Friday, July 31, 2009

Hottest 100..?

Um, I know this was a few weeks ago, but what was with the serious lack of females on this list?!?

I should admit that I didn't vote - I had heard about Triple J's Hottest 100 Of All Time on the car radio, each time making a mental not to vote when I got home, and each time completely forgetting.

So here are my Top Ten Female Musicians Of All Time (or my favourites, at least. I can't believe not one of them made it into JJJ's list!), with links to favourite song of theirs:

1) Björk
2) Róisín Murphy
3) Billie Holiday
4) Nina Simone
5) Tori Amos
6) Elizabeth Fraser (of The Cocteau Twins)
7) Beth Orton
8) PJ Harvey
9) Siouxsie Sioux
10) Kate Bush <--this one's for my own Baboushka, of course ;-)

Rock on, ladies.

Monday, July 27, 2009

6 months

Well well, my little sprite, you're half a year old :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

It's been a while since I posted a recipe, so here is an enduring favourite and winter must-bake:

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding


* 1 cup self-raising flour
* 2 Tbs cocoa
* 3/4 cup sugar
* pinch salt
* 1 cup milk
* 2 Tbs vegetable oil
* dash of vanilla essence
* chopped walnuts (optional)

For the sauce:

* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup cocoa
* 2 cups hot water


1) Sift flour and cocoa into mixing bowl; add sugar and salt, mix;

2) Make a well and pour in milk, oil and vanilla; add walnuts if using; place pudding mixture into oven-proof baking dish (I mix the ingredients in a large oven-proof bowl, to limit washing up hassles);

3) Mix together sauce ingredients (I mix the dry first and slowly add the water, so the cocoa doesn't clump together); pour onto the back of a spoon over the pudding mix;

4) Bake in a moderate oven (about 180 degrees Celsius?) for 45-55 minutes (a knife inserted should come out relatively clean, but remember there is chocolate sauce at the bottom). Dust with icing sugar for extra la-dee-dah factor.

*n.b. This pudding goes well with good vanilla ice-cream...or even better with pouring cream.

(Image via Google, as my puddings never stick around long enough to be photographed...)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oh, and...

...for our suburban forest frolics, I was dressed thusly:

vintage silk scarf: Liberty
Tee: AA
vintage waistcoat: belonged to mum
skirt: thrifted

Garden galavanting

We've been having some particularly gorgeous weather in the old 'Gong the last few weeks - perfectly clear, sunny days that are warm enough to get about in a t-shirt, while the nights are cold enough to warrant seriously cosy measures like steaming hot soup, chocolate pudding and watching Weeds under a blanket.

Last Wednesday, Baboushka and I took full advantage of the glorious day outside and journeyed to the local Botanical Gardens, where I practiced using Pat's la-dee-dah camera:

I can't live without...

Wonderful, dear Amanda of L-Plates recently had the inspired idea to do a 'Things I Can't Live Without' weekly segment, and last week I was up! Go and check out Amanda's blog, and, in case you're interested, have a geeze at the things I deem necessary to keep my sanity in check ;-)

Amanda, you rock, your family is the sweetest, I adore reading your blog and I'm so glad to have had the pleasure of meeting you...virtually, at least ;-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Buh-bye, No-Buy

And, just like that, No-Buy July ended.

I don't even have a decent excuse. I didn't even try particularly valiantly to resist the lure of consumerism. Very, very poor of me. I have the sneaking feeling that I am one of those personality know, the one who is drawn to doing something only when they are not actually supposed to be doing it. In which case, a Go-on-a-mad-buying-spree July would have been more apt.

Anyway, Pat and I went shopping today, ostensibly for new work shirts for him (he wasn't bound by No-Buy July's rules), and ended up buying three big bags of tea from T2 and two pairs of shoes and a pair of thongs (in winter. I know) for me. I reasoned that the tea was consumable and thus within the No-Buy July guidelines, but the footwear was new. And amazingly cheap - $34 for two pairs of slip-on boating-type shoes and a pair of Champagne-coloured Havaianas.

