Friday, January 29, 2010

Dr Seuss' Copenhagen Climate Change Conference

One of the best results to come out of the frustratingly bureaucratic anti-climax of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Much Love - Spring 2010 Couture: Christian Dior

I spent an evening parked in front of the telly with some Bloody Big Lamingtons, happily entranced by The September Issue and being mildly amused by how all the big name designers shit themselves while showing Anna Wintour their collections. Except Mr. Lagerfeld of course, who shits himself for no person, ever. I would probably consider donating a limb to be personally shown through a Dior Couture collection by John Galliano himself. Thanks to the wonders of ye olde Interwebs however, my limbs can stay safely attached and the Spring 2010 Couture collections are available hot off the runway for one's perusal. Sure there's no designer give you the rundown on the whatnots and wherefores, but at least you can get lost in a fabulous world of fantasty while scoffing a lamington in your pj's.

Chrisitan Dior
Apparently, there were "gasps of girly delight" from front-row clients as Galliano's romantic, opulent ballgowns swished down the runway. Equestrian inspired pieces and looks influenced by Gibson girls made for a show bursting with "voluptuous visual pleasure":

Yes, I and my credit card have much unrequited love for Mr. Galliano's creations. Keep up with all the shows at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bloody Big Lamingtons - Australia Day Baking

Today's post is shamelessly copied from my other blog, IBakeIWearIam, in celebreation of another public holiday. I mean, Australia Day.

We've got the Big Banana, Big Pumpkin, Giant Prawn, Huge Sheep (some of those may be fictional) and on a local "highway", a really big potato on top of a service station that has confounded me for years. There aren't any potato-related services anywhere nearby. Maybe it's code for some underground farmer's union or something.

Anyway, thanks to this afternoon's baking experiment, now we have the Big Lamington. I can't believe I've been an Australian for 25 years and not ever attempted to make lamingtons from scratch. So I put the effort in this arvo and made some bloody big ones.

I found the recipe from a genuine vintage Central Cookery Book (your mum has one, I guarantee it. My mum does, in mint condition 'cos she's not much of a cook). The standard Home Ec textbook from Federation until sometime in the 90's, it's full of really easy, tasty and affordable recipes. Just alter the bits that say "fry in lard". The baking sections especially are full of good old-fashioned favourites that actually do taste like Nanna used to make.

Here's the recipe - the cake part came from the cookbook and the chocolate part I nicked from Taste as the Central book simply said "roll in chocolate icing" without explaining* the howfores and whatnots of actually creating this mystical chocolate dip.

125g butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups SR Flour
Pinch salt
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven at 190 degrees (go slightly less if you have fan forced). Grease 23cm square cake tin or lamington tin 21x29x3cm (no idea what size my cake tin is, but heck, it's square and it did the job).
Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar. Gradually add eggs and vvanilla, beating well after each addition. Lightly fold in flour bit by bit, alternating with milk until well blended. Pour into pan. Bake 15 mins or until well risen and golden.

When cool cut into lamington sizes 4x5cm (ahem, I didn't read this step and just divvied the cake up into squares. Which turned out to be of the large variety). Cool completely before icing.

Cake, the uncut version.
I made half this qty to go with the above cake mixture, and ran just short. Next time I'll try it with 2/3 of the below qty...if I can be bothered doing the maths.

4 cups pure icing sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
125g butter, roughly chopped
1 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups dessicated coconut

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a large, heat-proof bowl. Place butter and water into a heat-proof bowl or jug. Stir until butter melts. Pour butter mixture into cocoa mixture. Stir to form a smooth icing.
Place coconut into a shallow bowl or dish.
Using 2 forks (don't, use your fingers, it's much more fun!), dip 1 cake finger at a time into icing, then roll in coconut. Place onto wire rack to set.

Not exactly square, a little rough around the edges - truly an Australian creation. (Honestly they do look lamington-esque in person).

The verdict:
Difficulty: not exactly rocket science, but like all good things, it takes a little time.
Taste: Like an Aussie summer in a cake. Bewdy! (the cake is delish)
Mess: be prepared for coconut in your crevices. Here's our half-cleaned up kitchen bench.

Cost: All I had to buy was coconut, which was under $2 for a packet.
Kid-friendly: If "kid-friendly" translates to "child shoving oodles of chocolate icing and coconut bits into their mouth with glee", then, yes.

