Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry & Bright

Gramma's Christmas Tree with the last few presents left over

This year's Christmas has been different from all the rest for many reasons, but namely because for the first time in 20 years, we celebrated in the Philippines. It was a really small and intimate affair, which is different from what I'm used to, but it was still good nonetheless with just the immediate family in attendance.  Like many Filipinos we celebrated our Christmas mainly during Christmas Eve during what is called Noche Buena.

Christmas tree detail
Noche Buena literally meaning "good night" is celebrated on the evening of Christmas Eve.  A big dinner is prepared, all the gifts are placed under the tree and we all attend midnight mass at church.  My grandma sings in the choir, so it's always fun watching her preform (she goes all out!)  There was a massive crowd at the church, and the Christmas spirit felt electric.  Before we left for mass, we had dinner which included the traditional and oh so coveted Lechon from Cebu. Vegetarians and animal lovers alike - beware of the photo below! 

Posing with the guest of honor
If you watch Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations -- Philippines episode, you'll know he claimed Cebu's roast pig as the best roast pig he's ever eaten. So of course, we ordered it. 1 word: AMAZEBALLS. crunchy, juicy, tasty -- everything you want a pig to be. 

We also managed to find my late grandfather's whiskey collection, and thought to drink some of it in his honor.  That glass is from the seventies and my mom has memories of him drinking his scotch from it.  The scotch also is a really old bottle, which we think is at least 10 years old. 

After dinner & church we waited for it to turn midnight so we could finally open presents. I wrapped all my gifts this year in brown paper and string. I also made pom poms which really brought some whimsy to the plain wrapping.  We all took turns handing gifts to each other, and I think Miguel and I really picked out some good ones this year. Everyone seemed really happy. 

Posing with grammy and making fun of her mini santas

All in all it was a great Christmas, that had me counting my blessings.  Hope yours was just as fantastic! Sending light, love and an extra bit of patience to get you through the rest of the holidays. here's to a fabulous holiday season and a beautiful 2013!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Philippines: Week 1

Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Week one of my trip here has slowly come to an end, and so far I've been nothing short of amazed.  This country full of poverty, hardship and corruption still manages to thrive and flourish and maintain a sense of beauty and instill in me a sense of wonder. This is my second time here, so I shouldn't be so shocked or curious as I was during my first trip, but every day I learn or see something that surprises me. 

I hate to make sweeping statements about how everyone seems so kind, but to be honest that's all I've felt.  It's been one generous and hospitable event after another.  I know that the life I am seeing as I travel this country with my grandmother and mom are very sheltered, and I'm not neccessarily getting the full picture, but I can't help but enjoy myself.  

The above photo was taken in Coron on our trip to the islands of Palawan, where we stayed at the most amazing resort.  From time to time I found myself pausing to remind myself to remember how blue the water looked, how beautiful the patterns on the shell of the sea turtle looked, or how soft the sand was because I knew that there was no way the camera would be able to do any of it justice.  I just felt so lucky to be able to experience it all.  

Beyond that trip, we've been spending a good amount of time in my grandma's house in Manila just hanging out, and it is here just lazing about with my family that I am most happy. Week one has been fantastic, but I'm  sure week 2 we'll be even better. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Of sadness and prayers and quiet thank yous.

 When I hear news that is so shocking, so unbelievable, so scary my first instinct has always been to think it was a lie. My gut will always first say that there is no way possible something so frightening could happen in the world. But then the news will register, and I'll learn that it was true. I'll remember that sometimes terrible things happen to good people for no reason. I'll remember that my mantra of everything happens for a reason is not correct, and does not work for every occasion. Because no, not everything does happen for a reason. There is no plausible, life learning lesson that can be taken out from the horrible deaths that happened in Connecticut.

I could go on and on about how angry and sad I am, or about my views on gun laws or even about the man's (lack of) motives. However, I won't. I'm sure by now, you've read something or two about this tragedy, and I'm sure you've created your own opinions. Instead, I'd just like to emphasize something you probably already know. Your family, your loved ones, they're important. It shouldn't take something so terrible as this tragedy to remind me of the importance of family, but truth be told that's all I can think of.

