Monday, April 28, 2014

meal planning monday

School's back - hurrah! As is normality, or a sense thereof. So I'm back into this meal planning malarky. Here's what's on.

Monday: I have a workshop to attend after work, so my hubby and gal shall have to whip up a spaghetti bolognaise to feed themselves, and me upon my return.

Tuesday: my gal's netball training. Woo hoo! I'll make a green chicken, broccoli and potato curry tonight. With rice.

Wednesday: my 11-year-old's netball training. When I come home I'll serve up steak and veg.

Thursday: it's hubby's birthday on Sunday. We have most of his gifts ready, but still need a few more. We'll have to shop tonight to buy stuff. Then we'll get takeaway for dinner.

Friday: salmon on the bbq with roasted veg.

Saturday: chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, mash and greens.

Sunday: hubby's birthday - we'll head out for dinner - probably to The Burwood, the pub around the corner from us which does the best steak in Newcastle. Seriously.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

excuse my absence

Please take some time to stop and smell the roses.

Normal transmission will resume tomorrow x

gorgeous image by Sir William Quiller Orchardson

Monday, April 14, 2014

meal planning monday

For a brief, blissful moment I woke this morning thinking it was Sunday… But at least it's a short-week! Hurrah! And school holidays, so no after-school activities! Here's what we're eating:

Monday: we went to the Farmers Market yesterday, so there's some lovely meat and veg in my fridge and pantry. Tonight we'll be having, at my gal's request, cottage pie with green beans.

Tuesday: I have to go to a meeting after work, so I'll bring home thai takeaway for dinner afterwards.

Wednesday: I bought some delish-looking lamb leg chops at the markets too, so we'll have Nigella's Greek Lamb Chops tonight.

Thursday: last work day of the week! Hurrah! To celebrate I might cook up a paella.

Friday: last week's salmon on the bbq was a massive hit. I might just recreate it, I swear I feel smarter after eating salmon with all that Omega 3.

Saturday: a beef and Guinness stew might be in order. With mash, and greens.

Sunday: I cooked roast pork last week, perhaps a roast chicken tonight. With roasted carrots and beetroot alongside the more standard potato and pumpkin mix. With peas cooked in chicken stock, with added crispy pancetta. Yes?

Have a fab week!

image from

Saturday, April 12, 2014

to sleep, perchance to dream

Why is time moving at some kind of turbo-charged rate? I blinked and it's the weekend again - how on earth did that happen?

I guess I've slept away most of this week. I could barely keep my eyes open after 8.30pm! I did manage the awesomely late bedtime last night of 10pm. Woo hoo! I'm off to my first netball game shortly, for my 11-year-olds. Fingers crossed for a good game. Then it's my gal's game at 12, then I'm off to speak at a Young Leaders Conference {as an example of what you can be what you grow up, *not* because of my youth!}, then it's bookclub, then off to the movies to see The Grand Budapest Hotel! Yay!

Tomorrow I have only one thing planned, High Tea at Fernwood with some lovely friends, and chilling with my family.


Don't you love a weekend :)

image from but I wish it were from my yard. I need a cute shed.

Monday, April 07, 2014

meal planning monday

May I please have another weekend to recover from the last one?

What a weekend. The Newcastle Writers Festival zoomed past in a fabulous blur. Luckily I don't have to request another as the dates are already set - March 20 - 22 - pop 'em in your diary. I loved it, again. So many wonderful people generously sharing their words and knowledge. Bless.

Now, this week. Only minor levels of busyness. So here's the plan, Stan.

monday: husband went shopping yesterday and bought a few things - including steak because he would eat steak every night of the week if permitted. So we'll have steak and salad tonight.

tuesday: we didn't have butterflied lamb shoulder last week, so we'll have it this week. With a chickpea and roasted capsicum salad. And a green salad. After my gal's netball training.

wednesday: my 11-year-old team's netball training. They'll be on a high after winning 40 - 9 on the weekend {the other team only had 5 players poor little tots}. For dinner we'll have grilled chicken burritos with salad - and fresh roasted corn cobs.

thursday: I'm going to the premiere of Grand Budapest Hotel tonight with my gals A and C. YAY! We've been looking forward to this for yonks. For dinner there shall be spaghetti bolognaise. Easy-peasy.

friday: it's the last night of school before the holidays - hurrah! We'll celebrate by having salmon on the bbq which is one of my gal's favourite meals. With a lemon potato salad {regular potato salad with lemon mixed in with mayo before tossing it!}.

saturday: I haven't made coq au vin for a while. Shall I? With mash and green beans?

sunday: something simple. Steak sandwiches with caramelised onions on baguettes. Yes?

