Weekend links

30 October 2015

It's going to storm over the weekend, which means our camping trip is on hold but we're still going to catch up with friends to cook cheesy hot potatoes and make s'mores - I can't wait. Have a lovely weekend, here are some links to keep you entertained:

A pretty and affordable calendar for 2016.

Worthwhile problems.

A banana split - with donuts!

An ode to quick getaways.

The The New Yorker Radio Hour has started and the first episode was great.

The best (and tiniest) wedding car.

My favourite TV show is back - and has a cool online only spin-off too.

family photo shoot gone wrong.

And Making Families Happy :) has started. I cried at the end of Making Couples Happy when it aired a few years ago!

Photo by @luxeandthelady - her Instagram account always makes my day :)

A simple supermarket dessert

28 October 2015

When we first moved in together, Tony and I would go grocery shopping after work and had a habit of buying marked down donuts ($1 for six!) for a weekday treat. We're a bit more health-conscious now, and fruit platters have become my go-to lazy dessert.

They're colourful and quick to make, which is great if it's too hot to bake or you're having a busy day. I made one the other night when a friend came round for a midweek meal.

Here's what works:
  • Pick fruits with a variety of colours and shapes. Once I was helping to cater an event and accidentally made up a plate of honeydew, celery sticks, dip and grapes and got in trouble because it looked so bland!
  • Cut the fruit and make sure there's at least once piece of each fruit per person, so one slice of watermelon, half a passionfruit and so on. It's best if it can be eaten without cutlery.
  • A tiny ramekin to stop runaway blueberries.
  • Finally, chocolate. I've been buying the organic dark sea salt variety at Aldi and one packet per platter seems to be the perfect amount :)

P.S If I was having friends round for dinner around during the week, I'd make this simple vegetarian pasta and have the fruit platter to end. The leftovers make super easy weekday snacks - yay!

New things ahead

27 October 2015

This weekend I'm going camping for the first time. I am really excited and only a tiny bit nervous. It was one of my hopes for this year and a good reminder to continually try new things - big and small.

I've been loving this Instagram series about doing something for the first time every Saturday, whether it's catching the train to a city or having a milkshake at the beach. My friend Angie has the best approach to trying new things, she gives everything a go twice, just in case she was nervous the first time round.

Aside from camping, I have a few new-to-me things on the horizon. I'm booked into a one-day yoga retreat next month and now that I've mastered a white sourdough, I'm going to make an orange, yoghurt and poppyseed loaf. I'm also producing a short radio series at work.

Right now, I'm putting a few things aside for our camping trip, including jumbo marshmallows and my first aid kit! We're going away with our friends Sophie, Tim and Edwin so we'll be in great hands but if you have any tips for a first-time camper, I'm all ears.

P.S When was the last time you tried something new? A few months ago I held a puppy for the first time and before that, I drove from Berry to Wagga Wagga, my longest solo drive to date :)

Photo by John Mayer (CC-BY-2.0)

Weekend links

23 October 2015

What's on for you this weekend? I'm planning to bake a honey loaf, visit a Christmas fair and maybe even see this band on Sunday. All things fun! It has been a pretty good week all round, I've been busy meeting new people, recording radio stories and getting tangled up in my own recording gear (!). Here are a few things to enjoy on your days off, catch you next week:

This fun playlist.

Annabel Crabb being hilarious, as usual.

How to make a giant choc chip cookie :)

A very cute dress.

An unusual and heartwarming love story.

Mild mannered insults (so funny!)

An audio book I just finished and loved. This one's up next.

Coining the catchphrases on Seinfeld.

And an e-newsletter from one of my favourite kitchens.

P.S My pug bag has been helping me make friends at Aldi. My friend Alice gave it to me, with a clay pug inside!

Inside Gemma's sunny yellow cottage

21 October 2015

Earlier this year my friend Gemma moved from Queensland to Sydney for a new job. On Instagram I watched as restoration began on her new home, a gorgeous yellow cottage on the outskirts of Sydney. I saw stunning lead light windows go in and winter fires blazing. Wanting to see even more, I asked Gemma if she could take us on a tour of her new home and shed some light on its rich past:

Desktop - Grace Lee, Illustrator

18 October 2015

This week we're heading to Tokyo, Japan to check out illustrator Grace Lee's super colourful workspace. Grace's drawn Instagram updates always brighten my days. Grace shares beautifully observed moments from everyday life, holiday sketches and illustrates funny stories she's heard too. A full-time freelancer, Grace shares what she gets up to on any given work day:

Weekend links

16 October 2015

Did you have a good week? I've been sneaking small treats into my days, like after work burgers and pretty magazines. Tomorrow we're going to check out a festival in town (I'll be lining up for this and visiting Soon's stand) and I'm also hoping to start Jonathan Franzen's new book. Have a lovely weekend, here are a few fun links I've been stockpiling for you:

How to hold a baby.

