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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Nigella's Nutella Cheesecake

I contemplated many plans for this weekend but instead decided to stay and do traditional things with my darling girl.  She's certainly keeping me on my toes and requires constant attention and entertainment.

Dessert was never going to be allowed to be time consuming as the small person doesn't have a very long attention span.  She did enjoy watching the biscuits being crushed and the Nutella being combined with the cheese.

It's honestly the easiest and most impressive dessert. EVER!  Highly recommend it.  It's a busy person's dream.  I won't bore you with the instructions as they're freely available on Nigella's website.

Happy and blessed Easter to you all - Hristos Voskrese!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rain, rain

Image via Country Road

It has been raining non stop for the past 3 days.  That constant drizzle.  Rain drops on the roof and trickle down the gutters.  The front garden is littered with brown leaves from the Magnolia tree.  The days are getting shorter and nights are getting colder. Summer is over.  When a season ends I always look ahead and wonder just WHAT it is that I wore last winter.  How did I survive the endless bone breaking chill?  

I have the foundations for my winter wardrobe.  I have flat knee high boots which only get better with age.  I have leather leggings and my DL1961 jeans fit perfectly for now.  Now I want a thousand knits and a thousand scarves and a thousand Bassike long sleeve tees to layer under said knits.  And everything else I want to throw in the bin.  That's fair, right?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

New in

I have been a Kiehl's Creme de Corps devotee for over 10 years.  It's an expensive habit but I have dry, sensitive skin and it's the only product that has truly over the years combated this problem and also not broken me out in rashes on my legs.  I had a horrendous flight with Ariana this week and wanted to travel light (I managed carry on only for a 6 day trip with toddler!) so decided to try my luck with a supermarket moisturiser once I reached my destination that I could throw out if it didn't work.  The promise of convenience won me over and I'm most impressed.  The product sprays and comes out like foam and it can cause a bit of a mess (I had particles end up on my t shirt as I was applying it to my legs).  However it's non greasy and dries quickly and surprisingly does an excellent job on my dry skin.  I maybe onto a winner here.  

I finally had a hair cut this week.  Well a trim of the little hair I have left.  I have lost so much hair over the past 6 months that I have bold patches.  Clumps of hair fall out multiple times a day.  I've read some amazing reviews on this Wella Energy Serum so I'm giving it a whirl.  The glass bottle is beautiful and the product isn't an oil, but a nutrient enriched water that is supposed infuse the scalp with nutrients and help it grow when applied 3 times a week.  I'm hopeful even if I'm not a big believer in miracle products.  

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What I wore to work

Scanlan & Theodore dress, Jimmy Choo shoes - I want these in EVERY colour, Louis Vuitton GM Neverful tote, Lovisa necklace

I was ecstatic to find this dress at the S&T outlet for a fraction of the retail price.  The fabric is a gorgeous thick wool and I adore the grey panels and full length zip at the back which make the dress a bit more fun.  I do love a dress.  Easy to wear and requires minimal thought.  I am also obsessed with how comfortable these shoes are and I want them in every single colour.  

I desperately need to do something with my hair.  At least half of it has fallen out and the other half is crying for a trim and some colour.  I am tempted to cut it all off but I know I will regret it.  Decisions...

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Navy blue

Morrison tunic dress, Scanlan & Theodore belt, Zara shoes, Samantha Wills bangle

As you go along through life people will impart their words of wisdom on you whether you like it or not.  Sometimes you listen, sometimes you don't.  There is an investment dressing school of thought and a quick disposable fashion school of thought.  Buy all the things, wear them and move on.  

I often wonder when I see a $60 dress just how much the person who made it was paid.  And absolutely a $600 dress doesn't guarantee humane working conditions and fair pay.  

Small living and storage spaces have pushed me along into the investment dressing camp. Too many things just overwhelm me and if I haven't worn it for a while it has to go.  eBay, op shop or my mum.  She loves my clothes.  Despite how ruthless I am most of the time, there are still too many things lingering around that just don't fit me right.  A top is a little bit too short, my chest being too small so it hangs a little bit too loosely, the skirt length that just isn't right or something that has stretched out of shape.  I think my height and body shape have a huge part to play in how ill fitting many clothes are on me.  I look at things and wonder why I ever bought them.  Then it quickly dons on me that most of those items were cheap and cheerful impulse buys online or on a chain store sales rack.  So I'm back to only buying well thought out items.  Amazing cut, amazing fabric and go with most things that I already have.  I am all about repeat outfits and high rotation wear.  

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

5 minute face

I have officially reached the stage where I look terrible without make up.  As much as I loathe applying make up, I especially loathe how horrible I look bare faced.  While I still use make up, I am forcing myself to at least wear a little bit when I'm going to work or out in public (except the grocery store, the grocery store does not judge my bare face).  

