Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ring In 2012

Self walking tour around Zurich 2006.
End of year is nigh.
My new years resolution is to take this walk again Christmas 2012.
Do you have a new years resolution?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Latest Aquisitions - Sparkley Cardi

I've  been wanting a sparkley jumper for a while but couldn't find one that was to my taste - sparkley but not too over the top.  Finally after searching everywhere I bit the bullet and went to Alannah Hill.  They stock the loveliest sparkley things for a price I usually find excessive, but at least I know I'm paying for quality.  I couldn't find a jumper, but spotted a cardigan and fell in love.
This photo is of abysmal quality so I put it on and took a couple of close ups.

Now I have something to wear that's simple but just a little bit fancy when I go out to lunch or dinner.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Christmas and all's quiet.

We had a relatively quiet boxing day yesterday.  I did want to look at the sales, but couldn't face the crowds.  We compromised and went to Glebe where it was relatively quiet, but with a few book stores and cafes open.

I played with my phone camera settings again while waiting out the back of a book store for daughter to finish in the bathroom.

After eating our fill we went down the road a little and around the corner and landed in Broadway where it was so much busier.
I bought a couple of essentials and some clothes for daughter  and had to leave because the crowds were starting to make us feel claustrophobic.

Then we came home and I played more with my phone camera out in our garden.  One day I'll remember what to do to get the right effect with colour, texture, shade background.  Maybe I should have bought myself a proper camera and some lessons?

Boxing Day Sales!

I hope everyone had a lovely, safe and happy Christmas.
I for one am happy with some bargains I scored, though these were pre Christmas purchases.

Hubby saw these gorgeous bracelets on Cudo for $29 for the set.  I couldn't resist - after all I hadn't bought myself a present yet.

I also saw this sweet little pair of espradrilles at Brookvale for $5 and just had to grab them.

With these bargains up my sleeve I really didn't need to head into the city today for the Boxing Day sales.  But I can't let a bargain go by so I skipped into Broadway and picked up two cute singlet tops to go with the pj bottoms hubby got me for Christmas for $6.  Then, after grabbing a pair of jeans and a skater dress for my daughter I had to hoof it out of there as the crowds just got to me.
I think I'm still recovering from all that pink champagne and roast chicken from yesterday.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Countdown Begins. Gluhwine Anyone?

 The day before the day before Christmas Eve.  Now that's taking the countdown to extremes but I can't help it.  I always have so much fun this time of year.  Hubby, daughter and daughter's friend have taken off for some last minute Christmas shopping and I'm sitting here with the lights glowing.  My Christmas candle lit in the window, the Chanukah candles ready to be lit when they come home.  And NO TV on.  Bliss.  Perusing through the recipe for mulled wine, to make sure I had all the ingredients, brought back more holiday memories.
The first time I tasted Gluhwein was Christmas 1999 on my first holiday to Switzerland.  And I've been trying to replicate that experience since.  I guess I'll never get it right, because it was the atmosphere as well as the wine, but I've come pretty close.  I've been making mulled wine every Christmas since.  I never took a photo of that first cup - never thought I'd have a blog, internet was still new in Oz - but I've posted some photos I took on a date I had with hubby 6 years later on our 3rd trip to Zurich, when we consumed more gluhwine.

We walked to the lake in Zurich clutching cups of gluhwine we just bought and spent ages watching the swans.  Swans are everywhere in Switzerland (well everywhere we seemed to go anyway) and are just delightful to watch.  So graceful and majestic - if sometimes a little clumsy on landing.  

These 3 I caught trying to take a nap amidst all the honking.  And then I spied these two lovebirds on the right and had to take their photo too. 

 Finally, as darkness fell we caught a tram to the movie theatre.  I spied a wonderful tram and remembered what my sister in law had told me about the fairytale trams.

 They are in use during the Christmas season only and they are only for children (and parents of course).  Brightly decorated in Christmas colours they trundle about the city.  The children sit inside and listen to stories read by a brightly coloured fairy.  On Christmas Eve, Santa is also aboard giving out little gifts.  We never went on one of these trams as our daughter didn't speak Swiss and wouldn't have appreciated it as much as other kids.  The photo I was too dark so I found this on the internet.  Unfortunately I can no longer remember where I got it from - but needless to say it's not mine.  I wish it was.

We drank more gluhwine and caught the train home. 

A perfect date.

If I don't get a chance to post again before Christmas, have a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas and Chanukah, and a Happy New Year.



A quickie before the holidays

This will probably be my last post before Christmas.  My life is taken up with compiling lists , organising menus, decorating and shopping.
And I'm having a blast.
So for a last little peak into the life of the closet queen (that sounded so much better in my head - note to self, New Year think of another nickname for myself) I will post a photo that has appeared before, but also works wonderfully here.
I've checked the weather report and it's rain all the way through Christmas, well at least that's the case for Sydney, but I have a feeling that the rest of the East Coast will suffer similar.  So the essential fashion items I will be schlepping about in my are my trusty wellies and umbrella.  Now I see hundreds of black umbrellas about and similar coloured wellies, and I wonder to myself "isn't this weather dull enough?"  Put a little colour into your wet weather gear and not only will you stand out for any oncoming traffic, but you will also feel a little brighter.  My ultimate favourite colour is cherry red, but I opted for purple when selecting my boots and brolly.  I guess I was feeling a tad rebellious at the time.  My wellies I purchased in a little corner store in Dee Why for a song, the brolly however cost $30 in Avalon.  A stupidly expensive price for a compact brolly (well I thought so anyway) but I did love the design.  You can pick up beautifully coloured umbrellas at any pharmacy for $10 and they will look just as great.
So now you can splash through the happy season without worrying about avoiding life's puddles.
Picture taken by hubby in Munich
Happy Christmas everyone!