Two very funny jumpers.

Nice words for rainy days.

A brilliant radio story by my friend Liz that is about life, death and the delicate space in between.

The picnic style pie that I'm making for dinner.

When Miranda July met Rihanna.

Would you try a five-piece wardrobe challenge?

A beautiful new zine that makes me proud to call Wagga Wagga home.

And an Instagram account dedicated to Parisian desserts, via my friend Sally.

The best gift for a two-year-old

13 October 2015

With Tony's help, I bought an over the top present for our niece's second birthday - she loved it immediately and thankfully my sister and brother-in-law did too :)

Desktop - Kate Levins, Brunchfastclub

11 October 2015

Kate Levins is a student nutritionist who writes and develops recipes for Brunchfastclub, her seriously yummy wholefoods blog. At home, we love her beetroot and blueberry smoothies. Today, Kate shares her favourite places to shop for fresh produce in Sydney and explains how she comes up with new recipes:

Weekend links

09 October 2015

We're going to a special birthday party this weekend - my gorgeous niece is turning two! Tony helped me choose a present for her (after I went a bit too practical with a dress and a cup), and I can't wait to see her face when she sees it. While we're in town I'm also hoping to go for a swim and meet my friend's newborn baby. Have a fun weekend:

This salad looks amazing.

A super colourful home that used to be a car workshop.

A cannoli cake!

One woman's brave story.

Love this outfit.

A Woody Allen gem from the 90's that we watched over the long weekend.

Behind-the-scenes details from the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, which was released 20 years ago! I remember watching it on VHS, when my sister was studying the book in high school.

And something to watch - Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture is on SBS On Demand.

These beautiful paper flowers arrived in the mail from Jennifer. She's so kind.

Four things

08 October 2015

I wanted to share the little things that are bringing me joy lately, beginning with salt and vinegar popcorn. I picked up a bag in Sydney a few weeks back and cannot get enough. It's also warm enough to read on the porch again, I've just starting reading this book, which my friend Sean gave me for my birthday.

These homegrown blooms from my friend Sophie's flower farm. Did you know that ranunculus respond to UV light and open and close accordingly? Or as I like to think of it, they're flowers that go to sleep at night :)

Duck eggs from our local farmers markets. My father-in-law introduced me to them, and I love them for being extra yoke-y. I baked this cake with them, after a few people told me that they're especially great in cakes.

And finally, this miniature ricotta cake that my brother recommended for the long drive home to Wagga Wagga. I'm not usually one for cheesecakes but this one was insanely good. I'm even tempted to try this recipe and make it at home.

I hope this week is treating you well. If not, there's only a couple of sleeps until the weekend :)

Desktop - Jennifer Tran, Papetal

05 October 2015

Today, a new series to coincide with the start of the working week that will give you a glimpse into someone else's work life and desk space. First up, I'm excited to introduce you to Jennifer Tran, who works under the name Papetal to create intricate paper sculptures that replicate the colour and beauty of real-life flowers:

Long weekend links

02 October 2015

I am so excited to be home for the long weekend, it's a much needed break after back-to-back weekends away. I have little plans for the days ahead - a picnic on Sunday with friends, I'm planning to bring this taco pasta and these decadent choc chip cookies. I'm also can't wait to get stuck into the latest issue of Cherry Bombe. Here are some fun finds from this week:

A celebration of snail mail.

Fashion bloggers before they found fame.

A cool Parisian tradition.

A cesarean birth story that ends with a trophy!

Mandarin shortbread and beautiful homemade packaging.

A gorgeous denim top.

Annabel Crabb is on Instagram - yay!

An amazing Lost in Translation-inspired holiday.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Do you exercise?

01 October 2015

Every spring I rediscover exercise. In seasons past I've taken up running, joined a gym and bought a tennis racquet. But this spring is different. This month, I will have clocked up a whole year of regular exercise. It feels like a triumph and a bit of a fluke too.

Today, two girlfriends and my brother generously share how much they exercise in any given week, why they do it, what keeps them motivated and the kinds of things that can get in the way: