Archive for December 2010

 

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Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show – Part 7

31 December 2010

I have been helping Carrie, an American reader of my blog, with some styling advice, in preparation for her trip to Australia, courtesy of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Carrie was also invited to be in the audience of the actual Oprah show recorded at the Sydney Opera House, and Carrie figured that if she was dressed particularly well, she could even get into the front row of the audience.

carrie-oprah-audience

Well, that didn’t happen. As you can see from this picture, the audience was HUGE, since the event was held outside the Opera House, not inside it. So competition for front row seats was obviously insane.

But Carrie has still been on an amazing and worthwhile journey, as I have.

She wanted my advice as to how to re-work her own ideas about how she dresses, and I really appreciated where she was at in her life, as we are a similar age, and both have young kids.

I can’t resist a before and after comparison.

carrie-styling-01

This is Carrie, back in late October, with her pick of her typical outfits then.

carrie-final-outfit

And this is Carrie in some luxurious hotel foyer somewhere in Australia in late December.

After seeing Carrie’s original pictures, I was hoping to get her to be more confident to show off her great figure. I hope you agree – she looks hot, in a classy kind of way, and radiating confidence – which is the real secret to looking great.

Mission Accomplished!

The dress is a Cap Sleeve Side Ruffle Dress from Fashionjunkee. It’s double lined, an elegant, timeless and versatile style, and not to mention it clings in all the right places. I have the same dress in black, but it also comes in white, purple, blue, red and magenta.

Carrie is a Size US 6 (Aus 10, UK 10, Eur 38), and she’s wearing this dress in a Fashion Junkee size Large.

Carrie is also wearing cream coloured Celine shoes from BETTS.

Carrie is back in America now, and you can check out Carrie’s blog for her side of the story.

carrie-necklace

In this photo, Carrie is also wearing a necklace by Aussie jewelry designer Megan Castran, who is also a huge Oprah Fan, and Oprah paid a surprise visit to Megan’s house in Melbourne! You can check out the video at Megan’s Youtube site.

For me, the journey has been a great education is styling, and having to style for someone else. I’m so grateful to Carrie for asking me, because I have learned so much.

And it’s been fun! Thank you Carrie!

So, I wonder what my next project is?


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The Freedom of My Rusty, Old Bike

30 December 2010

I just love cycling.

bike_gears

I ride a rusty, beat-up, 15 year old bike. My husband found it in a junk pile.

I love it that is it so old, that I can park it anywhere and no one will steal it.

I ride to my local shops, which are 5 minutes away. It would take me that time to drive my car there! Riding a bike to the shops means I go through a park, past a creek and enjoy the shade of trees… but in the car, I have to drive around, through two sets of traffic lights.

When I arrive at the shops, I lean my bike against a wall. Walk in, buy some milk and bread. Then I grab my bike and ride home. So easy. So healthy.

No fiddling with locks or keys. No fiddly combination locks. No being worried that some kid might push it over and that the frame is going to bend and the paint might get scratched. It’s already bent and scratched.

And if someone does steal it? Well, Hubby has ANOTHER old bike for me he found. We call it the back-up bike.

This crappy old bike makes me feel… free and boundless.

Unburdened.

And happy.


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Kaftans and Beach Wear from Kooshi

28 December 2010

Kaftan from Kooshi Online

Over Christmas we had a week of very, very hot and humid weather. Which meant… we spent a lot of time swimming and chilling out at the beach. I was in heaven.

I picked out a few kaftans (loose, sheer, silky tops to wear over swimwear) and the team at Kooshi Online sent them over for me to test out.

Above, I’m wearing a Black Sue Top, which is so, so versatile.

I wore it over my swimwear when I was around the pool. Then I wore it over a singlet top and shorts during lunch (as seen above). THEN in the evening, I changed into jeans and wore it over a tube top, with some nice jewellery to give it an evening feel. Best summer thing to wear ever!

