Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Printed Denim

I have to say upfront that I am not a fan of printed denim. It has been around for a while and I was kind of hoping that it would pass me and the rest of the sartorial world by with nary a glance back. Unfortunately though, the buggers have hung in for all they are worth and it seems as if they will still be around for the Southern Hemisphere summer so I thought to myself " What the Heck, if you can't bet 'em, better join 'em" and jumped on over to the dark printed side.

I need to be honest, I am not as daring as a few others I know and I humbly admit that florals in bright and crazy colours are a bit too out of my comfort zone (sorry Simone, sorry Beady). And whilst I do like a bit of animal print, I can't be doing it splattered all over my jeans. So I thought that a subtle lace pattern in grey on grey jeans would be a step in the right direction. So may I present my lace print crop jeans from Free People. They were on sale at Shopbop which makes me very happy in that it wasn't a big layout to be bang on trend. After a bit of lounging in my wardrobe (with tags intact in case of return), they have finally made their debut. The jury is still out on whether they will be a wardrobe staple worn until they wear out sometime in summer 2012/2013 or if they will just be a little fly by night fancy. One positive is that at least Honey Boo seemed to like them!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Impending arrivals

This weekend just gone was spent in the lovely surrounds of Melbourne, attending my cousin's baby shower. Her little girl is due to arrive in less then 4 weeks although just quietly, many of the Mums in attendance suspect that baby hanging on for another 4 weeks is really only an outside chance - the money is well and truly on an early arrival (which my cousin would probably be VERY happy with!). The great thing about baby showers, apart from catching up with everyone and seeing all the baby cuteness on display, is the amazing food on offer - just like a high tea only with all of my childhood favourites including jelly cakes, woo hoo! Even better, I came home with a prize. As my only claim to mothering fame is that Honey Boo, the cutest puddy in the world, is still alive after 7 months in our house, no-one was more surprised then me. The facts on babies that I have stored away in my head is mind boggling as it turns out. Mind you, I am sure it is all down to me being a marketing department's dream - everything I have learnt about babies has come straight from TV ads on Huggies and J&J baby shampoo.

There was also some shopping to be had too. What is a trip away without shopping after all. I don't know why it is but although the same shops are in Sydney, when you visit them in another location, they seem so much better. Maybe it is having Mum and Auntie S there to provide helpful advice makes it more fun. Anyway, I splurged in Zara (yep, it was a weekend of suprises), Target and even picked up some new tan ankle boots on the way back to the hotel to collect my baggage. It was brilliant visiting all of the old lane ways and arcades I used to know so well when I lived in Melbourne and I loved the Collins Place display which was a cheeky nod to Melbourne's rainy weather...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter with us

I woke this morning to find the Easter Bunny had thoughtfully brought me yummy handmade chocolate eggs from the French patisserie down the road. Wow, I was seriously super-excited to find these on my bedside table! And as is usually the way with long weekends spent in Sydney, Eady and I then headed off with our baby Weber for a BBQ in our local beachside park with some of the inlaws. 

After eating far too many sausages in bread, chocolate cupcakes and easter eggs then is recommended in any one day, I decided it was high time to lay back on our picnic rug and relax. 

Eady on the other hand decided it was high time to teach our 3 year old niece Immi, just how closely related to chimps we really are. So convincing was his performance atop the wire jungle that I was certain someone would call Taronga Zoo to report a wild chimp had escaped and was causing a ruckus at nearby Clifton Gardens...

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Pros and Cons of Our First Renovation

Whilst we bask in the peace and solitude of our "new" house with no tradesmen making noise and ever more mess and all rooms now fully operational, I thought I would summarise the highs and lows of our first renovation experience:

The Highs:

Removal of the hideous faux-federation balustrading and skirting boards

No more cream carpets

No beige, nothing even close to being beige, anywhere in the house

The lights, the one in the living area especially!

Our electricians (see below) and most of our tradies

The colours, the floors, the walls and furniture. We love it all!

Our budget, only because we stuck to it and didn't spend all of the emergency funds (phew!)

The Lows:

Wiring that ran across floors and upstairs that was discovered only when the carpet was ripped up

The smell of paint, glue, solvents and waterproofing membrane

Project Managing the renos whilst holding down a full-time job (aaaargh!)

The DUST!!!

