Friday, June 27, 2014

flower power

Yesterday we went to two utterly gorgeous nurseries. The Medicine Garden in Cobham, and Petersham Nurseries, in, well, Petersham. Hello photogenic places.

Now, I may have had a Veruca Salt moment when I saw this "I want a vintage silver airstream café in my garden and I want one NOW!"




No. You haven't.
 The medicine garden is very pretty. And very zen.


 And have you ever seen a cat choose a more perfect spot for a snooze? Her name's Fifi.

And here's Petersham Nurseries. It's just sublime. I'm not going to add words - who needs them? Just drool over the pics for a while.

I need all of this in my garden. ALL OF IT.

Today we're off to Notting Hill for a wander and a shop. It's a bit grey today, and we had rain overnight. But I shan't let that dampen my spirits. It's NOTTING HILL! We even watched the movie again before we left to get in the mood.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

retail therapy

For, and this is no exaggeration, pretty much my whole life, I have been searching for the perfect sandal. And it has evaded me. For years they'd be too clunky, or too thong-like, or too black, white or natural leather coloured.

They were my nemesis.

Until I spied THESE!

LOOK - the perfect sandal. It's gold, silver, and a kinda antique silver, with a floral (padded!) innersole. And they're Hush Puppies aka the most comfortable shoes in the world.

I am so happy.

I couldn't resist this frock. So pretty - so soft. And, excuse me, but how PERFECTLY will it go with my new sandals (answer: perfectly).

And while we were in Carnaby Street, in London, we stumbled upon the Dr Martens store. Now, the day before my gal had spied a pair of pale pink Doc boots that she'd fallen in love with - and I'd seen these Mary Janes months ago online. My gal's heart was torn between pale pink and baby blue - but we went with the baby blue. I noticed that these had either the black bows OR white with black polka dots - how to decide? Luckily I didn't have to as my shoes came with BOTH!

ps: English lawn, with daisies - best photographic backdrop ever yes?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

london love

Today we were total tourists and took an open top double decker bus around London. My word it's pretty. Everywhere you look is just something so bloody amazingly gorgeous.

Like Big Ben, peeping through a glorious canopy of trees.

Or this gigantic, random blue rooster outside the Gallery in Trafalgar Square. It makes a quirky addition to the massive lions that normally flank it. It's a work by Katharina Fritsch entitled Hahn/Cock. The ultramarine blue and the rooster are both symbols of France, defeated in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Speaking of blue, man I love the colour of the blue on Tower Bridge. This is a shot I snapped off while we were riding over it. So pretty.

Why yes, here's Big Ben again. A clearer view this time. 

We also stopped off for a shop in Carnaby Street. Loving, loving, loving Shakespeare's pub at the end. My gal and I both stopped into the Dr Marten's shop and just couldn't help ourselves. I bought the black patent mary janes with the bows (!!!) I've been coveting. And my gal got a pair of baby blue boots with cream ribbons. So sweet.

We also had to check out Liberty London - in the most gloriously tudor building I've ever seen. PS: am in love with all the gloriously floral-laden hanging baskets in this city. They're a riot of colour and fabulousness.

Even cupcakes have an attitude in this neck of the woods!

Can you believe the weather we've brought to this country? Oh, btw, sorry that it's meant that Australia's weather is a bit crap in return.

Tomorrow's a bit of a rest day - particularly as yesterday also revolved around shopping - in Kingston (where I *may* have bought a frock and a perfect pair of silver and gold sandals with a floral innersole - Hush Puppies so VERY sensible).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

summertime at sissinghurst

Today we visited Vita Sackville West's home - Sissinghurst. Oh my word - what a garden. I do love an historic home with a garden, and this is just one of the most magnificient. Look at these glorious towers which housed Vita's study. Can you imagine what one could get done with a room of one's own with such a magnificent view? Divine.

Probably the most famous of all the gardens at Sissinghurst is the white garden. Deservedly so. It's just so beautifully formed. Have a look at this glorious white poppy. Simply stunning.

 And here's the view of the white garden from the top of the tower - check out that flowering spectacular in the centre. So divine.

Every detail was picturesque - from the beautiful structures dotted around, to the ramshackle fences.

 Nothing is prettier than a rambling pink rose amidst red bricks. Nothing.

I loved wandering in Vita Sackville West's footsteps today - even if it was in inappropriate red wedges (and my red and white Leona frock - day 1, frock one). Tonight we're having Pimms in the garden (hello Athena, Cathy and Jayne!) with a bbq. Tomorrow we're off for a ramble and a picnic at Box Hill.