Robe from Kooshi Online

This second piece, is a Winnie Robe which has a really lovely, muted floral print. You can wear it to the beach, around the pool, or if you want, in the bedroom.

I must admit, the nice thing about this robe is that I feel so stylish in it! You see, usually my swimwear (one pieces and two pieces) are plain, boring and black. They are good quality, practical, chlorine-resistant swimmers that lasts for years. However the downside is that I look and feel a bit plain. But no more!

Kooshi are having a 50% off Post Christmas Sale, so you can save on kaftans, robes, slips, lounge wear and lingerie sets. Have fun!

Enjoy your shopping! xxx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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My Christmas 2010

26 December 2010

xmas2010-05
Christmas Eve Day – 10.00 am. My whole family cycled to the river. We spent the morning mucking about on the shore, making boats from tree bark, digging holes and wading knee-deep in the warm water.

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Christmas Eve – 6.30pm. My parent’s house. The weather was very hot and humid. This is me, by myself, sitting in the pool. The sun was just setting, the water was gloriously warm, and the twilight in the backyard was just magic.

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Christmas Eve – 7.30pm. Dinner with close family on my side. Ham, turkey, roast chicken, duck, crayfish and prawns and various salads. It was buffet style, and of course, I ate too much.

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Christmas Eve – 9 pm. Profiteroles for Dessert. Again, I ate too many.

Then we went home with exhausted, over-excited kids to put to sleep.

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Christmas Day – 6.30am!! Kids get up , and begin opening presents.

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Christmas Day – 6.35am. All kids presents opened. Boys begin fighting over presents.

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Christmas Day – 9.30am. My presents! Tail light for my old bike. Movie ticket vouchers. Slow food cook book. Flower necklace. Silk scarf. Bangles. Nail poilsh. And in the background, a retro/kitsch cupcake stand. So happy and thankful! *glee*

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Christmas Day – 12 noon. Lunch at church. Pavlova for dessert (meringue with a crispy crust and soft, light inner, topped with fruit). I ate too much.

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Christmas Day – 5pm. Early dinner with hubby’s family, and kids playing naked in the paddle pool on the backyard lawn. I could hardly eat a thing.


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Moroccan Chicken and Mango Salsa

23 December 2010

Moroccan Chicken and Mango Salsa

Right now, in Australia, fruit is so plentiful that it is really, really cheap – including mango!
This is one of my favourite meals to serve on a summer evening. Each member of our family receives their own bowl and we sit outside in the garden to eat. It’s bliss.

Moroccan Chicken
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1kg skinless chicken thigh fillets

Throw the ingredients into a food processor (except chicken). Rub all over the chicken. Place in an airtight container and put in the fridge for 1 hour. Then grill the chicken until cooked. (Or fry on a grill pan.)

Mango Salsa (I made this one up!)
1/8 of small red onion, diced finely
1 mango, diced
handful of cherry tomatoes
handful of roasted cashew nuts, chopped
a sprinkle of chives, chopped
splash of balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and toss.

Serve it all with rice and greens.

Enjoy (outside or inside).


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Dress Loving – Capes and Maxis

22 December 2010

Cape Dress from ASOS

The other day, I received a package in the mail – a couple of awesome dresses from ASOS!

First up is this very, cool Cape Dress. It has a great mini length, lovely cowl neck, quality material and A CAPE!

Of course I received superhero comments from my sons, so I had to refrain from giving you all a flying pose.

The cape is attached to the back of the dress, so there’s a gorgeous, elegant, billowy feel to it when I wear it.

Corset Dress from ASOS

Next is an Asymmetric Corset Maxi Dress.

I pulled it out of it’s packet, squealed and threw it on. It’s short in front, long at the back, and has lots of swishy, flowy bits. I was so excited I forgot to run an iron/steamer over it. Oh well.

I feel like a bird, or a prom queen. I can’t wait to wear it to my next party!

Below are some other lovely dresses I found off the site.

