The SAG Awards dresses were A LOT better than the Golden Globes last week, which is weird. I don’t know what was going on with people’s stylists last week – maybe the rain in LA was clouding people’s judgements. Anyhoo, here are my fashion picks for the SAGs after the jump (I totally just typed after the hump….That could have been really weird).
Last night I wanted something quick and easy to make, so I pulled out my Australian Women's Weekly cookbook Eating Together: Bringing Families Back to the Table. I'm a big fan of things that can be prepared and cooked in one hour or less, but aren't lacking in substance.
Ick, I sound like I'm on a lifestyle show. So, I decided to make a damn pie. There, that's better.
Okay, so: Ingredients! 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
600grams chicken breast fillets, diced (I used 2 large-ish ones)
Wow. Apparently we don't want to look at a bunch of NORMAL sized women. Apparently, women who are size 14 and over would much rather look at a bunch of skinny size 8 girls gadding about in clothing regular women will never, ever fit into.
Charlotte Dawson, you're an ass. The reason you can't name a plus size Australian model is because PEOPLE LIKE YOU refuse to take a leap and start promoting normal (aka "Plus") sized women as fashion models.
Ms. Dawson, have you ever wondered why there are never any size 14 or 16 clothes left on sales racks? BECAUSE IT'S ONE OF THE MOST COMMON BODY SHAPES/SIZES IN ASUTRALIA. I personally would much rather see women modelling clothes I can fit into, as opposed to a pair of skinny jeans I can barely fit my arm into, or a swimsuit that is bigger than a handkerchief, or a skirt that's bigger than a postage stamp.
I took this with my phone and although the colours were quite dull, the clarity and sharpness was great. I played around with different effects in Photoshop to brighten it up a bit. So nice to have a bit of colour in my gray cubicle! The last pic is me experimenting with blur effects.
I have a cookbook I bought when we were on our honeymoon in August last year. We went to Mauritius, a teeny, tiny island off the east coast of Africa. My husband's parents are Mauritian, and I wanted to try and recreate some of the yummy food he grew up eating here in Australia, so as soon as we found a bookshop, I purchased a Mauritian cookbook to bring home. Mauritian Delights by Lalita Sookhee seemed to be the best one, with over 300 recipes and a simple, easy to follow style. I took a look at the imprint page and saw that it had been reprinted five times and figured that was a pretty good sign
So, this book had been lingering in our cookbook cupboard for nearly six months and this week I dragged it out, determined to make something. When we were in Bordeaux in 2008, we wandered around a food and wine festival they were having in the city centre and sat down at the Martinique stand to eat dinner. They served a meal called Rougaille Saucisses, which is basically sausages in a tomato sauce. It. Was. Delicious. And the recipe for Rougaille was in my Mauritian cookbook and seemed relatively simple, so I gave it a go.
1/2 kg sausages (any kind will do - I used lamb with tomato and basil for a bit of extra flavour)
Salt and pepper to season
About 3 or 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Thyme and parsley, chopped (although in this instance I had no Thyme, so I just added some basil instead)
400grams of chopped tomatoes (I used a tin instead of fresh ones)
I love post-Christmas sales. They seem to last for ages, which is beneficial if you get crowd-rage like me and avoid them like the plague for about 10 days after they've actually started. I will often wait about two weeks before I attempt returning to a major shopping centre after December 25th, and when I do I spend a couple of hours browsing without actually picking anything up. I'm the sort of shopper who never finds anything when she is looking.
So, of course, last Friday on a whirlwind visit to the Direct Factory Outlets, aka DFO, to look for a pair of shoes identical to the ones I had been coveting on my sister's feet naturally I could not find them. Sold out, in every nice colour in my size. Boo.
Dejected and with no silver, strappy flat sandal to my name, I wandered into a shop I normally avoid like the plague because of all the pretty, pretty things. Kate Hill sells handbags, jewllerey, wallets and more handbags. It's the handbags that I long for, in their pretty colours and sensible sizes. They also have the most stylish carry-alls for traveling, and I momentarily paused in front of them. But alas, I have no immediate travel plans, and so I turned, ready to leave the shop.
But. But! I saw something hanging up high that I had been searching for. A rich, jewel-toned handbag, with exactly the right shoulder strap length, with just enough zippers and studs (ie. barely any), and with suspiciously correct dimensions. I pulled it down from the rack and immediately felt happy. It was faux-patent leather. It was turquoise. It was perfect.
And it was marked down from $99.95 to $39.95. Score!
The People's Choice Awards were on yesterday and I've only just now had time to look at the pics. I was a little underwhelmed by the fashion - there was nothing too risky and nothing too stand-out for me. But there were a few things of note, so here are some of my own fashion winners and losers.....
When Glee burst onto the scene in 2009, it captured a wide and varied audience, from tweens and high school students addicted to the drama, to adults looking for some light hearted fun. When I watch Glee I’m less about the storylines and more about the fun, happy music. Shallow, I know.
So when the first soundtrack was released I was desperate to get my hands on it, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Glee: The Music, Volume 1 starts with a bang and the entire seventeen track CD is a fun and funky mix of songs from the episodes. The music is performed pretty much as it appears in the episodes, and songs that were not performed by the Glee cast as New Directions, but rather by a competing glee club, have simply been adapted and performed by New Directions with great results. The producers haven’t attempted anything too different from the original tracks with no complicated modernisation of the melodies (often the pitfall of cover albums), and each number just sounds like a Glee Club performing great songs.
