Why Blog?

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It is not that many years ago that most of us had never heard of a blog, let alone read one, or heaven forbid, actual written a blog post.  Some days now, it seems as though everyone is writing.  All of this got me to thinking about what made me start and why I continue to blog.

My blog is not an advertising vehicle.  It is not a money-making exercise.

simplicityMy blog is a diary.  I am able to share my thoughts and ideas on a wide range of topics.  It allows me to connect with others who share similar values and interests.  It is me.  Pure and simple.

Project 333 – Black & White


From time to time I set myself mini challenges to force me to push the boundaries of my streamlined wardrobe.  I decided that this week would be entirely monochromatic – a black and white theme.

The forecast for Monday was hot so I reached for this old faithful which I have owned for 4 years.  There is so much to love about it – 100% cotton with a collar and cut away armholes AND made in Australia.

Black dress with white spotsTuesday was nearly as hot so another 100% cotton dress was a good option.  This is the one I bought a month ago.

2014-10-26 01On Wednesday the temperature was more reasonable so I opted for black 3/4 pants with this blouse from the recycle boutique.  I have worn it several times since I bought it a few weeks ago.  It is destined to become a firm favourite.

2014-10-26 02Today I tried a previously untested combination.  The black 3/4 pants got another airing but this time I teamed them with a black sleeveless fitted top and this blouse worn unbuttoned over it.  The blouse is a very fine fabric and needs an appropriate coloured bra underneath it and as I only had a black bra clean I decided to be a little creative.  While the outfit looked perfectly acceptable, it just did not feel right to me.  I will keep the blouse to be worn as it was designed in future.  I also think that I prefer this particular blouse teamed with my straight black skirt rather than trousers.

BlouseTomorrow it is going to be quite warm so I plan to wear white 3/4 trousers and this shirt.

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I have plenty of other black and white options but I will save them for another time.  Here is a selection.

2013-02-27 01Dress and jacketSleeveless top2013-02-27 02

Organising Finances


I have been at work all day so nothing much to report on the home front.

However, we are currently working on a long-term financial plan as opposed to the day-to-day budget.  There is so much to consider – transition to retirement, salary sacrifice, superannuation options and so on.  We have sought professional guidance but the final decision is ours and we have to be comfortable that we have a workable and sustainable plan.


Do you have a retirement strategy?  Or are you already retired from the workforce?

Project 333 – 3 In, 6 Out


It is now 5 weeks since we arrived home from our trip to the UK and Ireland.  Those of you who followed my travel blog will know that I travelled fairly lightly and had 6 tops earmarked to go to the charity bin at the end of the trip. In this post you can see the 3 tops (red, blue and black) and the 3 striped 3/4 sleeve tops that I had decided would need to go.  They were all pretty much past their use-by-date as they had faded, had small stains and the necklines were stretched and out of shape.  I wore them to death for the 6 weeks that we were away and was glad to see the back of them at the end of the trip.

I think I have enough short-sleeved and sleeveless tops in my wardrobe but the 3/4 sleeve ones will need replacing.  That will be a project before next autumn.  In the meantime I did buy 3 pieces on the weekend we arrived home.  I did not specifically set out to buy any of them.

The Duke and I went to Maleny to pick up a few groceries and I decided to take a look in a small boutique.  I found this dress which is 100% cotton, lined and cool and comfortable.  The fact that it is black and white is an added bonus.

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Next, we wandered across the road to a recycle boutique where I struck it lucky.  This blouse is also cotton (with a touch of spandex) and I don’t think it had ever been worn.  I discovered why that was probably the case when I tried it on.  The top button was at the level of the bottom edge of my bra!  It was an easy matter to make another buttonhole and add a button.  Also, black and white!

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Finally, I found a lovely stretch lace waterfall cardigan by Mela Purdie.  This was also in the recycle boutique and a steal at $35 when it would have been around $250 when brand new.

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I am really pleased to have found these pieces and feel that they are all worthwhile additions to my wardrobe.

The Culling Continues


I have not written much lately about my decluttering efforts but that does not mean that it isn’t happening.

Today we finally got around to collating the documents we needed to have our tax returns done.  The Duke scanned these and emailed them to the accountant.  On thing led to another and I ended up cleaning out the filing cabinet as well as sorting and tidying the shelves in the cupboard.

We have one completely empty drawer in our 4 drawer filing cabinet and the others are sorted and tidied up.

2014-10-25 01There is a lot less stuff in the top cupboard.

2014-10-25 02The desk is spotless.

2014-10-25 03It is difficult to see but you will have to believe me when I say that we got rid of quite a bit of stuff.  All of the paper has been recycled.  Some went in the recycle bin but most was torn into strips and added to the the leaf litter in the new raised garden bed.  We topped it with a layer of mulch and watered it in well.  This will break down over time.

Things that have gone include:

Tax returns more than 5 years old
Bank statements more than five years old
A huge pile of scrap A4 paper from my old job for which I will never have a need
Old mobile phones
Old phone and computer cables
Empty boxes
Old ‘things’ that add no value to our lives
Warranties and instructions for appliances we no longer own
Information relating to previous jobs
Etc, etc, etc…………………….

Paper is one of the most difficult types of clutter to keep under control so it requires constant work to win the battle.  There will be more to do but I feel that we have made some real progress today.

E G Whitlam 1916 – 2014

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Gough Whitlam

The 24 hours news cycle and the internet were not thought of 40 years ago when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister of Australia in 1972.  Therefore, it is somewhat ironic that I learned of the death of Gough Whitlam via the rolling coverage at the foot of the big screen in the foyer of the city office when I arrived at work this morning.  I shared and communicated the news with friends and acquaintances via text messages and Facebook.

In 3 short years Gough Whitlam achieved so much.  He had a vision for Australia which included universal access to healthcare and education, indigenous rights, support for the arts, multiculturalism, no-fault divorce,abolition of the death penalty, voting for 18 year olds and of course, the abolition of conscription and bringing the troops home from the Vietnam War.

I was 14 years old when the “It’s Time” campaign swept the Labor Party to power in 1972 and still not old enough to vote by the time Whitlam as dismissed in spectacular fashion by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr in 1975.


There has been much written and said today about Gough Whitlam and his legacy but I would like to share a few words that I read on an online forum by a contributor unknown to me.  This really sums it up for me.

“He cared. I’m so glad that he was part of my history.”

Shiny Shoes

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Just a short post tonight as I have been busy with the photo project which is progressing well.  There are a lot more of the older blog posts which now have the photos reinstated.

Last week I was in the local shoe shop where I had bought these 2 pairs of shoes a couple of months before we travelled overseas.

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I wore them practically every day for 6 weeks and have worn them quite a bit both before we left and since our return as they are simply some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned.  I asked about cleaning them and as I had suspected I was told that they could be washed in a washing machine.  I decided to handwash them using a little of the regular liquid detergent that I use in the washing machine.

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After soaking them for a few hours, I rinsed them thoroughly, squeezed the excess water out and set them out on a towel on the bench to dry.

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Once these are completely dry, I will repeat the process with the red ones.

The lady in the shoe shop also advised that you can buy replacement inner soles for $5.   It is nice to know that some things are actually made to last rather than designed to be tossed in the bin at the first sign of wear and tear.