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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Op Shopped

The boy was away last weekend so I decided to do something that I love and he hates - go op shopping :) It was perfect timing because Good Sammys had 50% off all clothes, shoes and linen too. I had a very successful trip, picking up some lovely vintage goodies and modern clothes and shoes.

 The vintage linen collection and the crockery collection continues to expand!

I love this print. The lady at the op shop counter was angry that it had only been priced at $4, she said 'it's probably worth a fortune'. I think that's a stretch, but who knows? 

 I have picked up some nice simple serving trays at oppies, and one can never have too many silk scarves...

 Another vintage print - I am trying to build up a collection so that I can fill a wall with multiple pictures of different sizes and with mismatched frames. The Witchery leather heels are in excellent condition too, what a steal.

 I bought these for my sister because they're too small for me - having an op shopping sibling must be great!
I also picked up these clothes for me:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Optislim FAIL!

This post details my experience on Optislim (which only lasted a week). I had shakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I made sure I drank 2L of water and had 2 cups of green veggies. The only thing I didn’t follow was avoiding caffeinated drinks- I had a coke zero/pepsi max/black coffee most afternoons.
Days 1-3
The first 3 days were okay. I found the mornings okay in that I’d wake up not being that hungry, and a shake would be sufficient (but I don’t ever eat much for breakfast). By mid-morning I’d start to get hungry and would need my first herbal tea.  By midday, I’d be counting down the minutes until I got my second shake for lunch at 1pm.
The lunch shake would not fill me up at all, and I’d still feel hungry afterwards. I’d have a large glass of water to help with that.
I would struggle though the afternoon, having a diet soft drink at around 3pm which I sipped slowly and that definitely helped me to feel better.
I’d have the dinner shake smack on 6pm (still at work), because that was the earliest I allowed myself to have it.
When I got home from work at around 7pm I’d have my 2 cups of veg made into a “soup”.
I’d be lying in bed at night thinking “I am too hungry to fall asleep” until somehow I finally fell asleep…
Day 4
On day 4 I “hit the wall” so to speak. I felt really nauseous, dizzy, irritable, emotional (like crying for no reason) and couldn’t concentrate. I was also the hungriest I had been; I couldn’t stop thinking about food. I was pretty disheartened as people had told me that the first 3 days are the hardest, so I was expecting it to get easier, not 100x worse.

I decided to weigh myself to see if I had lost any weight (for some encouragement) and my scales had run out of batteries, so I couldn’t even do that!

I got almost no work done all day which made me feel guilty. I was also on the verge of cheating all the time, at one point I even brought a biscuit to my desk and then threw it in the bin before eating it.

I became sick of the veggie “soup” and opted to eat my veggies raw. That night I also broke the diet by eating a tin of tuna in springwater; I just felt so sick and faint. It was only 300kj (70 cal) so probably not too bad in the scheme of things. I still felt sick afterwards but went to sleep.

Day 5

I was worried because I had a lot to get through at work, and I couldn’t afford not to be on my game. Luckily, I felt better than I did on day 4 and managed to do a decent day of work. I forced myself to drink more fluids than ever in case dehydration had any role to play in the previous day struggle.  I felt like I had more energy, but still felt very hungry all day.

I was clearly in ketosis by this stage as I had all the associated symptoms, but it wasn't supressing the hunger for me at all.

