Monday, July 30, 2012


What a great weekend!! I wrapped up my birthday celebrations on Saturday with a lovely lunch at Chianti Classico with my good friend Miss R. Sorry there are no photos as we were too busy catching up on my holiday and her recent real estate purchase – a beach house at Victor Harbor ooh la la.  Oh and lets not forget the great food and bottle of bubbly we shared. I’m so spoilt. While I was out wining and dining, my amazing husband was taking care of all the housework drudgery at home. Keeper? For sure!!

Yesterday I got stuck into a multitude of ‘Sunday chores’. Geez the day went fast but Peter and I managed to get out for a coffee and some local shopping. Nice! I managed to declutter my wardrobe which felt positively cathartic. I now have four bags of clothes to donate to charity and my walk-in-robe is clean and tidy. I was quite ruthless in what I threw out – some old much loved pieces that were way past their best to some of the ugliest and most worn out pieces that I decided I should not be seen in again LOL. A few sentimental favourites were spared – even if they don’t fit now.

Keeping it short and sweet tonight. Got a lot more to say but not in the mood to write more now.


Sorry, Blogger wants to play silly buggers with font size tonight. Hope you can read the small print LOL.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


.... they say there are 4 things that are extremely aging and will show up on your face making you look older than your years.

1. Exposure to sunlight - wear sunscreen, a hat, stay out of direct sun etc. Whilst a tan may look great, it is in fact, damaged skin which then ages quicker.

2. Smoking - this one is a no-brainer. If you want lots of fine and eventually deep lines around your mouth then go for it. Not to mention what it does to your skin, lungs, breath ... need I go on.

3. Alcohol - research has shown that the heavier the drinker - and thats not on the scales but in drinks regularly consumed - the quicker they age. Its bad for your skin, liver, weight etc. 

4. Sugar - there's a whole scientific explanation for this summed up as glycation but it translates into a clear message that every time we consume sugar we increase the inflamation in our bodies and voila - we're aging faster.

Our local paper ran an interesting article a few months ago showing how a woman of 40 years of age would look if she was exposed to any of these factors at significant levels. It was a scary article with even scarier pictures.

Whilst holidaying for 3+ weeks I couldnt help but have in the back of my mind how I was overindulging in 2 of the above 4 factors - alcohol and sugar. Aaargh , what if I came home looking 10 years older LOL.

Luckily it doesnt happen that quickly and my skin still looks ok but a little extra support never goes astray and there's more on that coming soon.

But how can it be that my BF who I shall just call Miss E is turning 50 next month and is again living a party-hard lifestyle - late nights on most weekends, lots of alcohol, a pretty relaxed diet (yet she is not overweight at all) can have such beautiful and youthful skin? I dont have a recent picture of her and I'm not sure I would post it anyway but when she came to take me out to lunch on Sunday she looked fabulous. Then she went on to tell me how she'd been out late the night before and had drunk heaps. Whatthe??!! She should look 60 years old LOL.

I make no secret of the fact that I want to keep my skin looking as good as possible for as long as possible. Fountain of youth? Yeah baby, let me swim in it. On the cruise I had a mild microdermabrasion facial which was total bliss and left my skin feeling so nice, that night I went to dinner with only a little mascara and lipstick on. But the icing on the cake was the beauty therapist telling me I had really good skin and whatever my beauty routine was I should stick with it. She did suggest an eye serum which I promptly bought and am now using regularly. Every little bit helps.

So does good skin and a youthful face come down to genetics or lifestyle? What are your thoughts?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Over a 4 and a bit weeks period, 6 of the 9 people in our work unit have their birthdays. Yes, all but one of us having those birthdays is a Cancerain. I call us the 'touchy, feely, caring corner'. Work tradition is to bring a cake for morning tea on your birthday but with EOFY, people away with sick kids, people away on holidays (moi) and everybody working their butts off, the birthday morning teas didnt happen.

Until today when we had one big combined birthday morning tea. Most of us contributed and there was a LOT of food because someone didnt invite the rest of the building (I like small intimate gatherings LOL).

So let me just say that cake was consumed, as was a bit of sushi and a fresh cheese scone. Hmm perhaps a little too much considering my long term goal.

Now before you all go thinking "oh she's relapsed AGAIN",  let me say "nah ah. I might have graduated from binge free but I'm not shooting for saintly 100% clean eater mode either."

I'll be the first to admit that there is work to do where treat foods are involved. Small steps. Work in progress. And all that crap ..... er you now what I mean.

I shall go to bed shortly comfortable that I remain on my winning streak.

:-) M

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I've decided to post this now and not wait til the end of July because I just know that nothing will change between now and then. What I say now, will still apply in a week's time.

