Monday, July 30, 2012

Inspiration on a Monday: Vintage Summer

Vintage Summer

I have been in bed for the whole weekend with the worst flu of my life so today I thought I would dream about what I want the coming summer  to be full of.

I created the above on Polyvore - which I still don't have the hang of yet - it seems too easy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Menu Plan

 Please click the pictures to go to the recipes

Baking this week

Chestnut Chocolate Chip Cookies - to use some fresh chestnuts and chestnut flour I have.  Based on this recipe from Pinterest.



Week 1

B - Blueberry muffin
L - out - shopping day
D - Stay at Mum’s; Freezer meal

B - At Mum’s
L  At Dad’s
D - Semolina gnocchi with spinach pesto (based on this one by Maggie Beer)

B - Pancakes with butter, lemon and sugar
L - Buckwheat Noodles and miso soup
D - Thai spiced calamari (based on this one found on Pinterest)

B - Oats with chia and coconut
L - Leftover gnocchi
D - Sweet and salty soybeans with rice (based on this one from Pinterest via Just Bento)

B - Muffin
L - Falafel wrap with yoghurt sauce
D  - Spaghetti Bolognese

B - Oatmeal with umeboshi and seaweed
L - Noodles with satay sauce
D - Quesidillas

B - Oats with chia and blueberries
L - Salad box with tuna and crackers
D - Prawn and Pumpkin curry with pratha (based on this one by Nigella Lawson)

Week 2

B - Peanut butter bread
L - At my Grandma’s for wedding
D - as above

B - Grandma’s
L - Wedding!
D - Wedding!

B - At Grandma’s
L - Out - returning home
D - Leftovers/freezer meal

B - Butter mushrooms and fried egg on toast
L - Freezer meal
D - Avocado and cob salad with garlic bread (based on this one by Annabel Langbein)

B - Boiled egg and toast soldiers
L - Mochi with ginger, tamari and nori
D  - Roast vegetables with lamb chops

B - Peanut butter bread
L - Leftovers
D - Pad Thai with prawns and tofu (based on this one from Food Safari)

B - Muffin
L - Shopping Day - out
D - leftovers

Monday, July 23, 2012

Inspiration on a Monday: Table for 2

Ok, so let's pretend that I live here:

And my kitchen looks like this:

And I am the perfect wife and every night dinner is served at the table and not in front of the television:

And this is what I came up with tonight using some of my special vintage pieces (tablecloth, candle stick and glassware)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reading List: The Mitfords - Letters Between Six Sisters

Here is the latest addition to my reading list:

The Mitfords - Letters Between Six Sisters - edited by Charlotte Mosley.

I have been forever hearing and reading passing references to the Mitford sisters but do not actually know much about them so when I saw this book I thought it was high time to brush up on my history.

I know that there are many books about the Mitfords (at least 3 or 4 in the bookshop when I was looking) but I have always loved reading peoples letters and so I thought that this one would be perfect.  It also boasts personal photographs of all of the sisters and some of their more unusual acquaintances.  I find the way people express themselves very interesting especially when it is to someone that they have a intimate relationship with.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Menu Plan



Week 1

B - English muffin with banana and peanut butter
L - Miso soup and brown rice bowl
D - Chinese chicken wings/tofu with fried rice

B - Baked beans and toast
L - Leftovers
D - Chickpea pilaf from March Gourmet Traveler

B - Muesli with yoghurt
L - Leftover pilaf
D - Prawn toast

B - Baked Beans with toast
L - Salad box with tuna and crackers
D - Spaghetti Bolognese (beef and TVP one)

B - Tuna on toast
L - Buckwheat noodles with satay sauce
D - Leftovers

B - Peanut butter bread
L - Out
D - Roast vegetables with pilaf rice

B - Baked beans on toast
L - Felafel with salad
D - Pasta with currants and cauliflower - Delicious Magazine April issue

Week 2

B - Oatmeal with chia and coconut
L - Baked cheese and baguette
D  Fish Bowls (Laura Calder recipe)

B - Crepe Suzette
L - Miso soup and brown rice
D - Welsh Rarebit with fried egg on top

B - Avocado and tahini on toast
L - Miso soup
D - Roast vegetables with feta and meatballs

B - Boiled egg and toast soldiers
L - Buckwheat noodles with satay sauce
D - Leftovers

B - Oatmeal with chia and blueberries
L - Pasta with pesto
D - Zucchini fitter burger - Delicious magazine April issue

B - Fruit salad with yoghurt
L - Leftover zucchini fritter 
D - Caesar salad (vegetarian version and one with chicken and bacon)

B - peanut butter bread
L - out - shopping day
D - Tuna and white bean toast - Jill Dupleix recipe

Monday, July 9, 2012

Inspiration on a Monday: Glamorous Mum No. 3

Here is my third glamorous Mum: Candice De Ville also known as Super Kawaii Mama.

 Super Kawaii Mama

Super Kawaii Mama was one of the first blogs I ever began following - I think I may have created a blog just so that I could follow her.  I love Candice's style and quirky accessories and for me, being Australian, it is great to see fashion posts that I can apply to my wardrobe - at once!

This photo belongs to the gallery entitled Daily Outfit - please find it here.

I very much admire the way that Ms De Ville keeps her professional life separate from her home life but at the same time manages to convey her love for her girls and home.  When I started my blog I thought that it would all be about fashion and vintage things but I have been unable to keep food out and recipes and pictures of my cat etc.

This photo is under this post

Again, SKM is one of those mothers that seems to have-it-together and is not apologetic for the fact that she will turn up at the school gate looking like she is loving the life she leads.  I think that the balance she has struck between work and home life works very well.  And what's more, she is so generous with her knowledge.  On her website you can find links to her video tutorials, beauty secrets, product reviews and information about the regular workshops she holds for ladies who have an interest in vintage styling.

