Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm on a mission for Hpnotiq

So S wants me to go out for dinner tonight with him and some of 'the boys' to a very enjoyable local restaurant - the Ipoh Satay House - but

unfortunately I must decline as I'm on a mission (plus why would I want to hang out with all the boys on a Friday night? I do enough of that every other weekend.

So instead, I am off to track down a bottle of Hpnotiq or Hpnotiq Harmonie - I'm not fussy as long as it tastes as good as the description (I am aware there is a good chance I will be disappointed as the product rarely lives up to description).

It turns out that I can't find a Gold Coast soul (or bottle shop) that has even heard of the stuff so I am setting off to Dan Murphys at 5pm in the hope they wont let me down.

I first heard about it on Khloe Kardashian's blog (yes, I freely admit it, I love all the Kardashians) when she hosted their product launch for Harmonie and in the market for a new drink this weekend (I am a little wined out), I figure now is the time.

The Hpnotiq description:
Hpnotiq combines the most exceptional characteristics of Pure Cognac, Premium Vodka, and natural Tropical fruit juices to create a level of quality and taste that is refined and elegant.


The Harmonie description:
Harmonie is a liqueur which infuses premium French Vodka, natural fruits, flowers, and Cognac. Its vibrant, violet color and refreshing blend of infused berries, violets, lavender and premium spirits make any occasion more fabulous.

How divine do they both sound? I know, I can't wait to get my mits on one or both.

Recommendations including blending with champagne - sounds like my kind of drink!

What about you, have you heard of Hpnotiq, know where to buy it or the best way to drink it?

I will report back with an update if my mission is successful!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

On the goooood ship Lollipop

How seriously cute are these necklaces:


They come in birthstones and are $100 each for the jeweled enamel or $300 for the crystal

Simone I. Smith teamed up with the American Cancer Society to introduce "A Sweet Touch of Hope."

This stylish lollipop charm will help raise funds and awareness to help save more lives from cancer, a disease that affects everyone in some way. In 2004, Simone was diagnosed with stage III chondorosarcoma- a rare form of cancer. Her treatment required an invasive surgery that altered the appearance of her lollipop tattoo. "It literally looks like someone took a bite out of it,” says Simone. Inspired by her experience, the lollipop now represents Simone's journey to getting well and staying well, and has sparked a desire to help other cancer survivors.

10% of the purchase price is donated to the American Cancer Society.

http://simoneismith.com/store/categories/public/?id=316/

Help!

Is there anyone out there who could please do me a huge favour and identify this dress worn by Kim K in Season 6 episode 3:

I'm sorry, I know this is not a great pic at all but its the best I could find.
I have googled, been on celebrity style guide sites and exhausted my research.
I just love the style, especially the flicky skirt and I also love the pattern.

Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The suburb that never was

In the course of my research today for our monthly newsletter, I found the following interesting article.

From a distance it looks like a real suburb, but this is actually something right out of a classic Hollywood war movie.

Literally. It's a set. A huge set. This suburb sat over 12 metres in the air, atop a World War II airplane factory.

Fearful of Japanese bombing raids during World War II, plane manufacturer Boeing's critical Seattle factory, known as Plant 2, was hidden in spectacular theatrical style - beneath a fake suburb.

In 1942, Hollywood set designer and art director John Stewart Detlie was called in to work his magic on Plant 2's enormous - and very obvious - flat roof.

Read more...

http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/the-suburb-that-never-existed-20110708-1h6jr.html

Publicity shot taken on the camouflaged roof of Plant 2. July 23 1945.

Photo: Boeing-Historical-Archives.

More procrastinating

I love surveys and this is another one borrowed from So Beaucoup! while I am procrastinating my afternoon ahead:

Today:

* Outfit: Cue white collarded shirt with puffy shoulders and black piping down the front, Cue black pencil skirt, multi coloured silk scarf, patterned tights, black patent kitten heels

* Hairstyle: loose and wavy with fringe pinned back

* Jewelery: wedding & e ring, eternity rings, everyday belcher bracelet, everyday thick curb link necklace, every day fine link bracelet, shepherds hook earrings – all yellow gold

* Nail color: bare – haven’t gotten around to trying out my new OPI order

Do you:

* Cut yourself: Never

* Lick yourself: Weird query - no!

