Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wrap Up

Decked out in my best Royal watching PJs I snuggled up on the couch with my Mumma, our Labrador, pizza and a glass of wine. Here are my highlights. 

1. I got teary the second I saw Wills and Hazza in their military uniforms. Totally pathetic but they are SO gorgeous. Loved that Harry had a look over his shoulder when Kate arrived but Will held strong and didn't. 

2. Pippa Middleton stole the show. Wowsers! What an absolute BABE! Or as the Brits would say, she's well fit. I saw one funny Facebook status that said 'who else is now googling Pippa Middleton?'

3. I secretly wished Camilla Parker Moles would trip over. Boooo hiss... Hate her. 

4. THAT dress. Love she didn't have an OTT look at me number. It was timeless, elegant and understated. She was a dream in McQueen. 

5. The adorable 'frowning flower girl' was hilarious and has already become an Internet phenomenon.  

6. The frock watching! From Her Majesty the Queen in that repulsive lemon yellow, the fugly sisters in their circus gear, to Julia Gillard and Posh and Becks. It was a fashion field day!  

7. The 2 second peck on the balcony. Who else was a bit disappointed? I want a proper pash! Some tongue! A warm embrace at least! So G-rated but I suppose they had to be.  

8. The surprise drive by in the vintage Aston Martin with the number plates JU5T WED! A refreshing 'normal person' tradition! With tacky balloons and all! 

9. The post wedding telly. I am in TV heaven today! The Bio channel has gone full throttle Royal. I've just watched Charles and Di's wedding and now onto Charles and Diana: The First Decade. 

10. Hearing Kate Middleton didn’t throw her bouquet, but will instead lay it on Princess Diana’s grave. How beautiful is that?

What were your memorable moments?

Monday, April 25, 2011

They Were Only Boys

The atmosphere in the city today is electric. Walking to work, I couldn't help but grin. Bag pipes and drums blaring, people still marching even though it's pissing down, rosemary tucked into suits, old men dressed in their Sunday best... God love Anzac Day. It made me think of something I wrote a few years ago. For our final uni assessment we had to write a travel memoir, this piece is from my trip to Gallipoli in December 2008... 
The Call to Prayer wakes me from my sleep. Usually, being woken at 5am I’d be cranky but the humming echoes of the chants are soothing. I drift in and out of sleep, relishing the noise. It gives me goose bumps. There’s something about the Call to Prayer that calms me. The whole city comes together for those few minutes and I feel so far away from home, but in a good way. 
However this time I am woken by the incessant rustling of plastic bags. And I am cranky. It’s a piercing knife to my ear, rudely interrupting my pleasant slumber. What kind of an idiot wraps their belongings in hundreds of plastic bags and thinks, “yes, this method will be so considerate to my sleeping room mates at 6am.”
I don’t have the guts to tell him to shut up. Instead I lie there, plotting Mr Plastic Bag Man’s slow and painful death. Perhaps I’ll suffocate him with one of his bags. I throw in a few dramatic huffs and puffs and eventually he gets the message. That’s right Mr Plastic Bag Man, don’t mess with me when I’m sleeping. 
You see, I need a good sleep. Today I am leaving my beloved Istanbul. I’ve been here for ten days but already it feels like home. I’ll miss the chaotic atmosphere of the city, the eager merchants trying to sell their goods and flog off a ‘discounted’ rug with every purchase. No, I do not need a rug with my lunch thank you very much.
I’ll miss the creamy salep that’s made from crushed orchard bulbs. I drink it daily from copper pots. It is like drinking a cloud. I’ll miss getting lost in The Grand Bazaar. I’ll miss the exotic smells of the Spice Bazaar. I’ll miss the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the hundreds of minarets that pierce the sky. I’ll miss the view of the Bosphourous from my hostel window, the pristine blue sea that connects Europe and Asia. I’ll miss the evil eyes pinned on every second person and the sweet smell of apple shisha that floats about the city. Oh Istanbul, you make my heart skip a beat. 
It is time to move on; I am bound for Çanakkale. It’s a six hour bus ride and on the southern Asian coast of the Dardanelles. Tomorrow I am going to Gallipoli. I wouldn’t classify myself as extremely patriotic and I cringe when I see Southern Cross tattoos on pseudo patriots who like to bash up anyone who isn't “Aussie” by their definition. But I do feel a sense of duty to pay my respects to the fallen soldiers. I don’t think I could go to Turkey and not visit Gallipoli

