Monday, 29 March 2010

First cold night

In a few months time I might be regretting ever saying this, but Saturday night I was a bit excited that it had finally cooled down enough to wear both boots and a jacket out to dinner.

I'm officially in love with this Boden dress, after having some initial doubts when I first received it. I love its breeziness. And the light material worked well with the leather jacket and boots.

First cold night

The only thing I had to think twice about was tights/boots combination. It's hard to tell from the picture as it's so dark, but I'm wearing dark blue tights, which I think looked good continuing on from the blue pattern in the dress. However when I tried adding grey boots into the mix, the blue and grey together just didn't look right to my eye. I don't know if my instincts were right, or if I'd have gotten used to it over the course of the evening. Maybe I'll have to try it again some other time.

First cold night

Doesn't my hair look all over the place? I think 6 months is officially too long to be without a haircut, so I'll have to remedy that soon.

And here's a bonus outfit from a few weeks ago featuring another light and breezy clothing item: a tunic top from H&M in Beijing. It kind of hurts my eyes looking at the pattern in this picture. Hope it doesn't have the same effect on others when I'm actually wearing it!

H&M tunic

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Things I love about Melbourne #1: TramTracker

Ok, so I kinda love the actual trams too, but so far my favourite thing about Melbourne's public transport network is the TramTracker application for the iPhone.

Image courtesy of iTunes store

It automatically detects which stops are closest to you right now, so if you're using it from home, it tells you how far the next tram is from home. No more faffing about looking up timeables, or waiting at a tram stop for 15 minutes. Heaven!

I just jumped on the iPhone bandwagon last week. So far this is handsdown the best application I have found for the iPhone.

Now if only my myki card would work more than 50% of this time, this whole tram-catching caper would be perfect!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Chicken & corn chowder

Yesterday I finally cooked one of my favourite soups of all time: Chicken & Corn Chowder.

During some cooler weather, I'd bought leeks from the South Melbourne Markets nearly 2 weeks ago, with the express intention of making this soup. Of course now it's warmed back up, and soup doesn't feel entirely appropriate, but I'm starting working nights again tonight, and sometimes at 4am in the morning you need something nourishing, warm and hearty to remind you that you are human despite being awake at an ungodly hour.

I was planning on cooking this on Monday night, so went to the fruit and veg shop, and the supermarket to pick up the few other bits and bobs apart from leeks that I needed to complete the recipe. Sadly I forgot to buy corn!

Chicken & corn chowder just wouldn't be the same without one of it's eponymous ingredients, so I had to hold off on making it until I had managed to procure that final, but vital ingredient.

Worth the wait though!

Chicken & corn chowder

Here's the recipe I used. I stumbled across the original at, and have fiddled with it just a teeny bit.

Chicken & corn chowder

Zippy Chicken Corn Chowder


  • 2-3 chicken breast fillets, cubed
  • olive oil, small amt for frying
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 4 cups frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tin light evaporated milk


  1. Saute chicken in olive oil in a big soup pot, until lightly browned; set aside and keep warm.
  2. In the same pan, saute the red pepper until tender. Add the leeks; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and paprika until blended. Gradually stir in the broth. Add the potatoes; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Stir in corn, Worcestershire sauce, salt, hot pepper sauce and reserved chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 5-8 minutes or until corn is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in cream and heat through (do not boil).
Easy huh? And so yum!

Chicken & corn chowder

exercise program day 1 (again)!

I can’t believe I missed out on exercising yesterday. And I was going so well too!!

Instead I did the following:

  • Went to physio – neck is close to being all sorted.
  • Traipsed around a shopping centre for 2 hours. Quite productive actually as I got both a new swimsuit and a brand new swimming cap!
  • Went out for St Pats. I’m living with an Irish lass – I had to!!

St Pats

And of course I wore green!!

But really, I could easily have squeezed in a 30 minute walk if I really wanted to, so it’s my own fault for not meeting this goal yet again. That just means more exercise for me coming up, doesn’t it?

Today was a good first day back though. I roadtested the new swimming gear and it passed with flying colours. No wardrobe malfunctions, I could see where I was going and I was able to leave the house just as soon as I’d put on sneakers, shorts and a bike helmet. No fuss.

Here’s the course I did today.

Notice there’s a bit of to-and-fro’ing at the start. I got halfway there before realising I’d forgotten my goggles, so rode back for them. Can you believe the lazy beastie inside of me seriously considered just buying a new pair there to solve the problem instead. I’m glad I talked myself out of that one!!

Then I swam 1.1km. Go me!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Body woes

Today's exercise:

Good exercise right? But I’m not feeling good.

When I awoke Thursday afternoon (I’m working nights this week, so I’ve been sleeping during the day) something was very wrong.

My neck and shoulders on both sides, but mainly the right were all locked up and sore. Panadol, Neurofen and a heatpack made no difference. Driving is painful, and to turn and look at something I basically have to turn my whole body, since I can’t rotate my neck.

I’d made a physio appt for Monday, because I thought the SI joint injury that plagued me throughout December was starting to return. Yesterday I called up and was lucky enough to be able to nab a Friday afternoon appointment slot someone had cancelled.

