3 January 2013, 11:40
Does the start of the year have you stumped? Sometimes the idea of choosing a few resolutions makes your head spin, but here’s a secret: it can be easier just to focus on one or two areas!
So if you don’t have any resolutions yet, why not steal some of these?! In fact, if you click on the resolution, it’ll automatically send out a tweet, broadcasting your intention to all & sundry! Perfect! Now you really have no excuse!
I’m going to make fabulous a verb. (Click to tweet!)
What this means: Keep champagne in the house at all times. Add a big sparkly necklace to even the most simple ensemble. Wear your favourite things until they are totally worn out (& don’t worry about saving them for a “special occasion”). Celebrate everything & nothing!
Start here: Bauble Bar sell fantastic & inexpensive gems. Keep your Instax camera on you at all times! Paint your nails with beaucoup du glitter. Learn how to apply false eyelashes & then wear them with aplomb! Dress your space so that it is more “you”, as well as a perfect place to rest & be awesome.
I’m going to worship my own temple. (Click to tweet!)
What this means: Eat smart, nutritious food. Make an effort to sweat on a regular basis. Give your feet a break from high heels at least some of the time! Get regular massages (this should be essential for anyone who works at a desk).
Start here: Try the Clean Program for a major kick-start. (My husband & I have done it twice, & we love it! In fact, we’re doing it again in February. Join us!) Give yoga or pilates a try. Find an incredible spa in your city & book yourself in for a couple of hours. Take a burlesque class & learn to love your body in all new ways. Buy yourself an out-of-this-world sex toy. Dedicate yourself to practicing radical self love!
I’m going to simplify. (Click to tweet!)
What this means: Think before you purchase. Sell or donate anything you don’t wear. Delete songs you don’t like from iTunes, unsubscribe from blogs you don’t read, & throw away your old magazines. Remove distractions — disconnect from wifi when you’re working. Stop following boneheads on Twitter! Scale it down.
Start here: Tame that wardrobe. Embark on a month-long shopping embargo! (I’m doing this again in February.) Have your favourite boots re-soled and your best coat fixed. Set up a Gmail filter so that any email with the word “unsubscribe” in the body text goes directly to Trash. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
I’m going to embrace adventure. (Click to tweet!)
What this means: Get your feet dirty, & leave the beaten track. Do things that are out of character or terrifying… Take a risk! Leave safety behind you. Don’t conform just because you’re afraid.
Start here: Create your own International Playgirl Pinterest board & get dreamin’! Sign up for some frequent flier programs to start racking up the miles. Grab your best friend & talk them into a getaway! Start researching a retro road-trip (& read this before you go!). Make plans to quit your sucky job & start doing what you’ve always dreamed about…
I’m going to improve my art. (Click to tweet!)
What this means: Decide that this is the year you’re going to elevate your work to a new level of artistry. Carve out non-negotiable time that you’ll commit to your work. Accept that this may mean less social engagements (but the trade-off is so worth it!).
Start here: Take a course or an advancement program (no matter how good you are, there is always more to learn). Find a mentor & meet with them regularly. Socialise with other people in your industry. Try a new technique. Set some goals. Take on fewer commitments so that you can really get into what you’re doing. Read more.
I’m going to be a better babe. (Click to tweet!)
What this means: Spend time volunteering. Donate money to your favourite causes. Think of — & then act upon! — ways to improve your street, neighbourhood, city, country. Calculate your carbon omissions. Make an effort to recycle. Be more compassionate, less judgmental.
Start here: Offset your carbon emissions! Find a way to volunteer your time — if you’re in New York, New York Cares is an incredible organisation. Learn about I Am That Girl. Consider buying EKOCYCLE products. Listen more. Fundraise for causes you really believe in.
The start of a new year has so much energy, so much promise. The first few days of January are lush with expectation & good intentions, but as the weeks wear on, it’s all too common to lose your mojo.
How can you stay on top of your game?
Write daily gratitude lists. Regularly evaluate your goals & the steps you’re taking to get there. Make an effort to try new things. Be spontaneous. Figure out what you’re great at & delegate the rest. Focus. Take your time. & again: count your blessings, even — especially — when you feel like you don’t have many.
1 January 2013, 13:13
Last night, all across the world, we counted down the seconds until the clock ticked over. We kissed our lovers & friends, & toasted with overflowing glasses of bubbly pink champagne. We patted glitter onto our eyelids, we fluttered our false eyelashes, we slipped into those special shoes. Now, it’s here: it’s 2013, & it’s time to shine.
