Monday, 30 July 2012

So Pretty Monday

Today's So Pretty Monday post revolves around Australian label Sass and Bide.  These two women, Heidi Middleton and Sarah Jane Clark, have a very successful clothing label which many celebrities love wearing and if I could afford it... I would be as well!  I have nothing but respect for these women and their lives have been as rich with success and heartache as their clothes are with texture and colour.  Please head to their website here to check out their other collections. 

Below, I have included some favourite items from their latest collection Sing, Brother!

E x

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Challenge Update: Day 7

Image source here

It was a lot harder this week than I was anticipating after pumping myself up to concentrate more on succeeding at this challenge.  I am learning things about myself though, which is always what you want with any challenge so instead of confessions I will tell you what I have learnt:

  1. It's almost like my skin is itchy when 3pm-ish comes around and I cannot have anything sugary
  2. I immediately want sugar when I have to deal with something hard or I am upset about something (did someone say "emotional eater!")
  3. I am shocked at the amount of sugar in a lot of things that I wouldn't consider to be sweet foods and all those low-fat food items I need to stay away from as they have a higher sugar content!
  4. I definitely think about sugar way more than I normally do now that it is not available to me.  It's a struggle every day to get through without any sugary foods
I am proud to say I have been very good this week and have lost that pesky kilo again (see my starting weight here) so at least that's one bonus I can easily gain satisfaction from at the very early stages of this challenge.

Is anyone else doing a challenge like this or have done one in the past?  I'd love to hear about it or about any coping techniques you've used to get you through?

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend.

E x

Friday, 27 July 2012

High Five for Friday!

Linking up with Lauren from

It has been a bit of a slow week but there is always something to be grateful for, so my high five for Friday is:

1. Clark Little Photography.  The above photo and other stunning photos can be found here
2. Enjoying a great coffee and a gossip mag
3. Getting to the beach on perfect days (see here)
4. Seeing family and having a Christmas in July.  FUN!
5. Experiencing fantastic service from Virgin Blue Airline staff when coming back from Perth

Short and sweet this week.

Enjoy your Friday!

E x

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Taste of Home...

Just wanted to share a pic of my beach taken just now. It's a beautiful day today and I'm off to enjoy it!

Hope it's a great day everywhere!!

E x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie or Cottage Pie, as it is sometimes known, is another dish of the top three I would say are traditional Australian dishes. I apologise for the photo below but I hate the yellow kitchen bench I have so didn't want it in the photo this time.

I made this last night and it is one of the simplest dishes to make. I'm all about making things quicker and easier and not necessarily from scratch because we all work right?! Whether you're a mum, a plumber or a lawyer (and a mum), I feel I truly enjoy cooking the fiddly, complicated things only when I have time otherwise it's all about feeding the masses as quick as possible.

For this dish you will need 500g lean mince, one onion, two medium carrots, a cup of peas, five potatoes (approx), a bit of milk and butter for mashing and a packet of Maggi or Shepherds Pie mix.

1. Turn oven on to 200 degrees Celsius / 390 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Put oil in an electric frypan and brown the mince
3. Drain the fat from the frypan and brown the onion
4. Return the mince to the pan with the onion and add the cup of peas and diced carrots (sometimes I put the peas and carrots in the microwave first to cook them and make it even quicker)
5. Pour 250ml water into a measuring jug and mix in the Shepherds Pie mix then pour into frypan with mince, onion, peas and carrots
6. Let simmer and cover for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
7. Peel and dice potatoes and cook in microwave for around 5 minutes. Stir then cook for another 3 minutes (times will vary depending on the power of your microwave)
8. Add some milk and butter (depending on how you like it) and mash, mash, mash!
9. Put pie mixture into a casserole dish and smooth the top
10. Put potato mash on top of pie mixture. Smooth the top then lightly drag a fork across the top of the mash to rough it up and help it brown in the oven
11. Pop in oven for around 15-20 minutes or until peaks of mash are brown. Serve on its own or with some more vegetables

This is a great, hearty winter dish which I think would go well with a buttery Chardonnay if you happen to have one on hand.


E x

Monday, 23 July 2012

So Pretty Monday

My So Pretty Monday post is all about the Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012 line. These dresses are so elegant and beautiful (and unaffordable by us mere mortals but that's not the point of So Pretty Monday) that I just wanted to share them with everyone.

They are reminiscent of Downton Abbey's 1910's era with some shimmer and glow to modernise the look. Exquisite.

Have a peek below:

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Challenge Update: Day 21 & 1

Well... What a week! If you're confused by my subject line, all will be explained further below.

I first accepted the 50 Day No Sugar Challenge (see original post at so that I could achieve something that wasn't going to be easy but also to get rid of sugar from my daily routine and to break that 3pm (or sometimes 10am, 12pm, 3pm and 7pm) cycle. I honestly was not prepared for how hard it was and I've learned a thing or two about myself along the way.

But first I did come up with some rules to excuse a little snacking:

1. It doesn't contain sugar if it's consumed in another state (as I've been out of state recently, this made perfect sense)
2. If its broken (like a crumbly biscuit or half a chocolate bar) then it contains no sugar
3. If someone gave you half of something and says they'll be offended if you don't eat it then it contains no sugar
4. If you buy something as a gift and they offer you some it contains no sugar
5. If its been dropped in its packet then it contains no sugar
6. If its consumed in the air then it contains no sugar (this also worked for rule no. 1 as I flew across two states to get home)

As you can see my confessions this week are not worth mentioning since I went to such lengths to excuse them. What ended it all for me and gained me 1kg is in the picture below.

