Fashionista ~ Career Woman ~ Op Shopper ~ Online Shopping Addict ~ Bargain Hunter ~ Child Rearer ~ Book Reader ~ Social Commentator

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Antisocial Office Behaviour

I have two major pet peeves:
  • #1 People who sniff loudly and draw back into their sinuses.
  • #2 People who eat loudly with their mouth open - although I can deal with this quite easily as a person cannot eat continuously all day.
Unfortunately, I am surrounded by #1 in the office at the moment. I really wish people would take a day or two off if they are clearly sick, to avoid spreading their germs. We are not busy at the moment and the sick person has hardly any work (and certainly nothing pressing), so he has no excuse. If a person comes in to work, the least they can do is avoid constantly making disgusting noises (and by constantly, I mean every 10-20 seconds).

Yesterday I put on headphones and listened to music and I could *still* hear it. I politely suggested to said person that if he wasn't feeling well, no one would mind if he went home... but he didn't listen. I also tried giving him a box of tissues, but he didn't take the hint. By the end of yesterday I was ready to strangle him, especially when he stayed late at work!

As much as I try to calm down and ignore the sound, I can't - I find it super irritating. Today I plan to listen to music again so that I can hear it less.

Do you think I'm overreacting? And what are your office pet peeves?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oscars 2012 Best Dressed

Category 1: Cutest

A tie between:

 Source: Mirror.co.uk
Natalie Portman in her girl next door 50's polka dot dress - it's Dior Haute Couture (circa 1954).


  Source: Mirror.co.uk
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Category 2: Sexiest
  Source: Mirror.co.uk
I'm pretty sure this would be every man's pick: JLo looking deliciously voluptuous. Girl crush? The gown is by Zuhair Murad.
Category 3: I'd definitely wear it
Jessica Chastain in the most stunning Alexander McQueen dress
Alexandra Lamy, wife of Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. Understated yet elegant.
And finally, the booby prize for most disappointing:
Source: Mirror.co.uk
Ange, you wouldn't look good in anything right now - you are skeletal. The video of you striking unnatural poses with your leg out would be funny if it didn't make me sad.

Inspirational Furniture / Homewares

Furniture/homewares I want in my house:

This gorgeous suitcase lounge chair is designed by a South African designer, Katie Thompson.

Urban Outfitters Turquoise Chandelier - this now sold out item was almost purchased by me, but I resisted due to my February shopping ban *sobs* It was very affordable - on sale for $30 before shipping!

Restored art nouveau washstand - I saw this advertised on Gumtree in Perth for $950. If only I was living there, and had my own house...

This "Songbird" chandelier was stocked by Anthropologie, and retailed at around $800. A little bit exxy for what it is... I much prefer this $15 DIY version, which I'd love to attempt myself:

Source: Daily Danny

Decorative knobs - the cheap and easy way to spice up a dresser. You can get nicer ones than these, but you get the idea. Source: Ezibuy

Another Perth Gumtree lust have, this beautiful antique dresser is advertised at only $200.

Last but not least, I am in love by the clocks made by Betty of BettyJoDesigns. This one is $150, and would be worth the cost for the joy that it would bring me :-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ulta3 Autumn/Winter 2012 Nailpolish Collection

Details of the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection have been released! It's called 'Molten Metallics', and it looks fab.

The collection comprises of the following colours:
  • Copper
  • Shiraz
  • Jade
  • Cocoa
  • Antique Gold
  • Enchanted
  • Burnt Orange
For those who haven't heard of Ulta3 (where have you been!?) these nailpolishes are great because they cost around $2 each (some places charge slightly more, eg $2.25 - I think this is the new rrp anyway). The quality used to be better when they were made in Australia (they are now made overseas, and sometimes the brushes are a bit wonky) but they're still great quality for the price. They're such a cheap pick me up - cheaper than a cup of coffee!

