Saturday, December 31, 2011

I think I'm turning Japanese - Part 1

Hello hello!!
I'm writing from my teeny tiny hotel room in Shibuya, Tokyo and boy it is COLD. But being the (overly) prepared person that I am I've got it covered with fleece-lined leggings. Might I suggest you get yourself a pair of these bad boys the second winter hits? These things work miracles - pretty sure I could walk on water in them (and still be warm I bet!).
And to make the whole experience a little more authentic, we've just had an earthquake. Obviously nothing to severe if I'm still sitting at a desk blogging... but still bizarre none the less. It took me a good minute to 1) realise we didn't have a vibrating bed and 2) wake Owen up to ask if this was in fact an earthquake he was sleeping through.

Earthquake aside we are having so much fun! I'll admit I had a minor freakout when we first landed because I forgot how damn hard it can be to communicate here. We speak zero Japanese bar the very simple thank yous and yes and there really aren't a lot of English signs (not that there should be, we are in Japan after all)... so safe to say we've looked pretty stupid on a number of occasions including being told to move by Shinto priests because we were in the way of their religion procession. But that is half the fun of travelling right? Or so I'm going to keep telling myself.

We've walked all over the place and have eaten more crepes and even more okonomiyaki than I'm willing to admit. My current theory is they cancel each other out. Please don't correct me, I simply don't want to know.

 The three steps to okonomiyaki:
Step 1 - stare longingly at hot plate
Step 2: push food around with chopsticks in an attempt to look useful
Step 3: eat said food before it is finished to annoy your dining companion. Enjoy!

Kidding! He actually cooked mine for me so I shouldn't be such an ungrateful git. He's proving to be my near-perfect travelling companion... dealing with my extreme nervousness and he's tagging along for some shopping and even encouraging me to buy things. Winner!

We've hit up lots of different suburbs and while a lot of stuff is closed over this time of year, we haven't really been bothered by it. There is always something to see and do - it is Tokyo after all. And I'm not willing to disclose just how much yen we've spent on videos games except to say... it's a lot.

 Exhibit A: Emma's idea of fun...driving along Rainbow Road. Exhibit B: Owen's idea of fun... punching a panda.
Last night being NYE we had a nice dinner (drinking Japanese cocktails... and Spanish wine... ticks for authenticity!) and loitered around the Shibuya crossing with just a few (thousand) other drunks. When the clock struck 12 everyone waited patiently (if patient means loud and involves throwing glow sticks) for the lights to change so everyone could surge onto the crossing and wish each other a happy new year. It was kind of similar to being in a sweaty moshpit at BDO but with less nakedness due to the single digit temperature (not to say there was none..) and a lot more good will. And today the city is pretty quiet so we did a little bit of shopping and someone else is busy sleeping.

You can bet I'm busy tracking down every Kit Kat flavour and trying every novelty food/drink I can get my hands on. But that my friends is a post for another day!

Anywayyyy enough yabbering on. I'm going to get me some deliciously cheap noodles for lunch (heart vending machine noodle houses, so much less fuss). And here is my unashamed photo dump of Shibuya/Yoyogi Park/Harajuku - half iPhone, half new camera (thanks mama and papa - birthday present! 26 years young!). Happy New Year! And sayonara!

Monday, December 19, 2011


In one week I'll be in Shibuya! I can't even begin tell you how excited I am... oh wait, yes I can. I'M REALLY EXCITED!!

I've been a busy bee, between getting a new (read: BETTER) job and finally leaving the nest that is my family home of 26 years, blogging has taken a back seat. Maybe even the back seat on a bus I'm not even on? Oh how philosophical of me. But seriously folks, this has been a full on six months and I think I need a nap.

New home is fun! It's tiny, but it's cute and most importantly its ours. We're getting on like a house on fire... sometimes the kind of fire that makes you want to leap from the window with your prized family heirlooms... but more often than not it's a happy, loving fire that makes me want to beam in a really smug way that probably makes other people want to punch me. I absolutely love having his company almost all of the time. I'd like to say all the time but that's a lie because living together now suddenly involves a lot of UFC watching.

That said, I still have pangs of missing home and I always miss my mum and dad. I don't think the cord is cut just yet.... maybe I just attached an extension cord to said umbilical cord. Yes I'm going to be 26 in a week, what's it to you?

