Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Mid Century Style: Far From Heaven

Last week in my Screen Analysis lecture, we watched a little movie called Far From Heaven. Directed by Todd Hayes, Far From Heaven is a contemporary film which is set in a suburban neighbourhood of Hartford, Connecticut in 1957, and shot in the classical hollywood style which was prominent in that very same era. Cathy and Frank Whitaker (Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid) and their two children  have a seemingly perfect upper-middle class existence, but behind closed doors all is not well in their marriage and the cracks are beginning to show. 

Far From Heaven does more than give us a glimpse into the life of this middle class family and their troubles - it deals with prominent social problems of the time including racism and homophobia in a very real and thought-provoking way, and the open ending lends itself well to reflection on where the story might go next as well as the issues the movie has dealt with. It is a stunning visual representation of the 1950's and a movie well worth watching.

The painstaking reproduction of 1950's life is absolutely stunning, with perfect mid century interiors and clothes hand made by the costume department to fit (and hide) Julianne's growing baby bump throughout filming. Commentary by the head of costume design for the movie says that Julianne's growing form lent itself well to the more curvy 1950's look which many of the modern actresses are too thin to pull off. 

I loved this film. That goes without saying! The storyline, the social commentary and the mid century style are right up my alley and I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves a bit of vintage and an interesting, thought provoking storyline. What a gem!

You can find my Mid Century Madness pin board here, or check back in a few days for some mid century inspired fashion and furnishing wish lists.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Creamy Pasta Sauce Recipe

Lately I have been really good and have been cooking nice, wholesome meals with plenty of veg in them. I've been really proud of myself and have actually really enjoyed cooking over this past week or so, too but sometimes you just need a break. You just need a quick, easy dinner and that is where I turn to the pre-made tortellini you find in the cold section of the supermarket. While this packet pasta might be a little more expensive than beans on toast, it is my absolute favourite easy meal because with the right sauce it tastes just like a proper meal! Usually I just use a home brand tomato based pasta sauce for this tortellini and stir it through the pasta after draining, but last week I didn't feel like a tomato based sauce, I felt like something cheesy and creamy, and so I whipped up this little gem:

Home Made Creamy Pasta Sauce

Serves 2

1/4 of a brown onion 
1 teaspoon of minced garlic (I use the stuff out of the jar)
A splash of cooking oil
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of grated cheese
2 teaspoons of corn flour
2 mushrooms
salt and pepper (to taste)

The How To:
  1. Finely chop onions and mushrooms while warming a splash of oil in a large fry pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the oil and cook until the onions start turning transparent. Keep the onions and garlic moving around the pan as you cook to prevent the garlic burning.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the fry pan and cook until brown, continuing to move the ingredients around the pan as you go.
  4. Add milk to the fry pan and heat gently. While the milk is heating, put the cornflour into a cup, add a small amount of milk and stir until a thick paste is formed. Add a little more milk (just a touch) and stir it through the paste, making it a little runnier.
  5. Add the cornflour to the pan gradually, stirring as you go. Continue stirring and begin to add cheese, little by little, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan so it doesn't stick.
  6. Turn the heat up a little, add salt and pepper and stir some more. The sauce will begin to thicken at this point. If it doesn't start thickening in a few minutes, you can add a little more cornflour using the method above. Be careful of doing this though - you don't want it to turn too thick when it finally starts!
  7. Once the sauce has thickened to just less than what you like it, turn the heat back down, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently stir it through.
  8. Grab a bowl and serve yourself a generous carb-a-licious serving. Pasta is the best comfort food!
I know it seems like there is a lot involved in this recipe, but there really isn't - you've just got to keep stirring as you add things. It doesn't take too long to cook (only about 5-10 minutes) and the recipe is really versatile, allowing you to add veggies or even bacon (! why did I not think of this when I was making it?) to change up the flavour a little or make it a wee bit healthier. I was really proud of myself for "just winging it" in the kitchen the other night and coming up with this - it turned out delicious! Let me know if you try this at home, or share your own pasta sauce recipe with me below. Pasta is a favourite of mine and I'm always on the look out for new ways to cook it. :)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Fridays Finds: The Dress That Stole My Heart

