9 December 2013, 13:55
It may be December, but until we pop those bottles and go to sleep covered in confetti, the year is most definitely not over! While it’s tempting to spend the rest of the month in a kind of doped-up holiday haze, you could make this the best week ever. Wanna know how? Read on…
Don’t lose sight of your major goal
It’s all too easy to get swept up in your to do list, and forget to devote time to the things that you really want to achieve. What’s your BIG goal for the next twelve months? Do you want to write a play, travel to France, buy an apartment, start your own business? Take some time to think about that today, and then make that goal the first thing you work on every morning.
Even if your deadline is next October, just think how far ahead you could get on it if you really buckled down this month! There are still 22 days left in December! Also, if you’re competitive, remember that most of your adversaries are going to be in a cookie coma all month. Go get it!
Stop checking your email all the time!
Seriously, nothing is really happening over there in Inbox land. See if you can scale down to checking it three times a day (I know!!!). I promise you’ll get so much more done.
Go on a date
It’s not all work and no play, you know. In fact, it’s essential to have fun in order for us to continue being happy, creative beings. There are so many amazing and unusual events happening, so many wonderful restaurants, so many strange classes to take, that it’s a waste to just stay in your bedroom all the time.
So, wrangle your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband into going somewhere different with you this week. Dress up. Make it a special occasion! And if you have no romantic partner in your life, either take your BFF or go by yourself.
Do little things to glam up your life and your space
Change the wallpaper on your computer and your phone. Buy some fresh flowers and place them on your desk. Light candles and burn incense, and use essential oils to scent your home. When you feel really good about your home, you will be more inspired to get things done and it will all happen more easily.
Think about what you could start delegating
Look, we all have enormous amounts of stuff on our so-called plates, and the truth is that you will never get it all done. There are only so many hours in a day, babe. It’s okay, though. You can still get plenty done, you’re just going to have to outsource some of it.
Do you really want to sit in the laundromat for two hours, or would you rather be working on your novel? Is it necessary to stand in line at the supermarket, or could you have your food delivered? Streamline your life. You’ll feel better for it.
Organise your wardrobe for the season!
If it’s below freezing outside, your floaty summer dresses aren’t going to do you any good… And if you’re in Australia, it’s probably long past coat weather. Shuffle everything around in your closet so that the things you’re actually going to be wearing for the next few months are at the front.
Another great side effect of closet reorganisation is that you’ll be able to look at all your clothes and start to put together outfits in your head. I’d also recommend going through your wardrobe and moving anything that doesn’t fit to the back. You can decide what to do with them later, but for now, just avoid them. There’s nothing worse than wearing too-tight clothes!
Buy a gift for someone else
...And not out of lame holiday obligation, but because you really want to. Make or get something that is really meaningful, something that you think they will truly get a kick out of.
By the way, this doesn’t mean you need to buy them something excruciatingly expensive or over-the-top. Sometimes a book of poetry with a beautiful inscription is the best gift you can give.
Go and see that friend you always say you’ll make plans with!
You know the one… The one you see sometimes and you say to each other, “Let’s get coffee!”, but yet, it never happens.
This week, you could reverse that trend. Invite them to go ice-skating or get a hot chocolate with you. Who wouldn’t want to do that?! I bet that if you spent some concentrated time together, you’d realise how much you have in common, and it could be the start of a real, true friendship.
Try the 5×5 trick
Don’t know what it is? James Altucher will tell you.
Speak to someone about what is challenging you right now
The simple act of getting it out of your head and through your lips will help to take some of the burden out of it, and having a dialogue about it with a friend or someone you trust will assist you in seeing it from an entirely new perspective.
None of us are expected to struggle on alone. And who knows? The person you talk to might just suggest the perfect tactic, mind trick, healer or book to break you out of your rut and get you through it.
Schedule in some time to relax
This might sound antithetical, but it actually makes perfect sense. If you don’t schedule it in, it will probably never happen.
So make a date, put it in your calendar, and pay up front if possible (this makes it even more likely that you’ll do it). Spend some time in a sauna or a spa, get a massage, cue up some guided meditations (I love the ones they have on Yogaglo), or go to a yoga class. Yesterday, I took a two-hour restorative yoga class which — in addition to giving me a really good stretch — revitalised and refreshed me in a way that slumping in front of the television just could not.
