Posted on Fri, 06 Dec 2013 15:11:11 GMT
After arriving in Brisbane and spending a lazy day getting facials and massages, we hit the hay early in preparation for our whirlwind week.
Then, of course, we got stuck right into the adventures. First stop: Dreamworld!
Now, Dreamworld is not your average theme-park. In addition to rides and rollercoasters, they have a tarot card reader too. Of course, I took advantage of that, and imagine my surprise when she gave me an incredible reading! But that’s not all. Dreamworld also offers Wildlife Experiences!
Our first clue that Dreamworld was different was when we came face-to-face with a swarm of kangaroos, who were just lying around, chillin’. They were so tame that we were able to approach them and pet their cute fuzzy little bodies!
Mostly though, they were interested in getting fed… Like all animals!
There were a lot of creatures around us, and plenty to do. Sure, we could have gone on a morning stroll with a tiger, fed a crocodile or experienced a sunset safari… But that wasn’t in the cards. Instead, we got up close and personal — and had an extreme cuddlefest — with a koala!
Oh my GOODNESS. This is Brandy. She’s very snuggly… And falls asleep as soon as she settles on your shoulder.
I thought my moment with Brandy was pretty incredible, but I’ve got nothin’ on Shauna, who fell completely in love. Look at her, being all maternal! She was still making excuses to bring Brandy up in conversation weeks later. We almost had to stage an intervention!
Geeeeeeez. Look at that face!
I hope you enjoyed this Moment Of Cute™! If you’re procrastinating today, hop on over to Facebook and tell me about your favourite animal encounter!
Photos by Janneke Storm. This post was made possible with the generous and amazing help of Tourism and Events Queensland.
filed under: travel
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Posted on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:08:17 GMT
There’s fog outside my window, a cup of hot cocoa on my desk, and I’m wearing a pink plaid shirt. Clearly, December is here in full force! That being said, here are a few things that have been making me smile, think, and laugh over the month of November.
On Wednesday morning, Rachel Rabbit White and I woke up at the crack of dawn to see — and also participate in — Yayoi Kusama’s latest show in New York City. I have loved Yayoi for ages, and her show at David Zwirner gallery is lovely.
There is also a pretty substantial wait to get in. The gallery opens at 10am. Rachel and I were there at 9.20am on a Wednesday and it was still an hour before we able to walk into the infinity mirrored room (aka, the #selfie room). I’ve heard that the wait ranges from 1-3 hours during the weekend, so if you’d like to check it out, get there early, and go sooner rather than later!
I’ve been playing with a couple of new beauty items this past month. The first is Essio’s aromatherapy diffuser for the shower! It’s quite brilliant: a plastic arm that clips onto your shower-head, with a little aromatherapy pod dangling off the end. You tilt the arm down into the stream of water and voilà, aromatherapy shower! Essio sent me the starter kit, which has three aromatherapy pods: Clear, Passion and Unwind. As soon as I came back from Australia, I attached the Unwind pod to my shower and stood there, letting the citrus and spice (literally!) wash all my cares away. And for a romantic shower for two (wink wink nudge nudge) or even one (!), the Passion pod is perfection. One caveat, though: if you tinker with the pods, don’t touch your face! Undiluted essential oil on your skin is bad news, it will sting and burn! Don’t go there girlfriend!
When I was at Made Beauty Space in Melbourne, I had my first delicious encounter with Sodashi. I snapped up a bottle of serum to use at night — I was all out of Tarte Maracuja Oil — and I’m obsessed with it. The oil is light enough that it’s not breaking me out at all (which I think the Maracuja Oil was slightly). I wear it over the top of Lancôme DreamTone which I’m loving for fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation. LOVE Sodashi. I can’t wait to head back to Made in November and stock up!
Our apartment, in winter, is unbelievably warm. Our silver radiators kick on and hiss and splutter, filling our two-bedroom home with coziness. This is wonderful, especially when it’s freezing cold outside, but when you start to feel your internal organs withering up and drying out from excessive heat, you know something has to change. We have become obsessed with humidifiers — little machines that disperse water into the air as a fine mist — and I just bought a new one for our bedroom, which I am psyched about.
The Miu Color Ultrasonic Humidifier is fantastic for a few reasons. It’s small, it’s quiet, it changes colour (yes!), and it diffuses aroma, too… So, if you want to drift off to sleep, put a couple of drops of lavender oil in there. If you want to perk up and stay focussed on a task, some lemon or peppermint oil will do the trick. (You get the idea.)
