Saturday, December 29, 2012

new year, new things

Hello! How was your Christmas? And are you enjoying a little break {I am - far too much!}. Can you believe that we're winding down and getting ready for another year? Eek! I can't believe that today's my last day with a 12-year-old. Yep, my gal turns 13 tomorrow. Wow. I can still clearly remember being pregnant. How quickly does time fly?

So, with that in mind, it's time to move forward with a sense of purpose.

Last night on Twitter, someone I follow shared his list of 52 new things he's tried this year. And they were ace. So, inspired by this, I thought I'd come up with 52 things I'd like to try. Ready?
1. Try a new recipe a week.
2. Learn a new French word each day. {Hey, shall I share it here? That'll help me non?}
3. Learn something new as a family: surfing, stand up paddle boarding - hmmm, let me think...
4. Read a biography a month.
5. Take up yoga.
6. Have a family picnic dinner at the beach.
7. Drink my morning coffee outdoors - on the front veranda, or out the back by the pool.
8. Go for a swim before breakfast.
9. Eat raw food for a weekend.
10. Discover a new band/new music each month.
11. Actually call my friends and family.
12. Take more photos - real ones, not just Instagram shots.
13. Catch up with friends IRL, not just on Twitter.
14. Be a tourist in my own town and uncover some surprises.
15. Sew something!
16. Learn to crochet.
17. Spend one night a week digital-free {no TV, no internet!}
18. Take a cooking class with a friend.
19. Say no.
20. Organise a pot-luck supper with friends.
21. Organise regular girl-time with my gal.
22. Ride my bike on the Fernleigh Track.
23. Have a family bikeride.
24. Ride to the Farmer's Market.
25. Ride to work.
26. Print out my holiday pics, frame them, and hang them.
27. Weed out my magazine collection.
28. Start saving for our next OS holiday.
29. Take my gal fishing.
30. Go on more dates with my husband.
31. See more live music {this was a highlight of 2012!}
32. Make the bed every day.
33. Start shopping locally again - the fruit shop, the butcher, the markets.
34. Take my lunch to work.
35. Find a virtual book club to join - or make one up!
36. Go body surfing with the body surfing kit I found in the linen closet {seriously, that place is a tardis, the things I find}.
37. Organise another Newy Tweet up {the last one was awesome, this one will be better}.
38. Spontaneously invite someone to dinner.
39. Give blood more regularly.
40. Get a mammogram.
41. Become one of those people who actually puts away washing when they bring it in from the line. Seriously, how hard can it be?
42. Flirt more with my husband.
43. Watch more comedies.
44. Read with my daughter.
45. Learn to cook dumplings and pork buns.
46. Up the vege ante in my husband and daughter's diets.
47. Go to the park at dusk and swing on the swings.
48. Never make an excuse to miss burlesque class. It's my favourite thing - WHY would I miss a class?
49. Lie on the grass gazing at the clouds.
50. Swim in the ocean baths.
51. Sell the old car.
52. Laugh daily.

Whew, well there you have it. Some mundane, some easy, all do-able. Let's see how I go shall we?

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry christmas to all

Phew, sorry, that was a long break wasn't it? Well, it's been a busy few weeks. We had ballet concerts, interstate grandparents visiting, end of year catch-ups - the Newy TweetUp {post to follow - it deserves it  - it was amazing}, a Morrissey concert at the Opera House, Christmas preparations etc, etc, etc.

Thank you for hanging around my little blog this year. You really do make my life more special. I'll be back again in the new year, with new plans, new schedules, and, hopefully, some refreshed blogging mojo. Have a merry christmas and a lovely break with your friends and family.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

oh christmas shoes

Holy moly, have you ever seen prettier Christmas shoes? They're by Charlotte Olympia and I think I may well have died a little and gone to shoe heaven.

Oh my.

Oh very my.

hurry, hurry, rush, rush

Oh my goodness, I've been slack on the blog haven't I? I'm sorry, I've just been crazy-busy. Full-time, in-office work, end-of-year-craziness, parenting, socialising and visits from family mean I'm way behind with absolutely everything. Something's gotta give - and it's been this, my lovely little blog. My sanity-saver. Sigh.

