Saturday, 8 October 2016

My Daily Beauty Routine

So makeup has never been a big part of my life, although I am partial to a browse around the Sephora website every now and then. That said, lately I've been using a few products that I just adore, and tend to wear most weekdays. It's very minimal but I really love how it all looks together.

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30+
I had been searching for a cruelty-free, lightweight SPF that works well on its own or layered with other products. It's super hydrating and non-greasy, and I'll definitely be buying it in the bigger tube.

RMS "Un" Cover-Up in 00
I thought about buying this for the longest time (it's on the pricy side for a concealer) but I am so glad I did! The base for this formula is coconut oil, so it's super hydrating and lightweight, and really buildable.

Anastasis Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
This remains the only brow product I've found that matches my brow colour perfectly. I use it to fill in sparser areas, and it's super buildable to suit anyone's needs!

Pacifica Mascara
I have this in brown and black because I love it so much. Day to day I wear 'stardust' which is a dark brown colour. It's a lil bit lengthening and a lil but voluminizing, so it ticks all boxes. Lasts all day and doesn't smudge, perfection!

Ardell Brow Gel
This was super duper cheap on Amazon, but it's actually really great. It keeps my brows nicely shaped all day long and smells strangely delicious.

x B


Friday, 2 September 2016

Thoughts This Week: On Choice

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about choice and the role that our everyday decisions play in shaping our lives. While I was home for the summer and visiting friends and family I thought a lot about how my life would be different if I stayed in Melbourne and never chose to study overseas. What might be different? Would I have stayed in touch with certain friends that aren't in my life anymore? Would I love studying there as much as I enjoy studying here?

I can remember on the flight back to Melbourne in May, thinking to myself just how incredible the force of decisions can be. I thought to myself about how my reality is composed entirely of choices, just little mundane choices I make every day. I wouldn't be sitting here right now if I hadn't done the little things that often seem inconsequential, right? On a whim I chose to take a certain English class and we happened to read one narrative that played a huge role in my life for half a year (Hannah Duston, I'm looking at you). I don't know, I think it can be pretty incredible to look at the different choices that led you to where you are today.

Sometimes this is so overwhelming that I'm frightened into not making any choices for fear that the next one will be the one that changes everything. If that even makes sense at all.

In other news, I'm a week into my junior year and I am having a good time so far, though I can't recall being this exhausted maybe ever. I'm looking forward to a lot of things and have booked in to spend Christmas in London and then the next semester at the University of Edinburgh so I am ridiculously excited for that to come around.

Hope all is well with you, whoever you are and wherever in the world you are.

x B

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A Few Favourite Things

So it's been a while since I've posted here, and I won't apologize -- I've just been happily living my life for the last month or so. My New Year's resolution this year was to spend less time documenting and planning my life, and more time living it. So just take my absence from this space as an indication that I'm succeeding in that.

It's been a big month. I've been making lots of plans, figuring things out for next semester at school, and enjoying my summer as much as possible. On top of the usual daily routine, I've fostered the most beautiful dog from the RSPCA (but their policy prohibits me from sharing photos until he's ready for adoption). However, I have found some time to slow down and enjoy the everyday, and I wanted to share some of that with you here. I thought I might share my 'favourites,' but instead of material possessions, focus instead on events/activities/recipes (although there are a couple new things I want to share!)

Lazy afternoons reading

I've been reading a lot lately, which has been lovely and much-needed. There's something delightfully comforting about reading on the couch while it rains down on the windows. I recently finished The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion and loved it just as much as the first Rosie novel. Don's narration is so refreshing and not frustrating, as I find many narrators to be. Right now I'm reading Diana Gabaldon's Dragonfly in Amber, the second in her Outlander series. I've absolutely been swept up in Claire and Jamie's story, and love DG's writing and Claire's narration. I'm up to date with the TV show so I can't wait to finish this novel and get on to the next one.

