Monday, 25 March 2013

Crazy Family Weekend and Macarons Galore

A few months ago my Dad decided to organise a HUGE family reunion, and I don't use the term 'huge' lightly.  The reunion included the descendants from my grandmother's father.  My grandmother was one of 12 kids.  My grandmother's family comprises 36 people (not including people who have married into the family or boyfriends/girlfriends).  You do the math.

We had guests who flew in from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Korea and Papua New Guinea.  We had 4 generations represented, from 3 months old to 90 years old.  We had many nationalities present including HK Chinese obviously, but also Caucasian, Papua New Guinean, Italian, African, German, Argentinian, Samoan, Mainland Chinese and probably more that I'm not aware of.  To say that I have a rainbow family is an understatement!

My Dad painstakingly drew up a Family Tree by hand which took him months.  We booked a function room.  Food, cameras and nametags galore (yes nametags - it actually helped a LOT).  It was so good to catch up with relatives we haven't seen in a while, and also meet new relatives we'd previously not been in touch with.

I wore an Asos dress, Louboutin Jennys and usual silver jewelry.

Me and Tom
My sisters and I, and my cousin

Although the Family Reunion consumed most of my weekend, I did manage to squeeze in some macaron making.  Salted caramel galore!!

Oh PS - on the job front: I got really good feedback from my second round interview.  They said I am the strongest candidate and that I should receive the formal offer tomorrow so crossing my fingers and toes.
Oh PPS - I have been shoe shopping again.  Naughty naughty.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Interview outfit

I'm at the train station and my train has been cancelled. I have to wait 15 minutes for the next one which means I will arrive to the interview maybe a few minutes late. I hate being late.

Also today is hot. Couldn't handle a suit jacket so I'm wearing Uniqlo black pants, Forever New cream silk blouse and Louboutin Pigalle in bleu saphir.

I hate Sydney public transport.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

I had a FULL-ON WEEKEND.  I actually love those weekends because I hate those weekends where I do absolutely nothing as I feel like I've accomplished nothing.

Saturday morning Tom and I went to Crows Nest so he could visit a music store which had a "pedal board" he wanted to buy (a pedal board in a suitcase thing which holds guitar pedals).  We had breakfast at Montagu which was ah-mah-zing.  Seriously, we just stumbled across it and I am now ranting and raving about it to anyone who will listen.  The produce was just so fresh and tasty.  The only negative was the number of flies because they have an open kitchen.  But it was worth eating breakfast with flies because the food was so good.

I got free tickets to see 'I Give It A Year' starring Simon Baker, Rose Byrne, Minnie Driver and Anna Faris. It was ok.... mindless fodder.  Stephen Merchant's character is just outrageous.  He was on the Graham Norton Show and said the Director wrote the role specifically for him and you can see why.  It's also nice to see 2 Aussies playing major roles in a big Hollywood movie (although very sad that one donned a British accent and the other donned an American accent).

We went to have dinner with Tom's parents and grandparents - his Grandma is a hoot, absolutely crackup.  I always enjoy chatting to her.  I wore my blue Marcs pants out for the first time and absolutely loved it.

Sunday is always my day for visiting my family.  Had lunch with Aunts and Uncles, played games with my cousins (of the board variety) between lunch and dinner, then dinner with my immediate family.

I had a few ebay listings end tonight - only sold 3 things.  Might just give the rest to Vinnies - can't be bothered relisting (apart from the expensive stuff).

Friday, 15 March 2013

Net-A-Porter's new APAC region and eBay's Global Shipping Program

If you go to you will see a new Splash page:

I noticed this yesterday arvo and my interest was immediately piqued.  A few things I noticed:

  • Prices are in AUD
  • APAC region doesn't have all designers yet but did have a decent range
  • Prices of products seem comparable between the APAC site and UK site
  • Items get shipped from Hong Kong and returns are still free via DHL to Hong Kong
  • Delivery time is 2-4 working days
  • Free Shipping (FreeEnjoy free shipping on all orders until March 29) although how much shipping will cost after March 29 is unknown
  • Prices EXclusive of Duties and Taxes if your order is more than AUD$1000 (see screenshot below):
  • No Duties/taxes if the order is less than AUD$1000:

So far I don't really see the benefit of the APAC site if we still get charged taxes for orders > $1000 and if we still have to pay shipping after March 29.

