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Wednesday, 13 August 2014


I love Wednesdays. A sunny day spent with my little girl. Giggling. Music class. Going down the slide 100 times. Drinking tea. Cooking and eating. I even had time to do my nails and read. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you" - Lao Tzu

I've lust after these boots for a couple of years but for whatever reason I could never justify them to myself.  And when I was ready to take the plunge my size was never available.  They come in so many colours and textures and while I was leaning towards the black leather I am so glad I ended up with navy suede.  They're so beautiful and so comfortable and the colour slots perfectly into my wardrobe and complements all the neutral colours I wear these days.  I'm wearing less and less black and loving these more every day.

I spent a couple of awesome hours in the kitchen tonight - chicken noodle soup, wontons (which are 11/10) and a stir fry.  More cooking tonight means more quality time with my girl tomorrow.  I cherish every smile and every cuddle.  Life is good.






Rag & Bone Newbury boots (here in navy), the black I really wanted and the black pair I think I will get next, Bassike tee, Witchery Coatigan - great price now with the spend & save. Zara jeans.  No accessories.  No make up.  No perfume.  So liberating.


A cheeky pyjama afternoon on Saturday.  Eating raspberries and reading books.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Is it summer yet??


Asos dressAsos ClutchRag & Bone Newbury booties - the most comfortable heeled boot ever. Melinda Maria ring


It's cold, but I'm hanging to wear this.  Bare legs.  No jacket.  Hurry up sunshine, I'm missing you.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Hello new bikini!

I am on an absolute shopping ban at the moment.  Cutting back work also means cutting back everything else in life.  It's kind of liberating and freeing.  I got rid of 80% of my wardrobe earlier this year.  I had been doing it wrong in recent years.  I was constantly buying bits and pieces and not really enjoying them.  My favourite things that I was always going back to were now 7-8 years old and they needed to go.  As did the more recently acquired pieces that I didn't love and thus couldn't make work.  It was the classic girls case of opening an overflowing wardrobe and having nothing to wear.  

I guess the ban isn't so much for financial purposes, but rather to evaluate what I need.  What's missing, what needs replacing.  Just making the right choices.  I honestly dream of being that who has a bunch of pieces that make up 20 outfits.  The end.

I am already mentally packing for my trip.  I've got 2.5 weeks annual leave and lots and lots of beach time planned.  And I'm determined to pack the best holiday wardrobe that ever existed.  HA!



I added this gorgeous Etro bikini to the fold for a grand total of $38 thanks to the amazing Net-a-Porter further reductions section.  


And I came across this little surprise that I absolutely love - a very well priced summer beauty essentials box that they're doing.  Fantastic products in travel size.  What more could you want for holidays?  There's cleaner, bath oil and make up essentials, all that I plan to take (except BB cream perhaps)? 


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sweet


Bassike t-shirt, Zara jeans, Seed shoes, Witchery scarf
I really wanted these jeans when I saw them at Zara, however they didn't have them in my size.  The only option available was two sizes too small or two sizes too big.  I decided to try the two-sizes-too-big pair on in the hope of tracking down my size from another store, however they sort of ended up fitting like loose boyfriend jeans and I really liked them.  I'm really starting to like the very casual off duty look.




Oh and what's a weekend without some treats, right?  It's just too cold to deny myself! 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”—Henry Miller


Jo Mercer booties, ASOS clutch bag, Lovisa necklace, Trenery dress

Sometimes I carry a clutch bag to work, even if it is pretty big.  It's kind of cool to only have my phones, some cash, pen and note pad with me.  It's also a great excuse to treat myself for a lunch out, something I don't do very often anymore since I'm a really responsible adult now who accounts for every dollar spent and all that.  And all those things. 

It's absolutely freezing at the moment and pitch black for most of the day.  It's been a weird year so far.  I have moments of absolutely content and bliss where I feel at peace and then moments where I feel like an imposter, like I don't deserve it.  This is the year where I tell myself that not everything in life has to be a battle.  I'm slowly learning to let go of the constant guilt that has been compounding.  Earlier this year I quit everything that was for me.  I stopped exercising and writing.  I hadn't done anything for myself in months.  I hadn't read a book in so long.  I hadn't slept.  I was sick all the time and I never bothered to stop and get better.  Since then I've let some people go.  Why must I make all the effort, you know?

