Romancing Monday

Pretty smoochy clip for today’s Romancing Monday track!

Spring is in the air in Melbourne – so excited for sunny days ahead, lounging around park styles with cider and cheese.

Hope your weekend had plenty of whatever you love best… Mine was snoozy mornings, coffee with friends, a stop in at a teensy craft market, cocktails at Ferdydurke, jewellery creating and enjoying great chats with the best people! There was even an appearance by a very handsome French bulldog.

See you again very soon!

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Friday Flights of Fancy

From imgfave

♥ Such an important sentiment to carry along in your heart as you start a new creative project. It is hard, and there are often times when you feel vulnerable. Whenever I feel that way though, I think of Brene Brown’s TED talk and it helps me to remember that what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful. Yay!

♥ I’d be keen to get married in my backyard if it looked like this too! Lovely.

♥ I enjoyed this article called ‘Why is everyone on the internet so angry?’. I am always amazed at the venom and vitriol that is spat out in forums and comment streams about some very trivial stuff. “Communication, the scholars say, is really about taking someone else’s perspective, understanding it, and responding”.

♥ In saying that, there is only so far understanding and compassion can take you in some situations! Like anything to do with Chris Brown. Chloe Papas’ album review of his latest “catastrophic cluster*ck of an album” is just plain awesome. This article by Clementine Ford raises many valid points too!

♥ This music festival style wedding makes my heart sing!

♥ I can’t choose between Jasmine or Pocahontas!

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope to have at least two hot alcoholic beverages – its freeeeezing! I am tossing up between hot toddies or mulled wine… mmmmmm.

Hope all is good in your world!

Banning overwhelm instalment one – the venue

Via Ensemble Magazine

When chatting to people who are newly engaged or planning a wedding, there is a very common theme. Overwhelm! There is such a massive proliferation of wedding inspiration at your fingertips these day, which can make it really difficult to work out what it is you actually want, and how to make that happen without driving yourself crazy!

In this series, I plan to don my event coordinator cap and provide some practical advice on how to get what you want sorted in your noggin so you can go forth and plan with confidence, panache and ease!

I think one of the first things to get straight is that this is NOT a competition. With all of the arty, creative and craftily stylish weddings out there it can be so easy to get sucked in to believing that your guests won’t think your wedding is beautiful unless you have the whole place packed out with cute knick knacks and decorations. Although pouring over magazines, blogs and Pinterest can be a fun way to get ideas that you love, (and of course, crafting can save you money and be heaps of fun), it is worth bearing in mind that the most important thing is that you marry the one you love in an environment you feel totally happy and comfortable in.

SO, you are engaged and have started the planning process. The venue is normally one of the first things that people like to lock in, but it can be easier said than done, as a lot of different factors come into play – the size of your guest list, your location, the budget and of course, your personal preference as to the type of space/place you would like to celebrate in. Even if you aren’t interested in crafting or DIY, it is probably still important for you to have a wedding venue which reflects your vision of what constitutes a fun event, as well as having the ability to add flourish and personality the way only you can.

I have an exercise for you…

Close your eyes, and picture your dream wedding. You may not quite understand at this stage what that actually consists of, so I would like you to focus on trying to pull together an idea of how things FEEL. Try and push aside all of the images you have got floating around in your mind from the thousands of pictures you have seen (Pinterest I’m looking at you!) and really connect with what you want, keeping in mind your natural style and personal aesthetic. After each question, note down what came to your mind, as this will help you to make things more concrete.

* What are your guests doing while they eat? Standing around eating canapes and mingling, or sitting down and chatting over a meal?

Different venues suit different function styles, so if you see your guests standing around and being able to mingle freely, you know that you can have a smaller and more intimate space suitable to a cocktail style event, or alternatively an outdoor venue, as it will be easier to feed your guests. A cocktail style wedding can be held at a quirky bar, on a rooftop venue, in an intimate art gallery or in a garden or backyard. A seated meal is a little trickier as you need more space, but there are still plenty of options – a winery, a restaurant, special designated wedding venue, and of course you can always have it in a hall/warehouse space and hire the required elements which make a successful seated meal. Of course, I am only listing a small amount of venues as I don’t want this post to go on forever! Let your imagination guide you, and do a specific internet search using some of the key words you relate to – elegant, modern, rustic, contemporary, unique, relaxed, simple, traditional, dramatic and the list goes on.

* What is the mood of your mental picture? Sophisticated and classy? Classic and refined? Colourful, boozy and full of dancing? Grand and ostentatious? This is really important – if you see people in black or white tie attire sipping Bollinger the chances are you are wasting your time looking for a field or a cosy cottage (unless of course you want the juxtaposition – I am not ruling that out!). When you know the ‘format’ of your dream wedding you can more easily match the venue to your desire for the day. If you are creative and artistic, an art gallery or warehouse space may be up your alley, and if you are into music festivals and live a more alternative lifestyle you may want to emulate a music festival and get married in a field…you get the drift.

