Monday, January 31, 2011

i'm back

Oh, I do love Melbourne. Despite a very short visit, steaming heat and so much to do, we had the most lovely time. I'll tell you all about it - soon...

In the meantime enjoy these. They're Gucci - and very pretty indeed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

flowers for friday

Apparently there's a rather glorious florist in London that goes by the name of Scarlet and Violet. This here's an image from said store and it does look 70 shades of fabulous don't you think?

PS: Jugs, buckets and old milk urns are about a gazillion times prettier than vases non?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

leaving on a jet{star} plane

We're off to Melbourne tonight for a quick long-weekend catching up with the family. My brother has an art exhibition in progress that we're dying to check out - and we've got a lunchtime catch-up on Saturday with all my step-sisters and their families. Yay!

The gal's keen to go to the zoo, so we thought her grandparents would love to do that - after dropping hubby and I off in the city to stroll around the laneways {damn, I do love me some Melbourne laneways...}. Hopefully the weather will behave itself and not give me the stinking hot Melbourne summers I remember from my teenage years while on School Holidays down south...

I think we're all set. I made some pizza scrolls last night that are sitting in the freezer waiting for the gal's school lunch on Tuesday. Aaah, the return of school - gotta love it!

My in-laws are also coming down to stay here this weekend to look after the cat and the garden. They love a chance to get down by the beach - and my mother-in-law adores our cat {who loves her right back!}. So all's good. Enjoy your weekend x

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I like to spend Australia Day celebrating what it is that I love about this country. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's on its way. I love how we band together in a tragedy, I love our dramatic coastlines and glorious stretches of surf. I'm more than a bit fond of streets lined with frangipani signally the height of summer. There's a lot to love about this country - including the fact that Pink Lamingtons can be considered a perfectly patriotic food.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

just bloody beautiful

Some things in this world are just delicious aren't they? Like this classic 1968 Vespa that I'm pretty sure has my name on it...

I need a little head-turning beauty in my daily life - don't you? It's why I chose the Macbook Air over less expensive laptops. Why my phone's an iPhone... {sensing a theme here? Mac designer's just get beauty}. It's why I love a great pair of shoes - and why I'm currently not enarmoured of anything in my wardrobe {oh, I am busting to shop - busting I say!}

It's why we're keen to finish off the backyard {think we're almost there - just have to paint the floorboards on the back veranda {white or matte charcoal...} and do the side yard - including the restoration of the 1920s iron setting {with loveheart backs - LOVEHEARTS}.

Ahhh, there's nothing like a bit of restoration and beautification to make a heart sing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

stitched up

I know, I'm all about Miu Miu at the moment aren't I? But honestly, would you expect anything different? Check out the stitching on these, and that strap detail that hugs over the platform. Love it. Love it to death.

Hey, guess what I did yesterday? Window shopping and I liked it! I know! It was purely accidental. We needed to buy a new mattress for our gal's bed. We'd bought in haste last time and it was just awful - too hard, too cold, too uncomfortable. To make up for it I'd bought a snuggly wool underlay and nice sheets, but after spending a night in there recently after a game of musical beds, I realised we had to buck up and buy her a new one.

As the sales are on we made Sunday the day and found, to our amazement, a whole new Homemaker's Centre has opened in a nearby suburb. Genius. We bought the mattress {and, um, one for our bed too... hubby's never been keen on ours, and I can't say that I was ever in love with it} and then spent some time in Freedom, Recollections {where I found a vanity that I must have when we renovate our bathroom} and a couple of other stores.


None of the shops were crowded, there was none of that "Mall Weirdness" you find at a shopping centre {you know, people walk too slowly/quickly, stop unexpectedly, and are just weird...}. Oh I liked it A LOT.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

i'm pretty sure i need glasses

These glasses.

cheaty healthy

I've been making a cheat's version of bircher muesli the last few days, and boy, am I loving it sick. I love bircher, but I ALWAYS forget to soak the oats overnight. But the other day, I was craving the stuff so deeply I thought I'd try anyway. So I put a little oats in the bottom of my bowl {probably 1/3rd of a cup} and covered it with milk. Then I sliced up a peach, threw in a handful of blackberries and blueberries, dollopped on some plain yoghurt and topped with some pistachios. And it was delish!

It didn't have grated apple because I was too lazy to pull out an apple and grate it - but it was still ridiculously healthy, uber-delish and kept me satisfied for hours. So much so that I think I'd best go make myself a bowl now!

