Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Winter shopping list...

Technically I'm not supposed to be shopping... I just had a huge spending binge (mostly on corporate wear and cosmetics) and we're looking to buy a house at the moment, so I really should be saving my pennies for mortgage repayments, stamp duty, Kitchenaid mixers and homewares...

However, the weather in Melbourne has suddenly become bitterly cold, and I think I need some new winter essentials to get me through the next few months!

Leopard print ballet flats (Sambag)

Okay so technically these aren't really "winter shoes" but I have wanted some leopard ballets for such a long time!  Last month's Shop Til You Drop magazine featured a really cute (and affordable) pair from Marcs, but of course they're no longer in store - hate that!  These pony hair ballets from Sambag look even better.
A cropped peacoat for casual wear - (Marcs, Country Road)

Most of my coats are distinctly corporate so they can look a little odd paired with jeans and boots at the footy on the weekend.  Either of these peacoats would be perfect over skinny jeans with my Demons scarf!

Striped blazer - (Marcs)

I'm obsessed with anything striped at the moment, and I've admired this blazer for awhile.  It's not something I need in my wardrobe though... (on that note, do I actually need any of these things?)

Black suede over-the-knee boots (Tony Bianco)

I've needed new flat black boots for the last 2-3 years so this year I am definitely on the hunt for the perfect pair!  I have a feeling I could be too short to pull these off so I'll have to try them on before making up my mind... perhaps I would be better off with a shorter pair.

A new (black) cropped cardi (Country Road)

I accidentally washed the black cardigan I wear to work with my regular load last weekend and it came out with a big hole in it! :( Finding a new cardi is a must.  I quite like the look of this one in black.

Basket stitch knit  (Trenery)

I admired this lovely knit in the new Trenery catalogue, and there is a spend and save on at the moment!  Might have to try it on tomorrow...

Black suede heels (Country Road)
Purely for work... I love suede heels but don't yet have a pair in my collection!

Cigarette leg trousers (Marcs)
A staple item that is missing from my wardrobe.
Animal print scarf (Witchery)
I just purchased a couple of inexpensive leopard print scarves but this one is perfection... must have!!
YSL Gloss Volupte gloss sticks
A cross between a lipstick and a lip gloss?  Yes, please!

Unfortunately tomorrow is pay day and I'm dying to hit the shops.  In my quest to become indebted to a bank for the next 30 years, I will be good and save my pennies... but maybe one or two of the items above might come home with me this weekend!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

This week...

This week has been quite busy, and I really feel like things are "back to normal" after my trip to hospital and having two weeks off work.  It's nice - although I have a bit to deal with in the future, I can't remember the last time I felt this healthy, and as such I'm loving life.  I'm still taking it easy, but I've been making a special effort to concentrate on the simple pleasures in life.

My current favourite weekend lunch... Helga's mixed grain toast topped with smashed avocado, South Cape persian fetta, sliced cherry tomato and cracked pepper... so simple but so good.

The footy season has started again, which means spending 4 hours sitting in a cold concrete stand at the MCG is part of my weekend each week until September.  Last Sunday I went to the Melbourne v Hawthorn game.  Melbourne were pathetic but still, I loved being at the footy.  I eased the pain of the horrendous loss by indulging in a delicious Vietnamese dinner in Victoria Street afterwards.

My Mimco black patent turnlock bag arrived from the UK.  I'm so impressed with the service - I ordered it late on Thursday night and it was on the doorstep on Tuesday morning.  I love the bag!!  I'll definitely be checking the UK website next time I want to purchase something from Mimco - this cost me $235 including postage, and it retails for $499 in Australia.

We've had many lovely sunny days this week, but the weather took a turn for the worse this afternoon, and it's now pouring with rain... perfect for staying indoors with Thai takeaway and...

Mad Men season 4 - boyfriend ordered this off Amazon for me.  YES.  Do you watch Mad Men?  If not, you should!

I've been eating many crunchy new-season apples.  I always think fruit tastes better when you cut it up before eating it.  Weird?  Probably.

