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A List of Things That I (Currently) Covet

6 Mar

Lots of stuff to blog about but I’ve been sick. =( I had a mild cold for like .. 2 days and then bronchitis for 2 weeks afterwards. The ensuing bronchitis is always so much worse than the cold. /sigh

White Oak Chopping Board by Jacob May.

Super expensive but I love buying deluxe versions of things I use every day (like my Mud Australia plates!) I can’t decide between the medium ($400 – regular chopping board size) or going for the large ($500).

JacobMay-CuttingBoards-061914-106

image from Jacob May

In general I’m thinking of upgrading some of my kitchen stuff – getting a new non-stick pan (my current one is missing a lot of teflon which I know is really bad), a new chef’s knife and paring knife, some new mixing bowls, and maybe a cast iron pan.

TSA Compliant Liquids Bag

On the less extravagant side of things, this re-usable liquids bag ($11.95) from The Clear Bag Store is a nice upgrade from the ziploc bags I normally use (but unfortunately out of stock).

CCB-01-AIR-800

image from The Clear Bag Store

Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag in Rosa

504753182_1_BagFront

image from Barneys

It doesn’t look like much but this bag looks really cute on. I already have a lot of bags so I don’t know if I could justify buying it for the price ($610).

Dariya Tshirt

dariya_black_4691_web_1024x1024

image from Amour Vert

This tshirt from Amour Vert – it’s nice and simple but with some detail that sets it apart from the other plain tshirts in my wardrobe. There was another shirt on the website I liked but it was dry clean only so I slowly backed away.

CB2 A Frame Shelf
a-frame-shelf

image from CB2

Shelves ($89.95) that double as art! I think maybe I’ll put these in the living room or possibly the TV/guest room.

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Dining Table Options

15 Jun

I am having first world dilemmas. I’ve wanted these Hans Wegner wishbone chairs for so long.

So when we came to the US, where the chairs are far cheaper, I knew I wanted to pick up a set as my “forever” dining chairs. We sat in them at the store, they were fine, and now I’m just waiting for them to go on sale. I know that the design stores have had them for up to 15% off, so I can wait until that comes along.

I’ve been hunting for a table to go with them. The Hans Wegner ones were like 4k+ and I didn’t love them nearly as much as I did the chairs so they were out. So here are the top contenders:

CB2 Dylan Dining Table ($999 + 9.5% tax = $1094)

image from CB2

From what I can tell from actual photos taken by customers the wood is slightly darker in these pictures than it is in real life. I love the sculptural side view of the table. And here is it lengthwise.

image from CB2

I’m worried that the table doesn’t match the Wegner chairs. Kieren pointed out that the table is quite industrial-looking with straight lines, whereas the Wegner chairs are whatever the opposite of industrial is, and curved.

I think maybe it’s a combination that could work – I mean, people possibly didn’t think Eames chairs and rustic farmhouse tables would work but now that combination is everywhere. But then I think that maybe I’m being blinded by my love of the table and the chairs since everyone I’ve polled doesn’t think the two would go together (though Cat is biased because she just hates the table).

Ikea Tranetorp Table ($339 + 9.5% tax = $371)

As far as I can tell this would work pretty well. It’s also oak so it should match the chairs (though maybe that’s too matchy-matchy). The main advantage of this table is that it’s cheap and it expands to fit extra people. Here it is in expanded form:

image from Ikea

Though I tend to wonder if we’d use it – we very rarely had people round for dinner (due to lack of space and many of our friends being allergic to cats). I do like having the option though.

The main con is that I don’t love the table. It’s everything I want on paper but it has that distinctive Ikea appearance which I’m trying to move away from (though our computer desks will be from Ikea – damn them and their super functional storage options).

Room & Board Ventura Extension Table ($1999 + 9.5% tax = $2189)

Like the Ikea table the Ventura expands to seat extra people. This is a photo of it in walnut with the extension:

image from Room & Board

Conveniently the chairs are Wishbone chairs (though in a yuckier wood that I don’t think works with the walnut) so I can get an idea of how they would look together. It basically seems to be a more expensive, aesthetically nicer alternative to the Ikea table (as is the DWR Bridge Extension table)

The Apartment

We move in on the 27th (possibly earlier if the tenant leaves sooner). Amazon are arranging for furniture rental until our sea shipment arrives. It’s due on July 7, though apparently it will be in customs for 5-10 business days so we’re expecting it towards the end of July.

