Thursday, May 31, 2012

All together now

The truth be known, I'm a hopeless romantic.

I'm not soppy and lovey dovey at all, PDAs offend me (that's Public Displays of Affection to the uninitiated) and I struggle with the L word, but I adore the idea of romance. Of happy endings. Of kindred spirits.

Can I be a romantic but not be romantic?

Well, this marriage proposal had me at hello. It is so cute, I love me a bit of kitsch and as a big fan of Bruno Mars and Glee, I totally loved this.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Different worlds

Can't stop playing Brittany Cairns' cover of Jes Hudak's 'Different Worlds' 

She totally had me in tears in last week's episode of The Voice. Oh, and in every ad break promoting her phone number to vote since. Just ask Bree.

Listen to the gorgeousness below (I'm having a technically challenged moment and can't work out how to insert the clip, so you'll have to deal with a link sorry peeps!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ode to Can

Ode to Can.

There’s a four lettered word
As offensive as any
It holds back the few
Puts a stop to the many.

You can’t climb that mountain
You can’t cross the sea
You can’t become anything 
You want to be.

He can’t hit a century
They can’t find a cure.
She can’t think about leaving 
Or searching for more.

Because Can’t is a word 
With a habit of stopping
The ebb and the flow of ideas
It keeps dropping

Itself where we know
In our hearts it’s not needed
And saying “don’t go”
when we could have succeeded.

But those four little letters
That end with a T
They can change in an instant
When shortened to three.

We can take off the T
We can do it today
We can move forward not back
We can find our own way.

We can build we can run
We can follow the sun
We can push we can pull
We can say I’m someone

Who refuses to believe
That life can’t be better
With the removal of one
Insignificant letter.

Who else was intrigued by the bus shelters and billboards with the simple word 'CAN'T' over this past fortnight? I flew into Hobart on Thursday and noticed them plastered all over the Apple Isle as well. Too lazy to jump on my computer to look it up, I brainstormed with Bree to try and work out what it all meant.

It all made sense when Toni Collette appeared on our TV screen . . . and we were excited by her gorgeous little poem and 'storytime' approach.

But how disappointed I was to find out that this beautiful campaign and creative was for a BANK! Bree and I had guessed charities, kids' causes, Australian celebrations, arts and culture . . . but a BANK?!

What a waste of a brilliant idea! Hats off to M&C Saatchi for its creative genius, but I'm so disappointed it's been wasted on a bank.

Here's the full ad featuring the gorgeous (yet wasted) Toni Collette.

(And yes, I know what you're all going to say - it's done its job if people are talking about it . . . but I'm sure not switching banks because of it. Not after those horrific "determined to be different ads" with the bad American accents! I just would've loved it being used for good rather than a BANK!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Not such a silly sausage

There are some dishes that excite all senses.

This is one of them.

Colour, flavour, texture, scent, warmth, spice, tang, comfort.

I have made a few variations of this before, but never combined all these flavours in one.

Out. Of. This. World.

I served it up as a side dish in the first instance (with pesto chicken and smashed roast potatoes) but then froze up the leftovers and ate it in its own right the next week. Just as good reheated - you should've smelt my kitchen!

A great dish for a single gal (although, I'm not sure how good it is for my new healthy eating regime?!)

Blah to that, it's Winter and I will NEVER sacrifice taste.

PS. Yes, that is a Laguiole fork. Susie Q (aka Mum) outdid herself in the birthday present giving stakes this year, and treated me to not the Laguiole steak knife set . . . but the whole cutlery set! Take note dear readers, writing an online birthday wishlist to your Mother can really work in your favour!

Garlic chickpeas and chorizo
Donna Hay
Serves 2 as a main

3 chorizo, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tbspn shredded lemon zest
250g cherry tomatoes
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 Tbspn lemon juice
finely grated parmesan, to serve
(I also added a handful of pitted kalamatas and LOVED them)

  1. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium-heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 3 minutes each side or until the chorizo is golden and crisp.
  2. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Place the tomatoes in a sieve and press to split and release some of the excess juice and the seeds
  4. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas (and olives) to the pan and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Stir through the basil and lemon juice.
  6. Divide between serving bowls and sprinkle with parmesan to serve.
Recipe from Fast Fresh Simple - Donna Hay

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Overseas . . . kind of

I'm off to visit one of my besties today so am signing out for the week.

Really looking forward to five days exploring Hobart with her and her little one. I've been working some pretty crazy hours lately so am dreaming of long sleep ins, lazy afternoons, copious amounts of coffee, open fireplaces, cuddles with Grace and ugg boots. Oh, the simple things!

Happy week lovelies. May your days be filled with little adventures of your own


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oh so Great

I am excited beyond words.

Baz Luhrmann is at his brilliant best in The Great Gatsby, set to hit screens early next year.

I know, I'm a bit biased because he's Australian, but seriously. Check out the trailer above and let yourself be wowed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthday beers

Happy birthday Big John {aka Dad}

Can you believe this was us nearly seven years ago?

