Gotham

Gotham-TV-Show-Fox-Logo

One of my favourite things about flying is watching movies. And free international alcohol. But mostly the movie watching part. I find it helps make time go past a whole lot quicker and I get to catch up on whatever I’ve missed out on recently at the cinemas. On a long haul flight to say, Europe or America, I could easily watch 5-6 movies. My last flight was to Bali and given its a relatively short one (because six hours is short to Aussies) and the movie selection wasn’t the best, I ended up watching TV and this is how I found Gotham.

I’d heard of it before in a kind of passing way. Gotham is essentially the pre-Batman story and focuses on Jim Gordon shortly after he joins the police force. You see him first come into contact with a young Bruce Wayne not long after his parents are murdered and Gordon is assigned the case. Interspersed throughout are a lot of the other series characters and again, you see their beginning before they develop into the goodies and baddies we know better down the track. Penguin, Catwoman, Alfred, Riddler, Two Face and more all make appearances, and it’s interesting figuring out who is going to be what and how. It’s not a hard and fast version of either the comics or later movies and is more of an interpretation based on Gordon’s perspective.

I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a huge Batman fanatic. I’ve seen the movies and I quite enjoy them, but I’m not an obsessive and I don’t think you need to be to enjoy Gotham. It’s a good old fashioned superhero meets cop show action drama that’s just a fun 44 minutes to watch. It’s fast paced and they’ve done a good job with the cast – Ben McKenzie is great as Gordon and does the whole cop thing pretty well, Jada Pinkett Smith is sublime as smooth criminal Fish Mooney and I like Sean Pertwee’s version of Alfred, the Wayne’s beloved butler. I ploughed through all eight episodes they had on board and will be definitely hunting down more. Highly recommended.

PS I was never a big O.C. fan but geez, Ben McKenzie has aged beautifully.

Gotham

High fashion lashes

couture lashes

couture lashes 2

If I was under duress and had to pick the single make up item I could only use for the rest of my life it would actually be fairly easy: mascara. Having been blessed with four eyelashes on each lid, when I don’t wear it I look half asleep and absolutely terrible. A great thickening and volumising mascara is always top of my list of things to hunt down.

My preference is for non-waterproof versions with rubber or plastic bristles. On rare occasions I find great bristle bushed ones (Revlon Grow Luscious, Too Faced Better Than Sex) but generally the rubbery wands work best on me and I find them easiest to use (Cover Girl Lash Blasts in every iteration). I’m a stickler for chucking mascaras after three months so I like drug store brands rather than shelling out $50 at a time for something I know won’t last long. I find Cover Girl tends to be best and I’m consistently disappointed by Maybelline, Revlon and L’Oreal products that promise the world but deliver an atlas.

Until now. The L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes So Couture Mascara (say that five times quickly) would have to be one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used. I’m talking a probable top five. It’s definitely easily the best L’Oreal mascara I’ve had. I picked it up on a whim during a Superdrug sale in London last year and didn’t think too much of it. It has been love from first swipe though and I can’t rave about it enough.

Firstly, it actually delivers volume. Serious volume. The brush is easy to use and manages to capture every lash, which helps immensely with that whole volume thing. Also it never seems to imprint itself on my upper lids, which is a problem I have with so many other mascaras where I end up wearing more on my lid than my lash. It doesn’t clump, it doesn’t flake, it doesn’t take 45 products to get it off at the end of the day. Honestly, there is nothing not to love because you end up with thick, fluttery lashes. And best of all it’s available in Australia now – though I can’t say I wouldn’t enjoy a trip back to London just to get more.

High fashion lashes

Things I bought #14.

34 Zara

35 Lovisa

Out. Of. Control. This week has been a shocker.

I’m going to blame finishing such a long stint at work then my first day off coinciding with pay day, so I was in the shops with money to burn. It wasn’t pretty and consequently I have eight new things in my wardrobe this week. This month I’ve been a bit lax at keeping a rein on the spending so it’s time to tighten that up again I reckon.

