Friday, 30 November 2012


Before I start talking about how awesome Fridays are, I want to talk about something that isn't awesome: critical complainers.
After yesterday's post it's probably obvious that I don't have anything against complaints or criticisms per se, but some are just tedious and boring and bring everyone down.  There is a time and a place.  Sometimes the time is never and the place is nowhere. 
Hate the hot weather, the nightrider, a government policy you don't actually understand? Get a fan, get a cab, get a clue.  Think someone's university degree is pretty lame compared to yours? Keep that one to yourself, you pretentious butthead.  Unimpressed with a gift from a fan? Shut up Madonna, you're not that great.
It's okay to criticise some things, just don't criticise everything, always! And especially don't keep making the same criticism over and over.  Don't be a Debbie Downer!
If you just can't help being such a grouch, here are some blogs I like that might cheer you up:
Domestic Divinity, which I mentioned recently on the Expect Cowgirls Facebook page, is my second favourite blog after Faux Fuchsia.  It features lots of pictures of lovely things, and I really admire its writer, Mez, because she is very open and shares a lot more than most bloggers do, despite getting some seriously unpleasant commenters.
Me & Mr Oliver is a very recent discovery of mine (Mum, this is the one I was telling you about).  It's like The Julie/Julia Project, only with Jamie Oliver.  In my opinion it's better, because I prefer his recipes, and it's great to see a real person cooking them and getting such good results. 
Lovely Jublies is my new favourite right now.  You know Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds, the fabulous woman who is always doing mad computer stuff while wearing an embellished cardigan and some kind of hair ornament? 
That is what Z dresses like, minus the crazy wigs and plus jewel-encrusted stilettos.
After reading that blog all day yesterday I really felt like I needed to make more of an effort at work.  I couldn't get away with those wild outfits at work but I wore this kind of sticky-outy Basque skirt:
I just wore it with a black singlet and cardigan.  My workplace is very casual and boring.
My cardi was a bit too long and it looked dorky so I copied Z and tied it in a midriff, Mariah Carey style.  My hair was a mess though, I had a vaccination yesterday and my arm is still really sore so I couldn't lift my hand up to my head.
I accessorised with this Valleygirl bow ring feat. greyish-blue stones ($2.95 in a set!) and actual nail polish on my fingernails.  Pinky browny neutral polish, but still.  It's OPI Tickle My France-y.
Obviously I didn't buy a $20 nail polish.  I stole it from Mum.
I also wore these Colette $5.95 earrings:

I'm not necessarily partial to bows, but I am partial to matching.
I'm also partial to a barbecue dinner!
There was haloumi too.  The best start to a weekend.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Things I Hate Thursday: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Welcome to a new feature on Expect Cowgirls!  Every Thursday, or whenever I feel like it, I'm going to complain about stuff I don't like and pass it off as Writing, because you can do stuff like that when you have a blog and probably your friends will still read it anyway.

This first Things I Hate Thursday post is dedicated in controversy to Stephen Chbosky and his book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which you probably know because everyone was reading it back in about year 12 and talking about how flippin' great it was.


I guess they were high, because this book totally sucks.  The storyline is pretty familiar - some awkward high-school age kid experiments with drugs and sexuality and deals with Issues, and as we go we learn a bit about his inner turmoil and dark past.  (See also: Degrassi, Clueless.)  I guess Chbosky figured that since these kinds of texts have a lot in common, it would be easy to just throw together all the old cliches and a few pop culture references and impress everyone.

And he was right, because I've never heard anyone else say they didn't like it.  It was so popular they've even made a movie of it and I just do not get it.  Honestly, it's so generic you could be forgiven for thinking it's a parody of the genre. I don't see how anyone could genuinely enjoy it unless it's the first book they've ever read; if that's the case, I do concede that the ideas will seem quite fresh.


I hated this book so much I wanted to stop reading, which I almost never do, but a friend convinced me that the amazing twist ending would make my suffering worthwhile.  I was thinking from page one that the ending was super obvious, so I was surprised to hear that and really interested to find out what the crazy twist would be!

Turns out it was only a twist if you had skipped past page one... and every other page in the book... and never read a book like this before.

I don't want to give away any spoilers that Chbosky himself doesn't give away, so I will tell just you what it says at the very start: when Charlie, the protagonist, was a little kid, his aunt used to live with their family, until she died.  Although he has a brother and sister, Charlie was always her special favourite nephew; they were really close and used to hang out a lot.  He's pretty sad about her death, since they were really close.  Really close, you guys.
Honestly, "it was all a dream" would've been more original.

