Deane & McLoughlin


Exercise = Creativity???

Friday, July 31, 2009

It is assumed that exercise is good for our mental health, but does it make us more creative?

Masses of recent research have convinced the majority of us that hitting the treadmill, going for a bike ride or doing anything that gets our heart racing significantly helps our mental health, in terms of being more alert and energetic. But how about creativity?

A recent article in anthill magazine examined this in a bit more detail but basically thought that given exercise is great for brains, surely it should also be good for creativity. They recruited a bunch of people and divided them into three groups. Group 1 did no exercise prior to completing a creativity task (I'm thinking lucky them). Group 2 completed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking, bike riding, swimming and running, and following this, completed a creativity task. Group 3 participated in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, however, they had to wait two hours before completing the creativity task.

Both group 2 and 3 performed significantly better on the creativity task than did the no-exercise group. As well as concluding that aerobic exercise enhances creativity, they also pointed out that the positive effects of this activity are somewhat enduring, and certainly last at least up to two hours after completing exercise - sort of like a good exercise hangover

There are many ways that you might like to apply this finding to your own life, however active or sedentary it currently is. Anthill magazine has a couple of suggestions such as incorporating exercise into your morning routine, create a lunchtime walking group at work and even running a mini-aerobics session right in the middle of your next meeting! (Appealing, I know-recognise the sarcasm) However, if you spend your days in a work environment like mine, the only exercise done during the day is in the 5 minutes break you take to walk to and from the convenience store to get several blocks of chocolate for the office.

Obviously this is not ideal. So. From now on, Im going to try to add a bit more exercise to my day just so I can be more creative. Hopefully it works...and maybe if I'm lucky I might be able to look like this at the same time!

Laura xxx


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A few essential items I am totally loving at the moment...

[A'kin] Rose an Geranium Pure Creamy Cleanser and Toner in One
(with Shea Butter and Vitamin B5): fresh and dewy skin (suitable for all skin types). I love this beautiful cleanser because it takes off my thickest, blackest mascara without leaving smudgy panda eyes. Splodge a bit onto a cotton make-up pad and wipe the night off. Works just as well in the shower. Oh and it's almost all natural and free from sulfates and parabens!

Aesop Rose Hair and Scalp Moisturising Masque (with Rose Petal, Beta Carotene and Lavender Stem) This is the only hair mask that I've ever been totally satisfied with. Leave this rich masque on for half an hour (ideally after shampooing (with Aesop Sage Cleansing Shampoo), but if you're lazy like me then just slather it on for 30 mins before jumping in the shower), rinse thoroughly and be amazed. After a few applications, my thick and uruly hair was brought back from the brink of being chopped off due to heat and chemical damage. I use the tiniest amount (and I really do mean tiny) on my hair after jumping out of the shower and let it dry naturally, minus the frizz. Thank you Aesop!

Aesop Parsely Seed Anti-oxidant Serum
(with Grape Seed)Another hit potion from Aesop. I pop this one on under my sunscreen - and on particularly wintery days I use in conjuction with a richer moisturiser. Not for those who don't like the feel of something slightly sticky on their skin - although I promise it absorbs quickly.

Aesop Parsely Seed Cleansing Masque (with evening primrose and rosehip seed)Everyone needs a slightly more thorough cleanse every now and then. This is your gal. You leave it on until it dries and then wipe off with a hot wet towel. Follow with a luxe moituriser. I try to use this baby at least once a week.

Aesop Tuberose Lip Heal (with violet leaf and Jasmine) OK so there's a lot of Aesop on this list so far - but their products really are just so beautiful, gentle and above all - effective. I use this one LOADS in winter - especially when hanging with my boy who doesn't like getting sticky gloss on his face. It absorbs in around 5 mins so when I want a longer lasting shine I'll pop a thicker gloss over the top. Smells (and tastes) soooooo good.

