Sunday, December 30, 2012

hello! I'm home in wagga wagga again, I had the best holiday and was quite sad to leave my family in sydney. but as soon as we drove back into town, bumped into a few friends at the supermarket and busied ourselves in the kitchen I was really happy to be home.

on our last full day in hobart, I had the genius idea to do the 10km bike ride from town to mona. I was quite insistent and it turned out to be one of the best and worst decisions of the trip. worst because the ride was actually quite tricky, the bikes were unfamiliar and it was super windy and at times rainy along the way. tony also fell off his bike at one point! but then we saw things like the glenorchy art and sculpture park, where the photo above is from. the colours in tassie were really brilliant and living in such a flat place, I was really taken by the mountains at every turn.

we ended up at mona on three separate occasions, one day for the gallery, another for the fantastic mona market/food fair where we snacked on gingerbread and sour cherry macaroons and then at the end of our ill fated bike ride.

I have about a billion photos of tony from the trip, the only one he took of me was on the day we decided to skip showers and slather ourselves with suncream and insect repellant and go on a long walk through the national park. safe to say I won't be sharing that photo here.

it's 2013 tomorrow! I've been mistakenly referring to 2012 as last year for at least two months now.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

we made it to hobart. so far there have been two trips to mona, two matthew evans sightings and two delicious fish and chip dinners.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on monday afternoon I took a train to the mountains to meet the boys who'd gone ahead of me, keen to smoke some kind of meat on the bbq all afternoon. it was rainy and cold by the time I'd arrived and conveniently close to dinnertime. the rain was the misty kind that fell diagonally and I made one last stop to pick up some marshmallows before we headed to the house for the night.

the house was big and white with windows that looked out into the gardens. the loose plan was to hang out, cook and read. it was cold enough to light a fire and it felt like christmas.

I finished helen garner's the spare room on trip up. it was one of the best books I've ever read and I've since become slightly obsessed with buying copies for friends and family for christmas.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

a beautiful wedding. on saturday the lovely irini married michael. I experienced my first greek orthodox wedding and then found myself on the bridal table for the reception.

irini and I went to high school together and she is endlessly encouraging, patient, fun and optimistic. and that's as a close friend. I think she is going to make an excellent wife. weddings give me a sore throat from all of the near crying.

here's my date! he's the best at weddings, always willing to swap meals so I get the one I want. this time round there was no swapping required.

it's been a really fun trip so far, though we are a little city-shocked. even though we used to live right in the centre of town, we seem to have forgotten about the smells and traffic of sydney!

Friday, December 7, 2012

holidays! hello, I had my last day of work on thursday and now I'm on holidays for the rest of the year. I can hardly believe it. we're in sydney at the moment, staying with tony's parents in a bright apartment right by balmoral beach. our bedroom is buttercup yellow, there are bunnies in the park around the corner and there are so many nice places to eat nearby. it's really lovely to be by the water again.

funnily enough yesterday on the drive up I had no words. I slept most of the way and even when I was awake, I could barely muster more than two sentences in a row. I'm much better rested now, possibly thanks to a nice long walk by the sea, some fresh seafood and a giant slab if tiramisu.

One of my dearest friends is getting married today! And then tomorrow we're off to a picnic for my brother's birthday. I'm helping a girlfriend from Wagga celebrate her 30th on Monday and then I think we're off to the mountains for a few days. *I am pinching myself*

Happy weekend! Wishing you honey sandwiches and long cups of tea.

