Monday, September 30, 2013

SATURDAY

As you'll know from my last post, on Saturday morning we had the pleasure of lazing around on our new outdoor setting while we read the papers. One article that stood out for me was a feature with Jackie Collins. I had never taken much of an interest in her before but quite enjoyed reading all about her. She was (and still is) a gorgeous lady. She seemed to possess good family values and had a few sensible ideas about marriage, monogamy and so forth. She also mentioned something about not wearing leopard print, that it was "tacky", if I remember correctly. I used to be in her camp on that one, until I bought this blouse from Portmans a few years ago. It was warm enough to dig it out again on Saturday.


We trekked down to Orson & Blake to try and find a pair of bedside tables we had seen on their website. They weren't in stock so we had a bit of a nose around the store. Now that it's heating up outside, I'm drawn to everything bright and colourful. I don't remember ever having the seasons dictate my colour preferences like this.


Another colour-filled place we sometimes visit is Bather's Pavilion at Balmoral Beach.


It's probably strange/disappointing to see a blogger visit a cafe and only order one item from the menu but that's what I did. Let's face it, my waistline can't get away with entree/main/dessert too often. I had the chicken breast with parsnips, leeks and the most incredible gnocchi pieces. James had the pork belly, which was on the specials menu. We were both full and our tastebuds happy.


We hadn't brought our swimming costumes but a walk along the beachfront is the next best thing after actually swimming and getting beached.


 After having our fill of sun for the day, we went home to laze around in the shade with the rest of the family.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

DIY ON A FRIDAY NIGHT

Yesterday afternoon, we went to our wedding reception venue to sample the foods that we had chosen for our reception dinner. I had every intention of taking photos of each course but because we had to choose wines, provide feedback and discuss our plans with the events lady, I figured pulling the camera out might be a bit disruptive. I wore my new Bardot wet look jeans and ivory blouse - the top reminds me a lot of the type of thing my mum used to wear in summer when we were kids. I realise I take after her with my fashion choices. She keeps it simple, doesn't accessorise much and loves stripes. Black cat, black kitten.

^^I promise I ironed my top before I left the house! These photos were taken after dinner, so my top had crinkled by then^^

I got to the venue early and was struck with a wave of inspiration. The flowers for one, were genius. I found out that Tulipanna in Bondi are responsible for the stunning arrangements. 


The decor in the hotel really appeals to me. When I walked inside for the first time at the start of the year, I knew it was the place for our reception. I wish I could have taken more photos to show you, but I found out there is a rule about photography in the common areas - I don't think they minded me photographing my husband-to-be and the couch he was sitting on though.


We're really excited about the food and plonk we've chosen for the night! Because our tasting was in the afternoon, we were finished by early evening, which meant we had time to go to IKEA for the second night in a row. Our mission was to choose an outdoor setting for the balcony adjoining our bedroom. It's the most peaceful and sunny spot, perfect for spending hours reading or snoozing. Our only requirement was that I could lie on my side, because sitting is still not comfortable for me. We found one and raced home to put it together.


This is me after "my" segment was completed:


And James, at completion:


I think it looks best first thing in the morning, though.


The same can't be said for me. Gosh, my pyjama pants are sitting high in this picture.


There aren't any plans for the rest of the day, which is exactly how I like it. What are you up to? Did you enjoy yesterday's post about my sister? I'm not sure if she knew why I was asking her so many questions but I directed her to read the blog and she said it made her cry. In a good way, I think.

Friday, September 27, 2013

FRIDAY FIVE (AND THEN SOME) WITH MY AWESOME SISTER, RACHEL


When I started the Friday Five I said I'd be featuring people who I found "cool/smart/fun/stylish/interesting". Today's Friday Fiver is all of those things and more. It's also her birthday today which makes it a total no-brainer that she be this week's special guest. She's my little sister Rachel - four years younger than me with better hair, slimmer legs, better dance floor skills and heaps funnier! She's also a Libran, a uni student, incredibly loyal friend and family member, Chihuahua owner, effortlessly stylish and also effortlessly slim. It's impossible to hate her though, for she is the best person ever to hang out with. The best sister and best friend I'll ever know. I've decided to do away with the rule about having just five questions today because if there's one thing the birthday girl loves, it's questions like these. And people who know Rach will know that she always gives really, really good answers. Here we go:

What are your pet peeves?
People that don't compliment others because they don't want the other person to feel good about themselves. Also people that do the opposite and say things like "aren't you cold?" or "aren't you a bit too dressed up?"

