Wednesday, September 30, 2009

that certain something

I love a spot of glamour. Even when I'm at my most poorly I instantly perk up with freshly washed hair, or pretty painted toenails. Grooming makes me feel good.

There was an interesting debate on MamaMia this week about grooming standards after you're married or in a long-term relationship and, as usual, I didn't weigh into the comments {I swear to god every time I do my comments are misconstrued by someone and it drives me insane!} but I did think about it.

I love my husband for who he is, and am pretty sure the favour's returned. That said, I try to pretty much subscribe to the same standards of grooming I maintained when we first met. I dye my hair regularly, wax legs etc and get dolled up for any event where we go out.

And I expect the same from him {not the make-up, waxing legs etc, just maintaining standards - you know}.

We've been together 16 years now, and I've added more than a few kilos to the frame he took up with, but, aside from a little bit extra to cuddle, I'm still pretty much the gal he met.

Some may say that looks don't matter, and yes, my husband will always look gorgeous in my eyes, but you've got to maintain the standards that feel right to you. I feel erky without my legs waxed - and yes, I do consider myself a feminist! I made the political statement growing out my underarm hair in Uni and combined with goat milk deodorant and vintage polyester clothing that was a disaster that shan't be revisited.

I believe the most important thing is to do what feels right for you, and your relationship. I don't judge anyone who feels comfortable in tracky daks and uggs most of the time {I know they're comfy - they're just not for sharing with the world as far as I'm concerned}.

All the experts agree that you've got to work at your relationships - maintaining kindness, laughter, affection - lasting love's worth it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

life lessons

Last night's dinner was a disappointment - but also a success. It was my Nigella slow-cooked lamb with macaroni which should have been delish, but was an epic fail - some could say it was on iSnack 2.0 scale of a fail {that's for the aussie readers...}

So, I hadn't written down the recipe. Fail one.
I neglected to include garlic. Fail two.
I bought the meat from Coles instead of the butcher. Fail three.
I bought leg of lamb instead of shoulder. Fail four.
I didn't cut off all the fat. Fail five.
I used white wine {as Nigella suggested}. Fail six.

Now, while this resulted in a bland, fatty meal it also resulted in me coming to a few realisations. Firstly, take note of all the ingredients in a dish, or use common sense. Which leads to 2. Everything tastes better with garlic - except pudding. No matter how busy you are buy meat from a butcher. Buy the right cut for the dish. Cut off fat from lamb when stewing, particularly when it's in a tomato-based dish. Otherwise it results in unappetising orange fat. Erk. Use red wine in rich dishes, white wine in subtle dishes. I like my red meat rich, ergo, I should always use red wine with it.

So there you go. Not Nigella's fault and I think that next time this dish could be a winner. I'll make it properly next time and post the recipe.

Now I'm off to apologise to my butcher for cheating on him...

Monday, September 28, 2009

monday's menu

After another week of no menu-planning it's time to step up. This week I'm all inspired by Nigella. Tonight's dish is based on one I saw her whipping up on one of her programs... and looks delish. Here's what we're eating

Monday Slow roasted lamb shoulder and macaroni casserole {recipe to come}
Tuesday Chicken pot pies
Wednesday Prosciutto-wrapped pork with braised red cabbage and roasted veg
Thursday Beef curry, spinach and rice
Friday Oven-roasted salmon, lemon potatoes and salad
Saturday Beef curry in the slow cooker
Sunday Pork roast with veg

mais oui, oui, oui

I knew it. I watched a new cooking show set in the South of France last night and it set me hankering for a southern soujourn.

Considering that you can rent a magnifique home such as this while you're there it seems like quite the option non?

A gal's gotta dream - particularly one who's got a lot of work on this week. Luckily my drugs have kicked in and I feel much, much better, which hopefully means I just had an infection and not glandular fever. I've been taking my penicillin and resting as much as possible so fingers and toes crossed my recovery's on an upward slant.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

no place like it

Ahhh, spending the weekend at home - is there a nicer thing to do? We started the morning off with Omelette aux fines herbs - cooked by my gal and her bestie - with herbs from the window boxes. Delish.

