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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

50mL, Leederville

50ml is a newish addition to the Leederville coffee scene. By newish, I mean that it wasn't there when I moved from Perth to Canberra 18 months ago. It is open late, has quirky decor and although I had hot chocolate (which was okay), it looks like they'd serve decent coffee. They had a nice selection of cakes too, and some simple breakfast-y foods on the menu. 

My photos came out red due to the lighting, but you get an idea of what it's like:

The lights are very cool, made out of red plastic baskets. Simple but quirky.

"toast $6, fruit toast $7, baked eggs $10"

Interesting artwork

Verdict? A great addition to the late night coffee / chill out scene in Leederville. A whole lot cosier and cuter than Greens & Co and San Churro which are its two main competitors.

50mL on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 29, 2012

Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board

Candle, flower, bathtub: Enjoy and find joy in the smaller things, make time to be alone with my thoughts, enjoy peace and serenity

Beach scene: travel, relax on a tropical beach, enjoy nature

Meditation scene: learn to be calm, nourish my spiritual health, spend time in the fresh air

Family: spend time with my family, value and enjoy them

Baby: learn from children, embrace honesty, innocence and happiness from the simplest things; find a way to continue to work with children 

Our happy place: find a place to call home, take pride in and be happy in my surroundings

Plane: travel, explore, experience different cultures and places

Books: learn, think and challenge my brain

Love: be open to love and companionship, trust myself and my feelings

Girl running: get fit, live healthily, be active

Bikini body: loose weight, tone up, take pride in my appearance, feel confident in my skin

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Odditude and other books

I am using my rapidly diminishing period of unemployment as an opportunity to do some reading. At the moment I feel like reading non-fiction, which is probably because I am not otherwise exercising my brain. I'm also reading a lot of books about psychology / self-actualisation, which is easily explained by my lack of direction!

Here are the books I just ordered from the library:

Do what you are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type / Paul Tieger

Sex, genes and rock 'n' roll : how evolution has shaped the modern world / Rob Brooks

Gifts differing : understanding personality type / Isabel Briggs Myers

Odditude: finding the passion for who you are and what you do / John Powers

Junk for Joy! Over 50 projects to inspire you to re-use and Recycle / Sian Berry

 What are you reading at the moment, and do you ever read non-fiction? If so, what subjects interest you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What I Wore

What I Wore

Top: Chinese Laundry (from Boohoo.com), bought 4 years ago when I was living in Scotland
Skirt: Asos
Cardigan: Jacqui E (thrifted)
Belt: Vintage (Mum's)
 Stockings: Bought in Beijing for $2 :-)
Shoes: Bought in Beijing

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thrifted Table Centerpiece

I was driving home on a recent Saturday and I saw a Garage Sale sign. This doesn't happen often enough for my liking. I quickly turned into the side street to explore their wares. I came away with this interesting and very large handpainted decorative bowl:

 Titled 'Space Odyssey' and signed 'Lyn '98'. The lady selling it said it's made by a Perth artist, but didn't know anything more about her. Does anyone recognise the style?

Table centerpieces are a personal thing. My Mum hates the bowl, so it looks like it will go into storage until I have a place to display it. This is Mum's current table centerpiece:

Coloured glass vases and silk leaves

Given my love of (and expanding collection of) teapots, I plan to use teapots as centerpieces too. Here are some inspirational ideas:

So easy and yet so effective - this would be perfect for a morning or afternoon tea! Source: Mum of All Trades

Terraniums are en vouge these days, but what about a terranium in a teapot? Source

For a side table - I'm loving this DIY teapot lamp stand. Source

Do you have a table centerpiece? I'd love to hear what yours is, and share ideas!

Linking up with Sophie :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Brunch Review: Mooba, Subiaco

If you want a nice start to your Sunday morning, I'd avoid brunch at Mooba. This was by far the worst brunch experience that I have had in Perth (I had a nicer breakfast when I took my elderly grandfather shopping and we decided to have the canteen style brekkie at Jamaica Blue... seriously).

Our meals:

 Fried brioche 

  House baked gluten free toast
The Scoring

Menu variety / creativity: 6.5/10. A short menu without all that much creativity. They had a coconut rice pudding, but this was premade in the counter cabinet and didn't look all that appetising. Other options included a breakfast panini or fried brioche (my pick).

Taste:  4/10. Absolutely terrible. My fried brioche was cold, soggy and tasted too eggy. The ricotta on it was runny. My friend said that the house made gluten free bread wasn't bad, but it wasn't even properly toasted throughout.

Coffee: N/A. We wanted fresh juices but their juicer was broken, so we settled for the premade stuff (I'd just had a coffee elsewhere).

Setting / location: 6/10. Modern decor, which is pleasing if a little uninspiring.

