Thursday, 5 April 2012

Meet Murphy

It's been a while, life's been hectic.  The biggest reason however is called Murphy.  Having never wanted kids, I got the closest to being broody I've ever been and along he came to rescue me.  He's 15 months old and has spent a large part of that in a pound on the central coast.  We me through Pet Rescue and luckily for him (and us), one that doesn't choose to euthanise that often, because he was well past his sell-by date.  We're 3 weeks in, and the quivering wreck I brought home, is turning into a loyal, cuddly and delightful friend.

We think he's part collie, part kelpie, part cattle dog.  He's a bundle of energy and learning to be friendly with other dogs (most of whom he thinks are sheep).  Best of all, he absolutely loves swimming.  Most mornings, my sanity resumes with a shared swim on a quiet local beach and a bit of a struggle with a stick.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wipe Out!

Last year, after two years of to feeling 'quite right', I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.

I was knackered - every afternoon between 2-6, I could better dribble than speak, I felt dizzy a lot of the time, I'd had heart monitors, blackouts and I had lost my old sparkle and lust for life.

Lucky for me, a clever doctor put all these things together, checked my blood and nailed it.  Turns out I also had Vitamin D deficiency - hilarious if you knew how much time I am outdoors!  A bit of research later though, along with 2 months dedicated to getting better and I'm definitely feeling on the mend.

People complain of stress.  Celebrities check into clinics and we all nod, knowingly.  When it actually happens though, and it happens a lot I've discovered, it totally wipes you out.  I'd always had a stressful job which I took in my stride.  A couple of years of change and my ability to cope with the tiniest amount has gone out of the window.  Even an elongated telephone call with a customer service department could render me useless for the rest of the day.

My biggest problem is my personality.  Im highly competitive (those who know me will laugh here!) I have to win at everything ... And I could never sit still, ever... Yes I do yoga and meditate regularly, but I treated them like everything else, as challenges to be mastered.  I even compete with myself!

My other problem was radiation.  Mobile phones, computers and airplanes.  In fact after a flight from the UK to Australia last year, I blacked out and ended up in hospital.

Obviously everybody has their ways of coping.  I've tried hard not to be an evangelist.  But here are the things that have helped me so far....

  • Magnesium - this has literally changed my life...!  Its given me my energy back, taken away my bad PMT and made me strong again.  This one (make sure you get the ENERGY one), along with some epsom salts in my bath every other night.  

  • Vitamin C and adrenal support pills - again, having tried a few, these work best for me and are less horse-pilly than others.  

  • Getting to bed before 10.  Every night.  And no technology in the bedroom.  In fact I turn the internet off at the wall, every night.  Sarah Wilson has written a very helpful piece on this here.  

  • Giving up sugar and fructose - yes a hot topic at the moment but my heart palpitations literally stopped after 3 days of no fruit.  I've now done 8 weeks on this ezine from Sarah Wilson again, and I certainly have my bounce back.  A booze free month has left my head very clear too.

I also rate highly the advice given in the book SPENT - simple stuff but easy to follow and take on some of the stuff and exercises that do actually help - most of it we all know but just don't do!

My house looks like a tip and Im trying hard not to worry too much about it - just to let things slide.  Gradually, I've begun to feel happier about it too.  Brene Brown spoke at TED about this very subject and I'm about to tackle her book - and probably uncover some more truths!

Friday, 24 February 2012


Continuing on the happiness theme, here's another colour heaven - and one that delivers images of wafting around on yachts slurping cocktails in the sunshine with all the beautiful people!

I love Camilla.  Her designs are wild, yet wearable.  I've worn the same dress at night, then the next day, tucked into my pants to run around in and twisted at the neck to make it look completely different.  And now, deep joy, there is a diffusion range!  Cheaper and hand wash which makes shopping more justifiable than ever.

All pics - Camilla

Thursday, 23 February 2012

More Designers Guild prettyness

I'm in love with the Portobello range of fabrics from DG.  They say 'deck chairs' and 'donkey rides' to me and I'm planning to use them all over my house.  M is a bit bored with my blue-everything, so maybe the orange and pink candyfloss colours...

