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It’s *that* time of the year again when all the best films are released into cinemas across the nation so that we know what the hell everyone is talking about come Oscar time.
I’ve been heading to my local Event Cinema a lot lately to make sure I’ve seen at least the majority of the movies nominated. On Friday night I saw Life Of Pi which I thought was magnificent! I wasn’t too keen on the couple of scenes where the animals get violent with each other but the cinematography was exquisite and the story was lovely.
On Sunday morning I saw Hitchcock and I loved it! If you didn’t know that Anthony Hopkins was playing the lead, I don’t think you’d pick it, at least not for a while. I thought all the cast was great but I doubt it will win any awards; it’s not better than Les Miserables.
Something I’ve noticed with all these movie visits is posters for the Disney Princess Film Festival. I’m on the Event Cinemas mailing list and yesterday I got an email with more info and I thought I’d notify my readers because I’m pretty sure there are a lot of you who love Disney as much as me.
From 9 February, Aladdin, Mulan, Pocahontas, Tangled, Princess and The Frog and Cinderella are playing on a weekend each until 17 March.
I haven’t seen Mulan or Princess and The Frog so I’ll probably put those on my list and if you buy tickets to three of the showings you get to see Cinderella for free!
Tickets are only $8 each (Plus $1.10 online booking fee) and every child receives a Disney Princess Guide Book. I want one, can anyone hook me up with a fake id circa 2009?
There are also prizes at each screening for best dressed so make sure you’re looking your princessy best.
I’m so sad that The Little Mermaid isn’t one of the Disney classics being shown because it’s my favourite by a long shot but there is still a lot to choose from to keep me occupied every weekend for two months.
To book tickets have a look at Disney Princess Film Festival
Who is your favourite Disney princess?
Everyone knows I absolutely adore my pets (Louis the bunny and Georgina the poodle) and when the pet industry pulls figures like $46 billion in a year it’s obvious that the rest of the world does too.
Luckily for a pet-lover like me, BENTO (short for Benefit To), a Japanese pet nutrition, wellness & living store in Sydney’s Bondi Junction, has opened recently and is chock full of beautiful accessories such as leads, harnesses, collars and clothing, all natural Australian treats ranging from tuna to kangaroo, from ice cream to “pup cakes” and services including grooming, veterinary care and nutrition. With over 40% of Australia’s pets now falling into the overweight and obese categories, BENTO (working closely with Veterinary Surgeon, Dr Ben Acheson), aims to educate pet owners of the importance of good nutrition, health and well-being to ensure their fluffy baby has a long and happy life which, these days, goes beyond just treats and squeaky toys.
I attended the launch of BENTO a couple of last month with my mum and my baby girl. Well, after I told her she had been invited to a party, Georgina RAN there!
It was an experience to say the least! Around 40 dogs (some of them so cute I wanted to dog-nap them!) and their mums and dads filled BENTO’s large premises and were treated with kangaroo and chicken meals and Christmas-themed treats by Masterchef alumni, Jay Huxley as well as mini massages, grooming and a professional portrait by Sydney-based pet photographer, Ruth O’Leary. Check out our finished product below:
As usual, my own photos don’t do the products or the store justice so it’s very much worth your time to pop in and have a look for yourself. One of the other things that impressed me, aside from the vast range and choice of new and innovative products, not the same stuff you usually see in run of the mill pet shops, was the price range. There really is something for everyone from $15 toys to $200 dog bowls and more – you could go crazy or be as strict as you like and still walk out with something amazing.
You guys are lucky that animals can’t read blogs otherwise they’d be begging you to take them there so do your kids a favour and treat them. Whether it’s with something to eat, something to play with or something for their physical well-being, BENTO is sure to have it.BENTO PETS
554 – 556 Oxford Street
(02) 9387 8888
Christmas is supposed to be a happy and joyous time of the year but often it’s just so damn stressful. These days people usually have everything they want so thinking up something special and unique can be really difficult.
I’ve thought of a couple of things – which hopefully you haven’t – to try to make this arduous task that little bit easier.
For the Corporate Type
It’s pretty hard to buy someone a suit and unless the recipient is useless at shopping for themselves buying ties, shirts and cufflinks can get old really quickly. Fortunately, Herringbone has a bespoke service whereby the client can choose their new suiting from a range of the finest wool, linen, cashmere and cotton or shirts from 150 fabrics with individualised embroidery, collars, cuffs and buttons including mother-of-pearl. The initial service from fitting to final product takes just four weeks and, of course, is quicker for each design after that. With bespoke shirts starting at $179 and suits from $1395 this is an interactive, personalised and luxurious gift, perfect for the Scott Disick in your life.
