Monday, January 31, 2011

SAG Awards Fashion Roundup

A handful of my favourite looks from today's Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Mila Kunis in a gorgeous gown by the late Alexander McQueen and Cartier jewels. She looks like the sex bomb that she is in Black Swan.

Sofia Vergara looks curvalicious in a Roberto Cavalli dress with Chopard jewels. I love how she always has the most gorgeous smile on her face.

Angie Harmon – love love love this feathered creation by Monique Lhuillier. She looks like a princess and the understated hair and makeup totally round out her look.

For the men, I love James Franco’s suit by Gucci. The upcoming Oscar’s host looked dapper, as did Justin Timberlake in Simon Spurr.

Show some class and stop booing Clarke

Yesterday Ben and I went to the one-day match at the Gabba between Australia and England.

It was such a fun day out, with great atmosphere and skill shown by the guys on the field.

While the crowd were more than accommodating when it came to cheering for their respective teams, it was disappointing to hear the jeering cries and boos (from both Australian and English spectators) when Australian captain Michael Clarke came out to bat.

I get that he hasn’t been playing to form for a while now and I know that he should probably be using Twitter a little less, but I was shocked at the nasty reception he received. What has happened to you Australia? When did we become a bitter and twisted nation that can’t even support our own?

Clarke went on to get a score of 54 runs, which was the best by any Australian batsman on the day. The pressure he must be under to perform would be incredible and for once the harshest critics in the sporting arena weren’t the selectors.

I know what it’s like to not be able to perform up to scratch and on occasion let people down, but poor Clarkey having to suffer like that in front of the nation; it was really hard to watch. I think Ben and I were just ogling each other because we were so surprised by the reaction of the crowd. We expected it from the English, not the Aussies.

I guess that it’s hard for us common folk to really understand what a professional sportsperson goes through. But Clarkey is only human and makes mistakes (err Lara Bingle, but that’s another story). So maybe next time he comes out to bat, instead of being typical Australian s**theads, why don’t we give him an encouraging yell and hope he does his best, which hopefully, means more runs.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Every little thing is gonna be alright

Sometimes when you feel like the world is against you, you just have to keep battling on.

This week hasn’t been the best one for me and I have had this overbearing feeling that the universe is out to get me. I know it’s childish and I know that other people in the world have much larger problems, but I’ve just been feeling really sorry for myself.

Don’t worry I won’t bore anyone with the fine print – the little issues I am referring too aren’t even worth rating a mention. It’s just when they all come to the fore at once I (obviously) just can’t handle the stress of it all.

When I take a deep breath and realise that my monumental, life-altering problems are really not so bad, I am able to put it all into perspective.

I really should take the advice of a kindly nurse I met last year and take up Yoga (last year I was admitted to hospital with I thought were serious chest pains and I was actually just having a panic attack after hearing some bad news). She told me I just need to stress-less and she’s probably right. Okay, she is definitely right.

So my weekend plan is to completely relax. I am going to crack open a good bottle of wine tonight and my husband and I are going to watch a movie I’ve been looking forward to seeing (The Black Swan).

Sorry to anyone I’ve snapped at (namely Ben, Dusty and my Dad) this week – I will be a much more serene and chilled out Ashleigh next week. I promise!

Have a great weekend everyone : )

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Bloom - the pregnancy debate

Today I found out the happy news that Miranda Kerr and her new husband Orlando Bloom finally decided on a name for their new baby son, Flynn, who was born on January 6.

In a statement on the model’s website today, Miranda said:

"On the 6th of January I gave birth to our beautiful little son Flynn. We cherish him. He weighed 9lb 12 ounces (4.42kg) (a very healthy and big baby boy).

"I gave birth to him naturally; without drugs or painkillers and it was a long, arduous and difficult labour, but Orlando was with me the whole time supporting and guiding me through it.

"I could not have done it without him. We are so happy and are enjoying our time together as a family. He is our little ray of sunshine," she wrote.

It’s all very exciting and I am happy for the two of them, but I am just a bit concerned by the comments made by Miranda.

The comments I am referring to in particular are “I gave birth to him naturally; without drugs or painkillers…”. Now that’s all well and good for you Miranda, that you were strong enough to do that, but seriously, do you want a medal?

Ask the question – how many women out there go into labour with the intention of giving birth naturally without the use of drugs or painkillers and in the end, have used painkillers or had to have a c-section due to unforseen circumstances relating to the birth?

These women aren’t lesser beings – if I were giving birth to 9lb child I would want the option of an epidural – but mums-to-be and new mothers shouldn’t feel guilty for taking that road just because a beautiful Aussie model was able to do it au-natural and then post some slightly smug comments on her blog about it.

I know Miranda Kerr is all about an organic lifestyle and practicing Yoga and eating holistically – and I admire that. But in the real world, many new mothers aren’t like this for various reasons. Hell I am sure that I would rather have the option of popping a couple of Neurofen Plus and enjoying a strong cup of (caffeinated) tea than worrying about taking painkillers and being fully organic as a first-time mum. 

I don’t think that if you have decided to use drugs during the birth or have a caesarean that you should be judged – it’s your body and you can make decisions for yourself. There is no right way or wrong way of doing things.

Don’t worry what multi-million dollar model mums are doing and if you have a happy and healthy baby – what more could you ask for really?

Golden Globes

I am a real sucker for the Hollywood awards season – the beautiful celebrities, the gowns, the speeches, the bling; I don’t know why, but I am addicted to the coverage of them.

This week it was the Golden Globes held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in LA. This produced some of my favourite red carpet looks of any I’ve seen in a while – for both the ladies and gentlemen.