I won the Christmas tree war. I campaigned for 12 solid months that I would have a Christmas tree in our tiny flat and tears were shed (I wish I was joking), I was ultimately victorious! So what did I do? Buy the tackiest Christmas tree I could find of course, thank you Target. It's red! I love her in all her gaudy glory. She stands 1.2 metres tall.. and I bought 24 metres of lights to string around her. I like to think she's wrapped up in love... and 24 metres of LEDs.
I caught up with one of my oldest and dearest friends who I hadn't seen for an age. We (well at least I) had so much fun - we spent a good 20 minutes debating the name of the quirky science teacher with the really long fingernails (Mr Williams FYI... might save you 20 minutes one day), gossiped in a (mostly) harmless way about who was doing what and/or who. And we somehow got onto the subject of nuclear physics, which was explained with help from a humble salt shaker.

Safe to say that conversation had my undivided attention.

We had LION CUBS come into work. Sorry but I think that the words LION CUBS deserve some serious capitalisation. They were beyond cute and I'm pretty sure everyone in the office made at least one attempt to steal them that day. The other month we had zombies in the office (not quite worth of capitalisation but close). Safe to say, things are always interesting at the new job.

And this last weekend we had a cardboard party. Seriously, this theme is amazing. It costs NOTHING except your time and maybe the muscle between your thumb and forefinger from cutting a lot of thick cardboard... um ouch. Nothing like last minute inspiration (aka google search) to get you moving. We repurposed our old TV box into everyone's favourite arcade game characters. I'm not one to gloat (okay maybe I am... but that's just because I know I'm good. SERIOUSLY KIDDING, I'm not, I suck.) but these costumes looked pretty good considering we started making them 20 minutes after the party was due to actually start. Hooray procrastination! I was the ghost because I have the nervous eye thing down pat and Owen likes to eat a lot ie. the perfect Pacman.
I kind of want to keep them on our walls in all their spilt wine and nacho-cheese-cornchip-smeared glory. A testament to a fun night out with great friends and silly costumes. We ended up with about 3 friendly police cars driving past and giggling at our costumes.
Anyway. That is a long, rambling and possibly annoying account of a few things I've been doing in the last couple of months :) Love love!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Tuesday, I'm in love.

Happy Tuesday! Tuesday is officially the worst day of the week – I kid you not. There is none of Monday’s post-weekend glow about it, nor Friday’s dizzy anticipation. But surely Tuesday isn’t entirely without merit – for example if you’re a big Packed to the Rafters fan then I’m sure you’re fond of Tuesdays. Me? Not such a big Rafters fan (sorry Carbo), but this particular Tuesday is looking pretty good – a whole 27 degrees are waiting outside my door to envelope me in all their Vitamin D glory.

This picture perfect weather seems like the perfect time to show off the Spring wreath mum and I put together one lazy Sunday morning (as opposed to all those active Sunday morning… ha!).
We bought it at Paper Source in San Fran over a year ago and, due to my easily distracted nature, 12 months passed before I actually sat down and made it. But it was easy peasy, and incredibly satisfying!
The kit comes with all the flowers already cut out – so all you need to do is play paper florist and get arranging! I won’t lie, there is a little bit of folding involved too, but that’s about as tough as it gets. And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think it looks cute!
It’s so bright and cheery and perfect for Spring. And it only cost $20 – amazing! I’m all for doing things from scratch, but I’m also a fan of the easy option, which in this case involved us handing over $20 (who am I kidding... there was no us, it was mum) rather than me spending hours tracing, cutting and in all probability giving up. I’m sure both options would have been equally satisfying… particularly the one that involves me finishing the project.

So here’s to finishing projects – even if they’re relatively easy ones! And here’s to the projects we’d rather avoid… like cleaning bedrooms. When Instragram can’t make your room look pretty, well that my friend is when you know you’re in real trouble. So.. how's about that weather?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

insert blog title here

Sometimes I wonder what the people at Myer must think of me when they look at my buying history.What is one woman doing with all those teapots?! I’m pretty sure I’m known “that crazy teapot girl”. To be honest, if you’re buying two of the same white teapot, it might not raise an eyebrow. But when you’re buying 22? It usually looks a little something like this…
I’m a-okay with it! If you’re going to be notoriously crazy about something, why not teapots? I like teapots better than cats and you can bet hurling teapots at people isn’t going to get you in trouble with PETA… unless you hurl a teapot at a cat and then you’re just sick. Anyway no one is hurling anything at anyone so why don’t you all just put your teapots down and take a deep breath.