Day 6
Despite increasing my fluid intake etc, this was another bad day, like day 4.  I felt dizzy and sick all day and couldn’t concentrate.
By the evening I was at the end of my rope and ready to give up. I had said I’d give Optislim a week, and surely it would get easier – but it was only getting harder.
That evening, I had a big family dinner event to attend. I decided to skip the shake and have a small healthy meal instead. I didn’t eat much and it was all lean, and I limited the carbs. Despite this, I felt very nauseous after eating and then had diarrhoea.  It was like my body couldn’t tolerate normal food at all anymore.
Days 7-8
During the next 2 days (the weekend), I stuck to the shakes for 2 out of 3 meals, but also had a few snacks in between. On the evening of day 7, I got a massive headache and had to take painkillers and go to bed early. Overall I felt a lot better for breaking the diet hunger-wise, but I continued to have diarrhoea.
On day 8 I was feeling stronger from eating proper meals once a day, and I went for a 3km run. This was the first time I felt able to do exercise all week, I was otherwise feeling much too weak and sick.
Day 9
Back to work, I decided to start the day off by going back on the shakes.  This week I had decided to try the diet with just a few extra snacks thrown in, so that maybe I wouldn’t feel so sick. I had the breakfast and lunch shakes but I also had a skim milk latte for morning tea.  Despite this, by 2:30pm I was back to feeling dizzy and nauseous.
At this point, I decided that I could NOT put my body through another week of this – especially since I would also have trouble re-adapting to normal food.
In the first 6 days, I lost 3kg so the diet definitely worked. However, it was the most painful week of my life eating-wise. I have never been so hungry or felt so sick and dizzy. I definitely did not feel healthy either while on the diet or for a while afterwards. I felt like my body absolutely hated it! I also didn’t feel ‘proud’ of myself when I had gotten through that week of pain, I just felt sick!
Optislim tips:
It didn't work for me, but it does for some... so here are my tips based on my experience:
  • Don't buy too many of each flavour until you've tried them. I bought bulk packs of vanilla and chocolate, but didn't really like the taste or consistency of the vanilla shakes at all.
  • I made a “soup” with my green veg allowance, which consisted of water and a little bit of chicken stock powder. I didn’t boil the veg in for long so that they were still semi-raw and didn’t lose their vitamins, plus when you’re on shakes you want to chew something! The “soup” filled me up more than the veg themselves would, and helped increase my fluid intake.
  • I went to the supermarket before starting and stocked up on new flavours of caffeine-free herbal teas, and sugar free chewing gum.  I also made sure I had some diet soft drinks in my fridge. I know the chewies and diet drinks aren’t healthy, but I found I needed them.
  • Shakes definitely taste better and are frothier when used with chilled water.
  • The chocolate shake tastes great with blended ice – like a frappuccino.
  • Sip on water and herbal teas throughout the day - this helps the hunger pangs a bit.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lisa's Bucket List

In no particular order, this is my 100 item bucket list!

1) Shop up a storm in New York

2) Learn to ski

3) Go on a roadtrip in the USA and Canada

4) See the Northern Lights

5) Do some study in psychology

6) Experience the cherry blossoms in Japan

7) Live and work overseas for six months or more

8) Try scuba diving

9) Swim with sharks

10) Fire a gun

11) Experience La Tomatina in Valencia

12) Take a road trip around New Zealand

13) Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef

14) Go on safari

15) Visit every continent

16) Go on an international business trip (not for a conference, that doesn’t count!)

17) Improve my photography skills

18) Improve my photo-editing skills

19) Make a mosaic

20) Learn how to make candles

21) Become a confident cook

22) Host a 3 course dinner party (all cooked by me)

23) Restore a piece of furniture

24) Stop biting my nails

25) Make a big difference in at least one person’s life

26) Volunteer

27) Own a beach house or a farm house

28) Spend a week getting pampered at a 5 star spa

29) Start my own business doing something I love

30) Create a website for said business

31) reate enough passive income so that I don’t have to work another day in my life

32) Learn about tax minimization (when I have enough assets etc to make it worthwhile)

33) Have children

34) Pass on a family heirloom to my children

35) Mush a dog sled

36) Visit the San Diego Zoo

37) Live in a restored heritage house / cottage

38) Have a big garden

39) Spend time at a Vipassana/silence retreat

40) Own a dog

41) Attend the Mardi Gras in Sydney

42) Renovate a house DIY style

43) Go travelling with my Dad

44) Go travelling with my Mum

45) Make a living working with kids

46) Plant a tree with my kids and watch them grow

47) Get a professional makeover (makeup, hair, clothes)

48) Go camping in a foreign country

49) Fly first class

50) Have a mud fight

51) Go hot air ballooning

52) Publish a book

53) Learn to sew

54) Swim with whale sharks

55) Learn to surf

56) Make a piece of artwork and hang it on my wall

57) Take a pole dancing class

58) Go island hopping in Greece

59) Get engaged

60) Get married

61) Fall in love

62) Experience a white Christmas

63) Write a list of 100 things that make me happy and take a photo of each

64) Learn to ride a scooter or motorbike

65) Throw a dart at a map (blindfolded) and travel to wherever it lands

66) Visit Disney Land. Better still, take my kids there.

