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Saturday, 31 December 2011

“For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.” - T.S. Eliot

Long weekday lunches

Deciding between shoes...

Receiving pretty flowers "just because" :)

Lazy beach days

Road trips to Portsea

I've spent the last glorious days of 2011 getting lost and not knowing exactly what day it is, what date it is or what time it is.  Swimming in the ocean, reading under the shade of a tree, baking, nibbling on summer stone fruit, laughing, making plans for 2012 with my darling B.  It's been a whirlwind of sunny and warm days and I'm not even on leave from work.  Nothing more amazing than days filled with joy and happiness.  And sunshine.

My bag is light with just a beach towel and a tube of sunscreen (this summer it's all about Bloom - by far the best sunscreen out there and I've tried them ALL).

I know that 2011 has been a challenging year for the world but it's been amazing for me.  After starting off with heartache of my hometown and apartment flooding, I've ridden a wave of adventures and good fortune and all I can hope for is that to continue.

Here is wishing you, my dear readers, a wonderful 2012.  May all your hopes and prayers for the new year be answered and may it be filled with joy.

All my love... X

Friday, 23 December 2011

Recipe: Choc Chip Cookies

It's well past midnight and here I am baking cookies for my colleagues for our Christmas BBQ.  I'm terribly excited as we're "shutting shop" at midday and heading to a nearby park for a BBQ, prawns and champagne.  And it's going to be a warm and sunny day.  Happy!

I got home very late tonight as I went to the ballet (Swan Lake - wish it was Nutcracker), which didn't leave much time for cookie baking.  But I had promised everyone as I left the office.  What's a girl to do!?

These cookies are virtually fool proof and are very soft and fluffy. (provided that you do not overbake them like I did with the first batch tonight) Once lent is over, I'll be baking a round just for me.  It's torture with the smell wafting out of the oven and me surviving on carrot sticks and hummus.  But that's a story for another day.


150g melted, unsalted butter
100g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
300g flour (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 x 300g choc chips

Preheat the oven to 160C
Whisk butter with sugar 
Add vanilla and eggs
Add flour and bicarb soda and slowly mix
Fold in choc chips and leave to rest in fridge for half an hour
Spoon a heaped table spoon of mixture on baking tray (ensure cookies are spread out as they do rise and expand)
Bake for 13-15 minutes


Monday, 19 December 2011


They say that how one spent 11/11/11 will set the tone for the future.  If that's to be believed then sign me up.

On 11/11 I woke up in Paris about 3:30am with 45 minutes on the clock to finish packing and make my way over to CDG for the flight to Prague.  A croissant and a coffee definitely hit the spot at the inhumane hour, no matter that it cost a bazillion dollars.  I was getting tired of paying Paris prices.

After a short hour flight, I was in heaven.  When I was initially considering the Paris trip, I thought why not do another city?  I desperately wanted to go to Belgrade, and it was torture flying over Serbia and not being able to go, but 4 days was an unfairly short amount of time to consider it a destination so I decided on Prague (the other possibility was London).  The decision was helped by the bargain of a life time - a return flight from Paris and 3 nights in a 5 star hotel for less than AUD370.  Thanks Expedia!

I instantly fell in love with Prague.  I fit right in, what with looking so obviously Slavic and being well above average height.  Nobody stared.  I understood the language too.  What a revelation.  Sign number 875 that I belong in Eastern Europe.  After a very cheap train ride into town, I was in a fairy tale.

Prague is impossible to describe with words.  A bit like New York, it just made me happy and at peace.    I indulged in the most delicious street food, the best hot chocolate I have ever had. I'm already plotting ways to go back.  The one regret I have is not getting a guidebook to read as I walked around.  The architecture and the history of each building is incredible,  everything had a story.  I walked around all day with a huge grin on my face, eating amazing food... if that's how I'm going to spend the rest of my life... may the rest of my life start now!

The incredible street food sausage in the freshest baguette

Roast potato with ham and onion

Trdelnik.  If I could eat only this incredible pastry for the rest of my life I would.  I had 2-3 every single day... 

Tyn Church in old town square.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Just a little something to say THANK YOU...

I want to thank each and every one of you for continuing to visit my blog and take an interest in the things I do, places I go and occasionally the things I wear.  2011 has turned out to be an amazing year for me personally, after a couple of tough years.  I'm truly blessed to have been able to achieve so much this year.  And I'm thankful for the all the wonderful people I continue to meet through the blogging fraternity.

To say thank you, I'm doing a quick Christmas/end of year give away.  An animal print lucette clutch from Witchery and a Bloom nail polish in Antwerp.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post (and contact details if you don't have an active Google account).  Entries close 25 December at 23:59 AEST and is open to readers anywhere in the world.

