Thursday, October 28, 2010

Besties, Bridesmaids and Wedding Invites

I truly have the most amazing best friends in C & M and they are outdoing themselves as the world's best bridesmaids too. They are always going above and beyond for me in everything!
So on Sunday, C and I went to see my sister K to print out the wedding invites (I am determined to get them sent out this month). After much messing around on Ks behalf to get the font just perfect, printing started and despite one small machine malfunction, the invites were done in about 2 hours - with only one forgotten.
Moving forward, C & M & I (M returned from her Thailand holiday this week - yay!) started work on cutting and assembling the invites on Tuesday night. We got far enough to know we needed a better guillotine and should actually measure and mark before cutting. We also figured out that the glue stick wasnt secure enough and we ran out of our glue tack product. I was pretty disheartened and could see these bits of paper turning into a big drama.

So while I was at work yesterday, C & M decided to have a little working bee (they even roped M's boy D into cutting paper) and by the time I got home, all the cutting was done, they had assembled 8 prototypes and gotten through an enormous amout of gluing and sticking.

How fabulous do the invites look:

C & M, I love you girls and my invites!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The day I love more than Christmas

Melbourne Cup!

Its my favourite day of the year and I always take it off work to dress up in my best outfit and attend a glamorous function with my besties where I drink too much champagne in the middle of the day, dance like I'm in a nightclub, cheer and scream like a maniac for my favourite horse, sometimes win my day costs back and end up with the world's sorest feet all by 4pm.

This year is a little different - my usual Melbourne Cup posse is out of action! 2 of them are actually attending the real Melbourne Cup (very jealous but with a wedding to pay for I just couldnt fit this into the budget), C has no babysitter available, M and my sis are both working as they have just started new jobs etc.

Well obviously I'm not going to attend a luncheon/function on my own so the next best option was to convince the boss to close the office at 12pm and take charge of the social club. So that's exactly what I did!

We (about 17 staff) are booked into a local lounge bar and restaurant to enjoy 4 hours of entertainment, tapas and open bar (that's right, wine, beer, spirits, champers of course). As I am also a consistent social club contributor the day is also costing me nothing (apart from my bets). Pretty happy about that (as is S considering my usual functions are around $150 per person).

I am now considering my outfit options for the day but no inspiration as yet.

Will you be having a flutter on the Cup? My brother (who has 95% success rate on horse races) tells me don't waste your time on So You Think as it can't run the distance but says Descardo is in with a chance given its Caulfield performance. Have you got any winning tips for me?

Four Weddings

I only caught the final episode in the Australian series thanks to C at work texting me so I wouldn't miss it. Anyway, it proved to be one of my new favourite reality shows (probably because I am planning a wedding myself) and I found the whole premise very entertaining - picture me sitting on my bed (cause S wouldn't allow me to watch it in the loungeroom), talking and commenting to myself on each bride's choice. I had a lot of opinions going on and would race out during the ad breaks to share them with S (who was totally uninterested by the way) - "OMG a girl just served party pies at her wedding!" "OMG the bride is wearing a pink wedding gown" etc... you get the idea.
Moving forward (love that saying as I say it with a smirk related to the Youtube payout on Julia Gillard for her overuse of the phrase) ... I was a little (a lot actually) bored at work yesterday and happen to look up the show's website where I discovered they are now taking applications for season 2.
I mentioned this to C from work who told me I absolutely had to submit an application for S & my wedding as it would just be hilarious to be a part of. I then asked my besties and super BMs C & M what they thought - both thought it was a must do although I think M's excitement and encouragement was more to do with the lure of being on TV ha ha. So it was just S' approval that remained. He pretty much agreed straight away although was bit put out that he didnt get to go to and judge the other weddings.
So tonight, C & M and I are going to complete the application and send it in.
I doubt we will even be chosen but it could be a bit of fun if we are, I guess you would just have to watch yourself to avoid being stereotype edited.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The value of checking my hotmail

My hotmail account has been in existence since about 1997 I think and is one of those things I check when I'm especially bored or have nothing else to do because I have 2 other active email accounts that all my important correspondence goes to.

My hotmail emails usually consist of facebook updates, junk email and offers from the many websites I have joined and newsletters I have signed up for.

Well, checking hotmail this week and reading some of those offers/newsletters actually paid off!

First of all, I was able to secure Gold Class tickets for HP & the Deathly Hallows - they are on presale at the moment and I was ideally after Robina tickets but upon calling (they weren't up on the website for this cinema), I discovered Robina tickets were $39 + $4 booking fee as opposed to Southport Gold Class for $20 + $4 booking fee! Insane highway robbery I think and I told the operator so too. She agreed and told me she would book at Southport too - they are the same recliners, screen and both serve a nice Sav Blanc so how do they justify a $20 price hike based on suburb alone?



Then I read one of the million ticketek newsletter updates - these arrive almost everyday so I usually don't bother but this one had 'The Script' in its subject. Enough to arrest my attention!