Hopefully next week things will calm down. We have my gal's ballet concert tonight, then I have a Twitter Christmas party I'm helping to organise happen on Thursday night. Love, love, LOVE meeting my tweeps in real-life. Some of my dearest new friends I've met on Twitter, it really is a place of awesome.

So I'm taking a break this week - and I'll be back next week. Better than ever. Promise xx

Friday, December 07, 2012

flowers for friday

So, so, so sorry I'm late. How hectic is December? Plus it's our wedding anniversary today (awww, bless). 11 years today married to a terribly lovely man. Lucky me.

Here's loads of lovely pink fleurs that remind me of my wedding bouquet. Have a gorgeous weekend.

Monday, December 03, 2012

meal planning monday

Well, here we go again, another busy week - with another week full of food. This pic here is from a chinese place in Hamilton I'd been dying to try. I went for yumcha the other week with some friends and it was DIVINE. Worth the wait. Look at all those lovely, lovely dumplings. Ahhhhh.

Now, my parents arrive from Melbourne tomorrow. They're up for a fabulous 9 days. So we'll be eating vego-friendly most of the time - with a few dishes we can adapt for my vege-phobe husband and child... Here's what we're eating:

Monday: I'm making tarts with puff pastry. Asparagus and sheep-milk feta for the vegos and adding some proscuitto for us three. Served with a tossed salad.

Tuesday: We're going across for Christmas drinks with the neighbours across the road while our gal's at ballet. I'll ask my step-father to whip up a mexican feast. We have loads of beans and avocado.

Wednesday: I'd like to make some fritters. Perhaps zucchini and haloumi - and corn fritters for my gal who's not so keen on many things green. Served with lots and lots of salads.

Thursday: pasta? Fresh spinach pesto? With a tomato salsa perhaps?

Friday: bbq. Loads of roasted vegies, haloumi and chicken kebabs on the other side of the bbq away from the veg. With salads, one with chick peas and one with baby beetroot and labna.

Saturday: I think we're hoping to catch up with friends - mine and my parents. I think curries could be in order for a crowd, don't you?

Sunday: We might have an early christmas dinner with the fam. I like to make a stuffed vegetarian loaf to serve as the main. A hollowed out loaf filled with layers of pesto, tapenade, roasted veg, wilted spinach and cheese - then sliced. Divine.

Now, that sounds alright doesn't it?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

sweet saturday

Wow, haven't I been a slack blogger lately? Full-time in-office work and blogging Do Not Mix. I'm sorry! And I've been busy, with the typical end of year craziness. But it's all good. We've got a busy weekend planned. First of all there's a trip to the Olive Tree Markets to buy a bunch of Chrissy pressies.  And, because it's December 1, it's also Putting Up The Christmas Tree Day. Yay!

Oh, and a wee spot of cleaning and clothes washing (although it's overcast and apparently 96% humidity today - yep, 96... good luck getting anything to dry). I also have two parties to plan: my daughter's birthday party in two weeks - and a Newcastle Twitter Peeps party. Eep. I'm planning on ensuring everything's all 100% confirmed and invites are sent out today.

Because I missed Flowers for Friday yesterday here are two shots; the fabulous gardenias at the bottom of my stairs (swoon). And the most deliciously scented pink peonies I bought last week. Their scent was intoxicating - like the richest rose. Divine.

Have a fabulous weekend. x

Monday, November 26, 2012

meal planning monday

image from

Gah, it's the pointy end till Christmas now isn't it? Eep! It's all-stations-go this week, so here's what we're eating.

Monday: my gal has her ballet concert theatre rehearsal tonight and won't get home till late. So I'll whip up a stir-fry with chicken, cashews, brocollini and udon noodles.

Tuesday: late ballet. I'll just make steak and salad.

Wednesday: touch footy for my gal (I know - hectic!) I might make chicken sliders - teeny chicken rissoles on teeny little buns. With baby cos lettuce and a shredded veg salad on the side.

Thursday: we're off with friends to a wine dinner and degustation at Bacchus. Mmmmm. Many courses accompanied by lovely wines. I know, it's a tough life.

