Sep 25, 2017

Life This Week 25/9/2017: Beach or Bush?

For me?  The beach, hands down.


That sense of calm that washes over and through you as you gaze out at the water while the sand yields softly yet firmly to your toes.  Because you must always be bare foot on the beach...


Beach is a way of life.  It's colour, it's pared back chic, it's mix and match, it's full of different textures.  


The glimpse of a beach from between apartment blocks as you stand on the footpath of a busy road makes you forget the chaos and congestion of Sydney.



Finding that hidden gem local beach and then lazing on it is a kind of priceless treat to self after a week of routine, responsibility and yes... Sydney traffic.  I love you Sydney, but you have Traffic and Congestion that even I struggle to love unconditionally.


The beach is a magical place to children too.  You don't really need much more than your own two legs and bucket to have hours of fun when you're there.


The Murray Rose Pool is not technically 'the beach' but it gives me everything I love about 'proper beaches' without the crowds.


Bondi Beach.  How could you not love Bondi?  It's iconic, it's beauty changes with the season and there's always a diversity of people and pets strolling along it.  It's the people's beach.


Over to you.  Beach or Bush?

Sep 22, 2017

A Day (Off) in the Life.

Recently, one of my favourite bloggers, Domestic Divinity pondered returning to blogging.  She decided that updating her Facebook page more frequently was going to be her way of doing it and it's been so lovely reading along about what's been going on in her life.  One of the posts that I've enjoyed the most featured a short video about a day in her life.  There was so much I could relate to in the parenting stakes....

I wish I knew how to compress a day in my life into an interesting video but I don't so I decided to document a day in my life on Instagram which turned out to be so much fun (to me at least) finding the joy/excitement in the seemingly mundane that I've decided to write a post around the photos.

Without further ado.  Here's what a day (off) in my life looks like right now.



0530: intervals on the treadmill at the gym.  I go to a 24 hour gym that's a five minute drive from home.  It's not fancy and at that hour, most of the guys there are there for the weights leaving me with a free run on the cardio machines.  We all know each other by sight.  There's not much chat but we motivate each other by just being there at crazy o'clock doing what needs to be done.


0630: driven home, parked and off for a walk down the road in search of coffee.  My neighbourhood is basically one large construction site right now.


0636: waited for my coffee and wished everyone Shanah Tova as the Jewish New Year is observed.



0640: walked home with my coffee in my activewear like everyone else who was out and about at that hour.



0641: looked up at the beginning of a beautiful day in Sydney.  I love this time of the year and time of the day.



0700:  my scheduled blog post for the day went live.  It was my review of the Louise M shoes I've been wearing at work this week.



0735: fished my tea bag out of my mug of tea with a pair of chopsticks.  That same cup of tea had been kept warm by being topped up with boiling water while I tried to get Preschooler's breakfast organized.  There's usually around three options and each of these change on the minute.  Not many of them are nutritionally sound either.  The freshly squeezed OJ that I make to accompany it does make me feel a bit less guilty about the food options.



0847: current 'day off' (couldn't resist the inverted sanctimommy commas..) mum uniform.  Uniqlo's cashmere sweaters are the best and seem to stand up to my life better than their woollen knits which have developed holes in them from being machine washed.  Seven For All Mankind skinny jeans... no brainer there.  Looking forward to my next expedition to the outlets in the US next year because I need to get some simple black skinnies from the brand. Will I ever be able to carry a bag to work that's as small as the cross body styles I like using in my downtime?  Probably not.


0947: logged onto the work server to catch up on all the news from overnight and to anticipate anything that might come up today.



1013:  at Chemist Warehouse.  Primarily for Preschooler SSG's meds but you never know what you'll find that you'll then need as you wander the aisles while waiting for the scrip to be filled.



1040: cup of tea and a banana as I read my favourite guilty pleasure read.


1158: love getting the chance to eat lunch before noon!  Bulk lunch prep takes all the stress away from trying to think of a lunch idea on a daily basis.