Bobby Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow (Heather Mauve - 23)
I really love this colour. The beautiful fauny/ever so slightly lavender colour has a subtle shimmer that carries you from work through to dinner and beyond. I find my index finger works better than a brush for application.
Photo by Deane and McLoughlin
Chanel - Brilliant Levres (68) Sheer luxe to the max. Goes on oh so nicely. Matches everything in my wardrobe. I will be stocking up when I finish this tube, although it has lasted me almost 6 months now. This may have something to do with the fact that I have almost as many lip-glosses as Laura though. Won't stay on all day, but will ake your lips utterly irresistible.

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
The only ingredients in this waxy product are olive oil, bees wax, honey, pollen, royal jelly and propolis extract. Who ever knew such a simple product had so many uses? If I could only take two beauty items with me to a deserted island, this would be one of them (the other would be 30+ sunscreen). Yes, it's thick and waxy (think slightly harder vaseline) but really is a cure all. I slather this all over (especially arms and legs) after showering - usually before jumping into bed and by morning it's soaked in. This is the stuff they use on models in photo shoots to make them look uber shiny and works perfectly as a shimmer/highlighter on the face. I even use Egyptian magic on my hair as an overnight mask. I'll melt a bit in between my hands until it turns into an oil and then coat my hair. Wrap in a towel and thoroughly wash out in the morning. Thank you ancient Egyptians, thank you bees.

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria - Pivoine Magnifica MMmmmmmmmmmmm violets, peonies and pink grapefruit. My favourite citrus fragrance. A little goes a long way, careful not to spray too much!

L'Occitane, Hand Cream (enriched with 20% Shea Butter): for dry skin.
Beautiful to use every day - especially on dry hands in winter. I keep this one in my top drawer at work.

Natio Nail Colour (Mystic) A cheapy, but a goody. Colour is rich and intensifies with a second coat. Will last the week if coated with Sally Hansen Hard As Nails. I've had this bottle for almost 4 months and it hasn't glugged or caked in the bottle. Very happy.

Nivea Sun Light Feel Daily Face Veil (SPF 30+) For a 30 strength sun screen I was thrilled to find that it really does have a barely-there feel. I put it on over moisturiser, under make-up. A little bottle goes a long way. And EVERYONE needs a 30+ sunscreen. Especially one that won't cause your make up to slide off in the sun.

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation (Clear) If you want to really feel a product work on your lips, SHLI is for you. A fairly generous application (recommended) will make your lips super cold and tingly (and presumably bigger looking). With a stickier than normal consistency it's perfect for glam occasions but not for windy days (your hair WILL stick to your face). Boyfriend alert - he probably won't like the stickyness or tinglyness transfered to his own lips. Don't take it to the beach either, unless you like crunching sand.

St. Ives Apricot Srub
I purchased this gentle facial scrub when in a rush and strapped for cash, but I have to say it's one of my more successful impulse buys. The first thing I love about this product is that it's gentle enough to use on my skin every second day but still sloughs off my dead winter skin cells effectively. The second thing I love about this scrub is the smell - so good I double it up as an all over body scrub.

The Body Shop - Natures Minerals Eye Shadow (02 - Radient Graphite)
Yes, minerals in make up products are all the rage right now, but that isn't what made me buy this product. Being a super fine powder means you can apply a sheer dusting for day wear or pat it on a bit heavier for night wear. It has sparkle but not in the sense that you'll look like you're on your way to a year 9 disco.

And finally...

Tweezerman Tweezers
An absolute beauty must have. Careful - these WILL hurt you and MAY scar you should you accidentally stab yourself in the face in excitement for the fact that these will pluck even the thinnest, shortest hairs (yep including brow stubble regrowth). You're not supposed to tweeze in between waxes but I say you can get away with it if you use these.

