Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Present Shopping: I'm making a list & checking it twice

I'm going to find out who's naughty or nice ... luckily everyone who started on my Christmas list made the nice cut and remained there.


I love present shopping and this year has been relatively easy as I started making a list of presents for everyone throughout the year but of course there are always last minute changes and impossible people to buy for ... that's right dad, YOU!


So C, L, M & D were the easiest of the year - Jay Z/U2 tickets. I tell you people, it may be one of the best gifts I've ever given and if you ask my friend's thats a pretty big call as I am a very good present giver they say. Honestly, the absolute enjoyment my friends got from the U2 concert was so rewarding for me and of course, it was a wonderful memorable experience we could all share.


S was a little trickier as his birthday is in mid-December so I have to think of double ideas and also extras for my friends, fam and his to give. This year S is getting a bike (& helmet & lock) so we can ride together (I already have a bike), Nike Kobe 5s (see earlier post), a remote control organiser for his 5 remotes (don't ask) and some men's Lush goodies for his Man U stocking.


My family and partners do Kris Kringle with a $150 limit so my SIL at her request is getting a voucher to the local shopping centre. S got my little bro and I advised Weird Al tix as my little bro is a huge fan!


Baby S is all done - she was the easiest and I got her finished in November - my lil pony baby, playdoh & cutters, Crayola crayons, clothes, summer pjs 'Little Miss Sunshine', a HUGE elmo & a HUGE Dorothy the Dinosaur.


S' parents are easy - a donation towards their new BBQ fund and I have left S' sister & her fiancee to him.


The boss will be getting a Nautica T and hat - he told me he is hoping to spend lots of time on his boat so I thought these would be appropriate.


My mum was going to get a Swarovski crystal however she changed this up when she spotted a pair of PA pjs she loved and wanted but wouldn't buy because 'who spends that on PJs'. I also got her a few trashy romance novels for her summer holiday.






Dad is proving to be most difficult ... he is getting a Rugby League Top 10 book which is right up his alley but beyond that I am completely stuck. He is a pretty contented person that has everything he needs and isn't really into 'things'. Grrrrr only 1 afternoon left for me to get this done.


I'm still thinking about buying something small for my sis & littlest bro and M & C to open on Christmas Day - I just love giving presents!


What did you get your loved ones this year?

S is a Shoe Whore

That's right people, I am marrying a shoe whore.



The average person would assume that me, as the female half of the relationship, would be the shoe whore in the mix but no, while I love shoes (as most women do), S is addicted to them!



I have a lot of shoes (think walk in robe with boxes piled high) but S puts my collection to shame. He is known to buy casual Puma shoes in the same style but different colours because 'these ones are more suited to jeans and date nights while I can pull these off on a casual weekend or with shorts.' I kid you not, that's what he says when justifying.


He is particularly into Nikes, Cons and old school editions - honestly, he is like Turtle on Entourage when it comes to shoes. Recently he snapped up a pair of red & black Air Jordans to add to his other pairs that look the same to me. I think I even counted maybe 5 pairs of Cons in different colours and he is trying to share this addiction with baby S - he ensured her first shoes were pink Cons.


So what to get a Shoe Whore for Christmas? Shoes of course, but not any old shoes as they won't make the grade. This year they had to be Nike Kobes - foreign language? I know, me too.


I popped into the Nike store to pick them up last night as it was my only chance to hit the shops without S and of course, they didn't have his size in the blue (they come in blue, dark purple or white & yellow). I liked the blue best but had to settle for the purple given my limited time and his penchant for flashy shoes.






I shouldn't encourage the addiction but I can empathise as the look on his face when he opens the shoe box will be the same on mine when I open a certain Oroton pressie he has for me under the tree :)


Plus this present guarantees me a very happy man on Christmas Day - win/win!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What is it with NYE and drama?

Honestly, the older I get, the more I am getting over NYE!

It's like Valentines Day... always hyped up to be a super amazing day where everything couldn't be more perfect when it reality, it turns out to be far below expectations, a fizzer, a let down and almost always ends with tears from someone (and this year they are mine so far).

Guess what... NYE is still over a week away and mine has already turned out as described above! Hard to believe I know but very very true!

Unfortunately earlier this year, my professional and personal lives collided slightly. Expecting the best, I wasn't too concerned but now its come back to bite me hard and as a result, I will probably have to make new plans for S and I for NYE rather than spending it with my favouritest people C & M :( Especially sad as C and I haven't been apart on NYE in about 6/7 years (we even celebrated on Times Square a few years back). ALso feeling very guilty as S was looking forward to hanging out with L & D.