I personally will not be buying many of these for now, because I bought most of their Spring/Summer collection and haven't even tried most of them yet! (FAIL...) It is hard to resist when you stumble across a tub of them, and for a limited time they are also being stocked at some Coles stores! 

My pick out of this collection has to be 'Cocoa', which looks delicious:
Ulta3 is stocked at Terry White Chemists, Blooms the Chemist, Good Price Pharmacy and other selected pharmacies. Phone 1800 181 040 for stockist enquiries.

A similar brand, which is from the same distributors as Ulta3 is N.Y.C Color. NYC Color seems to be made in the same factory as Ulta3, and has the same colours under different names.

Here is an Ulta3 colour guide, complete with examples of nails painted in each colour (it doesn't include the A/W12 collection yet). Here is a list matching Ulta3 and NYC Color nailpolishes by name and colour.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Popping the Garage Sale Cherry

I have been inspired by some other lovely bloggers to start looking into garage sales - seeing what others have found at such great prices, they seem to be a great alternative to op shopping at actual stores.

There are 2 problems with garage sales:
(1) The early bird catches the worm, and often they finish at midday. I really value my weekend sleep ins and find it extremely hard to wake up early when I know that I don't *have to*.
(2) I find that advertisements are lacking detail about what is on offer, and in Canberra the majority are only advertised in the Saturday paper on the day of the sale. That means that planning ahead is impossible.

Last Saturday I had an early physiotherapy appointment (early on a Saturday actually means 9am...). Afterwards I had a leisurely coffee and cruised around some shops. Then I randomly checked the newspaper, and saw that there was a garage sale right near where I live that was advertising "vintage". By the time I got there it was already 12:30pm, so one would think that I would have missed all the good stuff. But... you just never know, and I found some wonderful items at fantastic prices!!!
I have always wanted a wicker suitcase like this one. I'm not yet sure whether I'll use it for decor, as a fashion accessory or as a sewing box (as the previous owner obviously did - there were some needles and thread left inside). The best thing was that it only cost $2:

The inside has this super cute blue plaid material, and it's in perfect condition. I also picked up these 3 necklaces for 50c each:

Do I wish I had gotten there earlier? Well yes, I suppose so. I may just have to find a way to get up earlier on weekends and visit some more garage sales...Linking up with Sophie as usual.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Cool Kids Bookshelf: Go the F*ck to Sleep

The cool kids bookshelf part #2. For cool kids, and even cooler adults who never really grew up.

This is an adult's picture book. It is also perfectly suitable for toddlers who can't read, as long as you change the words. This might become problematic once they start being able to read if it becomes a favourite. At this point, you can buy the edited childrens version sans swear words. It doesn't have the same zest but it will serve a purpose. I also recommend you keep it off the child's bookshelf, incase Grandmother or someone who isn't quite as liberal as yourself finds it and awards you the prize for the worst parent in history, in the form of a two hour lecture on parenting.

The book began as a throwaway joke on Facebook, and went viral. It became an Amazon best seller way before it was published, still on pre-order. I agree that it is disgusting, contains way too many swear words and is very controversial. But it is also something ever parent or childminder can relate to, and that's why it has been so successful.

I recommend you buy this book to read to your child after a hard day when they just will not shut the f*ck up and go to sleep. Warning: contains (lots of) expletives.

Here are some of the nuggets that we can all relate to contained in the book:

"The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest / And the creatures who crawl, run and creep. / I know you're not thirsty. That's bullshit. Stop lying. / Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep."

 "The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle. / The sparrow has silenced her cheep. / Fuck your stuffed bear, I'm not getting you shit. / Close your eyes. Cut the crap. Sleep."

"We're finally watching our movie. / Popcorn's in the microwave. Beep. / Oh Shit. Goddamn it. You've got to be kidding. / Go the fuck back to sleep."

