Monday, December 27, 2010

Beauty Spot - A Merry OPI Christmas

I asked a few people for some OPI nail polish for Christmas to start up a proper nail polish collection, and I received these pretties....

From left to right:
  • Miami Beet
  • The Show Must Go On!
  • Yucatan If V Want
  • La Paz-Itively Hot (Matte)
  • No Spain No Gain
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's the 23rd, so you know what that means....

Happy Festivus!

Good luck with your feats of strength!!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Peasy Christmas "baking"

I use the term "baking" loosely for this recipe, because there actually isn't any baking involved, which is great at Christmas time.


Christmas just isn't Christmas until you've stuffed yourself with delicious, delicious rumballs. They're a Christmas tradition in our family, and I made up a batch on Sunday to keep us going until December 25th (a day on which I'm already planning to wear something with as little elastic around the waist/stomach area as possible).

The great thing about rumballs is that if you are the kind of person who "can't" cook, you will definitely be able to master these. So, without further ado....

2 x 250 gram packets of Arnott's Marie biscuits (cookies to non-Australian readers - a very plain, sweet cookie)
2 x 395 gram tins of condensed milk
2 1/2 tablespoons of Bourneville cocoa
About three or four cups of desiccated coconut

Total prep and assembly time: about 45 minutes
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Boredom Abounds By Julia - Giveaway Winner!!

Hey peeps! Remember this book I reviewed a couple of weeks ago?

Well, I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. So, I'm giving away The Hunger Games Trilogy pack!

It comes in a handy-dandy slip cover so you can keep them together on your shelf all neat and tidy, and it contains all three books by Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

But how do you enter? It's super easy!

Just head over to the Boredom Abounds By Julia Facebook page and do the following TWO things:

1) Hit the "Like" button on the Boredom Abounds Facebook page to receive all the latest Boredom Abounds blog posts and updates.

2) Go to the "Discussions" tab on the Boredom Abounds Facebook page and reply to the discussion topic I've started by telling me what book YOU haven't been able to put down recently. If you have already "Liked" the facebook page previously, then all you have to do it reply to the discussion topic and your entry in the competition is complete.

Et Voila! Once you've done both of those things, you're eligble to go into the draw to win the books!

T's & C's:
The competition will be open until midnight on Monday, 13th December, 2010 (Melbourne, Australia time). 

The winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, 14th December, 2010. 

I will ship the books to any destination in the world, so no matter where you are, you're eligible to enter (as long as you have a home address or PO box I can send them to, of course!) and if you spread the word amongst your friends, they can head over to the Facebook page and enter as well. It's too easy!

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Please note that these books contain a fair amount of violence amongst adolescents, so that's something to keep in mind if it's not your cup of tea.

EDITED TO ADD: The winner of the competition is Kiki Chaos! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the series!
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Crafty Lady - Amateur Patchwork Quilting

I am by no means a patchwork quilter. Rather, I know how to use a sewing machine and sew squares together with wadding in between. I made this over the past two months for a good friend who's having a baby girl soon. Since I gave it to her on Saturday, I can finally unveil it to the rest of the world! Pin It

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fashion watch - Kate Middleton

When the royal engagement was announced last week, a reader asked me if I would be doing an entry about Ms. Middleton's style over the past few years. To be honest, it hadn't really crossed my mind, because I am in no way, shape or form an avid "royal watcher."

But then I realised that whenever I've seen photos of Kate Middleton, I've admired her outfit - she's always so elegant and so well put together, so I thought why not?

And here we are. A look at the future Queen's (or whatever her title will be once Williams ascends to the throne) fashion.

First up: Casual chic


Cute sundresses, flirty skirts and chic shift dresses, usually accompanied by a cardigan or a jacket and a co-ordinated handbag seem to Kate's fashion go-to for casual events. She's not afraid of colour, but she also knows not to overdo it with heavy patterns or garish shades.


Even at a day out at the races, or an RAF event for William, Kate dresses down appropriately to suit the occasion, while still looking feminine. I just love the preppy cowgirl look she's sporting above on the right. The addition of the silver jewelry dresses up the outfit, but she still looks at home meandering across fields. Oh, and the white coat above on the left? To die for. Every girl needs a white coat in her wardrobe for Winter. It's so crisp and clean, and it goes with practically anything. Which reminds me, I do need to get mine dry cleaned...

