Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend cooking

I lost my cooking mojo last week - just couldn't be motivated.  And the stockpile of food for The Little Guy has run out.  So it was time for me to snap out of it.

To find inspiration I borrowed a cookbook from TLG's childcare centre called Cooking for Baby.  I also consulted Fast Food.

Yesterday I made sweet corn and salmon chowder for TLG.


Besides corn and salmon, it has potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, milk and stock.

I was a bit disappointed with it actually.  I was expecting it to be more creamy, and the frozen corn kernels were not sweet enough.  The recipe has potential though, so I will try it again.

Tonight I made chicken casserole with mustard and tarragon:



I was unsure about the recipe but it was yummo!  I had it with some multigrain wrap (as a naan substitute).  There is an extra serve for lunch tomorrow, which is great because I am getting bored with the food choices at the food court near work.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Funky furniture - Established & Sons

I mentioned in a previous post that I read financial press as part of my job.  Besides dry articles about interest rates and sovereign distress, I come across interesting stuff from time to time.

Flicking through the AFR magazine I came across a photo of 2 guys sitting on a 3-seater version this red sofa:

furniture,established & sons

The design is from Established & Sons, an English furniture designer and manufacturer.  It is a young company (first collection in 2005) but quickly established (pun not intended!) themselves in the international landscape with their witty contemporary designs.

E&S has a link to fashion - CEO Alasdhair Willis' wife is Stella McCartney.

Here are my picks from their collection:

furniture,established & sons

The Quilt chair.  Visually striking, I hope it's comfortable!  It comes in a sofa as well.

furniture,established & sons

The Tutor chair.  It's classic and modern at the same time.  I wouldn't mind some to go with our dining table.

Both chairs are upholstered with man-made fabric, I suspect Stella would not approve if they use leather.

established & sons,furniture

The Nekton stools set.  Great functionality and aesthetics.

established & sons,furniture

I don't know if the stools are flat enough to put a coffee on, if so it can be used as a coffee table in this configuration.

furniture,established & sons

The Open Room No 1. The designer intended this to act as "a room within a room". I love it.

furniture,established & sons

The Two Timer clock.  Perfect if your loved ones is in another time zone.

furniture,established & sons

All photos:

The Font clock.  A delightful twist of the calendar clock.  I want one.

Check out more of their designs on their home page, and watch a fun video of one of their designe when you arrive.

Established & Sons are available from Living Edge in Australia.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lemming: This Prada coat


Absolutely gorgeous.

Pump up the jam

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I have resumed my gym membership.  I had my second personal training session on Tuesday and my trainer Charlie developed a program for me after my fitness test the week before.  She demonstrated the execises and I tried them out.  The conclusion - I am REALLY UNFIT.  I felt nauseous by the end of the session because my body was not coping, and I didn't even do all the reps!

I'm planning to go to the gym this afternoon to give it a try.  I will report on progress.  I am happy to put the program on the blog if anyone's interested.

I tried on my jeans yesterday and even the "fat pair" didn't fit!  I could fit into them comfortably 6 months ago so I can't use my pregnancy as an excuse.  All those chocolate and ice-cream have to land somewhere, right?  I reallyl want to go back to my pre-pregnancy body so I have to work hard.

I'm completing a food diary this week so Charlie can assess my diet.  Wonder what she will say?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day of pampering

Mr Curious gave me a day spa voucher as part of my Christmas pressies and I made use of it today.

The destination is Zen Day Spa at Darlinghurst.  I've never heard of it before, so good on him for finding it.

My appointment was for 1pm but I was running a bit late, I called a few minutes before I arrived and thankfully I confirmed the location of the parking lot otherwise I would have missed it!  However I was told that my appointment wasn't until 1:30pm, which was strange because I received an SMS on Monday confirming an 1pm appointment.

Anyhow, I arrived and was offered a beautiful lemongrass tea.  The man at the reception tried to speed things up and my treatment started at 1:15pm.

The Zen indulgence package (the name is an oxymoron, no?) started with a "Hydro-Active Mineral Salt Body Exfoliation".  I haven't had a body scrub for ages and it was nice to scrub off all the dull skin.  My skin is so smooth now!

That was followed by a "Mineral Salts Spa Bath" which was a normal triangular spa.  After the beautician left I stepped into the spa and it was HOT!  Not burning hot but it took me a while to submerge my whole body into the bath.  I had to splash cold water on my face regularly to cool down.  I ended up putting a towel soaked in cold water on my face.  I had a cold shower before getting ready for the next treatment.  It must have been good for my circulation.

Next were the mani and pedi.  It was strange having my nails done whilst I was lying on my back.  The beautician (different person) was very friendly and we had a good conversation going.  She might be a bit sick of hearing about The Little Guy by the end!  I chose bright colours, coral for my toenails and a hot pink for my fingernails.  I tried to take photos but the camera couldn't capture the colour accurately.

