Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why not brighten your day with a cupcake?

Not just because it's Monday, but because every once and a while you need to treat yourself. I'm a firm believer that it's important to remind yourself that you are special and deserve a naughty indulgence, you've worked hard so why not? Right?

Maybe your indulgence is going to the movies, getting a ultimately relaxing full body massage, or a glass of expensive vino and cheese. Whatever it is, I bet it makes you feel like you're on cloud nine, or ten or whatever. Well, my most recent indulgence was a disgustingly delicious cupcake from none other than BTS Cafe - Better than Sex. Yep, this stunningly gorgeous cupcake shop (pictures of the store itself to come) is so sure of itself that it claims to smash sex out of the water terms of the 'inducing enjoyment' factor. Quite a claim, eh? Well, they do not disappoint, that's for sure.

A lovely friend of mine, Jenny, agreed that it was time for a yarn so of course I sent her a simple but effective message: 'J - Babes, BTS, lunch break now x'

Pictured below are the glorious cupcakes we purchased on arrival.

Meet Carrie:
Named after our beloved Carrie Bradshaw, the Carrie cupcake is a delicious mix of butter-cake with a lemon curd centre and meringue atop. It's sophistication with a bit of zing - just like our favourite NYC sex columnist.

Meet Elvis:
This banana choc chip cupcake with crispy chocolate bottom and creamy vanilla frosting atop leaves a taste in your mouth that makes you want to belt out a tune like our old mate Elvis. Jenny says "it's a party in your mouth like no other."

Are you impressed, feeling hungry or drooling? Did I ask if you are impressed? Well, if their cute celebrityesque names haven't won you over then I don't know what will.

One day I'll be awesome enough to have a cupcake especially designed and named after me. Hmm I wonder what it would taste like...

Do you know of any amazing cupcake stores?
Favourite flavour?
What's your indulgence?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Are you stuck in a beauty rut?

Because I was. Big time. You see, just over a month ago I started an internship at Adelaide's Sunday mail and it was incredible. I learnt so much and was lucky enough to be published in both the Mail and the TV Guide (this is a big deal for a budding writer still studying at Uni). Anyhoo, I then moved on to the East Torrens Messenger (a local newspaper) for two glorious, crazily busy and stressful weeks before being asked back to the Sunday Mail...

Uh-oh. 'Why the hell would I be interested in your working life? Aren't we talking beauty?' I hear you ask. Well that's just it, doll. My busy life has sent me spiralling into Beauty
Rutt Town, postal address: 666 Chapped Nails Drive, Me Crazy Avenue, 9110. To cut to the chase (all terrible jokes aside), I was working full time at a paper then going to my beloved part time job (Gloria Jeans Coffee shop aka supplier of liquid gold) both days on the weekend. Hello zero days off in over a month. O.M.G. I was stuffed and so were my nails and hair. Realising that I was going to completely loose my sanity if I didn't find myself some 'me time' I decided that before starting back up at the Sunday Mail I needed a manicure. Badly. So I promptly booked myself into my local salon, Ashleigh's Day Spa, for a quick 30 minute clean up. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I usually visit a family friend for all my primping needs - but alas, she wasn't available so I excused myself from feeling like a cheating tart.

How was my experience? Well, I was more than pleased ackshually. First, the beauty therapist was absolutely lovely. She could see that I was a total tired wreck and politely made small talk before quietly getting on with her job. Second, she refrained from cracking any narky jokes about my unkept nails that had coffee grind stuck underneath (gross.). Nope, she just began shaping, cleaning, soaking and rubbing until I almost fell into a blissful sleep. I opened my eyes to see my nails looking tidy and healthy (awesome) and proceeded to offer my own polish for the therapist to use which she gladly accepted (none of this, 'oh no you must use our polish' business). I was especially pleased with the painting and walked away after an hour (only paying for half an hour). Fabulous!

The only thing I would improve about my manicure is that I quite enjoy when the flaked skin around my nails (my hands get incredibly dry from coffee making) is removed. It leaves an absolutely clean finish.

Final verdict: I would visit Ashleigh's Day Spa again, for sure!

What have you done to escape a beauty rut?
Favourite salon?
Vegemite on toast (go Aussie go!) or peanut butter and jelly?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to secure your dream job

As I'm about to embark on the final semester of my University degree I've been doing a whole lot of work expereince, internships (whatever I can get really) and trawling through looking for possible jobs. Obviously it's a super competitative world out there and I need to get on it. So I've been thinking quite seriously about what the best way to apply for a job might be. Do I send out my CV to a bunch of papers, PR firms, media agencies and the like, do I contact them over social networking sites (become thier facebook 'friend'/twitter 'follower') or approach them face to face? You know, physically show them what I've got to offer.

I personally believe that this is a tough nut to crack (please excuse the cliché). Does anyone really know what the best option is when applying for a job? Well after some research I quickly found that someone actually does have a clear understanding of how to best approach a prospective employer. Who? 'The Chaser', of course! I've come across an amazing YouTube vid which demonstrates exactly how to secure your dream job. It's a winner, check it out!

