Thursday, June 30, 2011

we're here

We've touched down in London. It's gorgeous here today - blue skies, flower beds out - including PEONIES in a house just up the road from my family.

I'd really like to become a squillionaire so I could fly first or business class. While our flight was lovely I'm pretty sure I only got about 2 hours of broken sleep. Oh well. We're here, we're unpacked {!} and I've showered and washed my hair - honestly, is there anything better than clean hair? Oh yeah, coffee - thankfully brother-in-law's just bought the world's fanciest espresso machine and hubby's doing his best to master it.

Off to the seaside tomorrow if jetlag allows. I'll be sure to snap some photos and blog a bit. If not, then the seaside will have to wait till the following weekend when we're off to Cornwall for four days - including a planned lunch at Rick Stein's restaurant. I do love lunching with celebrity chefs {even if it's in name only...}


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

up up and away...

Well, I'm a bit beside myself. Today's the day we're flying out. I'm hoping for a spot of service like this {champagne madame?} but will be content with catching up on my movie viewing and hopefully getting a wee bit of sleep.

Ready for my travel blog? Once I'm over my jetlag I'll be sharing all. See you soon my lovelies xx

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

squeeeeeee it's tomorrow!

Okay, we're onto the home straight. The packing; the money changing; the getting the house in order for the housesitters! It's going to be a busy day but so, so, so exciting!

Monday, June 27, 2011

two more sleeps...

Image from here.

Okay, we're really at the pointy end now - two more sleeps till we fly to England! Of course, on Friday morning my gal developed a fever and her cough worsened. A trip to the Dr confirmed mild pneumonia. She's on antibiotics and has made a rapid recover in the last two days. Apparently if she was going to have any kind of complication pneumonia's the best to fly with... Non contagious and won't be affected by pressure. She's also just told me she feels 100 times better!

On Saturday I woke with a killer cough. Chest infection. Antibiotics should kick its butt by the time we fly. Husband's fine!

Lots of work to do before we leave. Bags aren't packed... Let's hope tomorrow's a brighter day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

flowers for friday

Image from here

Oh this'd be nice. A lovely garden setting, a spot of sunshine... Can't you just imaging sitting here catching up with a group of gals? Bliss.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

have you seen bridesmaids yet?

Please go and see it.



You don't need excuses - you need to find a way to get you to a cinema. I've never laughed so hard, so long and so much at a movie EVER. I missed dialogue I laughed so much. I stopped breathing I laughed so much. I SNORTED I laughed so much. I keep trying to include the letter T in laugh I laughed so much.


I need to see it again.

my travel blog

Image from here

Whenever we go overseas I swear I'll keep a travel diary so I can keep track of where we've been, what was amazing, and keep the memories alive.

I never do.

Instead, years later I'll be looking back through my photos thinking - "What was that castle again?" This time's going to be different. The laptop's coming with me and I've decided that blogging's got to be the best form of travel diary possible.

I hope you'll come along for the ride {seven more sleeps - squeeeeeeeee!}

PS: that image above? It's from a Vespa rental company - you can rent a Vespa to zoom around Paris! Imagine!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ridiculously beautiful

This is one of the reasons why I love Paris. Wondering where this is? Why it's the café in the Musee D'Orsay.

Fingers crossed* we'll be eating dinner here on Bastille Day - followed by a nighttime squizz at the Manet exhibition before wandering off to watch the Fireworks on the Eiffel Tower.

I know, sounds terrible - but someone's got to do it...

*Booking just confirmed - squeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, June 20, 2011

oh what a pretty shoe

I love a fine line in a shoe. Something swooshy and a little bit special. That's why these Miu Miu numbers caught my eye while I was 'licking the windows' * over at net-a-porter.


* Apparently the French term for window shopping {faire du leche-vitrine} is translated as Licking the windows - love it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

sunday suppers

Okay, last full week of menu planning before we head off. Eeep! Here's what we're eating this week:
Tonight: off to my in-laws for dinner. We're borrowing some luggage from them, so we're picking it up tonight - ready to pack!
Monday: I'm in Sydney for a meeting. Luckily I ordered some pork sausages from Aussie Farmers this week. Hubby and gal can cook them up with some mash, broccoli and roasted pumpkin.
Tuesday: It's my last French lesson of the season, and we all take along French nibblies - haven't decided what I'm making/taking yet. For dinner the family can have a spaghetti carbonara {Nigella's recipe}
Wednesday: My last netball training before I go {sob - I'll miss my gals...} But I'm going our for dinner with girly friends after watching Bridesmaids {hurrah!} Hubby and child can make pizzas.
Thursday: I'll make a seven hour leg of lamb. Served with french lentils and green beans.
Friday: Still haven't eaten the barramundi - luckily it's vaccuum sealed. I'm intending on serving it with a salsa verde and lemon potatoes. And a green salad.
Saturday: Apparently there's something fabulous happening in the city to do with the Winter Heat festival. Best make a big pot of minestrone to warm us up before we rug up and head out to see what's on offer.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

