Saturday, April 30, 2011

Current Obsession: Give in to Me

I'm the kind of person who once I find a song or album that I love, I'll play it to death. I won't get sick of it  just the people around me get tired of it and eventually so sick of hearing it I have to change it. I can usually go for about a week or so before this happens so I figure I'd start to share these songs that hook me in and make me truly obsessed.


This past week I watched the movie Country Strong. It's the story of "a rising young singer-songwriter (Garrett Hedlund) gets involved with a fallen, emotionally unstable country star (Gwyneth Paltrow). The pair embark on a career resurrection tour helmed by her husband/manager (Tim McGraw) and featuring a beauty queen-turned-singer (Leighton Meester). Between concert, romantic entanglements and old demons threaten to derail them all".
*Synopsis taken from the official website for the movie

It was a simply beautiful and surprising movie and the soundtrack was perfect. While a lot of the buzz from this movie surrounds Gwyneth Paltrow, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester were the real stars of this movie - their ease and grace on screen was something to behold. They scored most of the major moments in the film and were hard to surpass.

After watching the movie my sister looked up the soundtrack and we were surprised to learn that Gwyneth dominated the soundtrack and most of the major songs that Garrett and Leighton sang were for some reason sung by other "real" country music stars (like Faith Hill). To me that seemed like a massive shame so we dug a little deeper and found that they have released two soundtracks - the second had the songs as they were sung in the movie. Ahhh a breath of relief.

Here's the one song that I have had on replay all week - it's a beautiful love song.

It's nice to know that Garrett Hedlund emerged himself into the country music scene to prepare for his role in this film. He auditioned in a karaoke bar then spent four months learning how to play the guitar, took voice lessons and started working with a record producer in Nashville to become a county singer. This helps it feel more real and creates an authenticity in the movie that shines through. This man is a superstar in the making.

I absolutely recommend checking out this movie - and also the "More music from Country Strong" soundtrack. It was shocking, heart wrenching, beautiful and sweet and the music in the soundtrack reflects this.

I sometimes surprise myself in the music and songs that steal my attention - this one certainly took me by surprise, but I'm so glad it did. 

Enjoy the music
 - Brooke

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Shopper: Travel Journal boygirlparty

Today I received a lovely parcel in the post. After finding a link to this travel journal on I knew as soon as I saw this listing on etsy that I needed to own this travel journey.

Here's some of the features of the Bon Voyage travel journal as described by seller boygirlparty:

* It's full color throughout, whimsically illustrated by me with birds in roller skates, cats and owls being carried away by balloons, and paper airplanes!

* It features a protective phthalate-free vinyl slip cover, complete with pockets at the beginning and end so you can store your travel memorabilia (tickets, notes, etc)
* It has 4 tear-out postcards that you can send while traveling
* It features tons of space to write, journal-style, but also has prompts throughout to record specific travel memories (ie, "my most recent meal: _______")
* It features a directory at the end to keep in touch with travel friends and photo pages to glue snapshots (ie, photo booth photos!)
* It features "You are here" world maps throughout so you can record your locations visually
* It features lists such as "don't forget to pack" and "to do"s
* It measures about 5.5 x 7.5"

I'm a traveller and I love to have somewhere nice to write my stories as I'm travelling. I feel less inspired when I don't have somewhere beautiful to write. I've always been on the look out for fun pretty affordable travel journals and have usually come up short. For some reason shops in Australia either don't sell travel journals, or they come unlined, or they're really expensive and ugly. 

This travel journal is different. As soon as I opened it I was in love. It's the perfect size, not super heavy and it's SO ADORABLE! 

I want to go on a big adventure so that I can fill it's pages with my travel stories and little mementos. I want to take instax mini photos on my adventure and stick them into my new journal. I want to get home and be able to flick through filled pages and smile and remember all the fun I have had along the way.

I'm already thinking about who I can gift one of these travel journals to - unfortunately most of my friends don't have plans for big travel adventures at the moment but I'm sure someone out there will be able to find someone who could use one of these journals. 

