Love a whole lot of ME time

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Two hours ago I had a layer of clay lathered all over my skin as one part of the Rapt treatment at Endota Day Spa in the Hunter Valley. Jaime, my therapist, was halfway through telling me that clay draws the toxins to the skin when I think I switched off and realised I was smack bang in the midst of ME time and had another 24 hours to go.
Mr ELG and I have escaped the Sydney madhouse for a night away from MM. Our first full night away and while it’s only taken a couple of hours to realise I no longer need to tend to the every whim and need of a 13 month old child, I admit why didn’t I do this sooner!!
Driving down the F3 I just loved being able to have a full adult conversation, listen to music in peace, eat a bowl of soup while it’s still hot and most of all succumb to a 2 hour body treatment where the focus is solely ME!
So now I sit here in front of a smoldering fire with two warm scones to nibble on complete with a peppermint tea, mulberry jam and vanilla bean cream. I have the latest issues of Luxury Travel and Masterchef magazine to flick through and another two hours of blissful ME time whilst Mr ELG undergoes the same relaxing 2 hour body treatment at the hands of Jaime.
I now look forward to a yummy dinner where I don’t have to ask if there’s a high chair available and sleep which ends with a sleep in past 7am.
And finally I love having a sister who MM can stay with and become one of the gang with her other kids whilst mum and dad can spend time just being us.

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Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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A mixed bag of loves

This year’s mother’s day was technically my second to celebrate, however it felt more like my first as a) I was more coherent and well-slept since MD #1 – when I was then a sleep-deprived mum with a 4 week old newborn baby walking around like a zombie and b) I received my first mother’s day card from MM which instantly bought tears to my eyes. It has been a big month at ELG central. I have gone back to work full time and MM is in full time childcare. In the first four weeks, the three of us were struck down with illnesses of all kind being sickly passed from MM to Mr ELG to me and back around again like a vicious cycle. Dirty washing had taken over every surface of the laundry and if you had asked me what a home-cooked meal was; I would have looked at you like you were speaking to me in Russian as dinners became the last thing on my mind after sickness, snot and sleep and I think I broke the record of how much takeaway pizza one could consume in one week! So by the time mother’s day arrived this year on 13 May, 2012 and Mr ELG handed me a red heart-shaped card with MM’s tiny hand prints on the front and a poem inside, I had an out-pouring of love and happy tears rolled down my face leaving MM bewildered as to why mummy was crying and smiling at the same time! 9 days later and it has felt like the longest 9 days – primarily due to some sad news that a close friend shared with me on the Saturday before mother’s day (I can not even begin to imagine how the days have stretched for my friend). As I listened to her speak such difficult words to say, her voice shaking and croaking with each word; I felt numb, scared and in shock over life and how moments can suddenly unfold. Right there and then, I wanted to hold my friend, tight with love and tell her it was going to be alright. And so there I was the day after celebrating the unconditional love I have for MM and not being able to stop thinking about the conversation from the day before. Over the last 9 days, my thoughts have been consumed by the events which have since unfolded and intertwined with all of this have been my thoughts of the many shades and colours of a mother’s love. A love for the present, a love for the unknown, a love for the memories, a love for the now, a love of hope and a love of what may never come. As I said; a mixed bag of loves. These last 9 days have made me stop and think, stop and appreciate and be grateful for the blessing of my child who never ceases to amaze me. I recently wrote to my friend that there are no words. But today I feel that there are three… I love you xAx

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lemon yellow leaves in Orange

There’s something so clean and crisp about country air first thing in the morning when the only thing lingering is the faint smell of smoke coming out of nearby chimneys after a fire has been smoldering all night warming up the heart of a home.
I’m in Orange this weekend, thankful to Mr ELG who has whisked me away with MM in tow for a surprise getaway.
Up and about early we stopped in at Byng St cafe; a block away from where we’re staying.
The sun is out and the leaves of the trees above are lemon yellow in colour. The bright rays are streaming over the balcony as I eat my yummy brekkie roll. It’s the perfect balance of egg, crispy bacon, Swiss cheese, rocket and tart chutney. A hot cappucino tops off the taste.
Love, love, love

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Published in: on April 28, 2012 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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A giant’s hot cross bun

Oh and forgot to tell you about breakfast as here at ELG central, Easter is one of our most loved holidays and the three of us decided to get a head start on the hot cross bun intake. I bought this yesterday at another love; Bourke Street Bakery. Their bakers have obviously had a bit of fun in the kitchen and may have taken some inspiration from James and the Giant peach as this hot cross bun is certainly not small. It was the size of a standard dinner plate and after warming it in the oven, the waft of cinnamon and nutmeg filled my home and with some butter; breakfast was a big slice of heaven. If you’re in Sydney and love a good hot cross bun, this one doesn’t disappoint so go and grab one today!