Herringbone bespoke shirting is available at all Herringbone stores across the country and bespoke suiting is available by appointment at selected Herringbone outlets.
For the Legend With Awesome Taste in Music and Stuff
Obviously if you know someone who only listens to the best music – that is, Mariah Carey – then they will probably already have tickets to the biggest show of 2013, but if you’d like to convert someone into a Mariah fan you might be able to nab some of the last remaining ones off Preferred Seating, Ticketek, Ticketmaster or eBay.
If that fails, Legally Blonde the Musical is almost at the end of its run at Lyric Theatre at The Star and will begin a season at Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane from 12 March 2013 and Princess Theatre, Melbourne from 9 May. Legally Blonde the Musical is fun, light-hearted and quite hilarious and is, from memory, suitable for all ages. Hey, it might even teach your kids something about acceptance and strong work ethic! Tickets for Sydney are going cheap and Brisbane tickets are on sale now as are Melbourne.
For the know-it-all who you’d love to school
I meant to blog about this book a few months ago but with Christmas mere days away and the time you have to think up clever presents becoming less and less you’ll be thankful that I’m telling you now. Zombie Tits, Astronaut Fish and Other Weird Animals, the debut from Bec Crew, is the most unique, adorable-yet-intelligent, imagination-invoking book I have ever read. As a child I had a fascination with stories in which animals talked; Brambly Hedge, Animals of Farthing Wood, Blossom: A Fairy Story, and anything by Beatrix Potter or Enid Blyton so for me this was a journey back to happier times with some actual education thrown in.
Reading like a (non-heavy) text-book mixed with something by Kenneth Grahame, you will be swept away to a world of crude monkeys, socially awkward newts and lonely, pensive spiders. There is some mention of masturbation and a couple of penis jokes but otherwise it’s totally tame, wholly informative and nothing short of entertaining. With most book sellers pricing this under $25, it’s the perfect gift for the person who needs to learn a thing or two, thinks they already know everything and needs to be brought back down to earth or just anyone who appreciates all that is weird and wonderful in this world. You will not be disappointed with this one.
For the health nut…or the person who needs a little nudge in the right direction
Wouldn’t you love to give the gift of health for Christmas? Well, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you will know that I love me a bit of an Urban Remedy cleanse. I recently tried out a ’6 pack’ which is not a detox as such but 6 lemon, cayenne pepper, stevia and water drinks which I had 1 of each day (I had mine in the morning to kick-start my metabolism). I also tested out some ‘Amazeballs’ which are a new addition to the Urban Remedy brand and each contain almonds and mixed nuts, cacao, spirulina powder, sesame seeds, vanilla and coconut. A box of four will cost you $10.95 and take the hassle out of finding healthy snacks while you’re trying to cleanse. The Amazeballs come in three flavours: Green, Chocolate and Almond and while they were very delicious, extremely filling and obviously beneficial to my health, if I have to give some criticism, they were a little bit crumbly and a tad too expensive.
They are free from sugar, wheat, dairy, gluten and yeast so if you find yourself having trouble getting an allergy-free, tasty snack then you might be willing to pay ~$2.75 for each one but I’d like to see them come in a pack of 5 or 6 for the price.
Amazeballs are not available for sale on their own but order any juice pack at www.urbanremedy.com.au and create an add-on to sample these tasty treats.
It might be a bit tricky to order an actual detox for someone over the Christmas period, but a voucher for post-holiday season when it’s time to kick-start the year and get back into work mode won’t go astray and vouchers start from $75.00 so it’s well within most people’s budgets.
For the neat-challenged
You would have also seen me talk about Borne Naked bag liners in the past and more recently take part in Borne Naked’s Bagvember. The party season means smaller, clutch-style bags and Borne Naked have come up with a mini liner for your favourite party bag so you don’t ruin the delicate lining with sharp keys, sticky lip gloss or soggy chewing gum. The Borne Naked bag liners are also perfect for any impending travel over the Christmas break and customs/security will love you for having a clear toiletries bag when they search your luggage.
The new mini liners also have a pretty silver trim and are priced at a tiny $19.95 and comes with a free makeup brush set. Stuff their stocking with something they’ll actually use, why don’t you?!
Of course there are a gazillion other things to buy your loved ones this Christmas but for something a little bit different, go for one of the above. And for those smart asses who are wondering, no, I didn’t get paid to suggest any of these, they’re just products and services I like and are so handy and neutral that it’s hard NOT to please someone with them – I sourced them all on my own. Ha!
What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever received?
