Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Treat For Your Ears: Pool Side Playlist

Thank you Summer, that's more like it! Finally I can read the paper (ok and some trashy gossip mags too) by the pool and crank some sweet, sweet beats. 

  • North East Party House, Dusk: Getting heaps of love on Triple J. Sounds like fairy floss and rainbows. Makes you want to bust out some serious dance moves. Check out their Myspace here

Picture courtesy of North East Party House's Myspace.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year, in Retrospect:

In keeping with tradition here is the year, in retrospect.

Lessons learnt:
  • Hyde Park can make for very good napping grounds.
  • You can make lovely friends in the strangest places. Like in airport lines or bonding over split leaps, waiting for a bus.
  • Two words you should never utter to me - mini lamingtons.
  • You're never too old to have a picnic. Even a teddy bear's picnic.
  • Bowling can actually be a very dangerous sport, just ask my mamma.
  • I learnt how to write an advertorial, got lots of copy writing published and realised the thrill of seeing your own words in print never gets old.
  • I became an Excel whiz.
  • I learnt how to tie a mean arse Tiffany bow. And wrap a present like Martha. Yep, important life lessons right hurrre.
  • Writing angry letters to the male race won't change anything. Jerks will always be jerksbut it sure does feel good.
  • Became a little bit better at maths, thanks to invoicing. Who'da thunk it?
  • Learnt to love and hate the Karma Chameleon
  • Learnt how to do a million things at once, while keeping a smile on my face.
  • Europe, you're still the love of my life. Three trips later and I want you more than ever!

Things I did:
  • Campaigned like a crazy lady in the hopes of winning a once in a lifetime trip.
  • Backpacked in the European summer with two of my best gal pals.
  • Won a $3000 oven thanks to this little rant. Sold said oven and put the moola into my Euro funds. 
  • Celebrated a year of blogging with a digital facelift
  • Danced my pants off to Phoenix, Yacht Club DJs and Bag Raiders. Stellar gigs of the year.
  • Took the plunge and went dark. Everyone knows box brunettes have more fun!
  • Hvared a ridiculously good time in Croatia. Pun intended.
  • Celebrated my gorgeous Nanny's 90th.
  • Continued to judge boys on the tightness of their jeans. The skinnier the better. Shallow? Who me?
  • Ate gelato several times a day in Florence.
  • Made the best work friends a girl could ever ask for.
  • Shopped like a maniac in Topshop, H&M and Zar Zar.
  • Fell in love with the crazy world of magazines and know more than ever I want to be an editorial girl.
  • Danced to Mark Ronson at Love Box music festival, in London.
  • Went to Brighton Pier and saw the merry go round the Spice Girls had a famous photo shoot on.
  • Had a date underneath the Eiffel Tower and managed not to spew with the romance overload.
  • Had the best night out in the history of my life with Inga, Braz, Micko and De Guzman in Amsterdam. Bike ride at 6am anyone? Will never forget the look on Penny's face when we walked in at 7.30am and caught the plane in the same clothes.
  • Came home from Europe rounder, healthier and happier. 
  • Continued to dream of that Perfect Boy, who is trendy, crazy, beautiful and fun. I don't ask for much now, do I?
  • Had many super-fun-happy times with Shollis
  • Became a blogoholic.
  • Started full-time work and had the joy of spending everyday with mah BFF. 
  • Continued to lust after all things Frankie and Triple J, including my hot interweb friend Lewis McKirdy and the whimsical words of Justin Hazlewood
  • Had a few too many parties at Ju Ju's house, so much so the neighbours wrote us a letter of hate. 
  • Found a new found respect for Mad Mex.

2011 to do list:
  • Write lots, blog lots, vlog more!
  • Be able to run up a hill without dying. Yep, I think it's time I got off my derriere and did some dreaded exercise.
  • Go to Broome and Uluru with mamma and swim in a water hole.