When I finished my accounting exam on April 30th this year I made a quiet but firm decision that I wouldnt binge again. The stress of the exams was over so it was a good time to try again - having tried and ultimately failed many times before.

My goal was simply not to binge. There was no dieting other than some mindful eating of good, healthy foods but that was not my goal. There were times when I ate too much and times when I had more treat foods than I normally would. But as long as I didnt fall into a frenzy of mindlessly stuffing my face, I was winning.

That began in May and here I am at the end of July and I HAVE NOT BINGED.

By jove, I may just have this worked out LOL. The thoughts have come but I've let them go and not acted upon them. Wow, its nice to know I CAN do that. The desire was there sometimes but I reminded myself of what I ultimately wanted. The desire came and the desire went.

Its taken a lot of soul searching and honestly observing what I feel and think, when and why to work it out and get and stay on that road to being binge free. They say with age comes wisdom so my sh*tload of the smarts may just have arrived LOL.

Irrespective of the number on the scales now and how far I have to go to get the body I'm happy with, starting that journey from this position is a mighty good feeling. It fills me with confidence that I can do it.

:-) M

Monday, July 23, 2012


I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday even though it was fairly low key this year. It doesnt take much to make me happy - Peter took Mitchell to his ice skating lesson so I wouldnt have to sit in the icebox - happy. I used that time to go shopping and bought a beautiful evening dress to wear at an upcoming school function. The dress was heavily reduced on sale and is a gorgeous, flattering fit - happy. I had cake for lunch - happy. Champagne and delicious nibbles with my SIL and BIL later on - happy. Then the three of us went out for dinner just locally - happy. The next day my BF took me to lunch - happy and Peter cooked dinner for me. What more can I say? HAPPY!!

I am now 49 and I've been thinking about something consistently for several months. Not just fleetingly but constantly so its not a flippant easy come, easy go goal.

I will look and feel fantastic for my 50th birthday. I will live my life free from regrets because I didnt go after what I wanted. I will be happy - truly deep down happy because I'll enjoy the journey, not just the destination. As much as this is a physical thing, its an emotional one as well. Yes I'm committing to improving the physical but not at the expense of the emotional. The whole package has to work well together and I'll be fine tuning it as I go. I am my own project, after all who knows me better??

My wardrobe is full of beautiful designer clothes - all in smaller sizes. I'll be wearing them all again. When I put a smile on my face, it'll be genuine. I'll look forward to social occassions instead of dreading what I'll wear and how I'll look. I can visualise EXACTLY what I want. Not doing this is not an option.

Step 1 is the declutter. I have a wardrobe to clean out, a fridge and freezer to overhaul, a workspace that needs a SERIOUS makeover and some minor bits and pieces to get right. Less clutter = less negative energy. I'll probably get this underway towards the end of the week and the weekend. The crap has to go.

I have more that I will share but thats enough for tonight.

Cheers guys


Friday, July 20, 2012


I cant write my holiday story without writing the stuff really close to my heart that I wouldnt normally articulate to regular friends and family. Its personal so I'll put it down here to share with my few blog readers.

I'll start by saying how grateful I am that I had this marvelous opportunity. The experiences were truly unique, enjoyable and memorable. There are hundreds of photos that I havent shared and a lot that I havent written about. It was 23 days, after all.

Yet it really irks me that I had the greatest intentions to go on this holiday feeling fantastic but I did nothing to make that happen. Well, let me rephrase that to 'I did a bit and then nothing, then a bit followed by nothing' which all amounted to basically - nothing.

Leading up to the holiday I kept saying to Peter "I really dont know what I want to buy this time" or "I'm just not sure what I want from the shopping. I cant think of what I need." He laughed this all off thinking that once I was there, I'd go into my usual shopping frenzy but I didnt. Deep down I knew I would struggle with the shopping and in the end I REALLY did.

Packing was a nightmare. We needed clothes for hot weather, smart casual clothes, 3 sets of formal wear, clothes for cold weather, gym gear and beach wear. Lots of the  nice clothes I wanted to take failed the try on test and subsequently stayed at home :-( I rarely felt good in my day wear, avoided my swim wear like the plague and the formal nights were rescued only by my secret weapon.

When I tried to shop I wandered around aimlessly and dismissed everything for a myriad of reasons. It was all in the too hard basket and my frame of mind was just screwed. Thank goodness for bags, shoes and jewellery. I attended health and wellbeing seminars run by the personal trainers on the cruise and instead of identifying with the trainers - being lean, fit and healthy - I blended into the general crowd where I didnt want to belong.