I love The Script (as does my sis K) and was devastated to learn they would be in Australia this month but would only be playing shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Indeed, I love them so much I looked into flying down for the night to either capital city to see them but unfortunately tickets were already sold out.

I figured this email was about releasing new tickets or new shows scheduled so was prepared to purchase then organise travel arrangements. Imagine my surprise when I see The Script will also be touring Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane next April - yep, that's right, BRISBANE!



Of course I logged into my ticketek account as quick as I could and snapped up 2 tickets for the show then excitedly called my sister to tell her I had a surprise for us. I can't keep a secret like that from her so then told her what the surprise was. She already knew tickets were on sale (and didn't call me????) and was very happy I had secured our place at their concert.

So much to look forward to between now and April 2011 ... HP & the Deathly Hallows, Sports Lunch, U2 concert, S & C's birthdays, Christmas, New Years Eve, my wedding, honeymoon to Japan, The Script!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reading - trash and mysteries

I love to read, I love losing myself in a book, any book and visualising the story.


At a very young age I was quite an advanced reader - in year one they had to send home year 7 reader books for me because the standard ones just didnt cut it.


My mum always encouraged my reading and would take me to the local library every second Thursday night. I was allowed to borrow up to 6 books and always used the limit.
The thing was, by year 5 or 6, I loved reading what my mum refers to as 'trash'. At one of her friend's houses, I had discovered Jackie Collins and was hooked! Entirely inappropriate for my age, my mum tried banning them but then I would just sneak them from my aunty or read them secretly when we visited her friends (I discovered a lot of them liked JC). So resigning herself to a losing battle, she would allow me one trashy novel to one 'good' book. Our library visits became a battle ground of negotiation upon which I could borrow 'Lucky' if I only I took 'Gone with the wind' or 'The Great Gatsby' too.


To be honest, I didnt care if I had to read the so called 'good' books, I was just happy to be reading and loved almost all of what I read. I consumed books so often and easily, I think for the MS readathon I did in year 8, I read over 100 books!


Now, my reading tastes are as varied as they come but I have to share that my alltime truly favourite author is Mary Higgins Clark! I just love her easy writing style and can never put one of her books down. I also find her books well written so that I rarely guess the true culprit till the very end.


Case in point, I discovered on Friday that she had a new book out this year (not sure how I missed its release). I raced out to buy it and was finished with it on Saturday night! No, I did not sit up all night and no, I did not do anything except read... I had visitors Friday night for dinner, running around all day Saturday and guests in the afternoon - I am just a fast reader.


My favourite MHC books are While My Pretty One Sleeps, Remember Me, Weep No More My Lady and Stillwatch, oh, and On the Street Where You Live.


Have you read or do you like MHC? Do you have any other authors who are similar that you can recommend - she doesnt write fast enough as far as I'm concerned so i'm forced to go elsewhere at times)?

Productive times

My Saturday was beyond productive!

Starting with Saturday morning when I managed to shop the Farmer's Markets in the rain with my trusty Oroton umbrella purchased earlier in the year (everything here is done in the rain at the moment) sourcing fresh produce and happy hour items for my guests coming in the afternoon plus a few extras for mum who had no desire to get out of bed for rainy markets.
I then moved on to do a big shop at our favourite butcher in Burleigh - their chicken kievs are truly to die for as are their marinated rolled beef roasts. The kievs though are beyond delicious - breast crumbed in herbs and garlic with a thick and full buttery garlic centre.

After dropping the grocery items at home, I headed to Southport to my wedding invitation store to order the remainder of my invitation wallets (inconvenient though, they didn't have enough in stock so are going to contact me when they come in) followed by a visit to First Choice Liquor to price some wines S and I are interested in having at our wedding.

Upon finally arriving home, I read my new book by my favourite author for 30 minutes before going to pick up C for our afternoon appointment at my house with M, a bottle of wine and some nibbles!



An enjoyable afternoon was had, we made delicious old school homemade sausage rolls (C's idea) and consumed lots of Matua Valley First Frost (low alcohol and calories - it was the calory part that sucked me in) and Absolut vodka with cranberry.






Sadly though, the afternoon ended too soon and M left us to head to Brisbane for her early morning flight Sunday - she is off to Thailand for 2 weeks then relocates to Brisbane on her return. The bonvoyage was bitterwseet for C and I needless to say when we gave M her hug goodbye.

All in all, I got a lot done on Saturday!

ps. I borrowed the sausage roll photo from thefoodpornographer.com as ours got eaten to quickly to photograph.

Rain Rain GO AWAY

What a miserable weekend - in terms of weather!

Like the very witty FF said in one of her latest posts, its Ark building time and given she is in Brisbane, maybe if I put it out there she will pick me up on her way down the Coast when the waters rise (looking sure to happen soon).

