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 November 2013, 19:13
When it comes to getting shit done, you can’t go much further than Jen Dziura. As the creator of Get Bullish, the best place online for “aggressive lady-advice”, Jen is a woman who has her fingers in many pies… And yet manages to execute with aplomb.
Jen has long been regarded as the go-to gal for women who want truly frank counsel when it comes to business, productivity and running your life like a boss, so it makes sense that she’s pulling it all together under the umbrella of the Bullish Conference. Kicking off after Thanksgiving in Miami, it’s a “bikinis and blazers” kind of event. Intriguing, no?
I quizzed Jen on how to be a business genius, and she had plenty of insight to share…
I get so many emails from women who want their own businesses but have no idea where to start. As a no-nonsense bad bitch who wears many hats, what would your first piece of advice be?
Good question! It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but the most important thing to remember is:
The only thing you need in order to have a business is at least one customer who pays you money for something.
That’s it. So if you knew some people who were looking for a service, and you emailed them with a jaunty little email about how you have just launched exactly that service, and one of them hires you, you have just started a business!
You could certainly spend $5,000+ and a couple of months incorporating, setting up a bookkeeping system, having a brand identity created, trademarking your name, and making sure you have a legal and accounting team in place, but even if you did all those things, I don’t think you would actually have a business. Legally you would (in the US, corporations legally count as people, so I guess you’d have a person?) But without customers, nothing else matters.
That should take a lot of the pressure off! Just find someone who will pay you for a product or service. Make that person really happy. Good Yelp reviews are probably more valuable than a fancy logo and website anyway, and they’re free.
Once you have a few more customers and some money coming in, you can worry about all that other stuff. All that other stuff is made pretty painless when you can afford to pay professionals.
(And quick, someone get nononsensebadbitch.com!)
Do you think anyone can be an entrepreneur?
Yes! I think anyone who’s willing to learn to be an entrepreneur — and to practice, like anything else — can be an entrepreneur. But if you love baking pies, that’s not going to make you into a good pie-shop owner. Being a good yoga teacher doesn’t make you a good yoga studio owner.
But anyone can be an entrepreneur if you’re willing to accept that you might suck at certain things, but those things are learnable!
A lot of touring musicians function in cycles — be creative and write songs, perfect and record those songs, negotiate with the record company over how the album will be presented, market the album, tour … and then take some time off, bum around, be creative and write songs, etc. A few artists write songs all the time and anywhere (Prince!), but some go years without writing any songs and do very well, because they accept that part of their job is making the tour the best it can be, or even overseeing the merch and making sure fans are getting high-quality t-shirts.
Similarly, when you turn something you love into a business, you’ve got to give at least as much time and energy to the business itself as to the thing you love. I like the idea of thinking in cycles, rather than envisioning a constant battle for your time and attention. Sometimes you make stuff. Sometimes you stop making stuff so you can direct people’s attention to the stuff you’ve already made.
Is “work/life balance” a myth? How can we deal with this when our friends and family complain that they never see us?
Ha! The article I wrote about this is maybe the one that people quote the most: Maybe Work-Life Balance Means You Should Work MORE.
Sometimes friends and family are genuinely concerned for your happiness. So it helps to tell them that being in the zone and moving towards your goals is really what makes you happiest. You can train people to start understanding this. Last winter, checked myself into a hotel alone for a week, did a crazy amount of work, and tweeted photos of the cocktails I drank at the hotel bar. I think that finally convinced my loved ones that I am just a different species. A solitary, bourbon-swigging species that loves to be ensconced in my work, preferably while someplace fabulous.
What are your top five secrets for being insanely productive?
Okay, let’s try this:
1. Don’t spend your best working hours making a to-do list! I try to catch myself when I procrastinate by planning work instead of actually doing any. Even if your to-do list is a total mess and way too long and confusing, I’ll bet you already know what the most important item on it is. Do that one! Then you can clean up the list.
2. No TV. If I really want to watch something, I get it on Hulu or Netflix or the iTunes store and watch it on a laptop. I haven’t had cable in my entire adult life. When I visit family, I’m constantly turning off their TVs if no one’s in the room or if people are trying to talk. (Yes, I’m THAT person. Sorry!)
