life

Five things on a Friday

March 30, 2018

I recently discovered this video of a French woman instructing how to cleanse your face. It’s very soothing to watch. My poor face certainly does not receive this level of gentle attention. I am now inspired to, um, maybe buy a new facewash or something.

via Into The Gloss

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I loved this piece on Wakanda by Patrick Patterson.

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And Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nobel Prize lecture is such a fantastic read too, on diaspora and writing, the small and the quiet.

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These are the BEST earrings! Made right here in Melbourne in all-kinds-of -colourful resin, they look like CANDY. CANDY FOR YOUR EARS. Their Etsy shop is here.

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The Dawsons Creek 20 year reunion, for a little nostalgia. Katie Holmes is stunning, and expressive with her hands. Michelle Williams seems like The Loveliest Person.

life

Currently…

February 28, 2018

Reading: critique partner stories – this doesn’t leave room for any other reading, but benefits my brain in other ways.

Writing: the space opera with the end which is still missing in action.

Wearing: a t-shirt that is both stripy and printed with oranges. lavender nail polish. shorts. a frown.

Watching: the Bachelor. Oh yes, whatever, I know I’m going straight to the Bad Place. I follow up by watching/reading Sharleen’s recaps (here and here). Her astute & sympathetic insider’s eye has markedly increased my enjoyment of the show. I can see the joins! And have a lot of fun recognising them.

Playing: Stardew Valley and why oh why did I download this, I knew this would happen, somebody please take it off me, anybody, please.

Listening: to songs written by Linda Perry.

Eating: Rocky road. I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen WATCH OUT. Pistachios & ginger make nice additions. Broken up biscuits are a bit meh and aren’t worth it. I like a mix of dark & milk chocolate – Whittakers, of course, because I think we’ve talked about how Kiwi dairy makes the best chocolate. Oh, you need to ensure the chocolate is cooled before you add the marshmallows…

life

Happy new year

January 11, 2018
Sunset on Phu Quoc, Vietnam

So it’s 2018! Kicked off with a full(esque) moon, which I celebrated beneath on an island in Vietnam, drinking pina coladas on the porch  while my children slept inside being devoured by midges. Looked like they had chicken pox the next day. Good times.

Some amorphous goals that definitely aren’t all that SMART, just the way I like to do em:

  • Post to old blogface mcblogerston once a month.
  • Finish, tune & polish the space opera story *pats story* good story.
  • Then query the shit out of it.
  • Create beautiful surroundings (code for: attempt to finish decorating the house) (also: make my office a pretty & inspiring space to write in!)
  • Visit the motherland Aotearoa and fill up my kiwi tank before it runs empty.
  • Rock a personal style, maybe one that involves wearing more lipstick and bright dangly earrings, and definitely involves being ridiculously comfortable.
  • Take more photos. Snap away. Even shitty photos are better than none.

At this moment in 2018 I am:

Wearing – fave black shorts, stripy breton tee, bright pink tassel necklace, and lippie.

Listening toRuel and Odette, amazingly talented young Australians.

ReadingDark Sky by Mike Brooks, second in the Keiko series.

Eating – Pineapple Lumps sent for Xmas by a dear friend.

Dreaming about – A beach holiday (in a resort with a kids club, natch) where I get to read all day long while drinking pina coladas.

WatchingRIVERDALE because I HEART IT. Gives good angst.

Crushing on – Jughead, maybe.

life

Five things on a Friday

July 14, 2017

1. This Ghostbusters Playmobil is awesome! I think my boys need it. Yep. They totally do. (As kids my siblings & I were NUTS about Playmobil and I hope to foster that same enthusiasm with my boys).

2. My precious: Andy Serkis reads Trump’s tweets as Gollum:

3. Got your tissues handy? Mandy Harvey’s performance on America’s Got Talent brings me tears every.time.I.watch.

4. The most bizzare yet hilarious financial advice ever. I mean obviously. Buy solid silver spoons. That is totes how you get out of $187000 of debt. (Possibly this woman is an incarnation of me from another dimension, since my life’s actual financial plan since 1999 has been Win The Lotto.)

5. Stranger Things season 2 is coming on October 27th:

life

Loving & loathing for May

May 3, 2017

The 2017 edition…

IN

Sheridan bed linen. Am forming a theory that this stuff is the bomb. It’s not cheap but the good news is they frequently have sales, and they have outlets too. Free shipping & you can use Afterpay to do installments too. It’s very VERY nice for sleeping in. They don’t do colourful funky prints or any of that jazz. But I guess that’s what throw pillows are for…

Heinz Seriously Good Original Mayonnaise. Dear reader, if you are enamoured of mayo like I am, please give this a go and dip your chips in it. Better that Best, I swear. Comes in handy squeeze bottle. Made in NZ, like all good things.

Moana. I LOVE this movie right now. This song –

– legit gives me goosebumps & frequently brings tears to my eyes. It’s crazy. I first watched it when I was sick, and I cried! It gives me all the feels.

OUT

My sweet tooth. Have you seen it? I appear to have lost it recently and I am missing it muchly. Is this what happens when you get old? Will it come back?

Gin & tonics. I’m sorry gin, but it’s time to break out the red wine… see you in spring.

paper + screen

Reading list, 2017 so far

May 1, 2017

I was just looking back at some old journal/blog posts of mine, and my 2011 reading list blew my mind. I read, like, a million books. Largely because we spent 3 months travelling (oh so much reading time!) – I felt very jealous of my 2011 Self. I have only read FIVE books this year so far. So. I am making a May Resolution (it’s a thing, I swear) to Read Moar. And also to jot down a little thought about each book because it’s surprisingly helpful & interesting for my Later Self to read what my Current Self thought of them.

