Thursday, October 29, 2009

The upside of down

It's also been a very big week (well actually 2 years) for my very close friend Tamra Mercieca, she has just received a delivery of 950 copies of her first book 'The upside of down - A personal journey and toolkit to overcome depression'. She is now a published author!!

A BIG congratulations to you Tamz and anyone can now purchase the book online or wait until Feb and it will be in all good bookstores. Also, coming up on December 9th is the book launch - at the Order of Melbourne -you're all invited!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Catching Up

Can't believe I haven't mentioned the fabulous Passionfoods work dinner (love the new website guys!) last Monday night. It was the first time I'd been to soulmama on St Kilda's foreshore and it's a stunning space catering to vegetarian and vegan diets. The food was incredible - there is a big buffet that you select your dishes from - a wonderful combination of salads, dahl, curries and the place has a really relaxed vibe.

On Thursday night Tamra and I began making our vintage sundresses - I'm looking forward to strolling down to Williamstown in the short one this summer!

A very very big week

Gamon St

Well Trav's birthday week started on Friday night -we me friends at Docklands for a wind down drink before hitting DFO Southwharf for a new wardrobe - on the way hope we stopped at Touks for a very late dinner and coasted home on the bikes with no helmets - that felt so nice!

Saturday was a beautiful day to ride to work and then we caught up with the old gang at Tracy's housewarming in Sunbury.

Sunday saw us meeting our new Maidstone mates at Fairbairn Park and Rossi was desperately trying to get in the water with Albert the Golden Retriever and Toast the Pomeranian X. Then we went and saw Tamz's friend's band Jarek play at Hardimans in Kensington before spending a delicious afternoon at Little Creatures Brewery Hall in Fitzroy. The Rogers Amber Ale is my new favourite and I'm wondering whether they actually hire out those cute red bikes hanging out in the entrance?

Monday night I missed tennis again because I was busy baking Trav a chocolate tart for work, and an espresso syrup chocolate cake for last night (the cake wasn't a bit success, I think it needs to be eaten when still warm).

Tuesday morning I awoke nice and early and knocked together a fabulous bacon & egg breakfast in bed for my Love! I gave him a smart Fossil wallet, we then met family at the Station Hotel for an amazing dinner. I had wagyu beef rostbiff and it was superb! Coffee and cake at our place afterwards. He was spoiled with all sorts of gifts - mostly beer and cash!

Today is the day my new Pashley Princess Sovereign will arrive in Port. The coundown is really on now - hopefully I'll be riding it around this weekend! Oh - and it was even spotted this morning...see?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not a wordsmith

A month ago I entered a competition through Bicycle Victoria - during the promotion for Ride to Work Day. I had to describe my commute to work in 40 words or less. I thought it would be a fitting day to share it with you after what happened this morning, the only problem is that on my first go I used 145 words. This seems to be a general problem of mine. I find it difficult to say something in a reduced amount of words (Oh wait - I have trouble condensing) But I wanted to show you both versions just so you can see how important the details are...

This is what I entered...
Beginning in Seddon, I travel along Footscray Road, and marvel at the spectacular view of the Bolte Bridge from Docklands. Over Webb Bridge and along Yarra’s Edge, I turn onto tree lined Lorimer Street and am glad I rode today.

What I really wanted to say was...
My commute is a feast for all my senses. I begin the ride through wafts of jasmine along the charming streets of Seddon. Travelling down the Footscray Road bikepath the Melbourne Markets offer up the scent of fresh fish and produce. Docklands are a wonder in themselves – the sight of the Southern Star, the aroma of fresh bread and pastries fills the air from Aldi and the Harbour Esplanade provides great window shopping and of course – the stunning view of the Bolte Bridge beyond Victoria Harbour. Shooting out of the spiral Webb Bridge always makes me feel like a pinball then I enjoy the peace of Yarra’s Edge before crossing onto Lorimer street for the last leg of my journey and my nose is filled with the smell of Vegemite from nearby Kraft. I’d miss out on all of this if I drove to work! 

Goes without saying that I didn't win the iPhone!

Bike Rage

Well it was going to happen - and I am suprised it took so long. I had my first bike rage incident today on my way to work. Riding along the road on Lorimer Street, I switched over the the shared footpath to avoid being held up by a bus along the way. I politely said 'Bike on the right' as I tried to pass 2 pedestrians who were taking up the whole footpath and I'd just passed them as I heard 'You should ride on the road - not the footpath!' 
Just as quickly I turned around and called back 'It's a shared footpath' pointing at the very obvious  sign, but whoever it was had already disappeared.

Honestly, although there is a shared bike/pedestrian path along Lorimer, I still prefer riding on the road and you'll only find me on the path if there's roadworks or a slow bus.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses. - Hit it!

What an exciting weekend! On Friday night we joined some of Trav's work friends at a special screening of the Blues Brothers at the Astor Theatre, a stunning 1930's cinema which screens a mix of old and new these days. I love that we could bring a drink in and there was a 20 minute intermission. Don't know if Trav had as much fun though - he was sitting between Mick and I who were both religiously reciting each and every line!

