Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Please excuse my absence of late. It’s all a bit “steroids on crack” around here. I have been somewhat busy. Mostly busy shopping.

This coming week is Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). This is our calendar’s big event, and we have to be ready. There’s a lot of praying to do. A lot of eating to do. A lot of entertaining to do. And everyone is supposed to have new clothes, because it’s a new year, fresh start. It’s an important spiritual occasion, and we have to look the part.

So I have been buying. Buying new shirts for the boys, replenishing cleaning products as we run low in preparing the house, boxes of wine to serve. And meat. Lots of meat. The two days of Rosh Hashanah are holy, like our sabbath, which means no popping out to the shops if we’ve run out of something. Because Rosh Hashanah is Thursday and Friday this year it goes straight into the Sabbath, which means THREE DAYS. So of course we all start stocking piling like there’s a famine. And not just food….candles, foil, glad wrap, nappies, wipes…..anything that it would be cataclysmic if I were to run out of. If Baby N were to run out of the amount of nappies I now have in 3 days, he would need hospitalisation, not more nappies.

I have not stopped to actually plan my menus of course because NO TIME. So I am just buying food, lots and lots of food. And hopefully I will fashion it into some banquets.

In past years I have done things like this:

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This year I’m setting my personal bar a little lower. As in I’ve bought some tubs of apple sorbet.

Baby N has had a cold of course. He is a hypochondriac baby, so it’s basically Man-flu. I can only get things done when he sleeps. He’s up to the coughing stage so he keeps waking himself up coughing. Oh, the fun we have.

And just for more fun, tomorrow is First Born’s 11th birthday. This coming Saturday is J’s 9th birthday. Due preparations need to be made (and accordingly I have two birthday parties to plan but that is on hold for now). Presents need to be purchased and wrapped. (Note to self : must get cards and wrapping paper today!!).

It’s manic. Manic. Not just Monday, every day.

All for good reasons, of course (apart from the cold) but still there’s an air of general panic through the smile on my face.

So bare with me…..I will be back. And hopefully absence is making your heart grow fonder.

To those for whom it is applicable, Shana Tova! To everyone else, Happy September.

XOXO Shopping Girl

p.s. This has been written walking behind Baby N, as he wreaks general havoc, playing with powerpoints, pulling down baby safety gates, filling his nappy repeatedly (maybe 3 boxes ISN’T enough), pulling all lego creations off shelves, and the nose…..the streaming nose…..aaagghh gotta go – he’s found a large packet of loom bands. Oh. Too late.

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Milk with Weetbix

I used to read these Graffiti books, by a chap called Nigel Rees. I love how English men are automatically chaps. An Aussie could never be a chap. He’s just a guy. The Graffiti books were a series, published in the 80s, of one-liners from walls (often toilet walls) around the world, or billboards that had humorously been “adjusted”, footnoted with the location of the scrawl. Being a sheltered, precious, 13 year old living in the world’s most isolated city, I didn’t get half the jokes, but the ones I did I thought were hilarious.

The one line that sticks in my mind is “Cleanliness is next to godliness” to which someone had added “only in an Irish dictionary!”.

Personally, I’m with the original sentiment.

As I have previously mentioned, I find staying tidy a challenge (there are just so many forces working against me…..4 to be precise), but cleanliness is another matter. I am into clean. I like my glass to be shiny and streak free. I like my cupboards to be fingerprint free. I like my clothes to be stain-free. I like my skin to be oil and odour free. I like my benchtop to be germ free. And my hands. Certainly no graffiti.

I like my children germ free too. And stain free. And odour free. And banana free. Snot free. Yoghurt-on-eyebrow free.

You are most likely laughing at me now. 4 boys, you’re thinking, and you don’t like dirt and muck? Good luck.
Well I don’t need luck…..I just need lots of different varieties of wipes (my top two are Water Wipes for hands and faces after meals and Pine O Cleen crisp apple for wiping down the table – often on special and lovely apple scent) and really good baby shampoo and bath wash.

Nothing is harder to remove than dried Weetbix. NU-THING. Even if you don’t have time to wash up – always rinse your Weetbix bowl immediately or you will regret it a few hours later when you need a heavy duty paint scraper to get it off.

That stuff has serious holding power. If you harnessed its power and
put it in hairspray you would make the best hairspray ever and be a millionaire. I can just see the advert now “New from Loreal…..Elnett, now with the active ingredient of Weetbix. Think it’s just a cereal? Think again! Eat it, wear it. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Weetbix. Because you’re worth it. Feel like a woman, having breakfast. Easy, breezy, beautiful…..breakfast”. You get the idea (and if you don’t, there’s really not much more I can do for you).

Baby N often styles his hair with Weetbix during the course of breakfast – it really holds his coif in place I find. I also find that I want it to come out at the end of the day. Wipes most definitely are not up to Weetbix hair removal.

