Feb 24, 2017

Friday Drinks #9: What A Week. The Body Shop At Home. Bargains.

It's been quite a week indeed.  There were daily dramas at work, just as many surreal 'you had to be there' kind of moments and even more crazy 'patient facing' (as opposed to workmate gossip type) conversations on everything from Angelina Jolie's spider eating (The Daily Mail tells me this is fact) to seances instead of drugs.  On the one hand, I'm glad the week is over but on the other, my mind is still going at a million miles per minute thinking about all that's happened and is yet to be done that it's going to be hard to unwind quickly into the weekend.  It's shaping up to be a wet weekend here in Sydney so maybe that will force me to kick back and enjoy the great indoors at a leisurely pace.

I should have known that the week was going to be special when we might have eaten ice cream for dinner on Monday...

Aside from all the crazy, highlights of the week just gone have included the following, in no particular order.

Being able to master a passable blow dry with only a metal barrel brush, sectioning clips and my Parlux.  I think most of the credit, though, goes to my hairdresser for cutting  my hair in such a blow dry friendly style.  It's taken me four weeks to realise the magnitude of his genius because it's been too hot until now to  do anything with my hair except wash it and tie it up immediately or use it as a kind of cooling wet curtain depending.

Was it coincidence that my favourite heat spray, Toni & Guy's Heat Protection Mist was down to around $12.50 a bottle from it's usual $17?  Now that yoga, acupuncture and physiotherapy have completely rehabilitated my dodgy right shoulder, I'm sure I'll be blow drying like a pro very soon.  So I might as well stock up on the spray now and completely get ahead of myself.  Between the blow drying and my new skills with bobby pins and hair donuts, I think I'm finally learning to add a bit of polish to my usual nondescript buns and pony tails.

It was actually quite an expensive day at Woolworths because Lurpak was half price...  I was in store before the crush of after work shoppers so was lucky to get my kilo of the good stuff without too much hassle.

My friend Jennifer has just started her own The Body Shop at Home  business.  I've been finding it harder and harder to get in store these days so when Jennifer announced her business on Instagram (jen1986), I rushed to place a much overdue order.  Jen's Facebook page, TBASH with Jennifer is constantly updated with specials and the low down on new products as well as answers to questions page followers may have.

TBS 250ml shower gels, $10.95 each.

Half my order was shower gels.  I am obsessed with British Rose at the moment.  It's got this slightly mysterious, smoky scent.  Not your Yardley take on the scent of roses but something very modern and of the moment.  Each product in the range contains rose petals and many of the products are Beautyheaven Glosscar runners up with the scrub being a winner in last year's awards.

I also love that enigmatic and dramatic deep pink rose that is the range's signature image.

TBS British Rose Exfoliating Gel Shower Scrub $24.95 for 250ml.

Jennifer was so friendly and accomodating with my order, taking the time to make suggestions when a product I had initially ordered was out of stock.  Plus 10% of the value of all sales through Jennifer go to the Heart Kids Foundation which funds many key aspects of research into childhood heart disease and its treatment.  So if you need to get yourself some Body Shop stuff soon, order up with Jennifer and know that you'll also be helping such a worthy cause.

Remember my favourite shampoo and conditioner from Chemist Warehouse?  The My.Organics Argan range?

Well, they also now do a Goji Miracle Mask.  It's under $15 at the moment so I bought it with the intention of using it after my spendy Redken one runs out.  Given that I'm now onto my sixth round of my other My.Organics products, I have high hopes indeed.

How's your week been?  What's the strangest thing you've had a work related conversation about with a client or patient?

Here's to a restful and restorative weekend for us all!!

Feb 23, 2017

Lovin' Life 23/2/2017: Comfort Carbs.

Are you starting to see a pattern from my weekend food photo diary?

It goes against all the sound nutritional advice we're given by health authorities but gee eating a baked good (with a bit of butter on top) can make the world seem a better place and the impossible suddenly achievable.  

Call it emotional (over)eating if you like but sometimes a girl has to feed her spirits and her energy levels with what they want - buttery refined carbs.  It was just one of those long and crazy weekends for me and the various pastries I had for breakfast each morning gave the day that followed a bit of a lift.  By the afternoon, my pastry induced energy boosts predictably flagged so it was off down the street with Preschooler SSG for afternoon tea at Woolworths.  You know how supermarket muffins have that super soft texture, those sticky domed tops and taste 100% artificially flavoured?  All of that tastes even better than it sounds when you eat them with butter on four hours of sleep.

