Thursday, 31 January 2013

Life with Bird A/W 2013

We're all still hanging around in shorts and t-shirts in front of the fan and it's hard to imagine it ever being cold enough to wear winter clothes again. It always surprises me how early designers and labels start to advertise and see their winter collections - I'm just not that much of a planner when it comes to shopping (to my detriment, probably). That said, I did enjoy looking through Life With Bird's A/W 2013 collection online, and have included some favourites below. I'm really pleased to see that gorgeous, digital floral prints are sticking around - breaks up those winter blacks and greys!

For any keen beens, pre-orders open Feb 25 at


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Five things I loved: Silver Linings Playbook

I went to see this on Sunday night with a couple of my ladyfriends - yep, one word, I'm making that call - and it was one of those rare occasions where a movie lived up to my expectations. I try not to buy into hype about movies - the only thing about the Oscars that interests me is the dresses - but it's been pretty hard to ignore all the fuss about Silver Linings Playbook. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Here are the reasons why:

1. Bradley Cooper doesn't look quite so much like a dinosaur anymore.

I understand that many, many ladies out there find B. Coops one sexy fellow. He was even declared People Magazine's sexiest man of the year recently (apparently this caused small groups of Ryan Gosling fans to, hold literal protests), but I've just never been on that particular band wagon. One of my friends commented a while ago that he reminds her of a velociraptor, and since that moment whenever I saw him in anything, that was all I could think about. The resemblance is striking, no?

Also, I think the first movie I ever saw him in was that terrible He's Just Not That Into You movie and it was not really a good introduction. However, good news! As he ages, he looks less a velociraptor. Hence, I did not spend most of the film thinking about Jurassic Park.

See? Totally not prehistoric.

 2. Happy, but sad, but happy.

If you're not familiar with the storyline of Silver Linings Playbook, I'll give you a very brief rundown. Pat (B.Coops) has just finished an 8 month court ordered stint in a mental health facility, after beating up his wife's lover and being diagnosed as bipolar. He returns to his parents' house to try to rebuild his life and his marriage and meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow with her own set of problems, and things get complicated/funny/interesting. 

The film deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, but it's all addressed with just the right tone, at the right time. It wasn't always funny, but at points the whole cinema was cracking up. It wasn't always bittersweet, but there was more than one moment when I felt teary. It was the perfect level of emotional manipulation. And really, isn't that life? Sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Don't those two emotions go together like coffee and chocolate anyway?

3. Dance magic dance.

I am a sucker for a dance scene in a movie. SURPRISE! You would never have guessed, right? I'm not going to say too much because I don't want to spoil it for you, but the dance scene in this movie is pretty amazing. It's going to knock your socks off. As it should - both the actors and the characters worked very hard towards this goal.

4. Jennifer Lawrence. 

I just think she's the best. I've said it before, and I'm pretty sure I'll say it again. It helps that every time I see or read an interview with her she comes across as completely genuine and hilarious. And frankly, anyone who says that their holiday to Belize was "unbelizeable" is my kind of person. For a pretty good ode to Jen, check out this article on HelloGiggles.

Also, I think she's a stone fox and she looks really good with dark hair. Just putting that out there.

5. We are all stardust

There's a scene in the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy movie Before Sunrise, where Julie Delpy gets her palm read by a lady in a charming little town square somewhere in Vienna. As the palm reader walks away she reminds them both that we are all made from stardust. Silver Linings Playbook made me think of that scene because it's so accepting of every character's imperfections - not just accepting, because that can be a really passive word - it loved each character for exactly who they were. If you believe the palm reader, we are all made of stardust, all of us are special and none of us are perfect. 


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Enough of that funny business young lady, and get back to work.

Sometimes, you just need a laugh. Maybe you're having one of those days when you've got your cranky pants on, but you're self aware enough to know that you just need to change your focus, and you can turn your day around. It's times like these I turn to YouTube. I have a couple of favourite videos that I go back to again and again that I thought I'd share. These videos still make me laugh so hard I cry, or if I'm watching at work and trying not to be too obvious, do that silent laughing that has the potential to make water come out my nose (I know, right? Subtle).

