If You Knew Me… ♥

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You’d know…

As a youngster, my teachers would sit me next to the Asian children in class, assuming that if I wasn’t near my friends, I wouldn’t talk. WRONG! I’d end up becoming BFFS with them! Irritated, my desk and I would then be forced outside into the corridor. And then I’d gossip with anyone passing by! (The janitor and I once had a TERRIFIC yarn about guitars.) 

I met Charlotte’s father in a small bar in Blenheim, New Zealand, where my father had brought me to buy cheer-you-up bourbons (I was visiting Blenheim from Sydney because my grandmother lived there and sadly, was very ill). I told him not to add me on Facebook because I’d be returning to Australia, thought he was ADORABLE and didn’t want to feel pangs of sadness/stabs of envy every time I saw photographs of him and other women, haha. (I’m so cool! Not.) He refused, messaging me over Facebook the following day that he was taking me to dinner that night, and then offered to purchase me a ticket from Sydney to the Gold Coast, where, coincidentally, he’d be holidaying the next week. I declined… and then paid for my own flight. What a psycho! What if HE’D been a psycho?! I don’t know what I was thinking! We fell completely in love, though, and eventually I moved to Blenheim. It was a mostly awful experience (what, you’re not surprised?!), but… I now have my cheeky, crazy, chatty (don’t know where she inherited any of those qualities from!) Charlie. And she’s the yin to my yang.

I can’t whistle, ride a bicycle (the embarrassment!) or see this without cackling:
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I’m OBSESSED with music (I have everything from Beethoven to The Spice Girls on regular rotation on my iTunes, though rock and heavy metal are my favourites!) and although I always wanted to be a writer, yearned to become a band manager. “You couldn’t do it,” my then-boyfriend insisted. “You’re not a bitch, Corrine. And you’d need to be to manage rockstars.” Shrugging off his advice, I attended an enrolment day for The JMC Academy, where a blunt professor of the college told me “consider studying something else. It’s an impossible business to break into, and there are almost no jobs.” POOF! Did you hear that sound?! That was the sound of my bubble being bursted!

I used to think Gwen Stefani was purring “take this big woman off my eyes” in the opening of Just A Girl. She’s not, by the way.
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My idol is Brian “Head” Welch. Hilarious, down-to-earth-as-they-come (apparently!) and unabashedly honest, he’s also a highly skilled musician in not one, but TWO bands. How is it even possible to be that accomplished?! He has butt-length dreadlocks, head-to-toe tattoos and wears more eyeliner than I do, but he’s a genius. He’s also a sober single father. FIST BUMP!

My first job was as a sausage turner. Yes, that’s a thing! Every Saturday, as a just-turned-fourteen year-old (I was too young to be hired anywhere else), I’d spend two hours barbecuing sausages outside a butcher’s shop. I’m a vegetarian!

Pregnancy taught me that our bodies know EXACTLY what they’re doing, and that they’re magical. It astonished me when, seemingly overnight, I couldn’t tolerate alcohol or caffeine. It was my body’s way of trying to communicate (what were we saying last Monday about rejection being protection?!) that I was housing a baby! While I was growing her, I developed this odd habit where I couldn’t sleep, anywhere, unless my head was at the foot of the bed. Upside down. I later learned that meanwhile, inside my stomach, she was doing the same. Charlie was breeched.

Gratitude to Natalie for this idea! What would your nearest and dearest know about you?

xoxo

Social Media Safety ♥

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(If medals were being handed out for dull blog post titles, no doubt I’d receive twenty for THIS doozy!)  

Have you ever (arrogantly assuming that you have one) typed your domain name into http://www.whois.net? Because I suspect that the restaurant owner that exposed Cher’s identity did. In fact, thanks to a suggestion from Julie, I tried it myself, and WHOOOMP! There it was. Cher’s full name, address and phone number. I felt sick. (Full disclosure: Cher and I are friends online. I’ve never met her in person!) How would she react once I told her? Would she view ME as an enormous ball of slime for knowing them? Panic!

Ignoring my mental image of her barricading her house out of terror that I’d turn up on her doorstep, I nervously messaged her (I think my opening was “alright so I feel like the creepiest creeper ever BUT…”), and she was STUNNED. Wasn’t that a breach of privacy? Was that… legal?! 100%. You see, when you register a domain name, you’re required (by law) to supply your personal details, and unless you cough up the pennies to keep them private (and rumour has it that few people do), they’re available for public consumption.

