Life Lately: July, August & September
While I wish I could say I’ve been up to a whole heap of fun and interesting things over these last three months, truthfully, life has been rather uneventful lately! Apart from a few friend catch ups and gigs here and there, I’ve inadvertently found myself living more slowly this year and it’s been really, really nice. I do struggle with guilt that I should be doing more and constantly working towards reaching my goals, but sometimes we just need to rest and recharge and learn to feel content with where we are in life. I always find that every time I reach a big milestone, it’s never that long before I’m thinking, ‘What’s next?’ and instead of celebrating how far I’ve come, I’m feeling dissatisfied with what I still haven’t achieved. I do need to work on my time management skills a lot (mostly so I can try to blog more!), but it’s felt good to say no to things and just take some time out for myself.
As someone who takes pride in creating a living space that makes themselves feel happy and peaceful, I’ve been working on refreshing my bedroom with new decor and storage pieces. I’ve had the same furniture for years and years and although I’m still very happy with it (I would like to eventually get a new bed frame later down the line though), I’m very much in need of change as I’ve been feeling a little bit bored and uninspired. For my dressing table, I bought the Prague Velvet Ottoman from Zanui and I love that this area in my room isn’t so plain white anymore. I feel like some people have gone a bit off blush pink, but I most certainly haven’t! I’m also thinking about replacing my current mirror with a round wooden framed one and adding in some dried plants and flowers too. As much as I wish I could, I can’t be buying fresh flowers all the time! I got reorganising my makeup collection a few weekends ago as well and it in its own way, it’s totally given my dressing table a whole new lease on life! It makes so much more sense than how I had it organised previously and I feel a lot more excited to do my makeup every morning now. I’ll definitely do an updated dressing table tour/makeup collection one of these days, but in the meantime, you can see a little video I took of it for Instagram Stories.
The most exciting home purchase I’ve probably made recently is my new mattress topper! Years ago when I’d sleep over my best friend’s house, I was always envious of how cloud-like her bed was and five years later after wanting to invest in a mattress topper, I’ve finally turned my bed into its own dreamy cloud! I remember ages ago, Jess telling me about her mattress topper that she got from MicroCloud and coming so highly so raved from her, I decided to go for this one too. I’m so glad I did because it feels absolutely luxurious, so much so, it’s even a genuine struggle to get out of bed! I think it’s contributed to me having less time to blog on my free weekends! To go with it, I also got the MicroCloud mattress and pillow protectors, plus the MiniJumbuk Dreamers Wool Rich Pillow for Kids (if you’re a weirdo like me who likes flat pillows, kids pillows are the best!). My bed had been in dire need of upgrading and now it’s heaven!
I’m slowly but surely working on growing my record collection and to do so, I needed to find somewhere to store them (they were previously in my wardrobe, but it wasn’t practical and I was running out of space). I knew I wanted a wicker basket yet it was surprisingly difficult to find one with the right dimensions. I then remembered Pottery Barn was a thing and their Savannah Utility Basket ended up being perfect! I’ve still got plenty of room to add to it and one of these days when I eventually get my own place, I’ll have even more space to expand my collection!
In other storage bits, I also got myself the West Elm Terrace Shadow Glass Boxes in the Rectangle and Small Square for my jewellery (I’m still working on building my jewellery “wardrobe”, but I’ll eventually do a post on this too) and this cute IKEA Römskog Bed Storage Box to tuck away things I don’t use on a regular basis.
September is my birthday month and I decided to keep things relatively low key this year. After turning 30 along with the majority of my friends the previous year, it was nice to have a quiet one and not make much of a fuss about it. I bought a few new records as well as some Little Posy Co. flowers as a treat to myself and then had a nice dinner with my family at Santini Bar & Grill. I got the tartare for my entrée, the squid ink pasta for my main and to drink, a Paloma, all of which were absolutely divine! For dessert, we shared the Cherry & Blackberry Gelato (they poured rose Prosecco over it, which was super fancy!) and Blood Orange + Campari Ganita (with vanilla coconut Chantilly and served in a bell jar - also fancy!) between us all and it was the perfect way to finish off a truly exquisite meal. I’m a typical Libra; I love my nice dinners and flowers! My birthday just so happened to fall on a public holiday too, so it was nice to have the day off and not go to work!