The funny thing is that I don't actually eat like this all the time.  Mostly out of convenience and a little because of the health benefits, my weekly diet follows a predictable routine of home made meals, fruit as snacks and no bread or baked goods.  I do eat chocolate daily though just so I don't accidentally turn into a supermodel through my diet.  Who needs that kind of responsibility in their lives when they're a fortysomething suburban mum?

Yet it was so easy to slip into a new way of eating for the weekend.  I thought my taste buds would rebel against the change but the tired and slightly stressed heart wants what the tired and slightly stressed heart wants.

Monday morning rolled around and after a solid night's sleep I woke up craving my usual breakfast and the rest of the day's food intake rolled on as it did the week before.  It was almost as if those muffins and I had never met when I did the shopping for dinner that evening.  We were strangers to each other.  Isn't it nice to reach a point in life where cravings can be indulged in moderation before hopping right back onto the sensible eating train afterwards?

Does being tired and a bit on edge make you crave foods you normally don't eat?  Do your cravings run their course once you've had a good night's sleep and the pressure's off?

Feb 21, 2017

Slow News Tuesday.

A bit of a slow news day from SSG Manor 2.0 today, readers.

I'm at the tail end of cold that I'm hoping will have a 48 hour turnaround time.  I really need to be 100% by tomorrow morning because it's going to be a busy day.  I've been juicing oranges like there's no tomorrow and I rattle a bit from my multivitamins and antihistamines.  It's all very attractive....

Much of today's willing myself to health has involved lounging around in front of my computer.  My online activity today has actually been rather  productive.  Did you know that bobby pins are meant to be used with the crimped side against your scalp?  It's meant to help the pin stay in place better.  I'm going to try this out tomorrow.

My Facebook feed is usually full of mildly insulting/confronting ads offering everything from tooth whitening to weight loss programmes but every once in a while, an ad catches my eye.  They usually feature the word 'free' somewhere.  And so it was that I stumbled upon the Montessori Shop's page.  They were giving away counting sets for the price of postage which ended up being $15AUD plus another bonus 'free' toy of your choosing.  I was a bit sceptical but clicked away to place an order.  One weeks later, the set arrived and Preschooler SSG has been using it to make up his own rules about addition.

I was at Aldi this morning with a shopping list.  Which I completed right down to the random item of the day - a short plastic ruler for the princely sum of 63 cents.

Then I made the mistake of walking down the other side of the special buys area on my way to the checkout....

Have you tried any of Aldi's work wear?  The most recent range included suits, blouses and twinsets.  The suiting had sold out in black but I did manage to find the twinsets ($19.95 AUD each) in grey and black.  They're just what I'm looking for to add to my work wardrobe.  The jackets were cut pretty nicely too but alas, nothing left in my size.

Feb 20, 2017

Life This Week 20/2/2017: It's Been Busy.

A blur of busyness.  That's pretty much how this week has been for me.  Thank goodness for camera rolls on iPhones though because the photos I have on mine from this week prove that through all the chaos, I did at least manage to pause and completely be in the moment at least twice this week.

Without further ado, here are the photos and some words to go with.

Denyse's official theme for this week is 'Pets' and I was thinking about this as I sat at my computer earlier this week.  We're not a live pet family.  Allergies, time constraints, not being raised in a household with pet animals being the main reasons.  But I do have this Buddy (from The Secret Life of Pets movie) sitting on my desk right now courtesy of Preschooler SSG.

Buddy came to us via the controversial parenting tool that is the MacDonald's Happy Meal.  You know those days on end where all that gets eaten for dinner is air, two bites of watermelon and a handful of (organic) cheese flavoured popcorn?  I tend to break the cycle with a Happy Meal of McBites, French fries and an apple juice.

My order for Preschooler SSG from the Book Depository arrived this week.  There's something very special about the hard cover versions of children's picture books.  Preschooler SSG has been extra careful with these two (picked because he loved the library's copies so much).  I've squirreled away the bookmarks with grand plans to colour them in one day...

