Slider


Wednesday was the day in which I finally went and marvelled at the current exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery. The Corsini Collection: A Window On Renaissance Florence truly excited me as it's very rare (not at all) that works from this time period actually go on tour let alone come here. The Italian Renaissance was basically my main area of interest at uni, I did my dissertation on a series of Renaissance works by Titian. As surmised by the name of the exhibition the works are from the collection of the Corsini family who were a family of prominence in Florence. A contemporary family of theirs was the Medici who I first studied all the way back in high school. I don't recall ever hearing about the Corsini family which is interesting given how influential they were in Florence.

The first three rooms were kind of in chronological order. The first thing you see is the Corsini family tree and starts off with the Renaissance and moves towards the Baroque period. As well as paintings there were examples of cookware as well as 19th-century costumes members of the family wore which was amazing. A dining table was set up in one room which was accompanied by operatic music and there were also drawings & prints from the collection. The last room of the exhibition nicely combined the two worlds with works from the gallery collection displayed which tied into the rest of the exhibition.

Photography (not flash) was allowed so I took a couple of pictures of the works I loved the most.


Copy, preparatory sketch of 'Portrait of Pope Julius II della Rovere' by Raphael. 1511-12


'Saint Simon' by Tintoretto, c. 1585


'Saint Andrea Corsini' by Guercino, 1630

As you can see from the title the Corsini family can boast about having a family member made a saint. Another thing about the painting are the obvious bullet holes, I overheard the story from a tour that was happening. So during WW2 the Nazi's just took artworks from museums & homes. To combat this Princess Elena Corsini drove a truck with the paintings to the family villa of Le Corti. They were hidden behind a false wall and this painting was hung on it to protect the collection. When the Germans arrived they saw the wet plaster and having not enough time to dismantle the wall they shot at it believing people to be in the room. None of the paintings inside were damaged so the family saint really did protect them. 


'Madonna and Child with Six Angels' by Botticelli and Workshop, c. 1500


'Portrait of Maffeo Barberini' by Caravaggio, c. 1597


Costume worn by Anna Barberini Corsini, 1887


Unsurprisingly I highly recommend this exhibition, it's absolutely amazing to see works of artists I studied throughout my time at university. I loved it so much I even bought the exhibition catalogue, so now I can just flick through the book and reminisce.

The exhibition is on until 21 January 2018 and the admission is $19 for adults.

Have you seen the Corsini exhibition?

Ashley xx

The Corsini Collection: A Window On Renaissance Florence | Auckland Art Gallery

Friday, 17 November 2017


Wednesday was the day in which I finally went and marvelled at the current exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery. The Corsini Collection: A Window On Renaissance Florence truly excited me as it's very rare (not at all) that works from this time period actually go on tour let alone come here. The Italian Renaissance was basically my main area of interest at uni, I did my dissertation on a series of Renaissance works by Titian. As surmised by the name of the exhibition the works are from the collection of the Corsini family who were a family of prominence in Florence. A contemporary family of theirs was the Medici who I first studied all the way back in high school. I don't recall ever hearing about the Corsini family which is interesting given how influential they were in Florence.

The first three rooms were kind of in chronological order. The first thing you see is the Corsini family tree and starts off with the Renaissance and moves towards the Baroque period. As well as paintings there were examples of cookware as well as 19th-century costumes members of the family wore which was amazing. A dining table was set up in one room which was accompanied by operatic music and there were also drawings & prints from the collection. The last room of the exhibition nicely combined the two worlds with works from the gallery collection displayed which tied into the rest of the exhibition.

Photography (not flash) was allowed so I took a couple of pictures of the works I loved the most.


Copy, preparatory sketch of 'Portrait of Pope Julius II della Rovere' by Raphael. 1511-12


'Saint Simon' by Tintoretto, c. 1585


'Saint Andrea Corsini' by Guercino, 1630

As you can see from the title the Corsini family can boast about having a family member made a saint. Another thing about the painting are the obvious bullet holes, I overheard the story from a tour that was happening. So during WW2 the Nazi's just took artworks from museums & homes. To combat this Princess Elena Corsini drove a truck with the paintings to the family villa of Le Corti. They were hidden behind a false wall and this painting was hung on it to protect the collection. When the Germans arrived they saw the wet plaster and having not enough time to dismantle the wall they shot at it believing people to be in the room. None of the paintings inside were damaged so the family saint really did protect them. 