The alcoholic painter that drank our open bottle of wine in the fridge, got copious amounts of paint on our new carpet and bedding and then tried to hide the evidence in the shrubbery outside our front gate. He was caught in the act  by the electrician who took a photo and emailed straight to us (Yay, we love you Josh!)

The sheer inconvenience of living, eating, sleeping in one room (or having to de-camp to the inlaws place)

I do have to say that all of the lows resolved themselves easily enough and dare I say it, I have almost forgotten the stress involved now that I can look around and appreciate the home we have. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The inside is done!

It has been a very busy month since my last blog post and why is this so? One simple word for you - renovations. My gosh, what a stress they are! I don't think I ever fully appreciated the sheer extent of madness they can cause in even the most sane and sensible of people. Surely witnessing the huge number of tears shed on every renovation show we have ever watched should have given us some insight but no, we were none the wiser when we woke up in excitement on the first day of "Renovations Stage 1A" only a few weeks ago. And in all honesty, having come through the other side, I don't think there is ever anything that can fully prepare you for the intense highs and lows that occur when your long saved for and hard-won house is at the mercy of builders and tradesmen and meticulously drawn-up quotes. Even though our renos paled into insignificance compared to the wild and whacky plans unleashed on "Grand Designs" (ah, Kevin McCloud, not just the thinking girl's crumpet but probably a very handy person to have around when debating measurements and all things structural), the anxiety levels reached fever pitch for both Eady and I. Luckily for our sanity and that of Honey Boo, the cutest puddy in the world, we never lost the plot at the same time.

Here we are though, one month later, and I am pleased to say that "Stage 1A" is now complete. We tackled most of the townhouse in this phase, both upstairs and downstairs, and rather then looking like the dated-early-1980s-faux-federation-drowning-in-beige place that it was, we now have quite a simple and elegant look that mixes a very modern colour palate with a mix of modern classic and retro styling. In a nutshell, we have solid floorboards downstairs, charcoal carpets upstairs, soft grey walls and vivid white woodwork throughout. We made all of the decisions ourselves, without engaging any professional help and we both really love what we have created. Downstairs has been described by a Stylist we engaged for the outdoor area (Stage 1B!)  as "very masculine" which is interesting given that most of the suggestions we went with came through me. In this area, we have paired modern white and black gloss furniture with some very cool light fittings which were first released in the 1970s and sourced through our new favourite lighting store in Surry Hills to create a very stream-lined and minimalist living space. For two Type A personalities like us where clutter of any kind is not just unwelcome but down-right distressing(!), we just love the clean lines and clinical colours we went with. Not to say that the space is cold, it definitely isn't thanks to the soft grey we used on the walls but rather it is more low maintenance and perfect for getting home from work and knowing that everything is as it should be with no "stuff" to distract us from relaxing. Upstairs is definitely a little more relaxed. Same colour palate but softened with charcoal carpets, oak furniture in our bedroom and white and red in our study, with plantation shutters throughout and lets of personal effects too that remind us of our travels and experiences. 

The planning for our outdoor space is nearly done and work should kick-off in about 2 weeks time in what we have imaginatively called Stage 1B (work with me people, between an accountant and former project manager we like our simple and concise names). With all of the issues around plumbing and fencing and asbestos, we can't wait for the first bit of soil to be turned or in this case, first brick paver be removed! So ideally we are looking at everything being done by June. Well I say that, but we do need to update our wardrobe doors and re-do the bathroom even though a lick of paint has done wonders to both. Planning Stage 2 already? Seems we may well have caught the renovation bug....

Monday, 5 March 2012

Back to the Grind Stone

As the sun rose this morning,  I realised that our holiday had officially come to an end and it was time to head back to The Office and the reality of earning a living. Luckily for me, I love work and the people I work with so I was quite excited to be heading back. I'm sure my plan to debut a new outfit recently purchased over in Hawaii helped too! Hooray then for my new navy and white polka dot shift dress from Tommy Hilfiger. By the end of the day, I realised just how easy this dress was to wear and how super-comfy too (just like a beach dress only corporate!) and after only the first wear, it has now become my new favourite work outfit. Paired with my Jimmy Choo patent flats and a navy Zara cardigan, I was ready to hit the desk running on Day 1 post-holiday.

