Sunday, May 12, 2013

Words for Everyone

(Click on the image to read it clearly) 

I don't know where 'meggiewhipp' got this from, but it is just the sentiment I need to share with the adolescent teenagers I teach. Everyone is important. Absolutely. But we ourselves are not more important than anyone else. It's a hard lesson to learn, one I think many people learn too late. 

I especially like Principal John Tapene's words, "The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy, and talent so that no one will be at war, in sickness or lonely again... Develop a backbone not a wishbone."

So pertinent. So true. I'm going to have to take this on board I think. I've always believed that the best way to help yourself is to help others. The Bible even teaches that there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. I believe that, I truly do. So, go and help someone today. Be more of the person the you are and give. Not just 'someday', but now. 

"Someday is now and that somebody is you." 

Ray-Ban Resplendency

These are by far the coolest sunglasses I have ever owned, or even seen for that matter. They are a present I received from my wonderfully tasteful fiancé. How cool is she? I know. Cool as. I had to share them because I have owned many-a-pair of Bali-Bans and Faux-Bans in my time, but never a solid, sturdy, stylish real pair of the ever trendy Ray-Bans. Love.


Sometimes I forget how incredibly beautiful Australia is. I went to Lorne in March this year on a surf camp with my students and these were some of the photos I took. We stayed right on the beach at the Surf Life-Saving Club there, which has been there for over 150 years (which for modern-Australia is a really long time). The mornings were amazing. I'd fall asleep to the sound of the waves on the shoreline and wakeup and see nothing but a pink and blue hazy sky and turquoise surf. 

One of the days we took the kids for a hike up into the hills of temperate rainforest behind the town. At one stage there was a congregate of church-goers who would take the same hiking trail and congregate amongst the trees in an area of natural occurring steps, much like a sort of 'bleachers' made of stone. We got the kids to sit quietly on the ledges and do some deep breathing exercises, which they loved. It was quite a powerful moment; forty or so students sitting peacefully on the rocks surrounded by lush greenery. No iPods or Nintendos. No texting or YouTube. Just them and their thoughts. Amazing. 

If you haven't been to Australia, or Lorne for that matter, you need to come and see it for yourself. It is truly amazing, not to mention the Great Ocean Road you have to take to get there from Melbourne.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bramble Sapphire

My fiance's sister came back from overseas with a big Litre bottle of my favourite liquor, Bombay Sapphire gin. You've heard me go on about it, I know. But I had a 'Bramble' the other day and you need to do yourself a favour too and have one. Pour me one while you're at it. 



 50ml Bombay Sapphire gin
20 ml fresh lemon juice
1tsp caster sugar
 15ml berry liquor (Creme de Mure/Chambord/Creme de Casis
1 blackberry
Wedge of fresh lemon
Crushed Ice 

Belle Gibson's Inspirational Health Journey

Her name is Belle Gibson, but on Instagram she is known as @healing_onlybelle. She has had intense brain trauma, cancer, and intestinal damage. You'd agree she has plenty to complain about. But, the inspirational thing about Gibson is her undeniable magnetism and positive outlook, mainly due to her focus on living a largely active, simple life where she can concentrate and consciously savour the life she lives. Through her healthy (and I mean healthy), nutrient rich, vitamin abundant diet she is curing her cancer and healing her body. 

I started following Belle when I wasn't eating as well I used to. I felt guilty and lacklustre. But when I would see her positive affirmations and bright green freshly squeezed juices pop up on my Instagram feed I would think twice about my choices. How could I improve the food I was eating? Could I get back into my vegetable and fruit juices in the morning? Yes. Yes I could. And Belle helped me do it. 

Here are some of my own Instagram photos: (follow me on @landoftakewhatyouwant)

The best thing about Belle is she follows my progress and even comments on photos and loves hearing feedback from her fans. So much so she's in the process of making an App for your iPhone which will help you get the nutrients you need and heal your body too. I'll let you guys know when her App is out as well.