Okay, that's my confession. It's pretty sad that I found it so hard! Here are the things I'll take from this little episode:

* keeping one day a week a Buy-Nothing day - not even food. This means I'll have to be organised and make sure we have the things we need in advance, or go without;

* not buying takeaway hot beverages;

* not buying bottled beverages;

* I'm going to attempt to keep a one-thing-in, one-thing-out rule. If I bring something new into the house (food and basic toiletries being the exception), I need to take something out - old clothes to the op-shop, other useful items to charity, etc.

These, I think I can manage...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Snow hat

Up to Bowral we went on Sunday. To the charmingly ramshackle farmhouse of one of Pat's aunts to eat sponge cake and date scones. Baboushka had a lovely time with her cousins (well, second cousins, but really..), and we stayed toasty inside while gazing at the cold, dry fields outside. Actually, it wasn't that cold (hence flimsy blouse)...but my snotty nose made it seem that way..

Mohair beanie: vintage, thrifted
Top: from mum (think she wore it as a bridesmaid to one of her sisters' wedding?)
Skirt: secondhand Country Road, Smith Family
Riding boots: secondhand, eBay

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oooh, an award!

Wow! Lovely Angel from Vintage Angel has given me a blog award! Thank you, Angel :-) There are a couple of rules that go with it:

* Copy the logo and place it on my own blog
* Link it back to the person who gave it to me
* Pass it on to five fellow bloggers (I'm living dangerously and giving eight)
* List 10 things about myself

I would like to pass this award on to some of my absolute favourite bloggers:

Ballarat Vintage Style

Hippie on the Inside
fat mum slim
Vintage Stories

1) My obsession with all things 1920's gives me the distinct feeling of having been born 80 years too late;

2) I drink tea every day, without fail;

3) I've been an artist's model for three years now and it's one of my favourite jobs so far;

4) I don't play any instruments but I'm quite the whistler;

5) My pet hates include systemic functional grammar, leaf blowers and people who litter;

6) I'd quite like a reptilian pet, like a carpet python or an iguana;

7) Current obsessions include travelling all over Europe under the guise of it being a 'linguistic pilgrimage';

8) I wish my hair was naturally curly and red;

9) If I had to name something I collect, I'd say vintage silk scarves. But it's not a very big collection;

10) I have about 100 courses/diplomas/classes/etc that I want to do 'one day'. Maybe I not-so-subconsciously miss being a full-time student and am trying to find a way to keep living the dream...

The Buzz

I am not known for my analogies. Or rather, I am known for how very, very bad they are. A few months ago, searching for a unique and inspired way to tell one of my friends how much I missed him, I asked Pat for a decent analogy. His suggestion? "I miss you more than the moon misses Buzz Aldrin". Perfect! I yelled. Not least because my friend and I address each other by lunar-inspired nicknames.

Tonight, amid the 'buzz' (heehee!) surrounding the 40th anniversary of the moon landing (a name I've always considered odd, given it was the moon that was landed on...but, uh, no matter), I was thrilled to see what Buzz himself has been up to:

I have already listened to this three times, and I predict at least two more replays before I go to bed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


In other news, I'm a bit poorly today. Pat's been sick with a cold all week and now I've got it. Bouh :-(

Here's an outfit post from about a month ago that I completely forgot to put up:

Friday, July 17, 2009

On a crafty mission...

I've been feeling crafty lately, and, it being No-Buy July and all, of course I'm itching to start new projects. Which all invariably involve some sort of purchase. So first I pout, then make a cup of tea, and then have a think about the projects I currently have in the pipeline and that need finishing. And being the kind of person who tends to start things with vigour and then never finish them, I have plenty of half-finished little enterprises lying around.