Tip: There are plenty of read alouds of this book on YouTube, even by celebrities. I like the one by Samuel L Jackson. There is even one by ex Playschool presentor Noni Hazelhurst. In this postmodern world, the most innocent things are butchered. I love it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things I'm Loving

I feel like I have been overly negative on this blog lately, and although that is reflective of my current state of mind (and this blog reflects that), I do feel guilty for dragging my readers into it. So, on a more positive note...

#1 Have you heard of 'The Real Hot Chocolate'? This stuff is amazing. It's a block of chocolate stuck to a wooden spoon, that you melt into hot milk for some delicious rich chocolatey goodness. In between mixing, you can lick melted chocolate off the spoon.

They sell at my local IGA for $4.50 each, which is a bit pricey for one drink. They are cheaper if you buy them online (in bulk), eg a pack of 20 posted to Canberra ends up being $3.20 per stick. Still exxy :/ Someone buy me 100?

Melted dark chocolate goodness - lickety lick!

#2 The smell of freshly baked goods on a cold morning, and biting into a still warm chocolate chip cookie when the choc bits are still gooey... Baked using cute and colourful baking tools - this little guy has suction feet so it stays upright (I want one!):

#3 Playing with sparklers and evoking memories of a carefree childhood:

#4 Elaborate cakes that are pieces of art (this one spotted at Bread Top in South Yarra):

#5 Books that uplift and inspire - This is my favourite creative book of the moment. A more in depth review to follow :)
#6 Animals.... 'nuff said

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shopping Ban Broken for a Fake Real Bag

Today is the 22nd of February. My shopping ban lasted 21 days, and today I broke it.

I justified this on the basis that I have gone on a de-cluttering spree and have collected bags of clothes to sell or donate. I have also had some luck on eBay, selling the following:
I suppose there is no real justification, but I wanted this bag and it was selling for a good price. A price I could justify paying (only just), because it is a fake real bag.

Real because it's real Pink Corporation....

Fake because Pink Corporation copied the Chloe Elsie bag a little too much for my liking.

Exhibit A, The Pink Corporation Bag:

Exhibit B, Chloe Elsie Shoulderbag in Grey:

Crossed with the Chloe Elsie Perforated East West Flap-Over Tote:

I am not impressed with Pink Corporation's originality, but I do love the Chloe bag and since I'll never be able to afford it myself... the Pink Corp one seems to be a good real fake alternative.

Am I betraying the fashion gods? Or do you think it's justifiable to buy a real fake?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Bus Depot Markets, Kingston

The Old Bus Depot Markets are located in Kingston (ACT) and are open every Sunday from 10am-4pm. They are fully indoors, so you can visit on a rainy day, and they run various special market days where many of the stallholders sell according to the theme: antiques, kids items, woolen items, jewellery etc.

I hadn't been in a while so and after a yummy lazy brunch in Kingston, I decided to check them out.  I don't think they're as good or cheap as the Hall Markets which I blogged about, but they serve a different purpose - they're more central and they're indoors.

 The markets

 Lots of gorgeous kids clothes

 I loved this ladies dresses - this one was on sale for $25!

 Dresses for sale - $50 each

Handmade leather bags - very exxy, costing around $300! The lady also sells on Etsy.

Chicken hats!? $38

 Flower clips / brooches made from kimono silks. Super versatile and look great as shoe clips!

 I loved this lady's artwork - she uses copper metal and modelling clay which she paints with metallic paints.

 I especially loved this kookaburra - $95 including frame.

Would you pay $38 for a short tarot reading? I wouldn't! I have always wanted to have one done, but at a much cheaper price...

I didn't take any photos, but there is a whole section devoted to food stuffs and plants - you can buy ready made cakes and tarts, freshly baked bagels, chutnies and jams, bunches of flowers, exotic teas, fudges, and even free range eggs and locally produced meats.

It also has a "food court" area where you can buy lunch - with Ethiopian, Laotian, Spanish, Turkish and Mexican food on offer amongst other cuisines. 