Feeling very sad and sorry for myself about it all - its come crashing down on my head in the last 24 hours and is all I can think about.

Oh well, moving forward (cause no-one likes a sook) - as I told S, we will just have to come up with something else although its hard to feel excited now.

Woe is me ha ha - seriously though , what is it with this time of year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

O Holy Night

... is my favourite Christmas carol - just in case you were wondering.


That said, I love most Christmas carols and that may have something to do with my mother playing them from about October every year as we were growing up. No kidding, she has the biggest Christmas songs CD collection I have ever seen and is the ultimate embodiment of Christmas spirit - I guess that's why my fam and I are all very Christmassy.


My parents had plans on the weekend so the siblings and I made our own Christmassy plans and went to the Broadbeach Carols at Kurrawa Park. Our mother was seriously devastated to miss out on our plans and it was touch and go for a bit there as to whether she would cancel her first set of plans - in the end though she decided to be responsible and stick with her prior commitment.


There ended up being about 16 of us who met with rugs, eskys (a west coast or sav blanc never goes astray when carols are to be sung) and some nibbles. We all stretched out on our rugs and sung along to the magic of carols - they played all the classics along with some fun new ones and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.


Most spectacularly of all though was the finale with 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' and a HUGE fireworks display that just went on and on - I love fireworks, do you?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Storm warnings & KFC for lunch

So S just messaged me to advise of a severe weather warning for this afternoon including large hailstones. Me being a disbeliever went straight bom.gov.au to check the radar - S was right ...

TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING - SOUTHEAST QUEENSLAND
for DAMAGING WIND, FLASH FLOODING and LARGE HAILSTONES


and I am now enjoying thunder, lightning and the heavens are about to burst open with an absolute downpour.



I thought we were home clear with the crappy weather and finally settling into Summer. Nope, Mother Nature decided the GC has had her share of sunshine, time to pass it on :(


This could prove to be very inconvenient if rain keeps up over the weekend - we have around 10 or so of our dearest friends joining us for drinks and tapas to celebrate S birthday this week and it is not going to work if we are all crammed inside rather than enjoying the deck and water views scenery I envisioned.


What's a girl to do for lunch on a miserable gray day where the air con is cranked up to freezing to combat the insane humidity? That's right, comfort food in the for of KFC! Naughty I know but I'm fed up with the WDD of vita wheats, carrot sticks and water - wedding dress diet for those wondering what I'm on about. I managed to rope our bookkeeper into joining me thus alleviating any guilt at being the only one eating junkfood - I know, I thought this was clever too. Here is the evidence of my failure:


I savoured every bite of my fillet chicken pieces, potato and gravy with chips & extra salt - when I break the WDD, I break it good.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Take it Easy


I hit up the Eagles concert on Monday night with my dad and my mum's bestie SW.


We met at mum and dad's and I ended up having to drive in my zippy (read no power) Swift due to an incident in Brisbane involving my little bro J and my mother's need to attend to the matter in person thus taking their very comfy new Prado - another story entirely.


Moving forward, we arrived at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre with no incident and surprisingly no traffic. As a result we had time to grab a drink and relax - this worked well as we were perfectly positioned to spot my boss and his wife on their arrival and enjoy a drink with them.


The concert started at 8pm and I was absolutely starving hungry so went to grab a pizza from the concession - no word of a lie, I lined up for 27 minutes and got to the front of the line only to be told there was NO DAMN PIZZA LEFT! Not happy as I stomped back to my seat and had a mini tanty to my dad.


The tanty was quickly forgotten as the lights dimmed and Don, Glenn, Tim and Joe took the stage - after 3+ hours of music I feel we're on first name basis. They opened to How Long from there newest album and I was pleased as this is my fave song off Long Road out of Eden.


The show was absolutely amazing!!!!!! They sung all their old hits and I got goosebumps during Hotel California. I was also surprised by how much emotion I got our of Best of My Love which has never been a enormous favourite.


All the guys spent plenty of time speaking to the audience and introduced Take it to the Limit as the song their wives call 'The Credit Card Song' - it was their first to sell a million copies.


