8 weird comments people have made about my long hair.

Image via Walt Disney Pictures.

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but long hair has been decidedly out of fashion for the last few years.

The lob (awkward abbreviated name for a long bob) hairstyle has dominated both Hollywood and street style for a while now, but I refuse to follow the crowd and drastically trim my tresses.

People love to point this out to me. It’s as if I’ve never noticed that my own hair is long! Newsflash: I know it is. I CHOOSE for it to be.

Here are some of the strangest things people have said to me about my long hair.

1. “Is your hair real?”

I’m not a fan of anyone asking if something on someone else’s body is “real”. I get that having waist-length natural hair kind of makes me a unicorn in the current hair trend climate, but even if it was extensions, it’s probably none of your business.

2. “Has it always been that length?”

It takes all my strength to not reply “oh yes! I was born with it! As a baby, my hair was twice the length of me!” But of course, I don’t. Instead I explain that my hair has been a variety of lengths throughout my life…obviously.

The thing about long hair is, in order for it to become long, it needs to be all the lengths in between. I just know that long hair suits me best.

3. “Do you ever get your haircut?”

My hair is not floor length so obviously I get it trimmed. Not sure why anyone feels the need to ask this one.

4. “You need a haircut.”

No I don’t, thanks.

My favourite is when I reply “I had one yesterday” and well-meaning person says “well you need another one”. Nope.

5. You have ‘Victoria’s Secret’ hair.

This was only said to me once by a former colleague but it completely stumped me. I suppose it was a compliment because Victoria’s Secret models are beautiful, but at the same time, long hair is probably the only thing those models and I have in common.

I laughed it off awkwardly, not a great moment for speaking-up for myself.

6. “It must take forever to style your hair!”

Hahaha, oh please. I don’t have time for that.

My hair is wavy, thick and fairly well-behaved. If it wasn’t, I probably would have lost patience with keeping my hair long years ago.

I mostly just wash it, air dry it, brush it, apply a bit of product and put it a ponytail. If I’m feeling fancy or going to an event, I’ll take the time to straighten or curl it.

Myth busting fact: despite what women in sitcoms say, washing long hair doesn’t take any longer than washing short hair.

7. “Can I braid it?”

I admit only my little cousins ask this one and most of the time I say yes because my braids suck.

8. “Why is your hair so long?”

Because I want it to be. Mic drop.

Having long hair has given me an interesting perspective on how nosy some people can be about the appearance of others.

I’m lucky, I love my hair and it doesn’t hurt my feelings if people ask me weird questions about it, but it does make me think about how other people must feel when questioned about parts of their appearance that they feel sensitive about.

My rule of thumb is, unless I’m giving someone a genuine compliment, I don’t comment on their appearance. I think this is a kind rule to follow, if I do say so myself.

Have you ever been asked a strange question about your appearance?

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REVIEW: Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil*

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It’s no secret that I love natural skincare solutions. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to review Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil*.

Cleansing oils are all the rage at the moment. They are super gentle, nourishing for the skin and they are incredible for breaking down make-up and making it easier to remove.

I’ve tried a few cleansing oils, but as I have combination skin, I wouldn’t use an oil-based cleanser every day. I only reach for cleansing oils when I’ve been wearing a lot of make-up or if my face is going through a particularly dry phase.

According to the press release, Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil*, 

[is] an effective way to dissolve away long lasting makeup and bacteria. This essence of rose cleansing oil moisturises the skin with natural oils, while detoxifying the pores and removing impurities.”

You might remember that I have reviewed Derma E products before – Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum* and Renewing Moisturiser* – and I loved them. Well, I’m pleased to share that Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil* is another great product!

Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil* has a lovely rose scent that isn’t overwhelming or sickly sweet. The consistency isn’t too runny or sticky like some other cleansing oils that I have tried.

1-2 pumps is enough to cleanse my entire face and, after rinsing the product off my skin, my skin feels smooth, clean and fresh.

Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil* is incredibly gentle. I can imagine it being a dream come true for dry or slightly sensitive skin. When it comes to breaking down make-up, it definitely gets the process started, but I would recommend double cleansing if you’re wearing heavy make-up.

Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil* retails for $24.95 in Australia, which I think is great value for a cleansing oil. In Australia, you can find Derma E products at Priceline and other selected stores and online here. International readers can check out this site.

If you’re looking for a cleansing oil that will clean and nourish your skin without leaving it oily, I would definitely recommend Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil*

*All products in this post were provided for my review.  This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

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Celebrating Caffeine Appreciation Month with Jamaica Blue.

Coffee Machine Close Up

Did you know that March is Caffeine Appreciation Month?

