25 November 2013, 12:32
If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you’re probably well-accustomed to hearing me bang on about the wonders of a pair of leather pants in winter. They really are the best thing to wear when it’s cold outside. Such coziness!
But of course, finding the perfect pair is an adventure in and of itself.
Once upon a time, I bought a pair of leather pants from Victoria’s Secret which I adored, until an energetic leap out of a cab caused the crotch to rip wide open. (Thankfully I was wearing a long sweater over the top!) There was a pair of leather pants from Ted Baker that I loved, but they never really fit me — in the words of Ace Ventura — “hhhhhlike a glove!”. Leather pants should fit you like a second skin. (I was not looking for leather sweatpants, à la Kanye.) I was still on the quest.
So, when I stumbled across DL 1961’s Hazel Triumph leather pants, I was all a-swoon. Buttery-soft leather? Check. Gold zipper detail? Check. Excellent name that corresponds to my husband’s motorcycle? CHA-YECK!
It only made sense, then, to wear them while posing alongside Mike’s 1969 Triumph. Meow!
A match made in heaven!
I can barely peel myself out of them, really. They are beyond comfortable, effortlessly stylish, and go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe. Over the weekend, I wore them with a T by Alexander Wang grey sweater, my hot pink alpaca coat (infatuated!), and Dr Marten Darcie boots (which they have since stopped making, boo).
Outfit credits: Forever 21 sent me this striped beanie, and I’ve barely taken it off. (It’s from the Mickey Mouse collection!) My shirt is from BCBG Max Azria (I found it at Buffalo Exchange, my secret weapon for reviving my wardrobe). The pants are c/o DL 1961, and the style is the Hazel Triumph. My shoes are by Alexander McQueen, and they were an incredible gift from my friend Ruby. (I would never actually wear them on a motorcycle, though…) My wicked pink metal-flake helmet was a wedding gift from the owner of Biltwell.
The possibilities are endless! Imagine these pants with an oversized chunky turtleneck sweater, a leopard-print coat, or a hot pink button-up cardigan…
There’s a reason why I continue to insist that leather pants are perfect winter attire. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to slip into a pair and tell me they don’t make you feel like Joan Jett!
I love rock ‘n’ roll,
P.S. DL 1961 are offering a 30% discount off any purchase on their site between the 3rd and 13th of December, with the code Blog15!
Photos by Lydia Hudgens.
22 November 2013, 11:11
When I travel, my style is much less landmarks and sight-seeing, and much more about a couple of really special experiences. While we were in Melbourne for eight days in total, we taught on four of them, and travelled on the other four. When we finally did have a day available, I scheduled Kat and me in for a facial at Made Beauty Space.
Even though the torrential rain made us want to stay inside, we ventured outside to hail a cab, and 15 minutes later, we were in Hawthorn, walking into Made. Made’s signature treatment, the Thermal Infusing Facial, had come highly recommended by Zoë Foster Blake, a babe whose beauty advice I trust implicitly.
I was so ready.
We were delighted to enter the spa and immediately feel comfortable and relaxed. There’s no frou-frou bullshit here: Made is a thoroughly modern day spa, for the kind of woman who appreciates good design and will probably die if she sees a tissue-box covered in frilly apricot satin.
Before long, I was being beckoned into a treatment room, all white and black, very modern-yet-rustic chic. I undressed and slithered beneath the covers, ready for some thermal infusing.
Coined nature’s face-lift, the Sodashi 90 minute Thermal Infusing facial provides an intensive boost of vitamins and minerals to the skin. Tailored to your skin’s needs, this indulgent facial will provide intensive nourishment, leaving your skin hydrated, toned and supple.
An intensive boost of vitamins and minerals was exactly what I needed after almost four weeks of non-stop travel.
I have to say, if you go to Made, I cannot recommend the Thermal Infusing Facial enough. The treatment began with hot washcloths on my feet. Words cannot describe how good this was. The whole thing was an exquisite experience from top to bottom, and I was never just left alone, lying there, wondering what was going to happen next.