Day two and we seem to have escaped jetlag. Yesterday I had an hour and a half nap in the afternoon, and went to bed at the reasonably respectable hour of 9pm. It's now 6pm and we're all still soldiering on. But, must admit, I'm ready for my Pimms!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

greetings from sunny london

Well hello! We've touched down in London after what felt like 9 million hours of travel. The weather's a glorious 24 degrees, strawberries look like this and are red the whole way through and we're starting off on five weeks of adventure.

I'm ridiculously excited.

I'm not sure what's in store for the weekend. Picnicing certainly. Wandering around nearby villages is a must. And many, many pics will be taken and much delicious fruit will be eaten. Seriously, this is like the fruit of my childhood - rich with scents, colour and taste.

Is it actually possible to eat too much fruit?

I shall report back later...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

and so to bed

I like forward planning. When we return from our holiday we're planning on buying a new bed. Something a little like this (we don't do basic in our house). When we do, we can finally paint the wardrobe in our bedroom - it's fabulously ornate, a bit like this screen in the pic above, but currently just stained, darkish timber.

Perhaps the room should also be painted in a pale, ballerina pink. And yes, we do have plans for matte white floorboards.

Ahhh, perchance to dream.

* I should note, hubby's the one who found this bed. How lucky am I that we share the same taste?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

when in paris...

Permit me to whet your appetite with some of what you'll be seeing on my blog over the next six weeks. (Yes, I know I'm only holidaying for five, but the next week will be the build up!) We caught up with our friends T, G and C (who we're holidaying with in Paris) on the weekend to plot out our must-see, must-dos for Paris. As my friend G works as a guide at an Art Gallery, obviously a guided tour of curated sections from The Louvre was a must. And, to follow, dinner here - at Café Marly.

How's that location?

There shall be a cocktail consumed right about here I'd imagine.

We're doing a few things I've always wanted to do - like lazily wander around the flea markets at St Ouen on the Sunday. We're also planning on having an early dinner one night, then climbing up the Eiffel Tower at night - before sitting at the Champagne Bar watching the night lights over Paris.


We're managing to squish a fair bit of fabulous into one week, I think I'll even be cooking twice, which I should as we have a VERY large (by Parisian standards) kitchen. And, as G has offered to take both the teenagers to Eurodisney for us, the least I can offer her upon return is a chilled champagne and a Parisian dinner.

I'm doing my best not to explode with excitement before we leave.

Monday, June 09, 2014

meal planning monday

Guys, this is my last full-week at home before we head off overseas, and the housesitters come and look after m house. Eeep! I *think* we're organised. Ish. Well, our passports are up-to-date, we've booked all the accommodation and travel that we need and I've packed my bag! So here's what we'll be eating this week:

monday: I'm down in Sydney visiting friends, so I'll be home late-ish. Shall have makings for burritos available so hubby and daughter can prepare.

tuesday: last netball training for my gal before we head off. I'll make chicken breasts with a bourbon sauce on the grill and serve with a salad and fresh corn salsa.

wednesday: last netball training that I'll have with my 11-year-olds. I'll come home to bolognaise that I'll cook up in the slow cooker.

thursday: steak and vegies tonight.

friday: chicken with 40 cloves of garlic sounds like a nice friday night dinner don't you think?

saturday: I'm catching up with some twitter friends tonight. So we'll have fixings for pizza for the fam.

sunday: I'm off to see Henry Wagons with my music-loving buddies. I have no idea if dinner's included with the ticket, really should check that. But I'll make a roast beef dinner anyway.

Phew. That's it.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

five weeks ten frocks

Okay, so my challenge, which I have chosen to accept, is to holiday in France and England for five weeks, with only 10 frocks. Here they are. They range from very casual (top left) down to very dressy (middle bottom). There are four wrap dresses, and most are jersey or t-shirt material (aside from my stretchy lace) - so easy to wash, stuff in a bag, and wear.

I'll be jazzing them up with different coloured beads and my shoes.

I'm also taking my padded hangers, two pairs of swimmers, five pairs of shoes and two cardis. Add in some undies and toiletries and I'm set to go.

Can I do it? I reckon I can.

Particularly as I have full intention of buying clothes when I'm over there.

Eleven more sleeps people!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

looooooong weekend

Is there anything that brings more joy to a full-time worker's heart than a long weekend? Especially one without netball (as much as I love it). I'm looking forward to a bit of relaxing and a meander down to the Olive Tree Markets (where I am totally going to indulge in a Doughheads Maple Pig Doughnut - yep, maple syrup icing and bacon!). See that chair? I'm going to sit in it and read. Oh yes I am.

