Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vintage Race Wear

Melbourne Cup is the first Tuesday in November and is the biggest racing event in Australia - aka The race that stops the nation.  Most workplaces run sweeps and everyone stops work at about 3.00pm to watch the race.  Some workplaces even let staff have time off - I've heard it called the hairdressers public holiday!

There are a few important races in the lead-up to Melbourne Cup and while I do enjoy following the form guide, mostly I love looking at the fashions.

Once you have placed your bet (my money this year is on these 5: Spechenka, Peal of Bells, Moudre, Dunaden and Mourayan - I go by the name, taking my cue from the late Jennifer Patterson) all you need to do is find your outfit.

Here are some vintage racing pictures to help you decide what to wear.
Fashionable ladies and gents on the lawn at the Melbourne Cup, c 1910, with the grandstand in the background, from the Library's collection of Victorian Railways lantern slides.  From here.
1930s.  From here

From here
1940s.  From here

Happy trainer: Tommy Smith after Tulloch's cup win in 1957. Photo: Baden Mullaney.  From here


Sadly, there are not too many Melbourne Cup fashion photos from the 1950s but here is an idea of what would have been fashionable.  From here
                                      1965. Jean Shrimpton who caused a scandal with bare legs and a bare head!.  From here

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blog Love

I thought that I would do a round-up of all of the blogs that I have been loving lately.  As you would expect, as an expectant mother, most of them are blogs that belong to other mothers that I admire.  Most are vintage in theme or focus on cooking and/or eating!

Retro Mummy

This fellow blogger is an Australian who is getting a lot of (very well-deserved) attention for her blog and parenting activities.  I have no idea how she finds the time to update her blog/twitter/facebook etc so often.  She is also the online Mum that I tweet when I have a question about something baby-related!

She has recently revamped her blog after her fifth (!) child and it looks amazing - as do all of her babies and not-so-babies.  With headings such as blog, family, bake, sew, quilt and a few others, her site is a great resource for any new Mum!

Corrie - aka Retro Mummy.  From here

Annabel Langbein's Blog

I adore Annabel.  From the husky way she introduces her TV episodes, to the advice she gives about growing your own in her cookbooks - she is brilliant!

Annabel has two children (I think) that are mostly grown-up now but continues to feature family friends children and her own family in her TV episodes and cookbooks.  Annabel is such an inspiration for me, as a woman who has achieved that work-life/ family-life balance doing what she loves and not compromising on her standards.

As someone who wishes that they were a bit of a Francophile I can see a lot of French influence in the way that Annabel approaches life.  I believe that she does have quite a few French friends and has spent some time there.

In Australia, her new book Simple Pleasures has just come out but the TV series has not started yet.  I have flipped through her book in the bookshop and am hoping to find it in my Christmas stocking as it looks jam-packed with new recipes and ideas.  Are you listening husband?

The many pleasures of sharing - from here

Sprouted Kitchen

This blog has the most stunning photography going - ok I know that there are many others up for that prize!  This blog is authored and photographed by husband and wife team Sara and Hugh Forte (what a good musical name).

The Sprouted Kitchen features recipes designed around wholefoods and they have just released their first cookbook Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods.  The blog also features discussions on food trends (such as ingredients and new coffee making methods), travel and reviews of other cookbooks.

Sara and Hugh Forte - from here

Supercharged Food

Lee Holmes (another Aussie) is probably not a new name to you but I had to include her website in my list.  Just loading her page makes me feel like being a healthy domestic goddess.  Lee is a health coach but graciously offers a lot of information and advice on her website for free!

Lee's website has recipes for food, recipes for natural cleaning products, tips on dehydrating food, links to cooking videos (mostly raw food), a online shop and is all done in the most enchanting, retro-fairy-princess style imaginable.

From here

Elegant Musings

This is another blog that you probably all know about already but as she is expecting her first child - she is going to be the most stylish mother going!  And how cute will her baby look in all those hand-made outfits. 

Casey Brown blogs about sewing projects, daily outfits, recipes, things she finds thrifting, crafting and she also has a great section of tutorials for sewing and crafting items.  In the past she has hosted sew-alongs with great results - it is my goal to complete one of these one day.  Casey is also great at updating her blog regularly with her maternity wear and for my next baby I will certainly be stealing her style.

Outfit: baby packing mama - from here

The Vintage Wife

This is a blog that I have been following for awhile from Stateside and it is written by a lovely vintage lady named Cedar.  It features her beautiful daughter Lucy, recipes, vintage fashion (for Mother and child), vintage decor, sewing patterns and some great parenting tips.

From here

Linking with The Glamorous Housewife

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daily Outfit: Pregnancy Uniform

Over at the Glamorous Housewife during the week she asked if we wear a uniform (she does).  I have to say that thinking it through I have noted that I have been while pregnant.

It's odd because I always just thought that my style was "vintage; sort-of"!  I don't have all vintage pieces nor do I go in for a specific era but I do love the look and feel of most vintage clothing from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Being pregnant has also allowed me to wear the vintage clothing that was a bit too big for me but just had to have at the time.  I am also looking forward to carrying out this process in reverse as I gradually (hopefully) return to my former size.

