Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sarah's Key, with Amanda's company.

Last Thursday night, on a whim, I decided to go to the movies (my all-time favourite past-time). Not having a clue what was screening, I looked up my local theatre's website and my fascination with the French led me to select a film by the name of Sarah's Key. Now...usually, reading about movies that are about World War anything (except Pearl Harbour - I have an old photo of me tounge kissing a poster of Josh Hartnett), in any foreign language or sounding even slightly avant garde I would skip straight to the next synopsis, however, since my interest in France has developed, the blurb for Sarah's Key appealed to me immensely. 

Luckily, my friend Amanda was also intrigued and available, so the two of us sat alone eating dark chocolate in the well worn-in red seats of Richmond's Regent Theatre. That's right, just the two of us! Needless to say we gave each other our (often accurate) plot predictions out loud and had our feet up on the seat while we devoured, through tears, laughter and hands over our hearts, the shocking and moving account based on the best-selling novel by Tatiana De Rosnay of the Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942.

This horrific event involved the arrest of the Jews who resided in the so-called City of Love. Sans the love, obviously. We cried as we watched these innocent people being treated worse than cattle; without sanitation, food, water or medical assistance for the ill. Babies were torn from their mother's desperate grip and siblings were separated, never to see each other again. The inhumane sufferings these civilians endured for no reason other than the ignorance and bigotry that hate crimes are born from was deeply upsetting and humbling to learn about.

The story is of a sister's devotion to her little brother's freedom. This young girl, Sarah's, courage is inspiring and serves as a reminder that amongst all the evil of the world, goodness prevails. Even a soldier forced to beat and imprison children was overcome by his compassion for Sarah and let her keep the apple thrown over the fence by some other child's mother and, more memorably, allowed her and another young girl escape by scrambling under the fence from the rancid concentration camp. A quote from little Sarah, that I later repeated to Amanda with glistening eyes and sincerity in my heart, was  her last words to this kind man, "I will remember the apple forever".

And, Manda, I really will.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This beautiful Maltese lady is my best friend, Denise Deguara.

We were playing rich bitches at the Ivy Pool Bar in this photo. The place reminds me of a Street's or Peter's ice-cream ad. The pastel blue and yellow decor combined with the 50's style swimsuit wearing promotional girls and the beach inspired cocktail menu make for the best bar I've ever been to. No chance of me jumping in the pool with the bikini clad models though! Not until I find my black halter Jantzen swimsuit anyways. If only I could afford the $10k membership! SSSwwankyyy!

This day was also my red lipstick debut. Very brave of me. Loved it. Amazing how a lick of colour can boost your confidence.

Five food, fun and fashion memories about this fantastic friend of mine:

1. Our lagoon lunch on Sunday where we created my new favourite fruit salad. Pineapple, passionfruit, mango, blueberries and peach. Sensational.

I forgot forks so we used the passionfruit shell halves to scoop!

2. Melbourne Cup. We shopped for hours putting together a gorgeous outfit and then Denise fell out of a cab on the way into a Gentlemen's club and smashed her toe so badly that the heels she planned on wearing couldn't fit so the entire ensemble was ruined. I'm still laughing! And her toe still hurts.
3. 2008 P&O cruise. Best holiday ever.
4. Her hot leather jacket.
5. Greek restaurant in Terrigal, can't remember the name but the food and service was five star.

Viva la Velvet

Bargain I found for Charli Bear, my velvet lover (aka Charlotte Ree).

Five fashion, fun and food memories about this fabulous friend of mine:

1. Charli dancing at The Oaks with a broken ankle in a full on cast minus crutches.
2. Her signature flower rings.
3. Birthday dinner at Italian restaurant in Darlinghurst (Miss Ree speaks Italian fluently).
4. Set Sail gig at The Gaelic and pegging plastic balls at each other in the club.
5. Strawberries and dipping chocolate sauce at Max Brenner's.

Love your style bella. xoxo.

P.S. Please excuse the toilet seat up in my bathroom - of course that was my brother. Males, sigh.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Best deep fried ice-cream ever!

