AK turns 30, and other such things.

I feel like I’ve blinked and the past month has flown by. Being busy at work and quiet at home doesn’t really lend itself to the most inspirational blog posts (I’ve watched a lot of Dawson’s Creek, but Frannie beat me to that). However I do have a few fun things to share.

1. We went to a 4th of July dinner in celebration of our wonderful sister-in-law. So much delicious food, and great company as well. L1006010

I discovered that strawberry shortcake is an actual thing, not just a cute cartoon. Here’s the recipe for this AMAZING dessert.

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup pure cream
  • 1/2 x 300ml tub double cream
  • 250g strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • Icing sugar mixture, for dusting

-Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Grease and line base of a 6cm-deep, 20cm (base) round cake pan with baking paper.

-Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add sugar. Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk egg and pure cream in a jug. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until a soft dough forms.

-Place dough in prepared pan. Using fingertips, press evenly over base of pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

-Using a serrated knife, cut shortcake in half crossways. Spread double cream over cut-side of base. Top with strawberries. Sandwich with shortcake top. Dust with icing sugar. Serve and eat it all. Yum.

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Then AK had his birthday party – the big 3-0, dirty thirty etc etc. As I tend to do with all major events, I took a whopping 3 photos. Despite my flu, I was just having too much fun catching up with everyone and chatting and drinking and eating and accosting a girl from ‘Australia’s Greatest Bake Off’ in the bathroom… there simply was no time to play paparazzi. Here are the only photos. L1006706L1006714

(This was supposed to be for an outfit post – ASOS faux fur coat, Stop Staring dress… but really there’s not much point. Fail on my behalf.)

Ooh and here’s Frannie and I.20130730-074932.jpg

Anyway, suffice to say the party was a lot of fun. We held it at Crosstown Eating House in their private bar – Uptown. Great venue, people, food and beverages.

I’m off to Stanthorpe for a winter getaway on Friday so I promise to take lots of photos 🙂

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ceil chapman was one stylish broad.

Weddings are some of my favorite events – celebrating the love of two people, surrounded by dapper men, pretty frocks and champagne to boot. I’ve got a couple coming up and have found some lovely vintage dresses to wear, all from Etsy and all reasonably priced. Along the way I stumbled across a spectacular American designer who worked in New York from the 40s to the 60s. Obviously those more in the know than I have already heard of Ceil Chapman, but I am only just becoming familiar with this classic fashionista. Her dresses fetch up to $6000 these days and are definitely out of my price range but hey, a girl can dream.

Apparently Chapman was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite designer and after seeing some of her designs, it’s not hard to see why. She used decadent fabrics (lots of silk and lace) and was an absolute master of draping. Her creations truly showed off the feminine form without being too revealing.

Here are some of my favorite pieces available now on Etsy.il_fullxfull_344182224($588, the perfect LBD)

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($1,344, such gorgeous ruching)

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(I’m a sucker for beautiful red dresses like this one, $2,600)

il_fullxfull_412643551_oxyv(This navy dress is a dream of silk and floral, $445)

our 2013 Met Gala best dressed.

Yesterday was the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Met Gala Ball and I imagine it felt like working on Christmas Eve in a toy store to the staff of E! Channel’s Fashion Police. They would busily and excitedly take note of all the fashion triumphs and tragedies of celebrities who walked the red carpet, dressed to the ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’ theme. I can just imagine the one-liners Joan Rivers is bursting to come out with today after this theme saw some play it too safe while others played a little too hard. Then there were those who played it just right… in our humble opinion anyway.

Here are our top 5 best dressed (photos courtesy of JustJared.com):

Third best…

Marie’s pick – Nicole Richie

I loved everything about Nicole’s vampy look. I love that she committed to the white hair and actually pulled it off. The Topshop dress itself might not be very punk-rock, but the way she styled it and the attitude she wore it with sure was. So many celebs seemed to really struggle with this years theme, but Nicole was in her element.

nicole richie topshop.

Frannie’s pick – Cara Delevingne

The eye make-up, heavy brows and plunging neckline with dramatic gold studs looked so punk-chic. I wasn’t so much a fan of Delevingne’s white clutch but the rest of the outfit was sleek and stylish and true to theme. Not surprising that I picked this though, it’s a long-sleeved, punk-ish version of Samantha Barks’ Oscars dress that I adored.

