Thursday, December 31, 2009

Week 34.

So it's Week 34.
Actually, it is 3 days till Week 35.

Scary stuff.

I am very grateful that my nervous system has brought me
( and the baby ) this far and not imploded from the cumulative stress!!!!
For an anxious kind of girl, I am quite proud of myself so far. On the whole I have managed to keep myself quite calm for the last 8 months and that is something I wouldn't have thought I would be able to achieve so easily.
It's nice to find I can make myself calm when I really try.
Good to know!!;)

I am feeling pretty good and my only 'problem' is that the customer service at Babies Galore ( in my experience) has been ridiculously bad.
Oh, and that I am finding it virtually impossible to believe that in a few weeks I will have a baby. I think because I haven't allowed myself to think that far ahead, now that it's kind of important to think about that fact, I'm having a bit of trouble.
I seem to have trained my mind a little bit too well!!

I'll go and work on that and you all go and have a fantastic NYE and a wonderful 2010!!
Have a champagne for me at midnight 'cause I'll be on the waters!!

Lots of love from me to you all for a great new decade!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thank you , Grazia ! ;)

I used to buy Grazia magazine when it first came out a couple of years ago, but I started to like it less and less because it was a bit too tabloidy for me.
I don't want to read anything about Lindsay Lohan's life. I'm more than happy to know where she got her shoes but that's ALL I want to , I stopped buying it.

I bought it for the first time in ages at the airport the other day and in this week's edition there is a celebrity fashion retrospective covering the last decade. Like I said, normally not my thing, but I was very happy to see this feature because it reminded me of two fashion moments that I LOVED and totally forgot about.

1)Michelle Williams in glorious yellow Vera Wang at the Oscars. Perfection.

2)Lily Allen unveils hot pink hair at UK Glamour awards. So wrong that it's right.

Now, I know these moments may not be to everyone's taste but personally, I found each lady's use of colour quite the inspiration and I wanted to record them here for posterity!

Hope you like!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas lovelies!

I'm off to Melbourne for Christmas so I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2010!!!!!

Thanks for reading for the last few months and thank you even more for all of your comments.
Reading each one of them makes me so happy!

See you soon!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Blossom Dearie - A very special song of the week.

Everything I've got belongs to you - Blossom Dearie.

Oh, how I love this woman. And her jacket in this video.

I've been a fan since my jazz-loving dad introduced me to her music when I was a child.
She was a very talented, smart and funny lady.
She was a New Yorker through and through and musically she was, well, awesome.

Of her songs, this is probably my favourite. I wanted to feature it somehow at our wedding, but as you will hear, the lyrics are a bit too irreverent for that particular occasion!

We went with;
The Beatles - Got to get you into my life ( played at the end of the ceremony),
Ray Charles - Deed I do ( for our wedding dance),
Louis Armstrong - La Vie en Rose ( for the signing of the registry)
and Chet Baker - Somewhere over the Rainbow ( when I walked down the aisle).

Those songs are all about love and romance (and no irreverence!!)

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend! xx

Flowers of the week.

Christmas bush.
Feeling Christmassy yet?

I'm still on the hydrangea hunt. There will be one. Potted. In this house by the end of the weekend.

Stand by for photos lovelies!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

I would like to go to an island resort please.

It's generally not my kind of holiday.

I tend to prefer the type of holiday where you know where you are going but have not planned what you will be doing exactly. Where you could really end up doing anything and meeting anyone. Where you don't have to be any particular place on any particular day. Where you can see where the road takes you...

Today, I would do pretty much anything to be told that I am off to a 5 star resort in Fiji or Vanuatu or Bali or anywhere they have islands. I'm not fussy.

I want to be on an island , away from everything and everyone, except Sd.
I would be happy to do the same thing every day and go to the same restaurant every day. See the same people every day.
I would be happy to stay there and not go to or see anywhere else except the island resort for a few weeks.
All of these things are normally factors I avoid like the plague when I plan a trip away. But not this time!

I'd like to go swimming and sit under a tree and read my book. And that's all thank you.
I would not be taking any calls from anyone ( especially from people who are calling to tell me how I must prepare my nipples for breast-feeding ) or checking my emails or anything like that.
Sounds lovely doesn't it?

I don't think that is going to happen unfortunately. But I'll just keep looking at the picture at the top of the post and pretend.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Song of the Week.

Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap.

Ok, so I know I haven't done a 'Flowers of the Week' post for a while.
Here's why.
I want to buy a hydrangea in a pot , to have in the house, for the festive season. When I was little, we always had hydrangeas in the house at Christmas time, from the bushes we had out in the garden or from my grandma's house in Concord West.
Blue, purple, white and pink ones.
Hydrangeas and Christmas bush get me in the Christmas spirit probably more than the Christmas tree does! It's a lovely Australian Christmas tradition isn't it?

I have had this plan for a while now...but none of the ones I have seen to buy reach my lofty standards!
I seem to be looking for the perfect botanical specimen and nothing I've seen so far comes close to that. Yet.
Rest assured, when I find that pesky perfect potted hydrangea, you'll be notified immediately!

Hence, no 'Flowers of the Week' at this time.

In order to compensate for that a little bit, I've decided to give you a 'Song of the Week' instead.

I think this song is as beautiful as any flower and although it has been around for a while, lately I have fallen in love with it all over again.

I hope you like it.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Something funny.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I would love it if you would read this.

I was just reading Mia Freedman's blog - Mamamia , which I am sure many of you follow.

She just posted about the horrific murders of Nick Waterlow and Chloe Waterlow and most importantly, how we all can practically help this family through this truly terrible terrible time.

Here is the link ;

I didn't know Nick or Chloe personally. I went to Sydney University many years ago when she was first there and I was friends with some of her friends from high school. I probably met her a few times but she wasn't my friend.

I have been thinking about her husband, her children and her brothers constantly since this happened and have wished that there was something I could do to help.

Well it appears there is. Actually, something we could all do.