* Whine a lot: I don't think so as its a trait that annoys me

* Hate a lot of people: No, just a few who have caused my family pain

* Have too many friends: No, although sometimes its hard to see them all as much as I would like

* Want to die: Definitely not

* Do drugs: Nope

* Wear dark colors: Often but recognise this and working on being more colourful

* Dye your hair: Sometimes ... like once every few years by one to two shades darker... I know, I'm a risk taker

Have you ever:

* Kissed someone: Lots of someones

* Gotten drunk: Many times... see earlier post on Dry July

* Worn rainbow: Yep, I had the most adorable suspenders when I was little (4/5) with rainbow clips

* Talked on the phone for over 3 hours: Regularly... to M

* Left the country: Yes and come back again unfortunately

* Had a party with over 30 people: Of course

* Taken nude pictures: Never, those types of things always come back to haunt you

* Stolen something: Unfortunately yes ... early teens are not always good judges

* Caught something on fire: My sandpit... my brother was a pyro when he was 10 ... enough said

* Cheated on someone: Nope

* Asked someone out: Not that I can recall

* Had a dream, then the next day it happens: Yes, and nightmares too :)

Last person:

* You touched: S when I gave him a kiss

* You talked to: My boss – discussing tactics for a new campaign

* You hugged: see 'touched'

* You instant messaged: Don't use instant msg

Are you:

* Understanding: I try to be and I think I am

* Open-minded: I almost always am

* Arrogant: At times

* Insecure: Sometimes

* Interesting: I guess so, people seek me out?

* Hungry: I just ate lunch so no

* Smart: Yes, I like to think so

* Moody: No unless I'm under stress

* Childish: I think I've outgrown this

* Independent: Yes, very at times

* Hard working: When I'm motivated

* Healthy: I should be better with exercise and drink less soft drink

* Emotional: I can be when tired

* Shy: Sometimes in new situations

* Difficult: Unfortunately yes

* Attractive: Depends who you ask

* Bored easily: Definitely – watching tv for me involves my phone at arm’s reach and a book or magazine for the ads

* Thirsty: yes, for some cold water

* Obsessed: yes, with the Duchess of Cambridge's style

* Angry: a little, some people really bug me

* Sad: a little, a person I care about a lot is not well

* Happy: yep, I have a great life and lots of blessings

* Trusting: No, I have a suspicious mind

* Ill: Nope

* Talkative: Definitely, everyone who knows me says so

* Ignored: Not usually as I am a little demanding I think

* Reliable: I almost always am

* Self-disciplined: Not particularly

* Sleepy: Always in the mornings & usually after 10pm nowdays (getting old)

* Lonely: Sometimes on the weekends when S works

Favorites:

* What is your favorite band?: The Script or U2

* Colour(s)?: navy or red

* Soda?: Coke

* Music?: All of it - almost

* Stores in the mall?: Country Road, Kookai, Cue

* Ice cream?: Mint choc chip, Baskin's rockin' candy or rainbow sherbert

* Candy?: Not much of a sweet tooth - fizzy heart lollies

* CD?: anything by The Script or U2

* Cookies?: choc chip - especially the Kmart decadent ones

* Holiday?: Australia day or ANZAC day

* Month?: December…holidays, presents, new years, sunshine, camping

In the last 48 hours:

* Cried?: teary for someone

* Missed someone?: my grandparents ... I always miss them

* Yelled at someone?: Yep, poor S

* Changed your underwear?: A lot

* Drove somewhere?: Of course, you can’t get around the Coast otherwise

* Talked to someone on the phone?: Many people many times

* Been online?: Too much

* Smiled?: Lots

* Had sex?: Of course, you need to for baby making :)

* Kissed someone?: Yep, lucky S

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting my Flaschengeist on

Have you heard of Flaschengeist? Don't worry, until yesterday, I hadn't either. Turns out, Flaschengeist is the new Tupperware... liqueurs and oils sold via in-home parties.