To go along with it, I bought 6 bottles of essential oil blends, Synergy Blends. In the pack are oils for romance, stress relief, purification, relaxation, hope and alertness. Fabulous!
While aimlessly wandering around Melbourne airport, I decided to cure my boredom by purchasing a couple of books. (How very old-fashioned!) Back in June, I saw The Bling Ring at a media preview, and was so intrigued that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, in some ways, it left me with more questions than answers. So when I spotted The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World by Nancy Jo Sales, I hoped it would contain some clues so that I could file this weird pop culture moment away in a way that made sense to me. Well, I devoured the book in a two-hour plane ride from Melbourne to Brisbane, and yes, I’m still thinking about it. The book is gripping, bizarre, and kind of sick all at the same time. If you’re interested/horrified by pop culture, you will love this.
The second book I picked up at the airport was Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace by Scott Thorsten, Liberace’s ex-lover. Again, I had seen the movie before I had read the book, and it has changed the way I read the book a little bit, but it also adds some depth that Scott isn’t quite capable of conveying. (Sorry, Scott.) I love its glamour, weirdness and kitsch. Liberace was pretty incredible!
Everything I Know is Paul Jarvis’ book, and we all know by now how much I love Paul Jarvis! His book is wonderful: a sleek little tome ruminating on fear, adventure, risk-taking and business. We give a copy of his earlier book, Be Awesome At Online Business, to every single blogcadette, and they rave about it. Everything I Know is no different. Paul is the shit. End of story!
Coreyography: A Memoir arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday evening, and I could barely rip my eyes from the pages. It’s Corey Feldman’s autobiography, told chronologically through his movies, with Corey Haim as a common thread. It covers strange territory — abusive childhoods, drugs, paedophilia, fame, and Michael Jackson — and I’ve been reading it in a kind of trance. Literary genius it is not, but for a quick, easy read (and a lot of eye-popping honesty), it is excellent. If you’re at a loose end as the days get shorter and the temperatures dip, curl on the couch with Corey!
I also ordered If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, which has rave reviews. Looking forward to cracking into that one next!
I have been all about Louis Theroux recently. I don’t even remember how I found his documentaries, but before I knew it, I was watching them in quick succession: meth, paedophiles, a brothel, Nazis... Weird, weird stuff. Since then, I’ve roped Mike into the strangeness of it all, and we’ve watched his documentaries on swingers, demolition derby, survivalists, and enlightenment (spiritual seekers in India). Fascinating! I can’t get enough, and I think you’d love them too.
It’s been a long time since we went to the movies: very little captures my imagination these days. But I must admit I’m dying to see The Punk Singer. It’s a biopic of my teenage heroine, Kathleen Hanna… And I was super-excited to see that it’s available to watch on Amazon! It’s definitely on my list for this week. (Check out the trailer below!)
When I came back from Australia, it was a pretty rude awakening to realise that I was going to have to layer up in order to not freeze to death. After putting it off and putting it off and putting it off, I finally bit the bullet one chilly evening, and headed into the Gap.
I picked up a bunch of things that are totally not my normal style — cowlneck sweaters in navy blue, this shirt with birds on it that I cannot stop wearing, flannel shirts (I KNOW), cable-knit sweaters — and honestly, I’m loving it. It’s great to have these simple foundation pieces to pair with my wacky skirts, loud jewellery, knit hats with ears on, etc. Sometimes you can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places!
I also made a point of stocking up (pun intended) on black fleece-lined tights, as is my winter tradition. I love them because they look like normal black opaque stockings, but secretly on the inside, they’re all fleecey and lovely! They will keep you warm as toast. Go get ‘em!
Here are some of my favourite posts from the last month, just in case you missed ‘em!
Feeling Uninspired? Here Are 5 Documentaries To Fire You Up!
On Starting Your Own Business, And Being A Productivity Unicorn
I Went To A Séance In Brooklyn…
Surf On, Sister! Hanging Ten In Surfer’s Paradise
Bad Girl Essentials: False Eyelashes, Leather Pants, And A Motorcycle
Being Judged On Television: Why Can’t I Tear My Eyes Away?
And if you missed it last year, check out Your December Activity Guide!
