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Coming to you from Melbourne. It’s my last time visiting here before my Mum moves back to New Zealand, so I’m making the most of it. So far I’ve bought all my usual lollies, wasted half the day in David Jones and spent some quality time with the fam. After feeling off kilter in Auckland it has been nice to get out of my usual setting and reset.

Highs:
  • $1 Coles raspberry straps. Hands down my favourite Australian lollies.
  • Brought my Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask with me and put it on when I arrived. I have to say – hands down the best product post travel. My skin has never felt so good after a flight!
  • Spending quality time with Mum. Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve been over here and it’s never quite the same on Facetime. I’m looking forward to having her living in the same country.
  • If you find yourself in Richmond, Melbourne make sure you check out Reunion & Co for a great breakfast or lunch. Hands down my favourite in this area – the tacos are bomb.
  • Kara and I went to Coco’s Cantina for the $13 happy hour pasta which I’d been meaning to try for ages. So worth going in early. Plus, the staff are always so lovely!
  • I also have tomorrow off so I’m stoked.
  • I can’t say that I’m the biggest believer in star signs and the likes, but I love the app Co-Star. Sometimes if offers little gems of insight right when you need them. I liked this, this week “everyone experiences their version of the truth.”
  • I swear everything in Australia is on sale at the moment and I scored this Aje dress so cheap! It’s definitely going to be perfect for Europe next month.
  • Music: Dangerous – Parsa, Objects In The Mirror – Mac Miller, Focus (feat. 21 Savage) – Bazzi

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Lows:
  • I have to go home tomorrow… boo.
  • I thought this trip would help me make up my mind about where I want to be within the next year. It hasn’t.. I’m just as confused.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #63 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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It’s 8:30 pm – I’m sitting in bed with a tea in one hand, my iPhone in the other and my laptop in front in preparation to write. In the past 30 minutes, I’ve managed to already check my phone at least half a dozen times as I rack my brain for a topic to write on. I check Instagram to reply to any new comments, I check my DMs for any memes I’ve missed from friends and I mindlessly scroll for inspiration long before reminding myself that I actually have work to do. Did I mention I also have music playing? This is a routine I’ve become all too familiar with, as my day-to-day is entwined with distractions, like an addiction I just can’t quit.

I read an article the other day that said “we are a generation that marches to the beat of background noise.” and it’s been on my mind since. I’ll be the first to admit I can’t handle the silence. The pause. Any point in a day where you have nothing to focus your mind on. I mean, I sit on the toilet planning my next Instagram post and I’ll shower to my latest audiobook. Sometimes I’ve even walked the entire way to work before realising, too engrossed in choosing new songs for my weekly playlist to notice.

Wearing: Lonely Hearts Pop Sweater (Similar Here & Here) H&M White Jeans (Similar Here) Mi Piaci Snakeskin Boots (Similar Here) Deadly Ponies Bag (Similar Here) Photos taken by the lovely Sophie

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If time is money, we are generationally doing well. We squeeze more into those spare seconds than anyone else. Day-jobs are propped up by side-hustles, yoga slots in as easy as our morning coffees and we can fit an entire season of Netflix into a week, between baths and cleaning. We binge on productivity porn to make sure we get from A to B quicker than before so next time, we can fit in another task. We are running a fast race, picking up the pace every mile until that level of fitness feels like the acceptable standard. But what happens if we take a second to stop and breathe?

To do nothing almost feels like a guilty pleasure for me now. Boredom – a sick joke. If I stop for just a minute I instantly feel a mini-wave of panic wash over me. Heart rate quickens, mind races. No matter how far ahead I technically am, I always feel like I’m a step behind. Can I shoot that content today? Make $X before this date? Can I see this person before they fly out? I’m a seasoned runner of a race that has no finish line. Every step carries the feeling of disappointment as I am no closer to the end. And you best believe I’ll continue pushing myself forward until I’m exhausted.

