I’m not here right now… I know, you can express your disappointment in the comment section below.
I enjoyed a beautiful little holiday at the very southern tip of the Gold Coast with my husband last week to celebrate our second anniversary, and it was perfect. Very relaxing, very chilled, very little mobile phone or social media use. Perfect.
I absolutely love seeing what people wear on a regular ol’ day. I mean, I love a fancy red-carpet frock like it’s nobody’s business, but seeing how normal girls like me (I use normal quite subjectively here…!) put together cute outfits to do the same sort of stuff I do is my fave. Go to work, hang out with friends, head to the market and relax on the weekend, maybe have a dinner out with husband, the normal stuff.
The only problem is, since I started working in my current job, I’ve not really posted many wardrobe pics and I’ve been getting unreasonably jealous of those who do. I work in retail, you see. Women’s activewear retail, to be precise. Ok, I work at Lorna Jane (pop in and say hi!) and I don’t really know how I feel about sharing pics of me in my work gear. I see ladies who work in corporate environments and I get SO envious of their cute suits, but then I think… I don’t ever have to wear stockings or heels, so life’s pretty good.
I’m not a typical gym-bunny LJ girl; although knowing pretty much all the girls who work at Lorna Jane stores on the Sunshine Coast, there really isn’t a typical LJ girl amongst us – we come in all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels. The only thing we generally have in common is that we are super-bubbly, and love talking to women.
I’m a size 14-16 in most Australian brands, so sometimes feel a little uneasy wearing workout tights and slim-fitting tanks in public. But, the job has its benefits – after seeing a million and one women wearing Lorna Jane in just as many ways, I feel like I’ve finally (a year in) found my own style and am comfortable wearing most of my work clothes – and photographing them too!
We don’t have to wear Lorna Jane to work, but I like to because I feel like customers can trust my opinions more if they can see that I love and wear a product myself. Most days I have a sort-of LJ uniform, and I’m trying to mix it up this season, but without much success.
I wear black (occasionally navy) tights, track pants or harem pants on the bottom; a slim-fitting tank or cotton printed tank on top, then layer with a vest or sleeveless jacket. On my feet, I used to wear sandals a lot (we work across the road from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so a barefoot lunch stroll is a MUST), but a recent change in dress standards means that moving forward, it’s enclosed shoes only. Boo. It was great while it lasted. Now I wear sneakers, Converse or ballet flats every day, but standing all day means I can’t wear the same shoes too often, I have to mix it up a bit.
I adore reading regular blog posts. There are a handful of people who I eagerly check to see what’s new in their world, and then there are a bunch of other lovely writers whose posts I save and read when I get the chance.
Most of the blogs I love are published regularly. Some three times a week, some four… and a few even write daily! I can’t commit to that. Well, I actually could but I choose not to. This time around in the blogosphere, with this nice new shiny blog space of mine, I’m doing it more for me, than for you, more than for the brands I’m working with, and more than for any sense of duty or desire to gain a gigantic readership base. (Although, if you’re here, stick around and read a little. I think you’ll like it.)
I have a few draft posts in the works at any given time, but they come a distant second to rest and recuperation time, and time with my (often-absent) husband. We’re about to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (hurrah hurrah!) this weekend, and because I’m lucky enough to have married my best friend and favourite person in the world, hanging with him is always what I want to do more than sitting in front of my computer or on my iPad.
It’s quite the transient timekiller for me… some weeks I can spend an hour an evening just cruising the enormous wardrobe that Polyvore presents to me, other times I can go for months without even thinking about jumping on to see what’s happening.
Polyvore is the old Pinterest. Or does that mean Pinterest is the new Polyvore? They both have their place online, I don’t think I have a favourite. Although for me, Polyvore is less aspirational (read: jealous-making), and more about how I can actually put my own items together, than cruising Pinterest and wanting to cry because I’ll never be as beautiful/thin/rich/up-myself as some of the street-style bloggers I follow. Nor will I own the complete collection of Michael Kors watches that some of those girls seem to have. I own one Michael Kors watch which doesn’t work anymore.
(Note to self: take old watch to get new battery. Life will be better then.)
Oooh, I have news! BB and I will be heading off on a Pacific cruise in May (don’t get excited, house burglars… we have a housesitter coming to stay, so you needn’t try to break in and steal my singular Michael Kors watch), and I’m really excited about it!
Excited because HOLIDAY, and also because BB and I have never been on an international holiday together, which sounds crazy now that I say it! (Do Tasmania or Fraser Island count as overseas?)
As a child, I was fortunate to live in the Solomon Islands for a while with my parents, and I have so many amazing memories of the people and the environment. This cruise isn’t heading to northern Melanesia, but we will be travelling and stopping at various islands in Vanuatu and New Caledonia, which are both famous for having incredibly welcoming locals, and divine beaches. That’s pretty much all I’m after in a holiday, so count me in.
