Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lessons in Letting Go - Corrine Grant

Lessons in Letting Go - Corrine Grant (2010) Good on Corrine Grant for confessing to her horder tendancies. Living in her twenties and thirties surrounded by stuff from her younger years, she suddenly finds herself oppressed by everything stuffed in the cupboards and behind the television. After moving myself recently, and having to throw out so much stuff, I am determined to keep control of what I have. Not having too many books, cds and clothes, keeping it under control, which is hard. I let go of the teenage stuff a long time ago, and are getting better about passing things onto the Cancer Society shops. There are only so many fridge magnets and key rings one girl needs. 4/5 - I am inspired by her story and loved her scale of hording at the beginning of the book.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Perfect Dollies - Etsy Love

Is is sad to say that at 42 I would love one of these dollies? Not to play with, but they would look sweet sitting on my dresser. Made by Krakakraft on ETSY.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion (2009) Now be warned, I am not a big fan of the zombie fiction, but usually the genre is told from the side of the humans being chased. I must admit to quite enjoying at least the first half of Zombieland, and so it is refreshing to see the tale told by a zombie himself, and as the guest blurbs say, you are surprised to find yourself taking Mr Zombies side. So Mr Zombie teaches us what it is like to lose the things that make us human, and what happens when we lose family and a sense of ourselves. Gaining it back, takes the reintroduction of what has been lost, and we discover zombies and humans are alike. Of course when I googled the book to look for a cover I discovered it is being made into a movie with Nicholas Hoult, the boy from About a Boy, and from A Single Man. 4/5 - better than expected and better than the average read.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cleopatra - Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra - Stacy Schiff (2010) So I wasn't sure when I started this one whether it was non-fiction or fiction, and the whole idea about learning about Cleopatra herself was a good reason to start, especially when the author explains that so much is unknown about the woman. I didn't know that she was more Greek than Egyptian, and that based in Alexandria she ruled by taking out so many of her own family members. In the end though, I wasn't loving the lady and her story, and was a bit tempted to flip through to get it finished. She didn't seem to be too concerned about looking after her people and country, just keeping her boyfriends happy and furthering her own interests. It was interesting to find out about the debunking of myths, especially the one surrounding her suicide which is often described as death by asp, which is more likely to have been caused by poison. So Cleopatra, I guess you and Elizabeth Taylor have a lot to chat about. 2/5

Friday, March 25, 2011


So Ferrari are selling this diamond encrusted book for NZ$374,000 - flippin ridiculous. If you have that much money to flash around, and I am sure there are folks who have - use your money for good. Help a shelter, feed the poor, adopt some pets - get a life.

I can't stand extravagant waste, flashy clothes and cars. Maybe I could be a superhero - I'd be Antiflash, stopping the wealthy from wasting their money, and only using it help save the world.

Royal Tea Towels - ETSY love

Tea Towel by Clauda Pearson - ETSY (NZ $25 + postage)

Tea towel by thescreenprince - ETSY (NZ$27 + postage)

I'm thinking that both these tea towels would be great for dishing up some treats while we watch the royal wedding - in our tiaras of course, with cucumber sandwiches and some bubbles. I am old enough to remember Charles and Di getting married, and as we are 12 hours ahead of the UK, here in NZ, if we were at school we were able to take the morning of school, so that we could sleep in afterwards.

I hope they have a lovely day and a good long life together, they look happy and I wish them the best, and a carriagefull of little princes and princesses together.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've got a thing lately for these West German Scheurich vases. Made in the 1960s I love the colours and the modern shapes, and maybe cos they are the same vintage as me, it brings back childhood memories. I don't think though that these designs were that popular in NZ, we just loved the orange and red Lava vases, and the Blue Mountain pottery.
Oh, and both of these beauties were found on ETSY.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Happy Medium - Jodi Livon

The Happy Medium - Jodi Livon (2009)

I like to read about Mediums and psychics, I'm a bit intrigued about what a happens when we go. This book is more about though tapping into your own intuition, learning to listen to what your gut is telling you and allowing you to have a good life. Although parts of the book were slightly confusing to me, lots of it seemed to make sense and after reading it I am now still thinking about some of the things she wrote.

