Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's Finds / story time

Clouds are hiding the sun and rain drops are falling in my scrunched up hair - that's how I'm greeting this weekend and things couldn't be better. Coming to the end of a bumper week has me with a summer-type spring in my step, and for good reason; two days lie ahead to indulging in my favourites (more about that in a sec). Before we kick off into weekend games (and a story about my weekend plans below), here are the few finds I saved for today.


1. Hecker Guthrie is back on my blog but this time spilling secrets on all things leather
Told you these guys are gold.
2. A bloody good (dance) tumblr.

3. One of my girlfriends and I have gone all neutrally-toned in the makeup department. You too? Here are some tricks to nail the look.

As I was about to say, I've become good at the 'busy' thing and have expertly packed a weekend of  just about every little thing I love. I know you're on the edge of your seats hanging to hear just what I've got up my sleeve (you are, right?). My heart is skipping beats I'm so darn excited. So bloody excited I'm going to list them for you (this list is as organised as I've been in a long time):

1. Fine-tuning my piano skills (did someone say diploma?) has got me like a fat kid with cake. Why, you ask? I have this stupid thing I like to drown in called self-doubt. Years ago I had the whole thing down pat it held me back from everything my bones yearned for. My point is, I've finally shaken that rotten old blanket of doubt from my shoulders. Finally. Turns out I was actually half OK at my piano thing and my teacher has planted my into finishing my Dip. Performance.

2. You may recall me mentioning something about a 'new canvas' and how I'm ready to get painting again. Well, that canvas is still very, very new with not a drop of inspiration staining it. This weekend is changing all that...stay tuned.

3. Most of you know me pretty well by now. If I'm not baking, I'm painting; if I'm not painting, I'm drinking coffee; if I'm not drinking coffee, I'm sipping wine with the boy; if I'm not indulging in that, I'm at ballet training. And this weekend is a big ballet weekend. I have a few hours booked with my original ballet teacher to put my skills before her critical eye in the stunning (massive) ballroom of her home. I'm a sucker for punishment (and big, open dance spaces) and she's the master of the art.  She's known me since I was a 3yo bambino; she knows my excuses, she knows my cop-outs and knows just the right pitch of 'scream' to get my butt moving! I. Cannot. Wait.

If you're still reading, you're absolutely all-kinds-of-wonderful. Thank you. Take a deep breath, there's no more story telling from me. Just a quick happy-weekend wish! Are you up to anything fun? xo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sweet nothings

I've not made it into bloggers world this past week and I feel a touch out of the loop! I've only just managed to scroll through some pinterest finds to keep my eye somewhat nourished - here are the few visually yummy things that have me looking twice. Enjoy.

via 1, 2, 3, 4 (Twyla Tharp, choreographer, dancer at age 66),  5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday's Finds

Hey there lovelies. It's that time of week again where I share my sneaky few links!
1. Recipe: a cheeky 5 minute carrot cake to slam those sweet cravings!

2. Jewels: I was introduced to these by Krystal, the ever-so-wonderful writer of Village blog (she's the one that gave me an extra nudge-along through my Whole30 food challenge! Thanks, Lady).

3. Here's the sneakiest of DIY's if there was one. If, like me, you're a lover of the drapey kind, click and learn how to make your own stylish wrap-drapey-wonderful-thing.

Cute quote huh?

Why the quote? My guy and I are having much less time face-to-face this past little while and a lot more time where my strength is being boosted by him whispering those exact sweet-as-pie words. I sighed coming across this today - a little sign from the heavens, perhaps.

Hoping everyone had a great week and that you're all heading to something wonderful this weekend. My week (in case you're about to ask) served up a few twists and turns. I'm more than ready to head into a weekend filled with overdue coffee catch ups with my one-of-a-kind-girls, time with the boy (believe it!), pointing (ok, bruising) my toes through some ballet work and getting my piano skills back up to scratch. When I look at the simple things I can (personally) look forward to, my step gets a little more spring behind it. Stop and smell the roses, people. Maria x

Monday, May 20, 2013

Whole30: bouncing off walls

I can claim a solid (almost) three of weeks of the Whole30 food challenge/lifestyle change (not a diet!) and I'm feeling damn fine to boot! My energy is up, my stomach is f-l-a-t, I'm sleeping like a bambino, fitting into my clothes with room to spare and I'm thinking clearer. I'm not missing dairy, I don't crave sugar, I don't depend on coffee, I'm a hot-water-with-lemon-and-a-cinnamon-stick-converted-sipper aannd my skin is getting its glow back!

