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My new venture………

22 Aug

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Real Australian Fashion Guide

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Today I Love……Vitamin Me…….found in one special place in Australia!

9 Feb

My lovely blog readers already know how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE Queensland!!

Queensland just has that special something…….

Tthe untouchable thing that makes you feel revived and more alive after you visit.

If I don’t get to visit at some time at least once a year, it makes me feel a little deflated!

This year, I will be overdue for a top-up of my Vitamin Me levels so if everything (fingers crossed!) goes according to my financial plan…..we will again be visiting the extended family in the fabulous northern state!

I find a holiday to Queensland is one of the easiest destinations to pack for. Bikinis, shorts, a few skimpy tops, thongs (and a back up pair), a pair of nice shoes, one pair of jeans, tracky dacks – and I’m done!

This is due to the fact that I can’t help myself when shopping in Queensland and I end up buying a lot of lovely items and have to sit on my suitcase to get it to close when returning; that’s all part of the fun though!

Note: I WISH this was my lovely designer suitcase!

My essential Vitamin is S for Shopping; so the less I pack for Queensland is always better for me!

All of my trips to Queensland are also never complete without a few special destinations that I like to visit. If I don’t get to see them, I feel like I haven’t even been there, or relaxed and unwound completely.

Today I’m sharing a few secrets with you as well so concentrate now folks!

These are my must see places that can boost your Vitamin Me levels by giving you memorable and unforgettable sights, tastes, sounds and smells!

Vitamin A: Awe-inspiring Natural Bridge, in the south-eastern area of our sunny northern state, always takes my breath away – and everyone else I take to visit there as well!

Vitamin B: Bargain hunting at Pacific Fair – my idea of shopping heaven! I simply must spend an entire day here (if not more – pretty please!) and shop till I totally drop!

Vitamin C: Coolangatta Beach – not too busy with some of the best scenery to be found in Queensland, this beach is one of my favourites and many a lazy holiday afternoon will find me here with my favourite book and plenty of sunscreen!

Vitamin D: Dreamworld – it returns me to the carefree days of my childhood, when it was so exciting that I thought I would burst when visiting!

Vitamin E: Eumundi Markets – the 1 hour drive north from Brisbane is a pleasure when you know what is awaiting you at the end! This place is like a market on steroids! Hint, hint: Remember which vitamin you are taking here and make sure that your car boot is E for EMPTY for the return trip!

Vitamin K: Kooky and creepy artefacts and attractions at Ripleys Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Surfers Paradise are always a hit with the (big) and little kids and make me go “Oooooh” or “AH!” around every corner!

I also admit to a slight overdose on the Passionfruit, Banana, Mango and Pineapple variety of Vitamins when in Queensland because I find them so readily available and much better quality. They are also cheaper than in dreary old Melbourne where I have seen Passionfruit for up to $1.50 each!

Although it is so much fun overdosing on these extra special vitamins and my healthy body thanks me for it as well!

I really hope everyone gets the opportunity to visit these places one day (if you have not already) so you can also experience the exquisite beauty and pure bliss to be found when you visit Queensland and you can also find a top up for your Vitamin Me levels!

You can check out all of the wonderful sights to see, do and try at www.queensland.com or just click on the pics and links above and they will take you straight to heaven!

Don’t forget to let me know if you find any other ‘essential vitamins’ that should be added to my list!

I think this place (and this day bed) should be an essential for everyone!

Lizard Island

On my to-do list is definitely to go and see one of these cute little guys!

I’ll leave you with a picture of one of the most special pieces of nature I have ever found – in Queensland of course!!

Today I Love….Aussie Farmers Direct!

22 Oct

Convenience is a wonderful thing….recently my car has broken down…..which makes it hard to get my groceries sometimes.

My BFF has used Farmers Direct for a while now….she only lives 200m from the shops but is a student and I guess she loves the convenience but now I know what else she loves about this service!

 

We are planning to get the Victorian Couples Pack on a fortnightly basis (=$13 per week)….we got the first delivery and all seemed well….we put everything away and came home the next day to a horrible smell emanating from the fridge – out goes the parsley and the spinach – not good – there was some sort of funny, musty smell coming from both of them.

So I wasn’t sure whether or not to continue with it; I was however encouraged by my friend and her great experience with the service.

So the lovely farmer man actually rang me….and asked if I was happy….I was shocked!