I was embarrassed by my body. It made me uncomfortable but even worse it made me sad. Oh I hid it well but deep, deep down I didnt like how I looked and how I felt. All while I was having the dream holiday.

Before leaving I set myself a goal to not gain more than a kilo over the holiday. Well, because I went with some extra weight up front, I was able to minimise my gain and achieved this goal. A small consolation, I guess. I liken it to getting third prize when you were shooting for first.

I'm going to wrap it up here because there is no point in dwelling on the past and what could have been. I just needed to write about this as it bothered me endlessly the whole time we were away. But now that line is in the sand, I can move on and that indeed is my plan. Stay tuned.

:-) m

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Our cruise included 5 ports and all were new destinations for us.

1. Phuy My Vietnam. We took a 2 hour bus ride into Ho Chi Minh City and spent the day doing it on our own. O.M.G. I swear we were going to die right there and then just trying to cross the city streets. Let me paint a picture: there are thousands of motorbikes on the road and when the roads get crowded, as they do all the time, they ride on the footpaths.. ..IN THE CITY. Our tour guide told us how to cross the roads: wait for a break in the traffic and then start to cross, if traffic comes (and it will!!) just keep walking because it will go around you (they try not to kill tourists as its not good for the economy), whatever you do DONT TURN AROUND AND GO BACK coz you WILL get run over as someone tries to drive around the back of you.

I found a Christian Louboutin store and got mega excited thinking the prices might be lower than usual but alas at 22 million dong the exchange rate puts them at $1,200 which is the going price. Alas, no CLs for me - which is probabaly a good thing anyway because my feet were SO hot and swollen there.

Irrespective we LOVED Ho Chi Minh. It was buzzy and alive and interesting and just great to experience.

Road safety?? Pffft


Lunch time in a city park. Mitchell ate his vegemite sandwich - such an Aussie boy.

A relaxing break in the rooftop beer garden of the Rex Hotel. Man, a cold beer never tasted SO good.

Mitchell cooled off too.

There's only one thing to do when leaving Ho Chi Minh City.

2. Sihanoukville Cambodia. For this port we were tendered (transported in the lifeboats) to shore where we did a half day tour of a genuine village home

a public school

a Buddhist monastery and temple

a market

and a 5 star resort - just to provide some contrast

I will say one thing about Cambodian people: for a country that is so poor with so many people that have so little, they have the most beautiful and genuine smiles. Its almost like, if they have food, a home, family and maybe a job, they are the happiest people ever. A far cry from our Western culture.

3. Laem Shabang Thailand. This tour started with a 2+ hour bus drive into Bangkok where we did another 'xx on your own' tour for the day. We hit the malls and shops but overall I was disappointed with the shopping and came away with one purchase so that Peter wouldnt think the whole day was wasted. We then headed back to the hotel where we were being picked up and had time for a Pad Thai and a beer. Bliss!!

Check out these shoes. I would have bought them if I could have gotten them in my suitcase to bring home LOL.

Typical Bangkok urban design. Did somebody mention OHS???

It was a long, hard day but reading Harry Potter made the bus ride bearable.

4. Ko Samui Thailand. Another tender trip to shore, a bus ride and then a half day wandering around the island's town and resort. On the beach I had a one hour foot massage (no pics, I look like a beached whale in them) while Mitchell enjoyed the water.

5. Lombok Indonesia. We were warned about the hawkers here and they certainly lived up to their reputation. I have never said "no thank you" so many times in the spate of a few hours. We went away from the crowds and bought some scarves and a couple of T shirts to give as gifts but we didnt walk around for too long. Then we found a nice beachside restaurant and shared a treat of sates and nasi goreng. Oh, with a cold beer, of course :-)

Walking the red carpet to be tendered back to the cruise ship.

Phew. That might be enough for one night.

:-) M

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Two of the upper decks on the cruise ship.

My first champagne on board. Cheers!!

The last of 3 formal nights and a big mock New Year's Eve celebration to finish the night.

The sweeping, grand central staircase.

Peter organised an early birthday celebration for me and yes all of the waiting staff in our area of the dining room sang happy birthday to me while I blushed profusely.

We had a couple of rough days at sea but Princess Cruises were prepared with barf bags strategically placed around the ship LOL.

Hope you enjoyed this small sample of cruise pics. I have more to come.



After 5 lovely relaxing days in Singapore we were all thawed out and ready for the next leg of our holiday - a 2 week cruise back to Australia with 5 port stops on the way.

