Mind Says Pack, Heart Says Procrastinate.

I've got six hours to get everything packed before heading to the airport and gee it's the last thing I want to be doing right now.  I'm being passive aggressive about it all and simply wondering around the house picking things up and then tossing them into my suitcase.  If you have the chargers for your kindle, iPhone and camera packed, what else do you really need for a trip back home to mum and dad's?  Besides toddler gear and outfits for that tricky Perth weather that's beachy by day and log fire-y by night.

My motivation is nowhere to be found this morning.  I suspect it's gone on holiday early.  It's already at the airport stocking up on magazines for the flight and Krispy Kremes to take as carry on.

Actually, I do know why my mind's all over the place today.  It had to deal with a variety of household crises in addition to the work ones during this short week.  


Something happened to the power supply that saw us lose power to about a quarter of the power points in the house.  The very ones that powered the wifi and the kettle.  I only realised when I got home from work late on Monday and found the dishwasher flooded and the dishes looking a little worse for wear.  Flicking the switch in the mains box didn't work so I had to then run around pulling phones and plugs out from one wall and then reconnecting them to the spare phone line and working set of power points. The electrician can't come in until after Easter but it's all good - SSG Manor is still connected to the rest of civilisation.  



Then I had to apply myself girl scout style to the matter of the kettle that didn't work.  Enter the good old pot over the gas stove alternative.  Does it count as glamping, I wonder?  Probably not because the fridge and microwave still work.  I think you need two of the three to be out of action to meet glamping criteria.  


So much going on in this photo.  Don't know where to start.  BO'F, the Cambrdiges, my retro Weet Bix tin….


And then there was yesterday's dramatic chain of events.  If there was one person in Sydney having a worse day at work than I was, it was our most immediate former Premier, Barry O'Farrell who resigned suddenly yesterday over a rather expensive bottle of Grange.  The word in the lifts at work is that there was probably much more to it than that.

But, the more pressing issue in the office was what was going to happen to the civic reception at the Opera House?  Who would be hosting the event in the Premier's absence?  Several of us volunteered to taxi it into the city and I was more than happy to pop down to Westfield for outfits but sadly, the call was never put out to us.

www.ok.co.uk
The Duchess looked gorgeous in this yellow Roksanda Ilinic dress.  I love everything about it.  I knew I had yellow on my mind this week for a reason.


Getty Images


My Wednesday outfit wasn't quite as glamorous.  Though it was a homage to the Duchess's trademark casual cool off duty style.


Jeans - Cotton On, wedges - Rockport.

Skinny jeans and wedges for my bottom half.

Mix Apparel purchases from a while back.

And this sporty blazer from Mix with a white T on top.  I'm loving the concept of the sport luxe blazer. Fitted yet comfortable and so easy to care for.  I think I might just wear it again to the airport today.

Now I really, really have to go.  Need to get to the gym, hang out some laundry, get a Nutella hot cross bun and some sushi for lunch, a coffee and oh darn … still need to pack.

Have a lovely day and catch up with you from Perth, then.

May you have a lovely and safe Easter with family and friends.



The Girl In Oslo's Tag - 2014 Edition.

Busy, busy, busy.  It's been chaos at work.  The busier I get, the harder I find it is to wind down when I'm supposed to.



I was asked by the lovely L at The Girl In Oslo and asked to participate in her 2014 edition of The Tag.  I love filling in responses to posts like this.  It's a kind of structured chance to relax for me.  Thinking of answers is just enough to keep my mind ticking over while the typing itself is very soothing.  It's also proven to be a good way of sneakily blogging about what I've been up to.  Nothing too exciting but somehow writing about it all as a response to a blogging challenge forces me to find the interesting angle ... somewhere.


Without further ado, here we go!


1. What time did you get up this morning? 




Umm.  0445.  Beat my alarm and dragged myself down the road to the gym.  Okay.  I do feel much better for doing so.

2. How do you like your steak? 



www.coles.com.au


Medium rare and with lots of a very tasty sauce I made up.  Here's the trademarked recipe - equal parts Masterfood's honey wholegrain mustard, Masterfood's barbecue sauce (not the low salt version) and Heinz ketchup.  It has to be these brands, accept no substitutions.


3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? 


Gee.  I can't even remember.  What I am going to do is sit on that fully reclining seat that departs Sydney for Orlando on May 11 and catch up.


