Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yeah But No

Australia's Next Top Model sixth season came to a dramatic conclusion last night... With the wrong winner being announced! Poor Sarah Murdoch... And what a gracious winner-cum-runner up...

Model behaviour indeed!


As envisaged by Holly Fulton, winner of the Elle Style Award for New Designer, and the Young Designer of the Year Award at the Scottish Fashion Awards this year.

Her latest A/W collection is described thus:
It’s late, the platform at the Gare du Nord is deserted and a lady is waiting for her lover. Not normally one to wait for anyone, she feels compelled to after one too many cognacs, which have left her moody yet daring. She has thrown on clothes she feels at ease in, graphic garments which take her from day to night and back again. She is nonchalant but loaded with luxe accessories that complete her look.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Universe Is Inexplicably Cruel

Good Timber
Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Project White pretty much finished up late last night.


After several trips to the hardware store (my walls are thirsty!) and Ikea (missing pieces... groan!) my room is shaping up very nicely - if I do say so myself! And the great thing about it, is that I did it all by myself! Ok, my mum helped lift a couple of things into my room, but that's it! I built a 6 drawer chest of drawers (it took 5 hours...); I painted an entire room; and reorganised a wardrobe (heartwrenching!). There are still a few things to sort out - most importantly wall hangings - but it felt so zen, when I finally collapsed into my freshly made bed last night. I am super tired, but happy with the results.

Next up - a garage sale to sell all my old clothes/shoes/handbags! Any volunteers to help out?! :o)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Current Music Crush: Washington

The whole album is so great! So happy and boppy! Buy it!


My favourite movie of All Time is Strictly Ballroom. Some consider it an extended camp video clip (what's wrong with that, anyway?), I consider it an insightful, hilarious and loving glimpse into normal, fun Australia.

And now, it is being made into a stage show! Is this good?? I think so!

Creative workshops begin in Sydney in November. This is what my personal God of Creativity, Baz Luhrmann, had to say:

"After years of talking about making the movie into a musical I am thrilled about our partnership with Global Creatures, an Australian company that has made a giant impression in live entertainment in recent years."

The alliance represents one of the most lucrative partnerships in Australian theatre history. It draws on the producing skills of Rob Brookman, the former Sydney Theatre Company general manager and founder of the music festival WOMADelaide. A timetable for the musical's opening is yet to be set.

"As you know, we're slow; I'm not the fastest guy in town," Luhrmann said. "In addressing the challenges of a new show a lot of the characters and the dance will be familiar but I can see how we can take a huge leap in its theatrical execution. My hope is to reach the stage in two years."

In other exciting news, Luhrmann is set to announce his next US-based film project in six to eight weeks. Recent rumours suggest it will be The Great Gatsby. Ummm.... favourite BOOK of all time! I love this man!

Happy Friday: Wish The Week Away

I know! It is the worst thing we can possibly do, to wish time away but this week must end! It has been epically bad. I am looking forward to Project White's conclusion (I have been doing sneaky sections of the wall in the breaks in rain at night and am very tired!) and things settling down a little more later next week.

I know this is an incredibly Oprah-esque thing to do, but I have set a reminder for 5:15pm every day on my phone and it says "What do you give thanks for today?". On the upside of having a terrible day each day of the week, is realising there are plenty of other things to be thankful for - in stark contrast to your irksome day. For example, I sat in the dentist chair on Wednesday for 2 HOURS (yes, I will floss twice daily from now you wicked Tooth Fairy!) and was most thankful for modern technology to be so advanced as to allow a TV to be fitted on to a ceiling so I may watch Kylie Minogue's Showgirl concert in London. Other things I am thankful for on a daily basis are my friends and family and how lucky we are to live in a stable, democratic, developed country. I am also frequently thankful for credit cards (but not credit card bills!).