I am a big fan of BB creams.  While I will forever remain loyal to my Armani Luminous Silk foundation, after much trial and error the L'oreal BB cream is my holy grail.  As you apply it, it transforms in front of you to suit your complexion.  And with continuous wear, I see an improvement in my skin.  If need be I build some coverage with a mineral foundation, curl my lashes, apply a coat of mascara and use to Bloom cream blush.  And if I have a bit more time I also use some brown eye liner. Baby steps.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Recipe: nutella mug cake

My guilty conscious hates myself for finding this recipe and you are totally allowed to hate me for sharing it with you.  It takes 2 minutes and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  

  • 4 tablespoons of self raising flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of nutella
Beat all ingredients with a fork in a mug.  Microwave for 90 seconds and eat alone or with cream or ice cream.  Insane.  

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Mid week thought

Weekly treat for self - fresh flowers.

I am slowly getting my groove back.  The first month back at work was hard.  I didn't know where my place in the workplace was and I didn't know how Ariana was fitting into her new environment.  We missed one another. Picking her up is the highlight of my day.  The bear hug and the smile that greets me when she sees me.  She fills my life with so much endless joy.  She is a delight in every sense of the word.    

But my work has been a huge part of my identity for so long.  I had worked so hard and then suddenly stopped. I went on a physical, emotional and financial hiatus.  And if I'm honest I'm sloooowly enjoying being back to the old me.  The days I get to wear the long forgotten skirts and dresses from the back of my wardrobe and shoes that don't have to be sand pit appropriate.  There are many responsibilities inherent in being a good parent, including providing financially for a child.  And emotionally and spiritually.  It's all consuming and never ending.  But it's actually really rewarding.  More rewarding than any other aspect of my life.  

It's nice to have some small indulgences to myself.  I gave myself a small allowance and added some great new pieces to my wardrobe.  I shut off all personal expenditure last year and am thoroughly enjoying small treats for myself again.  My favourite right now is a bunch of fresh flowers every week or so.   Picking out a bunch doesn't require any more time away from my little girl.  Unlike a pedicure.

I had a bit of a play with my blog this week and was amazed to learn that nearly 2,000 unique visitors read this thing.  So tweet me, email me, comment... what would you like to read more about?  Tell me! Maybe I should do some outfit posts?  Yes, I think I will!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

“(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that's the only shift they offer.” ― Jodi Picoult

My darling girl, aged 10 months

Today, like every other day I woke up at 0645 to the sounds of a little girl cooing and yelling out for mama from next door.  We had a feed and a cuddle and read some books and cuddled some more and then she was ready to start her day.  B took her and the dog for a walk and I had 40 minutes to read in bed.  Then I made breakfast, cleared the dishes, vacuumed the floor, read some more books to Ari, had a pedicure, made lunch, went out for frozen yoghurt with my girl, wrapped some gifts, went to the beach for a swim and some play in the sand, made dinner, bathed Ariana, put Ariana to sleep, baked a cake, folded some laundry, packed Ariana's daycare bag, packed my own bag for work (removed nappies, wipes and toys from it and added a diary and some almonds), planned an outfit for work, washed my hair.......

Wait.  I had a pedicure??? Yeah.  Ari had a nap and I left her home with daddy.  Miracle.  There was a lot however that I didn't get to do.  I didn't sort out tomorrow's washing and the Sunday newspaper is sitting unread.

So what's the point of this post? I suppose it's to voice my grievances at those "CAN WOMEN HAVE IT ALL?????" articles that appear in the media every 3 weeks or so.  

Tomorrow is my third week back at work since I went on leave in March 2013.  Let me tell you that I started crying in September at the thought of leaving my little baby with someone else while I went to WORK.  She was so tiny and she needed me.  I was due to go back in mid December but I really wasn't ready and was fortunate enough to be able to extend my leave for another 5 weeks.  I had a holiday and came around to the idea.  The night before I cried again thinking about how my girl would cope without me.  But you know, each day she's been better. She's a very social and happy child by nature and enjoys the company of her new friends and loves the new toys and activities she can do at daycare that she can't do with me.  The long run benefits far outweigh the negatives for our family.

Now, how about women having it all.  Each of us is different and we have different priorities and opinions and life circumstances but I will admit one thing.  I can't have it all.  Not to the standard that I would normally devote to my commitments.  I can't give my career 100% right now and at the same time give my daughter 100%.  And see my friends and spend time with my family and cook and bake and sleep for a few hours a night.    Not right now.  That's why I'm working 3 days a week for the time being.  Time with my daughter wins.

