Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas crunch

I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone. It has literally flown by what with the wedding plans and honeymoon etc, and now it’s two and a half weeks until Christmas! Unbelievable.

So it’s no surprise that I have done basically no Christmas shopping at all – it’s a mater of time and money. Having a wedding this year really did empty the old bank account, so I am trying to think of good ideas for gifts that don’t involve burning a hole in my pocket.

So this is what I have come up with so far:

-Edible treats – cookies, cakes and preserves in fancy jars (no one will remember what I got them if they think back in a year’s time, but at least they’ll enjoy eating them).
-Gift vouchers – not really a personal gift (let’s face it, vouchers are great for those feeling lazy).
-Pot plants – plants that flower in festive colours, but may not stay alive for more than a few weeks depending on who you give them to.
-A homemade voucher booklet good for massages, foot rubs, housework, a candlelit dinner, taking out the bins etc.
-A hanky set (yay!), socks, underwear (the kind you get from Big W).

Really, I’m not crazy about any of these ideas... and I am not too sure how happy I would be to get any of them. Maybe all items as one combined gift?

Ok, so they’re lousy ideas and I guess I’m just going to have to be good and budget like crazy.

I read in a Sydney Morning Herald article that around November and December we collectively load an extra $3 billion worth of purchases onto credit cards each year - $1 billion of that doesn’t get paid off.

You know, if we were all good Christians, we wouldn’t worry about the gifts, because they’re not the most important thing during this time. But it’s society’s way of making a dollar and the lure of the beautifully decorated shop windows is too hard to resist.

Wish me and my bank account luck!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day 1.12.10

It's World Aids Day today - Check out what Queenslanders are doing to make a difference.

Get the facts

Most of us are only too aware of the serious challenges that HIV and AIDS continue to pose around the globe.

HIV/AIDS still exists in Australia. The annual number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia has been stable at around 1000 cases in the past 4 years. In 2009, a total of 1049 new infections were diagnosed in Australia.

HIV can affect anyone. There is no vaccine or cure for HIV or AIDS.

The good news is that the transmission of HIV is preventable. By being informed about how HIV is transmitted and how to protect ourselves and others, we can enjoy life with safer sex and prevent the spread of HIV.

So take the first step – inform yourself about HIV/AIDS. This booklet contains important information about HIV and AIDS, including how you can protect yourself and where to go for more information and help. Take time to read it and then pass it on to your friends, family and loved ones. You may be saving your life and others.

What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that can cause Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). They are not the same thing.

HIV weakens or breaks down the body’s immune system and makes the body vulnerable to disease and infection. Some people who have been infected with HIV experience flu like symptoms but others do not notice any symptoms for many years.

What is AIDS?

AIDS is not the same as HIV. A person living with HIV does not necessarily have AIDS, but all people with AIDS are HIV positive.

AIDS can occur after many years of damage to the immune system caused by HIV. This damage to the body’s immune system makes the body vulnerable to disease and infection. During the advanced stages of HIV infection, a person may develop a number of ‘AIDS-defining illnesses’ which can be very debilitating and possibly lead to death.

How is HIV transmitted?

HIV may be transmitted when blood, semen and vaginal fluid from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. This can happen through unprotected anal, vaginal and oral sex, or when sharing any injecting equipment. Mothers who are HIV-positive can transmit HIV to their babies during pregnancy, during vaginal delivery and when breast feeding.

While it is infectious, HIV it is not spread like air-borne viruses such as the flu. It can’t be passed on by hugging, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing. Nor can it be passed on by sharing toilets and washing facilities or using eating utensils or consuming food and beverages handled by someone who has HIV.

What can I do to protect myself from HIV?

Always practice safe sex

It can take a single instance of unprotected sex with an infected partner for HIV to be passed on. Condoms can help provide protection from infection by preventing semen, vaginal fluid or blood from coming into direct contact with another person.

Sex can be made safer by using a condom together with water-based lubricants (lube) which help prevent the condoms from breaking. When used correctly and together, condoms and lube are the best protection against the transmission of HIV.

Travelling and your protection

If you are sexually active and travelling, especially to countries where there is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, make sure you take condoms and sachets of lube with you – in some countries they are difficult to find or are of a low quality.

Medical procedures in unsterile conditions and blood transfusions in some countries are also important risk factors to consider.

Sharing isn’t always caring

When it comes to needles and personal care items (eg razors), there’s a good reason to be careful – HIV and other diseases can be transmitted through blood.

If you inject, always use new injecting equipment every time and never share any of your injecting equipment. If you are getting a tattoo, piercing or acupuncture make sure the equipment is sterile.


A blood test is the only way to know if you have HIV. You can get a confidential test by visiting your doctor or sexual health clinic. For further information check the government Health Department website in you State or Territory.

What can I do if I have been exposed to HIV?

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

If you think you have been exposed to HIV – for example, as a result of a condom breaking or leakage, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

PEP is a four-week course of one or more anti-HIV (or anti-retroviral) drugs which may stop HIV infection becoming established. The drugs must be taken within three days of exposure to the virus. Research shows that PEP can prevent the likelihood of infection with HIV, but it is not 100% effective. For that reason PEP should only be considered an emergency prevention strategy of last resort.

In Australia, PEP can be accessed through sexual health clinics or GPs who specialise in HIV/AIDS, or through hospital accident and emergency departments.

Further information on PEP you can contact your local GP or sexual health clinic.

Understanding and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS can affect anyone and people that are living with HIV or AIDS often feel isolated because of their fear of being discriminated against and not being accepted.

Feeling accepted and having ongoing support available can make a big difference in helping people deal with the physical and emotional challenges HIV or AIDS brings.

World AIDS Day, held on 1 December each year, is a significant opportunity to show your support for people living with HIV or AIDS. Even the simplest gestures – such as wearing a red ribbon pin – can go a long way to showing that you care and breaking down community stigmas.

If you know someone who is living with HIV or AIDS, it is important to remember that there are services and organisations that can provide assistance if needed. These services and organisations can offer you advice on how you can support people living with, or closely affected by HIV/AIDS.