Who would you ask to play you in a movie about your life?
Anna Kendrick because people say she is my double!



A celebrity you'd like to be BFFs with?
Oh, I'd choose the real funnies like Larry David, Ricky Gervais or Zach Galifianakis

Is your star sign accurate?

I think it's pretty spot on! Apparently Librans are indecisive and that's me to a tee. I stand completely still in the supermarket for about 45 minutes before I have made a decision about what to buy for dinner. 


Events that changed your life?
1. Going to university (I finally understood what people meant when they told me I had so much potential) 

2. Living with my big sister (me) in Sydney for a year. Moving away from a small country town to the big smoke allowed me to meet all sorts of different people that didn't know me at all! I felt I really blossomed after that year. I no longer had to worry about what the townspeople might say about me the following week etc.

3. Looking after my mum when she wasn't well. I got to spend loads of time in psychiatric hospitals with some of the most intelligent, beautiful people I have ever met. I now have a great respect for people suffering with mental illness or drug abuse and I learnt not to judge a book by it's cover....EVER


^^The two of us^^

Book everyone should read?
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. It is by far the funniest, most relatable book I have ever read and I recommend it to ever single person on the planet. It made me laugh out loud and no other book has ever had that effect on me. I've actually read it three times and intend on reading it again and again. 

Five songs you are obsessed with right now?
 My answers will seem really strange as my music taste is quite geriatric but lately I have been listening to really gentle soft music that calms me, kind of what I need after a stressful day at uni:

Leonard Cohen - Bird on the Wire
The Fureys - Leaving Nancy (Eric Bogle cover)
Simon and Garfunkel - Kathy's Song
Oh and 2 more upbeat songs...
Bruce Springsteen - Hungry Heart (this is mine and my brother's song at the moment)
The Rolling stones - Beast of Burden

Something everyone says about you?
 Well, apart from the Anna Kendrick resemblance, people often say that my personality is surprising and not what they initially expected. For example, I tend to drop the F-bomb in general conversation and am really open and honest about things that most people are embarrassed to talk about. 


Something we don't know about you?
 I know it's a shame but I am very critical on myself when it comes to university grades, I can be pretty hard on myself if I get below an A. I also wear retainers to bed every single night.

Favourite...
Lip Colour? Non stop cherry by Revlon. It's pretty red but I wear it every day and feel like it improves any boring outfit
Nail Polish Shade? I buy cheap nail polish so it doesn't have a fancy name and I couldn't even tell you the brand but it's a lovely berry pink colour and it also brightens boring outfits (I wear a lot of black and grey)
Skin Product? I have been using Palmers Cocoa Butter gradual tan lotion to extend my tan, it smells beautiful and works to extend my tan a few days which is great for when I'm busy and don't have time to tan all over again
Hair product? Biolage Hydratherapie treatment. My hair is very long and my ends quite split. This product helps to care for my ends to increase the time between haircuts 

Dream Holiday?
Cuba with my entire family. I have always wanted to go to Cuba and Jonathan (our big brother) recently told me loads about it that was new to me, I was totally intrigued. I guess I'd be happy to go on a holiday anywhere with the whole family, it's pretty rare to have us all together but the few times we have been have been the happiest moments in my life. 

Thank you so much for being such a sport Rachel and I hope you have the BEST birthday known to man. I love you!



Thursday, September 26, 2013

ON MY MIND...


