Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diet History


As an ex-Dietitian I really do love this. It's so true. No getting around it. Sorry. Cold hard fact.
Simple. Not rocket science. Confronting.

... and just for the record... next week I will be 'wearing' 3 glasses of champagne, a whole tray of Coles home brand oriental nibbles and 2 chocolate easter eggs. Yep, you can see why I sort of changed professions. I am working on it. 

Happy long weekend! ... well for Queenslanders I think... anyone else have a holiday this Monday? I don't even know what it is for. Another day of school I paid for that I am not getting!
Hmmm, cheers!

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Friday, April 29, 2011

While On The Topic


While we're on the topic of wanderlust and wandering the globe, look at these darling little notecards that Bespoke Press have created! Last to know of course, so hopefully they have not sold out. Oh how I love their creations. HERE.
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PS. In other breaking news: Guitar came back. It was placed in the classroom during recess on the last day of last term. A teacher found it and took it up to the School Marshall, where it sat until my son accidentally discovered it while visiting the Marshall yesterday. "Here's my late note Sir and by the way, isn't that my long lost guitar?" There had been a bit of publicity about it's disappearance so I think 'the guilts' might have brought it back. Thank goodness. We were running out of  'borrowing options' and big one had even decided that he was going to change from 'classical guitar' lessons to 'rock guitar' lessons, and use his electric guitar for school lessons, seeing he no longer had an acoustic (a very versatile, cool dude guitar teacher we have)... it would have meant no more guitar ensemble though... so yay, it's back! Grateful.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wanderlust


Image Courtesy Little Brown Pen
wan·der·lust 
 noun
a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.

Yep, my recent trip to Paris has me' yearning' so I am 'visiting' anything Paris related whenever I have a moment to myself... to feed my wanderlust. 

The lovely Mel, from the www.theorganicmamas.com sent me over to 'Little Brown Pen', to help me cope.


Oh my!....Nichole's delicious photos of Paris just stop my heart.  You can buy them HERE. Look at the blue set!... deep breaths.... (feeds my blue addiction, as well as my Paris addiction)... I just love the yellow set too and the pink one. Be still heart.
Aren't they just gorgeous!


I love how Nichole describes how she comes across her 'finds':
"We Stroll 
The French have a word for what we do: Flâner. It means to stroll with no destination in mind, simply for the pleasure of it. Our work is a record of the serendipitous discoveries we find by getting lost".

That's what I did for 2 glorious weeks...no... I skipped.

Tell me which set should I get?.... the blue or the yellow? Have narrowed it down.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

That One Picture

Image Courtesy Muse Interiors

You know how, when planning a house, there is that one picture on which you base a whole room? ... well this is it for my next bathroom. It's going to be a breeze, this next place. I have every room sorted now. Just need to find a knock down and a nice builder. Sorted.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Whoa...

thebestofpinterest.pinterest

... how's this for a library?... and it looks like it's a 'working' one at that ... and not just for show. Would love to meet the owners..... I'd say they would be very interesting, learned people.

Don't books just make a home! 
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Unheard Of

All this was completely under in the flood... by miles... you could not see the trees at the peak. I kid you not. First suburb to be evacuated.
That rock wall has just been rebuilt. Water still laps over at high tide. My little one panics every time it is high tide and he sees water on the road, as he thinks the flood is coming again. Never stood a chance, this suburb.

Just look at the weather we are having at the moment. Unheard of at Easter. 

I never plan anything at Easter due to the usually, very predictable woeful weather. 

The sleeping boys don't know it yet but we are heading to the beach for the day. Last minute emergency trip to the beach! 

Have a great day.
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P.S. I am thinking of you Pa-Pa, this Anzac Day. Lest we forget. My boys will say a prayer for you at the ocean. I wish they could have met you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Musing

Via Crafty.RosemaryParker.Pinterest

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things".

Enjoy your break! I hope you are surrounded by those you love.

Will be back next week.
Off to set the kitchen timer on the computer game regimen... 5 days off school, that timer bell's gonna get a workout!

Happy Easter!

A-M xx


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Life Is Too Short...


... to NOT burn your best candles on your best candelabrum... every day....even if it doesn't fit in the 'abode' and has to sit outside on the BBQ.

Best candles, best teacups, best china, best soaps, best linen.... use them.... now... I say!

Happy Thursday!

A-M xx

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sometimes...

Image Courtesy Mabley Handler

...it doesn't take much, does it. It's all in the bones I reckon (will you look at that wainscotting). Create beautiful bones and you're halfway there. I need to create some beautiful bones again... and soon.

Shopping for a customer today.. the next best thing.

Have a great day.

A-M xx

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home Accessories

Via randomupdates.tumblr

I love trawling through 'how stuff works' websites and 'how to do things' websites. It is interesting to see what paid writers come up with! I came across an article on the "Top 10 Must Have Home Accessories" on www.tlc.discovery.com. Their list?

