My birthday wish list

18 July 2018

I'm starting to make plans for my birthday, which is less than a month away. I'll be turning 34, and while it isn't an age I've ever tried out in my head, I'm still excited to celebrate. My whole family will be in Canberra (minus my brother and his wife who live in London), and we're booked in for yum cha. I might also have a small celebration with friends, and make my own cake again.

Because I love to daydream, here's a wish list of things I've been eyeballing lately, starting with a Golden Age Cinema gift pass for my next Sydney visit.

They serve Gelato Messina choc tops at the bar, play cult films like Do The Right Thing, and the entire fit out looks it's straight out of a Wes Anderson film.

Because it's winter and we live in Canberra, some fancy face oil would boost my spirits! It was minus seven on Monday.

A new book, which requires zero waiting because it's not part of a library reserve queue :)

I feel like your thirties is when you start to accumulate beautiful things, like ceramics. I'd use this sweet Girl Nomad mug for my morning coffee. This is my night time tea cup!

And for extra luxurious baking, I'd savour a tiny bottle of vanilla extract from France.

Now to think of any last things I'd like to get done as a 33 year old!

Hello weekend

13 July 2018

My friends Irini and Angie are visiting from Sydney this weekend. I'm excited to have some of my favourite people along for regular weekend things like yoga, brunch and a cosy dinner at home. And one thing I remembered this week - taking breaks at work helps me stay productive and happy. Things to share:

On order... this funny tee.

Jonathan from Queer Eye has his own podcast! Via Laura.

Excellent life advice from former Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth.

Kids try 100 years of party snacks.

If you were captivated by the Thai cave rescue too, I found this recap of how the boys were lost and then found fascinating.

And I just finished reading The Year of Less by Cait Flanders, which I picked up on the recommendation of Anne. It was practical, real and only $1.89 in the Kindle store).


An unhurried cake

12 July 2018

When we first moved to Canberra, one of the biggest adjustments was time - mainly the sudden lack of it. My daily commute was longer (to be expected when your previous one was a two minute drive!), and I was starting a new job with slightly longer hours.

Having lived in Wagga Wagga for almost five years, I pushed myself to adjust to our new city life and tried to cram everything in. That included making something for the weekly office bake off. I didn't miss a week that first year. I made cherry brownies, snowmen cupcakes, cheese tarts and chocolate chip cookies. It was partly a way to make friends in a newer, bigger office. I also loved to bake, and was excited about having more people to feed.

Three years, and a new job later, things have changed again. I bake maybe once a month, if that, part of a bigger effort to do less. Lately there's less rushing around in my lunch break to tick off extra errands, and fewer expectations of things I'll get done after work. It's really nice.

The latest cake I made was a pink grapefruit cake, made on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Tony was at his studio, so I listened to podcasts and got a start on dinner (this brisket!). I'd been wanting to bake all week but I was glad to have waited, because it was unhurried and extra enjoyable because of it.

Real talk though, bundt cards are hard.

P.S More on dropping the ball :) I'm going to tell you more about my new job soon!

Hello weekend

06 July 2018

I hope you've had a good week! I spent a couple of days in Sydney and squeezed in some catch ups with friends around work. Other highlights included crab fried rice, pandan chiffon cake and dessert toast (covered in condensed milk!) at Boon Cafe. We're heading back that way in a matter of days, because my friend Haline is getting married! The plan is to check out Tony's work at the Salon de Refuses and have dinner at this favourite spot (we've only ever been for brunch). Here are five solid things to share:

Accidentally Wes Anderson is such a fun Instagram account.

For anyone who makes things, I loved hearing Roman Mars, host of 99% Invisible, talk about art versus commerce in the Zig Zag podcast. The whole episode is great but his interview (from the 20 minute mark) is especially inspiring.

Forever breaking my heart - Sleepover's advice for strangers.

Tina Roth Eisenberg may be my dream boss.

Pretty and healthyish - blueberry coconut galette.