The show went on in amazing fashion and dad, SW and I were loving every minute of it till the last song Heartache Tonight which people actually started leaving through. The lights dimmed after this song and even more people left - crazy fools, didnt they realise there is no way the Eagles would play a show without Take it Easy (my fave) and Desperado (dad's fave).


We sat quietly (actually, loudly ... screaming for encore) in our seats waiting for the eagles to return to stage and our patience was rewarded. They returned and broke into Take It Easy followed by Rocky Mountain Road and finally ended on Desperado - the remaining crowd went wild needless to say.


Wow, at 60+, these guys have still got it and I loved every minute of their show as did my dad and SW who went to their last concert.


I hadn't realised they all had their own songs to lead in, I just thought that was Glenn and Don's role but Tim and Joe are amazing also and it was great to see them singing too. The energy, their talent with instruments and their beautiful harmonies are incomparable!


Also, they played a favourite of mine that Don did on his own, Boys of Summer and again, I loved every minute.


I'm kind of sad to realise I will probably never get to see them live again but feel so lucky to have attended this concert and experienced their music live!


ps. sorry for the terrible pic - I had to rely on my iphone as I haven't cleared my camera memory for U2 & Jay Z.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jay Z & U2...


were amazing!!!!! No surprises there though :)

S, C, L, M, D and I had the best time seeing The Concert of The Year. It was especially great for C, L, M and I as we went to the Vertigo tour together 4 years ago.

We found the Suncorp venue to be a huge improvement over ANZ and found access, entry and the facilities much improved to the last concert.

I ended up recording so much footage on my Ixus that my 4gb memory card was full before the end!

Loved Jay Z performing Empire State of Mind and Run This Town. Such a great sound and nice and loud how we like it!




U2 made a grand rockstar style entrance and as usual, had the best sound! Bono's voice is just incredible - even S agreed and he didn't even like U2 until he saw them live. It was so funny cause S only came to see Jay Z and ended up loving U2, being the first one to stand and cheer.




My only disappointment was the show closed on a low note without a big hit and they didn't play Angel of Harlem.




My highlights were One with a video message from Desmond Tutu and Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Such a powerful band with a powerful message - they gave me tingles almost the whole time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Tree - minus tinsel

The tree is finally up at home.

It was a bit of a drawn out task with me intending to erect it on the 29th then 30th November till I was admonished by S for daring to do this task before the 1st December. I patiently attempted to explain fellow blogger FF's theory behind following a retail Christmas season. There is a lot of method to this considering the time and energy that goes in to erecting a tree and decorating only to be pulled down 30 days later. Unfortunately S wasnt persuaded.

Moving forward, we had our parents over for dinner on Wednesday night the 1st December (I think they were gearing up for some 'special news' considering both couples were invited which usually only happens on special occasions like birthdays or fathers day etc). Sadly they were disappointed - no way am I getting pregnant before my wedding! No champagne at the best celebration of my life? I dont think so people!

The parents didnt vacate till almost 10pm because we were having sucha lovely time but long dinners are not conducive to Christmas tree erecting and decorating. Once they left, S pulled the tree out of the box and proceeded to put it together discovering that our tree had a 6 month warranty - bizarre we thought considering it is up for a month then in a box for 11 so where is the value? Anyway, this left me to detangle the tree lights - WORST. JOB. EVER!

Finally we each completed our tasks, rigged the lights and decided the decorations would just have to wait till the following day which worked well as I was quite motivated to complete the task after work and knocked the job over in no time.

If you notice on our tree, I decided to forgo tinsel on the tree this year. Not that I have anything against tinsel, I just felt it made the tree look to messy and untidy.

Like our angel? Angels on Christmas trees are very important to me (I get it from my mother who has about 12 Angel Christmas decorations she whips out at this time of year) and last year I even settled for a star on top as I couldn't find the perfect angel. I still think there is room for improvement but I'm pretty happy with this one at the moment - S and I snapped her up in an after Christmas sale.

See our Christmas stockings? We exchanged these our first Christmas together - S had mine made and embroidered with my name while I had his ordered from England in honour of his favourite sporting team. My stocking is enormous and S fills it with presents every year (love him).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today's purchases - dont tell S!!!

I popped over to Pacific Fair in my lunch break as the very efficient CR staff had already taken delivery of my Body Con dress (see below).

As I was picking up the dress I dangerously recalled that I had a spend and save for CR and of course saving $100 is so much better than $50 so spent 30 minutes hunting the store for things to buy while holding tightly to my new dress - I kid you not, there were several customers stalking me around the store and i'm sure its because I was holding the dress.

