Happy (Belated) Birthday To Me!

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Happy birthday to me! On Saturday, I turned 31 years old. I thought that after last year’s frivolity, 31 might be a bit of an anticlimax. But you know what? I had one of the most incredible weekends of my life.

On Friday night, and all day Saturday and Sunday, I attended Spirit Junkie Masterclass, a course about running a spiritual business, taught by Gabby Bernstein. It was absolutely out of this world. I spent the whole weekend meditating, crying, praying, tapping, healing, and learning so much. I met dozens of beautiful radical self love warriors, and even shared the stage and spoke a little bit about my book!

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(This tube of confetti didn’t really want to cooperate. I thought it was hilarious regardless!)

I usually never know what to ask for, but this year, I had it all figured out. My birthday wishes were pretty colourful: psychedelic sneakers and wonderful pillows (1, 2, 3, and 4) topped my list. But most importantly, I got clarity, some much-needed guidance, and a roadmap for where to go next. And that’s invaluable.

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Thank you all so much for your support and excitement about my book. I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful response. I love you, and can’t wait to share the next steps of the process!

xo,

Photos by the sweet and lovely Cheyenne Mojica.

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Radical Self Love Letters
 

Announcing… My First Book!

Love And Sequins!

Where do I begin? As you may have guessed by the lack of posts, it has been a busy, busy week. I mentioned on Facebook that I had some big news to announce on Friday… And here it is.

This week I submitted my manuscript for my first book! Yes, it’s really happening! Cue loud screaming!

My diehard babes will remember Love & Sequins, a book I wrote and released in serial format. I’ve been asked for a physical copy of Love & Sequins for years, but it never felt like the right time. Well, to quote The Craft: now is the time, this is the hour, ours is the magic, ours is the power!

I’ve been whittling, refining, improving, and polishing for months, and with the help of Francesca Lia Block, who waved her magical wand and edited the whole thing, it is a totally new book. It has been mixed and matched, shaken and stirred, and it’s now the perfect introduction to radical self love.

To say I’m beside myself with excitement and anticipation is the understatement of the century! The book is glorious. I am so proud of it.

Now that the gruelling edits have been done, we’re moving onto the intoxicating task of making it look really pretty. I want to give you something gorgeous to hold, so of course I have retained the services of Branch. We have such special plans.

This is a thrilling process, and I’ll be sharing sneak peeks right here as Love & Sequins becomes a real, live book.

You have no idea how many tricks I have up my sleeve. I am going to spoil you rotten with this book release. Just you wait!

And of course, if you want to be the first to know when the book is released, just type your name right here!

I am so amped, and can’t wait to share this very special project with you!

Squeak!

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Cocktails, Canapes, And A Top Secret Club Of Blogger Babes!

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We came up with the idea for a mixer while sitting around the dinner table at my parents’ house in New Zealand. One of the things that is so miraculous to us about The Blogcademy is the mini-economy which has sprung up around it. Put a few blogcadettes into a room, and almost immediately they’re plotting ways to work together or help one another out. We wondered, what if we did that on a grander scale? What if we threw 60 ambitious geniuses into a room and watched what happened?

It was a quick conversation, but it stuck in our minds. By the time we were reunited in Palm Springs a couple of months later, we were convinced that it was worth going ahead with. We let people know we were looking for an events coordinator, and almost immediately heard from Jade, a badass Aussie who had assisted us in Melbourne. We knew she was the dame for the job… And so started a few months of plotting, planning, and of course, emails!

All of a sudden, the Mixer was upon us. Jade, bless her heart, had organised everything, so that literally all we needed to do was show up. On one balmy Thursday night, coiffed and excited, we walked into The Roost… And the party began.

This video very vividly captures what it was like at our party. If it looks like a good time, that’s because it was!

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If there are no sweets, it’s just not a party. Thankfully, Plumb And Rabbitts provided us with beautiful pastel macarons and pencil-shaped cookies. Adorable and delightful!