Let’s choose to make this year the perfect mix of work & relaxation; of magic & of mirth; of parties & personal down-time. Let’s keep the balance.
Let’s make the moments count. Let’s slow down, count our blessings, smile at our friends, & take lots of photos.
Let’s take huge risks & back them with immense faith. Let’s scare ourselves & do the so-called impossible.
Let’s resolve to get back on the horse, no matter how hard it kicks. We won’t be saddened by rejection or put off by a big endeavour. Let’s push further, work harder, & start with the most important task.
Let’s make a pledge to really reward ourselves this year. Let’s celebrate with abandon. Let’s keep champagne chilled in the fridge at all times!
Let’s gasp with delight, swoon with excitement, & laugh with happiness.
Let’s get more stamps in our passports!
It’s your year, baby!
16 December 2012, 09:28
I’ve been writing here for six years today, & it boggles my mind! Who would have thought?!
One of the reasons this is so amazing to me is that before I started doing what I love — namely, writing every day — I felt like I had no “sticking power”. Before I started this blog, my longest position had been a year & a half at Lush Cosmetics, & by the time I quit, I felt like I was having the air crushed out of me by a vengeful boa constrictor.
I figured I was just lazy or had no work ethic, & I’d look around at other people & completely fail to understand how they could just keep going to the job they hated every day, day after day. I just couldn’t do it. I’d get fired, or quit in a stressed-out rage.
I had this friend, a journalist, who I met under very strange circumstances. We would get together, drink scotch & talk for hours. He was much older than me — I was about 21 or 22, & he must have been at least 45. It was one of my most treasured friendships. I remember telling him one night how much I loathed my job, & lamented my lack of work ethic.
He replied, “Once you find something you really enjoy, trust me, that work ethic will come out of hiding. This job you have right now,” he took a breath, “Well, if you were gung-ho about it, I wouldn’t have much respect for you. You’re destined for something much greater.”
I didn’t believe him, but I always remembered his words… & a couple of years later, I was delighted to discover that he was right.
My goal has always been for this to be a place that makes you feel good. But really, the biggest, best & most awesome thing I could hope is that you are so inspired by what you’ve read & seen that you take a leap in your own life.
Maybe your dream right now is to quit your awful job as a telemarketer, or to leave behind everyone you know & travel to the furtherest reaches of the globe. Maybe you want to start a charity or adopt children. Maybe you want to become a politician or a world class doctor. Maybe you just want to make some space in your life so you can start writing the book you know you have inside you.
People always have excuses for not doing the things they really want to do. “I can’t afford it,” they’ll say, or, “I just can’t.”
When we make excuses, we take a sledgehammer to the knees of our dreams.
Excuses are just that: excuses. If you really want something more for yourself, don’t listen to those doubtful voices deep down inside, & even more importantly, never allow someone else to talk you out of it.
There will always be someone who feels the need to be the voice of reason. Your parents, best friend or Great Uncle Milton will all caution you against doing this or that.
“Be sensible!” They cry. “Be logical!” They insist. “Be rational!” They squeak.
But sensible, logical, rational people don’t often live their dreams.
I’d rather get in trouble in Paris than sit behind a desk in a small town. I’d rather sob my eyes out in London than do another soul-sucking commute. I’d rather embark on an ill-advised romp than do what other people expect of me. Always. A hundred times over.
I moved to New York City by accident: I flew over for a party, & I decided to stay. I arrived with one suitcase, & four years later, I’m still here. I am living my dream every day.
Yes, I had a return plane ticket; I could have gone back to Melbourne, to my old life. It would have been as easy as taking a cab to the airport. But I decided to take a risk. I decided to do something that felt terrifying but right… & I have never regretted it. Not once. Not one day.
We all have reasons to play it safe, be prudent, toe the line. Your heroes, your idols, the people you admire? They had reasons to play it safe, too… But they decided to do it anyway.
We are on the brink of a new year. This is the perfect time to draw some lines in the sand & come up with some brand new rules of living. You don’t have to live a half-baked life. You don’t have to settle, or do what everyone else expects.
You don’t exist to make other people happy. You are here to make yourself happy… & if you’re not, now is the time to do something about it.
I want to encourage you to take a risk. Scare yourself witless. Go out & do that thing. Until you do, you will never know what you are truly made of.
“The goal is to live with godlike composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces. A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: ‘As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think’.” (Joseph Campbell)
Inspire your friends: tweet it out!
