Picnic for one

31 March 2016

One Friday night on our way to dinner, Tony and I passed a girl setting up for a picnic by herself. She had a towel, some fancy chips and a book and she was still there when we passed the same spot on our way home. I love organising picnics for friends but I was curious to try a solo picnic. It might sound a little lonely but it's actually super relaxing.

On Easter Sunday I packed a thermos of tea, some Easter eggs and a new book and walked down to the lake. Away from my computer and things about the house that I'm very good at fussing with, I drank tea, read and people-watched in the sun. I'll definitely do it again, next time I'm home alone or need a little time to myself.

P.S I'm reading Erin's book Simple Matters and am loving it.

Real Girl Wardrobes - Christina Gee

29 March 2016

Christina is my sister-in-law and I remember liking her right off the bat. She’s warm, enthusiastic and very well read. She's not afraid to wear something bold (she wore an amazing pair of yellow pants to my wedding) and she always looks comfortable in her own skin. Today Chris shares what survived a recent wardrobe clean out and a very cool style mantra that leaves plenty of time for reading.

Long weekend links

26 March 2016

Happy Easter! I normally work most public holidays but have four full days off to potter around the house, catch up with my brother and sister-in-law who are visiting and bake. I'm so excited! Earlier this week I made hot cross buns for work (I used a recipe from this book) and now I feel like I have a secret power :) Have a great long weekend:

How to truly enjoy cooking.

Desert dreaming.

A polka-dotted puffer for when it gets really cold.

A guided meditation for the anxious mind (so funny!).

This portrait series of a family living in extremely close quarters.

Easy (looking) Easter egg bark.

Helen Garner has a new book.

A simple dinner for lazy days.

And this new show by comedian Luke McGregor that had me in stitches.

A very beautiful plant book

23 March 2016

I've been visiting Indoor Green, Living with Plants at my local bookstore for weeks now, and I have a feeling it's going to come home with me very soon.

Written by Bree Claffley (who also owns the beautiful Melbourne homewares store Mr Kitly) it features interviews with indoor plant lovers from around the world and photographs of their homes. Especially useful to a novice like me is the guide to common (and elusive) house plants and how to care for them that's at the back of the book.

Since we moved, I've had some success with a balcony garden and I'm slowly starting to add a few plants inside our apartment. So far we have a few cacti and a Monstera fruit salad plant that just keeps sprouting new leaves. One day I'd love to have a plant in every room of the house - just like Dev in Master of None :)

Photos from the book by Lauren Bamford.

A super fun podcast

20 March 2016

Are you listening to anything great at the moment? My sister put me onto The Sporkful the other week and I am obsessed. It's a fun food podcast for anybody who loves to eat and it has the best tagline - 'It's not for foodies, it's for eaters.'

So far I've listened an episode about pho that covered everything from home to pronounce it and how best to eat it (not drowned in sauce and each element kind of separately - which really surprised me) and the host, Dan Pashman, is so enthusiastic, empathetic and funny.

Parts of the show go into the science of eating something for maximum taste (!) and while that might sound nerdy, the show is entertaining as it is informative. It's very earnest too. Another episode I really enjoyed (and admired) focussed on dining out in a wheelchair. And my sister made sure I heard this Serial send-up (knowing that I'm not really a fan).

P.S - I just listened to this episode of Burnt Toast that about lunch breaks done well and and how to salvage leftovers in the most insane/delicious ways.

Weekend links

17 March 2016

I hope you had a great week. There was a homemade apple pie at the office today and the hot air balloon festival is still going, so we see balloons from our balcony almost every morning. My friend Sophie is coming to stay in a matter of hours with her little family and I can't wait. We have so much catching up to do. Have a lovely weekend!

Life before my phone courtesy of Laura.

On my to-bake list via Cat.

How to care for a sad person.

My first cookbook of 2016.

Stoked to be in a (very cool) zine!

And it was super fun working on this story about a 106-year-old.

Hanging out with a two-year-old

16 March 2016

Late last week my sister texted with the best news - she had made a snap decision to come to Canberra for the weekend. I was so excited about seeing her and my niece and I started to plan a few fun things we could do together, and I got some great advice from a guy at work.

Real Girl Wardrobes - Kate Allman

14 March 2016

When I lived in Wagga Wagga I ran into Kate Allman pretty often - in the supermarket, at gallery openings, going for walks - and she always looked cool and confident. Kate is super friendly and a talented writer too, and today the 25-year-old gives us a peek inside her wardrobe, which features everything from babydoll dresses to boyfriend jeans.

Weekend links

11 March 2016

Are you ready for the weekend? I am, especially because my niece is coming to visit. I've made her favourite meal (lasagne) and am going to leave a few ripe strawberries on the plant for her to pick. My parents, brother and sister will be in town too, so I'm sure it'll be a big one for eating and catching up. Have a great weekend, here are a few favourite finds from this week:

Miranda July in Melbourne.

This bell sleeve jumper.

Homemade banana, walnut and choc chunk ice cream.

A very pretty Easter egg.

A heartfelt home makeover.

Gloria Steinem is coming to Australia. I can't wait to read her book.

A new Mexican place in Sydney that I'm busting to try.

And a belated happy International Women's Day.

Three months in Canberra

10 March 2016

This year is flying by and somehow we've managed to clock up three months in Canberra. At first there was a lot to take in but now we feel right at home and really love it here. Here's a quick look at life in our new city:

Desktop: Sophie Kurylowicz, Little Triffids Flowers

08 March 2016

My dear friend Sophie has an ever-expanding flower farm in her Wagga Wagga backyard, and I really miss catching up with her and seeing what's in bloom. A few years ago she started Little Triffids Flowers, where much of what she arranges and sells is grown at home. Sophie's gone from doing the odd wedding for (lucky) friends to delivering seasonal flower subscriptions multiple times a week. Here's what she gets up to in a typical week.

Weekend links

04 March 2016

Did you have a good week? Mine was a little bumpy but I made it to the weekend and I have new heart shoes! There's a really fun night noodle market in town, we went tonight and we're planning to check out again and again. And on a personal note  - Tony and I marked 8 years this week :) Have a super fun weekend:

Very sweet snail mail.

Running into an ex on If You Are The One (it's surprisingly moving).

This guy wants a one-way trip to Mars.

Fancy new donuts in Canberra.

Amsterdam's best photographer via Ebony.

A cockatoo cookie jar!

And I made these teeny tiny chocolate croissants this week, they really do take 30 minutes.

Two favourite cookbooks

03 March 2016

For a few weeks (okay, months) after we moved to Canberra, making dinner at home somehow went out the window. There were so many new places to try and we were still adjusting to city things like commuting and longer days at work.

But now we're back on track. On Monday night, we had roast quail for dinner and it felt pretty special. It was good for our bank balance too :)

We have tons of cookbooks at home but lately we've been cooking from one each. For me, it's been Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook, which I've had since last year but really gotten into after watching the series on SBS.

I've made an excellent spaghetti dish (we're having it again tonight), a fancy breakfast and the roast quail. Next up, I want to try these eclairs.

Tony's been working his way through Alla Fratelli, which was the best Christmas gift from my brother and his wife. Last week we had amazing chicken schnitzels with slaw, and he's made most of the pastas and gelato too.

P.S Before Alla Fratelli, Tony's go-to cookbook was Eat - The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater. We love it so much that we both bought copies for our brothers. And if you watched Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne, I found all of the recipes here.