I explained what had occurred and he offered to send us a free box for the products that were not quite right and we also discussed the midday delivery time and the amount of time the box was perhaps left in the sun and then the possibility of me leaving an esky out the front for the next delivery of produce….of course I forgot to leave the esky out – so we got the new box and everything is wonderful again – we even got a mango! We’re quite excited about this one!

When we brought the box inside, the Big Man explained to me that the box was in a different position from last time. On the last delivery, the box was left on the sunshine bearing wall of the doorstep and not tucked nicely in the corner like the 2nd delivery was. Kudos to them! I am a very happy customer now!!

Mongolian Girl and Camel

Mongolian Girl and Camel (clipped to polyvore.com)

So as you all know, the Big Man is a complete and utter carnivore and the idea of any fruits or vegetables in our house just revolts him! Except when the little munchkins come to stay and he has to set an ‘example’ – it is quite hilarious watching him eat his vegies when they are here and trying not to gag!

So anyway, this week, we got:

  • 2x Fuji Apples
  • 2x sundowner Apples
  • 1x Canteloupe
  • 1x Mango
  • 2x Oranges
  • 3x Green Pears (last week we got brown pears and they are just yummo!)
  • 1x Bok Choy Bunch
  • 2x Broccoli heads
  • 2x Carrots (last week we got a whole bag so we still have some leftover)
  • 1x Mint bunch
  • 2x Brown Onions
  • 1x Butternut Pumpkin
  • 1x Potatoes 1kg bag (pink skin) From South Australia and the plastic bag even has recipes on the back!
  • 2x (roma) tomatoes
  • 1x gourmet lettuce green middle and red/brown edges

And here is my plan of what to do with it (for two people – note he had a pear tonight, so he is converting!)

The box of goods comes with a list, so I sit down after I’ve admired and put everything away and work out how to use it in the best way.

  • 2x Fuji Apples – Lunches
  • 2x Sundowner Apples – Lunches
  • 1x Cantaloupe – Gift for my Dad because he absolutely loves cantaloupes and this one is gorgeous!
  • 1x Mango – Smoothie – preferably alcoholic (my own special recipe!)
  • 2x Oranges – Lunches/Juice (Mr. 6 adores fresh orange juice even though it’s such a pain to do he sucks me in every time!)
  • 3x Green Pears (last week we got brown pears and they are just yummo!) – Lunches or Dessert
  • 1x Bok Choy Bunch – Vegie stiy fry for my work lunch (make on weekend and freeze)
  • 2x Broccoli heads – Vegie Stir Fry or Soup one night when man wants meat and I need vegetables
  • 2x Carrots (last week we got a whole bag so we still have some leftover) – Roast/Vegie Stir Fry Conveniently I have a Beef Topside Roast in the fridge and now we have all the other ingredients for tomorrow nights dinner!
  • 1x Mint bunch – Freeze in ice cube trays with water for Summer drinkies, garnish for Vegie Stir Fry and Broccoli and Pumpkin Soup. Update: Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream shall be attempted tomorrow!!
  • 2x Brown Onions – Roast/Vegie Stir Fry
  • 1x Butternut Pumpkin – I will roast the whole pumpkin (chopped) with the beef and then use the remainder of the pumpkin for a quick soup for the following week.
  • 1x Potatoes 1kg bag (pink skin) From South Australia – and the plastic bag even has recipes on the back! – Roast and use 1 or 2 in the soups above as well.
  • 2x (roma) tomatoes – Lunches
  • 1x gourmet lettuce – Lunches

I realise this amount of produce may not keep or even last wo people for a 2 week period, but we hate to throw anything away and waste food so we will just see how far I can make it stretch. Without a car right now and not knowing how I’m getting home from work every afternoon, this is a real help for me.

From last week, we still have a fair bit of fruit left as we haven’t quite got used to all this fresh produce yet. That’s ok though, I’m sure I’ll figure out a fruit crumble or something like that!

The cos lettuce was great and is half used by now and the chinese cabbage – oh yeah! This is now a vegie stir fry ingredient with the rest as above = hooray!

We also got the standard tomatoes, onions (used within a day or two), pears, oranges and apples (the funny spinach and parsley as described above) and I also got a Globe Artichoke – which I have never eaten in my entire life and have absolutely no idea what to do with.

That one is being gifted to vegetarian (but bacon eating – yeah, I know, don’t even go there!) – Mother.

