Monday, March 28, 2011

Batter & Biscuits

I had another lovely weekend.  On Friday afternoon we sat around at Jake's and had a mini soiree of jatz, sundried tomato dip, bruschetta and beer and wine.  It was pretty ace.  I had one glass of red though, and started to feel tipsy, so I left Jake and one part of his bromance at his house to have an evening of Call Of Duty (hahahah) and I went home and decided to have a mini bake-off.   

It was 9:00 at night and I was craving a good choc chip biscuit so I made up a little recipe and voila! It went from batter to biscuits!


3 cups of plain flour
250g butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
Vanilla Essence
2 eggs
1 cup of chocolate chips

1.  Mix the plain flour, butter and sugar in a large bowl with your hands
2. Whisk the eggs and then add to the mixture
3. Add a drop of Vanilla Essence
4. Add in the choclate chips and stir the entire mix until it's smooth
5. Roll the mixture in your hands into large round drops of batter and then place them on a baking tray, and bake for about 15mins or until lightly golden brown.

That's how the cookie crumbles (hahaha - I've always wanted to say that)

Community: Cooler than a cucumber

Living on college while studying full time had many perks, but the best was the constant supply of tv shows that were airing in America before they hit Aus.

Every Monday and Tuesday I would be ready to watch the many new episodes that we grew to love, and the list was a big as Kanye's ego.  How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy, True Blood, Gossip Girl, Man Vs Wild, and my two favourites, Mad Men and The Office. 

The Office is a pure delight, and I never thought that I would find something that gave me those laugh-out-loud moments where I had to hit pause so I could ring Bird to tell her all about it or alternatively, to run to the bathroom to pee.  That was, until Jake found, 'Community'. 

I am a little peeved at myself for not finding this gem while I was at uni, but anyhoo, Jake and I are completely hooked.  It's the best thing since sliced bread, I kid you not.

It's airing the second season as I type, so there isn't much catch up for you all who haven't witnessed this show, which is the epitome of television delight.

It's basically about a group of college dropouts/misfits/losers who enrol in a community college to make up for their life mistakes - in a nutshell.

Please, watch this bad boy.  It's so hip like a tortilla chip dunked in a salsa of The Office, How I Met Your Mother and Freaks and Geeks mixed into one.

You are guaranteed to laugh at least every 4 minutes.

Please watch all of the below.

1. Troy and Abed in the Moooooorning
2. Oh, Christmas Troy!
3. Krumping

* Jeff the main character has a rockin' bod
** I secretly am in love with Abed
*** I also want to be a regular on "Troy and Abed in the Mooooooorning"

Friday, March 25, 2011


We arrived in the land of the wooden clog on the 4th February. We had been travelling by train all day, passing scenery at a fast pace until we finally arrived on our last leg of our Contiki.

My first impression of Amsterdam was, “Holy wind, Batman!”, as we stood waiting for our tram to head into the Red Light District. The wind had so much force, that the option to have hair out was not possible. The wind blew our coats and lifted the pace of our steps. It’s something I can’t even describe.

The district however, was very easy to describe. Seedy pimps standing above their ‘ladies’ who tapped at the windows as our group strolled on by. We were given glances and had kisses blown in our directions. The district was full of life – people riding bicycles up and down the cobbled streets, stopping into coffee shops and standing in line at the many fast food stalls lining the streets. There were pizza slices the size of dinner plates, kebab shops, anything possible was fried and Chippsy King had rolled up paper filled with the goodness of chips drenched in any kind of sauce available. It was delightful, and I may or may not have eaten six separate meals that night. No judgement please – It’s Amsterdam!!

We wandered the district, stopping in at the kooky places, and wide eyed at the things going on around us – purely legal here. But as soon as the night faded away and the sun came out, my view of Amsterdam was quickly changed.

Beth and I stepped out onto the pathways, and caught a tram into the bustling main strips, where we wandered past tulip stands, cafes that didn’t offer anything but coffee (ha) and the shops housed the quirkiest and coolest finds I have seen in any place visited.

We stopped in at a café where I tasted a Panini with mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes. I sipped on a caramel latte with a side of biscotti, and all the while, we were next door to the house Anne Frank was once hidden in.

