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Another awesome guest post from the wonderful Hilary
It”s one of those news items that spread like wildfire. It”s one of those things that make grown women scream like 10 years olds being told they are getting a pony ride….It”s one of those magic moments that have to be embraced. That”s right, the Australian Women”s Weekly Children”s Birthday Cake Book has been re-issued.
Originally printed in 1980, this gem has been keeping New Zealand and Australian children happy for years. It”s not just a book, it”s a cultural icon.
Many childhood hours were spent droooling over pages, lapping up the glorious multi-colour arrangements of lollies and icing. Making the grave decision of what cake to have for their next birthday.
It”s so much like another part of the family that people rarely throw them out. I have scoured op-shops, I have looked at
second hand book stalls. I have saved searches on Trademe. I have tried for years to find a copy – but they are rarer than gold.
So when I heard the news yesterday I nearly cried – it”s been re-released in its original format, and retailing for a mere $16.95. At this price, and at this level of fandom, it”s not going to be on shelves for long.
So I ran out an bought one and now I sit here fawning the pages of my child hood dreams, meringue hearts, ballerinas, dolly vardens, little Miss Muffets, bunny rabbits and butterflies.
I”m just waiting for the next occasion to arise to create my PPP dream cakes. Be it a birthday, house warming, new shoes celebration or any other reason. And that”s the joy of being a PPP gal, there”s ALWAYS reason for delicious, beautiful cakes
This photo is a cake I made for my birthday two weeks ago – inspired by my memories of the book.
I came across this while reading an old copy of In Style (August 2008) in the bath last night:
“You have to work with what you”ve got,” the actress says of beauty rituals. “Don”t judge what you have, just love it.”
“Don”t judge what you have, just love it” would work nicely as a Surgeon General”s health warning
Recently the Miss Universe New Zealand pageant was held in Wellington, and I wrote about it rather snarkily on the Wellingtonista. I got to talking to one of the judges, Jack Yan from Lucire at Hooch last week, where he was working the room as only a mayoral candidate would do. I thought that regardless of how I personally feel about “beauty” pageants, it would be interesting to hear an insider”s perspective. Jack has very kindly provided us with this piece. Enjoy!
Ria van Dyke was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2010 at the Duxton Hotel on June 5. It was a very Wellington event: classy, with a great, supportive crowd, and even a nice, fine June day to boot.
Wellington hasn’t had a Miss Universe New Zealand pageant for some 20 years, and in typical capital fashion, we were marvellous hosts. Not only did the Duxton come to the party, the Museum Hotel hosted the girls and two of the judges, and the Bolton Hotel helped with inner-city car parking. Farmers Lambton Quay played host to an afternoon where the contestants had a chance to work in the beauty department. Mish Mosh on Courtenay Place gave the contestants a chance to chill out the night before the interviews. Johnsonville Shopping Centre and Kilmarnock Home in Berhampore gave everyone extra opportunities to contact members of the public. Finally, the contestants literally stopped Parliament during one of their tours as they stepped in to the gallery.
This was the most cooperative, professional and flash Miss Universe New Zealand I’ve ever judged—and I now have four of these events under my belt. That’s not counting some of the work I’ve done for Miss Sweden over the years. It’s not inter-city rivalry talking. Somehow, Wellington just inspired more decency. There were no girls in cliques. Those who might have done what I call ‘the Auckland pageant circuit’ were far away from any folks who could have egged on any nastiness. Even the Wellington media—Matt McLean and Corinne Ambler from TVNZ, and Laura McQuillan from NZPA (We love Laura! She is our precious sparklepony! – Jo) —reported fairly without having any agenda. The radio stations—including the Breeze, X105 and Wellington-owned Groove 107·7 FM—interviewed various contestants.
Nightline attempted to critique the pageant on cultural diversity grounds, though the reality is that the national finals have no control over who is sent to us during the heats. I think having one Indian out of thirteen is roughly the proportion we have in New Zealand, while many contestants were melting pots that one would expect to see: Filipino, Chinese, Maori and Croat origins were present alongside the usual occidental ones of Portuguese, Spanish, French, Swiss and Anglo–Saxon.