* What season do you envisage? If you aren’t sure from your mental picture, you may be able to work it out through plain ol’ common sense. What season is your favourite and you find yourself the most comfortable and happy in? I don’t really need to explain this one – in Winter, safest to go cosy and in summer you can take the risk of an outdoor wedding, with a secure wet weather plan, especially somewhere like here in Melbourne!

* What style of decoration is coming to mind? Is it sleek and modern, rustic and relaxed, crafty and creative, or a combination of different styles? Again, if you find that your imagination is not playing ball at this moment, have a think about your day to day aesthetic and personality. What you wear, the way you accessorise, your belongings, your house decor. Don’t forget to think as a couple! If you are both completely different it makes it a little harder, and you may need to use your skills of compromise as best as you can. More on that in an upcoming post.

* Are photos super important to you? As in, do you want a stylised wedding ‘shoot’ or are you happy with more journalistic photos, having a photographer take more relaxed and natural pictures of you, your husband/wife and the guests simply enjoying the day? If you prefer more of a stylised photography session, you may wish to choose a venue that makes it easy to get great pictures in the minimum amount of time. I believe it is super important to spend as much time having fun and socialising with each other and your guests, as that is what your day is really all about yeah? You may want to get married in or close to a beautiful old building which would be a gorgeous back drop, a statue, park or particular spot which is important and has special memories for you both, a laneway with fun graffiti and so on! When my sister got married (at a lovely rustic winery in New Zealand) there just happened to be some very friendly and curious horses in a field behind the winery, which made for some hilarious pics!

* What is your budget? This one doesn’t really need explanation. You can only afford what you can afford. Be real, think practically and creatively and realise that being restricted to a particular venue due to budgetary or seasonal constraints, or one of the myriad of other reasons you may be restricted to a particular venue, is not a reason to be down on your wedding. There are so many other  affordable ways you can make your venue look amazing on the day. Don’t get too distressed – once the room is full of your beautiful family and friends, the faded paint or the unfortunate colour of the carpet will not be noticeable – or seem important at all!

After all that, hopefully you have more of an idea of what you might like on your day, and things may have come to the fore that you may not have realised were even there. You may decide you want a breakfast wedding, set your heart on the sunny balcony of a yacht club or envision yourself dancing all night to a dj in a cute hall. You might crave the simplicity of a registry office wedding and a potluck house party afterwards catered by your nearest and dearest. Whatever you decide, make sure you feel good about it in your gut. You will have to make other wedding related decisions using the same principle, so you may as well start now!

Romancing Monday

A simple yet super romantic tune today to celebrate Monday, the start of a fun new week! If you can do Mondays right, the rest of the week just falls into place in a lovely way.

Mine has consisted of pilates class, delicious mushroom soup and looking forward to having two of my best friends to stay.  I am about to paint my toenails bright pink, as I always have to have them really bright in Winter, so when I get a glimpse of them it makes me remember that summer will be around the corner any day now!

Here is miss Ellie Goulding covering what I think is one of Elton John’s best songs. I think she does a lovely job of it!

And we can’t forget the man himself, Sir Elton John, performing Your Song live on his first Top of the Pop appearances. What a dude.

Have an awesome week!

Destination Honeymoon i: Morocco

Morocco is the place I want to go most in the world! I can’t wait to see if it lives up to my ideas of rich, jewel like colours popping up in flashes everywhere, interesting textures, delicious food, sultry nights and exotic opportunities. From what I read, it will surely surpass my expectations! It is so historically and culturally rich it would be very easy to get lost for a few weeks and be immersed in discovering this beautiful country, so steeped in ancient history.

The Moorish architecture is a spectacular combination of exotic and cheerful, and spending a night wining and dining in a riad would be so romantic and fun. (The riad, an interior courtyard often with a garden, is specific to Morocco and places an emphasis on privacy, making it perfect for a newly married couple.)

I think Morocco would be an incredible option for adventurous and explorative honey mooners, keen for something a little different to a beach holiday. If I was heading there, I would need a lot of time, but in my imagination, some of my dream itinerary in Morocco would include something along these lines:

ESSAOUIRA

Head to the Gnaoua Festival, dubbed the ‘Moroccan Woodstock’, ride a camel along the beach and have a seafood feast in the harbour, where you can pick a fish from one of the many seafood stands and have it cooked for you on the spot. Retire contented to the Heure Bleue Palais, as behind the subdued whitewashed walls of the outer perimeter is a luxury hotel with some of the best treated staff in Morocco, as well as other ethical practices.

Photography Credits top to bottom: Camels by Nilton Quoirin for National Geographic, Essaouria Harbour, linked from Daithai C, Heure Bleue Palais in Essaouria

Fez

Get lost wandering through the Medina, one of the oldest in the world, and so steeped in history  you will feel totally separated from the Western world. Ease your walking sore body with a trip to a Hammam, a Moroccan bath – note, this is only for the brave! The authentic, local Hammam experience will leave you scrubbed to within an inch of your life and you certainly can’t be shy about getting naked! There are lots of relaxing, spa style Hammam catering to Westerners as well. Finish off the day with a refreshing Moroccan tea ritual.

