Tuesday, 6 May 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge 9 | Music playlist

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

This week's topic: Music
I have been listening to these songs on repeat!

MAX - Streets of Gold
How did they make it in slow motion and have the mouthing and lyrics match up??

Kina Grannis - Dear River
I love everything about this music video.

Leroy Sanchez - Valerie (Cover)
Oh man, his voice...

Megan Nicole, Alex G, & Tiffany Alvord - If I Could Change Your Mind (Cover)
So glam and rebellious.

Tori Kelly & Todrick Hall - Best Thing I Never Had (Cover)

What are some songs in your playlist?

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

I read this book a couple of months ago, but I still think about the struggles that families face, and the effort that's required to pull a family together after a tragic incident. I haven't seen the movie, but I felt like I learned a lot from this book. Despite being a gloomy book, there are glimpses of happiness in each character and the ending tied it all together.


According to Goodreads:
"Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive–one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners.

Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control: Ten-year-old Scottie is a smart-ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. Matt’s charismatic, thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them–and spurs them into surprising actions.

Before honoring Joanie’s living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth."

The Characters:
They are all unique, relatable, but most importantly, real. They all show how the people in your life can change who you are, for the better or worse. But at the end of the day, they all want the same thing, love and happiness.

Favourite Quotes:
  •  The kitchen smells like a heart attack.
  • At weddings we roll our eyes at the burgeoning love around us, the vows that we know will morph into new kinds of promises... I will tolerate you in sickness and ignore you in health. (Sometimes we get so caught up in the rush of our jobs or study, and forget the people around us, until they're sick or break down.)
  • I feel sad that she has to die for her picture to go up on the wall, or for me to really love everything about her, or for Alex to forgive her for whatever she did wrong. (I really love how real this quote is. We tend to lose appreciation of the people we have in our lives, especially when we assume they're fine and healthy.)
  • I'm soaked in bad parenting. Drenched.
  • He rubs his stomach. It's got too many muscles... I sense my own stomach and suck it in. (This doesn't really fit in with the other meaningful quotes, but it captures society's attention to body image.) 
If you've been caught up in the rush of things, and need a minute to slow down and gain (or regain) your perspective on life, I highly recommend this book.

Friday, 21 March 2014

I miss primary school

I've been getting to know the routine of primary school teachers to prepare me for the life that will become mine once I graduate from uni and find a job. I'm excited!

I cracked up when I read this.

I was so impressed with how he 'carved' the word "look" into his apple. With his teeth!

I've never seen this before but it's interesting and engaging while also appealing.

I stress about my university assignments, but am passionate about working with children in the classroom.

Year 4 class looking at an ad for a step stool.
Teacher: Who is the target audience?
Student 1: For your parents.
Student 2: You can buy it for Mother's Day.
Well, your mum might appreciate a step stool haha.

A kindergarten child going out for lunch.
Student: Hi Ms A!
Teacher: Hello! It's been a full minute.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #6 | Quick, easy and healthy snack!

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

This week's topic: Food
Here is a simple, but healthy option for breakfast or a quick snack. Quick, easy and delicious!!

What you'll need:

  • strawberries
  • greek yoghurt
  • muesli
  • spoon
  • glass
  1. Chop strawberries into a size you prefer.
  2. Scoop some greek yoghurt into your glass.
  3. Add a layer of muesli.
  4. Add some chopped up strawberries.
  5. Continue to add a layer of greek yoghurt, muesli and strawberries until you fill up your glass.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #5 | Nails

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

This week's topic: Nails
This is one of my favourite nail colours at the moment. I used Natio's Ruby which is a vibrant red. What I love most about it is the formula. It's not streaky, dries relatively quickly and is opaque in two thin coats.

I applied two coats without a top coat, and it didn't chip until about the fourth day.

What's your favourite nail polish colour of the moment?

Monday, 3 March 2014

Music anyone?

Here are songs that have been on repeat.

Undressed - Astrid Smeplass & Julie Bergan (Cover)
The calming voices, harmony and guitar... heaven!

I Want It All - Karmin
Why are all their songs super catchy and quirky?

Lightning in a Bottle - Alyssa Bernal & Charity Vance (Cover)
Catchy and upbeat song!

I'll have you - Andie Case
She doesn't have many videos uploaded on YouTube, but she has an amazing voice.

Any music recommendations?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #4 | Top 3 drugstore picks!

