Sunday, November 06, 2011

homegrown vegies

Good things are happening in our vegie garden. Look at those lettuce, and oh, the beetroot! Last night we ate the first of our baby carrots and YUM - the most deliciously 'carrotty' carrots I've ever eaten. Divine. Tonight I'm roasting some baby beetroot to serve with persian fetta and salad greens {and beetroot leaves!}. And my tomatoes - oh, you should see the tomatoes! They're still green at the moment {fried green tomatoes anyone?} but they'll be ruby red before I know it.

I'm loving this vegie gardening scenario {except perhaps for the weeding, best finish that off today and pop down some mulch}. Enjoy this beautiful sunday x

Saturday, November 05, 2011

sunny saturdays

I'm loving the earlier starts to our weekend that 9am tennis lessons begets. Sure, I'm not happy about getting out of bed to get my gal there, but once we're there and she's happily playing then it's all good. We're also home by 10.15am which makes for a great start to the weekend. Today hubby's been outside working on the garden and I've been cleaning inside while our gal potters around. I've finally caught up on all the washing that was neglected while I was on jury duty and the house should be nice and clean and ready for a new working week.

I'll have to get the camera out into our front cottage garden. The foxgloves are on their last flowering burst, but the delphiniums, scabiosa and bog sage are all starting their new flourish. So pretty! Okay, enough relaxing for me - time to finish cleaning this living room and move into the bedrooms! Enjoy your weekend. xx

Friday, November 04, 2011

my peonies

So, had my eyes tested and yep, need glasses. Thought I'd never find anything I liked but I tried on three pairs I really liked {and about 30 I didn't} and am officially in love with one. The most expensive ones - naturally.

Afterwards we popped into the florist and bought a bunch of peonies - aren't they divine? Don't they look pretty against the pale green walls? Love.

Now all I need to make my friday complete is some champagne {currently chilling} and clean sheets {on line - ready to be made up}. Perfection.

pink peonies - woo hoo

My favourite flower is currently in season, and after the week I've had {which was preceded by last week's nightmare} I'm going to treat myself. This afternoon I'm finally off to get my eyes checked at the optomotrist {hurrah!} and right next door happens to be a florist. Yep, hang the expense, a pretty bunch of pink peonies will be popped into my amethyst Mason jar this afternoon.

ps: guess how excited I am about the possibility of glasses? Finally, after years of those teeny rectangular numbers being in fashion there are finally glasses that suit my round face. I do covet the pretty numbers Miss Tallulah Porkchop posted yesterday, but might satisfy myself with a black-framed pair of geek glasses.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

for me?

Should my husband decide to follow my lead and shop on Etsy, I hope he goes here to buy this little pretty for me {it even has teeny tiny words on the paper - bless!}

going small

This Christmas, as much as possible, I'm going to shop small and local. The Olive Tree Markets are on this weekend and I'm planning on buying as many pressies as possible there. I've already bought some fabulous hand-made Christmas cards from their last market, and I need to buy a few little bits and pieces for kids.

What I can't find locally I'm hoping to find on Etsy, or at some cool local stores such as Betty Mim or Blackbird Corner on Darby Street - and, of course, Greg & Audrey's Garage {for moi!}.

Where possible I'm avoiding the shopping centre - makes me shudder.

How about you?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

just let me sleeeeeeep

This is a bit how I feel today. After a week's worth of jury duty, a busy social weekend and a pile of work so high, so teetering, so scary that it makes me want to cry... of course I got a migraine.

However, for once in my life my migraine arrived at a respectable 6pm so I was able to medicate, get myself to bed and sleep for around 15 hours. And I slept it off - hurrah. Today I've just got the dopey migraine hangover - a pain, but at least I can still work.

Should be back to normal blog posting tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

halloween happenings

 My gal all dressed up as a black kitty cat. And her pal all decked out in Pirate garb.

At the party house, ready for trick or treating.

I loved this Zombie guy at one of the houses. The kids only trick or treat at houses that are decorated, where they know they're welcome. This guy even had Thriller playing over and over to get him in the mood - and broke out some serious zombie moves.

One of the scenes from my fave houses in the street. That's dedication right there.

 And yep, that guy was fully into it - put on a show and offered up some great lollies for the kids.

Lil ghost fairy lights - so CUTE!

Loved this dude just lolling about on the front verandah, kicking back, enjoying the view of all the kids in costume happily wandering the streets...

