My favourite vegan resources

Happy Veganuary!  Veganuary is a campaign to encourage people to try a vegan diet for the month of January.  If you’re interested in veganism and want to give it a go, I recommend taking part in Veganuary.


To celebrate Veganuary, I’m publishing a series of posts about veganism during the month of January.  These posts will deal with some of the common questions faced by new vegans and assist and support you if you’re considering making the transition to a vegan diet.


One of the most important things to do at the beginning of your vegan journey is to do your research.  Veganism is a massive topic and there are so many things to be considered.  You need to think about the reasons why you want to go vegan, the health benefits and concerns associated with a vegan diet as well as recipes and meal inspiration.  The internet is filled with resources for new vegans, but it can be very overwhelming when you’re just getting started.  To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the resources that I found most helpful at the beginning of my transition to veganism, as well as the ones that I reference on a regular basis now.



Forks over Knives: This compelling documentary discusses the health benefits of a plant based diet.  It considers whether eating a diet high in animal products can contribute to problems like heart disease and cancer and how moving away from animal products can have a healing effect on our bodies.


101 Reasons to Go Vegan: A presentation aimed at high school students to help you consider the ethical dilemmas involved in farming and eating animals and animal by-products.


Cowspiracy: A sobering look at the environmental impact of the farming industry.



The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S Nixon: When you’re first learning to cook a plant-based diet, a comprehensive book like this one can be a lifesaver.  I read this book two months after I began eating a vegan diet, and it made life so much easier.  It is chock-full of recipes for meal inspiration, has pages of tips for negotiating eating out at restaurants and social gatherings, lots of interviews with vegans of all walks of life and great shopping lists in the back.  One important thing to note is that this book is focused on plant-based eating, which doesn’t include things like oil and so it’s a tad more limited than a traditional “vegan” diet.  But this book is still a great starting point and I highly recommend it.


Veganish: the Omnivore’s Guide to Plant-Based Cooking by Mielle Chenier and Cowan Rose: An excellent book to read if you’re concerned about the nutritional value of a vegan diet.  Although the book does have a lot of recipes, they are a tiny bit more advanced than most beginner-friendly books, owing to the fact that the author is a chef.  It’s still a great read and very informative.


Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater: Most vegan cookbooks are a plethora of salads, soups, curries and other angelic delights.  This punk-rock book is brimming with amazing vegan junk food options like pizzas, cakes, cookies, chips, sandwiches and nachos.  It’s colourful and creative and so much fun.



All Vegan, All Good: All Vegan, All Good is the shopping hub for cruelty-free clothing and products. If you are looking for good-quality vegan clothing, beauty products and lifestyle products, this website is a great place to start.  Browse through the list of shops or search for specific items.  This site has saved me so much time when looking for new shoes and beauty products.


Veggieful: This is my most-visited site for finding vegan groceries and takeaway options.  Although the site is packed with blog posts about vegan nutrition, recipes and so forth, the real kicker is the comprehensive lists of “accidentally vegan” items at major grocery stores and takeaway chains in Australia.  This website will save you so much time scouring ingredients lists and asking waitstaff what you can order.  It’s amazing and I love it.


Choose Cruelty Free: A comprehensive listing of all the companies that make cruelty free and vegan cosmetics in Australia.  This is immensely helpful as it can be very confusing trying to determine which products are cruelty free in the chemist or supermarket as not all of them are clearly labelled.  This website takes all the guesswork out of shopping for cosmetics.


The Cruelty Free Shop: The biggest vegan supermarket in Australia.  The brick-and-mortar store is located in Fitzroy.  However, if you’re not able to get to the actual shop, you can buy all your vegan goodies at their online store.  Featuring everything from groceries to snacks, makeup to lubricant, everything is 100% vegan.


Youtube channels

Keira Rose: Keira vlogs about a range of topics, including mental health and cosplay.  But my favourite part of her channel is her “what I ate” videos which are great fodder for meal planning and her reviews of vegan products.  She’s charming, funny and adorable and I’ve learned so much from her channel.