The concept of war has always been ingrained in our family’s minds. Both my Grandparents fought in World War Two and Desi, my Dad’s Dad was a Prisoner of War for three and a half years and was awarded an Order of Australia in 2002. Even though it was a different war, I know this will be an important thing to do. 
When I arrive in Çanakkale it’s mid December and it’s a ghost town. It feels odd to be in a place so far away from home with kangaroo statues erected at every corner. The hostels have names like “Anzac House” and “Crowded House” and offer Vegemite and Tim Tams. They definitely know who their target market is but at this time of year the Aussies have cleared out and I feel like I’m the only one here.  
I am greeted by my guide for the day, Anil. He is healthily robust, has salt and pepper grey hair, an infectious smile and is instantly likeable. We drive up into the jagged cliffs and I realise how harsh the terrain is. Anil is a living encyclopaedia of Gallipoli knowledge. 
“The poor buggers had to get up these hills with thirty kilogram rucksacks,” he says. You can tell he makes and effort to try and sound Australian, he loves using words like ‘mate’ and ‘fair dinkum’. I feel relaxed in his presence. 
We come to the first mass Australian grave and Anil waits in the car. It is eerie to be alone. The wind makes my face cold and the sea crashes into the shore. I have goose bumps. Olive trees and rosemary bushes line the garden. Despite the wind, everything is somehow still. I begin to read the plaques out loud. I take solace in their words. ‘Lost to sight, to memory dear,’ one says.
I am appalled at how young these so called men were. 18, 19 and 20, I see these ages again and again. I see these numbers too many times.  I could spend all day here and this is just the first site. My eyes well up when I read ‘a mother’s mind often wanders to this sad and lonely place.’ The lump in my throat gets bigger when I see ‘loving youngest son’, on countless plaques. They were not men, they were only boys. 
I look out to the ocean. I watch the hazy line where the topaz green sea blends into the fiery orange horizon, and I cannot begin to imagine the bloodshed that took place. I am so far removed from the notion of war and here I am, Little Miss Ignorant who is usually tucked safely away in good old Australia, crying. I feel selfish and silly but I am overwhelmed. The idea of war has just become real. 
Anil then takes me to Anzac Cove, where the Australian and New Zealanders accidentally landed on the 25th.
“It was biiiiiig disaster”, he says.
Anil then passionately explains his belief in the purity of the human spirit. “Even in war we care for our enemies, many beautiful story of Aussie and Turk caring for mates when wounded. At end of day, we all mates, right?” He says as he walks me over to a statue.
I have seen this statue countless times on television. To be standing in front of it is more moving than I anticipated.  A Turkish solider is carrying a wounded Anzac solider. The power and significance of this statue hits me like a bullet. I instinctively put my hand to my chest and breathe. I will never forget this statue, it will forever be etched in my mind.  
“Here look at this.” Anil summons me over, snatching me from my trance-like state. He is holding what appears to be a bullet. 
“Even 94 years later they are still turning up. There are thousands of them. You keep,” he says.  
I hold the silver ball in my palm. I wonder if it belonged to the Turks or to us? I wonder if it missed its target. If their life was saved, or simply taken seconds later by another bullet with a better aim? I am holding a tiny morsel of history. 
We drive off and Anil cranks the music. My heart is pounding and I am trying to digest what I have seen while the obnoxiously happy lyrics infiltrate my thoughts. Anil taps the steering wheel and wiggles his bottom. 
“I love the George Michaels!” He says. “Freeeeedom! What you want? Freeeeedom!” He sings along.
I have just been to Gallipoli, where thousands of my countrymen perished and now I am listening to George Michael. What on earth would the teenagers of 1915 buried here make of this? 
That night, back at my hostel I read over the founder of the Turkish Republic, Attaturk’s words to the mothers whose sons died at Gallipoli. 
‘Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.’
These words show the pointlessness of war. They were only boys snatched away from their families. For the third time that day, my skin is awash with goose bumps.