There it was, peeking a pale pink, cotton lace sleeve out from between two other gowns on the rack. 
"I like this one" I remarked, as I pulled it and it's bejewelled satin petticoat out from the rack and held it to my body. 
"Try it on!" the shop attended urged. I cringed internally for a moment - I knew this dress wouldn't be cheap, and I was already starting to become attached. "Go on, I've never seen it on before. Give us a little fashion show!" 
I gave in, and snatching other dresses from the hanger as I went, made my way to the change room. Slipping the petticoat over my head, the tiny waist of the dress caught on my breasts for a moment. Easing the heavy satin into place, I began to do the little eyelets up. Somewhere around the middle of my rib cage, the eyelets would close no more. The top and bottom few had snapped into place, but there was one stubborn one in the middle that simply would not do up! I started to panic a little. What if the dress wouldn't fit either? Well at least I wouldn't be tempted to buy it, but what if I got stuck in it? It had happened to me before, after all - but never with a dress as exquisite as this one. Taking a deep breath, I sucked in my breath and pulled the crisp cotton over my head. A cascade of fabric fell below my waist, and I gave a little twirl - it fit! Emerging from the change room, I felt like a princess. The shop attendant gasped.
"Oh, isn't it beautiful!" She exclaimed. I simply couldn't get the smile off my face. "Now darling, I hope you know it is quite expensive - I don't want you getting too attached!" It was too late. This fabulous dress, made in the traditional early 1950's style and entirely out of pale pink cotton lace, had already stole my heart!

None of the other dresses I tried on that day fit as perfectly as that first one (petticoat aside), nor were they quite as beautiful. I couldn't get my mind off the perfect shade of pink, the way it fitted my chest and waist like it was sewn especially for my body, the beautiful, full and classic skirt which fell to just below my knees. I loved it. I loved every little bit of that dress, right down to the shiny satin petticoat which I was sure I could make fit me if I just let the side seams out a little. It didn't matter anyway, really, that the petticoat didn't do up - the little patch of flesh peeking through the side was lost in all the splendour of the lace overlay.  All day I have been thinking of that dress. Dreaming up excuses to buy it and occasions to wear it on. I know there is no way I can afford it's $250 price tag, and that makes me sad. Oh, but to dream, is it ever really enough?


Well, this week I was too broke to even op shop thanks to some clever timing on various different companies' behalves. I swear that all my service providers all got together and said "Lets all send Sunae her bills on this date! That will be fun!" No, companies, not fun! Not fun at all thank you very much!

Anyway, as you can imagine going a fortnight without shopping is not easy! So I decided that today I would go downtown and have a little look in the Coolangatta Antique Centre and the vintage clothing shop a few doors down to pass the time and satisfy the urge. Since both these shops have quite pricey things in them, I knew I wouldn't be tempted with the "oh, just one dollar here, two dollars there" approach that seems to dwindle away my money in the op shops. I was (sort of) right - nothing in that price bracket but there were some really cheap tea cups that might just make their way into my cupboard come payday, as well as some more expensive items which have made it onto my mile-long wish list. 

I went to the vintage clothing store first. I didn't take any pictures in there because I was too busy chatting to the shop attendant and trying on gorgeous dresses, but let me tell you now - before I walked out of that shop I fell in love. That is where the little anecdote above come from - true to life, I tell you! That dress really is the most beautiful dress I have ever tried on!  I'm contemplating selling a kidney so I can afford it. Anyway, moving on!

These pictures are from the Coolangatta Antiques and Collectables Centre. These are just a few of the many, many things which caught my eye and made me realise how much of a hoarder I would become if I actually had the money to buy all this stuff!

The clothes in here, if you're ever in the area are actually really reasonably priced! 

This tea cup totally belongs in my cupboard! Pity it's $95. 

This display had me yearning for a big, old Victorian-style mansion. Or even a cute little cottage to put this chair in the corner of the bedroom or tucked into a little reading nook!

This is a terrible picture of a beautiful fruit bowl which caught my eye because it is pink. 

Just a few little tea cups for me to lust over. I'm starting to realise that I'm a little bit obsessed!

Last but not least, the vintage phones! There were about 5 other shelves of these, but I took a picture of this one because it's the one that had all the pink ones on it. I really, really, really want the pink and black one in the top right corner! The black on in front of it, I could also take!

Anyway, I had a lovely time browsing the shops this afternoon! I'm thinking of going back there tomorrow with mum, since she is coming up for a visit. Maybe on payday I will sneak a few of the cheaper tea cups into my budget. Or maybe I can do myself a deal where for every assessment I have coming up which I get a distinction or higher in, I can buy myself a present? In that case, with my first two assessments coming back as HD's (did I tell you guys about that??? So exciting!) I guess I already owe myself two tea cups! Or one pretty vintage dress?

