Sharing the love

The clever and delightful Brenda from Mumabulous ( recently honoured me with a Sunshine Award.  It feels a little like the ‘encouragement award’ the struggling kids get in team sports 🙂 but hey, I’m thrilled!

The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere”. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!

The awesome and successful bloggers out there often share advice and give tips like – have a blogging schedule, blog at least once a week etc.  I wish I could but I just either run out of time or inspiration.  Last years new year resolution was to try and post weekly – maybe I can try this one again in 2013!

Now to the questions.

1. Favourite Time of the Year?

8 years of living in Cairns nearly took the ‘summer lovin’ out of me but hey its back, I can’t help it, I love summer.

2. Favourite Festive movie?

The Griswolds family christmas Vacation of course!  I can watch this movie once a year and still enjoy a hearty laugh. Who doesn’t love Chevy Chase.

3. What is your Passion?

I have so many – community, soulful food, yoga, family, music and the gorgeous M x

4. Favourite Colour?

Orange – its just so ‘in your face’ happy

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5. Favourite time of the Day?

I love the early morn for the colour of the sky and the smell of the air

morningmoffs 007

I love late afternoons in summer when a salty dry breeze comes through the windows (espec. if I have a cold glass of wine in hand)

6. Favourite Flower?

I love the old man banksia or Banksia Serrata.  I love their twisted, gnarly trunks and branches and I love the banksia flower.  They remind me of home

7. Favourite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?

It has to be a cup of tea, made with tea leaves and served in a china tea cup of course.

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On a hot day the Tiro blood orange fizzy drink (fancy fanta really)

8. Favourite Physical Activity?

I can’t pick one so its yoga, surfing and swimming in the ocean

9. Favourite Vacation?

Lawn Hill NP (north of Mt Isa, middle of no-where) is pretty much the most amazing place I’ve been in Australia

But if cashola was no issue, I’d be on a plane to either Rome or Moscow any day of the week

To share the love, please check out the following

1) The nutrition guru and the chef

2) Jude Muse

3) A confederacy of spinsters

4) Papillionaire – Vintage bikes ( i hope Santa is bringing me one of these for xmas)

5) Bonnie Beef (ok, not a traditional blog but people I want to support)

6) Yoga NRG

7) The Salty Goat

8) This charming mum

9) Phuoc’n Delicious (travel and food – what a glorious combination)

10) Food, booze and shoes ( a woman after my own heart)

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So just to change things up a bit, I’ve had a fiddle with the questions (not sure if thats in the rules, maybe there aren’t any rules)

1.  Favourite chocolate bar?

2. Favourite book/movie or mini-series combination? (this is a no brainer for me)

3. One thing that makes you happy?

4. Favourite spirit?

5.  The quality you love most in your best friend?

6.  Favourite fruit (you can give a top 3 if you can’t narrow it down)

7.  Are you a dog person or a cat person or neither

8. Favourite Physical Activity?

9. Your dream holiday destination?

10. Is there a song that you really love (full stop) and/or just at the moment?

Can’t wait to read some of these answers – I’m sure it will provide many surprises.  I hope you are all coping with the craziness of xmas and get to enjoy it bigtime with those that you love.

dinner at my house

The wonderful Lorraine from ‘Not quite Nigella’ recently posted a weeks worth of her eating. Its strangely interesting to see how another person eats. So in this theme, I have decided to record a weeks worth of dinners at my house. Its not a usual week but then there is no usual week for me. I decide my meals on mood, what I’ve bought at the markets and time.
The gorgeous M spent saturday night coughing. I woke up and decided that we would have chicken soup for dinner. A quick look through my recipes and I knew that I wanted chicken pho. Not a quick meal but enjoyable to make – there is something very satisfying about boiling bones don’t ya think!

Naturally, I forgot to take the plated up meal. We have the table set with herbs, bean shoots, chilli, lime and the bowls ready to go with rice noodles and chicken meat.

Dinner plans were cancelled for monday night as we were invited to a little birthday celebration for our beautiful 5 year old twin friends.

