Dear Trashy Mags,

From grade six, my proudly earnt babysitting pay was spent on the weekly edition of TV hits. I would quickly flick through the glossy and colorful Jonathon Taylor Thomas filled pages to the important middle section and feel relieved and pleased that “YES!” there was one more Hanson poster.

It’s been a while since grade six. But my love for magazines remains resilient.

We are a magazine family, my family and I. Dad says it’s important to support the industry, mum buys beautiful piles of magazines according to whom her guest is and where they are in their life, she puts them in neat colour coordinated stacks with freshly cut roses.

This year, I made myself a New Years resolution. I decided, that the trashy mags had to go.  Of course, Frankie and Peppermint and Donna Hay and Delicious and Gourmet Traveller (you get the idea) could stay. But the New Ideas, and the OK of my life no longer had a place.

Perhaps this rather drastic move (in a first world kind of way) stemmed from my relocation to the Northern Territory, where it is really not relevant if I know who is wearing what to which party and how much weight they lost on the way to the party. It’s such a world from here it may as well be a series of photographs compiled by ET, (the alien.) Wherever the idea came from, I have to say; not having these magazines in my life is good, really darn good.

I don’t look at girls who have enjoyed their lunch only to be headlined ‘six months PREGNANT!’ I’m not comparing myself to Bingle looking ah-ma-zing in a bikini alongside the boldly titled“6 kilo weight GAIN.” I obsessed over Kate Middleton’s beautiful leaving hospital dress through my lovely instagram community where people fondly commented on how beautiful and normal she looked. I didn’t worry myself with the important trash mag issue of how she was planning to lose her baby weight. I saw Mylie make a fool of herself on you tube, as advised by my sister who assured me given Mylies influence on young girls it was important to see, I’m glad it was the video, and not a glossy page. It was glaringly obvious, how not quite right, and sick her behaviour was. I think I would have thought differently had I seen still pictures.

Now don’t go getting me all wrong, my coffee table is still covered in the beautiful magazines that I really do love. It’s just that now, they are good for me (something I claim often to Richie as he remains wide eyed studying the newsagent receipts). These magazines give me menus, and pictures of pasta I dream of, they tell tales of strong and fit and healthy women. I’m still up to date with the best skis of the year, and the alpine bars worth having a schnapps in. I ogle over beautiful furniture and paintings in Vogue interior and attempt to keep an eye on what’s in fashion (says she in her sarong and singlet…) in Elle and trusty Harpers Bazaar.

It has to be said trashy mags, you really are big trashy bags, and although it’s been twenty years, I’m a lot more comfortable in a bikini without you.

Josef Chromy

It’s a lucky girl who spent her childhood summers by the beach on the North East Coast of Tasmania. School teachers didn’t believe it was where you had really been when you came back to term one as brown as a berry, and the water may indeed be a little chilly but we missed Tasmania and it’s treats, eats, green grasses and driftwood when Territory living.

So a week between nursey-pursey career pathways (I’m swapping private hospital vests for public hospital scrubs) and school holidays for R meant that there are seven whole days for Tasmanian Time! (Yipppppeeeeeeee.)

The itinerary is very food, family, friend, food and wine focused.

When we landed on Sunday, after a beautiful wedding at Trunk the night before (the mineral water on the Jetstar flight was guzzled.) We were taken to lunch at the Josef Chromy restaurant. What a TREAT.

The space is beautiful, looking out to the vines I felt that I was in one of the beautiful Margaret River wineries, the sun was shining and the water off the lake was absolutely sparkling, people were wandering around the gardens and there were people with small people picnicking on the lawns.

The wait staff made us feel welcome and balanced formality and chill exceptionally.

We shared a bottle of the Josef Chromy Pinot Gris, which was dry, crisp and reasonably priced (but I won’t pretend to be a wine guru just yet.)

I had three Angassi oysters, which I really do think were the best oysters I have ever had. They were perfectly shucked, freezing cold, juicy and plump and served on a bet of salt with thyme and lemon. The walnut bread with unsalted house made butter was simple and beautiful.

I had the baked market fish, which was Trevally. It was served with a warm cider emulsion, mussels, leeks, apple, hazelnut, ginger and pearl barley. It was so perfect and a fresh and satisfying combination of flavours, the pickled ginger was the ingredient that brought the flavours together.

R had the Miso glazed Trout, which was served with autumn roots, a slow egg, forbidden rice and chicken broth, when asked he states it “was delicious” when asked to elaborate he informs me it was “clean and simple.”

We shared the warm carrot cake, which was served with warm butter sauce, leatherwood honey, white chocolate and orange marmalade. It was also exceptional. The coffee was the only thing that wasn’t perfect, but that’s ok because we are Melbourne coffee creeps so all soy lattes and short blacks served outside Victoria are under what is probably too harsh scrutiny.

This amazing lunch started a beautiful week of eating and treating in my mother’s motherland and I think may have sparked a dangerous (but delightful) ritual of lunch at Josef Chromy when you land in Launceston after what seems to be a 45 second flight from Melbourne.