I'm smack dab in the middle of my great Philippine vacation, and I've seen family members who I haven't seen in years, and we're all safe and sound. Not all are as lucky as I. If you are, I highly recommend taking a quick moment to be grateful that your loved ones are fine, and maybe say a quick thank you to the powers that be. Because at the end of the day nothing is as important as the people you love. History shows that people live and die to protect their loved ones, and I'm sure many of us are no different. So while I quietly send prayers to all the souls that have passed away, I will also say a few prayers for my family who is alive and safe.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


Photoshoot fun captured by @skuunk1

Watching: Most of my favorite shows have already ended for the year.  When X Factor aired it's last episode, I literally said aloud, now what? haha We don't have foxtel, (aussie cable conglomerate) so our TV options are limited.  The one thing that is still airing though is Survivor Philippines, and man am I loving it.  I'm really into this season, and am really interested if a veteran or a newbie will win the million. I'm kinda loving one from each side-- Penner & Malcom are both killin' it.  We're a few episodes behind down here, so if one of them got voted out don't spoil it!

Listening To: *NSYNC holiday radio station.  Their Home for Christmas is my favorite Christmas album of ALL TIME. Seriously. What? I'm a 90's kid! You can't blame me. ;]

Planning: on going to the shops to finish up my Christmas shopping. I'm about halfway done, and I still have all the wrapping to do. I normally wouldn't be so in a hurry to get the gifts done, but we're leaving for the Philippines in 2 days, and I want to make sure I've got everything covered before we leave.  

Thinking About: School. Holy moly guys, I got accepted into an Australian University! It's happened!! The big news came earlier this week, poigniently on my last day of work. Now all I keep thinking about is what it's going to like attending a new university, and I'm getting really excited for the new experiences ahead.  I particularly can't wait to be back with other students, and engaging in class again. So thankful for this early Christmas gift.

Making Me Happy: That my sister's here. She arrived from Spain one week ago, and I still get shocked every time I see her.  We've lived apart for over 4 years, so it's been a big change that she's back living with us for the next couple of years as she attends school in Aus. It feels really good to have the family back together, and it's nice to how everyone's adjusting to having us all back together again.

All in all it's been a really good week.  I've finished up work with my temp job, got accepted into school and was so happy to see my sister arrive safely.  Next week we'll be in the Philippines enjoying the holiday season with my family.  It may get a bit more quiet around these parts, but I'll do my best to post every once in a while.  Have a fabulous week everyone!

a little Christmas cheer

This is my third Christmas in Australia, and I'm still finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit. Maybe because we're in the middle of summer...but after seeing this cute video, I'm starting to feel a little holiday cheer.  Thanks to Jenloveskev for sharing!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

music wednesday?

Sometimes, when you're feeling down, one song can come out of nowhere and lift you right back up again. Today this was mine.

Modest Mouse - The View
As life gets longer awful feels softer, well it feels pretty soft to me. And if it takes shit to make bliss than I feel pretty blissfully.
we are fixed.

Monday, November 26, 2012

quiet nostalgia

image via

I’ve run up & down those steps a thousand times. In the best times, carrying a Dolores Park bagel, (cream cheese w bacon was HEAVEN!) on my way to drama rehearsal or sneaking out in between periods to meet up with friends at the park across the way. 
Sandwiched between the Mission & the Castro and across the street from one of San Francisco’s premier parks, every day though vaguely similar to the previous, always held some sort of adventure, excitement or at the very least really delicious food. Those days feel like such a world away. In the oddest way Mission High, though you’re ghetto as hell and every day I spent there was a count down to leaving you for good, I still miss you. 

(previously published on my tumblr here)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Are you there blog? It's me, Praxis!

Quick peak of what my "right now" looks like. 2 lovebirds hangin on the sofa nursing last night's hangover. 

