Friday, August 30, 2013

fabulous friday

Look at the pretty I saw in Newtown last weekend. I do love a colour contrast.

I have an exciting weekend planned. First of all, I'm off with a friend to check out the opening of a fabulous new restaurant (details to follow!). It's got a great team behind it, and is in a fabulous building so my hopes are high.

Tomorrow morning I have my 10-year-old's Grand Final (hurrah!) I've spent HOURS working on the game plan as I really want them to have the win they deserve. Fingers and toes crossed for us!

Immediately afterwards I'm off to a Travel Writing Course held by the Hunter Writer's Centre. Now, while I've had a few travel pieces published I'd really love to do more - so I can't wait to see what I learn. Should be fun!

Then it's Father's Day on Sunday - best make hubby a lovely breakfast and give him lots of pressies.

Have a fabulous Friday x

Thursday, August 29, 2013

feeling a little blue

Not sad, just that I need to add some of this colour to my house. Isn't it just the most gloriously-happy-making shade of blue!

I'm also keen on some glossy black - just need to find the time to get some painting done.

Monday, August 26, 2013

meal planning monday

The weather is sooooooo warm at the moment that we might even eat out here, on our back veranda, one night this week! Hello Spring, you are ever-so-close. Here's what's on the menu this week.

Monday: Last netball training before Saturday's Grand Final - eep! Tonight, I'm going to flatten out some chicken breasts, marinate them with lemon zest, lemon juice and oregano and grill them. Then I'll fill a bowl with leaves, grilled asparagus and blood orange and slice the chicken and toss it through. Perhaps with a few toasted hazelnuts as well.

Tuesday: I'm trying to stay away from processed carbs at the moment, so no pasta etc. So we'll have dukkah crusted lamb (backstrap maybe?) on the bbq, with lots of salad - including a beetroot, persian feta and walnut salad.

Wednesday: I'll make some chicken patties with mince, lemon zest, pancetta, parsley and a little bit of chilli. Then I'll bake these and serve them with baked carrot wedges and salad.

Thursday: Another netball meeting tonight, just the general meeting. It's at 7.30 so we'll have an early dinner of steak and salad tonight. I'll also make a lentil salad to serve with it - nothing like meat protein + vegie protein to fill you up!

Friday: Now, this is exciting. I'm off with a friend to a special sneak peek of an exciting new restaurant that's opening next week. The team AND location has me very excited - full report to follow.

Saturday: Let's hope we're having a celebratory dinner after my girls Grand Final win today (I don't want to be cocky, just optimistic!). We're playing the team we defeated 15 - 5 in the semis, but you can never rest on your laurels. I think I'll make pork belly tonight, with french lentil salad and apple slaw. I'll be home late-ish as after netball I have a Travel Writing Course to attend with a friend. Very excited about that!

Sunday: Baked salmon tonight. I went to my friends' house on the weekend and my friend M cooked Jamie Oliver's baked salmon from his 30 minute (or 15 minute) meals. It was delish!

French word of the day: printemps (prin - tomp) Spring!

Friday, August 23, 2013

fabulous friday

Whoops, I got a little bit distracted and forgot to post today. Will it help if I "put a bird on it?" A budgie to be specific?

How CUTE is this wallpaper? I could almost ignore my bird phobia if I had this on my walls...

French word of the day: oiseau (wa - so) bird.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

spring fling

This is a sight that brings me delight. Jasmine! The scent of Spring. I found this while out riding the other day, and a sneaky sprig *may* have fallen into my basket. If so, it *may* be sitting in my little green vase on my desk, making my study smell utterly delicious.

The temps are warming up, making it much easier for me to go for a ride every second day - when it's not crazy-windy! But the weather is a wee bit up and down: nights and early mornings have been wintery-as - while the middle of the day is glorious. This did make me happy as I had an excuse to wear my cape when I went out last night for a drink with friends.

