Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Audrey at 12 months

Friday, April 25th, 2014

a.k.a 1 YEAR OLD!

(this post is a bit late, but life goes on)

12months

This is her on the morning of her birthday just before going to daycare.

As luck would have it, it was the day the reptile man came to visit the daycare centre!

She was born the day before my mum and sister in law. So we had a little group do at my in-laws place.

I made yet another cake.

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This was a carrot cake requested by my sister in law.

She turned 20 something (count the candles LOL)

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I didn’t get enough photos of her on her party day so I dress her up again and snapped some more.

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‘Sup

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

I have done my best to try and restore some work life balance.

My husband has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to do d.i.y/handiman jobs around the house on the weekend. I have made peace with it. He needs that time to unwind. He is also solo parenting with A.

So I have picked up some extra days of work to raise the funds to just PAY PEOPLE! Pay painters, pay carpenters etc.

Sounds odd. but more work to try and implement more work life balance for both of us.

And then hopefully I can take some weekend days off work here and there, because I lose income when I do that, but I will have these other days to carry me through.

My mum bought be a beautiful bracelet for my birthday!

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I want to put charms on it, but everyone is telling me not to.

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My sister got me this book because I really wanted it.

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I can’t keep my nose out of it! It is fantastic.

So here are some things I have done in the past weeks.

I took Audie to my husbands work after I finished a freelance job for a press ad because I was nearby and it was close to 5pm.

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We went to the beach for a walk and had fish and chips!

That was lovely but made me feel melancholy because summer has drawn to a close and daylight savings is right behind.

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I think Audrey feels the same way!

I heard on the radio that this afternoon was probably the last evening with nice weather of daylight savings to get out and about. I picked up A from daycare and told my husband to meet us at the park so we could push Audrey on the swing set and slide down the slippery dip.

Then we did groceries together (That is considered a date right?)  To get a roast chook and other odds and ends.

I have been whipping up some great meals in the kitchen! I need to post them more so I don’t forget what I have made and what went into them.

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Soba noodles, sautéed eggplant, spinach, bacon and julienned (with mandolin, makes quick work) zucchini. Oodles of parmesan and a quick vege packed meal on the table. I like the soba noodles. They take 4 mins to cook.

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Again with the mandolin. (I seem to go through phases, we had the brussel sprouts phase, then the zucchini phase and now the everything with the mandolin phase.

Fennel, spanish onion, sliced thinly with mandolin. orange segments (surprising time consuming to cut), fresh mint from my garden. SULTANAS!!! My 2nd favourite sweet food to eat behind chocolate. For the dressing I made a mix of lemon and orange juice, olive oil and a little bit of kewpi mayonnaise.

THAT was so bloody fresh and YUMMY. I ate mine on toasted fresh ciabatta bread!

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I also put my car in to be serviced and I FINALLY made it to The Grounds. FINALLY. (Only because I didn’t have to bother with parking.

WOW! I really enjoyed myself. I walked from the dealership in questionable skies (looked about the pour at any minute) for 20 mins with Audrey in the pram. By the time I got there and waited for a table, Audrey had fallen asleep. Then I was sat inside a VERY noisy cafe and I thought cripes. This isn;t going to end well. Tired bubba will wake in an almighty fit. . .

Totally slept right through it!

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This croquette was delish. I had a meal, these croquettes as a side and a fresh juice. My bill was in EXCESS of $30. Oh Sydney.

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I LOVED THIS DISH! So I tried the fennel raw. Now I wanted to try it roasted (Well I did try it recently at The Winery at Surry Hills for my friends hens party) But I mean, for myself. This is cous cous. Roasted fennel, capsicum, spanish onions and kalamata olives. Fresh cucumber and parsley. Lemon, olive oil, S&P drizzled over the top. YUMMERS. I had this again tonight but with the roast chook shredded into it. I am just a bit conscious of the carbohydrates in the cous cous. It is quite high. So I need something else to try. Anyone tried Freekah? It is low in carbs?

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Also in another exercise to manage work life balance. I am embracing freezer meals. I had about 3 dozen eggs in the fridge thanks to my in laws chickens, so I needed to use them up. So I made fresh pasta. I rolled these into cannelloni. It had ricotta, home grown spinach, parsley and basil in it. With S&P and parmesan cheese. An Italian lady at work said I should have put an egg in the mix too! Oh well. I have 3 meals in the fridge of this. Pull the rolls out frozen place in a baking dish. Cover with pasata. Some fresh basil leaves and crush just with the back of the knife 2 cloves of garlic. Cook in oven. In the last 5 mins. Grate lashings on cheese on it! 1 pan dinner in about 25 mins! No defrosting either.

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Made up some fettuccine. OMG so good. So silky. Takes 2 – 3 mins tops to cook!