We lined up for an hour outside the Anne Frank museum, and we toured the house where she once lived. Walking up the small staircases, and reading through the guides, we were able to take a glimpse back in history to see how devastating the rule had been back then. Anne’s pictures were plastered over the walls, and her diary was housed in a glass box. It was surreal, and very moving.

We then wandered around the rest of Amsterdam, stopping in for coffee, buying clogs, visiting the museums and spending time gazing at the many artworks of Van Gogh. Amsterdam was completely different in the light of the day, with bicycles adorned in floral arrangements casually strewn against the canal bridge.

The city was busy, quaint and quiet at the same time. It was truly beautiful, and I can’t wait to put on my clogs to visit the windy city once more, bike bells and all.

Amsterdam you were ace, I enjoyed you foggy headed and full of fries, as well as with a coffee in hand and a map in the other.


We arrived in The City of Lights on the 31st January. There was light smog over the buildings, and as we unpacked our luggage, got settled into our rooms and had our first meal, it was time to kick start our time in the city of love with a tour of the lamp-lit bridges, low-lying buildings and architectural marvels as we absorbed the romance of Paris.

My most vivid memory of our first night in Paris was my very first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. We had driven over a small bridge, and as I glanced around the buildings, it peeked out – lights shining and flickering fast, like someone had poured a bottle of glitter confetti out of the sky. It was purely amazing, and as clichĂ© as it sounds, I let out a squeak of a gasp.

We were whisked, full steam ahead into the Arc De Triomphe, holding on tight as we screeched through, pulling up cars and honking as we were navigated safely. We then climbed the tower in the rain, and were amazed by the sights of Paris from above.

Our next few days were spent eating croissants for breakfast, visiting the Arc De Triomphe once more, from a safe distance, and strolling down the Champs Elysees, stopping in at a cafe, and being served our cappuccino and Nutella crepe by a waiter in a black beret and blue and white Brighton striped shirt.

We people watched, wandered down to the Musee De L’Orangerie to marvel at Monet’s waterlilies that wrapped around the curved walls. Standing so close they mirrored small smudges of green, blues and deep purples, but from afar they were significantly recognisable as a cluster of lilies resting on a mellow stream.

We visited the Louvre, stood in front of the Mona Lisa, and cased around the Venus De Milo. I bought a red beret, and we crunched down on macaroons – pistachio, coffee and strawberry. I bought a striped shirt from a beautiful store, and we headed home to get all frocked up for the Moulin Rouge.

I swept on blush, we fluffed our hair, and we headed on down for an evening of potato and leek soup, mushroom risotto, red wine and a cabaret act showcasing the can-can, topless women with lips stained rouge, live pythons being tangled in water and mustered ponies on stage. The men danced and pranced, and wore leather tight. The feathers folded out from the costumes, and the musical performance ended with a loud cheer. The Moulin Rouge was a Parisian oasis.

Our days in Paris were extraordinary; it was a perfect French affair. We smelt perfume at the Fragonard perfumery, and were amazed at the stained glass in the Notre Dame, as the famous gargoyles peeked out from the top of the church. We sat across the road and dined on crepes, snails and cappuccino, writing postcards and laughing with new found friends.

We bought art from the streets, and visited the Chateau Versailles, to experience the life of King Louis and Marie Antoinette, as we walked the hall of mirrors, touched the tapestry walls, and caught a glimpse of the marvellous gardens that lined the Chateau’s gates.

Our last night was perfect. We visited the Sacre Coeur and popped into a little coble stoned courtyard with fairy lights and bustling cafes. We dined in a quaint French restaurant off the beaten track, where I had the most marvellous French onion soup, with thick croutons and mozzarella, and Salmon, with bread and a creamy sauce. It was a night of cosmopolitans, street art, dancing and walking the streets of Paris, with my heart in my hand.

Paris, je t'aime xx

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bloomin' Bloomers

Why, Hello there mr fancy pants, nice to meet you, and it surely was a lovely treat to sew you!

