Monday, November 23, 2015

She's making a list, and checking it twice . . .

Is it that time already?

You'd better believe it, Christmas season has well and truly arrived.

In Adelaide, my family always kicked off the festivities with the Christmas Pageant. Only then were we allowed to start talking about the big man in red and the upcoming holidays. Mum put a stop to decorations though - we had to wait until 1 December to put the tree up and then of course, there was the opening of the first advent calendar door that was always a special occasion.

I'm going home this weekend for the cricket (my favourite time of the year) and can't wait to put up the Christmas tree with my niece and nephew at Mum and Dad's house. Then I have to come home and work out how I'll deck out my new little pad - I move into a new flat in two weeks and can't wait to style it up. Pink as far as the eye can see . . . and noone to complain :)

Moving house is always a good excuse to ditch the old and invest in the new. I am sick of living like a uni student in a share house and want to start enjoying the finer things in life. I'll be dusting off my Kate Spade plates and Laguiole cutlery and start living like a grown up for a change! The timing is also perfect to put in some sneaky requests for some home related Christmas presents from the fam.

And so we begin Kate's annual Christmas wishlist. As self indulged and spoilt as it must seem, it's so nice to pretend that money grows on trees!

I'd love a cool new doormat for my new flat. I'm up on the first floor and there are two other doorways in my little alcove so I want to make sure mine is the best dressed! The Woodsfolk have a great range, but there are so many cutesie ones out there.




I've been coveting these Celine sunglasses for a while now and am trying to get Mum to cave and buy them for me before Christmas so I can wear them to the cricket this weekend. She's adamant I need to wait until Christmas #firstworldproblems

Market shopping is one of my favourite things to do in the world. If I could swan around all day with a baguette and bunch of fresh flowers in my basket, I'd be the happiest girl on the planet. Lady Chatterley's Affair has just brought out the most fun Portobello Road Baskets that would make market shopping such an adventure. I've got my eye on the pink and green one (aka 'Watermelon Fizz') #hinthint


Food is always a safe bet with me as a gift. I love to give it and I love to receive it. I'm desperate to try out a famous Lune croissant and am psyching myself up to battle the early morning crowds over Summer. I'm trying to work out the best way to get around the queues and think maybe I've struck gold - a Lune Lab experience. Did someone say three courses of croissants? Yes please!


I'm all out of perfume and I feel like a half human. Dramatic, yes. Time to restock my Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia - let's go for the big bottle this time!


I am desperate for some new champagne flutes. Now that I'll be out on my own and it will be so much easier to entertain, I'll need some nice flutes for all that cheersing! I adore the stemless variety they use at Ombra. Can someone kindly track them down for me, please? And the recipe for the eggplant fritte while you're at it!




I'm loving my Spotify beats like noone's business and am struggling with the playback through my handset. Time to invest in some proper speakers - my old ones were for an ancient iPad and my new phone doesn't fit. Apple is infuriating like that. These Bose ones will do just nicely!
My current laundry bag is . . . my bedroom floor so it's time to get my grown up on and invest in some proper storage solutions. I'm open to suggestions, but I want it to look pretty in my room. Not like the blue, white and red striped bogan bag I use when Mum and Dad come to visit (because surely that's a step up from the floor?).

And there we have it. Kate's epic wish list for Christmas 2015.

I might add a few more down the track but it's a start (are you reading this, Mum?)

xx


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Career girl by accident


Do you hear that?

The sound of high heels clipping on the footpath, the ding ding of the tram, the steam going off on the espresso machine and the buzz of very busy and important suits pacing the streets.

I've got a new job in the city, girls. And I'm stoked.

Okay, so it's early days. Day two, in fact. But I haven't cried yet so that's a good start.

Everyone is nice, there's a coffee machine in the kitchen and I have a window desk. There are plane trees to look out over (my hayfever will be interesting!) and I can wear lipstick and high heels every day without being looked up and down by the frumpy grumps at my old work. 

I'm excited about this next chapter, there's anticipation in the air and hope in my heart.

