Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A few home items on my list


A new BBQ.
S' parents are buying us this Weber for Christmas so we can get rid of our big bulky burner with rangehood - it just takes up too much space and is kind of impractical for 2 of us even when entertaining.

Copenhagen bookshelf for our bedroom (we have a huge master brm).
Copenhagen tallboy x 2 for our bedroom to replace the existing ones (we have the bedsides already).


Ezibuy - perfect for our front courtyard or back patio (if only I could keep flowers alive).


One of these trays in lime green for my Glasshouse candles - to be displayed on our dark wooden buffet.

Christmas is a time for giving


One of the things I love most about my workplace is the spirit of giving (and not only at Christmas time). We are diamond partners of the NBCF and at Christmas time each year we join forces with The Salvation Army over the festive season to provide much appreciated Christmas gifts for children and give back to the community. We know that this year with floods, fires and the price of food rising, this festive season will see a significant increase of families in need of assistance.

The Salvation Army expects to provide more than $10 million worth of goods to more than 350,000 people in need across Australia. This will include the distribution of over 100,000 food vouchers and hampers and nearly half a million toys!

Major Neil Dickson of The Salvation Army said, “Over the Christmas period, financial strain, relationship issues, alcohol abuse, mental health issues and domestic violence all peak and people often struggle to make ends meet.”

During this time of year synonymous with fun and celebration, children often go without many luxuries. We add a little bit of sparkle back into these children’s eyes by donating special gifts to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal.

We know it has been a real hard year for most but the events of 2011 have hit some people harder than others. We hope to give back by donating special gifts for children who may not have many luxuries in life. We want to help in any way possible.

We alternate between non-perishable food items and toys each year and I think we had a record number of donations this year - over 50 presents! We have been advised that this year's gifts will be going to women and children at the local Stillwaters refuge delivered Santa style in the dead of the night.

Why not make your office Christmas party extra special this year and make a donation to The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal like we do - visit www.salvos.org.au

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spoilt

During the course of the weekend, it wasn't all about buying for others with a bit of buying going on for me by others - does that sentence even make sense?

Unfortunately I can't have any of it till Christmas but I guess its something to look forward to.

S has bought me these dresses from Country Road.
Light cotton and lined, I can't wait to wear them.
I went a size up to allow some bust and belly room and the good news is they will be perfect for the coming Summer weather and our break in Lennox Heads but will also see me through next Summer after BB is born.


My mum bought me these two pairs of Peter Alexander pjs ($80 down to $19 a pair) as she decided I need some nice pajamas for the hospital...NEXT YEAR. I did try to explain to her that there is still a few months to get organised but for this price, what was the point in arguing ha ha. She also bought me a beautiful PA black modal long line tailored jacket top that buttons all the way up and 'she says' will be perfect for breast feeding (it was 419 down from about $90 I think).


Then in bowing to her superior shopping prowess (no kidding, my mother is an olympic gold medallist when it comes to shopping), I let her talk me into inspecting a range of Mix clothing ... you know, the Coles brand? She has been raving about some of their pieces (namely, they do a cargo type pant just like Lorna Jane but a better fit and for only $20 or so).
Well, it turns out she may be on to something... I picked up (and she bought for me), this smock below in navy. I think it was the grand old price of $22 and it is in a beautiful crisp cotton and will be perfect for throwing over my swimmers - I bought it a size larger to cover any bump growth for Summer. Mum added a 100% cotton white smock top arrangement for the bargain price of $5 - I know, can you believe you can buy clothes brand new for $5? I tell you, I would have bought a stack if it hadn't been the only one left - and a modal type fabric knee length fully ruched and cowl-necked cream and black stripe dress that will suit me from current size to mid-bump ($25).

In case you cant tell, my mum was on a kick to get me appropriately kitted out in suiting my status to be of mummy. She picked some real winners but let me tell you, there were some horrors we argued over also. 'Too mumsy' I would say to which she would reply 'Well, you are going to be a mum' but then she took it a step further and I had to call time on the shopping explaining to her that she was now selecting items I could picture my grandmother having worn.

All in all, a successful adventure with my mum and I have to say, the Mix clothing range isn't bad for the price and something I will definitely keep in mind. They have a surprisingly big range as well and my mum tells me they happily refund anything you are not satisfied with - I gather she had a bit of a washing disaster with a white modal tee but they took on board her feedback and gave her an immediate refund.







Christmas shopping and treats

Saturday was a miserable day on the Gold Coast (think muggy humid weather and grey rain clouds but no rain). How are you supposed to spend days like this? Shopping and baking obviously!


