Category Archives: Personal development

Self help and personal development

Styling your home; getting your property ready for the market

The traditional Spring selling season is in full swing here in Melbourne and while it may not be the strongest property market for everyone, first home buyers are set to snap up a bargain. However, with the finale of The Block on Sunday night (a renovation reality show for all of our non-Australian readers), inspiration to renovate looks rather appealing. 

Whether you’re getting your home ready for sale, fancy a little spruce up, or are scouring the market for a new home we have a few titles that may make the process a little easier and certainly more fun!

 

The House That Pinterest Built by Diane Keaton

This book is a go-to reference for all those seeking to embark on the creation of home. The House that Pinterest Built defines what home and house mean to the celebrated movie star, who is known for her love affair with houses and design. Filled with ideas that reveal a personal yet engaging aesthetic, this volume includes compelling photos from Keaton’s past homes and those she admires, as well as a multitude of details from every corner of those spaces and objects that excite and inspire the house designer and dreamer. Dramatic staircases and magical light fixtures, film stills and book covers, pottery and art drawn from the visual treasure trove known as Pinterest and Keaton’s private collection, as she creates and designs her newest house. Beyond the interior, she explores curb appeal and environmental sensitivity, always with an eye to making home the way it should be: a place of tranquillity, a place where one is restored, and where one returns to dream again and again.

 

Homebody : A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

In this beautiful book, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will give you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave. 

 

Make the Home you Love by Fiona McPhillips

After completing her own home renovation and extension, Fiona McPhillips, author, journalist and interiors fanatic, was inspired to bring together everything she learned along the way. In collaboration with three award-winning architects, Fiona provides you with the most holistic approach to your design and build. A practical step-by-step guide to surviving the transformation of your home, taking the reader from the design stage, through the planning process to building, decorating and finishing touches. The balance of personal stories and professional advice makes this an accessible and inspiring guide to renovation. Filled with photographs of real homes, this books is bursting with great ideas and will no doubt inspire you to make the home you love. 

 

Renovating for Profit by Cherie Barber

At last a highly illustrated, practical book that renovators will love – Renovating for Profit reveals property expert Cherie Barber’s secret methods for renovating property to turn a profit. Covering budgeting, time-saving plans, timelines and successful use of colour and space, Cherie shows you how to avoid all the common mistakes. She uses real-life examples and before-and-after pictures, to explain they key areas you need to address (and those that you can ignore as they won’t influence a potential buyer). Cherie’s proven, step-by-step approach is shown over 90 renovation projects, featuring all types of homes from flats to houses to cabins. 

 

Home Staging That Works by Starr Osbourne

Want to sell your home at a premium price? Never mind simply tidying up: an amazing 91% of real estate professionals say professional staging is the way to go. But sure enough, hiring a staging consultant will cost you. Thankfully, you can now get all the secrets and techniques the pros don’t want you to know, from one of America’s most successful staging experts. Home Staging That Works shows you how to turn any home into a showpiece that buyers will be fighting over. With specific recommendations on what to do, keep, chuck, fix, paint, replace, avoid, update, show, hide, highlight, and more, you’ll learn how to: Focus on your potential buyers’ tastes (not your own), create curb appeal, drive Internet interest with photos that flatter your home, de-clutter and pre-pack at the same time, clean and repair your home without spending a fortune, and keep your home sale-ready―without being afraid to live in it. Complete with photographs of real-life before-and-after transformations, Home Staging That Works offers strategies for each room in your home, as well as conceptual approaches to bring the parts together beautifully. 

 

Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves by Emily Henderson

It’s easy to find your own style confidence once you know this secret: While decorating can take months and tons of money, styling often takes just minutes. Even a few little tweaks can transform the way your room feels. At the heart of Styled are Emily Henderson’s ten easy steps to styling any space. From editing out what you don’t love to repurposing what you can’t live without to arranging the most eye-catching vignettes on any surface, you’ll learn how to make your own style magic. With Emily’s style diagnostic, insider tips, and more than 1,000 unique ideas from 75 envy-inducing rooms, you’ll soon be styling like you were born to do it.