We could choose what we wanted but we limited ourselves to a bed (and assorted sheets), 2 computer desks, 2 computer chairs, a nightstand and various lamps. (I know the lamps sound weird, but remember – no ceiling lights in the study and bedroom!)

I figured we could eat at our computer desks, and then we have space in the living area to store doubles towards the end of our rental when we buy our permanent furniture. Unfortunately that means you guys will be deprived of photos of our new place until I have everything prettily arranged. But this gives us some time to figure out what kind of furniture we want (and whether there will even be enough room for a big table).

I can’t wait to move to a place with hardwood floors (though I will miss the killer views at our current place).

Furniture!

20 Mar

Hypothetically if I had to buy new dining furniture in the near future (*nudge nudge wink wink*) this is what I would go for:

Hans Wegner Soaped Oak Wishbone Chair ($885)

image from Danish Design Store

Though I’m a little worried because some people have said they’re not the most comfortable (and in fact when I sent the photo to James the first thing he said was “looks uncomfortable!”. But every time I walk past a store that has them, I ooh and aah and promise myself that one day I will own a set of Wishbone chairs.

Hans Wegner CH327 Table ($4495)

The table is about 75″ which seems like a decent size for a dining table. I’m not really a fan of this warmer wood (I prefer the ashier wood in the above photo) but this was the best photo I could find of the table.

image from Danish Design Store

Sometimes the same wood colour can look a bit matchy matchy. I’ll have to see how the store down the road does it because their colour scheme is beautiful.

I also love the Hans Wegner Shell Chair and the Eames LCW but I think I might be pushing it with the dining set already. Though I could knock $2000 off the price of the table if we got a smaller one (plus we wouldn’t need as many chairs).

The more I think of the prospect of selling all the stuff we own, the more interested I am in owning only a few beautiful, well-made pieces. I guess I have to be vigilant about accumulating crap.

A Random Assortment of Recent Purchases

17 Nov

Because a pampered housewife’s shopping is never done!

Sigma Make Up Brushes

I picked up some make up brushes from Sigma ($48.60 USD with coupon + $11.39 for shipping). I was using the same (fairly crappy) brush for blush and bronzer, and it was time to upgrade. Their handles are too long for my travel makeup case, which is a bummer, but the bristles are lovely and soft.

image from Sigma Beauty

Mouse kept batting at the brushes so I had to hide them in my bathroom cupboard so they didn’t get ruined. If I don’t close the door properly, Mouse will open it and drag his favourite brush out. I’ve hidden them behind towels! I don’t know how he’s finding them. Sometimes I go into the bathroom and see him staring intently at the closed cupboard.

Adairs Bed Linen

I also bought some sheets from Adairs. I bought a set of off-white sheets (incidentally, to replace the sheets that Mouse ripped up),  a bath mat, plus an extra doona cover and a matching pillow set. I’m so in love with the doona set – it’s so soothing looking. =)

image from Adairs

The bed linen was fairly pricey – over $400 for everything – but despite wayward Mouse claws, I like having nice sheets. I don’t mind scrimping on some things, but the things I touch every day should be make me happy. =)

A Whole Bunch of Nyx Make Up From Cherry Culture

/sigh. I never learn. But it’s such great quality and everything was 40% off! I got like 12 things for $65 (including shipping), so even if just a couple work out I will consider it good value. I’ll do a blog post once everything arrives.

Hunger Games Trilogy

I’m trying to gradually stop buying paper books (except for cook books – I’ve tried them in e-book form and they just don’t work) so when I bought the Hunger Games Trilogy I picked up the kindle version. I bought them separately though, because it’s cheaper to buy the books individually rather than packaged in the trilogy.

image from Wikipedia

I’m trying to not buy things in the $60 range though, because I’m conscious that Christmas is coming up, and I know I’m a difficult person to buy for (apparently Ivanna always hopes she doesn’t get me when we do cousin kris kringle!) so I don’t want to make it harder for people. I did buy some cute summer dresses on eBay since my summer wardrobe is sadly lacking.