Like this embroidery! My grandmother, who claims that she never would've gotten around to finishing it herself, gave me this tablecloth to finish. True to form, I started diligently back in January, as a way to pass the long, hot days while I waited for the imminent arrival of our little Baboushka. And as soon as she popped out, so did my motivation for anything arts and crafts.

Until now :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bibs are not just for babies...

I've always adored big, outrageous necklaces (especially ons with with ribbon ties!) and I fell hard for Alber Elbaz's recent enamel and plexiglass confections for Lanvin:

A few months ago, one of my favourite bloggers, The Glamourai, wrote a diy post on making a bib necklace. Naturally, my brain shouted "Sign me up!" for this particular project. And, of course, it's all I can think about now that it's No-Buy July. Gargh!

Come August 1, I'll be in one of three places: either a) sprawled on the bed, sorting through old bits of vintage costume jewellery that I bought for the sheer cheapness but never wear, b) bottom firmly planted to this seat, browsing eBay for yet more cheap paste jewellery, or c) haunting op-shops in search of sparkly candy.

Watch this space ;-)

Sibling times!

Even though I miss my brothers like mad when I or any of them are living far away, the rad times and crazy hijinks we enjoy when all four of us are together are worth it. I love them to bits and I'm lucky that three of us are currently in the same neighbourhood, and our fourth brother is only a cheap flight away in Brisbane.

He was down for the week and it was lovely, and the icing on that cupcake was that two of his housemates, fabulous Irish girls, came along as well! We all went out on Friday night, I had a few cheeky beers (not sure how that fits in with No-Buy July, but I reasoned that they were food) and we caught up for brunch in the park the next morning.

(Chatting to pram-riding, park-ready Baboushka)

Baboushka's uncles took her on the slippery dip and the Irish girls sang her songs while I enjoyed my coffee, buttery fruit toast and vanilla-malt milkshake. Hence my dress-over-jeans combo - I tend to over-indulge when I go to our local bakery and this was one of my favourite pregnancy dresses ;-)

long-sleeved tee: Country Road, thrifted
vintage cotton dress: eBay
jeans: sass&bide, secondhand from eBay
belt: thrifted


If I were to answer that ridiculous, yet for some reason, ubiquitous question, "What's your favourite colour?", my answer would be turquoise. But really, my love of blue-green hues extends from darkest Midnight Green, through viridian, jade, aquamarine, celadon all the way to the palest shade of seafoam. I knew PAt was the man for me when he got me the above Pantone mug for my birthday (and, because hot beverage enthusiasts can never have too many mugs, I later purchased this one to keep 337C company).

So, along just about everyone with a passing interest in fashion in blogland, I was immediately enamoured of Karl Lagerfeld's latest collection for Chanel:

For probably the first time ever I even noticed the models' nail colour. I was briefly tempted to hunt down a similar shade for my own talons, which is unheard of for me (I will never reconcile myself to nailpolish. Or most makeup, for that matter). I also loved the pale shell pink (also unheard of - poor Baboushka is often mistaken for a baby boy as she's so rarely in pink).

Sometimes I wonder if, when starting each new collection, Karl et al simply pull a crayola out of a hat. And then sit back and laugh when they see us wearing it..

Friday, July 10, 2009

Personal Style Challenge - Version LBD

Ella has come up with a new spin on the Polyvore Personal Style Challenge - the Little Black Dress version!

When it comes to the Little Black Dress, I'd splash out and go for something unashamedly sexy, while still maintaining a bit of old-school glamour. For me this means tousled, come-hither hair, liquid liner, a tight-but-not-too-short dress and some ridiculously gorgeous, green-feathered shoes.

Speaking of the hair, I'm not really one for Vogue but have you seen this editorial with Aussie model Abbey Lee Kershaw?

Pencil skirts and cute tees as retro Riviera chic? Wow. I officially miss summer..

Thursday, July 9, 2009

No-Buy July - Week 2: Anger, Bargaining

Even though July only started last Tuesday, I am embarrassed to admit that it's already making me cranky. We had Stage One: Denial last week when I was completely ignorant to the fact that July had already started, and had a little op-shop frenzy. Eeep.

