Category: Tips + Tricks

12
Jul

The Bose sleepbuds work! And also don’t.

“Hello, you’ve reached First-World Complaints, this is Zoë speaking, how may I help you?”

My wonderful ears grant me many, many pleasures: the sound of my baby’s laughter, crunchy toast being buttered, Vampire Weekend’s new album, a fresh mug of coffee being poured… but I fear they are taking their job far too seriously. They think they work for the CIA, and must never dip below Aggressively Vigilant. On the plus side, I do feel like I might save the family if a burglar ever gives it a crack.

Just like my inability to jump on trampolines, I blame the children. It pretty much kicked in the day my firstborn arrived, as did my anxiety and complete loss of rhythm on the dance floor, and it seems to get more powerful with each new child/year that goes by, yknow, like the stench of a Camembert that’s rolled under the back seat.

On any given night my extremely over sensitive ears will run the auditory gauntlet of:

1. My husband’s snoring breathing. It was just occasional snoring , but then I coerced him into sinus surgery to “help” him, and now his basic inhalation and exhalation volume is set to AUDITORIUM thanks to all the new airway space created. So that’s cool. No regrets there. (Fun fact: The thing that stopped his snoring – til he stopped practising – and which stopped his daily use of Ventolin and prednisolone for his asthma, was the Buteyko method. It works. And as the person sharing a bed with him, I can vouch for it.)

2. My five-year old calling out for a drink… or that he is cold… or coming into our bed, or my one year-old crying because she is a one-year old and they do that, especially when they are teething, or sick, or their brain is doubling in size and capability, so, always.

3. Possums fucking around in the tree right outside. We’ve got the goddamn Possopranos out there: it is violent, it is relentless, and I swear I heard the word gabbagool the other night.

4. High-density urban living… i.e.: neighbors daring to have a life and drinking and chatting outside or parties, traffic helicopters flying overhead at 6am, 5am garbos etc etc whatever. That’s life, I get it, let’s all bloody move to Bangalow.

Hotel rooms, of course, are a firm turd out of five for getting a good night’s sleep. Lifts going up and down, the air con vent, party cats, late-night TV viewing next door, housekeeping vacuuming the hallways at 12am (WHY), doors clanging etc. (I am now one of those assholes who checks in and asks for a quiet room away from the restaurant and bar and lift, please.) If anyone can recommend a genuinely quiet hotel room in Sydney, which is where I travel to the most for work: please do. I am six years into my search and still no dice.

Of course, all of this over the top sooking and night waking means I’m a bit of ear plug connoisseur. I reckon if you shine a torch over my Google search bar, you will see the faint words: best ear plugs light sleeper, which I type in relentlessly.

The ones I found to work best I bought in the UK and until my sister-in-law’s dog made off with one of them, I swore by them. Then I found them here in Australia, and discovered they are actually swimming earplugs, and under no circumstances should they be worn overnight for sleeping.

I‘ve tried expensive custom fit ones, and every size and variety of foam plug Amazon reviewers rave about. Yes, before you ask, I tried the Earfoams, and no, they weren’t for me. A friend raves about the Antinois brand, but I generally just revert to 3M or Mack, make sure I insert them properly, and hope for the best.

And that is still kind of the case, even though I bought the Bose Sleepbuds for almost $400 hoping they would be my saviour, mostly with regards to the human sharing a bed with me, and his various, adorable breathing (how dare he) and honking habits. I bought them after a weekend away with my husband, where his snoring was so AGGRESSIVE that I ended up sleeping with my airpods in, and nature music turned up to the point of ear drum perforation.

I’m not gonna go to deep on what these things are/do, the Internet has that covered; they are noise-masking in-ear earbuds, that deliver sounds via Bluetooth from the Bose app in your phone. It’s like a white noise machine, in your ear. You can not use them for calls or music: they only work with the Bose app and the library of noise-masking sounds within. That’s a lotta cash for a very limited job, but Bose aren’t dummies, they know the sleep deprived will pay anything for some zzzs.

This is the case/charger. You get 16 hours of bud charge (cool name for a band?) from a full charge.

The Sleepbuds are good, but also not. They could be better. I was holding out for V2, which is generally the time to buy new shit, cos all the bugs have been ironed out by then, but there was no V2 on horizon, so I dived in. They really need to make a V2.

