Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Gratitude List: 2013 you've been so good


I can barely begin to imagine that 2013 is almost over. This year has been so good to me. I've been on so many adventures and I feel so grateful for all of the experiences I've had this year. I have had massive, mind blowing highs and I've spent more time smiling and succeeding that I thought was possible.

I think it's easy to get caught up in the end of year madness but it's great to sit down and think about the things that you are grateful for from this year. Send out a THANK YOU to the universe and make the decision that next year is going to amazing.

2013 was especially good to me so I've decided to put together my final gratitude list for 2013 with the things I've been grateful for throughout the year.

1. The live music I've seen and the amazing artists I've witnessed

It's easy to be grateful when my list of artists I've seen looks like this

Maximo Park / The Hives / The Killers / Childish Gambino / Big Day Out Festival (multiple bands) / Bloc Party / British India / The Kooks / Kristin Chenoweth / Idina Menzel / Jay Z / Justin Timberlake / Beyoncé / Bastille / William Beckett / Foals / The Basics / Franz Ferdinand / Muse / Alicia Keys

2. Travelling the world

This year I've been lucky enough to travel to

London / Dubai / Cancun / New York / Toronto / Anaheim (Disneyland) / Los Angeles / Bali / Gold Coast

A lot of my travel adventures have been through work and I've visited some absolutely stunning places with the best people. I loved every trip I've been on and I know they wouldn't have been as great had it not been the people I travelled with.

3. My family

But seriously, if your nieces and nephews were this cute you'd be grateful too.

4. My Black Milk collection

I've spent this year in lycra as my Black Milk collection has grown to ridiculous proportions. I love that I can wear something crazy and ridiculous and feel so comfortable and happy. I am grateful for the confidence their clothing gives me.

5. A little bit of everything else.

It has been so hard trying to reduce the things I'm grateful for into 5 points. I have had so many great experiences this year. There have been ups and downs but this post is about finding the things that have made me smile this year. I have shared this year with so many great friends and family and I am happy to look back at 2013 and think this was a lucky, fun filled, adventurous year for me.

Have you taken a look at your 2013 yet? Share your links below if you've posted about it - I'd love to see what's been making you smile this year

Bring on 2014 and another outstanding year.

 - Brooke

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sleepy Sunday #4


It's a happy day when it's spent with these kids

 - Brooke

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Walter Mitty is making me want to travel

I'm not alone when I say this trailer makes me want to climb a mountain?? It gives me such a crazy case of wanderlust and makes me 100% certain that my decision to go to Thailand next year is the right decision.

This movie just came out in Australia and while I went and saw The Hobbit I cannot wait until I find the time to sit in a darkened cinema watching this movie. I don't even care if it's not great (but looking at this trailer, I can't see how it would be anything less than fabulous), I just want to see the worlds in which Walter Mitty explores (real or imagined).


I've been to Thailand before - I went on a work trip for a week. It was so delightful but I feel like there is more to explore, like I barely scratched the surface. It's different travelling somewhere when you are actually a tourist rather than a spoilt travel agent (we get spoilt on these trips) with a strict itinerary.

So far on my wish lists for this trip is a trip to the tiger temples in Chiang Mai, a visit to an elephant sanctuary, snorkelling at Phi Phi Island and canoeing through caves at Phang Nga. I'll keep you updated on the plans when they begin to form properly.

May feels like a really long time away.

 - Brooke

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Gratitude List: Week ending 22 Dec

Another week before Christmas all done and dusted. Can you guys believe CHRISTMAS IS TOMORROW!?!?! I can't wait to wake up, make milkshakes, pick up my Grandma and open presents with my family! Before all of that happens, here's what I'm grateful for from last week.

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1. Christmas lunches that include a lot of beer - On Wednesday the team leaders of the Flight Centre stores in my region/area were treated to a Christmas lunch at the Hofbrauhaus in Melbourne. Delicious food, amazing company, 2 litres of beer and a great time at a rooftop bar after lunch is a fantastic way to spend a Wednesday.

Image 1

2. Time off - I've actually had the week off from work (well from Wednesday - Sunday) and it was so nice to relax and rest. I didn't have anywhere to go, anywhere to be and I loved it. I watched season 2 of Sherlock, read books and listened to Beyoncé (a lot).

Image 3

3. Quality time with the nieces and nephews - Seth has been away in Adelaide for a couple of weeks so Friday night dinner was extra fun. I love spending time with these kids, they are so ridiculous and cute.