Have a lovely weekend :) 

Night time rituals

01 July 2018

Do you have any after work rituals? My morning routine has been pretty solid for the last six months - I go to yoga most mornings, have coffee at the studio and then head to work with a clearer-than-usual head. Evenings are far more haphazard, and I've been experimenting with a few different ways of winding down:

If I'm getting the bus, I walk to the city after work to get a dose of fresh air, which is always a refreshing shock after sitting in heating all day. It's a half hour walk and I'll listen to a podcast or some music and get on a bus that's more direct than the one I can catch right outside my office. The commute puts a nice gap between my work day and the night.

If it's been an especially busy day and I'm driving home,  I'll listen to Spotify's daily mixes after work, saving new podcast episodes for the weekend.

I'm easily distracted by my phone at night, so I've been setting a timer for some dedicated reading time, so I don't accidentally check the time on my phone and end up scrolling through Instagram.

And if I'm wrestling with a few things in my head, I'll write them down in a notebook. Sometimes it helps me identify exactly what I'm feeling, other times it just feels like I'm putting thoughts somewhere else, and which stops me from turning them over in my head or trying to remember them.

P.S How crazy is it that we're more than halfway through the year?!

Hello weekend

29 June 2018

I'm excited to have a few lazy days ahead, especially as it's going to be freezing! On the cards, catching up on magazines and making an unhurried cake. My parents are also visiting, to help my sister and her fam finish the last of their unpacking. We're going to my favourite Thai place for dinner, and at some point, I'm going to watch Nanette. To share:

Two wintry desserts: blueberry bread and butter pudding and whatever-you-fancy fruit crumble.

Everything is love.

This is super cute - Teen vs. Food Critic.

Delicious is killing it on the noodle front - I'm going to download their latest issue (Canberra readers, here's how to get it for free!) so I can make prawn mee goreng and three cheese lasagne.

I love Stella's style.

I'm going to work my way through these 20 thoughts on writing (including gems from Roxane Gay, Ira Glass and Ta-Nehisi Coates).

And something that changed my week, Charlie introduced me to Todist, a list-making and productivity app that helped me get so. much. done.

Catch you next week :)

Tiny cabin stay

24 June 2018

Last week we worked for two days and then headed to the Kangaroo Valley for a mid-week cabin stay. We booked a tiny cabin that was off the grid, where we had a couple of horses for neighbours and a fire (plus lots of marshmallows) to keep us warm. It was the nicest way to spend the winter solstice. Here are a few photos to share:

The trip was a tiny step towards car camping. We still had running water, a bathroom (with a composting toilet!), and a roof over our heads. Between the two of us we have zero camping experience, so we figured we'd try this out and see how we went. I loved cooking on a camp stove, and making my first ever fire.

We stopped at Hall for lunch on our way out of town, and stocked up on fancy beers at Hops & Vine. I'm going through a sour beer phase at the moment, they're a happy medium between beer and cider. Food inspiration came from Heidi and Rachel's camping trips - we packed some slow cooked meatballs that'd been stashed in the freezer, and I made my own pancake mix by halving this recipe.

Mornings were chilly and we'd wake up to steamed up windows and fog outside. My favourite activity was making breakfast in the cabin. On our first morning we ate buttermilk pancakes in bed and drank tea until it was too bright to stay in bed. We drove to Berry for hot pies and coffee, firewood and the best mint choc chip gelato.

I packed The Female Persuasion and it was the perfect holiday novel. It was surprising and entertaining, and very accurately captured feminism and gender politics today. We both thought there would be heaps of time for reading and drawing but our afternoons were busy in ways we didn't expect. We built a fire before dark, made pasta and greens on the camp stove and sat around watching the stars come out. On our final night, the winter solstice, we had big bowls of spaghetti and meatballs by the fire followed by s'mores.

It was so nice to have a couple of nights away after a busy first half of the year. We arrived home to sub-zero Canberra temperatures, extra grateful for hot showers and heating and daydreaming about a beachy cabin stay when the weather warms up again.