A trust has been set up for her children and on Mamamia there are the details of how it all works, where the money will go and how to help.

Essentially, in the short term, the money will allow Chloe's husband to be with his children and help them deal with this horrendous situation.

If you have time, I would really appreciate it if you could go to Mia's blog and read her post and if you feel at all inclined, help this family deal with a loss so enormous I can't begin to get my head around it.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, November 30, 2009

30 weeks.

What an auspicious day! So grateful to have made it this far.
These are a little bunch of hydrangeas to mark the occasion.

Don't have much else to say on the pregnancy front except that I now know that I will be having a Caesarean. In about 9 weeks time.
Can't say I have any strong feelings either way on that one, except that I strongly feel that HOW this baby comes into the world is not my highest priority. That he/she comes into the world healthy IS.
Any tips on Caesar recovery would be greatly appreciated!

So this week is all about finishing this bloody course. I'm still not finished but I am persevering and hope that this week will be the last week that I'm doing it. I know I set the date of 30/11 for it to be finished but I lost a week out of my proposed 2 week study timetable because I was exhausted. Long story, but it involved late nights and interstate travelling. And it left me in the foetal position in bed or on the couch for the best part of a week.

So as you can see, I have run out of excuses and now it's off with the internet and on with the most boring course in the history of the universe!

Happy Days!

I hope the certificate they give me when I finish is very big and is gold plated.

Have a great day lovelies!


Friday, November 27, 2009

This is awkward and I'm exhausted.

I can't sleep.

It's been a problem for a while and while it is improving - I have encountered a few setbacks with the constant need to wee during the night.
Got to love the third trimester.
Anyway, to help me go back to sleep, I listen to the radio in the middle of the night.
Music doesn't work, it has to be talking. So I listen to random talk back radio. It is fascinating and quite confronting. Somehow, despite being fascinated and confronted - I fall asleep. So that's good.
So ANYWAY, the people who call and the people who host these kinds of shows in the early hours of the morning, have extremely conservative views. And that's being polite.
Currently, the subject of choice to discuss on these shows is climate change and the bizarre situation that has developed in Australian politics this week. These people don't believe in climate change. There's alot of talk of conspiracy theories, world government and global cooling. There are alot of raised voices and emotional tirades. In regard to the ETS currently being debated in our Senate, there are mentions of PM Rudd wanting to be the UN Secretary General and the fact that if it comes in - Australia will be a third world country. That 'working families' will go to the wall if they have to pay this 'tax on everything'.
So, in daylight hours and through more reliable sources, I have tried to educate myself more about this debate. Obviously it has ( in an Australian context) become quite complex and I'm not educated enough to go into all of that at the moment. But it has made me very interested in the climate change believers versus climate change non-believers battle of the wills going on all over the world at the moment.
I assume it has heated up recently ( no pun intended) because of Copenhagen at the end of the year...
It seems to me that no matter what your stance, it is a highly emotive topic.
In fact, I think it may be one of those topics like sex, politics and religion - that you either don't discuss with your nearest and dearest. Or if you do, do some deep breathing beforehand.
I had a brief conversation with Sd this morning and well, lets just say, there were some raised voices. We ended up still bffs , but it came close to someone storming out of the room. And I'm proud to say it wasn't just me considering it!
It strikes me that although the vast majority of us are not scientists specialising in the environment or climate change - we seem supremely confident that whatever it is we believe is correct and it is an outrage that someone could hold a different view. Which is a shame because, if you asked me, that kind of closedmindedness and anger, means that it will take longer for us (the world) to actually find out exactly what is going on here and what we can do to help.
I believe that climate change/global warming is real and is contributed to by humans. And I think we urgently need to do something about it. However, I am not 100% sure that the scientific explanation we have at this point shows us the entire picture and therefore I am not convinced that drastic changes need to be made now to the Australian economy in an attempt to solve this global problem.
Something has to be done though.
I've got no solutions. None. But think being open minded is a very good start.

This interview with Ed Begley ( an actor and environmentalist) on Fox ( an abomination of a 'media outlet' - just saying...) is , to me, indicative of the biggest problem we all have right now. Diametrically opposing views and no one is listening to each other.
Rant over.
Have a lovely weekend and don't hate me if you think I'm all wrong about this! Maybe I am. I'm learning as I go... xx

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Very exciting 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas' update!

In October, Sd and I went to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.
I posted about it here.
We really enjoyed it and will definitely go again next year.

Anyway, I just got an email from the Opera House ( a close personal friend of mine) and some of the most popular lectures are now available to be viewed online.
These are the lectures you can see;

Christopher Hitchens: Religion Poisons Everything

Cardinal George Pell - Without God We Are Nothing

IQ2 Debate: Democracy Is Not For Everyone

Soapbox Final: Public Speaking Competition

Baroness Susan Greenfield: Does Online Networking Harm Children's Brains?

Keyser Trad: Polygamy Is Good For Australia

If you have time, I would recommend watching them.
Particulary the Soapbox Final winner. She was bloody fantastic!

You can go here to see them.

Enjoy!! (and let me know what you think)


That Girl.

More reminiscing.
I used to get up every morning at 5.30am when I was in primary school to watch this old TV show. It was on Channel 7 and I LOVED it.
More specifically, I loved Ann Marie. That was her( That Girl's) name.
I thought it was fantastic that her surname was Marie. So feminine. So lovely.
I wanted to be like her VERY BADLY.
I especially wanted her clothes and her hair. I would still love her clothes!! They were superb!
Could probably live without the hair though.
Ann Marie remains one of my style icons. If you want 'put together late 60's - early 70's chic' - look no further than Ann Marie. She was breath-taking.