And watching some television

A couple of great shows I've been watching lately have kept me entertained in the evenings. Master of None, Aziz Ansari's show, was a seriously entertaining but light-hearted watch. Well cast and with clever humour, it was the perfect kind of show to watch over a couple of rainy days in bed. Then I started Please Like Me, created by Australian comedian Josh Thomas. It is a wonderfully optimistic show that deals with complicated issues in a tasteful way. I really liked that the main character, Josh, didn't seem to have any idea what he was doing as he entered adulthood, which I found very relatable and realistic. Finally, I've just finished the the first season of Jane the Virgin. I had watched a few episodes a while back but never got into the story, but recently I rented the season from the library and found myself totally invested in the storyline. While the premise is a little ridiculous, the characters are complex and interesting, and I love it now!

Planning for the next few months

I'm such a planner that I've been busy making lists and calendars and checklists to get ready for the next semester. Without even trying, I find myself with five jobs/roles on top of classes, so I'm in for a very busy few months on campus. I bought a new diary from Kikki.K (that has lots of little illustrations to colour in) and I've been using Apple Calendars and Google docs to make plans and lists so I'm all ready to go. It just makes me so happy to colour code and highlight things so I've really been enjoying that.

New additions to the wardrobe

While I didn't set out to shop too much this summer, I have picked up a few nice new pieces that I adore. I bought a pair of Blundestone 585 boots recently and have practically been living in them, they're so comfortable! They go with just about anything and I love love love them to bits. I also stopped in Chapel St. the other day and bought a lovely pair of cotton pants at Sussan, as well as a tunic dress and jacket in the Ishka sale (honestly I don't know of a better sale than an Ishka sale!) I love the colours of these pieces and they are all soft and made of cotton, which is just awesome.

Delicious breakfasts

I recently picked up the PB2 powdered peanut butter in chocolate flavour, and have been loving that so far! My favourite breakfast lately has been oats with chia and flax seeds, some chopped banana and the PB2 chocolate drizzled on top. So good! I'm also pretty obsessed with overnight oats- basically just oats and chia left to soak in coconut/almond milk and coconut yoghurt overnight. Top with some fresh fruit and it's a quick and delicious breakfast on the go.

x B

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Life Lately: July

I had originally thought that I would use this summer break (although winter at home...) to pick up a new hobby or two, read lots of books, visit with friends, and explore Melbourne some more. While I have managed some of that, I underestimated how tired I would be when I arrived home. While I have been reading, cooking and seeing some friends, a great deal of my time is spent on the couch or in bed, either asleep or just lying awake and trying to calm down my whirring brain and thoughts. I am enjoying myself immensely, however, and thought I'd share a little of what I've been up to here. A little itty-bitty diary if you will.

This week the weather has been grey and dreary, not ideal for getting out and about, but perfect for curling up on the sofa with a good book. So today, that's exactly what I had planned to do. I got as far as wrapping myself up like a blanket burrito, and after that I was so sleepy I never got around to opening my book. The rain was tap-tapping away on the window and the whole house was filled with a sense of tranquility. I was asleep within seconds.

The book I had planned to read is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: a 900-page feast of a novel, and I'm nearly halfway through and loving it. I had watched the first season of Outlander on Netflix before picking up the novel, so I'm enjoying the same story again with much more detail and perspective. It really is a fantastic read and I would highly recommend it. If you love watching Game of Thrones and/or reading historical fiction, it would be right up your alley. Sometimes with a novel of that length, I can get a little bit overwhelmed by all the reading to do and end up doing nothing, which is a hopeless excuse. So I'm slowly making my way through it, and loving it. Next on my shelf is The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman, but I'm also thinking about The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (I adored the first Don Tillman novel). But really, who knows... I may well just re-read Jane Eyre for the umpteenth time.

The other day I was out walking, and looked up to see a beautiful leaf fall from an oak tree. Perhaps it was my mood on that particular day, or maybe I was just exhausted, but for whatever reason I started to tear up and I'm not really sure why. The rest of the day I kept thinking about how many leaves there are in the world, and how many people/lives/stories exist at once and how many of them go untold. Simultaneously scary and beautiful, I think. In my opinion the best stories are those that go untold, and often this thought is so overwhelming that I need to sit down and/or take a nap. I don't know if that's just me... I feel a little vulnerable if the world as it is can have that big an impact on me, but in a way I suppose that thinking all the time does have its downsides... what do you think?

