Friday, August 14, 2009

Sky High

What a great colour! What a stylish shoe!

Monday, August 03, 2009


I have a pair just like these. They are not Manolo's and they did not cost as much as a pair of Manolo's. I got them on sale at Wittner's early last year.

They're a camely colour in patent leather and they are pretty comfy...although they don't look it.

I do like these ones though.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Trials of pet ownership

If my life had been a movie, last night it would've been called:


This is my old girl, the last of my girls actually...and on the face of it she looks pretty harmless.

I've had her since 1991 when I found her while driving to work very early one morning.

She's been a wonderful companion. She has a lovely nature, has easily settled in when I've continually changed addreses and has travelled with me interstate without any hassles when I was transferred for fact she probably clocked up more frequent flyer points than I did.

Unfortunately, last night though, she must've had a few problems controlling her bowels because when I got up in the middle of the night I was confronted with what can only be described as a stench that would makes your eyes water...and a sight that certainly got the juices in my stomach wanting to make their way up past my tonsils.

Think projectile vomiting coming from the nether regions. Her poo was up the walls, across the floor and, unfortunately, over my towel. She can always get out if she needs to relieve herself through the night, but it was raining and she doesn't like the wet. So she used the stand-by tray in the bathroom/toilet. And that's what I was confronted with...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pretty Happy Jan!

Blood pressure. Check

Weight loss. Check.

Yep, a pretty satisfying trip to the doctor this afternoon

Janet Hill Beauties

Janet Hill's Beauty Sleeps

I've fallen in love with the gorgeous paintings of Janet Hill. She's a Canadian artist and you can find her work here

This is the latest one I've ordered and I can't wait till it arrives. When it does, I'll have it framed and will hang it with the other two I have in my sewing room, wheree I spend a lot of my time.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Give my regards....

I've always been a bit of a Broadway Musical tragic. I love the songs, the dancing, the music and the talent of the performers

So, last week when I read that Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone were in Australia and doing two shows in Melbourne, I jumped at the chance of getting tickets...

...and I was not disappointed.

I remember some years back watching Patti LuPone on Television, singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina. I think it was an awards ceremony show...maybe not. But I distinctly remember what she was wearing: A white, one shoulder dress and she had a large white flower in her hair.

She looked gorgeous.

I also remember sitting there in front of the TV crying as she sang that song...and so it was last Wednesday evening as I sat there in Hamer Hall and cried as she sang the song that I will forever associate with her. She is brilliant... and so is Mr Patinkin. A great voice and a great presence on stage.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I guess this is the way it's going to be

A small loss one week, a larger one the next

Just 300 grams off the weight this week, which brings my total weight loss to 5.3 kilograms....just as long as the losses continue

Slow but sure said the tortoise.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Front Porch

I've always loved weatherboard houses, in fact I've always loved WHITE weatherboard houses. They just appeal to me. Maybe because they have a bit of character, but I always thought I'd end up in a white weatherboard house....and I have.

I've lived in quite a few places around the country... Tasmania, Sydney and Queensland...but back in Melbourne I feel at home and I think this is probably the last house I'll live in. It's me. It's us.

It is a house though that is forever changing. Sometimes the changes have been huge, with new rooms added...sometimes, subtle.

But changing nonetheless.

I bought the house back in the late 90's before I was married and it looked nothing like this. It was a mustardy/yellow colour. It had bottle green trim. It had an old cracked concrete driveway and a front fence that was made of a strange roofing iron that had been painted bottle green. There was no front porch or deck, just a small concrete landing at the front door...and lots of prickly bushes scattered around the front garden.

The roof was probably the worst though. It was a moulded metal type of thing that was supposed to look like tiles. It didn't. It was ugly. It had to go and it did.

The insides were painted yellow. White ceilings, yellow walls, stained wood trim. Noice!

Now, everything is white. Or off white. Antique White USA to be precise.

