Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

So, I'm alllllll ready for the Halloween party tonight. My hair's a rich shade of black {I heart hairdye}, my curls managed to form a Bellatrix-esqe form {just like in my profile pic - spooky huh!} and we have eyeball cupcakes and a graveyard cake ready to go. I've also got the ribs marinating in the fridge, and will thrown them in the oven at 2pm to slowly roast in time for the party tonight.

Can't wait to see how our friends' neighourhood has frocked up for the big day. Last year there were 20 or more houses brightly decorated and ready for Halloween. The kids only knock on the doors with decorations, so they know they'll be well-received. I've also got some halloween tattoos and brain popping candy to add to the supplies the trick or treaters will receive at our friends house. And thankfully it's cooler than last year - nothing like schlepping from house-to-house in full costume when it's 30 degrees.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

sunday suppers

This little baby's getting a workout today. We're making black velvet cake to create little ghost and Jack O'Lantern cake pops cake eyeballs {change of plans, couldn't find lollipop sticks to make cake pops} to take to the Halloween party tomorrow night. I'll have to take some photos to show you how they go - even if they're a bit crappy they'll still be fun.

I also have to dye my hair - jury duty gave me an extra thick layer of grey regrowth. Then I'll have to shop for ingredients. I did a shop last Sunday and had all the food I needed for the week of jury duty - made life a lot easier.

Here's what we're eating tonight:

Sunday: Roasted rack of pork, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin and cauliflower gratin.

Monday: Halloween party: we're taking Dead Man's Bones - slow roasted pork and lamb ribs. I'll marinate them in a bbq sauce, tomato sauce, herb and red wine mixture and slowly roast them in a low oven so they're tender and melty. All the parents are taking a hot dish to share for dinner, so there should be some yummy food. Love a bring-a-plate-dinner.

Tuesday: We have a parent's orientation night at my daughter's high school for next year {eep!} Spinach and feta pie with salad

Wednesday: Steak with pink peppercorn sauce {I brought back some pink peppercorns from Provence, am dying to use them} with salad - our vegie garden's totally going OFF.

Thursday: Rosé chicken, rice salad and steamed greens.

Friday: Salmon on the bbq with a salad.

Saturday: Lamb kebabs on the bbq, with a couscous salad.

And that's all folks. What are you eating?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

wooo hooo hoooo

Oh my goodness, it's the weekend - and my jury duty's FINISHED. Goodness, what a week. At first I found the process fascinating. We had a prosecutor and and defence attorney all dressed in robes and wigs, with associates writing copious notes to hand to make sure nothing was left un-asked. The judge happily filled us in on what was going on with interesting asides and it was a real insight into our legal system.

Then it got tired. In the courtroom it was interesting, but then we'd get locked in the jury room - not so good. I met some really interesting people on the jury, and then, like an event where random people are thrown together, there was one person who just rubbed me totally up the wrong way. Drove. Me. Nuts.

Eventually justice was served, but oh, it took ages. I bit my tongue far too many times, spoke up far more often than I'm used to and generally tried to get accustomed to a world in which different people see and hear different things - even when they're in the same room.


But luckily we'd organised to have friends over to dinner last night - on what I discovered was Champagne Day. So, naturally, we drank champagne - which helped wash away the feeling of being locked away for a week.

Today we'll be working on my gal's halloween costume, and we'll be making some spooky halloween cake pops {glittery jack o'lanterns!}. We're also taking along a hot dish to share with all the families at the Halloween party, we're making Dead Man's Bones... {slow roasted pork ribs!}.

I know that some people aren't fond of Halloween in Australia - but I love any opportunity to dress up. Also, our friends live in a neighbourhood where Halloween is embraced, and the kids only Trick or Treat at houses with a decoration on the front gate {the sign that trick or treating is encouraged}. Last year was a hoot - with so many people dressing up, and some of the house decorations were amazing. I've also finally worked out my costume - I'm frocking up as Bellatrix from Harry Potter. It's a bit too easy really, I've got the hair already...

Have a great weekend everyone x

Friday, October 28, 2011

flowers for friday

Why yes, as a matter of fact I am counting down the days till I don't have to do this thing that I'm doing any more.

Fresh air, sunlight, the ability to leave a room when ever you're in the mood - we take it for granted don't we? Guess it reminds us what we're all here for doesn't it.

PS: this pic - just have a look at so many of my fave blooms all gathered in the one spot {and, freakishly, one for each day of my tenure...}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sleepy, sleepy, sleepy

I shall never complain about work again - seriously, this jury duty stuff sure takes it out of you.