I should mention I didn't choose to tackle Whole30 for weight loss and I already had a reasonably clean diet. Tackling it was more a test of my willpower and I was curious to see if my gut really was reacting to grains, sugars and my cheese addiction.

The kind of stuff Whole30 gets on your plate. via

 Results so far:
1. I've lost inches. Getting into a ballet leotard every day of the week is a perfect measure of fat loss/gain (like it or not) and I could tell my mirrored reflection was looking leaner. You're not meant to weigh yourself on Whole30 (it's called willpower), but I had to confirm things with my scale pin! I've lost 2.5kg.

2. Speaking of willpower, I've fallen flat on my face over each weekend (Greek Orthodox Easter followed by Mother's Day celebrations will do it do you). So, I've basically done Whole30-weekdays and had a day off to enjoy something non-Whole30 once a week. Tsk tsk me if you must but I haven't fallen into a Whole30-failures-pit and I'm still seeing results.

3. My gut most definitely reacts to the non-whole30 stuff - dairy and grains. That wasn't a fun trial.

4. My skin is lookin' good. All I'm applying these days is my Aesop Fabulous Face Oil, a little mascara and I'm off!

I should've been more prepared to kick something like this off to go for gold (30 days straight). However, I really think weekdays of Whole30 eating with a couple days off is do-able and a much more longer-term approach. My results speak for themselves! I feel better heading to training with a light (did I say flat!) stomach, I don't have as many aches and irritations and I can pop anything on from my wardrobe without feeling pinched, squeezed or 'fat.' Not willing to compromise that for a cup of ready-to-bloat-me milk any time soon.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday's Finds

Made it! Another week down, another two days to kick back. Here are the few finds that I've saved for some Friday minutes.
1Post poo drops. You read right. Aesop (the skin care range of brilliance) collaborated with A.P.C. to serve up their answer to combating the malodorous!

2. Top DIY beauty tricks and 8 DIY Facials to choose from and transform you skin into glowing yumminiess.

3. This tumblr is where my ooh-ing and aaah-ing has been happening through the week. If you were to smack a label on my style, food, scent and abode, this'd be it (minus the cigarettes)!

Have a great couple of days doing whatever it is that tickles your fancy, lovely lot. x

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What I've been up to / Autumn gatherings

baked eggs, brekky salad, fresh baked pain d'epi, homemade butter and a fresh brew of coffee.

brekky salad of avocado halves, crisp prosciutto, fresh ricotta and snow pea sprouts.

tablecloth - butchers paper with scribbled menu

I'm a total sucker for the experience of wining and dining in aesthetically-pleasingly-perfect surrounds. But it's not only about picking some fine nosh and wine. The happenings around our table matter too, if not more - the moments, the laughs, discussions and memories made.  Last Sunday's autumn (Mother's Day) gathering was spent in rustic brilliance...if I may say so myself. I pulled my Pain D'Epi loaf from the oven to accompany two versions of baked organic eggs and teamed it all with made-from-scratch ricotta over a brekky salad with a side of homemade butter (yes, jar-shaken with a pinch of salt). If you're gonna do things right, you may as well make your own butter!

The sweetest part of this gathering for a few was bringing together the food I believe in with a perfectly mismatched table setting and having everyone enjoy it as much as I did prepping it.

Recipes if you're interested:
Ricotta in 15 minutes
Pain D'Epi sea salt and olive oil French bread

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's gonna happen!

Anyone got one of those crazy soundin' goals they’d love to achieve? Same! I've sat on this one for years, worried about putting it out there and having to make the commitment.

I've realised I'm subconsciously making these next couple of years all about indulging in my passions. I’ve decided it’s time to load up on commitments, plunge into hours of study and re-master my piano skills to finish my final exams.

There, I said it.
At risk of totally exposing my inner nerd, Rachmaninoff and I have met once again! He’s back on my piano stand after years of sitting neglected beside my piano, stacked under music of the greats. I couldn’t be more thrilled to tackle the challenges (hour upon hour of them) this concerto serves up!

What are you committing yourself to?

Monday, May 13, 2013


How was the weekend, lovely readers? Mine was as good as they get, flowing with love, laughs and much-craved hugs from my guy. Thing is, the same puddle-stomping-joys can't always be transferred through to Monday's morning hours. Not unless you've got yourself a polka dot of cuteness to nudge your mood brighter- the cure for all crappy moments! This little dot comes from a series of posters pieced together by a bunch of design buffs who were asked to represent a musical genre with one shape and one type. Clever.

