Tuesday, 31 July 2012

TT: Food Bowl

Delectable delights indeed!

You only need attend an event like this to be convinced Masterchef has indeed changed a nation of meat and veg into a nation of Paris mash, duck confit and chef celebrity.

This was sadly not a free event and hardly a free tasting was in sight but despite the monetary value this was surely an event to to smile at. All the best Brisbane restaurants were there selling their food - yum yum! I whine on about a lovely night out at high class restaurants - how I don't get it enough so thank heavens for such events as this!

Live music at every corner, bean bags, umbrellas and tables to chill and soak up the lovely backdrop of the city botanic gardens. This was definitely the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.

Check it out.

mmm duck confit with a liquorice tuille

Fresh sourdough with raclette cheese and onion - so French! And who can't past a gournet burger - I'm salivating at the memory.

Lazy Sundays -

Some sort of fancy pie (I forget the name) with Paris mash and the most delicious prawn dumplings in a seafood broth -

mmmm.... chefs...


Sunday, 29 July 2012

SS: Olympic Spirit

It's Street Style with a twist - let's expand on the term because who doesn't want to comment on the four year grand event that is THE OLYMPICS!

We all know I am no sports fanatic and I cannot tell the difference between particular sporting codes but once every four years I watch sport. The Olympics is something else - for me it isn't just sport it's a coming together of nations, a world where we compete for glory - athletes live their dreams, fight for gold, do their country proud - even if it just means crossing the finish line last. It just feels so right - it shows the best of humanity and spirit engulfs the air, your heart is alight with patriotic feelings.

So, what did we make of London 2012 opening ceremony....?

I love London - I dream of it, I yearn for it again but one things for sure - it aint no Sydney or Beijing. Sorry Brits - you are by far no "best Olympics ever"

You are not called Great Britain for nothing - you were once Great - you ruled the world - why is it you chose not to showcase your rich history?

Yes, we saw the industrial revolution - but that was it - where were tall ships, your explorers, your scientific, your pomp and ceremony - past royalty, queen's guards, cavalry, knights?
What of your iconic bobbys, black cabs, double decker buses - surely all this sums up your great land more than Marry Poppins and Lord Voldermort?

Instead you tried to kid yourself - you tried to say you were still Great - that your modern day lives were worthy of the world stage. What on Earth possessed you to believe it would be amazing to have a section dedicated to trashy teenagers partying and celebrating the crass and corny world of text courting and "in a relationship" status. What thought it right to showcase fictional characters and children scared in their beds? This is not the Britain I love.

Yes, you may have unbelievably wicked music, yes you may have Mr Bond, Rowan Atkinson and Kenneth Branagh but what of your history? Was this really what you wanted the world to see?

Danny Boyle is a movie director - so naturally he is pro at movie directing - too much pre filmed jargon, too many nods to past films (as great as they may be - was this Olympic appropriate?)

What happened to the Britain the world loves? I know you think it's same same - but that's what you are good at - you are leaders in tradition - who else can do a horse and carriage like you? Who else can march with bagpipes like you? Who else can talk of their glory days like you?

In a nutshell it was cheap and corny - You are behind the times and maybe you always will be.It felt more like an opening ceremony spoof. Seriously, did the world really need to now about your National Health Service?

I can see the pitch - let's just get some well known British stars, mix it together with a bunch of all our number one hits and chuck in the Queen with her corgis (ok, I admit that was kinda cool) and we shall end with Hey Jude (in my humble opinion, an inappropriate song for such an uplifting event) - it will be proper British, proper wicked and not a hint of naff - I'm sorry luv, but it was rather naff.

But let's not be too down - I really quiet liked the lighting of the flame - the idea of future sporting British sporting stars lighting it together - truly encapsulated the whole Olympic Spirit. The design of the cauldron coming up together - also rather magical.

I know I sound proper negative but overall I'm sure they were proud and I guess you have every right to be - but sorry luv, you don't have me heart.

London - you hurt me and I think I just may have to change my Facebook status with us - "it's complicated?"

Here are some of the worst low lights of the opening ceremony -

This whole teenage party section was simply unnecessary and I believe the whole reason I could not love the ceremony as a whole -

Positively - Australia this is definitely one of the best uniforms I have seen in a while.

