Fashion Friday

This is where we indulge in a little fantasy. We put aside the hum drum daily tasks, and let our mind wander .
Today we’re talking about my current “girl crush” Amal Clooney. The women has style!!

Sure she has the money to buy anything her heart desires, and designers would no doubt be tossing clothes at her from every angle, but she manages to maintain an edginess that is uniquely her own style. I think her style also gives us an insight into her personality. I love the fact that every time I see her in the media I’m gently reminded that there is so much more to her than just looking good in clothes and there might be bigger issues in the world that what she’s wearing. Maybe that’s part of how she uses fashion & the media to her advantage. Her way of taking some of the light off herself and shining it onto the issue of human rights. I can’t imagine anyone who has been privy to the details of human atrocities as she has, could take herself or fashion that seriously. I also don’t think she could care less about what we thought of her fashion choices.

Her work wardrobe it is a no brainer. She sticks with simple suits and beautifully tailored dresses. These are the go to pieces for any professional women. No time wasted trying to work out what goes with what. An assortment of shoes & handbags easily matched to any of the suits or dresses. I very stylish “capsule wardrobe” if you like. This is a women who knows she will be photographed and critiqued from every angle. The only aspect she leaves for discussion is if we personally like the outfit or not. End of story. On with the real business. Human Rights.

Her casual wardrobe shows a more fun side. I think she has a really cool style. More rock chic that human rights lawyer that’s for sure….

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Another Job for Winter

There is nothing I love more in winter than sitting in front of the fire and gazing into the flames. The  warmth seems to reach into every corner of the room. What I dont love is the extra work that it creates. Aside from the work involved in collecting and stacking the fire wood, there is the monotonous task of cleaning it out each day and re-setting it.
I’m not sure if it’s the type of wood that is being burnt or the effect of a slow smouldering fire that causes the glass to turn black. Whatever it is, it’s a nightmare to clean. Over the years I’ve tried many different methods of cleaning it off. Hot soapy water, Gumption, vinegar & bi carb soda. None really worked that well and they all made a huge mess. Then out of the blue my Mum gave me the secret recipe. In my world this is what’s known as a “Game Changer”.

Take a few pieces of newspaper, scrunch them up then dampen them slightly with plain old water. Dip it into the cold ash at the bottom of the fire. Using a circular motion wipe the inside of the glass. Hey Presto! The ash makes a fine abrasive paste that takes off the burnt on black soot.

 It might take a few pieces of paper to get it totally clean, but I just throw them into the fire and they dry out by the time you need to re light the fire. If you do this at the first sign of discoloration then it’s a 2 second job.

 

 

Week Of Wild Weather

Wow! Can we just take a moment to reflect on this week of crazy weather? I mean really enough already.

Monday & Tuesday saw us flooded out of the farm. The creeks came up so quickly. I feel nobody was really prepared for this flood. Previously when we’ve had flood warnings or the creeks are “up” and they predict more heavy rain you assume that flooding is likely so you get yourself prepared. Add wind gust of over 100klm per hour and its serious stuff.  Come Friday the water levels had dropped so we were able to get into the farm to asses any damage. Luckily there was no damage to the house or villas, and we only had a few trees down across the fire trails. Others in the Hunter Valley were not so lucky. Tragically 4 people were killed in flood waters and may people lost their homes.
Due to the widespread damage across the region it took 7 days for the power to be restored.

 
Saturday afternoon brought the second wave of freaky weather in the form of a hail storm. Sydney was hit the worst, but we got a light covering of hail that made the paddocks look like a winter wonderland.

 
Some of these photos are mine, others I’ve taken from the Wollombi Fire & Flood Face Book page. The FB page is run by volunteers who do the most amazing job in keeping people connected in times of crisis. Community spirit at its best!
 

Old is new again.

What’s that old saying?…”the more things change the more they stay the same”.

A few years ago we were offered an old vacuum cleaner. At first I said no. We already had a vacuum that we left in the shed along with a host of cleaning stuff for the villas. If I needed a vacuum for the house I’d just walk up and get it. Then I had second thoughts. We only have carpet in the bedrooms so I didn’t need it that often. The vacuum was in perfect working order, and it had all the extra attachment even one called a “Power Head”. Perfect for all that 60’s shag pile carpet! So then I relented and said yes. It would be handy to have in the house. Trent was not so convinced, but as ever he was very supportive. He even managed to find a new connector for the hose on e-bay. Seriously is their nothing you can’t buy in e-bay?
I nick named her Betty Draper.

