Thursday, March 31, 2011


Apparently I'm going through a "oooh, I need that" period in my life. And you know what I need? This. To celebrate the one year anniversary of Balenciaga Paris come these adorable purse-sized parfums.

Did I mention the scent is chypre violet? I do believe that it has PPMJ written all over it.

Available at David Jones, which is where I'll be headed on the double.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

covetous moments

There is just so much to love about this image. That utterly magnificent red frock, an ice green Smeg Fridge {seriously, before I die I just do need one of those} and the perfection that is Sophie Dahl. Isn't she just exquisite?

Ps: those sundaes? Rocking my world. I so need to make a pink pudding...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

what's cooking wednesday

Oh lordy, seriously? Wednesday again? Already? Okay then. Well, my gal's recovered from her illness that saw half the school felled in one swoop - honestly, these gastro bugs sure do know how to take hold don't they? And of course, just as her fever abated mine began. Of course. But I've been good and rested up so hopefully I'll get through today okay...

Here's what we're eating this week:
Tonight: netball training so there will be a beef and red wine casserole bubbling in the slow cooker. Served with mash. I need some comfort.
Thursday: I've got a craving for chicken noodle soup - heavy on the garlic.
Friday: Now, so far as I know we've got NOTHING planned this weekend. This makes me happy. After last weekend when the gal and I weeded the front yard I'd love for us to get out and do something in the side yard. So to sustain us, I might have to cook up a seven hour leg of lamb*. Yep, I think that'll do.
Saturday: steak and vegies.
Sunday: Roast chicken. Last Sunday we couldn't find a freerange chook, so we had pork rib roast instead {mmmmm}. So this week I'm determined to roast me some chicken.
Monday: Prawn and chorizo risotto. Would you believe that the other week The Essential Ingredient were all out of risotto rice? Well, except for these enormous sacks that would take us years to plough through. So this is back on the menu again. With a lemony rocket salad on the side.
Tuesday: French lessons. Think I'll make beef kebabs, a rice pilaf and honeyed carrots.

And that'll do us for the week I think.

Seven hour leg of lamb recipe*
1 leg of lamb, including bone, and preferably shank
Garlic cloves
Anchovies {I know, but wait...}
1 cup french lentils
1 onion
1 carrot
bay leaves
white wine

With a knife, pierce the lamb's skin all over, to a depth of around 3cm. Wiggle the knife around a little to make the pockets a little bigger. Now, peel and slice your garlic cloves lengthwise, and cut your anchovies in half. Place a garlic sliver and a piece of anchovy in each of the pockets. I like to do plenty - probably around 20 on the average leg. Push them right into the skin - if they peek out they burn.

Cover the lamb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Now, I like to cook this in my cast iron Le Crueset oven - but if you don't have one, use a baking dish and cover firmly with foil. Place the chopped onions and carrots in the bottom of the dish and then sprinkle the lentils over the top. Toss in a few bay leaves and then cover this with white wine {probably only around a cup}. Place leg of lamb on top, cover with a lid, or two layers of foil - you want to keep the steam in.

Place lamb in an oven on its lowest setting - around 130 degrees to 150 degrees and leave it to cook for seven hours. That's it. After seven hours the lamb will fall from the bone, and the anchovies will have melted to provide the most incredible flavour. You'll also have a yummy side-dish with the lamb-infused lentils.

Serve with mash.

my little ray of sunshine

I have my poor little poorly lass home with me again today. She's much better, after the raging temperatures she experienced yesterday, but she just needs a recovery day on the couch I think. She also needs lots and lots of mumma cuddles - so I can't complain about that.

I think her body was just telling her it's time to have a rest. Fair enough...

Monday, March 28, 2011

pretty purses

A black wallet inside a black handbag is quite possibly the most frustration-inducing fashion choice. Every day I'd nearly drive myself insane trying to find a black hole, within a black hole. I'm intending on treating myself to a new handbag in Paris, and thought I'd buy a wallet there too, but when I spied this pretty vintage-style purse on Saturday how could I resist? It's got loads of space for all my cards {loyalty - not credit!} and plenty of hidey holes for things like stamps and receipts. Plus, it's a vibrant lipstick red {verging on orange - prettiness!}

And look, it even stands out when it's tossed on my bed! And it was on sale - win, win and WIN!

rosy hue

I'm a rose gold gal. It's the hue of my wedding band, and any rings I've owned since I turned 21. I love its unique shades that does something special for every skintone too. So, hello, as if I could skip past these Brian Attwood pumps. C'mon, rose gold patent leather? That'd be tip to toe perfection.

