Thursday, 28 August 2014


Well I have had all of these great blog post ideas but I just have not gotten around to writing a post, hence my usual brain dump of miscellania.

Last weekend, I went out to a hen's night of a colleague of my fella's. It was lovely of her to include me. It was in St Kilda, so a sassy girls night outfit had to be arranged. I duly got all sequinned, skinny jeaned, ghd-ed, smokey eyed and generally gussied up. Yet I forgot to take a selfie (if a fab outfit isn't selfied, did it occur, I wonder?). So I went into the toilet at the restaurant with my phone to take said selfie and phone did a dunny duck dive.

And died.

This, people, is the price of vanity.

The rice trick did not work.

Anyway I was forced to spend NEARLY 48 HOURS without a phone.

I actually found it quite liberating.

That Sunday, I took the train into the city, and was forced to actually sit and notice things. Like how good some of the graffiti is on buildings near the train line. And how many people sit looking at their phones. And how leggings do not do as trousers under anything shorter than a dress. And how the ladies with the best style are usually those who appear over 40. Imagining some gangly young men and women of about 16 or 17 all grown up and looking stunning.

As my eyes were peeled, I managed to scope out a dress for a couple of more formal wedding parties that I am attending...

I bought this one. It is a bit Downton Abbey and quite pretty on. I have some art-deco style accessories that I will wear with it. Plus I bought some sparkly heeled sandals to wear. All on sale! Bargasms!

The work week was fairly standard, the usual ups and downs. Last week, one of the secretaries where I work accidentally deleted my dictated letters from the dictaphone. She was super apologetic. I was all like "it's ok, really"; it rates fairly low on my inconvenience/annoyance list. This week she bought me a powerball ticket to say sorry. I was all like "you didn't need to"....

Well I believe I have won myself $43!!

It should be a good weekend!

We are off to the day wedding of this couple on Saturday. Next week we are off to Singapore for some R and R, but also to attend their proper wedding (and don my nice pink dress). Looking forward to it.

What would you spend a $43 windfall on?
How would you style this dress?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Taking stock....

I think this is a good theme for my post as it sums up what I have been thinking the last day or so....

As somebody who has had to tame the black dog, I have had to learn to catch myself out of negative thoughts about myself.

I was always taught to be humble, a little self deprecating; I think a lot of us have been taught not to toot our horn too loud. Yet I took that to heart. Thoughts that would start innocently enough, but would be so frequent and magnified, then they would be internalised and taken as God's truth without a single challenge.

I have learned a lot about mindfulness, and catching and letting go of unhelpful thoughts.

Better yet, though, would I dare think something nice about myself?

Could I catch and keep hold of a good thought about myself?

So I gave myself a challenge today. Think of five good things about myself. It was not a comfortable thing to think about, but here they are.

1. I make people laugh.

I am the queen of irreverent and inappropriate humour.  Get a couple of wines in me, and I am even better.

2. I give a shit.

I am a caring person. If I see somebody floundering, I will ask them about it and try my best to help. If I see your child about to swallow something they shouldn't, I will let you know (it takes a community to raise a child). I will give a person a hug if they look like they need one.

3. I am not afraid (anymore) to be myself.

We can only really be ourselves; to be anything else is very difficult and tiring. I used to show bits of myself then worry incessantly that people didn't like me. Then I would apologise and vet my behaviour.

With maturity, I have learned that there are times when I need to shut my gob, let it go to the keeper, but as a general rule I can be myself and people will like me for it (and people won't - their loss).

4. I am good at drawing.

And painting. I showed a bit of aptitude at high school but gave it away for more scholarly pursuits. It is a talent I would like to embrace a little more, train a little more.

5. I know a little bit about lots of things.

I think it's important to take an interest in things. If something piques my interest, I will look it up on wikipedia. Apart from 1970s bands and footy stats, I would be quite good on your pub quiz team.

The other thing I need to take stock of, I feel, is my spending. To be clear, I don't spend more than I earn, but money can burn a hole in my pocket and I tend to spend it on clothes and shoes. Fine feathers make the bird, as I said last post. However, more stuff does not a happy person make, and I would like to be a little more mindful about what discretionary purchases I make. It is far too easy to go shopping. In fact, I just did, which is what prompted this post (plus the fact they had 25% off shoes I had my eyes on....)

So as a first step, I got a (free) app to monitor incomings and outgoings....particularly these discretionary purchases. It might just get me thinking a little more before I buy.

Sooo, what about you?
Here is your opportunity to toot your horn - tell me some awesome things about yourself. Let's cheer each other on.
Any budgeting tips to share with me?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Unlock Your Style book launch

Happy Sunday, lovelies!

I was lucky enough to get a spot at the Unlock Your Style book launch, and meet the beautiful author, Nikki Parkinson. Also I got to meet the gorgeous Carly, of Smaggle.

