Nov 26, 2011

The House of Vanderbilt via Costco.

Please tell me I wasn't the only Sydney-sider who felt a bit ripped off when they woke  up this morning.  The longest spring wet spell in recent memory had to extend into Saturday morning, didn't it?  And it had to be the Saturday of my last weekend in Sydney before my holiday.  You can just pretend to feel ripped off on my behalf over that second point.

One of the new SSG Manor golf umbrellas in action.    I reckon they create a dry zone at least 5 metres in diameter around you  when they are deployed.  I am not sure how this will work in a busy CBD setting, Mr SSG.  Just saying.
I had great plans for today.  I'd get some housework done in the morning after a run and some brekky and then hit various shops for supplies for the trip and for Mr SSG whilst I'm away.  Then I'd start packing my suitcase with a tight edit of the pile of things in the spare room that I'd amassed for the trip.

Instead I just shuffled along in the kitchen as the rain refused to quit its assault on the roof.  It was all I had in me to make a strong cup of tea and make a shopping list for Costco.

I made good use of my time in the queue listening to Michael Buble's new Christmas CD.    I love the interesting duets he arranged for the album as well as his take on 'All I Want For Christmas'.  Very different to Mariah's, let me tell you. 
When I eventually got moving, Mr SSG and I did  make good time for Costco.  Here we are in a prime position waiting for the store to open.  On a Saturday, my tip is to aim for an arrival time of 0900 for the 0930 opening time.  You have the best chance of getting both a park and a good spot in the line this way.  If you need breakfast or a bottle of water, both are very reasonably priced at the open air cafe outside the store which opens a good hour or so before the store opens.  50 cents for bottled water is pretty fair, I feel.

I won't bore you with snaps of everything we bought or saw this time....

But there were some handbags on sale.  These Longchamp bags were $110 and there was a Prada handbag for $990.  I didn't walk away with either, such was my self restraint today.  I was sticking to my pencilled list, no two ways about it.

Well, mostly.  How could I not put these 1 kilo cartons of hand made yum cha dumplings into the trolley?  Especially when the Chinese aunties around me were loading up.

There's no way these torches are ever going to get lost at work.
 I also found a solution to the missing flash lights at work conundrum that has plagued my whole professional career.  They used to get hidden in the insulin and eye drop fridge back in the day but these days, ward fridges never seem to have any at all.

I just love this photo.  What is not to like about cut price Moet and pants that are designed to make you Look Slimmer?

Image courtesy of
You probably have to be at least  my age to remember the glory that was the House of Gloria Vanderbilt.

Back in the 80s, Gloria's eponymous perfume with it's cut glass bottle etched with a swan was the epitome of restrained glamour.  The adverts featured a blurred swan in flight over water.  No haughty spokesmodels with fierce hair and makeup or provocative semi naked couples in mid embrace, just that swan.  The fragrance itself was warm and luxurious, it smelt of restrained wealth and good taste - well as restrained as these things could be in the 80s.

Image courtesy of
Besides being an heiress and an actress, Gloria also founded a fashion house and apparently, her jeans were the business.

These days, Gloria no longer has any connection to the business that currently manufactures jeans under her name.  It was a wave of nostalgia for that memory of Vanderbuilt perfume and its swan bottle that made me buy a pair of well.... mum jeans at Costco today.  For the princely sum of $22.  How could I say no to the chance to Look Slimmer at that price?

Buying clothes at Costco basically involves waving something marked in your American size in front of your body and pressing the seams to the sides of your body.  If they match up, you've found your size.

How cute is the swan logo?  So 80s retrolicious.  I will remember to wear volume in my hair , bushy eyebrows and fierce eye makeup with these.
Okay, you have to be at least as large as me to buy these jeans because I got the smallest size.   So you skinny  minnies will have to sit this one out.  These are great jeans to wear for casual days at work.  There's no chance of a plumber's crack situation developing and they look neat and tidy, plus they're so comfy.  I'll have another look at myself in the mirror when I wear them next week to work to tell you if they really do make me Look Slimmer the Vanderbilt way.

Another plus with these jeans is that they sell the 'Regular' length at Costco so I don't have to take the legs up.  I am seriously considering going back to Costco to get the khaki coloured pair as well this week....

Costco wasn't just about revisiting 80s power labels, there was a serious side to the morning too.  I had a freezer to fill.  And here it is. We've got turkey, free range chicken portions, muffins, quiche, felafels, lots of other things that can't be seen in the photo...  I think I can rest assured that Mr SSG won't starve while I'm away.

It wasn't just freezer filling today.  I had to make an emergency to Kiehl's run as well to address a critical skin care situation.  Creamy Eye Treatment withdrawal.  It's been a whole week since the skin around my eyes got their nightly slathering of avocado in a jar.

I'm all good now.  I got a new jar of my eye cream and all is good / well hydrated with the world.  Oh and did you know that Kiehl's have dropped the Australian prices of hair and body care by 30%?  Don't say you weren't warned.  The not so good news is that the recycling programme has ended here in Oz.  Pity I only found out after I gave my 7 empties to the DJs city store today.  They were very kind though and got rid of them for me all the same.

It's been a busy day.  I'm now kicking back with some of my Costco spoils, feeling the festive spirit and watching Bridesmaids...

Talk to you soon,


  1. That actually sounds like a great day. V jealous about the mumsy jeans. Sound comfy.

    You have also inspired me to buy the Michael Buble album from iTunes...

  2. Sounds like you had a productive Saturday there =) Those mum jeans (as you call it, heh) are flattering - classic fit anything guarantees comfort! I went out to the yard and hosed the concrete area down with water once the sun came out, after a week (or more?) of rain, the whole place smelt musty - complete with green sludge! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, I know I will =D

  3. Ps. Please tell Mr SSG to leave the golf brolly behind. Unless he's thinking of sheltering everyone surrounding him, those things will poke eyes (and hairdo's) out ;p

  4. That Costco is incredible, what can't you get?? Enjoy the champers and Bridesmaids - I laughed so hard at that movie... byself in the cinema, I for one am not afraid to go alone if I want to watch a chick flick!!


  5. Great post. And I'm particularly impressed with your well stocked freezer!

    I thought it time I said hello and introduced myself as we have Faux Fuchsia in common and I see you tweeting with her, and I tweet with her, so it was about time we met.

    My blog is not nearly as interesting and whimsical as yours or FF's as it supports my cookbook, but I write the odd fb post and tweet about other irrelevant stuff.

    See you around the social media hyperspace,
    Susan Austin

  6. That was one great way to get over the miseries!! Good on you. Sounds like you had a ball. x

  7. I admire your dedication to shopping. And to quality items! Costco on a rainy day would have been full of people! Love the Moet - let me know what you think of the dumplings.

    That's sad about the Kiehl's recycling program. Next they'll drop Back to MAC too. That would be devastating. At least the prices aren't as terrifying as they were earlier in the year. There's an outside chance I might buy something rather than waiting for a trip to the US to stock up.

    K xx

  8. You hardly need slimming jeans, SSG!

  9. Golf umbrellas are a must have. I have at least a couple of them at home and another couple at my storage facility to make sure that customers get shelter if they need it.


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