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

This week's topic: High end vs. High street
So I've decided that choose 3 drugstore products that I love and use regularly. They are all affordable (under $20 in Australia), and are easy to use/apply.

Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover
 It's gentle (doesn't sting my eyes whatsoever), has a clean scent, and removes all my mascara (non-waterproof).

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream
 This has such great coverage for a BB cream. This is suitable for the red spots on my face as well as complimenting my oily skin. Although my skin still gets oily, it is definitely better off with this on. It contains 2% salicylic acid, so it works great as a pimple cover-up while also treating it. The only complaint I have is that it only comes in two shades: light and medium, and the medium is still a little light for me.

Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
 I love the formula of the mascara as well as the wand. It works great to lengthen and curl your lashes (without clumping of course!) while also have it look natural. I have it in black/brown and I like how it's not obvious that you're wearing mascara.

What are your top drugstore picks?

Friday, 14 February 2014

What I look for in a guy

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I wanted to do some sort of blog post. For all you lovers out there, celebrate and enjoy the day. As for the single ladies, we can all learn from Queen B and "put your hands up" to celebrate Single Awareness Day (well it could be a thing haha, except that it spells out 'S.A.D'... oh the irony).

Single Awareness

Not being in a relationship doesn't mean that we can't think about it. I'm not saying to make a ten page list pointing out everything you want in a partner (or friend for that matter). Think about your three most important characteristics or personality traits you would want them to have. If you already have someone, you can still reflect (I can't believe that after all the reflections we pre-service teachers do at uni, I still haven't had enough of reflections..) on your relationship.

These would my deal-breakers.
1. They make you a better person.
 They put you in a better mood, you're more selfless and willing to help others, happy, happy for others, optimistic. I would ditch 'em if they're stressing me out more than making me happy.

2. They're independent thinkers.
They must have their own mind and be able to make decisions on their own. I'm a soon-to-be-teacher guiding children to make their own decisions, and I wouldn't want to treat my partner like my students. Sure, I wouldn't mind helping others with significant decisions, but at the end of the day, they have to be able to make small choices for themselves.

3. They're loyal and honest.
I've seen tons (tonnes? what's the Australian spelling?) of rom-coms, and I still think "once a cheater, always a cheater." If they cheated FOR you, they'll more likely cheat ON you (of course this isn't always the case). It would also be great if they can express their emotions and opinions honestly. Guys are confusing as it is, so keep it simple by being honest.

I know a lot of girls like guys who are funny, but would I want a funny guy who can't make any of his own decisions? Priorities.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Don't make an ass out of u and me

I rarely ever blog without a photo of some kind. It's time to switch it up a little. Change is good.

I was catching up with some friends who I have come to realise, are very judgemental. I hadn't realised this until now.

This is a conversation I had with them.

Friend: Is your brother still short?
Me: Well.. He has definitely grown.
Friend: Hmmm, he's a vegetarian as well. For his sake, I hope he grows.

WHAT??  Being a vegetarian means you're gonna be short?? I know plenty of vegetarians (who have been vegetarian since their fetus age, might I add) who are just as tall, or taller, than the average Australian. And what's the problem with being shorter than others?

Here's another conversation.

Friend: What does your mum do at home? She doesn't work.
Me: Nah, she's hardly home during the day. She visits family, friends and goes to the gym. She's always busy.

I distinctly remember a piece of advice from my year 8 history teacher. He wrote the word "assume" on the board. He turned around with the chalk still in his hand and said in a half serious tone, "Don't assume because you'll make an ass out of you and me."

On a more cheerful note (and less ranty, I couldn't help it), I experienced my first day of volunteering at a primary school. I can't believe that despite attending this school for a couple of years and knowing the ways around the school pretty well, now I return feeling completely lost in this environment. Since the eight years I've been out of this place, the school has modernised into a place where iPads and smartboards are expected to be used. 

I helped out with the kindergartens on their first day. The entered the classroom in their tiny uniforms, sat at the miniturised tables and chairs and learned the ways of sitting on the floor, demonstrating the 5Ls (raising their hands, crossing their legs etc), holding a pencil and writing their names.

Student raises hand.
Teacher: It's so lovely to see you raise your hand. What do you want to say?
Student: ... I don't know.

