Friday, October 22, 2010

Climbing Towers. What A Job

If you're scared of heights, don't watch this. But if you reckon you have an office with a view, that's probably nothing compared to this! (Though I wonder ,how easy is it for them to get down and how do they do it?)

Stairway to Heaven (climbing towers) from Joe LaGreca on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Summer New Arrivals!

Today it was actually warm and sunny ALL day. Like, not just at lunchtime, or a sunny morning, but the whole day has been above 20 degrees, which is somewhat of an achievement. It means that after having loads of lovely summer frocks stockpiled, I can finally bust some out (though the tanning moisturiser needs to be busted out first). Here's some new summery stuff we've received recently:

Pink Stitch Muse Dress, $79.95 I'm not really a brown-wearing kinda person, which is actually quite irrelevant as this dress is more in the tan family. Ergo, I can wear this dress despite it not being the colour palette I usually go for. Hurrah! It looks so sophisticated and you only need minimal accessories - some delicate earrings and some killer heels should finish it off quite nicely indeed.

Birds of a Feather Pretty Woman Dress, $119.95 Alot of stuff about the early 90's was not cool. Flower hats, for example. But Pretty Woman was. And polka dots are. So this dress - it's cool. It's pretty. It's womanly. Love.

August Street Last Breath Dress, $74.95 This is so model-off-duty. With some ankle boots and layered necklaces, you could float around clutching a water bottle, phone, and giant latte and just generally look cool. It wouldn't matter if you were on your way to have your bikini line waxed or bunions removed, people would still think you were awesome. It's that kind of dress.

Birds of a Feather Naughty or Nice Top, $59.95 It's stripey and channels nautical chic without the need for rope acessories or wideleg white pants. Wear it with denim or contrast it with bold red. Or go all black and white and just swipe on your brightest lippy!

Living Doll Patched Distinction Tank, $34.95 When a plain black tank is much more than a plain black tank, it lends itself to a cute front pocket with lots and lots of beads of varying sizes and colours. A great top for those who love sparkly things in the daytime but who have to fend off complaints about people's eyes being dazzled in the summer sun from their sequinned mini. Sparkly daytime glam, for just $34.95.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fly Air New Zealand: They Rock

I didn't believe this was a true news story at first. Apparently, it is. In what is possibly the coolest thing an airline has ever done (the Virgin group must be steaming), Air New Zealand gave metal heads the flight of their life en route from Christchurch to Auckland to a Metallica concert- I'm talking free booze, air guitar, loudspeaker swearing, and captains that look like this:
Check out this article by Daniel Rutledge. Props to the granny who probably felt slightly confused upon boarding. Pure, pure awesomeness (and the article is pretty good, too).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jimmy Choo + Ugg = Chuggs

Maybe because Uggs are as much a part of our national psyche as vegemite, pointless public holidays and Speedos, it's hard for me to see them as a high-end fashion accessory. They're slippers. The comfiest slippers on the planet, for sure, but still, shoes for slipping into after a long day at the office/night at the pub. They're shoes that people wear in the comfort of their house; on trips to the corner shop to grab some milk or a Frosty Fruit; or, as certain sections of the community do, to hang out in local shopping malls in packs and swear at each other while shouting at their, uh, originally-named offspring. Other nations however, just don't see the bogan-chic side of it like we do. In other words, they like it so much that even Jimmy Choo collaborates with Ugg. From about $600 you could own a pair of Jimmy Choo...ugg boots. Ugg boots! Or, as they are now known, 'Chuggs'.

The designs are way cool, there's no doubt about it.  Maybe there's a sense of national pride underlying the scepticism I feel about this designer collab. Just like it's highly amusing that Blundstones are suddenly being coveted by Topshop - yes, Blundstones as in the sensible, practical work shoes that farmers wear; the ones that are made in a factory outisde Hobart. Fashion takes inspiration from all ways of life, sure, but bogans and farmers is maybe pushing it a little too far. Or at least, it's uncomfortable close to home to make it covetable. What do you think - funny or fab?!

'Chuggs' are available in the US from Oct 21.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are Those Waffles In Your Ears?

It's the kind of morning when the rain is bucketing down, it's grey and dark, and you just want to wrap your hand around a steaming mug of tea and stay inside all cosy-like.  Perfect weather for browsing Etsy actually, especially with the dollar at US.99c. In other words, better online shopping conditions could not really be hoped for.

The other day (when the dollar was at a measly 94c) I discovered Tiny Tasty, an Etsy store based in Oslo who create the cutest food-based (ok, mostly dessert-based) jewellery.
"Oh I love your waffle earrings!"
"Thanks, they're from Oslo". Oh yeah, that's a conversation I want to have.

Tiny Tasty treats are around $50 from Etsy. If you like the mug above, you can nab it from the Tea Appreciation Society for about $11.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beauty Rave: Delipscious Lip Balm

It's no secret that I have a somewhat burgeoning collection of lip balms, lip glosses, lipsticks (but no lip liners actually. Can't be bothered with them). My latest acquisition is a Body Shop Delipscious Lip Balm ($19.95) in Berry. It's great for everyday wear - you know, when you sure as hell can't be stuffed with lippy, and shiny gloss is a bit OTT - as it's nice and moisturising (thanks, community trade cocoa butter) with just a tint of colour. Enough to say you bothered, but not so much that your mouth enters the room before you do. In other words, it's one of my fave lip balms to date, but then most Body Shop beauty products get my tick of approval. The only downside is that it's only available in 4 colours at the moment - 2 brown-based, a pale pink and of course berry. However, Delipscious also comes in 9 sheer lip colours, including a lush-looking raspberry that I think I'll try and sneak in to test next time I'm out shopping. Sneak, because the chances of a Body Shop sales assistant letting you get away with just one product are very slim.
5 stars!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

eBay LookBook

There truly aren't enough places for one to post pics of oneself online, are there? Heck, even eBay are getting in on the act, recently launching eBay LookBook. Clothes are a big deal on the 'Bay - there's also FashionVault, a designer discount sale section; and  FashionVoice, which is kind of a fashion blog where trendy people post clips, layouts and musings on their "ebay obsessions and personal style". In fact, now I've got all these windows open, excuse me for a moment while I go and bid on a few more maxi dresses...

With eBay Lookbook, you can upload pics of yourself if your fabbo eBay outfits and win a $5000 shopping spree; but if you're not a fan of self-photography, or simply prefer to do your online browsing in your pjs, you can also win some nifty prizes by voting for your fave looks. It's not quite the calibre of or Chictopia, but you've got to give them points for trying. Especially the guy in the straw hat. Dude!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The AWW Afternoon Tea Challenge: Basic Scones

Shameless repost from my baking blog, for your Sunday viewing pleasure:

 I picked up this fabulous little baking book on special at Coles awhile ago, and pretty much everything in it looks so lush that I figure I might as well bake it all. Yep, every recipe, one at a time. A bit Julie & Julia, I know, but the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks are so classic that I couldn't resist (fyi, it's now been re-released as High Tea). I'm starting with Scones. Which, er, is actually Chapter 2, but I'm waiting til the weather fines up a bit and we can do all of Chapter 1's Sandwiches pretty much in one go ,on a summery picnic with friends. I can't put marinated cucumber sandwiches in my 4 year old's lunchbox for playgroup and expect her to eat it, after all.

First up is, perhaps not surprisingly, Scones with Jam and Cream:

2 1/2 cups (375g) SR Flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
30g (1 ounce) butter, chopped
1 1/4 cups (310ml) buttermilk
3/4 cup (240g) black cherry jam (I used some of our neighbour's homemade strawberry jam instead)
1 cup double cream

1).Preheat oven to 220C. Grease a 22cm square cake pan.

2). Sift Flour and sugar into large bowl; rub in butter.

3). Add buttermilk. Use a knife to cut the buttermilk through the flour mixture to make a soft, sticky dough. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead gently until smooth.

4). Press dough out to 2cm thickness, cut out 4cm rounds. Place scones, just touching, in pan. Gently knead scraps of dough together; repeat process. Brush scones with a little extra buttermilk.

5). Bake scones about 15 minutes. Serve warm with jam and cream.

The verdict:
Difficulty: there are a million ways that people prefer to make scones, but these are an easy, surefire hit - nice and fluffy and just the right amount of golden on top.
Taste: ooh I already said fluffy didn't I! Perfectly delish with jam and cream, just the thing to sink your teeth into with a cup of tea and a truckload of girly gossip.
Mess: Floured benchtop = floured everything in sight. I am not a neat person.
Cost: Thanks to our homebody neighbour supplying the jam, everything was already in the pantry/fridge. Buttermilk is awesome in pretty much any cake so always keep some on hand!
Finger-lickin’ factor: not really a lick-the-bowl recipe, but dipping your finger into some double or whipped cream is always a nice little sneaky treat...