3. I find that people value their time much more highly when it’s daylight. A two-hour lunch on a weekday seems ridiculously extravagant, but people will go out at 7pm and come home at 1am and not even have a good time, and think nothing of it. If someone invites you to an event you’re not that enthusiastic about, tell them you can’t make it, but suggest coffee or lunch during the week.
4. I’m definitely not suggesting that you skip all recreation! Just the kind that takes a long time and isn’t that great anyway. Instead of watching 12 hours of boring TV a week and spending 6 hours on Friday “hanging out,” how about spending an hour watching your favorite show while eating your favorite pie and drinking champagne? Make sure your favorite pajamas are ready. Plan intense fun! Basically, only do things that are either productive or awesome. It’s the in-between that life is just too short for.
5. Make friends with other freakishly productive people. Sure, you might not see those people too often, but when you do, you’ll feel invigorated.
Also, you might enjoy How to Be a Productivity Unicorn.
Congratulations on organising Bullish Conference: that is so exciting! Can you tell us a little bit about the event and why you felt motivated to create it?
Thanks so much!
In my own life, the weekend right after Thanksgiving has been a great time to get ahead! So many people are asleep from all the tryptophan in their leftover turkey sandwiches, but there’s no reason you can’t use that Friday (and Saturday, and Sunday) to caffeinate, eat healthy, and take over the world. Also, fabulous hotels tend to be marvelously uncrowded.
The Bullish Conference takes place at the Surfcomber Hotel in South Beach, Miami. Super easy to get to from the airport — fly down Friday and you can be lounging by the pool within a few hours of leaving your house. Kimpton Hotels are also actively LGBT- and woman-friendly. (And fabulous, with amazing food! And this one has a sculpture garden of cow sculptures. I mean, just FYI.)
Check-in on Friday, meet some bullish ladies in a low-key atmosphere (no nametags!), and chill by the pool or at the beach. Saturday, we’ve got a full slate of powerful workshops, plus some built-in sun time.
Throw on a blazer over that bikini and you’re in the spirit of things.
Do you have to be an official Business Lady to attend, or is this for anyone who wants to live a more awesome life?
The Bullish Conference is for students and interns, entrepreneurs and freelancers, employees and managers! We use the term “bullicorns” (it’s a bull with unicorn horn, our official spirit animal).
I’ve worked hard to make sure the programming applies to all women. Ji Eun (Jamie) Lee will be running a training on negotiating more powerfully, which is important whether you’re angling for a raise, starting your own business, fundraising for a cause, or trying to make that move from unpaid intern to paid employee.
Laura Vanderkam’s workshop on time management applies everyone who’s alive for 24 hours a day.
And Jennifer Wright will be teaching us how to pitch, which I think is probably the most important skill in life, full stop. Pitching is how you get opportunities that aren’t advertised anyway. Pitching is how you create the opportunity you wish existed — and then, magically, you’re the only applicant!
At Bullish Conference, you’re teaching a workshop on how to design your life. What does that mean, exactly?
Designing your whole life probably isn’t something you want to do in one day. But designing your 2014 — that’s do-able. And fun!
You know how when you load the dishwasher, you need to start by putting the big stuff in and then fitting the small stuff around it? That’s kind of a good metaphor for planning the next phase of your life.
When you really ask, “What do you want next year to look like?”, most people come up with some pretty awesome — but realistic — ideas. For instance, “I’d like to work out regularly, finally do that trip to Europe even if I can’t get anyone to come with me, and spend less time staring at a computer screen. I’d like to get promoted at work and get more clients for my freelance business, but also spend some time offline, in nature.”
That sort of thing is both completely do-able, and also WILL NEVER HAPPEN ON ITS OWN.
If you just “take each day as it comes,” there will never be a perfect time to go to Europe, and it’ll already be mid-day Saturday by the time you realize you could have been hiking. Designing your year could mean that you set business hours for your side business, and you make a standing date with a hiking trail. It could mean that you make an effort to figure out when in the year you’re most likely to get that promotion, and then you make a list of something deliberate you’re going to do every month in order to bolster your case for when you ask (yes, ask!) for that promotion.
