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Tips on Reflection & Goal Setting for 2012

Happy Friday! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! in advance! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well I touched on this a bit in one of my posts earlier this week. That is, goal setting and New Year resolutions. I mentioned the Mind Tools website which is really helpful when you are looking at goal setting but also a heap of other stuff (Mind Tools has a lot of business stuff and organisational psychology stuff too! Please note I have no affiliation with the site, I’m simply mentioning it because I use it and I like it!).

Anyway, I was cleaning out my emails at work and came across one that I’d saved. I’m not sure who the original author of these tips is, as it was forwarded to me, but here they are. (If anyone knows who the original author is, let me know! I’m going to use these questions to prompt some of my own reflections – I hope that they are as helpful for you as I think they will be for me! (As I’d saved the email but not used it last year – naughty me!) I have paraphrased the tips below in purple…


In 2011 –

  • What were my 3 greatest achievements?
  • What 3 things have I learnt about myself?
  • Was I in control of my personal life?
  • Was I in control of my professional life?
  • What can I change in these areas for 2012?
  • Was my life balanced? What can I do about this in 2012?
  • Did I gain new knowledge? What do I want to learn in 2012?

For 2012 –

  • What are my 3 health related goals?
  • What are my 3 professional goals?
  • What are my 3 goals for my personal life?
  • What is an unhelpful habit that I need to break or replace?
  • What new and helpful habit could I introduce?


Gee they like the number 3 don’t they? You could choose whatever number of goals you like, 1 or 100! However with goal setting it’s typically better if you have a few rather than too many goals, as then your focus isn’t spread all over the place and it’s easier to acheive your goals.

Make sure your goals are “SMART” – that is, Specific, Measurable (i.e. how will you know that you have made progress towards and/or have achieved your goal), Attainable (if the goal is too huge, break it down into smaller parts that are easier to tackle), Realistic, and Time Oriented (i.e. you need to have a time frame in which you will acheive the goal and/or steps along the way. For example, if your goal for 2012 is to lose 10kg, you may say that you are aiming to lose 1kg a month.)

I wish you all the best for 2012! Go out on a limb and set yourself some goals for the new year – this will help you to maintain focus and achieve what you want to in 2012.


PS. If you’d like to read more about this sort of thing, including personal development, let me know and I will post more on it. Positive psychology is one of my interests! ๐Ÿ™‚

Silly Season Mani – feat. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear

I’ve seen some absolutely AMAZING! manicures on the web lately, most of which have been done for Xmas. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was a bit lazy this year and what I did doesn’t look Christmassy, but I think it does look festive, I think. Here tis!

I used two coats of Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear polishes to acheive this look – the purple is Purple Potion and the glitter is Disco Ball. (Sorry about the quality of the pic – I’m intending to get a better camera in the new year! The product pic below actually looks better – what the?! As they were taken with the same camera!)

Price range: These were $6.95 each.

Where can I get it? I picked mine upย from my local supermarket but you can also get this range at chemists, Priceline, and similar places.

Both shades glided on smoothly and the purple was opaque after one coat, but I applied two (and then two of the glitter as I wanted my nails to look very sparkly!). The purple has a lovely pearlescent finish but the glitter is fairly average.

The polish chipped noticeably after 2 days, and these were 2 days that I was not working on renovations (as of course the manual labour would’ve damaged my mani quickly!). I was disappointed with this as the packaging for these polishes claims that the polish can last for up to 7 days (!!?). I wasn’t expecting it to last for 7 days, but 3 days without notable chipping would’ve been nice!

Some glitters can be hard to remove – this product wasn’t which was excellent! I was very happy about this aspect of the glitter polish.

Would I repurchase these? Hmm… not at full price.

Beautiful rating: quality 3/5, value 3/5 (I did not think it was any better lasting than cheap polishes that I own!)

If you’ve uploaded some Xmas/holiday mani pics lately comment below with a link to your blog or vlog post and I’ll check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

**** Psst…. DON’T FORGET TO ENTER MY XMAS GIVEAWAY COMP! ๐Ÿ™‚ Entries open till midnight 4th Jan ’12 (Adelaide time… +09:30 GMT)… just visitย ! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

looking towards 2012

Hey everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you celebrate Xmas, how was yours? ๐Ÿ™‚ Mine was quiet but also relaxing – I caught up with my parents and brother for lunch at their house. My grandparents also attended. Despite it being summer here, we had the “traditional” lunch of roast turkey etc etc!