It's a drizzly day here today: appropriate as I have a sick little lass home from school. She came over terribly ill last night, so we both had a sleepover in the living room. She's improved this morning, but with those hideous bugs I think it's always best to err on the side of caution and give a day for recovery.

How was your weekend? Mine was surprisingly successful. Would you believe that I went shopping both on Saturday and Sunday? At both of the major shopping malls in my town? And I quite enjoyed it. Perhaps because it was limited, and I found some pretty stuff. A new, vintage-esque red wallet for me, cute pjs covered in Eiffel Towers for the gal and lots of salivating over iPad2... Mmmmm.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

sweet, sweet saturday

Ahhhhh Saturday... After a killer migraine last night that decided to come on just as I walked into the school disco {oh yeah} I headed to bed at 7.30 and awoke at 9.30 this morning. I KNOW! My gal made chorizo omlettes for breaky {bless her socks} and we've just returned from voting in the state election.

Hubster's off playing golf, so the gal and I will do a bit of relaxing, a spot of cleaning and just hanging out. I'd also like to get out into the front yard and weed a garden bed or two. It's been raining heavily every night lately so the soil's bound to yield up those weeds easier than normal.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to have my coffee with a chocolate crackle purchased at the school's cake stall when I went to vote. I know where I'll be headed next time I vote!

Friday, March 25, 2011

woo hoooo it's friday

I'm so excited that it's the weekend that not only am I offering up flowers - but a whole darned party! It's been quite the week in this neck of the woods, so I'm sooooooooo looking forward to a relax and unwind on the weekend. Maybe even baking a cupcake perhaps...

For those of you who have something special on {I don't know, like a wedding, or a wedding anniversary...} enjoy - delve deep into bliss. And for those of you with nothing particular planned, take at least one moment and hug it closely to you.

Let's step into the weekend with a smile shall we?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

rest in peace

Very sad news this morning about Elizabeth Taylor's passing. She was a true movie star and a woman with great passion. That was one life very well lived.

"I don't think death is the final challenge. I don't think the soul just disappears."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

what's cooking wednesday

Hey all, how's tricks? I'm sad this morning as hubby tried to record Survivor last night on stupid channel GO while I was at French lessons - and couldn't get it to work. Apparently our DVD player isn't paired with some of these new free-to-air channels. Must get that happening before next week - I need a Boston Rob fix!

So, for now, I'll placate myself with thoughts of cooking:
Tonight: chorizo and prawn risotto
Thursday: I think I might make a chicken and pistachio meatloaf. Served with roasted vegies that'll go down a treat.
Friday: School Disco at the local club: sausage sangers...
Saturday: Maybe the last bbq of the season? I'm trying those Donna Hay burgers she cooked on the show last night - beef burgers with a slice of pancetta cooked onto either side. YUM>
Sunday: Roast chicken and vegies.
Monday: Pork cutlets, mashed pumpkin, wilted spinach and corn on the cob.
Tuesday: {busy day: French lessons at 7pm, gal has hours of ballet} Bring out the slow cooker for a beef and barley soup.

And that's all folks...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

pink of perfection

Do you know what I don't love about this setting? Yep, you guessed it - absolutely nothing. From the Tiffany Blue tablecloth, to the spotty setting {Kate Spade?} to the peonies and macarons it's just my idea of bliss.

I can see a spot of macaron baking happening this weekend...

Monday, March 21, 2011

back on the bike...

Well, you'll be pleased to know that I've stuck with this exercise malarky very well over the past week. So well in fact that I've exercised every single day. The minimum has been a 15 minute walk one day {a rest day} and lots of 30 to 45 minute walks on the other days. I've also actually gone for a ride on my poor neglected bike {sadly my bike does NOT have a french bulldog on a basket - if it did I'd be riding every five minutes!}

I'm already feeling much better within myself after just one week. I'm less stressed, more energetic and feel the muscles slowly making claim over my body again.