Jenny Mustard: I first discovered Jenny’s channel when I was looking for videos about minimalism and decluttering.  In addition to being a genius on these topics, Jenny is a total foodie and gives brilliant advice on simple, satisfying vegan cooking.  She’s a master of meal planning and has loads of snack ideas that will make your mouth water.


Plant Based News:  A great channel to help you access the newest vegan documentaries as well as interviews with scientists, doctors and health professionals.


Vegan Voyager: Laura’s down-to-earth tone and witty attitude make this channel a pleasure to watch.  Featuring great advice for vegan travel, avoiding products with hidden animal content and identifying accidentally vegan products.  Loads of delicious junk food and shopping tips.


If you know of any other resources that you think I should add to this list, please let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for new vegan books, films and online media to learn from and share.


As always, if you’ve got any questions I’d be happy to try to answer them for you.  Drop me an email or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.



Product review: Tantus Purr dildo

I don’t believe I’ve ever crushed as hard on an inanimate object as I have on the Tantus Purr dildo.  This toy is undoubtedly one of my favourites and I’m extremely excited to share it with you today.

I purchased the Purr way back in January as part of Tantus’ new years sale.  I was looking for a toy that had either great texture or dramatic size, and in the Purr I got both.  My eyes were instantly drawn to the amazing pink pearl colour.  This particular shade is just so pretty and it really does have a gorgeous pearly sheen to it that makes it look utterly magical.  If pink isn’t your thing, the Purr also comes in Purple Haze, which is a stunning galactic purple shade.

To begin with, I want to talk about the texture on this toy.  The Purr features a series of deep ribs down the shaft.  I am always a little bit dubious when it comes to textured toys, because often I can’t feel those ridges and bumps during use.  I’ve always scoffed at condoms that are “ribbed for her pleasure” because I’m yet to meet a woman who can detect those puny ribs, let alone derive pleasure from them.  But the Purr is a whole other story.  During entry, those ribs buzz a beautiful tune along my inner lips and drag deliciously inside me.  The feeling is still subtle, but very pleasurable indeed.


The Purr is what I call a “front-loaded” toy, in that it has a pronounced head and is heavier towards the front end.  I personally love toys that have this particular weight distribution because they feel wonderful against my G-spot.  The Purr also feels great during shallow thrusting because of that big, bold head.  The head is perfectly rounded which makes it easy to insert, although it’s not as tapered as some other toys I own.


Now, we need to talk about the size of this toy.  When I pulled it out of the box, my eyes watered a little because I thought it would be much too big to play with comfortably.  Before this, I always imagined that my vagina was a dainty little flower which should only be penetrated with slim, slender toys.  And up until this point all of my toys fit that description.  But the Purr made me realise how much I enjoy big toys.  I don’t think I’ve quite earned the title of Size Queen, but I’ll comfortably admit to being a Size Princess.  The Purr is 6.75 inches long and 1.4 inches wide at the head.  So it ain’t little.  But boy, does it feel great.  The silicone is fairly firm, which means that it doesn’t have a whole lot of give to it.  This and the girth of the toy means that I usually need a little warm up before I’m ready to jump in with this one.  But once you’re properly ready, the size and width of this toy will fill you up and feel wonderful.

The flared base of the Purr is a very important feature.  Firstly, it makes it harness compatible.  It slips neatly into my harness and I honestly adore the way this looks when I’m wearing it.  The flexibility of the silicone combined with the weight of the head give it a nice little ‘bob’ when you walk which I quite love.  Additionally, the flared base means that you can use the Purr anally, for pegging or solo play.  The size of this toy means that it is definitely not for beginners to butt play, but experienced pegging fans may enjoy tackling the challenge.  Admittedly, I tried this one in my butt because I was dying to experience the intensity of those ribs, but sadly it had me beat.  Although my vagina loves big toys, my butt still prefers the small, dainty variety.