In other news, eBay has a new Global Shipping Program which I learnt about when I bought my Burberry trench.  Thought I would share the info with my internet friends so you don't get a heart attack when/if this happens to you.

eBay's Global Shipping Program basically allows consumers like us to purchase from international eBay sellers who won't ship internationally (for me it was a US seller).  What happens is the seller ships domestic (in my experience, to Kentucky, USA) which is in eBay address.  Some dude at the eBay address receives your package and then sends it onto you in Australia.

I was skeptical at first, I mean doesn't this add unnecessary delivery time to me?  (Yes)  And why am I being charged an Import Tax (my purchase was <AUD$1000)?  The answer was "Australian buyers are not charged fees for duties, but they are responsible for the taxes and brokerage fees included in the import charges."  I'm not sure what this means or whether it answered my question but I couldn't be bothered arguing.  Lastly I raised the point that the seller himself had no idea how this whole thing worked and was also very confused about the Kentucky address and Sydney address he saw at Checkout.  Maybe if they promote a service like this to sellers, they should explain how it works??

I personally fail to see the benefits of this system and don't think it was worth the headache and confusion.  To me it just seems like eBay is trying to take a bigger slice of the pie (they collect 60%ish of the postage you pay and give whatever's left to the seller).  I'm not sold (yet); my parcel forwarder does a good enough job for about the same cost.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

How do you store your jewelry?

I know this topic has done the rounds of the Vogue Forum but I'm wondering how YOU store your jewelry?

My Mum has a few jewelry boxes that she uses.  My sisters use those perspex jewelry holders but that didn't work for me.  I recently tried this:

Once I put all my jewelry in there, it became SO heavy.   I also didn't have anywhere I could hang it that was easily accessible, so I gave up on that too.

I've now gone back to putting the jewelry in different boxes (1 box for everyday earrings, 1 box for cocktail rings, 1 box for necklaces, 1 box for thick bangles, 1 box for bracelets, etc) and putting it all on display on a shelf in my wardrobe.

I think this setup works best for me as I can see everything all laid out in front of me.  The only items that don't fit in here are my statement necklaces which I hang up on hooks in my bedroom.  PS - that's Dr Dougal the Cancer Bear in there watching over my stuff!

So I'm interested to know what you use to display your jewelry?  Do you find that works effectively for you?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My cousin the cake decorator

Had to share pics of this cake with you guys as I think my cousin is supremely talented!  My cousin made a cake for my sister's birthday on the weekend.  My sister is studying Vet Animal Bioscience and LOVES all animals so my cousin made an animal-themed cake.

My favourite figurines are the pigs rolling around in mud.

I've already booked her for my wedding cake and I'm not even engaged yet!!

Monday, 11 March 2013

A Peppa update - a rat poison story

The other day I posted about Peppa.  After we brought him home from the vet and explained the diagnosis to the family, my Dad commented "that's what you get for eating rat poison".  So apparently a few days earlier he had consumed a considerable amount of rat poison.  My Dad had left the poison up on a ledge thinking this elderly man couldn't get up there.  Boy was he wrong.

I've learnt a lot about rat poison in the last few days so let me share with you (if you're not interested, scroll down).  Rat poison has warfarin in it which thins the blood and prevents it from clotting.  A certain form of warfarin can be ingested by humans (mainly elderly) to help thin their blood (if they are prone to blood clots) but there are side effects.  Skin becomes quite thin and prone to splitting, so if a human taking warfarin bumps their knee and knocks something they will get a pretty nasty gash.  Because the blood is thinner than normal and doesn't have clotting agents, their wounds bleed constantly and it takes a while to stop.  The doses humans take are strictly controlled but the doses in rat poison are lethal enough to kill rodents.  It has been known to kill smaller dogs and at the age of 17, Peppa isn't the fighting fit dog he used to be.  He is very very very lucky.

So the rat poison explains why he had blood on his eye and why his mouth was gushing blood from a single wobbly tooth.  Because I wasn't alerted to the fact he had consumed rat poison til after we returned, I never mentioned it to the vet.

But since his emergency vet visit on Thursday, I've been 10x more affectionate with him and paying him my undivided attention.  On Saturday night I was over at my parents and patting Peppa as usual.  He lay on his side and I thought I would try scratch his tummy.  Peppa has been too old to roll onto his back to have his tummy scratched so I tried to scratch it from the side.  I noticed a dark purple spot on his tummy so slowly rolled him onto his back and got the shock of my life.  He had a nasty-looking dark purple, almost black patch covering part of his stomach and his entire back left leg.