It was an awesome Halloween. Once again I forgot to take photos of myself, or of the finished ribs {they were delish!}. Halloween in Australia can be done well if it's organised, and interested people take place. Most of the families we saw walking around were young kids, dressed up and excited to be playing. The decorated houses loved seeing the kids - and one elderly lady didn't decorate her house, but stood out the front with a tupperware container filled with lollies - enjoying the spectacle of her neighbourhood coming alive and loving the chance the speak to so many people.

Oh, and here's a good idea I heard last night. One of the mums went around to all the elderly people in her neighbourhood explaining halloween and giving them a bag of lollies to hand out, and a ribbon to tie to their front gate. The kids happily halloweened around the block, elderly people got to share the kids' joy without forking out for the lollies - and everyone was happy. Bless.

A chance to frock up, have fun and get out in the neighbourhood? Gotta love that.

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

So, I'm alllllll ready for the Halloween party tonight. My hair's a rich shade of black {I heart hairdye}, my curls managed to form a Bellatrix-esqe form {just like in my profile pic - spooky huh!} and we have eyeball cupcakes and a graveyard cake ready to go. I've also got the ribs marinating in the fridge, and will thrown them in the oven at 2pm to slowly roast in time for the party tonight.

Can't wait to see how our friends' neighourhood has frocked up for the big day. Last year there were 20 or more houses brightly decorated and ready for Halloween. The kids only knock on the doors with decorations, so they know they'll be well-received. I've also got some halloween tattoos and brain popping candy to add to the supplies the trick or treaters will receive at our friends house. And thankfully it's cooler than last year - nothing like schlepping from house-to-house in full costume when it's 30 degrees.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

sunday suppers

This little baby's getting a workout today. We're making black velvet cake to create little ghost and Jack O'Lantern cake pops cake eyeballs {change of plans, couldn't find lollipop sticks to make cake pops} to take to the Halloween party tomorrow night. I'll have to take some photos to show you how they go - even if they're a bit crappy they'll still be fun.

I also have to dye my hair - jury duty gave me an extra thick layer of grey regrowth. Then I'll have to shop for ingredients. I did a shop last Sunday and had all the food I needed for the week of jury duty - made life a lot easier.

Here's what we're eating tonight:

Sunday: Roasted rack of pork, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin and cauliflower gratin.

Monday: Halloween party: we're taking Dead Man's Bones - slow roasted pork and lamb ribs. I'll marinate them in a bbq sauce, tomato sauce, herb and red wine mixture and slowly roast them in a low oven so they're tender and melty. All the parents are taking a hot dish to share for dinner, so there should be some yummy food. Love a bring-a-plate-dinner.

Tuesday: We have a parent's orientation night at my daughter's high school for next year {eep!} Spinach and feta pie with salad

Wednesday: Steak with pink peppercorn sauce {I brought back some pink peppercorns from Provence, am dying to use them} with salad - our vegie garden's totally going OFF.

Thursday: Rosé chicken, rice salad and steamed greens.

Friday: Salmon on the bbq with a salad.

Saturday: Lamb kebabs on the bbq, with a couscous salad.

And that's all folks. What are you eating?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

wooo hooo hoooo

Oh my goodness, it's the weekend - and my jury duty's FINISHED. Goodness, what a week. At first I found the process fascinating. We had a prosecutor and and defence attorney all dressed in robes and wigs, with associates writing copious notes to hand to make sure nothing was left un-asked. The judge happily filled us in on what was going on with interesting asides and it was a real insight into our legal system.

Then it got tired. In the courtroom it was interesting, but then we'd get locked in the jury room - not so good. I met some really interesting people on the jury, and then, like an event where random people are thrown together, there was one person who just rubbed me totally up the wrong way. Drove. Me. Nuts.

Eventually justice was served, but oh, it took ages. I bit my tongue far too many times, spoke up far more often than I'm used to and generally tried to get accustomed to a world in which different people see and hear different things - even when they're in the same room.


But luckily we'd organised to have friends over to dinner last night - on what I discovered was Champagne Day. So, naturally, we drank champagne - which helped wash away the feeling of being locked away for a week.

Today we'll be working on my gal's halloween costume, and we'll be making some spooky halloween cake pops {glittery jack o'lanterns!}. We're also taking along a hot dish to share with all the families at the Halloween party, we're making Dead Man's Bones... {slow roasted pork ribs!}.