My new Glasshouse candle - S tried to help me choose it... I say tried as the first 3 times he picked 'Night before Christmas' over 'White Christmas' then after browsing the store & finding the candles also displayed in a different section, swore black and blue he wanted 'White Christmas'. Me? I was happy with either. I think I have also given S a Glasshouse addiction as he also insisted in a Bora Bora purchase.


Christmas presents at work for the salvos - everyone brings in a gift and labels it with a sex and age range and we donate them all to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. A worthy cause and a way for our workplace to help those less fortunate at this time of year. We have been advised that the gifts are going to women and children at the Stillwaters Refuge this year.



S' birthday present. I don't drink coffee but he loves a good quality cup so I thought this would be the perfect gift for him... especially as it will no doubt come in handy once baby is here and sleep is a thing of the past.



S Christmas present (one part of). S loves basketball (has been inconsolable about the NBA lockout) and every year I buy him the latest pair of Kobe shoes. I had to go with this colour as despite liking Kobe as a player, he is not a Lakers fan and the other pair were white, purple and yellow.


I couldn't resist buying these books & a few others for S and my dad given our baby news:
FATHERHOOD DEMYSTIFIED! Finally-a manual for new dads that deciphers the immensely confusing world of fatherhood and gives crucial tips and advice from a man's point of view. No psychobabble, no warm fuzzies-just a hilarious (and surprisingly practical) military-style guide to surviving and thriving through even the queasiest moments of pregnancy, birth, and babyhood. Seasoned father and master infant-tamer Scott Mactavish breaks the Baby Code down and lays it out in straight-up guyspeak. The New Dad's Survival Guide includes declassified information on such topics as: * Cutting the Cord: The Moment of Truth * Feeding and Cleaning the NFU (New Family Unit) * Surviving Sleep Deprivation * Relieving Stress Without Booze * The Great Boob Irony * Pee, Poo, Hurl, and Snot: Getting Used to the Bodily Functions * Critical Survival Tips Never Before Revealed * Sex: Let the Games Begin Again...Finally * Dozens of Essential Terms Defined, Including Binky, Onesie, Diaper Genie, Passy, and Sippy Cup GRAB YOUR BOOTS AND STRAP ON YOUR HELMET! THE BABIES ARE COMING!
This series of reflections on the role of a grandfather will be an inspiration and a pleasure to all grandparents. Poignant and laugh out loud funny.


I also picked up Christmas presents for C, M and another friend on my travels along with a few parcels that arrived last week including my Oroton gift for my family secret santa but I can't share any details here as I know they pop by from time to time.

I then spent my afternoon baking cheese and herb scones and my mum's handmedown recipe from WW Beautiful Biscuits 'choc fudge slice' much to S bemusement - hey, whatever keeps my mind off that clod Sav Blanc from the old days lol.

What did you get up to on Saturday?

Akuna Tata and other favourites from the Disney Vault

My weekend was a surprisingly productive one... I say surprisingly as I was expecting to do more sleeping than anything else.

We had baby S sleepover on Friday night while her parents went to a Christmas party and this proved to be the perfect opportunity to watch one of a few of my new DVD purchases - I bought Beauty & the Beast, Bedknobs & Broomsticks and Mary Poppins last week. All classics in everyone's books but S' hence why they were still in shrinkwrap. Well baby S was the perfect excuse to get Beauty & the Beast playing - how could he deny a 2 1/2 year old a princess movie? Unfortunately at first baby S didn't want a bar of any princess movie, she wanted the 'Akuna tata' movie... lucky I speak 'baby S' and could translate this to The Lion King.


After explaining 'Akuna Tata' was broken (this may or may not have been a fib designed to save my sanity after watching The Lion King back to back 3 times last time baby S was over), I settled young miss to watch Beauty and the Beast and to my delight, she was hooked with the first song (me too for that matter). Spellbound by the movie, she didn't take her eyes off it and begged me to repeat each song with 'again again' cries when they ended. Baby S took much delight in explaining to me that the Beast was 'angry' when he was being mean to Belle but later he was 'nice' and 'not angry' any more.

Upon the movie ending, S told baby S she could watch 'Akuna Tata' now as he had fixed it but she wanted none of it and demanded the Princess movie again which is how we came to spend our Friday night watching Beauty and the Beast back to back.