The revelation inspired Cher (who’s blog post on the restaurant is still live, and to my knowledge – thankfully! – hasn’t heard another word from the owner) and I to have a gab about social media safety, and this is what we covered!

Purchase Domain Privacy

Unless you have a PO box or no qualms about your contact information being accessible (did you enter your domain name into http://www.whois.net? What came up?), consider forking out the dollars for domain privacy.

Avoid Accidentally Sharing Sensitive Information

As Network World shares, you wouldn’t put a note on your front door stating, “away for the weekend, returning on Monday!”, so MAYBE it’d be a a wise move to appraise what you’re telling Twitter(A struggle, certainly! I tend to live tweet my mind’s musings and need to remind myself on a frequent basis that no-one gives a toss about what I’m doing/thinking/eating.) I don’t smoke anymore (and am now one of THOSE annoying reformed smokers!), but when I did I’d whined one evening about running out of cigarettes. My mother saw, and was not happy. She didn’t even have an account, but she didn’t need to to keep tabs on her daughter! (Whoops.)

Reveal Your Location… Once You’ve Left

You’re at the beach! Or that luscious little sushi restaurant! AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW! No-one could blame you for wanting to rave about an exquisite meal you’re having, but perhaps you could do so once you’ve actually left the restaurant and are tucked up safely at home. It occurred to me as I traipsed through a park with Charlie the other morning that I didn’t need to immediately tag where I was on social media. As I’ve said, no-one gives a toss about what I’m doing/thinking/eating, but if they did, how simple was I making it for a potential stalker? The park was deserted, and here I was freely announcing where my baby and I were? Smooth!

Turn Off Your Geo Maps At Your Apartment/House/Abode Of Choice

And speaking of locations… man, those smart phones are SMART, aren’t they?! Within seconds they can determine where you are! I almost had a heart attack when I noticed my Instagram account was automatically showing my exact address every time I updated it, which is why I now switch off my geo maps when I’m home.

Remembering that what you press ‘publish’ on is permanent and adjusting your entries accordingly? NOT drunk tweeting?! What’s your best social media safety tip, and have you ever had a scare?

xoxo

Thank Frock It’s Friday! ♥

If you’re clicking here for the first time, WELCOME! Every Friday we celebrate the fact that – ding, ding! – it’s Friday, and our favourite things (lash lengthening mascaras? Clothes pegs?! Okay, it’s probably not the latter…) from the week that was. Here’s what I’m currently loving!
GIAPO ICE CREAM

Sheesh, it’s Friday ALREADY?! Far out! And here I’d had every intention of producing a post each day. You know, an update on Cher, a conversation about judgement, snapshots of my DREAM destinations (and learning about yours!)… and then Monday suddenly became Friday and here we are.

How was your week?! If someone would like to play The Wedding March, I feel like I should introduce  you to… THE ONE. Guys, I’ve found him (or it!), so call off the (imaginary) search for my future husband, and meet… GIAPO!

An ice cream, sorbet and gelato eatery located on Auckland’s Queen Street, this boutique of brilliance isn’t just creating tantalising iced confections, they’re releasing WORKS OF ART.
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Can you see what is happening here?! That is a BLOW TORCH. Roasting marshmallow. That will adorn your ice cream of choice (or, if you’re anything like me, your TWO flavours, because who could stop at one?!) alongside gold-dipped hazelnuts (for real!).

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And have I told you that it was served in an EDIBLE CHOCOLATE CUP dripping in crushed pistachios and cherries?! Oh. Forgive me! (Love makes me loopy!) It was Wendy who introduced Natasha and I to its splendour, and I’ll be bowing before her eternally because of it. No if’s or but’s; if you’re ever in Auckland, you MUST dine here!

Frozen fabulousness aside, the owners, Gianpaolo and Annarosa Grazioli, deserve a serious nod of respect, too. They’re genuine (the sort of engaging people who, whilst talking to you, make you forget that there’s anyone else in the room), hard-working, passionate and… caring. While the three of us were sitting there, a gentleman at another table dropped his napkin to the floor, and even though he was mid-sentence (and employs an army of staff), Gianpaolo rushed to retrieve another one for him. Did he have to? No. You could just tell, that even after seven wildly successful years in the game, he still truly appreciated each customer. Gianpaolo and Annarosa are good people.

x Other Little Things - Realising that I probably sound like a maniacal tough nut when describing my dating standards (and not caring because I’d rather be single than unhappy!); Chris Cornell’s Screamresembling the laughing emoji every day because WOO! Life has been ludicrous and funny and I just want to whack out every detail on my keyboard and TELL YOU ALREADY but can’t (… yet!); Charlie’s little giggle and cuddling her tightly; a box full of beauty products to fiddle with; text messages which say “I’M COMING TO SEE YOU!”; having billions of thoughts (truthfully, I’m sure I could use a spoonful of CALM every now and then but pft, who wants that?!); and my friends. How my heart beats for them!

