Friday, October 29, 2010

The Beauty Mirror

I'm the youngest of 4 girls.  There's 7, 10 and 12 years difference between me and my sisters.  So while I had sisters I didn't get to do the "sister thing" really until I was older and the age gap wasn't so noticeable.  I did get to hang around them alot, tho I think not always their choice and I can remember a few bedroom doors shutting in my face.  Sister number 1 got to take me as a 4 year old on her dates with her boyfriend (now husband).  My brother-in-law said I would whinge to go with them and then whinge to go home...lucky them.

I remember when sister number 2 got a trendy hair cut when I was 11.  I know I said it looked nice but having her cut my hair in the same style wasn't really the best of ideas.  I went from having long hair in pigtails to short hair with wispy bits around the nape of my neck.  Of course the boys at school took about 5 seconds to give me a new nickname "Coconut Head".

Sister number 3 had the joy of sharing a bedroom with me until number 2 got married.  I hated sleeping in my own room and use to creep into hers and hide.  Sister number 3 also had to supervise me after school.  I've heard many times what a pain I was - I don't remember being painful so obviously it didn't happen.

But let's get onto the "Beauty mirror"...  Sister number 1 had a special mirror.  It had 3 light settings - normal, day and night, each light gave you a different perception of your skin and helped you do your make-up to suit the occasion.  I loved the "normal' setting - it showed up every bit on your skin and if you turned the mirror to the other side it enlarged your face, just what you needed when you plucked your eyebrows.  I haven't thought about the mirror for years until Wednesday when by some fluke of light my bathroom mirror became that beauty mirror of my sisters.  Unfortunately it wasn't the soft 'night' light but on normal and the enlarged side.  It was a not so gentle reminder that the picture of me in my head doesn't quite match the picture in the mirror.  Where did those 'grandma' hairs come from, when did my skin get blotchy and lines - who drew those????  It did force me to have a serious chat to the boys...I'm not fussed if I need to go to a nursing home when I get older but they must make sure that someone plucks those 'grandma' hairs off my face when I can no longer do it myself. Will they remember?  Fingers crossed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bookclub - "The Slap"

We had bookclub last night at M's house.  Sadly I missed the first part of the get together - taking minutes at a cricket meeting while standing up at the cricket nets!  In fact I missed most of the chatter about the book - got in a couple of comments tho. 

Bookclub really is the highlight of the month for me.  While we are different in many ways we all blend together, a bit like the ingredients in a fantastic dessert.   Although the dessert's not quite the same if one ingredient is missing.

M made a chocolate cake for dessert - served with cream.  It was divine in it's simplicity. No fussiness just beautiful, light and fresh.

After dessert and a cuppa V unveiled the next book - "Marley and Me" by John Grogan.  It's always a bonus when you haven't read the book before nor have I seen the movie.

I'm looking forward to reading it as we have 2 puppies who are forever up to mischief but also bring us a lot of love and joy.

Hope you all get to eat a divine piece of cake this weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"grown up and gorgeous in your 40's" - Health and Living

Second to last chapter talks mainly about menopause, perimenopause and cancer.  Quite a short chapter actually.  Obviously it was easier to write about cosmetic surgery etc. than talk about health issues.

Looks like they've left the best till the last chapter - "living".   Already love the comment "Do the weekends pass in a blur while you rush around just trying to get on top of things so you can hurtle to work again on Monday?'  Yes they do.  How about yours?  There's a little quiz to do and some goals to set.

I love this one - "Be selfish...people who are selfish live longer."  Doesn't that go against what we've been taught.  But their idea of being selfish is to stay in bed for an hour longer or watch a movie in bed, buy a couple of magazines to read or drop into a local coffee shop.  I think I could do that sort of selfish.

Lots of gems to read in this chapter.  Finally from my $1 bargain - 5 tips for preserving emotional energy.

"1.  You are not responsible for the happiness of others...
2.  For some people complaining is just a habit...
3.  Don't feel obliged to say yes...
4.  Don't do favours that are beyond the call...
5.  Practise saying 'no" nicely." 

Bookclub tonight, yippee!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"grown up and gorgeous in your 40's" - Body

"At 40 you have a mission:  to make sure that you slim down to racing weight so you can emerge from menopause looking svelte and superb"...  Tough opening comments for this chapter.  And yes, each year just a little bit of extra weight slips around the middle and stays.  I can tell when I've been really naughty as to how close to the ground I can get when we do the "up and down" song at work or how close I can get my knees to my chest when we do "Humpty Dumpty".  