Now, I'm slowly pottering about cleaning up the red dust {don't worry - not doing too much - and am feeling much, much better - the drugs are doing their job!}

Tonight's the premiere of Trish's Mediterranean Kitchen - set in the South of France. Guess whether or not that's going to set me plotting my next French soujourn...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

big love

If I had to chose a couple's relationship to emulate it'd be Gomez and Morticia. His eyes lit up every time he caught sight of her, she looked like she wanted to devour him. Hand and arm kissing, uttering french endearments. Yep, that's something special right there...

Friday, September 25, 2009

mag hag must-have

When you're a patient, you need a stack of fabbo mags to flick through to make you feel better. My husband might need to go on a hunting and gathering expedition to Borders this weekend to pick this up for me. Tim Burton + High Fashion? Yes please.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

poorly me

Well, my throat and general malaise hasn't improved over the week so I went to the doctor today, who looked at my throat, frowned, felt my neck - furrowed his brow and asked "Have you had glandular fever?" "Why no!" I responded. "Well I think you have now..."


If you're going to get sick, might as well make it something dramatic. My friend, Ms M, was just diagnosed with asthma - in her 30s. 'Splains the cough she'd had for yonks.

Thankfully I work from home, so don't have to wear myself out travelling. Luckily I'm also ahead on my deadlines too. I'm listening to my body and working, then resting, then working, then resting.

Goodness, what a week!

pump up the volume

A gal should always have a pretty pair of pumps in her shoe arsenal. These Valentino numbers would gussy-up any get up - non?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

isn't it ironic

So, the other day I'm putting away some DVDs and noticed how awfully dusty the tv cabinet was, "Oh, well" I thought. "I'm pretty flat-out at the moment, the dusting will have to wait." Well obviously mother nature didn't agree with me as now the dust storm is finally starting to settle and I'll be doing a helluva lot of dusting if I'd like to breathe easily in the next few days.

This pink duster would help...

well fine then

Okay, so yesterday I complained about the windy weather and today, the wind's decided to up it a notch and hand over the worst dust storm in NSW since the 1940s.


I woke to a red armageddon sky and the sensation of dust tickling my tonsils - and the day has tended to worsen. 100+ year-old houses have their joys, but they tend to have the odd gaps where dust can creep in - even with the windows tightly closed. So I'm sitting with a tissue over my nose in an attempt to breathe.

My gal's stayed home from school, it's not worth taking her out in this crazy climactic condition. Hubby's been called home to bring me some ventolin - as, of course, I'm out of the stuff.

Seriously, how do people in the outback cope with these things?

Let's hope tomorrow brings clearer conditions. And less whinging from me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

wild n windy

It's a crazy windy day outside at the moment. Not quite Wizard Of Oz-esque - but damned close.

The sky's grey, leaves and grasses are being whipped through the air and the trees are scratching on my windows and clawing at the tin roof.

Sadly I think it's going to blow the last of the petals from the wisteria. It was a short season, but boy, was it spectacular.

I'm drowning my sorrows today, well, I'm attempting to drown my sore throat at least. I'm now onto my fourth litre of water - and still feel I'm dying of thirst. But then, as only hypochondriacs can, I worry that if I keep on drinking I'll drown myself from the inside out. Hmmm, might wait a bit for that next glass of water...

Apart from that, I've been productive - despite wanting to huddle in bed sipping honey and lemon drinks. Maybe once I've done the ballet drop-off at 4pm I can snuggle back into bed.

feeling frocktastic

Ah who doesn't love an award show - only for the frocks mind... I've been browsing all over the net at all the get-ups on display at the Emmys and wondered what I'd wear should I be nominated for best in my category.

Quite frankly I don't think you can go past sequins. But, see, I don't like just a sprinkling of sequins or beading on a neckline, hell no, it's gotta be totally sequin-tastic.

