31 March 2011

And the boys go on and on. Part 4. The intelligentsia edition.

Good looking guys aren't just good looking. They're smart too. As demonstrated below. I have also realised these three sort of look the same. Read on.

I'm hot for journo. Hot for Steve Cannane.
I sigh each time he comes on TV. I hang onto every Goddamn intelligent word he says. And he is a Walkley Award winner. Something I aspire to. He presented on Triple J's Hack radio show, and on Triple J's Hack half hour TV show. Now he's on The Drum. Wow. I am so hot for journo that I've quite possibly ruined any future media credibility I held. Then again, me and Steve may become Australia's next Australian media power couple. Well, we're practically colleagues.

Todd Sampson. He's an advertising expert slash TV presenter slash good looking guy. That's all I know, really.

Steve Poltz. He is funny, smart, and goofy-cute. Can play guitar and sing. And his lyrics are amazing. Google Reno or Butter Jacket. Pronto.
Remember this interview I did with him? And this time he sang to me? Nice eh?

Sigh. These are the types of men I should marry.

Who are your intelligent hot boys?

Oh, and because I had a request from a male reader to feature a hot chick (or in this case, beautiful, intelligent lady), here she is. My girl crush. Cate Blanchett. I have no words.

30 March 2011

Giveaway - Able and Game, Curly Pops and more!

I picked up a few goodies at Finders Keepers to give away on the blog :)

Able and Game cards. I love these cheeky Melbourne designed cards. Lots of funny illustrations and puns. I have a pack of three to give away.
And this cute purse. I don't know who it is by. But I love it, and have one of my own. I have one to give away.
And the lovely Camille from Curly Pops, who I saw at Finders Keepers, has given me a handmade iPod holder. Isn't she talented?!

To enter, please become a subscriber to my blog via Google friend connect or my Facebook page or Twitter, and leave me a comment, with your preference of prize, and your email address.

Entries close 6.00 pm AET, Wednesday13 April 2011.

Good luck!

29 March 2011

Listography - time travel

Kate's Listography challenge this week is 'Places I'd Like to Time Travel To'

I was an avid history student at school. I loved learning about the First Fleet, the Pyjama Girl mystery, JFK, music through the decades, the Vietnam war, Indigenous Australia and of course, civilisations throughout ancient history. I also enjoyed art history, topping my art class in art theory and being offered a place at university in an art history course. So I thought I'd have lots to write about here. Lots of places I'd like to visit in history.

But I only want to go back to one place - my childhood between the ages of around four to 18.

I want to tell my younger self that my life is going to be ok. That I am going to be someone. Someone more than the bullies told me I'd be and the doubters expected of me. That I will be more than they ever could.

I want to tell my younger self that looks aren't everything. That I will influence people through just being myself. That I don't have to change. That people will love me for me.

I want to tell my younger self that this illness isn't doomsday. That a suicidal thought shouldn't be an option. That I will use my experiences to help people. And that I'll lead a pretty good life. I'll have fun and see bands and write and cook and have lots of friends and shop a lot.

I want to tell my younger self that I will find someone who loves me - maybe more than one someone, and even if he is a douchebag, even if I'm still single aged 29, someone will look past my illness and see beauty.

I want to tell my younger self that I will be a success. Even though I've never been chosen to lead anything by my school peers, I will be a leader. I will have a good job, live independently, be tertiary qualified, receive awards and I will be a published and respected writer.

That's the time I'd travel back to. 1985 to 1999. Not to experience those things again, but to tell my younger self that I'm worthy.

28 March 2011

Finders Keepers Market

On Saturday I went to the Finders Keepers Market at the Docklands in Melbourne.
This weekend saw Melbourne host the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix brings all the people to my yard. So many people. It's cool to see them draped in flags, and their faces painted. Merchandise stalls were at the train station.

And special trams went to the Grand Prix. None really went to Finders Keepers.
It was difficult finding a tram to take me to the Docklands - the ever expanding concrete jungle that overlooks the bay.
It always seems to look grey, no matter the weather. Saturday was cold. There are interesting sculptures at the Docklands. Some strange bendy pick up stick creation behind a temporary fence.
 And an upside down cow in a tree. Some serious (and waterproofed) papier mache there.
When I finally did arrive at Finders Keepers, I met the lovely Beccasaurus for the first time (and her well behaved little girl). Becca is making me a dress from my Ikea bedspread that I bought with Hayley. She was great to chat to. And I met Camille again. I also met Brianna, another craft blogger. So lovely to browse craft and shop, and talk girly things.

