Weekend links

26 May 2017

Just a few things to share this week because it's been a busy one. On Saturday I'll be hosting an event for work and then it'll be pizza and gelato time :) This week I've been paying close attention to some of the smaller parts of my day, taking time to have a nice breakfast and read in the morning and popping out to see an exhibition or go for a walk in my lunch break. It's made all of the difference. Here are a few good things:

This song on repeat.

A beautiful star cake.

Pumpkin and sage baked gnocchi.

Sarah Ferguson makes compelling TV.

We tried this vegetarian restaurant the other night and loved it.

And two more choc chip cookie recipes to add to my ever expanding list - peanut butter choc chip and salted chocolate chunk cookies.

Sweet things for $20 or less

25 May 2017

I picked up a few souvenirs while I was in Sydney last week, including this funny make-up pouch that I'm planning to use as a clutch. I considered buying its furry mate too. They remind me of Anya Hindmarch bags, which I love but admire from afar.

I went to the MCA zine fair on Sunday and I cleaned out my wallet in 15 minutes flat. I made a beeline for Lee Tran Lam's table because she always puts together a dense and well-written zine based on a theme. This year it's work, and it's a steal for $10. I've been reading bits before bed and in my lunch break - the interviews are funny and energising too.

I also picked up an Indonesian recipe zine (my Dad grew up in Surabaya) and thought about buying these Seinfeld badges for a friend. I bought an emoji zine instead :)

Two good things landed in my letterbox while I was away. I can't wait to get stuck into Molly Wizenberg's first book, A Homemade Life. I only started reading her blog a few years ago, and I feel like her memoir is going to fill in a lot of blanks. It's also a recipe book in disguise.

There was also this little pin (with eyes!), which  is going to take up residence on my trusty stripey t-shirts and add a bit of cheer to my work blazers too.

A change of pace

23 May 2017

Last week marked a huge break in routine. I spent it in Sydney, seeing a family member through an operation, which thankfully went really well. I'm glad I made the trip, even though it was nerve-wracking and unpredictable in parts. Here are a few snaps of some of the brighter moments:

Tony couldn't join me until the weekend, so I caught the bus down on Sunday and stayed with my parents. We went out for pho and checked out two new cafes in our neighbourhood. There were also afternoons spent sitting in the sun, drinking tea and catching up.

In between hospital visits, I kept myself busy making pies. They came in handy later in the week, when my sister came for lunch with her two kids. My brother Zac picked up my grandmother and the eight of us shared a meat pie and an apple pie for dessert.

By Wednesday things were starting to settle down, which meant I had some time to see friends. I did yoga with my friend Irini in a studio that used to be an old warehouse. It was right by the harbour so after class we walked down the street to a cafe with a view of the bridge.

That night we had dinner with Angie, who always asks if there's anywhere new I want to try when I'm in Sydney :) We went to Continental Deli in Newtown and sat upstairs in the bistro. We ended up ordering all of the desserts, including an old-school crepe suzette. Seeing old friends (the three of us met when we were 12!) made a daunting week manageable and fun.

The weekend felt more like a holiday. Tony drove down from Canberra and we stayed in a cute Airbnb near the city. We read books on the deck and walked to Newtown for eggplant burgers and excellent sides. We also checked out an exhibition called The National at Carriageworks. It's spread across three different galleries but Carriageworks was easily my favourite, especially for the video works.

One excellent discovery from this trip - there's now a Cornersmith cafe in Annandale. We went two days in a row because it's such a relaxing space and the food was surprising and delicious.

Now that I'm back at home and back at work I realise how unusual the week was. I am often rushing between things but last week was all about family. It felt good to just focus on one thing and it's given me a good jolt of energy (not to mention gratefulness) right before winter hits.

Weekend links

19 May 2017

What've you been up to this week? I've been watching The Chefs' Line with my Dad and catching up with friends for dinner and cake. Tony's arriving in Sydney soon, to check out The National and drive us back to Canberra on Sunday. It has been a busy and full week, I'll tell you more about it soon. In the meantime:

A hilarious birthday cake.

Are you a fox or a hedgehog? Hedgehogs sounds pretty good :)

How to navigate a career change.

Nirrimi always nails it.

Saving this for when we finish the second season of Master of None.

What does simple living really mean?

A Tinder-like app for parents.

Love this floral dress.

A second Smitten Kitchen cookbook is on its way! Here's a preview.

On interviewing a racist - mind-blowing in so many ways.

And a weekend baking suggestion - chocolate and salted macadamia cookies.

New books

16 May 2017

I packed a bunch of new books for my trip to Sydney and I'm getting through them. On the weekend my friend Sarah gave me a copy of The Little Book of Slow, which is a pocket-sized book about simple living and slow cooking.

So far I've made two pies from the recipe section - a hearty meat pie and an apple and cinnamon pie - both for my parent's freezer. It's been such a sweet reference book to have in my holiday backpack. Bonus points for colour coordinating with my notebook and novel :)

I'm also flicking through Note to Self, which I stumbled across in a Melbourne bookstore. It reminds me of the blogs and zines I read in my uni days - some of the chapters are diary-like and there are beautiful photos of everyday life and the occasional poem too.

It's an easy one to dip in and out of and it's partly about living more mindfully. I can whiz through dozens of pages in the time that I might spend scrolling through Instagram.

P.S I also bought the latest Haruki Murakami book but I thought two hardbacks might be a little much for a week away. It's waiting for me at home.

Funny cards

14 May 2017

Tony gave his mum this card for Mother's Day and it made me laugh. It's part of a series of cards and small gifts from British artist David Shrigley. Each one comes with a puffy sticker - I've given this one to my brother who works in the music industry and I have this one pinned to my noticeboard at work.

I've just arrived in Sydney for the week with half a suitcase of presents. My one-year-old nephew is getting a submarine bath toy and a dinner set for his birthday, I bought my Dad this hefty book for his next foodie adventure, and for Mother's Day I chose this starter set of beeswax wraps.

Weekend links

12 May 2017

I fell off my bike on Monday, which put a slightly different spin on the week. Luckily I only have a few bruises to show for it :) What are your plans for the weekend? I'm heading to Sydney on Sunday, to spend some time with my family. But before then I'll be entering this bake off, going to see a photography show with Tony, and eating tacos with friends. Hope you have a good weekend:

12 books to check out.

Insecurity questions (the Instagram one!).

giant crumpet.

'My food struggle in pictures'

The end of an era.

This was a fascinating read - does it ring true to you? I'd love to know.

Singapore's ice cream uncle via Mei Ying.

The worst food in White House history.

Nigel Slater's apple crumble.

And we watched this excellent documentary about three Chicago artists and their creative processes. I especially loved the profiles of Nick Cave and Chris Ware. The Vancouver episode is great too.

See you next week!