Simple Organising – My Dressing Table featuring A Perfume Stand and Candle Holders

Simple Organising – My Dressing Table featuring A Perfume Stand and Candle Holders

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I recently bought a dressing table and its just a desk, but for purposes of storing piles of beauty products, its just superb. I’ve manager to get a tier metal stand for my perfumes like I always wanted and now they are all on display instead of sitting in my bathroom out of view. Now I can see all the beautiful fragrances right in front of me and that helps with choosing scents in the morning and in the evening when I am getting ready to go out.

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These beautiful candle holders make fantastic storage for make up brushes, mascara and all other sorts of beauty items. The delicate design is perfect for any room that requires a bit more decoration and brightness.

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I’ve also got my lipstick stand that holds 12 lippies. Not so fantastic for lip glosses because if the tubes are a bit taller than an average lipstick, which they usually are, the holder borders are not high enough and things fall out.

The floral item is a pen holder which I use for eyeliners.

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I originally wanted to attach a mirror to a wall and create a dressing table that way but the desk is quite deep (good for storage), not as great for looking at yourself in the mirror while sitting down, especially whilst doing makeup. So instead I’m going to put up some artwork in frames above the desk and then have a stand mirror with a light.

What are some awesome ideas you have for decorating your dressing table?

 

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The King and I – An 1860s Story, Turned Musical Lighting up the Sydney Opera House Once More.

The King and I – An 1860s Story, Turned Musical Lighting up the Sydney Opera House Once More.

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On Tuesday night this week I was invited to see a spectacular musical, The King and I by Opera Australia. A familiar lead cast lit up the stage, Lisa McCune as Anna and Teddy Tahu Rhodes as the King of Siam. I watched South Pacific last year with Lisa and Teddy as soloists and there is a good chemistry between these two which works on the big stage.

I have never seen the movie or read the original book, so its always interesting to look at the performance from a noob perspective. My first impression started in the foyer of the Opera House, outside of John Sutherland theatre. There were lots of decorations done in oriental royal style and items like lamp shades and cushions on filigree chairs reminded of a retro look full of adventure and extravagance.

Stage designs and decorations were absolutely fantastic! Side curtains portraying giant elephants stitched in red and yellow gold, forever gazing into the distance. Many costume changes, the ball gowns, the chic full skirts of Mrs Anna, the colourful and bright attire of the wives of the king and their children, it all screamed fun and excitement through the entire production. There was not a single dull moment in the show.

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I feel that in this production Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Lisa McCune complimented each other greatly, this was evident when they both moved around on stage with such energy and passion! You could feel they were greatly comfortable with each other, the audience, their characters and just had a lot of fun performing in general.

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And the kids, how talented were the kids! A whole bunch of little boys and girls who danced along to all the moves with everyone else, sang, spoke, acted. A truly talented cast where everyone contributed in equal weight, from extras on a boat to the lead characters.

The-King-and-I-Ensemble-with-Yong-Ying-Woo-dancing-the-part-of-Eliza-and-Michelle-Rozario-dancing-the-part-of-Uncle-ThomasThe play was not without some good humour, drama and wholehearted spirit. I must say I enjoyed this musical more than expected and the appeal of this show is definitely to expend  beyond the usual opera goer. It is family friendly, entertaining for couples, engaging for a group of friends and vocally dazzling for the older crowd.

Melbourne launch:

The Sydney Opera House shows will continue until the 1st of November this year. I urge you to book tickets for your whole family or experience this musical as a great date or an awesome night out on the town.

 

More information on tickets, performance dates, cast et cetera et cetera et cetera

Artists:

Music By: Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics By: Oscar Hammerstein II
Based On ‘Anna and the King of Siam’ By: Margaret Landon
Director: Christopher Renshaw
Original Choreography By: Jerome Robbins
Choreographer: Susan Kikuchi
Scenic Designer: Brian Thomson
Costume Designer: Roger Kirk
Sound Designer: Michael Waters
Lighting Designer: Nigel Levings
Musical Director: Peter Casey
Orchestrations By: Robert Russell Bennett
Dance, Vocal and Incidental Music Arranged By: Trude Rittmann

As a side note, I’d like to share that Opera Australia is offering subscription packages to YOUTH at amazing rates.It’s nice to know that I am still considered to be a youth! Even better when you get deals for being under 30. Opera Australia is known for putting on spectacular and extravagant shows and I am always amazed at the costumes and stage designs. One word to describe it is GRAND. There is however also a reflection in the ticket price where you expect to pay anything between $180-$300 for good seats. For Italian operas (majority of the really good ones), you are going to need to see the surtitles running over the top of the stage. Most C and D reserve seats don’t have a view of the surtitles and you won’t get the needed translation. So I guess if you know the opera you’re going to see and read up on it in advance, then it would be.

