- Supportive friends, family & blog readers (and their strawberry treats): I got this tin of choc-covered strawberries (some of which were decked out as little brides and little grooms – how cute!) on the weekend, after someone read about my horrendous week. From cool new gift giving website NakedBerry, they were the most welcome surprise I’d had in a while. Accompanying them was a little card that read: Here’s a box of treats to remind you that life is still sweet when wedding plans turn sour. The sentiment of the card was enough to send a wave of happiness over me, but the treats themselves were amazing. Thank you to the lovely person who went to the trouble of getting these for me, you know who you are xx
- My Mad-Hatters Kitchen Tea: This past weekend I celebrated my kitchen tea, Mad-Hatter style, with all my family & friends. Dressed in a baby blue lace dress from Alannah Hill, white stockings and black mary-jane wedges, and with a tea cup & saucer hat to match, I was Alice to my bridesmaids deck of cards. My backyard was decked out as wonderland, complete with card motifs, mad-hats and tea pots, and pink flamingo cut-outs in the garden, and many of my guests came in their own mad-hats to fare me well as a new bride/housewife. My highlight of the day was my amazing cake (see below), pictures of the event to follow in a post of their own.
- More wedding stuff: Next up, I celebrate my Hen’s Night, starting with a visit to one of my favourite beauty spots: The Benefit Boutique in Paddington and moving on to Ruby Rabbit De Nom for some champers and burlesque. Can’t wait to party with my girlfriends, get prettied up by the benebabes, and wear my lovely 20′s-inspired frock from Review.
- Neenish Tarts: These babies need no introduction. Pastry, Jam, Cream, Icing. BEST!!
- Christmas Gift Guides in my fave mags: So I can shop for everyone in my life. Including myself. And my new apartment, which I move into in about 6 weeks. Last year’s Marie-Claire Christmas gift guide was unparalleled. Let’s see how 2010 fares post GFC.
- Glee: I have only recently discovered this show and I am addicted to its high school dramas, it’s Rachel Berry & Finn Hudson dynamic and of course, it musical melodies. Although I must say, I am not entirely happy with their overt mocking of Christianity in some of the episodes. When did we become so blase about mocking people’s belief systems? Then again, this is hollywood, and life, nowadays.
- Christmas Gift Packs from my favourite brands: Don’t you just love it when gift-time rolls around? You get all these bonus products, and gift bags, and miniatures when buying the stuff you actually need, and it comes packaged in these cute little ways to make taking it home even sweeter. On my hit list right now? The ‘Her name was Glowla’ make-up set (shadows, blusher/bronzer, mascara and gloss) from Benefit Cosmetics ($69), and on the cheaper end of the scale, but just as divine, MOR cosmetics’ Duets set, which is essentially one of their lovely perfume oils (much kinder on your skin than fragrance) with bonus soapette, at only $19.95. Perfect for Christmas Stockings or Kris Kringles, too.
- My new sandals: Flat. Summery. Pink. Ribbons. Pearls. $44. Need I go on?
- Kate Morton’s latest book, The Distant Hours: I absolutely loved ‘The Shifting Fog’ (I recommended it to so many friends) and read The Forgotten Garden very enthusiastically. Now, I am preparing to be engrossed in the best-selling Aussie author’s latest offering, which is once again a period tale set amidst a grand English manor that is swarming with secrets. Stay tuned for the verdict, which, based on my past experiences, ought to be something along the lines of ‘read it, it’s fabulous’.
- Rodial’s Glamoxy Snake Serum: This product is a hit overseas (if Posh Spice and Kate Moss are fans, who am I to question its reputation as the elixir of youth – it’s like the philosopher’s stone of anti-ageing) and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t develop a cult following on our humble Aussie shores. Why? It’s a revolutionary formula that freezes muscles (like botox in a tub!) by mimicking the effects of viper venom. I may be young and crows-feet free for the time being (though give me a few months after marriage and we’ll see how I am going) but this is definitely one for my lovely Mama’s Christmas Present, and that’s why I am excited. But this baby has a waiting list already, so get cracking (err, and saving, it’s $195 for 25 mL). And if you’re on the youngish side, make like me and sample their day cream (with SPF 18) or Night Cream to kick ageing before it kicks you. The bonus is that the day cream can be used under eyes too, so it’s essentially a two-in-one deal.