1246: desk top car racing with Preschooler SSG.  We're supposed to be measuring how far our cars skittle across the desk in centimetres, hence the tape measure blue tacked on the edge.  Preschooler SSG has since added two pieces of paper to our racing pit.  I'm not sure what they're there for but I guess I'll be finding out soon.




1324: attempting to administer Preschooler SSG's eye drops.  He's a moving target, that boy.



1430: you guys, it's going to be somewhere between 26 - 32C in Sydney tomorrow!  That's statement frock weather in my opinion.  My outfit for Friyay has been picked and hung out ready for the get out the door rush that is every morning of the days I work.


1457: home yoga practice.  Who am I kidding?  It's the only way I practice yoga these days.  I'm still sticking to at least two sessions a week and I'm needing less assistance from props in my standing poses.  I still need the belts to help me with floor work.  The best news, though, is that my shoulders, knees and back have all been behaving and working as they should with all the asanas they've found themselves in of late.


1642: the home stretch. Preschooler SSG is on the mend, the housework's been done, fielded calls from work.  Into my PJs with a good inch of miracle working skincare on my face at nanna o'clock.  No shame in my game.



1657: apparently there's some kind of nation wide shortage of T2's Peppermint Tea.  It's been out of stock online for ages and there's none to be found at my local store.  Even the loose leaf.  So I had to ... Try Another Brand.

Later (but not much later): Preschooler SSG's had his shower, dinner and brushed his teeth.  We have time for a book before heading to bed.  A good half hour of talking, prayers and trying to listen to his bedtime CD before sleepytime.

I head to bed, listen to the radio and fall asleep.

And then it starts all over again when the same radio station wakes me up in the morning.

What do your days look like?

Sep 21, 2017

Lovin' Life 21/9/2017: Louise M Shoes.





We're an airport, airplane, and air travel loving household.



One of Preschooler's first words was 'plane' and I remember afternoons spent looking up at the sky above our old house in search of the planes behind the roaring engines and swooshes of air that reverberated around us on that quiet suburban street.  We've been on many memorable flights together as well.  We've got practically every available toy and picture book devoted to these themes and I'm looking forward to even more air travel together as he gets older and I get a bit braver in my choice of flight destination.  I wonder how many years it's going to take for me to attempt a mother and son flight over to the US?

via Google Images
On a personal level, it's safe to say that I'm just a little bit fascinated by the world of flight attendant life.  From personal memoirs to movies to travel journalism and airline-affiliated Instagram accounts... I'm as dedicated to flight life info as you may be to Game of Thrones or finding a way to justify the arrival of an iPhone X into your life later this year.


Sadly, the similarities between my life and that of a flight attendant are few.  We both spend a lot of time on our feet, we both wheel things around as we go (catering trolleys or a computer on wheels aka COW .... boom tish) talking to lots of people as we go and some of us do this all with our scarves remaining in prisitne conditions while others of us have a very good relationship with our dry cleaner.



But guess, what? I can now add another exciting similarity in our lives!  Footwear.  From Louise M's Cabin Crew Collection, to be precise.  Louise is a former flight attendant who is currently based in Perth and has a passion for well-made Italian leather shoes.  She created the Louise M range of shoes with aim of providing fashionable and functional shoes for women who need to be on their feet for long hours at work. Aside from the Cabin Crew Collection is the Corporate Collection with some great prices on the current range as the label moves to stocking new designs shortly.

I had a few requests for a review of Louise's shoes when I posted about my purchase on Instagram so here it is.  I thought I'd discuss the website, customer service, what I liked most about the shoes I bought and also the results of my road test of each pair.