In addition to The Dress, I also picked up:

Black gathered top




Cream denim skirt
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree... no, seriously, I got a Silver Turtle Dove ornament for the Christmas tree (no pic, it was just to push me over the $300)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quick update on my below post

Manage to pop in to CR today - GOOD NEWS!

They can source the dress I want in time for the Christmas party and thanks to VIP status there will be no charge for the sourcing.

I dont know why some twit has posted on their facebook page that the dress is sold out Australiawide - Pacific Fair had 2 larges in store and had several stores with a good quantity of small and mediums.

I think it will be perfect work Christmas party attire and later on, a great addition to my casual summer wardrobe - what do you think M if you are still reading me?

Work Christmas Party

So the boss and I have come up with a pretty novel way of celebrating Christmas for the office this year ...

Some background: last year we had a sit down lunch at Saks Marina Mirage on the Broadwater including a 3 course menu and bar tab followed by dancing in the lounge bar area till about 6pm - I continued with S and another girl from work and her husband to Fisho's which was a bad bad idea. There is a reason I never go to Fisho's but I seem to have forgot that after a lot of Sav Blancs!

Anyway, there are about 45-50 of us in total this year and while we loved Saks last year, they are not having any entertainment in the lounge bar this year so we elected to explore other options.

What we have come up with is: hiring the local Surf Club, serving Farmers Market antipastos, having caterers serve a 2 coures Christmas buffet (baked ham, turkey etc) and the best part of all ... I have secured a DJ & Karaoke host so we are now planning a karaoke comp with all the staff getting in to it - numbers already reserved include 'Single Ladies' and 'KC & the Sunshine Band - that's the way i like it'. Should make for a hilarious afternoon!

Dilemna however ... I need something to wear. It's a Sunday afternoon and reasonably casual so I need to come up with something that is stylish, comfortable, workplace appropriate - is that too tall an order?

I am thinking of this dress from my one stop shop CR:


The bad news is I have heard it is sold out - will inspect this evening :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shotgun Guests

I had a 'shotgun guest/s' on the weekend!

S and I went to his best friend's son's 2nd bday party and a couple who we haven't seen since last year at the same occasion were there. The guy used to be a good friend of S' but pretty much dropped out of sight and sound about 2 1/2 years ago. S tried to call him when we got engaged and even Facebooked him to share the news but still had no reply or acknowledgment or congratulations. Since then, another couple in our group tried to arrange dinner for the six of us and 30 mins before dinner, 'shotgun guest' phones to say he wont be able to make it as his partner has a cold. Who calls 30 mins before dinner? Surely a cold started earlier than that?

Based on this and the waning friendship, S and I agreed not to invite the 'friend' and his partner to the wedding. Also, because they are so flaky, we would hate to receive a confirmed RSVP if we did invite them and then get a call on the day that something has come up and they wont be attending - this is very likely to happen.

Anyways, so I was off with the children and apparently in a group conversation, 'shotgun guests' said to S, 'so when is he wedding and here is our current address to send the invite'. Poor S was totally on the spot and had no idea what to say so took down the address.

One of the wives in the group who is a good friend of mine told me later that the girlfriend of S' old friend was actually grilling her about the wedding, date, if the invites had gone out etc. WTF I have only met her twice in 3 years!

Now S feels he has to send an invite - grrrr, I dont have any leftover materials... is that a good enough excuse?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Four Weddings

Did anyone watch the Four Weddings TV show last season?

I missed all the episodes apart from the finale but heard many a funny tale from our sales administrator at work about the crazy brides on the show.

Moving forward, as previously mentioned in an earlier post, I happened to checkout the show's website a few weeks ago and they had an announcement that they were now looking for brides for season 2. M & C insisted I enter for a laugh so of course I completed the 15 odd page application form and sent it off not expecting it to go any further.

Well, I was wrong in my expectations. I had a phone call Friday which led to a one hour phone interview about the wedding - I had to answer a zillion questions about flowers, dresses, my childhood (??), the ceremony, centrepieces, favours, hair, song choices etc and send off all the pics I could find (cake, dresses, venue etc). - and then advice that our wedding has been shortlisted for season 2 of Four Weddings!

I really liked the producer I chatted to and she seemed to find me and my opinions quite entertaining - I filled her in on the flower fiasco and S' (limited) input. She also advised the show was really interested in Couran Cove as a wedding venue and had tried to secure a bride there for last season but the schedule just didnt work.

