Dressale Christmas Giveaway

Tuesday 17 December 2013

The lovely people over at Dressale have been kind enough to allow me to share their Christmas giveaway with you all!

Dressale will be giving away 10 dresses up to the value of $200, every week until January 15th.

For your chance to win one of Dressale's beautiful dresses, here's what you need to do:
  1. Register at http://www.dressale.com
  2. Like Dressale on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dressale
  3. Follow Dressale on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dressale
  4. Leave a comment on this post with your email address
  5. Choose the dress you'd like to win at http://dress.cm/Z1Zu5M
  6. Make sure you're following me with either Bloglovin or GFC, as well as on Twitter and Instagram (links are in the sidebar)
Good luck everyone - I hope you win! x
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Lush Blogger Event Melbourne

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Lush blogger event in Melbourne last night.  I had such a lovely night and was so impressed by how professional and friendly everyone was.  The theme was a Cruelty Free Christmas.


The evening started off with a talk by one of the lovely directors, Peta.  We were given lots of information on Lush and what they stand for as a company, as well as some updates on upcoming campaigns and products.  I love that Lush are completely free of any animal cruelty and most of their products are vegan - all are vegetarian.  Lush products are also packaging free where possible and are all handmade with beautiful, organic ingredients.

After Peta's talk, and a few words from some of the other lovely Lush staff, we were split into two groups and were able to take part in two different workshops.  The first was learning the Japanese Furoshiki wrapping technique, using beautiful scarves which we were then able to keep.  The second workshop, was a demonstration on how the beautiful Lush Cupcake face mask is made.  We were then able to take a tub of the face mask home with us also.

We were given the opportunity to walk around the store and try out the different products, as well as receive a lovely hand treatment from one of the staff.  I went home smelling amazing!

I was so surprised (pleasantly so), at how generous Lush were with the gift bags we were given.  The products we received are beautiful and most of them were full sized.  Here's what I got in mine:

Santa's Lip Scrub:  I can't even describe how amazing this smells!  It reminds me of cherry cola, it's lovely!

Snow Fairy Sparkle Massage Bar:  I've left this one in the packet as it got a little bit squashed on the way home.  I was able to try this out during the hand treatment I got at the event, and it's lovely.  It has a very sweet smell - a mix between bubble gum and cotton candy.  It leaves a lovely, soft shimmer on the skin.

Santa Baby Lip Tint:  I haven't tried this yet, but the colour looks beautiful and can be used as a cheek tint also.

Three different Shower Gels - Ponche, Rose Jam and Snow Fairy:  These all smell completely different to one another.  I can't wait to give them a try!

Sikkim Girls Body Lotion:  This has a really subtle scent and feels lovely on the skin.  A mixture of Jasmine flower, vanilla, Darjeeling tea and cocoa butter.

Cupcake Fresh Face Mask:  This is the one made during the workshop on the night.  It smells like chocolate cake mix!  Can't wait to try this one out!

Three bath products:  Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic, Candy Mountain Bubble Bar and Cinders Bath Ballistic:  These all smell SO good!  I haven't tried these particular ones before, but I'm a big fan of the Lush bath products, so I'm looking forward to enjoying these.

Lastly is the lovely scarf I was able to keep from the Furoshiki workshop, along with some information sheets and booklets.

I'm so excited to try out all of these beautiful products!  I'm such a big fan of Lush and I'm so grateful to have been able to attend this event.

I will review all of these products gradually as I use them, so stay tuned to find out more about them!
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PS:  I just received an email from Babs - Lush's lovely PR and Marketing Assistant, informing me that I won a competition that was run at the event!  So even more beautiful Lush products are heading my way - I can't wait!  I will post more about those once I receive them x
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Win a Deluxe Hair Treatment at The Australasian College Broadway in Sydney

Thursday 12 December 2013

The lovely people at the Australasian College Broadway in Sydney, have been kind enough to give me two beautiful hair treatments to give away to two lucky readers!

Each treatment is valued at $60 and the winners will be spoilt with a wash, blow-dry and hairstyle at the College's beautiful salon.

If you would like the chance to win one of these luxurious treatments, please enter via the Rafflecopter app below.

