Avokado Bra Shopping – Gamechanger

avokado bra

Got big boobs? Been bra shopping in Newmarket, Auckland at Avocado? It’s a game changer. 

Such a game changer, one of my dear friends from my Rotorua neighbourhood posse waved a finger at my girls and asked “What’s up with those girls?” My girls, FYI, were proudly on display (if I do say so myself) underneath a particularly clingy t-shirt. Of course, I whipped up my t-shirt, flashed her and said “I’ve got a new bra and it’s ah-mazing”. I’m that kind of friend. No holds barred. No shame. I’ll show you my boobs.

But first, the background. Despite being a shopaholic, the notion of tog, jeans and bra shopping fill me with dread. Togs, nuff said. Jeans,well,  as a 5”1 curvy lass, finding something that fits my smallish waist, yet snugs my large ass whilst allowing me to sit down, and finish at the ankle sans hem amendment, was next to impossible (until JeansWest rescued me with their curve embracer range).

Bra shopping though, that’s next level soul-destroying. You seen I have big DD boobs, a small under-carriage, and I’m on an endless quest for bras with straps that aren’t ‘nana wide’ i.e. that don’t dig in and cause dented shoulders. Also, as someone who had a boob reduction, I have an overhanging bit of, erm, flab, under my arms. This, clearly, needs containing. Then there’s the bra trying on process: To be blunt, witnessing, first-hand my flabby tummy in full flight, knowing I should have gone for more early evening summer walks and turned down that second BBQ sausage… Yeah it’s not fun. Most of the time I’m content with my #inbetweenie* size, eyeballing my jiggly tummy at close range though: Not fun. (more…)

#shopmypantry – A worthwhile experiment

Who’s seen this?  Agh, the irony. Just as I come out of my May spending freeze, Farmers gets fully into bed with MAC: Now you can buy their goodness online. And I find this out in the same week that Kmart go online. Goodness. What a week for retail in NZ.  All we need now is Ikea and Aldi. Why go shopping in Melbourne for a weekend? 

Anyhoo, if you missed the memo, last month we were SKINT as a result of a bunch of unexpected bills and me needing to take nearly two weeks off work in late April, unexpectedly. I’m self unemployed: No annual leave, sick or, in my case, bereavement leave for me. No pity party: Life happened. Shit happens.

In terms of financial survival, I decided we weren’t going to dip into our (relatively modest) savings to live in May: Nope, we were going to live on what pingers we had coming in for the month. You know, like live with what we have got. Even though we all know that’s why God created credit cards. 

For me: I gave myself a stiff talking to: No clothes; No beauty (my two biggest spends); No trips for hubby and I to Liquorland  – a few bottles of craft beer here and there adds up, noting we are not pissheads, anymore. For the family: No takeaways, no coffees, no pub trips, no eating out. Thankfully, as it was hubby’s birthday last month, we’d booked and paid for a weekend away for just the two of us back in April and I had a small stash of cash for some meals out. We, cough, stayed in our motel room for the best part of 24 hours and had free entertainment, LOL. We had budgeted for dinner and breakfast out in Taupo. Dinner was shit (let’s not go there, I can’t even remember what it was called it was that bad) but breakfast was fantastic at the Paddle & Spoon.

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Cloud Eggs – What the…?

cloud eggs Cloud eggs… What the?

Cloud eggs keep popping up in my Facebook and Instagram feed. Sounds like this is the next best thing since Mecca Cosmetica, The Hobbit, Big Mac, Cronut, Lewis Road Creamery. You get my drift.

I’m usually get a bit titchy with hype. I am usually reluctant to buy in to this. For example, I still haven’t seen LOTR. I am, possibly, one of the last beauty bloggers to purchase the much lusted after Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. I bought my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette eighteen months after it came out – which was dumb: I should have bought it immediately. It’s that good.  I am told  this is an interesting trait of my personality: I’m good at creating hype. Yet I don’t buy into it. Hmmm.

Cloud eggs

The concept, is: Whisk up the egg whites, make a nest. Bake em’. Place egg yolks into nest. Bake ’em.  I was seriously sceptical – I’m a DIE-HARD poached egg fan and devour these for brekky probably half of the week. Cloud eggs, to my mind, sounded like a bit too much faffing around. Why ruin a good thing? Yes: I’m loyal to my poachies.

You know where this is going: I gave cloud eggs a go.  (more…)

Mother’s Day: Presence not Presents

mother's day presence not presentsI was at the hairdressers this week for a Big Sort Out and, as usual, turned to Facebook to kill some time (my No1 guilty pleasure). Quickly though, my attention waned and I felt myself getting annoyed at all the adverts for Mother’s Day gift ideas. Buy… Buy and MORE buy!   So, in need of distraction, I ditched Facecrack and turned to the pile of magazines that had been left for my browsing pleasure.  Dumb idea: Enter pages and pages of Mother’s Day marketing – in every magazine.  WTF?  Has the build up to Mother’s Day always from the marketers always been like this? Or am I more sensitised to the day honouring a parent, given I lost my Dad last week…? (I sense the answer to the latter is affirmative!).

