Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun Friday Links

Oh my gosh, this week could not BE any more manic. For a short work week it was surprisingly mental. Anyway, here are your Friday links!

- So Donald Trump wanted 'proof' that Barack Obama was born in the USA. Because a) apparently the President now answers to Donald Trump? and b) not one person, in the whole run-up to the presidential election, caught on to the fact that a possible non-citizen was running and was elected? Seriously? The Onion sums it up nicely with this headline.

- Want to test how well you see colour? Give this test a go. A lower score is better. So at first, when I got a SIXTY EIGHT you can understand why I freaked out and thought I was colour blind for about fifteen minutes. Turns out I was just really distracted and very tired. I re-did it and got....a much lower score. 

- The royal wedding is tomorrow. To celebrate, go and read the Fug Girls' recap of the awful TV movie with the stunningly original title of William and Kate. I'm going to miss the ceremony, but hopefully I'll remember to record it so I can watch it next weekend in my pjs while I stuff my face with scones with jam and cream in true English style. Mmmm, scones......

- Pajiba readers nominated hundreds of clips for their 50 Funniest Scenes in the History of Film. What do you think?

- One of the benefits of having a few days off at home means I got to watch some daytime TV, my favourite being Ellen. On Tuesday she had these two dudes on playing their cellos on her show and it was really cool. I feel like hardcore cello fans will need a giant cigarette after watching all that vigorous cello-ing.

So, other than that, life is crazy for me this week and I haven't had a lot of time to blog over the past couple of weeks. I'm away this weekend, so I'll be back blogging on Monday or Tuesday, hopefully with a royal wedding fashion post. Who do you think will have the worst fascinator? I'm betting Beatrice or Eugenia - they have that crazy ass Fergie-blood in them after all.
P.S. If you have time to vote for me in the People's Choice Awards for the Best Blogs of 2011 I would really appreciate it!
Pin It

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review - Vintage all the way

Title: The Secret Lives of Dresses
Author: Erin McKean
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (Hachette Australia)
Year of Publication: 2011
Page extent: 290

I love vintage clothing. I love most vintage things, but vintage clothing in particular is especially enticing to a female in her twenties. So, when I saw the cover of this book in the local book shop, I had to pick it up and read the blurb on the back. The dress alone on the front cover was enough to convince me to buy the book, but the blurb on the back sounded perfect for our recent beach holiday.

Author Erin McKean runs a popular website called Dress A Day, where she lists vintage patterns she find and the fabrics she uses. There is some gorgeously kitsch stuff on there, and if you're a fan of the fashion from Mad Men, you'll love her site. So it makes sense that she used her love of vintage fashion as the basis for her book, The Secret Lives of Dresses.

Dora is a university student on the brink of graduating and being accepted into graduate school. She works in a coffee shop in her university town and harbors a crush on the manager, a grad student who flirts incessantly with her but takes it no further. Her uniform is jeans, t-shirts and comfortable shoes - a far cry from her grandmother Mimi's vintage clothing boutique. When Mimi suffers a stroke, Dora rushes home to sit at her bedside, but finds herself taking charge of the boutique in Mimi's absence. Having grown up watching Mimi run the shop, and assisting there herself, she's able to run the shop perfectly and keep her mind off Mimi's worsening condition.

As Dora works in the shop, she tries to plan the next stage of her life: graduate school. If she goes to graduate school, she'll have a shot with incompetent Gary, the manager at the cafe she works in, who declared that he doesn't date undergrads. With little else to inspire her, Dora sets her sights on grad school, knowing that if nothing else, she'll be able to go on a date with Gary. Her future has no direction other than to get that far. She has no real career aspirations, and taking over her grandmother's shop gives her time to reassess her life. Returning to her hometown, and to her childhood bedroom with its cupboard full of vintage clothes (that she never wanted to wear), Dora begins to re-evaluate the direction her life is taking.

As she takes over the shop, and meets Con, the architect working upstairs, Dora slowly begins to appreciate the importance her grandmother placed on the clothes she sold. The discovery one day that some pieces of clothing have a "Secret Life", written by Mimi and given to the purchaser amazed Dora, as Mimi remained tight-lipped about many things in her life. These Secret Lives are little biographies created by Mimi to give the item of clothing a story, a personality that the buyer connects with. With Mimi's friend Gloria and the quirky shop assistant Maux, Dora delves into a life she thought she'd left behind, with surprising results.

McKean writes her female characters well - they feel different to the usual chick-lit stereotypes. At first glance, Dora seems like a fairly bland, directionless student. But as the story progresses and she gets drawn in to Mimi's world, Dora slowly emerges from her shell and begins to figure out what's important. There isn't too much keening for Gary, and the introduction of Con (who I wish we saw more of) doesn't shake Dora to her core. Rather, she takes it in stride, somewhat bemused and entertained by his attention. The kind-hearted Gloria, Mimi's roommate and friend, and tough talking Maux add some nice contrast to Dora's alternating grief-stricken and nostalgic frames of mind throughout the novel. McKean's descriptions of the vintage clothes is so specific and personal it's almost as if a fourth major character has been added to the plot. It's easy to imagine the beautifully tailored suits and stunning retro gowns, and the effect they have on people. And to be honest, it made me want to go out and update my entire wardrobe with vintage clothing.

