Oscillate Wildly – Newtown

I use this blog as much as a photo album, so here’s another multi course dinner at Oscillate Wildly in Newtown, Sydney. ¬†I avoided using the flash in this small restaurant, so apologies for the grainy footage – it’s mainly so I can remember the night ūüôā

Sorta creepy tea light holder
Sorta creepy tea light holder
Butter and... some smoked fat of the pork mmm
Butter and… some smoked fat of the pork mmm
Starting course - some root vegetable I'd never come across with mushroom dust, and a sugarcane slither infused with gin & tonic
Starting course – some root vegetable I’d never come across with mushroom dust, and a sugarcane slither infused with gin & tonic
Very decorative... seafood. BF got grapefruit (sadface for him)
Very decorative… seafood. BF got grapefruit (sadface for him)
More yummy seafood... and kelp
More yummy seafood… and kelp
Some sorta seafood in broth mmmm (The BF got a gingery coconut broth with his non fish - so yum!)
Some sorta seafood in broth mmmm (The BF got a gingery coconut broth with his non fish – so yum!)
Fancy creamed corn
Fancy creamed corn
Beef playing hide and seek with a sesame leaf
Beef playing hide and seek with a sesame leaf
Beef - mmm yummy beef
Beef – mmm yummy beef
Optional cheese course - cheese with coffee stewed onion
Optional cheese course – cheese with coffee stewed onion

Oh no! I forgot to photograph the ‘custard apple’ course – with guava and cucumber. Deliciousness, I tell you – like and fluffy, crispy but sweet but neutralised by cucumber…

Strawberries and cream interpretation
Strawberries and cream interpretation

There were also some lovely truffles and jellies for having with coffees… mmm…

We went for matched wines – most of them were biodynamic or similarly untouched by chemicals and preservatives. Mostly whites, but still tasty!

This topped off one of the best days of my life – the day was my Harbour Bridge Climb:

Bridgeclimb selfie
Bridgeclimb selfie

To friends, and boyfriends, and expensive experiences.

Pining on pinterest

The BF astutely said last night ‘the time she used to spend blogging is now spent on Pinterest’. I was BIG into pininterest (that’s how I used to say it) before I moved out on my own, and then I slowed down in the intervening 2+ years. ¬†But I’ve been sucked back into the vortex lately!

For my readers, who are diligent readers, you might like this Buzzfeed summary of reading spaces (found through Pinterest).  I like the ones with nature incorporated, like this one:

View of nature (source above)
View of nature (source above)

I spend a lot of time on the ‘Home Decor’ category, though recently got inspired by capsule wardrobes for European holidays (seems that’s where all pinners are headed), and then into work outfits/wardrobes. Then there’s all the ‘Craft and DIY’ activities. ¬†I’ve also got a great collection of innovative wrapping gift ideas – not that I do poorly with my limited stash of supplies now. ¬†I try to avoid food and recipes – there’s WAY too much super yummy, but ultimately unhealthy, sweets out there!

And I can’t go past a numbered list – ways to declutter, ways to get more space, organise your home, save more money, ultimate hacks etc. ¬†Whilst I can pour hours into browsing and pinning, I’ve discovered a few truths

  • I have enough space to store everything, therefore
  • I don’t need any more furniture
  • I don’t even need double duty/multipurpose furniture or devices
  • My home’s not at all cluttered – I don’t need 10 ways to clear the kitchen bench, I just need to wash up and put it away!
  • I have a relatively limited palette for clothing, both pinning, but also in my wardrobe, and they correlate
  • To save money, I need to really one
    • buy less ‘junk’ food – take away coffees, sugary snacks or cheese and garlic naans

In summary, there is little I’m wanting or seeking. ¬†I am more mindlessly browsing for one more ‘ah ha’ moment. ¬†They do happen.