Post-pageant, there were next to no sarky comments on the beauty blogs (We”re a bit slow – Jo). People liked Ria—and for once we didn’t have all the BS about the pageant being ‘rigged’ by its director. I know there are aspects of pageants that are anachronistic, stemming from the ideas of objectification. Or the media’s obsession with thin. They are both valid criticisms, each capable of occupying entire doctoral theses. However, I still maintain that any young woman can win, if she displays the sort of confidence Ria did, both on the final night and an earlier evening. Then,
she had to be interviewed by the five-strong judging panel in an Apprentice-style setting inside the Museum Hotel. Thanks to the more intellectual approach of the judges, there are pluses to this—namely the confidence the contestants gain. I’ve seen some go from nervous post-teens to confident young women.
I’m barred from discussing the judging in detail—sadly, I don’t make the rules on this one—but I can say that Ria impressed us strongly in the private interview session, where yours truly is said to be the ‘Simon Cowell’ of the pageant. I take exception to this description, as I have had no Botox. This year, I was joined again by Evana Patterson, an Auckland-based model scout who was, in fact, born here. She’s been with the pageant world for some time, so being my mayoral opponent’s niece is a coincidence. Carl Manderson of Salute in Lower Hutt and Samantha Hannah, stylist, joined us. Certainly not least, pageant veteran Dina Janse von Rensburg flew in from Auckland to round off the quintet.
My own interest is being on a judging panel to find the smartest, most capable young woman to represent New Zealand. Each year, I believe we’ve succeeded. Some cynics might say that I should turn a blind eye to pageants if I agree that they are based around a narrow definition of attractiveness, but I’d rather be in there to get us the brains to go with the beauty—inner and outer—than base this competition on looks exclusively. In fact, one former Miss New Zealand told me that many of her overseas competitors were, indeed, bimboes. That’s not the way I want Aotearoa to be seen. And bimbo is not a label that could ever be levelled at Ria—or, for that matter, Miss Wellington Regan Hillyer, studying for her M.Arch. at Vic, or Nafeesa Moses, who already has her MA. Ria’s own master’s area is on women’s studies in sociology, so if anyone’s aware of the relevance (or irrelevance) of pageantry in the modern world, it’s her. Love or hate pageants, they’re here and they’re experiencing a renaissance. And I believe we found the best winner in years who will do well in representing New Zealand at Miss Universe in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.
I”m a huge fan of
the Wellington Historical Costume Society. Those of you who have met the lovely Dreamstress at PPP parties will understand why. Leimomi is seriously awesome. So, it”s pretty safe to say that I am rather excited about an upcoming charity event which she”s hosting.
From the Streets of Pompeii to the Salons of Paris
Saturday, 19 June 2010 Time: 14:30 – 16:30
Location: St Andrews on the Terrace Description
Please join the Dreamstress and the Wellington Historical Costume Society for a fundraising fashion history extravaganza: From the Streets of Pompeii to the Salons of Paris- The Classical influence on Western Fashion.
Textile and fashion historian Leimomi Oakes will present a entertaining and informative talk on the way Greek and Roman art and fashion have influenced Western fashion from the 18th century to the 20th. The talk will be illustrated by 10 models in historically accurate recreations of period attire – from a 1770s robe a la francaise to a 1920s flapper dress. The talk will be fascinating, and the frocks will be fabulous – it should be an event to remember!
Proceeds to benefit the Wellington Free Ambulance. Tickets are $15 waged, $10 unwaged. Tickets will be available at the door, or can be purchased in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The big question, of course, is what should I wear to it?
This is the first guest post from our new contributor and we look forward to many more
Hi my name is Kate and I’m a 21 year old nana, my hobbies include; quilting, sewing, tea, cats, my husband, cooking, Antiques
Road Show, and I get a huge kick out of ironing everything. I also happen to not mind staying home on a Saturday night and going to bed at 10pm.
I got married when I was 19, was not pregnant or abstinent ( the answers to the generic questions which usually follow getting married young. You were thinking it!)
I am very lucky to be able to work with the intellectually disabled and I LOVE MY JOB.
I am passionate about most things in my life and can’t wait to start sharing some of it with you!!!
Remember Chelsea who let me do her make-up for her Midnight Note performance? Well, she's part of comedy trio called Little Moustache. They are performing in the Fringe Festival – I'm going along on Saturday, hope to see you there!
