Friday, November 2, 2012

Currently: 2.11.2012

So first up, how bloody weird is writing NOVEMBER?? At the risk of sounding like a grandma, where has the year gone?

Today I'm working from home because I've got a waterproofer, a tiler and a handydude here to fix my leaky bifold door. Marcel is beside himself because he wants to play. Too bad buddy, I don't need French Bullldog paw prints on my courtyard. 

I'm going to get my hair done this afternoon, long long long overdue, and admire my (spray tanned) brown skin. I'm going to a wedding tomorrow and thought I'd better do some self maintenance before I bare my legs to the public, this getting yourself pretty business is time consuming!

Wearing: my new specs. Yep, I finally admitted I needed to get my eyes checked. After a work conference a couple of weeks ago, I went to see Gomez on the Friday night and couldn't keep my right eye open. Too many spreadsheets, woo! I thought I'd be told to do some exercises or something, but nope, I need specs for computer work. 
My first thought was 'ooooooh, Tom Ford!' but they devastatingly did not suit me. No matter how many times I tried them on. I must have tried 40 pairs on, and settled on these Diors. When I debuted them at work, I was either laughed at (thanks guys) or no one noticed. Hmm. But for some unknown reason, the nice people at Dior decided a white leather case was a good idea for glasses. They clearly have not met me. 

Hello bed hair! Hello spray tan! 

Reading: I'm getting back into books. Stupid thing to say but for a while there I could not be bothered to pick up anything more in depth than Shop Til You Drop (not that there is anything wrong with that!) But I'm back and no doubt the Book Depository has reported record sales in the past few months. 

I love, love, loved Kelly Cutrone's other book, If You Have To Cry, Go Outside, so really looking forward to reading this one. 
L-R The Millionaire Next Door, Normal Gets You Nowhere, Smile or Die

Listening: I LOLed putting these two pics up. Can you get much more conflicting taste in music?
But my love for these two albums knows no bounds. 2012 has been a great music year for me for these two alone. Parkway Drive's Atlas is the first physical album I've bought in about 100 years, mainly because it came with a free beach towel and I love a gimmick. But in all seriousness I was so excited to listen to this in full and it has not disappointed. I'm LOVING hearing it as the feature album on Triple J (and loving the comments on the text line from all the haters). I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but to me, these guys rule. I'm seeing them next month and I'm more excited about seeing a band than I have been in yonks. Also check out their DVD, Home is for the Heartless. Amazing scenery and so much more than just a DVD about a band. 

What can I say about Frank Ocean? Dude is smooth. This was our soundtrack for our Byron road trip, and I'm still not sick of it. VERY unusual for me. It seems I hear something else with every listen. Can someone make him tour here please? Thanks. 

 Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Byron Bay- the shopping

Byron Bay. My birthday week. Lots of free time. You'd think this would be a recipe for a shop-athon, amiright? Wrong. Byron has lost its shopping mojo for me. There's a Supre. A Sportsgirl. A Witchery. Not that I have anything against those stores (far from it) but I don't want to shop in them in Byron Bay. I want boutiques. Quirky, cute stuff I can't see in Sydney. Such is the ways of the world though. Kinda like being in Rome, looking around, and thinking for a split second you could be in London because the shops are so the same.

Bangalow is where it's at for me. Gorgeous shops with really cool stuff, new brands, local designers. Lovely staff who probably don't see a constant stream of backpackers who generally don't buy much.

The standout was My Corner Store. For a tiny little shop we were here for ages. Mr C bought basically a whole wardrobe (poor him, he's lost so much weight none of his clothes fit him!) Including a few things from local brand Salty's. Great, comfy, reasonably priced mens casual surfwear. Minus the logos and attitude. Gorgeous home wares, gifts and so much stuff I could have taken home. Including a chair. Which would not have fit in my Prius without leaving Marcel behind.

The Corner Store. Love. 

Island Luxe has stores in Byron and Bangalow. The Banglow one is so much more my style. Both full of super-glam leathers, cashmeres and delicious smells, they are a haven from the hustle outside, so much so you kind of forget where you are. Fantastic selection of Bassike and J Brand. I tried on a pair of J Brand leather pants but it was hot and I was too flustered to concentrate, kicking myself now. 

