Monday, April 30, 2012
From Blue Illusion - The Emilie bag is made from beautifully gorgeous soft leather and at $279.95 I actually think it's fantastic value. It's gigantic - the perfect size for hauling around baby books, Sophie La Giraffe, nappies and dozens of bebe toys. And perhaps my wallet and keys. Both the blue and pink are lovely.
Tory Burch is definitely my kind of style - but it only comes in black and white and tan. I don't really need another black bag (especially as my imaginary Chloe is black) but I'm not really a white leather kind of girl. Perhaps it's time to add a brown bag to the collection?
Grand Street Gabriel is a great colour (marine blue) and it's chief advantage is the series of pockets inside. Plenty or storage and lots of room for everyone's - erm - stuff...
Maybe I need a new metallic handbag? The Poppy from Coach would certainly fit the bill. Although it's not as roomy as some of the other bags here, I do love me a great silver bag... And it's got great texture...
So many options! Maybe instead I need to find a really cool leopard bag... Any suggestions?
Sunday, April 29, 2012
We fly out to the US this week and today I had a slight panic attack. I haven't got a list, I haven't even thought about what to pack for the little bird. And I have just days to get organised.
Last time we took her away, we took everything. Literally. Everything. The metaphorical kitchen sink, although in this case it was the baby's bath.
This time is a little different. We aren't driving there (clearly) and although we have a somewhat generous luggage allowance, I'm not taking the baby bath this time.
Last time, I made a list with hundreds of items on it. I started planning weeks in advance. This time I have less time.
In the past when we would go overseas I'd pack a few days in advance. Just toss items into the suitcase (almost literally) and get on the plane. With a baby, it's not that easy.
Having said that, we are going to the US. The home of consumerism. So long as we take the basics, we should be okay. We can buy everything there. That is somewhat reassuring, but I still think I will drag the suitcases out in the morning.
Just to make a start.
Anyone have any advice for our first overseas trip with baby?
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
But I have to say it's a very expensive habit. I'm fortunate enough that Mr K and my parents have been very generous in funding much of my collection over the past four years but it's something that will take a long time to finish. I do love beautiful, elegant things and Limoges porcelain fits the bill to a tea (boom tish).
But if you want the Limoges look on a slightly cheaper budget, Miss Kitty can certainly help you out there.
Cristina Re, the celebrated wedding invitation designer, has a great selection of teapots, cups and tea accessories that mimic the vintage classic look of Limoges without the eye watering price tag.
Take, for example, this teapot:
The Limoges version at Malmaison is $415. At Peters of Kensington, it's $412. It's even more expensive at The Bay Tree.
The Cristina Re version is just $39.95. Less than 10% of the cost of the Limoges.
Now, there are obvious differences. The Re version is not hand made in France. It's chunkier and not as fine and it's certainly not porcelain. The cups and saucers are quite heavy, as is the teapot. But for sheer value for money and style, it can't be beaten.
Now, personally I do prefer the Limoges but when you consider the amount of money you have to invest to collect a set it certainly makes the Cristina Re versions seem quite reasonable, despite their flaws. I'm not in the market for a new teapot (well...) but if I was, the Cristina Re version would be at the top of my list.
In fact, I purchased the cake stand from the Re range this afternoon (from Sussans, donchaknow). Limoges don't make a stand, and for $50 it was very good value! It fits into my collection quite nicely, thankyouverymuch.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Oh goodness - how divine is this coat? I adore it - so pretty. And the most gorgeous colour. So very very very tempted.
I haven't bought much from Jigsaw these past few years but I almost want everything in their entire store this season. Loving the amethyst and emerald hues and the old world sharp tailoring. Very chic, very me.
On the other hand, there is always this option:
Arrgghhh! Also gorgeous!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Dearest Baby G,
How the last six months have flown. It seems like yesterday we brought you home from hospital and now look at us: not only are thriving, you are turning into a beautiful little girl with such a personality. Your sweet little face is always smiling - your lips turned up in an impish grin and your eyes permanently crinkled with glee. You are so beautiful.
