What I Wore // 005 // Autumn Boho Babe

Autumn makes me yearn for summer, especially on days where it’s incredibly warm in the sun but the breeze and the shade reminds you it’s time to head back inside.

I really love this outfit. It’s ‘me’. Looking through these photos and thinking back to seeing myself in the mirror getting ready to take photos – I felt so comfortable and so me. Confident. Strong. Every little detail is me – I’m so excited to finally feel like i’m connecting with fashion, jewellery and accessories enough to express me.

I want to talk about this stunning necklace.

When the Spirits Bay collection from Michael Hill was released I fell in love with it right away. I’ve always loved jewellery that uses shells or stones.

This collection has been created by Christine Hill, inspired by the Totorere shells. Over time they are worn down by the elements until only the strongest part of the shell remains.

“I believe the purity and simplicity of the design speaks to the spirit of strong women everywhere. Women who have pursued their dreams wholeheartedly, who have persevered and never given up.”
– Christine Hill

The Spirits Bay pendant is my favourite piece from the Spirits Bay collection.

Feeling incredibly boho.

I love this how everything works so well together in this outfit!

What I Wore
Floral Fusion Naive Top, City Chic – $40 at the Outlet store
Skinny Ponte Pant, Wild Child – $79
Chiffon Long Cardigan, Wild Child – $89
Boots, Hush Puppies ‘Great’ – $199
Necklace, Spirits Bay pendant, Michael Hill – $249
Nails, Champagne Nail Bar & Spa

Thanks to my friend Bella for taking these photos of me, and putting up with my anxiousness of getting in front of the camera with her.

Do you like this outfit?
Do you love my necklace?
Let me know x

This post was made possible by Michael Hill, which means any compensation I received is for me, not to alter my opinion. All opinions are and always will be, my own.

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Chicken Fajitas Recipe with Farrah’s!

Mexican food is one of my favourites, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I loooooooove it. It’s always fresh tasting, delicious and always tastes different. My mother always used to say that Mexican food tastes the same – I’m sorry Mum, but I definitely have to disagree this time.

Farrah’s have brought out a new spice mix, proudly made in New Zealand, and inspired by true Mexican cuisine, Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix is an easy to use must-have in your pantry this winter.

It’s gluten free with a traditional hickory smoke flavour. Packed with real flavour and no artificial colours, the spice mix is mild in taste, perfect for every member of the family.

Chicken Fajitas with Farrah's

Match Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix with Farrah’s Flame Baked Burrito Tortillas to create mid winter Mexican Fajitas for the whole family – on the table in less than 20 minutes! A great option for busy week nights and lazy weekends.

Chicken Fajitas Recipe

What You’ll Need

  • 1 packet of Farrah’s Burrito Tortillas
  • 1 packet of Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix
  • 500g chicken breast
  • 1 capsicum
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method

  1. Slice the capsicum, onion and chicken into thin strips.
  2. Place chicken in a bag and add the oil and Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix. Shake it up to coat it evenly.
  3. Heat a pan or griddle on a medium heat until hot and then add the chicken.
  4. When the chicken is nearly cooked add the vegetables and cook for a further two minutes.
  5. Warm the tortillas in a pan or griddle for 10 seconds.
  6. Serve the chicken Fajita ingredients alongside your warm tortillas and enjoy!

If yo want to take this to the next level, try serving these with all or one of the below:

  • Chipotle sour cream
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh mango or tomato salsa

Farrah’s Spice Mixes RRP: $2.99 and Farrah’s Flame Baked Tortillas RRP: $5.49 are available from all major supermarkets nationwide.

Have you made your own Faijtas before? What is your favourite Mexican dish?
x Laura

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Travel/ 5 Great Ways to Save Money on Holiday

Are you heading off on an adventure in the coming weeks or months? Vacations are amazing fun, but they do eat into a person’s budget. Here are five great ways to save money when you’re next on holiday.

1. Avoid Restaurants

Restaurant food is an easy alternative to preparing and cooking food yourself, but it takes a seriously bite out of your wallet. Instead, why not opt for the types of food you’ll find handed out by street vendors?

These are a cheap alternative, but do carry some sort of risk when it comes to our health. Follow the Independent Traveller’s guide to avoiding getting sick while overseas to ensure you don’t fall victim to a dodgy tummy.

