Archive for March, 2011

What a weekend!

We had a BIG weekend. In the past, this may have included some drinks, a nightclub and a hangover. Now, this just means being away from home for 32 hours.

Baby C woke me up at 6am on Saturday and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was a bit excited about the weekend to come. After breakfast and some much needed coffees we left home for Newcastle.

First stop was to the hairdressers. I don’t think I can bring myself to get my hair done in Sydney – the last time I did it cost an arm and a leg.

After a nervous three hours, a delicious hot chocolate and a luxurious head massage, I’m now a brunette.

Here I am with my Grandma:

You can’t see much of my hair but suffice it to say it’s dark; very dark. I love it but I know it will fade to a more comfortable shade. At the moment, none of my clothes actually suit my hair. I wear too much black and I think it looks weird with such a dark shade. I just need to wear all my pink and green clothes until it fades out.

We stayed the night with my good friends A & A. It was such a nice night. The food was amazing, the wine was great and the company fantastic! I haven’t belly-laughed like that in forever. Baby C was a bit unsettled, which is understandable, but once she was asleep she slept through to 1am.

After an equally fabulous breakfast of homemade Eggs Benedict, we took off to the Valley to see my family. The weather was very different to the torrential rain we left in Sydney. As you can see from the above photo, it was sunny and breezey, ideal for lunch outside. D and I enjoyed schnitzels while the rest of the family ate fish.

Even though we had a great weekend, it felt really good to be home last night. Baby C got a bit sick of being in the car.

Last week, I made my favourite naughty snack; caramel popcorn:

Before we went to London, I swear I had perfected this. The caramel was hard but not crunchy. Since we got back I haven’t been able to get it to that perfect consistency again. 😦 Ah well, I will have to keep trying!

One of our vegetarian meals last week was this Creamy Pesto Gnocchi:

It was surprisingly simple to make but very rich. D and I struggled through it.

I also made The Best Vegetarian Lasagne. I based it on this Roast Vegetable Lasagne recipe but layered grilled capsicum, courgette and aubergine with the red sauce and bechamel instead. Even D agreed that it was very filling.

The two-vegetarian-meals-a-week rule is going very well. It is saving us a lot of money which means we can afford ‘luxuries’ like free range chicken, ethical pork and organic vegetables.


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I love shoes!

As I was unpacking, I came across several pairs of shoes I haven’t worn in a long time. Either because I left them in storage when we went to London, or because I gave up high heels when I fell pregnant.

I found these in the cupboard at my in-laws:

They were my first ever pair of expensive heels. I think they look amazing on but they are not walking shoes by any stretch. I used to refer to them as my ‘roast lamb’ shoes because that’s what my feet looked like after a night of dancing.

I bought these for my friend’s Red Party. I wore a black jersey wrap dress and these stunners. I tried them on at Wittner in Chatswood while I was visiting D in Sydney. (This was back when we first met and I was still living in Newcastle.) I didn’t buy them that day but couldn’t find anything I liked better after searching high and low at Kotara and Charlestown. In the end, D had to drive over to Chatswood while he was working and pick them up for me.

I bought these for our engagement party. They are from Wittner as well, but they are copies of a very old Louboutin style. These shoes are so comfy. Favourite shoes of all time.

I bought these for my Hen’s. I wanted to wear something OTT as I was wearing the same dress I wore for our engagement party. They are from Zu shoes but are copies of the Louboutin Very Prive that I lusted after for a long time.

Following the theme, these are my wedding shoes:

And my stunning bouquet… I have a thing for peep toes, can you tell? I wore these all night and I danced and danced and danced. But the ground was very muddy on my wedding day and now they are ruined. 😦

Now I just wear shoes like this:

They’re mum shoes.

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So many meals!

Last week was terribly dull. First D was sick and Baby C got it and then I fell ill too. Not. Fun.

Last Sunday, before all the illness, I made a soothing batch of spaghetti bolognese. I like making it with kangaroo mince. Not only is kangaroo high in iron and protein and low in fat, it’s also very cheap; $7 a kilo. Then it was just all the usual ingredients; tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, anchovies, onion, chilli, parsley and basil. Sometimes I add carrots if  I need to use them up but not this time.

I lit the gorgeous hurricane glasses my friends S & S gave us for our wedding. There was wine. It was all very romantic:

Each week I try to cook two new recipes and two vegetarian meals. I wanted something with haloumi so I tried this Zucchini and Haloumi Fritter recipe from Taste.

I served them on rocket. I wasn’t sure this would be enough but we were both so full! D ate four and I ate three. I think the recipe would make a really good entree to serve six.

This Teriyaki Salmon recipe was Recipe of the Day last week. Did you know teriyaki sauce is just equal parts mirin, soy and sugar? How easy it that?

D cooked the fish on the BBQ for me. I stir fried some Asian greens with a little oyster sauce. The fish turned out a little bit burnt but delicious nonetheless!

Yesterday was my first outing by myself since Baby C was born. I met some lovely ladies from the Vogue Forums at the QVB Tea Rooms for high tea. It was nice to be in the City again. The food was amazing but we couldn’t finish everything. Even I was ridiculously full!

D had a great day at home with Baby C. Although she didn’t like being fed from a bottle. D said she insisted on feeding herself:

I cannot believe how fast she is growing. Today she has rolled over by herself again and she’s getting really good at it. She grabs and holds her rattle (so cute) and is able to pull the frog on her playmat and make him sing. Very, very clever!