You’ll also notice that the Purr has a hole in the bottom of the base.  What on earth is that for?  Well, it has two uses.  The first are to insert a suction cup, which allows you to attach the toy to the shower, a chair, the wall or another flat surface for hands-free fun.

Secondly, the hole can be used to house a vibrating bullet to turn your dildo into a vibrator.  The Purr comes with a small Tantus bullet, which fits snugly into the hole.  Admittedly, I found the vibe very disappointing when used this way.  The dense silicone really muffles the vibrations so they are pretty well dampened by the dildo.  But on it’s own, the bullet really packs a punch.  For a battery operated bullet, this thing has a fair amount of buzz.  It operates with a single click-on-click-off button and only has one power setting, but it’s a nice basic bullet.  I prefer using the bullet on my clit while thrusting with the Purr rather than using it in the intended way.

The Purr is made with Tantus’s gorgeous glossy silicone, which is smooth to the touch and completely body safe.  It is waterproof and can be cleaned in the sink or even in the dishwasher for a really thorough clean.


The Purr retails for $74.21 on the Tantus site.  The quality of this toy make it well worth the price, and I’d happily recommend it to my readers.  Although I purchased it nearly a year ago, and I have loads of other toys, this is one that I come back to over and over.  It’s a winner in my eyes.

Christmas 2014 wishlist

You guys, December is here!  December is probably my favourite month of the year.  I adore Christmas and I spend the whole month indulging in my favourite baked goods, decorating my house and shopping like a madwoman.  To get you in the Christmas spirit, I thought that I would share my Christmas wish-list for this year.



‘Dear Santa…’ by Nessbowify

A list of gorgeous items that I would be thrilled to unwrap on Christmas morning.

SALE Empire Records tshirt R…


M2O Why So Serious? Danse Ma…


Vintage 60’s Pastel Mold…


Let Me In signed poster – 11…


Awesome vintage green apple …


CYNTHIA rugrats defying beau…


Hedwig and the Angry Inch Or…


Toadstool Necklace


Nightmare Before Christmas M…


Winterfell — Book Lovers…


Beautiful Queen Anne’s L…


Freddy Krueger Inspired High…


Vintage 1985 Silver and blue…


Doctor Who – 10th Doctor Kit…


Game of Thrones — Valar Mor…


Frida Kahlo Dress/ Vintage …


Powered By Handmadeology


Some other awesome things that are on my ultimate wish-list include:

– A week’s stay at a yoga retreat in the Dandenong ranges

– A visit to the cat cafe that’s just opened in Melbourne.

– A full-body massage at a gorgeous spa.

– The box set of The Office on DVD.

– Tickets to Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.


What about you sweet pea?  What are you hoping to find under your tree this year?  Leave your far-out and fantastical wish-list in the comments.

Consumption: May 2012

Consumption is a monthly feature where I give you a sneek peek at the movies I’ve watched, the books I’ve read and the products I’ve used up over the past month.


This months’ consumption post is a bit smaller than normal.  I haven’t been watching too many films, because I’ve gotten hooked on the supernatural drama series, “Being Human”, and it’s been taking up most of my viewing time.  I’ve only used up a handful of products as well, so there’s not too much to share there either.  Anyways, let’s get down to it!


Books I’ve read

The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr by Linda Porter:  I was really excited to read this biography about Henry VIII’s final queen, because Katherine Parr is the one Tudor wife that I know the least about.  It was a really great read, and I ripped throught it in a matter of days.  I learned so much about Katherine Parr and even picked up a few tidbits about Tudor life that I didn’t know about.

Tank Girl: The Royal Escape by Alan C. Martin and Rufus Dayglo: A weird and wonderful tale of how Tank Girl beat an army with nothing but a boiled egg and a stone army.  This graphic novel was lots of fun, although I’m not as much of a fan of Rufus Dayglo’s artwork.  I prefer the traditional style of Jamie Hewlett when it comes to Tank Girl. 


Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett: a moving and gorgeously-written story about Plum, a teenage girl with a problematic life.  Some parts of this novel rang so true it just made my heart ache.  I didn’t like the ending though.  There was no real conclusion, the story just stopped suddenly.  Other than that, it was a really great book.


Ellements of Personal Style by Joe Zee and Maggie Bullock: A tome compiling a sneek peek into the wardrobes and homes of 25 fashion icons.  It included such stylish women as Anjelica Huston, Charlotte Rampling, Christina Hendricks, Dianne Von Furstenburg, Candace Bushnell and Dita Von Teese.  I found it fascinating and inspiring.


Products I used up

A Breath of Fresh Air toner from Lush: This is one of my favorite hot-weather products.  It’s light texture and zesty fragrance is perfect for pepping up wilted, sweaty skin.  It’s very gentle and doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils, so it’s perfect for maintaining a plump and gorgeous complextion.  Best of all, one bottle lasts for ages.  I bought this back in December, and it’s lasted until May.


Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture  Renewal shampoo: I have a real problem with dry, dead ends.  When your hair is as long as mine is, you have to take extra special care to make sure that your locks stay nourished and moisturized.  This shampoo was ideal for keeping my hair clean, without drying it out.  It also smells gorgeous.


Movies I watched

De-Lovely: A biopic about the life of music legend Cole Porter.  The soundtrack to this film was awesome, and featured some wonderful cameos.  I never thought I’d see Alanis Morissette sing ‘Let’s Do It”, but now I can say I have, thanks to this film.  It was a bit long, and the basic premise of the film was a bit clunky.  However, it told Cole’s story well and left me feeling quite emotional by the end.


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Ross and I watched this in preparation for Free Comic Book Day.  Crude and rude, it’s still as funny to me now as it was when I watched it for the first time.


Mallrats: another classic View Askew movie.  It features fab performances from Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Ben Affleck and Shannon Doherty. 


Clerks 2: As gross and rude as this film is, I have to say that it’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen about male friendship and comeraderie.  Dante and Randall have the most dysfunctional friendship imaginable, but the bond between them is really quite lovely.  This film is also worth seeing just for Jay Mews’ rendition of the Buffalo Bill dance from Silence of the Lambs.


Pete’s Dragon: This classic Disney film has been on my to-watch list for a while.  I managed to get a copy from the local library.  It was as sweet and cutesy as you’d expect from a Disney film, but the story is really dated.  I did adore Elliot, the clumsy, well-meaning green dragon.


What have you been reading, using and watching this past month?

Consumption: April 2012

Consumption is a series of posts where I share what I’ve been reading, watching and using during the past month.  April was a big month for movies and books, but not so much for beauty products.  I only used up two products this entire month!  Never mind, I’m sure there will be more to share in May.


Books I read

Tank Girl: The Odyssey by Jamie Hewlett and Peter Milligan.

This comic book is probably my least favorite Tank Girl edition I’ve read so far.  It is a parody of Homer’s Oddysey, which I’m not terribly familiar with.  Perhaps if I were better versed in the original text, I have enjoyed it more.  The artwork is awesome and the storyline was filled with classic Tank Girl banter. 


 What on Earth are you Wearing? by Michi

This super-cute dictionary of style terminology was a gift from my mate Mandie.  It was good for a bit of giggly light reading.


A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

I had been waiting to read this autobiography for a very long time, and I have to say that it was well worth the wait.  Cupcake Brown is brutally honest and open about her disturbing youth.  She writes with poignant clarity, so much so that you feel as though you truly understand what it was like to walk in her shoes.  She was sent to live with a psychotic foster-mother at the age of eleven.  By the time she was thirteen, she was drinking heavily, using drugs and working as a prostitute.  After years of alcoholism, sexual abuse and drug addiction, she managed to pull herself up by the bootstraps and become a lawyer.  It’s an amazing story, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


A Lion Amoung Men by Gregory Maguire

This book is the final installment in the Wicked series.  It focusses on the back story of Brrr, the Cowardly Lion.  I found it really sweet to begin with, but I lost interest towards the end. 


