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Sunday, 30 May 2010

Back to basics

I am about 48 hours away from completing an exam which is causing me nightmares!  Then I get a few days off!  Woohoo.

End of the exam also marks the end of my shopping ban and I have been day dreaming about my first purchase!  I'm craving some new basics for layering the most, or maybe a new scarf...

Skin and Threads has opened a gorgeous new store near home, so I think that maybe my first stop on Tuesday afternoon!  Great choice of basics in cotton, organic cotton, cashmere, jersey, merino...

Hope you've all had a fab weekend xx

Thursday, 27 May 2010

five years time

The lovely Lou, Boos and shoes tagged me to complete a "five years time" meme.  She's one of my favourite and inspiring bloggers.  Do check her blog out.

Where were you five years ago?

In 2005 I was a university student.  I lived in Brisbane with my parents and my little brother (whom I miss very very VERY much).  I was preparing for end of semester exams.  I spent 6 weeks in Europe in January/February and was set to go to America in July, so I was probably also having my pennies.  The trip was only short as it was during semester, 5 days in Seattle for a wedding and also a week in San Francisco.  Unfortunately I have lost 90% of my photos from that 5 year period.  But I do have the photos from that trip...

The wedding

Seattle skyline (my first digital camera was fantastic!!! I miss it!)

A very large, king size bed at Park Hyatt Seattle.  And a bottle of Cetaphil for my dry, dry legs on the bed side table.

My nose & the Seattle space needle

Golden Gate bridge on a rare clear day in SF - it was the middle of the summer and TOTALLY freezing in SF!

The famous Haight & Ashbury Street intersection

Where would you like to be five years from now?

I will have turned 30 and hopefully be settled into life, whatever that may mean.  I have had a very tumultuous and unpredictable few years and whatever I imagined myself doing, has been twisted by my destiny.  Right now I am living life year by year, planning only the short term.   I'm trying to have no expectations... My life really has been a box of chocolates (you never know what you're going to get)

What is on your to do list today?

  • fix the internet at home, which keeps dropping out
  • finish reading a month's worth of newspaper articles that I am archiving for inspiration
  • study... sigh
  • order textbooks for next semester
  • find a gift for my friend's 40th, which is tomorrow!

What five snacks do you enjoy?
  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Green tea (instead of a snack!)
  • Cheese
  • Peanut M&Ms

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

I would help everyone who needed it.  I always wish I had more so I could give more to my family & friends... I wish I could fly my parents down to see me on a whim, I wish I could buy my friends better birthday presents....

Extreme wealth does not really interest me.  I work with HUGE sums of money on a daily basis that I have become totally oblivious and ignorant to the topic.  I see situations where money has ruined people - they may live in a mansion, drive a luxury car and carry a Birkin, but they owe 90% against their house, have $34 in their account and all of their investments are about 3 weeks away from being called in.  Other wealthy people shower once a week and drive a 1995 Lancer.  Money is a funny thing.  Don't get me wrong, I love the finer things in life, but most of us can have those things if we budget and invest our money wisely.  The trick is not to live beyond your means.  

But heck, this is a blog, so at least for a year, I would help those that I know who need it, and travel the world and buy myself whatever I wanted, until the novelty wore off.

I could never sit and do nothing, doing nothing gets old after 4 days... the brain craves development and challenges.... knowledge... power.  

I pass this meme on the following intriguing blogs - where will you be in five years time?

Semi Expat
Inspiration in Italy
This Free Bird - a newly discovered blog that I adore
Sydney Shop Girl
Lemons and Laundry

All lovely blogs that you must check out xx

After years of trial and error, I think I finally have my body figured out.

My weight has varied. I grew up as a very tall, thin child and teenager (I was fully grown at 181cm by the time I was 13). I was subjected to ridicule every chance that somebody got. I personally feel a pang of pain every time I see something nasty written about 15 year old models who are 6 foot and 50 kilos, as I was a "freak of nature" like that too. I lived a healthy life, typical to that of any teenager - I was an 800m runner, I player soccer and softball, I ate whatever I wanted. I was just blessed with my mothers genes which meant no hips and no stretch marks. It wasn't my fault. My mum got sick of the comments too, so she thought it would be a good idea to dress me in oversized t shirts and track suits.

