Sunday, 30 September 2012

Survey Sunday - September 30th 2012

It's Survey Sunday time once again! Here are this week's questions:

1. Have you ever met or encountered someone famous? If so who, and where?
Sadly my celebrity sightings are sitting at a bare minimum. On my first day in Italy I was wandering around the Vatican and bumped into Kate Voegele and her boyfriend. She is a famous singer in America and she plays Mia Catalano on One Tree Hill. We went to the bathroom at the same time and SHARED a hand dryer. Can you believe my excitement?! Also my friend called out ‘Kate’ to me and SHE ALSO LOOKED. Isn’t that incredible right? 

My sneaky photo of Kate Voegele! 

More interested in taking sneaky shots of her than looking at the beautiful floor oops!

My cousin is also a famous Australian actor so I’ve met quite a few Aussie actors he’s worked with/is friends with. Other than that I can’t think of a time when I’ve randomly spotted a celebrity unfortunately.

2. Have you ever been to Australia/seen a kangaroo or koala/tasted Vegemite?
I have done all of these things numerous times, funnily enough. However kangaroos don’t just hop down the street and koalas don’t just climb suburban trees so you have to go more rural/to the zoo to see those. I’m always asked this when I travel! Also Vegemite is amazing, but not everyone's taste.

3. What were some of your favourite book series when you were a child?
Harry Potter, The Famous Five and all of Enid Blyton’s books such as The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair, Deltora Quest, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

4. What is your favourite sweet biscuit and chocolate bar?
Favourite sweet biscuit would be Tim Tams (have you guys tried these!?! If not get your hands on some pronto). Favourite chocolate bar would probably be Twix, Mars Bar or Milky Way! I am odd because I really don't like M&Ms - the chocolate tastes bad in them!

5. What are your top three favourite eyeshadows to use on your eyes?
Satin Taupe, Patina and Naked Lunch (all by MAC).

6. What has been your favourite themed party you’ve ever attended?
That Harry Potter one I planned would come in one of the top spots for me! Also my mum threw me incredible themed parties throughout my whole childhood so all of those (thanks Mum!!). Plus anything from a cool era (20s/60s/80s) where you can dress like someone from that time.

7. What is your all time favourite mascara? 
This is hard because I haven’t found my Holy Grail one yet. I’ve currently got testers of Diorshow Extase, Chanel Inimitable, and YSL’s Shocking, of which I prefer the YSL. So it is most likely I will purchase YSL’s Shocking soon as it seems to be my consistent favourite!


Now it's your turn, copy and paste the questions and answer them in the comments below!

1. Have you ever met or encountered someone famous? If so who, and where?
2. Have you ever been to Australia/seen a kangaroo or koala/tasted Vegemite?
3. What were some of your favourite book series when you were a child?
4. What is your favourite sweet biscuit and chocolate bar?
5. What are your top three favourite eyeshadows to use on your eyes?
6. What has been your favourite themed party you’ve ever attended?
7. What is your all time favourite mascara? 

Really excited to read your answers guys! Hope you are all enjoying your Sundays! 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Laine Blogger Award!

I was incredibly lucky to be nominated for the Laine Blogger Award by the lovely Maya from Spider Leg Lashes and Sneha from Sneha Says

These two girls are some of the loveliest girls I've encountered since blogging, and were among my first ever followers :) They are two of my favourite bloggers and you should most definitely check them out because they are incredible! Thanks so much for the nomination ladies!!

The Rules:
Tag the blogger who awarded you.
Answer the five questions below.
Award the Laine Blogger Award to 5 of your favourite bloggers.

Question 1: What is your current beauty obsession? 
I’m obsessed with eye makeup lately. I love looking at eye shadows and swatching them all on the back of my hand and arms until I look like a colourful zebra. I love the effect eye shadow can have if you know how to apply it properly, and how it can really make your eyes look bigger and more defined. I’m also fascinated by how different mascaras affect the lashes, and love playing around with kohl and gel eyeliners. I keep my eyes pretty natural looking, but it’s really surprising how many variations of 'natural' there are! Playing around with eye makeup feels so arty and creative.