There was no heating and no insulation. In fact the walls consisted of a weatherbopard outer layer and a fibrous plaster internal layer. That's it. It was bloody freezing!

This is the latest change. A new front porch. Until recently it was just a deck, and Hubbie was reluctant to "close it in" with posts etc. But he saw a neighbour's efforts and decided it looked good, so off he went and voila. A new front porch

I like it

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Weigh In - Woo Hoo

A loss of 1.2 kilograms this week. Gotta be happy with that!

That brings my total weight loss so far to 5 kilograms

It's a slow process....but I'm getting there.

Masterchef or Master Food Stylist?

I admit it, like millions of others, I've been tuning in to watch Masterchef almost every night. In fact I think we've only missed one episode in our house since it started. It's been a fun ride and interesting to see what sort of dishes the various contestants have come up with.

I haven't had a favourite contestant though. I really don't mind who wins the "big prize" It could've been Josh, who got voted off ages ago, or Tom or Justine, Lucas or Chris...or even Poh, who's come up with some amazing dishes.

What I can't fathom though is what happened last night.

A lot of people were against Chris, the Beer Merchant, winning because of his arrogance/hat/hair/beard...whatever..but he was a damn good cook. Consistently good in fact. So was Justine. A great cook. But she was evicted the previous night.

But I still don't quite understand what happened last night, when the judges allowed Julie to stay, even though she failed to get her entire meal plated...and continued to sweat and cry and make an almighty mess right through the preparation of her three meals.
Another thing I'm a little perplexed about is the new innovation, where the contestants not only had to cook but "STYLE" their food and come up with their cookbook concept.

Donna Hay is a favourite of mine. Love her magazine. Love her cookbooks. But give me a break. She has a test kitchen, cooks and food stylists to do a lot of the work for her. She does not style every food pic in her mag alone...and we all know that food styling involves a lot more than just "food". Think glycerine, glue, polystyrene, dyes, paint and various other things not remotely related to food.

So, last night was probably the last night I'll tune into Masterchef. I thought it was a cooking contest where the contestants were judged on the food they delivered. Not on how good that food would look in a photograph on the front of a cookbook or on their cookbook concept.

So, I ask the producers of Masterchef...If you've kept me interested until now, despite little rule changes mid-stream, do you still consider it a raging success if I no longer care about who wins?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Weigh-In....Meh

200 grams.

That's all I lost this week. 200 grams.

I spent ages on the treadmill...did the regular weight and cardio sessions and watched what I ate and drank.

200 grams?!

Ahh well, I suppose it's a loss, which is better than a gain....But 200 grams?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ooh La La

I covet!

Hello you little beauties!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Blowin' in the wind

I've never been a big fan of clothes dryers. Sure I have one and it gets used occasionally, but I can't remember the last time I put something straight from the washing machine into the dryer and switched it on.
I generally use mine to finish things off, like towels, just to fluff them up a bit....and I have four clothes airers...or as my Mum calls them, clothes horses to put the washing on when it's too wet outside.

This morning, I was checking out A-M's blog, TheHouseThatA-MBuilt... and she was lamenting the fact that she hadn't allowed enough room for a clothes line to be installed at her gorgeous new home.
Well, I don't have one either, at least not a conventional one. Mine is a straight piece of cable, similar to the stuff used on a hills hoist, that's connected to the carport and the back deck by a couple of large clips, like the ones used on dogs leads .
It works just as well as any rotary clothes line, or retractable one.

In fact, It's long enough and strong enough to hold a couple of queen sized sheets, towels and other assorted odds and bods...I mean, why pay to use a dryer when there's perfectly good sunshine and wind outside?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Saturday Vintage

More shots from "19" circa 1974

I wonder how freaked out the girl was when she learned she had to hold a chook for the shoot...or for that matter, how freaked out the chook was when it was corralled into it.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday weigh-in

Another successful week...

I lost 900 grams this week, which brings total weight loss so far to 3.6 kilos.