They're so eager to impress that they forget why haha. I can't wait to have my own classroom to mould children into little minions of the school.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #3 | The maze runner trilogy + prequel

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

This week's topic: Once upon a time...
I mentioned The Maze Runner trilogy (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure) by James Dashner in my 'A few of my favourite things' post, but I haven't dedicated an entire blog post to it. It deserves one. I read the trilogy (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure) and prequel (The Kill Order) about a month ago, but updates on the movie are still exciting to me.

The Maze Runner cover.png  maze-runner-image
Left image. Right image.
  The Plot
This reminds me of The Hunger Games. I mean, it's not exactly similar, but they have things in common. They also run for their life in a contained setting, with 'cameras' watching their every move. Basically, each month a new person arrives in the Glade, knowing nothing about their past, except for their name. Each person has a job within this community, but the story focuses on the runners. They risk their lives running out into the maze each day, searching for an escape route and returning each night before the gates close and the Grievers go wild. They find out about W.I.C.K.E.D's role in creating the maze...

The Characters
They are quite similar to what you would expect in a dystopian society. There's Thomas, the brave one with strong morals, is unexpectedly good at the most important role and believes that he could have some impact on the world. There's Newt, the former runner and one of the 'leaders' of the group. He has been discouraged from running, but remains to be one of the vital characters in the series. And Teresa is the one girl who raises confusion amongst the boys. You don't know which side she's on until the end.

The Writing
The children of the community have developed their own version of English. I thought that was quite interesting because it adds some integrity to the story. It shows how they've created and organised their own community, and that part can't be controlled by W.I.C.K.E.D. The writing definitely sucked me into this world of fear and instability, but I wouldn't say it was the best. I connected with the characters and understood their reasoning when making decisions, which I believe to be really important. You have to understand their personality and logic to make the characters more believable.

The Books
I would probably say that you must read the entire series and the prequel to fully understand what went on prior to the maze. The government's reasons in creating this 'world' are clear once you read all four books!

The Movie
September 2014!
From the pictures I've seen, they look very similar to what I visualised when reading the books. I'm excited for the cast and the characters they are playing. Don't you just love it when a series you love is made into a movie?

What do you think of the Maze Runner series? Or what have you been reading?


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My students are artists.

When I was a wee little child (some people may argue that I still am haha) in primary school, I used to be extremely surprised when a peer was better at drawing than the teacher. The teacher was supposed to know and be able to do everything. I mean they taught every subject (at least at my primary school) and did all sorts of creative activities with us. As I progressed through high school, my expectations of teachers lowered. Don't get me wrong, there were teachers who could draw really well, but a majority of them could barely draw stick figures LOL.

Now that I'm studying to be a primary school teacher, I want to expand my artistic skills, but there will always be such skilled and imaginative children! The above drawings are an example of an ABC pattern. My example was of fruit, which all students would know and have experienced (and is easy to draw!). After completing an example on the board, students were given the opportunity to draw on their creativity. I was so surprised with this boy's choice of pattern, considering he was distracted and had some issues with concentration. Lobster, whale, crab, lobster, whale, crab. Such a pleasant surprise!

What can you draw really well?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tis the season to watch tennis! AO 2014, RF and Friends, loser sympathy?

The Australian Open (AO) is in full swing in Melbourne, with many top seeded players still in the tournament. That just means there are many more awesome matches to watch!

Some stats during the AO:
Most aces - Anderson with 79 aces (crazy!), Williams with 39 (she's a beast!)
Most double faults - Simon 29 double fault, Sharapova with 37 (whoa..)
Fastest serve speed -  Groth at 234 km/h, Kichenok at 202 km/h

Men's tennis is awesome, with many top players being able to maintain the top positions. (Photos are from here)

Rafael Nadal     vs.     Grigor Dimitrov 
 I haven't watched many of Dimitrov's matches but it might be an interesting one.

Novak Djokovic     vs.     Stanislas Wawrinka 
 This is gonna be an awesome match!

Andy Murray     vs.     Roger Federer 
I'm most looking forward to this! Both awesome players, but with completely different strategies and techniques.

Although women's matches aren't as exciting and intense, there's one match I'm excited for.
Victoria Azarenka     vs.      Agnieszka Radwanska
I've watched a couple of Radwanska's matches and she can get on the offensive when she needs to.

Roger Federer and Friends
Finding out that Federer started a charity a while ago and is raising funds for under-privileged children in Africa just makes me respect him even more. Having 77 career titles (and more achievements) under his belt isn't enough, but now he's helping children in Africa?? What a nice guy..

His match with Tsonga (over a week ago now) was one of the most chilled and friendly matches I've ever seen. It's good to know that despite having to play against each other in a serious tournament (they battled in round 4), with pressure to win, they're friends outside of the arena.

 Loser sympathy
 I don't know if this is just me, but do you experience loser sympathy? When I'm rooting for a certain player (let's just say Federer haha) and they're in the lead, I start to sympathise for the 'loser'. Whoever they are, if they're losing, I begin cheering them on... Why can't everyone be winners?

Who do you think will win the Australian Open title this year? 
Do you experience loser sympathy?

Monday, 20 January 2014

January Bellabox 2014

What is Bellabox?
It's a $15 monthly beauty subscription box (only for those living in Australia and Singapore, sorry!) containing a couple of full size items and sample products.

I am extremely impressed with this month's products! I would actually use all the products... rather than add them to the 'give away' box.

Palmolive Shower Gel with Indian Mulberry and Lotus Flower
 It smells like juice mixed with shampoo! And it comes in a tiny bottle.

Yes To Carrots Lip Tint in Ready Red
I've already tried this and I love it! It has a minty scent, and has a cooling sensation on your lips. It moisturises really well and doesn't dry off instantly.

Avene Hydrating Cream & Soothing Moisture Mask

A moisturiser is always useful so I can't wait to try this one.
I don't quite know how to use the mask, which claims to calm, soothe and firm your skin. Sounds interesting.

Coconut Revolution Coconut Body Cream
I'm not the biggest fan of coconut scents so I won't use this regularly, but I'll see how well this works.

Model Co Fat Lash Volumising Mascara
 The wand seemed quite flimsy and cheap, but it's of pretty quality. It's interesting how it has a 'ball' at the end to get the 'hard to get' inner and outer lashes. I don't love how the bristles are quite far apart and doesn't work as well on my lashes. I've tried this and it does volumise the lashes, but I find that it clumps really easily (maybe because I normally use the Covergirl Clump Crusher). Perhaps using a different technique will help.

Wotnot Facial Wipes
I love the '100% wot's good, 0% wot's not' on the side! These are natural and organic, so I'm excited to see how well they take off makeup.

I can't wait to try these out! Have you tried any of the above products?

Friday, 17 January 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #2 | Summer skincare routine

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

 This week's topic: Skincare
These are the skincare products that I've been using this summer. Since it has been fairly hot in Sydney (Australia; I'm talking about temperatures of about 32 degrees C, or 90 degrees F), and even eating is a chore, I've been using minimal products on my skin.

I tend to switch between the two. I use the Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub when I want to quickly wash my face before bed. Other than having to adapt to the scent, it works really well. It helps with gentle exfoliation, and doesn't sting when used daily. The Neutrogena Power-Cream Wash is used with my Clarisonic Mia (below). Both cleansers contain salicylic acid, which seem to clear up my acne (I have combination skin).

Clarisonic Mia 2
I've been using this for a couple of months, and it hasn't been a 'miracle tool' for my skin, but has helped smooth out bumps. I use it 1-2 times a week because I find that it causes breakouts when overused. This is possibly due to the normal brush head, but it works fine for now.

Nivea Moisturising Cream
This one that I use is affordable, has a great scent and prevents my skin from flaking (even in the winter!).

Palmer's Lip butter
I absolutely love this lip butter! It smoothes (or smooths... both look wrong. Hate it when that happens) even the most chapped lips AND IT SMELLS LIKE CHOCOLATE! Unfortunately it doesn't taste like chocolate :( I put it on before going to bed and wake up with super smooth lips.

Laroche-Posay Effaclar Duo
It claims to reduce acne and pores... and it works! I tend to use it between my brows and around my nose to reduce bumps, and it is smooth after a couple of uses. I've just been using this sample I received in my Bellabox a while ago, but I will definitely buy the full size!

What's the one skincare product you can't live without? Mine would be the Neutrogena cleanser :)

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A few of my favourite things

These are some things I've been loving recently.

1. Max Schneider - Make the money (Macklemore cover)
Besides from its deep meaning (doing what you love rather than for financial gain), it's also catchy.

2. Milk tea
There are always too many options, but they can be so refreshing during summer. Above are grapefruit green tea (left) and pearl milk tea (right).

3. Ferrero Rocher chocolates
Chocolate-y goodness without the sweetness overload. It contains a combination of "a gentle roasted whole hazelnut and rich creamy centre, encased in a crisp wafer shell and covered in the finest Italian recipe chocolate and crunchy hazelnut pieces," according to the company website.

4. Gloria Jeans tim tam iced chocolate
My first taste of Gloria Jeans, but it won't be my last! If you love chocolate, you will love this.

5. Frozen
The characters were hilarious (especially Olaf, awww his carrot nose), and the plot wasn't as predictable as I expected. Kristen Bell and Demi Lovato show their amazing voices.

6. Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner
It's a dystopian series involving moving mazes, killer robots, cranks (infected humans) and an organisation called W.I.C.K.E.D. I read the entire trilogy and the prequel in two weeks... I was hooked. The film adaptation will be released in September, and will star Dylan O'Brien (Stiles from Teen Wolf) and Ki Hong Lee (friends with Wong Fu Productions).


7. Nashville
I admit that this TV show will not appeal to everyone, but I love it! It revolves around country musicians and their drama. Hayden Panattiere plays one of the main characters, if that's enough to encourage you to watch it haha.

Any recommendations for books, TV shows or movies?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

White and gold

I like this white and gold combination! But apparently, from a distance, the gold makes it look like I have no nail...

Sinful Colours (in 101 Snow Me White) - The colour is quite nice, but is quite streaky.
Lacura (nail varnish white, idk what the name is haha) - It's nice on top of Snow Me White.
Glossyblossom (in Arabica Gold Brown) - Love the formulation and the colour.
Lacura (top coat) - Don't like it at all, but it's the only one that I have right now.

I was inspired by this dress.

 What's your favourite nail polish colour right now?

Monday, 6 January 2014

How to: Drink more water!

Timeline Photos - Fancy Inspiration | Facebook
I hope this post will help those whose New Year's resolutions involve drinking more water (it's definitely mine!). I am constantly reminded of its benefits, but would rather reach for juice, or pretty much anything else... 

Benefits (from MindBodyGreen)

  • Flushes out toxins - removes toxins through sweat and urine
  • Prevents headaches - most headaches are caused by dehydration
  • Increases energy, reduces fatigue - your brain is mostly water, thus drinking more water helps with concentration and thinking
  • Improves skin - hydrates the skin, and prevents wrinkles

Now that your hatred towards water is reduced, grab a glass of water!

The water challenge

  • Morning - After breakfast, drink a full glass of water.
  • Throughout the day - Drink 1 bottle of water. Have it in front of you at all times to remind you to drink that miracle liquid.
  • Evening - After dinner, drink another full glass of water. (Tip: drink at least 2 hours before bed)

If you have trouble following through with the challenge, here are some extra tips:
  • add flavour (use natural fruits like lemon and orange, otherwise you defeat the purpose)
  • eat spicy food
  • order water when you eat out
I challenge you to do the water challenge!

Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #1 | New years inspiration

What's the 2014 Blogger Challenge?
It was started by Gaby from AnotherGirlyBlog. Two posts will go up each month (towards the beginning and middle), each with a different topic.

This week's topic is: New Year's Inspiration.
I personally think this is a better idea than listing our New Year's Resolutions. Resolutions shouldn't just be made for the New Year. This may just be an excuse to push it to a later date. Prior to making resolutions this year, try changing your mindset and the way you see things. You may be more motivated to follow through with your resolutions/goals (or so I hope).

I'm not an expert, but simply an unmotivated person who needs some inspiration.

 Have you ever cried for no reason at all, except for the fact that you see someone crying? I also feel that the same happens when you see someone smiling. When a friend, kid, stranger or store worker smiles genuinely, doesn't that just brighten your day?

Kimmi Smiles (how fitting) from YouTube says this at the end of her vlogs, and I just thought it was simple and effective. If you're experiencing negative emotions (e.g. anger, stress etc), just take a moment to look into a mirror and smile, or even better yet, make a funny face. It distances you from the situation for a moment (for you to calm down) before reacting. You've heard of "fake it till you make it", right? Smile (and take action) until the situation improves.

When you're in a conversation and can't say "Please wait a moment while I find a mirror", whip out your phone and "ooooohhh" and "ahhhhhh" over these pictures! (Or type in 'cute/funny animal pictures' in Google Images)

 cute animal image 

 cute animal image


You can't change your life without changing your attitude. Smile through the rough times and you'll conquer the world (maybe just your world haha). May the new year bring a positive attitude!

What inspires you for 2014?