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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

'I like being a woman, even in a man’s world. After all, men don't wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.' - Whitney Houston

photo via the coveteur 



I just love that quote by Whitney Houston.  Do you find that people are judgemental about what others wear?  I do.  Wasn't Steve Jobs' black turtle neck a hot topic every time he launched a new product?  Although these days I'm often in loose jeans or shorts when I'm at home, the days in the office are always spent in a dress or skirt and heels.  Heels are non negotiable.  I even wore heels while I was pregnant.  I certainly didn't suffer.  Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes so when I do find the right pair they come home with me and they're worn to death.  I do get tired of the arguments that caring about your clothes and how you look invalidates your ability to be good at your job.  My overall looks add to my power.  It makes me feel more like myself without it impacting my professional skills.  

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Thank you!

Papier D'Amour thank you cards

I feel terribly guilty that I don't get to write regular posts and visit other blogs.  It was one of my favourite things to do.  It's just become increasingly difficult to find time to allocate to this hobby.  I have plenty to write but time just gets away from me so quickly.  Before I know it it's Thursday night and another week has almost passed.

So I wanted to say thank you.  Think for continuing to visit my blog (I am always amazed at how many unique visits I get), thank you for engaging with me via social media.  Thank you!  I promise to post more regularly this summer.  In an effort not to neglect the people I treasure the most in life I'm planning on mailing out some hand written thank you cards.  I Christmas cards are also in the works early this year.  

Monday, 3 November 2014

Dry body brushing


I have oily, yet at the same time horribly dry skin. It's often a fine line between the two. Neglecting one problem makes the other worse. Kiehl's Creme de Corps is an expensive necessity for the dryness (yes I've tried every alternative and they have all failed) and recently I've become obsessed with dry body brushing. Not only does it remove all the visible (and invisible) dry skin but it allows my moisturiser to absorb deeper and I swear it helps with lumps and bumps. I should have jumped on the bandwagon much sooner. The Mio brush fits perfectly in the hand and when I'm organised enough to have a proper morning shower I notice how much more awake I feel as it tingles and boosts circulation.  Highly recommended in any bathroom.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Launching Movida Solera @ Movida Acqui

A few weekends ago I spent 3 hours at Movida Acqui eating a 10 course lunch and washing it down with 4 glasses of wine.  All the meals were cooked straight out of the new Movida Solera book and Frank and Richard were in attendance to tell us about their 5 week food adventure through Spain.  It was indeed a very decadent way to spend an afternoon.  

The meals were not only wonderful but they were also simple.  Occasionally it's nice to be able to flip through a cookbook and make a meal with ingredients that are already at home in the fridge.   







Monday, 20 October 2014

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu


I used to be all about the buzz, but now I'm all about serenity.  I used to live so close to St Kilda Botanic Gardens but I never, ever went there.  Now it's one of my favourite places to run or to sit and think (often while my toddler is running away from me in the opposite direction).  We eat strawberries and giggle and pick flowers and roll on the grass.  I'm so blessed that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are days for just us.  We fill the fridge and do some washing and then we have some fun.  A dear friend of mine always said that life will find a way and it really, truly has.  

I've learnt not to complain about things I can't change and embrace the way that things are.  I'm all the happier for it.  My favourite part of Sunday afternoon was 40 minutes to myself listening to jazz music and prepping dinner.  

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

On holiday


Playing in the sand 

1.2km of stairs at 5am. 


Colour


The best spot to enjoy hot lemon water at 5am




Chambray love.  Wearing it every day.




Stirring mum a drink



Sunrise from QT hotel




Grocer & Grind 


I don't think I realised how tired and burnt out I was until the stress of going on holiday was over. Repeated illness and running on empty. Not enough sleep. Not enough hours in the day. I was pulling myself together and faking it with good shoes and make up. That's just what you do. We all live in the same world. Attached to our phones and emails and petrified of people's reactions if we cannot be reached right then and there. Going on holidays stressed me out. Being away and having to pack to go away didn't seem worth it. I made a giant list of toddler necessities I needed to pack and another list of "maybe I also need this stuff just in case" which left room for about 3 outfits for me to wear for 3 weeks. And it's damn awesome to open up a suitcase and not have to make a choice about what to wear that day. I was up before 5 most days. I ran up countless stairs. I enjoyed sunshine and amazing food. I loved the early morning rising and early night routine. I even managed a siesta or two (or six).  There's a reason why we go on holiday.  I've already booked my next one.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

On healing


I have been getting out of bed and then straight back into it. Indulging in breakfast in bed one Saturday morning.  I have a recurring bug I can't shake. I've got the next two weeks locked in for some much needed rest and recuperation. Some beach time and sunshine. Tomorrow is the first day of spring. It always marks a new beginning. A self promise of more exercise and better eating. I'm doing some redecorating at home and have new linen. New vases and new artwork. 

I've been disconnected as I've tried to rest. When everything is done I don't want to sleep. I want to read and share but right now I have to sleep. So goodnight x

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?