PROS

They work.
But not in the most useful way since I can still hear snoring, banging and loud music. Maybe that’s too much to ask from a small piece of plastic or foam, it’s highly likely. We have been gifted the blessing of hearing, and we should be grateful. That said, I find that if you blast the ‘downstream’ sound, it can mask pretty well. But man, it’s intense. I feel like there is a waterfall IN my head. It’s disconcerting and gives me weirdass dreams. I couldn’t do that all night if my partner was a total honker. It’s too full on, and I think it’s unnatural to have that kind of level of noise, even a gentle nature noise or a soft ambient pink noise, funneled directly into your ears.

I do it when my husband’s snoring is dialed up to 10, or when a neighbor is having a party, or when my husband is trying to give me a sleep in and the kids are being VERY LOUD. I use a lesser noise choice and a lesser volume to mask street noise etc.

My buds have saved me in hotels when the people upstairs wake at 5am and stomp around before they leave for their 7am flight, and it’s allowed me to sleep through parties, and it means on holidays where we are all in one room together sleeping, I don’t turn me into a murderous witch.

They’re comfortable.
I’m a side sleeper and they are totally fine. Comfortable. And they stay in.


These are the buds, they are cute, fit well (there are three sizes of cover with each set) and comfy.

 

They’re update-able.
You can (finally) download more noise masking sounds. (There was only 10 for ages.)

CONS

They do not mask snoring.
Ooof, they try, but they don’t. If I am already asleep with them in, these may keep me from waking from my husband’s snoring, but if I awake because he belted off to dreamland first and started snoring? No.

They don’t seal the ear like a foam plug.
So, yknow, noise is gonna come in.

They’re fiddly as hell.
As an Apple fan, and daily user of airpods, I’ve had the enormous privilege of an instant Bluetooth connection, and efficient retrieval and removal of the earbuds from the charging case. Bose are several decades behind Apple here. It’s not uncommon for it to take me 5-6 goes to carefully align the buds into their charging unit, and there have been many, many nights when I take the buds out and insert into ears, (which is when the connection is meant to fire) and the app cannot find and connect to them. At 2am, in the darkness, this is really fucking annoying.

The app as the controller.
It’s a pest having to fire up your phone and app to use these. Hey, sleepyhead, here is some INTENSE BLUE LIGHT just to soothe you back to sleep. I sleep with my phone on flight mode on the other side of the room, and the whole procedure is fiddly, riddled with bugs, and feels very clunky. Do better, Bose. Please. You are onto something here.

Volume adjustment
Same family of complaint as above: you have to go into your phone and the app to adjust volume. THIS IS SO DOPEY. Make it work with the volume buttons on the side of the phone, you heathens. We’re tryin’ to sleep and you keep making us light up our dang phone!

Low sound quality
As in, for this kind of money, I don’t want to be able to detect the loop on a nature sound. I suspect my brain’s over activity is part of the reason I am a light sleeper, so if it can find a loop or rhythm in a ‘white noise’ or nature noise, my god it will, and with furious pace, and then it will obsess over it like a tongue with a loose tooth. Several of the sounds I could easily detect where the noise started and stopped. Boo. Hiss. (Repeat.)

You will know they’re there.
By that I mean: I don’t really notice foam plugs, they can stay in all night. But I am aware of these guys being in there, as comfy as they are. They don’t fall out, they’re just… not my ears. And I know that my ears don’t usually have sounds pouring into them. So if you’re a hyper-sensitive weirdo like me, you may feel this is all a bit foreign and it may annoy you during the night, causing more night-waking than if you didn’t have them in… if that makes even a licka sense.

OVERALL

I do not at all regret buying them, esp when I travel for work, and know a noisy night awaits. I pack them every time I go away, and they’re always charged and ready to go at home. But, I think of them as a smash-glass-in-case-of-emergency tool, not a useful, every night solution like foam ear plugs. And, they don’t block out snoring. In my experience, only a spare room truly does, and as we have two kids and a three bedroom house, that’s not really the answer.

Also, if my husband is away, I can’t use them, cos I worry I wouldn’t hear the kids or the fire alarm. So in that sense, they are, um, too effective.

What a brilliant customer case study I am for Bose: “They don’t work! They work too well!”

