Quote for Christmas : Gifts

Quote for Christmas : Gifts

“Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”

~ Oren Arnold

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Books, Bargains and Freo

Books, Bargains and Freo

Aghhghghhh!  A whole month has gone by and I have to go back to work tomorrow!  Ugh!  So unfair!  Why didn’t I win the lottery in that time?  Possibly because I didn’t buy a ticket, but hey, let’s not let reason and sense get in the way here!  I can’t believe four weeks has passed and I have little to show for it.  OK, so I have new-ish boobs (or, at least, smaller ones) which are healing nicely, thank you, but not much else has been accomplished.  To be fair, I wasn’t able to do much for the first couple of weeks, being sore and ouchy and so tired (I think my body just went “Ahhhhhhhhh” and wanted to recuperate and rest and sleep) but, really, I was hoping to get a few more things done.  To be honest, it was nice to be forced to relax and NOT do anything.  I actually read three whole books.  Woo!  I love reading but never take the time these days to actually curl up with a book and spend a hour or three lost in its pages.  I read “Sufficient Grace” by Amy Espeseth (oh so good – I couldn’t put it down), “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd (also excellent – my Mum read it straight after me and she loved it too), and “The End of the Alphabet” by C. S. Richardson (Oh, such a sad but beautiful book.  I finished it in a morning.   I made my Mum read this too and she also cried ha ha.  We are a pathetic pair).

These final few days, as I went into “Oh God I have to go back to work!” panic mode, I tried to pack as much entertainment and activity as possible, so as not to waste the time.  A couple of days were spent getting my house in order, doing mundane things like ironing, tidying up and sorting out paperwork (who am I kidding?  I just ended up watching thrifting haul videos on Youtube! There was no tidying or sorting!) and trying to get ready for the routine of the working week.

On Tuesday, I met my cousin for lunch and spent a nice afternoon with her, chatting and eating too much.  We dined at Yocal, one of my absolute fave places to eat.  Their menu is excellent – lots of vego and vegan choices, reasonably priced and the staff are super friendly.  It’s hip and cute and the food is DELICIOUS!  My cousin and I shared the Mushroom and Haloumi burger – so yummy!

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On Wednesday, after having my dressings removed and surgical wounds checked to make sure they were healing ok (they were, thankfully), I did a bit of op-shopping with Mum.  We visited 3 or 4 stores but neither of us had any luck in finding anything.

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We also went to a second-hand book store and found a few bargains there.  I got some nice decorating and craft books plus a handy guide to succulents.  I particularly liked the title of one of the books :

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Mum got some lovely gardening titles and a couple of novels.  We visited IKEA and had lunch before grabbing a few bits and pieces (can’t leave IKEA without getting SOMETHING) including some awesome journals with lovely blank pages, perfect for journaling or drawing or painting or whatever! (We just like notebooks – it’s a sickness).

On Thursday, Mum and I went down to the port town of Fremantle for the day.   Lots of lovely shops, markets and places to eat.  Our first stop was East West Design  – a treasure trove of furniture and home wares from every corner of the globe.

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We had not been before, but the owner is a friend of my cousin’s, so I had heard about it and was keen to have a look.  Oh Mylanta!  So many pretty things!  And it went for miles and miles!  The stock was floor to ceiling, pretty much, in a huge warehouse-size shop, with every taste catered for.  I spotted a cute little shelving unit, white and so pretty, as soon as I stepped in the door.  I really had to convince myself not to buy it, but in the end I knew I really had nowhere for it in my little house.  However, Mum did purchase a matching magazine rack that was really nice and will look great in her place.

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She also got a Buddha head – she’s been searching for one for ages.  It’s for her garden – this one was just the right size and colour and an amazingly inexpensive price.  Perfect.  The one pictured below was a very large version – nearly as tall as me and weighed a tonne (a bit like me ha ha).  It was $900…a bit out of our price range but I would love to have had it in MY garden!  Oh well, I know where to get one from if ever I come into money!

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Afterwards we pottered around Fremantle and had a look in some little shops, including the Oxfam store, which always has some lovely things.  Mum is currently redecorating her lounge room in blue and white so her eye was quickly drawn to the goodies on display here.  She ended up buying a little candle holder – so pretty and the blue is just right (you can see it in the photo below – second from the right, top right corner).