This book isn't the best book you'll ever read. But you know what? When you do read it, you'll feel like someone wrapped you up in a blanket and gave you some hot chocolate to sip on. It's just so comforting and cute. It moves along at a perfect pace, the characters aren't moronic women who dither over every little decision. And there are some awesome pieces of clothing in there. All in all, it's just a really nice book - so pick it up if you have the chance, especially if you're going on holiday somewhere. It's just that kind of book.

In a word: good
Pin It

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fun Friday Links

Woo, day off! There's a bunch of movie/TV links this week, so let's get stuck into it.

- Even if you've never watched 30 Rock, you'll probably know who Tina Fey is. She's got a new book out, and this letter she wrote was featured on a blog this week. I think everyone with a daughter should read it. If I ever have a daughter, my motto will be For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

- More roles have been cast for The Hunger Games movie! Rue, Thresh, Glimmer and possibly Effie Trinket have been cast. Your thoughts?

- People in Sydney lost their shit this week when the first Australian Zara store opened.  I cannot wait until the Melbourne store opens in June. CANNOT WAIT. It better not be ridiculously overpriced like the stupid Gap.

- I love a good movie montage. This one is of the 100 best movie lines. I'm sure there are a few missing ('Yippe Kai-ay, motherfuckers'' in particular), but it's still good (with thanks to one of the Boredom Abounds Sisters for this link).

- And finally, the trailer for the movie adaptation of The Help is up. I am so freaking excited for this movie!

Happy Easter everyone! Or, if that's not your thing, happy lots of chocolate eating and five day weekend!
Pin It

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holiday Snap

One of the things I love about going on holiday to tropical destinations is the flowers. There's so much colour everywhere you look. These orange Hibiscus flowers were my favourite on our trip last week. So happy and cheerful, and I love they way they close up at night only to greet you in the morning with a burst of colour as they open again. Pin It

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vote for me. Pretty please?

So, if you look to the right of this post, you'll see a giant blue picture that says VOTE FOR ME.

I entered into the Sydney Writers' Centre Best Blogs of 2011 People's Choice Awards and I need YOU to vote for me!

All you need to do is click on the button and vote for this blog.

In the words of Kramer, I'd consider it a personal favour.

Thanks! Pin It

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Friday Links

I am super sneaky and set this post up before I went on I'm kind of posting to you from the future?

Anyway, here are some links to make your Friday interesting!

- I never did ballet as a child, but if I did I suspect I would have looked something like this. Warning: you will die from the adorableness of the little girl.

- From the same blog, some awesome ways to do your hair that seem easy and interesting AND save you the cost of going to the salon every time you have a function.

- I love a good movie montage. Check out the 100 cheesiest movie quotes of all time over here. Is there anything you think didn't make the list?

- You know how sometimes you need an emergency bar of chocolate in your handbag, or a packet of m&m's in the car? Well, someone has streamlined the whole idea of chocolate on the go. BRB, going to buy some Lindt.

That's it for this weeks' links - the beach beckons......
Pin It

Thursday, April 14, 2011

If anyone needs me.....

.....I'll be here.
Pin It

Monday, April 11, 2011


It's holiday time at Chez Boredom Abounds, so posting will be light this week as we head for warmer climates and watch one of my best friends get married. Have a lovely week everyone! Pin It

Monday Morning Melodies

Remember when I posted this clip?

Well, I saw this one over the weekend and am now in love with it. I think I'm going to have to buy the album.


China - Sparkadia Pin It

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fun Friday Links

Holy crap, it's Friday already? This week was a blur, but here are your links!

- That whole Jackie O furore was so stupid. So she fed her baby while walking, let it go. But, Families Minister Pru Goward just had to weigh in on it. Check out this article over at Mama Mia and watch Today Show host Lisa Wilkinson address Ms. Goward's comments. In the words of Kelso: BURN.

- Remember Golden Books? Well, someone found their old collection and made a freaking dress out of them. I love how colour coordinated it is.

- The Hunger Games movie update: the roles of Peeta and Gale have been cast. I'm not really familiar with either of the dudes, though I know that Liam Hemsworth is an Aussie. Your thoughts?

- Looking for a new pet? Check out these petite lap giraffes - they're Russia's finest. According to the 'About Us' section, they need lots of love. Hugs and kisses every day. Otherwise they make tears.