A lot of things are easier when you plan them way in advance! It doesn’t have to be stressful. You’re designing!
At the Bullish Conference, some of that will take place around a pool. In South Beach. With like-minded ladies. And possibly a cocktail.
Love and bullicorns,
Image by Miles Aldridge for MAC Cosmetics’ Office Hours collection.
21 October 2013, 12:11
Photo by Laura Burlton.
Oh, Mercury retrograde.
You are here, AGAIN. You have arrived on our collective doorsteps in all your messy glory. You are our dreaded but regular house-guest. You stagger in the door, kick over our furniture, leave crumbs all over the couch and hog the bathroom. Then, as quickly as you appeared, you disappear again, leaving us slightly stunned but much better equipped to continue with our own lives!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here we go. The planets are swinging around at all times, and their movements affect us all in different ways. All planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. (Even people who “don’t believe in astrology” often “believe” in the crazy aftershocks of Mercury retrograde!)
Why is that? It’s because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth and travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. They start to get ugly and tangle up. Mercury isn’t really going backwards, it’s just hanging out by the sun, but from Earth, that makes it look like it’s in reverse. It typically runs for a couple of weeks, a few times a year.
Check out these dates below and put them in your calendar!
In 2013, Mercury is retrograde from…
February 23rd to March 17th
June 26th to July 20th
October 21st to November 10th
Note: We sometimes start to feel the effects of Mercury retrograde a few days early. It’s nice to give yourself a bit of leeway on either side of the prescribed dates!
What happens when Mercury goes retrograde?
All sorts of things! It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer and other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights and take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions and it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either.
Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations and anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office and cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors and Virgo magazine editors, so be kind to any you know!
I often find that Mercury retrograde makes me want to go into hermit mode. I feel like half my brain is missing so I’m really not that interested in interacting with anyone, plus every conversation seems to go in an unusual, confusing direction. I feel much more irritable and frustrated and things just don’t seem to go how I want them to.
So that’s the bad news. Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the teeth for those of us who normally pride ourselves on having our karmic shit together! The GOOD news is that Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head and squint.
Mercury retrograde wants us to move back spiritually. It is providing us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes. Delicious, fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major breakthroughs — intellectual, emotional or spiritual — during this time.
It’s also a terrific period in which to tie up loose ends. So many of us have unfinished projects… Maybe that door just needs another lick of paint, or you’ll decide to put away your ex-boyfriend’s love letters once and for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends and acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them and see what eventuates!
One of the best ways to cope with it — as with anything, really — is to just “go with the flow”. When you fight Mercury retrograde, that’s when life gets really ugly. Just take some time, go slowly, be careful, don’t freak yourself out by expecting to be uber-productive-perfect right now. Be good to yourself and the people around you, now more than ever!
surviving Mercury retrograde!
(Print it off and stick it in your diary or on your wall!)
Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded and their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.
Back up your data!
Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisations? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends and file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce and laugh!
Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!
Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept and move on.
Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision so that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!
If you want more tips, read 10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!
Fingers crossed for the next few weeks, and best of luck to you!
Love and sanity,
25 September 2013, 12:25
I had a very human week last week. I don’t know whether it was PMS, jet-lag, crazy astrological influences or the post-holiday blues. Maybe it was a combination of all four. But maybe it had more to do with the fact that, after racing around Europe for two weeks, it all hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally had a moment to rest.
I didn’t post anything on the blog. I didn’t answer any emails. Mostly, I lay in bed. I wore sweatpants more often than usual. My husband took me out for vegan ice-cream sundaes and held my hand a lot. (He’s a good man.)
A week later, I snapped out of it.
But it reminded me that we’re all human. We all have those days, weeks, months even. And we have to be gentle with ourselves. You can get impatient about it all you like, but it won’t do you any good. You just have to ride it out.
I did a few different things which I felt contributed to busting me out of my bad mood, and I’ve written them down here. I did so partially for my own reference, but for yours too. I think the major thing I’ve learned from this last week is that there’s not necessarily one way to explode a bad mood. There is no magic bullet. (Though having said this, I totally forgot about EFT, and I’m sure it would have done a lot of good!)