I’m also holding off on a couple of big purchases. I want a cute little netbook (waiting to see how Asus price the 1025CE when it comes out later this year) and also an underwater camera (looking at the Panasonic FT3 and FT10).

More Lululove

27 May

Retail therapy!

The weather is getting colder and none of my hoodies and jackets are warm enough for walking to the gym during some of the super chilly evenings we’ve been getting. I tried on the Scuba hoodie at Lululemon, and it was so warm. I like that it’s thick yet fitted, and I love the slits in the sleeve cuffs which create built-in fingerless gloves! And it zips up extra high to shield your neck, plus the hood stays on really well. That is the problem with my existing hoodies – they blow off if I’m walking too fast, let alone if it’s a windy day.

I didn’t like any of the colours at the Bourke St store, so I looked at some of the ones on the US site. As a bonus, they’re cheaper! $148 for the limited edition hoodie in Australia, and $108 USD (plus $30 USD flat rate shipping).

image from Lululemon

I prefer a grey hoodie I’ve seen where the Lululemon logo on the hood is in bright lime green (you can’t see it in the photos, but it’s just a dark grey on this hoodie), and I’m not crazy about the ruffles on the body, but I like the colour. Unless an awesome colour comes out in the next week or so I’ll probably buy this one to see me through the Winter. Then when I find one I like better I’ll buy that jacket and sell the old one (I can just picture James reading that part and frowning. Don’t worry James, Lululemon holds its value well on eBay!).

But anyway, since the shipping is flat rate, I decided that I may as well stock up.

I also want to pick up some more of the Cool Racerbacks, because the one that I currently own is my go-to workout top, and I’m always disappointed when it’s in the wash. They are $58 in the Australian stores and $38 USD online.

image from Lululemon

I also want to pick up one or two pairs of the crops to do nogi grappling in when I get better, but I haven’t decided which one(s).

I’m also lusting after the Energy bra ($48 USD, and I couldn’t find it at the Bourke St store). I love the straps at the back, but I think they may look a bit busy with the straps of most tops.

image from Lululemon

I’d actually prefer a coloured bra, since a lot of my workout clothes are black or grey, but I didn’t like any of the options, so I guess I’m going with black again.

Maybe I will have to satisfy my colour cravings with bright socks!

image from Lululemon

Nah, just kidding. I’m getting them in boring black and white. Easier to wash. The socks are actually pretty pricey – $14 USD, and I didn’t look for them in store so I don’t know how much they are in Australia.

New workout clothes always help me get pumped for training. Nothing has tweaked my shoulder recently (except when I swung my arms a bit too hard during box jumps) so I am optimistic about recovery. It should be another month or so before I am good as new.

Vitamix

3 May

At the home ideas expo there was a demonstration stand for a blender. Damo and Joan seemed inexplicably excited about it, and said that they had wanted one of them for awhile. I thought it was a bit strange since it was just a blender, but James and I humoured them and we watched the demonstration.

Oh. My. God.

Want.

This thing … it makes soup! You can put vegetables in whole and the Vitamix will puree everything. And if you blend it for long enough everything heats up and the blender makes soup! The guy blended it for a few minutes and the soup was so hot it burned my mouth.

You can also make ice creams and sorbets (I assume you don’t blend it as long and that’s why it doesn’t heat up. Or maybe it’s the addition of ice)

I did some research and the Vitamix is really popular with the raw food movement since it does minimal “cooking” of the vegetables so more nutrients are retained or something. You also don’t need to de-seed or de-stalk the vegetables so you get whatever good things are stored in there as well. But yeah, some of these people are really attached to their Vitamixes – they take the blenders on holiday with them!

image from Vitamix Australia

And you don’t need to remove the blades to clean it. All you need to do is put some detergent and soapy water in, then blend, rinse and dry. Cleaning blender blades is annoying, and the main reason I don’t use my blender more.

