Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year lovelies

So, the Pink French party yesterday was a success - now I just have to upload some photos. The poodle cake was ooooohed over and tasted pretty damned good - so success! We took around 5000 pictures of it, trying to find the perfect one to tweet to Nigella.

We've got our English relatives staying, so there's been lots of swimming taking place. Tonight it's celebrating new years by the pool with champagne, beer and tapas. I decided that a bbq style tapas is the easiest way to go {I know, I'm odd}.

Here's to the end of 2011 - an odd year. Had some amazing times {OS holiday, new job, great times with friends and family} and ended with a bang {or a crash, when my husband came off his bike}.

Happy new year my lovely friends, here's to a fabulous 2012 xx

Thursday, December 29, 2011

simple summer pudding

Now, it's not just because she's my new best friend {see post below - squee!} but I do tend to follow Nigella's advice when it comes to plating up desserts. Simple can still be spectacular. This recipe is one I've adapted to much applause from a Jamie Oliver recipe I caught out of the corner of my eye. And oh, it's so simple. I'm repeating the recipe from the other day - it's always better with pics isn't it?

There's no baking involved, just assembly. All you need to do is buy two packets of mini chocolate sponge rolls, 2 litres of good quality vanilla icecream, frozen raspberries, and your favourite dark chocolate (I used Lindt Passionfruit Intense). Soften the icecream, stir in as many raspberries as you like, cut the chocolate into long shards and mix chocolate and raspberries together through the icecream. If it's an adult's only dessert add a liqueur like Cassis, but if not, add some Monin Rose Syrup, or stir through some extra vanilla extract.

Unroll the mini sponges and use them to line a pudding basin {don't bother removing the icing, but place the icing side facing inwards}. Overlap if possible, otherwise bits of icecream seep out {which I don't mind - looks pretty}. Fill with icecream and top with sponge. Cover with gladwrap, weigh down with something {I used a packet of arborio rice that I had in the freezer to stave off weevils} and refreeze for at least two hours - but this keeps for days, so do it as far in advance as you need.

Remove from fridge around 10 minutes before serving. Using a butterknife, go around the outside edges of the sponge, easing it away from the bowl. Sometimes you almost have to 'pull' it away using the knife. Invert it onto a large plate and pull off the bowl to the gasps of your guests.

Now, you can sprinkle it with icing sugar and grated chocolate if you're feeling fancy. Next, cut it into wedges and serve.


You could also add a raspberry coulis or chocolate sauce if you were in the mood to up the decadence factor. Also, you're only limited by your imagination. I've chopped up Picnics, used poached peaches and nectarines with a vanilla sponge, and thrown in some nuts as well. It's so simple, and yet looks so impressive. Give it a go.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

i die.

 Nigella Lawson 
: Baking  red velvet cake for my daughter's birthday. It will become a pink french poodle on the day! Show me

Oh yes, I have a retweet from my culinary hero. 


mmmm mason jars

Look at this glorious image I found over at Pinterest. Don't you just adore Mason jars? The colour, the shape, the iconic font. I think I need to indulge myself in a few...

So, how's the post-Christmas weather treating you? It's hideous here. Cold, windy, kinda rainy - and of course we have the in-laws and overseas relatives coming for a bbq tonight. No swimming for the kidlets this afternoon. Oh well, I'll make it up to them with some yummy food. Am making my favourite icecream dessert tonight - lining a pudding basin with chocolate sponge cake, then filling it with softened vanilla icecream mixed with raspberries, rose syrup and some shards of dark lindt chocolate. More sponge goes on the top, it's covered with gladwrap, weighed down and frozen again. I turn it out onto a large, round dish and sprinkle it with grated chocolate and a little icing sugar. Serve cut into wedges.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

it's christmas eve eve!

I have one excited gal here who can't stop singing Christmas carols. Bless. We do love a celebration in this family - and if singing's involved, well, got to love it more.