Then the 4 am’ers hit. So high strung that in the early morning hours my worries strive. Usually, it goes something like this: I wake up with the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something. Did I leave the gas on? Was the heater in the living room turned off? Do I need to pee? Then one thought tumbleweeds into another until an avalanche of worries resurface, dating back to three years ago when I said: “your crush is a dick” to one my friends while drunk. By this time it’s been 40 minutes; I still can’t decide if I’ve actually forgotten something, I’m too cold to go pee but now I’m wide awake. And wide awake I’ll stay for another hour (and herbal sleeping tablet) or so.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a saying we all know too well, and maybe that’s the problem. I can’t help but feel as though we’ve become accustomed to speeding through life with tunnel vision, leaving most of the good stuff in the rearview. Then we’re left playing catch up in the middle of the night, dealing with the aftermath of the day. By which time, after the stress of a sleepless night gets added into the mix, we’ve long forgotten anything decent that happened.

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Is it me or are the weeks flying by? We are already well into June, I’m leaving the country in exactly a month and everything is now officially booked. The only thing I don’t know is where I’ll be on the other side of coming back. I can already sense the post-vacation depression. For now, I’m going to enjoy looking forward to something that’s still a little while off and keep busy until then. Which is a big roundabout way in saying that sorry this wasn’t up on Sunday – I was busy keeping busy.

Highs:
  • I stayed at home sick today and spent the day watching For The People. It’s another law drama from the creators of Scandal so you know it’s a good and easy watch. There are two seasons out and I’ve already binged the first. So good.
  • I went for dinner with Caitlin at Farang in Kingsland to catch up, finally. It was so good to chat and the food was pretty good too. I love going to Kingsland for a change because there are so many good places to eat there. I’d recommend the Sweetie Boys Buns for sure.
  • I found Krispy Kreme in town and I am stoked. Doughnuts are my guilty pleasure for sure. The apple crumbles flavour is the best.
  • The Espresso Martini’s from Saint Alice are pretty damn good.
  • I got the most extravagant package from Mon Purse on Friday – it made my day. I got the Long Line Bucket Bag and the black travel set for my trip overseas and I already know it’s all coming with me everywhere. What I love is they monogrammed my initials on all of the pieces too which make them extra special. Honestly, the best way to end my Friday.
  • As I said, everything for my trip away is booked! EEEK, so excited!!
  • This week had been a weird one. I’m glad it’s over.
  • Music: You Got It – Vory, Let You Down – NF, Foreplay – Jalen Santoy, I C Light – Crooked Colours
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Lows:
  • I put it down to hormones but I’m stuck in a cycle or not sleeping and headaches. Fun times all around.
  • The waiter at Saint Alice was so rude and I don’t know what his deal is but I don’t even want to go back because of him.
  • Life really has a way of wearing you down sometimes.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #62 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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Winter brings out all my nasty habits. I’ve quickly traded nights out with friends for evenings in with Netflix, wine and a cake of chocolate (which yes, I do finish alone). Instead of going for a walk after work I now dive into bed for a nap. Then, to top it all off, there’s no way I’m getting out of my warm bed to wash my face before I got to sleep. Cringing reading that? Same. Apparently, that’s also how my skin feels too since it’s been breaking out for the past few weeks consistently. Winter blues, you really know how to knock a girl down.

For most of the year, and until recently, I’ve always had pretty good skin. I get spots here and there, but nothing I can’t cover up or sort out with some proper skincare. My skin had also been less dry since moving back to Auckland, a major win. So when my skin started acting up recently I knew it was time to stop indulging myself in my bad habits and nip it in the bud. Especially since I have so much travel coming up – no one wants to have a pizza face on holiday.

After a lot of trial and error, I can say with confidence that these products work. My skin has been much clearer, I don’t have as many blocked pores and generally, it looks pretty good. The biggest difference in routine since changing it up has been adding in a toner to ensure my skin is completely clean before applying moisturiser. Who knew a simple added step into my routine would be such a savior? Before I give it all away though, here are my the 8 products that are saving my skin this winter and how I have worked them into my weekly routine.

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My Top 8 Winter Skin Savers:
1. Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum

This serum is one of the newer products I’ve introduced into my routine. Stocked at Mecca, Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum contains salicylic acid which is a known enemy of breakouts. I apply this all over my face when I feel like my skin is acting up, after toner and before moisturiser. The one downside of this is it does have an interesting smell but it’s nothing too crazy. So far the combination of this and my spot treatment tackles every blemish well, no matter how big.

2. Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

Another one of my newer products, but by far the highlight of this routine. I have been using this morning and night since I got it and I think I’m in love. Sunday Riley is a known luxury brand and this toner doesn’t disappoint. It’s called the Martian toner because it pumps out green but once you apply it to your face it glides on and doesn’t dry out your skin. The bonus of this toner is that you can easily apply it with clean hands so you don’t need to worry about cotton pads (the one thing I never have). I attribute my skin clearing up so quickly to this because it clears absolutely every last bit of makeup off your face. I can’t believe I never used toner before – this is a face saver.

This is my OG spot treatment. I’ve been repurchasing this since I discovered it at university in 2012 and I haven’t found anything I’ve ever liked more. I’ll use this on any spots as soon as they appear before I go to bed and by the morning they’re usually gone. That, or they’ve dried up enough that I’m not tempted to touch. I’m a squeezer, guilty as charged. Despite its small bottle, this stuff lasts ages if you only use it when you need it. Just an all-around handy product to have in your collection.

You can probably tell from the packaging that I use this often. One of my best friends Sam recommended to me years ago and I finally got one for myself this past Christmas. Pretty self-explanatory but this lip balm is THE best and doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients. AKA the ones that get your lips addicted to balm. It also has SPF which is a must. I love this particular Christmas edition because it’s a nice pink shade tint with gold reflects. Super pretty and a staple in my handbag.

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I don’t there’s anything more satisfying than having no plans on a Saturday night. The weather today has forced me to spend the time I needed to organising my life. From booking AirBnB’s for my upcoming trip to tackling my pile of hand washing – today has been the breather I’ve needed. Lately, I’ve been on a repetitive cycle of overload myself to crash and burn. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to just be okay with doing nothing. So tonight I’m going to force myself so I can finally get a normal amount of sleep. Wish me luck…

Highs:
  • Last night I finally watched Booksmart, the new coming of age movie on Netflix. I thought it was very clever and not as P.C. as most movies seem to be these days. An easy Friday night watch for sure!
  • I got to see my Dad the other day out at the airport before he flew overseas. Like I said in my previous blog post, my family grounds me. I could tell the latest crash wasn’t far off so this visit came at such a good time. It’s so good to hear another perspective and one that comes from unconditional love. It’s such a damn rare thing as you get older. Also, the pasta was fucking great.
  • After playing tug-o-war with my freelancing the last couple of months I think things are finally coming together. It’s so discouraging being promised work that never pulls through. This week definitely turned that right around.
  • Music, similar to smell, brings back so many memories for me. Sometimes when I’m feeling lost I like to revisit old music. It kind of reminds me that I’ve felt this way before and I will again. This song has been on repeat all afternoon and this. Reminds me of everything 2014. I used to listen to a lot of trap music.
  • My skin has been going crazy the past month or so and I finally have switched up my routine which seems to be working. I have been loving the Blue Tansy – AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask which has AHA & BHAs AKA my favourite skin clearing ingredients. This, and using Sunday Riley Martian Toner has already made quite the difference.
  • I’ve told anyone who wants to listen that the Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops are amazing for tanning your face naturally.
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Lows:
  • Like I said, mid-week meltdown, hello. Jokes, not really a meltdown but I actually can’t sleep right now. Boo.
  • I can’t decide on what to eat for dinner and this might not seem like a big deal but it’s already 9 pm. Send help.
  • Guys really know how to make you feel crazy even when you’re not wrong.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #61 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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June marks the start of winter which I have not looked forward to. I am a summer baby for sure and with the sun setting by 5:30 the day feels over before it begins. I can’t wait to hop on a plane out of here next month, but until then you’re just going to have to deal with me whining about the weather. Yesterday we had thunder so strong you could feel it under your feet, so surely that gives me a pass to complain?

Wearing: Finders Keepers Jada Blazer Finders Keepers Dreams Mini Dress Witchery Boots (Similar Here) Amber Sceats Earrings

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Luckily Auckland seems to still be weather confused, so I’ve been able to get some more wear out of outfits like this. I’m obsessed with this combination from Finders Keepers, an Australian label I’ve loved for years, which is perfect to wear from dinner to dance. Blazer dresses have been floating around my Pinterest feed for a while now so I jumped when I saw this one. I also think the built-in belt makes this look so sophisticated when it’s such a lazy girl number. Such an easy way to layer over a dress and still show dat shape girl.

This blazer would love super cool over a turtleneck and pants when it gets colder too. Which to be honest, will probably be next week. I don’t know what it is about the unpredictable weather conditions that drive me a little crazy. That’s where I’m at right now though. Kind of like when you like a guy but they’re playing hot and cold with you. Do you like me, do you not? Can I wear this dress, look good and not be ridiculously cold? It’s basically the same thing. Right?

