Life Lately: April, May & June
I can’t quite believe we’re over the halfway mark in 2019 now! What concerns me even more is that this is only my fourth post to go up this year and I’m sitting here wondering how on earth I’ve let something I love so dearly slip away. To say this year has been a shit one in blogging is an understatement and although I’ve made numerous promises to myself to try harder, things in my personal life have affected how much time I can dedicate here and I haven’t been able to make my blog much of a priority (I don’t mean to be vague, it’s just not my place to say what’s been going on. I, myself, am okay though!). I know no one cares as much as I do, but if you’ve been blogging for as long as I have and it’s been your hobby for as long you can remember, then I’m sure you’ll understand how I’m feeling right now. It’s sad and weird that it’s not as big a part of my life as it once was and I really do miss it.
Something that made me feel better about it all is when my brother and sister-in-law unexpectedly popped in to visit a few weeks ago, I told them I was in the middle of taking blog photos and my brother said, “Oh wow, you’re still doing that? That’s really cool because it’s your hobby!”. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to assure me something is better than nothing and that as long as I’m trying, I’m doing okay. If I can only manage doing my life update posts every three months now, then so be it! I used to also be pretty regimented about publishing them on the last day of the month, but I’ve stopped doing that now and it’s taken a whole lot of pressure off. It’s good because this is the most carefree I’ve ever felt with my blog, but it’s also bad in a way because the less disciplined I am, the more I procrastinate. After feeling jaded by it all at the start of the year, I feel like my mojo is officially back now though and it feels really, really good!
London and Paris trip
Due to what’s been going on in my personal life, social life wise, I’ve been kind of out of the loop and withdrawn lately, but the most exciting thing that’s happened recently is that I went to London and Paris! As my first overseas holiday in five years, I forgot just how much planning goes into a trip and that’s another thing that really ate into my time too. I was only away for 11 days, but I think the short amount of time is what made me go into full on Monica Geller organisation mode because I wanted to make sure I was maximising my time in both cities. As I mentioned back in this post, it was a rather impulsive trip planned around seeing the Spice Girls live (!!!) and although my sister unfortunately could no longer make it, it did mean I got to tick ‘travel overseas solo’ off my bucket list and I nevertheless had an incredible time! I’m planning on posting separate London and Paris travel diaries soon, and I’m super excited to get writing those up and editing the hundreds of photos I took!
A lot of shopping was done in the lead up to my trip (as well as during it; I’m sure you’ll see all those products turn up in various future posts)! When you’re not a regular traveller, there’s always so much prep before a holiday, I think. I bought an Away suitcase (my previous one was seven years old and had seen better days after lots of back and forth Perth and Melbourne trips), a Herschel backpack, a new camera (I didn’t want to lug around my DSLR again!), a portable phone charger, The Daily Edited Clear Travel Case, the GHD Flight Travel Hairdryer, as well as a few travel sized beauty products. You’d think my favourite purchase would be the new camera, but I think it definitely has to go to my suitcase. It’s the suitcase of my dreams! Not only is it pink and make me happy every time I look at it, but they’re so worth the hype and really fantastic quality. I feel like I’m all ready for my next holiday now and I can’t wait to have another trip to look forward to! The travel bug has got me again.
Wanting to look and feel my very best for my holiday, I got my hair cut and coloured and also got dermaplaning done before I left for London. I went to my usual Head Studio for my hair and I was given a new hairdresser who I felt completely understood what I wanted more than I did myself! I’ve always been happy with my hair at Head Studio (it’s one of the reasons why I love living in Perth again!), but she took things to a whole other level and got it so spot on. For the first time in a long time, I think I’ve found the hair colour that feels most “me” and that I can see myself going back to for years to come. It’s been a real boost of confidence and made putting in actual effort into it (washing it more regularly and styling it nicely) more worth it!
After hearing Sunbeams Jess talk about dermaplaning, this sparked my interest in it again and I got curious to try it out. I’ve known about for quite some time and even have a Japanese facial razor myself (I’d only used it once though), but I wanted to try getting it professionally done. I had a wonderful experience with my aesthetician; she said my skin was in overall great condition, that she barely removed any dead skin cells (it was mostly peach fuzz because I’m hairy af lol) and whatever I’m doing to my skin, to keep doing it! As a beauty blogger, it was definitely a good feeling to know I’m on the right track with my skin! I absolutely love the feeling of it being smooth and baby soft and makeup applies like a dream to it! It’s just a pity I broke out quite badly during my flights on the way over there, which ruined the effect! Would I do it again? Definitely, but I wouldn’t make it a regular thing. At the moment, I’m using my own facial razor for upkeep.