M & C typically screamed when I told them and think the whole thing is just beyond exciting. My sis was also quite excited, particularly about the chance of winning a trip o/s and offered to contact the producer to tell her how fabulous my wedding will be. Even my mum thought it was a great opportunity and very entertaining.

Honestly, I could not stop laughing about the phone call and the possibility of our wedding being a part of this show. S is also good humoured about it and thinks it will definitely make our wedding memorable if we end up getting selected - imagine telling our children about it one day.

We have been told to expect a phone call this week to arrange an on-camera interview.

Will keep you guys updated as news becomes available!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lists

I love lists, I have lists for everything.

At this time of year my lists get a little out of control what with lists for christmas presents, birthday presents (2 besties & S all have December birthdays), groceries, to do - personal, to do - work, what to take away on holidays, meal planner ... you get the idea.

This year I have found some nifty iphone apps to help make my lists a little easier to bear - rather than having 100 scraps of paper floating around my handbag or my iphone notes section having 1000 entries.

I have downloaded the following apps:

Christmas Shopping - allows you to enter people, their gift, cost, store to buy from and then to mark when purchased

Gift planner - enter people, their birthday or event date, gift ideas, cost, then it reminds you as the date gets closer

Shopping list - loving this one as I can access it whenever I remember something we need ... you enter your items to a list then as you shop you tick off those you purchase - simple but effective :)

Apple and app designers, I really do thank you for simplifying my urge for organisation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grrrrrr salespeople

Honestly, I cannot believe the lack of knowledge, compliancy and arrogance some salespeople have.

We run a very tight, compliant office here with a big emphasis on training, regular updates and following the rules. I spend a lot of time emailing our sales team legislative updates, helpful compliancy flowcharts etc. Yet, they still cant get things right!

Their job is too sell real estate and sign up contracts. Out of the 10 agents we have, at least 5-6 of them dont know contracts well if at all!

Yesterday I had one of our agents bring me a contract to check off before the last initial was applied. She was missing a document, the pages wont in the correct order or secured as required, it was already dated etc. These may not sound like much but each of these has the power to render that contract null and void!

Utterly speechless I looked at the agent in question and asked if she had ever actually read a contract. She looked at me blankly and shook her head. She did however tell me she had already had our Sales Director check the contract before me - this of course led to me having words with our Sales Director about his abilities and our office standards.

Signing up contracts is the main part of a salesperson's job and most of them dont seem know how which just strikes me as ridiculous. Looks like I will be running MORE training around this next week.

Grrrrrrr salespeople!

Update on inner health

People! Chlorophyll is vile!!!! They try and dress is up with 'spearmint flavour' but as S put it, 'it tastes like a liquified jungle plant.'

True to yesterday's post, I went out and bought Swisse chlorophyll and trimshot after work. It was quite reasonable, only $50 for both products total.

So I got up this morning, excited to start my new inner health regime. I read the bottle of chlorophyll and you can have 5-15mls either straight or with water. I decided to have mine with water figuring 15mls would hardly even flavour a whole galss. Boy was I wrong, this stuff is potent and my glass of water turned a dark dark green - you couldn't even see through it! I choked down every mouthful of that glass trying not to gag or projectile it back up. Then of course the taste wouldn't go away and is kind of still lingering now, 2 hours later.

When S got up, I warned him that it would be safer to have a straight shot after my little experience and for a change, he actually listened to me and did just that. Even he thought it was vile but oh well, we will persevere for the sake of inner health!

Next to try the trimshot ... it cant be worse than the chlorophyll... I hope although this one is 'chocolate flavour'. Think I will mix it with water for snack 1 and yoghurt for snack 2.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inner health

With The Wedding looming ever closer (only 102 days to go), I have been giving a lot of thought to my inner health - that and the fact I am sensible enough to recognise I have drank copious amounts of alcohol over the past few months ... not my fault though, there has just been much to celebrate. Although my reasons for celebrations may be just everyday happenings for some - but in my neck of the woods the word celebration justifies wine consumption so perhaps I do use the word a little freely.

Some examples of events causing celebrations in the past month include M getting a new job, C completing 12 months of book work, M coming back from holidays, M visiting from Brisbane, my FSIL getting engaged, a wine bundle special at First Choice, our friend S returning from holidays engaged, FILs pizza oven being completed, finishing my wedding invites, an colleagues' last day at work, my sis' house settling ... right, I think you get the idea.

So, I'm feeling more than a little sorry for my insides, particularly my liver and am feeling motivated to do something about it.

I've started with Swisse Liver Detox tablets - so far I've managed to remember to have them which is a great beginning as remembering to consume vitamins is my biggest problem with vitamins. They seem to be working too but I wont explain why ... I'm sure you all know the symptons/side effects of any detox.

I have also heard great things about Spirulina - a microscopic blue-green alga in the shape of a spiral coil, living both in sea and fresh water. Spirulina is the common name for human and animal food produced primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis, and Arthrospira maxima - definition kindly supplied by wikipedia. Reading that has made me not believe so called good things said about spirulina and reading on in wikipedia just now, I have been convinced it may not be the best addition to my life - it can cause liver cancer and diseases as well as brain damage. Glad I googled before buying, scary!

Another friend is currently taking Chlorophyll and yes, I know this comes from plants - as S told me last night but I doubt I will go green (even if S thinks I will). Cant find anything about the liquid form she is taking though - will ask her next Thursday when I see her. Actually, just found some very good info on it on the Swisse site - good for detox support, blood enrichment, energy, weight loss support and as an anti-inflammatory.

Guess who is going to buy Chlorophyll after work? :)

Hotel Rewards

S and I are off to Japan in March for our honeymoon - cannot wait, we are both so excited to be visiting Osaka and Tokyo for the first time.

With this in mind we thought it might be worthwhile to sign up to a hotel rewards program to receive room and dining discount rates both in Australia and OS ... specifically the Marriott gold card as we have the advantage of using it for dining at our favourite restaurant the Benihana (on the GC) for half price.

So I started my investigations yesterday googling 'hotel rewards programs'. My results were pretty useless unfortunately but I did discover that the Marriott gold card doesnt have any participating hotels in Japan which is disappointing as they have hotels all through Asia and even India.

So I am now weighing up whether we should still get the gold card for the local benefits (means I can convince S to eat at the Benihana more often plus we might be able to get value out of it for an interstate trip to say Melbourne - S has never been) plus invest in another card/program for OS (Japan).

Can anyone recommend a good hotel program that includes Japan?

Lush

I'm loving Lush products at the moment.

I currently have the following products on the go:

Sweetie Pie - this smells soooo yummy and makes my whole bathroom smell good


Breath of Fresh Air toner - so refreshing




Vanishing cream - seems to be the best balanced moisturiser for my skin and hasn't caused any breakouts or clogging


Aqua Marina - clay-like and sticky, smells like musk sticks, lovely and gentle but not good for makeup removal

Dark Angels - effective as a light exfoliator and cleanser but I hate how it leaves black grains under nails and in the hairline

Ultrabland - effective at makeup removal but sometimes dont love the residue it leaves on my face





Ocean salt - delicious fresh smelling body exfoliator (I find it a little to ahrsh for the face)

Rub Rub Rub - love how this texture changes from grainy and coarse to silky smooth, S loves this for his hands especially when he was helping our friend L out with his rendering business

My bathroom is quickly being flooded by black Lush packaging but the good thing is, S is a fan of a lot of their products too so no arguments from him. Thinking of trying the shampoo and conditioners range next time I visit the store. I also definitely need to get some Lemony Flutter - my cuticles are soooo dry at the moment.

Do you use Lush products? What are your favourites?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I MET JOHN HOWARD

So Friday dawned overcast and I woke up to screams, car horns and air horns. I live on the water opposite a high school - which is actually a lot better than it sounds apart from on graduation day because the only time our street is busy is Mon to fri 8am to 3pm which is fine as S and I are at work then (except for when we take the day off for a function and try to have a sleep in).

The street was crazy on Friday morning with teens celebrating their last day of high school with streamers everywhere, spray painted cars, balloons - ps. can someone explain why you have to go to school on your last day, have your name marked on the roll and then get to leave? It all seems quite pointless but I remember even we had to do it some 11-12 years ago (wow, cant believe its been that long).

Moving forward, Friday was also the day of my Sports Lunch. It all turned out quite well as I managed to source 2 extra tix and my sis in law C and my S had the day off so were able to join us. That morning I still hadnt decided what to wear and was considering a business look (black & white striped CR cami, black pencil skirt, black blazer) but C inspired me to be more summery and I went with a short sleeveless white grey and purple silk CR dress.