Friday: totally forgot about this: I'm going out with my team from work barefoot bowling for a christmas do. FUN!

Saturday: Prawn linguine tonight. With lots of lemon zest and parsley.

Sunday: we'll be up in Maitland most of the day. So a simple meal of a bbq is in order. Perhaps a butterflied leg of lamb, with a chick pea and roasted capsicum salad and lots of greens.

And that's it. How about you?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

newcastle renewed

When it comes to awesome in Newcastle nobody does it better than Renew Newcastle. This was a stroke of genius, followed up by a lot of hard work - and it's now a dazzling reality. It's hard to explain the sheer breadth of benefits of Renew Newcastle. Basically it takes otherwise empty buildings and finds people to move in, start a business and restore the shop-front - until a commercial tenant wishes to move in. To find out more, visit their website here.

Renew Newcastle is single-handedly responsible for the revitalisation of inner-city Newcastle. That's a broad statement, but it's true. With Renew they've brought life, optimism and people back to the city and away from the soulless malls. They've also brought people back to Newcastle from Sydney, Melbourne and other far-flung locales as a new culture of optimism has exploded. So many new businesses have opened around Renew Newcastle projects - there's barely an empty shopfront in the mall and surrounding areas.

They do awesome things.

Two years ago I was devastated at the news that David Jones city store was closing. I loved that place. It was a gorgeous building and everything was all in the one place. I did nearly all my shopping there, and so I actually cried when it closed. I cried different tears when I found out that Renew Newcastle were moving in over Christmas. I had a sneak peek last Thursday night - and it's just filled with typical Renew Newcastle fabulousness.

How cool is this? A blackboard wall asks "What superhero power would you most like to have?" and people have answered with the little box of chalk that's available. Love it.

I have two options: shrink my daughter so she can fit into these - or encourage a friend to have a baby girl so I can dress her up. How divine!

So much awesome on display. I had a smile on my face the whole time I walked though The Emporium. I'll be going back with a wallet full of cash soon.

I love this wall. Particularly the instruction "Don't give up". We need that now after yesterday's announcement that the NSW Government weren't giving Renew Newcastle the slight funding increase they'd asked for - but instead, were slashing funds. Sigh. Renew Newcastle does more than just fill empty shopfronts - it's rejuvenated this city - you can't put a price on that.

Luckily Marcus Westbury is behind this. Whereas many people would throw their hands in the air and say "Oh, I've had enough" Marcus will fight. I have no doubt that not only will he get the funds reinstated - he'll get more.*

Cripes - he set up Renew Newcastle using nothing but sheer determination and his own credit card and now it's a world-wide model being taken on across the world.

But, if you've got a minute - please go vote at the Newcastle Herald poll here. Initiatives like this deserve to be lauded for the world-class act they are.

Thanks Renew Newcastle for doing my city proud.

*And, as predicted, at lunchtime today it was announced that the decision was reviewed and Renew Newcastle's funding was reinstated at $50 000 pa. YAY! Congrats to everyone who got behind this on Twitter, Facebook and via their emails. I think it's also awesome the way that local media also championed the story. The Newcastle Herald, NBN television and ABC radio were fully behind the story which is just ace. Bravo everyone.

Friday, November 23, 2012

flowers for friday

Happy friday everyone! I thought I'd celebrate by posting a snap of a flower stall in St Remy de Provence. Look at all that lavendar!

We have a busy weekend planned. I'm starting today with lunch with a friend. We're off to try Sinofood in Hamilton - the Chinese place that all the chefs rave about. Fingers crossed for something fab. My gal has a school dance tonight, so two of her friends are coming over to get ready. Bless. Then, tomorrow night it's my work Christmas party and I have some of the gals from my team coming over for drinks and nibbles pre-party. Let's hope the weather's good so we can enjoy sitting by the pool.

Have a fabulous friday - and a lovely weekend.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

i'm in love

I can't get this pretty frock out of my mind. I saw it the other night as I left The Terrace Bar and it made me gasp.

Isn't it just fabulous?

It's in Emma Soup. On Hunter Street (523 in fact). Filled with prettiness that place is.

