Thursday, October 28, 2010


I just received the latest Borders newsletter and the naff-book-loving side of my brain's heart leapt for joy! So many great, new, entertainment-potential-quotient-v.high books to read!

Number 1: A Tiny Bit Marvellous
by Dawn French. Who does not LOVE this English comedienne?! People who don't watch the ABC, that's who!

This first novel by Dawn French is told through the eyes of a mother and her two teenage children. There's seventeen-year-old Dora, a stroppy teenager who's just come out of her first relationship (it lasted a whole six weeks) and who's longing to escape to university; her long-suffering mother, Mo, a child psychiatrist who's baffled by the antagonist behaviour of her children; and sixteen-year-old Peter, who prefers to be known as Oscar due to his obsession with Oscar Wilde. Written in diary format, with each chapter narrated by a different voice, this is a hilarious, sharp and utterly compelling novel about the ups and down of family, sibling rivalry and growing up. With each chapter told from the point of view of one character, Dawn French's witty and engaging novel offers us an honest and insightful account into the relationships between children and parents.
This one is topping my list!)

Number 2: OMG I Can Eat That?: Indulgent Food Minus the Boombah
Written by another comedian - this type an Australian - Jane Kennedy (married to Rob Sitch and of the golden D-Generation and Frontline years)

From Australia's favourite new health-food chef comes the follow up to the bestselling Fabulous Food Minus the Boombah. Like most of us, Jane Kennedy can't eat anything she wants because she gets FAT. After having five children in six years and trying every fad diet known to man in an attempt to shift excess weight, Jane decided to take matters into her own hands. A lifetime love of cooking, teamed with a refusal to give up the flavours of her favourite meals, led Jane to develop her own dishes that are delicious but also good for you. In Jane's second book, OMG! I CAN EAT THAT?, she shares some of her favourite recipes, just without all the unwanted fat. Chapters include Nibbles, Soups, Piemakins, Chicken & Duck, Beef, Lamb & Pork, Fish & Seafood, Comfort Classics, Vegetables and Dessert. And these recipes aren't your typical 'diet' recipes either, with delicious meals such as Chicken, Leek and Mushrooms 'piemakins' (pies in ramekins minus the pastry), Beef Bourguignon, Boombahfree burgers, and even sweet treats like Rhubarb and strawberry crumble, you'll forget you're even eating food minus the boombah!

(I got stuck at the FIVE children - let alone "in 6 years" - bit.) She needs us all to buy her book so she can continue to feed all those mouths!

Number 3: Sugar and Spice: An LA Candy Novel

By reality-TV starlet, Lauren Conrad. I think the title really says it all... File next to books by Nicole Richie.

Sugar and Spice . . . Not everyone's nice.

Fresh from being betrayed by one of her closest friends, new reality-television celebrity Jane Roberts has learned a few lessons. Most important: know who to trust. And in Hollywood, that list is short.

Although the press is intent on creating a tabloid war between her and ex-friend/current-costar Madison Parker, Jane just wants to take control of her life. She’s started by swearing off guys and the drama that comes with them. But when her high school sweetheart Caleb and her unrequited L.A. crush Braden show up, both acting sweeter than ever, Jane has a hard time remembering her no-boys rule. . . .
Her best friend, Scarlett, has only one guy on her mind: her new boyfriend, Liam. The girl who once thought love was a four-letter word is now head over heels. The problem is, being on a hit reality show means hanging out with other guys on-camera, and Liam isn’t too happy with pretending to play a bit part in her love life.

Just when everything feels out of control, Jane makes a shocking discovery—one that changes everyone’s definition of “reality” forever.

In her deliciously entertaining novel, television star Lauren Conrad pulls back the curtain on young Hollywood and shows that sometimes the real drama is behind the scenes.

True beachtime read - doesn't matter if it gets dropped in the ocean.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Up To You

Aaaaah another fantastic reason to live in New York. In what other city is there a dog dress-up parade in honour of Halloween??