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Highs:
  • Stolen Inspiration turned 10! I need a medal for sticking at something so long – if you know me well, you’ll know this is a pretty big deal.
  • I was so discouraged with life at the start of the week. Then Friday came with a heap of good news and overall I’m excited now for what next week is going to bring. Sometimes opportunities pop up just at the right time, especially after a lull, and you just know it’s a sign you have to go for it.
  • On Friday I celebrated le blog birthday at Mekong Baby. We ended up getting the “Let’s Eat” menu which is a set dinner of all their best plates after a couple too many cocktails (you have to try the Miss Saigon – so delish).  As a person that doesn’t eat much meat I’ve been converted, the pork belly was amazing! I’d 100% recommend to any Asian fusion lovers.
  • I met Sophie for lunch at the new Eat Drink Laugh cafe in Ponsonby for lunch yesterday and it was really good. I recommend the fish tacos, they were simple but delicious. The salads there looked amazing too – food envy-inducing.
  • Grace and I went shopping yesterday arvo to find her a wedding suit (swoon) and go to the Lux Hoyts with my movie vouchers. We saw Aladdin (thanks Soph for the recommendation) which I have to say was just a beautiful movie to watch. I’d completely forgotten the storyline so it brought back all the feels. Also, Lux seats with free drinks and popcorn were a huge bonus.
  • I got given the new Olaplex Shampoo & Conditioner and I’m converted. The shampoo is my favourite because it’s so damn creamy. I’m going to be savouring every last drop.
  • It was Maté’s birthday this week so everyone in the office went go-karting. Can I just say IT WAS SO MUCH FUN? I am 100% going to go back.
  • I’ve been trying out the Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Gel Toner and so far I’m really enjoying it. You can apply with your hands which is a big bonus for me. My skin has been really bad the last couple of months so I’m trying to make a better effort at adding the in-between steps – especially toning. This one comes out green but melts into your skin. Very lush.
  • Music: Flames – SG Lewis, 9 to 5 – Harrison Brome, Without You – Emmit Fenn, Miles and Miles – Cameron Gainley, Waiting For You – problem solved, Bust It Open – Cool Company
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Lows:
  • This isn’t really a low but kind of. So you know how it takes you FOREVER to finally feel like you’re over someone. I got that this week, kind of like the final nail in the coffin – you’re actually kind of a dick moment. Hallelujah. Now onwards and upwards.
  • I go on holiday in a matter of weeks and my body is in fact NOT HOLIDAY READY. ugh.
  • I think I’ve gone and put something in motion that’s going to turn everything upside down again.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #60 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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Who thought we would end up here? I sure as hell didn’t way back at the inception of Stolen Inspiration 10 years ago. Picture me: 15 years young, halfway through high school and bored out of my mind. One of my friends Bayley and I had newly discovered our love of fashion on the internet (to the point of obsession). Back when Who What Wear and Lookbook.nu dominated and Instagram wasn’t even thought of. It was then that she introduced me to the idea of fashion blogging, to which we both decided we would give a go. And now, a decade later here I am.

Wearing: Keepsake The Fall Blazer  Keepsake The Fall Pant Free People Plunge Lace Bra Nike Sneakers Amber Sceats Earrings

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Stolen Inspiration is so much more than a blog to me in ways that people will never know. I can say that there is no area of my life that it hasn’t touched. Back in the early days, it was an outlet – a kind of online diary. A place where I could be creative. I could write and submit something into the world that didn’t have to have anything to do with my life. Completely without responsibility. Even now you can go back and read some of my first ever posts. The good, the bad, and the ugly: It’s all still there.

Then somewhere along the way, it became a passion. I remember saving up to buy my first camera so I could share much more of my own life. From friends’ birthday parties to my outfits on the street outside of our boarding school. I’d be the token girl at school running around with the “fancy camera”. With that camera my readership grew, I made internet friends and it quickly felt like I had support at times when I was really lonely IRL.

I think once school ended I realized that blogging could be a real career path. I started to be approached by big brands wanting to collaborate, I got my first overseas trip to NYC and I was getting PAID. Never in a million years would I have ever expected that. It also opened so many doors that I don’t think even my friends realize. I mean, I got ‘headhunted’ for my first job the week I finished university because my soon-to-be manager read my blog when she worked at Topshop in London. Small world, huh?