Next, I just have to try and hunt down 'Keith'!

#careergirlbyaccident

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Barbie is back


Well done Mattel, this is brilliant.

It's clever, smart and still girly.

Nailed it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Maximon Leather | Bags for big weekends

I love entrepreneurship. I really do.

I wish I had the guts for it, the courage to put my balls on the line. But I'm just a big puppy dog who dreams of leaving the front yard but actually loves the security of the picket fence blocking me off from the unknowns of the busy street.

But it's nice to look through the pickets and dream sometimes.

I take my hat off to those who jump the fence and go exploring. One such brave dog is my dear friend's brother Henry. He's an adventurer, a go-getter, a mover and shaker. He had an idea and he ran with it.

He followed his heart to Guatemala and saw potential in a business venture: maximon leather.

We are a luxury leather brand that makes bags for big weekends. We're inspired by Maximón, a loose living bad boy from Guatemalan folklore and Latin America's flair for a good night out. 


 Check out his kickstarter video below. I've made a pledge and would totally invest in a big weekend bag for that boy in my life ... but like Bubes says ... "I just haven't met you yet"



Monday, July 13, 2015

Aussie influence

We've just signed up to Netflix at home and the whole personalised profile thing has me very excited. Nashville and Orange is the New Black are top of the list - and I haven't even  got to the movies list yet!

I just love a night at the movies and have seen two chick flicks advertised in the last week that have me leaping off the couch and rushing to the box office.

And the best bit? The Australian influence in each!




xx

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Investing in me





2015 has been a year of ups and downs. But to turn it around, I've decided to focus on me and invest in what makes me happy. And I'm having a ball.

In the last four months, I have taken conversational Italian classes, learnt how to marinate cheese, become obsessed with fit barre, started practising mindfulness, holidayed in Sydney, changed my hair colour, committed to running, adopted a new perfume and started colouring in.

Busy hey?!

But the activity I'm most excited about is coming up this weekend. I've booked in for the Georgeous Classroom and I'm like a kid before Christmas! I've long had a girl crush on the team from Georgeous and can't wait to meet the minds behind the creative.

Im posting from my phone and have no idea how to embed a link so here's the address: http://www.georgeousclassroom.com

A CLASSROOM FOR DREAMERS,

THINKERS AND CREATORS...

GEORGEOUS CLASSROOM has been a little dream of the Georgeous team for far too long now. We have decided 2015 is the year to open up our doors and to share our world with you...


I can't wait to get my creative on and perhaps take the next step in working out what I want to do with my life. Georgie is an inspiration in terms of building a small business from the ground up and it is this business nouse that I need to nurture and develop. I'm going to be like sponge and soak it all up!

Most importantly, I'm really keen to meet more likeminded friends. I sometimes feel like such a leper and don't know anyone on the same page as me, especially as I get older.  Can't wait to see who my fellow students will be and what possible friendships will form.

Stay tuned for a recap. I've got my groove back - I think - and hope my blogging mojo will follow.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Housewife


I cooked the most amazing dinner for my housemates the other night #ifidosaysomyself

Slowcooked shoulder of lamb with roast cauliflower salad and spiced sweet potato.

The lamb was on the slow cooker from 8am til 7.30pm and the sides took 20 minutes to pull together. Such an easy and relatively healthy dinner. 

The lamb was based on this Jamie Oliver recipe, but I put about 1.5 cups of chicken stock in the bottom of the slow cooker because I had it on for so long and didn't want it to dry out.

The roast cauli salad was from the Women's Weekly fast diet cookbook. It was kind of similar, sort of, almost, to this one.

And then there was the sweet potato that was gingery and delish with preserved lemon and fresh coriander. Find it here.

I cheated with dessert and picked up some absolute delights from Millstone Patisserie in Malvern. Get there as soon as humanly possible. Run, don't walk. It's phenomenal.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

We are family


Thought you might be interested in a family pic from my Granny and Grandpa's 60th wedding anniversary lunch. Or not. But I'm a sentimental old thing and I love these special times.

