Wednesday, March 31, 2010

pink of perfection

If I had a fridge as pretty as this pink Smeg number I'd keep it ever so clean and only stocked with the finest Perrier Jouet champagne.

Probably a good thing I have an old, white Fisher & Paykel isn't it?

utterly essentials

Busy, yet calm, that's my mantra for today. The to-do list is long, but do-able. The roses are fertilised, the towels and a load of my husband's sport and garden clothes are washed {with a cup of white vinegar added to deal with the sweat - he's been working hard}, I've sent off one piece that was due and plan on starting the other at 1.30. I also need to tidy the living room and kitchen and fly to Coles for the makings of dinner.

Best get on with it then.

what is love?

My Sex and the City post inspired a little debate or even declarations on men, love, marriage and lust {well, internally it did}. See, I've watched every episode of SATC, quite a few times over, and seen the film a few times too. And despite this, I don't get the Big thing. Sure, he's sexy with the whole "Abso****lutely" thing, and I love his penchant for Moon River but I don't consider him a keeper.

I guess it's because my ideal man has changed over the years. Now that I've been with my ideal man for nearly 18 years, I've realised that my dream men always seem to share attributes with my husband {awwwwww}. See, I love, love, love, love Aiden. He's my ultimate fave - sexy, sweet and with a killer line of pet names. Harry also does it for me. His love for Charlotte is unquenchable. Steve {despite his dalliance in the movie} also has a sweet, cute side and a love for Miranda that defies all odds {seriously, apart from her hair, how could you love Miranda?} Smith also did it for me for a while, and no, it wasn't his looks {although they helped...} it was how smitten he was with Samantha that rocked my boat.

I also have a thing for Hugh Grant - but only in character. Real life Hugh Grant doesn't cut it - but his lovely characters {"In the words of David Cassidy..." le sigh} cause my knees to weaken and heart to melt.

Any remaining vestiges of affection I held for bad boys have been killed thanks to Sandra Bullock's husband.

I want a man who knows what he wants - his significant other. Give me a nice guy, a sweet guy, a smitten guy - and I'll return his love and double it.


rain dance of joy

I'm not a patterned tights kinda gal, but these lil pretties from here could well change my mind. Hello, cuteness incorporated!

It's still raining here and while I'm sad that it means I'll have to cancel my gals netball training this afternoon, I'm attempting to accentuate the positive. I've already been out and sprinkled dynamic lifter under the roses and this afternoon I'll be slow-cooking up some lamb shanks. I'll serve them with Jamie Oliver's braised lentils du puy and some mash and all will be well with the world.

I also snuck a peek at the degustation menu we're being offered tomorrow night and am a little bit beside myself that we're being served venison. That's one of the few meats I've yet to try and knowing it'll be prepared by one of this town's best chefs has me squeeing with excitement.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

teasing on a tuesday

Spoiler alert!

Now, you've probably already heard, but John Corbett has confirmed that he's filmed scenes for the new Sex and the City film. Of course nothing else has leaked but fingers crossed that the script writers spied my old blog post written before the first film.

A refresher, updated to bring in what I know of the current plot.

Aiden's wife has died in a tragic accident. He sadly soldiers on, bringing up his young son, Potato Head, as a single parent. Then, he jets off quickly to Abu Dhabi for a furniture expo where he bumps into Carrie who finally realises that she was a complete and utter nincompoop for letting this man go TWICE and they rekindle their love affair, marry, and live happily ever after.

C'mon - who wouldn't want to see her reunite with Aiden? Absofrickinlutely!

goody two shoes

I know that yesterday was officially Shoe of the Day but I couldn't help it - I fell in love. And when I'm in love I'm one of those share it with the world types. Yes, chances are there'd be public displays of affection, endearing {to us} pet names, lustful gazing, petting, stroking...

Ahem, I've calmed myself now.