Films I watched

A Fish Called Wanda

I found this film about a set of bumbling con-men hilarious.  I’m a sucker for anything with John Cleese in it, and he’s brilliant in this film.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.

I checked this film out with my Dad in preparation for Supanova early in the month.  I really enjoyed the final installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise, and I always feel a sense of bittersweet resolution when I watch it.


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’ve been going through a Disney phase at the moment.  I’m trying to fill in the gaps of my Disney viewing, watching the films I’ve never seen before.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame wasn’t a film that I expected to enjoy very much, but I actually quite liked it.  The songs were beautiful, and the story was touching.  I did find it a bit darker than some of Disney’s other works.


Attack the Block

I chose this film purely because Nick Frost appears in it.  This film is about an alien invasion in London, and a group of housing-commission-thugs that try to ward off the aliens.  It had a few good scares, but in general I wasn’t terribly impressed.



This was yet another film that I enjoyed a lot more than I expected to.  It had a few truly hilarious parts (such as Thor’s search for a horse), and the story was exciting.  The special effects were also pretty breathtaking. 


The Avengers

The Avengers is probably the best comic book movie that I’ve seen in a long while.  The cast is awesome, the script is punchy and the effects are spectacular.  I was particularly taken with Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of The Hulk. 


Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

After a long, crappy day of work, I had been looking for a lighthearted film to cheer me up.  Pee Wee was the perfect choice.  It’s got a pretty high silliness quotient, which only made me adore it more.  I totally wanted to live in Pee Wee’s house after watching this.


Products I used up.

A.S.A.P Gentle Cleansing Gel

I got a sample of this cleanser from my beautician after I went for a facial a few weeks ago.  I took it for a test spin, but I wasn’t really impressed with the results.  It had a lovely citrussy scent and was very invigorating.  I found it didn’t really get my skin properly clean though.  I had to clease twice to get all the grime off my face, which is a pretty big waste of product if you ask me.  I want something that will get my skin totally clean in one fell swoop.


Aqua Marina Cleanser from Lush

This has been my favorite hot-weather cleanser for a couple of years now.  The clay formula really helps to control surface oil on the skin, and the fact that it looks like a sushi roll only makes it more appealing to me.  This cleanser is no good for removing makeup though.  I need to use something else to get rid of my slap before I cleanse.


What have you been reading, watching and using up this month?  Any suggestions for me?

Consumption: March 2012

March was an utterly awesome month for me. I finished quite a number of products, which is fantastic because it’s cleared a bit of space in my bathroom cupboard. I read a couple of books, but not quite as many as I’d have liked. As for movies, I did watch a few, but Ross and I have been checking out quite a few television shows instead of films. Here’s what I’ve been using, reading and watching in March.

Products I used up.

Original Source mint and tea tree shower gel: This was one bottle of zesty goodness! I bought this to cool Ross and I down in the hot summer weather, and the bottle lasted well into autumn. I chose it because the smell was really refreshing, and it was a good unisex option. The gel leaves you feeling really clean, and is so stimulating, that it actually left my skin tingling after each use.

Lip Smackers Lip Balm in Strawberry Fanta.

Lip Smackers do the best lip balms ever, in my opinion. This one was really moisturizing, with a slight gloss and the most delicious flavour. Yum!

Herbalism cleanser by Lush

This is my go-to cleanser for summer. It gives your skin a really good cleanse, without drying it out. It’s got rice vinegar and seaweed, so it smells a little funky, but that’s alright. The rice bran in the formula gives your skin a gentle scrub to leave you glowing. The bright green shade is loads of fun for pretending you’re a swamp monster each time you wash your face.