Another friend J, her mum and daughter met me a little later so I browsed the rest of the HUGE market with them.

Frankie sponsored the market. I love Frankie.
The market was so extensive, and everything I saw was good quality. It makes me want to create more than just stories. I want to craft.
 I ate tacos. Yum!
 I had heard about American taco trucks, so I was excited to see this one.

It was crowded. But the crowd made it warmer.
There were bands, this one is The Bon Scotts.
Other than hanging with a range of nice girls, the highlight was meeting a blogging idol - Lilli from Frocks and Frou Frou. She recognised me. And I shrieked, because, what a coincidence, we were wearing the same top! Of all the clothes we own, we chose our bespoke top from Michelle Tan - Lilli's blog inspired me to buy my own!
We talked about blogging and shopping, of course!

My bag was filled with goodies from Finders Keepers. Don't fret, I didn't buy that much, my bag was full of The Age - I got a kind goth/bikie to help me fold it and put it in my bag, and in doing so, his spiky leather cuff scratched me and made me bleed! The bag also contains some goodies for a blog giveaway - so stay tuned!
I mostly bought brooches. I adore brooches.

This one by Shonah. I love her products - wood and fabric covered with perspex, but I've worried that the wooden pendants would scratch me. So I was excited when I saw brooches on sale.
 I spoke with Shonah and she was so friendly and helpful. And that influences my purchases.
I got this card from Schmooks whose art I saw at Shop Handmade in Canberra.
Leeloo had so many pretties I could have bought everything. And the girls were so friendly. I chose these two brooches.

A retro model in a retro dress by Red Revival. There were so many pretty brooches by Red Revival I couldn't choose quickly.
And this colourful one from Hungry Designs. Considering I dislike and am allergic to real balloons, I love pictures of them.
And these organic cotton leg/arm warmers from Tightology - I wear so many layers, and I think these will look so cool.
So many pretty things at Finders Keepers - I wish I was a millionaire!

27 March 2011

Cows with guns - the milk wars.

While my ethical and financial consciences warred over the Coles milk wars post supermarket trip, I saw an arms and militaria fair in my neighbourhood. Hah!
Right next to the supermarket. War all around.
For the uninitiated, the milk wars are the big supermarkets reducing the price of the staple grocery products, and not supporting the producers. First milk, then bread, then olive oil, now beer. And these annoying ads. Count yourself lucky I didn't post the ad with the singing.
I felt guilty for not going to my local grocer. But today I needed garbage bags and cotton buds, which my grocer does not stock. I wondered if the milk wars have been ethical panic created by the media. And I then remembered I was once employed by the Coles group, and so I needed to support the hand that once provided for the good times I had at uni: Bands in Melbourne. Lots of clothes from, God forbid, Westco. And a few Vodka Cruisers.
I seriously thought about my actions in Coles too much, fearing my conscience would be punished by my ultimate fear - a farmer squirting milk on me. I hate the thought of milk touching me.
I divided my purchases into Coles and non Coles brands. 
Lots of non Coles brands. Hurrah!
Only three Coles branded items. Good work. But three plastic bags. I'm going to milk squirting hell.
Overall my ethical and financial consciences were clear. Mostly because I didn't attend the arms and militaria fair.
This song came into my head. Irony. Cows with guns.
Now that I've rationalised my participation in the milk wars, I am wondering why I am being brainwashed further by tabloid media (ahem - Sunday night shit on Australian TV). If I saved my first kiss for my wedding day, it'd never happen. Nor will marrying a $100 million man. God why am I watching this tabloid shit?
The big issues people. The big issues.

Shaz's story - read it and be inspired and motivated

One of the young people I mentored through ChIPS is doing incredible things.

Sharlene (or Shaz as she prefers) is doing her final year of high school, with a goal to become a lawyer and fight for disability rights.

She captained a team of eight at the last camp I went on.

She is about to participate in and raise money for the Royal Children's Hospital's Run for the Kids - she will be getting out of her wheelchair to walk and run the five km track. The training she's done for the run is amazing, so dedicated. She's raised over $700 so far! You can sponsor her here. Here she is doing the 2010 Run for the Kids:

And last week she represented her local area and the state of Victoria at Parliament House in Canberra. She met the Governor-General Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC.

Shaz has cerebral palsy, but she doesn't let it stop her continual aspiration for excellence.

This girl's going places! I am so proud of her.