Even though I watched episode after episode, I never really got how kitsch and corny the show was. It looked quite realistic to me! I just guessed that in the 60's and 70's that's how things were! In case you've never heard of this TV show ( ie; in case you didn't spend the best part of the early 80's getting up and making your way to the TV at 5.30am), it was similar to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Single girl living in the big city ( New York in fact) - loving life.
Very inspiring to a 9 year old indeed!!
Ann Marie was a bit disaster prone, had a grumpy father and always tried her hardest. She was a bit like me - even at 9! Although at that age, clearly I was nowhere near NYC and I didn't have a devoted boyfriend called Donald either. Bummer.
There was always hope for the future though!
I have seriously considered naming a future baby girl of mine 'Marlo' - after Marlo Thomas who played Ann Marie.We'll have to wait and see....

Here are the opening credits; just imagine a small girl sitting in the dark about 10 cms away from the TV screen with the volume turned down so I didn't wake anyone up, totally and utterly in awe of 'That Girl'.



My Greta Garbo moment.

As the big day approaches ( it's 10 weeks away) , I must say that more and more, my fears seem to be related not so much to the birth of this baby - but being swamped with people, namely our relatives, straight after the birth. And after as well.

It's making me feel sick.

I know I sound like a freak, but I have had quite a few conversations now with some relatives in particular ( who have been pregnant themselves but not for a long long time) - and I don't feel like they are listening to ANYTHING I am saying. It is not boding well for the future.

I know that everyone is excited and loves us but I feel like I am being railroaded into doing and being whatever it is that suits these people, or whatever these people 'remember' themselves to have been when they were pregnant.
I feel like any deviation from that on my behalf is met with a response that basically is that I am mistaken or weird or being too precious, or unreasonable....

It's pissing me off to say the least and I am feeling very uncomfortable about what's going to happen when I actually have this baby. I feel like I'm going to be suffocated by people that 'know best'.

I can stand up for myself. That's no problem at all. In this case though, I don't want to hurt anyone or offend anyone. Everyone's intentions are good. I'm just dealing with people who are not particularly great at picking up other people's feelings. Frankly, I don't think they are that interested in doing that - they don't have time; they're too excited and carried away with the thrill of it all!!

So, this morning Greta Garbo and her famous words 'I want to be alone' are springing to mind. Obviously, I don't want to be left completely alone but allowed a bit of space and also be recognised as the boss in this particular situation.

That'd be great.

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Musical interlude #2.

Good afternoon!

I have wanted to post this for ages.

I am a huge Mia Farrow fan. Isn't she exquisite?

I have watched her in just about everything she's ever done, except 'Rosemary's Baby'. I don't/can't do horror movies...but I'm sure she's superb in that as well!!

When I was little, maybe about 4 or 5, I watched this TV movie - Peter Pan - and I adored it.
It was made in 1976 ( when Mia was 31 ) and she played Peter. It had a huge impact on me and I have never forgotten it.
Unfortunately, as far as I know, it isn't available on DVD, so I have to be happy with many many visits to Youtube for the time being.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The real meaning of Christmas.

Here is another Blog this challenge...

What does Xmas mean to you and your family?

It means being together.
Now that Sd and I are married it means one year in Sydney with my family and the next in Melbourne with Sd's family. My family is tiny and Sd's is much much bigger but overall the 'being together' theme is exactly the same.

Have you got some traditions?

Sd and I have one tradition which was actually started in my family a couple of years ago... it's called 'Christmas Bag'.
* please refer to post photo
It involves climbing into a ridiculously large Christmas gift bag and having your photo taken. We have decided to take the show on the road this year and introduce this tradition to Sd's unsuspecting family. Look out Mornington!

What will you cook?!

As regular readers will know I will not be cooking anything. I'm a cleaning person not a cooking person. Although, I must admit I have had fleeting thoughts of trying to bake a Christmas cake lately. We'll see what happens...
When we have Christmas in Sydney, Sd ( chef extraordinaire ) cooks the Christmas ham. We like to name it.
Last year's ham was called Richard.

Who will you spend it with?

This year is Melbourne year. I will spend it with Sd, his parents, his two brothers and their partners, and lots of their relations.

Got a favourite Christmas memory?

My favourite Christmas memory is when I was about 4. My sister and I used to believe that we were very special because Santa came to us twice. We woke up to lots of exciting presents that Santa had brought down the chimney and then later, when our grandparents arrived, we would go outside to play in the garden with them for a while. When we returned inside, there were more presents from Santa under the tree! It was incredible!
We couldn't get over how lucky we were that Santa came to us twice! No one in our family could work out how Santa had snuck back in. Our grandparents were all outside with my sister and I and Mum and Dad were in the kitchen making Christmas lunch the whole time...It couldn't have been anyone else BUT Santa could it?

How are you decorating??

I am decorating as much and as often as possible. Decorating begins next week actually. There will be fairy lights on the stairs, our gorgeous tree bought last year ( it's very hardy and cannot be 'killed' by cats - we have had a few trees destroyed by our lovely cats) and lashings of Christmas bush and holly.
Christmas bush and holly are vital for a well decorated Christmas as far as I'm concerned!

I'm getting merry just thinking about it!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Is ignorance really bliss?

I am an anxious person. No doubt about that.
I wasn't always though. I guess I was never a person who threw caution to the wind all the time but I was certainly never the anxious,worrying person I can be now.

About 7 years ago I had a very stressful job and a complicated personal life. I worked very very hard at both my job and my personal life and overall I had some great times.
It was difficult though and above all,very hard on my mind and body. At a time where things were their most stressful, and had been for quite a while, my body packed up and I had a number of weird symptoms like weight loss, rashes, and patches of numb skin. It really scared me and I was investigated for things like MS and brain tumours and that scared me even more. Terrified me , in fact.

Well, that was the start of anxious me.

Everything improved and I have been fine for ages and ages now. In retrospect, I did not look after myself in any way, shape or form for a very long time and...that was the end result.

So, that was in 2003 and here I am now.

As I said,I have suffered from anxiety since that time. I think I went to a place of fear and dread I had not been vaguely close to before and I thought about illness and death. I thought about my life and what I had not achieved and what it would mean to me and those I loved if I wasn't a well person. Or if I wasn't around.

Obviously, many many people have experiences like this and mine was quite miniscule in comparison to what others go through. All I'm saying is, that that experience brought me to where I am today.

