Thursday, December 03, 2009

pasta primavera

We had a rather delish pasta dish last night - all fresh and filled with the season's produce. Firstly, I took some mini roma tomatoes and squooshed them into a bowl - popping and breaking them with my fingers so the juice ran out and they were broken into smaller pieces. I sprinkled this with salt, pepper and dried mint then sliced up some amazing garlic shallots I bought - long green snake-bean like critters with a bitey garlic scent and flavour. Mmmm. On top of this I tore up some amazing cheese - mini buffalo Mozzarella - heavenly mini-morsels of yummyness.

Then I sauteed some yellow zucchini slices and asparagus, left them to cool then tossed all of this through some mini farfalle pasta and lavished plenty of grated grana pandano over the top. Served with olive sourdough and a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc it was a rather scrumptuous mid-week meal.

christmas decorations

If ever there's an excuse for some major frocking up it's Christmas. In my imagination I've been invited to a very swooshy ball - hence the Oscar de la Renta frock and the Roberto Cavalli shoes featured above. Nice, non?

Actually, we've yet to plan anything for Christmas - aside from lots of family stuff when our British relos arrive in Aus.

We've had our gal's ballet concert - glorious as always. We really lucked out stumbling on the best ballet school in town - Miss Heidi puts on a show like no other, without the many hundreds of dollars costume fees that other school's charge. It was a beautiful start to the season. Yesterday our daughter's school had a Christmas concert with each class performing an Aussie Christmas song - and wow, it was fantastic. Every single child threw themselves into their performance and there were many a tear of joy, laughter and emotion around the audience. Bless them all.

This weekend will be big. The tree will go up, Santa photos will be taken and we'll start on our first weekend of Christmas light viewing. I love visiting all the suburbs that are hotspots for Christmas lights. The dedication these people show just makes me all terribly teary.

But now I'm throwing myself into work. My mum and step-dad are here at the moment, so mum's going to do some housework that I haven't been able to do with my crippled back and my step-dad's working on some jobs outside the house. Woo hoo - I love me some getting-stuff-done-action {particularly when it's done by someone else...}

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

plastic surgery's bad, okay

Guess who this is?

No, it's okay, I'll wait...

Still haven't got it?

Look again.

He's an actor.

A British actor.

Used to be devastatingly handsome.

And looked nothing like this.

Give in?

You sure?

Okay, I'll spill...

It's Rupert Everett.

I kid you not.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

take me away...

As a wee lass I was utterly besotted with Nancy Drew. I'm quite sure that I read absolutely every single one of her adventures - and some more than once.

She was a rather dashing heroine - with a lively bunch of buddies and always had the coolest adventures. Oh, and she had titian locks - I'm a HUGE lover of titian locks {let me tell you, should I actually have titian locks I'd find a way to weave that into every conversation...}

I'm feeling the urge to revisit - but the new paperback versions don't have the same appeal at these vintage hardcover numbers. Oh, if only I'd held onto my old book collections. Guess I'll now have to start collecting these for my gal - her 10th birthday could be the ideal age of introduction to Miss Nancy...

Monday, November 30, 2009

monday motivation

After yesterday's dust-whatever it's nice to see blue sky and feel mild spring weather. Today I'm going to start on a month-long state of chill. I went shopping on Saturday and couldn't believe that the Christmas Crankies have already hit so many people.

So I'm going to stop, reflect on my blessings and the true meaning of the season, and get on with stuff.

Also, I'll be sending lots of love to friends and readers who are going through tough times. Thinking of you xxx

Friday, November 27, 2009

faded beauty

I don't think we appreciate beauty in all its stages. You know how every year some scientists or somesuch come up with an identikit of The Ideal Man or Woman. And it's this face that's been put together with Johnny Depp's lips, Brad Pitt's eyes, Zac Ephron's hair, Hugh Jackman's forehead... and, well, they just look weird. Not attractive, just odd. Too perfect is odd.

Quirky, and yes, I'm banging on about this again, is gorgeous. But apparently, so few people believe this. Reese Witherspoon is button-cute and one of the reasons why is because of her chin - her heart-shaped face is what makes her so gorgeous. Which is why I'm always so sad when I see it photo-shopped smaller - or, as in her current Avon perfume ads, hidden behind a damned bottle!