The Astor during Intermission

At Passionfoods on Saturday I discovered that we'd won Best Victorian Organic Retailer of the Year for 2009! I know I'm definitely in the right place! At Trav's parent's place that night we caught up with family and his Aunty Lee presented us with his grandfather's war medals, she has offered to pay for the framing of them as an engagement/wedding gift. I was overwhelmed and I know this means so much to Trav.

On Sunday we woke late and got ourselves looking spiffy for the Yarraville Village Lunch. It was a perfect spring day with the sun breaking through the clouds as we strolling down the red carpet into the buzzing marquee. We took our seats and introduced ourselves to our neighbours for the day - Dean & Karen and Deb & Nandoor from Maidstone and Lena and the girls from Dental 4 U. It was everyone's first time there and all commented on what a good turnout they got and how professional the wait staff from VU were. We began with Bakers Delight bread and Nicolas Olives, then a selection of gorgeous dumplings from Yim Yam.
Next up - a delicious onion tart from Hausfrau, then mouthwatering roast duck on a noodle pancake from The Bank. Dessert was a very generous piece of Tiramisu from Cafe Terroni and we finished off with delectable Petit Four from Alfa Bakehouse.

We also enjoyed Little Creatures Bright Ale and Galli Estate wines. We were so thrilled with the menu as we haven't had the chance to try Yim Yam, The Bank or Cafe Terroni yet, it's just so easy to stick to our favourites but there are so many good choices in our area.
We listened to a lighthearted message from our Mayor and then enjoyed the fashion parade from local stores. I just can't believe we didn't get a picture together while we were looking so smashing! I was even asked if I was one of the models and I now I can't prove it without a pic! Great shot of the tiramisu though.

The only thing I hope they improve for next year is more speakers throughout the marquee as it was difficult to hear the speakers from where we were sitting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ride to Work Day

Today is National Ride to Work Day in Australia and I’m taking part for the first time. The weatherman threatened rain but I awoke to a calm dry morning and met friends Andrea and David at the Westgate Punt. I’ve been looking forward to trying this out – it will cut out 2/3 of my riding but the trip can take just as long depending on what time the punt leaves. There has been a big push to get this going full time again and there’s a lot of interest but of course – no one wants to pay for it! The service opened especially for today in the hope of drumming up more demand for the future. The rain came as we crossed the Yarra and we huddled together under the big red tarp. I enjoyed the novelty of it but felt a bit like I’d cheated – definitely didn’t get the aerobic benefit that I normally would. But I do think I’d use the Punt now and then and hope to gather some friends for a trip to St Kilda one weekend when the weather improves. It was also nice to catch up on Andrea’s wedding plans -finally I have someone to plan with!

Westgate Punters!

The Westgate Bridge viewed from the Punt

Well the verdict from Trav’s workmates was good – in fact they all thought it must be his birthday because otherwise why would he bring in dessert?? He was almost to the point of pulling out his drivers licence to prove that his birthday isn’t for another 2 weeks. Anyway a birthday request has been put in for the same tart – but I have something else up my sleeve!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Me I sew

Spring in Melbourne is just gorgeous but still very unpredictable. There may be a strong burst of sunshine in the afternoon but it will then rain for 20 minutes before the clouds break up and sunshine returns. Maybe that’s why I’ve been knocked over with another cold in the past few days. But enough about that. I’ve also been very very busy over the last few weeks. I like that because I’m being inspired and my mind is occupied, but too busy to blog about my adventures is no good. Here I go catching up again…

I have had so much joy with the sewing machine as I whipped up a travel set from 2 entirely free patterns I found on the web and also used a bag I already have as a guide.

Isn’t it true that some things are born out of necessity, bringing my clothes to work on Mondays, I didn’t want my wardrobe on show for all in the office to see. I started searching for a garment bag I liked and found absolutely nothing. Nada. Zippo. So I turned to my old favourite Florence Broadhurst to see if she could inspire me – her range of fabrics and wallpaper is available exclusively through Signature Prints in Sydney and now and then they have a remnants sale of 1 or 2 metre lengths It was my lucky day – the Japanese Blue Ikeda fabric was just $60 a metre! (that’s less than half price).

Here is the result…

My own design!

As I wrote this I sneaked a peek back at the Signature Prints sale – this set would look so lovely in The Cranes – Light Rouge and Palms in Purple – if only I went away more often to justify it, but still, there are some gorgeous gift ideas right here too..

Speaking of gifts, my second project was this cute teddy bear for a 1st birthday coming up on Christmas day. I’ve made the larger bear for Lacey’s mum Deborah, and now she’ll have her very own – this will be the true test of my sewing strength, will a really short child be able to pull this one apart?

This is for Lacey

and here is my first one - Deborah's!

I’ve recently bought a bunch of retro clothing patterns and am keen to get some done in time for summer – Tamra will also be making one of the dresses and we’re going to check out the big sale at Spotlight Braybrook this Thursday night! Not to mention a Yarraville fabric sale I just discovered coming up in November!

It was my boss’s birthday last week so I made my trusty Lemon and Lime Tart from The Naked Chef and dazzled everyone in the office! Travis has been so helpful during my wrestles with MS Access so I decided to make him one too – he took it to work today, I wonder how that went down the with boys?
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