Black and white Bassike tshirt from Island Luxe, Bangalow. I tried on an XL, then an L, then bought a medium, and it's still oversized. Anyone else find Bassike sizing all over the shop?

Birthday treat to myself. A gold friend to live with all my other KW stuff. I feel the purchase of one gold piece has put me on a very slippery slope. 

Orig T&C tie dye tshirt form the Bangalow church op shop. Husband stoked. 

Barebones Art Space, Banglaow. Can someone buy me the zebra? Ta. 

 The Retro Shop. I wanted to buy a signed Nirvana photo. But didn't. 

 Heath's Old Wares. Super overpriced but great for a squiz. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Organisation. Productivity. Ruling.

This week I have been away on a work conference. Fantastic for my work self, not so great for my home self. Apart from missing Marcel like mental, I have had the longest 'to-do' list for ages, that never seems to get shorter. 
I've also been eating like a beast (conferences will do that to you) and done zero exercise except for a half-arsed run around The Rocks one morning. 

Despite being bone-achingly tired yesterday, I forced myself to get cracking with some stuff at home I've been putting off for ages. 
The fact that I was probably still tired from a massive Tuesday night drinks-dinner-drinks-karaoke-drinks-playing pokies and winning-get back to the hotel and my newspaper was already there is beside the point. 

I've had this overwhelming feeling of disorganisation and it had to go. 

Finally started getting through this pile of mags. My friend and I swap about every month, this is her pile only. I already gave her my unread pile knowing I wouldn't get around to reading them any time soon. Can't believe it took me so long to have a proper perve at Lana Del Ray's Vogue shoot. Swoon. 

I gave my most- worn silver jewellery a good clean. After stumbling upon this post about cleaning silver jewellery on A Shoe Affair's blog, I gave it a go and was beyond impressed with the results.  I wish I had taken some 'before photos' because them babies were filthy!

All laid out after their bicarb-foil bath.

My three fave Karen Walker necklaces. The skull's eyes were black before!

Karen Walker owl ring (this could probably go another round, but it's drastically cleaner), a 'friendship ring' (so Puberty Blues!) my Dad gave to my Mum in the 70s when they were dating, KW skull ring

You can actually read the 'Tiffany & Co' on my small bead bracelet!

One super-nerdy thing I've been meaning to do for ages is to make a list of all the toiletries I had thrown in my linen cupboard. I tend to buy things when I see them on special at Priceline, etc, but I always forget what I have at home and so inevitably end up with 35 soaps and no toothpaste. No longer. I made a list of everything I have and will cross it off as it gets used.

Organised toiletries. Can you feel the calm?

Next stop is to itemise everything in my wardrobe so I know exactly what I have. Ever been trying something on and you get struck with the feeling you have something just like it, but can't out your finger on it? I've already done a massive cull (to go with my regular mini-culls) so this shouldn't be too hard. Next weekend! Today I'm going to steam the ever-growing pile of silk shirts that are hanging in my wardrobe. I go weeks wearing half my wardrobe because I'm too lazy to steam. 

Bonus shot of Marcel, just because. He likes to really get to know his bones before he eats them.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Byron Bay- the food

If you've been to Byron Bay recently you'll know that the food there is simply amazing. It has come leaps and bounds from my trips there as a teenager when you'd struggle to get a decent cup of coffee or anything that wasn't pub food. 

It is so easy to eat healthily in Byron, whether you're sugar-free, dairy-free, vego, vegan or anything in between. We ate super healthy but ate a lot. A LOT. 

On our first morning we visited the Byron Bay farmers Markets. After getting up at the crack of dawn with Marcel of course, and realising that not a lot of places do early morning coffee. No matter, the food at the markets was worth the wait. 

This was our breakfast from one of the hot food stalls. At the bottom is a potato frittatta and a dandelion crepe. At the top is Poached eggs in a minty broth- divine! The stall was so Byron, the lady in front of me had exactly $6.20 and wanted to know what she could get for that, they were more than happy to (generously) help her out.