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Posted on Mon, 02 Dec 2013 15:12:46 GMT
When Yvette (pictured on the right) first emailed to ask if I’d consider bringing a bit of radical self love to Australia, I was really excited… But I said no. I didn’t have any plans to visit Australia in 2013, and couldn’t quite justify the very very long flight for one night.
In a magical twist, a couple of months later, Tourism Queensland got in touch with The Blogcademy, and told us they’d like to bring us over for a very special trip. I immediately emailed Yvette to let her know that our plans had changed! We started planning, plotting, scheming… To say that I was excited was a massive understatement.
So with our week of fun with Tourism and Events Queensland fading into the distance, Kat, Shauna and I flew back from Cairns, and checked into a hotel in Brisbane. I zipped up my insane irridescent scuba dress by Cynthia Rowley, stuck a pair of Crown And Glory Liberace ears on my head, powdered my nose, and bounced out to the event.
The venue was filled with flowers, and stocked with herbal tea and raw chocolate. There was even a photobooth. I mean, who could ask for more?!
The event was made up of a panel of women with experience in overcoming self-loathing, and it was such a great group. I had never met any of the babes beforehand, but I felt immediately welcome and so happy! Melissa Ambrosini glowed, Julie Parker radiated (and did such an excellent job as our Mistress of Ceremonies), and Rachel MacDonald sparkled in her chair.
There was a massive section of presubmitted questions, ranging among topics such as self love, sisterhood and soulpreneurship, which we answered on the fly, and after that we took live Q&A from the audience.
But that wasn’t anywhere near the end of the night: next up on the menu was a rocking dance party courtesy of Susanna Frioni! (Even better: Marilyn Manson was played! Life highlight!)
We talked, we laughed, we danced, we got sweaty. It was fabulous! Kat and I left the party feeling high as kites.
One of my greatest sources of happiness this year has been getting out from behind the computer and actually meeting the people who I’m writing for every day. Writing is a very solitary activity, and sometimes it’s difficult to see Facebook likes as anything but numbers on a screen. It has been incredible and humbling to meet so many of my readers who have been following my journey for such a long time. They (you!) bring me such enormous bliss.
If you wished you could have come along, well, I’m right there with you! I wish you could have been there, too; we had such a great time. But there’s good news: the recording of the entire evening has been made available, so you can listen along!
If you came along, thank you so much. It was amazing to share the evening with you. If you’re in Australia, check out Earth Events: they throw great parties like this all the time, and it’s a wonderful way to meet women who are on the same path as you.
Man, what fun we had. I’m looking forward to doing more events just like it!
Photobooth and group shot courtesy of Earth Events, the other 3 photos are by Janneke Storm.
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Posted on Fri, 29 Nov 2013 15:02:02 GMT
Yankees, I hope you had a lovely turkey day. Ours was lovely, and now we’re taking a few days off to rest and recalibrate. Perfection!
Here’s your Carousel for the month of November. It should be the perfect distraction, especially if you’re trapped with your family, and at a bit of a loose end!
Starbucks is cashing in on the tea craze and opening Teavana stores all over the damn place. Would you go there? I’ll definitely be checking it out…
Here’s why it’s smart to court your friends. (I totally do this.)
Being asked to write for free is offensive. This piece from the New York Times is brilliant.
Hmmm… Robert Shiller Destroys The Idea Of Investing In A Home.
Erica emailed this one through to me: 61 quotes that will make you feel beautiful, no matter how you look. Fabulous!
Rachel interviewed me about how I do it. I had the privilege of meeting her in Australia, and she is such a fantastic woman! Her blog is an excellent read, so bookmark that ish!
Oh man. Chinese Students Hilariously Describe What They Think About Regional American Food. “Why eat that? That is not good.”
I thought this analysis of Rihanna’s Pour It Up video was really interesting, and especially the comparisons between RiRi and Nicki.
Saying goodbye at parties is awkward. I never say goodbye to everyone, just the people I actually had a conversation with. I have felt a little guilty about this in the past, but this article on ghosting has eased my conscience a little.
Millennials already have the lifestyle that baby boomers are still working towards. Ding ding ding!
Oh, Lorde. Here’s what she can teach her pop peers. It must be tricky to grow up in public, though. I don’t envy the pressure!
Have you checked out Lulu, the boyfriend-ranking app? Hmmm…
Are anorexia memoirs more like how-to manuals?
