Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the real world

"What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world. We get in the habit of thinking, this is the world, but that's not true at all. The real world is a much darker and deeper place than this, and much of it is occupied by jellyfish and things."
— Haruki Murakami
(Picture via Bruna Marchioro)

every morning I wind my own spring

I am not a Morning Person. I have deduced that there are two main reasons for this. One, I tend to stay up very late. I don’t have a good excuse for that. I’m not a shift worker or an insomniac. I just get preoccupied by a lot of fairly useless things, like watching Go Girls on Foxtel IQ or cutting out pretty pictures from magazines. So there’s that, coupled with the fact that don't like waking up. Not because I'm depressed or detest my job or anything like that. I just love sleeping. The warmth of my bed, the sweetness of my dreams and the cuddliness of my boyfriend all coalesce to dissuade me from getting out of bed at a reasonable hour.

I have done my research. There are all sorts of benefits to being a Morning Person. According to various sources, I’ll be more productive, energetic and bright-eyed, not to mention that I’ll lose weight and my skin will be more radiant. In summary, I’ll be happier, as well as a more successful, aesthetically pleasing person. There are also many proven methods available that I can use to transform myself into a Morning Person. Obviously, going to bed earlier and having a deep sleep are very important and tai chi, avoiding caffeine, lavender candles, Eckhart Tolle and bananas are supposed to help with those.

But I have a better idea, one that suits me a little better than St Mary’s Thistle and early morning walks. It came to me on the morning of my 21st birthday party. For the first time in weeks, maybe months, I woke up early, of my own accord. My eyes flew open and I got out of bed immediately, quickly dressed and started doing things. No multiple iPhone alarms, snuggling my boyfriend, turning on The Today Show. (Isn’t Lisa Wilkinson divine?) No, I just woke up and got out of bed. Why? Because I was excited. I was seeing the people I love. I was proud of the party I had organised for them. I had a lovely outfit to wear. I had things that I needed to get done. If only I could be so passionate about facing each and every day, I wouldn't have to worry about alarm clocks and Tryptophan-enriched foods. It would just come naturally. So there existed my new aspiration: to make my days so exciting and fulfilling that I woke up easily and bounced out of bed every morning.

I tried that for a few weeks. You know, writing lists and making plans to fill my days with fun and laughter, trying to build anticipation and excite a passion that would miraculously trigger my eyes to fly open at the break of dawn. But the truth is that, no matter how hard we try, our days will be varied. Some will be overwhelmingly awful or mind-numbingly boring, and others will be exhilarating or just plain lovely. The majority will be a combination of all of these. Coming to this realisation helped me to acknowledge that it’s not so much my life that has to change, as much as my mindset: above all, my subconscious needs to acknowledge that this wonderful world we live in has so much more to offer than the comfortable little cocoon that engulfs me every morning. I guess what it comes down to, ultimately, is the dichotomy between what we want to do versus what we think we should be doing. And the lesson is to reconcile those two little voices in our heads so that they are one and the same, whispering exactly the same thing, each and every morning: wake up and face the day.

"Just as you take care of the birds and the fields every morning, every morning I wind my own spring. I give it some thirty-six good twists by the time I've gotten up, brushed my teeth, shaved, eaten breakfast, changed my clothes, left the dorm, and arrived at the university. I tell myself, Ok, let's make this day another good one."
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)

(Don't you love how he describes priming yourself for the day as to "wind my own spring"?)


I am a self-confessed snob when it comes to beauty products. I attribute it to my job in luxury cosmetics - if I didn't believe that expensive products give you better results, then would be incredibly hard to convince my customers to buy them (although I often find myself telling my cash-strapped customers to "just take the serum and scrub - buy a Cetaphil cleanser and Nivea sunscreen at Priceline then come back when you have some more money").

And so when I found myself falling in love with a lipgloss that I bought for only $12, I consider it my duty to pass this gem onto others. It is the Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipgloss in Lambada. It looks something like this when applied:

... but even more importantly, it tastes delicious.

Monday, May 17, 2010

lay me down, by your side

This is Glen Hansard, the male lead in the incredible film Once, a modern-day musical set in Dublin, about a busker and an immigrant who fall in love whilst writing songs and singing together.