With The Ashes. Yep. Gush. One of the best days of my life.

Tour of Lords with Dad in the morning, High Tea at The Ritz with Mum in the afternoon.

What's even harder to believe is it's the big 6-0 next year, old man!

Suffice to say, you're a bit greyer (and dare I say portlier!) than you were in this pic!


Monday, May 21, 2012

A big piece of the pie

I've been away for work the past few days and with limited supplies in the fridge, was happy when Mum asked me over for Sunday night dinner.

She was trying a new recipe that her friend Bernece had recommended - lamb, mint and rosemary pies.

And, they were good!

Some of you may have seen the pics on Instagram but Mum wanted me to make it very clear on here that SHE did all the cooking, I just came along in the last ten minutes to help seal the pastry on top, cut the rosemary from out near the pool (it was freezing outside, so I find this a valuable contribution to the meal!) and brush with the egg wash.

But yes, she was the mastermind and I shouldn't take the credit!

The peas were my idea though, and Dad thought these were a delicious touch. He was a bit perplexed though when I served his up double decker style!

They're only muffin size, but I found one plenty enough for dinner. Have packed one up for my lunch tomorrow, yum! I'm sure they'd freeze well too, so think I'll knock up a batch of my own next week and wrap them up for Ron (as in later-on, not my new boyfriend!).

Thanks for sharing, Bernece!

Lamb, mint and rosemary pies
Makes 12

1 Tbspn olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
400g lamb mince
1 cup tomato paster
2 Tbspn mint jelly
1/4 cup chopped rosemary
sea salt and cracked black pepper
5 sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 sprigs rosemary to decorate

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Heat oil in non stick fry pan. Add onion, garlic and carrot and cook for 5 mins. Add mince and cook for 5 mins or until browned.
  3. Add tomato puree, mint jelly, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 mins.
  4. Cool completely
  5. Cut out 12 x 11 cm rounds from the pastry and use to line 12 x 1/2 cup capacity (125mL) lightly greased muffin tins
  6. Divide lamb between cases.
  7. Cut out 12 x 18cm rounds from remaining pastry
  8. Brush edge of pics with water, top with the rounds and seal edges
  9. Brush with egg and stick the rosemary sprigs in through the top of the pie
  10. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Far from Bazaar

Have you seen the gorgeous pics of Nicole Kidman and her girls for the next issue of Harper's Bazaar?

Totally stunning.

Read more about how the Editor managed to twist Nic's arm to let them include these intimate family shots here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Singing in the rain

I just wanted to thank everyone for their overwhelming response to my wee little post, 'Having it all?'

I was blown away by the positive feedback and humbled to think that so many gorgeous girls took the time to stop by and comment. Even all the way from New York (that's you, Anonymous!)

It was lovely to hear from people I've never met - and even better to be introduced to a whole new network of stunning blogs! (And reassuring to know that there are fellow singletons out there feeling the same thing)

It's funny how people come out of the woodwork. There I was thinking I was writing for my Mum and a handful of friends who have just had babies and use feeding time to catch up on the goss on their iphone . . .

But no! There's a whole little community of you out there who dare to venture into The Polkadot Pantry every now and then.

So thank you. 

I am touched by your kindness and empathy (not sympathy, noone needs to feel sorry for me) and hope to hear from you all again soon.

I know I'll be busy following your own travels now . . .


Friday, May 11, 2012

Hola senorita!

I've had lots of requests for this dip recipe after we inhaled it at Kim's birthday and I've been slack with posting it. Whoops.

It's just so simple and SO tasty, it's not even funny.

Great with a big bag of tortilla chips and a few beers (or bubbles!)

What makes the pic above even more special is that BLING! Check out Sal's TDF engagement ring.

Mexican dip
1 tub/block light cream cheese
1 small carton light sour cream
1/2 - 1 packet taco seasoning
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 - 1 red onion, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
handful grated cheese
1/2 bunch coriander, torn
drizzle sweet chilli sauce (optional)

  1. Combine the cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl and mix until smooth. Stir in the taco seasoning to taste. If you want a firm base, use more cream cheese, if you want a runnier consistency, use more sour cream
  2. Pour the creamy mixture into base of bowl/platter and drizzle a little sweet chilli sauce over the top (only about 1-2 tspns)
  3. Cover with a layer of tomatoes, avocado and red onion and sprinkle with grated cheese
  4. Scatter torn coriander leaves over the entire arrangement and then squeeze the lime juice over the top.
  5. Dig in with big round tortilla or corn chips and enjoy!

You can play around with the ingredients however you like - maybe use spring onion instead of red onion? Or throw a layer of black beans in there for good measure. A layer of mashed avocado instead of chopped could also work, plus a layer of salsa or some chillies?

Enjoy x

Who was your pick?

The inaugural winner of Thoroughbred Racing SA's Fashion at The Races competition was decided at SA Derby Day on the weekend.