4. AMAZING MOVIES - This week I saw American Hustle (WOW) and Frozen. It's so fun to go to the cinemas and watch a movie on the big screen. I love it. I especially love it when I go to the movies with friends or family (especially if it's a kids movie and I'm seeing it with nieces and nephews).

5. Christmas crafting and preparation - This year is the first year that some of my crafting ideas have come together. I've made more things this year than any other year and even though I didn't make my usual Christmas cookies I feel like it's been a great lead up to the big day. I've watched a bunch of the Christmas movies off my list, I've made mini Christmas trees and glitter dinosaurs and I've built my first gingerbread house. It's been busy but I've had so much fun.

I'm really excited for this week - there are lots of things happening but ultimately I'm just excited to spend some time with my family and eating and drinking far too much. Tonight I'm watching Bad Santa (totally inappropriate but it's a Christmas tradition) with my hair in curlers.

Merry Christmas lovelies <3 p="">
 - Brooke

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Surviving Christmas Shopping


So you've left your Christmas shopping to the last minute. That's ok, it doesn't have to be a hellish experience. I went Christmas shopping last weekend and I managed to get it done with a big smile on my face.

I did a few things before I went to the shops so that I would enjoy my shopping experience. It was 3 simple things. Want to know them?

1. Make a list - and check it twice. The best thing I did this year was write down everyone I needed to buy a gift for and had a few ideas written down for each of them. I wrote down possible shops that I could buy their gifts from to minimise the number of shops I'd need to visit. I WAS ORGANISED (which is not a normal thing for me)

2. Set some ground rules with yourself and your shopping buddy - My ground rules were simple. No Grinchy behaviour and SMILE. No complaining about other shoppers. Don't get stressed.

3. Make the decision to get it done - The only reason I had to go to one more store on the Sunday was because we found the perfect gift for one of my nieces and had to go to a different store in a different town to get it. Don't allow yourself to give up, power through and get it finished.

It's easy to forget why you're buying gifts at this time of the year. It's nice to sit back and remember that you're looking for a gift for someone you love and care about. Try and imagine their face when they open that perfect gift that you have found for them.


Since I've done my shopping I have been able to just enjoy the lead up to Christmas. Today I made my first gingerbread house from a kit my Mum got me. I've wanted to make one for years and I'm so happy with how it turned out. It may not be perfect but I think that's a part of it's charm.


Do you have any tips for surviving the crowds? Share them below. Only 4 sleeps until the big day and those crowds are going to be massive. Just remember to breathe and smile if you are heading to the shops this week.

 - Brooke

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DIY Glitter Dinosaurs

I sneak peaked a look at a project I was working on for a friend's Christmas present. Since I am seeing her tonight I can FINALLY post about it!



These are so easy to make (notice a theme in my DIY) and have such a WOW factor about them


What you'll need

 - a collection of plastic dinosaurs (I got these from KMart)
 - different coloured glitter (fine glitter works better and has a bigger impact)
 - craft glue
 - screw in eye hooks
 - spray on sealant
 - paint brush (use an old one because you're painting with glue)
 - string for hanging

Step 1: Screw the eye hooks into the back of the dinosaurs. I chose a space on their back where they will hang nicely.


Step 2: Lay down some paper on your surface. You will get glitter everywhere so it's good to protect your table from it. Use your paintbrush to paint 1 dinosaur with craft glue then sprinkle the dinosaur with one colour of glitter. Make sure you cover the whole surface in glitter - allow to dry.


Step 3: After you have allowed the dinosaurs to dry look over them then add more glitter to parts that you have missed

Step 4: Use the spray on sealant as directed to ensure the glitter sticks FOREVER.

Step 5: String them up and hang them wherever your heart desires


SIMPLE!!!! I love a simple yet high impact decoration. The best thing about these is that they don't have to be just for Christmas - Dinosaurs are cool year round. I'm so excited to gift them to my friend. She loves dinosaurs so I think this will be a different take on "normal" Christmas decorations.


I'd love to see if you try any of the DIY's I share, just link in the comments

 - Brooke

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Gratitude List: Week ending 15 Dec

I can hardly believe that it's Tuesday already. It's 8 days until Christmas and I think this past week has been one of the best for December so far. Why? Well let me tell you


1. Christmas Parties - I went to my work Christmas party on Saturday night. It was held at a venue called Madeline's at Jells Park. We had 19 stores turn up and it was a really fun night. The theme was "a touch of Christmas" and it was nice to see people embrace the theme and dress up a little. I wore my Black Milk Christmas Tree skater dress and my Crown & Glory holly hair clip. I talked to lots of people, drank lots of cider and laughed a lot.

