Saturday, 31 May 2014

Things I'm grateful for v2014

I was re-reading some old blog posts (narcissistic much?) and remembered the 'Things I'm grateful for" posts that I started (and stopped) last year.  Things in my life are constantly changing; I've changed jobs 5 times in 7 years, I've moved house 5 times in 4 years and my wardrobe is on constant rotation.  I think that's an accurate reflection of my impatience/ADD.

Right now I'm grateful for:

  • living in an absolutely beautiful suburb in a fantastic apartment with friendly apartment neighbours
  • being able to walk to work in 35 minutes and having an amazing view along the way
  • getting my fitness levels up by walking to/from work
  • saving money by not catching the train every day
  • my job and having work colleagues that I have so much fun working with
  • still having a job despite teams of people being made redundant around me
  • having my work contract extended for another 12 months
  • having the best relationship with my parents and sisters I think I've ever had
  • cooking dinners and desserts in my kitchen (sounds silly but it makes me happy)
  • being engaged my other half and the most amazing man in the world <3
Rose garden at the end of my street has started blossoming

Sunset from my office

What are you grateful for?

More Sheike goodies

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Sheike size 6 fits me like a glove.  And that cannot be said for ANY other Australian clothing retailer (except maybe Bardot but I'm not 18 anymore).

 Sheike Evolution dress - $39.95 down from $140 I think?

 Sheike Slinky skirt - $59.95 down from $89.95

 Sheike Charlotte blouse - $49.95 down from $89.95

You know what I just noticed?  I'm slowly sliding into a pit of black and white-ness.  That's something I never thought would happen.

NAP US sale victim

I've slowly realised my default blog posts relate to fashion and spending money.  Because I've ALWAYS bought something since my last shopping post.  Gosh.

I can't resist a net-a-porter sale.  I just can't.

Karl Lagerfield April skinny pants and blazer - I hope IT38 fits me otherwise this pant suit will have to go back :(
J Crew tee

J Brand cotton twill pants - I have these in white and they are super comfy
Alexander McQueen leather razor wrap bracelet

Repetto Cendrillon ballet flats - I've heard Repetto is great for wide feet so I'll give them a go.  They look very similar to Bloch ballet flats, yes?

Bloch ballet flats

Friday, 30 May 2014

Uniqlo Australia Customer Service RANT.

I'm so disappointed in one of my fave chainstores that I have raved about previously here and here.

When I discovered the Uniqlo Australia online store was open I quickly popped an order through.

Some of the items were not the standard I was expecting so I returned them immediately.  One month later I had not received an email from Uniqlo, nor a refund.  I contacted Customer Service about the refund, listing the 3 items I returned, and a sizing question.  Their response answered my sizing question but ignored my refund request.  When I persisted about the refund they asked which items I had returned.  I copied and pasted from earlier in the email trail where I mentioned it.  The response I received was "We are still in the process of checking of the refund. Once we get an updated information, we will let you know."  I don't know how many online retailers take one month to process refunds with no communication in between.

A week later still no word from them so I decided to call them and explain the situation again.  The lady took down my email and contact number and said she would investigate and email me back with a resolution.  This was on Tuesday.  It's now Friday and I haven't received any response from them.

This morning I received 2 of the items back in the post with no letter of explanation.  I still haven't received a refund for the 3rd item.  When I tried to call them (using the number displayed on their website which is the same number I called a few days ago) the recorded message says "Hi welcome to Levi's".  I thought I'd stay on the line anyway in hopes it actually was Uniqlo but with the wrong recorded message.  I was on hold for 10 minutes and eventually gave up.

I'll be spending my money elsewhere where they are more helpful with my refunds and have better communication.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The big black hole called Chemist Warehouse

I have an amazing ability to get sucked into this big black hole called Chemist Warehouse.  It's not the most inviting store but I can go in with nothing to buy and emerge hours later, weary-eyed carrying bags and bags of goods.

Last weekend I picked up a whole heap of goodies totalling $80 odd.  Brilliant.