 

How to Buy a Home : From Debt to a Deposit by Emily Power

When Emily Power declared online, ‘I am 33 and my parents give me pocket money,’ she started a national debate about personal finances and the challenges of breaking into the property market. The Pocket Money Savings Plan has empowered Emily to move out of stifling debt and start scouting for her first property. It’s a radical solution that won’t work for everyone, so Emily, who is now editor of Domain magazines, has interviewed experts to devise other savings methods and household budgets to suit your situation, whether you’re single, or planning to buy as a couple or a family. How can you escape the debt trap? What is stamp duty? And where are the right suburbs to buy property? In the plain and motivating language of someone who’s been there and done that, Emily takes you through; how to save your pocket money, how to be a cheapskate and keep your friends, how to read the market like a pro, how to find the one and how to win the keys. Along the way, you’ll get tips on building a budget wardrobe, cooking healthy recipes on a shoestring, cheap and effective skincare products and economical wines. Before you know it, you too will be stepping over the threshold of your new home.

 

Enjoy!

Best Books for the MAMIL Dad This Father’s Day

This is one of our favourite dad stereotypes out there. You’ll recognise them, especially  if your dad is one, or your husband, or perhaps you. And their numbers are swelling at an alarming rate thanks to the Tour de France and it’s ridiculously long tv coverage time.

MAMILs are Middle Aged Men In Lycra who consider themselves a keen road cyclist, typically ride an expensive bike and wear the type of clothing which is generally associated with, and suits, professional cyclists…even though they are not.

So other than a bike, inner tubes or brightly coloured lycra, what can you buy the MAMIL for Father’s Day? Fear not, we have gathered a few literary suggestions for you…that’ll save you a trip to the bike shop.

The Modern MAMIL (Middle-aged Man in Lycra): A Cyclist’s A to Z by Spencer Wilson

There is a new breed emerging. They hunt in packs, dressed in unforgiving lycra. Their natural habitat is the local espresso bar, where they obsess about power-to-weight ratios and worship the latest high-tech road bikes. Desperate to shave a few milligrams for speed, they will spend thousands on anything made out of carbon – conveniently forgetting about their own waistlines. At night they dream they are Bradley Wiggins or Alberto Contador. They are the MAMILs, and they are taking over the world. The Modern MAMIL – a cyclist’s Notebook can be used as a training log, a place to record race dates, targets and route notes.

 

My Time: An Autobiography by Bradley Wiggins

On 22 July 2012 Bradley Wiggins made history as the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. Ten days later at the London Olympic Games he won the time trial to become his country’s most decorated Olympian. In an instant `Wiggo’, the kid from Kilburn, was a national hero. Two years previously, however, Wiggins had been staring into the abyss. His much-hyped attempt to conquer the 2010 Tour de France had ended in public humiliation. Poor results and indifferent form left him facing the sack from Team Sky. And then he was hit with the tragic news of the death of his granddad, George, the man who had raised him as a young boy. At rock bottom, Wiggins had to reach deep inside himself and find the strength to fight his way back. Outspoken, honest, intelligent and fearless, Wiggins has been hailed as the people’s champion. In My Time he tells the story of the remarkable journey that led him from his lowest ebb to win the world’s toughest race. In his own words he reveals the personal anguish that has driven him on and what it’s like behind the scenes at Team Sky: the brutal training regimes, the sacrifices and his views on his teammates and rivals. He talks too about his anger at the spectre of doping that pursues his sport, how he dealt with the rush of taking Olympic gold and above all what it takes to be the greatest.

 

The Cycling Jersey by Oliver Knight

Aside from the bikes themselves, the jersey – maillot or maglia – has become the most iconic symbol of cycling’s history, its proud teams and preeminent riders and most recently its fashion. There is a booming collectors market for vintage jerseys, and the finest quality traditional and retro manufacturers including De Marchi, Castelli and Rapha and are registering huge increases in sales. Sir Paul Smith features jerseys in his collections and designs them for the Grand Tours.

The Cycling Jersey is the result of one man’s passion for a piece of kit that defines cyclists the world over. Naturally the book has wonderful pictures of cycling jerseys (and lots of them), all presented in large, glossy, and colourful splendour.

 

Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder by Dave Barter

This is an anthology of thirty articles written by an amateur cyclist over a period of ten years. The collection exhibits the madness that engulfs those who descend into cycling obsession, celebrating the average cyclist living in a world defined by the pros. The writings range from fanciful musings concerning the Tao of single speeding to lengthy descriptions of end-to-end rides in Britain and Ireland. Mountain biking, road cycling and all sorts of other cycling events are chronicled along the way. Each is written in a lighthearted style designed to bring the reader into the author’s world which is often littered with incident and humour. Within the pages the reader will find a loose ticklist of events to ride, bikes to own and challenges to take on. Each described in the author’s own inimitable style.

 

And for the MAMIL who has no time to read, but will pop his bike up onto rollers in front of the tv we’ve found two great DVDs to gift.

 

Middle Aged Men In Lycra

During the week, they are white-collar professionals with responsible jobs, families and mortgages. Come the weekend, they transform into Lycra-clad super heroes; road warriors on expensive carbon framed bikes traveling in packs and competing with other males for dominance in the group. MAMIL is a feature length documentary that dares to enter this secret world of middle-aged men to uncover the reasons they take to the road. Narrated by Tour de France and cycling commentator, Phil Liggett.

 

 

 

 

Road to Roubaix

Road To Roubaix is a documentary on the most prestigious one-day cycling race in the world, Paris-Roubaix. First held in 1896, the race is a gruelling contest over 160 miles of narrow, cobbled farm roads in the Picardie and Norde-Pas-de-Calais regions of France with a finish in the historic Roubaix velodrome. Road to Roubaix is a visual narrative of an old-school, bare-knuckle clash of the finest athletes in the world with each other and one of the world’s most unforgiving sporting environments. The filmmakers tell the story of the riders, the fans, the mechanics, and the unpredictable landscape that is the setting for the Paris-Roubaix.

 

Happy Father’s Day to all of the MAMIL Dads!

Sinking into the world of podcasts

Podcasts can be a tricky medium. There is a fine line between feeling like you are part of a conversation and those speaking are including you and care about your views (even if they can’t hear you)…and then there’s the awkward ones where it feels as if you are listening in on a conversation that you really shouldn’t be.

Great podcasts make us think about something in a new light, or make us experience the wonderful joy of the belly laugh. Here are a few of our favourites that help us do just that.

 

Wilosophy

We’re big fans of Wil Anderson and his comedy…and our marketing team loves him on ABC’s Gruen. In his podcast, Wilosophy, Wil Anderson asks smart people stupid questions and tries to find out the meaning of life. Or something like that.

 

 

The Weekly Planet 

The Weekly Planet covers all things movies, TV shows and comics as well as news, reviews and general nonsense related to comic book movies.

 

 

Revisionist History

Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past, be it an event, a person, an idea, even a song and then asks whether we got it right the first time.

Malcom Gladwell is an international best seller who has written enough books to fill  bookshelf (click here for a list of his titles). David and Goliath is his latest one which poses the question: What if everything we thought about power was wrong?

Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a pebble and a sling-and ever since, the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David’s victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn’t have won.
Or should he?
Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means endure any number of  setbacks.

 

Probably Science

Professional comedians with so-so STEM pedigrees take you through ideas in science…incompetently. Featuring Matt Kirshen, Andy Wood and a variety of great guests – last week they spoke with Dean Burnett who is a neuroscientist, comedian, blogger and author of the new book Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From, and Why.

The pursuit of happiness is one of the most common and enduring quests of human life. It’s what drives us to get a job, fall in love, watch stand-up comedy, go to therapy, have questionable obsessions, and come home at the end of the day. But where does happiness come from, and why do we need it so much? Is lasting, permanent happiness possible or should it be? And what does any of this have to do with the brain?

Happy Brain elucidates our understanding of what happiness actually is, where it comes from, and what exactly is going on in our brains when we’re in a cheery state.

 

The Dollop 

The Dollop is a bi-weekly American History Podcast. Every week, Dave Anthony reads a story to his friend, Gareth Reynolds, who has no idea what the topic is going to be about…and they have just launched a new book: The United States of Absurdity: Untold stories from American history.

The United States of Absurdity presents short, informative, and hilarious stories of the most outlandish (but true) people, events, and more from United States history. Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds cover the weird stories you didn’t learn in history class, such as 10-Cent Beer Night, the Jackson Cheese, and the Kentucky Meat Shower, accompanied by full-page illustrations that bring each historical “milestone” to life in full colour.

 

 

Ted Radio Hour

The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centred on a common theme such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections.