C. x
Sienna Miller (aka ex-boho queen before Nicole Richie married into the Royal family) was seen last night at the Tokyo premiere of her new flick G.I. Joe wearing a sequined leopard print Gucci suit. What do you think? I'm not super keen on it. I think it works in the ad campaign, but it really should be left there. Mind you, maybe she was channeling her character in the film? Not that I've seen it as yet but from the trailers she looks like a super villain in a leather body suit. Either way, she should have had stronger eye makeup

(Above) Sienna on the red carpet

(Above) Gucci ad campaign

(Above) Anja Rubik on the catwalk

Laura xxx

Cindy Sherman

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York based artist, Cindy Sherman's home has been photographed for the August 2009 US Vogue and I fell in love with some of the design concepts seen in the story (especially the wardrobe gallery next to the suspended staircase). Sherman worked with young architects, Todd Rouhe and Maria Ibanez de Sendadiano and what they ended up with was an open plan, cleanly designed and ultra-contemporary home, with lots of light and great views of the Hudson River

Paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by Martin Kippenberger, Dana Schutz, and a raft of other artists, including some close friends and quite a few unknowns ("It's cheaper, and I also like to support younger artists"), are everywhere. She even has some on the exterior of the cedar closet-room where she keeps her own clothes—yards of Prada, Marni, and Narciso Rodriguez. Her shoes, mostly sky-high platforms, fill at least 20 floor-to-ceiling shelves in two other closets. What a life.....

Pick up a copy of August 2009 Vogue or go to to read more

Southern views from the rooftop terrace. The orange chair and ottoman are by Wiel Arets for Quinze & Milan. The green chair is by Karim Rashid for Label.

The reverse side of Sherman's closet serves as an ever-changing gallery. An oak and steel suspended staircase leads to the living and dining spaces.

Laura xxx

Monday Art

Monday, July 27, 2009

Max Dupain, Magnolia at night, 1982,
silver gelatin photograph, 39.5 x 50 cm

I think from now on I'm going to make every Monday, art day. So as my first official "Monday Art" day post I thought I would post just a couple of the artworks that I like which have been included in the upcoming Artemis Auction (Tuesday 4th August). I hope you find them as interesting as I do. Now if only I had the disposable income to match my taste.

Matthew Johnson, Receding Landscape, 2001,
oil on linen, 56 x 45.5 cm

Vintage Nasa Photograph, Apollo Fifteen Mission, Apollo Fifteen Astronaut with American Flag, C-type print, 16.5 x 18 cm

Weekend Farmers Market

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This morning Laura and I took an early morning trip to the Hawkesbury Farmer's Market. It was a bit of a trek but well worth it. We found so many yummy treats and masses of fresh produce from local and boutique food artisans and farmers. We especially loved the 'Sweetness the Patisserie' stall for their Marie-Antoinette-esque delights. ALL GLUTEN FREE. So fabulous, the pastel macaroons were just as delicious as they looked (see photo above), which was a surprise considering most gluten free foods are practically inedible. We also loved the cheese lady from 'Cheese Pleese' who took us on a gastronomic cheese tour from tripple cream bries through to some delightfully stinky blues. We walked away with two washed rinds and plans for a cheese and wine party. There was lots of fresh produce, so many pretty colours - props to Laura for her awesome iphone photography!

My mum and dad have just come home from a European adventure and I loved the photos so much of when they were in Scandinavia that I thought I'd share them here. It makes me want to go hug a reindeer and snuggle with Santa.

Red lipstick moment

Friday, July 24, 2009

I was having a red lipstick moment today and I'm loving it! Not so good for kissing but fantastic for getting sideways glances while walking from the bus stop to work...

After graduating with an Arts degree, Natalie Bloom launched Bloom cosmetics at the age of 22. Honoured with numerous awards, including 2007's Victorian Young Australian of the Year, her sweet range is now stocked internationally. Thanks Marie Claire for sharing such an inspiring woman with us

What is more important, talent or drive?
Both. I think both talent and drive are of equal importance. There are so many wonderfully talented people in this world, but it is their drive that brings their talent to life.

On a scale of one to ten, how significant a role does luck play when it comes to success?
One. Timing, rather than luck, is the essential ingredient to success.

Which is more critical, the idea or the execution?
Both. An idea is only as good as its execution! You can have the best ideas but unless it is well executed and connects with your customer it will never become a successful reality.

Is it better to be passionate or objective?
Passionate. Passion is incredibly important in order to sustain the long-term in business.

