Thursday, August 26, 2010


I love going on holidays, but the packing part really stresses me out.

What if I don't take the right clothes? What if I want to wear something specific and I don't have it with me? What if it gets cold and I only have summer clothes (as happened to me on a trip to New Zealand)?

The reasonable, rational response to all those issues is "well, just go and buy something", but that doesn't wash with me. I like being prepared. I like having all my bases covered. Because I usually don't find something when I go looking for it in a shop as a starting point but I also don't like wasting time looking for something I have to buy... There is a difference between wanting to buy something and schlepping around a mall in Copenhagen looking for tank tops and t-shirts because we can't find somewhere to do our washing...

Anyway, the trip we are about to embark upon has an interesting set of parameters, weather-wise. We are off to the northern part of South Africa (Kruger National Park) where it will be cold at night but mid-thirties during the day, the UK where hopefully it will be warm down south but realistically the north of Scotland will be freezing by Kitty standards, and Hong Kong where it's the end of the hot wet season. So it will, ergo, be hot and wet. We also have some special dinners planned so no doubt I'll need a frock and a snazzy pair of shoes as well.


So I have to pack for warm, hot, wet, cold, freezing, night and day - all with a 23 kilo limit. Including toiletries. And there has to be weight left over for me to do some shopping while I am in the UK. Unfortunately, unlike Carrie, I don't have a Mr Big to cart around my bags. The rule in our house is "you buy it, you schlep it."

Sounds like a bit of a challenge. Wish me luck.


Photo courtesy of Vogue.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good News!

We had our Pre-DA meeting with council today. They were mostly very positive about our design with only one real objection - the setback of our garage in relation to the front border of the property. We knew they would object to the setback but we were surprised that they didn't have many other issues with our design. The agreed that the tree we want to pull out to make way for our driveway should come out due to structural issues. They didn't seem to have a problem with the size of the house or the flat roof. They congratulated us on the fact we are doing something different with the modern facade of the house.

So now we need to make a decision whether we fight them on the setback advice or redesign the front of the house. We have loads of examples of where they have made exceptions for other houses built in the vicinity of ours in recent times and allowed people to build closer to the street than we are asking so I think we have a reasonable chance of negotiation...

But so far it's all good news. And we are one step closer to building our new house which is very exciting!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Serious lemming.

A few years ago we were in the US (after the long European honeymoon). Our first stop was Las Vegas. I hadn't ever been to Las Vegas before and I have to admit I was really surprised about how much I liked it. I don't gamble, I'm not a massive fan of nightclubs but I do love eating out, shopping and going to shows so I had a fabulous time. The thing I like about Vegas is that there is something for everyone. We went back again this year and I loved it as much as I did the first time.

But I digress.

One of my great loves (shopping) is very well represented in Las Vegas, particularly at Fashion Show Mall. They have some of the best stores there including a Nordstroms, a Neiman Marcus and a Saks as well as lots of other High Street stores (Gap, Banana Republic, Zara etc.). It's new and connects easily with the shops at the Venetian and Palazzo and the Wyatt.

It was at Fashion Show that I first saw this bag.
It is so me - gorgeous, leopardy goodness. It was, however, a little expensive for me, especially after the excesses of Europe. I thought about it and decided I couldn't really afford it. I had already purchased an amazing leopard Furla Bag in Florence so couldn't really justify the price.

Fast forward about 2 weeks and I was still thinking about that clutch. By this stage we were in San Francisco after a great road trip through Yosemite and a few blissful days in the Napa Valley. We went for a wander through Union Square and there, in Nordstroms, was the bag. I reeeeeeeally wanted it. I dreamed about it. But the price was just too expensive. I bought a much cheaper Steve Madden leopard clutch at Macys instead. I like it, but I don't love it if you know what I mean.

And yesterday, my Net-a-Porter Fall/Winter catalogue arrived in the mail. There on the "Animal Insticts" page was the bag. Two years later. It's currently on the US Net-a-Porter site for $350 US dollars ($390 Australian) which is really out of my price range at the moment (particularly with the exxy $55 US shipping and the upcoming trip to the UK on the cards), so I think I might have to wait to see if it comes on the UK site at a bit more reasonable price... They have a gold version for 127 pounds which works out to be about $220 plus shipping which is a lot more reasonable... And that's almost affordable for me right now.

It's almost Serendipity. Like it was meant to be. I have emailed the UK site to find out whether they are going to get it in - fingers crossed.

And then I'll have to decide whether I should buy it.


Friday, August 20, 2010

The house plans.

Good news from the Kitty camp today: our house plans have finally gone into council for discussion. Not the official DA process, but a modified pre-DA version which you can do through our council. You can submit your plans for discussion and feedback to a planning officer and then have a meeting to talk about why you have designed it the way you have and where you don't comply with planning laws.

