29 June 2011

More Offspring fashion

The highlight of my TV viewing week is Offspring. This series is funnier, more heartfelt and more stylish than the last. I've said it before - I want to borrow Nina and Billie Proudman's clothes. I am in love! Their style is so achievable.

The grey shirt Nina wore on 27 June is by Palma Australia.

 The dress is by Wheels and Dollbaby.

 Billie's dress is Stella McCartney for Target.

The skirt is by Mimosa.

Darren Hayes interview on The 7pm Project (Australia) 2011

Darren Hayes did a series of interviews in Australia promoting Talk Talk Talk. Here's his appearance on The 7 PM Project.


24 June 2011

Yes, it's still Darren Hayes Day - Nova interview

Darren did an interview on Nova today, with Carrie Bickmore and Charlie Pickering. I'd gone to work by then so have just watched it tonight.

 (source - and more pics here)

I seriously listened to Talk Talk Talk 30 times today. Can you believe his music has been in my life for 15 years? Half my life! I can't explain the feeling I get when I listen to his music.

His new album Secret Codes and Battleships is out in October. He hints at a tour here.
Hayes said: "I'm touring a really tiny number of dates this year. I'm doing just four dates in the UK in October.

"I'm doing two dates in America - an LA and New York show - and then in Australia I'm doing just Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in November. All of that will be announced in a couple of weeks, but that's what's happening."

Talk Talk Talk video

I am such a big Darren Hayes fan that I am (currently blogging) at an internet cafe during my lunch break, watching the Talk Talk Talk video because I can't contain my anticipation until tonight when I get home.

It's beautiful and kaleidescopic.



I declare today Darren Hayes Day - Talk Talk Talk is available for purchase!


It's just after 6 am and I bought 'Talk Talk Talk', the first single from Darren Hayes' upcoming album 'Secret Codes and Battleships'. Too sleepy to provide a full review yet (an early review can be found here), but I can tell you the anticipation of the download felt like the first time I played the Savage Garden album. Very exciting :) Talk Talk Talk is beautiful - classic Darren Hayes intelligent pop - upbeat sounds, deep lyrics. Thank you, Darren.
Australians can DOWNLOAD NOW via iTunes and all major digital download retailers.

The single will go on sale to the rest of the world later today.

Click on the link below to buy now!

I declare today Darren Hayes Day :)

23 June 2011

Music I've been missing - Darren Hayes and Savage Garden

I am having one of those nights where listening to Darren Hayes and Savage Garden music is like receiving a warm hug. It consoles me. I feel what he's singing. And it takes me back to a time when the only man I'd loved was Darren Hayes. Uncomplicated. His is the music I've been missing. (And looking forward to - Talk Talk Talk is out tomorrow.) When I hear these songs I know everything will be ok in this moment. The world can wait.

"I had to find you, had to let you know
That you weren't alone..." ~ Who would have thought?

22 June 2011

Miss Chu's Melbourne

The wonderful memories of my night out at Miss Chu's in Sydney with Sydney Shop Girl, Sandradee and Kristy make me smile and so when I found out there was a Miss Chu's in Melbourne, I was so keen to eat there. So, last Tuesday night Heidi and I went to Miss Chu's (297 Exhibition St Melbourne). She brought her fiance Ben along and it was lovely to meet him.
It was an indoor/outdoor restaurant, unlike the street food arrangement in Sydney. The decor was cute - lanterns, pineapples and beautiful rice bowls made into lampshades.

Heidi and I both got these amazing drinks - frozen young coconut with lychees, cucumber and mint. I am not a fan of young coconut juice, or cucumber come to think about it, but with the lychees, it tasted so exotic. Heidi said it tasted like Vietnam. I will definitely try making these at home. So so yummy!
We ordered an array of food from the tuckshop menu.
Roast duck and banana flower ricepaper rolls. So plump. More filling than your average ricepaper roll.
 Prawn dumplings. They were very generous with the prawns. The dumplings were juicy. The sauce was so spicy.
Duck pancake. I seriously could have just eaten these all night. I think I said I could eat 17. The duck was tender, covered in hoisin sauce. Yummy times a million. We ordered another serve.
 Papaya salad. I wasn't keen on it. It was very spicy and the crunchy beans felt a bit out of place.
Crab eggnet vermicilli salad. This salad was fantastic! The crab eggnets were an interesting texture and the dressing was delicious. Still spicy but not overpowering like the previous salad.
 More dumplings. Pork I think. Juicy and delicious.
And this was a steamed custard bun! It wasn't keen on being papped. Oh. My. God. So good. I don't think I've had one of these before and I am so glad I got to know steamed custard buns better. And at $3 a pop, my dress size better watch out.
Overall the food was as great as I had in Sydney. It was delicious, complex flavours yet simple ingredients. Service was quick, but we were overcharged significantly, which was rectified quickly. Dress size, you have been warned. I will eat at Miss Chu's again, very soon.