I'm putting these up on a Tuesday because, in my opinion, Tuesday is the worst day of the week. Monday is okay because you're all refreshed from the weekend, Wednesday is hump day, Thursday is the day before Friday, and Friday is well, Friday. Tuesday is nothing. It's the a#$ end of the week (pardon my language...somewhere my Dad is shaking is head and making comments about "13 years of high years of university...") So hopefully, these will make your Tuesday a little more entertaining. Today is the day after a public holiday here in Australia - going back to work is just that much more painful after a three day weekend!


It's the laughing in the background in this one - gets me every time!


(not Codfish Joe).

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Five things I loved: Band of Horses

I went to see Band of Horses at the Enmore Theatre here in Sydney on Tuesday night. It's the third or fourth time I've seen them, and if possible, I think I love them even more now. It was an amazing show, absolutely worth staying out on a school night for.

1. The band members just love each other SO MUCH.

There are few things better than watching a band play, who just really freakin' love playing music with each other. Band of Horses have had a changing lineup over the years, with frontman Ben Bridwell remaining the beating heart of the group, however they've been pretty stable recently. It seems like they've found their rhythm as a little musical family. Ben hugged his fellow band members multiple times - really spontaneous "I just really love you man" type hugs. 

2. Amusing lyrical substitution.

"Marry Song" from their sophomore album (and my personal favourite) Cease to Begin opens (usually) with the line "I'll marry my lover, in a place to admire." However, on Tuesday night Bridwell took it upon himself to sing the song as an ode to his impressively* bearded guitarist Tyler Ramsey - "I'll marry my Tyler." LOLs. 

3. We know you have favourite songs - don't worry, we'll play them.

I like it when bands recognise the songs that helped build their audience and find success without resentment. Even if you don't know Band of Horses, odds are you've heard "The Funeral" before in a TV show or film - I think it's even been in a video game. They introduced it with a good natured nod to the audience, playing it as beautifully as ever. The setlist was a perfect combination of material from their four albums, leaving out none of the crowd favourites. 

4. Ben Bridwell's voice.

It's kind of different. Unusual. A bit nasal, frankly. But it's beautiful and emotive. The man has a gift.

I also highly recommend checking out this interview and video on Pure Volume - Bridwell is an interesting guy, and behind all the beard and tattoos is widely known to be one of the happiest and most courteous performers out there. The video following the article is a live, acoustic version of one of my favourite tracks on Mirage Rock (their latest album) "Slow Cruel Hands of Time." Seriously worth watching, especially with the snow-capped Wyoming mountains in the background.

5. Ben Bridwell looks like a Muppet.

He just does. And to me, there is no greater compliment. Who doesn't want to be a Muppet?


* that was a sarcastic "impressively." I have no time for this hirsute trend of bushranger beards and wish it would go away.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sunday Somethings

This is the first Sunday Somethings of 2013, no? I'm simultaneously surprised that we are halfway through January and also that we are ONLY halfway through January, if that makes sense. Christmas and the new year seem so long ago. I guess that's what happens, holidays finish, we go back to work and our routines continue. As a Taurus, I don't really think that's such a bad thing. Routine! Stability! These things make me feel pretty comfortable and I go about my life with lower stress levels if I can count on them.

1. Browsing arts

I would like to purchase some art for my flat sometime this year. As I know very little about art, I feel like this is going to be a purchase that I will spend a fair amount of time researching and planning before I outlay any cash. Not that I'm planning to spend heaps of money or anything, but it will hang in my home so I want it to be a considered purchase. At the moment I'm surprising myself by my own interest in abstract painting. 

Painting by Elizabeth Chapman. Check out her etsy store here and her website here.

2. Shoes

I don't buy shoes unless I have to. Any other kind of clothing I happily purchase on a want not need basis, but shoes are definitely a needs based thing. I just find so many of them ugly and uncomfortable - I'm not into the clompy platform heels that won't seem to go away, and a good pair of flats is hard to find. I'm kind of stealing this from Georgia, but she recently ordered some shoes from The Horse, and I am having shoe jealousy. They are having a sale. Could this be love?

3. The Staves

I just did a quick search, and I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this band on the blog before as there was a few weeks there when was listening to them non stop. They are three sisters from the UK who sing folk music. Their music is gentle and lovely, sometimes just what I need to ease me into the day on my commute to work.


