Thursday, 30 October 2014

Why I think Rebecca Judd's piece on skinny shaming is brilliant

So I haven't written about social issues here before, primarily because my blog is an evolving thing and it hasn't previously felt like something I wanted to write about. Not to mention the fact that I'm nowhere near an expert on a lot of 'things in the media' so I generally thought it was just fine to let the rest of the world natter on at itself about various big 'issues' on the web - I save those discussions for real life as a rule :)

However, today there was a piece on about Rebecca Judd (wife of AFL-Carlton legend Chris Judd) that really piqued my interest. For the international readers, Bec Judd is one of Australia's top WAGs. She has a blog, RebeccaJuddLoves, and she wrote a thoughtful and articulate take-down of the media's obsession with body image and, in particular, the vicious skinny-shaming of people like herself.

Rebecca Judd plus fabulous dress plus slightly weird headpiece...

What I find refreshing about Judd's piece is the way she very reasonably and specifically attributes the realities of her physical appearance to her family/genetics, posting a photo of herself on a beach, well into third trimester pregnancy alongside her very slender, non-pregnant sister. This is something that I don't feel is connected often enough in popular culture: beauty, like brains, are often inherited. That's part of what makes 'physical beauty' as a concept so appealing to marketing professionals and so irritating to the rest of us: it's hard to define, it's elusive, and if we acknowledge the link to genetics, unlikely to be attainable by most of us.

Like peas in a  pod...except for lovely pregnancy tummy :) 
I don't mean that only certain people are physically beautiful: beauty, in addition to being hard to define and elusive, is also subjective. People find beauty in different ways and it is certainly not limited to only physical manifestation. However, general or commercialised physical beauty with it's stringent standards and marketable results, is often manifested by an extremely limited number of actual living human beings: models, pop stars, actresses, socialites. It is so important that we acknowledge that THEIR 'beauty' comes down first and foremost to luck-of-the-draw genetics ahead of every juice cleanse, reformer class and serum the snake-oil merchants are out there offering to the rest of us at exorbitant prices.

So physical beauty is largely attributable to genetics and slenderness is just one of many mainstream ideals of physical beauty. Then how does slenderness become something you can shame people for, when we generally don't shame people for their hair colour or their eye colour or for having even, white teeth?

I think in the 70s and 80s eating disorders were very much on the fringe of popular awareness, in that parents of young girls might have heard through the grapevine of a friend of a friend who's daughter had 'stopped eating'.  Awareness increased throughout the 90s and obviously in the post-millenium world, it would be hard to find someone who hasn't heard of anorexia or bulimia or have a passing understanding of what the conditions involve. However, somehow along the way eating disorders became conflated with the fact of physical slenderness to the point where today, thin people can find themselves fielding quite explicit suggestions of mental illness (this being after all, what anorexia and bulimia and other eating disorders are) simply by reason of their silhouette.

How much sense does that make, really?

Obviously on this blog, I share a lot of pics of myself. Not of my face - I prefer to maintain a sliver of anonymity at this stage in my life/career etc. But there are plenty of full-length shots of me and it is plain to see, I am no delicate ethereal slip of a lass.  You can't bounce a coin off my tummy (although you can hide a $2 coin in my belly button). And my thighs don't just share a delicate kiss at the top where they meet, it's a pretty much a full thigh-snog with tongue.

So I am no-one's version or ideal of skinny or even slender.  I was very athletic in my adolescence, up until I was 25 or so when full time work began to eat into my available time, and full time stress began to manifest in comfort-eating.

This is not a wah-fest or a 'boo, I hate my body' post. I am exceedingly fortunate in that I acknowledge the realities of my physical body shape, I can see how I got here and I know I have the ability to make some changes to it. I am both motivated and experienced in physical exercise, so I'm not starting from the challenging background of no physical activity.  I'm also what might be termed, nutritionally-competent: I know a lot about food, calories, nutrition so I am capable of producing a delicious meal that is also healthy. I have all the tools I need to pursue a healthier life for myself, with the side-effect of achieving a slimmer outline.