I’ll tell you more about the cruise as it gets closer, and I’m definitely open to any and all suggestions about what to pack, what to do on board, and what to look for in a shore trip… so please, if you’ve cruised in the Pacific or anywhere, leave a comment, I’d love to hear your experiences!
As there are plenty of excuses to dress up on a cruise (um, has anyone heard of breakfast? or lunch? or quoits? I shall dress up for all of these and more!), I’m starting to put together a few inspiration outfits and have a play with what’s currently in my wardrobe. I’m determined not to buy items pre-cruise just for the cruise (unless it’s a new pair of bathers), but we’ll see how I go!
And don’t forget to share your cruise tips, pretty please!
After another looooong work week (yes, I know five days is not actually longer than five days, but BOY it can sometimes feel like it), I finally got to have a couple of days off on Sunday and Monday.
As I said in a text to a friend at 6pm Saturday, ‘I’m leaving work now, and heading home to PARTAY! And by party, I mean snuggle a bottle of wine on the sofa in my flannelette pyjamas.‘ I didn’t end up snuggling a bottle of wine, my delightful husband was home, so I snuggled him instead. But yes, there was flannelette.
I have a bit of a Monday routine now, and it almost always involves my bestie and his mum Peta (that should probably be my bestie Peta and her baby… but I love them equally). We usually enjoy a coffee together, then hit a shop or two to cruise around and check out what’s new, snap a few selfies, then are home early afternoon to do some laundry and run some errands, and yesterday was no different.
Peta had visited Home Secret last Thursday for their Grand Opening (and blogged it here – she’s still got Home Secret gift vouchers up for grabs, go check it out!), but kindly joined me for another trawl through their beautiful big store, and even picked up a few things she’d missed on Thursday!
- bamboo tray, so that BB and I can recreate our favourite Eddie Izzard/Lego scene, of course
- Le Creuset roasting dish
- Pyrex quiche pan
- Wiltshire enamel baking dish
- 2 x Pyrex mise-en-place bowls
- 2 x espresso cups
- 2 x takeaway mugs for my parents
- stand for our Nespresso pods
- 2 boxes of Nespresso-compatible pods (tea and coffee)
- Indian cookbook for my dad (who has become the most popular person on my Instagram feed)
- packs of JellyBelly jellybeans for my mum
- a ceramic budgie who I’ve named George
- a beautiful jumpsuit (also my first jumpsuit – I’m scared) to wear on our Pacific cruise in May
- and a gorgeous necklace and bracelet
Whoa. It’s April!
Home Secret has kindly given me these gift vouchers to give away, and has also provided me with a voucher for my own Home Secret shopping, but I like ’em so much that I’d happily spread the word for nothing!
Do you ever play the dinner party game?
You know, the one where you try and decide who you’d invite to your ultimate dinner party, and it can be anyone at all, either living or dead?
You get seven seats, and you have to fill them with people who you’d just LOVE to meet at a dinner party. And extra points for trickiness if you manage to sort out a seating plan!
My list can change daily, but today, the lucky invitees are as follows:
- David Attenborough (because AWESOME)
- Bill Bryson (my all-time favourite non-fiction author)
- Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
- Jennifer Aniston (hair tips, please!)
- Robert Downey Junior (because BEAUTIFUL)
- and my husband, because I’d want to talk about it every day for the rest of my life with him!
Can you whittle it down to just seven guests? And what would you serve?!
Reading blogs is something I’ve done regularly since I first started using the internet.
I would google (because seriously, who Bings something?) and search recipes for sweet treats, and invariably find new favourites on blogs rather than proper cooking websites. Why? I guess I preferred the more informal way they talked about cooking, and loved reading snippets of real family life, and of course, seeing photos of people’s homes and inside their kitchens. I’m a stickybeak at heart.
I think most of us in the blogging community (readers, bloggers, commenters) feel the same. A blog is a website with personality. Just cooking a mean brownie and taking a fancy photo of it won’t connect with your readers. They want to know the little details, the things you would mention to a friend if they phoned and asked for a recipe. That’s why blogs with real heart are the most popular. Imperfections make us human, and seeing others’ imperfections make us feel more ok with our own. (Need proof? Check out the #myimperfectlife hashtag on Instagram.)
I think that’s why I’ve always enjoyed blogging, all the way back to 2008. If you go through my old blog’s archives, you’ll likely discover that I rarely published a post without some sort of brackets, parentheses and asterisked sidenotes. I’m a serial oversharer, and most bloggers are.
