Team blog

It’s been a pretty crazy month in world crises this month and I’ve gotta say, it has really got me down. We’re seeing war, genocide, anti-Semitism and even planes being shot from the sky! I keep having moments of feeling like the whole world is crumbling around us and I actually feel a genuine fear for the future generation.

I guess that is what has prompted me to write this blog. I must say, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of emotions trying to figure out why all of these things are happening. One minute I’m humanitarian Nikki, wanting to form mixed race groups to promote peace and spread the message that our generation will not put up with this craziness! There’s also been angry Nikki, who can’t help but point fingers and try to place blame and quite outwardly hate certain groups. Then there was helpless Nikki, who threw her hands up in the air one day and said “I don’t care about that country or this country I just care about me and my family. I don’t have the energy to invest emotionally in these things, and who am I to think I could make a difference?!” I think I’ve shown my boyfriend every possible side of me now, which I can’t help but feel bad about, and it is with that thought that I realised the following:

Every decision you make, every opinion you generate, every argument you try to win and every side you choose to take; it has a rippling effect. It affects your friends, your family, and your workmates. It also puts you in a position to be attacked from the other side. It drags people into arguments that may not be theirs to fight. In fact, they may not even be yours to fight. But every opinion we have is circumstantial, meaning, it could have quite easily gone the other way. Let me explain…

You may hear your mum and dad at home saying they don’t like certain people, maybe a certain race or religion, because they have done x, y and z. You might then take that opinion to school and spread that opinion to your friends who will believe every word you’re saying. Then they may take that back to their siblings or parents and fuel the flame even more.

The point is, the opinion that your parents had doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an opinion you need to have. They have formed their opinions based on their upbringings and their circles of friends, and as you can see, that is all circumstantial. It isn’t based on fact, or law or anything really credible. It’s just an opinion. And while we should ALWAYS respect our parents, we don’t necessarily need to agree with everything they’re saying.

I wanted to talk about this because I think it is so important, as the youth of this country starts to grow older and form their own thoughts and ideas, we need to break the cycle of circumstantial ideals. What we all need to focus on is acceptance of individuality, race, religion and culture. We are so blessed to live in a country where people from all over the world have found a home, and to maintain that level of multiculturalism we need to realise that we all bleed the same blood. I can be me, and you can be you. We don’t need to press our values on to one another.

We don’t need to force our religion down each other’s throat. We don’t need to hate that person just because someone else thinks we should. We can learn about one another without feeling like we have to follow in each other’s footsteps. We are all perfect just the way we are and if we could break this cycle of Chinese Whispers talking about how the other guy is the bad guy, then maybe we can be excited for the future of not just our beautiful country, but the entire world. So this week I encourage you all!

Go speak to someone at school that you’ve never spoken to before. Make friends with someone that you wouldn’t normally hang out with. Help someone in need and reach out a hand to a group of people you’ve never acknowledged before. Hey, if you want to be really brave, try to make peace with someone you’ve been out of touch with for a while. Find a social media platform and tell your “enemy” that you hope one day we can all live in peace. Because the only thing that’s worse than evil is when peaceful people don’t speak out against evil.

I guess what I’ve had to remind myself in the last few weeks is that there are definitely more good people in the world then there are bad. So if we could all just unite in our goodness, no matter what colour our skin is, then maybe we’ll make a loud enough noise that the bad guys can’t even be heard anymore.

Nikki xx

This month, DOLLY blogger Alli Simpson shares her tips for recovering after a split.

Breakups can be rough; and no matter what, no one really wants to go through them. It sucks! But this is life – you get dumped, or you cut him loose... sometimes it doesn’t matter. It’s hard either way!

Sadness, heartache and anger are all part of the deal and unfortunately, that’s not likely to change. This is reality, and every girl will one day go through exactly the same thing. The loss of your relationship can bring on intense emotional feelings and drama. It REALLY sucks, I know!

So, if you’re looking for some help to get through it and want some suggestions about how to make it a little easier, read on...

1. Put your phone down and don’t backtrack. Ask yourself: Is it really worth going back?

2. Don’t take him back because you're lonely. If the breakup was your idea, you obviously did it for a reason. Obsessing over "the good times" you may have had with him (especially if you listen to "your song" while doing this) may cause you to forget the reasons why you ended it. Remind yourself of why you made the decision in the first place, and realise you deserve better.

3. Talk to your friends. You want to make sure you surround yourself with supportive and loving friends that will make you feel good. Talking it out will always help. Talk it all out with your best friend, get her over for a sleepover, do girly things, have fun and take your mind off him for a while.