x B

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Few Thoughts on Self-Love

The first photo of myself I can remember loving, double chin and all.   
June is the first month is the first I've been home from college in quite a while, and as such I've had a great deal more time alone with my thoughts than I usually do (the other day I was so overwhelmed by my wandering mind that I quite literally burst into tears... more on this another time). I'd say I live pretty much entirely inside my head, and if I don't communicate my thoughts and feelings it can all get to be a little much. Sometimes I'll be on the train, or watching a YouTube video, or reading a novel, when a thought crosses my mind and I just need to write about it in some way or I think I might explode. So I thought I'd share some of that here, just fragments of what I've been thinking.

This month I've been thinking a lot about self-love: what informs self-love, what promotes it, how it functions in today's society. I've read a number of articles with varying titles: 20 Ways to Practice Self-Love and the like. It seems that mass media wants women to exist in a self-perpetuating identity crisis. We're told to love ourselves, and then bombarded with messages of what we should eat, wear, buy and strive to be (very rarely should we strive to be ourselves, according to the articles I've seen). That said, I had the sudden realization earlier this year that without trying or even really thinking much about it, I found myself very much a promoter of self-love and respect, because I honestly do love myself, and I don't think it's nearly as challenging as mainstream women's magazines want us to believe.

In my experience, no guide to self-love will ever be effective. It's as simple as it sounds, really: the key to loving yourself is just to love yourself... and everything that it encompasses. There are no steps to take. It's as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Love the best bits, love the imperfections, love the parts of yourself that you're working on, love the fact that you are trying and love that you will keep trying no matter what. Love everything that you are, always. If you're struggling with body positivity, just remind yourself that your body is capable of climbing mountains and carrying you through your life. Start right now, and never stop. Swap negativity for love, and don't look back. Don't ever become angry with yourself, don't regret decisions that you consciously made, and don't compare yourself to others because this only leads to toxic downward spirals.

One harsh truth I've learned, and I'm glad I've learned it early in life: you need to look out for yourself, because sometimes you're the only one who is. While it is important to surround yourself with positive people who promote self-love, it needs to come from within first.

Once you make this commitment, the opinions of others seem to pale in comparison to how you feel about yourself. On days when getting out of bed and putting two feet on the floor seems like a daunting task, remember that it was you that made it through every tough day you've ever had before. Love and embrace that. Love the courage it takes to keep moving when things are hard, but also love the courage it takes to speak up and say "I'm not okay and I need some help." In my experience, that's the hardest part of all. And that's when self-love is most important.

On a wider scale, I think that accepting everything that you are has hugely positive effects on the people around you, and every interaction you will have for the rest of your life. If you're comfortable in your own skin, and you're comfortable making mistakes and even embracing them, then others around you are more likely to be as well. That's some of the most positive change you can promote, and it all starts with you.

Monday, 20 June 2016

A Few Easy & Tasty Winter Weekday Meal Ideas

As I'm spending most of my summer break at home, I started cooking a ton and have found a few new favorite recipes that I wanted to share! I'm not super great at writing up recipes, so I'll just give an overview of ingredients and basic steps: these are all super simple and very hard to mess up! I hope you love them!

Porridge with banana, coconut, and super seeds

  • Rolled oats
  • Plant-based milk (I like a mix of almond & coconut)
  • Tinned coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Banana, sliced
  • Optional: chia seeds, flax seeds, fresh berries, almonds
I've gone a week with this for breakfast every single day, and never get sick of it! I put 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of milk, a splash of tinned coconut milk and half the sliced banana in a saucepan and heat it over medium flame for about 5 minutes (add chia/flax if you want here). Then add a tablespoon of coconut oil, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Once it's your ideal consistency, serve it up with the rest of the banana, and any other fruit or nuts on top!

Italian seasoned sweet potato chips

  • Sweet potato (I can happily eat one sweet potato, so maybe one per person)
  • Olive oil
  • Italian herbs (Moroccan herbs are also great)
This one is definitely the easiest of the bunch, it takes literally 3 minutes to get started. Preheat the oven to about 170 celsius. Peel and chop up the potatoes. I like wedges but also enjoy round slices. Then just pop them in a lined pan with olive oil and herbs, make sure everything's evenly coated, and pop in the oven. Turn halfway through cooking, and when they're a little bit crispy, they're ready to enjoy!

