Zealand.
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Oh my I love these, Cas bathing in a bucket and washing himself down with an old tomato can! I just can't!!

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 So you already got that I'm an adventurer and love me a bit of camping, I even used to live in a campsite, maybe that's where it all started - Thanks Mum.  When I was a bit younger than Cas is now my Mum, two older brothers and I were in between houses.  Home sweet home Fitzroy Campground.  I think Mum had separated from my father and sold the house in Opunake, Taranaki, so we we we're homeless for about four months before we found a new house. There's a super cute photo of me dressed in a black and white matching zebra pant/top combo my mum had sewed me holding a roll of toilet paper.  I don't actually remember living at the campground but I've created a memory from stories I've been told and they stick because of that photo.  I see that solo image every time I think of that memory, it's all I've got. I feel like these snaps of Cas are like his version of that.

Got me wondering, has anyone else lived in a campsite or someplace interesting as a child? Vinny and I have chatted about moving to a campground for a few months, but logistically right now (and with this crazy weather) it's not a happening thing. I have a friend who as a kid spent years on a boat, which I always loved the idea of!  Maybe we'll do that one day!

Also Babes, I've got a bunch of photos from Summer (and Bali and general life) so I'm going to put together little mini stories like this to share them on here because a) I love taking snaps and sharing stories b) I want to have a place where I can come back and reflect on them and c) I feel like it'd be a shame to keep all 45,698 beautiful photos that I've got on my phone to myself (surely I'm not that only one that takes that many photos?!)  Hope you're having a fab start to the year gorgeous darlings! XO

Fish and chips with friends. Back Beach, Taranaki
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Fish and chips should always be eaten in great company and with a spectacular view.  On our last night in Taranaki after Christmas we met up with our good friends Freyja, Blanton and Baby Otis to enjoy fish and chips in the early evening sun.  Cas enjoyed feeding the birds more than he did himself that's for sure.  The seagulls went crazy!  Lol, I recommend waiting till everyones finished eating before the bird feeding! I love going back home to the West Coast and enjoying afternoon sun and beautiful sunsets!! Hope you're having wonderful holidays Babes! XO

VIDEO | HB AP!! Shakespare Regional Park, Auckland Region.

I made this little video for my gf @abbyplested for her birthday!   It's footage I took from an adventure we went on to Shakespare Regional Park, this beach is located at the tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and is soooo beautiful.  I highly recommend a visit if you haven't been before.  To edit the video I used the app RAD VHS, it's super cute but a little nigly to get used to using. Song is Yuma by Matchstick, Abby showed me it,  I love it and listen to it on repeat. There's so many cool photo editing and video editing apps out there! Do you babes have any favourites? Kisses, AL XO

Clean Sheets on Sunday and Other Bedroom Rituals
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Oh hey! Welcome to my bedroom Babes!

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My amazing fiancé built this bed for me.  I've always wanted a four post bed and while Cas and I were living in Bali this year he made it for me as a gift when I returned home.  BEST MAN EVER!

My bedroom is easily one of my favourite rooms in my house, it has been for years.  I think because since I was 15 when I moved out of my Mum's I’ve lived with other people, so my bedroom's been my absolute personal sanctuary for half my life.

 

Over the years I’ve created my own set of routines and rituals which others might find particular (maybe even a little over the top) but in them I find comfort and clarity.  I feel like it’s super important to create little rituals for yourself and your home so My Babe, here’s a few of mine. 

I hope you enjoy My Babes.

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A collection of little trinkets in my Bali jewellery box. Mala Earth mala beads and earings from the Trade Aid pus a couple of little random bits and pieces.

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The cover of a meditation book my Mum gave me, the rest of the book lives inside my bedside table.

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We made the pallet base a couple of years ago, bought some pallets off TradeMe.  Vinny spent ages taking off the extra wood then I spent hours upon hours sanding and painting it. To be honest it was such a mission, a fab DIY project but way more work than I'd anticipated. I've huge amounts of appreciation for furniture makers now.

1. Clean sheets on Sunday

I can’t tell you when this started but for the last five years (at least) I’ve changed and washed my sheets every Sunday.  For me it’s the perfect way to seal off the week, wash away all that happened and start afresh.  We actually only have two sets of sheets so I rotate them each week. I also change our duvet and vacuum the house each Sunday too. Cleaning and cleansing.