What are you thankful for peeps? Tell whoever it is - even if it is your pet dog - that you're blessed to have them. It'll make y'all feel so warm inside, I guarantee it. xo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just Do It

Which of these Nike experiences would you choose? Obviously, it's a no-brainer for me, what with my love of bikinis and the hot sun. But... Skiing is super fun! Zzzzing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Comfort Food

Aaron’s Chilli, Mushroom And Chorizo Pasta
Adapted from MasterChef Australia magazine, issue #5
Serves 4 very hungry people

60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
3 chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red onion, finely chopped
200g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped oregano
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil, plus extra leaves, to serve
120g (1 cup) pitted black kalamata olives, halved
4 red bird’s-eye chillies, seeded, finely chopped
2x 400g cans Italian diced tomatoes
400g long macaroni or other tubular pasta
1 1/2 cups wild rocket, plus extra leaves to serve
25g (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan, plus extra, to serve
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook chorizo, stirring, for 2 minutes or until browned. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms, oregano, basil and half each of the olives and chillies. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until onion has softened. Stir in tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Reserve pan.

Return pasta to pan and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomato sauce, rocket and parmesan, and toss well to combine.

Divide pasta among bowls, then top with the remaining olives and chillies. Scatter with extra basil, rocket and parmesan, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to serve.

Shoesday: Through A Glass, Darkly

Monday, September 20, 2010


So much for Project White. I was thwarted by constant rain... I'm at a loss - Queensland, the Sunshine State and there's none of it for the next week! So I will be painting by evening, and leaving fans on by day and hoping the walls cooperate sufficiently to dry before the next coat. And hoping I don't get caught by my landlord. Which I probably will, as I requested maintenance on the room - the room with tins of paint, a ladder, a drop sheet and rollers in it. Not. Too. Bright.

I wonder how I shall explain this, if they ask? My new housemate has only paint and rollers as worldly possessions? I sleep walked to a hardware store and returned with those items - AND managed to line the edges with masking tape?

Roll Out Of Bed

Fruit Bowl

It appears that black has - for now - been relegated to the scrap heap, with shades from our fruit bowls the latest colour to pine(apple) for. Peach, apricot and green apple are the new black.

Fruitily combining apricot and apple hues, we have Exhibit A: Anna Dello Russo at NY Fashion Week...

Closely followed by peach fizz from Sass & Bide (at London Fashion Week)

And then we have the men. Aaaah the men. I would love to see guys in more colour - relegated as they seem to be to navies, grey marle, greens, blacks, royal blues and reds as they seem to be. (It must be so boring to be a boy!)

From the Perry Ellis show at NY Fashion Week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Friday: Project White

With my housemate moving out this weekend (sad trombone), I have decided to spice things up a bit by moving into her room. And painting it. This means I may lose my bond (doubt it - real estate agents won't mind a bit of tasteful white, I'm sure..!) but it will mean I'm fully occupied all weekend! I've painted a tongue & groove bedroom before, so I feel fully equipped to embark on this little adventure. And then there will be a trip to Ikea - for a bookshelf...

It Girl of the Instant: Alexa Chung

Is she not everywhere? I must admit, she is a little hipster for my liking style-wise (yes, am getting old), but she is most definitely gorgeous and she can put together an outfit (and a collection for Madewell) very, very well.

Tres Romantique

Thursday, September 16, 2010


No, not the chocolate bar, but the social practice of flaking.

Otherwise known as cancelling at the last minute, committing to something you have no plan on attending and cancelling at the last minute, or - more dramatically - breaking your social contract - either verbal or written (usu. via text) - to attend an event.

I'm sure we've all flaked out on an invitation last minute befoe for variously good or bad excuses - primarily so we may finish Season 3 of Mad Men in peace - however it is now becoming a social phenomenon. And people are walking around nashing their teeth feeling either (a) enraged as they have been flaked on so much that they wonder why they bother sending Facebook invites anymore; or (b) anxious that they overcommit and discover their online persona cannot fill in for them at events in their (human) place. Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

Sarah Wilson has a manifesto for preventing becoming a serial social flake:

1. Respond to all requests. If it takes less than a minute, do it straight away.

2. If the invite is flakey, push back for firmness. My friend “Z” sends out emails, “shall we catch up on the weekend”. I write back “love to, tell me what you have in mind, and when”. When she comes back with a firm invite, then I reward her efforts by jumping in enthusiastically.