My friend N invited us all over for an afternoon tea at her place yesterday, conveniently leaving out the dreaded "??" party phrase - you know, like when you get a text message for a tupperware/jewellery/nutrimetics party and you cringe before trying to come up with an excuse not to go?

So my mum, sis in law and I went along armed with wine and looking forward to N's afternoon tea - N is a fabulous cook and is known for her delicious canapes. yesterday she whipped up strawberry & lemon whoopie cakes, smoked chicken wontons and a variety of other delicious treats.


N's friend B was there when we arrived, setting up a table with brightly coloured bottles of liqueurs and oils and thats when the penny dropped... Flaschengeist is alcohol! I know, I was pleasantly surprised also.


B has just signed on as a planner/presenter for Flaschengeist and spent the afternoon allowing us to sample the most delicious products. Some favourites of mine included Strawberry schnapps, Blackcurrant vodka, Walnut whiskey (strange as I don't like whiskey) and Chocolate tawny port. We also sampled the range of infused EVOOs including garlic, lemon and basil along with their dark and white balsamic vinegars.

Apparently Flaschengeist used to have stores in Adelaide and was sold in Dan Murphys but has repositioned their company to do parties and online orders instead. The oils and vinegars are all very reasonably priced at around $20 in gorgeous 'bench worthy' bottles while the liqueurs are purchased by selecting a bottle size and then choosing which liqueur to fill the bottle with. the bottles range in size from 110ml to 750ml so you have a broad range to select from.

I don't mind telling you that after just one party, I am totally hooked and have already booked my own party for September. So great are the products, my dad and brother loved them too (we made them sample when they came to pick us up) so I have already worded up S and we are going to have all of our friends (male and female) come to our Flaschengeist party.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm Back!

After a prolonged absence due to dying a long slow death by way of flu, chest infection and severe tonsillitis, I am back at work after 5 days of rest.

Isn't it funny how when we're at work, we always think, 'Darn, I wish I was at home on the couch watching movies' or 'I have so much to do at home, I'd rather be there.'

Well, let me tell you, I will not be thinking or uttering those phrases for some time to come. Now I know I might have enjoyed it more had I not been a mass of aching agonised nerve endings however even with cable TV and the world's best comfiest couch, I have never beenso bored in my entire life. I can however say that I am totally up to date on the Kardashians, Khloe & Lamar, Charmed reruns, Buffy reruns, Game of Thrones (still undecided on if I like this), Ellen, Real HW of Beverley Hills (am not a Camille fan by any stretch) and the other usual daytime TV rubbish as well as my washing.

Thankfully after a week of dosing myself up on Codral, lemsip, advil, lysine, chlorophyll, multi-vitamins, Difflam gargle and good old antibiotics, I seem to be coming good. Plus, silver lining, looks like being this sick may have helped me get a start on shedding that lingering 5kgs :)

So, on to my point...

The first day back at work can always be a bit depressing regardless of how boring the couch was butnope, mine started on a good note.

I had this package waiting for me when I arrived.... my OPI order from Nail Etc!


It only took about 2.5 weeks and I have no complaints given the amazingly discounted prices!

I ordered the Nice Stems minis - couldn't decide on which full sizes to get without trying them


And these in full size:


Argenteeny Pinkini, Vodka & Caviar - need to check my order as I think I ordered ??Red Square, Russian Navy and Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore - didn't realise it would be so similar to Argenteeny but oh well

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Everybody's free... to wear sunscreen

Have you heard this Baz Luhrmann 'song'?

I love it and still listen to it regularly as it reminds me sometimes of what is important in life when I get caught up in all the miniscule details and dramas of the day, week, month and year.

Do you have a go to song like this?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours.

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

End of an Era

So I need to start by saying that I am super hopeless at remembering to take pics for this blog. I always remember after we have started eating or the moment has passed or I don't remember at all because I'm too caught up. I will try to improve and remember to take more pics in future to share here.