The next day I came home from work and I had pulled out some mini meatballs that I had frozen and I was going to dish them up with some barilla penne out of a box and call it a day. But, Lord, I just couldn’t. I had the fresh pasta the day before and it has ruined me. So I started making fresh pasta. I thought to myself, if this takes too long I will draw a line in the sand. Wave the white flag and just cook the barilla dried pasta, but nope. I did it. Didn’t take long at all!

Fresh pasta for dinner on a day I have been to work and picked up my daughter from daycare! God I felt like I truly had my shit together. I was super mum and super wife.

Some of that also made its way into the freezer for another night when I possibly do not have my shit together.

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I bought 2 of these lamps for cheap as chips off Overstock.com. Just needed rewiring. I married a nerd. He did it for me! Super happy. I told him the flood gates are now opened. I predict many a US purchase, parcel forwarder housing lamps and light fittings for me. Poor guy! I just want to gold leaf the base and the finial.

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Love this guy!

I need to be pointed in the direction of other freezer meal ideas that aren’t completely carb loaded like I gravitate towards.

I have outsourced my banquette/bench seat cushion cover out to an upholsterer so I can just get it finished. So hopefully I will be able to reveal that soon.

It is less that one week til my baby Audrey girl turns ONE!!! Wahhhhht? what?

We are having a party on Sunday. It is turning out to be bigger then Ben Hur.

The past couple of weeks

Friday, February 28th, 2014

How is everyone?

I am not normally a rain fan but since my interest in gardening has increased exponentially, I welcome it with open arms. Everything just looks better after a good rain. I am sitting by the window, with the back door open and I am basking in the sensory stimulation of it all!

Last weekend my very good friend got married! That explains the hiatus this blog has had. I spent a good chuck of the weeks leading up to it giving her a helping hand with the stationery and decor. It was good fun to spend time together.

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My daughter was so well behaved and oh so cute. This was the unofficial photographer taking a pic of the official photographer taking a pic of little A.

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I’m pretty sure she had a blast

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It is about every 4 months or so that a photo gets taken of me and the little one.

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The view. It was a glorious day. Just a pesky haze was hanging around. I am sure it will add a nice ambient moodiness to their professional photos.

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These are the sort of things I was helping out with

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I also did the invites too!

The venue was in Mosman and during the week we went there to drop stuff off and I am now aware there is a Jacadi Paris kids clothing shop there. . . my credit card knows it too! Heidi!!!!!!!!! I love ya, I hate ya!! heheheheh

I may have purchased Audrey’s 1st birthday dress and another pink dress for good measure. (Luckily they were both 50% off. . . but still more then I would wish to spend. Resistance is futile with this cutie though)

We had a great time too. Audrey fell asleep in the pram on the verandah, just outside. We covered her and the pram completely with a tablecloth. Husband and I took turns at eating our dinner and then we danced the night away!

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The day after I was the lucky recipient of the wedding blooms. (HAHAHA I know someone who hates this lingo “blooms” my bad, flowers!)

I have 2 different light globes in those sconces. Hence why they look different.

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I had a play with the flowers and did my own re-arranging.

My friend is getting married again today in Malaysia. If I were a wealthier woman I would be there! No doubt about it!!!

Such a shame that I am not. D’oh!

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I made this salad through the week! Delish. I was on a brussel sprout salad kick, now it seems I am on a zucchini kick. I have done raw, I have done bbq’d. I have done grilled.

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The figs are from my in laws garden. The parsley from mine.

Apart from all that. I am a total scatter brain. I have so much unfinished projects lying around and all these ideas and I don’t know what to work on. Overwhelmed.

Christmas Recap

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Hi! How was your Christmas? Hope it was fabulous.

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My Christmas took place prematurely on Christmas Eve. It felt so naughty opening the presents before Santa had time to come. But it was best because I was able to be involved.

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Audrey Claus!!

I hosted both families for dinner.

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In between dinner and dessert we opened Audrey’s presents with her. I got to say, My living room was transformed into a toy shop. I think they went overboard, but first grand kid on both sides would do that I think.

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After dessert we opened the rest.

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(How funny is this??? It was a gift from my Brother in law. Time to get into some serious gardening!)

Then after everyone had left hubby and I opened each others. There just wouldn’t have been time in the morning before I had to leave for work. And we wouldn’t have had time for the heartfelt “Oh you shouldn’t have. . .” Blushing, embracing etc.

And we got each other the same gift. Trivets. How RANDOM!!!!!! You can clearly see the difference in styles. We both like both.

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In terms of the kitchen, I am pretty happy with how it is shaping up. I purchased a new cutlery set and I quite like it. But it is for 8 places and I hosted 11. How many place settings do you have at your place? Do you have 2 separate settings, Nice and everyday and just mix? Wondering if I should purchased another one so I have enough for 16!! That kind of seems excessive now.