Sweet tunes of Twenty Ten (and my vote for the Triple J Hottest 100):
  • Teenage Crime, Adrian Lux: Predictable yes, but gosh balls this tune is amazing. I never tire of it.
  • Crave You, Flight Facilities: Ditto to the above. Reckon these two will easily smash the top 5.
  • This Orient, Foals: Reminds me of Europe.
  • Hurt Me, The Jezabels: Angry, gritty, beautiful stuff. 
  • Broken Bones, the Holidays: Big love for this song.

Do-able trends of Twenty Ten:

Spewable trends of Twenty Ten:
  • Trackie pants attempted to become fashionable but failed big time and the hideous denim on denim trend made a come back, thanks to Chloé's Western inspired collection.
  • Trend of the year that needs to die now? Dip dyed ends, they're oh so over! If you're not Pip Edwards don't bother. This trend has been ruined, every second person is sporting the top deck look. Next! 

Blogs that got the most hits:
Catch phrases of the year:
  • Inga: Get frocked (a more toned down/fashionable version of "get fu**ed")
  • Brad Joseph: What of it? (I almost died when Brad answered his phone saying "Giselle, WHAT OF IT?") An alternative to "SO WHAT?"
  • Penny, Inga and myself: El pimpy (extreme state of inebriation, ie. "who is going to be el pimpy tonight?") 

Fave photos of the year: 
We got a bit carried away with the old school photo booth in London. 

Star jump if you love Paris!
Anu and I cooling down on the eve of the Soccer World Cup final, on my cousin James' house boat in Amsterdam. If only everyday could be this fun.

A huge thanks to all you awesome readers for popping into Lowbrow Hoo-Ha. Muchos grazias for your insightful, funny and intelligent comments. Keep them coming! Want to know what my 2009 was like? Click here for last year's "The Year, in Retrospect" post. Wishing you all a faboosh 2011, hope you bring the new year in with style (with a party pash of course!) Much love, Bella xxx

Ballet's Back Baby!

Last night, a certain n00b brother was so busy gaming he forgot to log out of his Facebook. Being the lovely older sister I am, I decided I should write a sneaky status update on his account (he's done it to me many times too). It read - James Brennan... "My fave Xmas prezzie? My hawt new Gucci tutu. Can't wait to carve up the dfloor in it! Ballet is back ya'll, Kanye made it cool!"

Thanks to Mr West-Douchebag's amazing video clip below (watching it makes me want to limber up and whip out some split leaps and arabesques) and a little movie called Black Swan the graceful ballerina look is back.

So ballerina girls and boys, it's time to dust off your pointes, leotards and tutus, twirl your hair into a high bun and practise your sultry pouty face, ala Natalie P. Ps. totes magotes can't wait to see Nat rocking the bebe bump


Looking at your summer wardrobe and realising you're wearing the same things as last season? Can't spend serious moola on fancy pantz designer labels but want to inject some fun into the mix? Then fear not. I have one word for you - Supre. 

Ewww, I hear you say? No my friend. It should be whooo! That's right, I'm flying the Supre flag with pride. The thing with Supre is, you have to keep it simple. Avoid all the hectic glitzy stuff and the "I LOVE AUSTRALIA" tees (for realsies, I saw them today) and you're set. 

Let's face it, unless you're a graduate dentist (their starting salary is 75K, damn I'm in the wrong industry!) or Daddy's Little Girl, or Boyfriend's Little Princess, or rely heavily on the Plastic Fantastic (we all know how I feel about that), you're probably on a tight budget between pay cheques. I don't even live out of home and I struggle to pinch those pennies. Sometimes, you have to cut corners. Even fashion corners. 

So what were my Supre bargains? A cute nautical stripe dress ($25), awesome leopard print denim shorts ($25) and a khaki skirt ($20). Watch out Bali, I'm going to be rocking you in style! That's three things for seventy bad boys. Not bad, not bad at all!