Here’s Bonnie using her Xmas gift! ๐Ÿ˜‰

For the remaining days (we had public holidays on the Monday and Tuesday) I was helping my Dad with the kitchen renovations.

Here’s the kitchen when we began to dismantle it – our first step was to take the doors off most cupboards (how 1970s is this kitchen?! :-/ )… Yeah the kitchen is pretty messy! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Here are some step by step pics of what we’ve done so far….

hehe photobombed by Bonnie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

…and this is how it looked when I returned from work today! (Yes I’m back at work already ๐Ÿ˜ฆ however I get a week off on the week of Australia Day – that’s 26/1! :-))

Hope that you have all had a great holiday weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will upload more pix of the kitchen as the renovations continue… Can’t wait till I have a functional kitchen again!


I’m starting to think about my resolutions for 2012… Do you make new year resolutions? ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t do it every year but I try to do it most years as having some goals gives me focus! Health will be important in 2012 as well as career. I’m considering doing some further study but I’m not sure what area; also I must take into account that my Japanese classes restart soon so that will take up my Wednesday evenings (class) and Sunday afternoons (study)! Hmm and it would have to be an inexpensive course as I’ve had to spend a lot on the kitchen…

What are your resolutions for 2012? ๐Ÿ™‚

A website that I find useful for goal setting but also other things is ๐Ÿ™‚

great last minute Xmas bargain – Paintbox compact by W7 (Warpaint Cosmetics)

Two posts in one evening! Productive huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I found this bargain at my local Chemist Warehouse, for just…. drumroll please…. $7.50 AUD! It’s on sale for 1/2 price at present (so usual RRP is $15). 77 cute eyeshadow shades in the one compact pallette! It’s roughly 20cm x 15cm and 1.5cm high which means you could fit it into most hand bags if you wanted to. A mirror and applicators are included.

Each shadow is approx. 1.5cm in diameter (equivalent to an Aussie 5c coin) and the pigmentation is average, so depending on the shade used and the intensity you are looking for, you may need to use a reasonable amount. Having said that I can’t really complain given the great price!

I haven’t heard much about Warpaint Cosmetics (they call themselves W7 for short) so I did a bit of research… They are a British budget cosmetics brand but I couldn’t find much else… Has anyone else used their products or does anyone know more about them? At Chemist Warehouse they have a whole range of products from W7 including mascaras, foundation, etc etc.

For the eyeshadows specifically…
Beautiful rating: quality 3/5, value 5/5!


Have a very Merry Christmas all, to those who celebrate it!!!!
All the best for a healthy, successful, and happy 2012!

In the new year I have more men’s reviews planned, more articles for MIKA planned, and welcome more reader requests. I’m open to all constructive feedback so please feel free to contact me or simply comment on my posts! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you to all WordPress & Twitter followers, readers, visitors, Bloglovins and FB fans for your support!!!


PS. Why not enter my free Xmas Giveaway comp if you haven’t already? Your chance to win some additional Xmas goodies & entries don’t close till midnight Jan 4th ’12 (GMT +09:30)! ๐Ÿ™‚

eurrh! (can’t quite type this as it sounds) home improvements…

Evening all! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve decided to devote a post to this as it is something that will be taking up heaps of my time over the Xmas and new year period, and probably most of January. This may mean I won’t be blogging as much, so by writing this you will understand why!

The time and effort I will spend will be worth it… I’m renovating my kitchen! I live in a property which is very 1970s and so some major work is required. There is a lot of brown which has got to go!

And, well, I have enlisted the help of my trusty Dad. He’s a tradie (and has been for >30 years) but carpentry and plumbing are not the areas he’s formally qualified in. He’s renovated his own house so he does know what he’s doing to a degree, but things don’t always quite turn out as planned. I’m going to save a lot of money doing it this way (as for materials alone I’ve spent ~$3000 AUD – hence I haven’t been going out a lot lately! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ – just imagine how much more it would cost including labour!) BUT there is the risk that something will look quirky in the end as dad has a tendency to freestyle with designs and layouts! (*crossing fingers all will be well* I have been heavily involved in the design process!)

