Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recently 30.1.2013

January is nearly over. I know. Hope you all had a great long weekend and aren't flooded/ fired/ stormed out. 

Here's what I'm up to at the moment. 

If you have, like me, annoying hormonal acne, listen up. I should not have it at my ripe old, starting- with-the-number-3 age, when I should be worrying about wrinkles more than pimples. But I do, and it's really starting to get to me. It's only a couple every month, and I really shouldn't complain because it's not that bad, but I'm just over it. I really wish I remember where I heard this tip, because it's a life changer.
Old fashioned, chemist, probably made for nappy rash, zinc cream. Oh my stars, why have I not used this before? I do not want to count any chickens etc but in three nights of using this I have noticed the BIGGEST change in the skin on my chin. I just put it on at night, after cleansing, and sort of moisturise around it. 
And cheap! Can't remember exactly how much but less than ten bucks!

American Horror Story Season 2. Why? Because I'm insane, I like sleepless nights and scaring the shite out of myself. Not really, but the husband loves it and I can't look away. I find it really, really disturbingly scary. If you don't think so feel free to call me a sissy bag. 

Girls Season 2. My love for this show grows every episode. I watched the trailer(s) for season 2 39039393 times before it started I was so excited. Hannah drives me bananas but that's not to say I don't love watching her. My favourite exchange, in the ep where she takes coke for the first time (hilar):
Hannah: "You're a really good dancer."
Guy in club:  "So are you"
Hannah: "Thanks I know."

Only complaint this season is there is nowhere near enough Shoshana. B T dubs.

Perving on

January Jones at the SAG awards in Prabal Gurung. The ONLY look I had any remote interest in, she nails it. NAILS. That hair... 

Who didn't love a bit of Marian Keyes back in the day? I had no idea she'd released a new book (after suffering a bad case of depression, no less). I got this for Christmas and devoured it at first chance. 
I love her writing style, serious, actual LOLz. This book revolves around my favourite of the Walsh family, Helen. She has a 'Shovel List' for things that annoy her so much she wants to hit them in the face with a shovel. Don't think I haven't started one. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weekend: heat, sushi and Weezer

What a weekend! These days I look forward to quiet weekends where I don't have much planned, but the busy ones always turn out more fun, don't they?

Friday night again was super hot in Sydney, Marcel found ways to beat the heat though. Ice pack, anyone? 

Saturday was a huge food day. Brunch at Bread and Circus with some of my girlfriends and the cutest two year old boy in the world. I found a bit meh, unlike the rest of Sydney given the hype. Lining up for 20 minutes to be told there are no salads left, and having to order coffee in another line is not my idea of a relaxing meal.  

Anyhoo it was still a great catch up, and gave me just enough time to grab my husband and prepare my stomach for the awesomeness of Sushi Suma in Surry Hills. I had heard that they have changed hands, and it must be true as:
  • the cranky man with the ever-changing hair wasn't there 
  • the service was excellent 
  • they now take bookings
This is somewhat disappointing to me as the terrible service and the crazy/ cranky man were the reason we went there, the tops sashimi was just a bonus. Here is a pic of me with the kaiso salad, which I horribly sent to my friend in London who bemoans the lack of sushi in the UK (and my company I'm sure). 

Sushi-d up, we headed to the Entertainment Centre (blergh) for Weezer. These bands reuniting/ retouring is great for an old bat like me who only goes to gigs if they are REALLY good and was slightly too young to see these guys the last time they came 16 years ago. I also missed seeing them in New York by half an hour. HALF AN HOUR. Also the Halloween dog parade was on that day, but I digress...
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. The crowd was great (I know, I'm shocked too), they played on time (important), they played a whole lot of hits starting from 2012 and going back in time, had an intermission, and a SLIDE SHOW of old photos, before kicking off the Blue album in its entirety. Bliss. I didn't even mind that I was at the Entertainment Centre. 
They were having so much fun and made it seem like they genuinely wanted to be there, it made me feel like the tour was not a cash-grab like some older bands do. I danced. And sung and danced. Thank you Weezer!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Music: Triple J's Hottest 100

Friday was Sydney's 2013 Big Day Out and only the second one I have missed since attending my first one at the ripe young age of 14. That's a lot of Big Days Out. 
Now I don't know if you heard about it, or saw any screen shots of weather updates on Facebook, but it was a tad hot in Sydney. I can't really imagine anything worse than being at Homebush in 45 degree heat. I've endured it in the high 30s, almost being in tears it was so hot, and that was with passes for the Lizard Lounge where we could shelter, cry a bit, enjoy a drink that wasn't warm.