The rings coming together was also nice touch -

And lastly - a lovely cauldron - congrats London you got something right -

See you Tuesday where yet another Brisbane foodie delight will be shared.


Friday, 27 July 2012

FF: Teen Choice Awards

Red carpets - my cocaine!

It's a hot or not today and there was some sizzling at the Teen Choice Awards 2012.

What I love about these kinds of awards is the freedom. Stars get to throw away the red carpet handbook and freestyle their pretty little faces off.
The Teen Choice awards has that youthful vibe, that sense nothing can touch you, the feeling of joy and a world of colour.

These are my top picks -

By far my kind of look - Helen Roden was more than pulling off this wonderful print dress -

Nina Dobrev - you are definitely one good looking chick in some vampire tv show. Well done you!

And the two New Girls - Zoe and the ridiculously sexy Hannah ticked ll the boxes -

And of course the other side of the coin -

So typical she's making white paper look psychadelic - sorry Taylor but this is safer and more boring than a high school sex ed video. Don't get me wrong it works on you, but it doesn't hurt to take a dive in the deep end every once in a while -

Jordin Sparks what were you thinking - this sure does not make you sparkle.

Katherine McCormack I don't even know who you really are - but my first advice - get a new stylist because that dress is doing nothing for you

Two more sleeps till we meet again.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

TT: Tea

TTT! Oh how I amuse myself.

Tea is the great drink of millions.

What would I do at 3 o'clock in the afternoon if not for tea? How would I console a friend without the offer of this comforting beverage? What would perfectly accompany my butter cake at morning tea?

Britain would sure not be 'Great' if it weren't for the introduction of tea.

I love all kinds of tea - green tea to calm the stomach and the mind, English breakfast to fill my soul with comfort in the most difficult of times, berries, tropical fruits and all things in between when I feel like an adventure and whatever other kinds there are - Prince of Wales another staple favourite!

Look at my very own herbal tea from regional flavours. Pick some herbs, add some hot water and you have one lovely little beverage - we don't need no fancy schmancy here.

Teapots are wonderfully little things as is the whole tradition of tea - how to make the perfect cuppa is truly an art form. A slow four minute brew for black tea - yes please! Just like my life philosophy I like my tea strong and character heavy.

This recent purchase got me all nerdy inside...

I might possibly joke that it holds more tea because it's bigger on the inside, and I might possibly swirl the teapot in mid air TARDIS style (sound effects included) but hey judge all you like - this little blue box makes tea time even better.

Hope we are all having a wonderful working week - sadly I'm back at uni - tertiary education is so not worth the pain!

Hmmm... and on that note - I best put on the kettle.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

SS: Southbank Delights

Southbank + Food = a delightfully tasty combination!

This weekend marked the beginning of delectables - a two week celebration of food - a heaven for hardcore foodies like me. My beautiful Southbank was host to a weekend of regional products of every edible kind - farmers, small businesses and local restaurants came together selling their delicious products - maybe I sampled a little too many samples, but you can't blame me - what sane person would say know to free food. A 'grow' series also features - focussing on the value of freshly grown produce - an instant rural garden amongst the towering city backdrop - what a perfect pair.

I also saw the fabulous Amina and Fillipo from this year's Australian Masterchef, listened to local singers while sitting on a very eco-friendly cardboard chair, picked my own collage of fresh herbs for a personally brewed herbal tea and simply enjoyed the atmosphere that is Brisbane.

And the best part - more foodie events to come!!

Check out these little gems from my Saturday adventure -

Sunflowers about to begin life -

Funky wheelbarrows filled with beautiful herbs -

Amina and Fillipo strutting their culinary skills -

Cute -

The local talent -

The cameras were getting their daily exercise and see - look at the chairs!

A beautiful store filled with gorgeous baskets and and decorations perfect for the garden -

One very cool cow -

Friday, 20 July 2012

FF: Local = Love

Yeah - I said it! Sometimes nothing beats the local talent. Made in Australia, born and bred true blue, living amongst the lucky land of this country. I love the fashion coming out of this place I call home.

So let us delve into the world of Aussie designers. I've previously informed you of some local talent of a more accessible price range who really are local but today I'll roll of some bigger guns who are making their mark on the international stage.