The Conscious Cafe was on our must list. 
The Conscious Café is  one of only two of Byron’s Bays 100% certified organic café. It is gluten free, dairy free, processed soy free, genetically modified food free, Teflon cookware free, canola oil free & everything is cooked in organic coconut oil- & a whole lotta love goes into the food!
We are there three times in a week. Including to take Mr B's huge-meat-eater uncle there for lunch (he loved it!) I still didn't get to try everything I wanted to. You must go there, the atmosphere is so chilled and you would never know you're basically sitting in the Woolies carpark. 

The menu
The Awakening
Activated buckwheat, millet & chia seed open crepe w/ seasonal salad, roasted & spiced sunflower seeds, tahini turmeric dressing, homemade hommos, pesto & almond turmeric nut butter $14.50

Naked Treaties is a newish shop in Johnson St selling smoothies, juices, raw cakes and other delish stuff. Word of warning, it is LOUD in there. The acoustics are terrible but the staff are just so happy and helpful it doesn't matter. 
Chocolate beetroot mudcake (better than it sounds, I promise!) and a lemon tart
A macadamia ball and an orange and chia seed cupcake

The liquid menu

The Topshop. I don't know where to start with this place. Firstly, THANK YOU to the owners for being open so early. When you have a French Bulldog who thinks 5:30am is an acceptable wakeup time, holiday or no holiday, you need a coffee shop open early. Great, great, great coffee. Dog friendly. Seats in the sun on chilly early Spring mornings. What more could you ask for? My only criticism is that there is no difference between take away or eat in, you get disposable plates and country no matter what. Seems like such a waste! You could see locals bringing their own cups and plates which I definitely would be doing as well. 

Field mushrooms and avocado on corn bread
Goats cheese, cherry tomatoes and basil on sourdough. 

After having both of these dishes I couldn't decide my favourite, so I combined them and had the goats cheese and tomatoes on corn bread. Win! Mr B ate all manner of porridges, acai bowls, granolas, which he is going to recreate at home. Me, I like some substance to my brekky. Now I'm thinking about corn bread. 

For my birthday dinner we went to the Italian at the Pacific. Fantastic service, great vibe and the food... duck arancini balls anyone? No photos from here because I was too busy being romantical with Mr B and deciding which cocktail to have next. Have the negroni. I did. 

Other places that get three thumbs up:

  • Fishmonger's. I am not a fish and chip fan but I am here. 
  • Asia Joe's for great noodles, stir fries and big, fresh salads (when you've had too much of a good Byron thing) 
  • Santos Health Food for more great smoothies and treats
  • The Pass Cafe for a top burger on your way home from the lighthouse walk 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let me tell you about my trip to Byron Bay

I love Byron Bay. I know everyone loves Byron Bay but I really love Byron Bay. ‘Me too,’ I’m sure you’re saying.

The reactions I get from people when I tell them I’m going there crack me up. Everything from ‘ooh you’ve got too much money’ to ‘are you going to go and smoke pot and live like a hippy? (snigger snigger).’ But Byron Bay (like a lot of places I love to visit) are what you make of them. I love that you’re surrounded by all walks of life. Seriously, stupidly rich people either flashing their wealth around or going about their business in their faded gear so you’d never have a clue what they are worth. But there are also lots of people living simple, awesome lives. I relax there. Really, relax. Which I don't do easily.

I do not, repeat, do not, plan spontaneous trips. Well spontaneous anything these days. But the chance came up to have a week away in between my crazy work schedule and I jumped at the change. It also happened to coincide with my birthday, so why not? I jumped online and looked for pet-friendly accommodation and can’t believe how easy it was to find a really cool place for really cheap.

Anyway, this post I’ll talk about what we got up to up there. Lots of eating, lazing around, enjoying the beautiful weather and relaxing. I love big, adventurous overseas holidays as much as the next person but it was so lovely to have a holiday with no deadlines, no transport logistics to figure out, no searching for hotels on street names not in English. It’s been too long. We basically planned our days around what markets were on and what we felt like eating that day (a lot). Marcel also came with us so that was… interesting. He was a bit funny being in a weird place but soon settled in and loved lounging around as much as I did. It was a very different holiday to trips I've done in the past, which have all been massive group holidays for partying or for Splendour. I saw a lot more of the mornings this trip! 