Anyway. I wrote this not cos I have a tech gadget blog or time to write product reviews, I wrote it for the many other light sleepers or people with snorey spouses who are looking for a yay/nay on these things. Even though of course the whole thing is hugely personal and subjective. I myself read a breathtaking amount of reviews on these things before buying them, like, waaaaay more reviews than on something I’ve paid a lot more money on, (a mattress for example) because I wanted very honest, very specific advice, and also, I’m used to spending $7 on ear plugs, not $380.

In summation: They’re useful, and they have helped me. I feel confident going to bed knowing they’re in my artillery.
If you can afford them, and your sleep is suffering because of noise, I recommend them.

Fondest,
Tikki Tikki Tembo, Recommendo.

PS If you use ear plugs that are game-changey, please, for the love of light sleepers, tell us below!

Responses to this drivel: 47 Comments
07
Jun

How to (easily) look after your skin on flights.

Back when I was a product-obsessed beauty editor and didn’t sashay round with a handbag full of corn puffs and plastic cars, my flight skin advice would have read something like this:

“Start with a deep cleansing exfoliating mask, then a hydrating mask, then three serums, a face oil, eye gel, and SPF then makeup before you leave the house. Once you’re on the plane, cleanse your face with a cleansing balm and muslin, and pop on a sheet mask. Ignore the weird looks. Once you remove it, re-apply serums, oils and SPF again. Before you land, apply tinted moisturiser, mascara, blush, brightening eye shadow, a pop of pink lipstick, and apply dry shampoo throu-“ … you get the idea.

Who has time for that?

Lots of people probably, the lucky squids.

But not me people.

These days I spend all my energy, time and handbag real estate on nappies, sippy cups, snacks and Lego. I know! I know. It’s as glamorous as a burp.

And so, since I now boast the holy trinity of:

  • Very young children
  • Lots of travel under my belt
  • Years spent creating skin care products for people who don’t want fussiness and confusion and seven-step routines, just skin that looks good and feels nice

… I have a pretty effective, simple philosophy of flight skin care. Most of it is done before you get on the plane, so you can focus on your meal and a movie/walking your child up and down the aisle 75 times.

My humble travel overlords at Expedia asked me to share my tips. I warned them they weren’t very glamorous, but they insisted, so here they are:

Do a mask before you fly.
You’ve seen how much flights suck your face dry, right? Well the battle starts before you get to the airport. So whether it’s a nourishing cream mask the night before, or a serum-drenched sheet mask (I am pictured below in my own creepy little glow-boosting sheet mask: Go-To Transformazing) the morning you fly out, DO take 10 minutes to hydrate your skin before a long flight. Bonus points for exfoliating first. I like Sodashi’s Plant Essence Replenish Mask.

Layer oils and creams.

To give your face (…and neck and chest because your face stops at your boobs) its’ best possible chance to retain moisture, apply a nourishing face oil and then a rich facial moisturiser the day you fly. I slather myself in my own Go-To Face Hero and Very Useful Face Cream, obviously.

Click here to read the rest of the article, or risk dry post-flight skin and probably a huge loss of reputation.

Responses to this drivel: 2 Comments
27
Feb

Tips for flying (long haul) with a toddler.

Those congenial Expedia travel lords recently asked me to write about my experiences travelling with a toddler.

I happily obliged, because if there’s one thing I know about travelling 36 hours with a toddler, it’s two things:

  1. If possible, choose a toddler you actually like or are related to,
  2. It’s achievable.

We decided we liked our two year-old enough to fly to Europe with him, and so the planning began. We are frequent flyers, we travel domestically a lot and overseas a few times a year. We have even done this exact trip with him before… except he was four months old and all that was required was my boobs and the plane bassinet. We have flown to NYC and the Maldives with him, but this was before he was moving around. A toddler is different. And by different, I mean, do you really need to go to Italy?

There is a reason many antipodean parents instill a no-fly rule when their kids are aged between about 10 months and three. It’s a marathon effort. My husband wears sports clothes because he genuinely thinks of it as an endurance race.

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Alas, I write this knowing our parent (2) to child (1) ratio is comically easy, especially when a friend of mine with SIX children, including twin one-year olds was on the same flight as us, but there is still planning involved, inasmuch as ideally you:

  1. a) Avoid melt-downs (yours. But also theirs, I guess)
  2. b) Get some sleep
  3. c) Not deliberately leave your child in transit because they’re slowly but powerfully extinguishing your will to live
    Here are some of the tips I have accrued for long-haul toddler flying.

