Celebrating my 30th birthday.

This year, one of my resolutions was to celebrate my 30th birthday in style, and I feel as though I can tick that off my list.  I had agonized for ages over how to ring in the beginning of my 30th year, and in the end I decided that the best way would be with some awesome food, my favourite people and plenty of down time.

 

I ended up taking the week of my birthday off work.  I wanted to have a chance to relax and recharge as well as loads of time to plan fun celebrations with my family and friends.  Having a whole week where I didn’t have to get up and go to the office has been amazing.

 

My 30th birthday fell on the 9th of June, 2016.  I started the day by cuddling in bed with the cats before getting up and slipping into a vintage Pendleton wool skirt and this adorable cat jumper that I bought from Nerd Burger’s  closet clear-out sale.  I accessorised with my favourite black cat earrings, my grandmother’s eternity ring and this rad Deadpool necklace that my boyfriend David gave me.

 

My parents had very kindly purchased tickets for the three of us to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibit at Bendigo Art Gallery.  So we all traveled to Bendigo by car to check it out.

 

I’ve admired Marilyn Monroe for as long as I can remember.  My first memory of her is a black-and-white portrait that hung in our local pizza cafe.  The portrait is the ever-famous shot of Marilyn standing over the subway grate in The Seven Year Itch, with her skirts billowing in the updraft.  So it seemed fitting that we were greeted by this seven-metre sculpture of that exact moment as we pulled into the Bendigo CBD.

 

The exhibit itself was incredible.  It featured a wealth of personal items of Marilyn’s, including the beauty products from her dresser, her personal camera, her collection of gossip magazines and some jewellery.  There was also a huge collection of costumes and items from her personal wardrobe.  For me, these items were the highlight of the exhibit.  I am so inspired by Marilyn’s personal style, and to see her clothing in person was just amazing.  I was quite shocked by how small her clothes were.  She always appears so voluptuous, and yet some of these items were absolutely teensy.  The beading and detail on the costume pieces was breathtaking.  I was also struck by how ordinary many of her day-to-day outfits were.  Although there were many furs and gowns, the display cases featured twice as many plain day dresses, knit sweaters and simple shirts.  It really brought home the fact that although she is known as one of the most glamorous women in the world, Marilyn was also just a woman, who wore regular clothes in her downtime.  I spent a great deal of time looking at those simple day-to-day items, trying to imagine how she might have worn them.

 

I was utterly spoiled with presents.  I got a stack of new books, including a colouring-in storybook version of The Wizard of Oz. I’ve gotten really into colouring lately and I’m so enjoying working my way through this book.

 

My parents also got me a gorgeous set of Derwent pencils, something that I’ve wanted since I was a child.  These are just wonderful for colouring, and I expect I’ll get a lot of use out of them

 

My brother showered me with awesome gifts, but my favourite was this tee shirt, which I expect I will wear often.

 

The day after my birthday I travelled down to Melbourne to catch up with my friends.  I had booked myself a room at The Hotel Windsor as a very special treat.  This was my first time staying in a five-star hotel, and it was an incredible experience.  Upon arrival, my bags were whisked away and taken to my room.  The room itself was utterly luxurious, with a king-sized bed, a stunning bathroom and a kitchenette.

 

I was also delighted to discover that the staff had placed a birthday cake in my room as a special surprise.

 

I had organized a dinner at one of my favourite Japanese restaurants.  It was a great night, eating delicious food with my friends and my brother. By the time David and I got back to the hotel, I was ready for a bath and bed.

 

I think I definitely celebrated in style, and I’m extremely excited to see what my 30’s will bring.  My 20’s was a massive decade, and I know that I’m much happier with myself and my life than I was on my 20th birthday.  Fingers crossed that my 30’s will be filled with awesome opportunities and fantastic adventures.

What I wore 29/7/2015

I had an epiphany when I was typing the title of today’s post.  Since the very beginning of my blog, I’ve called my outfit posts “Daily Outfit”.  And when I started blogging that was definitely true.  Once upon a time I used to post an outfit shot every day.  Now I’m lucky to do a couple of outfit posts in a month.  So I made the decision to rename this post series “What I wore”, because it feels more real than “Daily Outfit” now.

So anyway, this is the outfit I wore to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday.  We went out for a lunch of seafood and soft drinks and it was fantastic.