Please click here to visit workshop news


For more about Candice De Ville and her lifestyle you can find her Twitter here and her YouTube channel here

Monday, July 2, 2012

Inspiration on a Monday: Glamorous Mum No. 2

Here is my installment of glamorous mums to inspire this week.  Jennifer L. Scott is a author who has penned the style guide Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris. 

The book will be available on November 6, 2012 and Amazon have this to say about it:

Have you ever wondered what everyday life is like inside a modern, aristocratic Parisian household? The French are notoriously secretive when it comes to their private lives, but Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic uncovers the very secrets and lifestyle traits that allow Parisians to live such fulfilling and passionate lives.

Jennifer also has a blog: The Daily Connoisseur and a YouTube channel and a Twitter channel, which cover many topics such as book reviews, interesting female personalities, product reviews, cookbooks, how to make drinks, how to do a manicure - everything you could thin of.. orchids!

I found Jennifer through her YouTube channel.  I loved her videos so much.  I went a watched all of them in one sitting and I do still go back and watch some of them to refresh my memory about certain things.  Most of her videos are based on the ideas that appear in her book about how to live life like a French women. 

Here are my favourite videos:

How Jennifer stores her make-up - I have some weird obsession with seeing how other people live.  Any video about re-arranging a pantry or wardrobe is sure to interest me so I loved the chance to sneak a peak in her vanity.

Only Use the Best Things You Have - I have spoken about this attitude awhile back when my Great Grandmother passed.  Life is too short to think "I will only use that for best".  Nora Ephron wrote an article about it awhile that was reprinted in London Times and tweeted by Nigella Lawson.  Everyone should be using all their lovely things every day because then every day will be lovely.

Staying Chic while Expecting - Obviously this is interesting to me.  After watching it I went out and bought quite a few pairs of leggings (though mostly cheaper ones than mentioned in the video) and I have also noted that as I will only be wearing these clothes for a short while I do not need piles and piles of maternity wear.  I am going for a maternity capsule wardrobe - another topic covered by Jennifer.  I am still wearing my pre-maternity tops and some skirts with stretchy waists - but I have to confess I cannot wait until it is warmer and I can wear beautiful floaty clothes and sarongs!


Jennifer has two children - one which is alomst a newborn so I am finding all of her advice and tips especially handy at this point in time.  Here's hoping I can be as chic as Jennnifer and Madame Chic.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Best Things is Life are Free: Podcasts

Here is the second post in my series worthwhile freebies and today I will be looking at Podcasts.

In the past I have listened to podcasts for university (some lecturers were helpful enough to upload their lectures) and I have made a few myself for my students but I never really got into listening to them.  You would think as someone who id trained in music I would forever be listening to music or trying to seek out music wherever I am, but the opposite is true.  When I teach full-time the last thing I want to do when I get home is have to listen to anything else.

Then last year, the radio in my car broke so I had nothing to listen to on my two hour commute.   It was then that I started to update my iPod regularly with music and podcasts.  However, now that I no longer spend that long in the car (thank goodness) and I am not teaching music everyday - I feel like I can listen to a bit of something without my head going to explode.

Recently I went searching through all the podcasts available on iTunes, looking for meditation podcasts or podcasts on breathing breathing - things like that.  Well, I have turned up so many gems I just had to share them with you (please note the links are to websites not the podcasts - all podcasts were accessed through iTunes).  Here is a list of what I subscribe to:

  • The Barefoot Investor - practical financial advice
  • BTR: Natural Health, Wellness & Beauty  | Blog Talk Radio - sadly no longer updated but there are about 60 episodes - each lasting for near an hour
  • Chapter Audio Books on PodOmatic - this is a great tool to listen to all the classics for free!
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects - as I have not been feeling very in-the-loop academically latley I have found these podcasts so interesting.  Here is the blurb for the next 20 podcasts: Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, describes a new series coming to BBC Radio 4 – Shakespeare’s Restless World. Twenty programmes will explore the world of Shakespeare and his audience through objects from that turbulent period.
  • Jane Austen Season Audio Books with ITV1 & Classic FM - again no longer updated but the three books available are: Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park.
  • Learn Spanish - Survival Guide - again no longer update but with a ridiculous amount of episodes I think it will keep me busy for awhile
  • Learn to Meditate - Meditation Podcast - the older episodes are the basics - luckily you can choose which episodes to download
  • Mindfulness of Breath Meditation for Beginners - There is only one episode but I have listened to it a few times and still struggle to stay with it so it is good for beginners
  • My Thought Coach - there are a few interesting episodes here such as: Forgiveness Affirmations and Affirmations for Happiness.  I find these great to listen to when I am feeling a bit lost or angry about something
  • New Moms, New Babies: Tips, Tricks, Sanity Savers - another one that is no longer updated but it does have a huge catalogue of episodes - I am finding this very helpful in the lead up to having a baby and never having been around one before
  • tranquility du jour - a podcast series that has been running since 2007.  Topics in finance, yoga, personal branding, macrobiotics, packing for travel and lots of others.
  • 20 min. Yoga Sessions from - while this is not suitable while I am pregnant there are some great sessions in here with detailed information and printable instructions.
here to original source

I would like to make a special mention of Mamaste Yoga - Prenatal Yoga - I looked on YouTube for prenatal yoga and did not find much but this podcast series is great.  There are about 16 episodes in all and they are podcasts with video, meaning that the instructor is demonstrating the poses in front of you.  I find that with the few yoga classes that I have done previously I am able to follow these easily and the instructor has such a claming voice.

 I hope you find something useful that will fit in with your listening habits.

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