Bourke Street Bakery @ 633 Bourke Street Surry Hills, NSW 2010

 

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Easter bunny is almost here…

Three days before the Easter Bunny arrives and I am still busily planning my menu for Easter Sunday lunch. If you could just see my dining table…I have open Donna Hay magazines strewn everywhere, a Nigella cook book on the floor, Gary Mehigan’s book flipped open to his crazy delicious brownie recipe and a carton of colourful rubber eggs that I picked up from Bed Bath and Table; perfect for MM’s first Easter egg hunt on Sunday as I’m trying to be a good Mummy and go steady with his chocolate intake! I’ve definitely decided on a starter to get the palate salivating but deciding on what’s to come…wish me luck!

For a while now, I have been enjoying making goodies to give at Easter, just like at Christmas too when I made a big batch of my Gourmet Chocolate and Apricot muesli and bottled portions of it up in glass bottles to giveaway. The smiles from people who are on the receiving end are so much bigger especially when they realise it’s homemade! And so I add this to my Thursday madness as while I am not attempting to make chocolate eggs, I may be planning to make something gooey which involves chocolate of course and maybe a bit of peanut butter…I will keep you posted 🙂

And yesterday out of all of the chocolate shops in Sydney, I paid a visit to the one I love best – Scrumptious on Cross Street in Double Bay. Quite close to another love; Papier D’Amour and two doors down from an endless love; Simmone Logue, Scrumptious is just as its name describes…utterly scrumptious. It is a small shop filled to the brim (especially around this time of year) with so many goodies; both edible and ornamental that it’s an overload on the senses. The scent of chocolate is amazing and the collection that the owners, Nicole and Briar, have amassed of glassware, bunnies, biscuits, eggs, vases, birdcages and baskets is truly extraordinary. On this particular visit, I picked up bits and pieces to decorate my Easter Sunday table and of course some chocolate to top it off.

I must now stop procrastinating and make some important decisions as to what to cook so I wish you all a beautiful Easter and hope you spend lots of time with family and friends relaxing over this long weekend, eating lots of chocolate and also taking some time out for yourself!

Happy Easter!

Scrumptious @ 4 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Simmone Logue @ 2 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Papier D’Amour @ 8 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eat Love Go dream…no pizza involved!

Saw this on Saturday and thought Huh??? Thought I might have to go and have a chat to the owner about some copyright issues… 🙂

But as I walked away; my mind began to wander and maybe this whole blog thing could one day lead to a little shop that I would love to own and run. Called Eat Love Go. A little cafe with vases of fresh flowers everywhere…where I could make my favourite ricotta hotcakes with chocolate honeycomb butter or on every second day I could alternate and make my apple pancakes with cinnamon yogurt and golden syrup….whatever I love to eat! There will be the Barossa Breakfast blend by Scullery Made Tea of course, as that’s another love. And if pancakes are not taking my fancy then I will always whip up some of my Chocolate and Apricot gourmet muesli inspired by another loveFarmer Jo.

And don’t worry I do see there to be more than just breakfast on the menu but I need to do some more thinking and dreaming…

And what about the GO? Well, I’ve recently taken up some freelance writing in Travel (have a look at Travel Hunch if you’re curious) and if you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that on my travels here and there, I do like to pick up things which remind me of where I have been. So it might be some Carthusia perfume from Capri on the shelves next to some hot pink Pretty Ballerina ballet flats from Cannes, placed next to a shantung silk scarf from Launceston….a small selection of loves evolving over time!

Well…just a thought of mine and thanks for reading!

