Monday, January 31, 2011

This little piggy...

went to Prada - did you pick Prada or market?


Mum and I had to drop dad to Brisbane airport yesterday for a flight to NZ so we decided to hit up DFO as mum had never been.


Bad idea to go shopping with a wedding looming in our immediate future (4 weeks) but we persevered and browsed knowing we would only purchase something special.


On our last shop mum was going througha random display table of small books and found one of interest to her (I don't know what it was as she wouldn't show me therefore I suspect it is a gift for me). She also found 'This little piggy went to Prada' which she thought might interest me.


Yep, it did interest me. I had actually been meaning to buy it since it came out in 2005 but somehow never got around to it.


I read them to mum as we drove home amidst much laughter!


'Hickory dickory dock, How big is mummie's rock...'


Can't wait to read them to my little girl someday (when I have one).
Update: just read on their website their is a new book 'This little piggy got divorced' - sounds like a laugh

Porto Bellago

Just around the corner from my parents' home is a gorgeous development styled on a European city/town ... Porto Bellago. It has restaurants, some specialty shops and a Gloria Jeans to service the houses and apartments in the estate.

Its a stunning estate and this is where our wedding photographers requested we meet them on Saturday afternoon at 5pm.







With plenty of nerves, S and I arrived early and decided to sneak a quick drink at the Garlic Clove restaurant to dull and nerves before the photographers arrived. The sneak part didn't really work as they arrived just after our drinks were served (a delicious Cremant for me and a Heineken for S). They kindly waited for us to finish before we set off for some photos.
Unfortunately it was super windy so we had to find sheltered spots so I wouldn't spend the whole time pulling my hair off my face. Positively, the drinks had the desired effect in loosening S up and we had a lovely time laughing, kissing and posing in charming alleys, in front of European buildings and lastly, on the Spanish Steps.
The e-shoot reinforced our reasons for choosing our photographers (natural, candid and with a great sense of humour) and helped us to move naturally in front of a camera in preparation for the big day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fleur de lis

Place cards are a pain in the ***!


I am not having place cards as such for the wedding but rather photos I have snatched from everyones' facebook to indicate seating arrangements. I thought this would be a great talking point if anyone is seating with people they don't know.


Anyway, so the annoying thing is how to display the said photos. They are all different sizes etc so little frames don't work but also I am finding they are super expensive for their purpose! I only want them to hold a photo!


The best I have found so far that dont look ultra tacky are these Fleur de lis holders:


They match the theme quite well in either the bronze or silver but the frustrating this is I can get them for under $1 each on a US site (that doesn't ship to Australia of course) and the cheapest in Oz is about $2 a holder which equals $200 for place card holders - RIDICULOUS grrr

Sand Ceremony

S and I are having our ceremony in an outdoor chapel so this discounted a candle lighting ceremony as part of our service (it would be embarassing if they couldn't get things lit - plus my sis had a candle lighting ceremony so I think I would like something a little different.


That's why S and I decided a sand ceremony performed by our mothers would be appropriate. (I always feel sorry for the mothers at weddings as its mostly focused on the father - he walks you down the aisle, the men predominantly make the speeches etc).


I have been looking up prices for sand ceremony kits and can you believe some wedding sites are charging $90+ for some coloured sand and 3 glass bottles.


Maybe I will try sourcing the bits myself although not sure I could be bothered with everything else to do on my list ... maybe I should just pay the price?


Its true what they say, the word wedding = triple normal price!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Online shopping

is very very dangerous! Especially if you are hungover and addicted to Oroton and read the Vogue forums - yep, we're talking about me right now.


Bored and trying to ignore my pounding head and churning tummy, I was checking out the Vogue forums and discovered an Oroton 50% sale! I know, I was excited too.


Now I own a million Oroton items but there are a million more I want so surprisingly, I didn't even hesitate or browse. I knew exactly what I wanted from this sale and became an unbelievably super-decisive shopper.


I bought (or rather dangerously, my credit card did) ... da da dahhhh
The Venice Tote in Smog (colour not shown in this pic) as did a few other voguettes I believe.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Skinny Mini

Has anyone heard of this new super detox program?







I hadn't either until one of the girls at work started talking about it and how she had heard such great things about it.


