Sunday, November 24, 2013


Reading:  I just finished reading Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison. Yes the popular netflix melodrama is a true story, and yes the story is just as good.  My advice -- watch season 1 before you delve into the book. I found the story more interesting when I was able to compare the real life people to the characters in the show.

Listening to: quiet. I had an eighties kick about a week back, and could not stop listening to New Order radio on Pandora, but this week I've been gravitating towards nothing.  I'm kind of enjoying listening to the noises around the house and the click clack of the keyboard. Some mornings I didn't even put my headphones in just so I could listen to what was going on around me. It's been nice, but I'm sure Beyonce radio will lure me back to music again at some point soon. hah

Thinking about: Miguel. Oh man I miss that guy.  He's been in the States for the last week on a little vacation, and I can't stop thinking about him. It's really nice that he was able to go back home for a short while, and I'm really happy for him, but it feels so weird without him here. We've been inseparable for the last three years so him being across the world feels like I'm missing a limb. But hey! It's also been really good too. I've had lots and lots of  'me' time, have been enjoying eating nothing but toast or mushrooms for dinner, and have spent a few of the nights out with friends. It's been a really fun week, and I have another good one ahead of me, but I still can't wait to see my guy.

Watching: Documentaries up the wazoo. Miguel and I saw a really great one about wine sommeliers called Somm that we highly recommend. I also love this one about Diana Vreeland and I'm currently (as in right now!) watching some CNN insider on Costco. 

Loving: My freshly cleaned kitchen, hanging out with Todd & Carla after dinner, sister dates,  pops of peachy pink, Magner's honey apple cider and my new vintage tea towel (pictured above.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Melbourne Cup 2013

taken from my instagram @praxsmiles
Melbourne Cup happened this past Tuesday, and I have to say that it was the best one yet! If you've been following a while you know that I pretty much post about it every single year. For those that don't know, Melbourne Cup is an annual horse race that takes place in well, Melbourne and is dubbed 'The Race that Stops the Nation.' That's because when it starts at 3 PM sharp, pretty much the whole country tunes in waiting with bated breath to see if their horse will win.

Most places put on a decent spread with lots of yummy nibbles and champagne flowing freely. Every year since I've been here, I've been fortunate enough to watch the Cup in an office that makes a day out of it. Ladies don a dress and pull out their 'headgear' and men dress smartly. All morning long $2 sweeps are being handed out and people rush out of the office and into the nearest TAB to place a more substantial bet.

For the past 3 years, I've always forgone the headgear/fascinator and just grabbed the most appropriate 'tea-time looking' dress I've owned. I loved getting into the festivities of it, but I've never bought a fascinator or read up on any of the horses.  I've always kinda just went with it... that is, until this year.

After HR announced that the best dressed male and female would win a prize, I knew I was going to really get into the spirit of it.  Luckily I had this pink dress (found on clearance for $20 at Myer!) hanging in my closet, that would be perfect for the occasion.  I also managed to find a fascinator for sale at chicabootie just the night before. I subsequently spent the rest of that night 'googling' how to wear this monstrously large thing on my head without looking like a fool.  Turns out there aren't that many tutorials on 'horse race attire,' so I just had to wing it.

I ended up really happy with how the final product turned out, so I made my way to the nearest TAB to bet on my horse of choice. I bet a grand total of $2.50 for my horse, Red Cadeaux to place, and continued on to work. When the big race came, I held onto my ticket tight, hoping beyond hope that Red Cadeaux would at least place -- and he did! Once the races were over, announcements were made for the best dressed female. And guess what?! I WON! They handed me a super delicious bottle of red wine, and I was so happy.

My horse won second place and I won best dressed. I couldn't have asked for a better Melbourne Cup.

Want to see past Cups? Year 1, Year 2 & Year 3.

*all photos taken by A.G. at the office!