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Resolution Revolution

07 January 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 New Years 1

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Let me guess: it’s a new year, a clean slate and you are totally going to change your exercise habits this year (read: you are going to do some/ any at all). You’re ready to take care of yourself. You want to see some muscle tone or at the very least, would like to be able to run up a flight of stairs without having to stop halfway to catch your breath. Funny thing: I’m resolving to do the same. And I bet you and I share the same resolutions with a lot of hungover, bloated people all over the world. Why? Because we often make the resolution (often in the same breath as declaring we’ll never drink again) and then take no steps to keep it. Or take a few, very small steps and then stop for a drinks break. That’s why you promise yourself the same thing year in, year out. But 2014 is going to be different: we’re putting our money where our mouths are.

2014 New Years 2

Image sources: New Balance sneakers, $219.95, from Athletes Foot; Black Sprint short, $39.95 and Pink Line detail cami, $34.95, from Sportsgirl.

Getting into some sweet exercise gear is a great motivator: you’re far more likely to actually hit the gym if you’re wearing designated work out wear rather than re-purposed slouch around the house trackies, and you’re less likely to do harm to yourself (or your bust) if you’re repping the correct clothes. Don’t try to run in your hideously old trainers, you’ll end up with shin splints. Those dudes down at Athletes Foot are nice, they know what they’re talking about and they’ll get you in the right runners for your feet (and your exercise plans). Sportsgirl has also started a line of activewear and it is cute, functional and not overly expensive: the best of everything. Of course, the best way to force yourself into the gym is to actually acquire a gym membership: Fitness First Forrest Chase is centrally located, so there’s no going home and potentially staying home post-work, there are heaps of classes to get you started, and you can give it a try with their free pass (just sign up here:

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Sportsgirl, Trends

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How to win at Boxing Day sales

24 December 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2013 Boxing Day

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Congratulations, soldier. You’ve made it through the Christmas Season of Extreme Silliness unscathed and only one notch looser on your belt. For this, you deserve a reward. May I suggest an array of deals at this year’s Boxing Day sales? I know, I know - they get bigger and more intense every year, but you’ve got to rock them or feel the crushing regret of paying full price for new towels in March. Lucky for you, I have served many an intense sale on both sides of the counter and have come away with many lessons to help you not only survive the sales, but to emerge a victor, waving your purchases above your head in triumph as you walk slow-motion out of the store to the cheers of your fellow shoppers.

  1. Go in with a plan
    Consider what you actually need before you hit the shops. Make a list, or form a vague one in your mind so when you arrive and are affronted with mountains of discounted goods, you know what you’re looking for, how to move through the premises and you come out on the other side faster with things you actually need. Of course you are going to be distracted by something fantastic that wasn’t on the list, and that’s fine – that’s what bargain hunting is all about – but if you at least have an idea of what you need, you’ll feel in charge and it will keep the stress to a minimum.
  2. Get the essentials
    The greatest things to buy on sale are usually the most boring: underwear, haberdashery, leather goods, wardrobe basics. Use the sales as an opportunity to stock up on those often overlooked corners of your world, and stock up well – buy quality that will last (and feel great) while it’s affordable. It’s also a fantastic time to stock up on little miscellaneous gifts (hand creams, candles, fragrances, books) that you can give at all of those last minute birthday parties you’re invited to.
  3. Think before you buy
    Here’s the thing: if you never use your awesome bargain sales item, it’s not an awesome bargain. Whatever you’re diving for that you would never ordinarily consider, be it feathered hat or cupcake maker, think first. What are you going to wear it with? Do you already have something like it (like, I don’t know, a cake tray and an oven and parental supervision) that will do the job? If you’re not one to get things altered or mended, don’t buy it on the premise you will (because you won’t).
  4. Eat first
    Just do it. If you’re preparing yourself for the long haul, the last thing you want to be feeling when you’re knee-deep in party dresses is a growling stomach and a caffeine headache.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Special Occasion, Trends

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Gift Guy-de

19 December 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2013 Gift Guy

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HAHAHAHA see what I did there. Oh man, the year end must be drawing close because a) word play is getting more abstract and silly with every hour and b) tired and emotional isn’t an unfortunate state, it’s now a way of life – I listened to a podcast yesterday where some girl who had been keeping an audio diary found out that she didn’t have the Huntington’s that had plagued her family – didn’t, it was a happy ending – and I, the dead on the inside ruthless journo with a heart of ash and dirt, still welled up and ruined my makeup. How are you guys going? Let’s just say that none of us are in any state to make any serious decisions and we’re lucky holidays are just around the corner. Cheers!

