April 14, 2014

Blog Society: Terrarium Workshop

Do you really need an excuse to play in the dirt? 

Not really so when my clever gal pal Jenny showed up one night for a BBQ and revealed some pics of a kick ass terrarium she had created as a birthday gift a light bulb moment happened. Now this wasn't Jenny's first time creating a terrarium (she's been the terrarium queen for ages) so after a few glasses of wine, we collectively decided that a workshop was needed and began to plan immediately. When it comes to workshops lately the ideas are plenty and I can get tunnel vision mighty fast. I'm pretty sure we had the event figured out and tickets on sale within a few days. Boom, this was actually going to happen. 

This is the kind of stuff I love. Fun, creative and oh so random classes that bring people together. The best part? Being able to team up with my friend to host it. Oh and did I mention there was also wine and cheese? Yes it was like the perfect event and despite a crazy week of running around, Jenny's strange but wonderful visits out West to source the succulents, and a few broken fish bowls, our first Terrarium Workshop was a huge hit. We even had Jen's sister, Sal make an appearance to teach us some macrame which I've yet to master but have a feeling will be completely addictive (warning to anyone reading this back home, this year's Christmas presents undoubtedly will involve some sort of terrarium/macrame combo).  So that's where a lot of my time has been spent this crazy month of April but worth everything minute of planning.  More (official) photos can be found here and do enjoy the ones of me looking completely perplexed and ridiculous - they are as always there to amuse.

April 9, 2014

A Birthday Escape to Whale Beach

The absolute sheer beauty of where we live is not lost on me.  

Life is good and for that I am grateful. So grateful it can sometimes border on guilt - guilt for not being able to scoop my family up and have them experience this beauty through their own eyes. That instead of shovelling snow or dealing with the grey Boston winter they can experience the magic of an Australian summer, that my nieces could be able to play by my side in water so clear that I have to remind myself that I'm not on permanent vacation. There is so much beauty where I grew up, so many wonderful experiences that I miss daily but I've realised lately the need to understand and appreciate the privilege I have in living in such a stunning country.

It was Jimmy's recent 30th birthday that reminded me to always be full of gratitude. I love birthdays. I'm not a huge advocate of my own celebrations, that attention I'd gladly have focused elsewhere but I love to celebrate others and in this case it was a big milestone. After a dinner with his parents on the actual day and a night celebrating at the pub with friends I had arranged a surprise getaway for the beloved birthday boy. Our weekend started out with a well deserved couples massage at the Four Seasons (which let's face it was more of a gift for myself than for him but who's counting. It's the thought that counts right?) before heading up the coast to an incredible place I scored on Airbnb at the last minute. It was just a studio apartment but felt as if we were worlds away from any care in the world. We swam at the beach, he surfed, I read books, strolled into Palm Beach and secretly wished we never had to leave. We listened to the waves crash below, drank champagne, slept soundly and toasted to a new decade and new adventures that are just around the corner. Happy birthday my love, so grateful for you, always. 

April 6, 2014

Girls Night Out: Cookbook Club

I've wanted to be a in book club my entire life. The only thing better? Cookbook club.  So instead of actually reading a book we cook recipes from a chosen cookbook and spend the night feasting off delicious courses and amazing cocktails.  After months of talking about the idea we finally got around to gathering this weekend and the night was a huge success, ending with full bellies that can only be compared to post-Thanksgiving bliss. Next time I'm wearing elastic waist pants.

Ness and her lovely roommate Emma hosted the first event and we all made recipes from Karen Martini's Everyday cookbook and a few favourites from Donna Hay. I was in charge of mojitos and happily ate my body weight in roasted pork belly, a mozzarella salad to die for and equal servings of homemade apple pie and baked ricotta cheesecake. I came home on Saturday night barely able to move and happily crashed on the couch, catching up on Downton Abbey while Jimmy was at band practice. It was the by far the best meal I've had in ages and we're already planning the next one. Trust me, ditch book club and say hello to cookbook club, you'll never look back.

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