I also had dinner with my team last night and we exchanged KK gifts. I feel so happy with my new team and love that we are all so different but it works. They are just really good people :)

2. Beyonce's new album and videos - I can't even begin to explain how happy this surprise album has made me. Every song is awesome, every video is stunning. I've been listening to it so much since I bought it. My favourite video is "Flawless" but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the roller-disco video for "Blow" and the beauty pageant inspired video for "Pretty Hurts" (plus pretty much every other video in the collection).


3. Gorgeous artwork arriving - This week I had an original sketch from Dallas Clayton arrive. He did the most amazing thing this year where you paypaled him the cost for the art and he would pick out a sketch to send you as a SURPRISE. Mine was this cute dinosaur and I think it's perfect. Plus I had a print and wood block mounted print from Cuddly Rigor Mortis arrive. I don't actually have space for all this amazing art but I couldn't resist any of these images and will find places for them both.

4. Christmas shopping = done - I told you I was going Christmas Shopping on Saturday and I managed to get it done and dusted in 1.5 visits (I had to go to a different town on Sunday to pick up 1 gift). It wasn't a hellish experience and I actually had fun.

5. Brand new shoes - I've been waiting for them to arrive and this week they turned up. Holographic, gold, tassels - am I describing your perfect shoe? They are so beautiful and out of this world.

How has your week been? I have the rest of the week off from work so I've not got much planned. I have some crafting, a Christmas lunch and movie date organised but I'm mostly excited about relaxing before Christmas.

 - Brooke

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sleepy Sunday #3


Secret projects starting this week, I have a few days off this week so I'll have some time to create a few fun posts. I'll share more by the end of the week.

I've finished my Christmas shopping today - what about you?

 - Brooke

Friday, December 13, 2013




When I got home tonight I had a text message from my friend Sally to let me know that Beyoncé has just released a new album - OUT OF NOWHERE. No warning, no press, no WARNING, just music.

It's called BEYONCÉ has 14 new songs and 17 videos, She's calling it a "visual" album and features appearances from Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Drake, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland and Blue Ivy (her daughter).

"I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans."

I have listened to 2 songs to far and a I will be listening to the rest tonight. I will be watching ALL the videos (which includes "No Angel" that was filmed in East Brunswick when she was in Melbourne).

I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE THIS ON MY PHONE. It feels like Beyoncé has given us all an early Christmas present.

 - Brooke

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Can't stop listening to: Lea Michele


I’m going to be honest; I only continue to watch Glee for Lea Michele and Darren Criss. One step further, I’m only watching it to see them sing. I don’t really care about many of the new characters and don’t really like some of the story lines that have been done this season. I LOVE their voices - plain and simple. 
I was ECSTATIC to hear that Lea Michele is releasing her debut album “Louder” in March and that her first song off that album has just been made available on iTunes (doesn't she look like a total babe in her album cover). I didn’t hesitate and downloaded it straight away.
The first single is called “Cannonball” and it’s a powerful song. It’s a hopeful song about finding your strength and living your life. It's memorable and extremely impressive, showcasing her powerhouse vocals effortlessly. She sounds confident and hopeful and this song is punchy and explodes with strong lyrics and a strong drum beat. 

“I let go of fear and the peace came quickly "

It's a really strong first song and gives me hope for the rest of the album. I'm really excited that she's finally taken the leap into the pop scene and has done it her way. She has surrounded herself with some really talented song writers (this one is written by Sia) and it actually sounds like her - with a message she has always shared - be strong, be free, be TRUE. It doesn't feel like she's been forced into this (because of her role in Glee) and she's taken the time to do it right.

I’ve had this song for 2 days and I’ve listened to it on repeat, loudly, in my car. It’s a great car sing-a-long kind of song. She will be performing this song live on Ellen Thursday in the USA - I'm so excited to see that performance (I'll link to it on Twitter once I find it) 
I’ve been finding that my music of choice lately is women with powerful voices and powerful messages (Beyonce, Katy Perry, Lily Allen) of strength and resilience. Maybe that’s what I need at this point in my life – songs about independence and strength.
Tell me, do you have a song that makes you want to have a solo car party? 
 - Brooke

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Gratitude List: Week ending 08 Dec

PHEW! What a week. So many things, so many events. You can really feel the craziness of Christmas taking hold. I have lots of fun things happening in December so it's nice to reflect on the things that made me smile through the week. So, what were those things this week?