Byron farmers market (every Thursday, Butler St reserve 7am- 11am)
Bangalow farmers market (every Saturday - 7-11am Behind Bangalow Hotel)
The stalls at these markets are usually the same suppliers as the Thursday Byron markets, so skip this if you have been to these. Bangalow is just the most beautiful town, like a postcard. Fantastic shopping and food there and one of my favourite op shops in Australia. 
Uki village markets

This town is a-dor-able. Loved it. Tiny, one adorable cafe in a federation building with a big verandah to sip tea on, a little school, mountains everywhere you look around you. Mr B ran up Mount Warning before dawn one morning (he's insane) and took the most breathtaking shots from above the clouds. Above the clouds, people. 
Uki has really great little markets, in that you will definitely see things you haven't seen before. We bought a lot of soap and some beeswax cleaner/ moisturiser/ protector/ everything-er. Some very colourful characters as well. 

On the morning of my birthday we walked up to the lighthouse. On all my trips to Byron Bay I've never done this, I've driven up there but never done the amazing walk. It's about 3kms from the main beach near town, lots of steps but not that challenging. We stopped a lot on the way to see the WHALES and DOLPHINS that were right there. I seriously got all teary watching them. Is there any other birthday present? Nope. 

I'll do another post on food. And probably another on shopping. Because, why not?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Silk pants- the universe said so

It appears I'm back. More on that later. I'm just back from a holiday to Byron. More on that later also. 

But for now, let's look at these pants. I haven't op shopped in ages (damn work) but yesterday, on the drive home, I found not one, but two pairs of perfect silk pants. 
These are the most beautiful jade green, highish waist, front pockets, slightly cropped (on me anyway). 

These babies, apart from being impossible to photograph, are harem-style, elastic backed waist, front pockets, embossed silk. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Net-a-Porter final reductions

This is a story of:
a) a sucker who can't resist emails with the heading 'final reductions'
b) culling my wardrobe (which I do all the time anyway) and replacing the old/ not perfect stuff
c) why Australian retailers are suffering, exhibit #3747474

Net-a-porter got me in with their final reductions. Both Aussie designers, both about a zillionth of the price they are still in shops for here. 
Bassike organic cotton pants/ aka walking Marcel to the coffee shop pants

Lover denim shirt dress/ aka hedging my bets on whether we'll ever get a proper summer and buying things I can layer up for winter when it arrives next week

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2011- the year that was

So it's almost February, thought I'd better get some sort of resolution business happening. No one can accuse me of blindly rushing into things willy nilly. 

This was what I rambled last year. Let's see how I did. 

  • exercise more. I am not playing netball any more because of my knee and I can really feel the difference. I want to run! Boring I know, but I'm not even really concerned about my weight. I want to feel better and feel like I did when I was exercising with Nicole (my old PT) and motivated to do more myself
    • Finish the 'Couch to 5k' running plan. Using this podcast from Spod I want to get through the whole 9 weeks. Last time I got to week 5 before my knee bunged it, so I will take it easier at the start this time
    • Do a yoga class weekly. Flexibility! Mix in some Bikram with this outside of the gym 
Totes completely failed at all things exercise related. I blame Marcel. Seriously. We walk to the coffee shop and back every day and with Mr CB to 'check the surf' when he gets home form work, but that's it. Who wants to go to them gym when there is a French Bulldog puppy to play with? NOT ME! Have learnt my lesson and will rectify, I promise. 