Your latest accomplishment is sitting on your own. It's something that has happened in the last few days and you are so pleased with yourself and your newest trick. It delights us so to watch you engage with your toys from a different angle - everything old is new again. Your desire to move around is not hampered by the fact you can't crawl. You simply roll to wherever you want to be.
You love your cats so much - it's a delight to watch your face light up when they come into view. Millie is your particular favourite, always welcoming of a pat or a cuddle, although gentle is a word that still has to be learned. Max gives you a wide berth but I'm sure it won't be long before he succumbs to your charms.
You are getting very vocal - lots of yabbering away all day (and sometimes throughout the night). We are beginning to understand what you want. Most of the time it's what we won't let you have: our phones, lunch, water glasses... You love being read to and often add your own commentary to books. Your particular favourite is "Where is the green sheep?".
Speaking of water, you are still our little dolphin. You adore splashing about in the bath and playing with your duck collection. We can't wait to take you for your first swim very soon.
Food continues to be a delight for everyone in the family. Your favourite foods are quite firmly mango, pear, rice cereal and pumpkin, with plum, sweetcorn and sweet potato next on the list. Avocado is quite good but cauliflower and banana were big fails, as was plain potato. Peas you didn't care for but yoghurt is a new found passion of yours. You are quite fond of rusks and love to drink water from a cup. As far as you are concerned, sippy cups are for babies, not big grown up girls like you. We are slowly trying to introduce chicken but it's gritty texture isn't quite to your fancy. It's a work in progress.
Over the past few weeks we have been introduced to the delights of teething. You now have two little sharp teeth which was worth the grumpiness and interrupted sleep. You are very proud of your new acquisitions, showing them off to anyone and everyone.
Over the next six months we have a lot of travel planned: after surviving our first road trip to visit Granny and Tonka and your great aunt in Adelaide, we are off to the US in a few weeks and then Europe in September. You'll be a part of the international jetset before you can walk.
Dearest girl, you continue to be the sunshine in our lives. Everyday is filled with laughter and joy. We wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that life is perfect but the good days outweigh the bad tenfold. And the bad times just make the good times more special and wonderful. We are constantly reminded of how lucky and privileged we are to be your loving parents.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Aren't they divine? Not even remotely what I was anticipating buying but they are so very pretty. They are $388 which is kinda pricey but they are just fabulous. And they look comfy.
Plus Saks has $19.99 International shipping at the moment (read: ridiculously cheap).
Very very tempted right now...
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
One of her regular "investments" is Chie Mihara. She admits they are ridiculously expensive, but for someone who used to buy Miu Mius and Louboutins with frightening regularity, the price does not concern me (not overly anyway). Now I am one of those strange beings (someone who favours fit over fashion), I need to find footwear that suits my Mummy lifestyle without sacrificing too much style.
There are a few pairs I have been eying off but I'd like to try on some of her shoes before I take the plunge. If anyone knows where I can do that in Sydney I would be eternally grateful.
Now - on to the eye candy:
Bougan is a lovely orangey red colour with a nice substantial heel. Perfect for all the summer travelling we will be doing this year! I'd love it in a more blue red though.
Vorymar looks nice and neutral but I don't think I'd get a huge amount of wear out of it during the day. It's certainly more an evening sandal.
Xifon has a gorgeous flower on the front - very pretty. But not overly practical...
Nerito is more a solid winter shoe (but it will eventually be winter here you know)... I like the flower on the front (seems to be a recurring theme) and it also comes in black. The red is so pretty though...
So many beautiful options.... If you have an opinion please do let me know.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
How divine is this Valentino jacket?
Not that I'm in the market (nor do they have my size and let's not get started on the impracticality of beige silk whilst spending time around a pumpkin throwing baby) but just marvel for a wee while in the workmanship, the design, that lace trim.
Our Princess Kate would look wonderful in it.
I found it on my new favourite fashion aggregation site FarFetch.com. Divine.