Oh, and I'd quite like to borrow Christina Hendricks' bod to fill out this frock. Thanks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

planetary pandemonium

Ordinarily I tend to not pay an enormous amount of attention to astrology and such - except for one thing - Mercury Retrograde. During this phase things tend to go awry. Communications will tend to become muddled and confused, and, if a piece of technology decides to go on the fritz, chances are it'll be when this planet's retrograde.

So far I've dealt okay with this cycle. Sure, people haven't responded to my emails, communication's been odd to say the least and my husband has misinterpreted around 1/4 of what I've been saying.

But, nothing toooooo bad has happened, and I've been counting down the days till it finishes.

So today, I notice that the timer on my oven is stuck in place, won't go forwards, won't go back. And my oven won't work unless you set the timer. Damn. I call the service centre where I'm informed they'll come out for $100 payable even if I don't go ahead with their quote - which may be quite high. Double damn.

Then, tonight, I'm running the dishwasher when I realise that an odd number is flashing. Checking the manual I see it's a doozy and that I have to turn off the stopcocks {the wah?} and hope it stops the fan noise. It doesn't so I turn off the power to the dishwasher and resign myself to another service call - from a different company {smeg stove, miele dishwasher - both around 5 years old, outta warranty of course). Triple damn...

you go girl

I sat down to have my lunch in front of the Emmys where I was thrilled to see Toni Collette pick up an award for her performance in my fave show United States of Tara.

I love how she and her husband seem to adore each other and gave each other the most adorable lil' kiss when she won. Bless. Her line about hoping that her daughter doesn't need therapy when she has a flashback about being breastfed by a man at three months old was gold.

Oh, and her frock? Stunning on the screen. I love me a fabu frock...

monday pretty

How utterly gorgeous is Sophia Loren? Such an exquisite creature... This pic has nothing to do with my post, I just fell in love with it, and her, and just had to share.

Today's all about starting the week with a positive attitude - but let me tell you, my body's doing its utmost to send me spiraling into the grumps. I've got the sore throat from hell: full-on glass gargling agony. It hurts to talk, swallow, and even exist. My voice is also coming and going, handy when I need to finish three pieces this week - and do around five phone interviews...

But I'm going to keep on gargling my betadine throat relief, suck on vapodrops and drink enough water to re-fill my pool and just get on with it.

Today, as I was unloading the dishwasher for the gazzilionth time I made a decision. I'm no longer going to begrudge doing anything that makes my life {or my family or friends' life} better. So, as I'm unpacking that dishwasher I'll be glad that the dishes are clean and ready for the next meal - not mad that I'm packing them away, yet again. I'll water the trees in the planter by the pool and be grateful that they're growing to give us shade and privacy from the neighbours behind us with the world's most enormous house.

It's all about being grateful, gracious and enjoying what's offered up this week.


Friday, September 18, 2009

mmmmm frock treatment

I went shopping with my step-mother today. I had $100 burning a hole in my wallet since my birthday and was keen to buy a frock or two. She was also keen to buy me the odd item of clothing for Christmas {yes, way early - but they live in Qld, I live in NSW...}

So, we hit Westfield and I decided to see if Target was living up to its ads. Oh my lord YES! Now, as a disclaimer - these frocks above aren't mine {although, after watching Adam and the Ants vid Prince Charming on YouTube yesterday I'm kinda getting a piratey vibe} - mine are all shades of fabulous. And. Twenty Per Cent OFF!

With my hundred I bought a fabulous peacock patterned maxi dress - perfect for working in and attending summer drinks, a pretty dove grey and black dress with a shocking pink sash and a cheapo pair of big black sunnies - and $6 change.

Then, my stepmother bought me two dresses and skirt, for just over $100. One dress was black with white polka dots, the other a brilliant shade of blue, and the skirt a long, black and white number. I love Target - and I love their 20 per cent off sales even more. Those frocks will do me right through this summer, and the next, and probably the one after. I'll be dressing them up, down and sideways with beads, wedges, pretty havaianas.

