Saturday, 31 July 2010

A little bit Greek

Cheesy, eggplanty, delicious moussaka. I made this entirely yummy moussaka the other night sighting only from memory a recipe I vaguely remembered reading online. It turned out rather well and was quite delicious!

Monday, 26 July 2010

The night is young. The night is always young: The Locals' Guide to Edinburgh

It's hard to find a quirky, non-touristy guide book that serves up recommendations of places you want to visit off the tourist trail, but when you do stumble across a good one it's a real treat. Word of Mouth Travels' 100% Made in Scotland city guide is like a friend in a foreign city letting you in on all their little local secrets.

On top of chapters delightfully titled "where to stay", "all you can eat", "Scots for weather", "beautiful walks", "drink and be merry" and my favourite; "you should be dancing, yeah" the book features a number of interviews with local legends including a fashion designer, a deli owner, a theatre producer, a musician and a parent and publican. You really do get a feel for a town that has so much character to offer.

The Locals' Guide is a pocket sized go-to guide for everything cool on the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, definitely worth picking up a copy.

(Now my personal tip, I picked up my copy from The Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh but when looking online was surprised to find The Locals' Guide to Edinburgh cheapest at

Saturday, 24 July 2010

No more cheap shots

Last weekend's Sunday Times UK offered up a side of Lomography goodness with your coffee and morning paper covering an article by Bryan Appleyard discussing the hot new world of lomography that has so many people sharing the analogue love.

Having spoken to die hard lomographers and converted digital photographers alike Bryan Appleyard wraps up in a neat two page spread why we are loving these brightly coloured plastic cameras with names that throw around words like multi-pinehole, spinner, splitzer, fish eye, Octomat and Diana, Holga and Lubitel.

If you have subscribed to The Sunday Times online you can read the full article online at

Friday, 23 July 2010

Childhood favourites

I was reminded today of just how amazing The Twits by Roald Dahl is, especially the part where the entire lounge room ends up-side-down on the ceiling. This got me rather excited about all my other Roald Dahl favourites, tomorrow I am going to dig through my most-loved second hand bookshops in the hopes I get to spend some time with old friends.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Hearts racing: Inception

Christopher Nolan's latest film Inception ended, the lights grew from dim to bright, myself and the 13 other people that accompanied me to the cinema were gasping, mouths dropped, hands on the sides of our heads, hearts racing, oh lord how we wanted more!

Inception is what blockbuster dreams are made of. The plot, who some have claimed involved a little too much thinking was all engrossing and got the mind ticking but was not hard to follow. Christopher Nolan exposes in front of your eyes the story of Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a master-mind of high stakes espionage who with new technologies possesses the talent to enter people's dream and extract information. It's when approached by millionaire Saito (Ken Watanabe) with a job offer that pays far more than any dollar value that Cobb begins to explore the concept of incepting an idea into someone's mind as appose to extracting it. Nolan has captured ever essence of a dream on film. It's not just that almost believable but so far from reality feeling that says dream, it's the way you are left sitting in the cinema short of breath and groggy as if you have just awoken from an intense night's sleep with the characters.

Every member of the stelar cast are on top of their game in this one. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a stand out as mastermind Arthur alongside the darling Ellen Page, although potentially half a decade or so too young for her role of recruited architect-in-training Ariadne makes it really work. Tom Hardy brings humour and charm to his role of cheeky Eames while Marion Cotillard is truly stunning in her spine chilling supporting role. Leonardo DiCaprio, as in some of his most notable performances - Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can jumps to mind - steps up to the mark as Cobb demanding notation for employing the conviction that proves why an audience loves a bad guy.

Think The Matrix with one amazing zero gravity fight scene, a little bit of that bad guy doing it for good lead character from Swordfish and a whole lot of cinematic awesome. See this film.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Miu Miu (Miu?)

How's this for a fashion editor whoops!

I was scaling the pages of The Guardian this morning to discover the media frenzy that has flocked around the 'travesty' that is the August UK Elle, US W and British Vogue covers in what I suspect has resulted in a lot of finger-pointing and diplomatic emailing as the big-wigs strive to find out who is responsible for an applique Miu Miu dress worth upwards of £1500 turning up of the three major glossies' covers'.