I'm about to start getting into some mags but felt compelled to write a short post. I've only just gotten July's Tatler and noticed they're talking about drugs and "who's taking what". It reminded me of something I saw on the telly yesterday evening. I was flicking through the channels when I came across Tracy Grimshaw revealing a very grim statistic. Apparently, drug overdose deaths now exceed the road toll here in Australia. Isn't that frightening? More disturbing is the fact that most overdoses involve prescription drugs.

I think that people really don't understand just how real the issue of Drug Toxicity and especially Combined Drug Intoxication (CDI) really is. Drinking or taking other drugs while you are on one form of medication can have devastating consequences.  I remember years ago someone telling me that if you drank too much, taking Valium would stop you getting a hangover. I happened to have about 50 (!!!) pills from my doctor because of travel anxiety, which really should have only been used for that purpose. Instead, I did what a whole number of people do and disregarded the warning on the box (it's only a little dose, I thought) and often I'd take Valium after nights out. Combining sedatives as I had done is generally a no-no and the risk of accidental overdose is very real. We know that this is what caused the untimely deaths of celebrities like Elvis, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Cory Monteith, Jimi Henrix, Michael Jackson and many more. But even if the dose I had taken wasn't high enough to kill me, the fact that it sedated me could have had severe repurcussions if, say, I had been laying on my back and was sick. Let's also not forget that sometimes the ill effects of bad decisions aren't always immediate: past health misdeeds can come back to bite us in the long-term.

I'm hoping that there will be more dialogue about "every day" people who have died or become very sick from an accidental overdose or mixing drugs. It happens at every level of society and is frankly too big of an issue to ignore. What are your thoughts on this?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

RIMMEL NAUGHTY BUT NICE

I rarely wear nail polish on my fingers. It never seems to set, I always end up smudging it and chips start to appear within hours. I just can't be bothered with it. Plus, I always feel I look strange when I have colour on my nails. I've been seeing a lot of bloggers with really tidy looking manicures in bold reds and it's so damn attractive and puts my hands to shame. I am in love with this quick drying shade from Rimmel (I have been using Rimmel reds on my toes for years) and have decided this will be my colour this summer. I'll have to abstain from coloured polishes until the wedding because I don't want yellow nails but after that it'll be game on! (Can't believe I even said game on, but worse would have been if I said "moll" or "mole" at the end. Blergh.) Anyway, what's your FAVOURITE nail colour right now? I've been buying lots of "bridal" pinks and beiges from OPI and still haven't decided on one for the big day. I realised that I've accidentally bought "Bubble Bath" twice, so maybe that's a sign?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ADDRESSING MY DRESSES

^^ Just some of the "Rachel" pile^^

Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I am a (reformed) dress collector. The reason I call it "collecting" is because I have accumulated more dresses than I have been able to wear and, as such, my dresses have become akin to collectible Star Wars figurines, their practical purposes completely unrealised. It took me a long time to learn that unless there was a specific occasion in mind, it would be unlikely that the dress would ever see the light of day. It was always likely that another dress would come along that would render any other dress unfashionable and undesirable. And wearing the same dress twice? A rare event.

Since I moved in with James almost three years ago, I had to consolidate my clothing otherwise it would never fit into the wardrobe. Into a couple of large suitcases went all the things I didn't see myself wearing for a while. I did tell myself, however, that when we got a bigger closet, they'd be hung up again, waiting their turn to be worn (addicts often live in denial). We now have that bigger closet but many of those dresses are completely redundant now. Corporate attire serves no purpose now; itty bitty bandage dresses I apologise for and promise never to do again! In fact, these days I'm less of a 2-speeder (super casual/super dressy) and have embraced that wonderful in-between of blouses, shorts, denim and jackets which gives me greater fashion freedom by way of increased outfit permutations. Dresses only is kind of limiting, especially if you're like me and haven't mastered the art of accessorising.