However, my genes are not those of Rebecca Judd. Or Miranda Kerr. My first order female relatives are all kind of like me: curvy, with breasts and bottoms and thighs that touch and we tend to carry subcutaneous fat on our tummies and hips depending on how much we're eating and exercising. I won't ever be the long lean bean of a girl who comes from a family of 5"9' women with minimal busts and slender hips.

Maybe the important thing for women is to acknowledge the different genetic gifts we all have.  Whenever I read beauty blogs people seem to be complaining about how awful it is to have oily/dry/sensitive skin, to have breakouts and scarring or to be exfoliating every second day, it's fascinating for me, because I wouldn't know the first thing about it - my skin is beautiful. Peaches and cream, clear and translucent.  Whenever I have a brow wax, therapists tell me how many of their clients would kill for my skin. It's a genetic gift, like my intelligence, that I am very grateful for, that makes me not mind that I'm short and have bad feet and a dodgy inner ear, get sick easily on planes and am squishy around the middle.

Rebecca Judd aims her criticism at media publications like the Daily Mail, however she acknowledges that their motives in publishing stories with headlines such as 'XYZ shows of healthy curves' and, a week later 'XYZ spotted looking dangerously thin' is fuelled entirely by their readership. It turns out that it is us, the people of the world who proclaim largely to be sick and tired of the media's overexcited emphasis of thinness vs fatness, who are perpetuating the problem.

If we take the focus off other people like Bec Judd and Miranda Kerr and start considering ourselves for a change, there's at least one thing about each and every one of us that others find beautiful, ideal and would pay money to obtain, if it were possible. We all have beautiful qualities and attributes and we would probably do well to acknowledge them, be grateful for them and then get on with our lives.

What is the physical genetic gift that you are grateful for? xo

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Summer office dressing

It is 30+ degrees today, which for those of you in northern climes basically makes it impossible to dress in a traditional 'office-professional' way/full wool-crepe suit without your makeup sliding off your face 2 minutes after you walk out the door.

Since starting this blog and reading more from various style writers on the web, I've become more comfortable in developing my office wear to embrace the practical requirements of the climate I live in. I've posted previously about the cognitive disconnect from the editorial we see that is largely based on people living in cool climates and the realities of life in sub-tropical Brisbane.  Sometimes it can feel next to impossible to come up with an outfit that hits the trifecta: is comfortable/practical, makes you feel elegant and is suitable for the office.

But I think I managed it today and I'm pretty happy with it:

Top: Witchery
Pants: Country Road
Heels: Bally
Bag: Chloe
This ivory tank is a few seasons old but I still love it.  The perforated detail at the yoke adds an element of interest, though the tendency of the top to crease is frustrating - I didn't realise it was quite as crumply as that when I put it on!

The pants from Country Road are a definite warm weather staple for me. I'm not a shorts girl, I prefer my legs to be well covered and protected from sun. This leaves me heavily reliant on jeans, which can present their own challenge on really warm days! A light pair of pants is an absolute life-saver and if they're flattering and make you feel confident, then all the more reason to cheer!

This is not an outfit I would wear if I had meetings. Instead, it's something comfortable but still smart and suitable for a day spent clearing my desk :) xo

Monday, 27 October 2014

How did we get here, exactly?

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it on my blog and I know context is always appreciated, so here goes a little fun fact about me: I am in my early 30s. Specifically, I'll be 32 in December. Which means I'll be 32 when I get married and (hopefully) 32 when I first fall pregnant. Yes, M and I have discussed it and we're going to basically go for it straight after the honeymoon because I'm so neurotic if we leave it any longer, I'll definitely overthink it and we'll probably end up just getting another dog. At least I'm honest about my hangups.

So the maths definitely works out and it should have been no surprise when a few weeks ago, one of my girlfriends mentioned she'd received the invitation to our 15 year school reunion.

15. year. school. reunion.

This is in no way an original thought but, seriously, the time has passed SO quickly I was honestly shocked.  There must be some mistake? We're too young to be going to that sort of reunion. Aren't we?

If nothing else, a school reunion is a time for reflection. On the time that's passed and what you've done with it. Where you are in your life, whether you're happy or not and what direction you want to go in or goals you want to achieve before the next 15 years go by.