I can't wait for the weekend: I plan on sleeping through it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

three ps

So, as I'm not allowed to talk about jury duty {the first rule of jury duty is that you can't talk about jury duty...} I thought I'd hold this place with a cute pic. Three ps: a puppy, on a pushie, in Provence.

Cute non?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

shopping serendipity

A few weeks ago I went to a work conference. It was actually really, really interesting {not something I can normally say about these things}. Anyway, one of the speakers was discussing social media and winning an audience and said that on-line social media is no different to real-life social situations: the same things still apply.

And then he recommended a book, written in the 1930s, Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends And Influence People. Now, this has always been on my read-one-day lists, so I thought it'd be good if I tracked down a copy...

Anyway, so I'm driving home to Newcastle, and spied an op-shop I've been dying to check out. With a park right out the front. I know! So I called in, and there, on the bookshelf was the book! Pristine - with a fabulous vintage hard cover. How's that for serendipity?

I grabbed a few more books, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Nick Hornby's How To Be Good and a fabulous shirt for my hubby. Then, as I'm waiting to pay I spy pure gold on the shelf behind the cashier...

A perfect set of hallway skittles.

Now we have a hallway that's just designed for hallway skittles, but I've never seen such a set. These balls are some kind of amazing weighted foam - so are the skittles, not those crappy plastic ones.

And the price?


I know, obscene. I nearly paid $70 for a crappy plastic set that were ON-SALE!

See here? There'll be some bowling tournaments taking place here...

Now, to find the perfect bowling outfit {I'm thinking poodle skirt non?}

Saturday, October 22, 2011

sweet, sweet saturday

Hey, how's your weekend panning out so far? We're headed off to tennis lessons shortly - and it's a glorious day to get out and about. There will also be the odd spot of gardening, and, groan, cleaning.

Sadly I'll also be doing a bit of work on the weekend as I've been called for Jury Duty on Monday {sob!} and there are just some things that have to be done.

Have a lovely weekend x

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love thyself

Just a little note to myself via my coffee...

I've had one of those weeks. Nothing life-shattering, just annoying and inconvenient. Rather than wallowing I thought I'd remind myself to "cheer up buttercup" and my coffee seconded the motion.

Good coffee. I love you too x

Thursday, October 20, 2011

love this

happy 40th Willy Wonka

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie, some of the cast of Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory rocked out. Here's, from left to right, Mike TeeVee, Violet Beauregard, the Director (Mel Stuart) Veruca Salt and an Oompa Loompa.

I lost count of how many time I watched this as a kidlet, and my daughter watched it for the first time last weekend. The sheer simplicity of this film still resonates strongly - and there are some killer lines that I still find myself using {I said 'good day' Sir! I said 'Good Day'} I love how 40 years hasn't dimmed these familiar faces - if Mike TeeVee were wearing a cowboy hat you'd recognise him straight away.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

wowee, it's wednesday?

Oh me oh my this year is speeding by. I kind of feel like I'm riding a bicycle, by pedalling backwards, while in the ocean, at the moment. So. Much. To. Do. Meal planning's saving my sanity as usual - so thank goodness I have that.

If only I had this dressing room to sit on that fabulous chair, my neck tickled by that glorious apricot number and ponder a while.

That's what I need. A little time to ponder a while {or at least synchronise all my dates so I don't keep double-booking myself - I did it TWICE yesterday. TWICE!}

Okay, off to breathe and write a to-do list.

Monday, October 17, 2011

macramé anyone?

As a child of the 70s I have very strong visions of the fashions of the time. From the olive green and burnt orange kitchens {ours was a rather fabbo red and white} to the flares, mateus rosé bottles with candles inserted for the romantic ambience to macramé hanging pot holders.

So these gave me quite the giggle. However, will I be shelling out one thousand, four hundred and thirty pounds {and fifty five pence} for these Proenza Shouler numbers?

Um, think not.

{Also, do you think that funny brush thingy at the back would tickle your calves while you walk?}

Sunday, October 16, 2011

sunday suppers

Okay, I'm pretty sure that my best day for meal planning is a Sunday. That way I get to the shops and buy everything I need for the week ahead. Here's what's cooking this week:

Tonight: I have some mince in the fridge that hubby bought on friday on a two for $10 special. As I also have some white corn chips in the pantry, and loads of ripe tomatoes, I'll be making nachos for dinner. As I also have a cob of corn and some coriander, best serve it with a corn salsa...