Brown rice burrito bowl with fresh guacamole

  • Rice (I like brown rice)
  • Black beans
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Fresh coriander/cilantro
  • Fresh tomato
  • Lime juice
I was super hungry last week and threw this together to satisfy all my cravings. It's so great! Start by putting the rice on to cook, it will be ready when it's nice and fluffy! To make the guac, just mash the avocado in a bowl, add as much chopped tomato as you want, some lime juice, and about one clove of crushed garlic. Combine the black beans with 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and put it in a pan to heat up for about five minutes, stirring frequently. When everything's ready just pop it all in a bowl and you're good to go! (Pictured with some homemade tortilla chips: super easy too! Just chop up tortillas and drizzle with olive oil, bake in the oven until crisp!)

Cozy pesto pasta

  • One serve of pasta (I love brown rice or quinoa spirals)
  • About 1/2 cup of basil
  • About 1 cup of fresh spinach
  • Small handful of pine nuts or cashews
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • More fresh spinach (or rocket/arugula, for serving)
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Optional: cheese (vegan or regular, whatever you prefer)
Definitely my go-to comfort food, I love this so much! Pop your pasta on to cook with a pinch of salt. While it cooks, combine the basil, spinach and nuts in a food processor with approx. 1/2 cup olive oil and about 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Add less/more olive oil depending on the consistency you're after. Then just stir the pesto into the cooked pasta, add some fresh spinach leaves and fresh tomato and it's all done! Top with cheese if you like. Perfect for a night in front of the TV.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Easy Ways to Clear Your Mind

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

As a college student with a crazy schedule most of the time, I often get overwhelmed by my to-do list and the day ahead of me, and sometimes this means I don't enjoy each day as much as I would like to. While I'm at school, I establish a morning routine that puts me in the right headspace for the day, and there are a few things I do throughout the day to keep up this positive energy. Sometimes, though, it can all get to be a bit too much, and then I have a few things that I do to clear my head when I really need the clarity.

Simplify your tech routine

This is a tough one for me, always. I'm pretty obsessed with social media, and generally browsing my favorite online stores until the early hours of the morning. I find that there are a few things I can do to help manage the time I spend in front of a screen each day.

  1. Close all of your internet tabs except for the one that you're using right now. This is hard, I'm such a tab hoarder. But this way I feel like I'm just doing one thing on my computer and don't feel the need to spend hours sorting through the tabs.
  2. Delete negative people, and people you don't know, from your social networks. My Facebook feed is so often filled up with people I don't know or value in my life, and it is so much nicer to just open FB up and see news about people you really care about.
  3. Set limits. Obviously when it's midterms or finals week, I'm on my laptop almost all evening, researching and writing away. When I don't have a lot of work to do, though, I much prefer putting the laptop away once I've done everything I need to, and picking up a book, going for a walk, or calling a friend to hang out. Generally I aim to spend only a couple of hours on my laptop (not including schoolwork), but this number is totally up to you and whatever suits your lifestyle.

Physical cleansing = mental clarity

In my opinion, these are some of the quickest ways to clear your head if you're feeling overwhelmed. Simply having a cleaner space around you works wonders on your mental state.
  1. Tidy your desk/room and make sure to throw a few things away in the process. This is always what I do if I've had a long, exhausting day and need to clear my head. Just making space at my desk or tidying my room makes me feel worlds better, and throwing things away is one of my favorite things ever (I hope I'm not alone in that). While you clean, I find it really helps to open the windows and get some fresh air in!
  2. Brush your teeth, wash your face, or just take a shower. When it's been a long day, sometimes I just need a minute or two standing under warm running water. It is so comforting and cleansing on a physical level that always translates to some peace of mind. 
  3. Go for a run or walk. When I have time, I love getting some fresh air and exercise in the morning, and find this energizes me for the day and increases my focus for the whole day. Even just walking the dog around the block or doing a few simple stretches can also make a huge difference.