We rushed him to a 24-hour vet at midnight and anxiously waited for the vet to see him.  We explained the rat poison incident and instantly the vet agreed.  The purple/black patch on his stomach signified massive internal bleeding.  If it looked this bad on the outside, how bad would it be on the inside??  Rat poison has a delayed effect which is why the internal bleeding didn't happen til a week after he ingested it.  The vet agreed it was pretty bad and explained the procedure to us.  He would need a plasma infusion to re-introduce blood clotting to his body, and then a drip of Vitamin K over a period of 4 weeks which assists in blood coagulation.  The price was $3K and upwards depending on whether he needed an additional plasma infusion or needed to spend extra days at animal hospital.  For a dog of 17 years, the answer for my Dad was quite clear: euthanasia.

My sisters and I started bawling our eyes out for a good hour, waiting for my parents to arrive at the clinic.  Once they arrived, Peppa was so excited to see my Mum that he was wagging his tail like crazy - something he rarely does these days and definitely not something he does when he's at the vet.  When my parents saw that they had a change of heart and decided to do the plasma infusion.  All that crying and saying goodbye for nothing.  We were SO relieved.

The next day we went to the animal hospital to visit the little guy.  He had the cutest bandages on his paws and seemed in a brighter mood.  The angry patch on his tummy had lightened to a medium pink.  We spent an hour or so with him and then left as he needed to spend an additional day at hospital so they could monitor him.  I am leaving now to pick him up and take him home - super excited.

I might be biased but I think he's super handsome

Friday, 8 March 2013

Parcels Parcels Parcels

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I received some lots of parcels yesterday.  There's nothing I love more than opening boxes and discovering my new purchases inside (spoken like a true shoppaholic).

I got a pair of Mimco boots (love the lower stack heel - SO comfy) which are a great casual boot (and on sale at Mimco).  I also got this pink mesh pouch.

My Burberry trench coat situation has been resolved and I received the trench.  It is just so lush.  The cotton is heavy duty and it just feels amazing on.  I bought a size US2/UK4/EU36 (I'm an Aus6) and it fits perfectly apart from the sleeves which are a tad too long.

 I also paid off my Marcs layby and took home this gorgeous pale blue wool coat.  I've literally been searching for one since Monica wore a pale blue wool coat on FRIENDS about 15 years ago and was over the moon when I found this.  The coat looks quite boxy in the below photos but it looks a lot better on and cinches in at the waist.

Also got some Sass & Bide goodies - The Scribble b&w blazer, and white skinny jeans.  Will try and work out some white jeans outfits that don't make my super short legs look stumpy :S

I also got my Clinique toner which I realised was the wrong one.  How does one purchase the wrong toner when they have a bottle of it in their bathroom cupboard??


Peppa is a bit of an old man in the dog world.  He's 17 human years which makes him about 81 years old.  We got him in 1997 when we came home on Christmas Eve and this little puppy was playing around in our front garden.  He had walked across the road from his family and once he arrived in our front yard, he refused to leave.  We gave him back to his family but he would always find a way back to our place.  Kindly, his family allowed us to keep him and he's been ours ever since.

He smiles while he sleeps

He's super smart and loyal.  He'll come and sit by your feet as if he's 'protecting you'.  You can't trick him with a fake throwing of the ball - he knows the ball is still in your hand which you've now placed behind your back.  He hates bathtime but he loves car rides, and he knows when it's almost dinner time and will hang around my Mum who feeds him.

As the years have passed he's gotten slower, deafer, blinder and weaker.  So yesterday I got the shock of my life when I saw some blood sitting on his eyeball and dripping past his tear ducts onto his fur (do dogs have tear ducts?).  He was also bleeding a lot from his mouth, we suspected he had cut his tongue or something.  He was limping very heavily and putting no pressure on his right leg.  He also has random lumps here and there we thought we would get the vet to check up on.

So in an emergency situation, we drove through peak hour to the vet who is about 30 minutes away.  Peppa knew as soon as we got out of the car that we were headed to the vet, and he dug his heels in and wouldn't move.  My sister had to pick him up and walk him into the vet.  He became very subdued once inside and just stared out the window as if contemplating his impending doom.