Tuesday night – lamb saagwala.  i had some lamb forequarter chops which I trimmed and diced.  I also had a big bag of spinach and some leftover fresh coriander from last week.  At my local market I buy spice mixes from a sunshine coast company called ‘spice it’.

Wednesday night – whats in the fridge?  Some leftover stock from the chicken pho, some beautiful pesto from a local deli and lots of green vegetables.  Dinner was green risotto with a little feta cheese crumbled through.

Thursday night – the gorgeous M’s mini-me (Master 4yr old)got his favourite meal- sushi.  Thick rolls with smoked trout, avocado and cucumber and thin rolls with tuna and Japanese mayonnaise.

Now its friday night and I’m feeling tired and uninspired.  We have BBQ’ed sausages on wraps with salad

The last night is saturday night and guess what – I forgot to take a photo.  We had a BBQ at the beach with our wonderful neighbours.  There were a number of salads and we enjoyed BBQed steak with salad, chilled white wine and really great company. So that was a week at my house.  Every week is different but overall we try for at least one fish dinner, one meatless night and there is usually one BBQ night.  Do you have any stock standard favorites at your place?

summer + scarf = right or wrong?

Confession up front, I’m no fashion blogger.  Any fashion advice given here should be taken at your own risk.  So, over the last 2 winters, I have really embraced the scarf. They add colour to a dark outfit, they keep my neck warm and they can take an outfit from ordinary to stylish.  So I’ve become a fan.  Not wanting to let go of a good thing, I’ve found myself donning a scarf in summer.  So here is my question, is the concept of summer scarf an oxymoron?  Or just wrong?

I tend not to accessorize alot, I’m not a jingly jangly dresser.  But I really enjoy having something soft and floaty around my neck. I’ve been going through the pro’s and con’s of a summer scarf and here are my arguments in the affirmative.

How often are you almost out the door in the morning, rushing off to work, drop offs etc.  One last check in the mirror and dang, toothpaste on the neckline of your top/dress.  So hey presto, a scarf worn loosely draped around the neck – toothpaste stain gone.

Keeping with the same theme, once again, you are ready to go but notice that a morsel of your breakfast has ended up in the middle of your blouse.  Am I the only person this happens to?  Blogosphere is beginning to think I’m a grub! Anywho, a carefully tied knot can beautifully cover that food stain when you don’t have time to change your clothes.

Have you ever felt overlooked at work?  Found that your friends and colleagues get all the attention for their fashion flare?  One easy way to grab some attention for yourself is with a creatively tied head piece!  Zany, yes siree.

And finally, have you ever found yourself tired, cranky and desperately in need of a little nap?

But just can’t seem to settle?

Ask a colleague for a little hand, get them to wrap you ‘adult swaddle’ style (this involves quite a bit of rolling around so make sure you have enough floor space) and make sure you get them to come back in a pre-determined time.  Unless you have abs of steel or are related to David Copperfield.  Or you could be stuck on the floor for a very long time!

So dear reader, what do you think?  Summer scarf right or wrong?  Do you have any pro’s or cons you would like to share?

The Pocket espresso bar, Moffat Beach

Some things are best kept a secret.  But secrets never stay a secret for long and this little place was being stalked by coffee lovers for weeks before they even opened.

As it happens, my neck of the woods is a region of the Sunshine coast called Caloundra.  Caloundra is often overlooked by those looking for that winning combination of glamour and beach.  What they don’t know about Caloundra is my secret and I’m happy to keep this a secret.  But, back to coffee.  Sadly, Caloundra is also full of awful coffee.  Muddy, burnt, milky, weak – you think of a bad coffee and you can probably get one here.  Or, if a place does extract a good brew they often can’t do it again.  So its a russian roulette that you lose more often than win.

But alas, the saviours are here, please meet Jonny and Ester.