In conclusion, if you find Mills and Boon plotlines too hard to follow and were shocked when Ross and Rachel got together, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the book for you. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

DFO and Other Bargains

A couple of weeks ago Jimmy and I went to DFO.  I was very strict and only looked at things I really needed.
Like these Leona Edmiston Pins grey tights, because they are my absolue favourites and I got a run in my other pair.  They were $12, which I thought was a rather good price for such nice tights.
I also bought this blue merino knit work top from Jacqui E for $15 and these Portmans sunnies for $5, because I have lost/scratched all my others except for a heart-shaped pair and a fluro pink pair, and I was starting to get embarrassed going out in public wearing novelty sunnies.
Then I went to Hurstville Westfield, which contains many of my favourite shops, such as that huge chemist on the bottom level that sells all sorts of discounted things you can't get anywhere else.
That Garnier body lotion is discontinued now and it is a favourite in our household, so I bought one for me and one for Mum.  The St Ives scrub, which is excellent, only cost $3.50!  The Marc Daniels serum was only $1.  I forget how much the mini deodorant was - you can probably get that anywhere, I just bought it for my travel toiletries bag. 
I was super delighted to find Betty Crocker candles there because I'd finished my strawberry one so I bought a replacement, and a coconut one for my sister.  I think they were $2 or $3 each.
Another shop I love is Gloss, which sells all sorts of cosmetics and accessories really cheap.
All of these were things I had been desperately looking for: nail polish remover pen ($4 instead of $14), an iPhone case (only $5, plus it's pink and glittery and therefore the best), spiral bobby pins for buns (super expensive but I got them for $3!) and this special glitter nail polish remover stuff.
I had read about these special nail polish remover jars on a blog somewhere, it's like a tub of nail polish remover but with a fancy sponge thing in it, and you just pop your finger in, rub it around if you like, wait a minute, then take it out and all the polish is gone.  It is really easy and efficient and somehow less drying than regular remover, plus you don't get white fluff from your Swisspers everywhere.  The review I read said they were awesome but unfortunately couldn't be used with glitter polish - a terrible shame, because that is by far the hardest polish to remove.
So imagine my delight when I discovered a special glitter polish one!  It can still be used for regular polish too, I tested it.
Anyway I was really happy about all my bargains, and especially happy because I only bought things that I needed and had on my shopping list.  Yay! Does anyone have any other bargain tips for me?

Sealevel Again

Jim and I went to Sealevel again on Sunday night.
I love their mini loaves of bread, so cute and yummy.
I started with the semolina squid this time (delicious), and Jimmy had the beetroot ravioli.
We both had the same main:
It was awesome.
This vanilla and cherry creme brulee was a bit ordinary.  The cherry element was just a few cherries chucked into a regular creme brulee, which was kind of weird, plus the custard wasn't set and the top wasn't a proper hard cracky caramel, as you can see.
The flavour was good and it had a silky, creamy texture, but it was just not what we had expected. 
The rest of the meal was still lovely and I will keep going back; I just won't order dessert next time.
Thanks Jimmy for taking me out for a nice evening!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


I wrote this post last week but couldn't upload it, so here you are now:

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA. Happy Thanksgiving, American readers!

We don't have any such thing as that in Australia, but now is as good a time as any to think about the things for which we are grateful.


Bits and Bobs

My parents went to New Zealand over the weekend and brought me back some lovely gifts!
This is a tea towel:
I think it looks quite festive in a modern way, I will use it all the time but especially at Christmas.
This one was beautifully wrapped, which always adds to the fun.
It's Hibiscus and Lime scented shower gel and body lotion, omg it smells so good.
Thanks Mum and Dad!
Here's Mila Kunis in a Dior ad:
I have always liked her.
This little stand in the Southgate shopping centre had this sign showing off their posh nail polishes:
But here's the actual nail polish:
They are mostly those Maybelline mini Colorama thingies.  I'm sure they are less than $10 in Australia.
Since when is Brazil known for having special nail polishes anyway, and what does "handpicked" even mean in a polish context? It's not fruit!
Speaking of nail polish, here is mine:
I keep it in a gift box (purchased cheap at Australia Post in January, in a set of four).  The mini box in the back has all my extra things, like my excellent Clinique Deep Comfort hand cream and this very clever glitter polish remover device.
Almost all of the colours are shades of pink or red - I'm adventurous like that - and I nearly always use Ulta3 as it is my fave, but last night I had an urge to use this Satin polish in Number 33 instead.
The quality's not as good as Ulta3.
I bought it last Summer, when I went up to Coffs Harbour with my family for my cousin's wedding.  I had my nails done in OPI Feeling Hot Hot Hot while I was up there with my family, then they came home and Jim and I had our own little trip in Forster for a few days.  While I was there my polish started to chip and I realised Mum had taken the nail polish remover home with her!
I went to the chemist to buy some, then realised it would be better to buy a $2 polish in the same colour and fix it up, saving me a few bucks and giving me several more days out of my manicure.  I rummaged for ages without much hope, then came upon a single bottle of  Number 33, which was a PERFECT match. Amazing!
That bee ring's pretty good too hey? I bought it from the markets at uni for $5.
And now for something completely different, here's an amusing gift bag I saw in Hot Dollar:
Mike Jackson RIP.

Marion Cotillard

How good is Marion Cotillard?

I first saw her in Tim Burton's Big Fish and then in Love Me If You Dare, which is one of the best movies ever made and she is brilliant in it.  That's what the picture of her over on the side is from.
Her costar in it is Guillame Canet and they ended up getting married.  Or maybe they are de factos. 
They have a kid now too. I think that is lovely.
For a while she still wasn't that popular in Hollywood but then she did La Vie En Rose, and now she is in everything!
Probably you have seen her in Inception and the latest Batman movie.

I think she is so classy and glamourous.