Have you ever tried on a dress which felt like it was made for you? I want to hear all about it :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lest We Forget.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Cute Cushions

Since getting our new-to-us lounge last week, I have been super excited about finally getting our living room looking the way I have always wanted it to look. We have a bit of a blue, white and orange theme going on at the moment thanks to my Blue Willow collection and an antique plate given to me by mum, and I am absolutely loving the pop of brightness it brings to an otherwise boring room. I would really like to bring this all together with some nice, bright cushions on the lounge but right now choice is not my friend, and neither is my bank balance!

I can't decide whether I'd like plain blue cushions with orange patterned ones or plain orange cushions with blue patterned ones. What do you think? I've put together a little wish list below of patterned cushions which I love, but besides from number 3 which, being Blue Willow, is obviously my first choice and is wayyy out of my price range, I can't decide which I like best.

Since budget is an issue, I will probably end up making whichever patterned cushions I end up with, but I'm curious - which type of pattern do you think I should go with based on the pictures below? Orange or blue? And simple like the middle two, or busy like the others?

Decisions, decisions, decisions I tell you!

Cute Cushions

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Featured Sponsor: MamaNene from Serger Pepper

You may have noticed I have a couple of ads on my sidebar of late. I am really hoping to keep this up from now on so that I can afford to buy my own spots on others' sidebars and just generally keep up with the demands of this blog. MamaNene was my first ever sponsor on Little Foal. She won the space in my 100 follower giveaway and she has been an absolute pleasure to work with! Her sewing skills are so enviable and she truly is a master of refashioning things! I recently asked her to share a bit about her blog with me and answer the question "what inspires you creatively in your day-to-day life?" Here is what she had to say...

Let's talk about Serger Pepper...
My very first post is from November 2012, when I've known that Santa Claus was giving me a Serger! Is all about my journey on sewing, mostly clothes, and refashioning too... I've lately discovered that I like to draft patterns and share them. All around this there's my passion on photo editing and graphic creations (this is part of my real life work too, I often create flyers and posters for the swimming pool I work into).
I'm also strongly against disposable objects (my daughter used to wear washable diapers I've sewn, we only use fabric tissues and so on...) and I love to found new life to old things, so I often make new clothes from old curtains, other clothes or blanket and sheets!
I love to write in both Italian and English, because there aren't a lot of sewing blog written in italian but I love to reach the big international english-speaking public, also if my English isn't the one used to be when, 20 years ago, I studied it at school! But I hope it's understandable :)
And now: your question!
In my day by day I love to"think outside the box": when we need something, I try to think "How can I make it?", instead of "Where can I buy it?"...and then I finish putting FOE on T-shirts an sewing Panties instead of going to the shop :)
I'd really like to embellish a little more my creations, but I'm mostly a practical girl, trying to satisfy needs instead of researching beauty
Kisses and hugs,

Thank you so much for sharing, MamaNene! I truly admire your eco-consciousness and love all of the things you make! I hope that all my readers will pop over to Serger Pepper to see some of your wonderful creations, too :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

An A to Z of Me: E is for...

E is for Ellie

Everybody needs a best friend. The kind of friend who is there for you through thick and thin. Who you laugh with and cry with and go through life with supporting one another. I am lucky to have a few friends like this, who I can count on for anything and who I am close with even after going through long periods without seeing each other, but perhaps one of the most special of my friends is Ellie. You have seen Ellie on the blog a few times before, no doubt but I just had to make this post especially for her.

You see, the truth is that I don't know what I would do without Ellie. Ever since we met in 2010 we have been the best of friends and gone through everything in life together. It is crazy-scary how similar a path Ellie and I seem to go down in life. I won't go into the nitty gritty details, but lets just say we both "lost our way", found it, were fish out of water at school and then met the loves of our lives all at the same time as each other. Throw in endless girly nights of gossip and that's our friendship in a nutshell! Everything I have gone through since I met Ellie - she has been there for me without falter. She is an absolute gem of a girl and I am so lucky to have her as my best friend!

Ellie, Me and my other bestie Alisha

Bonus is that our boyfriends get along with each other sooo well, so we always have the option of double dates when we get together - quality time with friends and the boy all in one!

Living in different cities is hard for us, and we are both living away from our boyfriends at the moment, too but we try our best to spend as much time together as we can. Bonus of living in different cities is the change of scenery we get when we visit each other, but we definitely miss being around the corner from each other as we were a few years ago when I would stay at Jake's place. 