Little Moustache presents Laugh Experiences
Wednesday 24 February – Saturday 27 February
$15 full / $12 concession / $10 Fringe Addicts
Door where to buy viagra in canada sales or email The Fringe Bar to book
We like to have parties fairly regularly with you lovely pretties, try out new products and do a big clothes swap, but we’re aware the year is becoming incredibly busy already – like Amy and I haven’t actually managed to have a chance to sit down and talk for ages. That’s why I thought I’d run a poll. What date would suit you best for our next PPP gathering? You can vote for up to all six dates if you can make them all, or just pick the best option. Feel free to leave us comments with your opinions as well!
When shall we have the next Pretty Pretty Party & Clothing Swap?
- March 6 (55%, 6 Votes)
- March 27 (36%, 4 Votes)
- April 10 (27%, 3 Votes)
- March 13 (18%, 2 Votes)
- March 20 (18%, 2 Votes)
- April 3 (18%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 11
So, we did our swapsies, right? What’d we all get?
My secret santa sent me lovely-smelling Aromatherapy Company cocoa & vanilla hand cream, and a pohutakawa bath bomb which I look forward to using. She also sent me a pile of chocolate balls that I devoured very quickly. Thanks Cat!
So spill the beans here, everyone else.
MeganWegan has the best hair ever – curly and bobbed with lots of shine and moxy. But it’s been a rough road for her. Here’s the story of her hair and advice for curly girls everywhere…
When I was about ten, a girl asked me if my hair was a wig. Looking back, I can see why she did that, my hair was this horrible, curly, coarse, mousey mullet. And that stuck with me. I hated my curls. I pined for the hair I had as a child, wavey, glossy, blond locks. I was cute!
So, from the age of 13, when I grew out the mullet (and no, there exists no photos of that period of my life) til the age of 30, I had the same hair. It was varying lengths, and a multitude of colours, but it was almost always the same shape, and always always could be tied into a ponytail. I rarely wore my hair out, because it was too annoying, and too frizzy.
And then. Then I found Erin. I had been to Erin, at Glory a few times already, so I knew I trusted her. I knew I liked her. Not only did she like my curls, she knew how to cut them. And then one day I was sick of my hair. Horribly sick of it. And she said the magic words: “How do you feel about a shaggy bob?” And I felt excellent about that.
Until, that is, I saw exactly how much length she was taking off. More than half my hair. I’d no longer have the security of a bad hair day ponytail. I’d have to do it every morning, instead of just chucking it up. I had a fringe.
But here’s the thing. It’s so easy. It takes maybe five minutes longer than putting it up. Because it is cut for my curls, not in spite of them. It’s not a picture I saw in a magazine, that I wanted, that is impossible. I grew it longer for my friend’s wedding recently, and hated it. And it made me lazy, because I just could put it up again.
I spent 20 years buying expensive product. I don’t have to any more. I love Paul Mitchell Round Trip, but when I run out, I use a supermarket mousse, and it is fine.
So, ladies, the key is a good hairdresser. One who you trust, who understands your hair, and who will make you take risks. This is good advice for anyone, but especially for those of us with curly hair, because lots of hairdressers don’t get it. It took 30 years, it could have gone horribly wrong, but I finally love my curls.
We recently profiled Meg and her family”s wine label Durvillea. It”s summer time and holiday season and no doubt you”re going to be going to parties or hosting them yourself sometime soon and we reckon that Durvillea is a wonderful wine to accompany those activities (or even to sit inside drinking by yourself when it”s raining. But maybe that”s just me). So, exciting news! Those lovely Durvillea ladies want you to win some to make holiday entertaining easier!
Because Durvillea is a seaweed, we thought it would be great if you came up with an outfit inspired by seaweed. You can assemble a fantasy one on Polyvore, dress yourself up and take a photo, or draw a picture – we don”t mind how you enter as long as you do it! You”ve got until December 12 to get your entry into our comments section. The best submission will be chosen by a panel of experts and will win a mixed half case of lovely Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Two other entries will be drawn at random to win a consolation bottle.
To inspire you, here are the Polyvore sets that Amy and I put together. So get creating, because this wine is delicious and I”m tempted to keep it all to myself – but I won”t…
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