ASOS Dresses - Xmas Sale

So I recently discovered that ASOS are running some geo-local campaigns – meaning special deals for different countries.

Check it out!

Australia:
Summer Outlet Sales 85% off! Free standard shipping!

Singapore:
30% off ASOS Collection! Free standard shipping!

Rest of the World:
ASOS Online Clothing Store. Free worldwide shipping!

Enjoy!!!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Shopping Like a Man

20 December 2010

I like to think that my husband is a super-special individual. Wonderfully unique, full of charming idiosyncrasies, and just an extraordinary one-in-a-million man.

But when it comes to shopping, HE IS SUCH A TYPICAL GUY.

It’s a cliché, I know. Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus. Men are Hunters, and Women are Collectors.

And there’s nothing like CHRISTMAS SHOPPING, to remind me of how different my husband and I are. That’s right. I love shopping and he hates it.

When buying ordinary groceries, he will deliberately shop at the little tiny local corner store, where there is less variety, and often higher prices. He doesn’t want choice. He wants LESS CHOICE.

And every shopping experience to an actual shopping mall is planned like a military operation, where brave men could be lost in combat.

For him, the shopping centre is enemy territory. The mission is to extract the pre-identified objects, by navigating the shortest possible route, without being delayed or distracted by anything else. And this is on a typical weekday.

Asking him to go to a shopping mall, a week before Christmas, to buy presents for in-laws, nieces and nephews, is like sending him on a suicide mission into the very depths of hell, to dance with the devil.

He won’t even go unless it is already determined what the object is, and exactly where it is located. For him, “going to the shops to see if I can find something for so and so…” means that the mission has a critical intelligence weakness, and has to be cancelled.

Even once he has agreed to the “mission”, he will go to extraordinary lengths to be in and out in just minutes. He will plan to arrive at the shopping centre a few minutes before it opens, to beat crowds and avoid queues.

And there has to be a “back-up” plan too.

What happens if the designated Christmas present cannot be found at the designated location in the designated time? Well, I would just wander around the shops a little longer, or phone a friends for suggestions while having a coffee.

But he would completely abort the mission, evacuate the territory and call in a nuclear air strike.

So, you guessed it…we almost never go shopping together.

And we NEVER EVER go shopping together in the festive season.

Like I said, it’s a cliché…but it’s a TRUE cliché.


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Stylish Covers for Digital Devices

17 December 2010

I’ve been testing out some covers for digital devices. You know, something stylish and distinctive that gives your digital gear some extra protection.

Iphone Case From Fabrix Cases

These are some very distinctive iPhone 4 sleeves from Fabrix Cases.

iPhone Case From Fabrix Cases

Fabrix Cases have heaps of stylish eye-catching designs for other phone models too, and soft cases for compact cameras and fabric laptop sleeves (which I reviewed here some months ago). When buying covers for iPhones, makes sure you buy for either iPhone 3 or iPhone 4! As I discovered, there is a very small, but important difference in the size. Make sure you get the right one!

 

Fabrix Cases also make a very sexy Booklet Case for the iPad (below). This one is in Black Faux Leather. But there’s also a very nice Tan Leather-feel one. I love how…executive…this cover looks and feels.

Ipad Cover From Fabrix Cases

However, I don’t actually own an iPad, so I met a friend in a city cafe to test out the cover with his iPad. My friend has recently carried his iPad in a variety of cases all over South America on holiday (so he is pretty experienced with iPad covers).

Ipad Cover From Fabrix Cases

He declared this one to be good looking, practical, compact, and noted that the hole in the case for the usb connection port was big enough to take even oversized usb sticks.

 

And this is a laptop sleeve made from real leather (below), just something a bit more lux and stylish than usual. It’s called the  Par Avion manila envelope design, from BagsnPacks.

Laptop Case

It fits perfectly, looks great and stops the laptop from being bumped and scratched up too much. It’s like a perfectly fitting leather glove, a really nice texture contrast to the cool, hard metal of the laptop.

