Monday, October 31, 2011

A Hairy Happy Ending

Sydney people get all the breaks. As an ex Sydney-sider I am entitled to say that. OK, OK, they don't get affordable housing. And they don't have supermarkets that close at 5pm on the weekends (different rant, sorry).

Today I found out that Keratinology by Sunsilk, in association with Marie Claire Magazine have transformed a luxury film star silver Winnebago into an uber glamorous mobile pop-up salon, where for $20 you can indulge in the VIP experience of having a professional wash & blow dry using the new Keratinolgy by Sunsilk range, the latest issue of Marie Claire magazine, AND a glass of champagne.

You fucking beauty, I am SOOOO there, I thought. It's my dream to get inside a Winnebago, & god knows my hair needs some professional attention.

And then my dreams where dashed when I found out that this luxury film location Winnebago ‘Keratinology by Sunsilk’ pop-up salon was only going to be at the following places;

Circular Quay, Sydney
Customs House, 31 Alfred St Circular Quay
Thursday 3rd, Friday 4th, & Monday 7th November.

Parramatta, Sydney
In front of Parramatta Town Hall, 182 Church St.
Wednesday 9th, Friday 11th, Monday 14th, & Tuesday 15th November.

Brisbane..........*crickets*

You will need to call 0426 293 611 with your credit card to make a booking, but only if you live in Sydney. Don't they know that we also have hair dye, hair dryers & harsh conditions up north? We even have straightening tongs god dammit!

But, keep reading, because here is the happy ending! As appeasement for this oversight, I have ONE giant product pack to giveaway, even if you don't live in Sydney!

Keratinology by Sunsilk Sun Kissed Colour Therapy Range
Colour Therapy Shampoo, Express Treatment Conditioner & Glossy Mask

Keratinology by Sunsilk Advanced Reconstruction Program
Detoxifying Shampoo, Express Treatment Conditioner, Hair Protector Spray, Overnight Treatment & Hair Spa Mask


To enter, leave a comment telling me your worst hair disaster & how you solved it.
One lucky reader will win all 8 products from the Keratinology by Sunsilk ranges.
The winner will be announced on November 14th.

In closing, I would like to say that both Sydney & Brisbane are awesome city's to live in. I would also like to leave you with this quote, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

 “Beware of her fair hair, for she excels All women in the magic of her locks; And when she winds them round a young man's neck, She will not ever set him free again. ”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Heh heh. Obviously never met a brunette :)

xx
Disclaimer - I have received no goddamn Winnebago for this post, although I did receive some gorgeous smelling product to review. All words thoughts & opinions are mine.

Thoughts on Air Freshner

Normally I am the sort of person who runs through the ground floor of Myer with my hands over my mouth & nose, screeching 'Please don't spray perfume samples on me!!!!'  I don't wear perfume (or even perfumed deodorant) myself, I am that sensitive to chemical smells. I really dislike them. Mr BC is on strict instructions to never apply deodorant in my presence. I almost always get asthma, & one time when I thought I'd get all fancy for the school run, a wasp stung me. So when Airwick Aqua Mist recently sent me alot of their new Aqua Mist range to try out, I wasn't too hopeful.

But.

These chemical smells are not too bad. Not too bad at all. There are 3 fragrances - Magnolia & Cherry Blossom, Wild Lavender & Mountain Breeze, & my favourite, Fresh Waters. The scent is really subtle, & because the are part of the Aqua Essences range, it is completely water based so the fragrances just dissipate gently, leaving freshness in the air, without hitting you in the head & making your sinus's bleed.

I have been spraying this around various people to get their reactions, as follows.
  • My mother - Yes, I already use this. It's water based so the smell goes really quickly. You have to keep sprayng it.
  • My sister, Cheryl Ann - Yes, that's nice. Yes. Yes, OK. OMG I can't smell that now! I have a hangover & I am trying to clean this toilet before everyone arrives!
  • The Gentleman - after sneezing violently at Magnolia & Cherry Blossom, loved Fresh Waters. He especially loved the easy trigger pump, & happily sprayed it around, alot..
  • Teenage Daughter - Sad face at Magnolia & Cherry Blossom, with the claim it burnt her nostrils. Wild Lavender & Mountain Breeze got the quavering hand. Liked Fresh Waters alot, thumbs up.
I am loving Fresh Waters, because 2 months ago when Monkey boy turned 4, he announced that now that he was a big boy, he no longer needed to wear pull ups at night. And therefor he doesn't. I wish he would tell his bladder this, because every night since his birthday he has wet his own bed, then gotten up, changed his pyjamas (sometimes) & come into Mummy & Daddy's bed, which he also wets. I am not at all loving this, or the resulting laundry, but I am loving spraying mattresses with some water based air freshener.