So engrossed in this thread: groupies tell their favourite stories. I actually ended up reading segments of this this aloud to Shauna when we were waiting at Brisbane airport… It’s pretty amazing.
On Labelling Women ‘Crazy’. Otherwise known as, stop that.
Trying to one-up someone else’s pain never works… And doesn’t make you feel better, either!
Wow! These bad engagement photos are very special indeed.
Black Friday is a pretty gross phenomenon. Seth Godin knows what’s up. “People like doing what other people are doing. People don’t like being left out. The media likes both.” His quick questions on marketing are great, too.
I loved Kat’s 50 pieces of advice for a happy marriage.
The Addams Family’s living room is pink! How wonderful is that?!
Garance Dore writes about things New Yorkers do. (Guilty as charged.)
Here’s some excellent writing advice from Walter Benjamin.
Nervous about slithering into a swimsuit? Never fear, read this instead: Baring My Bikini Body.
What has been important and revelatory to me is the fact that I’ve actually had a bikini body all along, because I had a body and I could put a bikini on it. I spent so many years hating my body, and thinking that my life would change when I was thin instead of actually going ahead and doing what I wanted to do.
This American Horror Story: Coven drinking game made me laugh!
Here are 17 things to do today that will make you proud of yourself in a year. I like it.
Yelling at kids is as harmful as spanking them. No huge surprise there. I would go so far as to say that yelling at other people, regardless of age, can be as damaging as physical abuse, too.
Hate labelling yourself? Tough luck. (And some good tips.)
Sarah Wilson was interviewed by Srinivas from Blogcast FM… And of course, it’s awesome.
This is how they painted Bond’s golden girl.
Here are the 13 things mentally strong people avoid.
It’s cold. I love cashmere. But there’s a difference between a $75 knit and a $225 one… Learn all about it!
An abandoned railway station in Russia. Gorgeous!
The Lunatic Asylum at Morristown, before and after.
Would you shop at this grocery store full of taxidermy?
A 13th century church filled with dirt and flowers…
Kiriko sent me the radical politics of selfies.
There was a time I thought that selfies were obnoxious and that the people who over used them were narcasisstic and ridiculous. Upon further examination, I realized that I was projecting my stuff unto others. My struggle to accept myself was clouding my vision therefore, when I saw others who were unabashed and deliberate with their self-love and acceptance it made me uncomfortable. The fact that people who are maligned, marginalized, and strategically erased find the courage to make the deliberate choice of seeing themselves as beautiful, is both astonishing and miraculous.
Sick of using the same ol’ words? Here are 56 delightful Victorian slang terms you should be using.
Did you know Liberace wrote a cookbook?! How wonderful! I’m reading Behind The Candelabra right now and Scott does talk a lot about how much Lee loved to cook!
Best Grandpa ever.
I might have linked this one before, but it’s worth linking again, just in case. 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer.
Should you give homeless people money? Ask a native New Yorker all about it.
Men who try to “explain” rap to women are a pain in the ass.
I love polo necks. I wore a chunky turtleneck sweater from Zara all winter last year, so I’m thrilled that they are making a comeback, and thus I will have more options to choose from.
Sick of making the same old face in every selfie? Try these new techniques.
I got Rickrolled by my own dream on Tuesday night, but it inspired me to look up the Rickrolling Wikipedia page, which is fantastic!
Sophia Bush on 5 qualities of self-wealth. Are you rocking all of them?
An animation of Hannah’s outfits from Girls.
Air travel could really be so much better.
Richard Branson on Knowing When to Quit Your Day Job.
These are some of the most clever hip-hop one-liners.
Apparently 47% of UK parent-bloggers are being asked not to disclose that their posts were paid!
Eminem talks about fame and creativity with Zane Lowe (best music journalist ever).
This Mouseketeer — who used to be a prominent Pagan — has converted to Christianity.
Them thighs though: Badass babe Elisabeth Akinwale on the “thigh gap” phenomenon.
I loved this story about Jenny helping out her super during Hurricane Sandy.
Tim Ferriss — of 4 Hour fame — has a new television show, and it’s available to watch for free. I really enjoyed it!
Learn all about the evolution of bitchiness.
Some advice if you’re in a really dark place.
Cuddling is the key to a committed and loving relationship. And here are some more tips from America’s longest married couple (81 years! And they eloped!).
I might have posted this before but it always makes me tear up.