Laptop Case

Enjoy your last minute Christmas shopping!

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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In The Woodchip Pile

16 December 2010

Apple Woodchips

Sometimes I’m going through my day as usual…

and I’ll notice something that will make me stop suddenly with a big,

bug-eyed WOW HOW BEAUTIFUL!

For example, the other day

this very pretty arrangement of

tiny dried pine needles, wood chips, sticks, and bark

made me stop and smile.

How very cool.

It was composed so beautifully and naturally.

It had this haphazard and spontaneous feel, yet it seemed controlled and designed.

I noticed that it was like something you would see arranged on a plate, in a fancy gourmet restaurant.

A jumble of shapes and colours and tiny morsels of edible things from the earth.

But what is more interesting to know, is how it came about.

Apple Woodchips

Yes, it was in fact a half-eaten apple tossed onto the ground by my 20 month toddler, in a playground covered with woodchips.

My little Liam often eats half an apple, and discards the rest, much to my annoyance.

I usually pick up the abandoned half, give it a wash, cut off the gnawed bits, and save it for later.

(Not for me to eat! I slice it up nicely and serve it to my other kids after school. When they’re too hungry to notice.)

Anyway, in this instance, I swear the apple fell from his hands, bounced once on the ground, and I caught it mid-air.

As I held the apple in my hand, I was so struck by the cute the little arrangement of woodchips, that I decided to take a photo of it.

I did this in front of a group full of mothers – who gave me a few raised eyebrows.

I was all – Oh don’t mind me. Yes, I’m taking a photo of a dirty apple! I’m one of those women who lets her child eat dirt!

Liam and The Woodchips

And as I finish taking my photos, I turn to my toddler, and what do you know?

He is sitting in the woodchip pile and eating dirt.

But having a very good time!


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Velvet and Fishnets

14 December 2010

Velvet and Fishnets

These last few weeks, I’ve been going to lots of end-of-year parties and celebrations.

And on Friday, I was invited to a 30th Birthday Drinks AND a Dress-up Burlesque Party – two events on the same evening. Which yes, was kinda cool, but I had a very tricky time choosing one outfit to wear to BOTH events.

My other option was to have TWO outfits and just change between events. But I didn’t have enough time to think of two outfits, nor was there enough time available between events to change. And I couldn’t be bothered changing – especially not in a car! Or in a carpark!

Anyway, I chose a very, very cool (and new) dress that I bought from Urban Outfitters. It arrived the day before the parties!

It’s a Silence and Noise Golden Ring Dress in Pewter. It’s gorgeous and the Size US 0 fit me perfectly. I love, love, love the colour and the burnt velvet fabric.

The fishnets certainly made the dress work for the dress-up costume theme of the Burlesque Party! But I was worried that they were making the dress a little over the top for the 30th Party, which was at the Casino/hotel.

I did end up wearing the fishnets to the 30th Party and was feeling quite self conscious of my legs all night. It was like they were shouting out “Hey! Look at me!!” But then again, that’s what fishnets are for.

But once I arrived at the Burlesque Party, there were people in corsets, lace knickers, suspenders and not much else, so I felt right at home – and possibly too over dressed!

Do head on over to Urban Outfitters (Dresses) to check out some pretty amazing party dresses!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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Fallen Angels and A Two-Legged Dear

13 December 2010

Fallen Angel

Our Christmas tree had gone up.

Just moments after we hung the last bauble…

Just as we turned on the Christmas lights…

And *just before* we were able to step back and admire our 2 hours of work…

Then our Christmas Tree went down.

My 20 month toddler pulled at a branch and the whole Christmas fell with an ENORMOUS CRASH!

All three of my children wailed and howled in horror – for Christmas was surely ruined.

I had to hold in a few tears when I saw 8 to 10 of my favourite glass ornaments and baubles smashed into pieces and sprayed across the floor.