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I was emptying out a big box today and found my photo albums from Japan. I went  in year 10 with my school as part of my Japanese studies. It was pretty cool as it was my first trip overseas. We got to do some great stuff you wouldn’t do as a tourist. We did a homestay with students from our sister school in Takahata, Yamagata-ken. I used to write to the girl I stayed with right up until I moved out of home. This would have been about the same time she went to uni so I think she just forgot about me. 😦

Looking through the photos, I remembered all the awesome stuff we experienced. There are photos of us in typical Japanese high school classes like music and calligraphy. We did flower arranging and went to a traditional tea ceremony. There are some great shots of our karate lesson too. I wish I had a scanner…

I also found some photos of my school friends. There’s some silly photos like when my friend Nina had a How to Host a Murder party. I can’t believe how skinny I was in my year 10 and year 12 formal photos! Typically, as a teenager I thought I was fat.

When we moved in this place, I decided I was going to try and cook something new at least twice a week. Last night, I cooked the chicken casserole and tonight I tried the Mediterranean Frittata recipe that I saw on Taste’s Twitter last week. I remembered to take photos tonight:

Instead of using a jar of chargrilled vegetables, I made my own using red capsicum, aubergine and courgette.

Mmmmm layers

Mmmmm layers

It was good; we had seconds.

I remembered today that our little girl has been around for about a year now. We found out about her on March 12, 2010. Wow! That’s how long it’s been since I’ve had a hang over.

I haven’t really missed drinking that much. I’ve had a few glasses of wine here and there but I never drink half a bottle with D anymore. I don’t really get a need to drink. Occasionally, I’ve felt like a glass of wine but if there is none in the cupboard then, meh, I go without. But I am looking forward to having friends over for dinner and cracking the odd bottle or two! Soon.

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I’m reading Persuasion again. It is the perfect distraction when I need to relax and shut out the world. It is as familiar and comfortable as my favourite duvet on a cold day.

It reminds me of Bath. Bath was one of the few places in the UK we visited outside of London. (The other was Scotland but that is for another time…)

We stayed in this gorgeous B&B and enjoyed the best full English I have ever had!

I was about 14 weeks pregnant and finally starting to show:

We had dinner in a lovely French restaurant on the river.

Hubby and I enjoyed three courses each, although I can’t remember exactly what we ate. I know D had the snails to start and I had some white fish with almonds as my main. I can almost guarantee that I had creme brulee for dessert. We ate so well that we practically rolled back to our room.

The Sunday was spent strolling through the town. We walked and walked and walked. I eventually convinced D that I needed a photo in front of the Olde Sweet Shoppe:

Once the photo was taken I said it would be embarrassing not to go in:

It took about half an hour to decide what I wanted to buy for the train trip back to the city. I left the shop clutching a bag of flying saucers (wafers with sherbert inside) and chocolate coffee beans.

Bath was that kind of unforgettable place. It was such a relief to be out of the city and enjoy the quiet in the country. Thankfully, Austen can take me back there whenever I pick up her novel.

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We were surprisingly busy on the weekend. Saturday was spent back up the Coast with D’s family.

On Sunday we caught up with my good friend, Emily, for coffees in Glebe. It was so humid and hot! My original outfit was:

  • French Connection dress
  • H&M tights
  • Pulp shoes

But I ended up taking off the tights and opting for flat gold sandles (also from Pulp) instead.

We met in Saffron which is where Fair Trade used to be on Glebe Point Road. Coffee was excellent, company was outstanding and generally had a lovely afternoon. It was so nice to have adult conversation (other than with DH of course!) and loved hearing about E’s holiday and internship in Nepal. It was the first time she had met Baby C as well.

On Tuesday we were due to receive our first Woolworths online shopping order. I must say, after using Sainsbury’s and Tesco in London, Woolies left a lot to be desired. Firstly, they give you a 6 HOUR window in which they will arrive. 6 hours!!! Sainsbury’s give you 1 hour slots, Tesco give you 2 hour slots. Given that surely LESS people are using the service in Sydney than they are in London, it would be a lot easier to deliver within a certain time period. Slack. When the order finally arrived, we didn’t get everything we ordered and got some stuff we didn’t order. The vegetables were not in a good condition. I didn’t actually make the order, but hubby says it was pretty painful. Won’t be doing it again.

As there were items I needed for dinner tonight, I went out for groceries and enjoyed a coffee while I was out.

This is Baby C, dressed and ready to go:

Today’s outfit also started out in tights but as the humidity rose the tights came off. I shopped a little too effectively and came back with all this:

I was making this casserole from Taste.com.au. I prepared up to part way through step 3 where I added everything to my pre-warmed slow cooker. Instead of two cups of stock I only used one as the mushrooms and my addition of 1 courgette would also add liquid to the dish. I added these vegetables about two hours before serving. I served the green beans on the side with the couscous.

It was ok, very filling, but I think I needed to season it a little better. I thought the bacon would make it salty enough but obviously not… I was also planning to add cream and parsley at the end before serving but I forgot. 😦

Tomorrow I’m getting stuck into some of these boxes. I’m sick of them!


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I’m back!

After a bit of a hiatus, I’ve finally returned to blogging. The biggest reason for my leave of absence was little Baby C:

What do you mean, Mummy? I'm an angel.

Just in case you didn’t know, babies were hard work! Especially when you’re new to parenting… Add to this, a living-with-family situation and you will find little time to dedicate to your website. Also, the internet speed is poor at best when you’re not in a metro area. ISPs, you should be ashamed! And I was afraid to ask my husband where the camera cable was because I suspected it was in a box of electronic cables and DH hates cables.

So now I have high-speed broadband, a camera cable and a little free time (not really there’s still boxes everywhere!) I have returned to world of blogging. “Hooray!” I hear you say.

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