Monday, May 31, 2010

Trapped in slow internet

i'm sorry...
* Photo from oceanbreathesalty's photostream - click image for more *

I have had a few posts ready to go this past week but I have been unable to post them because my internet has been slowed to dial up speed. It has disabled my ability to upload photos so it's cut off my ability to post anything new.

It's been frustrating me but I only have myself to blame after downloading the second part of season 1 of Glee and using up our internet limit. To be honest the slow internet now is worth the ability to watch these Glee episodes again whenever I want.

I will be back tomorrow with regular internet and regular posting - starting with photos and stories about my day spent with my niece for her birthday.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My life in the past week

I've just had 4 days off from work in a row. It's been a much needed break where I've done a lot but very little. I have spent my time wandering around shopping centres (dreaming of London shops), spending quality time with my adorable nieces and watching movies.

I also FINALLY went to the Hofbrauhaus in Melbourne where I drank too much beer and had a great time with my friends.

You may have also read some of my upset rants on twitter about how my hair turned out last week (was it last week? It feels like so long ago). I tried to finally take some photos of the results this afternoon but since it's almost winter the sun likes to disappear very quickly so the only photo I captured was using the flash and it doesn't really show the colours in its full effect.

* It looks red in this photo when it is in fact pink/purple/brown/red *

I am still not happy with it and will be re-lightening it again early next week. I went and visited my usual hairdresser today and she re-installed in me the confidence I usually have when dying my hair. She told me to lighten my hair myself and then she'll help next week with the purple application. It's made me feel much better and since I've now done more research I am confident I'll end up with light purple hair this time.

That my friends is an update on what I've been doing lately. It's not too exciting at the moment because I'm less than a month away from heading to London on holidays. I have to save the pennies so I can enjoy my time in London without stressing about $$$.

*My biggest splurge this week - a new gigantic ring*

This week is pretty simple. It's a 4 day work week and then Sunday is my nieces 4th birthday! I can't believe she is 4 already - time sure does fly.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Mondays: Life through a Lens

A woman who has photographed many icons to become one herself. This documentary was on TV a couple of weeks ago and it was so intriguing that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this with everyone.

I know this is a little different to my previous posts but this woman shot some of the most iconic and instantly recognisable rock images from the early Rolling Stone magazine times.

I encourage everyone to check out this film - it is simply brilliant.

An inspiration.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Inspiration: You'll be cool

Just another reason to absolutely love Zooey Deschanel.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Music Mondays: Foals

I know I know it's late.

Music Mondays is happening on Tuesday this week because I spent much of my time last night attempting to dye my hair purple and have ended up with pink/red hair - needless to say my time would have been better spent writing about some band I love.

Who: Foals are a 5 piece indie band hailing from Oxford in the UK.
What: They have just released their second LP "Total Life Forever"
You may have seen them: Taking over the British Festivals and avoiding Australia. Their lead singer Yannis was also involved in the Kele (from Bloc Party) and Johnny Rotton (from the Sex Pistols) confrontation a few years back.
Hits: Ballons, Hummer, Casius, This Orient

Foals are a band I discovered back when I was still in London. It was before they had released their first LP and I feel in love with their whimsical, punchy altogether awesome music.

They have just released their second LP Total Life Forever and it's been on replay both on my iPod and in my cd player. It's that perfect kind of relaxing, getting ready, dreaming music that I love to listen to.

It's a brilliant follow up to their first album Antidotes and it sees them tackling a more mature and elaborate sound.

They are of course NME darlings but don't hold this against them - their brilliance is undeniable. Plus who am I kidding NME has steered me in the right direction on quite a few occassions so I'm inclined to agree with them sometimes.

It's been a constant love and an easy love to maintain and they are now coming to visit Australia in July and August as a part of the Splendour in the Grass Festival. One of their sideshows has already sold out so I suggest that if you're thinking about it you should just go ahead and buy that ticket because from what I can remember Yanis has some sweet dance moves and it's a show NOT TO BE MISSED!

Check out their webiste HERE
Follow them on twitter HERE
Check out their facebook HERE

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hair Inspiration: I need a new colour

So anyone who knows me knows I like to change my hair colour - a LOT. I've recently dyed it red and though I love it I haven't been able to get it just the right colour of red so I've given up and decided it's time for a change in colour.

I've been browsing flickr and here are some of my favourite inspiration shots with super awesome coloured hair.

* Image by HeatherAnn89 - click on image for more*

Unnatural Purple Hair
* Image by dreamgloe pumpkincat210 - click on image for more*

Pink Blue Curly
* Image by LuzBlah - click on image for more *

* Image by jzenitsky - click on image for more *

haircut and dye purple 2007
* Image by wip-hairport - click on image for more *

Pink hair!
* Image by Gala - click on image for more *

IDK why but all of my hair inspiration just reminds me of this:
When I'm old, I shall have purple hair...