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 2. Sealing your sleep space 

 The first thing I do when I wake in the morning is draw my curtains to let in the natural light. Second to this I make my bed.  Similar to changing my sheets/bedding on Sunday this ritual feels like I’m literally closing the sleeping part of my day and preparing for my wake state.  I find simple pleasure in making my bed, it’s never a chore.  I love arranging my pillows and throws and flattening the duvet creases.  Each morning before I head to my next ritual (washing my face and scraping my tongue) I’ll take a moment to appreciate my bed for helping me rest and restore for a new day.

 

3. Tidy room, tidy mind

I’m 110% the opposite of myself as a teenager, back in the day you could hardly see the floor, oh my it was actually so bad.  I don’t know how I could even think surrounded by all that mess.  These days you’ll rarely find clothes on the floor, much to Vinny’s annoyance. Haha everytime he’s finished wearing something he’ll put it on the floor and before he knows it I would have picked it up and put it in the wash.  Or now I’ve actually created his own “not clean but not washing” basket, I highly recommend you give your partner one if you’re easily annoyed at their mess, although his things still end up on the floor sometimes…

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4. Coordinated Clothes

We’ve been waiting over a year for our landlord to put doors on our wardrobe, you know one of those things they promise they’ll do before you move in then they never get around to doing it.  So as our clothes are always in sight I find it nice to have a home for everything.  And yes our clothes are colour coordinated, I’m a geek.  Our draws are sorted into underwear, exercise clothes and comfy home clothes.  I also have a thing where I like to put empty hangers at the front of the clothes, each time I take something off the hanger I pop the empty hanger at the front.  Then next time you go to hang something up a fresh hanger is right there, perfect.

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5. Storage AKA I love baskets

Okay so I might have a basket addiction but how good are they for keeping things/plants in?  In our baskets on the top shelf of our wardrobe are our shoes and hats.  Then on Vinny’s side of the wardrobe there’s his “not washing” basket, one for chargers and cords and another is my miscellaneous basket.  I think the biggest thing when having baskets/draws that help get things out of sight is to go through them regularly and make sure they don’t become dumping grounds.  I go through my miscellaneous basket each week and get rid of things I don’t need, or put them back in their actual home - ie. hair ties back in the bathroom or scissors back in the kitchen.

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My fave piece of art by the gorgeous Hannah Jensen, they're my three mantras she painted especially for me. 

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100% cotton Logan and Mason Fitzroy White Duvet Cover Set. I also changed my winter duvet inner to a summer one  and got a mattress protecter which are beyond fab as a) this means Summer is coming and b)  the fiancé runs hot so was sweating in our winter set up.

6. Natural over synthetic

I think I picked this up from my fiancé’s family. They’re big fans of natural fibres.  Also, ever since meeting my girlfriend Anna I’d always wanted beautiful linen.  Her Mum had invested in gorgeous bedding for her and I’d dreamed of having the same.  Vinny, Cas and I used to live in a mini house on Vinny’s parents property in Grey Lynn.  The three of us lived in a one bedroom, one lounge, mini bathroom, laundry and camp style kitchen place when we first met. When we moved into our first proper home together we said we’d get a King bed so for Christmas I got us gorgeous linen sheets.  We actually ended up getting a Super King bed so I’ve been squeezing them on for over two years now.  But I digress, quality bedding that is made of natural fibres is a must as it’s breathable - This is one ritual I’ll never let go of.

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I love wearing natural materials as much as I love sleeping in them.  My dream 100% silk gown I got at the Seminyak markets in Bali, it cost me $70 for two!

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7. Plant Polishing

Oh my I actually love my plants.  I’ll always have at least one plant in my bedroom and I tend to actually rotate my plants around my house. I find this keeps things fresh and changes the space.  I water my plants every Sunday and will polish each one of their leaves once a month.  This is a lovely slow ritual I appreciate and Cas often gets involved, he’ll talk to and cuddle the plants.

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8. Setting the mood

I’m such a fan of scented candles. Normally I’ll have a couple of candles in our bedroom but I actually recently burnt out all of my candles in the house, all of them are empty. How?!  I guess this means I had been burning them all at the same time.  I love lighting candles in the evening, they help to set the mood and are a gentle signal to start settling down.

