tea heritage // a review

Monday, September 30, 2013

There really is nothing better than appreciating the little things in life - such as finding a coin on the ground (bonus lucky side up!), free book stalls or a nice cup of hot tea on a cold, thundery afternoon. Elodie, the owner of Tea Heritage in France, was kind enough to send me five samples of the Easter Tea that she creates by hand. I was really excited about trying it out because not only am I obsessed with all things tea (blame my Nanna), but the packaging and presentation of her handmade products are so beautiful and detailed. It smelt absolutely lovely and relaxing and though I did have to wait a little while for the tea to really infuse and brew it was most certainly worth it. It would be awesome if you could take a peek at her Etsy store, I'm all for supporting independent businesses and this tea was absolutely lovely. 

I hope you've all been well. I'm so sorry posts have been so infrequent and scarce lately - my holidays have been everything but relaxing so I'm hoping to catch up on blogging this week. I love it too much and miss too much cope! And who's keen for the new season of Downton? Me! I'm off to have a marathon now. 

If you'd like me to do a review post about any of your products, just shoot me an email! I'd love to chat: avenuemblog@gmail.com

// stripes and c.s lewis

Sunday, September 22, 2013

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. C. S. Lewis”
C.S. Lewis

snow white and rose red

Sunday, September 15, 2013
 Vintage lace top and gloves,Temt skirt, Lovisa birdcage veil, Australis red lipstick in 'Cha Cha'

No, I'm not getting married (Ryan Gosling, where are you?!), but I simply couldn't leave this beautiful veil behind when I went shopping yesterday at Lovisa. It was only three dollars and I've been wanting one for so long. It's so beautiful and vintage-y and I just feel like a character from Gatsby or Downton Abbey wearing it! I also got a little request the other day to do a kinda 'bridal' themed shoot. I've never done pictures like this before so I was pretty excited about it. I think the red lipstick really adds the perfect touch. It was a lot of fun to put together for you guys so I hope you like the pictures!
How is your weekend going? Yesterday Ruby and I went to a little tea house after I finished work and then after that I went shopping for a new set of summer pyjamas (seen here!) because the weather has been ridiculously hot lately and it's no fun trying to sleep in the heat. I can't believe Summer and Christmas are just around the corner (only a few months away!). This year has gone terribly fast and I'm not sure if I want it to end just yet. 
Hope you're having a magical day! xo
P.S: This week is THE week of exams and assessment. Wish me luck, yikes!


Friday, September 13, 2013
 Top c/o Oasap, thrifted dress (worn as skirt), Kmart shoes, Forever New belt

Phew! What a huge week it has been. I've missed blogging so much and am really looking forward to going on holidays and doing absolutely zero school work and reading, blogging, shopping etc to my hearts content. I've worked so hard this term with my school work and I'm really hoping it pays off in next week's exams and monologue performance. My final assignment was due in today though and after a (very!) late night, I finally finished it and handed it in - super proud of my solid effort on it I must say, haha! 
Anyway, this top arrived in the mail today (the perfect Friday afternoon treat) along with a floral backpack from Oasap. I'll review the bag when I do an outfit post with it, but this top was pretty good. I find Oasap to be a little 'hit and miss' when it comes to bags and clothing, but this top was definitely a 'hit'. It's a one-size-fits-all top which did make me a little nervous (since I am quite blessed in the chest area...) but it fit perfectly fine and the quality was lovely. A perfect top for the warmer weather which is fast approaching. 

Anyway, I am going to go enjoy some "me time". I'm thinking a bubble bath, a few back issues of National Geographic magazine and some tunes from the latest Arctic Monkeys album. Have a lovely weekend - thank god it's Friday! xo


Friday, September 06, 2013
Ally top, thrifted skirt, Target shoes, Oasap bag, Sportsgirl hat

Happy Friday! 
I don't even know where to start with this post! Firstly, I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support that followed my recent post. I have never been so overwhelmed with comments, emails and messages that were so filled with support, kind words and encouragement it almost had me in tears. That post was so, so hard for me to do but I felt that it was so necessary - so many young girls suffer from acne and I had to let them know that they weren't alone in their struggle. Even fashion bloggers have flaws and insecurities! 
I think it's easy to assume that bloggers have perfect lives because we are so selective with what we post. It's so easy to retouch images (I do airbrush my skin in my outfit posts) and post pretty pictures on instagram etc. but those pictures don't always show that perhaps you've had a really bad day, you've lost your phone, you've just been through a breakup or anything unpleasant. I want to let you all know now that I am a perfect example of that! I have bad days. I cry. I get stressed and upset. Not everything goes to plan. My life isn't perfect - and although I am very blessed - it really is up and down. 

