Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Weekend celebrations

So much to celebrate!
 My kids have finally recovered, there are no more horrendous bodily functions scaring the hell out of me, the early morning football matches are finished so last weekend was already looking pretty bloody fantastic.
We also celebrated the Little Misses birthday with lunch out with the family and a plethora of pink.
I was very careful not to match with her but as she had insisted on it being a "pink party' there was an abundance of pink to be seen.
A pink cake of course!
It was divine with cream cheese icing and completely bad for my healthy eating plan, but bugger it, it was gooooood!
Soooo many presents! (So little space to store them all!)
I reveled in my op shopped outfit and was reminded of how much I love this pink vintage
summer dress.
Not long now little frock - soon we will romp and gambol in the summer sunshine. Soon!
My new to me beige nana shoes were beautifully comfortable and complimented repeatedly, but unfortunately the old rubber tips of the heels began to crumble and a trip to the cobbler is necessary to see the old girls through.
We are very lucky to have been able to enjoy a wonderful weekend as the Little Miss suffered an allergic reaction to something she had eaten on Friday night and sported a very inflated and sore looking top lip.
Ouch! The little trooper said it didn't really hurt much and the next morning she was back to normal, but it scared me silly and we will have to watch specific foods in the future.
What have you been celebrating lately?

Sunday, 25 August 2013

By George!

I had a spare moment to pop down to Savers by myself ( a very rare occurrence) yesterday afternoon and being able to concentrate unfettered  on the job at hand, walked away laden with goodies.
Amongst my treasures was  a gorgeous green cardigan, a lovely black angora mix cardigan, a vintage black Sandra Dee hat, the coolest beige Nana heels and a little piece of Melbourne's history.

I discovered my humble 1980's piece of Georges history in this sweet 50's style frock with gorgeous colours of aqua, hot pink, orange, blue and black creating a cool tartan pattern.
And did I mention the ruffles!
Dainty little ruffles decorate the sleeves and peter pan collar and add some girly charm.
It is kind of prairie chic meets highland belle.
It did sport some very 1980's elbow length sleeves that severely offended my delicate sensibilities so had to be hacked off and shortened.

Georges was always a brand synonymous with quality  and this dress is beautifully made, and now, with it's updated sleeves, is ready to be road tested and taken out for some fun.
Georges was a Melbourne institution from the 1880's all the way through to 1995, when it unfortunately closed it's Collins Street store after  115 years of business.
Georges was founded in 1880 by two brothers, Harley and Willie George, and thanks to the gold rush,  Melbourne was reputedly one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
Georges, situated on the "Paris end of Collins Street", became the fashionable place to shop, a mecca of good taste and class, where the service was impeccable and only the finest wares were sold.
The store was founded on the simple motto, "Quod facimus, Valde facimus" or "What we do, we do well", and indeed for over the 100 years they excelled and became a Melbourne icon and assisted with the exclusive status of Collins Street.
Although Georges closed it's doors in 1995 its legacy continues with the beautiful building now housing other high end stores.
I was chatting with a lovely elderly lady from my work who was sharing some great shopping tales about Georges and told me that she picked many of her wedding gifts including her china (which survived all of her married life!) from Georges.
  I just love looking at this beautiful illustrations of some of the items sold advertised in the Georges catalogue.
I adore my new to me Georges frock for its cute details but even more because it represents a great quality Melbourne brand, unfortunately now gone.
Are there any brands that you particularly treasure?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Trying times