The last three months have brought about some incredible new music releases. In fact, I think I’ve even found my contender for 2019’s #1 album! Friendly Fires made an awesome comeback with Inflorescent, their first album in eight years, and I also really loved ANIMA by Thom Yorke, This Is Not a Safe Place by Ride, My Own Pool of Light by Holy Holy as well as Comforter by Bodywash. The standout by far, however, has to go to Lost Girls by Bat For Lashes. I fell in love within the first 30 seconds of listening to it and when I read that it was inspired by the ‘80s films she (Natasha Kahn) grew up watching, it all made sense! I’m sure we all know by now how much I love the ‘80s.
Speaking of which, I’ve been listening to some real ‘80s bangers lately. I’ve had on repeat Tunnel of Love by Bruce Springsteen, Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds, Broken Wings by Mr. Mister, The Living Years by Mike + The Mechanics and I’ve been obsessed with the Spotify playlist one of my workmates introduced me to called Winfield Blue. It’s total dad music and it’s the best! Another playlist I was introduced to, 90s Australian Kids Valentines Playlist, got me super nostalgic for the music from my other favourite decade! This playlist is like literally stepping into a time machine and I can’t stop listening to Sorrento Moon (I Remember) by Tina Arena. She is a national treasure! In other older releases, I’ve also been enjoying going through Beaches’ entire discography as well as Röyksopp’s Lost Tapes. A playlist made up of their B-sides, exclusives and previously unreleased tracks, I forgot just how much I love their music. I owe this band everything for the way they shaped my love of music.
Back onto new releases, some singles I’ve been loving are Skin Game by DIIV, Ocean of Tears by Caroline Polachek, Summer Girl by HAIM, Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You) by Bombay Bicycle Club and Holy Terrain by FKA twigs. Upon learning that Summer Girl was written for Danielle Haim’s partner who has cancer, watching the music video made me cry and I’m absolutely obsessed with Bombay Bicycle Club’s new song right now. After originally splitting up, they’ve decided to make music together again and I can’t wait for their new album out next year.
In new releases that didn’t impress me, I wasn’t super keen on Banks’ new album, III, nor Sanctuary Lakes’ self-titled debut album. Considering the latter are made up of two members from my favourite bands (Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts), I thought I’d love it, but it’s not really my thing and too different from the indie electronic that I associate them with.
It’s not very often I go to a whole bunch of shows in such a short space of time, but Perth really stepped up its gig game this winter! I love live music (it’s the only thing I feel FOMO about!) and it feels good to support my favourite artists and bands in a substantial way.
Childish Gambino at HBF Stadium - after cancelling his Australian tour last year (due to a broken foot), I thought I’d never get the chance to see Childish Gambino live (Donald Glover is giving up the moniker soon to pursue other things), but as soon as he announced another one, my friend Shaun and I immediately got tickets! His shirtless (lol) performance was absolutely incredible; my favourite songs he sang being This Is America, Sober, V. 3005 and an amazing new song he hasn’t released yet. I also love that he gave a shoutout to Perth’s own Tame Impala too!
Foals at Metro City - this was my second time seeing Foals live and it was one of the most energetic gigs I’ve ever been to! Frontman, Yannis Philippakis, was in and out of the mosh pit, singing from on top of the bar and even got on top of a balcony and jumped from it! They played all my favourite songs including the song that got me into them thanks to Skins (did anyone else used to love this show?!), Hummer! Being an old song and from an EP, it was totally unexpected and after looking at their setlists, I saw that they only played it in Perth too, which makes me feel super, super lucky. I loved when Yannis was like, “I know it’s a Sunday and some of you have work tomorrow, but fuck your work!” and overall, it was such a fun gig. Tired Lion supported and they were awesome as well.
