Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Madeline Stuart || The Model Who's Changing the World

Hey, I'm ... Madeline, but you can call me Maddy.

Madeline Stuart is the latest in teenage girls who dream of modelling. It's not something that people write stories about, but Maddy is different. This bubbly redhead also has Down's syndrome, but if anything, this has only spurred the eighteen-year-old on more.

Just over a month ago, Maddy was a virtual unknown, but now, thanks to the wonder of social media she has nearly 400k on Facebook and an ever-growing Instagram presence too. Maddy Stuart is already making her mark on the world.

Since then, with products to promote, places to travel, companies to talk to, Maddy's life is going top speed. With the aim of changing the face of beauty, and smiling as much as possible, Maddy is as inspiring as they come. 

You'd notice me because ... I have been on the internet a lot lately as the first adult model with Down's syndrome in the world.

I love modelling because ... it is a way to express myself when words don't always come easy. Plus I get to embrace society and hopefully make people feel more comfortable around people with disabilities.

My favourite thing about fashion is ... I love the clothes, the camera and getting to smile a lot.

Maddy & her boyfriend, Robby
The best thing about being Madeline is ... just meeting so many amazing people and getting to see all the beautiful comments on social media.

I love ... my mum more than anything in the world; she is my best friend and hero.

My favourite food is ... grilled chicken wraps and sushi!

I hope that I can ... change the world's views on beauty and help everyone to feel beautiful in themselves and [to feel] included.

I'm so happy about ... all the positive feedback and being a positive influence.

I've always wanted to ... meet Ellen DeGeneres.

This year has been amazing because ... I have had so many new experiences. I am going to travel overseas to model and I have been on television with my friends and family a number of times.

I am inspired by ... my mum as she believes in love, inclusion and is very patient.

I want to inspire ... young women and men to love their inner beauty and to realise with time that inner beauty and compassion is all that lasts and is what people really see us for. I want to inspire business professionals to employ people with disabilities as they will bring something so deep and beautiful to the work environment. I want to inspire families to have faith when they feel lost as everything can have a silver lining if you believe and never give up. I want to inspire people not to bully anyone to see worth in everyone as equals.

When I'm not modelling I'm ... playing sport, a lot of sport, or going to the gym as I love being active, and hanging out with my friends.

My favourite music is ... Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Psi, One Direction, Pink, Meghan Trainor, and Jessie J.

I love Lady Gaga so much because ... I can sing and dance to her music.

I dance because ... it makes me happy and it's so much fun.

My favourite thing about travelling to America was ... the people, they were so warm and welcoming. I can't wait to go back in July this year.

I would love to model for ... Myer, Gucci, and Vanity Fair magazine.

Everyone should follow their dreams because ... our dreams are what truly matter, we only have one life and we should live it to the fullest.

Everyone likes Maddy!
Facebook || Instagram || Twitter

NB :: All photos taken by Lulebelle Photography and Michael Murchie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

White Summer || Interview

There isn't anything more important than having mum's approval, just ask White Summer. 

The Melbourne-based, rock quartet has recently released their latest single from their upcoming EP, set to drop in early 2016. But it was only chosen after a mothers' approval, of course.

After a massive twelve months of songs, shows, and writing music, the lads from White Summer have stopped by Love 'Em. Don't be shy!

I hear you had to 'bunker down' to record your upcoming EP, how'd you all fair in such close proximity?
We just treat it like a holiday so vibes are high most of the time. The only time things get a bit tense is when the beers vanish in the night...mysteriously.

How's the music sounding? What sort of sound should we expect?
[The music is] something you can really sink your teeth into and won't be over before the car has even left the driveway.

Your newly released single I Know A Place We Can Love has a seriously cool mix of vocals and instrumentation; why'd you choose this as your release from the EP?
[It was] Mum's favourite.

I'm a big fan of bass and the opening hooked me right in, how important do you think the first few bars of a song? 
We're prone to a wee boogie here and there, so it just made sense to kick it off with a solid groove.

How did White Summer come to be the ever talented lineup we're all now treated to?
We were just mates mucking around playing covers and making dodgy one day LP's and over time people joined and people left.

How'd you all meet?
Mike and I met in high school and started making original music pretty much straight away. Then we moved to Melbourne and met Anthony, I nearly killed myself on a Vespa, Alex jumped in and took over the pig skins.

Why White Summer? Is there a meaning or does it just sound ace?
It's a Led Zeppelin track that we fell in love [with] when we were younger.

How are you all feeling coming up to your national tour? How are the nerves?
We've had some awesome shows leading up to this tour so we're feeling confident, just eager to get out there and bang it out.

