Category: Live

PhotoBox custom canvas – my creation with holiday photos

I recently took to paining a bit to decorate the apartment. It used to take me a few hours to finish a painting and now for some reason it takes a few days. It’s a rewarding but lengthy experience in other words.

What are other ways I could decorate the blank walls of our apartment ? I love to travel and so keep all my travelling photos on my iphone. When I was running out of room in the memory bank I couldn’t bring myself to deleting the holiday snaps. Why? I so often flick through my holiday photos on my phone it’s almost sad. When I’m feeling a bit bored, upset or just in need of positive energy, I go through my holiday shots to remember the good vibes :)

What better way than to encapsulate these trip highlights onto a canvas and hang on a prominent wall somewhere in the apartment?

An easy way to put this sort of decorative wall canvas together is on a site called Photobox.

Photobox lets you select the type of project you want. I wanted a wall canvas but there are loads of other cool ideas to personalise photo books and print photos of your favourite memories. Upload your favourite photos and be as creative as  you like.

At the moment there’s also a 25% off all orders over $35. I am tempted to get another one because I just received our canvas and its so awesome! (This offer finishes on Thursday this week, 5 June)

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 2.32.37 PM

Below is a screenshot of the process of my canvas creation with the thumbnails being the photos I’ve selected to include on the print.

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The website is really easy to use and if you create a login the system saves your details and projects to help you take some time out and come back to your creations.

I’ve selected My Classic Canvas and uploaded all types of photos from the different trips we’ve made with my husband.

Size: 76.2 x 50.8 cm

  • Printed on polycotton canvas
  • 3.8cm wooden frame
  • Machine stretched
  • Options to wrap photo around edges
  • Dispatched in just 1 working days
  • All PhotoBox Classic Canvas Prints come fully assembled and with a hanging kit

This is the final result:


A cool looking canvas with black borders which has all our travel photos on it.




The photos are very bright and good quality. I was worried that some of them would be blurry as we lost a lot of the Peru holiday pics when my laptop got stolen. The ones featured here I got from Facebook and they turned out great! We absolutely love the canvas and its such a beautiful memory of all our travels.


Looking absolutely awesome in our living room. I love having this photo memory in the house. As you can tell I am absolutely thrilled about it and would recommend Photobox to anyone for that memorable gift or those special anniversary, wedding, baby photos and  more.

Have you tried canvas printing or maybe you paint yourself. Share your home decorating ideas in the comment section below :)


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If you think a perfectly symmetrical face is beautiful, think again

For a while now I’ve thought that beauty comes from perfect symmetry. This led me to think that my somewhat asymmetrical face was off beauty charts by all definitions. Boo, a sad time for me. Even looking at my passport photo where my hair is up I can see that one side of the face is completely different from the other. What is going on here? One nostril doesn’t align with the other, the jaw bone on my right is wider and even the hairline on my forehead starts earlier on the left.

I remember attending an “Appearance and Attraction” seminar ran by a dermatologist for the Australian media on behalf of Neutrogena Skincare. The Dr who presented the studies talked about symmetry and how we believe that perfect symmetry achieved in the facial structure or the body is what we perceive is beautiful. I was surprised to hear that if anything a face that is a bit asymmetrical was more attractive to the opposite sex than a face that had perfect features. The totally symmetric face was seen as cold, robotic and non human. A face that was too asymmetric was seen as not good looking. So a bit of asymmetry is what makes you attractive.

Recently I found a study that was done on this exact topic of symmetry. A New York photographer began his project Both Sides Of to see if symmetry was what made us beautiful. (or perceived as beautiful).

A series of photographs was released to show a side of someone’s profile from the right and then the left, duplicated on the opposite side to achieve perfect symmetry.

None of the ‘perfect’ faces then were more attractive than the true asymmetrical person the photos represented , which proved that as humans we are definitely not attracted to any face we deem as perfectly symmetrical.


All the people in the world with their faces/appearances, fit into the venn diagram middle bit illustrated above. The reality is we are all NOT PERFECT! The two sides – the left and the right, blend to create you, they blend to create a unique person, not a perfect one, but unique and different.





symmetry5Isn’t it interesting to see that one side of the face is almost always wider than the other side. The eyes are not evenly set, even the shoulders look wider or narrower. WE are not perfect and no one you know is. Its an amazing study and until I saw it I would look at my passport photo (a good example of a face front profile pick) and literally place my hand over one side of the pic to see how uneven my face was. Then I’d do it to the other side. I wished I would look more like my left side as I believe it is the ‘skinnier’ one :)

I actually went onto take a few pictures of my face and play with them in a mobile app to see what a symmetrical face would mean for me. Could I really be the perfect symmetrical version of my left hand side I always imagined?

Here is what I got out. The results surprised me.

