Sunday, 29 September 2013

Couture Conundrums (A closet of clothes and not a thing to wear....)

Hi There and happy Monday to you.

It has been footy finals fever in Melbourne. All of the experts, myself included, come out of the woodwork. I went to a grand final party at a friend's flat in St. Kilda.

The weather was very Melbourne. The usually calm beaches on Port Philip Bay looked like surf beaches. At this time of the year, Melbs can only do glorious days occasionally.

I had hoped that Freo would win, as I love an underdog, but watching their kicking was rather frustrating.... in the end, the Hawks outplayed them.

And that is as much as I have to say about the footy.

On Friday, I went to the shopping centre to check out what is in fashion. I was prepared to splash some cash. The squally weather notwithstanding, I need to summerify my wardrobe.

I also need to inject a bit of colour - going through my wardrobe, there is a lot of black.

I have come to the conclusion that the shops, especially some of the bigger chains (you, Witchery) do not want my money.

There is lots of stuff for the petites (6-10) and a growing collection for 16 and above (this is great), but all of the in-between 12 to 14 styles run out the door, and I come a bit late to the party. I see lots of stuff I love, but my size has run out. Wahhhh.WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY MONEY, RETAILERS?

One sure way to put me in a bad mood is to take me jeans shopping. I often fly into a rage and sulk. Often my size is sold out. I am not comfortable getting a pair online, because I am scared they won't look right.

What I want at the moment is a pair of summer jeans,  in a nice mid-blue rinse.

Levis the bloom legging
The wearing and marks on the denim are not my cuppa tea. Perhaps the Wrangler ones?
Wrangler Twiggy
I've never tried Wrangler, and I don't know how they would sit.

The ones I really want are at Witchery, but they are sold out online (so I can't give you a picture) and hard to find in my size in store.

I would like a nude wedge (that sounds a bit dirty....) What do you think of these?

They are called Wine. They are from Wittner.

Until I find my perfect pair of jeans, and get my Wine Wedges, I will have to make do with what is in my wardrobe. I have some great pieces, but I struggle to style them nicely...

What should I put with this Binny Maxi (aka Nina) Skirt for a long summer afternoon.... a black singlet? Any other ideas?

What about this Gorman Skirt that I got on special a couple of months ago?

And, the biggest conundrum, what can I wear with these shoes? That don't make my legs look stumpy....Have been just doing skinny black jeans....

Come, style mavens.... do your thing. Nikki and Melissa....can you come play?

Do you have a jeans brand that you swear by? Good for bigbumbigthighsshortlegs?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Pats on the back, and Facepalms. Miscellania.

On behalf of all of us in Melbourne, I would like to say "Go Home Melbourne Weather, You are Drunk".

Melbourne Weather. And Bins. Yuk and Yuk.

After a few days of sunshine, we are into blustery wintery weather. Gah.

I loved the comments on the last post. Naomi, you need your own magazine column (or indeed Magazine). Just like a chat over cocktails at a trendy bar. Apropos the boobs of Claire Danes, I agree, but I think that frock needs small boobage. Plus she is probably breastfeeding so more power to her.

But it just shows you, doesn't it, about how subjective fashion is. And it is good that we have women other than size zero in the public eye.


It is a bit of a habit of some of us (ie Me) to be self-denigrating. We have instilled in us not to be too big for our, that would be arrogant. And, sometimes, the only time we have our work fed back to us is when we stuff up rather than the times we did good.

So that causes a tendency towards focussing on the stuff we did wrong, or poorly (or even just feel we did wrong, even if in reality we did fine) rather than the stuff we do good.

It is important that we are reflective, that we learn from our cock-ups, and try and do better next time. It helps also to reflect on the stuff that we did good.

Especially given the...ahem...boat troubles I have...

So here are some good things I have done recently:

  • Started a weight training session, with a Personal Trainer, in a group (so it's less spenny). Seriously, all women should lift weights, and it is more important as one ages. It's important to do it properly and move in a functional manner. I can feel myself firming up. The arm-guns are a little way off though...
  • Eating good, healthy meals. Giving it attention. Enjoying cooking. It can be so tempting to have takeaway, or eat out. My fella is a bit of a fan of that. I am happily the wet blanket on that. I am happy to cook (more so since he does the washing up). I have mostly kept the alcohol out of the weekdays too - dry July helped in that sense.
  • Catching myself when I start getting down on myself. Looking at myself objectively, rather than through the "you are not good enough" lens.
  • I am slowly getting the hang of procrastinating less and getting a bit more organised. Check this article out. It's about the golden hour. I will try and have a to-do list ready on the Monday morning, going forward.
  • I am seriously thinking of using the money I earn from a lecture I give to buy a Thermomix. My friend has one, and she says it changed her life.

