Thursday, September 30, 2010

As promised - a town full of daisies

Today is bright, sunny and gorgeous, a perfect day to admire the daisies!

I know they are weeds, but the fantastic recent rain we have had here has made them pop up all over the place and they are just beautiful. As you drive along there are whole sections of median strip bright yellow with their happy little faces.

On the weekend I went for a walk during which I passed a family with small children. Each child had a daisy chain crown. I spent years making them with my Mum and to this day, if for some reason I've sat down next to some, I feel compelled to make myself a daisy chain accessory.

They are such a gorgeous sign of spring and the warm weather that is on the way.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Head Massage

So today I was going to take a picture of all the little yellow daisies that have popped up in lawns across Canberra, and write about how their happy little faces always make me smile. But it has gone really dark, started to rain and they have closed up! A blog for another day.

So instead I'm going to write about head massages. Massages in general are wonderful. I was recently used as a distraction by a friend who wanted to indicate he wasn't interested in an persistent, amorous, married cougar. He must have sat there massaging my shoulders for well over an hour. It convinced her, but also started the odd rumour as people tried to work out if we were friends or "friends". When asked about it, I've always replied, if someone starts giving me a massage, I'm not going to stop them!

But head massages have a special place in the pampering world. They are just so relaxing. I had my hair done today and the girl who looked after me gave me a super fantastic head massage. My salon (Franco's of Canberra) also has the massaging chairs at the basins, so the combination of the two nearly sent me off to sleep.

Ahhh, so relaxed, heading back to work is difficult!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I work in the kind of industry where there isn't a lot of organised professional development. It isn't the kind of thing where you can do courses or further education to much effect, so instead, I try to go to networking events and events where they have speakers who you can learn from.

I'm regularly hugely inspired by the people I hear talk. Their experiences, lessons learnt, trials and tribulations all inspire me to try something new when the opportunity arises.

Today I went to a talk by Louise Curtis. She is a Canberra business woman who took her idea of chocolate bouquets, and has turned it into Australia's fastest ever growing franchise business, Lollypotz. She was so inspiring. I don't know that I could ever work the 17 hour days that she does with two small children, but hearing how she could take her idea and make it a reality was great.

It is those stories that keep me working on my dreams and ambitions.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sun, book, nap = perfect afternoon

I had a really lazy afternoon. My lounge room gets the afternoon sun and it was a super lovely sunny day. So I lazed on the couch alternating between reading and dozing. It was the perfect way to spend a public holiday afternoon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fish and Chips

South Coast residents and regular visitors to Bateman's Bay know that the best ever fish and chips can be found at the Boat House. The small blue building on the bay in the centre of town may not have a lot of creature comforts but it does have great views, a regular flock of visiting seagulls, pelicans and a sting ray plus yummy, yummy food.

Made fresh in front of you their fish has golden, crispy batter that can't be beaten. Mmmm the true taste of the coast yum-o.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A day of pure leisure

Every now and then we are treated to a day with no obligations. Today I didn't need to be anywhere in particular, didn't have any chores or any commitments. The closest thing to an appointment was watching the AFL grand final (and what a surprise, who saw that draw coming?)

So I slept in, wandered a market, watched the footy, had a very lovely dinner. It has been exceptionally nice and wonderfully relaxing.

Friday, September 24, 2010


The sound of the ocean - the deep rumble of the depths, swept into a wave that crashes on itself before sighing gently up the beach. Words don't do it justice and many far greater writers than me have expressed it far clearer. It is a sound I find truly healing, as through it reaches deep into my soul, soothing me with it's rhythmic motion.

And the smell of the coast - that sweetly salty air - it is as though it cleanses my mind, the stress just dissolves as soon as I smell it.

As you may have guessed I've escaped for a few days by the sea. Just a few hours here and I'm already relaxed and I must admit very sleepy. I think this is a magical place it will be a great few days.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shiny wheels

There are some things that are really worth paying for.

Faux Fuchsia recently wrote on her blog about having her oven professionally cleaned which sounds heavenly to me, but I'm still scrubbing mine myself.

I however, today forked out and had my car detailed! A team of men vacuumed, scrubbed, wiped and polished and now my car is cleaner than it has been since I drove it out of the dealership. In half an hour they did what would take me half a day, and not only that but I could do errands while it was happening.

I was chatting with some friends recently who had decided to get a cleaner for their house. They had looked at the cost and decided, not only could they afford it, but that given the extra time it would give them on the weekend, which made it really valuable. Sometimes I think we forget our own value in the equation of what a service is worth.