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I’m not a big drinker, but even I couldn’t resist these toothsome cocktails by Pigs Bladder And Petticoat. You could take your pick between a Rhubarb & Rosemary Fizz (rosemary-infused vodka, homemade rhubarb syrup and lemon juice, topped with sparkling water and garnished with a sprig of rosemary), and Pear & Cardamon Twist (gin, homemade pear syrup, lemon juice and crushed cardamon, topped with ginger ale)… And they were both out of this world.

London Velvet hooked us up with beer, and VitaCoco provided us with gallons of coconut water. Glug glug glug!

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Don’t they look so cute in their ears? D’awwwwww!

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Of course, the photobooth — supplied by Fishee Designs — was a MASSIVE hit. How can you not like a booth with a sequinned silver backdrop, flattering light, and a super-quick printer?! I couldn’t resist jumping in with anyone who asked! By the way, my dress is from Miss Selfridge, and it was only $68!

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We have to give SUCH huge props to the purple-haired babeling in the middle of this photo, the incomparable Sophie from Crown & Glory. (You know, they do the ears and flowers crowns that we are always wearing!) She stayed with us and helped out during both London classes, supplied about a trillion pairs of sparkly ears for this European trip alone, and — most amazingly — flew to Amsterdam (even though she had never flown alone before!) to help us when our assistant said she could no longer pitch in!

Sophie, you’re the tits. We love you!

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We were grooving all night long, thanks to The Wedding Smashers. Our DJ even treated us to our newest obsession, Rebbie Jackson’s Centipede! What are the odds?!

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We met a lot of new faces at our Mixer, but it was so wonderful to see plenty of familiar ones, too. These two blogcadettes, Shannon and Georgina, weren’t even in the same class, but got connected, and are now working together as Ruby And Stardust on all kinds of brilliant projects (some of which include taking photographs of shirtless men in the woods)! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Look at their site: they are doing seriously beautiful things!

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The (total) babe on the left is Emily Fisher of Fishee Designs, aka a complete photobooth genius! She worked her arse off to customise this booth for us, and we appreciated it so much. A sweeter, kinder, more bubbly and energetic person you’ll seldom meet. She also has a new blog, Mermaid Gossip, and — obviously — you should check it out! And yes, Sophie is clearly a unicorn.

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The Costa Sisters working their magic. Such, such lovely women, and so bloody talented, too! Check out their video at the top of the post if you don’t believe me (and then hire them!).

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Absolute Taste kept our bellies full and our tongues happy. I went crazy for their little chicken spring rolls! So delicious.

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So stylish. I love it!

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Three lovely ladies! Grace, in the middle, is total magic, and she made the trek from Wales to be with us! She also — months ago – did a ritual to help my husband and I find a new house. Suffice to say, it worked! Grace is incredible. Don’t sleep on her radness!
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Halfway through the evening, we all adjourned to another room to answer some questions and talk about our favourite subject, blogging! We planned to do around 45 minutes of Q&A but it quickly ballooned to almost an hour and a half. The questions were great: intelligent, complex, and thoughtful. We hoped that everyone in attendance would walk away feeling empowered and ready to jump into their next challenge with both feet!

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Before we knew it, it was time to wrap up the party, and we were left asking each other, “Where did the time go?!” We gave copious hugs and kisses, and sashayed out of the venue feeling high on life. Such a fun night. How is this “work”?!

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We’ve gotta say a huge thank you to the fabulous companies who stuffed our Arnis Purple goodie bags: Crown and Glory for sparkly ears, Cheap Frills for cute jewels,  Abigail Warner for fun cards, Berin Made for Jump For Joy prints, and Peach Blossom for the honeycomb balls. You made our attendees very happy!

Never-ending love to Jade (our hero!), Eliska who helped with sourcing and gave support, Charlotte Bailey who assisted on the night, Lisa Jayne who took all these great photos, and the Costa Sisters for their slam-dunk video!

What a wonderful night. Thanks for coming out and making it so special!

Dreaming of sequins,

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Vancouver, Calgary, London, Berlin, Amsterdam… What A Whirlwind!