Take care of yourself

Without a doubt, I always feel more focused and happy when I am taking good care of myself (both physically and mentally). I think these things can make a world of difference if you're needing some clarity.
  1. Prepare a healthy, colorful, tasty meal for yourself. I love a warm bowl of pasta with fresh pesto and veggies, or a veggie curry, something that's wholesome and comforting but will also make me feel worlds better.
  2. Drink lots of water. There are equations that help you calculate how much you need, I tend to aim for a good two liters every day, and I always feel a little sluggish if I'm dehydrated. It makes such a huge difference!
  3. Take a break! Make sure to leave yourself time, whether in the morning or evening, to relax and take a deep breath. I love reading for an hour before I go to sleep, or watching a couple episodes of something on Netflix. Even just cuddling my cat! Anything you can do to take a break from the stresses of everyday life will help clear your mind for the next day.
I hope this is helpful for you! Let me know what you do to stay calm and clear your mind when things all get to be a little bit much.

x B

Monday, 13 June 2016

Recipe: Super Easy Vegan & GF Salted Caramel Slice

A few months ago I began slowly changing my diet to cut out refined sugar, dairy, and gluten. I've been a vegetarian for many years and to me this seemed like a very doable and rewarding next step. The one challenge I kept facing was that my obsessive sweet tooth meant I was constantly craving a chocolate bar or bag of sweets, and I knew I needed to figure out how to make some healthier alternatives. I began reading some amazing blogs and recipe books (post on some of these coming soon), and now my pantry is stocked with ingredients that I can throw together to create some sweet deliciousness. Admittedly this is a little dangerous, but so far I am loving creating new and exciting treats.

This week I experimented a little bit and created something absolutely incredible: vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free salted caramel slice. Caramel slice has been a favourite of mine since I was a little kid, so this made me so so happy! This recipe is super duper easy, and you only need a handful of ingredients.

Salted Caramel Slice (Vegan, GF, Refined Sugar Free)

Makes approx. 16 bars

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook/cool time: approx. 2 hours


  • For the crust
    • 1 cup almond meal
    • 1 cup brown rice flour
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • For the caramel filling
    • 5 medjool dates, pitted and halved
    • 1/2 cup almond butter (homemade works best here)
    • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 small tin full-fat coconut milk
  • For the chocolate top layer
    • 100g vegan chocolate chips
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. While the oven is heating up, mix the crust ingredients together in a bowl until it is a dough-like consistency. Line a tray with baking paper or grease with coconut oil, and evenly spread the crust mixture out in the tray.
  2. Place the crust in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. While it is baking, place all the caramel filling ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and keep stirring until it forms a slightly runny, mostly goeey consistency. If you want it totally smooth (the dates will add some texture), then just blend it for a few seconds once it's mostly smooth.
  3. Once the crust is done and cooled, pour the caramel filling over it and place it in the fridge for about an hour, until it is nearly solid. 
  4. Melt the vegan chocolate with the tablespoon of coconut oil either over the stove or in the microwave, and pour over the other layers. Place it in the fridge again for another hour.
  5. Once the chocolate layer has solidified, remove it from the pan and slice into pieces. Enjoy the caramel and chocolatey goodness!
If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments below how they turned out, or tag me on Instagram with @rebeccasather!

x B


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Life Lately: June

"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." - Zen Shin

It's a Friday morning and it's grey and cloudy outside. I'm home in Melbourne on the couch, with my cat snuggled up next to me. It has been half a year since I last wrote here, and it is time for a catch up. So here's a brief overview of my life, the last few months condensed into little bullet points (each ending in an exclamation point because everything's exciting, it seems).

  • Finished my sophomore year with my best grades yet, and am very happy at school these days!
  • Applied to study abroad next spring semester at the University of Edinburgh, and I will hear back soon!
  • Gave up dairy, and artificial sugar, and now I feel great, and have lost some weight to boot!
  • Writing lots more, for Spoon University and The Odyssey Online, and I am the new Editor-in-Chief of my college yearbook!
  • Planning exciting travel for the next year or so, can't wait to share more when trips come around!

I am planning for many new posts in the weeks and months to come, since it's summer break (although winter at home!) I finally have time to share some of my thoughts again. 

x B

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