Who do you think should've taken home the keys to the VW Polo?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I have a secret little vice that I'm going to share with you . . .

I love love love youtubing songs. It can lift my mood unlike any tub of icecream or glass of wine.

Glee marathons are my fave, with the Warblers always guaranteeing a laugh on a blue day.

The Voice clips are also on my hit list. Brittany and Lakyn are divine. Did you hear the Brittany vs Kelsie battle over Adele's Turning Tables? Ah-mazing!

These are some of my "go-tos" at the moment - the clips aren't necessarily the best, but how I love playing over and over again a song that makes you smile.

What song gets you out of a funk?

PS. I'm having problems making these clips viewable on iPhone - but I can see them on my PC. Weirdo! Sorry if you're having trouble!

Having it all?

I'm 29 and I'm single.

And I'm happy, most of the time. But I would like someone to share life's journey with.

Having said all that, I wasn't thrilled to read that there are fewer eligible men than there are single ladies in my age group. I'm not a betting girl, but I know they're not good odds!

This Bernard Salt bloke has sent me into a bit of a spin. Don't scare me with your stats, crazy numbers man!

And don't get me started on the Catholic Church's suggestion that my fellow single girls and I are "too picky".

Whoa up! There's a difference between being picky and not settling for 'almost right'.

(Plus, I've said yes to every blind date/set up/dare that's been thrown my way. And always say yes to a second date! Picky, I think not.)

Reverend Father Tony Kerin, episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne says that "in trying to have it all, they end up missing out"


They as in young, intelligent, motivated, driven, successful women? Does he mean my wonderful group of strong, independent beautiful friends?

I have friends who are home owners, successful businesswomen, stay at home mums, athletes, artists, renters, world travellers . . . the list goes on, and they all lead fulfilling, rewarding and enriched lives. Most of them have partners, so does that mean they "have it all"? Maybe they do, so one could argue they haven't missed out.

And because I'm single, does that mean I don't "have it all"? I'm more likely to . . . "have it some"?

This whole "having it all" concept has me perplexed. I think you can have whatever you want. Why can't we have our cake and eat it too? Why should we have to settle for a less than fabulous life? None of my friends have, they've all built beautiful, happy lives for themselves and I expect the same for myself. Who wants to lead a mediocre life?

So maybe I am picky. Maybe I'm waiting for my Prince Charming and still have to work my way through a few more frogs. But that's okay, because if I wasn't so picky, if I settled as Fr Kerin suggests, then maybe I'd be stuck with a cane toad instead of holding out for the one meant for me.

And we all know what you do with cane toads. Hit them with golf clubs. That wouldn't fare well in Court if that toad was my husband.

So yes, I'm picky and yes I want it all. And yes I'm frustrated and impatient and in the words of my hero dear Charlotte York, I'm sick of asking "where is he?!"

But as a darling friend told me last week, wouldn't you rather be single wishing you were married, than married wishing you were single?

I am 29 and I am single and I don't have it all, but I don't have it less. I have what I have and I refuse to believe that I'm "missing out".

Don't put pressure on us, you "experts"! We give ourselves a hard enough time.

PS. If you know where "he" is, please send him my way!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Let them eat cake

Now that I'm out of my birthday funk, I thought I'd better share with you my family's favourite birthday cake recipe.

I've had lots of interest via email and instagram - even the odd heytell or two (isn't social media wonderful!??!) - asking what the secret ingredients are.

I'm almost embarrassed to share it as it's just ridiculously easy!

Honeycomb sponge

2 chocolate or vanilla sponges (I've used choc this time)
500mL carton thickened cream (make sure it's one you can whip)
1 large bag choc honeycomb
2 Tbspn golden syrup

  • Cut each sponge in half horizontally so that you have four slabs of cake
  • Smash the bag of choc honeycomb with a rolling pin. You should have some chunky bits and some dusty bits
  • Pour the cream into a mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form
  • Fold through golden syrup and smashed up choc honeycomb.
  • Lay down one slab of cake on a serving plate and top with a couple of spoonfuls of cream mixture, spread to cover.
  • Layer the rest of the cake and cream until you place the last piece of sponge on top, making sure you reserve enough cream to cover the entire cake.
  • Cover the entire cake - sides and top - in the rest of the cream
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy birthday to me!

Cake demolished.

Sugar high? Tick.

Recipe to follow ... (yes Gemmy, hold your horses!)

Off to lunch now. Gosh, I need a wine after the week I've had

Happy birthday to moi (if I don't say so myself!)


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A way with words

Emma has a great eye for design and is always sending through links to random little finds on the wonderful world wide web.

This is one of the beauties I received last week. It's SO me!

As the daughter of a meat wholesaler, I find it truly beautiful!

I don't think it's actually a butcher shop, but it's still a cool name for a bar/restaurant.

"A destination for exceptional individuals"

Now that's somewhere I'd like to meet for a drink!