Monthly Archives: June 2013

Working it!

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Stress

Stress (Photo credit: topgold)

Phew! This week I was NOT sacked.

But if you’d asked my inner pessimist what the outlook was on Friday, she probably would have sighed and reached for the nearest super-sized chocolate bar. Why?

All it took was a single, solitary phone call.

My usual employer had his personal assistant call to arrange a meeting. That’s not too shocking, I hear you say. Except, I rarely have contact with my work via anything but email.

“The boss wants some changes,” said the PA.

“He’s getting a bit bored,” said the PA.

“Tell me more,” I implored.

“Oooooh, he’d just like to see you,” fudged the PA.

Earliest available time? Monday. Two full days and a little bit more of anxiety, second-guessing and self-doubt. Good times!

If the weekend was anything to go by, it seems I was raised to find a hidden meaning in the most innocuous of conversations. I was definitely being fast-tracked to the unemployment lines.

Monday rolled around bright and sunny. My sense of dread only increased.

I walked into the office wearing my most patriotic business colours (bright green) and my power boots (suede, in case you were wondering).

“So,” he said. “I’d like to make some changes. I’m getting a bit bored.”

I’ve heard that before, I thought. Here it comes.

“What can we do to really stand out from the crowd?” he said.

“We?” I asked. “Oh, we!” Reality was dawning.

So, I was not sacked. Two and a bit days of worry had been in vain.

That sunny day turned out to be a good omen. I’ve never been so happy to check my emails and find work waiting.

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A glutton for gluten-free

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes (Photo credit: FamilySweetery)

So, we’re trialling a gluten-free diet in our household and one week in, we’re starting to see (or smell) a real difference.

I don’t want to lower the tone of this blog, but I can tell you that the eldest child is experiencing a lot fewer . . . um . . . ah-hmm . . . bottom burps. There, I said it. Let’s move on.

The only stumbling block so far has been tracking down enough suitable lunch box recipes to keep the kids happy.

Despite the recommendations of several helpful websites, I will not be packing a salad nicoise with tuna for any of my kids’ lunches. I’ve already said no to kabana and vegetable kebabs and closed the door on gluten-free sushi.

I want us to eat better. Not necessarily five star.

I’ve entered a new world where quinoa reigns supreme. Pronounce that right and its sounds even fancier.

I’ve been bemoaning a lack of reading time lately but it seems the quest for gluten-free food has solved that problem as well. I can spend hours reading labels in the supermarket aisles and still leave with just one or two things.

But we are not starving! Bags of rice have invaded our kitchen cupboards. Corn crumbs, corn flakes and cornflour have taken up residence in every other cabinet. Gone are the ready-made chicken strips, pies and cakes. I’m cooking again.

And with a bit of luck and some perseverance, we might just be a little healthier for it.

PS If you can recommend any good gluten-free sites, let me know. Much appreciated! 🙂

Fashion forays . . .

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Talons hauts

High heel heaven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in a very image-conscious town. If you’re not wearing the right fashion brands by the time you reach pre-school, the other kids notice. Give them a few years, and it’s not uncommon to see local youngsters teetering down the street on a Friday night with hair that could knock out an overpass, eyelash extensions that could maim the unwary and skirts that would make a mother blush.

Now this may come as a shock, but I’m not one to worry much about brands, trends or fashion in general. Skinny jeans were my one concession. Most of the time, comfort is my top priority. If I had a style, it would lean more toward casual chic, smart casual or snappy casual.

Let’s face it . . . my wardrobe is casual.

So, when the opportunity arose last week to glam-it-up for a night on the town with my husband, I responded with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

I headed to my usual shopping centre but soon realised that while it’s crammed with fashion outlets, not all of them want me wearing their clothes. It was evident from the moment I walked in the door. One shop keeper saw me arrive and instantly disappeared out of sight. Another just turned her back.

I’ll admit I wasn’t dressed to impress and I chose not to wear makeup because I didn’t want to mark the clothes I was trying on. I did, however, have plans to purchase an entire outfit including shoes and jewellery . . . but apparently they didn’t like my money either.

On the flip-side, one shop assistant was particularly lovely. She gave me loads of advice and, as a result, I spent the bulk of my budget there. She directed me to her favourite shoe shop and there I found a set of heels higher than I’ve ever worn before (but not as high as some of the princesses I saw later that night staggering and lurching atop their five inch perches of peril).

In the end, my foray into the world of fashion ended quite happily. I think I rocked my chosen outfit and, to top it off, we had a great night out.

Next time the bright lights of the city’s night life call, I will be ready.