Collette Dinnigan

So we are starting off with a not so true blue Aussie. We may call her Australian, we may claim her as from our womb - but alas like many of our so called "Aussie" talent she is not. Born in South Africa and then moving to New Zealand and then Australia - for some reason we claim her. This is what we thing - forget about South Africa - birth is no sign of nationality, forget about New Zealand - we hardly thinks it's a country - it's more commonly known as our ugly cousin. So naturally we call her Australian.

Nevertheless, we'll roll with it -

Arguably the biggest Aussie export in the fashion world. You could call her a pioneer in world class Australian fashion. If their was fashion Olympics she'd be the sure gold for Aussie.

Her clothes are stocked in Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong - she's earned her stars and her longevity is inspirational.

I have one of her dresses - it always makes me smile. It's a ray of sunshine in my all too dreary world. What I love most about it is how rare she makes each piece. A label on each dress denotes it as no. 100 of only 200 made - now that is just magic.

Alex Perry

I wouldn't say I'm his biggest fan but I will say this - he's got brains. The label that is Alex Perry has come a long way. His elegant evening gowns once adorned by rich Sydneysiders and local stars, now grace the red carpets of tinsel town. Do I think he's a bit of a elitist (insert unsavoury word) who thinks it's ok to permanently wear sunglasses atop his bald shiny head.

I still must give him cudos for his talent, beautiful gowns and this very unique image he has created for himself.

Sass & Bide

Two fantastically talented career women and the best part - they were schooled in Brisbane! See - I told you it has potential! Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke are the girls behind this iconic label and oh what a pair they make.

They have had collaborations with Top Shop, graced New York catwalks and dressed the likes of fictional Carrie Bradshaw.

You can buy Sass & Bide on net-a-porter surely that's mark enough to count yourself amongst the big leagues.

Again, they aren't my cup of tea - their clothing silhouettes and muchos modern lines simply don't suit me. Don't get me started on their famous perfect jeans - I love the look of them but rather disappointingly my legs refuse to say yes to them.

But when girls across Australia and the globe confidently strut their stuff in S&B you can't help but shoot a second look. I always thought the brand celebrated the independence and confidence of women, a celebration of all things powerful and daring and for that I more than respect the brand.

They made it and they are surely here to stay.

Lisa Ho

Ma asian sister! She's funky, she's timeless - she's opulent and feminine - I'm behind her talent all the way. And by the reads of it - she lives one perfect little life!

She boosted her career at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games where her designs were showcased as part of the opening ceremony.

Again, her evening wears are more than stunning and you can't help but skip a breath.

Dion Lee

He's lesser known than all the rest but he deserves the attention of millions. Young, eager to push the boundaries of creativity with his distinctly modern designs and simply lovable.

Winner of this year's Australian Woolmark award (see picture for his winning number) - a prestigious award that focuses on outstanding wool designs.

Congratulations Mr Lee - you've only just begun!

Other notable mentions: Toni Maticevski, Zimmerman and Romance was Born.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

TT: Indulge Me

There's nothing like a day off work to stay at home in your pajamas, a little baking and a little couch potatoing.

So I got my masterchef on (literally) and whipped up a recent dish from one of the remaining contestants.

As we all know there are a number of marriages I approve of - the big one is the uncontestably perfect combination of chocolate and orange. So naturally I was compelled to bake this baby.

A quick and extremely easy to work with chocolate pastry, a decadently sinfully dark chocolate mousse filling and I wonderful scent of orange caramel and fresh oranges. Oh my the kitchen was smelling good today!

Serve it with some fresh whipped cream, mascarpone or ice cream; ooze on some more of that orange caramel like the masterchef you're pretending to be and you are in for some rich and wonderfully indulgent dessert - just don't go eating the whole thing!

Hope you enjoy the snaps.

O, and isn't it wonderful - this is a down right proper TT post! I'm back in gear and I'm all full in the tummy. Too much chocolate for me today! Wait, what am I saying - there is never enough chocolate for me.


Sunday, 15 July 2012

SS: What's Happening Brisbane?

I'm being Brisbane and I'm being awesome! Is what it would say if it could talk.

