Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Pop the kettle on....I have some BIG news !

Pop the kettle on........ 

Pop the Champagne bottle......

Pop the ART ! 

Pop goes the toast in the toaster..... 

I'm very excited to be launching a series of Pop Up Markets throughout Melbourne's Northern Suburbs, showcasing the best of local handmade, art and design. 

You'll find Melbourne's newest market POPping UP in a variety of places and spaces. 

I'm working on upcoming dates and locations, but can very happily announce my first POP UP market is coming to Reservoir : 

Thursday April 2nd 10am - 2pm Edwardes and Spring St, Reservoir. 

I'm VERY excited about bringing handmade, art and design to new locations and audiences. 

Come visit on April 2nd, whilst getting your Easter supplies from the eclectic Reservoir shopping strip. 

And.....stay tuned for more POP UP Makers Market dates. 

Salted Caramel Upside Down Apple Cake

Oh my ! I don't mind saying it.....this cake was quite delicious !

We hosted a lunch for Mum's birthday and I wanted something a bit different. Part cake, part pudding. All deliciousness.  A quick Pinterest search, and I found this recipe

Nothing bad can come from fresh apples, butter and brown sugar ! 

The brown sugar gives the whole cake a delicious caramel flavour and colour. 

Thinly sliced apples and delicious salted caramel sauce in pan and the most amazing cake batter on top. Obviously quality control was required at this point....

Turned out upside down, it actually worked! The crust was amazing, with a slight crunch. Moist cake and delicious salted caramel.

The table was silent and seconds we're had, which I'll take as a positive review ! 

And because we could, an updated family photo. 

So, baked anything delicious lately ??

See you on the other side of my holiday (YAY) 


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Five reasons March is going to be FABULOUS

Oh hello March. You bright, shiny, fabulous month you. 

February sucked and I'm glad to see the end of it.

March is going to be amazing.......and here's why : 

1. PUPPY. There is nothing quite like a puppy is there ? So full of energy one second and sleeping the next. So, very, very fluffy. And cuddly.
Yes, there's toilet training, sibling arguments and 3 am wake ups, but truly she's a joy. 

2.  This beautiful artwork. Every time I walk into our bedroom, I smile.
tinniegirl you are an amazing talent and friend. 

I've taken to having my naps 'wrong way round' so I can admire it longer. 

(I am  VERY aware that these two welcome additions occurred in February, but it's only in March that I am enjoying and appreciating them. 

3.  Market season is back !
I love my markets and my first (baby) is back THIS FRIDAY March 6th 4-8pm.

4. New opportunities. It's funny how the universe works sometimes. The past week has unexpectedly brought several new opportunities that will completely alter the way I work this year. 
I'm incredibly excited about these new directions ! 

This has nothing to do with new opportunities, but it was for dessert tonight. 
And it was delicious ! 

5."Sail away, sail away, sail away."
Yes, I am off on holiday....with Ruby and her mum and dad.
Eight days of cruising into the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
Eight days of exceptionally good food.
Eight days of no cooking, cleaning, working.
Eight days of zero internet connection.
Eight days of chats with my best friend and Ruby cuddles.
I can't wait !

So, let's do this March. 

How are you ? Having a good month ? 
Off on holiday ? 
Forgive me for the self indulgent cryptic blog post ????

Here's another puppy photo.....just because.....CUTE ! 


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

My Melbourne : Strictly Ballroom the Musical

Ok, so there are 3 things you need to know.

1. I was gifted tickets to a Melbourne performance of Baz Lurhmann's Strictly Ballroom The Musical by NuffnangAU

2. I LOVED, Strictly Ballroom The Movie. Actually, I've loved EVERY Baz Lurhmann movie. 

3. I have been known to wear sequins. A dazzling array of sequins.....whilst dancing on stage. 

Me - in all my sequinned and tap dancing glory. 
Maybe 1984.... ahhh the smell of cheap hairspray, bright red lipstick and lycra. 
It's just like Kendall's dance studio isn't it ? 

As I said, I was lucky enough to be gifted tickets to this performance 
by NuffnangAU and I was very excited.
 Seeing Strictly Ballroom The Musical was high on my wish list. 

Mum and I all dressed for the theatre.
Apparently, not everyone does get dressed up for the theatre these days ! 

Ok, all that sparkles aside, here are my thoughts on this adaptation of Strictly Ballroom. 

The dialogue is completely true to the movie (and I imagine, orginal play).
The costumes and set are amazing. Even the chairs are decked in sparkly material.
I laughed and did a fair bit of toe tapping, but I wasn't quite inspired to dance in the aisles or on stage.
However, I loved that the cast did dance with the audience on stage after interval and final curtain.