We had a beautiful meal at Jolley's Boathouse which was just the perfect venue - it is on the river which excited the kids to no end. Ruby and Zane loved feeding the pelicans and swans out on the banks of the Torrens. 

And we overlooked Great Grandpa's bridge - Granny's father was the engineer for this bridge in the photo above. It's the main bridge across the River Torrens that connects North Adelaide to the CBD. We're all a little bit proud of it so it was lovely for it to be a part of our day.

Grandpa dressed to impress and Granny looked lovely in her pearls. My dress was uber comfy and the lipstick lasted a treat.

Speaking of lipsticks, I've just discovered a fab new range of lippies but will go into that another time.

It was so lovely to have this family time. And boy oh boy, was the food delicious. A seriously good feed, one of the best I've had in ages - and that includes dining out in Melbourne. We ate and drank like kings - including a bottle of Rockford Basket Press which was a very nice touch (thanks Dad).

And then my weekend finished off with a cup of tea and Anzac biscuit at Granny and Grandpa's before flying back to Melbourne - begrudgingly, I might add. I didn't want to let go of my Mum when she hugged me at the airport. I thought it was supposed to get easier after two years!?

Thank goodness for FaceTime.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Happy birthday Mum!


Happiest of birthdays to this biddy today.

Wish we were celebrating in New York or somewhere special this year. But no, instead I'm sitting at my desk in cold Melbourne and you're cleaning up Dougall's vomit from the living room floor.

Oh the glamour!

Have a lovely day Mum. You're the best xx

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shine bright like a diamond

I'm flying home (again) tonight for a long weekend in the Rads.

It's my Grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. What a milestone! Diamonds apparently.

They are such a gorgeous couple, they call each other 'Darl' and are chalk and cheese. But their dynamic works.  

Here they are at Christmas two years ago with my brother, his wife and the ever divine Ruby.


And here they are at my second cousin's wedding (my first of seven bridesmaid duties!) a few years ago. 

Gosh, I was skinny*! And showing a lot more cleavage than probably appropriate for a church wedding!


I'm the only granddaughter and am very close with my Granny. We went to the same school, she bought me my first piano, we share a love of pearls and the Royal Family. She also introduced me to Tiffany & Co and inspired my love of tea sets. Granny is a great cook and always does the hosting, yet Grandpa does the nightly meals and takes such pleasure in trying new things. I often chat to him on the phone (when Granny forces the handset on to him), and we talk about what cookbooks he's reading and what new ingredients he's discovered. I think he experimented with quinoa before I did! He did the London thing when he was a young man and I was so proud to follow in his footsteps all those years later when I had my two years in London.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of sleepovers at Granny and Grandpas. It feels like we spent every weekend at their place - my brother and I had a bed each in the spare room and we'd wake to smells of egg and bacon frying in the kitchen. So spoilt!

It's so hard being away from home - you really notice how much they're ageing when you don't see them for months at a time. But they're both still sharp as a tack and always on top of what I'm up to. They're always asking after my friends and Granny has a little notepad where she writes down what I'm up to at work so she can tell her friends at their regular embroidery catch ups.


They have three great grandchildren and have the energy to entertain them and keep them happy - they delight in showing them their chooks or the wooden toys we used to play with as children. It's truly special times.

The pic above is from their anniversary dinner at my parents' house. I couldn't make it, so we're having a lovely Sunday lunch at a restaurant this weekend. I am wearing a new silk dress and a new shade of lippy for the occasion. I can't wait.

I just hope I inherit Granny's youthful skin and joie de vivre as I grow old gracefully.

Cherish your grandparents and make time for them regularly. The simple act of a phone call or unexpected knock on the door can really make their day.

Pop the kettle on Granny, I'm nearly home!

*Skinny, relative to my normal weight that is, not the rest of the world!

Monday, April 20, 2015

First position


My housemate and I have just finished a two week introductory offer at our local yoga studio. It's a five minute walk from home and has been a great way to try new classes that have previously seemed too scary or too expensive.

