Canberra, Thank You For A Lovely Weekend…

Last weekend we had a lovely time exploring and researching our soon to be new hometown. Here’s few picks to sum up the joy we found…

I have to admit to forgetting my camera on a couple of occasions so some things weren’t captured on film so to speak…like my perfect manicure at Zaija, beautiful brekkies, a to-die-for dinner at the Artisan, a walk along Lake Burley Griffin after visiting the Old Bus Depot Markets, Manuka cafes, shopping and I’m sure much more that has slipped my mind from what was a non-stop weekend!

In Health and Happiness, Dee xxx

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Snapshots of Canberra

A big hello to everyone,  I thought I’d share a few snapshots from my trip to Canberra back in June…enjoy!

Cream cafe for breakfast

Cream Cafe

including the best espresso

espresso form Cream Cafe

The national art gallery

The National Art Gallery

reflections

Exhibition Reflections

afternoon traditional (for Andrew) and chai (for me) hot chocolates

koko black

at koko black

koko black

beautiful sunset skies

Canberra sunset

And lovely trees at night

Manuka Tree

Until we next meet…let yourself be inspired and enriched by all the delights that surround you ♡

Dee xxx

Dine And Wine at Zinc Port Douglas

Last week we went to Zinc for dinner.   I’ve always liked the atmosphere there.  They have a great bar and on one side is a casual seating area for coffee or drinks and tapas that we’ve indulged in once before.  The restaurant is on the other side.  And of course there is the famous tropical fish tank that is the wall between and in the male (so I’m told) and female toilets.

Zinc Fish

This was our first dinner visit and my birthday – 21 by 2, but let’s not dwell on that!!!  We started the evening off with a glass (or 2) of Moet with some very dear friends before heading into Port Douglas to enjoy what turned out to be an absolutely beautiful meal in every sense.  The BEST company, great service, excellent food, a divine bottle of red and a sparkler in my dessert!!! followed by coffee and frangelico.  What more could a girl ask for?

Here’s some pics that I captured on the night…let me know what you think in the comments below.

Merlot…

Merlot

Salmon…

Salmon

Apple and rhubarb crumble…

apple and rhubarb crumble

Espresso and Frangelico…

Espresso and Frangelico

Frangelico on ice with lime…

Frangelico

Happy Times ~ Andrew and me…

Happy Times

Zinc Fish on GlassTo find out more about Zinc Restaurant Port Douglas

visit them on facebook

or check out their website

or call them on 4099 6260.

Until next time…let yourself be inspired, enriched and delighted by lifes little pleasures ♡

Dee xxx

Dinner For Two At The Urban Pantry

As some of you know my husband, Andrew, and I had a little break in late June that included some time in Canberra.  I can’t remember the last time I spent more than an hour or two (having coffee or lunch on our way to the snow) in Canberra but this time we stayed for a few days and it was fabulous…nice hotel, sunny days, shopping and LOTS of eating out!  The Urban Pantry was just one of the fabulous restaurants we went to…

The atmosphere here was just superb and the service matched it.  Rob looked after us on the night and he, along with all the staff were happy, friendly and obviously loving their jobs.

And the menu – it was sooooo hard to choose!

I ordered the braised duck pappardelle and Andrew had coq au vin from the specials board…not much talking going on once they arrived at our table!

Funnily enough there was still room for dessert, after we enjoyed finishing our wine and let our tummys rest!  Frangelico affogato for me and traditional dutch apple dumplings for Andrew.  Delish!

Have you been to the Urban Pantry?  It’s a must do if you live in Canberra or next time you’re passing through make sure it’s on your to-do list.

They are opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner…check it all out on their website and facebook page.

Until next time…let yourself be inspired, enriched and delighted by lifes little pleasures ♡

Dee xxx

Charlotte Pass

Natural beauty, bare trees, big clouds, stunning sunsets, freezing fingers…these are some of the things of think of when I think about Charlotte Pass.  Andrew (my husband for those of you don’t know) and I used to visit the Kosciuszko National Park at least a couple of times a year when we lived in Sydney, now it’s less often but it’s a tradition of ours to drive up to Charlotte Pass just before sunset, cameras in gloved hands to soak up the beauty and hopefully get a few stunning snaps to take home with us.  This last trip in January was no exception and I have to say we were lucky to chose a beautiful evening…here’s a few highlights…

Charlotte Pass

Charlotte Pass

Dee xxx

5 Autumn Must Do’s

I know technically Autumn began a month ago but here in the tropics I always think of April as being the end of summer. It’s when the humidity drops and the rain eases. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief and smiles at the thought of sunny winter days and cool evenings. I live in the hills behind the tropical coast of Far North Queensland where it actually gets very cold at night – we even have a gas fireplace, one of those ones that looks real but doesn’t require any cleaning or firewood!