Anyway, if you read this El, I absolutely freaking love you! I can't wait to see you on Friday and hear all about your trip to Darwin xxx

Sunday, 21 April 2013

WIWT - An Australian "Autumn" Day

Australian Autumn is a lot more unpredictable than your typical leaves-falling-from-the-trees scenario. You never quite know what you're going to get. Some days will be brisk and windy, with rain falling almost horizontally in the sky. Some days will be dreadfully cloudy, and so humid that you could swear you were choking on your own breath. Then, you have some days that are like today:

Which is lucky for me, since I'm not quite ready to give up on the beach for the year yet.. It's definitely starting to cool down a bit over here though, with tops of 24 today, but Jake and I are still thoroughly enjoying our lazy beach days.

We were just leaving the beach today when Jake snapped these pics of me in my bikini. It's a rare thing that I will let anyone anywhere near me with a camera at the beach, but I guess the above is testament to how much more comfortable with my body I have gotten over the last few months. Judging from my whiteness, it's also a testament to how much more sun-safe I have gotten. A few summers ago you never would have caught me this white - or carrying a bottle of sunscreen, like I was today!

Bikini - Rip Curl (discontinued)
Hat - Roxy (discontinued)
Sunglasses - Prescription from SpecSavers

Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday's Finds: It's a big one, and it was free!

Today's find is a pretty big one. In fact, it is so big that we had to take our front door off it's hinges last night to get it into the house! It's a beautiful, tan leather lounge:

Okay, so maybe it's not that beautiful, but compared to the bright blue monstrosity of a futon which previously occupied this space it is a massive improvement! Plus, it was free!

Jake and I have been looking for a lounge ever since we moved in, but since we don't have the money to buy one new and lifeline seems to think that an old, stained couch is worth $200 (yeah, right!) we have so far just had to stick to our terribly uncomfortable and ugly futon. That's why when Jake's mum called us on Tuesday afternoon to say she had just seen a leather lounge on the side of the road for free, Jake and I jumped right into the car and headed for Ballina. 

When we got there, we realised it wasn't just a lounge, it was a lounge suite with two arm chairs as well. We also realised it was incredibly dirty, but it didn't have any tears or anything, so we took it anyway! The ladies giving it away told us it was their dad's and he had recently passed away. They were incredibly kind and had given away every single possession in his home other than what was sentimental to them, wanting their dad's stuff to have a second life and help someone in need. We were incredibly lucky to get this lounge, because it was basically the only thing they had left! The op shop ladies hadn't taken it because it wouldn't fit into their truck. We did offer them some money for it, but they flatly refused. Then they gave us a beautiful painting as well, in a hand carved Balinese frame! Seriously lovely people, I tell you! 

I'm so happy to finally have a comfortable and neutral lounge! It makes our whole living room look so much more put together and once it's clean (which is proving a mission) I'm going to love flopping down into it at the end of the day! 

Have you ever scored something brilliant for free? It's a great feeling, isn't it? Just to know there are still kind and giving people in this world. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

"The Voice"

Reality TV in this day and age is inescapable. Typically, this crap doesn't suck me in, but there are one or two shows which get me hook, line and sinker every season. One of those is My Kitchen Rules, which is drawing to a close, 'babes' and the other is The Voice. Now, I'm not sure why I love MKR so much (oh wait, FOOD! and being nosy and getting to see other people's kitchens) but I do know what appeals to me about The Voice. Firstly, Seal, Joel Madden and Delta Goodrem. Secondly, it's a blind audition show, so people aren't discriminated against on looks and the judges pick their teams first up on vocal capabilities alone. I think this is just awesome, especially after years of watching Idol, where all the judges seem to do is comment on how fat or ugly or "lacking an image" the contestants might be and talent is seemingly forgotten. The blind audition is a great concept for TV, really and I love it.

So, being a daydreamer (as I am) and being completely and utterly tone deaf (as I also am), watching The Voice the other night got me thinking - if I didn't sound like nails on a chalkboard when I sung, who would I most like to sound like? And which of their songs would I choose to show off my (mythical) vocal talent if I ever auditioned for The Voice?

Well, here is a little list for you:

Hayley Williams (Paramore)

The first song above, All I Wanted, is one of my absolute favourite songs ever. It really (and I mean really) shows off Hayley's incredible voice in a way I don't think any of their other songs does. I can't imagine how amazing it would be to be able to pull off those crazy, high notes but god would I love to find out! (So far any attempts on my part of singing this song have been in the car, by myself with the volume up loud enough to drown out my voice, but I'll let you all know if I ever actually do hit a single note in this song). 

The second song, Hallelujah, just strikes a chord with me. I don't really know what to say about it other then WHOAH!

Amy Lee (Evanescence)

Amy Lee couldn't possibly go without a mention here, I mean THAT VOICE!!!! No one can deny wishing they could sing like that. She is awesome, this song is awesome and I love her.

Amy Findlay (Stonefield)

Now, al you readers, listen up! You MUST listen to the above Stonefield songs or unfollow this blog immediately. Yep, you heard me - these girls are incredible and I will disown you if you disagree. Stonefield is comprised of four sisters, Amy, Hannah, Sarah and Holly, aged 15-22, from rural Victoria who absolutely shred it up! They were the winners of Triple J's Unearthed High competition two years ago for their song Foreign Lover, but it wasn't until Triple J started playing the first song above, Black Water Rising, that I first heard them and fell in love with them. Since then I have seen them live twice, so can fully vouch for their awesomeness. I have both their EP's, two shirts (one signed) and can't wait until their album drops this year. There is nothing I love more than an all girl rock band, and Stonefield are the best I've heard yet. If you did what I asked and listened to the above, then I'm sure you know why I want Amy's voice and I'm telling you now - if I ever developed any sort of musical talent, I'd cover all of their songs in a heartbeat, but especially the two above!

Regina Spektor

So, this one is a little bit different to the genres above, but if you get a song-bird voice in the lottery instead of the voice of a rock god, you've gotta showcase it the best you can, and in my opinion there is no sweeter songbird voice than Regina Spektor's and no more beautiful song than this one.

Are you a gifted songbird? Or, like me, do you just wish you were? I'd love to hear what artists and songs you would most love to audition with!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

An A to Z of Me: D is for...

D is for Dog

It is no big secret that I am a dog person. In fact, if I wasn't afraid of heights, I would probably shout it from the rooftops. For the majority of my life I have owned a dog, and both of my dogs have turned out to be somewhat like a best friend. I am absolutely your typical dog person, too. I really don't like cats. They totally creep me out with how sly and silent they are.  I dunno about you, but I am pretty sure that they are actually evil. I have never met a cat that didn't hiss at me, scratch me, bite me or stare at me intently until I got so creeped out that I ran away. Weirdly enough, big dogs barely scare me at all! Unless they are actually chasing me down or trying to bite me, which thankfully has only happened once in my life. 

My first dog was an absolutely beautiful, old Rottweiler. He was absolutely massive and my parents had him before I was born so he was well and truly a part of the family! I remember him being a total gentle giant. He used to just lope around the yard, have a good nap in the sun and just generally chill out with me all day. He loved the beach, and we took him there loads of times. He was a star swimmer, and once actually rescued someone who was drowning in the river! All in all, I have never understood why people consider Rottweilers dangerous. My own experience having one was nothing but positive! We even have pictures of me as a baby actually riding on Rocky's back! The only time he ever came close to hurting me was when I was patting him once and he knocked me over from his enthusiasm. I was absolutely devastated when we had to get him put down. I was only four years old at the time, and I cried and cried all day when mum told me Rocky had gone to heaven. Then mum cried, and dad cried and we all just sat in my room crying over losing our beautiful dog. We had to do it though, he had been run over a few months before and had to have his leg amputated, then the stump of his leg got infected and he had so mud trouble walking that it really was the only thing mum and dad could do. 

After Rocky we didn't get another dog until after I started high school. We just didn't have the space for one. Getting Coke was one of the best things my family has ever done, in my opinion. He is such a character, and so clever too! He is such a massive part of our family, and I have been missing him so much since I moved! We never really planned on getting a new dog, but we are all really glad that we did. 

He tucks himself into bed, with his head on the pillow like a human. 

It all started when my aunty came around to our house with her new puppy, Dora. She was such a cute little scruff ball! We all fell in love with her instantly and begged and pleaded with mum and dad to let us get one! Thankfully dad was on board with the idea and was actually just about as excited as we were at the prospect of getting a new dog. We called up the pet shop where Dora was from, and they only had one of the Jack Russell cross Mini Foxy pups left. This made dad a little sceptical of him, but we jumped in the car anyway and headed to Lismore to meet the little pup. When we got to the pet shop, our little Cokey was sleeping. We waited around and chatted with the owner for a while, giving him a chance to wake up and show us what sort of temperament he had. When we finally all sat down around his cage and he was let out, he was so excited and we all instantly fell in love! His ears perked up at the sight of us and there he went, from person to person sniffing, licking and jumping all over us before settling into my lap exhausted and deciding to try for another nap. We couldn't get him home quick enough! 