Joan snagged us some soup samples at the demonstration, but we didn’t get any of the smoothie and the sorbet he made (they were being hogged by some fat children). I want it just for the soup though – it didn’t taste like it was made in 5 minutes – it tasted like soups I’ve made where I’ve spent a couple of hours simmering everything and then chucked it in the blender to get that pureed consistency (which I don’t do a lot because of my blade-cleaning aversion).

He made a Thai curry soup, and instead of thickening it with coconut cream he chucked some cashews in. Mind. Boggled. Healthy, delicious and dead easy – the holy grail of cooking.

But yeah, the Vitamix is $895 which is pretty expensive for a blender (though it does come with a 7 year warranty). And given that we’ve spent something like $4000 in 3 weeks I felt like it was pushing it a bit to buy one. I was looking up demonstration videos on the website and James was laughing at me. He was like “are you working yourself into a frenzy of blender want?” (maybe)

But yeah, I’ll hold off on it for awhile and see if I still want it in a few months. It’s not like a really need a time saving device, and it could be that I have been temporarily driven insane by my lack of exercise. Seriously … if you charted my eBay binges you’d see that they always coincide with when I get injured. When I’m training 1-2x a day I’m just less interested in shopping. But the doctor has said that I’ll be OK to do upper body weights in 6 weeks (and probably BJJ drills even earlier than that), so yay. He also said that I’m an ideal candidate for the cortisone injection, and that as long as I do my rehab exercises everything should go fine.

Which is good because my teeny tiny wardrobe is overflowing with my eBay purchases and I’m running out of hangers. Cat and I are also going to have a stall at the Take 2 Markets in Hawthorn on June 26 to get rid of some of our old clothes. Maybe if I make enough money I can justify buying the Vitamix …

OMG … Still Injured!

7 Mar

This sucks so hard. My back has been pretty stiff for a few weeks now, and I must have injured it again on the weekend because I was in agony today. =( I don’t know what I could have done to cause it – I had gym on Friday (nailed my 62.5kg x 5 squat, and my 65kg x 5 deadlifts!), did an aerobics class late Saturday, and light gym on Sunday. I woke up at like 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep until 8am.

The muscles in my back keep spasming – it’s not painful or anything, but every so often I can feel my back kind of … flutter. Creepy.

I went to Mind Over Muscle for a massage. Matt wasn’t in today, but once Tim heard how desperate I was he offered to do the massage himself. During the massage he kept marveling at how stiff my back was. “Like a brick!” he said. =(

He wants me to rest it for at least a couple of days. But I keep reinjuring it, and he’s not sure about what’s causing this sudden onset of back crapness. It’s only a couple of weeks until the comp, and I am so frustrated at this run of injuries. I’m tossing up the idea of letting myself heal fully and then just focusing on the Pan Pacs. I mean, I love getting the opportunity to fight people my size, but I hate the idea of competing when I’m not ready (and continuing to injure myself to try and get ready), even though it’s just a silly white belt fight.

And since I’m injured and computer-bound, I’ve had a lot of time to browse the net. I love this leather jacket by Rick Owens but probably wouldn’t wear it enough to justify the fairly hefty price tag.

image from Net-A-Porter

image from Net-A-Porter

(oh dear God, those leggings.)

James: Do you want the jacket instead of the chair for your birthday?
Me: Nah, I’ll get more use out of the chair. Maybe for another present one day in the future.
James: Christmas?

Jamesy is so sweet. =D But no, I thought maybe I could save it up for an important birthday. Or maybe if we ever move to a cold climate.

Being injured is so shit. It makes me depressed, and when I’m sad I start shopping. I remember when Ben told me that I couldn’t do any lower body exercises for a few weeks I started crying a little (not like … sobbing, but I started tearing up). And I don’t think Tim could tell on the phone, but when I called a week ago to book a massage (this was after I got stacked in BJJ) I was also crying a little bit.

So much of my self-identity is wrapped up in being fit and strong and healthy, in being able to make my body do what I want it to (except cleans. Stupid technical lift) that when I’m injured I lapse into a bit of a funk. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow – I managed to wheedle Tim into letting me go to the gym as long as I don’t do any lifts that target the lower back – but in the meantime … (imagine me looking at the computer screen and sighing pathetically).