Although I think this may be my favourite casual chic look. There's something about black and pale blue combos that look so soft, but the beret and the scarf create such a stylish Parisien-chic look. It's a classic Winter look and she does it so effortlessly. Note to self: buy a beret.
Next up: Striking Elegance


Obviously as a royal family member, Kate is invited to bucketloads of weddings and official events where the attire is much, MUCH dressier than your average backyard barbecue. She knows what styles suit her body type (pencil skirt suit or flowy tea length gowns), but it's the accessories that really complete her ensembles. A pretty floral coat, like the purple one above, and a statement fascinator tipped at exactly the right angle make her stand out in the crowd, looking dignified and feminine. She's also lucky enough to be one of those girls whoo looks like she just casually threw the outift together half an hour before leaving the house, which is a feat not many of us can carry off. The key to that is to look comfortable in what you're wearing, and Kate never looks anything less than cool, calm and collected, which only adds to her star style factor.

Finally: The real reason we know she's ready to be a royal


Girlfriend knows how to rock a hat.

Enough said.

Edited to add: The engagement dress

How could I have forgotten to add this in? My brain, it is elsewhere this week.

I love this dress. LOVE IT. Besides the fact that they co-ordinated with each other and she co-ordinated with her engagement ring, it's just a gorgeous, flattering style. The ruching across the bodice makes her waist seem teeny tiny, while the loose skirt adds an element of relaxed informality to the event. And I love that it's long sleeved. It can be so hard to find formal Winter dresses at the best of times, so I like that she's not wearing a short sleeved gown with a jacket over the top. It's no wonder the Issa London dress sold out in about eighteen seconds right after the press conference aired.

Also, I need her shiny, shiny, perfectly tousled hair. Now. Pin It

Monday, November 29, 2010

Glee Highlights: Season 2, Episode 7: The Substitute

Another late one, since the next episode is airing tonight!

I thought this episode was mostly just a bunch of fun. Sure, there were a few issues with the plot and certain characters' actions, but overall it was just enjoyable to watch.

I did have one MAJOR ISSUE within the first five minutes though.

Principal Figgins

He has monkey flu! When is he coming back? I find him hilarious, so I hope he gets well soon. And as someone who worked as a supermarket cashier for five years throughout high school and uni, can I just say I identified one million percent with Figgins' facial expression of complete and utter total revulsion at being sneezed on. As a cashier, you get sneezed on, coughed on, people wiping their nose and then handing you money with that SAME HAND and a myriad of other disugsting things that only the human race is capable of inflicting on others. Let's cover those mouths during flu season, people!

Forget You

One of the catchiest songs of the moment done in a simple, fun way. I love Cee Lo Green's Fuck You, (language is NSFW) and I loved that New Directions got to perform such a funky and current song. Gwyneth isn't the best singer, but she did an admirable job in this number.

Mercedes and Kurt

Kurt bugged me in this episode. For a smart guy, he was being pretty dense. Mercedes didn't necessarily want her own boyfriend, Kurt, she just didn't like the fact that you dropped her as soon as you met Blaine. It's the classic girl dumps her best girlfriend the millisecond she gets a boyfriend move. It's a dick move and he should know better.

New Directions Mini-Me members


Sooooo adorable. Seriously, check out this video of the behind the scenes with the kids. It may just be the cutest thing you'll ever see. Mini Mercedes was my favourite.

Make 'Em Laugh

This was so good. Mike Chang and Mr Schue play well off each other, and it's always great to see Matthew Morrison's broadway talents on show. I thoroughly enjoyed this number.

Nowadays / Honey Hot Rag

Gwyneth looked really, really awkward in this number. REALLY awkward. BUT. Lea Michele was wonderful, and again, it was good to see her broadway talent. She seemed so relaxed and happy, and it was nice to see Rachel Berry having fun for once.

Umbrella ella ella eh eh / Singin' In The Rain

I loved this number. LOVED IT. Although I don't know why exactly Mr Schue needed Gwyneth's help to do it. I could see Mercedes or Santana easily singing the female lead a LOT better than Gwynnie, but what can you do. Obviously the producers wanted Gwyneth to finish the show for them, but I think it was unnecessary.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Book review - Seriously, you HAVE to read this

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books
Year of publication: 2008
Page extent: 400+

I had heard a little bit about The Hunger Games on the internet, but I didn't really know what it was about. Finally, I managed to get hold of a copy from my library. To sum things up, I spent nearly every waking moment (when I wasn't at work) with my head buried in this book for about a week. It. Was. Incredible.