Physio dude was nice enough, but not as wonderful as my Wollongong physio. Or maybe I’m just grumpy to get the bad news. C2 joint is screwed up (thus the neck pain), my thoracic spine is tight due to bad posture causing shoulder pain. And my SI joint is out of alignment again, causing the hip flexor and knee pain I’ve been experiencing when walking.

I forced myself to go walking last night, and I don’t know if that was a good idea. By the end of the walk both hips were hurting and my knee was throbbing. And of course my neck felt no better. It’s probably the worst my body has ever felt.

Today it’s still all locked up despite painkillers and heat. I hope I magically wake up better tomorrow. I have another physio appointment on Wednesday, but I don’t know if I can wait until then.

I hope the walk today and the swim have loosened things up a bit. The walk was less painful than yesterday so I’m hoping that’s a good sign. The swimming was sore on the neck/right shoulder, but not unbearable.

As for the neck? If it’s still causing me grief tomorrow I’m going to treat myself to a massage. Boo!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

YLF challenge

Over on you look fab, there's another wardrobe challenge happening. I'm first up, having been challenged by the lovely Sarah to:
"try a look with trousers or trouser jeans while defining your waist line. If you don't have trousers or trouser jeans, a pencil skirt would be lovely. To make this a wee bit more challenging, try to incorporate at least one pattern, one textural element, and one "wow" accessory."
Talk about a challenge and a half! As an undeniably apple body shape, I *have* no waistline, and most of my wardrobe is spent trying to disguise that fact. My waist:hip ratio is > 90% - no waistline there baby! Surrendering the surrender of the waistline is enough of a challenge alone for me!

But I've endeavoured to rise to the challenge in two ways. Firstly with trouser jeans.

YLF challenge chain

Now for the challenge elements:
  • The buttoned-up waistcoat is an attempt to show the waist and "girdle" me up :)
  • The pattern is the houndstooth print on the Me Too Swann flats.
  • Textural elements? Hmmm do denim jeans, fabric/patent shoes and cotton tops count?
  • Wow accessory - new long-strand bead/pearl necklace from Target & cocktail ring from H&M.
Next I wanted to try surrendering the waist with the new pleated skirt I bought from Cue. For bonus points I styled it 2 ways. This was a brilliant exercise for me to work out what tops I can wear with this skirt, something I had been wondering since I bought it the other day!

YLF challenge chain

Challenge elements:
  • Showing the waist: look, tucked top! Possibly a first ever! The pleats on the skirt pouf out my hips so make me look like I have a waist, yay!
  • Pattern: microfishnets (tenuous I know!)
  • Textural elements: microfishnets, leather shoes, ponte skirt, knit top
  • Wow accessory - red antique beads from Ecuador, black booties from Hong Kong
And the biggest challenge of all for me? Pencil skirt + belt. Something I have *never* tried before. This belt came with a Stella dress I bought last year and that's the only time I've ever worn it. Not sure if I would be game to wear this one out of the house, but it is fun!

YLF challenge chain

Challenge elements:
  • Showing the waist: pencil skirt + belt. Oh my!
  • Pattern: microfishnets, zebra print op
  • Textural elements: microfishnets, leather shoes, ponte skirt, patent belt, cotton top
  • Wow accessory - red BD booties, patent back belt
Whew, that was exhausting! :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

day 1 (again) - 9/3/10

Well I’m starting up the exercise for 30 days challenge (again)!

To make it fair to myself, I’m only doing this on days where I work less than 13.5 hours, otherwise there just isn’t time to do this and keep my sanity. Days like today where I’m doing a 10 hour shift it is manageable.

So this is only the second time I’ve gone jogging in Melbourne, but it’s a start, right?

My right knee is still not 100%, so I really need to get myself to see a physio. I’m hoping this isn’t a lingering symptom of the SI joint problems I was having in December, but there’s only one way to find out. That’s on tomorrow’s todo list.

Only 3km so far, but the only way is up right!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Colour quiz

I took this fun colour quiz as I sat drinking my morning hot lemon drink. For me its suprisingly accurate. Turns out I'm a red - who'd have thought?

Anyone else find this quiz to be exceptionally accurate?

RIP emerald shoes

Well it's been a long time between blog posts. I'm not going to make too many apologies, and I don't have too much time right now to update on everything that has happened in the last month (I'll try and do that soon).

I have officially moved to Melbourne, just so you know that all forthcoming posts are coming from the deep South :)

What has prompted today's post is the death of my beloved green pointy toed flats. I got these custom made in Vietnam and have worn them to bits. They're not real leather, but they are as comfy as a pair of slippers (although a bit sweatier).

Emerald green shoes

Unfortunately their lack of quality is truly showing as they are not withstanding the test of time to the point at which I fear a wardrobe malfunction every time I put them on. The toes are scuffed, and the stitching on the heel is fraying apart. I fear they are now officially unwearable, so I'm turfing them.

The dilemna now, is how am I going to replace them? An online search of, zappos and endless have all failed to find me anything approximating these beauties. The closest thing I have found is these Mia Hepburn flats, but they are turquoise rather than emerald, and lack the fun detail my current pair sport on the front.

Do you know of anything closer to what I'm after? Should I settle for the Mias or keep on looking for my perfect emerald pair?

p.s. the photo above highlights how well my current pair match the dining chairs that I bought at an Op Shop last week. I loooooove Melbourne Op Shops!!