A New-ish Start

2015

 

2014 really seemed like a very long year didn’t it? By the end of it I was feeling pretty drained and burnt out so I decided to take a few weeks away from the things that I felt were making me feel bleh and concentrate on things that I really enjoyed doing instead. James and I sat down together and actually talked about what we didn’t like about 2014 and what we wanted to do about it in 2015. I was in a really introspective kind of mood and it felt like the more things I thought about myself, the more I realised that I wasn’t necessarily loving the direction I was going in.

We realised that one of the biggest problems I had was separating work and home life. For the last 7+ years I’ve been working a LOT. I was pulling 12 hour days every day and working weekends but it never felt like I was actually on top of anything because I really wasn’t. Not having set work hours meant that I had no reason to properly plan anything out or to set guidelines for how long things should take because I was constantly doing them… but nothing really seemed to get done because I was always over tired and not running at full brain power.

So that was the first thing to change. I now have set work ours from 10-6 like a “regular” job and I’m not working weekends either! I’ve been doing this for the last 3 weeks and it’s really helped me focus a lot more on goals and projects I want to get done. It also means there is a set time to relax and let my brain wind down enough to rest properly at night. Yay!

With that in mind I started to think about what I wanted to do with myself a little more and realised my blog (and really myself) had turned into a a finely tuned content manufacturing machine. I love tutorials but the rate that I was working them last year (2 videos, 4 posts, social media bonuses, the VLB and sometimes vlogs as well) was not something that I could keep up with forever without burning out. I just don’t have the kind of outgoing personality required for doing that without feeling uncomfortable >_< So this year I’m want to continue doing tutorials because I love them but I will only be doing tutorials that I LOVE. I’m not going to be working to a schedule of X many posts or videos a week because when I do that, things become forced and the end product isn’t what I want it to be. I’m going to write about the things that I want to write about without worrying about other people’s reactions.

This year I want to concentrate my efforts onto being happier. I want to love what I do every day. Obviously loving EVERYTHING is unrealistic and sounds like hippy crap but I want to at least not feel like I’m falling into bed at night dreading the next morning >_> I’m really tired of being tired!

I also want to try new things and diversify a bit. I don’t want to feel like I’m being stagnant and just doing the same things over and over again because that’s what other people want me to do. I have a habit of focusing all of my energy onto one thing and not being able to see anything around me so I want to branch out of my comfort zone more and try some completely different things.

This is probably the longest and most thoughtful post I’ve written in years and I feel really happy about it. The changes that I’ve been making have had such a positive effect so far and I feel re-energised. Since I started this blog what feels like a billion years ago, it’s had so many incarnations and focuses and the one constant has been you guys who are reading this. I really appreciate all the support you’ve given me in reading my blog and I hope you’ll continue to like what you see in the new re-energised Violet.

So 2015, bring it on because I’m excited to see what you have ^_^

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Violet’s Big Hair FAQ

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my hair FAQ so I thought it was high time to make it a bit more comprehensive!

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For the record: I really couldn’t care less what hair trends are, I’ve had my hair a LOT of different colours and styles over the years. The first time I did different colour tips was in 2003, I started doing gradient/ombre colours in around 2009ish and have been doing it consistently since. You are welcome to voice an opinion about my hair (and many people have clearly voiced them!) but please don’t think that leaving me negative comments will some how convince me to changing my hair, that is just a bit silly -_-’

How do you do your hair?

Here’s a video on how I dye it. I touch it up once every few weeks and bleach once a month.

This is what it looks like before dying:

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During dying I usually look a little like a crazy person.

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After dying and sleeping on it damp:

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After using the L’Oreal Rowenta Steam Pod on it:

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What brand of dye do you use?

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For bleaching I use L’Oreal Super Blonde Creme Prelightener. It’s basically a colour stripper. Generally one would add other dye after using this bleach or use a toner. I like the orange shades it leaves so I do not.

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For the pink I use Fudge Paint Box. I mix and dilute the pink with conditioner to make my own shade. There’s a review of them here with an explanation on how I achieve the gradient. Note that I just use Pretty Flamingo these days rather than adding copper etc too. I did use Pink Moon but it doesn’t have as much staying power as Pretty Flamingo.

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You used to use Wakk Stain dye, where can I buy that?

Yes I did, it was great. Unfortunately it’s no longer being produced so I can’t tell you. If you find any, let me know!

Do you get it done at a salon?