A Brother and sister team with an amazing crew of young, hip, gorgeous but friendly people.  And they can make a good coffee, every day, consistently.  At first, you think the parties up the front, all good coffee and the funky vibe.  I didn’t even look at the food for a few weeks, I had eyes only for the coffee.  So the coffee is seriously good, if you want to know some details they use campos beans and a La Marzocco machine.  Jonny spent weeks getting the brew just right and has trained Lochie and Sebastian to strive for the same quality and consistency.  So that should be that, coffee review done, but hang on a minute because the fun is just starting.  Let me tell you about the food.

In case you don’t know, I’m a bit fussy with my food and I don’t usually bother with food from cafes.  The bought in cakes that are all the same, the stodgy muffins – really I don’t have much interest in eating food like that.  But this is where the lovely Ester comes in and not only does she have the brightest, bestest smile in town, the girl can cook.  We discover that the real party is out the back, in the kitchen!

And I think that her talent lies with all things buttery.    Those blueberry muffins come studded with white chocolate and the muffin top is perfect.  The texture is just right, the top has lovely crunchy edges and the insides are fluffy and light.  You need to be quick though because they sell out really quickly and I think she only makes one batch every morning.  I’ve also tasted the gluten free bars and they are made on the premises and delicious.

If you are in the mood for something savoury and a bit more substantial, you must have a look at these babies. I love butter, I love cake and I love pastry and the pastry on the pies is the star for me.  The fillings are delicious, I’ve tried the pork, cider and apple pies and it all works really well.  I’ve also tried the beef, cheese and jalapeno pie and they pack a flavour punch that leaves the insides of your cheeks sweating but begging for more.  Perhaps not for the faint hearted.

They also do an assortment of paninis and wraps that work well for both breakfast and lunch.  Its a tiny space with a lounge at the back and stools around the front window bar.  It looks straight onto the park and moffat beach.  Its the perfect place to get a really good coffee and some food and then wander over to the park or the beach.  They open at 6am and its really busy with the early morning crowd – dog walkers, surfers, yogee’s, boot campers, and those needing a good brew on their way to work.

someone from Campos helping out

All coffees, muffins and pies were paid for, both calorifically and financially by me x

Some things you may not know about me

I love cooking but prefer making savoury to sweet foods.  Strangely, I prefer eating sweet foods to savoury. I’ve got a textural aversion to custard (and junket – anything pale, milky and wobbly)(even porridge) so I’ve never tried custard or a crème caramel.  I’d probably love them if I could put them in my mouth.

NB I just tried searching for ‘scary custard’ images on google.  Apparently custard is not scary.

Food and health is important to me.  I love my food real, made from scratch and made with real ingredients. You won’t find margarine, canola oil, diet drinks or fat modified foods in my fridge.  I like to keep it real.  My favourite vegetables are green and cherries and mangoes are in my top 5 of fruit. Okay I can hear you wondering – mangosteens, blueberries and passionfruit are the other 3.  Yoga is the activity I have to do each week but I also swim, run, surf and stand up paddle.  I’d always say yes if you invited me to play tennis or golf.

I’m clumsy.  When I was 8 I tripped on a wire door mat at the base of some concrete stairs.  I broke my two front teeth in half. I have been to the dentist a lot.  Now, I hate dentists.  Finally I have lovely porcelain crowns on my front teeth but I still hate the dentist.  Its not personal.

I went to a very small catholic girls high school and entered University very naïve and sheltered.  And boy did I love it!  I loved the subcultures, the politics, the art, the punks and swampies (now Goths) and the anonymity of being one little student in a massive campus.  I still love non-main stream music, one day I’ll grow up and listen to growns up music.

I’m not really capable of anger, I don’t yell, its not in my DNA, I tend to cry first.  I do get angry though when the Gorgeous M says ‘you must be premenstrual’. Tell ya, flag to a hormonal bull J.  Obviously, I deny it vehemently.  He knows I’m lying, I know I’m lying but there is no other course of action. Luckily, not only is he gorgeous but he’s good natured.  As an aside, he got a hole in one at the golf course yesterday.