I am wearing:

– Black and white floral dress from Target

– Leopard-trimmed cardigan (a gift from my parents)

– Seamed stockings from Dangerfield.

– Black patent leather heels from Nine West

– Black cat earrings from Sisunyak on Etsy.

It felt quite right to wear an outfit that was a mixture of ladylike sweetness and rebellious detailing to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday.  My grandma is an amazing and surprising person.  She’s has a pretty rough year, as my grandfather passed away last year and she’s been on her own for the first time since she got married. And she is absolutely thriving.  Grandma spent most of her life being a wife and mother and putting her husband’s needs first. And now she has jumped at the chance to embrace her independence and explore the things that she’s always wanted to try.  She has thrown herself into loads of new hobbies and has made plenty of friends.  She got a job at an op-shop.  And for her birthday she bought herself a house as a gift.  In the last year she’s really embraced the desire to live a life that makes her happy and has pooh-poohed anyone who doesn’t like her choices.  I really look up to her because she is one tough cookie who still manages to be sweet and kind to those who mean the most to her.

I’ve been having such fun styling my hair since i got it cut.  One of my favourite ways to wear it is to braid along the border of my shaved side.  It shows off my short hair to perfection but has a hint of feminine loveliness to it. On this day I swept the rest of my hair into a fancy backroll.

I finished my outfit with a swipe of my new favourite lipstick: Entourage by Lipstick Queen.  It’s part of the new Velvet Rope collection and it is to die for.  Not only is it very heavily pigmented and a gorgeously vampy shade, it is practically indestructible.  I think this is the longest-lasting, non-drying lipstick I’ve ever tried.  It’s gorgeous.

I was very pleased to pop on this sassy ensemble to celebrate my Grandma’s birthday.  I felt quite cute and a bit tough as well with my leopard print accents and my shaved head.  I love the duality of elements in this outfit, as I think it’s such fun to mix sweetness with sexiness and have a bit of both at once.  Don’t you agree?

Things I Love Thursday 1/1/2015

Happy New Year everyone!  How exciting!  The start of 12 months brimming with promise and possibilities.  As I look forward into what I want for this year, I also feel drawn to look back and reflect on all those things that have brought me joy.  So let’s all take a moment and think about the things that we love.

This week I love:

– My family.  I am so incredibly lucky to have the family that I do.  We all get along most of the time and we very rarely fight.  We all have a brilliant time together and we often have opportunities to catch up.  We support one another and offer a hand up when it’s needed.  I don’t know where I’d be without my family. I am so blessed to have been born into such an awesome group of people.

– My friends.  I have met so many people over the years, whether through school, at uni, through blogging, at work or just out and about. I have an awesome group of fantastic people from all walks of life that I draw energy and inspiration from.  I am so damn lucky to have not only many friends, but many awesome friends.

– My home.  I live by myself in a gorgeous little flat. My flat is on the large size, but the rent is extremely reasonable.  I have a huge yard, a gorgeous kitchen and enough space to allow my mates to come and stay often.  My neighbors are great too.

-My cats.  These little munchkins provide me with an endless supply of snuggles and giggles.  They are both so different in personality and yet I love them both equally.

– My body.  I am grateful to have a body that works and allows me to do all sorts of awesome things.

– My new job.  I’m excited to have the opportunity to begin a new job in the new year.  I’m really looking forward to learning the ropes.

– My blog.  Writing in this space on a regular basis is one of my favourite ways to spend my time.  It’s fantastic to have an outlet to explore my interests and let my creativity flow.  And it’s even more brilliant that so many people read and comment.  It makes me feel so wonderful when I get good feedback on something I’ve written.

And a few little things, including:

– Knee socks and short skirts

– Mango in salad

– Buying one last carton of eggnog before the year is over.

– Pigging out on pizza with my brother and my bestie.

– Making the perfect trifle

– My grandmother, who is becoming a staunch feminist in her old age.  She’s amazing.

– Sparklers, champagne and glitter.

Let’s hear you sing it, babes!  Tell me: what do you love this week?

What Santa brought me….

This Christmas I was absolutely spoiled.  I got so many gorgeous gifts and I feel so blessed.  I thought you might like to take a peek at some of my loveliest presents from Christmas 2014

 

This stunning antique brooch was a gift from my parents.  I had spotted this at the antiques fair earlier in the year, and my mother had secretly gone back later to pick it up for me.  Sneaky.

