Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shoesday: Cement Shoes

Last night, I rocked up to the gym for my usual Monday night run. Things initially appeared to be going to plan: the boys were down below flexing their muscles and were looking their usual cute, masculine selves; the ladies were sweating it out on the various machines; my iPod shuffle - the size of my fingernail and packing more pop music than an MTV office - was charged; I was kitted out in Lorna Jane and I was sure nothing could thwart my next 45 minutes of walking/running pleasure.

I was wrong.

I forgot the headcold which knocked me for 6 most of last week was still lingering, and was determined to interfere with any form of exercise that involved much effort. Next my iPod spazzed out and refused to allow me to turn up the volume, change songs or anything else of much use. Worse, the fallback plug-in to the TV was redundant due to an uncharacteristically lacklustre offering on Channel V. Neighbours just isn't an option these days... I mean please: how many more evil Paul Robinson storylines can they write? It's a loud, pounding beat that gets me through, and there was no noise from the iPod, limited pounding and only a mouse's heartbeat to power my run from V.

So, what's a girl to do but go home, find some chocolate and read up on cement shoes - the supposedly mythical gangland vengeance of choice.

You may also enjoy this ad.

Monday, August 30, 2010

All Aboard The Night Train

The Emmys. Red carpets. You can basically count on a number of trends (apart from strapless - it is practically du jour): one-shoulder; white; huge earrings (less so today). We can also add "enormous train/interesting detail at bottom of dress".

Here we have the one-shoulder brigade:

Formulaic and derivative, perhaps. But nice to look at on a slow Monday.


I was in bed Thursday and Friday AND Saturday with a head cold. It was not pleasant. Although I did get to catch up on Season 3 of Mad Men. If you don't watch it, seriously try to. As well as frequently awarded exactitude in its costume and interior design, the story is so incredibly well-crafted it makes my head spin! The cleverness and character development - particularly of Don Draper - is simply jaw dropping. Betty Draper - described by NY mag so perfectly as "a petulant, Hitchockian blonde" - is wonderful as the early onset to Desperate Housewives: the gorgeous, talented and gifted creature who is only credited with housewife duties. I am wishing for a little more Joan this season... My only gripe!

Jon Hamm - aka Don Draper - at the Emmys today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I read this article on The Stone Soup this morning and felt obliged to share. In it, Jules mentions a few things I can endorse with the gusto of a politician on the campaign trail in a winning seat:

1. Amman, Jordan is not one of the most exciting places in the world - it's sister Petra is, however. It is seriously one of my favourite places in the world (up there with Hoi An, Vietnam and Shanghai and ....derrrr... New York) and it is breathtakingly spectacular. Petra knocked my socks off. See it before you die.

2. They have good food in Amman (not only the felafel and hummus... the little bakeries stuffed with baclava-type goodness are INSANELY GOOD - you will add 5 kg to your waist in that city in as many hours just because the food is so good and you want to eat all of it)

3. Good felafel can be enough to make you consider vegetarianism as a viable lifestyle choice. (Don't forget, it's not overly popular - you don't make friends with salad!)

Make some hummus and felafel this weekend!

Bring Back the Bouff(ant)

How does one build the requisite strength in their arms to achieve flawless up-dos? And how do we get our hair bigger volumetrically and height-wise than a skyscraper? I own a hair doughnut (direct from the 80s and hideous) and while I get some extra oomph in my high buns, I still struggle to find enough hair... Me, with loads of hair that is generally in my way! A mystery, to be sure.


Oops! I've already started forgetting the new segment. I blame work and a head cold (where did that come from? Owowowow).

Monday, August 23, 2010


What is it? Are you living true to yourself? I find it a confusing concept - we are all flawed in our own way, and while we can but hope to change ourselves a little and be aware of our behaviour that is "flawed" sometimes we still offend people we didn't mean to offend. Worse - that some people just don't like the "real" us.

Quite a few people mentioned this article to me over the weekend - either that it resonated with them, or they passed it on to someone who they felt could do with some encouragement in that regard. (If you can't read it, click on it for a bigger version).