My mother is fiery, volatile and speaks before she thinks.  I love her but don’t want to become her.  My dad is gentle and kind and was born in a terrifying time in the Ukraine.  His mother died of starvation during Stalin’s political famine. She fed her family first.

I love making compost, and when its ready, I love how it smells.

I am a full on animal lover and seeing a brahminy kite soaring over the ocean at home makes me really happy.  I think a house isn’t a home without a dog and my dogs of choice are kelpies and border collies.  I would love to one day have a retired greyhound. And a pet snake.

My free time is precious so I don’t like shopping.  I do like internet shopping.  My craziest recent online purchase was a gold crocheted bikini and a black crocheted full piece)  I’ve recently discovered some style blogs that have already made shopping easier for me, so I’m doing a shout out to some beautiful gals in my neck of the woods – hi Nikki (everyone knows you already) and Rachel (please check out her Redcliffe style).

My favourite drinks are loose leaf tea (madura premium) drunk from a fine bone china teacup, good coffee (I’m fussy) and wine.  I go through stages with wine, at the moment I’m loving lightly chilled pinot noir from Victoria.   I like buttery chardonnays, gutsy reds but I don’t like those cheeky sauvignon blancs – sorry, can we still be friends?

I love blogging for the pure joy of writing but as you may notice, I don’t put up posts often enough. I work full time and prefer to write when I am in the mood.  Obviously I’m not in the mood often enough.  And I think to be really successful, your blog name should have something of epic proportions in it, like a world or a land, not a lunchbox.  And, if you google Lydia and lunchbox you will find a squillion links to an avantegarde New York performer with a penchant for punk and porn.  I’m telling you people, its not me!

My Pirate Boy

Pirate – its what they called him at the pound.  It suits him.

He’s always been a bit mysterious, a bit unique.  When we met, I knew nothing about him.  His age? His breed?

I went to the ‘Young Animal Protection Society’ and the lady showed me where the dogs were kept.  Then she added ‘oh, there’s another dog down in the bottom paddock, but I probably wouldn’t bother with him’.  I strolled through the enclosures but no dog spoke to me.  I went to the bottom paddock, some kind of doggie solitary confinement. he’d been in a fight that day.  His eyes told me that it wasn’t his fault. I believed him.  It was love at first sight.  I brought him home and he and Nancy became best friends overnight.

He loves pillows alot.  Even if they’ve been shredded into a hundred pieces.

And he prefers it if his bum never touches the ground.  Cold floors, yuck, not for this mongrel!

Pirates has a tough year, he lost his dog-sister Nancy in March and its taken him a while to get his mojo back.  He’s probably 11 years old now (I’ve had him for 10), he’s getting grey around his chops and his legs and hips aren’t as limber as they used to be.  But my dear Pirate Boy, you rock my world. I rush home to see you every day and you bring me so much joy.  I’m glad that you got lost and that I found you, you are my special pirate xx

how many shoes?

Shoes – most women love shoes don’t they?

summer wedges from seed (worn by the lovely Jude)

I will shamefully admit that I have been known to stroke a new pair of shoes, repeatedly go back to the wardrobe to look at my new shoes and that I often see shoes as an object of beauty.  Have I gone too far?  I’m not alone, am I?

But, the other night I was cooking dinner and listening to the TV when a story stated that research has found that women on average own 25 pairs of shoes.  From my chopping board I screamed out “No way” – it sounded too much (as an average).  But on reflection hmmm, just my thong collection (havianas, souls, birki’s) probably come to 10, then theres the trainers, boots, sandals, not to mention the shoes that you love but don’t wear anymore etc. etc.  Are you the same? Is there a category of shoe that you love? Maybe a patent Mary Jane? Are you a pointy toed stiletto kind of lady? I love red shoes, especially if they are shiny.  Red shoes make me happy and other peoples red shoes make me envious.

The story also said that alot of women have at least one pair in their wardrobe that they haven’t actually worn yet.  Do you?  So come on ladies, lets fess up, this is a warm and welcoming site for shoe lovers, no judgement okay!

my fluoro orange birkis (just for fun)

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