  • eat better. As above, boring! We majorly overindulged in the weeks up to Christmas and boy can I feel it!
    • make food at home, eat out less
    • be organised and shop for what we need
    • meal plan
Nailed this one. The thing Mr CB fight most about is who is cooking. As in, we both want to. 
I've been green smoothie-ing like mad. We've massively cut down our meat intake. Sugar is no longer our friend. 
  • finish my Diploma finally! I have my last exam coming up in about 6 weeks and I just want to pass the thing to get it over and done with. Actually, I would like a Credit, minimum. Better get reading!
So done. Can't remember my mark but it was pretty good and ohmygod who cares, it's finished and I don't have to deal with those nongs at the Institute any more. Surely a different kind of institute that what they are supposedly teaching.  
  • invest more in the sharemarket. My portfolio has been waaaay down, GFC stlyez, but things are really great at the moment. 
    • read more and learn more
    • keep the profits in my account and grow, grow, grow them
Not bad. Obvs we're not talking the returns of old but we're doing ok.  
  • buy another investment property. I really don't now how achievable this one is in 2011 but at the very least I want to start working towards it
Nope. But we are just not sure what we want to do. No point rushing.  
  • get my Bronze Medallion. Again, not sure if this will happen but work towards it at least
  • complete the City 2 Surf. I thought 2010 would be the year but my knee stopped all that. I will keep up the physio and see what I can do
Nope and nope. Marcel can again take the blame.  
  • see more movies, especially at the Dendy
Nup. Thanks to 
a) downloading and 
b) wanting to stay home with Marcel more than anything else in the universe 
  • do more crosswords and work on not forgetting words!
OK. Could do better.  
  • lastly but definitely not least, invest in my marriage. Things are amazing with Mr CB and I. We are beyond lucky to have each other. We love coming home to each other. We are each others best friend. I want to keep it all that way. 
Most importantly, done and done. Mr CB ad I are in a really good place. We can thank Marcel for that because we both want nothing more than to be with him (and each other) all the time. Thanks puppy. 

Looking at that list it doesn't seem like I achieved a whole lot in 2011. Everyone I speak to feels very 'blah' about it. I thought 2011 was rad though. Lots of good stuff happened to me, mainly:

  • Marcel. Obviously.  He has changed my life so much and even with my massively dreamy delusions of what having a dog would be like I was not disappointed
  • we went back to Europe. Six weeks in Greece, Turkey and London was not a bad holiday. It also served to remind us how great things are at home
  • I got my SCUBA license. Such a feeling of achievement. Even if I never do it again (likely) I am pretty proud of myself for getting it done. And getting the actual license from the morons we dealt with
  • we bought a lounge. Seriously this was a way bigger deal than you'd think. Our awesome 70s modular couch we'd had for five years was a hard act to follow and we looked FOREVER to find what we wanted. Just looking at it makes me smile
I've been putting a lot of thought into what I want out of 2012. Again, no rush. LOLz. I can tell it's going to be a goodun already. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weddings, farewells, anything

What a weekend! So action packed I'm tired just thinking about it. So much good food and great company.

Saturday I went to First Drop in Redfern/ Waterloo/ West Surry Hills for brunch to farewell Magda. Sad face. Marcel went mental with all the attention. It's so strange not knowing when you'll see someone again. When she moved to Europe we knew she was back now for the wedding so this is like the 'real' goodbye.

Saturday afternoon we risked crossing the Harbour by tunnel with the closures to the bridge and had way less traffic than normal. Win. Kim's wedding was stunning. St Clements in Mosman was the perfect church for their day, just love me an old church. The reception was at the lovely Public Dining Room, which kinda makes me feel like I'm on holidays.

Yesterday Mr C and I spent the day together, going to properly check out a newish wine bar that has opened near us.
According to the many rave reviews, people are apparently coming from all over for it so we thought we had better check it out for more than a glass of wine. I had duck ragu gnocchi, he had ocean trout and we shared a cheese platter. The cheese platter was the stand out for me (no shock there). The (Italian) chef explained the cheeses (in Italian) so whilst I picked up a 'Puglia' here and an 'in caves' there I best go back to make proper notes about the cheeses.

We also saw the Descendants. I am not ashamed to admit I am now fully aboard the George Clooney train. He's ridiculously good. I sincerely hope the Hawaiian tourism board paid the producers because we are now sold on a trip back there.
I usually hate films with rave reviews because I'm inevitably disappointed, but I'd avoided reading anything about it. It surely lives up to the hype though.

Ocean trout carpaccio

Cheese platter before

Cheese platter after
Barramundi with macadamia salsa at the Public Dining Room

J Brand Houlihans, Bassike singlet, Sass & Bide vest, Bali leather sandals


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