Enjoy the sunshine :)

French word of the day: villégiature (vee lay zhu tur) vacation, holiday

Monday, August 19, 2013

meal planning monday

I cooked dinner on the bbq last night - the weather was THAT unseasonably warm. It just felt like a steaks on the bbq and salad kinda night. Looks like this weather's hanging around, so here's what we'll be eating this week:

Monday: apparently it's some kind of out-of-uniform-fundraising-day at my gal's school tomorrow, so she's having a friend over for a sleepover. I rarely go fancy when it comes to teens, so mexican it is.

Tuesday: I have some chicken breasts just begging to be flattened, marinated and grilled on the bbq. I'll serve them with chickpea and roasted capsicum salad and lots of leafy greens. Ooh, and some blood oranges! YUMMO.

Wednesday: I'm catching up for some friends for ONE drink at Le Passe Temps (yes, they do know my name by now) so I'll make a curry for when I get home. Beef? Lamb? Chicken? I'll prepare it earlier and throw in a handful or two of baby spinach *just* before serving it with rice.

Thursday: I have another netball meeting tonight. About grading (the BANE of a committee member's life) so I'll make some nice pork cutlets and serve them with a spinach and blood orange salad (seriously, when blood oranges are in season, I take FULL advantage!)

Friday: Salmon on the bbq with a roasted potato salad and greens.

Saturday: I didn't make it to Sydney last week. My car had a rock caught between the brake pad and metal and a more alarming sound you never did hear. It fell out, but I was too freaked out to drive. So I'm going down today.

Sunday: I shall be coming home to a lovely home-cooked meal... actually, no, more likely I'll have thai takeaway on speed dial!

French Word of the Day: la voiture (la vwa ture) car.

image from

Friday, August 16, 2013

friday, ahhhh, friday

Well hello, sorry I'm late but it's been one of those days. I'm exhausted by all the negativity that's out there in the world/this country in particular. You know how normally you can brush things off and accentuate the positive? Today I can't. So I'm just going to be sad for a little bit, go for a bike ride, and then enjoy my weekend.

Politics? I'm ignoring you for the rest of the day. You've gone beyond and below what I'll accept in your search for the lowest-common-denominator. I won't have people being demonised. I won't accept this egocentricity. I'll ignore it for now - but I'll come out fighting again soon.

Focussing on my little pink bubble I have much to look forward to. I'm going out with my lovely friends tonight to the movies and then to my fave French Bar. Tomorrow it's my 10-year-old's Major Semi Final (go Souths Venus!) and then I'm off to Sydney to help my friends get their house ready for their new baby girl!

Happy Friday everyone. Don't worry, this blog will be back to pretty and bubbly before you know it. Either that, or I'll be moving to Paris ;)

French word of the day: triste (trist) sad.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

my birthday weekend

Hello! Here's a wee glimpse at my birthday haul. Very French non? Two frocks, my vintage cape, lippy and books  - French books!

I also went to a cheese-making class with my friend A. I consider this part of my birthday weekend. We learned how to make haloumi and feta. It's crazy simple.

I bought myself a bunch of birthday flowers from Scout on Darby Street. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday they have a pop up stall from Little Wren flowers, with divine posies like these. Isn't it stunning? Am in love. Oh, and look down there on the bottom left, me and hubby 20 years ago. Bless.

I took hubby to Le Passe Temps on my birthday afternoon. We shared a charcuterie plate, I had a cocktail (a French 75 with added grenadine!) and hubby understood why I love the place so.

On Saturday night we went to Restaurant Mason for my pre-birthday dinner. Oh my. It was sublime. They sure do know how to do food there. And look at my dessert! Cute!

Afterwards we went and had a look at some of the installations on the buildings on Watt Street for City Evolutions. This one is my favourite. It tells the story of a pub in Newcastle that had circus workers behind the bar. HOW FABULOUS! I love watching all the images (except when the clowns come on, then I close my eyes till they go away. Shudder. Clowns.)

Could I have had a more perfect weekend? I think not!

French word of the day: dire (deer) sing!

Monday, August 12, 2013

meal planning monday

Hi, whoops, I'm a bit late today aren't I? Shall we blame it on the weird winds outside? Yes, let's!

I had a spectacularly lazy birthday weekend, and I think the laziness has carried over into today. Goodness, I'm on go-slow! But here's what we're eating this week.