Speaking of divine, I could write a novel on how gorgeous this coat is.
Monday, April 2, 2012
We have booked into the most divine little house for the week - so beautiful. So French. I want to pick it up and transport it directly to our place - I'd love to live there. Built from locally quarried sandstone and overlooking the vines of the Gironde, it's the very best of French life - la belle vie. Beautiful kitchen, four large bedrooms, a swimming pool... Plus vineyards and wineries, local markets, wonderful restaurants - It's going to be a wonderful week!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
My first stop on this adventure was the domestic goddess herself, Nigella. She had a seemingly easy recipe which involved melting the butter and milk, infusing the spices and then mixing in the flour, yeast etc. These buns smelled divine while cooking and looked very artisinal but only tasted good fresh out of the oven. As they cooled they toughened up, rendering them almost inedible a mere 24 hours after baking. I'm not sure if it was that I didn't let them prove long enough but it's not a recipe I'll be repeating. There was also a flat note to the taste, after a while I worked out that it was because there was no salt or sugar in the recipe. It would be vastly improved by the addition of both but that wouldn't change the toughness of the dough.
Not one to be thwarted by a challenge, I went on the hunt for another recipe. I stumbled across this one in the Sydney Morning Herald. It sounded reasonable, if a little plain, but I was willing to give it a go. Poor Mr K offered to take Baby G off my hands while I was mixing and sifting and kneading. I think the lure of a freshly baked spiced and fruited bun had something to do with the offer.
The result? I was really impressed. The buns were tender, yet the crust was robust enough to carry a good slick of butter. Of course, I couldn't help but make some changes to the recipe (noted below) but the end product was delicious. I'd certainly make them again and they are well worth the effort.
Miss Kitty's Favourite Hot Cross Buns (adapted from Wailyn Mar's hot cross buns, from the Blue Ribbon Recipes cookbook)
1 tsp dried yeast
¼ cup sugar
4 cups plain flour
1 ½ cups lukewarm milk
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 tsp cinnamon
Zest of one orange
1 cup raisins (Wailyn uses sultanas and only half a cup)
For the crosses:
3 tblsp plain flour, extra
2 tblsp water
½ tblsp sugar
For the glaze:
1 tbsp sugar, extra
1 tbsp hot water
Lightly grease 18x28cm lamington tin. Mix yeast well with 1 teaspoon each of the sugar and flour, add milk and mix well. Cover and stand in warm place 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is frothy (it took 20 minutes in my cold kitchen and it never really overly frothed).
Sift sugar, flour, salt and spices, rub in butter, toss in orange zest, add egg, raisins and yeast mixture, and knead lightly to ensure ingredients are thoroughly mixed. At this point the dough with be ridiculously sticky and will adhere to everything. You will likely think you got the measurements all wrong but persist and try and bring it all together until it is well mixed. Add a little extra flour if you think it needs it.
Place dough in lightly oiled or buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and clean cloth and stand in a warm place 40 minutes or until dough doubles in bulk (I left it for 1 ¼ hours). Punch dough down, turn out onto floured surface and knead well until smooth and elastic – about 4-5 minutes. Cut into 4 equal pieces then cut each piece into 4, making 16 buns in all – you could make as many as you like but I found this the best way for keeping them even in size. Knead each into a round shape.
Preheat oven to 220C. Put buns in tin and stand in warm place 10 to 15 minutes or until they rise and puff up a little. Make paste by mixing extra plain flour, sugar and water, fill zip lock bag, snip a tiny hole in a corner and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake 10 to 15 minutes (I baked for 20 before they were the requisite burnished golden I desired). Remove from oven and immediately brush with glaze made from mixing extra sugar and hot water.
Cool buns on a wire rack. Consume with copious amount of butter, tea and good company while still warm.
PS: Sydneysiders note that good commercial buns can be bought from Arthur's Bavarian Bakehouse in Pymble, as I discovered on Saturday morning. But nothing tastes as good as homemade ones!