Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Where I Went | 2015


For me 2015 was a year where I went places. I went out of my comfort zone, moved to England and  saw a small snippet of our beautiful world. This year was challenging at times, but through it I think I grew up a little and made so many great new friends. 
When I moved to England I got a job in a little village called Longworth, just outside of Oxford. From there I saw a bunch of amazing bands including, The Strokes, The Libertines, The Mini Mansions, Jamie T, Kendrick Lamar, Beck and a few others. 
I was also able to travel around and I went to Brighton, Bath, Manchester, Reading, London (many times), Fort William, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris, Annecy, Lyon, Nice and Rome. 
I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to experience all this and see the places and things that I have. 

The Promenade, Nice

The Best Gelato in Roma

The Colosseum, Rome


The Port, Nice 

Across from the Louvre, Paris

Paris, Duh!

More Paris 

Eileen Donan Castle, Scotland

Glen Etive, Scotland

The Libertines, Reading Festival

The Mini Mansions, Reading Festival

It's obvs London

O X F O R D 

Brighton Promenade 


The Lanes, Brighton

Beck (waiting for The Strokes), Hyde Park

The Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

Lake Annecy



Camden Markets

The Old Town, Annecy 

I know this might seem a bit like I'm bragging, but I want to go into 2016 feeling happy about how 2015 went. I want to remind myself to be grateful about all the amazing things that happened this year, because I think that I often get caught up in the day to day nuisances and let them affect my mood too much. I forget to look at the big picture and remember that 2015 was actually pretty rad.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

My Skincare Secrets ➳

Hello lovelies! Hope everyone had a good Christmas, hope you all had a delicious Christmas meal and had a great time with family and friends. My whole family worked for most of Christmas day, but we still had fun and it was still quite special.
With the New Year coming up fast we all want the perfect make up look, so we can start 2016 looking fierce. We all know that the best way to perfect your makeup look is to have a great base, that means smooth, clean skin.
Everyone has their own little tips and tricks to obtain and maintain their skin so I thought it was about time to share mine.

First of all, I'm pretty proud of my skin, sure it might be normal for me to have one pimple somewhere on my face, but you know what, that's just normal for my skin type. I have normal to oily skin, but by cleansing and moisturising on a regular basis I am able to keep it smooth and balanced. Because of this my skin generally looks clear and isn't blotchy in colour. 
Now, I've been more or less using the same products on my skin since I was about 14. I know a lot of bloggers are always talking about what their current favourite moisturiser, cleanser or exfoliant is, but I figure that if I have found a product/brand that works for my skin then why should I change it? 
So most of my products are from the brand Alpha H, but I also one from the body shop. Theses are my staple products;

➳ Triple Action Cleanser with Thyme 
(I've also used their balancing Cleanser in the past, but this one works better on my skin).

➳ Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant 

➳ Gentle Daily Exfoliant with Papaya & Pineapple 

➳ Balancing and Pore Refining Mask with Jojoba Oil

➳  Elderflower Cooling Eye Gel 

My Daily routine is to cleanse and moisturise my skin twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. I also use the Gentle Daily Exfoliant in the morning before moisturising, but I've currently run out and am yet to restock. I find that the exfoliant is great at making my skin look clearer but isn't totally necessary for obtaining nice looking, smooth skin.
After moisturising I apply the eye gel which helps brighten under the eyes, reduce puffiness/redness and it also just feels so nice and refreshing, especially when I've kept it in a cool place. 
Then once a week (haha, realistically more like once a month. Oops!) I use my mask in the evenings after cleansing. 

On top of this I also try to put my makeup on only right before I actually need to wear it and have at least one day a week where I don't wear makeup. This usually happens on a monday and I like to call it No Makeup Mondays. This allows my skin to breathe and minimises the damage caused by makeup. 

One other tip I have is to pay attention to what your skin reacts to. For example, Nutella, as delicious as it is, causes my skin to break out so I avoid eating it except for on special occasions. If you have a break out, take note of what you had been eating and work out what might've caused your skin to become unbalanced. 

On the subject of food, there are lot's foods and drinks that help to make you skin glow such as tomato's, oatmeal, pomegranate's, green tea and most importantly, water. Drink lots and lots of water to hydrate your skin!
Another really simple trick we all should know, is to frequently clean your makeup brushes. Makeup brushes are great at collecting bacteria and I try to wash mine every 1-2 weeks with baby shampoo and lukewarm water. Your makeup will be easier to apply if you do this as well.