No. I cut and colour my own hair due to financial constraints and a general distrust of people who wield sharp pointy things near my face.

How often do you do you dye your hair?

Around once a month I bleach and every second wash I add a little more pink while I’m conditioning to keep it bright.

What other colours have you done?

Black, blue, green and various shades of red and orange, blonde to black/brown gradient, bright red with blonde tips and the current combination. Here is a post on my hair history.

What colour is your hair naturally?

This one:

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How can your hair withstand so much torture and damage?

My natural hair is really thick and frizzy so it could always take a lot. I think the really important answer though is that I’ve been dying my hair since 2001 so I have experience, I know what works with my hair and what doesn’t. I always read and follow instructions fully and I avoid things like heat and bleach as much as possible. I tend to film all of my hair tutorials on the same day every few months so there’s really not that much damage actually going on here.

Can you advise me on how to dye my hair like yours? Or give me any tips on doing this myself?

Nope! It’s not because I don’t want to help but I have no idea about your hair and I don’t want to give you any bad advice. I don’t suggest you try any of the things that I do because your hair might be dramatically different to mine. I really can’t give you any advice so I suggest that you seek it from a professional stylist. A professional stylist can touch and feel your hair to make a judgement on whether the colour you want to go is realistic to expect without frying your hair. Stylists usually offer  advice sessions for a small fee so you can always ask advice even if you are planning to do the dying yourself. For nice hair it’s well worth the expense!!

Can you do my hair for my prom/event/whatever?

Sorry this isn’t the kind of thing I do, I don’t have any hair related qualifications and am not comfortable doing other people’s hair.

Where did you learn how to do all of these hairstyles?

Trial and error! The best way to become good at something is to do it over and over again. There are 365 days in a year so you’ve got at least that many chances to practice each year ;D

Why don’t you do you hair in *INSERT STYLE* anymore?

I get bored very easily 🙂

I didn’t understand *INSERT TUTORIAL STEP*, can you re-film it, explain it, or take more detailed photos of it?

I can certainly try to explain things more clearly but keep in mind that my schedule is very tight so I don’t generally re-film or re-take photos, I will sometimes update the text with more information if many people have problems with a part.

Can you please make a tutorial on how to do *INSERT PHOTO I FOUND ON THE INTERNET*?

I can certainly add it to my to do list but it’s quite a long list!

Why don’t you do tutorials for people with short hair/no fringe/other things you don’t have?

Well mostly because I don’t have those attributes myself so I can only work with what I’ve got. I do try to find friends or models to work with me so I can do a bigger variety but most people I know prefer to be off camera and at this point I’m not going to cut my hair just to film short hair tutorials. Maybe in the future if I feel like a change it will be a possibility.

 

What shampoo/conditioner/treatments do you use?

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Previously I used baking soda instead of shampoo and I really liked that. Unfortunately because my hair is so long and easily damaged from filming hair tutorials after around a year I found that I needed something stronger to fix the damage. I switched to the Garnier Goodbye Damage range. There is a review here.

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In terms of serums I use the Goodbye Damage serum on my split ends and the L’Oreal Steam Pod one on the rest of my hair after showering to protect it from heat damage.

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I use some kind of hair oil (currently L’Oreal Mythic oil but they are basically all the same) to protect my hair while I’m bleaching.

In terms of hairspray I haven’t found a perfect one since my favourite black Cedel was discontinued. I’ve gone through several bottles but nothing is quite as good so I will update this when I find a good one again.

That’s it, I don’t usually use treatments, masks etc.

What appliances and styling tools do you use?

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I use a Parlux 3800 hairdryer if I have to dry my hair. I hate using a hairdryer though so I air dry if possible.

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I use a GHD occasionally to curl my hair. I think they are quite expensive though so previous to the GHD I used a VS Sassoon travel curler.

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I use the L’Oreal Rowenta Steam Pod to straighten my hair and do my fringe. I also use it for basic curls sometimes. It’s expensive as hell but it’s an amazing product and I was lucky enough to win one as a door prize.

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I’m not sure what brand this brush is but I prefer brushes with thicker nylon bristles. No particular reason, they just feel nice.

I also occasionally use a teasing comb if my styles require more volume or staying power. The teasing comb I use was from Takuya but any old one will do.

What did you use to keep *insert hairstyle* up?

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Most likely bobby pins and hair ties. I don’t generally use anything other than these unless it’s a really specialised style because it’s not needed. You can really achieve pretty much anything with hair ties, bobby pins and a good dose of hair spray.