Grat 3

1. MUSE - On Friday night I ventured into Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to see Muse. I've seen them a couple of times before and was a little hesitant on buying tickets this time. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE them and I LOVE watching them live. I haven't really listened to their new stuff or listened to their music at all lately. I needn't have worried or hesitated about buying tickets - THEY WERE AMAZING. They have one of the best live shows I've seen and one of the best stage set ups around. They played a really great mix of old and new stuff and when the opening riffs started for "Plug In Baby" I lost my s**t just a little.

2. Alicia Keys - On Sunday night I went back to Rod Laver Arena for a different type of concert. Alicia Keys was all kinds of brilliant in a totally different way. She is powerful, talented, beautiful, inspiring and did I mention talented?!?! She totally blew me away - I may have almost cried when she started to play "Diary" and couldn't sit in my seat while she played "No One". She finished with Jay Z on a screen (always nice to see his face) and her album version of "Empire State of Mind, Pt 2".

Grat 1

3. We decorated out Christmas tree - I've mentioned before that we have a family tradition of not getting our Christmas tree until after my Dad's birthday. This year we broke that tradition. We had the nieces and nephews over on the weekend and Dad got the tree especially so that they could help us decorate it. IT WAS THE BEST FUN!! We put on Christmas Carols and they spent the whole time getting excited about every decoration we removed from the boxes.

If you are ever feeling "Grinchy" about Christmas just talk to a kid about it. Their enthusiasm, energy and excitement is infectious (just make sure you know the kid - it might be weird if you just walk up to a child in the supermarket and started talking to them about Christmas)

I also visited my Grandma and put up her Christmas Tree for her and helped her organise her Christmas presents. It was so nice to visit her and spend some time decorating and making her house fill up with green and red.

Grat 2

4. Creating decorations - I've posted already about the mini Christmas Trees I made with popsicle sticks. When the kids were around I had them decorate some of the extra trees that I made up for them. They had a blast decorating them. They used textas (markers) and glitter glue to decorate their trees. They are now hanging proudly on our big Christmas tree.

5. Getting a start on my Christmas movies - So far I have watched 4 movies from my list. I've not done as well as I was hoping but I've been enjoying re-watching these movies. I did get distracted by a last minute Lord of the Rings marathon (I decided I wanted to watch them all before seeing the new Hobbit movie on the 26th of December). I can't wait to sit down and watch more Christmas movies.

How are you getting into the Christmas Spirit this week?

I am going Christmas shopping this weekend (brave I know, but I have some tips that I'll share on how to survive the big stores at Christmas) and have lots of Christmas movies to watch. I'm also listening to Christmas songs to/from work and at work.

Have a fabulous week
 - Brooke

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Sleepy Sunday #2


Today was a big day. We broke a tradition in our family and put up our Christmas tree before Dad's birthday.

How was your Sunday?

 - Brooke

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

DIY Mini Christmas Trees


How cute are these?!?! I can't believe how simple yet beautiful these mini Christmas Trees are. I can't believe I MADE THESE!

I saw a few pictures of similar designed popsicle stick Christmas Trees via Pinterest so I decided I would give it a try myself.


You will need:

 - Popsicle sticks (I bought a bag of 150 for $2.50 at a discount store)
 - green paint & a paint brush
 - red satin ribbon
 - hot glue gun
 - scissors
 - GLITTER & anything else you want to decorate the trees with

Step 1 - cut the edges of the popsicle sticks so that you have flat ends. You want two the same size (just trim the edges) and then 6 other sticks cut gradually smaller and smaller.

Step 2 - paint the sticks. I painted both sides - you just need to leave time for it to dry. If you are using glitter on your trees then you will need to sprinkle the glitter on the wet paint and press down lightly to get it to stick.

Step 3 - glue the ribbon into a loop and attach it to the top of your longest stick (this stick will be your tree backing

Step 4 - glue the smallest piece over the ribbon then continue down the tree backing until you get to the biggest piece. Allow the glue to dry.

YOU'RE DONE! I told you it was easy

Once the glue has dried you can decorate your trees as much or as little as you like. I really like the look of the glitter only on the trees. I also used some leftover studs to create the bottom tree. I used the hot glue gun to attach the studs to the popsicle stick.


The best thing about these Christmas Trees is that you can customise them to match whatever you want. If you want to paint them purple, DO IT, if you want to cover them in pom poms, DO IT, if you want each level to be a different colour, GO FOR IT!


