Life & Style Blog - Best Buys

Daddy Issues

31 August 2012, by Rachael Ciccarelli

Daddy Issue

Image source: Just Jared.

I don’t know about you guys, but I find Father’s Day gifts the hardest thing to buy, ever. Ever. It’s tougher than birthdays where the budget is a bit higher, or Christmas where hints are dropped with a resounding clang – there’s none of that. You’re an island. Left alone with your own ideas, and if you’re me, a gigantic dad with specific taste and no real hobbies besides liking Italy, tiles and our fat little dog more than everything else.

You could go the traditional route with the classic token gifts of masculinity; underwear, socks, chocolates in gold foil in a tie-shaped box… or, OR. You could leave it to the last minute, and then steal the ideas of someone like me. You’re welcome.

Daddy Issue

Image sources: Sawyer Bifold Wallet, $59 from Fossil; Kiehls Facial Fuel energizing scrub, $28 from Myer; Sony noise cancelling headphones, $77.40 from Dick Smith.

Fact: whether they’re aware of it or not, 90% of men need a new wallet. I don’t know why, it’s just a thing – possibly because they don’t carry handbags, so they have no choice but to stuff their lives into one tiny bifold every day and jam it into their pocket. Seams get distressed. Beer seeps in when they rest it on the bar at whichever gross pub they visit with their mates while recalling their glory days. So! The Sawyer Bifold is a sweet exercise in vintage leather and a nice bit of restrained design – not too boring, but not excessive. And it’s an excellent price.

Here’s another fact: despite the fact he has almost no hair, your dad is secretly stealing your mum’s face wash and shampoo in the shower. Your mum has noticed and is getting a bit annoyed. She secretly blames that weird Hugh Laurie for L’Oreal ad where he drives off into the distance with a blonde 25 year old. Also, your dad is probably a little concerned he smells like wildberries and jojoba. Solution? This brilliant Kiehls facewash, which is branded to sound as masculine as all hell, (wash? HA! THAT IS FOR SISSIES. FUEL YOUR FACE LIKE A MAN. TESTOSTERONE!) comes in some real pretty packaging reminiscent of a modern Old Spice… and importantly, is a great product – all the Kiehls range is scientifically formulated and actually works.

Lastly, what I’ll argue is the best present for every day anywhere: the noise cancelling headphones. Wants to block out that idiot he sits next to at the football while he’s listening to sexy, sexy commentary? Wants to fall asleep on the plane? Wants everyone to shut the hell up so he can see this thing on TV? Bam. The happiest Father’s Day ever.

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Category: Best Buys
Tags: Dad, Mum, Special Occasion

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Gift guide - siblings

16 December 2011, by Rachael Ciccarelli

I'm the proud owner of both a brother and a sister (younger, more genetically blessed, you know how it is) and I must admit: they're my favourite to buy christmas presents for. I think it's the low pressure - these are people you can spend your childhood lying to and punching just to pass the time, and they have no choice but to continue to love you (or at the very least, tolerate your existence). It's like buying for friends, but lower stakes, which in turn is quite freeing – no stress? you'll probably hit the nail on the head. So, what's the worst that could happen if you buy them a bit of a dud present and both of you are acutely aware as they open it on christmas morning? They say thanks, try and use it once; you say no worries, and leave, guilt-free. Bless us, every one.


Brother


Gift guide - siblings

Image source: Chambray shirt, $119.95, from Levis, Vinturi aerator, $109.95, from Myer, Skyrim, $78, from Game

Your too-cool hipster brother will love this denim shirt for the upcoming festival season – just add jeans and some underground artist nobody but he and his best friend have heard of. Cheap-wine-drinking brothers will love this miracle of an aerator, which turns even the most $4 dollar bottle of red into something palatable. While I know nothing about games beyond Tetris, I've been ensured by a school of reliable nerd friends that your computer/ console addicted sibling will love Skyrim.