What are you waiting for?! Go out and make this your best week ever!
6 December 2013, 11:55
After arriving in Brisbane and spending a lazy day getting facials and massages, we hit the hay early in preparation for our whirlwind week.
Then, of course, we got stuck right into the adventures. First stop: Dreamworld!
Now, Dreamworld is not your average theme-park. In addition to rides and rollercoasters, they have a tarot card reader too. Of course, I took advantage of that, and imagine my surprise when she gave me an incredible reading! But that’s not all. Dreamworld also offers Wildlife Experiences!
Our first clue that Dreamworld was different was when we came face-to-face with a swarm of kangaroos, who were just lying around, chillin’. They were so tame that we were able to approach them and pet their cute fuzzy little bodies!
Mostly though, they were interested in getting fed… Like all animals!
There were a lot of creatures around us, and plenty to do. Sure, we could have gone on a morning stroll with a tiger, fed a crocodile or experienced a sunset safari… But that wasn’t in the cards. Instead, we got up close and personal — and had an extreme cuddlefest — with a koala!
Oh my GOODNESS. This is Brandy. She’s very snuggly… And falls asleep as soon as she settles on your shoulder.
I thought my moment with Brandy was pretty incredible, but I’ve got nothin’ on Shauna, who fell completely in love. Look at her, being all maternal! She was still making excuses to bring Brandy up in conversation weeks later. We almost had to stage an intervention!
Geeeeeeez. Look at that face!
I hope you enjoyed this Moment Of Cute™! If you’re procrastinating today, hop on over to Facebook and tell me about your favourite animal encounter!
5 December 2013, 12:08
There’s fog outside my window, a cup of hot cocoa on my desk, and I’m wearing a pink plaid shirt. Clearly, December is here in full force! That being said, here are a few things that have been making me smile, think, and laugh over the month of November.
On Wednesday morning, Rachel Rabbit White and I woke up at the crack of dawn to see — and also participate in — Yayoi Kusama’s latest show in New York City. I have loved Yayoi for ages, and her show at David Zwirner gallery is lovely.
There is also a pretty substantial wait to get in. The gallery opens at 10am. Rachel and I were there at 9.20am on a Wednesday and it was still an hour before we able to walk into the infinity mirrored room (aka, the #selfie room). I’ve heard that the wait ranges from 1-3 hours during the weekend, so if you’d like to check it out, get there early, and go sooner rather than later!
I’ve been playing with a couple of new beauty items this past month. The first is Essio’s aromatherapy diffuser for the shower! It’s quite brilliant: a plastic arm that clips onto your shower-head, with a little aromatherapy pod dangling off the end. You tilt the arm down into the stream of water and voilà, aromatherapy shower! Essio sent me the starter kit, which has three aromatherapy pods: Clear, Passion and Unwind. As soon as I came back from Australia, I attached the Unwind pod to my shower and stood there, letting the citrus and spice (literally!) wash all my cares away. And for a romantic shower for two (wink wink nudge nudge) or even one (!), the Passion pod is perfection. One caveat, though: if you tinker with the pods, don’t touch your face! Undiluted essential oil on your skin is bad news, it will sting and burn! Don’t go there girlfriend!
When I was at Made Beauty Space in Melbourne, I had my first delicious encounter with Sodashi. I snapped up a bottle of serum to use at night — I was all out of Tarte Maracuja Oil — and I’m obsessed with it. The oil is light enough that it’s not breaking me out at all (which I think the Maracuja Oil was slightly). I wear it over the top of Lancôme DreamTone which I’m loving for fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation. LOVE Sodashi. I can’t wait to head back to Made in November and stock up!
Our apartment, in winter, is unbelievably warm. Our silver radiators kick on and hiss and splutter, filling our two-bedroom home with coziness. This is wonderful, especially when it’s freezing cold outside, but when you start to feel your internal organs withering up and drying out from excessive heat, you know something has to change. We have become obsessed with humidifiers — little machines that disperse water into the air as a fine mist — and I just bought a new one for our bedroom, which I am psyched about.