And a split second after trying to choke back a tear, I was screaming — GAAAHHH THERE’S BROKEN GLASS ON THE FLOOR!! STOP MOVING KIDS!

My kids had no shoes on and were leaping into the destruction zone so that they could help pick up the tree and salvage the broken ornaments and pieces of glass.

I had to evacuate the area.

And it took me FRICKING AGES to clean up the mess and set up the tree AGAIN!

New rule: Plastic ornaments ONLY, for the next few years.

And: Christmas Tree goes behind the play pen, just like last year.


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Online Shoe Files – Nudes, Tans, and Wedges

10 December 2010

Shoes Dorothy P

I recently bought some gorgeous nude heels from Dorothy Perkins!

I’ve been looking for a pair like these for ages – simple, classic shape, lovely shiny finish, snug and comfy, and goes with practically anything. A most excellent buy.

Shoes Betts

This pair is also a favourite, from Betts.

The tan, strappy, heeled sandal is great for wearing with summer dresses. It has a smart casual look, which makes them quite versatile.

Shoes New look

Also new is this black strap wedge from New Look.

They were on sale and so cheap, that I couldn’t resist!! I’ve been clomping around in them everywhere!

Shoe shopping online is – honestly – only good for people whose feet are a standard size. Which means when you go shoe shopping, you always fit the SAME SIZE.

Some people’s feet are between sizes. Sometimes they fit 7, or 7.5 or 8. In which case, online shoe shopping can be a headache.

The biggest reason I like to buy shoes online – is that I have really small feet.

I’m a size Aus 5/  US 5 / UK 3 / EUR 35.

So when I walk into a shoe shop, the probability of me finding a shoe that I like, that are in my size – is close to BIG FAT ZERO. I always have to get the sales person to call other stores, order them in, wait for the delivery, then pick it up at a later date. So I may as well just buy them online and have them delivered to my door.

And once you buy shoes from an online shop and get to know their sizing, it’s very easy the next time :)

Other reasons I like to buy shoes online – sales and cheap prices!

Signing up to an online shop’s newsletter lets you pounce on any sales announcements that fall into your inbox.

But watch out for online shops that sell REALLY cheap shoes. The photographs may look amazing and the prices may be too good to be true, but when the shoes arrive, the shoe usually looks shocking. So it’s best to find a reputable online shop that comes well recommended.

Good luck!


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My Tea Neurosis

9 December 2010

I have a very bad habit – I drink tea. And lots of it.

What makes this better (or worse), is that I have a group of friends who are also connoisseurs of tea. We’ll sit down in a leafy courtyard on a sunny afternoon, and like old ladies, brew shockingly-expensive, double-decaffeinated, superior organic herbal teas and sip them from pretentious, fine China, vintage floral tea cups.

We’ll talk about leaf blends, regions of China, the latest range of dried fruit mixes, subtle distinction between variations of the same tea… it’s all riveting stuff.

How much do I drink? If I’m at home all day, I’ll have black tea in the morning. Lemon grass and ginger tea in the mid morning. Followed by 2 cups of green tea in the afternoon. Then peppermint tea in the evening.

If I don’t get my herbal teas, I feel a bit unsettled. If I don’t get my caffeine hit twice a day from the black and green tea, I get a cracking headache that makes me want to cry and smash things up.

Well, these last few months, life has been very busy. I seem to always be ON THE GO. There’s always never enough time. I’m always rushing here and rushing there.

So yes, over the last few months, I have slowly developed a new bad habit.

I have been FORGETTING to have my cup of teas.

Which means I often – unintentionally – find myself to be VERY GRUMPY FOR SOME REASON.

How this happens is that basically, I make myself a cup of tea in the morning and then I forget drink it.

I’ll run past the still-full cup sitting on the kitchen counter, an hour later, as I head out the door and shout – CRAP I FORGOT TO HAVE MY TEA! Then I’ll grab the cup of tea and down it.

