life through the lens #3

Friday, January 31, 2014

The last time I compiled a "Life through the lens" post was in 2012 - a pretty long time. They're similar to my instagram updates (which I haven't done in a while either), except they have a specific theme to them! This set (and I plan on doing a lot more in future) is dedicated to my Summer holidays and how wonderful they were. Despite having a wonderful time on holidays however, it's fantastic to be back at school again and getting into the swing of Year 12 (aka my last year of school, oh my gosh). I should probably get over that sometime soon, I've been drilling it into the heads of my family and friends and I think they've got the picture... 

Anyway, I've been enjoying school a lot over the last few days. We've been singing our hearts out in "glee club", I'm getting ready and preparing ideas for my job as editor of the school magazine, we're getting motivational talks, getting subject outlines and all that jazz. It's all very exciting. 

One of the highlights of my holidays was going to Brisbane to see the tennis with my cousin. I couldn't really believe that I was in the presence of the Roger Federer and it may have affected my concentration on the game just a little bit...okay, maybe a lot. He ended up winning which was even more exciting! I didn't bring along an influx of clothing choices so I went with an old favourite; my summer dress and white tennis shoes. It was very comfortable; perfect for the travelling back to our hotel on the other side of Brisbane too. Did I mention that on the shuttle bus that took us to the train I was standing because it was so crowded?! Usually that wouldn't have been a problem but because the handle rails had all been claimed by strange smelling men and a few other teenagers, I had to just wedge myself between some people and hope that there was no lurching involved in the journey. Just my luck though, the bus driver was quite insane on the roads and I nearly fell on top of an old couple who were sitting down. It wasn't my most glamorous moment but it's definitely a funny memory!

I also managed to get some fantastic shopping in too! I don't think I've ever spent so much money in one go before (and probably won't again for a while because I had buyer's remorse all the way home), but it was fun none-the-less and I picked up some beautiful goodies from Lush, Cotton On, Typo and a few other little stores. 
I also went into Kitten D'Amour, and although I didn't come out with bags full of beautiful dresses, it was still a lot of fun to look at their new collection and conjure up some ideas for what I would like to wear to my formal at the end of the year. And lastly, check out that fantastic view! We stayed at the Meriton, the tallest building in Brisbane and since I had never stayed at a 5 star hotel before I was a little starstruck and took about a million pictures of the view. I'm such a dingbat sometimes... I even got excited about riding in a taxi (that was my first time too...). 

The rest of the holidays after the New Year trip were pretty relaxing. I worked, went shopping and hung out with friends and did all that essential fun stuff. I also stayed with my amazing and awesome Aunty and Uncle and we spent the weekend playing with the five puppies (and Doug the dog wet the bed because I accidentally locked him out of the rest of the house so he couldn't go the bathroom...), eating yummy food, watching movies and exploring the acreage. It was so fun and I'm desperate to go back! 

Oh, and I dyed my hair again! It's a little darker and compliments this Element Eden dress perfectly! I need to wear it more, it's perfect for Summer. I hope you are all having a lovely day! And happy weekend, enjoy it xo

my sister's 21st birthday fiesta!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

After months of planning between Gabi (one of my older sisters) and my lovely Aunty Narns, the Mexican fiesta to celebrate her 21st birthday all came together on Saturday night in a fantastic, colourful way. Naturally, I brought out my trusty Canon and snapped the night away, enjoying the festivities along with my fabulously colourful dress and a yummy coconut cocktail to liven things up a bit (don't worry, I didn't go crazy...or maybe I did?). The night was so much fun and it was really made special with all of the incredible decorations. We had Corona bottles instead of vases filled to the brim with colourful flora surrounded by candle-lit glass wear and rainbow confetti. Streamers and pompoms swung above heads as well as two lolly-filled piñatas for whacking later on and genuine Mexican laser cut flags (thanks to my globe-trotting Aunty Michelle) hung along the windows. 

It was such a fantastic night that ended wonderfully with the nutbush, macarena and an embarrassing 'this is your life' style powerpoint that highlighted the hilarious period of my sister's life over the last two decades. The Mexican theme was an awesome idea and everyone went home with bellies full of taco, burrito, Mexican inspired beverages, perhaps a little bit of tequila and the fantastic birthday cake! My favourite costumes were probably the walking cactus (my Uncle definitely suited it), and the walking taco (posing with me in the first photo). Anyway, I hope you all like the photos, I think they turned out quite well. The colours are just fantastic! I'm a little tired from last night and today... I spent the whole day lazing about doing nothing and now I'm even more exhausted. Tomorrow I will be active! xo