The Miu Color Ultrasonic Humidifier is fantastic for a few reasons. It’s small, it’s quiet, it changes colour (yes!), and it diffuses aroma, too… So, if you want to drift off to sleep, put a couple of drops of lavender oil in there. If you want to perk up and stay focussed on a task, some lemon or peppermint oil will do the trick. (You get the idea.)
To go along with it, I bought 6 bottles of essential oil blends, Synergy Blends. In the pack are oils for romance, stress relief, purification, relaxation, hope and alertness. Fabulous!
While aimlessly wandering around Melbourne airport, I decided to cure my boredom by purchasing a couple of books. (How very old-fashioned!) Back in June, I saw The Bling Ring at a media preview, and was so intrigued that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, in some ways, it left me with more questions than answers. So when I spotted The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World by Nancy Jo Sales, I hoped it would contain some clues so that I could file this weird pop culture moment away in a way that made sense to me. Well, I devoured the book in a two-hour plane ride from Melbourne to Brisbane, and yes, I’m still thinking about it. The book is gripping, bizarre, and kind of sick all at the same time. If you’re interested/horrified by pop culture, you will love this.
The second book I picked up at the airport was Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace by Scott Thorsten, Liberace’s ex-lover. Again, I had seen the movie before I had read the book, and it has changed the way I read the book a little bit, but it also adds some depth that Scott isn’t quite capable of conveying. (Sorry, Scott.) I love its glamour, weirdness and kitsch. Liberace was pretty incredible!
Everything I Know is Paul Jarvis’ book, and we all know by now how much I love Paul Jarvis! His book is wonderful: a sleek little tome ruminating on fear, adventure, risk-taking and business. We give a copy of his earlier book, Be Awesome At Online Business, to every single blogcadette, and they rave about it. Everything I Know is no different. Paul is the shit. End of story!
Coreyography: A Memoir arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday evening, and I could barely rip my eyes from the pages. It’s Corey Feldman’s autobiography, told chronologically through his movies, with Corey Haim as a common thread. It covers strange territory — abusive childhoods, drugs, paedophilia, fame, and Michael Jackson — and I’ve been reading it in a kind of trance. Literary genius it is not, but for a quick, easy read (and a lot of eye-popping honesty), it is excellent. If you’re at a loose end as the days get shorter and the temperatures dip, curl on the couch with Corey!
I also ordered If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, which has rave reviews. Looking forward to cracking into that one next!
I have been all about Louis Theroux recently. I don’t even remember how I found his documentaries, but before I knew it, I was watching them in quick succession: meth, paedophiles, a brothel, Nazis... Weird, weird stuff. Since then, I’ve roped Mike into the strangeness of it all, and we’ve watched his documentaries on swingers, demolition derby, survivalists, and enlightenment (spiritual seekers in India). Fascinating! I can’t get enough, and I think you’d love them too.
It’s been a long time since we went to the movies: very little captures my imagination these days. But I must admit I’m dying to see The Punk Singer. It’s a biopic of my teenage heroine, Kathleen Hanna… And I was super-excited to see that it’s available to watch on Amazon! It’s definitely on my list for this week. (Check out the trailer below!)
When I came back from Australia, it was a pretty rude awakening to realise that I was going to have to layer up in order to not freeze to death. After putting it off and putting it off and putting it off, I finally bit the bullet one chilly evening, and headed into the Gap.
I picked up a bunch of things that are totally not my normal style — cowlneck sweaters in navy blue, this shirt with birds on it that I cannot stop wearing, flannel shirts (I KNOW), cable-knit sweaters — and honestly, I’m loving it. It’s great to have these simple foundation pieces to pair with my wacky skirts, loud jewellery, knit hats with ears on, etc. Sometimes you can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places!
I also made a point of stocking up (pun intended) on black fleece-lined tights, as is my winter tradition. I love them because they look like normal black opaque stockings, but secretly on the inside, they’re all fleecey and lovely! They will keep you warm as toast. Go get ‘em!
Here are some of my favourite posts from the last month, just in case you missed ‘em!
Feeling Uninspired? Here Are 5 Documentaries To Fire You Up!
On Starting Your Own Business, And Being A Productivity Unicorn
I Went To A Séance In Brooklyn…
Surf On, Sister! Hanging Ten In Surfer’s Paradise
Bad Girl Essentials: False Eyelashes, Leather Pants, And A Motorcycle
Being Judged On Television: Why Can’t I Tear My Eyes Away?