I’ve always thought of Dad and his DIY stuff as a bit like “Tim the Toolman” from the American 90s sitcom “Home Improvement”. However the big difference between my Dad and Tim is that things don’t blow up (thank goodness!)!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, here’s a clip of the theme song (with the infamous “eurrh!” sound Tim used to always make):

Anyone else planning to do some home renovations over the Xmas/new year period?! Feel free to share photos! (I’ll be uploading some before and afters once it’s all complete… hopefully I won’t have lost my mind by then LOL!)

What I’m wearing today… Vivienne Westwood + Nutrimetics

Hi everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

Phew I hope your day has been quieter than mine – unless you like being super busy! I’ve been at an extended family Xmas + Birthday ‘do and am soon due to head off for another get together for my brother’s birthday. Earlier this morning my Dad and I were working on renovation stuff for my kitchen (I’m not sure if I’ve talked about that previously?).

Yesterday I attended a catch up for beauty bloggers based in my hometown of Adelaide. It was a lot of fun despite the horrible rainy weather we’ve been having! ๐Ÿ™‚ Welcome to any #ABBM-ers who may drop by as well as all new Twitter followers & Facebook likers! (If you haven’t yet – enter my Xmas giveaway comp! Entries close midnight 4th Jan 2012 +09:30 GMT. Click here!)


Anywhoo, today I thought I’d post about products that I’m actually wearing/using today! Here they are:

L-R, top to bottom: Vivienne Westwood Let It Rock perfume, Nutrimetics Lash Lightning mascara (it’s black but no shade is specified on the box or tube), and Nutrimetics Lip Lightning lip gloss (Bare Naturel #14767).

Vivienne Westwood Let It Rock

Price range: when I bought it approx. 2 years ago it cost approx. 50 GBP (I get all my Westwood stuff from Hervia’s online shop – they are based in the UK and well worth a visit – excellent customer service and often freebies are included in your parcel! :-))

Where can I get it? For Aussie residents, online, for overseas residents, you may be lucky enough to have a Westwood boutique near you!

The bottle for this perfume is amazing. As you can see in the photo, the lid is Westwood’s signature orb! The scent is nice but NOT for those who like subtle scents. It’s a musky floral fragrance which, whilst designed for women, could be worn by a man (in my opinion!). I love it but tend to only wear it when going out/special occasions, as it is strong. Don’t spray more than once or twice peeps as otherwise you might give your friends a headache! One or two squirts lasts a whole day if you’re not getting too physical, and as you only need a bit, a bottle of this fragrance will last you a long time.

Beautiful rating (I realise perfume is subjective, but!): quality 5/5, value 5/5


Nutrimetics Lash Lightning mascara *

Price range: $36.00 AUD (but online @ Nutrimetic’s Aussie site you can get it on sale for $24.90)

Where can I get it? Exclusive to Nutrimetics.

I was very excited when I saw this mascara lights up – literally! There is a push button on the lid you can use to switch it on and off, which helps you to apply it if out at night, as there is also a mirror on the side of the tube (smart stuff huh?). The gloss also lights up and I’ll insert a pic of both to show you what they look like here:

This mascara was easy to apply with a big wand which did a whole eye in one sweep. It has lasted all day without any smudging, but I am not sure if it is a waterproof formula or not (I’ll test that tonight when taking it off! ;)). However, lights and mirrors aside, I cannot say that the actual mascara is any better than my staple, Maybelline‘s Great Lash Blackest Black (which is also much cheaper!).

Beautiful rating: quality 4/5, value 4/5 (taking into account the light & mirror!)

*This product was provided to me for consideration & review.


Nutrimetics Lip Lightning lip gloss *

Price range: $29.00 AUD (currently on sale on the Aussie Nutrimetics site for $19.90)

Where can I get it? Exclusive to Nutrimetics

This also has the funky light and mirror! I had a lot of fun showing this one off at the family Xmas do. The gloss has a doe foot applicator and tastes yummy, like berries. This particular shade (Bare Naturel) appears pale pink in the tube but when it’s on it looks pretty much clear, so it’s a nice natural shade perfect for work!

It lasted on my lips reasonably well for a gloss but has a bit of a sticky finish which was not so great (this might just be a personal preference thing but I’m not so big on glosses that have a sticky feel to them!).

Beautiful rating (taking into account the funky light and mirror!): quality 4/5, value 3/5 (I don’t like to spend >$10 AUD on glosses, usually! This is because I use them up quickly, as I don’t wear lipstick often).

*This product was provided to me for consideration & review.

