Saturday, June 30, 2012

Life. A break.

So I am taking the next week or so off from the blog as I am on holiday in Sydney! Come find me on twitter (@leLOVE5) and instagram (@samanthaalice) to follow what I'm up to.

xx Samantha Alice

P.s. sorry for the lacks of links; posting from my phone is tricky!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Life. Managing Momentum.

Image from We Heart It
I tend to freak out a little when things feel like they are getting away from me. Just like when I am driving, I am better when things are slower. When life moves to fast it can be difficult to make decisions and prepare for the future. Maybe it means less time to worry and dwell though.

My drive home from prac everyday is intense. It is a steep and winding road; I have to concentrate completely on what I am doing. The most difficult part of the drive is managing the momentum of the car and how fast speed builds up. I guess you could probably use this as a metaphor for my life in the next six months.

I'm moving to the other side of the world,  one of the most exciting things I have ever done but it will also be one of the scariest. I need to build momentum in my life, to really shake things up and make adventures happen, but I guess I worry about how it will all pan out.

When life's plans all hinge on something going right beforehand, how can I stop stressing and just let it happen? My leaving in January depends on me saving a lot of money and that worries me. Going slightly insane living in this small town, and another six months is all I can really take, but what if I don't get enough work and therefore don't have enough money to head to London? Who knows what I'll do then.

xx Samantha Alice

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life. Fitness and Food Update.

I have been taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Dolly steps. Baby steps. But at least I am walking right? I AM SO HILARIOUS.

If you are like me and are generally not a lover of exercise, and specifically a lover of chocolate, you might find yourself on the unhealthier side of the tracks. I got sick of always feeling tired and unhappy with my weight, and it wasn't the first time I'd felt fed up. Something had to be different this time if I hoped to change my lifestyle. My attitude needed to shift big time.

Over the last couple of months I have reached two conclusions (total epiphany moments in my books):

1. Worrying about a problem is always going to be worse for your mental well being than actually taking steps to fix the problem

2. There is a reason, a brilliant reason in fact, why people say it is best to set small and achievable goals rather than big long term ones.

These two realisations came once I had started my new (baby step) routine and have helped me keep going.

So what have I been doing to live a healthier lifestyle?

  • I think it would be a big ask for me to go from not exercising at all, to hitting the gym 4 days a week. It was just not going to happen. Instead, I have committed to doing at least two 15 minute walks a day. I don't go far, just a couple of blocks and some stairs at the sports field near my house. It is small and achievable and is making a real difference to my energy levels. If exercise just isn't your thing, I really recommend this!
  • Being more food smart. I haven't gone all 'I'm going to starve myself' which is never a good idea, but I have made some fairly big changes in the last year. Mainly
      • Limiting my sugar intake (and yes this means fruit and honey as well, not just sweets)
      • I finally stopped ignoring the fact that me and dairy don't mix, so I have cut out all milk products from my diet.
      • I am super organised with my meals, including lunches for work. I make sure I have balanced healthy meals readily available. It helps avoid temptation. 
      • I bake. Cake isn't healthy right? Wrong. You can easily whip up yummy and healthy treats like my raspberry nut muffins and freeze them so they are always on hand.
      • Urge Surfing. 'WHAT?' I hear you say? Well psychologists are starting to recognise that urges (like the urge to eat a whole block of chocolate) tend to come in waves. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. Urge surfing is the act of being mindful of these urges and the way they rise and disappear, rather than trying to ignore them or fulfil them. After a while of practising this, the urges will appear further apart, and eventually not at all. 
  • Take guilt out of the equation. If I miss a walk or eat something not so great, my mind goes something like this 'bummer, but next time I'll make a better decision' where as before, I would have gone down in a guilt/hate spiral that did not help at all. Be kind to yourself, I promise it is important. 
I guess I started to make some of these changes last year, especially the sugar, but the daily walking has only been happening since sometime in April I guess. So far I am feeling mostly great, though stress and anxiety still have a big presence which isn't fun at all. I have lost about 10kg (which is about 22 pounds) but to be honest I don't weigh myself all that often. I do know I have gone down a size in jeans which is very very exciting! 

xx Samantha Alice 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Tasty. Clean Eating Raspberry Nut Muffins.