What’s putting a huge grin on YOUR chin at the moment?!

xoxo

A Thought For The Day… Is Rejection Protection? ♥

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We sigh when our job applications are “unsuccessful”. Mope when a relationship disintegrates. FUME when somebody cuts us off in traffic, we miss our bus by a second or are unexpectedly running late. But what if, from behind the scenes, every stop we come up against is actually a save? Is rejection protection? What if that’s all it ever was?

xoxo

Thank Frock It’s The Weekend! ♥

If you’re clicking here for the first time, WELCOME! Every Friday (well, today it’s Sunday. Oops!) we celebrate the fact that – ding, ding! – it’s Friday, and our favourite things (wide-brimmed hats? Dented picture frames?! Okay, it’s probably not the latter…) from the week that was. Here’s what I’m currently loving!
girlwearinghatx Registering For New Zealand Twitter Secret Santa - You’re familiar with the ‘Secret Santa‘ game, right? The Christmas tradition in which members of a group or community are randomly assigned a person to whom they anonymously give a gift? Right!

Here in New Zealand, some nifty maverick‘s developed ‘Secret Santa’ on a broader scale, specifically for Twitter users, and it’s been a HIT. According to players from previous years, anything from iPads to boxes of gingerbread men, books and cosmetics have been gifted (companies are allowed to donate to the project without receiving anything in return, and impressively, many of them do!), and both shopping for your recipient AND unwrapping your gift is reputed to be a thrill. If you’re based in New Zealand, have you signed up?! I have, and I’m ecstatic about playing! (Wouldn’t it be gratifying if you managed to score someone who otherwise might not have received any presents? I’d adore that!)
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x Stepping Up My Fitness - I’ve done sit-ups, squats (WHO AM I?!) and have busted out of the apartment each day to complete an epic stroll with Charlie. It feels foreign… but fantastic! (And with views as divine as those, who would be able to resist basking in the clean Auckland air?!)

x Establishing Real-Life Connections From Online – If you’re not blogging or acquainted with Twitter, it can all sound VERY kooky, but the truth is that I’ve met so many funny, caring and wonderful people – almost everyone I know in Auckland, in fact! – through the internet. I’ve known Natasha (through our blogs) since we were both in our early twenties and she was there, in hospital with me, the day after I gave birth to Charlie! Last night I had a two hour phone conversation with another blogger! (My poor, long-suffering best friend: “What are you doing?” Me: “On the phone; chatting to someone I met through Twitter!” Him: “Nothing surprises me with you, Corrine. NOTHING!”) Next week I’m meeting Wendy Wings (with Natasha) for the first time for ice cream! Spectacular, really.

x Other Little Things - Your thoughts on this (intelligent, helpful and ‘Cher’ was ultra grateful to read them. Thank-you IMMENSELY, there’s a part two coming soon!); Natalie, who is a patient sweetheart; dramatically freaking out over ridiculous things (ha, it’d been a while, and isn’t that part of the beauty of this crazy journey?!) with my sister; Skype sessions with my mother (they transpire less frequently than a leap year, so when they do, they’re nice!); anticipating Christmas for the first time in… an eternity?!; developing a full-blown addiction to tea (is this one of the signs that I’m ageing?! Do I need an enrolment form to a retirement village when the sound of a BOILING KETTLE pleases me and I begin using words such as “pleases”?!); and Charlie’s four month milestone. I gave birth to her exactly four months ago today and her arrival into the world has been the toughest, most beautiful event of my life. She’s everything to me and I’m still scratching my head at how it all came together, but so proud. Motherhood DOES change you; but not in the ways that I expected. I haven’t become a different person; but I have wanted to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. But let’s end the mush!

What were the highlights from your Monday-Sunday? Incense? Teriyaki chicken? A thought-provoking conversation? Candle wax?! It’d be excellent to find out!

xoxo

Blogging And The Workplace ♥

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Have you ever thumped out a Facebook, Twitter or blog post only to think “wait! No. What if a colleague saw this? What if my MANAGER was to read this?” and quickly delete it? Would you? Should you? And if you were pulled up on your online behaviour… how would you handle it?