30 Country Road sleeveless tee in aqua $15 – I own two of these in the white and when I saw the aqua/mint version on sale for $15 at the Country Road outlet on Bridge Road, I snapped it up. They are cut so nicely.

31 Dorothy Perkins luxe dress $60 – I’ve had my eye on this dress for soooo long and I finally caved when they had a really good code (and before going nuts shopping elsewhere later in the week). I love the print and the colours, along with the higher neck and 3/4 sleeves. I’ve bought some great things from Dorothy Perkins over the years but their sizing can be hit and miss, so I’m crossing my fingers on this one.

32 Dorothy Perkins navy printed shift dress $40 – I first saw this dress on Le Catch and it stuck in my mind. Then of course with DP shipping being relatively expensive (around $20 to Australia, ouch) I thought it prudent to spend an extra $20 and just get this dress and qualify for free shipping. Even though it’s clearly a summer dress that I will need to wait six months to get any use out of now.

33 Piper relaxed long line jacket in grey tweed and leather $140 – I don’t need another coat. I don’t need another coat. I don’t… well, you get the picture. This coat was the first thing I saw when I walked into Myer the other day and despite it not really being my style, I fell hard. I then made the critical error of trying it on and coupled with the fact it was the last one in my size and 30 per cent off, I couldn’t let it go. I just really like it. It’s cool and a bit more street style rather than my usual preppier looks but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get lots of use out of it.

34 Zara paisley peasant top $90 – Yeah, fell for the old “I’ll just try this on” with this one too and I absolutely loved it. It’s such a flattering fit and I’m a sucker for anything rainbow coloured. I’m thinking it might also be a good one to take overseas with me at the end of the year #justification. I can’t find a link anywhere online unfortunately but I’ve used it in my image above.

35 Lovisa earrings $41 – Lovisa had a 30 per cent off store-wide sale this week so I stocked up. I bought the silver trio of crystal studs that I bought a few weeks back in gold, a pair of crystal bar earrings and a pair of Tiffany inspired triple circle drop earrings that I have been lusting after for months but couldn’t face paying $40 for.

14 Things I bought make up

I haven’t covered myself in glory on the skin care and make up front either. The only genuine necessity was the Urederm after looking down at my arm and seeing flakes come off my skin was so dry. Nothing sorts it out like this stuff. The scrub is a Kmart cheapie I keep hearing Anissa rave about, the Cavalli shower gel and Ulta3 polish I bought from DFO when I decided to do a run through there on my way back from a work event and as for the two mousses, one I’ve been waiting for ages to arrive in Australia (John Frieda) and the other I’ve been waiting to go on sale (Herbal Essences). Of course both happened in the same week.

Things I bought #14.

Thoughts of the week – 19/4

water

1. There are two types of people in this world – those who love Turkish Delight and those who loathe it.

2. As per last week’s thoughts, I went to see The DUFF and I highly recommend it. I laughed out loud so many times and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Plus the male lead is God damned hot.

3. As a sports fan I absolutely love this. I wonder what would happen if a kid did it in the AFL or NRL?

4. Why don’t people at the Maccas drive through ever put your straw in your drink any more? If they’re worried about germs or touching it then that’s ridiculous because they’re touching the damn straw when they hand it to me.

5. My first day off after 10 in a row coincided with pay day and unfortunately I did some damage at Doncaster Westfield when I should be saving for a holiday.

6. I am in total love with this bed. Me wants it.

7. I cannot believe I live in a world where a sports bra will now set you back around $60 at places like Rebel Sport. WTF.

8. I had breakfast at a new place called Sardi in Hawthorn and I quite liked it. It’s tiny but the food is good.

9. I had to go to IKEA this week and I remembered I hate everything about IKEA except for when it’s all over and the stuff is finally assembled. And I like their hot dogs and lingonberry soda.

10. I’m off to the footy tonight for the first time this year – it’s Port’s first game in Melbourne and they’re playing North at Etihad. Fingers massively crossed for a win.

Thoughts of the week – 19/4

Secret agent

IMG_3698

There’s something distinctly unsettling about smelling your perfume on someone else. I’m not sure about you but I’m almost territorial about my favourites, particularly Gucci Rush which has been my signature scent for nearly 20 years. Whenever I catch the smell of it on someone else I feel like I should demand they take it off because it’s mine.

Of course, there’s more than enough perfumes to go around. There’s also a lot of great fragrances that are completely underrated and overlooked. While every second girl sprays on Miss Dior or Coco Mademoiselle, there’s a whole world of perfumes begging to be appreciated by someone with chic sensibilities. I recently picked up a back up bottle of Agent Provocateur‘s eponymous first fragrance and I was reminded how excellent it really is – and no one I know wears it.

For a lingerie company the scent is decidedly, well, clean. And a bit wholesome. To start with, anyway. It’s a powdery, rosy, musky floral that initially smells closer to something your nanna would wear rather than a fragrance you’d catch in a strip club. But then by the third or fourth sniff you kind of realise how sexy it is in a totally understated way. It’s a warm, spicy rose that’s pretty powerful but slightly vintage in feel and always classy – you know it’s for a lady and not a girl. If I was to pick a character that wore it I’d say Billie Piper’s Belle from Secret Diary of a Call Girl (great series if you’ve never seen it). I love it and it’s a great go-to fail-proof night time scent, though I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever smelled it on someone else.

There’s a whole range of Agent Provocateur scents and most of them are pretty good. Strip is another favourite though I have a feeling it might have been discontinued. In Australia you can get them at bigger department stores such as David Jones or via StrawberryNet, which always carries a good selection. I honestly can’t recommend them enough. Gorgeous packaging and beautiful fragrances with the added benefit of being probably the only one wearing it – can’t go wrong with that.

 

 

Secret agent

Giddy up

snow pony

I’m going to start by making a broad, possibly contentious statement: best scrambled eggs in Melbourne.

And I would know, I’ve eaten them often enough.

Aside from the luxury of it being only around the corner from where I live, Snow Pony has some of the best food eastern suburbs cafes have to offer. Both it and it’s sister café, Porgy + Mr Jones, do their scrambled eggs the same way and I often pop in before starting work in the afternoon to fuel up. To be honest, they do a whole range of other lovely food but I can rarely get past those damn eggs. The coffee is great too and I’m a big fan of their orange juice (not too pulpy and never warm).

The only down sides about Snow Pony are that they take cash only, they’re often super packed and sometimes the service can leave a bit to be desired. One day you’ll go in and they ignore you for most of your meal, the next you’re like a long lost daughter. I also find the staff can be a little cool for school and often talk amongst themselves rather than making service a priority. But those scrambled eggs…

Snow Pony is at 95 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn and is open from 8am to 4pm, Monday-Friday then from 8.30am to 4pm on weekends.

Giddy up

Tasmania

cascade

If you’ve read my blog for even a short length of time, you would have probably realised that I like to travel. I’m very lucky that my job affords me almost double the amount of time off most people get but I also make sure I use that time wisely. When I booked my trip to Bali during my recent fortnight off I realised it was right at the front of my leave so I decided to go to Tasmania in the second half for something to do. It turned out to be a great decision and I really enjoyed my time there.

I’d been to Tassie once before, in 2006, and to be honest didn’t think much of it. That said I was in Hobart in July without a car for most of it so it’s no surprise it wasn’t riveting. This time I hired a car and decided to spend two nights in Hobart and one in Launceston. I took a day trip to Port Arthur then drove up the east coast from Hobart to Launceston, coming back on the inland route. With a car it’s a really enjoyable place to go with lots to see and do in the smaller towns.

In Hobart I stayed at the Travelodge and it was reasonable but nothing special. I wouldn’t be hugely recommending it. It was on the fringe area of the CBD but easy enough to drive to areas such as the harbour or Salamanca. There was also a decent amount of parking nearby but to be honest I was gone most of the day anyway.

MONA

On my first day I went to visit MONA, which was pretty much the main reason for me going to Hobart. I’d heard so many great things about it and I’m always a sucker for a good art museum. I have to admit, I didn’t love it. It was great but maybe I created some over expectation because it didn’t blow me away. To get there you catch a ferry, which takes you about 20 minutes and costs you $20. They warn you against driving to MONA as it’s on a small island and parking is limited. This was a nice way to travel and see a bit of the harbour so I didn’t particularly mind. One thing that really annoyed me at MONA is that none of the art works are marked – they give you a small iPhone style device and you press it every so often and it tells you what art is around you and gives you details about it. This was frustrating and often it would pick up things properly. I’m glad I went and I would go again, but I wasn’t blown away. If you’re thinking of going then I’d say you only need 1.5-2 hours maximum to go through the place.

When I got back into town I headed to the Cascade Brewery, which is one of the loveliest and most recognisable buildings in the city. I did the tour, which sets you back around $25 and is well worth the hour. You then get beer and cider tastings at the end – I had mine and then stuck around to have lunch in the café. The food was great and the setting was perfect. It’s a great spot to spend an arvo drinking with friends and I’ve always loved Cascade beer.

The next morning I got up early and headed to Machine Laundry Café in Salamanca Square for breakfast. It was fantastic and I had a really terrible breakfast at another place at Salamanca the next morning so I regret not going back. I had French toast with poached stone fruits and lime curd – there was so much food. Good travelling fuel. After that I headed off to the Port Arthur historical site which is about a 1.5 hour drive out of Hobart, though there’s plenty of interesting stops and detours along the way.

port arthur

It’s incredibly hard to go to Port Arthur and not think of what happened on 28 April 1996. I know the site has a long and interesting convict history and they have done a lot of work to preserve the buildings that are there. It’s actually a really beautiful spot, green and lush overlooking the water. The iconic pale gold gaol building dominates the view and there’s a lot of interesting things to do there. But still… it’s so hard not to stand in the middle of all that and not imagine the fear and horror of a man unloading a high powered firearm repeatedly and killing 35 people, injuring 23 others. What chaos there would have been there on that day. If you are visiting Tasmania I think it’s a must see area due to it’s rich colonial past but it also reminds you of the terrible things people choose to do to each other. Also I did the one-hour tour then the boat cruise and I definitely recommend it.

wellington

That afternoon in Hobart I did the drive up to the top of Mount Wellington, the massive chunk of rock that overlooks the city. You can drive all the way to the very top and they have a couple of lookouts, including one over the city. It’s a beautiful spot for taking photos but for anyone like me who is petrified of heights, it’s not a lot of fun. It’s an absolute white knuckle drive to get up there and eventually I stopped looking out the window at the view because I thought I was going to throw up. That said, it’s just amazing once you get to the top. My colleague told me he and his mates went back down the mountain in neutral and just let the car roll, almost getting all he way back into the city. I said I would not be doing that. I value my life.

The next day I drove from Hobart to Launceston via the coastal route. This takes a bit more time than the inland road and can take even longer if you stop all the time to take photos and buy drinks (like me). My first stop was in Orford – there’s a beautiful lake in town and some gorgeous beaches nearby, as well as a lot of cafes. From there I drove up to Swansea and stopped at Kate’s Berry Farm and I absolutely recommend it. When the first words you hear from the staff are “go inside and help yourself,” you know you’re on to a winner. They have a beautiful café there that only sells desserts and I had the best warm scones with jam and cream. I’m incredibly disappointed I didn’t get to have the lavender ice cream but I had no room left at the end and couldn’t take it with me. I ended up sitting out the front talking to Kate herself and a friend after I overheard them talking about visiting Cordoba, so I got to rave about my Spanish trip again.