The Australasian College Broadway is considered the benchmark College in Australia for hair,
beauty and make-up.  It is a highly awarded and recognised centre for learning and
educational excellence.

The College offers a range of courses supported by VET FEE-HELP loans which enable students to
study now and pay later.

If you'd like to learn more about the College, please visit www.tac.edu.au or get in touch directly at

Good luck, everyone! x
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

I've been wanting to do the Letter to My 16 Year Old Self tag for quite a while now.  I think it's such a nice idea and I felt that it could be quite therapeutic also.  So here's my version of this tag, I hope you enjoy it.

Dear 16 year old Steph,

I'm writing you this letter in the hope that maybe some of the lessons I've learnt these past twelve years, may help make your journey a little easier.  I know how hard you are on yourself, and looking back, I don't know why.  I'd give anything to go back in time and be you again, to have a second chance at being young and carefree.  Now is the time you should be most confident.  You're young and clever, with a good heart.  You are not fat!  Believe me, I'd do anything to go back and be the size you are now.  The thing is, that you don't enjoy the things you have now, because you don't realise that you have them.

Value your family and friends - you never know when they won't be there anymore.  Over the coming years, you will lose people that you love - some you will be expecting to lose, and others you just can't even imagine leaving so soon.  Enjoy the people you care about now, don't take any time with them for granted.

Eat better and exercise - you'll appreciate it later in life.  Wear sunscreen, take care of your teeth and drink lots of water.  Take care of yourself.  Read more, write more and work hard.

Listen - to everyone around you, and learn as much as you can from others mistakes.  You don't need to make them yourself.

Be careful - don't trust everyone as much as you do.  Don't give your trust to anyone who doesn't earn it.  If only I could go back in time and warn you of all the times you'll be hurt when you least expect it, by people you trust.

You will fall in love.  You'll also have your heart broken several times - make sure you learn from every heartbreak and don't ever let it be for nothing.  Most importantly, don't be afraid to let yourself fall in love again.

Lastly - give yourself a break.  Stop beating yourself up and hating yourself the way you do.  You're a good person and you deserve to be happy, although you don't see it.  When someone pays you a compliment - accept it.  When you look in the mirror, be happy with what you see - you are pretty, despite what you think.

Things will get better - they will also get worse.  But don't give up.  Hang in there.  One day we'll find the happiness we deserve - I'm working on it!
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My Hair Disaster

Wednesday 27 November 2013

I've been wanting to get my hair cut & re-coloured for a while now, but being broke I've been putting it off.  So, this week I decided I'd go back to the old 'do it yourself' method of using a box dye off the shelf.  Big mistake!

I used to dye my own hair all the time - and never had a problem - so I thought why not save the money?  So, off I went to the shop to find the perfect colour.  I chose a Loreal Preference ash blonde colour, thinking that I'd be safest with an ashy colour, because my hair tends to go quite brassy.

Once I finished the process and rinsed out the product, I was excited to see the results.  I looked in the mirror, and even though my hair was still wet, I could tell it wasn't right.  Sure enough, as I dried it off I realised - it was grey!  Not just a little bit grey - it was old lady, witch GREY with blonde patches!

I quickly turned to Google to see what I could find as a quick fix.  I came across a recipe for this problem, which was three parts lemon juice, to one part conditioner.  I decided to give it a shot, after all it couldn't get much worse.  I applied the mixture, left it on for an hour as per the directions, and then rinsed it out thoroughly.  The grey was gone!  It was completely gone and the blonde had evened out.  Lemons became my new heroes!

The only problem I then had, was that the remaining blonde was very brassy - almost orange, yuck!  Still better than grey, but not ideal.  So, back to Google I went.

I found some great reviews for a blonde toner by Schwarzkopf, so I decided to head over to Priceline and pick it up.  It was around the $6.00 mark, so I figured as a last resort before running to the hairdresser, it was worth a try.  That toner was a lifesaver!  It took all of the brassy, orange colour out of my hair and left me with a far more natural looking blonde.

After everything I went through over the past few days where my hair is concerned - I'm actually, surprisingly happy with the end result.

We all have to live and learn, right? x
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NAT C Serum by NAT. Review

Monday 18 November 2013

I was given the opportunity a few weeks ago, to try one of the new products from the NAT. skincare range.  Of course I jumped at the chance, and I chose to try the NAT. C serum, a vitamin C serum that works to fight the aging process and promote radiance with its beautiful, natural ingredients.