So a worthy read if you like this sort of thing. I'm going to give it a 3.5/5

Monday, March 21, 2011

At Home - Bill Bryson

At Home - Bill Bryson (2010)

After researching the world, and most of the countries he has visited he now turns his attentions to home. Looking initially at his own home, he also looks at the history involved in modern houses including toilets, maids rooms, the laundry and all of the spots imbetween.

Interesting some of the points were, I felt this one was a bit too long and drawn out and I didn't really care about where the maids bedrooms were, and how many servants Lord Snootypants had. Maybe it would be better suited to a tv series than a book, where the visuals could balance out the wordiness.


Fabulous Flats

As I looked around the city on my wanderings over the weekend, I noticed again that everybody was wearing flat shoes. It irks me greatly that then, when you enter the shoe shops they are filled with lots of horrible heels, and the selection of flat shoes seems tucked down the back out of the way, and the range is limited.
Now my arches fell somewhere in the nineties, and my ablility to wear anything with a heel went, and I found myself in need of flats, but I still want to look a little stylie and not look like my grandma.
I'd love me a pair of these groundhog shoes, but they are crazy expensive here, with $200(US) price tags. So I spend my evenings trawling through the amazon and ebay sites searching for sale items, that don't have crazy shipping, and one day I'll find me a pair.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Etsy Love -Sugarloop

These are from Sugarloop - a seller from ETSY, that is actually based in Auckland NZ. I like the simplicity of the prints and the colours, they would suit my decor and they are pretty reasonably priced. Seeing I am trying my best not to buy more stuff, I keep finding things to buy, but it is alright to have a big dream list. Dreaming is free.
Oh, and yesterday I did find some winter jeans for a cheapo price, and a couple of tops. Awesome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Style Icon

I'm now in the official middle aged territory and being over 40, am struggling with the what do I wear that doesn't make me look like frumpy mutton dressed as 20 year old lamb. Well I have being looking at the fabulous Lisa, at Lisa Leonards Designs, and I must say I am in love with her winter style.

Lots of tunics and cardis over jeans and leggings with boots or flats. A look that would suit me, and hide all those flaws that need camoflaging without looking dowdy. I'm just so jealous that she can pick up pieces for $20 US. Clothes are soo expensive here, and shoes have shot up that they are all in the over $200 ($140 US) range, with boots often being double the price.

So, as it payday here, and even though I am trying not to spend, I have seen some cheapish jeans and a cardi I like in the Ezibuy catalogue, so I might go down and see if by some vague chance they fit me. The jeans I am wearing are two years old and faded and about to sport some lovely thigh holes to let in the air.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Want List

I'm in love with this print of a grey cutout map of London. It would look great in my new place and remind me of living in London town all those years ago (about 16 years now). It was a great place to live and being young I didn't mind living in dodgy cheap places, and eating baked spuds for tea, and drinking lots of beer. The museums and shows were great, and I met some wonderful people, but I wish the internet and cellphones were available then, how life would have been much easier!!

Ohh - you can buy the print at Made by Girl. It is made by Fmille Summerbelle of London, and they do lovely maps of Paris and New York. I've been eyeing it up for ages, and might have to give in and buy it later, but at the moment I'm broke, so no money for treats. So onto my want list.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Amazon Books

If you live in Australia or NZ, did you know that if you order any books up to 25 pounds (about $55 NZ), you can get free postage? This offer is valid til May 15, and the books are about half the price you will find in the shops here, and far cheaper than the Book Depository, the ones I looked at were almost half the price.
What do you think? I am seriously tempted, even though I have thought I would try and avoid buying any this year, I am thinking it would be a nice Easter present for myself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Etsy Love

I am in awe of some of the talent on ETSY, and if I could I would fill my walls with the beautiful prints and art. These two by thewheatfield are bright and cheery and anything with a touch of writing makes me smile. The only letdown in NZ, is the lack of frames. It is super difficult and very expensive to buy any frame larger than a 10/8 inch frame that is not in some hideous finish. It makes us cry, the lack of a decent Ikea cheap pictue frame.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Pioneer Woman - Black Heels and Tractor Wheels - Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman - Black Heels and Tractor Wheels - Ree Drummond (2010)

Well, I love me a bit of Pioneer Womans blog, she's a funny funny girl and there is something intriguing about reading about her life with her husband and kids on the farm. I have even made one of her recipes, a chicken curry that was awesome. Ohh and I have bought her favorite lipstick too, an awesome colour that lasts and feels good, so it was a bit of a given that I would read her book. Unfortunately the Wellington Library doesn't stock her cookbook, but this little one would do.