Sister


Gift guide - siblings

Image source: Alice quilt box sling bag, $29.95, from Sportsgirl, Touche Eclat, $55, from Myer, Low back beach dress, $99.95, from Witchery

Shiny pretties, please - and don't hold the acidy colour. Every lady will use and love the following over summer: small handbags (events, festivals); YSL touche eclat (amazing highlighting concealer perfect for her exhausted eye bags); baggy chuck on maxi dress (also available in white).

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Category: Best Buys
Tags: Fashion, Myer, Sportsgirl, Witchery

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The accessory factor

26 August 2011, by Rachael Ciccarelli

The accessory factor

Cats Meow Accessories, from $12.00, available at Live; Pastel bangle set, $19.95, available at Sportsgirl; Silicone multifunction blue watch, $199, available at Fossil;

I'm sure this won't be first time you've read about the importance of accessories. Privately, I'm sure parliament have secret meetings about cocktail rings and necklaces between debating the lesser issues, like the Malaysia solution and gay marriage. BUT. The reason we fashion-journo types bang on about accessories like the future of our country depends on it is because what we say is true: a good piece of jewellery can make or break an outfit. Shiny things dangling from your neck, ears or wrists immediately draw the eye. Your chunky gold neckpiece is the difference between silk maxi at night and silk maxi in the day. The accessory box/drawer/fort is your outfit translator - a chandelier earring, for example, might be overheard saying "Yeah, son - see this sparkly business? That's how you KNOW this blouse-jean combo belongs in this bar. Now buy me a drink."

That's why they're called statement pieces.

Of course, your accessories don't have to be all outspoken sassy night owls (your accessories might not talk to you at all - I don't know your life); because the underplayed everyday faithfuls are just as important for outfit completion. Right now, your day in, day out accessories hinge on the arm party - that is, a mix match of a watch, skinny bracelets and bangles for an eclectic "I've travelled the world and picked up these trinkets along the way" statement.

So, it goes without saying you can never have too many pieces of jewellery. It's the main wardrobe staple you can hang on to forever and it will ebb and flow in fashion, ready to be combined every which way - and best of all, they don't take up too much space in storage.

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Category: Best Buys
Tags: Fossil, Live Clothing, Sportsgirl

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Easter gift guide: for him

14 April 2011, by Rachael Ciccarelli

Just because the easter bunny is seemingly obsessed with all things pretty, foil covered and dyed in pastel tones; there's no reason to leave the gents wanting. Unfortunately, it's an indisputable fact that men everywhere are totally impossible to buy for (unless you've got enough mullah stashed for a jet ski/ playstation/ whichever other man toy is currently taking men by storm). The smaller, less expensive gifts for men are harder to come by; so with that in mind I've done the benevolent genius thing and picked a few for you so your head doesn't explode prior to the break.

Kit him out

Easter gift guide: for him

Davenport body fit trunk in navy, $22.95; Kenji Snood plain tee, $19.95; Bonds long sleeve tee, $26.95; all available from Myer

While I'm sure there's something totally alluring about that Team Building Exercise 1999 tee that he wears to bed every night (those memories will surely fade without a t-shirt complete with iron on transfer), this is the perfect opportunity to stock him up on all of those basics that are otherwise ignored in favour of hole filled golden oldies. Socks, jocks and t-shirts: sure, they might not be the most exciting gift, but in terms of sheer cleanliness and comfort, they are the gifts that keep giving.


Let him play

Easter gift guide: for him

Dome Spongebob Squarepants popcorn maker, $29.95; Top Gear boardgame, $29.95; The Strokes Angles, $19.95; all available from Myer

Here's another sweeping generalisation based on sexist notions: inside every man is a little boy, just drying to get out and play with Meccano. And it's usually not even buried that deep. Indulge his playful side with a gift that tries about as hard to look adult as he does – the Spongebob popcorn maker will deliver tasty kernels of joy in a hilarious yellow case, the Top Gear boardgame perfect for any guy who's trying his utmost to be The Stig in a distinctly un-Stig-like vehicle, and The Strokes? Well, those guys are just cool.

What do you think? Comment here

Category: Best Buys
Tags: Dad, Myer

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