Alternatively, you can be a super dooper saver and wear the same dress for a year

If the thought of shopping at Supre gives you the heeby jeebies, imagine wearing the same dress for 365 days like Sheena Matheiken did. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do You Speak Tweet?

Any Twitter fiends out there? Do you know your RTs from your #hash tags? Your @'ing from your Twitpic-ing? Am I making sense? Probably not. But if you speak Tweet you'll know what I'm on about.

Twitter is like the Facebook status update, on steroids. The best thing about Twitter, is celeb 'following'. Wanna know what Demi Moore had for breakfast and other mundane info, the fun is just a mouse click away! But there are definitely LOL worthy tweeps out there to follow, crafting quality ROFLZ with 140 characters or less.

If anything, Twitter is a place for the masses to stroke the egos of celebs and other figures they admire. It's now easier than ever to make contact with Scary Spice. Awes-balls I know! Where was Twitter in my Spice Girl crazed days? I totes could have become BFFs with them. 

Want to find out what all this Twitter hoo-ha is about? Follow me - and remember to always tweet nicely! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Catmas Peeps!

Max(above) was our Christmas card cover boy this year. It was inspired by LOL Cats, Max's penchant for nibbling on mice and and his general awesomeness. Xmas highlights include - 

  • Punking Tim with a sack of coal, accompanied by a card saying "SAD-MAS", explaining his efforts as a brother / son had been dismal and this present reflected our disappointment. Then leading him out to the car boot, to reveal his real present, a BBQ. Suddenly the coal made sense, it was for his new toy. 
  • The first sunny Christmas since who knows when. 
  • Magical glazed ham, turkey, Pimm's and other amazing treats from the clever chef Sophie. 
  • James having his brand spanking new Beats by Dre headphones around his neck all day. In fact, I don't think the boy will ever take them off. 
  • Having gorgeous little bebes around always makes Christmas that more special. Will and Lucy were the centre of attention today, who needs new presents to play with when you can watch these kids! They are adorable. 
  • Having a full house, with the complete set of Mumma Bear, Papa Bear and x4 baby bears. 

What were your Christmas highlights? Now enjoy this heartbreakingly bad Chrissy video from YouTube artist Bangs. Past hits include, Da Movies and Meet Me On The Facebook. Merry ham day ya'll! Hope it was full of yummy pig related products! xx

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Not Christmas Unless The Tree Falls Over

Most families associate Christmas with candy canes, advent calendars, baby Jeebus, presents, Christmas trees, Santa... Bring on the cliches! In our family we do things a little differently. Our tree is a craptacular piss take to all those chic, styled trees ( I've heard tales of people hiring "tree stylists" to "design" their tree). We deck it out in mis-matched decorations from the $2 Shop and pick the ugly, unloved tree. 

Last year's Christmas tree was our finest. He had the top of him chopped off for some reason. He donned a very unconventional angel - a crazy mask created by Edwina for some stupid Performance Studies class I did at uni (see below picture). The weirder the better really. This year our tree is a modest little tuft that has random patches of branch missing. He's super cute! But nothing will ever beat last years number. 

Another tradition we embrace, is the tree falling over. Without fail, every year the tree will completely topple over and crash to the floor. Decorations will fall off, branches will break and we piss ourselves. It's just become part of Christmas. The more times it falls over, the lazier we get re-decorating it and by the end of December it looks like we've thrown the decorations on with our eyes shut. Dad's tried everything, but to no avail, the tree keeps falling over. I think it's meant to be... 

The history of the Tree Topple originates from the late 90's. The first time it fell over was at Mum's house. It was raining heavily and it caused part of the roof to collapse onto the tree, knocking it over. James, who was about four, was broken hearted. "Will there still be Christmas?" He asked, borderline tears. That line has become an infamous phrase.  

Christmas isn't about pretty things, it's about spending time with your awesome family and friends, eating ham and being merry. 

The tree with no top.
Our version of an angel. 

Cultural Cringe: how do I know you? Oh that's right, by stalking you on facebook!