There are also some fun notebooks, t-shirts and recipe cards as well as other items in her etsy shop - if the quality is anything like this journal, you won't be disappointed.

Can I get a month off to travel now? Plans are for the USA in October but that seems like so far away (here I am complaining after I just posted that I'm going to Thailand at the end of next month - can anyone say lame?).

Happy dreaming
 - Brooke

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Travel Inspiration: Koh Samui Thailand

Koh Samui Sunset

On the 25th of May I'll be jetting off on another work trip, this time to Bangkok and Koh Samui in Thailand. I don't know exactly what I'll be doing yet but it'll be a longer trip than my Bali trip. 

I've never been to Thailand before and I'm pretty excited to finally get to experience an area of the world that I send so many people to. Thailand is a big seller for Australian tourists and I have sent my fair share of people to that fair country. 

I did some Flickr searching and found some amazing photos of Koh Samui - it's made me so much more interested and excited to get to enjoy this beautiful country. 

I especially loved the set of photos I found on "element_photography" photostream. These made me smile and look forward to some sunshine.






I want to see beautiful sunsets, drink delicious fruity cocktails, eat amazing food, lounge around by the pool, snorkel and inspect some beautiful hotels. I'm not 100% sure what I'll be doing or if I'll have time to do much of these things but the prospect of experiencing anything like these beautiful images is simply inspiring. 

As always - click on the images to be taken to the source.

Happy travels
 - Brooke

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A new Nephew - Tate William

Tate William

This morning a new cutie entered our world - Tate William was born around 2am.

I woke up this morning at 5.50am to a phone call from my very excited brother Nathan. This is his wife Nicole's and his third child - and first boy (they have two adorable girls). 

He's such a cutie-pie with teeny tiny wrinkly fingers (and finger nails - OMG). When I had my first cuddle he some how got the hiccups. His whole body shook with each hiccup and he scrunched his face up with each shake. 

Tate William

Tate William

I only had my iPhone with me (as I rushed over after work to meet him) and these were the only pictures I have so far. I'm sure that'll change soon enough. I can already see some of the features that Bridie & Evie had when they were first born in Tate - it's that lip/chin area that looks super familiar. 

Nathan showed me pictures of Bridie & Evie visiting their new brother - they were such adorable photos. I can't wait to see them all together.

I'm a super happy Aunty right now.

Smiles and glee
 - Brooke

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quick Update


These beauties are MINE!

Yeah last week I had a bit of an Internet shopping binge. It's lovely to have all the items and parcels are beginning to arrive. Today I received 2 parcels from that included the above shoes as well as some other delightful items. 

My weekend was super lovely catching up with friends and watching crazy movies. I'll give you my mini review on Scre4m tomorrow night (after I watch the new GLEE episode). 

'Scuze me while I watch Pineapple Express on TV (even though I own it on DVD)

Smiles & Grins
 - Brooke

P.S Who else keeps reading about Coachella this past weekend and dreaming and wishing that they were there? Oh it was beyond torture - I couldn't bring myself to watch the live stream.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ZOMBIES and Scott Pilgrim

Edgar Wright *swoon* posted this video of Shawn of the Dead made in Scott Pilgrim style and condensed into 60 seconds. It's brilliant - if you haven't seen Shaun of the Dead then I'd suggest you watch that before watching this video (there's mega spoilers).

How awesome right?!?! Some people are so creative and brilliant. 

I'm thinking I need to create a "look at the amazing Youtube videos I found this week" style post because I keep finding all these videos that I want to share and I keep creating all these random posts and never using them. 

Happy happy love
 - Brooke

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shawl I Want


After a pretty relaxing day at work (note: quiet day) I came home and got in my slouchy clothes (old top from Jeanswest & yoga pants from Target) and decided to take some more photos of one of my new scarves that arrived from ModCloth. Best thing about this scarf is that when it's unfolded/unwrapped from my neck and flat out it has this amazing skull print on it.

It's so beautiful and amazing. I'm currently obsessed with my football team so it's perfect because black and white are my teams colours and I feel like I'm supporting them when I'm wearing this without being over the top crazy fan (even though really I am). 