I'm also going to catch up with many friends (friday night, sunday morning, sunday afternoon, then monday) and hang out with my family. My bike will also get a workout.

And there will be holiday planning. Do you know, that this time, in a fortnight, I will be at Hong Kong airport en-route to London. EEP! We have a six hour stopover, so we've booked into a private lounge where I shall be enjoying a hot shower and the chance to change clothes and stretch my legs.


Hurrah for long weekends!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

vintage tweed ride

Hey, remember last year I went on the Vintage Tweed Ride? And loved it? Well guess what? It's on AGAIN! Yes, Sunday June 22 in fact.

It starts at 10am in Islington Park and should be smashing (9am registration, 10am ride!)

Last year loads of people on vintage (or awesome) bikes, dressed up in tweed, vintage (or awesome) outfits and rode at a sedate pace along a rather fabulous bike path along Throsby Creek then along Honeysuckle before ending with a bbq and picnic at Nobbys.

This year there is MORE. There will be music! And refreshments available for sale from Maudie Mac's Travelling Tea House!!!! (Seriously, this deserves ALL THE EXCLAMS!)

It will be so so awesome.

Sadly I shan't be frocking up and flinging on my vintage red wool cape to participate (but don't cry for me, as I shall be in London at the time!)

Seriously, you should totally go to this if you have a bike.

Or if you're thinking about buying a bike you should totally buy a bike and go to this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

paris when it sizzles

Pretty soon I'm going to have to stop pinching myself that I'll be in Paris soon - probably when I'm actually IN Paris I'd imagine.

There will be drinks here: Au petit fer a cheval - with its long, curved zinc bar. And there'll be plenty of baguettes from boulongerie such as these. Oh my. I'm desperately trying to work out my must-sees, luckily, as it's our fourth trip we've already ticked off a few things in the past.

Another dinner in the Musee d'Orsay is a must. And a trip up the Eiffel Tower - however, we might do it at night this time. Perhaps having dinner up there?

Any must-sees in Paris you have for me?

Monday, May 26, 2014

meal planning monday

We have surprise visitors this week. My mum texted yesterday to say they'd like to stop off for a few days on their way back from their Kombi trek to Uluru. Of course, we jumped at the chance. So now I have to whip up a meal plan involving vegetarian dishes.

Onto it!

Monday: I have some lamb chops I didn't use the other night, but need to. So I'll coat them in chilli flakes and lemon zest and grill them on the bbq. I'll also make a potato and capsicum tortilla - with a green salad. Perfect.

Tuesday: We'll have mexican tonight. I have chicken breasts I need to use, so I'll flatten that, coat it with herbs and spices and grill. Then I'll whip up a spicy bean mix and lots of salad and we'll have those with tacos.

Wednesday: Purely vego tonight. I'll make a chickpea, pumpkin and potato curry with rice.

Thursday: quinoa and carrot fritters. I saw something like this made the other night on telly - how hard can it be? With green salad. And garlic aoli.

Friday: we should go to dinner somewhere. Probs Napoli Centrale Pizza.

Saturday: bbq.

Sunday: Roast dinner. Beef perhaps - with veg. I'm assuming our house guests will have toddled off by now.

Monday, May 19, 2014

meal planning monday

Goodness, Monday? Again? And (shhhhh, don't tell anyone) I think I missed last week. Despite desperate attempts, time isn't slowing down. So I guess I'd best just get over it. And plan some meals. Yes? Okay, this week:

Monday: this is probably the night of the week I have the most time to cook and serve up a meal - so I'll make paella. My gal finishes ballet at 7:15, so I'll have it on the table when she gets home.

Tuesday: I'm leading a workshop tonight, so I won't be home till around 8pm. Husband and child can cook up spaghetti bolognaise.

Wednesday: my 11 year old's netball training, so I'm home at 6:15pm. I ordered meats from Aussie Farmers Direct last week and this week and there's chicken burgers in the mix. Shall buy some breadrolls, whip up some guacamole, make a salsa and have mexican chicken burgers tonight.

Thursday: my gal and I are off to the theatre to see Romeo and Juliet with a bunch of my friends, and some of their kids too. FUN! We'll have an early dinner. I think I ordered lamb chops, so we'll have Nigella's Greek Lamb Chops tonight - with green salad.

Friday: hubby and I are off to Sydney to see one of my all-time-fave bands play at the Opera House - Pixies! So excited. We'll eat beforehand at the Opera Bar. My in-laws are coming to stay with my gal and feed her something scrummy.