Do you get bored of breakfast? I do. I need variety - a lot of variety. I switch between cereals, toasts, muffins, crumpets, bagels, eggs... I have a very short food attention span {something you'd probably know if you read my weekly menu plans...}

The only things I don't get bored of are drinks: coffee, champagne and good old water are three of my favourite things {of course I do tend to consume more water than I do of those others by the way}.

Are you easily bored or a delightful creature of habit?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

my eye view

These are my two intended views for the day: either in the pool, or on the daybed looking out at the pool.

I know.

Friday, January 21, 2011

ice cool

Martha and her team can do no wrong. Example: after all the years of people saying "Carnations are making a comeback", they've finally made Carnations cool. I found this image over at BellaMumma and haven't stopped drooling.

Damned genius.

how can it be friday?

People, how quickly is this week screaming by? I just cannot believe it's friday, and that I didn't post yesterday! How rude! We did have some lovely friends over for dinner last night - that's my excuse. Lots of fun, particularly as we watched the kids boogying away to Wii Dance - bless their little socks. I've said it before, but we are just ridiculously lucky to not only have such lovely friends, but they have some damned divine kids between them.

Do you like these flowers? I'm a big fan of the blowsy bloom. I don't like those tight, restrained buds - give me lush, gorgeous full-blown petals any day. Now, I'm back to work. Enjoy your friday my lovelies.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

what's cooking wednesday

Of COURSE Dita Von Teese has the most deliriously pretty kitchen in the world {as featured in the February issue of InStyle}. I covet it on so many levels...

But, while I don't have this kitchen, I do still have to cook. So here's what we're eating this week:
Tonight: We had some leftover chicken and chorizo risotto so I formed it into balls, coated it in egg and panko breadcrumbs and the gal and I had it with sweet potato chips {mmmmm - hubby out on the town with friends tonight, so just a girly dinner}
Thursday: We've got friends coming tonight - so Nat - don't read this so you get a surprise! I'm making a rather spesh chicken dish and a couple of salads - just food that can be served with champagne...
Friday: I didn't get around to cooking salmon last week, as usual, and am craving the stuff. So it's salmon on the bbq with a lime glaze.
Saturday: BBQ again, but steaks this time. With roasted vegie salad.
Sunday: Markets - so I shall buy me some fat pig {pork belly}. Yes please. With rice and wilted greens I think.
Monday: We're off to my in-laws for dinner. Yay!
Tuesday: I'm at a meeting in Sydney all day so something easy I'd expect - takeaway on the way home perhaps.

And that's it. Now, how to convince my husband to go for a pale pink and clotted cream kitchen...

a right royal viewing experience

Oh bless! That's what I thought walking out of The King's Speech. Such a lovely film, with, as you'd expect, virtuoso performances. Colin Firth was, of course, perfection in the role. He played his part with restraint and delicacy - brilliant. Helena Bonham Carter was, again, as always, a delight. I'd always loved the Queen Mum and Helena's version did the lovely lady justice. Again, so restrained in her performance and yet so powerful. Geoffrey Rush is some kind of genius, one of the few who could have played this role.

If you have the chance, pop along and see it - while you may shed a tear or two along the way, I'm pretty sure you'll walk out wearing a smile.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

oh photo bombing - you make me smile

I am very, very, very easily amused. And, I enjoy a giggle. Hence photo-bombing - source of much amusement.

I have a photo we took at some lovely castle in England, that even to this day will set me off in fits of hysterics as just at the right moment a duck stuck its head in shot. H.Y.S.T.E.R.I.C.S.

This photo of Jerry O'Connell and the People's Choice Awards had me snickering for days - so much to love. And this photo of Michael Douglas made me adore him even more than I did after his Will & Grace hilarity. This shot was skyped to me today as I was listening in on a very serious phone conference - thank god its opening coincided with a round of rapturous applause that disguised my snorting. {Ah, snorting, who doesn't love a good snort?}

busy, busy, buzz, buzz, buzz

Sorry guys, I've been neglecting you. Have a huge, important job on at the moment so it's taking up all my time. That said, I am off to check out The King's Speech tonight {oh Colin - love you!}. I'm also still somewhat flabbergasted that Ricky Gervais got away with so much last night - bless his socks. He made a normally boring awards show interesting - even the presenters bristled up and were more interesting that usual {except Robert Downey Jr who's always interesting - love him too}.

The Golden Globes are no longer poor relation to the Oscars - people will be talking about this ceremony for years to come. Bravo Mr Gervais.