Stigma and Discrimination

HIV/AIDS does not discriminate, people do. Stigma and discrimination will continue to exist so long as societies as a whole continue to judge people who have HIV/AIDS. You can help change this by encouraging others not to judge.

From the World Aids Day Australia website

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Schoolies hangover

Okay, so I understand what it’s like to finish school and feel freedom for the first time. I was once a ‘Schoolie’ and was so excited to finally be rid of exams, assignments and teachers (albeit temporarily as I intended to go to Uni straight away). It was great to celebrate with my friends the milestone of completing school forever and get excited about the future.
As I read the stories about how drunken brawls and attacks on Schoolies threaten to rip apart the ‘festival’ I can’t help but feel that they really are a different breed of teenager.

When my friends and I went to Schoolies in 2002, it was about staying together and having a great time. We had barbecues, drinks by the pool, sunbaked on the beach, shopped and visited friends who were staying in neighbouring apartments. We didn’t get involved in fights, glassing attacks, verbal stoushes or have drug overdoses.

These days it seems that Schoolies are out to wreak as much havoc as possible – it seems like they’ve lost touch and aren’t really celebrating for the right reasons anymore.

I don’t get the whole smugness thing – like why they feel the need to give motorists the finger or throw stubbies at cars for no good reason. I know it’s a case of “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks” but for the general Gold Coast public (and other Coastal towns and shires), who graciously accept Schoolies into their midst year after year, you’d think these kids would have a touch more respect.

I don’t know why they feel entitled to be rude, demanding and vulgar – what’s changed in eight years since I was in year 12 to make these youths so feral? I know my friends and I weren’t like that… I just don’t get it.

Well at the risk of sounding too ‘old’ and ‘whiney’ I just have this to say – I hope you’re Daddy’s trust fund doesn’t dry up too soon sweethearts, because it’s going to be a grim awakening for you when reality hits next year.

Reports released today stated that the GFC will affect school leavers and those looking for work and apprenticeships in the New Year; I’d be watching how many brain cells I lose during this annual week-long bender. Some of you may have to actually start using your brains for the first time in your lives!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dare to dream

As I have grown up, I’ve had to learn to accept that sometimes things don’t always work out just as you thought they would and that sometimes it’s for the best.

I am a pretty stubborn person by nature and tend to be idealistic; I grew up being told that I could be anything and do anything I wanted if I dreamed big enough. And I really did believe that.

Well to be honest, that’s both true and false. I believe you can do anything you want, but it’s not as simple as just believing it – you have to work your butt off to get what you want and that often means making sacrifices along the way.

I’ve learned that part now that I’m older, but despite what you might think, it’s not a negative thing. The sacrifices I have made in order to find happiness have been some of the best decisions I’ve made.

We set goals and standards in our lives to which we want to live. Whether it be a dream career, personal appearance, friendship circles, living situations, finances, accomplishments, relationships – we put a label on each of these and have certain expectations that go along with them. We write ourselves a list of what we want from each of these and then set out to achieve them.

I guess before you become an adult and see the world for what it really is; it’s easy to get lost in what your future could be when you start to dream.

When you’re little you’re allowed to say that you could be an astronaut, doctor, ballerina, or Olympic gold medallist – no one tells you how hard it actually is to be any of these…

Since I was little I always wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry as an actress. Growing up I really enjoyed participating in theatre and musicals, and I’ve appeared in television commercials and in print modelling advertorial campaigns. I still really enjoy entertaining that dream, but I recognise now that there are other things I want even more.

I know some people say they are scared to dream for fear of rejection or failure – but you shouldn’t sell yourself short. On my way to figuring out my goals, my life has taken a different track to what I thought it would, and even though the original things I set out to achieve fell by the wayside, I am glad for the diversion. The decisions I’ve made have helped me to find amazing love and led me to a place where I can be with the most incredible people – my family and friends.

I guess that I have come to a point in my life where I am ready to let some things go in order to move forward and have a truly amazing relationship with the life I have now. I will always be ambitious to achieve the things I want, but now the things I desire mean much more to me than being centre stage in the spotlight.

So I am still going to dream big, but I’m not going to let myself stray off the path and forget what is most important at the core of things. As Dr Wayne Dyer said “There is a voice in the Universe urging us to remember our purpose for being on this great Earth. This is the voice of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us.”
Find your own purpose for being here – remember we only live once, so make the most of it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Manscape for Movember

This is an extract from the official Movember Australia website. Get involved in this fantastic cause and help raise much needed funds for prostrate cancer and male depression. Visit for more info.

Each year Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world, with the sole aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.

Men sporting Movember moustaches, known as Mo Bros, become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo growing efforts. The rules are simple; register online at and start the month of Movember clean shaven, before growing a Mo.

Money raised in Australia is shared equally between programs targeting prostate cancer and male depression. Funds are committed to our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue – the national depression initiative and the Movember Foundation. Together, the three channels work to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world class programs in the fields of research, education, support, and awareness.

Since inception, Movember has continued to grow each year, both in terms of participation numbers and funds raised. In its first year, 30 Mo Bros took part and last year, in Australia alone, over 128, 000 Mo Bro & Sistas got on board, raising more than $21 million.

Having been started by mates in Australia, Movember now takes place around the world. Motivated and inspired by what was happening in Australia, a further nine countries- New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland - now embrace the Mo in an official capacity each November. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros & Sistas supporting the cause right across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Denmark and everywhere in between.

At the end of Movember, a series of Gala Partés are held across Australia (and the world) to thank Mo Bros and Sistas for their remarkable fundraising efforts. Mo Bros (dressed to suit their Mo) and Mo Sistas (dressed to suit their Mo Bro) come together to celebrate the Mo and compete for a number of category titles in the perfect opportunity to see what Movember is really about; great mates, health, and fun. And of course, the Mo.

Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement. Via the moustache, Movember aims to continue to provoke conversation each year, with a view to breaking down long standing and traditional taboos and habits.

For you Mr J

Last week I had some terrible news.