4. What is your favorite TV show? 


Everything Nigella.



www.telegraph.co.uk


And errr.....





anything this little one watches.  In this photo he's doing the festival thing and watching Rage  but usually it's In the Night Garden.or Peppa.




www.letscelebrateparties.com.au


5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 







Anywhere my family is.  They make any place one filled with sunlight, love and laughter.


6. What did you have for breakfast? 





A mixture of this Woolies cereal, weetbix and a tablespoon of pysllium husk.  With some extra chopped pecans and sultanas mixed through.  No one needs to know about the teaspoon of raw sugar that found itself in there too.


7. What is your favorite cuisine?




Sushi and champagne.  They deserve to be recognized as separate cuisines in their own right.


8. What foods do you dislike? 


Offal and kimichi.  Together or separately.


9. Favorite Place to eat? 





At my favourite cafe up the road (and down the road from the gym).  My favourite time of day to eat there is around 7 in the morning on a Saturday.  


10. Favorite dressing? 





A home made blend of natural yoghurt, olive oil, parmesan, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and the juice of a whole lemon.



And this is my favourite salad to eat it with.


11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? 





A baby SUV that's basically a station wagon in heels.  It is a car notable for the fact that it helsp dough rise like a dream and that there are a couple of monkeys in the back seat (not including Toddler SSG).


12. What are your favorite clothes? 


Anything I can fit into from my pre pregnancy wardrobe.  It's a huge ego thing.  I don't care if it's 3 years  out of date.  It fits.


13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? 


New York City.  Again.


14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 


Full.





15. Where would you want to retire? 


Somewhere withing five minutes of an Olympic sized heated, indoor swimming pool.  Every morning, I'd take my dodgy joints and weathered skin to this pool and together we'd do laps without fear of the sand or hypothermia getting the better of us.  And then I'd sit by the pool downing a coke of some description.  Just because.





16. Favorite time of day? 


The early mornings.  Because they're always full of promise.  Of a great day ahead and of the number of things I accomplish within it.


17. Where were you born? 


Singapore.


18. What is your favorite sport to watch? 

.Swimming and the AFL Grand Final.  I don't have the patience for long and drawn out productions with complicated rules like cricket and golf.


19. Bird watcher? 


No but I love listening to them in the morning.


20. Are you a morning person or a night person? 


Morning.


21. Do you have any pets? 


No.


22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? 


No but life is always surprising me with the new and exciting.


23. What did you want to be when you were little?


A toy store owner.


24. Are you a cat or dog person? 


Dog.





25. What was your last drink? 


Green tea but without the macaron in the photo.


26. Always wear your seat belt? 


Yes. No brainer.


27. Been in a car accident? 


Several but I've always been very lucky to have not been hurt.


28. Any pet peeves? 


Hypocrites, liars and the fact that some awful things happen to people that least deserve it whilst others seem to dodge karma.





29. Favorite Pizza Toppings? 


I'm old school Aussie.  Canned pineapple, fresh tomato, red onion, ham and pizza topper herb mix.  It goes without saying that I love cheddar over the top of it all.


30. Favorite Flower? 


Tulips.


31. Favorite ice cream? 


Mind says vanilla heart (but not its arteries) says peanut butter.




32. Favorite fast food restaurant? 


Maccas.


33. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 


Twice.  It was for a manual licence though.  Does this make it sound better?


34. From whom did you get your last email? 


The Wall Street Journal.  I have an electronic subscription that I need to make more use of.


35. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? 


Hermes -  not that hard to do, really.  


36. Do anything spontaneous lately? 


I'm contemplating changing hairdressers.  Contemplating change.  How spontaneous.


37. Like your job? 


Yes.  There's never a dull moment.  It's rewarding, it's draining but it's always fun.  I work with some amazing people.


38. Broccoli? 


Yes.


39. What was your favorite vacation? 


It's always the one I'm counting down until.  The anticipation, the waiting at the airport.  I love it all.  Just not the packing.  At the moment it's Perth and Orlando.



40. Last person you went out to dinner with? 


Toddler SSG and the rest of my family.


41. What are you listening to right now? 


My office mates and I love a mix of 2CH (golden oldies), ABC News Radio and SBS Chill (my contribution to the work soundtrack).


42. What is your favorite color? 


Right now, I'm obsessed with yellow.


43. How many tattoos do you have?


None.


44. How many are you tagging for this quiz? 


These four lovely ladies:

cilosophy
Gold Coast Mumma
The Nonya Diaries
 Kay at Hermosa Vogue

I'm going to try my best to catch up with you individually later tonight.


45. What time is it? 


Nearly 1pm and nearly the end of my lunchbreak.  It's been so fun to take my mind completely off work for 45 minutes and be creative.