Monday, 27 January 2014

"every summer has a story"

Happy Australia Day!  I am so thankful to live in this country and grateful that today is a public holiday.  I was not ready to face work today - I'm tired and battling a cold.  Not the best combination.  Copious amounts of water are my friend this morning.

This weekend always seems to signal the end of summer for me, even though in Melbourne the warmest days are still ahead.  The parties seem to die down and everyone has already headed back to work.  The shops begin to bring out sweaters and leather.  WAAAAAY too soon.  

I was lucky to escape to the beach for a while this summer.  Ari loves the ocean just as much as I do.  I have had so many crazy thoughts running my head that I really needed a get away.  It came just at the right time and was calming in every way.  The baby forced the pace to slow down.  Throw in some naps and an 8pm bed time for all of us.  It was perfect.

A very early morning swim - Sportsgirl panama hatSeafolly beach bag

Ari pondering life 

Chicken tacos. So simple and so good.

Rounding off 2013 with a mojito

Perfection on a plate. Flourless chocolate cake.

Massimo;s Gelateria - I always have the same thing when I try out a new icecreamery - hazelnut and tiramisu.

Literally the only things I used - a cheap kaftan, Kindle touch, Zimmermann bikini, Kiehl creme de corps, Kiehl midnight recovery oil, Nivea spray sunscreen, Korres fig body wash and ASAP eye cream and SPF moisturizer.  So liberating. 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Beach life

Nothing better than the grin on the face of a child when they're in the ocean. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Beach bound

How was everyone's day? Christmas Day was frantic yet low key for us. I had mastered the art of travelling with a baby yet throwing a husband into the mix seemed to have throw the day into disarray. There were too many things to cart around and a baby who was waken from her nap. Thankfully the airport was relatively quiet and I had a delicious lunch to look forward to at the end of it. 

We are off to the beach tomorrow. I'm hanging for a swim. Or lots and lots of swims to be honest. It's the small things. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Christmas Eve. I'm laying in bed after a cat nap, mustering up the strength to finish packing. I am literally throwing a heap of bikinis and a few tops and bottoms into a suitcase which has been overtaken by cute baby clothes and all her other necessities. If I'm honest I'm feeling a bit anxious about shuffling her around so much but I suppose she's used to flying and sleeping in new surrounds. 

My kindle is loaded with books and my laptop has some episodes of TV shows I'd like to watch. Anything to distract me from thoughts about what's to come with the new year and that's my new challenge of being away from my girl and being a working mum. I started crying in September in anticipation. Nothing is easy but we learn to adapt when life seemingly has no alternative for us. At least not right now.

So I may as well enjoy the precious weeks I have with my babe and worry about it later. 

I wish you all a wonderful and happy Christmas. Enjoy the downtime to unwind and reflect on all the amazing things in your lives. I hope you're able to spend it with those you love like I'm blessed to be doing this holiday season.

With love... M x

Thursday, 19 December 2013

House detox

Image via Tumblr

Am I the only one who's really conscious about chemicals and radiation in the house?  We surround ourselves with so many pollutants and toxic chemicals.  And what about all the beeping devices?  Chargers and computers and phones.  We often have 3-4 laptops and 4 phones between 2 people?  Wow.  I don't use a microwave.  I don't charge my phone where I sleep.  I don't use electric blankets or baby monitors.  I have started to use cloth nappies part time now and swear by cleaning the baby with a wash cloth and water.  She's not THAT dirty is she?  I try to do one or two thorough cleans with the chemically stuff during the year and in between that maintain it with natural products.  If you clean regularly you don't need antibacterial wipes and bleach do you?  Use up the products that you have and perhaps reconsider.

My favourite things to start with

  • Microfibre cloths are magic.  For dusting and especially cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.  I even exfoliate my face with a microfibre face washer.  I mop the floor is water and a microfibre cloth.
  • Plastic containers?  Nope.  I try and store everything in glass containers.  Can easily recycle old jars as well.  
  • Vinegar and baking soda.  And a bit of lemon.  Pretty good cleaner.

There's less than a week to go until holidays.  There's still too much to do.  But I'm getting there.  Slowly.  Slowly.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas baking - gingerbread and cupcakes

What do you do when the supermarket is handing out christmas cookie cutters?  You bake cookies!  My brother is an athlete and my parents are health freaks and I feel guilty eating a mass amount of sweets so I never have anyone to bake for.  Lucky that this year I have a wonderful mothers group that I can fatten up with cookies.  

And while we're baking cookies we may as well make use of this cute cupcake kit.  