I'm pleased to be who I am and where I am. I achieved academically, got my law degree and my Bachelor of Economics at the same time. I work hard and have done well in every job I've ever had, which has given me financial security and confidence, something I know not all women my age have been in a position to experience.

Because I was extremely dedicated to my academic goals, I didn't travel much. I suppose because travel is such a personal ambition and I was focussed personally on things that essentially tied me to my hometown. But I don't view myself as missing out while my friends travelled, because I was granted a very great gift by staying close to home: I got to spend so much time with my grandfather before he sadly passed away in 2010. That was the same year I bought my apartment and got my Masters (all at the same time). Looking back on it, it was a monster of a year for sure and I was emotionally exhausted and raw by the end of it. I felt like I literally could not keep going, when in early 2011 my parents separated and my mother became ill and Brisbane flooded and our business was at risk of closing in the aftermath. I stopped thinking I would ever feel anything beyond a frantic desperation to keep my head and my heart above water.

I believe the universe put me through all the challenges of the first 10 years after I left high school, because I needed to go through those things to become the person I was when I met M. It meant I received the love and passion and energy and excitement from M and I falling in love with gratitude, rather than a sense of expectation. It meant that by the time a serious relationship was on the cards, demanding time and energy the way relationships do, I had kind of sorted all the 'me' stuff out. I was, for the first time in my life, completely free of academic demands to devote my time to getting to know someone, falling in love with them and starting to build something permanent.

I am a very different person today to who I was when I left school. But I have kept many of the same friends. We didn't end up going to the reunion - we spent the night at our favourite pizza bar drinking wine, sharing stories and lots of laughs :) xo

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Wooooohoooooo: Halloween is upon us!!

I don't know how you guys spent your Sunday, but at our house this happened:

No, those lollies are not decoration - they are the real deal my friend mwahahahaha...

So this is on our corner coffee table in our main lounge area that is pretty much where any and all seasonal decoration ends up happening.  Yes, there will be an entirely separate post when our Christmas tree goes up...

The lolly jars are all from Wheel & Barrow but they are a couple of years old now - still, I'm sure there are similar items available. This is my perfect idea of a grown-up version of Halloween, where yes, there is a pumpkin and there are lollies, but it still looks pretty damn fancy. Add a couple of spooky-themed cocktails and it's a very fabulous adult way to celebrate a traditional kids affair :)

Of course, in my opinion the ceramic pumpkin is pretty much the most exciting thing happening in the whole tableau. In fact, I would say this little guy is one of my most prized possessions in the entire apartment...and you have seen my bag collection...still, there's something just so endearing about a permanent pumpkin.

He actually broke in three places when I was driving around with him in the backseat (I still don't really know why he was there actually - possibly from when I originally moved - which would mean he'd been sitting there for about 12 months...) when M and I had just met. M mentioned casually as he was getting out of the car one day after being dropped at work "You know, you really have to move that thing, it's going to break." Naturally, I said "No he's not, he's fine."

About 3 minutes after that conversation and (thankfully) while M was NOT in the car, I slammed the brakes on when a lady pulled out unexpectedly and heard a classic crunch in the back as something fell on the pumpkin.  I then drove it home and hid it in our storage space so M wouldn't get to do his I-told-you-so dance. Even though it was early in the relationship, he'd gotten to do it a fair bit already and it wasn't one of the main things I really enjoyed about his company...

Earlier this year, we were cleaning out the storage space and I pretended to find the pumpkin and M, apparently having forgotten the entire conversation, offered to glue him back together - what a complete champ!

We don't have any young children in our building, so the sugar will probably be dispensed at early afternoon drinks on Saturday with friends :) Have a ghoulish Halloween everyone!! xo

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sunday brunch: pancakes

It is Sunday and this is perfection:

Have a wonderful day everyone :) xo

Ombre summer dressing

Warm spring Saturdays call for cool watery dresses:

Dress: David Lawrence
Shoes: Nine West
Bag: Michael Kors

I had quite a bit of running around to do today - after walking the dog nice and early this morning, I met the first florist I've picked out to talk to about the wedding, then had lunch at Harveys with my gorgeous maid of honour to talk dresses and after that did a whirlwind grocery shop before heading home to hang out with M. I am quite excited about the ideas I've worked out for the wedding flowers and I'm looking forward to seeing what the florist suggests also. 