Monday, November 19, 2012

meal planning monday

Sorry for the tardiness - so disorganised - busiest week EVER. My gal has her final year 7 exams this week, so we're in full-on study mode. Plus, tomorrow night she has ballet dress rehearsal and photos. Eek! Here's what we're eating.

Monday: I cheated and bought butter chicken and garlic naan all ready made. My gal loves it - gotta give her brain food that makes her tummy happy.

Tuesday: I'm making bolognaise for dinner - we'll have to wolf it down before leaving for dance class at 6pm. We'll be there till after 8pm.

Wednesday: Steak and Salad tonight.

Thursday: burlesque tonight. Early class. So we'll have chicken, cashew and brocollini stir fry.

Friday: some sort of fish on the bbq I think.

Saturday: hey, guess what? I have a new job! I know! And, I have a Christmas Party! It's tonight, and I've invited some of the gals I work with over here for drinkies and nibblies before the party - I hate chasing canapes around a room!

Sunday: we're off to our friend's for duck and champagne. Cos, you know, you can never have too much of the stuff.

Oh, and see that pic above? I made that for last night's dinner. Recipe on my other blog. Seriously, roasting chicken on a bed of puy lentils RULES!

Have a great week x

Friday, November 16, 2012

flowers for friday

Here are my peonies! Yep, get used to it peeps, there will be regular peony pics from me during their ever-so-brief season. Aren't they just glorious? I normally buy pink, but couldn't resist the white when I saw them last sunday.

Now, yay, it's Friday! I love Fridays. And this Friday in particular as I'm off with a bunch of friends to the opening of the Italian Film Festival at the Tower Cinemas tonight. Then we're off for a drink afterwards. Not sure where yet, Bar Petite will be chockers... perhaps The Terrace Bar? We'll see.

Oh, and for your amusement, spot Victoria Beckham in the shot below. She's photoshopped herself into a series of old Dallas shots and has totally tickled my funny bone in the process. Love her.

Have a fabulous Friday - and a gorgeous weekend my lovelies x

Monday, November 12, 2012

meal planning monday

Wow, how quickly is Christmas sneaking up? Eek! We're into the busy season with ballet rehearsals and birthday party planning too. I'm trying to be as organised as possible to make things run smoothly. Finger's crossed. Here's what's on our plates this week:

monday: pork cutlets, apple slaw (red cabbage, shredded carrot, apple slices, almonds and a little mint) and lemon-roasted potatoes.

tuesday: steak sandwiches - with caramelised onion and beetroot relish and a side of greens.

wednesday: saltbush lamb rissoles (from the Farmer's Market) with mash, gravy and broccoli. Oh, and roasted carrots with mint.

thursday: chicken and thai basil stirfry.

friday: fish tacos made with snapper. Recipe via Twitter! Shall report back after making.

saturday: bbq - whatever meat tickles my fancy.

sunday: roast chicken, lentil salad and a green salad.

Yep, that'll do. I'm also hoping to squish in two burlesque classes (tuesday and thursday) and a bike ride or two. Wish me luck. And please, tell me what you're eating.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

sweet saturday

It's an indoor kinda day today - it's grey, cold and rainy. Hardly conducive to the 8 loads of washing I need to do this weekend (eeeeek!) Luckily this afternoon I'm off to the Silent Film Festival to check out Hitcock's The Lodger - complete with a real-live musician's accompaniment. I'm meeting a friend there and then we're off to debrief and catch up on her recent OS trip over drinks at Bar Petite. Nice huh?

In the meantime I guess I should work on cleaning the house. Le sigh.

How about you - anything fun planned for this weekend?

Friday, November 09, 2012

flowers for friday

Look - my faves! Peonies! I spied these at III Bean the other day and madly photographed them before being told that they were scented {!} and then madly flinging my nose at them. Divine.

Must buy myself a bunch today. To celebrate it being friday and all.

Happy friday everyone - have a fabulous one x

Thursday, November 08, 2012

simply wonderful

Lately I've been treating myself to sole lunches at one of my all-time-favourite Newy cafés. It's III Bean at Hamilton and every time I go there I'm wowed by the elegant simplicity of the place. There's so much care taken. It starts with the fresh flowers on each table.  Normally just a stem, sometimes two. Each week they offer up something different. I loved these pale lemon carnations - stunning with the gorgeous black and white photographs in the background.