 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Pining a bathroom renovation

How easy is it to get way ahead of yourself when renovating and decorating?  I mean, if I had it my way I would have a giant freestanding stone tub overlooking the Manhattan skyline...but anyway...


via pinterest

In reality, I needed something practical that would make a fairly small bathroom look bigger and look high end on a low/mid range budget.  Fifty shades of white and grey was the only option.  It seemed not to polarise anybody too much.

I've learnt that it's important to research and find what you can save on and where it pays to splurge. I initially wanted to wallpaper or at least avoid tiles as much as possible, but as everyone kept pointing out to me, people walk into a bathroom and expect to see TILES, so tiles they're getting.  Once I conceded the tile argument I wanted the tiles to be as matte as possible but again that idea was shot down quickly.  According to all the experts, large gloss tiles create an illusion of more space and are easier to keep clean.  So I settled for "classic white" gloss wall tiles and a beautiful, matte grey textured porcelain floor tile.  Splurging on the floor tiles was a very good decision. I really love them.  I have lost many hours of precious sleep considering and pouring over pictures and matching shades of grey to shades of white. Real estate photos made me quickly realise all the things I didn't want in the bathroom, yet I found it so hard to decide on what I actually wanted.  Maybe that's why it look me 3 years to start the renovation? I am also not really a fan of modern homes and interiors but that's kind of stupid isn't it, how do you renovate something without it being new and shiny and modern?  You don't.  You choose accessories to match your aesthetic!

via pinterest

This is pretty much the look that I settled on. Clean and minimal lines.  My pinterest board for the renovation quickly started to show the same theme.  Lots of white and a grey floor. I imported the highest end tapware from Germany and paid significantly less than I would have paid for mid range stuff at retail prices domestically. The bath and vanity are not perfect but they were sourced dirt cheap from an auction house. And my wonderful and generous dad has donated his talents and time to do the majority of the work. 

Some other little treats I'm planning:

Aesop EVERYTHING



I'm on the look out for a statement mirror.  Lots of character and minimum cost!

Glass jars and canisters in drawers to hold accessories



And a board to hold a mug of tea and a book in the bath... bliss.





Monday, 2 June 2014

On Sunday nights

These days I really hate Sunday nights. They used to be my favourite where I felt fresh and prepared for the week ahead. Not anymore.  I usually reflect on the week that was and realise that I had't done all the things I ambitiously set out to do for myself and others.  I ate the wrong things and didn't keep on top of the washing.  I haven't replied to texts or emails.  My head is exploding.

 

Then there's too much to do to prepare for Monday and the week ahead.  Meetings to plan.  Meals and snacks to think about and shop.  This week, my diary has come to a head with the volume of things I need to do and buy.  Of course the best way to make a start on those is to procrastinate and drink a cup of tea while sulking about it on the internet.

 

I have the final bits of the bathroom to lock in and supplies to collect on Wednesday.  I am anxiously still waiting for the tapware from Germany.  I am really cutting it fine with the fitout due next week.  And then there's a budget.  Budgets are made to be blown aren't they?  By at least 20%, right?

 

And here's photo evidence of the state of affairs at the moment.  It's making my head hurt.  My own fault for wanting a home with a bit of character that featured a peeling laminate vanity in the bathroom and horrible mismatched tiles.


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

What's up?


I absolutely love this quote.  Saying NO has become a massive part of me the last few years.  I was always striving for more, taking on just a little bit too much.  Over exerting myself.  Pushing, pushing, pushing.  Until I really took a beating on all levels and decided to scale down.  It was a slow journey to no, but saying no doesn't feel me with guilt anymore.

This year seems to have really got away from me.  I didn't have much planned, except to survive.  Survive whatever challenges life threw at me. And there has been many.  Many surprises and learnings.   I have needed to make adjustments and roll with the punches.  Seems to be the way for me, always changing, always growing.  My health has unfortunately really taken a beating.  My immune system has deserted me and I am desperately trying to claw my way back.  It's hard to do much when you feel unwell but it makes you appreciate what you're capable of when you're well.  When I'm at work, I give it 100%.  When I'm with Ariana she gets all of me.  And I always endevour to make an effort and get dressed in the morning and make the bed.  Even if everything else about my day is a disaster.