Phew, that was close.
Anyway I prefer the term quirky to crazy. Quirky is the most polite way you can tell someone they’re a little left of centre (or right, let’s not get political) and you can bet I’ve been told that once or twice in my life time. I’ve also been called feral by a uni lecturer… as in “Emma I didn’t recognise you, you normally look more feral than that” end quote…and it was apparently meant as a compliment. To me as a feral or as a slightly more polished feral, I’m still not sure but it was about six years ago and you can bet I haven’t forgotten (or forgiven. I kid! Always forgive…).

But enough of my petty (yet impressive) grudge holding abilities. One thing I’ve always liked about Japan is that they’re also a little quirky! I’ve been getting pretty (read: very) excited for our trip to Japan in December so I’ve been blog stalking like crazy and trying to pick up some good tips (let me know if you have any - I’ll love you forever!). Along the way I discovered Mameshiba. Words fail me on this one so you’ll have to  read the below and watch. Hope you love it as much as I do!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I spy...

The lovely people at Shop Til You Drop magazine very kindly asked to include one of my teapots in their latest issue. Um.... YES PLEASE! was something along the lines of my response.
I've been pretty darn lucky when it comes to getting a bit of magazine exposure - I never really believed anyone would actually buy my teapots, let alone have three magazines approach little ol' me! Here is the great feature they did on getting things customised. I'm definitely taking note of some of these great shops - that cushion is a steal at $35 (click for full size!)

And why yes, I am sharing a two page spread with my good friend Louis Vuitton (ha!). Exciting!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It might as well be Spring

It's Spring!! I say it with enthusiasm and a touch of false confidence, considering it was a little gray and chilly when I left for work this morning. But who cares - those degrees, they're on the up and up from here on in.

The mere thought of Spring can literally put a spring in your step (okay there is nothing literal about that... metaphorically just didn't sound as good) and make you look all goofy and smiley. Even when you're chained to your desk, completely devoid of any Vitamin D and a "toasty" 18 degrees thanks to your work's overly efficient aircon (speaking from experience? never...).

My favourite Springy/Winter Hating thoughts include:
  • No longer having to run shrieking (and/or streaking) through the house to the shower on those cold, cold winter mornings, alarming everyone who was previously sound asleep in the house.
  • Expanding my lexicon beyond the words "I'm cold" because I'm pretty sure I don't say much else for the entire three months of Winter. I know friends, family and boyfriend will be grateful for this one.
  • It's almost Christmas! (This isn't limited to Spring... I have been known to say it around Australia Day) I know friends, family and boyfriend won't be grateful for this one.
  • Dresses! I have a wardrobe bursting with summer dresses, all of whom are lonely and a little bitter at being neglected through those colder months. Sorry gals, it's your time to shine.
  • Also shining will be my pasty white legs! They don't belong on this list obviously but I thought it was a bit rude to make a negative list after talking up Spring so much. Sorry Spring, I still love you!
Speaking of warmer weather fashion, I spied this necklace on Made It this morning and might have to pinch my pennies extra hard so it can be mine one day.

And I will admit that I have my pre-pinched pennies aside for a piece (or two...) of the new Red Velvet Autumn collection. Autumn... Spring... Tomato... Tomato. Ha... knew that phrase would work for me on the internet eventually. I've got my eye on one... (or both.. who am I kidding) of these.

So you can bet your bottom dollar (or alternatively just give it to me... that would be nice!) that I"ll be sitting at my desk at 9am, refreshing the site to the point of RSI. The things we do for love eh?


Saturday, August 6, 2011

I see the bright lights. It's the month of July

I'm pretty sure good ol' Father Time is playing some tricks on me, that loveable prankster. July felt like the longest month of my life, but at the same time how the heck is it August already?!
Plenty of things happened in July. Me and Oh both got new jobs! I haven't started just yet but am in the long and painful process that is packing up three years worth of accumulated stuff. And by stuff I think you know I mean piles of scrap paper and dirty cutlery (Seriously, I'm some kind of subconscious cutlery thief. Buried beneath piles of paper I found three knives, two forks and a spoon or two... some washed, some... not so much). I did come to realise I have the desk of a 5 year old, it literally looks like someone robbed a toddler and then emptied their toybox on my desk. I will neither confirm nor deny.
I did my nails in a shade I like to call "Barbie drank to much tequila and needs a bucket". I love fun nails, I think Sally Hansen knows this and keeps making new products to suck me back in. But these were pretty easy and fun - they lasted a week before I could no longer resist the nagging urge to rip them off. And yes I was watching My Big Fat Gyspy Wedding and I'd ask you not to judge thank you very much.