I thought this might have been a great thing to do with my nieces but after using the hot glue gun I think it would be best to make up some trees and let them decorate to their hearts desire. It would be fun to see what they come up with. Considering I'm currently covered in glitter I will need to do this outside with them :)


I really love the idea of home made Christmas decorations. I'm going to try and do a couple more DIY Christmas decorations before the big day arrives. I'm not normally a super crafty person so I started with the easiest one to ease my way into it.

Have you got anything you are going to try this year for Christmas? Have you made any decorations in your house? 

 - Brooke

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Gratitude List: Week ending 01 Dec

WOW, it's really December - DECEMBER YOU GUYS!!!! I'm excited for so many things this month. I have lots of Christmas parties, lots of bands and lots of big things happening, but I want to remember and be happy for the little things too.

Here's what rocked my world this week


1. NEW HAIR CUTS: I got my hair cut this week and it feels so good. After spending two days at the Blogcademy with two amazing women (Kat & Gala) who were both rocking the hell out of straight fringes (or "bangs" for those in the USA) I knew it was time to bring it back. My hairdresser Courtney is such an amazing person. She puts up with all my crazy whims and is always willing to try anything with my hair. This time I asked for shorter at the back and longer a the front - I knew my hair needed a good cut but I didn't want to lose the illusion of length at the front - she did it without blinking and I love it. 

2. Dinner dates with amazing friends - On Saturday night I caught up with a friend I have known for a VERY LONG TIME (read: about 15 years ++) and it was so nice to be able to sit around eating delicious Indian food (naan bread = yum) talking about life. It's such a nice feeling to have people who know you so well and that you can still connect with after 15 + years of friendship.


3. I CAN'T STOP BUYING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS - So far this year I have purchased a bunch of new decorations (a snow globe penguin, silver bell stars, a quilted "Merry Christmas" hanging sign, a collection of cute wooden hanging ornaments and a wooden Christmas tree). I'm so happy that the stores have out really cute affordable decorations this year.


4. Getting tickets to bands I love who are touring next year - This week alone I have bought tickets to see The Lumineers, Arcade Fire, Bastille and Arctic Monkeys. I was really lucky to get a text message from my friend Jeanine asking me if I wanted her to buy me a pre-pre-sale ticket to Arctic Monkeys - I said HECK YES! She works for a touring company and had staff access to tickets - how amazing is that?!?!

5. Relaxing and taking time for me - I slept in, I read books, I relaxed and caught up on some TV shows, I just took some time out and breathed. It's so nice to be able to just stop for a bit and have a "nothing" day where all you do is bum around at home in your pj's.

This week is chock-a-block. I've got 2 x gigs plus my Dad's birthday and a Christmas tree to decorate. I'm also going to introduce my nieces and nephew to a Christmas movie they haven't seen before.

What are your plans for this week? What are you looking forward to?

 - Brooke

Monday, December 02, 2013

21 Christmas movies to get you into the Christmas Spirit

Christmas movies all

In our family we don't put our Christmas tree up until after December 9th because it's my Dad's birthday. It's tragic - for someone who LOVES Christmas I find this to be really hard so to get into the Christmas spirit without having the Christmas Tree up I watch Christmas movies.

I love a really good Christmas movie. My only requirements (to make it a good Christmas movie) is that it's fun, sweet and if there is a bad person they learn the "meaning of Christmas" by the end of the movie. I especially like movies that show Santas is real, or movies that will make me so happy I want to cry by the end (I tear up every time they sing the Christmas carol in the park in Elf - EVERY TIME). 

Here is my list (in no particular order) of 21 Christmas movies I watch in the lead up to Christmas (one almost every day people) to get into the Christmas Spirit

Christmas Movies Elf

1. Elf: If you haven't watched this then we can't be friends. Seriously. There is something about Will Ferrels childlike wonder that is so perfect in this film. So much JOY and happiness wrapped up in this Christmas movie

2. All I Want For Christmas: The story of 2 kids who just want to get their parents back together for Christmas. It helps that their parents are MFEO (made for each other). The best part of this movie is watching a VERY young Thora Birch and Ethan Embry <3 comment-3--="">

3. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation: Ok so I'm not being very original right now but I promise this is one of the best Christmas comedies you'll ever come across. Chevy Chase is PERFECT trying to have the best Christmas ever with his family.

4. Love Actually: Emma Thompson, Hugh Jackman, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Kiera Knightly - surely that is enough to get you to pop this DVD in the player. This movie just makes you feel all the feels  - multiple story lines, amazing characters and heart warming stories. 