Coke with 15 stitches in his leg after recent surgery.

Ever since, Coke has been such a central part of our family. He has grown into such a beautiful, smart dog who captures everyone's hearts with his free spirit and cheeky temperament. He is always on the go, and loves to play. He can jump really high - like to my shoulder height, he can open doors and windows and he is beautifully built for a de-sexed, cross-bred dog. The vet comments every time we take him on how muscular he is compared to a regular, desexed dog of his cross-breed and often he is mistaken for a full Jack Russell. I have suffered health-wise quite a bit through the last few years, and Coke has been a constant companion to me through all of that. Despite regularly being a very high energy dog, when someone in the family is hurt or sick, he will not leave there side! He will climb up onto the bed beside you, curl up with you and stay with you all day if he thinks you're not feeling well. He is such a great companion. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love that little guy! 
Lucky for me, Jake is a massive dog person too. We can't wait until we aren't renting anymore and can finally get another dog. At the moment, the breeds we most like are Dachshund and Border Collie, but of course I would definitely be open to getting another Rottweiler or Jack Russell puppy!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Introducing: Free Bambi

I am so excited to be writing this post today! It seems like I've been waiting forever for the girls at Free Bambi to launch their website so I could buy their beautiful clothes! I first found out about Free Bambi through one of it's fabulous designer's, Monique. I love how unique the Free Bambi look is, and I love the story of how it came to be. I'll leave it in Mini and Rhi's words, because who could tell you about the fabulous Free Bambi better than the girls themselves?

In early 2013 within the hinterland of Byron Bay, Mini and Rhi; formerly fashion students at TAFE Wollongbar, decided to merge their creativity and business ideas and Free Bambi was born.
Free Bambi is determined to give girls a choice to invest in garments that are handmade, released in limited quantities and not mass produced. The duo love creating limited edition pieces and one offs that are as special and unique as the girl who buys them.
Supporting the recycling of vintage garments is also very important to Rhi and Mini who believe that clothing should have a long life filled with parties, picnics and dancing. Free Bambi is often inspired by vintage clothing and also sells some vintage pieces from the personal collection of the designers so that they may live a happy life with their new owner.
Free Bambi’s vision is to create special garments filled with love and music for bohemian rock star girls who want to express their individuality and above all be wild and free…
So, two girls with different tastes have combined to form Free Bambi, and what a treat it is! Here are a few of my favourite pieces from their first collection, Bambi Was Born:

The Daisy Chain Lace Dress

So, what do you think about the collection? Hop on over to their website to see more or make a purchase, or click the links under the pictures to go directly to the product in their online store. These girls have worked so hard to get to where they are right now. I love supporting local Australian businesses and can't wait to make my own purchase from Free Bambi (come on payday!)

The girls are also avid users of social media, so if you want some behind the scenes Free Bambi footage, check them out here:


Disclaimer: All the photos used in this post are from Free Bambi's website. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

What I Wore

On Friday, I was feeling pretty down. I had a uni assignment due which I hadn't even started, I was all sniffly (still) and my knee was killing me. I knew I wouldn't be doing anything special for the day and my only outing would be to the doctors, but I decided I wanted to get dressed properly anyway.

It is absolutely amazing what a nice outfit and a bit of make up can do for your mood. Instant uplift! Plus, I was wearing my new op shop blouse and new eyeshadow and lipstick which always makes a girl feel good!

What do you think of this outfit? I felt so fresh and pretty in it all day :)

Blouse - op shop (late 80's to early 90's Katie's)
Skirt - ICE
Shoes - k-mart
Wallet - Colette
Jewellery - all my gifted everyday stuff

Monday, 8 April 2013

An A to Z of Me: C is for...

C is for Coolangatta

It feels kind of weird writing about Coolangatta right now as though it's home, but it is and so I am. Moving here in January was a decision about 2 years in the making. I knew it was coming at the start of year 12 but I never would have guessed that I would have a long-term boyfriend by now who would make it all oh-so-much easier and harder at the same time. You could say that Jake and I are off to a rough start! I've been here almost 3 months now with Jake paying half the rent but only making an appearance on weekends, and it is terrible! We miss each other so much through the week, but he hasn't found a job up here yet and there is no way we can survive unless he keeps on working at Byron Bay. When we first got here, I thought the whole thing was a giant mistake. I had a car crash, and the public transport here is crap, my centrelink money kept on being cut off, leaving me with no way to pay bills, I was here all by myself with no transport and no friends to turn to, and Jake was getting dicked around by some jerk who had promised him a job. Now, three months on, with a job (which is yet to be fruitful), family and friends to support me and some transport, things are much easier and I am starting to love this beautiful place I live in. Of course, things are still far from ideal without Jake here (he is my rock and I struggle without him) but I am getting by and I am beginning to see the merit to the choice Jake and I made by moving here of all places!