Yesterday, I decided I'd make a Charity pile and a Rachel pile. Rachel is my little sister who loves nothing more than my closet clean-outs, which I'll never understand as she's so much more fashionable than me. As I was sorting and sifting, it was incredible how many forgotten memories came flooding back. I picked up one dress and remembered the frightening moment a violent stranger grabbed me by the back of the neck while I was out one night. Then there was the dress I wore the night that James and I first met. I can't wait to tell that story. Many dresses I loved so much I bought in every colour; others I bought and wondered why almost as soon as I got home. There were dresses I wore and loved, only to get too fat for. Now they fit but I cringe at the thought of wearing them again!

I'm ready to let them all go now. I haven't had a need for them for the last couple of years so I'm sure I won't need them going forward. That is, unless I have a daughter and my old threads become covetable "vintage" items. Somehow I just don't see the bandage dress making that kind of comeback.

How about you? Is your closet more like a museum? Do you hang onto things for far too long? Buy things and never find the right occasion for them?

Friday, September 20, 2013

FRIDAY FIVE: FAUX FUCHSIA



They broke the blogger mould when they made Faux Fuchsia. If you haven't heard of her, you're one of the few. The newspapers have described her as a "cult" blogger, her page views are in the millions (over 6, to be precise) and, if you want my opinion, I think that she's one of the most phenomenal people to hit the blogosphere. 

Allow me to try and explain why... Some big bloggers rely on massive, professional photos to keep us scrolling. They re-design when our interest wanes. They become advertisers and models and we read them as idly as we might a glossy mag. Sometimes we even skip the words altogether. If we pulled the blogger out of the blog and popped another person in their place would we mind? Probably not. But with FF, it's her we come to see or, rather, hear from (we don't see her full face). It's the personality, the smarts, the wit, and not to mention all the colour and fabulousness that we love. One thing that's essential to FF (aside from impeccable grooming, generous cushioning and wicked culinary skills) is her Faux Fuchsia-isms - words and phrases that are instantly recognisable, totally unique and yes, entirely deserving of the suffix!


There's a lot of intrigue about Faux Fuchsia. When you type "Faux Fuchsia" into google, one of the first search suggestions is Faux Fuchsia sightings (nee noo nee noo). There are a few documented online. One blogger described being "star-struck" by the encounter, as if she "had just met the Stig without his helmet". All say that FF in real life is just as, if not more, fabulous and lovely than they imagined.

There are still so many questions I'd love to ask the intriguing FF myself and this week especially I'm kicking myself that I named the segment Friday Five and not Friday One Hundred and Five. Before I introduce you, I must say that putting together these colour themed (would FF approve?) collages was most enjoyable and has totally inspired me to start manicuring my fingers and being a little more adventurous with colour. But without further adieu, say hello to the fabulous Faux Fuchsia:

What's something people frequently say/observe about you?

My real life friends think I am funny. I like to make them laugh.

A film about your life: Who would you ask to play you?

Catherine Deneuve in her 40s. It'd have to be a French Film with sub titles.


5 songs to feature on The Soundtrack to your Life?

The soundtrack of my life is the sound of my washing machine and dryer at the moment

"Best 24 Hours Ever": What would your plans be?

The best 24 hours would be time spent with my entire family at the beach

Finish this sentence: "It is perfectly OK to…

"cut corners"


You can find Faux Fuchsia at her blog here and on instagram, here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SAVE OUR STRANDS


I was pretty excited when I uploaded a picture of myself to instagram and my auntie remarked on how long my hair had gotten. But just look at those ends though! New regimen required ASAP! If you're on the hunt for something to revitalise your heat damaged hair, you can pop on over here to claim your free sample of John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. The range is formulated with an omega 3 rich oil called Inca Inchi and promises to volumise, detangle and reduce the risk of breaking or snagging. Try before you buy, I say!

In other news, today I'm having my first wedding dress fitting. The big day is now less than two months away!!! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

NO-ONE'S GONNA LOVE YOU LIKE I DO


Acne 'Cypress' Boots. Pretty special, don't you think?

