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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  This double braided messy bun is gorgeous!  //
\\  I made this baked gnocchi the other night and it was delish.  //
\\  This spinach artichoke and feta breakfast bake would go down a treat right about now.  //
\\  Speaking of breakfast, I could deal with this open-faced omelette too.  //
\\  How do coconut mango popsicles sound right about now? Too good for Summer. That's how.  //
\\  This hologram nail art DIY, though. Perfect for New Years Eve.  //

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Highlights and Hopes for 2016.

First off.. Hi there! It’s been a week, and Christmas just kind of happened. Now I sit here, about 50kg heavier, and 50x more relaxed, and I spy 2016 around the corner.. I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of flipping out about how fast everything seemed to happen.. Twenty Fifteen has been an up and down kind of year for me to say the least, but I like to focus on the good, especially around this time of year, ringing in the new year on a positive note. So, I've lazily combined compiled a list of my proudest moments and accomplishments from 2015, and what I wish to achieve in 2016:

Jesse and I travelled to a few beautiful places around Australia this year including Dongara, Margaret River, and Busselton. Getting away, just the two of us, and taking the time to relax together was wonderful. It did a world of good to our stress levels and a world of good to our relationship.

I'd definitely like to get away a couple of times in 2016, maybe even travel interstate.. If I can be convinced to get on a plane. Maybe.

My most recent and probably my proudest achievement was beginning studyIt's been super exciting to finally get on the right track and starting to work towards my dream job. Let me just say, I have a whole new level of respect for those studying - especially those who are also working full-time on top of that. I already miss simpler times when I didn't have to incorporate study time in to my life BUT I am determined not to get behind or slack off, because the end result will be more than worth the effort.

I'm going to put a lot of effort in to this course over the next year. I plan on creating a proper study schedule and sticking to it, ensuring I submit my assessments well before the deadlines. Maybe get myself a proper desk, too.

My blog has really blossomed over 2015 and I feel I've done nothing but improve. I have a gorgeous bunch of followers and have met some pretty rad people through this little online community of ours - I even attended a friggin' bloggers meet, something I'd never thought I'd do when I begun this little blog o' mine. I'm proud to have managed to post at least twice a week all throughout the busy year, and collaborating with the wonderful people and brands that I did made me so happy. But communicating with my readers is what made me the happiest. The fact that such a lovely bunch of people want and take the time out of their day to read my ramblings warms my heart. All of the love, support, kind words, advice, and well wishes I have received from you guys has made me the most glad I begun Christie's take on Life. Thank you all! x

I hope to improve my writing skills and overall blog content next year, sticking to publishing 2-3 times each week. But most importantly, I'd like to meet and connect more with fellow bloggers, expanding my readership somewhat and getting to know some new, likeminded people. Because to me, blogging without community just wouldn't be blogging.

Health and Fitness
About mid-way through the year, I started taking my fitness seriously, getting myself a gym membership and actually using it. I've also been more conscious of the types of food I'm eating (though I admit I have lapsed somewhat of late but it's Christmas so I'm not even mad). I've noticed such a difference in my overall fitness level but the improvement to my endurance and strength has really surprised me, as well as the fact that my general attitude towards exercise has changed completely. That's right, I'm going on record.. I, Christie Brown, like to exercise. I feel great on the inside and my body is shaping up nicely on the outside.

I'd definitely like to keep up the routine all throughout 2016, sticking to my set gym days. I'm determined to show better self-control when it comes to junky foods and monitor what I eat a bit more strictly. Hopefully, I can get down to my goal weight come June.

I wish you all a happy and safe new year. Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  I must with this bottle opener DIY. Must!  //
\\  Look at this mini sprinkle smash cake! LOOK AT IT!  //
\\  This fishtail bun is everything for Summer. Everything.  //
\\  How does an eggnog martini tickle your fancy this festive season?  //
\\  Still have pumpkin pie left over from Thanksgiving? Never fear! This frappe is here!  //
\\  How delicious does butternut squash and spinach lasagne sound to you right now?  //

Happy Friday, and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Baileys Eggnog Recipe

Eggnog. The holidays just aren't the holidays without it. Everybody has their own variation, and I thought I'd share my own version of the Christmas classic with you today, because I think it's pretty damn special. Why you ask? Well because of my secret ingredient, of course.

Before we run off to wacky ingredient land, which I instantly travel to when I see the words "secret ingredient", I must warn you that it's not something out-there like Kiwano melon or eye of newt.. No, my recipe calls for something a little less wacky than strange, horned fruit and newt eyes.. My recipe calls for a lashing of Baileys. Smooth, creamy, Baileys.