Can you tell I'm desperate for more purple hair again? I'm thinking I want more of a light lilac purple colour this time but I don't know if I'm brave enough to go the full head yet. I really love THIS PHOTO the best on flickr but it didn't have the "share" butoon so just click the link. It's pretty much the colour that I love but I just realised it a wig (blergh!).

What do you guys think? Should I lighten the hair and dye it purple? I think I must at least dye 70 - 80% of it light lilac because when I look at these photos I get mega hair envy.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Monday, May 10, 2010

Music Mondays: I'm writing for Rave Review!

Welcome to Music Mondays! Last week I kicked things off with an interview with Robert Scwartzman from Rooney and this week I'm introducing you to a new project I am a part of and letting you know of two gigs I attended last week.

Last week was a fantastic week in Melbourne for music. I had the pleasure of going to see two absolutely amazing bands and I've written reviews of both shows for Rave Review

Who are Rave Review?
They are a local Melbourne based online music source. The site covers everything from music news to photography from local gigs and many many reviews of gigs and cds. It has a wealth of information on all things Melbourne and I'm now officially a part of the team.


Here are the start of the two pieces I have written for them so far (click on the “keep reading” to be taken to the full reviews). I'm sure there are many more to come and I'm excited for this opportunity.

(This was seriously the ONLY photo I took at Vampire Weekend – I didn’t charge my camera before the show and my camera died after this shot. Don’t the chandeliers look darling)

Vampire Weekend @ The Palace 04/05/10
WORDS BY: Brooke Jagoe

Arriving to the Palace at 8pm it was clear we had a long wait ahead of us before the main act. Doors at 7.30pm - support band starts at 9pm. Luckily I had people to entertain me, but the sparse crowd that was there early relied on staring blankly at the stage, reading books (!) and listening to their iPods to pass the time.

By the time Cloud Control started the crowd had grown substantially and were ready to be entertained. With a hand written sign stuck to their keyboard they began a multi layered, harmonic, lively set that fit perfectly with what you'd expect from a Vampire Weekend support band.

By 10pm the sold out crowd was getting restless - the stage was set with five chandeliers hanging from the roof and the Contra cover art of a blonde, tanned beauty hanging in the background. Sporadic cheers and clapping started and when the lights dimmed the crowd erupted as the four members of Vampire Weekend emerged from the darkness onto the stage. They kicked it off with two songs from their new album - White Sky and Holiday – and the enthusiastic crowd sang and danced along before they delved into some of their much loved hits from their self titled debut album.

Keep reading here...

(I know these are blurry – but I like the way the colours look – plus it was super dark and I only had my “point & shoot”)

Julian Casablancas @ The Palace 07/05/10
WORDS BY: Brooke Jagoe
It was another night of waiting at The Palace on Friday night. For some strange reason this venue likes it’s punters to wait an hour and a half before any act begins. This creates a kind of boredom and impatience amongst an eager crowd. It’s been 5 years since Julian Casablancas has graced our shores and everyone in that room was ready for his return.

At 9.30pm Andy Clockwise wandered onstage to a less than interested crowd. It was clear from their reaction that everyone was there for one reason and anything else that evening was going to be sub-standard and a waste of their time.

Keep reading here...


It was a busy crazy week at work last week - hence the reason why the posts didn't happen. We've been under-staffed due to people being away on leave so whenever I got home I just wanted to stop my brain from working. I polished off the first part of Glee and watched a couple of movies on the nights I wasn't out.

My little niece Bridie also was rushed to hospital with a lung infection so that didn't help with the distractions. She is fine now - it was just a little scare.

I'm going to attempt to keep a bit more up to date this week. It’s hard to stay motivated during the cold but I’ll push through it.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Why I Love: The quintessential villain

You know when you watch a movie and the villain is just so perfect that you love to hate them? I’ve been finding myself more and more obsessed with these characters in movies. They are charming, suave, sarcastic and super cool. They usually pop up in comic book adaptations, blockbusters and sometimes in unexpected places.

I have noticed over the past few years a couple of actors who seem to personify that quintessential villain better than any other in recent times. You usually don’t know their names but once you see their face you’ll have that “light bulb” moment and realise who they are.

Mark Strong is one such actor.


I started to notice Mark Strong after being in London. I saw a little movie called Stardust where he played the evil brother Septimus to absolute perfection that ever since then I’ve been excited to see what villain or character he’s going to play next.

You know him – I know you’ve seen him but you’re thinking that the name doesn’t ring a bell. Well that’s the beauty of these villains – once you notice them and really pay attention, you’ll never forget them.

Sherlock Holmes, Wallpapers, cineypantalla

He was in Sherlock Holmes opposite Robert Downey JR as the evil Lord Blackwood, RocknRolla, Body of Lies with Leonardo DiCaprio and most recently Kick Ass. He’s set to shine as the baddie in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and I for one am very excited about this. It’s about time people start to remember his name.