5. Home Alone: Macaulay Culkin + those robbers. This is the best kind of  "boy left behind then house gets robbed and he fights the robbers" Christmas movie. If you're feeling up to it, you can watch the double feature of Home Alone 1 + 2 in one sitting - so much Culkin!!!! 

Christmas Movies NBC

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton + Danny Elfman + that iconic skeleton. I don't save this movie for just Christmas time viewing, it's a year round favourite. I LOVE that skeleton and his misguided attempt at Christmas. 

7. The Holiday: Jude Law + Kate Winslet + Cameron Diaz + Jack Black = a sweet romantic holiday movie. 

8. I'll Be Home For Christmas: I'll admit it, I had a massive crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT 4eva) back when I was younger. This movie allows me to remember his cute, silliness. It's a classic Christmas tale of one mans attempt to get home for the holiday. 

9. Miracle on 34th Street: I have a double pack of the 1947 version and the 1994 version. If I'm being honest I watch the newer version more. It's a story of one cute but kind of obnoxious girls unwavering belief in Santa Claus

10. It's a Wonderful Life: I watched this movie for the first time about 2 years ago. I had heard the hype and I constantly see it on top of the "best Christmas movies" lists. I'm inclined to agree. While it's a LONG movie, it is also a beautiful, tear inducing feel good film. If you only watch one Christmas movie this year I'd suggest you start with this one. 

11. Fred Claus: Vince Vaughn plays Santas "naughty" brother who has lost his Christmas Spirit. He goes to the North Pole to borrow some money off his older brother and hijinks ensue. It's funny and silly and if you like Vince Vaughn like I do then this movie is perfect.

12. Eight Crazy Nights: Did you know that back in the day Adam Sandler made this Christmas movie and voiced all the characters. It's silly and rude and still somehow sweet.

13. Bad Santa: The best worst Santa ever. Billy Bob Thornton plays the kind of Santa you never want to run into in a department store. He's oh so bad and filthy. Is it weird that I usually watch this on Christmas Eve??

14. To Grandmothers House We Go: I've finally got a copy of this headed my way. The Olsen twins at their finest. It's another "we're trying to get somewhere for the holidays but end up on a crazy adventure" movie but it's made so much cuter by these two girls

15. A Mom For Christmas: Olivia Newton-John stars in this made for TV Christmas special. A young girl wishes for a Mom for Christmas (as per the title of the movie) and Olivia Newton-John appears. Sweet, funny and full of Christmas cheer - if anyone can link me to a version of this movie that doesn't cost $50 I'd be eternally grateful!

16. The Muppet Christmas Carol: The classic Christmas tale of Scrooge, but with Muppets = PERFECT 

17. The Polar Express: Ok, my Mum loves this movie. She watches it every year a few days before Christmas (sometimes Christmas Eve). One of those rare movies that really makes you believe in the Christmas Spirit - plus it's made in that "crazy it's a cartoon but it looks kind of real" way

18. Jingle All The Way: Arnold Schwartzenegger (yeah, you heard me right) plays a dad just trying to get his kid that "must have" Christmas toy. Craziness ensues (of course)

19. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: I refused to watch this movie for so long. There was something about the idea of this movie that just rubbed me the wrong way. I actually sat down and watched it and LOVED it. Jim Carrey is awesome as the Grinch - he's mean, angry but so misunderstood. This movie really shows that even the Grinchy-est (I made up a word shhhh) person can be sweet and nice. 

20. Arthur Christmas: I've just added this one to my collection. One of the better animated Christmas movies of the past few years. This one follows Arthur (Santas son) as he tries to take the reins and deliver all the presents in time.

Christmas movies fallen

21. Surviving Christmas: Ben Affleck plays a guy who goes back to his family home in an attempt to get through the holidays. The only problem is that his family doesn't live there anymore so he pays the current residents to pretend to be his family and do all the Christmassy things he did as a child. A silly, funny light hearted Christmas comedy.

The only movie I do not own that is on this list is A Mom For Christmas (just because I can't seem to find it for less than $50 + postage). I make an effort every year to watch as many of these movies as I can so that it gets me into the Christmas mood. 

I've also picked up a few other Christmas movies this week to check out - one starring Paul Rudd (that is supposed to be more in line with Bad Santa) and one with Kristen Chenoweth. If they are good, they'll get added to this list of movies to watch for next year. 

What's your "go to" Christmas movie?

I LOVE finding new Christmas movies to watch so if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please SHARE!

 - Brooke

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sleepy Sunday #1

Sleepy Sunday #1

I dont' work on Sunday. This means I have the ability to do different things and my Sleepy Sunday posts will be a photo I take with my camera during the day. It's my attempt to make me have my camera with me more often and play around with it more.