A delicious cup of coffee is always my go-to energy supply when I need a bit of morning motivation or a remedy for an afternoon slump. Not to mention the amount of times that catching-up for coffee has been the perfect excuse to stay in touch with busy friends.

Considering the important role that coffee plays in my life, I was delighted to be invited to on a media tour of Jamaica Blue’s Coffee Roastery to celebrate Worldwide Caffeine Appreciation Month.

The morning began with a beautiful breakfast in the Jamaica Blue training room and, of course, a great cup of coffee. While we enjoyed our meal, World Latte Expert and Jamaica Blue’s Head of Coffee Jeremy Regan told us about the Jamaica Blue story and the hard work that goes into the crop to cup process.

We were then divided into two groups. One group went on a tour of the roastery; while my group stayed in the training room to complete a short coffee training course with Simon, one of Jamaica Blue’s barista trainers.

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Jamaica Blue Barista Trainer Simon explains how to make the perfect cup of coffee.

I worked in hospitality during my studies, so I know my way around a coffee machine, but it was so great to hear Simon’s perspective and he shared some really great analogies to help create the perfect cup. For example, he told us that when the ideal shot is being poured from the machine it should resemble “strings of spaghetti.”

We were then given the chance to have a go at making coffee ourselves and taste-test our creations. I was very happy with the short black coffee that I made and I’ll definitely be putting Simon’s instructions into practise on my little coffee machine at home.

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Having a go at making coffee myself. (Thank you to @edwardjayhan for the photo). 

Once we were all buzzing from tasting our caffeinated creations, it was time to put on lab coats and hats and begin the roastery tour with Jeremy Regan.

Upon entering the Jamaica Blue Roastery, I was instantly filled with wonder. There were industrial machines everywhere, a sense of bustle among the staff and, of course, a delicious scent of roasting coffee beans in the air.

Jeremy Regan and Barrells

Jamaica Blue’s Jeremy Regan shows us the barrels and their namesake coffee arrives in. 

During the tour, Jeremy explained the detailed process that the beans go through before they are bagged and sent to stores. On the way he even showed us the wooden barrels that Jamaica Blue’s namesake beans are transported to the roastery in. Most other coffee beans are delivered in large, sealed bags.

If you haven’t heard of Blue Mountain Coffee, it is a high-end single origin coffee grown in the blue mountains of Jamaica. It is quite expensive to purchase by the kilogram, but Jamaica Blue Cafés make it more accessible to the general public by selling it by the cup to interested customers. In addition to Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaica Blue Cafés also offer their Signature Blend and another single origin coffee at all times.

Me at Roastery

Admiring the roasting coffee beans during the Jamaica Blue Roastery Tour. (Thank you to @elletayla for the photo.)

Following the tour, both groups of guests came together for a Q & A session with Jeremy, where we were given the chance to really pick his brains about everything we had seen and learned that day. It was a joy to ask Jeremy a few questions myself.

Claire for Ms This N That Blog: “Have you travelled to any of the origins of the coffee [beans]? What did you learn there and what surprised you?” 

Jeremy Regan: “Yes, I have. Yeah, I’ve been to quite a few. What’s surprising is just the difference between the origins…a trip to Brazil, for example, a lot of the farms in Brazil do mechanical picking…a machine goes through and takes every single cherry, but then you go to somewhere like East Timor where the majority of the coffee is actually wild and the farmers are taking me down this little goat track and I’m wearing proper boots and nearly falling over! And they’re wearing thongs…they’re just used to doing it all! Yeah so the difference between that and a farm in Brazil where it’s all neat, little rows of coffee trees…it’s really, really interesting.

“Quite often at origin, they don’t know how we drink coffee. They don’t know that we drink coffee from an espresso machine. It’s interesting having coffee with some of [the farmers and staff]…in some of those origins, it’s basically like this big sock that they put the coffee in then they brew it is in this big pot that they take out and they pour it. Then chuck about five or six sugars into this little cup of coffee!…It’s a cultural experience.”

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Q & A with World Latte Judge Jeremy Regan. 

Claire for Ms This N That Blog: “What was your favourite place to visit?”

Jeremy Regan: “They’re all great and coffee [is] a really interesting industry…[a] real community…really welcoming…that’s what you find when you go to origin.”

Claire for Ms This N That Blog: With the idea of a good coffee being such a subjective thing, and as you were saying, there’s cultural influences and maybe even sentimental [influences] with what you’ve grown-up with as being a good coffee, when you are judging professionally what is it that you’re looking for?” 

Jeremy Regan: “There’s a couple of different kinds of judging. There’s a barista competition [and] what that’s about is a barista knowing their coffee. They should know exactly what it’s going to taste like and they tell me what it’s going to taste like. They tell me ‘I’m serving this Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and you’re going to taste blueberries, nougat and an aroma of Bergamot.’ Then I taste that.