I must admit, I had never heard of NAT. before, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this product - but I can honestly say that I love, love, LOVE it!
I've been using the serum every day for the past two and a half weeks - sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night (and sometimes both).  It gives such a beautiful glow to my skin, even underneath makeup.

If I choose to use it in the morning, I apply it onto clean, toned skin and then follow it with my normal daily moisturizer.  However, when I use it at night, I like to use it without a moisturizer and just give it a chance to soak in really well on its own.  I don't like to bombard my skin with too much product, so the serum on it's own over night is lovely.  My skin feels velvety soft in the morning and has that beautiful glow that vitamin C serums seem to leave behind.

As I've said many times, I really love using natural and organic products wherever possible, and I love the beautiful, healthy ingredients in the NAT. C serum - vitamin C of course, milk thistle oil and seabuckthorn extract.

The natural antioxidants work as an aging preventative, rather than a cure.  So I feel that it's a great option for someone in my age bracket (mid twenties-thirties). 

I absolutely love this product and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in trying out a natural serum.

If you'd like to learn more about the NAT. C serum, you can visit the NAT. website at http://www.natskinbody.com/ x

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A Little Bit Of Harrods Luxury

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Whenever I think of beautiful Harrods in London, I immediately think of its connections to the royal family - Princess Diana in particular.  I've never been there myself, but I've always imagined it to be a beautiful, luxurious place - a palace almost, the kind of place I could only ever dream of shopping in.

Recently, I discovered that Harrods have an online store and I've really enjoyed having a look through some of the beautiful designer brands they have in store.  I spent hours yesterday, browsing through the pages, imagining that I was walking through the store - of course in my imagination, I could also afford all of the stunning pieces I had my eye on!

Belstaff Aldersgate Moto Jacket
RRP: 1,599GBP
So, I've put together a little wish list to share with you today, so that you can join me on my imaginary Harrods shopping haul.

The first thing I came across that I loved, was this Belstaff Aldersgate moto jacket.  I love biker jackets and I just really like the style of this one.  I think it would look amazing with anything from jeans and boots, to a mini skirt and heels.  Love!

Just Cavalli Tunic Dress

The next thing I found that I really liked was this tunic dress by Just Cavalli.  I love long sleeved dresses, and the pattern on this one is amazing.  There's a lot going on and I think it would be really flattering.  The colours are beautiful.  I think it would also look great with the moto jacket!

Nicholas Kirkwood Lace Platform Pump

And my absolute favourite item of all - these Nicholas Kirkwood lace platform pumps!  How stunning are these shoes?  They're so beautiful and would go with any outfit.  I'm in love!

I hope you've enjoyed joining me on my little, virtual shopping trip to Harrods.  If you would like to check out any of the brands I've mentioned, I have linked them all above.

Please do comment and let me know what's on your wish list! x

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This post is a collaboration with Harrods
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Self Esteem - Would You Ever Consider Cosmetic Surgery?

Thursday 31 October 2013

A little while ago, I did a post about self esteem and insecurities.  I got such a lovely response to that post, that it really made me realise how common it is for young women to experience the same body image issues as I have (and do) myself.

I started to wonder what it was and at what point in my life it was, that I started to hate every part of myself.  I couldn't come up with an answer.

The truth is, my whole life I've been told that I'm pretty, beautiful, smart, lovely.  Apart from an old boyfriend who once told me I had “potential to be gorgeous, but wasn't quite there yet”, at no point has anyone ever told me that I'm fat, or ugly, or not good enough.  So why do I tell myself those things?  And why do I believe them so wholeheartedly?

I have often expressed to friends and family that if I had the money, I would without a doubt in my mind, become the next Heidi Montag.  I'd get every plastic surgery I could think of, to try and transform myself into something that I could perceive to be attractive.  When I say these things, in general I'm returned with “that's ridiculous”, or “don't be silly”, along with a laugh.  But what others don't realise, is how genuinely unhappy I am in my own skin.

This got me thinking about plastic surgery in general.  The fact that I feel this way - and so many of my readers have told me they also feel this way - made me think about how many girls must not only feel this same pain, but actually go through with what are, in many cases, unnecessary surgeries.

