Dec 30, 2018

Maybe Fridays. Festivus Inbetweenus 2018.

In one photo.

How about you?

I've got Festivus Inbetweenus pretty badly this year.

My new favourite necklace from Elk.  A beautiful gift from my sister in law.

Despite having done time orientating things like going to work and stopping by the library, I still have no idea what the day is.  

Every day feels like Friday at the moment (not that I'm complaining) and they are absolutely stunning maybe Fridays at that.

I've loved this chance to enjoy off the grid, had a bit of a sleep in, Havs all day Sydney while everyone else has left the city for a bit.

I've managed an outdoor run every morning and been there as the sun rose over the beach, the city and the water.  No two mornings have ever been quite the same.  I've also done the unthinkable and veered off my usual running routes to explore a bit of the local area.

McKell Park was a find this week.

It's down the end of Darling Point Road which in itself is an eclectic mix of Agatha Christie churches and mansions, Manhattan style power apartment blocks and terrace houses.

The park is open to the public from 7am until 7pm daily and its grounds are immaculate.

Benches dotted around the small park ensure you'll be in peak physical condition for the hours you may need to spend just watching the view ahead.

Darling Point's ferry stop in front, Clark Island to the right, the Harbour Bridge to the left and a breathtaking backdrop of a lifting haze and a vibrant rose gold sky - why can't all my mornings begin like this for the rest of my life?

Cooking has been suitably low key for me.  I've been roasting broccoli in the oven and topping it with parmesan and balsamic reduction with a bit of grated lemon zest to finish.

Master SSG's birthday cake will be a PG rated version of the famous Chocolate Ripple Cake.

Which we will be eating with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.  This is the new packaging for Streets' version featuring buttermilk and Australian cream. I was sold.

No sweltering summer break would be complete without a trip to Ikea and the chance to build a cushion fortress in between the outdoor furniture displays.  Don't worry, my responsible friends and I did to the right thing by returning the cushions to their respective chairs and before we left.

I left Ikea with this mini device stand for my iPhone.  It's currently living on the kitchen table and was a steal at $2.99.  There is also a larger size in black.

A family trip to Kmart saw me find the perfect wall calendar for work (great quote to begin the year there, Mr Ali) and a new white mug to replace the one I really loved but lost at work last week.

My Grana order from their Black Friday sale arrived and I highly rate their Peruvian cotton Ts.

There are quite a few necklines and sleeve lengths currently available but their tank top version looks to be sold out for now.  The cotton wears beautifully.  It's so soft yet firm to the touch.  

I also got this linen blouse which has a slightly boxy cut.  The neckline doesn't plunge too low and I'm looking forward to wearing it to work.

I'll be off again then, for now.  Back to that languid life of seemingly endless Fridays for just a little bit longer.  I'm not sure exactly when they'll end and I'm in no hurry to find out.

Be well.

Dec 26, 2018

This and That: the Christmas / Boxing Day 2018 Edition,

Greetings from the other, equally pleasant side of Christmas.

Where dawn broke over news vans and camera crews as Rushcutter's got ready for the Boxing Day start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

and mid-morning instant coffee at home with mum looked like this.  With a teaspoon of sweetened condensed for her and good old skim for me.

It didn't take me long to return from my self imposed exile from the shops.  The mood was upbeat at Woolies but sadly, I forgot to look for the famed first hot cross buns of the season.  I did do a rather healthy shop, though.  

I know you're casually curious about how I fared with the 'other/real shops'.  

Did you know that we now have a Creed fragrance boutique in Sydney now?  It's on Cross Street in Double Bay.  I wonder if we got one before Melbourne did.  

But, I digress.  The answer is very well, thanks.  The sales started while I was waiting for Christmas lunch to roast.  Of course, there'll be a post with pictures of everything I bought.  There were quite a few things because I had a list of things I've held off purchasing for the last 3 months.  Many of those things weren't Lululemon either.

We've also been swimming (and hot chipping) in the city and caught sight of the tree in front of St Mary's Cathedral.

Way back on Christmas Eve, I was significantly less relaxed than the person writing to you today.  It had been a pretty crazy day at work and I was on a tight time schedule to get Christmas lunch organized.  This restorative wedge of chocolate caramel slice and Christmas Tea was just the ticket and gave me all the energy I needed to get the job done.

Donna Hay's raspberry and white chocolate trifle is my traditional dessert for Christmas lunch.  Its raspberry cranberry jelly layer setting in the fridge next to a bottle of chilling Moet is such a soothing sight to be closing the fridge door on at 10pm on Christmas Eve.

Master SSG's letter to Santa was another sight that made me smile on the way to bed.