In other news, our renovations started this morning with prep work being the key aim for the builders today. So when Honey Boo, the cutest puddy in the world and I came home this evening, we found the carpets and skirting boards had been ripped up, the balustarding on the stairs had been ripped out and a water-proof membrane painted on the downstairs floor which can't be walked on until tomorrow morning. It is messy and dusty and a tad inconvenient but also very exciting! And the best thing ever about the builders? After taking Honey Boo to work with me today so she wouldn't get in the way (she was a terrible flirt with John Paul, one of our builders, when he came to do his measurements. It was really quite a shameless spectacle but he seemed to fall for it hook, line and sinker!) and knowing we couldn't access the kitchen to get to her food, the builders left a selection of puddy treats on the stairs for her dinner. Who says flirting doesn't pay?!!


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Oh Hawaii, how I miss you!

Well it is back to reality and a wet and drizzly Sydney and whilst it is nice to be home and snuggling up to Honey Boo, the cutest puddy cat in the world, I am pining just a little for warm and sunny Hawaii. Not to mention our new second home, the Moana Surf Rider Hotel in Waikiki. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this hotel! For it's early 1900s elegance, relaxed vibe and prime position on our favourite shopping strip in the whole wide world, it just can't be beat. 

As for the shopping, the haul this trip was truly spectacular thanks to a strong Aussie dollar and some clever and well-planned purchasing by Eady and I. A trip to the outlets where we bought amongst other things 3 pairs of Sketchers trainers for Mum for less then the price of 1 pair here in Oz, my favourite Calvin Klein bras for less then half price and some preppy gear from Polo Ralph Lauren. A trip (or two to be precise) to the Alamoana Shopping centre for lots of J. Crew and some Gap items for people back home and even the odd purchase or two from the boutiques near our hotel after early evening cocktails by the pool (Seriously, this must be the smartest business move ever - Happy hour at the local bars followed by a late-night trading until 11pm every night by the local retailers...). It all made for a bountiful haul that literally covered our hotel bed by the time we were ready to leave. Luckily we just managed to get it all into our bags and come in under the Jetstar weight allowance...

On the food front, there were some notable meals. Wolfgang's (New York style steakhouse that had us digesting red meat for days), The Beach House at Moana Surf Rider (romantic table on the balcony overlooking the water) and of course our perennial favourite, the Cheesecake Factory, where you are guaranteed to come out three sizes larger and 5 kilos heavier then when you came in. I pondered how the wait staff could stay so slim working at a place that offers no less then 30 different cheesecakes on the menu each day so decided to ask one of our waitresses:

Cole K: How do you guys manage to stay so skinny working here?
Waitress (in an incredulous tone): Oh, we don't eat the food!
Cole K: Ha, Ha!
Waitress: No seriously, even our salads are fattening
Cole K: Oh
Waitress: Yes, you can always tell the people that eat our food
Cole K: Hmmmm
Waitress: Would you guys like some cheesecake?
Cole K: No, we might pass this time.

One notable disappointment on the food front was Nobu, a modern Japanese restaurant that is critically acclaimed not only in Hawaii but around the globe too. We have dined here previously (as well as a few other Nobu restaurants in other locations) and were so excited to be dining there again on this trip. In fact, so excited that we planned to go twice in the 9 nights we had in Waikiki. Unfortunately though, we only made it once as whilst the food was impeccable, the service was absolutely appalling. For a while there we completely forgot we were dining in the US, usually the home of exceptional customer service. It appeared as if we were not the only people on the night to have this experience judging by the reactions of customers at nearby tables. Some of the issues we had were waiting 20 minutes for our wine despite making 3 requests for it, Eady being told to ensure he finishes his cocktail before the wine is brought out (WTF?), asking questions about the food and cooking techniques and having the waiter just read out the menu description rather then answering our questions (if you don't know, just ask the chef!) and even having one waiter interupt us in mid-conversation with another waiter by phsyically hip-and-shouldering him out of the way like a professional AFL player. And these were just a few of the complaints we had. It was so disappointing that we didn't leave a tip at all (crazy move in the US I know but it almost ruined the night for us) and even made a complaint to the manager via the concierage at our hotel. Thankfully a strawberry daiquiri and some soothing Hawaiian tunes from the local duo playing back at our hotel meant the night ended on a high for us anyway. Yay for the Moana Surf Rider!