I'd definitely recommend the markets for an outing - especially on a rainy day when there is little else to do in 'Berra!

Monday, February 20, 2012

When your friend is dating an a$$wipe

It's a difficult situation when one of your best friends is besotted with a man who appears make her unhappier than he makes her happy. A man who you had a bad feeling about the first time you met him, and who has in subsequent meetings failed to demonstrate that he's worthy of your best friend.

I'm watching my friend continuously fight with her boyfriend of several months. He seems to be immature, insensitive and self absorbed. He isn't violent, but can't seem to control his anger and acts like a real a$$wipe when angry, only to come crawling back later.

It's a difficult situation, because you're treading a fine line when you comment on a friend's love. I have learnt from experience that even if a couple have broken up, it's not worth badmouthing him because they could be back together tomorrow and then you're the bad person. As a friend, to some degree I have to accept her choice.

I think the best thing I can do is be there to listen and support her. Even though I have treaded carefully, she knows that I'm not keen on him. That I don't approve of his behaviour, or the way he treats her. 

Another part of me is worried that they won't break up, and that I won't be able to sigh with relief when he is finally out of her life.

Have you ever been in a situation where you're not keen on a close friend's lover? What did you do, and how did it end?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I have gone eBay crazy!

I just finished listing 30 items on eBay (the maximum amount of free listings per month). It was a big effort, so I hope it pays off.

This widget thing should cycle through my items:

Otherwise, CLICK HERE  to see everything I have for sale :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Selective Thrifting

Since I have decided I am moving back to Perth sometime this year, it makes sense not to accumulate too much junk. This means that thrifting must be selective. I am also succeeding with my February retail shopping ban... Although I still managed to accumulate some items this week which I just couldn't resist:

Teapot $2, vintage "slipper" shoes with flowers $3, framed picture $2, necklaces $1 each.

This marbled teapot is so gorgeous- don't you agree? The picture is hand sewn, and says on the back: "'Day & Night' - a series of English embroidered designs by June Wagner and produced by Dove Valley Embroideries. Each picture is a composition combining silk screen printing with many different and varied fabrics and threads, all carefully selected for their colour and texture to capture the peace and tranquility of the English countryside"

The funny thing about these slipper shoes is that they are back in fashion these days. Asos, Urban Outfitters and similar websites are stocking slipper day shoes. I am having second thoughts about the nautical necklace (which came with earrings which I don't like at all), but for $1 it doesn't matter :) That's why I love thrifting- if something ends up back in the op shop donation bin after I buy it, it doesn't matter.

As usual, linking up with Sophie. I'm off to have a nap now as I had very little sleep last night... Bub has been taken out shopping but will be back soon and wanting attention. Today I went to my first ever garage sale, and I'll be sharing my buys from that next week!!! I think I'll try to avoid op shopping next week though, as I have accumulated a lot of stuff lately :-/

Friday, February 17, 2012

Recipe: Creamy Pesto Pearl Cous Cous

1 packet of pearl couscous, or Israeli couscous. I use:

Oil for frying
2 cups of chicken stock
1 small brown onion (diced)
2 carrots (chopped)
1/4-1/2 zuchini (chopped)
3-4 button mushrooms (chopped)
small broccoli (chopped)
Frozen peas
Tinned sweet corn
Pesto. I use:

Cooking cream (light). I use:

#1 Dice onions. Add to fry pan and fry for a few minutes.
#2 Add chopped carrots, allow to soften.

#3 Add brocolli, zuchini, peas, corn and mushrooms. Toss and cook for a few minutes.

#4 Stir through (dry) cous cous.
#5 Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

This is what the cous cous will look like after that time, when it is ready:

#6 Mix approx 1/4 jar of cooking cream with approx 4 tablespoons of pesto (depends on how creamy / strong you like it) in a separate container. Stir through the cous cous:

And that's it! Easy, delicious and healthy :-)
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