*** See my nails? Sally Hansen is HERE in Australia!! Plus my amazing ring from - I wear this all the time ***

I've had a pretty awesome week this week - I feel like it's been really busy but in reality it's been kind of cruisey. Last night we went to the footy again (told you I'm obsessed) and watched our beloved football team (Collingwood) kick some serious butt.


Last night we decided that we needed hot jam donuts at half time and went wandering all around the MCG to find somewhere who still had them - this was easily the best decision that we made, they were DELICIOUS. Here's to hoping next week people around us decide to show up and use their memberships (I have a feeling they will since it's one of the biggest matches of the season - outside of the finals) so we don't end up with some crazy loud mouth supporter who barracks for the opposition near us. 

Tonight it's relax night - me and my sister Crystal are catching up on fun shows (Parks and Rec, Community, The Office, 30 Rock and Bones) while eating Nandos and then choc-banana ice cream for dessert. 

Tomorrow we're going shopping (I need a new battery for my camera remote and an iPhone case - and Crystal wants new jeans) before meeting up for lunch with Skye (PANCAKE PARLOUR!!) and then we're all going to see Scream 4. I'm SOOOO excited about seeing this movie - I can still remember watching the first movie and then every single sequel after that. These movies remind me of high school and being young and enjoying scary movies. I still get freaked out by the opening scene in the original Scream movie - poor Drew Barrymore. 

I'll make sure I come back and share my thoughts on the new movie - I'm sure I'll have some opinions.

Have a lovely weekend (what's left of it anyway)
 - Brooke

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Shopper: Modcloth love

Modcloth scarf
** Neon Summer Shawl ** YUM YUM  YUM
Modcloth Scarf love
** Shawl I Want ** Ready for a robbery

I've been a long time Modcloth customer. I wish I could spend more money on their gorgeous dresses but usually have to wait until their "Cabin Fever" sale to stock up on pretty things. Well last week I got a nice pay so I decided to treat myself to some lovely items.

This time it felt like accessories were the order of the day. I'm a scarf fiend so getting two new beautiful huge scarves is almost the best thing ever. 

Modcloth headband love
** Fisheye 2 Lomography Camera ** I can't wait to PLAY!
** Cue the Montage Shoulder bag by Irregular Choice **

This bag is by far the exact reason why I placed the order last week (*note the crazy eyes*). I have the bigger version of this bag that I bought in London at their Carnaby Street store last year on my Glastonbury adventure. I love Irregular Choice - so much so that this year when I travel back to the USA we've decided to include a return to New York so that we can re-visit the amazing store they have there.

Meow from Modcloth
** Twin Tabbies Shaker set ** I couldn't resist - SRSLY can you blame me?

I couldn't wait to share my newest purchases so I used photo booth on my Macbook to take the photos. I can't wait to wrap up myself up in these new scarves and run around taking crazy fish eye photos. It's getting colder so it was the perfect time for these lovelies to make their way into my life.

Ok I'm off to watch the opening scene from Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 2. How you ask? I just bought Part 1 on blu ray and IT'S A BONUS FEATURE. 'Scuse me as I freak/nerd out for a bit here.
Excited love
 - Brooke

P.S Just because I'm excited that I bought Katy Perry tickets this week for the end of April. It' Darren Criss (Blaine) from Glee with Teenage Dream *swoon*

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hair post - everything is purple

About two weeks ago I finally took the plunge and dyed my hair a brilliant purple (deep purple by Special Effects). I've done partial purple previously but have felt in recent months that I wanted to do more. 

After waiting almost a month for the hair dye to arrive I'm more than happy with the results. It started really dark purple but is beginning to fade/get brighter - more like Hitgirls purple wig in "Kick Ass". 

Purple purple
Purple woo!
Purple hair
I've never had a full head of super unnatural hair colour before and I've noticed the stares and whispers when I've been walking around - what outweighs those stares is the lovely compliments I've received from people who I pass during the day. 