Soooooooo happy.

fridays are fabulous

Ahh, Friday. As far as I'm concerned the weekend starts on Friday morning. Sure, I've got work to do today, but nothing pressing. Instead I'm going to potter around, doing a little of this, and some of that, and get myself in weekend mode.

Our gal's having her bestie over for a weekend sleepover while her parents are off on a child-free weekend, so that means that while the gal's entertained, the parents can get stuff done. I'd like to give the wicker setting in the pavilion a slick of paint - and maybe feed the roses again.

I also need to work out how to inject a dash more pastel prettiness into my home after seeing this gorgeous summerhouse. Oh my.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

peachy keen

Peach, coral, apricot - all happy colours that'd vanished off the radar for a few years - but now are back. Yay! These Lacroix sweeties tickled my fancy while browsing through on-line shoes this morning. Polka dots and muted shades of pink really take me to my happy place.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

a few of my favourite things

My gal
In Paris
On a carousel
Riding a horsie that goes up and down
At the foot of le tour Eiffel
Wearing her cute kitty sunglasses bought at a market in South West France
The antique option in iPhoto
Dreaming of revisiting...

victoriana vogue

When my main squeeze {well, my only squeeze} took me out for dinner the other night I wore a long black frock, many beads and a seriously sexay pair of heels. But you know what? I think I was the only gal about town not flashing a serious expanse of thigh - some dresses were totally crotchtacular...

I like a long frock, and this number here by One Vintage is especially droolworthy. Can't you see it with layers of long cream and jet beads a la Coco Chanel?

Le swoooooooooooooon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

terrific tuesday

My gal's at a netball gala day for her school today and I've been down to watch the first two games before ducking home to do a phone interview and finish off
a story.

I love what team sports do for a child, I think they're one of the most important things a child can do - particularly for girls. I wrote an article on boosting self-esteem of teenage girls a while back and the research really pointed to how much playing a team sport into their teens can help. Not only does it increase their self-esteem they end up with a much more positive body image.

Luckily my gal loves the game, and she's got me as a role model - a mum who gets tetchy if she misses her own Monday night match. Now that I'm coaching, hopefully that'll inspire my lass to keep playing into her teens. I'll be there guiding, but not pushing, so fingers crossed!

Oh, and that shot's the Australian Diamonds in action - not me! Similar hair though...

Monday, September 14, 2009

funny that

Funny men are seriously attractive.

party time, excellent

Well, a most excellent weekend was topped off by a fantastic party yesterday afternoon. It was the end-of-season party for my lil netball team and was utterly brilliant. One of the mum's generously hosted it at her spectacular home and her daughter had planned every minute with fun and games for the girls.
They had a lolly hunt, bobbed for apples, had a dance-off, played with glowsticks when the sun went down - it was brilliant. The highlight was the awards they'd devised for all the players - very funny, appropriate and cute! They also gave me the most magnificent coaching pressie - a gift voucher to Newcastle's best restaurant - and one I've been dying to dress up for - Bacchus.

I'm going to do all it takes to get my team back together again and coach them next year. They are a truly special group of girls and I love them all to bits.

Busy monday again today, but I've already got it and achieved the hardest tasks first. I think swallowing my fear and making myself do something first up {before even reading any blogs! Gasp!!} could be the key to success. With one success under my belt I'm feeling positive that the whole day's going to cruise along swimmingly.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

baby, it's hot outside

So, we didn't really have a winter in Aus this year, and it looks like our spring's more of a summer. Today it's meant to be 27 degrees, and when I was out giving the trees by the pool a drink, I think I built up a quick tan.

I had a lovely surprise last night. Because our gal was having a sleepover, my dear darling husband booked a harbourside table at one of our favourite restaurants, Silo. It's a gorgeous place on the Newcastle foreshore, with stunning decor, knowledgeable staff, yummy cocktails and great food.