All in all, we had a fabulous time in Hawaii. Lots of shopping, sight-seeing, eating and chill-axing which is pretty much the perfect holiday for us!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

North Shore Relaxation

Tuesday has dawned in heaven on earth i.e. Hawaii, which means we are already 5 days into our holiday. Slow down time, you're moving way too fast for us chilled-out entertainers. I guess it really is true that time flies when you're having fun (or doing nothing more then moving from bed to deck chair and back again). We have been staying at a resort on the North Shore of Oahu, which shouldn't be confused at all with the North Shore in Sydney even if the number of 4WDs on the road is roughly equivalent. We even managed to leave the resort long enough to find an authentic Mexican place a short bus trip away called "Los Chalos". Bring on the frozen margaritas and the most amazing chicken fajitas and re-fried beans ever!

Monday, 20 February 2012

A Girls Weekend and then a Holiday!

Whilst in Hobart for the conference, I was joined by my Mum who flew in on Friday afternoon to spend some time with me. We had a lovely girls weekend - lots of seafood, shopping and champagne! We spent a lot of time at the Salamanca markets on Saturday and trawling through the galleries close by. We bought quite a few accessories between us (could this be the biggest understatement of 2012 so far?!!). I got some lovely earrings and a throw for home which should compliment the renos we are starting in March and Mum got a beautiful scarf for herself and one for Auntie S too. We had a fabulous time and it was sad to get back on a plane on Sunday - Mum heading back to Melbourne and me back to Sydney.

Luckily though it was a short week at work as Eady and I headed off to Hawaii for a holiday on Thursday! Our first visit to this heaven-on-earth was about 18 months ago after an adult lifetime of avoidance (tourist trap anyone?) but cheap Jetstar flights and a hot Aussie dollar convinced us to take the chance back then. Gosh, we are sure glad we did! We had a fabulous time first time around and are delighted to be back for the second time, woo hoo!!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Hobart Conference - Day 1

The last part of this week has seen me conferencing in the beautiful surrounds of Hobart. It has been a fantastic experience, I feel I have learnt so much already - it has broadened my view on a number of different management issues and given me more then a few tools to take back to The Office. The networking has been very good too. The conference was restricted to around 90 attendees so there has been plenty of opportunity to meet and have quality discussions with everyone that I wanted to. There sure are some very inspiring people out there!

As for the dress code, it was business or smart casual on Day One. I decided to play it safe and wore business dress in the form of my new J. Crew dress (thanks NAP, this dress was a bargain buy in your sale!) accessorized with a black jacket, patent black shoes and belt and my Coco necklace from Red Phoenix.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The excitement that is a Net-a-Porter parcel

When a parcel arrives from Net-a-Porter, I'm not the only one in the house who gets excited. Sure, the package is addressed to me, sure the goodies inside are for me but Honey Boo, the cutest puddy in the world, takes immediate claim to the ribbon and tissue paper. And as for her levels of excitement about this? Well it isn't an exaggeration to say it is on par with my excitement in getting the Joseph flats I wanted pre-Christmas for half price in the NAP sale i.e DOUBLE woo hoo!! Yep, nothing seems to keep Honey Boo so amused as shredding black tissue paper all over our crumpled white bedding. Mind you, she looks so adorable decked out in her Net-a-Porter ribbon, I'm happy to forgive the mess and clean-up after her!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Home Improvements are on the Horizon!

Being a science geek and more recently "a suit" in my day gig, I was very chuffed this weekend to be asked by a super cool retailer "Do you work in interiors?" This very unexpected thing happened to me whilst doing some home renovation research in Surry Hills i.e. the capital of cool homewares. Eady was there to witness this miraculous event, miraculous as budgeting and management are really the antithesis of anything remotely creative so to be accidentally mistaken for one of the arty brigade really was a miracle that made me giddy with excitement. Hence the re-living of it every 5 minutes: "Gosh, babe, how funny that they thought I was an Interior Designer?" (Cue preening and self-deprecating shrug whilst Eady smiles and nods his head for the 150+ time).