Well, hey there! I know, I know it's been a couple weeks since my last post. It seems that I have unintentionally taken a bloggy hiatus. I've just been really busy the last couple weeks and haven't had the time to post.  Our friend visited us from the UK 2 weeks ago, we went to Melbourne last week, and this week we've been celebrating Miguel's birthday pretty much every day. It's been hectic, but so much fun. I'll do a proper post about each thing soon, but for now I thought I'd leave you with some cool links to love.

abso-freaken-lutely in love with this outfit
pretty much want everything
i think donuts are the new cupcake. dying to try this recipe.
& lastly 10 free fonts to give your blog that extra boost!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

18 Things You Should Say YES To!

Yesterday as I was doing my usual blog trolling, I stumbled upon this article via Sometimes Sweet. The article intrigued me right away, because just that morning I was convincing a friend of mine the opposite-- helping her with the things she should say NO to. Sometimes I feel like we say yes to too much things, but these things tend to be for the benefit of others, and hardly for the benefit of ourselves.  I was happy to find that while reading the Huffington Post article, it was more about saying yes to things that would help make us better people.

My favorites were 1, 3 & 6, and if I could, a couple things I would add to the article are:

Saying yes to mani/pedi's on a monthly basis. That 30-1hr relaxation period can really rejuvenate you, and give you the personal time you've been looking for.

Saying yes to trying that 1 restaurant that you've been wanting to try for months now, but felt like you shouldn't splurge on the decadent meal. Trust me, it's worth it, and odds are you'll be talking about that amazeballs meals for a long time afterward.

Saying yes (or thank you) to that coworker/friend/partner who just said you looked great today. Instead of saying oh this old thing? or no I don't, I forgot to put my mascara on or You're just kidding right? We tend to shrug off compliments, but sometimes, especially when you need it, you should just take the compliment in and feel good that someone noticed your "you-ness."

Agree/disagree? Would you add anything else to the article? Whatever the case, I'm just happy that something so positive is floating around the internet.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Book Clutches?!

I was stumbling around the internet the other day, when I found something so fabulously adorable that I had to share.

The powerhouse of all things feminine, lady like and just down right lovely, Kate Spade has created yet another collection I am coveting. She's fashioned a range of clutches designed to look like your favorite classic book.Yup that's right -- sweet little clutches that look just like books!  How clever... how gorgeous.

Seriously, I've had to stop myself from pulling out the credit card and buying it at this very moment. At $325 a pop, it's not the cheapest, but maybe if I start saving....

Oh a girl can dream...

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

In this household, between the two of us, we represent 4 cultures: American, Filipino, Spanish & Mexican. Each of these cultures are equally important to us, and we celebrate them often. Today is Dia de los Muertos, a holiday that celebrates the lives of our loved ones who have passed away. This Mexican holiday is meaningful to me because not only is it a reason to remember those who have passed on, but it is also a day to remember their personalities and qualities. If you were to google image search "Day of the Dead," you'll find a lot of sugar skulls and skeletons that are vividly painted in bright colors and smiling features. This is because this day isn't meant to be solemn, but rather a celebration of the lives of those who are no longer with us.   It is a day to remember their silliness, their kindness and the unique reasons they were so loved.

With that said, these days Dia de los Muertos has also become a tad commercial. Dancing skeletons and sugar skulls are all over the shopping centers, and Etsy has just sent me not one but two emails filled with items that are Day of the Dead themed. Personally, I love having a few bits and pieces within my house that remind me of this day and the Mexican culture, but I also think it's important not to over do it, and make the Mexican culture become "kitschy." It's a culture, a way of life, not the new theme of your living room. As someone who isn't Mexican, I find myself walking the line between respect and kitschy quite often.

Here's a few fun and cute things on Etsy which I find to be respectful to the culture as well.

Love, Love, LOVE these throw pillows from Pillow and Pocket. These are not necessarily Day of the Dead themed, but the images come from a popular Mexican game called Loteria which Miguel has memories of playing when he was younger.  I've bought 2, and the dreaded pillow hunt is now over!! 

This art print from Boxing Bear is pretty awesome. I love the grittyness of the print, and the expression of the mariachi skeleton. The Mariachi are some of the most passionate musicians I've ever seen, and I love how the artist conveys that in this print.

This cake topper is too awesome.  I love the idea of having these guys atop my wedding cake to truly convey the message "til death do us part." Definitely pinning this one for future reference! 

and lastly to end with a bit of cuteness, these corgi Day of the Dead Postcards are to die for. This is some cuteness overload. I'm two seconds away from ordering them, and for only $8 a pack, I won't feel too guilty. Now to think of someone to send em to.... 

 Hope you're having a fabulous day, and if you have lost a loved one, try and take some time to remember them and their qualities that made you love them so much. It might make you sad for a little bit, but simply remembering them is a great way to make sure their spirit lives on. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


image via
Loving: That the SF Giants won the World Series! As a San Franciscan and baseball lover, nothing has made me happier this last week then to watch my boys take home the World Series. The time difference between Aus and SF is about 18 hours, so I had to get pretty creative with my watching/listening methods and had to sneak in many games at work, but it was definitely worth it.  I'm probably more homesick than ever now because every inch in my body is telling me to hop on a plane so I can be a part of the San Francisco madness during the parade! 

Thinking About: Hurricane Sandy and everyone in New York/East Coast. My prayers are with all those in the storm's path, and I truly hope that not much more damage occurs. I hope everyone in the East Coast is listening to the warnings and staying home or evacuating where need be.  I've got all my fingers crossed that tomorrow everyone will wake up safe and sound with the worst of the storm over. I also can't help but remember Hurricane Katrina and wonder if the outcome would have been different if we were more prepared and aware of it's doom in the same way that America (and much of the world) was aware of Hurricane Sandy. Either way, all my love and prayers to those who have been affected by both disasters. 

Listening To: Haim, Blink 182 & 90's Pop Radio on Pandora. It's an upbeat sort of week. :]

Planning: on finding some affordable and stylish pillows for my couch. I've been on this hunt for-ev-er and I'm actually starting to get tired of looking at couch cushions. The price for one cushion no matter how stylish doesn't seem to justify the price tag, but I'm getting so tired of looking, I might just bite the bullet and buy the ones I want. Here are a few I'm lusting after 1, 2 & 3

Working On: Not being so tired. The commute from home to work takes about an hour & a half each way, and it was really, really draining me. I would come home from work and slump down on the couch and complain to my significant other how much work sucked, life sucked, I sucked. I would spend my time on the train being bitter about how tired I was, and it honestly started to affect my normally happy disposition.  Finally the other night, I realized that enough was enough. I have no children, my responsibilities are not overly bearing, and I am not driving for the hour and a half to and from work. I'm sitting there. That's it. So there's no reason to be tired all the time, I'm young and in love with life, it's time to show it! 

Wishing: that Australians celebrated Halloween more. I really miss the holiday here, and I reallyyyyyyyy want to go to work dressed up as something tomorrow! 

aaaaaaaaaand that's it! Here's to hoping the week ahead is full of good vibes and safe travels. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ahhhhh is this what it feels like to relax? Today was the first day in what feels like months were I've done absolutely nothing. Yesterday we threw a small Halloween Housewarming (more on that later) where I probably got a little too drunk, resulting in me waking up with a nasty headache. It's funny how it took a little hangover to make me relax. By the afternoon,  I was feeling much better, but still so happy that our only plans were to curl up on the sofa and watch movies while eating leftover pizza. We've already watched Forrest Gump, (does that movie make you cry too?!) Toy Story 3 and now were stuck into some James Bond. It's a good life I tell ya.

Oh sweet nothing, I really enjoyed you today. Here's to hoping that next time it doesn't take a hangover to make realize that this girl needs some relaxation too. Happy Weekend, friends! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Have you heard this yet?!

Haim - Forever.
It's a must listen. Like now. Seriously.
I heard it on triple j today, and I'm in love. If you're like me and love the 90's, that chill California vibe, and/or cute girl groups you'll love this too.
Don't believe me? Click on the link-y.
You're welcome. :]

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Today I woke up cranky and slightly hung over from last night's Black Keys concert. My idea of a work appropriate outfit that morning was leggings and a big sweater. Yup, that was my state of my mind. So as I brushed my teeth thinking of possible baggy sweaters that may pass as "appropriate" I remembered a little grey dress that I snagged from my mom's closet.

Paired with a blazer, some stockings and hot metallic flats, I felt really put together despite my gross morning disposition. 

Outfit Deets: 
Grey Dress: Barkins
Blazer: Zara, gift from my sister
Belt: Vintage
Flats: Rubi 

** Miguel was off cooking, so these photos were all self timer ones, and from the look of the weird angles and intense photoshopping I had to do, I'm convinced of two things: I need a tripod & I need to take photos when the SUN is out. Forgive me, I'll try harder next time. ;]

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Musical Walk Down Memory Lane...

I've been thinking a lot about music lately...mostly how when a particular song comes on, it can stop you in your tracks and send you down memory lane. I have a few solid songs that can literally make me pause for a moment and bring a faint memory back into full view, playing like a movie right in front of my eyes. I thought I'd share a few of those choice songs today, and invite you on my walk down memory lane.

Sublime - What I Got
When I was in high school, I was part of a really fantastic close knit Drama club.  There were only 4 of us girls in the club, and we ended up being really really close. Not only did we see each other every day at school, but we also spent most weekends together getting from place to place in Javi's van. Javi was the only one with a license at the time, (probably still is! hah) and without fail, every time we were all in that van together, she would blast Sublime and we four would sing at the top of our lungs. Without a care in the world, we would roll down the windows shouting "Love isssssss what I GOT!" It was perfectly carefree and amazing.

The Counting Crows - Mr. Jones

There's a line in this song that goes "Cut Maria! Show me some of them Spanish dances
Pass me a bottle, Mr. Jones" which will forever remind me of Baby 2. Baby 2 is the nickname of one of my twin aunties, the other is you guessed it, Baby 1! Anyway, one day when I was probably 10 or 12, this song came on the radio in her office, and all of a sudden she stops and sings that line from the top of her lungs. That's me Praxis! The band goes on to describe a black haired Flamenco Dancer, and Baby 2 goes on to tell me stories from the her crazy years during the 90s. We spent the entire afternoon just talking, me listening, her reminiscing  and us bonding from what started as just one song playing on the radio.  Without fail, whenever this song comes on, I think of my crazy auntie and get a bit homesick. 

Modest Mouse - Dashboard 

There was one San Francisco summer I experienced where life felt perfect.  I had the perfect group of adventurous friends, the perfect San Francisco weather, and had just reached the age where my parents trusted me enough to let me roam the streets late at night without worrying too much. My sister and I shared the group of friends, and during the Summer, I have no recollection of fights or anything annoyingly negative. The 5 of us friends just fit together like a glove.  We spent days finding new beaches to go to, playing pranks on each other and wasting away the afternoons at our house. I was introduced to Modest Mouse around this time, and for me, their music became the soundtrack of that summer. I remember constantly having Float On and Dashboard on loop, and feeling like everything was right in the world. That summer before college was magical.

It's funny because these songs will always, always remind me of those times in my life -- times where I remember telling myself this is good. Life is good. Don't ever, ever forget this.  Do you have songs that stop you in your tracks too? It's crazy how that works huh?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Once upon a time I used to, quite frequently in fact, post my Outfit Of The Day photos. I, like most of you, used to force my significant other to snap a couple of shots of my pre-posed self in outfits I thought were worthy of sharing. Aside from the awkward hand-on-hip/i-don't-know-what-else-to-do posing I thought I was kinda good at putting together cute ensembles. Yet for whatever reason, I've seemed to have lost my mojo. Well no more I say! It's time to get it back! So while I'm off looking for said mojo, I offer you this, an instagram collage of yesterday's outfit taken by me in the office bathroom. BLEHCK I know, but hey, at least I'm trying.

I call this one Spring Fling (clever, I know!)
Dress: SES
Scarf/Bandana: Vintage
Belt: Vintage
Shoes: Flea Market Find
Total outfit cost no more than $50! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


There's not much muchness happening around these parts lately.  We're in a really weird transition period, that I feel has lasted for ages. You know that feeling of being in between? Not quite finished with one place, but somehow already moved on to the next? That's what this move has felt like for me.  I say "this move" but really I mean the period from August to... right now. When I was made redundant (laid off for you American folks) from my last job, I mostly felt relief. Relief that I could now move forward with my life, and finally begin to pursue my dreams in Australia. So I applied to go back to College to finish my degree in English Literature with the hopes to get back on track to becoming a teacher. After having done that, I contacted my previous temp agency to get back on the books so I can get some work. Immediately after that, we found the perfect apartment, which we soon later moved into. The first three things happened within a week. A week after that, I got a temp job doing admin work. While working, we managed to move from my beloved Newtown to Parramatta, where I am typing from as we speak. September was a flurry. I got it all done, found an apartment, got a job and applied for school. October has been draining and uncomfortable to say the least. I'm waiting to hear from back from school, I don't know when this job will end and where my next will begin, and I spend my time thinking and rethinking ways to make this apartment feel like home.