She also has her own blog, which you can visit at

So, follow Belle and feel the positive difference.

Mojito, She Wrote

I'm a fairly fit, healthy person. I pride myself on that. Or else, I used to when I followed my strict regime of healthy eating and exercise each week. Last holidays however, I really let myself go. I didn't exercise once (not even for a brief walk or pushup session). Nothing. It was terrible. I was housesitting at the time and they had an enormous plasma T.V. so I just sat on the couch and watched about four entire seasons of Murder She Wrote (my guilty pleasure).

But out of all of this misery and lack of motivation came a wonderful discovery. At the time I was also desperately saving for my house deposit and thus couldn't really spend any money. So my lunches were very simple and I had very little extra cash to splash on 'luxury' items. So I would go doen to the local supermarket and find something to brighten my otherwise dull days and whilst doing just this I found the Lipton Ice Tea virgin cocktail range, in particular their Mojito.

If you do nothing else today, buy one. They're amazing. They're not cheap - sitting at about $2.50 for about 350mL but I recently learnt you can buy they in 1.25L bottles and just top up your little glass ones. Perfect.

I'd also like to add I did get back into my healthy lifestyle and I did so via Instagram. I'll post about that next. Happy Mojito-ing!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Building Bridges over Vampiric Waters

I know I've been bad. I haven't been blogging for so long I feel the blogger guilt rise up inside me like an awkward accumulation of heavy fishing sinkers. I know. It's terrible. But I would like to rebuild the bridge that I unintentionally burned, drained the lake it crossed over and built a mega mall of shame upon. Let's be friends once more. So much has happened (and is happening) that I just need to share it.

I'll start with some music news.

You all know that my absolute favourite band is Vampire Weekend. I am going to New York (all going according to plan) in 2015 and my soundtrack of the Uptown preppy quartet will be my inspiration. Well, they have new album coming out this month and I for one couldn't be more excited. I very nearly ran up a pole in my car when I heard the new album release news on my car radio. I could burst. Literally burst.

It's called Modern Vampires of the City and the three songs they've released as a taster of what is to come make my heart leap with joy already.

Their first pre-release was "Diane Young" - a much more grungy sound than you're used to hearing from them, but it works incredibly well with their African drums and Casio melodies. Amazing.

The next song they released was 'Step'. The song itself reminds me so much of 'Taxi Cab' from their second album 'Contra' in the sense that it is slower and is softer than some of their other songs. The piano/harpsichord and chimes with 1/4 beat bass makes for easy listening and the lyrics, as always, always suggest so much yet explain so little. Very Vampire Weekend.

The most recent release was 'Ya Hey', a fun and spirited take on their usual sound. The video is again reminiscent of their collegiate, neo-greco, preparatory selves. And the "Ya Hey" labelled champagne bottles (in the likeness of Verve Cliquot) add to the luxe and decadence of the. I would sincerely like to ask them about the meaning of this song, as the personage they are referencing isn't 'loved' by Babylon (often symbolic of false religion and paganism) or Zion (symbolic of Jerusalem and the Christian interpretation of God's Kingdom), or even America (symbolic of Western Capitalism and World Power).

So I'd like to know who the "you" is that they refer to. Very interesting indeed.

The album is released May 4 and will be a highlight of my year.  So, get yourslef together and pre-order one from JB Hi-Fi (If you're in Australia) or from you local music store, or on iTunes. Can't wait. At all. 

Another one of my favourite bands is Jinja Safari, the self-funded and independent band from Sydney, Australia. Their unique surf rock and jungle vibes have been off the scene for a while as they've been coming up with the much anticipated album they're due to launch May 17. I'm going to endeavour to see them at the Toff in Town in Melbourne as it's only $20 for a ticket and I'd pay more anyway, so in that sense it's a bargain. 

So, click here to check out some of their new songs from their new album and get tribal dancing in your lounge room. 

Okay, enough now. I'll be back soon.