Anyway, compliment aside, the home improvements are really at a very exciting stage which is reason enough for some giddiness on my part. We have now done all of the hard work for phase one of the townhouse project - chosen colours, materials and suppliers so we are all good to go come March. Woo hoo! In a nutshell, we are updating flooring (upstairs and down), two staircases and an outdoor area and then replacing window dressings upstairs and furniture downstairs. For the downstairs flooring, we have decided on bamboo as it is very environmentally friendly and super hard-wearing and therefore more likely to stand-up to any punishment metered out by Jimmy Choo. We debated about floating floorboards but have decided to go with the solid, stick-down variety as we absolutely abhor squeaky floors plus we love the feel of something solid under foot. It was a huge decision about whether to go carpet or bamboo on our dog-legged stairs and mezzanine level due to the amount of work needed to make each step symmetrical and even but bamboo won out in the end and we are quite excited by this as it will really make a feature of the staircases. We are going for a mid-brown colour (the bottom sample in the photo to the right) which we think will work really well with both our current furniture and new furniture. 

Upstairs we are going to stick with carpet but go for something which is much easier to keep clean then the current cream sisal. Greys and charcoals are my favourite shades and to offset the colour of the timber flooring and stairs, we have selected a beautiful dark grey carpet. We had our bedroom furniture made last year in Tasmanian Oak and think the carpet will look fantastic against these pieces plus the feature wall which we are re-painting to a cool pale lime / soft green colour. The other walls are a soft vanilla, the ceiling and plantation shutters will be in white. We love the thought of all of this combined so fingers crossed it works as well in the bedroom as it does in my mind! The study is also very accommodating to grey carpet as our furniture is white, large accessories are red with some anodised aluminium thrown in for good measure.

For the plantation shutters upstairs we are going streamlined with narrow louvres and narrow panels (the top sample in the photo right). They will be made up so that each window is made up of 2 x 2 bifold shutters for a total of 4 shutters per window. We felt that if we did want to open the shutters and allow some sun in (in all honesty, there is 0% chance of that happening as we face South!) or watch the fireworks in the harbour at night, we can do so easily and without the shutters taking up hugs amounts of room when open. I really love the look of plantation shutters although the wider louvres (bottom sample in the picture right) really seem to be more suited to a Queenslander and not a teeny, tiny townhouse in inner Sydney. I have seen examples of both sizes in properties nearby and I am pretty certain we have made the right decision. I guess we will know for sure in about 3 weeks time...

Friday, 27 January 2012

Big Day Out (BDO) 2012

When we bought our tickets to the 2012 BDO back in October last year, on a day that was unseasonably warm and with no threat of rain or storms, we were well on board. We planned our day and we booked our hotel - being middle-aged and lazy, we no longer do trains home after a big day out at Homebush but choose to stay in the luxury that is the Pullman Hotel, some 10kms from home instead. However, as the day got closer and the weather forecasts predicted doom and gloom, we got more and more concerned. So it was a huge surprise that the Australia Day 2012 dawned bright and shiny! And what's more, the weather gods really went all out for the whole day. Not one shower and some pretty intense sunshine too. Bingo.

It was by far the best BDO I have been too. Unlike previous years, we spent most of our day in the main arena, switching spots on the grass or in the stand to get the best vantage point depending on what stage was being used and how hot the sun was. I loved The Jezebels, my definite priority for the BDO and the first band we headed off to see. Eady loved the Hilltop Hoods and just like two years ago, they whipped the crowd up into a frenzy. Living End, although not a band that we would list in our top 10 favourites, were the consumate performers and everyone went kinda crazy watching them which made it a lot of fun. Kanye West was very good as expected (we saw him a couple of times before when he supported U2 in Australia) but the show was a bit self-indulgent and more suited to a concert then a festival. Note to Kanye, the kiddies just want to sing and dance, not watch theatrics and fireworks. Kasabian were definitely the highlight of the day although a shout out to Noel Gallagher too. We only caught the last half of his show due to bloody Kanye's melodramatics but what we did see was very cool and very much like what we expected Noel to be like.

