Weekend links

28 August 2015

Happy weekend! I'm back in Canberra and am looking forward to exploring the city on foot tomorrow while Tony is at work. I'm planning to choose a birthday present for a friend, watch a movie (I'm going to see this and probably cry) and go somewhere delicious for lunch. I can't wait! Here are 8 things I found and loved this week:

beautiful holiday sketch from NYC.

Why it's never too late.

A French walnut tart for the last days of winter.

The fun new album that I've been listening to non-stop.

Life as a twin.

sweet idea for spring.

brilliant audio book that I just finished, which author Jon Ronson narrates himself.

And on my to-read list for this weekend, The Rise of 'Mama', the re-branding of the modern mother.

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Real Girl Wardrobes - Halla Hannesdóttir

26 August 2015

This week I'd like you to meet Halla Hannesdóttir, an artist and object maker from Reykjavik, Iceland. Halla and I met through our partners, who are close friends from high school days. I've always admired Halla's colourful and bold outfits, and have since discovered that they're partly inspired by her love of Wes Anderson films :)

Today, the 30-year-old shares what it's like to dress for two different hemispheres, what you'll find in her handbag, and how she's preparing for her wedding in Iceland next year.

The spare loaf

24 August 2015

I've been getting back into bread making, it's fast becoming a favourite weekend ritual and because my recipe makes two loaves, I've started giving a loaf away to a different friend each week.

It's an idea that I've pinched from Kristy, who gave away so many homemade sourdoughs that when she moved to Perth, I ordered a special bread stamp to brand paper bags as her going away gift. Kristy would often give me a spare loaf on a Friday when she came into town, and I was always so grateful and excited to collect it. She's even sent me a loaf express post from Perth!

At home, we jokingly call the spare loaf the friendship loaf and this week Tony asked if he could give it to a friend at work. I have to say that giving something to someone, whether it's a card, a surprise parcel or homemade cookies, always fills me with a special kind of purpose and joy.

But back to the bread, I've dabbled in bread making before, and can highly recommend The Bread and Butter project cookbook, which comes from the people who set up Bourke Street Bakery. Kristy lent me her copy and it makes bread as good as I could buy. A jar of hand-me-down starter (thanks Amy!) makes for a good head start too.

Weekend links

21 August 2015

I've been taking it slow this week, catching up on sleep, hanging out with friends and getting back on my bike. It has been surprisingly restorative and so I'm going into the weekend with the tiniest of goals - to start a new book, make a loaf of bread and try a new recipe. Here are a few happy things to brighten  your weekend:

An easy baked brie.

This short story by Miranda July via Sophie.

Chinese single ladies.

A beautiful diary for 2016 (!)

new favourite Instagram account via Sally.

A brilliant parody of the extreme milkshake craze.

And something tempting - an evening with David Sedaris.

Three days in Adelaide

20 August 2015

We've heard so many great things about Adelaide over the last few years and were excited to check out the city after exploring South Australia's wine country last month. We stayed in a great apartment in North Adelaide, which had cute cafes like E for Ethel and was an easy half hour walk into town.

We spent an afternoon at the Art Gallery of South Australia, where we found some hidden gems amongst what had looked like a collection of European style history paintings. I especially loved two video works, Richard Lewer's Worse luck I am still here, which I watched a few times over and a surreal 40 minute piece by AES+F group from Russia called Allegoria Sacra - I managed to watch the entire thing from start to finish, I was totally captivated. Tony also led the way to Greenaway Gallery, a contemporary art space in the suburb of Kent Town.

On the food front, we loved Maid Mice, which serves Vietnamese-inspired burgers and really great fries. My only regret is not going with the burger banquet option, it was so delicious! We spent a bit of time stocking up on clothes in the city and loved Monday's Coffee Store and The Beigelry for New York inspired bagels and apple pie soda. Of a night, Clever Little Taylor was a lovely spot for a drink. We discovered Rundle Street East a little late in our stay but loved the look of all the cafes (a few hidden away in Ebenezer Place) and fancy shops.

Before we began the long drive home, we stopped by the beach where we saw a dolphin playing in the sea :) We'd love to come back one day to check out a few things we missed, like the Adelaide Hills and Samstag Museum. I'd also love to check out the Adelaide Festival, the South Australian Living Artists Festival and try out this foodie guide to Adelaide, discovered a month too late.

Happy hands

18 August 2015

I treated myself to a birthday manicure last week and feeling a bit embarrassed about my dry winter hands, I asked the beautician how I might fix them. She suggested two simple things:

Exfoliate your hands twice a week

I am forever putting on hand cream and learnt that this only really works if you exfoliate regularly, otherwise you're just putting cream on top of dead skin cells (!). She recommended using a body scrub (rather than a face scrub) twice a week and taking special care to exfoliate your fingers and in between them too.

Choose an oil-based hand cream 

In the salon this was shea butter, which is meant to be great for cuticles too. I've started using this coconut balm, which is 100% coconut oil and not too expensive. It's really long lasting, even if I am constantly washing my hands. My beautician says regular coconut oil that you use for cooking is fine too and will save you from buying something extra.