I thought my weigh in would be disappointing, but I have to say that I am again, a happy camper.

It's funny because a few years back I was at the weight I am right now and was almost nearing depression because I weighed so much. Now I'm happy because I've got down to this weight....what the?
OK....Bring on Christmas!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Keep on keeping on

We love a good renovation around much so that we just keep doing it. The entire house has been transformed. Walls and ceilings have been replaced, walls moved, lino tiles lifted, floors sanded and polished, bathrooms gutted and re-done, roof replaced, chimney's demolished, kitchen gutted and rebuilt, rooms's never ending really

This photo shows the newly reduced wall between the kitchen, dining room and loungeroom. The lounge is a strange sort of shape and is quite small, so opening it up by making the dividing wall a little smaller, seems to create the illusion of a larger room.

This photo is from the lounge looking through to the kitchen with my new bench tops and cook top in the alcove.

The lounge room/kitchen renovation is now completed...well, as completed as it will be till we come up with another idea and decide to "tweak" it again

These were taken on my mobile phone when my camera was out of action.

When I bought the house there was no heating and no insulation, so you can imagine just how damn cold it was! I moved in in the middle of Winter, so the cats and I slept on a mattress on the lounge room floor under two doonas! All the walls through the house were painted a lemony yellow...quite bright it was too. The kitchen was black and yellow, with a bit of white thrown in...not nice, unless you're a Richmond supporter.

There was no dining room and no study, so I had them built on.

The ceilings right through the house were sagging terribly and needed replacing, so that's what I had done. I thought I'd be able to live with the crackly fibrous plaster walls, but they eventually had to go too.

Ahh if I'd known then what I know now.....famous last words.

After replacing the ceilings and installing all lovely new cornices, as well as putting insulation right through, we then decided to replace the walls. The task was how to do it without completely destroying the cornice.

We got there...just... A big job, but it gave us the opportunity to put insulation in all of the walls and get some in the ceiling too ... then I had the floors done again, just to tidy them up a bit.

This house, like many others, is a work in progress.... a money pit. But I love it and I love the transformation we've been able to make.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shoe Love Tuesday

Aren't these lovely?
I really love a good shoe. It doesn't have to be a Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik, but a good pair of shoes really can make an outfit.
I think so anyway.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Baby it's cold outside

Winter has really arrived with a vengeance, but the chooks seem to like wandering around looking for grubs....and we like watching them.

They're always so "busy" when they're hunting for moths and insects in the yard. They're extremely funny too when they appear to see something in the distance and make a run for it.

Our three girls are getting on a bit now, only laying occasionally, but they're still lovely to watch.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Camper

Another successful week on the treadmill, Pilates and workouts...where did I find the time for it all....
.... what with work and everything else going on ....

Anyway, I recorded a loss of 0.8 kgs this week...bringing my total weight loss in the three weeks I've been on this "journey" to 2.7 kilograms. Don't you just hate that word...maybe I should try to find maybe? Endeavour?

Ahhh whatever, it seems to be working and yep, I'm a happy camper...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mandarin 'bout Spanish?

Is it just me ...or do others detect some people having a problem with Kevin Rudd and others, using their linguistic skills in public?

I happen to think it's great that the leader of this country is fluent in another language..Mandarin. In fact I really admire people who take the time and put in the effort to learn another language, because it's not easy for an adult, generally speaking, to do that and come out sounding as if it's second nature

Even tonight on the news, the tone of the introduction to the story of Rudd welcoming the Spanish Royals to Australia he goes again...speaking another language. What a show off.

Now I know he's been called a nerd and criticised for flaunting his oral abilities...and I know there have been other members of parliament who have also been able to speak another language

But why do we have such a problem with it?

Are we really so insecure with people who can converse in a language other than "ocker"? Or do we prefer watching the likes of John Howard circling the globe in his Wallabies trackie...saying "g"day to all and sundry, including people who wouldn't have had a clue who he was?