The process is designed to try and make the DA process smoother and get you a better result for your plans and have a chance to negotiate before putting the plans through the formal DA process. We have our meeting with council next Tuesday and I have my fingers crossed that they will be kind to us! I'm really excited about the progress we have made these last few weeks and can't wait to start talking to builders about it!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back from the brink...

It's been a hard week in the Kitty camp, for a number of reasons, but the main reason is that I have had a terrible cold.

I'm usually pretty healthy and rarely get sick, but I usually do succumb to a cold or two each year, particularly at the change of seasons and when the Spring starts. This year was no exception - and just as I started to feel a little better, I got a bout of hayfever. Yuk. As much as I love the beginning of Spring (the sunshine, the flowers...) pollen is just not my friend.

So I have been spending some quality time in bed with demazin, lemon and honey drinks and a box of tissues.

Normal posting will resume shortly.


Saturday, August 14, 2010


Why oh Why when the sun is warm and high in the sky do I find myself turning towards winter coats?

It's unseasonal. It's unreasonable. According to David Jones and Myer I should be equipping myself for the upcoming summer season with nudes and floral prints a la Liberty. But no, I gravitate towards Cashmere and Wool... Greys, dark purple and forest greens... The warming reds and perennial blacks...

Maybe it's the nasty cold I am trying to shake. Or maybe it's because I am spending so much time looking on UK websites in preparation for our holiday. Or maybe it was the ridiculously cold wind I encountered on the trip to the Fish Markets yesterday. But something is making me crave warmth in the form of a coat.

Particularly these coats.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label Black Classic Melton coat, 595 pounds. Very steampunk, Victoriana, maybe even with a little dash of Mary Poppins...

How Edwardian Dandy! Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Black Propoganda Coat, 495 pounds

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Drape Dot Belted Coat, 790 pounds.

See a theme here? Not only do I have a passion for coats (and expensive ones at that), they all seem to be Vivienne Westwood... How I love our grand dame of fashion. Always chic yet edgy, her clothes are artistic creations that defy a period in time, yet seem to remain cutting edge.

Le sigh. Let's hope Mr Kitty's credit card is feeling generous when we get to London. If you are interested, all the coats pictured here are available from Liberty of London.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh No.

Mr Kitty's credit card is no longer safe. Gap Inc now ships to Australia.

I want this dress and this top and this dress and this cardigan...

The only problem seems to be that most of the things on the Gap website don't ship internationally. WTF? Are they for real? So annoying...


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dreaming of summer: Leona Edmiston S/S2010

So it's no secret that I have a big soft spot for Leona Edmiston (her outfits make up the majority of my wardrobe), and the Spring/Summer 2010 Frocks collection has a really amazing selection of gorgeous dresses. Some of my favourites include:

Darcy: It's probably my favourite Leona dress in quite a while. I love how the obi style sash and the red tie and the flare of the skirt combine to make a truly elegant look. I think this one is a definite purchase for this summer for me!

Jolene: I like how this one is a little more casual than Darcy - but the red, black and white is terribly chic for the office or a drink after work. I like the shape of the skirt too - it's fun and flirty and fabulous (as well as very flattering). The cap sleeve is good too - enough coverage for the office but not too much that you would feel hot.

Jasmine: How sexy is this dress? The plunging neckline, the smooth line of the skirt, the cross over back (which you can't see in this photo, but trust me, it's sublime)... It's the perfect evening dress and it even comes in black! Hmmm... Imagine this dress with a pair of gorgeous sparkly earrings and a silver clutch! I know that's how I'm seeing it!

Venus: va va va voom! This figure hugging dress is perfect for the office - it has enough coverage to remain modest but the shape that hugs the torso and skims the body down to the knees is so redolent of the 1960s... It makes me feel very like Joan Holloway. I admit I already have this one (in black) and get a lot of wear out of it. It also comes in red (jaffa), cobalt and navy. for those of us who are not colour averse.

Madeline: The soft neckline of this dress is perfect for those of us who are more than amply endowed. It draws the eye to the centre of the torso and makes for a truly elegant dress. It comes in black and watermelon (the bows) but I wish it came in other colours too - black and lavender or jade would be gorgeous for the summer and purple and green were very big in the northern hemisphere for summer... hint! hint!

Lea: Speaking of purple and green, this dress would be perfect for a day at the races or a summer wedding. I love the shape - it's so elegant and I can't wait to try it on. it's so pretty and floral and summery and so unique!

The new season collection is in stores now and dresses will be dropped gradually throughout the season. You can view the entire collection at Check out the Northern Hemisphere collection while you are there - there are some subtle differences in style to compensate for the impending winter.