Here’s how to stay in love if you’re on a weight-loss journey.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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Posted on Thu, 28 Nov 2013 23:17:04 GMT
I’m taking time out from my turkey-addled haze to get on the gratitude train. (Choo choo!) Now, y’all know that gratitude is my primary attitude, but on Thursdays I make a point of sharing it with everyone else.
Thanksgiving is no exception, of course.
Walking home through the park yesterday, I thought back on the year we’ve just had, and it occurred to me that it has been one of the very best years of my life. It has become clear to me that the presence of magic in my life is absolute. 2013 has been magnificent: so much has changed and shifted for me in the last (almost) 12 months.
Home is where the heart is, so it makes sense to start with Mike. I’m so thankful for him, and especially for his sense of humour, incredible passion and curiousity for the world around him, and ability to make me see things in a whole new way. (Also, his cooking. It is beyond words!)
I’m thankful for my parents and the way I feel when I’m at home with them. I’m thankful for their emails, my father’s text messages and the way they always want to Skype. I’m eternally grateful for their never-ending enthusiasm. They taught me that bringing your energy into everything is important, and it has carried me such a long way.
I’m thankful for Kat and Shauna, who have been the most kick-ass business partners I could ever dream of working with. Man, they make life fun. I’m so excited and thrilled to be alongside them.
I’m thankful for all my other friends, too, who inspire me, send sweet emails, invite me out for drinks and dinner and rituals, make me laugh and keep life fascinating. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such enchanting, irresistible and charming babes.
And finally, to you… Who I am sometimes fortunate enough to meet in the street, at airports, on trains and in strange, far-flung locations. You make my world go round. I simply adore you. I hope that wherever you are in the world, you’re having a fabulous day. Thank you for being a part of all this madness!
This weekend, I’m going to clear off my desk and start making some big, big plans for 2014. I can’t wait to get stuck in!
Photos by Corey Sleap.
P.S. I loved this post on Thanksgiving truth and prayers from Mystic Mamma.
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Posted on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:37:02 GMT
I had a terrible, crystal-clear realisation the other day: all of my favourite television shows are about women being judged.
I am immediately sucked into the glitz and glamour of America’s Next Top Model, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making The Team (oooooh boy), Millionaire Matchmaker, any beauty pageant, and even RuPaul’s Drag Race to an extent, though it is a bit more tongue-in-cheek. It’s all about competing with other women, trying-trying-trying to be perfect, trying to be THE BEST, failing, crying, getting sent away, and then one woman at the end smiling and laughing through smeared mascara about how she is the most beautifulest in the land.
Sure, I have always considered these shows a bit of a “guilty pleasure”. I know they’re trash, but they compel me so strongly that I can’t look away. I used to think it was because I liked getting to know the characters, to watch their journey, to see the art they create with their own bodies — and it is, partially. Sometimes there’s even a message of self-love tangled up in the middle, usually dished out by a benevolent drag queen.
But in reality, these programmes are mostly about being judged. Not measuring up. Not being good enough. Letting someone else dictate your self-worth… And handing over control over your destiny.
This all became very obvious to me a few nights ago, as I considered the kind of programming I enjoy, and the kind of shows my husband watches. He watches shows about men buying things, fixing them up, and making a profit. Fast And Loud, Pawn Stars, American Pickers: these shows are about using your knowledge, expertise and skills, and doubling your money. The male stars of these shows are almost notoriously unattractive, and yet, somehow, that doesn’t matter.
In contrast, the shows I’ve been watching are about looks, being eliminated for having thighs that dare to be larger than shins (this really happened on Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making The Team recently), and crying when you get eliminated, because “this is my dream, my whole life, my everything!”
When I realised this, I was really upset. These shows are the absolute opposite of everything I stand for, and I couldn’t believe it took me so long to become aware of the massive discrepancy between what I preach and what I watch. I shun tabloids, but have been watching this junk for years. What?!
I emailed my friend Rabbit about it, because I couldn’t figure it out. Why did I enjoy these shows so much? Where did it come from?
She replied, “I mean I like Rupaul’s Drag Race maybe for that reason. I feel like it’s sort of affirming because in reality we are judged all of the time, it’s having our realities mirrored back to us.”
She’s right that we are all being judged constantly. It’s an unavoidable part of reality. It occurred to me that maybe the reason I like watching other people getting judged is because I get to indulge my inner critic. I used to be so judgmental of everyone and everything. Thankfully these things I’m much better, but that nasty little voice never totally goes away.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe I like these shows because I get to indulge my inner mean girl, but not feel personally responsible.