Can I bombard you with questions even though you already answered them here?

Sure thing. You’re always welcome to email me and I’ll do my best to help but keep in mind that I get a LOT of emails so I can’t always reply.

Hope that answers all of your questions! Let me know if you have any others and I’ll include them here 🙂

Yay hair!

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Lazy Inspiration

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You know what the problem with writing a post about Lazy Inspiration? You get too busy and lazy to actually write it… >_>

Lately I’ve been talking about Lazy Inspiration a lot. I mentioned it as the theme for The VLB and it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

I can be very unmotivated sometimes and once you’re in an unmotivated frame of mind it’s hard to climb out of it because everything seems to hard. You have a couple of set backs which are outside of your control and it completely ruins your momentum. You’re too busy to do anything but even though you’re so busy… nothing really gets done. It’s a bad habit! All of your goals seem so far away from actually being completed.

So I feel like this…

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And then this happens instead of me actually completing the original goals…

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And that’s exactly the problem. Big things are hard! Small changes are easy. And if you can make enough small changes the results in your life suddenly become nice and big without you even noticing.

I want to be one of those people who do things and go places and are productive all the time… but I’m already in my pajamas… >_>

So rather than completely fight against my nature I’ve decided to embrace it! Rather than forcing myself to get out of my pyjamas… I’m just going to make prettier pyjamas! Or wear heels at home or bright lipstick or anything else which is a small change but gives me a boost of confidence.

The challenge I’ve set myself is to do one small thing every day which will boost my mood and inspire me. Small changes which will lead to bigger changes.     Inspiration for the lazy.

What kinds of things though? They need to be quick, easy, inexpensive and make me feel good when I can cross them off.

This is the list I’ve come up with so far:

  • Paint your nails
  • Make a healthier meal than usual
  • Wear your cutest outfit
  • Think of one thing you like about your life
  • Consciously try to smile more
  • Try out a new make up look
  • Try out a new hair style
  • Make a night time wind down routine eg. read for 15min, listen to one song while you apply your face creams so you are relaxed for bed
  • Try exercising for 5 minutes a day (and build up to more when you’re ready)
  • Wear a face mask
  • Make your next meal as pretty as possible
  • Give a stranger a compliment
  • Wear something completely different than you’re used to
  • Start reading a new book in a different genre than you usually read
  • Throw out something you’ve been meaning to for ages
  • Try out a new craft
  • Paint your toe nails and add some bling
  • Decorate/organise the area you spend the most time in (my desk!)
  • Clean that one area of the house that you never get around to (the laundry…)
  • Listen (and possibly dance) to a really happy uplifting song (I’m going to do it to some bubble gum kpop!)
  • Take a photo of a really pretty view
  • Find and study a really pretty flower
  • Try something creative like drawing, painting or sculpting, it doesn’t matter if you suck it at as long as you try something new!

That’s what I’m going to start with, I think I’ll update this often with new ideas that I’m trying out.

If any of you guys want to be lazily inspired you can take this list or leave me your list in the comments! Let me know if you write a post about your progress, results, pledge, whatever! If you post on social media use the hashtag #lazyinspiration and I’ll keep track of everything. Likewise, you will be able to see me cross these things off on Instagram and Facebook.

The best thing about using #lazyinspiration is that as soon as you tell someone you’re going to do something, you become accountable! It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to do something and never do it (*cough* I do it all the time!) but as soon as I tell Celina or James, they start asking me how it’s going and then I feel like I HAVE to do it, so let’s be each others guilt support network!

Maybe we’ll make this a monthly or weekly thing with challenges, rewards, prizes, that kind of thing if you guys are interested. Motivation and inspiration is possible and we can inspire each other to keep going even when we aren’t feeling at our best!

What do you guys think? Are you ready to be inspired in the laziest way possible?

Let’s get motivated together!

Violet's Fun Storage Ideas- Dresser

Following on from my previous storage idea posts today we move on to my dresser! If you need to catch up you can find the first post on my wardrobe here and the updated wardrobe one here.

My dresser is really precious to me, my Mother bought it somewhere in Brisbane and when she moved to Japan I kept it, it’s moved through 5 houses so far and was the only piece of furniture that we bothered taking from Brisbane to Melbourne with us. It was almost left behind because of space constrictions but James’ parents were lovely enough to drive it down for us.

