Friday, February 27, 2009

Shopping



I am really trying hard to cut down on my spending and shopping. Consumerism is so addictive. Today I returned a lovely red and white shirt dress to Myer and a gorgeous winter skirt to Target. They were both on sale but it's true when they say that just because it's on sale doesn't mean it will really save you money. Especially if it's not a necessity.

I've been email chatting to a good friend over in WA who happened to mention this store. I'm smitten! There are three stores in my state. This could prove to be a very bad thing. I just love lovely storage stores. Especially ones that offer online shopping.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lent


I'm determined to stay focussed this Lent. Last night I went to an evening Ash Wednesday Mass with my family, an aunt, one of my cousins and a good family friend. The service was very quick (over in 30 minutes!).


This Lent I'm giving up:

swearing

chocolate

thinking negatively about myself or others


I loved Lent during high school as each home group class would organise a fund-raising event for an overseas charity. There would be sausage sizzles, pancake days, cake stalls and such. A forum that I'm a member of had a thread on Lent, with one member posting that they will be giving something back this Lent. As well as my personal fundraising box that I took from church last night, I want to think of something that I can do for others during Lent.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Red Shoes, Warm Heart

I always find good buys when I’m not looking. I stumbled upon these shoes yesterday in Scooter.

I love them….I think.





They are comfy…...after a few minutes of wear.

Nor sure if they are WOW enough for my wedding shoes though.

I’ll make up my mind after some serious wearing-in time.

Imelda was misunderstood

I think 2009 is going to be the year of internet shopping for me. I've stumbled upon this great Australian online store with unique clothing, bags and shoes. The prices aren't too bad either.



I'm in love with these shoes. To buy or not to buy?


Aren’t weekends meant to be relaxing?

So much for having a quiet weekend to relax, exercise and look over the wedding plans. This is what a quiet weekend consists of:

Friday afternoon/night
Found and purchases a possible bridesmaid dress while waiting passing time waiting to meet a friend.
Birthday drinks for my lovely friend Mrs Teacher’s Wife.
Quick slice of quiche for tea (which was delicious) at home.
Let The Sister try on the possible bridesmaid dress. She loved it.
Drove to That Southern Boy’s house in just under 30 minutes.

Saturday
Opted for a sleep in over Spin class which I’m still feeling guilty about.
Rang up and put 4 more possible bridesmaid dresses on hold.
Afternoon drinks with That Southern Boy’s high school friends at Glenelg.
Called into my relatives to pick up an engagement present they wanted to give us. I now own a set of saucepans that weren’t inherited with a house-share or brought for 2 pounds!
Took my cousins to this hotel to watch Adelaide United win.
Started assembling our engagement invites at 10pm. Not the smartest idea.

Sunday
Woke up early after a poor night’s sleep and lots of scary wedding dreams.
Straight into the city to collect the bridesmaid dresses, more engagement invite supplies, some bits and pieces to make a headband to wear at my cousin’s wedding in May and stumbled upon these shoes which may just turn out to be my wedding shoes.
Spent the entire afternoon at home finishing the engagement invites and save the dates.


It’s now nearly Monday lunch time and I’m only just waking up. Thank goodness I’ve swapped my day off so I really only have the next 4 hours to get through until my mini weekend tomorrow.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's missing from my life?

London. That's what.

After all the complaints about how hot it's been here lately yesterday we were graced with a cool, overcast day. There was a lovely breeze about the place and I was taken back to when I lived in London and saw mainly grey skies each day. And for the first time in months and months I realised that I still missed London.

I'm not sure why.

Most of my non-English friends have returned home with my last close friend arriving this coming Thursday. I've rebuilt a happy life here now. I have good friends, my family are thankfully healthy, I have an income (at least for the next year), I'm about to finish my PR degree, That Southern Boy and I are to be married, I have special events to look forward to here...but at the end of the day I still miss my London life.

I miss living in a big, bustling city.