Yes, I admit it! I went overboard with the dog pictures! What can I say? I'm clucky for a dog!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Advertising Australian Women

This ad for Australian Women's Weekly mag is quite sweet. And how many times have you pulled the irritated "stop fiddling" shrug off on your mother as at the 13 second mark?! That bit reminds me so much of my constant quarrels with my mother re hemlines, what I was wearing, what I was doing with my hair and so on. We had (and still do have) very different ideas of what is appropriate. We annoy each other equally in that respect!

Shoesday: Will We Really Be Wearing These Shoes?

Clogs are appearing eveywhere - sometimes in the most unlikely of places... Including the Country Road summer catalogue. Um... Why??

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ruin Is the Road to Transformation

Speaking of Eat Pray Love, I must ask the question of what you all learnt from watching that film? Sarah Wilson said she learnt to smile while meditating, including smiling in her liver. Since I don't meditate, that didn't resonate with me at all - instead sounding completely contrived and pretentious. Next!

I think I learnt what I already knew ... And what I guess none of us like to ackowledge: nothing lasts forever. What a relief! Of course nothing lasts forever, but sometimes it can be hard to accept that and allow life to move on. Perhaps you don't want to say goodbye once and for all to a relationship - be it a friendship, love affair etc - or, like me, you simply don't want summer to end.

It's such a basic concept but one that, depending on the situation, can be hard to be at peace with. We can accept that day becomes night because that is the way of things.. I think once that logic kicks in to everything else in life, it somehow helps. Or it does for me! I am notorious for clinging on to things for way too long... Which is probably why that little gem has stayed with me - even becoming something of a mantra. I think it also helps you live in the moment more - if you know it won't last forever, why waste the moment thinking about your overflowing laundry basket?

So. Did anyone else learn anything from EPL? If so.. what and why? Or did you just find it hugely dull and patronising? (I found it a tad patronising... And Javier Bardem freaks me out ever since No Country For Old Men - there is no accepting him as a romantic lead for me, even though I know that role did not last forever for him!).

Another little lesson from Eat Pray Love was this: "Having a broken heart only means that you tried." True that!

Julia Roberts at the premiere in NYC. Goodness me, she's gorgeous!

Buenos Aires

I nicked in to the travel agent at lunch and shared my plans. It was exciting but a little dispiriting all at once... My travel agent looked at me and said "this is gonna cost a LOT" with mega emphasis on the LOT and my heart sank a little... I await her email to see if she and I share a similar definition of LOT. I hope not!

Garance Dore has just been in Buenos Aires and taken some gorgeous photos... It is inspiring me! I have a lot of study to do before February though!


Country Road has released its summer catalogue, and it evokes images of a seriously sweaty summer. Perhaps if they send this to the Bureau of Metereology, they can sort something out with the weather... Summer isn't quite shaping up as CR (and the rest of us) may have expected - some serious communicado with La Nina is needed if we are to get the tropical nights Country Road has predicted.

It's all a little Eat Pray Love the Bali days, isn't it?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Friday: Burlesque

This Saturday I am crashing a hens party ... We are commencing festivities with burlesque dance classes, which I am very much looking forward to! Sunday I get to talk to the overseas ladies which I am really happy about... Although I am apologising in advance for a croaky champagne throat. :o)

Dita Von Teese in a PETA advertising campaign. Interesting... As I'm sure I've seen her with fur on her kneck before.


Does anyone have any thoughts on leather shorts? Asides from the obvious requirements that you have a lot of guts (in the courage sense) and fabulous legs, they seem to make sense to me ... As long as you don't sit in the sun in them. They would probably get very hot.

I think black is the only option. And they seem to have dual summer/winter purposes which means the golden price-per-wear could be very cheap!

J.Lo Kidlets

Jenny from the Block is reminding us of her public proclamation that "I'm Real" by appearing in Gucci's latest advertising campaign with her gorgeous progeny - all in aid of African schools - as they Play in her midst. Lovely. As I have previously mentioned, doing good is now veritably in style - a good thing to be sure. While I'm not usually a huge fan of celebs trotting out their kids for fashion shoots, in this case, I'm Not Gonna Hold You Down, J.Lo.

Step Into My World, peops... Is my opinion All I Have? Do I need to Get Right? Are these forced sentences with J.Lo song titles annoying you too? Aint It Funny...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Much Can One Stomach Bare?