While it’s most likely not actually an antique I love the style and all of the detail in it, the seat has been reupholstered from the looks of it and is about due to be done again so that’s on my list of projects to do ^_^

I dont’ usually sit down and do things like hair or make up here but it makes a great storage space as well as looking very pretty.

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Main points about it:

  • The stool leaves ample storage space underneath so I keep our fan there. There is also room for more storage on either side.
  • The drawer holds all the pretty things that are a bit useless but too pretty to throw away.
  • Lots of storage space for nail polishes and gloves underneath that!
  • Night time cream, perfumes and anything that feels nice and luxurious ends up on this table. It’s where I look and sit when I’m feeling a bit down because all the pretty things really cheer me up!
  • I keep things here that I need in a hurry when getting dressed like safety pins or small scissors to snip threads on a dress.
  • Once I get some better lighting I am planning to set this up as my new video area so I can film make up and hair tutorials much more easily 😀
  • I keep my gloves underneath the nail polish for easy access in winter.

So let’s look at stuff in a bit more detail! Firstly the nail polish.

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For the longest time I couldn’t decide how I wanted to store my nail polishes. In our town house I didn’t have many so I kept them in a bag, then it became a big plastic box then there were so many that I lined my windows with them then there were too many for that too so I sucked it up and finally bought some little shelves. I loved these shelves because they are quite roomy so you can still see which polish is which as well as being adorable with the little heart cut outs along the side.

I divide the polishes up by colour so I can quickly find things I need for nail art. Most of my other nail art supplies are kept in a box with my crafting things but I keep basics that I use a lot like small brushes, nail treatments etc here for easy access.

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I like to hang and decorate the mirror of this too, it’s the perfect place to put headphones, earmuffs and other things roughly that shape. Of course I made those bunny ear muffs like 6 years ago and still have not used them once so at this point I’d say they are definitely more decorative than functional XD I decorated the mirror with a pocket watch I bought in Japan and some A.P. charms.

Moving over to the middle…

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I have a stack of night creams and things I’m working through for reviews or testing out so they all sit here. To be honest so far none of them have had noticeable results either good or bad so I haven’t bothered writing about them yet! They are all housed in the little wooden box I decorated ages ago.

Next to that there is an old Innocent World calendar that was given to me by a great friend many years ago and in front of that is my small collection of perfumes. I don’t generally wear much perfume but there are some I love (like MOR, The Body Shop’s Cherry Blossom, Epicly Epic’s Cake fragrance) so they keep here along with others that were either sent by PR agencies or happen to have pretty bottles that I’m trying to work out how to refill with something better without damaging XD

I also keep little random pretty things I’ve collected here like pretty combs/mirrors/dolls etc.

I like to keep similar items grouped together like all my perfumes in one place, all my hair things in one place etc because I’m so forgetful that if I don’t know where to look I will probably never use them >_<

In front of that…

 

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Next we have a music box that was my grandmothers (I think) and it’s home to utility things like scissors and safety pins. It also holds things I’ve just taken off when I got home but not gotten around to putting away like the S.O.P.H.I.E bracelets. I keep my (no idea what this is actually called so I’m going to guess) make up hair pulling back headband thing here too so if I’m applying moisturisers etc I don’t have to go and try to find it in the bathroom XD

The right side:

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This vase was another pretty find from the throw away pile in our building. Some people moved out and their entire house was furnished with this kind of thing and everything they couldn’t sell just got dumped in the hard rubbish downstairs, that was a great day!! I am allergic to flowers so inside lives my meerkat from the Melbourne Zoo, his name is ThunderKat and I think he should have that expression all the time XD

Again when you have limited space, it’s a good idea to fill every place you can with stuff. We don’t have a linen cupboard so underneath ThunderKat is used to store tea towels for the kitchen!

From above…

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You can see that while there is a whole lot of stuff on the dresser it’s organised well enough that there is still space in the middle so it’s functional. All of the larger items are at the back so I can easily see everything at a glance.

Inside the drawer…

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I lined the drawer with leopard print paper (tutorial coming soon) to make it a bit more me and like a crazy hidden oasis of bling inside a nice fancy old fashioned dresser. I suppose that’s maybe a metaphor for myself hahaha!