2. Plan Ahead

Think things through and plan ahead when it comes to your next adventure. If you craft a rough plan of attack for your next holiday, you should theoretically be able to budget for what you want beforehand.

With a budget in place, financial issues suddenly become far less of a concern. Skyscanner offer an excellent service which allows you to sketch out a rough plan of your travels. If you know roughly what you’re spending, you can plan accordingly.

3. Haggle

Don’t always accept the first offer you’re given at markets. You can barter with the vendor to try and lower the price of the items which are being peddled your way, with several tips available to make this process as profitable as possible for you.

Some of the priory snippets of advice they offer include:

  • Standing firm when they try to raise the price
  • Starting as small as you can
  • Comparing prices across the board
  • Walking away when you know you’ve lost the battle

Haggling has the potential to see you save a small fortune across the entirety of your holiday.

4. Avoid tourist traps

Area which are set up specifically to target taking money away from tourists are notorious for overcharging. These spots are aware people will flock to them, and take advantage of that by sending their prices through the roof.

Make sure you steer clear of buying food, drink or souvenirs from places like this. You’ll be horrendously ripped off and will end up splurging out a fortune.

5. Travel in low season

Certain times of the year bring with them wholesale reductions on prices. If you travel at a time of the year when there’s likely to be less on an influx of tourists, prices will almost certainly be cheaper.

Generally speaking, this will be at a time when it’s not summer or a school holiday in the country you’re headed to. Read up ahead of time to discover when this is.

Have these money saving tips provided you with a clearer idea of how to save cash when you travel? Follow them closely and you’ll come back with a decent sum of money at the end of your adventures.  

Laura x

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Poetry, and how it helped me through my tough years, Sponsored Post

#AnchorGoStrong

During high school I was never the popular kid. I was never the geek. I was never loved, nor hated. I felt mediocre. I felt invisible. I had plenty of friends, not many of them were good friends.

Over the five years I was at high school, this changed. I slowly grew into myself. I grew to know that I had to iniaiate good friendships if thats what I wanted. I eventually learnt that being on a scale of popular to geek wasn’t all that mattered. 

In year ten, I was 14, a friend of mine invited me away with her and her close friends and family to the coromandel for a holiday. At this time I was lonely, as much as a teenager can be. I was afraid and unsure about everything in my life. I was depressed. I will always remember this holiday away as it was a turning point. 

I learnt a lot about myself on this holiday. I learnt that books could change how I felt about the real world for the time I was reading about their world. I learnt that riding a bike really fast down a hill was terrifying and exciting. I learnt that having alone time wasn’t scary. I learnt that I loved to write poetry. I learnt that my feelings of mediocracy was ok, and that I could feel alone and not be lonely.

Poetry was something I loved to read but hadn’t tried to write until this trip. It’s amazing what you’ll do when you have lots of free time and no internet.

I probably wrote about 20 poems over the length of the holiday. It helped me learn about myself. Explore myself.

When I heard about this Anchor and Harry Baker campaign I knew I had to be involved. Harry Baker’s talents in writing are phenomenal. This project from Anchor aims to inspire teenagers to be themselves and create their own definition of strength.

As I said, I’ll always remember this trip. I learnt so much about myself in such a short space of time. I was a different person because of it. Poetry showed me – no, taught me – to be strong. Go strong. I hope it does to you too.

xx Laura

#AnchorGoStrong

This post has been presented by Anchor but all thoughts and opinions are my own. #AnchorGoStrong

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Matilda The Musical

MATILDA THE MUSICAL, THE CIVIC AUCKLAND FROM 18TH AUGUST
TICKETS ON SALE MONDAY 3RD APRI 

As previously announced by The Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Michael Watt, the critically-acclaimed Australian Production of Matilda The Musical will premiere at The Civic in Auckland this August. The strictly limited season will commence on August 18th with tickets going on sale on Monday 3rd April from Ticketmaster

The winner of over 70 major international awards, including 15 for Best Musical, this RSC production of Matilda The Musical is currently playing to sell-out houses across Australia with standing ovations at every performance.

The Australian Production of Matilda The Musical is the most awarded musical in Australian theatrical history having scooped a record-breaking 13 Helpmann Awards – winning every possible musical category – and has just been nominated in all possible categories of Melbourne’s “peer recognized” 2017 Green Room Awards.