Here’s a few I’ve ‘done’ or enacted lately (but I’ll give you the pins!):

Did this for the BF's collection.  My earphones live at work.
Did this for the BF’s collection. My earphones live at work. (via)
Op shop book was $4, and worked a treat (though ours stands upright) Source
Op shop book was $4, and worked a treat (though ours stands upright)
(Source)

Yet to attempt

Now I need to find two tops in the thrift shop to DIY this
Now I need to find two tops in the thrift shop to DIY this (via)
Yet to do - but ingenious!  Saves nails in the mouth
Yet to do – but ingenious! Saves nails in the mouth (via)

Aren’t we always searching for something? ¬†I’m just a little less sure the answer is on pinterest!

Do you enjoy pinning?  Do you even use pinterest Рif so, why, but also if not, why?

12 in 2 progress

I have til 19th Feb 2015 to meet my 12 goals for two years. ¬†Given I turn 30 on the 30th Jan, it’s a nice way to leave my 20s.

How am I going?

The eating out? Done like a dinner (boom tish!)

1.¬†Dinner at Quay¬†‚Äď done in January for my birthday. ¬†They have the menu online so you can all ooo and ahhh

2.¬†Dinner at Aria¬†‚Äď next birthday seems like a good idea!

3. Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb – the darling BF gifted a voucher for this on my 29th birthday. ¬†I’ve waited til winter, when the cooler weather is usually ‘clearer’ (with those harsh winter winds… which blew in yesterday!). ¬†Alas, I’m booked for THIS Friday, my day off a month ūüėÄ

Source: http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

4. Go jet skiing

5. Go Zorbing – this is no longer offered in Australia. ¬†And the locations aren’t exactly ‘nearby’.

6. Visit Lexi in NZ ‚ÄstLexi stopped living in NZ, silly billy. ¬†She got into Medicine in Sydney, so it wasn’t for naught, however, it makes going to NZ less of a driver. ¬†The BF was recently asked if he’d like to work there, so that’s something. ¬†Perhaps I should endeavour to get ¬†to Coffs Harbour to see another friend before my time is up.

7.¬†Do a knife skills course¬†‚Äď for cooking of course

8. Learn to surf. ¬†Regular readers might remember I planned to do this when we got back from the Cairns holiday? ¬†Instead, we got back on a plane, and went to visit the BF’s family in Adelaide. ¬†Then it got cold (I got wimpy?). ¬†There’s time this summer though!

9. Read the new testament ‚Äď thought I‚Äôd down grade from ‚Äėwhole bible‚Äô. ¬†Alas, I’ve gone ‘whole bible’ and let me assure you, the old testament can be dull at times! ¬†I’m on track to have this whipped by October, so time to spare if I get ‘behind’. ¬†The train rides to work are dedicated bible reading time.

10. Go on a silent retreat ‚ÄstI relegated this to after the next goal, as many won’t let you do any exercise whilst you’re there. ¬†I’m terrified to do a 10 day course (and that IS a lot of time). ¬†But then all the propaganda says three days isn’t the ‘real deal’. ¬†Your thoughts?

11. Run a half marathon ‚Äď ¬†(Update 1) My, my! My personal best, two weeks out, is 12.5kms. ¬†The physio is not sure my body will make it! So I’m a little scared. ¬†I aim to finish, ideally around 2hrs 20mins, which is on par with my usual speed or pace.

12. Plan and prepay my funeral ‚ÄstI have the cash, but I’m unsure. ¬†I want something that’s ‘easy’ in it’s release in my death, which funeral insurance isn’t. ¬†That’s just a con, and you’re forever paying premiums. ¬†I could get a funeral bond, but again, I don’t think it’ll be liberated in time for a funeral. ¬†I wonder if a will is a document that could outline all my wishes. ¬†Then there’s the question of a ‘family’ funeral home, or a chain? ¬†No matter, a pre bought funeral is held in trust, so I don’t have to worry about the money sinking with a business specifically.

So to sum up, I have to

  • turn up at 12.15pm on this Friday to meet goal 3.
  • get my backside across the finish line on Sunday 6th April to meet goal 11.
  • keep read, read, reading (mindful that two weeks in Japan won’t come with much bible-age) to meet 9
  • make bookings for 6, 8, 10 and 12
  • settle for 11 goals, and one beyond my reach

Right, to the calendar to start planning dates!

