Easter plans

29 March 2018

I'm super excited about the Easter break and hope you are too! My parents are coming to visit and I'm making baked salmon and sticky date pudding for their first night in town. We're all heading to my sister's place on Sunday for an Easter egg hunt and lasagne, and I can't wait to give my niece and nephew their eggs.

This holiday also marks a tiny change for me. I start a new job next week, which I'm really excited about :) I'm also grateful to have a bit of a breather in between. We'll be home this Easter, so I bought myself some flowers to make our home extra joyful. Here's what's planned:

I feel like everyone on Instagram is reading this book. I picked it up after Jessica and Megan gave it rave reviews. I'm planning to pack it on my a picnic for one!

I'll be making hot cross buns on Good Friday, plus these beautiful chocolate drops using some edible flowers leftover from this birthday cake. In years past I've made hot cross bun pancakes for Easter Sunday. Side note: Nigella's latest cookbook is all about home cooking and it's great.

There are so many good plays on in Sydney at the moment (very sad I missed this one!) and one of them is coming to Canberra. We have tickets to see Black Is The New White on Saturday night and I'm hoping for some pre-show dumplings and post-show gelato.

And here's my overly ambitious home project ;) My friend Adele gave me a copy of Beci Orpin's book Sunshine Spaces last week. I'd love to replicate this indoor plant stand at home so our apartment will be colourful come winter.

Have a safe and happy Easter!

Photos: Chocolate drop photo by Julia Gartland for Food52, cast photo from The Sydney Theatre Company, Sunshine Spaces photo by Chris Middleton.

Hello weekend

23 March 2018

We're heading to Sydney this weekend and I'm excited for a mini road trip! We're taking my mum out for a belated birthday lunch - fish and chips followed by Gelato Messina :) And Tony's part of an exhibition that opens on Saturday afternoon. Hope you have the best weekend. Here are some nice things to share:

Obsessed with these Easter chocolates.

Umami noodles with Chinese sausage (lapcheong was a childhood treat - my grandfather cooked it for us most weekends). 

One of my favourite TV shows is back! Terrace House is set in Nagano this time. I love observing how the housemates interact with and look after each other.

My sister lent me her slow cooker, so I made beef brisket! We've been eating tacos ever since. I'm super curious about slow cooked veggie dishes - shout out if you have any favourites. 

This episode of The Daily was thought provoking and great.

I love the idea of adding an evening stroll to my daily routine, even if it's getting cool and dark in Canberra.

I feel like I've been sharing this recipe for citrus lentil salad with everyone this week! Don't judge it by its ingredients, its actually really comforting and bright. I want to make the accompanying oatmeal choc chip cookies on my next free day. 

And I was fascinated to read how Lou and Tim divvy up housework in their relationships. Thank you for sharing :)


Who does what in your house?

22 March 2018

Did you see the comic about the mental load last year? It really made me think. I am a worrier and a planner, which means I'm right across the tiny goings on of our little household from how much money we have in the bank, to what's running low in the fruit basket.

After the mental load comic, I wanted to reclaim some of that brain space. It sparked a long conversation with Tony about all the things that need to be done in our home each week, and how we were divvying them up.

And then we came up with a solution that we've managed to stick to. We thought about the two biggest and most time consuming jobs and split them. He does all of the laundry, and I do all of the shopping. It's helped me stop thinking about a whole chunk of house stuff and best of all - it works.

It's not super strict - every now and then Tony will join me at the markets or I'll help hang out a load of washing if it's late at night. But it's really nice knowing who's responsible for what. If the washing basket is looking full, or I need a particular item washed - I just ask. Same goes for Tony if he needs something from the shops a bit more urgently. I also love being the food person - and I've always had a strange love of grocery shopping :)

And here's a little confession... we also have a cleaner who comes once a fortnight to do the big stuff - the kitchen, bathroom and floors. I initially resisted the idea, thinking we didn't need it but that kind of cleaning, and getting it done on weekends, was something that we'd struggled with and fought over in the past. Having some help has also made bursts of travel and intense work periods so much easier, created pockets for things like blogging, and made weekly cleaning not a big deal.

Hello weekend

16 March 2018

How did you go this week? I wrapped up a couple of biggish projects at work (hooray!) so I'm heading into the weekend with a bit of extra brain space :) Two good things from this week: meeting a baby girl and gathering a few special supplies for her parents. I made a lasagne and brought nappies with smiley peaches on them!

And my chef friend visited my favourite Thai restaurant in Wagga Wagga and worked out the recipe for my most-ordered dish. It's called Yum noodles (for real!), and I can't wait to make it at home. A few things to share...

A choc chip cookie for autumn.

If you've been loving the politics of Ugly Delicious, I reckon you'll enjoy the latest episode of The Sporkful - Other People's Holidays.