Last night was a little bittersweet for me. My little brother J and my sister K and I went to the movies (Gold Class of course) to see the last of the Harry Potter series, The Deathly Hallows part 2. Its a tradition we started way back in the very beginning and have enjoyed together ever since. We have also dragged along my brother in law D for the last few times and converted him to a fan ... S is slowly getting there as well -I got home last night to find him watching The Half Blood Prince of his own accord <3

As it was a 6:30pm session, we ordered a dinner of loaded potato skins with cheese, bacon, sour cream and shallots yummmmmm in addition to popcorn each (its not a movie without popcorn in our books). It was super cheap I thought coming in at $23 for both with a drink. Alas, I had envisaged a big bowl of skins smothered with the aforementioned toppings. Instead I received four average sized skins only ... what was worse, was that I offered to share mine with J so we ended up with 2 skins each :(

Moving forward from the skins disappointment and on to the movie... WOW! Loved every single second of it! I don't want to share details in case of spoiling it for anyone but can I just say there was lots of emotion, lots of action and they really did the book justice. The movie was liberal with some key parts of the book however I accept this is necessary to convey the story in movie form where you don't have the time and luxury of a book. I was extremely glad they took the time to convey the truth of Snape and found it beautifully recounted.


J and I have both read all the books some 5 times each whereas K hasn't and I must share with you that if you haven't read the books, do so now! You will get some much more out of the movies having read the books and there is so much more story that the movies just dont have time to show.

I am sad the series is over and that our little tradition has come to an end but J K Rowling and the gang, thanks for the ride... it was memorable and I look forward to sharing the stories with my children one day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just another reason to love the Duchess - edited to add text from letter

I am reposting these pictures from So Beaucoup's tumblr just because I was so moved by this little girl's letter... she is 6 years old and has stage 4 cancer :(

She got to meet Kate in Canada and presented her with this letter:


it says...

Dear Princess Kate

My name is Diamond Ann

I am six. I was named

after Princess Diana. My

mommy Memory is in heaven

with her. I have cancer. I

spend a lot of time at

the hospital. I watched

you get married from my

bed there. You looked

pretty. I like playing

Princess dress up. My

favourite Princess is

Aurora. Who is yours?

I would really like to

meet you. Do you want

to meet me too?

Thank you for reading

my letter.

Love

Diamond


Isn't it just so sweet and innocent (and a little bit heartbreaking).


And this picture is just beautiful because you can imagine just how much this moment meant to little Diamond and I can only guess at how moved Kate was by it (I would have been in tears):


Its beautiful to see that dreams can come true and that little Diamond's did.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Greek Festival = big disappointment

After a huge night out in Brisbane on Saturday night in Bulimba with M (more on that later), I dragged myself out of my hangover and hightailed it back to the Coast to pick S so we could meet mum, dad, C & L, baby S and C's sister and her family at the Greek Festival on the Gold Coast.

I can not even begin to describe how much I was struggling from little sleep and too many double vodkas but was excited enough about the Greek Festival to power through it and get there by 11am.

The lines to get in didn't surprise me, it was a perfect Gold Coast day and I figured everyone had the same idea... get down to Evandale and enjoy the food, music and good company plus I was in a great mood as we got an easy park with little effort right near the gates.

We paid our $5 entry, found everyone with little fuss and were off to a great start
... until I decided I needed a cold drink. Well, there were only 2 places selling them, both on opposite sides of the park with a crowd of thousands to navigate to get there. Oh well, C's sis, my mum and I ventured off to inspect and get the aforementioned drink.


We fought the throng, saw some dancing from a distance and found our way back. Food was next on the agenda... until I realised the line next to us, snaking around the entire park was the queue for food. Seriously, the lineup was probably close to an hour and half worth of waiting as they only had one outlet selling food rather than lots of little ones specialising in each dish
(haloumi, mezze plates, souvlaki, skewers, spanakopita etc).



After enjoying the sunshine and company for an hour and half and watching the food line grow but not move by the second, we were all over it... especially baby S. So in the interests of maintaining our enjoyment in the day and company, we set off across the road to Surfers Rowers for food.

Proved to be a great move. We were quickly accommodated with a waterfront table, gourmet $10 pizzas and $10 jugs of beer. Our good humour was quickly restored and despite an hour wait for food (they we re super busy), we ended our day on a high note with good food and great company in a venue that did very well to accommodate the unexpected influx of people.