Here’s the combination that did it for me…
I browsed Pinterest.
Usually I think of this as a relatively pointless activity, but when you’re really feeling down in the dumps and you stumble upon some art which wakes you up and inspires you, it can make a world of difference. You simply cannot underestimate the power of art.
I watched things that made me laugh.
I spent plenty of time on the couch watching old episodes of New Girl and, unbelievably, Zoolander for the first time ever! (How had I never seen it before?! I do not know!) If you need suggestions, check out 33 Movies To Watch When You’re Sad, Glum Or Bummed Out. Anything that makes you laugh out loud has to be good for you!
I worked out as much as possible.
It shocks me to the core to say this, but I’m a confirmed gym bunny. In school, I would always blame my asthma and claim I couldn’t participate in any kind of physical activity, but these days I like nothing better than really using my body and testing the extent of my abilities. And I don’t just love the way it makes my body look, I also adore the way it makes me feel. It gets my endorphins firing, and I walk out of the gym feeling like a new woman. Bonus points if you work out with someone you like. My personal trainer and Pilates instructor always make me laugh.
I went for walks and took photos.
This is one of my favourite activities: just walking around in the city, slowing down and noticing the great things around you. The weird outfits, the wacky hairstyles, the cool, funny, subversive and bizarre street art, the way the light hits the buildings… It gets me out of my own head, and encourages me to see with new eyes.
I focussed my intention and lit candles.
Pick a candle colour that relates to what you want — pink for happiness, yellow for joy, green for prosperity, blue for calm, etc. — close your eyes, focus on what you would like to transpire, and then light that sucker.
I went out and saw my friends.
...Even though I really didn’t want to. #hermitlife! After two and a half weeks of non-stop socialising, truthfully the last thing I wanted to do was see more people. But I know that when I force myself out of the house, see my friends, laugh and have some kind of adventure, I always feel so much better. So that’s what I did… And it was great.
I talked on the phone.
And crucially, I talked to people about their problems rather than my own. (Especially since I actually have none. I was just in a slump, which is even boring to discuss!) Concentrating on someone else and talking through their issues made it easy for me to forget about my own stuff for a while.
I surrounded myself with good fragrances.
Never forget how marvellous a beautiful fragrance can make you feel, and even if you still feel awful, you’ll get a momentary boost any time you lift your wrist to your nose. I lathered up with Pacifica Persian Rose Body Wash, spritzed my office and hair with Level Naturals Jasmine Rose spray, and dabbed Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille on my wrists. (I love to layer scents, clearly, and this is a winning combination.)
I got a massage.
This was the thing that really pulled me out of my slump. Getting a good tenderising, aka being massaged into another dimension by someone skilled and competent (in my case, Emma at East Village Spa) can work wonders. (If a spa day isn’t in the cards for you, see if a massage school needs any volunteers, or talk your lover/BFF/sister into giving you a good rub-down.) I use any massage as an opportunity for meditation: when anything comes into my mind, I make a practice of just dropping it, and I visualise it falling from my head and down through the floor. By the time you hop off the table, your mindset is totally transformed.
I listened to good music in the sunshine.
After my massage, I put on my headphones and walked home in the sunshine, listening to Fat Freddy’s Drop... And I felt the final clouds around my mind and spirit lift.
I’m so thankful to be back to my old self, and to be feeling sassy and optimistic again. PHEW. What a relief.
I’m curious: what do you do when a bad mood grabs you by the shoulders and refuses to let go? Add to the conversation on Facebook!
Illustration by Michelle.
17 June 2013, 11:25
Hooray! June 18th is International Picnic Day… And you’d be mad to miss out! What could be better than eating outside on a huge blanket? Nothing, that’s what!
Here, then, is my guide to the perfect picnic. I’d love to see your pictures — tag ‘em on Instagram with #internationalpicnicday!
When it comes to planning a picnic, my advice is to keep it simple. When you try to orchestrate some mammoth shindig, you are inevitably more stressed out, and less inclined to kick your shoes off and quaff champagne from the bottle!
So, make it easy on yourself and don’t go insane with planning. As tempted as you may be to bust out the calligraphy pens and wax seals, it’s not a wedding… It’s just lunch in a park.