Monday: netball training to get my gals ready for their semi-final game on the weekend. The wind is feral, so they're bound to be, um, spirited. Let's see. I then have a meeting to attend, a netball one, so I'll have the fixings for spaghetti bolognaise ready for hubby to whip up.

Tuesday: I'm off to burlesque tonight. Dinner shall be a beef and broccoli dish with noodles.

Wednesday: I haven't made chicken schnitzel for yonks - so I'll make it tonight. And serve it with mash and lots of steamed veg.

Thursday: the netball AGM is tonight. I'll have an early dinner of quiche and steamed veg.

Friday: out with some friends to celebrate my birthday from last week. Hurrah. I think we're off to the movies followed by Le Passe Temps. Mexican fixings for dinner?

Saturday: hubby's going to his parents so he can go for a bike ride Sunday morning. I'll make an early dinner of something delish. Who knows what?

Sunday: I missed last week's roast chicken dinner - so I'll make another one - with lots of garlic and thyme on the skin. Mmmmm.

French word of the day: Je sais (j say) I know.


Friday, August 09, 2013

fabulous friday

Today is the start of my birthday weekend. Hurrah! Now that I've finally worked out how old I am {anything from 2 - 3 years younger than I thought I was - seriously} I am very excited about my birthday on Sunday.

And look - we started early with these lovely cupcakes my sister-in-law made for me at last week's family dinner. Aren't they gorgeous? Topped with violas!

I've got a few fun things planned this weekend. A cheese making class tomorrow with my friend A {look out Essential Ingredient, the gigglers are back} where we'll learn how to make feta and haloumi! YUM! I'm also going to the Art Gallery to see the Wolfhagen exhibition before it closes on Sunday. I love it so. Do you think I could buy one of his works for myself as a pressie?

We're off to dinner to Restaurant Mason on Saturday night. Can't wait.

Then, on Sunday, I'll get brekkie in bed, pressies and shall just generally loll about. If it's a nice day I'll take myself on a birthday bike ride! In the afternoon my gal's going to a birthday party so I'm taking hubby for his first visit to Le Passe Temps {um, yes, I think it's about my 5th or 6th visit...}.

As for dinner that night who knows?

Enjoy your friday lovelies.

French word{s} of the day: avoir de la chance (av - wahr - d - la - chonce) to be lucky.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

blue by you

Have you noticed how crazy-blue the sky's been lately? Friday morning was cold and crisp when I cycled into the city for the Renew Newcastle Creative Talks. I got to listen to the inspiring and awesome illustrator Liz Anelli as she waxed lyrical about her life and work.

Brilliant and uplifting.

I also got to check out this sky, against these fabulous buildings. What's not to love?

Today it's hotter, and very, very windy, and the sky's also a much paler shade of blue. It's so hot and windy that not only did I decide it's a sheet and doona washing day - it's a washing the couch covers day. Yep, I'll be regretting that when it comes to putting them back on tonight. I think I'll designate it husband's job...

French word of the day: laver {lav - air} wash.

Monday, August 05, 2013

meal planning monday

Well, well, well, well, well. It's Monday huh? My week's relatively calm {surprise!}. My gal's finished netball for the year, but my 10-year-olds are blazing their way to the finals in first place - bless their little socks.

Here's this week's plan:

Monday: netball training tonight, then I'm going straight to the movies to see Behind the Candelabra - can't wait! My gal and hubby can make home-made pizza, and I might have some when I get home. Or have popcorn for dinner...

Tuesday: no netball training. Woo hoo! I'll make a chicken casserole with herbed dumplings for dinner - and not forget the Self Raising flour this time!

Wednesday: steak with ratatouille on the side.

Thursday: I have a netball fundraising movie night to attend. Shall leave hubby and daughter with spaghetti bolognaise for dinner.

Friday: no plans. But my gal has a birthday party to attend. Might make some kind of lamb dish as she's gone off lamb since getting her braces.

Saturday: we're out to Restaurant Mason to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. Wooo hooo!

Sunday: it's my birthday - so I'm not cooking! Shall it be take-out or will my hubby and daughter cook me up a treat? {I'm guessing takeout}.