Arriving at the lunch, I was standing near our table talking to friends when I looked up and spotted John Howard walking towards our group. He bypassed us but was less than a metre from me. What did I do... yep, I froze. I couldn't even clear my throat to tell everyone else he was right there! When I finally managed to regain control of myself to interupt our group and point him out he was at least 20m away.

Anyway, we took our seats, poured a drink and next thing, Johnnie was on stage for his segment. It was done interview style - see the pics S took for me - and The Prime Minister made for a very entertaining subject. He was happy to joke, poke fun at himself and give some honest and insightful answers. I listened intently, shushing everyone around me and discovered he would be signing his book later in the luncheon - at this news I swung around excitedly to S who laughed at me and told me he would buy me a book to have signed.

Lunch was served at the same time as the book signng but did I care? Of course not ... I raced down the front with C to join the queue and when I got to John Howard, I also got to have a photo with him. I was on a high for the rest of the day - I met The Prime Minister AND got to have a photo with him. He was also kind enough to sign a book brochure for me to give to my sis after I told him she was a huge fan but had already bought his book the week before.




S also had some success, winning the bid on a limited edition Tim Cahill Socceroos memorabilia piece.



The rest of the lunch passed in a blur but we had lots of fun and it certainly lived up to expectations - cant wait for next year!

Some random pics:


C enjoying a glass of wine




Bro N skiting to our sis that he got John Howard's autograph



Surf boat tied to the roof


Mourning Dobby

HP was everything I hoped it would be on Thursday night!

Our little group of fans made our way to Southport - FYI Scarborough St is a little on the scary side at 9pm - and the gold class lounge for our screening.




Super ginormous popcorns ordered and delivered, we settled in to our comfy recliners with B and I beyond excited for the movie to start.

It was touch and go for K's hubby D and whether or not he would even make it through the previews without falling asleep - he is presently busy running himself ragged renovating their new home so they can move in before Christmas.

For a 2h 20m movie starting at 9:30pm, there was even a risk I might fall asleep but no, the movie was not at all sleep inducing so D and I both stayed awake and they managed to stick pretty closely to the book for a change.

I must say though, I don't know how you would understand much of it if you haven't read the series. I think the movies lack a lot of meaning and you have to accept a lot as just a movie viewer without explanation. This was especially apparent after the movie when B, little bro J and I had to explain and interpret much of the movie to sis K so she could understand the significance of symbols etc.

Having read the Deathly Hallows a million times, I thought I was prepared for Dobby's death. I was wrong! B and I sobbed (that's right, not silent tears but embarrassingly sobbing), especially at the dialogue which was lacking in the book. I think it was definitely sadder to say goodbye to the little house elf than Dumbledore.




If you like the HP series, this movie won't disappoint and the cast are just outstanding (apart from Ginny who is like a boring block of wood).

My peonies

M did not fail or let me down ... look at the beautiful peonies she bought me when she came down Friday night

We cannot get over how big the bright pink one is - its bigger than my hand! (Which doesn't say much I guess because I have fairly tiny hands but still, its huge!)

I can't wait to see the little bud flower - that tiny little bud will end up being as big as the pale pink peony - I don't know how all those petals fit!

Love love love my peonies - thank you M!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HP & the Deathly Hallows p1


I cannot wait ... only 1 more sleep till my GC HP screening!!!


I am going with my littlest bro J, his GF B and my sis K and her husband D. I couldn't convince S to come, his words were along the lines of 'honestly, that stuff just doesn't interest me.'


Me, I'm totally interested. I have read the Deathly Hallows book maybe 10 times or so and am still not tired of it.


The only thing I'm concerned about in the movie is how they are going to bring back Dobby. In the books, he was always about playing important roles since #3 but in the movies he hasn't been seen since movie #3 and in the finale he plays a very key role with some very emotional scenes (I still cry everytime I read that chapter).

What to wear

It's almost time for the Sports Lunch with special guest speaker John Howard! Only two more sleeps ... and one of those includes Gold Class Harry Potter screening - best week ever (made more so cause M is coming down Friday night too!

Moving forward, what to wear on Friday for the lunch?

I have decided to buy something new and am thinking a Cue dress as they are always ideal for this kind of event and can later be absorbed into my work wardrobe.

