Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giddy up!

Memories of last year's shenanigans at Clare Races
You know when your day can just go from zero to hero? Well, I had one of them today. A pretty normal, run of the mill day, in and out of meetings for the best part of it and trying to chase my tail tying up loose ends before I finish up in three weeks.

And then it just opened up to deliver the goods with drinks and dins at the Benjamin on Franklin with Lucy Lou and JC. So much fun. The pub is gorgeous, the boys have done a brilliant job doing it up - the gorgeous beer garden that reminds me a bit of the Ivy in Sydney. Close, but not quite the same!

Then, darling Cat confirms that we're on for Clare Races so I'm just tickled pink to say the least! I've been every year with Lill and her fam for as long as I can remember but she's tied up in Melbourne this year so was terrified I'd have to miss out on this gorgeous country picnic race meet.

Now, the decision is, what to wear? Oh, and how do I keep my feet clean!?!?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Boo, remember me?

Yes, I'm still alive! Albeit up to my armpits in change and madness - what a few big weeks it's been! I'll elaborate over the next few posts, but basically, I've been to New Zealand, got a new job, lost a housemate and helped host the most amazing hen's day ever (even if I do say so myself!)

Have some gorgeous pics I can't wait to share but need to get on top of things in this crazy life of mine, so polkadot will have to be patient!

Enjoy this sneak peek of Miss M's hen's day . . . .

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yes, this could be love

Everyone has their style icon. And yes, I have a soft spot because we share the same name, but seriously, Kate Spade is ah-mazing. Pure class personified - and better yet, caught in print!
I've adored her since I worked in David Jones as a uni student nearly ten years ago and first came across her handbags in the 'posh' section downstairs. My fascination grew until I finally found myself on her home turf in NY, stumbling upon her store in SoHo, two minutes before closing time. They were literally counting the till and ready to flick the lights when Bree and I turned on our 'we've come all the way from Australia!' story and they let us have a quick squizz.
I was hooked.
Four years on from that NY love affair, I have still failed to save my pennies to indulge in a Kate Spade purchase. Pathetic, I know. But the gorgeous Bree knew how to satisfy my cravings (within our budgets!) and bought me the Kate Spade Style book a few years back. Gorgeous, the perfect gift. I've cherished it, handling it with great care and eagerly anticipating the day I can display it with pride in my Anna Spiro decorated house.
So, you can imagine my complete delight when the oh-so-geneorous and wonderfully styley Kelly presented me with Kate Spade's Occasions book last weekend. Bree too was rewarded and was blown over by her gift - the Style book. Together we were tickled pink to be thrown into the magical world of Kate Spade - so much colour, grandeur and sophistication. And to think, all we did was play Mum and keep Zara busy for a couple of hours!
My fave quotes from Occasions:
  • Hospitality makes for infectious fun
  • My feeling is that you should put your personal stamp on everything - the goal is to reflect your passions
  • I love a place that has a hint of formality. Not a lot, just enough to make it seem important and special
  • I never think of the people who are still with us at the end of the evening as the hangers-on, but as the true soldies of the night . . . and usually they're our closest friends
  • Do plan some activities in advance, but be sure to leave room for spontaneity
  • Q: How do you end a cocktail party? A: I'd hit the breaker switch and turn off all the lights and music (Andy Spade)
An absolute hosting goddess.
It just leaves Manners now - and I'm glad this has been left til last. I'd hate to think that someone thought I needed some tutoring in this department! Having said that, I think I know what will be top of my birthday list this year!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Her cup runneth over

I have a new girl crush. I think I was the last blogger on the planet to enter the world of A Cup of Jo, but boy, I'm obsessed. Hook, line and sinker. Anyone who can combine side braids, cartoons, book covers, pregnancy, wedding photos and nutella drinks in to one pretty package gets my vote.
I could only ever dream of being as cool as her! I did an internship at Cosmopolitan magazine in Sydney - is that close?!
To quote my dear friend Lill "I want her life". Yes Lill, get in line.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Muesli madness

Gloriously golden clusters of muesli
Pic from Pikelet and Pie

I've been on a semi health kick. I say semi because it started out full on and committed, but has deteriorated due to a number of factors a) Festival fever in Adelaide b)my affinity for alcohol and c) my love of food. Did I mention my love of food?

Bree and I have kept up our morning walks and our Monday night gym visits, but the kgs refuse to budge. My eating has been strict(ish) and I can't remember the last time I had a piece of chocolate or cooked an amazing meal. Scrambled eggs and heating frozen meals has been the extent of my culinary efforts of late.

So last night, I'd had enough. I wanted to bake - and I'm not a baker.

I've deliberately let my cupboards run bare so that I can't be tempted by any naughty treats, but I did manage to salvage a packet of rolled oats. Toasted muesli - surely that's a good start to the day?!?

I found a Donna Hay recipe that I used as a base and then added in whatever else I found in the pantry. I think next time I'll use less honey and mix in some water or juice instead - it sounds healthier that way. I also need to find out how to make it crunchier, more cluster-like, like granola - without having to add oil or anything else naughty (but oh so good!).

Tonight, while searching for a pic, I found an ah-mazing recipe that I'm desperate to try out when this batch runs out. Banana Toasted Muesli from Pikelet and Pie.

To quote Lili: It is unusual, unbelievably healthy (for toasted muesli) and wonderfully clumpy. Though it smells like a a banana cake while it is baking, the banana just adds an ethereal sweetness to the finished product. As usual with this kind of a dish, add whatever dried fruit and nuts you’d like. I was in the midst of project ‘clear cupboards out’ when I made this, and added some excess cashews, sunflower seeds and sultanas that I had lying around.

See how you go with this as a base, and I'll let you know how I go with the banana angle after my NZ trip. JC also has a fabulous recipe but she's one of these 'throw it all together' cooks who gets it right every time - half her luck!

Kate's mixed up muesli
Serves 6

4 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups mixed seeds and nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pepitas, sunflower seeds etc)
1 cup mixed dried fruit (I used a packet of fruit salad but be careful to cut the pieces small - most of mine burnt in the oven)
1/3 cup honey (I popped mine in the microwave for a tad to melt it down and make it easier to mix through)
extras like coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and sultanas or craisins would be great!

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and then line a baking tray with non stick baking paper. Spread the muesli mixture into the tray and bake in the oven at 180C for about 25 minutes, checking on it throughout and mixing it up so as not to burn the outer edges. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Will store in airtight container for about a week. Serve with natural yoghurt, sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon and a squirt of honey if you like. Would be delish with stewed rhubarb and apple or something. yum!