And if you missed it last year, check out Your December Activity Guide!
2 December 2013, 11:12
When Yvette (pictured on the right) first emailed to ask if I’d consider bringing a bit of radical self love to Australia, I was really excited… But I said no. I didn’t have any plans to visit Australia in 2013, and couldn’t quite justify the very very long flight for one night.
In a magical twist, a couple of months later, Tourism Queensland got in touch with The Blogcademy, and told us they’d like to bring us over for a very special trip. I immediately emailed Yvette to let her know that our plans had changed! We started planning, plotting, scheming… To say that I was excited was a massive understatement.
So with our week of fun with Tourism and Events Queensland fading into the distance, Kat, Shauna and I flew back from Cairns, and checked into a hotel in Brisbane. I zipped up my insane irridescent scuba dress by Cynthia Rowley, stuck a pair of Crown And Glory Liberace ears on my head, powdered my nose, and bounced out to the event.
The venue was filled with flowers, and stocked with herbal tea and raw chocolate. There was even a photobooth. I mean, who could ask for more?!
The event was made up of a panel of women with experience in overcoming self-loathing, and it was such a great group. I had never met any of the babes beforehand, but I felt immediately welcome and so happy! Melissa Ambrosini glowed, Julie Parker radiated (and did such an excellent job as our Mistress of Ceremonies), and Rachel MacDonald sparkled in her chair.
There was a massive section of presubmitted questions, ranging among topics such as self love, sisterhood and soulpreneurship, which we answered on the fly, and after that we took live Q&A from the audience.
But that wasn’t anywhere near the end of the night: next up on the menu was a rocking dance party courtesy of Susanna Frioni! (Even better: Marilyn Manson was played! Life highlight!)
We talked, we laughed, we danced, we got sweaty. It was fabulous! Kat and I left the party feeling high as kites.
One of my greatest sources of happiness this year has been getting out from behind the computer and actually meeting the people who I’m writing for every day. Writing is a very solitary activity, and sometimes it’s difficult to see Facebook likes as anything but numbers on a screen. It has been incredible and humbling to meet so many of my readers who have been following my journey for such a long time. They (you!) bring me such enormous bliss.
If you wished you could have come along, well, I’m right there with you! I wish you could have been there, too; we had such a great time. But there’s good news: the recording of the entire evening has been made available, so you can listen along!
The dream team: Susana Frioni, Julie Parker, Melissa Ambrosini, Yvette Luciano, me, and Rachel MacDonald.
If you came along, thank you so much. It was amazing to share the evening with you. If you’re in Australia, check out Earth Events: they throw great parties like this all the time, and it’s a wonderful way to meet women who are on the same path as you.
Man, what fun we had. I’m looking forward to doing more events just like it!
Photobooth and group shot courtesy of Earth Events, the other 3 photos are by Janneke Storm.
29 November 2013, 11:02
Yankees, I hope you had a lovely turkey day. Ours was lovely, and now we’re taking a few days off to rest and recalibrate. Perfection!
Here’s your Carousel for the month of November. It should be the perfect distraction, especially if you’re trapped with your family, and at a bit of a loose end!
Starbucks is cashing in on the tea craze and opening Teavana stores all over the damn place. Would you go there? I’ll definitely be checking it out…
Here’s why it’s smart to court your friends. (I totally do this.)
Being asked to write for free is offensive. This piece from the New York Times is brilliant.
Erica emailed this one through to me: 61 quotes that will make you feel beautiful, no matter how you look. Fabulous!
Rachel interviewed me about how I do it. I had the privilege of meeting her in Australia, and she is such a fantastic woman! Her blog is an excellent read, so bookmark that ish!
Oh man. Chinese Students Hilariously Describe What They Think About Regional American Food. “Why eat that? That is not good.”
I thought this analysis of Rihanna’s Pour It Up video was really interesting, and especially the comparisons between RiRi and Nicki.
Saying goodbye at parties is awkward. I never say goodbye to everyone, just the people I actually had a conversation with. I have felt a little guilty about this in the past, but this article on ghosting has eased my conscience a little.
Millennials already have the lifestyle that baby boomers are still working towards. Ding ding ding!
