We’re here … the end of the year is nigh; school has wrapped up for us and I spend each business day swinging between getting immediate things ticked off the list and planning for 2020. I am an unashamed planner. I love the structure that it brings to my life. I don’t need to rigidly stick to the plan but when I can put in place a framework around the things I CAN control, my mental load lessens. And when the stuff happens I can’t control, I’m in a better space to pivot and adapt.
This past month, I’ve loved having more breathing space in the schedule. I’ve caught up with friends and spent quality time on the couch watching TV with my husband. I feel calmer and on the road to being ready for the new year and decade.
As I’ve worked on my inner calm, what I have noticed out there in the online and the real world is a lot of crankiness and narky behaviour. This makes me so sad. I personally don’t give two hoots if you want to leave a comment questioning my choice of outfit or my love of a Champers. What I do give many hoots about is trying to flick the switch on people’s attitude to other people. Whether someone is hiding behind the “protection” of a keyboard or having a go to someone’s face in a store or at a cafe, I will not stand for it. I’ll speak up and call the bad behaviour out.
So many people have very real problems happening in their lives right now. It’s always a tricky time for me emotionally and personally. Let’s all try and let go of the small stuff. Please.
People are people and kindness really is cool.
So, as I look back on the month that was, go forth beautiful Stylers and join me in sprinkling kindness around like it’s confetti.
We’ve popped up again in Paddington (1/129 Latrobe Terrace, behind Thousand Island Dressing) and if you’re in the area tonight (December 6), we’re hosting prosecco and cheese and a 20% discount in-store and online between 4-7pm. It’s all part of the Paddington Christmas Festival, which really does make me so happy to be a part of such a great community.
Our final day in the pop-up will be Wednesday, December 18 and we’ll again be celebrating with prosecco and cheese on our deck. I’d love to see you there!
This business is not something I could do on my own. I’m so grateful to have amazing women supporting me in my biggest year ever. I surprised the team with a night out last month, learning all about fragrance in a masterclass at Libertine Perfumerie. We learned the history of fragrance – some of the original fragrance houses are centuries old and real perfume is made from real – not synthetic ingredients. Then we went around the fragrance wheel, each trying 17 different scents, narrowing down our individual choice to four. Those four were sprayed on our body and we each chose one as our new signature perfume.
Let me tell you, that would have been a whole lot of pressurised decision making, except for the fact that Libertine send you home with samples of your top three to try over a few days. That way if we weren’t still in love with our choice from the night, we could swap it. I was one of those who swapped. I loved my first fragrance choice but in the real world, it felt like it was wearing me. The whole experience, which happened over a glass of bubbles, was so much fun and provided much talk in the weeks following as we all wore our fragrances to work.
This weekend I’ll be celebrating with the wider group of people – people running their own businesses who I contract to help me with my business – from photographers through to models and my hair and makeup artists. It’s been a huge year launching Styling You The Label, and it really does take a village of creatives and do-ers to make that happen.
Events and gathering
I loved heading in store to Capriosca on the Gold Coast to meet some fabulous Stylers and check out the brand’s fabulous store. If you still don’t have a new swimsuit for summer, hop to it.
I grew up in Maryborough (Queensland) and my first job, post-uni, was back there. I loved those years, where you got to connect and become friends with other young people also starting out their career. It is a small town and famous for its beautiful heritage buildings and its many pubs! We made our own fun as there wasn’t entertainment on offer. I caught up recently with some of the women I met during this time. We always pick up where we left off and that makes my heart sing. The photo below is of my two besties from journalism at uni. We all got jobs at the Maryborough Chronicle out of uni and lived and worked together for a couple of years.
Also making my heart sing … the opportunity to talk to about 200 teenage girls at Brisbane’s San Sisto College. My youngest brother is a teacher there and it’s not the first time he’s roped me in to speak to girls about having the confidence to be themselves when it comes to their style – and pending semi-formal and formal events. If I got through to even one teenage girl that it’s ok to dress for who she is, not who she thinks she needs to be to fit in, then it’s all worth it.
I’ve got so much respect and admiration for my businesswoman friend, Kirsten Smith, from Bettyquette, so when she said she was hosting an event, I bought a couple of tickets and roped @ilovethatskirt Bec into joining me on a road trip to Brisbane’s bayside. It was a beautiful event that brought together other Brisbane business women so that we could all get a head start on our Christmas shopping. Kirsten is thoughtful like that!
When I first started at my youngest son’s school, the end-of-year mum’s lunch was held on the last day of school at the school. So, it’s felt super fancy and less stressful to now have the lunch hosted offsite. I had a huge afternoon of catching up with friends, some you only get to see a few times a year on the sporting sidelines.