The thing is, when I think about Mother’s Day, I don’t think about what I want, I think about how I want to feel on the day. Thinking this got me curious: Is it just me?  Or are, in fact, Mums out there hankering after a Kitchen Aid/headphones/eyeshadow palette/car and I’m a bit, well, spesh?

This reflection lead me to do some crude research. I messaged fifteen friends and asked them “What would you like your Mother’s Day to be like?”.   I didn’t ask them what they wanted. I asked a much broader open question.

Their responses? Overwhelming they told me they wanted:

A sleep in. Breakfast in bed. Cuddles from the kids. A day of kids not arguing. A handmade card. To come out of my room and find the house has been cleaned by the fairies. (more…)

Lou Loves – April

Cough. I skipped my March Faves… I don’t reckon anyone noticed (anyone?!) Here’s April’s Loves. Let’s not sweat the small stuff…

Elf Brow Kit

ELf Brow Kit dark

I’ve mentioned this product before, nearly 100 years ago. This is a cheap and cheerful brow kit that I got from Kmart for the pricely sum of ten Kiwi buckaroos (good price, yes, but it’s only US$3 if you bought it in the States… Grrr). There’s a brow wax in the kit and a powder. The idea is to set your brows in place with the wax, which is coloured, then touch them up with the powder. Bugger the powder, that’s unnecessary faffing around.  There’s four colours: Ash (good for blondes), Light, Medium and Dark. I’m a darkie… So I’m dark.

How does it work? I shape my brows with the dark brown wax, using my Billion Dollar Brows brush and I’m done, I don’t even bother applying the powder on top.  The wax formula is pretty grippy and sticks around all days on my brows, which is slightly miraculous as I have oily skin and struggle to keep makeup on my face post lunchtime.  

If you are too far to get into Kmart in person, hop online to iHerb – you’ll get this cheaper than Kmart ($4.36 at the time of writing this post) however, you’ll pay shipping on top. By the way, the brow kit comes with it’s own brush, but it’s shit (IMO). Invest in a good one – ELF do a specific, standalone, brow brush which is cheap and temporarily decent. I say ‘temporarily’ as the one I bought lost it’s shape after a few months and went floppy and it went to Beauty Heaven (in the bin). I recommend getting a decent one. Which brow brush tickles my fancy? Glad you asked. Keep reading. (more…)

Flowers, Funerals and Curry

To say I’ve been overwhelmed by the messages received in the last day or two, would be the understatement of the year. Thanks so much to everyone who has reached out. We feel surrounded by love!

I can’t stop writing. I have this itch to write, write, write. I have no appetite to write about fluffy superficial matters. The same happened when my friend Kelly died last year.  It seemed utterly wrong to blog about lipsticks and recipes when the world felt like it had ground to a halt.  I will give in to the urge to write – I have no idea where it comes from, but you have to go with these things! The same urge was, after all, what lead me to start a blog! My blog is doing alright.

Yesterday, spent with Dad’s gorgeous partner Lenaire, along with The Boy, was frankly, one of the ‘strangest’ days of my life. On ANZAC Day we spent 11 hours at the hospital. Yesterday after Dad had passed we had nowhere to be and nothing really that we had to do. We organised Dad’s final outfit for his cremation. We slipped a comb and a toothpick into his pocket and we added personal notes too.  Then it was off to organise his ‘no bloody frills’ cremation (his orders). Ever the girl who wanted to make Dad happy, I rung around to get a good deal (!) and find the place that passed the ‘feels right’ test. Now, it’s all organised:  He’s getting cremated as I write this blog post.  We pick Dad up on Friday: He comes out in two urns, one for Lenaire, one for my brother and I.   My brother and I will go to Singapore, Dad’s favourite place. We’ll eat Dad’s No1 favourite dish, chilli crab, wash it down with Tiger beer and send our grumpy old Dad on his final way.  The other half of him will, I hope, go to Hobsonville Air Force base, another favourite place of Dad’s and where I spent the first few years of my life. Incidentally, does anyone know how we go about getting ashes scattered on the air field?!   Lenaire doesn’t fancy braving the barbed wire fence. (more…)

Spiced Apple and Feijoa Cake

Spiced apple and feijoa cake

Feijoa season has landed in EnZed… Ye-haaa!  I had a hankering for feijoas. And Cake. Introducing spiced apple and feijoa cake.

Last weekend  I found myself in possession of 30 odd free range eggs last week and spent the weekend in the kitchen. First I whipped up this carrot cake, always a crowd pleaser. Second I had a hankering for feijoas. Off I went to the green grocers to buy some, ouch NZ$8 for a bag of 10! I need to make friends with someone who has a feijoa tree. Any takers?

Anyway, I had a play in the kitchen, tweaked an ancient apple cake recipe I had, added ground almonds, feijoas, ginger, spice and bugger me days, this spiced apple and feijoa cake turned out perfectly the first time. I’ve made it again since to test it – boom, perfection! I shared a sneaky photo on my Facebook page and there were lots of requests for the recipe to be shared. So, here you go! (more…)