Now, this bed - couldn't you just flop down on it for an afternoon nap? Oh, yes please...

Monday, January 17, 2011

red hot on the red carpet

Here are some of the looks I'm loving on the Golden Globes red carpet - and may I say that I'm very impressed that the red carpet has coincided with my lunchbreak. Very disappointed that the main shot up there wasn't actually Lea Michelle as I first thought {I've spared you the actual image of her - it's well, not great...}.

PS: You know how I love Helena and how she always brings it - seriously, too many flesh-toned, safe frocks on the red carpet for my liking. But you know what I'm loving most about her? The mis-matched shoes - LOVE. Head over to Go Fug Yourself for a typically hilarious recap of the red carpet - and check out the show Ricky Gervais is hosting so it's got to be brilliant.

shoe woo hoo

Excuse me, but have you seen a more outrageously pretty pair of shoes? I know - nor have I. This shade of green totally tickles my fancy, and you know I do love me a polka dot. I am now, officially in luuuuuuuurve.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

splashing out

It certainly is swimming weather here today. Hot, steamy and with a lovely blue sky. Now, sadly I did not loll around my pool in this pretty Miu Miu bikini - but oh, a gal can only dream.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Couldn't you just...

Never one for camping, I could just picture myself Glamping in this pretty silver Airstream. After reading about a couple who have an Airstream in their backyard in Byron as guest accommodation {!!!!!!} I'm more than a bit besotted. So's my hubby.

Next holiday perhaps?

So, today? What's happening? I'm doing a bit of work, and am catching up with some school friends at a hotel on the harbour later today. Not too shabby...

Friday, January 14, 2011

simply pretty

A favourite flower of mine is the Cosmos. So pretty, in glorious shades of pink, with magnificent foliage that's the perfect background for their pretty faces. Simple to grow too - with none of the fuss of daisies {seriously, can you believe that I can't grow daisies?!}

There's a wee spot of space in my garden that's begging for a little colour. Cosmos just might do the trick don't you think?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

lady in red

I love Rachel McAdams and adore a good frock {and a heel - natch} so this shot's a win/win all round. Do I mind that the frock is almost an identical colour to the curtains? Nah, not so much... She still looks gorgeous.

what's cooking wednesday

We're here again? Already? Okay then, here's the menu for this week...

Tonight: Glazed salmon, wilted spinach and sushi rice. The other night I made caramelised pork and served it on sushi rice {cooked and seasoned as if I were making sushi} as per Nigella's recommendation and it was soooooo good. Try it.
Thursday: Hubby and I are off on a date to have dinner and check out a performer - Adalita from Magic Dirt - oh yeah.
Friday: Garlic prawns, linguine and salad.
Saturday: Steak and roasted vegie salad.
Sunday: Off to the markets to find a suitable roasting meat. Mmmm.
Monday: I'm going to do that caramelised pork again. Let's hope I can remember the ingredients {I made a caramel with palm sugar and hot water, then added garlic, ginger, smoked chilli paste and ketchep manis. Smeared this over a pork fillet, salted it, marinated for 30 mins, then seared the fillet till golden. Then I sliced into thick slices, and added to the marinade to the pan and finished cooking the pork. Served on a bed of sushi rice with wilted chinese broccoli. Good stuff}.
Tuesday: Lamb salad.

Phew. You?

PS: Kitchen from Something's Gotta Give. Love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

some pretty breathing space

Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and smile.

in memoriam

Like most of the blogging community I'm lighting a candle and sending love out to Lori who lost her husband is such horrible, tragic circumstances. Rest in peace Tony.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Lord Tennyson

Monday, January 10, 2011

a new beckham baby

Just after Posh was quoted in Vogue magazine as no longer trying for a baby girl - the Beckhams have announced that baby number four is on the way.


They do make beautiful babies these two - and I don't think I've ever seen a celebrity father as genuinely affectionate with his kids as David is.

green with envy

I've been turning a fetching shade of green due to envy a bit lately. Reading my friend G's facebook status updates have me being infused with emerald as she's currently in Paris with her hubby enjoying champagne, culture and far too much fabulous food. Bliss.

These Alaia shoes are just the most glorious shade of green don't you think? And pretty too...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

house p*rn

I'm pretty forgiving of a film if it offers something for me to sigh over - particularly house-po*n. Last night I finally got around to watching It's Complicated and realised that nearly every film that has a house I lust over has one thing in common Nancy Meyer. Seriously, check out this blog that has an extensive list of Nancy Meyer films and gorgeous interior images from them.

Obviously, number one in the House P*rn category has to be Something's Gotta Give - honestly, that kitchen!! It'd have to be one of the most googled kitchen's in history. But I didn't realise that Nancy had a hand in The Holiday, although looking at this gorgeous living room I should have realised. Do you know how much I now NEED this ottoman? Perfection.

PS: It's complicated was fun. I realised how much I do like Meryl Streep. And what I love about her is how amazingly sexy she is - honestly, that's one woman who just seems so damned confident in her skin. And there were plenty of giggles on offer to. And the house po*n, let's not forget the house p*rn {and in this case, bakery po*n, mmmmmmm}.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to ward off tons of google searches here looking for something inappropriate... * Ha - edited to, well, edit that word. Honestly people - nothing to see here, move along...

what a doll

If I were a movie star, or a rock star, and somebody told me they were making a doll version of me I'd squeee. Yep, I'd be damned excited. But what happens when you get that weird doll that looks nothing like you?

For example, you may be wondering why I've posted a pretty pic of Winona and this weird, ugly-looking man doll above. That's because the weird, ugly-looking man doll is meant to be Winona... Um, right. Sure, the doll has a waist, and boobs, but apart from that they've really just chucked on some kind of low-rent GI Joe head!

No squeee from Winona - probably just a squeal I'd imagine...

{To see some more hilarious dolls from the 90s go here. Go on...}

Saturday, January 08, 2011

what do you like about your house?

Last night we had some lovely friends over to dinner. It was one of those perfect nights. Everyone was relaxed, happy and in holiday mode. We sat up in the pavillion while the kids swam, and then, once it was dark we moved down to have our dinner on the back veranda while the kids ate inside and watched a DVD. Then, at about 8.30 the kids asked if they could go for another swim and we said "Why not?" and turned on the pool lights, and moved back up to the pavillion.


That's the kind of night memories are made of. I love that we've managed to make so many lovely friends who are also raising such gorgeous children. Seriously good kids. The two boys happily played with my gal, which is great as they'll be spending a week together in Provence, and our other friends have the most gorgeous little girl who enchanted us all. You know those children that are just so sweet, lovely, funny and fabulous that you can't take your eyes off them? That was Miss R. My gal hasn't stopped raving about her - she really was utterly enchanting. And so happy! She didn't have her swimmers, but happily sat there watching the big kids swim with the most beautiful little smile playing about her lips.


But on to the topic of this post. What I love about our house is that it makes nights like that possible. Where the kids can have fun, the adults know their safe, and that we have enough changes of scene to keep things interesting.

You've got to be happy with that.

PS: this shot is not my house - but don't you love that candelabra in the corner? Why waste a spot when you can make it pretty?

Friday, January 07, 2011

flowers for friday

How glorious are parrot tulips? Watching The Tourist the other night made me remember how much I adore this flower. It also made me realise that Venice is a spectacularly beautiful city that I really do need to visit again. Another realisation: Johnny Depp is not always hot {I know! Wash out my mouth!}. Finally, Angelina Jolie - really needs to eat something. She's always been uber-thin, but she was distractingly so in this film...

But anyway - tulips - pretty!

cute potential couple alert

So, apparently they spent new year's together - and the rumour train totally has them together. I'm with that. I love Sandy, and while I do have issues with Ryan's often obvious foundation {dude, match your skintone and BLEND} I think they'd have fun together.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

best job in the world?

Blake Lively is the new ambassadress for Chanel Mademoiselle Handbags. Best. Job. Ever. Seriously, free handbags and you get to hang out with Karl - surely that'd provide dinner party anecdotes for a good 700 years or so...

PS: that bag? Oh MY!

good gear

I don't know about you, but I often truly, deeply believe that if I have just the right piece of equipment I'll be better at something. Take this Cath Kidston tea towel. If I owned this I wouldn't leave any washing up 'drying' on the sink for a couple of days... Nope, my sink would be consistently pristine.

I'm always considering the next best thing to make me a better duster. Have you seen those spinning lurid green dusters advertised on TV? Oh, I so nearly dialed that number - until I realised that I have two dusters {um, gathering dust} in my pantry. Every week I'm consumed with envy as I sit at my desk and watch next door's cleaner come in and dust around all the inside of the windows I can see. I know, weird. I've no idea what else she does - but gee I'm envious of the dusting. Despite my asthma and hayfever dusting always falls into a non-essential category for me: way after vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, washing, cooking etc.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

best breakfasts

Oh, I do have me a hankering for some delicious pancakes topped with berries. Have a look at these pretties I saw over at martha stewart - scrumptious!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

what's cookin' this week?