If you looked up the word Charming in the dictionary, you would see a pic of these two ladies.

The message was very much that every woman deserves to feel good about themselves.

There are so many messages out there, both implicit and explicit, that try to make women feel less than gorgeous, that they must improve on something. Multi-million dollar businesses are predicated on making us feel needful of something, or feel inferior. If you don't believe me, just look at a few ads and think about what they imply. But I digress.

Nikki breaks down the method to looking and feeling fabulous into something that all of us can confidently and simply achieve. It's about wearing things because they give you mojo, or boom chicka wah wah, and if they don't, they don't deserve to be taking up valuable real estate in your closet (or money out of your account).

It's also about looking after your skin, and how a bit of simple makeup can lift you into looking super.

"Fine Feathers Make the Bird", as my crazy Auntie used to say.

I can't tell you how much people like her have improved my sense of style and, subsequently, body confidence.

Also Nikki and Carly are genuinely friendly, warm ladies.

Here are some pics.

Carly, after she introduced the guest of honour.
Nikki, 'splaining things.

Me with the Doyenne.

watching a thoughtful inscription on the book

cuddling with Carly. She is tall and I felt safe....

And I have been putting a bit more thought into my outfits lately. Here are some. My little bro told me that my full length mirror has been seeing lots'o'selfie action recently. It has. Believe in your selfie, they say.

Now some weekend baking awaits. Some food shopping. Some internet shopping. Patting/teasing the dog. Our neighbours have thrown a welcome drinks thing this arvo. A nice Sundee arvo.

What are you up to?
What have you been wearing recently?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A check-in

Hi lovelies!

It's a bit of a miscellany today.

Poor Robin Williams. So sad to hear of his suicide. There are a few people saying "he was so successful and had so much, why could he not be happy". One even slammed him as a coward for committing suicide.

Depression is poorly understood and mistaken for unhappiness or even weakness. It is not even that. Even when we have sad times in our life, there are moments of joy.

When it comes right down to it, joyful happy feelings are bought about by neurotransmitters like serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. Happy chemicals.

The nervous systems of people who are depressed are deplete in these chemicals, and raising the amount of these in the space between one nerve cell and another (a synapse) leads to improvement in symptoms. It was not a secret that Robin Williams snorted his share of cocaine and drank his share of Bourbon while he was alive. This probably depleted his happy hormones and lead to quite a treatment-resistant depression - just to break it down, mechanistically.

In preparation for trying for a baby, I saw a mother-baby psychiatrist. She asked me what my depression was like.

For me, I felt like a record player switched from 66 rpm to 42 rpm. Everything shifted, slowed down. My usually nimble mind could not even string a sentence together, or plan what I was going to do next. I started something and forgot what I was about to do. I usually laugh easily, but I forgot how, and things that would usually tickle my fancy could not raise even a chortle. I usually lead a busy life with reasonable energy, but I felt extremely fatigued and would wake early from sleep.

This is not even going into the psychological symptoms of guilt and hopelessness. I've had sad times in my life, but they were quite different to my depressed times.

Suicide is to depression what dying of heart failure is to a heart attack. The former is the final stage of the severe latter.

Depression is a debilitating and potentially lethal illness. An illness. Even I find that hard to believe, as it is so easy to blame oneself, but there it is.

On a much much happier note, my fella is back. The dog and I are very happy to have him back. We are off to Singapore in three weeks, for a wedding. I am so very much looking forward to it. I will get to wear the dress I won!

I am still doing the fasting, but I have shifted it to one day per week as I am trying to fit in extra training for a 10km fun run I am doing in October. I would really like to improve on my time. My best time for 10km is 1 hour 6 minutes and 55 seconds, and that was 3 and a bit years ago. I wonder if determination and consistency will make up for dwindling youth...

I am starting to get used to the fasting. It has taught me a lot about how to manage hunger, that hunger is not a disaster and often comes in waves rather than increasing. It makes my mind sharp, especially when I am at work and distracted away from hunger. I don't have the mid-arvo slump.


Did anyone watch the documentary on Manny Waks on the ABC last night? It was about the cover up of sexual abuse in a Melbourne Orthodox Jewish School community, similar to in Catholic Church communities. So incomprehensible to think that obeying a religious doctrine would stop you from bringing your child's abuser to justice. Hundreds of years ago Orthodox Jews who turned any of their community in to Gentile authorities for commiting a crime were ostracised from the community, or worse. Manny and his family were ostracised from their community for going public with the crime, and the cover up of those in charge. Manny's ultra-Orthodox parents were so badly ostracised from their close knit and insular community that they returned to Israel, though they are very proud of their son. Manny has set up the agency Tzedek (Justice in Hebrew) to provide culturally sensitive support and advocacy to members of the Jewish community who have been subject to this abuse. May God bless him.

Some values transcend religion. Some things are not on, no matter what the religion.