And then there's the menu. Oh my. It changes, according to what's in its absolute peak at the time. If an item's on the III Bean menu, you know it's at its ultimate moment of seasonality. I went to another café recently where I had a very meh wagyu beef burger. It was very bland, tasted of nothing (not even the wagyu) and was 'topped off' by horrid, watery, pale orangey-red tomatoes. This tomato not only did nothing to enhance the dish - it detracted. That's the sign of a lack of love and care - something you'll never see at III Bean.

I can guarantee you that every single item on a plate at III Bean is there because it enhances the dish in some way. Those teeny flowers from micro-herbs? Make the dish pop. Guaranteed. There is nothing better than dishes prepared that just bring out the best in every single ingredient. Which is why I love III Bean - their Croque Monsieur? The best.

Hey, you know how we went to the Underground Epicureans last month and I raved about the blue swimmer crab sandwich served up? Guess what was on the menu last week? Yep. Magnificently accessorised with a deliciously simple iceberg salad that was so beautifully dressed it sang. Divine.

PS: In case you're wondering what the world's most awesome Eggs Benedict look like - they look like this. And they taste even better. Seriously.

Finally, here's what I love about III Bean. The love. Every staff member looks like they want to be working there. They're friendly, attentive and just get things right. When I go out to eat I want two things: to eat something I can't or won't prepare myself and to be treated well by the staff.

Mission accomplished.

Every time.

Monday, November 05, 2012

meal planning monday

Another week is zooming by all Speedy Gonzales-like. Here's what we're eating:

Monday: I'm making chicken and chorizo bake. So simple. Toss some chicken pieces in olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika and place in an oven tray. Slice up chunks of chorizo, quarter a lemon and cut red onion into eighths. Cut red skinned potatoes into quarters. Now, place all these throughout the tray. Pour over a little more olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika. 

Bake in a 180 degree oven for thirty minutes, or until chicken's cooked through. If your oven is crazy hot like mine you might want to cover it with foil for 20 mins.

Serve with crusty bread and a simply dressed green salad.

Tuesday: Lamb burgers. I'll serve this on sourdough bread rolls with cucumber, yoghurt dressing and slices of red, red tomatoes and watercress.

Wednesday: Homemade pizza. I have a netball committee meeting tonight, so between touch footy and that I'll make a few pizzas.

Thursday: Steak and salad tonight when I get home from Burlesque class.

Friday: Salmon on the bbq. With a lemon cannelini bean salad. And a green salad - it's spring afterall.

Saturday: Prawns and chorizo on the bbq. With a watercress salad {have you noticed I'm in love with watercress at the moment? So delish.}

Sunday: We're planning on getting a lot done this weekend. I think sausage sandwiches will be the perfect dinner recovery plan.

And that's it. How about you?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

sweet sunday

Morning! How's the weather around your place today? We seem to have a rather delightfully sunny day happening here - which makes me very happy indeed. I'm intending on pottering around, continuing my onslaught on Mt Washmore and washing down the front and back verandas on our house {because we're up high we get a lot of road dust on the pale grey weatherboards - I've tried sweeping it off, but only hosing works...}

I'm also planning a trip to the Farmers Market to buy as many items for this week's meals as humanly possible. I saw red last night when I went to Coles to buy a few essentials and looked at "vine ripened cherry tomatoes" - that were a pale orangey-green. So, you know, not actually ripened at all. I'm leaving supermarkets now for the things I can't buy at the markets, local fruit and veg stores and butcher, or Aussie Farmers. Food's too important to be sub-standard. If you're going to eat something - you want it to taste delicious and provide the maximum nutrients. An orangey-green tomato won't have anywhere near the vitamin and anti-oxidant value of a deep red beauty. Which reminds me, I need some vegie seedlings too. Best buy those from the markets too!