Seriously though my little home city is brewing with excitement.

This happened many a week ago but I felt like it still needed to be documented.

Don't scold me - because I know if I were you I would be shouting at screen this exact question: "Soooo Alicia you couldn't find the time to sit down and blog and yet you found the time to go out with your friends and take lovely photos of Brisbane?"

Weeelll.... the very unsatisfactory answer to that is yes, sorry, I was being selfish - I'm often being selfish.

Anyway, a month and a bit ago Brisbane was a light with things to see, places to visit and events full of culture and delight.

All in one Friday night this happened:

Theatre Anywhere: Literally! Amongst the busy city streets along comes five eager young stars, a sign is erected and a small amateur play begins amongst the crowd. Strangers crowd to hear the talent, people stop for there's something new. Just Fabulous!

Pop Up Paniyiri: A mini Greek celebration!

Live Music along the river, big blue comfy as hell bean bags - well I must say that's one lovely way to spend an afternoon.

And random.... Fruit Ninja competition? Let us not question, because that's awesome!

in its' own way, it's a beautiful little corner of the world.

All this culture and celebration is excelling at full speed - Brisbane's waking up from a very long sleep.

Much more to come in the following months - Brisbane festival will be in full swing, Regional flavours will delight the tastebuds and whatever else little Brissy can do it will.


Friday, 13 July 2012

FF: It's a Little Bit Fancy

Keeping on the track of bucket lists while incorporating fabulous fashion - I pray for the day I have my very own Burberry trench coat, I covet that Hermes Birkin bag, stroll into Oscar de la Renta and walk out with a bespoke gown, be on the call list for fashion weeks, sit front row in New York, be friends with Mr Jacobs, dine with Mr Ford...

I cannot go past quality when it comes to fashion. Yes, I have a couple of cheap bits and bobs and I have a few chain store items but I judge harshly. I like to think I am a pretty savvy shopper. I know what to look for in chain stores. Very often you find well made pieces of higher quality in the same store. I'm on a shoestring budget, and will be for the very foreseeable future so sadly for me high end fashion is a no go zone. Yes on the very very rare occasion I have splurged on Collette Dinnigan, Marc Jacobs and Chloe and I caress these pieces daily but I'm usually on the floor below. My wardrobe lovingly consists mostly of Australian designers and higher end chain stores.

Why buy something for $20 when it will last you a year tops over $300 dress that will last your whole lifetime and then some. That word the magazines love to use - Investment! I believe them, I'm a sucker for the notion that what I have bought is so worth it for it will bring me joy, it will be passed on to the next generation, it will make my life a better place. I know, silly isn't? Yet somehow it comforts me.

I'm going to have to put my wardrobe in my will or else my family might just throw it in the charity bin. Yes, those in need might hit jackpot, but they wouldn't appreciate the quality - they just want something to keep them warm. Whereas friends and family members should understand its' significance. Or maybe I have become some sort of editor, writer or pure amazingness - maybe then when my wardrobe is a designer whore, maybe then I can donate it to some sort of museum.... I told you I can dream.

I am a little bit fancy, and I often like those little pleasures that come with luxury goods and yet very often I loathe the upper class and their materialistic ways. Somewhere, there must be a medium ground.

Anyway, it is clear I'm babbling on, so I'll restrain and willingly say adieu till next time.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wednesday Ramble

I've done it again - broken the rules, repeated the same mistakes and for that I am sorry. But nevertheless we shall endear and I shall keep being little old unreliable me for a while.

Yesterday, I was feeling a little under the weather and felt sorry for myself under my blanket and comfort of tea and TV shows. Today, I have decided to indulge with some of the thoughts that tumbled amongst my idle day.

My bucket list. We all have one of some loose description I'm sure. Mine could go on centuries past my expiry date and I'm not too morbid and selfish that I have sat down with pen and paper numbering off my list. But what I have done is thought about it from time to time.