I slow down and then I start back up again.  I am just about to commence a bathroom renovation that has been almost 4 years in the making.  I am in tile and tapware hell.  The more pinterest photos I click through and the more I shop around the more confused I become.  I've changed my mind on a weekly and daily basis.  There are just too many shades of white.  A high end and sleek bathroom on a shoestring budget - that's always a fun one.  I can't wait to share the process and my vision with you all!  I think I am finally ready.  The floor tiles have painstakingly been picked out and the tapware has been ordered from Germany.  


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Forever

If I could wear an outfit every day for the rest of my life, this would probably be it.  I avoided knits for too long, preferring sweet tops, but lets be honest - they did not keep me warm.  Now that I've come to my senses, I'm amassing a

On a recent rainy afternoon I literally opened the door of my wardrobe and screamed in frustrating, hauled most of it out into a tub (or two) and threw it out.  I am so bored and frustrated with all of it.  All of it!  I just want to start again.

Witchery leather front ponte (similar available this year HERE), CR flats, CR bobble spot knit, Lovisa necklace, Sussan bangle, MAC Russian Red lipstick



Friday, 9 May 2014

Grilled haloumi and caramelised apple salad




I could actually eat this for every meal for the rest of my life.  The saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the apple are the ultimate combination.  A sprinkle of cinnamon and a couple of walnuts tops it off.

I grill the haloumi in coconut oil and then caramelise the apple in the juices.  It beats chocolate for a snack any day of the week.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Nigella's Nutella Cheesecake

I contemplated many plans for this weekend but instead decided to stay and do traditional things with my darling girl.  She's certainly keeping me on my toes and requires constant attention and entertainment.

Dessert was never going to be allowed to be time consuming as the small person doesn't have a very long attention span.  She did enjoy watching the biscuits being crushed and the Nutella being combined with the cheese.

It's honestly the easiest and most impressive dessert. EVER!  Highly recommend it.  It's a busy person's dream.  I won't bore you with the instructions as they're freely available on Nigella's website.

Happy and blessed Easter to you all - Hristos Voskrese!










Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rain, rain

Image via Country Road

It has been raining non stop for the past 3 days.  That constant drizzle.  Rain drops on the roof and trickle down the gutters.  The front garden is littered with brown leaves from the Magnolia tree.  The days are getting shorter and nights are getting colder. Summer is over.  When a season ends I always look ahead and wonder just WHAT it is that I wore last winter.  How did I survive the endless bone breaking chill?  

I have the foundations for my winter wardrobe.  I have flat knee high boots which only get better with age.  I have leather leggings and my DL1961 jeans fit perfectly for now.  Now I want a thousand knits and a thousand scarves and a thousand Bassike long sleeve tees to layer under said knits.  And everything else I want to throw in the bin.  That's fair, right?




Saturday, 29 March 2014

New in



I have been a Kiehl's Creme de Corps devotee for over 10 years.  It's an expensive habit but I have dry, sensitive skin and it's the only product that has truly over the years combated this problem and also not broken me out in rashes on my legs.  I had a horrendous flight with Ariana this week and wanted to travel light (I managed carry on only for a 6 day trip with toddler!) so decided to try my luck with a supermarket moisturiser once I reached my destination that I could throw out if it didn't work.  The promise of convenience won me over and I'm most impressed.  The product sprays and comes out like foam and it can cause a bit of a mess (I had particles end up on my t shirt as I was applying it to my legs).  However it's non greasy and dries quickly and surprisingly does an excellent job on my dry skin.  I maybe onto a winner here.  


I finally had a hair cut this week.  Well a trim of the little hair I have left.  I have lost so much hair over the past 6 months that I have bold patches.  Clumps of hair fall out multiple times a day.  I've read some amazing reviews on this Wella Energy Serum so I'm giving it a whirl.  The glass bottle is beautiful and the product isn't an oil, but a nutrient enriched water that is supposed infuse the scalp with nutrients and help it grow when applied 3 times a week.  I'm hopeful even if I'm not a big believer in miracle products.  