Their album is not yet available on Australian iTunes which is a bit annoying, but they have a few EPs that I highly recommend! 

 4. Stickygram

I recently used Stickygram to order two sheets of magnets with photos from my Instagram feed printed on them. One sheet for me, and the other for Mum as part of her birthday present. It was so quick and easy! At $14.95 a sheet and with free postage I thought it was a pretty good deal as well. The pictures I chose for mum are mostly from her garden - one of my favourite places to photograph!


Friday, 18 January 2013

Missing Children

I've mentioned before that blogging is fun because I get to write about the stuff that I like, with no reason required other than "because I can." If anyone was thinking of arguing with me about this, I will closely follow that with a "you're not the boss of me" and then a "you don't know my life." You've been warned.

One of the things I like about life is the wonderful and talented friends I've been fortunate enough to meet along the journey so far. The sole purpose of this particular post is to introduce you to some of them too.

Today we have the delightful Missing Children. It's been fun watching these guys grow over the last couple of years that I've known them as a band, both literally and figuratively. I mean, they are all adults so no one is getting any taller, but they have certainly grown in number. When my friend joined as cellist a couple of years ago they were an ensemble of three - guitar, vocals and cello - and have since added drums, bass, more guitars to create a more layered, intricate sound. I'm very terrible at accurately pinpointing genres and influences so I'm just going to say have a listen instead. 


You can purchase "Papertrail" on iTunes here and find them on Facebook here to find about upcoming gigs around Sydney. 



Thursday, 17 January 2013

Insert "polka dots" pun here.

No, I didn't forget to write a title for this post. I just couldn't bring myself to call it something like "going dotty for polka dots", so I decided to let your own clever brains think of something better. Good move, am I right?

Anyway. ANYWAY. I like polka dots. I like printed pants. I like that the two have joined forces. I originally fell in love with with them after stumbling across the below picture on Atlantic-Pacific.

Picture courtesy of

I'm still searching for a mustard or yellow pair, so let me know if you find them somewhere! However, I've found some other good options below, that I am tempted to investigate further. And by investigate, I mean purchase. I love the idea of styling them with stripes. I think they key would be to make sure the stripes are really thick, to prevent things looking too busy.

Spots and stripes


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Beauty tips that I actually found helpful. No really.

Every now and then it becomes glaringly apparent to me, that just because someone is employed in a particular occupation doesn't mean that they are any good at it. I'm sure you've all experienced this in some form or another, or maybe you've even been that person? I know I sure have been. I was once told by a restaurant manager that I wasn't "a natural waitress." It was a comment that was probably unfair at the time, given it was my first time waitressing. Thankfully however, I saw the humour in it and never spent any time berating myself for my lack of success in that arena. 

The start of the new year always finds the internet flooded with new-year themed articles from beauty and style writers. I recently clicked on one titled "Top Beauty Tips for 2013." Cool, I thought to myself - I'm stuck in a bit of a makeup rut and maybe this will provide some ideas about new things to try. I was so, so, disappointed. I'm not exaggerating here - some of these "Top Trends" included "wearing sunscreen" and "washing your face." Now, I'm not saying that these aren't good things to do on a daily basis, they absolutely are, but I would tend to categorise these under the heading of "common sense" or maybe "personal hygiene" rather than "top tips."

So, as a lot of us do when we are in a situation like this, I thought to myself "They got paid for that? I can do better than that!" And hopefully I have - here are some tips that I've come across that I have actually found helpful -  I hope you do too.

1. Keep your eyeliner pencil in the freezer.

I know, right? It sounds whack. But it actually makes perfect sense - eyeliner pencils are always soft and smudgy, and sometimes this makes it really hard to draw a precise line. Storing your eyeliner in the freezer will harden the pencil and help you create a look that is sharp and clean - perfect for work, when you're probably not going for the smokey, smudgy look. Probably. I mean, I don't know your life.

2. Do your eye makeup first.

I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to makeup, and never really had anyone show me what to do or how to do it. There were certainly no YouTube tutorials to help me out. I just bought some makeup and off I went. I'm sure this contributed to some odd looks and odd habits over the years. I always, always used to start with foundation and then go from there - I mean, it makes sense semantically - the foundation always goes first. BUT, when you do your eyes first, you can then clean up any smudges or mistakes without the hassle of redoing your foundation. Totally sensical. 

