dinner for ten.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I love hosting dinner parties. Even fictional ones. So when I read an interview recently where the person was asked to name ten people they'd invite to a dinner party, it got me seriously thinking about my own dream list (because these really are the big life decisions). And I settled on placecards that read a little something like this...

1. Kanye West

2. Rafael Nadal

3. Steve Martin

4. Taylor Swift (not seated next to Kanye)

5. Barack Obama

6. My mum

7. JK Rowling

8. Amy Poehler

9. David Attenborough

10. Prince Harry (definitely seated next to me)

Hell of a dinner, no? I think we'll have duck to start...

* It's worth noting, the one person I'd really like to invite is Meryl Streep (no-brainer, right?) but I'm terribly afraid I'd come off all crazy and fan-girly, and ask her to start reciting lines from The Devil Wears Prada, which in front of the impossibly cool Ms Streep would just never do. 


the 2015 project.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A couple of Januaries ago, I read a book called The Happiness Project. (Have you read it? Did you love it? Did it make you want to clean out all your clutter and live in a love-filled bubble of bliss? Me, too.) But that’s the thing about so many books for me. I read them, I love them, I become a living, breathing advertisement for them... then I pick up another great book and I kinda forget all about them. 

But it being the beginning of the year, I’m thinking about all the things I’d like to do differently in 2015 – do better. And I’m thinking about The Happiness Project again. Because who the heck doesn’t want to be happier? And also I quite fancy the way the Happiness Project is structured, with a different focus every month. Twelve little projects in aid of a bigger one, if you will. So that’s what I’ve decided I’m going to do this year. A new mini goal for every month. It won’t be too big, and it won’t be too earth-shattering, but it will give me a chance to try something different. And maybe it’s a hit and I carry it on until I’m old and wrinkly or maybe it’s not and at the end of the month it’s kaput – either way, it sure will be fun to find out.

So, into January we go… And my first little goal is less TV. Every night after work I have about five hours between when I leave the office and when I turn into Sleeping Beauty and nothing can wake me from my slumber save for a very obnoxious alarm clock. Let me paint you a little picture of what usually goes down in those five hours: I get on the train. I like a few Facebook posts. I get home. I heat up my dinner. I collapse on the lounge, I turn on the TV, and I thank the lord for remotes because otherwise I might actually have to get up at some point in the next four hours. I go to bed.

Imagine all the other things I could be doing in those five hours – yoga, reading, puzzles, blogging, evening strolls, a pottery class even. (Probably not that last one... but still, you get my gist.) I am in a TV rut and January is the month I’m breaking out of it. So from Monday to Friday, I am limiting myself to ONE HOUR of television a night. I will catch up on anything big I miss on the weekend. (Bingeing on the weekend is still very much allowed. After all, I’m only human.) Could this be the start of a life-changing habit? Time will tell.

Here's what I've already knocked out in week one:

* Three evening runs. (That's a cool 8km a night I clocked up, but who's counting? Me, that's who!)
* Four home-cooked meals eaten at the table, not from my lap. There was even a placemat and candle involved.
* Two hour-long yoga sessions that I'm confident will help turn me into Karlie Kloss.
* 20 per cent more of the new David Nicholls book Us, READ.
* A one-person dance party to Uptown Funk and Blank Space, played on a loop. (Soz, neighbours.)
* More sleep. Because oddly enough, when you take TV out of the equation it's heaps easier to just Go. To. Bed.


so, it's 2015...

Friday, January 2, 2015


How did that happen? I swear five minutes ago it was August and I was blowing out the candles on my birthday cake, then somehow I blinked and the Christmas decorations are all going back into storage already. (With the exception of my mini tree. That stays close for emergencies – you know, those bad days that only festive twinkle lights can fix.)

I'll admit that the complete cheeseball in me loves the start of a new year. It feels so fresh and full of possibility. Will this be my Taylor Swift year? Will I do big things? Will I meet new people? Will I party with Beyonce and make $64 million. Will it finally be the year that I clean out my car? (Not likely, but who could say. It's a new year – anything is possible.)

So far, 2015 is looking like a cracker. I kicked it off on a boat with much champagne and two of my very best friends (as well as some over-the-top sparkly headwear) and it was perfect. I have never felt more lucky to be living this life. Not only do I have the most amazing group of girlfriends, who have had my back more than a decade (that's some ride-or-die shiz, right there), I have an ace new job that is throwing me all kinds of never-thought-I'd-do-that challenges, a little apartment that truly feels like home, and a wonderfully tight-knit family. Oh, and did I mention that a new waffle house is opening up around the corner? Honestly, it's too good.

Of course there are going to be little hitches – bad days, tough weeks (that's what the mini Christmas tree is for...) but if I get 365 more days of this love-filled life, then bring it on.

I'm ready for you, 2015. Let's see what magic we can make.


note to self: turn that frown upside down.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

You guys, this month. It started with a teeny tiny wet patch on my carpet, which turned into a giant pool of water on my bedroom floor, which turned into me moving in with my parents temporarily. (Side note: My parents really are the most wonderfully supportive people that a 28-year-old living back at home could ask for. They even cook you dinner at the end of the day. So that bit wasn’t all bad...) Then my car was hit by a truck (rude!) and the driver didn’t even stop (ruder!) and now I have a leaky hot water tank. But the real bummer is, with all the tradies coming and going in my apartment, I haven't even been able to put up my Christmas tree. (I mean, c’mon – November is nearly over. I am missing out on prime festive time. Soon I’ll only have a month to enjoy being Christmassy!)

So in short, things have been way stressful and way overwhelming lately (in the way that things are when they are miles out your know-how) but there have been good things, too – and today I’m choosing to focus on them...