So which is your favourite frock from the collection?


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The challenge of seasons...

One of the things that annoys me about shopping online is the difference between seasons. I love love love buying things from overseas - but when it gets to this time of year I start to get a bit irky. I know that's not a real word but it conveys the sense of frustration I feel.

I see amazing things, knowing that if I buy them (who am I kidding - when) it might be another 10 or so months before I can wear them. Some things I can get away with - if they are light, but others you just can't.

Case in point: This divine coat from The White Company in the UK.

It's wool and cashmere and it's divine. Words cannot describe how much I want this coat. Let's just set aside the fact I am still on a shopping ban (or reduction) for the moment and the cost at 395 pounds plus shipping makes it completely prohibitive.

The real kicker for me is that it's starting to smell like spring outside.

That means it getting warmer. Not much call for a wool and cashmere coat in a Sydney Spring. Or a Summer. Or possibly even an Autumn unless it's unseasonably cold. So it will likely be next May before I can wear it.

Unless Mr Kitty takes me to Paris for Christmas. Then I'd wear it every day.

A girl can dream right?


PS: There are lots of other lovely things on The White Company website - they have beautiful layering items and a dress I am very keen on purchasing... Methinks a trip to a store might be in order when I am in London... I have bought from them before over the interwebs and they are excellent. Customer service second to none.

Friday, August 6, 2010


How gorgeous is this bangle?

It's made from sterling silver and white enamel and set with freshwater pearls and 5.33 carats of sapphires pave set around the bangle.

So Gorgeous. I have put in my order with Mr Kitty but between you and me I really don't like my chances. I'll keep my fingers crossed though... Available from Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman and yes Mr Kitty, they do ship to Australia.


Thursday, August 5, 2010


Day 29 of the spending ban and I accidentally bought something.

It's a doozy.

I was in town, catching up with some friends and I happened to walk past Mimco. It’s one of my biggest weaknesses. Statement Jewellery to die for. I took a detour in, just for old times sake (the necklaces clearly missed my bi-weekly visits). And there, in the cabinet, was the most divine necklace.

Made from strings of pearls with an art-deco inspired diamante clasp, it was absolutely me. Look at that clasp! The sparkly rondelles in between the pearls! Beautiful!

“It’s ok,” I told myself. “There will be loads of them. Plenty of time to get it after the spending ban finishes.”

“Oh no!” said the sales assistant. “This is the last one we have. It's been super popular. Not sure if we are getting any more in. No-one else in Sydney has any left.”


Suffice to say I walked out with the necklace. What’s 2 days between friends, after all? I lasted 28 days before falling off the wagon and that’s a pretty good achievement for a novice.

Back on the wagon tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


One of the things I am looking forward to the most about decorating our new house is coming up with a fabulous colour scheme. Unfortunately, Mr Kitty eschews colour in all forms, so decorating with often an exercise in compromise and negotiation (or compromisation, as I like to call it). In fact I think I could negotiate for the UN - that's how good I am getting.

In order to avoid "constructive discussions" (or arguments as regular people call them), I often try and find things I know he won't outright object to. It's a tough thing to do. I know he objects to colour to the point where he won't sleep on sheets that are anything other than white, so I have decided that the colour scheme of the new house should be silver. Technically it's a metallic, not a colour. It's also a shade (well, it's a derivative of grey). He should be happy.

I am planning on painting a couple of the walls in our bedroom and the dining room silver. I am thinking about using Porters Paints Mexican silver - it's a lot softer than other metallic paints I have seen. It doesn't sparkle - it glows. It has a soft sheen - it doesn't glitter. I think it will be a lot nicer than the metallic paint that Dulux makes.

I also want to incorporate other silver touches into the house by way of furniture and fittings. I really like:

Mirrored bedside tables and dressers

I love how this is a classic look but still has a modern feel. Mr Kitty doesn't really like it, but I'll work on him.

Silver light fittings

I adore the bubble like lights here from DeDeCe. I think they will provide visual interest in the dining room and will help make for a gorgeous intimate space. in the silver dining room.

Alessi fruit bowls

I love Alessi design and this fruit bowl will be perfect in our kitchen. The shape is so interesting.

Silver Rug

I have been drooling over the Catherine Martin designs for Designer Rugs for well over a year now. I really wish we were having a Victorian or Federation style hose so we could use more of her designs (I love her wallpaper!). I am still fighting for this Lyrebird rug, though. I think it's just heaven. The symmetry is perfection and the lines are so classically beautiful. I think as a statement piece in a modern house it could still work.

I also adore the wallpaper that Catherine Martin did for Porters Paints. Just heaven.