Anyway, that is my brain-dump for the afternoon.

What about you?
What was your favourite Robin Williams Movie? Mine is Mrs. Doubtfire. Mum took us to see it on a family holiday in Torquay when I was young, and I have fond memories of this.
Any news re: fitness goals?
Any documentary that has got you thinking recently?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Heads, shoulders, knees and feet.

I've been missing my fella, as he has been in Peru, at a conference. 
He sent me these. They are lovely, but sadly he did not burst out of them, singing (or indeed at all)

But I have had plenty to distract me.

On Sunday, I was an examiner at the physicians exam. Young physician candidates from all over the country came to go head to head with us.

We had to be there at 7:30 in the morning and were on the go till 5:30pm. It was fun and challenging and exhausting.

Monday was frenetic as well - I was doing work things in all corners of Melbourne, driving between them, and I started my new job.

Tuesday and Wednesday were chockers too. Last night was the finale of my favourite-ever-show, Offspring. I had some lady friends over for wine and salad and lady-pie (or spanakopita). For reference, meat pie is man-pie. Or is that sexist?

I commissioned the baking of the spanakopita, by my trainer. Her talents truly know no bounds

It was devoured.

The show last night was fantastic, if not a bit trite. It certainly tied up the vast majority of the loose ends, and left Nina happy and hopeful.

The frame of Patrick's ghost being there, being all Patricky, just about undid me.

Today I have had the afternoon off. I went to the podiatrist. I have been having a bit of knee pain. My shoes, it turns out, are fine. I was referred off to a running-specific physiotherapist to sort my stride out, and sent for an x-ray. My kneecaps might be a bit arthritic! I have also been told to alternate runners to get different inputs going in, which is healthy.

I have also capitulated and bought a GHD. It does good curls. Just have to learn to do the back now... anyone have any ideas or tips?

I have been doing a fast day today. I have made this soup. It is a thermomix recipe but you can adjust it and use a food processor. You can thank me later. It is very simple but very elegant and very filling.

It has been a bit easier today, the fasting thing. I find it best to defer my food intake until as late in the day as I can.

On Saturday, I have to drive my mum down to Mornington, for my Sister's birthday. Wish me luck.

Next week, I am off to the Unlock Your Style launch! The outfit is being plotted.

What have you guys been up to?

Saturday, 2 August 2014

A rockin' Saturday night...

I am having a quiet one tonight, have a very early start tomorrow, examining. Have to have the game face on.

Last night we went to Becco, an Italian restaurant in the city. I think I have been a bit spoiled by Masterchef and previous culinary experiences. A menu on the item said "Becco Fish and Chips". At $39 per main serve, I thought it would be some ingenious re-imagining or deconstruction of fish and chips. I was wrong. It was just battered fish and shoestring fries with a bit of home-made tartare and a wedge of lemon. Not even a bit of salad. The cheeky devils! $39!!

I saw the fella off to a conference overseas early this morning. He will be missed, but the calendar is packed until he comes back.

My little furry friend has happily taken his spot on the couch.

I went out to the city and bought some work clothing today. I had been hanging out to try a Jimmy Grant Souvlaki, so I went to the outlet at the Emporium.

I tried the signature souva, the Bonegilla (chicken and lamb). The were all made freshly, in proper greek Pitas.

And this was it:

It was a bit small, as you can see. But it was delicious - full of tender lamb and chicken (not the chewy stuff off a spit). And chips! And mustard aioli! It could've done with some fresh vegies (tomato or onion or a bit of lettuce) but it was yummy.

I was going to go out and see an arthouse flick, but I was worried my little mate here was getting lonely. Hence I am here with my butt glued to the couch, after attending to the chores.

On a bit more of a serious note, I saw the Women in Black this morning

They are a group of Jewish Feminists who speak out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and abhor the violence committed. I had a chat with them; many of the Jews in Melbourne are descendants of Holocaust Survivors, and are Zionists. They strongly support a Jewish state. These women aren't part of the mainstream Jewry here in Melbourne.

They spoke passionately against the violence and "land grabs", the abuses of human rights occuring in Palestine. People in Palestine are stateless, and have to cross Israeli Check points to get anywhere - to a wedding, to a family member, to a hospital. They form long queues in the heat. That is when they are not being shelled.

I told them I wanted to go to Israel. They told me I should, when the fighting stops.

Very little warms my heart more than friendships and support which transcend religion and creed. Why can't we all love each other? I stated this, bade my goodbye. I told them that I was agnostic, but God bless them anyway. They said something similar to me, in Hebrew.

This exchange was far more nourishing to my soul than any souvlaki or purchase (though the souvlaki and purchases were very nice).

Patting my dog is very nourishing to my soul also. Hopefully the time my fella is away goes quickly.

What is nourishing your soul at the moment? Nourishing your belly?