Oh, Lorde. Here’s what she can teach her pop peers. It must be tricky to grow up in public, though. I don’t envy the pressure!
Have you checked out Lulu, the boyfriend-ranking app? Hmmm…
Are anorexia memoirs more like how-to manuals?
So engrossed in this thread: groupies tell their favourite stories. I actually ended up reading segments of this this aloud to Shauna when we were waiting at Brisbane airport… It’s pretty amazing.
On Labelling Women ‘Crazy’. Otherwise known as, stop that.
Trying to one-up someone else’s pain never works… And doesn’t make you feel better, either!
Wow! These bad engagement photos are very special indeed.
Black Friday is a pretty gross phenomenon. Seth Godin knows what’s up. “People like doing what other people are doing. People don’t like being left out. The media likes both.” His quick questions on marketing are great, too.
I loved Kat’s 50 pieces of advice for a happy marriage.
The Addams Family’s living room is pink! How wonderful is that?!
Garance Dore writes about things New Yorkers do. (Guilty as charged.)
Here’s some excellent writing advice from Walter Benjamin.
Nervous about slithering into a swimsuit? Never fear, read this instead: Baring My Bikini Body.
What has been important and revelatory to me is the fact that I’ve actually had a bikini body all along, because I had a body and I could put a bikini on it. I spent so many years hating my body, and thinking that my life would change when I was thin instead of actually going ahead and doing what I wanted to do.
This American Horror Story: Coven drinking game made me laugh!
Here are 17 things to do today that will make you proud of yourself in a year. I like it.
Yelling at kids is as harmful as spanking them. No huge surprise there. I would go so far as to say that yelling at other people, regardless of age, can be as damaging as physical abuse, too.
Hate labelling yourself? Tough luck. (And some good tips.)
Sarah Wilson was interviewed by Srinivas from Blogcast FM… And of course, it’s awesome.
This is how they painted Bond’s golden girl.
Here are the 13 things mentally strong people avoid.
It’s cold. I love cashmere. But there’s a difference between a $75 knit and a $225 one… Learn all about it!
An abandoned railway station in Russia. Gorgeous!
The Lunatic Asylum at Morristown, before and after.
Would you shop at this grocery store full of taxidermy?
A 13th century church filled with dirt and flowers…
Kiriko sent me the radical politics of selfies.
There was a time I thought that selfies were obnoxious and that the people who over used them were narcasisstic and ridiculous. Upon further examination, I realized that I was projecting my stuff unto others. My struggle to accept myself was clouding my vision therefore, when I saw others who were unabashed and deliberate with their self-love and acceptance it made me uncomfortable. The fact that people who are maligned, marginalized, and strategically erased find the courage to make the deliberate choice of seeing themselves as beautiful, is both astonishing and miraculous.
Sick of using the same ol’ words? Here are 56 delightful Victorian slang terms you should be using.
I might have linked this one before, but it’s worth linking again, just in case. 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer.
Should you give homeless people money? Ask a native New Yorker all about it.
Men who try to “explain” rap to women are a pain in the ass.
I love polo necks. I wore a chunky turtleneck sweater from Zara all winter last year, so I’m thrilled that they are making a comeback, and thus I will have more options to choose from.
Sick of making the same old face in every selfie? Try these new techniques.
Sophia Bush on 5 qualities of self-wealth. Are you rocking all of them?
An animation of Hannah’s outfits from Girls.
Air travel could really be so much better.
These are some of the most clever hip-hop one-liners.
Apparently 47% of UK parent-bloggers are being asked not to disclose that their posts were paid!
Eminem talks about fame and creativity with Zane Lowe (best music journalist ever).
This Mouseketeer — who used to be a prominent Pagan — has converted to Christianity.
Them thighs though: Badass babe Elisabeth Akinwale on the “thigh gap” phenomenon.
I loved this story about Jenny helping out her super during Hurricane Sandy.
Tim Ferriss — of 4 Hour fame — has a new television show, and it’s available to watch for free. I really enjoyed it!
Learn all about the evolution of bitchiness.
Some advice if you’re in a really dark place.
I might have posted this before but it always makes me tear up.
Here’s how to stay in love if you’re on a weight-loss journey.
Have a wonderful weekend!