We boarded the Dawn Princess and were immediately impressed by its beautiful design and decor. Our cabin - or our large cupboard as Mitchell was calling it - was on level 8. We didnt splash a lot of money on the cabin - what for? I didnt plan on spending much time in it but in hindsight Peter wished we had a balcony as he craved some peace and quiet at times and the public areas were always crowded. Please be patient for the pics as my PC was playing up last night and I'm posting this from work instead. Of course all the pics are on my PC or iPad which just doesnt seem to operate Blogger very well.

We started with a day at sea and time to get to know the ship before our first port Phuy My in Vietnam (report coming up soon). Being an Australian cruise line, most of the passengers were Aussies and my, what  interesting observations we made as we were thrust into one big home with them all. We met lots of lovely people if we shared a large table at breakfast or lunch time or travelled in the tenders (fancy word for lifeboats) to ports where the ship could not dock due to the waters being too shallow. But 2 things struck us in a not so positive way. 1. As a nation, the majority of us are overweight and being obese or morbidly obese is becoming more and more common. Without any doubt we estimated that about 75% of people on board were in the least overweight (and I'm NOT talking fitness model standards) and several were comfortably in the obese category. 2. There were a lot of older people on board, probably retirees and boy do they whinge!!Yeah ok there was an incident when a shore excursion didnt run perfectly but seeing that the crew were doing their best to rectify the situation and make everybody comfortable I say "ease up and chill out." Some people just went on and on about it :-(

There were SO many pluses and highlights: we ate dinner in the formal dining room every night because why wouldnt you want excellent food cooked for you and served to you? The service was impeccable. The quality of the menu and food was exceptional. Serves were small to moderate and alcohol prices were reasonable. The dining room ticked many boxes and we were devoted fans. The buffet was, well a buffet. It was ok but it didnt appeal much to us except when we had early breakfasts on early shore days and then it was like a brothel on a free night. We also used the buffet for an afternoon snack if we were hungry as we were on a late dinner sitting. The bar areas and service were exceptional as well. The great thing was, you could sit in a bar or lounge and just relax without having to buy anything. We saw a couple of shows, I attended some interesting talks and seminars, Mitchell went to kids club a bit and Peter spent a lot of time relaxing as I did too. The ship's sea day activities were ok but some of the best stuff was on at a bad time so it was case of making the most of the stuff that suited.

I had my teeth whitened and a microdermabrasion style facial. We all used the gym facilities, even Mitchell asked if he could do some treadmill walking LOL. We walked around the ship's Promenade deck many times. The weather was glorious until the last day when we were getting very close to Perth and then it was cool.

I would recommend Princess Cruises to anybody wanting a chill out and relax style of holiday with some interesting port stops. If you're a Type A personality then its not for you but if you're like me and can get right into doing next to nothing then baby, cruising can be for you.

Will post pics as soon as I can and next instalment will be the port days.

:-) M

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Hello Blogland!! Wow, that was some absence. About a month as I look back to my last post. Where to start?? Perhaps I'll put it into instalments.

I laid pretty low the week of our holiday starting. The job interview had me suffering a bit of post traumatic stress (LOL) and I went from feeling like I had it in the bag to felling like I'd blown it. But those feelings all had to be parked as work wound up and the holiday prep needed doing.

We left on the 21st of June (Thursday) flying Qantas to Singapore. The recorded safety talk is now done by the Olympic athletes and it finishes with a cheery "We'll see you in London."

"WHAT!!?? We're on the wrong plane." ...... only joking but it was good for a laugh.

One of my most vivid memories of Singapore was the first morning as I stepped outside the hotel to go to the gym which was on the floor above. The warmth hit me and I looked over the beautiful resort grounds and realised how lucky I was to be back there again.

Sadly I did not have a great shopping experience there this year. My favourite store was no longer in its usual place and I wasted lots of time looking for it in case I had forgotten the location. I was a bit of a lost shopping-soul this time, not really knowing what I wanted and being really finicky with potential buys. After a full day on Orchard Road I returned to the resort empty handed :-(

Later on I bought a really funky bag, 2 gorgeous pairs of shoes and a few small things but not a patch on last year. As a family we went to the Harry Potter exhibition and the Science Centre and both were excellent experiences. I exercised every day in Singapore alternating between weights and cardio, relishing the gym facility which was pretty well decked out. We had 5 days there before we boarded our cruise ship for the 2 week return to Australia.

Oh, I almost forgot ..... in Singapore I found out that I didnt get the job. I was (secretly) pretty gutted because of the circumstances around it and I mulled over it over and over again. Sadly my mood wasnt very good but I put on my everything-is-great smile and faked it.

Here are a few Singapore piccies:

The view from our balcony.

The Crane Dance.

At the Harry Potter exhibition with my boy.

Please come back to read part 2 which will be the start of our cruise.

Good night all.