Service: 6/10. You order at the counter and they bring the meal out to you. Despite the cafe being almost empty, it took them 45 minutes to make and bring us our simple meals (which were then served cold). My friend's toast didn't come with butter, and when she asked for some, the guy behind the counter remarked "What, you want another one?".

Price: 5/10. Probably the worst value brunch ever, and inconsistent pricing. My friend's toast was $5 which is great for gluten free bread which often comes at a premium. However, look at the size of my brioche in comparison and it cost... wait for it... $16! For a tiny piece of bread that didn't satisfy me at all (although, because it tasted so bad, I wouldn't have been that much happier with a more reasonable serving size).

Verdict: Terrible food, a waste of money. They might do good coffee (who knows?) but I won't be back. 

Recommended? Absolutely not. Urbanspoon's high rating is surprising, but most people are just rating their coffee which is misleading if you want to eat there.
Mooba on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 22, 2012

Employed and Annoyed

The good news is... I'm employed :-) I start my new job in a week. They wanted me to start on Monday but I negotiated a later start date, which is a relief because I need time to organise myself and get into the right headspace. Not to mention, I won't get any leave except the compulsary shut down between Xmas and new year for the first twelve months.

The pay is not great - infact, it's a pay cut from my previous position... but they say they'll renegotiate pay after my 3 month probation. And it's a great firm which will set me up well for the future, which is what should matter at this early stage in my career!

The bad news relates to my new suit purchase. Remember how I went shopping and couldn't find a nice suit? I decided to go for a second hand one on eBay instead, in a brand with consistent sizing (which I know I'm always a size 10 in). I paid quite a lot for it because it was listed as "brand new condition" and it was a 3 piece suit in the perfect colour, all 3 pieces described as "size 10".

It arrived today and the first problem is that the pants are a size 12, so are obviously too big. The jacket also shows obvious signs of wear, and will definitely need a dry clean (which may or may not remove the collar and cuff rings). I am not a happy buyer :-(

Last night I also got a parking ticket. I really miss Canberra's cheap city parking (if you could call the city a city..). We went for dinner in Northbridge and the parking was expensive. I put in all of my coins which totalled $11, and that got me 1.5 hours of parking. This was at 7pm at night, so not during a peak time or anything. I couldn't be bothered putting in my credit card to top it up (especially since there was a line of about 8 people behind me waiting to pay), so I vowed to return after 1.5 hours if we stayed out that long. Of course I forgot, but the bastard parking inspector had ticketed me within 5 minutes of my ticket expiring anyway, so chances are I would have gone back mid way through the meal to top it up and the ticket would have ruined the rest of my dinner.

Now my dilemma is whether or not to pay the fine. It's a ticket from a private parking company (as opposed to the city council), so they don't have access to my personal details etc. If I don't pay, there is nothing they can do, except if I accidentally park in a parking lot owned by that company again. Once they see the overdue ticket on their system, they will clamp my car. That would surely ruin my night (and the next day)... I think I should just pay and put it down to a very expensive night out :-(

At least I'm not this guy... source

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Unusual Purchases

I spend hours on my mobile phone, chatting to anyone who'll listen (okay, maybe I'm not that bad). This got me worrying about radiation. I know there isn't a proven link between phone radiation and cancer (last time I heard anyway), but I'm not taking any chances. It doesn't help that my dear mother is paranoid about cellphone radiation, and has implanted some of this fear into me.

If you're like me, and use your mobile at home instead of a landline, you might want to invest in one of these:

I just did. They're only $7-8 delivered on eBay, sent from Hong Kong. I'll let you know whether it works and whether I actually use it when it arrives. I know I'll be teased about this one by my friends, but I think it's kind of funky (and purple is my colour!).

My next purchase relates to boot storage. It became apparent that I needed something to stuff into my boots to keep them upright in my wardrobe. Someone on the Vogue Forums suggested chopping up a pool noodle, which I thought was a fabulous idea. The only problem is, it's winter so I would really struggle to find a pool noodle. Not to mention it's a bulky, annoying thing to carry around. Someone else said they stuff their boots with newspaper. I would end up with my bedroom looking like a hobo cave if I did that (with scattered newspaper everywhere).

The solution? I bought these inflatable "legs" from Ebay:

Ingenious, no?

Finally, I impulsively bought this cool ice mould today. I don't have any real need for it, but it made me smile and I hope to make others smile when I use it:

Titanic Ice Mould

It will hopefully look like this:

Have you bought anything "out there" lately?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pottering Around the Garden

I went for a run the other day and during my "warm down" walk, I spotted these pretty pink mushrooms.

I can totally see how mushrooms are associated with fairies, they are very strange and mystical plants.

I have fond memories from my childhood of playing in my grandparents' large, overgrown garden. It probably wasn't that big in reality, but to a little person it was humungous. I spent hours climbing the trees, balancing on their low walls, picking flowers, collecting insects, playing make believe games, picking and eating fruit from the fruit trees...