3. All you need to exfoliate is olive oil and sugar.

In the past, I have spent crazy amounts of money on facial scrubs and body scrubs. I've never found a cheap one that actually did the job, and the expensive ones well, they're expensive. When someone told me how easy it was to make your own at home, I was completely won over. All you need is a jar, some olive oil and some raw sugar. I say raw sugar, because white or brown sugar are too soft and you won't get that really scrubby texture that gets rid of the dead skin cells. Added bonus, you can play with the ratio of oil to sugar until you get the texture that you prefer!


Saturday, 5 January 2013

How to Quit Drinking Cola Without Really Trying.

Yeah... I've got no idea... It's time to try though.

I've been drinking too much of the stuff for too long so at Christmas time I was talking about this problem with my family around the dinner table. My aunt and sister have both decided to make a deal with me. If I can quit drinking cola by Valentine's day I 'win a prize'! I believe part of this prize will probably be a small purchase from one of Caroline's and my favourite clothing stores in Sydney, Dragstar. Will that be motivation enough to put the habit behind me? I hope so. It is an expensive and unhealthy habit for sure. There are plenty of other reasons to give it up I know.

The last time I stopped drinking cola was when I was pregnant. It tasted absolutely foul to me so it was no effort to stop it that time around.  Once the morning sickness passed and our little boy was born it tasted normal again and I fell right back into the habit. A refreshing can after struggling to get the baby to sleep seemed good but once you start worrying that you don't have any in the house and you must get to the supermarket as soon as possible you know you have a problem, right?

So here I go. Operation Quit cola 2013.
Wish me luck. 40 days until the deadline.

(And thanks to my family for encouraging me to do this again. Gah! Where's the ibuprofen?)

Number of the Day - 5

Number 5.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Number of the Day - 3

Day 3.



I've mentioned before that I struggle sometimes to come across new music. I don't listen to the radio much, and I tend to rely on friends and family to introduce me to new artists. I stumbled across a cool site recently called Bandcamp, that I feel is going to help me in my quest for new tunes.

In a nutshell, Bandcamp is a site that allows artists to sell their music (and merch too, I believe) directly to their fans. I'm sure if I did some more research I could find plenty of similar music hosting/selling sites around, but I stumbled across this one and I quite like it. And guess what?! I'm going to give you a list of reasons why you should check it out. SURPRISE!

1. Bands can make their music available for free, at a set price (of their choosing), or they can also ask listeners to choose their own price. I was interested to discover that on average when choosing the price, listeners chose to pay 50% more than the minimum suggested by the artist.

2. You can search within genre, latest releases or artist favourites. One of the things that I find difficult about finding new music is that it's really overwhelming. There is SO much out there, that it's really hard to know where to start. If you want to listen to a track it just plays within the search window, and you can keep browsing within your search parameters (for example, new release hip-hop) and the track will keep playing.

3. Links open in a new tab (or page, depending on your browser preferences). For example, when I'm on the "discover" page just having a browse and searching by genre, if I'm listening to a particular track and I decide I want to go to that artist's dedicated page, the page will open up in a new tab and the track I'm listening to doesn't get interrupted.

4. When you purchase a song you can generally choose from about 8 or 9 different formats. Choices to sooth a music techies soul.

5. It's just easy. And fun. There are heaps of artists on here that are new and making their music available for free, and it's so nice to be able to support emerging independent music.

One of the bands I came across is called "Ski Lift" and are based in Nashville, I believe. I'm really enjoying their track "Romance" which you can download for free here.

I'm also digging "Crown Plaza" - it's tagged as electronic pop/dream pop/indie pop, which gives you a pretty clear idea of what you're in for. Fits right in with my dream to live inside the soundtrack to a Sofia Coppola film. Check them out here.

It's worth watching the little video Bandcamp has on the home page, explaining what the site is all about. For some reason I usually never bother doing things like that. It's like how I never read instruction manuals. But the video was extremely informative. There's probably a lesson in that. Somewhere.