46. Coffee ?? 


Are you kidding?  Let me count the ways....





Instant as that eye opening mug of caffeine first thing at work.



Pods when I've got time later in the day but am too lazy to buy a 'proper' one.



Artisan roasted beans when I get the chance.


Oliver Brown dark chocolate mochas.  Say no more.


After getting painful injections.


And any time I've a quiet moment to myself to just sit, breathe mindfully and be very present in the current moment.




Life In the Nearly Winter.

It ain't pretty but it sure is comfy.


It's officially cold in Sydney.  I've gone to ground at home with a thick blanket, Explorer socks and a scarf.  I've loaded up the Kindle and now that I've got all those television channels back after the great Samsung retune in Thursday, I don't think I'll have to stray too far from the sofa until Monday when…. well, never mind, it's going to be a short working week.


When the weather gets like this, you only leave the house for a really good reason.  For me, it was to procure the last tin of Dutch processed cocoa at my local Coles.  No longer will I feel ill equipped when faced with a recipe calling for this previously elusive cocoa with a neutral pH.  I've been told on Instagram that a brand at Woolworths is also Dutch processed but my source didn't have the precise details at hand.

I'll be using my new cocoa for my new batch of chia pudding.  After experimenting a bit, I've found that chocolate seems to go really well with almond milk and dried cherries.  It's not much to look at (at least the way I make it) but it makes a refreshing yet slightly rich snack that also happens to be good for you.




I can say no to the rows of glistening gold Lindt bunnies and I can walk away from the cartons of Cadbury eggs but it takes superhuman amounts of willpower to ignore my personal kryptonite - the MaltEaster bunnies.  It's the weekend before Easter though, so I had to get a couple before they go into hibernation until just after Christmas.




Now, this is what I call a balanced lunch.

Cardigan - Target, necklace - Red Phoenix Emporium.

Okay, it is kind of fun digging out those comfy knits and chunky jewels.  I have so many fond memories of both this cardigan and necklace.  I wonder what we'll all get up to this winter?




Thought of another thing I enjoy doing in the winter.  Doing laps at my local indoor pool and then clomping off home in my ugg boots.  I'm a year round swimmer.  It helps reduce the shock of seeing yourself in bathers if you do it every week, I find.  Paradoxically, I hate going swimsuit shopping.  I trip myself up getting into them, knock bits off change rooms and the harsh change room lighting always makes me regret eating that almond croissant for breakfast (but not enough to actually stop eating them).

Anyway, Mumgo had this amazing sale on Speedos the other week and here are my new bathers.  I got both pairs for under $50.  And best of all?  I didn't even have to go anywhere near a store filled with posters of perfect swimwear models to get them.

Take care and enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Re-Tuned and Reconditioned. Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water.

This is probably old news to 99.9% of Australia but I only figured out how to re-tune my television last night.  Matters came to a head when I noticed that I was missing SBS, Channel 7 and Channel 9.  No offence ABC and Channel 10 but I think Food Safari's returning to SBS.


As for Channel 7?  I'll always have a soft spot for Home and Away.



Doesn't Sally (Kate Ritchie) look fabulous!?!?  So excited for her (and the zillion other celebrities who've announced pregnancies or posed naked in the manner of Demi on the front cover of high fashion magazines lately).  I was feeling slightly guilty as I had that home made pizza last night.  By rights, Kate should be the one feeding her face and not me.

Never mind.  I enjoyed it enough for both of us.  I've finally gotten the knack of a crispy crust.  I sprayed the underside of mine with some olive oil spray and it seemed to do the trick.  It was one of those unintentional moments of genius you get when you're trying to cut corners to save time.  Too lazy to roll my dough out on a floured bench top, I sprayed my rolling pin with olive oil before rolling the dough out straight onto some baking paper.  And voila - a super crispy pizza crust.

But I digress.  If you're like me and haven't re-tuned your Samsung television, this video will set you on the right path.  You're meant to identify which kind of remote you have and then watch the relevant video that's also somewhere on YouTube.





I know I keep saying this but where would I be without 24 hour access to the University of YouTube?



It's just as well I've got all those television channels back because it looks as if we're in for more rainy weather this weekend in Sydney.  I've already started wearing my sturdy, waterproof hiking shoes.  Those sidewalks and supermarket floors get awfully slippery at this time of year.  But yeah, I am one of those annoying city people who thinks of 'adventure gear' as a fashion genre rather than functional apparel for people who actually venture places where you can't get wifi or baristas.




