Life Lately: January, February & March
It feels kind of surreal and foreign to be sitting here typing this post after having taken such a long break from blogging. In fact, in the eight years (it was my blog’s anniversary just last week!) I’ve been doing this, it’s the longest I’ve ever gone without posting! The funny thing is is that it was completely unplanned and there was no major life event or anything remotely interesting going on to cause it, but I just all of a sudden found blogging to be a bit of a chore more so than anything enjoyable and that’s when I knew I needed a break. I didn’t expect my break to be this long, but the longer I went without blogging, the harder it became to come back and I really struggled with motivating myself. Things are, however, happening again slowly but surely and it feels good to be here again! Despite the lack of my presence within the blogging community these last few months, it melts my heart to know that I still have loyal readers and friends who are here waiting for me and encouraging me. It’s definitely a big reason why I could never stop and then when I pick up the camera or I start writing again, I realise I want to be here for myself too.
So, why did I go almost four months without blogging? Well, it was a series of little things that kind of culminated into one big thing, which then lead me to take a step back from it all. I think it started late last year when I found myself less and less interested in watching YouTube beauty videos as I got bored of watching the same shit over and over. It also doesn’t help that I’ve reached a stage in my life where I’ve got all my favourite products and I don’t care all that much about new ones anymore. I used to love watching decluttering videos, but even they’ve become tiresome because I know they’re only going to be followed by a haul and the hoards of stuff these YouTubers get rid of is relentless! Do they not learn?! I feel like I’ve grown up from that stage in my life and it’s no longer fun to watch.
I think this kind of had a knock-on effect to Instagram Stories, which I do still enjoy, but I also feel like I have nothing to share there anymore. When you have a traditional job where you’re at work all day five days a week, life is not that interesting and as I’m currently saving up for my London and Paris trip, I don’t really have anything new to show you all either. As I mentioned, I’ve pretty much completely lost all interest in new beauty product launches (I tend to skip most PR mail Stories nowadays) and that combined with my spending habits significantly dropping, well, I’m not really sure where that leaves me on the platform anymore. I still absolutely love beauty and I always will, but it definitely feels like a different kind of love now. I feel like all the things that I wrote about in my How My Relationship with Beauty Has Changed post are being realised, but now in a very real way that’s also affecting my relationship with blogging.
The last straw was when I was working on my Hello 2019 post back in January and February (I’d had the post 90% complete since early February and only got around to motivating myself to finish it off in late March!), and I was having a hard time taking photos I felt happy and proud of. Admittedly, my perfectionism can almost feel crippling at times, but I know it’ll only make me feel worse off settling for posting content my heart isn’t well and truly in. When I Tweeted my frustrations, a couple of you replied saying there was no pressure and honestly, it was just what I needed to hear. I just decided to stop and that was that. The truth is, I didn’t even miss blogging while I was away, but now that I’m back, I feel like I’m slowly rediscovering my love for it again and it almost kind of feels new and exciting!
Things in my social life haven’t been too eventful lately and that’s because I’m trying to spend as little money as possible! I did, however, have one massive night (and day!) out back in January, which I think was enough to make up for the entire year! My friends and I had spent the day at Holly’s listening to the triple j Hottest 100 countdown, drinking and dipping our legs into the inflatable pool (oh, how I miss summer!), then decided to continue on the fun by heading out into city for the night. With no intention of going out and assuming I’d be home at around 6pm, I ended up heading home at 4am the next morning instead and of course, my head definitely paid for it! I don’t regret it though; I don’t do it all the time and I say it’s fun to be a little reckless every now and then! It makes for good memories and we all have a laugh looking back on that day acknowledging just how painful hangovers truly are in your 30s. Good times, good times!
My best friend April was also back in town from Sydney last month and it was so great to be able to spend lots of time with her again. The last time I saw her was at my 30th birthday party back in October and I can’t believe it had been that long! We went out for dumplings, painted our nails while chatting away in my bedroom, had brunch at Flora & Fauna with our high school friends, had a lazy day watching YouTube together, made the most of happy hour at The Garden drinking $5 sparkling wine and rosé again with our school friends and overall, it was a wonderful two weeks! I love her and I love my girls!
I’m currently in the process of giving my room a little refresh and after buying this beautiful Jasmine Dowling print back in December, I finally got around to putting it up in my room last month (I was waiting for the Freedom Arden !! A2 Matted Frame to come back in stock)! I feel like it’s given it a new lease of life and makes my room look a little more grown up than the previous prints I had. After five years, it was definitely time for a change too! When I get back from Europe, I’d love to invest in some new pillows and a super soft mattress topper (to enjoy hibernating for the winter that much more), as well as rejig my dressing table a little too. When I find a setup that I feel looks good and is practical, I usually keep it that way for years on end, but I’m starting to feel the itch to mix things up now. It won’t all happen until later in the year, but it’s still exciting to think about!