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Let's just say I love sarongs.  The black and white robe on the right is the second silk robe I got I got in Bali and the linen bag on the right I use as my camera bag.

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Cas this afternoon, just passed out on our bed amongst my 10 pillows - Vinny's always giving me a hard time when he makes the bed and "has to arrange the millions of pillows", especially when we only sleep on two. LOL. Black and white pillows from Logan and Mason and my cream one that matches my throw is Kim Soo.

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On top of our pallets is actually two Super King mattresses, we've been having quite the mattress saga in our house the last couple of years, essentially we got both of them second hand and we don't like either of them. Vinny's one is super hard, like you can feel wood and springs so we use it as the base with a valance and mine is on top but it's too freakin' plush.  If you Babes have any reasonable mattress recommendations I'd so appreciate them! 

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Woohoo you made it to the end honey! That was a bit longer than I anticipated, turns out I had lots to say.

Do you enjoy this kind of stuff My Babes, I'd love your feedback and I just love hearing from you in general, it makes my day!!

Have a fab week darlings. AL XO

Green gold "blendy", it's my long-standing obsession
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My fave green juice that’s actually a “blendy”, I think I just made that word up? Hehe I just mean it’s blended not squeezes though a juicer, hello fibre goodness!! I'm have this baby daily at the moment and absolutely love it!!

Ingredients |

1-2 whole lemons (skin removed),

1 clove of fresh garlic (you could leave out if you’ve got a hot date)

1 tsp tumeric

2cm knob of fresh ginger

1-3 handfuls of spinach

ice and 1L of water

Parsley, is also a fab addition if you’re a hard greenie!!

Method|

1. You’ll wanna blend it till everything is all whizzed, it should be thin like a juice, not thick at all.

2. Pour in a glass/jar or two and pop in a couple of extra ice cubes and enjoy.

Sending you all the love, AL XO

GIVEAWAY | HAN Skin Care Cosmetics
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When my cookbooks and cosmetics list the same ingredients it’s a GREAT day in my books Babe!!

Quinoa, acai, pomegranate, blueberry, and cacao - Sounds delicious, right?! Like something I could turn into an amazing gluten free porridge or smoothie bowl! They're also the ingredients found in HAN skincare products. AMAZING! So good you could seriously eat them.

Gorgeous babes, HAN is a 100% naturally derived, cruelty free and affordable makeup brand that's new to NZ and I’ve been trying it out and loving it.

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Like most things in my home I’m a minimal makeup babe. So, I like to choose products consciously, things I love and will use often.

HAN (which stands for Healthy and Natural) isn’t just ‘makeup’ they’ve created skincare cosmetics that actually look after your skin. With ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E to nourish your skin. All their products use quality natural ingredients that give beautiful vibrant colours - win win!

When founder, Susan Wong, became pregnant and couldn't find any 100% natural cosmetics at an affordable price she developed HAN.  It was actually when I fell pregnant with Cas that I started to actually consider what I was putting not only in my body but on my body too. So, I’m all about the idea of using nature's colours and tones and avoiding toxic chemicals where I can.  

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They don't test on animals and nor do they use Carminic Acid (that’s the one that’s made from crushed bottles to create a red colour), instead they use cherry, pink carrot, beetroots, red quinoa and rose flower.

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I’m in love with this Golden Glow eyeshadow.  Anything golden and you’ve got me. It’s buttery and super pigmented, so lovely! I actually use it as a bronzer too! All about those multi-purpose products babes! With acai, pomegranate, blueberry, cranberry, green tea, black tea, sea kelp and shea butter I just cannot get enough.  Their other eye shadows are beautiful and earthy too!

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HAN bronzer in Maui, with cacao and coconut is stunning. This is actually darker than I would usually use but a little went such a long way on my face that I didn’t need to use that much of it and it’s easy to layer to make it darker too.  Next time I think I’ll go for Ibiza, it’s lighter with a little shimmer, all about that glow baby!

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Pressed Blush in Coral Candy, I have to say for a babe who’s all about the golden bronze this looks super bright! But, upon application it’s far more natural and is actually a beaut blush that is coloured with carrot and quinoa.