Monday: My father-in-law dropped off a bag of lemons on friday - best make baked lemon chicken don't you think?

Tuesday: I have a standing rib roast that needs cooking. Complete with baked chats and roasted pumpkin and sweet potato and some greens.

Wednesday: I feel like making calzone. Should I? Salami should be one of the ingredients don't you think?

Thursday: Turkish lamb meatballs, salad and couscous.

Friday: Hubby's at a golf day all day - he'll need serious sustenance when he gets home - I'll do a chorizo pasta bake.

Saturday: I enjoyed last Saturday's bbq so much that I think I'd best do it again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

sweet, sweet saturday

Well, we were up-and-at-'em early this morning. My gal had her first tennis lesson at 9am, which now means we've got the whole day spread out before us. I'm trying to think of an excuse to head to Bunnings, due to an inexplicable sausage sandwich craving. Perhaps we need some more herbs to fill out the herb garden...

I do know that there will be some house cleaning in my future - those darned cleaning fairies have flown off to greener pastures apparently.

So, whatcha doin' this weekend?

Friday, October 14, 2011

blossoms for friday

Sorry I'm late with my post, I drove down to Sydney at 6am for a meeting, and got home around 6pm... Tired. So here's a shot through my blossom tree, with the dovecote in the background. Pretty isn't it?

Hope you have a lovely weekend x

Thursday, October 13, 2011

nailed it

My hot-coral nails from Saturday night are looking a little worse for wear, so I'll need to update them. If only I had this gorgeous pearly white nail as seen at Chanel - touted to be next season's hot colour. {Oh, and the bag would just highlight it nicely wouldn't it?}

Love it when my email pings me with a message from Chanel - a bit of beauty always makes a day seem brighter don't you think?

Are you a toe or finger painter? My toes never, ever, EVER go naked, but my constant typing - and handwashing of vintage kitchen items {seriously, my 50s egg lift can't go in the dishwasher...} plays havoc with fingertips.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

love is...

Another couple I love is Ellen Degeneres and Portia. Just look at this shot of their shoe closet taken from a series of images from their home featured in Architectural Digest.

Doesn't it just bring out the awwww bless!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

meal planning monday

Back to school - woooooo hoooooooooooooo! And don't worry, it's not just me doing a happy dance - it's my school-loving gal too. To celebrate, let's eat well this week shall we?

Monday: I've got some dory fillets that are begging to be served with oven fries and a green salad.

Tuesday: Ballet's back: so I should do pickled pork with mash, leftover cauliflower gratin from Sunday's roast dinner and wilted greens.

Wednesday: I have a big jar of fresh chicken stock thanks to Sunday night's roast chicken dinner {seriously, simmering the leftover chicken with onions, carrots and herbs for two hours results in the most amazing stock} so I'd best make a risotto. Chicken and crispy pancetta perhaps.

Thursday: Another night of late ballet - followed by tennis shoe shopping. Dinner at the shopping mall {I'm going to plug for Charlestown so I can see dumplings in my future}

Friday: My gal's been asking for salmon patties - best oblige. So simple, so healthy, so tasty.

Saturday: I really am going to bring out the bbq this weekend - I swear. Steaks - big, fat juicy ones and lotsa salad.

Sunday: Roast lamb this week, with the usual vegie suspects.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

sweet sunday

Don't you love the morning after a great night out? We caught up with a fab group of friends last night in one of our friends' amazing new house {it's just perfection - I plan on sneaking over and moving into their sun-room - don't think they'll notice...} We had gorgeous food, lotsa champagne and lots of laughs. Don't you just love that?

So we're taking it slowly this morning {well, hubby's not - he's been up since 5am and ridden far too many kilometres - craziness}. My gal and I slept in, and now we're off to Coles to buy a few essentials and check out the new clothing range some of my fave bloggers have been raving about.

This afternoon will involve leisurely bike riding down to the tennis courts so the gal can have a few practice hits before she starts tennis lessons next weekend. A bit of gardening might also be involved. Bliss.

How's your weekend panning out?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

delightfully dita

David Jones is launching the Dita Von Teese muse range in November. Squeeee!

Can you imagine? This divine collection is available in sizes 8 - 20 and contains in-built corsetry to get a Dita-esque waist.


Thanks to my friend Nikki for sending me the link xx

Thursday, October 06, 2011

in memorium

I was hit hard by the news on twitter of Steve Jobs' passing.