Two days after I dyed my hair this colour I was at the AFL (Aussie Rules Football) and as we were about to leave a lady came rushing up to me and said "I saw you from way back and wanted to come and tell you how much I love your hair, it looks beautiful". 

It's always nice to try something different and it's even nicer when it turns out exactly how you'd hope.
I've had a day off of work today and it's been a nice relaxing break. I went and watched my niece Kyla at her swimming lesson, then had lunch with my older sister before heading home. After that I went shopping and managed to pick up a new coat and this dress on sale. 
Right now I'm watching "The Crow" before doing some cleaning. I bought this movie on blu ray when I was in Sydney on my Andrew McMahon trip but hadn't watched it. I decided that with all this talk about a remake (YUCK - don't get me started) I needed to watch the original that I love so very much.

Later skaters
 - Brooke

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Photo on 2011-04-01 at 16.37 #3

I've been wanting to update my layout for a little while but have found it a daunting process every time I try to change it. After reading Amy's post over on her blog about getting rid of negativity and loving the place you blog I decided to throw myself into it and make a change. I loved my old layout but I don't think it suits me anymore - the colours were all bland and I need something fresh and bright.

It'll be a work in progress and I know I'll adjust the header (that I have had made up for MONTHS but never used) because I don't look like that or have brown hair anymore, but for now I love it. 

Please bear with me as I work through this re-design - I don't have the $$$ to get a pro to do it but I'm happy to sit down and spend the time working it out for myself. I found a great template that I love and I'm going to get it right if it kills me.

I realised today that I haven't really taken any new hair shots which is weird. I have had super purple hair for about 2 1/2 weeks now and I love it to pieces but since daylight savings has ended it's hard to get home from work while it's still light and all the photos I take with the flash just don't do the colour justice. I'm pretty sure I have a day off this week sometime during the week so I'll make sure I get dressed and do my makeup so I can take photos outside.

Peace out lovelies,
x x x

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

R.R.R.I.P *sad face*


It's not a fun day when you wake up and find out that one of your absolute favourite Australian bands is calling it quits after 8 years of love. That is what it felt like this morning when I received a text message from one of my friends telling me to keep a couple of dates free for some farewell Red Riders gigs. 

I did some searching and found the following statement on their website:

Late last night the guys announced the official end of Red Riders. Here is what they had to say...
Hey Guys,
This is kinda hard to say, but anyway here goes: after eight immensely fun years of playing together as Red Riders it seems like now's the right time to bow out. We're all still the closest of friends, but just feel like the entity that is Red Riders has run its course, and rather than grind something that's special to us into the ground, we'd like to call it quits while we can still stand proudly behind everything that we've made together. 
We wanna thank everyone who's ever bought a record of ours, come to one our shows, shared our music with someone, written about us, put our music on the airwaves... Basically, to anyone who's ever given a damn, thank you! It's been mad sharing a part of our lives with way more people than we had any right to expect to. We're gonna keep making music in other guises so keep a ear out, and if you see us at the pub, or lurking up the back of a show someplace, come say hi. We can grab a beer.
P.S We're gonna play a couple of special farewell shows in Sydney and Melbourne in June, but otherwise the upcoming shows supporting Children Collide will be our last. Hope to see you there!
After 8 years, 2 EP's, 2 albums and lots and lots of live gigs it's going to be sad to say goodbye to a band who have been a favourite for such a long time. It's another band who I've got very fun memories of being young and stupid and having such a great time at their gigs. 
I'll miss dancing and yelling out "I THINK YOU'RE BLIND" and jumping around while spelling out ASPIRIN. I've met some AMAZING people through their music and I'm sure we'll celebrate at these few shows we have left. 
Now nothing I do ever seems to go my way,
Everything I do is ordinary.

Peace out lovelies
 - Brooke

P.S I know I've had a few music posts this week but it's been one of those crazy weeks. Music is my escape so it's my way to deal with what is happening on a "day to day" basis. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Talihina Sky - a Kings of Leon doco

Maybe this will remind people what they loved about this band from the beginning. The documentary is being premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival (lucky ducks).