It has not stopped raining on the GC since before I can remember (at least a week straight) and we have had severe winds all weekend which are even worse today if that's possible! All I heard about on the radio driving to work today is that there is a severe weather warning in place with rain to continue till Thursday.

Here is the grey view from my office today:




How am I expeceted to motivate or work when looking at that miserable sight?
It's quite depressing reading some of my favourite blogs (Domestic Divinity, All Cats are Grey etc) and seeing everyone enjoying warm sunny days and Springtime frocks while we are rugged up and trying to stay dry - I thought the GC was supposed to be beautiful one day, perfect the next but you know what? It's a lie people, ONE BIG LIE!

The weather is playing havoc with everyone's moods as well, everyone I know is tired, unmotivated and feeling well, average I guess. This is all thanks to grey rainy days!

Like I said, RAIN RAIN GO AWAY

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sportsman's Lunch

I love a good charity lunch for so many reasons ... day out of the office, reason to dress up more than usual, champagne in the middle of the day ... its like Melbourne Cup without the horses and Melbourne Cup is almost my favourite day of the year!

So this year, I was once again invited to the Ultimate Sports Lunch at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. It supports Surf Life Saving and is an absolutely huge event. I think they get over 2000 attendees each year and always offer a wonderful day of entertainment. I have been a few times with my father and brother so was excited to attend this year's event.

Well, this excitement was magnified tenfold when I got the entertainment/speakers list! The deal was sealed when I heard that none other than JOHN HOWARD our wonderful former Prime Minister would be speaking! I almost fell over myself to RSVP to this event.

I also tried to encourage as many people as I could to hurry up, get in and buy tickets last month so they wouldn't miss out. Everyone including my boss (an enormous JH fan) fobbed me off with a 'we'll see'.

Yes well, we have seen! Just a few days ago the boss decided he would like our office to take a table for the event and could I arrange it. So I worked hard to convince everyone in the office to attend and phoned my contact, Rabbit (code name) to advise I had sold a table so book the tickets. I was informed that the event had been sold out for some time and I didn't have a snowflakes chance of getting any more tickets but he would scout around and call in some favours.

Seriously, this is some major event ... its not even until the middle of November and already 2000+ tickets are sold out! I am beyond glad I got in when I did but after all the work I did to motivate and enthuse the people in my office, they now aren't thrilled to hear that I still get to go and they may not. Not my fault I acted out of Libran character and made a quick decision, I gave them all the opportunity then too.

Rabbit is in touch daily to give me an update on his speaking to people, bending arms and what not to convince attendees to let go of tickets to the event but I'm not holding much hope, I wouldnt give up my ticket so I really wouldnt expect others to do the same.

As FF would say, fingers and toes people.

Oh The Irony!

Okay, so again, another slack week of blogging! I apologise most sincerely but saw no point boring you with the mundane details of this past week - its been boring people!


Well, I finally do have something to share...


About a year ago, I found a lovely lady on the Vogue Forums who was starting up a company that specialised in the re-sale of designer wedding gowns.


This seemed to be the perfect contact given that I was newly engaged and desperately wanting a particular Personalised Couture gown that was going to cost $8,000 ... a little over budget considering S gave me a limit of $4,000.


So I emailed the lovely lady and asked her to please contact me if she happened to come across and PC gowns.


A year later (last week) and I get an email from my contact advising that she has just had 2 PC dresses come in if I was still interested and would I like photos.


Now, in the past year, I haven't been sitting around waiting for my dream dress to come up through my contact, I got out there, selected a designer/dressmaker who could recreate my dream dress, had my measurements taken and paid for the gown.


Back to the present ... part of me knew it would be better to not know but the other part just had to see which style of dresses so of course I emailed back 'yes please send me photos'.


I received an email back quickly advising bothe dresses were an 8-10 (perfect) and opened the first picture half praying it wasnt my dress ... IT WASNT! A lovely dress but not mine so I breathed a little easier. Then I went to open the second picture and there was a note about this dress advising it hadnt actually been worn as the bride had changed her mind on it. Opened the picture and there it was - MY DRESS! I almost burst into tears then calmed myself by thinking it was probably way out of my budget anyway, especially as it hadnt even been worn.


Right, so glutton for punishment that I am, I emailed back requesting prices ... MY DRESS (that's how I think of it, in capital letters) was only $3,500!


That means the real dress by the real designer and maker is under my budget! It also showed me that patience is a virtue, one I clearly dont have considering I didnt give myself anytime to source a dress through my contact but raced straight out and ordered it through another dressmaker. Although in fairness, there was no way I was going to wait till 5 months before the wedding to start sourcing a suitable gown.


Now its too late, I am already committed to my other dressmaker and have paid for my dress in full but part of me is still so torn and trying to find some way to work MY DRESS into the budget.

See the irony people?
Seriously though, if you are looking for a designer wedding gown, contact Mandy at www.savybrides.com.au - I am so impressed that she remembered me and contacted me 12 months after my enquiry!