When we make excuses, we take a sledgehammer to the knees of our dreams. (Click to tweet!)
I’d rather get in trouble in Paris than sit behind a desk in a small town… (Click to tweet!)
“As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.” (Click to tweet!)
For the last six years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your support, love, encouragement & enthusiasm have always meant so much to me, & I adore you more than you could possibly imagine!
So many of you have written to tell me that I am like the best friend you’ve never met, & it is such an honour. I think about that all the time when I’m writing, & it makes me feel like what I’m doing truly matters.
Thank you for that… & for everything else.
With endless love from your BFF, who always believes in you!
7 December 2012, 11:00
Do you have rituals that you perform every day? I do… & sometimes, they change when I least expect it!
In our household, every morning, after walking & feeding the dogs, we used to walk around the block, get coffee & kick off the day. I’d kiss my husband on the corner, he’d go off to work & I’d return to the blogosphere.
I finally did the math & figured out that going to the coffee shop every morning & buying two drinks — a soy mocha & a regular latte — was costing us over $60 a week. Multiply that by 52, & you realise you’re spending over $3000 a year to be caffeinated… Not including tips. As much as I like that going-&-getting-coffee time, I don’t know if it makes sense to pay three grand for the privilege.
As I was thinking about this, I remembered something my mother had whispered in my ear when she was here, which went along the lines of, “The Nespresso machine will change your life.” I started to do some research, & saw that it was actually a very reasonable investment.
I was even more encouraged to make the leap when I discovered these porcelain dollhead cups designed by Natalia Gruszecka! They were so cute & weird, I couldn’t resist. I imagined myself drinking coffee out of them in the mornings & smiling blissfully at my husband.
So I took the plunge & ordered her cups, as well as the Nespresso CitiZ — the skinniest machine they have. Our kitchen counter is, well, it’s not even a counter. It’s a tiny sliver of laminate that separates the sink from the oven. Thankfully, the CitiZ fits in perfectly, & dare I say, it’s pretty good-looking, too.
I am the opposite of thrifty, but I have to admit taking a slightly perverse thrill in the fact that my morning coffee now costs me 40 cents… & it’s delicious.
My new morning ritual: I squirt a little raw agave nectar in the bottom of the dollhead to sweeten things up, then press the button. About 30 seconds later, I have a perfect cup of espresso, piping hot & ready. Sometimes I add a little almond milk, if I’m feeling WACKY! (This is a combination that has to be tasted to believed. It is out of this world!)
Picking up the coffee itself isn’t difficult either, I just go to the Nespresso store in Soho. I wish they had an official store on Amazon but, well, maybe one day! We drink Fortissio Lungo, which is dark green & has a strong kick. I usually buy four cartons of capsules at a time. It costs $4 for 10 capsules: such a good deal.
You can also buy refillable coffee pods if throwing all those capsules away makes you crazy! (Thanks to Tina for pointing this out!)
As the temperature drops further with every passing day, I am even more pleased that I decided to pony up for the CitiZ. I mean, it was below freezing when I walked Dolly this morning. Why subject yourself to that nonsense any more than necessary?!
Oh, & in case you’re wondering: no, of course, my husband does not drink out of the dollhead cups. They freak him out! (He has an M monogram mug from Anthropologie, a gift from our friends Fumi & Asami!)
We still have shared coffee time… It’s just that now, it happens in front of our twinkling white Christmas tree (my new favourite thing)!
So tell me, what’s your morning ritual?
Love & dollheads,
P.S. Oh, if you’re wondering, this is NOT a sponsored post! I wasn’t even given anything “for consideration”. I just love my new morning system & wanted to share!
5 December 2012, 08:42
I’ve spent a bit of time with Will.i.am recently, & I think I can safely say that he has changed my mind about what it means to be green. (He also refers to me as “GAHHHLA DAHHHLING”, but that’s a story for another time!)
Being green & thinking about sustainability has never really been at the forefront of my mind. I’m proud to be from New Zealand, a country that runs on renewable energy & for whom recycling is a way of life — but I think I took that for granted. It was so much a part of how we lived life that I didn’t think much about it. Maybe I was sheltered or naive, but I never stopped to consider that it might be different elsewhere.
For example, my husband & I separate our trash from our recycling every day. There are two bins for recycling at the front of our building, but when our super prepares it for collection, he throws it all together in the same garbage bag. There are a lot of people in our building, our recycling bins fill up quickly, & yet it’s all being hauled off to the dump. That is so frustrating!
