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I mentioned this in my July Favourites but thought I would dedicate a post to it as I have been enjoying it so much. Jessie from Nailed It NZ kindly sent me a set of her nail art brushes a few months back but I've only recently gotten around to trying them out. I got some nail samples from eBay (one set just never turned up so I had to buy another) and have been watching her beginner videos.





The Nail Tool Essentials Kit comes with three brushes as well as a dotting tool. There's a detail brush (the shorter thin one) which is useful for most nail art designs. The Clean Up Brush; the angle allows a smooth clean finish & the Striping Brush, which allows an easier application for lines. The dotting tool is double ended with one side bigger than the other.



These are the designs I've done so far. They're a bit rough, let's be honest but I'm still practising. So far my favourite is the dotting tool as it's just much easier to use and play around with.

You can buy these brushes online and Jessie has just brought out nail files which look great.

Have you tried any nail art?

Ashley xx

Nail Art with Nailed It NZ

Thursday, 17 August 2017


I mentioned this in my July Favourites but thought I would dedicate a post to it as I have been enjoying it so much. Jessie from Nailed It NZ kindly sent me a set of her nail art brushes a few months back but I've only recently gotten around to trying them out. I got some nail samples from eBay (one set just never turned up so I had to buy another) and have been watching her beginner videos.





The Nail Tool Essentials Kit comes with three brushes as well as a dotting tool. There's a detail brush (the shorter thin one) which is useful for most nail art designs. The Clean Up Brush; the angle allows a smooth clean finish & the Striping Brush, which allows an easier application for lines. The dotting tool is double ended with one side bigger than the other.



These are the designs I've done so far. They're a bit rough, let's be honest but I'm still practising. So far my favourite is the dotting tool as it's just much easier to use and play around with.

You can buy these brushes online and Jessie has just brought out nail files which look great.

Have you tried any nail art?

Ashley xx

As a book worm, I have quite the list of books I want to read/own. I very rarely get to the stage of buying them but managed to bite the bullet on one occasion. One of these books has been on the list for a while whereas the other prompted me to just buy it soon after I discovered its existence.



This year marks 20 years since the publication of the Philosopher's Stone. In celebration, special editions were brought out in both hard & paper back. Of course, I had to get myself one. I knew I wanted a hardback but couldn't decide on the four different designs each representing the houses at Hogwarts. I kept tossing up between Ravenclaw (my house) & Gryffindor (cause I just love the look of red and gold). As you can see I stayed true to my house and picked up a Ravenclaw edition. The editions include additional information about the house including the founder, ghost as well as famous Ravenclaw alumni.





Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola is one of my favourite movies and when I discovered this book on Instagram and immediately searched for it on Book Depository and thankfully they had it. The book is filled with stills of the gorgeous movie and also includes the screenplay. I'm not sure but I think it is not the full screenplay as parts are missing but I honestly wanted it more for the images.

What books are on your wish list?

Ashley xx
*Affiliate Links

Book Haul | Harry Potter & Marie Antoinette

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


As a book worm, I have quite the list of books I want to read/own. I very rarely get to the stage of buying them but managed to bite the bullet on one occasion. One of these books has been on the list for a while whereas the other prompted me to just buy it soon after I discovered its existence.



This year marks 20 years since the publication of the Philosopher's Stone. In celebration, special editions were brought out in both hard & paper back. Of course, I had to get myself one. I knew I wanted a hardback but couldn't decide on the four different designs each representing the houses at Hogwarts. I kept tossing up between Ravenclaw (my house) & Gryffindor (cause I just love the look of red and gold). As you can see I stayed true to my house and picked up a Ravenclaw edition. The editions include additional information about the house including the founder, ghost as well as famous Ravenclaw alumni.





Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola is one of my favourite movies and when I discovered this book on Instagram and immediately searched for it on Book Depository and thankfully they had it. The book is filled with stills of the gorgeous movie and also includes the screenplay. I'm not sure but I think it is not the full screenplay as parts are missing but I honestly wanted it more for the images.

What books are on your wish list?

Ashley xx
*Affiliate Links

As I spend most of my time at home I rarely have the need or desire to put on a full face of makeup. I recently got a new volunteering position on Fridays, (exciting!) in the city which prompts me to want to look put together. I'm writing this post the night before so hopefully, I use everything I plan to.


For the base, I've been using the Maybelline Super Stay foundation as opposed to my usual Colorstay. The shade is a bit light for my skin tone but it brightens it up. If I can't be bothered with the liquid foundation I just use the Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin powder foundation. I often use this as a concealer if I put on the liquid foundation first but works well on its own and is quicker. For under the eyes I usually use the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer. Unfortunately, I completely forgot about it when taking pictures.