The most common non-surgical procedure to date is still Botox.  I have read about young women, some still in their teens, going for Botox treatments on a regular basis.  It made me wonder – would I be one of those women if I had the money to spare?  Yes, I most likely would be.

The most common surgical procedures include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and liposuction.  Would I consider any of these procedures for myself?  Absolutely, if money wasn't an issue.  Do I need them?  In other people's eyes, probably not.  But to me – definitely!

Dr Jeremy Hunt – a renowned plastic surgeon based in NSW, describes his goal as being “to bring out your natural beauty and make you feel and look your best”.  I wonder though, if I were to undergo any, or all of these procedures, would I really feel better about myself?  Or would I still find further things wrong with me?  In my case, the answer is probably the latter.  However, I do know of many women who have undergone cosmetic procedures, and have gone on to live a far more confident and happy life, than they would have had they never done so.  For that, I truly respect surgeons such as Dr Hunt, and what they can do for a woman's self esteem.

I am not in any way, trying to “sell” plastic surgery – in fact, to someone like myself, I would say the change that is needed, is absolutely on the inside.  When low self-esteem is more than skin deep, there is no amount of surgery that would ever be enough – I would place myself in that category.  But I do believe that for a person who genuinely needs, or wants to make a physical change for the right reasons, one of these procedures could be life changing!

I'd love to hear your opinions on this.  What do you think about cosmetic surgery?  Have you, or would you ever consider it for yourself?  As always, please do comment.  I would love to hear from you x
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This post is sponsored by Dr Jeremy Hunt
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Win a $30 Gift Certificate from Dressale.com

Tuesday 29 October 2013

I have a great giveaway to share with you all today courtesy of Dressale!  Two lucky people have the chance to win a $30 certificate to spend at www.dressale.com

Here's what you need to do to enter:
1. Register on Dressale: www.dressale.com
2. Like Dressale on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dressale

3. Follow Dressale on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dressale/
4. Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stephanierblog, Instagram: www.instagram.com/stephanierblog and follow my blog via GFC or Bloglovin
5. Leave a comment with your social media usernames below

The giveaway will end on November 28 and two winners will be announced.

Dressale.com is an online fashion clothing store providing a wide range of high quality custom-made wedding dresses, wedding party dresses, special occasion dresses, shoes and other women's clothing.   All kinds of styles are available to suit your needs. The prices are very reasonable and many discounts are available now.  For more details, please visit their website at www.dressale.com

Good luck everyone!
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Tag: What's on My iPhone?

Thursday 17 October 2013

I love reading tag posts and the 'What's on My iPhone?' tag is one of my favourites, so I decided to do it myself even though I haven't been tagged.  I also thought now would be a good time, since I'm toying with the idea of changing to a Galaxy sometime soon.  I have A LOT on my phone, so I won't go into detail about every single app, but I'll try to give you a good rundown on my favourites.  So here goes...
My wallpaper is almost always a photo of Marilyn Monroe (no surprises there).  At the moment I have the same photo for both wallpapers.
On the first page, I have mostly standard apps such as contacts and settings etc.  I think the only non-standard one is the Mailbox app for gmail.
On the second page, I have most of my social media apps - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Keek, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and YouTube.  I have a few reading apps - Goodreads is a great one for sharing book reviews and ideas with friends, and finding new books to read.  Then I have Viber, which I use to chat with friends for free.  And LivingSocial & Scoopon are coupon and discount apps.
On page three, I have Jump-in - an interactive tv guide app, IMDb and Flister for movies and tv.  I have a few shopping apps - Etsy, eBay, Strawberrynet and Gumtree AU.  I also keep my PayPal app with these.  I have the BeautyBites app, my banking apps, a radio app and ShopShop, which I love - I use it to keep my shopping lists so I always have them on me.  Then I have MyFitnessPal and Lorna Jane.
On page four, I have a few more fitness apps - the Fitbit app and Endomondo.  I have P Tracker (which is just for us girls).  Then I have some meditation apps - Move On, Social Phobia, Positivity, Don't Panic, Healing and Pain Relief.  I love these apps!  My fiancĂ© and I go to sleep listening to one of these, every night without fail.  I downloaded them when I was at my worst with anxiety and I have been using them ever since.  I also have a few games on this page.  I'm not a huge game person, but I have a few that I like - I'm addicted to Pet Rescue and Candy Crush!
Page five is mostly photo apps - I have quite a few of these photo editing apps and I use them for Instagram, Twitter and even blogging sometimes.  I also have the Taste app, which is awesome for recipes, and the Clean Eating Recipes app is also great.  Then of course I have my Bloglovin and Blogger apps.
On page six, I have a couple more photo apps.  I have the TFL Pro app, which is for saving hashtags - it's great for Twitter and Instagram.  I have a few standard apps on this page, and then I just have the link to Selz (it's not an app, just a shortcut) and the Delivery Hero app - a takeaway food ordering app here in Australia.
On the last page, I have yet another couple of photo editing apps.  I have the My Talking Pet app, which is hilarious.  It allows you to take a photo of your pet and then animate it and put a voice to it - I love this, I'm such a child!  Then I have WhatsApp, a weather app and Video Star.  I haven't actually tried that one out yet, but it looks like fun so I've kept it for a rainy day.
Well, that's it!  I hope you enjoyed this tag.  I'm tagging the following lovely ladies to do this tag also:
Taylor from www.taylorscollectionn.blogspot.co.uk (although I have a feeling she may have already done this one.  I think I remember reading it)