Question 2: What is one beauty item you wished you owned? 
I have been dreaming of owning the Naked Palette by Urban Decay for so long, and FINALLY it has appeared on Beauty Bay so I’ve just ordered it. So my dream will be a reality shortly! Then I’ll want to own the Naked 2 Palette! I also really want a MAC blending brush but can’t justify the exorbitant cost of them here in Australia.

Question 3: What is your favourite post to read or write about? 
My favourite post to write about is creative/crafty ideas, or more personal ones and answering questions. I love my Survey Sunday ones. My favourite to read would also be more personal ones, or monthly beauty favourites, reviews, or creative ones.

Question 4: What inspired you to become a blogger? 
I have always loved writing and haven’t done a lot of it lately. I didn’t realise just how much I missed it until I started this blog. My friend also became a makeup artist, she recommended all these beauty Youtubers for me to watch, and I started full time work where I had to look presentable all around the same time. This resulted in developing a strong interest in makeup and using the internet as a form of expression, and I just got inspired to write my own to contribute my opinions and ideas to the world in some small way. It also provided me with the creative outlet I was desiring and lacking at work.

Question 5: What nail polish are you wearing right now? 
OPI’s Nein Nein Nein, OK Fine! It’s from the Germany collection and is a lovely creamy dark grey/green colour. I’m very surprised at how much I like it! And I love the super glossy finish.

So now I nominate the following amazing bloggers (love your work girls!!):

1. Ellie from Ellalogy
2. George from Life at the Coop
3. Perla from Perlaxmakeup
4. Laura from White Winters
5. Rachel from Live.Food.Love

Thanks again for the nominations Maya and Sneha, and can't wait to read the answers of the lovely bloggers I've nominated! 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! It's Grand Final Day here in Melbourne and everyone is all excited!! 


Monday, 24 September 2012

Nail Marbling Design Without Water!

On the weekend somehow I got sidetracked and started watching random YouTube videos of nail art and designs. And I was absolutely fascinated by the ones that depicted water marbling. The designs looked so arty and unique and like a pretty kaleidoscope. But the process looked ridiculously tiresome and like it would take hours to achieve to get an average result (for a beginner like me!). So then I googled nail marbling without water to see if there was another way to do it, but everything that popped up looked so average and unimpressive.

So then I thought OK Kate this is a challenge! So then I proceeded to do my take on nail marbling, and I’m actually very pleasantly surprised with the results...

This is what to do to recreate this nail design:

- Paint a base coat. You could also paint a white nail polish base to make the colours POP more, but I skipped this step in my excitement to marble!

- Choose an assortment of colours that complement each other well, I chose pastel colours. I used the following pastel green, blue, pink and purple polishes:
Illamasqua’s Nomad, OPI’s Do You Lilac It?, OPI’s Pink Friday, and Maybelline’s Party Blue.

- Split each finger mentally into thirds and paint a pretty thick line of one colour on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle. Then quickly get a toothpick and drag and swirl the colours into each other. It needs to be fairly thick so you are able to drag enough polish across the nail. Also so you don’t ruin your polishes by combining colours, when you paint the middle joining line of polish, hold it just above the surface without touching and it will drip off into a line in the middle of your nail without getting the adjoining colours on the brush.

- Continue to paint each nail this way using different variations of the 4 pastel colours so that each nail looks unique.

- Once your nails are dry paint a top coat on. I did two layers because I wanted my artwork to last. Tidy up any messiness with a cotton bud and nail polish remover. Or have a warm shower and it just peels off afterwards!

Here is the finished product:

This took me only about 20 minutes to do, which is so quick compared to the water method of marbling. Plus the design is so gorgeous, and I think the pastel mix looks particularly effective. It reminds me of gelato or rainbow ice cream!

Also because there is so much happening on every nail, it’s quite good for hiding little flaws and potential chips. And it’s sure to attract a lot of complements because of the pretty colours and the apparent complexity of the design.

So what do you guys think? Have you ever tried water marbling or any other method of marbling? What is your favourite nail art design to do?