Compliments of the loved 'Chasers':


Monday, July 12, 2010

Toilet graffiti really grinds my gears

Big time. I absolutely hate it, despise it even. What's more upsetting is that the worst place for toilet graffiti is my lovely Adelaide University.

Here is what Adelaide Uni looks like from North Terrace:
Isn't it's exterior lovely? Well, I wish I could say as much for the interior. Most specifically, the interior of the toilets. Now brace yourself because this is absolutely nuts:

Now come on fellow university students. I don't know about you but I can't say that visiting public toilets is my favourite thing in the world. It's sorta nasty. I'm always trying to avoid touching anything, alternating between squatting over the toilet bowl and layering the toilet seat with an abundance of toilet paper. Then, once I've finished my business, I get the hell out of there. Quick smart. There is none of this sitting around day dreaming or writing vulgar profanities all over the walls. I think that it looks really untidy, dirty and quite frankly it's just rude.

So every once in a while I do notice that someone has written something incredibly witty and hilarious and I actually catch myself cracking a smile. Goodness me! But this is very rare. Mostly people are writing really annoying comments about who is a skank or who will provide you with a bit of 'fun'. And then you get those people who write angry comments about world poverty and others reply with quite racist comments. And you know what - I don't enjoy any of this! It's a waste of ink, pencil, whiteout or whatever!

Okay, I am sorry about this ranting. but in our very first post Tash confessed that sometimes we complain (but only if something is really annoying. It's good to vent sometimes, get things off your shoulders). That's human nature right? And just in case you didn't read our very first post (naughty you!) this is exactly what Tash wrote:

'Basically, this blog will be about things we enjoy, things we discover, things that we just want to complain about and things we come across in the media.'

Well, until now I haven't done any of this and honestly, I hope I'm not doing it again any time soon. But for now, if you do understand the weird and ugly world of toilet graffiti maybe you can enlighten me. I just don't get it and next time I visit the loo I'll be imagining throwing mental spears at my fellow toilet visiting peer's head as I wonder if it was them who wrote the C-bomb on the toilet cubicle's wall.

So tell me, do you now a toilet graffitist?
Have you ever written on a wall?
Do you know what compels people to do it?
What do you think about it?

P.S I want to clarify that I can appreciate real, arty farty graffiti that you sometimes see put deliberately on walls. You know, when the council provides a specific location for graffiti artists to 'spray' (is that the right term?). I can dig that. It looks good! Actually, there is a really cool design on the back of my favourite brekkie cafe, 'Agathas Food Store' , created by a bunch of teenagers. I do like that stuff, in fact, I'll get you a picture of it so that you can appreciate it too. Good one!

Getting all Natural History on You!

So today I had a plan of having a look at some of the shops in Adelaide off the beaten path of Rundle Mall. I was going to take some snaps and write up a blog. When I stepped off the tram and tried taking a picture I was met with the all to familiar sight of "REPLACE BATTERY PACK". Needless to say I changed my plans and decided instead to go for a little walk to the Museum of South Australia, accompanied by my good friends Belle and Sebasian, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Nicholas Roy.

It was a bit of a strange experience walking through the museum by myself with the music in my ears blocking out the screams of the children all around me. The museum opened their new Biodiversity section in February of this year, I've been excited to go see it because the animals are always my favourite part of the museum. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it all has a very Australian feel to it. I started off in the marine section with whales and fish and all sorts of strange creatures. There was multimedia screens all around the place and if you got up close enough it almost felt like you were actually swimming around the reef. It really ignited a desire to go diving again!

The whole section really flows, you move from under the sea, to beachside, to backyard, to outback. The thing I loved about the display is that it wasn't just about showing animals, you have to explore a bit to actually discover everything that the museum has done. One example was a display of nocturnal animals, I looked up and noticed that a hidden owl was looking down at me, when a little girl noticed me doing this she too looked up and was so excited by the sight. There were crawl spaces that only children could fit through so I don't know if these were just for entertainment or if there were even more things hidden here. One of my favourites was the "backyard" animals.

Doesn't it just look like a scene from Animals of Farthing Wood or something similar?

One thing I noticed was the strong environmental consciousness of all of the displays, this wasn't about showing you animals it was also about bringing attention to the fact that many of these were having their habitats destroyed, or that the animals themselves were the destroyers. There was a section for extinct Australian animals and I'll admit that I got a bit teary here. I did a bit of research into museums at university last year and whether they should be delivering simply information or whether curators should tell a story based on their own beliefs. I still don't know where I stand, but it was just so obvious to me today and it made me glad that they were trying to educate rather than just display. If you get a chance take the day off and grab some music and make your way through the museum in your own little world just like I did!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Highway to Uh... Where?

So if you remember, a few weeks ago Roxy and I lay down this stupendous plan: Highway to Health was going to begin and we were going to be kicking some lazy ass! Unfortunately life got in the way. Roxy got the amazing opportunity to do an internship at the Sunday Mail where she was too busy attending fashion shoots and getting her name in print that she couldn't meet me for a gym sesh, and I was a bit too busy working 40 hour weeks at The Good Guys (My excuse is just as cool... right?). Well excuses, excuses we thought and we were rearing to start but now Roxy is completing another 2 week internship this time with the Messenger so unfortunately our traversing all over Adelaide to find our inner health gurus is once again on hold. 

