Wednesday, September 30, 2009

that certain something

I love a spot of glamour. Even when I'm at my most poorly I instantly perk up with freshly washed hair, or pretty painted toenails. Grooming makes me feel good.

There was an interesting debate on MamaMia this week about grooming standards after you're married or in a long-term relationship and, as usual, I didn't weigh into the comments {I swear to god every time I do my comments are misconstrued by someone and it drives me insane!} but I did think about it.

I love my husband for who he is, and am pretty sure the favour's returned. That said, I try to pretty much subscribe to the same standards of grooming I maintained when we first met. I dye my hair regularly, wax legs etc and get dolled up for any event where we go out.

And I expect the same from him {not the make-up, waxing legs etc, just maintaining standards - you know}.

We've been together 16 years now, and I've added more than a few kilos to the frame he took up with, but, aside from a little bit extra to cuddle, I'm still pretty much the gal he met.

Some may say that looks don't matter, and yes, my husband will always look gorgeous in my eyes, but you've got to maintain the standards that feel right to you. I feel erky without my legs waxed - and yes, I do consider myself a feminist! I made the political statement growing out my underarm hair in Uni and combined with goat milk deodorant and vintage polyester clothing that was a disaster that shan't be revisited.

I believe the most important thing is to do what feels right for you, and your relationship. I don't judge anyone who feels comfortable in tracky daks and uggs most of the time {I know they're comfy - they're just not for sharing with the world as far as I'm concerned}.

All the experts agree that you've got to work at your relationships - maintaining kindness, laughter, affection - lasting love's worth it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

life lessons

Last night's dinner was a disappointment - but also a success. It was my Nigella slow-cooked lamb with macaroni which should have been delish, but was an epic fail - some could say it was on iSnack 2.0 scale of a fail {that's for the aussie readers...}

So, I hadn't written down the recipe. Fail one.
I neglected to include garlic. Fail two.
I bought the meat from Coles instead of the butcher. Fail three.
I bought leg of lamb instead of shoulder. Fail four.
I didn't cut off all the fat. Fail five.
I used white wine {as Nigella suggested}. Fail six.

Now, while this resulted in a bland, fatty meal it also resulted in me coming to a few realisations. Firstly, take note of all the ingredients in a dish, or use common sense. Which leads to 2. Everything tastes better with garlic - except pudding. No matter how busy you are buy meat from a butcher. Buy the right cut for the dish. Cut off fat from lamb when stewing, particularly when it's in a tomato-based dish. Otherwise it results in unappetising orange fat. Erk. Use red wine in rich dishes, white wine in subtle dishes. I like my red meat rich, ergo, I should always use red wine with it.

So there you go. Not Nigella's fault and I think that next time this dish could be a winner. I'll make it properly next time and post the recipe.

Now I'm off to apologise to my butcher for cheating on him...

Monday, September 28, 2009

monday's menu

After another week of no menu-planning it's time to step up. This week I'm all inspired by Nigella. Tonight's dish is based on one I saw her whipping up on one of her programs... and looks delish. Here's what we're eating

Monday Slow roasted lamb shoulder and macaroni casserole {recipe to come}
Tuesday Chicken pot pies
Wednesday Prosciutto-wrapped pork with braised red cabbage and roasted veg
Thursday Beef curry, spinach and rice
Friday Oven-roasted salmon, lemon potatoes and salad
Saturday Beef curry in the slow cooker
Sunday Pork roast with veg

mais oui, oui, oui

I knew it. I watched a new cooking show set in the South of France last night and it set me hankering for a southern soujourn.

Considering that you can rent a magnifique home such as this while you're there it seems like quite the option non?

A gal's gotta dream - particularly one who's got a lot of work on this week. Luckily my drugs have kicked in and I feel much, much better, which hopefully means I just had an infection and not glandular fever. I've been taking my penicillin and resting as much as possible so fingers and toes crossed my recovery's on an upward slant.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

no place like it

Ahhh, spending the weekend at home - is there a nicer thing to do? We started the morning off with Omelette aux fines herbs - cooked by my gal and her bestie - with herbs from the window boxes. Delish.