I had a very busy weekend, Jakey and I drove to Rockhampton on Friday night and headed out to catch a movie.  We did the tango, with 'Rango' - and it was the strangest movie I have seen in a long time.  It has a lot of similarities to the movie, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' - the main few points being that, Johnny Depp is in both, they are set in Las Vegas, they feature surreal scenes only imagined by the characters and there are weird desert animals and ugly contiki style shirts involved.  It was a c-razy movie, with hilarous characters and Johnny Depp was equally cool as a chameleon. The animation was flawless, and the movie was very ace. I ate too much movie food though, and nearly had to be rolled out of the cinema.

We then stayed the night and hit the shops the next day.  I need an intervention with shopping, I really do. I did purchase a few things, one, being a pair of loafers, two, being a tablecloth style dress, that will be perfect for hoedowns and barnyard dancing and amongst the many others there was a trip to Spotlight to purchase a fabulous new stash of material for sewing a set of bloomers for a Baby Shower present.

When we got home on Saturday night I baked two batches of cupcakes, iced them blue and then sat down at my handy Janome and made a cute pair of bloomers.  (While we watched the movie, 'Babe' - seriously, that movie is hilarious - real live farm animals that can talk? how clever of them).

I hope these shmancy pants look uber cute when the baby arrives, and that they're not too small for the chubby legs that will peek out from the bottom.

Monday, March 21, 2011


We arrived in London Town on the 28th January. It was nice and late at night, and by the time we checked in to our motel, unpacked our things and had showers, we were tuckered out. Our first thoughts of London where pure heaven – we snoozed until 11 in the morning, and finally had a break after our last few weeks of travelling.

I laced up my brogues – true London style, and we hit the streets, scanning for a stop-in cafe. We decided on a kitschy Italian restaurant with floral wallpaper, box frames and flowers adorned on the tables. The bruschetta crunched, and the spaghetti rolled around on our forks.

The rest of our first day was spent browsing tourist stores, and walking the streets, before stopping into the British Museum to have a wander through the ancient history. We bought red velvet cupcakes on the way home, and read books in our motel room before meeting up with our Contiki group for an evening out in Convent Garden with pear and mixed berry cider.

London was lovely. We woke up to English Breakfasts, of coffee, orange juice, boiled tomatoes with juicy skins, eggs, croissants and tea. We toured the sights of Big Ben, The London Eye, The Tower of London and the many bridges. Stonehenge was breathtaking, as we did a full circle around the site, taking photos, posing and then drinking lattes in the sun.

We then toured the city of Bath, (where Johnny Depp lives), and gazed at the Roman Baths, while trying the pure water from the springs, and eating traditional Cornish pasties in the street square, while performers juggled fire for the crowds. Beth and I splurged on marble fudge, and walked the cobbled stone streets, snapping pictures and scouting the grounds for Johnny, with no such luck.

The sights to see were just as we thought. Buckingham Palace beckoned, and Trafalgar Square opened opportunities for a telephone box photo. We wandered the blocks and stopped into Westminster Abbey. The London Eye gave us the beautiful landscape of London, and we caught the tube to Harrods to sample fruity Valentines tea. Men played bagpipes in the streets, and I kept looking into the sky for Peter Pan as traces through the clouds, Wendy and Peter behind.

We shopped up a storm on Oxford Street, and then were on the tube again to Madame Tussauds. We caught a West End Musical – Chicago – and then went out on the town to The Zoo, where we drank Jaeger Bombs, Tequila and pole danced late into the night.

We experienced all that was London, with shopping, tube rides, Brick Lane, red buses, taxis, police guards, Convent Garden, street performers, riots, English breakfasts, The Beatles, and Harry Potter film locations.

Our holiday was like one big game of Monopoly, as we skipped on to each different street, skating past Trafalgar, Piccadilly, Convent, and then home again. I can’t wait to roll the dice once more, for another London adventure.

Friday, March 18, 2011


We arrived in the land of the Irish on the 23rd January. We stamped our passports, exchanged our dollars for Euro and walked outside into the dark that was Dublin. Our first thoughts of Ireland were hazy. We got to our backpacker accommodation and realised that we couldn’t check in for another 6 hours. So there we were, in the common room – sleeping on the couches, hands on luggage, kinks in necks, waiting for 2:00 to come around.

