Thursday, March 30, 2017

its always about the food... by Monday Morning Cooking Club

The wonderful Monday Morning Cooking Club ladies kindly sent me their latest book "Its Always About the Food" to review, and I love it!!!  Its a collection of heirloom recipes handed down through families over the generations.  Those favourite favourites we all associate with home and childhood.  Not only are the recipes amazing, and the photos gorgeous, but each recipe is linked to the person who contributed it

The Coconut and Lime ice cream is very similar to the recipe I have from my own granny, my own favourite favourite.  So of course this was the first recipe I tested and it is delicious.  It tastes rather like a lime cheesecake, and the texture is fabulously smooth and creamy.  See mine below, I was going to shoot a proper photo but the ice cream was devoured on one sitting so this is an insta snap.

My gran's was a coffee icecream, and I have adapted it for chocolate (which is seriously divine).  I always share my recipe when people ask for it (and they always do), because every time somebody makes it my gran, who was very important in my life, is remembered and her memory lingers in this world.
I recommend you try both and let me know which you prefer.  There will be no complaints from your family.

Interestingly this recipe is from a woman whose mother immigrated from Lithuania to Johannesburg where she ran a successful restaurant.  My gran's mother was also a Lithuanian immigrant to Johannesburg which makes me wonder if the recipe is from South Africa, or extends even further back to Lithuania.

Then I made the Indian Fish Curry.  Best..curry...ever!!!!  
It was easier than I expected to make the curry paste from scratch, and seriously the best curry I have cooked.  The curry was fragrant and complex and warm rather than hot.  It was quite simply divine and worth buying the book for alone.

Next we made fish tacos, delish, and the highlight is for sure the red pickled onions that go with it.  We demolished them over the next few days.  Love the gorgeous pink colour the onions go as they pickle.

I am really loving "Its Always About the Food", the third book from the MMCC.  We have many favourites from the first book in the series, my daughter particularly loves the pancakes baked in chocolate milk.  

If you were wondering about the name, these ladies really do meet, every Monday, to cook and enjoy each others company.  It started as a fun pastime, and grown into three books and hundreds or recipes and histories shared.  
You can see how cute they are below.


Well worth picking up for yourself, or as a lovely gift.  Its one of those books that makes you want to get into the kitchen and cook up a feast to share with friends and family.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

mv organic skincare organic beauty products

This recent discovery has changed my skincare routine, and I have never blogged about beauty products before, ever, so you know this must be good.

MV Organic Skincare products are all the good things: organic, simple to use, elegantly packaged, fairly priced.
Better yet they really really work.
And a simple three minute ritual, morning and evening, is all you need to have your skin glowing.  No really, three minutes!  Watch the video below and you will see.

I have been using three of the mv skincare products for a month now and my skin has never felt so soft, so smooth, or looked as good.  



I have never been a huge beauty product user, mainly because I have never really found ones that work for me.  Cleansers strip my skin, makeup remover is either too oily or too stringent, and most moisturisers either leave me feeling they did nothing at all, or make me break out if I use them daily.
But Sharon McGlinchey changed all of this when she gave me three MV Skincare products to try.  

I met Sharon by chance in her new Mosman store, helping with a two person installation job on the new shop fitout designed by a friend of mine.  As I was leaving Sharon gifted me three products to try: the Rose Hydrating Mist, Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturiser, & Pure Jojoba, and the instruction to watch the video about the Three Minute Ritual.  So I did, and then I tried the ritual out, and now I love them.

The Jojoba removed my make up like magic!  A few drops on a moistened cotton pad, held for 5 seconds over the eyes, and then wiped away lightly.  Much less abrasive than usual and I could see that my skin looked really clean and felt, dare I say it, dewy.

Moisturising is different for night and morning.
At night the ritual is to spritz your face a few times with the Rose Hydrating Mist (to dampen your skin) then apply a 2-3 drops of Jojoba to your palm and smooth over your face with relaxed hands.
Done.  No moisturiser, moisturiser is for the morning.