On the subject of Disney movies, S can't complain about my new obsession with them as he was my enabler. He came home from work recently with a blu ray Diamond edition of The Lion King. Thinking it was a bit of a random selection for us, I queried why. S explained all about the 'Disney Vault' to me and how some movies are only available every 5 + years as part of a marketing ploy by Disney to ensure their greatest hits aren't overexposed. Did you know about this? I didn't and not one to believe everything I'm told, immediately turned to google for confirmation! Check this out... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Vault
Turns out S was right (I know, I was surprised too) and I am now quite concerned about how I am going to get my hands on a copy of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Snow White before my baby is born - not sure why I have this deadline but its very important to me at this point and let me tell you, if you don't already have The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo then you had better get yourself down to your local JB Hifi quick smart or risk depriving your children of the classics.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Call me crazy...

(some of my friends certainly have) but S and I have already bought the following baby items.

Look people, I know its a little on the early side but the prices were just to good to turn down.


This Tasman-Eco set (cot & change table) including mattress was only $500 (from about $800)


Bright Starts Kashmir Swing $99 from $259

Tasman Eco bassinet $149 from $189
Bright Starts play mat with lights and sounds $49 from $99

We also picked up the Avent starter kit with 8 bottles, steriliser, warmer and other extras for $199 from $349.

I blame my mother as she was my enabler... she received a catalogue for Baby Bunting in the mail, inspected, bought up big then took me there the next day where I bought up a few items and took S the following day who bought up big. Seeing a pattern here that goes back to one key person? Exactly!

Disclaimer: I will be doing my very best not to make this blog be too baby-centric so feel free to give me feedback if it starts getting that way after my initial 5 posts following 'announcement 2' :)

Announcement No 2

I'm a joiner and with babies being the new black (particularly in my circle), on the same day I find out I was going to be an Aunty in May next year, I also found out I that I was going to be a mummy in July as some of you may have already guessed!

The day after we got back from Japan, I decided to take a test as my cycle has been all over the place this year and was a month or more out of whack (which hasn't been unusual). While waiting for the result, I got a call from my bro informing me of my impending Aunty status and in the excitement of it all, got a positive result from my test and blurted out my news - I hadn't even told S yet!!! I felt terrible about spilling to my brother first and he promised to keep my secret until I had a chance to tell S our news.

Let me tell you, that day was the longest of my life! I wanted to tell S in person and for him to be the second person I told so I had to avoid calls from C & M all day in addition to biting my tongue when my mum and her best friend called over for afternoon tea.

Finally S got home and I could share the big news. I of course blurted it out then burst into tears... shaky happy emotional tears while S just grinned like a dummy once the initial shock wore off.

We have had our dating scan and are only 9 weeks today so it is early days but I'm okay with sharing our happy news early as come what may, the gift of life is still something to celebrate.

I couldn't be more excited right now or have a better network of support around me with one of my bestie's due in May, one having just had her first and another due in the coming days with her second on top of C with baby S and my other girlfriend with two under 3. My bestie M and my sister K while both childless and planning to stay that way for a little bit longer yet, are also a wonderful support to my mental health and M has even started reading pregnancy mags with me - I think so she can understand my mental state a little easier in the coming months.

My mum has also been amazing, literally jumping out of her skin at the prospect of becoming a Grammy not once but twice next year and S is a very excited and involved husband, undertaking his own shopping research expeditions to baby stores and the like. He has maybe been a little over zealous thus far though - he has prepared a list of necessities the baby will need when we bring it home and one of his top priorities was a playpen. I have since explained to him that newborns pretty much stay where you leave them and it will be a few months before a playpen is a must have item.

We are in for a crazy time to come I have know doubt and I for one cannot wait!

Announcement No 1

I AM GOING TO BE AN A.U.N.T.Y. PEOPLES!

I am also very excited in case you can't tell.

This was one of the secrets I was alluding to in a previous post but not able to share as it wasn't my news to tell first off and you never know who might be lurking (seriously, I have been told by friends who knew I had a blog but not the name, that they googled things they know about me and the blog came up so you never know who is reading).

So the new baby to come belongs to my brother N and his wife C. They didn't want to share the news until 12 weeks understandably so we were all sworn to secrecy until last week - I know, I'm slack and could have posted the news last week but motivation has been thin on the ground this week.

The good news is that C is now about 13 weeks along so it has become common knowledge around these parts that my mother is finally going to be a Grammy and I no longer have to quash rumours and lie to family friends about why C isn't drinking.