However, these Louboutins I spied with my gleeful little eyes over at net-a-porter have set my heart aflutter. I also gazed adoringly at a delightful Alberta Ferretti lavender frock in the most exquisite chiffon - but I couldn't place both of them on here - it'd be sensory overload and I'd need smelling salts and a good lie down.

avoir soif

In cause for celebration we had the final french lesson last night and after one semester I'm starting to feel confident. It's taken a while, but things are finally starting to sink in and I'm learning to think french. Hurrah. I went to the Monday class last night instead of my usual Thursday, but luckily one of my fellow classmates also attended. It's amazing how quickly you can bond isn't it? After nine weeks I feel like I know these people - mainly because we have a love of all things French in common.

We were asked to bring along foods and drinks to share last night so I took a bottle of champagne and a bottle of cassis - along with a few glasses and was amazed that I was actually introducing a few people to the delicious aperatif Kir Royale. A splash of the blackcurrent liquer cassis in the bottom of a champagne glass not only makes it look ever-so-pretty it's a rather festive way to start off an evening. I think I created a few converts last night.

Tis pouring today. My towels are still on the clothes line from yesterday, so I'll need to bring them in and spin them before moving the clothes line undercover. The rain is giving the garden a much-needed drink though. If it holds off for a moment I'm going to dash out and throw some dynamic lifter under the roses - I'll give them precedence over the towels.

Enjoy your Tuesday! {oh, and translation of my title - I'm thirsty - which I am after looking at that piccy - however, 11.34am may be a teensy bit early for kir royales...}

Monday, March 29, 2010

ou est la piscine?

Summer seems to have decided to go out with a bit of a bang this year. This weekend we had temperatures in the 30s - and it's meant to be autumn! At least we're getting the most out of our swimming season. I am looking forward to a change in temperature and the shift to cozy flannelette sheets from crisp cotton. I'm also keen on ditching my 'jeez, I've worn this stuff to death' summer wardrobe.

This week's started out well. This morning started with some more work and responses to an email interview were exactly what I need to finish off an article. Thursday night we're out to dinner with friends for a degustation with Brokenwood Wines at Bacchus, that lovely restaurant we went to a month or so ago. This weekend's easter and we're just going to loll back and relax I think. Saturday we're heading up to Singleton to check out a gorgeous store, Worn Out Wares where I intend to buy a few choice items before we have a lovely lunch in their cafe. We'll collect my in-laws on the way - they like a day trip.

Sunday our gal will wake to her traditional easter egg hunt - must say that I'll be the Easter Bunny finds the options much more pleasurable since our backyard's been completed - and doesn't have to leave eggs hidden on verandas!

Okay, off to learn my french numbers to 100 - apparently we're playing bingo tonight - a game I've yet to master in English... Wish me luck - bonne chance!

tie me up

Doesn't everything look prettier with a bow? These Valentino shoes caught my fancy this morning and it wasn't just the crisp black and white patent that set my heart a'flutterin'. Adding something a little bit quirky to an item is essential as far as I'm concerned. And the bow detailing on this lover-licious pair of shoes really does it for me.

Busy day today. My lil' netball team has umpiring training this year so I'm going along to help bolster their confidence. My first ever umpiring episode ended in tears {my own!} so I don't want that for my girls. If they're confident and well-supported they'll do just fine. Then, tonight, I have my final french lesson for the term. We're all taking along some french food or drink and having an end of season celebration. Sante!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

girl talk

Catching up with the gals really soothes the soul. I'm back from my weekend away refreshed and relaxed and in the mood to continue to effect positive changes in my life. It's nice to step outside of your usual zone and look at your life from a different perspective. After a few days away I'm feeling inordinately blessed with my life. Lovely hubby, gorgeous daughter, lovely home, fabulous friends, great working lifestyle. Bliss I tell you, bliss.

Friday, March 26, 2010

follow your bliss

See this? This is one of the three bedrooms in the house that my friends and I are staying at this weekend. Three rooms, three queen-sized beds, three gals. That's a triple treat my friends and I'll bet that we're each going to enjoy it. I'm leaving in an hour {squeeeeeee}. There's champagne chilling in the fridge and cheeses ready to go alongside it in the cooler. I've packed a range of frocks and my toes are a pretty shade of mauve thanks to Melissa's post.