 

This art deco ring is from the 1920’s.  I was so thrilled to unwrap this on Christmas morning, because I’m in the throes of a love affair with art deco jewelry.

 

My grandmother gave me this stunning pearl bracelet.  She said it was a gift from my grandfather and she has only worn it once or twice.  It is from the 1960’s and features stunning apricot-coloured pearls.  I have a soft spot for pearls, and this bracelet is so perfect.

 

From my father I got this beautiful cranberry-coloured cloche.  My dad always does an amazing job choosing clothes and accessories for me.  He seems to have a great handle on my tastes.

 

I got a couple of movies to add to my collection.  Guardians of the Galaxy was a present from my friend Luke.  Heavyweights was from my parents.  Heavyweights was one of my favourite films when I was a kid.  My best friend and I used to watch it non stop.  It’s been jolly difficult to track down a copy, but just before Christmas I found two on ebay.  So I got one for me and one for my best friend, and then Mum wrapped them for us for Christmas.

 

My brother got me The Witches board game, based on the books by my favourite author, Terry Pratchett.  I got The Discworld game a couple of years ago and it’s excellent, so I’m extremely excited to play this one.  Best of all, this game can be played in a group, but it’s also designed for solo play.

 

Mum and Dad got me this sensational TARDIS shirt from the Dr Who pop-up store in Melbourne.  Dad said they spent ages in there trying to pick just one thing to buy me.  I’m so pleased with this shirt.

 

My bestie got me this book: Dress Memory by Lorelei Vashti.  I’ve had a flick through it and it looks really interesting.  I can’t wait to read it.

 

And my friends Kath and Evan bought me these awesome Frida Kahlo socks.  I wish I had filmed myself unwrapping these because the noise I made was hilarious.

 

I got lots of other beautiful clothes as well as some more books.  But I think I’ll wait and show off the clothes in some outfit posts.

 

What did you get for Christmas this year?  Was Santa kind to you?

Why being single at Christmas is awesome.

This year was the second Christmas that I’ve celebrated as a single woman.  I’ll admit that in the lead-up to Christmas I was a bit down about going it alone during the holidays.  All the cheer of Christmas can be hard to swallow when you’re all by yourself.  It gets tough fielding constant questions from relatives about your relationship status, reading gift guides for couples and knowing that you’ve got nobody to snuggle up with on Christmas Eve.

But it isn’t all bad being single during the holidays.  In fact, there are a lot of fantastic things about celebrating a solo Christmas.  I’ve been reflecting on all the ways that being single at Christmas is awesome, and today I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

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– There are no fights about whose parents to spend Christmas Day with.  You can spend as much of the day with your own people as you’d like.  You don’t have to rush about, trying to spend equal time with both families.  You can just chill out and divide up your time however you’d like.

– There are no dramas about buying romantic gifts.   You don’t have to agonize about finding just the right gift for your significant other.  There’s no need to stress about how much to spend on your new boyfriend, or whether it’s too soon to buy them a “serious” gift.

– You don’t have to worry about opening a disappointing gift from your boyfriend on Christmas morning.  There’s nothing quite like spending a fortune on a set of gorgeous cufflinks for your man, only to be presented with a gift voucher for JB-HiFi on Christmas morning.

– You can regale all of your married cousins with thrilling tales about your exciting single life over drinks on Christmas Eve.

-You get to entirely side-step the horror that is joint holiday card writing.

– There is nobody to disturb you during your post-lunch nap on Christmas Day.  You can nap as long as you want, without some horny dude trying to fondle you in your sleep.

– You don’t have to suffer through wearing the itchy, ill-fitting “sexy” lingerie that your boyfriend bought you for Christmas.  Nor do you have to open said lingerie in front of your parents.

– You can watch “Love Actually” and “A Muppet Christmas Carol” on repeat and there’ s nobody to poke fun at you when you tear up at the end.

– You are in total control of the Christmas decorations.  You don’t have to compromise and hang the hideous decorations he inherited from his great-aunt.  And likewise, there’s nobody to tell you that you can’t hang the stockings you made in kindergarten.

DSCF9220– There’s no need to stress about your post-Christmas-lunch body.  I would always feel so self-conscious about eating too much on Christmas day, lest I be bloated and sluggish if my boyfriend wanted to have sex that night.  Now, I know that any Christmas night sex will be a solo affair, and I don’t mind if I’m rocking a food baby.

– You don’t have to buy presents for in-laws. You don’t have to take part in your boyfriend’s family’s Kris Kringle and wind up buying a present for his aunt Marjorie who you’ve never met.  You don’t have to buy presents for your lazy or clueless boyfriend to give to your parents.

-You can put Christmas hats on your pets without your boyfriend rolling his eyes at you.

-You can cuddle your cousin’s baby without your grandma making goo-goo eyes at you and cooing “Getting clucky are we?  You two should start thinking about children soon, you know?”

Did you celebrate a solo Christmas this year?  What are the best bits about being single at Christmas?

The Christmas gift that never came.

When you were a kid, was there ever something that you wanted for Christmas that you never, ever received?  Sure there was!  Practically everyone I know has a similar tale of missing out on that ONE THING that they really, really wanted for Christmas.   It seems to be a common thread that runs through most childhoods: the constant requests, numerous appearances on wishlists and endless begging to department store Santas that yielded disappointing results.

 

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For me, that elusive gift was a trampoline.  I asked for a trampoline every Christmas from the time I was four years old until I was fourteen.  For ten years I diligently added it to my Christmas list.  When I was tiny, that involved cutting a picture of a trampoline out of a toy catalog and pasting it to a collage of My Little Ponies and Ninja Turtles paraphernalia.  As I got older, I would labour away, tongue poking out the side of my mouth as I struggled to spell “trampoline”.  I even remember getting out Dad’s enormous hard-cover dictionary to make sure that I got the spelling exactly right so that there could be no mistake as to what I was asking for.

 

 

Despite my constant requests, I never got a trampoline.  I had to settle for bouncing on the one in my best friend’s backyard every second weekend when I would sleep over at her place.  But as awesome as that was, it never measured up to the hope of owning my very own trampoline.  I harbored dreams of spending the hours after school in a semi-suspended state of bouncing bliss.  I imagined how skilled I could become at flips and somersaults if I only had the means to practice them on a daily basis.  And I also thought that the trampoline would be a bitchin’ place to sleep on hot summer nights.

 

Now, I should point out that my parents had a pretty good reason for not buying me a trampoline.  Years earlier, my aunt had fractured her skull when she took a nasty spill on a trampoline.  Apparently she had similar hopes of mastering a mid-air somersault, but during her maiden attempt her knee violently kissed her forehead, shattering her skull.  Although my aunt recovered, all the adults in my family decided from that point on that none of the kids should own a trampoline lest the same thing happen to them. And considering the fact that every member of our family seems to have been bashed with the unco-stick, I’d say that was a pretty good decision.

 

So I never got a trampoline, and it took ten years before I gave up asking for one.

 

So now it’s over to you.  What was the one thing you always wanted but never got for Christmas?  How long did it take you to stop asking?

Things I Love Thursday 4/12/2014

You guys, December is finally here!  I can scarcely believe that we are at the tail-end of the year.  It feels like only moments ago that I was running about waving sparklers with Miss Fairchild and her family as we rang in the new year.  And 2014 is practically over!  Time to sit down and devote some time to all the things that have made me smile this week.

This week I love:

– Waking up to birdsong.

– Being stopped in the street six times in two days to be told that I looked gorgeous by various women.  I felt very special.

-The film Pride.  I went to see it with Mum last week and it was spectacular.  I can’t recommend it enough.  If you want a feel-good movie with loads of heart, then this one is just for you.

– Finally being able to listen to Christmas carols and watch my favourite Christmas films.  I make myself wait until December 1st each year before I can indulge in all my favourite Christmas activities, and I’m so glad that the time has finally arrived.

– Sleeping on the loungeroom floor when the weather warms up.

– Getting up super early, lacing up my joggers, and going for a brisk walk around the lake.

– The feeling of utter peace at the end of my daily yoga practice.

– Crunchy celery sticks.

– The smell of the bitumen heating up in the summer sun after a shower.

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-Mega glittery Christmas decorations.

– Jim Carey.  The man is a comic genius.

– Lavender-scented candles.

– Bear hugs from my dad.

What do you love this week sweetheart?  I’d love to hear all about the things that are making you grin!