Fly at night

Choose a night flight if it’s a long one. The child will be wide awake and stimulated at the airport, so run them ragged and make sure they have food in their belly. Yes, you risk a bit of a meltdown choosing a late night flight and it likely won’t be pretty at the departures gate, but better to have them so exhausted they can’t put up a fight on the flight, rather than well-rested and ready for ice cream and Despicable Me followed by Frozen and a few hundred laps of the aisle. Day flights have always failed for us. It’s too bright and exciting for child to sleep, and they are generally already hungry, antsy and tired from transit before we even board. What fun.

Be at the airport first, but board last

Be at the airport early. Everything takes longer with kids. If you’re travelling as a family, try to get one parent on first to ensure you get some cabin space for all your bags, then the other parent boards last with the kids (why sit on the plane any longer than required?) Once you’re on, try to make their seat as ‘bedroomy’ as possible: bring their sleeping sack/blanket or pillow, their comforter or teddy, and our travel must have for both the flight and the hotel at the other end: a big black scarf or piece of fabric and gaffa tape to tape over any lights above them. Read books to calm them.


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Spare clothes

Pack a Wondersuit/PJs for child, (we dress ours in this for the airport, just chucking a jumper over the top and some shoes on for a stylish update) plus a full change of clothes for arrival. And plenty of undies or nappies. (We went through TEN NAPPIES flying to Greece with him as an infant. TEN. And four Wondersuits.) Also pack a spare top for you. You’ll be grateful for it.

Read the rest of the article over here.

But not here.

Responses to this drivel: 5 Comments
28
Nov

My favourite bits of Italy.

Despite the fact that it requires many thousands of dollars/kilometres for Australians to holiday abroad, and our currency is always being picked on by the bigger kids, we Strayans continue to travel overseas in rising numbers, and with craftier luggage tricks. Good on us.

I usually choose Italy. I’ll go there annually if they’ll continue to have me, despite my terrible pronunciation of “grazie”.

Some reasons include:

  • Carbs
  • Fashion
  • Negronis
  • Ricotta cheesecake
  • Swimming off rocks and no sand anywhere
  • No judgment when ordering a bowl of pasta, then pizza
  • Friendly, warm, welcoming Italians
  • Everyone looks great because everyone wears sunglasses always
  • Carbs

Like most people, I’ve done the classic Italian hotspots: Venice, Positano, Sicily and, of course, Athens. Here are some of my favourite things to do/see/eat/visit in the aforementioned hotspots.

Taormina, Sicily

We stayed in Taormina, on the beach, rather than up in town. But with a cable car swinging its way between the town (all the food/shops and most of the hotels) and beach (a handful of hotels and restaurants) all day, both options are good. Have a fancy, view-soaked drink at Grand Hotel Taormina, and outstanding aperitivo at Timoleone. Have your (daily) granita at Bam Bam bar, swim at Isola Bella, and make a day trip to Noto and Syracuse if time permits. Definitely eat lunch (or ideally stay) at Country House Villadorata, just outside of Noto, if you’re roaming. It served up the finest meal of my trip.

 

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Portofino

Portofino could never be accused of being cheap, but that’ll happen when you’re a) tiny, b) breathtaking, and c) overrun with super yachts and tourists. But it’s so lovely! Pop on your best boaty pastels and make the trip already! Head up to Hotel Splendido (often called the best hotel in the world, and after staying there, I’m a believer) for a sunset cocktail, and when the bill arrives suck it up and file it in your “Lifelong Memories” folder. Buy some cheese, wine and crackers in town and have a picnic in the surrounding national park; have a casual lunch at La Taverna del Marinaio, or walk away from the packed main square to L’Isolotto for some of the best pizza of your goddamn life. There’s a small, protected swimming area just below Splendido where locals swim laps (scene of one of the most magical rock swims of my life), or Paraggi beach just outside town.

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Venice?

Rome?

Capri and Positano?

Florence?

Click here.

Definitely not here.

Responses to this drivel: 7 Comments
27
Oct

How to pack for (and dress up on) your holidays.

When Expedia (he’s just one guy wearing a cowboy hat and board shorts, by the way) said to me: “Hey Travel Ambassador Lady, does dressing up on holidays make sense to you?” I said, “Expedia, to me, dressing up on holidays makes PERFECT sense.”

I put it in the same category as ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ except that it’s more, ‘dress for the place you’re in, not the one you came from.’