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(Husband went way out of his way to get me these mugs. They are so beautiful and exactly my style. So humbled by the effort he took upon himself)

I want to purchase another Christmas plate set. So I have enough for 12. We only had 8 for Christmas, and for all my lusting after it and obsessing, I wasn’t even fortunate enough to eat of it.

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Audrey baked cookies for everyone! I loved this project. I designed the landscape scallop tags. I used my “Audrey” stamp, twine and a jingle bell.

I did Calligraphy on my envelopes partly because I need to practice and partly because the printer was snowed under. They served as place settings and I put Santa photos of Audrey inside them for the guests.

The place settings were my complete undoing.  For all my thought, hard work and stress rash, this still wasn’t enough to please some people. In fact piss them off completely, so much so, that simply sitting adjacent to the main table on the banquette would ruin the entire evening by someone constantly and unashamedly sulking. The only child in attendance was my daughter Audrey and we aren’t talking about her behaviour. Those antics placed a huge dark cloud over the evening and I never want to invite that person to my gatherings again.  I’m still waiting for an apology. (This isn’t the first or second time that this behaviour has surfaced)

I think now the only things my kitchen needs is a new dinner setting. But what?? I could never decide (And for how many for and what should be in it??). And a really nice glass pitcher for chilled water, ice tea, sangria etc. Ohhhh and I would LOVE crystal water goblets too. Got my eye on some. You can serve pretty much anything in them.

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Villeroy & Boch Miss Desiree.

I didn’t get around to sewing the table cloth with my toile fabric  (nor the red ticking stripe table runner I was supposed to have. But I am not keen on that anymore, so wasn’t fussed)

But I did a really good iron job on it and folded it under and you couldn’t even tell.

It is so chic and I can use it year round.

I cooked lots of yummy food too!

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A glazed ham! I have never done this before and have wanted to do it for the longest time. (I didn’t get an after shot. Bad me)

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I made a fresh cherry clafoutis for dessert. Pretty easy dessert option. When it was in the oven cooking, I managed to sit down to a glass or two of bubbles.

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So I am pretty obsessed about my kitchen and very pleased with my effort. Time to move my attention away from that and onto another part of my house, which will be our bedroom. Post on that coming soon.

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Audrey enjoying cherries!

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She looks like this baby! HAHAHAHH

Recipe – Something new from me.

Friday, September 13th, 2013

I really do enjoy cooking! Baking. . . err not so much, but cooking, yes, LOVE!

In an effort to clean up my diet, broaden my horizons (and my meat freak husband’s) and try new things.

I made this the other day.

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It is the second time in fact that I have made it. (First time I swapped the pumpkin for avocado)

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad

  • Brussel Sprouts – sliced finely
  • Butternut Pumpkin – cubed and roasted
  • Shallots – sliced
  • Slivered Almonds – lightly toasted
  • Craisins – small handful
  • Parmesan Cheese – finely grated

Dressing

  • Honey – tablespoon
  • Olive oil – depends on how much salad you make
  • Lemon – juiced
  • Masterfoods Dijonnaise – Found in my fridge. Works epic. Do try it!!! (Every time I say “Do try it” I say it exactly like the man in the Dilma commercials)
  • Salt & pepper – to taste

Served with home made hummus on Bourke Street Bakery Sourdough.

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Totally yummers!

Happy Birthday hubby

Monday, September 9th, 2013

I have just been all over the shop, doing dumb things, being indecisive and forgetful.

On Friday was my husband’s birthday. I cleaned the house and set the table and spent ALL DAY IN THE BLOODY KITCHEN!!!

His family came over as well.

I made him a banana and strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.

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(I designed and cut out my own “32″ template, but stupid Woolworths and coles have steroided up there cachous/dragees! They are not as small as they use to be, so the result isn’t as good as I envisaged!)

And I roasted a leg of lamb. His parents live on a farm and they grow lots of food and it makes me SOO HAPPPY!!! Organic food, for FREEE!!!!!

Last time I was there I asked if I could take some beetroot. I wanted to try making a roast beetroot salad. It contained: roast beetroot, roast sweet potato and parsnip with honey walnuts, fetta cheese and salad leaves. DELISH!

His mother was most impressed, she only knows to boiling it and pickle it in vinegar, she said she would give that a go.

I scrubbed a bowl of kipfler potatoes but I ran out of room in my little oven to roast them and I don’t like mash (plus you can’t really do kipfler mash) so I gave up on those and in lieu I sliced up my whole loaf of Bourke St Bakery sourdough.

Everyone had had sufficient but I did feel inadequate because I didn’t put on the usual extreme over caterers that Europeans do (Particularly my in laws)

On the Saturday night I took the birthday boy to Chiswick Restaurant.

I didn’t do any reading about Chiswick. I just simply made a reservation and then showed up. I thought it would be like Aria, but it was its poor cousin.