The outfit:
Summertime eating scones would usually require a floral frock of some sort. But I just wanted to share with you a really cool buy I nabbed at Supre yesterday. Yes, Supre. Sometimes it's a treasure trove of little gems, when it's not too busy being an overcrowded nightclub:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gymnasts Wear Scrunchies

I love watching the gymnastics when the Commonwealth or Olympic Games are on. Well, slight exaggeration, but it's my preferred sport to view, particularly when the other options are shooting or badminton or other such crowdpleasing events. The sheer athleticism and strength of gymnasts is astounding. Let's forget for a moment that the female competitors are awfully young and doing horrendous things to their bodies' development; or that the men probably get teased incessantly for doing a "girl's" sport despite being fitter and way more ripped than any footballer. Last night I watched a young lass do all sorts of mind-boggling flips on the balance beam, and I don't know if you've ever tried to even walk along one of those but they are sacrily narrow, so to cartwheel and jump and do lordy knows what else along it is flatout amazing.  But one thing kept grating my nerves as I watched the female competitors. They all wear scrunchies. Scrunchies! And not even in a retro-cool kinda way. Though, I'm not sure anyone can get away with them, even in a retro-cool kinda way, and even if you were born in the mid-90's and think that Ray-Bans have only just been invented. Backpacks and socks with sandals and leggings might have made a comeback, but scrunchies have thankfully stayed off our radars.

Gymnasts are wearing them with scraped back, hairspray-glitter-laden hair, and preferably with a few large snap clips. Obviously you don't want hair flapping in your face when you're flipping, but there are other options people! Other snagless, strong, and visually less Tina Sparkle-d options. (Incidentally, I only just realised that Sonya Kruger is Tina Sparkle. HOW did I not realise this before? And Wayne Burns is my mum's cousin's husband's brother. True story).

So scrunchies are still out there. Perhaps not surprisingly, the hipsters at American Apparel are selling them to us. And perhaps more surprisingly, when you google "gymasts wearing scrunchies", a piccy of Madge at the 2009 Met Costume Gala comes up first:

Anyway, while our gymnasts may be a the fashion stakes, where it really matters (ie on the scoreboard), they rock. 9 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze at the Delhi Games is nothing short of awesome.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Alexander McQueen S/S '11

Taking up the reins at Alexander McQueen would be no easy task, but you just have to check out Sarah Burton's first collection as creative director. Hailed by critics as having all the drama and edginess typical of McQueen, but with a softer, more feminine approach, it's just downright stunning:

View the whole collection at or NYTimes Fashion.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stella McCartney For Target #2

I didn't actually bag myself a Stella McCartney bargain three years ago, despite witnessing scenes of mass hysteria, swinging empty hangers and the whooshing of credit cards (in other words, a shopaholic's idea of heaven). I couldn't bring myself to pay over $100 for something that still had Target on the tag. But SM's second collection for Tarjay looks amazing, and apparently you can buy it online as well as instore, from October 29th.

Totally loving the Collarless Jacket ($199), the Lace Tee ($129) and Tulip Skirt ($119), the Fitted Double Breasted Jacket ($179), the Tulip Shaped Trench (also in Navy, $249), and the Rouched Panel Dress ($169):

There's also an accessories range, which includes some rather nice clutches at just $69.

Will you be braving the crowds this time around? To be honest I'd actually rather buy them instore than online, which is not something I am prone to saying, given my line of work; but the pieces I tried on last time were huuuge in fit and I'd rather be safe and try them in person again before buying!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Arrivals Update

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this time of year. There's SO much new stuff arriving constantly, which is really exciting and great for sales but man it's alot of hard work! We shot a mountain of new stock this afternoon, which will all be uploaded in the next few days, and a newsletter went out last night with the last fornight's worth of newbies (today has been flat chat! Looking forward to some choc chip cookies and a cup of tea later tonight...). Here's some of our fave new pieces:

Purple Ginger One Shouldered Maxi, $149.95 This is the kind of dress that makes me want to type in caps lock or with lots of !!!!! It's one shouldered, it's long and flowing, the colours are gorgeous and it's effortlessly elegant. The kind of dress that you can wear to weddings, the races, or nights out - and such a bargain for such a stunning piece!

Mini Moke Social Butterfly Necklace, $24.95 Mini Moke is Blue Juice's acessories label, and the price points are fantastic. This long flower shaped pendant has pretty cream beads and adds just a touch of summer bling.

So Sooki Hanging With My Gnomies Tshirt, $29.95  A friend asked me today if this came in adult's sizes, she likes it so much. It is pretty funky, don't you think?

Sooki Baby Etsy Dots Dress, $32.95 Not many kid's labels do black for summer. But they should, because it looks amazing. Especially with polka dots.

Indy C Metal Weave Cuff, $14.95 These add just the right amount of interest to your outfit, without being overwhelming. Available in silver or gold, they look so cool with a summer maxi or tank and cutoffs combo!