French word of the day: Lundi {lun - di} Monday.

image from

Friday, August 02, 2013

flowers for friday

Mmmmm, musky pink roses. Can't you just smell their sweetness through the screen? I needed some pretty fabulous flowers for today - as it's going to be a fabulous day. This morning I'm off to a Creative Talk by illustrator Liz Arnelli for breakfast. Nothing like a bit of inspiration with a croissant! Then it's a full day of work before heading off to the Art Gallery for a Cabaret Art inspired by Dali. It's a Spanish theme, so I'll need to be frocking up Spanish style.


Then it's off to Le Passe Temps for a drink afterwards. Parfait non?

French word of the day: espagnol (ess - payn - yol) Spanish!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


No matter where you go there's always something lovely to look at. Sometimes you just have to look straight ahead.

Sometimes you have to look down.

Or just look out the window at the carwash.

Down at the table in bookclub.

Down at your feet while you're waiting for a friend. Even ugly things like pebblecrete can look fabulous in a grid pattern.

And of course your eyes should always be drawn to a gorgeous pair of shoes combined with a fab frock and glorious flooring.

Ceilings, windows and chandeliers such as these deserve adoring gaze and a few pics.

Spotted at: Nobby's breakwall, Carlovers, Talulah Bar, across the road from my house, at Newcastle Art Gallery and Le Passe Temps.

French word of the day: Regardez (re - gar - day) look.

Monday, July 29, 2013

meal planning monday

Do you feel like you only read my meal planning post yesterday? Because I feel like I've only just written it! But here we are again, monday! Eep! So here's the plan:

Monday: so busy. My gal has ballet, I have netball training, and we're somehow meant to be at a school  information night for Year 9 electives {!!!} by 7pm. Hmmm, something's gotta give. I think my gal will be missing part of her ballet class - and we'll be eating dinner at 5pm! Green chicken curry and rice - speedy to make and eat. Oh, and I have to attend a meeting after the school meeting for another committee I've put my hand up for {must learn to sit on hands}.

Tuesday: netball training for my gal. We'll have a butterflied shoulder of lamb and roasted veg. I'll pop it in the oven before we leave, and it'll be ready when we get home. I'll just have to quickly steam some green stuff.

Wednesday: oh, I am not doing ANYTHING today. I *should* go to burlesque, but I'll go for a bike ride at lunchtime instead. We'll have chicken, proscuitto sausages tonight. With mash and veg.

Thursday: I need to make something new. I am BORED of everything I cook. Perhaps a lamb and green bean casserole from my Apples for Jam cookbook. With mash and steamed veg.

Friday: we're off to a Spanish Night at the Art Gallery - olé! My gal's staying with her friend while we're out - they can probably have pizza. We'll have nibblies there for dinner. Nibblies are a perfectly fine dinner are they not?

Saturday: we're off to my in-laws for a family pot luck dinner. I'll make coq au vin and a pot of mash.

Sunday: I'm collapsing in a heap after having such a run of busy weeks. For dinner takeaway shall be procured. By my husband, who shall then spoon it into my mouth as I lie prone on the couch.


French word of the day: oublieux (ooh - blee - oh) forgetful. Because I am forgetful and keep forgetting the French word of the day. Mon dieu!

Image from

Sunday, July 28, 2013

newy's tweed ride

It was a beautiful day for it. Sunday morning was shrouded in fog, just perfect for dressing up in tartan and tweed for Newcastle's inaugural Tweed Ride. We met at Islington Park at 10am and it was just lovely watching peeps ride in on their vintage, eccentric, or just plain fabulous bikes.

So many peeps dressed up beautifully in tweed, some even flashed their original Harris Tweed labels. Spiffy. Many photographs were taken. 

Here are the fabulous scarlet legs of Vicki, the organiser. She looked positively dazzling, and should feel incredibly proud that the first ride went off so well. Her vintage Speedwell bike, her childhood bike, made me drool. It's a beauty.

Even the puppies dressed up! Look at Daisy in her tartan with proud parents Lynette and Roger.

Look at this beautiful saddle. Hand-tooled leather by the looks of things - and apparently it moulds itself beautifully to your bottom. I am in love.