Me being somewhat of a joiner and into fads at times, jumped on google to check out what I could on Skinny Mini. I read all the information thoroughly and thought it sounded like a worthwhile detox.


I particularly like that it goes for only 5 days (doable), they don't ban food (apart from all the good stuff, particularly anything white), there is no weird syrup to lug around and they also say results can be as good as up to 4kgs.


The downside is no alcohol allowed with it but its only 5 days so I can manage that but wont be able to start it till Monday as M, C & I are having a girls night out as C managed to convince hubby to stay home with baby S.

Wish me luck people and if all goes to plan, I will be a skinny mini!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My garter...

S is in for a HUGE surprise at our wedding ...



Okay, so I have decided to wear a garter for the wedding in light of the fact that S loves the traditional elements of a wedding.



With this in mind, I set out yesterday to search wedding sites, etsy and of course good ol' reliable ebay for something pretty with maybe a touch of pale blue or pink. In my boredom, I also scrolled through old bridal threads on the Vogue forums from 2007/2006. Well, who would have thought this would be inspiring? I know, not me!



I was wrong (and so were you)!



So I read a thread on garters where a voguette had sourced her a garter in her future hubby's favourite football (read soccer) team colours - no kidding, it was actually official merchandise (see below)!

Well, I was inspired and thought this would make a fabulous surprise for S. I also decided that garters are borderline tacky so if I am going to be a little bit tacky, I might as well tack it up some more.




With this in mind I got busy ebaying, googling, etsying and all sorts with no luck! What I did discover was that Man U had discontinued their official garter and I didn't think S would appreciate a Chelsea or Everton one.




Disheartened I was considering giving up... no, not really, surely you know me well enough by now to know I persevere till I get my way! I am very one track minded this way.




Taking the risk of emailing an Etsy seller in the US who does lovely work with their National NFL teams, I discovered she would be happy to personalise a Man U one for me and best of all, I wasn't the only order for a Man U garter (I know, who would have thought).




Here is a sample of her work:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My first attempt...

I did a bit of a clean out around 11pm on Saturday night of my cookbook and recipes cupboard - I'm very slack though as I forgot to take before and after photos.



Anyway, moving forward ... it was a lengthy process as I am one of those people that regularly print recipes off taste.com and other cooking websites then get home and stuff them in said cupboard rather than take the time to file them in my Kikki K recipe organisers.



So, imagine me sprawled on our loungeroom floor surrounded by masses of paper, cookbooks, folders and takeaway menus! Of course it wasn't as simple as just filing the printouts and menus, I had to read them first to see why I printed them in the first place. This process was actually very inspiring and armed with a pen and paper, I came up with a menu for the week that is a little different and definitely more exciting than anything I have been doing lately.



Last night was my first attempt at cooking seafood - long story but basically I haven't eaten seafood until the last 6 months. S was pretty excited at the prospect as he is a big seafood fan but doesn't get to enjoy it unless we go out as I am still a little shaky on eating it let alone cooking it.



With a mind to my experience and fear of giving us both food poisoning, I chose a simple but tasty recipe that I knew we would both enjoy ... Garlic Prawn Linguine.

These are actual photos of my masterpiece....





It was delicious although next time I will add more garlic!!! ps. I left out the capers as S doesn't like them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Desperado

Nope, I am not talking about The Eagles hit even though I am a big fan of that song, I am talking about the tequila beer from France.



I was first introduced to Desperados on a cruise S and I did that involved a port in Noumea. With time to kill before re boarding the ship, S and I checked out the local supermarket and S was beyond excited when he discovered Desperados. He explained to me that these were his all time favourite drink when living and travelling in Europe but he had never been able to get them in Australia.

I quite liked the taste of this beer - sweeter than a normal beer with a bit of a lime flavour. They are a bit dangerous though - 1.9 standard drinks.

Anyway, imagine our surprise when we went to dinner at a local favourite of ours, The Aztec and S spied Desperados in their bar fridge. As you can imagine, S and I eat here even more than we used to now.

We have since tracked down a local importer of the beer but they are $80 a carton - I know, very very 'spensive to quote FF.

Have you seen, tried or like Desperados?