Don't take this for complaints, I'm not complaining, I promise. I'm just growing, adjusting, learning. For someone who likes to plan in advance, this little phase makes me feel like a fish out of water.  I literally don't know what's going to happen next. Will the Universities accept my application? What kind of jobs can I work if they do? I've only ever worked in office environments, so I'm not even sure if I can work at a restaurant or in retail. I just keep praying though. Hoping and asking for some strength and answers to my never ending questions.  I know in my bones that everything is going to turn out the way it should, but as a planner, I'd really just like to know how things are going to turn out.

Am I crazy? Does any of this make sense? Tell me you've gone through a period similar to this too.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Well hello there! (an overdue update)

Rainbow over Sydney -- the biggest I've ever seen!
It's been nearly a month since my last post, and so much has changed. We're finally settled into our new apartment, I'm back with my temp agency, working in a new role, and I've just applied to go back to University.  Life has definitely moved forward from where I've been in the last 2 years, and I feel that I've just finished a massive growth spurt.

When I was living in the studio, I always felt that it was just a little nod to adulthood, almost like I was teetering between childhood and adulthood and the studio was the safe place between. Now that Miguel and I have "graduated" to a 2 bedder, I feel like I've made the leap into full fledged adulthood. Here I am, in my own fairly large apartment equipped with an office, across the street from a park in the western suburbs, doing all the things my young self hoped I would be doing at this age.  Can I be honest? It's kind of fabulous. I'm diggin' the uncertainty, and enjoying the complete change of pace my life is taking now. Even though money and job woes have been on my mind constantly, as is the case with temp work, I still feel like I'm exactly where I need to be right now, and everything will take care of itself.

Life is pretty swell, and it's nice to say that I've really got nothing to complain about.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Loving: THAT SPRING IS HERE! hallelujah! It's my favorite season of all time, and I'm so glad that all my sweaters, stockings & big jackets can go to the back of the closet now.

Reading: The Great Gatsby. My 20's obsession continues.

Listening To: Modest Mouse. This song is one of my faves of all time.

Planning: THE BIG MOVE! It's been less than a month since Miguel & I decided to start looking for a new place, and I'm thrilled to announce that by the end of this week, we'll be moving into a 2 bedroom apartment! This is a massive deal for us, considering we're currently living in a tiny studio.

Working On: Cleaning, clearing and simplifying. I only want to fill the new apartment with things we absolutely love, so there's a lot I'm hoping to get rid of before we move.

Wishing: Not much really. Life is pretty swell. Okay, maybe wishing I had better self control over those sneaky mid night snack habits. ;]

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The 18th Biennale of Sydney!

Currently Sydney has art instalations in some of it's key locations for the public to view for free! Sydney is such an artistic city, and I love how I've been exposed to so much art in the last 2 years I've been here.  This year is the 18th Biennale of Sydney. I know, I know, I didn't know what a Biennale was either. Apparently, a Biennale is an Italian term that means "every other year" and is usually used to describe an art related event. One of the main locations for the Biennale is Cockatoo Island.  The entire island is filled with different instalations from artists all over the world and is definitely worth a look.  You can even hop on a free ferry from the city which takes you directly to the action.

Creepy floating dresses

Can you read that sign? It's advertising space on Noah's Ark! 

Broken teacups & saucers

Friday, August 31, 2012

And on Fridays we order pizza

like a ritual, most Fridays, even with the best intentions and meat defrosting in the sink, we order pizza.
we watch movie after movie and talk til our eyelids can't stay open any longer.
he tells me of his secret ambitions and I tell him of my greatest desires
and my feet rub against each other, and I know I've had too much to drink.
at some point the light switches off and were cuddled deep into the blankets 
and I think to myself, are we boring? and I always say, no, we're not. we're perfect. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tonight is for...

burning the incense and lighting the candles
trading the TV for some jazz music
savoring a nice glass of wine after preparing a hearty meal
spritzing on perfume and wearing the comfiest pajamas
laying under the warmest blanket and catching up on a good book

because sometimes, a girl needs to unwind.

