Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shower Thoughts

Every time I shave my legs, I'm reminded how lucky I am. Stay with me. 

Nothing gives one a sense of proper perspective about life than a piece of frippery. Those completely silly items that may or may not be functional, but have come into existence just to please the senses. 

For me, the silliness and complexity of modern society is represented by my razor with a scented handle. 

Yep, my leg razors smell nice. In fact, not only are the squishy handles scented, they come in three fragrances. Why? I guess so I can pretend I'm shaving in a beach hut in Bora Bora I guess. 

And every time I pick one up I marvel not only at a culture that has comes a scant few hundred years from indoor plumbing to this; but at just how privileged my life is. That I can afford not only disposable razors, but ones that are slightly more expensive because they smell nice. 

I once worked with a lady who had grown up in what was then Rhodesia. Now in her 50s, she told me that one of the things that amazed her most about Australia after fleeing a dictatorship were tissues. She'd never known of their existence. She couldn't get over the fact that we had these thin disposable pieces of paper to blow our noses on instead of a handkerchief. 

And so, whenever I'm in the shower shaving my legs, I ponder a life where not only do luxuries such as tissues and scented-handle razors exist, but the fact that I have such a nice life that I can afford them. 

I guess it's not always war, poverty and injustice that can help you put things in perspective. A careful examination of one's own life yields surprising insights. 

What makes you realise you're lucky?

Friday, May 8, 2015

It's Nice to Be Appreciated

This week the multiple-national corporation I work for celebrated an "employee appreciation week". This involved gifts and food for days. 

Now, normally I am cynical about this sort of thing. My friend calls this kind of morale-boosting activity "fluff"; that glosses over actual work problems and distracts the masses. Classic Bread & Circuses, you might say. 

But honestly, this time I found myself just happy to be on the receiving end of some appreciation. A big lunch was catered, more than we all could possibly eat. We got corporate shirts (really nice ones too, not the usual flimsy tees). There were even cupcakes. And throughout the week, the message has been THANK-YOU. 

Thanks for all your hard work team, the company is saying. My department has been performing fairly badly lately, so it is a nice change from the usual YOU MUST DO BETTER which has been the theme song for the past few months. 

That said, if I eat any more cupcakes, I may explode. 

Do you get shown appreciation for the things you do? 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Musings of a Plus Size Thrifter

On the weekend, my cousin and I went to the "Wardrobe Warriors" market at Mt Gravatt show grounds. I understand some enterprising plpeople organize this every few months and I certainly applaud the idea. Anything that gets consumers considering shopping secondhand is a good thing in my book as you know, dear reader!

The focus was on high-quality, designer clothes and accessories and certainly there were some lovely pieces. The problem was as I wandered and poked into racks, I didn't see a single thing over a size 16. I had been hoping an entrepreneurial plus size lady or two might have set up a stall but it was not to be. 

Now, this is not the fault of the market. The stalls in the day depend on the people who a) hear about it; and b) want to sell. 

So what do larger ladies do with their unwanted clothes? I can only conclude they give them away to friends, have private clothes swaps or give to op shops. I know in other cities there are plus-sized themed clothes markets but alas here is BrisVegas I have not heard of any at all lately. Who wants to organize one? Just kidding. Or not...

And so I guess I will continue to trawl op shops looking for the occasional 16+ gem. They are out there, I know because I've found then. You just have to be persistent. 

What do you do with your unwanted clothes?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Aspirational Overload

I was watching the Lifestyle Channel's "Inside Tatler" last night when I realised that although there is something to be said for aspirational media, it often just makes my heart sink with the realisation that some things are not within my reach.

What I mean is, although I do enjoy a good mag about lovely homes, and often indulge in a short daydream about having All White Everything, I usually have the good sense to realise that it is probably something that I will never achieve personally.

Barring winning the lotto, or suddenly becoming a voracious and ambitious wildly successful entrepreneur, I am never going to have the money required to make some of my lifestyle dreams come true in my lifetime. A reality check brings one up short before you can get too carried away with fantasies about shopping sprees in New York, private jets and live-in domestics.

Pinterest is another great source of life inspiration and while I do find it fun, I usually reach my perfect loungeroom/impeccable street style saturation point within half an hour.

Harsh reality crashes back in as soon as you close the browser window, or shut the magazine. A life where there are always dirty dishes in the sink, somebody has to take out the rubbish and tomorrow you have to go to work but you haven't done the washing so you have to put a load on at 10pm.

I have also learnt to look economically downwards not up all the time. To practise some gratitude for the lovely things I do have that some people don't. A good husband. A house. A job. A car. 

So, thank you, Tatler/Home Beautiful/Marie Claire/Country Style/Rich Kids of Instagram. I'll use your beautiful things as inspiration, with a pinch of aspiration; but I do need to keep my feet on the ground and head out of the clouds.