There are a couple of things - first is that these types of good things must be done consistently to have a benefit, and secondly, that the benefits will come gradually and I need to be patient.

Here are some dumb things I have done recently:

  • I ate wasabi peas before run training. Wasabi. Peas. Running. No.
  • I drank a red bull (sugarfree of course) at 4pm. At 12 midnight I reflected that this was not one of the brightest things I have done. 
In other, unrelated news, I baked a cake. It has a lot of butter in it. And a few bananas and walnuts. I got the recipe off SSG, her melt and mix banana cake.

What positive changes have you made recently?
Do you own a thermomix?
What's the weather like where you reside?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Weekend. Haute Couture.

Happy (atleastitisn'tmonday) TUESDAY!

How are youse?

You will all sleep better knowing that my lurgy is gone and my sinuses are clear. I am a picture of glowing health.

You will also be glad to know that Lovenest 1.0 is go - my fella and I have been approved to rent a nice terrace place in a hip inner city suburb. Regular readers are welcome to come and stay. You supply the wine, we'll supply the cheese.

My weekend was fairly quiet, we have had our share of big weekends. The big thing I did on Sunday morning was a 10km fun run, the first of the Spring into Shape series. Melbourne was showing off, weather wise. It was a glorious day, but perhaps a touch hot for a run. I managed to run my very worst 10km time in, like, forever.

I suppose I was due one of them. At least I got out there. And I had a nice yap with other people on the course.

Today I am going to talk a little bit about couture. Since we have been awash with red carpet events; the Emmys and Brownlows. I have a passing interest in style, insofar as I wear clothes, and I like them to look good on me. I am not one so much for fashion (it's Passe here in the inner north of Melb), but I may embrace one or two elements...

I am also not-reed-thin, and it is good to see more normal looking women on the red carpets.

We have to talk about Lena.

 Lena! Listen! I am all for our telly screens being filled with interesting, quirky, non-classically beautiful women; I am one of them! It is long overdue.

But girl, I don't think this dress would've looked good on anyone. The hair is very coffee with girlfriends.

I am aware that there is a whole "fuck flattering" movement in the fatshion scene, but I think it is a bunch of people cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Work it! This is how...

Here Kelly does it well.... she rocks a boob, a little waist and a statement colour (though not Purple hair, unfortunately)

Mindy (Iveneverheardofyou) Kaling....BAM! Perfection

Christina is the Queen of BAM....

My favourite frock of the other ladies at the Emmys.... Michelle Dockery. It was a little controversial and got some "ew" from those in the know, but I liked it. A few more accessories perhaps?

Also loved Claire Danes..

We also need to talk, Amanda Peet...

Brynne at the Brownlow....You are getting there! Well done you! Is it a Herve Leger?

Whose frock did you like?
What would you have put Lena Dunham in?

Have a good week! x

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Why I run.

Harro! My this week has gone quick!

The weather here in Melbourne can only be described as very Typical Melburnian - Sunny in the morning, pissing it down in the arvo....



Anyone who knows me knows I go to run training at regular times during the week. I stop work, down tools, go home, get change, and hot foot it to the park to meet my fellow running ladies and coach.

9 times out of ten, I have a dozen excuses. Too tired. Too busy. Hungry. Tired.....Can't be bothered...Cold....wet....windy...gah.

9.8 times out of 10 I feel better for going. 10 times out of 10 I feel no worse. That's why I go, barring illness or very inclement weather.

Lately, I have struggled with my running mojo. Remember mojo? I love that word. Kind of Japaneasy, don't you think?

He lost his mojo, then found it again. Yeah, baby.
Perhaps in keeping with a bit of a lowered mood, I get down on myself. Harsh. Too slow. Too fat. Why do you even DO this to yourself....Stress on joints.. blah blah.
I know. Unhelpful.

My friend and I were talking after the session. She was at a running seminar, given by an Ultramarathoner.

He said: Remember the why.