Inside it I keep all of my deco projects that I no longer use daily but can’t stand to throw away. Business cards, old phone cases, cameras, keep sakes, anything shiny and pretty that doesn’t have a home anywhere else. It’s so bright in here it’s like looking into the sun 😉

The only sensible thing here is the lint brush which is useful and I need in quick reach for when going out. Everything here is pretty haphazardly thrown in but I think that’s what I like about it 😀 You wouldn’t know it too look at but this little dresser holds so much stuff that it’s become a really valuable piece of storage in my room.

So that’s it about this one I think. Let me know if you have any questions and if this has been useful, next time I will show you my sets of shelves, then shoes, craft area and bathroom after that ^_^

Violet's Storage Ideas – Wardrobe Reorganised

So a while ago I made a post about my wardrobe and some storage ideas for people living in small apartments with lots of stuff. I said if enough people were interested I would make it into a series of posts and go through room by room showing what I’d done with my space. Well I finally cleaned up enough to take some photos hahaha! As I mentioned in the last post I’m not completely comfortable having my whole house on display so I have blacked out some parts and there won’t be whole room shots, just smaller areas where you can actually see the storage and ideas I’ve used.

This is what the wardrobe looked liked last time…

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And after I’ve done a re-organize and tidy up, this is what it looks like now…

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Other than the general moving/tidying/reorganising of things the biggest difference is that I’ve got a little pink set of shelves at the bottom left now to make things tidier. You probably can’t even tell but I’ve removed around half of the clothes that were hanging up as well and put them on some other shelves I bought. I’ll go over all of the shelves in much more detail in the next post and today I’ll focus on the wardrobe part and why I’ve made the changes.The one thing to point out on the clothes side of the wardrobe is that it originally only had the higher of the two rails, I added in the second one because the first is so high that I have trouble reaching it easily… also I horde clothes like crazy and needed more room XD

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The above shelves are generally the same as last time but there are some important differences. Here’s a quick run down of what’s in each:

  • Top Shelf- Bags I use regularly, travel things (like passport holder and travel make up brushes etc), books I’ve recently read which need to be put away, other things waiting to be put away or things waiting to be used.
  • Middle Shelf- Magazines, toys, favorite jewellery, storage.
  • Bottom Shelf- Jewellery and lots of it.

Violet's Random Storage Ideas

Top shelf-

Previously the top shelf was all about bags which at the time seemed smart because I could display all of the pretty ones I never used. Problem with that was I had no where to dump stuff when there was no time to get out a chair to put it away properly. So it all ended up on the floor which resulted in a lot of mess and more than one foot injury from stepping on something pointy!

I realised the I never use any of my handbags other than maybe 2 of them so rather than wasting the space I took a photo of them all and bundled them all up in a space bag. That way if I really need one I can check the photo, see what matches my outfit then get it down. I’m far too lazy to change bags often so this works well for me 😀

Now I have an area that I can stick books/recently used bags/stuff waiting to be crafted into something else/random junk that I don’t have time to put away in until I have time to deal with it properly. I think having a dumping space like this is important for someone messy like me so the rest of the room doesn’t get too overrun XD

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Middle shelf-

The things here are pretty much the same as before, lots of magazines, necklace display, toys etc. The biggest difference is that I found a little plastic container to  to contain my toys in a display. Before, whenever I wanted to get a magazine I had to carefully reach through so as not to disturb them but now there’s no problem and I also don’t have a fear of losing any of the little tiny pieces. I know you can buy little display cases like this specifically for toys but I didn’t want to spend any money so I used the container that a free hand towel from my favorite bubble tea place came in XD Perfect size and shape!

Violet's Random Storage Ideas

Bottom Shelf-

This is where the biggest changes have happened. Previously I kept socks, gloves, scarves and a lot of other stuff on this shelf and it worked really well. Now I have other areas for those things so I don’t need to have everything squished in as hard.

So what I did was remove all of the socks etc at the back and move the necklace displays over there so I can see at a glance what they hold. The back ones are propped up on a couple of books so they sit higher and are able to be seen. In front I have a decorative alarm clock James bought for photo shoots and the silver tray. On top of the tray there is a silver basket type of thing that we found in the throw away pile of our apartment building which I covered with a scarf and filled up with bracelets and random pieces of jewellery. It looks pretty cluttered and messy in the photo but I think that’s just the angle, it’s actually just above waist height in real life so when you look down it’s easy to get a quick view of all the pieces and pick out one.

So there you have it! Those are the changes I’ve made so far in my wardrobe area, the next installment of this series will be my dressing table. There are LOTS of sparkly pretty things there to look forward to and my nail polish collection as well ^_^

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