The other night, a gorgeous girl walked into the room. 

How the hell do I know you? I swear I've met you before... I racked my brain. Shit. I haven't met you. Ever. I know your face through stalking you on Facebook. Eeek! Yes, I am a mega loser.  

It's quite scary how much time you can spend on that sneaky time vampire Facebook. It's like peeking into people's bedrooms. It's a spiderweb of incestuous links. Connect the dots and then get lost in worlds of lights, music and craziness. Some people's lives look so shiny and fun, but it's probably all fake. Just like the gorgeous girl's tan and pseudo English accent. That's the beauty of real life, the digital filter is gone. There's no airbrushing, editing or censoring. I can smell a fake when I see one, and boy did her spray tan reek.   

Have you been guilty of the same crime? Or do I just spend too much time snooping the Beautiful People?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All Out For Channel V, The Sequel

Hey you, in case we haven't met, let me introduce myself. My name is Annabelle (aka Bella) "Shameless" Brennan. To put it simply, you can call me AB. If you really wanna help, you can refer to me as "AB FOR CHANNEL V!" There's endless choice. 

I'm entering the Channel V Global Animal competition and as a last hoorah in the hopes of catching Channel V's eye here are some pics I prepared earlier! What's that? Pipe down lassie? Don't you think a photo shoot is a bit OTT? Well yeah, you're right but the thing is I actually love thinking of creative concepts and bringing them to life and I was lucky enough to have the support and help from some brilliant people at work. When it comes to once in a life time opportunities you may as well go all out, right? 

I couldn't think of anything better than being a Channel V BJ and combining my two passions of travel and writing. Want to help a sister out? Instructions on voting can be found here.

How bad do I want this? So bad that I'm willing to promote myself through the medium of foodaxelotles street press, videos and dorky photo shoots

Now here's a fun little behind the scenes video from the shoot, created by Shannon Hollis of eyeheartchoo. It documents our interesting walk down Park St on a Saturday morning carrying a pair of Skis! Got a lot of funny looks! Ps, I just had to have this song, I am so in love with it! Hello soundtrack to summer! And if you change the DJ to BJ (blog jockey) it works even better!


All Out For Channel V!

Yo Channel V! Have you missed me? I know my blog jockey campaign has been a bit quiet lately, but never fear! I'm back baby! Stronger than ever. Behind the scenes I've been working my butt off thinking of crazy new ideas to wow you! With only a few trips left, it's time to step it up to a notch. One of these trips is to the home of Arcade Fire, maple leaves, poutine and ice hockey, aka CANADA! 

Fancy that, I just happen to have a pair of retro pink skis that have my name on them. I also have an old school pink stack hat. Shan even has a Canadian themed beanie. My lovely buddy from work Pete (aka The Source) had a brilliant idea of how to take this competition to the next level. "Sure flyers are cute, but do you know what would be even cooler? A photo shoot!" He said. And boom, the stars aligned. Pete's sister works in the photographics department of our company and before I knew it, there I was on a Saturday morning at work, posing like a twat with my skis. And it was so much fun! I think we passed Shameless Street long ago.  

So send a gal to Canada why don't ya Channel V? I already have all the gear! 

Why should I be the next Global Animal? I'm going to let the pictures do the talking! And there is more, much much more. Make sure you check back during the week for other sweet treats. Including another shoot and a behind the scenes video.

Photography by Ella Brodie-Reed, ACP Magazines.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Five Inventions Someone Should Make

Any budding engineers, entrepreneurs or inventors out there? Can you please turn my ideas into reality? You may dismiss them as silly tosh, but I think these inventions could bring a lot of happiness to people's lives. 

  • Master pager: How sweet life would be if we could find everything we've ever lost. Never again would you shed tears over that sentimental ring, your expensive iphone or all those photos you lost on your digi cam. With the master pager you'd simply have your dearest possessions installed with a tiny microchip. When you lose them, you press their button on your computer and a map would show their exact whereabouts. 

