Take a new path and see where it leads

I’ve been thinking about routine and habits. I have been taking the same route on my morning walk for the last month. So this morning I decided to mix it up and reverse my walk.

It’s interesting to see what you notice when you go in the completely opposite direction. Here’s what I discovered.

A fence library

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Driveway mosaics

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A rainforest

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Street art

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Somewhere to sit

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The road less travelled

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A new path

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I’m not keen to do this every day (so many more hills in the opposite direction), but it was good to mix it up.

What can you change in your routine? Find a new path today.

11 songs to play on a rainy day

The weather outside is frightful, but the playlist is so delightful. There is crazy, chaotic weather in Sydney today. It’s time to stay indoors, grab a cup of coffee and kick back with some musical greats who just happened to sing some songs with rain in the title.

1. Come Rain or Come Shine – Ray Charles

2. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival

3. Here comes the rain again – Eurythmics

4. Set Fire To The Rain – Adele

5. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

6. Rainy Days and Mondays – Carpenters

7. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan

8. Fire and Rain – James Taylor

9. I Can’t Stand the Rain – Tina Turner

10. Don’t Rain On My Parade – Barbra Streisand

11. Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly

If you still can’t get enough rain, here’s 127 songs about rain to keep you going until the sun shines again.

What are your favourite rainy day songs?

Main photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

9 inspirational quotes from fabulous fashionistas

Ready for a fabulous weekend? Or feeling a little flat?

Here are 9 inspiration quotes from my favourite style and fashion forward icons to kickstart your weekend and get you feeling like a stiletto in a room full of flats.

1. Iris Apfel

2. Marc Jacobs

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Source: QuoteLoad

3. Vivienne Westwood

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Source: Pinterest

4. Yves Saint Laurent

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Source: Etsy

5. Karl Largerfield

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Source: LinesCafe

6. Kate Spade

7. Paul Smith

quote-you-can-find-inspiration-in-everything-if-you-can-t-then-you-re-not-looking-properly-paul-smith-57-48-77

Source: AZ Quotes

The last two are technically not in fashion, but boy did they have style.

8. Audrey Hepburn

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Source: herinterest

9. Marilyn Munroe

So readers, put your best glitter foot forward, get out there and have an inspirational weekend.

Photo by Robert Metz on Unsplash

Wilhelminas and the joy of having a local

Do you have a local? There is something special about having a local place where you can drop by, hang out, have a drink and a chat.

I’ve had the theme song from Cheers in my head this week. If you grew up in the 80’s, you’ll know the iconic piano intro and the lyrics, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came”. Now you have it in your head (sorry).

The lyrics got me thinking about Wilhelminas, my favourite local bar in Balmain. I often joke that Wilhelminas is my Cheers bar. It’s my third place – you have home as your first place; work as your second place; and then a cafe, club, park or (in my case) bar as your third place.

ginuary

Christopher Peterson (Ph.D.) in his article, Happy Places: Third Places, puts it beautifully:

Third places contribute to the life worth living. They root us; they give us an identity; they restore us; they support us. Bottom line: They allow us to be us. And everyone knows our name.

The team at Wilhelminas have seen me through everything – bad dates, good dates (okay, mostly bad), family dramas, redundancies, birthdays, gin days and just because days. They always remember my favourite drink. They’re friendly, sweet, kind and generous. Some of the team have moved on to other places, but we’ve remained friends. I’ve brought my friends to the local and formed beautiful new friendships with people I’ve met at the bar (in fact, two of them are standing at the bar in the main photo). So many fun times together. Love you guys.

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If you’re reading this Wilhelminas peeps past and present, you make life worth living. You ground me; you give me identity; you restore me; you support me. Bottom line: you allow me to be me. And everybody knows my name (even if I forget mine after a few gins). Thank you for being my local.

What’s your third place? It doesn’t have to be a bar. It could be the local cafe where the barista remembers your coffee, a local pool or a bench in the park. It’s simply somewhere you can be you.

May you find your happy place this weekend. Cheers!

The big brand ad is not dead

The days of the big brand ad seem to be gone, probably due to low budgets and a focus on other marketing strategies. There has been a lot of talk on LinkedIn over the last few days about the John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad.

If you’re not familiar with John Lewis & Partners, it’s a British department store that sells everything from electrical goods to womens clothing. Around this time each year, John Lewis does a much anticipated Christmas ad.

The media are saying that the Christmas ad is broken and that it’s not relevant for today’s audiences. Others say the big brand ad is dead. I disagree.

Yes, you could say that it’s a just big bad department store out to make money (and you’d be right), but it’s still a nice sentiment and I believe it’s a beautiful ad celebrating the magic of Christmas giving.

The Boy and The Piano (John Lewis, 2018)

You can check out the John Lewis ads from previous years on YouTube.

And while we’re on big ads, I’ll share another couple of my favourites.

#SingItKitty (Three UK, 2014)

A girl on a bike, a singing kitten and a Starship Enterprise song all in the one advert. Perfection.

#missadventure (Kate Spade, 2016)

If you’re a Muppets fan, you’ll love this one with Zosia Mamet and Miss Piggy. I’m a huge Kate Spade fan, so this one is a winner for me.