What do you think is the most important thing we should all know about White Summer?
We're not white supremacists.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Montaigne || Artist Interview

If ever there was an artist I'd love to listen to talk, it's this girl! With a voice to make anyone jealous and possibly the greatest 'I drank a bit too much alcohol' story I've ever been told, meet the incredibly talented Montaigne.

So first off, why do you choose to go by the stage name Montaigne rather than your actual name?
The first reason was because I didn't want my new sound or image associated with my sound or image as Jessica Cerro because the two were very different both in aesthetic and maturity and I wanted people to know that I've developed in all ways. The second reason was because when I perform, or when I'm writing music, I don't feel like Jessica Cerro the average human girl, I feel like a mononym. I feel like I'm doing something bigger than eating raisin toast and pooping every day. Half the reason I connect with music so [much] is because it augments reality which would ordinarily drive me insane with its mundanity.

Does anyone call you Montaigne when you aren't on stage or working?
Hehe. My inner circle of friends calls me that in jest, but that's it.

Your latest live track A Cinematic Plea For An End showcases your amazing vocal ability; why did you choose a live track opposed to a studio recorded version?
I only played small capacity venues on my last tour, not that many people have seen me perform live, and the people who have seen me seem to think it's pretty alright, so why not let everyone have a sneak peek? Maybe it'll get 'em to the next show!

Your debut EP Life of Montaigne was released to acclaim, how did this feel? What, if any, reactions were you expecting for your debut?
I'm very glad people are connecting with it. I'm listening to Arc by Everything Everything right now and thinking about how good it makes me feel and how much I love their music and it's incredible to think that people from all over the world have sat down and done the same. I wasn't really expecting too much, I suppose I was hoping it would do well and I could continue to pursue music as a full-time occupation, but I try not to have too many expectations about anything to do with myself. That's how a cool head is kept. I suppose my only expectation really was that people wouldn't hate it. I don't think my music is awful.

You've recently supported some other seriously talented people on their tours - namely Megan Washington and San Cisco - how do you find the role of support artist?
[It's] pretty great! I just like performing so any opportunity to do that is good fun.

Being a little bit of a regular on the national tour circuit, do you have any particular memories that still make you pinch yourself?
YES. On the last night of my headline (which was in Perth) I was a bit drunk and went to my hotel room before my band because I was tired as hell (timezones mess me up a bit), I stripped down to nothing but my underwear and remember throwing a towel on the bed and must have passed out without realising. I woke up standing outside of [my] room with nothing but my underpants [on] and that towel wrapped around me and really needing to go to the bathroom. I didn't have the room key with me either and I really needed to go to the bathroom, so I drunkenly stumbled around the floor for about five minutes looking for a toilet or something [before] realising it was futile and that I would need to go down to the lobby and get a spare key. Down I went, I arrived in the lobby, the concierge looked more-than-mildly disturbed and I said, "Listen, I have no idea what's going on but I really need to go the bathroom and I can't get into my room. Please, I need [a] key". I think he thought I wasn't a customer there/was on drugs/possibly a sex worker because he was a bit reluctant. Thankfully (but also not because it was quite embarrassing) my band walked into the lobby back from being out and looked as confused as the behind the desk, after an awkward and silent elevator ride up to our room - them clothed and me barely so - I went to the toilet, apologised and went to sleep. How I got outside of the room is, to this day, a mystery. I probably sleepwalked. Thank God sleep-walking me picked up the towel.

I'm a big fan of Triple J's Like A Version, were you nervous performing in this atmosphere?
I actually was a little bit! I don't usually get too nervous, but things that are recorded live tend to make me a little shakier than usually because they're eternal. That's probably one reason why I sang it so poorly; also that couldn't hear myself too well. Given the conditions though I still think I sand it alright? I don't know.

What was the reaction like to your cover of Sia's Chandelier?
Pretty polarised I think. Some people didn't like my lack of enunciation, some people wrote it off as indie crap, some people thought I didn't sing it very well. They're all right, what can I say. On the other hand, some people also really liked it and thought it was a good cover! I'm pretty happy with the reaction, really.

After such a fun start to the year, what's next for you?
Shows! Writing! Recording! New songs! Single! Album!

Thanks so much for stopping by Love 'Em!
Please, the pleasure was all mine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flawless Clothing || Product Review

I stumbled across Flawless Clothing when I was looking for something completely unrelated, but what I found was so much better than the things I was originally searching for. A local Australia brand? Yep. That has comfort just as important as style? Yes, please. That is flawless, feels flawless, and looks flawless? Of course.