I’m not a lover of cold weather but this year I have to say I’m dreaming of throwing on a pair of jeans, hot soups and curries and weekends curling up with a good book!  This got me thinking about some Must Do’s for Autumn, so here’s my list of top 5 Autumn Must Do’s…

  1. Recipe retrieval: dig out your favourite recipes for the colder months ahead.  I love making soups… creamy lentil with veggies and pumpkin are two of my favourites.  I always make a big batch and freeze some for easy weekday dinners.
  2. Get your skin ready for winter: book in for a facial or a  full body exfoliation and hydration to get your skin ready for the dry months ahead. If you can’t make it to your favourite spa or salon spend an afternoon at home pampering yourself.
  3. New season wardrobe planning:  take the opportunity to give your winter wardrobe a detox.  Will you really wear that old pair of jeans/shirt/top/whatever again?  If it doesn’t make you feel good when you put it on then throw it out!  Simple!  I don’t buy a lot of clothes these days but every season I think it’s nice to invest in one beautiful thing.  Last winter I indulged in a gorgeous Yoshi Jones wrap dress ~ I still feel a little guilty about the price tag but I LOVE it (as much as you can love a dress that is!) and I feel great when I wear it.  Not sure what this winter’s indulgence is going to be yet but I’m head over heels (excuse the pun!) for these red boots!
  4. Brew some tea: try organic green tea – supercharged with anti-oxidants or perhaps some hibiscus and rose tea – high in vitamin C. Both fantastic for boosting your immune system to help keep those winter flus at bay.Tea
  5. Plan a Winter weekend getaway: book in to your favourite city hotel, discover a country hideaway or escape to the sun ~ Port Douglas is paradise in winter!Sugar Wharf, Port Douglas

Until next time let yourself be enriched by all of life’s delights and if you feel like sharing your Autumn Must Do’s please leave a comment below.

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Kate ~ writer, editor and sometimes photographer

My beautiful friend Kate has a life I’d be very envious of if I wasn’t happy with my own…actually if I’m totally honest I would like a little taste of her London city life every now and then!!!  Doing this interview with her brought back lots of memories…our friendship began 18 years ago (gulp!) while working in the same building in Chatswood (Sydney, Australia) and continued on from there…lots of great times!  Not to mention someones 21st!!  (but that’s another story).  Anyway, back to the interview…I wanted to feature her on my blog because she is a strong, intelligent, funny woman and a loyal friend who has always inspired me to expand my world and improve myself.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, my name is Kate. I was born in Sydney, but now live in London (by way of Japan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Cameroon, Dubai, and India) with my half-French half-English husband and my cat, Goose.

I’ve been in London for three years this time around and I still find it intoxicating. I live centrally so there’s a world of culture, art, fashion, and history on my doorstep. I have family here and in France, which helps make me feel at home and grounded.

Goose

What or who inspires you?

My friends and my family inspire me the most, but I’m intrigued and influenced by lots of different people, whether I’ve met them in person, read about them in a book or fall in love with their work.

What are you passionate about?

Again, I’d have to say people. I have an insatiable curiosity for observing the human condition, which is a wanky way of saying that I’m a voyeur of sorts. I love how everyone is so different and am constantly fascinated by the way people navigate and make sense of their world. Quirks and idiosyncrasies and interactions. I’m never bored.

Books do it for me too. Novels, biographies, coffee table tomes. Anything goes. My shelves are literally all bendy and overflowing.

I know you’ve travelled a lot? What is your favourite place and why?

I get asked that a lot and I always struggle to answer. All of my favourite places are linked to experience. SCUBA diving off the coast of Madang (Papua New Guinea) with my future husband, visiting Paris with my sister, staying in a rambling old house in Tuscany with some of my best friends in the last week’s of summer, eating lobster in Greenport (Long Island, New York), listening to the most amazing 10-piece band at Le Senat in Doula (Cameroon) every Saturday night, sitting on the deck after a steaming summer’s day in Sydney and the first warning signs of the Southerly Buster. The list is endless, and deeply personal.

Tell us about your work.

I work as a writer, editor and sometimes photographer covering fashion, literature, beauty, wellbeing, travel, politics, food and photography. My work has appeared in lots of different publications, such as Time Out, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and the like. I’m also co-writing a memoir with a singer and have written a novel.

i am not a celebrity

My blog i am not a celebrity keeps me busy too. I started it in 2010. I’d just moved from Dubai to London and wanted to keep myself writing while studying for my MA and building my network of contacts for freelancing work. What turned out to be a bit of fun has turned into something so much more. I have a steady following now and I love the interaction with my readers and the freedom of publishing what I want when I want. The blog has also afforded me some fantastic opportunities and I’ve met so many amazing people. I’m so grateful.

What do you most love about your job?

I’m never bored and constantly inspired. What more could I ask for?

Tell us all about the book you’ve written?  What is it about and where can we get a taste of it?

Ah, the book. It’s called Walking Distance. It’s about a young woman who runs away from her dying husband to look for an old lover and a new life in Papua New Guinea and a wrinkly old man who travels around The Outback making shoes, bedding women and causing trouble. Their lives are linked, but I’m not going to tell you how. That would be giving too much away. I’m in the process of choosing an agent, which is really exciting, but if you want to read an extract, you can find it here.

Of course, I’ve read the the extract from Kate’s first novel and I can’t wait to get my copy (signed, I hope!) when it’s published…I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s out.  Don’t forget to check out her blog too ~ I love it, especially Tumblr Tuesdays!

Well that ends another inspiring people post…a big thank you to Kate for being here. Until next time, let yourself be inspired, enriched & delighted by life.

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all images were supplied by Kate McAuley.