May 27, 2012

Emptying Shopping Bags. The Upsizing Experiment. Made Over Leftovers.

I've been doing a lot of self gifting over the last few weeks.  The study floor bears testament to this, with an array of paper bags scattered all over the place.  To commemorate this week's council verge side bulk rubbish collection, I decided that this would be the weekend to attend to my shopping bags.  

As I sit here typing away about my purchases, the street outside seems unusually busy for a Sunday afternoon.  Everyone's gotten into the spirit of trash and treasure.  No sooner has someone put their things out for collection then an eagle eyed passer by or van driver swoops in with a magpie's eye for the jewels amongst the rubbish and tidily goes in for the kill.  In this way, half of what started on the street this morning has probably already found a new home.  It's recycling at its best.

Unfortunately, I seem to lack that eye for the potential on our street's verge and have to make do with purpose purchased items instead.

I'm a big fan of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collections of note cards.  There's just enough variety in a box to not get bored of the design and they're useful for any occasion.  I've been all Impressionist with my previous sets of cards and have gone for something a bit more modern this time round with Picasso in his Surrealist phase and a collection of Tiffany stained glass window designs.

The next bag waiting to be opened was from T2.  I'm a huge fan of their herbal tea bags and have just gotten into their dessert loose leaf teas.  How could I not get the Creme Brûlée on sight alone?  Terrific Toffee is that nougat studded tea I wrote about the other week.  I just need to make some time this week to enjoy a quite brew of either.

My shopping expeditions have netted me two new loyalty cards.  Just after having done a massive cull of them recently.  T2 have a new program for 'Mad Hatters crazy for the kettle' - that's me in six words these days.  And I now have a Witchery card.  Which I never saw coming.  Over the last few years, as much as I've liked the look of their clothes, I've never found anything suitable for my lifestyle.  And then there was the time the heel of my Witchery sandals snapped off at our anniversary lunch at Tetsuya's......

Thankfully, that's now all water under the bridge.  At the time, I got a prompt full refund on the shoes and now I've found myself with a whole new wardrobe of their knitwear.  There is currently a 25% off store wide promotion and it was enough of a sweetener for me to return in store as part of my maternity wardrobe experiment.

For some strange reason, fashion designers don't seem to think pregnant women feel the cold.  The etail sites are filled with radiant women dressing their bumps in wrap dresses, billowing tops and skinny jeans but there's barely a jumper or solid cardigan to be found.  And the knits that are available are thin and pricy.

Knit - Witchery (assymetrical neckline and waist), ls T - Cotton On, bangles - House of Harlow 1960.  Bottom half was a pair of black skinnies from Next Direct.

So, I've decided to see if upsizing regular brands' knitwear will see me through the winter.  I managed to find quite a few things at Witchery that fit my criteria: loose at the waist, suitable for wearing over dresses or leggings and with different necklines for variety.

At the moment, everything looks baggy on me but given the style of chunky knit, I don't look too Olsen twin.  Only time will tell if I've guestimated how my dimensions will change over the winter.

Lots of readers also suggested buying longer line tops from the high street rather than making do with the limited choice in maternity lines (or trying to figure out how to wear a Belly Band before my time).  So I took this good advice and stocked up on these too.  This year, Witchery have both regular tops and ones that seem to be more a dress length.  I've tried both and will report back on how I go with them.

I'm still feeling a bit left out that I haven't found any recycled treasure street side today.  So I'm going to channel my creativity into rejuvenating some leftovers from the freezer.  Have you noticed how delicious leftovers taste when reincarnated as a pie of some sort with butter puff pastry?  Well, I'm capitalising on this and making a chicken and vegetable curry pie for dinner tonight.  Somehow, the better part of a Woolworth's rotisserie chicken is going to cross cultures and embrace a portion of vegetable korma.

The two will be helped along in their merger with this tub of cucumber and mint raita served on the side.  I also had a cup of cooked quinoa in the freezer so that went in as well.  I reheated the chicken, curry and quinoa on the stove top, thinning it out a little with chicken stock before arranging the mixture on one sheet of butter puff pastry.  People, butter in your pastry is key for a leftovers pie.  Key. This is not a time to be choosing Canola or going low fat.

I've made my pie free form because it's Sunday night and blind baking a crust would be excessive.

But I did brush over my pie with an egg wash (1 beaten egg thinned out with a tablespoon of water).

Canola or low fat puff pastry wouldn't give you this golden glow!

Or that flaky crunch as you cut the pie to serve or to eat.  Making over leftovers is a cinch with a couple of sheets of puff pastry.

Another early night for me, I'm afraid.  Busy week ahead.  I've hung tomorrow's outfit on the bedroom door and I hope I've guestimated the weather correctly.


  1. So many great purchases! Nice to see your HoH bracelets being worn too :) Lots of comfy looking knits - hope they will work for you all winter as your bump and baby grows :)

  2. I love Witchery.  Their knits are beautiful.  I have found the footwear a bit hit and miss though.

    They upgraded my membership to silver the other day.  Quiet an achievement given the nearest store is 200km away.  Very good rewards offered - even online.

    Must stop shopping really.

    Hope you are well.  Am excited that there may be a bump soon.

  3. I don't think I've ever bought any pregnancy knits - think mostly I stick with the drapey knitwear anyway, so it just continued to hang over my bump.
    I found all Aussie maternity clothes ridiculously expensive, or very limited in range (target). I bought 90% of my stuff from Topshop maternity, but found one everyday stripey dress from Ripe. It's beautiful (still wearing it) and it was made in Australia which I was thrilled about. 

  4. I loved Metalicus when pregnant - pricey but I still wear some of those pieces (7 years on!). I'm glad you discovered Next Direct too, they have a lot of maternity options and last I looked had free delivery to Australia. I bought lots of maternity gear and in the end only wore about 5 pieces on high rotation. I'm sure you will look fabulous. Fx

  5. HI Fiona

    Next Direct do a GREAT maternity waistband.  They're solid yet comfy.

    SSG xxx

  6. Thanks for that, L.

    I've bought stuff from Soon and was having a look at Ripe as well.

    SSG xxx

  7. It sounds like 14 weeks is the magic time....  I think I'm prepared.  My maternity jeans arrived from Shop Bop today.  Seems that lots of girls get into maternity jeans first before anything else maternity.

    I am going to be living in my chunky sweater knit dresses this winter....  They are very, very comfy.  I just have to now be held accountable for that brash statement.

    Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy!

    SSG xxx

  8. T,

    Um, I'm a silver member too.  Already.

    The bump at the moment is a food baby.

    SSG  xxx

  9. Thank you, Mica.

    Getting lots of wear out of HOH bangles already.

    SSG xxx

  10. A Place For EverythingAugust 4, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Congratulations :) I haven't commented for a long time so missed the news - so wonderful. And I hear you. I bought two identical but differently coloured jumpers from Ripe Maternity because they were the only warm-ish tops that I'd actually wear. How many knee-length chunky-knit turtle-neck sweater-dresses will I really wear? I confidently predict 0. 
    I did however find that although very exxy, the Ripe lycra tops are very comfy and fit well. I tried to get away with my usual Portmans ones but A) pre-announcement, they weren't long enough to hid the waist of the maternity jeans I was sporting, and B) they rode up terribly over the bump.At 14 weeks I am also trying to guesstimate how much tummy room I'll need over winter - and holding off on buying any nursing or summery tops until I see how the notoriously fickle Melbourne November turns out. 
    Maternity dressing is certainly a whole new playground!


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