Sponsored post by Wordsmith Lane reader The Tanning Angel
Reading through the latest edition of Madison (October 2010, with Drew Barrymore on the cover), I was stoked to find an article on celebrity fears. Most of them made for a great and interesting read, but I was struck by Aussie actress Pia Miranda’s response regarding her fear about losing her identity in the wake of having her baby, and the mess that she has ultimately become as a result, and her husbands’ reaction to it.
“Everyday I say to myself, “Come on, make an effort. You’ve watched Mad Men, you know it can be done.” Yet every day my husband comes home to a sweaty, tracksuit-wearing maniac with wild, unkempt hair.”
Miranda goes on to say she’s sweaty because she uses the time to lose her baby weight, or clean her messy house etc. And I was like wooah, this is the life of so many women, and I bet it would be different if they had someone to care for them while they’re caring for their homes and families, and looking like a disaster in the process. Well, perhaps the heavens heard, and The Tanning Angel is the god-send.
Fast becoming Sydney’s best kept secret, the mobile tanner to Sydney’s elite boasts a number of socialites in her little black book and is renowned for her classy, clean and chic-looking approach to an otherwise sticky (if you pardon the pun) situation. Last night, she sprayed a few Cosmo staffers prior to the Fun, Fearless Female event. She’s also sprayed peeps on the set of The X Factor, Masterchef and Australia’s Next Top Model. And now, she’s spreading her wings in anticipation of the Aussie hot summer to give wordsmith lane readers (and their friends) the chance to take on summer with a personalised service that includes a skin-tone assessment (because where bronze is concerned, it’s either chic or cheap) and the option of two solutions (2 hour Rapid Tan & 8 hour tan).
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We provide a personalised discreet service, with added pampering and attention to detail. The Tanning Angel comes equipped with a portable spray booth for maximum comfort and privacy to have you looking like a bronzed goddess within 15 minutes. No fuss, No Mess.”
If any of you are anything like me, and prefer to waltz about in summer dresses in an unsightly shade of natural white (not at all like Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman, but that white where your veins shine through – eww) because you suck at applying tan and end up with a messy bathroom and splotches that render you looking like a farmer who has just cleaned out the pig’s sty), then The Tanning Angel is for you. You’ll know you’re in safe hands just by looking at her, and the effortless way she carries herself with style, smarts and savoir-faire.
But if you find the solitary pursuit of tanning in your home a little daunting, or are in the mood for a little bit of party pampering with your girlfriends, why not contemplate throwing an Ultimate Tanning Party? 4 or more girls and the hostess scores herself a free tan, or 8 girls or more recieve a bottle of champagne and other goodies!
The Tanning Angel is offering wordsmith lane readers a fantastic, limited-edition special over the next few weeks. Simply book your first tan* with The Tanning Angel and get $10 off – (must quote: “Wordsmith”).
Of course, when beauty comes to you, that’s one less dilemma. Now, if only Benefit cosmetics could send a mobile eyebrow tiner/waxer round to my place to tame the wild mess that my brows have become…
- Wordsmith Lane reader Abi Moustafa and friends have recently started up their own online mag called Six and the City. Do check it out and support some young wordsmith talent.
- For smarts for the sisterhood, start reading Feminist Themes, a great blog I recently discovered through a tweet via Rachel Hills. Lots of insightful things, made all the more insightful by my slow realisation that, as women, we have not come far at all. I tend to think that our behaviour as women is a personal choice (my choice is to be a conservative feminist, despite the implied oxymoron) that needs to be made available to us. Sometimes I think the fact that we have not come far is in fact, to some degree our own fault. Then again, how much can I analyse what we wear and what we read in my head? Liberation means different things to different people. Last week, a facebook friend had on his status that men are measured by what they do with their power, whereas women are measured by what they do with washing powder. The sad thing is, in a lot of cases, that might be true.
- I am so excited by the return of voluminous 50′s skirts (thank you Marc Jacobs) to my magazine style pages, and sadly, so is my wallet. In the past week, I couldn’t help myself but splurge on two skirts and a dress from Review, which had 30% off full-priced items. I officially can’t wait until the warmer weather, if only to flit around in these fabulous, tulle-endowed babies in all their lady-like glory. Here’s a sneak-peak at one of these new additions to my closet.
- The latest edition of CLEO is out today. Love the internet app dating feature by freelance friend Nicole Haddow, and the ten lessons we can learn from The Hills.