Yes that’s right, I have now developed the highly acquired taste for lukewarm tea.

It makes my husband wretch, but , it’s kinda growing on me. I like it now.

People drink iced tea right?

So I’m thinking, maybe I need to instill another new habit, based on this new bad habit.

I tried this for a few weeks – Whenever I need to rush out the door in 15 minutes, I will quickly make myself a 3/4 cup of hot tea (with milk) and then pour cold water straight into the cup to make it LUKEWARM.

It worked for a while. I really liked the idea of slamming down my drug hit for the day in 2 minutes flat. It gives me more time to do all the other stuff I need to do.

But the TEA CONNOISSEUR in me, lifted her nose up in sheer disgust and disappointment. I decided that it would not do. It was completely unacceptable and disgraceful.

My solution to this?

I bought myself one of those re-usable, environmentally-friendly, takeaway cafe cups, with a lid. Brilliant!

I could now make a cup of tea in a takeaway cup.. and take it away with me!

But that didn’t work either. Even though it had one of those spill-covers, it would still swirl and splash in the car. I have had to mop up the car three times already. And off-milk does NOT smell nice.

SO NOW I’ve bought a flask. A bright purple beauty, with air tight silicone seals. It’s brilliant!

We’ll see how it goes!

(And shh, just don’t tell my tea drinking friends ok??)


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Hype Online Fashion – Blazer and Lace

7 December 2010

Clothes from Hype Online Fashion

I’ve written about Hype Fashion Boutique before. Best thing about them – amazingly affordable prices for good quality garments. They are based in Singapore, and have international shipping.

Their dresses and tops are around $20 – $35 and items are made from great material, some items are even lined, with good stitching and seams.

Above left, I’m wearing a Black Cropped Blazer. A very simple, well made blazer, with lining. Nice to bundle into my bag and pop on when the weather gets cooler in the evening. Dresses up or down for the occasion.

Above right, I’m wearing a very cute Crotchet Eyelet Blouse. I really like the cut and the lace detail on this top. I’ve worn it a few times already, in casual and smart casual outfits.

Clothes from Hype Online Fashion

These are some dresses that I like, and are VERY on trend at the moment. Again, excellent quality for the price.

Left to right: Velvet Dress, Safari Print Dress and Long Tank Dress.

View the whole collection of dresses here.

Clothes from Hype Online Fashion

If you’re looking for a few simple fashion tops to add to your wardrobe, these are very cool. I actually own two of these tops (left and middle). I wear them everywhere, I can’t recommend them enough!

Left to right: Crotchet Black Tee, Diagonal Lace Top, Cut-out Blouse in Blue.

View the whole collection of tops here.

Happy shopping! Enjoy!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.


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More Life on a Plate

6 December 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about two small pieces of a very old broken dinner plate I found in the sand by the river.

Well, last week, I got an e-mail, and an image, from a reader named Brooke.

Brooke said:

“I was spending some time with my grandparents today, when my Nan (Australian for Grandmother) had us sit for lunch. I noticed her lovely plates. In all my years I have never seen her with these plates before. I recognized them straight away from your post.  She told me they were her mothers, so my great grand mothers, and she has only used them a handful of times since my great grandmother passed, about 25 years ago.”

old_plate02

Thanks Brooke!

My head was spinning with the co-incidence of it all! You know, that I would find the broken bits – purely because my sons like playing in dirt – and that I would take the pieces home, and write about them, and then in the same week, Brooke would see the same plate, but a whole set of them, in pristine condition, which have been in her family for at least four generations.

Maybe this was a REALLY common plate, sold it the early 20th Century equivalent of a supermarket. Or, even more amazing – if the plate is actually quite rare  – is my broken one actually from Brooke’s family’s set?! Maybe I could e-mail Brooke again, and ask her to see if there is an uneven number of plates in her set, and find out if her great grandmother ever lived by that part of the river! It’s not impossible – Perth was a very small town 75-100 years ago.