I know who I prefer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On A Brighter Note.....

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw.....Hello Lover...

Ahhh Yes.... Shoe Heaven

Not Happy Jan!!!

Yes...this is the exact look I had when the doctor gave me the news today.
I made a little visit to my GP today, just for a general check-up...and the result wasn't good.

To my disgust, my blood pressure is right UP. In fact he took it TWICE just to make sure it was the correct reading! It's probably because of my shocking weight gain over the past year or so, I understand that, but it's the first time ever I've had high blood pressure. It's so disappointing because I've been working out a lot lately, and it doesn't appear to have made any difference.

Two sessions of cardio and weights, one 90 minute session of pilates...and walking my arse off another three days a week. I mean to say, isn't that enough?

Anyway, he's given me a script for some stuff to take and then I have to go back and see him in a month

Let's hope my efforts over the next four weeks pay off and I can get back to "normal" again, whatever that is

Bloody Hell it's annoying!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

More (Realistic) Success

Another successful week on the weight loss front

I weighed in half a kilogram lighter this week, which gives me an overall weight loss so far of 1.9 kilograms

I know it's just about every weight shedder's goal to lose multiple kilos each and every week, but a loss is a loss, and whether it be 1.4 kgs or 0.5, I'm happy

It appears the walking has made a difference. I got on the treadmill most days this past week and walked between 2 and 3 kilometres. If I can summon the energy to do that every day, then the weight loss journey will be a successful one. I hope!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Home Improvement

I've been following the progress of an absolutely gorgeous home that A-M has been building in Brisbane. It really is something to behold, but she's been having a few "issues" with her builder and his painter. You can check out her latest instalment at:

Anyway, it got me thinking about all the trials and tribulations of my own renovations over the years. Most have been wonderful experiences (no really, they have)...and I've met some great tradies who have become firm family friends and who have worked on multiple projects for me.

But there have been a few hiccups along the way too.

One case in point was a builder I hired to extend my small house. I had plans drawn up to build on a dining room, study and new bathroom as well as a back deck, but I only wanted it to lock-up stage so I could bring in my own plasterer. Well, tyhis guy's building skills left a lot to be desired and caused some real headaches, especially at the end of his contract. As we were packing the walls to get them square and level so we could hang the plasterboard, we realised that if we'd kept going we would've ended up with a dining room the size of a matchbox...every time we got one wall square, another wall was "out", so we had to re-do the other wall...and so it went as we continued to work around the room in a never ending spiral.

It was quite a challenge knowing when to stop, but in the end we just had to accept that it was never going to be perfect.

Another issue I had was with a painter late last year... I had painted all of the ceilings and walls, but we needed someone to finish off all the woodwork and windows etc.

Not only was this guy slow, he was a grot and even worse, he was a liar!

Apart from making me feel uncomfortable when he was in the house, he decided one afternoon to sand the french doors and architraves with an electric sander, but didn't bother to cover any of the furniture or electrical items like the TV or stereo. When I came home, I also noticed that, not only was my lounge room shrouded in a haze of fine dust, he'd sanded a small section of floor (that I'd recently had polished) where he thought he'd left a spot of paint. When I challenged him about it he denied all knowledge...and as I was getting angrier with him he told me to "be quiet and let him have his say.

As you can imagine, his time with us was not long

There's no real moral to this really can be trial and error when it comes to bringing strangers into your home to perform tasks that you're unable or unqualified to do. The only advice I can offer is to get recommendations from friends or check out local suppliers like plumbing and timber stores or lighting shops to get them to give you some names of reliable tradespeople. That's how I found my cabinet maker and plasterer.

Have you had any major issues with tradespeople in the past?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Shoe love

Well, as the title of my blog implies... I do have a thing about shoes...but then, I'm not alone.

My love of shoes began a long time ago while still at school. I kept seeing beautiful shoes on sale but couldn't afford both dresses and shoes. So, I learnt how to sew so I could save my money for SHOES!

