It’s been way too long between posts on here. Life’s been good. Baby Raff (aka the cheeriest person I’ve ever met) is already 5 months old and having his first tastes of yummy things like carrot and pear. I’ve got a cute highchair that I’ll get a few snaps of him in once he’s got that big cute head of his under control. Sunday is growing up right before our eyes and making us laugh more and more each day, I love the kind and outgoing person she is becoming – someone I’d really like to be friends with, and that’s something Mark and I are really proud of.
I’m working on a few exciting decorating projects that I need to get better at sharing on here (watch this space), all made possible because I’ve found an amazing ‘grandma type’ nanny (and true baby whisperer) who watches Raff for a few hours at a time so I can punch some work out. Sleepless nights are a whole other story, but it feels different second time around, you realise that it eventually changes and there truly is light at the end of that sleepless tunnel. It also helps that Rafferty beams the most heart melting smile every time my head appears over his cot – no matter what hour.
Below is a game of catch up and a round up of a few things I’ve been loving lately.
We had the most amazing lunch with my sister and family at the The Newport recently. It’s been recently renovated, or I should say ‘Merivaled’ and it is oh-so-cool. Built around gorgeous gardens with incorporated outdoor dining spaces and bars, we indulged in a delicious spread of roast chicken, seafood, salads and pizzas. Th kids ended the day with donuts and ice creams. A really beautiful family day out – a good tip is to get there at around 11.00am to score a great lunch table.
My parents came back from a month long holiday in France last week and Sunny scored a gorgeous paint set from Monet’s garden. I love how much time she’s spending on her art, I’m so impressed with her focus and pride in the work she does. The relative silence in the house also doesn’t hurt.
My 10kg butter ball sure loves to nurse, so this lovely Mama Body Tea arrived in my post box at a great time. It’s an organic and caffeine free herbal tea range to assist women and their babies. I’m completely guilty of a morning coffee to get me functioning for the day (oh sweet jesus, never take that cup of gold away from me), so I’ve been loving this as an afternoon pick me up alternative.
My crystal hunting friend Rachel at Rock & Co has just become an Australian supplier of the Californian brand Aquarian Soul – a crystal infused beauty range that Rachel is selling alongside all her stunning crystals. All the products are handmade by herbalist Ally Sands, who has combined her therapeutic crystal knowledge with herbal medicine. The smell is divine, and the bath soak is actually so beautiful to look at, I’m kind of hesitant to use.
If you’re Sydney based, Rachel is also hosting a little pop up market stall at West Elm Chatswood on 20th and 21st August – so you can see all those gorgeous crystals in real time!
Sunday told me that she ‘feels the love in her heart’ for her baby brother Rafferty. I of course know how that feels, especially when I capture a photo like this in their little matching tops. A gorgeous delivery arrived all the way from Paris recently – striped jersey tops for the kids AND myself from émoi émoi. Check out the range – all you have to do is pick the message you want embroidered on the tops in red: ‘Mini Cool’, ‘Mini Poule’, ‘Enfant Modèle’ or ‘Enfant Terrible’. Offered as part of a range for kids, mothers and grand-mothers. So crazy cute, I want them all!
This dinner…so simple, yet so delicious. Mark has been on a huge fitness kick this year, and the results are sure showing. He’s been exercising like a demon every morning at our local F45 gym, cut back on the booze and cooking some really healthy meals. The dish above has been a weekly go-to for us, and I asked him to share the recipe. I’ve copy and pasted his short and sweet email:
Basically, you cook diced onion in olive oil (healthier would be coconut oil) throw in all the veggies you want, such as carrot, eggplant, sweet potato and zucchini (withholding some beans/corn /mushrooms for texture until just before serving) throw in 3 tins of tomatoes, once bubbling throw in diced chicken thigh pieces and when that is cooked, add the beans/corn /mushrooms for a short time. Season with salt and pepper, serve in bowls and top with smashed avocado, italian parsley and chèvre (goats cheese).
Tip from me: The smashed avocado, italian parsley and chèvre on topMAKE this dish sing. Weird combo I know, but it’s seriously yummy. If you’re fine not being totally healthy, a nice crusty slice of bread with lashings of Lurpak really takes this dish to another (comfort eating) level.
You may have noticed the pink trend that has living rooms around the world rocking all tones of blush, salmon and magenta. The Metal Frame Upholstered Chair is back in stock at West Elm and the dusty blush beauty is pictured above sitting pretty next to my healthy (yay!) fiddle leaf fig.
There is definitely a fine line between a cool space and Barbie Dreamhouse when decorating with pink. If in doubt, take one thing away. It really works when pink is used thoughtfully and somewhat sparingly. You can still have fun and be daring with a bold hit of pink, and then pull things back when considering other elements in the room. e.g. Painting the walls pink? Soften the mood with white linen window furnishings. Splurging on a pink sofa? Break the tone up with grey cushions.
On first impressions, I was drawn to the luxe muted pink velvet and the contemporary structure of the frame. However, the most surprising factor was the comfort of the chair – definitely an added bonus to this gorgeous piece of furniture. The obvious colour pairing to this hue would be a shade of grey, which is why I chose the Mongolian Lamb cushion in platinum.I also think dusty olive green works beautifully with pink. You don’t have to stick to one shade of pink either – have fun mixing pastel, magenta and dark pinks in the one space.
Also pictured in this set up is the Ashik Wool Rug and the Factory Task Lamp from West Elm. I’ll be giving away a $250.00 gift voucher on Instagram this week, so a lucky follower can have their own little splurge – make sure to check it out @sunday_collector.
Method Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
Increase heat to high. Add the stock and cream and bring to the boil. Add potato and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until potato is tender. Add spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Place half the spinach mixture in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with remaining spinach mixture. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup among serving bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream and season with pepper and croutons (Mark made his own by stir frying cubes of a french stick with garlic and butter). Serve with crusty bread and lashings of butter.