Saturday: it's Sydney Writers Festival so I'll stay down in Sydney and see a few things, then catch up with friends for an early dinner before catching the train home.

Sunday: I ordered a chook - so we'll have roast chook for dinner! With all the vegie trimmings.

That's it. You?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

38 days...

Oh my goodness, in just 38 days we're flying out for a five week holiday! Three weeks in England, a week in Paris and a week in The Lot in the South of France. The housesitters are booked, so are our flights, accommodation and a few other bits and pieces. Eeep! This lovely room above is our Paris apartment. We're staying in The Marais again this time. It's my favourite part of this beautiful city with just the right amount of bustle to make me feel we're really in Paris.

We're staying with good friends, whose daughter is the same age as our gal - they've been friends since pre-school - and have gone through all levels of schooling together. How cute is that! 

We're currently trying to book car hire, but we've decided to leave that up to our travel agent. As we're picking the car up in Paris, then driving down to The Lot, and dropping it at Bordeaux airport it's a little complex. Now, see this house? It's our place for a week in the lot.

This is the view over the town of Saint Cirq la Poppie.

 And yes, this is the view from the pool. I know. I am pinching myself too. 

We're keen to make this visit a mix of relaxation, and seeing as much as possible. Basing ourselves in the one spot for a week at a time means we can toddle off to various towns to check out their markets, have a spot of lunch, then come home for a bbq dinner with champagne poolside. (Well, not in Paris, but our apartment does have a terrace that overlooks a garden courtyard).


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!

Monday, March 31, 2014

meal planning monday

I needed this pop of cherry red to wake me up on this grey ol' morning. On days like this I'll be happy to see the end of daylight savings. I have a not-too-busy week this week, hurrah! Here's what's on the menu.

monday: my gal has late ballet tonight, I've got a butterflied chicken to cook on the bbq and serve with salads for dinner.

tuesday: my gal's netball team training - we don't get home till after 6pm, so I'll make spaghetti bolognaise for dinner tonight.

wednesday: my other team's netball training, while my gal has ballet. I'll make up Nigella's Greek Lamb chops in the morning and get hubby to throw it in the oven at 5:45. Then it'll be ready at 6.30 after my gal finishes dance class.

thursday: I have a netball committee meeting tonight. I'll make green chicken curry for dinner.

friday: it's the opening of the Newcastle Writer's Festival tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing Wendy Harmer tonight. I'll make a butterflied lamb dish on the bbq and serve it with beetroot, walnut, feta and green leaf salad before I dash out.

saturday: lots of Newcastle Writer's Festival stuff today. Takeaway for dinner in between sessions.

sunday: more Writer's Festival (including MY panel in the afternoon - eep!). I think I'll buy a bbq chicken and shred it into a vietnamese salad for dinner tonight.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

sweet soggy saturday

Oh hey, did you miss me? Once again I've had an insanely busy time and something had to give. Poor blog. It was my blog. You always neglect the ones you love don't you?

I feel like I'm finally settling into my new job, which I'm loving, but gee, getting used to full-time work after freelancing from home requires juggling. Some balls are staying in the air, while others are falling down, rolling under a cupboard and are gathering dust bunnies…

Today's aim is to make one part of my home look like this - a cosy, safe haven. How hard can it be?

Monday, March 17, 2014

meal planning monday {by a whisker}

This pic has nothing to do with meal planning. In fact, it's a Christmas pic - but hey, it's pretty and who doesn't need a pretty pic sometimes?

Hey, if I say "whew, this is a busy week" will you feel inclined to throw a shoe at me? I totally understand it - I feel like throwing a shoe at me, especially when I keep saying 'yes' to stuff. Oh well, plenty of time to slow down later…

Here's what we're eating:

Monday: well, I made seven-hour-lamb on a bed of French lentils on Sunday night, so tonight I made a rich red wine and beef gravy, thickened it, added the leftover chopped lamb, and the lentils with bacon - then popped it in a pie dish and covered it with puff pastry. DELISH. Natch, I served it with mash.

Tuesday: I'm working late tonight. There's a Great Debate at the Uni between students and academics so I'm going along to 'live tweet it'. Yes, that is part of my job - sweet hey? I'll have pizza in the Godfrey Tanner Bar!

Wednesday: my 11-year-old team's netball training, my gal's second ballet lesson. I'll make spaghetti bolognaise tonight.

