Tea and Strawberries with The Renegade Collective

Renegade Collective with Tea and Strawberries

It’s almost the end of the week and (thankfully!) almost the end of my bout with the flu. All that remains is a tad bit of languor and this annoying lingering cough. I’m super glad to have this Friday off work (and Monday too, as it is my birthday weekend! Hooray!) so I can do nothing but rest, recuperate and get back into the swing of things. And read my copy of the Renegade Collective while sipping chamomile tea and eating sweet, sweet strawberries.

I’ve been hearing about the Renegade Collective lately but it wasn’t until this week that I saw the magazine’s 13th issue at a news stand. I picked it up and started flipping through it. Right away, I saw features on Maria Popova, Missy Copeland, Bianca Cheah of Sporteluxe, costume designer Michael Wilkinson, travel blogger Lisa Wang and heaps more. I thought to myself, “Okay, I gotta buy this right away!”

Renegade Collective Marcel Proust Quote

Renegade Collective 2

The first thing that jumped out at me about Renegade Collective wasn’t the image of Maria Sharapova on the front cover or the black words scrawled all around her like ‘WRITE’, ‘Be Curious’ or ‘Think BIG’. To be honest, those words were just black scrawls that I didn’t really take in at first. But what jumped out at me is the Renegade Collective’s tagline at the top which read in smaller, subtler black print: game changers/thought leaders/rule breakers/style makers. In other words, what Renegade Collective is about – a magazine which features people, brands and organisations that inspire, create, transform, change and lead the world they live in.

Renegade Collective Maria Popova

I’m pretty excited about my first copy and I’ve not finished reading through it yet – there’s so much to read and look at and take notes about! I get inspired just flipping through it. If you haven’t got one yet, head out and get their latest issue – or head onto their website which is just as comprehensive and engaging as its print sister.

Renegade Collective Sporteluxe

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A Conversation With Amanda from Wit & Whistle

Wit and Whistle Process and Workspace

Welcome to the revival of the Conversations series at the Salonniere’s Apartments!

A little bit of background: I first envisioned the Conversations series as a series of interviews with artists, writers and other folk who inspire me with their passion and their work. Also, as a way of letting me poke around and ask questions of the people I admire!

My first ever interview was a Conversation with Taylor aka The Style Gent, a fellow blogger, personal stylist and a truly inspirational gentleman. Unfortunately, right after that, the Conversations series was forced to take a backseat for well over a year now as I worked on redesigning The Salonniere’s Apartments, with the help of the amazing designer Rashi Birla, and finding my own niche and voice in the blogosphere world. Now that I feel far more confident and happier about the direction in which The Salonniere’s Apartments is going, I can’t wait to start the Conversation series once more!

Now, without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Amanda of Wit & Whistle, our first Conversationalist of the brand-new, revitalised The Salonniere’s Apartments! READ MORE

Writing Wednesday: “Lock Up Your Libraries If You Like”

Virginia Woolf - Lock Up Your Libraries

Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling Book Cover

I first heard about The Queen of the Tearling when I heard Emma Watson was going to play the lead role in the movie adaptation, a role she was reluctant to take at first, not wanting to sign up for another big franchise so soon after Harry Potter, but then found, when she started reading the book, that she “couldn’t put the bloody thing down.” Being both an Emma Watson fan and a young adult fantasy book fan, I went straight onto Tor.com (a truly dangerous SF & Fantasy website just because it is so chockfull of amazing, original short stories, funny and fantastic blog posts, and always causes my to-be-read list to grow in such a quick and dizzying manner that I know I must leave this site as quickly as I can before the list swells like a tsunami wave and overwhelms me in the best possible way) and read the excerpt of The Queen of the Tearling there. And knew at once that I was hooked. READ MORE

Inspiration: No Excuses

No Excuse - Florence Nightingale

Week in Training (August 11th to 17th)

Swimming accessories - flippers and kickboard

Prep work and illnesses while training:

I’m a little bummed out because while this week started off nice and strong training-wise, it soon petered out to three days straight of no exercise because I came down with a really bad sore throat and a fever. Consequently, I spent Friday and Saturday mainly tossing and turning in my bed and swallowing mouthfuls of Panadeine and Vitamin C. It was a shame because the weather was really fantastic on both days and I couldn’t go out and enjoy it at all. Bummer! And I didn’t get in a long run on Saturday either which worries me because I really wanted to ahead of next week’s 12km for the City to Surf Race. So double bummer!

The only thing that cheers me up is because I’ve known I’ve put in so many weeks of training in running this year, I still feel capable of doing a 12km run next week even if I haven’t done much training in the last few weeks. I just won’t be as fast or as strong as I otherwise would be. So the moral of the story is – put in your practice and hard yards while you can because you never know when something will happen to interrupt your training later down the road – say, illness or bad weather or social/work commitments, whatever. At least, if anything happens to interrupt your training later on, you know you’ve at least got those earlier weeks of prep under your sleeve and you’ll be thankful for them! READ MORE

Fashion Inspiration: Margaret Zhang

Margaret Zhang 1

Margaret Zhang in Isabel Marant Margaret Zhang in Michael Kors READ MORE

Writing Inspiration: There Is No Greater Agony Than Bearing An Untold Story Inside You

No Greater Agony - Maya Angelou

Five Tips from Generation Iron on Story Crafting

Kai Greene Generation Iron

The other weekend when we went down to Margaret River, after we were all wined out and marshmallowed out, sitting mellow in front of the roaring fire in the hearth, one of my friends suggested putting on a movie to watch. Well, actually, first we watched Legoland. Then we watched the bodybuilding documentary Generation Iron.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about watching a documentary about bodybuilders. It’s not usually something I’d pick for a Saturday night movie. So it was a pleasant surprise when Generation Iron turned out to be a pretty interesting show, hooking all of us in right from the start to the finish. (In fact, I’d even go so far as to say I liked it better than Legoland, which I actually found a little disappointing after all the hype and its super-cute, super funny trailer). Narrated by Mickey Rourke, the show follows the lives of seven top bodybuilders as they train in preparation for the coveted Mr Olympia title in 2012.

To my surprise, Generation Iron and its characters stayed with me for quite some time after we had finished watching the show and I started wondering just what was it about this film that interested me so much. I’ve seen one or two documentaries about bodybuilding but with all of them, I usually stopped watching them after the first five or 10 minutes because they weren’t as interesting or as compelling as Generation Iron. When I took a further look at just what it was that made Generation Iron stand out, I realised that it had a lot to do with the way its creators crafted the storytelling of the show. I then realised that here were some things that we writers could learn from the creators of Generation Iron about creating a well-told story and I thought I’d share them here: READ MORE

Bread in Common

Bread in Common

Bread in Common 2

Bread in Common 3

On the weekend, I met up with a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in ages along with her adorable four-year-old son. We arranged to meet at Bread in Common, a restaurant in Fremantle both of us haven’t been to and have been dying to try since it opened. I mean, the name alone… Bread in Common. How cute is it? And of course we had to have bread while we were at Bread in Common! READ MORE