The Paso Doble scene is fantastic and I loved it. Quite often the stage felt too small, but not in this scene that was filled with passion and the beautiful dancing. 

This is not the most sophisticated musical or performance you'll see.

But it may just be the most sparkly, Australian, and FUN performance you'll see. 
Oh, it also most definitely the most unashamedly and fabulous CAMP performance you'll see. 

And for that I loved every sequiny shimmery moment. 

Have you seen Strictly Ballroom ?
Were you a dancing queen in your youth ? 
Thoughts on sequins ? 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Taking Stock.......seeya February- you sucked.

Oh February. Why you so mean ?? I'm not going to be sorry to see you the back of you !

So, let's take stock and look forward to March.....shall we ? 

Making : Coffee Pod Earrings. I love them and really happy that the idea worked !
Cooking : In this crazy weather....everything from salads to hearty pastas.
Drinking : Smoothies. Coffee and plenty of water. #febfast is on ! 
Reading: market stall applications. So many talented locals. 
Wanting: some decisions to be made and implemented by others.
Looking: forward to March. Has to be better than February ! 
Playing: with fabrics and buttons and trims as part of a new series of workshops I am leading.
Deciding: to hit SEND or not. I hit send. And then felt nauseous. 
Wishing: it had worked. 
Enjoying: not enjoying February. 
Waiting: For a resolution. Either way. Just get on with it !
Liking: Lady Gaga at the Oscars AND Julie Andrews !!! goosebumps ! 
Wondering: If we roll the dice, just one more time, will it work that time ?

Loving: my G. 
Pondering: selling a house. Buying a house.
Considering: all the options for the above.

Watching: The Oscars. I love Neil Patrick Harris and Patricia Arquette's speech was amazing. (actually, I've just re-read Patricia's speech and her press conference - I think equality for EVERYONE is required. Let's end the us/them attitude shall we?)
Hoping: we find another way.
Marvelling: at the beautiful, amazing and stunning artwork that my dear friend made just for us. 
Needing: a break.

Smelling: beautiful lillies. 
Wearing: saltwater sandals. Best thing my feet have worn in a long time.
Following: #qanda on twitter. 
Noticing: I think I've lost some weight during #febfast
Knowing: that all will be well.
Thinking: it might just take a while to get there ! 
Admiring: the strength of my G. 
Sorting: market stall applications.
Buying: A PUPPY ! She arrives tomorrow ! 
Getting: cranky. 
Bookmarking: craft tutorials on Pinterest. 
Disliking: the feelings of grief and helplessness and sadness.
Opening: ticket wallets. The good news is that a holiday is happening next month.
Giggling: at videos and photos of Ruby Rose.
Feeling: grief. 
Snacking: I was really good until 2 days ago. Then I bought chocolate. 
Coveting: that which we've lost.
Wishing:  well..............
Helping: a friend design a new logo. 
Hearing: meditation podcasts, actually many a podcast at 3am. 

So, yes, we rolled the dice once more and it didn't work.

But tomorrow our new puppy arrives.

Work your magic March, I don't want this year to be defined by February.

Monday, 26 January 2015

My Melbourne : International Street Food Festival

So yesterday we headed to the first Melbourne International Street Food Festival.

We'd seen the posters, got excited and then bought the tickets for cheaper than the regular admission price on Living Social.

Ok, so two things I want to say before I share my thoughts on yesterday's event.

The first is that running events is HARD work and expensive to do.  And new and exciting events should be encouraged and supported.
The second thing is that Melbourne is a city that fully embraced the street food, food truck, market going food vendors trend.
Which is why, despite my first point, I was a little disappointed upon our arrival.

The problem is that on many a Melbourne street  these food trucks can be found. There are endless cultural festivals with a vast array of food from the food. There's a permanent food truck park set up in one of Melbourne's hippest suburbs. And what do all of these have in common ?
NO entry fee !

Yes, there were probably around 100 street food vendors with a wide range of food on offer, almost all from $7-$14 per serve. Again, my issue was, it felt like we'd seen and tasted most of them before.
With NO entry fee !

However, re-name this festival as Melbourne International MUSIC Festival or Australia Day Cultural Festival or even a concert by The Cat Empire and I am not at all disappointed !

Great venue with plenty of seating and grassy picnic spots, bunting fluttering in the breeze, AMAZING live music by one of Australia's great bands AND a plethora of food options. Throw in a craft brewery or two and you have my ideal afternoon and great value at around $30 per person entry.