This and that

It would come as no surprise, but work has been insane. ¬†Me blogging bloomed out of a less busy time at work, and now that work fills 40 hours and then some, and I still do many things after work, I’m finding blogging slipping by the wayside.
That, and a certain brand phone makes it SO much harder to share photos than my old phone (which couldn’t answer calls… so you can see why I stopped using that!)

Here’ some of what I’ve been up to:

State Emergency Service – mass casulty exercise a week ago

Moullage injury (ie injury made by make up)
Moullage injury (ie injury made by make up)
Close up of the 'injury'
Close up of the ‘injury’

Craft time whilst watching TV

My little baby blanket cross stitch/embroidery
My little baby blanket cross stitch/embroidery

Saturday auction and inspections in ‘my’ building

It was better than Melrose Place РI know all the characters, all vendors are major characters in our building!  First up was the auction.  3 bed/2 bath/2 car, walking distance from Sydney city.  Went to WAY less than new builds that are smaller!

The penthouse went for $1.395mil at auction
The penthouse went for $1.395mil at auction
Roof top pool - finished after I finally moved out!
Roof top pool – finished after I finally moved out!

This is a one bedroom on a higher level in my building. ¬†An owner of a penthouse is selling. ¬†Gossip says it was a ‘cheap’ makeover! ¬†There’s no new kitchen, it was just repainted with new cabinet hardware (I’m stockpiling ideas)

You should compare this to my 'standard' bathroom!
You should compare this to my ‘standard’ bathroom!
Similar outlook to my apartment, hoping for $700k for this one bedder
Similar outlook to my apartment, hoping for $700k for this one bedder

This is a style maven’s 2 bed apartment – completely new marble kitchen and bathroom. ¬†The walk in wardrobe is the BEST part, Pinworthy I tell you!! ¬†Alas, no sales photos and I didn’t take any of my own photos, but I sorta wish I had!

Under window built in shelves were genius.
Under window built in shelves were genius.

Saturday night when the BF was out of town (last weekend).  I did 7kms from home to Kirribilli (over the Harbour bridge).

Saturday night alone = a run and an audit of lights on!
Saturday night alone = a run and an audit of lights on!

Sunday night before BF’s flight

Sunday night dessert with the water polo girls (following Sunday I made my own)
Sunday night dessert with the water polo girls (following Sunday I made my own)

State Emergency Service – normal learning night

SES after my injury - learning to sand bag
SES the week after my injury – learning to sand bag

Sunday early starts can be worth it.  This was my birthday gift for the BF last year

Sunday morning adventure for the BF
Sunday morning adventure for the BF (this is not him!)
IMG_0677
This is ACTUALLY the BF, the last to land

Less than a month to my half marathon – last week, I found out I’m not built for them, according to my physio. So it’s a slow build and I hope I make it over the line intact!

Then a week later, I’ll be off for two weeks in Japan with the SES.

What’s new with you?

Thanks

Dearest readers, thank you for your considered responses to my last post. ¬†For the first time, ever, I will not reply to each comment individually. ¬†I think it would be more vulnerable that I’m willing to be. ¬†But I would like you to know that the comments you made created some serious food for thought that I have been mulling over since I read them until today.

With that air cleared, I hope to get back to my blogging soon!

Falling in love

I know most of my (known) readers are married, so it brings me to a question: how does it feel knowing you will never (or should never) romantically fall in love again?

The recent Father’s Day PostSecret post started me on these thoughts, here’s an example:

Postsecret 1
Postsecret 1

It’s not Father’s Day in Australia, we celebrate that in September. ¬†However the above secret seems somewhat perverse to me. ¬†To me, once you’re married, that’s it. ¬†You make it work. ¬†I strongly feel divorce is the last resort, and love is something to be worked on. ¬†It’s not to say I think divorce shouldn’t exist – there are many situations where I think it is suitable.

I don’t miss my Dad (other than him being in Tahiti with my mother for three weeks!) cause he is a great dad. ¬†And my mother and father are committed to their warts and all relationship, for that I am SURE!