Honestly, why on earth would I give this a miss? Whether it's early morning or late evening exercise, it's quite possibly the best thing I'm doing for myself don't you think?

blue by you

Oh me oh my oh YES! These cerulean blue lovelies have set my heart-a-racing this morning. So. Damned. Pretty. They're by Brian Atwood - that impossibly gorgeous shoe designer and I am utterly besotted. I can't think of an outfit these shoes wouldn't enhance.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

happy sunday

How's everyone feeling this morning? I imagine there are a few sore heads and feet after the bloggers conference - can you tell me all about it? Kicked myself all day yesterday for not attending. But, I did have a good day. Did some cleaning, took my gal to the show and got through my french homework with Mme A. Got to be happy with that.

Today hubster's out doing a warm-up ride. He's taking part in his first triathlon today, doing the cycle leg. So the gal and I will head off to a local café to watch him whizz by - several times. Then I think we'll fit in a spot of gardening - it poured last night so it's the ideal time to get in a bit of weeding, feeding and mulching. Then off to the local pub for dinner with friends {with the husband who's doing the running leg}.

So - those who attended the conference - I want extensive posts, as will everyone else who attended. And those who didn't, let's sit in a corner together and plot how we're going to be first in line for tickets next year.

Friday, March 18, 2011

the only way is up, baby

Despite the fact that the film's heartbreaking montage had me heaving great big snotty sobs, I do adore the film UP. And you know what I love even more? The fact that the National Geographic channel have filmed someone recreating such an amazing voyage. V jealous of the dude I can spy hanging out the window - what an awesome experience.

I hope you have at least one awesome experience this weekend.

flowers for friday

Hello! Lilacs!! And what looks like rosé in the glasses - sold. This pretty image is helping me get through a drizzly day - the second pupil-free day this week. Oh yes, on Monday our gal's school had one of its thousand pupil-free days, and today's our regional Show Holiday. The day in which school kids, and some businesses {but not many} get the day off to attend the show. Of course it always rains on show holiday so most kids will be doing what mine is - going to the movies. Luckily my husband works at one of the few businesses to take Show Holiday so he'll be taking our gal and her pal to see Gnomeo and Juliet {I'll be working, and jealous cos I really want to see that movie...}

I'm also in the doldrums as I'm virtually the only Australian blogger not going to THAT conference tomorrow. I know! I didn't think about it, and then the tickets were sold out and now I'm just kicking myself. Have fun for me everyone. Dance for me, drink for me, say "Hi" to some of the bloggers I really, really wanted to meet...

Next year for sure!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

what's cooking wednesday

Heya, wednesday again - the day I get my head in order and share my meal plan for the week with you. Ready?

Wednesday: today's our first day of netball training so I'd best get the slow cooker out and prepped. But tonight we're having Provencal chicken - same as last night, but I have another pack of chicken thighs to throw in along with the sauce and potatoes left over from last night {which I didn't get to eat as I had to rush off to French before it was ready...}
Thursday: my pal, The Divine Ms M {a redhead: not to be confused with Mrs Woog's friend The Divine Ms M} is up again and we're off to Charlestown Square to check out some shops. While we're there we might just have to fall into New Shanghai for some dumplings...
Friday: I need a good steak. Steak, wilted, garlic spinach and some roasted pumpkin and beetroot I think.
Saturday: Hubster's competing in a triathlon, in the cycling leg, best carb-load him with a prawn, lemon and linguine pasta don't you think?
Sunday: To celebrate the husbands' achievements in the triathlon {they'll smash it} we're off with another participating family {husband who's in the run leg} to our local pub for dinner. It's undergone renovations and has apparently finally stepped out of the 80s menu-wise. Hurrah.
Monday: Caramelised pork stir-fry with singapore noodles and lots of greens.
Tuesday: Big long ballet day, let's say salmon, soba noodles, wilted asian greens.

And that'll do...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

move it

I've had enough. Enough of being sedentary - of grumbling, groaning and aching. I'm back into exercise - for good. Since busting up my knee last year and giving up netball I've gained weight and lost fitness and it's driving me nuts. But no more. I'm asking for help, and making time for myself. My husband's now a lycra-lad. Three or more times a week he rises before 6am and rides for 50 to 60 kilometres. No matter what. Me, well, there's always something I 'should' be doing.

Not anymore. On the days hubby's not rising I'll be waking at 7am and going for a walk. And on the days he does ride I'll go for a walk when he's home from work. My gal's stepping up and making her own breakfast and lunch - and hubby's cooking on the nights I'm exercising.