I believe that all you need is a balanced diet and a good routine for your skin to look amazing!
Let me know about your favourite tips and tricks in the comments below! xx 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

What I'm Grateful for this Christmas | Blogmas Day 17

Hello lovelies! I know New Year's or Thanksgiving is traditionally the time when you reflect and think about what you're thankful for, but I think Christmas time is also the perfect time for this. Many of us are surrounded by so much love, joy and generosity at this time of the year, it's hard not to feel a little warm and fuzzy on the inside. 
Anyway, I thought I'd share with you what I'm grateful for this Christmas.
 I don't do this to show how much I have, but to humble myself and honour those around me, I think we often forget to stop and say THANK YOU!
 I also think that positivity isn't shared enough, we tend to take the little things for granted and forget to appreciate them. 
SO thats what were gonna do today. Yes I say we, not me. I want you to come up with a list of you own and post it on your own blog, or in the comments below or just on a piece of paper. Just let me know you've done it in the comments, and I'll be sure to read what you have to say if you put it online. xx 

One | Family

I love my family so much and I love that they are people who I can talk with. They are people that tell me if I'm being an idiot, or if I'm wrong, they will tell me when I've done good and they will always encourage me. They help me be a better version of my self and to be more patient. I couldn't of gone to England for six months if it weren't for their support and their encouragement to be brave. 
I love the way they love each other, their friends and the community, it's inspiring to watch and I do my best to follow their lead. My whole family works so hard, much harder than I, and it constantly humbles me and makes me realise how resiliant they all are. So to my family, you know who you are, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for teaching me how to be an adequate adult.

Two | Friends
I have a lot of friends that I don't get to see very often. Some are in England pouring pints, some are in Melbourne studying and some are in New Zealand for love and work. I then have a few friends that I get to see all the time, but regardless of where they are, these people are still my friends and I love that we were able to remain so, even through the distance. All my friends are quite different to each other, but all of them challenge me (and each other) to grow, be better and to chase our dreams. They are all people I want to know for my whole life and I love that distance doesn't matter. They are all so funny, kind, strong and intelligent, and I can't thank them enough for being my friend, and being in my life, even when I'm being moody or irritating. Love you all to the moon and back! 

Three | Generosity

I am thankful for the generosity of other people and that I have the resources to be generous. I love the generosity that comes at christmas time and how it can come in so many shapes and forms. It can be by giving a gift to a someone, or donating gifts/money. It can be donating your time to helping others, or it can just be by doing something kind for someone. I love that generosity comes from the heart and isn't exclusive to people with money. Generosity isn't measured by the size of your gesture but by how much you give from your heart. It's a bit hard to measure, but it's the best way to. So to everyone who has given from their heart this christmas, I want to say thank you, your kindness makes the world a better place. 

Four | Grace

I think that grace is something that is massively under appreciated. If you think about it, if there was no grace there would be no forgiveness. Grace is something that people don't deserve, but is given anyway. Often people talk about how life is unfair, but if life was fair then people wouldn't be gracious and forgiving. So I'm thankful for God sending down his only son, Jesus, so that he could die and we could be forgiven for all bad things we do. I'm thankful that through the grace of Jesus I can have an eternal life in heaven after I die, even though I don't deserve it. Thank you. 

Five | Christmas

I am grateful that this holiday exists and that the reasoning behind it is still alive today. I'm grateful that the story of Jesus spread and is still real. I love everything that christmas represents, from the birth of Jesus that brought hope, to the time spent with friends and family and to the generosity and sense of community that's spread throughout this time. I am thankful that so many people celebrate christmas and that it is so universal in its philosophy of love. I am thankful for the christmas movies, the food I get to enjoy and the presents that have been so thoughtfully given to me. Thank you Christmas for existing.

Also thank you to anyone who read this post, I know it's kinda long and even if you just skimmed through it, thank you for sorta reading haha. Please please please let me know what your thankful for, it makes me feel so warm and fuzzy seeing other people being positive! 
Hope you're enjoying December so far, only eight days to go! 
Lots of love, 
Rach xx 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

First Swim Of The Summer

There’s nothing quite like the first swim of the summer, the excitement that it’s finally getting hot, the anticipation of what’s to come during summer and the slight feeling of apprehension at jumping into cold water.
Today I had my first swim of the summer. I went up to the local dam and after a few minutes of sunning up, we headed over to the jetty. 
Even though the day was like 27 degrees when we got to the end of the jetty I was that maybe this was a bad idea. But it was my bad idea, so before anyone else could talk me out of it I jumped.The water was cold, but surprisingly pleasant and after a lot of goading and encouragement I was joined by my friends. The rest of the afternoon was filled with tanning, swimming and great banter. Not such a bad idea after all. 