4. Write all your feelings down. If you feel like you want to be alone and not talk to anyone, as I would after a break up, write down all your feelings in a journal or a book. The most important thing is to be absolutely honest and don’t edit yourself or change your mind as you go.

One of the best results of writing it all down is that sometimes you will be amazed by a sudden insight that comes to you as you are pouring it all out onto paper. A smart thing to remember if you keep a journal is be sure you keep it in a place where curious brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, etc. won’t be likely to stumble across it.

5. Keep your space. Even if you and your ex have decided to stay friends, spend time completely away from each other right after the breakup. This means not seeing each other, not being around his/her family members, no phone calls, no text messages, no Facebook, none of that.  Give yourself some time to get over the heartbreak.

6. Cry it out. Crying is NOT weak. Sometimes we need to let out our emotions and in such a difficult situation, the easiest way is to cry. If you feel the need to cry, CRY! Don’t try hold it in, it is ok to bawl your eyes out.

7. My last piece of advice... FIND SOMEONE NEW, GIRL! It will definitely take some time but there are thousands and thousands of cute guys out there. Find someone who treats you right, and loves you for who you are.

Just keep in mind that now you are single! Live and fight through the tough experiences when they take place. But for now, live life, and take chances as they come.

But the main thing to remember is that it happened for a reason. You may not know what the reason is right away, but there is a reason why you are going through this. Just keep your head up high, and know that you deserve better.

Alli xx


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The secret to being happier...

This month, DOLLY blogger Alli Simpson shares her tips on finding the happy in every day.

Why do some people just seem so happy and energetic all the time?

I've picked up on a few things they all seem to have in common:

1. Beauty is all around us. They find beauty in simple things like sunsets, flowers, having chats with a good friend, even an old and beautiful tree! You don’t have to go on holidays to see nice things. There is beauty in your own back yard; you just possibly never take the time to look. Today, make a point of finding something beautiful in your own back yard and take a picture of it for Instagram.

2. Exercise. Most people who are happy, more often than not, seem to exercise regularly. Try a simple fitness program or an energetic activity like jogging, walking, swimming or riding a bike. It keeps you healthy, burns calories and helps get all those “feel good” chemicals floating in your brain. You will find the day feels better if you start it with a little exercise. Today, try taking a yoga class or going for a quick walk around your neighborhood. Even walk your dog; you will both love it.

3. Spreading love. Tell someone you love them and mean it. Show someone you love them by doing something nice for them. Tell your friend you love the way she did her hair today. Ask an elderly lady if she needs help with her shopping trolley. By showing love and kindness to someone else, you are actually showing love and kindness to yourself. Try doing something nice, and unexpected, for someone you love today. You will be surprised by how good it feels.

4. A new perspective. Have you ever noticed that young children have so much energy all the time? That is because everything feels new to them. Try something you haven’t done before; even if it is walking a different way to school or to the shop. Sit in a different spot in class. Sometimes looking at boring things from a different perspective makes them more interesting again. Today, try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. You may find you have to concentrate more but notice the brush actually brushing your teeth.

5. Food, glorious food. We tend to take eating for granted and rush through our meals to move onto something else. Today try taking your time and savoring each mouthful. Notice the tastes and the smells and how it feels in your mouth! You will enjoy your meal and probably taste something you haven’t tasted before. Unless of course you are eating broccoli then swallow it down to get it out of the way or spit it out when no-one is looking (or is that just me?)

6. Look for goodness in others. Even your worst enemies, if you have any, have good points. Most people don’t mean to be mean and everybody needs to be loved. Today, try looking for good points in people and even say something nice to someone you don’t usually get along with. You might even find that person ends up being a good friend! Either way it makes you the bigger person. Forgive to win.

7. Revamp your look. Add something new to what you are wearing today. Maybe a different necklace or bracelet or anklet or some other accessory in your hair. It can be something very simple. Do your nails a different color or decorate your toes. Strut your stuff, sister. A simple something extra can sexy-up any outfit. You will feel good and people may notice it also. A change is a good as a holiday!

8. Smile. Happy people seem to smile a lot; weird huh!? Next time you are feeling sad or angry, try smiling. It is hard to stay angry when you're forcing a smile.

Go on, try it today and let me know how you go! Tell me about your experience on twitter or post a pic of yourself smiling on Instagram.

Love Alli x


I have the travel bug!

5:23PM, Jul 7 2014 Nat

If you were to ask any of the other DOLLY staffers what I talk about most in the office, I’m 100% sure they would say this:  

1. My dog, Sizzle – she’s the worlds cutest sausage dog.
2. Netball – because I play twice a week so they hear about it, twice a week.
3. Chocolate – because, yum.