Tonight's plan involves driving around to look at Christmas lights, while tomorrow involves baking brownies and making caramelised onion and goat curd cigars for Christmas Eve supper at my in-laws. We always have dinner at my in-laws, with my mil's slow roasted beef quite the family favourite. I don't have to cook a thing, so I like to do something for supper that's a bit different. I'll also be making cocktails - pink christmas {champagne and rose syrup - yum - served in a pink-frosted martini glass!}

Enjoy your festive season, see you in a few days xx

Thursday, December 22, 2011

only three more sleeps

Oooh, it's nearly here isn't it? Do you feel all Christmassy? My gal's in the kitchen making cute Santa cookies from upside down lovehearts {the tip forms the hat and the bumps form his beard when iced - cute!} and we've finally finished wrapping. Our tree is a delight of red and white wrapped pressies. I mayn't do a themed Christmas tree, but I do love a themed wrapping.

We've also finally got my gal's birthday invites printed and ready to drop off tonight. We've told everyone to save the date so it should go okay. Fingers and toes crossed we'll have sunshine so the girls can do some swimming.

Enjoy your week x

Monday, December 19, 2011

meal planning monday

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - isn't it? Eep! With that in mind, here's what we're eating this week.

Monday: Hubby was feeling a bit yuck tonight, so requested Thai takeaway. I'm with him - when I feel blah, thai always cheers me up.

Tuesday: Our gal's up at her grandparents with her cousins so it's only the two of us. I have some pork schnitzel from Aussie Farmers. I might crumb it with panko, sage, and lemon zest don't you think?

Wednesday: Our gal's back home, and my dad and step-mum are stopping in for dinner. I'll do a bbq - or I'll ask Dad to do a bbq. With a vietnamese-inspired coleslaw.

Thursday: Spaghetti carbonara?

Friday: So close to chrissy. Shall cook up some fish and salad.

Saturday: Christmas Eve! Squeeee! Supper at my in-laws. I'm taking something - goodness knows what. Savoury hot things perhaps?

Sunday: Christmas - have a merry one!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Well, it's been quite the week here.  We already knew we were having a big week as it was our gal's last week of primary school, but on Wednesday morning I received a call from a Dr saying that my husband had an accident riding his bike. Thankfully it wasn't on the road, but he was taken to hospital in an ambulance where we had three pretty harrowing days. He was wearing his helmet {thank goodness} but still sustained quite a blow to the head, along with the broken collarbone, numerous severe grazing and general pain that comes from being thrown off a bike.

He's home now, and still in a lot of pain, but he's okay.

That's all I wanted for Christmas.

Makes you stop and think doesn't it? This time of year when we're racing around, striving for perfection. Really, good heath kind of covers it.

I managed to spend time with him in hospital while he slept and also got to all the beautiful events my daughter's school had organised for her final week. I'll miss that school. She was blessed with some incredible teachers, many friends and a staff who genuinely care for the students. That's rare. Let's hope her transition into high school is as successful.

My gal's at a birthday party today. Hubby's dozing and availing himself of all the sport channels on foxtel, and I'm going to try to get as much Christmas stuff organised as possible. Thank goodness I had most of my shopping done.

Merry Christmas everyone. I wish you, and your loved ones good health. x

Friday, December 16, 2011

arty farty

There are many things awesome about Newcastle. This LiveSites night at the Art Gallery last weekend was one of them. Australian masterpieces introduced to a new audience in novel ways.

Here's my gal sketching her version of Dobell's The Strapper who just so happened to be celebrating his 70th birthday.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

have yourself a merry little christmas

I need some adorable wee snow-topped Christmas trees to line all my window sills {although I imagine that a fat, fluffy kitty cat paw would have a rather splendid time knocking them all off...}

Adorable or what?

Monday, December 12, 2011

meal-planning monday

We had a lovely week and a half visit with my mum and step-dad up from Melbourne, so I did a lot of vegetarian cooking {they're vegos}. They left this morning, so it's back to the usual. And, as it's a super-busy week {my gal's last week of primary school - eek!} I'd best plan down to the last detail.