Enjoy your week my lovelies, I'm off to work x

image from here.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

it's only words

I'm pretty sure that my idea of heaven is being surrounded by people who love books as much as I do {oh, and sleeping in this bed may *also* be my idea of heaven - hello!}. So this weekend of the Newcastle Writers Festival is ticking all my boxes.

The opening night with Wendy Harmer started the weekend off beautifully. Wendy was in fine form regaling us with tales of chick lit and hen lit - highlighting that while chick lit isn't considered highbrow, it has so many attributes that make it valuable. The after-party at Newcastle Art Gallery was worth the soggy walk in the rain from the Con. I got to chat to so many inspiring people - surrounded by glorious art. What's not to love?

I only managed to make two sessions yesterday, thanks to netball taking up the hours from 8am to 1pm, but both sessions were outstanding. I loved listening to former Vogue Editor Kirstie Clements in conversation with Newcastle's Jean Bas. As a mag-hag of old, getting an insight into one of Australia's leading magazine editors was just fascinating. Sipping a glass of Dom Perignon while I did so iced a rather magnificent cake!

Then last night I went off with my gal-pals to The Edwards for the Dear Diary session. I was tagged in a tweet before we left from author Jack Ellis who'd just happened to nab the last table, one for six, so my friends and I caught up with Jack and Summer Land who's on my panel this afternoon for pre-session drinkies and dinner. Jack's got a new book that's just been released this month, and it sounds so awesome that I'll be adding it to my to-buy list today. After a dinner that included pork scratchings and chips {hi, Cholesterol? I'm PPMJ, pleased to make your acquaintance…} we went out the other room for the Dear Diary session.

Panelists included Tim Ferguson, Monica Dux, Linda Jaivan, Jeff Aptor, Summer Land and Dom Knight. They read excerpts from their childhood diaries, which made for hilariously squirmy listening. The panel had me in hysterics, and had me quickly following Monica Dux on Twitter {why hasn't anyone told me about this witty and fabulous woman before? WHY?}. Summer's reading had me doubled-over - let's hope I don't collapse in too many giggly fits on my panel with her and Carol Duncan this afternoon. She's a scream.

While this weekend may have my credit card screaming in agony, and my bookshelves buckling under the weight of all my new purchases, I can't think of a better way to support a creative community that trades in my favourite commodity - words. Thank you Rosemarie Milsom for making the Newcastle Writers Festival a reality.

This is fast turning out to be the Best. Weekend. EVER!

image from here

Thursday, April 03, 2014

on the radio

Tonight I'm going on the radio! Yep, I'll be on Dom Knight's ABC radio show after 9pm as part of a Grand Jury chatting about this week's events - and perhaps spruiking the Newcastle Writers Festival this weekend. I'm a little bit nervous, despite having done scores of radio interviews during the whole SPC Sunday issue. But at least I don't have to worry about what to wear…

Speaking of which, this weekend, WHAT DO I WEAR? 

image from here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

confessions of a book lover

You know what I love? Books.

I've been an avid reader as far back as my memory takes me {which, to be honest, isn't a long way…} I've always been surrounded by books, but, as this pic shows - there's no particular order to my shelves…

Take a closer look. I'm lucky to have books by the same author next to each other. Some of the Harry Potter series are here on this shelf, the rest? Probably on another shelf in another room… I'm a librarian's nightmare, not to mention those people who alphabetise or order by colour...

So, for a booklover, what's the ideal event on a literary calendar? Yep, a writer's festival! The Newcastle Writers Festival in fact. I *think* I have my weekend planned out. I'm starting with the opening on Friday night featuring Wendy Harmer, who I've adored ever since her The Big Gig days.

The Saturday's going to be tricky, as it's my teams first netball game of the season. Our first game's at 9am, so I should be able to coach the team, race over to City Hall to check out Rough and Tumblr at 10am and then get back for my daughter's game at 12. I have a break before Vogue and Beyond at 2.30 at Reserve Bar (we get champagne with this session darling). Then I'll duck down to Newcastle Art Gallery for a book launch before going home to freshen up in time for Dear Diary at 8pm at The Edwards.

Sunday will start at 10am with She: True Stories, followed by ABC Open Reading at 11.15. Then I have a quick lunch break before Radical Newcastle at 1.30. Then it's my session, I Blog Therefore I Am at 2:45. {Goodness, best not forget that one!} After all that it's home for a wee rest I think.

What a chockers weekend. But gee, I can't wait. I always walk out inspired by weekends such as these. The creativity and generosity of the panellists is always overwhelming. Hey, if I see you there, please say hello!