Beautiful location but the service and atmosphere was VERY relaxed. No chair pull out, no napkin placed on lap, no bread and no table cloths.

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(See what I mean? This is a margarita. . .  served in a tumbler. Call me old fashioned, but I was miffed. . . It was still delicious though)

I felt like we were having dinner with the people next to us. Our table was spaced apart by a hands span. The waiters couldn’t get past them to place our food down, so it was kind of passed over their heads to our waiting hands.

It was fast and the food delicious, but for the cost, I would have expected fine dining and not bistro.

I’ve been to Aria without my husband on a girls night out and my husband has been keen to try it. I thought I was going one better by giving him a different Matt Moran restaurant, unfortunately he wasn’t as impressed as I wanted him to be.

You really can’t compete with the harbour location of Aria. So it looks like I will still have to take him to Aria one day. . . . what a damn shame!!!

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Then yesterday we had a first birthday party to attend.

Here is the wrapped gift, I do enjoy wrapping.

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But in full disclosure.

I dropped the ball on my husband’s present. I designed his Father’s day card and his birthday card at the same time, I printed his Father’s day one and then I broke the printer and I didn’t get around to printing his birthday one. Come the night before his birthday and no presents wrapped and no card!! Yet I manage to wrap this one way in advance of the party.

So it came down to a panic rush while he was having a super fast man shower.

I grabbed a box and shoved all the gifts in there and then just wrapped the box. There was 2 items that didn’t fit into the box and they got shoved into a gift bag. Et voila

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But before I did that, I HAVE A BIG BLOOOOODDDDYYY MOUTH and had to tell him that I hadn’t wrapped them! D’OH!!!

Oh well, come the morning of his birthday. I made him a tea and pancakes with berry compote and he opened wrapped presents and was grateful.

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I got him a selection of things that I have been putting away for a few months deciding what would be Father’s day and what would be his birthday and he amassed a few items and it just got too much of a task to wrap and I over thought and it then, like I said, he was home from work the night before and they weren’t done.

On Thursday I went on a fabulous window shopping trip to Surry Hills. I went to visit the new Palm Beach Home shop that is where Chee Soon and Fitzgerald use to be where I worked for all of 2 days. (Ohh good memories)

The owner rung me a few days prior to tell him that he had more Astier De Villatte. He is my new best friend!!!

I went there and there was a handful of items that I wanted, but being the day before husbands birthday, I just couldn’t bring myself to swipe the ol’ cc.

The willpower I possessed that day was monstrous!

I visited Planet Furniture too. They have such a great range of ceramics there from Aussies. I love my Eva Solo oil carafe. I use it all the time.

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It has a lip and catches the drips, but sometimes things get hectic and I get a little Jamie Oliver and shit gets messy, hence my husband rests a folded up piece of paper towel underneath this. Ceramicist Kris Coad made this

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And oil coaster to sit under your oil bottle! Form and function married perfectly. It is a beautiful glossy white hand made piece. I picked that up for my husband. I knew he would appreciate it.

Then I went to another favourite haunt to buy pinking shears. Bloody shop was closed for Jewish New Year!! ARHH

That is the second time I have gone to visit a shop to find it closed (And today was the third! I drove all the way to North Seaforth. It never even occurred to me to check, as it is Monday!!) So no pinking sheers and no red and black toile linen to get started on my Christmas crafts for this year!!)

I’ve also did another dumb thing.

I bought a copy of a magazine I have subscription for and I ended up with 2 copies!

That is the second time I have bought a magazine I already had. Took my forever to twig that I already had that copy.

I am a bit FOMO when it comes to magazines. I need to rein that in. I don’t buy real living or inside out though. DO NOT LIKE their aesthetics. No I don’t want neon, macrame, chevron or industrial!

I also went to Hub Furniture it check out Reichenbach’s taste range of ceramics. LOVE!! Ohh LOVE.

But my god, you can’t just buy what they have out on display. You have to order it. I wanted to buy a plate so I could put the cake on, but oh well. SO I need to decide on what I would like and put my order it.

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How does one choose??? I have financial shortcomings that don’t allow the purchase of the entire range people!

While I was there I did see the $3,500 marble bowls that I once lusted after. They are really quite substantial and I can kinda sort of see why they command such a price. I also saw these lights

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They are made of bone china in the UK. I love them for over my island bench, but for the life of me I can’t pick a coordinating light or the dining table. Or I can pick a dining table light but then not one for the dining table.

I GIVE UP!

Oh yeah and in other kitchen news. WHERE THE EXPLETIVE IS OUR KITCHEN???? We paid the deposit over a month ago and cannot get the guy out to do the check measure before committing to paying half as per their terms and conditions. Thinking of starting all over again with a new company. If things don’t get rolling it will be bloody Christmas. I wanted this stupid thing in before Little A starts solids (too late) and before I go back to work (too late)

Father’s Day 2013

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Happy first father’s day to my husband!