3. Book up in advance. I’ve come to accept this is cool. My friend “Ali” will request dinner in 3 weeks’ time. It’s a firm request. I know she doesn’t flake. Once it’s in the diary I actually look forward to it. Because it’s firm.

4. Flake as little as possible. It’s not good for the spirit to have such loose boundaries. It puts out a wobbly energy. And that’s what you’ll get back.

5. First in best dressed. Yep, sometimes a better offer comes in. But if you’ve committed, don’t flip. You never really know if something will be better than something else. When I spoke to Caroline Myss the other day she said she chooses by going with the first thing. Bang. Done. Committed. Good.

6. All that said flake if you need to. But flake firm. That is, write a considered email or make a care-full call to say you will not be making it. A piffy text fired off at the traffic lights also sends out really wobbly energy.

Click on the pic to read the brillianissimo article by Sarah Wilson.


Do you piss off your friends by being flaky? Do you start far many text messages and emails with 'So sorry to do this, but ...'

I had a friend who was like that - unfortunately her ability to tell lies was appalling, so I always knew when she was lying. Since I am one of those strange creatures who remembers every slight to my intelligence in this manner, it used to rile me no end - particularly as the excuses piled up. She was a serial flaker, most definitely! I have caught myself been flaky in the past - I just love saying yes! - but it has reduced lately. I have learnt to prioritise and make time for the people who actually matter, rather than promising to attend things just to please a so-so friend. It is far less stressful!

If you feel the need to vent your flaky friend frustration, you can do it here.

Black Beauty

Jessica Stam at the opening of the Chanel store in Soho, NYC.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spice Girl Grows Up

Victoria Beckham released her 5th collection at New York Fashion Week the other day and the (very small) crowd went wild. Variously described as a gracious, perfect and/or warm hostess with the fashion knowledge to legitimise what was once considered (with contempt) a brief foray into fashion to now be recognised as a serious designer with an ability to stay in step with trends (this season's collection takes inspiration from womanly curves, with Christina Hendricks cited as one of VB's style icons) and deliver wearable art.

Garance Dore attended the showing and had this to say:

Victoria had a seat right in the middle on one of the stools. Everyone got quiet, a model came out into the room and Victoria started talking in a soft yet cheerful voice.

”I’m going to show you my new collection. For this season, I wanted to concentrate on the sensuality of the feminine body. You’ll see that I used different materials… Starting from this cloth from a parachute, which inspired me too…”

I’ve never seen anything like it. One by one, she described her dresses. When she could, she’d add in a touch of humor, or a small gesture to show the movement of a fabric… Everyone was clinging to her every word.

Calm and relaxed, the models passed by, ethereal.

Amidst the craziness of fashion week, a moment of pure luxury, without the flash of cameras, the commotion of the crowd, without the yelling… Wow.

The rave reviews have been heaping up - and fashion critics are particularly enamoured with her old school fashion show habit of sitting front row and providing commentary of her clothes as they float past. Critics are also most impressed with her fashion knowledge, gradually laying to rest the idea that she has a silent designer helping her every step of the way.

Beckham has added handbags (in collaboration with Marc Jacobs bag designer Kate Hillier) and sunglasses to her collection.

This woman is so on my ultimate dinner party guest list.

Sydney Oprah House

In what has been dubbed the biggest moment in Australian tourism campaigning since Crocodile Dundee, some very clever behind the scenes work has been done to secure Oprah Winfrey to host her show in Australia (and tack on the 300 guests who were in her audience when she made the announcement). Qantas ambassador John Travolta was also on hand to steer the Qantas jet into the studio for maximum effect. Gotta love Oprah.