You know what, I'd even got all ready! I did what any girl needs to do in order to start something new, I went shopping! So now I'm armed with a new drink bottle and trackpants and a mere 15 hours a week and I'm itching for a gym buddy, so instead of discovering some healthy gems without my buddy I've picked up a new friend to help me see through these two weeks... Introducing: Wii Fit Plus! 

Lame? Okay, so it's not quite the fanfare we wanted to begin with (we were planning on getting all hot and sweaty with some Bikram Yoga) but I figured why not review the games system that so many people are keen to try (I sell these things, believe me I know!). I'll be updating daily so, not wanting to overrun the This and That blog with posts, my daily posts will only be going up on the Highway to Health blog (Link in the side bar. Wow. saying that I feel like some sort of YouTube celebrity. Link in the doobly-doo. Nerdfighter jokes? No? Okay I lost you!) So if you're interested to hear if the whole Wii fit thing has any bang for its buck then check it out! 

I'll be reviewing it for 2 weeks starting from tomorrow, at the same time I'll be trying to be a  bit more careful about what I'm eating by using my trusty kikki.K meal planner, and I'll be braving the rain and trying to go for some more walks thanks to my new raincoat (Yes, even more shopping). This really has been a very hectic holidays, and it's really helped me realise how much life can get in the way of trying to look after yourself. After long weeks, overnight stays with my nieces and the biscuits and chips that coincide, and a bout of stomach flu and reflux I'm feeling the temptation of the Urban Remedy Winter Warmer Cleanse and perhaps a nice weekend away. Melbourne anyone? (hint: Roxy and I will be going to Melbourne in August! Weee!) So enough blabbering I've got to get some sleep for my Wii Fit sesh in the morning, and here are the lovely goodies I bought:

1. Camelbak Better Bottle $29.95, 2. Running Bare Tigerlily Soft Knit Track Pants $79.95, 3. Cath Kidston Navy Spot Raincoat $50, 4. NintendoWii Fit Plus $129, 5. kikki.K Meal Planner $9.95. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beauty Review: Le Tan Fast Tan, just coz it's winter...

So usually winter and I are not best pals. We don't hang out, go to the beach together and share our intimate girly secrets. However, I do have to thank winter for my discovery of Le Tan Fast Tan foaming mousse.

Now, just a bit of background on my relationship with Mr. Fake Tan before I go on. I am a self confessed fake tanning addict and that's because I'm not one of those girls who look lovely all white glow-in-the-dark-style (like Amanda Seyfried for example... See, look at her, the sexy minx).
On the other hand, when I am cold, my pale skin goes a lovely shade of blotchy purple and pink. Hot, right? And in summer I don't like to try my luck actually developing a real tan (First, it will never happen and second, my Gramps died of skin cancer so I'd rather fake it than bake it). So, I do fake tan 365 day's a year. Of course, I don't put too much on in winter, just enough to cover my purple edge.

My usual tan of choice is the St Tropez foaming mousse. It's a little tube of liquid gold and for $70 for 750mL you would really hope it to be. It never streaks, is a lovely natural colour (I have had compliments about how nice my real tan is. Ha! Suckers...) and I love that it's a mousse because you can instantly see where you are applying and you can do it gradually. Gradually is the key word here. You should always apply one layer first, then assess the situation the next day. Don't go overboard because no matter how fabulous the product is, you will probably come out looking like an extra from Willy Wonkers classic movie - an oompa loompa. This is also why I prefer gradual tanners over getting spray tans. Yes, sometimes they can look great but other times, not so much (unless orange is your thing, then you know, go for it!)

Anyway, seeing as it is winter I'm not using much tan and on top of that I'm not really cashed up (thanks to Uni - another great friend of mine). So, I decided I better opt for a cheaper version. I chose Le Tan Fast Tan and haven't looked back.

Boy, it's a beauty! This little puppy is quite inexpensive (around $12 a bottle!) and it does a wonderful job! The colour is nice and natural, I only need one light coat to get a desirable coverage and colour, it stays put for a good week (as long as I moisturise every day*), doesn't come off on my clothes, comes off my skin relatively evenly and did I mention that it's cheap?!

I'm so pleased with Le Tan that I'm sure that I'll use it come summer time and save my good old St Tropez for special occasions. Good one!

So, do you use fake tan?
What's your product of choice?
Or are you one of those lucky buggers who looks amazing pale?

*Just a fun little tip: if you like to make the most out of your tan, put one layer of full strength foaming mousse (like Le Tan) on the first night (I say night so that you don't need to wait around for 10 mins to let it dry before dressing) and then every second day, exchange your usual body moisturiser for a moisturiser with added gradual tanner - my suggestion is Dove's Summer Glow (but in all honesty I haven't come across a gradual tanning moisturiser that hasn't done the trick).