Whatever it is, I think it's something that requires constant reassessment - we are always changing.

Bed Making

One of my most enduring, picky and demanding habits has been the making of the bed. It is a non-negotiable for me, and if I have to choose (forced by bus timetabling, primarily) between eating breakfast and making my bed, I will make my bed. Every time. Given my penchant for breakfast, this is a big call.

The habit was developed extremely early on as a 4 year old growing up in rural Australia. One evening - after a blissful day which commenced with not making my bed - I snuggled my little toes down and wiggled to warm the cold bottom of my bed. Seconds later, what seemed like thousands (probably only about 10) of baby huntsman spiders ran over my legs (sparking instant and extreme arachnophobia in the young victim). Leaping out of bed and running to my mother for comfort, I was left cold. "That's what you get for not making your bed." I was aghast at her lack of concern, but there was nothing I could do or say: logic dictated that she was correct. Since that night, and the realisation that it literally is a jungle out there, I have adapted: I now make my bed with military precision. When someone sits on my bed, I irrationally wait for the second they jump off so I can straighten the bed. It is weird, but I believe this particular character trait has a solid foundation.

This doesn't mean that I'm not shocked when I see/hear that other people don't share my obsession. I also find pictures in catalogues of casually rumpled beds a huge turn-off, which sparks a rabid need to straighten things out of sympathy for the bed.

Speak Easy

Speaking of weddings, and thinking of my previous post regarding short wedding dresses... I think this dress featured in this month's Madison is rather sweet. I honestly don't know what else you could wear it to unless it was a wedding.

What Not-Your-Own-Wedding type event could you wear such a dress to?

Happy (Belated) Friday: Post Wedding

There are so many weddings at the moment! It's been practically non-stop since November 2008! I went to my cousin's wedding on the weekend which was so lovely... I adore country weddings - there is something so simple and real about them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I've never personally read it, however I will see the movie (diehard Julia Roberts afficiando that I am) ... And then maybe I'll think about reading it. Eat, Pray, Love had seemed a little overdone what with everyone I spoke to having read it and it all sounding a bit preachy in tone - much like The Da Vinci Code series... However there were some extracts that resonated, and require sharing for a certain someone who is in need of some words of encouragement right now.

"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.”

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love? Will you see the film?


I can count on both hands the number of fabulous girlfriends I have who would love nothing more than to own their own bookstore. So. Brace yourselves for perhaps the most staggeringly huge and absolutely glorious personal library I've seen in a while...

I bet Jessica Rudd could relieve a lot of stress in there!

I had to share this pic from one of my favourite bookstore's here in Brisbane, The American Bookstore.

As a kidlet, I spent many hours browsing through books and staring at the monolith-like coffee table books while my mum sought out books for gifts for her pre-school and kindergarten charges. I always helped her with giftwrapping the books, and always felt insanely jealous that I wasn't receiving loads of shiny, new books myself.

Devillish Fun in the Details

Cat Deeley at the Teen Choice Awards recently looked gorgeous (as always) and had some great fluoro accessories to boot.


I am always partial to a yellow frock.

This bouffant is very now. I wish my arms (and hairdressing skills) could cater to it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alannah Hill is Forgiven

We all make mistakes. It's a new season... Spring racing is just around the corner, and who better than the ultimate go-to girl, but Alannah Hill. I am salivating!


Tuesday / Shoesday... Get it?

Shoes from the current Celine collection, snapped by Jak + Jil. Thoughts?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fact or Fiction

Jessica Rudd - daughter of spectacularly ousted former PM Kevin Rudd - has a book, Campaign Ruby, out today. The 26 year old Beijing-dweller's book is now considered an eerily accurate prescience: in the book the female Federal Treasurer ousts the male PM from the leadership, triggering a Federal election. You can read a fantastic review (and synopsis) of the book here.