Words cannot describe, just look, and try not to salivate all over your keyboard!

I've even returned to Saigon Saigon specifically for this dessert to show my best friend the stunning presentation and gourmet garnishes. To my dismay (even though I emphasised to the waiter that I was ordering the dish take-away only if the visual effect would be unaffected) it came out in two plastic containers, looking very ordinary. So, I gently let them know what I wanted and they started again. And the result...I repeat, just look! I am not yet well versed on foodie review lingo (coming soon). 

Well worth the wait. And the slight tummy-ache!

For a taste, visit 

The Jewel in Sydney's Farming Crown.

This is how the fertile, rich farmlands and rivers of the Hawkesbury area are described, and for good reason.

Due to my passion for food and cooking being ignited over the last 10 months, my eyes have been peeled and my ears pricked for all things culinary: recipes, retailers, wholesalers, books, TV shows, restaurants and, of course, conversations with people about what they love or hate. An inspirational friend of mine, Lee, was talking about groceries one day and I tuned in for great tips on where to shop for local produce so as to support our community and reduce our carbon footprint. Shopping and eating fresh is also one of the pieces of advice I have read in my research of the French lifestyle.

Introduce... Riverview Produce, a farm in the lowlands between Richmond and Agnes Banks (Richbanks I think my little sis calls it lol) that grow and sell their own fruit and veges and whatever they don't pick they source from the area. I'm in organic heaven!

On my first visit with Lee, the beetroot was out so the owner/ shop assistant/ labourer went out onto the field and picked it straight from the ground! Cannot get fresher than that. Isn't it fascinating to realise that everything you want and need, all these delicious recipes for your happiness are right in your own backyard? I've woken up and can smell the sweet scent of the roses. And oranges!

Peu a Peu

French for "little by little". An extremely productive, rewarding and balanced way of living and achieving. This concept is something that, sadly, I am only just beginning to understand, accept and actually apply at the ripe old age of 22 and a half lol. Better late than never I guess!

For as long as I can remember I have been an all or nothing, full steam ahead, all systems go type of girl...nothing was ever enough. I was my own worst enemy, the inner critic a nasty piece of work, and eventually these unrealistic high expectations and fantasies I dreamt up lead to my demise. Fortunately, I am now alchemising this experience and gratitude for my fall is genuinely forming in my heart. Had I not gone so hard and fast maybe I would never have learnt this valuable lesson. I am learning that life is not black and white but a whole swatch of greys. 

The most enjoyable, satisfying and sure-fire way of reaching your destination and making the most of the journey is to proceed peu a peu. As my sister-in-law said to me "Rome wasn't built in a day". And my best friend said "One day at a time". And Elisabeth and Barbara said "Baby steps", my sister, "every day is one step closer", and my wonderful mother, "hour by hour, minute by minute, moment by moment". Without all of these amazing supports in my life, rock-bottom, may have become my permanent residence. It is true, love is what makes the world go 'round. And patience is a very, very important virtue.
"In art & dreams, proceed with abandon, in life, proceed with balance and stealth". - Unknown.

The Lovely Lisa Ho

After collecting my first over-the-counter-eBay parcel from the Post Office (I nearly damaged the silk as I hurriedly try to tear the sticky tape in the car!) and ogled over my new Lisa Ho blouse, made from dusk pink 100% silk with Swarovski crystal flowers for buttons, my heart and mouth finally stopped competing with each other and I stumbled across this...

Who else but the lovely Lisa Ho responsible for this gorgeous garment! Coincidence much? Lisa was featured in one of my favourite publicity pages 'can't live without' in the same week's Sunday Magazine. Further to this uncanny timing was my discovery that myself and this talented Australian fashion designer share my love of France. Amongst her favourite things were Eiffel towers, Parisian art and vintage (which my fashion lenses are much more focused on now, thanks to my beautiful and uber stylish friend, Kayla Stanton).

See here for Ho's French film 'Belle De Jour' inspired 2011 Collection 

Have found Belle De Jour at Sydney Uni so am booking in a sneaky session with my film buff friends to watch in their library asap (for research of course!).