Even if you are actively recycling, it can sometimes feel like all those plastic bottles & magazines disappear into a black hole. So few of us actually know what happens once our recycling is trundled away. Where does it go? What happens to it? What does it become?
Some of it is turned into product… But most of it is pretty “granola” in design. What about people who want to own cool stuff? You shouldn’t have to choose between buying a “good” product or buying a good-looking product…
I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Will.i.am — you know, that rapper, musician, songwriter, singer, entrepreneur, actor, DJ & producer guy — does too. He took a look around at the products being made of recycled materials & saw that the reason they weren’t more popular is because they simply weren’t cool! Whether for good or for ill, most of us will choose form over function (or social good). If it doesn’t look like something we want to wear, carry or use, we’ll probably buy something else. He knows that you can harness consumer demand to force a shift in industry as well as behaviour… & that’s awesome.
So Will scheduled a meeting with Coca-Cola (yeah, those people who generate more plastic bottles than any other company in the world). During the EKOCYCLE launch, I spoke to a bunch of Coke executives, & they all told me that as the company with the best brand-recognition in the entire WORLD, they know that they create this problem… & they know they also have the platform to create massive change, & do massive good.
“In 2010, I went to Coca-Cola with an idea. What if we could change the cycle of traditional recycling — taking a plastic bottle to make another plastic bottle — & instead build a sustainable community that cares about the planet enough to wear how they care? What if people began demanding the products they love to be made out of sustainable materials?” (Will.i.am)
Enter EKOCYCLE. EKOCYCLE is a programme which uses a resin, created from recycled materials, to make entirely new things. I cannot express how cool this is: through the EKOCYCLE process, they turn plastic bottles, for example, into this kind of fluffy, foam-like product which can then be used to replace plastics or other materials.
So you know how practically everything is made of plastic? With EKOCYCLE, we can replace that with recycled material. SO AWESOME!
One of the coolest things about this is that this isn’t just about recycling a Coke bottle. It’s about beer cans, empty coconut water bottles, even Coke’s direct competitors: just using anything that can be recycled to create this resin which can be repurposed to make cool products that people actually want to own.
Will knows cool shit. I mean, look at the man’s glasses! So EKOCYCLE have teamed up with companies like Levi’s, New Era, Casemate, MCM & Beats by Dre to create the same products you love — just with recycled plastic as part of the makeup. Even better, a quick look at the label will tell you exactly how many plastic bottles (or their equivalent) are in each product.
Levi’s are doing a pair of 501s with eight recycled bottles inside! Beats by Dre EKOCYCLE headphones have the equivalent of three whole bottles inside them. This is no small thing.
The best thing? The products don’t look any different. They’re not any more EXPENSIVE. In fact, they cost the exact same price as the regular product. So if you can choose between a standard pair of jeans, or a pair of jeans which actually does social good; if they cost the same, & they look the same… Wouldn’t you choose the pair that makes you feel virtuous, just by putting them on?
I can attest to the quality of the products, too. I got a pair of Beats by Dre EKOCYCLE headphones & have barely taken them off. They look sick & they sound magnificent!
“Is waste waste because we wasted the opportunity to turn it into something else?” (Will.i.am)
Coke isn’t a perfect company, & recycling isn’t a perfect process. In a totally green world, no one would ever buy anything new… but that’s never going to happen. Nothing is ideal, & most things never will be, but that shouldn’t stop us from making an effort in the meantime.
After a certain point, that need for perfection simply becomes procrastination.
I’m really excited about the possibilities that EKOCYCLE can generate. This is literally about creating a new material out of something we already use, & using that new material to create everyday items we’d buy anyway. It is so genius & so groundbreaking. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to get involved!
(I also — in case you couldn’t tell from our copious photobooth pictures — had an amazing time at the EKOCYCLE launch, & made LOTS of new friends!)
I’m super-excited to be a part of this: to spread the word about EKOCYCLE, to work with Will & Coca-Cola to make it easier for us to recycle, to brainstorm ways to make being green more fun, cool, desirable & aspirational.
What do you think? How do you feel about EKOCYCLE? Is it something you can get behind? What kind of products do you think EKOCYCLE should make next? I just had a brilliant flash about an EKOCYCLE iPhone… !
Love & repurposed plastic bottles,
This post was made possible with the support of Coca-Cola. While this is a sponsored piece, the thoughts, opinions & extreme enthusiasm (!!!) are entirely my own.
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