A LOT if the runways have anything to do with it!

Yes, we quake in fear when the words "jeans", "bikini" and "shopping" are uttered in the same sentence, but now we have a whole new dimension to add to this world of jiggly thighs and and butts ... Our stomachs! (Ok... We must take this into account for bikinis also, however I feel it is somehow different with the midriff).

SJP really got things going way back in the days of SATC. Any opportunity she had, that freakishly washboard stomach would be out and proud: whipping us girls into a stomach crunch frenzy that ended in M&Ms on the couch. Given the rest of SJP is whippet thin and verging on Madonna with the muscle-boundedness, I think we all could fairly happily justify ourselves in not looking like her.

It's a different story when it comes direct off the runway and is translated into boutiques, Sportsgirls, department store shelves and diffusion fashion ranges at a shopping centre near you. There is retail pressure to put this stuff on (I find it very hard to say no to sales assistants - I am weak), and then if you're sales assistant is good enough... She'll say "gorgeous" and "stunning" and "looks amazing on you - and I mean that" enough times for you to buy it... Only to have it sit in your cupboard reminding you of your insane purchasing habits all summer. I mean - you can't even wear Nancy Gantz with this stuff!

I think the key to this trend is not baring too much of your stomach in reality - this is not a Britney Spears film clip circa 1999, after all. In which case, there is a chance that this look can be pulled off minus the sucking-in-the-belly all day if the bottom hangs loose, and your top is firmly fitted and long enough to cover your bra (did I really need to tell you that?) and ends just before the end of your ribs. Nothing like a few obvious ribs to make a girl feel skinny about herself, eh?

Is it midriff or bust for you this summer? Or are you going to leave it to the SJP wanna-bes? Part of me would love to go all mid-riffy (in a classy kind of way). The other part of me - that eats - thinks it might be tough to maintain the image of a flat stomach all day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missing You

I'm really missing the in-person company of my good girlfriends who are overseas right now... I suppose because whenever I see them the gap between us closes instantly, and it's like months haven't passed since the last time I was with them.

Nothing shocks me about guys and how low they are prepared to go (doesn't mean I still don't get angry, though!), but I am frequently taken aback by the behaviour of other girls... I shouldn't be! I know how the world works, and God knows I wasn't always an angel myself when I was in my early 20s - despite my indignant protestations to the contrary. Deep down, we always know when we're up to no good, though, don't we?

Nothing beats great friends... The more girls stick together, the better off we all shall be!

Experience has taught me that guys simply aren't worth it if they are going to cause a wedge between you and your friends, or you find yourself betraying the sisterhod in sneaky ways. OR - worse - if you are ashamed of something you have done to please a guy. Love should be nourishing, reciprocal and open.

Shoesday Chaser: Bags

Which would you prefer?

I sit firmly in the BOTH camp.

Shoesday: Lustworthy Items

This pic has it all... Bike; great shoes; amaaaaaaazing to-die-for bag. My envy knows no bounds!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Food Lover

Gwynnie admitted in her latest Goop newsletter that she loves to trawl food blogs for inspiration. And she's not alone! I know a lot of Snapdragons readers love their food too - me included! Gwyneth featured What Katie Ate - an Aussie blogger/sublime photographer - who I have also been following for some time now. I always look at her blog and wish that my eye could see food the way she does, and that I could take awesome photos like hers. Maybe next New Year's resolution will be to learn to be a better photographer..? :o)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Friday: Thinking of Phuong

Phuong is off on her hens night in Thailand this weekend, so this shout-out is to her.

Many moons ago, Phuong and I would love nothing less than heading to a dodgy bar in Brisbane city (the Exchange) of a Saturday night and grooving away on the dance floor all night long. One of my favourites of the day was this:

I still love it - and I hope you hear it in a dodgy bar (although it all looks terribly classy!) and dance to it, and pretend that I'm there. I wish I could be there. Have a great weekend (and Jenny will be there too - you too!). You deserve it!