'Madonna and Child with Six Angels' by Botticelli and Workshop, c. 1500


'Portrait of Maffeo Barberini' by Caravaggio, c. 1597


Costume worn by Anna Barberini Corsini, 1887


Unsurprisingly I highly recommend this exhibition, it's absolutely amazing to see works of artists I studied throughout my time at university. I loved it so much I even bought the exhibition catalogue, so now I can just flick through the book and reminisce.

The exhibition is on until 21 January 2018 and the admission is $19 for adults.

Have you seen the Corsini exhibition?

Ashley xx

I've always viewed op-shopping through rose tinted glasses. I'd always imagine going in and being surround by amazing one-off pieces of clothing. Off course that never really happens and the chances of it being in your size is a miracle. In the past, I haven't done much op-shopping but now I'm really into it. 

Ok, skip to a couple of weeks ago or so and I'd just finished up at the museum. I was just wandering up and down the Great South Road when I happen to glance towards Selwyn Arcade and saw a second-hand shop which I'm pretty sure was not there before. I decided to go over and have a look through the clothing racks. I saw some things which took my fancy but then I discovered this gem and honestly couldn't believe my luck. Blazers are an item which I'm obsessed with and I've been hunting for one for the longest time. 


It's navy blue and is a bit longer than a regular blazer (I'm pretty sure it's a mens one but who cares). There are shoulder pads and it's got pockets at the front and also inside which is great cause who doesn't love places to put stuff.



The buttons look as though they've got seahorses on them which is cool. On one side of the breast pockets, it has an 'Oxford' patch on it. I'm not sure if this is the brand or something. There's also a rowing picture so maybe it's a club jacket?? The size wasn't on it so I quickly tried it on, it's a bit tight but the fact it was $10 and amazing I, of course, had to have it. 

Now that I've got a taste for it I'm eager to hunt out my next gem.

Have you found any op-shop gems?

Ashley xx

Vintage Finds

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I've always viewed op-shopping through rose tinted glasses. I'd always imagine going in and being surround by amazing one-off pieces of clothing. Off course that never really happens and the chances of it being in your size is a miracle. In the past, I haven't done much op-shopping but now I'm really into it. 

Ok, skip to a couple of weeks ago or so and I'd just finished up at the museum. I was just wandering up and down the Great South Road when I happen to glance towards Selwyn Arcade and saw a second-hand shop which I'm pretty sure was not there before. I decided to go over and have a look through the clothing racks. I saw some things which took my fancy but then I discovered this gem and honestly couldn't believe my luck. Blazers are an item which I'm obsessed with and I've been hunting for one for the longest time. 


It's navy blue and is a bit longer than a regular blazer (I'm pretty sure it's a mens one but who cares). There are shoulder pads and it's got pockets at the front and also inside which is great cause who doesn't love places to put stuff.



The buttons look as though they've got seahorses on them which is cool. On one side of the breast pockets, it has an 'Oxford' patch on it. I'm not sure if this is the brand or something. There's also a rowing picture so maybe it's a club jacket?? The size wasn't on it so I quickly tried it on, it's a bit tight but the fact it was $10 and amazing I, of course, had to have it. 

Now that I've got a taste for it I'm eager to hunt out my next gem.

Have you found any op-shop gems?

Ashley xx

Fragrance is one of the things I always remember to put on every day. Currently I rotate six different ones, mostly overlapping each other. The majority of them are the 'celebrity' ones (Britney Spears) but I've always coveted the range of higher end fragrances. So far only two have joined my collection but I'm always lusting after them all.




YSL Black Opium
I bought this earlier in the year with a pharmacy voucher that was gathering dust. I had seen other beauty bloggers rave about it so wanted to see what the fuss was about. While at the counter I was tossing up between this one & the floral edition. They kind of smelled the same to me and ended up going with this one. I love the design of the bottle, a very dark glittery purple and the 50 ml is a nice size. So it turns out I did a post on this in March, I describe the notes & stuff there so have a look at that. It's currently in rotation and I love the darker floral scent to it.

Daisy by Marc Jacobs
I've wanted this fragrance for the longest time and when my parents asked me if there were any perfumes I wanted from America I immediately said this. They actually brought back a set which had a 100 ml bottle, a 10 ml roll-on & a bottle of lotion. As yet I haven't worn it, I'm gonna wait till one of my usuals has run out. It smells amazing which is not surprising considering it has notes of wild strawberry, gardenia & jasmine.

What high-end fragrances do you love?

Ashley xx

High-End Fragrances

Thursday, 9 November 2017


Fragrance is one of the things I always remember to put on every day. Currently I rotate six different ones, mostly overlapping each other. The majority of them are the 'celebrity' ones (Britney Spears) but I've always coveted the range of higher end fragrances. So far only two have joined my collection but I'm always lusting after them all.