We have had many chats at camp, and I am so glad I got to meet this wonderful, driven young lady. She inspires and influences everyone she encounters. I encouraged her to start a blog, and on it she writes brilliant posts about her achievements.

Shaz gave me permission to share her story with my blog readers.
You can read her full blog entry about meeting the Governor General here. 

And while you're there, check out the other entries she has written.

My friend Shaz is a reminder that we can do anything, and we will do anything when we put our minds to it, no matter our adversities.

Keep reaching for the stars Shaz. You're a force to be reckoned with.

26 March 2011

Aussie Bloggers Conference. Perfect day 2: New friends. Heartfelt stories. So much love.

The Aussie Bloggers Conference. Wow. So many attendees have already written about their experiences. I was going to write an epic post earlier, but unfortunately I've been so tired this week, and fell sick. So you can read the epic posts and elaborations of the speaking panels in the link I've provided above.

Words alone can't express how excited and passionate (and thankful) the conference made me feel. I loved it. So. Very. Much.

(Disclaimer: I met so many wonderful bloggers that I can't recall who was who, and so I apologise if I leave you out of this post. But please leave a comment and say hi so I can find you. I also plan to email those whose business cards I have.)
The conference was held on Saturday 19 March in Sydney. Around 170 bloggers, advertisers and media reps attended. I wish it was over two days because I wanted more discussions about blogging, and more time to get to meet and know people.

To be honest, I was worried about going - worried there'd be cliques. I talk to everyone, but in the back of my mind I feared it'd be like highschool. I don't have a blogging circle, and I didn't 'know' more than about five bloggers attending the conference. But I am relieved to say that the conference was filled with nice, kind hearted, inclusive and caring people. If you want your confidence to be boosted, I recommend attending a blogging conference.

The conference featured a number of discussion panels covering blog content, social networking and building communities. I got some useful messages from these discussion panels, a lot of things I do already:
  • Good content is key - we can pretty up our blogs a lot, but readers come back for the content.
  • Twitter is best the marketing tool to use - and not just to promote your blogs. Interact with your followers, engage in conversation, and this will help draw people to your blogs.
  • Be careful online. Don't post pictures of children. Don't tell other peoples' stories. 
  • Be authentic with your writing voice. Be honest. Don't advertise products that don't fit with your blog or beliefs (and say nice things about your sponsors all the time - they may just be sitting on your table - hi David from Nuffnang!)
  • Blogging creates wonderful communities and friendships. It's a little like online activism. 
There was a lot of tweeting through the conference. To some (me included) this may have been considered as rude, but it was also a good way to get instant messages from the conference recorded and out there. I did partake in tweeting, especially about the attractiveness of a certain male panelist.

I didn't get as much out of the panels as I got out of the personal story readings. I think if the next event is over two days, it'd be good to have some more practical workshops - how to promote blogs, how to write a certain style etc.

The personal stories blew me away. I was asked to speak in the My Blog My Story feature.

Thanks to Nicole Avery for recommending me. It was an honour to speak alongside five inspirational, strong and courageous women: Tiffany Tregenza - My Three Ring Circus, Kelley - Magneto Bold Too!, Kim Foale - Frog Ponds Rock, Lori - Random Ramblings of a SAHM and Karen Andrews - Miscellaneous Mum. 

Their stories were very moving. Everyone who spoke showed strength through adversity. They've experienced hard times. Kim and Karen have posted their stories on their blogs so you can read them for yourselves.

My speech was about the way my blog has afforded me so many opportunities. I did it off the cuff, but read out two blog posts: When my face is this sore I find it hard to look in the mirror, and the DiVine version of In control telling my story. The off the cuff bits covered what I do in my life, what my illness is, what support my blog has brought, how I have helped others, my achievements since blogging, and giving out my room number to any men in the room. And I spat my lolly out on stage! Keeping it real!

Thanks to Kim from All Consuming for recording this, sorry for the sound. You will need the volume up high.

I received so much good feedback. Four big claps, lots of laughs, some tears, and so many people came up to me to thank me for my speech. It was a honour. I felt very loved.

When I returned to my table, I received so many tweets of wonder. Wow. Seriously, wow. Thank you. This bit will be rather self indulgent. But I want to record it for prosperity. And it makes me feel so proud and accepting and loved. Awwww :)

@ You rock big time. Your energy should be bottled & sold. Pleasure to meet you. xx

@ thank you Carly - you were a wonderful revelation to meet and hear. As for the clothes, you do pretty well yourself! ;) x

@ thankyou darling... You speak so beautifully! Xo

@ Oh you are...you were/are fantastic!

