Sunday, 28 July 2013

Finding Order in the Chaos

There is one thing as sure as the sun will set...I am a hoarder.

I keep everything, you know; just in case! ( I might NEED a concert ticket from 1996 one day !!!)

A revelation a few weeks ago made me realise my clutter is my security blanket, the people that love me tolerate it and it keeps me safe by giving me a physical reason not to have friends visit me at home, yep I like my solitude that much. 

But I am changing and I would like to be able to invite my friends over without being embarrassed about my mess. To come home and relax, not look around and feel more tense. I want to feel like I am in a haven when I am home, not a hellish nightmare.

So I pin storage solutions on Pinterest.

Next I read cleaning/decluttering/organising blogs to inspire me and give me ideas on how and where to start.
On lady suggested that you remove one thing from each room every week... ain't nobody got time for that.

Though I did start small, with my spectacles.... I still have every pair of glasses I have ever worn and I started wearing them when I was about 8! Getting rid of something like this you would think is an easy task, I was ok until I walked into the optometrists to donate them for reuse in third world countries and the dispensing technician says "Oh wow, these are just like the current season :insert designer I have never heard of: ,are you sure you don't want to keep them ?" "NO NO I don't...". Walks swiftly to the door before I was tempted to snatch glasses back.

I have also been working on reducing our wardrobes. What I discovered was; If we have lots of clothes, I wash less, but when I do wash, I have more things to wash, fold and put away. Therefore reduce the clothes, increase frequency of loads = easier management of laundry! 
This clean out yielded 7 garbage bags of clothes for the Charity Shop.

This weekend however was the big project weekend, toys.
Miss L, JD and I set to work we made 3 piles "TO KEEP", "TO BIN", "TO CHARITY"
Now trying to explain to a 7 year old and a 5 year old that they have too many toys is difficult enough, but trying to get then to part with them was even more of a challenge.
So we started off talking about kids who's mum's and dad's maybe can't afford to buy them new toys, for whatever reason and that wouldn't it be lovely is the Charity Shop had some nice toys for these families to buy especially with Christmas just around the corner.  This seemed to encourage them. I explained the importance of throwing away the broken stuff and the things with missing pieces, because lets be honest no one wants these things and our piles of things grew larger and larger.
I am so proud of my children's ability to let go of the things we no longer use or need. 

We packed it all into the back of the Mr's van and he is going to deliver it for us tomorrow! 

Suddenly I don't feel sad about letting these things go, because I know that they will go to better use thatn gathering dust here. The toys will entertain other small children, the clothes will keep a less fortunate child warm and a mum might find herself a nice frock to wear. If our pre-loved things can make someone else smile, I will be happy.

We are still not finished this epic project, but when we are you will see the pictures here :) 

Goodbye Clothes

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Victory Rolls and a little person inside my coat ! 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Men; as a general rule aren't great with fashion. So when the Mr presented me with the gift of a Wool jacket you can understand my nerves, would I have to wear a horrible jacket for the rest of winter just to make him happy ?
Apparently not, because he has fantastic taste !
Today I started the day in my new double breasted wool jacket, it is so toasty warm on chilly mornings. Then I peeked off to reveal my oriental floral dress and cardi!
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

From Gosine to Mr O'Ceirin

The Grafton Cup, it's more than just a day at the races.
It's an institution, it's a tradition.

I can recall as a youngster,  that there were a  few occasions that my mother would dress my brother and I in our very best and take us along to the running of the Cup.
Back then, things were civilised, Ladies dressed like ladies and Gents wore suits and ties and carried the form guide in the breast pocket of their jackets.
We would picnic on the lawns and watch the horses.

Somewhere between the 80's and the 00's things went to shit. Girls dressed like whores and Boys wore jeans and T-shirts, style became completely lost. I can safely say I have never worn a dress above my knees to the races, I can not say the same for others.

There were a few years between say 2000 and 2004 where my recollections of the Cup are somewhat hazy, I don't remember seeing horses and the memories end with my friends and I dancing shoeless on tables in local bars, we were not particularly lady-like.

I have tried to make it to the Cup over the years since my children were born, but usually not making too much effort, just throwing together an outfit and tagging along with friends on the day.

This year was a little different.

It was the 100th running of the Cup. NOT the 100th year of it's running as one local business is currently displaying on their window ... * headdesk * Grafton Travel; you fail.