Because I was in a classic mood I went with a cosmopolitan before the meal, you know, to celebrate the fact they're shooting SATC 2... No, I just think that a cosmo is the perfect cocktail.

Then we shared a baguette with dips while we chatted and then I was entranced by the duck confit, with puy lentils and carrot puree (I know, Sara Rose!) while my lovely man had beef cheeks with potato rosti and spinach I do believe.

We rounded off the night with creme brulee and fresh strawberry icecream with pistachio biscotti and wandered on home.


Today, Matt's out working in the garden again, and I'm writing in my study until it's time to bake the red velvet cupcakes to take to my gal's netball team party. Should be a fun day - especially if we've got sea breezes to cool us all down.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

spring fling

What a weekend. It's hot and the scent of summer's on the breeze. We spent the night at my in-law's last night, had a delish meal of quiche and salad, chatted, slept in, then woke to a damn fine breakfast. We slowly made our way to our favourite nursery, Heritage Gardens at East Maitland, had coffee and flicked through the range of amazing books and mags on offer at The Garden Table cafe, and bought some herbs and lettuce to plant in the window boxes outside the kitchen window. That's my vegie garden, until I have a real one.

We could have gone crazy spending up on spring colour, but were restrained and waited till we came home and worked out exactly what we need to fill each space.

Our gal's gone to her bestie's for another sleepover, I'm working on another story due Tuesday, and husband's out cleaning the side fence ready to paint the palings charcoal. What a fine backdrop that'll provide to a hedge and the vegie garden.

Meanwhile, I leave you with these fabulous parrot tulips - aren't they just delicious? I found them at and could have just dived into my monitor with all the gorgeousness they have on offer...

Friday, September 11, 2009

peaches and cream

This pretty little geranium is bringing a spot of sunny colour to our front veranda at the moment. It's on the table of a 1920s French set we've got sitting between two windows, and as as the cushions on the chairs are the prettiest pale blue and cream toile I think they make quite the perfect vingette.

wisteria's wow factor

My wisteria's nearly completely out - so I thought that rather than just selfishly inhaling its delicate aroma, I'd snap another shot to share with you.

That big ball of foliage is a murraya, and its orange-blossom fleurs are just starting the dot the sphere. To the right of the stairs is a gorgeous gardenia - so as you can imagine, we're surrounded by scents throughout the seasons.

My husband's keen to prune the murraya slightly smaller, so we can have a hedge of lavender around the base which suits me just fine. Lavender grows beautifully in our front yard and seems to flower nearly year-round, so who can complain?

I do have quite a grey and purple theme going on with the house, but don't fret - there's plenty of colour pops. Underneath our baywindow, to the right of the house is the lavender garden with the Graham Thomas rose whose big show-off yellow blooms have just started to burst forth.

Along the front picket fence are alternate roses of pink and red - my all-time favourite combination. All scented, all blowsy, all earning their keep.

Who couldn't love spring when it puts on such a show?

rose tinted attitude

It would be impossible not to feel pretty in such a pink bathroom. Imagine how gorgeous your complexion would look diffused by the rosy hue of these walls...

I'm in a rosy frame of mind - trying to view the world in a more positive slant, and it's working. I'm getting through all the work I need to. I vacuumed my house before I tripped over a dust bunny and broke a hip. My kitchen bench is, well, okay...

Now I'm just psyching myself up to make a few phonecalls. I need two more interview subjects to complete a story, one's organised, the other not. I've got till Tuesday, so it's not like I'm frantic.

So what I'll do is go hang my washing in the spring sunshine. Step out the front and inhale a few breaths of the wonderful wisteria cloaking my veranda, wash my hair and then, boom, pick up that phone and dial and dial until I've got what I need.

Happy Friday everyone x

Thursday, September 10, 2009

kiss me kate

That Kate Spade sure is a lady of fine style. Look at these pretties! With the slash of fuschia across the toe they're bound to spin eyes in your direction.

