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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I wish I could be somewhere warm and sunny

I wish my job wasn't so stressful at the end of the month

I wish I could go to New York for my birthday in September

I wish I had a bigger kitchen

I wish I actually had time to use my kitchen

I wish my family lived closer

I wish I could be anonymous.. for a while

images via tumblr

What do you wish for???

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie - Darling Street, Balmain, Sydney

The clock on my MacBook is about to strike 8pm and I am already tucked into bed with the newest issue of US Vogue that's just arrived in my letterbox, as well as a mug of green and pear organic tea in my favourite oversized red mug that I lugged across America with me after I purchased it on my first night in NYC at the M&M's store in Times Square.  I couldn't resist - it was red and had my initial on it! 

Never mind that there are 3 loads of washing overtaking my bathroom/laundry room.  Plus a bunch of delicates that require hand washing.  No really, never mind.  I just have to write about Adriano Zumbo's Patisserie!

You may be thinking to yourself "hang on, isn't this the girl who put herself through the torture of a juice detox to kick her sugar addiction????".  Yes you're right, it's the same girl.  But the girl just couldn't help herself!

Now Adriano Zumbo's patisserie has featured in every one of Sydney's "best patisserie" lists for years and there were always 20 minute lines to sample his creations.  Since the Massive Mayham AKA Masterchef, Adriano's business has doubled in turnover.  And if you've lived under a rock or outside of Australia and you don't know what Masterchef is, well it's a reality television show that puts 24 ordinary people (this year it was majority lawyers) through the wringer to kick start their culinary career, even though these people have zero idea about what it is actually like to work in a commercial kitchen, have next to no life outside of work as you're too knackered while you're awake to do anything... Yep, they all have a passion for cooking and CANNOT wait to open their own restaurant and publish a cookbook.... or their 15 minutes of fame.  Sunday's finale was the 3rd most watched TV event in 10 years in Australia (behind a tennis and football match).  Adriano was a celebrity chef that afforded the contestants the most difficult challenges, that's for sure! 

I spent a few days in Sydney over the past week, namely for a friends wedding.  But I also wanted to enjoy some of my favourite things in Sydney - the harbour, the shopping (which I think is better than Melbourne (!!!)) and visit a few of my favourite neighbourhoods (and a particular patisserie).  Each previous time I've been to Sydney I've never had the opportunity to cross town to Balmain to visit Adriano's and try his goodies.  Things always got in the way.

So on Saturday afternoon I made my way to Darling Street, only to hit the end of the queue, which was about 60 people deep and over 2 hours long!  Sorry Adriano, I needed a stiff drink rather than a macaroon after hearing that. Surely it's not worth 200+ minutes of my life I thought.  And I left.

Since I was spending Monday in Sydney too, I thought surely the crowds would die down being a weekday and all (work, anyone?)

So I made the trek back over across Anzac Bridge and joined the queue at around lunch time.  I wasn't missing an opportunity, especially when the line this time was only 20 people deep.  I thought, I'd be done and sugared up within 15 minutes.  Boy was I wrong.  The line didn't move during the first 15 minutes in stood in it!  Which left me even more puzzled as to what the heck was taking so long and why I was standing outside a patisserie with a bunch of other lunatics in an unmoving line.

But the sweet smell whiffing out the door and through the breeze made me want to stay, as did my quest to find out why the line wasn't moving!

Once inside I was overwhelmed by the sheer tiny-ness of the place!  It is literally about 10m deep and 3m wide, no more!  If a staff member wanted to leave from behind the counter, the 7-8 people that could fit inside would have to squash up in a corner, so the staff member could slide the glass cabinet across the room and squeeze out!

At any given time, there is about 10 types of cakes and tarts for sale and they often sell out within hours with only 2 people working behind the counter serving customers!!!! (and one person is solely answering the phone!  Wielding calls about the address, which Masterchef challenge cake is for sale today, which flavour maracoon is on offer, what the closest side street is to the patisserie, what time they close... how long the queue is..................)

And the person left serving is forced to answer millions of questions about each individual creation, with everyone who was in the queue ahead of me purchasing at least one of everything - and nobody spending less than $150!  My new, sugar control self had a budget of $20.

