Australia

There are many things I dislike about Australia but also lots of things to love.

One thing I love is our language. We are so influenced by America and England, yet still maintain our own culture, reflected in our language.

Australians do say:

  • Arvo for afternoon
  • Service station or petrol station for gas station
  • Gday – not so often but we do say it.
  • Mate – often to lighten a harsh word or when you forget someone’s name
  • Bumbag for fanny pack
  • Thongs for flip flops
  • Doona for duvet
  • Chips for crisps and hot chips
  • Barbie for bbq
  • Ice block for popsicle
  • Maccas for MacDonald’s
  • Skivvy for polo shirt
  • Trackies or tracky dacks for tracksuit pants
  • Pants for trousers
  • underpants for underwear
  • Fairy floss for cotton candy

What we don’t say (or no one I know does or super rare):

  • Crikey
  • The c word
  • Fair dinkum
  • Koalas aren’t really called drop bears.

We do like vegemite. Like I love it. Alot.

I like trainers

In the age of online shopping, a good brand makes purchasing easier as you trust whatever they will deliver meets your expectations.

One such company for me is Blowfish shoes, which just work with my feet, are comfortable and I like their style. It’s why I purchase their shoes each year.

These pink sneakers are my current favourites but I also have a white pair in a slip on style which my daughter hates, but I love them enough to not care and wear them anyway:

Superga trainers are another repeat purchase.

Superga have better underfoot padding than Converses (but not as much as Blowfish).

I still love the classic white Converse look:

My Ash trainer / ankle boots are my favourite shoes ever (earning my lifetime award). If ever there was an item of clothing that I continued to wear even if they went out of style and no longer suited me, these would be it:

Some brands I haven’t tried before but which are tempting me…

Soludos:

Vejas (the recent fashion micro trend, where presumably since I know about it, it is already over):

It used to be that after a certain age trainers were no longer appropriate. Certainly the current ugly trainer trend (cough, Victoria Beckham) is not one I care to adopt. But I expect I will be wearing jeans until I die, just with increasingly elastic fabrics, and I reckon trainers always look good with jeans. So there’s no way I will stop buying them anytime soon.

I will be dying with my trainers on!

I like a tall tote

So my hunt for the perfect tote bag continues…

I want something with a shoulder strap, thin, not too bulky, a rectangle in portrait mode, lined, with some pockets, no cutesy patterns, professional but some design feature.

That’s all.

The portrait mode rectangle works well when commuting on public transport. If you are standing in a crush this shape means you aren’t hitting everyone with your bag. I find shoulder straps safer too as the bag opening is under your arm pit making it harder to rob. Sometimes I carry two laptops and you really need the shoulder straps to deal with the added weight.

I love this nod to grid paper on this canvas tote:

This Rebecca Minkoff bag is a tad too big but very tempting:

Or this more hobo style also from Rebecca Minkoff is another great option:

I hadn’t seen notabags before. While I should really be getting a backpack to carry my work stuff, I just think they are too ugly. This might be a great option as it works as a tote, but can be converted to be a backpack if need be.

This Feed bag is unfortunately too wide and thick, and the straps aren’t quite long enough, but it is a great cause (also the Tote 10):

I like this reworking of the canvas tote in leather by Vince Camuto:

(I love the show, Say Yes to the Dress. At this stage I’m like one of the brides saying, I love this but I don’t know if it is the one).

Ooooh. Fjallraven. Very close to perfect. It has it all function-wise. I may be saying yes to this tote, but it is very plain.

I think for a work bag, function does have to rule over form, but it would be nice to have some decorative features.

Maybe I just need some bag tassels? 😁

Kind of like when they bling up the bride with the veil.

Memento Mori

Meditating on your mortality need not be depressing if you use it as a tool to find your priority and meaning, to gain some perspective and urgency. Use it as a reminder to treat our time on earth as a gift.

Macbeth:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

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Prospero:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

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Totes

My latest challenge is to find a replacement for my laptop bag.

At the moment I am envisioning a reworking of the standard canvas tote, which is light weight, not bulky and with long shoulder straps.

What I don’t want is a bag with non-business like wording on the outside. I actually love these bags from The School of Life but not for work. Also avoid the old lady bag with cats on it.

I loved this bag at first, but the straps are all wrong. I don’t want short straps and the shoulder strap is too thin and in the wrong place:

This bag from M&S is gorgeous but way too big:

This Everlane bag, while beautiful, is the wrong shape – landscape instead of portrait – and isn’t lined.

So that’s what I don’t like….the hunt continues!

Older women on the catwalk

Good to see older women on the catwalk.

Susan Douglas, …who is writing a book on the power of older women, said “a demographic revolution” was occurring….

“Older women are now saying ‘No, I’m still vibrant, I still have a lot to offer, and I’m not going to be consigned to invisibility,’ ” she said. “These women are reinventing what it means to be an older woman.”

New York Times

There is a joke often repeated among women of a certain age: You can walk into a grocery store and shoplift whatever you want, because nobody will notice that you’re even there.

New York Times

research shows older women are the happiest demographic in the country.

SMH

“Our cohort had come out vividly as women when we started our careers. We changed the working world. Now, we are coming out again, older women with experience, health, style and resources. We are a new breed, with much to give and much to do.”

SMH

According to recent data from the US Government Consumer Expenditure Surveyand Neilsen, women over the age of 50 compromise the largest demographic of incomes over $100,000 and control 95 per cent of household purchasing decisions. They are, according to business publication Forbes, the “ultimate super consumer”.

SMH

Celine

Has anyone missed the recent Celinaissance?

Every time I see Celine and her “best friend” I want to cheer.

Celine is the poster child for me for “post traumatic growth”. She clearly deeply loved her husband. Now here she is doing what exactly so many of us would do. Or maybe it is just me? If I had buckets money, kids grown up and I lost my husband. I’m glad she’s not lonely. I’m glad she is having fun. She’s inspirational.

Celine Dion is Our Patron Saint of Being Weird and Loving Yourself Anyway

“it feels to me that at this time of my life I can step forward and if I’m given the opportunity, it’s now or never…..”

Dion recently enlisted the help of stylist/”image architect” Law Roach—the man-about-town responsible for the wardrobes of Ruby Rose, Ariana Grande and budding fashion darling Zendaya—to update her look.

This explains so much. I love Zendaya too. She has a similar almost costumey style of dressing which is fun and interesting.

I like Joanna Gaines

Is anyone else out there a Fixer Upper fan? Of course there must be millions. The show is doing so well.

fixer upper

For Mothers Day I just bought myself her most recent book:

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave

hb-joanna-gaines-book-cover-homebody-1528768422

I find their productivity astonishing. I don’t get how they do it and remain apparently nice people. I haven’t even started my house renovations and I’m so dreading it. I guess some people just enjoy that kind of thing. Plus I have a day job, whereas if it was your only job maybe it would be more fun than stressful? Nah. Still don’t get it.

fixer upper kitchen

I’ve started reading the book and I really enjoy it. I do like a coffee table book. Since I’ve had cancer and done chemo I have a lot less tolerance for fiction. I know that characters have to go through an arc, go on a journey, learn something. I know that without drama it is just dull. But I kind of need dull at the moment. Dull is good. (In fact I think that is why I like some of those epic, modern American writers like Meg Wolitzer and Jonathan Franzen. Nothing much happens.)

fixer upper 2

And you know, in the book she talks a lot at the start about home is a place of safety, where you can be your real self. That’s kind of what I need at the moment too.

fixer upper 3

In my dreams Joanna Gaines would come and fix up my fixer upper house in Australia. But it looks like – as with everything else in my life – I’m going to have to do it myself.

I like Getting Unstuck

I credit Pema Chodron with saving my life. Over and over again. It is thanks to her humour and kindness and wisdom, that I am not a gibbering mess.

pema 2

Whenever the buzz of anxiety gets too strong, I go for a walk listening to one of her audiobooks, and I return home a better person.

maitri

I prefer listening to her audiobooks rather than reading her books or listening to someone else narrating her books.

Pema-Chodron

My current listening is Getting Unstuck which I think is a brilliant option for anyone new to meditation who is worried about getting distracted all the times.

I like online shopping

I wouldn’t be the only person who likes online shopping.

For me the joy is about buying things I need without having to get out of bed.

FCUK cardigan
FCUK cardigan

For clothing I generally only buy stuff from the larger, local stores where I can return things in person if they don’t work out. Though often they do. But if you are going to take a risk on something, like coated jeans when you are over 40, then it’s nice to know returning is easy.

witchery coated jeans
Witchery Florence Coated Jean

For things like hair products, it is easier to read labels.

evo-love-perpetua-shine-drops-by-evo-1c6

I also don’t mind the random small items you end up buying to get over the free shopping limit. Often those little treats are the ones that bring you the most joy.

GL earrings
Gregory Ladner. Cubic Zirconia 6mm Round Stud

I like finding new style blogs

Still looking for that perfect Over 40 Style Blog?

Here’s some recent finds of mine which might interest you.

They aren’t in any particular order but I will be adding them to my own personal list.

 

Style Crush: Oceans 8

Last time I had a style crush on a movie it was The Devil Wears Prada.

This time it’s Ocean’s 8:

So OK, I was a bit slow to watch the movie.

But I did finally watch it this weekend, and I really enjoyed it. It’s light humour and fantasy crime plot make for a perfect entertainment experience.

Not every character was dressed fabulously all the time. The crime itself is set at The Met Gala, which is one reason why fashion plays an important role in the film.

I’m clearly no film reviewer but I can highly recommend this movie. Lots of fun.

I like Maitri

I learnt about maitri from Pema Chodron.

maitri is “unconditional friendliness,” toward ourselves….

…it’s important to be clear about what maitri means and not to come away with a misunderstanding of maitri as some kind of indulgence, which actually weakens us and makes us less able to keep our heart and mind open to ourselves and the difficulties of our life. I often use this definition: maitri strengthens us.

Continue reading “I like Maitri”