It was another weekend at work for me.  My way of coping?  Daily breakfasts of a pastry and coffee at our local cafe before hitting the road for work.  It sort of tricks me into believing that I have some of the weekend to myself and the change of environment helps clear my mind as I attempt to decode my notes from the night before to make the round as efficient as possible.  In this age of smartphones and e-records of everything, there's still definitely a place for highlighters and different coloured ball points in my life.

I've been road testing this wind up pencil liner from Maybelline this weekend.  It's the Lasting Drama Automatic Gel Pencil and retails for $16.95 AUD.  But, you know it, Chemist Warehouse had it for $8.95 during a recent 50% off promotion.  

First impressions:
  • sturdy plastic barrel and lid, no built in sharpener like the Chanel version though
  • nice price, especially when half off
  • rich black line first go with no skipping, wasn't too stiff or soft which made it easy to contribute my line 
  • even width of line too
  • no smudging and stayed perfect through a day at work and then onto the gym
  • rich glossy matte finish
  • easily removed with my usual makeup removing oil.
  • wish there was a wider range of colours including a black with more shimmer 
  • would appreciate a built in sharpener at the end of the pen
  • might not be for you if you're after a thicker line or that winged effect 
  • cannot comment on tight lining, usually I do this with regular pencils only for some reason not based on evidence. 

Just under $17 isn't that cheap for an eyeliner but these days, everything at the chemist / supermarket make up wise seems to be getting quite expensive.  I'm definitely going to repurchase as I find pencils a bit of a nuisance to sharpen with each use.  Hopefully there's a brown shade as well!

Here's to this week being less hectic than the last one!  I'm already thinking ahead to next weekend and hope it gets here ASAP.

Feb 17, 2017

Friday Drinks #8: Nearly Autumn. Cheese and Crackers.

It started with the hot cross buns and Easter eggs assuming more prominent positions in the supermarket.  Then the high street retailers started dressing their windows in more clothes.  Then the sun started to rise later.  And then.....  

the mango section of the fruit department started to shrink.  The Kensington Prides got smaller and greener before disappearing entirely.  The heady days of two mangoes for $5 went soon after.

On Thursday, there were only three Honey Gold mangoes sitting sadly in a mass of empty green plastic pockets and cardboard crates.  Preschooler SSG tippy toed himself into one crate and gently selected one for after dinner.  And then there were two.

Readers, mango season is nearly over.  We're also halfway through February.  Autumn is on its way.  There's no denying it. I've even swept my first council bin full of leaves today.

So it was an almost sombre eating around the mango seed for me last night.  Where did my summer go?

But I won't lie.  I love autumn too with its crisp mornings and tendency to warm up just a little as the sun comes up.

You can wear cardigans and silk scarves with abandon and not have to worry about having to wear a heavy coat over the top to get you from the carpark to your office.

Just as well I had a nostalgic trawl through my autumn photos.  I'd completely forgotten that I own this magnificent piece of chevron fauxtasticness.  It's definitely going to be on high rotation again this autumn and winter.

Looking forward to getting about in my Nike Sky Highs too.  Being a year old, they're nicely stretched now so hopefully I won't trip over myself as I try to put them on this year.

I'm going to be working through this weekend which means a weekend of desk lunches.  I'm thinking cheese and tomato on crackers.  Toast or sandwiches don't seem to work for me at work.  I never get the setting right on the work toaster and I get too twitchy waiting for the work jaffle press to heat up and jaffle.  If I bring fresh bread in, I forget the butter which then means playing lucky dip in the work fridges to see if anyone managed to stash a few spare pats of butter from the meal trays.

Actually, hospitals don't do pats of butter anymore.  It's all stick packs of margarine.  I know what you're thinking... why!?!!?!  Google images agrees with you because I can't find a single image of what the sticks look like to show you.  Probably just as well.

Where was I?  Lunches.

So the short version is that I'll be bringing in chopped tomato, this snazzy tub of spreadable vintage club cheddar and some SAO crackers for my weekend work lunches.

via pinterest

Did you know that once upon a time Vanilla Slice could be made with SAOs?  I always thought you needed puff pastry or lattice biscuits.

What's the easiest lunch you like to bring in to work?

Does the kitchen at your work use margarine stick packs (shudder)?


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