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What I wore to work

Scanlan & Theodore dress, Jimmy Choo shoes - I want these in EVERY colour, Louis Vuitton GM Neverful tote, Lovisa necklace


I was ecstatic to find this dress at the S&T outlet for a fraction of the retail price.  The fabric is a gorgeous thick wool and I adore the grey panels and full length zip at the back which make the dress a bit more fun.  I do love a dress.  Easy to wear and requires minimal thought.  I am also obsessed with how comfortable these shoes are and I want them in every single colour.  

I desperately need to do something with my hair.  At least half of it has fallen out and the other half is crying for a trim and some colour.  I am tempted to cut it all off but I know I will regret it.  Decisions...



Thursday, 13 March 2014

Navy blue

Morrison tunic dress, Scanlan & Theodore belt, Zara shoes, Samantha Wills bangle


As you go along through life people will impart their words of wisdom on you whether you like it or not.  Sometimes you listen, sometimes you don't.  There is an investment dressing school of thought and a quick disposable fashion school of thought.  Buy all the things, wear them and move on.  

I often wonder when I see a $60 dress just how much the person who made it was paid.  And absolutely a $600 dress doesn't guarantee humane working conditions and fair pay.  

Small living and storage spaces have pushed me along into the investment dressing camp. Too many things just overwhelm me and if I haven't worn it for a while it has to go.  eBay, op shop or my mum.  She loves my clothes.  Despite how ruthless I am most of the time, there are still too many things lingering around that just don't fit me right.  A top is a little bit too short, my chest being too small so it hangs a little bit too loosely, the skirt length that just isn't right or something that has stretched out of shape.  I think my height and body shape have a huge part to play in how ill fitting many clothes are on me.  I look at things and wonder why I ever bought them.  Then it quickly dons on me that most of those items were cheap and cheerful impulse buys online or on a chain store sales rack.  So I'm back to only buying well thought out items.  Amazing cut, amazing fabric and go with most things that I already have.  I am all about repeat outfits and high rotation wear.  



Wednesday, 12 March 2014

5 minute face


I have officially reached the stage where I look terrible without make up.  As much as I loathe applying make up, I especially loathe how horrible I look bare faced.  While I still use make up, I am forcing myself to at least wear a little bit when I'm going to work or out in public (except the grocery store, the grocery store does not judge my bare face).  

I am a big fan of BB creams.  While I will forever remain loyal to my Armani Luminous Silk foundation, after much trial and error the L'oreal BB cream is my holy grail.  As you apply it, it transforms in front of you to suit your complexion.  And with continuous wear, I see an improvement in my skin.  If need be I build some coverage with a mineral foundation, curl my lashes, apply a coat of mascara and use to Bloom cream blush.  And if I have a bit more time I also use some brown eye liner. Baby steps.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Recipe: nutella mug cake


My guilty conscious hates myself for finding this recipe and you are totally allowed to hate me for sharing it with you.  It takes 2 minutes and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  

  • 4 tablespoons of self raising flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of nutella
Beat all ingredients with a fork in a mug.  Microwave for 90 seconds and eat alone or with cream or ice cream.  Insane.  

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Mid week thought


Weekly treat for self - fresh flowers.


I am slowly getting my groove back.  The first month back at work was hard.  I didn't know where my place in the workplace was and I didn't know how Ariana was fitting into her new environment.  We missed one another. Picking her up is the highlight of my day.  The bear hug and the smile that greets me when she sees me.  She fills my life with so much endless joy.  She is a delight in every sense of the word.    

But my work has been a huge part of my identity for so long.  I had worked so hard and then suddenly stopped. I went on a physical, emotional and financial hiatus.  And if I'm honest I'm sloooowly enjoying being back to the old me.  The days I get to wear the long forgotten skirts and dresses from the back of my wardrobe and shoes that don't have to be sand pit appropriate.  There are many responsibilities inherent in being a good parent, including providing financially for a child.  And emotionally and spiritually.  It's all consuming and never ending.  But it's actually really rewarding.  More rewarding than any other aspect of my life.  