The Outfit:
Target (and probably Supre) have these long singlets with an Aussie Flag bikini printed on them. Please don't buy one. Show your patriotism with a little subtlety:

Australia necklace, US$18 from verabel at Etsy.
*I was working from a photocopy from Mum's book. The actual chocolate icing part may have been on another page!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Style: Dads In Short Shorts

Straying a little from the usual Monday Street Style, let's take a look at something you know was part of your (repressed) childhood memories - Dads In Shorts. Short shorts, in fact.

This cringeworthy but ROFL-inducing blog encourages everybody to send in those pics your old man thought were banished to the 70's. Ha! Check these out (or don't, if you are of a sensitive nature):

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make Sleepytime Fun

And I'm not talking about exciting X-rated escapades either. Nope, just good ol' honest amusements in the bedroom - aka novelty pillows. If you get excited about homewares and stay up til the wee hours trawling sites like Etsy, these are the products for you:

Rock pillows! How much freakin' fun are these! Your playroom (or indeed, loungeroom) would be the absolute shiz with the addition of these nifty little numbers:

Treat your frienemies with a Horse Head Pillow. As the website says:
"A great conversation piece for the wannabe wise guy who has everything, and whose wife won't let them own a revolver. For that matter, something for the authentic wise guy that has a job to do, but has a soft side for the well being of animals. A great home theatre accessory as a tough guy's Teddy bear, aimed squarely at those with a diabolically dark sense of humor. Fans of the mob's harsh brand of communication can now unite and rest comfortably, if not uneasily. Send someone a message they will never forget without the risk of facing prison time for it."

Not one for words in the AM? Save your stinky morning breath but still let your loved one know what you're thinking:

This gives the whole 'my hair looks like I just rolled out of bed" excuse a whole new meaning:

You can't hide your dreams anymore...

Oh and for the late night Etsy browser? Craftsquatch have all your geeky needs sewn up, literally:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Summer Beauty $50 Challenge - No Sweat

Ew. I just spent the best part of an hour surrounded by sweaty people in lycra. Long story short, I was not one of the lyrca-clad (that would be double-ew), but I was still sweatin' - such is life in the middle of January. The cruel twist is that just because your makeup slides off your face the moment you apply it, doesn't mean your skin is suddenly all summer-glow-radiant. Nope, most of us still feel the need to apply something before leaving the house, but the middle of summer calls for a few little adjustments - and they don't have to set you back a fortune. Let's take a cyber-$50 note and go shopping.

The most important thing to put on your skin in summer, nay year-round, is sunscreen. But your skin also needs a dollop of moisture, so it doesn't work overtime trying to replace all that moisture you're sweating out. The solution is an all-in-one light moisturising suscreen lotion. Olay is still one of the best value brands on the market - you can pick up the Complete Defence Daily Moistursing Lotion SPF 30+ for just $14.95, which protects against both UVA/UVB rays (not all SPF moisturisers do this, so read the labels carefully)!

The only time I've been out and about without makeup was when we were holidaying in Malaysia. I was 6 months pregnant, very unused to the steaming humidity, and figured that I wasn't likely to run into anyone I knew anyway. But if I could've been bothered to apply something to even out skintone a little, it would've been Dove Tinted Moisturiser ($8.75). These used to sell by the bucketload when I worked at good ol' Priceline (uni job. Don't knock it. Actually you can.) - light and lovely, it's not too much moisture over a light sunscreen lotion. But if you think it will be, try a light mineral foundation like Maybelline's Mineral Power Liquid Foundation ($19.95).

A touch of mascara on the eyes does amazing things to define and open up, even if you can't be bothered with eye shadow or liner. Try a dark brown for a more natural, but suprisingly flattering, look - my all time fave and consistent beaty-poll winner since the 70's has been Maybelline's Great Lash (go the waterproof version). It's about $15.95 and totally kicks the arse of every other (more pricey) mascara that I've ever tried.

And for the lips? Natural and glossy goes with every single outfit you can conjure up, including swimwear and chlorine-drenched hair. I once watched amazed as my friend applied a $4 Nivea Lip Care Gloss & Shine and suddenly turn all...shiny. And glossy. And started to rave about how soft this baby made her lips feel.

So, unless you go the foundation option, you'll have about $5 left over to buy a Chiller from your local coffee haunt. Plus, you'll look SO much better then the sweating hordes around you. Talk about hot!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Free Shipping, Oh Yeah!

Man there are some awesome sales about at the moment. Even if, like myself, you are wholly and totally and completely and utterly banned from buying another thing because your wardrobe is literally overflowing and all new purchases are turning into a small mountain on the bedroom floor. Ebay, is that you I hear calling?

However, in case you have room for one more purchase, we're offering free shipping within Aus til Jan 31st. All orders, big or small, nada postage!