{These were some of my favourite photos from the night ft. family, friends and the friendly piñatas!}

sunny & bright

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Tree of Life dress, Kmart shoes, Burt's Bees lip butter in 'Watermelon'

After a little lie down with my swanky new 2014 diary today, I finally concocted a list of goals for my future. I am probably the most indecisive young woman I have ever known (I feel sorry for my future boyfriend.. he doesn't know what he'll start when he asks what restaurant we should go to for a date...), so naturally I was worried that I would never come to a conclusion about my future. I'm not just talking the next two years or so, but you know, my life. My career. So, it has officially been decided that I am going to study a Bachelor of Arts and major in Criminology (hopefully at UQ). Many of you have asked me if I'm still doing fashion... and to be honest, if I was offered a full-time blogging job like Nicole Warne, I wouldn't hesitate, but for now, blogging is a hobby that gives me joy, but probably not a future career. 
I'm still tossing up whether a gap year would be a good idea because I want to get started as soon as I can... travelling in between study and work. I'm really happy about coming to a decision though because now I can actually aim for specific results and start planning. The future is scary (but wonderful), so I want to make sure I'm really prepared. 

To be honest, I'm a very comfortable girl. I live in a small town, go to a small(ish) school, and I rarely go on holidays without my family with me, so moving away will be a big step and because I'm finishing school forever in less than a year, something I have to start considering. A big part of me wants to stay here: comfortable, sheltered and secure with everything set out, planned and in a familiar routine. Another part of me however is longing for adventure and a change of scenery. I want to experience really crazy stuff! I want to go exploring, I want to jump out of aeroplanes and get out of my comfort zone without clinging onto my imaginary security blanket and going back home at the end of the day because "I just couldn't handle it". I want to study abroad in the States and visit my long-lost family. I want to get out of here but I also want to stay. It's overwhelming and also amazing that instead of picking which uniform I'll be wearing on a certain day of the week, I'll be choosing what I will do for the rest of my life.

I think I'm prepared for it, but there's also that little nagging voice in the back of my head that always dreams up wild ideas but never actually gives me the courage I need to DO them. 
I honestly think 2014 will be my year though. It's the year I've kinda been waiting for... but I'm still hesitant for it to end. It's the start of a new beginning. And 2015, the year after, will be the year that I become an adult and I actually start living the life I've been planning.

Anyway, I think that's probably sufficient rambling for tonight. Hopefully I haven't confused ya'll with my nonsense! In the meantime, do you have any thoughts about the future? Was it scary moving away from home? Any tips or advice for a teenager who thinks way too far ahead?! Haha. I hope you all had a lovely weekend and as always, thank you for the continuous support. Internet families rock! xo

summer favourites // 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014
With my Summer holidays coming to a bitter-sweet close in less than two weeks, I thought I would share a few of the things that have been regularly reached for/ used over the last two months! I also wanted to add a little side note in here too: I've been very busy with work, preparing for my sister's birthday party this weekend and just general life (the classic excuse), but I wanted to say a very heartfelt thank you to every single person that read my latest post, commented, emailed or messaged. The positive feedback and response was overwhelming. I just don't know what to say ... I am part of the most supportive and fantastic community so thank you again. Blogging isn't something I do just for my own enjoyment, but to also contribute to the world and share my testimony in hopes to inspire/ make others think and knowing that I have partially achieved that goal is so humbling. 

1. I'd been mulling over whether or not I should hand $30 over the Kikki. K counter for their annual diary for a few weeks now and I finally bit the bullet whilst out shopping with Izzy. We both bought one and sat in the car on the way home admiring the gorgeous interior! It's so cute and pretty and I finally feel like I'll be able to grab my life by both reigns this year... not just one (if you get my drift!) #organisationfreak // 2. Intimately Beckham EDP - a new favourite evening scent that makes me feel like a slightly more grown-up and ladylike version of myself! // 3. Burt's Bees Radiance lip shimmers are the perfect handbag essential for dry lips that need a pop of colour and extra hydration 

// 4. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polish in Gold-485 is probably one of the most beautiful polishes ever. It's so gorgeous! // 5. Buche De Noel cleanser by Lush was part of the limited edition Christmas collection and I'm glad I bought it when I had the chance. It's a fantasic cleanser that leaves my skin glowing and soft. Doesn't smell or look too fabulous though... reminds me a little bit of vomit! ;) But it does the job... haha! // 6. Napoleon Perdis SET primer in "Brightening" is another great drugstore product I've discovered recently. It's very hydrating so I use it on days when the roaccutane has made my skin noticeably dry and sad looking. It's got a pretty funny texture and colour but it works really well and definitely brightens!  