I've enjoyed several delicious lattes made by the lovely folk at Dancing Goat this week.  Their coffee is seriously yummy - velvety smooth and creamy.  If you work in the legal precinct in Melbourne, I suggest you give this little cafe a try.

I enjoyed a particularly delicious (and long) lunch at Movida Aqui with some colleagues.  Gosh I love Movida.  Everything is so tasty.  Especially the potato & chorizo bombas, the seafood paella and the churros.  Oh, the churros.  Probably shouldn't have eaten those but they tasted so amazing.  No harm done.

Finally, I received a surprise gift in the mail from the lovely Mez over at Domestic Divinity.   I entered her polish giveaway a few weeks ago and despite sending her an email with my address once I found out I won, I completely forgot about it!  The polishes arrived beautifully wrapped with a lovely card.  Thanks for putting a smile on my face, Mez! x

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The search for Hot Cross Buns, Pt I

Easter is upon us again.  The supermarket shelves are piled with delicious chocolate eggs and soft, spicy hot cross buns... my favorite.

I enjoyed a regular hot cross bun a few weeks ago, the night I came out of hospital.  Gosh it was delicious but I quickly learnt that for health reasons I couldn't eat them on a regular basis, and so I told myself I could last until Good Friday without any more sweet, fruit-laden morsels.  Then I was taunted by my good friend M baking her own buns at Bakers Delight and Mum and Dad eating a couple in my presence.

I started researching online and it became my mission to track down some hot cross buns that I could eat.  I spent a lot of time reading nutritional labels in gourmet food stores (yes, I've become one of those people who reads the label on everything).  After chatting to a few friends it became apparent that sourdough hot cross buns were going to be my best (and tastiest) option - low GI and low sugar, exactly what I need.

La Madre Bakery (Geelong) sourdough hot cross buns, $14 for 6
Available at Thomas Dux and speciality grocers

It took me awhile to track these babies down and then another five or so minutes of umm-ing and ahh-ing in Thomas Dux as to whether or not I was prepared to pay $14 for 6 hot cross buns.  Yeah, that's not a typo.  But I was getting desperate (possibly all the smells of mixed spice were making me dizzy with hunger!) so they came home with me.

I popped five of them into the freezer straight away and left one out for breakfast the next day.

The packaging suggests that the buns are "best served toasted and buttered up".  These little babies are heavy and dense; weighing in at 125g each.  I cut mine in half and toasted it under the grill, then slathered it in margarine.

I have to say that it was delicious... not soft like the hot cross buns I am used to eating, but chewy, flavoursome, sour and a little bit sweet all at once.  The sweetness comes only from the fruit; there is no added sugar in these buns, making them perfect for me.

I wouldn't eat the buns untoasted and without butter/margarine - I think they would be a bit dry and heavy.  But follow the suggestion on the packet and you will have a tasty (and almost healthy) low GI treat.

I'm preserving the rest of my supply for now... I will have another (or two) on the weekend!  I think I've finally tracked down a Bakers Delight store that makes sourdough hot cross buns so I'll be heading there on Saturday to see if I can get a different sort to try, and then stash in my freezer.  Hopefully I'll have time to make some of my own over the Easter break...

(image source)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where I'd rather be...

I love Paris and spent the most amazing five days there in 2008.

I think I'll share some of my travel stories soon...

(image source)

Preparing for Melbourne winter...

We've had some lovely days in Melbourne this week, but there is definitely a chill in the air... the mornings are crisp and the afternoons sunny.  Autumn in Melbourne is my favourite time of the year.

As I mentioned the other day, in preparation for winter I purchased a new coat from Cue.  I don't leave the house without a coat in winter; catching the train to work means many chilly minutes spent walking to the station and waiting on a cold, dark platform.  My current Cue coat has been working hard for the last 3 years, but the lining has almost worn out and despite loving it when I purchased it, I'm a bit over its brown and black fabric now.  I went in search of something more classic:

So warm and snuggly...

I also went in search of some new opaque tights for winter... luckily David Jones has 30% off all hosiery at the moment.