67) Buy a map of the world and pin all of the places I’ve been

68) See an octopus while scuba diving or snorkelling

69) See the Grand Canyon

70) Visit every state in Australia

71) Take my kids on a roadtrip

72) Visit the New 7Wonders of the World + the honourary 8th  (only Petra, Chichzen Itza and the Pyramid of Giza to go!)

73) Visit the New7Wonders of Nature (Jeju Island, Komodo Island, Peurto Princesa Underground River and Table Mountain to go)

74) Visit Zimbabwe

75) Complete a Tough Mudder competition

76) Go on an Alaskan cruise

77) Invest in the share market

78) Own a convertible

79) See a Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas

80) Donate blood

81) Write a journal every day for 100 days

82) Win an overseas holiday

83) Volunteer at a Starlight Foundation children’s hospital play room

84) Learn proper dining etiquette

85) Eat at one of the world’s best restaurants (once I have mastered 84!)

86) Stay in a 6 star hotel

87) Own a house outright (no mortgage)

88) Design and build my dream house

89) Help out a random stranger in distress

90) Raise my kids bilingual

91) Learn and master meditation

92) Try a fried snickers

93) Experience Halloween in America

94) Make a bucket list scrapbook

95) See a glacier

96) Become a foster carer

97) Ride a horse along the beach at sunset

98) Host a bonfire party

99) Attend an Olympic games, or soccer world cup

100) Go spelunking

Sunday, August 04, 2013


It has been a very long while since I last wrote on here, but that's the great thing about the internet - your presence remains for almost all of eternity. That can be a bad thing too of course, but let's focus on the positives :)

A lot has happened in the last 2 months. It honestly feels like so much longer.

I became very unhappy with my job, which led me to being very unhappy with life in general. I felt like a failure - hopping from job to job, not really achieving anything, not being able to settle anywhere and be happy, ruining my CV (because no one wants to employ someone who can't commit!). I was finding the actual work insanely boring, and I couldn't see a path for myself within that organisation. I jumped around from wanting to quit law and study teaching, to wanting to go back to corporate law, to wanting to be a nanny again, to wanting to go back and study medicine, to wanting to... just not be alive.

Before I knew it I had slipped into some sort of depression and I just didn't want to do anything. I would get home from work at 6:30pm and go straight to sleep without dinner, not because I was tired but because I really didn't want to be awake. I binged on chocolate and lollies (because I just didn't care, and needed to get through that minute/hour/day) and isolated myself from everyone. I would also cry for no reason every evening.

There is a lot of truth in this...

No one would have noticed this at work because it was a pretty lonely place, and the expectations of me were so low that I could hardly 'not deliver'. I was doing substandard work but getting good feedback, which is in itself very disheartening.

I really felt like I couldn't get out of the 'hole' I was in, and wanting to be dead (and taking sleeping tablets not to overdose, but just to not be awake so I could escape that feeling) is actually very scary. I knew something was wrong so I went and saw my GP, who hooked me up with a psychologist and put me on anti depressants.

It took about a month, maybe a little less for the anti depressants to start working. I'm not sure how much they contributed to my recovery, because a big part of that was changing jobs. I had started looking for jobs during the worst period, because when I didn't care about life I new that it was time to take drastic measures. It was not a hard choice to leave that job, but I didn't really want to go anywhere else either.

The job I accepted sort of found me - I had been applying via other avenues, which didn't result in anything and this offer came pretty much out of the blue. It's not my dream job, but that probably doesn't exist anyway. I didn't know and still don't know whether it's the right direction to take my career in or the right fit for me, but I didn't have anything to loose and I didn't really have the energy to keep looking elsewhere.

I accepted the new job, and my previous employer made my resignation from there a lot more stressful than it needed to be... but thankfully that's all over now.

So where am I now? I've only been at this new job for two weeks. I'm feeling better than I was, but still feel like I'm balancing on a ledge and teetering over an edge sometimes. It's too early to tell whether I'll be happy in this job and whether it will tick the right boxes, but the people there are nice so it's a good start (I'm trying to be optimistic!).

I'm like this guy!

I know you're thinking - life isn't all about work... that's true, and there's more to the story. I am having boy issues too, but that's another story for another day. My sister is yelling at me to come and watch a movie with her that I said I wanted to watch, so I've got to run!

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