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Premium Spa with Organics Australia Ginger & Orange SOS Hand Cream Treatment

Tuesday 15 October 2013

I posted recently about the Premium Spa with Organics Coconut & Vanilla Body Butter.  I loved that cream so much, I decided to go back and try another Premium Spa product, since I was in the market for a new hand cream for the office.

I opted for the Ginger & Orange SOS Hand Cream Treatment.  There was no sample at the store, but I decided to take the risk since ginger and orange sounded like an interesting combination - and it definitely is!

The scent is not something I would usually go for, as it is quite strong and strong scents tend to trigger my headaches.  But that's really the only thing I don't love about this product.  The cream soaks in really well and leaves my hands feeling lovely and soft.  I work in an office, so my hands tend to get really dry from handling paper all day, so intensive creams like this are great for me.  I have also noticed that my cuticles are in much better condition after using this for a week or so.

I would absolutely recommend this if you're on the lookout for a new hand cream.  It has some beautiful, natural ingredients including Australian honey, aloe vera and jojoba oil.  It also contains sunscreen, which is great because our hands tend to be one of the first areas to show signs of aging.  The only thing I would change about it is the scent, but that's purely because it's a little strong for me personally - if it smelled the same as  the coconut & vanilla cream, it would be perfect!

I'd love to hear from you if you decide to give it a try, so please do comment and let me know as always x

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Tag: I Heart Fall

Monday 14 October 2013

I was tagged by the lovely Taylor, from Taylors Collection to do the I Heart Fall tag.  Even though here in Australia it's currently Spring, I accepted so here it is:-

1) Favorite fall lip color?
I’m still obsessed with my Chi Chi lipstick in Hot Stuff, so I’ll go with that one.

2) Favorite fall nail color?
Poppy by Revlon, or maybe Black Satin by BYS.

3) Favorite starbucks fall drink?
I have to admit, I’ve never been to Starbucks!  We do have it here in Australia, but it’s not as popular here as it is in the US.

4) Favorite fall candle?
Black Cherry by Yankee Candles, or Tahaa by Glasshouse.

5) Favorite fall sweater/accessory?
Anything loose and comfy with a nice scarf.

6) Haunted house, hay ride, or corn maze?
Hay ride.

7) Favorite Halloween movie?
Maybe the Saw series?

8) Favorite candy to eat on Halloween?
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups all year round!

9) What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
Halloween isn’t really huge in Australia yet.  It’s only really been acknowledged here for a few years now, and it’s mostly only young kids who participate.  Last year we had maybe 2 lots of trick-or-treaters knock on our door, so it’s not really the done thing here and I won’t be dressing up.

10) What is your favourite thing about fall?
Bringing out the darker shades in lipstick and nail polish.  The beautiful leaves everywhere and the chill in the air as winter approaches. 

Thanks for tagging me, Taylor!

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