Sixteen year old protagonist Katniss Everdeen lives in Panem, a post-apocalyptic land that use to be known as North America. Global warming and natural disasters have eroded the land immensley and the states we know today no longer exist. Instead, everyone lives in a District - there are 12 in all, each controlled by the Capital. There used to be a District 13 until an uprising against the goverment and the population was annihilated, ensuring no other rebellions would occur once the other Districts could see how badly the folks in District 13 had behaved.
Katniss lives with her widowed mother and twelve year old sister, Prim. She provides for them by hunting with her trusty bow and arrows in the forest beyond the barbed wire perimetre that fences in the poplation in District 12. Her hunting partner is Gale, an older boy whom she befriended in the forest after her father died. They kill anything that moves, as long as it can provide food for their families, and have a solid knowledge of the plant life in the forest that also helps keep food on the table when a hunt hasn't yielded any results.
Each year, the Capital holds a festival known as The Reaping, which is a thinly veiled punishment for the rebellion of District 13 many years before. Townspeople gather in the main square in each District and watch as two children, a boy and a girl, aged between twelve and eighteen are chosen at random to compete in The Hunger Games. The Games are a televised reality show where the children (known as 'tributes') are placed in an arena (which is a man-made enivronment consisting of anything from forest, snow, beaches or mountains) and are pitted against each other with one main goal: kill or be killed. The last child alive wins.
When Prim's name is drawn for in The Reaping, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Before The Hunger Games can commence though, the tributes are styled and paraded around for the televison audiences, so people can choose their favourites and sponsors from each tributes' District can decide if they're worthy of gifts while they're in the arena. They are then sent to a training centre where they have a chance to learn new skills and see what their opponents' strengths and weaknesses are, and should they choose to, form alliances. Along with Peeta, a boy her age from their District, Katniss enters the arena suspecting everyone and trying to form a strategy that will keep her alive until the end.

Sounds gruesome? It is. But it's also the most heart poundingly suspenseful action/thriller I've read in a really, really long time. If you want a book that will literally make your heart pound with anxiety, this is it. Suzanne Collins writes in such a way that at times you forget you're reading about children. The basic need to survive is what drives Katniss, not her deisre to end lives. While some tributes train for The Hunger Games their enitre lives, Katniss and Peeta must battle it out using just their instinct (which Katniss has in spades thanks to her talent for hunting) and whatever skills they managed to pick up at the training centre.
To be honest, I've never been a fan of sci-fi, fantasy or novels with a distinctly dystopian feel to them, but this book falls somewhere outside of those themes. Yes, they live in a dystopian society, but the universally relatable themes of love, courage and devotion are what make Katniss Everdeen's journey through The Games so gripping. Her constant flux between wanting to give in to the urge to kill her competitors before they kill her, and just wanting to survive without inflicting too much pain so she can go home to her family and Gale create such an emotional roller coaster for the reader that the book is an instant page turner from the get-go.

If you haven't checked out these books yet, I highly recommend you do so, but make sure you also get the second and third books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay as well, because they're the kind of books you HAVE to read one after the other, they are that intense.
In a word: Incredible.
Spoiler alert! If you want a little taste of the book in movie format, check out this amazingly well crafted fan video. Be aware that it does contain strong violence (against children) though, and has some major spoilers for a certain part of the book. The Hunger Games is has already been bought by a production company, so expect the movie version in a year or so. I hope the producers see the fan video though, and realise that someone found their Katniss for them

And on that note...

"Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favour!" - Effie Trinket
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Glee Highlights: Season 2, Episode 6: Never Been Kissed

A disappointingly underwhelming episode for me, saved only by a couple of things, so this is less of a 'highlights' list and more of a 'stuff I like and stuff I didn't like' list from the episode.

Here tis:

Mr. Shue's "glasses"

I found these glasses ridiculously amusing. The fact that Mr. Shue would wear "glasses", let alone almost-half-glasses was really, really weird. Considering he marks essays, and reads of bits of paper and the whiteboard all the time without them, this seemed like a really weird costume idea. Kind of like how he "teaches Spanish" but we never see it anymore. He must only ever wear "glasses" when he's "teaching Spanish" off screen. Also, could they have chosen a more old-man pair for him to wear? He just needs to add the chain thing to them to complete the eighty year old man look.

The Artie/Puck alliance

Can we please stop having storylines where Artie behaves like an ass to females? It's getting really tiresome. Surely they could have found a different way to create an "Artie and Puck help each other" storyline without having them both be asses. Although I am glad Artie picked up the cheque at the restaurant.

Dalton Academy's Teenage Dream

It was nice to see a gay kid's fantasy played out for once and I really, really loved this number. It was pure, unadulterated pop music and I adored it. Also, it was nice seeing a straight-up fun musical number without having to go through the sometimes poorly written storyline and high school politics behind it that we see so often with New Directions. Oh, and did anyone catch the kid near the doorway getting really into it? I mean, really, really into it, with the hip shimmies and the flat-palmed hands patting the air in front of him? It cracked me up.

Kurt's mood board

Besides the fact that he made a mood board for the mash ups project (I love a good mood board, especially for interior design inspriation), I love that he is at the centre of it wearing a giant feather head dress. Someone put this kid on a catwalk, please.