A man by the name of Brian Johnston, whom I regarded as one of the more decent human beings I’ve ever met, passed away suddenly. His family, friends and associates were shocked to say the least.

Brian was involved in the Little Athletics and school sporting community on the Gold Coast for nearly 30 years. He spent hours of his own time coaching, mentoring and supporting young athletes and never complained or asked for a dollar for his work.

He was always encouraging kids to do their best and it was never about winning – he always encouraged his athletes - he never pressured them. It wasn’t about finishing first with Brian; even if you were finishing last each week at competition, he never made a fuss or made you feel bad about your result. You never felt bad while he was around.

I am proud and honoured to have known Brian and be apart of the ‘BJ Squad’ – a term a group of us who were trained by him came up with.

I will never forget the lessons that Mr J taught us – to be humble and generous – never cocky or selfish. He was so giving and considerate and will be missed by so many.

His funeral last Friday was testament to his memory with nearly 500 people turning out to pay their respects to a man who has touched the lives of so many.

Mr J, I love you so much and I hope that I can be the kind of person you were and enrich the lives of the people I care about. You made me realise that it wasn’t about winning and being the best – it was about the journey and what you gained along the way.

I may not have been first on the podium, but I know in his eyes I was a winner.

"Dream, Believe, Succeed" - Brian Johnston

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The race that stops me from getting work done…

So it’s that time again when you put on a hat and some towering stilettos and make your way to the nearest pub, TAB or race track to be a part of the spectacle that is the Melbourne Cup.

Now I have never actually been to see ‘the race that stops the nation’ but I intend to.

The local turf club is a great day out to watch the Melbourne Cup on the big screen – there is so much atmosphere and discussion about horses, trainers, jockeys; not to mention the fashions on the field.

I am really into the fashion part of the day, but I do like to have a flutter.

My picks for today’s race are:

For the win: So you think
Place: Descarado

Good luck to all punters and fashionable fillies!

Happy Halloween!

Last night we decided that due to our crazy dog, we would refrain from opening the door to trick-or-treaters (we didn’t want him bowling them over when we opened the front door).

So instead, we filled a huge orange bowl (it looked like the closest thing to a pumpkin) and designed a sign that read “Happy Halloween – please take one per person”.

The problem is that not many people in our neighbourhood came out for Halloween, so we have been left with a mountain of lollies and chocolates (damn, what a shame…)

My family never celebrated Halloween (and never let us go trick or treating because of the dodgy few in our surrounding streets) but I just couldn’t resist giving out treats to the kids – they go to so much effort and really do look fantastic. I know it’s not a holiday that Australians are serious about but it’s a bit of fun for the kiddies!

So from now on I think I am going to embrace Halloween and bring out the scary person inside mwahahahaha…..

Monday, October 25, 2010


I have been a big slacko and haven't posted anything in ages... well I have been busy - wedding, an overseas trip, house-hunting...
I promise to post something of substance soon!
A x

Monday, September 20, 2010

Restaurant review: Vapiano, Brisbane

I was taken to a new restaurant in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall on Friday night called Vapiano.
It’s a large, modern Italian restaurant with a large bar and dining area upstairs and kitchen downstairs where the food is cooked right in front of you by the friendly chefs as soon as you order it. Fantastic!
The menu is huge as well – something for every taste. I ordered the Gamberi E Spinaci (prawns, pesto, baby spinach in a cream sauce). It was so mouth-watering and so filling at the same time (I couldn’t finish it; as much as I would have liked to).
The drinks menu was extensive with local and imported beers, wines and champagnes on offer.
If you’re interesting in checking it out, it’s well worth it. Best to go with a group of friends to enjoy a cheap night out. It’s not really a ‘romantic’ venue for couples.
Value for money: 8/10
Service: 7/10

Ambience: 5/10 (it was far too busy, but it was a Friday night so they could be forgiven).

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's two weeks before the wedding and this is basically the only thing I've been listening to lately. My brother sent me a couple of links to some beautiful relaxation music as I've been making it my quest to de-stress and keep a level head while trying to finish work and pull the last of the wedding ties together.

Take a listen - it's guaranteed to help you chillax!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not happy, Jan

This week has been a doozy for people not doing their job/s properly.

There has been a handful of incidents this week where I’ve been let down because:

a) People forgot to plug in their brain in when they woke up in the morning
b) They hate their job so much that they want to take it out on customers
c) They are just bad/angry people in general and don’t care about anyone/thing
d) They didn’t double-check details before rudely attacking and making accusations, and then failing to apologise when they were wrong

…I could go on and on.

It’s just so frustrating. I work in an industry where clients expect over and above the service you provide for them and I have no problem with that because I know I will make them happy by doing a good job. When you have a work ethos like this, you make the mistake of assuming everyone is just as hard-working and dedicated as you are to their job and clients/customers.


People don’t care and many are just put on Earth to let you down or make your day hell.

I forked out nearly $4000 for a trip recently to have all the dates/paperwork stuffed up. No real explanation from the travel agent as to why she decided to provide me with incorrect information, I guess she just felt like being particularly bad at her job that day. It’s just that I’m made to look the fool because I had to contact her on four or five different occasions to clarify things (of course if she had done the right thing in the first place she could have given me a smile and bid me adieu).

And today I was falsely accused of having an outstanding amount owing to a business publication. I got a rude email from a snotty office bitch claiming that if we didn’t pay in full by the end of the week that she’d send the collection agency after us.

Um… lady? Hello in there? If you’d just looked up your files properly you would see that the account was paid in full nearly four months ago.

I am just over this crap at the moment. I really should stop caring so much then I wouldn’t be so surprised when people let me down.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Picture perfect

As part of our wedding we want to take a look back at our parents’ wedding day and remember their special day as well.

Last week I organised for some scans to be done of a handful of photos that were taken on their wedding day. It’s so great to look at how different everyone looked!

The fashion, the makeup, the hairstyles… it has been great looking back and listening to stories and advice from our parents. Planning our wedding, there have been numerous tales told about family nuptials – but the one thing I’ve been told time and time again is to try and relax and take it all in as it (the day) just goes so fast.

