Thursday, August 18, 2011

Need a Laugh? Here's Anne Hathaway's Rap

Ever since she did The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway has been unable to do any wrong in my eyes. I think she's a great role model, beautiful, smart, funny and talented but also appears for all intents and purposes to be down to earth. That said, even if I didn't think all of those things, I would still have to share this video as it is just so darn hilarious.

Here it is, Anne Hathaway 'in the style of Lil Wayne' rapping on Carson. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Kardashians are Taking Over my Blog

Regular readers will remember that some time ago I wrote a short piece about the Kardashian sisters as they were releasing a new 'tell all' book. You can read the post here.  I wrote about whether in fact they really had anything left to 'tell' and also the immense popularity of these three ladies.

It seems I really had no idea how popular they really are. I am shocked to find nearly one year later this post is still coming up each week as the most popular post on my blog and this week the top five Google searches that brought people to my page is the kardashian sisters, kardashians, the kardashians, the kardasians (for those who can't spell) and kardashian book.

I can't decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing (I am also not immune to the irony that this post is probably just going to increase my 'Kardashian' rankings), but whichever way the dice rolls I am still puzzled. Is there anyone out there that can illuminate me what is so darn amazing about the Kardashians that they are able to take over my blog with one post?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Would You Trust a Stranger?

I had an interesting situation a short while ago that got me thinking - when did I stop trusting strangers? I just received a phone call from a really worthwhile local charity looking for support for a worthy cause.

I agreed to support the cause and things started getting complicated. To take my pledge, obviously the charity needed me to provide my credit card details, but exactly how do I know that the lovely lady on the other end was in fact legitimately from said charity and not in fact hired by fraudsters to collect credit card details? After an intricate dance in which permit numbers, ABNs and phone numbers were shared - I was still stuck. The phone number for the charity collection didn't match the businesses normal phone number I could see online, so even if I called her back I still had no way of knowing if this was legitimate.

I've had this same dance before with banks. Someone on the other end of the line claims to be from my bank and immediately pounces in with half a dozen personal identifying questions before they can share whatever it is they need to say. This is wonderful, except the same questions could be used by scammers to illegally access my accounts. When I ask them to verify they know something about me, they can't due to the bank's privacy laws. Checkmate.

Once when I insisted on calling the bank bank so I could verify who I was talking to first, I was put through to about five different people none of who had any idea why I was calling. Complete customer service inefficiency (probably) or proof my skepticism was warranted?

Now I want to open this up to the floor. How would you have dealt with this situation? Would you leave a worthy charity wanting to protect your finances or do you give people the benefit of the doubt? I'd love to know if anyone has any great tricks for checking if the caller is legitimate.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thumbs Up for Modo Mio

I have to say I am a little impressed by all the new food offerings at Burswood these days. I had previously found their food offerings quite disappointing and it has always boggled my mind so many restaurants could be so non-vegetarian friendly. Although I have yet to give Rockpool the old once over (although I hear amazing things), it's almost like  new restaurant has been opening there every few months.

I had the pleasure of checking out Modo Mio the other day, the new Italian restaurant that replaced Victoria's Station. The restaurant itself is beautiful, very elegant and stunningly appointed - definitely not your usual local Italian-style restaurant. It's five-star dining but the food is very accessible ranging from old favourites like spaghetti bolognese to a classic margherita pizza.  Not to say everything is boring or staid, they also offer a range of unique tastes like orecchiette con broccolini e ricotta through to pan-fried barramundi in fennel sambuca sauce with olives, orange and capers salad.

They also have a small but very impressive dessert menu. I can personally recommend the chocolate pudding and my husband was quiet impressed with their tiramisu.

The best thing about this restaurant is whether you choose a traditional classic or something a bit more exotic, everything is fresh, high-quality and deliciously well made. We were even watching the staff shaving a lot of the meats in the restaurant ready to add to the dishes.

I was impressed with their lunch special where you could have a pasta or pizza and either a starter or dessert for just $36. Or if you want to go the whole hog, you could have starter, pasta or pizza and dessert for $42. I would definitely recommend giving this place a try. Now I am just looking forward to Nobu opening next month - let's hope this Japanese restaurant keeps the vegetarian-friendly theme running.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Horsing Around

Thought we'd share a fun fact with you today. Did you know that today all horses in the southern hemisphere are officially one year older? Yup. Apparently all horses have the same birthday, so their ages can be standardised.