So I say, value yourself! That dinner you are cooking, it has the value of your time and effort, so every now and then, invest in yourself and eat out. Or like I did, consider the value of outsourcing some cleaning, I know that I'm going to enjoy my nice clean car hugely.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The taste of the flute

No food blogs all week, then two in a row!

Today is a colleague's birthday so I made my way out to my spiritual home, The Flute Bakery. Predictable yes, but honestly, it is just so faaaaaabulous!

She wanted chocolate, so I got her this stunning mud cake. Have you ever seen a mud cake look like this? It was so delicious, I often find mud cake a bit too heavy, but this was super rich without hitting that sickly note you often get in a mud cake - wowsers.

I also got myself a pear galette. I've written about their amazing puff pastry before and it is like an addiction, I can't go out there without getting something flaky and crispy.

In what may prove to be a dangerous move, I've also got myself their pre-order list. You can't pre-order everything they make, but the 20 options are a pretty amazing selection. I'm serious people, if you are in Canberra on a weekday, get your self out to Fyshwick and try the heaven that is the Flute Bakery.

Disclaimer, I am in no way connected to the Flute, except by a growing and possibly serious addiction to their pastry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cooking for friends

Gosh it has been just AGES since I wrote a blog about food, no idea how that could happen! Never fear my close and loving relationship with all things edible (except pork, sorry just don't like you except in bacon format) continues.

Anyway, today's blog is in anticipation of smiles as tonight I'm having people over for dinner - yup a Tuesday night dinner party. I love cooking for people. Tonight will just be a relaxed dinner, I'm making something tasty but super easy and unbelievably quick to prepare. I believe it is a Donna Hay recipe originally, I got it from a friend.

Chicken and Eggplant bake:
Take a slice of eggplant (about 1cm thick), top with thick slices of tomato and shredded basil. Top that with a chicken breast and grated mozzarella cheese. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes till chicken is cooked and cheese is golden brown.

Serve with whatever takes your fancy, I like some potatoes or maybe some wilted spinach to add some green to the plate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bare Arms

My lilly white arms have been exposed!

Today was a gorgeous 18 degrees allowing me to wear a short sleeved top to work for the first time in quite literally months. I love my winter clothes, but the feeling of freedom that comes when the weather warms up is hard to describe. It is like my muscles actually relax a little more when the weather is warm, movement seems just a little easier without all the layers and life is all good.

Hope you have had a chance to enjoy the lovely weather too!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spring cleaning

Cleaning - possibly not everyone's idea of a great Sunday. But today I attacked my house with a vengeance. Pretty much every surface has been cleaned - dusted, vacuumed, degreased, scrubbed, wiped, etc.

I did all that stuff you put off, vacuuming out the airducts, cleaning the oven, dusting the hard to reach places. It is a good workout! My arms and back are really telling me I've worked hard.

But now I sit back, in my lovely clean house with such a feeling of satisfaction. It is the best.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Sheets

Ahhh, fresh linen. I've written about it before, the smell of sheets freshly laundered and sun dried in the perfumed spring air.

Yesterday I bought myself a new doona cover and pillowcases. They are lovely 1,000 thread count, soft and silky. They have been washed, dried, ironed (yup, I'm slightly neurotic and I iron sheets) and are on my bed, ready for a good night's shut-eye.

Friday, September 17, 2010

That winning feeling!

I don't usually go about proclaiming my achievements, but last night something really exciting happened so I am going to talk about it.

I was invited to a dinner by the Australian Computer Society. It turned out to be their annual awards night and I was there because I had won an award!

The award I won was the inaugural Leoni Warne Promotion of Women in ICT Commemorative Medal. I've spent the last 6 or so years involved with WIC an organisation that promotes and supports women in the Canberra ICT community. When I first joined, the group was almost bankrupt and without even a complete list of members. I worked very hard with a whole heap of talented women to get the group up and thriving and over the last few years have introduced some new events and activities and was the group's president for 3 years.

I worked with Leoni to align WIC with the Australian Computer Society - a great move for both the organisations. As well as having had a distinguished career in her own right, Leoni had been a long term campaigner for women in the industry. So to have received an award in her name, presented by her husband last night was a huge honour.