We’re on the countdown now with only 26 days to go… I can’t believe where the time has gone! It will be great to show my children our wedding photos one day and remember how great the day was…

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What’s in a name?

Last night I was asked by a friend whether I would be taking my fiancé’s surname. Of course I am! I am traditional and I believe that if you get married, you take your husband’s name.

I know times are changing and you see more and more married women with hyphenated surnames and some still with their maiden name because they chose not to let go of it.

I kind of think that’s weird and I don’t mean any disrespect, but I would much rather change my name or hyphenate it than keep my maiden name. I guess it’s got something to do with acknowledging my fiancé and saying ‘yes, I want to officially be part of your family’.

My girlfriend who was recently married told me her dad had mentioned to her after she became engaged that now she was getting married she had to take her new husband’s name (and her dad wasn’t budging on the subject).

Another girlfriend who is getting married has chosen to hyphenate her surname because she feels that it’s an independence thing – she wants to say that she is still who she is as a person, even though she is married. I am not sure why she needs to prove that point to everyone else; after all there are usually only two people in a marriage. I don’t think you ‘lose’ who you are just because you change your name.

I for one think my fiancé would be hurt if I told him I had no interest in taking his name.

Anyway, I did some research and found some cracker hyphenated names…

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take me away...

After a fun-filled hen’s weekend spent with my closest friends and family, I realise how excited I am for this wedding (and honeymoon) to be happening!

It’s only four and a half weeks to go and there is still a bit to organise, but we’re on top of it. I must say though, when the stress gets a bit overwhelming, I just think of Nusa Dua, Bali where we will be jetting off to once we say “I DO”.

So, as I daydream at work, I thought I’d post some pictures of where Ben and I will be staying. It’s going to be magical…. I can already taste the cocktails!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A 'clucking' good night

In honour of my hen's weekend, I've decided to do some research and educate you all of the origins of the bachelorette / hen's party.

A bachelorette party, hen party, hen do, or hen night, is a party held for a woman who is about to be married. The term hen party or hen night is more common in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, while the term bachelorette party is more common in the United States. The term stagette is used in Canada. It may also be referred to as a girls' night out or kitchen tea (South Africa in particular) or other terms in other English-speaking countries.
The bachelorette party is modelled after the bachelor party which is itself historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends shortly before his wedding. Despite its reputation as "a sodden farewell to bachelor days" or "an evening of debauchery," a bachelorette's party is a normal party, given in honour of the bride-to-be, in the style that is common to that social circle.

The bachelorette party is consciously modelled after the centuries-old bachelor's party, which is itself historically a dinner given by the bridegroom to his friends shortly before his wedding.
Although the practice of giving a party to honour the bride-to-be goes back for centuries, in its modern form, the bachelorette party may have begun during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It was uncommon until at least the mid-1980s, and the first book on planning bachelorette parties wasn't published until 1998. Its cultural significance is largely tied to concepts of gender equality.
Initially, parties in honour of the bride-to-be that were labelled as bachelorette party often involved displays of sexual freedom, such as trading intimate secrets, getting drunk, and enjoying male strippers. Parties that honoured the bride-to-be without these elements avoided that label. Now the term is used for a wide variety of parties.
The phrase "Hen Party" mirrors the male "Stag Party" in referencing social stereotypes of each gender at the party (Implying that women are talkative, and men are macho.)

Many different kinds of entertainment are selected; depending on what the organizers think will best please their guest of honour. While notions of a bachelorette party as a night of drunken debauchery persist in some social circles, it is becoming widely seen in America as an opportunity for female bonding. According to etiquette expert Peggy Post, "Whatever entertainment is planned, it should not embarrass, humiliate, or endanger the honouree or any of the guests”.
When held in a private venue, such as the hostess's home, the party may take any form that pleases the hostesses and honours the bride-to-be. Dinners and cocktail parties, which provide comfortable opportunities for participants to talk or to give intimate advice to the bride-to-be, are common. Other hostesses choose a themed party, such as a "pamper party," with guests indulging in spa treatments, or a cooking class. While proposing a toast to the bride-to-be is common at most bachelorette parties, some centre on drinking games and host male strippers.
Some parties take place in public venues, such as a restaurant or bar. Some parties are bar tours.
Sometimes a daytime picnic or other outing is organized in preference to the more common dinner party.

From Wikipedia.

Hopefully I'll come home in one piece! xo

Monday, August 23, 2010

The cost of forever

The bank account of my parents doesn’t like me very much at the moment.

This morning has been spent paying suppliers and venues for the big wedding day. Despite the massive excitement in the lead up and the fuss over dresses, flowers, suits, jewellery, hair, cakes and decorations, there’s nothing like forking out thousands upon thousands of dollars to bring you back down to reality.

I really do understand why people elope! A low-key ceremony with just you and your partner plus a witness and the person who will be marrying you with minimal fuss and cost.

Don’t get me wrong – I want the big white wedding with all the frills and I’ve been lucky enough to have parents who have offered to pay for most of it. I mean I’m not talking in the realm of hundreds of thousands of dollars for our wedding or anything… although I’ve seen a few celebrity nuptials in gossip magazines that I wouldn’t mind replicating for ours…

As soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ suppliers and venues must jack the price of things up a minimum of 20% of what they would usually charge. I really don’t appreciate the fact that the wedding industry sucks you dry! And most of the time you’re dealing with grouchy, moaning people who are obviously in the wrong area of work!

My fiancé and I are paying for some things ourselves like gifts, our own dresses and suits and the photographer. Those few things alone have cost and arm and a leg. The thing is though, everything we’ve arranged, bought and ordered looks absolutely stunning and we can’t wait to see it all come together on the day. And I’m glad we decided to plan things ourselves – there was no way we were having a ‘wedding planner’ (if they can call themselves that) touch anything to do with our special day. It’s much more personal if you do it yourself.

One thing we were more than happy to fork out for was the honeymoon. That is going to be money well spent (I can say that now because despite the stress of organising a wedding, we have the overseas, island-destination honeymoon to look forward to at the end).