 

Hip Hop Saved My Life

Romesh Ranganathan is an award winning comedian who has a gift for making interviewees spill personal stories and share their recollections of hip-hop. This podcast consistently makes us laugh by delivering great stories.

 

 

You can head to our Facebook page for further podcast recommendations by the Booko community. Enjoy!

Surviving the Australian Winter Without Hibernating

Winter has definitely arrived in Melbourne; with mornings at a record low and frost on the lawn staying home seems like the best way to survive the winter. But where’s the fun in that? All over the country cities play host to amazing events, gallery showcases and theatre extravaganzas that make it worth your while stepping out into the wintery blast.

Here are our top picks to get you out of the house this winter.

…for those of you that aren’t lucky enough to be feeling the cold here in Australia… don’t worry, next week we will be looking at what’s on in the rest of the world… and for those of you that do choose to stay indoors, we have paired these amazing events with a book version… just so you don’t miss out completely.

Melbourne, Victoria


MoMA at NGV

This Winter the National Gallery of Victoria, is working in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presenting MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will be showcasing over 200 key works of the Museum’s iconic collection, including works by van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Picasso, Boccioni, Dalí and Kahlo. Click through the link here to book tickets and read more about the world of contemporary art.

 

 

 

 

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N

This is a must-see attraction on Melbourne’s events calendar this Winter with all-new features and experiences in its very own purpose-built structure at the Paddock, Federation Square. Australia’s first Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N experience integrates science and modern technology with movie-based props. As a training agent of S.T.A.T.I.O.N you can train like an Avenger and delve into the history behind your favourite super heroes while checking out their equipment such as Captain America’s uniform and shield, Iron Man’s MK 45 suit, The Hulkbuster suit and Thor’s mighty hammer.

Find your favourite Marvel Books here.

 

 

The Wizard of Oz

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting revision of the all-time classic. This version has been developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay and contains all of the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. You’ll get to rediscover the story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat, including songs like Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Over the Rainbow, Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead, If I Only Had a Heart, We’re Off to See The Wizard and The Merry Old Land of Oz…makes you want to pop on a pair of sparkly red slippers!

 

 

Sydney, New South Wales

The Bledisloe Cup

The Bledisloe Cup returns to Sydney this winter and there is only one Test match being played on Australian soil this year so this is your chance to see the biggest Trans-Tasman battle on the sporting calendar live. After beating the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup match of 2017, the Wallabies will be looking to go one step better to regain the cup in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Australia 

Bonjour Barossa

A Barossa winery tour with friends to warm the cockles of your heart in Winter. Sounds prefect! How about adding some of South Australia’s best French artisan breads, chocolate, macarons, crepes and croissants to go with your glass of Shiraz. Get ready to don your beret and striped jumper, Bonjour Barossa, Seppeltsfield’s French Festival, is returning on Sunday 8th July. Bonjour Barossa sees the Seppeltsfield estate reimagined into a Parisian style marketplace, bringing together food, wine and homeware vendors to the backdrop of French themed music and entertainment.

 

 

 

Canberra 

The Truffle Festival

Indulge in a feast of the senses and join in the fun as The Truffle Festival celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Each year from June to August more than 250 individual events are held across the Canberra region showcasing the region’s fresh Black Winter Truffle. Taste and experience the magic of these highly-prized gems. Indulge in the special flavours and aromas of truffle dishes at local restaurants and cafes. Join a hunt and see for yourself how the talented dogs unearth truffles. Learn from the chefs and other truffle experts at a cooking class or demonstration, or pop along to a market and pick up some truffle delights for yourself. The Truffle Festival is the ultimate foodie festival, and a fabulous celebration of winter in the Canberra region.

 

 

Tasmania

Whisky Week

This is one week that will warm you up in chilly Tassie. The 2018 Tasmanian Whisky Week takes place from Monday 13th through to Sunday 19th August, with industry events held across seven days in many Tasmanian distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels. Throughout the week distilleries open their doors to host behind-the-scenes tours to meet the distillers in person, provide access to unreleased whiskies, and offer dining opportunities where distilleries (both old and new) will recount the successes, challenges and events that have shaped who they are today.

 

 

Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland

Okay, so it’s not as cold in these states as some other parts of Australia so when the temperature is all little too much perhaps you could escape the winter blues to enjoy Broome’s sunshine, or the Gold Coast’s or Darwin’s.

Enjoy!