ย ***

Hope each and every one of you has a great week and that, if you celebrate Xmas, you don’t have much left to prepare (oh the stress!! :-0). I hope to fit in another post this week before the big 25/12.

SPF & your skin

Over here in Australia, as well as other parts of the Southern Hemisphere, it’s summer. No “white Christmas” for us! (However you wouldn’t think it today, as in Adelaide it is cloudy, gusty, and looks like we’re in for a storm. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) It can get up to (and sometimes beyond!) 40 degrees Celsius and the sun is very strong compared to other countries โ€“ we have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world! This led me to think about the sunscreen that I use on my body throughout the summer, as well as the facial and body moisturisers containing sunscreen that I use throughout the year. I started to do some research, and this article was bornโ€ฆ I hope that you enjoy it! It will also be appearing in the December issue of MIKA Magazine.


Sunscreen, suncream, sunblock. Whatever you want to call it, it has been a great invention. It helps protect our skin from the sunโ€™s rays and helps prevent premature ageing. In recent years cosmetics companies have released foundations and other products which contain sunscreen.

However, sunscreens and cosmetics containing sunscreen do not always have accurate labelling nor do they necessarily have all the information we need to make a decision about whether or not the product will do what it claims to do.

What is โ€œSPFโ€? It stands for Sunburn Protection Factor and refers to how much ultraviolet radiation from the sun is needed to burn skin protected by a particular sunscreen compared to unprotected skin. SPF does not refer to how much time you will be safe in the sun without protective clothing (such as a hat, long sleeved shirt, etc).

Oneโ€™s skin tone, the time of day and weather conditions one is exposed to, and the amount of sunscreen one applies is also very important. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, it is best to seek shade at all times, but particularly between the hours of 10am and 2pm, and between the hours of 11am and 3pm during daylight saving time (which in Australia applies to most States and Territories over the summer months). One should also apply at least 1 teaspoon of sunscreen to each limb and to the front and back of the body. At least ยฝ a teaspoon should be applied to the face, neck and ears.

What SPF level is enough? When you look at the different products out there, sometimes they can run from as low as 10 through to 30+ or even higher. The Skin Cancer Foundation (United States) advises that only products with an SPF value of 15 or higher provide adequate protection against skin cancer.

One of the most important things to consider when wearing sunscreen is timing. You need to apply it at least 20 minutes before going out into the sun. From the sources that I consulted (as per the footnotes!), you should reapply every 2 hours regardless of what the packaging says on your products.

As many of you may know, the sun produces 3 types of rays โ€“ UVA and B, which reach the Earth, and UVC which the ozone layer protects us from. Both UVA and B can cause sunburn, premature ageing,

and place one at risk of developing skin cancer, and all sunscreen based products will typically protect you from UVB. However, just because a product tells you it has an SPF of 15 or more does not guarantee that it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. How can you tell? Check the ingredients. To also protect you from UVA, zinc or one of its derivatives is usually used. Additionally, there needs to be at least 5% of the zinc or zinc derivative product to give you adequate protection. Some products will list the percentage and others will not, so use your judgement to decide if the particular product is right for you.

Last, it is important to remember that use of sunscreen alone will not protect you completely from the sun. Wear a hat and sunglasses, consider wearing some light long sleeved clothing or a kaftan when at the beach, and try and avoid being out in the full sun for long periods of time.

Enjoy the sun but remember to be sun smart! ๐Ÿ™‚

US Food & Drug Administration โ€“ Sunburn Protection Factor โ€“
Cancer Council Australia โ€“ Preventing Skin Cancer โ€“
Cancer Council Australia โ€“ Position Statement: Use of SPF 30+ Sunscreens โ€“
Skin Cancer Foundation โ€“ Sunscreen โ€“

bonnie bonnie bonnie BONNIE! <3

Hey! How’s everyone’s week been so far?

I’ve gotten home a bit earlier than usual as I haven’t been very well. I have had a bad cold all week, which I hope will be better by Saturday! (On Saturday I’m catching up with some other Beauty Bloggers based in Adelaide, most of whom I haven’t met in person before – should be fun! :)) So my plan for this afternoon is to take it easy.