So as it’s meant to be the biggest day of our lives (and I can say now I am damn sure it’s going to be) I really appreciate the financial support offered by our parents and one day I hope to do the same for my kids.

If I am lucky enough to have a daughter, I might have to start saving for her wedding day now if she is anything like me….


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Travel or Baby?

One thing I’ve found about getting engaged and (shortly) married is that more people have been asking ‘when are you going to start a family?’

Having children is something we want to do, but the more people question us, the more we really have to think harder about the answer.

The thing is, we want to do some travelling together and enjoy the time we have for the two of us before we add to our little family. Lots of our friends have travelled and now as we see more of them leave to start new and exciting adventures, we don’t want to be left behind.

Similarly, more of our friends are getting married and starting a family. They didn’t want to wait to have children and now as we are invited to baby showers and christenings; it raises the topic of discussion about our own future kids.

So I guess we want to travel, but we also want kids. I know there are chances to travel after your children have grown up and are capable of fending for themselves, but we feel like some things are better experienced while young blood still runs through our veins.

It still won’t stop me getting all clucky when I walk into a gorgeous baby store and coo over the tiny booties, cardigans and all-in-ones that I would adore to dress my little boy or girl in.

I know that a woman’s biological clock really starts slowing down after 30, so I’ve got a good couple of years up my sleeve before we start thinking about getting pregnant… so between now and then I don’t think it’s so wrong to be a tiny bit selfish and indulge ourselves before the inevitable nappy changes and early morning feeding sessions start?

We know a handful of people that happily lead child-free lives and have great jobs and the money to travel wherever they like. But that’s their choice and we are happy for them. I guess it’s just a personal thing and I don’t feel like we have to justify our decision either way to anyone.

I’m interested in hearing about your stories – did you wait to have kids for the same reason and then struggle to get pregnant thinking it would be easy? Or did you have kids straight away and now that they’re grown up, you have much more time to travel with friends?

I know it’s a very exciting thing – the prospect of starting a family. But I still feel like a spring chicken myself and I want to make the most of that feeling while I still have it, with my new husband.


Valentino at GoMA

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future
7 August – 14 November 2010

The Fairfax Gallery (Gallery 1.1), 1.2 & 1.3 GoMA
Exclusive to Brisbane, ‘Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future’ is a major exhibition developed by the renowned institution, Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris. It explores the work of the celebrated Italian fashion house Valentino, known around the world for its sophisticated, timeless design and glamorous clientele.

The exhibition encompasses haute couture from the first collection designed in 1959 by the house’s founder, Valentino Garavani, through to work from the Autumn/Winter 2009–10 creations by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli – appointed as creative directors for Valentino in 2008. Exquisite haute couture garments will reveal Valentino’s mastery of the elegant line, classic form and opulent detail. Particular themes will be explored uniting Valentino’s design approach over five decades: these include the recurrence of geometric patterns and graphic prints, the skilful use of fabric to create dramatic silhouettes and, of course, the distinctive palette of black, white and ‘Valentino red’. The future direction of this most esteemed fashion label is showcased through five creations by the house of Valentino’s new creative directors.

Designs from house of Valentino have been coveted and worn by European royalty, Hollywood celebrities and members of high society the world over. This magnificent exhibition will include garments worn by stars such as Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and more.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bucket seat

....and you thought a bucket seat was something you'd find in a high-performance car.

Sustainable love

It’s a weird thing wanting to be rid of things. I mean in the literal sense; actually wanting to throw things out.

I know a lady who is a hoarder. The definition of a hoarder is someone who obsessively and excessively acquires possessions (and fails to discard them) even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. There is even a show on pay TV about it.

Hoarders have every single area of space in their living environment covered in possessions that they can’t bare to throw away. Even if it’s a moth-eaten holey sock that has a funky smell about it. It might be of use someday…

I look at myself as the opposite of this – a chucker – a term I just made up. I love, love, love to chuck things out. Not to have the items replaced or anything, it’s just that I get a great sense of satisfaction using something, finding no more need for it and throwing it away or recycling it.

One of my favourite bi-annual things to do is give my wardrobe a really good cull and send my pre-loved clothing off to lifeline – a quick note: The Planet Ark National Recycling Week is happening from November 8 – 14 if you want to find out more go to

It’s a more sustainable way to live and instead of buying new clothing, visit some of the great vintage clothing markets that are popping up around the Coast. One particular one is The Village Markets at Burleigh (here is their website)

Now I don’t claim to be a tree-hugging hippie (no offence) but I just believe we need to do what we can to make a difference for our environment, not matter how small. One thing that irks me is that stupid people still (despite years of marketing by the recycling companies and GCCC) throw plastic bags into recycling bins. YOU CAN”T RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS!

Garage sales are also a great way for all you borderline hoarders to clear some clutter from your abode and make some cash at the same time – your trash may be someone else’s treasure! If you haven’t used something in 12 months, it’s likely you won’t use it in the next year so take a deep breath, open that garbage bag and let go of it!

We cleared out our garage over the weekend and as well as looking lovely and clear, we chucked any broken, unusable objects and packed a ute-load of old books, blankets, kitchenware and miscellaneous objects off to Lifeline. It wasn’t the most exciting job, just as this isn’t the most exciting post, but little things make a difference!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Hangover

Wishing Ben a fun bucks weekend in Melbourne! I don’t wish to get any calls from your friends saying they have lost you, so please try and be on your best behaviour! x

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dangerously in love

This isn't a feel-good topic, but it's something I'd like to address.

I am confused and saddened to hear that many people don’t know how to deal with being in an abusive relationship – and shocked to hear that many even tolerate it.

If you google ‘domestic violence in Australia’ the statistics that come up are alarming.

Men and women who have been in an abusive relationship might say they were wearing a blindfold that stopped them from seeing the reality of the situation they were in.

I know they say love is blind and in some cases, dangerously so.

There are some that knowingly turn a blind eye to misdemeanours on their partner’s behalf, and some even put up with abuse because it’s too hard to just walk away and end the relationship.