I’m not the biggest Twilight fan but after finding the first 4 movies hilarious and enjoyable I wasn’t not going to see the final one. I took myself off early on Saturday morning to see it in Gold Class because I thought it would be really long but it only went for about 2 hours.
I actually really enjoyed it. The acting is A LOT better than usual, the story was really quick and I wasn’t bored in any parts. It’s kind of funny, too. There were a few points where the characters made digs at themselves/the movie franchise so it was quite light hearted. I haven’t read any of the books either so the whole thing was a big surprise. Loved the twist!
I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment. Not to the point where I’m depriving myself of everything tasty but no caffeine, no dairy if I can help it, no bread or wheat products if I can help it and no crap food although the last couple of days of this week have been a bit of a blowout because I found some English muffins in the freezer and they’re too good to pass up. Normally at Gold Class I’d have sliders, frozen coke, possibly onion rings and maybe even a sundae but I stuck to my guns and had edamame and peppermint tea. It was pretty sad but I’ve been saying for months that I’d lose the weight I put on in Europe in June/July and it’s getting ridiculous now so I really have to at least try to stick to this for a couple of months.
On Sunday I caught up on some blogging. As you probably know, Mariah is coming to Australia in January so I’ve been trying to keep MarloMeetsMariah full of fresh content on a daily basis. It’s hard running three blogs!
Monday was a happy day because on Saturday a cockatiel flew on to my dad’s shoulder in Darling Point and was extremely tame so he brought him home. We realised how many distinct personality traits he possessed and that this indicated he’d probably lived with someone for a while, so we put up posters around where he was found on Sunday and rang all the vets in a 5km radius and on Monday his owner called after having spoken to a vet only 150m from our house. It’s so weird how it worked out that the Cockatiel flew so far from home and managed to land on someone who was practically a neighbour. It was great to be able to reunite him with his family especially as there were three kids who were missing him dearly.
I can’t believe how late I am to this but I am so bad with apps but I recently downloaded the fitness pal app which allows you to record everything you at to track your calories. It’s such a good way of being really conscious of what you’re eating and far more effective than a food diary because you can shame yourself if you’re eating too much of a bad thing. I love that you can check almost anything.
Towards the end of the week I was so exhausted and just wanted to spend Friday night in bed, snuggling Georgina and watching Dexter. Does anyone else watch it? I think this season is great although it’s been a bit scarier than usual at times…
Next week I am so busy. It’s gotten to that time of year where I have something on every single night. Hello, silly season.
I wrote this on the weekend but completely forgot to post it!
On Saturday morning I went for breakfast at a new joint in my ‘hood. Top Hat Coffee Merchants has been getting some good reviews on twitter for its awesome coffee but the ‘Tokyo’ jaffle is my fave. The egg is fried into the bread and with the ham and tomato chutney it’s so delicious and I’ve never had a jaffle like that before. Might go back for another on the weekend!
On Saturday night I was re-united with a friend who I’ve known for 60% of my life who has just moved back to Sydney after living in London for two years. We had drinks at hers in Bondi and then headed down to Paper Planes for dinner. I can’t believe I hadn’t been there before! Paper Planes is owned by the same people as LL Wine and Dine in Potts Point which I love but don’t get to much any more.
Paper Planes is bigger and louder but perfect for big groups of friends and the food is absolutely beautiful. One dish that’s been playing on my mind is the duck ramen. But we also had plates of sushi, scallops, gyoza and chilli edamame. The cocktails were very good and I was paying for it the next morning.
I don’t even remember going to sleep but I woke up in my friend’s little sister’s bed (she wasn’t there!) and found myself cuddling this little teddy bear. It’s so well loved. Aawwww!
Sunday was a complete write off and I just went home and lay in bed all day.
I didn’t do anything of note on Monday but Tuesday was Melbourne Cup day and I had a lovely lunch at the Opera House.
Did not win any money in the Cup or the $100 million lotto. Seriously bad money mojo right now.
On Wednesday night the Big Brother finale was on. As a staunch Layla supporter I was very excited and watched it from the comfort of my bed with Count Louis Francois Von Trapp (that’s his full name. His father was Austrian, I’m sure). We were really pissed off when Ben won because we hate bullying.
Thursday and Friday were another two very busy but very uneventful days. Hopefully next week will be a little more interesting!
Following on from last time, here’s a run down of my week. *yawn*
On Saturday I just went for a drive and ended up picking up some goodies from Zumbo Patisserie. I’m seriously concerned that he’s opening up a shop mere minutes from my house (and that’s if you walk) later this month.
