Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Outfit: Back in Black

Over the weekend I went to my brother's 30th birthday party, I did't take many photos (I'm a terrible blogger, I know!) but I did make sure I took some outfit snaps before I left. Before I ramble on about the clothes and the night and all sorts of other completely unrelated things, as I'm prone to do, just let me appologise for the photo quality. I'm a complete tech dunce and can't figure out why my (meagre though they are) edits will not import onto the blog - time to upgrade from basic iPhoto, I think! (any suggestions greatly appreciated! Must be cheap and idiot proof...)

Anyway, back to the clothes. Aside from my beloved London bus bag from Modcloth (Doesn't seem to be available anymore but you could still spend hours getting lost on their site) all the rest of my outfit has either been given to me or I've had in my closet for ages (Scarf, boots, cardigan - thrifted; Hat, leather jacket - old; dress - gifted from my best friends closet).

My brother's party was great, the theme was black which I only broke a little by adding splashes of red to my outfit! My sister in law and her family basically catered for the whole night and did an amazing job, especially considering the wide array of dietary requirements within my family. overall, a night to remember!

Friday, 27 May 2016

10 things that made me happy this week

Another week has passed and it's Friday again and to be completely honest I am very glad to see the back of this week, it has not been the best. It stared last weekend and, while I won't go into details as it's all very personal and complicated, it left me spending the week trying to pick up the pieces of my own feelings of confidence and self worth. However this weekend I am spending with my family for my brothers 30th and we interact in the comfortable, happy, silence of all good introverted relationships (see above comic) so it should be a relaxing and restorative one. But focusing on the negatives is not what Friday's happy list is for and amongst the negativity that has surrounded this week I have stopped to appreciate a few little things too. Stoping to savour those things is becoming easier and easier the more I write these little posts which is also something to be happy about.

  1. Crossing things off my to do list - mostly mundane house chores like packing away all my summer clothes but still immensely satisfying. 
  2. Waking up earlier in the mornings - while it's been a struggle my days have been more productive and I feel much more satisfied at the end of the night. 
  3. Reading 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' - I've been reading this book for a few weeks and I'm loving it, it's reminded me why I find psychology so interesting as well as really helping me understand the way my personality type works. It also highlights why out cultural preference for extroversion is misguided and shows the value of introversion in many different settings (including business and other typical extrovert orientated career choices). It's not only fascinating and useful but also reassuring that despite many opinions there is nothing wrong with the introverted personality type (mini review over - I'm just loving it so much!)
  4. Spending a few hours yesterday playing with my housemates camera - it's much better than mine so I've commandeered it for blog use!
  5. Very excited bunny faces when I give them their breakfast - so adorable.
  6. A quick chat with one of my best friends, who I don't get to see much of anymore - plus excited planning for a reunion in September/October. 
  7. The new bunny decal I got for my computer - no more frustrating laptop swaps for me and Mark! 
  8. Doing some colouring - I'm definitely on board with the adult colouring in craze and don't want it to end any time soon!
  9. Realising that Rome wasn't built in a day... and neither in a home - I've been very frustrated this last week with the little shoebox rental I live in, and my desire to be somewhere bigger, have this place organised etc has been getting me down but a few refreshingly honest blog posts have helped me realise that it  takes time and work (and sometimes many set backs to get where you want to be). Reading Vicki's old post on their home owning setback as well as her later posts on home renovations remind me even those picture perfect homes take time and overcome hurdles. Another refreshing and inspirational read that's helped me come to this (clearly groundbreaking) conclusion is Victoria's posts on buying their crumbling home and then their struggles to renovate it. Hilarious and so motivating, even if it does make me even more anxious to hear news on my potential crumbling home. 
  10. Surprise leftover for lunch today - thanks to a certain housemate of mine forgetting to take them to work, bonus! 
Hope you all have great weekends and the weather is kinder to you than it's being to me right now!
A xx

*** Happy sharing inspired by Rosie ***

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Recipe: Potato, Leek & Bacon Soup

As soon as the weather turns cold I start cooking up soup, my favourites being pumpkin soup or this deliciously creamy potato and leek, piled high with crispy bacon and fresh chives. Yum. I first came across this recipe in an issue of Recipes + back in 2007 just after I moved out by myself for the first time. I have been making this recipe ever since with only a few little changes. 