Then there’s cupping judging, or blind judging, where you don’t know what coffee it is. There’s five bowls in front of you and you’re judging that and scoring it. There’s no personal preference about it. It’s scoring the coffee on the table.”

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Jamaica Blue’s Golden Bean Award trophy. 

At the end of the Q & A session, we were shown the prestigious Golden Bean award that Jamaica Blue won in 2017. Jamaica Blue is the large franchise/chain champion.

We were all given a bag of Jamaica Blue goodies to take home. I can’t wait to try out some Jamaica Blue Costa Rica Single Origin coffee beans on my machine at home – in celebration of Caffeine Appreciation Month, of course!

Thank you again to Jamaica Blue for inviting me to their fun and informative event.

What type of coffee will you be sipping during Caffeine Appreciation Month? 

*I was invited to attend the Jamaica Blue Roastery Tour Media Event. This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

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REVIEW: Legends In Concert (The Palms at Crown, Melbourne)

Legends

Image via Ticketmaster. 

I was invited to attend the opening night of Legends In Concert, a showcase that features an acclaimed set of celebrity tribute acts from Las Vegas.

Legends In Concert is the longest running show in Las Vegas. It has been lighting-up stages for over 34 years! The performers use their own singing voices and are supported by a five piece live band, two backing singers and a troupe of eight energetic dancers.

According to the Legends In Concert website, they offer over 80 different tribute acts. For the 2018 Melbourne season, the show included tributes to Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Cher, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Whitey Houston and Freddie Mercury.

The cast are exquisite and the resemblance between the performers and the legends that they are portraying is just uncanny! The attention to detail in the casts’ physical appearance, mannerisms and vocal quality is impressive. I can only imagine how hard these performers have worked to perfect their acts.

The highlight of the show for me is a jaw-droopingly good tribute to Michael Jackson. Just like Jackson, the performer is a true triple threat. He has an incredible singing voice, his monologues are just like watching Jackson speak, and his dancing is outstanding.

Special mentions also need to go to the performers who portray Dolly Parton and Cher.  In addition to looking the part, they have stunning singing voices.

As this was my first time seeing a tribute show of this calibre, I was blown-away by the costumes, hair-styling, wigs and make-up. The quality is outstanding and the creative teams need to be congratulated for their attention to detail.

The band and back-up singers are amazing. They are a talented, tight-knit group and sound incredible from start to finish.

The dancers are some of the most energetic performers I have ever seen! They perform beautifully throughout the show in a variety of dance styles. Not to mention that they must have at least 20 quick costume changes!

Legends In Concert is playing at The Palms at Crown until the 28th of January. Tickets are selling fast so book now to avoid missing out.

*I was invited to attend the opening night performance of ‘Legends In Concert’ and tickets were supplied. This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

Review: Marley Spoon.

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Marley Spoon*# is a food subscription service that promises to make cooking easier by delivering everything that you need to cook delicious meals directly to your door.

Marley Spoon is perfect for busy people that struggle to find the time to meal plan and grocery shop. By delivering only the exact amount of every ingredient required for each meal, Marley Spoon takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping and allows you to say goodbye to food wastage forever!

I was sent a sample Marley Spoon*# box to trial and review. It contained the ingredients for two meals – Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Chickpeas and Mushroom Miso Risotto with Sesame and Spinach.

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The box contained three bags: one bag for each recipe and a cooler bag for ingredients that need to be chilled. Detailed recipe cards were also included explaining exactly what you need to do to prepare each meal.

I decided to prepare both meals on the same night with the soup being the entrée and  the risotto being the main meal. I am pleased to report that the recipes were easy-to-follow and the ingredients were all of very high quality. Since I only have my husband myself to cook for, there were plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

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The Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Chickpeas.

I don’t usually make soup, mainly because I have no idea how to get the amount of ingredients and consistency right, but following the Marley Spoon recipe card made preparing the Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Chickpeas super easy! My husband and I were both happy with the flavours. It is a very hearty soup and it could easily be a meal on its own.

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The Mushroom Miso Risotto with Spinach and Sesame.

The Risotto was easy to prepare and tasted delicious. I was a big fan of the Miso and Sesame favours. My husband doesn’t usually like risotto very much, but he loved this recipe!

Marley Spoon have kindly offered readers of my blog $35 off! All you need to do is click here# to order and start making dinner time so much easier!

Have you ever tried Marley Spoon? What did you think of it? 

*All products in this post were provided for my review.  This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

#Affiliate link. I will make a small commission from any sales made using this link at no extra cost to you.

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Review: Liverpool St Subscription Box.

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If you’ve ever had a period, you’ll know that the arrival of your monthly visitor doesn’t always sync up with your most recent purchase of tampons.