I am disappointed the Greek Festival didn't live up to expectations but had a fabulous afternoon in spite of it.

In my opinion, if they want success next year, they need to put some thought in to the setup and use the $5 entry fee for better facilities etc. They had a smoking section in middle of the venue, you could barely access the kids ride area due to the food line snaking across it, the food should have been served from separate stalls not one big one (no way was I queuing for an hour and a half for a $3 piece of haloumi), the toilets were stuck in the back with lines stretching a mile and we could only find 2 places selling soft drinks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Strawberrynet

Do you use Strawberrynet?

Me? Its one of my favourite beauty 'stores' and I source almost everything from them after I have appropriately colour matched instore (or I use kissandmakeupny.com for Nars). I am so loyal to strawberrynet (ie. I have spent way too much with them) that I receive a set 10% off each order and often an additional 5% as I can't stop at just 2 items.

They have come under a lot of scrutiny over the years for the quality and authenticity of their product but I have to say that in the 6+ years I have used them, I have never had a single problem nor have any of my friends who are also dedicated Strawberrynetters.

Here is today's package that was just delivered:

1. EL Advanced Night Repair

2. Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle

3. MAC Studiofix

and a free Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Lipstick in Heavenly as a bonus.


All for under $120 including shipping! I know, bargain.

Does she ever get it wrong?

Another post dedicated to the Duchess of Cambridge - I can't help it, I'm fascinated by her classic style, elegance and poise ... as is everyone else given the amount of daily international coverage she receives.


Photos from Eonline

I am especially loving the Canada Day outfit (white Issa dress recycled from her engagement shoot), the purple Issa dress number, the Erdem all lace dress and the grey peter pan collar frock. Every outfit seems perfectly thought out for the location and occasion, is of a reasonable price (ie. not one off couture pieces) and she has proved beyond doubt she is definitely not afraid to get decent wear out of her wardrobe.

If I had one criticism of her tour so far, I think the Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen knit dress was on the frumpy mumsy side and reminds me of something the Von Trapp children wore in the Sound of Music (inspired much?).


Monday, July 4, 2011

Fun fripperies

I love the word 'frippery' - its so delightfully old fashioned and conjures up all sorts imagined luxuries in my opinion. I think it could be my new favourite word, moving forward from 'polarising' which I was throwing around for a while.

So here are just a few of my fripperies for the week:

Ecoya french pear melts (I adore all things pear, both the flavour and the scent)
so these will be perfect to use in my Dusk burner


Mimco headbands



Glasshouse candles... especially Versailles and Bora Bora



Who is taking the challenge...

Of course I'm referring to Dry July here and believe me, it is a challenge.

I have tried many a time to go alcohol-free for an extended period and have failed to reach my end goal every time. I think this is because I am an inherently social person with a full calendar surrounded by similar types who enjoy a glass of wine (or two) after work, champagne brunches on the weekend, a casual beer or a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and a few glasses of wine when catching up or out to dinner.

To paint you a picture, last week, S and I ...

* had dinner with his parents Tuesday - involving 2 bottles of wine and a German beer
* Wednesday night, S had a product launch on in Brisbane for work - with an open bar, while I had a girls' movie night - obligatory glass of wine
* my parents came for dinner Thursday night - beers for the boys & a bottle of wine for mum and I
* Friday was EOFY celebration at work with copious amounts of wine supplied by the boss and consumed by all of us
* afternoon beers were called for Saturday to celebrate after a beach carnival
* the weather totally called for a Sunday Session at the local tavern with friends and jugs of tap beer

See what I mean? It just seems like there is always something on that calls for a drink so this morning when I woke up, I decided to break the cycle.

I am going to commit to Dry July. Albeit 4 days late but I figure 27 days dry is better than none.

Now I won't lie, its going to be a struggle and this week is not an ideal one to choose for starting my dry campaign what with the State of Origin party at my parents' house and the faint promise of the Blues ending their drought with a series win! But I do think its worth the sacrifice for my health and to start some better habits.

Wish me luck peoples.

Is anyone else giving Dry July a whirl?