I know that some people aren't fond of Halloween in Australia - but I love any opportunity to dress up. Also, our friends live in a neighbourhood where Halloween is embraced, and the kids only Trick or Treat at houses with a decoration on the front gate {the sign that trick or treating is encouraged}. Last year was a hoot - with so many people dressing up, and some of the house decorations were amazing. I've also finally worked out my costume - I'm frocking up as Bellatrix from Harry Potter. It's a bit too easy really, I've got the hair already...

Have a great weekend everyone x

Friday, October 28, 2011

flowers for friday

Why yes, as a matter of fact I am counting down the days till I don't have to do this thing that I'm doing any more.

Fresh air, sunlight, the ability to leave a room when ever you're in the mood - we take it for granted don't we? Guess it reminds us what we're all here for doesn't it.

PS: this pic - just have a look at so many of my fave blooms all gathered in the one spot {and, freakishly, one for each day of my tenure...}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sleepy, sleepy, sleepy

I shall never complain about work again - seriously, this jury duty stuff sure takes it out of you.

I can't wait for the weekend: I plan on sleeping through it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

three ps

So, as I'm not allowed to talk about jury duty {the first rule of jury duty is that you can't talk about jury duty...} I thought I'd hold this place with a cute pic. Three ps: a puppy, on a pushie, in Provence.

Cute non?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

shopping serendipity

A few weeks ago I went to a work conference. It was actually really, really interesting {not something I can normally say about these things}. Anyway, one of the speakers was discussing social media and winning an audience and said that on-line social media is no different to real-life social situations: the same things still apply.

And then he recommended a book, written in the 1930s, Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends And Influence People. Now, this has always been on my read-one-day lists, so I thought it'd be good if I tracked down a copy...

Anyway, so I'm driving home to Newcastle, and spied an op-shop I've been dying to check out. With a park right out the front. I know! So I called in, and there, on the bookshelf was the book! Pristine - with a fabulous vintage hard cover. How's that for serendipity?

I grabbed a few more books, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Nick Hornby's How To Be Good and a fabulous shirt for my hubby. Then, as I'm waiting to pay I spy pure gold on the shelf behind the cashier...

A perfect set of hallway skittles.

Now we have a hallway that's just designed for hallway skittles, but I've never seen such a set. These balls are some kind of amazing weighted foam - so are the skittles, not those crappy plastic ones.

And the price?


I know, obscene. I nearly paid $70 for a crappy plastic set that were ON-SALE!

See here? There'll be some bowling tournaments taking place here...

Now, to find the perfect bowling outfit {I'm thinking poodle skirt non?}

Saturday, October 22, 2011

sweet, sweet saturday

Hey, how's your weekend panning out so far? We're headed off to tennis lessons shortly - and it's a glorious day to get out and about. There will also be the odd spot of gardening, and, groan, cleaning.

Sadly I'll also be doing a bit of work on the weekend as I've been called for Jury Duty on Monday {sob!} and there are just some things that have to be done.

Have a lovely weekend x

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love thyself

Just a little note to myself via my coffee...

I've had one of those weeks. Nothing life-shattering, just annoying and inconvenient. Rather than wallowing I thought I'd remind myself to "cheer up buttercup" and my coffee seconded the motion.

Good coffee. I love you too x

Thursday, October 20, 2011

love this

happy 40th Willy Wonka

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie, some of the cast of Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory rocked out. Here's, from left to right, Mike TeeVee, Violet Beauregard, the Director (Mel Stuart) Veruca Salt and an Oompa Loompa.

I lost count of how many time I watched this as a kidlet, and my daughter watched it for the first time last weekend. The sheer simplicity of this film still resonates strongly - and there are some killer lines that I still find myself using {I said 'good day' Sir! I said 'Good Day'} I love how 40 years hasn't dimmed these familiar faces - if Mike TeeVee were wearing a cowboy hat you'd recognise him straight away.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

wowee, it's wednesday?

Oh me oh my this year is speeding by. I kind of feel like I'm riding a bicycle, by pedalling backwards, while in the ocean, at the moment. So. Much. To. Do. Meal planning's saving my sanity as usual - so thank goodness I have that.

If only I had this dressing room to sit on that fabulous chair, my neck tickled by that glorious apricot number and ponder a while.

That's what I need. A little time to ponder a while {or at least synchronise all my dates so I don't keep double-booking myself - I did it TWICE yesterday. TWICE!}

Okay, off to breathe and write a to-do list.