So I got to thinking.... Here are my whys:
  • To help with my mood
  • To help with my body image (mine, I've struggled with, but it is better when I exercise regularly)
  • The social element - I run with some great women who I enjoy seeing.
  • To keep up fitness
  • To keep my weight under control (why must we talk about our weight like it a noxious weed? Perhaps that is one of the reasons why my body weight is a fraught issue - as with many women)
  • To challenge myself
  • Meditative (when I am in the right headspace)
Speaking of headspace, I was all busy getting a bit down on myself while out running. I've just come back from being ill and it is a bit of a struggle.

Then I thought to myself "For Chrissake, woman, you are out here running, doing intervals, the weather is bad, and you've just been ill. What do you WANT from yourself. You got out the door!"

It was a struggle to even get out the door today, I was tired. 85% of it is simply getting out the door.

I took up running knowing that I was never going to be the best at it, and I thought this would be good for me. The validation needs to come from within. I need to pat myself on the back each time I get out the door, just for getting out there, because plenty of people don't.

Whenever I think I can't do something, I always think back to 22/4/2012, in London. 42.2km of Glory.

here is a link to a photo of me running the marathon! I couldn't import the picture...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Medicinal Curried Sausages. Other things...

Hi Lovelies!
I hope your weekend was good.
Mine was rather quiet - I was under the weather. I still am, a bit.

As promised, I will provide my recipe for curried sausages. It is the food of my childhood. Down to earth and a bit bastardised.

It was borne out of a few hankerings for Aussie Retrotastic Food, and comfort. I dreamed up the recipe, discussed it with people and got some ideas from them. I cooked it the first time the day I signed my divorce papers, just over a year ago. It was a rough day that day, and a plate of this made me feel immeasurably better.

The first day of the rest of my life, I suppose.

I subsequently cooked it for my colleagues at work, and bought it in for lunch. It reminded my PhD supervisor of his days as a young hospital resident, when they gave out meals.

Bear in mind that, when cooking, I rarely use exact measures, so I encourage you to adjust as you need to. This recipe serves 4-6.

You need:
  • 2 packets of coles lilydale chicken sausages (use the equivalent amount of others if you like, 1 packet has 6 smallish sausages)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 small carrots, diced finely
  • 2 small sticks of celery, diced finely
  • 1 peeled and grated granny smith apple
  • handful of sultanas
  • some olive/vegetable oil
  • about 1/2-1 litre of chicken stock (or a stock pot/cube made up)
  • 2 tsps (to taste) curry powder, I use Keens. Add quantities to taste.
  • Some cornflour to thicken, about a dessertspoon.
In a large, heavy based pot, saute onions, sweat the carrots and celery.
Cut the sausages into halves or thirds. Pop them in with the veggies. Let them get brown on the outside.

Add in curry powder at this time, stir.

Pop the chicken stock in. Then the apple and sultanas.

Stir, then turn down the heat and simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes. Pop in the cornflour, enough to thicken, and cook a little while longer.

Serve with starch of your choice (white rice or mash), and some veggies, if you must.

This freezes quite well and tastes better the next day.

Tonight I am watching Aunty (the ABC).

I just watched a beautiful Australian Story on Robert Hoge, who was born with severe craniofacial abnormalities. The strength, love and honesty of his family were inspiring.

Now watching Four Corners on euthanasia....Happy days....

Q and A should be interesting.

But...Oh Tony.....
I don't wish to turn this into a political rant, but I would just like to say that I am very disappointed about there only being one woman appointed to Cabinet.

He could have surprised everyone. He could have nurtured some young women up through the ranks. Affirmative action!

Perhaps he feels the need to keep a stern, strong cabinet with Gravitas. But equally we need to change the face of Gravitas. It need not be a Grey-haired man in a suit.

The hunt for Lovenest #1 is on in earnest. Many places are poky. We don't need poky. We need space. And good cafes. I will keep you abreast of developments.

Happy Monday Night.

Do you have any good comforting recipes you have made up?
If you try this one, do you suggest any changes?

Friday, 13 September 2013

'Snot a problem.....Some things about Me.

Happy Friday!

I have developed a post-holiday lurgy. I am very grateful that I didn't get it during the holiday. I am not impressed that I have it over a weekend.

I am at on my couch wrapped in my nanna blanket stalking trawling blogs, watching telly, staying warm. I have eschewed a post work drinks do in the city with my fella, instead going home via the pharmacy to get some good drugs.

So I am going to tell you a few random things about myself.

1. I never got on a plane till I was 20, and not overseas till nearly 23, but I have now travelled more widely than most people I know.