Sanctum soap

I got this soap from a hotel room in Canberra, and I fell in love with it’s lemongrass and ginger scent. I adore zesty soaps, and this one was perfect for waking me up before work in the morning. It also had little particles in it, which gave my body a bit of a gentle exfoliation as well.

Revlon Colourstay pressed powder in Light.

I am finding it harder and harder to find a pressed powder that I like these days. I prefer my powder to come in a mirrored compact with it’s own sponge so that I can throw it in my bag for touch-ups throughout the day. Most now don’t have a sponge in them, or come without a mirror. This one has both, plus it was a perfect match for my skin tone and did a great job of keeping shininess at bay.

Lip Smackers 2 in 1 shampoo in Strawberry.

I bought this on a whim, and I’m very glad I did. Not only does it smell positively divine, it got my hair so shiny and clean as well. It claims to be a shampoo and conditioner in one, but I still used a conditioner with it, as it really isn’t moisturizing enough to use on it’s own. It would be suitable to use without a conditioner if you had short hair, but my long locks need all the moisture they can get. I also love the flip-top bottle, which makes it easy to get the product out when your fingers are soapy and slippery.

Books I read

This month I was rather disappointed by the number of books I managed to get through. I had borrowed a huge stack from the library, and barely managed to finish three. Oh well.

The Virgin’s Lover by Phillipa Gregory: A romanticised look at the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Robert Dudly, the man who was rumoured to be her lover. I enjoyed this book, although I thought that the author had taken a bit too much artistic licence and had embellished too much on a true story. I have found this to be a bit of a theme in Phillipa Gregory’s book, which tend not to stick as closely to history as I would like them to.

Frida by Hayden Herrera

I found this book completely fascinating, and I really took my time getting through it because I wanted to drink up every morsel. This biography of Frida Kahlo goes into minute detail about many aspects of her life, and I learned so many things about her while reading it. It also provides some very interesting interpretations of her paintings, which were very interesting to me, as I have no knowledge of art or symbolism and it was great to be able to appreciate Frida’s paintings on a deeper level.

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

A collection of gripping short stories and poems. Some are eerie, some are creepy and some are deeply emotional. One thing they all have in common though is that they’re all awesome.

Movies I watched.

The World According to Garp

I read this book a few years ago, and utterly loved it. The movie was also pretty darn good. Garp is a young man with a rather unorthodox back story. The movie details his incredible life and the colourful people that inhabit it. It starred John Lithgow and Robin Williams, both of whom are favourite actors of mine.

Pan’s Labyrinth

This movie scared the bajeebus out of me. It was supremely creepy and unsettling, and I wish I hadn’t watched it right before bed. It tells the story of a young girl in Spain after the Spanish revolution. She is taken to live in the mountains to live with her mother and her new stepfather- a tyrannic captain. She retreats into a fantasy world, which is sometimes just as disturbing as her real life.

Murder on the Orient Express

I picked this up to watch during my 1920’s obsession, and was pretty disappointed. Although the film was great, I despised the ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say, I didn’t like the way it finished up.

John Carter

I won tickets to see John Carter thanks to All Star Comics. Ross and I made a night of it, and headed to the late showing of the film. It was a really fabulous adventure, with far-off lands and excellent creatures. I was especially taken by the costumes. If you’re a sci-fi fan, or like films based on works of literature, I would recommend this to you.

What did you watch, read and use this month? Anything I should check out myself?

February consumption

I’m back again with another consumption post, where I share what I’ve been watching, reading and using up this month. You might have noticed that there was no consumption post for January. I must apologise for this, but with all the moving and faffing about I just didn’t get around to it. Never mind though, because this month, I’ve got loads of books, movies and products to share with you.



Movies I watched.

Whip It: It’s true that I only watched this a month or so ago, but Ross had never seen it and I needed something mindless to watch while I did the ironing. This movie kicks serious butt.