I also bought new pyjamas in Woolworths. Isn't that where you buy all your clothing? Okay maybe not so much. But I couldn't really say no to that delightfully garish pink and the term "Sugar Mommas". I love Patty & Selma and I'm not too ashamed to admit it. Between the nail decals and my choice of $12 pyjamas I sure am doing a good job of convincing you I'm all class.
I've been drinking cofftea! My work BFF has got me hooked on this amazing drink. It's an every day quandry for all us paralysed with indecision... coffee.. or tea? Oh... I'll have a coffee, no... no wait, I will have tea. NO I WILL HAVE COFFTEA! Best of both worlds I tell ya! Just mix a sachet like this with water and let indecision bother you no more. Deeeelicious.
And how's about that amazingly warm yet fleeting weather we had this week. Those few days of sunshine were fantastic for the soul - you can't kind of help but be HAPPY! Something about Spring always makes me excited, I really love an Australian Summer so I think it's the anticipation. Summer always makes me nostalgic for my childhood. It makes me think of primary school where we'd eat frozen Orchy cups on really hot days and watch endless Round The Twist videos during the last days of term because teachers had all but physically left for the year. And the smell of jasmine when you walk in the front gate and Peter Combe Christmas albums on repeat (bet you wish you were my neighbour). I wish I could go back there, maybe even for just an hour and appreciate how simple (code: less stressful) life was back then. And scoff a 50c bag of carobs from the canteen while I'm at it... okay maybe a dollar bag (we're talking 100 carob buds in the 1997 economy people).

PS I think Whitley is the perfect music for an Australian summer. Have a listen and prove me right.. or wrong (just don't tell me, I'm a bit sensitive).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Easy like a Saturday Morning...

All week I'd been pouring over recipes and umming and ahhing over what dessert I'd make for Christmas in July. And you know what I did this morning? I went and bought a cake instead. And while I do admit to feelings of guilt (you don't have that kind of money to just throw around! everyone else is making something, you're so lazy! you could have baked an amazing cake and put it on the blog!) it felt amazing.

Apologies for sounding horribly cliched, but sometimes life happens. And sometimes best thing you can do for yourself (and your sanity) is take that easy (and yes, sometimes easy is synonymous with expensive) option and refuse to feel guilty for it. I think this is the antithesis to my lessons on being thrifty, but this time round I'm okay with it.

I feel like the James Dean of the blogging work - no not heartachingly gorgeous and forever young. But kind of rebelious... and yes, without a cause. I mean, who blogs about a cake they bought from the store? Yesss that would be me, in the corner sheepily raising my hand. I did pick a decidedly rustic looking cake and I wrapped a pretty red ribbon around it... maybe I could pass this off as my own? No I forget, I'm an oversharer - I'll have told everyone in a five kilometre radius that I bought it because I'm lazy, within 30 seconds of stepping into the party. And possibly the results of my last pap test (clear, in case you're curious). Because that, my friends, is how I roll.

So what will I do with the time and energy I've saved by handing over $32 for a cake? Well this morning I went to the doctor and found out I have the hips of a pensioner, despite being 25. I posted some teapots and enjoyed the perks of an empty postoffice. Now I'm going to head to Oh's birthday lunch and not spent the whole time worrying about the cake I no longer have to cook. And I might even squeeze in an hour of bad television - I'm looking at you Say Yes To The Dress.

Sometimes you can have your cake (cooked by someone else) and eat it too (yes I went there, sorry).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The times they are a changin'

Confession: I think my life has turned into a classic hits radio station. I've got all the symptoms.
To begin with - I'm empathising with the Skyhooks. And by that I mean All My Friends Are Getting Married (not Women In Uniform or Ego thank you very much). It seems we've turned the maturity corner and people I know, people who knew me when I still couldn't tie my shoe laces (sure I may have been 12, but what's it to you?) are finding life partners and very happily settling down. It's exciting stuff! But at each wedding I attend, I can't shake the feeling that I'm "playing dress ups". That I'm actually just a kid who sweet talked my way on to the elusive Adults Table. At what point do your physical and mental age decide to get hitched?