Enjoy your Sunday lovely ones x

Friday, November 02, 2012

flowers for friday

Obviously I had to go with a shot of some of last week's wedding photos for today. I'm besotted with the shades of white and green that featured. In fact, the posies I brought home, filled with green carnations, white fuschia and green bells of Ireland are still going strong.

We have a very lazy weekend planned. With nothing planned! I'm hoping for a sunny day or two to ride my bike, and go for a swim, but that's about it.

How about you?

Monday, October 29, 2012

happily ever after

If you're going to get married, why not make a festival of it? That's what our friends did last weekend. Loads of us went down to Kiama on the South Coast to get ready to celebrate the marriage of two fabulous people who are so in love it just makes your heart swell.

See that? It's our view from the house we rented. Awesome huh? We even got to see whales!

How pretty is Kiama? This is the spot where ladies dressed in white and sipped Pimms and champagne and nibbled on tiny delicacies prepared by the bride-to-be's sister-in-laws and family. It was divine.

ps: croquet = heaps more fun when you can coordinate your shoes, toenails and croquet ball.

Here's the Little Blowhole - totally going off and making the big blowhole look like a bit of a fizzer in comparison. We oohed and aahed like we were at a fireworks display.

We all caught a bus to the wedding venue, a perfectly fabulous heritage house with glorious grounds fit for a splendid ceremony.

Waiting for a wedding to start is thirsty work - luckily there was a pretty lemonade stand standing by for refreshment purposes.

Some people just have the best taste in shoes - and a similar taste for co-ordinating toenail polish!

Also, a mean set of moves on the dancefloor.

I loved this idea - table names written on postcards from the bride and groom's overseas jaunt. The bridal table was New York as the proposal took place in Central Park. Bless.

Our was Avignon - perfectly parfait I'd say!

Have you ever seen a more glorious marquee? Decorated in blue and white, with gorgeous flowers in jars - all in the most divine shades of green and white. I do declare I've never seen anything prettier.

Oh, except for maybe this dessert buffet. I die. And go to heaven. Seriously, they actually tasted better than they looked.

Thanks Patty and Coz for inviting us to share in this most special of days. I just know you're going to live happily ever after.

meal planning monday

Hi, sorry - I'm back - but am exhaustipated. The four day wedding festival of awesome has ended and I am pooped. Blissfully pooped. Oh my - what a fabulous, fabulous wedding. So much to say - but I'll save it for a blog post - don't worry, it'll be worth the wait. It was a Pinterest-worthy wedding - filled with gorgeousness. But now, we're back to reality. Well, my version of it.

Monday: tonight I knew I'd be dead-tired so I bought a bbq chicken last night and then tonight I shredded it and tossed it through rice vermicelli noodles, sticks of carrot, cucumber and capsicum, shredded mint and salted peanuts. I made a dressing with oil, vinegar, palm sugar, lime and fish sauce and combined it. YUM.

Tuesday: I'm making an enormous pot of spaghetti bolognaise as I accidentally bought 1kg of mince. Whoopsies! And then I'm off to burlesque (which, ps, came in very handy on the dancefloor on Saturday night as Kellie and I burst into a choreographed box step!)

Wednesday: hello Halloween. I'm making up my daughter with Mexican Day of the Dead makeup tonight and we're off to a Halloween party for trick or treating in a receptive neighbourhood then having dinner. I'm taking dead-man's fingers and blood (or, for the more normal - slow roasted chicken wing bits and tomato sauce).

Thursday: I'm going to make a salmon and asparagus salad that's in the latest Coles magazine - looks very simple and very delish.

Friday: Steak and salad probably.

Saturday: butterflied chicken on the bbq with salad.

Sunday: I think we're off to a friends for late lunch, early dinner type of thing. If not, then takeaway could be in order.

And that's it. You?

image from

Friday, October 26, 2012

flowers for friday

Okay, I know I said yesterday no flowers for friday - but I just had to use my iPhone as a wi-fi hotspot so I could buy Sarah Blasko tickets which went on sale this morning {Opera House next year - woo hoo! My gal's first concert!}

Then, I was cleaning up my desktop on my laptop and saw this shot of my cyclamen and bike and thought it was pretty darned perfect for launching into the weekend.