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Audrey dragged me out shopping weeks ago but asked me to help wrap it.

I made a clay tag and bundled it up with twine and Japanese washi paper that I lovingly brought home on my lap this time 2 years ago.

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We went easy on the gifts as it my husband’s birthday this Friday.

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I’m teaching Audrey from a young age, ‘The art of buying a gift for yourself but passing it off for another” I am so guilty of this.

I’m already plotting whether I can buy some more Astier de Villatte and gift it to my husband on Friday under the guise of “Ohh I thought you would just love it!!! It is soooo you!”

The budgies do have meaning to us. It is not just a cute top from Seed. I once illustrated a budgie my husband’s family owned and made it into a valentines day card, when I saw it, it reminded me of that.

Plus my husband loves birds!

There were other presents in addition to these two tops.

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Next up was the obligatory big breakfast.

This is just what I usually make for him on the weekend. Sadly this will end very shortly with my return to work. I think husband will be begging me to stay home a little longer so he can eat this more.

The only special addition was home made basil pesto on the bread.

(We do have place mats, they aren’t attractive, so I removed it for the shot. I am on the hunt for new ones. Oh and new flat ware, would love that!! OHH and new plates as well.)

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It was a beautiful sunshine filled day and we went to a park by the water to relax.

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She smiles often and to anyone, yet capturing it on camera is mission impossible!

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Do you like our cup holders? Isn’t my husband industrious?

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I made a picnic spread.

Antipasto cob sandwich with hummus and carrots.

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I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while and this picnic was the perfect occasion.

It had home made basil pesto, artichokes, salami, char grilled capsicum, rocket and baby spinach.

That is also home made hummus too. I can never bring myself to buy pesto, hummus, baba ganoush or pasta sauce! NEVER.

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Then we snacked on cookies. I made 80 cookies in stealth on Friday. It took me half a day. Then my friend came over and helped me taste test a few before we packed it all up and hid them.

I added white and milk choc chips, pecans, slivered almonds, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts.

My husband is patiently waiting for me to make him muffins, but without a muffin tray that fits in our little oven, this was the next best thing. Filled with lots of nuts as they are is fav. I cleaned out so many opened packets in the pantry baking these.

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And lastly, he still has these cupcakes to go!

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After the picnic we went and visited his parents and then mine, then BED!

We had a wedding on Saturday so we were a little tired from the get go. My husband was a groomsmen. Audrey’s first wedding and I was doing the gig solo basically! I did have help from some of his work buddies. Two ladies were fighting over who would give her a bottle! So cute. Friends also took turns of walking her in the pram outside so I could enjoy a boogie with my handsome hubby. Was such a beautiful wedding and lovely to have such nice friends.

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Ha Ha. Bye bye husband’s face.

These days, it is not a wedding without a photo booth! Love it.

Hoping all the dads out there had a beautiful day yesterday!

Now to wrap it all up and start on preparations for husband’s Birthday. So excited.

Kitchen – What is happening? What is the hold up?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

We’ve paid a deposit on our kitchen! It is happening I promise you.

Still haven’t got the start date though.

Yesterday I went on a mammoth drive to Palm Beach. OOOhhh so pretty up that way! I think I would love to live around there if I could afford it.

In Sydney, we are experiencing some truly stunning light winters day with optional cardi weather.

I drove for 1.5 hours to visit a shop that was not open! Their opening hours were not stipulated on their website.

I wasn’t too bothered as I really do love to go for a drive and it means I will just have to visit another time. Alas they have a sister store in Castlecrag, so I rang them to make sure that they are open and they were!

There are so many nice shops in the Northern Beaches, but I was battling dodgy phone reception and the clock, So I just decided to go to Avalon for lunch.

Louise Bell, the proprietor of Table Tonic always instagrams her lunch from Nourish. They look so scrumptious and healthy so I decided to go there to eat.

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Avalon is a really nice area. Nice village feel and easy parking (well it was a Tuesday)

I had a wander around the streets there before sitting down to this $16.50 salad with a side of $8 water!

I didn’t realise the water was $8 until afterwards. You live and you learn.

The salad was very yummy, but no where near enough goats cheese.

Then I drove to Castlecrag to visit the shop. The store owner greeted me and asked me if I was the one who rung, he offered me truly superb customer service. He was French, but not snooty.

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I took home these 2 items.

If you haven’t realised by now, I am an absolute sucker for white ceramics and I am building up a collection of it.

(And if my kids dare ebay it when I am dead, so help me God I will haunt them!)

Here lies my first 2 items from French brand Astier de Villatte.

I was really after a fruit bowl/big bowl for my island bench, but it was slim pickings. He said he is going to France in September for a shopping trip. Oh what a life.

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The milky white glaze also has a pearlescent effect to it.