Half a kilo of quinoa for $7.  I prefer red/black quinoa but at $7 I'll eat white quinoa.  The superfood blend is to sprinkle on my salads/soups/porridge.  Doesn't taste like anything actually.

My sister swears by sukin so I thought I'd give it a go.  It's all natural, organic, etc.  The QV is for Tom.

The Maybelline primer is a fave of mine so I picked up another tube.  I've been wanting a matte top coat for a while so grabbed a bottle of Sally Hansen.  I don't usually wear mascara as I have "fear of the 10 eyelashes I have falling out of my head" syndrome but for $10 I thought I'd give this lengthening one a go.  It actually does lengthen (left) without looking really obvious that I have mascara on.

Did you get anything from the Chemist Warehouse sale?

Monday, 26 May 2014

Triple almond pavlova stack with dessert wine figs

Iteration 1

This dessert is based very loosely on Donna Hay's Almond Pavlova Stack with a few tweaks.  It is one of the easiest/simplest desserts I have ever made and a huge hit.  My Dad, the dessert-hater, had seconds and scraped the bottom of the serving platter.

This has been through 2 iterations and I think the second one is a winner.

For both iterations I cut the sugar back to 2/3 cup (I can't stand sickly sweet desserts).  I subbed the peaches for figs because it's coming into winter and there are no peaches at the supermarket.  I used about 4-5 figs.  I found a hand mixer was better and faster than the electric mixer but the electric mixer does work if you don't have a hand mixer.

For Iteration 1 (don't laugh) I couldn't find a corkscrew to open the bottle of dessert wine so I made a brown sugar syrup instead.  It was a decent substitute but Iteration 2 with dessert wine had much more of a kick.

For Iteration 2 I made 3 meringue discs instead of 2 (I prefer thinner and more layers) using the same 4 egg whites and also spread 3 layers of cream.  Belissimo!

Iteration 2
PS - these 2 pics go to show how much of a difference lighting and background make to food photos

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sydney Real Estate whilst Wedding Planning?

I don't know if I'm just a sucker for punishment but I've decided to get back in the house hunting rat race.  Because my crazy job plus wedding planning just isn't stressful enough.

We've found ourselves wanting bigger and bigger houses (the one we inspected yesterday had TWO dining rooms!), being willing to renovate (which we had previously ruled out) and expanding our budget (because seriously, Sydney real estate is cray cray).

I've been stalking, sending off enquiries and attending Saturday open inspections.  For the wedding I've also been stalking the internets, sending off enquiries and attending wedding expos.  If anyone knows of a ceremony location in Sydney metro which is outdoors-y (and maybe undercover) that can handle over 150 people PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!  Something like an outdoor balcony that has a roof is perfect but I haven't found one big enough for all our guests.

In other news, we have signed on the dotted line with our reception venue.  Another thing locked in.  So excited and relieved that I no longer have to think about this stuff.

Lastly, if you are an eBayer please change your password asap.  eBay was "compromised" and they are recommending all users change their passwords "just in case".

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Getting my exercise on. Portugese tarts. Mutually exclusive.

Ever since daylight savings ended 7 odd weeks ago I found myself unable to walk home as it was way dark when I was ready to leave the office.  Then I had this hairbrain idea to..... WALK IN THE MORNING! It's brilliant - I'm still sleeping in til 8am but I'm in the office by 9am.

Here are some pics from my glorious walks:

You know what's coincided with my morning walks to work?  My consumption of Portugese tarts.

Also, is there a honey shortage in Sydney?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Do you slow-cook?

My slow cooker probably gets the biggest workout out of every appliance in my house during winter.


  1. It's so easy to use
  2. It's cheap to run
  3. It makes a big batch which I can freeze and defrost on weeknights
  4. It requires such little cooking effort from me
  5. It's generally quite healthy (no oil and lots of veg)
  6. You generally use cheap cuts of meat and root veggies which are both cheap
  7. Minimal cleanup
I got an el cheapo slow cooker from the Good Guys for I think $25 but it has great reviews.  I usually chuck everything in at about midnight and leave it on low all night.  The next morning I wake up to the most amazing aromas floating through my apartment.

In the last few weeks this is what I've cooked in my slow cooker:
  • Potato and leek soup
  • Pea and ham soup
  • Chicken and veggie soup
  • Massaman curry
  • Beef stew
If you don't own a slow cooker, GET ONE.  It will make your life so much easier in winter.

If you slow cook, what are your fave recipes?

Monday, 12 May 2014

The weekend where I was social

Had a very social weekend which didn't involve work, score!

On Thursday I was able to pick up my finished wedding dress.  It is so beautiful and I absolutely love it.  Here is a sneak peek:

Friday night we took another couple to watch the Swans.  Kev's from Scotland so Tom talked him through the rules (Kevin: "Oh I think I get the game now.  The aim is to run around touching each other's bums?")

Saturday was family dinner night at the local Japanese restaurant.  Zomg love Japanese.

After dinner I took my parents to see Michael Buble in concert.  The opening act, Naturally 7, were amazing.

I managed to sleep in on Sunday which was amazing.  We headed over to my extended family's Mothers Day lunch.  Asians don't understand the concept of under-catering.

The rest of the arvo was spent doing some wedding-related stuff.  I opened a package to find some broken glasses we had ordered for the wedding.  Not cool.

For dinner we had potato, leek and bacon soup with chives and croutons.  I am in love with my slow cooker.  More on that next time.

Friday, 9 May 2014

More Louboutin love

Seems like I'm on a roll.  I have a few more pairs of Loubis coming my way.

I've been wanting Corneilles for a long time now and they have been SO hard to track down.  You know what hurts?  Finally finding them available in my size and then PAYING ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS to ship it from NYC to Sydney.  The things I do for red soles....

The material is called 'jazz calf leather' which is a polished calf leather meaning it has a slight shine to it.  I love this because patent is unforgiving in terms of comfort but the shine factor means it won't look as old and weathered as normal leather.

I love the super skinny stiletto!

A lot of people don't like the "beak" at the front but I love it.

I also trekked into 160mm territory which a pair of Daffodiles (affectionately known as Daffs).  I never really liked the look of them but I tried them on at David Jones and actually didn't mind them.  Plus they have my short tree stumps look so long normal.

Hooray for red soles!

Monday, 5 May 2014


It was only a few weeks ago I was here but it honestly feels like last year!

Uluru was such an incredible experience, honestly worth visiting and ticking it off the bucket list.  I was doubly excited because it was my first ever trip with my friend S who I've known for 15 years.

What were the highlights?

Eating crocodile (before you ask, it tastes like canned tuna), seeing Saturn and Jupiter through a telescope (honestly mind-boggling) and sunrise + sunset at both Uluru and Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas).

I learnt some really cool things there.  Like one end of Uluru is 50 million years older than the other end.  We only see the tip (348m) of Uluru - there's actually 6km of rock underground.  The rock is similar to sandstone (likened to a sponge cake) whereas Kata-Tjuta is more like a fruit cake with bits and pieces of rock in it like this:

They call it the Red Centre for a reason!

If you go, be sure to book yourself into the Sounds of Silence dinner.  It's hard to think a $190 dinner is justifiable but it really is.  It's such an amazing experience and the food is honestly the best buffet I've ever had.  There's a video on instagram if you want to have a dig around :)  Just be wary there are dingoes walking around where you eat dinner but they are harmless and totally cute.

Dusk at Uluru is a very special time.

Kata-Tjuta is made up of 38 stones and 550m tall at the tallest point so almost double the height of Uluru.  Somehow it's not as grand as Uluru though.

Between 2 of the stones in Kata-Tjuta:

One thing I found interesting is that when a couple marry, the man goes to live with the woman's family/tribe.  Also they trace their ancestral lineage through their mothers and they say this is because they always definitely know who their mother is.

Anyway, definitely worth a trip if you can get out there.  48 hours is all you need if you're time poor.  Make sure you see both sunrise and sunset at both Uluru and Kata-Tjuta!!