Even nicer has been everyone else's reaction. I've had lots of compliments from friends and family, including my very proud family. My Dad turned up at the office with a beautiful azalea in a pot and a couple of bottles of champagne for everyone to share. I have to say, nothing moves a Friday along quite like a glass or two of champagne at 11am!

What an exciting couple of days it has been.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fab Friends

As you know, in a few short weeks I will be participating in Frocktober.

I've done heaps of fundraising in the past, so I'm reasonably confident I can meet my $ target, but what I am concerned about is having enough frocks. Unless I go the ballgown route, I'm going to run out of dresses by the 5th!

So I put out the call for support of all kinds - financial, emotional and frocktal. And my friends responded. I have offers from across the city to come rifle through wardrobes! I'm now even more excited about the experience because of the amazing effect it appears it is going to have on my clothing choice for the month.

So thanks girls, you have really made my day and I will raid your cupboards soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A room with a view

Have you ever worked somewhere without a window? Where all day you sit in artificial light, air conditioning, remote from the natural world?

I have a couple of times and I find it incredibly draining. Particularly in the winter months when you often arrive in fog, leave in darkness and it feels like you never get to see the sun.

Well a couple of weeks ago I got to move into an office with a window - and not just any window, one that opens! I sit with my back to it, but it still fills my area with natural light, and a short 180 degree pivot and I can look out at a tree about to burst into leaf, a footpath, the pigeons nesting on the next building and down a long street. There is always something happening, something to look at. In those moments when you need a brain break, it is perfect.

Plus, on a gorgeous day like today, you can open the window and get bursts of fresh spring air in the room.

So I really appreciate my new office and its wonderful window.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Did you know that one woman dies of ovarian cancer every 10 hours? And that there is currently no screening test?

I know only too well because someone I know and love is dying of ovarian cancer.

So this year I'm joining in Frocktober. Like Movember raises money for prostate cancer research, Frocktober raises money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Institute. It does this by women (or very game men) being sponsored for wearing frocks. You can wear one for a day, a week, or the whole month of October. I'm going for the whole month!

Most of my frocks are on the formal side, so it could be one glamorous month. If you want to join in, go to: or you are most welcome to sponsor me at:

A bit of a serious post I know, but stay tuned for lots of funny frock related stories throughout October!

Monday, September 13, 2010

When the shoe fits...

Two blogs about shoes in a row - does anyone think I have an addiction?

A few weeks ago I had a Laura Benini shoe party at which I made the cake from the front of Gourmet Traveller. Anyway, a few of us bought custom shoes and today they arrived!!!

They are stunning? I'm so excited to wear mine and also deliver the others to my friends. What great fun and how excellent do a new pair of shoes make you feel?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Presents

I have a rule, every year I buy myself a birthday present.

It is still a few weeks till my birthday but today I bought this year's present - a new pair of dance shoes. They are beautiful - red leather, black and silver suede. They will be made in Argentina so I won't get them for a few weeks but I can't wait.

They are my first proper pair of tango shoes, with stiletto heels rather than cubans. That probably doesn't mean anything to you unless you are a dancer but it will be pretty exciting for me. In reality I know that shoes don't make a difference to dance-ability, but new ones just make me feel fantastic.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Schadenfreude - enjoying the discomfort of other. We aren't meant to do it, but some days, it is just irresistible.

Today I got to laugh at my friend M as he learnt some important lessons:
  1. Not everything should be made into a shot. Soy sauce for example is not a good idea.
  2. When hung over and nauseous, a bucket of ice water over the head will help, but your friends and their neighbours will laugh at you if you do it in the backyard.
  3. Hangover cure smoothies may help replenish lost minerals, but taste awful. Expect no sympathy.
I did feel sorry for him, he looked pretty terrible, but when it is self inflicted, you can't help but laugh as well.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Raisin Toast

I love raisin toast. It is one of those smells that can make my mouth water and is pretty much irresistible once I smell it. Which is tricky, because we always have it in the office.

Today has been a crazy spring day, beautiful clear blue skies and warm sun first thing this morning turned into icy showers and wind this afternoon. So with the cold weather descending a hot cup of tea and some thickly buttered raisin toast was just what the doctor ordered this afternoon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I should have saved the breath of fresh air blog for today when I actually ventured from the office for a walk with A. We wandered the inner city suburbs admiring the profusion of spring flowers tucked in front gardens, peeping under hedges and from balconies. It was lovely.

But what I really want to write about today is apologies. Today I very unexpectedly received an apology. Unexpected because the hurt it addressed was inflicted many months ago and I thought was long past. But today it was acknowledged and regretted. While I considered myself well past the hurt it was somehow still significantly healing.