1. mirrors
2. candles
3. house plants
4. personal collections
5. rugs
6. art
7. nothing - I think this one is for the minimalists - they're saying choose quality over quantity
8. designer storage - such as closet organisers
9. vases
10. teapots

Hmm, I'd throw in cushions for sure... and flowers, books... and task lighting. What would you add to this list...or delete? I don't know about the teapots?... unless you collect them!... that's where the personal taste comes into it :)

Original article HERE

Happy Tuesday!

A-M xx
(grrr, photobucket)

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Balance

So I went to the shed and unearthed the 'rock collection'

We have a rather major rule in this house. No computer games during the school week.

So weekends are a challenge... because computer games take over. I've even had to modify the rules to 'no more than an hour of computer games at a time on the weekends' or else my boys would sit there like zombies all day!!... to make up for the 'cruel deprivation' during the week. Honestly, I'm digging my heels in and sticking to this 'school week rule' until the end of their education. Computer games are like a drug for this generation.... oh and I can't believe I am even saying 'in my day', these days!

With homework, reading, soccer practice, piano and guitar practice (activities I am paying good money for).. they have a lot to do during the school week. Not to mention... chores! ... and just general 'having down time'... like god forbid.. running around on the grass and being boys (don't get me started on childhood obesity).

During the week they've even tried the old, "Mum, if we have done all our homework, reading, practice, chores, can we....? No, no, no, as they would rush through everything to get to the computer games at the end of it all. NO! Be creative, go run around, be bored for goodness sake.

So yesterday.... the peak of the weekend computer game frenzy..... we broke up the day (I resorted to the kitchen timer)....computer games, ripsticking down in the garage (with me looking on while sitting in a rather glamorous armchair destined for a styling job today... I received some rather strange looks from other residents!), computer games, soccer game on the grass, computer games, origami, computer games, piano practice, computer games, sudoku, computer games, studying rock collection and relearning all rock names!

In the end?....bedtime cuddles.... "thanks for a great weekend Mum".  Phew, that was hard work. Tell me I am not the only Mum in the world working on balance and fighting this computer game scourge that is taking over this generation? How do you do the 'balance' thing?

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PS Hey photobucket, enough is enough....I want my signature back. Pretty please?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Before And After


Look at the fabulous renovation going on at Versailles. You can see the rooftop, dormers and balconies on the right before renovation. Now that's what I call a decent 'before and after'. As you can see it was peak tourist season! I got on a bike and rode all through the gardens for hours. I even fellowshipped with a little squirrel..... he only spoke French though and really didn't understand a word I said to him. 

A beautiful day.

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P.S. And photobucket... it has been days now!.. get your act together! I am sure I speak for thousands of bloggers and online business owners too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Immobilier




I loved learning about the architecture in Paris while I was there. I had a few disjointed conversations, about Napoleon 3rd and Haussmann, with French speaking cafe owners and then spent the rest of my evenings researching the modernisation of Paris on the internet (I had free internet and phone in my apartment.... yes free phone to any landline in Australia!). Yes, when I wasn't researching Parisian architecture, or revisiting the 2006 'Marie Antoinette' movie (starring Kirsten Dunst.... I love that movie!), I was watching an 8 Part Series on 'The French Revolution' on You Tube. #nerd.

Haussmann's modernisation of Paris, starting in the mid 1800's, is fascinating stuff. If there is nothing decent on telly one evening, google him. He did some great stuff.


Apart from his gorgeous little street signs and lamp posts, wide avenues and stunning state buildings, his apartment building designs set my heart a flutter. Haussmann-style buildings typically have 5 to 7 floors and were designed to house several families. I did not know this and wandered for a day or so thinking that each building originally was one big aristocratic house back in the day (based on the one whopping door in the middle). 

See the characteristically long balconies on the 2nd and 5th floors

The Haussmann style was designed for the middle class though, a segment of the Parisian population that grew massively throughout the 19th century. The ground floor typically housed a business of some sort, so the owners would most often live above on the first floor. The second floor was reserved for the wealthiest families who could afford to live high enough from the road to avoid noise and not climb too many stairs. Top floor was generally for servant staff with small rooms and common facilities. Fifth floors were also favoured as they offered good views of the city. You can see how the second and fifth floors were given long continuous balconies because of their special popularity. How things have changed... the top floors are most coveted today!

You can imagine the little servants rooms up on the top floor of this complex (each dormer being a separate room)

I was surprised at the price of some of these apartments in the centre of Paris. You can get a basic two bedroom for 500K euros. You can't even get a two bedder for that price here in my apartment complex in West End, in downtown Bris-Vegas. What is the world coming to! ... and don't get me started on the one euro, 2 feet long baguettes. Australia is expensive!



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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dedicated


Look at what one of my lovely customers did to ensure my lights would fit nicely over her kitchen island bench. She made up templates! So dedicated. I was so impressed! 

Speaking of lights, my end of June shipment is almost fully allocated so please email me if you wish to reserve some. They have been very popular and with a 100% 'superlative feedback' response from the last shipment I can safely say now that they are gorgeous (third party validation does come in handy when one is totally biased).