Now, I'm slowly pottering about cleaning up the red dust {don't worry - not doing too much - and am feeling much, much better - the drugs are doing their job!}

Tonight's the premiere of Trish's Mediterranean Kitchen - set in the South of France. Guess whether or not that's going to set me plotting my next French soujourn...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

big love

If I had to chose a couple's relationship to emulate it'd be Gomez and Morticia. His eyes lit up every time he caught sight of her, she looked like she wanted to devour him. Hand and arm kissing, uttering french endearments. Yep, that's something special right there...

Friday, September 25, 2009

mag hag must-have

When you're a patient, you need a stack of fabbo mags to flick through to make you feel better. My husband might need to go on a hunting and gathering expedition to Borders this weekend to pick this up for me. Tim Burton + High Fashion? Yes please.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

poorly me

Well, my throat and general malaise hasn't improved over the week so I went to the doctor today, who looked at my throat, frowned, felt my neck - furrowed his brow and asked "Have you had glandular fever?" "Why no!" I responded. "Well I think you have now..."


If you're going to get sick, might as well make it something dramatic. My friend, Ms M, was just diagnosed with asthma - in her 30s. 'Splains the cough she'd had for yonks.

Thankfully I work from home, so don't have to wear myself out travelling. Luckily I'm also ahead on my deadlines too. I'm listening to my body and working, then resting, then working, then resting.

Goodness, what a week!

pump up the volume

A gal should always have a pretty pair of pumps in her shoe arsenal. These Valentino numbers would gussy-up any get up - non?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

isn't it ironic

So, the other day I'm putting away some DVDs and noticed how awfully dusty the tv cabinet was, "Oh, well" I thought. "I'm pretty flat-out at the moment, the dusting will have to wait." Well obviously mother nature didn't agree with me as now the dust storm is finally starting to settle and I'll be doing a helluva lot of dusting if I'd like to breathe easily in the next few days.

This pink duster would help...

well fine then

Okay, so yesterday I complained about the windy weather and today, the wind's decided to up it a notch and hand over the worst dust storm in NSW since the 1940s.


I woke to a red armageddon sky and the sensation of dust tickling my tonsils - and the day has tended to worsen. 100+ year-old houses have their joys, but they tend to have the odd gaps where dust can creep in - even with the windows tightly closed. So I'm sitting with a tissue over my nose in an attempt to breathe.

My gal's stayed home from school, it's not worth taking her out in this crazy climactic condition. Hubby's been called home to bring me some ventolin - as, of course, I'm out of the stuff.

Seriously, how do people in the outback cope with these things?

Let's hope tomorrow brings clearer conditions. And less whinging from me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

wild n windy

It's a crazy windy day outside at the moment. Not quite Wizard Of Oz-esque - but damned close.

The sky's grey, leaves and grasses are being whipped through the air and the trees are scratching on my windows and clawing at the tin roof.

Sadly I think it's going to blow the last of the petals from the wisteria. It was a short season, but boy, was it spectacular.

I'm drowning my sorrows today, well, I'm attempting to drown my sore throat at least. I'm now onto my fourth litre of water - and still feel I'm dying of thirst. But then, as only hypochondriacs can, I worry that if I keep on drinking I'll drown myself from the inside out. Hmmm, might wait a bit for that next glass of water...

Apart from that, I've been productive - despite wanting to huddle in bed sipping honey and lemon drinks. Maybe once I've done the ballet drop-off at 4pm I can snuggle back into bed.

feeling frocktastic

Ah who doesn't love an award show - only for the frocks mind... I've been browsing all over the net at all the get-ups on display at the Emmys and wondered what I'd wear should I be nominated for best in my category.

Quite frankly I don't think you can go past sequins. But, see, I don't like just a sprinkling of sequins or beading on a neckline, hell no, it's gotta be totally sequin-tastic.

Oh, and I'd quite like to borrow Christina Hendricks' bod to fill out this frock. Thanks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

planetary pandemonium

Ordinarily I tend to not pay an enormous amount of attention to astrology and such - except for one thing - Mercury Retrograde. During this phase things tend to go awry. Communications will tend to become muddled and confused, and, if a piece of technology decides to go on the fritz, chances are it'll be when this planet's retrograde.

So far I've dealt okay with this cycle. Sure, people haven't responded to my emails, communication's been odd to say the least and my husband has misinterpreted around 1/4 of what I've been saying.

But, nothing toooooo bad has happened, and I've been counting down the days till it finishes.

So today, I notice that the timer on my oven is stuck in place, won't go forwards, won't go back. And my oven won't work unless you set the timer. Damn. I call the service centre where I'm informed they'll come out for $100 payable even if I don't go ahead with their quote - which may be quite high. Double damn.