I would think that making a choice to end a relationship or a marriage is a damn hard thing to do, but people have their own reasons. Where the danger lies, however, is when someone is stuck in an emotionally and/or physically abusive relationship and still can’t see that it’s a poisonous union. As I said before, love is blind.

Most of you heard about the fall out between Rihanna and Chris Brown with the physical assault charges and awful photographs released of Rihanna looking bloody and beaten. When she sat down with Diane Sawyer on American television she admitted that it had happened several times before, but that she’d only now just found the strength to leave him and finally close that negative chapter in her life.

I feel like there are a lot of women and even men out there in the same situation.

On the other hand there are some who put up with cheating because they feel that it’s something they can deal with if it means their partner won’t leave them. Let them have their cake and eat it too, so to say.

I know that people want to feel ‘loved’ and ‘wanted’, but I doubt putting up with cheating is one way to feel secure about yourself.

The dangers of being in relationships like these means that your reality is misconstrued – you choose to see things a different way to appease yourself. It’s not until you’re out of the relationship do you actually see it for what it really was.

If you think you are the victim of domestic abuse – whether it be emotional, physical or sexual, you can get some information from and follow the links to obtain help.

No one, male or female, should have to deal with being in an abusive or dangerous relationship.

You are too good to put up with that shit any longer than you have to – stand up for yourself and if you are struggling to, speak to someone who can help you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Carbon debate - paper vs electronic

I read an interesting article about Carbon myths and being environmentally responsible. It basically stated that if you think you’re saving a tree by reading your news online as opposed to a hard copy paper version – think again.

It might be interesting to a few of you that work in ‘paperless offices’ and think they are doing a world of good (no pun intended).

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

The perception that electronic media leaves less of an environmental footprint than printed material is one of those myths that needs to be debunked once and for all. It’s just not true!

Putting ink on paper is one of the most environmentally responsible ways you can get your message across. However, what is most concerning is that we see many organisations cringing at the thought of using paper as a communication medium.

Some organisations are starting to actively discourage the use of print on paper because apparently it is negatively impacting on the environment. Whether the concern is real or just cost cutting, it is being said often and people are starting to believe it.

So being able to provide a factual counter to these claims is critical… TREES LOCK UP CARBON.

A significant portion of the earth’s carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere and organic matter such as trees and bushes. Carbon in the atmosphere traps sunlight and in doing so contributes to global warming. Paper production can have a valuable impact on reducing this influence.

A report done for the US Carbon and Climate Working Group highlights how the huge reforestation programs taking place in many parts of the world are helping to create a positive shift in the amount of carbon trapped within the environment, rather than the atmosphere.

The reason why this is beneficial is that a tree, which is almost entirely carbon with a small measure of water, grows for about 100 years. Its weight represents the amount of carbon taken out of the atmosphere, so after 100 years very little carbon is absorbed into the atmosphere.

FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING. The more paper we use from sustainable forests, the stronger the contribution towards the fight against global warming. More managed tree plantations equals more carbon locked up and the fibre can be recycled four or five times. Has anyone ever recycled their 1995 laptop into a brand new –up-to-date laptop?

The article then gives a great example of the Carbon myth – print versus electronic. It makes a comparison between reading the printed version of the Stern Review (a 700 page report) and viewing its content using electronic media. The environmental impacts are quite surprising:

-Each copy of the printed review = 85 grams max CO2 that will ever be amounted to. This can also be read as many times as you like over 100 years.

-For every hour spent reading the review on a computer = 226 grams of CO2 for each time you read it (electronically).

-To manufacture the review on a CD = 300 grams of CO2 per copy.

-To manufacture the review on a DVD = 350 grams of CO2 per copy.

So in summary, it’s interesting to get info like this across my desk (note: I did get this in a printed version on 100% recycled stock). I like to think I do my part for the world today so that one day my kids will have a sunnier future.

Take what you will from this, but remember, don’t fall into trends – do your own research and make decisions for yourself. Our world is too precious!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Copy Cat

I like to think that, at times, I have good ideas and try to think about things creatively and outside the square.

I don’t mind that people feel inspired by some of those ideas – it’s flattering to say the least.

Lately however, I’ve noticed that people are taking a little too much interest in my thoughts and ideas and adapting them as their own. As I said before, I’m happy that people like my ideas, but that's just it - they are my ideas, not yours.

A friend of mine recently gave birth to a baby boy. While she was preggers I had an excitable conversation about whether it was a boy or a girl, baby names, baby clothing etcetera etcetera. During the conversation I volunteered my favourite boy/girl names that I wanted to use in the future. Low and behold, when she gave birth over the weekend, her beautiful bouncy baby boy coincidentally had the same name I would have used for my son. Coincidence? Not sure about that!

I really shouldn’t be that annoyed. I don’t plan on having kids any time soon so I have no stake in that name. But still it kind of pissed me off.

The same goes for clothing. I used to know this girl who was a few years younger than me who was going out with a guy friend of mine. I didn’t like this girl at all and she didn’t like me, but that didn’t stop her copying what I wore. For instance, we went to the races with my friend and her and I wore a particular purple dress with heels and a fascinator. The next time we saw them at a birthday party there she was in a purple dress and heels, same cut, same hue and even tried to do her hair the same way I had mine.

What is that? My mum says I should just take it as a complement, but it just irks me more than anything.

Now with my wedding coming up, I am being very careful about what I divulge. It’s probably going to be the most memorable day of my life and I don’t particularly want to see a clone of it any time soon.

People just don’t care – they’ll just take, take, take and then take credit for it.

Well this girl is keeping her mouth shut from now on. Go get your own ideas!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sometimes you're just doomed to FAIL

I have had a shocker of a week.

Don’t you just hate it when something goes wrong and all you want to do is try and fix the problem, but your help is deemed ‘unhelpful’? You feel like a hindrance more than anything else, and worse, seen as one?

That was me on Tuesday arvo. I stuffed up on such an epic scale it’s not even funny. When I had realised what I’d done my ears started ringing like I was going to faint, my hands were clammy and I was staring into space because I couldn’t fathom what I had done. I felt like a total failure.