Leona Edmiston opaques are my favourite; they're really comfortable, long-lasting and wash well.  I also got some thinner Platinum opaques for days that are not so cold, and a pair of the Voodoo boot tights to try out.  These are interesting; they have an ankle sock sewn into the foot.  My feet always get really cold in boots when I wear opaques so I think this is a great idea!

I spied these pretties on my way to the counter, and they're so cute I couldn't possibly leave them behind... I plan on wearing them with all-black outfits.

I also realised today that I seem to have acquired quite a collection of new scarves lately... mostly gifts.

Grey leopard print - Sportsgirl
Dark purple & gold silk - handmade in Thailand
Beige leopard print - Supre
Pink & bright purple silk - handmade in Sri Lanka

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Impulse purchases

You might say I have been engaging in a little retail therapy lately...  I have been in need of new clothes, and some cheering up.

Today I headed to Myer Melbourne, where Cue was having a 30% off sale, with the intention of buying a new coat for Melbourne winter.  I picked up a stunning black woollen princess cut a-line coat with oversized collar and saved $130!

Unfortunately I then wandered into Mimco, and later clicked onto the UK Mimco website.  These pretties now belong to me as well...

The bag was 60% off and the shoes 50% off...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Australian Open

I took an annual leave day today and went to the tennis.  I love going to the tennis, I go every year.  This year was just okay.  We had great seats in Rod Laver Arena but the schedule of play was less than inspiring to say the least.

There were only 2 matches on today.

Soderling v Dolgopolov (this was actually a great match, really entertaining and 5 sets)

Murray v Melzer (borrrrrrrring)

Because Murray smashed Melzer off the court pretty quickly, they moved a mixed doubles match into Rod Laver.  I only stayed for the first set.

I really wanted to see Rafa.  Or Rog.  I got really angry when I saw the schedule of play and took it out on Channel 7, blaming them for scheduling matches according to what suits their TV ratings.  Then I just found out that Federer is playing during the day TOMORROW.  Plus two good women's matches.  Not happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I still had a good day.  I was a bit worried initially because we bought shade tickets and so I wore jeans and didn't bring a hat or sunscreen.  When we arrived our seats were in full sun... oh no.  I went to get coffee and A secretly went and bought me a visor and some sunscreen (sweet!)  Then the sun went away and I didn't even need the hat.  I still got really burnt too despite putting lots of (expensive tennis) sunscreen on.  Oh well.  It will tan eventually.

I spotted Matt Preston in the crowd.   Billy Connolly was also there during the Andy Murray game.

Have you seen Rafa's new campaign for Emporio Armani? 

I think these pictures speak for themselves!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

High Tea at The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne

Last week was Mum's birthday... less than a week after Christmas.  Year after year I struggle to come up with gift ideas for Christmas, let alone a birthday a few days later!  Mum was in Singapore earlier this year and has reminded me numerous times since that she enjoyed a delicious High Tea at the Raffles Hotel.

Today we headed into the city for a morning of shopping at Myer and David Jones, followed by High Tea at the Hotel Windsor to celebrate Mum's birthday... the perfect gift!

Once seated in the beautiful restaurant, we were poured a glass of delightful Rose bubbly to start things off...

There were also two macarons on each plate in the restaurant.  Flavours are yet to be determined - I can take or leave macarons, so I filled up on the other (perishable) goodies and slipped these into my handbag to be enjoyed tomorrow (shhhh!)

Then came our tea stand, piled with deliciousness:

Scones, sandwiches, French pastries - oh my!

Delicious finger sandwiches - ham & dijon mustard, chicken apple & mayo, egg & watercress, cucumber, smoked salmon & cream cheese.

Vanilla and raisin scones with raspberry jam, strawberry jam and clotted cream...

Amazing desserts... passionfruit tart, peanut butter & jelly slice, white chocolate & raspberry, chocolate & caramel...

And finally, the famous Hotel Windsor blend tea...

Tea always tastes better out of silver teapots and fine china!

At $59 per person ($79 on weekends), High Tea at the Hotel Windsor is pricey but well worth a visit, in my opinion.  The service was impeccable and everything was delicious!