Our thoughts quickly changed though, as we took our first steps onto the cobbled stone streets and ducked in to The Queen of Tarts, where we had a beautiful breakfast of salmon, brown bread, eggs, porridge, latte’s and orange juice. There were old teapots strewn across antique dressers, with cushions, mismatched saucers underneath delicate china and couples cuddling in the corners. It was entirely what we hoped Dublin would be, and more.

We wandered around the streets, amazed by the random markets, pubs, cafes and vintage stores on every corner, as we snapped photos and headed down the main street to browse the designer stores.

Urban Outfitters won our hearts, and the Italian restaurant for dinner won our wallets as we paid 15 Euro for a three course meal. Dublin had lifted our spirits and we were very excited to start our Shamrocker Tour in the morning, which would see Beth and I tour, Killarney, Ennis, Galway and Connemara.

Our tour was the best thing since sliced bread, or, in this case – a pint of Guinness. Our bus pulled in for stops at small towns, as we enjoyed pub meals of mushroom gnocchi, baked potatoes and frothy cappuccino. We puckered up for the Blarney Stone, and had private show in a local pub, where we were entertained with Irish Comedy, a flute, and even a jig or two. Jokes were had all night, and many beers were chugged.

The misty rain fogged the bus windows, and the sheep were piled high on the grassy hills as we hiked down to the sandy beaches, writing our names with twigs and taking happy snaps.

The dinners in pubs were breaded mushrooms and beer, and we all piped up as we planted Australian tattoos on our hands and sang Aussie ballads for Australia day. We stopped in at the Cliffs of Moher, enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Burren, and celebrated like true Aussies with Toohey’s Beer and loud music in a local Irish pub.

Pastries were served warm, and games were played on the bus. We learnt so much history from our tour guide, and the scenery of patchwork hills, cobbled stone streets, brick walls and broken down castles made Ireland the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to.

Travelling during the day, and relaxing in local pubs with a background of Irish music, was a holiday played at a beautiful pace, as we toured through Ireland one pint at a time.

Cheers to you the land of the clover, I can’t wait to jig my way back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Loafers - Not Just For Gophers

I think in my past life I was an old man.  Some evidence to support this theory.

- I love nothing more than to sit down with a cup of tea and to crochet. Yes, that's me, at home watching cooking shows, with a rug on my legs, sipping tea out of fine china while crocheting.
- Give me a fine piece of tapestry any old day.
- I enjoy hospital sheets and jelly.
- I wish I had fake teeth - veneers are so much cooler than the original ones.
- I swear and shake my fists at P Platers.
- I secretly (actually it's not a secret) I openly, express my obsession for moustaches, and my lack of not being able to ever experience one.
- I like to collect vintage fabrics, typewriters, cameras, sewing machines, old porkpie hats, old hair-pieces and teeth. (only kidding, old teeth are gross)

The latest theory to prove that I was in fact, an old man, or want to be one is - Shoes

I've loved brogues, clogs and all the inbetween, but, recently I've been obsessed with loafers.  Loafers are described as, "slip-ons, typically low, lace-less shoes, with a moccasin construction." Or in other words, "the shoes your granpappy wears to bowls, church on a Sunday or to do his paper run."  He teams them with lemon yellow socks, and rocks the shiz out of those, bad boys. 

Bird can tell you that I bought a pair of mocassin's a couple of years ago, and wore them only in the comfort of my uni room.  (Only because she forbid me to wear them anywhere else).  They were brown, had wool inside and even had a functioning tassle that swung from side-to-side as I walked. 

These fabulous mocassin's, have even been featured in a blog post previous to this - I can't get enough of these fine fellowed friends.  But now, I have set my sights higher - or shall I saw lower - and I've moved onto the loafer.

First appearing in the mid 1930s, and then on myself while traipsing through London.   I will be bringing these bad boys out in full force this Winter, and I am so excited, because they just so happen to be hot-to-trot again, and all the shoe stores are selling these puppies again. Yessss!!

High five to the rebirth of the loafer - they are definitely not just for old people.
I will be purchasing another pair (or six) this winter, preferably in tan, black, or leopard print. Let's all go crazy for loafers like it's 1931.