So Black Heels and Tractor Wheels is the story of how Ree in her twenties met a young farmer lad in a bar, and once she got a peek at his wranglers she was hooked. Basically the story of their romance and early life together, I was touched by this little love story, as it was honest and sweet, with just a touch of her special brand of humour, and I felt like it was a friend telling me her story.

3/5 - Cos I needed something sweet and honest when the world seems to be going crazy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Discover Your Inner Wisdom - Char Margolis

Discover Your Inner Wisdom - Char Margolis (2008)

Char tells us that we should learn to listen to our inner voice, our gut feelings and use it to guide us in our lives. I do love a bit of psychic books, somewhere in my gut, I know that the principles that they talk about are true and their is more to life than we can understand. There must be, mustn't there? How do we even begin to understand the disaster in Japan, without having some element of faith in something else .

I felt comforted in reading this book, in trusting my instincts in that things do happen for a reason.

3/5 - Thought provoking, especially in a tough week for me, it helped me to find some peace.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens - DVD (2009)

You may know the story of the Older Mrs Edith Bouvier Beale and her daugher little Edie (same name as her mum), who were cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy, it is one of those stories that was tucked away at the back of the Womans Weekly every year or so. Little Edie was a beauty as a young woman, but after the breakdown of parents mother, and her increasingly frail mental health she moves in with her mother in a once beautiful home in the East Hamptons, outside of New York.

As the years go by, the house becomes more ramshackle and the two women end up living with a raccoon and many cats, with the health department and reporters becoming increasingly curious. Two young men in the 1970's ask if they can make a documentry about the mother and daughter pair. It is this documentry that the movie is based on, with flashbacks to their earlier life.

I enjoyed Drew Barrymore, she always make me smile with her performances and she tones down her usual cutieness to give us a more grown up role. Jessica Lange is also sterling in the job of a mother from your nightmares.

3/5 - I liked it, but didn't love it, probably Drews outfits and hair were the most memorable thing about the movie.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

As the Earth Turns Silver - Alison Wong

As the Earth Turns Silver - Alison Wong (2009)
At the turn of the nineteenth century, we meet Katherine, a wife and mother living in a poor area of Wellington, NZ. Unhappy in her marriage, she plods through life with her disagreeable husband. When her circumstances change, she finds herself drawn to a young Chinese grocer, who has come to an unwelcoming city, that treated its Chinese immigrants poorly and looked on them with suspicion.
Grappling with her hidden love affair, and raising two children, I enjoyed this look at early Wellington, especially as much of the story took place in the street next to where I live, making it seem real, as I could picture the old houses and shops that used to surround us.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Lion - Nelson DeMille

The Lion - Nelson DeMille (2010)

So The Lion by Nelson DeMille is what Lee Childs Jack Reacher wants to be once he gets out of his dusty snowy country town, he wants to go to New York and chase Middle Eastern terrorists. I find it hard to fault John Corey, he's a real man, who loves his wife, his country and his job and just wants to kill the bad guy.

Mr Corey originally encountered his Libyian terrorist several years before and had both made a pledge to kill the other. When he returns to the States, the Lion seeks out revenge for the death of his family years earlier, including the task force that had tried to take him down.

Mr DeMille, you have reminded me of what a quality author you are, and I think I have one of your latest hiding on my to be read pile on the bookshelf, and I must dig it out when I unpack some more boxes.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Harry Brown

Harry Brown - DVD (2009)

I couldn't decide if I was in the right frame of mind for this one, and I must say that I probably didn't do it justice because I watched the last half in fast forward mode. The word that comes to mind is grim, and I am not sure that is exactly what I am looking forward to in my entertainment. It does make think about what I want a movie to be, and it's not all cute puppies and skipping in rainbows, but I'm a bit over the overly dark or the car chases, and totally done with the manboys and their toilet humor.

A retired marine, Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is feeling trapped in his tower block as hooligans rule the roost, abusing and attacking other residents making the area unsafe for all. When his best friend is murdered, he seeks out the youths involved, and as you can imagine - bloodshed is involved.

Michael Caine is tops, he made the first half worth watching anyway and maybe at another time I would have had the ability to sit and watch the whole thing.