I tried to work out how to schedule this post so it popped up tomorrow - but it just seemed like too much hard work and I'm in relaxation mode, not working mode.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and for those of you raising a glass let's toast to a gorgeous love story posted by Beth. After reading about the poor behaviour of so many bad boys lately, it really makes you appreciate when you find a good one. I've found a good one in my husband - we're fast approaching 18 years together - so I'm hanging on tight and not letting go.

fresh breath

I love the town I live in. I grew up here and while we had a few glorious years in Sydney in Newtown and Bronte, moving back to Newcastle made me feel at home. In the years that we were away a lot of change occurred. The BHP closed down and the revitalisation started. Firstly Darby Street became an eating strip to be proud of, then the Foreshore took off as home to some seriously stunning eateries. Then, over a year ago, one of my friends from Uni, Marcus Westbury set off the most amazing project. Renew Newcastle has seen an abundance of artisians move into vacant buildings in the previously bereft Newcastle Mall. Not only have they injected life into the area and seen boarded up or vandalised shop fronts filled with colour, vitality and talent - it's had a knock-on effect with businesses moving into the area along with the crowds.

Now a farmers market has moved into the mall and rather than it being a desolate and somewhat scary place there's a vibrancy and optimism about the place that is contagious.

So imagine my delight when I heard my old Uni haunt, the Great Northern Hotel, was being brought back to life. This landmark was badly damaged in the earthquake and despite a range of owners, nobody seemed to have the vision, expertise or funding to allow it to shine. Now, some people have moved in with vision that is almost Six-Million-Dollar-Man like {really, really freakin' good}. For a start they've initiated Manicure and Martini nights - cuteness. I'm so grabbing a few girlfriends and having a go at that!

They're also slowly restoring the place to its original grandeur - including the east room - a faded beauty that was filled with flocked wallpaper, deep velvet couches {one of them must have had my butt implant permanently ensconced...}. Upstairs will be amazing accomodation -something this town could really deal with - and a roof garden. Oh my. Cocktails on a roof garden - could it get any better?

I love it when people don't just have grand ideas - but they act. These people have acted and are slowly making the gorgeous town I live in an even better place to be and I salute their vision and daring.

girls weekend

I'm headed off for a girls weekend this afternoon. I'm catching up with two dear friends who I don't see anywhere near enough of - which is why we decided we needed a whole weekend - rather than a dinner or lunch chat. So I'm sending off the article that's due today and then packing the car and heading off around 4.30pm. Woo hoo. I'll be taking champagne and because it's our first night we're simply having champagne and nibblies for dinner - the whole point of a weekend away is not cooking!

So I shan't be posting this weekend - but I'll be back late Sunday with an update. Enjoy your Friday and your weekend - hope it's as fabulous as you!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

sweet dreams

Tis very grey and miserable outside today. So I thought I'd share this gorgeous image from a Grace Coddington shoot in US Vogue from nearly 10 years ago. A fluffy big poodle, a pastry-cabinet to sigh over, and a pair of mary janes on the model. Just luffley.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

wee birdy

Should I be finishing off the article that's due on Friday? Yes. Should I be researching the other one due next Wednesday? Mmmhm. Perhaps I could wash my daughter's sheets before they walk out of her room and throw themselves in the washing machine? Well, yeah. Or I could be planning my netball training schedule for this afternoon. But, ah no.

See, I did just tidy up my actual desk and that inspired me to tidy up my computer desktop which is where I found this pretty Marc Jacobs purse that I'd happened upon on net-a-porter and it would be wrong of me not to share it with you.

Productive. For you x

belle fleurs

While peonies, violets and lavender all hold a special place in my heart, roses fill my front fence with beauty and my life with joy.

beddy byes

Bedtime is my favourite time of day. I love pulling back the covers, snuggling into my pillow reading a chapter or two and then drifting off. That's what I'm loving about the colder change {well, what we're getting of it}. Sleeping on a hot summer's night is never an appealing prospect, but in autumn and winter... oh my!

Last night I finally managed to remember to watch Survivor Heroes vs Villains and oh, my, word am I glad I did. I'm in love. Boston Rob is everything I remember and his comment about Russel being a 'hobbit on crack' had me squealing with glee and rushing to add it to my Facebook status {husband wasn't home and I really felt the need to share}.