I’m so curious to find out why my blog community friends read blogs, what they look for when they choose blogs to read, how they first discovered blogs, and when they knew they wanted to write their own blog. To that end, I’m starting a little series of interviews with blogging folks you may know, and others that might be new to you. It’ll be fun!
(Just a heads up, I won’t be asking questions about the business of blogging. There are plenty of much-smarter folk than I talking about that, and asking the right questions. I just want to know the personal stuff, the over-sharing stuff. Of course.)
If you’re a blogger and you’re interested in telling your ‘Why I blog’ story, hit me up with an email. I promise to overshare it appropriately.
It’s such an interesting little world, the blogging community. I say little, but WHOA MAMA there are literally millions of blogs floating around on this here interwebs.
And you guys found your way here, and decided to stop speed-clicking for a second, and read for a few minutes. Thanks. (Amended to add: this post ended up longer and windier than I expected, it might take you more than a couple of minutes. Sorry. Go get a cuppa and start again.)
I’ve had lots of discussions with folks lately about blogging, both people who blog, and those who say ‘Blog? What’s a blog?’ And eventually, I ask ‘Why do you read blogs?’ Not because I want to tick every box, and say ‘Well here you go, you like reading blogs which are X, Y and Z. I’ve written that, so now you can like me.’
I ask because I honestly am curious. Curious and I wonder why I read the blogs that I do, and I am also slightly over the whole blog thing, and wondering if there’s a way I can get myself back into it without resenting any time spent blogging.
Because that’s what happened. That’s why there’s a whole new space online for me to dump thoughts, rants, selfies, recipes, and all manner of junk outta my head. I was just over it, and all the ideas I had to write about weren’t exciting me, and I could think of a hundred and one things I’d rather do (I won’t say cleaning, that’s a lie…) but I would definitely prefer to sleep, cook, read, iron, anything rather than blogging at that point.
Then I read a bunch of posts during a week-long period in early December, and I wasn’t connecting and feeling inspired by any of them. Then came the big ‘Ah ha’ moment for me. I realised what it was about blogging in particular (both reading and writing) that I wasn’t into. The whole monetisation thing.
I get it, I do. If you want to make money from your hobby of writing on the internet, I am SO cheering you on. If you want to commit to it and turn it into your job, then GO YOU. Seriously. You’re awesome. But it’s not for me. Not right now.
And I was reading regular blog posts hitting my inbox with headlines screaming Make More Money From Your Blog, and How to Get People to Pay You to Write, and Positive Thinking and Sponsorship – You CAN Be A Successful Blogger! That last one was the kicker for me. Why was money the way we see blogging as successful?
Yes, I do like me some free product, or cash, or any kinda kickback. And those who say they don’t are lying through their ‘editorial consideration’ smile. But no, I don’t like free product, or cash, or whatever, if it’s accompanied by a PR push that I don’t believe in. I will very, VERY happily review and write about product that I use, love and would spend my own money on. But send me something hideous, or unsuitable, and be sure you’ve got a Reply Paid envelope in that box, because it’s coming back to you, folks.
Ok, rant over.
What I’m trying to say (in a longwinded way – see, you guys really didn’t miss me at all, did you!) is that I am back to blogging, and it’s because I’ll enjoy it. I will always spend time on various social media channels while I enjoy them, and the minute I don’t, I’ll stop – because it’s a hobby.
The upside of blogging is that it’s a hobby which has introduced me to some of the most beautiful people I ever could meet. Honestly. My very closest friends are people I met first through social media channels and blogging, and then in real life. Or IRL, if you’re a closet 90’s MSN-messaging geek. And I wouldn’t change that for the world. There’s something very vulnerable about taking online friendships into the real world space, and I think that when you do, you find that the common ground you’ve previously communicated about, is actually just a teensy-tiny part of what actually makes you compatible as friends.
Take Anna. Yes, she’s hot and hilarious and whip-smart. That’s how I like my friends.
We met on Twitter, chatted on Instagram, connected whilst talking about slightly-overbearing mothers, our love of the River City (Brisbane), Jimmy Buffett’s laidback country/coastal music, and vodka. There was always vodka. Then one day, Anna bit the bullet and visited me at the retail store I worked at.
BAM! Fireworks, sparks flew, it was true friendship-love.But the best part was getting to know Anna properly over a vodka or three, and discovering so much more that we had in common.
There was no clue during those original few ranty public-transport-whinge tweets that we exchanged, but she’s now one of the most important people in my life. And that’s only one of my stories. I have many more beautiful friends who I met online first, and I think THAT’S my favourite thing about blogging. I get to tell you about them.
And another thing: I didn’t answer my two questions, ‘why do we blog, and why do we read blogs?’
Which I suppose is for the best, because it means I’ve got something else to write about, and I’ll be back another day.