Last month's Australian Women's Weekly had one of the first genuinely happy smiles I've seen on a cover because Sarah Murdoch didn't have her smile lines photoshopped off her face. This month's Women's Weekly is photoshopped - but it's a really curvalicious woman that's featured - Julie from MasterChef who is well above the standard size 6 - 8 covermodel. Brava.

So when I was wandering around my garden taking photos of my roses, this caught my eye. These two Tess of the D'Urberville beauties are well-past their namesake's prime - but aren't they glorious? Sure, some of the petals have fallen, the rich red hue has faded - but they're beautiful nonetheless.

Let's look around and appreciate the quirks, the flaws and the differences and rejoice in what they have to offer. What do you see?

fleurs de friday

Thursday, November 26, 2009

mmmmm marni

A sensuous line in a shoe will always tickle my fancy. Check out these heels - and that amazingly blunt square toe! A hidden platform's always a must-have for extra length too.

Personally I'm aching for an electric blue evening gown to wear with these numbers. Oh my yes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

hip, hip, hooray


There's debate raging on the internet about this covershot of Demi Moore. An unnaturally beautiful woman, obviously. However, the call is out that part of her hip's been chopped off - to which, Demi, on twitter responded: "Here is the original image people, my hips were not touched don't let those people bulls**t you".

And I agree - her hips haven't been touched... as for the model whose body was photoshopped to include Demi's head...

Wow. It's one thing to deny that you've had surgery when you had half rockmelon's strapped to your chest in Striptease, but c'mon - why participate in a charade that doesn't allow that your body is enough for a cover?

I don't begrudge Demi the surgery, I begrudge her the participation in the charade.

I know that people such as Demi don't sign up to be role models, but as soon as they're in the spotlight that's what they become. In fact, one of the reasons I quit reading Perez Hilton earlier this year was because of the utterly appalling things he wrote about two of Demi's daughters. I don't want to participate in that.

The amount of surgery that women in Hollywood feel compelled to undergo to stay relevant saddens me - but, must say, if I was seeing pap shots of myself every day chances are I'd be first in line at the surgeon's office. And they're still getting hired - check out Meg Ryan - she's in a new role despite what she's done to her face {ps, that film, looks kinda hilarious...}

My issue isn't with the surgery, although personally I feel that beauty needs a little quirk to really work. My problem is that frozen faces detract from an actor being able to perform a role - with acting it's all about the face.

Undoubtedly the saddest thing about controversies such as these is how they bring out the worst in so many women. Over at the forums on MamaMia vitriol and attacks have spewed forth and it's just so disheartening. It's like the endless working mum vs stay-at-home mum vs non-parents attacks. We're all different, let's just build a bridge and get over it.

Vive la difference...


Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday. I've managed to cause myself some serious damage to my back and have been ordered to rest. So here's a self-portrait I snapped off during my lolling about... {tee hee}.

I don't know what it is with me and the near-arrival of December. Last year it was the broken ankle, now, my back. Sigh. Obviously my body just wants me to hibernate...

So I'll take advantage of the fact that I've bought the Christmas cards and make a start on them. I had ever-such a difficult decision yesterday when buying them. Luckily 90 per cent of the cards on offer at David Jones were charity cards - but then I had to find just the right charity {I chose two} and then, the perfectly pretty card that matched the charity. It's all done now and I've got two different red and white lovelies all ready to write on and send out.

Enforced rest has to have some benefits non?

Monday, November 23, 2009

playing your cards right

I love a row of Christmas cards all strung up. The garlands filled with seasons greetings just make me happy. So I have a few secrets to share for an organised send out.

Make your list: I have a word document with everyone's full name, including kids {updated whenever there's a new addition - or, gulp, subtraction} with the full address and postcode. Each year, I also sneakily mark whether or not I receive a card {this way I hope to ditch a few of the cards I send, even though I never see these people during the year}.

This year I'm getting in early and sitting down on Thursday night and addressing all the envelopes. This will leave me free to write on five cards per night over the next week or so, happy to be able to write a personal greeting to everyone - without getting writer's cramp.