My metabolism marginally slowed down when I was studying for my final high school exams as I spent no time outdoors and instead my life consisted of staring at textbooks and writing essays with no exposure to fun or sunlight. But the end result was worth it - I got into the course I wanted, at the university I dreamt of attending. Life was good. I did a bit modelling locally for student designers and in small shows in Brisbane. It was a fun hobby more than anything else. Some of the girls I worked with did very well - some even went overseas, but I didn't take it very far.

Somewhere in my early 20s I became a workaholic and a gym junkie. I was overloading at uni (by doing an extra subject most semesters), working a couple of part time jobs and spending about 2 hours at the gym every day, 5-6 days a week. I barely had an appetite. I always felt full. Thankfully I do not view my life through rose coloured glasses and I put in a big effort to change my ways, even though my boyfriend at the time found skinny "hot". I never lived my life for anyone else. I don't look after myself to please someone else. I don't dress for anyone else either. Perhaps I'm a little bit too stubborn and too selfish. Maybe that's because I was an only child for almost 10 years.

Turning 25 saw a huge change in my body. I put on close to 10 kilos for no reason in particular, yet my clothes still fit me and my body shape never fundamentally changed. I will never know what happened, or why. My only guess is the terrible time I was having in my personal life.

Food intake control is the only way that I managed to lose most of that weight. If I eat what I want, when I want and exercise constantly, nothing changes. If I watch what I eat, whether I exercise I not, I can see results.  And really muscles and the work put in at the gym do not show unless the fat percentage is reduced.

So now, this is how I like to do things:

  • In the morning I have half a tea spoon of UMF 25+ Manuka honey, followed by a big cup of green tea or some warm water with half a lemon.

  • Mid morning I will have some fruit or a liquid breakfast.

  • For lunch, I like to eat a substantial meal. There is a fabulous organic cafe near work that does wonderful gourmet sandwiches - roast lamb and greek salad.. roasted vegetables... the baguettes they use are amazing. Eating a substantial meal for lunch gives my body enough time to burn off the calories and stops mid afternoon hunger pains.

  • For dinner anything goes - but I eat a small portion. Usually an "entre" size.

  • With lunch I almost always have something sweet, but I have a mini canolli, or two squares of chocolate, instead of half a block! It's all about limiting portion sizes. And it works.
Exercise wise, I have been very slack since I've been married. My lifestyle has changed and so have the clothes I wear and the city (and climate) that I live in, which means that much less skin is on show. I do try to fit in 3 exercise sessions a week. ALWAYS a run around "The Tan" on a Saturday morning (a 3.8km track around the Botanical Gardens) as well as two really good gym sessions - weights, lunges, skipping, circuit training. Exercise keeps me sane. I'm lucky to have a gym next door to the office so I can pop in after work when I get the chance.

I know that talking weight and diets is considered taboo and off limits, but I think our bodies are a big deal for women and should be looked after by way of llifestyle, instead of crash diets three weeks before our friends wedding. Our bodies constantly change and our habits and routines should also change.

Seeing the photos of Gisele, shot for Vogue weeks after her baby was born was something else.  The photos no doubt inspire envy, but Gisele is an athlete who trains hard and didn't use pregnancy as an excuse to abuse her body.  Here's a short part of the interview, I love how honest she is...

The baby is called Benjamin Rein: "I wanted him to be called River because I wanted something always flowing, immortal. My husband said, 'There's no way we're going to call him River.' But my father's name is Reinoldo, so it's a homage to him. And it's like water."

Benjamin was born at home, in warm water in a deep bathtub that overlooks the Charles River. "I wanted to experience the transformation," says Gisele. A midwife friend of hers came in from Brazil as did her mother; her husband was there too. Gisele meditated through the birth. "It was the most amazing experience of my life, feeling him come through my body. And once he was born, I never felt so empowered as looking at him and thinking, Oh, my God, we did it together!"