She will know what to do with it.

Today I Love…..Orange Lips and Liptember!

6 Sep

I love fresh orange juice……except I hate squeezing it myself!

We have a local supermarket called Leo’s that squeezes the best fresh OJ on site! Every time I shop there, one of their lovely fresh litre bottles somehow finds its way to the cash register with me!

At the moment, I am on the hunt for something else that is orange……but I just can’t quite seem to put my finger on a good one!

Oh, I’m not talking about orange juice anymore…..but the elusive orange lipstick, yes not a man or a type of chocolate either – behave now!

Maybe this one?

Or this?

Nope…..

Nope…..

Nope…..

Ooh maybe this one that I got my hands on?

Nope……

Have YOU found a great Orange lippy?

If so, PLEASE let me know about it below!!!

LIPTEMBER

What is Liptember?

  • A month long campaign run in September every year to raise awareness and funds for women’s health.
  • Encourage women to buy and wear the ‘Liptember’ lippy in the month of September, gaining sponsorship from family, friends and co workers.
  • Funds raised will be donated to the Centre for Women’s Mental Health and Lifeline Australia
  • Raising money through, lippy sales, female sponsorship, corporate sponsorship, fundraising events and direct donations.

$14.95 RRP, Save $4.95

Burt’s Bees and Myer are delighted to launch Liptember! Liptember is a month long fundraising program to help raise awareness of women’s mental health issues and fund research to achieve optimal health outcomes for women.

Burt’s Bees NEW 100% natural Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus is the official lip shade of Liptember and can be purchased from Myer for the special price of $10.00. All funds raised will be used to support national programs and research at the Centre for Women’s Mental Health and Lifeline Australia.

You can buy it here: MYER
Simply purchase the official Liptember Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus from any Myer store or online and get sponsored by family and friends to wear the shade throughout the month of September.

Today I love….Pura Vida

27 Aug

A new take on ‘friendship’ bracelets!!

Let’s all get real friendly now…..

“The phrase “Pura Vida” (pu·ra vi·da) means pure life in Spanish. Enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune and not taking anything for granted embody the Pura Vida Lifestyle. The hard work that went into each bracelet represents the dedication and respect for the beautiful land that we all live in. Each original bracelet is handmade in Costa Rica with a unique combination of colors. Selecting your “Pura Vida” bracelet isn’t always a quick task. Local jewlers spend days, even weeks creating specific bracelets to express their lifestyle. From vibrant colors to earth tones, Pura Vida Bracelets has any combination for you.

While traveling through Central America, the team at Pura Vida Bracelets realized they needed to help clean up the beautiful beaches around the world. With the success of the bracelets, the company decides to donate a percentage of company profits to the Surfider Foundation. The Surfrider Foundation is a grass roots organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the oceans and beaches worldwide. It has over 50,000 members and over 140,000 volunteer hours. Pura Vida Bracelets strives to go above and beyond your average new fashion trend and truly give back to an important cause.

Whether it be at the beach, going to work, or even a night on the town, Pura Vida Bracelets has proven to be worn at all times. It will be interesting to see this promising company continue to grow over the rest of summer. Hello fashion world, Pura Vida Bracelets has arrived and is here to stay!

For more info, pictures and updates visit http://www.puravidabracelets.com

From here:

Pura Vida Bracelets Sparks Latest Fashion Trend in Southern California

Today I love….the easiest pumpkin soup ever….

4 Jul

One from the olde recipe file….

The only thing I don’t love, love, love about this soup is chopping the skin off the pumpkin at the start – me = no muscle power to chop any big heifer pumpkins!!!

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin – half a medium size jap and a whole butternut pumpkin – seeds and skin removed – chopped into largish chunks or hey – just what ever you have on hand/left over from last night’s roast dinner etc…
  • 1 onion – quartered
  • 1 or 2 carrots chopped into small chunks
  • Keens Curry powder – 1 tsp or to taste
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Hot, crispy, crunchy bread rolls to serve
  1. Put all the vegies in a large pot and cover with water. Make sure you will have enough room left to wizz in the saucepan when you are done – ie. use a LARGE saucepan!
  2. Boil until the carrot is cooked.
  3. Add curry powder.
  4. Remove from heat and wizz it all together with a stick blender.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with fresh parsley.
  6. I like to halve and then toast my bread rolls, add a slice of cheese, top with a freshly cooked rasher of bacon and whack them under the grill for 2 mins to melt the cheese and then I proceed to dip this wonderful bread concoction into my soup!