It's nice to have some small indulgences to myself.  I gave myself a small allowance and added some great new pieces to my wardrobe.  I shut off all personal expenditure last year and am thoroughly enjoying small treats for myself again.  My favourite right now is a bunch of fresh flowers every week or so.   Picking out a bunch doesn't require any more time away from my little girl.  Unlike a pedicure.

I had a bit of a play with my blog this week and was amazed to learn that nearly 2,000 unique visitors read this thing.  So tweet me, email me, comment... what would you like to read more about?  Tell me! Maybe I should do some outfit posts?  Yes, I think I will!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

“(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that's the only shift they offer.” ― Jodi Picoult

My darling girl, aged 10 months

Today, like every other day I woke up at 0645 to the sounds of a little girl cooing and yelling out for mama from next door.  We had a feed and a cuddle and read some books and cuddled some more and then she was ready to start her day.  B took her and the dog for a walk and I had 40 minutes to read in bed.  Then I made breakfast, cleared the dishes, vacuumed the floor, read some more books to Ari, had a pedicure, made lunch, went out for frozen yoghurt with my girl, wrapped some gifts, went to the beach for a swim and some play in the sand, made dinner, bathed Ariana, put Ariana to sleep, baked a cake, folded some laundry, packed Ariana's daycare bag, packed my own bag for work (removed nappies, wipes and toys from it and added a diary and some almonds), planned an outfit for work, washed my hair.......

Wait.  I had a pedicure??? Yeah.  Ari had a nap and I left her home with daddy.  Miracle.  There was a lot however that I didn't get to do.  I didn't sort out tomorrow's washing and the Sunday newspaper is sitting unread.

So what's the point of this post? I suppose it's to voice my grievances at those "CAN WOMEN HAVE IT ALL?????" articles that appear in the media every 3 weeks or so.  

Tomorrow is my third week back at work since I went on leave in March 2013.  Let me tell you that I started crying in September at the thought of leaving my little baby with someone else while I went to WORK.  She was so tiny and she needed me.  I was due to go back in mid December but I really wasn't ready and was fortunate enough to be able to extend my leave for another 5 weeks.  I had a holiday and came around to the idea.  The night before I cried again thinking about how my girl would cope without me.  But you know, each day she's been better. She's a very social and happy child by nature and enjoys the company of her new friends and loves the new toys and activities she can do at daycare that she can't do with me.  The long run benefits far outweigh the negatives for our family.

Now, how about women having it all.  Each of us is different and we have different priorities and opinions and life circumstances but I will admit one thing.  I can't have it all.  Not to the standard that I would normally devote to my commitments.  I can't give my career 100% right now and at the same time give my daughter 100%.  And see my friends and spend time with my family and cook and bake and sleep for a few hours a night.    Not right now.  That's why I'm working 3 days a week for the time being.  Time with my daughter wins.




Monday, 27 January 2014

"every summer has a story"

Happy Australia Day!  I am so thankful to live in this country and grateful that today is a public holiday.  I was not ready to face work today - I'm tired and battling a cold.  Not the best combination.  Copious amounts of water are my friend this morning.

This weekend always seems to signal the end of summer for me, even though in Melbourne the warmest days are still ahead.  The parties seem to die down and everyone has already headed back to work.  The shops begin to bring out sweaters and leather.  WAAAAAY too soon.  

I was lucky to escape to the beach for a while this summer.  Ari loves the ocean just as much as I do.  I have had so many crazy thoughts running my head that I really needed a get away.  It came just at the right time and was calming in every way.  The baby forced the pace to slow down.  Throw in some naps and an 8pm bed time for all of us.  It was perfect.


A very early morning swim - Sportsgirl panama hatSeafolly beach bag

Ari pondering life 







Chicken tacos. So simple and so good.




Rounding off 2013 with a mojito

Perfection on a plate. Flourless chocolate cake.

Massimo;s Gelateria - I always have the same thing when I try out a new icecreamery - hazelnut and tiramisu.





Literally the only things I used - a cheap kaftan, Kindle touch, Zimmermann bikini, Kiehl creme de corps, Kiehl midnight recovery oil, Nivea spray sunscreen, Korres fig body wash and ASAP eye cream and SPF moisturizer.  So liberating. 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Beach life


Nothing better than the grin on the face of a child when they're in the ocean.