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Happiness Shop - Designers Guild

Not for me are white 'beachy' style houses.  I want my home to sing and make me happy.  Queen of the happiness stakes for me is Tricia Guild, of Designers Guild whose designs fill my heart with joy and I would spend hours in her beautiful stores in London, bathing in blue or pink or green, usually departing with a cushion or a bowl or some such delicious thing.

She's inspiring me now in designing our new bathroom.  How could you possibly be sad after waking in a sunshine yellow bedroom or showering in sea blue such as this?

Until recently, DG was limited in Australia.  There is now an outlet - still expensive and they don't seem to have the latest colours, but at least it's a start! Meanwhile I'll have to stick with lusting over her books - this one, A Certain Style', can be bought here.

Images - all Designers Guild

Online shopping at Hush

I'm gradually giving away my London wardrobe - of late, I've been mostly to hot to wear anything but shorts and lightweight dresses.  In winter though, our hose at the top of a hill, looking out to sea, is absolutely freezing.  This year, we will be bending to a nice new gas heater but I'm also planning to make sure I have nice warm clothes to wear too.

I've found shopping in Sydney quite difficult.  In the city, girls are far smarter than London.  Locally though, its a bit more beach culture and everything is so expensive.  There is a local Bassike store in Avalon which has seen my credit card on occasion - but as has everyone else, and its only a small town and sometimes a vest top is all I need ...

Australia has yet to fully embrace the internet shopping culture.  Although it is growing, I find the shipping costs expensive and delivery times much longer - I'm still waiting on a sweater I ordered from Country Road over 10 days ago and now I don't want it!  Even shopping from the groundbreaking Next Catalogue (remember that?!) in the early '90's was within 4 days and with Net-a-Porter offering a shipped parcel within 48 hours to Australia, the competition I'm sure will no doubt shape up shortly.

In the meantime though, I've actually found it cheaper and quicker to buy online from the UK.  I know this is not great on my carbon footprint but I do buy responsibly, always asking where and how things are made - something I can't do in very many places in Australia.  I'm deeply upset at the demise of my favourite, Baby Ceylon, and will treasure the brightly coloured dresses I have from there forever.

For basics, I am very fond of Aussie-girl-turned-Brit, Mandy, who stocks excellent, well-made basics - dresses, jumpers, trousers and pyjamas at Hush.  The summer range has just hit the site and I got my order in yesterday as things usually sell out fast.  Although most of it is on back order, I'm fairly sure it will be here before the Country Road jumper.

And I know the clothes will fit right in here as I notice the catalogue shoot was done right up the road in Palm Beach's very own The Boat House!

* Pics from Hush

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Little bathroom

My first thought goes to possibly the yuckiest room in the house, which is the bathroom on the lower floor.  When we first saw the house, I actually really liked the orange, cream and purple tiles which were original.  Unfortunately, when I first showered, the cream started to blister and we soon realised that the cream was in fact white, and painted to sell.  Now it looks like its been sunburnt and peeling!

Also doesn't help that the basin tap fell off in my hand the first time I used it and flooded the adjacent bedroom.  And because its our least favourite room, its also least used and so, with all the heat and wet that we've had this summer, it moulds up daily.  I've painted a rosy picture, so now what to do with it....?

M and I have different opinions.  He wants a total wet shower room.  Unfortunately he also wants other things and when I told him that this was going to have to be an over-bath-shower, he told me that I could do what I liked as he wasn't going to use it.  When I waft blue or green tiles under his nose though, it seems that he does have an opinion after all!

We have a green outlook.  Very green.  Lime green, gum green.  In the summer there are hints of pink and more lime green than normal but its still green.  Bit hard to fight with really and although I'd love to have a patchwork floor from Emery et Cie that I banged on about the other day, I think its best not to fight it.  So currently, I'm thinking pale, pale greeny-grey.

Probably with a milk white floor like the photo above, along with a live-in cleaner!

Pic thanks to Photobucket