I've never had physical anxiety attacks. No sweats or palpitations or any of that stuff. It's all in my head and from the outside no one would have any idea that I am struggling to stop my head from exploding!

I've become much much better at getting through the anxious moments and talking myself down from the giddy heights of sheer panic when it occurs. I've talked to my GP, I tried meds once for three weeks but I felt nothing. No anxiety but unfortunately nothing else either. Not a way to live really!
Acupuncture and a healthy lifestyle ( ie; not living on cigarettes, cheese on toast and alcohol as I did back then) seem to be the way to go.
Actually, I must write a post on how much I love acupuncture. It really has changed my life. But that's another post.

ANYWAY, back to my original question. Is ignorance bliss?
At this point, I am very much leaning towards a general answer of Yes.
Lately, my anxiety has been noticably worse and I feel sure that it is because I have been listening to the radio more,watching TV more, and reading more newspapers, internet etc. I don't go out as much ( due to being preggers) and I am quite a nosy person so I love current affairs, politics, any kind of news in fact.
I seem to have inadvertently bombarded myself with information and I think I might have overloaded my brain a bit. No, ALOT.

I'm now acutely aware of my breast cancer risk, ovarian cancer risk, and the risk of eating too much salt. I know that 1 in 20 Australians will get melanoma. After listening to ABC702 for a couple of hours, Helen Caldicott informed me that most of the imported food we eat from Europe is radioactive, eg - apricots from Turkey.It will be for another 600 years by the way. I know that our country is coming increasingly divided about climate change and the fact that there are desperate people sitting on an Australian boat waiting for our government to DO SOMETHING. I know my husband needs to checked for prostate cancer each year after he turns 40.I know that I must ensure I get enough folate while I'm pregnant, but if I have too much then I will give my baby asthma. Actually, that's what one study shows, they aren't 100% sure yet. They thought they'd put it on the news anyway.
I know that even though the economic crisis seems to be on the improve, unemployment is getting worse. I know I should not even entertain the idea of eating processed food and I need to make absolutely sure that I get enough Vitamin D because it is intrumental in prevention of a number of serious illnesses but I really should not go out in the sun. You know, because of the melanoma thing...

Could someone please pass me a paper bag to breathe into?!

I suppose I should be happy that I have made the connection between information and my anxiety but now I need to work out how to remain informed (because a true blue Gemini like me MUST know what is going on out there in the world at all times! )
while remaining sane.

Any tips?


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A musical interlude.

I've been sitting on the couch this afternoon, rummaging around on Youtube. I've been reminiscing, watching bits of musicals I like and TV shows I used to watch on the ABC when I was in primary school.
It's scary how long ago that was!
I wanted to show you this clip from the film ' A Chorus Line' - one of my favourite musicals ever. It's a song called 'Nothing'. Quite a sad song really, but still entertaining for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Hope you like it!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

I am unemployed.

I finished work yesterday.
It's a very strange feeling. I have had a job of some sort since I was 13 ,except for a few months here and there when I've been travelling.
I am a bit scared to not have a job but really I have to see this as a short holiday before I start my new job in February that I will have for the rest of my life!!!

I don't have any concrete plans for the next 13 weeks except to read as many books as I can and ALSO to finally finish the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment I have been doing for, oh , about the last 450 years.

I have set the date of November 30 as my due date for all my remaining assignments for the certificate. And I would like you all to hold me to it.

Don't accept any excuses from me please! I'm not much of a procrastinator - except for when it comes to this course. It makes watching paint dry seem exciting.

You can expect a triumphant post from me on November 30 , telling you that finally , I have finished. It's the bain of my life. Really.

Hope you all have a lovely Saturday!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A small pleasure for a Wednesday morning.

Morning all!

Sd( my lovely husband) is a big fan of pear and raspberry bread. I can usually take or leave anything of the sweet persuasion , however I must say that I also am partial to a slice or two of this bread! It's quite spectacular!

Sd and I decided to make some on the weekend and after finding a relatively healthy recipe, we set to work finding the ingredients.

Um, sadly I was unaware of the cost of fresh raspberries!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh my Lord, they're expensive.
I wanted to buy two punnets and after finding out that would cost me $22.00 - I decided to go with plan B.
This is where the small pleasure comes in.
I found some frozen organic rasperries. The brand is Viking Organic. $6.99 for 300g.
I got them at the local grocer. Nowhere fancy!
I am not a fan of frozen fruit generally speaking BUT these are divine!!!!
They were beautiful in the bread and they are beautiful on their own.
They thaw quickly and are still firm and normal raspberry consistency.
Can you tell I'm impressed!!?
These will be in my freezer from now on, pear and raspberry bread or not!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Someone's found a little bit of inspiration...

Hi there!

I went to the movies last weekend. Actually, being preggers I have been going alot lately. It's one of the few activities that suits a pregnant body like mine!
On Saturday, I saw the Michael Jackson movie - This is it.
He certainly was quite loopy but he was also an amazingly talented creative soul.
I'm not a huge fan but I was curious to see what his shows might have been like in London. The production looked fantastic and even when he wasn't trying - he was pretty damn fantastic.
The film didn't focus at all on his death. It was purely a record of the rehearsal process for the shows. There was no narration and I thought that Michael was portrayed fairly. I was a bit scared that it would a festival of love for MJ and not much more. Thankfully, I was wrong!
If you are at all interested, I would recommend it. We saw it at IMAX and if possible try and see it in that format. I think it's on for longer than the original two week season now - so there's still time!