The sweets were all such amazing pieces of art.  The tarts are known to be his specialty, so I walked out $19 poorer with 6 macaroons (the flavours of the day were the vanilla and pear & vanilla) and an "Aye Bro Chocolate Munt" which I decided to get at the last moment instead of the lemon tart.

The macaroons were absolute perfection.  Best I've ever had. The biscuits were lovely and crunchy and thin and the filling ample, yet light and absolutely delicious.

And the chocolate munt was out of this world!  I didn't really read the description while at the patisserie so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a lovely, gooey minty caramel filling.  Biting into the tart, the chocolate shortbread was thin and crunchy, while the caramel was liquid gold, it oozed down the shortbread crust, without actually spilling or dripping out.  It was magic.  The chocolate ganache was the most perfect consistency.  Smooth and perfect and just sweet enough.  I have honestly never tasted anything like it in my life.  I wish I had purchased $150 worth like the others and hoarded it in my luggage and eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 days.  Forget the detox, you don't often get to eat something this amazing. I was left absolutely speechless by what I had just eaten.  Perfection in a pink box.  Worth a trip to Sydney alone.  

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

I've had summer on my mind and with it considerations about what I will be wearing - I keep thinking stripes.

KJ by Kirrily Johnson Poncho dress - AUD319

The Summer of Freja

image via Tom Ford eyewear (FW 2010 campaign)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sydney bound...

Sydney is one of my favourite cities in the world and I often kick myself for not moving there when I decided to leave Brisbane.  I like to go every chance I get.  But I haven't been since October last year, when I went for a friends wedding and it rained the WHOLE weekend.

Now Sydney readers, throw eating options at me - breakfast, lunch and dinner!

The view from our room at Intercontinental.  Told you it rained all weekend.

The pool at Icebergs.  Bondi is amazing when the weather is sunny, which it wasn't on that Saturday morning.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Daria for Oroton

Oroton is an iconic Australian leather goods company (they call themselves luxury, but I can't say I agree) and for their spring/summer campaign they're using non other than the amazing Daria Werbowy.  And how much am I loving those Givenchy heels she's wearing!  (and to kick me while I'm down, I saw a pair half price in my size today - woe is me)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

One of those perfect days...

.. and it's not even half way through it.  It's just a tick over 2pm and I've done so much already.  My detox finished last night, just as I was getting used to it all.  Hunger pains didn't keep me awake.  I still have the glow.

I woke up on my own at about 8.30 this morning and wasted some time day dreaming and twittering. I thought I would make full use of my new glow and make an effort in the outfit department.  When I was sorting out my wardrobe pre winter, this MK2K vest was an item I was really looking forward to wearing, but it's been sitting idle since then so I thought it deserved to come out to play.

J Brand jeans (the one and only pair of jeans I own and wear)
MK2K faux fur vest
Scanlan & Theodore boatneck babywood knit
Scanlan & Theodore clover belt
YSL 'Lauren' suede booties

Once I got outside, the weather was perfect, almost like a crispy spring Melbourne day!  I've not really talked about my neighbourhood before, so here's a picture taken looking out of the driveway.

It's usually a lovely green street but it's looking a bit dead in the midst of winter.

Breakfast destination of choice?  Las Chicas.  Peppermint tea, poached organic eggs and spinach... and the newspaper.  Lovely way to spend an hour methinks.

I also went for a wander down Chapel St on the hunt for a birthday gift (which I found - lovely Swarovski crystal earrings from Mimco), but also something for myself (oops).  B is going to regret leaving me on my own!!

I think I'm finally beginning to enjoy living in Melbourne (it's taken me over 3 years).  Nice sunny days tend to do that!

Now I'm going to watch an episode or two of Gossip Girl season one and get started on my assignment!!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend x

Friday, 16 July 2010

Urban Remedy detox - day three part one

Last night after I had a shower I was applying rosehill oil to my face.  Nothing unusual there.  Except, I had a GLOW!?!?  I never believed in a glow before, namely because I've never had one.  But my face was really clear and smooth.. it was rosy.. I couldn't believe it.