There were a few comments she makes in the (long) interview that I thought were delightful:

* On the fall-out of the GFC on people her age losing their jobs: "It was both a sad thing and a wonderful thing, because a lot of people were doing jobs they didn't like, but jobs that [were well paid]. There were amazing history grads and East Asia fine arts grads from Oxford and Cambridge working as investment bankers." Being laid off can be awful at the time, she goes on, but can help people discover where their real talents - and a more emotionally rewarding future - lie. "Ruby ended up being very good at investment banking, but she didn't really love it. And her world was turned completely on its head." (In a good way).

* On her contributing editor (and mum), Therese Rein: Thérèse read the novel as her daughter was writing it. Jessica emailed it to her mother, chapter by chapter - with Thérèse giving her instant feedback. "At one point, she was in Trinidad with Dad, and she fed-back on the chapter in about five minutes on her BlackBerry from the back of a convoy somewhere. She was so encouraging throughout the process." What about the chapter in which PM Patton is overthrown by Brennan? "She said, 'Oooh, loved that! When can you send me the next one?' "

* On being involved in politics: Ruby's moment of realpolitik arrives when she discovers, to her shock, that the party whose leader she's working for doesn't support adoption for gay and single parents. Ruby rings her politically aware aunt: she wants out. Her aunt tells her not to be silly - that it's vital to remain a part of the political process if she wants to make a difference. "That dialogue wasn't something I consciously created," says Jessica. "I wrote it down and read it back to myself and thought, 'Yeah, it's so true.' " Ruby had been enjoying the experience of campaigning without seriously thinking about what she believed in, she adds. "That's just the reality of party politics. You are never going to wholly endorse absolutely everything a party stands for. But you're not going to help if you're not part of it."

* On her childhood in Beijing and her father: When Jessica Rudd was a baby, her father used to calm her down - whenever she woke crying in the middle of the night - by picking her up and running her fingers along the book spines in his bookshelves. As a schoolgirl during exam time, she did the same thing as a way of countering stress, walking around her father's study in the family home in Brisbane, trailing her fingers along his books. As an adult, she seeks out libraries and bookstores for the same reason. She adores her father: "I've known Dad all my life. Compassion is the essence of his soul."

* On her husband: Jessica married Albert Tse, her boyfriend of six years, shortly before the 2007 federal election campaign. She met him in her father's electoral office. He was working in a voluntary position - and at first she couldn't stand him. "I thought he was a preppie Churchie boy."(Albert, who came to Australia with his family in 1989 and has never given an interview to the media, is an old boy of Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar School.) "We spent about three years just fighting. One day I was sitting at home at my parents' place, watching TV and my mobile rang. It was Albert. He said, 'Hi, put the phone next to the TV and turn up the volume.' I thought something politically important must be happening, because the only thing we had in common was the work we were doing in the community," she says. Jessica turned on the channel he'd requested. The Simpsons was showing. Mystified, she sat there for a few minutes, then picked up the phone again. "Listen, do you know who you've called, out of interest?" she asked him. "Oh shit," said Albert, and hung up. He rang back five minutes later, "apologised profusely" and explained that he thought he'd called a friend called Jennifer; hers was the next name on his mobile. He was at the gym on the treadmill, had forgotten his headphones and couldn't go without an episode. Albert's addiction to The Simpsons put him in a completely different light for the future prime minister's daughter. "I decided that there was something quite endearing about that phone call. It was either really cunning and calculated and very creative, or it was just a complete stuff-up. And I know him - and I know it was the latter." (Um, adorable!!)

* On the unfortunate overlap of fiction and reality: Two weeks after she says this in Beijing, I glimpse her standing near her devastated father as he gives his final press conference as prime minister and wonder if she remembers that remark. "I felt enormously proud of [my father], and grateful for the gift of a strong family," she writes in an email soon afterwards. She also makes very clear that she finds no joy whatsoever in the extraordinary overlap between her novel and the dramatic events in Canberra. "I felt sick in the depths of my stomach when I heard the utterly unimaginable scenario I had dreamed up in the middle of last year for the purposes of a rollicking read might quickly become a close and deeply personal reality. I called Michael [Heyward], my publisher, from The Lodge, in tears. 'Michael, my book is coming true.' Michael said, 'Jess, you didn't make this happen.' It sounds a silly thing to say, because of course I didn't make it happen," Jessica goes on. "But until Michael said it, deep down I felt it might have been my fault. The coincidence was too spooky. I wanted to uncreate it. But Michael reminded me that I wrote Campaign Ruby to bring laughter to readers and open a window into the weird world of politics. The events of last week don't change that."