WARNING! We’re about to embark on loaded topic territory, but after a spate of unsettling events have transpired in my friend Cher’s orbit (disclaimer: her name has been changed to Cher because a) what kind of a pal would I be if I disclosed her actual one? She’s in enough strife already!; and b) Why yes, I did re-watch Clueless on the weekend!), it’s only because I care about you. Blogging and the workplace: what needs to be considered before you press ‘publish’?
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Cher’s a blogger. She’s also a full-time employee in an unrelated industry, and since she didn’t want the two to overlap, was careful to create an anonymous internet identity (or, at least that was the plan!) to protect her professional life from her musings. Except it didn’t happen. She’s still not sure how, but after an average engagement with a business, she shared her thoughts only to be contacted at her personal Facebook account by the owner shortly afterwards.

Disconcerted (how had they found her?!), but also amused (what she’d aired was far more generous than what she’d originally intended to write!), she ignored the steady stream of abuse until her supervisor hauled Cher into her office yesterday and confronted her about not only the review, but her website. In addition to sourcing her private details, this business owner had phoned Cher’s employer, calling for her to be fired if Cher comments were’t removed.

Blown away? Me too! I’m also thoroughly concerned. Cher wasn’t offensive… so why is she being intimidated? Her boss, not wanting to be caught in any sort of crossfire, has asked her to take the opinion down. But does she have the right to make such a request? Cher didn’t pen the article in the workplace, or under her company’s name, so is it fair that she’s being pressured (by, essentially, what seems like a bully) to conform? Whatever happened to freedom – within reason, which I feel Cher’s was – of speech?

Cher’s confused. She doesn’t know whether she should update her piece with what’s occurred since, or to disappear into obscurity altogether. What would your solution be? And do YOU have any advice for Cher?

xoxo

Anything’s Possible If You’ve Got Enough Nerve ♥

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Some people live in fear of snakes, heights or tomato sauce (no lie, I once worked with a lady who insisted that she had BREAKDOWNS if she encountered the stuff, can you imagine?! How would you dine out anywhere?!), but me? I quaked in my boots at the thought of moving to self-hosted WordPress! But, as the above quote so succinctly puts it, anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

Last night, over numerous cups of tea, Lana Del Rey and Led Zeppelin (thanks, guys!), I knuckled down and moved my blogging butt back here to frockandrollonline.com, and I’m so proud! (Do you know how often I’ve thought – across six years! – “hmmm, I SHOULD transfer to self-hosted WordPress but nah, that’s too hard and I can’t be bothered learning and anyway, what’s in the fridge?”?!) It’s not looking particularly pretty at the moment, but I’m out shopping for a new dress for it (read: someone nifty is designing it) as we speak. Apologies for the unflattering outfit in the meantime, but it’ll all be changed soon!

xoxo

Style Icons: Evis Xheneti Shaffer ♥

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Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram? Is it a Kardashian? (No judgement!) Dunkin’ Donuts? (Who could blame you?!) MC Hammer?! (He’s there!) Evis Xheneti Shaffer? Wait, you DON’T know who that is? Why, let me introduce you!

An Albanian actress, model, photographer and writer (talk about a professional chameleon!), this globe-exploring self-confessed prankster’s also one of the most witty, well-clad women on the planet. Colourful in both her sartorial choices and personality, she’s unafraid to speak her mind… or share her step-by-step homemade recipe for chicken casserole with you.

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Handbags, heels and hats, hats, HATS: Evis Xheneti Shaffer is style personified, and in her spare time, has managed to capture the heart of an extraordinarily talented guitarist, too.

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What a frock! 

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But then this design’s hardly an eyesore, either…

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Have you noticed that shades of green are a dark-haired damsel’s best friend? Evis has, and she wears them with APLOMB!

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The khaki mini-dress? That fun polka-dot piece (complete with chopsticks!) she’s donned beside her sister, Xhoana? Which outfit takes your fashion fancy? (And who’s inspiring you?)

xoxo

Thank Frock It’s The Weekend! ♥

If you’re clicking here for the first time, WELCOME! Every Friday (well, today it’s Sunday. Oops!) we celebrate the fact that – ding, ding! – it’s Friday, and our favourite things (sprinkle encrusted donuts? Red wine stains?! Okay, it’s probably not the latter…) from the week that was. Here’s what I’m currently loving!