Whatever, I think the most amazing part is to know that a set of beautiful plates like this has been in one family for so long. I hope Brooke gets them eventually!

So now I’m off to ask my Mum what is the oldest thing we have in our family (apart from my grandmothers).


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Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show – Part 6

4 December 2010

Ok with a few more days, before Carrie heads down to Australia with Oprah Winfrey… I thought I’d better update the last of the clothes I had sent over to Carrie (courtesy of my amazing sponsors).

Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show

First up, I made some arrangements with ASOS Online Fashion to send over a few items. The first one being this Mushroom Ruffle Blouse.

Carrie says “The beautiful ASOS ruffle top (that is on the style board) is AMAZING! It is stunning! I would wear this anytime, anywhere!”

I chose it because it was a bit flamboyant and figure hugging, and Carrie is still considering whether she would wear it.

Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show

Next is a Gold Sequin Tank Top, also from ASOS Online Fashion.

“I love this shirt and outfit. I wish there was a regular need for me to dress like this in the Midwest USA. I’d like to wear something like this and blend in. I’ll probably layer with a smart jacket and be set!”

I can imagine this sequin top in a pretty glam daytime outfit when paired a cream jacket and matching cream tulip skirt. Or else, it’s a pretty versatile with jeans or cropped pants.

Given that I’ve never actually handled these items of clothes myself, they look pretty great in the photos that Carrie sent over. They look like the kind of stylish and glamorous additions to any basic wardrobe.

Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show

These next few items are from Birdsnest Online Boutique, based in Australia, with international delivery.

I chose a few smart-casual items. On the top left is a Cherry Cap Sleeve Top, which I imagined that would be worn tucked into a pencil skirt or cropped skinny pants.

“This shirt is kind of shapeless, but I love the sleeves and the color is one of my favorites. Like a pure tomato red or the color of one of the newer VW Bugs. Love this shirt. When it arrived, I wore it that night around the house w/friends over and then I wore it the whole next day!”

Next is a Metalicus Tube Skirt. It is a ONE SIZE skirt, and is supposedly able to fit over any body shape from size 4 to size 12. I’ve never actually tried it, so I asked Carrie what she thought and whether it might be possible.

She told me “It’s really nice! It can be knee length or shorter and is SO comfy. Definitely can be size 4 or 12!”

And lastly, on the right, is a Jag Drape Top. I thought it’d be great stylish, loose-fitting top for summer, that also accentuated the waist. To be worn with shorts or cropped pants. But Carrie said although it was a lovely colour, it wasn’t very flattering to her figure. Oh well!

Next week, I’ll have a few photos of Carrie’s adventure in Australia with Oprah and what she finally wore for the taping of the show!


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The Relentless Rollercoaster

2 December 2010

My 20 month toddler is at a really difficult stage at the moment.

He’s at the age where he is learning to communicate, and discovering how to change the world around him.

He is impossibly frustrated by his own lack of words. So he spends all day crying and shouting at me.

MAH-MEEEEEEEEE MAH-MEEEEEEEEE MAH-MEEEEEEEEE MAH-MEEEEEEEEE MAH-MEEEEEEEEE MAH-MEEEEEEEEE MAH-MEEEEEEEEE!! MAH-MEEEEEEEEE!! MAH-MEEEEEEEEE!! MAH-MEEEEEEEEE!! MAH-MEEEEEEEEE!! MAH-MEEEEEEEEE!!

He demands that I stand next to him at ALL times. That I play with him, talk to him, give him food. He wails and calls out to me when I’m out of his sight. He clings on to my legs. He shouts for me to pick him up. He shouts in my ear for me to walk to the door. He shouts at me to put him down. He shouts at me because I’ve put him down. He is utterly inconsolable. Everything I do, there are tantrums, tears, wailing, crying, howling, and he just shouts and shouts and shouts at me till it drives me TOTALLY AND UTTERLY BATSHIT CRAZY.