Sunday I did nothing but looked forward to mum making gnocchi from scratch. My aunty bought her a voucher for a gluten-free Italian cooking class so she learnt how to make gnocchi and other things. This was with a leek sauce and was bloody ace! She did an amazing job and the gnocchi was perfect.
She also made really excellent chocolate molten puddings. You can never go wrong with these. Mmmm
Monday was just your usual Monday at work, so sorry, but nothing to share.
Tuesday evening was the Elin Kling for GUESS by Marciano launch which I was really impressed with. A more detailed post on my thoughts on the collection is here.
I wore this:
I spotted these super cute pumps on a fellow guest at the launch. I think they’re Miu Miu.
Wednesday was another long and busy day with nothing extraordinary to share.
Thursday night I went to my friends’ gallery for the opening night of their latest exhibition, Shadows of a Nation. If you’re in Sydney, it is on until 29 November. MCLEMOI Gallery – 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale. Check it out.
I was supposed to go out on Friday night but I didn’t really want to have a late one so I bailed and came home for a lazy night.
I bet you’re all wishing you never asked me for more information about my life now, aren’t you?
I suddenly have more motivation to buy my own place. My own place = my own walls and a spot to hang one of Rhonda Dee’s art works.
After being sent pictures of some of her work I’ve become obsessed with the colours and lively, dancing formations on both film and board and when the time is right I must have at least one of my own.
Rhonda Dee is just one of the artists featuring in ‘Shadows of a Nation‘, the latest exhibition, curated by Kristia D. Moises, to be on display at MCLEMOI GALLERY from this Thursday, November 1.
Along with famed Australian artists Brett Whitely, Sidney Nolan and Charles Blackman a culmination of both emerging and established, international and home grown artists come together to create Shadows of a Nation a show in which each artist “exemplifies a perspective from the nation in which they come from and/or live in; through this a cast shadow is placed which is eminent in their work“.
What: Shadows of a Nation
Who: Brett Whiteley, Daniel Arsham, Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, Rhonda Dee, Diego Singh, Alexandra Standen and Guy Martin
When: Opening 6 – 9pm, November 1
Where: MCLEMOI Gallery, 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale, Sydney
On Friday night I flew down to Melbourne for a weekend I had planned since July. It was quite obvious back then that the Sydney Swans would be taking on Hawthorn in the Grand Final (seriously, I have this prediction in an email from months ago) so I was going to make sure I had everything planned before the big rush in mid September and flights and hotels booked out.
The first surprise was how amazing my hotel room was. I mean, the decor is pretty classic but the size was just incredible. I usually stay at the Park Hyatt in East Melbourne when I’m visiting but I’ve never stayed in the Park Spa King room before. At 48sqm it’s literally bigger than some apartments I’ve looked at buying in Sydney and I spent the weekend wishing I could do a cart-wheel so that I could, actually, do a cart-wheel.
I don’t normally take baths in hotels but I couldn’t resist the big spa complete with a TV in the wall (although this is a pretty standard feature in Park Hyatt, Melbourne rooms I’ve found). By the time I got into bed I could barely sleep because I wasn’t used to such space.
In the morning I was up bright and early to have my nails done by nail artist extraordinaire, Clara H. This manicure is so fantastic that it will be getting its own post very shortly and I encourage you all to go and visit Clara whether you live in Melbourne or are just visiting because she’s truly talented.
I was so very lucky to score two tickets to the game and despite the weather that chilled us to the bone we made the short walk from the Park Hyatt to the MCG. I’m not sure which gardens we were walking through but I think they were the Fitzroy Gardens. We walked past Captain Cook’s Cottage which was so cute and I’ll definitely come back and spend some more time in these beautiful surroundings next time I’m in Melbourne on a warm day.
I didn’t think our seats would be very good because they were level 4 but I was really happy! Normally I sit on the fence at the SCG but we were up high and looking over the goals. It really gave an interesting view of the absolute battle that can go on just metres from the posts and despite my usual vertigo I didn’t feel a thing. It was actually very pleasant bar the horrible, screechy, Lizzie Birdsworth wannabe behind me who didn’t have a single nice word to say about the Swans (despite being a ‘supporter’).
Nothing could prepare me for the overwhelming emotion that the last 50 seconds of the match brought. I cried as if someone had just died. At that stage in the game we (ha – “we”!) were only 4 points up and I was imagining that the worst would happen – everyone would relax and Buddy would take a mark and seal the game with a winning goal. I cried for both situations; a win or a loss – but in the last 32 seconds with a 10 point lead there was no way it could be taken away and I just let the tears flow. I think my dad thought I was a bit of a dork but I didn’t question his red poncho with “PARIS” emblazoned on the back so now we’re even.
