Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm still here + coffee fast?

Oh my goodness, it has been almost a week since my last post!

So what happened in the last week? Last Friday I bought a few Paul Frank Lip Smackers - they're just as cute in person!  Then at 4:30pm I received a call from Mr Curious - day care called (I left my phone at home, d'oh!) and told us TLG has conjunctivitis (I had to Google javascript:void(0)to find out what it was), there was a mad dash trying to find a GP on a Friday evening.  Thankfully we managed to find one.

I had a fantastic time with some girlfriends on Saturday and Sunday (you know who you are).  On Sunday Mr Curious and TLG came along and in retrospect it was perhaps too much for TLG as he developed a sore throat on Sunday evening.  I stayed home with him on Monday and managed to pick up his sore throat, and also a massive headache, so Mr Curious stayed home to look after both of us yesterday.  And today (usually a day off work for me) I went to work for training and used a nanny for the first time - it costs a pretty penny but she was highly recommended and I was very impressed with her work.  To be honest I was a bit relieved to spend a bit of time away from the sick little boy.

I suspected that my headache was not 100% caused by the bug I caught.  I had a coffee on Saturday morning but not Sunday, and on Monday I didn't have one because I was at home with TLG.  The splitting headache started sometime on Monday afternoon.  I was a bit scared about it ... I didn't know I had such a dependence on caffeine that I would have withdrawal symptoms!  That from only 1 - 2 coffees on most days.

I was so spooked by the experience that I think I will take a break from coffee.

I had 2 cups of tea today at the training but no coffee and I was OK, but it will be different on Friday when I have a full day of work.  Am I crazy?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Short Break: Paul Frank Lip Smackers

Sorry for the lack of posts, TLG has been a handful the last few days - went to the doctor today for this 18 month vaccination and she said he has hand, foot and mouth disease, it's not serious but it's enough to make him grumpy and me drained.

Seeing these in the Priceline brochure cheered me up.

Aren't they just so cute! I might be getting too old to wear my Paul Frank t-shirts but I can easily keep a few of these in my handbag. Plus they're perfect gifts for my lipstick loving niece!

The range is 20% off at Priceline from today until 2 August.

I'm definitely having a look tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Sunday casserole

After being lazy last Sunday, it was time to make another casserole. I opted for this Spanish Chicken Cassrole recipe

Instead of buying a whole chicken I used 2 kgs of chicken drumsticks.


Cooking the onion, capsicum and chorizo.  The chorizo smelled so good!


All the ingredients in the casserole dish ready for the oven.


One hour later it was ready!


I served the casserole with brown rice instead of saffron rice.

The favours of the dish were nice, although I will probably season the drumsticks before cooking next time as they were a bit bland, or maybe I'd leave it in the oven for a bit longer.

And here's a photo of the tulips Mr Curious gave me last Monday - they opened up beautifully!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quick lunch

We were planning to go out to lunch today but TLG fell asleep in the car, so we changed our mind and made lunch at home instead.

We bought some salami from the butcher earlier in the morning, and decided to made a few pizzas.  Mr Curious grabbed a few items from the grocery store whilst I waited in the car with the sleepy bunny.

The first pizza is what I would call a man's pizza - grana padano cheese, salami and olives.  We used Geoff Jansz woodfire pizza base from Thomas Dux.

Here's Mr Curious preparing the pizza.


And here's the finished product.


The salami that we bought today was very strong - almost like jerky!  The pizza was nice but it was a bit dry for my liking.

Here's pizza #2:


We used a "lighter" salami on this pizza.  Other ingredients included soft goat's cheese, grape tomatoes, olives and basil.  The soft cheese, tomatoes and basil created a better balance in my opinion. Also we reduced the amount of time the pizza was in the oven because the first pizza was a bit too dry.

It was super easy to make (well Mr Curious prepared it so there was zero work for me) and very yummy.  We will definitely do this more often!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My New Etsy Earrings

Regular CCM readers may remember that I was trying to choose between a few pairs of earrings on Etsy a few weeks ago.  After a stressful afternoon last Thursday I needed some retail therapy and so off to Etsy I went.

I chose the last pair of earrings from my shortlist because I like them but also because the seller is an Aussie and it's always good to support a fellow countrywoman.  Also it means that I'll get them sooner.

This is the pair I was interested in intiailly.

I also managed to find another 2 pairs from the seller's collection.

I received the package yesterday.  The earrings came in these beautiful pouches.


Below is my modelling shot.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I really like the Art Deco style.


The turquoise beads give this pair of earrings a burst of colour.


The tanzanite Swarovski crystals and pearls work really well together.  I wore them yesterday after I opened the parcel and received complements straight away!


From the photo on Etsy I was expecting the earrings to be a bit smaller.  It was my fault for not reading the descriptions closely.  The size is absolutely fine, it's just interesting how my brain automatically assigned a size to the earrings.  I bought a pair of earrings from another Etsy seller a while ago, they were so much bigger than what I pictured, I couldn't wear them and I gave them to a friend of mine instead.

The seller is so lovely to deal with, I didn't expect her to answer my questions at 8pm but she was prompt and very helpful.  I love buying from Etsy sellers, I think because the goods are hand made they are very passionate and often go out of their ways to please their customers.  Have a look at Wellstrung's Etsy store and website and you may find something too!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lemming: Textured Leather Bags

It didn't take long for me to find a lemming or two on Purseblog.

I think it is love at first sight with this Prada East/West Nappa Gaufré Tote:

I don't know what it is about the textured leather that makes me go "wow" - I just know that I love it.  Love the tan colour too.  I think you can easily dress this bag up (with a tailored suit) or down (cute top and jeans).  With the shoulder strap (not pictured) it is also very practical.

This black satchel is also stunning but I have been steering away from black bags for a while.

Prada's sister line Miu Miu has been featuring textured leather for a while, and the A/W 2010 collection is no exception.

When I saw this, I liked the quilted effect without loving the bag.

But after seeing it "in real life" as modelled by the lovely Rachel McAdams, I am a convert.

In this photo the bag looks a lot "softer" and the light grey shows up a lot more.

With price tags of $US2,195, $US2,195 and $US1,995 respectively, these bags will firmly stay on my lemming list.  Unless I win the $20m Lotto draw this weekend ...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Floral surprise

I received a call from building reception to collect a delivery.  I didn't know what to expect.

This is what was waiting for me.

The flowers came with the following note: "Thanks for putting up with me during the World Cup".

Thank you Mr Curious ^_^

Sunday dinner at Sakana-ya

Yesterday was a lazy day.  I slept on-and-off until 3pm(!) - it was such an indulgence and I loved it.  Hopefully it would help with my recovery from my cold/laryngitis.

At around 5pm I decided that (1) I didn't want to cook tonight, and (2) I was craving for sushi.  Mr Curious and I tried to think of a local Japanese restaurant with high chairs and Sakana-ya came to mind, so we headed to Crows Nest for an early dinner.

Sakana-ya is an institution in Sydney.  It has been around for as long as I can remember, and I used to go with my parents when we lived in the 'burbs.  Now it's only a few minutes' drive away from our place.  That being said I haven't been there for a long time, as there are so many Japanese restaurants on the lower North Shore.

We quickly ordered a serve of salmon nimono style ($13) for TLG as it was a bit beyond his usual dinner time.  He was a bit impatient and called out "nummy" (what he calls food) a few times before the dish arrived.


"Nimono" is a method of cooking - the salmon was simmered with soy sauce and mirin (sweet sake).  The sauce was sticky and sweet, perfect for little kids.  TLG demolished the dish in record time.  For $13 it is a very good value.

To cure my sushi cravings we ordered a small mixed sushi and sashimi platter ($29).


As expected the sashimi were fresh and tasty.  The wasabi was top-notch and so were the ginger.  My favourite was the scampi, I wished I had it last because nothing else was quite as good.  I even took the scampi shell apart to pick out the little bits of flesh,  Nom-nom.

I also ordered a unagi and cucumber hand roll ($7).  I liked that the soy sauce they used wasn't too sweet, so the eel pieces weren't overwhelmed


This was the sweet potatoes with chicken thighs, one of the daily specials ($8.50).


Look at how nicely prepared the sweet potatoes were, I thought they were mushrooms when the dish arrived!  I ordered this thinking that I would share with TLG.  Instead TLG ate half the sweet potatoes and all of the chicken!  The little that I ate tasted very nice, the chicken was a bit fatty for my liking but TLG didn't mind a bit.

Since TLG took over that dish I ordered another hand roll, this time a salmon and avocado one ($7).


Mr Curious ordered a beef steak rice box ($22).


He gave me a bit to try, the flavours were good but the steak was too tough.  Served him right for ordering a red meat dish at a seafood restuarant (sakana is fish in Japanese).

If I was going with someone who likes cooked fish (Mr Curious only likes the raw variety) I would have ordered some of the deep fried fishes or even fish heads.  You can check them out on this blog.

I never knew they had such a pretty back entrance!  Must check it out next time.

The bill came to $93.50 which was not cheap for an impulsive casual dinner but it was good value for the quality of food we enjoyed.  I think we'll be back again soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Birthday lunch at The Counter

It is my BIL's birthday this weekend and we headed off to the local burger joint for a birthday lunch.

The Counter is a US based chain restaurant specialising in custom built burgers.