Wearing Binny dress bought at Petrol Boutique
I attended THE best fashion show I’ve ever had the privilege of attending. Online juggernaut The Iconic hosted its summer fashion show at Brisbane’s Calile Hotel. Yes, I could talk about the catwalk that was in the pool. Yes, I could talk about the amazing food and drinks from Hellenika. Yes, I could talk about the international vibe happening in my home town. But what gave me goosebumps on goosebumps was seeing a fashion show that truly was diverse in age, size and ethnicity. It was no less professional than a “traditional” fashion show. It was all that and more. Personality oozed from the models and they were given permission to smile, to dance, to show up as they were. How refreshing?!
Oh, how glorious it was to stay put this month! GLORIOUS.
We are, however, counting the days until we take off to Hawaii for New Year’s. It will be our second visit (you can read about our first here) and I can’t wait to sit back, relax and chill on a beach … with a Mai Tai in close proximity.
I’m going to share a post before Christmas that includes ALL the books I’ve read or listened to this year. I had a goal to read more this year and I’m so glad that I have. I’m still guilty of a mindless social media scroll but more often than not, I’ll get out of those apps and into the book I’m currently reading.
Postscript by Cecelia Ahern: this is the sequel to PS. I Love You (which became a movie). I loved the first book and loved the second. Cecelia is far from trite in her writing about death and grief and people and how each may be affected differently.
Your Own Kind of Girl by Claire Bowditch: I love Claire’s music. I loved Claire in Offspring. But I seriously couldn’t love Claire more after reading her memoir. There’s so much I could relate to Claire’s story about dealing with her inner critic, her feeling that she was too big, even as a child. Her story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
The Best Kind of Wonderful by Frances Whiting: Brisbane journalist Frances has done it again. I’ve been waiting patiently for more of her fabulously crafted characters after falling in love with Frances’ writing in her debut novel, Walking on Trampolines. This is story that will draw you in from the first pages – you’ll feel like you’re inside the headspace of the quirky leads, Florence and Albert – and you’ll want to keep turning to see where their friendship heads.
U2: how good is a live concert … to bring back a flood of memories and to make new ones? We so loved seeing U2 again when they were in Brisbane.
The Invisible Women’s Society by Nikki Gemmell: To be honest, I was a bit thrown when I first started listening to this, expecting the usual audio book format. Instead it was more of a serialised podcast/tv series audio recording. Once I got used to that and the different voices, I enjoyed it. Maybe not the audible kissing bit though. The theme? Loved that. Loved that Nikki wanted to discuss through the characters the concept that we seemingly become invisible post-40 or 50.
Morning Wars: there’s a new TV streaming service – Apple TV+ – and with it came this fantastic new series, which is centred around a morning TV program, in which the male co-host (played by Steve Carrell) has been sacked for sexual misconduct. I’m a card-carrying fangirl of both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, so casting them both together was a case of “shut up and take my money”.
Jack Ryan: my love of this show is surprising me. There are two series available on Amazon Prime and we’re a little way into the second. The jury is out on that one for me as yet (too soon) but loved the first.
The Crown: two years in the waiting and I, for one, feel it delivered. True, they weren’t the most exciting years of Her Maj’s reign but we needed this transition to the Dianne years that will come next. I’m totally on board the Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter Royal sister train.
‘Tis the season to platter … and Zoe from Say Cheese Brisbane offers some of the best around. They make great gift ideas too!
Apart from the Binny dress featured earlier in this post, I’ve channelled all my shopping towards my daughter (graduation and birthday gifts) and Christmas shopping. I so love shopping at Petrol Boutique … for both of us. Sonia and Paula always seem to have just what we both are looking for. I bought both of the outfits below for Alex.
The eldest son has been deployed again, this time on a smaller boat off Darwin. If you were ever a fan of the TV series, Sea Patrol, apparently that basically what he’ll be up to … without Lisa McCune on board. It will be our first Christmas without all the kids but I know I’m lucky to have gotten this far in the parental game without the full family being together.
Meanwhile, my daughter has finished her Masters of Organisational Psychology and has started her first career job. It was her 23rd birthday yesterday and she’ll graduate next week … that’s one celebratory month ahead.
The youngest son has just wrapped up Year 8 with awesome results, which continues to surprise us as it’s a constant battle to keep him off the PlayStation and actually studying.
There is nothing like an invitation to experience a new spa and a treatment I’ve not experienced before. So when I was invited to the Healing Stones Spa at Emporium Southbank, I did not hesitate. The afternoon started with a 45-minute Shiatsu massage followed by 60 minutes of Ganbanyoku therapy (lying on volcanic rock in an infared sauna – incredibly calming and rejuvenating) and finishing with a cocktail at The Terrace bar. I’m all about balance in life and with my health and I think this experience ticked that!
It’s all been about my Trinny London everyday makeup routine. I am waiting on a new delivery … I believe they changed couriers for Australia (just after I told you how quick the shipping was!). So, if you’re waiting on a delivery, you’re not alone.
Phewww … as always, if you made it to the end, congrats. Let me know what you’ve been up to!