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x Riding The Spiral - Crikey, WHAT A WEEK! After a not-so-neat (I’ll leave it at that) start, I wasn’t sure how the rest of it would fare, but it quickly turned around and I remembered that’s just what being alive’s all about, isn’t it?! It’s a full experience. Sorrow! Embarrassment! Bliss! Frustration! ECSTASY! (Often all within a day!) Sometimes, you just need to remember that old adage “it’s a bad day, not a bad life” and power on, don’t you?!

x Scribbling Off Items On My Auckland Bucket List – On Monday, Charlie and I cruised around The Domain. Come Wednesday, we met Natasha at the movies, devoured Mexican food at Mama Loco and made plans to visit The Manukau Lighthouse and gorge on Giapo ice cream with Wendy. Auckland? We’re conquering you!

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Can you smell the popcorn from there?!

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Charlie settling in to watch The Best Of Me. It was sweet AND I didn’t have to hiss “who’s that guy? What just happened? Is that the woman from before? OH, so you mean HE’S the villain!” at Natasha once. PARTY!

The Auckland Domain

 In case you were curious, The Domain is b-e-a-utiful.

x Lim Chhour Supermarket - Nestled behind a couldn’t-be-dingier-if-it-tried food court on Auckland’s Karangahape Road is Lim Chhour, an Asian supermarket that every thrifty shopper’s dreams are made of. It’s like dumping DISNEYLAND! (Every combination that you could fantasise about is there and for so much less than what you’d pay anywhere else. Spring onion cakes? They’ve got them! Steamed pork buns? EVERYWHERE!) I marched home with a big bag of vegetable dumplings that cost just over a few dollars and had the tastiest dinner I’d had in days. Apparently not judging a book by its cover applies to shops, too!

x Other Little Things - Scoffing a peppermint Choc-Top ice cream (boy, Choc-Tops have UPGRADED! Remember the days where there was only one flavour?!) in the cinema; Slipknot’s Killpop; reunions with old colleagues (it’s perennially splendid to me to realise that as much as I loathed living in Blenheim, I made some life-long friends there!); managing to sit through American Horror Story – alone! – and not end up in a therapist’s chair (I’m a wuss, okay?!); watching my girl grow (Charlie is rolling AND laughing and I’m crying because next thing you know, she’ll be driving a car. Time. It races by!); hour-long phone conversations with my best friend; soft-shell tacos; weaving in and out of every nook and cranny in this city (we wouldn’t have found Lim Chhour if we didn’t!); Zomato (it’s a New Zealand-based food review website. Are you on it? I’m on it!) and the warmth in the air that can only mean that Summer’s here!

xoxo

OFF Wax Britomart ♥

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Did you know that not only do your eyebrows frame your face, but that a whopping SEVENTY PER CENT of your facial expressions depend on them? How about the fact that altering their shape can completely transform your features?  Or that bears have forty-two teeth?! (Couldn’t have you answering “yes!” to everything, now could I?!) 

For something so tiny, they wield an extraordinary amount of power, so when I realised that it was time for a tame (understatement; I was starting to resemble Chewbacca, and NOT just because both of our names begin with ‘c’!), I took to Twitter to ask  “who produces the best eyebrows in Auckland?” and booked a ‘Brow Wow’ service with one of the suggestions thrown forward, OFF Wax Britomart.

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As you can see, I needed help! WHAT is going on with that left eyebrow?! (I wasn’t raising it!) These were eyebrows in crisis, so although a few people baulked at the $45 price tag associated with the ‘Brow Wow’ (a friend: “sheesh, for that price, you’d better strut out with the best eyebrows in town!” My sister: “WHY WOULD YOU PAY THAT?!”), it was described on their website as “THE brow makeover – a full consultation with a custom colour, brow shape and brow dressing”, and nothing sounded unappealing about that!

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POST ‘BROW WOW’ 

I don’t know that I see a groundbreaking difference, though. While I realise their team are beauty therapists, and not wizards, and that they’re working with wax, and not wands, I was still a little underwhelmed.

“What do you think?!” The assistant probed, holding up a mirror.
“Um,” I mumbled, NOT keen on sounding like a – as Carrie Bradshaw would say! – See You Next Tuesday“they’re quite… just a wee bit… uh, do you ever cut them here? Like, with scissors? Because I’ve had that done before, and that might make them slightly… neater?”
“I don’t really want to do anything to them,” 
she replied, applying a second shade of dye. “They need to grow.” Justifiable, perhaps, but the customer service experience would’ve been elevated if she’d offered some plucking, colouring and general maintenance tips in the meantime. (Were they just having an OFF day?)

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Dodgy Left Eyebrow Pre Treatment

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Dodgy Left Eyebrow Post Treatment 

Is there a humungous contrast that I haven’t noticed?! Would you return? And what’s the maximum you’d spend for a similar consultation?

xoxo