I know, though, that I fall in love insanely often. ¬†One year I counted at least five men I was romantically fixated on. ¬†And this was as recent as before the current BF. ¬†This wasn’t as a teenager. ¬†If anything, I was hooked on one guy for longer then! ¬†Is a fixation different to love – for sure! Is that insane level of curiosity and the desire to know more about them and spend more time with them the foundation of a relationship – most definitely.

One thing I wish, dream and pray for is to have a marriage as long, happy and stable as my parents. ¬†It’s the only way strong families can be built, from a strong foundation in the two parents. But gosh darn do I worry about my ability to become attracted to someone else.

And of course there’s this:

I'm not single
I’m not single

How high is TOO high to set your standards on your life partner? ¬†At church today, I spoke about this with a woman who’s husband passed away a year ago and she has daughters approaching their 40s. ¬†Both her daughters married in their late fourties, one has children, one is still trying. ¬†We spoke frankly – the good fortune of one to have children. ¬†Of her long and happy marriage. ¬†She confided that she mourned not so much the passing of her husband, but the passing of the idea of what he might have been! She said, he was wonderful to offer to make her a hot drink countless times a day (and now she seldom makes them herself without him). ¬†But how she *still* wishes he had looked her in the eye more and said ‘I love you’ or ‘You don’t seem happy today’.

And this rocked me – here’s a woman who spent most of her life happily married to a man whom she admits she loved, and mourns but still wonders what could have been. ¬†How he could have been better? ¬†And whilst she didn’t say it, I felt there was a thought ‘if I’d been married to someone else’. ¬†I asked her “What’s too much of a compromise? ¬†What do you live with, so that you can have children and have a family?”. ¬†There will always¬†be times of doubts in relationships, surely…?

Presently, my BF is well aware of my most recent crush. ¬†I feel that at least being honest,¬†open and transparent I can help work through this. ¬†Thankfully, the BF is not the jealous or non trusting type. ¬†I feel like sometimes the ‘secret’ that comes from affairs is half the fun – the sneaking around, the hiding. ¬†However, it IS unsettling¬†to love your current partner, and to find yourself interested in someone else. Odd though it may be, perhaps it’s not all that uncommon. ¬†How do you make these fleeting interests outside your primary partnership short lived¬†and not destructive?

So many big questions – your wisdom and experience welcomed.

I went shopping and…

I bought seven things pieces of clothing.  For $108.

Cardigan over the white top, and look at the 'made in' part...
Cardigan over the white top, and look at the ‘made in’ part…

Yep, I dropped by Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul charity) with the following items:

H&M bustier
Striped long sleeve top
Black and white knit long sleeved
White long pants
Black petal top
Zara knit blazer
Zara knit blazer

 

Two dresses and a belt
Two dresses and a belt

And then bought these items:

  • 3/4 sleeve white top by Mela Purdie (did I turn into my mother? she loves this Australian brand)
  • White linen long sleeved cardigan with hood made in ‘Europe’ (cryptic right?)
  • Calvin Klein sheaf dress, knee length with two vertical stripes
  • Black and white print wrap dress with a 3/4 sleeve (ready for wearing to work)
  • Black casual dress with blue and green sequinned yoke!!
  • Silver knotted feature belt
  • Grey jersey top, tight on the bottom, loose and flowy on one shoulder…
Two tops and another dress!
Two tops and another dress!

I really have been bitten with the retail virus. ¬†Although, it’s all second hand. ¬†It’s all preloved. ¬†And for $108, I’d be lucky to buy 1-2 well made new items, right? ¬†On my count, my wardrobe still has less items than last year.

 

Numbers of clothing

Just a simple post, with numbers that surprised me

Not my style icon, but proof having an awesome body does not mean one needs to dress... provocatively.  What am I saying, those are some SERIOUS boots! source: www.woman.tv
Not my style icon, but proof having an awesome body does not mean one needs to dress… provocatively. What am I saying, those are some SERIOUS boots!
source: www.woman.tv

131 substantial pieces of clothing.  ie can be worn in public.