His name was called and again he refused to move.  The vet carried him into the clinic and did a general check-up on him.  He's pretty old, he's got severe arthritis, he has back pain, the bleeding on the eye has come from a benign growth he has near his eye which popped and leaked onto his eye, the bleeding around his mouth has come from a dislodged tooth which is wobbling around in there and causing him some pain, he has a heart murmur, his teeth are not in great condition.....  Anyway, most of these things come with age and there was nothing too alarming about his condition - what a relief!

We left the vet and he was instantly brighter and happier.  I'm so glad it wasn't anything serious and that even though he's an old man, he'll be with us for a few more years yet.

Do you have any pets?  Are they old like Peppa?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Kitchen mishaps, final exam and sticky-taping cars back together

I did not have a good day in the kitchen yesterday.  First, I sliced my finger on the mandoline which I had set to its thickest capacity (thick mandoline slice + finger = pretty deep cut).  I won't show you any pics because frankly it's disgusting, but the blood leaked out of the band aid :S  Then I managed to splash hot oil across my chest which dripped onto my t-shirt which was touching my stomach.  Not a good day.  I stayed out of the kitchen today.

I had my exam today (last exam ever unless I stupidly decide to do more post-grad study which is entirely possible).  I'm freaking out a little because I finished a 2 hour exam in 55 minutes, but I triple checked that I answered every single question.  I did find this subject reasonably easy compared to previous subjects' so maybe that's why?

Balloon sculpture of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Darling Harbour

Since I was already in the city, I met up with some ex-work colleagues for lunch.  They complained about work and it reinforced why I left.  Some things never change which is very sad, especially at such a huge corporation.  I popped into Daiso and was restrained and only made one purchase (weekly pill container).

I met up my youngest sister when she finished uni and we visited Pitt St Mall.  I went to pay off my Marcs layby and popped into Topshop for the first time.  I know, very late to the party.  I wasn't a huge fan of Topshop when I was in Europe so didn't feel the need to visit when they opened the Sydney store.  I did like their nail polish display but nothing else caught my eye.

Got the shock of my life when I bought a Chuppa-Chup from 7-11.  The last time I bought a Chuppa Chup (admittedly it was about 10 years ago), it cost me 30c.  Today it cost me $1.50 and the cashier didn't give me the 50c change so it ended up costing me $2 (I'm not about to argue with a heavy-set man about 50c).

What???  So sticky-tape isn't enough to hold a car together??

Sunday, 3 March 2013

It's my Birthday and I'll cry if I want to

Well I didn't cry.  But I could've.  If I wanted to.  Because it was my Birthday.

I had a great day and spent time with most of the important people in my life.  My birthday always makes me realise how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who I love and who love and care for me.

Had breakfast with my boyfriend and our flatmate in Neutral Bay.  I just love Chaos Cafe - we always get great service there and the food is fantastic, especially for the price (especially being lower North Shore).  There was an adorable 2 year old at the table next to ours and she decided she would give me stickers, then proceeded to take them all back haha.  Then as we left her Mum told her to give me one back, so she did smilingly.  Adorable.

I wore my new shoes that Tom bought me for my birthday.  The boy has good taste.

He also got me another little surprise - a book about the history and construction of shoes.  There's a section on prominent footwear designers and before I even said anything, he said "Don't worry, I checked and Mr Louboutin features in there" hahaa

Last night we headed to Stitch Bar for a few drinks and a feed.   I wore a Forever New dress, Louboutin No Prives in Jade Patent, Chanel double flap, 2 Arty rings and a whole heap of random gold costume jewelry (please disregard the horrendously dirty mirror).

Was so good to see all my friends (some of whom I haven't seen in close to 2 years).  Stitch Bar was also great - excited by the retro sewing machines everywhere (I feel like I'm the only person under 30 who can sew and thus gets excited by sewing machines) and the staff were great and accommodating.  Apologies in advance for the cropping - I don't want to violate my friends' privacy by posting pics of them publicly but I also know this detracts from blogposts.  Any tips on how to maintain a balance?

Mixture of uni friends, highschool friends, and those friends where you can't remember how you met them but it's now a decade later and all you know is you're just friends

Me and my sisters - #3, #2, moi (#1), #4

Am having dinner out with my family tonight which I'm looking forward to.  In the meantime, it's back to the books to study for my exam on Wednesday.