My first day back at work after my trip wasn’t actually at work but at State of Social 2019. A “non-conferencey” conference (their words, not mine!) all about social media and digital marketing, I learnt a whole lot of interesting things about the industry and what’s in store for its future. I found it especially fascinating from a professional perspective verses a blogger perspective (not that bloggers can’t be professionals, I just can’t think of a better word!) because both actually have such polarising views on Instagram. Apparently all the myths you hear surrounding the platform simply aren’t true! That’s not to say they haven’t made things harder, but how we utilise the platform has changed tremendously and there’s no point getting worked up over an ever-changing algorithm. Having only ever worked in retail prior to my current job, I’d never been to anything of the sort before and despite still suffering from jet lag, it was a really fun day out of the office (unfortunately, I was too dead to stay around for the puppy cuddles at the end though!).
In other work things, my colleagues and I celebrated the end of financial year (any excuse for dinner and drinks, basically!) at King Somm Wine Bar and we had a really great time! We kicked things off with Prosecco and card games at the office before heading out to indulge in lots of red wine and delicious pizza. They also did these amazing chorizo croquettes, which I’m still thinking about! I’d definitely go back just for them!
I’ve been listening to a lot of new music lately as not only did I want to stock up my phone with new tunes for my flights (I didn’t even end up needing to seeing as though I slept most of the way there and back!), but a lot of good albums have been released recently too. My favourites include Brutalism by The Drums, Tasmania by Pond, No Geography by The Chemical Brothers, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster by Broods, Persuasion System by Com Truise, False Alarm by Two Door Cinema Club, as well as A Bath Full of Ecstasy by Hot Chip. I also listened to Observatory 1 by Ocean Experiments and When I Get Home by Solange, which were both good, but not great. I think because I absolutely adored their previous work so much, nothing stood out to me as much on their new stuff, but I will go back and give both albums another listen! In other new music, there have been some new song releases that I’ve been loving lately too. They include Borderline by Tame Impala, Easy by Tycho, Cellophane by FKA twigs, Dumb by Alpine, Bruise by Yumi Zouma and Into Happiness by Phantogram.
Over the last three months, I’ve understandably been listening to a lot of Spice Girls, especially 2 Become 1, which is my absolute favourite. As a kid, I used to get so excited every time this song would come on Video Hits on weekend mornings! I managed to find the entire Spice Girls discography to download online and it was a lot of fun to discover the b-sides and rarities that I’d never heard before. It got me on a ‘90s kick listening to a lot of Backstreet Boys and Savage Garden too. When I haven’t been listening to the Spice Girls, I’ve been super into my indie rock lately, especially the songs Hard to Beat by Hard-Fi, Black and White Town by Doves and One Rizla by Shame. Shame are a band who I’d normally consider too “punk” for my tastes, but they’ve got that ‘90s grunge vibe/sound to them that I just love! I’ve also been enjoying Beaches’ Second of Spring album and rediscovered my love for Peaches. One of the girls at work decided to play Dick in the Air by Peaches in the office and it was so funny, it’s now on regular rotation (much to our boss’ dismay lol).
One of the greatest things to ever happen to me, not just over the last three months but in my entire life, was see the Spice Girls live! In London! As a kid, I never could have imagined I would ever get this opportunity, so when they announced in November last year that they were touring the UK, I knew I couldn’t miss out! They played to a crowd of 80, 000 people at Wembley Stadium, the biggest gig I’ve ever been to and the biggest gig I’ll probably ever go to! Having felt so excited for this day for so long, it didn’t feel real when it finally came and it only hit me after the show when I got back to my hotel and started watching all the videos I took. It was then that I was so overwhelmed and so overcome with emotion that I burst into tears and did a full on ugly cry. Seeing one of the most iconic and culturally significant bands of the ‘90s (perhaps even of all time) as my first overseas gig isn’t too bad, I think!
I also went to a show in Paris! Léa of My Slumbering Heart (who I was staying with) invited me out to watch the UK indie rock bands, Polar States and Wild Front, with her and her photography friends at 1999, and although I hadn’t heard either band’s music before, I really enjoyed them! It was so weird going from a massive sell-out stadium show to then seeing two up and coming bands at a small, intimate venue! I have a lot more to say about both gigs, but I’ll go into more detail in my respective London and Paris travel diaries.