Stacey, my aesthetician — who also happens to be the owner — was in constant contact with my body. There was always something going on: facial massage, foot massage, or some kind of pressure-point work. I am practically dribbling just thinking about it!
After cleansing, plenty of massage and a light fruit peel, I was treated to the thermal mask for which they’re known. My face was covered with strips of fabric, then coated with the thermal mask. It started off cool, then slowly heated up to 37 degrees… All while having my tootsies rubbed. Gosh, it was lovely. She finished up by daubing my face with eye cream, moisturiser, and an SPF sunscreen that smelled like marshmallow!
It was one of the most sublime skincare experiences of my life… And the next day, my skin was beautifully plumped-up and glowing.
Après-spa, Stacey and I got talking. It turns out that she’s from New Zealand too (adding credence to my theory that Kiwis crop up in all the best places!), and after training beauty therapists for years, was horrified at the general lack of enthusiasm or passion.
“Going to beauty school is often recommended for girls who don’t do well academically,” she told me. “And you can teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude or passion. I trained students for five years and I could count on one hand the number I would actually employ. My business partner and I didn’t know of a great place in Melbourne to go for a facial, so we decided to create one.”
And what a good job they’ve done. Made is stocked with fantastic products, like fabulous Australian skincare line Sodashi. (I snapped up a bottle of their Rejuvenating Serum so I can continue to get a dose of the magic in New York City!)
If you do go to Made, tell them I sent you. And leave yourself a bit of time to explore and fossick next door at The Woodsfolk. They have some of the cutest homegoods ever. You will not be disappointed!
I cannot wait to go back when we return to Melbourne next year!
18 November 2013, 11:11
When we received our itinerary from Tourism and Events Queensland, getting a surfing lesson was one of the things that I was surprised to find myself most excited about. I’ve wanted to try my hand at riding the waves for a long time, but it was never at the top of my priority list.
I was a little nervous too, I can’t lie. I’m not the strongest swimmer, and the idea of drowning has never appealed to me all that much. And what if I got bitten by a shark?! The Jaws theme music started to play in the back of my head.
After a few hours at Dreamworld, we hit up Cheyne Horan School of Surf in Surfer’s Paradise, ready to take some photos of us looking glamorous on the sand. Our plans were dashed, however, when we were told to put on rash vests, and immediately thrust into a class with Patrick, a no-nonsense surfer dude who definitely had more faith in our abilities than we did!
We practiced a bit of “board control” on the beach, and after he showed us how to lie on the board and ride a wave into shore, Patrick instructed us to hop into the water and give it a go. The water was a little bit chilly and I felt extremely uncoordinated, but imagine my surprise and delight when I was able to do it on the first try! The rush was incredible, and I quickly spun my board around, and headed back out to try it again.
Soon, Patrick called us all back into shore to show us the right way to stand up on a board. Kat and I exchanged petrified looks, communicating telepathically that this all seemed a bit fast, but I trusted that he knew what he was doing, and followed his guidance. Again, after practicing hopping up on the board a few times on the sand, we toddled back to the water to give it a shot.
The first time I tried it, I wobbled and fell off, swallowing a big mouthful of sea-water. Delicious!
But on my second go, lo and behold, I DID IT!
Kelly Slater’s got nothin’ on me!
As you can tell from the astounded look on my face, I couldn’t believe it! But the thrill was amazing, and I absolutely loved it. I wish our surfing lesson had lasted longer, but I can’t wait to try it again.
14 November 2013, 16:11
Dress is Plenty by Tracy Reese.
7 flights down, 3 to go. New York to LA to Brisbane to Cairns to Melbourne to Auckland to Wellington to Melbourne (and soon to Brisbane to LA to New York). Wow. These last few weeks have been chockablock with more time in the air than ever. I think I have well and truly proven my international playgirl status this month!