I often skip this step but to set the foundation/concealer I just use the Rimmel Stay Matte powder.



Again I don't usually do these steps but thought I would give them a go. The blush is a Milani Baked Blush in Rose D'Oro, it's a gorgeous shade of pink with gold flecks through it. The highlighter is from XO Beauty and is in the shade Aurora which is a stunning champagne pink. It's very subtle, so for a highlighter novice like me, it's not too terrifying.



For the eyes, I'm going to use the Rimmel Magnif'Eyes palette in Keep Calm & Wear Gold. As you can see the shades are mostly neutral with some gorgeous gold shades as well. My current mascara is one from Moisture Mist.



And lastly, for the lips, I start off with a lip liner as lipsticks on me tend to bleed. I'll be using a Chi Chi one in the shade Fly Girl which is a pinky nude. And over top, I'll apply a Jeffree Star liquid lipstick in the shade I'm Shook which is a gorgeous pinky nude shade.

What products made up your MOTD?

Ashley xx

MOTD 11/08/17

Friday, 11 August 2017


As I spend most of my time at home I rarely have the need or desire to put on a full face of makeup. I recently got a new volunteering position on Fridays, (exciting!) in the city which prompts me to want to look put together. I'm writing this post the night before so hopefully, I use everything I plan to.


For the base, I've been using the Maybelline Super Stay foundation as opposed to my usual Colorstay. The shade is a bit light for my skin tone but it brightens it up. If I can't be bothered with the liquid foundation I just use the Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin powder foundation. I often use this as a concealer if I put on the liquid foundation first but works well on its own and is quicker. For under the eyes I usually use the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer. Unfortunately, I completely forgot about it when taking pictures.


I often skip this step but to set the foundation/concealer I just use the Rimmel Stay Matte powder.



Again I don't usually do these steps but thought I would give them a go. The blush is a Milani Baked Blush in Rose D'Oro, it's a gorgeous shade of pink with gold flecks through it. The highlighter is from XO Beauty and is in the shade Aurora which is a stunning champagne pink. It's very subtle, so for a highlighter novice like me, it's not too terrifying.



For the eyes, I'm going to use the Rimmel Magnif'Eyes palette in Keep Calm & Wear Gold. As you can see the shades are mostly neutral with some gorgeous gold shades as well. My current mascara is one from Moisture Mist.



And lastly, for the lips, I start off with a lip liner as lipsticks on me tend to bleed. I'll be using a Chi Chi one in the shade Fly Girl which is a pinky nude. And over top, I'll apply a Jeffree Star liquid lipstick in the shade I'm Shook which is a gorgeous pinky nude shade.

What products made up your MOTD?

Ashley xx

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has dreamed of one day owning a designer handbag. I'm always interested in seeing the new collections but until that time comes my eyes are set towards ones which are more in my price range. Colette Hayman is an Australian designer who has designed stunning bags which are affordable. I had a look through the online store and found some which caught my eye. Hopefully, they'll be in a physical store.



In terms of smaller handbags, I prefer cross body as I find straps just fall off my shoulder. I also feel more secure when it's crossbody. I liked the Sophie Quilt Crossbody as it is a bit different to what I would usually go for. It's a rounded rectangular shape and is an Ivory shade with a quilted feature. The gold tone hardware accents also add a little more luxury which I like.

The Zoey Zip 3-In-1 Crossbody is different as it comes with three interchangeable covers; black, snakeskin & ivory. I personally like it just with the black cover. It looks more sleek and simple and the gold chain detailing stops it from being too boring.





For bigger bags, I really like the style of totes. I also like to make sure they have a decently long strap due to the aforementioned problem above. I really liked how stylishly classic (if that's a thing) the Jackie Medium Tote is. It's black with gold tone hardware. The only thing I'm not sure about is the shoulder strap. To me, it looks a different style to the bag itself. I don't know.

The Steph Tassel Mini is Burgundy, velvet and all round gorgeous. It's more of a round shape than a rectangle and is also a bit smaller. While I'm more into black as well as neutrals for handbags the colour of this is darker and could be both a day & night bag.

The Carlie Hardware Tag Tote was the first bag to catch my eye and I'm sure it's obvious why. It's a gorgeous pink shade and is a great size to fit everything you need for the day. I know I said I prefer black & neutrals but pink is the exception.

Are there any Colette bags you have your eye on?

Ashley xx

Wishlist | Colette by Colette Hayman

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


I'm sure I'm not the only one who has dreamed of one day owning a designer handbag. I'm always interested in seeing the new collections but until that time comes my eyes are set towards ones which are more in my price range. Colette Hayman is an Australian designer who has designed stunning bags which are affordable. I had a look through the online store and found some which caught my eye. Hopefully, they'll be in a physical store.



In terms of smaller handbags, I prefer cross body as I find straps just fall off my shoulder. I also feel more secure when it's crossbody. I liked the Sophie Quilt Crossbody as it is a bit different to what I would usually go for. It's a rounded rectangular shape and is an Ivory shade with a quilted feature. The gold tone hardware accents also add a little more luxury which I like.

The Zoey Zip 3-In-1 Crossbody is different as it comes with three interchangeable covers; black, snakeskin & ivory. I personally like it just with the black cover. It looks more sleek and simple and the gold chain detailing stops it from being too boring.





For bigger bags, I really like the style of totes. I also like to make sure they have a decently long strap due to the aforementioned problem above. I really liked how stylishly classic (if that's a thing) the Jackie Medium Tote is. It's black with gold tone hardware. The only thing I'm not sure about is the shoulder strap. To me, it looks a different style to the bag itself. I don't know.

The Steph Tassel Mini is Burgundy, velvet and all round gorgeous. It's more of a round shape than a rectangle and is also a bit smaller. While I'm more into black as well as neutrals for handbags the colour of this is darker and could be both a day & night bag.

The Carlie Hardware Tag Tote was the first bag to catch my eye and I'm sure it's obvious why. It's a gorgeous pink shade and is a great size to fit everything you need for the day. I know I said I prefer black & neutrals but pink is the exception.

Are there any Colette bags you have your eye on?

Ashley xx


I've been reading quite a lot lately which I'm really proud of. I go through phases of having a need to just sit down and read especially when enjoying a book. The book I've just finished was the quickest I have ever read in a while, I had a preconception of what the story entailed but was completely wrong. I liked how the title and also the blurb at the back gave no real hints at the story. I'm keeping the same pace with one of the books in this post, again another mystery.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney*
This is the said book. The story switches between two different female perspectives who are separated by time. After a traumatic incident Emma & her partner, Simon, move into an amazing place that comes with a particular set of rules. A couple of years later Jane, who has also gone through a traumatic event, moves into the same house Emma & Simon once occupied. The house is very conceptual and designed by an enigmatic architect who Emma & Jane find alluring. I've just gotten to the part where Jane finds out what happens to Emma, it's a real mystery which I'm enjoying.

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English*
Timbuktu has been a fascination of explorers for centuries. Stories, such as slaves wearing gold, prompted adventurers in the late eighteenth century to reach it. None succeeded. Timbuktu is also the source of learning with there being thousands of ancient manuscripts on numerous subjects. These precious documents were put in danger when al-Qaeda-linked jihadists invaded which prompted an amazing group of librarians & archivists to hide them. The book brings together the two stories, the real life accounts in 2012 and the stories from the past. I did an Art Crime paper at University and the story of this book reminded me of some of the case studies. I loved that paper so I am excited to learn about this story.



Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti*
I'm pretty sure I'll get through The Girl Before pretty quickly so this book will be next. The story follows Anna & her daughter Ava. After Ava's father disappears she is traumatised and after three days of silence starts to talk about and draw a place she's never visited. To get to the truth Anna goes to the place, a tiny island where their past & future meet. This again sounds like another mystery which I'm a fan of so am looking forward to starting it soon.

What books are you planning to read in August?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from Hachette NZ & HarperCollins NZ

Books to Read in August

Friday, 4 August 2017



I've been reading quite a lot lately which I'm really proud of. I go through phases of having a need to just sit down and read especially when enjoying a book. The book I've just finished was the quickest I have ever read in a while, I had a preconception of what the story entailed but was completely wrong. I liked how the title and also the blurb at the back gave no real hints at the story. I'm keeping the same pace with one of the books in this post, again another mystery.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney*
This is the said book. The story switches between two different female perspectives who are separated by time. After a traumatic incident Emma & her partner, Simon, move into an amazing place that comes with a particular set of rules. A couple of years later Jane, who has also gone through a traumatic event, moves into the same house Emma & Simon once occupied. The house is very conceptual and designed by an enigmatic architect who Emma & Jane find alluring. I've just gotten to the part where Jane finds out what happens to Emma, it's a real mystery which I'm enjoying.

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English*
Timbuktu has been a fascination of explorers for centuries. Stories, such as slaves wearing gold, prompted adventurers in the late eighteenth century to reach it. None succeeded. Timbuktu is also the source of learning with there being thousands of ancient manuscripts on numerous subjects. These precious documents were put in danger when al-Qaeda-linked jihadists invaded which prompted an amazing group of librarians & archivists to hide them. The book brings together the two stories, the real life accounts in 2012 and the stories from the past. I did an Art Crime paper at University and the story of this book reminded me of some of the case studies. I loved that paper so I am excited to learn about this story.



Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti*
I'm pretty sure I'll get through The Girl Before pretty quickly so this book will be next. The story follows Anna & her daughter Ava. After Ava's father disappears she is traumatised and after three days of silence starts to talk about and draw a place she's never visited. To get to the truth Anna goes to the place, a tiny island where their past & future meet. This again sounds like another mystery which I'm a fan of so am looking forward to starting it soon.

What books are you planning to read in August?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from Hachette NZ & HarperCollins NZ

You all know I'm a sucker when it comes to online shopping, especially when there are deals. My favourite is 1-day which has three different sales and changes every day at 12 pm. In one of the sales, I spotted a portable light tent which I immediately added to my cart. I just thought it would be a great thing to have as natural light is a bit temperamental. I used it for the photo above and I think it turned out ok, I'll have to keep experimenting with it. 

Getting Creative
Turns out I mentioned this in last month's favourites but I'm gonna include it again as I've been really enjoying it. I got a small set of watercolour paint for Christmas a couple of years ago and I've only just starting to use them. Through watching some tutorials I've been experimenting and realising how you can do a number of effects by just adding water. I've already made a list of stuff I need, at the moment I'm just using normal paper and I don't think it allows the paint to get its desired effect.

Another creative thing I'm getting into is nail art. Jessie from Nailed It NZ kindly sent me a set of her nail art brushes a while ago but there was an issue with a missing eBay package so I've only just got around to using them. I'm using nail samples to start off with and am following her videos as well. The two in the picture are my best ones so far and I've now got the need to get more polishes. I've also looked into doing a nail technician course cause you know I love to study. You can buy her brushes through her online shop.

Getting my Sh*t Together (somewhat)
I mentioned in my 'Don't Force It' post about things I should deal with but can't be bothered. Well, steps have been made to deal with them. It's terrifying but it's better than constantly getting stressed over not doing anything. I've also recently finished Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight*, it may or may not had something to do with it. I'm not sure.

Vikings
I've heard talk of this show for a while but only recently got into it. I've binged watched and am now currently at the most recent season. This is shown on the History channel which to me is strange as I've never seen this or shows like it on the channel, though it maybe because I'm in NZ. It's a historical drama about Vikings, in particular, Ragnar Lothbrok. Historically he's more of a myth/legend figure and other characters from different time periods are put together in the same story. So it's not entirely historically accurate but it's addictive. One of the things I love is that some of the Viking women fought in the battles and are known as Shield Maidens. Not entirely sure it's historical fact, be cool it was though.

What were your July Favourites?

Ashley xx
* Review copy from Hachette NZ

July Favourites

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


You all know I'm a sucker when it comes to online shopping, especially when there are deals. My favourite is 1-day which has three different sales and changes every day at 12 pm. In one of the sales, I spotted a portable light tent which I immediately added to my cart. I just thought it would be a great thing to have as natural light is a bit temperamental. I used it for the photo above and I think it turned out ok, I'll have to keep experimenting with it. 

Getting Creative
Turns out I mentioned this in last month's favourites but I'm gonna include it again as I've been really enjoying it. I got a small set of watercolour paint for Christmas a couple of years ago and I've only just starting to use them. Through watching some tutorials I've been experimenting and realising how you can do a number of effects by just adding water. I've already made a list of stuff I need, at the moment I'm just using normal paper and I don't think it allows the paint to get its desired effect.

Another creative thing I'm getting into is nail art. Jessie from Nailed It NZ kindly sent me a set of her nail art brushes a while ago but there was an issue with a missing eBay package so I've only just got around to using them. I'm using nail samples to start off with and am following her videos as well. The two in the picture are my best ones so far and I've now got the need to get more polishes. I've also looked into doing a nail technician course cause you know I love to study. You can buy her brushes through her online shop.

Getting my Sh*t Together (somewhat)
I mentioned in my 'Don't Force It' post about things I should deal with but can't be bothered. Well, steps have been made to deal with them. It's terrifying but it's better than constantly getting stressed over not doing anything. I've also recently finished Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight*, it may or may not had something to do with it. I'm not sure.

Vikings
I've heard talk of this show for a while but only recently got into it. I've binged watched and am now currently at the most recent season. This is shown on the History channel which to me is strange as I've never seen this or shows like it on the channel, though it maybe because I'm in NZ. It's a historical drama about Vikings, in particular, Ragnar Lothbrok. Historically he's more of a myth/legend figure and other characters from different time periods are put together in the same story. So it's not entirely historically accurate but it's addictive. One of the things I love is that some of the Viking women fought in the battles and are known as Shield Maidens. Not entirely sure it's historical fact, be cool it was though.

What were your July Favourites?

Ashley xx
* Review copy from Hachette NZ

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