Winter can be a bit of a tough season, I'd love to know if you have any of your own quick fixes of pick-me-ups. This homemade sugar scrub for night time baths sounds lovely.

Weekend links

14 August 2015

I've had so much fun celebrating my birthday this week, beginning with a cosy pasta dinner with friends on Monday night and then a fancy meal out in Canberra last night, which ended with this whiskey creme caramel. It has been lovely. Here are a few favourite online finds:

7 handy iPhone hacks. Especially great if you're forever filling up your camera roll.

A colourful food-filled home in Japan.

Women at work - what a photographer, make-up artist and chef wear on the job.

Extremely cute owl cookies.

An amazing underwater themed carousel for adults and kids alike.

While it stressed me out a little, I really enjoyed watching Frantic Family Rescue, especially after reading this interview with Carl Honore about living slowly.

And I'm addicted to this Summer Love series from The New York Times.

A mini art library in Canberra

12 August 2015

I've always wanted to stay at Hotel Hotel in Canberra, so last weekend we did the next best thing and visited for coffee. Afterwards we made a fun discovery - a small library packed with art and design books.

There were artist books, books about paper craft and contemporary Indonesian art, and an Italian cookbook too. Here's what I picked:

I love the concept and wish there were more spaces like this that are quiet, enriching and free :) I'll be back, especially now I know they change the books regularly

Do you ever buy art books? My most extravagant buy was a beautiful and hefty Juergen Teller photography book that I bought when I turned 27. I also own Sophie Calle's Double Game, which was such an addictive read, but most of the time I just browse :)

My birthday wish list

11 August 2015

I'm turning 31 this week and can't wait to take a day off work, go out for a fancy meal (we're going here!) and spend the weekend with my family. Just for fun, here are a few pretty things I'd love:

A beautiful sleeping bag from Fabrik because I'm on the move a lot lately and am going camping for the first time in October. A spotty pillow would be lovely too.

Rachel Khoo's latest cookbook, I'm loving her Melbourne series that's screening on SBS at the moment. Fun fact - my brother worked on the show!

A simple gold bangle like this one from Lucy Folk. I have a few of her tiny earrings and am ready to start wearing a bit more jewellery.

A copy of Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami, which combines two novels that were written in 1973. For two years running, a new Murkami novel has been released right before my birthday. Last year it was Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

And what is a birthday without an incredible cake? I know I live in Wagga Wagga but I would dearly love a chocolate cake from Unbirthday bakery. It would make the ultimate day-after breakfast cake.

Photos of cake by Nikki Lee.

Weekend links

07 August 2015

Even though it's been bitterly cold this week, I'm excited to think that Spring is now only a few weeks away. Thanks for sharing some of your money saving tips this week, I'll need them because I'm in Canberra at the moment and surrounded by tempting shops and cafes. Here are a few favourite links for the weekend ahead:

A new Woody Allen film opens this month.

A funny fancy clutch.

How to write a condolence note.

10 email newsletters written by cool women, via Suzannah.

typical day for Annabel Crabb.

A stunning magazine cover.

And a chicken noodle soup with a few interesting extras.

Have a lovely weekend, catch you next week.

Real Girl Wardrobes - Nadine Crowley

06 August 2015

I’m excited to introduce you to Nadine Crowley, who co-owns a cool new business in Wagga Wagga and has enviable no fuss style. Today, the 38-year-old happily shares what's on high rotation in her wardrobe, how she navigated corporate dress codes and what she gave up wearing when her son Baxter came along.

Small ways to spend less

04 August 2015

After a holiday, a big celebration and with a few changes happening at work, I figured that now would be a good time to spend less and focus on saving. So far it's meant a handful of small changes and a couple of fun discoveries too. Here are three things I've been doing, including a few habits I picked up from friends:

1. Using my local library

The library in town is excellent and I always check the catalogue if there's something specific I want to read or watch. So far they've had everything I've been after, including some really new releases, cookbooks and documentaries. I've also just started using Zinio for library to download free magazines, which is especially great because magazines are my weakness. I'm using BorrowBox too for free e-books and audiobooks. I've just finished listening to Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians at Kristy's suggestion, it was really fun and great for the nights when I'm home alone.

2. Doing the big shop at Aldi 

I'm way behind on this one mainly because my office is in walking distance of Woolworths. We've switched from going to the supermarket most days (!) to trying do a weekly shop at Aldi and buying in bulk even if it means spending a bit more up front. In terms of saving, it only works if I avoid all of the random stuff in the middle of the store, including all the Peppa Pig items I could be buying for my niece!

3. Coffee at home

Buying a bag of coffee beans means we're able to stay in our pajamas for longer on the weekend and resist the temptation to go out for breakfast. Lately I've been making these cheesy egg sandwiches and I'm keen to try these orange ricotta choc chip pancakes :)

If you've got any great tricks for saving money, I'd love to hear them!