I see them with a citron frock with a very full fifties skirt, but then again, I'm seeing everything like that lately - it's my new obsession...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

clutter busting trick

When it comes to ditching the clutter, the hardest part is finding the time and the energy - so it makes sense to always be prepared.

What I like to do is hang a carrybag on the back of all the doors in the house - bedrooms, kitchen, study - and then, when I come across something I don't need {such as clothes that don't fit, kitchenware I no longer use, books I don't want to re-read} I can toss them in the donation bag. Then, when the bag's full, it's ready to go to the salvos.

Of course, when I use a pretty bag like these Cath Kidston numbers, I'll switch all the stuff into a plastic bag for the drop off!

what's cookin' wednesday

Life with a menu plan is a much happier life. Last night we had the delicious red wine and crispy pancetta risotto I posted earlier, and oh boy, was it good.

Here's what we're eating the rest of the week:

Wednesday: skirt steak, broccoli and cashew stir-fry with udon noodles
Thursday: Baked salmon with avocado salsa and salad
Friday: dinner at the in-laws so I'm taking quiche Lorraine and they're supplying the salad
Saturday: prawn, chorizo and potato salad {griddled on the bbq with a sherry vinegar dressing. Oh my}
Sunday: bbq dinner for my gal's netball team - all I need to take are a couple of dozen red velvet cupcakes!
Monday: chicken and pistachio meatloaf with roasted vegies
Tuesday: minted lamb cutlets, smashed peas and mash

i wanna be me

I went to the dentist the other week to pay a fortune to have my teeth cleaned in a rather agonising fashion. So, while the hygenist is chatting away about how I don't brush my teeth correctly, blah, blah, she once again mentions the wear on my front teeth and how I could have them bonded.

Now, I've posted earlier about how I'd never even noticed that one of my teeth had a wee chip and had worn. Never. Until it was brought to my attention. Now apparently both my teeth have worn, but they can fix it.

Then she started rattling on about teeth whitening, two sessions apparently, and they could bond a number of my teeth so they become all the same length.


Yep, for around $1500 I could have a "Hollywood Smile".

Or I could fly to New York for a week.

I don't want a Hollywood Smile. I want my smile. Yes, it's cracked and flawed, but I don't understand why you'd want to look like someone else and if I had a line of perfectly white, straight Hollywood teeth I'd look like someone else.

What does Nicole Kidman think when she looks in the mirror? I just saw shots of her at the tennis, with the most astonishingly inflated top lip and a puffy face that's obviously been stabbed with various fillers and plumpers. She doesn't look like herself, not one jot. And that's not what I want.

Off to brush my teeth now. Badly.

Oh, and guess what? This is my 850th post. Yay me. 1000 here I come.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

dream dinner

I've had a craving these past few days for a red wine risotto after watching Giada whip one up the other night, and, oh my, was it worth it.

Here's the recipe
big knob of butter
6 - 8 french shallots, sliced
2 big cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup of risotto rice
1 cup of red wine
4 cups beef stock
few sprigs of thyme
8 slices pancetta
parmesan to serve

Melt butter in pan and saute shallots and garlic till soft. Pour in rice, stir for two minutes. Then pour over 1 cup of red wine. Then add a ladleful of simmering beef stock, stirring till it's almost absorbed. Throw in your thyme with the risotto.

Meanwhile, fry up your pancetta and break into pieces. When you're one ladleful away from finishing {around 20 mins in} throw in half the crispy pancetta and grate in about 1/2 cup of parmesan. Throw in the rest of the stock, stir, and serve. Break remaining pancetta over the top and throw on some parmesan shavings.


seamstress dreams

This Zac Posen frock is calling my name {and then it's snickering behind its hands saying, "yeah, as if you can afford me... Rude!} All the more reason why I intend on mastering the skill of sewing.

I could create the perfect frock, in the most just-so fabric and would know that nobody else will be waltzing down the street in said number.