She was up the next day, cooking and wandering around the vast apartment where her mother is staying in the guest room to help out—"I don't trust anyone else with Benjamin." She's regained her figure, apparently instantly and with no more exercise than some yoga on a mat in the living room. "I think it's muscle memory," she says. Gisele has always been in shape: Born one of six girls in the German-speaking hamlet of Horizontina in southern Brazil, she spent her childhood outdoors, "like a little monkey, jumping from tree to tree in bare feet." An athlete, she was captain of her volleyball team and hasn't stopped. "I did kung fu up until two weeks before Benjamin was born, and yoga three days a week. I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds."

Thank you all for stopping by and reading and commenting on my blog. I know I have a lot of your blogs to visit and some awards to collect, I promise I'll get there soon....

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

SATC 2: Premier

Just as important as the costumes in the film is what the girls will wear to the huge number of premiers.  And I absolutely love what they wore to NYC premier!  Simple, colourful and chic!  Cynthia typically gets the rough end of the stick but she looked spectacular, in my opinion!

Sex and the City 2 - the verdict

Have you seen SATC2 yet?  What did you think? 

If not, are you planning on seeing it?

I am attending the Australian premier next week (we're way behind) as well as a very indulent gold class screening a week later - packaged with cakes, cosmos and reclining seats.  Once for the story line and a second time for a proper digest of the costumes and probably countless times later on DVD for lonely, boring Sunday afternoons.

Much like the first one, I have very low expectations.  But how can I not go see it?  I think all of the characters have had their happy ending, but I guess it is good for the actors who do not much else.. except SJP who releases a fragrance or two to coincide with each film.

Recession?  What recession?

Enjoy x

Friday, 21 May 2010

Specks for specs

I am on a search for a new pair of prescription glasses.

I used to have perfect eyesight then when I was 19 after a splendid, long summer I returned to university and suddenly could not see a thing.  I am currently on my 3rd pair and change them every two or so years. Two year anniversary is coming up in June.

The current pair is plain, thin framed and silver with a nose piece which digs into my nose and leaves an indentation and gives me a headache at the end of the day!  The previous pair was the infamous thick framed Pradas, but without the nose piece they were constantly slipping down my nose.  Plus the frame was a bit too thick for my round face.

So what now?

I think I want something in between.  My eyesight as deteriorated significantly, so they've become a necessity and the thought of contact lenses scares me.

I think I like the brown pair at the back of this photo, or something similar.  Anyone know of any good links for research/inspiration?

Only Gisele can make glasses look this amazing.

Actually, I think these D&G's fill the criteria!  AUD375

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Modern Pearls

Did you know that about a century ago, Pierre Cartier exchanged a double strand necklace of natural pearls for a mansion on 5th Avenue that belonged to the financier Morton F Plant?  That mansion is now Cartier's flagshop store on 5th... Hmm Mrs Plant must have really wanted the necklace, eh?

I got a pair of pearl earrings from my aunt for my 12th birthday.  She got them for me because her aunt got her a pair of pearl earrings for her 12th birthday.  My aunt was born in New York City to Hungarian migrant parents.  She went to boarding school and converted to Judaism because her best friend was Jewish.  She was a high flying executive in the advertising world in Manhattan and after her husband died, she moved to California, where she met my uncle.  They were never married, but she is still my aunt.  Neither of them have children of their own and when I stayed with them for a month when I was 16, lets just say that I was spoilt rotten.  I think I got more gifts that Christmas than I have for the other 25 Christmases all together!  She is a complicated woman (and so am I) but one I admire, even though we are no longer on very good speaking terms.

The earrings sat in their little box until I was about 22 and I have pretty much worn them every day since then.  It is fair to say that my love affair for pearls has well and truly blossomed.  I have a lovely set of (unfortunately) faux pearl Mimco necklaces with a crystal clasp and ONE DAY I will add a few from Chanel, don't worry about that.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

No need for words...

J CREW VIA NAP!  All I need a free shipping code... wink wink NAP

Chanel Cruise 2011

It's been a long 2 years since my last summer in Europe.  Melbourne winters may not seem so harsh when you look at the temps (4C at night, about 13C during the day), but believe me, the winds from the Antarctica go straight through to the bones, no matter how many layers you're wearing.