When Master T was born, a good friend was working at Jurlique. So we received some of their beautiful baby care products in gifts, and that is what we used.

Since my friend now works for a bank, and they don’t sell boutique baby skincare, I have been using Milk & Co baby products with Baby N. They are good value products (especially when on special). They are available in Coles and Woollies so super convenient. And they smell absolutely delicious. I don’t know what the shampoo (Shampoozle and Conditioner) is designed to smell like but it smells like jelly beans to me. But in a lovely, baby way. Jelly babies. It is super gentle but somehow it gets every last trace of Weetbix out. The Bath Time Wash gets the peanut butter from under the fingernails. And the yoghurt in the eyebrows. And that mysterious gunk that gathers between baby fingers and toes…..

I highly recommend both these products. Also the suncream. Oh the suncream. I used it last summer. You know how smearing a wriggling baby with suncream and ensuring full coverage is one of the more JOYFUL experiences of motherhood? This suncream has beautiful consistency and again with the incredible smell so it makes the job slightly more pleasant. Baby N did not burn so it looks like it is effective. And did I mention the smell?

XOXO Shopping Girl

P.s. This is in no way a sponsored post. I just thought you’d all be as FASCINATED by Baby N’s skincare as you were mine.

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Spring is sprung

It’s the first day of spring and the sun is out in all its glory. There’s that hint of warmth in the air that has me thinking leg wax and pedicure. Just as I waited so desparately for it to cool down after thrashing my post-baby summer wardrobe, I am now officially over my warm clothes and I’m ready for some cool (new) ones. The sales racks are being packed away, and the new collections are out.

This is what I have my eye on. Please note: these are NOT suggestions. They are MY picks…..got it? MINE:

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Sportsgirl Mono Zip Back top
They did this top a while back in Zebra print. I didn’t act quickly and it was sold out by the time I tried to move on it. Lesson learned, love the new pattern.

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Ginger & Smart Floral Confessions Shift Dress
Ohhhhhhh how I love this dress. BFF stay away from this dress (remember the denim floral vest from Little Horrors in 1989?? We don’t want to go there again…….). Ginger & Smart are always bang on with their dresses. I feel like we are spiritually connected somehow. In every collection there is always at least one dress that it seems criminal not to add to my wardrobe. Yes, criminal. At $500 a pop, I’m going to have to wait it out until the sale. Nail-biting stuff. Readers, do me a favour and DO NOT BUY THIS DRESS.

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Karen Millen Pointelle Knit Jumper
I love a detailed back. And this one was a surprise. I normally don’t go into Karen Millen. It’s just not on my radar. But I went in yesterday and I could have walked out with 4 or 5 pieces in that many seconds. This was another favourite:

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which looked gorgeous but a) its soft, fluffy nature is partly due to angora, which makes me itch. There are no two ways about it, I cannot wear angora no matter how divine it is to stroke. b) This looks warm. It is not a spring piece. Not in Australia anyway (although THIS jacket on The Outnet

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almost made me rethink that whole idea, because as I said to Uma (remember her?) there’s always next winter).

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Anyway moving on……this dress from Trenery is surprisingly lovely. It’s a bit of a statement though and I’m worried that statement is “I bought the dress from the latest Trenery advertisement”. I haven’t tried it on yet…..could fall into the category of looks gorgeous on tall, willowy model but less so on regular flawed human. I may not have the height to carry it off and I am more pear than willow so the jury’s still out on this one. I’ve got time – Trenery (and their mum, Country Road) discount so often, I would never consider paying full price. I’ll wait for the next store-wide promo before I think about it.

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The Slouch Knit from Witchery
It’s possibly a little bit Nina Proudman and not so much Shopping Girl. But I’m always suckered in by the slouch. It promises that unattainable stylish insouciance which I am dying to master and never will. I think I am
just a deliberate dresser. I look like I deliberately put on my clothes and that’s because I did. How can anyone look accidentally stylish when NOT walking out of your house naked requires such a purposeful action? On Sunday I just threw on my clothes but far from looking like a Witchery model, I spent the day in a skirt that I’d worn on Thursday and forgotten I’d stained with chocolate whilst baking. Anyway I do really like this top and if her thighs are available I’ll buy them too. PS Witchery has a worthwhile rewards program.

No spring look is ever complete without sunglasses. My beautiful Chlôes died a premature death a few months ago. They were years old and are no longer available. They improved everything I wore. They fit me so perfectly I could not feel them on my face. This proved to be their ultimate downfall because I could not feel them on my head either. One evening I was leaning over our upstairs railing when they slipped off my head and fell to their untimely, irreparable death.

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Anyway I quite like these Tom Fords. They’re not Chlôe…..but maybe I have to move past my grief. Maybe it’s time to let a new pair of sunglasses into my life.

XOXO Shopping Girl