- Anyone skitzed it over the cost of baby clothes before, or is it just me? Just bought a little cardigan and some pretty pink shorts for a friend’s beautiful baby girl. The pink shorts cost more than a knit I just purchased for my (way bigger) self at Dotti. Something’s not quite right here, and I think my fear about consumerism and the next generation (really on account of how I am going to raise my own planned family on a freelancer’s wage) is a lot more founded than I initially thought.
- Exciting wordsmith news: I’ll be running a panel on freelancing at the NSW Writer’s Centre (for the Emerging Writer’s Festival) this November with none other than Antony Lowenstein. I am simply gushing and glowing at the prospect. I hope he doesn’t think that I am a tool. [Note to self: Sarah, don't be as bubbly as you normally are when you meet 'big' writers for the first time. Your intern and other blog readers may appreciate your limited-edition personality (good alternative to strange, no?), but other people may just think you've carked it].
- I need help in maintaining my exemplary level of style, smarts & savoir-faire now that I am juggling too many social commitments, a thirst for more exciting life experiences and an unwavering love for anything that is a) girly and b) buyable? I can’t help but wonder how people do it AND pay rent. My car is currently falling apart (this is no exaggeration), my wedding is less than three months away, my job goes part-time in December, I’m paying mortgage repayments, and my wallet is still funneling copious amounts of money into various pursuits that seemingly can’t be shaken. Do I really need to go to my ex-colleague’s birthday every single year? Tried consulting Camilla Morton’s How to Walk in High Heels about an easier way to start saying no to social engagements in an attempt to save my sanity (and some cash), but it seems it’s harder than I thought if I want to save face. I think I feel an article idea coming on.
- Bits and bobs to read: This NY Times article on how language may shape the way you think (via Alex Veeneman of Le Football); Sarah Wilson on flakiness (very relevant to moi right now); my Show-Stopper-Copper beauty piece for Trespass magazine.
- Another day, another deadline. That’s precisely how I feel after a super-productive weekend involving a couple of Trespass beauty posts (plus one in draft format) and the compilation of a series of profiles for Yen that I was really excited to do (first person profiles are among my favourite pieces to write). I’m not sure if I should continue the wordsmith productivity throughout the week or if I should just relax a little, as hunching in front of this laptop is doing some major damage to my already shonky back and I am in desperate need of a massage).
- The latest edition of Instyle Australia hit the shelves today, with a Bohemian-looking Julia Roberts on the cover. Inside, Roberts talks about her latest movie Eat, Pray, Love (based on the book of the same name which I could not convince myself to keep reading, embarrassingly enough), but it’s the Bold Florals collection of frocks on page 120 that has really got me excited. Anyone want to donate $790 so I can buy the gorgeous Collette Dinnigan frock, or even the slightly cheaper Mrs Press dress for $595?
- Girls who are all about the style and the savoir-faire but have limited time to implement said femme virtues into their already busy day to day existence will love the latest treatment sweeping throughout the (hair) world. The Keratin Complex, in all its forms and all its glories, is a protein-based treatment thats brushed into the hair, blowdried and then straightened, lasting up to six months. I recently did my own hair to combat the frizz that has been part of my life since adolesence (it’s hormonal according to my hairdresser, which to me is kind of ewww) and I am in love. I have wash and wear hair and, shallow as it sounds, it has tranformed my life. All for $300. But, style and savoir-faire are useless without smarts, so make sure that it’s right for you by doing plenty of reading and research before you make the jump. I am still not sure my hair will ever be the same when it finally washes out, but it was a risk I was prepared to take.
- Most of you know that I am currently in pretty bride mode ahead of my nuptials in two months and three weeks time (but who’s counting?). I’m loving all my facials and therapies at Ella Rouge, but I must say, I have learnt how to compliment them at home! I’d like you all to meet my skin’s new best friends, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($83.50) and Trilogy Rose Hip Oil ($19.95). I believe you have already met my Burt’s Bee’s Herbal Blemish Stick, but that takes the cake too.
- How easy do you think it is to spend $50? I ought to know. I’ve lost $50 in one day. The breakdown: $31 on a return train ticket, $8.95 on the latest Instyle, and $10.90 for lunch at Sumo Salad. Not good for a bride on a budget!