3 down, Lord knows how many to go

Poor S, he got dragged around Pacific Fair for almost 3 hours on Saturday afternoon looking for my BM jewellry.
We went into every accessories store I could find including Diva, Lovisa, Soma, Equip ... you get the idea.
After the first few stores though, he was pretty attentive and he got the idea of what I was looking for. So much so that when I was ready to give up because I couldn't find It, HE dragged ME into Myer and went through racks and racks of costume jewellry, waited in line for the sales assistant (I'm seriously at a loss to understand how they sell anything at all - 1 assistant to look after the entire jewellry watch accessories floor), discussed our needs and found the perfect pair!
Only 1 small problem, we have only sourced 5 pairs so far and we need 6. My sis works in Brisbane so is going to pop into CBD Myer and see if they have 1 pair - fingers crossed.

It was so lovely to have FH involved in such a girly part of our wedding and it reminded me again of how much I love him.
Our birdcage and fans also arrived last Friday so my mum bought them to our family dinner Saturday night. Strangely they sent me 2 birdcages when I only ordered 1 - I think it might be because 1 wasn't bubbled wrapped properly and was a bit bent out of shape when we got it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My weekend and disruptions

So, S and I were supposed to be heading to Couran Cove tomorrow for a final site inspection with our coordinator.

Well, in light of the king tides, forcast weather and lack of fresh supplies available, Couran Cove has closed its resort till further notice (I think they expect to be back up mid next week). Perfectly understandable in the current climate and we will happily reschedule our inspection in the coming week.

This has left me with some free time... actually it did leave me with free time but I booked that up within 15 mins of finding out I had free time!

My weekend has now been allocated to a birthday drink with my baby bro tonight, shopping for BM jewellry tomorrow morning, family dinner at The Aztec tomorrow night (yummmm Desperados - French tequila beer), a catch up with one of my BMs for a shoe fitting Sunday morning and a Sunday afternoon session on the water at Titanium bar. I know, who can keep pace let alone keep appointments straight!

These plans all hinge though on whether or not I get called into emergency admin for flood support by Surf Life Saving in which case EVERYTHING is cancelled till further notice.

What are you up to this weekend?

Another friend's house

This is the home of another friend of mine who lives (lived?) in Fernvale - this is what her home looks like with the waters receding... kind of scary as you can see how high it was:


She, her partner and their 3 young children lost absolutely everything and as you can imagine, are completely heartbroken.


This devastation was enough to spur me in to some serious quick action and thanks to social networking (facebook in particular), a good friend and I have managed to set up a donation site in her big double garage for items.


So far my and my parent's friends have just been amazing dropping off stacks of good quality clothes, toys, strollers, high chairs, linen, you name it! The wonderful news is that thanks to all the donations, we will be able to immediately and easily help other families from the area who are also suffering.


Last night in preparation with S' cooperation, I ransacked our house and packed up towels, sheets, books, clothes, unused toiletries and bags to take to our storage site for donations and thanks to my MIL and mother, I will have a 4wd load of household items (pots & pans, microwaves, dinner sets) to deliver as well.


I am truly so blessed to be surrounded by such caring and beautiful people.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My bestie's street in Brisbane

These are photos M sent me of her street in Bulimba, Brisbane from mid morning. Luckily she lives on the 1st floor and this is her BBQ and pool area and street:
There is a lap pool under the murk.
This is the boardwalk of Bulimba that runs alaongside the Brisbane River.

M is now on her way down to the Coast - I think the mosquitos, flat phone, no power and lack of fresh food was getting to her! Plus she can work out of a branch on the Coast tomorrow and help others in regional Queensland who are in need.

Volunteering & Donations

To alleviate my feelings of helplessness, S doesn't know it yet but tonight we will be doing a ruthless declutter of our home to aid those that have lost everything in the floods.

I know there is at least a bag full of clothes in my wardrobe that can go and S has 3 bags of Zoo York, Elwood etc T Shirts that have barely been worn that I have been meaning to take to Lifeline. I also have stacks of books, towels, bags, sheets and goodness knows what else in the garage that can all go to the cause. Its a good start and I think on Saturday I will pop into my local supermarket and stock up on non-perishables to add.