I have The Vasco Era to thank for finding Kings of Leon. They used to do a cover of "Wasted Time" that I loved and it opened my eyes to a whole different style of music that was so new to me at the time - that Southern blues rock sound that still gets me every time.

I jumped on board that train around the time of the second Kings of Leon album and their addition to the Big Day Out Festival in 2006. It's been a constant love (through some ups and downs) and it hasn't wavered even through these newer albums that I know a lot of "older" fans don't love as much. I can still see the gems, still see the genius and still love their music for what it is and what it means.

Kings Of Leon
*** image from zack vitiello - click image for more ***

I've seen them live quite a few times in 3 different continents. I've seen them in smaller venues, I've seen them headlining festivals and I've seen them in arena spectacles. I was supposed to see them in March in Melbourne but I'll have to wait until November for that show. I don't mind - I know it'll be worth the wait.

I didn't even know that they were creating this documentary until today. I think it's going to be an interesting insight to a band who lived like real rock 'n roll stars and who have come out the other side in stadium arenas where they deserve to be.

What do you think? Love them? Hate them? All I know is that I wish I had have seen them in their 70's hair days.

Peace & love
 - Brooke

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Kylas first AFL game

This year we decided to do more than just support our AFL football team - we decided to purchase memberships. Our membership gives us reserved seating to every home & away game that is played in Melbourne. Crystal, Lauren & I bought them together so we have each other to go with almost every week.

Lauren works on Saturdays and since last weeks game and this weeks game fell on a Saturday afternoon then she hasn't been able to come along yet. Last week we took one of Crystal's work mates and this week we were unable to find anyone at the last minute so we decided to take my little niece Kyla along to her first football match.

On the way to the match we stopped by Rebel Sport and purchased Kyla her first Collingwood guernsey so she could wear it to her first footy match.

Kyla at the Footy

Kyla footy

She was far too excited all the way to the game and kept giggling and laughing and being super cute. She didn't much like the loud sirens but she did like running around the empty seats yelling "RUDOLF THE RED NOSED REINDEER" (if you can explain that I'd love it). 


Kyla at the footy

Kyla at the Footy

We ate lots of lollies and laughed and cheered. It was a good thing that we won by lots and it was an easy game because I spent a lot of the time watching Kyla and making sure she didn't disappear.

Kyla at the Footy


We had the most ridiculously fun & happy day. It was such a spur of the moment decision to take Kyla and it was such a great way to introduce Kyla to the world of crazy football. 

Go Pies!
 - Brooke

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Travel Adventures: BALI

Bali 1

Bali 2

Last Sunday I headed out early to the airport to "tag along" on a work Assistant managers conference to Bali - I got to go on this one because the Managers conference fell on the Andrew McMahon weekend trip and I couldn't go. I didn't mind, I've never been to Bali before and it's a big seller in our store so I was excited to finally get to see what the fuss was all about.

We stayed in an area that was on the boarder of Kuta and Legian in Bali at The 101 Legian Hotel. This hotel had not technically opened yet so we were a little concerned about what to expect when we arrived. It was unfounded as the hotel was awesome and the staff at the hotel were so lovely and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed.  PLUS we had our own rooms - which doesn't happened all that often on these conferences. 

Sunday afternoon we headed to The Haven hotel in Seminyak for a 2 hour conference and then an inspection of the hotel then dinner. I had been feeling a little under the weather when we landed - I thought it was just the change of climate or the aeroplane food and that it would pass, but it didn't. After dinner we headed back to our hotel to dump our stuff and head out for a drink but as soon as I hit the hotel I knew I couldn't head out again so I took some Panadol and went to lie down on my bed when nausea hit and I had to stick my head in the toilet for a little while. Not the best way to start a trip.

I woke up the next day feeling so much better. We had a free day to wander the streets and a whole group of us headed to the markets then shopping center for some retail therapy. We ate lunch at a restaurant on the beach and then spent some quality time by the pool. Someone suggested cocktails and who was I to argue when one of the hotel staff brought us cocktails as we soaked in the pool.

More after the break...