Survey Sunday - September 24th 2012

Hello all of you lovely people! :) 

I'm so sorry I've been pretty absent on my blog this week, I've been very sick and had a horrible fever. I really missed blogging! I promise I will make up for it with lots of posts this week. That super long Harry Potter post and my illness really took it out of me!

Hope you are all feeling better than me and that you had marvellous weeks. I can't believe it's time for Survey Sunday again! Boy the weeks are flying by!

So here are the questions, it's going to be a snappy set this week.

Which do you prefer and why?

1. Beach or Snow? 
Beach. I live right near one and it's so relaxing to go in Summer and always puts me in a holiday mood. I've never been to the snow for the purpose of skiing or anything like that. I really should!

2. Cats or Dogs?
I always thought I'd be a dog person but I think I'm leaning towards cats lately because they are so fluffy and cute and independent whilst still being affectionate. Plus they are more like bunnies and I would choose bunnies over either :P

3. Sweet or Savoury?
Sweet hands down. Such a sweet tooth. I seriously have a sugar addiction. I wish sugar was healthy for you, how good would that be?!

4. Dramas or Comedies?
Love my laughs, but I love dramas more. So good for escapism and release and you get so absorbed into it. Most of my favourite shows are dramas.

5. Being Hot or Cold?
Being cold, because it's easier to warm up quickly and you can just rug up. Also the cold is more refreshing and makes you feel more awake, whereas it's hard to escape the heat and I always feel so uncomfortable, sticky and headachey in extreme heat.

6. Be Invisible or Fly?
I would prefer to be invisible. You'd get to find out so many exciting, secretive things, and hide well and get into places you never could before. It would be so useful! It could also get you out of dangerous situations. I wish I had an Invisibility Cloak :P

7. Be Famous or Rich?
I think I'd prefer to be rich, because I don't know if I'd like everything that came with fame. I like my space and privacy, and it would be good to have lots of money to spend on anything you wanted and share with your loved ones!


So now it's your turn! Copy and paste the following questions and answer them in the comments below. Can't wait to read your answers!

1. Beach or Snow?
2. Cats or Dogs?
3. Sweet or Savoury?
4. Dramas or Comedies?
5. Being Hot or Cold?
6. Be Invisible or Fly?
7. Be Famous or Rich?

Monday, 17 September 2012

Harry Potter Themed Party!

This is a post that is very close to my heart. I've been wanting to write this for ages but wanted to do it justice. My blood, sweat and tears were put into this (or something less dramatic, you get the gist!). 

Last year for my younger sister's birthday, I came up with the idea (and was kindly assisted by my lovely Mum) to throw her a surprise Harry Potter birthday party. 

Now I've been a fan of the books ever since they came out. I was one of those kids that read it before it was popular, when it was just a book with some odd looking kid on the front looking at a train. My first and second books are from the first ever print run, and I'm proud to say I was into Harry Potter before it was cool. 

So it's been my dream to bring the books to life in party form! So if like me, you're also a big fan of Harry Potter, I'll put up everything I did and perhaps you can recreate it sometime! Or just enjoy the pictures and my hard work from your couch :P

I really wanted to create a fun party reminiscent of our kid party days. I wanted there to be dress ups, prizes, a little competition and team activities and games. So this was my take on it...

The main parts of the party were the Decorations, the Food, and the Games/Story for the evening. So I'll structure this post accordingly.

The Invitation

First of all I sent out this invitation to all 10 party goers: 


Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear Chosen Guests,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary equipment. Term begins on August 20.
Thank you for sending prompt acceptance confirmation via owl. As we are privileged to have a surprise guest for the first evening’s festivities, please ensure you arrive no later than 7pm. Please park your brooms and flying cars down the road/around the corner from the castle to ensure they are not visible to any curious Muggles (or the surprise guest!). Or if coming by Hogwarts Express please ensure you catch an early one so you don't interrupt the evenings festivities by a tardy arrival.
Also please ensure you come adequately decked out in appropriate wizarding attire- Muggle clothes will not be accepted. Bring any wizarding related paraphernalia if you have it, and of course don't forget your wands!
First years, we look forward to meeting all of you and introducing you to the magic of Hogwarts! And I'd advise against eating too many sweets on the train, a great welcome feast awaits you upon completion of the Sorting Ceremony.