I grew that cymbidium orchid in my Audrey vase. Mumma’s proud.

I also love marble and I came across this fruit bowl on Hub Furniture’s website.

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There was no price, so I googled it to see approximately how much it costs. ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED BRITISH POUNDS!

There goes that idea of having it on the bench holding non organic bananas.

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This stand is also from Marsotto. Heaven to betsy is has my name all over it. Someone must gift me with it.

.   .   .   .   .

Talking about eBay. I’ve had a bit of luck and have managed to sell off quite of bit of unused items around my house.

One of which was this in window air conditioner. To me, having an aircon in the window is an eyesore. I don’t even feel good about those ones on the wall either.

It was with the house already and we have been here for 2 summers and never used it. It is in the kitchen window and we are about to renovate that room completely so it was time for it to go.

I listed it for the low low price of $20 and it sold for $76! Oh I laughed and I laughed.

A man came over and spent 2 hours of his life removing it for me and disposing of it and he gave ME $76. That sounds like winning to me.

It was quite the saga though. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and forgot his tools, so he used one of my husband’s screw driver and damaged it. He was having difficulty removing it and sheepishly asked me when my husband would be home so he could help me. Once he was home, it didn’t take long and he was off on his merry way in a van full of other old electronics and washing machines. I don’t get it and I don’t need to get it. I’ve got CASH!

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He couldn’t understand why I was selling it. I told him that I preferred to reinstate the aesthetics of the original timber sash window then to have the aircon in it.

He screwed his face up in disgust and told me that my window would rot and to rip it out and replace with aluminum.

Comments like this make me really sad.

I really do want to go to university to study architecture and have a job that is involved in restoration projects. That would be my dream.

Another sad comment this week was the electrician telling me to continue the down lights in the kitchen into the rest of the house. UM NO!!!!!

Down lights and aluminum windows make me very sad indeed.

I would really love to know what happened to this houses original wood and lead light window and the person who decided to rip it out.

I would love to build a house next, but that is just a dream, but if we buy another house next I definitely am not going to compromise on original features.

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If we do the extension to our house. This window will be going in my ensuite and the bathtub will sit under it!

(Again, why anyone would remove this window from their house is absolutely beyond me!)

For the entry way between the living room and the kitchen we ordered french doors. I am kicking myself, I should have visited this place first to see if they had doors that were suitable.

They did

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Bugger!

You win some, you lose some.

But I did see these lights

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I’m thinking the third from the left.

2 of those over my island bench.

But I don’t think I will bite the bullet until the kitchen is fully installed and I get a feel for the space. Same goes for the bench seating, dining table chairs and the dining table light fitting.

Here is something that has actually been DONE in the house!

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Painting of the chimney breast, cornice and ceiling! Thrilled to bits with it. Looks like it has always been here. Well done husband. I think he might have just redeemed himself from the mantle issue. The mantle is still left to do and to purchase a mirror. We are going to Bowral this Sunday. Any recommendations for places to visit and somewhere for lunch?? Thank you.

Wishing everyone else a nice rest of the week.

Hey everyone!

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

You miss me?

Thought so.

Ha!

So, the other week, I was quite the entertainment on twitter on a Wednesday night where I decided to get very drunk and tweet. WHAT.A.LOSER. I don’t mind that I was the entertainment. I can make fun of myself and laugh. It is all good.

I was invited by my aunty to the event of a lifetime. She won a competition (She wins every competition, she won a trip to NEW YORK) to have dinner on the stage of the concert hall in the Opera House.

She won the competition by sending in a photo of herself when she played the gypsy in La Traviata and recounting being star struck by Dame Joan Sutherland attending her dressing room after the performance.

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She was to invite 5 other V.I.P’s. And lucky ol’ me was one of them. We were a great bunch of hanger on-ers.

I was chosen because I saw this performance when I was a little one, back in the day when like everyone smoked and she puffed on a real cigar during the performance and was taken for a tour of the green room. I found that quite amusing. And she is basically the reason I have a bit of culture and enjoy the finer things in life.

Not one of us was driving and we all had plans on how to get home. Most were staying in a hotel in the city. I had Husband as the baby sitter and my transport home.

I caught a taxi there which cost me a mortgage repayment. I don’t live that far from the city! We all met up at the Opera Bar where we had pre drinks. Then we made our way to the lobby in the Opera house where we had another round of pre drinks. By this stage I was already swaying! It has been a looooooooong time between drinks. *cough* bullshit *cough* Well, I did drink 2 glasses of moet at the christening and I had a cocktail or 2 at a hens party when I was 10 weeks pregnant. Kept that one a secret till I gave birth then came clean when she was utter perfection!

We received goody bags!! They had sizable Aesop products and a Opera House Pandora charm!! That’s not bad is it now?

Then we made our way into the concert hall

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Not too often will you see the concert hall empty!