I did go to bed hungry.  Starving in fact that it took me 30 minutes to fall asleep from the hunger pangs :(  The house is sparkingling clean which means that I can spend the weekend doing the things I want to be doing as I won't be feeling guilty about not having done all the housework.  B is away for work, so tonight I'm going to visit my friend A who had a baby last week.  I am so in love with him!  Can't wait to take some photos of the precious lil guy.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to sleep in until about 9.30 and wander down to the shops to read the papers and have breakfast at Las Chicas... hmm what to have as a post detox first meal???

And on Sunday I'm finally going to go to the European Masterpieces exhibit.

Anyway back to the detox. Juice #1 was a struggle this morning and I'm feeling kinda 'blah' now that I've finished it.  It contains - apple, lemon, cos lettuce, celery, silverbeet, parsley and cucumber.  But it smells and taste like cucumber :( Woe is me.  I hate cucumber!

I'm about to have juice #2 which is a lifesaver - pineapple, apple & mint.  YUM!  It's pretty much what I order for myself at the juice bar.

I pride myself on having a fairly decent diet, and I wanted to prove that to myself.  And boy was I wrong!  Over the past two days I've collected all the 'bad' foods that have passed by my desk at work into a container... I just took whatever I would normally take and still with a full day remaining of my detox and plenty of time to full the container, I am shocked at how much rubbish is in there!

Chocolate truffles, lollies, chocolate biscuits, shapes, chips, half a walnut and custard scroll... custard tart!  Yikes!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Urban Remedy detox - day two part two

Why does shopping feel so good? 

Tonight came home with me... a new dress from Scanlan & Theodore that I got at the VIP sale, a bunch of magazines, a candle (B loves fruity candles so this one is for him - Goji & Toracco Orange), a set of ceramic coasters from the wonderful Coco Lane store - they have images of the "fashion capitals" - New York, London, Paris and Milan!  As well as some magazines and cleaning products from the grocery store.  (I blame the Gourmet Traveller magazine purchase on the detox)

Since I can't make it to the gym tonight and since my dinner is a detox juice and an avacado (they said I could it if I felt like eating and I do!) I decided to walk home from the grocery store and surprise B by cleaning the house, lighting a candle and packing his bag as he's going away for a few nights for work!  I've felt so guilty as he's been so good to me lately and I've not done much in return.  And he's working late tonight.  Poor sweety.

The detox made me really grumpy this afternoon.  I couldn't drink more than two gulps of the beetroot juice (so a colleague skulled it to show me how it's done).  I was hungry and thirsty this afternoon.  But now I am feeling better.  I feel really energised and I never do after arriving home from work.   I'm looking forward to filing away all the tax paperwork thats strewn on the table.  Straightening up the bookshelf and scrubbing the bathroom.  Go figure!

Olivia Palermo style copy

I maybe detoxing and losing my mind but still love Olivia's style.  She's my style twin.  Shame I don't work at Elle though.  I could probably do a very good job...

Looking at some recent style pics, I did notice her wearing a military style anorak a lot and I decided I wanted one too.  Jackets are always handy in Melbourne and a military anorak can be worn with leggings, or jeans and even with shorts and dresses. I've fallen in love with the way Olivia styles hers and have taken the plunge and ordered one for myself!

So this is my anorak.  It cost me all of NZ59.95 (about AUD45!!)  Cheap thrills I say!

Urban Remedy detox - day two part one

After the terrible afternoon, the evening got a bit better.  For the dinner meeting we went to a Mexican restaurant, and the food smelt divine.  I sipped on juice #6 throughout the evening which is the one high in good fats and protein (it has a yummy coconut taste).  No enchiladas and mojitos for me.

The meeting was productive and I was offered to be on the Board of Directors of a small welfare association.  My ultimate career goal is to be a CEO of a charity, so this has worked out perfectly and seems like an amazing opportunity and a great foot in the door.  I did tell them I wanted some time to think about it, but really, it's a no brainer!! A wonderful opportunity. 

The meeting got my endorphins pumping and I wasn't really hungry.  When I did eventually make it home at 9pm, I had a bit of a panic attack.  I felt hungry and angry at myself for starving myself!  I thought, why am I doing this?  We HAVE to eat as humans to survive! I have to eat or I'm going to die!  Such a drama queen.

But I relented and went to bed and read a bit and fell asleep.