So I wasn't too upset at not going on Friday, instead streaming the live sets in my wet cozzies under the air con. I figured it was a great time to vote in Triple J's Hottest 100
I didn't find it hard this year, apart from resisting the urge to vote for the whole Frank Ocean album. 
My votes: 

Have you voted? What made your top 10?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Culling: wardrobe listing

This afternoon I worked from home and didn't have a lot that I had to get done, and was a bit brain dead. Being home in bright sunlight, I went to start taking photos of a pile of ebay stuff I have ready to go. 

Before I started I figured it was as good a time as any to start really sorting out my wardrobe. Everything came out. Everything. I was so sick of shopping and not knowing what I need and what I have 48492 of already.  
It was a punish to be honest, but I'm so glad it's done. 

Everything is recorded (my hand hurts) back in the wardrobe, reorganised, sorted properly. All the hangers are back to front so I can keep track of what I'm wearing. I'll even go the extra nerdface step of spreadsheeting it so I can keep an easy record of what I buy/ cull. Hopefully more of the culling. 

Observations already:
  • I have a lot of Bassike. A lot
  • Also a lot of stripes
  • I thought I was really good at culling stuff. I'm not, as it turns out. I realised I had a red (so, so, so not my colour) Threadless hoodie from about 10 years ago that I've never gotten rid of. I also have a LOT of band tshirts for someone who doesn't like band tshirts, for example
  • My work tops are about triple what I thought. I always think I have no tops to wear to work. I do
  • I need new work pants. I actually overestimated what I thought I had to wear on my bot bot for work
 Half my tops, laid out ready to be scrutinised
 Tops getting messy
Two tops I completely forgot I had. A Sass &; Bide leopard silk shirt, and a beaded tshirt I bought about 12 years ago. 
One part of wardrobe done! Pants and dresses sorted. Shoes not touched yet, let's ignore those. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pinterest bandwagon

Do you Pinterest? I'll admit to thinking "whyyyyyyyy would someone do that?" when I first heard of it, but I've become a little bit ob-sessed lately. 

Follow me so I can follow you back and repin all your stuff!

I'm Carley B

Also follow me on Instagram, I'm carlsb. do it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's 2013!

So today I'm working from home, or trying to, but some idiot locked herself out of her Telstra card and is waiting on someone to call me back to unblock it. 
I wanted to work from home because 
a) Sydney is meant to be 43 degrees today, catastrophic bushfire warnings, etc, and I was a bit freaked out about Marcel in the heat. I got up early to walk him while it wasn't too warm, and he's currently snoring on a pile of blankets, so he can't be too bothered!
b) on Friday I got stung by a sting ray. It was insane pain, vomiting, passing out, bleeding etc and a weekend of not moving further than the couch. I can't even begin to recount the story, I get cold chills thinking of the pain. I had to go into work yesterday but today I can afford to take it a bit easy at home. Well, very easy if Telstra don't hurry up and get back to me.

Anyway, it's about time I set some goals for the year. These would have been earlier if it weren't for the a-hole sting ray! So here they are.

1. Declutter, declutter, declutter
So everyone is doing it, so they should, it feels great. Mr C and I are by no means hoarders, we live very simply compared to most of our peers. What really hit home how little we need for me was when we were renovating our investment property. It's less than 50sqm with no garage, and we both used to live there, with all of our stuff. Where did everything else come from to fill our place now? 
We started over the Christmas break by:
- cleaning out and repainting the laundry. Mr C even put up some hooks for our washing and recycling baskets. Legend. 
- cleaning Mr C's wardrobe out. Last year he lost just under 20kgs and obviously has a LOT of clothes he needed to get rid of. Man needs a shopping spree, stat. 

- cleaning out the pantry. Since Mr C insists on everything in glass jars as part of his new healthy self, the pantry was in chaos. I had no idea where anything was. No more, now it is a zen place for chia seeds and coconut oil
- cleaning out our Ikea bookshelf. (An aside, does everyone in Australia have one of these?) All of these books need to be read, pronto, then taken to Vinnies. Which leads me to: 

2. Mindful spending
Why am I buying magazines when I have a hundred books to read and a million TV shows downloaded to watch? I have a couple of subscriptions (bought with work reward points) and that is more than enough. This also means:
- no more random browsing on ASOS, Ebay. The stuff I buy always ends up getting culled because it's never 'perfect.' Apart from the best white tshirt and some work pants (see here) which I love, most of it is crapola and not what I really want or need
- less takeaway. I am super lucky that my husband is a brilliant, healthy cook. When it's my turn to cook I so often get takeaway. No more. We'll meal plan and shop properly

3. Travel! 
2012 saw us take one Australian holiday, which was fantastic, but I'm getting a bit itchy for another big trip. I need to let go of how much I'll miss Marcel and make the most of what little youth I have left. I'm thinking Mexico & the US. 