Peter Hook at Perth Concert Hall - like Foals, it was my second time seeing Peter Hook live too and this time he was playing with the The Metropolitan Orchestra from Sydney for his Joy Division Orchestrated show. I enjoyed it all except for the disappointing guests singers he brought on stage; Mica Miller was way out of her depth and Bastien Marshall intimating Ian Curtis’ dance moves - caused by his epilepsy - was super inappropriate. Peter Hook definitely delivered though and it was incredible to hear Love Will Tear Us Apart with a live symphony orchestra. Before the show, Shaun and I had a nice dinner at Petition Kitchen and the fluffy margaritas they served were heavenly! Afterwards, we continued drinking at our mate Pedro’s house by the open fireplace and it was a great night out!
Ride at Astor Theatre - I wouldn’t necessarily call Ride one of my favourite bands, but I still enjoy their music enough to see them live, plus I’m a huge, huge fan of the shoegaze genre. Their show ended up being much better than I expected it to be and one of my favourite things about live music is how it can make you appreciate it on a whole other level, which this gig definitely did. Vapour Trail is one of the most iconic songs in shoegaze, so it was incredible to be able to hear that live too. Shiva and the Hazards supported, but they weren’t really my thing.
Holy Holy at Astor Theatre - Holy Holy are a band I had been keen on seeing live since discovering them last year, so I was super excited when I heard they were touring the country. My favourite songs they played were Maybe You Know, True Lovers, Frida and their amazing cover of Lorde’s Green Light. Before the gig, my sister and I indulged in a fancy dinner and dessert at Measure, ordering their charcuterie board, Cheeseburger Spring Rolls (omg amazing!), beignets (they were like eating warm melt-in-your-mouth salted caramel clouds! Heaven!), Cherry Choc Bombe, Peanut Caramel Popcorn and cocktails garnished with the creamiest, softest meringue I’ve ever eaten. Does it get any better than good food and good music?!
Film and television
I said this in my last Life Lately post but I haven’t watched a whole lot of films these last three months either. It’s not that I haven’t had the time, I guess I just haven’t really had the attention span for them. It’s my New Year’s resolution for 2020 to change that though! Booksmart was the first of the four movies I watched and being a coming-of-age film, I naturally loved it! Starring Beanie Feldstein who I just adored in Lady Bird, I had high hopes for this movie and it did not disappoint. Kaitlyn Dever was simply fantastic in her role too, as of course was Lisa Kudrow in her supporting role as her mum. It was so refreshing to watch a teen comedy with girls so open about their sexuality; usually it’s watered down and viewed as something taboo, but this film did an amazing job in celebrating it instead and I only hope more movies follow suit. The second coming-of-age film I watched was To All the Boys I've Loved Before during a wine and cheese night at my friend Holly’s house. Is it sad that the romantic life (or lack there of!) of a 17 year-old resonated with me?! I think I can definitely relate to having my head in the clouds when it comes to romance. Anyway, it was a sweet, feel-good movie and the music in it was superb too; Wild Nothing, Blood Orange, Tears for Fears and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart!
Something a little less light-hearted (okay, maybe a lot less) that I watched was The Hate U Give. Telling the story of Starr who witnesses her best friend getting shot, it’s a powerful film centred around race and police brutality and it’s one that really stays with you. Although it deals with such a dark subject matter, you’ll still find heart-warming, touching and even funny moments throughout, especially within Starr’s family who all share a really beautiful bond. It’s a must-watch. The most recent movie I saw was IRIS: A Space Opera by Justice, a live show recorded by the French electronic duo in 2017-2018. Showing for one night only in a single cinema in each Australian capital city on its premier date, this was the first film I’d seen at the movies for the first time in about two years and it was definitely deserving of the big screen! Being a movie about music, there were stunning visual effects throughout and the sound quality was top notch too. The only thing to disappoint me that evening was pay nine freaking dollars for a Frozen Coke! Now I remember why I stopped going to the movies!