I'm a bit sad about Rupert though. Remember how good he was when he premiered? And then he was on some kind of All-Stars series and built that dreadful hut by digging a massive pit, covering it, and then being surprised when it filled with water. On an Island... This time around Rupert's giving me the sads again. Surely if you have the opportunity to return you do everything better the second time around - like Boston Rob lighting fire without flint {and making witty quips that will fill me with joy for years to come}. But no, Rupert this time around flings Jerri face-first into a pole {apparently he didn't mean to - but seriously, what was his intention?}

Bring on next Tuesday night.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

simple suppers

Don't you just love an easy meal? The other night my gal was at a sleepover, my husband wanted a man-sized t-bone and vegies and I didn't know what I was in the mood for. Luckily my fridge, garden and pantry offered up a tin of tuna, linguine, garlic, lemons, parsley, chillies and tomatoes. So I quickly sauteed the chilli and garlic in a touch of oil while the pasta boiled, then I added the tin of tuna {broken up with a fork}, next went the tomatoes, olives and a bit of lemon zest. All were quickly tossed together with a bit of chopped flat leaf parsley and lots of black pepper and washed down with a glass of rosé. Yummikins!

hedging our bets

What a difference a year makes. See that top photo? That was our lilly pillies not long after we'd planted them last February. See the bottom one? That's them now. Check out the growth. They've filled out to form a dense hedge and they're getting close to the top of the fence - all 2.4 metres of it! We're hoping they'll grow to around 4 metres, obscuring the house that's on the hill behind us. It's such lovely, lush growth on these lilly pillies. We have had issues with psyllids, but if you keep the water and the fertiliser up then they seem less affected. When we've been slack with the watering we've had to spray the new growth with Defender - but it seems to have calmed down now.

If you ever need a lush screening then this is a fabulous hedge. Interestingly, neighbours around the corner planted the small leafed form Goodbye Neighbours and they've had very little growth in a longer period. This form is lush, deep green and has the prettiest little pink berries {yes, of course one of the reasons I bought it!}. If you're interested, I'll find out the botanical name and let you know what it is. Just give me a yell. Okay, off to move the hose again after giving these beauties a deep soak!

ma jardin

Here's the results of this weekend's labour - my husband's not mine. Our vegie garden has had a few tonnes of soil and rubbish removed from atop of it and it's been dug through, has had gypsum applied and is ready for the manure and top soil before planting. Through the centre we've got a wee step and we're going to use the large pavers we have left over from the backyard to form a division between the two gardens. They'll go beautifully with all the reclaimed convict sandstone we've used as edging. Now, the photos don't do it justice, but these chunks of sandstone, as well as being over 100-years-old are also huge and damned heavy. My husband's managed to use his brute strength to lug them into place, and built some mighty nice muscles in the meantime!

Now we just need to move a bit more of the soil {by we, I mean he} and bring in some topsoil, paint the fence charcoal to match the rest, build up the fertility of the soil and plant in winter for a Spring garden. Excitement!

playing catch-up

Whew, all my pressing deadlines have passed. I still have work to do, and then I need to start the onerous task of pitching story ideas to editors {eek} but today's catch-up day. There are piles of washing calling my name, shopping to do, meals to plan, watering to do... So the plan is to slowly chip away at all of this, breathe, and stop for a second and look around.

So I'm also taking a break from the computer - just for this morning. I'll be back after lunch. In the meantime, how much cleaning would you get done with a pretty pink spotted laundry basket and all the other gorgeousness on display in the image above? It'd have to make cleaning a pleasure don't you think?

Monday, March 22, 2010

child's play

You may have read the report in yesterday's sunday paper where outraged parents were calling for ratings on concerts. One woman who'd taken her 9-year-old along to see Lady Gaga was 'shocked' at the language and carry on at the concert. I'm shocked that she'd taken a nine-year-old to an adult's concert.

Seriously, where's the perspective? I don't allow my daughter to watch video programs - she sees enough on the Disney Channel to sate her appetite. And as for a concert, well, maybe when she's actually expressed an interest in attending I'll take her along to a concert appropriate for her age - after doing some research first. There's no excuse for ignorance. Googling Lady Gaga would come up with some pretty disturbing stuff in the first page I'd imagine. Have you seen her latest video? I have, and while I thought it was pretty amazing there's no way in hell I'd allow my child to glance in its direction.

Let 'em be kids. It's not for long. Sure they'll want to grow up and push boundaries, but that's where we as parents step in and judge what's appropriate. I'm fussy, before my daughter sees a film I google some reviews, preferably ones that'll let me know exactly what type of inuendo or language will be featured so I know what I'm prepared to explain - and what I think needs to wait till later.

Some stuff may go right over their head - or could sit in there bothering them quietly. I'd prefer to stick with age-appropriate music, films and activities and let my gal grow up at her own pace - not thanks to what I think is cool. We're her parents, not her best friends.

level headed

Check it - a shoe with a heel so low and so well-balanced it's virtually a pair of flats! This rather yummy pair of Sigerson Morrison shoes made it to the shoe of the week position predominantly because of my need to be sensible this week. Hence, sensible attitude - sensible shoe. Of course they still have a hint of danger thanks to the patent leather - and those buckles are eminently stylish don't you think?

It's a pupil-free day today - one of two this week. Yes, the school's messing with our heads by book-ending our week with pupil-free days {actually, the Friday is the Show Holiday - bless}. So I need to get plenty of work done despite also trying to entertain a gal who'd much rather be at school. Eek!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

sunday's child

If there's one thing I aspire to be it's neat and organised so these Stella McCartney Day-Of-The-Week undies may well take me where I need to go. Seriously, day-of-the-week undies, with their own cute lil boxes. Seriously, have I died and gone to cute-heaven? Or am I just hysterical? Either way there's some serious coveting going on in this part of Merewether...

just right

Last night I finished reading a rather good book {A Much Married Man by Nicholas Colleridge - $3 from the Salvos} then snuggled into bed for a good night sleep before waking and having a yummy bowl of porridge with brown sugar and a double latte. Mmmmmmm. Does life get any better?

My husband had a productive day yesterday. He moved the vast majority of the rubbish to the skip bins. He's probably 3/4 of the way through it all. He's out there now getting started while it's still cool. I'm going to get stuck into a little work before setting to clean some windows - v overdue. I gave the garden a big drink yesterday, so today everything that's in the ground will be fine, I just need to water the pots.

I can now see the bones of my vegie garden - I just need some manure and top soil and it'll be on the road to planting. Can. Not. Wait!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

garden daze

We're finally getting some work done on our side garden. This weekend we've hired a skip bin and my husband's barrowing all the clay he's excavated and we're having it recycled through a rubbish removal company. Then we're ready to start the vegie garden, lay the gravel paths and plant the hedging. Sadly, it won't look like this picture above, but our garden was designed by the same designer - Peter Fudge. He's created some amazing gardens and came up with some brilliant ideas for ours.

We had our dinner last night at the in-laws and while driving home my husband's eagle eye spied a pile of weathered sandstone at a landscaping supplies yard - just what we need to complete a drystone wall in our side garden. We're using our salvaged convict sandstone but there wasn't quite enough left over after my husband formed the vegie garden with the large pieces. So now we're looking to hire a ute during the week and go buy a few metres and a pretty drystone wall will be ours.

Now, just to google 'how to build a drystone wall..."

Friday, March 19, 2010

happy friday

Here we are at the end of another week, and the start of another weekend. Yay. I'm just thrilled that this weekend won't involve doctors, hospitals and x-rays - so anything has to be an improvement on that doesn't it?

My husband's ploughing on with work on the side yard. We've rented a skip and it's sitting out the front ready to take away all the clay and excess dirt he's excavated. Poor poppet has a weekend of shovelling and barrowing ahead of him - better than any gym workout!

Tonight we're off to my in-laws for dinner. A lovely home-cooked roast dinner is just what we need to start the weekend off nicely. I'll be spending time with my gal, doing some work and getting the house in order after a week of activity. I'll also try to not be sad about Sandra Bullock and that cheating husband of hers. I've always wanted to be her best friend, but now even more so as I'll bet she needs a good hug and a pair of ears to cry to. So. Damned. Sad.