I have been to (not in temporal order):
New Zealand (3 times), the UK (6 times), the USA (a couple of times, plus en route), Singapore (twice), Malaysia (twice), Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria (Twice Each), Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Sweden, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Korea, Cuba, Mexico, The UAE and recently, Thailand.

This year, I visited Mexico City and Cuba in January. I went to a conference in Seoul in June, via Hong Kong, and I've just gotten back from Thailand.

I want to go to Israel and Jordan. I would have liked to go to Egypt, but it is a hellhole at the moment. I want to go to Turkey. Like, really want to go.
I would like to do the South of India.
I would like to do Mexico in more detail.
I would like to do the Galapagos and the Inca Trail in Peru.
I would like to go to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

I have a British passport. My dad was born in the UK. 

2. I am a medical doctor (Geriatrician), doing a PhD looking at obesity in older people...

....or, as I call it, bariatric geriatrics.

I work part time, study full time and make mischief full time.

Will they call me Dr. Dr.? I don't know.

When will I finish my PhD? I don't know.

I am the only member of my immediate family to have finished high school. I have comprehensively over-shot, education wise.

3. I speak some Italian, and some Spanish. A few words of Dutch.

I learned Italian at school, right to year 12.
I took Spanish lessons a few years back.
Sometimes I get confused and speak them both interchangeably. Spangtalian, I call it.

4. I love pickled onions.

Like, if there were a block of chocolate and a jar of good pickled onions in the cupboard, the pickled onions would go first.

Mind you, I am fairly partial to chocolate, too.

5. I cook very good curried sausages.

They are my signature dish.

Like me, they are down to earth, a little spicy, and nutritious.

The very description of them wooed me my man.

They cure what ails you. Trust me. I am a doctor.

And what about you? Tell me a few random things about yourself. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013



And for the second time this year, I have been overseas while there has been a change in Prime Minister.

Now we have Tony.

I was dreading that.

See, Tony actually likes Doctors. He was very attentive to the AMA when he was health minister.

Richer people, like me, will be better off under Tony and his merry (mostly) men.

But if you are one or more of the following:

  • gay
  • [female?]
  • reliant on the public education system
  • reliant on the public health system
  • reliant on public transport
  • reliant on welfare
  • an asylum seeker
  • a low income earner
  • the environment
You are screwed. Royally screwed, one way or the other.

I don't know that much about the economy, but I feel that the government should look after the vulnerable. That's why we pay taxes.

I also feel that as a relatively wealthy and resource rich country, we should be innovative, and invest in good things for future generations. Like the internet. And hell, the environment. We should be a country the world looks up to. Smart and visionary leaders can turn challenges, such as climate change, into opportunities.

And while on the subject of climate change, anything other than a shift towards clean, renewable and anti-polluting is tantamount to denialism.

Tony, I am looking at you.

I think somebody like Malcolm Turnbull might be good as Liberal leader. It would be an interesting experiment to have a socially "small l" liberal but economically conservative prime minister. That might keep a lot more people happy.

It would also, hypothetically, be interesting to see what would happen if Tony were ousted by the faceless men of the Liberal party in favour of Malcolm.

Would Malcolm be subject to the same vitriol as Julia? Or would we dance in the streets?

Meanwhile, Joe Hockey is the poster-child for bariatric surgery. Does this mean he will fund more of it for people who need it? Only time will tell.

I didn't vote for either major party. But I didn't vote for the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, who now have a senate seat in Victoria.

I think I would've preferred somebody from the Pirate Party.


I had a lovely holiday.

We ate, slept, sunbathed, snorkelled, ate, drank, snorkelled, slept, ate, sunbathed, ate, sweated, ate and went bogan-watching on the main island drag.

Plus we went to a ladyboy cabaret.

We also went kayaking and paddled long distances in sync in a straight line. Good teamwork.

It was wonderful. It was too short. Some people say they can't bear to sit their bum on a beach for a week. I went for six days. I could have done about 5 days more. We touched down in Melbs at 8am and I was in at work at 10:15.

After this holiday, I am now making friends with salad. And ramping up the exercise.

It is the height of irony that an environment that requires the wearing of minimal clothing/ bathing suits also serves a sumptuous buffet breakfast and has cheap cocktails and good bar snacks.

In addition to work, study, slavish attention to exercise and diet, myself and the fella are house huntin'. Which means that this spring, I will actually have to do some Spring Cleaning.

I know. Exciting.

More anon.