One of my favourite photos from my trip

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The One Month Swag Lock Challenge - Finale Episode!

Smashing Easter bunnies, talking swag locks, dishes and potential lady lovers. The one month swag lock challenge is over! Will JB succeed? Watch to find out. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Radness in the Making

Excerpt from an email chain:

Bella: Wanna start a fab website together kids?
Chinny: Sure. I will do the foodz/lolcatz section :D
Shan: Yes, I will do the celeb baby section or fashion. K. Thanks. Bye.
Bella: Cool, I shot gun being the relationship columnist.
FishyI will be the beauty editor of said website of awesomeness. Love.
Chinny: Ok this website is going to be the best. Ever
Bella: Now we need to think of a name that will appeal to the masses…
Shan: Shannania?
Lohie: Has celeb trash and fash been taken? If not, I bags.
Chinny: I think this will work out perfectly. Disgustingly perfectly.
Bella: Amazing. Look at us bouncing off each other already!
Fishy: That’s because we are all totes amazeballs coordinators! We could even call the site totes amaze.

Frocks 101

FATHER: Are you sure you don't want to wear a jacket? Or something for your shoulders? It's freezing.  

ME: Fashion is pain Dad. Pain and hypothermia. Besides, this dress doesn't do jackets. 

FYI - the frock in question was my ah-to-the-maze Topshop bandage number, Mr Whitey (yes, I name my clothes and give them genders, whatcha going to do about it?) I bought him last year in Yee Old London Town. He's a little bit racey but oh so Kate Moss. 

Do you have those dresses you literally wear once, then they're swallowed into the obis of your wardrobe? The other week Inga enquired about Mr Whitey's whereabouts. I promised her I'd take him for a spin soon. And I did. What better event than Cleo Bachelor of the Year. Shollis rocked a freaking fabulous off the shoulder number. Our black and white combo meant we were the cutest couple there. 

Sorry Dad, something for my shoulders would have totally wrecked our ensemble. 

Kindred Spirits

You can't choose your family, but I reckon if I were given the option, I'd pick these guys anyway. Just your typical Sunday night, hanging out and experimenting with our snail faces. We so wacky. 

Sydney Secrets

Romance isn't dead, it's on the streets of Killara in fact. I spotted it the other night, walking home. There's about ten graffiti love hearts dotted on Locksley St. Just when you thought living in the 'burbs was mundane.

I wonder who the artist is? Maybe it's the same mastermind behind the' STOP, hammer time' signs on my street in 2009? 

Whoever you are, thanks for making my walk home that little bit more pleasant. 

STOP sings in Killara & Lindfield were adorned with cheeky stickers back in 2009

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hey Kids, DO try this at home!

Dewy glow? Tick. Reasonably priced? Tick. Doesn't feel like you're wearing a Side Show Bob clown mask? TICK! 

Dream foundation? It's definitely this little bad boy - L'Oréal Infallible ($37.95). 

Plus, if you buy the May issue of CLEO (look for the hot neon cover with Rihanna) on stands now, you get $10 off the Infallible 24H Brush-On Foundation! Score!

To view the full ad click here.

Like what you see? For more info visit 

Monday, April 18, 2011

2 Sleeps & Counting! She's Almost Here!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would be just as excited as I, and zillions of Aussies are that ZARA IS OPENING IN 2 FREAKING SLEEPS! (un)Lucky for me and the Australian economy, Sydney Westfield is seconds away from my work. Uh oh.

For those naysayers who don’t see the glory in this historic moment, I say boo-urns to you. BOO-URNS! I’m sorry, but have you seen the deliciously fab threads Zar Zar has to offer? No? Didn’t think so. Next time, check your facts before you shake your hands at me.