Oh, on the good news front I think I'm finally hitting my strides with my French. Last night we had to string a sentence together with adjectives and vowels and nouns and use the correct gender and tense throughout and I did it! I've followed Sara Rose's advice and just tried to immerse myself in the language - if I see something, I translate it to French. I also sat down and wrote out all the bits and pieces I've been having trouble with, learned it, and then wrote little sentences including the info to help it sink it. Only two more weeks and then term 1 is finished - then a three week break and I'll be back into term 2. I'm feeling more and more positive that I'll be confidently speaking the language when we hit French soil in July next year.

What are you plans for the weekend? Fun?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

autumn tones

There's a decided chill in the air this morning. It was only 15 degrees at 8am, after a still-steamy night. But the turn in the weather's got me itching for cool-weather clothing. Opaque stockings, leather jacket, a foofy skirt and these Alexander Wang boots would make the perfect street-smart winter look. I'm pretty sure that whatever needed doing would be done so much better in these fabulous booties.

I woke without a voice this morning. The sore throat that's been threatening has finally decided to come and hang out. Lots of coughing and throat clearing later means I now have a bit of a croak - handy as I have to do two phone interviews today...

It's also open day at my daughter's school - so I need to duck over there at lunchtime. And also find some time for my French homework which I have not progressed past gazing dumbly at.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

wacky wednesday

I'm pretty sure that my head is now completely bamboozled thanks to Saturday's dedicated to all things broken {my daughter's arm} and yesterday's Big Day Out in Sydney {without the bands, fresh lemonade or cheese on a stick - damn!}.

So now I'm trying to get myself settled back into life. My gal's had her fibreglass plaster installed - in white so we can paint it pale pink and gold {must buy paint and brushes} and I'm getting into work before preparing for my first-ever netball training session this afternoon. Of course, my gal isn't going to get terribly involved, but luckily I'd already worked out a little 'getting to know you' session where I'll team up pairs of girls who've never met to ask each other a few questions and then share what they've learned about the team.

I also have to prepare a meal tonight for a school mum who's broken her leg and her child as part of the school's care group. Various families have been asked to drop off a meal which is such a lovely idea. I'm going to make spanish chicken and a salad - how's that sound?

getting plastered

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday. A day in the big smoke saw me leave home at 5.45am and return at 9.30pm!

This morning I'm off to take my gal to the physio to have a cast fixed to her broken arm. Hopefully they're got an array of colours to please her.

Speak to you later on xx

Monday, March 15, 2010

two to tango in

Well, after that weekend I need to start the week off well. So here are two shoes of the week for you. TWO. The black beauties are Fendi - and aren't they utterly fabulous? Normally I'm not a fan of lucite, but this platform is just utterly exquisite. The delicate little pretties below are Valentino and they're making my heart ache. I have an itching to visit a haberdashers to find organza flowers to create my own vision...

Thank you all so much for your lovely, lovely wishes after my darling daughter broke her arm. She walked into school like a rock star this morning, the centre of attention and ever-so-proud of herself. I spoke to her poor teacher who now has THREE girls in her class with broken arms and we've worked out how she'll get through everything. Hopefully when her arm's in the correct plaster she'll be able to grip a pencil well enough to write legibly.

Phew, I'm off to have a coffee and a hot cross bun - I've decided it's close enough to easter to justify buying one. So, tell me about your week - what's happening?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

a bad break

I've been quiet this weekend haven't I? That's because my wee lass fell off a ripstik on Friday afternoon and broke her arm. Poor little poppet. She's currently encased in a half cast with a full plaster cast set to be installed on Wednesday once the swelling goes down.

She's been very brave the poor little thing - don't you just wish you could take their pain for them? Luckily {if there is such a thing} it's occurred right at the end of summer after she'd got in a full swimming season, and, hopefully she'll only need a cast for around four weeks and will be able to start the netball season virtually on time.

Somehow it doesn't seem like a childhood without a broken bone does it?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

bring out your manolos

Here's one of the first stills released from Sex and the City 2. I've been invited to a screening on June 4 so it looks like the release will be around then. Hello girly night out!

Your plans for the weekend?