Yours sincerely, 

Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress

The Decorations

Our whole downstairs was used and split into various Hogwarts locations. When people walked in the first Harry Potter film soundtrack was playing loudly to set the scene.

Here is the intro to our house. As you can see we stuck pictures of Harry Potter and movie posters on the walls everywhere (collected from magazines over the years/the internet). 

We stuck signs up everywhere to show what each room/area was supposed to be. Here are some examples of signs and their locations:

Toilet: 'To the Floo Network'
Door to outside: 'Care of Magical Creatures'
Stair cupboard: 'Harry's Cupboard under the Stairs'
Front door: Platform 9 3/4 - Hogwarts Express
Dining room: The Great Hall
Mirror: The Mirror of Erised
Study: Dumbledore's Office

This was a little table we had at the entrance, with a 'Welcome to Hogwarts' sign over it. The castle comes from a gorgeous Harry Potter pop up book. The Harry Potter cards all came from a Quidditch card game we had lying around. We placed little magical soft toys everywhere, the one on the right is a Hedwig toy. I also purchased little trophies for the house winners to take home (I'll explain later).

Below is a picture of our dining room which we labelled 'The Great Hall'. We used a tablecloth with stars all over it, lots of candles, lots of gold to give it a grand feel and little magical sequins of bats and stars (left over from halloween). 

The huge Hermione poster was kindly lent to us from our local newsagent, as they had lots around the time of the final film release. They also gave us a Harry and a Ron. They really helped to create ambience.

Below you can see the Ron poster, and a big spider web with 'Aragog' in it and lots of little spiders (very realistic and VERY SCARY for me to go near!). This was just purchased from a cheap discount store around Halloween time. 

Below is a Quidditch pitch made from a green tablecloth and masking tape. We used this in a game which I'll explain later.

We called this area of the room shown below 'The Library'. On this table we had every book JK Rowling has ever published and all of the films.

Below is our Lounge room, which we made into the Gryffindor Common Room. We threw blankets and pillows over all of the couches, and put beanbags over the floor. Also you can see the Harry poster we borrowed. On the ground below him is the Harry Potter version of Cluedo we own. On the TV we played the movies throughout the night. You can see some more Hogwarts related soft toys placed around the room.

The below photo is of our Divination section of the room. We put tea cups with tea leaves in them, tarot cards, incense, goblets, a magic 8 ball, a book of quotes, and more soft toys. 

The below picture of our kitchen leads on to the food section...

The Food

Here is our take on 'Honeydukes' sweet shop in Hogsmeade. This is what we created and the magical names we assigned everything (look closely at everything in the picture):

Butterbeer Jar - We made this with Creamy Soda and I discovered if I put some Werther's Original Butterscotch flavoured lollies into it it frothed up a lot and got creamier. You could always add alcohol to it, or Butterscotch liquor but we wanted an alcohol free version.

Quaffles, Bludgers and Snitches - We used Red (milk), Black (dark) and Gold (white) Lindt balls for this.

Acid Pops - Sherbet Lollipops

Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans - Jelly Bellys in various flavours

Basilisks - Snakes and Sour Worms

Rainbow Pop Rocks - Nerds of every colour

Fizzing Sherbets - Flying Saucer sweets with sherbet centres

Spiders in Spiderweb - We made chocolate spiders and placed them on colourful fairy floss

Comet Cakes - Made from a special Harry Potter cake mix pack. They had blue icing with little stars and patterns on them.

Gringotts Bank: Galleons, Sickles and Knuts - Gold chocolate coins all placed in an open wooden treasure chest

Magic Wands - Chocolate wafer sticks

For the sit down dinner we served:

Gillyweed Quiche - Spinich and Ricotta Quiche

Merpeople Cuisine - Bacon and Cheese Quiche

Herbology Plants - Salads

Frozen Potions - The ice cream cake we served

We also called all soft drinks served one of these names: Polyjuice Potion or Liquid Luck.

Games/Storyline for the evening:

When everyone arrived for the party, and after surprising/scaring my sister, I got everyone to sit down and begin the first game...