The thing was, I didn’t admit that I actually made a mistake. See I am a pretty proud person (I feel that this is down to the fact that I am a Taurus, which I am also proud of) and it isn’t in me to admit defeat.

I actually ended up solving the problem, which I was soooo relieved about, but I still didn’t admit that it was me who had done the fudging. I just kept my inner monologue of screaming and swearing to myself while I quietly freaked out about how I was going to fix the issue.

I guess my over helpful façade didn’t do me any favours. My guess is that I probably gave myself away.

I don’t know if I have learned my lesson. I guess I need to be more careful next time so that the same problem doesn’t happen again, but I won’t be saying “Sorry, I did that.” Call me stubborn, but that’s just me.

And today, I have just been an illiterate mess. I can’t seem to write anything down the way my brain told my hand to – it just comes out a jumbled puzzle on paper so that when I read it back, it makes about as much sense as a monkey trying to speak Spanish.

So, please don’t call me today and ask me to relay a message, because I won’t be able to take it down properly.

Some days you just shouldn’t get out of bed… but tomorrow is Friday and hopefully my luck will turn over the weekend!


Friday, July 23, 2010

I will remember you

On Sunday I watched a movie called ‘Remember Me’. It was devastatingly sad to say the least. The thing I took from it was that it’s important to cherish the little moments in life because you don’t know what is waiting for you ‘round the corner.

So, that night over our roast dinner I cracked a bottle of French champagne that I was saving for no particular reason. And it was so good – we sat down, drank, ate and yelled at the NRL game on the telly while wearing our trackie-dacks and Ugg Boots.

I got great comfort from being able to relish in the simple things that really make me happy. It’s sad that many people don’t stop and make the time to enjoy what they have; rather it’s all about work, or being better or richer or skinnier or blah blah blah… whatever.

I’m not saying that people should listen to me at all, or even care what I am talking about. I’m just saying, be grateful for what you have because you don’t know when it’s going to be taken away from you.

Just think about it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

At a crossroad

Okay so on Wednesday my brother and I went to Ferry Rd Markets for some lunch. Anyone who has been to the Brickworks knows that that carpark is often a nightmare to navigate on the best of days.

On this particular day, it wasn’t the drivers that annoyed me to the point where my knuckles turned white seizing the wheel, it was the pedestrians.

My basic understanding of a pedestrian crossing is a place where drivers slow down at the ‘zebra crossing’ and allow people to walk past without being flattened in an area where there aren’t any traffic lights.

As most people have got the basic concept of this down pat, why is it that while I approached one particular crossing at the Brickworks a lady decided to just stare at me, gobsmacked?

I don’t get it! You are meant to confidently walk out on to the road on the area of bitumen that was painted specifically for you as a pedestrian and cross to the other side.

This lady seemed to forget this mighty hard fact and as I approached, just stood to the side, frozen. So you can understand the slight annoyance and my sudden urge to honk loudly at her. It wasn’t until I actually waved her across that she acknowledged the fact that I wasn’t going to steam roll her.

Now she didn’t look like the type of person who had never crossed a zebra crossing before, so I would assume she knew what each individual’s role was to play that afternoon.


People, if they day comes when someone doesn’t stop for you at a crossing, give them the finger. Until then, please please stop being so frustrating and just use crossings properly. It’s really not that hard!

That’s my gripe for the week!

Happy Friday xo

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I don't wanna forget

I have been thinking about activities and such I did when I was a kid – Little Athletics, art and craft with my grandmother, going to McDonald’s parties on the weekend, dancing concerts, Blue Light Discos, and going to several Disney Dancing on Ice productions with mum.

Not to forget the lovely ensembles I wore growing up in the nineties (I was born in ’85 so there was a lot of fluro clothing, scrunchies, long scrunched up socks worn over leggins’ (not the type Lindsay Lohan wears, rather the oddly patterned stretch cotton ones from Target).

I recently decided I was going to get serious about documenting the things I’ve done in my life; the places I’ve been to, people and sites I’ve visited and the experiences I don’t want to forget. My soon to be mother-in-law and I have kind of caught the scrapbooking bug (late I know) and it’s got me hunting for long-lost photos of my past… without much success.

The thing is, I remember doing so many of these fun things growing up, but I can’t find many photos to document any of it.

It annoys me that there are probably rolls of undeveloped film sitting at mum and dad’s place with oodles of lost memories on them. The thing is, how do I go about finding them? Gah…

I’m not worried that I’ll suffer dementia (yet) but it would be nice to be able to reflect upon things I’ve done in pictures. For now I guess I will have to settle for a raid of mum’s cupboard where I might find some pictures of me in all my scrunchie-wearing glory.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A rose by any other name…

Who would have thought that you could have so many different types of roses… and so many hues of white… it’s enough to make me go back to art class and really pay more attention.

I am considering flowers for my wedding and it’s a much arduous job than I anticipated – the depth of colours, the type of greenery to complement the bloom, the shape and size of the petals…

I don’t envy florists and I think what they can do is simply brilliant! Ben’s cousin Jess is doing our flowers for the wedding and she really does have her work cut out for her. I’ve decided to let the sweet little old lady at the parish office look after the church arrangements so that Jess doesn’t stress too much (aren’t I a considerate bride?)

Feel free to post some comments about the type of flower arrangements you did at your wedding (or if you’re not married, what you would do) and why you chose a particular flower – I just think roses are so romantic and work perfectly at a wedding (some would say boring, but I don’t give a hoot really).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can you commit?

With wedding fever in the air at the moment, it has really got me thinking about commitment and making the decision to stick with something or someone for the long haul.

I think commitment is a wonderful thing - saying to yourself 'yep this is too much of a good thing for me to give up, so I'm going to hold on to it', and I am a big believer in it.

When my fiancée and I recently met with the priest who would be marrying us, he questioned us about our commitment to each other, asking questions like 'do you promise to love one another' and 'are you committed to this marriage in the eyes of God' etc. It's such a personal thing, and to hear yourself say the words out loud 'I do' seems to cement it even more so.