Kurt's first kiss

I may be the most dense person on the planet, but I didn't see this coming. I honestly though Kurt was going to get beaten to a pulp. It was a great scene for both actors, and I'm interested to see where this stroryline goes.

The mash ups

The less said about the mash ups the better, in my opinion. In a nutshell I just don't think the song choices were very good. Also, why does Rachel have to have every solo? The girls' mash up would have been so much better if it had been sung by Mercedes or Santana - Rachel/Lea Michele just doesn't have a rock chick voice. Or the moves to go with it. Towards the end of the number I was cringing for her, with the leaning back to screech into the microphone and the crazy eyes as she skipped around. It was awful.

Sue's confetti canons

I would like confetti canons to explode whenever I have something important to say. Like Sue, I also would like someone else to clean the confetti up for me afterwards.

I don't think that's too much to ask. Pin It

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gadding About - Ingrid Michaelson

New Yorker Ingrid Michaelson made her first trip to Australia this past week to perform four shows in Queensland, New South Wales and  Melbourne. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Melbourne show, which was held at The Corner Hotel, in Richmond ( place I haven't been to since I was about 16 years old - man, I feel old). The band room she performed in was probably slightly bigger than my house, so it was a nice intimate venue for the gig.

Michaelson only performed with two band members, which created a low-key, comfortable vibe between her and the crowd. Largely performing songs from her 2009 album, Everybody, Michaelson kept the energy of the set upbeat and entertaining, providing witty anecdotes as introductions to each tune and inviting the audience to participate with her during the choruses (with bonus hand actions - the ironic jazz hands were a favourite). Her acerbic wit and quirky personality clicked with the crowd  (how can you not love someone who references Dawson's Creek, Britney Spears and an ill-fated pet hamster story in the space of an hour?), and during the first song of the set she included a mash up of one of  Lady GaGa's hits, which was greeted with cheers of appreciation. 

Other crowd favourites during the set included her hits The Way I Am, Keep Breathing and the adorable You and I from previous albums. Her cover of Radiohead's Creep made a lot of people lose their shit (that link is from an Atlanta gig in the States), and the final number of the evening was her at a keyboard performing Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love which was absolutely perfect - soft and sweet and slightly melancholy (this version from youtube does not even do it justice, not one tiny little bit). From start to finish, the entire set was a wonderful ride through the emotions of betrayal, longing, friendship and love, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable ninety minutes.

If Ingrid Michaelson ever performs at a venue near you, I highly recommend you check her out. It was possibly one of the best performances I've seen in recent years, and I'm surprised more people in Australia haven't heard of her by now. 

In a word: amazing.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boredom Abounds Wears

Finally! The warm weather has reached dreary Melbourne, so it's time to break out the sundresses! This is the newly purchased dress I'm wearing today:

Diana Ferrari Halle Flutter Sleeve Dress - $149.95

I love the Diana Ferrari range this year - so versatile, affordable and they stock sizes for real women.

Although I have paired it with a black cardi and black peep toe flats, and I black string of beads, I kind of wish I had the matching peach cardi to go with it instead. The dress is jersey fabric, lined, and unbelievably comfortable!

Oh, and the sleeves are handy for jiggly, upper-arm issues.

Just sayin'.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glee Highlights: Season 2, Episode 5: The Rocky Horror Glee Show

Disclaimer: I have never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show in it's entirety.
Despite the fact that they came up with sets and costumes awfully quickly, I thought this episode of Glee was really good. It flowed nicely and the storyline was mostly alright. So, here are my highlights from the episode:

The most important highlight: MEATLOAF.

That is all.

Will Schuester, aka Desperado

This isn't so much of a highlight as it is an annoying character trait, but Will's desperation with Emma is getting a little pathetic. You like her, we get it. Stop trying to engineer situations that leave her alone in a room with you. She's with Uncle Jesse now, so just keep a lid on it, okay?

Speaking of Emma, I'm glad she's making a comeback. I've missed her adorable crazy in most of these episodes.

I've also missed her totally adorable outfits. I couldn't find a good capture of it, but I adored the skirt/blouse combo she had in this scene.

Principal Figgins' throwaway lines

I love his office rants. My favourite from this episode was his outraged "I had to bring in a grief counselor!" to deal with Finn's hallway underwear walk. That dude cracks me up.

The costumes

The really nailed it (in my humble opinion anyway).

My favourite costumes were Brittany as Columbia (fantastic) and Kurt as Riff Raff (deliciously creepy).

And there you have it, just in time for the new episode tonight. Somehow we've caught up with the States and we're seeing the latest episode one day later. Woo!
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