  • Comeback generator: Don't you hate it when you think of a good call after the argument? Imagine having a device in your ear that generated instant, cheeky come backs. No one would ever mess you with you and your fire tongue again!

  • An instant cure for a broken heart, similar to Panadol: Say goodbye to mopey moods, alcohol fuelled rampages and drunk dialling! In one small pill you'll keep your dignity and forget the pain. I think this bad boy could make millions!

  • Ability to turn dogs / people into puppies / babies again: As much as I love the teenage versions of my little broseph and dog Daisy, I sometimes look at them and wish they could be that adora-bubble toddler/ puppy for just one more day and for just one more cuddle. How cool would it be if you could pick up a remote control, zap it at said human/ dog and select what age you want them to be.

Oh, how we whinge about our first world problems! What things would you like to invent to improve our already charmed lives?

Daisy in her puppy days.

Believe it or not, a guy and girl can be JUST friends!

I don't know why it's so hard for people to comprehend that fact. Many guy and girl BFFs I know are asked if they're dating. In "When Harry Met Sally" (a very reputable source) Harry argues no male and female can be just friends. But I beg to differ. 

People always enquire if one of my male mates and I are BF and GF. Errr no, he's just my buddy. We now reply "we're just platonic BFFs thanks." A shop assistant once thought my big brother and I were together EWWWWW, GET FROCKED PLEASE! Male + female doesn't necessarily equal luuuuuvers, but people are always so quick to make that assumption.

Do you think you can have platonic friendships? Or do you agree with Hazza?

Painting the Town Orange

What better reason to escape Sydney for the weekend, than for Brad Joseph's high fashion farewell. We met Brad and Elle in the Greek Islands earlier this year. Brad lives in Orange and Elle lives in London, we've stayed in touch and even had an awesome reunion. Brad's spreading his wings, and moving to the big smoke of Melbourne. I know he'll be fabulous wherever he goes but I really wish we all lived in the same city, we make a pretty good team.  

Brad made some phone calls and organised a spectacular two days of pristine weather, stellar wine, food and people. He's pretty tight with JC so there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Saturday's festivities started early, we were cracking the champers by midday and hopped from vineyard to vineyard on our own private bus (unfortunately the stretch Hummers were all booked out by JLO. Bitch). The drinking finally caught up to us around 4pm, while we were waiting for our no show cabs on one of the main drags of Orange. The majority of the crew fell asleep for a good half an hour. Our pleasant slumber was interrupted by DA POLICE, who kindly asked us to relocate ourselves and our open bottles of alcohol.  

The theme for Saturday night's house party, in our gorgeous cottage, was toga. Because it was a bit of a Mykonos reunion, it only seemed right the theme should be Grecian. Thank golly we had Brad and Penny there to help style us. They transformed our drab white sheets, into fab gowns. We got nifty with the native flora and made make shift head pieces out of leaves. 

Sunday's hang over was cured by the fresh Orange air on Mount Canobolas and a big greasy breakfast. We road tripped it home and made a pit stop in Katoomba. Pen Den, Inga, Ju Ju and I were like a little family. We got milkshakes and spiders at the Paragon and browsed all the antique shops in town. It's funny when you're a kid you can't stand it when your parents wander around the shops and want to have a coffee in every town. But we've now become those people! Road trip 101 - make sure you have lots of snuggly doonas, pillows and sweet beats. Our top 3 songs to cruise to were If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix, New Theory by Washed Out, Up Late by Custom Kings.  

Saying goodbye to Brad Joseph is always hard, but at least I have a great excuse to visit Melbourne now! 

Country boy goes city. Watch out Melbourne!
Toga time. Nomming on grapes.
O-R-A-N-G-E. On the top of Mount Canobolas.
Just having a nanna in the middle of the street.

Get Your Hoedown On!