4. Exercise 
Last year I had a great routine going on. As soon as sting ray foot is better I'm back to it. This means:
- one weights session minimum per week
- one yoga class per week
- keep paddle boarding. Before a-hole sting ray got me I was killing it. This year, I will catch a wave on it. I will. 
- compete in another ocean swim. I got the biggest buzz out of completing one (not very quickly, but finishing) and I want to do another. I'll actually train for this one!
- compete in another fun run. I did one last year and again, I want to train for one!

5. Eating
I am loathe to use the word 'diet.' I HATE that word with a passion, using it means you're pretty much guaranteed to fail. For me, eating well this year means
- quitting Coke Zero. I allowed myself a free pass on New Years Day (knowing I'd be major hung and resistance would be futile) and started on the 2nd. So far, no Zero. Am pretty proud of myself for this, I was a major coke/ crack head!
- properly cutting out sugar. I did it half-arsed when my husband did it and felt great. I am by no means a sweet tooth but gosh eating basically no processed food is hard
- cutting out soy milk. I don't do dairy milk and have started to get a bit weird with soy. I am in two minds about the evidence on the 'badness' of soy but have grown so accustomed to the taste it's not going to be easy. Long blacks- gross!

6. Positivity
Being in the environment that I'm in, and distancing myself from some 'friends' means that I was dwelling in a bit of negativity in 2012. This stops this year. I have so much to be grateful for and really need to focus on that. 

On that note, I'll leave you with a photo of Marcel in the sun. Not 43 degree heat sun.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012: best fashion

This will be a post about a lot of basics and some accessories. If this sounds boring, tune out now. 

With my constant wardrobe culling I've been able to really see what my favourite pieces are this year. My go-tos, that mean I rarely get that 'I've got nothing to wear' feeling of impending doom/ disaster. 

This year I have accepted a few things that make getting dressed and buying new things easier.
  • my style is very casual. There is zero point in me buying embellished tops, fancy outfits or high maintenance clothing. I won't wear it, despite how much I love looking at it in my wardrobe
  • having shoes you love and that go with most things makes it so much easier to put an outfit together
  • spending decent money on basics and the things you wear all the time does make a massive difference. Why did it take me so long to realise this?
  • with the above, sometimes great things don't have to be expensive and it's worth taking a punt on a cheapie
  • 'fast fashion' is boring, wasteful and irresponsible. When I cull, it's always the trends I got sucked in to that go. Inevitably they are cheap pieces that I never 'loved' but felt some sort of obligation to buy into. No more!

Here are my favourite things of 2012. Not all of them were purchased last year but they were what was on the highest rotation and were the best value. 

Isabel Marant 'Dickers' in khaki
Purchasing these made me feel like I was jumping on a speeding, out of control, bandwagon, but I am soooo glad I did. I have no idea what I did without these in my life. Flattering on the leg in pants and skirts, walk-around-for-hours comfortable and fantastic quality. These were my #1 purchase of 2012 by far. I'm considering purchasing them in another colour for this year. 

Country Road 'Winona' ballet flats
I have repurchased these I think 3 times now. There are better quality, more exxy ballet flats out there but for $89.95 these are good value to me. I wore these most days to work and they never bothered me, never felt uncomfortable or didn't suit something I wanted to wear. Super comfortable and they look the best with the tapered pants I found myself wearing all year round. 

ASOS tapered pants
These are one 'cheapie' that went the distance this year. When every time you wear a pair of pants someone asks 'have you lost weight?' you buy them again. I have them in black (x2), blue and maroon. Work pants for the year, sorted. 

ASOS curve hemmed tshirts
Again with the repurchasing, in multiple colours (black, white, grey). This super cheap tshirt is so ridiculously flattering on me, perfect sleeve length and amazing quality fabric for the price ($10 on sale!!!)

Bassike heritage striped tshirt in black and white stripe
It seems I bought a lot of tshirts this year. Which is good, given what I have learnt this year. This is a relaxed fit and goes with everything. It's actually embarrassing how many times I have worn this baby this year. Every second photo I have seen of myself has my wearing this tshirt, but who cares? Mustn't be me, because I just bought it in khaki and white (on sale!)