I've started off well: a bike ride followed by laps in the pool on Sunday. A 30 min walk {in the rain!} last night - and a long, fast 45 minute walk this morning.

I really want to be fit for France - and beyond. From now on I'm choosing my health first.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

wedge of reality

Hello Halston Heritage, haven't seen YOU before, but boy, do I like what I see... These wedges are so simply stunning that I do believe I had a few hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Imagine these with a gorgeous pair of jeans?

Yep, so can I. So can I...

parfait picnique

Oh, it's a beautiful day for a picnic. So my friend A and I are taking the kidlets along to the Alliance Francais Picnique and Petanque day. Bliss. Madeleines are about to be cooked, baguettes to be bought - and french cheese shopped-for en-route.

And there shall be no indulging in pastis thanks to a wee bit of overindulgence in the champagne last night {although it was all french so no hangover!}

I'm a wee bit scared about having to converse with anyone a la francaise - but I'll give it a shot. C'est bonne...

Friday, March 11, 2011

and relax...

All this picture needs is some pink champagne, bubbles - and me...

flowers for friday

Hi, sorry for the lack of posts yesterday - crazy busy. Eek!

But look, to make up for it here are some parrot tulips - cute!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

what's cooking wednesday

You know what? I'm pretty sure that the one thing that keeps me sane is menu planning. Sure, I don't always follow it to the letter, but it stops the panicked "Oh my god, what are we going to have for dinner?" at 5pm. Here's what we'll be eating this week.
Wednesday: My gal has a netball clinic and shall be starvational upon return. I'm going to cook up a beef and cashew stir-fry with lots of noodles.
Thursday: My pal, the Divine Ms M, is up for the night. Best cook up something good. Provencal chicken always goes down a treat.
Friday: Off to my in-laws for dinner. My mother-in-law always cooks up something yummy.
Saturday: We're going to friends' for 'duck night'. They'll be cooking up duck confit, we'll be bringing matching champagne and a pudding. We do it french-style and buy something from a good patisserie.
Sunday: There shall be roast and it should be pork.
Monday: Lamb backstrap warm salad - with feta, mint, peas and a caramelised balsamic dressing.
Tuesday: French lessons {with the scariest task ever - and one we're getting marked on - sacré bleu!} Chicken curry in the slow cooker is the best option.

And that's it. Two cheaty meals out and lots of fun.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

my little pile of awesome

To go with our new couches we've changed our living room around - tv on other side of room and everything. So that meant we had to move hundreds of CDs from tv in order to be able to lift it. And you know what that means - rediscovering old loves.

I was lucky enough to be a reviewer for a Music mag years ago - and oh, the CDs I have as a result... But we've barely made a dint in them when it comes to downloading them onto iTunes. So I've decided to pop a little pile of awesome onto my desk and when I have a second, I'll download a CD. Easy peasy. And oh yes, I'm rediscovering some fabulosity {including a Depeche Mode tribute featuring bands such as The Cure and Rammstein - awesome incorporated}.

Say ahhhhhhh.

all grown-up

I've spent quite a few years wondering when I'd hit that mythical moment that I'd feel like a 'grown-up'. It wasn't with my first mortgage, baby, or even marriage. Even my first brand-new grown-up car didn't help. A thumping great backyard renovation didn't nudge me into grown-up territory - nor did my 40th birthday! But now, I think I've cracked it.

In the past week we've finally succumbed to family health insurance, we have Foxtel IQ and two matching proper grown-up lounges. With a matching new rug and everything.

Mmmhm, all grown up now.

it's pancake day

It's pancake day so we'll be firing up the KitchenAid for breakfast this morning - and using my new crepe pan that I bought at Aldi the other day {I have ALWAYS wanted a crepe pan - and for $6 who wouldn't snap one up?}.

It's a big day in our house today. We're getting the new couches delivered {hurrah!} and also we're finally having Foxtel IQ installed {finally!}. I can't wait to show you some photos, of the couches, probably not the IQ...

* Those pale macaron pink pancakes are ours - pretty non? And probably more sensible for a before-school breakfast than those fabulous rainbow numbers!

