Monday, 15 January 2018

What an Amazing Process...

I recently came across the art of wood-fired pottery on a trip to Perth, Western Australia, I was in awe of the process that transformed a molded piece of clay by days of wood firing into a beautiful pot. Here's a video that illustrates this beautiful process of a jug being molded by hand to being hardened by fire.



Pots are placed in the kiln, where they best fit. Gary Hootman explained to me that glazed pots are placed in the back of the kiln, whereas bare clay pots are placed near the front of the kiln or near the fireboxes.

It's truly amazing that this process can create everything from Whiskey Cups to Teapots, Platters and Pitchers, and Vases that as tall as I am! Some of the more exquisite pieces reminded me of the types of luxury Italian designer furniture you'd see in a 5 star hotel in Sydney.

The kiln gets incredible hot - lucky for me I need to take the kids to swimming lessons, so I might take a quick dip myself while they're in their lesson! With weather like we've had the last few weeks, I'll taken any opportunity I can to submerge myself in any body of water I'll fit in 😂😂

Friday, 22 December 2017

Good food is everything, but cooking sometimes sucks...


Another long day, followed by an exhausting cooking session. Instead of singing along to carols, I’ve been listening to the little Miss and Master whinge. I think I'll pass (out), wouldn't you? There are one hundred other ways I’d rather spend my night. Cooking is definitely not one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking when I’m feeling relaxed, but not when I’m tired and grouchy (though I still do it without complaining).

Let’s face it, I’m no Nigella Lawson (sadly my husband would agree, she’s his number one celebrity crush). But even if I was a culinary goddess, I never look forward to entering the kitchen after a tiring day, unless it’s to get a glass of wine or block of chocolate.

Frankly there’s nothing better than coming home and putting your feet up, without worrying about cooking. As a family, we aim to eat out once a week, though this doesn’t always transpire.

When in Sydney, do as the Sydney-ians do and head to this restaurant in Crows Nest


Occasionally J and I get to escape from the kids enjoy alone time, but not as often as we’d like. There’s a restaurant in Crows Nest that we love to visit, even though it’s a bit of a trek from home! We usually only do this when we’re spending the weekend with family. But it will no doubt become our regular watering hole, if we move closer to Sydney in the future (we’re seriously discussing this...but eh, who knows).

The Monte Alto cafe transforms into a restaurant and bar at night. If you enjoy modern Aussie cuisine, their menu is a perfect fit. Their food is pretty damn good and their drinks menu never fails to give me a buzz. They’re actually known for having one of the largest gin and whisky selections on the North Shore (I can certainly attest to its variety).

I’ve taken the little Master and Miss to Monte Alto for lunch during the day, on a number of weekends. Surprisingly they sit down long enough to finish a good portion of their meals.

They’re major fans of the french toast, which they beg me to make at least once a week. They seem pretty happy with my efforts, but Master usually asks why it tastes so different at the Crows Nest cafe. I think by “different” he means “better”, but he’s too sweet to say. Thanks for sparing my feelings, little man! I raised you well.

As far as other restaurants in Crows Nest go, I haven’t been to many. But if they’re all like Monte Alto, I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone and experiment more. If there’s one thing I hate about dining in Sydney, it’s that so many restaurants feature that expensive “art on a plate” nonsense that barely scrapes the surface of my hunger.

You shouldn’t have that problem at Monte Alto though. I’m pretty impressed by their variety of reasonably priced dishes, which are made from fresh ingredients.

My go-to meal is the Atlantic salmon - which is full of flavour but healthy at the same time. Although I confess, when I'm feeling extra hungry, I'll go for a bowl of the chicken and mushroom fettuccine. They also have a great selection of indulgent desserts, which is a must for chocoholics like me. The Belgian chocolate mousse cake is amazing by the way, I’m salivating at the thought of it right now.

Do you have any favourite restaurants that you recommend? Particularly in Sydney? My troops and I will be spending the Christmas and New Year period with family in Redfern, and we want to try some new places!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Lovely people. Highly recommended

I would not hesitate to recommend these guys to anyone. If you're in the Newcastle area and looking to buy carpet, flooring or blinds, check these guys out:


Probably the best flooring store in Newcastle. Once I stepped into the store I was stunned with the numerous flooring options available. Gone are the days when kitchen flooring meant some cheap and ugly lino. There's some seriously impressive options here for affordable prices.

Factoring my budget into the decision truly helped me find the right match without breaking the bank. Price is obviously an important factor for a family like ours on a tight budget, but I really had to consider all options, meaning the lowest price for the floor that fit our home and lifestyle the best.

They were also extremely knowledgeable about shutters and blinds. I have somewhat of a unique setup at home with different window types, angles, etc (i'm no window expert, but hubby helped me get some measurements) and they were very helpful.