Finger's crossed that I'll have all my cards out in the first week of December - with a few spares just in case I receive any last-minute additions!

better off red

Does it get any more gorgeous?

harmonious adaptation

I'm never happy after seeing a film adapted from a book. I'm a reader who 'sees' the script play out in my head, so inevitably when I see the characters on the screen I'm disappointed as they look nothing like the cast I'd envisaged. {Tom Cruise in Interview With The Vampire - I'm looking at you}.

Cut to last night's screening of The Time Traveler's Wife. Oh my.

My friend and I both adored the book - and we both adored the film. Such a difficult story to screen and yet they did it so well.

Eric Bana was perfect in his role and I fell in love with him again {can't remember why I'd forgotten about him, but he's quite the brilliant actor and has been with his wife for eight million years - bless}. Rachel McAdams was perfection - she has the most adorably smiley eyes! Now, of course, my friend and I both did a double take and simultaneous "Eeuwww" when "Berger" from SATC came on-screen - but we got over him. Just.

Oh, and the girl who plays young Claire - utterly gorgeous and so insightful for a six-year-old.

Of course I cried, but I did adore this film. Its explorations of love, destiny, friendship and loss had me enthralled.

Friday, November 20, 2009

simple tastes

Sometimes there's nothing better than the tastes of the season, freshly served.

I've just totally revived my body and soul by munching on some fresh cherries - prettily presented in a pale pink ramekin.

Can you think of a more gorgeous snack?

feeling hot, hot, hot

It's hard to believe it's only spring and at 9.30 the temperature was already into the mid-thirties. I've got the blinds down, air-con on and am hunkering down to work on this steamy spring day. Phew, I'm feeling like a total nana today "well, we're in for a hot one..."

Let's just hope that the pyromaniacs - intentional and the just plain stupid {I actually blasted a guy in a car the other day for throwing a lit cigarette out the car window - how can people STILL do that?} are held at bay.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

lavender love

Apparently lavender is the colour-de-season which I'm happy to go along with. Such a pretty hue always brings a smile to my face.

These Kate Spade pretties have managed to include all my faves: bows! satin! purple! in the one pair of shoes.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

quick flicks

Question time: I'm planning on checking out a film this week with my bud who's up from Sydney for a week. We'd hoped to see The September Issue, but it's season was too, too short. So instead we're tossing up between The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Time Traveller's Wife - any thoughts on the matter? We've both read and loved TTW, but will the film spoil the literary experience? Or will I sob uncontrollably every time Heath Ledger appears on screen? Decisions, decisions... Your input is much appreciated!

psssst, santa

This'd look really pretty adorning my wrist...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

hello, excitement...




pink perfection

My peonies are just starting to open. I've got them on my desk and they're to be my oasis of calm today. I've been up since 6.30am - unusual for me. But we've been waiting on a delivery of pavers since Friday and he called last night to tell me he'd be here at 6.30/7am. A shocker of a time but as I have to have the pavers delivered down on the road and then carry them all, one-by-one up seven stairs to the footpath, then up two more stairs into my front gate I thought this was a sensible option.

Except he's still not here at 8.12am.


My husband's in Sydney on a training course for a few days so he can't help me and my smoothly organised day, which requires precision timing isn't looking so hot.

I've got my bestie coming up for a few days so we can have a working bee - she in the living room on her laptop and me in the study on my computer. She's got a book to finish off, I just have my usual run of work.

Tonight she's babysitting my gal as I'm off to a friend's school to listen to a presentation by The Butterfly Foundation about raising girls. I love the work these people do and hope I can come away with some more insight.

I'm diligent about raising a daughter with self confidence - and body confidence. One who'll make sensible food choices to nourish her body and soul and one who won't start on the destructive diet path {like I did at 11}. I'm proud to say that I've never made a negative comment about my body in her presence - I think it's important for a girl to see her mother as happy and confident in her skin. Last night she came and watched me play netball and get all red and sweaty {it must have been 40 degrees in that indoor sport shed!} and laugh along with all the girls in my team. We encourage her to play sport, to dance and to nurture her love of reading and art.

She's my peony that girl, and I'm going to continue to love watching her grow.