Photos taken by Moi unless otherwise credited.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Time To Make Your Holiday Lists People.

Here's a cute little picture I found while rummaging through photos, as I took a break from compiling my lists.  For yes people, I'm listing again (well not listing - I'm not sinking, but if you've read my previous posts you'd understand).  The picture was taken somewhere in Switzerland when we were on our way to a dinosaur museum.  If it was snowy it would be a perfect Christmas picture.  Unfortunately it wasn't a white Christmas that year but it was bloody cold!
Now back to my list.
Tree up - check
Presents bought and wrapped - check
Menu for Christmas dinner compiled - check
Bought ingredients - not yet but am doing that today
Menorah and candles up for Jewish component of family - check
Book gutter clean - EEK I need to do that today!!!
I feel there is something I've forgotten but I'm sure I'll remember at 3 in the morning.
On that note.........
Happy Christmas/Chanukah listing to you all.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sun's out - time to start packing!

Now the above photo is a tad dull but I wanted to at least try to demonstrate this post in picture form.
Today's post is handy hints and today's handy hint is packing your seasonal clothes.
For those of us gals living in the Southern Hemisphere we are in (what's laughingly called) Summer - though it's being a tad unseasonal.  Northern Hemisphere gals are in the throes of Winter.  So now is the time to pack away those items you won't be needing for a few months and create some much needed wardrobe space. (I hear my closet sighing with relief already)
Before you bid anything a fond but temporary farewell you need to make sure it's clean.  This means washing anything that needs to be washed and air dry if possible (Winter gals you have my permission to use the dryer).  Summer gals will need to send all Winter coats to the cleaners before packing.  However if your coat has been hanging in your closet with last years dry cleaning tag on it then by all means just pack it away - though I would recommend you think about donating it to charity if it's been hanging there for three plus months without being worn.  Just saying.............
Scarves, beanies, gloves etc will need to be washed too.  And please please PLEASE read the care instructions on all tags.  Some clothes are hand wash only, some are not to be dry cleaned, etc.  Read and act accordingly, and your faithful items will be fresh and ready for you next season.
Now packing.  I use the vacuum pack bags (see above) as you can fit a lot in, suck all the air out and it packs flat in your storage.  Howards Storage sell great ones called Space Bags, but you can pick up cheaper versions in various stores.  I've seen them in K-Mart, Big W, etc, and even in some cheap discount shops.  Shop around, they all pretty much work the same.  Plastic tubs with lids are also good and excellent for storing shoes.  The idea is to keep it air tight to keep out any nasties.
I pack away my boots in the Summer also, and to do this I just make sure all shoes are clean (that means cleaning the Winter mud off the heels girls).  Leather shoes I spray with a protector you can pick up from any shoe store, and lastly I stuff newspaper in the boot legs to keep their shape.  Then store in my container, click on the lid and VOILA!  Shoes are ready for next season.
 Now you have lots of lovely space in your closet.  Though if you're like me, you start to think it looks too bare and start filling it with new stuff.................

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Memories of holidays past - Rapperswil

Rapperswil. The kinderzoo (link in German) was closed but we had fun poking about the old medieval town centre and looking at the shops. The Christmas decorations were incredibly quaint and I've been trying to replicate the look in our house ever since - without success. It was so peaceful and so quiet even though it was a week day. So different from Sydney. Admittedly these shots were taken around lunch time when most businesses close to go home for lunch - another custom we don't have in Sydney. I think there's quite a few things we can learn from the Swiss.
There is a castle, and below that a monastery right on the shore of a lake.  You can't get better real estate if you tried.  A lot was closed because it was Winter, but I saw enough to make me want to come back in the warmer months.

The view was magnificent

Beautiful medieval houses

They keep deer here.

There is also a timber boardwalk that replaces the original ancient wooden bridge that crosses the lake.  A little chapel still stands there.


Swans everywhere added to the atmosphere of peace

Ceiling of chapel

Again the view was stunning

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wardrobe basics 101 - the T and the tank

I was going to write a post about trench coats a little closer to Autumn when the weather turns deliciously cool, however if this Autumn-like Summer weather doesn't let up I may do it earlier. Today however, we are focusing on T's and tanks.

I don't know about you but I'm not too fond of t-shirts with logos (unless it's a particularly cool rock n' roll T) or with not so funny sayings on the front. Give me a plain T or tank and I can pair it with anything. T's and tanks go with anything, shorts, jeans and even skirts, especially if it's a pretty print skirt. Wear them with a good quality necklace, or under a tux jacket or blazer. White tanks look great with beige pants, men's blazer and sandals. So cool and chic. Team a plain black t-shirt with white pants, open toed sandals and big sunglasses a la Jackie Onassis and you can't go wrong.

The best place to find your basic white t-shirt and tank top is Big W. It's best to go early in the season as they get snapped up fast! I always buy 2 in white (for the Murphy's law dirt attractor factor) and one each in navy, grey and black. Don't opt for bright colours - great for kiddies when you're trying to locate them at the beach, but not for us 'mature' gals.

And if you'll notice ladies, I've photographed these essentials on plastic hangers (not as good as wooden or padded hangers but better than wire), because as those fabulous femmes of fashion, Trinny and Susannah say, "Whether it came from Prada or Primark (or in our case Big W) it deserves a decent hanger.