I thought readers and visitors might be interested in meeting my dog (who is still technically a puppy – her first birthday will be on 17/1/12!) Bonnie. She’s a Maltese x Shihtzu which means that she has a great personality but needs regular brushing and trips to the groomers. She needs daily and thorough brushing when her fur is like it is now:

(Don’t worry, she’s going to the dog groomer’s this weekend so won’t have to be wearing a heavy fur coat over summer. :))

I had never had a dog like Bonnie before. When I was growing up, my parents always had big dogs like Rottweilers! They currently have a Labrador and also, funnily enough, a small dog too – a Mini Fox Terrier! Both dogs have very different personalities to Bonnie.

Bonnie is quite intelligent and has a calm personality, but she can also be very cheeky at times! One of her favourite things to do is seek out and destroy shoes as well as stockings! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ (Hence all of my shoes are now stored in a shoe rack beyond her reach…) She also loves to pose for the camera and will typically stay still for photos, unlike my parents’ dogs!

I was worried that she might bark a lot, but she doesn’t! She only barks when there is something wrong or there is a stranger at the door, or sometimes when playing a game. She was also easy to toilet train and I’ve had a “dog flap” (just like a cat flap but bigger) installed so she just goes outside when she needs to.

I’d love to hear about other people’s pets – feel free to comment and link to photos of your dog/cat/fish! ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. Don’t forget to enter my Xmas giveaway comp! It’s open to all readers worldwide and there are some nice things up for grabs. Entries close midnight Jan 4th 2012, Adelaide time (GMT +09:30). ๐Ÿ™‚

PPS. Why the “bonnie” 4x? For some reason Bonnie makes both me and my boyfriend think of the Kaiser Chef’s song “Ruby” (which has that catchy “ruby ruby ruby RUBY!” tag line in it ;)). If you haven’t heard the song before, here it is courtesy of good ol YouTube!

mini haul: essence colour & go nail polish, gel-look top coat & french manicure tip guides

Recently I was lucky to receive a gift card from my employer for Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was needing some more nail polish, and discovered the “essence” range which is inexpensive and has lovely colours, so decided to give them a try!

Essence are a European cosmetics brand that I haven’t heard of before, so I did some reading on their site ( and was happy to see that they don’t test their products on animals. In Australia you can buy their products at Target and they don’t just do nail polish! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a pic of what I hauled!

From L to R, top to bottom:

  • gel-look topcoat – “topcoat that adds glossy shine and leaves a gel like finish on nails” (AUD ~$3.50)
  • colour & go quick drying nail polish in lime up! (#39, a nice pistachio green), meet me now! (#48, a bright purple), choose me! (#38, a glittery turquoise) and ultimate pink (#08, an awesome Barbie pink!) (AUD ~$3 each)
  • french manicure tip guides (pack of 30 strips; AUD ~$3)

The nail polishes were easy to apply and just one coat provided good coverage (except for the glitter, choose me!, which was quite sheer). However, I applied 2 coats of each polish out of habit! It did dry quickly. The top coat looked no different to my cheap BYS top coat that I typically use, however a week or so later I applied it on a nude nail and the glossiness of the essence top coat then really stood out and was very nice!

The polish lasted approximately 2 days on my nails before starting to noticeably chip. It comes off very easily with nail polish remover.

Here’s a pic of the colours on my nails, first in artificial light and then outdoors (I was watching TV at the time hence the remote control is my prop LOL! ;)).

The manicure strips were no different from others that I’ve used; I’m not a big fan of them as typically I find it easier to use the paint-the-tip-then-tidy-with-a-brush-dipped-in-nailpolish-remover technique!

Catch a youtube video of what I think is the easier (and gives a better result!) technique here:

Here are the results I got using the tip guides, meet me now! polish on the tips and Rimmel’s French Manicure in soft violet (#457) on the rest of the nail:

I would buy the polishes again, but not the manicure strips! However that is simply due to my preference as to how I do “tips” of nails. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beautiful rating…

  • gel-look top coat: quality 4/5, value 4/5
  • colour & go polish: quality 5/5, value 5/5 (5/5 for both due to the great price)
  • manicure tip guides: quality 2/5, value 2/5

Hope you all have a great week! โค

music… bliss!

Hope everyone’s having a good weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had the opportunity today to catch up with 2 friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while. It was great to catch up and one of my friends happened to give me several gigs (GB) of music…. I love music so this was = awesomeness!!

Tonight me and my boyfriend are just relaxing, surfing the net while listening to some awesome tunes (currently listening to the Thievery Corporation = bliss! :)).

I like almost all music, so my taste in music is very diverse! I wonder what my readers and visitors like???


December 2011




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