YSL Black Opium
I bought this earlier in the year with a pharmacy voucher that was gathering dust. I had seen other beauty bloggers rave about it so wanted to see what the fuss was about. While at the counter I was tossing up between this one & the floral edition. They kind of smelled the same to me and ended up going with this one. I love the design of the bottle, a very dark glittery purple and the 50 ml is a nice size. So it turns out I did a post on this in March, I describe the notes & stuff there so have a look at that. It's currently in rotation and I love the darker floral scent to it.

Daisy by Marc Jacobs
I've wanted this fragrance for the longest time and when my parents asked me if there were any perfumes I wanted from America I immediately said this. They actually brought back a set which had a 100 ml bottle, a 10 ml roll-on & a bottle of lotion. As yet I haven't worn it, I'm gonna wait till one of my usuals has run out. It smells amazing which is not surprising considering it has notes of wild strawberry, gardenia & jasmine.

What high-end fragrances do you love?

Ashley xx


I know it's typical to curl up with a book when it's cold but as it's heading into the warmer months when all you want to be is outside reading is turned into a more conscious decision. I often have times of the day blocked off in my head that's for making some headway in the works currently beside my bed. It's kind of like a job if only I was paid.


Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau*
Following October's fantasy heavy books it's only right to follow up with another fantasy novel, right? I started this soon after finishing Godblind* and the stories have similar themes. Both are concerned with a monarchy and who will be the one to inherit it. In Eden twins, Carys & Andreus were never destined to rule until their older brother and father are killed. The line of succession is no longer clear and the twins have to take part in a Trial of Succession. The twins are really close so it will be interesting to see how their relationship is tested throughout the book.



But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure*
This is the sequel to This Raging Light which I haven't read but I think they're kind of like stand-alone type books. This story follows Eden who finds her life plan in tatters after waking up from a coma. For her family & friends nothing has really changed but for Eden, everything has which is understandable considering. She also gains this strange relationship with a fellow coma patient who she somehow met while unconscious. I am part way through so far and am finding the story interesting.

These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper*
But Then I Came Back* isn't that long so I think I'll be able to start this later on in the month. These Dividing Walls focuses on an apartment style building in Paris and follows the lives of the people that live there. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill & new arrival Edward takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief. As a daily daydreamer of Paris, I am very much looking forward to this book and the mental images it will conjure up.

What are you planning to read this month?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from HarperCollins NZ & Hachette NZ

Books to Read in November

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


I know it's typical to curl up with a book when it's cold but as it's heading into the warmer months when all you want to be is outside reading is turned into a more conscious decision. I often have times of the day blocked off in my head that's for making some headway in the works currently beside my bed. It's kind of like a job if only I was paid.


Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau*
Following October's fantasy heavy books it's only right to follow up with another fantasy novel, right? I started this soon after finishing Godblind* and the stories have similar themes. Both are concerned with a monarchy and who will be the one to inherit it. In Eden twins, Carys & Andreus were never destined to rule until their older brother and father are killed. The line of succession is no longer clear and the twins have to take part in a Trial of Succession. The twins are really close so it will be interesting to see how their relationship is tested throughout the book.



But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure*
This is the sequel to This Raging Light which I haven't read but I think they're kind of like stand-alone type books. This story follows Eden who finds her life plan in tatters after waking up from a coma. For her family & friends nothing has really changed but for Eden, everything has which is understandable considering. She also gains this strange relationship with a fellow coma patient who she somehow met while unconscious. I am part way through so far and am finding the story interesting.

These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper*
But Then I Came Back* isn't that long so I think I'll be able to start this later on in the month. These Dividing Walls focuses on an apartment style building in Paris and follows the lives of the people that live there. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill & new arrival Edward takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief. As a daily daydreamer of Paris, I am very much looking forward to this book and the mental images it will conjure up.

What are you planning to read this month?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from HarperCollins NZ & Hachette NZ

This gets repeated at the start of every month but the fact that it's the second to last month of the year doesn't feel real. I don't really have a feel for what time of the year it is really, just that it's nowhere near the end. As usual, my favourites are a bit random so sit back and enjoy.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor*
The size of this book did intimidate me at first but once I started getting into it I almost could'nt put it down. The story is told from the perspective of two characters mostly. Lazlo, an orphan librarian who grabs the chance to travel to a place he's been fascinated with his whole life & Sarai, godspawn, who as well as her friends have been hiding most of their lives. The story has a fantastical element to it which is elevated with the heavy descriptive language. I'll do a review later on sometime in the near future.