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Another week is done and dusted, and with that comes a whole set of new highs and lows. I’m going to make this little intro a quick one since I’ve had a migraine for the past 3 hours and I’m still struggling a little. It’s been a while since I’ve had one and I forgot how much they knock me out. So much for having a quiet weekend giving my body a break. It feels like I had a huge night last even though I spent the night at home with Netflix. Anyway, let’s get into the good stuff so I can call it a night early.

Highs:
  • I’ve binged What/If on Netflix all weekend, finishing it this morning. SO GOOD. From the creators of Revenge, it’s a twisted drama that definitely keeps you on your toes. Honestly probably one of the better series I’ve watched in a while.
  • Along with that my friend JJ introduced me to This Is Us. It’s a series feat. Mandy Moore which follows a family navigating life but switches between current life and flashbacks. It made me cry twice in the first two episodes but so far I really like it. You can stream it on TVNZ too.
  • The new Toffee Pops Peanut Butter flavour has to be my favourite yet. I ate them so quickly yesterday and I’m pretty tempted to buy more before I go home tonight. Bye bye summer bod.
  • Because I’ve been suffering from a migraine most of the day I’ve roped Lauren into cooking me dinner. How good are friends though?
  • For music this week Tyler The Creator’s new album IGOR is pretty good. So is Lana Del Rey’s new track Doin’ Time. I’ve also been so into Climax by Young Thug & 6lack.
  • I got sent the new La Mer Lip Volumiser and Lip Balm on Friday and I’m so into both. Fun fact: I own hardly any lip products so I appreciate getting sent anything lip related to try. I love the Lip Volumiser because it smells like peppermint, has a beautiful shine and is comfortable on the lips (AKA not sticky). Also it tingles a little bit to plump your lips but in a subtle way.
  • Kelsey and I walked to Bread and Butter yesterday and I had the best savoury brioche. I forgot how good the food was there. Also I got a little madeline to curb my sweet craving. Very yummy.
  • Sounds boring but I made one of my flatmate’s Hello Fresh boxes the other day and it had the best basic salad. All it included was pear sliced, mesclun, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So good on the side of pasta.

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Lows:
  • My migraine today. I’d been feeling off all day, managed to shoot with Sophie and then as soon I went to walk home BAM. Spent the rest of the day in JJ’s bed sleeping it off since I couldn’t make it home.
  • I feel like I’m hungover when I’m not. This sucks.
  • I seriously need to work out.
Read More Highs & Lows Here

The post Highs And Lows Of The Week #59 appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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Whenever someone asks me to name my favourite brands, Zimmermann is the first to come to mind. From the delicate lace detailing, to their gorgeous prints you can’t really go wrong when buying Zimmermann – except maybe the price tag. With most pieces $400+ AUD they can be very pricey. This is why I’ve decided to share my favourite dupes so you can enjoy their style for less.

I actually asked you guys via my Instagram Story which you wanted to see more: Zimmermann or Reformation look for less. Zimmermann won by just one vote, so here we are. Don’t worry though – I have many more of these posts to come. The latest RTW 2019 season recently dropped so it was the perfect time to pick out some favourites too. I’m so obsessed with the lace crop top at the end which they continue to bring back season after season. Also theNinety-Six Wave Dress is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. If there are any pieces I have missed that you’d like me to find a dupe for, leave them for me in the comments below.

If you’re unfamiliar with these posts, Look For Less is a series I do on my blog where I find cheaper alternatives to some of your favourite brands. So far I’ve done Realisation ParAre You Am I and Reformation – you can find all these posts here.

My Current Favourites From Zimmermann
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 Zimmermann Cowl Blouse

Cheaper Alternatives:

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Zimmermann Heathers Pintuck Shorts + Top

Cheaper Alternatives:

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Zimmermann Ninety-Six Linear Midi Dress

Cheaper Alternatives:

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Zimmermann Ninety-Six Wave Short Dress Cheaper Alternatives:

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Zimmermann Allia Pintuck Off Shoulder Top

Cheaper Alternatives:

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Read all my previous Look For Less posts here.

The post Look For Less: Zimmermann appeared first on Stolen Inspiration | NEW ZEALAND FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER.

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