So, when I found out I was expecting and had told everyone I bought a few things, very cheaply, thinking that I would have to buy new clothes every few weeks.  How wrong I was.  As I write this I am 39 weeks and 1 day and am wearing clothes that I was when I was not pregnant (a stretchy skirt and singlet) and while both are pretty tight, when I go out today I will wear a huge cardigan and look ok.

My uniform has turned into yoga pants and a singlet with a fancy top or cardigan for pretty much my whole pregnancy.  When working I would wear the one pair of "dress" pants that I bought (but they are not maternity) with a singlet and fancy top.  Here is an example of what I have been wearing underneath (I am almost 39 weeks in this photo):

 This photo from my baby shower shows me wearing my only piece of vintage maternity wear that my Mum got me from ebay.  I love the colours and how cool it is to wear (it's all cotton) but I hate how my arms look - hence the second photo - from the same day - with my trusty cardigan.

The cardigan has been great as I have been pregnant during the Australian Winter (which isn't that cold where I live).  It came with a skinny leather belt - but I don't like skinny belts and cannot get it done up anymore anyway.  I also found it great when I was teaching as it covered my bump (when it was smaller) and stopped pesky students asking questions - like "are you married?", "do you have any children?", "would you like to have children one day?" - that is the general line of questioning to "are you having a baby?" It looks something like this in real life but mine was from Best and Less:

From here

During my pregnancy I have had to go to three weddings and a few other special occasions.  For a night at the theatre last week,  and a wedding we had to go in early September, I wore this dress (I bought two in different colours - $20 each) which I accessorised with vintage.  With the mustard dress I wore vintage beads and had a shot silk coat (which in normally too big for me).  For the theatre I took a vintage bed jacket and some beautiful costume jewellery that my Mum had also given me.

This last photo I am not fond of but it shows almost the same thing, leggins and singlet on the bottom with a stretchy skirt and wrap cardigan on the top. This is our anniversary photo from this year (can you tell we didn't know how to use the tripod and everything properly in this shot) which was on August 27th, so I was 31 weeks.

Hopefully after I have had the baby I will have a chance to wear some of my more summery vintage clothes (I have some great blouses) as it will be hot.  I can also see myself sticking with the yoga pants for awhile yet!

This post has been linked over at The Glamorous Housewife

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Menu Plan

Week 1

B - Toast with peanut butter
L - Salad box with cheese
D - Fish Tacos (based on the Glamorous Housewife recipe)

B - Muesli
L - With family out
D - Leftovers

B - Pancakes
L - Satay Noodles
D - Burgers


B - Muffin and Coffee
L - Leftover burger patty with salad
D - Pasta Bake


B - Baked Beans and melted cheese on toast (macrobiotic baked beans recipe coming soon)
L - Leftover pasta bake
D - Vegetable soup and Prawn Toasts

B - Fruit and yoghurt
L - Out
D - At Grandmas/Leftovers

B - Muffin and Coffee
L - Tuna Melt
D - 1/2 Roast chicken and roast vegetables

Week 2

B - Baked Beans
L - Roast Chicken/Vegetable sandwich
D - Omlettes and Salad

B - Boiled Egg and Toast Soldiers
L - Satay Noodles
D - Lamb Chops and Avocado and Cob Salad

B - Fruit and Yoghurt
L - Boiled Egg and Asparagus
D - Homemade Pizza

B - Baked Beans on Toast
L - Salad box with cheese and crackers
D - Prawn and Pumpkin Curry and Rice

B - Oats
L - Leftover Curry
D - Vegetable Soup and cheezy toast

B - Might be having a baby today!

B - Toast
L - Leftover Soup
D - Take-away


Monday, October 15, 2012

Inspiration for a Monday: Benjamin Button

There is just something about this film - isn't there?  The way it looks at things that might be thought of as scary or weird or frightening.

I love the part in the film where Benjamin talks about the house at night - everyone breathing, a mouse scurrying over the floor, the heater making noise - all just natural noises in a house.

The other thing I love about the film (apart from Brad Pitt) is the costuming of Cate Blanchett's character, Daisy.

Here are some of my favourite outfits that she wears (looking lovely and slim and dancer-like while I feel like a hippo whose skin is about to burst!)

Dressed for a ballet rehearsal.  From here.

Dancing.  From here.

A close up and a sketch.  From here.

In the Russian snow.  From here.

From here.

At a party.  From here.

There is a great article here that discusses costuming in the film and has an interview with Jacqueline West - the films costume designer.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Waiting for baby

From here

We only have 2 and a half weeks left until out baby is due.  My Mum has had a re-occurring dream that it would come today (14th) but nothing so far.

We are ready and waiting - the baby has a bed and 2 million nappies and I have read every parenting article I have been able to get my hands on.  We also have so many lovely outfits for the baby courtesy of family, friends and neighbours.