I thought it was a slightly more polished version of Sienna Miller’s look (who you can see in the background of the below pic) that I also loved.

cara delevingne

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our Oscars red carpet top 3.

Frannie and I are counting down the hours until we finish bootcamp and head back to my place to take in the biggest awards night of the year – the 2013 Oscars! In the meantime we have been discussing the red carpet all morning. Here are our top 3s. All pics from JustJared.com.

Marie

3. Anne Hathaway. It’s really her year this year and she’s nailed it when it really counts. Her hair and makeup are spot on and the necklace is perfect with the cut of this gorgeous Prada dress. She’s obviously channeling Audrey and pretty much pulls it off.anne-hathaway-oscars-2013-red-carpet-06 Continue reading

thank you drew.

I have always harboured a not-so-secret crush on Adam Sandler. The Wedding Singer was the origin of ‘Grow Old With You’, the song my sister walked down the aisle to and he also brought 50 First Dates to the world, one of the funniest and my most favourite of love stories. So I figure he’s a hopeless romantic and that only adds to my adoration.

Then the other day, Never Been Kissed was playing on the telly. Have you seen it? Following the story’s complication, the undercover reporter character of Josie makes a public apology and plea in an article for her new love to meet her on the pitcher’s mound at the high school ball game and give her, ‘her first real kiss’. It’s a total no-brainer romcom full of easy laughs but every time I watch that final scene, with her waiting for him, I get goosebumps. I’m a total sap.

Epiphany! My adoration extends to Drew Barrymore too! The leading lady of these aforementioned movies as well as the cutie-pie child actor from E.T. who managed to survive the curse of the child star, the most ethereal version of Cinderella that I’m aware of in Ever After and the versatile actress who plays a victim in the cult classic Scream, a confused teen Mum in Riding in Cars With Boys and the desirable Lilly Laronette in Bad Girls. Plus so many more! She has proven that she is funny, talented and beautiful – a killer combo of traits.

Yep, Drew is on my list of girl crushes and I just wanted to thank her on this fine Tuesday for the stories and characters she has brought so beautifully to life for me. If you haven’t watched many of her movies or disagree with me, then at least see 50 First Dates! Please?

i swam in the ocean today.

love you. miss you.

I swam in the ocean today.

I jumped out of my car, tiptoed across the hot tar, danced down the wooden walkway to the beach and trudged through the soft sand. Sweltering in the sun. Sunscreen sweating off my skin.

I watched the waves rise and fall. I watched glitters of sunlight sparkle on the horizon. I watched lovers play and adults teach children not to fear the water. I watched out for whales too. I didn’t see any.

I swam in the ocean today.

The drops of water on my body dried quickly in the heat. The salt clung to my skin.

I scooped up a shell and ran my thumbs over its smooth edges as the sand trickled through my fingers. I pressed the shell to my ear and hoped to hear your voice. Squinting through the glaring sun that bounced off the white sand, I thought I saw you in the distance. I closed my eyes and remembered how it felt the last time your hand held mine.

Everything I did today, reminded me of you.

My kids will be taught not to be afraid of the water. My kids will feel my hand holding theirs until they are ready to take on the waves alone. My kids will not meet you but they will know you.

I miss you every day Nan.

I swam in the ocean today.

sand.

time to start writing 2013 on stuff.

20130102-165807.jpgBack at work today – the real world. Tinsel is packed away, the tree is gone and we no longer have an excuse to party and eat chocolate all the time. The holiday season is done. As much as I adored all the free time to spend with loved ones, I’m kind of happy the ‘silly season’ is over. At times over the past two weeks I felt like a rag doll having my arms and legs pulled in all different directions, with places to go and people to see 24-7. It’s hard to say no at Christmas time.

To me, the start of the new year is the inspiring time, when people discuss their wishes and resolutions more openly than they would otherwise. You hear the same old ‘lose weight, quit smoking, save money’ promises, but you also hear of desires to travel the world, learn a new skill or reconnect with a lost friend. You hear people coming to terms with mistakes they have made and hopes not to make them again.

Frannie and I have had a long enough break now and our minds are feeling refreshed. So here’s to a fantastic year full of laughter, adventure, growth and romance. xx