I miss living in a city that allows me to travel regularly.

I want to go somewhere on the train or the tube.

I want to go to art galleries such as the Tate Britain in Millbank after work.

I need a decent curry .

I feel like spending a lazy Sunday at these markets.

I want to catch a glimpse of Banksy through a bus window.

At the end of the day though I'm still glad I decided to return to Australia in 2007. Family will always come first. I'm so happy that I have a healthy one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wedding Shoes

I've had a quick browse online this morning for my wedding shoes.

I quite like the ones below from here. My sister is a maid of honour in her best friend's wedding and their shoes are Midas shoes. Very comfy. But maybe this style is a little too casual?









The shoes below are from Tony Bianco. I wish they had their own store here. I'll have to hunt them down as they are just what I had in mind.









These shoes below I just love. Why can't they come in red too! They are from Mollini, one of my all time favourite Australia shoe brands.

Wordless Wednesday - Doing the tomatoes

My family still carries out the tradition of 'doing the tomatoes' for our pasta sauce. Up by 6am you can have a couple hundred bottles boiling away in the copper by 2pm. Provided you have hard working helpers. My lovely parents decided that New Years Eve 2008 would be the perfect day to do our 2009 tomatoes. At least the weather was cool.




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's getting hot in here....again!

After our spate of 40 C plus days (wasn't it a week?) we had some cool respite for a while. Just after lunch today we got back up to 34 C and we're now hovering around the 32 degree mark.

35 degrees C has been predicted for tomorrow, so there goes my enjoyable day off running errands! Thank goodness for air conditioning in cars.

How ever did I used to cope in my little of Holden Gemini?
Speaking of coping with the heat, how adorable are these koalas?




I think even our native animals were fed up with the crazy heatwave.


Tuesday Travels - Russia

I had always wanted to visit Russia. I don't know where the fascination with this country started but it had lots to do with the story of the last Tzar's family and their demise. Their tragic end fascinated me as a child. By the time I'd reached high school I had moved on to a deeper interest in the the plight of the Russian people and what transpired into the Russian Revolution and then Communism.

In 2005 I was single, teaching in London and trying to figure out how to spend my six week long summer holiday. I'm not brave enough to truly backpack on my own and had hear other friends mention a great organised tour that explored both Scandinavia and Russia.

I was sold.
I booked the tour. And my flights. And arranged the crazy visa you need to enter Russia.
I saved like mad.
I packed.
Then I panicked about joining a tour for 32 days on my own, not knowing a single other person.
I made it through Scandinavia (more about that amazing place another time) and arrived in....

St Petersberg


It is honestly one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. Forget Paris, St Petersberg is the home of romance, style and beauty.

I have a very deep love of art galleries. I'm in another place when I visit one. I'm very lucky to have visited so many coveted galleries in my so far short life. One I'd been desperate to visit from a young age was.......

The Hermitage


This is one of the side roads leading up to the Hermitage. The other roads are quite spectular, coming off the water and maid thoroughfares. But I love this picture as it's so understated. It only gives you a glimpse of the greatness that you're about to walk into.




On my first visit we exited through this little courtyard. I love that the tree is trying to compete for attention with such a grand building by casting it's shadow. It looks as though it's trying to squeeze it's way into the photo.

On my tour's last day in St Petersberg a few of us revisited The Hermitage. I could have spent days there! Hopefully I'll get back there again.

How could you travel to Russia without visiting Moscow or Red Square?

St Basil's

GUM department store where I paid good money to use a squat toilet on the ground floor, completely unaware there were free western style toilets on the first floor.





The Kremlin and Lenin's tomb
It was so eerie filing past his tomb, everyone silent and peering through the dark to catch a glimpse of his wax-like corpse.