It's $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes so I've jumped in head first - yoga, pilates, core & stretch, fit barre.

I've even said no to social events because I've been committed to my two week program!

I've rediscovered my love for yoga. I've briefly dabbled in it before but nothing ongoing. I'm completely inflexible and have to stifle a laugh when we do any sort of bends and I look in the mirror and see that I'm towering over everyone else in the class who are all parallel to the ground or touching their toes and whatnot. I barely move five degrees forward!

But it's time out for myself when I can be in the present. Apparently that's a good thing?!

The class that has really caught my interest is Fit Barre. I thought I'd hate it but it was so much fun. It was a blend of yoga, ballet and dance and the music was modern and upbeat and the instructor was lovely. I never did ballet as a kid so it was a bit of a novelty standing at the barre and practising my plies.

I've only done one class but will be back tonight for another sweat out. It's so nice to have something to look forward to at the start of the week!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Material things

It's become a bit of a tradition that I write a 'birthday wishlist' every year. I even had a friend ask at dinner the other night what was on this year's - she was disappointed I hadn't yet blogged it.

I do feel very smug and self indulged and greedy putting together such a list, but it is fun to imagine what you would do if you had all the money in the world. And we all love a bit of escapism. And {virtual} retail therapy.

So I present you with this year's collection.

What Kate wants for her insignificant 32nd birthday.


I've never spent money on workout gear before - instead settling for Big W homebrand leggings and singlets. But I've been doing a lot more running and yoga and even fit barre and I think it's time I invested in some quality gear. Who knows who I could run into on the Tan?


Strictly Ballroom tickets
I love Baz and I love all things bold and bright. I think this would be fun. Time to embrace some 'culture'


Dirty Dancing tickets
Noone puts Baby in the corner. See above re 'culture'.
**Ha, are you laughing that I consider these two things culture? I know it's not ballet or opera or an art gallery, but pop culture is still culture, right?!


New earrings
I get so many comments on my bling so wouldn't say no to adding to my Lady Chatterley's Affair collection. Earrings can really make an outfit - especially when I'm decked out in Melbourne all black.


Champagne flutes
I really want some nice champagne flutes. Those delicate tulip type ones. I have IKEA stems and they do the job, but I'm sick of living like a uni student, I'm turning 32 and I want nice things. I'm just not so sure my housemates can be trusted
#thejoysofhouseshare
#imtoooldforthis



Perfume
I'm all out of perfume. All my bottles are empty. And I feel kind of lost, I'm out of whack. I'm typically a Stella McCartney loyal but she's discontinued my fragrance! Devastating. I am a longstanding Romance fan, but the bottle's run dry so I feel like I should mix it up. Opportunity to try something. I've fallen in love with a friend's Jo Malone perfume {can't remember which flavour though} - is it wrong to copy her? I don't see her that often. I've sent a text off . . . stay tuned!

**Update - Sophie just messaged me back, it's Jo Malone English pear and freesia. I will be heading in to DJs this week to try it on myself.


A mini break
I need a holiday. And not just a weekend back in Adelaide. I love those trips - don't get me wrong - but they're not relaxing and I find them hard. I need to do something new and fresh. Maybe a weekend in Sydney? Or a week in Hong Kong? Brisbane! Shopping, eating and smiling.


A partner in crime.
Mum and I joked at Christmas how it was so refreshing that after all these years, I could finally leave a boyfriend off my list for Father Christmas. It was such a small thing, but I felt so secure. Well friends, put him back on this year. How quickly things change.

***

I've got lunch with the girls on my actual birthday in two weeks time. Two weeks today. Oprah tells me I need to embrace getting older.

"You're not the same woman you were a decade ago; if you're lucky, you're not the same woman you were last year. The whole point of aging, as I see it, is change. If we let them, our experiences can keep teaching us about ourselves. I celebrate that. Honour it. Hold it in reverence. And I'm grateful for every age I'm blessed to become."