We're getting back into entertaining this week - hurrah! So here's what we'll be eating this week.
Tonight: the gal's off to her grandparents' for a couple of nights so we'll have a simple steak and salad dinner.
Wednesday: still no child - I think I might try a pork stir-fry.
Thursday: Child being returned by grandparents - who I'll repay by cooking up a meal. I'm going to try chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, potatoes and green beans.
Friday: two couples and assorted kidlets for dinner tonight. We're going to Provence this year with one of the couples so I'd best check out my Provence cookbook to find a suitable meal. For pudding I'll be making my new fave - nectarine clafoutis and vanilla bean icecream.
Saturday: Thai beef salad.
Sunday: The farmer's markets re-open - hurrah! I'll be buying something yummy and cooking it up.
Monday: lamb on the bbq I think.

PS: I adore this pop of colour and use of a screen door on the pantry. I'm tempted to take the screen door off our side veranda, paint it and pop it on our pantry. Unfortunately I've hidden away our fridge, recycling bin and rubbish bin in our pantry so it's not quite as peep-worthy as this one...

Monday, January 03, 2011

shoe boop be do

The first shoe of the year has to be pretty ridiculous don't you think? So these Versace numbers fit the bill. Despite their outrageous platforms - I think the colours and the straps on top are divine. Plus, they'd finally take me to the height I feel I deserve to be {actually, by the look of them, they'd take me over 6 foot!}.

Ah lofty heights...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

oh joy...

Why is it that putting the Christmas tree up is accompanied by carols, good cheer and big smiles, while putting it away is always a far more subdued event. I think next year I'm going to make the taking down of the tree a far more festive event - and do it with songs, champagne and a true sense of welcoming in the new year.

I think the hardest thing to take down was this garland. I love how beautifully it frames the rose in the centre of the leadlight on our front door. I love our leadlight - not only is it beautiful - it also has a lot of meaning. See, my mum and step-dad made it for us - using glass from my beloved Nana Rose's front door. Hence, the rose. I loved my nana enormously, in fact, she was the inspiration for our daughter's middle name - as her surname was Rose and she always grew beautiful roses in her garden.

Every time I walk down the hallway the light shines through the beautiful shades of amethyst roses and dappled glass and I remember happy times with my Nana. That's what I mean by surrounding yourself with things that are not only beautiful - but have meaning. I truly believe that your eyes should dance around a room and alight on things that cause your heart to sing.

What's making your heart sing today?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

11 things...

Like many, I'm not a fan of the new year's resolution - however, the new year plan I like very much indeed. I like having goals, and working toward them. It's always baby steps, which is why goals kick the ass of resolutions - resolutions are all "I will do this" whereas goals are "I'm moving toward this..." much better.

Here's my aim for this year {and why yes, I am being cheaty and adding things I've already put in motion - half the fun of lists is the retrospective adding and crossing off}.
1. I aim to stress less. I don't like being stressed, it doesn't suit me. And apparently when I'm stressed my eyes do this weird, fast darty thing - that can't be good.

2. I aim to move more. I love walking, love it. So this year I plan on doing a lot more of it. I'd like to think every day, but I'm aiming for just a lot more of it.

3. Love more. I want everyone close to me to know how special they are. Whether it's with a look, a touch or a smile - I want them to know every day what they mean to me.

4. Dance more. Dancing's the best, it makes me smile. I aim to organise or participate in events that involve dancing - or at the very least, pop in my Zumba dvds and get myself moving around my living room.

5. Laugh more. Every smile is a gift, and a laugh is an even greater one - I'm going to look on the funny side of everything.

6. Talk more. Call my friends and chat.

7. Study more. My husband bought me another year of French lessons - this year I'm going to dedicate an hour a week to homework to let some of the learning sink in.

8. More music. Love music - never listen to it often enough. Must rectify that.

9. Surround myself with all that is splendid. Sounds marvelous doesn't it?

10. Prepare for Paris. I don't want to miss a second that we're spending in my favourite city - so this time I'm going to work out exactly where I want to explore - and spend hours walking around it.

11. Aim for excellence. I want to sit back and smile at everything I offer up knowing it's as excellent as I could make it. Whether it's work, a blog post, a cuddle or a meal - why do it if you don't do it as well as humanly possible?

So, what do you think? Achievable?