Just fell hopelessly in love with @ WOW

@ and she has a fabulous dress on! @ @

Fallback career in stand-up RT @: @ brings the lols to the room. :D

Carly says her room is 504 if there are any single men out there... @ :-)
Who's the rock n roll chick on the stage..rocking this blogging community with her life story. @

She's got it. She gets it. Wow. @

@ you are amazing!!
@ What an engaging speaker #ausblogcon2011

<< 'I realised the power of blogging.' @ Led to writing jobs. Awards. Yay you Carly.
Oh how awesome is @ !!

In a store a shop assistant said to @ 'what's on your face? Get out of my store!' After blogging >> support >>

You know what @? People ARE stupid.
@ blogs about her illness, Ichthyosis vulgaris. 'I get stared at, teased every day. It's ok. People are stupid'

@ you rock beautiful girl x

I love @. She rocks my cotton socks.

Totally awesome RT @ Fabulous dress! @

@ is speaking now. Amazing.
Fabulous dress! @

Thank you tweeters, if I haven't thanked you via Twitter already.

I loved the Crowdsourced Keynote feature too - bloggers reading their blog entries: The NDM - Not Drowning, Mothering, Bern Morley - So Now What?, Jodie Ansted - Mummy Mayhem, Kristin Brumm - Wanderlust, Kim Berry - Allconsuming, Mark Mullins - Blak and Black and Eden Riley - Edenland.

So much honesty, raw detail, confronting topics, interesting stories and humour in the My Blog My Story and Crowdsourced Keynote features. It's this sharing of life experience which resonates with me and makes me want to blog and read blogs.

I met some wonderful new friends. And found wonderful new blogs.

I got to know all the speakers in My Blog My Story who sat at my table, plus Veronica Foale from Sleepless Nights. And I chatted with Veronica and Kim Foale, plus Magneto Bold Too at the airport on Sunday.

I met the lovely Denyse Whelan who wrote this on Mama Mia:

And K from Sunnyside Up who deemed me the Best Pocket Rocket of the Aussie Bloggers Conference in her ABC Awards:
Thank you both for writing about me :)

I FINALLY met the gorgeous, stylish and so very nice Bern Morley. She's so tall! And also wrote some lovely words about meeting me.
Meeting Bern was a blog idol moment. I was seriously excited.

I also met Rick Morton, blogger and Mama Mia staffer, who I tweeted across the room for his attention.
I enjoyed speaking with Del from Relish, My Relish - looking forward to catching up in our 'hood, and Eden and Beth from Baby Mac during the breaks. I met a really nice Queensland journalist at lunch too - but I can't recall her name, sorry - I hope she reads this and reminds me. Edit - she commented, and revealed herself as Belinda from Save Mum Sanity.

And I was so lucky to win some Moet and Chandon.
After the conference was the ball. Hello princess skirt, sparkly shoes and unlimited champagne!!!!
Dinner was good. Caesar salad, fish and risotto, and strudel.
The ball allowed me to meet lots more people.
I met Corinne and Ann Paterson - lovely ladies. Corrinne kept me entertained with her tweets during the conference.
One of my favourite people I met at the conference was Michelle from Farmer's Wifey. She was so nice, funny, and immediately made me feel welcome. And I loved her dress.

Bern took these. I was a bit tipsy.

And this is me, a bit star struck again with Bern.
Lori from Random ramblings of a stay at home mum was also so sweet.
Here's the crazy crew:
River, Bern, me, Lori and Rick.

I spoke for ages with Suzanne from Aussie Writers - she was great to talk to and we have a few things in common.

I danced - no photos of me here but you can see dancing pics on my blog's Facebook. I swished my skirt like it was nobody's business. Particularly during Khe Sanh (and my plane buddy Magneto Bold Too was not impressed with my love for bogan rock!)

I like these anonymous dancers though :)
Back off the dancefloor I chatted with Fox in Flats, Kelly from Be a fun mum, Jayne and Sarah, and Bern took this upside down photo.
And I ate chocolate out of a wine glass.
 And laughed with Idle Dad.
Such a wonderful day and night.

My only regret is I didn't get to speak with everyone. A big thanks to the organisers, you did an amazing job:
And to everyone who made me feel special - thank you from the bottom of my heart ♥ We can be friends for life.


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