Hmmm, perhaps it really is time to bring out the ol' Singer sewing machine...

feeling better now

Phew, it's amazing what a glass of lemonade and a sausage roll can achieve {do doctor's prescribe such things? They should}. I'm now feeling much, much better - but think my day would be eminently improved with peonies such as these on such a lovely benchtop {and those wee tarts too, mmmmm}. When in doubt, take a spoonful of pretty.

nothing to see here...

I'm not feeling too hot today. Just a lurgy, that's making me feel bleurgh-y...

Not what I need at the moment, but maybe it's a sign to slow down and de-stress. I did sleep in this morning till 10am while my husband and daughter got ready this morning - that helped. And I've washed my hair and got dressed - which nearly always makes a difference - except not today.


Oh well, I'll drink lots of water to flush it from my system and go sit out in the spring sunshine for a bit. Surely that'll make me feel better...

Monday, September 07, 2009

wisteria lane

Our wisteria is in flower at the moment and I thought I'd best stop to appreciate it - and grab a couple of shots so you could too.

Isn't it just gorgeous! Pretty soon the vine will be covered and the delicate scent will waft over me as I walk up the stairs. I really have to thank the former owners for planting this, I don't think I would have considered it.

I have a productive week planned. I'm not as frantic as I was the last two weeks so I'm determined to get back into menu planning and spend some time getting the house in order. We have some leftover chicken provencal from last night's family feast, so that will do us for dinner tonight - and from tomorrow I'll be meal planning like I do it for a living.

I had a coffee catch-up this morning with my best friend from primary and high school - who I haven't seen in 20 years!!!! She hadn't changed, and has just become more lovely over time. Sometimes it's worth revisiting the past.

Hope you've got a lovely week planned.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

oh what a night

Twas quite the ball last night. As you can see I cracked open the box and my beautiful Manolos came out to play. They had a lovely time...

I'm proud to say they've come home in pretty fine condition - no heels went through any cracks to get scuffed and scrunched.

We sipped on an amazing champage - Rodier pere et fils - which I shall be tracking down as it was utterly delicious... The food was sublime too. Morsels of duck and salad on spoons, teeny demitasse cups filled with seafood chowder and oysters to nibble while sipping champagne. Smoked salmon parcels first, followed by the most delicious pork belly dish ever {and that's saying something!} with a beef and scampi man. All rounded off with a delicate pavalova that was more like snow eggs in texture. Perfection.

We've just had the father's day pressies and breakfast in bed - with husband now going back to sleep for a tad. I'm about to start cooking provencal chicken for 16 for dinner at my in-laws' tonight. I've never catered for that many, particularly when there are two other hot dishes, oh well, best too much than not enough.

Happy father's day to all those blokes out there enjoying the day.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

woo hoo it's the weekend

Who doesn't love seeing a weekend stretched out before them? We've got lots of lovely plans this weekend, including a ball tonight which is ever-so-exciting! It's on the harbour so should be pretty darned magnificent.

Sunday's father's day, so I'll be collecting our gal from her cousins' early sunday morning {after her sleepover Saturday night} and we'll make breakfast in bed and lavish daddy with gifts.

Then I'll be cooking up a storm as we have a family dinner on Sunday night. I'm making a huge pot of chicken provencal and taking baguettes to serve with it. Yum.

My husband's turned into quite the home handyman and has managed to paint lots of the pavilion and the outdoor table and chairs on the back veranda, giving them a gorgeous fresh, white look. We're inspired now to get as much of the garden finished by Christmas - including the side!!

Now I need to pull my dress from the closet for the ball tonight to make sure it still fits after a winter of comfort food. Otherwise I'll be buying a couple of pairs of spanx...

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, September 04, 2009

i feel like dancin'

Nothing, NOTHING makes me happier than dancing, which is why I cannot believe that I have never been informed of THIS

I saw a compilation clip on GoFugYourself the other day and haven't stopped smiling since. Oh, and I've been over to YouTube and checked out about a dozen different versions which have all caused me to break out all cheshire cat-like.


fabulous friday

Cor blimey Charlie, it's the start of another weekend. Okay, now seriously, did this week just zoom by at a super-dooper speed, or was that just me?