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Fremantle itself has some lovely street art, decorating even the most mundane of items, like rubbish bins and plant boxes.  Check out these gorgeous mosaic planters :

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I noticed that the majority of shops and cafes also had these recycled wood plant boxes – so rustic and chic! :

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 Even the boring old bollards on the corner of the street were jazzed up :

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We had a lovely day just walking around and window shopping, before heading home to beat the traffic.

Wish we could have more days like this – it’s so nice to just wander around, having nowhere you need to be and nothing urgent that needs doing.  If only pesky work didn’t get in the way all the time!

So it’s back to the grind for me tomorrow.  I am looking forward to seeing my workmates but not relishing the idea of getting up when it is cold and dark.  Ugh.  I should have been practicing my “getting up when the alarm goes off” routine but, alas, I have been sleeping in super late every day.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ll get used to the daily drudgery soon enough!

🙂

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

Happy Sunday all!  Boy the weeks are flying by – I can’t believe it will be Christmas again in just over four months!  We’ve been in our new place for 8 months now and soon will have to think about whether we want to continue with the lease or find somewhere else to rent.  I can’t bear the thought of moving again so I am trying to just not think about it at all!  I haven’t even unpacked all my packing boxes yet…

This week at work we had a High Tea fundraiser.  Each of our departments had a separate day to come up with a theme and organise food to go along with it (as reported in my post here) and our Client Services team decided to have a High Tea, complete with “vintage” stalls, raffles and “Best Dressed” competitions.  Cupcakes and thrift-shopping during work hours?  Don’t mind if I do!  Such a lot of work went into organising it and setting it all up on the day.  It all looked beautiful – the food was gorgeous and so pretty with everything from dainty cupcakes to scones, pastries and sandwiches, lots of different teas and champagne.  The ladies all did an amazing job and deserve a pat on the back.  Client Services is one of our busiest departments and I have no idea how they managed to find time to put together such a wonderful afternoon of treats and fun.

Here’s a few pics of the lovely goodies on offer…..

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Everything was so tempting…but I’ve been on a diet this week and trying desperately hard to be good and not eat naughty things.  I had a couple of tiny things – so delicious – and spent the rest of my time wandering about, taking photos and perusing the “vintage stalls”.  I picked up quite a few bargains (and only spent about $5!) and had to control myself in terms of spending or seeming a bit overexcited – you know me and shopping, especially anything that resembles op-shopping/thrifting.  There were some gorgeous items for sale – brand new pairs of shoes and lovely jewellery and accessories.  I bought a few necklaces that had nice beads on them…they’ve already been pulled apart and stored in my bead boxes to turn into other things later on.  I got this lovely bracelet, which I thought I would alter and make into a pendant:

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I also got a couple of rings – the paler one is way to big for me but I really liked it and so I got it anyway.  Maybe I can change it or make it into a brooch or something… I like the darker one – it looks kinda like marcasite (which I love) and is adjustable so I can make it fit my teeny fingers.  It does have a little stone missing but I’m sure I’ve got one I can just glue in there:

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I also got this bracelet (purely for the beads – I liked the stripey ones!):

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I picked out a pretty pink scarf for Mum…

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…and this “pearl” bracelet (again for the beads) for me:

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When all was said and done and packed up, the department raised about $1000 for Alzheimer’s Australia, which was pretty awesome.  They deserved to do well because they really went all out (and put the rest of our departments to shame – even though EVERYONE did a great job in their themes, this one really took the (cup)cake!).  At the end of the afternoon the ladies on the thrift stall said I could rummage through and have whatever I wanted for free, as they really didn’t want to pack it all up again.  I felt a bit weird about doing that so I offered to take it all to an op-shop for them instead.  That way I could get to go through it (great for me!) and also do them a favour and save them some work.  So that’s what I did yesterday.  Four boxes of stuff I had to go through!  Lots of jewellery has now been dissected and separated into nice beads, charms and findings.  There were some lovely shoes – brand new – but not in my size, so I had to let them go but I’ve got a couple of people in mind who might like them.  I also nabbed a couple of accessories for myself, such as…

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…this green brooch.  It looks sort of vintage although I’m quite sure it’s not.  I just liked the green colour.  I would definitely wear this.

This cuff bracelet – a bit chunkier than what I would normally wear…I always wear my plain silver bangle that my cousin gave me for my 30th.  It never comes off.  The only time I have taken it off is when I was in hospital – and then my cousin wore it for two months to keep it safe until I was discharged.  Anyway, I liked this cuff – it will go with a lot of things I wear…

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I also picked up this brooch which is definitely not vintage and probably not something I would wear (as it features gold and I never wear gold) but I like to have a few brooches on hand for tizzying up presents when I want some glam wrapping.  This will be perfect….