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Gosh, what an action-packed year it has been! Shauna, Kat, and I have taken so many flights, checked into so many apartments, set out so many goodie bags, and, of course, met so many lovely ladies! Are you ready for a massive update on our last six classes?! Here we go…

VANCOUVER + CALGARY

Oh, Vancouver! We were so charmed by your rainbow crosswalks, great juice, beauty services at Sugarbox, dinner with Danielle LaPorte, and the insanely good waffles at Café Medina. We taught a very sweet group at Soundhouse Studios, where we borrowed a pair of bongo drums for percussion breaks! Photos were taken by Diane and Mike.

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Calgary was such a pleasant surprise. We went with absolutely no preconceived notions of what it might be like, and happily ended up staying in one of the coolest areas, near the Red Mile. It was a quick walk to Analog, Una (where we ate more than once), and Freak Lunchbox, the perfect after-dinner adventure! After a few days of stuffing ourselves silly with great food and going on exploratory walks, it was time to teach at The Commons, an awesome co-working space (complete with an adorable dog named Sherlock!). Again, it was a wonderful gaggle of happy sweethearts, all shot by Sarah Pukin.

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We did our best to spoil ‘em rotten with friendship bracelets from Abacus Row, a book called How To Take The Best Selfies by LA blogcadette Sarah Sloboda, awesome colour dipped pencils from Moxie Makery, adorably weird knitted cacti from Cacti You Can Cuddle, delicious organic cosmetics from San Francisco blogcadette Mariah of Aquacures, a pair of glittery ears from Crown & Glory, and finally, beautiful jewellery from Eclectic Eccentricity, Aroha Silhouettes and Wwillthebeast!

LONDON

A month later, we hit the road again, this time to teach two classes in London. As always, the city welcomed us with open arms, and we had a damn good time. We stayed near our venue, Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch, and spent way too much time in the Ace Hotel’s photobooth, eating many meals at Hoi Polloi, and doing our share of shopping.

The space was decked out with giant paper flowers, fans and banners supplied by Strange Case Collective. Charlotte Thomson, a live scribe, sat in the back of class, drawing what she learned, which was incredible! Holly Booth took photos of everyone gettin’ their learn on!

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Thanks to Lara Elliott for making this fun video!

BERLIN

Don’t tell anyone, but Berlin was my favourite stop on the trip. We stayed in a beautiful apartment flooded with light right in Mitte, which is a fantastic area. We ate great food, saw so much street art it would make your eyes bulge, and were generally inspired and delighted by, well, everything. Of course, it was only on my last day there that I started feeling confident enough to actually speak German, and by then it was time to leave! (Oh well, just another reason to go back soon!) We taught at Agora Collective, an utterly unique co-working space, and the lovely Shell De Mar took photos.

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AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam was lovely. We took photos of canals, we ate mouthwatering Thai food, we gawked at the Sex Museum… Standard stuff! It was really nice to have a couple of days off there, and not do much of anything. We needed it! We taught at The Thinking Hut, a wonderful co-working space right next to a park. I also discovered one of my new favourite places: Bar Bukowski. Oh yes! Kerry Murray shot the excitement!

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Le boob grab!

Dear LAWD, there are a lot of people who helped us make our European jaunt a radical success. We have to say an enormous thank you to Look Look Photo Booths for the London photo booth, Tigerlilly Quinn for the adorable wooden brooches and ever-useful washi tape, Brolly Bucket for the coloured umbrellas (always helpful in the U.K.!), Hello Harriet for the special Blogcademy-themed tattoo transfers, The London Dolls for fluttery false lashes, Jolly Good for the custom nail decals (of our FACES!), Reeta Krishna for the WordPress for Beginners books, Crown and Glory for sparkly ears, and Go Promotional for the epic custom branded Blogcademy mugs and pens, which we are all COMPLETELY obsessed with! (I am not ashamed to say that I stole some and brought them home.)

…But wait, that’s not all! Wraggamuffins provided delicious treats and snacks for our British babes, XOXO Stationery gave us sick Blogcadette notepads, Pepper Ink Vintage supplied sweet floral tattoo transfers, and The Bathory hooked us up with coma-inducing custom bath salts… I mean, sublime is not the word!

…AND! Thank you to Lovely Cuppa for the plans for world domination books, Mane Message for the no-snag hair ties, Veronica Dearly for her adorable notebooks, Cornelia Blom for creating our gorgeous photo backdrop in Amsterdam, and Sketch Inc for the ombre notebooks.