splashing out

So, I had to go and get my international drivers licence in another, rarely-visited suburb and as I pull out to drive home I spy, out of the corner of my eye, a mannequin wearing my DREAM swimsuit. Of course I couldn't stop so today, after netball, my gal and I went back and I tried it on.

Oh my.

Soft, ruffled, retro and oh-so-fabulous.

Honestly, have you ever seen a swimsuit more ideally suited to lounging poolside in Provence?

It's by Seafolly and also comes in black, with more colours coming out over summer. But, for moi, this blue just screamed my name.

Now, to find a pair of red cat-eye sunnies to complete the look...

Friday, June 17, 2011

i need a laff

I am beyond desperate to see Bridesmaids before I go on holidays. Every single thing I see, hear or read about it makes me even more keen {and, um, yes, a shirtless Jon Hamm is one of those things...}.

I'm booking in next wednesday to go see it - now to track down some gals who love a giggle to join me.

i'm walkin' on sunshine

Oh, the sky is just completely and utterly blue today and we're drenched in sunshine. After what felt like months of torrential downpours {but was really only about a week} it's so, so nice to see the sun. I'm also looking forward to seeing my gal alight from the bus after three days in Canberra. I'm sure she's had a ball, but boy, have I missed her.

I hope your weekend's filled with sunshine. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

totally delicious

The first time we went overseas was in 1999. Our research for the UK was based on a book from the British Embassy, a book by Bill Bryson {and the reason we went to Durham - well worth it!} and advice from our real estate agent on must-see places in Paris.

The second time was in 2006, and the internet was our guide. We booked an amazing chateau in the Dordogne in South West France to stay, and uncovered so many gems.

This time I'm doing a lot of research through blogs. Hurrah! After I'd decided that we really should eat a lunch at a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, and then failing to make a lunch reservation, it was a blog that alerted me to the fact that there's no need to reserve a table at lunch - just rock on up. It's also a blog that caused me the most outrageous salivation and guffaws this evening. I found Paris Patisseries via a link from French Vogue and spent a few hours tonight going through every single post. Aside from the most extraordinary photography {these macarons above are just one of his drool-worthy pics - wait till you see his gorgeous close-up detail shos!}, I just love this guy's style. He's hilarious and has the most incredible way with words.

He's also going to be responsible for me eating my way through some incredible patisseries in Paris - how could I not? Please go have a look - but not on an empty stomach - I had to leave mid-peruse and make a nutella crepe...

a little ray of sunshine

Rain, wind, rain, wind. Oh my it's grey and soggy in this neck of the woods. I also had to wake at 5.30am to get my gal to school by 6.15am and on a bus to Canberra. Thankfully the rain held off for long enough for the kids to get boarded - and for tired-eyed parents to wave them off. Oh those poor teachers who'll be supervising for three days - hope they have a nice bottle of wine ready for their return on friday night.

I could do with a spot of sunshine, which is why this gorgeous image from Martha Stewart caught my eye. Don't you love this poppy belt? I think it'd add a dash of pretty to any outfit.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

all frocked up

Look at this bottle of Piper all frocked up by John Paul Gaultier. It's Rocky Horror meets fabulous - love it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

the real paris

This time next month I'll be in Paris. I know! We'll be there for the Bastille Day celebrations {squeeee!} and also for the sales {double squeeeeeeee!}

So obviously I'd be mad not to stock up on some Parisian classics. Checking out the Galeries Lafeyete website I stumbled upon these pretties. Galeries Lafeyete Paris - yep, that's their name. I know, stop it. Could there be a more parisian nom? And look at them - such a classic pair of grey wedges.

Luckily we've got a 30kg luggage limit - I'll be taking 2kg of luggage from Australia...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

sunday suppers

I tell you what, I am LOVING my Aussie Farmers Direct deliveries. Every Thursday there's a rather fabulous black cardboard box filled with a surprising selection of fruit and veg {and those black boxes are being put to good use as storage - they're fabulous!}. They even made me learn to like green capsicum - true. Slowly simmered with onions and garlic, and diced finely, they're actually rather lovely. Today I had a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich with all my freshly delivered ingredients and it was delish. Simply delish.