For just $60/ticket (Any reserve!) you can select a package ( minimum of 3 opera productions from the allocated list) for yourself and a friend perhaps. I am going to take advantage of this offer, if its still around, until I turn 30 :)

This package is available in Sydney and Melbourne and current list of Opera productions to see includes:

The Magic Flute

La Boheme

Tosca

Madama Butterfly

Faust

Turandot

La Traviata

Don Carlos

The Marriage of Figaro

I’ve already got my tickets to The Marriage of Figaro, La Boheme and Tosca!

xx

Photo credit: Brian Geach

“Make Me Beautiful” Project with the Help of which we Realise How Different Beauty Really Is

“Make Me Beautiful” Project with the Help of which we Realise How Different Beauty Really Is

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 10.56.22 AMWhen I travel I often pay attention to various billboards and ads for fashion, beauty. Apart from a universal ‘model look’ brought to us by big beauty houses such as Dior and Chanel, there are definitely differences in perception of what beautiful really is across the globe. You might think your look is not what beautiful is per se but that might only apply to the region, country and even the city you live in.

Esther Honig, a journalist set out to understand more about how beauty is perceived on a personal and cultural level, has sent 1 unretouched photograph of herself to over 40 different individuals from 25 countries, who freelance in photoshop and image rendering. The results are a phenomenal reflection of both cultural and personal concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator.

To read more about this project click here

Photography by country:Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.35.59 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.36.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.36.11 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.36.16 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.36.20 PM     Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.36.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 4.36.55 PM

Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. I used to only look at one type of beauty growing up in Kazakhstan with a lot of Russian media, then in New Zealand where I was once told by a guy that he would never ever consider dating an Asian person. That was quite an eye opener. I felt like a different species. Only in Sydney, Australia did I actually start feeling a bit more comfortable in my skin, knowing that I could potentially be attractive and even beautiful to some, but even then, it was not always the case.

With this project we must remember that since there is no universal measure on what beautiful is, there is also no universal measure on what ugly is. The only thing that can be ugly is someones behaviour based on ignorance.

Hope this project inspires you in your own way….

xx

 

 

 

 

WIN Tickets to the NSW FITNESS SHOW!

WIN Tickets to the NSW FITNESS SHOW!

Now that I’m a fitness buff (haha, not really, I just started going to the gym again, yay!) I would like to announce that there is a NSW Fitness Show on at the Olympic Showgrounds happening next month!

164-fitnessexpo-04Apr1418-19 October. More than 14,000 square metres of all things fitness!

Some of the highlights:

      • The very latest fitness gadgets, accessories, nutrition and clothing from top brands including Lorna Jane, Asics and Garmin;
      • Fitness celebrities and experts, including Commando Steve, who will run VIP training sessions and presentations over the two days, and Australia’s Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter
      • Live sporting events including natural bodybuilding, powerlifting and the search to find Australia’s fittest man and woman;
        Plenty of tips and advice on the Healthy Living Stage from some of the top fitness and health experts in the country

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I am giving away 3 double passes (6 tix) for Saturday Oct 18th!

Enter below. Comp closes on the 10th of October! Good luck! xx

To enter:

1. Like LiveShopTravel on Facebook

2. Follow in Twitter

3. Comment in the post below :)

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Usana Protein Snacks – Energy for Your Workout

Usana Protein Snacks – Energy for Your Workout

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I’ve recently started going back to the gym again and running between 3-4k on the treadmill before launching into some ab workouts and stretches. It’s been a therapeutic experience and I wonder how I used to go months without having much exercise. The recent ownership of a furry friend, called Toby, has helped in maintaining getting out and about. He has been the number one motivator to get fit and healthy so we can spend more time running around on the weekends and enjoying the day outside.

With a continuous workout plan comes a question of good nutrition. What is a good  snack to have prior/post workout? Not a full meal, because if you’re working in an office and planning to go straight to the gym, its a bit challenging to eat the right meals with lean protein prior to working out.

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Quick solution: the USANA protein cookies.

The Low-glycemic, high-protein snacks give you an energy boost before your workout and if you exercise straight after work, you won’t feel hungry in the gym.

I’ve tried the Fudge Delite, Peanutty Bliss and Choco Chip.

Protein is a chemical appetite suppressant and it triggers signals in your body to help switch off your hunger.

USANA snacks are formulated high in protein and with no gluten. I’ve got these cookies in the office and a lot of people seem to be enjoying these, especially at the 3-4pm slump when you’re starting to get peckish again.

For me, even having half a cookie is enough to give me some energy and to feel happy to go and have a good exercise.

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Another great thing you could try is USANA protein powder, just add some water and have this as meal replacement. I haven’t tried the one I got, Nutrimeal Free, yet. It’s Free from soy, fructose, dairy and gluten. I might try and blend this one up with some frozen fruits as an after gym treat :)

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What healthy snacks do you recommend for pre and post gym workout?

xx

 

Best Date Night Ideas as Recommended by Me and the Internet

Best Date Night Ideas as Recommended by Me and the Internet

It’s official, we’ve put in fortnightly calendar reminders into our phones on Date Nights. After being married for a couple of years, its easy to take those moment together for granted. Yes you do spend time together at home and it seems like that should be enough, but have you been able to have a non-interrupted heart to heart conversation with a blaring tv, a pile of laundry, two fluffy animals and unpacking the dishwasher? I didn’t think so. Its impossible to spend ‘date night’ quality time at home.