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The dress code was “Fabulous” I ended up ‘corporate’ mixed with ‘Melbourne Cup.’ Oh well. I am not really a fashionable person.

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#selfie
(My husband has NEVER taken a selfie. Is that weird?)

Bubbles were just being poured into my glass without me even realising. Those efficient waiters and the never ending glass of bubbles.

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Food served alternatively. I had the right. Entree and main.

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So colourful!

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This was my dessert. Delish

By this time in the evening I honestly had an unquantifiable amount of alcohol. It was free and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My God mother said, it is something that will be mentioned at your eulogy!

I looked around. We were alllll drunk, so I thought, oh well, let’s keep going ahahahhahahaha.

Then we made our way back to the Opera Bar to drink some more!

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Even though I live here, I still find Sydney breathtaking.

Then I dragged hubby and baby out of bed to pick me up.

WHAT A NIGHT!

The only flaw to my plan was that, oh yeah don’t I have a baby or something?

Yes, yes I do.

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The next morning, me feeling SUPER DOOPER and a baby that is now grabbing things, like fistfuls of my hair.

Kill me. Kill me now.

(Just to add, I don’t sleep with my baby, I put her in bed with me after her morning feed to just rest a bit more)

What on god’s green earth was I thinking drinking that much alcohol?

Bahahahha life is short and I don’t regret it one bit. I bounced back no problems (If you can, have a kid while you are young, that is my advice) and had a busy day ahead of myself. (I missed mother’s group because I was still intoxicated) Which involved plenty of house work and putting on a roast for a friend who was visiting that night. She said “Red or white” and I grumbled, but then said, kidding Red! Because we are having Lamb!! HAHAHAHHA

No. The wine glass was most certainly absent at my place setting.

Thank you for a fabulous evening rat pack gang of VIP’s

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Happy birthday to Super Star VIP above!!

Audrey’s Baptism.

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

On Sunday Audrey was baptized.

I kept it as a low key affair. Many reason dictated this but the main one was that I was borrowing the gown and it is little so I was under pressure to do it fast.

In the past few years I have organised events for my husband and I and now for our little family and oh my, can it be so overwhelming. All the effort. All the expectations. I just could not do it this time round. I just recently had my baby shower. Their was our wedding and our housewarming and I just feel like, oh no, not another Laura event.

So I just kept this one as low key as possible to keep my sanity.

Just kept it to family only. Immediate family too. (plus my god mother and family, as I consider them like family)

 I didn’t do invites. I love making invites. I even make the envelopes. I go all out. But it seems like no one cares. I’ve seen them on my family’s kitchen table un-opened. But that is most likely because they already aware of the details and I usually send each person their own invite.

So I rang up the Catholic church near my house, because it has a primary school attached to it and if we stay in the area that is most likely the school Audrey will attend.

Got a date and met with the priest. He told me the time to come and to bring a candle. Ok done deal!

This will be simple.

I started looking online for those nice candles (Gosh there can be some tacky candles) with the lace and the name on it but upon realising that they can be $180 I decided no. I can make one myself.

I also got quotes on cakes. But for a simple 1 tier cake can cost at least $400! No! I want a KITCHENNNNN SO I CAN FEED MY CHILDDDDDD!!!!

So I decided to make one myself.

I wasn’t going to do bonbonieres because it was just family but then social pressures got the best of me. No I want to be dignified lady with manners.

Then while I had my lace out I decided to make a hair piece for myself.

It just engulfed me and swallowed my into 2 days of pure exhaustion trying to bake a bloody cake. I had 8 hours sleep over the 2 days before hand and the day of the baptism.

Anyways – Here are the pictures.

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This is the christening gown.

My godmother purchased the pattern when she started trying to fall pregnant. She didn’t realise it would take 12 years to happen.

So when she finally did fall pregnant, she gave the pattern to my mother to make.

GOWN

It had a petticoat and a bonnet too.

Her daughter was christened in this gown in 2000.

When I fell pregnant, I hoped that my daughter would be christened in the same gown. Luckily my god mother offered!

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Here is the candle I made. I was worried it looked a bit bridal. The silver lace is left over lace from my sister in laws bridesmaid gown at my wedding. She has been overseas for 2.5 years and I thought this was a nice way to include her in the day.

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You can see the lace on the waist band and a little bit on the shoulder

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My sister had gold lace. That is my god mother in the pic and her daughter who was my junior bridesmaid and whose gown I borrowed.

The little circle of lace in the centre of the bow is from my wedding veil that I made myself.

Veil

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Gosh I love that veil!!! Why can’t we wear veils  more often? When I hear of woman choosing not to have a veil on their wedding day I am like. OH GOD WHY!!! It is the best thing ever. Don’t miss your ONLY opportunity!

LOL

Well enough about that wedding trip down memory lane.