I have failed the challenge...

But there's nothing stopping me from trying again so now today is also the first day of the 50 Day No Sugar Challenge for me. I will be more focussed as the only person I'm hurting is myself and I'm determined to do something good for myself for a change.

Wish me luck!

E x

Friday, 20 July 2012

Gourmet Sausages and Mash

Last night I whipped up a favourite Aussie dish that many families enjoy weekly... Sausages and mash.

If Australia had a cultural dish, sausages and mash would be one of the top three considerations.

It is such an easy dish and one that you probably wouldn't have to go shopping for as most people would have the ingredients in their cupboard. You only need sausages (whatever kind you like. I sometimes get fancy ones but plain beef will do), potatoes, a brown onion, gravy and peas (I use frozen peas but again, whatever you like), milk and butter for the mash.

1. Start grilling the sausages. Prick with a fork to let the fat escape ( I usually put aluminium foil on the grill first to save cleaning it later)
2. Peel and dice potatoes and cook in microwave. Times for cooking will vary depending on what type of microwave you have
3. Once cooked, add milk and butter according to taste and mash those spuds! Some like to add a bit of cream or cheese but I'm happy with plain mash
4. Slice onion and brown in a pan. Set aside
5. Make sure you check the sausages and turn over to brown all the sides
6. Cook the peas in the microwave
7. The thing that makes my sausages and mash gourmet, is that I don't actually use gravy, I use Woolworths Select Caramelised Onion and Roasted Garlic Reduction. It's quite sweet so you don't need to use a real lot but just heat in the microwave according to the instructions on the packet for 40 seconds

Once the sausages are cooked I usually put the mash on the plate first and the sausages on the mash with the onion on the sausages and peas around the bottom so that when I drizzle the gravy/reduction over the sausages you get it on the mash as well.

This was such a great winter dish last night and I think would go perfectly with a nice glass of peppery Shiraz.

E x

High Five for Friday!

This is a Friday post that I am following from a great blog by Lauren called From My Grey Desk Blog at (the blogger app won't let me put links in).

As I have been in Perth this week I've had the chance to do a few more things that I wouldn't normally be doing so here is my high five for Friday!

1. Being in Perth
2. Getting to hang out at Dome with great coffee
3. Enjoying some beautiful and quite different scenery from my small coastal town
4. Seeing friends I don't normally get to hang out with in person
5. Finding some great bargains

Whilst I love visiting Perth I also love coming back home again to my family and my beach.

That's my high five! Hope you had a great week too.

E x

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Perth: Day 7

I'll be leaving Perth in a few days so I did a little more shopping and walking around and took some photos so you can see how beautiful Perth is in winter.

The deciduous trees are a little English and quaint and makes for a pretty setting. I enjoyed these scenes having a morning coffee as you can see in the first photo (new scarf from Sussans; sunglasses are DKNY; shirt from Target)

E x


Today's post is all about the bargains I picked up in Perth. There's quite a few cheap clothing stores mixed in with the upper market stores in the Hay St and Murray St malls (parallel to each other) so there's a great range of shopping for everyone.

I picked up a few bargains myself. The shirts below were $9.95 each from Chickabooti and since I wear my jeans everywhere these shirts were perfect. I love a 3/4 sleeve and stripes and it was nice to be able to inject a little colour into my wardrobe.

The scarf is my favourite and was $29.95 from Sussans. Whilst I don't consider this a bargain I just love it so much I had to have it. I wear a lot of grey cardigans, sweaters and shirts so this has the right amount of yellow to pop against the greys. I also love the snow leopard print so it's doubly worth it for me.

E x

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Perth: Day 5

I really haven't done much site seeing as having previously lived here I feel I've seen quite a bit.

I've been mainly catching up with friends and doing a spot of shopping here and there. Its been quite relaxing really, although it took two days for me to get over the horror of the flight over.

Next post before I leave Perth I'll show you the bargains I picked up while here.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

E x

Challenge Update: Day 14

I have been craving a chocolate torte* from three days after I started this challenge. I crave it so much just a tiny bit of saliva escapes from my mouth occasionally.

This challenge is proving to be more difficult than I thought...

A few days ago all I could think about was sugar. Even just sugar granules, putting them on my tongue and letting them dissolve into my mouth. Sorry, this isn't going to be a 50 Shades of Sugar post.

This week my confessions are:
• one date scone
• one tiny bite of almond date slice

I was at a low point at those times but it still hasn't made me fall off the wagon completely so I'll keep charging ahead and we'll see if it gets any better.

E x

* Image from

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Perth: Day 2

Day 2 in Perth and I'm posting from Dome. Dome is a popular cafe chain in Western Australia and they are on every corner in Perth, none are found in any other state though.

It's a chilly day so I'm happy to be inside a Dome enjoying a slice*, a mag and a coffee (although my friend is having tea in the picture).

I have no laptop here so I have to make do with the Blogger app for the iPhone. It is very limited in its capabilities but at least I'm able to post something while I'm here.

Hope you're having a Happy Thursday!

E x

* I did have a tiny bite of the slice but will confess all on this Sunday's post.