One of the most damaging things about these kinds of television shows is that they centre around competing with other women, giving forth the impression that there is a limited amount of success, happiness, prosperity and love for everyone. A lack mentality is not what I’m about. But even if I don’t believe that stuff, by watching it constantly, a little bit of it will surely creep into my psyche.
Sadly, though, there’s a reason why this kind of programming thrives: they make a mint for the network because of the amount of advertising they sell. That’s what it all comes down to. Ultimately, these shows make it easier to turn us into obedient consumers. When you watch models, dancers or single women fail to make the grade, you’re more likely than ever to buy the diet pills they’re peddling, or the lingerie on that size 2 model, or those low-fat, low-sugar products which are essentially chemical soup.
It’s the definition of disempowering. So my solution? Turn off the television and star in your own reality show.
There is so much more to life than competing with other women and judging yourself based on your appearance. If you live your life according to those guidelines, you will find yourself immeasurably miserable.
My moments of greatest happiness have come when I’m working with other women, helping to build them up, laughing and smiling and trading information that helps us as a group. I have never felt that I was in my own personal nirvana while pondering the size of my thighs, or sabotaging someone else.
So I’m curious: do you watch these shows, and if so, how do you feel about them? Are you able to reconcile your enjoyment of trash television, or does the whole thing make you feel uneasy? Tell me!
P.S. Alexandra just told me on Facebook that this book, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, is worth a read. I’m looking forward to checking it out!
Images from Weird Fantastic Tales and LIFE.
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Posted on Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:32:55 GMT
If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you’re probably well-accustomed to hearing me bang on about the wonders of a pair of leather pants in winter. They really are the best thing to wear when it’s cold outside. Such coziness!
But of course, finding the perfect pair is an adventure in and of itself.
Once upon a time, I bought a pair of leather pants from Victoria’s Secret which I adored, until an energetic leap out of a cab caused the crotch to rip wide open. (Thankfully I was wearing a long sweater over the top!) There was a pair of leather pants from Ted Baker that I loved, but they never really fit me — in the words of Ace Ventura — “hhhhhlike a glove!”. Leather pants should fit you like a second skin. (I was not looking for leather sweatpants, à la Kanye.) I was still on the quest.
So, when I stumbled across DL 1961’s Hazel Triumph leather pants, I was all a-swoon. Buttery-soft leather? Check. Gold zipper detail? Check. Excellent name that corresponds to my husband’s motorcycle? CHA-YECK!
It only made sense, then, to wear them while posing alongside Mike’s 1969 Triumph. Meow!
A match made in heaven!
I can barely peel myself out of them, really. They are beyond comfortable, effortlessly stylish, and go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe. Over the weekend, I wore them with a T by Alexander Wang grey sweater, my hot pink alpaca coat (infatuated!), and Dr Marten Darcie boots (which they have since stopped making, boo).
Outfit credits: Forever 21 sent me this striped beanie, and I’ve barely taken it off. (It’s from the Mickey Mouse collection!) My shirt is from BCBG Max Azria (I found it at Buffalo Exchange, my secret weapon for reviving my wardrobe). The pants are c/o DL 1961, and the style is the Hazel Triumph. My shoes are by Alexander McQueen, and they were an incredible gift from my friend Ruby. (I would never actually wear them on a motorcycle, though…) My wicked pink metal-flake helmet was a wedding gift from the owner of Biltwell.
The possibilities are endless! Imagine these pants with an oversized chunky turtleneck sweater, a leopard-print coat, or a hot pink button-up cardigan…
There’s a reason why I continue to insist that leather pants are perfect winter attire. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to slip into a pair and tell me they don’t make you feel like Joan Jett!
I love rock ‘n’ roll,
P.S. DL 1961 are offering a 30% discount off any purchase on their site between the 3rd and 13th of December, with the code Blog15!
Photos by Lydia Hudgens.
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Posted on Fri, 22 Nov 2013 15:11:11 GMT
When I travel, my style is much less landmarks and sight-seeing, and much more about a couple of really special experiences. While we were in Melbourne for eight days in total, we taught on four of them, and travelled on the other four. When we finally did have a day available, I scheduled Kat and me in for a facial at Made Beauty Space.