You can choose the following from the menu clipboard:
  • type of pattie (beef, chicken, turkey, or vegetarian)
  • burger in a bun (normal burger) or in a bowl (like a salad, no bun but you get more lettuce/mixed greens)
  • cheese
  • fillings (up to 4 standard fillings included in the burger price; premium fillings like bacon are extra)
  • sauce
  • type of bun

A trip to The Counter is not complete without their famous shake ($6.60).  The first time we went I asked if they use skim milk and it wasn't an option, and I realised why after a had my first sip - there are so much fat in the shake already it is pointless to have skim milk.

My favourite is the apple pie milk shake, with pieces of actual apple pie in the shake!  It has the perfect consistency and it is easy to drink it all before the burger arrives!  It's so bad for your arteries but so very yummy.

counter,burger,crows nest

We also ordered ‘The Fifty-Fifty’ - 1/2 serve of chips and 1/2 serve of fried onion strings ($6.50).

counter,burger,crows nest

The shoestring chips are perfectly fine but I prefer the onion strings.  Mr Curious tried to stop TLG from having some to no avail.

I am a semi-regular visitor and I have tried many different combinations already, so today I went old-school and picked the standard "Counter Burger" - beef, colby cheese, fried onion, lettuce blend, sautéed mushrooms, tomato with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing ($14.50).

counter,burger,crows nest

It is impossible to eat this by holding the burger so I had to use my knife and fork.  And I gave the top of the bun to TLG.  The sautéed mushrooms were the highlight.  I didn't use the sauce though, I find the burger is favoursome enough without the sauce.

A note to first visitors: unless you request otherwise the burger is cooked medium.

counter,burger,crows nest

Also, unless you are super-hungry, a 150g pattie is enough, especially if you're having the shake.

This is Mr Curious' burger - beef burger with horseradish cheddar, olives, grilled onion, red hot capsicum, lettuce blend and BBQ sauce ($14.90).

counter,burger,crows nest

Everyone left the restaurant full and happy.  It is a perfect place for a casual gathering.

The Counter
118 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9436 2700

P.S. Mr Curious and I had a movie date last night.  We watched "Toy Story 3" on 3D and it was a blast! There is a rich sense of wonder and joy, and I loved every minute of it.   That is a good thing because I imagine I'll be watching it a lot when TLG is older.

(Spoiler alert) This is my favourite part of the movie - what is yours?

I also love the short film "Day and Night" - a great showcase of the 3D technology with a wonderful message.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Celebrity fashion: Jennifer Garner

I was a fan of Alias back in the days so I have a soft spot for Sydney Bristow ... I meant Jennifer Garner. Doesn't she look gorgeous in this outfit?

 Photo: Just Jared

I really like dusty rose as a colour, and this dress is elegant and a bit different from the typical gown.

Perfect hair, makeup and jewellery.  Gorgeous lip gloss colour.  Love it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Under the weather

This is me today.

Not enough energy to write a full post.  I'm supposed to meet up with my mothers' group for dinner tonight as one of them is moving to NZ ... I hope I feel better tonight to at least make an appearance.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm in luuurve

So I got home, said hi to TLG briefly, and hopped straight into the bedroom to open my parcel of Thurley dresses.  I was so excited I forgot to take a photo before taking the dresses out.  You can take my word that the dresses were packaged very nicely.


The Careless Love Tulle dress was on top so I tried that on first.


The iphone completely blocked the neckline so it's a big FAIL on my part.  The important thing is that it fits (yay!) and is very pretty.

My love is for the Bohemian Frill Sleeve Dress though.


It is so delicate and I love the details.  Isn't it just beautiful?


It is a tinsy bit tight around the hips but nothing that a bit of exercise can't fix.

The workmanship is just a cut above a high street outfit. It is an absolute bargain at $209 - thanks Frockshop!  *happy dance*

Little black box

Look what arrived in the mail today.


Can't wait to open it when I get home.

Sunday casserole Indian style

I may have mentioned in a previous post that I am planning to make a big casserole on Sundays so I don't have to cook on Monday night.

Last night I tried another recipe on - a mild curry beef casserole.  I added carrots and potatoes to the mix, and served the curry with naan I bought from an Indian grocery store.  It was yummo, and mild enough for TLG too.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Katy Perry style

I saw this photo of Katy Perry last night.

Photo: via eonline!

Doesn't she look stunning in the silver minidress (by Jenny Packham) and purple Louboutins?  The security guard in the background was totally checking her out.

It almost makes you forget about outfits like this:

Or this:

Actually I don't mind them THAT much - she goes overboard sometimes but I think she has a fun sense of style.

And you just can't help but sing along when you hear "California Gurls", can you?


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