The super ace guys at Flawless sent me a Beanie and Wayfarer Combo to add to my closet. And, just between us of course, it's a pretty amazing addition.

I've had some - for lack of a better word- dodgy beanies and sunglasses in my time, so I was a wee bit nervous about Flawless. But (and I feel like I say this a lot) I was very happily surprised.

The beanie, emblazoned with the brand logo Flawless, is warm enough for a Tasmanian winter. So it's definitely warm enough for everywhere else! And it actually fit, without stretching out of shape. Which is an unfortunately tough gig for beanie. So big kudos to the Flawless team!

The Wayfarer I might have to wait a few months to see their full potential, but for now let's just say that I wish it were summer already.

Psst, the combo mentioned in this post is currently on sale. Get in quick!

|| Shop Flawless ||

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Greenlife Online || Prescription Glasses Review

The last time I worked with Greenlife Online it was still November (an entire seven months ago...no one freak out) and I had bright red hair. So it's fair to say that a fair bit has changed since that post. But the absolutely fabulous news is that Greenlife Online are back! They've recently launched the sale of these scrumptious wooden prescription glasses from Proof eyewear. And I have all the details.

As a general rule people who need them aren't a massive fan of wearing glasses; but I love them! You can leave such a mark by the glasses you wear; let's be honest, most people should be looking at your face. So having killer specs is something that I take seriously. And I think the super special thing about buying from somewhere like Greenlife is that even people who aren't unfortunate in the sight department can look snazzy in frames. Because your glasses arrive with a clear plastic (ready for you to swap to your prescription) anyone can wear them. It's a big fashion win for those jumping on board with the glasses trend.

RX 'Ricks Black'
I'll admit that I was a little weary about reviewing these glasses initially - I knew they looked fantastic but glasses have to be super comfortable simply because of the amount time I (or anyone who needs them) has them on. I wasn't sure how heavy they'd be or if they'd sit right on my face. But my excited for something as crazy-cool as wooden frames was just as strong and, as it turns out, right. The glasses only weigh 25 grams and they sit so comfortably that I forgot I had them on!

RX 'Driggs Blue'

My personal favourite are these RX 'Driggs Blue' frames. They just suited my face shape and blue glasses are super fab in my book! If I was shopping these are definitely be where my money was headed. And happily so. At AUD$169.00 they aren't expensive for frames but they aren't cheap by any means. I personally find online shopping can be a little daunting because you really don't know if the price matches the quality until you get them, but rest assured! Greenlife is 100% worth the prices and they have a super simple returns policy. (Plus, the owner is lovely. You won't have any problems at all!)

RX 'Pledge Pear'

Glasses aren't a purchase you make every day, but if you need a new pair of specs, or you're just a fashion-junkie, then do you even need to look any further? Greenlife Online has quality frames but the added bonus of environmentally friendly and unique wooden material makes them even more appealing. You're welcome.
RX 'Loom Brown'
Shop Greenlife || Shop Glasses

NB: Thanks to Matt from Greenlife for working with me on this one!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Akarnae by Lynette Noni || Review

Title: Akarnae
Author: Lynette Noni
Publisher: Pantera Press
Release Date: February 1st, 2015
Source:  Review Copy

With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jenning's world changes - literally.

Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities.

Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can't help her... but he's missing.

While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora's boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can't ignore her fear that something unexpected... something sinister... is looming.

An unwilling pan in a deadly game, Alex's shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race's survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?

Will Alex risk her entire world - and maybe even risk her life - to save Medora?

I was asked to review this book with the premise that they knew "fantasy isn't everyone's preferred genre". And it definitely isn't mine. I'm much more of a contemporary/thriller type of girl, fantasy just isn't an area that I'm very often drawn towards. Which sucks because the blurbs always sound amazing and, seriously, have you seen the covers on some of these fantasy novels? They are made for my bookshelf. But there never seemed any point if I didn't actually like the story inside the cover, no matter how beautiful it may be.

There were definitely some parts of this book that I wasn't completely in like with. I found it occasionally difficult to differentiate between the characters, especially when the only infrequently made appearances in the story. However these characters turned out to be incredibly important to the story and I'm already highly anticipating the sequel.

There was no doubt in my mind that Alex was the hero of this story. Sometimes I feel like the protagonist can be overshadowed by the characters around them, but Alex really held her own in this story. I was completely cheering her on the entire time. I felt like she was such a real teenage girl, she was forced and she didn't act in ways that just seemed unbelievable. I was really impressed with the way she was written because I think it can often be poorly done.

I just really loved this book - so much more than I thought I would. I would honestly recommend it to almost anyone. Just make sure you have a lot of hours spare because you won't want to put it down.