Weekend links

17 February 2017

This week I embraced bike shorts (so I can cycle in dresses) and was floored by Moonlight. Have you seen it? It's the most thought-provoking film I've seen in some time. I hope you have a fun weekend ahead - I'm going shopping for cookie cutters tomorrow and making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner :) Here are some things to share:

Make your own Monte Carlos!

Are we living in a bubble?

Love this poster.

Lin-Manuel Miranda on creativity (his Galentine's Day playlist has been powering my week).

What is Sharia law?

I can't wait to pair these mini meatloaves with this chocolate pudding when the weather cools down.

Why a black Bachelorette is a big deal.

And the first part of this episode of This American Life is so good.

Easy banana ice cream

16 February 2017

It's been a long hot summer but I've found a way to cope - homemade banana ice cream. Right before the last heatwave hit, I picked up some cooking bananas at the markets and stashed them in the freezer. The plan was to make smoothies but many batches of ice cream were made instead :) 

Easy banana ice cream
Serves 2-3

You will need:
2 bananas, frozen and chopped into small pieces
75g greek yoghurt
2tsp honey or more to taste
A dash of vanilla extract

Here's how:

Place all of your ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a plastic container and freeze for 30 minutes. Using a fork, mix the ice cream in the container, taking care to scrape around the edges. Freeze for another 30 minutes or up to three hours, depending on how firm you like your ice cream. Just be sure to stir it every 30 minutes or so.

One hour will give you a frozen yoghurt-like consistency, Tony prefers it at the three hour mark, when it can be scooped like ice cream.

Try topping it with dark chocolate chunks or you could even make your own ice magic while you're waiting for it to set :)

Books I read this summer

13 February 2017

I read a bunch of different books over summer from a memoir to a Japanese novella. I even read a psychological thriller by accident! Here's a quick round-up:

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
My friend Kristy sent me a copy of this Japanese novel from 1987 that includes the novella Moonlight Shadow. I got into the story straight away, it's reminiscent of Haruki Murakami novels from the same era. It's a mysterious and lovely story that had me craving a katsu curry.

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes
I love books set in New York City and this one was particularly special. I received it a few days after my grandfather died and it brought me a lot of comfort and joy. It's about moving to a new city and starting again while grieving. But it's a love story too - the writer starts a relationship with Oliver Sacks. It's a book I want to buy for friends and it comes out in April.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
I enjoyed the quiet drama of this book, the characters and the writing too. It was surprisingly addictive, which meant it was over all too quickly. It reminded me of Modern Lovers, except with a little more action.

The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb
I spotted this book on Anne's Instagram (which is great for book recommendations) and was immediately intrigued by the title. It's a fun and practical read that's helped changed the way I spend (and think about) money. Tony enjoyed it too. The chapters are short, so it's a good one to read on lunch breaks or while travelling.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
This book featured in two of my go-to reading lists but I panicked when I picked it up from the library -  'Unsettling, psychological horror...' was printed on the cover. I finished it quickly (I can't handle suspense) but it's not a genre I'll be returning to anytime soon.

I'm starting Messy tonight. I normally read novels (non-fiction sometimes makes me feel like I'm still at work) but I've heard a few podcast episodes with Tim Harford and could learn to live with a bit of chaos :) If you're curious, he pops up in these episodes of Hidden Brain and Planet Money.

I am always on the hunt for recommendations - especially for novels. Are you reading anything great at the moment? My sister-in-law recommends The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

P.S Here's how to find more time to read.

Weekend links

10 February 2017

I hope you had a great week. I managed to do some yoga, check out a storytelling night and visit my favourite Japanese diner. I'm planning to see a movie this weekend to soak up the air-conditioning and we might do an early Valentine's Day brunch (I'm keen to check out this cafe). Have a great weekend :)

A clever drink bottle for hot and cold days.

A cute (veggie) cookbook.

Let's make frozen honey cream.

The best supermarket cheeses, ranked.

Love, interrupted.

Three physical sunscreens.

A cool profile of Australia's first school lawyer.

Loving this upbeat album.

Who puts broccoli on a pizza?

Weaving with tree branches.

And 12 romantic books that won't make you gag :)

The news today

07 February 2017

How are you keeping up with the news in these crazy times? I work in a newsroom, which means I absorb a lot of local news but lately I've been try to get a greater sense of what's happening overseas - specifically the US.

Just today I started listening to The Daily, a new podcast from The New York Times. It recaps the biggest stories and issues of the day in a way that's not quite news, analysis or a documentary but somewhere magically inbetween.

A new episode comes out every weekday and they're around 15 to 20 minutes, which makes them easy to listen to on the way to or from work. So far, it sounds like a few of my favourite podcasts combined - it has the brain power of The New Yorker Radio Hour and the down-to-earth style and surprise of Radiolab's More Perfect. Here's an episode I found especially fascinating.

P.S I'm a big fan of Insiders when it comes to keeping up with politics at home.

Checking in

05 February 2017

We made it back to Canberra last night, just in time for dinner. After a few emotional days in Sydney, we baked a homemade pizza and watched a funny movie to unwind (it still made me cry!).

It's lovely to be home. I've been leafing through library books (inspired by Emily) and freezing bananas so I can make some no churn ice cream later tonight :) It's been so hot! Tomorrow I'll be heading back to work and tuning into the Four Corners Trump special at night.

What've you been up to? And how are you feeling now that it's February? My friend Amy is writing a letter every day this month!

South Coast beach holiday

31 January 2017

We've just come back from a few days on the coast. We lucked out with sunny days and no snakes and spent our days swimming, reading and exploring new towns. I took plenty of pics! Here are a few of my favourites:

We stocked up on the best kinds of supplies before we left and packed a box of pastries, some nice red wine, a pile of DVDs from the library and chocolate too. It was a hot day and we stopped in Braidwood for cold coconuts and chicken sandwiches at this cute corner cafe. From our window seat we watched a huge convoy of cars heading back to Canberra. Our late booking was paying off.

We rented this beautiful house in Bawley Point. Each morning we had breakfast on the deck and at night Tony made pizza. We took turns in the hammock and I flipped through the entire cookbook collection. Without any reception, I read two books my friend Kristy sent me for Christmas and we found ourselves hooked on the tennis finals :)

We haven't taken a decent road trip since we drove to South Australia at the end of Tony's PhD. It was so nice to spend time by the sea. We swam every day and I watched the waves crash on the beach before dinner. There were two beaches we could walk to but my favourite was Mollymook beach, where the water was calm and icy and there were striped beach umbrellas everywhere.

My friend Sarah sent me a list of her favourite places to visit in Milton, Mollymook and Ulladulla, which made our first trip to the coast super easy. We had veggie burgers and espresso shakes at Pilgrims and took a class at this cheery yoga studio. I loved the little produce shop at Milkhaus, a wholefoods canteen just outside Milton. And we stopped at Cupitt's winery and bought bottle of wine to save for our wedding anniversary and filled Tony's growler too :)

One morning a loud chorus of crickets woke us up before dawn, so we wandered down to the beach to see if we could catch the sunrise. There was a lot of sea mist about, ahead of a hot 40 degree day, so we didn't see much. I did love noticing the subtle changes in light and the arrival of fishermen as the day began.

I came home with a few souvenirs - a funny top, a market bag and tiny mementos from the beach. It's back to work tomorrow but it will be an extra short one. We'll be heading to Sydney at the end of the week to farewell my grandfather. I'll be taking a short break from blogging while I catch up with family but I'll be back next week with more good things to share. Until then, take care xx