Hands-up if you’ve ever frantically rushed to the supermarket to buy your monthly supply (or sent a loved one on the mission) just so you can go about your day? I know I’ve been there and it can certainly throw a busy day out of whack.

Imagine if tampons were magically delivered to your door once a month? You’d never have to put your plans on hold to stock-up again!

Well, good news folks, because Liverpool St* does exactly that!

Liverpool St* offers a monthly subscription service in which two boxes of organic tampons (in your preferred absorbency) are delivered to your door each month in a discreet (and very cute) box.

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Why organic tampons? Well, just like how we try to avoid nasty chemicals in the food we eat and the beauty products we use, it is a good idea to make sure that the products we use in our most intimate areas are as chemical-free as possible.

According to the Liverpool St* press release, “the majority of tampons on the market are laden with toxins and chemicals that absorbed into the bloodstream once they are inserted.”

Scary stuff, right?

I was sent two Liverpool St* subscription boxes to trial and review. It was my first time trying organic tampons and I couldn’t help but notice that they are so much more comfortable than other tampon brands I’ve tried. I wonder if my body has disagreed with other brands for years and I just didn’t know that there were better options out there?

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According to Liverpool St*, organic tampons are made from 100% cotton, are hypoallergenic and won’t disturb your body’s PH levels. So it is possible that organic tampons are just a better option for me.

In addition to the products being great, I also love Liverpool St’s packaging*. The exterior cardboard box is very cute and is sealed with a sticker that says “Positive Vibes Only” on it. I love this because menstrual cycles are unfortunately often a taboo topic so I am a big supporter of brands that endeavour to make getting your period a more positive experience. The tampon boxes themselves are rectangular and slender so they can easily fit in any bag or pocket and I love the on-trend pastel colour scheme.

If you’re interested in giving organic tampons a go and want the convenience of a monthly delivery service, all you have to do is sign up on the Liverpool St* website. At this stage, Liverpool St* only deliver within Australia but according to their website, they are hoping to expand to other areas soon.

You can choose between a Mixed Bundle (1 box of super tampons and 1 box of regular tampons), a Regular Bundle (2 boxes of regular tampons) and a Super Bundle (2 boxes of super tampons.) Each bundle costs just $8.90AUD plus $3.30AUD postage.

*All products in this post were provided for my review.  This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

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REVIEW: Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum and Renewing Moisturiser.

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It’s winter here in Australia, and as the weather cools down, my skin gets to, unfortunately, dry up. Every winter I assess my skincare regime and try to work out what I can be doing to take better care of my face.

When I was asked to review the Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum* and Renewing Moisturiser*, I jumped at the chance. I had used Derma E products before and I knew that Derma E is a high quality, cruelty free brand that focused on using natural products wherever possible. I’d also heard about all the great affects of using Vitamin C in your skincare, but never really found a range that I liked. I was very keen to see if Derma E’s Vitamin C range would agree with my combination skin.

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The Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum and Renewing Moisturiser* are both packaged in slender bottles with a pump that contain 60ml of product each. I love the simple white and orange label design because it instantly makes me think of oranges and  therefore vitamin C. Both products come in a matching box.

The Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum* retails at $39.95 in Australia and contains active ingredients hyaluronic acid, non-oxidising vitamin C and aloe vera.  According to the press release, this serum promises to help

…brighten the skin and boost collagen health, minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles and improving the appearance of uneven skin tone.”

The Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum* is a gel-based serum with a slight orange tint. It has a delicious natural citrus scent which reminds me of the lemon tree that grew in my childhood backyard. It dissolves into the skin very quickly and unlike some other Vitamin C products that I’ve tried, it doesn’t irritate my skin at all. After use, my skin feels very smooth and ready for some moisturiser.

The Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturiser* retails for $34.95 and it is a very light, cream-based moisturiser. It has the same incredible citrus scent as the serum. I prefer a heavier moisturiser at night time, so I have been using the Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturiser* as a day cream and I am please to share that it is the best day cream I have ever used! It’s super light, doesn’t add unnecessary grease to my t-zone and is the perfect base for make-up. I don’t even need to use a makeup primer when I wear this moisturiser!

In addition to non-oxidising vitamin C, the Derma E Vitamin C Renewing Moisturiser* also contains rooibos and probiotics. According to the press release, this combination of ingredients is designed to

 …help shield and strengthen the skin’s natural defences for a smoother, firmer and more revitalised appearance.”

I’ve been using the Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum* and the Renewing Moisturiser* for a few weeks now and I’ve noticed that my complexion is looking brighter and I am experiencing less redness. I would definitely recommend these products to anyone who is looking for natural skincare solutions that actually work.

*All products in this post were provided for my review.  This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

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