Father even asked us if we'd had the chance to be with other people (after we told him we'd been together for ten years this year) and even though some couples spend time apart to get their priorities straight, I think in your heart that it's the unwavering commitment you have made to that person that brings you back together. It's hard to forget.

I think the same goes for some other relationships, like a friendship that has lasted for years, but had seemingly dried up due to busy lives and no time to catch up and have a coffee. It's the history and the ties that bind you with that other person that can help to revive a special friendship. You never forget what you had and the level of commitment you had to each other.

As we enter the new financial year and it's all business, finances, taxes and a new marketing scheme for my company, I find myself thinking about my commitment to my work ethic. I have always wanted to be a journalist and even though times have been a little tough lately (I will blame the GFC) I have re-confirmed to myself that even though I may not always be in the media industry, I will always be committed to writing. It’s a passion that I’m not willing to give up for anything.

Commitment to making change is an admirable thing.

I admire people who are committed to quitting a bad habit whether it be smoking, gambling or the drink – making that decision to make your life better in some way isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

I guess that some people have larger commitments than others, but that hardly matters in the big scheme of thing. I think anyone prepared to make a commitment to something, big or small, is a pact that we make with ourselves that we will stick it out no matter the stormy weather.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Friendship RIP

When is it time to end a friendship with someone? Are there warning bells that chime when you just aren’t on the same page anymore or certain signs that indicate it’s time you should move on?

Last week I had dinner with a good girlfriend of mine who was asking me what she should do about a friend of hers who has become, let’s just say, a demanding cow. My girlfriend (A1) is the doting kind – she does a lot for her friends and is the kind of person you can always depend on to do the right thing by you. Lately her friend (A2) has been exceptionally adverse to the fact that A1 has a boyfriend and is looking for a house to buy, spending more time at Ikea than out on the town. A2 isn’t ready for all that lovey-dovey, commitment stuff and is still enjoying going home with different men after drunken stupors in various seedy bars and clubs on the glitter strip. And she expects A1 to happily tag along.

So the problem with A1 is that A2 is complaining to her that she ‘doesn’t spend any time with her anymore’ because A1 is doing things like saving money, having nights in with her boyfriend and studying (I actually don’t see anything wrong with that). The thing is, A1 doesn’t want to spend time with A2 anymore because her priorities have changed and she doesn’t have the heart to tell A2 that she’s not into her choice of lifestyle anymore.

So I guess this poses the question – how to you broach the subject that you’ve ‘changed’ and tell your friend, it’s not you, it’s me?

I can understand that most girls have a couple of friends they consider wild and crazy, we all do – these are the lovable friends who get too drunk, try and have punch ups with other girls outside Maccas at 2am and then vomit on your new heels as they throw themselves into a waiting taxi. But they are who they are and they don’t pretend to be anyone else (and best of all they don’t want to change you) and you love them, flaws and all.

Does that love change when your girlfriend/s wants you to conform to something you know you’re not? Do you think having that awkward chat with her will fix things and make life easier, or ruin the friendship? And if it’s the latter, is it a friendship worth patching up?

We live in a world where young women idolise characters like Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda for their tight-knit friendship circle and unparalleled support for the life choices each other makes. Has this given us an unrealistic view of what friendship should be? I have no doubt in my mind that I would like to know that my friends support me in my endeavours, but if they didn’t, would it be worth my while trying to salvage something that was doomed to break or moving on without a backward glance?

I think it’s different if you clash over something but can get over it the next day – that’s a sign of a true friend. Being able to forgive and move on. As for A1 and A2’s future friendship – I’ll keep you posted…

Monday, June 28, 2010

My friend Bel

This is just a quick message wishing my friend Belinda all the best for her wedding this weekend. I've known Belinda a looooong time (16 years in fact) and she has been one of the best people to have come into my life. Love you lots BB xx

Woof - a dog's life

I've often said to my better half, that if I were to come back as any animal, it would be a dog. As I go to work in the morning, I will often look at my dog, basking in the morning sun and think "urgh I wish I could be doing that right now".

How hard can their lives be? Dogs have it so good - they live to make us happy, and are at their happiest when being walked, bathed or fed. They don't need to worry about mortgages or interest rates, world famine, appointments, work commitments or school fees.

My dog, Charlie, is a Cocker Spaniel and is a seriously pampered pooch (to the point where I think we have ruined him...) but I wouldn't have it any other way. What he does to my shitty, black temper on days where I come home from work and am literally red in the face with frustration, is amazing and definately therapeutic. One lick on the cheek and wag of a tail from Charlie boy makes it all seem so stupid.

If you have a dog or any well-loved family pet for that matter - take a leaf out of their book and take happiness from the most simple things in life - don't sweat the small stuff.

Up and blogging

So I have finally decided that I should start a blog.

Don't worry - it's not one of those hyper-opinionated, bitchy, whiney blogs. Rather, a frequent reflection of my life and the things that go on in it.

I guess the reason I wanted to start a blog was a) because people have told me I should try it; b) sometimes I feel like it's easier to get my head around things if I write them down and c) I've never really had a good crack at keeping a journal, so I guess this is the next best thing!?

Another thing is that I am in the throws of planning my October wedding and I thought a blog documenting the time leading up to the big day might be a good idea. To say the least, planning a wedding has been a pretty stressful, horrendous process for what is supposed to be 'the happiest day of your life'. Don't get me wrong - my fiancee and I are so excited for the day to come, it's just that you can only talk so much about table cloths, organza ribbon, cake flavours and the size of wedding dress hoops. I am sure it will be a wonderful day.... with lots of poufy-ness and tears (of happiness!)

My blog will also document any day-to-day topics that come across my desk that I feel might be important to discuss, or maybe they might just be a fun deter from the daily grind and include jokes, quotes or sticky scenarios I find myself in. I really love to cook as well, so don't be surprised to read a recipe I've tried and mastered (or failed) or a restaurant I've discovered.

Feel free to make comments (nice ones of course!) and open up discussions if you feel you'd like to.