It's grey and drizzly today, not how I like to start my weekends - but the garden could do with a soak, so shan't complain...

We've set the daybed up in the pavilion now and as soon as the sun comes out and makes it look all photo-shoot ready I'll nip up and start snapping away.

I'm already planning my summer's entertaining. And how cute is this idea for holding water? We've got the champagne fridge in the pavilion, and I must say that water consumption is always secondary when it comes to the choice of champagne bubbles or l'aqua. However, don't you think that a vessel like this would make water seem like the chic-est choice?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

bite of bliss

I don't have a lot to thank my maternal grandfather for, he really wasn't that great a person... However, I shall always be thankful for two things.

1. I seem to have inherited his baby skin - I swear his first wrinkle appeared when he was in his 60s, so I shan't be needing botox anytime in the future.

And 2. He grew the best darned tomatoes in the world. Even now I can still taste the most perfect snack ever: slices of fresh, ruby red tomato on buttered Sao biscuits, with lashings of salt and pepper. Only slightly bettered by fresh white bread, buttered, and generously laden with slices of tomatoes, salt and pepper.

My husband and daughter aren't keen on tomatoes, probably because they never tasted my pop's. If they had, they too, like me, would be on the ever elusive hunt for the perfect tomato.

I reckon that when my vegie garden's in full swing I'll have found it. I'm going to hunt through every heirloom seed company's stock till I find the perfect beefstock tomato - and force my family to try a taste of heaven...

frock on

I really, really need this dress.

bright out

It's a strange ol' day out today. Kinda grey, kinda misty... could go either way. So I thought I'd put a zing in everyone's day with these lipstick red beauties. They're by Brian Atwood and I found 'em over at net-a-porter if you're in a shopping frame of mind. They suggest pairing them with a pair of denim skinnies, which would look mighty nice, but I'd love to see them with an emerald green sunfrock. That'd bring out the sunshine - even if only in your immediate vicinity.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

bluebells for beth

Because everyone needs a little bit of pretty in their day...

and so to bed

I'm not a great sleeper. Ever since having our gal, I've slept lightly, with the slightest sound waking me - and keeping me awake for yonks. Last night I was just so tired I was tempted to go to bed at 7.30 and thought, darn it, maybe I should!

I'd felt sluggish all day, and even though I forced myself to go for a 30 minute walk at 5pm, I still felt erk.

So I forced myself to stay awake till 8.30, read a chapter of my bedtime book and snoozed until 7.45am. Bliss on a stick.

Now I'm refreshed and ready to take on anything.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

spring fling

Oooh, it's the first day of spring - quite possibly my fave season {but I also like autumn, and winter, and now I've got the pool, summer...}

Here's a pic of my gal from a few years ago when we were checking out the gardens in the Southern Highlands. I adore tulips, but here in sunny newcastle it's too warm for them.

Not to worry, just gives me an excuse to buy a bunch in spring. Must say, I'm loving having pretty fleurs on my desk - makes the working day go by much more pleasantly...

time-saving tuesday

I'm not going to bore you with talk of how busy I am - mainly because I'd much prefer busy than chasing work! But even though I've got bucketloads of work to do, I still have find the time to do the essentials. So here's what I'm going to do...

This may sound shocking, but I'm going to cut back my television viewing to the bare essentials. Yep, I'm going to go through the TV guide and choose my must-watch NEW programs and only watch them - no repeat viewings, no mindless watching-the-least-offensive-crapola...

So if I'm not sitting in front of the telly, I'm doing something productive - good huh! I'll also be scheduling in my daily walks which are the only thing keeping me sane lately. I played a hellishly tough game of netball last night, in a very active position so I'm feeling a bit creaky today. Luckily I know that a good, brisk walk will lubricate the ol' joints again.

I'm still sticking to my timeline too - where everything's broken down into pieces. It really helped me get all four articles that were due on Friday in on time. Woo hoo.

Have a happy Tuesday!