After the game I had dinner booked at Jacques Reymond. Again, good enough for its own post so look out for it soon. Jacques Reymond is a 3-hatted restaurant and is described as classic French technique with asian flavours. I was most impressed that they had a vegetarian degustation. I’m not vegetarian but as most of you would know I’m quite fussy and can’t/don’t eat seafood so it was nice to be able to taste a degustation for once. It was sensational and vegetarians will be very pleased not to feel like the odd one out if they dine here. More on that later…
I was supposed to meet up with one of my favourite people and funniest friends ever after dinner but I was having trouble keeping my eyes open at the table so I opted for bed and a decent night’s sleep (sorry, Dan!). I certainly needed it.
Six am the next morning I was up and getting ready to cheer the team on at Lakeside Stadium in South Melbourne, the original home of the Swans. Thousands of people gathered at Albert Park to congratulate the bleary-eyed champions and it was a really fun atmosphere until I had to head back to the hotel to pack and get ready for lunch at Vue De Monde.
I was so excited to be dining at Vue De Monde albeit a little scared because of my aforementioned vertigo. I was absolutely fine up on the 55th floor, though, so if you’re worried about heights PLEASE, PLEASE don’t let that deter you from eating here as it’s easily the best dining experience I’ve had in Australia. Obviously I’ll be posting about it and I’m so excited to share the photos with you because they turned out really well and everything was just gorgeous.
My flight was inexplicably cancelled so the wait at the airport was a little tedious but an hour or so after I was supposed to arrive home I finally was and despite the incredible time in Melbourne I was very happy to be home.
Thank god for the day off yesterday as I really needed a weekend to recover from all that excitement! I went to see Madagascar 3 and I couldn’t stop crying with laughter – it’s one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I was as hysterical in it as I was during the plane scene in ‘Bridesmaids’ – if not more. If you’re looking for something that’s not just light but actually really well made and cute then you should definitely go and see it. The cinema was packed with adults when I went so don’t be afraid of looking like a weirdo!
I hope everyone else had as good a long weekend as I did and that you all make an effort to see the Sydney Swans in their ticker tape parade down George Street this Friday from 12:15. Even if you’re not a footy supporter the fact that our city holds the premiership is great for revenue (seriously) and it’s really important that we get behind anything that raises the profile Sydney in a positive light.
See you all there on Friday!
My baby boy was being cuddly tonight so I decided to take some selfies. I love this little bunny bear.
From this Saturday evening George Rafotpoulos’ latest offerings will be exhibited at MCLEMOI GALLERY, Chippendale. This new body of work, ‘Mythica‘, “bridges allegories that express the characters through a series of colours. The intuitive selection of colours are derivative of the memory and experience of each individual; each one perceived as a jewel.“
Due to his close friendship with Sara Leonardi-McGrath, gallery owner and wife of the McGrath Foundation’s Chairman and co-founder, Glenn McGrath, MCLEMOI GALLERY and George will be donating 10% of the sales of the paintings for the first day of this exhibition to the McGrath Foundation.
“Establishing MCLEMOI GALLERY has been a labour of love so I was blown away when George offered to come onboard and make his opening night a fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation – I couldn’t think of a better way to appreciate local art whilst supporting Australian families experiencing breast cancer,” Sara said.
As you probably already know, the McGrath Foundation works to support those with breast cancer by raising money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in young women. McGrath Foundation ambassador and Director, Tracy Bevan says that “support from Business Friends such as MCLEMOI GALLERY will go a long way in helping us reach our goal of 150 McGrath Breast Care Nurses.” Having already supported over 16,000 families with 77 McGrath Breast Care Nurses it’s so important that we all band together to help the McGrath Foundation to achieve this obtainable goal and you can help by showing up on Saturday evening for this special fundraising partnership.
The paintings serve to encapsulate everyday experiences, conversations heard and people on the streets; to seek and celebrate the ‘normal’ and mundane, and provide a platform that raises such characters beyond the banal onto modern-day icons. I think this fits the spirit of the night appropriately as I would interpret this to be about taking time to commemorate those ordinary people doing extraordinary things – exactly what the McGrath Breast Care Nurses are doing for so many people.
If you can’t make it down on the night, please do drop into MCLEMOI GALLERY to view the exhibition until 13 October all the same.Mythica George Raftopoulos MCLEMOI GALLERY 45 Chippen St, Chippendale NSW 6pm to 9pm – Saturday 8 September 2012 10 percent of the sale price from all paintings sold on the day will be donated to the McGrath Foundation This event is free