The weekend before last I saw Julie and Julia.
And I LOVED it.
It was very inspiring - not so much the cooking side of things, although I will admit a mild interest in French cuisine since watching the film!
It's going to take a lot more than a movie to get this lady excited about cooking!!
This film inspired me for two reasons. Firstly, Julia Childs herself.
What a woman! She embraced life wholeheartedly and fearlessly. It was so great to be reminded of the importance of trying to live like that each day.
I left the cinema with a new hero!
Also, Julie Powell ( the blogger who took on the challenge of cooking Julia Child's entire book over the course of a year )reminded me how much I love to write and to blog and how being organised and disciplined in regards to your blog can be very rewarding indeed.
So, you can expect to hear alot more from me in the coming weeks.
I'm going to write a post every day for a month...hang onto your hats!!:)

If you've seen either of these films, I would love to know what you thought!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flowers of the week.

These flowers make me happy.

I have never seen them before and I don't know what they're called.
I bought them at the local grocers for $6 a bunch (I bought 2 bunches) - so not only do these flowers make me happy but they also keep me well within flower budget for the week!

Happy days indeed!
Hope you like them and they make you happy too!


Guilty Pleasures.

The 'Blog This' challenge for this week is;

Come on! Everyone has at least one! Chocolate? Trashy TV? Magazines? Romance Novels? Designer brands? Maybe it's having a 20 minute shower? Tell us about your your guilty pleasure, why you love it so much, where, when, how and what!

I didn't have to think about this one for long at all!

My guilty pleasure at this time of the year, every year, is Australian Idol.
I will be the first to admit that it is an horrendous show at times! As my husband will testify, it can be very annoying and this year in particular, a little um, underwhelming in the talent department. Future idols seem few and far between in 2009 if you know what I mean... BUT that certainly doesn't mean I wont be watching every single episode. No, I won't miss a thing, even if it means giving the Foxtel IQ a workout each Sunday in order to maintain a happy and healthy relationship!!

I love love love Australian Idol because of the chance that each episode , and indeed each year, maybe someone amazing will be discovered. There is always the chance that one of the contestant's performances will be fantastic. That they will perform better than they have before, that they will sing better than they thought they could - or anyone else thought they could.
It is positively exhilarating when it happens.
I'm quite the cryer when I watch these moments actually.
Just picture it; grown woman, pyjamas, couch , Australian Idol moment , tears , sniffing , husband playing poker online lamenting the day he met her... sounds great huh?
Some weeks these moments can even happen more than once! Other weeks? Not so much.

But still I watch, waiting for THAT moment.

I have downloaded for your enjoyment ( if you are not my husband!) one of those very moments. Actually, I should call it my moment of moments - Guy Sebastian singing Climb Every Mountain in 2003.

Enjoy!.... or not! ;)


Monday, October 19, 2009

24 weeks.

Hello lovelies,

I haven't posted about being pregnant for a while.
It's intentional.
At the risk of sounding like a total lunatic, it's all been part of my quest for self-preservation and an even keel in the mental health department!
However, over time I have come to realise that I can't avoid the obvious too much or for too long because that is not very healthy at all. To say the least.
So this post is to report that I have begun to come to terms with the fact that I am actually having a baby.

I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief.

I am 24 weeks today. I think all is good. Baby is kicking alot and on Saturday night I think it may have been dancing to Michael Jackson in there.

Not much more to say really.
Yes, I have made progress but I have only just turned the corner - so I have a long way to go.

Thanks for listening and thank you also for your lovely comments along the way so far.

I'm sure they have all helped to get me here.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flowers of the week.

These are not actually from this week but I just found the photo of these beauties and I forgot to post it at the time...
These are so beautiful because they look like wild flowers. They are from a florist in Leichhardt though.
Not so wild.
However, we can all pretend.
Lets say that rather than my lovely Sd picking them up after he went to the super-market , that , overwhelmed with love for me ( which he often is I hope) - he stopped and picked them from a field in the countryside somewhere.
Ah yes, that sounds so much nicer than bought in a shopping centre!

Can't wait for Sd to read this. If he didn't think I was nuts already...

Let's talk about something very dear to my heart . Concealer .

I'm not really a make-up person as such, however, I can't tell you how much I love my concealer.
I wont bang on about the merits of concealer for too long I promise.
Just a few quick points;

* Liquid concealer is the way to go. If you have dry skin or heaven forbid, are 'older', ie; have any fine lines, then you can't go wrong with the liquid option.
If you have skin like a baby's bum then, by all means, choose whatever type you like!

* Always choose a concealer SLIGHTLY lighter than the skin tone ON YOUR FACE (not your hand). I have found that it blends much better.

* My brand of choice is , hands down , YSL Touche Eclat concealer. It lasts for ages, a little bit goes a long way, and the results are very impressive - on any redness, pigmentation or dark circles under your eyes.
I am the lucky owner of all three of these at various times.
Sometimes all three at once! Lovely!

* My motivation for writing this post is my latest discovery.
I wanted to buy another liquid concealer as a back-up for my rather pricey concealer of choice. I chose the new 'Maybelline Instant Age-Rewind Double Face Perfector'.
Once I got over the ridiculous name (!) and used it - I was VERY impressed.
This concealer is about an 1/8th of the price of the YSL one and although it is not quite as good, for the price, the results are awesome.
That is the second time I have used that word in my life and Lovelies, I really really mean it.
The tube has a highlighter at one end and the concealer at the other.
In a clunkier way, it achieves what the YSL one combines into one liquid.

If you are a concealer person, run, don't walk and go get yourself some. Give it a try.

You wont be disappointed!

Got anything you would like to extol the virtues of?
Let me know!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ten things.

Another 'Blog this' challenge...

Tell us TEN things you want to do in your lifetime that you've yet to achieve.
It can be as simple as learning to knit, or bungee jump, skydive, maybe eat a whole lobster or travel somewhere, meet a penpal - anything!

1) I would like to live somewhere in Europe. I have never lived anywhere else other than Sydney and I really want to experience daily life somewhere else.

2) I would like to be able to cook a signature dish. Actually I would like to be able to cook a signature meal. An Entree, Main course and Dessert that I cook well and that other people love and look forward to eating.

3) I would like to learn to sew. I buy alot of clothes from vintage stores, thrift stores and markets and I want to be able to make the changes to them that I envisage but don't quite know how to achieve. At the moment I keep my lovely local dressmaker in business I think!