Monday, March 07, 2011

a shoe story

The only thing I love more than finding a cute pair of shoes is when the discovery of said shoes comes about fortuitously. Take my newest find for example. Yep, that's them, in the dodgy phone pic {with a bit of my study carpet underneath}. But even though the quality of the image is poor their attributes shine out. They are the wedge of the kitten heel world, something that I thought was a myth - a shoe with the height of the kitten heel, but the ease of walking that the wedge provides. Lovely! And have you ever seen a more Chanel-esque combination of black straps and white leather camelia? I know! So, the shoe, already perfection non?

Now, here's the story. Driving back from Beth's the weekend before last we had to stop off in Bowral so I could buy my gal a wee pressie. But, while we were there I quickly swerved into a park right outside my fave story in the Southern Highlands - Dirty Jane's Emorium {what's not to love with a name like that right?} This shop is awesome, well worth a day trip from Sydney - or even Newcastle actually... Anywhooo. Dirty Janes now has a whole separate shop, filled with different stalls all selling the most covetable goodies. In one I bought a gorgeous fabric loveheart in a frame for my gal, and in another, I spied my pretty shoes. Yep, one pair, in a vintage store, in my size, after a kick-ass memorable weekend.

They were mine in a moment.

And now, every time I wear them I'll think of my fab gal's weekend and smile.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


The lateness of today's post is proudly brought to you by my hangover...

Yes, one too many champagnes may have been consumed. However, there was a spectacular win on a horsey who just happened to be wearing hot pink legwarmers {or ankle-strapping - whatevs...}. Much fun was had, and now, a nap must be had.

Hope you've enjoyed your weekend.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

and they're racing

So, I'm off to the races today. It's a deliciously mild day, with an expected high of 21 degrees. Nice. I still haven't quite decided what I'm wearing - but I do have fabulous red nails {Chanel: Pirate} and I'm having a good hair day. Perfect start.

Wish me luck!

Friday, March 04, 2011

i'll have what she's having...

Look at this shot Dita Von Teese uploaded onto her Twitter feed the other day. Cocktails at Bar Hemmingway in Paris. {And would you LOOK at that clutch!}


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

wife swap

I have a new addiction. Of course it's a reality tv program... Wife Swap.

See, I'd always ignored it, thinking it was just confrontational and sensationalist, but after accidentally stumbling upon an episode of the UK series I'm hooked.

You know the drill, two wives, swap lives and live with each other's families. First, they live by the family's current rules then it's game on and the family's live by the new mum's rules. It's been interesting to watch the dynamic. Mainly because, in general, we always think that our way's the right way - don't we? Otherwise why do it? But it's interesting to see how the family's come around. Of course they've chosen extremes, and of course they put women with opposing views into different families, but it just illustrates how well 'everything in moderation' works.

There is no right way. Just lots of things that if taken on and cherished, can work out well.

Of course it also illustrates how hard we do have to work at life: marriage, parenting, working, looking after a house. But that we do need to strive to find our balance.

I know that after watching this show there are a few things that I'd like to do differently. I know I have to ensure that I always dedicate specific time every day to actively 'play' with my daughter - not sitting watching a tv show with her {laptop on my lap, working...} not just supervising homework - but getting in and actually doing something with her. Luckily kids are happy with these short, sharp moments. Fifteen minutes or so of dedicated playing with them means that you get that much longed-for time when they're happy to play by themselves.

Relationship-wise, well, hubby and I need to regularly switch off the computer and just chat. Over dinner, before bed - whenever. It'll take dedication {and not writing posts like this at 11pm to schedule for the next day...} but it's worth it.

Prioritising. That's what life's all about. I'm going to be like these mums on Wife Swap and consider my priorities and get them straight.

what's cooking wednesday

No, sadly, this amazing red velvet wedding cake I stumbled upon over at Martha's isn't on my menu this week - but oh, I wish it were. Prettiness! Instead, we're eating this:
Tonight: netball fitness training followed by umpiring for my gal. I'm celebrating the first proper day of Autumn with seven hour leg of lamb with roasted vegies. Mmmmmm.
Thursday: We'll be having steak and salad I think.
Friday: Hubby's out with some friends {I swear we do go out together!} so my gal and I will have pasta with chicken and chorizo.
Saturday: We're off to the races! Woo hoo. And afterwards heading to our friends' for some food. Yipppeee!
Sunday: Chances are I'll be recovering from champagne overload. Roast chicken dinner sounds suitably chaste.
Monday: Lamb backstraps, braised lentils, roasted carrots and green beans.
Tuesday: French lessons: slow cooker curry and rice.

And that's all folks...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011