But it won't stop me keeping a mental file of lovely things I desire - for that day that I do inherit a fortune from a long-lost relative.

Do you love or hate aspirational media? Is it a motivator or a source of frustration for you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Do... Love a Wedding

I was never a girl who spent hours mentally planning my dream fairytale wedding. I went to a lot as a young child, having lots of cousins tying the knot as I grew up. I always appreciated the aesthetic pleasure of a pretty party as well as the romantic symbolism of marriage itself.

I still adore weddings. The main things I love about them are:
a) traveling, a wedding is sometimes a little holiday!
b) dressing up, always a good excuse to roll out the accessories
c) free food and booze, who doesn't?
d) catching up with family and friends

Recently a friend from uni, who along with her fiance has become one of C and I's best "couple friends", finally got married. They decided on the Gold Coast for their venue and the bride being a lady who knew what she wanted from the start, had planned a beautiful day and night for their nuptials.

The wedding was at a church in Southport. The bride arrived in a vintage car and of course, looked stunning in her beautiful ballgown dress. 

We then retired to Palazzo Versace for the reception, which was a bit of a show-stopper of a venue. The reception was lovely, and the champagne flowed easily.

We took an apartment at Main Beach for the night, and in the morning I wished we could have stayed a few days longer! Coast living really appeals to me. I had a cup of tea on the balcony in the morning and was just seduced by it all.

It has left me wondering... when's the next wedding please??

What was the last wedding you went to? Do you love them as much as I do?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Paint it White - upcycling a bookcase

When I was on annual leave recently I had lot of grand plans for cleaning and decluttering the house. Most of these didn't eventuate. I had, however, mentioned to my husband I'd like to paint our pine bookcase white.

Well, he wouldn't let me get out of it then. I was bundled up and taken to Bunnings, where I chose some paint. I went with Dulux Natural White. Out of all the shades of white, why this one? Well, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I remembered a fave interior style blogger saying it was the main colour she used. The nice man in the paint department had to mix it up for me as he didn't have it in the right size (which is why the tin says "Vivid" instead of "Natural").

We got 2L, which was far too much, but we figured we can use it to paint some other things (I have some bar stools in desperate need of a facelift).

I had also bought two paintbrushes and a set of three sanding blocks and away we went. We dragged it out onto the patio and put down an old sheet. Tip for beginners - wear your old clothes. You're going to get paint on you!

We gave the bookcase a light sanding all over - there wasn't too much varnish so didn't take to it with the orbital sander like we thought we might need to.

I must admit, hubby really drove the project. I spent about five minutes resenting his involvement because I had wanted this to be my "baby" but honestly, that dissipated as soon as I realised how much work was in it!

You see, I like things to be done quickly. I'm a little into instant gratification, and even though this wasn't the world's largest painting project (like, say, A HOUSE, which is also on my future to-do list) I was glad of the help of a second pair of hands.

Then we just started brushing on the paint.

As you can see, we were a bit slapdash. But I figured this wasn't the Sistine Chapel, and I do like things to look a bit rustic. I love the word "rustic", it covers so many imperfections doesn't it?

We let the first coat dry for a day, then attacked it with a second one.

Sorry about the poor quality photo here. My poor iPhone really cannot cope with interiors. I am extremely happy with the end result however! I even ended up moving its location to the dining room.

Have you ever painted furniture? What should be my next project?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I'm currently in my second week of leave from work. Like most of my work "holidays", I'm not actually "going away" on holiday, just hanging out at home. I believe the trendy word is "Staycation".

Actually it is more what I told my new big boss - a "mental health break". I strongly believe that too much 9-5 Mon-Fri work takes a toll on me so I try to have at least a week off at least every 6 months. This time I took two because I had a lot of leave accumulated, and I had intended on visiting hubby in Townsville, but now he is home.

So what did I intend to do with my free time? Of course I wanted to be "productive", and "get stuff done". You know, all those things you never seem to have time to do when you're working full time? I wanted to declutter the house, work on my blog, take naps, do all the things I love to do (eat all the things I want to eat!).

Some of that has happened. I've op shopped, painted a bookcase and slept in a lot. I even scrapped a bit, making a card. The decluttering hasn't really happened but I have also had two wonderful nights away at the Gold Coast, one for a Hen's Night and again for a wedding.

Today I am sick. Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and by last night I was fully blown ill. So I have been lolling about on the coach, trying to watch a ton of shows that are clogging up my Foxtel IQ (which I am always in trouble for!).

The rest of the week is open. I think I'm going to do more of the same - whatever I feel like. Just for a few days, until I have to go back to the work grind.

What do you do with your time off? Are you into the "Staycation"?


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