It's technically Jesus' birthday but bless.

Christmas Day's weather was a gift in itself.  Clear skies, sun and a bit of a breeze what more could a summer lover wish for?


Santa did drop by.  He loved his 'birthday' card and obligingly left a couple of  'snow' encrusted footprints with the presents.

 I kicked back with a mug of tea and one of Santa's Stroopwafels as the gifts were unwrapped.  Warming the wafers over a hot drink really does make them taste even more decadent than they already do.

Breakfast was oven French toast using brioche.  This version has a brown sugar crumbed topping and tastes way better than it looks in this photo.

Playing Santa.
The runaway hit of the Christmas presents this year was a super-duper, bells and whistles marble run from Hape.

Which I ordered way back on Black Friday from Amazon.

The set is a thing of beauty to just look at.  Each piece is beautifully crafted.  The bleached wood and vivid colour theme of the set sees it double as an interactive home decor element that wouldn't look out of place in houses more stylishly appointed than mine.

Aside from all of that, watching the marbles race through a perfectly constructed run (with thanks to my cousin who patiently constructed one of the harder options in the accompanying instruction manual) was mesmerizing.  There were little dips and bends and quirky design features which made the journey of those humble marbles more exciting than it should have been.

Lunch was predictably excessive.

The cheeseboard was loved by all.

The curry puffs were very moreish.

Lunch was a tried and tested mix of the classics.  

Not pictured - my special fried rice because there must always be rice or noodles at important family meals.

The fruit course featured pineapple and lychees.

And then, at last, the trifle.  I'm actually eating a bowl with ice cream for afternoon tea as I type.  Sigh.  I can't decide if it's the once a year factor that makes me love this trifle so or the winning combination of flavours (Cointreau, raspberries, white chocolate and cranberry).  Dead heat for both reasons, I think.  I also like how visually the jelly and fruit layer is so thick in comparison to the cream and sponge finger ones that it makes me give it at least a 4-star healthy food raring...

How's your Christmas break going?  Are you loving the weather?  Did you hit the sales in person?  So many questions.

Dec 24, 2018

Life This Week 24/12/2018: Christmas Eve. WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!

We've made it to Christmas Eve!!!!!!

Yes, even me.  The person who started Friday morning having to wear my white T-shirt back to front for a day at work because I had somehow managed to pour coffee down my front twice before 8.30am.....

Hopefully, you're also on the tail end of things at work (if you're not officially out of the office already).  Like me, you're probably frazzled, sleep deprived but also excited and kind of relaxed.  Just the state to be in as you read this 'all over the place but in a festive kind of way' post.  This week's theme might be 'free choice' but my take is looking more free range....

The Christmas tree at my hairdresser's new salon, Soho on Crown.  Book in while you can :-)

As always, I have no idea how we got here so fast but I'm not complaining.

Not the shoes I have in mind for Christmas Day.

We've survived the party season - work things, school things, family and friends things.  We've dressed up and dressed down.  It's the home stretch now and if your family is anything like mine, tomorrow is going to be a celebration of food, family and togetherness.  In the comfiest clothes possible.  And shoes if you must...

I'm looking forward to a few sneaky glasses of pre-lunch champagne tomorrow as well.

These are my impulse buys from Woolies' 50% off pre-Christmas sale rack.  A silver garland that I intend to use as a centrepiece for the dining table and a snow globe that I actually will fit inside the garland on the day because together they look like just the right amount of OTT kitsch that would be perfect for the array of food I intend to serve.

I've gone and clashed with the silver and frost with this pair of hair clips.  I'm going to wear them instead of reindeer ears because they're obviously more age-appropriate than ears or a Santa hat.  

And with that, we're on the home stretch to Christmas Day.  Mariah Carey is non ironically on repeat in the car, the study is lined neatly with mum and dad's suitcases and the freezer has a litre carton of dad's favourite vanilla ice cream.

The handmade decorations from Kindergarten have been added to (the top of) the tree.

I've done my Aldi run.  Fortunately, they still had plenty of my Christmas lunch MVP in stock.  Aldi's Turducken roast is too easy to bake for lunch and the leftovers make excellent toasties / filled croissants the next day.  I just need to remember to get some fancy camembert to make the toasties even more extra.

Also from Aldi is this Black Forrest Stollen.  Perfect first thing on Christmas Day with a mug of tea.

We have a decorated gingerbread house courtesy of school holiday day camp as well as a festively painted centrepiece for the table.  The laptop's shut and Lego assembly has taken over from tapping away at a keyboard.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours. 

May your break be filled with love, togetherness, food and maybe even Santa!

Much love and God bless.


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