The other thing I talk about a bit too much (sorry desk buddies, Gyan and Alissa!) is travel. I’m an A Grade travel junkie and sitting opposite Features Writer, Dani, is dangerous business. Between the two of us, we’re constantly brainstorming what country we’re going to visit next.

My addiction started with my parents – they’re both geography teachers so every school holidays, we’d travel someplace in Australia. Since then, I’ve made it my mission to travel to ALL OF THE PLACES.  While I haven’t been toallof them just yet, I’m slowly ticking things off my bucket list. Here are some of my favourite places in the whole entire universe. Well, at least for the moment, on Earth.  

Bologna, Italy

While I was studying at uni, I went on exchange to Italy for seven months and lived in the medieval town of Bologna.  Bologna is filled with cobblestone streets, underground canals and piazzas. One of my favourite memories is of sitting in the main piazza with fresh cheese and bread, playing card games with my fellow exchange friends. There were people from Belgium, France, Germany (to name a few!) and of course, good old Australia.

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

After studying Cambodia’s history in Year 12, I decided to go and visit the South-East Asian country. Not only are the people beyond lovely and the food, amazing, the temples of Angkor Wat are breathtaking. I spent three days just walking around them and would have spent another ten if I had the time.

Edinburgh, Scotland

At the beginning of my big Euro trip, five of my besties and I travelled around Scotland. If I could pin-point a moment where I was just beaming with happiness, it would be New Year’s Eve, 2009. We walked up to Edinburgh Castle and as soon as we reached the top, it started snowing. I felt just like Hermione in Harry Potter – probably because my hair was super frizzy from the snow, but also, because it was just so magical!

North Thailand

My bestie, Emma and I have done most of our travelling together but one of the highlights for both of us is trekking through the Hill Tribes in Thailand. It was super-hot but we walked through the jungle for three days and stayed with families along the way. The first family had no electricity so as soon as the sun dropped, we just played cards with our head torches on.

White Desert, Egypt

One of my favourite things to do is to camp, so camping out in the White Desert in Egypt was THE BEST. I’ve actually never been colder in my whole entire life, and sure, there were foxes everywhere BUT it was super fun. Watching the sunset over the horizon was beautiful.

Machu Pichu, Peru

I’ve always wanted to walk the Inca Trail so I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I finally got to do it. On the fourth day, when we finally arrived at Machu Pichu, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, despite it raining for two days of the hike. We explored the area all day but I’m not going to lie – I spent a good amount of time chasing the llamas to try and get a photo with them!


The Lion King is my all-time favourite Disney movie so heading to Africa, I just wanted to see Simba! While I did see loads of Simba’s, the highlight of this trip was spending time with the gorillas in the jungle.  One of the gorillas actually came over and touched my friend on her shoulder! Super cool!

She’s a life coach, mentor, blogger, empowerer of transformation and, most importantly, my best friend and soul mate. Our history is short: we knew each other in high school but didn’t really hang out till we finished Year 12. We instantly became besties. We endured amazing adventures together, made each other cry from laughter and experienced the highs and lows of becoming who we are today.

I think in life you’re extremely lucky to find a person who you can be 100% yourself with, and with whom you feel free to say or feel anything. And if you’re even luckier, find multiples (which I’m proud to say I have). Through my bestie Tania, I have learnt to love myself for who I am and radiate within the world. Scary at times but I know having her support at all times comforts me and gives me confidence. 

Tania inspires me each day with positive affirmations of self-love and healing. It’s amazing to see someone putting herself completely out there and offering love and freedom to others. Her work of being a life coach is a complete inspiration to me because she’s such a beautiful soul and I know that her wisdom and life lessons are projected onto others and that makes me really happy.

We have both come a long way, and I can say that I’m looking forward to tackling the rest. But knowing I have that grounded support, I can say positively ‘bring it on’. So I guess the moral to this piece of writing is … if you’re lucky enough to find an amazing bestie, hold onto them forever because these friends are hard to find!



Mid-year goals...

5:21PM, Jun 30 2014 Gretchen

Can you believe we're halfway through the year already?

Winter solstice, or the shortest day of the year, always makes me really excited because I'm SO not a winter person and it means that we're already heading back towards summer. And this also means one other thing- we're halfway through the year ALREADY?! How did that happen?!

I know you guys are probably pretty excited because it means winter holidays and no classes for a few weeks (yay!). And we all deserve a sleep in every now and then.

But after you’ve settled into holiday mode and spent a whole day (or two) with your best friends and favourite box-set DVD’s, I have a little challenge for you. Because I think this is the perfect time of year to snuggle up in front of the heater with a journal or head outside to the park to think about how the year is going for you. You might have set a New Year’s resolution to try a new sport, or make a certain grade in algebra. Maybe you've decided this year you want to make some new friends, or pluck up the courage to talk to that guy you like. It could be anything! How is it going? Are you happy with how 2014 is shaping up?