The Daily Review described the production as “Nothing Short of a Miracle”. The Australian said the show “Makes You Want to Punch the Air with Delight.” and Time Out Sydney pronounced the show “a Freaking Masterpiece”.

The Musical is based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox). It is the story of an extraordinary girl who armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. 

It is directed by Tony Award® winner Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage), who helms this production with a book by Tony Award®-winning playwright Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Australian Tim Minchin.

The production has sets and costumes by Tony Award® winner Rob Howell, with choreography by Tony Award® winner Peter Darling (Billy Elliot), orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Tony Award® winner Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker.

Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played to sold-out audiences at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for twelve weeks from November 2010 to January 2011. It transferred to London’s West End on Tuesday 25 October 2011 where it opened to rave reviews.

The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened on 11 April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre to rapturous reviews and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year. 

Matilda The Musical’s award-wining success includes sweeping the board at the 2012 Laurence Olivier Awards in London with a record-breaking seven awards, and winning four Tony Awards® and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for each of the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway in 2013.

Matilda The Musical is produced in Australia by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Withers, Michael Coppel & Michael Watt with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers.

About the RSC

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.  

Everyone at the RSC – from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians – plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town. 

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481 http://www.rsc.org.uk.

About Roald Dahl and his legacy

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more of the world’s best-loved children’s stories. He remains one of the World’s greatest storytellers.

His first children’s story, James and the Giant Peach published in 1961, was a hit and every subsequent book became a best-seller.

Today, his stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, he has sold more than 250 million books. Many of these stories have also been adapted for stage and screen, including the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wes Anderson’s acclaimed Fantastic Mr Fox, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi-award winning production of Matilda The Musical. The latest Roald Dahl story to hit the big screen was Steven Spielberg’s #1 box office blockbuster The BFG in 2016.

Book at ticketmaster.co.nz
*American Express Cardholder Presale – 22 March 9am to 29 March 9am

matildathemusical.co.nz

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My Go To 2017 Summer Makeup Look

It’s been over six months since I’ve done a proper blog post! This post was easy but hard and a long time coming. I’m easing back into blogging with a diary of what my go-to summer make up is!

Summer Makeup look, 2017 - Laura Laura
Summer Makeup look, 2017 - Laura Laura

From top to bottom: it’s first on my face to last

// Base

Sunscreen – so important for the New Zealand sun! I used a good layer of Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense sunscreen. It’s SPF 50 and suits my skin type perfectly, I have dry to really dry skin.

Primer – on cleansed skin, a spray of MAC prep and prime Fix+ and a lathering of Natural Radiance Base Lumiere in Radiant Yellow.

Foundation – Rocking NW20 I buff and blend in MAC’s Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation, followed by matching Mineralize Skinfinish powder in Light Plus.

// Eyes

Eyebrows – I fill in my brows with the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette. I start off by tracing the outside of my brows then filing them in, it’s so easy to use. The pencil comes with a spoolie at one end which I use to brush the hairs at the top of my nose ridge so that it’s natural looking and has no harsh lines.

I got eyelash extensions recently. This is the second summer I’ve had them and loved them! They make any make up look look incredibly glam, and even no-makeup days my eyes look bangin’. I got the extensions originally done at Lash Noir in Auckland’s CBD, but when I went to get infills they were to busy, my second lot, the ones pictured, are from Mai’s Beauty Lounge in Epsom. If you haven’t had them before but have an event coming up, or just want to look effortlessly amazing all the time – definitely try them!

Mascara – On my bottom lashes only at the moment I use Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara in Black. This mascara my favourite 2016 makeup find. Its been around for some time obviously but I tried it for the first time and fell in love.

// Cheeks

Pink and Brown – A quick, and ridiculously light, brushing of bronzer and blush from the Urban Decay Naked Flushed palette. This palette is crazy pigmented, it’s beautiful but oh so easy to overuse. 

// Lips

Obviously I don’t stick to one colour – it’s summer! Here are some of my favourite lip products at the moment:

Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipstick in Gemini
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose (pictured)
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Bountiful Blush
Urban Decay Mega Matte in 714
Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipstick in Doll Parts

// Setting

I spray a combination of the Urban Decay Oil Control and Long Lasting setting sprays, then I’m good to go!

