Monday, September 30, 2013

lunch and fashion - giveaway!

Oh hey, would YOU like to be a lady who lunches? Specifically, would you like to be a lady who lunches at Rustica opposite beautiful Newcastle beach - with a special fashion parade of all the newest Spring/Summer trends?

You would?

Are you free THIS Friday {October 4} from 12 - 2pm*? If so, you could be the lucky winner of a double pass for you and a friend to enjoy a two course meal, champagne and a styling session with Charlestown Square stylist Natalie Baker. Not only that, but you'll also get to take-home retailer offers valued at over $50.

You in?

Comment below and I'll choose a winner at random this Wednesday October 2.

To find out more contact Rustica on 4929 3333 or email

* NEWS FLASH! This Friday's lunch has been cancelled, and moved to November. I'll keep the comp open till 5pm this afternoon and draw a new winner.

Can you now make it? Let me know and I'll pop your name in the draw.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

there's no place like home

Hey, I'm back home after a week in Queensland with my gal. We visited my dad and step-mother in Hervey Bay to finally check out their new {ahem, that they bought four years ago} house. It was very relaxing, but oh, I am glad to be home. I missed my pretty town with its very blue skies, my coffee haunts, my bike - and, most of all, my husband.

Today I'm catching up on work, and washing, and this afternoon I'll be hopping on my bike and riding out to take in the glorious view above.

There really is no place like home is there?

Friday, September 20, 2013

flowers for friday

This bunch of lilac roses lasted me nearly a week - not bad for $10. They were a bit sad when I bought them, but cutting the stems and placing them in a vintage cut glass vase seemed to cheer them up immeasurably. Hurrah for pretty flowers.

I have a busy weekend ahead. We're visiting my in-laws tonight, so I'm taking dinner up for all of us (chicken provencale and a range of steamed vegies and a salad) and another two meals for them to make later (salmon patties, salad, steamed baby potatoes and quiche and salad). My father-in-law is still doing all the work around the house while my m-i-l recovers from her op, so it'll be nice to bring up some meals to give him a break.

Have a fabulous weekend.

French word of the day: mot (mot) word - hence the phrase bon mot which means good word!

Monday, September 16, 2013

meal planning monday

Oh hai, I'm back. Ish. Still busy, still exhaustipated, but hey, meals still have to be planned don't they? If anything, a busy week means MORE planning. So here's what we're eating this week:

Monday: it's grey, drizzly and even a little bit chilly. Luckily I have a shoulder of lamb to slowly roast on a bed of French lentils. I'll serve it with roasted carrots, beetroot and broccoli.

Tuesday: burlesque fitness for me tonight. Hopefully it'll fix my dodgy back from seven hours straight standing at the netball presentations on Sunday. I'll make spaghetti bolognaise tonight.

Wednesday: grilled, marinated chicken breast with a lentil and marinated feta salad - with lots of leaves.

Thursday: baked fish with some grilled veg - zucchini, capscium, cherry tomatoes - tossed with garlic and herbs.

Friday: chicken and avocado quesadillas. With fresh corn salsa on the side.

Saturday: I think we're going to my in-laws. I'll make a dish to take along. Salmon patties, oven roasted potatoes (regular and sweet) and a big salad.

Sunday: garlic roasted chicken for dinner tonight - with salad and roasted veg.

French word of the day: cuisse {qweesse} thigh

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Friday, September 13, 2013

fa fa fa fa FASHION!

You know I love Newcastle Art Gallery, and you know I love Fashion {especially vintage fashion} so, hello, a combination of the two? Oh my! This week I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to meet the fabulous Charlotte Smith, curator of the fabulous Darnell Collection that's being showcased in After Five: Fashion from the Darnell Collection.

Hello swoonworthyness.

See that glorious detail above? It's Dior - New Look. Charlotte explained that is was made especially for a woman who was younger than the usual Dior customers, hence its playful details. Check it out in all its glory below. So magnificent.

The collection starts at the 1920s and moves through to almost the present day. There are major designers such as Dior, Mary Quant, Valentino, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Pucci, Ungaro and even Australia's own Christopher Essex {he who designed many a memorable Logies frock!}

The devil's in the details. I love how the exhibition works the space provided. There's a surprise around every corner and you can check out the frocks from every fabulous angle. Look at this one! It's Balmain Haute Couture sweetie!

The exhibition is highlighted by massive fashion images, breathtaking in their composition.




It's Tara Moss's wedding frock. See how amazing it looks in this pic? Times that by a million and that's how amazing it looks in real life.

Oh my.

It may seem like a strange concept for an Art Gallery to be hosting a fashion exhibition, but, as Charlotte says, it makes perfect sense. Fashions define an era, they show where we were at a specific moment in time. And, look at them - they're just glorious. I swooned VERY hard at this display of shoes. I need those red ones {I think they're Yves Saint Laurent}.

The fabrics, the fall, the flow - every frock tells a story. One you just want to sit before and listen to, utterly spellbound.