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I've been using the Cheek & Lip Tint in Coral Hibiscus on my lips and babes, I’ve literally had to stop myself from eating it, it smells BEYOND GOOD! It’s probably a little pinker than I’d normally go for but it’s SO nourishing and soothing on the lips I’ve been happily wearing it all the same.

FAVE! My must have is the Lip Gloss in Nude Rose.  It applies lovely, it’s non-sticky, and the colour is my perfect nude!

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I’m very impressed with these beautiful products. So fab that they’re made of 100% naturally derived antioxidant rich ingredients.  They’re totally affordable, cruelty free and available here in NZ - You can find HAN at selected Life Pharmacy and Unichem stores now.

Giveaway |

Thanks to the babes at HAN, I’m giving away a complete set... eyeshadow, lip & cheek tint, blush, bronzer and lip gloss.

To enter simply comment on this blog post why you’d like to try HAN. Competition closes 8pm, 29th November 2017. Good luck, AL XO

Sometimes saying “I don’t know” makes it all better

8 November, 1027

Dear Diary

I’ve been looking at my Bali photos, I love living simple and slow. I feel somewhat caught in the middle of two different lives right now.  I don’t really know what I need. But I know I need less. Less things. Less ‘to do’ lists. Less rushing. And at the same time I need more. More generosity. More presence. More patience.

 

I always thought I wanted a big life. Big things. Big impact. Big job. But I think maybe I misunderstood and what I really desire is an intentional life that has an impact. A powerful and positive impact on those closest to me.

 

But like I said I don’t really know and I feel like that’s ok for me right now.  So I’ll take those things I do know and start practicing them. Then I’ll see how I feel.

 

I’m not sure that anyone ever really knows what they need all the time anyway. Would it be boring to always know? Or maybe peaceful? I don’t know. If I find that place I’ll tell you.

💋 Goodnight.  AL XO

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Fresh faced and fabulous
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The Facialist, City Works Depot.

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I don’t have a lot of clothes but those I do have I absolutely adore and wear often. A few of my favourite things discarded (lovingly) there on the chair.

Left to right - Mae, my lovely Saben handbag (she comes everywhere with me these days), my fav Lonely bra, Miss Crabb oversized white cotton shirt and my Yoli and Otis kimono.

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This brush. Oh my. This brush. After a luxurious face, shoulder and back massage this brush was gently guided around my face, it was utter bliss. The contrast of the massage to soft bristles was perfect. 

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I received the Tribeca Glow Ritual. Tribeca is Ashleigh’s own brand of skincare and is 100% natural, mostly organic and made to support and rebuild our skin with everything we need and nothing we don’t need.

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It felt so indulgent to slip back into bed at 10am in the morning. 

Oh and see that thing to the right of the bed, that’s a herbal steamer, it misted lavender and chamomile over my face during part of the experience. I need one of these at home, it smells amazing.

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Babes. You may have noticed I’ve been a little MIA the last couple of days.  I’ve had some big news which has really pulled me back and made me feel pretty internal.  I know it’ll all be okay and it’s totally okay not be okay all the time. This is only for a moment so I’m enjoying taking things slow and being more still.

In perfect timing I was treated to a facial at The Facialist with Ashleigh Scott, Holistic Skin Therapist and the Boss Babe behind the business.  I gotta tell ya honey the whole thing blew my mind.  I had thee most dreamy experience. I came away feeling relaxed, with fresh dewy skin and as though my soul had been given an incredible amount of care.  This last part was totally unexpected, I had no idea a facial could be so healing - It was everything I needed and more.

I experienced lovely oils and incredible smells, firm massages (you can choose your preference) and gentle brushes, warm towels and cold stones.

So we’re clear honey I was no paid to do this post, I hand on heart had the most healing experience and wanted to share it with you because as I always say, I feel like the best things come via recommendations and this, I highly recommend.  

The facial was insanely delicious but it was the whole package that made it exceptional - The stunning decor, the warm greeting, the tea, the scents, the caring touch and energy that made me feel special, secure and totally at home.

I hope you take some time for yourself today my love, take a walk, read a chapter of a book, do a home mask or relax with a cup of tea.  You deserve some time just for you. Come join me in the Self Love/Care Club. ILY Babes. AL XO

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