// 7. The only word I have to describe this body wash is: YUM! This was Izzy's Christmas present to me last year and oh my goodness. It's like I bathed in Miss Dior for about a year. The smell is just so incredible. You need to try this stuff out... you'll probably repurchase it again and again until you're 100 years old. 

Aren't the pages of the diary just gorgeous!? There's even cute little animal stickers and patterns and pockets for all of your precious little snippets. I want to look back on this diary in 2015 and be reminded of what a fantastic time I had during my last schooling year. Woohoo!

I hope you all have a beautiful and fantastic day full of flowers, love and happiness. I had a bad day today, but I have the next five days off from work so I can relax, spend time with a few friends and maybe see a movie or two. So far this holidays I've seen Frozen (it melted my heart!) and Saving Mr Banks (which has now made it to the list of 'Maria's Fave Disney Films')... and now I'm planning on seeing The Book Thief and The Hobbit. Goodnight, I'm a tired girl and I need some shut eye. xo

body image 101 // the steps to self love

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, all doe-eyed and out-of-it, is look in the mirror and every single day, through my sleepy eyes, the image changes. Some days I see an eloquent and intelligent young woman with a beautiful body and face who is ready to take on the world. And other days, I see an unattractive girl who is worthless and not good enough. This habit is unhealthy and not something you would expect from a personal style blogger who regularly has pictures of herself taken and published on the world wide web – but it’s the reality for me, and millions of other women across the globe. I am Maria, and I am a sixteen year old who is insecure about her body. I constantly compare myself to other girls, and have an unrealistic image in my head of what I should look like, but I want to change. I want to stop. I want to be happy with my body, appreciate what it can do and promote positive body image in myself and others. I want to try my very best to make a change. 

Today I've taken the first step in promoting and taking on a new perspective that will influence the way I love and respect my body. The reason I included pictures in this post of myself in a swimsuit (this is something I never thought I would have the courage to do) is because I want to take the first step in body confidence. This is who I am, this is what my body looks like and I am going to start loving it, nurturing it and setting a good example. I may not be society's definition of beautiful but what I see in these pictures is a girl with courage and confidence who is going to change the way she cares for her body. 

True beauty really does come from within. The first step to self love and developing positive body image is to be healthy mentally. I'm talking about starting with your inner self, because without creating a healthy mind, heart and soul, it can be hard to be healthy from the outside. 

A quote by Roald Dahl sums up the point of this post perfectly: A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

― Roald Dahl, The Twits

This quote really makes me smile. If you think good thoughts, you will glow with happiness and there is nothing more beautiful than someone with a genuinely happy smile on their face. And plus, people are attracted to happy people. Happiness is contagious and positivity is amazing to be around. My friends are all incredible and hanging out with them makes me feel wonderful. Surround yourself with a positive environment and it'll have an effect on you as well. 

Here are a few things I like to do when I feel down about my body (or for when I just want to feel good!): 
  • Eat something filling, and healthy (perhaps a smoothie?)
  • Go for an intense twenty minute run to get the blood pumping through my body (exercise makes you feel wonderful! It gives your skin a lovely and healthy glow and helps you sleep better at night!)
  • Write some of your favourite things about yourself down on some paper and, as cliché as it sounds, pin it up somewhere, to remind yourself.
  • Wear a pretty outfit and get dressed up!
  • Head out to have tea with a friend. 
  • Go for a nature walk and bring along your camera
  • Listen to some awesome and uplifting music and dance around your bedroom! (Anyone for Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson?)
  • Send someone a nice message, telling them how beautiful they are. It's always nice to receive a surprise message, you'll probably make their day! And it will give you the warm fuzzies too.
  • Read a book that takes you away and changes your perspective of the world and makes you think.
  • Bake! Bake a cake! And eat it!
  • Go for a little shopping trip and buy yourself a present. Maybe a book, or a pair of earrings or a lovely smelling body wash.
  • Think about how lucky you are! Write down all of the things that you feel lucky and blessed to have. Gratitude is another key to happiness. 
  • Spend time with someone from another generation... like your Grandparents. Their outlook on life is often simple and inspiring and can really give you the boost you need. I'm not really sure what I would do without my Grandparents today. And I wish I had spent more time with my Nana before she died a few years ago. She was an incredible, lovely woman and I can't wait to see her in heaven one day. 

It’s just a fact of life now – bashing your appearance is now the social norm in friendship groups and in general everyday life. Women bond over their hatred for certain aspects of their bodies. It’s never really the other way around either; we don’t sit together and talk about the body parts that we love. Hearing something along the lines of: “I think I have a great waist! This dress really shows it off!”, is a rarity and if it is heard, it’s almost mistaken for being conceited. I think it’s really sad that instead of hearing a positive self-loving comment, instead we hear things like, “I hate my tummy. I can’t wear a bikini”. 

