Saturday, August 31, 2013

LIFE LATELY (WORD VOMIT)


A good man or woman might work hard so the other needn't. Equally, the spouse who stays at home needn't consume so much that the breadwinner needs to work so hard. I feel kind of like a bad spouse right now. This pelvic rehabilitation isn't coming cheap and, unfortunately, the physio I go to is also located right next to a major shopping centre. Often I'll get a call from them right before my appointment telling me they're running half an hour behind schedule. You can visit a lot of stores in just thirty minutes, let it be known! The above photo is the result of a few of those occasions. I'm going to do all I can to avoid temptation, even if it means unfollowing every fashion blog and inspiring OOTDer on instagram. Do you find a correlation with fashion blogs and your own spending too?

Country Road shorts / Dotti tops and jacket / Napoleon Perdis cosmetics

In other news, I had the weirdest experience the other day. My sinuses have been irritating me for some time now but it wasn't until I started getting an odd object-in-throat sensation that I decided to see my GP. He had a feel around and didn't notice anything remarkable; an ultrasound of the thyroid said the same so he sent me off to see an ENT surgeon. It was there that I experienced the aforementioned strange event, something I hope I will never, ever have to endure again. The doctor fed a tube through my nostril, right down into my throat. It's the most disgusting feeling ever, feeling that tube go through your whole nasal cavity and way too far beyond. Perhaps the worst moment for me was when I was looking up at him, already quite unnerved with the sensation of this tube going where no object has been before, and he said "now, you're probably going to feel a very strange feeling behind your eye". Eugh!!! That moment, the uncomfortable foreignness of it all just got so much worse with that little warning. Truth be told, I didn't get a sensation behind my eye at all, thank goodness. I'd hate to know what that "very strange feeling" was like. Shudder.

Anyway, his findings were that I had a benign lump on my vocal cords which probably explained the lump in throat sensation. I also have a slightly deviated septum which, according to wikipedia, can contribute to sinus problems like the ones I've been having. He put me on some steroid sprays and said to cut down on gluten and dairy as they cause sinus problems in just about everyone. So I did. And now I don't know what to eat! Only kidding, I think life sans dairy is going to force me to be a little more imaginative in the kitchen! After three days without any dairy products, I've noticed a flatter stomach and less facial swelling. Strangely, the bridge of my nose appears slimmer! When I asked my dad about this phenomenon, he said that sometimes sleep apnea patients can have facial swelling around the sinuses so it wouldn't be unheard of for my nose to have looked a bit broader due to sinus problems.

Another recent development has been the planning of a cosmetic makeover of our digs. Hopefully we can start this after the wedding if I start watching my outgoings. Gulp. We're really leaning towards super white walls and dark floors for the whole house. And by white, I mean almost ceiling white! This is what has been inspiring me:


 We're both drawn to the idea of an almost black feature wall for the bedroom, kind of like these:


...Whether we make the leap is another story! We've got a colour consultant from Dulux coming next weekend to help us understand what sort of paints are going to suit the space. If you're ever trying to find that perfect shade of paint - especially if you're only looking for a "simple" white paint please don't put yourself through the hassle we did! We'd have saved ourselves a lot of money on sample pots, not to mention our own sanity, if we'd hired an expert in the very beginning.

I'm about to start getting ready now as we're heading to Newcastle for the weekend. I hope you have a great weekend. For those of you in Australia, are you doing anything special for your dad on Sunday?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

THE CELEBRATION

I had a really good birthday this year. I don't think I've ever felt more special! James had told me to be at home that morning for a delivery and luckily I didn't leave the house for too long the rest of the day because another three chaps came by to drop off all sorts of gorgeous gifts and surprises. James woke me with a very sweet card. I love, love, love receiving anything with the word "fiancee" on it. I still pinch myself. 


Not long after James had left for work, a lovely woman from a local gallery came by with this gorgeous surprise:


There was a photograph exhibition there recently and every time I walked by, I admired one particular  photograph hanging in the window. Then one day, I looked in the window and noticed it was gone. The following week, there was a sculpture exhibit there. I still thought about that photo. Little did I know, a very thoughtful man had bought it for me and was keeping it all under wraps until my birthday. 


He knows I love orchids too. He also knows I am terrible at keeping them alive. But he hasn't lost faith in me:


I have been blessed with beautiful, thoughtful in-laws. They sent me this gorgeous and delicious arrangement:


Mum and dad spoilt me too. A dozen roses, a snuggle buddy and a much appreciated bottle of plonk!


The door had been knocking right up until past five o'clock, so I had to rush getting ready. I ended up throwing this outfit together and James said it was the best one he'd seen on me. Murphy's law, eh?


He knows I love Japanese food and that I've had Azuma in my sights for a long time. Therefore...


We had the assorted sashimi; vegetable and seafood tempura; spider rolls; wagyu beef and miso eggplant. They nailed every dish. I now know why all the top Japanese chefs and schmoozers flock to Azuma for a feed! I really wanted to try the Scampi too (there will be a next time) but decided to leave room for dessert. We had the dessert plate (creme brûlée was the highlight) and a serve of caramel ice cream. Not your average, either... I need that recipe!!! 