Want to join us and learn how to kick ass online? We have maaaayyyyybeeeee two seats left in NYC at the end of this month, and our next class in Washington D.C. at the start of October is our last American date of the year! Then we fly on to Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland in late November/early December. Our Aussie classes are just about at capacity, so scrape together those pennies, or email us about our payment plan!

Alternatively, you could check out Home School! Our videos are only $20 a pop, and cover all kinds of subjects, from building your audience to creating a media kit to writing an about page! We’re immensely proud of them, and they’re selling like little hot cakes! We’re so pleased to be able to bring Blogcademy right into your bedroom!

Big love,

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Got One Day In NYC? Here’s A To Do List!

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When Shauna told me she only had one day in New York City before flying back to Portland, we decided to play tourist. Instead of loitering around our old familiar haunts downtown, we headed uptown to do things a little differently.

It was great, because when I get emails from international playgirls en route to NYC, they often ask, “If you only had one day in New York, what would you do?” The answer isn’t easy, because there is simply so much to do here. What I would suggest is to pick an area, and explore it. That’s exactly what we did.

In addition to hitting up some of my old favourites, Shauna and I also discovered plenty of untapped treasures. We had a great day — and you can see the video of our experiences below. Underneath that, I’ve written a list of the places we went, and why. Bookmark this baby for future reference!


 

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Clinton Street Baking Company 4 Clinton Street
We started in the Lower East Side, halfway between where the two of us were staying. Clinton Street Baking Company is famous in NYC for its extravagant brunch, and, so it follows, its wait times. It’s not uncommon to stand outside for over two hours on a Sunday, which is exactly why we didn’t go on a Sunday! Who has time for that? Shauna and I showed up on a Tuesday morning, which is a damn good time to go. We only waited about 10 minutes before being beckoned inside for two big plates of delicious brunch. I recommend the Southern Breakfast: two eggs, sugar-cured bacon (YUM), cheese grits, and fried green tomatoes. Mmmmmmm yes.

 

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Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Avenue
With our bellies full — and a head full of anticipation — we took a cab all the way up to Bendel’s, a wonderful department store geared towards young women with money to burn. You expect to see Blair Waldorf around every corner. With a delightful selection of jewellery, beautifully-designed candles, bizarre hats and hair accessories up the wazoo, we wanted to take home half the store. Also, hidden upstairs is an outpost of Rent The Runway, where you can try on dresses from their extravagant collection before renting them for an event.

 

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Bergdorf Goodman 754 5th Avenue
I have always maintained that Bergdorf’s has the best shoe floor in the city. Sure, Saks is enormous, but the service at Bergdorf’s makes all the difference. No matter how weird or wacky you might be, they never treat you with anything less than the utmost respect. My first shoe purchase there was a pair of Alexander McQueen heels, and I had purple hair and looked utterly unlike anyone else in there. The sales assistant laughed and joked with me the whole time, and I never forgot it. This time, we made sure to visit the beauty department, where we learned about the most expensive perfume in the world. A woman there dabbed some on Shauna’s wrist and then waved a fan over her arm to dry it off! I mean, what an experience!

 

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Sephora 597 5th Avenue
If you ask me, no day out is complete without a stop in Sephora. You Americans are so spoiled: Sephora is the most sublime place ever. For anyone who lives outside of the USA, I promise your jaw will drop at the extensive — and wonderfully organised — selection of beauty products.

 

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J. Crew Collection 1035 Madison Avenue
After slathering our bodies with oil at Sephora, it was time for a walk up Madison Avenue. If you’re ever feeling flush, a quick wander along Madison Ave will bring you back to earth! This street reeks of cash, and is populated by fascinating women with the same face, carrying little dogs. It is like being on another planet. Okay, I’m getting distracted! J. Crew Collection is where they keep all the expensive stuff. We pawed a perfectly-designed navy blue leather motorcycle jacket here until it started to become uncomfortable… Then we made our escape!

