This month we thought we'd change it up a little and ask one of our favourite bloggers for her list of favourites. So, without further ado, here is Hannah-Rose from Capture the Castle's top 10 things she loves in November.
It's an Ashley Olsen thing, you know? She has a pair of Ileana Makri evil eye anklets that she wears, dainty and delicate, over sandals or stilettos. It's so wrong that it's very right, in that tacky, 90s video clip kind of way, but when done up in milky rose gold and sparkling diamonds it's so perfectly modern, so perfectly now it's kind of startling. Who would have thought that a dainy gold chain around an ankle would be the thing to lift fashion's utilitarian, pared back mood? When put with, say, a tailored suit, or a long jersey skirt and an oversized sweater they act as a fashion joke, as lightness, as a bit of personality. Sometimes fashion takes itself too seriously. Thats why you need things like anklets to make everyone smile.
I have loved Brvtvs jewellery from afar ever since seeing Caroline Ventura, the label's founder and designer, on Turned Out ages and ages ago but I've never actually gotten around to getting anything off the site, partially because I'm bad with online shopping, partially because I'm lazy, partially because I just can't narrow down my list of things to get. I want everything. I'm having a bit of a delicate jewellery moment, with a host of beautiful gold and beaded bracelets, necklaces and rings adorning my hands and neck constantly - a stark contrast to my favoured chunky pieces. But there's something quite magical about wearing lots of little pieces of jewellery that are so easy to wear that they become a part of you. At the moment I've been wearing a beautiful Me and Ro ring given to me by great friends on my first knuckle as a memory ring, and I literally haven't taken it off. I can see that happening with Brvtvs jewellery. I can see that happening with the Cleopatra necklace, or the Claudia necklace, or the Calpurnia bracelet, or the Julia bracelet... Definitely down on my birthday and christmas lists!
3. Getting a skin care routine
I blame Into the Gloss. I was perfectly happy with my soap-and-water mentality until that gem of a blog came along, proclaiming the healing powers of Embryolisse cream and rose-hip facial oils. Now I want a top shelf like Gaia Repossi, all Aesop products and natural serums. I don't want something ridiculous and over the top, since I don't even blow-dry my hair that would be completely at odds with my personality. But, since I'm almost 21, I ought to take better care of my skin. Just a nice cleanser, perhaps an exfoliant, a little balm for my hair. All in pretty packaging in my bathroom so I can have my own top shelf, too.
I have been obsessed with this fragrance ever since I first smelt it in the perfume room of Liberty London about 3 years ago. It fit in perfectly in that darkened, thick-carpeted, wood-paneled room, as it is essentially a meditation on the rituals of an english afternoon tea. It has all the spice of ginger and leathery arm-chairs but is fused with milky tea, the sweetness of honey and the warm, cosy depth of cakes and breads. It's lovely and yet also striking, that quite singular scent that manages to be both spicy yet not oriental, fruity yet not saccharine. It's bruised orange rinds, not ripe apples. I had completely forgotten its name until I smelt it again the other day in Mecca Cosmetica and I stopped, dead in my tracks, scrambling for my iphone so I could get the name down properly. Wow. What a perfume. I can't stop thinking about it.
5. Early 00s hip hop
Don't judge. It's just that this music holds such fond memories for me! This is the music I listened to over and over again on So Fresh hits of Spring 2004, the music my friends and I blasted from bubblegum-pink plastic stereos as we lazed by the pool on hot summer days, wishing ourselves to be anything but 14. This is the music that was played at our first school dance, crowded into the auditorium with a host of nervously sweating boys. This was the music our parents told us to turn off because it was inappropriate and obscene, but hey, we were 14, we didn't actually know what that naughty lyric from Destiny's Child Soldier meant. It seems like everywhere I go at the moment is playing those good-time tunes from back then. I kind of love it in a shameful way. And there's nothing better to dance to than early Usher. Also fantastic - Dance with me by 112, 99 problems by Jay Z, What's Luv by Fat Joe, Ja-Rule (remember him??) and Ashanti and the ultimate - Dilemma by Nelly and Kelly Rowland. Classic.