We're in Kiama. Our house is fabulous, the view divine, and we're off to the lawn in front of the Sebel to play croquet and drink Pimms in two hours. A four-day wedding celebration is totally the way to go! Best news: the happy couple couldn't be any happier!

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

the ladies on the hill at gotr

Last weekend I did something so fabulous that I may have used up all the world's awesomes. Along with three friends we packed up my car and drove to Dungog for Gentlemen of the Road. Mumford and Sons were curating a series of festivals around the world - and Dungog was Australia's. Handy, as it's only just over an hour's drive {well, if you know where you're going, note: just because they're hipsters in a Kombi doesn't mean they're going to Dungog...}

We chose the VIP camping option - which was a great move. Inside the grounds of Dungog Showground, where the event was hosted, we arrived to fully set up tents - complete with stretcher beds, matresses and a lamp. Awesome.

We arrived on the friday night where DJs were playing sets with 50s vinyl. Did you know that all the cool kids are now totally down with 50s dance moves? You do now - it's officially a thing. It was excellent and we danced, air-guitared {well, some of us did - some just doubled-over laughing with the joy of it all} and sang the loudest version of Bohemian Rhapsody with 500 others before stumbling off to bed.

We showered and found breakfast under the showground. Awesome egg and bacon rolls were had. We found a table under massive gumtrees on the hill and chatted away. After a while we thought, 'hang on a minute...' We had a table, in shade, on the hill, in direct line of site to the stage - why move? So we didn't. From 9.30am we sat at that table and chatted - and desperately tried to get data to tweet {well, that was me...} Thank goodness we did because.

Mumford and Sons came on stage at about 11.30 and did three complete songs in the soundcheck. We had our own private concert {well, us and all the workers in the bars and food vans}. It was genius. It was also the scene of yet another hilarious run in between my friends J and A who seemed to get pulled up by security for breathing wrong. Nothing negative - just suitably hilarious and yet-another fab story to add to our memories. Oh, see that orange and white thing on table? Solar phone charger - or, as we called it, solar phone sucker as it actually SUCKED charge from my phone.

Here's a bit of a time-lapse photography - I took shots of the ground every hour. We saw brilliant bands and artists play: Husky, Sarah Blasko, Willy Mason, Matt Corby, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros - and then, piece de resistance - Mumford and Sons.

Yes, this would be Mumford totally going off. What music, what an atmosphere - what an experience. I'm still on a high from it all. I came home and bought every artist's album that I didn't already own and have had them on continual rotation. I want to live my life like a Mumford Song, slow, beautiful - then fast, joyous and passionate.

After a blistering set, Mumford left the stage and when they came back for an encore to the crowd's chants of Babel, Babel, Babel, they actually told us they'd be performing their new song Babel, for the first time ever! And it. Went. Off. If it's possibly for 12 000 people to explode from ecstasy I'm pretty sure we did. Then, all the other artists joined the band on stage for a Fleetwood Mac number. As you do. Joy.

I loved the branding of the event too - there was such a sense of occasion. Here we are leaving, sated on great music and with memories that'll sustain me in my very old age.

The next morning we packed up, left our tent and started the drive back to Newy, but not before stopping at this rather fabulous Cottage Cafe in Clarence Town. It was filled with nana-chic, including these gorgeous flowers on a vintage cloth. I'm sure they were overwhelmed with the hipster influx - but man, they did an awesome egg and bacon roll.

We dubbed ourselves The Ladies on the Hill at Gentlemen of the Road - and what a hill. I also managed to meet the gorgeous Victoria who reads my blog {Hi, V, wasn't it just magnificent!} My friends and I also bonded in an extraordinary way - don't you love it when you experience something one-of-a-kind with friends? The next day we were all a little teary and emotional - and still keep tweeting each other with reminders of the weekend.

Sometimes I wonder if I do too much, go out too often, do too much... and then I think, nah - it's awesome.

ps: sorry, no flowers for friday tomorrow - I'll be in Kiama for an awesome wedding. We're leaving in an hour for four days of festivities {high tea, croquet, lunches, dinners, wedding - house on a cliff overlooking the ocean - I know, tough life...} I'll be instagramming - find me there and follow me. x