It doesn't help either that you can’t line up at the grocery store without magazine headlines screaming that the latest diet will give you unwritten permission to wear a bikini or that fitted dress for the holiday season. It doesn't help that instead of praising women for having a natural and healthy body that is being looked after, brands and magazines are promoting cosmetic surgery and alteration as solutions. It doesn't help that instead of a message that promotes the beauty of all women of all shapes and sizes as perfect, we are bombarded with the message that you have to look a certain way to be beautiful. 
I have a challenge for all of you starting from today: when you find yourself thinking or saying something negative about yourself; stop. Think the opposite. For example; if you find yourself feeling negative about your legs - wear the jeans that make them look freaking amazing! Fight it, and be fierce. Love your body and it’ll show. You’ll glow like a sunbeam and you’ll look beautiful without even trying. Don't do it because you want to look like a Victoria's Secret model, do it because it makes you feel good. It makes you feel beautiful. It makes you love your body. 

I’m starting here and now. I think I look great in these photos. And I know you’re not really supposed to say that but I don’t care! I’m pleased with the way I look in my new navy blue bathing suit! I think it flatters my bust, and gives my body a fabulous 1950s shape! When I see these photos, I see a happy girl who is thinking lovely thoughts... and that's what matters. And tomorrow, I'm going to go for a 3km run (because oh my gosh, they feel wonderful afterwards), and feel GREAT when I get home. Then I might have a fudge brownie and watch Hart of Dixie with my Mum and sisters. 

I know this whole "revolution" is going to be hard, but I'm going to do my best do stop hating on the human body. We're all guilty of it, but now is the time to finally make a positive difference.
As a conclusion, I want to encourage you all to make a change too. Write a post about what you love about yourself! Go out of your comfort zone and share a picture of yourself that you think you look great in. Write a status about three things that make you special and unique. Or comment below with your favourite features (inside and out). I'd love to read and hear all of them... because we all deserve to feel wonderful and confident and beautiful in our bodies. 
Lots of love xo

diary X

Wednesday, January 08, 2014
(Wearing Dotti skirt & bag, thrifted heels and top, watch c/o Born Pretty

On Tuesday morning, after a fun-filled sleepover (complete with cheesy girlie rom-coms, popcorn and face masks) with Abbey, we both headed into town hoping to get lucky in the 'post Christmas' opshop central. It was highly successful! I came out with quite a few goodies; including the sweet bow shoes I am wearing in the photos above and the Audrey-esque spotted blouse. It's very light and paired with this skirt, made for a very vintage outfit. The weather has been a little unpredictable lately with temperatures soaring passed the "fry an egg on the street" limit, then plummetting back down again to the mid 20s. My wardrobe is such a mess during the summer! I never know what I might need. One day I'll be wearing the bare minimum - singlet and a pair of shorts - and the next day I will have a light sweater on. Jeez! 

Husk & Honey. My favourite cafe on the Sunshine Coast.

After running out of my favourite perfume - Miss Dior Cherie - I was in a fluster, trying to find a suitable replacement until it could be restored on my perfume tray. Japanese Cherry Blossom from the Body Shop is such a fresh, feminine fragrance (little bit of unintentional alliteration there... haha!) and it's definitely worth looking into if you're after something for every day. Also, I received this mint green watch from Born Pretty, and it's been the perfect Summer essential - adding a pop of colour to many of my outfits. I was a little worried that the quality would be poor because many of the jewellery items I have received for review have been a little disappointing, but this watch is great! It was packaged beautifully - in a gift box - and it's a gorgeous statement piece. The silicone wristband can be a little uncomfortable though, so if you're looking for something to wear all the time, I probably wouldn't recommend it. If you are interested though, feel free to use the coupon code that was provided for you guys for my blog: MARIASC10

Enjoying the frivolity of not wearing school uniforms! 

One of my favourite Lush products thus far! The popcorn and caramel lip scrub is delicious and is the perfect way to prime your lips before adding lipstick. 

This watercolour painting was a gift to me from Ruby, an Australia artist with a flair for creating beautiful and dreamy paintings. This one is hanging in my bedroom and it fits in perfectly with my colour palette. You can check out the rest of her paintings here. (And whoops, I should probably take down that Frankie wall planner soon, November is over!)

Anyway, I will talk to you all soon, lovelies! I have a very special post lined up next, a little scary for me, but I think you'll like it. So stay tuned! xo