Sure. Rum is fun and bourbon is... urban? But Baileys.. Oh boy! Baileys gives the eggnog a whole different dimension of flavour and next level creaminess that I just can't seem to beat.

Baileys Eggnog Recipe

Serves 4
(or 1 Christie)

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cinnamon sticks*
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split and seeds removed*
  • 1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 5 eggs, separated - Cover the whites and refrigerate until needed
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream
* Sometimes, I'm not fancy enough to have cinnamon sticks and vanilla pods laying around the house. In this case, ground cinnamon (roughly 3 teaspoons) and vanilla essence (5 teaspoons) works a treat.

  • In a saucepan, combine your milk, cream, cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon), vanilla pod and seeds (or vanilla essence), and nutmeg. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl or mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick. Strain the steeped saucepan mixture and slowly whisk the slightly cooled milk in to the egg yolk mix, continuing to stir until it is smooth and combined. Add the Baileys, and stir. I like to add a little extra ground cinnamon and a splash more vanilla essence here, because I like to party. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Before serving, beat the put-aside egg whites in your mixer until soft meringue peaks form. Strain your eggnog mixture one more time before gently folding in the egg whites until combined and fluffy. Serve and garnish with nutmeg.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my lovely readers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  How cute are these cinnamon tree decorations?  //
\\  This roasted butternut squash spinach dip may not look pretty, but damn is it delicious.  //
\\  I may just have to give this painted Christmas lights DIY a go.  //
\\  So.. gingerbread people jell-o shots. Yeah. That happened.  //
\\  Breakfast pizza because I'm always down for pizza for breakfast.  //
\\  I have just purchased this very shirt. Money well spent!  //

Happy Friday, kids!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Month on Instagram - November.

If you've been following Christie's Take on Life for any amount of time, you'd surely know by now that I'm a major lover of Instagram! It's the perfect outlet for posting inspiration and little snippets of life, and seeing what my favourite bloggers and friends are up to.

There are so many times that my Instagram posts never make it to my blog, and that's a damn shame because I consider myself to be quite the photographer..
..Not really, but it's a shame nonetheless.

Instalife the past month looked something like this:

As much as I love Summer, the fact that I can't wear this outfit for a few months is pretty saddening.

My hair hasn't seen a style more complex than an occasional ponytail, so I was quite proud to rock a sock bun that one time.

Clearly I had an adventurous hair month. Okay, an adventurous hair two days. Same diff.

I took Jesse to Perth's rooftop cinema for one of our date nights.
'The Intern', guys. Get amongst it.

Watching free fireworks is always a good way to spend your night.

I love finding new bloggers on Instagram; leave your account deets in the comments!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

On Chasing Your Dreams.

If you're a clever little cookie (or just not completely oblivious when uber obvious hints are thrown at your face), you'd have noticed my not-so subtle dropping of hints about an announcement all over the place, and I suppose I should let you in on why I've been all kinds of excited as of late:

Last week, I got a call from Ivy College, requesting I take part in their Event Management course upon a recommendation. At first, I thought it was some sort of scam. See, this is not an institute that contacts you, this is not an institute that often listens to recommendations, and this is not an institute that I'd even thought I'd be a part of. Yet here I am, pinching myself because the first step towards becoming an event planner is finally happening, and boy is it happening fast.
Since watching The Hills as my twelve year old self (you may judge accordingly), I've been excited by the prospect of even planning, and over the years I've grown more and more passionate about creating beautiful experiences not just for myself, but for others, too. 

The thing that has always stopped me from fully following my dream.. is fear. Fear of failure.
A career in events means so much to me that it scared me. Getting a mediocre job was easy and achievable, there was no way I could fail. Whereas studying, training, chasing my dream job.. it's hard. It was easier to back away from it all, because that way I can't fail.

But in a way, I have failed. I've failed myself. Because I made a promise that I would pursue my dreams no matter what they may be. Am I content with my 9-5 desk job? Sure, but it's not a place that gives me ample opportunity to live my life and be exactly who I want to be. It's not my passion, and I'm not sure I can ever be truly happy if I'm not chasing my passion. Sure, I can search for happiness elsewhere, but I doubt I'd find the equivalent feeling to working towards, and achieving my lifelong goal. I can say with 100% certainty that then, I will know true happiness, pride, self-worth..

Because your dreams are what can get you through even the worst days. Your reason to keep going. They are why you wake up in the morning and try again. That little ray that keeps you going and helps you get back up every time you fall. They are what make your life worth living.

I've got the world at my feet – we all do.. we just have to stop making excuses, dig a little deeper, and show a little determination. This is an amazing and rare opportunity to reach my full potential and I'm going to make the most of it. Besides, I didn't sit through a needle prodding torture session to get my "Hope" tattoo for nothing. Right?

Over the next year, I will work my ass off at developing and improving my skills and knowledge. I am the creator of my own destiny and it's time that I take a stand for what I want out of life. To start fighting for my dreams. To make what I desire a reality and wake up every morning with a smile because I'm doing what I love.

Life is short. Why spend it doing something you're not passionate about?
Create a life you don't need to escape.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\ Look! DIY peppermint candy balloons!  //
\\  How adorable are these homemade heart-shaped sugar cubes?!  //
\\  Why did I not think of chocolate coffee stirring spoons myself?!  //
\\  I could deal with hanging this mini disco ball wreath on everything. Everything.  //
\\  Guys, potato kugel is basically a giant, crispy edge-d, soft inside-d hash brown cake. Dead.  //
\\  I'm not normally one for ornament-y anything, but these scrabble ornaments are life.  //

Happy Friday, kids!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My (Belated) Priceline 40% Off Cosmetics Haul - The Joys of Online Shopping.

If you guys were unaware, Priceline had their famous 40% off cosmetics sale a few weeks back and I, being the lazy SOB that I am, went shopping for some goodies online - hence the 645616558 year long delay. So, while you-all were posting pretty pictures of your treasure troves, I was sitting here twiddling my thumbs and crying. Always crying.

On to the goodies: Despite buying a few full-priced items, I still got a lot of bang for my buck and managed to pick up a few things I've been wanting to try for ages:

Physiogel Calming Relief Lotion
I've raved about this bottle of bliss his ninety zillion times on the ol' blogarooso I won't waste your time by repeating myself a ninety one zillionth timeBeing specially formulated for dry, sensitive skin, this baby is heaven on my parched skin and is the only thing I've found that completely gets rid of that horrid eczema itch as well as moisturises.
As I have about 15182158 tubes of half-used mascara, I really shouldn't have bought this, but I've heard nothing but positive things about this one (better than Benefit?! Wut) I just couldn't resist. I'm yet to find a mascara I completely love - hopefully this is the one for me.

I love matte lipsticks and Kate Moss' Rimmel range has been raved about for the longest time, I'm surprised it took me this long to see for myself. I picked up the bright, fire engine red shade which I absolutely adore! The wear-time is pretty damn good, and it smells amazing too!

Another frequently raved about product of time (most recently here).. All I can say is: this baby is and always will be a hair care favourite of mine. It completely restores my dry, frizzy hair to a softer and healthier state so stop whatever you're doing and get yo'self a tub.

My hair gets disgustingly knotted as soon as a drop of water touches it, and brushing that shit out with my regular brushes has honestly been doing more damage than good. To a stinge like me, spending $30 on a hairbrush seems ridiculous, but after reading nothing but rave reviews I decided it was justified and splurged a little.. Side note: It's a sad day when you realise that $30 is a splurge in your books.

Models Prefer Cream Highlighter and Contour Sticks
Feel free to welcome my very late arrival to the highlight and contour party..
I've been making do with bronzer powder and Fit Me concealer and the effects leave more to be desired. These sticks were super cheap and are incredibly smooth and creamy, making them so easy to use - the perfect novice's tools.

In all honesty, I this was only really added this to my cart to get the free shipping after $100, but I'm glad I did. I love the cream formula and the shade I selected is pretty universal - meaning it just works with so many different colours and looks.

I think I got a decent little haul here, and I'm happy with the way everything I bought performs, which is actually quite rare for me.

What products did you pick up during the sale?

Monday, December 7, 2015

November Beauty Favourites.

One: Pureology Colour Fanatic 21 in 1 Hair Beautifier
This was yet another gem from my Bloggers United goody bag that I've not put down since discovering it's awesome power. I mean, 21 for the price of 1?! My inner stinge just cannot resist! Though I don't colour my hair, and this is what this baby is designed for, I've been spritzing it through my damp locks every night, and it's done a world of difference to the frizzy, dry blob that resides atop my head. The multitude of benefits range from priming (conditioning detangling), to protection (split end treatment, repair), to perfecting (anti-frizz, smoothing, softening) and so much more. It's light, smells pleasant and works wonderfully on both dry and wet hair. Basically, stop whatever you're doing right now and pick yourself up a bottle. kthx.

