Jan 17, 2020

So Then She Learned to Knit....

This is what happens when mummy gets herself a new hobby...

your stuffed toys get hand-knitted scarves (in the height of summer) and she makes your stuffed toys dodgy looking new friends.

Image result for peashooter pvz
via google images

That's a peashooter from the Plants versus Zombies game in case you were wondering.

How did this all begin?

At Daiso one grey Sunday, of course.

My favourite Daiso store in Sydney is the one in the basement of Regent Place on George Street, the Chinatown end.  Regent Place itself is an endlessly fascinating maze of Asian stores that transport you to the malls of South East Asia the moment you step in off the footpath.

Signage for a store selling drinks too sweet and rich for an old-timer like me to drink without serious implications on my blood sugar levels and digestive tract.

Apparently, the youth of Sydney are made of sterner stuff than I.  There's a special queuing system installed outside the store for peak hour.

Before you even get to Daiso, expect to find your taste buds tempted by the activity beyond the windows of Uncle Tetsu's Cheesecake Store's in-house bakery.

Those famous cheesecake tarts being made by hand.

Something new since my last visit is their range of filled crepes.

They are sold via a counter towards the back of the store.

Further inside is this wall of vending machines

selling all manner of things for the price of a token ($5 if I remember correctly) and the willingness to take a chance.

Lots of kitsch posters and signage almost pop out at you as you make your progress towards D Land.

Once you get to Daiso, that feeling of 'how could I live without xxx in my life' hits you like that rush of sugar you'd get from eating any one of the desserts on sale in the stalls that surround the store.

Sticky notes featuring life-like images of gyoza and biscuits?  Perfect for writing yourself a reminder to follow up on whatever you might choose to attach your gyoza sticky note to.

Row upon row of cute adornments for bento box type lunches remind me of how far I've fallen in only two short years as a school mum.   We now lunch order every day of the school year that we're technically allowed to....

I love how every facet of urban life has a gadget designed to make it more functional at Daiso.  Admittedly, stiletto heel protectors are for a life far removed from mine but the more ... okay ... boring amongst us can never have too many ergonomic reusable bread bag clips and vitamin supplement travel cases.

This particular Daiso also features an impressive supermarket to one side.

How green is this aisle devoted to matcha flavoured sweets?

Thoughtful handwritten and laminated messages inform customers of any major stock relocations.  In this case, shoppers, the Pocky have been separated from the imported Kit Kat and now reside closer to the cosmetics.  Side note - I did indeed get myself a large bag (or two) of Kit Kat to bring over to Perth next week.

This is the $2.80 Knitting Nancy that started it all off for me.

Emboldened by my success in dressing a stuffed toy in a scarf and creating a best friend from him from scratch, I ventured to Spotlight to get myself some adult-sized knitting looms.

This kit cost around $20 and includes a tool to use with the loom and a plastic wool needle.

I learnt very quickly from YouTube - LoomaHat.com and Wambui Made It are two of my favourites right now.  They are both patient and informative teachers.

And will you look at that!!  I made my first brimmed beanie this week.

Image result for instructable infinity scarf
via Instructables

Currently, I'm making this infinity scarf by jessratfink on the Instructables site.  The instructions are all delivered via text and still photos if this suits you better than video tutorials.

I'll be right back.  Sometime in between knitting projects.

Be good.

Jan 16, 2020

Lovin' LIfe16/1/2020: Getting The Little Jobs Done.

January inherently has a big dose of motivation built into it for me.  The newness of the year coming off the Christmas / New Year break always makes me feel a bit more energetic and motivated to face my 'life in general' jobs list.

This week, I'm lovin' that I finally got around to doing a number of little jobs that have been on my to-do list for far too long. 

Every class photo since preschool of Master SSG's has now been archived in a spiral-bound album.  I've also devoted pages to mementoes of each school year.

Officeworks came up with the goods regarding securing the photos to the album.  These stick-on photo adhesives are much easier to work with than the more traditional photo corners.  There's 250 in a pack so I'm sorted for the rest of my career as a school mum.  They adhesives dispense from a roll and have an easy to remove backing for when you've attached one sticky side to the photo and then need to remove the other side before sticking the photo down.  Genius!

The only other thing I need going forward is persistence and dedication to the cause.

Next up on the niggling small jobs list was to replenish my bulldog clip supply.  I inherited a pretty impressive collection with my office many moons ago but I've now broken them all. 

Mission accomplished... at a price.  Do you overreact when you have to actually buy stationery for work?  Rhetorical question.

I've decorated my office with new art for the new year.

All the vegetables are in this week's meal prep curry.  Goes without saying that I'm exempt from chopping another vegetable for the rest of the week.

While I was cooking the curry, my fancy see-through kettle was getting descaled thanks to the wonder of Magic* descaler.  You can purchase Magic* at the supermarket for around $5 for two sachets.  For fancy see-through kettles, one sachet boiled in a litre of water is all you need for miracles to happen.

What does January make you do?  All the little things or something on a larger scale?

Jan 13, 2020

Life This Week 13/1/2020: Good News.

There is good news in every week and these are just a few of my gems of life.  I quite like that, actually.  Gems of life.  Might hashtag it.

  1. I'm on annual leave this time next week. 
    While everyone else is back at work.  Don't be a hater and I promise not to gloat (too much).
  2. The words of Fred Rogers. 
    So pertinent for these dark times in Australia.  With thanks to @tracey_champagnedays on Instagram.
  3. It finally rained in Sydney last week. 
    Those first hesitant, scattered showers brought such relief to the city.
  4. Found! 
    A calendar with easy to read days and dates.  I had to pay $10 for it but it's better than trying to read the white numbers on a white calendar page.  Someone in design didn't think that arty idea quite through.
  5. Coles at Rhodes have plentiful supplies of that Masterfoods Thai Green Curry mix.

What was your good news this week?

Jan 11, 2020

It Was A 'Hmm?" Kind of Week. Weekend Reflections.

Bette Midler in 'The First Wives Club' preparing to belt out 'You Don't Own Me' with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keating.  Just what I needed on my Facebook videos Friday night.

Yes, Bette.  I totally agree.  'Hmm?' is probably the best way to describe the week just gone.  For many, it was the first proper week back at work after the Christmas New Year break, for others of us it was just hard going.

There was definitely something in the Aperol Spritz water.

Thursday evening felt like fancy drinks and toasties for dinner Friday evening instead.  Then Friday came and went and here we are.

It's the weekend and last week is just ... water under the aquaplane?

There was a ribbon of rose gold through the water this morning.  A bit of magic that worked its way into an otherwise grey Saturday morning.

Do you ever take to standing in the aisles of an unsuspecting organic grocer in search of enlightenment?

I do.  There's something about those neat rows of earnestly coloured and packaged foods that make me think thoughts about being a better person, a more responsible global citizen, a person who is ready to give up her zip lock bags and catering sized rolls of food wrap for beeswax wrappers and other fabric-based food covering solutions.

Something got lost in translation because this how I ended up spending the afternoon.  Attacking my wisteria with feeling.  It was very cathartic.  There was lots of green, at least.  I also used my muscles instead of fossil fuels.  Oh, and the clippings went to the recycling.  So yes, I guess my moment in front of the organic canned foods this morning did set my day in a positive direction.

To celebrate tackling the back garden, I've lunched on my favourite salad and sipped on my new favourite rose.  While also admiring my new summer perfume.  I love it because it reminds me of holidays, travels, adventures and the creation of new memories.  In a departure for me, it's also decidedly unfloral.  It's a new year and a new decade,  the perfect excuses for trying something different.  May D'orange Verte imbue the year with all that I associate it with!

Also present at lunch was a new find from Priceline on George Street.  I had no idea Priceline stocked so many niche skincare brands!  Nip and Fab is an affordable UK based skincare range with a cult following around the world.  The products that caught my attention are these glycolic acid soaked pads to be used each day after cleansing.  I remember Dr Dennis Gross's OG version fondly.  They were a two-step deal (FYI - The Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel now retails for $135 AUD for 30 treatments)  Very effective but also very pricy.  I got my screw-top jar of 60 pads on sale (used twice daily) for $25 (usual RRP $32).  I will definitely report back.

The 6 step Aus Medic Co. range also caught my eye.  Here's a review if you're curious.  It's pretty pricy but I did like the feel of product #3, the Intensive Peptide Face Lift Serum ... it's $94.99 AUD worth of intensive lift though.  I know I'm the one to talk about the price but there was a time, long, long ago when Priceline was the place to access the latest and greatest in hair and beauty on a budget.

Still, it was fun and informative to be able to roam the aisles of Priceline like I used to aeons ago.   I'm very impressed with the new skincare ranges on offer and look forward to returning to try the Aus Medic Co. range.

Post child me continued her nostalgic stroll through the CBD shops with a trip to Uniqlo at MidCity.

Where I appreciated the quiet and space of the store just after opening in much the same way I love nearly empty supermarkets first thing in the morning.

I found what I needed on sale.

As well as what I don't, also on sale.

Infant leggings.  Is it just me or were those leggings years one long sleep-deprived odyssey of parenting self-discovery?  I distinctly remember that sense of shared achievement each time we went up a size.  Milestones reached, sleep getting just a little better, dietary range broadening but also more giggles, more character and more hugs and kisses returned.  It was also the time when parenting kind of started to fall into place for me.

How did we do it?  How did any of us do it?  Not much of it went by the books, websites or apps.  It all just happened.  We did what we had to do.  While we laughed, listened, shared, quietly understood and cried if we needed to along the way.  

How was your week?  A bit 'Hmm?' as well?

Take care and be well.


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