After our night in the hotel, there was no time to lounge around in our king-size bed. We had a 6.30am wake-up to ensure that we could get to work on time. Aaaargh, the things we responsible adults have to do to fund our social lives...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Lazy Days

I worked from home today and despite me working super hard, not everyone in the house pulled their weight...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gourmet and Grit

Eady has been keen to try a Mexican restaurant recommended to him by a work colleague for weeks called El Barrio in Bayswater Road, Kings Cross. So when I booked tickets to see "The Boys" at a theatre just down the road after completely forgetting my vow to avoid any travel that involved a trip over the Harbour Bridge over the two weekends that works were being carried out, we decided to give El Barrio a go. We headed there for a "kiddie-timed" dinner at 6pm so that we could make the theatre by 7pm. As the food can be ordered in the style of tapas, this wasn't a problem at all and the staff were fabulous about ensuring we would be able to finish in time. Everything was handmade: from the guacamole to the pulled pork on corn chips to the 3 different flavours of tacos we ate - crumbed flat head (heaven in our collective mouths!), frejoles and chicken. The margaritas were sensational too. Eady managed to down two in the hour we were there and even finished off mine whilst giving blessing for the fact he married such a light-weight in the alcohol consumption stakes. The style of the decor was really lovely too and had me thinking about adding concrete floors and exposed brick walls to our list of renovation musts for our townhouse...

After dinner, it was off to the Griffin Theatre where "The Boys" was being staged. I have seen the movie by the same name a number of times (gritty Australian drama being my  most favourite movie genre), which was taken from the original stage production that debuted in Sydney some 20 years ago. It is loosely based on what became known in the media at the time as "The Anita Cobby Killing", a horrific and sadistic murder committed against a young female nurse by a group of 3 brothers. The play was set in the backyard of the house in which the brothers lived and the scenes alternated between pre and post-crime. It reflected on the build-up to the crime and the misogynistic views the brothers had not only towards the women in their lives but the female race in general. It touched on class themes, family loyalty at all costs, feelings of inferiority the brothers had as well as the effect prison can have on someone and the question of rehabilitation within the prison system. It also highlighted not only the acceptance by the women in the lives of the brothers of their faults but the resignation they felt in that the attitudes and behaviour displayed were just part of being a man "It's the thing you see all the time, on street corners and outside pubs...it's a kind of energy and it's full of nothing but evil".  It was quite harrowing to watch at times, particularly in the second half and I was not the only person grappling with the sheer hatred displayed towards women by the three main characters. Despite the challenging themes, Eady and I both thought the production was brilliant and were really pleased to be able to see such a riveting Australian production. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

My boots are made for walking!

When you wake up to a weather forecast of 26C and showers in the height of summer, you just have to make the best of it and for me that usually means warm weather clothing paired with wet weather footwear. Strappy shoes (or god forbid, anything as delicate as a Chanel ballet slipper) are definitely not the best choice in my personal opinion, for traipsing from the grassy carpark to the office and back again. So, taking the glass half full view of Sydney's crazy summer weather, I decided to debut my new tan Belstaff boots. They were purchased on our recent Christmas trip to ye ole Blighty, where on the last Saturday before flying home the combination of a quick one hour madcap shop in Hampstead with my sister, a strong Aussie dollar in the post-Christmas sales plus my sister's own desire to buy herself some boots, resulted in a purchase of a pair of my very own. I have wanted a pair of tan boots with a wooden stacked heel forever, ones that looked a little bit 70s mixed with a little bit country and preferably well below the knee so they could be worn all year round back in Oz. It just so happened that these were the ticket. Add to that 25% off plus a VAT refund at the airport, it was just too good a deal to pass up. So my feelings after my first wear? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these boots!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Culture Vultures Tour 2012 - J Mascis

We decided to start our cultural new year off with a shout-out to our glory days - the 90s where we had no responsibilities other then getting to a uni lecture on time, with bonus points if that happened after no sleep the night before. The first event of 2012 saw us off to enjoy the music of J Mascis, the founder and frontman of Dinosaur Junior, in the Spielgeltent in Hyde Park where he was playing as part of the Sydney Festival 2012. Eady somehow managed to snaffle some tickets when they were first released and was giddy with excitement as the last time he had seen J was at one of the first Big Day Outs back in the early 90s, definitely a long time between drinks in anyone's pub! But 20 years seemed to have passed in a blur for most of us there, J included - Eady and I love a concert but love an early finish even more especially now that age and work commitments have wearied us. So the 7pm kick off was brilliant! Luckily it was only the start of the brilliance of the night as J was amazing. His voice has matured so much and is so deep and resonating. Without the backing of his band, the acoustic show definitely had a Country-meets-California vibe about it, even with the old Dinosaur Junior songs he played.

