Sep 30, 2015

Settling In.

Can you believe it?

It's been one week since I survived the house move.  I'm slowly getting into the groove of the new 'hood.  Bin collection days, locating the local branch of my bank and finding the closest thing the main drag has to a $2 shop (the back few racks of the old school hardware store just across from the Pet Barn).

I've also managed to engage in the 'hood's most favourite thing to do of a morning (besides grabbing coffee in active wear - couldn't resist adding the video to my post today) - getting my hair done. 

Turns out that the 'hood is Sydney's home of the Power Blow Dry.  Every second store seems to be a hairdresser and booking in for a Parlux is a bit like having a coffee - many salons offer a 10th service free.

One of my proudest moments spent exploring the local area was when I managed to not only find the nearest outlet of my gym but also got a parking spot just outside the front door.  Decked out with wood features and inspirational workout messages on the treadmills, it's probably the most zen gym I've ever trained at.  It's also one of the busiest too with most of the cardio machines and weight stations occupied by six in the morning.

I spent the weekend figuring out new bus routes.

And exploring the city from my new point of reference.

A dear friend flew in from Melbourne for the weekend so I met up with him for lunch in Potts Point.  Potts Point is one of those special parts of inner city Sydney to me.  It's basically a love child of the Sohos - New York and London.  I love the streetscape that's one part arty, one part heritage, another ultra modern and yet another ultra hip.  The locals are just as eclectic but also welcoming to boring out of towners like me who don't really get out much.

With dark, rain cloud laden skies outside, the natural choice for lunch was a Connecticut style lobster roll at Waterman's Lobster Company...

and lots of champagne and beer as we caught up on each other's lives.

With my last couple of 'me time' hours, I patrolled the nearest Westfield with a large Max Brenner in one hand - just like old times.

Some exciting news for the Givenchy fans....

Back at SSG Manor 2.0, we've managed to unpack enough boxes to reveal the kitchen floor and bench tops.

We also have a fridge, a Fisher & Paykel French door arrangement that's already wearing my fridge magnet collection.

I'm especially fond of the pull out drawers in the freezer. So easy to clean and to find things in.  I went old school with the dishwasher and got one configured with a cutlery basket rather than a fiddly (and hence annoying) cutlery drawer.

Various things have arrived in the post,

including my much anticipated 49 colour set of Faber-Castells from Indonesia (love the elephant stamp).

And I've also done my first Woolies online order.  These under bed storage bags are for me to make the best use of the only potential wardrobe space I still have at my disposal.

Other than that, there's not much else to report around these parts.  Hayfever is slowly sapping away at my will to live and I'm still without a landline or internet at home thanks to some crazy wire cutting that went down before I moved in...

Are you a cutlery basket or tray person?

Fan or not of online grocery shopping?

Sep 25, 2015

Moved In and Fridgeless.


We survived to tell the tale, Toddler SSG and I.  It was only a half hour's drive across the city but for all intents and purposes, we might as well have moved interstate or overseas.  I only ended up having to take one day off work but it's felt like I've been away for a week.  I'm also feeling a little jet lagged and disorientated.  Must have been from spending all my waking hours these last few days circling around a mass of boxes and furniture that looks like it's never going to fit into the new house.

Fortunately, my bed did fit into my room after all....  Appearance can be deceptive.  The wardrobe situation is whole other story.
We're still at the everything's here it's just in the wrong spot stage of the move which means I've lost my phone six times in the last couple of days, my car keys twice and my wallet once.

I was irrationally proud of myself for even making it to work on time this morning.  I was so on fire that I even had time to check on the first few online orders I've made to the new house.  Looks like my new iPhone made it to mine in good time through this morning's horrible weather and traffic.

The house is starting to feel like home.  The bath has been scrubbed and decked out with a new shower curtain.

There's also the reassuring smell of Dettol in the air.  I tell you what, that first steaming hot shower after a day spent moving was the best shower I've had all year.

And on the second day, we woke up, got dressed practically for a day on our feet and went in search of breakfast.  

One of the good things about being fridgeless is having to go out for breakfast on a weekday morning.  I had this very lively looking bowl of Chia seed Bircher muesli.

