Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Warm weather

This past weekend we celebrated M's 13th birthday. The weather has been amazingly warm: 27 degrees C some days. A new record has been set for days above 20 degrees in May. We're really experiencing the effects of climate change here.... it's usually way cooler than this!

As it was so warm, I got my ankles out:

APC sandals, Frame jeans (no holes or rips, GSL!), Mansur Gavriel bag.

We had a big birthday lunch for M at my parents' place:

My mother made a raspberry cheesecake. It was utterly delicious.

Here's M blowing out the candles:

M reports that 13 feels no different from 12, but she's glad it's over and she's now officially a teenager (so has an excuse to be stroppy!)

In other earth-shattering news, I've decided against the stripey Max Mara skirt from last week's post. I've spurned it in favour of two other (much cheaper) skirts. 
Sneak preview of one below:

It was very cheap - from Top Shop no less!
I haven't bought anything from TopShop since I was in my 20s!
I'll take some more pics of it and the other new one later in the week.

I'm usually much more likely to buy one good quality item over multiple cheaper ones, but this week I've surprised myself by doing the opposite.

Do you prefer quality over quantity? 

Finally, where is xoxo? her blog is gone - I really hope she's ok. If anyone has any intel, I'd love to know.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The weekend that was.

Two celebrations down and two more to go.
Sydney has decided to forget about Autumn and Winter and go straight to Spring.
After a week of very chilly temps we're currently having days of 26 degrees! Crazy, but I'm not complaining, although I did have to dig out some warm weather clothes that I'd packed away for the year.
Dress that was too warm:

DVF dress, Wolford opaques, Jenny Kee scarf. I was far too warm in the tights.

Slightly more suitable outfit of Equipment shirt, red jeans, Jenny Kee scarf and Ferragamo shoes.
Tonight I'm going to crack and get the summer skirts back out as the weather is looking warm for the next week or so.

In the nearish future, we are going to be moving out of our house and having the whole back part of it knocked down and re-built. This is our lovely current kitchen, which will go:

I actually love our kitchen aesthetically, but in terms of practicality, it's a nightmare: too dark, no storage, no dishwasher, lots of mould and crumbling walls, slug infestations if it rains.... you get the picture. It has character, but it's time to move on. We'll be keeping some of the furniture to re-use in the new kitchen. The door at the end opens up into the one and only very small and equally un-renovated bathroom. That will be going too, to be replaced by two new, shiny bathrooms moved into the main part of the house.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll be boring you with far more renovation stuff in the near future (unless the builders' quotes are too high and we scrap the whole idea).

For some light relief at the weekend I went into a shop! Pretty rare occurrence for me these days, but I wanted to buy my mother an extra birthday gift, and got distracted by this skirt in Max Mara. I didn't buy it, but I did quite like it. Thoughts?

Finally, here's a picture of my wonderful mother opening her presents with the children (+ friend).
She is such an amazing woman!

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mothers' Day, weekend

A quick post with quite a few pics.
Mothers' day morning. I got some delicious salted caramels and a scented candle.
You can see one of the cat's bum

The best things were the cards, though. I love a home-made card!
M made this. She is pretty good at drawing Manga: 

My mother opening her gifts.
It's so good to have her here...

Lunch with everyone. Slow cooked beef with Yorkshire Puddings, Roast potatoes and vegetables.

Finally, a couple of outfits.

J Crew jacket, Acne shining shirt, Nudie jeans and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.

Very old Scanlan & Theodore dress, ancient Helmut Lang jacket (the 'Government' jacket as the children call it - guess it makes me look like a politician?!), Nike running shoes and Mansur Gavriel bag.

Apparently there's a 2 year waiting list for Mansur Gavriel bags. We certainly do live in strange times...

If you live in Australia I hope you're not as furious as I am with the Budget. Cuts to education, healthcare, the Arts and all the people who need help the most? Way to go, greedy suited liberals. GRRRRR!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May madness

There are some months of the year that are way more busy than others. For me, those are December, February, May and November.
May is particularly full in terms of birthdays etc.
This weekend it's Mothers' Day in Australia, the following weekend is my mother's birthday, the following one is M's 13th birthday. Added to that are 4 other friends' birthdays, including a 50th at the end of the month.
For Mothers' Day we will have my parents over for lunch, and J and children will cook and I hope to laze around!
For my mother's birthday we will again host her and my father and a friend for Sunday lunch.
M's birthday will be hosted by my parents, and she'll have a party excursion in early June to a local aquatic centre with some of her friends. She has about 4 girlfriends with birthdays in May, so her weekends are booked with social engagements too.

Added to the social stuff is activity around our upcoming renovations. We will need to move out of our house for the duration, as we'll have no water, kitchen or bathroom. We did consider trying to camp in our house, but the thought of no loo or shower isn't very appealing.
I have no idea where we'll live yet - rents in our area are stupidly expensive - about $700 a week for a two bed flat.
Anyway, I'm trying very hard to not worry about this. Yoga is helping, plus I'm going to try to do 'Mindful in May', which basically means practising 10 or so minutes a day of mindfulness mediation. I do this after my yoga practice already, but I find it really difficult to still my mind if I haven't done a physical yoga practice - my mind tends to jump all over the place and generally behave like hyperactive child. 
Wish me luck. It's hard!

A few outfits. No relevance to anything much, and they're all things I've had for a while. My budget for clothes will be zero once the renos start, and indeed for years after. 

J Crew purple dress, green scarf. Leather jacket and black Wolford opaques.

DVF dress, same leather jacket, trusty Wolford opaques and Daniele Arancani boots.

Hmm. The leather jacket's getting a lot of wear! Boden skirt and Sportscraft scarf.

Finally, I've become obsessed with Kieran Long's wardrobe on Restoration Home. Is he the most fabulously dressed man on TV or what?

Is your May crazy with social engagements?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A few sweater reviews

While those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are thinking of warmer weather and light clothes, those of us Down South are heading into winter.
Sydney has just had a bloody cold weekend, in fact it's the coldest weekend since July 2013! Yesterday there was an icy wind and temps dropped to 10 degrees C during the day! Shockingly cold for these parts!

Happily, my John Smedley sweater order arrived in time for the cold snap.
John Smedley is an old British company who have been making sweaters since 1784. The sweaters aren't particularly cutting edge or fashiony, but they are very well made (in the UK!) and the ones I own have lasted a long time.
JS sweaters are very expensive in Australia, and indeed in the UK, but considering the quality, they're worth the splurge. I was lucky enough to get mine in the 70% off sale - one of the joys of living in the Southern Hemisphere is being able to buy clothes on sale for the current season!
Compared to J Crew, they are in a totally different league!

I ordered two styles:

Cashmere and merino cable knit.
I love this! It's rather oversized on me (I got size S, which is the smallest this style comes in ) but I like the slouchy style for winter. It works well with jeans or leggings. It'w warm and light, too.

The other style is a merino wool turtle neck in a dark charcoal.
This is size xs, and it fits perfectly. I'll wear it with skirts and trousers

Close-up details:

Finally, a rather bizarre shot of me wearing a beautiful new scarf sent to me from my gorgeous friend C, who is living in Bali.

If you're in the market for new knitwear and fancy giving John Smedley a try, they currently have 20% off all orders 'til 7th May. Code is SPJS20.

How are you? Any weekend fun?