Yesterday was also pretty special because I was finally reunited with a very special watch.  My parents gave me a Tag for my 21st.  And (this is where I reveal my age in a round about way) here I am nearly 18 years later still wearing it.  Its had its seals replaced, new hands and a major clean.  It looks as good as new but also lovingly worn.  The bezel is battered and there's a water stain on the face but it's a watch that's been on my wrist through so many life defining moments.  It's also a little piece of my parents that will be with me forever.  I know I could've bought a couple of nice new watches with what I paid for the repairs but sometimes you can't put a price on keeping memories alive.


Boxed set of gift cards with lined envelopes and seals by Papyrus - $25 at Big W.


Isn't Big W the place for amazing finds these days?  Ir's where I found this box of Papyrus thank you cards.  It's the hummingbird seals that made me buy this design.




The gift cards were to go with these movie cards that I gave to the juniors on our team who have left us this week.  The terms speed by quicker and quicker each year and I'm beginning to really feel my age (see paragraph under the reconditioned watch photo for details).  I seem to pass more and more people who used to be my juniors in the corridors and lifts at work each year.





Before I go, I need to tell you that you need to buy this for your bathroom:



Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water ($11.99 at Priceline) is one of the all in one, gentle make up removing waters that are the latest and greatest in the beauty world.  It was only last week that I was prattling on about blur creams.  A week is a long time in mastige beauty.

The gold standard in Micellar waters is meant to be Bioderma's.  From memory, I think it costs $37 at Strawberrynet.  I haven't tried it so can't comment as to how it performs compared to Garnier's.

The Garnier version is gentle and doesn't leave a residue on my skin.  I'm a long time cleansing oil fan and though they are very effective in removing heavy makeup, they tended to leave my skin a little oily.  Perfectly clean but oily.  This doesn't bother me that much but it's a messy process using cleansing oil so I tend to have to be under the shower with a face cloth whenever I have to remove my makeup.

With the Micellar waters, all you do is soak a cotton pad in the water and then wipe your face.  I needed three swipes for my eyes (pencil liner, eye shadow and non waterproof mascara) and just one for the rest of my face.  Only a little eyeliner was left behind but this washed away when I used normal cleanser on my face.  I think I'll still be needing Shu's cleansing oil for heavier makeup but Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water is an economical and easy alternative for my everyday work face makeup.




What Will Kate Wear Next? Memory Lane.

That burst of sun yesterday obviously got a better offer for today.


I had hoped that it would've stuck around in my backyard for a bit just so my backlog of laundry could have some chance of drying this decade but alas, it wasn't to be.  It's probably in New Zealand keeping Prince George warm and dry.

Zig zag ls sweater ($25), red cable knit front cardi $19) and black blossom cardi ($19) - all from Mix Apparel.

It's just as well I made allowances for that slow drying laundry, isn't it?  My stash of Mix Apparel knits arrived in the mail last week and they go with everything I'll be wearing to work this autumn.  With the bonus of being 100% compatible with my front loader.


Cardi - Mix Apparel, T - Calvin Klein via Costco, necklace - Red Phoenix Emporium.  Hair - one day it will be blow dried perfectly, Duchess of Cambridge style but in the meantime this will have to do.
Following on from last year's Royal Bump Watch is Royal Wardrobe Watch.  Inspired by the Duchess' elegant deplaning in that red coat dress on Monday, I built yesterday's outfit around the red Mix cardigan.     




I've officially put my white cardigans and summer dresses into storage for the year.  They've all had a farewell soak in Vanish with Napisan and hopefully will stay white and bright for next year.




Yes, Faux Fuchsia, seeing Prince George out and about has been a trip down memory lane for me as well.  I loved this video of the prince at a play group held in his honour at Government House in New Zealand.  The hip jiggling, the hair rescuing, the one handed crouch and swoop to pick up dropped toys.  They're those little moments of motherhood which are universal.

Sailor suits and smocking or singlets and boardies, regardless of your baby's wardrobe, it sometimes feels like a lifetime of change takes place over a matter of days.  You marvel at each stage but you never forget the ones that preceded it.


The crawling that passed you by in a blur of arms and legs.


The pulling up on furniture and the tapping of tabletops just to make sure.



Those chubby little legs that stumbled through those first steps and then picked themselves up each and every time until those legs grew strong enough to walk and then run.


And those hands.  Those little hands with their chubby wrists.  The ones that used to be little punching fists but can now turn the pages of books and take your own hands when you're wanted to share a dance or hug.






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