Give your friends a bit of advance notice, and make it low pressure. Tell them to bring something easy and delicious, and that’s all there is to it.
(If you’d prefer to keep it small and low-key, you can have a picnic on a park bench with your BFF. Wear killer shoes, pop a bottle of bubbly, and enjoy yourselves!)
Food is a pretty major part of the picnicking experience. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want anything to get soggy, nor should it be something which needs to be served cold. A few hours laid out on a blanket will transform even the most artfully-arranged sandwich into a wilted mess. The best thing to do is make things as you go. At the supermarket, fill a few paper boxes with various salads and cold cuts. Then grab a fresh loaf of bread, a knife, and some condiments so people can DIY their own sandwiches.
Be sure to pack some chocolates, too, and bring along a couple of bottles of lemonade. If you want to get fancy, Martha has oodles of ideas. (Of course she does!)
In the name of practicality, you should always be sure to bring napkins, tea towels (you will need them for all kinds of eventualities), salt and pepper, cutlery and serving utensils. It’s also fabulous to bring an extra sheet that can be used to designate the table/food display area in the middle of your main blanket. (It will inevitably get food and spills on it, and it’s easier to throw a sheet in the wash than your picnic rug.)
You will need a picnic basket, of course, and why not get something that makes you smile? This watermelon picnic basket makes me grin and it’s a meagre $38.99. This turquoise wicker basket is $16 and cute as all get out. Alternatively, you could pack up a suitcase!
The same thing goes for a good picnic blanket. When I was a kid, we had a tartan wool blanket that we’d use for picnics, and it did the job perfectly. But of course, once you start browsing Etsy, you realise how cool the options are. I’m in love with this waterproof teal chevron job…
Second to food (and, I suppose, guests), it’s vital that you bring a camera… Or three. Yes, yes, your iPhone will do the trick, but why not bring along something fun to play with? It’s no secret that I am an unabashed fan of the Instax camera, but I also love Dianas, Holgas, old Polaroids, and new Polaroids!
A picnic isn’t a success because of the food: the food is really just an excuse to meet up. What makes a picnic fantastic is the atmosphere you create. The location, the guests, the music and the general conviviality of the event are what really counts.
Tarot cards are always a hit — I love The Wild Unknown deck — as are normal playing cards. (Why not buy some retro nude cards to spice things up?) If you want to really score some points, bring a croquet set!
Be sure to bring some bug spray, since there’s nothing worse than a honking great bug bite on your leg, and you could throw a couple of citronella candles in your basket too. (These will be so fabulous, flickering once the sun goes down.)
Cool Breeze Shirtdress; Kitty Shades; Crystal Collar Necklace; Crystal Clear Choker; Kiefer Sneakers; Like Sugar Satchel; Candy Cord Necklace; Crystalline Orb Ring; Danica Oxfords; Aceline Crochet Dress.
The real question, of course, is what to wear? You can never go wrong with candy-coloured pastels and shocking pink sunglasses…
In my opinion, one of the very best things to wear to a picnic is an a-line skirt: it will fan out around you gracefully when you sit down, and you will be able to kneel and lean and lie down once you’re full of lemonade with no fear of flashing your knickers. (Unless flashing your knickers is your modus operandi, in which case, by all means, wear a very short dress!) My pick is a strawberry pink chiffon pleated skirt, which will go with practically anything, but complements white brilliantly. (Very tennis chic.)
Flat shoes are an excellent choice: they’ll enable you to run around, climb trees, and schlep picnic baskets across neverending lawns. You must admit that stiletto heels sinking into the grass and mud is not the most chic experience. From black and white Oxfords to polka-dot Keds, the options are endless.
Be sure to add a hat to your ensemble: they are an essential, especially if you’re sitting outside all day. Sunstroke never adds to the atmosphere, darling! American Apparel does the best hats — surprising but true — in both solid colours and multi-coloured stripes. Swoon!
If you want some additional inspiration, this is one of my favourite pieces of writing about picnics. Here’s to a perfect picnic season…
Grass stains and big grins,
Title photo from Love Simone. The other babe is from Vogue Italia.
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