This recipe is a variation on one from The Gracious Pantry, such a great food blog, so do go check it out! The original recipe had lemon zest in it, but stupid me forgot to add it! The lemon does make them extra amazing so if you give them a go, don't get all dopey like me ok?
Also, I made an enormous triple batch because these babies tend to disappear quick and I wanted some to freeze. So please ignore the quantities seen in the photos!

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups self raising whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water (or milk if you like)
  • 4 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce/puree
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (this is optional, but like I've said before this oil is soooo good for you!)
  • 1/2 cup raspberries 

Putting it all together:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 Celsius 
  • Combine dry ingredients in one bowl; feel free to sift the flour.
  • Combine all wet ingredients.
  • Add wet to dry and mix well.
  • Gently stir in raspberries
  • Spoon mixture into muffin pan or individual patty pans
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until browned and cooked in the centre

I've also used this same recipe to make a loaf and it turned out just as yummy. I love these because they are low in sugar, low in fat and high in goodness.

Got any yum recipes or healthy eating blogs I need to check out?

xx Samantha Alice

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Life. June Featured Bloggers #2.

I would like you to meet the lovely Kristin from HelloSweetWorld! She is one of my blogging buddies and we love to have a sook to each other on twitter. Please do go check out her blog, I promise you a good time.

Name: Kristin 
Blog Name and link: HelloSweetWorld - 
Twitter handle: @hellosweetworld

1. Tell us about your blog?   My blog is just a little place where I share bits and pieces of my life and photography. Mostly it's sharing about my travels and daily finds, with a few extras thrown in. Oh, and some vintage too. 

2. What made you want to start blogging?  I started blogging back in February 2007 under a different name after a friend of mine had shared her blog with me. I had no idea it was such a community and after some life changes, I started HelloSweetWorld in 2008. I wanted a place where I could be creative and document my life, mostly in photos, so I could follow my own journey over the years. I guess I can credit my friend for starting a blog, because she inspired me. 

3. What makes blogging so fun and worthwhile for you?  As stated above, I wanted a place to share and follow my own steps through life. And when I started, blogs were just starting to become more popular. I had no idea there was such an online community for them and since I've started blogging, I've had so many opportunities and met so many people because of it. I love how we can all come together and feel like we're best buds because of blogging. That's just one added bonus to keeping my so-called 'online diary'. I also enjoy seeing how I've evolved over the years and being able to go back and see what I was doing in 2009. It's kinda like an electronic time capsule. Ha!

4. What 5 blogs do you read regularly?  Wow, I have a long list of blogs that I try to catch up on during the week but I guess if I had to narrow it down to five that I read regularly, or at least followed for quite a while, it'd be....

xx Samantha Alice

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life. The Insta Eight

  1. To quote a friend 'Autumn, you sexy bitch'.
  2. Amazing day but freezing cold!
  3. This alarm clock is calling my name. 
  4. Nicest student painted this for me. Awww
  5. I shopped! (outfit posts forth coming I promise!)
  6. Had the loveliest day shopping on saturday. This was taken whilst waiting for my lunch.
  7. Cute as fair isle knit and faux fur ear muffs at Sportsgirl. Seriously considering buying these and stashing them for when I leave.
  8. Was so tempted by all these lovely blue shades of polish. 
xx Samantha Alice

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Style. 2 Broke Girls: Max Black.

I am a bit obsessed with this show at the moment. I think it could be easily dismissed as a lame sitcom, but upon watching it is pretty clever. And hilarious. AND snarky. ANNNDDD a little bit rude. I think it is a great show for 20 something women who say what they want and aren't prepared to take any crap from anyone. If you haven't seen it yet, basically it is about 2 broke girls, Max and Caroline, who are trying to start a cupcake making business. It is filled with anti-hipster jokes, social media cracks, and enough puns to make any modern lady happy. The writers must be clever 20 something women and trust me it will make you laugh.

Kat Dennings plays Max; I've been a fan of hers since Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Charlie Bartlett. I love the way the costume department has dressed her. She always looks amazing and all her outfits complement her shape so well. I thought I'd bring together a few things inspired by Max, so here they are.