Monday: it's cold, I'm feeling a little poorly, and I can't possibly cook another thing. I've sent hubby off to Coles for food. Let's see what he comes back with.

Tuesday: We've been invited to a neighbours across the road for Christmas drinks - bless. She's putting on some food, but I may take over some savory nibbles. Then I'm off to the Surf Club to help decorate in readiness for the Year 6 luncheon on Wednesday.

Wednesday: We have to have a good sit-down meal to celebrate that my gorgeous gal was awarded a prize for academic excellence on monday. In English bless her socks - she sure does have a way with words and a love of writing. She can supplement her dancing around the world with the odd article perhaps... I'll make her fave meal - duck confit.

Thursday: It's the school christmas night - please let the rain stop. We'll either have an early dinner if I'm organised, or, if not, a dinner of cheese, cold meats and breads - surely that's all the food groups covered.

Friday: My gal's last day of Primary School {hold me!} I think we should go out to dinner to celebrate this. I'll see if I can make a reservation at our fave special restaurant, Bistro Tartine.

Saturday: I'll be baking up a storm in preparation for a girls-only High Tea. My sister-in-law and her two gals are out from England for Christmas so I'm inviting all the girls in the family here for High Tea.  Dinner may be a very easy bbq I think.

Sunday: Well, we'll be full from High Tea. Hubby, not-so-much. Best make him a roast dinner to end the weekend before the rush into Christmas{!!!!!}

Saturday, December 10, 2011

sweet saturday, seriously

Hey, how's your weekend treating you? Mine's good. Got up early and baked an apple and cinnamon teacake as my aunt and uncle were coming in for morning tea and damn, it was good. Shall have to post the recipe, but it was just a simple tea cake and I fanned the top with finely sliced apples and then sprinkled that with brown sugar and cinnamon and added a few dobs of butter.


I'm off to the supermarket in a tic to buy my turkey {fingers and toes crossed that they have a fresh one for me!} I think I'm going to cook in on the bbq, rather than the oven. It's a big bugger with a hood so should be perfect.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, December 09, 2011

flowers for friday

I found the most massive bunch of pretty pink peonies at Coles on Wednesday - anniversary flowers! And can you see the pretty pale green and pink roses just in the background of that second shot? They were an Olive Tree Market purchase on Saturday.

Fresh flowers are a necessary luxury don't you think?

Ps; review coming next week of Subo - the new restaurant we chose for our anniversary dinner last night. Can you say to-die-for? Absolutely sublime food, enthusiastic, friendly and professional owners and staff - top notch. Newy people must attend, and if you don't live in Newcastle, you must come to visit - just for Subo - seriously.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

happy anniversary to US

It's our ten year wedding anniversary today - awwww bless. To celebrate we're off to our gal's ballet concert tonight then going out for dinner tomorrow night to Subo - Newcastle's newest restaurant. We were tossing up between the beautiful Bacchus {where we've been a number of times} or the new and fabulous sounding Subo and hubby had the casting vote. I'm thrilled he chose Subo. I do like to try something new and I'm glad he does too.

Monday, December 05, 2011

meal planning monday

Apologies for my tardiness - it's been quite the weekend. My mum and step-dad are up from Melbourne so we've been hanging out, having an early Christmas together and just doing stuff. Then last night I had some gal pals and their kidlets over for a few Christmas bubbles, that turned into a lot of Christmas bubbles... Whoopsies.

So here's what we've eating this week - vego meals as my parents are vegetarian.

Monday: My step-dad's plucking some corn from my garden and making corn and sweet potato fritters with avocada salsa {mmmm}

Tuesday: I'm going to cook roasted beetroot risotto - why the hell not? And stud it with goat cheese.

Wednesday: It's my gal's ballet concert at 6pm - we might just have a quick toasted sandwich dinner and supper afterwards.

Thursday: It's our 10th wedding anniversary on Wednesday night, so we're going out to celebrate tonight. Tossing up between two restaurants: Bacchus or the new kid on the block Subo. I might ask Twitter to help me decide.