She says her father has been equally reassuring, telling her, "Don't worry, darling; you didn't do this."


This interview - from an incredibly articulate, clever young author - was so great and so touching. Whatever your political stripes, I think this might be an interesting read - think a frightfully clever (slightly less desperate) Bridget Jones in Australia, in politics. Fun times!

Black Betty

Given my current obsession with The Wire (and given episodes last a stagger 57 minutes!) I haven't had much time for other TV shows. Friday night I was having some down time with my ma and we watched the first two episodes of Mad Men, Season 3. Betty was described in this season by NY magazine as being a "petulant, Hitchcockian blonde" which is one of the most fabulous and spot-on descriptions of her character and looks all in one. What a fantastic phrase!

Here is the stunning January Jones doing a Betty-like shoot for UK Tattler magazine.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday: Breakfast

My favourite meal of the day... I love to linger over my breakfast. Two coffees... Maybe a milkshake (although my stomach gets mad at me for those!). I often struggle with cafes, however, as I'm not big on eggs. It's not that I don't eat them. They just ... irk me, somehow. I think it's the fact that the flavour bleeds into everything else on your plate (I know - some people love that!) and in your mouth it's this oddly goopy, warm, strange-tasting food. It troubles me. So I don't eat them. And some cafes have nothing but egg-related dishes on the menu. So I hunt out my cafes, and store up the ones that are less egg-heavy. Where shall I eat this weekend...? I wonder.

Happy Friday peops! I hope you have a great weekend. xo

Warm the Cockles of Your Heart

This YouTube video is everywhere today... Sarah Wilson did a fantastic post the other week about sadness and how we react to sadness in our own way. One of the points she made was that having a good cry can sometimes be very beneficial - mentally and physically.

If this video doesn't touch you somewhere deep and cause some type of welling of the eyes, then... I just don't know what will!

Oh my! Bittersweet, no?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Viva Brisvegas: Box Pretty

Lovers of vintage shopping and (mainly) dwellers of Brisbane would know that Box Vintage is one of the best spots for scoring your next quality vintage find in Brisvegas. Located in West End, just metres from my favourite Vietnamese restaurant in Brisbane, Box Vintage is a shining beacon for vintage-clothes fiends.

Always in tune with the seasons and reasonably priced BV truly has something for everyone - the tragic 80s costume party, the 70s-channelling fashionista and everyone in between. This weekend, BV celebrates its 5th birthday - so young, yet so well-established! It has piles of clothes 50% off, so get your goodselves in if you can.

Gangsta's Girl

I've been watching a lot of The Wire lately - it's my current DVD box-set obsession, dragged out for sittings of 3 hours each. It's actually hard work to watch: you have to get used to the Baltimore accent, guess your way through the gangsta-speak and remember everything that happens - no matter how insignificant it may seem. The thing I love is the insight into the world of gangstas - in Season 3, we have the old-style gangstas working it against the business-school trained drug dealers. They go about their business in completely different ways, and yet have the same goal in mind. Juxtapose that with an increasingly desperate police force, and you have a fascinating world to immerse yourself in.

The role of the women in the gangs is only just being assessed... Basically they are pretty much how they're depicted in hip-hop: disposable, tracksuit-bedecked hoes with big booties and bigger hoop earrings. One thing the show has had me wondering of late, is whether this is the world the big hip-hop acts of today emanated from. Their lyrics would suggest so... And if The Wire is anything to go by, these are tough, viciously ambitious people. Anyway... Here is Beyonce's Fall/Winter collection for her House of Dereon... This woman is fierce too! Boom!

Go behind the scenes...