It's also making meal planning easier - I know what vegies I have and can go from there. Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday: Pork roast {from Aussie Farmers}, crash hot potatoes {par-boiled baby potatoes, squashed down with a masher, and topped with olive oil, garlic and dried chillies and baked till golden}, parsnip puree and roasted carrots with thyme and garlic.
Monday: Chicken casserole topped with herb dumplings served with pumpkin and spinach.
Tuesday: I need to feed up my gal - she's off for a three day school excursion to canberra tomorrow {eeek!}. I'll make beef bourginon, it's her favourite. Served with mash and green beans.
Wednesday: No gal tonight {sob!} just the two of us. We'll have barramundi {from Aussie farmers} and I'm going to try baking it on a bed of potatoes, lemon, garlic and tomatoes.
Thursday: No gal again, so no ballet. I think hubby and I should head out to dinner don't you?
Friday: Okay, today's the day I'm off to Sydney {not last week}. I'm going to have all the prep done for chicken noodle soup for when my lass gets off the bus late at night.
Saturday: Hubby's got a catch-up with school friends. I think the gal and I will make Gourmet Girlfriend's gnocci. Mmmm.

Friday, June 10, 2011

two good

I don't know about you, but there are some couples/two-somes that just make me sigh, "Oh, I love them!" Here are mine, share yours...

 Posh and Becks. Love.

Diane and Joshua. And look at them on their matching bikes. Bless. This couple always seems so blissfully besotted with each other - and c'mon - he was Pacey! What's not to love?

Kyra and Kevin. I swear, if these two ever break up you'll hear my howls of "Noooooooooooo!" across the globe. If I were Kyra I'd make Kevin dance for me every night. Chances are he would have left me years ago, unless he's as fond of dancing as I am....

Paul and Joanne, quite possibly my favourite old Hollywood love story.
 Richard and Elizabeth, quite possibly my favourite Hollywood lust story. I'm planning on taking Furious Love on holidays with me. Am dying to read the story of their passion.

I have an almost unnatural obsession with Ryan Gosling. It all started with The Notebook - which is probably why I keep hoping for a reunion with Rachel McAdams. Have you YouTubed this "Best Kiss" from the MTV Awards a few years back? Oh my...

Simon and Maggie aren't a couple, but boy, do I love them together. This scene from the final episode of The Cook and The Chef had me sobbing. I love how he says her name, "Maggie" and the lovely, respectful gorgeous relationship they have. Love.

Okay, now I'm sure to have forgotten a few - so tell me yours.

flowers for friday

Ooooh, look at this - dahlias combined with votive candles - hello extraordinarily clever and pretty idea!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

the right accents

I was really looking forward to Nine. I'd looked forward to it at the movies {and missed it}, then looked forward to it on DVD {and, um, forgot about it} and then excitedly recorded it when we got Foxtel IQ. Well, last night I was keen to watch something and thought I'd give this a shot. I was pretty sure that I'd be able to ignore Nicole Kidman's botoxed and lip-plumped face, and settled in to enjoy it. But something bugged me.

Daniel Day Lewis' accent.

It really bugged me, and it wasn't until he started singing until I realised why.

His accent wasn't so much crazy Italian Director as, The Count from Sesame Street.

Obviously I had to stop watching as everytime he spoke, in my head I heard {"And nine, ha, ha, ha!}

What's been your accented bug-bear?

just gorgeous

Watching MasterChef last night reminded me of just how much I love Nigella. And my gal's squeeling and handholding reminded me of how much she loves Nigella too. Bless.

Don't know about you, but it also made me crave a {rare} standing rib roast and potatoes dauphinoise. Sunday's supper perhaps?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

to do, do, do, do, do

We're flying to England in three weeks - eek! Before then there's a whole list of stuff we still need to do - including buying a new camera {love my iPhone shots - but we'll need more than that for Paris and Provence}. I'm trying not to get panicky, but - eeek!

Also, my gal's off for a three day school excursion to Canberra next week, poor frosty lil critter. As she's grown about a metre since last winter I'll have to succumb and stock up on a few woolies for this trip. And some kind of dutch courage for myself to cope with my gal being in a different state to me! Eeeeek!

Monday, June 06, 2011

pink patent mary janes

It's outrageous that I do not, seriously, I kid you not, own one pair of Pink Patent Mary Janes. Outrageous I tell you. I own red mary janes, and quite a few black pairs - patent even. But pink, well, not. However, an email from my friend Nikki - showcasing these beautiful Kate Spade mary janes could well be the impetus to change all that.