We all know what to do, but it's a case of finding the desire to do it.  They have a little box called the "Balancing Act" - one glass of wine = 15 minute jog; a dark chocolate truffle = 30 minutes walking the dog or how about a magnum ice cream = 15 hours pushing a child in a stroller.  Obviously the magnum is for me and sadly I won't be able to exercise that one off because I don't have a stroller or a child that would fit in one. 

Alcohol is of course a lovely way to wind down but a great way to put on weight.  They suggest some nights to have a sparkling water instead.  I did actually restock the sparkling water today while doing the grocery shopping.  I have tried this suggestion and yes it works for a while but then it's not quite the same is it? 

Every school holidays I try to kid myself into thinking that "These holidays I'll make sure I exercise and keep up my stretching".  I even bought a Wii with Wii fit to help.  Now I only tend to use it to see what my weight is.  I do love the way it can tell me exactly how many days since I last got it out and I still get a laugh when it pretends not to know me because I haven't used it for so long.

Oh well maybe off to bed to get  a good night's sleep as the book says 'lack of sleep increases the levels of hunger hormone and decreases the levels of hormone that makes you feel full'.  Maybe that's where I've been going wrong.

Sweet dreams.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"grown up and gorgeous in your 40's" - Wardrobe

Breezed through this section cause "I know that"...just a shame I didn't remember it when purchasing some of those disasters hanging in the wardrobe.  Is it any wonder Richard doesn't understand my "I've got nothing to wear" when there seems to be plenty hanging up in the wardrobe. 

While dark hair is a no no as it will age us, dark jeans or trousers are a yes yes as it will make us look slimmer.  There is also 7 tips for buying shoes.  I so miss the "no kids days" when it comes to shoes.  I had shoes for every occasion and then some...not quite in the Imelda Marcos league but more shoes than I had room for.  I'll never forget Richard's face when I moved in and he opened the wardrobe and saw all those shoes....good thing it took him a while to notice the handbags.

Other advice includes "Five 40's fashion faux-pas" and "Four bags you must have"... 

I've found that Mum is willing to share her opinion on "what's the go" the time I wore a singlet top and she told me that I was too old for that sort of top now and how could I forget her telling me that I was getting a "bit broad across the beam". Only a mother could get away with it.

If you want some more advice try "Top 10 Closet Must-Haves" by Oprah's stylist:

I scored a big 4 out of 10.

Next chapter for me to read is 'Body".  Do I bother??

Just for my friend R, here's my "profound" thought for the day:

"Blog like there's no tomorrow".

Happy reading.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"grown up and gorgeous" in your 40's

My sister and I have started Op Shopping together in the school holidays.  Sometimes one or both of my nieces will come too which is delightful as I don't have any girls to shop with.

This little book as you can see cost me the princely sum of $1.00 and today while hunting in the study for some minutes I found it...again...

Contents include beauty, wardrobe, body, health and living.

I started on the "beauty" section today and how depressing...I'm sure they're describing people in their 60's aren't they?  They suggest botox, brow lifts, liposuction, plasma resurfacing, Intense Pulse Light, Fraxel laser, and radiofrequency treatment.  There are a couple of sensible suggestions, quit smoking, use sunscreen, eat well and exfoliate.  If I do these and start on the first lot of suggestions I may be able to avoid plastic surgery or at least delay it!!!!  What a ray of sunshine that is....

Oh goodness now I'm losing my hair - well according to the book chances are it's starting to thin.  Yes, actually they're right but only because my hairdresser does it.  As for grey hair, I would actually agree with the book that it did start to go grey around 10-12 years ago...  They suggest "softer, lighter colours are kinder to the aging face".  Ok I think they may be onto something with the hair colour.

Looking forward to reading the chapter "wardrobe".

Enjoy your Sunday night and love the skin you're in!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spring rain

Thank goodness for spring rain.  While hunting around the garden on Thursday for demolished puppy toys, I spied a punnet of zucchini seedlings.  They were looking quite sick, probably something to do with being confined in the seedling tray and not being watered.  So I quickly got them into the ground and watered.  Didn't look much better the next morning but today after some consistent rain they've lifted their little heads.  Fingers crossed that I didn't leave it too late and that I'll get a good crop.

This is my latest book purchase, "Don Burke's Guide to Growing Organic Food".  I've got high hopes that with a little bit of help from Don I will actually have a little bit more success than usual.  I always get something from my vege garden but I'd really like more.  This season I've planted tomatoes, peas, corn, capsicum, and of course zucchini.  Now I just have to patiently tend to them, talk to them and remember to water them.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

In the garden this week.

I love our garden this time of the year and in autumn.  I love the way some trees are leafy and green and other trees are still waiting.

The trees above are as thick and dense as they'll get for the coming summer.  While the Chinese Elm starts at the top and bottom with new leaves then slowly fills in all over.

