How To Get Through Hump Day #8

I admit that I’m not really a fan of exercise… it’s exhausting, sweaty, and turns me into a hot, bruised tomato. But beyond health and fitness, I appreciate the value of exercise. When I run, I run to music and I’m in the zone. I don’t see, do, or even think anything but run towards what seems like an impossible destination.  I want to give up most of the time, but the feelings of relief and accomplishment I get when I finally get to the very real destination makes all the pain worth it.

Actually getting myself out of bed to actually go for a run is the hardest part. But I have two tricks. The first is widely known: get some proper fitness gear (that you actually like). You spend the money on it so you feel you have to use it, it’s incredibly comfortable yet fit for purpose, and it’s like when you put on a suit to help you focus at work… it actually makes you mentally (as well as physically) prepared to work out. My second trick is get an exercise buddy. Sharing the pain always makes it easier. My buddies are always Julio and Simba. They love running with me, and no matter how far I run, they’re always right next to me (unless they have something to sniff or another dog to chase). The smiles on their faces definitely give me the support I need to keep going.

If I only exercise once a week, it’s always on Wednesday. You don’t need the gymLike with exercise, sometimes on Wednesdays it’s almost impossible getting out of bed, and even harder to keep going without giving up and getting back in bed. But when you’re up and moving, it can get better. You might even feel good in the end.

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Being from Melbourne, black has always been my colour. But I’ve begun to realise that white (and off-white) basics are overtaking my wardrobe. Not that I’m complaining… white is the softer, more delicate sister of black, and I’m starting to really appreciate the crisp statement of a ‘white out’ look.

Like with black, I can’t imagine white ever going out of style. It’s an iconic mark of summer, but it transcends seasons, and is classy all year round. And whether you’re dressing for business, a night out, or just casually, white is for you. It’s sophisticated, smart, and relaxed all at the same time. It’s cool, but also very hot.

I accept that white is a risky colour. It’s easy to ruin, and sometimes it’s annoyingly see-through. But what is life without risks?

♫ ♪ The Moss – Cosmo Sheldrake

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Dorothy Perkins top; Christopher Esber dress; old school hat; Prada sunglasses; Forever21 heels

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Monday Inspiration: Relax

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I finally did it… I finished uni! No more 9am Monday lectures or 5pm Friday lectures… And what a relief it is! My last exam finished at 5pm on Thursday, and although it was grey and raining, it felt like it was bright and sunny. So what have I done since Thursday? Something I haven’t been able to do for years… absolutely nothing. It is wonderful.

♫ ♪ School’s Out – Alice Cooper

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Dorothy Perkins top; Carven shirt; Miu Miu heels; old school hat

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How To Get Through Hump Day #7

If you have a pet dog, or you’re close to someone who has a pet dog, then you’re likely to know what I mean when I say that dogs make you happy. Dogs are dedicated, loyal companions that offer unquestioning attachment and acceptance. You could be failing a subject, you could be struggling at work, you could even be a horrible person with no (human) friends… no matter what kind of person you are or what kind of day you’re having, your dog will always love you. So when all else fails, on Wednesdays, I like to curl up in bed, or go out for a nice long walk, with Julio and Simba.

Various pieces of research, including that from the University of Missouri-Columbia, suggest that hormonal changes occur when humans and dogs interact, helping people cope with depression and certain stress- and anxiety-related disorders. Just a few minutes of stroking your pet dog prompts a release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin… or as I like to call them, “happy” hormones.

Dogs have even been used for therapy. They visit nursing homes, calm traumatised children, and help ease pain in people undergoing physical rehabilitation. A few Universities in Canada have even opened up ‘Puppy Rooms’, to help students de-stress. My very own Monash University even had a puppy day on the last day of the semester….

People who don’t understand why people like me adore their dogs simply do not understand the healing capabilities these animals have. I can honestly tell you that Julio and Simba aren’t my whole life, but they make my life whole.

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It’s really dawned on me now that by the end of this week, I will (probably) be a law graduate! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been at school (I’m including kindergarten) and it’s bittersweet that I’m finally finishing up. Everyone says you never stop learning, but still, I feel an end coming up soon.

So today I reflected on the past year, and I’ve realised that my spirit and mind have gone through some very subtle, but significant changes.

