Are Your Old Makeup Habits Making You Look Older?

make up tips for aging skin



How To Pack Light For Your Next Trip!

how to pack light for your next trip

Holidays are just around the corner and is so exciting to head off and leave routine and alarm clocks behind. One thing that can be very stressful is trying to decide what to wear whilst you are away as baggage restrictions will not let you take your whole wardrobe with you unfortunately. After spending 13 years as a corporate travel consultant I have learnt a few tricks about how to make a mini mobile wardrobe work hard so you can look stylish everyday!

Last weekend was an extra long one for me, in 5 days I had 3 hours of train travel to get from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast for a wedding, a flight from Maroochydore to Sydney, two different hotels in two nights and a flight home to Brisbane. I had to lug my suitcase everywhere myself so I was determined to make my smallest suitcase work so that I did not exceed the 15 kg weight limit nor break my back lifting and pulling it around the country!


Work out what your favourite colours are and pick one or two to work with as a base. Ideally you want 2 or 3 tops that can be paired with one pair of pants, shorts or a skirt. I chose black and white as my base, as this classic combination always looks fresh and classy.

vivid international clothing

(Both tops and sheer black cardigan are from Vivid International and white cami from Big W.)

Consider pants with elastic waist bands as they are much more comfortable if your travel requires a lot of sitting and you don’t need to pack belts.

Don’t forget leggings for supreme comfort. They are light weight and can be worn under long pants if you are heading somewhere cold.

Select drip dry fabrics that can be quickly hand washed at night and hung up in the shower to dry ready for another wear.

Use jewellery to add pops of colour or to glam up at night.

Don’t pack shoes that are not super comfy or cannot be worn with multiple outfits as they take up too much space and are quite heavy.

Limit yourself to one cardigan or jacket in a neutral colour that will go with everything.


Roll each outfit into a tight sausage shape and wrap in cling wrap. This will not only keep clothes fresh, but you will not have to iron them.

Buy mini size toiletries or decant your favourites into small travel bottles.

Stuff socks into shoes to help them hold their shape.

Pack a small snap lock bag of washing powder for hand washing clothes mid trip.

Pack underwear into snap lock bags with the air expelled. Worn items can be put back into the bags until you get a chance to wash them.

Use a pretty cosmetic bag for your make-up that can double as an evening bag if needed.

Take medication out of the boxes and put the sheets into a small pouch.


Vivid International fashion

(Top from Vivid International and pants from W.Lane)

I was gifted a selection of the Spring/Summer range from Vivid International for editorial consideration. Each piece has been so comfortable to wear and they travelled beautifully. I am wearing size 16 and they are a generous fit. There are over 350 boutiques in Australia and New Zealand and you can find your closest one here.

What is your favourite packing tip?

Are you heading away for the holidays this year?

Sharing for #IBOT with Kylie


You Are Never Too Old To Try Something New!

Physie begginer ladies

For the past decade I have been your typical dance mum, ferrying my girls to Physie classes, waiting around during class time and getting home quite late and having dinner planned that was quick and easy.

As the competition time of the year arrived, I donned the red, white and black club colours and sat all day at a school hall bored out of my mind for most of it.

A couple of times I entertained the thought of actually doing Physie myself, but always came up with a myriad of excuses….I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, I am too old to start something new like this….etc.

At the end of the year break-up party last year, one of the mums said ‘we should be doing this too’.

She sewed the seed that stuck with me all Christmas break and on sign-up day, I put my name on the list.

OMG….what have I done?????

How can a 51 year old start something new like this?

BJP Physical Culture has classes from Tiny Tots all the way through to Beginner Ladies, so no matter what your age, you can join in.

At our club ladies classes are on Monday night, the one day of the week I usually work for about 10 hours on my feed all day and come home totally exhausted. Dragging myself to class has been difficult some weeks and my brain has felt like mush so learning the work has not been the easiest thing I have ever done.

BUT I have stuck with it, stretching and practicing the syllabus at home and finally last Saturday the first competition of the year arrived.

This required me to –

Make sure my  hair colour was done to cover the regrowth.

Exfoliate from top to toe.

Apply 3 coats of tan for a golden glow.

Redo my gel nails as bright red with gold glitter is not a good choice as it draws attention to your hands, so pastel pink with a hint of sparkle did the trick.

Pack a days worth of food.

Make sure I had my water bottle and energy drink chilling in the fridge.

Find all my red and white gear and pack a bag with thongs and active wear.

Go to sleep acknowledging the fact that I would have to display my far from perfect body in only a leotard and fishnet stockings in front of a packed school hall the next day.

And there is more..

physie hair

My hair had to be teased beyond recognition as I have such fine hair but it needed to look as though I did.

Physie hair poof and bun

At least I look as though I actually have a decent amount of hair.

Miss WW applied enough makeup to last through the day and beyond.

Waiting though more than half the day until it was my turn to be marshalled with all the other beginner ladies and trying to keep the nerves in check.

But miracles do happen, I actually managed to get through all the work without making a mistake and was rewarded with –


2nd Place……..hell yeah!!!!!

The tears pouring down my daughters face with joy as I left the floor was worth more than anything!

The next competition is next week, guess I will be doing it all over again.

If there is something you would love to do, but you keep stopping yourself because you think you are to old, just do it!

What would you love to do?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some

How To Pick The Perfect Lipstick Every Time!

How to stop wasting money on lipsticks that dont suit you

Buying a new lipstick is a bit like playing the lottery. You win some, and you lose some most of the time!

Every change of season, the latest shades are released and I will often race out to buy them.

I now have a overflowing graveyard of lipsticks that look gorgeous until I actually put them on.

More money wasted and the same safe shades keep getting worn over and over again.

Apart from buying cosmetics in the supermarket (which I often do, especially when they are half price) when you go instore there are samples to try, but I don’t know about you, there is no way I am putting that on my lips.

Who knows who or what has touched it!

Determined to reduce waste and find shades that work for me I have been doing a little research and have discovered some interesting tips that will help you avoid buying colours that just don’t work for you.



Whilst many of us would love to be able to rock a bold red lip, it really is not for everyone.

For the most flattering shade, use your natural lip colour as a guide.

Choose a shade just slightly darker than your lips.

If you have pale lips a beige or pale pink is going to look best on you.

If you have medium lips try a deeper brown or a bright pink.

If your lips are quite dark lean towards a chocolate, rich plum or red.


Lipstick comes in different formulas that can have an impact on the final look.

The condition of your lips will play a major roll in how each formula will perform.

Matte lipstick is right on trend at the moment, and can look bold and beautiful. BUT if your lips are dry and flaky the colour will settle in each crack and line and they will look more obvious. These types of lipsticks contain very few emollients and could even make your lips feel more uncomfortable.

Gloss lipsticks are the perfect choice for dry lips and any product labelled as ‘moisturising’ will help your lips to feel softer and even a little plumper and will be much more comfortable to wear.

Long Lasting lipsticks will stay on for hours and will survive a glass of wine or three, but they work very similarly to matte products and will have a drying effect. Add a clear gloss on top and this will help your lips look and feel better.

Shimmer lipsticks have a glittery finish and light-reflecting properties and are probably best left to the young ones when they are heading out for night of glam and fun. On older ladies they can look old fashioned and aging.


When you exfoliate your face (which of course you do every week…ahem), apply the product to your lips as well to get rid of dead skin cells.

Not only will your lips look smoother, it will also create a better base for your lip product and will increase its staying power.

What is your go-to lipstick?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess

Drug Free Kitchen Cures For Common Ailments!

There are lots of wonderful foods that can do the job of everyday medicines to help alleviate the symptoms of many common health issues.

Many of these you will probably have in your kitchen already, or they are very easy to obtain next time you go shopping.

Regular consumption can work as powerful preventative medicine and if symptoms do persist please visit your GP.

Kitchen cures for modern ailments

BLOATING – A bloated belly is uncomfortable and unsightly, try a cup of fresh pineapple each day. Fresh Pineapple contains powerful digestive enzymes that can help to ease a bloated belly. If you can handle eating the core instead of throwing that part out, it is where powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain is stored and is very helpful to reduce inflammation anywhere in your body.

COLD SORES/MOUTH ULCERS – Raw honey that has not been pasteurised can be dabbed on cold sores and will help them to heal faster.

INDIGESTION/NAUSEA – Fresh ginger has an antispasmodic effect on upset tummies. Thinly slice one tablespoon and place in a cup of hot water and allow to steep for 20 minutes before removing and then sipping the tea.

HANGOVERS – After a big night out, it is common to grab for something greasy if you can stomach anything at all. Ice cold chocolate milk was my favourite back in the day. A much better choice is a banana. Loaded with potassium, it will help you feel better much faster than a meat pie or burger.

HEARTBURN – A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup of warm water and sipped when required will help ease the discomfort of indigestion caused from eating in excess.

HOT FLUSHES – Sage tea could become your best friend if hot flushes are a common occurrence in your life. With a mild oestrogenic effect, sage tea will help to balance your hormone levels that when increased trigger flushes. Reducing caffeine intake will also help as it stimulates the release of cortisol that adds to the hormone imbalance so common during menopause.

MUSCLE ACHE – Drinking lots of water after exercise not only helps to rehydrate you, it will also flush out pain triggering histamines that are released from overworked muscles.

SORE THROAT – When your throat feels like it has been attacked by razor blades try this tea to help soothe and heal. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 clove bud and 2 teaspoons honey steeped in 2 cups of boiling water. Strain and drink when it has cooled down to a safe temperature.

SUNBURN – Rubbing slices of fresh tomato over sunburnt skin will help take the pain away. Soaking in oatmeal bath will also help settle the sting. Simply add 1 cup of oats into a sock and tie off with a rubber band. Place the sock into a bath tub and run a just warm bath. Soak for 15 minutes and after you have dried off, if you have an aloe vera plant in your garden, grab a stem cut it open and squeeze out the gel and apply to affected areas.

TOOTHACHE – I’ve been telling people this ever since my Dentist in Newington CT told me about it, chewing very gently on a clove bud will release a natural anesthetic that will reduce the pain and inflammation and bring some relief if you can’t get to the dentist straight away.

URINARY TRACT INFECTION – At the first sign of a UTI grab a cup of blueberries. Fresh or frozen work and they will help kill off the trouble making bacteria. You can also try a drink of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one cup of water as this will help to alkalize the bladder which does not allow the bacteria to multiply.

Try one of these effective remedies rather than just reaching for a painkiller as they will help your body to heal and repair rather than just mask the symptoms.

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess


When The Dance Mum Decides To Dance!

Physie dance

Like most mums, I have spent years and years chauffeuring my girls from after school activity to another.

They tried gymnastics, karate, jazz, cheer leading, yoga and goodness knows what else.

Nine years ago, a friend of Miss WW said she was going to do ‘Physie’ and she thought she might enjoy it too.

So off we went to another Tuesday and Wednesday night activity.

The only difference is that this one stuck.

Physie is an Australian only dance club that has been going for over 125 years.

We had never heard of this before and little did we know it would take over a big portion of our life.

Classes two nights a week, club competitions, inter club competitions, state finals, national qualifying in Sydney and nationals…at the Opera House, not for me but Miss WW’s finals are in the big white house.

Yep, the life of a physie mum is hard work.

There is tanning, hair pieces, make up, leotards and fishnets.

BUT there is one thing that sets Physie apart from other dance sports.

Ladies of all ages can participate.

Yes, there is a beginner ladies section that dance mums of any age can join.

This 51 year old dance mum is going to actually take to the floor too!

OMG, I must be nuts.

For the last few years I have said I would join, but came up with every excuse under the sun to not start.

Sign-on is on Tuesday night and I am going to sign on the dotted line and start.

Exercising on my own is usually a short lived affair, a group arrangement will make me get up off my butt and go to class.

I will have to wear a leotard.

I will have to tan.

I will have to get a hair piece.

I will have to stretch.

I will have to wear horribly uncomfortable fishnets.

At least you only need all this ‘fun’ stuff for competition time.

Then there is which leotard style to pick and what colour, oh boy!

Right now though, I am off to research super spectacular cellulite treatments, as the dimples need toning down stat!

Have you ever taken up a sport your child participates in?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially

Opallac Gel Polish Kit Review

Beautifully polished nails are my thing!

I have been blessed with nails that grow quickly and are nice and strong.

 Once a week I diligently paint them but have never actually gone and had my nails professionally done, even though I have admired the lovely finish you get from gel polish.

Keeping them polished is a priority for me as my day job is very unkind to nails and if I have them bare, they break way too easily.

My very clever girls found the perfect Christmas present for me this year…..the Opallac Gel Polish Kit.

Gel nails at home with Opallac

Everything you need to have gorgeous gel nails in one kit!

For around the same price as two visits to the nail salon, you can do it yourself for months!

In the kit you receive –

1 x Opallac LED nail lamp

1 x Gel Base Coat

3 x  Gel Colours (a pale pink, a hot pin and a red)

1 x Gel Top Coat

1 x 2-in-1 Shine & Soak Solution

1 x 30pk Remover Wraps

1 x Nail File

1 x Buffing Block

1 x Full colour, step-by-step Instruction Guide.


I pre-read the instructions carefully and got a few tips from a friend of mine who used to be a beauty therapist.

The golden rule seems to be, use THIN coats for each layer, which goes against how I usually apply polish as I like it to look thick and glossy.

I did do as I was told and within 15 minutes I had the most beautiful nails that I could do anything with, no smudges, streaks or mess-ups!

They did look absolutely fabulous.

Will they stay looking good or like most normal polishes only great for a day or two?

Fabulous gel nails at home

10 days later and they are still shiny, glossy, chip free and zero wear on the tips, winning!

I always like to add glitter to my ring fingers, and as the kit did not come with glitter polish I took the chance and just painted one of my polishes onto the nail after the process was finished. It adhered perfectly and is holding out just as well as the gel.

Opallac nail polish colours

I will definitely be expanding my colour collection and including some of the great glitter options that are available.

This kit is certainly one of the best pressies I have ever received and works exactly as promised.

You can shop online (Aussie company) or call into Priceline to purchase these products.

Was definitely feeling a little sad when I thought about all the lovely nail polishes I have in my collection, but I was advised to not use the gel system on my toes, so will keep using normal polish on my tootsies and keep the gel for my fingers.

Do you do gel nails?

Sharing for #IBOT at Essentially

One Small Word – 2016

As the New Year approaches, spend any time on the internet and you will probably see a barrage of posts about ‘One Word’.

In case you don’t know what this is all about, quite simply you pick a single word as a point of focus for the year ahead.

I have played along with this for the last couple of years, but like many things you start off all hyped about a New Year and then you fall back into the same old habits by about the 15th of January…..if you even make it that far.

I am tired of playing the same old game, year in, year out.

As the saying goes “Nothing changes unless you do”.

I am long overdue for change, I don’t want another year like I just had.

I don’t want another year of not feeling good, of being my own worst enemy, of allowing the negative committee to have control in my brain, of feeling stuck, of procrastinating over everything for so long because I am such a perfectionist.

I want change.

I want things to be different.

I do not want to get to New Years Eve at the end of this year and feel as though I have achieved practically nothing.

So I thought long and hard about one word that I could focus on, that I could use when I had to make choices and that could help steer me in a better feeling direction.

I got one!

Nourish vision board

I have made myself a mini vision board that now stares at me every time I sit at my desk.


Reminds me to make better food choices and eat less sugar.

Reminds to drink more water.

Reminds me to take my vitamins everyday.

Reminds me to make time for what I love doing without feeling guilty.

Reminds me to focus on what will be best for me.