I'm going to say it: contrary to popular opinion, birthdays get better every year. I especially loved all the  messages you left on here and on my facebook page. Reading them brought a smile to my face and I felt very blessed to have such beautiful people in my world.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

27 YEARS


I'm 27 today. A few days ago I had that moment where you think about what you've achieved so far. Not much, was my first thought. I don't have a job. I've never actually had what you'd call a career. Those were the first things that came to mind. Isn't that sad? Thankfully, I realised the error in my thinking. I wouldn't measure a person's worth, a person's achievements solely on their working life. Why do it to myself? I thought deeper about what, in these 27 years, I had really achieved. All the experiences and lessons and thoughts that have made me who I am. If my life is a patchwork quilt, it's more than just a few scraps of fabric sewn together. As time goes on, the seams get stronger, the patches neater. While still a work in progress, there's enough to envelop myself with when the cold hits. That's how I see the "fabric of my life". It's colourful too. I've known every extreme and in-between. I know what it's like to be always the last one chosen. I also know what it's like to be the first. I've been ridiculed and I've been put on the highest pedestal. I've lived in small towns and big cities. I've been fooled, made wary. I've given all my trust and had it honoured and protected. I've seen the darkest side of humans and I've been blessed to know the purest, kindest ones. I've taken things for granted. Learned the lessons when you lose those things. I've made poor choices, suffered the consequences. Been sorrier than I could ever be able to show. I've done the right thing, even when it was the hardest thing to do. Learned that the truth always sets you free. I've envied others. Angrily, desperately asked "why me???" Then turned around after walking the road that in the beginning filled me with dread and been grateful for what it showed me, who it made me. I've travelled far. I've been utterly lost. I've almost wanted to give up. Asked "is this all there is?" And I've known the feeling of finding something worth living for, right when I least expected it. I know what it's like to feel bulletproof and I know what it's like to feel so vulnerable that it would only take a moment and I'd break and never repair. I know what it's like to feel both of those things at once. I think it's been a good 27 years. Often I think about all the people who didn't make it this far. I think, despite whatever has happened, whatever will happen, I've been lucky. And I've achieved much more than I could have imagined. It's a happy birthday.

Monday, August 19, 2013

GREEN THUMBS


It's official: we're grown-ups now. It dawned on us as we stood in line at Bunnings (for the third time that week) waiting to pay for plants. I turned to James and said "Are we full-on adults now?" He replied, "I think we are" to which I responded, "Wow, it just kind of crept up on us without us realising, huh?". Then we laughed because we find ourselves quite amusing.
We just spent the past weekend giving our back and front courtyards a makeover. It all started because I saw a flea on Poppy. I thought it might have been because she was always in the garden beds and that we must have an infestation. Yes, I always settle on the worst case scenario. I trawled the internet to find a solution and we soon found ourselves at a garden and pet supply center for Dimataceous Earth to sprinkle on the garden beds.


But once we got into the garden, we thought we should probably get rid of all the dead leaves and aggravate the soil first. So we did. We also pulled out a few plants that were getting in the way and called it a day after the application of DE. The next day, we woke up first thing and decided we would neaten things up a bit. Why not, eh? At first, we were only going to put down a segment of lawn so the dogs would have somewhere to "go" when we weren't home. But then I decided I wanted more symmetry in the back courtyard and ripped out all the herbs to make place for an identical bush that we have on the back wall. Luckily, there was a similar plant in the front yard already that we decided we could pull up and use for that purpose. 


We were on a roll by this stage. We ripped out every last low-lying shrub at the front of the house and decided we'd put a box hedge trim around the magnolia tree, to neaten everything up. But my very favourite bit would have to be the Osmanthus I planted outside the window of the guest bedroom. It's going to smell incredible whenever someone opens the window on a warm day. Everything looks fantastic now and I am so proud of us for working together on all of it. I couldn't think of anyone but James I'd want to do all of this stuff with, it was just so much fun. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NEW HOUSE: FAVOURITE BITS

Thought I'd share a few pictures of the house, specifically the parts of it I have most fallen in love with. Let's start with the bedroom, shall we? Yesterday I managed to (kind of) iron my favourite sheet sets, so I figured this would be a better time than any to do bedroom snaps. That sliding door opens to reveal out little walk-in, where my shoes are threatening to swallow the floor; the frosted blue door leads to the bathroom...


... which is where my little owl, a gift from my brother, lives. I love the bathroom but I always feel happy when I look at my funny little owl.


On the other side of the bed is one of the best parts of this old place: the balcony. It gets the most glorious morning sun and I relish the time I spend out there each morning as I do my stretches. It's the most peaceful place I've come across in a long time.


Back inside now. I've dressed up our living space by splurging on a pile of cushions. Do you read Faux Fuchsia? I just discovered her blog a few weeks ago and I am obsessed! If you read FF, you'll know that she would never knowingly under-cushion. Devil's work, apparently. I knew I had been an under-cushioner for far too long and enough was enough: I had to bring our barren sofa to life. I bought all of these from West Elm. Do you think it is cushioned adequately?


I personally love the chandelier that hangs in the kitchen/dining space. There's another identical one in the stairwell but I'm going to need to give it a good dusting so it looks as shiny as this one. I don't think I could confidently choose a chandelier for any home so I am glad that this part of the decorating was done already.


I had a number of framed photos in storage and finally had the chance to display them again. Over time, I hope to get a lot more printed and framed to go up on the walls. That gorgeous bride in the frame on the right is my mum. Did you recognise me in the picture with the birthday candles?


Stepping out the back and this is where the dogs spend most of their day running amok. I've had to sweep out here every second day because they climb into the garden beds, pulling out dead leaves and seed pods to chew up and scatter all over the ground. Thankfully they haven't touched the herb garden that I am so grateful to the previous owners for! The other night I used some rosemary to cook with our lamb cutlets; tonight I will be using the parsley for my stuffed mushrooms.


... And that's about it for now. The rest of the house is a bit cluttered at the minute so I won't do a full "house special" for now. We really want to paint the walls and give some of the rooms a little makeover as soon as we can. I can tell James is getting obsessed with the idea too. Often the house goes silent for a while and I call out for him only to find he has been at the other end of the house thinking deeply about such things as skirting boards and painting. I laugh as I type this because I just got a text from him asking if I would be interested in going to the hardware store late tonight. Too cute :-)