* P.s I WILL be teaming them with bright coloured socks. Bird, you have no say in this. They're meant for each other, like peanut butter and jelly.
** After I finished typing this post, I rang Sportsgirl to get these both held for me. I have a sickness.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let us Have Cake

It was my mum’s birthday on the 15th, which is always lovely, for us to celebrate our birthdays so close. To bring in another year, she celebrated with a lunch out, flowers, presents and a fabulous coconut and raspberry cake, with her nearest and dearest.

Happy Birthday Mum, you definitely deserve a day (or an entire year) to celebrate your pure loveliness. We love you x

Tea for Me

‘Twas my Birthday on Sunday, and what a lovely day it was. I had an early morning brunch, sitting around with my family, enjoying a pot of tea or two, some scones with jam and cream, salmon with shallots and cream cheese, freshly squeezed lemonade, banana loaf and a rainbow cake, yum, yum! I was very spoilt. Jake bought me the fabulous bumble bee necklace, which completely surprised and delighted.

And I was very pleasantly excited when mum and dad gave me a Samantha Robinson tea pot which I’ve been lusting after for years. My first post nearly two years ago was about miss Robinson herself, and her beautiful handmade creations that she had been working on, and I must say, I can’t wait to enjoy a drop out of this fine pot, with the cups that I’ve been collecting, with much aid from my sister Sophie who purchased two for my birthday.

I also unwrapped a beautiful French clock from my other sister, another fabulous teapot from Jake’s mum and dad and my favourite present yet – a handmade jewellery box out of paddle pop sticks and a card with drawings of the Australia Zoo from my nephew Oskar, it’s just dandy.

I had a lovely day. Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Friday, March 11, 2011

New York, New York

We arrived on the 16th January in the afternoon, and as soon as we walked into the landmark that was JFK, we exchanged our dollars and rolled on our cardigans. It was such a nice change to be adding layers, instead of sweating them. Popcorn and I headed outside into the cold that was like a bucket of ice water being thrown onto us, but we couldn’t have cared less – We were in New York City.

The heater in our room sounded like a rustic farm tractor that needed a good oil up, and we pressed our mitts up against the cold window and stared down on Madison Square Garden from our quaint little room. Bright lights, big city.

We took a hefty bite out of The Big Apple on the first day, as we started off our morning at Starbucks, Bircher Muesli and mocha’s, names on cups and all. We then wandered around the neighbourhood, taking photos with pigeons, amazed by the snow and lining up to rush into Macy’s. We then headed over to Madison Square Garden for a pretzel, popcorn, jug of coke and a Knicks game.

It snowed that night, resting on branches and crunching underneath our steps.

The first few days were the coldest I’ve ever experienced. My new hobo gloves from Urban Outfitters kept my fingers warm, and my brogues soaked up the freezing sludge that was the sidewalk. We had many hearty breakfasts - stopping in at a traditional diner, where coffee mugs were topped up, and home fries were served on bagels. Touring the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum, Times Square and Rockefeller Centre. We shopped til’ we dropped in H&M, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters and wandered the blocks like true locals.

Our dinner at Tao restaurant was so schmick that you needed to take money to the toilet to tip. Feeling like we were extras in a Sex and the City episode, we pointed out spots in the restaurant that were filmed in the hit show as we sipped Peach Cosmopolitans, munched on dumplings, salmon and a giant fortune cookie that was heaven whipped with white chocolate mousse and glazed fruit – book me a plane ticket just to have another one.

We read The New Yorker and Vogue at night, while eating soft baked cookies from vending machines. We washed our clothes in the bath tub, got caught in revolving doors, rushed to the window each day to look for snow and bought umbrellas that popped in 5 seconds. New York was everything and more.

Our days were filled with street vendors, trips to Soho, wandering around Chelsea, The Meat Packing District and Greenwich Village, toting Big Brown Bag’s on our arms and waiting on the sidewalk for buses.