Friday: It's my hubby's work Christmas party - woo hooo. I think I might wear my green Leona frock with a red rose in my hair {I do like to dress to a theme!}

Saturday: Last night with my parents, might cook up a vegie Japanese feast to celebrate.

Sunday: Having Sunday Christmas-esque lunch with my dad and step-mum. I'm determined to roast my first-ever turkey. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 02, 2011

flowers for friday

It's grey, drizzly and 15 degrees. Oh, and did I mention it's the second day of summer?


So here's a picture of Tourtour in Provence, taken from our pool, rimmed in lavender.


I think I would like to go back again...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

on the first day of christmas

Tee hee.

One of my friends shared this on Facebook and I had to spread the love.

One for all the television-addicted children of the 70s.

ready freddie?

Last night I watched the most awesome documentary {words you do not usually hear coming from me}. It was part 1 Queen: Days Of Our Lives on ABC2, and it was beyond fabulous. I've always had a soft-spot for Queen. I remember being entranced the first time I saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Countdown - it was so unlike anything I'd ever heard, and Freddie was just the most magnetic frontman I'd ever seen.

So I loved hearing about their history, how long it took them to finally make-it and make money and how all four of them played a role in creating their songs {yes, four. Are you like me and think Freddie, Brian May, Roger Taylor and, um, the bassist?}

What intrigued me was the history behind some of their hits. For example, Freddie created Bohemian Rhapsody by rushing from studio to studio to add bits and pieces, before putting it all together. At the time it was extraordinarily long and had no chance of being released until Kenny Everett stole a copy and played it eight times in one weekend on his radio show and it became the hit it was. {See, Kenny Everett, not just a comedic genius}.

I found out that one of my fave Queen numbers, Don't Stop Me Now, was inspired by Freddie's immersion in the US gay scene. I also discovered that their biggest hit is Another One Bites The Dust - written by the bassist, John Deacon. Oh, and guess who encouraged them to release it as a single? Michael Jackson. I know - fascinating stuff.

So, next week it's on ABC2, 9.30pm Wednesday - but in the meantime check out iView for last night's episode. If you're a Queen fan you'll love it. If you're a music fan you'll also adore it.

Now, if you'll excuse me I need to hunt me down a Lego Freddie Mercury...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

oh christmas tree

My gal will squeal so loudy when she spies this. It's the Eloise Christmas Tree at the New York Plaza, unveiled by Betsey Johnson no less. I love that it looks like a pink fairy's exploded all over it. I do like a fabulously gaudy Christmas tree. Beautifully colour-coordinated trees are much like an all-white room, while I love looking at them, in real life, for me, they just don't cut it.

My gal and I decorated our tree on the weekend, sneakily early, but hey, it was the first day of Advent... Our tree is a green plastic one {wish is were pink and sparkly like my friend Sara Rose...} as I can't do real trees - they play havoc with my allergies and asthma. Ours is covered with decorations that all have a special meaning. Each year my gal gets a new ornament, and when she leaves home she'll have a big box of memories to take with her and start her own tree. There are home-made items, baubles that we've had since we first moved in together 17 years ago, and various bits and pieces added to over the years. I love a tree that's decorated with love - while Christmas tunes play in the background.

Ooh, speaking of Christmas tunes, there is an AWESOME cd out this year: Now Christmas 2011. It has 43 songs on it - including some classics and my all-time fave Christmas tune, "Christmas is the time to say I love you" by Billy Squier. I bought that single when I was a teen and played it over, and over again. Every Christmas I tried to buy the CD version, without luck, so I was stuck with playing it over and over again on YouTube. Can you imagine the squeal when I saw it was available on iTunes this year {it was massive, dogs in nearby suburbs covered their ears saying "Love, quit it with that high-pitched noise will ya...}

Is your tree up or are you saving it for this weekend?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

marriage equality

I am genuinely bemused by Julia Gillard's stance on equal marriage. I honestly don't see why she wouldn't want to take the brave step of being the Prime Minister who goes down in history as allowing all consenting adult Australians the right to marry. More than 60 per cent of the electorate agree that equal marriage rights is something we should have in Australia - that's more than a majority - and certainly a higher figure than the 'majority vote' that sees labor as the ruling party.