This is still one of my favourite grind on someone's knee songs! haha.. Too much information?!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shoesday: Wet Weather

Brisbane is currently gripped by torrential downpours. Luckily, I own a pair of gumboots (purchased in NYC on a very cold day and changed into on Wall St - a bad place to be when it's windy and cold in New York! As I put on the boots, I was surrounded by a friendship circle of Susie and Jenny to protect my modesty - I was wearing a short skirt, naturally...).

Unluckily, I have not one, not two, but THREE leaking holes in my ceiling in my newly painted bedroom. When I realised the leaks - at about 3am the other night - I hastily awoke to shove the bed out of the line of drip. Smashing my bed into the wall... Scraping off freshly applied paint. The water damage I had so lovingly painted over (are you meant to do that?) was back - paint swollen and unhinged from the wall.


That'll Do Pig

I used to say in the beginning that I was like the pig in Babe when the farmer, who was not wildly emotional, expressed himself in a super-warm way. Mr Arnault does not express himself in a super-warm way, but he has softened up - I am that pig and he pats me on the back and says 'That'll do pig', and I just feel this is the highest praise. This is a man who does not throw out compliments or say things to please people - he just does not.

-- Marc Jacobs

Hilarious, no? I love the minds and angst of geniuses!

Inspiration: Still I Rise

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Time Out

I'm at uni this week, and despite starting at 10am and finishing at 4pm am tres busy before and after... *sigh*

I have committed myself to good grades and uber-diligence re study. I am shutting down my hideously addictive Words With Friends (global Scrabble - don't do it!) games, trying not to read any more books (hmmm... just purchased Truth by Peter Temple, this year's Miles Franklin winner - sure it will expand my brain, so somehow I claim it counts), definitely no more magazines (lucky I got my latest Delicious and Vogue before these latest resolutions!), and attempts at limiting time on time-sucking websites (online shopping primarily.. this means no online shopping for a bike. ouch!).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday: Recline

How much of a babe was Julie London? Does her voice not want to make you recline on a loveseat in Paris in a negligee and opera gloves... cigarette burning from a cigarette holder nearby.. diamonds at your ears, wrist, throat and fingers?

Yes please!


I lied. I purchased Vogue as my magazine of choice (not Kelsey's Harpers Bazaar as previously stated). I bought it for the jewels... I'm still looking. After a quick scan of the prices of the jewels featured - averaging around $30,000 - I may need to lower my sights to, say, Shop Til You Drop. Damn that beer budget, and that Cristal Methuselah taste!

What do you think of the blunt cut?

Speaking Of

The new black... Kate Moss is back in full force - style icon with a vengeance.

Looks like we'll all have black nails again next season...

Black is the new black. Still.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cycle Steady

Phuong - sometime co-contributor to this blog and blogger in her own right AND most importantly, one of my dearest friends - is a constant source of inspiration to me. That 10km run I did? That was because Phuong did one! I was so impressed by her effort I wanted to try it for myself - I would never have thought to engage in such agonising activities had she not being doing it herself. So I did it, albeit verrrry slowly.

Phuong and her lovely hubby-to-be recently purchased as wedding gifts to each other bicycles. One of the nicest ideas I have heard in a long time. But asides from the niceness, I thought... How good would it be to ride a bike again? With a wicker basket on the front?! So in my spare time, I have been looking on eBay for something cheap but functional.

And Phuong isn't the only person getting into bikes. Sarah Wilson is a big rider of bikes. Here she is featured in Central Magazine (no idea what that is) spruiking National Ride to Work Day, which is on October 13th for peops in Australia. I would love to do that... However am sans bike!

Brisbane City Council is prepping to assist the bikeless among us, with the launch of its latest initiative, CityCycle. CityCycle allows subscribers to ride council bikes around the city radius for free (for half hour intervals, then a fee applies). Personally, I can see a lot of drunken cyclists in the city on a Friday night (funny! possibly dangerous!) - but overall I think it's a cool idea! Sadly, there isn't a station very close to my home - which I consider close to the city. But I'm sure it will happen eventually. I may have a bike before then...

So. Thank you to Phuong for being a wonderful inspiration - and friend! And folks: on your bikes! It's the new black!