You should do yourself a favour and check out some of his back catalogue – familiarise yourself with his work. You won’t be disappointed.

Someone else who I love to see play a villain is Sam Rockwell – I know you all know this name. I’ve just finished watching him as the baddy in Iron Man 2 but I’ll always love him for the way he tricks those darling Charlies Angels in the first movie adaptation with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Lui. Even more so for his sweet sweet moves:

And of course let's not forget the greatest villain on TV - Zachary Quinto as Sylar in Heroes

Who do you love watching play the villain?

I know there's a lot but I've found lately that my favourite villains are the ones with these characteristics - it makes their evil-ness just that bit more evil.

Glitter Sparks & Happynes
x x x

Monday, May 03, 2010

Music Mondays: Rooney Interview

About 2 weeks ago on twitter I noticed a post from Robert Schwartzman (lead singer from the band Rooney) offering email interviews for anyone with an interest in their music who writes for a blog (be it their own or an online music source). Being a blogger (eek) and a big fan of the music that Rooney produce I decided to send through some questions to see what breaking out and releasing their new album without a major record label is like.


Fact file:

Who: Rooney are a 4 piece indie-rock band from Southern California consisting of singer and bassist Robert Schwartzman, keyboard player / vocalist Louie Stephens, guitarist / vocalist Taylor Locke, and drummer / vocalist Ned Brower
What: They are releasing their third LP on June 8th titled "Eureka" on their own label California Dreamin' Records
You may have seen them: "Sh-sh-Shakin'" on an episode of The OC or Robert and Ned were in the movie The Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway
Hits: Shakin', Blueside, When Did Your Heart Go Missing?, I Should Have Been After You

Describe your band in 5 words.
Melodic, catchy, colourful, harmony, rhythmic

Can you tell me a bit about how your band formed and what success within this band now means after 10 years.
We met in high school in 1999 and starting jamming in Taylor's garage as much as we could. We played mostly covers and a few originals I had worked up. I didn't intend on starting a band or being the lead singer of the band, but it just happened. We played around town on the weekends and promoted the shows at our high schools. We put flyers everywhere and sold tickets to people we knew just to get some stage time. We opened for local bands and built up a solid following in the Southern California area pretty quickly. We made EP's and T-shirts and had a nice little operation going before we got signed by a major label. Our goal was to make an album and tour. We were signed in 2002 and hit the road that Summer with Weezer. That fall, we were asked to out by The Strokes. It all started coming together after that. We've been a touring band since then and we're about to release our third album.

Success is a subjective thing. It was a success to get a record deal, it was a success to make an album in a big studio, it was a success to tour with bands we loved and to tour in a bus, it was a success to get an album in stores. Sometimes I feel like a failure, that I'm not doing enough for my band or that I've taken the wrong path. Sometimes I feel like I succeeded and I sleep well at night. It goes up and down and all depends on what's happening at a certain time in my life. Looking back, I see how lucky and successful we've been as a band given this very competitive and undefined business I'm in.

When did you first start playing music?
I started playing piano and guitar in sixth grade and studio for a few years. But I was always excited to try to figure out the chords to songs I heard on the radio or songs I listened to constantly at home.

Have you been in any other bands?
Rooney is my first band. We started in High School and the whole starting a band thing was unexpected. I wasn't planning on being in a band as a profession, but it all just started building and I found myself deep in the music business.

When did you realize you wanted to play music for a living?
I think I'm just realizing it now. I've been working on many projects while we've been off cycle and I'm finding a new love for those processes. I love creating something from nothing, so it doesn't matter what it is, I just like the feeling.


Tell us a bit about your new album "Eureka". What can we expect?
I'm really proud of the album. We made it on our own, no label, no producer, no engineer. Just the five of us throwing ideas on the table. We had a bunch of songs to choose from and I feel we picked the best ones. The album has different sides to it, different kinds of songs, vibes, rhythmic grooves. It's upbeat and exciting and also has some heartfelt and moody songs. It's consistent from top to bottom and it sounds like Rooney. We've matured over the years and we've taken chances on our approach to the making and release of Eureka. I hope it's the first of many to come.

What did you do differently this time around with the new album? It's self produced - has this helped allow you to make the album the band wanted to make?
Yes, we felt a lot of pressure making the last album, Calling The World. We made it three times, so we have two albums that never saw the light of day. It was hard to part with those songs, but I think we ended up making a better album. I didn't want to be put under the gun like that ever again. I wanted to do it my way and not to have outside pressure and expectations weighing on my back. We're in a new and exciting time in our career and this album represents that for us.