This is a detail from a Valentino frock from the 70s. As Charlotte says, even a designer of the calibre of his calibre nodded to the social mores of the times. In the 70s astrology was huge, hence the detail on this bodice. Isn't it extraordinary?

It's not just frocks and shoes on display - there are also hats, handbags and fabulous jewellery {including vintage Tiffany!}

Charlotte, the author of Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel, inherited a marvelous collection of fashion from her godmother - but can't help adding to it. After our interview she had to dash up Darby Street to pay for an 80s hat she'd found that morning that perfectly accessorised one of the frocks on display. A little bit of Newcastle for this fabulous international collection.

The collection's on show from September 14 - November 10, general admission is $8 with members or concession only paying $5. The Gallery's open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm - and there will be lots of special themed events happening out of hours. Check out Newcastle Art Gallery's site to find out more. This is an extraordinary opportunity to see a century's worth of fashion in one fabulous location. Don't miss out.

To see more of the collection, visit the Darnell Collection facebook page.

Monday, September 09, 2013

a bit of a break in transmission

Hello! I'm a tad on the exhaustipated side so I need a wee break. Something's gotta give and at the moment that's a tidy house, and my poor little blog. I'm a better blogger when I'm enthused, so I just need a week to recharge.

Hopefully I'll find a little bit of time in my break to do something like this...

A bientot x

Friday, September 06, 2013

fabulous friday

Well hello, and sorry, once again, for my tardiness. Life's so BUSY you know. I've got a lot of work on, so much so that I'm doing 'double-shifts' - day, and then five-six hours at night. Eep!

But I am still making time to get out and about. I finally went to the fabulous bookshop/café pictured above (The Press) earlier this week. And tonight I'm going to the opening of a great exhibition Now and Then at Newcastle Library, then I'm off to French Friday for a film. Yay!

And tomorrow we vote...

I strongly believe that a government affects the morals and mores of a society. It seems as though much of our country is in What About Me! mode. And I don't like that. I like to think that we need to think about others, to care for others, to look to the future.

While I'm a big fan of vintage and retro I don't believe in retrogressive politics.

So I'll be voting FOR things, not against them. I'm voting for a National Broadband Network to future-proof our country. I'm voting for Better Schools for Australia. I'm voting for the NDIS. I'm voting for maintaining or increasing our Foreign Aid as I believe it's our duty as a society to help others who are disadvantaged. I'm voting for Marriage Equality as every single person has the right to declare their love in whichever way they choose.

In the House of Reps I'm voting for my local member who's hard-working, community-minded and who I know will fight for Newcastle, not just pay lip-service and toe the party line. In the Senate? I'll be voting for a party who'll fight and won't just allow the most dangerous and retrogressive policies to go through.

There's a really good comparison of the three major parties and their policies here. They're brief. Just choose the policy that most interests you and see how you'll be affected. And then go here if you'd like to vote BelowTheLine to put the worst parties last.

And then, tomorrow night I'll be watching the election news with trepidation and hope that Australians still want a kinder future.

French word of the day: espérer (ess - pe - rare) hope.

Monday, September 02, 2013

meal planning monday

Well hello! First things first, in VERY exciting news MY NETBALL GIRLS WON THEIR GRAND FINAL!!!!! Now, while I know that winning isn't everything, they'd played so hard, and learned so much this year that I just really wanted them to win. It was tight. The other team were awesome and have improved dramatically over the year. In the last few minutes we were down by three and in a nail-biting finished we scored three goals in a row to WIN! So proud of my girls. I hope I can coach them again next year.

What this also means, is no more netball training. So things are slightly easier (but work-wise I'm so much busier!) Here's what we're eating:

Monday: we had duck confit for Father's Day dinner last night, so hubby's requested bbq steak and salad tonight. Easy-as.

Tuesday: Green chicken curry, rice and wilted greens.

Wednesday: lamb sirloin, coated in dukkah, grilled and served with a beetroot salad and lots of green leaves. YUM.

Thursday: we haven't had fish for 900 years. I'll cook fish on the bbq and serve it with salad.

Friday: my mother-in-law had ankle reconstruction last week, so I'm taking her to Sydney to have the plaster removed and a boot put on. Not sure what time I'll make it home. But I'm meant to be going to the opening of Now and Then Photographic exhibition at Newcastle Library at 6.30 followed by French Friday film. So dinner? Um, for me it'll probably be yoghurt and fruit woolfed down when I'm getting ready. Hubby and daughter can have mexican.

Saturday: nothing planned. Prawns on the bbq with lots of salad I think.

Sunday: I'm going to the launch of champagne high tea at Hobarts at Wests New Lambton with a friend today, shall need a cleansing dinner of poached chicken salad afterwards I'd imagine. After a decadent late-lunch of glorious sweets and finger sandwiches, washed down with Piper Heidsiek I'll be pretty sated and spoiled.

French word of the day: Septembre (Sep - tom - bra) September (can you BELIEVE it's September?)

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