The 5th Element: can you believe that I watched this for the first time this month. I adored it, from the costumes to the futuristic setting. Did you know that all the costumes in The Fifth Element were designed by Jean Paul Gaultier? They blew my mind.



Extract: A random comedy starring Jason Bateman and Mila Kunis. I had low hopes for this film, but it actually wound up being much better than I expected.



The Help: It’s been a very long while since I watched a film that I’ve adored as much as this. The Help is incredibly moving and full of heart. It tells the story of a young writer in Mississippi in the 1960’s who sets out to write a book of interviews with several African American housemaids. The Help has an amazing cast and is a fab film. I watched it twice in three days.



The Queen: Helen Mirren never ceases to amaze me. The Queen chronicles the struggles of the British royal family in the wake of Princess Diana’s untimely death.



Rear Window: Although I’ve seen a million parodies of this film, I’ve never seen the original. I was hooked from the opening credits to the very end. It’s worth watching just for Grace Kelly’s floaty dresses, and the gripping plot.



Angels and Demons: This film was pretty good. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I liked the Da Vinci Code, but it was a good thriller. I thought that the book was much better though.



Tin Tin: I was never a big Tin Tin fan as a kid, so I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy this or not. However, I walked out of the cinema with a massive smile on my face. The animation is fantastic, the storyline is funny and engaging and the characters have so much personality. Tin Tin is a thrilling adventure, which is perfect for big and little kids.



Persepolis: The art-house film tells the true story of Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian-born woman who flees to Vienna to escape the violence and danger in her home country. Beautifully rendered and heartbreaking, with plenty of comic relief. A truly gorgeous film.



The Aviator: I hired this because I had heard that Gwen Stefani makes a brief cameo as Jean Harlowe. The appearance of my pop idol was brilliant, as was most of the film. The Aviator is about Howard Huges, an eccentric aviation enthusiast and film director. It was interesting, although incredibly strange in parts. One of the highlights for me was seeing Cate Blanchett in a fantastic portrayal of Katherine Hepburn.



Cleopatra: This is worth seeing for the costumes alone. Elizabeth Taylor is breathtakingly beautiful in this Hollywood epic. Be warned though- this film is incredibly long- running for nearly four hours. You’ll need an intermission!



Books I read.

To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegel: A fascinating look at the impact the fashion industry is having on our environment, and what can be done to lessen the blow.



The Royal Historian of Oz by Tommy Kovak and Andy Hirsch: a really sweet graphic novel about the son of an Oz-obsessed writer, who is sucked into the magical world by accident. A fun read with brilliant illustrations.



Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire: This is the sequel to Wicked, and it did not disappoint. Set after the Witch of the West is killed, Son of a Witch follows her son, Liir, in his quest to find out who he really is. A must-read for Oz fans.



Making Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa: My mother loaned me this book, which is about a cat who lives in a nursing home. Oscar has an uncanny talent for being able to sense when a patient is about to die, and sits with them in their final hours. This book was incredibly sad and a bit depressing. It had an uplifting message, but I found it mostly upsetting.



Inheritance by Nicholas Shakespeare: This book started off really well, but I got bored half-way through and didn’t even finish it. A man accidentally inherits 17 million dollars after stumbling into the funeral of a man he didn’t even know. Although the story is promising, it gets a bit rambling after about a hundred and fifty pages.



Products I used up

Sunsilk conditioner for damaged hair reconstruction: this conditioner worked wonders on my dry summer hair. It really nourished my strands and left them silky once more. As an added bonus, it smelled divine.



Benefit It’s Potent eye cream: I wrote a full review of this cream earlier in the year. I was pretty darn impressed with it’s restorative properties.



Bloom green tea and bergamot body butter: This fresh-smelling body butter is one of the richest I’ve ever used. A little goes a long way, and a dab is all you need to transform scaly skin into a satiny dream.



What have you been reading, watching and using this last month?