Group performance favourites of mine include Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing with Lea Michele and Cory Monteith on lead vocals and Kanye West’s Gold Digger with Matthew Morrison singing. Gold Digger could have gone horribly wrong considering a broadway singer is taking the lead, but Morrison performs it well – he doesn’t attempt to much of a gangsta accent, but sings it with enough attitude that doesn’t make you think twice about the fact that a skinny white dude is performing it.
It’s the solo/duet songs that top my playlist, though. In particular, Amber Riley’s version of Bust Your Windows, originally by Jazmine Sullivan is full of attitude and has a really funky beat, and Maybe This Time with Lea Michele and Glee guest star Kristin Chenowith (the tiny lady with a huuuuge voice) is a kick-ass song for car singing. Mark Salling’s version of Sweet Caroline is fabulous but short, although I think putting the full length song on the album would have done them any harm . The final track on the album, Defying Gravity from stage musical Wicked is sung by both Lean Michele and Chris Colfer, and is a soft, sweet duet that closes the album off nicely.
An honourable mention goes to Diana Agron for her lovely version of You Keep Me Hanging On, originally by The Supremes. While she doesn’t have the strongest voice, Agron does suit the style of the 60s girl-group perfectly, and it’s great to see that this track made it onto the album.
This album has been on high rotation in my car for a few months now and I’m loving it!
Glee: The Music, Volume 2 is also a good album, but I was left a little cold at first. As with the first CD, there are 17 tracks, all songs performed in the series, but this album focuses mostly on the slower duets. I’ve found quite a few of the tracks a bit lacklustre in their enthusiasm (ie. there is none to be had), which is disappointing. Songs that could have been improved upon for me are I’ll Stand By You and (You’re) Having My Baby which are both sung by Cory Monteith, and Lea Michele’s version of the Jennifer Paige song Crush. Both performers seem a little bit flat, and while the songs are arranged in almost identical styles to the originals, the vocals just don’t convey much feeling. I actually would be happy to have not had them on there at all.
Similarly, there songs that are from the last couple of years made it onto the album that are also slightly off. Lily Allen’s Smile is covered by Lea Michele, and while Michele tries hard to mimic Allen’s accent and tone, the song falls short of engaging this listener. I also found this was the case with Michele’s cover of My Life Would Suck Without You, the massive Kelly Clarkson hit from 2009. Michele is a talented singer, of that there is no doubt (and one of my favourites on the show), but she just isn’t able to convey the attitude and feeling Clarkson has, which is disappointing. In the context of the episodes, these songs are great, but standing alone on a CD.
The other disappointment for me was not having Mark Salling performing most, if not all of the lead vocals on the Stones’ song You Can’t Always Get What You Want. He’s proven himself as having a great voice for rock on Volume 1, and I think this is one song that he definitely could have taken over.
But it’s not all bad! Amber Riley does outstanding versions of Dionne Warwick’s Don’t Make Me Over and Jennifer Holliday’s Dreamgirls hit And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going. Listening to these songs it’s easy to picture Riley as a chart-topping singer in the 1960s. It’s also great to hear True Colours performed by Jenna Ushkowitz, who, as Tina in the show, often takes a backseat to Michele and Riley. She has a perfectly capable voice that is sweet and strong and she is a really good choice for this Cyndi Lauper tune. The cast version of John Lennon’s Imagine is also lovely and without too many bells and whistles. The alternating lead vocalists in the song are engaging and don’t overpower each other.
Overall, I don’t love Volume 2 as much as I love Volume 1, but it’s still a decent album and worth a listen if you love the show. And it’s a good way to keep your Glee craving satisfied until April (!) when the show starts up again.
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It's full of things that I would rather be watching, reading, making, cooking, doing, etc. I hope you find it a fun and useful way to distract yourself from whatever mundane task you should be doing instead of reading this.
Got a suggestion for something I should check out? Let me know here.
Some stuff about me: I'm a thirty year old married lady living in the 'burbs of Melbourne. I'm married to my very best friend, a very handsome man who hails from a Mauritian background and wishes to remain nameless. We welcomed our first child, a baby girl, in April, 2012 and she is just adorable. This does not make me a Mummy blogger - if anything, I prefer to keep this blog about all things bookish, movie-ish, and TV-ish, and the stuff I love doing outside of being a mother for my own sanity.
I attempt to seem like a grown up every day - sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not so much. I'm clumsy, I enjoy swearing and eating chocolate (sometimes at the same time), and I time my gym visits to coincide with Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill and Housewives of Beverly Hills reruns and I enjoy shouting at the television (but not while I'm at the gym). One day I hope to be part of a flash mob or witness a dance-off. Sometimes I enjoy typing in a CAPS LOCK OF RAGE format. If this offends you, I'm sorry. But I'm not going to stop.
I think that covers the basics.
Go forth and procrastinate!
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I’ve never been a fan of using a diary or day planner. Until last year, I never needed one – I just remembered things and that was that. Then 2008 came along and I had appointments coming out of my - well, let’s just say I had a lot of appointments. Appointments for the wedding, appointments for looking at houses and then for things to do with buying the house and I needed to keep track of them. So I relented and bought my first diary and it served me well. It was functional and the right size for my handbag and it was pink. Pink! Colour is very important to me when buying boring everyday items so that when I use them I don’t feel depressed about having such an unexciting item in my handbag. So, the end of 2009 rolled around and I realised that I should probably purchase a diary for 2010.