- Finally, some music for your Friday. Remember the link I posted to Rebecca Black's Friday "song"? Well, Stephen Colbert decided he and Jimmy Fallon would each raise $26,000 for, except he didn't tell Jimmy Fallon. When Jimmy Fallon found out, he agreed to donate the money, on one condition: Colbert had to come on his show and sing Rebecca Black's Friday. Besides the fact that it's an awesome performance, imagine you're a thirteen year old girl whose YouTube music video has been viewed EIGHTY TWO MILLION TIMES and Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots perform it on national television. How cool is that?
Pin It

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Heavy Rotation: Adele

About two or three months ago, people started posting a music video on their facebook walls*. Then I started seeing and hearing someone with a sultry voice being advertised, so I went to YouTube and watched a bunch of clips that hooked me from the get go.

May I present to you 21 by Adele.
Adele hails from North London, and at the age of twenty was the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, and she won two Grammy awards in 2009 for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 21 is her second album, released in January, 2011.

Before purchasing this album, I read up on it a little bit and it was described as as a blues, folk and roots album. I don't know much about roots music, but it doesn't really strike me as such. Blues and folk, yes. Roots? No. Some have written that the album was underwhelming compared to Adele's debut album 19. But as someone who hasn't heard of her until now, I am impressed and enthralled with 21, and I have been since buying the album.

From the opening track, Rolling in the Deep, Adele sets the tone for a smoky, angsty musical journey. But angsty in a good way. Basically, this album is an ode to love - unrequited love, unfinished love, bittersweet, painful, sad love. And Adele nails it.

For me, this album had a distinctly 1960s feel to it, both rhythmically and vocally. Adele strikes me as being somewhere between Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick and Lesley Gore, and this is especially noticeable during the tracks Rumor Has It, Take It All and I'll Be Waiting which each have a very (sort-of swinging) 60s feel.

Adele's husky voice can belt out a chorus like nobody's business, but she can tone it down for the ballads as well. Turning Tables and Don't You Remember are somewhat slower than most of the other tracks, but Adele's voice takes a couple of average melodies and creates songs that evoke images of arguments, break ups and the loneliness that follows.

There are two tracks on the album that I really love. The first is Set Fire to the Rain, which feels so soulful and liberating, and is slotted nicely in the middle between the ballads on the album. My favourite track, though - the unbelievably weighty Someone Like You. From the first subtle piano notes through to the emotional crescendo of the chorus, anyone who's ever been in love is instantly taken back through the lifespan of their relationship while listening to this final track. There's something so raw and honest in this track that I've been getting to the end of the CD and hitting the rewind button about three times. I just can't get enough of it.

21 is simply a wonderful album, and Adele is one of the most compelling female artists in a long time and there will surely be amazing things to come from her in the future.

Don't believe me? Watch this:

Someone Like You - live version

*after directing my sister to this clip, she described Adele as being similar to Amy Winehouse, but without all the drugs. It's on oversimplification, but it amused me.

Pin It

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gadding About: Hosier Lane

I had a distastrous Friday afternoon. I went to pick up Husband's wedding band and it was repaired incorrectly, then I went to look at the Disney exhibition at ACMI and left without realising there was a whole other section* I hadn't seen yet (and thus couldn't blog about), then I had to pay FORTY EIGHT DOLLARS for two hours of parking at a car park on Flinders Street.

So instead I present you with this photo of just some of the awesome street art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.

* FYI, what I did see of the exhibition was really, really cool, so you must go and have a look (at the whole thing).
Pin It

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fun Friday Links

Holy crap, what an insane week. Let's all take a moment to chill out and focus on the fact that it's Friday and that we can sleep in tomorrow. Oh, and check out these links:

- Go Fug Yourself has it's Fug Madness Final Four brackets up - go and vote! I can't believe Nicki Minaj and/or Ke$ha didn't make it into the final four, but the remaining players have made a myriad of fashion don't over the past year, so I'm satisfied. I think Taylor Momsen will take out the title - your thoughts?

- Want to feel really old (and kind of sad)? Read Wil Wheaton's blog entry about his recent reunion with the director and cast of Stand By Me.

- OMGWTFBBQ! You know there's a new Sweet Valley High book out, right? Elizabeth and Jessica are in their late twenties and apparently (if the Amazon reader reviews are to be believed), it's so bad it's good. I'm not going to be able to read it for a little while, so someone needs to buy, it read it and report back to me, STAT.

- So, if you're on Twitter, you should totally follow @WhiteGirlProblem. Delightfully snarky, it's like reading the thoughts of that bitchy, self-centred girl you hated in high school. Or that bitchy, self-centred woman you hate now. She's been nominated one of the 140 best Twitter feeds by Time, where you can vote for her (among others).

- So, apparently cute baby videos are now replacing funny cat videos on the internet. Check out these twin boys having a SRS CONVERSATION in front of their fridge. They're like two drunk guys at a bar: "'re the greatest, man", "No, no, dude. Dude. Duuude....You're the greatest!" That, or they think they're looking at a mirror image of themselves.

ETA: Mad Men gets renewed for a fifth, sixth and possibly seventh season, WOOT! Now let's all go and get shitfaced in our offices at 10am to celebrate in true Mad Men style. Pin It