I woke up this morning at about 7am, feeling fine.  No headache and not hungry.  I've just finished juice #1 (which I hated yesterday due to the cucumber taste) without much difficulty, totally oblivious to the truffles that are making their way around the office.

It's getting easier!  Big mug of warm water awaits!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Urban Remedy detox - day one part two

I have a headache.  The hunger pains have been minimal, but gosh I must be toxin-ed up if my body is reacting like this.  And juice #4 did not agree with me very well, it's mainly beetroot, which means it has an aftertaste of dirt :(

I only drank 2/3 of the bottle and topped it up with some green tea.  And I have a dinner meeting to attend tonight - I hope I'm able to concenrate.  Total torture talking business and drinking juice while the others enjoy steak and wine.  Hopefully a good night's sleep will help.  I seem to be thinking a lot about, and craving foods that I don't normally eat or crave. 

I still have two juices to drink before I get to bed tonight.  The last one to be drunk two hours before sleep!  That one is a thick cashew/coconut one, so hopefully it's nice and filling.

Urban Remedy detox - day one part one

So it's 11.30am on my first day of the Urban Remedy cleanse. I prepared well last night with a really good 65 minute session at the gym and 8 hours sleep. I woke up before the alarm this morning, which is very rare. I feel the cold awfully when I'm sleeping so I had the heater on timer during the night, on and off so it allowed me to sleep without shivering (and yes I sleep in long sleeved PJ's under a doona and an extra blanket).

I got into work at about 8am this morning and had a big mug of warm water with lemon juice. I usually have this anyway, so no big dramas.

At 9am I began to regret my decision to do this detox. Everyone was having their morning coffee and I wanted one too, even though I don't drink coffee! And I really craved a muffin too!  I took my first juice into a meeting and yes everyone was looking at like a lunatic because I was drinking a juice made from celery, lettuce, silverbeet, and cucumber.... I am not a picky eater but goodness me, I hate cucumber, it's the only thing I refuse to eat! And this juice tasted like CUCUMBER. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. But me, the princess, sucked it up and sipped it in big gulps in about 30 minutes ignoring the taste and listening attentively to the presentation.

The meeting was wrapped up and they served morning tea - meat pies, sausage rolls and ricotta and spinach quiches... I hightailed it outta there and went on a sneaky trip to the Scanlan & Theodore VIP sale instead, and yes, I did buy something lil for myself =o))

Upon my return to the office I actually felt thirsty!?!?! So I drank a big mug of filtered water. Now I am sipping my second juice (there are 6 a day!) but this one is fantastic! Pineapple, apple and mint. It's something that i would juice myself! There's only a handful of girls in the office here (hello finance), so I really hope the boys don't invite me out for lunch with them today, to Nando's or something equally delicious. Lucky I'm buried in work and don't have time to leave the office....

So far so good! I know there are detox sceptics out there, but I know when I do lent I feel so much better for it (and I still eat a lot of pasta and bread). I'm sure the break for the digestive system will help me feel better.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Gwyneth Paltrow's TriBeca abode

I've become a little bit obsessed with interiods of late.  I'm an avid follower of the Habitually Chic blog, particularly because I've been searching for my "dream home" over the past 6-8 months and I think I'm getting close.  I don't want to buy a house that I'm so in love with, that I imagine my furniture in there and have to have it no matter what, but I also want a house that I'm in love with.  Does that make sense?  I want a balance between both.  And a house that needs a bit of work and allows me to style it my way.  I'm particularly drawn to white interiors at the moment... and imagine my delight at seeing the newly released images of lil-miss-perfect Paltrow's renovated place in NYC published on gawker.  I think white would really suit the Melbourne climate. 

Ms Paltrow is a bit of a neat freak and a perfectionist.  Something I wish I was.  I have a fridge magnet that says "clean house is a sign of a wasted life".  I guess it's there to make me feel better.  There's always something more important to do than to sort out the pantry.... Gwyneth is a poster woman, put on this earth to make me feel inferior. 

She features in the upcoming issue of US Vogue, and to quote:

"the first thing I noticed was how beautiful and clean her kitchen is, all white and filled with enviable appliances, including a dedicated deep-fat fryer. Gwyneth admitted to being a neat freak, as her father was. She also seems to be in control of her time, scheduling every hour closely, with precise awareness of how long things take, including cooking."