Just Jeans black leather jacket
Totally copied Kirryn from Teacup Grunge with this one, and seeing it look so great on lots of other bloggers, it must be love!
A great copy of the ultimate Helmut Lang leather jacket, at about a billionth of the price (and on super-sale), this is a copy I'm happy to have. I wore this to death in winter and am not too sad about cold weather because I can wear this!

Karen Walker Super Duper Strength sunglasses in crazy tortoise
I don't even think these suit me that much but I don't care I LOVE THEM!! 
Alexander McQueen double skull ring
I'm so tough with my skull ring oh yeah... but seriously this was a gift and I loooove it. So comfortable to wear, unlike a lot of chunky rings. And the swarovski crystal eyes are a little bit pretty 

Michael Kors sports watch in silver 
Again with the bandwagon jumping. Don't care. This watch gets weird reactions, from a woman grabbing my arm and demanding to know where I got it from ('cause, you know, you barely see MK watches anywhere...) to a jerkface telling me it was a man's watch and what sort of idiot girl wouldwear a girls watch? Up his. 

Superga classic plimsolls
Because there comes a time in life where Converse are no longer appropriate to wear everywhere. Love these and they make me feel like a grownup. Sometimes. 
Bassike black tuxedo blazer
Classic blah blah investment piece blah blah. Whatever, I wore the shit out of this thing. I only wish it was machine washable, then I might marry it.
Alexander Wang Fumo wristlet
Another 'where have you been all my life' purchase. I bought it as a clutch, I use it every day as my wallet now. It stops me carrying around so much crap, plus fits my phone in it when I need. Perfect for going-to-the-coffee-shop dog walks. Which is every day. 
End of saga. I still need to do my wardrobe list. I've been putting it off, perhaps I'm scared? 
Til next essay...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: best beauty

This is the year I got into beauty more than ever before. As you do when you’re in your 30s and barely go out any more.
A friend did a make up course and I modelled for her (when I say modelled, I sat and had 5+ makeup looks applied each week) and it really got me thinking about putting more effort into my appearance. 
  1. Naked 2 palette 
I don’t need to sing the praises of this baby, do I? But honestly, it is even better than the reviews. I ummed and ahhed about getting a friend to get it for me from the US, but since I’ve rarely picked up another eye shadow.

2. Real techniques brushes
Dear Bobbi Brown and MAC brushes, I'm sorry I'm not sorry for neglecting you this year. Ever since these babies entered my life (courtesy of, DO NOT buy them from Priceline!) you have sat in your holder unused. They're that good. Special mention to the expert face brush. 

3. Model’s own blush. 
Purchased from ASOS. Cheap, great colour, fantastic payoff. Another product to make me lament the fact that Australia has so little excellent, cheap makeup brands.

3. Maybelline the Falsies
I’ve tried a few new mascaras this year (Cover Girl Lash Blast, max factor) but have not yet found ‘the one.’ Diorshow, my former holy grail, just doesn't work on my any more. The Falsies is as close as it’s gotten though

4. Revlon lip butter
A dream to apply and incredible colours. Only bought when they were 2-for-1 though.

5. Revlon just bitten
Same as above, plus they last really well. Love the minty scent they have.

  1. Modelco tan
I once used this super regularly, and went back to it this year for a couple of events. Colour lasts so well (better than some spray tans I’ve had) and a breeze to apply. My tip: wear rubber gloves until the last minute, take them off and rub the back of your hands together. No weird colour in between your fingers. If only it came with a shower cleaner for after application ://

7. Clarisonic
If you had asked me about 6 months ago about this there would be no end to the rave about it. Could it be possible it gets less effective the longer it’s used? I still love it, just use it less regularly. I don’t think it has had much impact on pimples, but the skin on my forehead, chin and cheeks is definitely smoother 

8. Garnier BB cream
I’d love $1 for every compliment I’ve had this year whilst wearing this. Glowy, natural skin with sun protection inbuilt? Done

9. MAC mineralize skin finish
Purchased in the US and totally forgotten about, I am so glad this came out of hiding. A little dust on top of cheekbones is all you need, I’ve worn this in the daytime and to big events alike.
Barely any features from MAC, Chanel, etc. You know, the brands that I should be in love with. For the most part, the just don’t sit well on me. Which I should probably be eternally grateful for given their price points.


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