The first few times I did the vacuuming with Betty, it was a bit of a laugh. I could imagine house proud women of the 1950’s being totally in awe of Betty. After a few uses I could also see why housewives of the 1950 loved a “Bex and a good lie down”! Betty wasn’t actually that old, probably a child of the ’70’s more than the ’50’s but never the less, Betty was hard work. None of the extra piece were ever on hand when I needed them so I was forever walking back to the last room to retrieve the missing bit. The power head attachment was fantastic but it required an extra cord to be plugged into the vacuum for it to work. She was big, noisy and cumbersome but I persevered because she was free and it wasn’t like I was using her that often. But then I was. Our love affair went downhill fast.

Enter her replacement. I named her Ruby. Because she’s red. Original name I know.

Ruby Meile is compact, quiet and whooshes around behind me like a ghost. All of the attachment are hidden on board, and she has 3 power head options. Realistically I’m never going to be THAT type of house proud person, so the additional 2 are still in the box. I didn’t pay extra for them, they just came with the vacuum. I wonder if Betty’s attachments were optional extras?
I guess the bit that made me laugh was the fact that even though Betty still did the job, I wanted Ruby.  She was easier to lug around, smaller and with whiz bang air filters, defiantly better for my health…We women can justify anything can’t we?
I had succumbed to consumerism and clever marketing. Much like Betty’s original owner I suspect.  I could have persevered with Betty until the very end, but seriously vacuuming is a dull thankless job at the best of times. Why prolong the pain?

Winter Wardrobe

It’s February and there is the tiny hint of change in the air. The nights are getting cooler and a few of the leaves have started to dry out and slowly change colour. I cant wait for winter. Crazy? Maybe, but it’s my favourite season. I love everything about winter.
The “first drop” of winter fashion has started to arrive in stores. This is my signal to start sorting.  What I have, what I need and what I want. Over the years I’ve developed my own style. The outfit’s I wear time and time again. The things that work for me and suit my lifestyle. It’s one of the many things I enjoy about getting older. No longer do I feel the need to spend a small fortune on this season must have. I might pick one or two things replace something that is worn out or add a splash of this seasons colour, but overall I stick with what I know suits me and suits my lifestyle. I like the ease of winter layering. Starting with a simple silhouette of core pieces then adding scarves, jackets, hats, gloves, and boots. So what are my core pieces for winter?
Weekend/casual wear will always be jeans or tights, a fine wool jumper and a jacket. Depending on what I’m doing I’ll wear boots or flats. I then pull the look together with a scarf.  I’ve also fallen hard for the poncho over the last few seasons. It’s a more relaxed and fun look than the jacket and it a great way to breath new life into the core basics. 

 

Looking at what women have been wearing in the northern hemisphere over winter I’m predicting cobalt blue as this season colour. 


I also noticed a lot of lace up shoes. I’m approaching this trend with caution. It could be tricky. Much like over the knee boot where it’s a fine line between chic and cheap, this flat lace  up could have you looking totally on trend or like you are wearing school shoes.

Valentines Day




I’m not sure how I feel about Valentines Day anymore…
Back in the day it was BIG news. Women would circle the reception desk in the office like sharks (me included) waiting for that elusive bunch of flowers to be delivered. So much was being written into that one bunch of flowers. So much importance was being placed on a single gift or some over the top declaration of love. I’m a born romantic. I think the majority of women are, but today when I think of Valentines Day my idea of romance is somewhat different.
I was trying to remember the most romantic thing that Trent had ever done for me. I cant think of one. Not because he has never done anything romantic, but because he has done SO MANY romantic things. Things that come entirely out of the blue. Things that prove time and time again that he “gets me”. He understands the real me. 
I remember many years ago, not long after we had purchases our first home. Money was tight and the work situation for both of us was a bit unstable. Trent came home one night and handed me a $10 raffle ticket. First prize was a yellow VW convertible and a $1000 shopping spree. He said that when he walked past and saw the car, it made him smile and  he could picture me driving it. I didnt win but I kept the ticket in my wallet for many years. Then there was the time he took my horse float for it’s rego inspection, on his day off, just so I woudlnt have to waste my time on the weekend. Small out of the blue gestures that meant so much more than a bunch of over priced roses. Of course he’s rather good on the grand gestures to. Imagine waking up on your Birthday and seeing a beautiful diamond ring sparkling at you from your bed side table. Yep, he’s got the grand gestures worked out as well. 
Happy Valentines Day everyone.

Summer Days. Heat & Humidity

Summer can be a very unforgiving season in the country. One year the talk is all about how dry it is and our desperate need for rain. The cost of hand feeding stock can be devastating to farmers.
 This year we have the opposite.  Heat and humidity. OMG!the humidity.  It sucks the life out of you like nothing else. On extreme days, any outside work is restricted to early morning or late afternoon. For all that bemoaning, there are some very big positives.  Add high rainfall to the heat & humidity and you have the best possible grass growing weather. Perfect for fat, content cattle and overflowing rain tanks. Not so perfect for keeping lawns & weeds under control.

35 mill of rain over 7 days + Average daytime temp of 32 degrees = Happy Farming.