I do love sandals for Summer, especially with a pair of anklets (natch). But recently I've been wearing my Mymu espadrilles so much they've moulded to my feet. I think it's the print - it's so perfectly Ionian, so perfectly Greek Island, so perfectly summer. They just sing of crisp white linen and bronzed limbs and dinner plates groaning with fresh seafood. That's summer for me. I can't wait to go out fishing with my family on a boat, wearing these shoes and my favourite navy blue pants and a big, loose bassike cotton tee shirt.
This is kind of a thing I love all the time, but I especially love it in November. Why? Because it signals the end of the uni semester, and the beginning of freedom for a long, glorious three and a half months. The stress of exams and assessments and tutorials are over, and suddenly I have free time for the first time since, well, last holidays. When uni ends in November I'm normally blissful and ecstatic, and what I love to do is go to k-mart and stock up on really cheap, amazing dvds (this year I bought Looking for Alibrandi, Wall St 2 and Witness with Harrison Ford) and then buy a heap of books. I have a big pile next to my bed and I just work my way through them, knowing that I have all the time in the world - well, till next March - to finish them. Reading is one of my favourite things in the world, and I love to lie on my bed with a wet cloth on my forehead on a really hot day and just read. It doesn't matter what it is, I'll read it. Jane Austen, chick-lit, Evelyn Waugh, stream of consciousness. This year I've got a few John Grisham novels... don't laugh!!! It's a real guilty pleasure of mine. I study english at uni and I inevitably end up reading all sorts of intense, mind-blowing novels - last year there was a lot of Cormac McCarthy and also Ulysses. So yeah. I think my brain deserves a little rest. Once it's ready to go again I'm going to read Money by Martin Amis, which I picked up for $2 from my local charity store, and The Years by Virginia Woolf, which is the only Woolf novel I haven't read. My interest was piqued after seeing it on one of my favourite blogs, Miss Little Lime.
8. Room 10
One of the best cafes in Sydney, I love losing time here. The food is very honest and simple and so tasty - my favourites are the Salvatori (toast with ricotta, tomato and lemon oil with optional prosciutto), the three cheese toasty and the amazing, amazing toasted granola. It has islands of dried figs swimming in yoghurt, honey and stewed rhubarb, with the scent of cinnamon over everything. They even put heaps of chopped fruit and almonds on top. I've ordered this there so many times they know to just put a little dollop of yoghurt instead of huge helpings (I'm more of a milk gal) when I'm there. Eating muesli outside with a nice, frothy coffee is one of life's small pleasures.
I don't think I've laughed this hard in a long time. Everyone is saying it's Woody Allen's return to form - has everyone forgotten about Vicky Christina Barcelona already? - and I agree that this film has a touch of Manhattan to it, especially in the opening, which is a melange of tantalising, lingering shots of Paris street-scapes which could not fail to put anyone in the cinema in a good mood. I was completely ready to enjoy this movie, it was about Paris, and it has Owen Wilson in it, who I love. But I actually adored it. I laughed and laughed and laughed at the portrayals of historical figures - Corey Stoll's Ernest Hemingway was so hilarious, and probably the best thing he's ever done, excepting the underrated Law and Order LA, of course, and what can be said about Adrien Brody's Salvador Dali except perfection. You can tell when actors have fun making a movie. And Lea Seydoux was gorgeous as your atypical Parisian girl, perfectly tousled hair, gap teeth and an enviable wardrobe of simple cotton shirts, cute printed dresses and straight leg jeans. The friend I saw it with leant over to me at the end of the film and said, "let's move to paris". Yes, let's.
This November - in fact in a little under two weeks, I'm going to throw a party with a best friend for our 21sts. Her birthday was last week and mine is next month, and we chose a date that was almost smack in the middle, after uni finishes, and that promises a balmy late spring evening perfect for bubbles and laughter and dancing and celebration. It's going to be in my garden, which is kind of secret in that my family shares it with nine houses in the heart of Paddington. It's hard to get a little bit of earth to yourself in the city, and our shared space is like a little oasis. It's swollen and green, with beautiful jacaranda trees and gardenias and jasmine and everything that's perfect about sydney flora. I am so excited about it - I literally can't stop talking about it to anyone who will listen. I've never had a real, grown-up party before, and I'm so eager to have all of mine and my mate's friends all together in one space, ready to unwind. I can't wait!!