I recently went through Stage 2: Anger. Suddenly I was reminded of all the things I want to buy, whether I 'need' them (new trainers, more socks) or not (vintage summer dresses despite the fact that it's currently winter - I blame the likes of Strawberry Koi and other lovely vintage bloggers!). Plus, I have two birthday presents to buy - one for my brother Mont, the other for Pat. Both want gadget-y things for their computers, which I may or may not be able to find secondhand.

I seem to have arrived at Stage 3: Bargaining, and, in the interest of preserving my sanity, I have declared this a Compacting July, whereby I abstain from buying anything new and/or unnecessary. So food-type groceries are allowed, as are a present each for Pat and Mont, and if Baboushka has one of her radioactive growth-spurts I'll source baby clothes from the op-shop.

No-Buy July has not been all denial and crankyness, however; I have banned myself from a purchasing a number of things, like takeaway coffees and food in packets like oats and rice, and I will continue my prohibition of these items even after July is over. We're lucky to have a local shop where we can buy things like pulses, nuts and cereals by weight and bring them home in our own containers (we use the giant glass jars of artichoke hearts we get from the same shop), and there's a co-op at the university that does this as well.

It's so much nicer to shop at these places than at Coles or Woolies, as well. Last week I had a great conversation at the nut shop with a guy who'd studied French at Berkeley - he wanted to know if I thought wearing hats would make him look 'rakish' - and the ladies who work there are quite enamoured of Baboushka. Plus, they stock Samir's falafel and sahlep. I love Samir's!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Well, we're pretty much famous

Who could have guessed that an idle bit of sartorial time-occupying could have grown, mushroom-like, into the Polyvore Personal Style Challenge?! Lovely, gorgeous Mademoiselle Lady Finger has just informed me that we even made it onto Polyvore's blog! There are over 100 sets, that's pretty darned exciting.

Speaking of travel jealousy! Lucky Cat of Impossible Colour's cute outfit for a Parisian sojourn ;-)

It's amazing (and heartening! Thank goodness for individuality) to see how much variation there is between people's choices. To everyone who has played, will play or is playing, thank you!

Airport hijinks

I do love me a jaunt to the airport (yesterday it was to pick up brother Monty), even if it makes me pine for world-wide travel (not to mention the indulgent feeling of padding about in socks on the plane!). So, how to avoid Envy's cold, green claws? Wear something sprightly and sweet!

tweed cap: Salvo's
silk scarf: Liberty, secondhand eBay
wooden bead necklace: thrifted
top: Kookai, gift from mum
skirt: American Apparel, also gift from mum (thanks, Ma!)
tights: who knows?
men's boots: secondhand eBay

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh, Róisín!

I can't quite think what went through my mind when I purchased this on a whim a few weeks ago:

It was probably around the witching hour, I was probably feeding Baboushka and browsing eBay at the same time, sleep and sanity were probably lacking. But I have a sneaking suspicion that this fine lady may have had something to do with it:

Róisín! You crazy, tight-sweatered minx, you! Of course I would have seen a picture of you sporting a futuristic confection from Gareth Pugh and come to the conclusion that I needed something similar!

So, while scanning eBay for well-priced (ie, under $20), hardy jackets to shield me from winter's impending chill, a cherubic, winged-Róisín appeared up on my right shoulder. On the other shoulder, a drab, beige-clad, clip-board-wielding Róisín popped up. And, well, Angel Róisín won.

It arrived a few days ago (with a heart-decorated note from a friendly, anonymous neighbour, saying it had landed on his/her doorstep last month. Thanks, neighbour!). I feel kind of like a futuristic matador from the Wild West when I wear it, so it probably won't be as versatile as I'd been hoping for in a jacket. But it fits p.e.r.f.e.c.t.l.y and makes me feel like a kooky Irish singer, so practicality be damned!