Pictures of them can be found HERE.

Happy Wednesday!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pretties

Oh look, there's me taking the picture!

Didn't really bring much back with me... except a few things for my soon to be online store (which is sort of taking forever... but these days I just roll with it... minimal stress). I did of course get the customary 'Tour Eiffel' and a few little limoges porcelain pretties, which now take pride of place on my bedside table. Can't you tell I used to have an online bling store. Hey, if anyone wants to meet me at the shed one day, I have a few buckets of jewels going very cheap! Now there's an idea... a 'shed bling party'!

I'm styling up a big house before it goes on the market next week, so I am spending the rest of the week in the shed, packing and sorting. Lots of goodies have arrived from the fairs which will go straight into the house. It's a Cape Cod style house so I am going to be in my element, creating interesting little corners and vignettes...... after I have dragged all the big pieces in!  So a bit of hard physical yakka for the rest of the week... jet lag and all. Yes, it's 3.50am and I have been up for hours, worse luck. East to West was a cinch, West to East, not so good!

Happy Tuesday!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Morning


Ok, I promise to stop all this Paris stuff when I get over my jetlag ok?
I am normally a morning person, up and at 'em at the crack of dawn, but I lie awake until the early hours at the moment and this time of day I just want to stay in bed!... so quick post today as I need to do the school lunches. We're back at school today :( 

I will leave you with some more snaps I took on the trusty iPhone. They're over HERE.
Happy Monday!

I need coffee :)
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Parisian Fare


'Thud'...... yep, that's the sound of me coming down to 'gastronomical earth' after my trip to the most beautiful, yummy city in the world.

The reality of being home hit me when I decided to order a takeaway soup from my local Thai restaurant, on my first night back. Waiting to collect my order, the girl announced that my soup was almost ready and pointed out the cook finishing it off.  I watched the cook (chef is too flattering a term) dip a spoon into my soup, take a taste and then put the spoon back into my soup. TWICE. I made it known to the whole restaurant (in-house diners and all) why I would not be leaving with my soup or coming back to the restaurant. EVER. No-one in the kitchen seemed to think it was a big deal! Another one bites the dust. Oh and the soup used to be so good!

Despairing over my diminishing list of decent dining establishments in town and having had the most amazing gastronomical past fortnight, I realized that I really don't know where to go to get good, well priced food in Brisbane. I need to join some Brisbane foodie blogs. I mean where do you get a lip smacking, satiating, gourmet meal here in Brisbane for under 15 euros ($20AUD). Is central Paris really cheaper than Brisbane??? Why am I paying $39 for a fillet steak at the Norman but eating better steak in Paris for half the price. Is there anywhere in Brisbane that creates croissants like the French do?....you know, the crispiest, flakiest, buttery French croissant. How about baguettes? ... chewy outside, soft and super fresh on the inside. How about fresh food markets?....where the prices aren't the same as Woolies or Coles? Can anyone point me to some good foodie blogs or eating establishments here in Brisbane? I have been living under a rock for too long.... and life is too short to eat bad food.

I was fortunate enough to dine in a few of Christian Constant's restaurants in Paris (I stayed just around the corner from Rue St Dominique, 7th arr, where all his restaurants are). I bought his English cookbook and his 'La Maison Constant' set of cookbooks (all in French!) featuring recipes from all his restaurants. Yes, I will be attempting to recreate some of them here on this blog with my boys as guinea pigs. He has inspired me to create beautiful food! I met him you know! He wanders through his restaurants each evening meeting his happy customers. You can get the most beautiful gourmet meal in his renowned Cafe Constant' for under 15 euros. I have been totally gastronomically spoilt rotten.

And you know what I love about Parisian fare?... the portions are small. That's why those beautiful French women don't get fat. You see them sitting there sipping their espresso with their little boiled egg or a tiny little petit four and that's it. Everything is served in smaller portions...... from supermarket yoghurt ...120g as compared to our whopper 200g standards....to restaurant meals. I think I would still have to run a lot if I lived there though. I would be eating smaller portions but more frequently! Is it a concern that my whole trip revolved around food?

Must go and stir the pot. I have a French dish on the boil at the moment.... yep, lots of cream.
Dietitians look away now.
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PS More pictures of my consumptions over HERE.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Ate Paris

























All food photographed by me (gotta love that iPhone) and consumed by me.

Last time I was in Paris, 21 years ago, it was a case of "do I have a beer or do I eat tonight?".
This time I made up for lost youth experiences.

Time to strap on those running shoes..... once I get over the jet lag. 

Loading up photos in the dead of the night here, when it is really lunch time back in Paris, is fraught with danger. Is jet lag really worse West to East? I can't remember and I am much older this time.

It's going to be a long week.
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PS. Oh and being a Dietitian and all (a rather 'tragic' one at that... I mean really, would any practising Dietitian consume the above?), I did manage to stave off scurvy. It was a cinch.