Oh my SALE & my recent obsession with the 20's

Lately I've been noticing a little bit of 1920's fever spreading around the blog-o-sphere. I've seemed to catch it as well because art deco, flappers & dappers have all been on my mind recently. It probably has something to do with the new Great Gatsby movie coming out soon, but to be honest, I've been intrigued by the era since I was a kid. I've probably been a flapper for Halloween at least twice and I've always been fascinated by the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, nevertheless, I've jumped aboard the train and am all about it now.

So you'll imagine my delight when I find that Naomi from Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups has posted about Flapper Doodle's $1 print sale! Dollar prints get me excited as it is, so I hopped on over to the shop and was so happy to find that the majority of the prints feature a 1920's theme.  I purchased 3 and am so excited for them to arrive.

It was super easy to order, and all you have to do is enter the code DOLLARPRINTS for any 4x6 print you buy from her store. 

Happy shopping! :]

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sydney Spotlight: Hemingway's

Last week a friend & I took a spontaneous trip to Manly to have lunch and catch up.  As soon as we set foot in the neighborhood, I knew I wanted to check out Hemingway's. I had spotted the little cafe on a previous trip to Manly months ago, and was immediately intrigued by the name.  Obviously named after Ernest Hemingway, and being the slight literature nerd I am, I knew I had to check it out.  So when my friend and I took the trip to Manly, I immediately suggested it to her -- for no other reason than it's name alone. 

Oh man, I'm so glad we went. 

Hemingway's -- 48 North Steyne, Manly 

Located right across the street from the Beach, Hemingway's is fairly easy to spot and has gorgeous views.

I was completely surprised by the interior of the cafe.  Lined with bookshelves and bookshelf themed wallpaper along the bar, I thought it was the perfect theme and Mr. Hemingway himself would feel right at home there. The antique furniture and deep brown hues across the room really played with my senses, as for a moment I forgot that I was in a beach town instead what felt like an old library or maybe even Hemingway's office. 

The water was served in a gin bottle and the glasses that accompanied it contained ice! Most establishments in Sydney don't serve ice in their glasses, so this was a nice surprise. The menus were located in encyclopedias and the prices were relatively on the lower to medium side of the scale.  My friend and I decided to get a few entrees to share, so we could taste a variety of dishes. 

Chips 'n' Gravy - $12
We ordered the Chips 'n' Gravy, Corn & Tostadas. Oh MY GOSH, so yum. The handcut chips were completely out of this world, and were the best chips & gravy I've ever had.  I loved how rustic it tasted and the oxtail shredded over the gravy really made this dish a winner. I could not stop eating it.

Corn - $6
The corn was such a nice surprise.  Living in Sydney, one of my constant cravings is "elote" style corn, which is sold by street vendors, usually Mexicans, in various towns all over Mexico & California and covered in butter, cheese, chili with a sprinkling of lime juice on top. Many restaurants try to imitate this style of "street corn," but so far Hemingway's has come the closest. It is almost as delicious as I remember it to be.  My one flaw with their version is the portion. Only half of the above was one serve! It's too good to be that small.  
Tostadas - $12 for 2 Serves
Another massive surprise was the tostadas.  They contained king fish ceviche with thai style dressing and avocado puree.  While messy to eat, they were the perfect mix of salty, tangy, sweet and crunchy.  The fish was cured to perfection and the play on textures between the soft fish and crunchy tostada had my taste buds singing. At $12 for 2, I had absolutely nothing to complain about. 

I'm sure by now you can tell my experience at Hemingway's was fantastic.  If I had one complaint (other than the small corn portions) it would be that my friend and I were sitting at a table with bar stools that was much too high to eat our food on.  We kept spilling food all over our laps! Next time, I'll sit at one of the regular sized tables, and leave the sky high table for those drinking cocktails -- which apparently are good there.

I hope I don't need to spell it out for you, but GO TO H.E.M.I.N.G.W.A.Y.'S   N.O.W.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I won't even sugar coat it. Sydneysiders are blessed.  We are afforded the luxury of living near one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Those of us who are ultra lucky use the ferries to travel to and from work every day. Alas, I am not so lucky, but last week, I found myself aboard a ferry twice, witnessing the magnificent views for myself. Here's what I saw...