- Anyone catch Four Weddings on Channel 7 last Wednesday? Fairytale Bride Allana married a Simon Ayoub (of no relation to me) at a big, loud Lebanese wedding at my Church. Medieval Bride Tracey said the songs were so long and went “on and on and on and on”. I tell you though, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
- All in all, a busy week ahead. I’m quite glad that Monday’s almost behind me, although it won’t be as bad seeing as I’m headed to the movies tonight to watch a media screening of Easy A. And I finally get to meet my intern this week! What are your plans for the week ahead? I sure hope mine include some posting! Although thanks to a few readers, I have a couple of guest posts lined up, so that should calm my buzzing little brain a teeny bit. Have a great week everyone xoxo
The other day, I got to thinking that my new home-owning status, and the fact that I want to have children quite young, will likely mean that I will forever probably be in a situation that dictates that I can no longer afford my luxurious splurges. Those that know me and this blog will see that I love things that are Parisian-inspired, chic and well-crafted, things that come in dainty, pretty packages, and things that can tranform my otherwise frumpy self into someone who feels like a million dollars (the way that my Chanel tote makes me feel, despite the fact that I’d otherwise be sporting gym gear and frizzy hair). Fiance calls these waste of money purchases, and more often than not, he is right.
Not long ago, I got a MOR soap for a gift. I had not really known about the brand prior to that, and was plesantly surprised to discover that it was nothing short of a sensation. I quickly hopped on the web to know more (tee hee!) about the brand, and became one of their followers. Now, I find myself sliding up to the MOR section at Myer (which I’d never really noticed before) to soak up and inhale all the pretty, frangrancy goodness that this Australian-made and Australian-owned brand is all about. And all the flavours of things are just divine.
The best part about it is that it injects that little bit of luxury in my life, minus the price tag. The packaging itself (love the wax seals and the ribbons) remind of a Parisian boudoir, and the scents of all the different products will just astound you. I’ll be giving my bridesmaids MOR candles and T2 tea cups as part of their thank you gifts, as well as shouting them make-overs for my girl’s night out at Benefit (so I hope you know I am serious when I gush about these things). I hope that they too will be pleased with the beautiful scents, pretty packaging, and quality product that even fiance will admit is not a waste of money. (And I hope he keeps an eye-out for their Christmas gift packs, which will make an awesome present for a lovely, glamorous lady).
In case you’re interested, here’s a sneak peek at what I am rocking right now:
1. Emporium Soap ($19.95 ): I’ve got the Belladonna flavour, which smells like cake coming out of the oven. Then again, my sense of smell is pretty warped. But it also comes in other flavours like White Hydrangea (pictured), Blood Orange, Mulberry, Lime, black cherry plum and lychee flower (which I also have, and which smells DIVINE), plus others. Plus I love the way that they are described on the pack – “unwrap a remnant of 17th century decadence” – which serves this sucker for advertising and clever marketing well. After all, I do feel like I was born in the wrong time.
2. Anything from the Marshmallow range: I don’t know if I ever posted about my Pascall Marshmallows addiciton. It was so bad that my family and friends staged an intervention. I remember going to my best friend’s birthday at the Lincoln in Kings Cross, and getting told off for having marshmallows in my bag, which I had proceeded to eat on the dancefloor. This sounds pathetic in hindsight,but back then it just seemed a normal pat of my (confectionary) substance abuse issues. Especially because my doctor shamed me for it because of the sugar build-up that was probably happening in my bloodstream. Now that I have weaned myself off eating the marshmallows, I have another way to enjoy them which saves my diabetes-prone self. And when you look at the tins that this part of the MOR range comes in, you will understand. (Pictured: Lip Balm, $22.95).
3. Belladonna Perfume Oil ($19.95): This is only tiny (9mL to be precise) which makes it great to cart around in your handbag, especially if you’re like me and favour that classy clutch purse look, as opposed to the oversized tote. Truth be told, this feels a lot less ‘artificial’ than a lot of other ‘perfumes’, which makes it great for everyday, but I think that this is because it’s an oil. Don’t get me wrong or anything, everyone loves a sweet fragrance, but after reading a post on perfume and what it can do to your skin over at Sarah Wilson’s blog, I am more inclined to get my scents from oils, body butters and soaps for everyday, and save the perfume for my nights out.
4. Emporium Body Butter ($29.95): Speaking of body butters, this one takes the cake of a few different ones I have tried. Love the velvety-smooth finish, and the scent, which is, pardon my language, a turn on. I never thought of florals this way, but there you have it. Anything can happen!