This dress is an oldie but one of many I've resurrected thanks to my diet. I always find summer dresses difficult in flats so I was really excited when I saw these stack-heeled sandals in tan from Nine West - they enable me to wear dresses and feel feminine, smart but not prissy on weekends in stilettos or kitten heels :) 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Wedding updates

So a couple of quick updates on progress to wedding:

1. I have found a dress to be my 'changing-into-for-dancing-later-in-the-night' dress from Rachel Gilbert:

It's the Paige dress in Powder and you can find it here 

My mother was actually the biggest proponent of the 2 dresses idea. She said after 7 or so hours in my wedding dress, I will probably feel like something knee length so I can boogie without worrying about the long dress.  Like always with mums, she's right. 

The challenge was finding a cocktail-ish style dress for evening that excited me as much as my wedding dress and I looked for absolutely AGES.  Then my maid of honour actually said she was looking at Rachel Gilbert dresses for her dress and suggested I look there - when I found the Paige dress in the blush pink colour, I fell in love :)

Full props to Rachel Gilbert customer service too - they were patient with me over the phone and discussed colour, hairstyles etc. They really wanted me to be happy with whatever decision I made, which is not that common in retail these days...

2. My wedding band arrived!! 

Ok, so I am really really excited about this.

This ring is my absolute dream wedding ring.  How it came about is, one night M and I were walking our fat dog and were chatting about what we would do if we won the lottery (I know *giggles*) I said we'd have a fantastic lunch, probably book a really nice holiday then if we had time, buy him a new car on the way home from lunch.  He said wouldn't I want to try on some jewellery and I said well, not really because I have beautiful jewellery already. He said there must be something you like and I said, well really the only thing would be this ring I've seen that I would love as my wedding band.

Then I showed it to him, he made some enquiries over the next couple of weeks and the next thing I know, we're going to Sydney to try it on!

I was absolutely not expecting to be given such a beautiful, special and stunning piece of jewellery to commemorate our marriage and I am blown away by how exceptional this ring is.  I feel very special and quite spoilt :) xo

Red and ready

I made it back to work!!! *applause*

Top: LK Bennett
Pants: Country Road
Heels: Bally
Belt: YSL
Bag: Chloe

I needed something bright to perk myself up in the office and this Tilly blouse (the very same blouse from yesterday's OOTD but in the delicious red) was exactly right.  I love the strictness of all-black accessories, it allowed the red to just shout.

Probably mostly to do with my palette being a bit off due to illness, but I downed my usual green smoothie this morning and did not enjoy it.  I've decided to give myself a break from all the mad exercise and dieting and just go with the flow a bit for this week - hard for a control-freak like myself, but hey some relaxation is what I need right now. That calls for tuna pie and long walks with M and the dog tonight :) xo

Monday, 20 October 2014

Tan loafers

My cold is determined to linger but I must say, after several sleepless nights and loads of general self-pity, I think I might be on the mend. I have a sore throat now but I'm gargling (isn't that lovely?)

So I've taken the last two days virtually at home, in that I popped into the office to go through post, do a couple of things, talk to my team and I have my emails and remote access to working documents at home, but apart from that...I can rest if I need to. It is interesting, but for me, having remote access and being able to access emails etc actually makes it feel easier for me to have a sick day. I don't know why, perhaps because if you are actually fully absent from the office things can blow up without you knowing about them and get a bit out of hand, whereas if you're aware as things develop, you can start dealing with them or at least not come in the following day to a bloated inbox and a paper explosion on your desk, not knowing where to start...

So because I am feeling a little bit more human and a bit less like a sad tellytubby, I put this little number on today:

Top: LK Bennett
Jeans: JBrand
Loafers: Tods
Bag: Prada

This is a more casual outfit than I would normally wear if I was having just a typical working from home day - because I'm still unwell and just want to be really comfortable I thought this sort of preppy look would be fine.  Well, it's my version of a preppy look. The blouse is actually black, it's the Tilly blouse by LK Bennett and it comes in a fabulous bright red and yes, in usual style, I have both.