Now to find the perfect gift for my new niece or nephew - suggestions?
To make it easy, N & C are kindly finding out the sex at 20 weeks so I will know whether to buy blue or pink.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Overrated ... things I just can't love

We all have things that were supposed to be amazing.. either hyped by us or someone else... that just didn't make the grade when it came down to it. Here are a few of the things that underwhelm me:

  1. Black Swan - firstly, WTF... it just wasn't that amazing, gripping or scary. The acting was great but the storyline just wasn't worth my time and I won't be surprised if I never see this move again.
  2. Twilight - I have tried, really tried. I have seen all the movies and I own the books but I just can't get into this series. I love HP and Buffy is one of my all time fave shows so its not the supernatural thing I'm against. Twilight is just too whiny and angsty for me plus (ducking for cover here), I don't get the Robert Pattison fascination.
  3. Lord of the Rings - again, the movie and the books just can't hook me.
  4. Seafood - at the risk of sounding like a total moron, its just too fishy therefore not a flavour I enjoy at all.
  5. Sushi - again with the fishy plus I just can't get a taste for seaweed.
  6. Coffee - or even hot drinks for that matter. I don't like the taste, they don't refresh me and usually leave my mouth feeling blah.
  7. Los Angeles - seriously one of my most disappointing experiences ever. Trust me, I explored that city and the Gold Coast is a better place than LA.
  8. Mad Men - love the fashion, don't get the rest of it.
  9. The Dragon Tattoo trilogy - I can't even get past page 2 of the main book and have no desire to see either of the movie versions.
  10. Glee - I love music of every genre but this show just doesn't do it for me. I just can't get anything out of it ... I am well aware that I am in a minority here.
  11. Eat Pray Love - really? What a ridiculously self indulgent, unrealistic and poorly written experience.

What underwhelms/underwhelmed you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Past and Christmas Present

Christmas past - to recap on Christmas 2010, here are a few of our decorations...

S' stocking


My stocking


Our tree Angel



Christmas present - this year I will be looking for these to add to our Christmas collection...


A nativity scene


A wreath for the front door





Thursday, November 10, 2011

A few of my favourite things

Its almost Christmas - hooray!

I love Christmastime and everything about it... carols, the food, present giving, decorations and of course the spirit. I love how people are nicer (mostly) at Christmastime and you tend to see more smiles on the faces of strangers.

So in the theme of Christmas, here are a few of the things I will be buying and wrapping for a few of my loved ones:

Girlfriends - an assortment of the following...


Mum -


S -

Secret Santa recipient -

MiL & SiL -


The Boss -


The little girls -

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back again

So we're back from Japan - have been for a week today in fact but I'm just slack about downloading the pics and getting back into the blogging.

Truth be told, I've been occupied with some very big news and events that both directly and indirectly affect my life in a big way ... but more on that later as I can't share yet cause some of it is not really my news to share. Cryptic I know but all will be revealed in time :)

No Japan post today as like I mentioned, I've been too slack to download the pics yet but in the meantime I just thought I'd ramble and share some other bits and pieces.

For one, I can't believe I take a 10 day break from twitter (wifi not the best in Japan) and on my return, discover that Kim K has filed for divorce! See what happens when you lose contact with the 21st Century for a short time? That's right, you become irrelevant. Its saddens me the marriage appears to be over and I know I go against popular opinion when I say that I believe the intentions behind the marriage were genuine and I imagine this is a very sad and hard time for Kim K. Call me a sucker but I will stick to my fairytales.

Oops, just posted this update so far so now have to go back in and edit to finish it...

In other real life news, I got to catch up with three of S and my favourite couples on Saturday night. Two of the gorgeous girls are only about a week from having their bubbas - one is having a girl (her first) and one is having a boy (her second) - so I had lots of fun shopping on Saturday for gifts as I missed their baby showers while in Japan. I ended up with a pink bonds summer playsuit & cotton summer sleeping bag arrangement for the girl and a grey bonds summer playsuit & cotton summer sleeping bag arrangement for the boy. I ideally wanted to buy them a bumbo each but they were impossible to track down (lucky I didn't though as they both got one at their baby showers) or a sleep sheep but again with the impossible to track down.

I also attended the Ultimate Life Saving Lunch on Friday with a group of friends including my dad and boss. It was a great afternoon although I'm sad to say, not a patch on last year's event with little Johnny Howard. They had special guests including Greg Ritchie (cricketer) and he was fabulous, a very funny storyteller and Darren Carr who is a comedian and ventriloquist who had everyone in stitches. Most disappointing was the football panel made up of NRL Choppy Close, AFL Travis Ault and some Union guys. They were smutty, crude, uninteresting and mostly irrelevant. They managed to offend both male and female guests alike and I won't be attending any future event they are headlining.

This week is pretty uneventful so I will endeavour to come up with some more interesting topics for my next posts.

ps. Japan was amazing, I could not be happier that we went back and will post a trip report when I get around to downloading those pics. Let me say, if you haven't been or its not on your list then get to it and VISIT JAPAN!