Then my other friends are channeling Peter, Paul and Mary. While some of my nearest and dearest are Going To The Chapel, others are Leaving On A Jet Plane. And the worst bit? Don't know when they'll be back again (badum chhh, yes I did just do that). They're packing their bags and heading for another hemisphere, another life, another group of friends to have in-jokes with (mermaid Eloise anyone?). I'm so excited for them! But a little part of me (okay bigger than I'd like to admit) wishes they had to stay with me, because realistically things won't ever be the same again. Wow Em, big revelation there. But when they come home there is no telling where or who we will be then. Will we still want to badger every DJ in Sydney into playing Wham!? Or have secret chats in a smokey kitchen corner? And will we still go to trivia and have ridiculous team names referencing Fergie? (Wham! and Fergie... We are an exciting bunch). Either way, when you're all gone you can bet that I'm going to Wish You Were Here.

It's also time that I listen to the Mac when they tell me that you can Go Your Own Way. I guess what it all comes down to is that I can be incredibly insecure about everything and anything (seriously try me). I spend a whole lot of nervous energy (I have it in spades) convincing myself that I don't want to be married yet and I'm okay with the fact that I haven't travelled a whole heap. And this is only made worse by people asking why we bought an apartment rather than go overseas or when are we going to get engaged? Ughh stop! My life is so good and I chose it! I have a gorgeous boyfriend, a fab family and friends so really no complaints here. Time to stop comparing what I'm doing to what everyone else is doing. Your way is great, it might just be a little different to mine and we're all happy! Right?!
Oh okay, fine - Go Your Own Way was actually a tormented break up song from Lindsey Buckingham to Stevie Nicks and not such an uplifting "Yay you and your life choices!" song but the sentiment of the title works so bear with me.

Bob Dylan was right... the Times They Are A-Changing and it's okay! I'm really happy with where I am. And I can be happy with me and also be genuinely glad people have found A Whole Lotta Love and want to make it official. And sure I'm incredibly sad to say goodbye to friends who are heading Over The Hills & Far Away, but we've had so much fun already (plus we all have so many incriminating stories of one another that we have no choice but to stay friends forever and ever). All I ask is that you Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pour 1 cup of hot water over blog, steep for 10 minutes and strain

Hiiii! Long time no see to all my invisible readers. How's tricks?

I've been in a funk! No denying it and I think practically every blogger saying - DON'T APOLOGISE FOR NOT BLOGGING. But let's be honest, I think if I'm apologising for anything it should be the fact I'm subjecting you all to my blogging again. Suckers...

I have a nickname - Hoople Bear... or on occasion Hoople The Gloopsing Bear. Don't ask me what a Hoople is because I don't think I can answer, but I love it as a nickname. It's one of many unusual nicknames I've picked up from my family over the years. But we don't stop at nicknames, we have weird words and phrases that seem to have been passed down. Kind of like hilarious and strange family heirlooms, except you can't take them on Antiques Roadshow (trust me, I've tried). I'm curious - does your family have any idiosyncrasies or quirks that simply don't make sense to people outside the family unit? Or maybe they don't even make sense within the family unit? I've got a few...

Take for example the fact we refer to our nose as a "schnozzleberrybug". Um excuse, but what?!?

As far back as I can remember my family has thrown around the phrase "if you do it on your birthday you'll have to do it all year round". So according to this theory, if you unpack the dishwasher on your birthday, then you'd have to unpack the dishwasher every day for the following 364 days (way to make me resent leap years...). For 25 years, give or take, I naively assumed that everyone subscribed to this birthday folklore. Apparently not so much. I kind of wish I'd thought the theory through - I mean if there is one day of the year that you are likely to splash out and do something out of the ordinary, it's probably your birthday. You eat cake, you see loved ones, you get presents! It's a nice theory and safe to say I'm not against people presenting me with gifts on a daily basis. I fully intend to continue this Ralston birthday folklore because it's ours and it's fun to bring up every birthday, even if it's not steeped in reality.

Speaking of steeping things... new teapots! (get it? you steep tea.... yeah possibly the worse segue ever). I've started to design some smaller, ready to ship pots. Customs take the wind out of my sails, even though my customers are the best - the pressure of deadlines and my incredible ability to procrastinate do not a happy Emma make. So I love these! They're little and they're fun - at least I hope someone thinks so! Without further ado...

You can have a further look see in my store (hmmm subtle).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is it they say about small things?