Almost all my bucket list concerns travel. I've been lucky enough to see many of the places I've wanted to see and yet there are still countless places on the must travel list -

Go to Rio Carnival

Throw tomatoes at La Tomatina

Travel to my favourite English stately homes

Go on some sort of Jane Austen pilgrimage

The Bronze horseman pilgrimage

See Washington DC - tour of the White House

Stay at the Ritz, London

Taj Mahal, India, African safari, Christ the Redeemer, pyramids of Giza

See the Aurora Borealis

Sit in Red Square

Go on a gondola in Venice (yes, I have already been to Venice but felt it inappropriate to take a romantic gondola ride)

See the grand canyon, niagra falls, St Petersburg, Greece, Hadrian's Wall, Ireland, The Kimberley in my own country, travel the Amazon and sit on the Seychelles.

Then there are more simple things -

Read all the books I've always wanted to read

Watch the top 100 movies of all time (well, maybe the top 50)

Walk through one of those gigantic hedge mazes

Make an awesome cake for a celebration

Eat at Noma, The Fat Duck and any Jamie Oliver restaurant

There are things outside of my little comfort zone -

Climb a mountain

Hike up Machu Picchu


Go to the airport and hop on the next available flight - that one is a big one on my list and I will be one extremely happy camper when that day comes along.

Fly in a helicopter

Difficult things that require discipline, money and whatever else -

Learn to speak another language - Spanish, Italian, Chinese

Complete a Summer literature course at Cambridge

Fly first class

Be a published writer

Teach English in a developing country

Be able to say I am a successful woman in whatever I might become

Then there are things I keep to myself - whether they be utterly frivolous, shallow or slightly inappropriate.

Sometimes I think it is pointless to think about this list because in terms of travel there are few places I do not want to go - ok, so takeaway the dangerous no go zones of the world I'm an open notebook just waiting to be filled.

That is just the tip of my list and I'm sure I've forgotten some big ones.

I think it is more than healthy to list these kind of things for yourself - it keeps you sane and it gives you something to strive toward, something to look forward to.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

SS: Aussie Charm

I wouldn't normally put those two words together but Melbourne does have somewhat of a charm.

It's a little old London town hip, a dash of New York atmosphere and every bit Australian cool. Here are a few more snaps of a city I could most certainly see myself living -

St Kilda Pier - despite the chilling wind, St Kilda is a wonderful little area filled with the charm that comes complete with seaside breeze and carefree days. Don't forget Luna Park, quaint cafes and crafty markets, spotting the little penguins amongst the rocks - this is a lovely place to visit -

As I keep on preaching Melbourne knows how to do public art -

The too cool it hurts interior of yet another hipster cafe -

I'll write you on Tuesday where God willing, I get off my backside and cook something.


Friday, 6 July 2012

FF: Melbourne Chills

Definitely south of home with all that cool winter breeze and crisp air. I love the cold - I thrive in the cold. While others rug up under their blankets and look grim in their layers, I am smiling and I am blessing my favourite kind of weather.

I'm rather sorry I took very little street style shots, so for today and SS I'm going to stretch the terms a little further.
It will be a selection of sights and a couple of people here and there. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a city without snapping away at every corner - plus how was I to shop without both hands :)

Since it is Fashion Friday I'll let you in on a not so secret secret - Melbourne is fantastic for shopping! Outlets, amazing shopping malls, wonderful little boutiques, laneways filled with charming small business, markets of all sorts and bargains to sink your teeth in to. I went a little bit frock crazy (no surprises there) and I snatched up a few Alannah Hill dresses for an obscenely low amount - it did get me thinking though - Alannah, you really do get quite a profit!

Awww look at this wintery dog -

Just chilling in the park -

I thought the hipsters in Brisbane were already cool - Melbourne brings a whole new ball game to the world of hipsters. With all these hidden laneways, graffiti alleys and general cool this demographic of young, slightly alternative, cool and collected dominates the town.

One of the many wonderfully character filled laneways. Brisbane is trying its little heart out to revitalise our forgotten laneways and I have faith it will make it - give it a couple of years Brisvegas might just say hello world.

Finally got to wear my leather pants from America!

I've got a few more street snaps of dear of Melbs and then back to the simplicities of Brisbane - I know, I'm a little sad too.

And just because I can here's another President Bartlett quote -

"Words when spoken out loud for the sake of performance are music. They have rhythm and pitch and timbre and volume. These are the properties of music and music has the ability to find us and move us and lift us up in ways that literal meaning can't"