2019 has been a good year in music so far, my favourite new album releases coming from Deerhunter, Foals, Methyl Ethel and Tamaryn (I wasn’t too into the new Toro y Moi or Panda Bear though). I was especially looking forward to Foals’ Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 (Part 2 comes out in September and I can’t wait!) and Tamaryn’s Dreaming the Dark, and they did not disappoint at all! While Foals’ new album is upbeat and makes you want to get up and dance, Tamaryn’s record sounds like ‘80s new wave synth goth. It’s a bit of a departure from the shimmery pop of Cranekiss (one of my favourite albums ever), but I love the way Dreaming the Dark kind of transports you right back to the ‘80s and it also sounds a lot like The Cure, Cocteau Twins and The Horrors, which I looove. I also discovered Christine and the Queens, whose fun French pop is absolutely infectious! My favourite songs are Tilted and Comme si.
In terms of individual songs, I’m totally obsessed with There’s a Honey by Pale Waves and Your Best American Girl by Mitski at the moment. There’s a Honey is super fun and dancey with poppy synths that hook you right in, while Mitski’s song just brings the fucking feels! I’m not one who usually pays all that much attention to the lyrics or the narrative of a song (I just like whatever sounds good!), but this song really makes you think and as a POC girl, it’s really relatable too. Also, that electric guitar explosion at 2:12? Ohhh man! Intense! Two Door Cinema Club also released a new song called Talk and Tame Impala came out with Patience. I love them both and I’m very much looking forward to the full albums!
In older music, I rediscovered my love for Friendly Fires’ Pala as well as M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, two of my favourite albums of all time. It’s such a wonderful feeling returning to the old music you used to listen on repeat and learning you still love it just as much today as you did back then. I also got back into listening to St. Lucia, who’s catchy album, When the Night, just makes you want to get up and dance! Elevate and Too Close are absolute bangers!
Back in January, I saw Florence + the Machine at RAC Arena on tour to promote her latest album, High as Hope. It was such a wonderful gig and Florence Welch is a majestic goddess! Admittedly, I’ve never loved her recent work as much as her older stuff (Lungs and Ceremonials), but seeing her live totally changed that and made me appreciate her new record so much more. That’s one of my favourite things about live music; it makes you listen to songs on a whole other level and fall in love with them in a way you didn’t think were possible.
In February, I saw Beach House live at The Chevron Gardens for Perth International Arts Festival. As one of my all-time favourite bands whose latest record, 7, was my #1album of 2018, I was eagerly anticipating this gig! It was dark and moody with lots of flashing lights, and they played all my favourite songs! What a treat! After the show, my friends and I hung around for a few more drinks, then on the way home, got Macca’s as we were driving with the roof down (on a vintage BMW, no less!) blasting LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk and M83. It was the perfect send-off to summer!
Film and television
I’ve been favouring watching television over movies these last few months, but did watch Fan Girl, License to Drive and Crazy Rich Asians, while also catching She’s the Man at the rooftop cinemas. Fan Girl is about 15 year-old Telulah who brings together her two biggest passions, making movies and her favourite band, for her final film project at school. Starring Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper from Mad Men), Kara Hayward (Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom), Beanie Feldstein (Julie from Lady Bird) and with even a special appearance from Tina Fey, I really thought I was going to love this movie, but it was terrible! Some plot lines literally made no sense whatsoever (for example, Telulah talks to the boy she likes in an English accent, yet the audience isn’t even told why!) and the references to social media were downright inaccurate. No one makes vlogs on YouTube with a big DSLR camera nor has anyone ever called an Instagram post an “Insty” before! A great cast and a great story, but the outcome was truly awful. On the other hand, I did really enjoy License to Drive. Telling the story of Les, a teen who decides to go out for the night in his grandpa’s Cadillac despite flunking his driving test, it’s a fun and lighthearted ‘80s comedy starring the two Coreys, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. I love a good ‘80s teen flick and this one was no exception.
When my friend Anna was back in Perth visiting from Milan, I spent Saturday night in with her and our friend Liena watching Crazy Rich Asians, and believe the hype, people! This movie is incredible! I’m not normally a fan of big-budget romcoms, but this tugged on all the right heartstrings, it was witty, charming and just absolutely delightful. To see an all-Asian cast on-screen felt like a breath of fresh air and although Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of representation and inclusivity, this was a great start. Also, Nick Young is fine as hell.
The following Saturday night, Liena and I watched She’s the Man at Perth Rooftop Movies, which was the first time I’d ever been to a rooftop cinema! It was such a beautiful night (as it always is during Perth’s summer!) chilling out on the beanbags with popcorn, pizza and ciders, and also, how on earth did I forget how bloody brilliant this movie is?! For a movie made in 2006, I really feel like She’s the Man was ahead of its time because of how well it holds up and it’s just SO funny! It’s really sad what fame can do to a person because I really feel like Amanda Bynes would be such a wonderful comedic actress if she were still acting today.