I cop a fair bit of stick about it from my mates, of course. It’s so much effort, my mates say. Who cares how you look on holidays, they say. Take off that velvet cape, they say.

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But it’s not an effort for me. I love it. I adopt a new personality overseas, a much more flamboyant, fruity one than the jeans and trainers girl back home.

To me, the holiday experience is about playing along. About immersing into the city or country you’re in. So, if you’re in Sicily, you eat pasta alla norma, cannolli and caponata, you drink Zibbibo and you swim where the locals tell you to. And for me, you dress in bright colours and with as many pom-poms as legal.

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I’m embarrassingly osmotic when I travel. If I see a cool woman wearing a slip dress with a flamboyant head wrap in Portofino, I want in. If I see a minimalist woman wearing bejeweled slippers with a white pantsuit in Rome, I want in. And if I see a babe in a white shirt tucked into a colourful ankle-length skirt with a neckerchief in Florence, I want in. To me travel is Real Life Instagram; I see things that inspire and delight, and in that moment, in that piazza, in that sunshine, I want to play along. Even if it’s just with a new ZARA top and belt, and a bucket of holiday confidence; I’m in.

Anyway. Recently I went to Italy.

I knew I’d shop over there, so I packed light: a tight edit of shoes and a few dresses and tops from last summer, half of which I was ready to farewell if space got tight. This, I’ve learned, is smarter than flying with nothing, assuming you will fill your suitcase with cute new stuff the second you arrive, only to arrive and discover they are already doing autumn-winter fashion, and it’s 30 degrees, and you’re screwed.

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Read the full story here.

Not here.

Responses to this drivel: 9 Comments
12
Nov

How to pack for a beach holiday with a baby.

It’s easier than packing for a beach holiday with a pet tiger, I suppose, but there’re still some challenges. And by challenges, I mean: suitcase space. Once I’d packed all of his stuff, I just squeezed in one sandal and a swimsuit for me.

It’s different depending on the baby’s age, obviously. This time last year we went to Europe for a month and all we really needed to pack was some clothes, a few colourful, rattly toys and my boobs.

This time he was 13 months old, eating normal food and wanes of toys in 20 seconds. And so, here’s how we chilly Melbourne cats packed for our magic trip to the Maldives with our teeny, non-verbal little buddy:

What I packed for baby

Swim pants (I prefer these over swim nappies, although I packed a few swim nappies too) plus a full body UV 50 rashie/swimsuit because sunscreening a baby is about as easy as pushing toothpaste back into the tube. (I like the Babes in the Shade ones as they’re cute and don’t feature angry animated sharks.) Sandals and walking shoes, a wide brim UV 50 hat with chin cord, and a cap. Assorted shorts and t-shirts and onesies… enough for one outfit a day and a few spares. (Special nod to Pure Baby’s little summer onesies.) I packed several Bonds Wondersuits because we adults had the air con at night, so these PJs ensured he’d stay warm.

Read the rest of this piece on Expedia, whom I wrote it for because I’ve tricked them into thinking I know heaps about travel, here.

Read about when to use the word ‘whom’ and when to use ‘who’ here.

Sonny_Zo_pool

Responses to this drivel: 2 Comments
04
May

Event beauty preparation.

These are the people, the treatments and the shortcuts involved in my Logies preparation this year. You can easily use a similar approach for your wedding day, 40th, or cincoanera.

You will note the absence of Flaky Jim’s Skin Palace. This is for good reason. NO MORE, JIM. It’s over.

FACE

As I have mentioned more times than can possibly be interesting, my chief skin concern is hyperpigmentation. I am about to stop breastfeeding, and hoping that the final remnants of the hormonal pigmentation will fuck off when that happens, but that said, I get it regardless of cute babies I make. So, I used the Logies as an excuse to do something about it and improve my skin in general.

I will do longer post on the treatment I’ve been having, DermaFrac, for the last couple of months, because IT IS ACTUALLY WORKING, but the headlines are:

  • I have it every 2-3 weeks at Me Skin and Body in South Yarra
  • It takes 40 mins because I skip the dermabrasion bit, I just have a lactic peel, micro-needling and the LED
  • There is no downtime, and it has really broken up my pigmentation and brightened my skin tone. (This is my goal. Wrinkles are fine, it’s the uneven skin tone that annoys me.)
  • It’s not inflammatory like lasers or IPL, which can actually make my pigmentation flare up.