I am a fan of the red ruffle dress on their website or maybe this Country Road dress would be nice for something different:


I'm also loving this deep blue Cue dress (but I think my sis already has it):




This Charcoal Cue dress is nice too but not loving strapless at the moment:



I love some of the current Bebe dresses but they are in the States and I dont think they post to Oz - plus I've left it a little late to order a dress from overseas :)

M, if you are reading today, get a google account or twitter so you can tell me what you think!

In additional news updates relating to the lunch, I have discovered that S' best friend of the same name is also attending the lunch with another group so we have plans to meet up and (drumroll please) ... I managed to snare an extra two tix - these are rare as hens teeth if you haven't read my previous post on this event! It looks like I will share these tix with S and my sis in law C - it will be a nice opportunity to catch up with C as I haven't seen her in ages plus spend some time with S as he is apparently working all weeknd grrr.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peonies

Some may recall my obsession with peonies and my temptation to change my wedding date to suit the flowering season of a miniscule 2 weeks (S would give me approval so it was a no go).


Well truly, I must be the luckiest girl and bride to have a bestie and BM like M.


Having our 50 minute daily catchup (with at least one Optus disconnection midway) M tells me that she walked past a florist on her way to work and spotted pink peonies - its took a long time to train her up to this ability to differentiate and recognise.


She couldn't believe how big and gorgeous they are in real life and well being the thoughtful person she is, she told me she is going to buy me a bunch and bring them down with her on Friday. I told her a photo or single flower will suffice.


Yay, cant wait to have a peony ... although knowing my luck they will be out of season by Friday.

Crazy things

Do you have friends who are always up for an adventure and for some reason can convince you that anything is a good idea at the time?


I do, 3 of them!


So Saturday night I was hanging out with M, C and another good friend S. We were running low on wine and it was getting close to 9:30/10pm when the local bottleshops close. So we did the right thing and called a cab to go get some more.


Waiting for the cab, C decided she would wait at home and make us a snack while we went to get wine so i gave her my keys and this is where the adventure/trouble started.


C couldn't get in and called out that none of the keys fit the lock. I figured she was doing something wrong so went to inspect. I checked my keyring and yep, my two house keys weren't on it.


S was out with the boys so I tried to call him to find out what happened to my keys and could he come home to let us in. He didn't answer.


The cab arrived at this stage so M & C decided we definitely needed more wine and went to go get it leaving friend S and I to figure out how to get in.


My house is a virtual fort knox we discovered with impenatrable crimsafe security screens and all the spare keys were inside (M and C both have keys to my house). Breaking down the front door was discussed but discarded after a few shoves which indicated we weren't strong enough to achieve entry via this method.


Friend S and I were at a loss, standing in the front courtyard when S piped up with 'maybe we could get on the roof, remove some tiles and go in that way?'


Well, with a few wines under my belt of course I agreed this was our best and only option plus I had to admit it sounded like a fun adventure. So S climbed up and then money gripped me onto the roof. It was a lot higher than I thought but on a helpful note, we have 3 skylights in the roof of our villa and I knew the manhole was in the laundry so it was fairly easy to navigate our way around. Pulling off the tiles was a bit of a mission and looking down into the roof was a little unnerving - it was also pretty funny at this point as C & M returned from their little cab ride to find us on the roof.


We managed to gain entry after peeling back (read yanking out 3 tiles) and next thing we know, we're in the roof looking for the manhole. It was all quite hilarious and I don't think I stopped laughing at any point. Locating the manhole we discovered it was locked so after a short discussion we agreed the effort we had expended thus far justified stamping it in. It gave way pretty easy (thank goodness) and we managed to climb down via the well located washing machine beneath us.


We then teased M & C at the window threatening to not let them in till we realised they had the wine that caused this disaster so we allowed entry.


There is no one else who could get me on to a roof or do any of the above except for these girls!


ps. next time I'm just calling a locksmith.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bomboniere

S and I have decided to gift our guests with something highly personal to us.

We will be giving each guest a Daffodil pin from the Cancer Council in memory of our loved ones who cant be with us on the day - all 4 of my grandparents have passed from cancer or related & same with 3 of FH's in addition to my aunt and uncle surviving cancer, our Best Man's mother and also FH's uncle passing.





When I first suggested this to S for our wedding, I was almost taken back by how much he supported the idea and what this would mean to him on our wedding day. We felt this was a symbolic gesture and a way for us to include those people and their memories without being too maudlin although when I told my mum of this plan, she had few tears given our most recent loss was her mother to lung & bone cancer. S' mum also was a bit teary but very pleased we have chosen to do this.