As well as hosting her much loved talk show at the Sydney Opera House, she is also slated to host at a location in Queensland - possibly in Cairns or somewhere close to the Great Barrier Reef - for this, her 25th and final season of the show.

Winfrey told her audience they could look forward to sailing on Sydney Harbour, wine-tasting in Margaret River and shopping in Melbourne. Also expected to make an appearance as "correspondents" are her favourite Aussie guests, including chef Curtis Stone and actor Hugh Jackman.

Taxpayers will contribute $1.5 million in federal funding and about $2 million from NSW's coffers. (Totally reasonable, in my honest opinion). Former tourism boss John Brown yesterday praised the promotion as an opportunity to match the buzz of Paul Hogan's "shrimp on the barbie" campaign.

I want a ticket!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shoesday: NY Fashion Week

Yeppers it is New York Fashion Week again. The world is going mad - with only the slightest distraction provided by the VMAs yesterday.

Le Flawless Tan

Obviously, we cannot all be blessed with the time, heat-resilience and missing brain cells to endure 4 hours straight in the sun for optimal tanning (i.e. skin cancer cell development). Hence, we turn to products in cans that are applied, sprayed or sponged on to our bodies.

One of the greatest one-stop shops for tanning is Le Tan (naturally).

Le Tan gives you everything:
* Le Tan in Le Can (i.e. spray on)
* Jet Dry (dries in an almost scientifically impossible 3 minutes)
* Hands Free (think brown sponge bath applied not by a candy striper, but lovely you)
* Foaming Mousse (not to be eaten)
* Shimmer Gel (I own this after accidentally not seeing the word Shimmer which is emblazoned across the bottle (am not very bright sometimes) - look slightly bogan when wearing as the whole glitter on your skin thing was so 2004)
* Every Day Glow Face
* Daily Glow
* Fast Tan Remover (Best idea ever).

The latest addition to the Le Tan product range is Flawless Legs. Designed to give you .. flawless legs. Free of freckles, veins and weird speckly bits. It costs $17 and is well worth trying - particularly for those such as myself who are convinced that a tan takes 5kg off your body instantly.

Great legs - minus all that tennis.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Friday: New Dawn

As most of you regulars probably know, I have a gorgeous little niece who arrived a teensy bit early (typical Virgo!) on Wednesday. She is so beautiful and so perfect looking. She has a bit of down on her chubby little cheeks and ears (!), and when she sleeps her little hands bunch up around her ears. She looks so peaceful, and so innocent.

New life is incredible.


These pics are from Gwynnie's latest Goop. I like them all! (Especially Lanvin. Damned expensive taste!)

Details, Details

What's not to like about the latest cover for Australia's Harper's Bazaar? Given my current obsession re what type of jewellery I would like to see myself wearing (not Tiffany & Co!) I am particularly focused on what's on Gisele's neck and wrist...

Regrets, I've Had A Few

Sarah Wilson linked to a blog post written by an Aussie woman working in palliative care who identified the top 5 regrets dying people in her care have.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

Recognise any of this in yourself?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I am so into ads for lamb it's not even funny! They are so witty, irreverant and fun! Here is the latest offering for Spring...

A ton (ok, 3) of these lamb ads - particularly the ones featuring Lambassador, Sam Kekovich - have won awards at Cannes for advertising. That's pretty impressive. This was the latest prize-winning ad from Australia Day, 2010.

Now.. I am hungry!

Check Out

Scanlan & Theodore's Spring/Summer 2010 collection campaign featuring Erin Wasson. Gorgeous.

Her hair is very Carrie Bradshaw-esque, don't you think?

Well Red

Penguin Classics has partnered with RED to bring a collection of some of the world's favourite books to life - with 50% of proceeds from sales going towards The Global Fund which seeks to fund programs designed to eradicate AIDS in Africa.

The books are gorgeous - with their distinctive red bottoms and splashes of text from the book across the cover. Book lovers - and AIDS activists - unite!