I still want to take the Trans-Siberian from Russia to China. It's on the travel list and I can't wait to cross it off!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thank Goodness for Lunch Breaks


After a very hectic weekend I was a resident of StruggleTown this morning. The only thing motivating me to get to work was the fact I was having a delicious lunch here with two work friends. Thai food, the best cure for Monday Morning Blues!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friendly Fridays

"You can choose your friends but not your family"

When complaining about relatives as a child my mother would always repeat the above saying. The significance of this saying is brought home when friends pass away. While it is unbelievably sad to lose a much loved relative it can be just as devastating to lose a dearly loved friend. For a friend is someone you've chosen to develop and maintain a bond with. A friend can be someone you met while travelling far from home. A friend can be someone you've survived an awful workplace with. A friend can be the person who sat next to you in your very first lecture. A friendship can grew from similarities, differences or even a combination of the two.

I've been blessed with friends from all walks of life, from my home country and many other countries and at the end of the day I love them all dearly. Last Sunday when I heard of the extent of the Victorian bushfires I immediately thought of one of my fellow Erection Team members who lives in country Victoria. There were a few anxious minutes while waiting for her to reply to my text message but thankfully she did. And she was ok. Her town was fortunate to escape the wrath of the fires but the town closest to her wasn't so lucky.

Tragically a girl in my office lost dearly loved friends in the Victorian bushfires. She is naturally devastated and has been keeping a pretty low profile this week. My heart is with anyone who's lost a loved one to this terrible natural disaster.

My heart is breaking...

....... sadly it has nothing to do with Valentines day or anything else as frivolous as that.

My heart is breaking because of this:














............... and this:






.... and this too:














A week ago there were homes, schools, shops and police stations here but now this is all that's left for too many Victorians:

How Much Space do we Really Need?


Amongst a few ofther discourses The Sister dabbled in an architecture degree a few years back. As a result we were both introduced to the wonderful concept of living in comfortably sized spaces described in this amazing book.


Although I struggled big time living in a tiny basement studio I think I could live in a beautiful, roomy closet with all of my belongings. Especially if it looked like one of these four:


One of my favourite design sites ran survey on which celebrity closet you were. I think I'm a mix of all four. Plas a dash of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment closet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Step Forward Into the Past

Leaving a job can only ever be one of two things:
a sad experience
or a joyous occasion.

In my so far short life I've had and left quite a few jobs with a mixture of the above experiences.Three years on from my last day at the school where I worked in London I can still feel the anxiety and immense sadness that caused me to break down in front of the whole school. I loved those children, loved the staff I was fortunate enough to work with and loved the families that I'd gotten to know well over my eighteen months working there. I even loved the crazy three-storey Victorian monstrosity and the cramped school yard with no grass!

Words will never encompass the sense of joy I felt when I left the wretched HR administration role I worked for a few months in 2007. Nor could pictures ever capture my miles of smiles as I walked out of that ghastly south London school after my brief stint teaching there in 2007. I have never slept as soundly as after my last day working in snake pit that was the HR Branch I'd had the misfortune of stumbling into.

The last job I left was a mixture of the both. On one hand I was sad to be walking away from such a great supervisor and heartbroken to be removing myself from one of the friendliest, most welcoming teams I'd experienced so far. But at the end of that final day my sense of relief to be leaving was overwhelming stronger than my sadness. I was relieved to be finally working part-time, to be leaving behind all the workload of three people, to be walking away from the reception desk, to be leaving a work environment that frowned upon fair conditions and hours, to be walking away from crazy work expectations and constant demands. And mostly to be leaving rude, arrogant ESL teachers who thought they were God's gift to Adelaide! While I cited the need to devote more time to my studies, which in essence was the truth of the matter, the above list shows all the other valid reasons I had for wanting to leave.