ASOS // Topshop // ASOS


xx Samantha Alice

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Pretty. June Featured Bloggers #1.

I'd like you all to meet three lovely blogger ladies. If you'd like to be featured next week, or know of someone who fits the bill, contact me via email or twitter!


Name: Zie Campbell

Blog Name and link: Darling Dear 

Twitter handle: @ziedarling

1. Tell us about your blog? 

Darling Dear is a little slice of blogland that is completely dedicated to giggles, glitter and something else really cool that starts with 'g'. Darling Dear is also a documentation of the life graphic design student who lives in Nashville, TN and loves tea time and making lists.  

2. What made you want to start blogging? 

Originally, I started blogging to document my life & keep track of things. So I could look back and see what I did even just a year before. Kind of like a fun little way of seeing how I grow and develop.

3. What makes blogging so fun and worthwhile for you?

The people. Since I started blogging, I found a bunch of really awesome, half-crazed folks. And they're beautiful in their madness & without all of them, blogging wouldn't be anywhere near as fun. 

4. What 5 blogs do you read regularly?

  1. boys with banjos  
  2. once upon a time in war... 
  3. girls and doll houses 
  4. petitevanou
  5. goffgough
Why should you check it out?

Zie is an amazeballs illustrator (yes that is a very technical term I know) and her blog is super pretty and super lovely to read. 


Name: Alexa Curtis

Blog Name and link: A Life in the Fashion Lane 

Twitter handle: @FashionLaneBlog

1. Tell us about your blog? 

My blog is a diary of my personal style as a teenager in high school. I try to influence people to be comfortable in what they wear and always be willing to take risks. I try to take the average sweater and leggings attire and turn it into something totally unique.

2. What made you want to start blogging? 

I always had an interest in fashion but until I was given the idea of starting a blog never knew how to get my ideas out there. Once I started blogging I was hooked and had to keep doing it!

3. What makes blogging so fun and worthwhile for you? 
I think the fact that you may be changing someones life by helping them feel more fabulous. Everyone has a little bit of creativity inside them, and if I can keep blogging and making people feel comfortable to let their ideas flow is what makes it all worth my time. Not to mention I love to write so communicating to the world through a blog makes me feel like I am doing something closer to being an editor at a top magazine, which is my dream.
4. What 5 blogs do you read regularly?
  1. Sincerely, Jules
  2. Natalie Off Duty
  3. Color Me Nana
  4. Flashes of Style
  5. The Man Repeller
Why should you check it out?

Alexa is a super confident young lady who makes me wish I had even a small dose of her confidence when I was in high school! 


Name: Made Stuchbery

Blog name: 365 Days of Made 

Twitter handle: @madestuchbery 

Why should you check it out? 
I happen to think Miss Made is pretty rad AND she is also moving to England around the same time as me AND if you watch this space we might just have a collaboration in the works. (But ssshhhhh, it's a secret!)

Made is a journalism student from Melbourne who blogs about her life and studies. She writes really well so definitely pay her blog a visit!

xx Samantha Alice

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life. Brit Bloggers.

I am stuck in Australia for another 6 or so months, a thought which both excites and depresses me. I am beyond ready for  an adventure and hopeless at waiting. I want to be in the UK now. Immediately if not sooner. But I have things to do before I go; just small little things, like save loads of cash and get my British Passport sorted. You know, just basic errands.

So in the meantime, I will add fuel to my fire by obsessively reading Brit Blogs and swooning and lusting over all things English. It is fun and frustrating at the same time. Some of these blogs I have read for a while, others are brand newbies in my daily reading list. But they are all brilliant and all add a little sunshine to my day. Thanks to Jazzy Elizabeth from Hivenn and Kat from Jemima.and.Ted for putting me on to some amazing blogs!

My Top Ten Favourite Brit Blogs

  1. Jemima.and.Ted
  2. Hivenn
  3. London Last Night 
  4. Becky Bedbug 
  5. Daily Rubbish
  6. Shiny Thoughts 
  7. The Little Magpie
  8. Vivianna Does Makeup
  9. FleurDeForce
  10. She Loves Mixtapes 

If you know of any others I must see let me know!

xx Samantha Alice 

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Pretty. May Empties.