It was my very first time baking gingerbread.  Had no idea where to start and was recommended THIS recipe.  As I was going along it did seem a bit dry, but it is truly perfect.  The dough felt and tasted absolutely amazing.  Recipe is fool proof, I promise. 

I'm not sure if I baked them for too long, or made them too thin (or if my oven sucks) but they were a little too crunchy and over baked.  But not to worry.  They are incredibly fun to bake and ice and I can't wait to do them with Ari when she's a bit older and can help decorate and press the cutters into the dough.  

Bit of cellophane, ribbon and a christmas gift tag and voila!

And the vanilla cupcakes were wonderful too!

Monday, 16 December 2013

“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.” ― Stephen R. Covey,

I am often tired.  So tired.  My autoimmume disease can wreck havoc with me.  My moods and energy levels.  My digestion.  It can all be a complete mess.  And just as often I feel perfectly fine.  Happy. Content.  Full of energy.  It's the low energy times that destroy me.  I begin to feel guilty about the way I feel and it all turns into one vicious cycle.  I've been burning myself into the ground of late with the occasional poor choices.  Having a child has made me realise that these small people learn the best by following your example.  So what I do has to change.

If you've read my blog before you'd know that about 2 years ago I decided to cut refined sugar out of my life.  I didn't eat sugar for ages.  Many, many months. And then recently chocolate and ice cream became my friends who quickly turned into enemies.  They taught me that I just cannot tolerate eating them and that they make me feel like a drum of toxic chemicals.  So last night I binned any trace of processed food from my fridge/freezer/pantry.  No more chocolate covered macademia nuts. I am sick of waste.  I am now embarking on a clean life for a little while.  Simple, simple food free of sugar.  Free of cake.  No fad diet.  No weight loss.  Just the right choices and the right example for my little girl. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

All white

I am wearing Jimmy Choo shoes, Witchery Lace Yoke Dress and a Lovisa necklace.  Ari is in a Zara dress and Seed mouse shoes

On Saturday night we ventured out for Luca's christening.  I do admit that I am very strict around Ari's naps and routines but we winged it and she charmed everyone, staying out until 9pm.  Talk about living on the edge.  

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The most magical time of the year...

Can somebody please hit the pause button?  My little baby is growing at a rapid pace.  She can sit on her own for ages.  She has two teeth, waves goodbye and holds out her arms when she wants me to take her.  Those arms held out to me melt my heart every time.  And she's just realised that kicking a ball is loads of fun.

I'm running out of time and energy to tick off all the things on my to do list between now and the beginning of the new year.  I am looking forward to a blissful 3 week holiday but between now and then I have a house to sort out (will this ever end???),  workshop some outfits for my immanent return to work, I have gifts to finalise, holiday packing to do, Christmas cards to mail out, a Christmas menu to plan and most importantly a child's room to completely redo.  I never did a proper nursery so I'm compensating and doing what I hope will be a magical "big girl" room - complete with a reading/play corner and a big world map.  Although we lack space in our home, we chose to live in this part of town for the lifestyle and the things that are easily accessible to us outside of the house - parks, cafes, beaches and good schools.  I grew up in a very small apartment and my favourite memories were cuddles in my bed (which was in fact a fold out sofa in the lounge room) reading books and watching animal kingdom documentaries with my parents.  There was no second TV.  I hope my new little family can foster the same closeness and time spent together, rather than running away from each other.  Granted we all need our own space but I hope that the bedroom offers plenty of privacy and quiet time.  Ariana is growing to be a very intelligent, bright and placid child who already loves books and puzzles and quiet play so I have been very aware of creating an interesting and varied environment for her to help foster her interests, regularly updating toys and age appropriate activities for her and creating a stimulating environment.

I'm putting up some Ikea picture ledges at a kid friendly height and loading them up with books and some interesting toys.

I have a Mocka kids bean bag making it's way to us. 

How incredible are these heart shaped wooden hooks???  Perfect to have by the door for hanging library bags, backpacks and coats.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

We're both loving Bajo wooden toys with Melissa & Doug running a close second.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week... wish me a productive one, please xx

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas gift brain storm

This year more than ever I am keeping the Christmas gift list short and simple and gifting relatively useful and simple and mostly inexpensive gifts.  My rule is always to give something that I would love to receive.  Here are some ideas for all ages and genders.  Including little ones.

Donna Hay cook book (I always love to wrap a cook book in a tea towel)

Reindeer noses chocolates

Suits DVD box set to enjoy on the lazy days off not spent at the beach.  Best TV show around.

Country Road beach towel - the best, best, best towels around

Louis Vuitton Luggage Tag

Fisher Price - Baby's First Blocks - my absolute favourite children's toy for a range of ages.  Every little kid on my list is getting one of these.