My favourite day was yet to come, as we woke up on day 6 to a perfect sunshine through our window. We had breakfast on 5th Avenue and sat at Pulitzer Fountain waiting to board our bus for the Sex and The City Tour. We travelled the streets and laughed with our guide, yelled out obscenities and browsed through sex stores as we made our way through the near 50 locations for the f-abulous show. Our favourite was Magnolia Bakery, where we ate several cupcakes iced mint green with sprinkles. We browsed in Mulberry and Marc Jacobs and sipped on Cosmo’s in Steve and Aiden’s bar.

We went to Bloomingdales, Saks and Bergdorf Goodman’s, before having a bite to eat and then it was a hop, skip and a jump to Broadway where we were taken a flight on broomsticks for Wicked! The Musical.

The days only got better with, Central Station, the Statue of Liberty, movies with cookie dough and the Empire State. We bought I heart NY shirts, (which I’m wearing as I type), Hershey bars, the New York Times and much more.

As we caught our last shuttle and said goodbye to JFK, on board our next flight I had only one thing to say -

New York, I love you.

Zip it, Bucko!

Since being home, I haven’t really had time to start up my sewing again, and I’ve really missed it, so I decided to bring out my brand new book from Miss Pip, and I made some zip purses for my not so nearest, but definitely my dearest.

The instructions were cinch, and I broke out my special Japanese fabrics which I bought in Townsville at the Craft Fair last year. I made babushkas, birds and sausage dog purses, packaged them up and sent them to my favourites.

Now they have a little place to put their coins, hair ties, stick on moustaches and lemons for tequila shots!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Delicious, Miss Dahl

I am writing this as I watch my new found addiction – The Delicious, Miss Dahl.

Sophie Dahl, the granddaughter of the Great, Roald Dahl, has recently started her new project of home cook on the kitchen channel. All of you know how completely in love I am with cooking shows – Nigella, River Cottage and now this, bad boy.

I’ve read Sophie’s cookbook and loved the rustic, comfort food, and the antique tea cups strewn across her benches as the meals are photographed, but I was even more surprised when I sat down to watch the show.

The camera pans around her home, to her delicate lace curtains, to her garden, and then back to her, scarf on, curled up on the lounge, converse trainers tucked underneath her. Miss Dahl, is the epitome of cool.
Cat Power plays in the background, and she eats her freshly cooked food, draping over the thick, rustic wooden benches, with old pots and pans hanging in her English Kitchen. The way, Miss Dahl talks, is softly and almost like a song – she sounds like Daisy from The Great Gatsby, strangely enough. I absolutely love her.

The episode I tuned into today was titled, “Melancholy”, and she demonstrated cooking all the foods to comfort the soul, with chicken soup, chocolate sauce and pies.

I love her fashion, her kitchen, her big owl like eyes and the big blinger of an engagement ring that catches my eye as the camera zooms in to her kneading dough. One would think I have a girl crush on, Miss Dahl, but I’ll tell you this much, one hour of watching, Miss Dahl cook has definitely banished any sign of melancholy in my life, and pushes me straight towards the kitchen, baking pot in one hand and her recipe book in the other.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Patty Cake, Patty Cake

Yesterday, I had a lovely day. An early visit to my sister’s in the morning was spent drinking a fresh pot of Harrods English Breakfast Tea, which I bought in London, and then a 3 hour long coffee catch up with Bird took me into the afternoon.

The weather in town was lovely, while we were chatting away over iced coffee, the tin on the roof started to tinker, and we looked out through the vertical stretching windows to see it pelting down outside. Without an umbrella or anything to shield us, we casually walked to our cars, collecting every drop of rain, while sending my hair into a fabulous frizz.

While drying myself with the heater in the car, I went to visit Jake, who was held up in bed sick, so I came home with an hour or so to myself before my pool date with my sister and her three boys, Oskar, Archie & Henry. I decided to have a mini bake-off.

After our trip to New York, Popcorn and I had grown accustom to eating copious amounts of marvellous Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, so a craving for a sugary delight was heightened by all my tea drinking as of late. Out came the mixing bowl, and my brand new patty-cake papers, and voila – cupcakes for an afternoon at the pool.

The bake-off didn’t stop there! I made my favourite spinach pie for dinner and Jake and I sat around eating pie followed by cupcakes and watching Never Been Kissed – his choice of course, he does love a good ol’ fashioned chick flick.