My idea of a good time? Watching beauty videos on YouTube. Slightly lame, but I don't really mind. Some of my fav videos are those featuring 'empties', or the products they have used up in the previous month.  I'm going to do a roundup of my fav videos soon but for now check out Essie Button and her April Empties. I'm not keen on blogging yet (maybe one day?) so instead of a snazzy video, you can all look at these lovely pics and read my not so lovely words.

Last month I finished loads of products, some great, some not so great. Here they are along with some very brief thoughts.

Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes purple Shampoo

Love it. Will purchase again. Does its job and keeps brassy tones out of my balayage hair. One nit pick? I hate (HATE!) the toggled font on the packaging. Goes for around $12 AUD

Sheer Cover Nourishing Moisturiser (sample size)
Didn't love this, but it does the job fine I guess. Not great for my sensitive skin. There is NO WAY it is worth the $29.95 AUD price tag for the full-size. 

Models Prefer Lengthening Mascara
This was my absolute favourite mascara for so long. It is awesome and very cheap. I have moved on to loving more natural brushes (this one is plastic) but I am sure I will come back to this. I think this was around a tenner. 

Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Deep Pore Cleanser (more like a toner than a cleanser)
I loved this when I first got it but about halfway through I decided it was too harsh and drying. This bottle is enormous and it took me forever to finish it, but I didn't want to waste it. Don't think I will buy this again.

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne
This. is. AMAZING. I have really oily skin and this self foaming wash helps so much. It leaves my skin feeling so incredibly soft unlike any face wash I have tried. Seriously, if you have problem skin and can find this, give it a go. Randomly, the tea tree that goes into this product is grown right up the road from my Dad's place in the middle of the bush. Retails for around $16 AUD. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
This foundation is excellent for the price, goes on like a dream and I am sure it would last all day on those ladies with normal to dry skin. I have since switched to the more expensive Healthy Mix Serum and am hooked. It has a bit more staying power on my skin, especially when it is set with powder. Also, the packaging on this is annoying! I am sure there is loads of product left but the top can't be removed so it is impossible to get to the remnants. 

Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo
I don't really need to say much about this except it is a miracle product. I repurchase this all the time. And I don't cope without it on hand always. 

xx Samantha Alice

P.S do you like my new header? 

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Life. Seven Questions Tag #13.

1. If you were to start your own business, what would it be?
This is easy because I fantasise about this all the time! I would have a coffee shop slash book store slash vintage camera store slash clothing store with a drop in sewing room upstairs where lovely ladies who love to stitch can come and use sewing machines and other rad things. I'd also run sewing/craft classes and basically live at this place. Oh and  I'd also have a gallery space showing fabbo art from my favourite young artists. I'd call it The Bird Nest. (please don't steal my amazing idea internets!)

2. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed, do you embrace your grumpiness or try to fight it?
Embrace it...sometimes I even manage to make myself grumpier by sheer force of will. Not sure this is all that healthy though...

3. What's the very first memory you have?
This is tough, but it would either be searching the house for my can 'Roughy' and finding him under the pillow on my Mum's bed or pretending our backdoor was a stable door (it basically was one of those two part doors with a top and a bottom-my sister and I loved it so much!)

4. The world is ending, what do you do? Allow yourself to die? Fight? Hide? Etc.
Probably sit in the corner and cry. I watched Meloncholia recently (freaked me out completely) and I would definitely not be as accepting as the Kirsten Dunst character. 

5. What is your favorite meal of the day?
On weekends it's gotta be breakfast, but weekdays probably afternoon tea when I get home from work. I love that feeling of relaxing with a cuppa and a snack after a long day. 

6. How do you best learn? Visual? Listening? Hands on?
I learn by doing. If I am told or shown how to do something then left along to 'figure it out' myself I tend to do better.

7. What is your favorite joke? 
It's too rude for this blog! I do love the whole 'why did so and so fall off the so and so' themed jokes. 
Q: Why did Timmy fall off the swing?
A: Because Timmy had no arms

Q: What is big and yellow and if it fell out of a tree would kill you?
A: A tractor 

xx Samantha Alice

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