It’s just simply DIVINE people! Get on it now!!!

    Market: This Saturday 8th May 2010

    5 May

    Mark it in your diary,

    May’s edition of Craft Hatch is set to be bigger and better than ever!

    Featuring 14 emerging designers and collectives, this month’s market is jam packed with Melbourne’s best and brightest.

    From modular furniture to fine jewellery, glassware, knitted cacti and beautiful textiles to turn that house into a home, make sure you drop by the City Library this Saturday!

    Stallholders include A Skulk of Foxes, ask (Alice Dyer, Sarah Crowley & Karina Piper), Alistair Mckendrick, Andrea Daniel, CatRabbit, Esmae Emerson, Haruka Murata, Jenie Yolland, Jane Russell, Laurie Paine, Liz Roger, Naoko Inuzuka, Minnt Design and Yuyuen Leow.


    Date: Saturday 8 May, 11am-4pm
    Venue: City Library,

    Gallery, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

    Source: Market: May 2010.

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    Dodgem cars, many Markets and Mini Donuts!

    3 May

    We went to a number of markets on the weekend –

    Bundoora Farmers Market, Thomastown Sunday Market and good ole Pipeworks.

    At Bundoora, I was not happy to see the queue for the Gozleme spinach and cheese (savoury traditional Turkish hand made and hand rolled pastry) so I consoled myself with some lovely little hot fresh and spongy mini dounts which were 14 for only $4.50 which I thought was quite a nice bargain. I was enthralled just watching them come off the mini donut machine and think it would be a great addition to my already chock a block kitchen! No way….

    Then on a further trip around the stalls, I spotted some people walking with wonderful looking and humungus turkish breads under one arm so I searched and then we found the stall with the bread to die for! I bought the most beautiful soft and spongy pizza bases with tomato paste and lo and behold what is this I see – is that a spinach and cheese pastry?? Yes, yes, yes and it’s all mine!! So I finally got my spinach and cheese and after heating it up and devouring it later on at home, I was very impressed on discovering the onion inside as well and will definitely be returning to claim another one at the next market which cannot come along quickly enough now! The lovely stall holder saw the little munchkins and on inquiring if they were mine I lied and said yes and he gave us a free pizza base!! So that’s two bases for $2.50! Yes, they are very cute kids. Shop keepers seem to like them a lot and they pick up freebies all the time so if I hang with them I’m sure I’ll be looked after! I don’t think I can do the bases justice but I’ll try and take a pic of them tonight. I think it will look like this  when cooked:

    Image courtesy of Dinner with Julie

    Thomastown trash n treasure market is another little treasure trove all on it’s own. We found a very well restored bike for Mr.7 for only $20 and some farm fresh eggs for me as the queue was too long to wait for these at Bundoora. Then I was fighting the urge the whole time, but had to give in and succumb to the dirty hot chips but immediately regretted this as they had no vinegar and the amount of salt on the chips was obscene and I actually felt quite ill from them. Anyway, back in the car (dying of thirst at this stage due to said hot chips) and off we went to Pipeworks next.

    We went to Pipeworks specifically to give the little munchkins (boys 4 & 7) a ride on the dodgem cars but I also like browsing all the cheap clothes and homewares. Mr Big and I both like the trash n treasure so we always take a trip in there. You never know what we’ll find and I am always on the lookout for old shoe making equipment or a neglected/vintage Blythe doll just waiting for me to come along and take her home with me! A girls gotta dream…..After the delectable mini donut experience at Bundoora, I now regret not buying the donut maker I found at the pipeworks trash n treasure market! I hope it will still be there next time we go or I may have to just ebay it to me! The dodgems were much more fun that I first thought they would be and all over too quickly. We discussed it later and Mr.Big and I both agreed we had lots of fun and it was years since we both got in a dodgem car so it was well worth it.

    Update

    On the baked churro experiment – I had churros for dessert Friday night then mini donuts on Sunday.

    My hips would simply not allow me to move far enough to get into the kitchen to try making the churros!

    Next weekend, folks.

    Stay tuned.

    Today I love….Taco vans

    30 Apr

    Why do we not have them in Australia??

    Like the kebab vans….bring on the tacos!!!

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