Have a great start to a week drenched in rays of happiness, wonderful readers xx

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday's Finds

Don't ask me where that week just went! All I know is the weather is cooling right down in my neck of the woods and my Hunters are prepped for some rainy days (can't wait)!  I also kept a few links up my sleeve for these Friday hours...

1. Ceramics. I'm a sucker for them. More so when an Adelaide (my little hometown) designer produces stunning pieces like these!

 2. I confess, I love a good jumpsuit. Tell me these well styled ladies won't convince the crowds that a jumpsuit can't look a million bucks!

3. Met Gala happened! Check out the threads here.

Here's to another wonderful two days off and a Happy Mother's Day to our wonderful mums. Spoil them rotten, tackle breakfast on Sunday morning and don't forget to thank them for the stuff (us) they put up with. Love you mum. x

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Skinny love

I've always been drawn to elegant, barely-there digit accessories; loving that we're not tied down to rocks of the larger kind, especially when considering our big-day-ring choice. I can appreciate a larger statement when it suits its owner...but...
via here & here
It's no news to the people in my life that when it comes to the threads I wear, my accessories of choice and homeware, I gravitate toward natural, simple lines with a little more hint of earthiness than polished glam. Same applies for my big-day-ring of choice (not that anyone asked). There's something about the understated elegance of these skinny lines that scream more than (in my personal opinion) what a rock would (on my finger anyway). You might remember this post and this one about more alternative "I do" statements I've found.
I've tried, but I can't seem to trick myself into wanting a diamond studded anything unless it's resembling a tiny speckle of dust. Hence, my love affair with layers of the skinny kind - three layered, plain, hammered beauties, to be precise. There's no way these can get in the way of my minimalistic moods!
Do you like these barely-there alternatives or do you prefer the sparkle of a solid rock? If you already have your big-day-ring, do you still love it as much as when you first got it or has your taste and style changed?

images via here, here, here

Monday, May 6, 2013

Power in disguise

We've all got one of those things that adds a little fuel to our souls making us live that little bit louder. Ballet in its raw discipline, strength and artistry is my thing. The challenge (as a dancer) to seamlessly disguise a fierce muscular power with flawless grace is the greatest thing my body knows.

pain in grace

I had the most amusing conversation with a gym-goer the other day; in the middle of my skipping-rope spins she saw it as a great time to chat and asked what I do other than 'jump-rope' for fitness and muscle tone. My reply (mid jump) was "ballet, a lot of it." Skipping rope still spinning, I smiled (even if a little unsettled) at the frowned confusion that came upon her. Then there was the verbal reply which had my rope slamming to a halt. "Oh, right...ballet. But ballet dancers are really, really skinny. I guess you're... small...but...strong?" I should mention, I'm perfectly happy with my build less commonly related to that of a ballet dancer (I'm not anorexic).

That conversation plus a few more have shifted my thinking to the masked strength of the ballet dancer and how often this talent gets a confused wrap. I've been confronted with the opinion that the ballet barre is lined with delicate, fingernail-precious men and wafer-thin-lettuce-munching ladies (admittedly, I do have lettuce for lunch today...); prancing-folk that just don't cut it in the athletic department! I won't deny that there's the dancer who has a touch more of a delicate side that to him and the female who's bony limbs look a little less nourished. Thing is, the ballet dancer has to be one heck of an athlete, stable-as-a-rock, machine-like with a physique envied by the heaviest of gym-junkie-weight-lifting-posers.

A ballet dancer is trained to fool their audience in thinking the most challenging feats to be effortless, weightless, dream-like visions of artistry. I guess, if I go by the conversations of late, I can say they're doing a damn good job of it! Sneaky little rascals.

male dancer, female dancer

maximum, single handed

male dancer

Enjoy the few images that say a tonne more than words could.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday's Finds

What a week! How was yours? In between the usual work, ballet training and general life-stuff, I haven't had much time to do much more. But I did save these few sneaky finds to get us through some Friday minutes!

1. You know those Thriller moves? I found the step-by-step how-to on nailing them. See my write up here!

2.  Are you awesome? Hard to tell? Click here to confirm (and refresh JUST to make sure)!

3.  Oh my! Serve me up some sweet design sense from Paul Hecker and I'm putty in your digits. Check out his interview with Design Files and his stunning work here. Excuse me while I get my breath back...

See you on the other side of another two days of recovery! xo


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