I fell in love with her back in ’06. It was my first trip to Europe and I remember my cousin Anna told me Zara was a must. Thanks for the tip!  

Zara’s always been that exotic, unobtainable girl you only see on holidays. She’s my European fling. Whenever I’m there, we shared heated moments of joy. But then it’s time to go and Zara is all but a distant memory.

I know this love affair isn't exclusive. I know she’s a bit of an international tart and spreads her stores all over. I’m cool with that because now I can finally make her mine.

Come Wednesday Zara, you and I are going to spend some serious quality time together!

Spot the Zara bag. Doing my post shopping spree happy dance. Who says backpackers can't indulge a little? Helsinki, 2008

Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Open Letter to the Hot Spots of Sydney

Dear trendy hipster hang outs of Sydney, I just wanted to let you know while you may provide a pleasant back drop to our weekends, you are getting a little bit too big for your boots. 

A line to get into Dr Pong! Who do you think you are? It wasn't even full, I think you were just showing off. What happened to casually walking through the back entrance? Thanks to your pretentious little line I had to stand in the freezing cold and miss 20 minutes of my friend's birthday, cheers! No matter because luckily for you, Dr Pong, I am a table tennis demon. It's my secret talent in life. I'm not even kidding. Years of holidays at Hawks Nest morphed me into a ping-pong-protégée. You can make me wait in lines all you like, but I'll put everyone who verses me to shame. Word to the wise, watch out for my backhand.

And don't even get me started on the 3 level system at Kit and Kaboodle. The higher the level, the cooler you are. Last weekend at another buddy's birthday we needed to get cash out. The bartender on level 2 told us that there was an ATM on the holy level 3. When I said to the bouncer guarding the prestigious echelon of floor 3 I needed to get cash out and I would be straight back down to level 2. Cross my heart, hope to die, he replied, 'nice try, I think you're lying.' Yeah mate, obviously I go to such great lengths. Obviously level 3 is like, sooo much better. I've heard rumours leprechauns ride around on unicorns. And there's purer air. And the tap water isn't in fact water. It's flowing Chandon. Is it true Mr Door Bitch? I NEED to know! A girl can only dream of being let in....

I don't know who decides these joints are suddenly the places to be seen. Think Hunky Dory Social Club, Shady Pines et al. Granted, I'm that much of a loser I haven't even been to Shady Pines but I bet it goes a little something like this - cramped tiny space decked out with quirky interiors. Maybe there are some wacky moose heads on the walls? Lots of posing, taking photos and checking your posse into Facebook Places. It doesn't matter if you can't hear anyone talking and it's so packed you can smell your neighbour's BO and their pad thai dinner breath. At least you've checked in and everyone knows you're there!

What's that couch? You want me to spend all my weekends on you, getting hot and heavy with Foxtel? Good plan Jackie Chan. Beats the hell out of waiting in lines and BO. 

Trendy hot spots, I wish you every success in your business transactions, I really do. But just remember in 6 months' time, when Sydney moves on and choose their next flavours of the month, you'll be begging us to come and play table tennis with you. 

I'm off to practice my serve. Yours sincerely, Annabelle Rose Brennan. 

I Told You Kids Don't Wear Clothes Anymore!

Photographic evidence following on from last week's story, that people don't wear clothes anymore. This dude was spotted last night at Dr Pongs, cutting shapes sans pants. If you know him, please tell him to invest in a belt and nicer undies. 

And before you say I'm a bitch for taking a photo, this guy was prancing around for ages in his Bonds tighties like he was the shit. He was asking for it. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

That's a Rad Ad

I love an ad that goes BAM! LOOK AT ME! And who could resist a horse holding a cat. Mega cute! No, the kitteh isn't our very own Maximus but they look identical. This picture instantly grabs my attention. I need to know who could be so daring to use just an image? 

It's for the Semi Permanent creative conferences where like minded creative types get together to confer and swap notes, obviously. And what's the deal with the Deadliest Catch-eseque get-up? US photographer Corey Arnold, who is one of the stars of Deadliest Catch, will be guest speaking at the events. Clever, huh. 