1. I have a sister who can make the most delicious prosciutto, tomato and buffalo mozzarella sandwiches in history. These things could end wars, they’re that good.

2. In other food-related news, there have been deliveries of cronuts in the office. (There's also been a spike is joyous jumping, which may or may not be related to the cronuts.)

3. I’m yet to get an my own desk at my new job, but the girl I'm doing sharesies with plays Taylor Swift (new and vintage) all day... so, you know, winning.

4. Jacarandas are blooming everywhere in Sydney and the wind is blowing the blossoms around like purple rain. My camera roll is 90% jacaranda pics right now.

5. The Newsroom is back on TV. And just like that, my Monday nights have meaning again. 

6. Christmas trees have started popping up in every shop and office building. The most wonderful time of the year is finally here!

7. The supermarket has decided to start stocking my favourite rose tea again.

8. Mockingjay was every bit as as awesome as I had hoped it would be (Liam Hemsworth, mmmm...).

9. I have not had to take a jacket to work for two weeks. Yeah, warm weather.

10. Cherries (let's just call them nature's candy) are now in season.

11. I’m happy to confirm: the funnest way to spend a Saturday night is at Katy Perry’s concert with a $15 flashing glow stick in hand.

12. And getting out of the multi-storey carpark afterwards in five minutes flat when it usually takes more than an hour? You’d better believe I was high-fiving myself all the way home.

13. There’s a brand spankin' new iPhone 6 on its way to me. Hustle, iPhone, hustle.

14. Finding $10 in your jeans pocket = guaranteed happiness. Realising that it’s actually two $10 notes squished together = actual squeals of excitement. 

15. Last Friday night at a tequila bar made it official: My new workmates are the raddest group of girls ever. Ever ever.

16. There is no such thing as a boring train ride when you have the Serial podcast.

17. My shopping game has been right on. Now I just have to work on my earning game.

18. Gelato Messina had a fairy bread flavour. (For those of you playing at home, that's bread and butter gelato with sprinkles. Otherwise known as 'heaven on your taste buds'.)

19. The dentist gave my chompers an A+. (Cue: back patting.)

20. I have a hellava lot of people in my life who will drop things to help me when I'm in a pickle. And, well, damn if that doesn't make me one lucky lady.


lessons from the weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2014

At about one-and-a-third is when the pork bun rating starts to swing from delicious to slightly sickening.

Sometimes it takes trying on twenty different pairs of shoes with an outfit to realise the skirt is the problem.

I have the most patient, wonderful friends who will diligently keep an interested expression plastered on their faces while I recount a 58-minute call I had with a government agency that went nowhere.

Jonathan Tropper is the kind of writer I would like to narrate my life in a book.

Jaffa and mint choc-chip ice-cream do go together quite nicely, thank you very much.

Nothing can turn my mood around faster than a cup of tea with my nan. And a biscuit.

Five o'clock on a Sunday night is no time to do groceries, unless you enjoy getting caught in trolley gridlock.

One Tree Hill is so much cheesier the second time around.

I live in the prettiest city in the world. Take a bow, Sydney. You played this weekend perfectly.


it turns out, every now and then, living alone is not so tops.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Picture: Free People

There are plenty of times when living by yourself really is the cat's pyjamas. Like when you want to watch 12 episodes of The Newsroom back to back and no-one can interrupt and tell you, no, they actually would like to invoke their part-time custody of the remote. Or when you are too lazy to cook and so you have guacamole, chips and wine for dinner. And nobody is any the wiser, because you tell anyone who asks that you had fish and vegetables. (Suitably healthy, balanced, grown-up.)

But one time when living alone is decidedly not ideal is when you are sick.

I don't get knocked down by illness very often. (And, if we're completely honest, I can be a bit smug about that fact. I know, I know...) But when I do get sick, I'm like a man. I'm convinced my flus are at least ten times worse than everyone elses. Right? They have to be. Because as I'm laying on the couch surrounded by tissues and Vicks vapour-rub, I think it can't be that anyone else has ever felt quite this bad. (Did I also mention I'm a Grade A wimp?)

And so it goes that I end up putting my my sore throat and achy head into Google until I find some potentially deadly illness that begins with a few innocent, flu-like symptoms. I blame the fact that when you live alone, there is no-one to step in and tell you that you're talking nonsense. No-one to go to the chemist. Or make chicken soup. Or put clean sheets on the bed. Or, you know, just generally keep an eye open overnight to check that I'm still breathing.

I'm sure once I'm fighting fit again, I'll go right back to being quietly chuffed that I can get up and do laundry at 6am on a Saturday without anyone batting an eyelid – but right now, I wouldn't mind another person. Just to put their hand on my forehead and check for a temperature. And maybe tell me they're pretty sure it's not Ebola.


a little hitch.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

One thing I've learned in 28 years of this life is that pretty much nothing will go as you expect it to. One minute, you'll find yourself released from an old job contract early and enjoying an extended four week holiday before starting an exciting new position. The next minute, you're cancelling your trip to Singapore because, it turns out, you no longer even have a job.

Your luck can turn on a dime.

I have had a topsy turvy few days, dealing with the fallout from some very unfortunate and very unexpected circumstances. And for the first time in my life, I don't have a plan for what's next. I have no idea where to go from here – and the uncertainty of it all isn't exactly gelling well with my Type A personality. (I mean, I don't even know where to begin with my to-do list...) But I do know this: I'm determined to land on my feet. I want to be the girl who was knocked down – maybe cried for a second – but then picked herself back up, straightened her blazer and marched right on into the future with barely a blip in her stride. I'm going to be that girl. Marching onward and upward to something AMAZING. (All caps.)

Because if your luck can turn on a dime, then it can turn right back again.

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