Friday, March 12, 2010

to do, do, do, do, do

I seem to be having some timing issues at the moment. I've got a lot of work on which is absolutely fantastic. Because I'm one of those rare individuals who loves their work I refuse to complain no matter how bogged down I become. I also refuse to turn down work {unless I'm asked to write something I'm actually opposed to - which hasn't happened yet}. So aside from my 9.30 to 10.30pm viewing of MasterChef: The Professionals {which I love, love, love and will die when it finishes tonight} I'm pretty much just working and mothering, with the odd spot of wifing thrown in {not a word - but you know what I mean - being a wife...}

So of course, there are things that fall to the wayside. My walking for one. Sure, it's been raining, but that's no excuse for not getting out - they have invented umbrellas. And yes, I have had a bad back lately - but that's probably because I'm sitting all day and most of the night at my desk and I'm not walking! And last night at French lessons my teacher told me I need to study more {my irregular and regular verbs, and the old - I have, you have, they have, we have...} Now, this I am studying, but boy, does it not want to stick in my head. I've never been one who excels or even is adequate at rote learning or memorising. The subjects I've always aced are creative subjects - not ones that require me to memorise facts. So while I was able to tranlate a whole batch of text about buying a train ticket to Brussels - I can't remember how to say the masculine version of they have...

Now I'm going to make myself up a new to-do list. It's going to include some creative study time for french - where I'm going to make myself write little french sentences using all those phrases I can't understand. Then I'm going to block in 30 minutes for a walk along the beach. Oh, and it'll also include time to do all this work - but will also involve me getting off my seat every hour so my butt doesn't fuse to the chair. That can't be attractive!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

hello dolly

I can totally understand why people become crazy doll collectors. Check out these Mad Men dolls that've just been released. For a start, they've got the original 50s Barbie eyes {sideways glance, cool cats-eye-liner} and would you have a look at Betty's dress! Loving it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

slowly does it

You know what I love most about this whole cold weather scenario? Bringing out the slow cooker. This morning I chopped a few onions, a couple of potatoes and an orange capsicum, browned up a few chicken drumsticks and cut six thighs into bite-sized chunks and threw it all into the slow cooker with some coconut milk and a mild chicken curry slow cooker mix. Then I popped a layer of baking paper over the top {my slow cooker's huge, so I need the paper to keep in moisture and to let it bake more evenly} and seven hours later it smells divine.

So for dinner tonight all I'll need to do is throw a package of microwave basmati rice on and two minutes later a delicious and nutritious meal will be served.

Yesterday, after a rapturous phone call from my friend G, I hunted down the new Woman's Weekly slow cooker book. No, it's okay, I'll wait her while you go by it because it's a seriously damned good recipe book. Now you know me, I like to wing it and make things up but a slow cooker is a contrary soul - it's likes very, very specific recipes and if you don't follow recipes and ratios you end up with very bad things at the end of the day.

I want to try almost every single recipe in my new book - starting at the soups and finishing with chocolate puddings - eating everything in between. For $12 it's a rather lovely investment in my winter nourishment...

blast and damnation

You know how horrid and frustrating it is when you suddenly lose a follower? {As I did today - gained one "Hi Ben" and lost one "Bye-bye errant friend..."} Well, I reckon I've discovered something worse - being dropped off someone's blog-love-roll. However, I think I know how this happens.

See, the person {let's say their name's PinkPatentMaryJanes} decides to add some new blogs to her roll, ones she's been following and loves. So, it takes her heaps of time to track them down, add the urls, you know the drill. Anyway, so she does so and is very happy and trots off only to come back later and find many of her faves had dropped off.


So I've just spent yonks trying to reinstate everyone but if you were here - and now you're not - it's not because I don't love you. I've just lost you temporarily. Let me know and I'll put you back on.

easter bunny ideas

I know that the Hot Cross Buns have been in-store since Boxing Day, but I'm starting to plan my easter treats for the kiddies in the family. I've already bought little lactose-free easter bunnies for my dairy-free-niece and now I just need to find suitable treats to post OS to the England-based nieces. I think packaging them in cute little baggies such as these found over at Martha Stewart could be the secret to success. I might try for something pretty such as unusual lollies this year. Last year I gave the girls pastel easter-themed cookie cutters and wrote out two recipes for sugar cookies {one chocolate, one vanilla}. Sweet - but without the chocolate overload!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

cult of celebrity

You know one of the things I liked best about the Oscars? The fact that it's filled with real celebrities - people who are famous for a reason. When I was growing up people had a reason for appearing on the covers of magazines - because they had a talent which made them famous. David Cassidy - star of The Partridge Family and singer. Easy. Celebrity.

