joie de vivre

The delightful first birthday

In a way The Baby’s first birthday was the first day of the rest of our lives for both Mr G and I.  Playing around with icing, planning food, overcatering – my career hasn’t left any room for entertaining ever and I’m completely new at it.  I bought the Australian Women’s Weekly Vintage Birthday Cakes books from my childhood and went all out on the number 1 cake.

Here it is, freshly iced with buttercream icing that I watched a million YouTube videos on how to do because I had no goddamn idea.

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And here it is after I bombed it with a million decorations and spelled out her name (blurred) in silver balls that Mr G found in Woollies for me.

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I also made Nigella’s Nutella Cake from Domestic Goddess.  The ganache split but the hazelnuts hid it well.

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I’d never had honey jumbles as a kid (nor heard of them) but found this attractive looking recipe on Taste.com so thought I’d have a crack.  They were delicious and I’m told they were true to people’s childhood memories.  They are basically iced gingerbread renamed for some reason.  At some point when I’m less tired, I’ll start photoshopping my food photos to perfection like other blogs.

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Here’s one heavily filtered with the Instagram filters.  Those are peanut butter squares also from Domestic Goddess up the front.  They taste exactly like Peanut Butter Cups – it’s frightening.  And delicious.  Note the copious amounts of cheese and glass of champagne,  because as I quickly learned, the first birthday party is really for the grownups.

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And here’s the baby taking off because the grass is full of far more interesting things than a grownup has to offer!


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I can happily report that much champagne was drunk, the baby cried and fell asleep in her pram while the rest of us stuffed ourselves full of party food and reminisced about childhood and discussed handbags.  The little things are so brilliant so sometimes.

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All things Korean pt 1.

I’m mildly obsessed with things coming out of Korea at the moment…mainly music and makeup, I can’t rate the clothes because they don’t fit me but the colour and the enthusiasm put into their products just rock my world.  I’d like to blame SBS PopAsia for this newfound addiction, without randomly finding it on SBS 2 one day, this would never have happened.

I first saw Lee Hi a couple of years ago and nearly died when that voice came out of that person, and at the age of 16.  From what I can ascertain (not being able to read Korean, or follow a Korean TV show), she won some sort of singing comp and this was her first release.

Then as is the custom with her music company, they hid her for a couple of years after she went number one, staged a comeback, and have since hidden her again.  But not before bringing her back for the same TV show, and doing the competition all over again.  I think.

This cover was particularly good.

Before sending her on hiatus, she formed a subgroup with two of the other contestants, translated as a ‘subunit’?! and made this particularly gorgeous videoclip.

Say what you will about the costume choices and blatant lifting of Western themes, the lady is talented.  It’s funny things you get interested in.  I should do a Japanese post one of these days because Perfume (a girl group) are great.

In other news, I did a great big Korean beauty order the other day which I’ll review in my next post…with brand names like Ultrahard and Mol Girl, you can’t really go wrong…right?

Makeover.

Dear diary, I promise to write in you more…

It’s time for a makeover.  Time to forget about the negative and focus all-out on fabulousness and positivity and all the things that make life great.  This means DRESSES.  Between Cannes and The Met Ball, I’ve been drooling over so much beauty that I couldn’t not be inspired and get onto it here.

Let’s start with The Met Ball.

Lupita Nyong’o – Custom Prada

There’s a million good things happening right here.  The movement.  The colour.  The contrast.  That smile.

Karlie Kloss – Oscar de la Renta

I adore this dress.  Strapless brocade is in danger of being boring but the metallic, the gradient from large print to small, the drape is just amazing.

Cobie Smulders – Custom Reed-Krakoff

Oh Cobie.  I love you.  I love this dress.  I would wear this dress if I were a thousand feet taller.  And browner.  And thinner.

Sofia Coppola

There’s something so relaxed, so old-world Coco about this dress.  It should be unflattering.  It’s ankle length, a-line, with mid-bicep sleeves.  And Sofia just glides in it.  Maybe it’s the vertical lines, the sequins, the pleating – or the beautiful and intelligent woman in it.  Who knows?

Stacy Martin – Custom Miu Miu

I have no idea who Stacy Martin is but this is what Miu Miu does best.  Young, fun, mixes it up beautifully, plays with colour.  I may kill for those shoes.

And from Cannes, there were not too many I liked – there’s only so many iterations of a ballgown you can see in your lifetime, but there was one…

Zoe Saldana – Victoria Beckham

I haven’t followed Beckham’s ranges at all, but this feels like a departure from the super tight, super structured garment that she usually does.  There’s a free-flowing easiness to this dress, with nods to the female form, femininity and minimalism that I just adore.

Et voila – makeover complete!

Love this little collection of dresses, there were so many lovely ones in there but these were my favourites.  A huge tribute to the designers, the construction people, and the stylists – so many hours goes into making a dress, especially a couture worthy one.  Techniques that are centuries old are kept alive by haute couture – may it never die.

(Images sourced from Style.com).

How I Cured My Bald Patch.