Oh. Wait. I haven’t bought any gifts for my boyfriend or my brother or my dad yet. Because they are men, I’ve tricked myself into believing that they are low maintenance and therefore easier to buy for, leaving them to the last minute where I’m so exhausted and emotionally unstable the sight of a particularly adorable puppy poking it’s head out of a basket will probably leave my knee deep in Kleenex. Last minute gifts… why do we do this to ourselves every year? Perhaps we’re all closet masochists. But while I’m looking, I might as well give you a hand as well…

For your dad:

2013 Gift Guy 1

Image sources: Jamie Oliver Big Boy portable BBQ, $30, from Woolworths; Nespresso by Delonghi machine, $159, from Myer; Dick Smith turntable and radio, $69.98, from Dick Smith.

You know what your dad would love? More opportunities to barbecue, in more remote and unusual places. Sheltered beach in Esperance? Picnic in a park with no cooking facilities? Don’t worry folks, he’s got this one covered. Pulled over for lunch on the side of the road during an epic cross country journey? Steaks for everyone!

For your plus one:

2013 Gift Guy 2

Image sources: Angus Flip ID Bifold wallet, $59, from Fossil; MiGear Action Cam, $98, from Dick Smith; Dolce and Gabbana DG4196 foldable glasses, $490, from Sunglass Hut.

The key to your man’s heart this Christmas is the exact same key used to access since he was 4: toys. Maybe the toys are a little more grown up – like awesome designer sunglasses that can FOLD UP (I have no idea why but all men love this but they do) or a waterproof digital camera that wirelessly connects to his computer/ iPad, but it’s got to be toys. Buy something he needs (like a new wallet) to satisfy yourself as well.

For your brosef:

2013 Gift Guy 3

Image sources: Webster belt, $69, from Politix; Cuisinart 2L icecream maker, $169, from Myer; Union Shirt, from Levis.

Too kewl accessories and clothes for your too kewl brother – he’s going to wear that denim shirt to death even if he doesn’t know it yet. Oh, and toys for him as well, but kitchen gadgets, because even if your brother isn’t a big cook, the chance to make his own Frankenstein Monster of an icecream featuring every sort chocolate known to man will be the greatest gift of all.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Dad, Special Occasion, Trends

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Gift guide: for the ladies in your life

13 December 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2013 Gift Guide

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If you’re anything like me …and surely you must be, as you are fantastic enough to read this and I am glorious enough to write it, you’re blessed with many excellent women in your life that have either guided you (eat your greens or go to bed hungry, see if I care) or have been guided by you (yes of course you need those new shoes, now let’s get gin and tonics and put our feet up, all of this shopping has made me thirsty). And in return, you’d like to give them a special little something this Christmas to show them how radical you think they are – but holy poop, what do you get them? Don’t you worry about that, gentle reader: because you’ve got another awesome lady to guide you (spoiler alert: it’s me).

For the lady who fed you and clothed you:

2013 Gift Guide 1

Image sources: Desert stone necklace, $99.95, from Witchery; Sydney shopper, $259, from Fossil; Penhaligons EDT fragrance, $169, from Myer.

As far as mums (and grandmums) are concerned, you’re pretty safe with the gift giving. Your mum is going to unwrap whatever you get her and tell you she really loves it no matter how badly you have failed, because that is the sacred oath that all mums take after childbirth. Having said that, it would be nice to get her something she actually appreciates – like a beautiful piece of costume jewellery (you can never have enough, and most mums wouldn’t splash out on it unless they’re off to an event).

For the lady who is your plus one:

2013 Gift Guide 2

Image sources: Sass and Bide sunglasses, $229, from Sunglass Hut; Essential oil burner, $179.95, from Pigeonhole; Calvin Klein chemise, $109.95, from Myer.

Here’s a hot tip: when you’re buying for the lady you love, avoid practical gifts (unless you have been instructed otherwise). Of all the women I have met, 100% of them prefer gifts with a splash of romance. Perhaps even a dash of sentiment. It doesn’t have to always be fancy – it could even be a big pragmatic something and a small, lovey-dovey something else, but try and gear your buying toward wants and away from anything that juices, blends or chops. We’ll buy what we need in the boxing-day sales. So why not buy a beautiful lace camisole? It’s easier to fit than lingerie, and it’s not something she’d usually buy herself.

For the lady who used to beat you up when you were little and the ones that will selflessly help you finish that bottle of champagne:

2013 Gift Guide 3

Image sources: Peas in pod studs, $25, from Pigeonhole; Tala 1960’s flour sifter, $19.95, from Myer; Hearts duffle bag, $39.95, from Sportsgirl.

Sisters and galpals are a lot easier – a little token is all you need, and they’re generally on your level (and in your generation), so keep it fun and frivolous, or grab them that thing that they really need yet keep forgetting to buy themselves – like a new gym bag, or a hand triggered flour sifter. Sure, a sifter might not seem like the world’s most exciting gift but if they don’t have one, they might as well not have a kitchen – it is a game-changing implement and they’ll thank you forever for it.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Mum, Special Occasion

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