There were plenty of kids on the ride too - bless 'em. Here's a few having a bit of fun before the ride.

The crowd kept gathering and gathering. I'd say we reached around 50 riders. Pretty darned good for a winter's day.

The route was just lovely, along the creek on a dedicated cycleway/walking track. Why haven't I ridden it before? Oh well, there's another thing to tick off my #52NewThings list. And I'll be doing it again.

Look at this little squishy, all plum-tuckered from the ride. Don't you love this fabulous resting platform for those chubby cheeks!

Look at the bikes! At the outfits! Marvellous. I do love nothing more than dressing up to a theme. I've never understood those who recoil in horror at the thought of fancy dress or a costume party - it's my favourite thing! That fabulous stripey suit won that gentleman the honour of Best Dressed Man.

How amazing is this fabulous box on the panier of this bike? Apparently it was part of a gift box of wine from ALDI! I'll be looking out for those this Christmas.

I loved, love, loved this outfit trimmed with fox fur - and the plus-fours on the gentleman.

Today was all about the details. And what fabulous details they were.

Oh, and guess who won Best Dressed Woman? Me! I felt sure I'd be disqualified for lack of tweed, but apparently my French look with red cape, black and white striped dress, seamed fishnets and red shoes was deemed quelle appropriate. Bless.

Bring on next year's Newy Tweed Ride - I'll be there with bike bells on!

Here's a shot that Lynette snapped of me arriving - tell you what - red capes are damned FINE cycling attire! Warm, highly visible and more than a tad awesome.

Friday, July 26, 2013

fabulous friday

Mon dieu - look at where I'm headed tonight! Here! Felix. Snazzy non? Catching up with two very fabulous friends and I can't wait. I'm also spending the day with friends and their baby at their new house - I do love a first glance at someone's new home.

I should get a wriggle on, I'm meant to be leaving in 20 minutes and I still have to wash my hair and pack...

Have a fabulous Friday x

French word of the day: extraordinaire (ex - traw - din - air) extraordinary.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

sarah blasko - i heart her so

Last  night my friend C, my daughter and myself took our seats IN THE FRONT ROW for Sarah Blasko at Newcastle Town Hall. Now this was my sixth Sarah Blasko live experience, and I wondered if I might've been stretching the friendship.

Oh no.

She was magnificent. That voice in the town hall? Magnifique.

Sarah was at her theatrical and ethereal best - delighting everyone who was blessed to be in the audience. She played an amazing set with her fabulous four-piece band and ended with my favourite finale from her Opera House concert. Shivers.

Live music. Is there anything better?

French word of the day: Musique {mew - zeek} - music.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

flowers {for wednesday - just because}

To reward myself for shopping on Monday I bought these pink roses! How pretty do they look in my pale green vase from Blackbird Corner? Swoonworthy I think. It's too easy to forget to buy something pretty just because isn't it?

French word of the day: parce que {Pass and then the sound of the letter k} because.

Monday, July 22, 2013

meal planning monday

Hello, I feel as though Spring is on its way {despite the 1 degree temps this morning...} hence this pic. So looking forward to dining al-fresco again. Okay, strap yourself in, here's my week. Busy!

Monday: netball training with my 10-year-old team and my gal has ballet. I'm going to make Nigella's Greek Lamb Chops with green salad.

Tuesday: netball training with my gal's team. Green chicken curry, rice and wilted greens.

Wednesday: my gal and I are off to see Sarah Blasko with my friend C. Can't wait! We'll have an early dinner of beef sliders.

Thursday: no plans. Yet. Steak and salad.

Friday: I'm off to Sydney to catch up with two very fabulous friends at a very fabulous New York Style restaurant. Can. Not. WAIT!

Saturday: It's just my gal and I tonight as hubby's got an event on with some friends. We might do dinner somewhere I think. Or cook together...

Sunday: I'm going to drinks at the Art Gallery, so when I come home we might have something easy that I've prepared earlier. Pan roasted chicken with french lentils perhaps?

And that's it. You?

French word of the day: la journée {la jour nay} The Day.