You Yangs – odd name, lovely place.

A few days ago I went to the You Yangs in order to scout out some likely locations for a photoshoot I am planning.

The Ashbird (otherwise known as my brother in-law – “Ashbird” is now an inside joke) and I got sufficiently lost trying to find the You Yangs.

Please note… I CAN SEE THE YOU YANGS FROM MY HOUSE. You wouldn’t think we got lost.  But we did.

We got oh so slightly losted. We were following signs but we still got losted.

Getting to the You Yangs via the freeway is slightly convoluted. Because there is a sign for the You Yangs (eventually) on the freeway… but they do not tell you that you need to take the Lara turn-off.

So, folks who are going to the You Yangs via the freeway? Take the Lara turn-off.

We drove through scenic Lara… and drove some more through Lara… and some more.

And then we saw the You Yangs!

Seriously, we just needed to drive towards the big hilly thing that I could see from my main street. Instead we drove around it halfway and then came up it’s arse like something that… goes up something’s arse.  I have no idea where I am going with that. It’s too early in the morning and I’ve not slept much.

We scouted. There’s some pretty spots around Big Rock but the population of picnickers may make for some difficulties, particularly if it’s a sunny day as it was last Wednesday.  I may try to make the shoot happen on a work day that isn’t a school holiday… which will likely see a whole bunch of school kids there doing abseiling, or something just as exciting but also very much INMYWAY.

A trip around the Great Circle Drive didn’t prove fruitful at all, aside from finding a pleasant little oasis of a picnic spot where there is a little pondy thing.  I thought about tossing my model in there but I really don’t want her to get bit by the millions of DEADLY TIGER SNAKES that are in the area.

(And let’s not forget the King Browns… Seriously Australia? Did you HAVE to have every venomous, man-killing reptile in the world???)

So… the You Yangs may be a bust in terms of my photography project but there’s some definite possibilities if we can’t find anywhere else with the look I was going for.

Here’s a fine-artish shot I took of said little oasis of prettifulness.

You Yangs, Victoria, Australia -

bellabox – September 2012

A few weeks back I got the September bellabox.

Initally I was REALLY impressed with the haul in this box. Lots of stuff to try, decent sample sizes (or in some cases full sizes) and all useful products. I was a little sad I didn’t get any of the cosmetic products, it is mostly skincare but it’s all good.

I don’t have any photos for this one as I haven’t had time to do that, but there’s links all over the place. But here’s a product picture from the bellabox website:

bellabox - September 2012


The first product I was happy to receive was the Bioderma Sebium AKN. This creme is lovely but there really wasn’t enough in the sample for me to make any statements as to whether it improves the condition of my skin – you really need to use it over a couple weeks at least. I did notice this made my skin very soft and I was happy that it didn’t cause any burning like a lot of moisturizers do. I’ve heard lots of good stuff about Bioderma and I am tempted to buy this one but it’s a little costly for the amount you get. The full size is $24.95 for 30ml.

Still with the Bioderma range, I also got the Sebium Foaming Gel. As cleansers goes, this stuff is also pretty nice. Again, it’s a very small sample so I can’t really say whether it would improve my skin over time but it’s pretty good at cleaning the skin and getting rid of makeup residue too. It’s $24.95 for 200ml, which makes it a real temptation to buy.

The next thing I pulled out of the box was a full size Australis Lashtastic mascara! Yay! I’d been after a new mascara to try so I was happy. The particular one I received was the TLC Conditioning Mascara. I’m not usually precious about stuff like packaging but I did love the pink chrome. (Please excuse the girly moment.) Now, generally I like Australis. They do a few good things and the mascara was pretty good but I had problems with the brush. I prefer brushes that are full and thick so I can avoid clumpage. This brush was way too thin and sparse so I got clumpage to the extreme. I had to comb through my lashes to even things out.  You can get Australis in pretty much any pharmacy/drug store or department store.  They usually sell for around the $10 mark (sometimes more or less depending on where you go).

Right… onto the truly sucky item in the box, because there had to be at least one. True Solutions All Day Moisture SPF 30+ Tinted Cream. OH MY GOD THIS SUCKED. I am blonde. I am fair. I burn just looking out of the window on a brightly overcast day. Anything with a little sun protection is great but this stuff was awful.