Even though the torrential rain made us want to stay inside, we ventured outside to hail a cab, and 15 minutes later, we were in Hawthorn, walking into Made. Made’s signature treatment, the Thermal Infusing Facial, had come highly recommended by Zoë Foster Blake, a babe whose beauty advice I trust implicitly.
I was so ready.
We were delighted to enter the spa and immediately feel comfortable and relaxed. There’s no frou-frou bullshit here: Made is a thoroughly modern day spa, for the kind of woman who appreciates good design and will probably die if she sees a tissue-box covered in frilly apricot satin.
Before long, I was being beckoned into a treatment room, all white and black, very modern-yet-rustic chic. I undressed and slithered beneath the covers, ready for some thermal infusing.
Coined nature’s face-lift, the Sodashi 90 minute Thermal Infusing facial provides an intensive boost of vitamins and minerals to the skin. Tailored to your skin’s needs, this indulgent facial will provide intensive nourishment, leaving your skin hydrated, toned and supple.
An intensive boost of vitamins and minerals was exactly what I needed after almost four weeks of non-stop travel.
I have to say, if you go to Made, I cannot recommend the Thermal Infusing Facial enough. The treatment began with hot washcloths on my feet. Words cannot describe how good this was. The whole thing was an exquisite experience from top to bottom, and I was never just left alone, lying there, wondering what was going to happen next.
Stacey, my aesthetician — who also happens to be the owner — was in constant contact with my body. There was always something going on: facial massage, foot massage, or some kind of pressure-point work. I am practically dribbling just thinking about it!
After cleansing, plenty of massage and a light fruit peel, I was treated to the thermal mask for which they’re known. My face was covered with strips of fabric, then coated with the thermal mask. It started off cool, then slowly heated up to 37 degrees… All while having my tootsies rubbed. Gosh, it was lovely. She finished up by daubing my face with eye cream, moisturiser, and an SPF sunscreen that smelled like marshmallow!
It was one of the most sublime skincare experiences of my life… And the next day, my skin was beautifully plumped-up and glowing.
Après-spa, Stacey and I got talking. It turns out that she’s from New Zealand too (adding credence to my theory that Kiwis crop up in all the best places!), and after training beauty therapists for years, was horrified at the general lack of enthusiasm or passion.
“Going to beauty school is often recommended for girls who don’t do well academically,” she told me. “And you can teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude or passion. I trained students for five years and I could count on one hand the number I would actually employ. My business partner and I didn’t know of a great place in Melbourne to go for a facial, so we decided to create one.”
And what a good job they’ve done. Made is stocked with fantastic products, like fabulous Australian skincare line Sodashi. (I snapped up a bottle of their Rejuvenating Serum so I can continue to get a dose of the magic in New York City!)
If you do go to Made, tell them I sent you. And leave yourself a bit of time to explore and fossick next door at The Woodsfolk. They have some of the cutest homegoods ever. You will not be disappointed!
I cannot wait to go back when we return to Melbourne next year!
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Posted on Mon, 18 Nov 2013 15:11:11 GMT
When we received our itinerary from Tourism and Events Queensland, getting a surfing lesson was one of the things that I was surprised to find myself most excited about. I’ve wanted to try my hand at riding the waves for a long time, but it was never at the top of my priority list.
I was a little nervous too, I can’t lie. I’m not the strongest swimmer, and the idea of drowning has never appealed to me all that much. And what if I got bitten by a shark?! The Jaws theme music started to play in the back of my head.
After a few hours at Dreamworld, we hit up Cheyne Horan School of Surf in Surfer’s Paradise, ready to take some photos of us looking glamorous on the sand. Our plans were dashed, however, when we were told to put on rash vests, and immediately thrust into a class with Patrick, a no-nonsense surfer dude who definitely had more faith in our abilities than we did!
We practiced a bit of “board control” on the beach, and after he showed us how to lie on the board and ride a wave into shore, Patrick instructed us to hop into the water and give it a go. The water was a little bit chilly and I felt extremely uncoordinated, but imagine my surprise and delight when I was able to do it on the first try! The rush was incredible, and I quickly spun my board around, and headed back out to try it again.
Soon, Patrick called us all back into shore to show us the right way to stand up on a board. Kat and I exchanged petrified looks, communicating telepathically that this all seemed a bit fast, but I trusted that he knew what he was doing, and followed his guidance. Again, after practicing hopping up on the board a few times on the sand, we toddled back to the water to give it a shot.