But now, now we have Kardassians who are now famous because they have their own reality show, but they only got that reality show because of Kim's, um, xxx-capades. And Lara Bingle, why is someone who had a line in a tourist campaign being presented as Aussie's-own royalty? I care not one naught for her or her cricket-playing beau. Yes, what happened to her recently is pretty damned awful, but, well, maybe it's karmic... Tragically I reckon it'll just serve to make her more famous so that maybe she'll soon have Day-Of-The-Week Astin Martins. If she gets a television series out of this I'm seriously ditching the plasma.

I don't want to celebrate Reality Stars - I want real stars. And while we're at it bring back the HUGE, all-colour, life-sized posters. Bless - how cute were the 70s?

afternoon delights

I think I'm suffering a little post-Oscars-funk today. I'm still excited that a female director took out the Best Director category for the first time ever on International Women's Day {go girl power!} and the Oscar-wrap-up over at Lainey Gossip was superb. But I think that the fact that the Award Season has wrapped for another year is indicative of how quickly time is zooming by.

It's the final week of Celebrity MasterChef on Lifestyle Food, and oh, I'm utterly addicted. The final three are all mighty talented chefs but my fave is just a creative freak {meaning freak in a good way of course}. Last night they created a high tea at a Michelin Starred London restaurant and then afterwards were required to be inspired and create a trio of desserts.

My fave, Steve, created a plate inspired by childhood lolly shop favourites - including a pepper sherbet served in a torn brown paper bag. Raspberry lollypops on Vanilla pod sticks, wine jellys {including a basil jelly that had the judges in raptures} and an amazing banana marshmallow creation highlighted his inventiveness, playfulness and extraordinary grasp of culinary creativeness. While I'm happy for any of the three to win, I'm hoping that this exceptional talent prevails. And that he opens a restaurant in time for me to visit next year!

Monday, March 08, 2010

frock treatment

C'mon, who doesn't love Colin?
Cameron has for once, totally and utterly nailed it. The frock, the hair, the make-up - she's the total package and probably wins my best-dressed-gal award.
My love for RDJ isn't a silent one, and when I saw him in this glorious bow tie I did little squealy jumps of joy. And his presentation with Tina Fey was a moment of serious brilliance.
As Gabourey said, if dresses are porn this one's the money shot. She looks fabulous and I am now more than a little in love with her.
I can't imagine ever choosing to put these colours together, but Rachel looks utterly enchanting in this. When I saw it on-screen my hand did one of those little flutterly gestures toward my throat. Yep, I love it that much.
Helen Mirren can you just stop with the always looking so damned freaking amazing. How perfect is this dress - and she's standing with Captain Von Trapp - dammit all.
Meryl Streep pops out of the red carpet in this spectacularly draped white number. Although is that purse eating her fingers? Late-breaking news - apparently Project Runway's Chris March designed Meryl's frock. LOVE!
Tina Fey's frock looked spectacular when she walked out on stage - here it looks more leapard-printesque than I would normally care for {unless your surname's Collins - then you have carte blanche to rock it roots to tips...}. Plus, she and RDJ provided one of my favourite moments on-stage {aside from Neil Patrick Harris and the Botox and Nicole pairing in the opening number - ha!}
Molly's just as pretty in purple as she was in pink proving my point that redheads and colour are two of the nicest kind. She also got rather teary in the John Hughes tribute - so we're practically twins {I sobbed - c'mon, Molly and Ferris!}

Blogger's not letting me write below Sandy - but I do love her. This dress was marvelously pretty under the stage lights and I love how she loves her husband, and he right back at her {obviously I've had to retrospectively edit this. I did love her gorgeous words to her husband - but him? Erk}.