So if you happen to see a horse on your travels today, make sure you stop to give him/her a hug and wish them many happy returns. If you're in the northern hemisphere though, you need to hold off on the cake as all our northern toothy companions don't celebrate until January 1.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fool Me Once...

Have you ever faced a situation where something sounds too good to be true? Did alarm bells clang and red lights flash in your brain? Or did you put aside your cynicism and take a risk?

I am a cautious person and certainly far from naive. If something sounds too good to be true I am usually the first to walk away, scoffing quietly at those who can't see the writing on the wall. So how is it I am now the very disappointed (and somewhat embarrassed) owner a pair of fake designer shoes I bought off eBay?

The eBay seller in question, responded to all my questions quickly and with informative and honest sounding answers. She was selling the shoes after her husband bought them for her in Rome only they were too narrow for her feet. She provided pictures of the product, the packaging, shopping bag, the whole lot. It all sounded legit and perfectly possible - who hasn't made an impromptu but entirely worthless purchase when travelling? She also had a good eBay rating, although as a buyer and not a seller.

It only took minutes after I opened my package that reality set in. While good enough for your average shoe store, these shoes were not Christian Louboutin. The make was inferior, the size was far smaller than the label indicated and the packaging looked slightly wrong. The dead giveaway though was the sole - a completely different material from the CL norm.

I've already sent a message back to the seller who has apologised saying she genuinely thought the product was legitimate and offered a full refund... once I post the product back to her. So what does everyone think? I can't help but think - fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! Am I just asking to get burned a second time?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Everything you Wanted to Know about Harry Potter ... and more

If you didn’t know that the final Harry Potter movie came out last week, you must have been living under a rock. In its first day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 shattered box office records in Australia, earning $7,029,487, making this the highest opening day of all time. Not a surprise really!

As I am something of a Harry Potter tragic, today I’ve asked Sian Delaney, WA’s publicist for the Harry Potter films to guest post on the site and share some interesting and fun Harry Potter facts and figures from throughout the series. Here's what she came up with for us:

  • Over 25,000 items of clothing have been used on Harry Potter.
  • The scenes with the largest number of cast and extras to dress have been the battle scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, with 400 Death Eaters and Snatchers and the Great Hall scenes with 400 children and teachers present. 
  • A dentist was on standby for many of the young crowd scenes to replace teeth which wobbled and fell out – to prevent continuity issues involving teeth. 
  • Harry’s infamous scar has been put on by makeup approx 5,800 times. This is not only on Daniel Radcliffe, who has had the scar applied approx 2,000 times, but also on his doubles and stunt doubles, all of whom wear the scar. 
  • 55 liters of hair tint/hair dye was used on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Dan Radcliffe has been through 160 pairs of glasses during the shooting of all the Harry Potter films. 
  • Dan Radcliffe wore out 60-70 wands during the making of the films.
  • 40 versions of Salazar Slytherin's locket had to be created to accommodate Ron and Harry's failed attempts to destroy it. 
  • Number of sets created – 588. 
  • A 1/3 miniature of The Burrow was created just to be burnt down, when Death Eaters set it on fire in Half-Blood Prince. It took 14 weeks to make and 6 minutes to burn down. 
  • The Harry Potter art department contained a team of 58 people working full time. Over 10 years they produced some amazing work, but also produced 35 babies! 
  • 5 32-ton trucks' worth of polystyrene were needed to create all the rubble for Deathly Hallows. 
  • To keep brooms light-weight and aesthetically on spec, aircraft-grade titanium is employed in their structure. 
  • Producers David Heyman and David Barron were immortalized in portraits for the Marble Staircase. 
  • 250 body casts have been made of actors for deaths, petrifications and stunning spells. 
  • 210,000 coins were made for the Gringotts bank scene for the final two films alone 
  • On Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron’s vomit slugs were in fact, puppets. Rupert Grint chose orange-flavored slime to make the experience more palatable. 
  • Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid, once got a fruit bat stuck in his beard during a scene in Hagrid’s hut. 
  • After filming 40 kittens to go on moving plates in Umbridge’s office, the kittens went on to be domestic pets, with their new owners unaware of their famous origins. 
  • The Great Hall was one of the first ever sets created for the Harry Potter films. It could fit 22 London double-decker buses inside. The set took eighteen weeks to build by approximately 30 people. 
  • Dumbledore’s chair was inspired by the throne in Westminster Abbey. 
  • The Ministry of Magic is set underneath the Ministry of Defense in London 
  • 4000-plus pieces of furniture were bought to make up the massive piles of furniture in the Room of Requirement scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. 