It was the 25th anniversary of Friends first airing on TV last month and if I wasn’t already enough of a fangirl, this definitely got me fangirling even more! I’m honestly in awe of just how popular and culturally relevant this show still is and the fact that the anniversary ignited so much love and hype and was so widely celebrated all over the world is simply incredible to me. It melts my heart that all these years later, people are so touched by this show the way I was as a kid and it makes me feel so privileged to have grown up with one of television history’s most iconic shows. My rewatch is going slowly but surely (I’ve been watching other shows in between) and I’m currently up to season 3. Also, I just have to say, season 2 is art. Each character is given rich and interesting story arcs with the Ross and Rachel romance, Joey and Chandler bromance, Phoebe trying to find her dad and Smelly Cat, and although I don’t ship them, I love Monica and Richard together too (he gave her good character development, I think). It’s classic Friends!
Stranger Things season 3 has been another recently hyped up show and all with good reason! In fact, I think I’d even go as far as calling it my favourite current TV show. I’m not as into binge-watching as I used to be, but this show I had to watch quickly to avoid spoilers at work and it was really hard too because I’m such a wuss! Even the slightest bit of suspense freaks me out and I have to pause the episode just to compose myself! Overall, I absolutely loved it; my favourite parts being Eleven and Max’s blossoming friendship and the hilarious sexual tension between Joyce and Hopper. I love me a good will-they-or-won’t-they romance and dear lord, these two better get together!
Orange is the New Black said goodbye and finished the series with season 7 and although I hadn’t really enjoyed the show as much these last couple of years, I think the final season was done really well in comparison. It wrapped things up nicely enough to give us closure and it made sense that it was happy and sweet in some parts, yet absolutely devastating and heartbreaking in others. I think Taystee deserved better, but I guess it wasn’t as bleak as it could’ve been.
A new show (well, new to me) that I got into recently is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Comedy is my favourite television genre (I’m sure that comes as no surprise!) and after hearing so many people talk about it and learning that it was created by Michael Schur (the same person behind Parks and Recreation), I knew I was going to love it. Needless to say, it’s absolutely hilarious and it’s kind of refreshing to watch something new from my usual Friends and Frasier! I’ve just started season 2 and my favourite character is Boyle! Rosa is a close second.
Around the web
Before you all judge me and think the only thing I do is read about Friends, the recent 25th anniversary has meant there’ve been a whole heap of articles surrounding the show more than ever lately! I know no one cares as much as I do, but if you’re nevertheless a fan, they’re super interesting and insightful!
A Party Room and a Prison Cell: Inside the Friends Writers’ Room is an excerpt from Saul Austerlitz’s new book, Generation Friends, which goes behind the scenes detailing the long hours the writers worked. I got the book for my birthday and although I already knew about 90% of the information and anecdotes in it, this excerpt was still pretty insightful. I especially loved this: “Without Ross and Rachel, and the audience’s desire to see their relationship through, viewers would never have bothered with the show”.
A few articles that prove just how much of a cultural impact this show still has today: why people visit the Friends building in New York, comfort TV and why people watch Friends on a loop, Ralph Lauren’s Friends-inspired collection and lastly, why Friends is the world’s favourite sitcom.
The Friends’ set decorator takes us inside the locations of the sitcom and how he came to find some of the most iconic pieces seen in the apartments as well as in Central Perk.
Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer all paid tribute to the show’s 25th anniversary together on Instagram and I’m not crying, you are. I think Matthew Perry tried on Twitter but failed lol.
This is old but I only recently discovered Alan Palomo of Neon Indian’s short film, 86’d, and I love it! The music and ‘80s aesthetic are on point.
These Stranger Things graphics referencing films and albums from the ‘80s are amazing!
Still on Stranger Things, there’s a new teaser out for season 4!
Greta Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly is inspiring, moving and incredibly powerful. Mark my words, she will make history.
Instagram accounts I’ve been loving lately: @chandler_holding_ur_fav_album (here’s Chandler holding mine!), @paris.with.me (so dreamy!) and @mariahlleonard (her beauty product photography is so unique and simply mesmerising).
Tavi Gevinson’s personal essay, Who Would I Be Without Instagram? An Investigation, is thought-provoking and fascinating.