While Toddler SSG had butter and bacon.  The sourdough was there purely for decorative purposes as far as he was concerned.

I don't know if I have any really helpful tips for moving with a toddler.  The only bit of packing that worked out well for us was to have one set of bed linen, PJs and towels packed into a distinctive looking bag that can be easily found and differentiated from everything else that gets delivered to the new house. I also had a box that I took with me in the car filled with basic kitchen supplies as well formula and the nappy bag.

If you're going to be fridgeless for a few days - then don't forget the Esky.

Other than that, just be prepared that it's going to be long and tiring few days.  Enlist friends and relatives if you can to give you all a bit of a break and a chance to share the load.  My brother lent his time and a second car to make a final trip from the old house with things that the removalists couldn't take (fragile light fittings and unwrapped small electrical goods) and don't forget your real estate agents!!  They are a wealth of knowledge for reliable local tradespeople and builders who will be able to help with any unforeseen dramas relating to the move or settling into your new place.

And that's about all I've got for you today.  I'm off to try and put my feet up for the next few days and possibly finding some selfish, all about me things to do in the new 'hood.  I think this might involve overcoming my fear of my new local Westfield at Bondi Junction.

If' you're a Junction regular, any tips for young players?  Where's good for coffee?  It's a given that I'll be leaving my credit cards at home just in case I accidentally find myself in the spendy store section.

Have a great weekend!

Sep 22, 2015

The Year In Review, In September.

Prepare yourselves emotionally, fellow Offspring fans....

because Billie and Nina are going to be back for season 6 in 2016.

A new season of Offspring aside, 2016 is already shaping up to be all kinds of good and exciting things for me.  The new house, a new 'hood to explore (and hopefully blend into), travel and the privilege of being there as the three beautiful little boys in my life grow up - it's shaping up to being as dramatic, deeply human and unexpected as I hope Offspring continues to be.

It's going to be a that year that's a but like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, or that beautiful fuchsia flower (which I cannot identify with my very limited gardening knowledge and poor googling skills...) on the driveway after it's done nothing but pour overnight.  This year has been one of change, adaptation and constantly having to reorientate myself to my usually default direction of onwards and upwards.  As frustrating and as draining as this kind of year is, they are one of those necessary evils of life which I think make you look harder for and enjoy more intensely every good and beautiful thing that happens in your life.

Meanwhile, at the back end of 2015.  We have floorboards in the new place.  A whole house full of new and super shiny ones.  I'm meant to be popping by later this morning to air the place ahead of the move tomorrow.

Packing up my fridge magnet collection was the saddest packing moment of the weekend.  Putting my newest magnet on my trusty old fridge was the thing that made me feel I'd really arrived home in that first jetlagged day back in Sydney.  But now the fridge is leaving me for that junkyard in the sky.

The packing's progressing.  Not as fast I would have hoped and I'm filled with this sense of impending doom over not having everything done by the time the removalists roll up the driveway 0730 tomorrow.

I'm happy to report that I somehow won the game of lids and bottoms on the freezer container shelf.  Everyone got paired up with their better halves before getting packed up in yet another packing carton.

Not quite as romantic (or as cheesy) as The Bachelor Finale (which I'm afraid, kind of, that I missed) but satisfying all the same.

One of my nephews (and his parents) came to visit on Saturday which was all the reason I needed to do some baking for the last time in the SSG Manor kitchen.  I went out with a bang and used this Dutch Apple and Cinnamon cake mix from Aldi.

Toddler SSG was on hand for the vital last step of stirring in the fresh apples and cinnamon sugar at the end.

As well as for the washing up.  I wonder how long this 'helping' phase is going to last?  Forever would be nice...

Four eggs and 175g of butter makes for a very rich and most cake.

The cinnamon sugar had a perfect balance of cinnamon and apple.  I'm going to be stocking up on this cake mix the next time it appears at Aldi.  I'm even willing to risk my life on the precarious stairs and parking situation at my 'new' Aldi next to the train station on New South Head Road.

Had the privilege of meeting up with C for coffee on Sunday.  The planets have been so hard to align for catch ups with friends these days and I'm hoping that I've entered a new phase where I'll be able to actually meet make some dates with the lots of other people I've been thinking of but embarrassingly, haven't had time to catch up with.