From this...

To this:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Theophilus London

This song makes me want to run away to LondonYou know how you look at a boy and think to yourself, one day, I'd really like to make you mine? Well, London's like that for me. It's my city dream boat. If there is such a thing.

And one day, I hope I get the guts. Not just for a fleeting holiday but for a fully fledged love affair with the place.

What's the city of your dreams?

Endless hours of fun at the Photoautomat. London, July 2010

Has Beans

It's no secret I love a shitty pun. Can't resist them. They're like my drug. The crappier the pun, the bigger my high. 

Take last Family Sunday Funday Dinner for example. Dad was throwing out the beans and with one last attempt to flog them said, 'does anyone want more?' I replied, 'nah, they're has beans.' Cue the cringes from my respective family members. I did a victory pirouette, then took a bow, very pleased with myself. 

What are some of your awesomely terrible puns?

James with his has bean.
They were actually delish, but with one sib down (ahem TB) there were left overs.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hey Kids, Clothes are Cool!

Last night, at a friend's birthday at Kit and Kaboodle (ps. KK who do you think you are with your 3 level palaver? The higher the level, the cooler you are apparently) I noticed something. People don't wear clothes anymore. Just tiny scraps of material strewn over the bare minimum of their bodies. Or as I like to call it - bum coverers. 

While bum coverers are nice and tight and show all the junk in your trunk they don't work very well. Like when you're walking up the stairs and you spy a sneaky cheeky. 

I felt like a nun in my conservative high neck Asos smock but at least I wasn't going to catch a cold. No siree. 

This isn't a new revelation, but it breaks my heart. Clothes are fun! And warm! And pretty! FYI - you can still look sexy without having your cheeks hang out. So next time you go out, maybe try putting some on.

This is Sister Bella, singing off. 

Clothes are your friends! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011


SPOTTED: last Friday morning, on the train to work. A mysterious commuter wearing a black cape and, wait for it, A SCREAM MASK. Casually reading the newspaper like it was no big deal. Umm excuse me mate, YOU'RE DRESSED AS A MURDERER! Oh yeah, just off to work in my death get up. As you do. 

Being the shameless type, I whipped out my camera and took a sneaky snap. It was just so bizarre. Considering how sensitive we are when it comes to the T word these days, I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would jump on public transport dressed as Mr Stabby Scream Man. 

This photo is pretty crappy and doesn't do him justice but you can spot the prolonged Scream chin. It was mighty odd! Man, there are some crazies out there!

When I got to work and told the office, a colleague said he'd seen other Scream clad people in the city too. If anyone knows what the frock this was for, some sort of slasher movie convention perhaps, let me know! 

Not Such a Rad Ad

This ad just came on the E! channel and it makes me want to spew in my mouth a little. Oh Kim K, we know you're a product endorsement whore bag and we get that's your job being a reality TV star and all but can't you at least flog some decent brands? Also, can you not hog the spotlight so much? Poor Khloe gets shunned in this ad. Surprise, surprise!  

Here I am, sitting in my pyjamas on a lazy Saturday arvo (don't judge, you know you're jealous). I've just finished my bacon and eggs and then BAM! I'm accosted with Kim K and Khloe in their bikinis. Asking me if I feel sexy? Do I have the body I've always dreamed of? Err no, not really. Not unless you count trackies and a baggy jumper as hot. Oh wait! What about mis-matching socks? Does that count as sexy? Do I have a dream bod? See above, re bacon and eggs. 

But never fear! I have the power to reinvent myself! To create the body I deserve! Yippie! The key to my dreams is apparently replacing food with liquid! Thanks Quick Trim. 

Kim then asks how hot can I be? Well Kimmy-K, I think eating FOOD and ACTUAL MEALS is much sexier than liquid. Wouldn't ya say?

If 'living the dream' is substituting food for liquids, I'll pass.
Does eating FOOD count as hot?