Big Ad (Carlton Draft, 2014)

The ultimate ad that mocks the big ads. So you get the context, it was made around the time of the Lord of the Rings movies.

The last few are not necessarily big, but still noteworthy.

Barbara Lives in Bank World (ANZ, 2010)

Hilariously poor customer service from Barbara.

And finally…

Not Happy, Jan (Telstra, 2000)

An article on big ads and classic advertisements would not be complete without the classic Not Happy, Jan. The ad was so popular that ‘Not happy, Jan’ became the Australian urban phrase for discontentment.

So I guess there are a lot of people who are ‘Not happy, Jan’ about these big ads, but I think they’re marvellous.

Main photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash

 

Talk to the trees today

All our wisdom is stored in the trees – Santosh Kalwar

There is something truly remarkable about trees beyond the fact that they keep us healthy and alive. I’ve always felt grounded and centred around beautiful old trees.

This morning I stopped to take a #shoesoftheday video of a tree in the park. It reminded me of a trip to the Muir Woods National Monument. I gazed up at the giant sequoias and California redwoods and a perfect leaf fell from one of the trees into my open hand. The tree was communicating with me.

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Muir Woods

After I took my video, I stretched out on the bench under the tree and studied the branches and the leaves. This tree did not talk and a leaf did not fall, but simply stopping to acknowledge the tree today was enough.

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Balmain East

Talk to the trees. They may not talk back, but the silence may be just what you need to hear.

Main photo of the Muir Woods taken by yours truly.

All you need is love and a new pair of shoes

If you’ve been following my shoes on Instagram, you’ll know that I posted a photo of the Marc Jacobs Love Sneakers that I spotted in the window at Myer Sydney last week.

Well readers, after thinking (okay, obsessing) about these fabulous sneakers for a week, I decided to go into Myer and try them on.

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Marc Jacobs Love Sneakers in Myer window

Let me say that I’m not really a department store shopper. I tend to go to smaller boutiques to get a more personalised service. So I’m on the escalators up to the shoe floor thinking this is going to be yet another disappointing experience at Myer.

To my surprise, I was blown away by the customer service. Not only did I find the shoes in my size, the sales assistant was extremely passionate about shoes and made the buying experience out of this world. We had an amazing chat and I left with the shoes (yep, totally saw that coming) and a new shoe bestie.

So Patricia if you’re reading this, I love you. Thank you from the bottom of my shoe-obsessed heart for the phenomenal shopping experience. And if your boss is reading this, give Patricia a raise and a promotion immediately. She is singlehandedly winning you loyal customers and she’s a good shoe egg.

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Photo from Vogue magazine

p.s. I also want these Dolce & Gabbana love sunglasses, but they’re ‘price on application’, so I might pour the love into my new shoes for now.

Keep spreading the love shoe lovers ❤️ xx

Main photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

Are you looking for the right signs?

There are all sorts of signs – stop signs, shop signs, street signs, warning signs and those ones you get from the universe. I tend to ignore the universal ones and keep trying to open the locked door. Finally after days (sometimes weeks) of hitting my head against the door, I realise that it’s closed because it’s just not my door. Move on dot com.

I’m always looking for the right signs – both universal and physical. Here are some of my favourite signs and adverts that I’ve collected over the years.

Ch…ch…ch…changes

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Maurizio Nannucci at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Live your dreams

kermit-new-york

New York City

Keeping up with the times

faithbook

St Ambrose, Sydney

Glass half full

glass-half-full-gin

Booze Exchange Ad, Sydney

Hair raising philosophy

My kind of payment

pay-with-a-kiss

Metro St James ad, Sydney

The perfect marriage

Evil mobile phones

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Subway ad, Tokyo

Oh hello

Zero calories

snog-london

Somewhere in London

And remember…

Photo by Key Tags by Various Projects

Keep looking for the right signs. It’s so much fun and will keep you in the moment.

Main photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Looking to disappear? Go to Gowings

A few months back I booked a dinner at the Gowings Bar and Grill in the City. The restaurant is on the site of the old Gowings Bros department store on the corner of Market and George Streets, Sydney.

The Gowings store, which opened its doors in 1929, sold everything from socks and undies to camping equipment and scooters. The closing of the Gowings store in January 2006, was seen as the end of an era for Australian retail.

I was talking to my Mum about my plans to go out to dinner.

Mum: “Where are you going?”.

Linda Louise: “I’m going to Gowings”.

Mum: “You don’t have to tell me where you’re going”.

Linda Louise: “I’m really going to Gowings. The Gowings Bar and Grill”.

It seems that back in the day, if you wanted to get lost or disappear and not tell anyone where you were going, you’d say “I’ve gone to Gowings”. If your car was dead, you’d say “The car’s gone to Gowings”.

The QT Hotel has taken over the site. You won’t be buying undies but you can grab a coffee at Parlour Lane Roasters and see the original elevators and signage in the foyer. The restoration kept a lot of the heritage features and it’s worth a visit, even just to have a drink the bar. There’s even a wall of old trunks in reception, which reminds me of the ones that may have sold back in the day.

There seems to be a theme of getting lost in the world of Linda Louise this week. I’m about to get lost right now. And if you’re looking for me, I’ve gone to Gowings.