The facial was the last treatment.  It started off with a pre-cleanse, then cleansing, and 2 rounds of exfoliations (the second round was with Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub, I used it years ago but I remembered the smell).  My memories were a bit vague after that as sleepy monster got the best of me.  I remember she started the steam machine before I drifted off.  When I woke up I thought the facial was over, but no, she proceeded to put more cream on my face, then another cream which turned out to be the actual facial.  The facial finished with toner and Active Moist.

The beautician told me afterwards that it was a Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque.  I may buy one to use at home.

So I left the day spa feeling relaxed and well rested.  I must remember to do this more often!  And you should too.

Zen Day Spa
116-118 Darlinghurst Road
(02) 9361 4200

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pretty things from A/W 2010-11 collections

I realised when I got home that non-subscriber to may need to register to read the reviews in the last post.  Apologies.

I browsed through the coverage and found some pretty things.

From Narciso Rodriguez

All photos: 

So simple and elegant.

From Marc by Marc Jacobs


Pretty but the look is too young for me.

This top will work with my budget buy skirt!

I like the contrast in fabrics.

From Ralph Lauren

So we're up to "referencing" early 90s look already!  It's a cute look though.

From Christian Siriano




I find the design interesting but don't think I can carry it off.

Just pretty.

Not a fan of the frilly shoes but the dress is so romantic.

I watched the season of Project Runway where Siriano won.  He is a star!  And so sweet too.  I didn't watch any other seasons - is he the most successful out of the lot?

So what is your favourite look in A/W 2010-11? And do we have to wait a year before these looks make their way to Australia?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fashion reviews from the most unlikely places

It's part of my job to keep abreast of the financial markets so Financial Times is a website I visit often.

Whilst on my eyes were drawn to the a section called "From the catwalk", I clicked on it and discovered some interesting (mostly critical) reviews of the latest London and NY runway shows.


Check it out for yourself here (registration needed).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend update

The weekend has gone by quickly!

Yesterday Mr Curious, The Little Guy and I went to Chatswood for lunch and a bit of shopping.  We went to Chatswood BBQ kitchen for lunch.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Mr Curious had his usual Special Fried Rice with a side of BBQ pork.  He was disappointed because the fried rice was a bit bland and the BBQ pork too salty, but somehow they didn't balance each other out.

I ordered the Tofu Fish Balls with noodles, with a tasty broth.  Well I had some because TLG loved the tofu fish balls so much he ate half of them!

Shopping followed and we bought a Eurotrike for TLG from Kids Central, which has 20% off sports and activites toys.

TLG is totally into anything with wheels at the moment and he loves the trike.  He points at the trike and says "car"!  He can say "ma" and "da" randomly (he says "ma" whenever he wants anything, sometimes that happens to be me), but "car" is the first word he associates with an object.  He is such a boy!  Personally I'm a bit tired of reading books about tractors and giant wheel loader but I suspect there's a fair way to go yet.

I was hoping to drop by Alannah Hill but I was overruled by the male majority :-(

Today we visited my MIL to celebrate her birthday.  We went to the Regatta centre in Penrith hoping to have a picnic however it was too hot to sit under the sun, so we had lunch near the audience's stands in the shade.

Source: wikipedia

I didn't have time to prepare food so lunch was of the take-away variety - a whole chicken and chips from Red Rooster, potato salad from Coles and pumpkin and couscous salad from Thomas Dux.  The birthday cake was a Simmone Logue lemon curd cheesecake.

simmone logue,lemon,cheesecake

I love cheesecakes but this one is only OK.  The lemon curd is so sweet it completely overpowers the cheesecake.

TLG had a great time roaming around in his "car".  He had the biggest smile which made everyone happy too.

It was a shame that we didn't get to spend more time at the centre because it is lovely, but it was simply too hot to stay outdoors.

I felt asleep at my MIL's place, a bit too much wine at lunch methinks.  We're now at home and Mr Curious is sleeping on the sofa.

I'm looking forward to relaxing after we put TLG to bed.  Next week will be a busy one!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Question Time: What top for this skirt?

I found a great bargain when I went shopping with my MIL last week.


A lovely skirt, on sale for $22!  For some reason it was in the plus size section, I would have never found it otherwise.

However, I realised I have a problem when I got home - I don't have a top to wear with it!

I have a few black tops but nothing seems to match.

In my mind I picture a silk sleeveless top with pussy bow, but I'm open to ideas.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Etsy magic

UPDATE: I have included the seller's details at the end of the post.

Etsy is probably one of the best internet shopping experiences.  It is fantastic to have access to so many original, handmade goods from all around the world.  I love browsing and I have done my share of purchases.

What's even better is that I can come up with my own design to be created by talented Etsy sellers.

I was looking a few months ago for some earrings and I came across these:

I like the green glass stone on this pair:


And the teardrop shaped sapphire glass stone on this pair:

I thought they'll look really good together, so I cut and pasted the two together (see below) and started a convo with the seller, asking her to make them for me.


The seller was very accommodating and she said she would mock up a pair for me.