The Grafton Cup was first run in 1910, with Gosine leading the pack to the post in a glorious victory.
However, the Cup was not run in 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 due to World War II, clearly the country was too preoccupied to be bother with the triviality of a little horse race, and rightfully so I say.

A very kind invitation from a very generous Gentleman, made this year a little more special.
I was invited to attend  the Cup by the Mr and we were graciously accompanied by the 2012 Best Dressed Lady and the soon to be 2013 Best Dressed Vintage Mr.

This was big! I needed an outfit worthy of Miss Best Dressed's company.
I pulled together a 1920' Gatsby inspired outfit, from various stores in the Northern Rivers, I added some vintage and some new sparkly jewels and some finger waves and I was ready to go.
I assisted the Mr with the purchase of a velvet dinner jacket and paisley tie. I think we looked smashing.

None of this however, should distract from the actual purpose of the day; the Cup. I excitedly stood pressed between the fence and the Mr's chest as Mr O'Ceirin galloped to victory in the big race.

I enjoyed the day, but the evening was wonderful also. Rather than fight with the crowds for a table in Grafton, we stole away to Châteaux Alexander in Coffs Harbour.
We dined at Amalfi's a delightful little Italian restaurant then retreated to our mountain top hideaway, with its 240 degree views of the Pacific Ocean.

Such a perfect day. Thank you Grafton Cup, and Thank you Mr x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Music soothes the savage beast.

I am pretty sure that when William Congreve coined the original version of this phase in 1697, he probably hadn't anticipated it carrying through the centuries.

A road trip discussion this evening made my mind tick over and my spotify account go nuts.

Why do we love the music we love?

I listen to a lot of music, and I am not embarrassed to say my CD collection includes everything from Brittany Spears to Pantera, Martha and the Vandellas to Black Sabbath and Johnny Cash to Nirvana.

All these performers have made it into the collection because at some point in time their music spoke to my heart; they said something meaningful,  they made me feel a certain way, or made me STOP feeling a certain way.

The general consensus of the discussion was that I like music because of the belief that the artist has in their delivery of the song, and not necessarily their skill as a musician, basically all they have to do is convince me that they mean what they are saying.
Needless to say, this doesn't go down to well with the Mr, being a musician, he is all about the skill and the talent. He doesn't seem to understand that I am happy to listen to Donita Sparks wail about being fast and frightening, because damn it I wanna be fast and frightening too or that Billy Corgan brings tears to my eyes when he sings Beautiful or that when the Yeah Yeah Yeah's sing MAPS, I have felt how Karen O feels about Angus.

I use music to pick me up when I am depressed, I use music to rage when there is not other way to get the anger out, I use music to motivate me when I exercise because I feel like a champion when I jog in time to the track, I use music to calm me down if I am feeling hypo-manic. Basically there is not a time in my life that music does not have a role.

My dream would be if I could have a constant soundtrack to my life, played loud on a boom box that is being carried by Eric Erlandson*, so everyone else knew what I was feeling at any given moment.

Basically if I am listening to Shit List, you probably need to leave me alone..... well you get the picture.

*I figure Eric has been Courtney's bitch for long enough, he needs a new master.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

When you are on a winning team

I feel like I have spent a lifetime, playing away games on a losing team.
Today I realised, I still play a lot of away games, but now I am on a winning team.

The highlights included lunch with the Mr's Mumma and Pappa at Henry's Bakery in Lismore,
buying new boots that have glitter on them, laying topless in the glorious winter sunshine, afternoon lounging in bed and a ton of laughter.

But it was tonight that I realised that I was on the winning team.
Mr and I had our A-game on and in a coordinated effort we created one of the most delicious meals
I have ever experienced.

We commenced with an entrée of Tiger bread bruschetta, fresh tomato's from the Mr's Mumma's garden.
Followed by Spaghetti Bolognese with fresh grated cheese.
And finally pecan pie, made completely from scratch.
We nervously but enthusiastically started with out making pastry, together we learnt about pastry consistency dough,  the need to rest pastry and blind baking.
There were some missteps, like me putting the butter in the filling mix and forgetting to melt it, which led to me picking the butter back out so we could melt it.
but the end product was delicious, and hell that is what it is all about.

It was a glorious kitchen adventure and I look forward to so many more.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Today was for warm cables and pansies