As far as Christmas parties go, ACP's on Thursday night was tres ridic. When we first found out the theme was "Christmas Hoedown" there were mixed reactions. But who doesn't like a bit of flanno action? In the end, everyone embraced it and there were Dolly Partons, pigtails and boots galore. All week the rumour mill spun with intrigue. 

"There's a kissing booth!" 

"Then who the hell will be behind it? There's 5 boys to 3000 girls!"

"There's a mechanical bull!"

"There's going to be hay everywhere." 

And the rumours lived up to expectation, and then some. It was all true! Cowgirls, cowboys, Indians and even moo-cows boot scooted the night away at Fox Studios. I'd never seen so many people rip it up on the d-floor! I was trying to figure out why my neck was so sore today and then remembered it's because of Leanne and I's little dance move she taught me that we performed all night (FYI, it's shoulder, shoulder, head up, head down, neck roll for those playing at home). 

You felt like you were on the set of a movie or at a festival. There was even a raunchy performance of "These Boots Were Made For Walking," by super hot cross dresser Courtney Act. The stage was made from two utes reversed onto each other and all night the DJ spun retro country hits and awesome music while projections of old Western movies were shot up on the wall. 

The Hoedown was a huge success. They definitely know how to throw a gosh darn good party. Merry Christmas ya'll!

Fogs and I getting our cowgirl on.

Shollis, myself, Lohie and Dear John just chilling on a bale of hay.

Jessica Simpson eat your heart out!
The flicked heel, our stock standard pose for the night.

Watch This Space

I'm just back from work. WORK ON A SATURDAY? What's wrong with me? Well it's all for a good reason. Shollis and I stumbled in at 9am, bleary eyed, maccas breakfast in tow and got our photo shoot on! So it wasn't really work, it was play! Eyes peeled for the photos soon! They're for my Channel V B430 campaign. Here's a little teaser to whet your appetite. 

Pics in this blog courtesy of photo maestro Shannon Hollis

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

God Love Your Girlfriends

Get your hands on the new Frankie asap. Seriously peeps. Ok, so it's not their best cover, but as per always the writing is top notch.

My fave feature this month comes from one of my most beloved writers, Triple J's ex breakfast host and general goddess, Marieke Hardy. I've followed Marieke's work over the years, from her award winning blog, her column in The Age, to her Frankie features. She is my writing idol. Her article, Best Friends Forever, in which she professes her love for her awesome circle of friends, got me all teary and choked up, in a good way.

Marieke writes, "Sometimes I look around a table of my closest girlfriends and ponder through my dreamy wine haze over how long I've known them and all that we've been through together and which one of them is wearing the denim jacket I bought at Savers that never quite fit me even when I strapped my bosoms down with gaffa tape and eventually I think: My God, I can't believe these women put up with me." It got me thinking about the different breeds of friends you have. Old friends and new.

You'll always have your inner sanctum of friends. People who've known you since you were that awkward teenager with braces, peroxided hair and your g-string hanging out. Friends you may not see for a few weeks, months and sometimes even years. But you always pick up where you left off. They're your BFF's. For life, man.

Then sometimes, you can be so lucky to make new BFFs. People you click with. People who you just get. I've been blessed to make a new BFF and I couldn't imagine my life without her. She's my GUF, my BUFFL and the sub-editor to my life.

And then you have your work buddies. Those amazing people that make going to work so much fun.  The other day I said to Shan Dog, "God we're lucky with our little crew. Our lunch play dates in Hyde Park make me so happy." We lie in the sun, lobbed on top of each other on the picnic rug, giggling our pants off. Shollis, Chinny, Lohie and Hughsey rock my world. Don't even get me started on who can do the best drawing in Paint, or print screen shot the cutest boy. Our email banter is a lethal combination of LOLZ, ROFLZ and LAMOZ. The thought of our adventures get me up in the morning.  

So thanks to all you lovely ladies in my life. BFFs, new BFF's, work BFF's  - you're good eggs. Now if only I could be BFFs with my girl crush Miss Hardy!

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