The Chanel Cruise show was presented in St Tropez last week. 

Karl can be a bit stuffy, but this collection was so summer appropriate.. It had a lovely, carefree, bohemian feel to it.  Perfect for lounging around the French Riviera, after you've left your ordinary life behind.  Sigh

Anja Rubik in my favourite look.. a printed, light caftan with gold sandals.. love

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Give away time!

My 200th post happened sometime last week, but my RSI prevented me from doing much on the computer.

Thanks to some lovely contacts, I am giving away a copy of The Accidental Renovator by Barbara Biggs...

I also have a heap of girly goodies to go with it... make up, fragrance samples, skincare, magazines!

The Accidental Renovator: A Paris Story" :
When Barbara Biggs, incorrigible writer, romantic and renovator, was in Paris just after the heat wave in 2003, she didn’t speak French and didn’t know anyone there. Instead of looking at art galleries and museums, she likes to look at real estate.

When she saw a cute little apartment overlooking a park, she asked the agent if he’d accept an offer. He said no. So, just for fun, she put in a ridiculous offer to enhance her buyer authenticity. She was thrown into chaos the next day when the agent rang to say it was hers.

Four months later, when settlement happened, she’d discovered that French builders are unreliable. She thought she’d be clever and bypass that problem by taking an Australian builder with her to renovate. Only trouble was, it was her next door neighbour who she’d only known three weeks and dated twice.
When they arrived in Paris a week later, neither spoke French, Bruce had no tools, no car and didn’t know where to buy anything. Within three days, they couldn’t stand each other.

To survive, Barbara had to meet people. She joined the Lazy Pigs Millionaire’s Club and met a swag of fascinating and eccentric Parisians. 

This story is about the underbelly of Paris social life with her nightmare renovation as a backdrop.
A funny and engaging story. Armchair tourism at it’s best.

I also have a heap of girly goodies to go with it... make up, fragrance samples, skincare, magazines!

Rules are simple:

1 entry for leaving a comment on this post, a bonus entry for being a follower.  Happy to ship anywhere in the world.

Don't be shy!  Good luck.

(Entries close 23:59AEST - 31 May 2010)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Nothing ignites my love affair with Manhattan more than Gossip Girl.. and the things that Lily has worn lately.


How fab is the hair

Benefits at the Public Library?  No recession for Gossip Girl

It's so cold, that even an outfit like this wouldn't keep me warm!


Great Moments in Opera

On Saturday night the wonderful Milijana Nikolic - a mezzo soprano - invited a couple of us as her guests to the "Great Moments in Opera" concert at Hawthorn Town Hall which also featured her husband Rosario La Spina - the most amazing tenor that I have ever had the priviledge to hear live and Tahu Matheson, an amazing Australian pianist.

I've seen some very elobarate operas at the most amazing venues, but to see two huge voices just standing on a very plain stage, with no theatrics, no costumes or props was mesmerising. And we were in the front row, which gave a completely different perspective.

We had the chance to spend some time with them afterwards in the company of another great Australian opera voice in Jacqui Dark - such lovely, charismatic, and funny bunch of people. I haven't had that much fun in a long time. Milijana and Rosario are off to Europe for most of the remainder of the year, but they will be back in Melbourne in November as we are organising a humanitarian concert for them at an amazing venue!! I'm really excited about helping to put together such a wonderful event and they've jumped at the chance to clear their schedule for us.

The program they put on for us was fantastic, a selection of Milijana's and Rosario's favourite excerpts from their favourite operas. A wonderful insight into their personal tastes and passions.

What an amazing priviledge.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

She's back!!

Dearest blogging world, how I've missed you.

I have avoided the interwebs due to a guilty conscious with the knowledge I had an assignment due which I was procrastinating, but it is now done and I am free for a couple of days, before it all begins again and finals loom.

I have a weekend of cooking, family dinners and reading coming up, as winter is well and truly in Melbourne and I have no desire to leave the house (except for the papers and breakfast at Las Chicas).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend xoxo

Here's my reading list for the weekend

Very indulgent of me, I know....