The road test I put each pair of shoes through is an average day at work for me right now.  
  • Total time wearing shoes: ten hours
  • Rough breakdown of time spent on my feet: 4 - 6 hours continuously on the move walking, bending, pushing computer on wheels around, carrying shoulder bag  (filled with with notes, equipment and snacks), going up and down stairs.  The remainder of my time is more sedentary with maybe a burst of walking every half hour or so.  Usually end the day trying to safely shepherd a preschooler from preschool to the shops and then pushing a trolley around containing said preschooler and dinner ingredients.
  • Surfaces walked: gravel of carpark, sidewalks, concreted and lino topped floors.
  • Special requirements: that shoes be completely enclosed and have non slip soles.
  • I (touch wood) don't have any particular health concerns relating to my feet, veins or joints.  I don't require orthotics or special stockings to be worn under my shoes.  I wear either standard tights or stockings or nothing (!!).  I've tried those sockettes but I always lose them somewhere in my shoe.


Website and Customer Service

  • Easy to navigate website with detailed product information on each shoe including: heel height, construction (down to whether heels are stacked or leather), compliance with Australian airlines' staff uniform regulations, whether to size up or down, style tips based on client feedback.
  • Free returns / exchange for non sale items.
  • Clear return / exchange policy described on the website.
  • Helpful FAQ page.
  • Shipping was prompt and my shoes arrived with a little note from Louise.
  • I even received a follow up phone call the day after my shoes arrived to make sure I had the right sizes.
The Shoe Reviews


I purchased these because I needed a new pair of simple black ballerina style flats only with a durable sole, no 'heel biting' from any elasticated edges and some arch support.  

From Louse M Shoes website
Louise M Classic Nappa Flat $190 from $280.



Initial impressions:
  • true to size and comfortable from the moment I slipped them on
  • loved the 'no toe cleavage' design and the fact that they did not scream 'comfort shoe' when I took them out of their box
  • especially at the sale price of $190, I think these shoes are amazing value when you compare the quality of their construction and their durability to what other brands are offering
  • all leather construction with a grip surface over the sole of the shoe as illustrated below



Road test:


  • comfortable from the moment I put them on in the morning.  
  • no pinching of my heels or toes throughout the day.
  • soles were not slippery on non carpeted surfaces.
  • enough cushioning in the shoe as they are to feel comfortable after a day walking around in them on mostly hard flooring.
  • I have flat feet but don't require orthotics, no discomfort at all in these shoes though those of you who require extra support may have to slip your insoles in.
  • I wish these came in other colours too!
  • they are of a solid construction so they're not really the kind of flats you'd slip in your bag to save your feet from those killer heels that look the goods but hurt like h*ll....
  • my feet and these shoes breezed through the road test.
Heel height for the flats is 1.5cm.



The Hogl brand are made in Hungary (while the Louise M branded shoes are Italian made) with leather uppers and lining but synthetic soles.  I bought these because I find a 4.5cm heel is as high as I can go for work and I liked the detail at the leather detail at the heel as well.
From Louise M Shoes website.
Hogl Stacked Heel $130.


Initial impressions:

  • again, true to size and comfortable from the moment I slipped them on
  • I really liked the classic slightly rounded toe of these heels as well as the toe coverage
  • just a little different to the style of shoe I usually buy but not so left of field that I'd not be able to wear them regularly to work.


Road test:


  • these were a bit firmer around than the Louise M flats when I first put them on but no harm done after 5 hours straight on my feet.  Not a single tender joint or even the suggestion of a blister.
  • no uncomfortable rubbing at the heels either.
  • shoes were true to size.
  • what 4.5cm heel?  I felt like I was walking in flats all day.  Easy to drive in as well.
  • the soles are synthetic and non-slip so perfect for cruising down endless lino covered corridors while pushing a computer around.
  • the heel height and cut of the toe box were both very flattering and again, very work appropriate and not the remotest suggestion of 'comfort shoe' about the design of these shoes.
  • these heels were only a fraction less comfortable on their first wear than the flats but again my feet survived the road test in these shoes with minimal discomfort.