In television, I finished watching The Office a couple of months ago and I really, really enjoyed this show! I will say probably not as much as everyone else does though and I think that’s because comedy is my favourite television genre, so my expectations are a lot higher. I get the hype and why it’s so wildly popular, but the first season and last two seasons were pretty weak in my opinion (though I adored the ending) and that’s what lets the show down for me. Although I hated Michael in the beginning (I loosened up when I realised the show started all the way back in 2005. Of course not all storylines are going to hold up in today’s society), I grew to really love him in the later seasons and the show was never quite the same when he left. Also, what on earth did they do to Andy’s character?! He became so unbearable! Also, I know everybody’s favourite couple on the show is Jim and Pam, but mine is definitely Dwight and Angela! My all-time favourite TV couple is Ross and Rachel from Friends, so for me, Jim and Pam were a little bit too boring and conventional for my liking after they got together. Dwight and Angela, on the other hand, were on-again-off-again and both kind of terrible to each other at different points in the show, yet you knew the love was always there and it was a lot more fun to watch! I’m a sucker for the drama!
Now that I’m done with The Office, I’ve been watching the new Arrested Development and Will & Grace. As soon as Arrested Development was cancelled back in 2006, it should have been laid to rest forever as the last two seasons are no where near as good as the first three. It’s barely laugh-out-loud funny and the chemistry between the cast just isn’t there anymore. Honestly, I have never seen a show jump the shark this badly! As for Will & Grace, I don’t think the comeback seasons are as good as the show’s original run, but it still brings the lols (Jack and Karen are two of the greatest TV characters ever) and David Schwimmer is in the current season too! One of my favourite things in life is when actors from cool TV shows guest star on other cool TV shows, haha. I’m looking forward to seeing Samira Wiley’s (Poussey from Orange is the New Black) guest appearance too.
Some other things I’ve watched recently include Hannah Gadsby: Nanette and the Michael Jackson documentary, Finding Neverland. Standup comedy isn’t my sort of humour at all (for whatever reason, I’ve just never found it funny), but I was curious to watch Hannah Gadsby: Nanette after reading everyone rave on about it. Needless to say, I was absolutely floored and I don’t even know what to say about it other than how incredibly moving and powerful it was. A definite must-watch. After people at work were talking about Finding Neverland, I decided to spend a few of my lunch breaks watching it and it just completely broke my heart. I know there are very polarising opinions on the documentary and whether or not Michael Jackson is actually guilty, but for these two men to be able to go into such excruciating detail, I just don’t understand how he couldn’t be. Plus, from the history of what sexual abuse has taught us, I will always believe the victim.
Courteney Cox recently made an Instagram account and following her totally reignited my love for Friends again! I’ve been watching all my favourite episodes lately and dear lord, this show will always, always, always hold a special place in my heart! It’s crazy to think that I first started watching Friends on TV when I was only eight years old and even after all these years, it’s still my favourite! Being older and watching the show in 2019, I can recognise and acknowledge that there a lot of outdated storylines and character traits now, but it’s still an enjoyable show when you don’t take it out of context of the ‘90s. I mean, Friends was super progressive for its time and if it weren’t still so great, then it never would have found a new generation of fans! Although I always go back to the classic episodes, I haven’t done a full rewatch in years and I’m thinking it’s definitely time to start one back up again soon!
Around the web
A fascinating article on Pitchfork entitled Worn Copies: Beach House, VW, and What It Means to Sell a Feeling. It looks into advertising agencies ripping off the music of indie bands to evoke certain feelings in the commercials they make.
Lex Croucher’s video called Stop Making Haul Videos is absolutely essential viewing. Not only does she provide a lot of insight into the fast fashion industry with a balanced argument on why it’s okay if we’re not perfect, but she’s also wildly witty. “Checking my tracking information about once every five minutes like I check my phone when I’m dating emotionally unavailable men” floored me!
Two of my favourite blogging girls in the whole entire world wrote about me on their respective blogs and it made my heart feel so full! Check out Rebecca’s post 5 Bloggers Who Remind Me Why I Started and Faye’s Three Women Who Inspire Me to Do Better.
Invasion Day: Australians Want the Holiday Without Putting in the Work. Although Australia Day was a few months ago now, I thought I’d still share this article as I think it’s something important to have at the forefront of our minds all the time, not just once a year.
New Order have shared rare footage from 1981 of the band performing one of my all-time favourite songs, Ceremony.
The Friends cast reminiscing about the show on Instagram warms my heart like no other. Here’s Courteney Cox recreating the PIVOT! scene and visiting Monica’s apartment building in New York, Lisa Kudrow’s wrap gift from Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer needing his nap partner!
An interesting article on Friends from the perspective of the actors who played the supporting characters. If you’re a diehard fan like me, you’ll love this!
Since rediscovering my love for Friends, I came across these really fascinating and in-depth character analysis videos on YouTube from a duo by the name of ScreenPrism. You can watch them all here: Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey.
And here’s an extra ScreenPrism video on one of television’s most iconic couples, my OTP forever and always, and the reason why I even started watching Friends: Ross and Rachel!
The trailer for Stranger Things season 3 is here and I AM SO READY FOR THIS SHOW TO BE BACK IN MY LIFE. It gave me the chills!