I've been a Mac fan since the days of these little beauties above, and I've never wavered in my devotion. iPhone, iMac, MacBookAir, iPod, iPad, iPod Touch - all of these share our house. And then, if the creativity behind Apple weren't enough, Steve Jobs shared his genius with Pixar.

Innovative, excellent and a true genius. Steve Jobs you are missed and I'm shedding many tears in your memory. I may not have known you, but damn, do I admire you. Rest in peace.

ps: I saw a nice idea on Twitter: donate to research for pancreatic cancer in Steve Jobs' memory.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

midnight in paris je t'aime

Not only did our travel agent get us a great price on our tickets OS {and that much-needed 32 kilo luggage allowance!} he also gave us a double pass to see Midnight In Paris. This new Woody Allen film is a love letter to my favourite city. The opening montage subtly caresses every beautiful centimetre of the city - and each shot is an homage to the city of lights.

I knew I'd walk out of it wanting to visit again, but watching it on the big screen had me aching to spend some more time there.

Great film, with the most exquisite cinematography I've seen in a while.

Besotted? Moi? Mais oui, oui, OUI.

how does your garden grow?

What's not to love about a spring garden? At the moment, you walk past our white picket fence to be greeted by alternate red and pink roses. The scent? Heady. The pink Duchess de Brabant has the most incredible musk-lolly rose fragrance, with these gorgeous nodding blooms.

And, oh my, is there anything more magnificent than a red rose in full bloom?

Up the side we've got purple sage under the dovecote, along with a few wee foxgloves peeping over, and some scabiosa and iris. It's a purple rein.

Continue walking up the side where you'll see my squee-inducing vegie garden. Look at those lettuce! In just a few weeks they're all grown up. And see that self-sown tomato behind? It has wee roma tomatoes growing on it. Woo hoo!

Carrot and beetroot anyone? I have no idea of knowing when these little critters are ready for harvest, but for the time being their foliage is making me happy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

completely covetable

Do you love a bit of purse porn? Well head on over to Sarah Conners where you'll find the most delightfully delicious items to feast your eyes on. I'm more than a bit in love with this gorgeous green python purse - couldn't you just take it anywhere?

Anything by this fabulously talented Aussie designer will be a wardrobe classic, while still looking on-trend. Score!

I know what I'm adding to my "Santa, please" list this year...

Monday, October 03, 2011

meal-planning monday

People, this weather's driving me slightly loopy. Best laid plans are waylaid by outrageous amounts of rain and wind. Grrrrr. So this week's menu won't be featuring a spring-theme - more like beating off the cold meals.

Monday: Shephard's pie, roasted veg and greeens

Tuesday: My gal's at her grandparents for a couple of days, so just hubby and me. Steak and veg/salad will do.

Wednesday: Hubby and I are off to see Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris - woo hoo! Guess whether I'll walk out planning our next trip... We might just have to have a late dinner at the new Japanese spot that's opened next door to the cinema in King Street.

Thursday: Hubby's off to pick up our gal, so I'll have one of her faves planned for when she gets home: chicken pot pie with mash and steamed greens.

Friday: I might try cooking up sole goujons, with oven baked fries and a salad as my gal has a friend over for a sleepover. We might make some ice-cream for pudding.

Saturday: We're off with a bunch of friends to check out another friends' gorgeous new home. I've only seen it on-line and fell in love with it, so can't wait to see what it looks like with all their fabulous things adding personality.

Sunday: Seven hour roast lamb on french lentils with roasted vegies will round out the week nicely don't you think? I'll also have to get cooking to have some lunchbox treats ready for school again!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

sweet saturday {on a long weekend!}





Love, love, love a long weekend. We've got plans to relax, and get things done. I'm getting out in the vegie garden to pluck out wee little weeds that have popped up amidst the rapidly growing veg {seriously, I think I can see them growing second-by-second} We're going to finish off a few jobs: hang the pictures we bought for our gal in Provence, measure our living room windows and order blinds - and get the backyard looking fabulous.

We're going to the Olive Tree Markets today, I want to start looking for cute Christmas pressies. Then tomorrow we've got a 40th birthday to attend. That'll be fun - there's a lot of friends I'm really looking forward to catching up with.

Hopefully we'll manage to combine the ultimate mix of fun, relaxation and achievement.

How about you? Are you getting a long-weekend and how do you plan to spend it?

Oh, I'm also going to spend the weekend fighting my new-found urge for a tattoo. The Divine Ms M came back from the tattoo parlour today with the most amazing vintage roses on her arm - which look absolutely beautiful. I think I'll just live vicariously through her...