The pork belly and utterly delicious black sesame with salted caramel ice cream boas from Wonderbao were by far our fave food picks at the festival.

So, that's my two cents worth. We had a great time.
Would be go back.....? Depends entirely on music or entertainment line up.

What about you ? Festival lover ? Fan of The Cat Empire. Eaten a great food truck snack recently ?

Happy Long Weekend,


Saturday, 24 January 2015

My Melbourne : Guide to beer geekery in Melbourne, Australia Day

We interrupt our self imposed blogging break to bring you an important guide : 

Where to find the best beer in Melbourne this long Australia Day weekend.

It occurred to me last night as I was scrolling through Instagram that we are indeed spoilt for choice when it comes to great, locally made and locally poured BEER. It'd be a shame to drink anything but the best....wouldn't you agree ???

TWO BIRDS : Two local Melbourne gals making great beer. Need I say more ? 
You can find Two Birds in many a good bar and bottle shop, but why not head to Spotswood and visit the brewery and tasting room. 

Carwyn Cellars : One of our favourite local Thornbury haunts, Carwyn Cellars is not just a bottle shop with exceptional fridge line up, but also great bar with over SIXTEEN taps of awesome craft beer. This long weekend, the lads even have two brews brewed just for them (and for our drinking pleasure) by the motley crew of brewers below. 

Summer in Melbourne to me, is the tennis, cricket, Midsumma, crazy weather and embracing the tennis watching crowds at Rod Laver and Fed Square. Conveniently located amongst all of this is Beer Deluxe with it's exceptional craft beer list, outside tables and live music. 

Taylor Swift controversary aside, it wouldn't be Australia Day without Triple J's Hottest 100. The annual countdown of the best songs of the year as voted by the listening public. A very local haunt and home of Northern Regards, Northcote Social Club will have the countdown and 3 Ravens in the fridge to keep you hydrated with a very tasty brew. 

Did you know that Triple J is not the only Hottest 100 happening on Australia Day ?? For months, craft beer lovers (geeks) have been voting on their favourite brews. All will be revealed at The Local Taphouse StKilda with a bbq (of course) on Australia Day. My tip is that the very drinkable Hop Hog may just take the top spot again. 

Our favourite beer garden in town and (almost very) regular Sunday haunt, The Alehouse Project has TWELVE taps of rotating beer goodness ! Seriously, we've never been dissapointed by the line up or great service. And they love Wogan.

Slightly cheekily, I've left this last reccomendation to last, even though it's on TODAY. But you see, I really don't want everyone rushing to The Rooks Return tonight and risk the keg of (one of the best beers EVER) Barrel Fermented Hop Hog running out before we get at least two pints each. 
Selfish ? Yes. Worth it ? Yes ! And now you know where to find us tonight........

So, there you have it. My guide to drinking exceptionally good beer and enjoying this beautiful long weekend in Melbourne.

Hope you have a great one whatever you are doing. And the hope the beer (or wine, or even cider) is cold and locally made. 


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

And just like's NYE !

So the Christmas tree(s) are down and the calender declares that it is December 31 - New Years Eve.

Although, if at any minute, Ashton Kutcher runs in and screams
"PUNKED ! It's only July 31st"...........I will believe him!

This year has gone SO fast.

Listen up 2015, if you could just slow down a bit, that would be great. Thanks.

I have mixed feelings about NYE. Like any stationary nerd, I love a new year and a brand new diary, but the actual night leaves me a bit cold.

Ever since I was a kid, I've felt that post-Christmas let down and the pressure to 'do' something.
Pressure that only intensified as a teen/young adult.

I LOVED the years that I worked in hospitality. I would quietly volunteer to work, confident in the fact that triple pay and drinks paid for the boss were definitely the best place to be.

I was once dumped by my boyfriend (yeah, I know.....maybe he knew something I didn't) at 10 PM ON NEW YEARS EVE !!!! At a party with all of HIS friends. Yep.

And then, it's the anniversary of G's charming father's passing. I never meet him, but I feel the loss and I see G suffer through this day every year. A day that everyone else persists in making a big deal out of !

So, here we are. I am quite pleased to tell you that I sit here with a very nice glass of Prosecco and am in my pjs. I'll make it to 12....but only because I never go to bed before 12.

NYE does bring with it a brand new sparkling year. One full of promise, fresh starts and hopefully a continuation of all that was good in the previous year.

And it's that sparkling new year that I am keen to see. Keen to see where it takes us.
What adventures and lessons it has in store for us.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to refill my glass, grab my crochet and reflect.

Happy New Years Eve and may 2015 bring you an abundance of health, happiness and Prosecco.

Dee x