I was going to show you all snapshots of our unit, but it is a total mess after a weekend at home with the boy and without proper use of my leg, so instead I will just run you through a few things I love about Coolangatta and the Gold Coast in general.

I don't quite know how to convey just how awesome the lifestyle around Coolangatta is. You see, Australia as a whole is pretty laid-back. My tiny, little, beachside hometown was the king of relaxed living, but to be living in a city and having a laid-back lifestyle - now that is pretty special! The Gold Coast as a whole is pretty laid-back in comparison to, say, Brisbane or quite a few other cities in Australia, but Coolangatta is something else! Cooly is 40 minutes from the city centre. It is the southernmost point of the Gold Coast and of Queensland too, for that matter. It is the suburb behind some of the most famous surfing beaches in Australia, as well and that translates into an extremely laid-back lifestyle. 

The beaches around here are amazing! Not just from a surfing point of view, either. They are always crystal clear and so good for swimming! Coolangatta (and the Gold Coast in general) is built to make the most of the beautiful beaches, so rather than the city expanding outwards from the city centre, the Gold Coast stretches lengthwise across the coast. Every beach has a Surf Club and every Surf Club has a restaurant and a bar, so you can basically get merry with a view no matter where in Coolangatta/Kirra you are. You've got to love that!

Julian Wilson AKA my future baby daddy at the Quiksilver Pro
(extra large for your viewing pleasure)

Some of my favourite things about Coolangatta:

  • The beaches are amazing!
  • The Quicksilver Pro - which was totally amazing and which you can read about here.
  • O-Sushi is my favourite sushi train and Japanese restaurant. They're licensed and they have live music on the weekends too! talk about stylish Japanese food! Plus, they're right across the road from the beach.
  • Gelatissimo has my favourite ice cream ever - pistachio! I never used to be able to get it in my hometown, but now I can, and it's right across from the beach!
  • The cinema has those liftable arms on the seats so you can get snuggly. Plus, it's across the road from the beach so when it starts pouring with rain right as you get to the beach, you can just cross the road and go see a movie instead (you'd be surprised how much that happens to me).
  • The beaches.
  • All you can eat Pizza Hut! Anything all you can eat is awesome, but all you can eat pizza is awesomest! Plus they have ice cream with mini marshmallows at the dessert bar, and I saw the Gold Coast Titans NRL team training out the front of it once - it's right on the beach. It made me feel fat because instead of sweating my butt off like they were, I was in my jarmies ordering a pizza feast.
  • Close enough to the grotty city centre to go there when I want to, but far enough away that I don't have to deal with it every day. I really dislike Surfers Paradise. I don't know why yes i do it's because almost every time i've been i have been drunk, at night making a fool of myself and it's super dirty and grotty and busy and gross.
  • Close enough to go home to mum and dad's whenever I want without any hassle. I miss mum. And my dad, brother, sister, boyfriend, cousins and friends. 
  • Did I mention the beaches?
And there you have it - my current home in a nutshell. Anything in particular you love about your current home? My only disappointment with Coolangatta is it's lack of culture and history, being a relatively new suburb. That is one thing that the capital cities have over these smaller ones. Lucky I'm taking a trip to Brisbane on Thursday night! Gotta get my fix and consume large amounts of alcohol with my best friend.

Life Lately: Crystal Castle

Last Wednesday, before I bunged up my knee, I headed over to my friend Ellie's place for a pot of tea and a catch up. Since we are both currently living in different cities doing uni, we have been hard pressed to find time to catch up with each other, so this little get together while we were both home for Easter was much needed and appreciated. Plus, being the poor uni students that we are, catching up at her house was super nice on the wallet. Or so we thought it would be!

As with most "quick little catch ups" that Ellie and I have, we had wayyyy to much to talk about and ended up emptying that tea pot pretty quickly! So, naturally, we decided to extend our catch up to a day out and some lunch, and so headed out into the Byron hinterland to Crystal Castle.

I have no idea how we ended up deciding to go to Crystal Castle, but I sure am glad we did! It was absolutely beautiful out there, and the food in the little cafe was delicious! Ellie and I were absolutely gobsmacked at the prices of the crystals and were half tempted to bring the boys back there at night to pinch a few of the big ones they had just lying around the place. I settled for just buying a few of the little half priced ones in the shop instead.