Life or Death by Michael Robotham

A bit Shawshank Redemption-y by this Aussie author (except not set in Australia) about a convict who escapes from prison the day before he’s scheduled to be released, and the unfolding story of how he ended up behind bars and what his mission is on the outside. Gripping, good cast of characters, solid pacing.

Into Everywhere by Paul McAuley

Sequel to Something Coming Through, which was one of my favourite reads last year. Although whhyyy do these books have such awful covers! otherwise I’d buy them both in the dead tree version for my shelf. Sci-fi. First-contact-ish crossed with a bit of space opera, touch of planetary colonisation. Two POVs, one of which I preferred over the other, telling stories that start off separate and then intersect. I love stories about humans on new worlds and love the way he’s imagined how humanity would colonise new planets – a modern wild west frontier. I also liked how he clearly wrote a world with a particular cultural background but as it was written from the POV of a person within that background, it wasn’t actually remarked upon.

The Empress Game by Rhonda Mason

I really wanted to love this because it has all the components I want in a book right now – space opera, awesome female protag, fight scenes, politics, romantic suspense – but it just didn’t click with me. I still enjoyed it a lot but perhaps not as much as I expected to.

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

I wasn’t a fan of the first few pages of this BUT I’m glad I kept on because then it got hotdamn awesome and I was all, okaaaay no wonder this won the Hugo. Then after I finished it I re-read the start bit & enjoyed it that time. Loved loved LOVED. So different. So clever. Especially liked that it’s written in both third-person present and second-person present. Cannot wait to read the next one, which is sitting pretty on my to-read pile.

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

Hurrah for Star Wars stories and stories by Chuck Wendig! And hurrah for more third-person present tense. This guy really knows how to ratchet up and maintain pace and tension. I find that although there isn’t a great deal of description, he still manages to create a very visual scene of action. This definitely does not deserve its rating on Amazon. Some sad fanboys must be throwing their toys a bit?

life

A movie, a birthday, a jersey

April 26, 2017

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 on Monday night and you guys! It was so enjoyable, I had such a good time watching it. Really funny and satisfying. I didn’t have high expectations for it, tbh, I suppose because it’s a sequel and the first one was so – different & surprising – still, I thought it would be fun, and worthwhile seeing on the big screen (The Mr & I don’t get so many opportunities to go to the movies these days!) – it definitely exceeded my expectations. I laffed. Oh yeah. I was that lady cackling away over her choc top.

So, it’s funny – and it’s emotional, cashing in on some of the info & connections built in the previous film. Our awesome fivesome are joined by some new & old peeps. Elizabeth Debicki is fabulous as the high priestess. A thick layer of gold paint only makes her innate stature even more haughty. I hope she sticks around for the next one. Pom Klementieff as Mantis, with her lack of socialisation, is the perfect character played alongside the very literal Drax.

Go see it, it’s good fun. So much better than the last Marvel films I’ve seen: Avengers FiftyBillion (that’d be the number of characters in it, not the sequel number) or Dr Strange (snoooooozefest).

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It’s my smallest progeny’s first birthday next week. Yes I know! That year flewww past. Every parent says that. Because it’s true, they fly by like flying things. He is the most delicious creature right now but as my MIL points out, they’re designed that way. It’s evolutionary, yeah, so we keep procreating. If they leapt right into 3 year olds, the human race would swiftly die out. I look at my sweet little boy and I think, heaven help me, he’s going to be a 3 year old one day… O_o

This chocolate chiffon cake is the cake I’m going to make for his little party on the weekend. It’s a humungous recipe, suitable for feeding The Masses, but I think I will stuff it full of cream and lather on some buttercream icing instead of doing the salted caramel. My test bake was very promising, so I’d highly recommend this if you’re looking for a MASSIVE CAKE. Get yourself a 25cm tin and line it high with baking paper, my bakerly friends.

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Finally it’s looking like Melbourne is ready to pull autumn on for good, so I’m getting to that stage where you stand in front of all your clothes every morning and think, this is not good. this shit is just not going to fly.

C’mon I know that doesn’t just happen to me every 6 months!

I had this vague hope that my personal fashion concept this year would extend beyond Jeans + T-shirt + Mum-Bun Hair. But how I can apply this practically, when I have no time to shop & try on clothes, is the tricksy bit. Also my hair is doing that I-have-a-12-month-old-baby thing, where it’s half grown back and half still falling out, lanky and ick and frizzy. That means bun-time, all the time.

I should buy some hats.

Anyway, I did pick up this super cute jersey a couple of weekends ago from French Connection, so at least I have one thing that I’m happy about wearing in the colder weather… and look! if you like it too, it’s currently on sale. And ooh, doesn’t it look good with a cute hat?

life

A slice of life

April 10, 2017

Monday afternoon.
It’s raining + windy + grim outside.
I think we got all of April’s rain in the last 24 hours. And it’s been lovely. Very autumnal. The first cold of the season always is! (Then it keeps on keeping on, and I quickly turn to despair, and I’ll look back at this and be all WHAT WAS I THINKING)
We’re all holed up inside wearing standard dresscode (gruglies).
There are toys on literally every surface.
And you should know I don’t use the word ‘literally’ lightly.
(A little lightly)
It’s hazardous.
There’s been puzzles, playdough, baking, blocks. The careful application of toys to every surface of the house.
I wrote some words in naptime. And did a million loads of laundry.
And tonight we’re going to have a hunk of roast lamb, with a mountain of crispy roast potatoes, all drowned in gravy (I make a good gravy. This is, I think, an inherited trait. Come over sometime & I’ll show you how to make Freakin Awesome Proper Gravy.)
Hope your Monday is going just as swimmingly.