Hello, beautiful, come to to mama...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

sunday suppers

Okay then, so, it's almost the start of another week. Honestly? When we get back from holidays we're hoping to start the long process of a kitchen renovation - so I thought I'd start sharing some of our inspirations as we go. We've got three windows very similar to this in our kitchen, that look out into the pool {our pool's raised in our terraced backyard so you basically look over the water - very soothing.} I'm only asking for two things in the kitchen: a butler's sink like this one, and a 900mm freestanding oven. Luckily we can position a nice big sink in the middle window - just like this! Happiness!

But, in the meantime, in my present kitchen, I'll be making these meals.
Sunday: Chorizo and canellini bean pilaf {no roast dinner tonight as we had roast vegies with our duck confit last night, including carrots roasted with garlic, honey and thyme - mmmmm}
Monday: Pork casserole with green beans.
Tuesday: French lessons, so I'm making chicken bolognaise for dinner I think.
Wednesday: Netball training: burritos.
Thursday: I'm in Sydney, so hubby and daughter will have to prepare dinner. Home-made pizzas are the best option I think.
Friday: Barramundi, oven-roasted chips and green salad.
Saturday: Paella. Oh boy have I had a hankering for paella lately - best make some huh.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

farmer's best

For some reason, we go through a lot of milk in this house. It could be the coffee addiction, or the fact that my husband and child tend to snack on cereal, but it's the one thing we're always low on. It made me pine for the olden days when the milkman would deliver milk to your door. In glass bottles {yes, I am that old}.

So I did a bit of a happy dance when I saw that the milkman was doing a comeback - just when I had my cranky pants on about the milk discounting and how that was impacting our farmers. When the dude knocked on our door we signed up and have now had two deliveries.

Yep, milk, bread, vegies and barramundi{!!} all delivered in a box on our doorstep.

The quality has been awesome. We went with the mixed box and aside from a rogue green capsicum, the quality's been brilliant {the green capsicum was fine - I just don't do green capsicum...}

If Aussie Farmer's Direct is operating near you go check them out. It's a great way to support Aussie farmers - and get food delivered to your door. Next week I'm doing the full shop with vacuum sealed meats and deli meats - I'll let you know how I get on.

Friday, June 03, 2011


Three curvalicious models on the cover of Italian Vogue.

Bella, bella, bella.

flowers for friday

I think I always go back to a classic petal pink flower. I love a bunch of happy yellow blooms, can admire the simplicity of white, adore the dramatic richness of red, but really, if I had to choose one coloured flower for the rest of my life, well, it'd be pink {but I'd be sneaky and want all the shades on offer...}


Thursday, June 02, 2011

yeah baby

When I happened upon this over at Chalk and Talk, well, I thought it was perfect. It's too easy to get bogged down in 'stuff' that obscures the true beauty of the day and our life in general. So I'm hitching that cute lil caravan to my wagon and taking a ride on the happiness train. Wanna come along?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

the people you meet

I've written before about the power of community with blogging - it's one of the things that makes my heart sing. I've 'met' so many people through blogs who are kindred spirits.

One of these is Kakka from Menopausal Mumma. Kakka's been a sweet, consistent voice in both comments and blogs and she's just one of those people who makes the world a nicer place to be in. So when I discovered that Kakka's mother blogged, well, I had to go see.

Unsurprisingly, Mimsie, Kakka's mother is just as lovely as her daughter. I love checking in on Mimsie's blog {not in the least because we have the same blog design - kindered spirits indeed}. I think it's so important that we're exposed to the voices of different generations, with respect and understanding. Mimsie always gives me something to think about - and for that I'd like to thank her.

So here's my virtual afternoon tea setting for my on-line friends - with a place for Kakka, a place for Mimsie - and one for you if you'd care to join us.

hot diggity

There are two types of people in the world: those who find dogs in costume hilarious, and those who don't.

I fall into the former category, and when it's a pug in costume? Well, hello, it's doubly hilarious obviously. Two pugs? Let's not go there...

sunshine always makes me smile

Oh, it's all sunny outside - that makes me ever-so-happy. I've finally washed my gal's sports uniform {let's not discuss how many times the tracky dacks were worn before washing...} and I have a dark load flapping away on the line. Love.

I'm also plotting a wee floral arrangement like this in my living room - can you imagine the heart-soaring whenever you wandered into a room like this? Pretty is as pretty does - especially in your home...