STORAGE WARS


Because our bathroom doesn't have the right light for me to slap on my face each day, I usually take the toolkit into the bedroom to get ready. My mirror and all my products and brushes get spread out along a ledge above our stairwell because it's the only place that offers decent light and a place to line everything up. Putting it all away means a few trips back and forth to the bathroom and I'm usually in too much of a hurry to get out of the house that I just leave everything there. Clatty pig, I know. We know it's only a matter of time before something gets knocked and falls that few metres down the stairwell. If one of those things includes the mirror then that's a whole 7 years bad luck I just don't need. While I was out on Sunday, James picked up this nifty little drawer set from Freedom (he even put a few things away in there before I got home, god bless him). It sits right next to that ledge that gets all that great lighting and houses just about all my makeup and hair stuff. It also means that some of my perfumes can come out of hiding too. YAY.




Friday, September 13, 2013

YOU SAW IT TOO, RIGHT?


Found myself buying big round brushes and heat sprays after reading The Londoner's "Blow Out" Tutorial. Just so we're clear: "Blow out" in this context is the British English "blow dry", not bursting a tyre or spending too much $$$, mmkay? Even though my hair probably will never look like Rose's (my strands are too fine and seriously vulnerable to gravity) I am determined to learn the art of the self blow dry (SBD). I've always thought blow drying one's own hair would be too much of a task but given I won't be splashing out on a hairdresser's help every time I want a bit of volume in my hair, I thought I might as well learn the skill myself! Kudos to Rose for biting the beauty blogging bullet. She did good!


In other news, I'm going out with the girls tonight (but I might save the SBD for when I'm better practised). It feels like ages since I've seen my favourite dancing partners so I'm getting excited, even though I'll probably pull my calf muscle because it's been so long since I've cut some shapes in heels! What are you up to tonight? Tell me all your plans for the weekend!

FRIDAY FIVE: MONTARNA MCDONALD

Welcome to the first instalment of Friday Five. Each week, I'll be throwing 5 Q's to someone I think you're going to love meeting! Because this is the inaugural episode, I was cheeky and threw in a bonus question for our guest this week, whom I'm sure is someone many a Sydney social and style stalker would be familiar with. Montarna McDonald is a Sydney girl with a whole lot going for her: she's the PR and Communications Manager for hip and high end fashion retailers Belinda and The Corner Shop, but many of you will also remember her as the gal behind popular blog The Intersection Paddington and as Sweaty Betty's Social Media maven. 

If you're one of her almost 6,000 followers on Instagram, you'd be forgiven for having a pang of envy over her designer duds, parties and hedonistic overseas holidays. I was more than a little intrigued by the stunning blonde and asked her if she's mind taking part in the Friday Five. She was all too happy to oblige. Stylish, savvy and sweet. And, as you'll see, appreciates a disco beat as well - a woman after my own heart!



1. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you? 

I always carry a tease comb with me. There is nothing worse for me than
having flat hair!

2. Five songs to feature on the soundtrack to your life?

Below is what I have on repeat at the moment :




3. Favourite places in Sydney for eating, drinking, coffee?

Eating: My friend Jessica Sepel's house, she is an amazing cook! (Jessica has her own website here)

Drinking: Pelicano, Double Bay (also a great place to put your dancing
shoes on)

Coffee: Indigo, Double Bay (I'm here twice a day without fail)

4. Pet peeves?

I can't stand when people crack their knuckles. It makes me cringe!


5. Current favourite nail shade, lip colour, hair product?

Nails: I swap between 3 OPI colours always: Lincoln Park After Dark /

Lip colour: I go for a light pink gloss in the day from a selection of
Benefit glosses and if I'm going out I like to rock Chanel No.98 red
lipstick

Hair Product: Anything that Tarryn at Bryoni's Hair in Bondi Beach tells me
to use. She is the hair wizard!  I'm thinking hair spray would be at the top
of that list

6. Something people frequently observe about you?

My style. It changes depending on my mood.



Pictures from here, here, here and Montarna's instagram.

A big thanks to Montarna for taking part this week!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BLACK + WHITE INSPO

The only two shades you need this season! I can't get enough...