Shipping is definitely a gripe with online consumers - thankfully, the majority have no hassles with our teeny $6 fee and overnight service. Free shipping all the time is something we are considering if this little promotion turns out to be worth it (we're monitoring the amount of abandoned carts. It sounds so dramatic, "abandoned". More like, "I was pondering some gorgeous new shoes and realised dinner was burning"). I've left my fair share of abandoned carts strewn across cyberspace, especially at kid's online stores, mpst of whom are currently offering fab discounts but then charging $8 or $10 shipping, sometimes not even for overnight! Be buggered if I'm going to pay a premium price and then wait 4 or 5 days for it to show (regular post to tassie is slooooow). 

Well, there's my little rant for the day. Oh, and also to the silly old sod today who parked their car on a diagonal and made it near impossible for me to squeeze into mine: I'M NOT SORRY I SCRATCHED YOUR FUGLY VEHICLE WITH MY DOOR. Ha.

 Free Post - get into it. It rocks!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Globes Red Carpet Frocks

There have been far too many references to "raining on one's parade" regarding the 2010 Golden Globes (well, the red carpet part anyway. Who walked away with a statue is secondary information dahlings). Oh, didn't you hear? Apparently it rained. Goodness, how exciting.

It's my usual tendency to be a little bit snarky at some of the outfits - don't knock it til you'vee tried it - but for once I'm just going to present some of the frocks that rocked my socks (warning: much one-shouldered action will be had):

Emily Blunt looks just like a modern princess (Queen Victoria reference non-intentional).

Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of my alltime faves, and somehow manages to work apricot and a semi-fishtail *flashback to early 90's wedding*

Ah, Kate. So very, very elegant.

Despite the sea corals that appear to be clinging to Drew's dress, it IS pretty fabulous. And sparkly.

Ginnifer Goodwin's frock is the most beautiful shade of blue and drapes in all the right places.

Woah! Not exactly a way-out frock but tell me you don't want to look like that when you hit 40!

Kate Hudson reminds me of a wedding cake. Yummy.

Yummy mummy to the max!

Monday Street Style

Start your week with a burst of colour - it is the middle of summer after all! Even if you're sticking with neutrals, greys or whites, add something in a bold hue to perk up your look (bag, bracelet, shoes, scarf, nail colour...). Go on. I dare you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake - Please Give

Sometimes things so horribly unthinkable happen and make you sit back and count your blessings. The Haiti earthquake toll looks set to pass 100,000. Even though we're so far away, we can still do our bit to help - the Australian government have already pledged $10 million in aid, and you can add your donation at any of the following sites:

Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia
Red Cross Australia
Oxfam Australia
World Vision Australia

or by calling 1800 760 011. The go and hug someone you love.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

10 Ways To Help My World

The coolest little book arrived in the mail today from Book Depository - 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World, by  Melanie Walsh. A gorgeously illustrated hardback, each eco-tip that even kids can do is presented in a simple lift-the-flap format. My daughter was most concerned about the eighteen glasses of water one can waste by leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth, and demanded a trip outside to the recycling bins to make sure we were separating our rubbish properly.

FYI: we are. Promise.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Munster. Seriously Hip.

One of my all-time favourite kid's labels, Munster designs are ridiculously cool. So cool, that we've had enquiries as to whether they come in adult sizes. With a huge range for boys (think original printed tees, skinny jeans, streetwise hoodies), they also now have a range for girls - Missie Munster, which has slouchy tops, cute jumpsuits, skinny pants and rockstar tees. Mini Munster caters for littl'uns, with fresh twists on prints (dinosaurs, owls, guitars all get a Munster-makeover), rad rompers and skinny jersey pants.

We've just had a new shipment arrive and here are just some of the wicked designs:

Check Mate Tee, $44.95 I love the grungy vibe of this tee - with skinny jeans or long denim shorts it would look utterly awesome!

Commute Tee, $44.95 another street-cool tee with a print little boys will love but still looks totally rad!

Missie Munster Seeing Stars Top, $39.95 Charlotte pounced on this little number when she saw it - quite frankly, if it came in Mummy sizes I would too! Slouchy, off the shoulder, model-off-duty vibe, especially teamed with skinny jeans and Chucks.

Mini Minster Rockstar Pants, $39.95 $40 is a small price to pay for such utter coolness. The flying guitar print covers a hip slim fitting grey jersey - but it's still super comfy for bub!

Mini Munster Dino Tee, $34.95 See what I mean about traditional baby prints with a new twist? Plus, it's bright yellow. And yellow is code for awesome.