On… birthdays

It was my birthday on Saturday. (Cue cheers and screams of excitement from the crowd.) Fox was away for work, which sucked, but I had fun hanging with Errol and some friends in Vesuvio Playground in Soho, where there’s a water feature for toddlers to run around in that both thrills and terrifies him in equal measure. So cute. My belated birthday dinner is this weekend at this place.

I must have been a Very Good Girl this year as I received some gorgeous presents. (Wait, do you have to be a Very Good Girl for birthday presents? Just Christmas? Okay then. That’s good since really I’ve misbehaved terribly.) The best present of all: a surprise playlist that Fox made just for me on Spotify of ‘our’ songs. Sorry to be retch-inducingly romantic, but it was one of the most perfect presents ever. A mixtape for 2013. Such a good idea, I wanted to share it with everyone as it’s such a nice way to let someone know you’ve been thinking of them. Here’s how to do it. 

I once made a mixed CD for my best girlfriends of all of ‘our’ songs. I designed – well, I begged my then-art director Chris to design – a proper cover and everything (I titled it The Best Of The Best: Top Gun. Because I am a DORK). I wish I still had it, I lost it somewhere in the last 14,000 house moves… I seem to recall it featured, among many others:

I am pretty sure it is the only time those six songs will ever be on one CD, ever.

My friend Bec and I thought ‘Bad To The Bone’ was our personal anthem, with, I hope, a lot of irony. We knew all the words, and would play air guitar and mime this song, with absolute confidence, absolutely anywhere. We had no fear.

PS My second-favorite birthday present was another one from Fox: Cire Trudon candle in Ernesto. Oh my God it smells so good. Green and spicy and vanilla ambery and argh, just so so nice. Reminds me of one of my favorite perfumes: Habanita by Molinard, which isn’t surprising since both of them are allegedly inspired by Havana. I have not been to Cuba. I guess I should go. blog-1192-1

This is the copy about the Ernesto candle on the Cire Trudon website. Hilarious: “In a hotel of Havana, sizzling under the stubborn sun of the Revolution, fierce overtones of leather and tobacco meddle with resolution the waxy silence of wood. Breaking out of the cool dimness, sly grimaces emerge, framed by the smoke of cigars and the barrels of guns.” LOVE! I wish I’d been able to write shit like that when I was a copywriter. I spent all my damn time trying to make cars and milk and bank accounts sound sexy and failing miserably.

 

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On… Inside Amy Schumer

I started watching Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central a few weeks ago and dear God she is funny. So I thought I’d share a few clips with you guys. She does stand-up, she has a skit show, she’s awesome.

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On… Samantha Hahn

Since moving to NYC I’ve been lucky enough to meet a ricockulous number of interesting and lovely women, including Samantha Hahn. She’s a fashion illustrator and artist and all-round insanely talented person. She’s so talented, in fact, that if she wasn’t nice and funny too, I would probably be jealous.

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Her upcoming book is called WELL-READ WOMEN and it’s an absolute dream for everyone who loves to read: an illustrated compendium of some of the most-loved female characters in literature. When I heard about it, I nearly fell off the sofa with excitement.

There’s about 400 women I need to buy this for, especially ME. And even though it’s not out till August, Samantha just sent me a PDF of a few of the spreads – so here’s a sneak peek…

Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Esther Greenwood, from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

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Lorelei Lee from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos.

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Holly Golightly from Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

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Word on the street is that this is going to sell out FAST – each book is a work of art, seriously, for serious – so if this is your bag, get pre-ordering, my loves… here in the US and here in the UK and as soon as The Book Depository sorts itself out and lists it, I’ll let you know…

 

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On… Friday obsessions

 

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ASOS Baseball top. (American Apparel does them too, but the quality is fairly shit, as usual.)

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Santa Maria Novella Melegrano. When you just want to smell soapy squeaky clean. (You can buy it online at Aedes de Venustus or in person in London in the Piccadilly store, in NYC at the LAFCO store in Nolita or in Rome at the eponymous store. Y’know. Next time you’re in Rome.)

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Jacked Up Banana Bread by Smitten Kitchen. I make this almost every week, with Errol as my trusty kitchen sidekick, and beweaf me, if I can’t fuck it up, neither can you. I like to store it cold in the fridge and eat with slivers of very cold salty butter or Skippy creamy peanut butter.

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This book. I was wondering whether to post about Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg, because I’m not exactly the corporate type, I don’t need to know how to become CEO because I’m, y’know, a writer, and I’m already a fairly confident, ambitious, outspoken-when-I-need-to-be feminist type. And I bet a lot of you are thinking the same thing. But this book is something EVERY woman should read the moment she finishes university, nay, school. They should hand it out as you leave your last exam. Just read it a few chapters at a time, the way I did, and let it all soak in. It will change the way you think about yourself and the way you relate to the world around you. Even if you think it’s not for you, read it, so you can be a part of the conversation.

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Lastly, this article ‘Can Men Be Funny?’ by Ellie Kempner in GQ this month, was v amusant.

 

 

 

 

 

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On… Can’t Hardly Wait

I like a good teen comedy.

You already know this, obviously. Sixteen Candles is my favorite movie of all time. Can’t Buy Me Love, Heathers, Adventures In Babysitting, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Footloose (by the way the spoken lines in that clip are dubbed in Spanish, which makes me laugh so hard), St Elmo’s Fire, Pretty In Pink (EPIC song), Girls Just Wanna Have FunDirty Dancing, Some Kind Of Wonderful, Weird Science (actually, this film kind of sucks, but let’s move on), Secret Admirer, The Breakfast Club (though I don’t love it as much as everyone else), Say Anything, Sure Thing… Goddamnit, they are all just so great, and make me wish I’d been a teen in the 80s so much. So does this. It’s basically how I dance anyway.

But then the 90s hit. And… nothing. No, American Pie doesn’t count. It wasn’t that funny (okay, ‘suck me beautiful’ is funny, but apart from that, it’s kind of sexist and awkward. I mean, the porn-crazy Czech exchange student with the big fake jugs? Ew).

Except Can’t Hardly Wait.

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I was just thinking, – for no particular reason other than I was gazing into space trying to figure out a plot thing and that’s when random stuff just drops into my brain – about the way the jock dude says ‘Aman-DAH’ – and thought, hell, Can’t Hardly Wait is a funny goddamn movie, I think I’ll share this with the group. I have no particular point to make except, it’s awesomer than you may remember, it has these tiny hidden gems of hilarity, and you should watch it next time you are bored.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67dfnrTJlUE

Okay, the trailer doesn’t zing. Just trust me.

Actually, you know what ELSE is awesome? Mallrats. But that’s a whole different blog post.

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On… Party Down

Obsessed.

I have binged on this show for the past week or so, and I don’t know what the fuh I am going to do with my life now.

They cancelled it after two seasons. (I don’t know who ‘they’ is, but I like to roll my eyes when I say it, as if I totally do.) I hear they’re making a movie. I hope they do. Everything about this show is kind of perfect. So find it on iTunes and buy it like now. I swear you won’t regret it.

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On… French rolls

For the six dudes, including my husband, who read my blog, a warning: this may not interest you.

Laydeez.

I’m obsessed with French rolls.

Not the supersmooth glossy Ivana Trump kind, but the messy rocky kind. The kind that looks you got it professionally done yesterday, had a wild night, then woke up this morning and thought ‘God I’m adorable, it still works’ and went about your day. (Not that I do that sort of thing anymore, because I have a baby and I’m all mature and shit.)

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I’ve been attempting this beehive-y French roll hybrid almost every day now for several weeks. I am better some days than others, and in case you want to do it too, here’s my method:

1 Flip your head upside down and brush it so it gets all staticy and crazy

2 Flip yourself the right way up, sprinkle EVO Haze Styling Powder on the crown and mess it up with your brush a little – the more you mess with it, the better. Want a really big roll? Tease your hair all the way to the end

3 Tie a two inch-long ponytail – ie, the band is two inches from the end of your hair

4 Roll and tuck your hair inwards  into itself, like a bandage

5 Pin with three pins  – I use superlong ones from Ricky’s but you can also get them here and here

6 Mess the top a little

7 Spray with the strongest hairspray you have

Ta DAH!

I use the AVO stuff because my hairdresser recommended it and I am nothing if not obedient. You can buy it here. There are loads of similar products around like this and this and they’re probably all great. I also use Sebastian Fierce Hair Spray available here or here, and I think it’s better than Elnett. I know. Travesteh.

Oh, look. I found this via Pinterest. Thank you Pinterest. This might be easier than my stupid instructions.

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It really is that easy.

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Another nice pic.

I always struggled with French rolls before. Of course, last time I tried it was the 90s, so things like hair powder didn’t exist, and from then until, oh, two months ago, my hair was too long. I never realized how long my hair was, actually, till I’d see it in photos and think ‘who’s that dick with the Rapunzel complex? She looks like an albino Axl Rose.’ Me. I was that dick. I had that Rapunzel complex. I looked like that albino Axl Rose.

This is what my hair looks like when lovely lovely Greg Ruggeri styles it, ie, the way I want it to look.

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This is what my hair looks like when I style it myself.

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ANYWAY. I think beehive-y French rolls are about to have a moment. I feel the way I felt about topknots, back before every girl in the goddamn world began wearing them. I saw a model wearing a topknot in a bar in Paris (the start of this sentence makes me sound about a thousand times more jetsetty and interesting than I am, but let’s move on) in about 2007 and thought to myself ‘that looks fucking awesome, I’m going to do that’. I felt same way about French braids in 2010 when I asked every hairdresser I knew if they could do them, and none of them could, and I had to wait till my Mum came to visit so she could do it for me.

I’m sick to death of topknots, and I still can’t do French braids so I never fully embraced them.

But I am in love with French rolls.

PS Oh, God. Fox just asked me if I was intentionally channelling Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.

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Let’s face it, it’s not far off, is it?

 

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On… Icona Pop

OBSESSED WITH THIS SONG.

I am sure you all already know it. Never mind. Turn it up and start jumping up and down, my lovelies.

PS And since we’re here, talking about girls with attitude, I still love Sleigh Bells, and I particularly love this, and I love this song which everyone else probably already is totally over but what the hey.

 

 

 

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