P.S - My brother recently launched his own online radio show, we got a sneak peak of episode 2 on our drive to Sydney and it was fantastic. I think the new episode drops soon.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

eating day. we had friends round for breakfast on sunday and managed to squeeze in the tiniest nap before we were treated to a very big lunch. early christmas celebrations have been awesome so far! this month also marks two years of living in wagga wagga, which prompts a little reflection. more than anything, both tony and I are really happy here. we had a great first year and were surprised that our second year was even better.

our friend's lunch set up looked like a magazine spread. there was a festive drink to start, followed by the plumpest most delicious scallops I've had in a very long time. lunch was a vegetarian affair and we had yummy nut loaf with homemade beetroot relish, a nigella butter themed potato, parsnip and porcini gratin and greens. the nut loaf was my favourite, it was like surprisingly like meatloaf!

the star of the show was the girdle buster - an ice cream cake of sorts with a super thick base of two kinds of biscuit, two kinds of chocolate followed by an ice cream layer and then a whisky caramel. it was so amazing. sadly we finished the leftovers we were sent home with earlier tonight.

hi tony!

party pooches. we stumbled home, watched a movie and downed some coffee and were dressed and ready for a christmas drinks later that night. so far december has been pretty good!

Monday, December 3, 2012

today at work I got a little sunburnt, sampled my first ganmain pie (it was great!), swapped some homemade banana bread for a jar of mamma made cookies and spent a lot of time waiting for cars, trucks and gusts of wind to pass.

every six weeks or so, I take a deep breath and have a go standing in front of the camera for work. it's kind of strange mainly because my work usually involves being behind the scenes. I love the unseen parts of my job, the visits to people's houses and the morning and afternoon tea spreads they put out, finding myself in scenarios that are so foreign to me like dairy farms and karate meet-ups. more often than not nothing dressier than jeans is required.

my friend suzi took these photos in ganmain this morning. sadly we had to change locations because of a very noisy tree mulcher. it was our final shoot for the year, no more lines to learn for now, just holidays to look forward to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

lately there's been a whole lot of cooking and eating. tony came back from sydney with a copy of the cookbook his friend recently published and since then we've been feasting on homemade guacamole, smoked chicken, corn with lime mayo and the most amazing burgers. tony's been making his own condiments too! we had friends over for tea the other night and I must admit, it was strange to not be doing anything except sitting around and waiting for the food to be ready. well I did make cupcakes (using this most amazing recipe via little glowing lights).

when I was in sydney I treated myself to a little marimekko cup and now I'm determined to buy a plate when we go back for christmas. I love it, it's just my size.

things are winding down at work and it feels kind of strange. I guess I'm used to being in a constant cycle of production, finishing something but having something else on the boil or something exciting coming up. not long to go til my holidays start! thankfully the slow down has coincided with some very hot weather, which inspired some bircher making. nothing like a cold breakfast to start the day! I didn't have all of the ingredients so I chucked in some pistachios and used passionfruit infused yoghurt and it was awesome.

it looks like this weekend is going to be filled with early christmas parties - I can't wait!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

three teas. I've spent the last two thursdays at my friend janine's studio in central wagga. it's filled with natural light, super sweet trinkets and piles and piles of vintage fabric. I've been working with the lovely sophie on a video about janine. we spent today recording and were treated to tea and sweet snacks in the cosy corner of the studio.

here's the afternoon tea we shared last week, there are so many things to look at in the studio and it changes constantly. and finally, the lovely ladies themselves. hope to share the video with you soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

some photos from sunday. I spent a night at my parent's house on my way home from the hunter. each time I go to visit it's subtly different to how I remember it. it's cool and quiet at their home, there's always loaves of fresh bread and fruit and different kinds of small cakes and cookies to snack on.

when I lived there I always yearned to be closer to the city, particularly in my uni days. the long bus and train trips into town tired me but now, living so far away, I have a new appreciation for the place I grew up.  there's a peaceful quietness to the streets, even though the houses have been built up and the streets are now lined with cars.

I stay in the granny flat and as I walked up to the kitchen I noticed that flowers have grown over the roof of my childhood cubby house. I notice that the green paint of the house and the deck has faded slightly too, making all of the gorgeous colours of the flowers and plants pop out.

I'm looking forward to being back for christmas.