4) I would like to own a dog from a refuge. I have never had a dog. Just cats. I love love love my cats but there is an empty place for a dog in my heart.

5) I would like to be in a chorus line in a musical. I'm thinking that this particular one will happen in whatever retirement village I end up in!! You never know 36 too old be discovered by a talent scout?

6) I would like to volunteer for a charitable organisation - as a full time job.

and now for a bit of juxtaposition for No.7...

7) I would like to own an Hermes bag (and anything else they have there at the Hermes store they would like to offer me thank you!)

8) I would like to eat a meal at El Bulli and at The Fat Duck. Two of the best restaurants in the world. Unfortunately, I may have to sell my Hermes bag to fund these meals.

9) I would like to be a better gardener. I am ok at it but I think that's in the genes in my family. I want to apply myself and become great at it. Like my mum is and my nan and grandad were.

10)I would like to conquer my problems with anxiety. I am well on the way to achieving that thankfully , but there is certainly room for improvement. I would forgo all the other nine things in a heartbeat to achieve this single one.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Some people are rude.

This weekend, Sd and I went to the 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas' at the Sydney Opera House. We saw three lectures. The first was given in the concert hall on Saturday night by Christopher Hitchens . It was called 'Religion Poisons Everything'. The second was yesterday afternoon. It was about whether or not drugs should be legalised. There were three speakers, a barrister, an American ex chief of police and a doctor from St Vincents Hospital. The third was given by Cardinal George Pell - ' Without God we are nothing.'
The latter two were in the studio at the Opera House - a much smaller venue where it was possible for the speakers to take questions after their lecture.

I should say that we chose these particular lectures because we both ( for vastly different reasons )are interested in theology and the particular debate that both Christopher Hitchens and Cardinal Pell presented opposing arguments for. We are not religious people. However, I am very much an 'each to their own' type of person. My lovely husband? Not so much. That's another story though...
The drugs lecture we chose because we both are interested in the development of a new and successful way to deal with 'the war on drugs' and all the social problems that come with it.


After Cardinal Pell gave his lecture, the audience were able to ask questions. Now, I know that he is not a popular man and certainly not with the type of people that may want to go to a 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas' but I have to say that although I would consider myself to be in the group of people who dislike Cardinal Pell and his beliefs - I was appalled by the behaviour of one particular person in the audience and I still haven't gotten over it so , here goes...

Catherine Deveny was in the front row of the lecture.
I am not a fan. Will say that straight up.
She took notes throughout the lecture and at the end she was one of the first audience members to want to ask a 'question'. When she got the microphone she firstly asked facetiously what the Cardinal wanted to be called. He told her he had been called many things and she could call him whatever she wanted. She said no, that she wanted an answer to her question and he said ' Cardinal'. She then said 'Right' and proceeded to ask her 'question'. She did not address him as Cardinal or anything else. She then said that she had had an abortion and where was the soul of her dead baby? Because the baby wasn't baptised so is it in heaven or hell?
She shouted all of this although she was in the front row and had a microphone.
The Cardinal appeared to take her question on face value. As a genuine question. He answered her with what seemed to be compassion and compassion alone.
He said that the baby would definitely be in heaven and that she should never think that the baby would be in hell and then tried to talk about how the church is about forgiveness...she interupted him and shouted that she did not want forgiveness. Another audience member who later demonstrated that he was most likely to be suffering from a mental illness, told her she would go to hell. She turned to the audience and shouted ' Who's coming with me?' She did get a response...from about a quarter of the audience. She then went on to say that she was holding the microphone and that she was in charge now.

I don't think she expected the compassionate and measured response from Cardinal Pell and I also don't think she was interested one iota in his response.

She was interested in getting as much attention as possible and having an anecdote to write about in her next column. She was also intent on being as 'controversial' and 'provocative' as she could be.
Very successful on the first two counts. Well done.
On the third? Meh.

The thing is though that the rest of the audience had actually come to hear what he had to say. Not so much the bile from an audience member.

I found her behaviour towards Cardinal Pell disrespectful,rude and offensive.
I found her behaviour towards the audience disrespectful,rude and offensive.
I did not find her question offensive.
I found the way she asked it and why she asked it disgusting.

My dislike for Cardinal George Pell has not changed since I heard him speak.If anything though, after Catherine Deveny's efforts - I now see him as surprisingly more 'human' than he comes across in the media.
I still disagree very much with many of his views and those of the Catholic church.
I was baptised and educated in the Catholic church and for a long time have considered myself not to be Catholic or religious. Just for the record.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Life of Cat.

What a wonderful life these cats of mine lead.
Swap lives anyone?
You don't have to do anything except eat, lie down on various surfaces and bask in the sun.
Any takers?

Maybe just for a week or two...


Pearls of Wisdom.

This is the latest Blog this challenge. I haven't done one for ages so I thought it was about time...

Pearls of Wisdom - what is the best life advice you've recieved? How did you use that advice and how has it impacted on your life's path? What pearl of wisdom have you passed on to others?

So, the best life advice I've received?

Well,I've received two pieces of advice in my life which I carry with me always. The first is from my dad and has kind of turned into our family creed ;
' Trust no one and wear two pairs of underpants.'
Now I will grant you that immediately you would be thinking that my lovely dad is (a bit) mad and (alot) Monty Python-esque. You would certainly be correct there and I have to say that from a young age I thought that this piece of advice was a bit silly, a bit funny and also quite a bit paranoid and 'cup half empty'.
But it has stayed with me.

The other piece of advice is from my grandad, although it was his daughter - my mum, who passed it onto me;
'Everything in moderation'
I always thought this was a good one, but when I was younger - of course I didn't feel that it applied to me. Other people? Sure. Just not to me!

How did you use that advice and how has it impacted on your life's path?

As I have gotten older I have come to find that for me, both pearls of wisdom are little messages that I like to have in the back of my mind from people I trust that help me to navigate the trials and tribulations of this complicated life.
Dad's sage advice now means to me as an adult, that in life you have to go your own way, whatever that may be. You cant do things you know aren't right for you to please other people. In short, follow your heart. You also need a back up plan! Things don't always turn out how you think or hope they will and that's ok and that happens.
Most importantly though, this piece of advice reminds me to not take myself too seriously. It's all about having a sense of humour. It is in my family anyway.
My mum's advice, now that I have reached the ripe old age of 36, is just a gentle reminder that too much of anything just might not be the best idea. I actually KNOW that now. Hello, 13 years of smoking , LOTS of late nights, crap eating habits, stressful private and work life...
That's all in the (fabulous) past now and I have mended my ways.I'm not a saint - my mum and especially my grandad would NOT approve of any saintly behaviour at all! But I'm much much more moderate now. Now that I am an older lady ;)!!!

Which leads me to the next question...What pearl of wisdom have you passed onto others?

I'm not really one for passing on advice to others. Not sure why. I guess I tend to think that I have so much more to learn in life that I feel like a bit of a wanker handing out advice unless I am 100% positive that what I am advising is 100% right for the other person.
However, hopefully, in February I will become a mother for the first time. It has taken me 3 years , 3 miscarriages, and a cycle of IVF to get to this point.
I am going to have to be supplying a few pearls of wisdom here and there to my son or daughter.
I will definitely pass on these ones that have meant something to me, and I will also pass on the one that I have come to know is true on the long journey I have been on to meet my child;

Have faith that if you try your hardest and never give up, you will never have regrets in life.
And if you're very lucky, what you need will come to you.


Flowers of the week.

I've been a bit remiss with the old blog here. I haven't posted anything for ages and I must apologise. I've been busy doing not much at all. Hence the lack of inspiration...
BUT, 'Flowers of the week' are always inspiring so I thought in order to 'get back on the horse' so to speak, I would post about these lovely orchids. My favourite flowers of all time. I must say that white ones are extra special aren't they?
I hope you like them.

I'm off to wrack my brain for something interesting to talk about!

Hope all is good with you.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello lovelies!

Like some of the other bloggers that I follow, recently I have become sick of the sound of my own voice. Strange that it is happening to a few of us at the same time. So, I've not posted for a while - I needed a bit of a break from hearing about and thinking about myself!!!

I've been thinking about what I'm doing here with my 'Box of Tricks' and I have decided what this is and has always been is my diary - for me. But you get to read it too.

I love love love hearing from you and reading your blogs and so I think I will continue with my/our diary and see how it goes.

Anyway, it would be a bit pathetic to give up after only 52 posts. Lets try for 100!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Week 16.

So, I am 16 weeks pregnant today.
I've been feeling a bit crap for the last couple of days, quite alot of fear, a bit of dread, and quite alot more fear is seeping into my life and I'm having trouble getting on top of it. So, I thought I would try and get some of it out of my system by writing here.

Please feel free to skip this post - it's a not-very-nice one.

As far as I know all is ok with the baby. But, as I have discussed here before, that means sweet FA to me due to my past experiences with pregnancy.
I've had about a month which I've spent mostly anxiety-free but as I said, over the weekend I started to think about how things might not be ok, that I don't really have any way of knowing until I see the OB next Monday and then after that the 18 week scan and then after that... you know how it goes...
Yesterday, I read the article in the Herald about Mia Freedman and her new book. I have been reading her blog Mamamia for about 2 years and I visit daily. If you don't visit already, I thoroughly recommend it!
I've thought before, from the way she has written about it, that she may have experienced miscarriage or something awful like that, and reading the interview yesterday it turns out that unfortunately she has. At 19 weeks she found out that her baby had died at 16 weeks. So sad and so so hard.
To be honest, reading that sent me RIGHT over the edge. Fear of God territory. And I don't think I am quite on the road to recovery just yet.

Anyway, I shall persevere and try to get the better of my own mind as soon as possible.

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flowers of the week.

Never really liked carnations. They always seem to look a bit dried out and a bit, well, cheap and nasty.
However, I have been trying to keep an open mind about them and actually, they're not bad. Not bad at all!
I chose the carnations this week because I wanted to get my nan's old milk jug out again and use it as a vase. I love love love that shade of green!
So, I was looking for a colour for the flowers that would contrast perfectly with my beautiful green.
ANYWAY enough about the fascinating workings of my mind!?
I hope you like the end result and if you aren't a carnation fan, maybe you will give them a chance in the future.
They really are quite nice!


Little shop of dreams come true.

As I've mentioned, we moved last month. We now live about 10 minutes away from our old house and although it's not been a big change, we are having a lovely time exploring our new suburb and finding all its treasures.
We get our coffee most mornings from Black Star bakery on Australia St, in Newtown. On my way to Black Star that very first time I found , drum roll please , the shop of my dreams.
If it is possible to actually find a perfect representation of my aesthetic - then - this is it.

It's a little shop called 'Newspaper Taxi' and to describe what lies inside, in a word?

I won't go on, because it's better if you click on the link and see it for yourself. In all it's glory!!

Enjoy! Happy weekend!


Sweet sweet music.

Yesterday afternoon I was doing a spot of lying in bed watching TV, and I happened on a documentary on the Ovation channel about a 13 year old Canadian jazz singer called Nikki Yanofsky.
It was such a beautiful film because her passion for music and singing (as opposed to a passion for attention and fame that seems so prevalent these days ) was so abundantly clear. She is one talented young lady! Nikki is actually 15 now and her career has well and truly begun. In the documentary, her first time in the recording studio was filmed and it was bliss to watch. Her voice is unique and she has cultivated a love for jazz music all on her own at such a young age. Her inspirations are Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera.
Her parents are featured briefly in the film and they are obviously very proud but at the same time quite bemused as to how Nikki has become such a force of nature. Again, so nice to see 'non - stage parents', as opposed to the Lohans and Cyrus' of this world.
If you like jazz music and you love to see one of those rare creatures - a prodigy - you will be in awe of Nikki. A real and natural young girl, bursting with true talent.
Aaaah, sooo refreshing!!!
So exciting!!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

My most beautiful shoes in the world.