As for the Speigeltent, it was our first experience of this temporary venue and I have to say it was pretty amazing. The interior is like an old-fashioned circus tent with lead-light windows and a giant chandelier dangling from the Big Top. There are chairs in front of the teeny stage at one end, booths around the sides of the tent with a standing section near the entrance. It feels as if the venue only holds a handful of people and there is not one bad seat in the house, even the standing room offers fabulous views. Despite a big queue, we got ourselves 3rd row seats (after declining front row) and just chilled with some wine for the duration of the show. This really is concert-going for the old and weary!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Back to Work for 2012

Today was my first day back at The Office after our Christmas in the UK. After dressing in civvies suitable for winter in the northern hemisphere for the last few weeks, it was time to get back into 9 to 5 dressing for summer in Sydney. The dress code at The Office is best described as relaxed, where being identified as "A Suit" means that you are out of touch with reality and lacking in some serious NFP credibility. Aaaaargh, the pressure! I wanted to make an effort i.e. not immediately resort back to jeans, sandals and singlets of my pre-Christmas wardrobe but not so much of an effort that I came over all corporate. Gosh, no wonder my brain was tired before I even left home! With all of these priorities balanced in my mind, today's 2012 debut outfit turned out to be:

My top is from a cute little shop in Surry Hills, my skirt from Country Road and new Jimmy Choos fresh from London (the flat version of my heeled favourites which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!) accessorised with two necklaces, the white one of which was a Christmas present from my SIL, Beady. Even though I did get a lovely compliment on my outfit today, I am already feeling tempted by the ease of dressing in denim so we shall see what tomorrow brings...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Quick Update

My, how time flies when you're having fun! It has been quite some time since my last blog post - 3 months to be exact. So how did 2011 end up? Well, work-wise, I started a new role in a new company in a new industry back in July. It has been an incredible experience and I have loved every minute of the new challenges and experiences that these changes have brought with them. I had a major KPI due before the end of 2011 and I am very excited to say that a few late nights and a bit of craziness meant that this was actually achieved at the end of November - woo hoo! There is obviously some personal satisfaction that results from coming in ahead of time on major deadlines but more importantly, now that I have left the dark corporate side and joined a Not-for-Profit company, it is the benefits that our target audience will receive that really drive and motivate me. My days are spent working to directly benefit people with a physical disability, as opposed to making money to buy the CEO's second private jet(!). Trust me, overtime is so much easier to handle when there is an altruistic reason behind it.

As for Eady, he was offered a very exciting promotion in his company back in October. Now a CFO for an Australian retail company, he needs to keep a very tight rein on spending within the company amongst other accountant-y type things. Apart from the obvious pride I have, the fact that he scrutinises company bank balances all day has meant that he has had less inclination to scrutinise home finances which I have taken complete and unashamed advantage of over the last couple of months. The plus of this is that the global economy continues to be sustained by internet shopping purchases linked to one particular IP address in Australia that may or may not be connected to my ipad/Mac/iphone...However, I do acknowledge that I need to be more fiscally responsible especially now that we have a new addition to the household - our tabby/tortie cross, Honey Boo! She is the cutest puddy, she never cries, is quite independent but still loves a good cuddle too. She was abandoned at about 3.5 weeks of age when she had only just opened her eyes and hadn't yet been weaned. A work colleague found her on a roundabout in a busy Sydney street and we all took turns to do her 4 hourly dropper feeds in our very pet-friendly office and then taking turns to look after her at night. When it was my turn, she just never left! She has even won over very anti-cat Eady too, which is no mean feat.

On the home front, all is well and life in Sydney's lower North Shore has continued to be nice and relaxed, albeit on a much cooler scale then we would like given the time of the year. Our home suburb is undergoing quite the metamorphosis at the moment, all thanks to Clover's new liquor licensing laws and we now have a veritable selection of local bars and new restaurants to eat at, all within a 5 minute walk of home. Apart from sheer convenience, this also means we no longer covert the lifestyle on offer in the Eastern suburbs or in our old home town of Melbourne :)

On a final note, Eady and I spent Christmas and New Year with my family in London which was wonderful. More to follow on that topic in later posts once the jet lag has cleared!