The first time I tried it, I wobbled and fell off, swallowing a big mouthful of sea-water. Delicious!
But on my second go, lo and behold, I DID IT!
Kelly Slater’s got nothin’ on me!
As you can tell from the astounded look on my face, I couldn’t believe it! But the thrill was amazing, and I absolutely loved it. I wish our surfing lesson had lasted longer, but I can’t wait to try it again.
Photos by Janneke Storm. This post was made possible with the generous and amazing help of Tourism and Events Queensland.
filed under: travel
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Posted on Thu, 14 Nov 2013 20:11:05 GMT
7 flights down, 3 to go. New York to LA to Brisbane to Cairns to Melbourne to Auckland to Wellington to Melbourne (and soon to Brisbane to LA to New York). Wow. These last few weeks have been chockablock with more time in the air than ever. I think I have well and truly proven my international playgirl status this month!
It has been such a wonderful and dizzying whirlwind that I can’t believe our trip down under is almost over! Our #babesdownunder tag has been going off, and you can see by looking at it that we’ve been having a grand old time.
Our (very) quick jaunt to Wellington was one of the highlights of this trip for me. The three of us stayed with my parents, who doted on us, brought us cups of tea and carefully-orchestrated snacks, and helped us stage elaborate Instagrams. It’s been two years since I last saw Mama and Papa Darling, and they are two of my favourite people on the whole planet.
On Tuesday, Kat, Shauna and I headed into the city for a spot of shopping. In addition to new dresses for all 3 of us (success!), that night I was able to catch up with several old friends, which was fantastic.
As I put the finishing touches on this post, we’re just about to head to day two of our last Blogcademy for 2013. And I have to say, getting the opportunity to meet 120 blogcadettes over the last couple of weeks has been magnificent. Sitting cross-legged on the floor during lunch yesterday, surrounded by sweet, excitable, positive babes, it couldn’t have been more clear to me that I have found my people.
When I was growing up in New Zealand, I always felt like such a freak, like I would never really meet anyone who truly got me. Thankfully the internet has proven me wrong. The world is absolutely full of people just like you, who love what you love. And, as Brittany said to me yesterday, when you put yourself out there, and when you are unabashedly yourself, you begin to attract those people to you.
J’adore… Corn cob chairs Big, comfortable beds Avocado and tomato on toast for breakfast Neon pink nails Late-night Big W shopping trips Glitter rose crowns Business planning over strawberries and ice-cream Honey, lemon and ginger drinks Actually, ginger everything: ginger beer, ginger ale, ginger chews, ginger crunch… The list goes on. I am a ginger addict! I think NZ/Australia feels the same way about ginger that Americans feel about peanut butter and pumpkin. Blogcadettes who bring branded snacks to class! Poking around weird little boutiques and exploring beautiful restaurants Raw vegan chocolate truffles Sitting cross-legged with blogcadettes, talking about life, the universe and everything Sequins on the floor Singing Return Of The Mack in restaurants Jamming out to Silverchair (hey, we are in Australia, after all) My oversized mohair cardigan (it’s getting a lot of wear on this trip) Street art all over Melbourne Striped long-sleeve t-shirts The definition of jouissance: The French feminist writer Hélène Cixous uses the term jouissance to describe a form of women’s pleasure or sexual rapture that combines mental, physical and spiritual aspects of female experience, bordering on mystical communion: “explosion, diffusion, effervescence, abundance…takes pleasure (jouit) in being limitless”
One thing we’ve been discovering over the past month is that Australia is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, I always knew it was a beautiful place, but I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. As a Kiwi, you always grow up with the slightest bit of silly trans-Tasman rivalry, but I have to admit that Australia is exquisite.
We have seen the most glorious sunsets, lounged on palm tree-strewn beaches, splashed in the surf and flown over the Great Barrier Reef. It’s going to be a bit of a rude awakening to go back to NYC, where the first snow has already fallen, and the lows are regularly below freezing…
It’s very exciting for me to consider that the next Things I Love Thursday I post will come from New York City, though! As incredible as this trip has been, and as much as we will miss each other, all three of us are thrilled to be going home to our husbands, dogs and cats!
“No matter how bad it gets, I’m always grateful to know that I don’t have to stay with the negative.” (Maya Angeloui)
Photos by Janneke Storm.
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