It has been such a wonderful and dizzying whirlwind that I can’t believe our trip down under is almost over! Our #babesdownunder tag has been going off, and you can see by looking at it that we’ve been having a grand old time.
Our (very) quick jaunt to Wellington was one of the highlights of this trip for me. The three of us stayed with my parents, who doted on us, brought us cups of tea and carefully-orchestrated snacks, and helped us stage elaborate Instagrams. It’s been two years since I last saw Mama and Papa Darling, and they are two of my favourite people on the whole planet.
On Tuesday, Kat, Shauna and I headed into the city for a spot of shopping. In addition to new dresses for all 3 of us (success!), that night I was able to catch up with several old friends, which was fantastic.
As I put the finishing touches on this post, we’re just about to head to day two of our last Blogcademy for 2013. And I have to say, getting the opportunity to meet 120 blogcadettes over the last couple of weeks has been magnificent. Sitting cross-legged on the floor during lunch yesterday, surrounded by sweet, excitable, positive babes, it couldn’t have been more clear to me that I have found my people.
When I was growing up in New Zealand, I always felt like such a freak, like I would never really meet anyone who truly got me. Thankfully the internet has proven me wrong. The world is absolutely full of people just like you, who love what you love. And, as Brittany said to me yesterday, when you put yourself out there, and when you are unabashedly yourself, you begin to attract those people to you.
J’adore… Corn cob chairs Big, comfortable beds Avocado and tomato on toast for breakfast Neon pink nails Late-night Big W shopping trips Glitter rose crowns Business planning over strawberries and ice-cream Honey, lemon and ginger drinks Actually, ginger everything: ginger beer, ginger ale, ginger chews, ginger crunch… The list goes on. I am a ginger addict! I think NZ/Australia feels the same way about ginger that Americans feel about peanut butter and pumpkin. Blogcadettes who bring branded snacks to class! Poking around weird little boutiques and exploring beautiful restaurants Raw vegan chocolate truffles Sitting cross-legged with blogcadettes, talking about life, the universe and everything Sequins on the floor Singing Return Of The Mack in restaurants Jamming out to Silverchair (hey, we are in Australia, after all) My oversized mohair cardigan (it’s getting a lot of wear on this trip) Street art all over Melbourne Striped long-sleeve t-shirts The definition of jouissance: The French feminist writer Hélène Cixous uses the term jouissance to describe a form of women’s pleasure or sexual rapture that combines mental, physical and spiritual aspects of female experience, bordering on mystical communion: “explosion, diffusion, effervescence, abundance…takes pleasure (jouit) in being limitless”
One thing we’ve been discovering over the past month is that Australia is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, I always knew it was a beautiful place, but I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. As a Kiwi, you always grow up with the slightest bit of silly trans-Tasman rivalry, but I have to admit that Australia is exquisite.
We have seen the most glorious sunsets, lounged on palm tree-strewn beaches, splashed in the surf and flown over the Great Barrier Reef. It’s going to be a bit of a rude awakening to go back to NYC, where the first snow has already fallen, and the lows are regularly below freezing…
It’s very exciting for me to consider that the next Things I Love Thursday I post will come from New York City, though! As incredible as this trip has been, and as much as we will miss each other, all three of us are thrilled to be going home to our husbands, dogs and cats!
“No matter how bad it gets, I’m always grateful to know that I don’t have to stay with the negative.” (Maya Angeloui)
Photos by Janneke Storm.
11 November 2013, 11:11
When your friend invites you to a séance, you say yes. Or at least, I did! That’s how, last year, on a very cold winter night, I found myself standing outside a strange house in Brooklyn.
But as I stood there, waiting for my friend, I started to get a weird feeling… And I decided that walking into a room with a bad attitude — when we would potentially be summoning the dead — was not the best idea. My friend showed up, I told her I wasn’t feeling it, and we went to get dinner, instead.
I didn’t think about it afterwards.