Good luck x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

"I generally avoid temptation, unless I can't resist it" - Mae West

I've never been much of a bag girl.  I own 2 proper bags, a couple of little fun (and cheap) ones and 3 clutch bags.  I find it extremely difficult to find a bag I love.  Think roomy, buttery soft leather, no external pockets or zips or dangling bits.  Yet a price that somebody who doesn't love bags is prepared to pay.  Impossible?

Last year I spent big on a J Dauphin bag and the zip broke after 3 days. Then I found something that ticked all the boxes, only to be running for the train a week later, getting the door closed on me with the bag outside and me inside (when the door closed shut the handle broke and all of my belongings were splattered on the platform at peak hour and the train had to make an emergency stop)... anyway.

So no bag, for ages.

I had steered clear of Scanlan & Theodore all year.  Huge weakness of mine since my early 20's and here I am wanting to kick some major goals in 2011 (like Paris).  Didn't mix well.  The only way was to staaaaay awaaaaay.  Except that one time... when I walked in and fell in love with one of their house label bags.  A bag that would have equaled about 6 months worth of my I'mOnATightBudgetPendingTripToParis play money.  No bag.

6 months later, I'm back from Paris, still without a bag and I get an SMS.  VIP sale starting TOMORROW.  I'm standing out the front waiting for the doors to open (I know, I know) and I spy THE BAG!  With a blue tag on it.  70% off?  You betcha.

We've been happy for a week now.  She's buttery soft, fits my whole life in it.  Has no unnecessary bits hanging on the outside.  It's true love.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A little gift guide...

I love giving presents.  Big or small. For any occasion.  I'm filled with joy when yet another friend has a baby and I'm allowed a trip to Purebaby to pick out some outfits.

When it comes to Christmas, I usually opt for something small and personal and relatively inexpensive.  Here's a list of my suggestions if you're still stuck that suits mosts.

Limited edition Swarovski pen with a cute charm. Love the 4 leaf clover one.

Chanel compact mirror

A simple cook book

Cannes film festival coffee table book

AMAZING Michael Buble Christmas album

A magical real life story to inspire for the new year

Chic travel wallet from Smythson

Limited edition Catherine Martin boxed Ferrero Rocher

Surfing lessons

Ovarian Cancer supporting item from Witchery 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Dressing for winter in summer...

I'd like to take this opportunity to voice my disgust at the weather.  Summer started 5 days ago and I've had the heater on every night. I packed away the sweaters and pulled out the summer dresses... prematurely it seems.

Yesterday I dragged myself into the city department stores for pick up some decorations for Christmas and try and get into the spirit.  I even put on Michael Buble's Christmas album tonight (which is incredible by the way).

What has everyone got planned for Christmas this year? Are you all more organised than me?

Zara scarf, Zara jacket, Chanel brooch, Vila dress, Sambag flats

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The buys

Even though I promised myself not to buy anything, bar books, who was I kidding!?  The "who knows when I'll be back and if I'll ever come across something like this again" feeling seems to take over.  My obsessive personality takes hold.  Just like I obsessed over a scarf in Singapore for 3 days until I bought it.  I spent half a day trawling H&M stores across Paris looking for an orange hat.

I wanted to get one amazing piece in each city.  I couldn't go past Chanel in Paris.  The service was so wonderful, I had trouble deciding which brooch to get.  In the end I decided on the classic pearl.  Very happy with my choice.

I also thought it was time to upgrade my beloved, 5 year old Chanel 5101 sunnies.  The 5183 are similar, but different enough.  Instant love.

When I checked into the hotel in Prague, I fell in love with this black garnet and CZ ring that I saw in the little jewellery store on the premises.  Prague is full of jewellery stores and I literally walked into every single one looking for something similar.  When I realised that nothing close or as equally beautiful existed I made sure this one came home with me.  I love the symbol behind the stone and I'm sure I will cherish this ring for a long time to come.  It was so sparkly for the price that I paid.

I came across this wonderful jacket hiding in the corner of the Zara store in Prague.  I had well and truly had run out of room in my suitcase by that stage, but what's a girl to do.  Hence why I had to fly back to Australia wearing 5 layers and 3 scarves around my neck.  Worth it!

It's perfect with this brooch I picked up for a couple of Euro in a little store in St Germain.

Gold Zara goat skin bag, which is sadly too delicate to carry too often.

I have also developed a serious love affair with the new Chanel shadows.  I exercised some self control and only purchased Mirifique from Sephora... and I'm lusting after Illusoire and Epatant too.  Patience...

Prague posts to come this week... x