Also worth checking out - a day in the life of a line chef at one of New York's fanciest restaurants. Watching Ugly Delicious made me crave more stories about women in food and Bon Appetit delivers.

Two great posts from Cup of Jo - a dreamy little Brooklyn studio (imagine if this was your home in your early twenties!) and why life is beautiful (this stayed with me all day).

"This company was built on cake."

A classic dessert I'd love to master.

And I finished the Making Obama podcast today. I've raved about it here before but finishing the series made me think about its producer, Jenn White. She knows how to tell a story that's uplifting and yet real, she nails gender and cultural diversity, and each episode is full of funny moments. Respect.

Breakfast on the run

14 March 2018

Tony and I have been doing heaps of yoga lately - we made it to five classes last week! We found a studio we really love (they serve coffee right after class) and signed up for the six month pass. We go to an early morning class which means taking breakfast and lunch to work. It's taken a bit of getting used to but here are a few things we've landed on :

Bircher muesli + berries

I make a batch of bircher muesli most Sundays. I mix it up in containers (it's less washing up) so we can grab them from the fridge during the week. It's great with berries and cut up stone fruit.

Coconut muffin + smoothie

These double coconut muffins are quick to make, don't have too much sugar, and are so satisfying! I've made them with mangoes but you could use peaches or pears. They keep for 3-4 days, and freeze well too. I bought myself an insulated smoothie cup recently, and will make a green smoothie or a banana one before class so I'm not just eating cake for breakfast :) 

Yoghurt + banana + granola

This is my end-of-the-week special that takes 2 minutes to pack. It's some greek yoghurt, granola in a separate container to keep it crunchy, and a piece of fruit. I make a breakfast bowl when I get to work and it's super filling. You could also make this with a heaped teaspoon of peanut or almond butter instead of the granola, a holiday trick I pinched from Heidi.

P.S One of my teachers has a habit of saying 'feeling strong' when we're in the middle of a tricky pose. It makes me smile because I do not feel strong in that moment but appreciate the positive prompt :)

Autumn wish list

12 March 2018

Autumn has long been one of my favourite seasons. It's when Tony and I started dating, which makes me smile every time the leaves start to turn. It's good weather for cosying up, cooking comfort food, and it's (finally) time to buy Easter eggs. My dream autumn includes... this lambswool alphabet jumper, which would be a super splurge but sure to cheer up the chilly days ahead.

I've also been admiring these smart frames, which are a lot lighter than the black frames I've been wearing for years.

I have a weakness for pyjama-style clothing, and could imagine myself going out for coffee dates or watching the latest season of Love in these stripey pants.

Last but not least, we're heading into excellent eating weather. I'm excited about getting back into hearty pasta bakes and trying out a new cheap and cheerful Italian restaurant in town.

Pasta bake photo by Bobbi Lin for Food 52.

Hello weekend

09 March 2018

I hope you had a good week! Tony's making beans and bacon for dinner and I'm watching the sky change colours from our spare room as I write. I secretly love being home on a Friday night, catching my breath,  lounging around in my pjs and making tiny plans for the coming days :) To share:

This Netflix baking show looks so funny.


15 remarkable books by women, which would you choose?

Trying to make falafel this weekend - wish me luck!

Yum - pink lemonade bars.

And I'm trying out This Is Love, a podcast from the creators of Criminal that's about love in all of its forms. It's subtly captivating.

A funny stress buster

06 March 2018

Did February fly by for you too? It was like the year suddenly kicked into gear. My mind's been racing lately, so instead of putting on a podcast after work, I've been listening to... old albums from my high school and uni days.

It's nostalgic and fun and I can feel myself suddenly relax. I've been listening to The Magic Numbers, this Foo Fighters album, Sufjan Stevens, The Rakes and even a bit of Macy Gray :)

Another magical mood shifter - this calming shampoo, a little gift leftover from Tony's birthday.

P.S - I'm excited about wearing jeans again and making porridge now that it's officially autumn.

Photo is from the Pipilotti Rist show at the MCA. 

Hello weekend!

02 March 2018

Happy Autumn! To mark the change of season I've been updating my veggie patch, planning a few soups and getting into hot cross buns. It's an excellent time of year. That said, I've been a tiny bit restless this week. My friend Cate says it's because a full moon is coming. Let's hope a slow weekend sorts me out. A few things to share:

Great things are happening around you.

This conversation between directors Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) made me want to watch both films again.

Something sweet - a first-time Dad captures his son's life in cartoons and letters.

How to cook for a crowd. 'Pick a showpiece' is my favourite piece of advice!

Humans of New York is in my father's home country - Indonesia.

P.S On Thursday, Tony and I marked 10 years together. I've been calling it '10 Years of Tony' as a joke :) This is us in Tokyo in 2009. Time flies.