Can happiness be bought? To find out, Benjamin Wallace sampled the world’s most expensive products including a bottle of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 8 ounces of Kobe beef and the notorious Kopi Luwak coffee.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Gretchen Rubin is changing the world..and teaching us to be happy along the way.
With four New York Times bestsellers, a podcast, speaker engagements, and being the creator of the Four Tendencies framework…she’s a real life happiness expert!
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany: “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to a happiness project. With humour and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the year she spent test driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Rubin didn’t have the option to uproot herself -nor did she want to- instead, she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her and what didn’t.
Tackling the critical question “How do we change?”. Gretchen Rubin’s answer is simple; through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives. So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits? Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humour, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation. Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions.
One Sunday afternoon, as she unloaded the dishwasher, Gretchen Rubin felt hit by a wave of homesickness. Homesick why? She was standing right in her own kitchen. She felt homesick, she realised, with love for home itself. Of all the elements of a happy life, she thought, my home is the most important. In a flash, she decided to undertake a new happiness project, and this time, to focus on home. And what did she want from her home? A place that calmed her, and energised her. A place that, by making her feel safe, would free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wanted to be happier at home, she wanted to appreciate how much happiness was there already. So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year September through May to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love. In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time, and parenthood. Each month, Rubin tackled a different theme as she experimented with concrete, manageable resolutions and this time, she coaxed her family to try some resolutions as well.
Gretchen Rubin realised that by asking the seemingly dry question ‘How do I respond to expectations?’ we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behaviour, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively. More than 800,000 people have taken her online quiz (here’s the link), and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change. With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.
This is an amazing story of Oula who has been driving a mobile library in the Nordic Arctic for 40 years.
Librarians often go over and above their job description and are listeners, friends and more often than not, much needed human contact.
Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up and grow up to be brave women. We recommend you watch with wonderful #tedtalk by Caroline Paul.
Self-help books are a perfect example of why reading is an investment in yourself. There’s an inspirational author ready to guide you, whether you want to improve your health, your happiness, your finances or your professional success. The best ones offer a perfect balance between entertaining stories, intellectual challenge and emotional uplift. Here are 5 that are guaranteed conversation starters in 2018:
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning seems destined for pop-cultural attention – it’s a Scandinavian concept about living well (hygge 2.0?); it’s about decluttering (and shares similar philosophies with Marie “Spark Joy” Kondo); and it grabs our attention with its matter-of-factness about mortality. But more than that, it’s a really good idea! Margareta Magnusson introduces her readers to döstädning – sorting out your stuff before you die, rather than leaving the whole mess to your loved ones. Keep the items you care about, and give away or sell the others. Such decluttering can reduce stress, and is a good opportunity for reminiscing and curating your legacy. Margareta Magnusson’s gentle wit and wisdom makes this a surprisingly funny and thoroughly interesting book.
How to be Human: the Manual by Ruby Wax
A comedian, a neuroscientist and a monk meet up and talk…. this may sound like a joke, but instead is the basis of this manual on how our bodies, minds and brains interact to make us “human”. Ruby Wax is a comedian whose struggle with depression motivated her to gain a Master’s Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. In How to be Human, she has teamed up with a monk (an expert in our inner lives) and a neuroscientist (an expert on the brain) to explore the tough questions around how to find happiness in the modern world – evolution, thoughts, emotions, relationships, addictions, the future. Ruby’s wit and anecdotes bring it all together into a funny, readable, insightful and uplifting read – you can also look forward to the stage show version in the works!
Make Your Bed: Small Things that can Change your Life … and maybe the World by William H. McRaven
Make Your Bed started off as a speech given by Admiral William McRaven at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, where he reflected on some life lessons he learnt through basic Navy SEAL training. (Making your bed every morning was his first lesson. Even such a small task can motivate you to complete more tasks, and, at the end of a rough day, a made bed will offer you some solace.) The speech went viral, with many people inspired by his down-to-earth, tough-but-kind approach, particularly within the context of his highly distinguished, 37-year naval career. Make your Bed expands on the ideas in that speech to present ten life lessons in greater detail – these lessons will serve you well, whether you want to become a better person, succeed in business, or indeed change the world.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree: the Surprising Science Behind why Everything you Know about Success is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Baker
Barking up the Wrong Tree is a distillation of the enormously entertaining and thought-provoking blog of the same name, by Eric Barker. Here Eric applies the Mythbusters treatment to some age-old advice about success, such as “nice guys finish last” and “winners never quit, and quitters never win”. He argues that these maxims were not based on research, and presents scientific data that disprove or qualify them. With quirky examples ranging from pirates to Albert Einstein to serial killers, Barking up the Wrong Tree encourages us to challenge conventional wisdom, and forge our own paths to awesome lives.
The Happiness Plan by Elise Bialylew
The Happiness Plan is a one-month mindfulness meditation program that aims to help us experience greater happiness, focus and emotional balance. Its collection of exercises shows us how to incorporate mindfulness practice into our daily routine – even ten minutes’ worth each day can create positive changes in our physical and mental wellbeing. Elise Bialylew is a meditation teacher and life coach with a background in medicine and psychiatry, and her understanding of the science behind mindfulness informs her approach. The Happiness Plan also aims to support readers beyond the book itself, by offering access to guided meditations available through Elise’s website.