So I say thank you for the apology it really did matter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A breath of fresh air

After a long and often brain teasing meeting, I took a step outside the office today to clear my head with some of that lovely fresh spring Canberra air.

Clean air is something that we take for granted in Australia. How often do we really think about the beautiful fresh, clean air we get to breathe? But we should. I've been to some terribly polluted countries. I remember a day in Hong Kong when the air pollution was so great that you couldn't see Kowloon, the pollution had brought visibility down to just a few hundred meters. And being in La Paz where you could see the smog hanging over the city like a dense fog. When you get a lungful of that stuff it feels thick and uncomfortable.

So as I took a deep breath of crisp, fresh air, it just reminded me how lucky I am to live in such a place.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Ever notice some random spelling in my blog? Well leaving aside my mild dyslexia it is most likely that I've written that one on my phone.

Years of work in the IT industry has made me somewhat of a geek - well a wanna be geek, I'm just not smart or techy enough to really be a geek. But I do love gadgets. I also love information and being able to get it, not to mention staying in the loop, so what could I love more than an Internet enabled phone?

So tonight this blog is proudly brought to you by my iPhone and the technology that I love.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Another food related blog

There are some reoccuring themes to this blog, things which generally get a smile out of me. Food, my family, food, friends, food, nature, and oh yes, food related things. Well not to disappoint, here is a food - pastry to be precise - related blog.

I've written before about apple turn overs, and my Dad teaching me to make them. Well I made some on Saturday. They were greatly enjoyed, but one little guy managed to hold out to this afternoon. I don't know if it was the 2pm munchies, or the fact that I had waited to eat it, but boy was it extra tasty! Hmmm, now that is a good afternoon tea.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Father's Day

Today is father's day.

We had lunch with our Dad, yum cha - you all know how much I love that. It was great, the food was excellent and the company even better.

We do spend a lot of time together as a family, but it is really nice to take the opportunity to tell Dad how much we love and value him.

Dad likes to make out that Mum was responsible for our upbringing - but Dad's impact is undeniable. He is my sounding board, by business mentor and inspiration, someone I know is there backing me in my corner, no matter what and can give me hugs that make me feel better, no matter how bad the situation.

So Dad, happy father's day. I hope you enjoyed it and I just want to say again that I love you!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Creative Outlets

It has poured with rain today, we have had well over 50mm at this point, all of which is fantastic for the dam levels ahead of summer, but not so good for being out and about.

So with a whole lovely afternoon to myself at home, I sat down with a paintbrush and canvas for the first time in about a year. I can't show you what I've done, even though I'm quite proud of it because it is to be a present.

It was just lovely to exercise my creative spirit for awhile.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I am going to see U2!!!!

I have a list of selfish life achievements. They are things that will in no way add to the benefit of mankind but are things I would like to do. I'm not proud of my list, but I do intend to achieve them. The list includes such noble things as:

~ Attending each day of the Melbourne Spring carnival with a different outfit and matching hat
~ Owning a pair of bespoke shoes
~ Visiting Machu Pichu (done this, but want to do it again)
~ Attending the oscars (no idea how I'm going to manage that one)

Seeing U2 live is on the list. To be honest, it was actually achieved back in 2007, but that concert was so great, it went right back on the list. And today I got tickets to their Sydney gig in December. I'm just thrilled!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bolly baby!

Yesterday was my parent's wedding anniversary and last night the family got together to celebrate it. Joining us was our close family friend - Bollinger!

Ok, that makes us sound like some kind of super rich alcoholics, whereas in reality it is a once or twice a year treat. But oh, what a wonderful treat it is. I just love the bubbly stuff and Bolly is most definitely my favourite. It made a lovely evening all the more special as that oh so easy to drink lovely beverage accompanied delicious food.

What a lovely evening.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spring is sprung

(Read with a Goodfella's type accent)
Spring is sprung
Da grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies iz
Da little boids is on da wing
Ain't dat absoid
Da little wings is on da boid

I love this poem - which must be read with the accent or it just doesn't work - and always think of it on the first day of spring. As I've mentioned in other recent posts, spring has been here for a few weeks, with daffodils, blossom and new green leaves everywhere but today it was also quite warm. Canberra likes to lull you into a false sense of warmth and security before giving winter one final blast, but today was a real spring day - short sleeves and bare legs are just around the corner!