Two: Nude by Nature Pressed Mineral Cover in 'Medium'
I received a sample compact of this stuff in my September Bellabox, and I've been reaching for it over Rimmel's Stay Matte of late, and we all know how I feel about that little gem. It applies almost creamy (creamy powder? Sure. Let's go with sure), and gives the skin a flawless, matte finish with a hint of colour that lasts throughout the day. It has enough coverage that I don't need to apply foundation if I'm going for a light, daytime look. Just a little concealer, a wipe of this all over my face and I'm good to go.

Three: Chi Chi Brow Pomade in 'Blonde'
 I have stuck to pencils throughout my brow shaping years, nervous to explore cream products because I'm unco.. and I hate dark, sharpie brows. Cringe. Although I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave this a whirl, I'm annoyed that it took me so damn long to jump on the cream bandwagon. This supposed dupe for The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow is very pigmented and applies incredibly smoothly, lasting all day without smudging, fading, or drying. I still do use a pencil for the outline, but filling my brows in with this stuff has really changed the overall effect to a more defined, smooth look.

Another Blogger meet goody.. This has truly been a savour to my parched lips lately. Just smoothing on a coat at night ensures I wake up with soft, flake free, hydrated lips. It's a thick formula, meaning it stays on working it's magic for hours - even if I'm tossing and turning in bed like a death rolling crocodile #Straya.
I've been using this eye liner for years now. Literally longer than I can remember. I've tried so many others, and this is what I keep coming back to. It doesn't glide on as smoothly as smudgeable formulas (obviously) but if you're looking for solid lines that stay put all. damn. day - this is your liner. It's waterproof, smudge proof, retractable (goodbye, sharpening), and bold..what more could you want?

What beauty bits are you loving lately?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Finds

Here are a handful of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

I'm in vegetarian heaven with this spinach-y, cashew-y sweet potato noodles recipe right now.
\\  How pretty are these watercolour pillows Such a lovely Summertime DIY.  //
\\  Yes to this cheers light box DIY - how festive.  //
\\  So, here's an ice cream pie with sugar cookie crust.. Dead.  //
\\  This lazy girl's chignon tutorial is everything. Why bother styling all your hair when you can get away only doing with half?  //
\\  FRIENDS! Let's make hash brown cups and fill them with things!  //

Happy Friday, kids.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November Look Back & December Goals.

A look back at November's goals:

Lose 3kg
"This is pretty much going to be a continuous goal for basically my whole life.."
Cross: Womp womp. My very first month of not losing as much as I'd have liked. A loss is a loss, and considering the way I ate last month, I'm still happy.

Have my Christmas shopping done my mid November
"I'm not going to lie, I usually leave my Christmas shopping pretty last minute.. I haven't begun thinking of what I'm going to get everyone, but this year I want to have it all done before December arrives."
Cross: Once again, I've left my Christmas shopping until December..

Fix my older Instagram hashtags
"I was looking back at my older Instagram posts the other day and was disgusted by my amateur attempt at hashtags. I want to go through and add better hashtags to my posts and even delete the shitty photos."
Cross: As it turns out, I didn't even look at my Instagram feed this month. Whoops.

Eat healthier
"I nailed my eat 'healthier goal' for two months straight but I've somewhat lapsed back in to old habits over the past month or so. I'm determined to cut out the crappy snacks that have snuck their way back in to my diet."
Cross: This kind of goes hand in hand with the whole lose 3kg thing.. It's not going to get any better over December, either. WHY IS FOOD SO DELICIOUS?!

Plan 3x date nights
"Jesse and I have made Wednesdays after work our compulsory date night. Rather than the usual leave it to last minute to make a plan option, I'd like to spend the time thinking of cute date ideas and surprising him with what I've planned out three out of four weeks this month."
Tick: Hey look! A friggin' tick amidst this sea of fails.

December's goals:

Try my very best not to eat like shit through the whole of my Christmas break
I've been doing so well with this weight loss thing, it'd be true Christie fashion to undo all my hard work in the space of a few days. I am permitted to eat like a pig on Christmas Day, because that's how we do, but I'm determined not to make it a month-long junk food saga as per usual.

Lose 1kg
As I doubt I'll be able to lose the usual 3kg over the silly season, I'd be happy with a 1kg loss this month.. Hell, I'd be happy as long as I don't put on weight this month.

Plan a New Year's Eve celebration
I've had a terrible New Years Eve every. single. year of my life. BUT NOT THIS YEAR, DAMN IT! I want to have my night planned before December 20 to avoid shitty, rushed, last minute misadventures.

Concentrate on my event planning dreams
I'm going to make 2016 the year I focus on pursing my event planning and management dreams, which means December is the month to study, study, study! I have an exciting announcement relating to said dreams, but I'll leave that for another time. ;)

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