Photography credits top to bottom: Medina in Fez by Pete Niesen for Smarter Travel, Mint Tea by Rieh, Baths by Pot Noodle

Marrakech

Ah Marrakech, so full of bustle and life! I think this amazing city would be the highlight for me. It would be incredible to while away a few hours exploring the Souk, the largest in Morocco and full of all kinds of goodies, from colourful shoes and exquisite crafts to exotic spices, edible delights and strange and wonderful animals (a chameleon anyone?!?). Marvel at snake charmers, get your fortune read or smoke a sheesha if you are so inclined. (I smoked an apple and strawberry one in Singapore with my sister once and, not being a cigarette smoker, felt incredibly ill afterwards. Nerd!) Granted, the souk experience may be a little overwhelming, so once you have found your perfect Moroccan lamp and haggled over some Babouche (Moroccan slippers) head to one of the many cool new bars springing up around Marrakech for those who are partial to a beverage! Peacock Pavilion looks like a beautiful place to stay, and you can also partake in a yoga retreat which is run there.

Photography credits top to bottom: Marrakech cityscape, slippers, souk, spices

On top of all of this, Morocco is somewhere where I can indulge my strange interest in beautiful doors. I think they have a fascinating symbolism, and leave me wondering what is behind them, what goes on, who is in there behind them and what stories they have. In Morocco they are incredibly coloured, embellished and textured.

Photography credits top to bottom: Evan Bench, Glenna Barlow, palindrome6996, Glenna Barlow, Bex Walton, Alexander Torrenegra

To finish on a less glamorous, but extremely important note, this article in the Conde Nast Traveller is a great read, highlighting some of the ethical and environmental issues that I often think about with regard to travel and focusing specifically on Morocco. It raises many pertinent questions about how we can ‘do the right thing’ when travelling and have as minimal an impact on our surroundings and the locals while still having an amazing time and enjoying some holiday luxury.

Friday Flights of Fancy

Salvador Dali ‘Person at the Window’ via art.com

♥ I am absolutely loving this idea – cheese wedding cake YES PLEASE!!

♥ Gorman is my favourite Australian label and their new range is very cool! It doesn’t appear that all their new stuff is online yet, but I have had a perve at their S/S 2012 look book and the prints are insane.

♥ I’ve been following the whole xo jane/Gala Darling/Cat Marnell situation with voyeuristic interest… Long story short, Cat Marnell got fired from extremely popular female focused website xo jane not for her excessive drug use (not because she was basically gobbling everything that came her way the entire time she was not-so-gainfully employed there) but because it finally got in the way of her ability to post regularly. From what I read she had a mini break down, locked herself away in her room for a week with the blinds down and didn’t contact anyone. Basically, girl is a hot mess and needs to be locked into rehab, but she has leagues of followers because her writing is so raw, honest and funny. (Side note – fittingly, she writes for Vice now). Enter Gala, the pink glitter, candy floss, radical self love promoter of galadarling.com fame, and new beauty & style editor on xo jane. Sheeeeez, seriously you should read some of the stuff going down around this decision. Or maybe don’t, or you will waste half a day reading up on Cat, getting side tracked by her crazy beauty articles and then getting sucked in to reading the comments etc etc etc… and that is before you have even got your head around the Gala darling issue.

SO, because Friday Flights of Fancy is supposed to be short and tantalising, I summarise: Cat’s fans don’t like Gala. They think what she represents is fake, materialistic and patronising. Insert a faux pas with an Indian head dress and you have got some nasty ol’ vitriol being flung at Gala. Gala has written this in response to the hundreds and hundreds of almost totally negative comments about her first post on xojane. Cards well played.

♥ My stance? Although my feelings about Gala have changed slightly over the last year or so as she continues to display more materialistic content, I like what she represents and respect her entrepreneurial spirit, business nous and blogging savvy. She reckons she makes over $100,000 per year from her blog and the off shoot activities it lands her. She is super, super famous in the blogosphere. She certainly doesn’t deserve the treatment she has received in her new role, and I respect her way of dealing with it. Enough said! Blogosphere scandal 101 right there!

♥ Haha! Yelp reviews by famous actors one & two

♥ Bikinis matching book covers. Who thinks of this stuff? So cool.

♥ What do you think of the Life of Pi trailer? I loved the book so am keen to see if the movie lives up to expectations. Not as excited as I am about the Great Gatsby film coming out on Christmas Day though!

♥ Ralph is definitely my favourite Simpsons character!

Its been a big week! I am loving sitting in my nana armchair and being home. Brunch with some of my girls tomorrow, wedding planning with my bestie (for her – more on that to come!) and lots of jewellery making and creativity on the cards for me. Bliss! Right now I’m off to eat some nachos. Oh yeah Friday night.