Josef Chromy: 370 Relbia Road. Relbia Tasmania. www.josefchromey.com.au

*There are no photos because I was far too busy gobbling and guzzling. I solemnly swear to improve on this rather crucial element to food blogging…*

Ruffy Produce Store

The seasons are something that take on different meanings between Territory living and Southern styling. Whilst the beautiful Territory offers wet season storms and dry season sunshine that is almost as blissful as they come, the changing leaves, green grass and snow capped mountains of the Victorian High Country always make me glad I’m home.

Driving through the glorious greens between Mansfield and Ruffy on the weekend, up and down the rolling hills we couldn’t help but ooo and aaa at the beautiful calves (whilst also rapidly repressing memories of Vitello Tonnato) and marvel at the blossom when suddenly, and as if by magic, we found ourselves at the The Ruffy Produce Store.

Beneath the protective branches of the Oak Trees we sat and had a really delicious breakfast. The Ruffy Produce Store is at 26 Nolans Road Ruffy; you’ll see the cars.

I had the Spicy Eggs, avocado and chili on house made ciabatta which was absolutely (and must admit, a little surprisingly) perfect with poached eggs and spices. My pals ordered corn and zucchini fritters (that didn’t taste as if they had one teeny itty bitty of flour) with haloumi and poached eggs that were fresh, flavorsome and wholesome. The soy latte hit the spot.

There were beautiful looking sweet treats (like green tea sponge with green tea cream, lemon slice, rosewater and pistachio meringues) on display, and perfect looking take home treats bottled and ready for the road.

Eating and treating at the Ruffy Produce Store was a Sunday delight, made even better with the whiffs of fresh air and cold crisp sunshine.

Selfie Sunday

Once upon a time, whilst perusing (stalking) Instagram instead of reading my sensible and far more interesting book (My Brilliant Friend) I stumbled across a mask that intrigued that instagram out of me.

The Blackout mask is produced in Brisbane (which I love because some people I love live in Brisbane too) and is 100% natural, so when you’re having a detox Lola Berry type day, in between chicken nuggets and diet coke it suits your little pores down to a teeny weeny tee. It’s got all hipster requirements covered; being made of: activated charcoal, Aloe Vera and of course Coconut Oil.

I first tried my Blackout mask in a teeny tiny bathroom in Calabria that I was sharing with my mama. I was skin prepping for a special girls wedding where I was spoilt enough to be a bridesmaid, I didn’t tell mum (but I’m sure she knew anyway, thanks to that secret motherly intuition) but I did have a 30 second: “I-have-travelled-to-Italy-to-be-a-bridesmaid-and-my-face-is-died-black-from-the-charcoal-mask-I-brought-from-Australia.” But don’t you fear sweet thing, all you have to do is scrub your face with a washer and some water and even the little bits of coal from the charcoal comes out of the little lines and lumps and bumps of your little face and you really will not be left with residual grey shading for important events like WEDDINGS.

The most fun feature of this round bundle of black is the dear little brush. It makes you feel that when applying this cleansing and purifying charcoal creature you’re pretty much the Banksy of face masks. And then, voila- when it’s dried and removed your skin really is a little bit clearer and sparklier and you really are a little bit more Cara.

You can buy it online, and my friend the little brush comes included. It’s only $15.00 online, and my order arrived the following day. I’m absolutely certain that when you’re having a green smoothie and bliss ball Sunday you’ll really enjoy having this little fella in your bathroom cupboard for #selfiesunday.

O. X

Pane di Matteo

There’s a little Porter Avenue in Highton that’s home to a cool new and deserving ‘word on the street’  bakery.

Pane di Matteo has a beautiful but industrial feel to it and the show is stolen most certainly by edible goods. There’s a wall of great looking breads, a match for every meal. Cannoli is made to order with fresh Ricotta filling and the coffee (organic Vittoria) looked like a more than suitable accompaniment to both the Cannoli and the beautiful Italian Biscotti.

I took a Baguette home (which was excellent) but in hindsight should have been more adventurous as the olive bread really did look marvelous. I’ll be back though, and feeling more and more pleased trips down the highway for good food and produce are become less and less needed.

Pane di Matteo: 12 Porter Avenue Highton

IMG_4796

IMG_4794

IMG_4795

Being social in Geelong West

Lass and Lad love the idea of community, but they often find that the reality of making new friends and becoming a part of a community is some times much harder and scarier than the delightful, romantic blossom filled idea appears.

SO, it was with great thrill and excitement that we discovered the opening of the gorgeous and groovy “Geelong West Social Club” a few weeks ago (made even more exciting by it’s two minute distance from home). You’ll find Ross and Mia at 1B Yuille Street in Geelong West making excellent and delicious coffee, bagels and daily treats. There is Chai Boy Tea, Coffee Supreme and precious hand blended Modern Tea just for you to have in or take home, there’s also beautiful Jam Lady Jam available. And JUST when you think it can’t get any better, you’ll discover the sparkling water on tap, ON TAP!

I can hear your thought bubbles wondering what more coffee talk and sparkling water excitement has to do with friendship making and community bonding. Well; the thing is that this beautiful little space truly, really is a social club. It’s a friendly and welcoming space where you do feel like your making friends and where you don’t feel like the new kid on the block. You’ll bump previously made friends here,  who also loves the joyfulness and non judging of this excellent new addition to the hood and you can all sit around together and really feel welcome in the hood.