How was your Sunday? Do you have anything you do to keep you doing creative things?

 - Brooke

Friday, November 29, 2013

Crazy Cat Lady

I have a secret talent. 

i have this amazing uncanny ability to find really cute, adorable cat related items. This also stretches (at times) to raccoon items (if I'm really lucky).

It's not always as easy as it seems, sometimes I have to search for hours to find something cute and other times I attract items like a magnet, drawing them to me like a moth to a flame. 

This talent brings some amazing pieces into my life but it can also be a burden. I mean I love cats, but I don't want to end up being that crazy cat lady with a house full of cat ornaments and pillows and rugs and cups and mugs - well you get my point. 

To help alleviate some of my desire to own all the crazy cat items that come into my life I wanted to start sharing some of the amazing things I find. 

Cat 1

The weirdest part about this is that I don't even have a cat. I want one and I think it should hopefully happen sometime in the new year, so until then I fill that space with all things cat related. Maybe my cat obsession will tame down once I have my own cat, maybe it wont, I just know that I'll know where to get cute kitty tipis and scratching posts and dress ups (yeah I'll be THAT kind of cat owner) , well you get the point. 

This is part 1 of many awesome fun cat related posts. Do you have a weird talent for hunting down a specific items?

 - Brooke

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I can't stop listening to: Lily Allen

Listening to music and seeing artists perform live is a part of my life. I love discovering new songs or artists and I am the kind of person who can listen to one song or album or repeat and not get bored.

I thought something fun that I can do is share a song or artist who have somehow captured my attention in the hope that it's something new and amazing that someone else can also love.

Lily Allen

This week I bought the new single from Lily Allen, "Hard Out Here" after seeing the video on youtube. This is her first official single release since 2009.

The song itself is a catchy, punchy tune that tackles the way women are portrayed as sex symbols and the tough road we still face - especially of women in show business. It's been a song that has not been without controversy, obviously a subject like this is going to generate opinions from both sides of the fence.

I like this song because it's un-flinchingly honest, it's edgy and it's a fantastic pop song.

She uses the word "bitch" so many times I'm sure Jesse Pinkman would be proud.

I've been listening to Lily Allen for years. I'm so glad she's back and hasn't lost that sneer and attitude that has always made her stand out from the crowd.

 - Brooke

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gratitude List: Week ending 24 Nov

This week was filled with all kinds of normality. I worked 6 out of 7 days however I still had plenty of things to be grateful for.

Cat legs

1. NEW BLACK MILK - Crazy Cat Lady leggings and Christmas tress skater dresses OH MY! These delightful items arrived during the week and I'm so happy with these new items. The cat leggings are so perfect I can't imagine what my life was like before owning them (I'm wearing them while I type this). I have a special feature coming soon to the blog so if you love cat items like I do you're sure to love it. 

GC and Tate

2. Seeing movies in Gold Class - Gold Class cinemas are basically smaller cinemas with recliner chairs  - luxury cinemas! I love going to Gold Class, things are more expensive but I manage to get free vouchers through work "perk points" and this time we went and saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (which I LOVED)

3. Jennifer Lawrence - After watching The Hunger Games I went on an internet search of Jennifer Lawrence. This girl is a seriously inspirational human being. I think the best thing about her is that she's honest and natural. THIS VIDEO just made me want to give her a big hug and tell her she's awesome

4. Reading books from amazing authors - I've started to read again, which has been a great stress relief for me. It helps that the finale for Divergent Series by Veronica Roth came out and the next book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead came out. I am half way through The Fiery Heart and I love the double perspective we're getting with the book written in the POV of 2 of the characters.

5. Watching old movies with my nieces and nephew - On Saturday when I came home from work I was greeted with a couch-full of kids watching Free Willy. It's really fun watching them react to things I watched when I was their age. Evie stood transfixed by the movie and Bridie kept asking questions to which Evie would tell her "they are trying to save Willy". So cute!!!

What is making you happy this week? I know I've got a few things happening this week that I'm really looking forward to including a local town festival.

 - Brooke

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How I got my groove back at The Blogcademy

Photo by Corey Sleap! www.coreysleapphoto.com/

I keep having to pinch myself to believe that the two days I spent with blogging royalty actually happened. The two days were totally surreal and inspiring and I've walked away with so many new ideas and a newfound focus and determination to make something of this little space on the internet. I digress - let me start at the beginning

What is the Blogcademy? 