wineglass

From there I drove up to the Freycinet National Park and into Coles Bay. The area is amazing and there’s lots of great views to be had. However the one I wanted to see most was the famed Wineglass Bay and so I drove into the park and paid the $25 park fee. To be honest, I hadn’t done much research about the place and I thought I’d just rock up and it’d be a 5-10 minute stroll to some look out, get my photos, then get moving. Oh no. It’s a 1.5 hour round trip to get to the Wineglass Bay lookout (our a lazy four hours if you want to go down to the beach) and you basically go up and down a mountain. I was not impressed and so I switched my thongs for Toms and huffed off in my jeans and t-shirt. This will not take me 1.5 hours, I thought. Cut to me about 20 minutes later dripping in sweat and over it already. My jeans were sticky and I didn’t bring any water. I was sick of walking uphill. Please keep this in mind of you are going and be better prepared than I was! The view was incredible though and definitely worth it, plus I saw wallabies on the hike back.

After that I drove into Launceston and arrived around 7pm so it was already quite dark. Let me tell you this: Tassie LOVES a one-way street so navigating in a strange city in the dark was challenging. In the end I got to my hotel by the light of my iPhone and all was good. I stayed at Balmoral on York and I really liked it. While it doesn’t seem a little quaintly 80s inside, the rooms were giant, the bathroom was huge, the shower was probably the best shower of my life, the bed was comfy, lots of pillows, super high speed unlimited free internet and free Foxtel. Honestly, it was fantastic. There was also a lot of free parking on site and the place was really quiet, meaning you could actually sleep in instead of listening to people clomp up and down the halls. If you’re heading to Launceston I recommend it.

That night I had dinner at a little place called Alchemy, which had comic books for wallpaper. I had salmon and local beers and it was great. It’s on George Street which seems to have a lot of good restaurants along it, so if you’re heading there then that seems to be the best place to wander at night.

stillwater

The next morning I decided to head to Stillwater for breakfast after a good recommendation via Instagram. It was easily my favourite meal of the trip and I would have loved to have had dinner there. It’s in an old mill at a beautiful spot down by the water and the views over the Tamar River are amazing. I had rye waffles with smoked salmon and poached eggs and it was spot on. It’s definitely not cheap – it was around $35 for breakfast including a coffee and an orange juice – but it’s definitely a worthwhile experience.

I was flying out from Hobart at 9pm that night so I had a bit of time to wander around Launceston before driving back. It’s a really beautiful, well maintained city full of gorgeous old houses. I definitely prefer it over Hobart. I headed to Cataract Gorge, which is pretty much right in the middle of the city, and another great spot full of photographic views. Despite my hatred of heights I was disappointed I left my wallet in the car so I didn’t get to go on the chair lift. It’ll set you back $12 and you do a lap out into the open space. Instead I went for a walk along the suspension bridge, panicked when people were rocking it, took photos and then cleared off. If you’re in Launceston then I recommend paying the gorge a visit as it’s so close to town and there’s plenty of lovely spots. Would be great for lunch.

cataract

I headed back to Hobart on the inland route and it took around 3.5 hours, though I am partial to a stop. Once in Hobart I parked in the city and had a bit of a wander around the shops. There’s a lot of open malls and big retailers in the CBD so while it’s not quite Melbourne, it’s not bad either. I was starving and feeling like a burger so I headed to The Standard, which is a tiny place down the end of an alley near the hospital. It serves American style food and there’s no tables, just an open bleacher. Prices are around the same as Grill’d and I have to say, it wasn’t half bad. A shame there were no tables but I could see them doing a roaring trade on Friday and Saturday nights.

salamanca

After that I had one last wander down through Salamanca and the waterfront (sadly I was too late to get to Banjo’s bakery for on last raspberry house cake) and then it was time to drive to the airport for my inevitably delayed Jetstar flight and then head home. I’m really glad I made the trip down to Tasmania and I had an absolute ball. Having a car makes all the difference when you’re down there and allows you to get around at your own pace and stop whenever you feel like it. I’ll definitely be paying another visit ad will put the south and west on the agenda for next time.

Tasmania