Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Time to relax...

Well, it's finally Christmas and all the shopping is done. It's time to just relax!

The photo actually shows the spoils from a shopping trip in Paris in February (Notice the Burberry bag! That's was my new Burberry trench - in light pink!). But I did do a lot of shopping before Christmas this year, as I do every year. However, some of it is now done on-line and delivered to my home and that certainly reduces some of the hassle. Well, I actually love shopping, but enough is enough. It can get a bit extreme around this time of year.

Actually, this time our Christmas preparations have been more about getting rid of stuff than about acquiring more. We moved just over a month ago (on Nov 19th) and we got rid of a lot of stuff before and after the move. I am doing a major de-cluttering currently since I really want our home to be spacious and airy. For anyone attempting to do the same, I highly recommend the book "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui", it is both very practical and very deep; it goes into the reasons why we are afraid of throwing away even things that mean nothing to us. I really recommend it - even for people who are not interested in feng shui at all.

It’s been hectic moving twice in the space of a year, but that’s what it can be like for those of us who are renting – we never know when we’ll need to move. I lived in my previous place exactly a year. I hadn’t even finished decorating it and then it was time to move again. But the positive side of it has been that my stuff is now more in order than it has been in years – or perhaps even decades. I’ve been forced to go through it all so I’ve had to decide what to keep, what belongs together, etc. It’s by no means finished but at least I’ve made some serious headway into the project.

My next major steps are:

  • Converting all of my (over 500) CDs to MP3 format and managing them on my iTunes. I recently bought an iMac desktop and it’s great. The actual computer and the screen are integrated into one so it reduces clutter that way as well. And it can even be used as a TV – we are seriously considering getting rid of our 2 TVs now. I also got a new iPod with 160G’s of memory. I won’t be running out of space on it anytime soon (my previous iPod had 20G's of space and I could no longer fit everything in my collection on it at once). Once all of my music is in MP3 format and also backed-up in some foolproof way (e.g. burned on DVDs), I can get rid of my CD collection. The advantage of MP3 is that it doesn’t collect dust. ;-)
  • I want my home to be as paper-free as possible. Just like they talk about a paper-free office. My office (at work) is in fact nearly paper-free now since I recently had to move into what is called a “flexi-space” or “modern office concept”. It means that nobody has their own desk, they just sit at the first free place when they get to the office in the morning. So all our files need to be electronic so that they go with us in our laptop (and are of course also backed-up on company servers). I now want to implement the same thing in our home.

Here’s what that means in practice:

  • All photos are digital. We only take digital photos and I have bought a scanner that scans both photos, negatives and slides. So I will slowly convert all old photos to digital format as well.
  • Whatever information I need can be kept in digital format. Information does not need to be kept on paper. This means that I can get rid of things such as address books, phone books, shopping lists, magazine and newspaper clippings, instructions booklets, most receipts, etc. Whatever I really want to keep can be scanned and filed electronically. There is very little paper that we really must keep in paper format (e.g. for tax purposes etc). And it’s a good idea to scan those as well so that there are back-up copies in case of fire or other disaster. So it’s a good idea to keep electronic back-up copies of those kinds of really important papers somewhere other than your home. I, for example, send myself a copy of my passport to my gmail address. It’s a great (and free) back-up place with lots of room.
  • I have now started buying books in audio format. They are available in both MP3 and CD format, so they can also be kept in your computer and you can get rid of the actual piece of plastic – so there’s no clutter. And it saves time since you can “read” a book e.g. while driving or while doing housework, exercizing, etc. I still do have a huge library of books (6 bookcases full) but I keep them in bookcases behind glass so that there is a minimum of dusting to do (I’m allergic to dust and house dust mites so this is a big consideration). I am also thinking about which books to keep and which ones to get rid of. For example, do we need encyclopedias as books anymore? It’s so much easier to do searches with an electronic one. These are things to consider.

    In addition to clearing out paper junk, I have been going through my wardrobe and clearing out clothes. I have also done a lot of repairs and have taken lots of clothes to the cleaners, shoes to the cobblers etc. I am trying to see what I actually have before buying more. And I'm slowly going through things in my kitchen cupboards etc. and am seeing what to keep and what to get rid of. Getting rid of stuff you never use (and don't even like) is good because you then have room in your closets and cupboards and can go out and do more shopping! ;-)

    Happy New Year 2008 – and happy clutter clearing! :-)

    Pink Champagne Lady

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Hello there!

Aren't these creatures adorable? In life, we must make choices...and sometimes we must give up something that is important to us. I have a fridge magnet that says: "You can't have everything - where would you put it?" ;-)

But seriously....these are my boyfriend's former cats. Why former? Because I am allergic to all animals and he had to give them up when we moved in together. It's really sad but it was the only option. He made a big sacrifice...