1. I can now write essays. And not just any kind of essay… legal essays, and essays with 12,000 words! 20 year old me definitely would not have been able to predict that, and the idea of doing a thesis was just nauseating. But I did it, and now I feel like I’m actually ready to be a lawyer.

2. I’ve become pretty independent and self-sufficient. I’ve solved so many problems on my own, without having to call up my dad for help. I still asked him to do my taxes this year, but I went to Apple and solved all of my computer problems all by myself; I sorted out my Brazil visa issues on my own, in a country where English was not the national language; and on that note, I went to South America by myself. Last year I definitely was not mature or strong enough to do any of this, but miraculously, I was this year!

3. My style has gotten a lot cleaner in the last year. I cleaned out my wardrobe and realised that there’s more and more monochrome, relaxed styles, and trousers! Trousers! This time last year, I was very much a dresses and skirts girl. And I pretty much hated jeans. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my maximalist prints, colours and shapes, but I think my style is maturing, to match my mind.

Look at me! I think I’m almost a responsible adult now!

♫ ♪ Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

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Acne shirt; vintage trousers and hat; Topshop sunglasses; Tony Bianco heels

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One of the great things about Melbourne is that you can wear whatever you want, almost whenever you want. You don’t have to pack up or get rid of your winter clothes during the summer, and a bit annoyingly, you still have to be bikini-ready in the middle of winter! That’s because we tend to have all four seasons packed into one day. I’ve never been anywhere else in the world, where I’ve been able to wear a turtleneck sweater and trousers just one day after a scorching hot day. But that’s what I did today…

I’ve finally found the perfect black turtleneck top, and it’s from (where else but) Dion Lee. Lee is definitely the forerunner of Australian fashion, all because of the beautiful duality that seems to inform every aspect of his work. He absolutely nails the modern yet classic; structured yet fluid; and understated yet striking.

I still feel like I have the soul and style of a beatnik, but I felt uneasy about not having a black turtleneck top: the heart and staple to any beatnik wardrobe. Thanks to Dion Lee, I finally have one, and now I’m one step closer to being Audrey Hepburn…

♫ ♪ Cleo’s Mood – Jr. Walker and The All Stars

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Dion Lee top; Chloé trousers; J. Crew necklace; Forever21 bangle; Charlotte Olympia heels; Yves Saint Laurent ring

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My body can hardly handle Australian summer weather. That pesky hole in the ozone layer makes the sun harsh and seemingly vindictive. Dressing when it’s so hot can sometimes be very difficult, especially when you’ve got a busy day, and you can’t just hide indoors, or jump in the water or in front of the air conditioner. Sometimes, even wearing one layer is one layer too many…

In summer, white, light fabrics, billowing drapes, sandals, and anti-perspirant are your best friends. I’d say hats and sunglasses are good (but not best) friends, because hats blow away at the slightest gust of wind, and you embarrassingly have to chase after them; and sunglasses give you an ugly tan line when you wear them too much. And in summer, I always carry around totes and shoulder bags, to fit sunscreen, aloe vera soothing gel (a must-have for Australian summer), and a bottle of refrigerated water. There’s no way you can look good if you don’t feel good as well.

♫ ♪ Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – Miley Cyrus & The Flaming Lips

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Camilla dress; Kids necklace; Topshop heels

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How To Get Through Hump Day #6

A little culture never hurt anybody, so sometimes when I’m losing my mind and soul, I like to go to a museum or gallery, and sometimes paint a little. The great thing about art is that you don’t have to be “talented” to enjoy it. If you’ve got imagination or creativity, art is for you.

Today I finally got around to going to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, and in one word, it was inspiring. Spring 2015 was JPG’s final prêt-à-porter show, and he certainly went out with a bang. I feel like the fashion world has been obsessing now more than ever, with JPG, and I’m so glad that the NGV was able to host such an amazing tribute to the iconic designer.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition spans his creations over 40 years. Obviously I was most excited to see Madonna’s unforgettable conical bra corset from her Blonde Ambition tour, and the Immaculata gown, worn by Kylie Minogue in her Like A Drug video. But I was in complete awe over everything. I recognised so many of my favourite pieces from my favourite collections, including the tribute to Amy Winehouse Spring 2012 Couture collection, and pretty much everything from the 80s. It was pretty emotional, getting up close and personal with such memorable pieces.

I definitely recommend you all to go to the exhibition if you live in Melbourne, or to any gallery or museum in your city. It’ll hopefully inspire you to keep going until the weekend…

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