Calling All Talented Artists

Hey DJs / singers/ producers/ music peeps of Australia. Here's a proposition for you - can someone please make a mega mix of all the 90's theme songs to the TV shows we know and love? You could call it the 90's nostalgia mega-mix? Or maybe The Soundtrack to our Childhood?

Last Saturday night, hanging out with my nearest and dearest buds we started playing on da You Tubes (yeah, we crazy!) and took a trip down memory lane. More specifically, all the wonderful ABC/ Cheese TV shows we grew up on. 'Imagine if someone remixed these all!' we thought. 

Here's a short list, we're thinking - 
  • Round the Twist: Have you ever, ever felt like this? Strange things happening are you going 'round the twist? 
  • Feral TV: Ratus the Rat, Modigliana the cat, they discorved fame and fortune and they're never coming back! 
  • Play School: Open wide, come inside! 
  • Dragon Ball Z: Dragon, dragon, rock the dragon! 
  • Pokemon: I wanna be the very best! Like no one ever was. To catch them is my real test, to train them is my cause.
  • Bangers and Mash: Bangers and Mash! Bangers and Mash! 
  • Lift Off: Come on and lift off!  
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in a half shell, turtle power! 
  • Captain Planet: Captain Planet, he's a hero. Gonna take pollution down to zero. 
  • Ohhh Wayne: ba ba ba ba ba ba waaaaaaaaayne. 
  • Hey Arnold: Move it football head! 
  • Pingu: Pingu! Pingu! Pingu!  
  • Raggy Dolls: Raggy dolls! Raggy dolls! Dolls like you and me! Raggy dolls! Raggy dolls! Made imperfectly. 

Can you imagine if you were actually out on a Saturday night (I know, the thought of peeling myself away from the You Tubes scares me too) carving it up on the d-floor and a mad arse remix of Round the Twist came on? Oh my! Seriously music kids, someone pleeeease get onto it! You can just send my friends and I a thank you hamper. We like candies, bath bombs and scented candles. Not really. We'll take cocktails instead. 

I also think Trap Door has massive d-floor potential!

Any other suggestions to add? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Treat for your Ears: Mid-Week Mixtape

Yo kidlettes, happy hump day! In fact, to get all correctomon on ya'll arses, hump day is pretty much donezo! I should be saying happy-almost-weekend-time! 

To help you through that last little bit of the week, here are some sweet beats. Picked fresh from the organic Aussie garden of toooones. That's right, without even realising the songs I'm crushing this week are 100% home grown. Past Aussie Treats for your Ears can be found here

  • The Land of the Bloody Unknown, The Middle East: Hoorah! The Middle East are back. I fell in love with their EP in 2009 and their debut album, I Want That You Are Always Happy, is released this Friday the 8th of April. I can't wait. The Brag describes the name of their record as a 'grammatical nightmare,' but I think it's quite endearing. Crappy syntax aside, they make magical music. 
  • Have Fun, The Bleeding Knees Club: Why can't my life be like their video clip? Oh well, I might not be as cool as them but I know how to have fun. Kudos to my friend Ju Ju for introducing me to this faboosh Gold Coast duo. Wig out more of their stuff here
  • City Dreams, Antonio Paul: Dear Triple J Unearthed, thanks for bringing lovely songs into my life I may otherwise have missed. City Dreams in particular makes me want to get my Elanie Bennis on. Check out the band's Unearthed profile here
The Bleeding Knees Club

This is Why I Love You

I got a lovely little email from Chinny this afternoon. It simply said 'thought of you x' with this picture...

Oh my golly, golly gosh! This picture is ME, in goat form! Thanks for totally magotally making my day, Chinny! Damn that girl is good at email LOLZ. I literally laughed out loud. It's now my desktop background. I'm also considering getting it blown up and framed. 

For those not familiar with my obsession of the phrase 'totes magotes', I suggest you click here. Soon you will be well versed with my skewed vocab. And as for those totes adorzzz goats? They were spawned from the rad blog, Have You Met Miss Jones?

Ps. I'm sorry I've dropped so many 'totes' bombs in one post. My proper engil be back nowz, me promiezz. 
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