The pear tree is full of blossom while the apple tree has only just started this week.

And of course I love the fact that I planted only blue irises but now have yellow ones too!

I'm looking forward to using the hammock to read a few good books this summer.  How about you?  Do you have a favourite spot in the garden?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turning 17...

The eldest son turned 17 last week.  His first birthday where being with friends was more important.  He'd slept over at another party the night before. So we didn't get to wake him by singing or pretend that we'd not got him anything, no party preparations to do, just nothing.  He got home around 9.30am, had some food, went out to another friends, collected sleeping bag etc left behind at party, came home, ate, slept, ate (we went to KFC) and went out to a movie night.  And that was that...done for another year.  Thank God for puppies...they need me.

Here they both are helping me cook.  The eldest is just a bit younger than the character Hugo, in the book "The Slap" which by the way I've finished.  Did you or do you slap, smack or hit to discipline?  I worked out  that physical discipline wasn't going to be very successful for me...yes a quick smack got their attention and when they wouldn't go to their room for timeout I could carry them there but...they were going to be bigger than me.  We did the counting method.. 1, 2,'s nearly 3 and yes sometimes I counted in quarters too - two and quarter, two and a half, two and three-quarters...lucky me I rarely got to 3.  We used our "parent voice" and gave them "the look" and the "time out" which of course relied on counting, voice and look to get them to their bedroom when they were up to mischief.  When they were older threatening to confiscate goodies, not take them to sport or "ground them" worked a treat too.  Fortunately we've not yet had to ground either of them - touch wood.

What about you as a child?  My Dad had the boniest hands and yes they hurt.  I remember coming home late from a play and trying to sneak in.  Dad was behind the door and I got one fair and square on the bum.  Not sure what was worse, the smack or the fact that I didn't think he'd be there. I do remember a smacked bottom from Mum when I wouldn't go to the babysitters and she was trying to go to work.  I think I would of been under 4 because the babysitter changed when I started kindy.  I also remember a slap across the cheek, around 10 years old, I must of really been pushing some buttons that day, and just laughing at her with a "that didn't hurt".  Meanwhile thinking  "Mum hit me", I was totally floored. But the best one was being chased down the street with my friend and her brother as their Mum pursued us with the wooden spoon.  Can't remember what we did but when they said "run", I ran.  Imagine doing that today.

Hope you're reading a good book. TTFN.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary

Sunday 7th October, 1990

Would you believe that we've been married 20 years.  Richard asked me to marry him on April Fool's Day, after midday, so it counted.  He thought we'd have a leisurely engagement but after knowing him for around 5 years I wasn't waiting any longer than necessary.  So 6 months later we became Mr and Mrs...

I tried my dress on at the 10 year anniversary and couldn't even get the zip half way up, hate to think about how much of me would fit in it now...I was only 47 kilos when I got married... My friend, M, tried hers on at the same time and yes she got the zip up.   How many dresses did you try on before you found "the one"?  I tried on some beauties - lol - glad Mum and Dad were with me on one occasion otherwise I would of looked like a ball of fluff.  Dad's face said it all and Mum's tactful "mmmm" confirmed Dad's face.   

We were married in St. Peter's Cathedral, North Adelaide, so I had one very long aisle to walk down and parade the dress.  Did momentarily look at another church but such a short aisle!

Several married couples in the book "The Slap".  Would I swap places with any of them?  No...never...not at all.  What I would like to do, is jump in the book and give them all a good slapping...  So many men you'd never take home to mother.

Happy reading.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Putting off the inevitable...

I know I've got to do it, how much longer can I put it off.  I really shouldn't allow someone else's opinion to influence me but it has.  Experience has taught me that sometimes the thing you're dreading the most is quite enjoyable once you do it.  So I've promised myself as soon as I've had a shower, done the dishes, put on some washing, done the ironing, and collected the dog business that I'll get started.  What is it?? "The Slap" by Christos Tsiolkas.  I borrowed it from a friend last summer, started it and then gave it back unfinished.  It was a struggle and because no-one else had liked it I gave up.  Now fate in the form of bookclub has bought it back to me.  So today is the today and fingers crossed that first impressions are wrong.

If you're looking for a book to read try "Room" by Emma Donoghue.  One review is "Room is a book to read in one sitting" and quite right a couple of us in bookclub did.  It's all about Jack and Ma who live in one room - eleven feet by eleven feet.  You'd like to think that it's a made up story but recent times have proven that it happens.  It was one of those books that I had to read a page in the middle and a paragraph at the end just to make sure that I could continue to read it.  Fortunately neither cheat gave away the ending. 

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