Reminds me to take some big deep breaths, often.

Reminds me to drink champagne regularly. 🙂

Reminds me to make time to actually sit and enjoy my coffee, instead of practically inhaling it whilst planning what to do next.

Reminds me to make time to catch up on the pile of books I want to read.

Reminds me to make time for fun.

Reminds me to spend more time at the beach (my happy place).

Just one word, encompasses everything I need to do to feel good in mind, body & spirit.

Have you got ‘One Word’ to guide you through 2016?

Helping Your Teen to Look and Feel Their Best


This post is in collaboration with Health Insurance Comparison.

The teenage years can be a minefield when it come to confidence and many young girls in particular can get very down on themselves. Things like braces, glasses and their weight can all make teens feel unattractive but there are things that you can do to help them to feel better about the situation. Here’s how you can encourage your teen to feel more confident about their looks.

A Healthy Smile

Many teens are recommended to have braces to correct crooked or misaligned teeth and issues with the jaw but it can an unwelcome prospect for many young people. Contrary to what they may assume, braces have come a long way in recent years and the dreaded “train track” type has been sidelined in favour of more discreet options that are much less obvious. It can also help to focus on the long term benefits of orthodontic treatment; namely, that your teen will have a beautiful and healthy smile once it is over.

If you’re worried about the costs of braces, having Extras health insurance with Orthodontics benefits can help. You’ll need at least mid Extras cover for this and depending on the health fund, top level cover may be needed. Bear in mind that there is a 12 month waiting period attached to Orthodontics cover so it’s not something that you can just buy if it will be needed by your teen next week and you’ll need to think about it quite a while beforehand to avoid being caught out.

Coming to Terms With Needing Glasses

Needing glasses can make teens feel self conscious but as with braces, this doesn’t need to be the case. There are lots of trendy frames available now and to some degree, glasses can actually act as a “cool” fashion accessory. If your teen can recognise this, it can change their entire outlook on wearing glasses and they may actually come to embrace them. You may even be able to get them to buy into the idea that a trendy pair of glasses with change their look for the better. Thankfully my youngest has embraced wearing glasses with gusto and they do look fabulous on her!

Developing Good Eating Habits

We all know the thought behind the saying “you are what you eat” and this can be shaped early on in life. The eating habits that your teen develops while they are still young can have a big impact on their eating patterns as an adult. At the most extreme, this can include eating disorders and obesity. If you’re worried that your teen’s eating habits aren’t healthy, you may want to consult a dietician to get them on the right track. This is available on Extras health insurance with some health funds, although you may need a relatively high level of Extras cover for it to be available.

What is your teens biggest concern at the moment?


Baby solids – what is fine and what should be avoided?

What you should and should not feed your baby

This post in brought to you by Heinz Infant.

Babies grow so quickly and before you know it your little one will no longer be satisfied with just breast milk or formula. At around 6 months old your baby will not be as settled after a feed, may begin watching you intently as you eat or waking up earlier after each sleep. These are just a few signs that could be letting you know it is time to start introducing solids into your feeding routine.

With so many choices available today it can be hard to know where to start feeding with baby solids. For over 60 years Heinz has been a trusted brand, providing quality nutritious baby food that my mum fed me and I in turn used when starting my babies on solids.

Introducing solids to babies is the messiest fun you will ever have and thanks to Heinz Infant a lot of the guess work is taken care of for you. They lovingly prepare just the good stuff in the right texture to suit the stage your baby is at. With each product clearly marked with the appropriate age (in months) you will be able to select the right one each time for your baby.


It is very tempting to simply feed your baby a small portion of what the family is eating to save you time.

Babies have so many more taste buds than older children or adults and the blandest food will taste fabulous to a baby. Starting babies on solids is ideally done after your baby has had a full breast or formula feed and should not be used in place of milk.

 Start with a small amount of approximately 1 tablespoon for each meal. It is recommended that you only try one new food at a time and give this to your baby for at least 3 days before adding another. This will allow you to monitor any possible reactions to each new introduction. The following lists are a handy reference as to what is best for your baby.


Cereal – gluten free cereals such as rice, cornmeal or maize are traditionally the first choice of solid food for babies. Foods rich in iron are vital for baby’s development after 6 months of age and Farex baby rice cereal is the perfect choice.

Babies best first food

Hands up if this was your first food!

Vegetables – any vegetable that can be steamed and then mashed or pureed is a great place to start. Try carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, potato, broccoli, pumpkin or cauliflower.

Fruit – pureed apple, pear, mango, banana or avocado are nutrient rich favourites.

Great first foods for baby

Berry delicious!

Whole fat yoghurt – natural yoghurt on its own or blended with fruit.


Low Fat Foods – babies need full fat products for development.

Salt, pepper, gravy and sauces – these are too overpowering for delicate little mouths.

Added sugar or preservatives – can unsettle little bellies.

Raw or undercooked eggs, honey, whole or chopped nuts and cow’s milk – can trigger allergic reactions in the first year. These can be slowly introduced after 12 months of age.

Chopping, steaming and storing home cooked solids for your baby is a great idea, but can also be very time consuming. If sometimes you just need to spend quality time playing with your baby rather than cooking, then you can rest assured that Heinz Infant has sourced and prepared quality produce leaving you more time for fun or maybe sneaking in a much needed nap.

There are 109 products to choose from in the Heinz Infant range that can be used in conjunction with your own food or on their own to ensure you are giving your baby the best until they are old enough to share their own serve of your meals.

What was/is your favourite food to make for baby?

Successful Mirizzi Syndrome Gallbladder Surgery!

Living with an angry gallbladder is no fun.

It can be incredibly painful and surgery to remove it is the best solution.

It looks as though I have been living with a dud gallbladder for a very long time.

Thankfully the universe gave me the mega nudge I needed to discover this and take action to having it fixed when I turned a lovely shade of yellow due to my bile duct being blocked by my gallbladder.

After 5 days of continual tests in hospital, I discovered that I probably had Mirizzi Syndrome and it meant that my gallbladder had attached itself to my liver. Even an MRI was unable to 100% confirm this. It did mean that a normal, straightforward gallbladder removal was probably not on the cards.

A date was booked to have my removal surgery, but I was warned it was almost inevitable that I would not be able to have this procedure via keyhole surgery and would require a full cut to have it done.

But miracles do happen.

Prince Charles Hospital Brisbane

Thanks to three surgeons they not only managed to remove almost all my gallbladder, find a solution to a completely collapsed gallbladder duct, clean away years of built up gunk and remove a massive stone, they did it all via keyhole.

That was 8 days ago.

I am totally amazed at how good I feel only a week post surgery.

I am virtually pain free, I can move around freely and only have a couple of bandaids left as evidence.

I was expecting a much tougher recovery as I remembered only too well how uncomfortable I was after my hysterectomy that could not be done via keyhole surgery.

Totally blown away at the difference.

It looks as though I will be able to go back to work a lot sooner than I anticipated and will not burn such a big hole in my built up leave entitlements.

After my post op check-up next week, I will be able to plan my return.

I am deeply grateful to all the surgeons and staff at the Prince Charles hospital who did such a great job looking after me. I am also soooo grateful I don’t have to eat another one of their low fat dinners again. The rest of the food was great, but those dinners……no!

All those years of ‘back pain’ that I put down to my job are now a distant memory. My symptoms did not match the traditional gallbladder ones, but in hindsight I now know why I was often so uncomfortable.

Just before I left hospital they asked me to sign a permission form to allow the film of my successful surgery be made available as a teaching tool, so now my ducky gallbladder even gets to be famous!

Moving on upward and forward from here on in!

Do you still have your gallbladder?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some

How To Stop A Gallbladder Attack Fast!

A simple solution to gallbladder pain

A month ago I was in hospital, a rather unattractive shade of yellow and booked in for an operation the following morning to provide aide for my failing liver.

Thankfully, due to 3 days of starving and massive doses of anti-biotics, More

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