My wider side:

photo 1-3


My ‘skinny’ side

photo 2-3

I actually prefer my wider side to my skinny side and I always through I would find the thinner (left side) version better looking. In reality I would choose neither side to represent me on their own. I need both to make up the person I am – The real ME

photo 3-3

I encourage you to do this exercise at home with your ‘selfie’ mode camera on your smart phone to see what you would really look like if your face was truly symmetrically perfect.

If you’re interested in reading more on the study by Alex John Beck (photographer), click here.

Accept that your ‘imperfect’ in your eyes face is beautiful because it isn’t perfect. You have every reason to do so.



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How accepting yourself will make you more beautiful than any beauty product out there


I wanted to write this post because recently all my posts have been on skincare, make up, hair – everything related to beauty. I love writing about that stuff and sharing with all of you my buys and interesting products out there. However I wanted to make it clear and repeat a cliche that real beauty must come from within and not from photographs, media or products. There is a saying in Russian ( a language I speak) that people greet you by the way you look (dress) but say goodbye to you by the way you are. (Forgive my rough translation).

I tend to think I am not a very ‘flaky’ person but I can be influenced easily by what I see and what I hear so I have to be cautious on who I listen to for advise and the things I watch. A lot of things affect me more than other people and then I go through periods when I feel a lot of compassion for everyone and everything – a stray dog, a bum on the street, an article about an abandoned child or a natural disaster. I get so upset that I start to question things in the world and how this could be happening in the World we live in. I then want to jump up and immediately do something to stop all the injustices and try and do anything and everything to help. Of course, its not a very realistic thing to change the world in 2 seconds and some things are beyond our control, so then I get upset again because I feel useless.

This sort of thinking and feeling also makes me look the other way at others and question why I can’t have what they have. A better, skinnier body, a better looking, more symmetrical face, a better job, a loyal group of friends who constantly want to spend time with me. All these things I imagine other people have because they are better and I am not good enough. Like I imagine other people always having more fun than me while I am stuck at home doing nothing that important. Then I go through periods of change – I have to change myself to fit in, to be better, to be good enough. If only I had that skinnier waist, or a straighter nose, a better personality, a beautiful smile or a  celebrity friend, I would be a happy person. This sort of though chasing has made me tired lately because I’ve been doing it since I was 12 and I started to really look for answers on what makes me feel this way.

I recently read a book by Haruki Murakami, a renowned Japanese writer who runs marathons. He is talented and writes a lot of interesting books. In this particular book – What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,  Murakami talks a bit about getting older and making that acceptance. It was interesting to read about an incident he talks about when he was 16, when he stood in front of a mirror for a while and made a mental list of everything that was wrong with him – his eyebrows, teeth, nails etc and then he had an epiphany that since the list of all the physical things that were wrong with him was so long, imagine if he started to list all other things like his personality, thoughts, emotions. The list would definitely not end then. It gave me a bit of a realisation that we need to STOP publishing these lists in our heads on everything that’s wrong with us and instead accept that we are who we are. So many times have I heard this – Be yourself, everyone else is taken ( Oscar Wilde), I never really understood the power of doing that within yourself, the inner peace you automatically attain. Now I don’t know if its going to last long and if I will never be unhappy again, no one can guarantee that. But I feel better already and I think that’s what matters most.

Just today I was browsing through Facebook and I do believe Facebook can be destructive to human harmony because we just end up seeing everything and anything all of us are doing at any given point and time and these things have to be personal ads in a way. Our Facebook posts are personal ads on how much fun we’re having, how many opinions we have and how interesting we are. In reality we’re just people who want one fundamental thing – to be happy. Now what amount of Facebooking can give anyone that?

I see things on social media every day that makes me feel like what I am doing in my life is not important enough, good enough, cool enough. The truth is, with the expectations we put on ourselves today, we will never be that. We will never be good enough for the expectations we and society has placed on ourselves – especially us women. We will never be pretty enough, strong enough, motherly enough, smart enough. IT is simply impossible. And if we simply accept those factors as given, stop competing with each other and do our personal best and strive for our personal best, that is what will give us a fulfilling life. Yes, people will judge you, especially other women, will judge you on everything you do. But trust me, either way you can’t seem to win. At the end of the day, you will never be able to please everyone.

Now, when I see a post or an image or a movie and I think, why am I not that, why don’t I have that thing, why don’t I behave that way, there must be something wrong with me, I have to divert to another though – well, am I that person or am I me? A person with a completely different background, family, friends, life, interests, values. After all, aren’t we the individuals that we strive to be? Then why do we always look at someone else for answers on what we need to be happy?

We all need to learn to be a bit kinder to ourselves so that we can express more kindness to each other. Accept yourself and next time you catch yourself thinking – Why can’t I be that beautiful? while watching another Victoria’s Secret parade, take 2 deep breaths, listen to your body and say – I am me, I am me and no one else and I am certainly not that person on television and that is ok with me because I am not her. I am me. (full stop)

“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”
― Rita Mae Brown

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
― Lao TzuTao Te Ching

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Sending all my kindness and hope this helps all of you gain more confidence. Love and accept yourselves so others can do so too!


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