So what happened to the cats? The smaller one (on the right) had to be put to sleep. He was very sick throughout his whole life. He had some sort of problem absorbing the nutrition from his food so he was quite small and really skinny and he always had lots of stomach problems. The problems kept getting worse and the vet said that putting him down would be the kindest thing for him. It was really sad. He was such a cute little critter.

The bigger cat (on the left) went to live with my boyfriend's brother. The cat seems to enjoy it there and adjusted to the change amazingly quickly. I wonder if somehow he "recognized" the fact that, being brothers, my boyfriend and his brother are somehow similar? Genetically I mean? Do they have a similar smell - or something else that makes it easier for an animal to accept his new owner? The cat actually went to a different new home at first but meowed so much the first night that the family got fed up and did not want to keep him. Being a typical ocicat, he's a very strong personality and also quite loud. So we were starting to worry that perhaps he would not adjust to a new home at all. But he immediately seemed to be at home with my boyfriend's brother. Of course we couldn't be happier. This way we can visit as often as we want.

We do miss having cats - somehow a home seems empty without cats. I keep hoping that medical science will develop enough so that one day I can have cats again.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

She's Back!

Well Ladies and Gents, Pink Lady is back!

It's been quite a roller coaster ride lately. In about 9 months time, the following major events have taken place in Pink Lady's life:

- Splitting up with live-in boyfriend of 4 years
- Moving to one bedroom apartment
- Selling house and doing the mine/yours thing
- Buying car (used - alas!)
- Falling in love, thus acquiring wonderful new boyfriend!! :-)
- Having a major birthday (I won't reveal the number but it's big and round)
- Going on a trip to Paris (pictured above) with above-mentioned new boyfriend to celebrate above-mentioned big birthday (trip involving major shopping with recently-acquired cash from recently-sold house - highly recommended form of retail therapy!)
- In the space of 6 months, boarding a plane a total of 16 times (a new personal record) on trips involving both for work & pleasure (Pink Lady loves travel - but enough is enough!)
- Losing a suitcase twice on the same trip - but eventually getting both suitcases back. Getting a hefty compensation for the temporary loss (and ensuing enforced shopping extravaganza) in one case.
- Moving in with said new boyfriend and trying desperately to fit truckfulls of stuff into said one bedroom apartment......the process still continues.....apartment resembles warzone.....but the war against clutter is not yet over....Pink Lady shall prevail......OK, so what's your excuse for not posting? ;-)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Expensive Cookies for free - from Neiman Marcus


I received this via e-mail and simply had to post it. Enjoy the cookies! :-)

Pink Lady



This is a true story. Please forward when you finish reading! A little background: Neiman-Marcus, if you don't know already, is a very expensive shop; i.e. they sell a typical $8.00 T-shirt for $50.00. Let's let them have it! THIS IS A TRUE STORY

My daughter and I had just finished lunch at a Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas. Because both of us are such biscuit lovers, we decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus cookie". It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe. The waitress said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not, but you can BUY the recipe." I asked how much, and she responded; “Only two fifty - it's a great deal!" I agreed to that, and told her to add it to my bill. Thirty days later, I got my VISA statement, and the Neiman-Marcus charge was $285.00. I looked at it again, and I Remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two sandwiches and about $20.00 for a scarf. At the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe-$250.00". That was outrageous! I called Neiman's Accounting Department and told them the waitress had said it was "two fifty", which clearly does not mean "two hundred and fifty dollars" by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase.

Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money because, according to them; "What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money."

I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal statutes which govern fraud in the state of Texas. I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General's office. I was basically told: Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back."

I said, OK, you've got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the world with an e-mail account gets a $250 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus... For free. She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do that." I said, "Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you RIPPED ME OFF!" and slammed down the phone.

So here it is!

Please pass it on to everyone you can possibly
think of. I paid $250 for this, and I don't want Neiman-Marcus to EVER Make
another penny from this recipe!

(Recipe may be halved)
2 (500 ml) cups butter
24 oz. (680 g) chocolate chips
4 (1000 ml) cups flour
2 (500 ml) cups brown sugar
2 tsp. (10 ml) (Bicarb) soda
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
2 (500 ml) cups sugar
18 oz. (500 g) Hershey Bar (grated). (Cadbury chocolate for Australians & South Africans)
5 (1250 ml) cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder
2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
3 cups (375 ml) chopped nuts ( optional )

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
Cream the
butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, Oatmeal,
salt, baking powder, and Bicarb (soda).
Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar, and
Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
for 10 minutes at (180 °C) 375 degrees.
The above quantities
make ± 112 cookies.


This is not a joke-it's a true