21 June 2011

Blogs of note

Three more blogs I recommend this week, based on these beautiful entries. I find so many great blogs I don't read books anymore.

The first is by The Secret Life of a Retail Assistant.
She writes a moving letter to a young girl she saw in the change rooms at her work. She reassures the girl that she is beautiful and to love herself.

The letter starts like this:

"Dear young girl who left the fitting rooms at my work almost in tears,
You're beautiful. I know you won't believe me when I say this, but it is true. I know that you're not feeling too great about yourself right now, and you're upset that you can't fit into the same dresses that your sister can, but it's still true. You are beautiful."
Read the full letter here. Wow. It's a powerful message for girls to be happy in their skin. About individuality as beauty. And a reminder not to sweat the small stuff. I think all women should read this.

 The next is at Scattered Locality - a blogger I believe I came across on Twitter.
He writes fantastic entries about the music he loves and discovered, and the journeys he's traveled because of the music. Generally the blog entries are brief, cassingle sized entries, but I'm in love with this LP sized entry about Silverchair. This particular entry is a retrospect, celebrating Silverchair's songs, following the announcement of their 'indefinite hiatus'. Here's what he wrote about Emotion Sickness.
"Their masterpiece always in my opinion would be ‘Emotion Sickness’, a song so dark that I was kind of scared of listening to it on the radio. As it turned out, I grew to love this song more than any other song on the album. The video for it was stunning as well, and can never forget the first time I watched it on rage as well. It was about 11pm, I was tired and felt like a brick fell on my head. This video came on and it felt like a I had been stun gunned after those six minutes."
Read his whole Silverchair retrospective here, and enjoy the music videos!

Ben Pobjie, a Melbourne writer and comedian writes a blog called Ben Pobjie's Wonderful World Of Objects
Ben is a hilarious tweeter, especially about MasterChef. (He also writes a MasterChef recap column for the Age which is LOL funny. He is more serious on his blog, writing about depression and self worth. I believe a writer who shares this much personal emotion with strangers is a writer worth reading. One thing I was incredibly excited about was this tweet he wrote after Sandra wrote that she loves both of us in a blog entry on her $120 Food Challenge.
I was so very honoured by Ben's compliment. Wow :)

Happy Tuesday, be sure to check out these blogs!

20 June 2011

Farmer's market, slow cooked beef stroganoff (and leftover pie)

Last Monday - the last day of my long long weekend - I put the slowcooker on and sat and relaxed. Slowcookers are wonderful that way. They cook your food while you do something else, or nothing at all.

I've been going to my local farmer's market on a Sunday, after seeing the cows on Four Corners. I want to eat ethically and locally raised meat. From my parents' property or from the farmer's market. So while I've eaten meat out at restaurants (and spent a full week vegetarian), the only meat I've cooked has been my parents' lamb and local beef from Family Farmed Meats. I also try to buy my fruit and vegies from local grocers - so good to support them, and much tastier!
The market is lovely - in a shed at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds every Sunday from 9.00 am - 1.00 pm. It has fruit and vegies, baked goods, meat, honey and cheese.

 L'Artisan Cheese from Timboon is amazing. Seriously :)
 I bought the triple cream brie, the big white one. It's soft, creamy and strong. Better than any supermarket cheese!

 Michael's breaky barbie is fantastic! He has a small menu but so tasty! The hot chocolate is wonderful.

This is the best breakfast ever - poached egg with polenta, fried bread, a salad of greens, fennel and cabbage, topped with beetroot in yoghurt, celeriac and lentil purees. ♥
So, I used the meat I bought at the market, along with some vegies bought at the market and my local grocer to make the stroganoff.  Carrots, beans, mushrooms, eggplant, tomato, capsicum, sweet potato and pumpkin (kindly cut by my grocer due to my thumb). I loved the sun through the window as I took these photos.
I got by with a little help from my friends - convenience seasonings. These eliminated the chopping - my thumb was too sore. And the slowcooker seasoning pack adds lots of flavour.
 Here's the beef. So tasty, and great value.
 All in the slowcooker. This was about six servings.
Towards the end of cooking, I added sour cream and also cooked pasta bows for serving. It was so very yummy!! I had it for dinner once, and two lunches in the week.
I still had a pot of leftovers, so I reheated it on Saturday night and made it into a pie. I love this pot - so vibrant :)
 My pastry was a little broken.
 I pieced them together in the pie dish and hoped for the best.
 And the topping! Not a pretty pie, but a good use of leftovers!!


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