It's been 3 years since you released your last full length album, you've had a member depart, a member become a father - has that changed the way you've been planning for this release?
A lot has changed since we started and a lot will change moving forward. Losing Matt was a bummer, but it's best for him and it's probably best for us. The four remaining members are very motivated and happy to making music in Rooney. We believe in what we do and want to continue to grow. Ned is now a Father and it's something we all knew was coming. He's all about Rooney, the cheerleader in the band. He doesn't want to slow us down and is gonna do the best he can to manage his time away from home. Everyone wants to work hard to promote the album, so I think it's affecting our release plans. We've been doing this for almost eleven years, so we're used to it.

You have a US tour this summer and I know you've mentioned overseas (I assume - Europe and the UK), can Australia hope to be added to your touring schedule soon?
We've never toured in Australia. Don't ask me why; I'm not happy about it. The label in Australia never did anything to promote us there, so we're kind of stuck. It's also pricey to tour there; it's pricey to tour anywhere. We're either need a huge following there or a label that believes in what we do and wants to work our music. I hope we'll make it there one day!

And just a quick questionnaire:
Colour? Blue
Song of the moment? Tears in the Morning by The Beach Boys
Rooney song? I Can't Get Enough
Rooney album? Eureka!
Most played song on your iTunes/music player? Love You Inside Out by The Bee Gees
Place to eat? Osteria Mamma...and PF Changs (weird, I know, but I like it)

Rooney are about to head off on a big North American tour in June and July and will be touring with Hanson (yep) in August across North America. You can buy pre-sale tickets here and pre-order their new album "Eureka" from here.

Follow Rooney on twitter - and follow Robert on twitter

You can also help spread the word by joining their street team (click on the below image). Since they're doing it themselves this time I felt it was necessary to share this link.
I strongly suggest you check them out and keep an eye out for their new album. I have listened to Rooney for about 7 years and their music has always made me smile - it reminds me of summertime. Their music is infectious, fun and happy and you'll feel better knowing that you have it to go back to whenever you feel blue.
I wish there were more Australian fans that I knew of out there so that we could band together and show their local record label that this is one band to care about. They are a powerhouse live (I was lucky to have seen them 3 times while I lived in London back in '07) and a bunch of really nice guys.

"She's a dreamer, That was too real to ever be fake.
That was too strong to ever be forgotten, That girl has love"

I'd like to thank Robert for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope I've introduced some of you to a new favourite band.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

P.S - I thought I'd start a regular feature here - Music Mondays. This will be my day to bring to your attention bands/artist whom I love and adore and try to help highlight some new music to you. Let me know what you think (they won't always be interviews but I thought this one was a perfect start).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Travel Stories: Malaysia


I think my brain has finally caught up with my body this week. I have been home for about 3 days now but I couldn't get the words I needed out.

Where was I? I was on a work trip to Malaysia staying 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur and I then spent 2 nights in Langkawi. This was a new thing for me - my first "educational" trip that I have been offered and my first time travelling in Asia.

For those of you wondering where Malaysia is then wikipedia says - Malaysia is a country in South-East Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. West (peninsular) Malaysia shares a border with Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (the 'second link') to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.

For me Malaysia was an eye-opening experience. As a travel agent I send people to Asia all the time and they rave about the beauty, affordability and shopping. To me Asia has always been a stopover to somewhere better - to the UK and Europe and I have only ever spent time in airports along the way. I now think differently. I knew I was going to love my time there when on my first day a girl in a shop told me my hair was "like Barbie" - I don't know what Barbie she looks at that has red hair.

Malaysia is a hot and humid little place but it somewhere that has so much to offer. It's a mix of old and new and modern and traditional. There are new fresh buildings mixed with old dilapidated buildings. I was surprised by just how good the shopping was (and how cheap) and how quickly the landscape changes - you can go from city to jungle in less than 30 minutes.


I was on a trip with 11 other Flighty strangers (I kind of knew 3 of them as they are in the same area as me) who were all lovely and we had a fantastic time wandering around, having fish eat dead skin off our feet (!), eating, drinking, shopping, going on indoor rollercoaster's, hanging by the pool, hanging by the pool bars, eating, haggling in China Town, drinking cocktails that tasted like dirt (oh wait - that was only me), people watching, dancing with Japanese tourists, singing karaoke, nature walking, cable car-ing up into the clouds, sleeping in hotel lobbies (hello Westin Langkawi and your comfy couches), looking at hotel rooms we can't afford, watching female "masseurs" proposition people on the street, feeling too lame for 5 star karaoke, getting caught in torrential down pours, all you can eat seafood grills and relishing the air conditioning.


It was a whirlwind trip but it was a super fun trip - I have learnt that I would love to visit more of Asia after my planned Africa expedition next year. Asia has intrigued me and I'll be ready to see more soon.
Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

P.S I have a few exciting posts coming this week - including my interview with Robert Schwartzman from the band Rooney (!). Keep your eyes peeled!