My love of shoes has continued right through the years ....and while I have quite a few pairs I defintely do not have too many.

As an extension of this love, I started my own little business from home, selling clear shoe boxes. You can check out my website at

Originally, I was looking to buy some but thought they were a bit expensive, so started the search for a manufacturer. Luckily I found one not far from my home. We got a design worked out to fit just about every size of shoe and not long afterwards, I took delivery of my first batch of clear shoe boxes.
I've sold quite a lot, mostly on ebay and it's been a lot of fun. Check out my website if you like to have a look

Friday, June 12, 2009

On My Way!

Some early success. My first weigh-in and it's a good one.
A loss of 1.4 kgs this week. Let's hope I can keep it up!
Not getting carried away so early on this journey, but it's always good to get a positive result at the start, to kick you along.

The finished product

The driveway and front path are finished. A new tree's been planted in the spot where another old crab apple had to be removed. We put in a Crepe Myrtle. Lovely.

...and I can't begin to describe the difference it's made to the front of the house

Some lights have been installed on the front gate and some sandstone paving has also been laid outside the gate to the footpath

I'll get some more grass seed to fill in the gaps.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hippy Hippy Shake

After last night's dinner party of Veggie soup, roast lamb, scalloped potatoes and asparagus, followed by Sticky Date Pudding with cream and caramel sauce, I started thinking it was time to get serious about losing a few (read: many) kilos.

I'm too damn heavy for my height. When I was at school I weighed 55 kgs. I always felt I was chubby but now that I look back I know damn well I wasn't. I was just fine and now, almost 30 kgs heavier, I'm way past chubby and am downright FAT!
Back in 2005, a girlfriend and I started an on-line weight loss challenge. My aim was to lose 15 kgs. Her aim was to lose 25. I didn't make it but did lose 9 kgs and I was very happy with myself. I looked good and felt terrific. My friend almost made it and lost 21kgs and she looked sensational! But we've both put it all back on and then some.

She lives in a country town so has gone back to doing Weight Watchers on line, and has so far done pretty well.

I already do a session of Pilates once a week as well as two-hour long sessions of cardio and weights. But it appears it's not enough., Sunday 7th June, it's "D-DAY" Diminish my body day

I got on the treadmill, for the first time in ages and worked up a sweat. I walked for 2 kilometres and tomorrow I'll do the same. One can only hope that I will lose something in the first week and then go on from there
Off we go!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Chaser Apologises

News today that The Chaser's War on Everything will be missing from our ABC screens for a couple of weeks, so Auntie can "review its approval processes" following the controversy over a skit about dying children.

There's been much talk on radio about the skit and the shows overall merits...some of those callers have also appealed to the ABC to take the show off-air permanently
I watched it and must admit, didn't find it particularly funny....but that doesn't mean I want it ripped off-air. I have a remote control with an "off" button on it as well as the ability to change channels. If I don't like something I simply turn off or watch something else.
I was chatting to a friend about the program, and even though he didn't see it, made a judgement on it by the comments he'd heard about it and an excerpt of the program he'd seen. I suggested that the best way to make an informed judgement on something was to make sure you knew exactly what you were opposing or supporting first.

There are quite a few programs on TV that I don't watch because I find them puerile. Case in point: Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement.
One Age-Green Guide TV reviewer described Rules Of Engagement recently as "crap". I agree.
My neighbour loves them though and encourages me to watch them because she says, they're hilarious! No thanks. But just because I don't want to watch them doesn't mean I want to destroy her enjoyment
I find it interesting that the calls for the Chaser to be scrapped come in the same week of the 20th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre...and this week, China's rulers have been busy with the censors scissors, cutting all mention of it from Internet websites and even stopping some websites from also comes at a time when the press in Fiji is virtually non-existent since the new, so called, Government stepped in and took control of the media
If you don't like the Chaser, switch off, read a book, watch Rules of Engagement or Two and a Half men...but don't try to impose your TV tastes on everyone else

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Time Keeping

I've had a thing about clocks for quite some time...any time piece really. I don't really know why but I just like the way they keep ticking away. It's like there are a lot of little beating hearts through the house

The first one I fell in love with was way back in the early 80's when I moved interstate for work. I wanted an alarm clock but something that also looked good next to my bed, so I bought a little carriage clock. It cost me a fortune back then...or what I considered to be a fortune, but I just had to have it...and it's been sitting next to my bed ever since.