Potato, Leek & Bacon Soup (serves 4)

(adapted minimally from Recipes + magazine July/August 2007)


25g butter or oil for frying 
1 large leek (white part only), thinly sliced
1kg of potatoes, peeled and diced
1-4 cloves of garlic, crushed (to taste)
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 cup thickened cream
2-4 rashers of bacon, diced
chopped chives


1. Melt butter (or heat oil) in a large saucepan over moderate heat. cook leek, potatoes and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring, until leek is soft. 
2. Add stock and milk. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3. Cool for 10 minutes. Blend in batches. 
4. Meanwhile, heat oil an oiled frying pan over high heat; cook bacon, stirring until crisp. 
5. Return soup to the stovetop, add cream and stir over moderate heat until hot.
6. Serve topped with ample amounts of crispy bacon and chopped chives.  
7. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Homewares Wishlist: Modcloth

I've found myself ordering clothes from Modcloth lately but have often overlooked their range of homewares so I decided to take a quick peek. I've rounded up a few of my favourite bit and pieces in case they appeal to you too! I'll admit I'm now very tempted to put in a cheeky order!

Clockwise from top left:

1.  Elemental My Dear Spice Rack
2. Way Back Den Pillowcase Set
3. The Art of Disney Postcard Set
4. Long Overdue Notecard Set
5. The Still of the Night Light
6. Got This on Loch Ness Tea Infuser

I have been busy with work the last few weeks, hence the shorter posts, but should have some outfits and recipes up in the very near future!
A xx

Friday, 20 May 2016

10 things that have made me happy this week

This week has been a very mixed week full of some great days and some not so great days...  as well as a few really terrible nights that resembled the cartoon above! It's also been a very busy week and blogging has taken a back seat to all the other things that have needed doing, I decided to do my (now) usual 10 things anyway because I feel like I need to spend some time focusing on those little things. My weekend looks to be another busy one, but also a good one, with a trip down to the city to do some shopping and go to the football. Here are the little things that made my week a happy one:

  1. Wearing my blanket coat to work - it's so warm and cozy and makes it feel a little like I'm bringing a little part of my bed to work with me.
  2. Solving the problem of my leaking washing machine, kind of - By packing old towels around the base of the washing machine I managed to get two big loads done without completely flooding the laundry, so satisfying. 
  3. Listening to Marina and the Diamonds on the way to and from work - such up beat happy music never fails to lift my spirits.
  4. Carrot cake for morning tea at work for a colleagues birthday - unexpected and delicious. 
  5. Sunny afternoons - perfect for drying laundry, working outdoors and airing out the house, a nice sunny afternoon always lifts my spirits. 
  6. Lasagne at the pub - comes in a huge serve that never fails to satisfy, I just can't get enough of it!
  7. Mulder kisses - after a few long months of 'delinquent teenage' rabbit he's finally starting to go back to licking my hand when I pat him.
  8. Reading through the archives of Story Monster - lots of laughs as well as some lovely heartfelt moments, it's a good 'un. 
  9. The way Jack looks in his little doggy jumper, so cute and keeps the chill at bay. 
  10. Soup weather - time to dig out the slow cooker in preparation for endless batches of potato and leak and creamy pumpkin soups, nothing better.
Hope you all have a great weekend planned.
A xx

*** Happy sharing inspired by Rosie ***

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

DIY: Animal Silhouettes

I started this project late last year but I only just got them hung up in the last few weeks and thought I would share this quick DIY with you.


  • Burlap 'canvas'
  • Black permanent marker
  • Black paint
  • Paint brush
  • Animal silhouettes (I used these: rabbit, fox and owl)
  • Printer

1. Print off your animal silhouettes, cut them out and lay them onto your 'canvas' 

2. Trace around the image with your black marker

3. Paint the inside of the image black - I used a small paint brush around the edges so as not to go over the lines and a bigger one in the middle to speed up the process.

And thats it! Here's some pictures of where they are hanging now, I think they turned out pretty good. 

I can think of lots more animals and designs you could use to make something similar, what design would you use?
A xx

Saturday, 14 May 2016

10 things that have made me happy this week

Somehow it got to Saturday already... Sorry for the late post, I seem to have spent all of this week feeling like I'm a day behind in everything. It's been a busy week and I'm really looking forward to a lazy weekend at home featuring good books, TV show marathons and endless cups of tea (and probably catching up on all the house work I didn't get done during the week). In the midst of all the busy heres what made me happy this week:

  1. Pink nail varnish that's lasted since Tuesday without chipping.
  2. A very cuddly cat keeping my lap warm on cold evenings.
  3. Finally finding a breed of dog Mark and I both agree on (now we just need a house big enough for yet another furry friend)
  4. The slow but steady progress of organising this house - seeing that extra shelf sorted or seasonal decor sorted and packed away in unbelievably satisfying.
  5. Warm puddings - they might just be store bought puddings and pies but the hot fruit and warm pastries satisfy my in a way summer desserts never do (bonus points for combining it with cold melting ice cream)
  6. Freshly dyed hair - nothing beats the vibrant shade of red in the first few weeks after a colour, not to mention how lovely and soft it is after a nice condition.
  7. Leisurely scrolling through the archives of some of my favourite blogs during my afternoon tea break (my current selection in What Olivia Did, A Clothes Horse and Cider with Rosie)
  8. Getting into a routine with blogging - while it's early days yet I'm loving spending a bit more time writing and focusing on some of the things I enjoy, even when I'm busy!
  9. $3 sale socks and stockings - as winter approaches I find myself stocking up on the cold weather basics, it's lovely to find a bargain and it enabled me to make a cheeky extra purchase of a blanket coat.
  10. Pub meals after a long day at work - sometimes it's just wonderful to let someone else do the cooking for once!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned!
A xx

*** Happy sharing inspired by Rosie ***

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Home Inspiration: Craft Storage

At the moment I'm living in a little rental house I like to refer to as 'the shoebox' this is not a loving term so much as a voicing of my frustration at the fact I can barely fit all my things in the place and end up falling over anything and everything (yes, I am also clumsy but this place is crowded, I promise!) While I have been trying to pare down the amount of stuff I have crammed into this place I'm also dreaming of the, hopefully, not to distant future when I get to move out of this little shoebox and into a much larger space! One of the main things I'm dreaming of is being able to have craft room again so I have been madly scouring Pinterest for all the clever ideas on craft storage so I can transform one of the room in our hopefully-soon-to-be-new-house into a crafting haven.

Clockwise from top left:

1. Buttons displayed in glass jars
2. Gallery wall displaying craft supplies
3. A cluttered but organised desk
4. Shelving unit used to store and display scrapbooking paper
5. Baskets to hide a jumble of supplies
6. A colourful and inspiring notice board
7. Glitter stored in vintage salt and pepper shakers

Click on the number to link through to the sources and to see more of the things that have been inspiring me head to my Craft Room board on Pinterest!

Be sure to link me to any great ideas you have seen in the comments!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Outfit: And Your Bird Can Sing

These photo's were taken on a lovely sunny day out in the Barossa Valley a few weeks ago, right now I'm not sure where all that lovely sun has gone! I'm definitely not ready for winter yet! I met my friend Mark and we had lunch at Peter Lehmann's winery (the lovely platter above) and he played photographer for me to get these outfit photos (I'd say 'thanks Mark' only I'm fairly sure he will never read this!) After lunch we headed to Chateau Yaldara, home of 1847 Wines for a cheeky wine tasting session (they were pretty good).

The outfit is a bit of a hodgepodge and is mostly made up of things that have been in my closet for so long I don't remember where they came from (the cardigan and the stockings) and items I have thrifted (boots, bag, necklace), the sunglasses came from one of the local Chemists (they are my favourite pair... just need to retrieve them from my friends place where I left them! Silly me) and the dress came from eBay (second hand so can't link you to the actual item, sorry). I love this dress because it's a nice colour that suits layering in this crisp and slightly unpredictable weather, it also has little bright coloured birds on it which I think are just darling (see the last picture for a slightly closer look of the pattern.

Friday, 6 May 2016

10 things that have made me happy this week

A few of the blogs I like to read do a feature at the end of the week outlining the little things that have made them happy. I loved this idea as I thought it would not only be a nice thing to post but it's also a chance for me to reflect on my week and remember to appreciate the little things that keep me happy. I think we could all use that little reminder sometimes as it's so easy to get bogged down in the negative things in life. I'm looking forward to a good weekend at the Gumeracha Medieval Fair and then the football on Sunday! Hope you have a good weekend planned too. Here's what's made me happy this week:

  1. Tea weather! There is nothing better, in my book, than cuddling under a warm rug on the sofa with a nice hot mug of tea, or six!
  2. Sharing fresh fruit with my bunnies - Sometimes I need to force myself to be healthy but it's easy when I have a fuzzy bunny on my lap munching on a grape out of my bunch or a raspberry out of the punnet.
  3. Audio books - Driving two hours to see family and attend appointments stops being a chore when I have a good book to listen to! Currently on my phone: Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon (Borrowed via Overdrive)
  4. New socks - as the nights gets cooler and getting out of bed in the morning is hard work the feel of soft new socks keeping my toes warm is just bliss.
  5. A weekend at home - last weekend we spent a lovely weekend at home, venturing out only once to visit the Burra Antique Fair on the Saturday, restful and restorative after months of non-stop business.
  6. Everything bunny related (will there ever be a day this is not on the list - I think not) and finding not one but three rabbit vases at the Antique Fair (two of which came home with me)
  7. Autumn sunshine - need I say more?
  8. How cuddly my little three legged dog is on cold mornings, I just love Jack cuddles!
  9. My new London bus handbag from Modcloth (photos coming soon, I promise!)
  10. Getting a $15 voucher from Priceline = free eyeshadow, score!
 Have a great weekend!
A xx

*** Happy sharing inspired by Rosie ***
(Photo taken by my good friend Mark)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

What I Read in April

I love to read but sometimes I find myself not prioritising it and spending too much time on Facebook or other social media. Consequently I've given myself the aim to read through the books on my 'want to read' shelf on Goodreads (find me here). While I don't aim to reduce my list to zero (where's the fun in that!) I do want to read through the vast backlog of books on my list and I thought it might be fun to share some of that journey with you all. I managed six books in April, here's a quick rundown of my thoughts and feeling on them.

Penryn is trying to survive. Because after the angels came to destroy the modern world there are no rules. Streets are ruled by gangs and angels are hunting for humans. When her sister is kidnapped Penryn will do everything she can to find her even if it means working with the enemy. Everything could happen in this new dangerous world. (source: Goodreads)

I enjoyed this book a lot, I felt like it was a fitting end to a trilogy that I very much enjoyed. It's an easy read being YA fiction and I finished it over a few days. I won't outline the plot incase anyone is interested but hasn't read the first two books in the series! (****)

(Copy from my local library)

Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all... (source: Goodreads)

After I discovered that Joe Hill was the son of Stephen King (my all time favourite author) and that he too writes horror, I couldn't resist having a go and some of his books. I opted for something a little different and gave this graphic novel a try. It was a good decision. I can't wait to read the rest of this series and to try some of Hill's novels. A quick read (I finished this story in an afternoon) but oh so satisfying, Hill seems to be a master of the macabre, just like his father. (****)

(Copy from my local library)

To the outside world Shadow Falls is just an ordinary camp for troubled teens nestled deep in the woods. But the kids at Shadow Falls are far from ordinary. They’re supernatural. And from the moment high school student Kylie Galen enters this world of fairies, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters, she’s had one burning question: What am I? With her new powers, new friends, and two sexy paranormal boys vying for her attention, Kylie’s whole world is about to change. (source: Goodreads)

It took me a while to get into this book but in the end I did really enjoy it. I was much more interested in Kylie's journey into the supernatural than the love triangle (or perhaps square??? What's it called when there are more than 3 people!?) however a fair amount of airtime was given to her romantic woes. I may have enjoyed it more had a read it rather than listening to an audio version so I could have skimmed over those parts. Overall I enjoyed it and will give the next book a try. (***)

(Audiobook on Overdrive)

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. (source: Goodreads)

I have a soft spot for historical fiction. And for YA fiction. This fulfilled both those requirements nicely. A nice optimistic take on a war novel this book is filled with a lot a heart. It accurately portrays the emotions of the situation, both good and bad, and has very uplifting themes of hard work, love and hope. (****)

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. (source: Goodreads)

Another historical fiction but this time an adult book. This book is about a subject I am less familiar with, the Vel' d'Hiv round up during World War 2, a topic which is sadly often left out of our histories. I enjoyed the parts of the story which revolved around this part of history (Sarah's story) and think it was great to put a spotlight on this part of history however that is where my interest for this book ends. Julia's part of the story did not engage me and I found it very hard to be sympathetic to her problems. This book would have been better had it continued to swap between the two stories however I found my interest wavering as Sarah's story came to an end and endless Julia chapters finished the book. (***)

(Copy from my local library)  

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. (source: Goodreads)

I'm a little ashamed to admit that I only just finished Gatsby last month, especially since I have had my father's battered copy sitting on my shelf since he gave it to me a few years ago, I love the movie (have even used it as a text for some of my classes) and one of my rabbits is named for Daisy Buchanan. However, all embarrassment aside, I genuinely love this book. It's a classic for a reason - go read it already! I'll be over here adding more Fitzgerald to my reading list. (*****)

(copy from my dear old dad's bookshelf)

If you have made it to the end, thanks for reading my rambles!
A xx