Fast-forward to this summer. I had just recently become friends with Gabrielle Bernstein, who seems to know everyone, and through whom I have met a fantastic new cast of characters. When Gabby asked if I wanted to go and hug a saint, of course I said yes. At the venue, Gabby introduced me a girl called Betsy, and, whaddaya know, Betsy is the babe who hosts and conducts the séances!
She was such a sweetheart that I (almost) felt silly for getting nervous the time before. We got along famously, and she invited me to take part in another one. This time, I took my friend Rabbit.
Going to a séance is a strange thing. I consider myself a pretty open-minded person, but communing with the spirits of those who have gone before? That stuff gets an immediate rise out of my inner skeptic. I love psychics and have no problem wrapping my head around what they do, but for some reason, I had my doubts about speaking to the dead.
Nevertheless, I went to the séance with as open a mind as possible, telling myself that I didn’t know everything and was willing to be surprised. Admittedly, I felt more at ease having already met Betsy. She has such great energy, and is so sweet and positive, that I knew whatever happened, we’d be in good hands.
When Betsy opened the door to her apartment, the scent of sage wafted out behind her. She smiled at me.
“I was hoping you’d be the first to show up!”, she said as she wrapped me in a hug.
Betsy holds séances in her living room every week. It’s usually 10 women sitting in a circle — some scattered across her turquoise couch, others placed on folding chairs — with a table full of crystals in the middle. After a brief introduction, during which Betsy assured us that “no table-flipping would occur” (!), we dimmed the lights and got down to business. Opening with a non-denominational prayer, Betsy led us into a guided meditation, where we began by focussing attention on our feet, moving up our body to the crown of the head, and all the way to the Sun.
Then, one by one, she gave everyone in the circle a reading. She would start out by saying the name of a person in the circle, and then describing the characteristics and appearance of the spirit who was making contact. Once the person she was speaking to could identify the spirit — grandmother, ex-boyfriend, aunt, etc. — Betsy relayed the message the spirit wanted to share.
In the interests of protecting people’s privacy, I won’t share anything about anyone else’s reading, except to say that several times, as I listened to Betsy speak, I raised my eyebrows at the extreme specificity of the information she gave. And since I had taken my friend with me, I was amazed by how Betsy was able to nail Rabbit’s relationship with the spirit that contacted her.
I know this all sounds very bizarre, and like I said, when I set out for Brooklyn that night, I had my doubts. So you can imagine my complete surprise when it was my turn for a reading, and Betsy described my grandparents in perfect detail (right down to their clothes), and when she expressed sentiments — practically word for word — that they had communicated to me before they passed.
One of the most interesting things about going to a séance, as opposed to getting a one-on-one reading, was when Betsy said that any of the messages during the circle that feel relevant to you are relevant to you. If you’re having stomach troubles and the girl across the circle from you is given a message about her stomach, that message is for you, too. And I was astounded to find that several of the things Betsy said to other women felt personally pertinent.
Betsy also encourages everyone attending to feel free to share any messages, images, noises or thoughts that come through during the séance.
“It’s hard the first few times you do it,” she said, “because you’ll feel like you’re just making stuff up. And that’s how you know you’re doing it right! It will feel like you’re just coming up with nonsense.”
Nothing much came up for me, but Bryan, Betsy’s boyfriend, shared some images with the woman sitting opposite him… And they turned out to be a perfect mirror of one of her most powerful universal lessons.
I didn’t go to Betsy’s séance seeking anything in particular. For me, it was more about the experience, about trying something different, and having an adventure that made me feel nervous.
I didn’t know what to expect, and I’m so glad I bit the bullet and went along. Despite my low-grade anxiety, as soon as I saw Betsy’s smiling face, I knew everything was going to be absolutely fine. What occurred was a truly supernatural experience beyond my wildest dreams!
You often end up having the most memorable moments of your life when you do those things that make you feel uncomfortable, or that are at — or beyond — an edge. I had no idea I’d be speaking to my grandparents on a Thursday night, but it was absolutely incredible, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is even the slightest bit curious!
With love and a ghostly grin,