While the publications' PR gurus have gone into damage control with Vogue refusing to comment when approached by The Guardian, I would imagine there are a lot of big cheeky grins over at Miu Miu headquarters. You can't buy the publicity generated by a golden mistake like this.

Images from Miu Miu. Check out the full Fall/Winter collection on the Miu Miu website.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Is there candy in your camera?

I finally got around to developing my lomography snaps from Europe. A lot didn't work out which was disappointing and a few rolls caught too much sunlight. Nethertheless, here is my lomo show and tell.

Photos were taken on my Diana F+ with 120mm 100ISO and 400ISO colour negative film.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Through shone the sun: Eclipse

It's a little unnerving to admit that the first movie I have seen in about a year is the third installment of the Twilight Saga. Sigh, this Eclipse did not however block out the sun and leave me in darkness, in fact it did quite the opposite. Argh the shame to admit.

Any post-pubescent "token tween" such as myself will admit that by the third attempt someone in Rob Pattinson/Kristen Stewart world got it right. Sufficiently lacking the cringe worthy love scenes of the hollywood heavyweights frolicking through meadows, Eclipse does Stephenie Meyer's words justice. Perhaps it was David Slade's direction (which at first struck me as a strange fit after Hard Candy), or perhaps everyone on set has just grown up a bit but the acting seemed better. Kristen Stewart managed to smile twice and the new man-candy provided by whoever it was that played Riley made for easy watching. A standout for me, as she was in her 30 minutes of screen time in the last film, was the demonic child Dakota Fanning. If that kid (now a shockingly tall young adult) wasn't destined to play a corrupt vampire, I don't know who was.

Although I know there are many "twilight haters" out there who will disagree with every word I have spewed in praise of this film, think if anything Eclipse sets high expectations for Breaking Dawn.

Ben, Jerry and Sainsbury's Vs Madolyn

I strongly believe the global beast that is the Ben & Jerry's corporation have teamed up with Sainsbury's supermarkets and declared war against me. Why do Ben and his partner in crime Jerry create ice cream that is so damn moorish you can't possible stop at one scoop and why do Sainsbury's always seem to sell the ice cream as buy one get one free.

Have you ever wanted to know what happened to Nestle Rolos. Turns out Ben stole them one day and Jerry came up with the brilliant idea that they hide the evidence in their chunky caramel swirl ice cream.

Death by sugar now...

It seems there is a blogger who shares my love of B&J. SuperFineFeling has written a darling post about the chunky range... mmmmm chunkycheck it out!

Image by the Ben & Jerry's promotions office.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A letter from Spain

The very first ever letter from my first pen pal Paula in Spain arrived today! I did know to expect it, but nethertheless I was so excited to walk into the kitchen and see my letter sitting on the kitchen table.

Do you remember the "ye olde days" of pen pals! In primary school everyone had a pen pal, it was what you did after you had to look after that egg as if it were your child for a week. If it was well organised, most likely by a school, you would be paired up with a pen pal from somewhere on the other side of the world. Usually from Italy, France, Japan, Germany. You know, so kids could improve the language they were chained down and forced to learn until at least the third year of high school, and then regretfully forget later in life when a bilingual tongue would have been useful. In retrospect I think we all took the pen pal relationship for granted, I bet no one ever wrote more then one letter to their pen pal. Now as an adult I sit and think, brainwashed by facebook (and bebo and myspace and that twitter thing), how nice and unusually quaint it is to write almost meaningless letters to a stranger on the other side of the world.

If you want to get involved with the pen pal project you should definitely visit Indifixx.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My ♥ is a marshmallow

One of my favourite blogs, Lucky Pony, pointed me to a site today that may in actual fact destroy me. I have a sweets addiction, and I mean addiction! Picture me hanging out in a dark alley with Pete Doherty and cocaine addicts alike, now replace the cocaine with dark chocolate baked cheesecake! It's not pretty, I promise you.

I tried to kick my sweets addiction the other week. I found myself on the edge, looking down into the abyss. I eventually resorted to banana and peanut butter on toast providing the fix that saved me from resorting to picking the sugar residue out from under my finger nails. Eww, enough of that because today I found heaven...