It's not like it's breaking with an age-old tradition. It was only in 2004 when the Howard government inserted the clause "Between a man and a woman" into the marriage act.

Why Julia? Why deny people in love the right to marry and express their commitment to each other? You've chosen not to marry which is excellent, and your right, but what of all those who would love the right to marry but it's just not theirs?

Next week the Labor party will be having a conscience vote on this issue. If you, like me, believe that this law needs to change you need to let your local federal MP know how you feel. I've already emailed my support to my local MP - one of the fabulous ones who's spoken up in parliament in favour of the amendment.

After watching Ides of March last night I was reminded of the sad fact that the vast majority of politicians don't allow their conscience to be their guide. They're guided by numbers. And votes. If they think that the majority of voters in their electorate feel strongly about a certain position - they'll vote for it - even if it goes against their own views.

Here's how to find your local MP and send them an email. Just a simple one: "Hi, I live in your electorate, I vote and I am in favour of marriage equality, kindest regards, A Voter." That'll do.  Go here to find your MP and let them know how you feel. Our Prime Minister's email's also on there if you'd like to double your influence. I've sent Julia Gillard an email expressing my views, and am hoping she'll take them into consideration.

Let's be the generation that just doesn't sit back and watch history march backwards. I believe in love. That's all. It's that simple.

Monday, November 28, 2011

harper seven: very squishy

I do love a bub with squishy cheeks - so obviously I ADORE Harper Beckham. PS: Am loving Posh's long locks. Sigh. And those boots...

sweetie! darling! sneaky peeky!

Okay, apparently they're screening on ABC1 early in the New Year: see here for more details {squeeeaaaaallllllll!}

Sunday, November 27, 2011

meal planning monday

Wow, what a weekend. Packed with so much fabulous. I got to catch-up with Kerry from Tranquil Townhouse who is just as lovely, fabulous and gorgeous in real life as she is on her blog. We went and had a coffee at the new Merewether Surfhouse where the dolphin pod I'd organised earlier put on a lovely display right outside our spot {magical non?}.

My lil fam also shopped till we dropped at the incredible Red Lantern Night Markets. Oh, what a night.

Now, for normality {or what poses for it in our house}. Here's what I've got on my meal plan this week:

Monday: Caramelised pork, bok choy and noodles {Aussie Farmers keep giving me bok choy in my mixed fruit and veg box, best use it as something other than compost this week}

Tuesday: My gal's requested burritos to sustain her after one of her last ballet lessons before the big concert.

Wednesday: I think I'll do a thai beef salad tonight.

Thursday: Glazed salmon on the bbq with a salad.

Friday: Kebabs on the bbq with salad.

Saturday: pistachio dukkah crusted lamb on the bbq. Yum.

Sunday: Hmmm, think I might round off the week with a roast on the bbq.

And that's it. Ps: how cute is this pic from I need me a reindeer head in my house. This is the second one I've spied this week and now I have a hankering...

PPS: Whoops, just hit publish instead of schedule. Please pretend you're reading this tomorrow. x

Saturday, November 26, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

Well, it's the weekend. And it's a tad on the soggy-side here in Newcastle. Apparently the rain's set to abate this afternoon in time for the Red Lantern Markets {fingers and toes crossed!}. My gal has a pal over for a sleepover, and they're still asleep as I write {at 9.52am!} They had a busy few days at school camp, with lots of late nights thanks to other girls chattering. Bless. When they do wake we're off to the movies to see Arthur Christmas. Then it's off to the markets tomorrow and putting up the tree and decorating the house tomorrow {how much do I want to decorate like this room above? Oh, a LOT!}

I'm also catching up with the gorgeous Kerry from Tranquil Townhouse on Sunday which makes me very excited. Don't you love meeting a blogger in real life?