Maybe she's on to something.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Party for one


Gosh, the French are quite dramatic aren't they?

But I'm feeling a bit empty lately and this speaks to me.

FaceTime and photos can only do so much.

And yoga, meditation, running and chocolate fail to fill the hole, despite best intentions.

Tu me manques | You are missing from me

Looking forward to a weekend home next week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It takes two to tango


In the words of my hero and Queen of colour, Kate Spade, "It takes two to tango."

And today I celebrate my two years in Melbourne.

Two crazy years scarred by two massive false starts.

I may not have found my dancing feet just yet - I've tripped up, fallen, sprained an ankle or two, been stepped on by dancing partners, been judged unfairly, ripped skirts and got stage fright - but this year, with two years under my belt, I'm ready to tango.

Yes, it takes two to tango and it's taken two years to get here. It's not where I thought I'd be, it's not where I wanted to be. But I've still got my dancing shoes on.

Maybe next year I'll be ready for a waltz. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Egg-cellent


Did you know Haighs has an online shop?

Yeah, they do!

Have just loaded up my credit card . . . a truly horrible and unfair task on a fast day.

Shop your little hearts out here.

#sagreat

Monday, March 16, 2015

Learning


My Dad always says "the sun will come up tomorrow" and he's right. 

But "even sunshine burns if you get too much".

How terribly sad is that?!


Monday, February 23, 2015

How low can you go?

I can go low, very low. Low carb, that is*.


How good does that salad look?

Absolutely phenomenal - and it tastes even better!

I've been a fan of The Londoner for ages now and am working my way through her recipes. Beth put me on to this winner after I'd dabbled with the Travelling Noodles over the school holidays. They were a hit and a half, I'll tell you that much!


Anyway, thanks to my spiffy new spiralizer, I'm discovering all sorts of delicious vegetable pairings.

This low carb pad thai is a cracker and packed with flavour - and all things nutritious.

Recipe follows below, but in the spirit of transparency and being authentic, I thought I should include a pic of my attempt below. It's not pretty, but it packed a punch! A very picky and hard to please friend rated it 9/10 on Sunday night. That's good enough for me!

When you eat it with chopsticks, it even feels like a naughty takeaway deal. Fun!


To make enough for two generous portions, you’ll need:
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 Large carrots
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 1 Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 Handful of fresh mint
  • 1 Handful of peanuts (roughly chopped/smashed)
  • A couple of handfuls of shredded chicken/beef/duck/prawn/tofu/omelette/whatever you fancy!

Dressing:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3tbsp Sesame oil
  • 3tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1tsbp honey
  • 1 Clove of garlic

Start by turning your carrots and cucumber into noodles/ribbons. Pop them into a large bowl. I added zucchini as well - it's a  bit firmer than the cucumber and not as watery, I really like it - adds a  bit more crunch.
Use a pair of scissors to snip the spring onions over the top.
Add your protein. I went all out on Sunday and did egg omelette, prawns and chicken. Delish!
Snip over your coriander and mint.
I also like to add bean sprouts for a bit of extra crunch.

Dressing
Peel your garlic, add the rest of the ingredients. Shake/whisk until combined. Pour over salad.
Top with crushed peanuts and serve. Ah-mazing.

*But only on the odd occasion, fear not! Nothing beats carbs for ultimate comfort meal :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bounce


I'm a bit of a bandwagon jumper when it comes to exercise, I love a new fad.

Zumba, RPM . . . and now BounceFit!
Em and I bought a two for one pass last week and couldn't believe what a work out it was. Once we got over the slight motion sickness in the first round, we loved it. Sweated up a storm, it was surprising how hard we found it. 

Push ups, lunges, tuck jumps, there was lots of action and we had a ball. 

Let's see how I feel in two days time . . . 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Boobs


This is a perfect quote for me and my Valentines Day!

Hope there was lots of love and laughs over your weekend xx

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Glass slipper


I am so excited about this movie. 

