A weekend of moving things up high

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Are you a fan of the triangular shouldered silhouette that an 80s bomber jacket gives? I feel like a gridiron player but it does give a certain SHAPE. I don't think anyone will mess with me while I'm wearing it.

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Spinach is a little magical the way it cooks down the nothing. I think so anyway. I steamed bushels of it to make this palak paneer.

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We made our own cheese too.

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So rustic.

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We spent most of the weekend rearranging the layout of the house against our increasingly mobile and grabby son.

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Baby sonata.

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The power board and delicious cables under my desk are now boxed up and safe. Until he learns how to open the box.

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Or works out how to get that bin down. Soon there will be nothing left in this house below knee height.

Like a fine wine

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Baby is a delightful creature most of the time but today he was CHALLENGING. Now that he's in bed I'm catching up on some work (and procrastinating via blog) and we've cracked open a bottle of wine I carted back from the Barossa Valley in 2007.

I went there on a mini break with my best girlfriend, T. This is us.


I'd just bought that fur coat in an Adelaide op shop and wore it the entire trip. At the same time T bought an amazing 70s poly maxi dress with a print like the ABC test pattern and huge pointed sleeves. I was super jealous that she spotted it first. She lives in Canada now and a few years ago I got a random parcel from her in my letterbox. She sent me the dress.

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This is me wearing it barefoot and pregnant. It was a good maternity dress. It's a good glass of wine.

Cheers to you T.

Ugg boots and breastfeeding fashion tips

Autumn finally came to Brisbane last night and the ugg boots came out. I know many people are not a fan of the humble ugg but I love them.

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I've always drawn the line at leaving the house while ugged, but last winter I noticed quite a lot of locals in the village getting about with their feet encased in fleecy comfort. This will be our second winter here and I'm thinking when in Rome…

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Here is a picture of my obligatory Australian lady with a blog Anzac biscuits. I actually make these quite often by request but these ones have extra Anzac and are full of poignancy.

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Before the cold descended Baby and I had a play-date with my high school bestie and her little one. It was suburban and idyllic.

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Look. She has chickens!

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I gave the $4 blue velvet blazer an outing and I didn't hate it at all.

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This ASOS jersey maxi dress is one of my breastfeeding staples. When I first had Baby I was under the impression there would be a wide selection of breastfeeding clothes in the same vein as maternity clothes to choose from. I was sorely disappointed so I had to get creative. This dress is so comfortable and the draping is massively comforting, all it took was a few snips to the shoulders and a few hand-sewn press studs to make it breastfeeding ready.

I've made little alterations to a few dress with unforgiving necklines over the months and it's been nice not to have to live entirely in button ups or sized up singlets. Once it's not longer necessary for me to be able to bare my bosom at a moments notice I'll just stitch them back up again.

I've learnt some other breastfeeding fashion tricks over the last eight months too:

  • Don't dismiss an elastic topped strapless dress with a cardigan. This strapless Gorman dress is on sale for $50 at the moment. It may or may or be on its way to me in the mail as we speak (OK it may).

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  • Look for sundresses with tie up shoulder straps. The bigger and floppier the better I say.

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  • Timing is key for hungry babies so you want something stylish on your wrist, but also chewable. Get a Swatch watch.

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  • Finally, you cannot own too many singlets. Like an old man in a white Chesty Bonds, you will wear them under everything. My recipe for a failsafe outfit these days goes: singlet, plus drapey oversized top (Cotton On does good ones), plus skinny jeans or leggings, plus a blazer if I want to look fancy. Good to go.
  • Turkish delight ice cream

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    I was given an ice cream maker for Christmas last year by my Mum who knows I love a kitchen gadget. As a result we've had a completely gluttonous summer of ice cream thinking up new flavours.

    Of all our experiments, I think vanilla with turkish delight has been my favourite. It has to be real turkish delight, the kind that comes in big cubes covered in icing sugar, not the chocolate covered bar kind. The chocolate covered kind is good in ice cream too but you won't get the same amazing sticky mouthfeel you get from real turkish delight.

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    There are so many ice cream recipes out there to choose from but this one that has become my staple because it's dead easy and happily takes most additions and flavour you can concoct.

    Simple vanilla ice cream

    1 cup full cream milk
    3/4 cup caster sugar
    2 cups thick cream (or thereabouts - I usually buy a 600ml bottle of cream and just throw the whole lot in there)
    1 tsp vanilla paste

    Whisk sugar and milk until sugar is dissolved. Add cream and vanilla and whisk to combine.

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    Chill mixture for an hour or two then churn in ice cream maker.

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    While the ice cream is churning you can chop your turkish delight into little nuggets. This is not as easy as it sounds as this stuff is STICKY. I find keeping it in the fridge before and after helps. I use kitchen scissors to do the chopping and find rolling the cubes in icing sugar as you go helps a little bit too.