Summer Makeup look, 2017 - Laura Laura
Summer Makeup look, 2017 - Laura Laura

I hope you enjoyed learning what my go to make up look this summer is and will be – let me know what your favourite summer looks are in the comments!
Laura x

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Good Eats // Top Five Long Weekend Eats in Melbourne

Visiting Melbourne for a long weekend?
Love eating good food?

I’ve got my top five picks from when I was there recently for a long weekend. If you’re dropping in to Melbourne, these should be your goto places to get good eats!

// 5 – Fancy Hanks
We can’t go past a good American BBQ. Fancy Hanks was chosen for us when going out for dinner with some friends. We booked early got a great booth at the top of the restaurant giving you a nice view of everyone. I saw they had a balcony also which would be my first pick when coming back here (if there weren’t any smokers about!)

I’m gonna start off by saying that if you’re thinking about getting a cocktail, definitely get the jug of it. It’s huge and worth the $$.

Whatever food you get, you’ll get a lot of it so keep that in mind too – Hubby and I opted for the “Three Meats” option. It was huge and insane. The brisket and chilli were my favourites. The hush puppies go amazing with the chilli too.

Definitely try: The cocktails and the Brisket.

Fancy Hanks, American BBQ - Melbourne Fancy Hanks, American BBQ - Melbourne Fancy Hanks, American BBQ - Melbourne

// 4 – Higher Ground
Brunch at Higher Ground is a must. It’s fancy, it’s in the CBD and it’s impressive. Located in an old power station, the multi-level cafe has simple decor and a fresh ambience. I loved their use of fresh plants throughout – made me feel like I was in a massive greenhouse.

The menu is probably it’s great differentiator to other cafes around, it’s got a lot to choose from but is simple and modern (hard to explain, take a look at it on their website).

I couldn’t decide between the Lamb Fry Up or the Slow Cooked Beans so went for the waitresses recommendation of the Lamb. The combination of this dish in my mouth was divine. Loved everything about it. Hubby had the Higher Ground Benedict which was very overwhelming due to the bearnaise sauce, he did enjoy it otherwise though.

Definitely try: The Lamb Fry Up.

Higher Ground Cafe Melbourne Higher Ground Cafe Melbourne Higher Ground Cafe Melbourne

// 3 – Cafe Andiamo
The laneways in Melbourne are goldmines for great cafes and restaurants. We looked up a few laneways and went for a wander down a few of them while in Melbourne. They have a real european feel to them which I love.

On our last night in Melbourne we felt like Italian for dinner so ended up at Cafe Andiamo, which is near Flinders Station. I grabbed the Prosciutto pizza with no mushrooms, and hubby got a Bolognese gnocchi. Both were, of course, delicious but I couldn’t get over how fresh, flavourful and cheesy my pizza was. Definitely in my top three pizzas ever.

Definitely try: The pizza. Their desserts looked AMAZING.

Cafe Andiamo - Laneways Melbourne Cafe Andiamo - Laneways Melbourne

// 2 – MoVida Next Door
MoVida was recommended to me as a must-visit. I had threats of friendships ending if I didn’t go. I now see why – it’s divine. 

We went to MoVida Next Door which is a small bar restaurant with romantic ambience and perfect service. It’s apparently more relaxed than MoVida, which is why I picked it. We had a table right on the bar, next to the kitchen so we could watch the magic happen.

We started with the Embutido which came with breads and olive oil, followed by Queso Manchego, Croquetas, Pincho de cerdos and Bombas
FYI Hubby and I aren’t big on seafood, hence no seafood options chosen.

Photos are a bad as the lighting was crap, but I didn’t care because it was so damn good.

Definitely try: Pincho de cerdos and the SANGRIA, definitely the Sangria.

MoVida Next Door, Melbourne MoVida Next Door, Melbourne MoVida Next Door, Melbourne

// 1 – Industry Beans
A short tram or bus ride from Melbourne CBD gets you to Fitzroy. Dubbed “Hipster central” is a beautiful, rustic suburb with plenty of window shopping options and cafes. Industry Beans is located off the main road, on Rose St. We managed to grab the last table at the back of the cafe next to where they store an impressive amount of imported coffee beans.

I had two coffees while we were here, both were the ones recommended to have without milk (I am a black coffee girl) – the La Rosalia Estate from Costa Rica and the Kamuchuni from Kenya.