Next stop, the family car which has it's own particular odour after the family drive to Sydney & back last weekend. And then, this Friday I will be treating my Mothers Group/Park Wino/Gunt Club friends to a blind smell test, so stay tuned for the results of that. I promise lots of pictures. And a pretty nice giveaway.

See you then!

xx

Disclaimer - Yes, the product was sent to me for review but all thoughts, opinions & words are mine, even that little gem about leaving freshness in the air. I know, I should be a copywriter.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I don't heart my body

I read Eden's post this morning about loving her cake of a body (which is beautiful & strong, just like Eden herself) - she has linked up to We Heart Life because today is I Heart My Body 2011 day, a day for bloggers to take a photo of themselves & post it. Every time I read Eden's blog I am very inspired, so I quickly ran to the bathroom & took my clothes off to take a photo & post it, goddammit!

And then I looked at the photo, had a WTF moment, & immediately deleted it.

I am not going to be posting a photo of my naked or semi clad body any time soon.

My body is strong - I walk (briskly, thank you) about 5 kms at least 4 times per week. I have produced 3 children, & breastfed them all (another post, another time). I have used & abused my body for long periods of time - that decade in my teens that I can barely remember, for example. At times my diet has been astonishing. I have half a thyroid, practically no stomach muscles to speak of, high blood pressure, & diabetes. I take a handful of tablets & one needle every day, & my body still manages to function in a viable fashion, living life & looking after a household of chaos.

So obviously I am an earth goddess of the home & hearth, so why, WHY? don't I heart my body?

Sad but true - I don't like the way my body looks. There it is. Pretty shallow, huh? Even my 6 year old will defend anyone who looks different "Everybody has a different look, Mum".

I wouldn't think less of anyone based on their body shape, their skin colour, their ethnicity, their sexual life, their level of education, their choice of car or even the way they vote, so why don't I apply that non discrimination policy to myself?

I think the answer is that I don't think the way I look accurately reflects the way I feel. Some days I feel like Lara Croft, some days like Sophia Loren, some days like Hilary Clinton, some days like Hazel Hawke. But I always look like a close relative of Jabba the Hut.

So, here you are. Slightly hung over after a massive Girls Night In. No makeup, apart from what is left over from last night. Haven't even had a shower or brushed my hair.








Oh take a joke!
Image from here.







The real me.
No bikini, no underwear (no, really, no underwear). This is all you're gonna get for now.

Ask me next year.

xx

Friday, October 28, 2011

Things I did in Sydney last weekend

Finally gave my gorgeous nephew (who's name may start with B) his birthday present, this lovely coat rack of my own creation. I also gave him a Nerf Gun, 'cause I'm a cool Auntie like that.

The monkeys got a chance to catch up on some quality cousin time, which was awesome. They did all the cousin stuff - fought, stayed up giggling when they should have been asleep, had baths together, watched 'the real' Spiderman countless times, played long involved soldier robot games in the garden, became best friends....

We also got to catch up with my sister Cheryl, except for this one night when she went out to her high school reunion. She may have had a few champagnes, I'm not sure. She sure was loving that midnight toast though.