Thursday: the very amazing and talented Anita Heiss is coming to Newcastle to launch her new book Tiddas, so I have two days worth of celebrations to attend. Hurrah! Launch tonight at Lake Macquarie Art Gallery - then home for a late dinner. Green Curry Chicken I think.

Friday: launch party with fingerfood and cocktails followed by more cocktails and food at Le Passe Temps. Exciting! Husband and child can fend for themselves with pizza.

Saturday: nothing planned. Phew. I'll make a beef and guinness stew. With colcannon mash.

Sunday: roast chicken and veg. And soft polenta. I love soft polenta.

If you'd like to attend the Anita Heiss launch call 4921 0781. Thursday night is FREE, while Friday night is finger food and a drink and costs $27. I have many frocks all prepared.


Monday, March 10, 2014

meal planning monday

Well, this kitchen certainly offers it up in the pop of colour stakes doesn't it? How happy is colour? {very}. Speaking of happy, having a plan for meals makes me happy - even if it's a very, very, very simple one. Here it is:

monday: daughter's late ballet = steak and salad for dinner.

tuesday: I've yet to cook my leg of lamb in the slow cooker. Best do so hey? On a bed of french lentils with red wine. It'll be all ready for us when we get home from netball training.

wednesday: my 11-year-old netball training finishes at 6pm, daughter finishes ballet at 6.30 and I have an event to attend {Pecha Kucha at The Edwards} at 7pm. Hmmm, juggling time. Green chicken curry and rice it is. so quick and simple.

thursday: erm. I don't think I have anything on. Surely that's an error. I should make something that takes a little effort. Garlic prawns on the bbq with a salad. {Not really an effort, but it's something different…}

friday: salmon patties, lemon roasted potatoes and green salad.

saturday: papadelle, shredded chicken and lemon.

sunday: roast pork belly and lots of vegies.

Phew. DONE!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

sweet, sweet saturday

Ahhhhh, Saturday. I do love Saturday - the day when the whole weekend's stretched out before you - ripe with possibility. Today I'm off to give a workshop on Blogging for the Hunter Writer's Centre {that's come around quickly hasn't it?} and I'm very excited. I love sharing things I've learned, I don't see the point in keeping them to myself. If I've discovered something that makes things move more smoothly, then why not share it?

Apparently the session's sold out, which is great news. I know that my fellow presenters have been spending a lot of time preparing, so we'll definitely give good value for money. I hope they all the participants walk away with at least a few a-ha moments. I know I will!

See this pic? It's from Cornwall, on our last trip to England. We're planning on spending some time there again on our next trip - which is zooming up pretty quickly! Best get some plans happening.

Enjoy your weekend lovelies x

Friday, March 07, 2014

oh hai autumn

Although it means the end of the swimming season, I do love Autumn. Don't you just adore it when you can feel that crisp bite of chill in the air? And the way the sky's hues soften and mellow? If I had to have a favourite season it'd be Autumn, mainly because it's still just the right temperature to do all the things I love (cycle, swim, go for walks on the beach) without the heat and humidity.

I'm planning on enjoying a bit of that this weekend. Since starting my new job I haven't cycled once - or done anything even vaguely energetic. This must be rectified as it's taking a toll on my health. Tomorrow I'm presenting at a blogging workshop, but once it's over I'll be riding my bike - unless it's hailing! Got to exercise the body as well as the mind don't you think?

image: my backyard.

Monday, March 03, 2014

meal planning monday

Hey, if you happen to be having a bit of a chat to time can you tell it to PLEASE slow down? Goodness gracious! How is it already March? HOW? GAH!

Okay, deep breaths, here's what's on the meal plan this week.

Monday: my gal has her loooooooooooong ballet lesson today. I'm making chilli con carne (no, honestly, I am, I swear!)

Tuesday: I'm going to do seven hour leg of lamb in the slow cooker today. On a bed of french lentils, stuffed with garlic and anchovies. It'll be ready when we get home from netball training.

Wednesday: my other day of netball training, while my gal is at ballet. For dinner I'm smashing out and marinating some chicken breasts in Peri Peri Sauce. I'll serve them with salad and flatbread.

Thursday: I'm going straight after work to pick up a friend and we're off to a preview of a very cool local artist named James Drinkwater. I love his work - love. Must keep credit card in my pocket. Shall serve up some spaghetti carbonara when I get home - that's a 10 minute quickie!

Friday: I'll need brain food as I'm spending most of the day at a blogging workshop (as a presenter) on Saturday. Eep! Salmon. And salad. Oh my!

Saturday: baked beans on toast?

Sunday: I didn't make pork belly last week, so I might do it this week. With lots of greens.