Let me list the awfulness;

  1. It had the same texture and smell as sunblock. And not very good sunblock.
  2. SPF 30? MY BUTT. If there is actual sunscreen ingredients in this product, there isn’t enough. I put it on and went out for a couple of hours on a sunny, 25 degree (celcius) day. I was in the actual sun for probably an hour at most. I. Got. Sunburned. Not terrible sunburn but I was definitely sun-kissed.
  3. The colour darkened on my skin. It was a pretty good match as it came out of the bottle but within 20 minutes it had either naturally oxidized with the air or reacted to my skin and got darker. I had that lovely foundation mask thing going. Not impressed.
  4. I’d like to know where the “all day moisture” part comes in. My skin was so dry from using this that I had to slather my face in rose hip oil to make it feel better.


I could put all this down to my super-sensitive skin but the ingredients are all in things I’ve owned and used without problems before.

This costs $60. Don’t bother. There are better and cheaper products out there.

The next product I got in my lovely bellabox was the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.  My friend Tam put me onto the wonders of dry shampoo as I hate washing my hair on a daily basis. Naturally oily hair shouldn’t be washed daily! It just encourages more oil!  This stuff worked rather well, smelled ok (they sometimes smell a bit obnoxious) and was easy to use though I would never use dry shampoo on really dirty hair.

Last but definitely not least was what I think was the surprise for everyone who got the September box.  You Me & Everybody Sumptuous Skin Mousse.  It’s a body lotion/moisturiser that’s a mousse!  The novelty was fun. The product was actually REALLY good.  It wasn’t sticky and absorbed pretty well into the skin.  We got the full-size product for this one, and $14.99 for a can isn’t too bad as far as moisturizers go.

So yep, that’s everything that was in this month’s box. Overall, I was pretty pleased. I was also pretty darn jealous of the folks who managed to score the cosmetic products.  There was Guerlain L’Or Radiance Concentrate with Pure Gold and Savoir Faire Concealer which I would have kicked kittens for. KITTENS.

Anyway, September was another fun edition from bellabox. Totally worth the $15.

Finding a Voice

Every time I watch this clip, I get the chills.

You knew she was the winner the moment she opened her mouth.  And of course, she thrashed the competition soundly.  This was one of the few “realty” television shows I kept an eye on. Seal’s reaction to Karise was amazing and brought tears to my eyes. I think that, apart from the first 30 seconds of the clip where she starts singing and blows all the judges minds in one fell swoop, is my favourite bit.

He does it again while she’s singing “Stay With Me Baby”…

(Though I am of the honest opinion that the person who put the poor girl in that dress should be fucked and burned. It is HORRIBLE. ANYWAY…)

Her first single absolutely blew me away…

Capsicum Egg Rings

Please don’t think I am stealing anyone’s thunder – I’ve had these photos sitting on my computer for a few weeks now.

Ever since I saw this:

Image from

… I knew I had to try it.

Because I love fried eggs.

Hell, I love any eggs.

Eggs are ambrosia to me.

And this idea was too cute not to try out.


I did this:

Eggs with Bell Pepper/Capsicum Onion Rings -

Then I did this:

Eggs with Bell Pepper/Capsicum Onion Rings -

And ended up with this!

Eggs with Bell Pepper/Capsicum Onion Rings -

Comments about my dirty stove top will be STUDIOUSLY IGNORED.

(And for the Weight Watchers – the ProPoints value of this is 7pp. 6 for the eggs and 1 for the salad dressing.)

New Directions

Last night I re-wrote my About Me page.

Then I started thinking… what the hell do I want for this blog anyways?

I’ve come to realise I will never be one of those sorts of bloggers that churns out giveaways and do sponsored blog reviews for money. I’m not a mad crafter, a rampant Christian, or fashionable enough to be a fashion blogger. I’m not part of the “mommy/mummy” set so I do NOT identify with women who have a bajillion ankle-biting sprogs and feel the need to write about how awesome they are at parenting all whilst praising Jesus and creating wall art with paper mache and melted Crayolas.