Liam in Double Stripes

I was so stressed that when getting Liam dressed, I grabbed the first items of clothes I could find. I later realised that I dressed him in CLASHING DOUBLE STRIPES. The stress is affecting even my fashion sense!

I’ve tried to teach him “No Shouting”. I’ve use a kind voice, calm language, cuddles, eye-contact, rewards, distraction, ignoring, a stern voice, putting him in his room… you name it.

You’d think I’d be pretty ace at this parenting thing, given the fact I’ve already had TWO OTHER CHILDREN, who are like, way past this stage. This is like so 5 years ago. I’ve been screamed at, spat on, and pooed on for the last 8 years. This ain’t new.

But I still stoop down, look deep into my toddler’s eyes and say with undeniable, genuine interest, “Are you speaking to me Liam? What would you like? Oh you want me to take off my shoes? Sure! Let’s turn this into a game! Again!”

6 hours a day I am at home alone with my toddler. 5 days a week. Every 5 seconds the little guy shouts at me to MAKE POPCORN! DO A DRAWING! PUT MY SOCKS ON! LET’S THROW A BALL! GIVE ME WATER! I WANT AN APPLE! I’VE DONE A POO! CHANGE MY NAPPY! I WANT A NEW T-SHIRT! NOT THAT T-SHIRT! LOOK AT THAT CAR! I SAID LOOK AT THE CAR!

But of course, he can’t talk properly, so it all comes out like this:

MUMMY MUMMY POP POP! NO NO MUMMY MUMMY DRAW! NO NO MUMMY SOCKS! NO! NO! NO! MUMMY BALL! MUMMY THROW! NO NO NO NO MUMMY WATER! NO NO MUMMY APPLE! NO! NO! NO! MUMMY POO! MUMMY NAPPY! NO NO NO MUMMY CAR! NO! MUMMY CAR! CAR CAR CAR MUMMY! NO! NO! NO!

To have a person you completely, unconditionally love shout and shout at you for fricking hours… I want to bash my head against a wall until my head is numbed.

By the end of the day I am exhausted. I am crushed, at my wit’s end, tense, lonely, in tears. I don’t want to be shouted at. I don’t want to be a mummy. I don’t want to be in the house. I don’t want to cook any more food. I don’t want to clean up any more crap. Or sweep under the table. Or pick up any more toys. I just want to run very, very far away.

Then I pick up my other children from school. Each of them is a gift from heaven, but they grunt at me and they tell me that the sandwiches I made for their lunch were crap. WHY do they have to do their homework? WHY can’t they play computer games? WHY can’t they go to their friend’s house? WHY haven’t I made them an after-school snack yet? WHY do they have to eat rice for dinner again? WHY WHY WHY? It’s the same old after-school routine.

But, I’m *so happy* that I can actually talk and reason with the older kids. Much better than having them shout senselessly at me. I can at least make them do things by threatening them with no computer games (a fate they think is worse than death!).

But then my toddler starts up again, and clings onto my pants and starts shouting at me. Again. MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY! SNACK! SNACK! SNACK! MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY SNACK! NO! NO! NO! PLAY MUMMY! PLAY! PLAY! MUMMY NO! NO! MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY!

On and on and on.

So these last few weeks have been rather… awful.

I’m a bloody wreck.  I love the little guy. Really I do. But it feels like loving him is eating my very soul.

However…an hour after my husband and I wrestle all three of them to bed, I often sneak into their rooms. I watch them, their bodies finally abandoned to sleep. I see the beautiful calm on their faces. I listen to them breathing, and I wonder what they are dreaming of.

And I am overcome with the miracle that they grew inside my body, and how impossibly lucky I am to have them in my life.

I am filled to overflowing with deep, deep, deep contentment.

And even though I know it will all start again in the morning, in those quiet moments – I wouldn’t change my life or kids for anything in this world.

And that, folks, is what it is like to ride the rollercoaster of parenting!




meli melo Severine Collection