So four months after leaving that last, crazy, stressful, hectic job I somehow found my way back there, to help them out for three days during one of the official busy periods. Never underestimate the lure of a brilliant supervisor when surrounded by so much dead wood at my organisation.The three day visit allowed me to meet my replacement (who is just lovely!) and also to witness the changes that have occurred as a result of my resignation. My lovely replacement only had a few shifts helping out over the official busy period. When this time occurred during my tenure I had been required to work the majority of the shifts. My lovely replacement no longer sits at reception one day a week. The most surprisingly aspect of all was the fact that a casual had been recruited to help my work team cope with the demands placed upon them. Very, very interesting!

Oh how I love taking a step forward into the past!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekend Round Up

This weekend was a bit of a non-event due to the continuing heatwave (still hitting 40C here!) and the Big Day Out on Friday. It was a great day, albeit hot (43C and no cloud cover). I'll post more about it later though.

So this weekend consisted of waking up hot at my house on Saturday. Heading to Marion on Saturday afternoon where I scored an undercover park and got to shop for some cool summer work tops. The day ended at That Southern Boy's house where he cooked me a lovely bbq tea and we chilled out watching a few great movies. My Sunday has consisted of coming home and sorting out my summer work clothes to see what will work in this heatwave, running through arrangements with The Sister for her friend's kitchen tea that we're hosting in two weeks, started my second mosaic project, caught up on some long overdue emails and made a Cut Copy playlist on my Creative. My lentils are cooking on the stove, my carrot sticks are cut and I'm nearly ready to hit the sack and watch some SATC until I fall asleep.

Shoes for the soul

Seeing as one third of this blog is meant to be devoted to shoes I think it's about time that I gave my fondness for shoes some airtime.


Like many people I love shoes. However I'm not going to gush about them and my proclaimed love. I'm not going to rave about a devotion to a particular label or style. That's been done exceedingly well by many before me so I'm going to keep it simple.

I just love shoes.


As much as I love shoes I'm no shoe snob. By that I mean that I am happy to buy my shoes from anywhere. And I do mean anywhere. Bargain shoe shops, retail giants, sales racks. You name it and I'll have purchased shoes from there for sure. I have actually never purchased a pair of designer label shoes. I hope to keep it that way. I have nothing against them, in fact I would love a pair of these. It has more to do with the fact that I just wouldn't be able to afford a pair and I refuse to get myself into personal debt just for the sake of some fabulous shoes!


Over the last eight months or so my shoe purchases have dwindled due to the contraints of saving for a house deposit. I've managed to break the drought twice.



The first time was while shopping here with That Southern Boy where I brought these:





Two weeks ago I once again broke the drought and brought these which were on sale:





Both pairs are still at that slightly pinching stage where the uppers need to be worn in and my feet need to get used to new contraints.

I can't wait for Autumn and all the winter boots to come out!

Mosaics

Speechie and I had talked for ages about doing a mosaics course. We finally bit the bullet and started one in January this year. Initially my excitement over the course was huge but The Engagement has sort of eclipsed all that. Coupled with our crazy heatwave I decided to skip our third class last week. So my guilt over my lack of interest and my missed class motivated me to start my second project this afternoon.
This is how is looks so far:




I know that technically what I've created is not a true mosaic pattern. But I loved the colours and look of those tiles so couldn't resist a simple style.


Below is my first project, the diastrous washed out pale and pasty garden pot:




I have one last class this Wednesday night and I'll be working on a mirror with a 1930's green and black pattern. Pictures to come!




Twas the night before........

...........my return to work.

Sadly my blissful days of holidays are coming to an end. I will be starting work again tomorrow morning. I shouldn't complain as I know that most office workers have been back since January the 5th and school teacher's went back last Tuesday.

The time has just flown since I finished work at 1pm on Christmas Eve. What happened to my January of lazy around, exercising, reading, baking and organising my room/travel photos and creating travel scrapbooks? Absolutely nothing, that's what! Why? Because I got engaged to That Southern Boy back in early January and it's been wedding planning central for me.

I'm happy to say that we've booked:
church
reception venue
photographer
ceremony musician
reception band
cake

All this is just three weeks. I'm quite impressed with our progress.