In the morning spritz you face with the Rose Hydrating Mist, a few drops of Jojoba as before, and then half a pump of the Rose Moisturiser, all smoothed on with relaxed hands.
The Gentle Cream Cleanser can be added to the ritual, but I haven't tried it yet, I plan to.



I haven't talked about the reason Sharon developed the range, or the fact that it is great for people with eczema, acne and other skin problems.  There is lots of information about all these good things here.  I just wanted to share how amazing the products are for me.

The range includes several other boosters, masks, moisturisers & body products, and you can visit the Mosman store for advice, or shop by skin type here.  I highly recommend giving them a try.




Friday, March 17, 2017

neutral natural rental ideas

We finally have a new home!  Now that I know where we are going I am starting to plan where the furniture is going to go, what is going to be stored, and what bits and pieces we need to add to make it feel like home.  So far I am thinking...

I have some of these pieces, or similar ones, already.  I have been hanging out for a ben ourani style carpet for ages, this may finally be the moment especially since the large master bedroom has a cold looking tile floor.  Otherwise its going to very simple, lots of white, green leafy decoration.  A little Bahamas, a little bit Byron bay.  Hopefully a lovely peaceful space to call home while we look for our next project.

Clockwise from bottom left: kenza rig from freedom, malawi chair, belly basket, Jodi vases, brass lamp, white credenza

Monday, March 13, 2017

ikea limited edition...jassa

I am loving Ikea's limited editions and this brand new one has some fab pieces.  
The JASSA handmade collection is based on Indonesian and South East Asian traditions, lots of brightly coloured printed fabrics, lots of cane and basket work.  It is a clever range, covering both the tribal and tropical looks that have been so on trend.

The fabrics are bright and heavily patterned, and while I find them pretty full on all together, separately they would make fabulous cushion covers.  My fave is the navy ikat-style fabric, looking forward to checking them all out for real in store. 

The cane and woven pieces are pretty lovely too.  I particularly like the lounger, would look really fabulous at a poolside, and the fringed rug which looks like amazing value at $50.




The JASSA lands in store in March, and it is a limited edition so you will need to get your fave's fast.  But then I never really need much of an excuse to go and have a wander around Ikea.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

nimmo nielsen collective

Some inspirational eye candy with cool blue tones from Nimmo Nielsen Collective today.  

Naomi has been renovating homes for 10 years and these are a few snippets of past projects.  I love her Instafeed which gives tantalising glimpses of the homes she is working on right now.

"My passion is helping people create unique and beautiful spaces to live in, to relax, to unwind and to feel inspired by every day"  and this intention certainly shines through.

This selection is fresh and beachy with lots of blue tones, perfect for the hot hot summers we have in Sydney.

I adore this fireplace with benchseat below, blue panelling looking so good.

Cool Hamptonesque feel in this project below.



Naomi and interior stylist Shellie Nielsen, who make up the Nimmo Nielsen Collective, work together to add layers of styling detail to the transformed living spaces.   I love the kitchen styling above!

Nimmo Nielsen Collective love creating functional spaces with heart.  No matter what you need, from colour and furniture selection, to planning new kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces in existing homes and new builds, they would love to help.
See more of their work here.

Photography by Benito Martin

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

new from cbs...knobs hardware accessories handles

New hardware in from CB2

From left: amber look knob, shell round, industrial amp series
CB2 does ship to Australia, it's a little pricey once you add in shipping but probably worth it for a statement piece.  It is so hard to find different and well priced hardware locally

Thursday, February 23, 2017

light bright living by nimmo neilsen collective

This gorgeous light filled home in Sydney was revitalised by Naomi of Nimmo Nielson Collective.  
Naomi redesigned the existing Californian bungalow floor plan, adding a new master and ensuite and a fabulous open plan kitchen and living area.  The brief was for a contemporary home with natural finishes that linked the old home with the new, the transformation has certainly delivered.

Naomi's pallete of materials includes oak for both floors and cabinetry accents, combined with crisp white, and teamed with hand painted encaustic tiles in the bathroom.  I could move right in.
The light filled kitchen opens onto a luxurious pool and garden.  A new pool cabana with bathroom and kitchenette is still being completed.  Perfect for entertaining, and keeping an eye on the kids.