For me, I'm measuring myself up against a few goals I set at the end of last year. I had decided that 2014 would be all about challenging myself, and going outside my comfort zone. I was really keen for a bit of adventure and learning new things at the same time.

I managed to tick that goal off with an AMAZING trip to Nepal with World Vision in April, which was definitely challenging and a totally new experience for me. I learnt a lot about the Nepali people, their culture and what it’s like for people challenged by poverty. Going on that trip broadened my horizons and since then I've made a couple of new resolutions. Number one is doing more to help others. I also want to be more grateful, look on the bright side more often and appreciate how lucky I am to have a job I love, and live in such an awesome place like Australia.

But I wouldn't have learned to appreciate all of those things so much if I hadn't challenged myself to the first objective for the year. Goals and targets are the best way to keep improving, challenging yourself and you might even surprise yourself at what you’re capable of!



The friends you keep

1:20PM, May 29 2014 Rikki

In October, I’m marrying the best boy I have ever met. But while I couldn’t be more sure I have chosen the right man, I had chosen the girls who would stand up with me ten thousand times over since the age of 10.

Bridesmaid choice at 10:

In grade 3 I teased a girl for wearing what I thought was a dumb hat. In grade 4, I realised she was the only person I knew in the new class. Without shame on my part, and with pure kindness on hers, she let me sit with her anyway and became my bestest of best buds. One misunderstanding and a primary school war meant we stopped talking for a few months. But, again showing she is by far a better human than I am, called a truce two weeks before my parents moved the fam to Tassie. We wrote, visited and called our way through the best and worst times of our life.

Bridesmaid choice at 15:

She was kinda the ‘bad girl,’ and I was the cautious kid whose worst crime was spraying cordial on sports gear so I didn’t have to do cross country training. She was also the funniest person I’d had ever met. One time she spoke with a lisp all day. I peed my pants with laughter that day.  Through the years of highschool, my fantasy wedding would change, but what would remain was this gal standing next to me. One time it was decided she would wear diamonte stickers on her eyebrows. Life took us in different directions after high school, but for four years, my fake wedding day also required a back-up nappy.

Bridesmaid choice at 20:

I had decided I would never get married, and I hung out with a group of girls who seemed to feel the same way. In a group of seven, we were too happy having each other’s back. One especially, was the first person I had ever met that actually didn’t care if people thought she was cool. She cried when she was sad, yelled when she was mad and was a fiercely loyal friend. In eight years we had one fight, and although she won’t be wearing a matching dress at my wedding, she’ll be doing a reading because she’s the coolest person who doesn’t know it.

My bridesmaids:

Are some of the greatest humans I know. Life isn’t sure yet if they’ll teach lessons and maybe one day leave, or they’ll be the ones that keep. But, Tegan has been around my whole adult life and taught me how to drink a bag of Twisties. Abbie saves lives, both animals and people, and saves me from boredom at least every other day. Erin has the best musical taste ever, and even when we cry, we laugh. My sisters too, will stand up with me. Oh, and the Maid of Honour? Well, turns out I was right at 10.


That time I went to Tokyo...

10:19AM, May 19 2014 Dani

After spending the last week in Tokyo, I can confirm its hands down my favourite city. If you’re a fellow lover of DIY, stickers and stationery then I’m here to tell you Japan is your mecca.

From Ito-ya in Ginza, where you can wander through nine floors paper accessories goodness to Loft, where you’ll find anything from sumo wrestler note pads to sushi erasers Tokyo is the town you could easily fill your entire suitcase in one store.

One thing I noticed on my trip, aside from an abundance of stationery, was the killer ‘tude of the Tokyo girls, especially the Harajuku girls...

In the flesh their looks can only be described as totally inspiring and equally confusing (I still don’t understand the Band Aide on the nose thing, though it’s totally adorable).

If you’re not planning a trip to Tokyo anytime soon, but you’re keen to transform your wardrobe into a pink shiny shrine to all things cute here’s my DIY round up for nailing the Kawaii look at home:

Ankle bracelets


Usamimi headbands

Jeremy Scott inspired winged sneakers

Nail art


For more, make sure you look out for my Harajuku DIY special in the August issue of DOLLY!


Jetstar now fly direct from Melbourne to Tokyo.



just in


Dolly HQ Blog

It’s been a pretty crazy month in world crises this month and I’ve gotta say, it...
This month, DOLLY blogger Alli Simpson shares her tips for recovering after a sp...
This month, DOLLY blogger Alli Simpson shares her tips on finding the happy in e...
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