I have been having a trying time lately.
Not "trying my patience", like my kids are fighting like two feral beasts and work demands leave me with eye twitches and facial tics (although those things are true!), but more that lately I have really been trying to do certain things.
I am trying to relearn how to knit so I can one day actually complete a piece I could wear.
This is my practise piece which may turn out to be a knitted hair bow. Maybe!
I am trying to finish all of my mending and sewing instead of buying more clothes.
It is ridiculous amazing how many pieces of clothing I have accumulated that just need a 'tweak' for them to be great . I bought a skirt aged ago that had modesty issues (ie it just reached to the bottom of my butt. WTF clothing manufactures! A prerequisite of clothing should be that it covers all of our lady bits!) and I have sewn an extra panel at the bottom to make it more wearable.
I am trying to capture the pink clouds in the mornings.
I am trying to get my head around the fact that I am a student again. Yes, I am furthering my education and extending my knowledge and all of that incredible exciting  academic stuff. Only by correspondence mind you, but I am proud of myself for signing up and now have to remember how to swat and write essays. Now to find the time.... Hmmmmmm.
I am trying to wear some more daring colours.
For a girl who only used to wear black, all black, all the time, it is a little shift in thinking, but I am loving colours at the moment . And they are making me so happy. So my exploration of
 colours continues.
I am trying to eat less and exercise more. I don't want to get into a body image debate but I am all about being comfortable in my skin and being happy with how I look. I admit that I am often guilty of looking at you gorgeous ladies in blog land and comparing my body to yours and feeling not so happy. But I am really trying to just be comfortable with who I am and what I look like and blogging has helped hugely with my self confidence. (I never used to let people take photo's of me!) And I keep reminding myself that we are all unique, and we are all beautiful. Because I don't know if you have noticed, that we are all different. Our bodies are different, our faces are different, our tastes are different, our views are different, our experiences are different, our lives are different.  You get the drift. So when I say that I want to watch what I eat (because I am a prime example of the emotional/bored eater) and get fit and healthy, in no way am I passing judgement on others, I am simply saying that I know my body (we're tight you know, we're pals. Real close - except that time when it embarrassed me sooo much. There was that noise, and then that smell. Ugh!), and at the moment it is heavier than it should be. Not heaps, but enough. So I am trying to say yes to exercise and no to the cakes at work. Say no to the kids treats. Say no to my beloved chai lattes.
So I am trying.
What have you been trying to do lately?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Oh the highs and the lows!

Yesterday was my beautiful Little Misses 3rd birthday.

I had planned a super fun filled day full of cool activities.
Presents, movies, lunch out, ice-cream, cake, more presents.
For a 3 year old I think that may be the perfect day.
Unfortunately, as always, when I plan the perfect day it becomes anything but!
A terrible bout of gastro hit my son the night before the Little Misses birthday, and so my day was full of up vomit......cake.......rubbing my sons tummy.......birthday cuddles.........tearful  and delirious cuddles.
What a day!
Thankfully I think my daughter still had a wonderful day and now my son is feeling a little bit better and colour is creeping back into his pasty and pallid cheeks. Whew!
Luckily the Little Miss was still up for a photo shoot so I could show off my refashioned op shopped skirt. This was the skirt that was VERY short but still fitted beautifully everywhere else. And such a pretty pattern with tans, and browns mixed in with black and white. So instead of it being boomeranged back to the op shop I just added a panel of black to make it longer.
Hey presto ! A skirt I can now wear! Hurrah!
I'm not sure exactly what she calls this facial expression (the scream?) but it kept popping up.
I added the cute little faux fur collar  and op shopped woven bag but of course after the bodily fluid explosions and cleaning that had to follow, the outfit kind of got forgotten and I should of simply changed into a bio hazard plastic suit.
Oh well, there were still yummy cakes.
And the Little Miss enjoyed all her presents.
So much pink! She is obsessed with pink!
Happy Birthday Little Miss!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Why do the perfect dresses never fit?

Last week I went an entire week without buying anything in an op shop.
Will of iron!
I did however look in many an op shop so don't nominate me for sainthood yet.
This week my self proposed ban had ended so a hunting I did go and some treasures I did find.
In Savers I found another pink dress! Not vintage but definitely a vintage feel in such a sweet shade and sheer fabric.
Unfortunately I think I may have forgotten the belt in the change room due to a sudden toilet emergency from the Little Miss. Que sera sera.
It even has little drops of pale yellow in the pattern. Yay, I have been needing an excuse to buy a yellow cardigan.
I wore the dress yesterday and paired it with a dash of green and felt rather inspired by Spring and the gorgeous cherry blossoms that are blooming here at the moment.
Now this lovely is a vintage treasure I am guessing from the 60's and I am truly besotted by the colours and the print.
It has its original matching belt, and......
....a pussy bow! Hurrah!
Aren't those colours wild?
Unfortunately I thought I would be able to add a little room in the bodice to fit "the girls" because this is a teeny tiny Asian "Lan Siang" brand, but alas, whilst this dress fits my bottom half, there is no way that zipper will do up. I tried to breath in. I tried sucking in. My husband, will all his brute strength tried shoehorning me in there, all to no avail. That dress was not fitting.
(Why must my body reject adorable dresses? Why?)
So this beauty is to be sold off on ebay and re-homed with a loving new mistress.
But I think my favourite find for the day was this adorable wee dress for my Little Miss.
It is so Heidi I could scream!
With some new ribbon to lace up the bodice the Little Miss will soon be yodelling with the best of them.
If only I had a Heidi dress! I have always had a bit of a secret yearning for a German dirndl dress so I may have to hunt one down. And then we will be twins again!
(It's a sickness - I need help!)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Just a bite.....

At the moment I am making the ultimate sacrifice.
I am abstaining from biscuits!
(Sob! Sob!)
No delicious, buttery, crunchy, heavenly  biscuity goodness shall pass my lips.
And I'm not missing them a bit. Nope, not at all.
OK, at this point I would probably eat a biscuit crumb from the bottom of a muddy gumboot, but that doesn't mean anything!
I am staying strong though by convincing myself that my summer dresses are thanking me.
So instead of eating these yummy snacks I will live vicariously through others and share two of my favourite bikkies for you all to eat and enjoy.
My two brothers recently celebrated their birthdays and both fella's are single (why are two gorgeous blond blue eyed boys still bachelors I don't know!) and so  I baked them a batch of biscuits each.
And yes, as there happened to be some left, we ate them. It would have been disgracefully
 wasteful not to.
These are my own version of  a delectable  Greek almond cookie called a  Amigthalota  which I found here and are meant to look like this.
 And the first lot I did TRY and make them just like the pic, but I got lazy on the next batch and I liked them better this way with a sprinkling of icing sugar on top and flaked almonds inside instead of on the outside. (Or I just couldn't be bothered rolling them into crescents and almonds.)
And this is what happens to children after they eat one.
(What is up with kids only wearing one sock? Mine live in perpetual states of one sockedness and I just don't understand.)
So yeah, there is some sugar in these biscuits.
3 cups of almond meal
I cup of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of almond essence (the original recipe calls for only 3 drops but I like them with a little more almond flavour. I also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence because I am wild and crazy and live on the edge)
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 180 C. Combine almond meal, sugar and almond essence in a large bowl. Add lightly beaten egg whites and stir until mixture forms a firm paste. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into flaked almonds then roll into logs. Press on the remaining almonds. Shape into crescents.
Place  on baking paper and bake for about 15 minutes.
Trust me, they are heavenly and addictive and gluten free. Hurrah!
Another delish little morsel are these Afghans.
I had a friend in high school whose mum was from NZ and made unbelievable Afghans and a couple of years ago I was inspired to make a batch and found a great recipe here. It was either a really bad move or a wonderful one because I am always whipping up a batch for treats in lunchboxes.
The recipe calls for a chocolate icing but these are wonderfully decadent, like chocolate shortbread, and lets face it, I really don't need any more chocolate.
200g room temp. butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 cup corn flakes, slightly crushed
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
For icing;
1 cup of icing sugar
I tablespoon of cocoa powder
3 tablespoons water
walnuts to decorate (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 C. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add flour, cocoa and coconut
and mix well. Add cornflakes and mix until just combined. Use approx. I tablespoon of dough per biscuit and place onto a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Allow to cool before icing and topping with nuts. 
And this is what happens to children after eating these delicious Afghans .
 Or maybe it is just my messy brood!
So if you are feeling like a treat to enjoy with a cuppa, try these lovelies.
I promise you won't be disappointed.
You can thank me later!
What are your favourite baked goodies?