I am pleased to share with you!!!! How amazing does this banana pudding look (and it ain't banana on toast)!

I also just found this amazing s'morey cupcake goodness! It's got cupcake, it's got marshmallow, it's got hot oozing chocolate. I need to leave this site, it is actually becoming dangerous.

Dear paper crane, can you fly?

I ♥ origami, I think it is such a superb pass-time.

Today at work I received a press release, this is standard it happens every day, but today I opened the envelope and out fell four delightful little paper cranes. They had been folded from the medical information leaflet you get inside pill packets.... a little bit cool.

If you consult doctor Google, you will of course end up at Wikihow at some point, but hey kids today Wiki doesn't let us down, there are simple instructions for origami beginners to follow. Even more exciting, whilst on my google image rampage I found Made by Jo on Etsy (oh how we love Etsy). Jo has a delightful store where you can buy tens or hundreds of paper cranes already made for you. This can only mean one thing, paper crane theme party time!! Go ahead and fill your life with origami delights!! I have just ordered the 24 printed cranes for USD$6, yeee!!!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

♥ A little lovin' ♥

We'll Always Have [Casablanca]

My most recent adventure saw a spontaneous trip to Morocco which has unquestionably seduced me into a new love affair.

Getting lost at night in the maze of streets with only the smells of spices, the crowds of people and snake charmers to guide you through leaves you beaming with a giddy child-like excitement. The wit and charm of the locals puts a smile on your face offering an invitation for playful exchange of jokes and banter. Full day hikes, scaling African cliff faces and tip-toeing over rickety bridges offer the magical reward of swimming under amazing waterfalls. Bumpy and smelly camel rides guarantee everyone’s favourite holiday happy snaps. Riffling through the assortment of leather bags, jewelry, cosmetics and oils will see you haggle your heart out until you walk away with a tacky “I heart Marrakech” t-shirt you didn’t even want and a great story to tell.

Ahhh, the culture, the craziness, the charisma… "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

Stolen from the album of Kiri Hamilton

Last year, I think it was in early November before the Australian summer got too hot to go out to tiny bars and before I departed to London destined never to see that kind of summer again, I met a pretty cool girl in a bar named Kiri. I think we started chatting because she had the same camera as me, or maybe it was because we had a friend in common, either way we hung out.

Turns out, very far from Perth, Kiri is also living in the UK and has been taking some amazing photos of her time here, including the one below.

Around the world in (a little over) 80 days!

Well not really around the WORLD, but I have seen a lot of the beautiful continent that is Europe in the last four months!

I have little pings or jealously every now and again for my friends still traveling and the amazing wanderers I met still on their journey. This morning in fact, while facebook photo stalking a friend of mine in Pamplona recovering from a bull run, (or more recovering from a sangria hangover) I realised how much I adore everything Spain. I stand by the proclamation that Barcelona IS one of my favorite cities in the world. This passion is more than likely instilled by my obsessive love for Gaudi architecture, and of course paella.

I'm one of the lucky ones though, although it is all over, for now at least, I was able to relish in a truly nomadic four months as a high maintenance backpacker.

Some pics below taken from some of my favourite cities.

Flats in Berlin

Vespas in Florence

1 of 5. Cinque Terre, Italy

Guell Park, Barcelona!

Dear Penpal

I love stationary, in fact I have a minor stationary obsession, kiki-k, smiggle, give it all to me :)

Last week, trawling through the goodness google had to offer on all things stationary I stumbled across's Perpal Project! I jumped with giddy excitement. I love receiving things in the post, oh how opening letters makes me smile especially letters from someone other than Ashley at my bank.

I jumped at the opportunity to dive right in and hop to writing some snail mail. I am super excited to receive my first letter from Paula in Spain and can't wait to get penciling to Sandhya in India and Katrina in California!

Image by suburbanpenpal

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Birds are Chirping

It has been a day of clouds and rain, but hey, this is Scotland after all. Alas, now I sit in my window looking out at that castle that makes me grin and I can hear the birds chirping, this can only mean one thing. The rain has stopped, the streets are wet, the air smells cold and fresh, the day is happy.

I snapped this pic last night before the rain came, I have always loved summery (and not so summery) nights.