Then, tonight, I'm running the dishwasher when I realise that an odd number is flashing. Checking the manual I see it's a doozy and that I have to turn off the stopcocks {the wah?} and hope it stops the fan noise. It doesn't so I turn off the power to the dishwasher and resign myself to another service call - from a different company {smeg stove, miele dishwasher - both around 5 years old, outta warranty of course). Triple damn...

you go girl

I sat down to have my lunch in front of the Emmys where I was thrilled to see Toni Collette pick up an award for her performance in my fave show United States of Tara.

I love how she and her husband seem to adore each other and gave each other the most adorable lil' kiss when she won. Bless. Her line about hoping that her daughter doesn't need therapy when she has a flashback about being breastfed by a man at three months old was gold.

Oh, and her frock? Stunning on the screen. I love me a fabu frock...

monday pretty

How utterly gorgeous is Sophia Loren? Such an exquisite creature... This pic has nothing to do with my post, I just fell in love with it, and her, and just had to share.

Today's all about starting the week with a positive attitude - but let me tell you, my body's doing its utmost to send me spiraling into the grumps. I've got the sore throat from hell: full-on glass gargling agony. It hurts to talk, swallow, and even exist. My voice is also coming and going, handy when I need to finish three pieces this week - and do around five phone interviews...

But I'm going to keep on gargling my betadine throat relief, suck on vapodrops and drink enough water to re-fill my pool and just get on with it.

Today, as I was unloading the dishwasher for the gazzilionth time I made a decision. I'm no longer going to begrudge doing anything that makes my life {or my family or friends' life} better. So, as I'm unpacking that dishwasher I'll be glad that the dishes are clean and ready for the next meal - not mad that I'm packing them away, yet again. I'll water the trees in the planter by the pool and be grateful that they're growing to give us shade and privacy from the neighbours behind us with the world's most enormous house.

It's all about being grateful, gracious and enjoying what's offered up this week.


Friday, September 18, 2009

mmmmm frock treatment

I went shopping with my step-mother today. I had $100 burning a hole in my wallet since my birthday and was keen to buy a frock or two. She was also keen to buy me the odd item of clothing for Christmas {yes, way early - but they live in Qld, I live in NSW...}

So, we hit Westfield and I decided to see if Target was living up to its ads. Oh my lord YES! Now, as a disclaimer - these frocks above aren't mine {although, after watching Adam and the Ants vid Prince Charming on YouTube yesterday I'm kinda getting a piratey vibe} - mine are all shades of fabulous. And. Twenty Per Cent OFF!

With my hundred I bought a fabulous peacock patterned maxi dress - perfect for working in and attending summer drinks, a pretty dove grey and black dress with a shocking pink sash and a cheapo pair of big black sunnies - and $6 change.

Then, my stepmother bought me two dresses and skirt, for just over $100. One dress was black with white polka dots, the other a brilliant shade of blue, and the skirt a long, black and white number. I love Target - and I love their 20 per cent off sales even more. Those frocks will do me right through this summer, and the next, and probably the one after. I'll be dressing them up, down and sideways with beads, wedges, pretty havaianas.

Soooooooo happy.

fridays are fabulous

Ahh, Friday. As far as I'm concerned the weekend starts on Friday morning. Sure, I've got work to do today, but nothing pressing. Instead I'm going to potter around, doing a little of this, and some of that, and get myself in weekend mode.

Our gal's having her bestie over for a weekend sleepover while her parents are off on a child-free weekend, so that means that while the gal's entertained, the parents can get stuff done. I'd like to give the wicker setting in the pavilion a slick of paint - and maybe feed the roses again.

I also need to work out how to inject a dash more pastel prettiness into my home after seeing this gorgeous summerhouse. Oh my.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

peachy keen

Peach, coral, apricot - all happy colours that'd vanished off the radar for a few years - but now are back. Yay! These Lacroix sweeties tickled my fancy while browsing through on-line shoes this morning. Polka dots and muted shades of pink really take me to my happy place.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

a few of my favourite things

My gal
In Paris
On a carousel
Riding a horsie that goes up and down
At the foot of le tour Eiffel
Wearing her cute kitty sunglasses bought at a market in South West France
The antique option in iPhoto
Dreaming of revisiting...