I thought it was a funny things when you’d see couples on date nights. How can people forget how to spend time together I thought. Turns out its quite easy and its called LIFE. And this is before we have babies. What happens when those come along?

So here are some ideas on what we’ve done previously and what comes up when you Google things. Google knows everything, you might as well trust it with your love life :)

No, not quite. I had to pick out the few which particularly tickled my fancy and that seemed more or less affordable to do. SO if you don’t live in weekly episodes of the Bachelor and don’t have access to a helipad, have a look at these ideas, some cliche and old fashioned but tried and tested classics and some are perhaps new ideas?!

1. Dinner and a Movie

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This is a good one. I used to love drive in movies because you always got to watch two movies, sit in the car under the stars and eat hot chips, but those were high school date days. For the usual dinner and movie, try to upgrade yourselves to Vmax instead of normal cinema. It’s a bigger screen, popcorn and soft drink included, comfier seats and you can also order hot food with service. In my view its a better bang for your buck than Gold Class.

2. Dinner and a view

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Its actually this week’s date night that we’ll explore the O bar. We were recently there for an Engagement party and the views are absolutely stunning. Even in the rain, this venue is spectacular. There’s a great list of cocktails and the dinner menu looks yum. Oh and the best part, while you’re enjoying a drink and some romanticising, the restaurant, 47 floors above rotates so you can get a better view of Sydney while you wine and dine.

2. Comedy Store

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This is a fun one! The Comedy Store at Fox Studios is a bit of a hidden venue. One night for date night we decided to just book tickets. The result was a night filled with laughs and we got to see a number of old and new comedians up on stage, hosted by a very funny guy. Forgive me funny guy, I don’t remember your name.

3. Spa/Massage

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This is a good one. Through recent spark of the likes of Groupon deals, its now easy to purchase a massage package at a more affordable rate than an arm and a leg. I frequently use Lime and Tonic  to indulge my small addiction to massages and spas. The best one so far has been the Swissotel Spa deal because they let you use their rooftop pool. The hotel spa is located in the middle of busy Sydney CBD but you really feel like you’re miles away when you’re getting the massage, using the spa and then chilling in the hotel pool.

4. See a musical/show/theatre/opera/circus

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I’m a sucker for a good show. Anything – Classical music, Opera, Theatre, Musicals. I am not too keen on concerts, even though I love music, but I guess I love a show with a plot and a storyline more than anything else. On top of the classical stuff, I would never miss a Cirque du Soleil performance if I can help it. If you were to see one show per year, spend it on Cirque du Soleil. My favourite one so far was Ovo. A production which goes into the insect world (maybe it has something to do with my strange fascination with insects), but I had an absolute blast. Opera Australia do amazing subscription deals for under 30s and their performances are always extravagant and grand. Belvoir st theatre provides a good schedule for anything ranging from Shakespeare to Peter Pan, and don’t forget if you want to see Cate Blanchett or Hugo Weaving perform at legendary Sydney Theatre Company, sign up to their newsletter to be informed on season sales as those sell out like hotcakes.

5. Bowling

IMG_3223If you’ve exhausted the movie and dinner idea way too much, its time to go back to the good old high school and uni days when bowling was fun. To be honest I haven’t been in a bowling alley for about 5 years and a recent attempt to go bowling at Darling Harbour’s Harbourside Kingpin bowling resulted in playing pool which moves me onto point 6.

6. Pool

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I believe one of our first dates was playing pool, and I think it was at the Kingpin Harborside! (Whaaat) I recall having dinner and then going to play pool. I am hopeless at the game but the banter made it fun and even though the place is not highly romantic, it gave us a chance to get to know each other better in a casual environment.

7. Golf or mini golf

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Golf, well not really the 18 holes type of golf, the one at the driving range. It’s actually quite a relaxing activity. Sunday afternoons are perfect to go to Moore Park Driving Range and hit a few golf balls around. You can work on your technique or if one of you is better than the other, work on it together. Great in the summer when we have longer days and you have that sunset light lingering around. Another cool activity is Putt Putt or Mini Golf. We heard some sad news lately and unfortunately the Putt Putt place in Ermington  is closing down to make way for some residential development. So make your way over to the iconic and rare vintage mini golf course and see the 1969 course for the very last time (sigh).

 

8. Helicopter ride over Sydney (if you’re that way inclined)

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Okay this isn’t really a date night activity as such but a date day!?

We actually got to go on a helicopter ride with Bondi helicopters through a birthday voucher given to my husband for his 30th. I tagged along and we had a beautiful flight over Sydney. I sometimes forget how breathtaking Sydney really is and if you’re in one of those moods when your weekends are getting a bit too cliche and turning into routine, I strongly recommend booking yourself in for a helicopter ride. Sure its not an everyday thing but your impression of this city will change forever.

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Please share your date night ideas in the comment section with me!

xx