I was far too excited when I saw this "Go Coco" drink and instantly thought of Mean Girls. I love Mean Girls with the passion of a thousand eleven year olds who loved Taylor Hanson circa 1997 and believe it to be the most quotable movie ever (sorry Casablanca, you're a bit passe). So you can bet it's pretty much the only thing I talked about ALL WEEKEND after I saw it (yes, I'm the annoying friend. As if you didn't know that already). And yes, I made quick work of modifying it to its current state.Totally think  they should change the brand name to this, maybe then they wouldn't need to sell it off for $1. Or maybe it's just because coconut water tastes like Wipeout/Bombora/Rumba (cheap Malibu alternative, I know them well) without any of the fun. Either way I think I got my dollar's worth even if I didn't drink much of it.

And on that note - this meme is why the internet was invented, I swear. We're kind of ridiculously obsessed with internet memes at the moment - I'm partial to Y U NO guy and he's a fan of Foul Bachelor Frog. I think we have a problem. Does this make little to no sense to you? Google memebase and thank me later, or curse me when it's 2am and you're still looking at useless internet rubbish.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A day in the life of an extra ordinary person

On Friday night I walked in to Priceline with the intention of buying some velcro hair rollers and some dry shampoo (Seriously, get on this people. Life changing, no exaggeration.) and leaving quickly thereafter. For the record you do not "pay less at Priceline" if you buy more than you intended (they lie through song, jerks) and I somehow walked out significantly poorer. But on the plus side I now have a lot of stuff... because I really needed more of that. I also got some nail polish in jade green and a nail art pen, and armed with both these things a night’s worth of frustration. Win win!
Owen and I went to see Griff the Invisible and grabbed some lunch at Mappen before we went in. I almost chickened out because I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to look like they’re lost or like they don’t know what they’re doing. But stress not my neurotic soulmate, Mappen have a sign with clear steps telling you how to order so you won’t lose any cred, or look plain stupid.
They also have this apple drink – WITH REAL FRUIT JUICE! - all 1% of it. The food was decent and cheap and it’s a matter of opinion as to whether I got a little “over-excited” at the tempura self serve. Either way I walked out of there covered in a thin layer of broth – Emma, udon and chopsticks do not a match make. And why yes my boyfriend does have pretty hands, thanks for noticing!

While we're on the minutae of my life - I recently discovered that my Japanese Kit Kat collection was kind of old... as in, they were kind of out of date (don't ask me if I still ate them, I won't answer truthfully). I’m not normally the kind of person to ration sweets of any kind, give me a tub of ice-cream and I will soon return said tub back to you empty, accompanied only by the milky smile on my face. But because they’re so damn expensive and relatively tricky to find, I went against my better judgement (better judgement which would have required me eating them all in one hour). So I headed to IGA in Market City to replenish my stocks.
Lemonade and Coca Cola! I’m a bit (read: incredibly) indecisive so this threw me for a minute... until I realised I could just eat both. Problem solved! I like solving problems.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

18:04 to Waterfall

I'm blogging on the train, a train ride that has thus far remained without mishap (spoke too soon, why oh why is this an all stations?!) Yesterday I'm pretty sure I elbowed a bald man directly in his bald spot, had to be tapped three times on the shoulder because I was unknowingly in the way and said sorry no less than 7 times. That is nothing new for me though. I'm an obsessive apologist.

Did you just step on my toe? Don't worry about it! I mean I shouldn't have left my toe lying around where unsuspecting people could accidentally tread on it, so really please accept my apology.

You can also bet I was that wuss in primary school who accidentally hurt my fellow play partner (who was probably Kristy from the Babysitters Club or one of the Samurai Pizza Cats. We played some serious RPGs for 9 year olds) and would be crying far louder and for much longer than the injured party. It's not that I wanted the attention (although looking back it sure sounds like I did), it was more that I felt so terribly guilty and awful about what I'd done. And I still do, about everything.

I still feel sick to my stomach remembering the time my smart alec 16 year old self made snarky comments about a gift from a relative infront of said relative, without realising it until my parents gestures, simultaneously subtle and furious, helped me cotton on to my faux pas. No joke, my stomach turns and I feel the exact shame I did the first time. It's been 10 years and I'm turning red just thinking about it.