Now it's your turn to tell us what you thought of the new movie!

Monday, July 11, 2011

7 Reasons it Will be a Good Week

I recently discovered the blog of the lovely Laura Greaves and today's update is inspired by her regular '7 reasons it is going to be a good week' post. I thought starting the week by writing down all the reasons it is going to be a good week is a great way for me to get in the right frame of mind right from the get go. So here goes nothing!

1. It's not last week. Since last week wasn't a great week, there's nowhere to go but up.

2. Harry Potter. How could this week possibly be a bad week when tonight I am going to be one of the first people in Perth to see how 'it all ends'? I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to tonight's preview screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, even though it will be a touch bittersweet as I know it's the last time I'll be seeing a new HP movie.

3. Learning something new.  I am really looking forward to heading to Media 140 on Thursday/Friday. I am really passionate about social networking and this is a service I offer to my clients at Hancock Creative. I think these two days of lectures and seminars are going to be a great opportunity for me to learn some new skills, discuss something I am passionate about with a lot of knowledgeable people and generally act like a sponge soaking it all up.

4. Do something that scares me. If everything goes to plan, on Wednesday photos of me will appear in the Style section of The West Australian. Not because I am some style of style maven, but because I had a personal stylist for a few hours and wrote about my experiences. I am not particularly photogenic and I am far more comfortable being the one behind the camera or organising the photo shoot, so I am nervous about the final outcome - but it's good to do things that scare us. It helps us grow. If the photos are bad though, I may spend the day in bed with the doona over my head. I'm just saying.

5. I am going to write. It's been a long held dream of mine to write a novel and I have started working on it in fits and starts. Oddly on Friday night I was gripped with sudden inspiration and wrote 1000 words before I headed to bed at midnight, so I am planning to keep that rolling this week. If I can get another 3000 words by the end of the week, it will definitely be a good week for me.

6. Good Food & Wine Show. If Harry Potter is the perfect way to start the week then the Good, Food & Wine Show is a great way to end it. I honestly think this is one of the best shows in Perth as there is so much you can do, taste, touch and try. I discovered a lot of great products last year (and wines, of course) that I have bought again and again throughout the year. I plan to try a lot of new wines and restock my red wine reserves for the rest of winter!

7. Because I am going to make it a good week. As they say, fake it until you make it - so this week I am going to put on my biggest smile and positive attitude and make sure I get the most out of each day.

Phew! That was harder than expected. Now it's your turn. What are you going to do to make sure you have a good week?

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's the Little Things

Right now you're probably looking at this picture of a packet of batteries and wondering if I have completely gone off my trolley. I haven't. (or at least, I hope not)

Today's post isn't about fashion, books, movies, writing or even my job. It's about taking the time to appreciate the little things in life. Today has been a pretty hard day where I feel like I've bit given a few hard knocks with a big stick, but I took a few moments this afternoon to take some deep breaths and remember all the things I am thankful for, and I thought I'd share them with you.

I am thankful for:

  • Good health. At the moment my friends and family are largely healthy and after seeing so many people suffer horrible health scares - this is a precious gift. 
  • A great job. I am lucky enough to be able to support myself by running a business doing work I enjoy. It's not all roses, but there are certainly more blossoms than thorns. 
  • Friends. When I felt a little over it all today, I emailed a close friend who is also a small business owner and told her how I was feeling. She responded with a supporting email confiding she often has days where she feels the same way. As they say - a problem shared is a problem halved.
  • These batteries. A few nights ago I griped to my husband that my wireless mouse kept dying on me due to crap quality batteries. The very next day he handed me this packet. I hadn't asked him to, but he'd remembered and made a special trip to the shop to find the highest powered batteries he could find, just to make my life a little bit easier. If that's not something to be thankful for - what is?
Now it's your turn. What are you grateful for this week? 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Christian!

Now this is a first birthday party, I'd be more than happy to receive an invitation to. Instead of screaming toddlers smushing birthday cake all over their various orifices the guests at this party will be a gaggle of extremely beautiful red-soled high heels. 

I just hope to celebrate they are going to start offering shipping to Australia! In the meantime all I can do is window shop ... and dream. 

Definitely also have a squiz at this interview with the boutique's eCommerce manager. It's an eye opener. As much as I love these red soled beauties, can you believe one customer spent $10k (USD) on shoes in one order?