A few glimpses of other areas in the home include this luxury bathroom (below), you already all know that I am currently obsessed with encaustic tiles, and this bedroom with detailed textures and fabrics.

Naomi has been renovating homes for 10 years and says "your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love".  

The Nimmo Nielsen Collective operates in Sydney and does everything from decorating and styling, to planning new kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces in existing homes and new builds.

While allowing each client's personality to shine through, Naomi's strong sense of style runs through all her spaces.  I love the attention to detail in the finishes, its a relaxed luxe style that I can totally relate to.  

Photography by Benito Martin Styling in collaboration with Shellie Nielsen, also of Nimmo Nielsen Collective

Thursday, February 16, 2017

things to let go of when you move

When you move house each box you pack, ship & store costs you money.  So this move I am going to be putting my dollars into replacing items rather than moving them.  And yes that means we sold & are officially looking for a new home.  Watch this space. 

I won't be taking:
  • the 5 remaining white plates from the set of 12 that I can't get any more of
  • ditto the wine glasses of various discontinued styles
  • the gifts given with such care but never really used (makes me feel guilty already)
  • a varied collection of Ikea candle holders bought for parties over the years
  • the glass jar collection for those jams I am going to make "one quiet afternoon"
  • the old bed linen which the girls have grown out of, or is slightly frayed, or has that one dodgey mark
  • the pillowcases in the large floral print which I thought were a good idea for the guest bedroom (not)
  • the 5 extra bamboo steamers I bought once for a large picnic
  • a (surprisingly large) number of vases whose shapes I no longer like and which I haven't used in at least 5 years
  • any tupperware without a matching lid

Why is it so hard to let these things go!  Reading through the list makes me wonder why I still haven't already!

The dollars I save on moving these things, I am going to put into getting more of this great linen bedding for all our beds.  Something we will enjoy every week and which won't just sit in the back of a cupboard.  Even the cat thinks they are fab.

Monday, January 23, 2017

trends 2017

2017 will be about refreshing and replacing
Trend time again.  Looking backwards and looking forwards I am not seeing a huge change for 2017.  I expect colours to remain softer, tones of pale woods and greys in lighter tones.  I expect fewer pink tones, although I still love them, and more neutrals, more naturals in leathers and wood.  I see pastels in our future, but not sweet ones, these are washed out: pinks like faded rose petals, yellows like soft sunlight, blues from a wintry sea, duck egg greens.
Texture is going to remain big: mongolian wool cushions in soft tones, more linen and velvet fabrics for bedding and soft furnishings.  Honed wood and stone for furniture and finishes.  
Textured neutrals pair well with the oversize photographs of landscapes and succulents that are still so popular, as well as hand crafted ornamental pieces and decorative crystals.

Beautiful storage to make our life easier will always be in style, be it bespoke built ins or collections of baskets.
Indoor plants continue to be huge and I will never get tired of fresh flowers and plants for indoors.  However I am not a huge fan of every surface dripping with greenery and a hanging plant in every corner, reminds me to strongly of the ferns in the 70's bathroom of my childhood.  I am ready for this particular fad to move on.
   


Perhaps its because moving is on the cards for me this year and I have been thinking about having less rather than acquiring more, but I do think there is a move away from consumerism in interiors.  I don't think I am alone here, people are thinking more about how much they own, whether it adds to your life, or just fills it with stuff.  

2017 will be more about refreshing and replacing    
I think this move away from a more is more mantra is going to have us choosing classic well made items when we are selecting big ticket items.  We are going to refresh our spaces with smaller items, like luxury scented candles, chunky knitted throws, decorative crystals, and soft velvet or wool pillows.

Lets move into the new year with the intention of curating our homes, letting go of past design decisions that clutter up our spaces, and really considering what we add.


Montage 1: calicool bedroom, bird hook, citrine point, agate & eucalyptus
Montage 2: bathroom detail by Canny Design, bone mirror, sconce, knob, photographic print
Montage 3: oak cabinetrysuper white granite, pendants, kitchen by Justine Hugh-Jones