 

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Kate Spade 789 Madison Avenue
The store at 789 Madison is the Kate Spade flagship, and it’s glorious. A four-storey townhouse, each level is unique, and the entire space sings the Kate Spade song. From fantastical window displays to glowing neon signage (like “Uptown Is The New Downtown”), it’s a veritable pu-pu platter of hot pink leather, glittery shoes, and all the other things that make us go, “Ooooooh.”

 

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Solange Azagury-Partridge 809 Madison Avenue
I happened upon Solange Azagury-Partridge’s store with my mother years ago, and I was immediately all a-swoon. You know you’re somewhere special straight away: the wallpaper gleams with Swarovski crystals, the rainbow carpet bears her own insignia, and the jewels are spotlit on black velvet. Simply put, Solange’s jewels motivate me to work really, really hard!

 

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Central Park 14 East 60th Street
There is just so much to see and do in Central Park, and I haven’t even come close to exploring all of its splendour. (In fact, one of the things I’m definitely going to do before the summer is out is take a formal tour of Central Park. I can’t wait!) Shauna and I wandered down random paths, took in the views beside this little pond, and kept going on and on, asking, “How is this New York City?!”

 

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The Plaza Food Hall Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
The Plaza Hotel is famous, expensive, and odd. The people working in the lobby seem distant and mostly annoyed by the amount of foot traffic, which makes for — let’s face it — a not overwhelmingly warm welcome. However! Make your way down its hallowed halls, take the escalator down, and you’ll discover a food hall! Not just any food hall: an amazing food hall. We got salad, soup and juice at Tartine, but there’s also caviar, cupcakes, and lobster rolls. Seriously, it has everything. Just GO.

 

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Top of the Rock 30 Rockefeller Plaza
Usually, I hate doing anything geared towards tourists, even if I’m in a foreign city. Call me jaded, call me cynical, but in my experience, anything with a hefty ticket price and a line of people out the door does not appeal. I don’t know what came over me, but when Shauna and I looked up at the Rockefeller Center, I exclaimed, “Let’s go up to the top!” Full disclaimer: it was expensive ($29 each). But it was beautiful, and worth it. What a view!

 

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Big Gay Ice Cream 125 East 7th Street
After surveying the city from a great height, we headed back downtown to walk Hank and Dolly, and take a breather before heading out for the night. Our first stop was Big Gay Ice Cream, my favourite ice-cream shop in the whole city. The store is emblazoned with rainbows and unicorns. You just have to go there, okay? My favourite thing to order is a Monday Sundae, no whipped cream, with chocolate dip. It’s off the hook. I also recommend the Salty Pimp. So good you’ll wanna slap someone.

 

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The Smith 55 Third Avenue
Luckily, Shauna is just as obsessed with photobooths as I am, and the best booth in the city is in the East Village, at The Smith. They have great food, but we were running low on time, so we simply walked past all the people noshing, and down the stairs. The booth takes cards (danger, danger!), and is only $3 a strip. What better way to commemorate your time in NYC?

 

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Academy Mansion 2 East 63rd Street
We grabbed a cab and headed back uptown again for a party held by Ted Baker. In this opulent mansion built in 1921, we heard a live band, watched flappers dance, and were dazzled by disco balls stacked up in the fireplace… And everywhere else. Gorgeous.

 

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Grand Central 89 E. 42nd Street
It was only 9pm, but we weren’t ready to call it a night, so we started to walk downtown. Walking around the city at nighttime is one of my favourite activities: once the stores have closed, Manhattan takes on an entirely different vibe. We strolled 20 blocks, laughing and talking passionately the whole way… And then we decided to go into Grand Central station. It’s just as grand as the name suggests, and the ceiling is painted with constellations.

 

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Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse 23 Vanderbilt Avenue
Even better, inside Grand Central are a selection of restaurants. We were starving by this point, and so we made the slightly unusual decision to get a table at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse. It had been such a long day that we were endlessly cackling, while asking each other questions like, “Do you think Michael Jordan baked these bread rolls himself?” It was actually a pretty good meal, and we enjoyed it, before walking outside, and taking a cab home.

 

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your next visit to NYC! And hey: maybe we’ll bump into each other! One can only hope.

Big kisses,

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