I was going to put her name on the candle. It is do-able. You can get transfer paper. I read up on it and watched youtube tutorial. But it is hit and miss and I didn’t want the heartache of failure so I decided not to worry about it.

Audrey will know it is her candle, she doesn’t need her name emblazoned on it.

Next up was the cookies for the bonbon. I have been intrigued by royal icing and iced cookies and I was curious as to how hard it was to achieve.

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It is hard!

I was trying to make something like this:

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I think I know where I went wrong. My cookies aren’t flat to begin with. I didn’t beat the egg white enough. (The instructions say, just to break it up, but I think it needs longer then what I gave it) I also didn’t have enough pure icing sugar. Plenty icing sugar mixture though.

It says to pop the air bubbles, but they just weren’t popping. When I went to flood the cookies with icing it kept jumping containment lines.

They were amateur. I think I would actually try again to make these as the effort required isn’t too much as well as ingredients. Even if they look terrible again, they will still taste nice.

Next up was to make a floral cake topper. I got up at 5am to go to the flower markets after going to bed at 2am.

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That was my haul. Very constrained. I’ve learnt my lesson since my baby shower where I went it all confused and ended up being the markets out of flowers because I was overwhelmed and didn’t want to regret not buying something.

I took in a certain amount of cash and a clear idea.

I love parrot tulips so much!

In the end, I can’t help but overdo things sometimes and I made 3 cake toppers.

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And here are the 3 chilling in my fridge.

Now let’s take a moment to admire that bowl filled to the top with swiss meringue buttercream.

I made it ahead of time so I could be organised and prepared. It has 10 egg whites and 700 grams of exxy butter in it.

AND IT ENDED UP IN THE BIN AT THE 11th hour.

It was perfect but just had a few little bits of butter that weren’t whipped into it. I took it out and put it in the fridge. It said you could just go back and re-whip it. So just when I was finishing up and about to ice the cake, I put it in the mixer and right before my very eyes it went yellow, scrambled eggs, split mess!!! I desperately tried to save it by googling and there were tips but none worked and in the bin it went.

Devastation.

Between myself and my husband there was 6 trips to woolworths over 2 days for this effing CAKE!!!!! I just kept running out of ingredients. I’d be pouring out what I needed and nope, not enough, go to woolies, the next thing, not enough! Argh

So he went and purchased $32 worth of white chocolate. I thought for a long time it was only $24 worth of chocolate, because I can’t do maths. But it was $32!!! To try and make a white chocolate ganache instead.

I wasn’t going to make another swiss meringue buttercream as I didn’t want to use another 10 eggs!!

I followed all the instructions for the ganache (made it before anyway) and it split on me too! I have no idea how. I was so careful. But I put it in the fridge and kept stirring it and it eventually came good, but as I was icing hte cake, it was solidifying. So I just used it in between the cake layers and a crumb coat. and at 12 o’clock at night I made the old faithful buttercream. I didn’t want to make a buttercream as it can be sickly sweet, but it is reliable and I knew I couldn’t wreck it.

I never want to relive that day again.

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In the end I was pretty happy with it.

I was finishing the cake even if it killed me! I made a gorgeous cake topper and it was going on a bloody cake!

And the cake was fine too! It just needed some icing.

On the day of the christening. It was stressful. I think days like these will never be enjoyed by the mum. Too many people holding your baby. Her getting upset. You getting upset because you feel you have no control. So much to do.

She was fine until we had to dress her. We got her in the dress and then we were just going to walk to the pram. So we put the bassinet part of the pram on the bed and I removed the cover so we could just lie her in it and rest of the gown just spill out over the edge! Well my mother in law had other ideas. I turned my back for a second and she was scrunching up the gown and tucking it into the bassinet and pulling the cover over. I COULD HAVE SCREAMED!!!

I ironed that gown TWICE. I’m a control freak and no one has the same ideas as me or thinks like I do! You would think “don’t crush the christening gown” would just go without saying. No. So many things like that happened throughout the day. Throughout any day when other people want to get involved. I don’t ask people for help. Number one, I’ve found most people to be unreliable and don’t follow through or if they do, it is not up to my expectation so I always employ the old saying, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

But when you are over stretched and it is not possible, that is when I get upset. But I need to start letting go of little things like that. Oh well. Just focus on bigger things.

Audrey was getting stressed out majorly. She didn’t want to lie in the bassinet. So in the end I picked her up. “Stuff crushing the dress” I hailed and I walked out my house with her and started walking to the church. I had to cross a main road and I must have looked odd. I was dressed up and Audrey in a long white dress and we were on our own. She calmed down right away until we walked into the church.

But thankfully she only looked like this before the ceremony and after!

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During it, she was asleep. Not even the cold water could wake her.

We went to Summer Salt Restaurant in Cronulla afterwards for lunch!

What a perfect winters day!

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Lunch was yum, we drank some moet and then the three of us went home to BED!!!!