Estée & Aslan's Santorini vlogs
Estée & Aslan went on a little trip to Greece and OMG Santorini is one of the most beautiful places ever. I'm obsessed and I need to go there. The whole place is Instagramable. Estée vlogged the first day of the trip on her channel while Aslan did a video of the second day. These have to be the best vlogs I've watched in a while.

Recycled Movie Costumes on Tumblr
I discovered this account/blog during one of my mindless wanders through Tumblr. Recycled Movie Costumes just basically shows dresses, accessories etc that have been reused for different TV shows or movies. I don't know, I just find it interesting seeing costumes pop up in multiple shows.

Paolo Sebastian Spring/Summer 2018
As you all know anything Disney related I absolutely love. So of course when I saw that Paolo Sebastian had created Disney inspired gowns I fell in love instantly. They're all so gorgeous & whimsical, I would be the happiest person on earth if I ever got a dress like those. 

What are your October Favourites?

Ashley xx
*Review copy from Hachette NZ

October Favourites

Thursday, 2 November 2017


This gets repeated at the start of every month but the fact that it's the second to last month of the year doesn't feel real. I don't really have a feel for what time of the year it is really, just that it's nowhere near the end. As usual, my favourites are a bit random so sit back and enjoy.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor*
The size of this book did intimidate me at first but once I started getting into it I almost could'nt put it down. The story is told from the perspective of two characters mostly. Lazlo, an orphan librarian who grabs the chance to travel to a place he's been fascinated with his whole life & Sarai, godspawn, who as well as her friends have been hiding most of their lives. The story has a fantastical element to it which is elevated with the heavy descriptive language. I'll do a review later on sometime in the near future.

Estée & Aslan's Santorini vlogs
Estée & Aslan went on a little trip to Greece and OMG Santorini is one of the most beautiful places ever. I'm obsessed and I need to go there. The whole place is Instagramable. Estée vlogged the first day of the trip on her channel while Aslan did a video of the second day. These have to be the best vlogs I've watched in a while.

Recycled Movie Costumes on Tumblr
I discovered this account/blog during one of my mindless wanders through Tumblr. Recycled Movie Costumes just basically shows dresses, accessories etc that have been reused for different TV shows or movies. I don't know, I just find it interesting seeing costumes pop up in multiple shows.

Paolo Sebastian Spring/Summer 2018
As you all know anything Disney related I absolutely love. So of course when I saw that Paolo Sebastian had created Disney inspired gowns I fell in love instantly. They're all so gorgeous & whimsical, I would be the happiest person on earth if I ever got a dress like those. 

What are your October Favourites?

Ashley xx
*Review copy from Hachette NZ

For me, passion & motivation go hand in hand. If I'm passionate about something I'm therefore more motivated to do it or work towards it. Some of the time this passion comes in short bursts. I have an idea, get excited about it, make plans but it ends up fizzling out. The idea is still in the back of my mind but my passion and therefore motivation is gone.

Like with everyone figuring out what I wanted to do with my life was the most stressful thing. For me I felt like I was in limbo, stuck with no way out. Around this time last year, I finally figured out my career goal and is something that still excites me when I think about it. I've come up with a plan of sorts to get there which for me makes it less stressful, knowing my way through the maze.

The topic of passion & motivation is one that I'm always drawn to and I'm thinking of doing a guest post series kind of. I just have to come up with questions which are the hard part.

I did a video on this and I talk more in-depth about what gets me passionate & motivated to do stuff. If you haven't already I would love it if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel.

What makes you passionate & motivated?

Ashley xx



Passion & Motivation

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


For me, passion & motivation go hand in hand. If I'm passionate about something I'm therefore more motivated to do it or work towards it. Some of the time this passion comes in short bursts. I have an idea, get excited about it, make plans but it ends up fizzling out. The idea is still in the back of my mind but my passion and therefore motivation is gone.

Like with everyone figuring out what I wanted to do with my life was the most stressful thing. For me I felt like I was in limbo, stuck with no way out. Around this time last year, I finally figured out my career goal and is something that still excites me when I think about it. I've come up with a plan of sorts to get there which for me makes it less stressful, knowing my way through the maze.

The topic of passion & motivation is one that I'm always drawn to and I'm thinking of doing a guest post series kind of. I just have to come up with questions which are the hard part.

I did a video on this and I talk more in-depth about what gets me passionate & motivated to do stuff. If you haven't already I would love it if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel.

What makes you passionate & motivated?

Ashley xx



Latest Instagrams

© Ashley Ruth. Design by Fearne.