I heart a Disney movie like noone's business and especially love their 'real life' adventures (not to take anything away from their animations though, of course).

Doesn't Cate Blanchett look amazing? Gorgeous costumes, hair and makeup. And Helena Bonham Carter looks like a fabulous Fairy Godmother. A bit quirky and whimsical, not the grandmotherly type that is depicted in the animation.

Did you know Kenneth Branagh is the director?

This is sure to be a hit - I need to borrow me a child to take along to the movies!



Monday, February 9, 2015

Rose

A weird thing has happened.


My hair has lightened. Naturally. I've done nothing to it, haven't had a colour in probably six months I reckon (and even then it was a home job) so I'm at a loss to explain how my hair looks quite light. The colour I normally go is chocolate brown and I've been known to sport a very very dark almost black colour for most of my life.

But this warmer goldy tone is working for me, I like the change. It feels more summery.


So now I'm going to take this pic of darling Rose and ask for someone to copy it. Chances of it working? Hmmm, I'm nervous. And I want more chopped off. I like it short.

Am I crazy, friends? Can someone with dark brown hair strip it and go a bit lighter? I'm not talking blonde, heavens no. Just light brown. I think my greys will be less conspicuous in lighter hair. And trust me, there are greys a'plenty.

I'm reaching out for Melbourne hairdresser recommendations - any hot tips?
Gertrude Street seems to be the go-to for stylists, but I think I'm leaning towards one in Hawthorn. Three Blind Mice. Anyone know it?

Choosing a hairdresser is hard work. Do you agree?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Portrait of a Lady



Princess Mary is my homegirl.

She has totally nailed it in this official portrait - for two main reasons:

A) She's wearing an Australian designer (hello Carla Zampatti, you can dress me any day); and
B) She's recycling and wearing a dress she wore in October 2013 (much like my other homegirl Duchess Kate)

She can do no wrong, this beauty.

Young Aussie girls, take note. This is who you should be looking up to. Not that Miley bird.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lamington love

How is it the first day of February already? Seriously!

I haven't even recovered from Christmas and New Years etc and already I've been to New Zealand and back and fallen behind in work . . . only one month into the new year!

Anyway, speaking of New Zealand, on the way home I sat next to a mother of two travelling on her own back to Melbourne from Wellington. She had a four month old and a two year old and they were already settled when I got to my seat. I could see the strained look on the mother's face and instantly thought of my friends Bree and Gemma who travel with their little munchkins on their own all the time.

So I smiled and introduced myself to the two year old and offered to help out during the flight. The mother described me as a "Godsend", I think I've racked up enough karma points to last me the year!

Anyway, part of the kids morning tea on the flight was a lamington but Ariel (the two year old) had never had one before. As luck would have it, her Mum had packed Possum Magic to read during the flight so we got stuck into the picture book and discovered all sorts of yummy Aussie treats (they were kiwis but now living in Melbourne).


The timing was perfect as Australia Day closely followed so I got into the spirit and whipped up a batch of Donna Hay's cheats lamingtons. No, I didn't make my own sponge, but if it's good enough for Donna, it's good enough for me.



I took them to long weekend drinks with my friends Lill and Shuggie at the Pop Up Patch veggie garden in Federation Square. A gorgeous afternoon in the sun with vodka lime and sodas - and sexy straws. Shuggie brought Toobs and Burger Rings and a delicious beer and Lill supplied Prosecco. I was well and truly tickled by the time I stumbled home.




I love following my instagram feed over the weekend and seeing how all my friends and family were celebrating Australia Day. There were lots of pavs and lamingtons and lashings of Vegemite. I spent the public holiday at the Hanging Rock Races which felt very Aussie with kangaroos jumping past the track.

And now here we are at February. I hope it's a good month for you all.

xx

lamingtons
  • 1 store-bought sponge cake or 1 quantity basic sponge cake, see recipe
  • 3 cups (480g) icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • ¾ cup (75g) cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) boiling water
  • 75g butter, melted
  • dessicated coconut, to coat