Friday, November 25, 2011

oh miss haversham!

Am loving this shot of Gillian Anderson from the upcoming Great Expectations {even if her gorgeous titan locks are covered}.

If this shot's anything to go by the film should be visually sumptuous.

Also, I think I need that frock.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

on my christmas wishlist

A bottle of piper in faux-crocodile wrapping? And only $38.90 from Dan Murphy's? Oh yes please.

PS: How on earth do I find out about deals like this? On twitter of course - source of everything. You could follow Dan Murphy's here and be in the know too ;)

dita von teese for target!!!!!

I know where I'm going to be next February - lining up at my local Target store to stock up on the new Dita Von Teese lingerie line.

I can only imagine it'll all be twenty billion shades of fabulous.

Monday, November 21, 2011

meal planning monday

There is no way on earth that I'm going to complain about how busy I've been. After all, I've had the most beautifully social weekend with the most fabulous people on earth, and now I'm busy in a job that I {mostly} love - so who can complain? Not this little black duck. But I'm not letting busyness get in the way of being organised. Here's this week's odd meal plan:

Tonight: I took some bolognaise sauce from the freezer and have cooked up some pasta. My gal's at her ballet concert theatre rehearsal from 4.30 to 8pm so she'll be starvin' marvin when she gets home. Fast, satisfying, easy and frugal.

Tuesday: It's my gal's last night at home before she heads off on her Year 6 retreat for three whole days! Best make her fave cottage pie for dinner {shhh, don't tell anyone we're having mince two nights in a row...}

Wednesday: Child-free, and we're off to see Seeker, Lover, Keeper. Perhaps we could call in at Bar Petite for nibbles and a champers before the show.

Thursday: I'm in Sydney and off to a snazzy wine bar with my workmates. Bliss!

Friday: My baby's home! She'll want another special meal to welcome her back. Salmon on the bbq I think.

Saturday: The Red Lantern Night Markets are on for one-night-only. I donated a little bit on Pozible to ensure this happened this year so best eat there to support the traders!

Sunday: Roast chicken - we haven't had a roast chook for a while.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

we had a ball...

Me and my gals - love them to bits.

My gorgeous hubby and me - and a few stray sunbeams...

A view of the dance floor from our table. I spent far too long dancing the night away on that there floor - so much so that my knee's currently propped up on cushions with an icebag on it. Oh well, can't have pleasure without a little pain.

I think I have a few more shots of the preparations on my camera - shall have to check and update.

Friday, November 18, 2011

stage 1 ball preparation

Left on my fingers, right on my toes. {A rather fabulous green and an uber-deep purple}

yes, you shall go to the ball

I'm a wee bit excited as tonight I'm off to a ball. Yep, frocking up, taking the Manolos from their box - foofing up my hair and dancing the night away with friends.

Good times.

I wish I were wearing a bunny mask like Candace Bergen at Truman Capote's infamous black and white ball {if I could time travel, I'd go there, and then stop by the Algonquin round table - and to check out Hemmingway in Paris - seriously, how sexy was that man in Midnight In Paris...}

Shall try to sneak off some shots - it's at Fort Scratchley in Newcastle, a place I've never been - but it should be M.A.G.N. I. F. I. C. E. N. T. Love a good location. I've spoken before about how the atmosphere when you first arrive at an event has to offer something special - and I'm pretty sure that tonight it will.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

this deserves an award

It's official! Ricky Gervais is hosting the next Golden Globe awards. Nice to see that common sense prevailed. Surely they had their highest ratings, and recognition, after his last hosting. And whoa boy, will people be tuning in for this one.

Will they try to reign him in? Doubt it - just as I'd doubt he'd be reigned.

You know I love me an awards ceremony {mainly for the frocks}, well now I'm doubly delighted {and there will be squeeing!}

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

that's sweet

Look at what's appearing in selected Seed stores - cuteness! I do love an old fashioned lollyshop!