Here are some of my favourite fashion moments of the night:

Natalie Portman

This gorgeous mumma-to-be chose a beautiful Victor and Rolf empire-waist gown in a pale pink colour with rose detail. I think she looks radiant and I am very excited to see her new movie Black Swan (for which she won best actress on the night). I also loved her acceptance speech – very funny!

Anne Hathaway

In a revealing low-back Giorgio Armani Prive dress, Anne was sexy in this sparkly number. I love that she is willing to take risks on the red carpet (kudos to her stylist Rachel Zoe).

Olivia Wilde

This is my favourite dress of the night – a chocolate brown Marchesa ballgown covered in crystals (she was also wearing gold-spiked Louboutin heels). I just love the big poufy skirt and her hair and makeup complement it perfectly.

Robert Pattinson

Looking dashing in Gucci, Robert looked clean-cut and fashion forward in this navy blue suit with slim tie.

Mark Whalberg

Marky Mark looked like his bad-boy self in this great Giorgio Armani two-button tux with bow tie. Love the black Wayfarers, which just finished off his look.

Robert Downey Jnr

I like that he went for something a bit different – a red tie matched with a charcoal grey Prada suit. The funny man looked smart next to his wife, Susan.

So those are my top looks that I loved at this year’s Golden Globes. And for the record, I thought Ricky Gervais did a wonderful job hosting – I thought he was hilarious (but I think most Aussies ‘got’ his British humour – American viewers didn’t seem to like it as much?!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Heating up the kitchen

I love cooking and am loving it even more now that my husband and I are doing more of it together.

I have been looking for something to do with Ben as a couple – when I bought a set of golf clubs thinking I could go out to the range with him, that didn’t go down very well because I think it was more a ‘boys’ thing to do (I kind of encroached on the guys’ turf I think). So since then I’ve been searching for something that Ben and I can enjoy together just the two of us.

I have always really enjoyed spending time in the kitchen preparing food for those I love – it really is a great release for me when I am stressed or upset about something.

Ben has shown an increased interest in cooking, so we’ve been cooking some dishes together. I figure my mum and grandmother gave me tips on how to prepare food, so why not pass on what (somewhat limited) culinary knowledge I have?

Last year I bought Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals, and despite what some people say, it’s a great book that is filled with recipes achievable in that timeframe. Last week we made a delicious French chicken pie with pea and lettuce sauce. It was delicious and a dish I could see us cooking again and again.

Then on Saturday we found a fantastic book that had dozens of pizza recipes so we decided to give a couple a crack.

After carefully prepping everything, I made a chicken pesto pizza and Ben made a BBQ meatlovers. I must say I was so impressed with Ben’s I was secretly feeling a bit threatened as masterchef of the kitchen (I really don’t think myself as a masterchef; I just show more enthusiasm towards cooking than anyone else at our place).

I took a pic of Ben’s pizza because it was so great!

Hopefully this is the beginning of a sweet/sour/hot/cold/crunchy/smooth cooking relationship.

What do you do as a couple with your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

QLD Floods

By now you would obviously have heard about the heartbreaking floods affecting thousands throughout Queensland during the past few weeks.

A snapshot of the facts:

-More than two dozen towns flooded
-Over 200,000 people affected
-Eight people confirmed dead – more than 70 missing
-Damage bill estimated at approx $5 billion
-Coal, beef, agriculture industries devastated

Just this morning were distressing reports from Toowoomba, which has been severely inundated by flash flooding in the past 24 hours. The flow-on effect from this means major damage likely to surrounding areas including the Lockyer Valley, Murphy’s Creek, Gatton, Grantham and Ipswich. Brisbane City and surrounding suburbs are also at risk of flash flooding.

Please people in these areas, as well as the people living in areas already affected around Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Roma, Emerald and St George, in your thoughts and prayers.

The Queensland Government has set up an appeal where you can donate towards the crisis. It is important to remember that some families have lost everything.

If you would like to donate please choose one of the following options:

Donate online

Make a donation to the Premier’s Disaster relief appeal using a secure payment form here

Donate by phone

Call 1800 219 028 to donate using your credit card.

Donate by internet banking

The account details for donations are:

Account Name: Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal
BSB: 064 013
Account number: 1000 6800
SWIFT code for international donations: CTBAAU2S

Once your transaction is complete, you should record the receipt number for your transaction. If you do not receive a receipt number, contact your financial institution.

If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, please forward a request, with proof of donation to:

Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal
C/O Department of the Premier and Cabinet
PO Box 15185
City East QLD 4002

Donate by mail

You can post a cheque donation – please do not send cash.

Cheques should be made payable to:

The Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal
ABN: 69 689 161 916

Cheques should be posted to:

Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal
C/O Department of the Premier and Cabinet
PO Box 15185
City East QLD 4002

Donate in person at:

-Commonwealth Bank
-St.George Bank
-Bank SA (Bank of South Australia)
-Australian Central Credit Union
-Savings & Loans Credit Union
-Bank West
-Australian Central Credit Union
-Savings & Loans Credit Union
-Coles supermarkets.
-Woolworths supermarkets.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year, no promises...

Okay so I’d like to start off my first blog for 2011 wishing everyone a fabulous New Year! I have a feeling this year is going to be challenging but I am hoping all the hard work will be worth it!

So I was talking to my husband recently about making a resolution for the New Year and I have resolved not to make one. I just feel like making a promise to yourself that you may potentially break is a pretty crappy thing to do.

So, in a really general, around-about kind of way, I’ve decided that I am going to do two things this year:

1. Think more positively.

2. Work harder – this covers all aspects of my life like relationships, career, savings, fitness etc.

It’s not a specific promise; it’s just a general change I want to make that will (hopefully) have a beneficial flow-on effect for years to come. You know that saying ‘You only get out what you put in’ – that’s going to be my little mantra for 2011.

I hope that if any of you have made resolutions for the New Year that you can stick to them – good luck!