17 dresses

28 pairs of ‘bottoms’

3 pairs of shorts

14 skirts

11 pants (trousers)

84 tops

14 inner layers – singlets, seldom worn alone

13 long sleeved t shirts for under prickly jumpers

26 outer layers – cardigans and jumpers

31 short sleeves or 3/4 sleeved or button down shirts/tops

22 work out clothes so only acceptable in certain public ūüėČ

19 ‘house clothes’ – PJs, dressing gowns, not suitable for public consumption

19 pairs of shoes (including slippers and flip flops thongs)

17 bras (of which 3 are for work outs)

11 scarves

11 pairs of stockings

9 handbags (!)

7 belts

5 swimsuits

3 hats

And a diminishing but far too high count on knickers and socks. ¬†But they don’t make a full load, and so I’ll always try to keep them in oversupply.

Decluttered since blogging? 13 tops + 8 bottoms +4 dresses + 10 ‘intimates’ +8 accessories = 42 items down.

148 substantial items when including shoes (comparing to Dar’s 263). ¬†Actually, I’m totally surprised. ¬†I always thought I had a lot of clothing?! ¬†Certainly more than Laura 31 core items.

Grand total: 249 less the smalls.

Not a jacket, but I'd still buy it if I saw it! source: wwzdw.com
Not a jacket, but I’d still buy it if I saw it!
source: wwzdw.com

Rest assured I continue to ‘re-clutter’ and once I get a chance, I’ll photograph the 7 new items I bought this weekend, all second hand ūüėÄ ¬†Interestingly, this latest rationalisation has resulted in me get a pair of pants ‘slimmed’ so the leg isn’t identical to another pair. ¬†I’ll also get rid of two tops after copying their style, and stealing the ‘old’ embellishments. ¬†Do I *need* anything? ¬†Well, since clothing can be a need, I’d put the following on a ‘I’d like’ list

  • durable flats – either Melissa jellies in a ballet flat or something similar
  • Camper heels – cause they are a small heel, closed toe, usually well made, rubber sole and heel. ¬†Price a little high though
  • white jacket – not critical, especially since picking up a white cardigan on the weekend, which is a better weight in summer for an outer layer
  • grey coat – to replace one I have in my collection which was cheap and looks it.
  • teal jacket/coat – the cheap one I had was removed from my collection ¬†I’d swoon over velvet (although I have a navy and black velvet jacket already), but silk would probably be OTT
  • lime scarf – I love all things lime right now!
  • flat black boots with a durable sole and a nice toe, not too pointy or too rounded
  • LuLuLemon brand 3/4 yoga pants – there is no fabric as long lasting as theirs

Decluttering and shopping

I try to keep a spick and span home – which is SO much easier now that I have oddles more space, in both square meters as well as storage space. ¬†That being said, I know one day we might live in a smaller place, so I’m always critically reviewing what we have. ¬†Here’s what I parted with on Friday:

Destined for trash - a dress with a damaged collar (and was cheap as), dead socks, a bra I wouldn't subject on anyone, and a mangy bath mat
Destined for trash – a dress with a damaged collar (and was cheap as), dead socks, a bra I wouldn’t subject on anyone, and a mangy bath mat
Tweezers than no longer tweeze, single earrings, what's left of reusing a backing from a photoframe and bent L's from my bed ledge moving house
Tweezers than no longer tweeze, single earrings, what’s left of reusing a backing from a photoframe and bent L’s from my bed ledge moving house
Found on the street - didn't fit my oven :( Took to metal recycling at Reverse Garbage
Found on the street – didn’t fit my oven ūüôĀ Took to metal recycling at Reverse Garbage
Exercise c**p.  The glasses and band from my Neon run, where I intentionally took no money, but someone bought me (groan).  The pedometers were freebies my parents got and thought I might want.
Exercise c**p. The glasses and band from my Neon run, where I intentionally took no money, but someone bought me (groan). The pedometers were freebies my parents got and thought I might want.

 

As¬†I took the day off on Friday (I only ‘earn’ one a month now, rather than one a fortnight), ¬†I spent most of the day shopping or window shopping. ¬†I bought a canvas print I’d admired in the thrift shop the week before. ¬†I also dropped some items off in the thrift store (and tossed some in the garbage – no one needs worn out clothing or grotty bathmats). ¬†What else did I buy? A box for bras to ‘sit’ on my ottoman, where they tend to linger. ¬†And a basket for a 40th gift ūüėČ And two running tops… and a headband for running. ¬†Oh yes! I was on a role.

Not as blue - but I still love it!
Not as blue – but I still love it!

In light of my consumerist moments, I came home and really weeded through my wardrobe.  I drafted the most boring post listing all the tops I had, all the jackets etc etc.  And then, looking at it, I started culling.

The art I almost bought.  Seems Salvos was given a bulk collection of images, but I'd already bought the other one already.
The art I almost bought. Seems Salvos was given a bulk collection of images, but I’d already bought the other one already.

The upshot was 20 items for decluttering. ¬†Two will be copied and reinvented. ¬†Some will go to the trash. ¬†Some will go to the op shop. ¬†None are worth money, so I won’t try to sell anything. ¬†This is in addition to about¬†10 items of clothing I’ve given away this year. ¬†And there’s two pairs of running tights/leggings that are showing signs of their last legs.

In counter balance, I’ve bought 13 items in 2014, so that’s a nice counter balance. ¬†Although, I don’t track my other stuff as carefully, though there is a spreadsheet for that of course.

I’m pretty sure the decluttering is partly for me to mentally justify any further purchases this year. ¬†I really would like a teal top or two. ¬†One outbound teal top has been replaced by a more casual teal and navy stripe top. ¬†The incredibly thing is how many pieces of have given that I wear a uniform. ¬†Though it’s starting to seem like those days are numbered, so perhaps my ‘re’ cluttering will be expensive work wear.

Do you declutter to feel ok about buying more clothing, or do you truly believe you need less? ¬†How do you know when is ‘enough’ for work clothes, or basics (for example, I had 16 long sleeved t shirts for wearing under wooly/itchy stuff)?

Groceries for DINKS

(DINKS: double income, no kids).

So, after a few weeks of a check mate between the BF and myself on the grocery shopping, we broke through.  We tried online ordering and delivery!  For nerds like us (who spend the better part of our leisure times on laptops), it was a breeze to order things.

We tried Coles (one of the two major grocery chains in Australia). ¬†We tend to shop at Coles usually, so we know the products and sizes well. ¬†We set up our shopping list on Saturday, and the only possible times were a pick up on Monday afternoon, or delivery from Monday afternoon. ¬†Alternatively, there was ‘free’ delivery on a Wednesday. ¬†Nonetheless, as it was our first order so we were enticed by free shipping if we spent over $100 no matter the time slot or day, provided it was available.

The overall haul
The overall haul

We usually spend more than $100 in store, but we got stuck at about $70 when we had asked for ingredients for three planned bulk meals, as well as replenishing the Vegemite, some deodorant and a lip balm (I finally used one up before losing it to a family member!). ¬†Anyhow, we just got over $100. ¬†On Sunday, I realised we didn’t have any tinned tomatoes on hands, so I updated the order. ¬†We had til 1am on Monday for a delivery time between 5.30-7.30pm.

So how’d it go? ¬†Well the guy came at 6.30pm, with three crates. ¬†Everything we ordered was in stock, except one container of stock (I only bought three as Lucinda’s recipe called for the liquid stock, and there was a promo for three for a cheaper price). ¬†They just did a substitution for another stock container/size, all good.

However, the zero waste home attempts were twarted – the next photos show what came in one bag:

Suppose deodorant and Blistex are in the same aisle.
Suppose deodorant and Blistex are in the same aisle.
Mint tea with mints... maybe like flavours with like?
Mint tea with mints… maybe like flavours with like?

And the bags?

:(
ūüôĀ

Overall – a breeze! I liked that it came to me, with minimal effort. ¬†Nothing was broken (yes, I ordered eggs). ¬†Everything seems fresh. ¬†Sure, I got two cut bits of pumpkin :s ¬†And two 270g packets of bacon – there’s definitely room for improvement… like a less wasteful bagging policy too.

Have you tried online grocery shopping? ¬†Do you like it? ¬†Why would you or wouldn’t you use it?

The minimum spend wouldn’t really affect us going forward, as we’ll plan to ‘need’ our stuff to come on free delivery Wednesday.