Game 1: The Sorting Ceremony

I made everyone a little loot bag with the Harry Potter emblem and their name on the front. I also made some little Harry Potter house badges (printed and laminated) and placed them in an upside down witches hat. I got everyone to pull a badge out of the hat, and whatever they received was the house they were sorted into. I also made laminated bookmarks with each house description on them to give to everyone once they had been sorted into their house.

After the sorting there were about 3 people in each house, and these formed the teams for the night. Each game would give the players the opportunity to win house points. I drew up this House Points board to keep track throughout the night.

Prize: Badge, bookmark and loot bags (everyone gets them).

Game 2: Golden Snitch Seek

We purchased some lemon lollies that looked like snitches, and hid them around the house. Everyone goes on a hunt to find them, and then at the end the amount each person collected for their house is summed. The house with the most wins. We gave points to 2nd, 3rd etc, just lesser amounts.

Prize: Lollies found (everyone gets some).

Game 3: Bertie Bott's Bingo

From a game Mum created for us as kids, we had laminated cards with a list of crazy Bertie Bott flavours on them. Flavours were called out until a team had a complete card and they won. We paired up with someone from a different house for this game.

Prize: A choice of wands for the winners.

Game 4: Wizard Chess Trivia

We used a Twister mat (it's the house colours!), and used some postcards of Harry Potter film scenes (free with a newspaper promotion) and got the teams to guess which film number they were from. The correct film was listed on the back of the card. If you were correct you got to move forward a circle. The game was done in house teams, and the aim was to be the first house to make their way up and back again along the Twister mat (they started at the circles on the ends length wise).

Prize: Choose one thing from selection in treasure chest (see Other Points section below).

Game 5: Magical Chocolate Frogs

Essentially Pass the Parcel to Harry Potter music with wrapped chocolate frogs in each layer. From the Quidditch card game I mentioned earlier, there were Chaser, Bludger and Seeker Cards. We hid these in the layers. We assigned the 5 Chasers with 10 points, the 3 Bludgers with -10 points, and the 2 Seekers with 20 points. So house points were awarded for the overall house team based on what cards the individual team members received.

Prize: The chocolate frogs

Game 6: Quidditch Pong

Using this table:

We played this in conjoined house teams (2 houses in a team vs the other team of 2). The aim was to stand on each end and try to get a ping pong ball (the quaffle) into any of the three coloured cups (goals) at each end. You get three chances each round, and recieve 10 points if you get a ball in (need 60 to win game). After each team member has had a chance to throw the ping pong ball, they elect a Seeker who stands 3m away and tries to throw the snitch into the big vase in the middle. You receive 50 points if you get the snitch in, and the game ends.

Prize: Winning team gets Lindt Balls (mentioned above in sweets section)

Game 7: Spell Sort

From another game Mum made for us as kids, we had a list of spells and what they do all jumbled up. Everyone paired up with someone from a different house. You had two minutes to place the correct spell with what it achieves. The team with the most correct wins.

Prize: Choose one thing from selection in treasure chest (see Other Points section below)

After all of the games, we then added up all the house points and determined a winner! The winning team all received a little trophy with the words 'Hogwarts House Champion'.

Other points

- We used party poppers to add to the surprise element when my sister arrived
- Everyone was dressed as a character. For my sister I bought her a Harry Potter t-shirt and Liquid Luck necklace, and laid out an outfit for her to put on when she arrived.
- I tried to buy the Harry Potter Scene It DVD game but didn't have time. I think it would make a great addition to a party like this.
- The prize selection in treasure chest included such prizes as Harry Potter wands, pencils, notepads, stickers, magical items and lollies.
- Op shops, discount shops, novelty party stores and the internet are the best places to find all of the things I've used for this party.
- I found it fun to paint my nails Harry Potter colours! I painted all of the different house colours on different fingers (but for the life of me can't find a picture of my creation!)

So there you have it! This ended up being an enormously long post! Well done to those who read it all, or even if you skimmed parts of it :)

Have you ever thrown a Harry Potter party or wanted to? What are some other themed parties you've thrown?

Hope you enjoyed this post!