It got me thinking about buying a house, and how I have been considering apartments lately (mainly because of the cost!) I don't want my kids to miss out on a garden.

Here are some snaps from my Mum's garden:

The final autumn leaves are falling

This teddy belongs to my dog, isn't it adorable

 Mini succulent potted gardens - easy to make and maintain!

 Old milk tins and a vintage Balinese cabinet to store the gardening tools

The makeshift BBQ which is being used until we buy a proper one...

Do you spend much time in the garden?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brunch Review: Daily Planet, Mount Lawley

Daily Planet is a cute cafe on Beaufort street, connected to Planet Video and bookstore. From the looks of it (on Urbanspoon), this place got off to a rocky start with sketchy food and disorganised service. It has definitely improved; we had a lovely brunch with no hitches.

My breakfast of toast with pesto, rocket, mushroom, grilled tomato and feta.

Quirky decor. Perth has totally embraced the Melbourne cafe scene, I love it!

Menu variety / creativity: 7.5/10. A decent choice and some creative savoury options. More points if they had creative sweet options.

Taste: 6.5/10. My breakfast was good. What would have made it even better would be chunkier toast (or 2 slices), and balsamic reduction drizzled over the top instead of the pesto.

Coffee: 7/10. A solid brew.

 Setting / location: 8.5/10. A lovely casual setting with lots of sun and quirky decor. Great for people watching if you get a window seat. No air conditioning I don't think, so might be uncomfortable on one of Perth's stinking hot summer days.

Service: 8/10. Friendly and efficient, and the staff wear cool vintage clothes. Bonus points for that ;-)

Price: 7/10. Average for Perth.

Verdict: Yummy and very enjoyable, I'll return to sample another menu option!

Daily Planet on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 18, 2012

Techno Kids & Post Storm Adventures

The past week has been incredibly busy and stressful. I have now been to 8 interviews. This doesn't mean I have interviewed for 8 companies, the more convoluted interview chain goes like this:
(1) Interview with recruitment consultant;
(2) Interview with HR representative from firm / senior associate; and then
(3) Interview with HR representative and partner / other lawyer and partner.

It looks like I'll be choosing between 3 very different firms (if all goes to plan and they all offer me a position). My gut feeling is not being all that helpful right now, and I'm loosing sleep over the decision.

Anyway, my week was also taken up with various other shennanigans including some nannying work. It still shocks me how techno savvy (and techno-spoilt) kids are these days. These youngsters are only 4 and 6 years old, and they have their own iPads:

It made my job easier, but woah. They told me that "Santa spent a lot of money on these, so we have to be careful with them". That's good to know!

I think I'd prefer my kids to be playing outside and doing craft activities, but then, I don't have my own iPad yet (or any tablet) and it took me longer than most to start using a smartphone... Perhaps I am just techno-lagged and will be one of those embarrassing parents who deprives their children of what "everyone else at school has!".

It's still raining and raining here. At least the storms have finished (for now). My dog always likes exploring the park after a storm, when there is plenty of loose tree debris to sniff and mark one's territory on. The council have been super efficient in cleaning up, there was this exciting large pile of tree debris for the dog's pleasure:

My weight loss is going depressingly slowly. According to the scales, I haven't lost any weight... and the scales are probably right. I have been eating less but I haven't been exercising. It's partly because of the weather, but mostly because I am unmotivated. Stress also slows down the metabolism, and I'm pretty stressed about job related decisions. It doesn't help that I really enjoy little snacks like this:

 So pretty (and delicious)

Apart from op shopping (to be posted about separately), I haven't been too bad on the buying front. I needed some new cleanser (I use ASAP's daily facial cleanser with glycolic acid) and it's cheaper to buy online. If I spent $50 I got free shipping, so I threw in a Too Faced Shadow Insurance (a primer for the eyelids, to stop eyeshadow from transferring or building up in the creases). I also picked up two new ulta3 nailpolishes which were on special for $1 each at Coles:

I'll let you all know whether Shadow Insurance is a life changing product once I've had a chance to use it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thrifted Finds

My op shop posts have been lacking, and that's because I have been restrained with my junk gathering. On the contrary, I have concentrated on de-cluttering and even *returned* some of my op shopped purchases to the local Salvos. What can I say, my tastes change ;-)

I did manage to pick these up items recently in Perth:

 Handmade mushroom pottery jar - $3

 Vintage long skirt. Perfect for this season's pattern clashing trend - $4

Hem & Haw (a brand that has long been out of production!) short sleeved coat - $6

 My ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE purchase-  a buttersoft genuine leather mini skirt, which fits like a glove. It was 50% off so only cost $12.50 from Good Sammys :-)

 Review skirt - $3

 Nicola Finetti jacket - $3

And yes, I finally found a tea cosy! It was $2, and I'm sure that one of the lovely little old lady volunteers at Save the Children knitted it herself. 

Linking up with Sophie and Apron Thrift Girl.
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