Monday, November 14, 2011

tedxnewy: ideas worth acting on

On Saturday morning hubby dropped me off at the Civic Playhouse and I made my way to registration for TEDxNewy. There honestly was an excited buzz in the air, with genuine smiles being offered from the TAFE volunteers, to all the lucky audience members. Only 200 people were selected to buy tickets, and I was so lucky to be one of them.

As I worked my way around the foyer I spotted a friendly face, well, a friendly face that I recognised from an avatar on Twitter that is. The NewyTweeps were out in force at TEDxNewy and they were all as marvelous as they appear in 140 characters. I can now say that I've met some new friends I'll have for life.

So @drdrdr09 and I made our way to one of the rear two rows - the tweeting rows, along with @thegreenegg and settled into our seats - tweeting thumbs at the ready. The screen lit up, and so did our faces, it was here.

Speaker after speaker blew my mind. From the opening of Bernie Curran, followed by the awesome Marcus Westbury and my new crush, Gerry Bobsien - there was so much to take on board. Frantically watching, tweeting, reading other tweets and digesting, TEDxNewy was full of ideas and inspirational {sorry, this word's going to come up a lot} people who have a little idea and act on it - with great results.

I'm planning on writing posts on each of the speakers from the day, but before I do, I thought I'd share how I'm going to use my TEDxNewy experience. Each of the 16 speakers were punctuated with short films or pieces that enhanced the experienced even further - so what I'm going to do is take something from each - every day - and do my TEDxNewy: ideas worth acting on.

Yesterday, inspired by The Naked Runners I threw on my old trainers {my feet are too delicate for the barefoot running they also advocate} and took off. I'm nowhere near fit enough just to start running, but I went to the beach and walked briskly, and nakedly. No iPod to distract me, no fancy running clothes, no GPS - just me, my feet and the beach. I smiled at others, checked out the new SurfHouse at Merewether and then, when I got to Dixon Park - ran up the hill like a toddler - just for the fun of it.

Yesterday I knocked over two goals: I also followed the Take3 ethos. The theory described by Tim Silverwood is that every time you go to a beach, a waterway - or anywhere really - take three pieces of rubbish with you. Plastic is deadly for our wildlife, so every little bit counts {I kinda cheated and took 4...} This is one I'll be acting on daily. I've always picked up rubbish whenever I see it - but I love the idea of giving it a name. It's so simple, just take three things.

Guess how good I felt afterwards?

I'm planning on acting on every single speaker - in some small way. I'll let you know how I get on.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

sunday suppers

Wow, my head's still buzzing after the extraodinary TEDxNewy yesterday. Such a wonderful range of speakers, each of whom managed to plant a nugget of inspiration. LOVE. Full post to follow...

Meanwhile, life's pretty much back to normal in this neck of the woods, so here's the normal meals we're eating.

Sunday: There will be roast lamb, cooked on the bbq, with a lentil salad. It'll be yum.

Monday: Poached chicken, avocado and mango salad.

Tuesday: Ballet concert dress rehearsal. Best have a speedy meal ready to go when we get home. Burritos I think.

Wednesday: Hmmmm, I think I'll need a fish dish, with salad.

Thursday: Zucchini fritters, salad and some crispy pancetta slices

Friday: We're off to a ball - woo hooo!

Saturday: I have a catch-up with uni friends, best have the makings for home-made pizzas on hand for dinner.

Yep, that'll do.

Friday, November 11, 2011

tee hee rwoar

Gimmicky shoes normally make me stabby, but Blake Lively's Lion Louboutin's make me ever-so-happy. Seriously, could you ever look down at these and not smile?

flowers for friday

I'm off to a mum's night out tonight. Wouldn't it be nice if the tables were all set up with prettiness like this?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

planes, trains and automobiles...

Well, that was a busy few days - with a lot of transportation thrown into the mix. Sadly, no pretty little cars like these beauties spotted in the beachside town of Cassis in France {pretty town - home of my fave champagne-additive!}. There were issues when a thunderstorm hit Melbourne airport, which meant I didn't limp home till midnight last night - and then I drove down to Sydney today... But it was all good.