Film and television
Just like my blog, my movie watching has seriously suffered this year too. I did, however, see Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and Isle of Dogs, both of which I really enjoyed. We all know by now how much I love my coming-of-age films and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser was no exception. It was a little messed up in some parts, but it was nevertheless a sweet movie, I thought. It was also great to see Shannon Purser is another role because I absolutely loved her as Barb on Stranger Things. I’m still not over her being killed off! I’m a huge fan of Wes Anderson, so I was really looking forward to watching Isle of Dogs. It didn’t become a favourite of mine (I prefer The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom) and I have to agree with the criticism that a film set in Japan should at the very least include Japanese subtitles (they were taken out to simplify the movie and they have an interpreter character played by Frances McDormand instead). It reduces the Japanese culture to cater for a Western audience and that sort of left a bad taste in my mouth. Despite that though, I loved the overall story, the typical amazing cinematography and it’s always fun to see the reoccurring Wes Anderson actors that always pop up in his work!
In preparation of seeing the Spice Girls live, I decided to rewatch Spice World. One of those movies that’s so bad, it’s so good, I forgot just how laugh-out-loud funny and ridiculous it is. I mean, what’s with the random pregnant friend?! It was also a lot more feminist than I remember too, which was really cool to discover. Although they play themselves as characters, their dialogue and the way they interact with each other in the movie is exactly how they act on stage! I’m glad I decided to watch the movie before I left for London because I really think it made me appreciate the live show that much more! There was even clips of it shown at the concert too. As well as Spice World, I also watched Girl Power! Live in Istanbul. It was their first ever live show performed in 1997 and I used to watch it all the time when I was a kid as I had it taped on VHS! Watching it for the first time since then made me feel so nostalgic!
A couple of months ago, I went over to my friend Holly’s house to watch the final season of Broad City out in her backyard on the projector. I was really sad to see this TV show go because I love a good comedy and nothing in recent years has made me laugh quite like it. The ending was perfectly fitting with the characters though and it left them all in a good place, which I really appreciated. I love a simple, nice happy ending! Being a chilly autumn night, we rugged up in blankets, drank wine and hot chocolates, as well as ate a lot of snacks; I love relaxing nights in with friends like these!
After I finished watching the latest season of Will & Grace (it was good, but I wasn’t a big fan of the season finale cliffhanger), I started rewatching Friends for the first time in years! Usually I just pick out my favourite episodes, but after feeling particularly fangirly over these last few months, I decided to start a rewatch all the way from the beginning. I spent a good few weeks ripping my DVDs to my laptop, so now I have the full-length uncut version of the show, but with the ease of Netflix! I’ve owned my DVDs for over 15 years and I can’t believe I’ve only just now done this (it’s another reason why I haven’t properly watched it in so long; DVDs are so much faff)! I’m only up to season 2 (my favourite season, so I’m savouring it!) and I’m still loving it just as much as I did as a kid. It’s been a part of my life for so long, watching Friends feels like home.
Around the web
Being the Friends nerd that I am, I discovered an unused script from the show entitled The One Where Jetlag Wins, which features the original Ross and Rachel storyline from the episode that was then renamed to The One Where Estelle Dies. It was the best feeling ever to discover new (sort of) Friends! Also, the entertainment blog I discovered it on is incredibly well written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jackson Upperco’s season-by-season reviews on both Friends and Frasier. I found myself agreeing with his thoughts almost exactly.
Jennifer Aniston discusses whether Ross and Rachel would still be together today (obviously, yes!) and 14 year-old me is fangirling so hard right now!
Purple Sneakers’ Throwback Thursday article on Cut Copy’s 2004 debut album, Bright Like Neon Love, has me feeling nostalgic for early 2000s indie music! As one of my favourite albums of all time (isn’t it obvious?!), I absolutely loved reading this.
This tweet speaks the truth.
IKEA in the United Arab Emirates recreated the iconic living rooms of Friends, Stranger Things and The Simpsons using only their products and it’s the coolest thing ever! They narrowed the three TV shows down from 60 and it increased traffic to the website by 50%! A really clever campaign, if you ask me.
One of my favourite YouTubers, Kimberly Clark, is finally back! Her anti-haul on corporate pride was really eye opening and made me look at the capitalisation of social issues in a way I never had before.