I have also put my name down to volunteer for admin work for the emergency with surf life saving who are coordinating major Brisbane rescue efforts.

I am enormously proud of my brother and some of our friends too... they are doing 13 hours shifts in a rescue boat on the Brisbane River assisting people. Honestly, what amazing people!

One of the channel 9 reporters last night said that he asked General Peter Cosgrove after the Townsville disaster a few years ago, what more can we do for these people who have been devastated and the General replied, 'Don't forget these people.' So please Australia, spread the word and don't forget the people who are suffering and may take years to recover.

In the midst of all the sadness, I am oving some of the heartwarming stories coming out of the disaster areas like the guy who saved his family in Grantham and then rescued another 5 townspeople. Honestly, Australians really are just incredible people!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Worrying

It's crazy times here in Queensland with Brisbane set to be hit with the biggest flood we have seen to date.


It is predicted the Brisbane River will rise to 18-19 metres overnight.




Thankfully my lil brother didn't go to work today but my sis did. They are both in the West End which started flooding this morning and I was frantic with worry till my sis called me after 11am to let me know she was on her way home.


My bestie M is in the CBD which also started flooding and the banks of the Brisbane River have now broken - very frightening! M described the CBD as surreal and like the end of the world. She couldn't even get public transport home due to the mad rush to leave and had to wait for her boy to make it in to the City to pick her up. She is at home but not necessarily safe - she lives one street back from the Brisbane River in Bulimba, a suburb set to receive some serious flooding overnight and Thursday. Hopefully she and D and D's sis in law are going to try and get down the Coast tonight and stay with us till things clear up.



My parents are also causing me much stress, insisting on staying put at their Lennox Heads caravan spot rather than tripping home 3 days early. They are in Northern NSW surrounded by 3 major rivers that are predicted to breach but aren't concerned at all. Grrrr parents!




These rains are just so frightening and its devastating to hear what is happening across Queensland. It's also upsetting to hear that people are being forced to abandon their pets (evac centres aren't allowing animals) and others are stockpiling enormous amounts of food leaving none for others.




People in flood areas, make sure you look out for your neighbours, the elderly, the infirm and children where possible!




Also, if you have facebook, 'like' the 'Queensland Police' page to receive regular and accurate warnings/updates.


So far so good on the homefront here but that could change depending on our Canal's reaction to the King Tide - it has a fair way to swell though before reaching our back door.


On a happier note, how great is this guy! A true Aussie - out rescuing Kangaroos!



and more pics

The hilly terrain in San Fran - I actually walked from the bottom to take the pic!



Our friendly hotel bar staff - Christian and ???



Maceys - open at 6am on Boxing Day morning lucky for us as we flew out at 10am and needed more suitcases ha ha


Union Square Christmas Tree




A good old fashioned American Christmas tree lot in LA




Chandeliers for Street lights on Rodeo Dr




My favourite store in whole world!




Rodeo Drive



The Iconic Beverly Hills sign




Same size hands as Julie Andrews


More fun pics





The chinese theatre




Where the Oscars are held


The Hollywood sign barely visible through the smog



Dashing through the snow - Christmas display at The Grove




Funny hats at The Farmers Markets




Christmas display at The Grove - the Americans go all out with their holiday displays




The cafe we lunched at at The Grove




The end of day parade at Disneyland - Sleeping Beauty and her Prince



The Little Mermaid and Prince Eric

Fun pics

Not much to do at the moment so thought I would share some fun pics from a US holiday I took with friends in 2007/08.


The haunted house at Disneyland - sadly it was very average for all the hype.

Mostly like a museum tour of sets from the Nightmare Before Christmas.



Entrance to the Indianna Jones ride at Disneyland - lots of fun.



Mexican - sangria & guac in LA


NYE in Times Square at Planet Hollywood



A random chair we found in the backrooms of the Redwood Bar in San Fran.



Happy hour/C's birthday warmup in our hotel room in San Fran.



Posing in the bathrooms at Les Deux in LA - they have every cosmetic/beauty item a lady could need on their counter for use.




Red bus tour around LA.



Katie - a lovely bartender at Uva who took a shine to the visiting 'Ossies'




Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland - dont be deceived, it was December and the weather was freezing!