What one trait has helped you most in business?
I have always run my business with the mantra that whatever you do, do it with integrity. This guiding principle has helped me with decision making throughout my 16 years in business.

What is the one trait that has hindered you most in business?
Balancing my creative passion with the commercial reality of running a business. There have been opportunities to create a stronger commercial business through wider distribution, however I have always chosen to stay true to my desire to maintain Bloom as a niche brand.

What is the hardest lesson you've learned and how did you learn it?
In the early years of Bloom I had to do everything; from the financial side of the business to product development, package design, processing and packing of orders and marketing, I did it all! As the business grew and I was able to employ others to help out, I had to learn the art of delegation. Now with such a busy lifestyle balancing work and family, I rely on this skill on a daily basis!

What is the one piece of advice you would offer other women in business?
Firstly, you have to love what you do. If you're not passionate, you can't sustain the business and keep going through the hard times.

What are the biggest mistakes you see women making in business?
Be realistic, you can have it all, just not at the same time! I have learnt to embrace the extraordinary balancing act of being both a mother and business woman. The key to achieving this balance is to have realistic expectations.

I have just found a new blog which I'm am totally in love with! The food photography is out of control beautiful, the recipes are gorgeous and they do events! Sunday Supper, we love you! Now I'm hungry...

  1. Only have 1 glass of Milo
  2. Take my Omega daily fish oil capsule!
  3. Eat something healthy and filling for lunch containing protein – thinking avocado on toasted wholemeal with a squirt of lemon juice and cracked pepper.
  4. Paint my finger nails bright red
  5. Drink at LEAST 1.5 litres of water
  6. Remember to apply my heavenly L’Occitane Shea butter hand cream
  7. Give someone a compliment
  8. Smile more
  9. Have only 1 glass of red wine with dinner
  10. Take my make up off before going to bed!

So totally in love with....

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Deco Opium Acrylic, vintage Bakelite stones, and brass.

I am so ridiculously excited about this young Sydney jewellery designer. For the last 5 (fashion) seasons she has collaborated with Aussie fashion designer Kirrily Johnston, with Johnston (shrewdly) being the exclusive stockist so far. I stumbled upon her Deco Opium necklace (see picture above) a few weeks ago when I visited the KJ store in Paddington one day after work. Although Kirrily Johnston is fast becoming an Aussie fashion legend, it was the Sylvie Markovina jewellery that immediately commanded my attention. The nomadic/deco style pieces make the perfect accessory for any girl traversing the metropolitan jungle. Totally appropriate for any occasion where you intend to steal the show with your perfect fashion purchase.

2008 / Louise Van de Vorst / Kirrily Johnston Runway Show at the David Jones Summer Collection in Sydney / August 5, 2008

C. xxx

For C. ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To make you smile on a day that you need to....

I picked this wattle from out the front of Caity's house yesterday and it is now sitting pretty in my bedroom. So I thought I'd post it just because its pretty.

Laura xxx

If you're like me and wear shoes that are far too small, with a heel far too high and have many resulting blisters, this cheapy foot treatment is a must!

1 bucket/shallow bath
Warm-Hot water (just enough to go up to your ankles)
1/2 cup rock salt (the rougher the better)
Scented oil of choice - my favourites include rose, peppermint and lavender

  1. You firstly need to make sure you'll have at least 10mins to yourself so that you don't have to keep jumping up and getting water everywhere.
  2. Pop the salt and scented oil into the bath/shallow tub and then pour the hot water over the top.
  3. Feet in! Be careful the water isn't too hot, you don't want to scald your feet!
  4. Swish salt and oils around with your feet.
  5. After 10 or so minutes take your feet out, pop them onto the towel and dab dry.
  6. Apply yummy moituriser of choice! Be generous.
For a super sweet feet treat take the opportunity to groom your toe nails as they will soften after being soaked. Apply a pretty coat of hot pink nail polish, clear top coat and you're set!
C. xx

Notte Sento

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This is the most beautiful video i found thanks to M.A. Belle. One of the things that makes it so special is that it is made up of 4,500 photographs!

