It's all made up

It's all made up

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Aiplane travel 101 - The travel edit

**As posted to the Slater Place Blog**

One of my first memories was waking up on an airplane. I’ve been trying to perfect the art of packing for one ever since.

After searching for years, I’ve given up on finding the perfect carry on bag. They don’t exist. What I now rely on is a trusty large tote (I like Longchamp La Pliage bags since they’re light) with smaller bags inside to keep everything easy to find. Here are some other tips for your packing list:

Use organisers

On my most recent trip I took along the sample of the Slater Place Camel/Sunsets leather clutch. This bag is a great travel companion for many reasons: sturdy leather that holds its shape, wide enough for plane tickets, zippable and can be used as a going out bag once you arrive. So good.

I also use other various bags and sacks for things I need on board for sleep and for makeup purposes.

Don’t forget a pen

Simple, but important. If you’re going out of the country, there will be several forms to fill out. I’d recommend one that clicks rather than has a lid. The lid will inevitably get knocked somewhere under the seat behind you, leaving you with an ink situation and a case of plane rage.

Bring tea bags

This gives you more options on board than the usual black tea (and peppermint if you’re lucky).

Don’t use a passport holder

They look pretty, but customs officials seem to hate them and they add bulk. Keep your passport with your tickets in the aforementioned clutch and it will be easy to find when you need it.

Bring gum/mints

Good for general personal hygiene after a long flight and helps ears to pop during landing.

I’m going to assume you’re already all over things like books/magazines, moisturising products, socks and ear plugs. Aka the long haul bare essentials.

Bon voyage!

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Reason #6,342 why libraries are the best.

Yesterday was a bad day at work. Pilates didn’t work it’s usual magic, and to top it off I had an insomnia night. Sometime around 3am, this fell out of my library book.

Thank you fellow book lover, I needed that. I hope you do too.

Reason #6,342 why libraries are the best.

Yesterday was a bad day at work. Pilates didn’t work it’s usual magic, and to top it off I had an insomnia night. Sometime around 3am, this fell out of my library book.

Thank you fellow book lover, I needed that. I hope you do too.

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Book review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I like Cheryl Strayed’s writing. I can see how it may not be everyone’s taste, but it works for me.

I finally got around to reading Wild since I wanted to get through it before the movie came out. As expected, I really enjoyed it.

The book is non-fiction, and there’s no denying Strayed has not had an easy life: an abusive/absent father, a mother taken by cancer and an early divorce. It’s understandable that anyone would be left reeling from this. That doesn’t make the bad, self destructive decisions she makes (her ion experimentation, promiscuity and embarking on a massive hike extremely underprepared) any easier to read. 

But to her credit she sticks with her Pacific Crest Hike. Journey books are especially satisfying to read, and I loved how Strayed ended this (a bit like a shortened version of the Six Feet Under finale, aka best show ending EVER). There were a few tears.

I’ve also read Strayed Tiny Beautiful Things which in hindsight now wish I’d read after Wild. You’d have a more clear picture of the history she frequently references in Tiny by going in this order. They’re both good books in their own right so this is just a random musing.

I’m glad Strayed has found her footing later in adulthood. It seems like she deserves it.

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Book Review: THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE BY NEIL GAIMAN

I get a huge amount of satisfaction when a Want to Read Wednesday gets checked off the list.

Once again, here is the plot points on The Ocean at the End of the Lane from Amazon:

Neil Gaiman’s intent was simple: to write a short story. What he ended up with instead was The Ocean at the of the Lane—his first adult novel since Anansi Boys came out in 2005, and a narrative so thoughtful and thrilling that it’s as difficult to stop reading as it was for Gaiman to stop writing. Forty years ago, our narrator, who was then a seven-year-old boy, unwittingly discovered a neighboring family’s supernatural secret. What happens next is an imaginative romp through otherwordly adventure that could only come from Gaiman’s magical mind. Childhood innocence is tested and transcended as we see what getting between ancient, mystic forces can cost, as well as what can be gained from the power of true friendship. The result is a captivating tale that is equal parts sweet, sad, and spooky.

It was spooky! I was spooked for sure. 

This was an easy read, it clocks in at less than 150 pages and the plot goes along at a good clip. Plus there’s the aforementioned spookiness to keep you on your toes. 

I liked it. I’d recommend it if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and just go along for the ride. Gaiman doesn’t hold back.

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Everyday I’m hustling…on camera

I’ve recently started a role where I can wear leggings/stretchy clothing to work. No I haven’t become a yoga instructor (although that would be pretty rad), I am in fact living the modern dream of working from home.

Among my new found intolerance of restrictive clothing, I’ve also had a self taught crash course in on screen appearance due to the magic that is video calling. Video chats are awesome because they remind you how many flyways you have multiple times a day. As if this wasn’t enough, my new work laptop has a retina screen, which, dear God…pore fest*.

After a month, I’ve learned a few things. “Dewy” skin does not translate well at all on screen, and facing into direct light is your most flattering option by a long shot (light behind you in an “anonymous witness” style is second best, light from the side, like a window, is the worst).

My daily routine is much less time consuming than when I used to work in an office, but is still far from the makeup free existence you might imagine for someone who doesn’t leave the house. I rub in a tinted moisturiser/BB cream with my fingers, followed by bronzer and a tiny bit of setting powder. Otherwise it’s just a bit of smudged eyeliner (no mascara…too much) and tinted lip balm and I’m done. 

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This batch of goodies has been my go-to set. MAC Studio Moisture Tint is more matte than my beloved Garnier BB Cream so it’s been getting some use. I’ve also been loving the Maybelline Master Smokey pencils, particularly the brown one. They’re quick to apply and less harsh on than just an eyeliner.

All this may seem excessive/vain, but, like going to the hairdresser, if you’re going to be looking at yourself a lot throughout the day, there’s no need to feel unattractive every time you do.

*I now have a bit of sympathy for the actors who were freaking out 10 years ago when HD screens came in. I feel for you sistas.

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Book Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Ohhh The Rosie Project – so much hype! That might be part of the reason I was largely underwhelmed. The other reasons involve a predictable plot (she’s “utterly unsuitable”…there’s no way they’ll end up together right?) and a general lack of characters to relate to. If you want to read the plot, click here.

Don is asperger’s syndrome methodical, Rosie seemed immature for her 29 (or around there, I can’t be bothered to look it up) years and read very much like a woman written by a guy. Dons friends are fine (if a little odd) and that’s about it.

If it was marketed a different way, this could have been chick lit. It felt like watching a cliched romantic drama (like P.S. I Love You, which yes I know it was a book first). I can’t handle romantic dramas. I also got the feeling that Simsion was trying to toughen it up, adding a bit of swearing and debate about sex. Oooooh. Edgy.

I hear there’s a sequel coming out. I won’t be getting in line. One Day by David Nicholls or anything by Jonathan Tropper would be a much better alternative. Sorry Rosie.

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Beauty Review: Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster

This is one of those products you wonder why no one thought of sooner. Turn your regular moisturizer into a tanning version. Genius!

I’ve used this twice now and I have yet to get the dosage right. I think they say to use 2-3 drops (or maybe it’s 3-4) into your moisturizer, which on my medium toned skin doesn’t make much of a difference. Still, I guess that’s the beauty of this: it’s easily customisable. I’ll persevere.

Tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

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Another one to add to the “Why is this a classic?” list.

The Old Man felt like something you’d read in high school, then analyze to death, inserting imagined plot subtext in the all the lagging points of the written one.

Sure sure I’m being harsh and probably missed a lot of metaphors, but if a book is going to require heavy dissection to enjoy, it’s just not going to be my bag. For better or worse, I take most things at face value*.

I’d like to wrap up with a part of my favourite review on Goodreads:

Just throw the fucking fish back in. Fuck.”

*I don’t read many mysteries, but I should. I almost never see it coming.

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My love/hate relationship with Shellac

Here is my Shellac mani at week two of my recent holiday- this is why it’s brilliant. Such shine! No chips!

Shortly after this the edges at the bottom started peeling away in a manner I could no longer ignore (they were catching in my hair) so I started to pick it off. Therefore for the last week of the trip I had gross chipped red polish and semi destroyed nails. In fact I’ll have semi destroyed nails for a while. As the Italians would say: no buono.

I’ve had Shellac before so i really should have known better, but I guess the moral of the story is make sure you can either get to a place to have it removed before the situation is dire (most likely around the two week mark), bring acetone with you (probably not the best for traveling) or just suck it up and go bare nailed or use regular polish.

The upside to this is my shellac pedi has held up beautifully, so that was a winner of a decision.

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