True to the spirit of this hippy land we live in, the Crystal Castle was a deeply spiritual place, although the booming prayer voices suddenly coming out of hidden speakers around the place did little more to Ellie and I than freak us out! You could say that we are a little too rational for the hippy mumbo-jumbo I guess! Nonetheless, the beautiful big crystals around the place, the many different statues of buddhas and various other godly creatures were totally awe-inspiring. It was such a beautiful place!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Where have I been? Never a dull moment, is there?

I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus for the last two weeks, and here is my explanation. Last week I came down with the most horrible flu - fevers, sore throat, headaches, no sleep. It was the worst! I was completely bedridden up until Saturday and am still not feeling quite right. My house was a disaster zone, I was having major troubles with looking after myself because I had zero energy and there was no food to be found anywhere. Thankfully, my mum and sister came to the rescue by coming up on Thursday night and stocking the cupboards, looking after me and doing all my cleaning for me. Seriously, it's times like those where only a mummy hug does the trick and I'm so lucky to have such a great mum who will drop everything to be here for me.

Jake came up too, on Friday afternoon and he was totally amazing what with me being sick and everything. It never ceases to amaze me how great he is when my health isn't quite up there. He really comes into his own then and shows me how much he cares. I don't think there's anything that guy wouldn't do for me. To show my appreciation of him and my sister (who is a total germophobe but came and helped me out anyway), I shouted them to see the new GI Joe movie on Saturday afternoon when I was feeling strong enough to venture out of the house. It was a good movie but Shoni and I were devastated by the lack of Channing Tatum screen-time (completely understandable, right?) and then we all headed out to dinner at this cheap little Italian place in Cooly which had totally delicious food for $15 for two courses!

Sunday, we headed down to Lennox for Easter and that is where I have been for the last 5 days. With no Internet. I managed to catch up with some friends and family while I was down home, having an impromptu sleepover with one of my besties and my gorgeous cousin who I miss very much since moving up here, and going to the Crystal Castle with my other bestie yesterday for a bit of a frolic and a catch up, which I will tell you about tomorrow ;)

It was also Jake's birthday yesterday and I made him a delicious cake to have after a nice, quiet family dinner. He worked all day (poor thing) so we decided to keep everything low-key with just me, his parents and his brother in on the celebrations. That gave the two of us time to hit the beach in the afternoon for a spot of kiteboarding before tea, which is always interesting to say the least.

There wasn't quite enough wind for Jake to actually get on the board on his relatively small, 7m kite, so he asked if I wanted a turn. I wasn't really in the mood, especially since I'm still not feeling 100% but he reminded me that I'll never get the hang of it if I don't practice, so I gave in and hooked myself into a harness. Last time I went with him, I got dragged 20m down the beach when I lost control of the kite, so this time I made him hold onto the back of me to keep me grounded. I started off okay, keeping the kite in the air and moving pretty well, but then I got a little over-confident. The kite was choking a little because I had the lines too tight, so I gave it a little turn to keep it in the sky. Then it was straight up over my head (too high), so I gave it another little tug to get it back down where I could see it. Unfortunately for me, kites are extremely sensitive, and get their pulling power by you turning them and I turned this kite a little too hard and fast. I got absolutely wrenched up into the air, and out of Jake's reach, then, as the kite plummeted back down to Earth, so did I, thumping down onto the hard sand. I was in so. much. pain! It was shooting up into my legs from my knees, and somehow I managed to roll over and sit up while still attached to the kite, where I rocked back and forth until I got over the shock of my landing.

Jake wasn't very sympathetic at first, since I landed the kite in the dunes, but once he realised I was hurt he was absolutely guilt-ridden and oozing sympathy. He got me unhooked, and packed away the kite, which seemed to take absolutely forever, then he helped me into the car and got me home to ice and elevate my right knee which was absolutely pounding by this stage! I felt soooo bad that it was his birthday and he was forced to wait on me with my gimp leg, but he barely minded at all. Today I woke up radiating pain from both knees, my left hip and my right rib cage and decided I deserved a lie-in before I headed home. I am pretty sure a doctor's visit is in order tomorrow, as my leg is killing me and it's so swollen I'm not quite sure what to do :/

So there - that is why I have been absent from blog land lately. Not a worry though - I have plenty of ideas zapping through my mind to keep you sated over the next week or so, so check back again tomorrow for a little more on the Crystal Castle!

What did you do this Easter? I hope your break was less painful and sickly than mine was!