This is her first attempt:


I thought the green stone was too big relative to the blue stone, so I asked for a smaller stone.  Also I didn't like the emerald colour, I preferred the lighter green in my mock up.  She came back with this:


The smaller stone looks better, but I still wasn't sold on the emerald.  The seller said she had another type of green called "peridot" and sent me a photo for comparison:


I actually liked the size of the peridot stone better, but it still wasn't the right shade of green.  She then sent me a chart with the stone colours available:


Out of that chart I liked the Apple Green but the Peridot was OK as well so I asked her to get hold of them.

She sourced the stones and sent this photo to me:


I chose the apple green which is on the right, and the seller sourced 2 in the bigger size.

She spent NYE making them and sent me a photo.


The green were a bit lighter than I expected but they look good and the seller was so lovely I went for it.  It was $US19.95 so I coudn't go wrong.

This is a photo I took of them after they arrived.


They work fabulously with the Alannah Hill dress I bought last month.

Our convos took over a month but the final product was worth it.  The seller even named the earrings after me :-D

Do you like Etsy?  Share your favourite buys with other CCM readers!

The seller is Purple Toes Jewelry.  Please say hi to Donna for me if you ever order anything from her.

Bringing life to the balcony

We have a small balcony outside of our living room. We don't use it very often (no BBQ yet and there's not much space) but it is nice and The Little Guy can roam around a bit once we clean it up.

This is what it looks like:


The body corporate organise some waterproofing of the planter boxes a while ago. The gardener advised that the existing plants (right hand side of the picture above) would not survive the transfer. Thankfully we are given money by the strata to buy some new plants.

One of our neighbours recommended Swanes so we venture out to Dural the weekend before last.

Neither Mr Curious nor I know anything about plants, so we were looking for plants that are robust and easy to look after.  The Little Guy loves plants and so kid-friendly is another criteria.  Of course they have to look nice too!

As we looked at different varieties and became increasingly confused, Nigel from the store came over to offer some help.  I liked Rhoeos with their green and purple leaves, and Nigel suggested that we contrasted that with some gardenias with longer stems.  He mocked it up for us and we liked the look.


Mr Curious liked the idea of a climber plant for the corner spot, and Nigel suggested Pandorea Jasminoides which is a native plant with pretty pale pink flowers.


And we have a little more in our budget so we bought a magnolia as well.

Mr Curious did the hard yards last weekend:

Gardenias and Rhoeos


Close up of the Rhoeo


Pandorea Jasminoides


Magnolia (we need to buy a new pot)


Looks pretty good I think!  Now we just have to look after them properly.

Mr Curious has some grand plans for the balcony.  He wants to get some synthetic grass or soft padding to cover the tiles so The Little Guy can play outside, and he has an idea to paint a mural on the inside of the balcony. So watch this space!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Short Break: Ikea product or Swedish Olympian?

In the spirit of the Winter Olympics:

Ikea product or Swedish Olympian?

Mr Curious and I scored 9/11.  Can you do better?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Question Time: Help me declutter my bathroom!

It's Monday morning - are you looking for something to distract you from work/study?

Here's an assignment for you if you choose to accept.

Help me declutter this:


The area is 57cm x 79cm with a small indent in the corner.

I want everything to be accessible but tidy and easy to maintain.

Fire away with your ideas!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sick child

Cry Baby!
Originally uploaded by
The Little Guy has been sick in the last week. He had a fever on Tuesday and Mr Curious picked him up from daycare. He was getting better on Wednesday and Thursday but he had a fever again on Friday and he has been very unsettled since then.

He has a cough and runny noise, and has lost his appetite. He is obviously in discomfort and it's so hard because there isn't anything we can do. The doctor said it's a garden variety viral infection and besides giving him baby Nurofen, we have to wait for him to get better himself.

The worst is his cry when he wakes up from his naps. It is an uncontrollable, primal cry and tugs at my heart strings. Mr Curious and I took turn holding him but he wouldn't stop until he calmed down naturally. It took 20 minutes for him to stop crying just now.

Oh, my sweet Little Guy, mummy will do anything to make you better. You know I'll always be here with a big hug for you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick lunch

Burger with beef and vegies patty, fried onion, beetroot, tomatoes, mixed greens, cheese on a toasted burger bun.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Music On My Mind - Lisa Stansfield - All Around The World

I was channel surfing the other night and I saw a concert on ABC2.  A middle aged woman was singing a dance music track.  I didn't know who she was until she started her next track, which I recognised straight away.

Those of you under 30 may not know it, but it was a top 10 hit in 1990.

Does it bring back some memories?

By the way there is a small update at the bottom of my lemmings post.

Ironing anyone?

If I have to rank housework chores by how annoying they are, ironing will be close to the top of the list.  It's tedious, hot during summer, and I am no good at it.

I folded about 5 baskets of clothes this morning and here's the mountain of clothes which requires ironing.


Most are Mr Curious' work shirts (thankfully he irons them himself) but I have a few items in there as well.  So, anyone wants to do me a favour?  I'll shout dinner!


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