So, thank you again. Thank you to all of my family, friends, my readers from across the globe and everyone who has ever left a comment on Avenue Maria. You are all wonderful humans and I love you all and I am so glad that some of you found that post helpful. That's exactly why I did it. 

P.S: What do you think of this Spring-y outfit?! I plan on wearing it to the food festival this weekend - eep, so excited for sunshine and warm breezes! 

ACNE // My story (roaccutane progress pictures)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013
(No makeup, no editing. My acne, September 2013)

So, here I am talking about my biggest insecurity on the internet. With pictures and everything. I'm a little nervous about hitting that publish button but I had to share this with you all after receiving an email from one of my readers. I received an email last week from a girl living in Melbourne. She suffers from a terrible form of acne (nodulocystic or cystic acne) and is struggling to cope with it and wants to see a dermatologist about it. She said to me that she feels like everyone is looking at her because of it. I decided that after replying to this girl that I would do a post dedicated to my acne story, progress and my struggles. I knew it was about time I posted bare-face pictures and told you guys the story right from the start. So here goes: 

I've always had skin problems. Eczema when I was young, and then as soon as I hit high school I would get regular pimples around my chin and cheeks during my period and when I was stressed. Mum and I both agreed this was just bad luck and the criteria that came with being a teenager. I dealt with it all the way up until grade ten and when holidays came (Christmas 2012/13), my skin sort of "magically" improved and I had little to no acne. I was pretty excited about it and started off year 11 feeling quite confident and happy - then over the course of a few weeks I developed painful, cystic pimples all over my back, chest and face. It multiplied and before I knew it I was covered in a horrible, red rash. I don't think I have ever been so unhappy. I cried all the time... coming home from school after feeling like every pair of eyes was looking at it. I would scrub the layers of make-up off my face whilst still in tears and crawl into bed and cry even harder. I was angry with God for putting me through this. What had I done to deserve such a horrible disease?

I felt so incredibly ugly. I felt like I wouldn't be good enough for anyone, ever, because of my skin. It had gotten so bad that I couldn't even put my head down on the pillow. I couldn't leave the house without makeup. I avoided sleepovers. I even felt uncomfortable being around my family without makeup on. 
I will never forget how sad I was at the start of the year. I hated my face. I hated looking in the mirror. I felt ugly and self conscious on a regular basis.

(My acne, March to June 2013 - the first few months of Roaccutane was definitely a struggle)

In April, Mum and I decided that it was time to see a doctor. I had tried everything - all of that topical treatment crap, natural remedies, etc. and none of it had done a single thing (except perhaps made things worse). He referred me to a dermatologist and at last, I felt as though I might actually have a little hope. My (awesome!) dermatologist took one look at me when I came through those doors and knew instantly what I had to go on. Roaccutane (or isotretinoin). He said Doxycycline, birth control or any other drug wouldn't work because my acne was so severe. I was terrified of taking Roaccutane because of all the scary side-effects (suicidal thoughts etc), but I knew that I couldn't deal with this horrible skin condition any longer. 

The next time I went for another dermatologist appointment, the lady assistant suggested I have a chemical peel because the results weren't appearing fast enough. I agreed to this because I wanted to see an improvement. It was the most painful experience I have ever been through. I will never forget the agony I underwent while I was in that chair and I don't think I've ever cried so hard either. It felt like she was pouring fuel all over my face, then setting fire to sections of my skin with a torch. It actually makes me cry as I'm typing this because it was so awful I can't even put it into words. I don't understand how something so excruciating could be good for my skin. She asked me if I would like to have regular chemical peels and I blatantly said no. 

I was going to wait it out by sticking to Roaccutane and a very gentle skin care routine. I am so glad I did. 

I have been on Roaccutane for five or so months now. It has been a really tough and slowly progressing journey and I know I still have a long way to go, but I have never been happier. My dermatologist is friendly, supportive and his tips and advice have helped me through all of this. My skin has improved so, so much. The cysts have disappeared and now I am just waiting for the rest of the acne to come through.
I've got my self-confidence back again. I want to get up in the morning and seize the day. Not to say I don't wake up some days feeling quite awful, but there are A LOT less of them. My acne is getting better, I'm starting to feel pretty again and by the end of the year I will have lovely, healthy skin. 

 Eating well and staying hydrated has really helped too. 

I just wanted to remind you all that every single person on this earth is fighting their own battle. Be careful with your words and if someone you know is suffering from acne, don't ever point it out. As someone who has experienced nasty words first hand, I can assure you, it is the most upsetting thing and I will never forget it. Be kind and compassionate and remember how deeply your words can affect someone. And if you have acne, I want to let you know that I am here if you ever have to talk. I have been through the worst of it and I know how you feel. It's not your fault. You are a beautiful person and you can get through this. No one should ever have to experience acne. Especially as a teenager.