I like people who are as snarky, foul-mouthed and irreverent as I am.

And I would totally do the pin-testing thing but I’ve been beaten to the punchline by Pintester. (AWESOME funny blog, that.)

So… yeah. I’m returning to normal Ren posting. I’ll do my weekly “pinteresting” blogs because they’re fun, and my Sunday memes, and the occasional bloghop… but I’ll be concentrating on Ren stuff. Life, love, obsessions, pets, photography, art, writing, and me. This is all shit that made me happy. I’ll still be a part of Nuffnang because opportunities through them are pretty fun. And of course I love reviewing stuff, even if it’s stuff I have personally bought.

But yes. Getting back to me now.

Me, me, me!

Big Sky -

And you can get the above image as prints or cards or posters at Redbubble:

Big Sky, mounted/framed print -

Lurking in Melbourne: The Writing’s on the Wall

Union Lane, just off Bourke Street.

Much of the fantastic graffiti which I photographed some months ago has been covered by taggers and rubbishy vandalism. There hasn’t been much of an update for a while, it seems. Having said that, there’s a section of wall that shows a lot of little scribbles from people passing through. Some of them are funny, some of them are heartbreaking, some are poignant, and most are just rude.

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Don't Count the Days

Don’t count the days.
Make the days count.

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - You Suck

Yep. And some days I feel it too.

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Fist Me Maybe?

Hey I just met you… and this is crazy…
But here’s my number…

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Sometimes...

This made me stop. Normally my eyes would start bleeding at the rampant abuse of the written word but…

“You know sometimes, more often than not, I think about dying.”

“Fight off your demons. Write songs in your sleep. We love you. We miss you. I love you so much that it hurts my head.”

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Saved the world?

Did he?

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Street Art in Melbourne

If you’re an Instagram user and love Melbourne… (And don’t think I missed the juxtaposition of the “Fuck off” with my watermark.)

Lurking In Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Tumblr

Follow the tumblr!  Consider this a free ad.  PEACELOVEHAPPINESS.

Tell ’em Renlish sent ya.

Lurking in Melbourne: The Writing's on the Wall - Seeya!


Shenanigans of the Faithful

Just a pre-warning to my more sensitive viewers… There is content here that involves swearing.

And perhaps some inappropriate jokes and pictures.


I don’t do politics. I don’t do religion. I hate both with a passion… so much so that I avoid overtly faithful blogs – even though they might have KILLER recipes for stuff like ginger cookies and lemon meringue pies. (Damn you, Pinterest!)

But I am so disturbed by what’s happening in the world at the moment with those of the Islamic faith that remaining silent on the issue is killing me. It’s particularly worrisome when you’ve got a mate who works for the American Embassy as a consulate official. No, not in those areas of the Middle East where people have recently been murdered but all the same, she’s at an American consulate and therefore a target of much hatred depending on who’s looking. And she’ll be staying with me for two weeks come Sunday morning. Yay!

(Though the bitch’s plane gets in at SPARROWS BUTTCRACK OF DAWN O’CLOCK! Not happy, Allison.)

Anyhoo… a riot happened in Sydney’s CBD on Saturday… a mob of Angry Muslims(TM) took to the street, declaring a jihad on anyone who didn’t support the Islamic faith and death to the person who created some ridiculous video on Youtube.

Look, I have never really had a problem with anyone wanting to live in this country. You can be from whatever race and creed and I’ll happily support you.

I’ve only ever had a few requirements for newbie citizens…

Read more

Kitty Shenanigans


“Psst.  Come here!  Look.”


“What?  What, what, what?  Is it something I can eat?”


“Shuddup knucklehead.  Look.  She’s typing.”


“It’s late.  Why’s she typing?  I’m hungry.”


“You’re always hungry.  She’s got bare legs.”


“She’s almost as fuzzy as we are!  I’m still hungry.  Is there anything on her desk I can eat?”


“Do you always have to think with your stomach?”


“Can’t help it.  I’m hungry.”


“Hush, you’re making too much noise. And stop whining about food.  Watch this!”

“AAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!  Dugite! You little shit! That hurt!”


“Heehee!  Nice work!”


“I know.  It’s all in the wrist.”


“Impeccable execution. Think it’ll scar?”


“How barbaric.  My scratches never scar.”

Sunday Stealing, September 16, 2012

Good morning. I’m still in bed, the manbeast is asleep beside me. The cats have been fed and they’re relatively quiet.  I’m sure to get a call from my mother asking if I want to take a drive to Costco today – she’s on the hunt for Crisco which is kinda hard to find in Australia – so I thought I would do a Sunday Stealing to start my day.

Apparently there were 88 questions to this particular SS. Hmmm. Must’ve missed that bit.

69. Song you’re thinking of right now?
Jar of Hearts.  This version:

70. Want someone back in your life?
Yeah, I do. But I think we’ve sort of outgrown one another. It’s been kind of hard to let go of him. We were friends for a long time and it was one of those relationships where you could pick up right where you left off, no matter if it had been a week or six months. But six months eventually turned into a few years and being on different continents makes even touching base hard. I miss him, dearly. I think we both left indelible marks on each other. I can’t listen to The Cure without thinking about him.

It hurts to listen to The Cure.

71. Will tomorrow be better than today?
Tomorrow I will apply for five jobs and contact three agencies. It will be better than today.

72. What’s the color of the underwear you are wearing?
Black. It’s usually always black. Except when it’s red.

73. Who was the first best friend that you ever had?
My first ever best friend that I remember was Tanya. She was six months older than I and as such, she ended up being a year ahead of me in primary school due to the way the age system worked – she turned five in the first half of the year whereas I turned five in the latter which meant I had to start the year after her. Grr. Primary school was a real pain, particularly when they separated the senior classes (grades three and up) from the junior classes (grades 2 and down) into two different yards at lunchtime and recess. She and I both dreaded the year that she got into grade three. We would try to play in the little area between the yards but unfortunately that was right in line with the staff room so any teacher coming out of there would catch us and send us on our separate ways. I have no idea why they wouldn’t allow us to play together. Anyway, it was better when I finally got to grade three… but grade two was the longest year of my life.

74. How do you react when someone disappoints you?
I internalise a lot. I’ll rationalise, give them the benefit of the doubt, try to shrug it off. It does depend on the situation. Sometimes I can’t go the “oh well” route. Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I cry.

75. Is there anyone who understands your sexuality?
Hell, I don’t think *I* understand my sexuality sometimes. I’m bi. That’s enough, I suppose.

76. Are you a naturally happy person? Or is your happiness forced?
Unfortunately a lot of my happiness is forced. Fake it until you make it, right? I don’t like it but it’s better than constantly upsetting people by showing how unhappy you are sometimes.

77. Is there anyone you wish would fall in love with you?
Ray Stevenson? Hugh Jackman? Heston Blumenthal? Keanu Reeves?

78. What do you wear when you sleep?
Usually a t-shirt and trackies in the winter. In summer… nothin’ but a sheet. Daring.

79. Are you obsessed with something right now?

80. The first person you loved is?
Depends on the love we’re talking about. In all cases, I am not sure.

81. Something terrible happened with you?
Not worth mentioning here.

82. You are locked up with your celebrity crush for days, what happens?
He realises I am undeniably sexy and cannot keep his hands off me. We go all National Geographic.

83. If you could wish something, what would it be?
I wish I could win enough money just to pay off the mortgage. I am not greedy.

84. Ever try to force someone to do something?
LOL I have a younger sister. Of course I did.

85. When you are alone, what do you think about?
What I am doing with my life and how it’s not turned out at all like I thought it would.

86. How was your first sex?
Odd question. And my “first sex” was painful – but not in the way you’re thinking. -.-

87. What’s your favorite music genre?
I don’t have one. I have very, very eclectic tastes. I find songs that I enjoy and tend to listen to those over and over again. I can listen to the same handful of songs for years before I will find some others. Right now I’m lovinng Owl City’s Fireflies… and that was released in 2009.

88. Are you happy I only wrote 88 questions?
I’m happy I didn’t have to answer all 88 of them.