 

Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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I wish I was here…

Over the last couple of years I have booked many hotel stays through the website Splendia. They specialise in luxury and character boutique hotels around the globe and all of the hotels have been as described; splendid! And if you join as a member, you get freebies at certain hotels. For example, I booked to stay at the Five Hotel and Spa in Cannes and Mr ELG and I both got a free one hour massage.

I also like them on Facebook and for the last couple of weeks, they have been posting these amazing photos where blue skies meet blue waters and the comment is something like “Wish you were here?”

Well on this Friday night, I wish I was on the other side of the world. I wish I was in Nice on the French Rivera where I could walk along the esplanade and stroll through the flower markets counting all of the different colours that the buildings are painted. I could sit down on one of the chairs opposite the beach and stare out to the horizon and then make my way back to the restaurant where I last ate a plate of pasta with fresh vongole, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and parsley. I wish I could get in a car tomorrow and drive along the coastline down to Monaco just because I can.

Oh well, how I do love to dream….

Where do you wish you were?

Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 9:26 am  Comments (1)  
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Sensationally Smitten

Happy Pancake Day!

OK I know I am 5 days late but we celebrated it all the same this morning in my kitchen with a sensational pancake recipe with inspiration drawn from Smitten Kitchen. I recently came across Smitten Kitchen after my ongoing search for the greatest birthday cake recipe…MM is turning 1 in April. In one of her posts, she boasts that she has found the recipe of all recipes when it comes to birthday cakes. When it comes time to baking the birthday cake, I will let you know. Another recipe that took my interest recently is the Chocolate Fudge Cake posted by Hostile Bacon. Miss Ren (of Hostile Bacon)and I share a love for a cake mixer and have had one or two discussions about the innocent Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and its all-reigning asset status in the kitchen…

So getting back on track with Pancake Day; the three ELGs were sensationally smitten. As usual, there was no rush to the corner shop so in PJs I used what was in the pantry so the original Smitten Kitchen recipe has been altered. The result was the pancakes were light, fluffy, golden and the mixture was easy to whip up and held itself together when it came time to flipping the pancakes in the pan. Mr ELG and I had them with the works; dusted icing sugar, squeeze of lemon juice, raspberry sauce and light drizzle of golden syrup. MM had them on his Bunnykins plate in an extremely watered down version. His pancakes were eaten bare but still woofed down all the same.

Apple and Raspberry pancakes

Ingredients:

4 small apples (I used Gala apples but any would do) peeled and grated

2 eggs – beaten well

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup natural yoghurt

1 1/2 cup self raising flour

pinch of baking powder

1/4 cup caster sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To serve:

Dollop of apple and cinnamon natural yogurt

1 banana – halved and sliced lengthways

golden syrup

raspberry sauce (if not your own then Cuttaway Creek is the next best thing!)

half a lemon

icing sugar to dust

Method:

Combine wet ingredients and lightly whisk together in a small bowl. Combine dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Add wet ingredients and grated apple; whisking it all together until just combined. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and stir in.

Brush a hot pan with some butter so it is thinly coated. Add two large tablespoons of mixture and flip over when bubbles start rising to surface. Place slices of banana between two cooked pancakes and dress with remaining ingredients according to personal taste. Makes 8

Eat. Love. Enjoy!

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Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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hello yellow!

When I was a little girl, my mum never dressed me in yellow. I always remember her saying Chinese people should never wear yellow; looks bad with their skin. Now at 31, I’m going to tell mum I disagree.

At the moment, I am loving all things yellow. And orange for that matter but that’s another post altogether. Yellow to me is sunshine, it radiates, states happiness and has this fabulous frivolity about it. It screams HELLO!

I also love Oscar de la Renta and his classic sharp lines in his design and seeing this yellow piece today from his 2012 collection has given me the inspiration for today’s post. So after the fabulous yellow ruffled sensation spotted on Camille Styles which I will show again here; I leave you with the thought for the day of hello yellow!

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 12:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love love love today

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Upon this day love love love someone, something or anything for that matter. I walked through the Strand yesterday which was basking in all of its rosy red and fuschia pink glory from its bulbous papier pom poms. It was such a glorious welcome from the somewhat concrete city and really got me in the mood for a bit of lovin today!

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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