We actually went to Sydney because Cheryl & I where throwing our Dad a party for his 71st birthday. We where going to do it last year but Dad got bowel cancer instead, so this year was a bit of a double celebration. There was about 60 people who came from far & wide to help Dad celebrate, & we tried to serve Dad's favourite foods, converted to cocktail food. The menu was;
  • Lobster Thermidor Tartlets
  • Mini Ham Sandwiches on white bread (it's a Dad staple, most people got it)
  • Pan fried Kranski sausage on a fancy toothpick (I know! How posh!)
  • Warm mini crusty rolls with chicken, lettuce & mayo
  • Rare roast beef on sliced baguette with horseradish
  • Mini pies & sausage rolls
  • cheese & spinach triangles
  • Prawn Vietnamese rice paper rolls
  • Peking Duck pancakes
There was also a dessert buffet consisting of all of my Aunts specialty's - Tirimisu, Trifle, Pavlova & fruit platter. There was also lolly bags made to look like medicine organisers. We threw in some false teeth lollys for dentures :)

 Teenage daughter sorting the lolly bags.

Marilyn Monroe popped in to sing Happy Birthday, much to everyones surprise.
Steady on, Marilyn, he's got a heart condition..

Two of Dads oldest friends (from school! seriously!) gave speeches, & got everyone (including themselves) a bit teary. Old sooks.

Even the paparazzi got a bit emotional.. 


The next day, we went to spread Happy Dogs ashes to the wind, at a dog park that he loved when we all lived in Sydney. The Dog park is at a beautiful headland, overlooking the beach & a golf course. We all cried like babies but felt really happy that Happy Dog could frolic & galoot to his hearts content, chasing rabbits & playing on the beach without getting in trouble from the ranger.

After this, we spent the rest of the day on the beach, getting a bit sun burnt & enjoying a swim in the icy water. There was hardly anyone there but us.

 I do miss Sydney's northern beaches, just not enough to move back.

 My beautiful niece. Sweetheart/evil mastermind. She ran rings around the boys. Heh heh.

Finally, we celebrated Mr BCs birthday with fish & chips followed by an ice cream cake. Heaven! Mr BC was so delighted to have an ice cream cake, but I don't know why he was surprised, he has one every year.

I am very glad Dads party went well because there was so much planning involved. It was really great to catch up with my extended family & see the children reconnect with their 1st, 2nd & 3rd cousins, because I always worry that living in a different city would rob them of that sense of family. It was great to finally scatter the ashes of our beloved dog, & get some closure; & hanging out at the beach was wonderful as always. But the best part? Coming Home!

Are you relieved to finally get home from family get togethors? Tell me it isn't just me!

xx

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When life hands you lemons...












All images from Pinterest except the last one. Don't know who Cave Johnson is, but I like his style.

xx

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to never go to work


Just as I love not camping, I also love not working.

I used to be verrrrrry into my paid gig, which I thought of at the time as my 'Career'. Maybe it was my career, I certainly worked hard at it. I worked 60+ hours every week, my phone rang at all hours of the day & night, I travelled interstate, I had lots of people in various teams reporting to me. I had exciting meetings with major clients. I earned some OK money. It fulfilled most of my childhood dream of growing up to do something 'important.'

After 5 years of this, the gleam had delustered somewhat. All of my salary (& then some) went on childcare fees for children I hardly saw during daytime hours. My family life had become quite compromised by my long hours & trips away. My truly horrible boss had ground the optimistic spark from my eye & my Doctor firstly put me on blood pressure medication & then took out half of my thyroid, which had a produced a non cancerous nodule from an overuse of adrenalin.

So Mr BC & I took a hard look at the direction our life was going in & decided to move interstate, where we could afford to live the lifestyle we dreamed of. The plan was for me to work part time & no more, which I was pretty happy about - I was looking forward to being the Mum I always wanted to be. 5 days before the removalists came, we found out I was pregnant with Monkey Boy. So the part time work idea went out the window & I really embraced being a Stay at Home Mum with open arms.

So now that Monkey Boy is 4, the question on everyones lips is "When are you going back too work?" My answer is ".............................gulp".

The thought of toxic boss syndrome makes me reach for the Avapro. The very thought of performance reviews, WIP meetings, client reviews, on-time reporting (snort), office politics & lunchroom etiquette frankly gives me the heeby jeebys. There must be a better way to pay the bills.