The Blogcademy is a two-day workshop run by Gala Darling (www.galadarling.com), Kat Williams (www.rocknrollbride.com) and Shauna Haider (www.nubbytwiglet.com) that is designed to help aspiring bloggers gain the insight and direction needed to take their blogs to the next level. It's the ultimate insiders guide to blogging from three very successful, talented and amazing women.


Photo by Corey Sleap! www.coreysleapphoto.com/

Why did I go? 

I love blogging (something I can proudly say, and something I would have felt weird saying a few years ago). I began blogging on my myspace page (back when it was still a thing) and moved to this URL in 2008. I love that it gives me the freedom to write about things I am passionate about and love - I've just never really been super dedicated to this space. I've posted sporadically and have been one of those bloggers who is always apologising for my absence. I want to change this and I needed the direction and the "how to" which I believed I could gain by attending this course.

What did I learn? 

These headmistresses know their shit. I learnt so much in two days that my head is still spinning. I'm a processor so I'm going to have to give the information some time to sink in BUT there were a few key things that stood out from the rest.

  1.  You must have a plan and goals for your blog - here I am, a 30 year old professional woman who creates business plans for work every year and I didn't think that this was something that would be important for my blog. I work in a very goal oriented business with budgets and plans for everything I do, so I'm surprised I have never looked at my blog in the same way.

  2.  Consistency is key - for EVERYTHING you do. This is something that sounds so simple but is probably the hardest thing to maintain. I have been guilty many times of neglecting this space and I had a great conversation with Gala about this. I just need to see this space as something I should be proud of and give it the attention and love it deserves and that means applying the work ethic I have in my job to this blog. It's going to be hard work but I'm ready to get it done.

  3.  "Don't be that guy" - This was a common saying throughout the two days. I think this saying applies to everything that I want to achieve in my life and on my blog. I try to be a positive person and make sure the things I put out into the world are worthwhile. I now have this written on my desk at work as a little reminder. It's simple, yet effective. 

  4.  Build yourself a blogging support network - these ladies are serious BFF's. Their relationship was built online and solidified in person. The great thing about this course was that there was a room full of talented, diverse and AMAZING women that were all in the room because we wanted to learn more about blogging. We've got a fabulous forum and have a Facebook group that is alive with questions, help, suggestions and support. My Instagram follows went up very quickly and I'm back on twitter (with tweetdeck downloaded on my laptop). I'm excited to have people to chat blogging with and I know I need to make the effort to keep in touch with all these awesome women.


  5.  I CAN TAKE A DECENT SELFIE - My many selflies that I have shared on Instagram helped me WIN the best Instagram selfie award (the photo above on the right was the winner)!!! I scored some super cute tea towels. I'm not sure if I showed exactly how excited I was at winning this (I was a bundle of excited butterflies on the inside) - I take a lot of pride in my photos and to be recognised by three super bloggers is an AMAZING feeling. I'm going to own that win for a very LONG time. 

Photo by Corey Sleap! www.coreysleapphoto.com/

Was it worth it? 

HELL YES!!! There are so many other things that I have learnt but I don't want to divulge all the secrets. The biggest thing I gained from this course is to trust and believe in myself and my blog. I was a little shocked and amazed when Gala told me that she had seen me "pop up" online over the years. I guess I've never really taken the time to realise just how far my online presence has reached. I've reached more than just family and friends and that's really exciting to me. 

I have so much to share and so much to offer and so many ideas swirling in my head. I have my sparkly magical blogging ears (from Crown & Glory) that when I put them on empower me to be the best blogger I can be. All of this - the inspiration, focus and excitement - is all because of the Blogcademy. 

Blogcademy Trio
Photo by Corey Sleap! www.coreysleapphoto.com/

A massive thanks to the headmistress for the time and love that they put into the two days. It was surreal and unreal to meet you all and this was an experience that I won't ever forget. An even bigger thanks to the lovely ladies I met over the two days - you guys are radical, inspirational and so lovely.

If you're thinking about going to the Blogcademy my advice is to JUST DO IT. Don't let the fear hold you back from something so special. Everything that you've read about the course is true, everything you hope to get out of the course you will as long as you're open to listen and learn. I was nervous, worried and scared when I first arrived but when I first walked into the venue I was greeted with a smile and "love your hair colour" from Kat and that eased the nerves (a little). The space you enter becomes very comfortable very quickly and it's a place of positivity and encouragement.

I feel like I'm a part of a very special group now, I'm glad I was brave and hit that "Register Now" button. I can already feel that this has changed my life for the better.

 - Brooke