Then there have been a couple of crystal clocks...2 French style clocks ...and everything in between

Monday, June 01, 2009

Creature Comforts

I love my critters!

The one who greets you in glorious colour as you enter this site has been with us for almost 3 years. She was a rescue from the Lost Dogs Home and has had a few "issues". But we're still working through them and will, eventually conquer them all.

This little girl is quite old and she was given to us about six years ago or thereabouts. She had been used to produce puppies but had passed her use by date, so was being given away. I said we'd take her home to be with us and it was really meant to be, because as soon as I put the lead on her, she almost ran to my car with not one goodbye or a look over her shoulder to acknowledge her former owner.

She is the most loveable, gorgeous and friendly girl you'd ever want to have on your lap....and she does tend to want to do that a lot.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Change room etiquette

I think I missed my calling...maybe I really should've worked in retail...I would've made a great change-room motivator. I would love to be able to let people know, I mean REALLY know, how they look in the things they're trying on, because there's nothing more depressing than standing in an outfit and having a shop assistant tell you how good you look when you know damn well it looks horrendous!

I'm not talking about being rude or cruel. Far from it! I'm talking about kindness and looking out for fellow shoppers who may need a friendly face and voice.

It happened yesterday while shopping with my friend G. She looks good in just about anything but it wasn't happening for her. She tried on quite a few things and nothing was "right". While I was waiting for her there was another woman trying on a long, bulky knit that sort of wrapped around her. There was a lot going on with that jumper, but it looked good so I complimented her and we both decided it needed one of those massive safety pins or woggle or toggles or whatever they are. The colour was perfect on her and she really looked great!
A few months back I was shopping with another friend and while waiting for her another woman was trying on jackets...the one she had was much too big I asked if she'd tried on the smaller size...she did and it looked fantastic. So we got chatting and laughing and she thanked me because she said she needed another set of eyes to tell her how the garment really looked on her
It doesn't always work though...the friend I was shopping with had tried on about 6 things. She was looking for a top to go with some evening pants and there was one that looked absolutely fan-bloody-tastic! It had a flattering neckline, it skimmed over her boobs and her hips and fell just a smidge below her crotch. It fitted perfectly. The fabric was in colours that would go with just about anything really. Very, very gorgeous! When I complimented her she said to me in no uncertain terms, " I don't mean to be rude, but I have to remember that I'm buying for me and not for you"....and so it went, right back on the rack

Now, I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment...but that top was the best thing she tried on that day and it would've been worn and worn again through Summer and Winter. So I let her go and didn't really offer any more comments after that.

Funny how strangers can accept a compliment so easily, but some friends find it hard to believe you're telling them the truth when you say how good a garment makes them look.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

...and we're off!

Day one of my blog...which I thought I'd start after checking out some absolutely gorgeous blogs this week. How could I not be impressed with The House that A-M Built, The Laurel Hedge, My Fantasy House and Swish and Swanky.

All gorgeous. All inspiring.

They're not the only ones I checked out but they've stayed in my mind for a couple of days now and I know I'll be heading back to look at their progress again and again

Me?....I like lot's of things...lot's of gorgeous things and as the title of my Blog suggests... I. Do. Not. Have. Too. Many. Shoes!

Cooking, sewing, knitting, although I've been a bit neglectful in the fibre area lately. My big love though is renovating. I love it, but more of that on another day

Today I'm off for a coffee and some lunch with a girlfriend...a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon