Monday, 30 April 2012

What I'm Reading - 50 Shades of Grey

It's about time I put my iPhone down and picked up a book again before bed.

Reading before bed used to be my 'thing'.  It would be the only time I read.  Then I got hooked on various iPhone word games and started playing the likes of Boggle and Wordle before bed.

The last (and first) time I posted a 'What I'm reading' post, I was half way through Catching Fire.  Well, I haven't progressed any further in that book...  I hope to finish it and read the third book in the Hunger Games series - Mockingjay - over the school holidays.

I am actually devouring (lol) a different book.  A book that has garnered A LOT of attention since it's release.

50 Shades of Grey by EL James is a New York Times bestselling erotic fiction novel.  Yep.  EROTIC.  I thought I had read some saucy stuff - cue The Black Dagger Brotherhood series (though I'm only up to book 5 with those...).  But what I have read of 50 Shades of Grey so far has left me floored.

I suppose I should have been prepared, as when I bought it the book shop was obligated to tell me that the book came with a 'warning'.  They were obligated to prepare me for the content - in particular the BDSM aspect.  Well, after hearing that, I HAD to buy it!

50 Shades of Grey has been touted as 'Mummy Porn' and is selling like wildfire around the world.  Another interesting titbit about this book is that the author had originally written it as Twilight fan fiction.  Yep.  Twilight fanfic. Apparently it is pretty much her idea of Edward and Bella getting it on in true kinky style. I am yet to read 'Master of the Universe' (the title of the fan fiction).  After the success of her fanfic online, EL James decided to get her story published.  She took out all the Twilight and supernatural references and tweaked it a bit to avoid copyright and she is now in possession of a literary goldmine.

It follows the relationship of Ana and Christian - Ana a young college graduate and Christian a young business tycoon.  Christian falls for Ana and desires for her to be his sexual submissive.  Ana being a virgin has no freakin' idea what the hell is going on, so Christian decides to 'ease' her into it and 'train' her.

This book is famed for being highly explicit.  It is super, duper raunchy.  I am yet to get to the major BDSM part of the storyline, and have instead been treated to the 'normal' or as Christian terms it 'Vanilla Sex' part of their sexual relationship.

I look forward to finishing this book and discovering how this seemingly unequal relationship between Ana and Christian progresses.  There are two more books in the series, so they must make it work somehow...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Weddings and Work and Moving... Oh My!

Greetings.  Again, it's been a little while since my last post.  Here's what's been going on in my world:

I spent five days down in SE Qld for my beautiful friend's wedding.  Hayley and I have been friends since year 10 and I am sooooo honoured that she invited me to be a part of her special day.  Our friendship has stood the test of time and distance.  We may not talk or email for months, but when we do, it's like no time has passed at all.  She is one of my few friends that accepts that I prefer to keep in contact via email (I'm not a big fan of the phone).  Hayley, Hazel and I keep in contact often solely through email and facebook, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Watching Hayley prepare for her wedding - she is one cool lady, and was totally chillaxed the morning of her big day - and walk down the aisle to her lovely fella gave me goosebumps.

* I haven't posted any pics of the bride and Hazel as I don't feel comfortable posting their pics on a public blog without their permission *

Here are some more piccies from my trip:
 These crazy geese were occupants at the caravan park we stayed at the night before the wedding.  They would make crazy loud goose sounds and then sleep right outside the villa... hilarious.

The weather was quite drizzly, but thankfully cleared up for Hayley's walk down the aisle.

We had some time to kill before catching the airport shuttle.  So Hazel and I spent the day at Australia Zoo. Here is their new Africa Exhibit.

An army of wombats at Australia Zoo.

Loved up otters at Australia Zoo.


On the work front and I am trying to take a more chilled and no nonsense approach with the kids.  I realised I was working myself up over the smallest things and I had to keep on reminding myself that they are only KIDS.  We have redefined the classroom expectations and the consequences and things are starting to chug along a bit more smoothly.  I have a VERY busy term ahead.  I think I may have over-committed myself.  This term alone I am doing SRC, School Council (including fundraising committee), FAST, NAPLAN marking and mentoring a prac student.  I have to learn to say 'no'.  I am genuinely interested in everything that I am participating in, but am worried I am spreading myself just a bit too thin.


In less than two weeks time, I will be moving out of my awesome little flat.  I have loved living here and have relished the independence.  However, I am in a crazy amount of credit card debt.  I have mentioned it before, but I never thought I would be the type of person with a $7000+ credit card debt.  It gives me palpitations just thinking about it.  I have friends ask me what I have spent my money on and I struggle to pinpoint it.  It's not like I'm running around in Jimmy Choos with a Chanel handbag.  

So, my sister's house mate has broken her lease to move back down south to her parents.  And my sister asked if I would be interested in moving in with her.  My sister currently leases a property that is owned by my parents.  It is a lovely house, but I always resisted the offer to move in (I was offered numerous times when I was planning to move to Darwin).  I really wanted to be independent from my parents.  Well, when my sister asked me to move in with her, I again hesitated.  Then I started to think about it more.  I will be paying just over $600 a month LESS in rent if I move in with her (mum and dad are being VERY generous with the rent.  They could easily get $550 a week for the house, but they are only asking $450/week).  That's $600 a month more that I could be putting on my credit card.  Plus halving the utilities would also be beneficial to my hip pocket.  My sister and I also plan on trying to shop and cook together to try to save some money on groceries.

So, on Friday 4th May, my parents and sister are helping me relocate.  Then they are going to help me clean my flat.  They're pretty awesome like that.

I'm a bit sad about leaving my flat (I'm breaking my lease too).  It's the first place that I have lived completely independently from my parents.  But I know this is what I need to do to get ahead. 

The plan is to pay for the move, book the Adelaide trip (did I mention the whole family is going to Adelaide in July for my brother's 21st?) and then treat my credit card like a GE/store card.  It is ONLY to be used to pay off.  It will NOT be used to buy things.  The funny thing is, is that if I didn't have credit card debt, I could live VERY comfortably on my salary.


So that is the current going ons in my life.  I have fallen off the wagon BIIIIIIIG time with my 'healthy lifestyle choice' and I can feel it.  I feel tired, sick and heavy.  I have put on just over a kilo and I am not happy.  I plan to be fully back on the wagon by the time I move.  I am also looking forward to planning some low calorie vegetarian meals, as my sister is a vego.  So stay tuned for some reviews on some hopefully awesome low cal vego meals!


Monday, 9 April 2012

Favourite Things: KATIES

Most people who know me, know I love to shop.  I love to shop so much that I am now in a financial position that I never thought I'd be in...

Oh well.

One of my most recent discoveries is Katies.  I have walked past Katies shops for YEARS.  I always assumed it was a shop more suited to 'older' women.  However, over Christmas when I walked past the shop I started to notice some lovely clothes.  Clothes I could see myself wearing.  Now this is either because they have changed their target market, or I'm getting older...  About a month ago I finally decided to walk into my local Katies shop and I couldn't believe the amount of outfits that I wanted to buy!  To make it even better, their clothes are very well priced (tops are usually between $40 and $60).

My very first Katies purchase was a lovely top to wear out for my birthday dinner with my family.  I didn't want anything too flashy, but I did want it to have a bit of sparkle.
This top has a lovely silver sparkle through it and looks great teamed up with a medium length black necklace.  I wore it with jeans.

One of the big fashion trends I'm noticing as we make our way into winter (well, technically winter, we don't really get winter up here) is the lovely knitwear.  It usually fits a bit loose, but still gorgeous - not like baggy sweats.  I am LOVING the knitwear that Katies has been stocking.  What I love about them even more is that they don't have the typical long sleeves.  They usually have big loose sleeves or batwings that make it suitable to wear when the weather is warmer.  Their knitwear is also quite light, which is another plus when wearing it in the tropics.

Here are some more of my recent purchases:

I have bought some more tops, they just aren't on their website any more.  

Here is my current Katies wishlist:

I soooo need to develop some self-control and NOT spend more money at Katies.

Another great thing about Katies is their customer loyalty card.  When you join you get a $10 voucher.  For every $100 you spend you get a $5 voucher and for your birthday you get a $20 voucher.  Plus loyalty card holders get frequent discounts - like yesterday I got 30% off the two tops I bought.

I also love how the website gives you ideas on what to wear with a particular item.

So the next time you walk past Katies and think that it's a shop for old biddies, think again. 

* This is not a sponsored post for Katies.  I just really like their clothes!

** All images were taken from the Katies website:

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Happy Birthday to ME...

Wow, it's been a little while since my last post.

To be honest, I haven't cooked anything new and have been slacking off on the calorie counting...  Thankfully I haven't really gained any weight - but obviously I haven't lost any more either...

Here's an update on what else (non healthy lifestyle related) has been going on since my last post:

About 10 days ago it was my birthday and I have now officially entered my 'late twenties'.  For the last few years I have found my birthday quite ho-hum mostly due to the fact that I have not achieved what I had thought I would by this stage in my life.  I have no partner, no kids, no property.  Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the good things in my life - great family, awesome friends, good career and a fantastic dog.  But I do still wonder if I will ever get the other 'grown up' stuff that people around me are achieving.

In all honesty though, I had a lovely birthday.  My family took me out to dinner the weekend before and we enjoyed great wine, good food and fantastic conversation.  I really did score the awesome family jackpot.

On my actual birthday some of my students surprised me with lovely gifts and the others tried exceptionally hard to gift me with their good behaviour.  I did break the rules a bit and tried to make it as cruisy a day as possible and I doubt much learning actually happened...

The day ended with a lovely dinner of take-away noodles with my sister and a slice of chocolate mudcake - YUM!

The lovely bookshelf that my sister got me for my birthday.  She also put it together all by herself!

Birthday Cake - YUM!

The delicious bottle of Malibu I got from my brother.

The lovely gifts I got from my students, tutor and Kym.

Some of my students from last year surprised me with a handmade card and a muffin.

Noodles = Saucy Deliciousness

* While I don't have a picture of it, my parents got me gorgeously soft, black sheepskin car seat covers.  They are DEVINE.

Another awesome thing that has happened since my last post was a very much overdue GIRLS WEEKEND.  Tracey flew up from NSW, Eriin drove in (the long way!) from Jabiru and Vic came in from her property in the sticks for an awesome weekend of eating, shopping, talking and drinking.  It was frickin' awesome.

Here's to the freakin' weekend!

Next big event on the agenda is my gorgeous friend's wedding in two weeks in the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains.  This weekend I bought a lovely dress, shoes and bag and I am sooooo looking forward to seeing my beautiful friend marry her fella.