This is what I love the most about  summer. During the year everyone is so busy that it gets hard to hang out with your friends and just do something fun like go swimming and just chill. I love sneaking in a swim after work, having an impromptu bbq or going jet skiing. 
I don’t know if summer is my favourite season, but it’s defiantly my favourite time of the year, and now that I’ve had that first swim, I feel like it has finally begun. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

My macaron obsession continues x

A little tradition my mum and I have is to buy the christmas edition of the Donna Hay magazine, I immediately flip to the dessert section and mum loves looking for meal ideas. Anyway this years christmas edition had a really easy chocolate macaron recipe, and I couldn't resist making some Macarons. They were super easy to make and taste ridiculously good, the little bit of salt on top really perfects the flavour. Once they were ready I put them in a pretty jar next to our vase of peonies (aren't peonies the best!!).
I can't believe that Christmas is next Friday!Let me know what little baking traditions do you have. xx

Monday, 14 December 2015

The four photo editing apps you need in your life! x


We all have our photo editing apps, and I think we always wonder what everyone else uses, so I'm gonna share mine with you. I currently have four photo editing apps downloaded and ready for use, but I only really use two.  SO here are the four apps I use! x


1| My absolute favourite is VSCO Cam, I use this all the time and find it so easy to use, plus it's free! I mainly use the filters C1, F2, G3 and M5, obviously depending on my photo and the look I'm going for. You can the change the intensity of the filter and make even more adjustments to things like the exposure and contrast. Or you can edit your pic from scratch and forgo using one of the pre made filters. 

2| The one I use second most is Looksee, this is also a free app, but you can buy filter packages made by various creators for like $1.49 or so. I love Lauryn Evart's (AKA The Skinny Confidential) filter package, it's really subtle and just adds a nice glow or shine to your photos. The free ones are pretty cool too and there is defiantly a good range of the free ones if you don't want to spend any money. 

3| Whitagram is a really handy app. It's great for resizing photos, giving them a border and all those neat little tricks. I don't really use this one often, I mainly go to it when a photo won't fit on insta, but it's useful to have, and it is also free (I like free apps). 

4| I'm sure you've never heard of this app, it's called Afterlight, only the hipsters know about it (lol). This one is usually 99c but apparently it is now free through the Apple Store App, you can then purchase additional packages. I don't really use Afterlight very much anymore. It used to be my go to app, but then I got VSCO Cam, but it's still really good, even if I only really use it as a backup these days. 


Most of my photos are either taken with my little digital canon or my iPhone 5S, but I always edit my photos on my phone as it's easy and creates pretty images. 
What apps do you use? xx

F O R T | W I L L I A M 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Lyon, AKA the Stomach of France ✈︎

Lyon, located in the Rhone-Alps Region and renowned for its food and majestic beauty. After Annecy, Lyon was the next stop on our trip and where I was to spend my 20th birthday. 
Unfortunately I was still a bit sick for the first two of the three days, so I found it a little difficult walking up the steep cobbled streets. 
Nevertheless we still wandered up to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere and it was well worth the walk. On the outside the Basilica is simple white with elegant detailing and on the inside everything is beautifully rich in colour and design. 
I loved the cobbled streets and the quaint shops and restaurants that line them. Even though it is a big city the old town felt quiet and almost like it was stuck in another era. 
For my birthday dinner we went to a Traditional Lyonnaise restaurant and I swear I have never had a steak so good. I know it sounds boring, going to a French Restaurant and ordering a steak, but I can't say that I was brave enough to try the Cake of Liver, Escargot or the Frogs Legs. Haha, I'm actually such a pansy when it comes to weird food. 
We then got some amazing gelato, I can't remember what the place was called, but once I picked a cone size I then asked how many flavours I could have and the lady said as many as I liked!! What?? How is that not like the best thing ever. But then I make such a rookie error and only chose three flavours, but they were AMAZING! (maybe not quite as good as the gelato in Rome, but more on that later) 
Lyon  felt a lot safer than Paris, especially as there were less people. It's not as majestic as Paris, but it held its own kind of beauty. I feel like my photos don't do this city justice, so you'll just have to go and visit yourselves to see what I'm talking about! xx

Friday, 11 December 2015

More Easy Christmas Hearts! ♥︎ | Blogmas Day 12!!!

Okay, so remember like a week ago I showed you how to make christmassy hearts? Well I got creative and made dark choc and milk chic versions for all the white chocolate haters. Then I saw a pic of cake pops and thought, omg these would look amazing on skewers! Just imagine these on a dessert table at a party, wouldn't they look adorable? 
Anyway so for the dark choc ones I put blueberries and sliced almonds in the middle.
And for the milk chocolate ones i filled them with red currents, but you can put in them whatever tickles your fancy! Then after like half an hour I took them out of the freezer, they were soft, but still hard enough to hold their shape. I then skewered them, but don't put the skewer too far in cause they tend to start to break. Then put them back in the freezer, or eat them then hah.
I think raspberries would be amaze in like the milk chocolate ones, raspberry and chocolate is such a perfect combo, like I think only Nutella and strawberries can beat it! 
Hope this post inspired you a little, I had loads of fun making and sharing these with you! 
Love ya! xx