I would be remiss if I didn't also alert you to this beautiful, Oscar-winning song from the film, Falling Slowly (the clips reveal some parts of the film, so you may just want to listen if you think that you'd like to see it).

Once made me feel strangely grateful for not being naturally talented at anything (I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for me, honestly, it's something I accepted a long time ago!) I think that extraordinary talent can be as much of a hindrance as a blessing. How could these characters devote themselves to anything but music? Yet, they had virtually nothing.

This is one of my favourite films ♥ Please watch it, on a rainy day. With chocolate.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

winter basics

Winter is fast approaching Perth and I am determined to keep things simple. As I did over summer, I am trying to embrace the (perhaps stereotypical) French ethos of only purchasing a few key pieces each season. On a recent trip to Melbourne, I bought a gorgeous fitted jacket, ballet flats and metallic heels. In Autumn, I bought a few silk Morrison dresses that will easily translate into winter. That's all I really need, apart from a few extra accessories to jazz up my outfits.

So, to give you an idea (if you're interested), here are my winter basics.

An Ode to No One tailored black velvet jacket

I bought this at Fat, in Melbourne GPO. An Ode to No One is an Australian Sydney-based label, and I truly believe that Australia has the best modern, young, (mostly) affordable fashion in the world. Fat is the first store I walked into, and this is the first jacket I picked up and tried on. I fell in love with it immediately and avoided all jackets for the rest of the trip.

Morrison "Leticia" black draped silk dress

Morrison is a local Perth label. The fabrics are beautiful and the pieces drape perfectly. I have this dress in black and elephant (a grey colour), and they translate to all occasions and seasons. Plus they have pockets!

2 Baia Vista black leather ballet pumps

These are actually French Sole, but mine are almost identical, and so comfortable! I bought them from Zomp.

Chloe Heloise blue leather handbag

Mine is a lighter blue colour, but the same style (similar to the nail polish below). I snatched it up in the Paris sales over Christmas.

Romantic Scarlett Johanssen-esque hair and makeup

Love the soft waves, strong brows and flawless skin.

To achieve her gorgeous makeup look, I will probably use Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Foundation, By Terry Touch Expert Concealer, Nars Cream Blush in Enchanted, Nars Eyeshadows in Ashes to Ashes (eyelid) and Bali (brows), Nars Lipstick in Cruising and Nars Lipgloss in Chihuahua or Belize. I have also become addicted to touching up with the luxuriously gold-flecked Tatcha hand-made blotting papers.

Things to Buy

Leopard print scarf

Yes, this is the notorious Stephen Sprouse for Louis Vuitton silk-cashmere scarf. I came across it in Paris and I am still kicking myself for not buying it there. The rationale was "surely, I can find something exactly the same for a fraction of the price". No, actually, I couldn't! Not even in Melbourne when I visited a few weeks ago, looking absolutely everywhere for a leopard scarf. I may have to save my pennies and buy this online.

Jennifer Behr rose headband

So pretty and romantic. I was inspired by my blog crush, Sara of Harper and Harley.

Chanel Nouvelle Vague nail polish

This may clash a little with my handbag but it is so gorgeous. See Temptalia for swatches.

That's all! I hope this has inspired your winter wardrobe in some small way. xx

(Pictures via An Ode to No One, Morrison, Primped, Beloved and This is Naive)

favourite tweeters

I love twitter. Not everybody does, mostly people who don't use it or understand it. They tend to be people like my parents, who can't comprehend social networking at all, or Facebook afficionados, who think twitter is "lame". I'm not sure how you can get much lamer than Facebook, but that is debatable.

I love twitter for several reasons:

1. It keeps me up-to-date. I check twitter and immediately I know what people are talking about - politics, music, fashion, feminism, celebrity scandals, tv shows, my friends' love lives. Granted, not all of these are relevant nor essential to my life. But I like being instantaneously in-the-know.

2. It's a form of sharing thoughts and ideas. I like it. It makes me think. Some of those thoughts are trivial, others are inspiring. It's fun, and makes me feel connected to the world-at-large. A world of my own creation. Which brings me to my next point...

3. It's not Facebook. I estranged myself from Facebook for a couple of years, and I recently returned - my only motivation being to avoid missing this year's multitude of 21st birthday parties (nobody calls or sends invitations in the mail anymore)! So unless I check Facebook, I miss important things. But I don't like it. It's shallow and narcissistic. It is bad enough running into people I went to school with at the local supermarket, let alone having to read about their lives and see their drunken pictures everyday on my "newsfeed". There is an innate pressure to accept friend requests from everybody you know, from classmates in pre-school to someone you met at the pub last weekend, because you don't want to be so rude as to outright reject somebody's "friendship". But twitter is different. It's not about amassing friends and "likes" under your status updates. Well, not for me, anyway. I follow some friends, some comedians, some journalists, some celebrities. If they are uninteresting, nasty or vain, I unfollow them. It's not brutal, like "blocking" on Facebook. It's passive. Similarly with following. I follow people, some people follow me. It's not mutual. There is no pressure to reciprocate, or to continue following each other forever. You can keep your twitter circle as small as you like, and nobody judges you or feels betrayed (unless, maybe, you unfollow your whiny best friend!)

Anyway, that is why I adore twitter. And here are a few of my favourite tweeters. I highly recommend that you follow them - if it suits you.

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton is a writer who imparts pearls of wisdom via twitter everyday.

The news so powerfully suggests 'what matters', it takes a while to realise 'but this drama is not my life' and switch off.

It would surely be almost impossible not to be very nice to everyone if one were mysteriously absolved of any interest in status or sex.

Chas Licciardello

Chas (of The Chaser fame) is probably my single favourite tweeter because he has the best repertiore of links - always funny, informative and interesting.

How the world narrowly avoided environmental disaster 60 years ago through dumb luck

Funniest thing you'll read today -> Failed Attempts at Sexy Album Covers (via @scrivenersfancy)

Leigh Sales @leighsales

Leigh is the anchor for Lateline on ABC. She keeps me up-to-date with quality political analysis, plus she has a great sense of humour.

End your Friday night with a bit of Alec Baldwin/Jack Donaghy brilliance from 30 Rock

Jack the Insider's blog is my pick of the political analysis today - interesting take & well written

Josh Thomas @joshthomas87

Josh is my favourite comedian, next to Tim Minchin. I have been to quite a few comedy shows (Josh, Tim, Arj Barker, Carl Baron, Wil Anderson, etc) and his time:laugh ratio was the highest - and that was just his first show. Definitely one to watch!

After my spot tonight someone yelled 'fuck I hate faggots.' I'm pretty sure he is allowed to vote. #democracyhasitsflaws

a few people have commented on my large hips tonight. I have a pear shaped body. That is not really normal (or OK) for a man.

Tom and Lorenzo @tomandlorenzo

You will love "TLo" if you love Glee, Project Runway, Mad Men and scrutinising red carpet outfits. They are hilarious and, more importantly, thoughtful and intelligent.

Our #glee post is up! "Last week I joined a black church."

Launching "Mad Style," a look at the fashions of #madmen. First up: Bobbie Barrett.

Sarah Wilson @_sarahwilson_

Sarah is my favourite blogger. Everything she writes is fresh and insightful.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

my challenging cup of tea with Edward do Bono (!)

Frankie Magazine @frankieMagazine

The twitter account of my all-time favourite magazine. Their lovely tweets often involve cupcakes and tea.

So that's that. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I love this :)

I hope it gives Generation X and the Baby Boomers (at least those who see it) some faith that Generation Y can be intelligent and contemplative. We're not so bad.

I think that the constant portrayal of Generation Y as shallow and selfish is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it's nice to see somebody break the mould.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I thought I'd share some gorgeously unadorned pictures of Paris that I found on tumblr. Paris' beauty is inherent - it doesn't need flattering lighting or focus to show it off.

Monday, May 3, 2010

haruki murakami

Okay so I have become obsessed with Japanese author Haruki Murakami. His way with words is just incomparable. He can articulate things that I can only feel, and so beautifully.

As a result, you will most likely find a lot more of his quotes on this blog. Starting with —

"Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart. [On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning ]"
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes: Stories)