What am I going to do in the next two weeks?  Maybe:

  • Actually take photos of things to blog about and for the baby to have in the future
  • Clean the oven 
  • Finish making Christmas presents
  • Watch all of Downton Season 1 and 2
  • Give myself a manicure
  • Dust the house
  • Shread all the papers sitting in the shredding pile
  • Mend the 500 items in the mending basket.

Any other ideas?...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Lime, Coconut and Raspberry Friand Recipe

Right, so I am going to begin posting some of the recipes that I make quite often as I have pictures for most of them now and I will also be able to have my recipes accessible when not at home.
Today's recipe is one that I make every fortnight - it is the one thing I always get asked to bring whenever we have a family afternoon tea or if a friend is coming over.

I made these once gluten-free for my brother with rice flour and now prefer them that way.  I think that the rice flour helps the outside to go more crispy - which contrasts with the chewy inside - it is almost macaroon like.   The other thing that I try to do is use egg whites that have been frozen and then defrosted - apparently older egg whites work better - and I always have egg whites leftover from pasta carbonara or something like that (it doesn't even matter if they have a tiny bit of yolk in it, like it would for a pavlova).

The other thing I am so pleased about when I make these friands is that they taste soooo much better than ones that you get in the shop and are cheaper.  I have seen some coffee shops charging about $4 a friand when you can buy half the ingredients to make 10 for that.  Speaking of ingredients - most people have all of these ingredients at home. 

Lime, Coconut and Raspberry Friands


  • Friand tray x 2 - mine have a 6 friand capacity each
  • Oven
  • Fork
  • 2 bowls


  • 180g butter
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 60g rice flour
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 5 large free range egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • Rind from one lime
  • Coconut flakes
  • Frozen Raspberries


  1.  Melt butter and allow to cool
  2. Grease friand trays
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 Degrees Celsius.
  4. Sift icing sugar and flour together.  Add almond meal and fork together
  5. Beat egg whites with the pinch of salt until well broken up
  6. Fold egg whites into almond mixture
  7. Add cooled butter and lime rind.  Fork through - it can take some time for the butter to be absorbed.
  8. Spoon into friand tin.  Place a few coconut flakes and some frozen raspberries on top of each one
  9. Bake for 10 minutes then turn racks around and switch shelves.
  10. Bake another 10 minutes.  Remove and attempt to wait until they have cooled a bit before unmoulding.


  • This makes 10 yummy friands
  • If using rice flour and pure icing sugar they are gluten-free.
  • I use a conventional oven.
  • Once cooled these can be frozen and defrosted in the microwave as needed.  I store them in a ziploc bag.
  • Other options for flavourings include lemon zest, vanilla, blueberry, poppyseed and orange.
  • Lemon and Vanilla Friand
  • This recipe is based on one by Jill Dupleix.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nigella Crazy

Just found this and had to share:

Click here for previews

Menu Plan

I cannot believe that I only have 4 weeks left until I meet the little person inside of me!  Here are a few shots of things I have been eating - some healthy and some necessary.

Kiwi Fruit and Blueberries

Hot Chip Sandwich

Week 1

B - Baked Beans
L - Miso Soup
D - Ginger Sweet and Sour Chicken /Tofu with sushi rice and greens - from Annabel Langbein Free Range in the City p 124

B - Muesli and yoghurt
L - Leftovers
D - Pasta with Courgettes - Nigellissima p5
- the link has Nigella making this!!

B - Omlettes
L - Leftover Pasta
D - Meatballs (p75 Nigellissima) /Beanballs (p189 Veganomican) with roast vegetables

See it here

See it here

B - Baked Beans
L - Tuna Melt
D - Fritters using leftover roasted vegetables

B - Fruit and Yoghurt
L - Tuna Melt
D - Avocado and Cob Salad (you know the one) with Sausages

B - Muesli and Yoghurt
L - Out - peanut butter sandwich
D - Pork Chops and Cous Cous


B - Baked Beans on Toast
L - Leftovers
D - Fish Tacos (a cross between these from the Glamorous Housewife and Annabel Langbein’s from last menu)

Week 2

B - Date Scones and Coffee
L - Miso Soup and Brown Rice
D - Prawn Pasta Rosa - Nigellissima p34

From here

B - Boiled Eggs and Toast Soldiers
L - Leftovers
D - Risotto (with Chorizo for the husband)

B - Pancakes
L - Salad Box/ Salad Sandwich
D - Tuna and Bean Toasts

B - Japanese style oats (umeboshi, nori and sesame seed)
L - Chopped Salad
D - Spaghetti Bolengese/TVP with garlic bread and salad

B - Fruit and Yoghurt
L - Leftovers
D - Pizza - using the Delia Smith pizza base recipe from Delia's Vegetarian Collection - a great book

From here


B - Muesli
L - Out - Peanut butter sandwich
D - Vegetable Soup with cheesy toasts

B - Muffin and coffee
L - Out - Shopping Day (maybe - I will be 38 weeks pregnant!)
D - Leftovers/Frozen Meal

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