Final thoughts

  • While these shoes are expensive, they are seriously worth considering for your work wardrobe.  I've found that I don't actually wear many different pairs of shoes to work and the pairs I currently have are all variations on the same anyway.
  • I like that the soles are built to last which is often a sore point in all leather shoes.  The Hogl branded shoes have a fairly thick synthetic sole while the Louise M soles are leather with a coating over the top.  
  • Aside from their comfort, I'm bowled over by the design of these shoes.  Style has not been sacrificed for comfort.  They're also not trend driven shoes so you can divert your entire budget for work clothes next year to the clothes!
  • Being trapped in painful shoes all day at work is a miserable way to live not to mention the damage those shoes may be causing long term.  I'm so glad to have discovered Louise's range and am looking forward to seeing the new range.
  • And once again... here's a not so subtle hint to Louise to pretty please extend the colour range of her shoes.  



Sep 19, 2017

Tuesday's Miscellanea.


It was about time too, Australian Bureau of Statistics.


My postal vote form arrived last night and I've had my say, ticked yes and popped it back in the post this morning.  I can feel change, acceptance, and equality in the air as our nation comes together to hopefully agree that love is love.


The week's been off to a brisk start for me.  Work continues to be hectic and I am dealing with it by draping myself in beautiful prints via my new Boden frocks and making being on my feet all day less excruciating by wearing my new shoe from Louise M.  I'm hoping to have my review post up on the blog Thursday.



I won't lie.  I am loving all this sun that Sydney has been gifted with lately.  It's even been warm enough to wear shorts.  Albeit for around thirty minutes in the early afteroon but it's a start and my legs have seen enough sun to rescue them from their pastiness....


These bicycles have started appearing around my neighbourhood.  Some of them seem to get around a fair bit but this particular bike has been comfortably propped up against a tree I walk past on my way to get my morning coffee for quite some time now.  Perhaps it's a sign that I should be the one to ride the bike and relocate it to someplace new.

Elsewhere in the world, the Emmys were on earlier this week.  The frocks weren't that exciting but here are my favourite looks.

www.usmagazine.com

The Emmys were on earlier this week.  Congratulations on your win, Nicole.

www.trbimg.com

And I am so glad that you won as well, Elisabeth Moss.  For your Outstanding Lead Actress nod in 'The Handmaid's Tale'.  I'm still trying to pluck up the courage to watch.


In lieu of an Emmy, I have these new kitchen scales to put on my kitchen bench top.  I wonder if it's true, by the way, that the recipients of such esteemed awards keep them in the most ordinary of places around their homes.

But back to the scales.  I'm very excited about them because them they appear to be virtually indestructible.  My digital ones have a habit of switching themselves on and off on a whim. I like that these scales are old school mechanical with a tare function and a dial full of numbers that I find strangely soothing.  I bought mine online from here.



I can vouch for the all-round deliciousness of this Sriracha aioli I bought at Costco the other day.  It's perfect with my sushi bowl salad as well as normal sushi.  I'm currently trying to think of the kind of sandwich that might also do it justice.  Fish finger ones, perhaps?



In more news from the world of sauces, it is now possible to order Big Mac sauce to go with your McNugget Happy Meal.  Preschooler SSG gives it two thumbs up with both fries and nuggets.



Preschooler SSG had a party at school on Friday complete with two very special guests - Bumblebee and Buzz Lightyear.  Both were a huge hit with the children.


I managed to find some Transformer pyjamas for him in the miracle area of Target that is the childrenswear sales rack.  They and his Toy Story pyjamas have traveled the route from wardrobe to bed to the laundry machine and clothesline many, many times already this week.

www.sydneyoperahouse.com

Given how much Preschooler SSG enjoyed the party and all the gross out humour and physical comedy that took place, I've taken the plunge and bought us tickets to see Frank Woodley's Noodlenut show at the Opera House these school holidays.  It looks like lots of fun and well, harbour side on a Saturday afternoon isn't a bad place to be either.


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