I first saw these little treasures on Saturday.
It was love at first sight. I had palpitations, my breathing was laboured. I had a rush of endorphins.
I think my sister, who I was shopping with, thought I was having some kind of turn.
After she witnessed the spiritual connection between the shoes and I, she told me to buy them. But I refused.
No, I was not going to jump into anything.
Even though they were on sale. Even though they were my size. No, I was going to be strong, mature, and I was going to remember that Alannah Hill shoes were not necessities.
Even if we were meant to be.
I walked away. There were no tears - I'm tough.

So, two days later, after obsessing over what life would be like without them , I went back to get my shoes.
We both bought shoes today , Sd bought running shoes - they were nice enough - but I bought the most beautiful shoes in the world.
We're in a relationship now , the shoes and I. We're very close.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Decisions, decisions.

I decided that it was time for a change to the seat covers of our dining suite. It's quite the unique table and chairs. It used to be my grandma's and despite the fact that I am unaware of anyone under average height from her side of the family, she had the table lowered for some reason so it is a little bit squashy on the legs for most men and some ladies too. Not what you are after at a dinner party really.
I keep meaning to do something about it but it's one of those things I haven't got around to yet. In the last 12 years. Must look into it...
Anyway, the chairs. So I decided that I wanted the four chairs to have different covers that don't match but complement each other. Sounds lovely dosen't it!
I went to Spotlight this morning with my sister ( who is not a fan of any kind of shopping ) to choose the fabrics. It was hard hard hard.
I was so confused by the end, I kind of got what I wanted but not quite. The pink fabric isn't 100% right but out of the 4000 pink fabrics I looked at it was by far the best one. I'm also not sure about the blue and white stripe. I like it alot, but not sure if it works with all the others.
Sd hasn't seen them yet. Not sure what reaction I'll get. I'm guessing he will be as bemused as me. Or he might want to discreetly put them in the bin. We'll see.
If you've got any pointers - point away!!


ps. the photo isn't that good because I took it in 4pm light but I hope you get the idea.

Flowers of the week.

What a beautiful winter flower. They always remind me of my childhood. Being at primary school, walking home and seeing them in front gardens while I walked up Castle St each afternoon.
I love these because they are such glorious warm colours and are such strange delicate creatures. Can flowers be creatures? I'm saying yes for now.

If you are not a regular poppy admirer and you do get some to brighten up a wintery week, don't be discouraged if they don't open up straight away. If there isn't alot of light in the room, they will take a while...but most of them will open up and say Hello eventually.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Breakfast of Champions.

I haven't been a cereal person since I was at school. I'm more of a vegemite on toast, eggs on toast, cheese on toast, tomato on toast kind of girl.
I like toast!
Lately, I decided I should try to be a bit healthier and have been trying to eat cereal for breakfast. I wasn't very successful until I found the best cereal ever.

This magical cereal I speak of is Special K Forest Berries. I can't believe how good it is. I really can't.

It doesn't taste like normal Special K at all( a good thing I think ) and I have managed to incorporate it, like a good health - concious person, into my diet very easily.

Now, I am as suprised as you are that I am posting about good cereal. However, it has clearly had such a big impact on my life - I thought I should do the right thing and enlighten others about such a wonderful breakfast option.

Now I'm off to get a life!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

For Kristalee and Lola.

This video is kind of a virtual bunch of flowers, hug and a kiss for Kristalee who writes one of the blogs I read regularly.
She has had an extremely difficult week this week and I am always in awe of her strength and grace.
This sweet little song is for her and for Lola.
It's about dreaming of being with someone you love and having that beautiful, perfect, precious moment with them.
There are many many versions of this song, but I thought Fiona Apple sang it best.

FIONA APPLE - 'Tonight, you belong to me'

Flowers of the week.

Well Hello Lovelies!!

I have been a less than impressive blogger of late I know.
I will be better.
I haven't felt very inspired lately and didn't feel like I had much to say to any of you but I can feel my mojo slowly returning so I'm going to try to go with it and post post post.

I thought I would start with something absolutely beautiful and they are my lovely flowers of the week. They are the first flowers of the week in our new abode.
The flowers are called lupins. They last quite well - maybe a little bit more than a week and they smell very very nice. A bit like a sweet pea. I like how they look a little like wild flowers.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Picture of the week.

Something new!
I saw this picture on 'The Sartorialist' and immediately copied it to My Pictures. Then I wondered what to do with it.
I think she is lovely. ( her name is Eva and she is a model on a photoshoot - in case you saw this and were incredulous that someone could look so amazing in a relatively impromptu photo!)
I am more than happy to be me ( unfortunately I don't look like that but nevertheless..)but if I wasn't me I would like to look like her please. She reminds me of the character Amelie from the movie of the same name. Amelie is one of my heroines.

That's all.
Amelie/Eva - my picture of the week.


Renold & Franko.

These are my cats. I have an unhealthy fascination with them to say the least.
The brown one is Renold. He was originally called Ren and over the last couple of years, his name has morphed into Renold. Can't explain that one really except to say that he is one odd animal and Ren seemed a bit too relaxed and cute for him.The name Renold seemed appropriately strange.

The little cream one is Franko. Again, this was not her original name. Sd called her Frankie because she has gorgeous blue eyes - just like Frank Sinatra. I think he called her Franko once or twice and it stuck. She is more of a normal cat than Renold. She is tiny ( she is fully grown in this photo ) and very timid. I think cause she is so small she thinks she needs to be extra careful to protect herself from anything noisy and big. She has the cutest cat face I've ever seen!

Our friend Dave is a photo journalist and he came to stay with us in May. He took these photos while he was visiting.
Just wanted to clarify that we DID NOT have professional photos taken of our cats!
We love them, but you need to draw the line somewhere and no offence to anyone that does it, but to me that's a bit weird!