To eat; I got the (highly recommend) Smashed Avocado with poached egg and bacon. hubby had Eggs on Toast with beetroot relish and a side of Canadian bacon.
Let me tell you, that Canadian bacon is probably the best bacon I’ve ever tasted – and I only had a sliver of it. Thick bacon marinaded in maple – delicious. BACON.

Definitely try: Iced chocolate if you aren’t a coffee drinker. Smashed Avocado. Canadian Bacon.

Iced Chocolate - Industry Beans Cafe Melbourne Coffee Industry Beans Cafe Melbourne Smashed Avocado Industry Beans Cafe Melbourne Eggs on Toast with Canadian Bacon Industry Beans Cafe Melbourne Industry Beans Cafe Melbourne

Other great places to check out if you’ve not been to Melbourne before:

  • Food lovers have to visit Queen Victoria Markets. They have a traditional english indoor market, and great outdoor vege markets too
  • Cafe Notturno – best cakes ever
  • Hello Jose is your quirky Mexican food fix, short walk from Vic Markets
  • Chocolate lovers must get themselves to a Lindt Chocolate Cafe – a wee bit pricey but OH so worth it
  • Brunetti is a great italian restaurant out in Carlton
  • Pancake Parlour – just go here with an empty stomach, seriously
  • The General Assembly – great selection of tap beers, perfect spot to stop in after shopping at DFO 😉

Do you have any other recommendations for Melbourne?
xx Laura

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Beauty // My Melbourne Makeup Haul

Last week my hubby and I travelled to Melbourne, Australia for a long weekend away. I absolutely loved it! Ate too much food, drank just enough and both walked til our feet were incredibly sore – perfect!

Because I live in New Zealand, I don’t have easy access to Sephora (well, we do have it online here but theres nothing quite like a Sephora store) so I made sure it was one of my “must do” things to tick off while we were in Melbourne. Mecca Maxima was on that list too 😉 Leaving NZ I couldn’t help myself but grab a few things from the Urban Decay duty free. I grabbed a Vice lipstick and a setting spray to get my holiday started!

When in Melbourne, I dragged (..I’m pretty sure willingly..) my friend Kimberly along on the adventure. It was our first time meeting in real life after years of sharing advice, opinions of love and life over Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. It was so awesome to meet her, we squealed + hugged and I think both were so happy to be able to actually hang out after all this time!

Anyway, you’re here to read about beauty not how awesome my friends are.

Melbourne Central has both a Sephora and Mecca Maxima so we met there for an afternoon of shopping (on a limit!) before heading off to dinner with our partners.

This is what I got:

melbourne-makeup

Yaaaaas

Sephora Goodies!

I love Sephora brand beauty products. The dry shampoo is from brand Cedel, I actually grabbed this at Coles as I was running out of dry shampoo on the trip. It smells amazing!

Urban Decay Vice 714, Bite Sucre, Urban Decay Vice AlphaUrban Decay Vice 714, Bite Sucre, Urban Decay Vice AlphaSmashbox Full Exposure Mini SmashBox Full Exposure S3 S1 S4, Urban Decay Vice 714, Bite Sucre, Urban Decay Vice Alpha

I’ve been wearing these three lip colours non stop since getting them. I’m really enjoying the Vice Mega Matte’s from Urban Decay, they’re so easy to apply and wear very well. The Bite lip crayon is my first Bite product and it is AMAZING to wear, the colour is just beautiful.
The mini Full Exposure palette from Smashbox was a last minute decision – I’ve not tried anything from Smashbox before and am looking forward to playing with the palette.

melbourne-jelly

These Jelly’s caught my eye when I walked into Sephora and I couldn’t help but pick up a box when they kept calling my name!

Not a bad haul – especially for me. I’ve admitted before that I’m new to loving makeup so I think I did pretty well. I wanted to get more but I felt like I got what I wanted and ‘needed’ and also splurged on a few things too.

My favourite products (so far, cause I’ve not used them all yet) are the Urban Decay setting spray and the Bite Lip Crayon in Sucré.

What do you think of my haul?
Have you been to Melbourne before? I really loved it, look out for my next post which is about the restaurants and cafes that we went while we were away! 

xx Laura

P.S. My nails are by Christine at Champagne Nail Bar

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