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New Year’s Resolutions

31 Dec

Happy New Year hat

Over the past week I’ve been doing some research on what everyone else is feeling about good ol’ New Year’s resolutions. As the end of 2012 fast approaches, it seems a lot of people are doing away with this much-loved practice, and the seemingly inevitable disappointment and self-flagellation it necessitates.

Others, however, remain fierce advocates of the tradition, and offer a myriad of ways to explain away the overwhelming failure rate. (It’s because our resolutions weren’t S.M.A.R.T, you see… or because we set goals that were too lofty… or because we’d had three bottles of champagne when we scrawled our resolutions on the back of a used cocktail napkin at ten to midnight…)

SMART goals

And whilst I’ve touched on this subject in another post, this year, I’m still a little bit on the fence. And as midnight is fast approaching, it’s high time I made up my mind.

On the one hand, I’m a fan of goal setting in theory, even if I despise the terminology. As I’m a compulsive planner and list-maker, putting my dreams into words and on paper suits me well. What trips me up though is the guilt. And the realisation that as many of my resolutions are arbitrary (do yoga 3 times per week, for example), the guilt I feel is entirely self-imposed and thus completely avoidable.

Notepad

So instead of making a list of resolutions this year and letting them hang like a giant grey guilt cloud over my head for the next 12 months, I think I’ll try something new. I call it the ‘set and forget’ (similar to the ‘set and regret’ of previous years, but with an important twist). It starts with me writing an outrageously optimistic list of everything I hope 2013 will bring (a tan, a six-pack and a best-selling novel come to mind). Then, I’ll hide it well away out of sight and mind until this time next year. At which point I will bring it out, glass of champagne in hand and treat myself to a hearty belly laugh at what I thought I needed out of 2013.

What do you think about New Year’s resolutions – friend or foe?

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Happy New Year hat image courtesy of ckelley on Flickr.
S.M.A.R.T goals image ocurtesy of TaiShing on Flickr.
Resolutions notepad image courtesy of creepyed on Flickr.

A slice of Paris on Chapel Street

29 Aug

Last Saturday, fed up with having multi-coloured hair (the result of an unfortunate addiction to L’Oreal Preference DIY hair dye) and with the promise of a summer holiday lurking just around the corner, I took myself off for a professional cut and colour.

Not being a regular salon-goer I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands regarding where to go. Being the weekend, I didn’t really feel like trekking into the CBD so I narrowed my search down to Chapel Street and its environs. A quick google search brought up 6 or 7 contenders.

Some were quickly eliminated for the simple fact that they offered no price list (my pet hate, like restaurant websites that don’t carry a menu). Others appeared a little too snobby for me, and that left me with one that fit the bill perfectly.

Just a short 15 minute walk from home, with a price list (that didn’t give me heart palpitations) and an easy to navigate website. The girl who answered the phone was polite, informative and put me instantly at ease about not having cut my hair since last December.

The morning of I wandered over, and was ushered inside into a modern, white-walled haven, part sleek salon, part edgy Melbourne café. I was led to a big wooden communal table covered in pile after pile of the latest fashion, gossip, lifestyle and art magazines. In a word – heaven.

I was offered the full gamut of coffee, tea, water and settled on a peppermint tea.

Anticipating a teabag hanging over the side one of those big white industrial-sized mug that Australian workplaces buy by the truckload, I was pleasantly surprised when an elegant silver tray arrived, complete with mini teapot, stylish cup and saucer and the best part – an individually-wrapped speculoos biscuit.

Now those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning will know that one of my first French food moments involved an individually-wrapped speculoos biscuit in Paris and here I was reliving that moment all over again.

The attention to detail didn’t stop with the refreshments however, and I was given a lengthy, informed consultation about my hair.

A few dozen foils, two Vogues, a Madison and a Shop magazine, 3 hours and a blow-dry later I was done.

And I couldn’t help but thinking how nice the whole experience was. Sure, you pay a premium for the privilege but, walking out the salon door, admittedly, hip pocket a little lighter, but a little bit blonder and a lot more relaxed – it was worth every cent.

If you too could use a little slice of relaxation you can find them here.

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Boy with rainbow hair image courtesy of Nikita Kashner on Flickr.
Hair salon image courtesy of MarkBon on Flickr.
Speculoos biscuit image courtesy of wisdomlight on Flickr.
Fashion magazines image courtesy of sassattack on Flickr.

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