Monday, November 19, 2012

a weekend away with some new friends. by 9pm on friday night, I'd caught a plane, a couple of taxis and then driven a couple of hours to a farm stay in the hunter. it was a slightly unusual gathering in that I'd only met six of the ten people who I'd be spending the weekend with, in a timber themed farm stay with no mobile reception.

my job is unusual in the sense that my colleagues are scattered around regional new south wales. we chat every week on the phone but we rarely get the opportunity to meet up in person, which is a shame because we really like each other and come from such diverse backgrounds, both personal and professional.

a couple of months ago we hatched a plan to meet up somewhere in new south wales. it was a bit of a pipe dream at first, it would mean lots of driving for some, flights for others, juggling kids and coordinating time off but we pulled it off and I'm so happy that we made it happen.

we spent the weekend hanging out and cooking for each other. it was so relaxing and lovely. I feel so lucky to have such awesome colleagues that I want to be friends with! 

we ate incredibly well. the property was fairly isolated so a big shop was done and for the rest of the weekend we feasted on burgers, homemade pizza (that was my contribution - I even made the tomato sauce for the base), haloumi wraps, french toast and so so many desserts. on the last night we had super rich cheesecake, a freshly made banoffee pie (one guy ingeniously whipped cream with the top of a coffee plunger given the absence of a whisk) and a piping hot apple and rhubarb crumble.

there was a 5cm wide space beside the window in the kitchen where you could get one bar of mobile reception. there were also peacocks, ponies, eels, cows, bulls, dogs and alpacas. we each brought a regional food specialty to share - one guy brought litres of special milk, which had cream was caked around the opening of each bottle. I couldn't get enough.

by sunday afternoon it was time to go home. one of my colleagues very generously shared 3000 individual sound effects with me from her personal collection before I left, so I went home one very happy girl. we're already planning to organise a similar catch up in 2013.

hope you had a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

hello from tuesday! this week I've found some super cute things at an op shop, swapped a wheel of brie for the loan of a sleeping bag and mat, swapped clothes with strangers, eaten lots of sweet cherries and greedily consumed the archives of this lovely blog.

I've also had my first frosty fruit of the season, feels like summer already.

for the rest of the week, I hope to:
* eat my lunch outside and pack extra yummy lunches
* keep a book in my bag at all times (how did I get out of this habit?)
* do a tiny bit of craft
* keep exercising
* start baking again

this weekend I'm heading to the hunter to spend the weekend with some of my lovely colleagues. we work remotely so I've only met half of them, I think we're in for an interesting weekend. and then on sunday night, I'm going to be celebrating my little brother's 16th birthday with my family.

I found these photos the other week, taken in my old suburb in sydney. I used to walk by 'the cake' house everyday. sometimes I miss it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

this weekend we're trying our hand at making bagels and brioche, reading new books and magazines, going for walks, welcoming friends back to town, eating local cherries and getting excited for our pre-christmas holiday.

I'm also collecting a few little foodie things to take home to my parents, who I'm going to see next weekend! have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

coconut and sprinkles. tony came back this morning (hoorah!) and arrived totally weighed down by the many nerd books he'd purchased in sydney. he was weary but happy to be home and I was so glad to have him back!

we went on a small excursion to lake albert before lunch, in search of a bakery that supplies delicious little brioche rolls to our local cafe. we ended up in a little shopping village and unfortunately, as I suspected the delicious rolls are specially made for the cafe and unavailable to buy. but still, we tried and tony's resolved to make his own brioche rolls tomorrow.

here are some funny cakes I saw at the supermarket. so brightly coloured! though I don't know whether I would spend $6.90 on a bright yellow cake.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

two sleeps to go! it's technically my thursday today, tomorrow's my last day of work for the week and I'm very much looking forward to a long weekend especially because tony's coming home. it's been a bit of a long week without him but I've managed to keep myself entertained, consuming lots of us election coverage, movies and radio.

here are some awesome things to watch & read online this week:
pics from a sunset visit to james turrell's work at the national gallery of australia earlier this year. and now it's time for kitchen cabinet! hooray!