In my previous post I mentioned all my hair fell out from stress.  It was thin and breaking and terrible and when I finally fronted up to my horrified hairdresser, she loaded me up with such good advice, none of which involved buying overpriced products from her salon.  I originally thought about titling this ‘How to cure a bald patch’ but seeing as this only worked for me, and to prove that something works you have to prove it in well over a hundred people, get it peer-reviewed and then published, I thought I’d give you my anecdote instead.

First – exercise, food, vitamins.  Everyone needs these.

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My hairdresser told me to take silica and fish oil, or alternatively, eat fish.  So I did.

Then she told me to put organic coconut oil through my hair before washing it and leave it in for a while.  I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule about how long.

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It smells amazing!  I use it as a moisturiser, instead of butter in cooking (if you don’t mind the coconut flavour) and for frying.

She also told me to keep putting treatments in my hair.  She didn’t care which ones, and didn’t try to sell me any.  I got a sample of Terax Crema from Adore Beauty and haven’t looked back.

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I think they’ve changed the packaging now, I hope the product itself hasn’t changed.  I only wash my hair twice a week because all of that is such an ordeal but it’s looking a million trillion times better and I love my hairdresser all the more for giving me a half hour long lecture on looking after myself and eating right.  I wish healthcare was more focused on wellbeing.  I’ve always said that if I don’t make it through my physician exams, then I’m becoming a GP that incentivises good health.

The most important thing to get my hair back though, was relieving stress.  Some stressors I couldn’t change (like my job or location) but some exercise here, some good food there, and the knowledge that ‘this too shall pass’ got me there.

As did my Yoga Studio App!  If you’re like me and would like to fall out of poses in private, then this one’s for you.

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It is hands down the best Yoga app out there – I even took it to the park and fell out of poses in public I love it so much.  Great to do right after a run.

I’m happy to report that with all that on board, my hair started growing back, and my bald patch is now covered in hair.  Short and cowlicked hair, but I don’t mind at all.

Phew, enough posting for one day I think, time for some more study >__<.

Who doesn’t love a bandwagon?

I bought a new vase recently for no reason other than it was adorable, went to buy flowers, and to my disappointment, found none in the shops I liked. This brought me back to the time I bought a silk bouquet for my wedding, and was met with my families collective horror. What?! Fake?! You can’t have fake flowers at a wedding!! They must be fresh! From a florist! A good florist!

Thinking I must have killed the Queen of England to attract such ire, I meekly went along and got a bouquet which were peonies, out of season and odd looking, and felt a bit disappointed. Fresh flowers didn’t live up to the hype. Luckily they photographed well. I kept my silk bunch which have been in a pretty vase ever since attracting favourable comments.

And now that my wedding is over and I no longer have to suffer under the weight of Highly Informed Opinions, I went straight back to the silk flower shop today and bought these beauties.

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The irony of the vase’s wording isn’t lost on me! I’ll have to spray them with perfume. I adore them. Status anxiety does not exist at my house, and after seeing Faux Fuchsia’s forchids, I knew that good style knows when to cross the boundaries!

I love my couch.

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This is my couch. It’s nearly ten years old and I bought it as a student after I moved out of home for the sole fact the whole thing was easily re-coverable with many Ikea options. They promptly discontinued it after I bought it and I was left with it’s original brown cover. The problem is that I love this couch. It is stupidly comfortable. Addictively comfortable. The cover had seen its day a couple of years after purchase but I just couldn’t. In a fit of decluttering spirit I decided one day to buy a new couch. Armed with savings and dedication, I looked everywhere. Expensive leather couches, every damn couch place in the state. I now know more than I need to about couches. But none matched up. I need butt-sink ing cushion filled soft goodness and it just wasn’t there.

Then I discovered there are businesses dedicated to recovering Ikea couches in custom fabrics. Who knew? In Australia that’s Comfort Works – my brown cover evaporated into a thatched grey arrangement for $350 with change left over for cushions. Aah. Decluttering be damned.

Home Dec Sunday

I spent the afternoon on a couple of small sewing projects that I’d been meaning to do for a while but that was right up there with ‘combine health insurance’ in terms of priorities. Something took over me today though and I dug around in my neglected fabric collection and threw together a couple of things. I use plastic supermarket bags as bin liners so I keep all of them – lately in an ugly drawer, so I made a bag holder. You shove them in the top and the bottom is elasticised so you can cram many in and pull out one at a time.

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The fabric is a screen print from Etsy that my sister bought me years ago, and my mother loves to collect bias binding from opshops for me, meaning I’ve usually got matching stuff on hand. The whole thing is so fast to make in that it’s just a square rolled and sewn along one edge, with some elastic in the bottom.

Now that the wind is picking up, the doors at home are slamming all the time so I made myself a pyramid doorstop for the bedroom, with the fabric again sourced from an opshop by my Mum. I love that she’s always finding me treasures!

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I tried to line it all up as well as I could to make it just as nice to look down at.

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It’s so nice to turn around a corner at home and see something pretty out of nowhere! I’m looking forward to Easter so I can get some more done!