It makes me desperately want to be back in Italy with my love. Ti amo Italia e David

Those of you who, like me, are desperate Australia's next top model fans will be happy to see that Claire Venema who came 3rd in this years much talked about series has secured herself a happy home with agency Chic (also home to Aussie 'it' girls Abbey Lee, Catherine McNeil and Miranda Kerr). And if these pics are anything to go by, this girls future is looking stary bright.

Laura xxx

Favourite girl of the month

Monday, July 20, 2009

As Harry Potter fever once again sweeps the world, I too have been absolutely blown away with how Emma Watson has grown up and become not only an English Hollywood phenomena, but also has filmly planted herself in the fashion style stakes. If her recent Burberry campaign wasnt enough to convince you, these pics from American Teen Vogue will certainly pull you over the line... All hail Hermione!

Laura xxx

Even in a Global Financial Crisis I pledge to try and commit to this motto every day. Thank you Barbara Kruger for your inspiring artworks.

Laura xxx

Serves 6-8 people depending how hungry you are


3 onions
4 rosemary sprigs
5 garlic cloves
A knob of butter
4 carrots
A bag of field mushrooms
1kg Beef (preferably chuck steak)
1 large pinch of pepper
2 large pinches of salt (can add more)
2-3 heaped tablespoons flour
A generous slosh of beef stock
150g Cheddar/Parmesan cheese/Gorgonzola if you want to go all out
2 pints Guinness
Puff pastry (enough for lid and base)
1 egg (beaten)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (356 degrees fahrenheit)

Slice onions and put into pan with a little oil. When they start getting some colour (but not too much) add the garlic (chopped).

Once you can really smell the garlic cooking add the carrots, and beef.

Once beef is mildly braised, add rosemary, mushrooms and butter. Stir, add salt, pepper and then the Guiness!

Sprinkle over the flour and stir in - this helps gives it the slightly gluey pie filling consistency we want.

Top up the mix with beef stock, but not too much - you want it to just cover the meat. Bring to the boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for 15- 20 mins.

Cover and put in the oven to simmer for 2 hours or until deep brown colour and juices have thickened to the consistency of gravy or more. Stir half way through.

If after the two hours the juices haven't thickened, put back into the oven for another 40mins uncovered.

Put pastry into pie dish. Once you've taken the filling out of the oven, let it cool a bit and add cheese of choice. Mix through and pour into pastry. Cover with pastry lid, decorate, puncture the top and wash with 1 beaten egg so it goes golden brown!

Pop back into the oven for approx half an hour or until the top is deep golden brown.

Serve hot with super buttery, garlic mash and broccolini. So Yummy!

C. xx

Book Review

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Charlotte RocheAfter reading Roche's first novel, you can't help but wonder if Wetlands is semi autobiographical. I half hope it is and half hope it isn't. Either way, Roche's in your face, try-as-hard-as-humanly-possible-to-make-you-cringe style proves to be addictive reading.

Enter Helen, 18. She likes to eat her own bodily fluids and soak up that of others from public toilets. Not a lesbian but if you want to know what it's like to visit a female prostitute - she will tell you. Holed up in a hospital after surgery on her infected anus, Helen - bored, talks us through certain life experiences, her philosophies, loves and nightmares. I don't want to say too much because, let's face it - there's not that much to it.

It's interesting reading in the sort of can't bear to read on (thanks to totally gross factor) but can't stop reading out of pure curiosity and fascination. I litterally squirmed reading this on the bus and had to check every 20 seconds that no one was reading over my shoulder. I'm not a prude but it was definitely confronting. Yes, it explores female sexuality but at times it made me feel physically ill. After the detail and emotion that goes into this book I didn't appreciate the abrupt, almost rushed ending. I'd definitely read it again (it's a quick read) but I'd stop short of the ending and imagine a better one.

You'll never look at avocados the same way again.

C. xxx
Serves 8 or 2 depending on how much you want to drink

1 medium slosh of bacardi
1 large slosh of vodka
1 small dash of cointreau
Frozen mixed berries
Big slosh of Cranberry Juice
1/2 slosh of Pineapple Juice