You know how somedays you just think, you know what? My job's pretty darned amazing? Well I had one of those days. I was inspired by two incredible women that I work for - and feel so energised and enthused that even all this travel hasn't sapped my desire to get things done. I also got to meet some really lovely people and feel some rooms so optimistic and inspired that it's hard not to get a bit of a glow on.

Tomorrow's going to be a busy day - but I'll be busy with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Works for me...

Can't complain when your working day involves looking out over a swishy pool in a rather fabulous Melbourne hotel (with really nice coffee - yay!)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

On a jet plane

Well, here I am in Melbourne. I woke at the obscene hour of 4.15am and just had the most awful coffee (in Melbourne! That's not right! But yes, it was at the airport). Lots to do: work, meetings and catch-up with my family. Bless.

Monday, November 07, 2011

newcastle - moving forward

I love living where I do. Moving back from Sydney to Newcastle 10 years ago was one of the best decisions we've made. I still love Sydney, but oh, I adore Newcastle. Obviously our beaches are a primary attraction, but it's the people here that are making it so amazing. Next Saturday I'm off to TEDxNewy - an amazing event organised by one seriously inspirational woman - Siobhan Curran. I've never met Siobhan, but oh, I've admired her from afar. She's one of those people I love - one who gets an idea and doesn't say "Oh, somebody should do this" she does it. She started the fabulous blog The Novocastrian Files, and the delicious Cooking From The Heart and after attending TED last year applied for a licence and set up the independent series of talks at TEDx in newy - legend.

I applied for tickets and snaffled them up when I got the seal of approval - without knowing who was speaking. Now, after reading the list, I'm beyond excited. There's some speakers I know, such as Marcus Westbury who started This Is Not Art in Newcastle and then the extraordinary Renew Newcastle which has now spread to Renew Australia and is taking off globally. Legend. Some speakers I haven't heard of, so I can't wait to hear what they've got to say.

All the speakers are those who act. They don't wait for someone else to do it - they do it - and inspire others in their wake. I know I'm going to walk out of the Civic Playhouse inspired and energised - can't wait. So much talent in this town, it's extraordinary.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

sunday suppers

Okey doke, busy again this week - with a few trips away from work. But I can't let my family fend for themselves {I know!} so here's what I'll be cooking.

Sunday: tonight we're having fish and roasted beetroot, leaves and persian fetta salad. I love the new fresh range of crumbed fresh barramundi fillets from Coles. Bought them a few weeks ago and simply popped them in the oven to cook. Tasty and stupidly simple.

Monday: I'm going to bake up spanish chicken, and following Nigella's lead by grating orange zest over the chicken, potato, onion and chorizo before baking. Yum. We'll eat it with rice and some more salad {hey, you saw our garden, we're eating lotsa salad}.

Tuesday: Okay, am flying to Melbourne at 6am, so my in-laws are coming to stay the night to help take the gal to school as my hubby also has a busy week. To reward them I'll leave behind a shephard's pie that I'll bake on monday. I'll be having dinner with my mum, step-dad and baby bro in Melbourne somewhere. Woo hoo.

Wednesday: I'm catching an 8pm flight back from Melbourne, might grab an early dinner in a laneway somewhere...

Thursday: I have a meeting in Sydney today, so I'll be home late. Hubby and the gal can prepare dinner for me I think. Spaghetti bolognaise is always a good-un for re-heating etc.

Friday: I have the mum's night out for school - so I'll be eating there. Gal and hubby can cook themselves up a bbq.

Saturday: I'm at TedXNewy all day {Can. Not. WAIT!} There will be takeaway for dinner tonight.

Sunday: Shall make up for my neglect with a lovely home-cooked roast.

PS: Have totally stolen a shot of my own kitchen for this post - from an ancient blog post. Need to get out there now and make it look this tidy again - after I bake a week's worth of school lunch tarts {potato and chorizo this week}