In the final two weeks I had my beloved Omnilux LED lamp (at Duquessa, in Carlton) for a criminal amount of plumpness and glow. I always recommend this to women getting married when they ask, “what should I do with my face?”, because your skin will look heavenly under makeup, IRL and forever and always in the photos. I had four sessions over two weeks, the last one on the day before the Logies.

I have been using Cosmedix Simply Brilliant followed by Go-To Face Hero for super nourishment and antioxidants, followed by  a physical sunscreen in the AM, and SkinMedica Lytera follwed by Face Hero and then Go-To Very Useful Face Cream at night.

Here is my skin with no makeup just before my skin with lots of makeup. All the pigmentation on my forehead and the top of my cheekbones is so light and scattered now. (Clear eyes care of Omnilux. No juice cleanses here.)

*Usually I would have a light AHA peel before two of these lamp sessions, but because there is a lactic peel as part of Dermafrac, I just have a cleanse, the 20 minute lamp then buzz off.

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BODY

I’m currently the Hypoxi ambassador, which means I get to do AS MUCH HYPOXI AS I LIKE. I would be a total dickhead not to use this magical goldpass before an event where I am wearing a fitted dress, so I have been going as often as I can. I use the HDC machine for lymphatic drainage, then the s120 to help fluid retention and tone up. I also walk a lot and do a bit of half-arsed Kayla Itsines at home on the rug while Sonny heckles me about my wussy handweights. (I still have a hip injury, so can’t do the cardio maniac training I used to love.)

I had the delightful Karla from Brown Bodies come to my home to do a St Tropez spray tan two days before the event. This seemed a very convenient option, except that Sonny WAILED LIKE A GODAMN BANSHEE the entire time (scared of the noise? My underwear choice?) and I had to keep popping out of the tent, and running to him and leaping over the baby gate in nothing but my tarty spray tan g-string (I shudder to think of the view poor Karla had) to soothe him without actually touching him, because that would mess up the tan. Not one of my finest moments. The tan was gorgeous, though.

HAIR AND MAKEUP

When I have events or MC duties or photoshoots I call on my cherished hair and makeup sausage, Laura Gilham. She knows what I like, she’s fast and I always book her months in advance so she can do me on Logies day. It calms me knowing she will do something great, and that we will have fun, and that when I say a browny-mauve smoky eye she gets it, and that she knows I NEED a dewy complexion, and matte is the devil and that my length hair is tricky to fingerwave.

I chose fingerwave-esque hair because the dress was so clean and modern in the end, that my slicked down tucked behind the ears look I was going to have was wrong. That look suited a more floaty, romantic dress, but as the dress became more simple, I needed to add some excitement. Hence, the waves.

(This is far too close up. I looked way better from across the room.)

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There is no need to have your “own” hair and makeup artist, of course (but if you go to a lot of events, the convenience of them coming to you can be worth it and it becomes far less wanky than you might imagine) you can shimmy into a salon and get your hair done beautifully, (I recommend Edwards and Co because they excel at naturally glamorous hair) then go to a counter like Chanel, Napoleon, MAC or Bobbi Brown for your makeup. Take references for both hair and makeup so there’s no guess work and no tears. Also a photo of you in your dress so they can see the colour and neckline.

NAILS

I got a $20 manicure using OPI’s So many clowns… so little time. Bubble Bath is too pink on my olive skin, and Samoan Sand can look a little almondy sometimes; this is the perfect sheer, milky-ivory-beige.

TEETH

I mostly just made sure they didn’t get knocked out and were clean.

JUST ON THE DRESS + JEWELS…

I was very lucky to have Mr Magic Gown Steven Khalil (he did my wedding dress, and also a previous Logies get up) make me a frock for the night, and even MORE lucky to have a gown that involved no Hollywood tape, no boning, no corsetry, nothing too clingy, and no cleavage spill. It was comfortable, easy to wear and I felt fucking tip top. This is not normal for such an event. Maybe I’m getting older but I can’t be arsed with severe discomfort in the name of fashion anymore.

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I wore vintage Art Deco jewels from Keshett, which I loved. I went black as a nod to the belt. As usual no clutch because I am likely to get it wrong, so my husband just puts my lipstick and phone in his garter.

Keshett Jewellery

Here is said husband, and the reason I am even at the Logies, the handsome, funny, adorable, Logie-winning, Gap Yearing wildman himself, Mr Hamish ‘The Bachelor’ Blake.