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I did get a few other bits and pieces, but I won’t bore you with everything.  Let’s just say I am a magpie and leave it at that (in other words, I collected lots of stuff).  There were a couple of pairs of very expensive shoes that I did contemplate putting on Ebay (I know, I’m dreadful) but then thought it would be better if I gave them to the op-shop.  Better that a charity get some money for them than my wallet!

Anyway, I’ve done NO CRAFTING this week due to a horrible, horrible neck and equally horrible stress and depression this week.  Haven’t been eating much at all so no cooking to show you either.  I’m an epic failure at blogging this week!  Hope my round up of “what I bought” suffices for this weekend’s post.  I am going out with friends for brunch today and so I’m hoping they lift my spirits and take my mind off things.  Friends are amazing that way 🙂

Hope your weekend is fun and fabulous!  Thanks for visiting 🙂

Book Heaven (or how to spend money VERY quickly)

Book Heaven (or how to spend money VERY quickly)

Today was the start of the annual Save the Children Fund‘s Book Sale.  It is an event my Mum and I look forward to with almost religious fervour.  We both love to read but also just love BOOKS – the look of them, the feel of them, the stories they tell, the warmth and personality they give to a room, how they keep you company on a cold winter’s night and, well, ok, I may have exaggerated there a little, but basically we lurve books.  The STCF Book Sale is so worth going to because the books are 2nd hand but generally in great condition and cheap, cheap, cheap (compared to regular retail prices which are getting ridiculously expensive, almost prohibitively so) and there’s tables and tables and boxes and stands of them in every genre, style and language.  Awesome-sauce!  Books are the one thing I do not feel guilty about buying.  I watch every penny I spend generally and am known as quite the cheapskate (in a good way – I just like a bargain and make my money stretch as far as I can.  An example of this is I bought a pair of shoes and a skirt for $3.50 this weekend) but, where books are concerned, I have no guilt.  My house is already over-flowing with the titles I already have.  My hubby and I have 6 large and 2 small bookcases that no longer can contain all the books we have collected.  So there are piles on the floor, teetering towers by the bookcases themselves and even more books shoved in any other space I can squeeze them into.  We just love to read (which you would expect from two library people – but it isn’t always that way, lots of library folks don’t (gasp!) read at all) and I personally hate getting rid of any book once I have finished it.  It’s like an old friend or something.  You don’t discard those  do you?  But, I’ve talked about my love of books before so…

Anyway, the Book Sale…ah, such a glorious thing it was.  It had obviously been very well advertised this year because it was crowded with people and they’ve already plundered quite a bit by the time we got there.  But never fear, new stocks were brought out and so there was pretty much an unending supply for us to sift through.  Yay!  My Mum and I quickly decided to divide and conquer so we split up and headed to separate ends of the hall.  Mum reads more crime & suspense fiction than I do (actually, I really DON’T read that stuff…only very occasionally) and I tend towards what would be known as “General” or “Litererary” in public libraries.  I like human tales – they can be set in any era and have any main subject but I like them to be very character driven and have a feel about them…I like to read about people’s lives and overcoming stuff and I also like a quirky plot and humour.  Actually, having just said all that, I will pretty much read anything except romance.  And even then, I will read romance if it it’s got some over sub-text going on.  I just like to read.

So, I quickly got a bag of books (13 titles in all) gathered up and luckily, many of them were under $5.  I got :

  • Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coelho
  •  Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry  (Have been meaning to read this one for ages…)
  • The Truth about Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell
  • The Reinvention of Ivy Brown by Roberta Taylor
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martell  (Again, another one I feel I should have read by now…)
  • The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx  (Ditto…)
  • The River Wife by Heather Rose
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle  (My doctor has been on at me to read this one – I have anxiety and stress issues!  I was happy paying $2 for it today rather than the $25.00)
  • The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Fish Castle by Elizabeth Stead
  • The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole by Stephanie Doyon

My Mum nabbed two big bagfuls and got about 20 books in total.  Pretty awesome.  The sale is on all week.  At the end of the week they sell things for half price or you can fill a box for $10…guess where I’ll be going at the end of the week?!  I didn’t even look at the non-fiction tables properly so I’m hoping to pick up a few craft, cooking or gardening books super cheap.

So now I have to re-organise my groaning shelves to accommodate the newbies…I may even bite the bullet and get rid of a few.  Maybe…