So I'm off to have some soup for lunch and after that I'll probably have a rest, unless something urgent comes up for work :) xo

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cream tank and skinny denim

So the absence of posts should indicate that yes, I still have my cold #annoying

Yesterday was spent very quietly but I actually thought I was getting better when I woke up early this morning.  We went out for a drive after Sunday lunch and I'm not sure why but I've really crashed suddenly since we got home and I honestly feel like going to bed - the thought of making dinner is exhausting!

Illness to one side, I dressed quite simply today, with my favourite summer bag again adding that essential bright pop of colour:

Top: Witchery
Jeans: JBrand
Flats: Nine West
Bag: Prada
I feel very relaxed but chic in this outfit - comfortable but still good enough to pass muster going out for a drink or meeting friends for coffee. I think the accessories work really hard and I just adore the mustard yellow flats against the petrol leather bag. Hobo for the weekend yet again - I love the freedom of tossing anything and everything into my bag when I'm so disciplined during the week :) xo

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Scarves and sinuses

I have caught that most dreaded of afflictions: the summer cold.

I  went out to dinner at Hatch & Co last night and could barely breathe by the end of it.  Food was delicious but mouth-breathing wasn't quite the look I generally go for when dining out - oh well!

This morning I decided to wrap up with a scarf despite the warmer weather because the office air-con has kicked back on and nothing makes you feel worse when you have a cold than chilly surrounds:

Top: LK Bennett
Jeans: JBrand
Jacket: Ralph Lauren
Scarf: Gucci
Heels: Bally
Bag: Chloe

I love this scarf, it's so pretty. It's light enough to be wearable in warmer weather but still keeps me warm in air-con.  This is actually a typical working-from-home outfit for me, but unfortunately I didn't really have an option to work at home today - so I thought if I do have to go into work, I can at least be warm and comfortable :)

I hope no-one else has this cold xo

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Monday Meetings

Monday mornings after spectacular weekends are always a bit blah, am I right? Sunday looked like this:

Yes, I know, life is hard...

So how could Monday possibly compare?

Irrespective, there was no time for philosophical musings as I had to get ready for work. Monday is always busy. Always.  Even if you think you've locked everything away neat and tidy on Friday evening, and have kept an eye on your emails over the weekend, Monday morning will always come tearing into your office (or sometimes it can't even wait that long and your phone starts buzzing on your bedside table) at a million miles an hour.

I have big meetings today, which I feel confident about but know I have to be 100% on and present the very best case for my company. So I figured I should at least look sharp doing it:

Top: LK Bennett
Pants: Country Road
Blazer: Witchery
Heels: Bally
Bag: Hermes

This is one of the divine crepe tank tops from LK Bennett that I've been pretty much obsessed with since they arrived in the post. Sadly, the pretty pink colour is all sold out #sadface but the ivory/cream colour is still there. Divine under jackets, tucked in with pencil skirts and loose and relaxed over skinny jeans or soft silk trousers.

Have good weeks everyone :) xo

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Relaxed Sunday

It's a quiet Sunday here - I did have a lunch with friends but one cancelled, then another had to pick family up from the airport unexpectedly - so we rescheduled and I ended up with time on my hands, which was nice.

Just wandering around Kangaroo Point is so lovely. Because we have to walk the dog, we end up exploring quite a bit of the suburb on foot.  He loves it, it's healthy for M and I - #winning.

This afternoon, we went for a swim. For those wondering, I did end up going to pilates on Saturday and yes, I am quite sore today but it's not intolerable.  I've already booked a class for Wednesday morning and next Saturday, so I am keen to stick with it. But swimming was good to stretch out and soothe those muscles :) 

I decided to run a few errands after swimming and then to meet up with a friend for a glass of wine:

Top: LK Bennett
Pants: Country Road
Shoes: Nine West
Bag: Michael Kors

I love a hobo for my bag on weekends - it's relaxed, I can throw a tonne of stuff in it if I need to and being able to sling it over my shoulder makes it great for going shopping or doing other errands with it. I love the tonal complements in this outfit: the blush pink top with the chocolate leather of the bag, finished with the tan heels.  I love a block-heel in summer, it helps ground the lighter fabrics of my summer wardrobe and keep the look weekend-appropriate, as compared stilettos which would make me feel a bit unrealistic :) 

Have good Sundays everyone xo

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Thursday morning after tennis the night before...

Ok, so M and I are embracing fitness and exercise and healthy living and all that jazz.  It's just taking a bit longer for healthy living to really embrace us, if you know what I mean.

Specifically, we played tennis last night. We play tennis once a fortnight with friends from work. It's not serious, it's a bit of a rotating group and it's really fun. As a habit, it's been going on for just over 2 months. Now, normally I do high intensity spin sessions or I go running for about 40 minutes and I would do something like that 4 times a week minimum.  This is in addition to walking our fat dog twice a day. That has been my exercise regimen since pretty much the start of the year.

So theoretically I have been getting plenty of movement, plenty of incidental exercise as well as aerobic stuff.  Tennis though, for some reason, really uses muscles I barely know about and hopefully M doesn't ever read this but...I feel so. so. old the morning after tennis.

I'm not going to give up, I'm going to my first pilates class in about 5 years on Saturday (terrified by that, just a little bit). But I cannot wait until I feel like a lean, fit cheetah on the court.

I hope you all enjoyed that image :)

So this is my outfit this morning, slightly less cheetah-like and more like a gingerly-held-together sloth:

Top: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania
Skirt: Burberry
Shoes: Bally
Bag: Chanel
I really enjoyed my outfit yesterday, very spring-y and light. Today I kept the theme with this really lovely petrol-coloured skirt from Burberry which has ruching detail all over it, adding an extra element of interest on top of the divine colour. It's light and cool as well. I love the contrast of the petrol blue and the black - it really makes the colour pop.

Happy Thursday everyone :) xo

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Crisp blue and ivory

The weather was definitely on my mind when I dressed this morning. Although I haven't worked in litigation for nearly 6 years, I still feel a bit naked going to work without a suit jacket. However, the reality is it is often far too hot to wear one (even in office air-conditioning).

It was quite a challenge to me when I first moved from a law firm to in-house counsel because the office dress code was much more casual. I think I've managed to find a happy medium where I can still pull together a very corporate look when I have meetings, but I also can look more relaxed/deconstructed when I'm just working in my office or from home.

This is a really fresh spring look for me:

Top: LK Bennett
Skirt: Dolce & Gabbana
Shoes: Kate Spade
Belt: YSL
Bag: Chanel

I love this top from LK Bennett. They sold out really quickly (sad face) but I did manage to snag two in ivory and one in a lovely blush-pink.  I had to get them tailored to add two darts at the back, as I bought a slightly bigger size so as to comfortably fit my bust, but I naturally ended up with quite billowy fabric around my waist.

Ivory, sleeveless, pops of blue, polished accessories - hello springtime, I say! xo

Tuesday in navy and red

Back to work and summer has definitely arrived - 29 degrees in Brisbane today, bright and sunny!

I know I've made this point before but it's worth reminding myself how important it is to dress and shop according to your climate. Paris/London/NY are all undeniably chic fashion capitals...but they're also northern hemisphere and quite temperate/cool (if not sometimes freezing) climates with distinct seasons.  Queensland isn't like that - there are about 3 weeks in June/July when you can get away with a knee-length trench coat (just). The rest of the time, it's warm and sunny and don't you forget it!

Now I'm not complaining - I sincerely enjoy our beautiful climate. It's just occasionally, glancing through international September issues of Vogue or London-based blogs, I don't know, I get wistful for defined seasons and gloves and scarves and things...

Anyway, back to reality where it's hot and the skies are a brilliant blue more often than not! I put this outfit together this morning, admittedly not feeling v inspired after a luxurious long weekend:
Top: Country Road
Pants: Chloe
Shoes: Valentino
Bag: Chanel 

Accessories up close...
These navy trousers are in a lovely light cotton and I felt quite nautical-inspired - the outfit is simple, deconstructed but office-professional and best of all, suits the blazing sunshine and the warm temperatures. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

House and Home: DIY delights!

Ok, so I promised I'd do a full post on how M and I came to make our coffee table.