So, here are my ideas for being a profitable SAHM.
  1. Have a big clean out & sell lots of stuff on eBay. Give stuff to charity. Nature abhors a vacuum (as do I) so getting rid of stuff is  the karmic equivalent of making room for more stuff, right?
  2. Get all outstanding paperwork up to date. Do the tax returns, etc. Check with Centrelink to see if there are any childcare rebates etc I haven't claimed.
  3. Monetise the blog - look at the top right column, see? I've joined Nuffnang! I thought about it & decided that it didn't mean selling out. I don't expect to be Dooce or the Pioneer Woman overnight, but every little bit counts & is a step in the right direction.
  4. Think hard about a small business that I can do in my own time. This is a whole other post, so stay tuned..
  5. Explore other paid employment that can be done in my own time. I'm thinking Mystery Shopping rather than delivering pamphlets, or starting my own 1800sexymum phone line.
  6. Because I am a little bit pagan, I will also be asking the universe for money making opportunities via the usual channels - tarot, & weekly chats to the ocean.
  7. I think the most important thing is to ensure my head space remains positive about it - being negative & self defeatist really does mean you have failed before you even start. Too hippy? I'll let you know if it works!
So, what are your favourite ideas to avoid going back to paid employment? Enquiring minds want to know!

xx

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Roma St Parklands, Brisbane

In the middle of Brisbane City, on the grounds of an old rail way yard, is a hidden oasis of a park named Roma St Gardens. Sorry to sound so hyperbolic, but it really is amazing. We didn't even know about it for 2 years, despite driving past it at least twice a week. It is gated & fenced, & surprisingly quite large.  

 
The gardens are beautifully planted in a large variety of mass plantings.
This one is New Guinea Impatiens.

It suddenly opens up into a large grassed area that slopes towards an ampnitheatre. Monkey boy can't resist & hurtles off down the hill - Mr BC looks a bit unhappy at the prospect of chasing him.

 
There are huge trees - this one is a Moreton Bay Fig.

And also tiny vistas like this beautiful fungus.

 
I wish my Clivea looked this great.

One of the big trees came down in a storm, so they have used the fallen tree to shelter a small Bromeliad garden.

 
 Everywhere, pathways invite you forward.

Lots of water features mean lots of Water Dragons. I've been told there is a Dragon's Blood Tree but I was unable to find it - I'll just have to go again & have another look ..

 
 This large water feature snakes through the gardens from one end to the other.

I love the way plants are used in interesting ways - this Bromeliad planter stand for instance.

 
 Different coloured foliage in a striking display. Wow, I sound just like Allan Seale!

It was lovely to see Foxgloves in flower - I love them but they are so poisonous I am scared to plant them while the monkeys are small.

 
 Mr BC, always on the look out for gardening ideas.

Teenage Daughter camouflaged in the Elk Horns..

 
 Wait, did she go through that door?

This must be the bog garden. It was planted up with Pitcher Plants, which do grow in a bog after all...

 
 The Gentleman was very excited about these stepping stones.
Mr BC's speech bubble should read How do I get this into my garden?? Or maybe he's having a moment from The Party. Birdy Num Num Mr BC!

The Gentleman whispered a wish into a fallen white flower, & tossed it into the moving water.

  
 These photos where taken in spring, & there are lots of traditional cottage flowers.

Lots of plantings on these flower towers. Flower humps?

  
 I do so love a hedge.

One idea I really loved was these floating islands, anchored to the bottom but swaying in the current. If you look closely at the island second from the bottom you can see a Water Dragon enjoying the moment.

 
 Can you see him? He's got a tiny little cocktail & a glossy magazine hidden under those flowers.

The Gentleman likes to be colour coordinated at all times.

 
 Meh, Monkey Boy's not so into the colour coordination. He goes more for exuberance.

 Mr BC looks a bit bemused by The Gentleman's Dragon Taming exhibition.

 Enjoying the moment. Looking for faeries? Lost in a reverie?

 Mass plantings for maximum effect.

 My hump, my hump, my lovely floral hump... check it out!
Yes I may have sung that in the gardens. Your point?

How lucky are these apartment dwellers to have this on their doorstep? 

 And yet if you turn around, the view is completely different.

 Down another secret pathway.

And then all too soon you are back on the street!
We spent an hour wandering around & could easily have wandered for another 2.
If you are ever in Brisbane make sure you leave enough time to visit Roma St Gardens.

xx
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