Jumat, 26 Desember 2008

Life in the Mountains

Saying Goodbye

There is always room for a little trepidation, and a little nervous anxiety is a good thing because it helps us to realise that change is afoot.
Change is good, non?
There is much to say goodbye to before we leave for NZ.
The first is the selling of our gorgeous mountains cottage. Our 101 year old weatherboard cottage that we have poured our heart and soul into renovating over the past 3 years. Add to that the huge garden which I have slaved in and transformed from over-grown and weed-choked to productive and colourful and well, take a look at the pictures and you will see what I mean.
From the first time we walked through the gate of the rambling white picket fence, it was love at first site for us. The whole place was painted in the most inappropriate colours, in some rooms even the ceilings had been painted the same colours as the walls and when the colours are khaki green and dark purple, you can imagine how dark this makes an old house seem.
The commencement of each new project was akin to opening Pandora's Box because with each new task we were beset with the age-old problem every home renovator faces.

1. The job is going to take at least twice as long to complete, and
2. The job is going to cost at least thrice as much as budgeted for.
All of which only added to the eccentricity of the house.

It is the garden of which I am most proud because it is the garden in which I have sweated the most, bled the most, been broken-hearted the most, and delighted the most. I have discovered the joy of the seasons, the devastation that snow and ice cause to most plants and the delight of seeing colour burst through the cold hard ground! The amazing change in the garden that takes place virtually over night as the new growth springs forth after months of freezing temperatures only delights me more and more each year. This year I planted my second attempt at a vegie garden and was not disappointed like I was the year before when constant unseasonal torrential rain destroyed all of my seedlings. To be able to show my girls where the vegies on their plates came from, to be able to pick and eat at will, such a delight I can't tell you! Carrots and leeks, beetroots and broad beans, strawberries and an abundance of herbs and rocket, yummy!

Another thing of which I am extremely proud is the new skills which my very clever husband has learned. Carpenter, plumber, brick-layer, gardener, painter and general handy-man skills he has all mastered during the renovation.

Three solid years of tinkering away at our house has left me exhausted however and truth be told, I am looking forward to not having to spend our weekends working on it. I am looking forward to not being broken-hearted when the dog digs up my seedlings or destroys established plants that have taken a whole season establishing themselves! I am looking forward to discovering a new country, camping with our girls and living in a house that doesn't require constant work and renovation! I'm sure one day when the girls have grown up I will long for those days, but right now I am happy to leave them behind, and to pass them on to the new custodians of our beautiful mountains home.

Across the Pond

As the expression goes, we are moving "across the pond", however in this instance, it is from Australia to New Zealand, not from the UK to the US, as the expression usually implies.

We are going to be living in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Kind of apt actually as our surname is the same!
When my husband first told me that he had been offered a job that would mean we would be relocating overseas to NZ I thought it was the most amazing, fantastic, most exciting thing to happen to us in years! A new adventure for us, a chance to embark on a new chapter of our lives after some very difficult times these past few years. As a couple, we have a tendency to never do anything in halves, always opting to take the road less travelled. It seems to be the only way we know how to do things. I also thought, well it's not like we're really moving to another country, they speak English over there and they sound a lot like us, and it's only a 3 1/2 hour
flight right? Not far at all really...

Well now that I've had more time to digest our move... I have to confess I have started to panica little. We really are "moving overseas!" Everyone is excited and pleased for us, and thrilled with my husbands success, which is all very nice, but I am going to be leaving the country in which I was born, raised and spent my entire 36 years living in. Living and working overseas has always been a dream, and I do think that NZ couldn't be a better way to begin this journey of fulfilling a dream. Sometimes I wonder, am I up to it?
In under 5 weeks time, I guess I'll know, because that's how soon it is until we board the plane!

Minggu, 14 Desember 2008

Inspiration and Influence

Inspiration starts, for me, almost always with a picture of something that just speaks to me. It could be a postcard, or a shot in a magazine, sometimes its a person I see crossing the road. I have a wall in my house where I put these pictures so that I can see them everyday and let them permeate and influence me subtly. Initially I have no idea how I'm going to use it, I don't know how it will influence me, but eventually in some small way, it usually does.

Every day style influences come from a small group of women who's look and style speaks to me. Whether it be in a physical way or a cerebral way, somehow it gets under my skin and is reflected in my personal style.

Charlotte Gainsbourg has a natural elegance, I just find her gaelic beauty and long, fine hair so appealing. I guess it's because I have the same long, fine hair and have always wished for thicker, curlier hair. To see Charlotte looking gorgeous, with my type of hair, gives me hope.

I can't get enough of Drew Barrymore's gorgeous doe eyes, she has such a natural appeal, and a quirky, hippy edge. And I'm just so loving her hair colour! That reddish-brown is just so warm and perfect for her complexion.

Dido, Dido, Dido!
Her voice and her songs are so moving, listening to her makes me fall in love with my husband all over again. She's petite, but full-voiced and I love her look because it's simple, laid-back and classic.

Carrie Bradshaw, (and I mean Carrie here, not Sarah Jessica). I love Carrie for her daring wardrobe achievements. I love her frivolity and the way she wears clothes in new and untried ways. I love how her wardrobe reflects her mood because for me, my mood is definitely something that affects how I dress.

My mood defines (or even dictates) my sense of style for the day.
And should the weather not be cooperating with my mood, I can't tell you how terribly irritating that is!

I think that most of us are drawn to certain looks that either reflect our own style, or offer us direction toward the look we want to achieve. It should not overtake our own personal sense of style, but help us to convey it by simply being an influence, or a nudge in the right direction.
To be confident and comfortable in our own skin, isn't that really what we want to achieve?

Selasa, 11 November 2008

The Rachel Zoe Project

I wasn't going to watch this show because when watching the ads for it, I found that her voice made me cringe! Her affected accent just sounds soo put on!  
However I decided that in the name of research I had to watch it and after getting past her annoying accent, I found Zoe to be a very interesting person.  
What would have been even more interesting is if they spent some time on her background and history, how she got started and how she has built up relationships with designers and clients.  
Aside from that, I became fascinated with her staff.  Her right-hand woman, Taylor proved herself to be a totally take-no-prisoners kind of woman.  Over the top and difficult, especially when she had to manage new employee Brad.  Obviously micro-management was out of the question; not such difficult task, but obviously something Taylor was unfamiliar with.  
Which brings me to Brad.  
Brad, Brad, Brad...what a pain in the arse!  I would choose to let him sink too had I taken on such a useless article!  For someone who came from Vogue and claims to have worked atgetting the job with Zoe for a year, boy has he got a lot to learn!  No initiative, no motivation, no clue!  
Too much whining, too much blaming everybody else and not enough action.  Why couldn't he just take the bull by the horns and get on with the job?  He is a lacky, a shit-kicker, somebody to take care of the jobs that Taylor hasn't time for.  Something an ex-Vogue staffer would and should have had plenty of experience doing.  Accept it and get on with it.
I spent 2 days at a magazine as a fashion assistant and no one told me what to do.  I just got stuck in and did it.  I mean it's not hard!
Take episode 2 for example which features the flood in the studio.  
I was so angry with Brad's uselessness I was shouting at the TV screen in frustration!   He's faffing about complaining that he didn't know what to do, that he couldn't control the weather, that it wasn't his fault that Zoe had a faulty studio.  Boo-bloody-hoo!  All that was required of him was to remove the wet clothing from the studio.  Could he do it?  Not a chance.  Loser!
If it was me, I would have first removed the clothing from the studio, then seen to getting the clothes cleaned, cleaned up the flood while arranging for a builder come over to fix the problem.  Not difficult.  
But instead loser Brad flounders and fails.  Sack him Zoe, SACK HIM!!!!  Taylor is the keeper, not the inept and incompetent Brad!
Till next time...

Jumat, 10 Oktober 2008

Faux Pas Part 1

For years now I've been keeping a mental list of fashion faux pas that irritate me no end.
And so the other day I decided that when I become Fashion Editor of the World, I should be able to advise my people correctly.  It was time to write the list down.  Not only for my own posterity, but for the good of the fashion world, and also in the hope that maybe someday, someone reading the list will discover that they have committed a fashion faux pas and will immediately rectify said pas and the world will be a better place!  
Now it's true that at this time, I may not be able to recall all that is on my mental list, so over time I shall simply add it to the original list here.  Let's begin.
1. Velcro wallets.  The sound is enough to make you grind your teeth.  And the look?  How can nylon be more appealing than leather, or even vinyl for that matter? Need I say more?
2. Tracky-daks outside of the house.  Please don't do it to us.   I don't care if they're designer either, it's just not acceptable.
3. Faux Louis Vuitton (or any easily recognizable faux designer handbag) accessorizing your tracky-daks, Reeboks and diet coke in hand.  If you must buy faux, don't point it our by dressing it down.  
4. Terrorist scarves.  Whomever it was that decided that a scarf made fashionable by the PLO was acceptable to wear, well they were WRONG!
I feel cleansed and purged of my irritation now.  
Please check in over the coming days and weeks for my continuing list!

Kamis, 18 September 2008

Kid's Birthday Parties: Why do we do it to ourselves?

Why do we put ourselves through it?
We are going to attempt to put on a 5th birthday party for our eldest this weekend.
I say attempt because it is a Teddy Bears Picnic party.
Will it rain?  Will it be windy?  Will I be able to get my party face on in time?
The cake, the party games, the food, the weather, the stress!! 
Why am I stressed though?  All I really have to do is put on a picnic for 10 (yes count them) children between the ages of 5 and 3.  
I can't even decide on what type of food a to prepare, or which games to play and when in the hell am I going to get time to make the cake?
Frankly I'm getting a little freaked-out.  

Kamis, 11 September 2008

I love my cargo's

I love my cargo pants.  Really love them.
Aside from a couple of pairs of jeans that I cannot live without, I live in my cargos during the summer.  
In preparation for summer, I got a new pair last week, and instead of replacing my well-worn go-anywhere khaki cargo's I decided to get white.  
A risky decision I know, as I have two small children, who seem to have been born with sticky dirty hands.  I have a black dog that sheds hair incessantly and well, I can be pretty clumsy myself.
But they just looked sooo good on the rack and when I tried them on there was no denying their value to my wardrobe.  I just had to have them.  I did try on khaki and even black.  But I have black jeans, and I have khaki cargo's.  Look let's be honest, if I'd had the money to buy all three colours, I would have.  But time's are tough and the tough wear white! 

Kamis, 28 Agustus 2008

Shopped Out

Tanya is tired of shopping.
She is officially "shopped-out!"
Should a a moment's silence be recognized?

Senin, 04 Agustus 2008

Best Friends

Best Friends.  What can I say about them that can possibly illustrate how wonderful they are!
How wonderful it is when we get time to spend together these days.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like if we ever all lived in the same city together.  
Popping over at a moment's notice would be usual.
Shopping expeditions and movies every week too.
Happy Birthday to me today!
Another year older, more wiser than the last...I hope.

Kamis, 31 Juli 2008

The Ferragamo Wallet

For my birthday recently, my husband gave me a beautiful geranium red leather wallet from Salvatore Ferragamo.
We had visited the store some months earlier and just before my birthday he went back to Ferragamo and picked out the one he thought I would like the best.
Upon receiving my beautiful gift on the morning of my birthday, I made a comment on the size of the store bag it came in, as it was huge compared to the size of the wallet.

Smiling he said “the lady serving me asked me what size bag I wanted - instantly I replied; "you’d better give me the large one. She would want the large one."
And the lady replied "Yes, they usually do!”

Senin, 28 Juli 2008


Today my baby turns 3.
Last night while she slept, I made a chocolate cake with pink frosting for her to have with her sister and friends at daycare.

In a week I too will also be a year older, but with little ones around it's easy to still feel like it was yesterday when I held her in my arms as a newborn. I hope I never lose that memory or the feeling it invokes. She skipped into daycare this morning with her new shoes and her new frock, happy as anything. She looked so gorgeous.

Minggu, 27 Juli 2008

The Sex and the City Movie

After a long wait, I finally got to see the Movie on Friday night.
I went with a friend (a non-Sex and the City watcher) and what a delight!

The fashion, the shoes, the itty-bitty-details that only a Sex and the City addict would know were all there. All the girls were portrayed so perfectly. So much laughter, which is what I love so much about the series.

Sex and the City is my i Ching. It's what I can relate to in my life. When I first started watching the girls it was 1999. I was ten years younger than the characters, and even then I could relate. Now I am still younger but the same age as they were in the first series, and I still relate. There is nothing else out there that rings true to me. Thank god for the girls; they keep me sane, they keep me stylish and they keep me informed. God luv 'em. If there is anyone else out there that is addicted as I am to Sex & the City as I am, write to me. I don't know how many times I've referred to or quoted them.

Just ask my husband, he'll tell you.
Viva la Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte!

Kamis, 24 Juli 2008


I bought this magazine with a clandestine $5 that I had stashed away in my purse.

I have an addiction to magazines and so I tend to buy them all the time, whether I need to or not.
Sometimes I borrow them and sometimes, I confess I have even resorting to pinching them from a doctors office.
Today I paid the full quid. I am loving this magazine, it's so great such a breath of fresh air!
You can see Alison Veness-McGourty's touch throughout, and I get her vision.
I wondered what she would be doing now.
I particularly enjoyed the beautifully written and heart-felt tribute to Heath Ledger, written by Emile Sherman.