We have some timber venetians at the moment which are fading from the outside sunlight (these windows draw a lot of sunshine during the day) so I wanted something that will last. Dual roller blinds are extremely popular in my circle of friends. The bonus is that if you purchase from a reputable company like these guys, their fabrics are covered under warranty – so this helps minimise the risk in fading. Talk about a lifesaver!

We also discussed fabris of the different types of blinds. I hear that darker colors do give good vision, however lighter colored fabrics reflect more light and thus provide limited vision through them. Pretty cool, huh?

Check out their range of shutters and blinds in Newcastle. I'm thinking venetians for our living spaces, and maybe splurging on some automated shutters too!

After discussing it all, the idea of these dual roller blinds sits really well with us. Does anyone else have experience with them? My only concern is the cables around the kids, but other than that they look pretty good too. Decisions, decisions!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Putting your clothes in good hands

Ok, raise your hands if you’ve had a difficult experience with dry cleaning?

I have, and sadly I’ll never be able to wear one of my favourite outfits again.

I once had the misfortune of smudging wedding cake frosting on a PERFECT dress (alcohol may or may not have been involved *cough*). I won’t name and shame, but the fabric was never the same after my previous dry cleaner got his hands on it. I don’t know what he did, but honestly, it looked better with the cake stain!

I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even insist on getting my money back, because I couldn’t muster the energy to argue with the man at the time (it had been a long day, which is a poor excuse, I know).

And I probably won’t get the chance to exercise my assertiveness muscle any time soon, because I’ve changed drycleaners, after my cousin sang the praises of Maria’s Ironing Services in Sydney.

Maria's Ironing service Sydney

Dry cleaning isn’t really a topic that would excite the average person, but I’m pretty satisfied with the service they deliver. I figure this information could be useful to others who’ve been burnt by clumsy operators (yes Mr Dry Cleaner, I’m talking about you).

So far I’ve taken a few items to Maria’s for altering and they’re now the only service I use if I need delicate fabrics pressed or cleaned. They’re really good at fitting you in at the last minute and having your clothes ready in time. The prices are fairly reasonable too!

I generally drop-off and collect the clothes myself, but I’ve used their pick-up and delivery service once, which was a godsend on that particularly hectic day.

Have you ever had a disastrous dry cleaning experience, or is there an excellent service you recommend? If so, please leave a comment below!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

7 Coffee Articles You Must Read! ☕ Mmmmm... COFFEE!!!

I can't tell a lie – I love my coffee. From a fancy double-shot java brewed with love to a soy latte whipped up by a slick city barista, I love it all! I've gotten into the habit recently of experimenting with new types of coffee and I have to admit its been a delicious adventure!

There's nothing like a great cup of coffee, which is why I've gone into research mode to find MY ideal cup of coffee. I've learnt a lot about coffee beans and production - it's been very interesting. Anyways I found these on Pinterest and thought I should share them with you all!
  1. Coffee pods with its rich taste that would make anybody go gaga over it

  2. Single Origin Coffee-Get Top Quality Packs at an Affordable Price

  3. How Shade Grown Organic Coffee is made

  4. Coffee is perhaps the most popular beverage in the world today. For millions of people around the world, the day does not start until they take one sip from their favourite cuppa.

  5. PURE AND ORGANIC COFFEE FOR MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

  6. Speciality Coffee - Find Top Quality Brands Online At Affordable Pricest

  7. The store sells products made in a particular location, and every pack contains best quality coffee.

Monday, 25 September 2017

I just received fantastic advice!

I just received the best advice for developing a digital marketing strategy that I had to hop on my blog and rave about these guys:


Not I see why they're known as the "#1 Digital Agency in Brisbane, QLD, Australia"

I work full time and am building my own business on the side, which is extremely challenging. Especially the whole "digital marketing part. Between trying to figure out that and raising two energetic kids, I enjoy any downtime I can muster with bubble baths, regular date nights with J and reflecting about life on this here blog.

Any advice which saves me time means more "mum time", bubble baths and date nights with J! 

It's okay to be a little bit selfish, right? 😉

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Marketing Mystery that is Gen Z

I'm helping a friend with a new project that requires marketing to Gen Z. For those of you that don't know, Gen Z is:
Generation Z is the demographic cohort after the Millennials. There are no precise dates for when Generation Z starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use mid-1990s to the mid-2000s - Wikipedia
I came across this tweet online, which helped me out a little.
My previous role had me running all different kinds of marketing campaigns, but I feel my skills are a little out of date. Gen Z are on platforms like Snapchat, and I have absolutely no idea how it works! I downloaded the app to my phone and literally couldn't figure out how to even share an image.

Maybe its time for me to upgrade my skills, eh?