Or when we went to a restaurant for my Papa's birthday and in the hullabaloo of saying hello to loved ones my handbag knocked a woman's wine glass off the table, sending it hurtling to the floor. Cue entire restaurant staring and an awkward silence quickly filled with "Oh my god, I'm so sorry. Oh god, it's all over your shoes. Please let me buy you another glass. I'm so incredibly sorry. I'll buy you a whole bottle. Oh god, I'm SO sorry". She politely refused and I sulked back to my table (shedding a few embarrased tears) only to interrupt her dinner again to try and force another glass of wine on her. Pretty sure all she wanted was for me to get the hell away from her.

Yeesh the shame of it all. And although saying sorry so often surely seems insincere, I can promise you I mean each and every single one (unless it's one of those sarcastic sor-eeee kind of sorrys).

I think my friends and family are pretty used to the sound of my many apologies but I also know it grates. Oh thinks that's the quickest way to track me down in a crowd - listen out for a chorus of "Sorry! Sorry! I'm so sorry!". And you know what? That just makes me want to say.... Shut up jerk. (Okay I really wanted to say Sorry. And now I feel bad for calling him a jerk. Sorry bub!).

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 18, 2011

I left my heart in Shibuya

2011 has been a crazy year for this old Earth. Already we've seen it alight, flooded and broken and it's only March. In January I stretched my money as far as I could and emptied all I had left into the Queensland flood appeal. Christchurch soon followed and now Japan - each one worse than what came before and I don't have all that much left to give. This makes me feel like a royal jerk, especially when I think about how much Japan has influenced and sweetened my life. But I'm still determined to find a way to help where I can. And thanks to a handful of incredible people who are equal parts creative and generous, it's actually not too hard to help in your own small way.

Start off by buying the Hello Sandwich Gift Wrapping Zine for $5USD, with all the proceeds going to Japan. The best bit is you're actually doing yourself a huge favour in owning this - the things that Ebony can do with a pair of scissors and a plastic bag will probably change your life, no hyperbole here. (Also it might say it's sold out by if you follow the link on the page it'll still work!)

Secondly swing by Catkin and Teasel and snap up a set of Eloise's Save Japan postcards, with 100% of proceeds going to the Red Cross. They're gorgeously designed and I reckon you'll never want to give them away, but instead keep them all for yourself.
And maybe if you're a little more flush with dosh, you could afford this cute print by Paul Vickers, which sums up Japan perfectly for me.
And so I think it's only fair I do my bit too! Buy a teapot from Hey Emmaline in March and I'll donate $10 from each order to the Red Cross specifically for the Japan Earthquake relief.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lessons in being thrifty - travel edition

They say change is as good as a holiday right? Well I'm banking on that being true and the change being my hair colour, because I can't exactly afford a round the world ticket at the moment. But as I was previously explaining (or was it complaining? eh...tomato tomato... okay, that doesn't work on the internet) I'm learning to be creative with my financial situation... or lack there of.

Step 1 - be eternally grateful your grandparents built a shack near a beach for you 70 years ago (yes, just for me I'm sure) and then thank all your relatives for letting you stay there for free on the best weekend in March. And shriek like a girl every time you run to the outdoor toilet in the dark (it's part of the authentic experience). If you don't have said shack, ring your oldest living relation and demand to know why.
Step 2 - make crepes with your mumma and pretend you're in gay ol' Paris (even though you've never been there and they probs don't have Sunbeam over there. Hey lets not get caught up in details people). Optional is how much crepe mixture you get on the crepe iron... I think the less is more approach works well for me. No crepe iron or just too lazy? Buy a french stick or raid garden for escargot... a good wash and they'll be right.
Step 3 - flick through happy snaps from previous holidays and be grateful you've already had a few nice trips, appreciating that not everyone is quite so lucky. Or alternatively flick through happy snaps from previous holidays and slide into a mild depression at the thought that you're sitting at your computer writing a blog entry instead of maxing out your credit card at Urban Outfitters in the East Village or hurrying across the Shibuya crossing with oh.. you know... a couple of hundred other people. (If you've read my whole "About Me" spiel, you'll know that Japan and the Japanese people have a big chunk of my heart reserved specifically for them... probably equal to the square metres that chocolate and or Youtube videos of animals sneezing current take up combined and times by two (yup I have a heart so big I must talk in square metre). We totally intend(ed) to head back there later this year and I'm hoping that's still a possibility.) 
Cue photo dump...

But c'est la vie. I've done both of those things and more so I'm just going to count myself pretty damn lucky and pinch my pennies (oh so hard) til my time rolls around again. And probably start from Step 1 again... oh man, I'm going to be so sick of crepes by the time I can afford a holiday.