September't not even over and I'm already putting this year to bed!

I blame the major retailers and their early arrival of Christmas merchandise.

Have you got an early call on how 2015 was for you?

Sep 16, 2015

Our Newest PM. Just A Quick Chat.

Well, that wasn't what I was expecting to read in my coffee granules the other morning...

Australia, we've just sworn in our fifth Prime Minister in as many years (which is as quick as new iPhone releases.... yes that is an interesting parallel to draw, so much deep symbolism, or not, right there).  John Howard was our last Prime Minister to serve a full term - eight years ago.
So, welcome to Kirribilli, Mr Turnbull. The press are already having a field day about everything that you'll stand to lose as you 'downsize' to the official presidential estate.  I just wish that social media wouldn't get so personal in their criticism of our Prime Ministers past and present.  It's just painfully unfunny, unpleasant, unnecessary and unAustralian.

Getting off my soapbox now.  What am I wishing for?  I'm hoping for political stability which will allow our country to have its say on same-sex marriage, to address our human rights violations in our handling of the people we call 'illegals and unaccompanied minors' and to redefine our international trade identity as the extravagantly hungry markets we once took for granted begin to shrink.  In the meantime, I promise to report any interesting sightings I may have of the Member for Wentworth as I find my feet in my new digs.

Speaking of the new digs.  This is my bedroom floor getting surgically reconstructed this morning.  Turns out I was in the minority when I expressed my love of the bleached out grey that someone had stained the boards with.  My floor man and my mum finally persuaded me to 'go natural and even a bit lighter'.  Perhaps blonde is best when it comes to pine flooring?

Whatever the case may be, I'm also hoping that miracles will be worked and that the whole floor will be blonde perfection by this time next week because that's when I'll be moving in.  With my champagne.

The weather was fortuitously amazing over the weekend.  I'm feeling a bit sad for Toddler SSG because of the packing and slight chaos at home owing to Move-tember.

So on Saturday, we explored the public space at The Concourse in Chatswood.  It's a beautiful open air space that also houses a library, eateries (this is Chatswood after all), a performance venue and other cultural facilities.  It also features many things near to a toddler's heart like heart stoppingly steep flights of open air stairs, lawns for running around on and water features behind glass barricades to peer at.

We also decided on my new iPhone in a scene that looks faintly biblical.

And I was eventually able to order it that night after the apple store flashed its 'we're not open yet but...' notice in about 30 different languages for close to 45 minutes after pre-ordering time officially began.

Waiting for iPhone pre-orders to open with a mug of tea dressed in my jammies on a Saturday night.  It was wild.  Just wild.

Sunday saw us at the Macquarie Centre for a play at Chipmunks.  Toddler SSG had so much fun that he refused to me take off his purple Chipmunks wrist band when we got home.  It ended up lasting two baths and two days at daycare before it fell off.  They're the toddler version of the nightclub wrist stamps some of us collected through uni....

There's also lovely coffee at The Missing Piece.

But sadly, no Sephora just yet.  And still no Sephora Australia online shopping.  Which meant that yes, I had to go to Mecca Maxima for a new grey eyeliner.

The next best thing to Sephora's own brand 12 hour eyeliners are Urban Decay's 24 hour glide on eyeliners.  They're next best in my book because they're twice the price of Sephora's.  But one does what one must when you've got nothing but a stub of grey left at home.  I bought Smoke and the photo above is a swatch of it from an actual beauty blogger.

While weekend sunny days are all about getting out and about, weekday, day off sunny days are all about the chores.  Which I did in my trusty black thongs and track pants.  Because I'm a mum who knows the score when it comes to off duty 'style'....

Is it a bit sad to confess that I felt like I was a sugar free, low carb, flat lay loving, resident of a super white roomed house accented with of the moment kitsch and quotes sanctimommy as I strolled through Coles with my thongs slapping the flooring?  The birds were singing and the butterflies were fluttering as I filled my shopping basket with berries for Toddler SSG.  The sun does this to my imagination when it suddenly appears for days on end at this time of the year.


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