Background: our apartment is actually my apartment, which I bought 4 years ago shortly before M and I met. I took my time with furnishing it, because I find that you have to spend lots of time in a space before you can really decorate it to best effect. When in doubt, wait and see whether that bright feature wall, that 3-seater sofa or that 6-seater outdoor dining table is really going to work practically for the space that you have.

Bearing that in mind, as recently as this year we still didn't have an outdoor table. I mean, we had a $10 Ikea nightmare that served a purpose i.e. you COULD put plates of nibbles on it - but it was ugly and because it was outside with our plants, the MDF swelled up and cracked from all the water. We had a 2-seater very practical, very comfortable grey outdoor couch, but no table we wanted to actually keep out there.

We looked and looked at manufactured outdoor tables. I felt that what was on the market was too expensive for what you got - ugly, heavy and generally too big for our balcony (which is quite a generous 10 square meters). M was similarly unwilling to spend money on the pre-fab items available that looked cheap yet came with a hefty price tag.

One Friday night, we were watching Better Homes and Gardens/BHG (don't judge us, ok? I'm exhausted by Friday, I just want to look at flowers and animals and other people cooking on TV) and they showed some of those naff 'look-what-we-made-from-the-show' photos that viewers send in sometimes (which I now totally want to do - such a hypocrite, no?!?) and they showed a fruit-crate coffee table. M and I both spontaneously said, "Hey, what about that?"

The beauty of most BHG DIY is that it generally is something you really can do yourself. So we found the recipe/instructions (?) at this site:

And proceeded to make greatness happen:

Measuring and hammering and stuff...

That OMG moment when it actually starts to look like they said it would...


What we love about this is it looks nice, polished but not over-engineered. The dark timber varnish goes nicely with our green plants. We can bring it inside if we want to, if we're having friends over but it's too cold to sit outside.

The flame is actually an ethanol burner with a big glass cover that we already owned, that just happened to fit in the centre well of the coffee table and consequently looks completely fabulous. A glass of wine at our place is now so much prettier than it used to be ;) xo

Long weekend musings

Oh dear, I've been gone from this space for a while! I feel like I should be spanked or something - the truth is, no matter how stressful or time-consuming work and life get, I shouldn't forget to make time for blogging. I am going to definitely be more disciplined about it from now on. It makes me happy to be able to share some thoughts and some outfits and general musings on life, unlike my fairly serious everyday working life...

So how can I sum up the past three months when I basically dropped off the face of the Earth? A few highlights:

1. I have lost over 6kg (that's over 12 pounds for our imperial friends): I'm doing a combination of paleo and 5:2 and I must say, it is working an absolute treat. M and I have amped up our exercise as well, so I'm currently working out 4-5 days a week plus twice daily walks with our dog;

2. I have started to get quite excited about the wedding: dress, done; shoes, done; hair, ideas in play and hairdresser chosen; stationery, just about done; venue, done; DJ requested, just waiting to see if she's around or in LA at that time next year (she plays mega music festivals apparently - how glamorous of us);

3. M and I have made a coffee table (which looks fabulous, no?) and are considering our next DIY project;

I will do a full detailed post on how this DIY-lifestyle awesomeness came to be - stay tuned...

4. Some things happened: Chloe medium Paraty tote in black; Chanel classic double flap in black caviar with gold hardware; JBrand 811 jeans, multiple pairs; Nine West tan stack-heel summer sandals;

It's a fabulous long weekend this weekend and M and I managed to align the stars and get Friday off, as well as the public holiday on Monday.  We went out on Friday and had lunch at a casual restaurant - we felt like absolute tourists watching everyone else rushing back to work. We saw Gone Girl at the new cinemas in Fortitude Valley (good but not going to be everyone's cup of tea, noir female characters are hard to pull off). We went out for dinner on Thursday and Friday nights (Gordita on Thursday with friends; Green Tea for cheap and cheerful Thai on Friday).

The rest of the weekend is being spent cooking up a storm, doing odd jobs around the house, walking our fat dog and generally trying to relax as much as possible :)

And I promise I will get back to daily posts where possible. Below is a quick OOTD shot from heading out for a quick glass of wine at Summerhouse with a friend:

Top: Marcs
Jeans: JBrand
Flats: Nine West
Bag: Chanel
Dog: Leo ;) 
Take care everyone :) xo