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    Once the ice cream is ready, add nuggets of turkish delight and mix gently. Then freeze.

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    After a few hours the rosewater from the turkish delight seems to infuse the whole tub and the blobs of turkish delight go all sort of sticky/chewy. So good.

    op shop treasure

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    I'm looking forward to training Baby up as my thrifting wing man as soon as he gets the hang of pointing, but at the moment he has a short attention span and is a cranky pants shopping companion.

    I left him at home today and had the best op-shopping day EVER. Both these fugly leather jackets came home with me.

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    And this blazer. I used to live in velvet blazers with Doc Martens in the late 90s. In fact I wore them so much I thought we were done for good, so I'm not sure what made me bring this one home. It is a pretty blue colour… and it was only $4… We'll see.

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    Retro sheets. Obviously.

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    Some blue and white crockery for my stash and a glass milk bottle thing. Should it be a vase or a water jug? I can't decide.

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    Finally, this may not look like much but it made me very happy.

    The last time we were broken into at our old place (it happened repeatedly) the robbers stole my Peter Alexander grey marle dressing gown. Why? Who steals a dressing gown? It still makes my blood boil to think about it. Insurance money could replace everything else but it's been over two years and I've never found one I like as much. This is pretty close to the original.

    I hope karma bit that robber soundly in the arse.

    Delightful tights (I am not going to buy)

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    These tights are the most delightful thing. I want them. I really want them.

    I'm posting them here in the hopes that it will purge them from my mind and I won't need to buy them. Because I'm trying hard to be good at the moment and $50 (plus $19 postage) is a silly amount for a pair of tights.

    Everyone should iron their own clothes

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    I baked this banana bread today after Husband and I had one of our recurring discussions about my disinclination to iron. He thinks 'the majority' of men in our position are getting their work shirts ironed for them. I call bullshit to this. Everyone should iron their own clothes. He does a better job at it than me anyway.

    I think my inner 50's homemaker must have been offended by the intimation of inadequacy though so I baked banana bread. Ha. That'll teach him. It has chocolate and scotch in it. I've seen this recipe all over the webs lately but I used this one.

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    I ended up having a pretty bonkers housewifey day all over. In addition to keeping our Baby alive ALL DAY I made lots of puree food.

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    Stocked the pantry. Husband gets nervous when we don't have a lot of dry pasta in the cupboard. It's part of his apocalypse strategy.

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    Made a freaking meatloaf.

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    I know. I'm practically Betty Draper.

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    Without meaning to I basically dressed entirely in pyjamas, but apparently it is v.trendy.

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    I'm in a 30's bed jacket I've had forever, Bassike slouch pants and topshop slippers.

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    This is my current handbag obsession. Love.

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    Chocolate and naps and wardrobe organisation

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    I love the Easter holiday. In my secular, chocolate loving household it's a just lovely, lazy, long weekend, with none of the pressure of the big name festivals and lots of eating, and cooking.

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    This is yesterday's breakfast - corned beef hash cakes with poached egg and date chutney. A corned beef really is the king of leftovers isn't it?)

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    Everyone in Brisbane seems to be at the beach this weekend inhaling summer's last gasp. We are curling up hermit-like instead. The weather is glorious, warm drippy sunshine, but cool enough that I can wear a cardigan (bliss). Perfect for lying on a blanket on the grass. We've had naps and lots of reading. Husband keeps threatening to put on the 4 hour, 45 minute directors cut of Das Boot, which I know must mean he is relaxed and has time on his hands. Have you watched Das Boot? I've watched the short (only around 3 hour) version. It's extremely dry.

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    Yesterday we went to took Baby to the zoo, then ate fish and chips for lunch and today my parents and sister are coming for lunch.

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    I'm doing a honeyed lamb stew with almonds and then pavlova. I don't usually keep with passionfruit on pavlova but the fresh berry situation was lacklustre so I am bowing to tradition.

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    Baby was up at 5 this morning so I already feel like half the day is over. He's gone back to bed now and I'm the only one up in the house. Isn't that the loveliest type of quiet?

    I haven't been a total layabout this weekend and have achieved one useful thing, a proper sort and seasonal restructure of my wardrobe.

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    I'm generally good at being ruthless about household clutter but I have hoarding tendencies when it comes to clothes. There are things I just can't let go of, or I think will come back into style, or I will fit into again one day. I keep everything I'm not currently interested in wearing in big plastic storage tubs in the shed and then heave them into the house twice a year for a day of trying on and organising. I'm always so excited to find things in storage that I was convinced I had said goodbye to.

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    Are you a fan of the chocolate hot cross bun? I realise it's a polarising issue and many people are purists when it comes to Easter baked goods. Personally, I can go either way but our local bakery does a superlative chocolate bun which I endorse. This year they introduced a mocha version but this was a step too far even for me. I might work up my courage for next year though.

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