He really is my dream date: fun, hilarious, cute and GREAT at finding me sliders and fries at the after party.

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Responses to this drivel: 27 Comments
05
Dec

Don’t take four serums overseas.

As a beauty editor, frequent flyer and now mother, I wrote a piece for Expedia on the golden rule of travel beauty, which is: take heaps of bubble gum.

No, wait. It’s: keep it simple. Or, pay the price. (Literally. In luggage weight charges.)

Preparation is king.

Travel isn’t the time to be wasting precious minutes on boring stuff like applying mascara, blow-drying hair, fake tanning, manicures and so on. So, do all you can before you leave to make your holidays a, ‘I’m up, let’s go!’ experience, rather than, ‘Just give me half an hour.’ Get eyelash extensions. Have a keratin smoothing treatment put through your hair. Get a spray tan. Get gel polish on your toes and get a nude manicure (no polish or clear) on your fingers so you won’t have chipped, skanky nails a week in. (Natural is the new black anyway.) Waste time on your appearance before you leave, not once you arrive.

Pack everything a week out.

Then, the day before, when you’re adding your daily essentials, (sunscreen, cleanser, foundation etc.) remove 30% of what you packed. You do not need four serums. Nor do you need your hair curler and hair straightener, plus three brushes. Travel provides a wonderful opportunity to do a beauty detox. I’m not asking you to look like a banshee for two weeks, but I am asking you to reconsider how much of your suitcase you are dedicating to stuff you don’t need and won’t use during two weeks in Peru.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE.

DON’T READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE.

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14
Nov

Yes. You CAN travel with a baby.


As part of my fun role as a travel-type writer for Expedia, I decided to write a piece reminding new parents they are allowed to travel with their baby. Especially if that baby is about four months old – the golden travel age. It’s ambitious, but worth it…

‘We’re heading to Europe for a month!’ I’d say to friends.

‘With your baby?’ they’d say, incredulously.

‘Nah, he’ll go back to the family of possums we found him in ‘til we get back. Ha ha ha! But seriously. No chance. Babies are the worst at traveling. He’s going to stay home and mind the cat.’

And so went the hilarious back and forth prior to our trip with a four-month old. But guess what! We DID take him to Europe! And he was excellent. Especially considering he had to deal with jetlag, teething, flying to the other side of the world, and a new home every couple of days. (There’s a reason people say travel before they can crawl; I understand that reason very much.)

In fact, he even made us better travellers. We had to keep it together for his sake. And in stressful situations – say, a cancelled ferry and a six-hour wait on a stinking hot day at a filthy, windy, dusty port – his calm, smiley, no-idea-what’s-happening mood actually made us calm down. He reminded us that really, not much mattered so long as we were safe and had each other and he had food. (‘Me.’)

Here are a few tips I have if you’re about to do some summer travel with your baby.

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CLICK HERE TO LOOK AT MY LITTLE PONY CAKES.

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20
Oct

I. Love. Greece.

I have a new gig writing for Expedia’s travel blog.

As you can imagine, it’s awful. They make me stay in nice places and see beautiful things and then I get to write about it. It’s the worst.

Anyway. Here’s my first piece, I wrote it on Greece. I just returned from there, ysee, and am quite the fan…

Thermal Springs SantoriniMe having a wonderful time despite the farty smell in the volcanic Santorini thermal springs.

 

GREEK ISLAND HOPPING 101.

I just returned from some time in Greece and wanted to rub everyone’s nose in it with a post about it. Sorry, I mean, recommend some things.

This is my fifth trip to Greece. I’ve been to the islands of Paros, Ios, Naxos, Santorini, Folegandros, Mykonos, Corfu, Zakynthos and of course, the capital, Athens, where I snuck into the Acropolis at night and had a frappe under the moonlight*.

Here are some of the things I’ve loved and advocate – because I love a recommendation when I travel – on my two favourite Greek islands, although Athens certainly gets a mention.

Handy and a little bit aggressive hint: Go in September. It’s the BEST time to go. The weather is perfect, the sea is at a delicious temperature and there are still enough visitors to make it buzz, but not the heaving crowds you get in July and August.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT HOMEMADE SOCKS.

 

Folegandros frappeSonny, his thighs and I enjoying a frappe on sweet little Folegandros

 

Responses to this drivel: 4 Comments