Friday, August 29, 2014


This is me, circa 2009/2010. 

This was a super exciting period of my life.  I'd just gotten over being sick for a while and on every day I was well enough to read, watch and learn, I read, watched and learned everything I could about food, health, nutrients, the benefits of exercise, keeping stress levels down and the effect what we put into our bodies has on our health.  Preventative medicine through food and lifestyle was my everything.  It was (and still is) my biggest passion and hobby.  Health is everything and without it you really have nothing (all the money in the world can't buy you out of most illnesses).

I'm channeling this level of passion and remembering my insane love for health as I head toward summer and being a bride.  I want to be the healthiest and fittest version of myself ever.  

Spring seems like the perfect time to start and I'm excited to check back here with what I do and how I go.  

Anyone else feeling inspired by the start of Spring?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Last stop on our US trip - Hawaii.  Well, really only Waikiki.  I wanted a break somewhere sunny and relaxing on the way home (plus any break up in the plane trip was good news to me by this point), and Hawaii is really the only logical spot.  We settled on Waikiki just because it was close to the airport and we figured it was the first step to seeing Hawaii.  I never said we were creative.. 

Waikiki is definitely pretty.  The water is crystal clear and warm (and you can go out hundreds of metres and feel totally safe) and the surrounding landscape is beautiful - but apart from that it's pretty much Surfer's Paradise.  It was fine for 4 nights as a stop over and we had plenty of fun drinking way too many cocktails and Duke's (5 words - fish tacos and waffle fries), but I wouldn't really go back.  It did however make me desperately want to go back and see some of the other islands.  I can only imagine how gorgeous they are.

The other amazing thing about Waikiki were the locals.  Every single one we met, from our driver (Tony's transportation!  He was hilarious but I can't find any number.. ), to the waiting staff and the shop assistants were absolutely beautiful, warm, friendly people.

Sadly apart from staff most of the people in Waikiki were tourists (Aussies or Japanese). We would have loved to get out of the city and meet more of the locals, but this was the end of our trip and we honestly just couldn't be bothered.  We pledged to return instead.. 

Pretty cute shopping centre!

We stayed at the Outrigger Waikiki on the beach and yes, we paid a fair bit extra for that 'partial ocean view' room.  So incredibly not worth it.  The room was OK, pretty basic, but clean and the bed was comfortable. Duke's was underneath our hotel which was a definitely perk.  If I return I'll definitely be at the Moana Surfrider which was 2 doors down.  If I hadn't prepaid everything I would've moved... 

Walked the shops, drank cocktails, eat and lay on the beach is pretty much all we did.

Perfect water.. 

Half way through our walk to the Ala Moana shopping centre.  Worth a look I guess, but didn't buy too much.

I really was over photos by this stage so I seem to have not taken photos of anything we actually did.  

I won't lie, it is pretty.

So who else has been to Hawaii and where should I stay/eat/play on my return?


Sunday, August 24, 2014


Last week was a pretty quiet and boring one for me.  Last Friday (9 days ago now, it seems like yesterday) I had some pretty big dental work that left me in a bit of pain and then with terrible sinus pressure headaches for a few days.  It resulted in a couple of days off work and a serious amount of watching 'Orange is the new Black' (addicted).  By Thursday I was almost as good as new and now I just have a dull ache.  Let me just say one thing - if you get a root canal, get a crown!  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  Ever.

Onto my week through Insta..

This was Monday morning..  I was feeling pretty terrible and the gorgeous Munro would not get off me.  Purring and cuddles galore.  Nothing better.

I think this was on Thursday when I was finally feeling good and the sun was out!  Miracle!  Nothing changes my mood like the sun being out.  I seriously am a different person in winter compared to summer.  I try not to be but I am.  I'm a bitch in winter.

... So of course on Saturday when it was 21 degrees (!!) I was outside half the day on the lawn with food and magazines and a beach towel.  As it should be.
Though at 3pm it got pretty cool and I was forced in.  Not to worry...

.. as on Saturday night M and I joined his family for my sister-in-law's birthday.  Oh to be 25 again!  We ate at The Third Wave in Port Melbourne which, especially for my 'pescetarian' self, did not look promising.  But I was pleasantly surprised - that may have been the best salmon I have ever eaten.  Just perfect.

This morning involved serious amounts of berries to recover from the Mars Bar birthday cake that followed last night's meal.  More sunshine - very promising for the last week of winter (hip hip..)

And then today I worked on a vineyard out country which was relaxing but also incredibly tiring!  The huge amount of berries didn't fuel me for very long and we got home just in time for The Block, some beer and a (terrible) fish souvlaki from a local fish and chip shop (our usual was shut.  Should have had toast..).

I had an amazing weekend after a really crappy week and I hope I can carry this refreshed feeling right through Monday, despite the hundreds of things I still have to catch up on at work after time off last week.  Some early starts are calling.

Have a beautiful Monday! x

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I already have a few of these elements and I can't change them (like, the couch, or the dark coffee table).  

Too many ideas in one spot.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


The problem with not liking too much stuff and keeping things minimal is that everything becomes a big purchase, so for over 6 months I've been looking for a new bag... but I can't find one I like.  Anywhere.

The closest I can get to something I like is that one on the bottom left from J Crew, and even then, it's not love.

The rest - PinkGoldBlack, Pattern.

Any tips on where to look for bags or are they just all terrible at the moment?

I won't ever spend a fortune on a hand bag, so Net a Porter will not be the solution to my problem.

Anyone know any amazing handbag creator on Etsy?  I can hardy be bothered searching anymore.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


So I'm guessing anyone that already has an interest in tiny houses already frequents Small House Bliss.  

Just a few images I adored for a Sunday morning....

This place on a hot Summer night.  Yes please.

From when I was 8 years old until I was about 17, I wanted to be an architect so much.  I had books and books of floor plans I'd done, programs for building houses on the computer (archaic by today's standards).  I had samples of materials and wrote myself client briefs.  I gave up when I realised how hard I'd have to study in year 12 to get in (and threw everything out.  I know, silliness).  Even though one of my total bffs is an architect and I have seen how insanely hard she had to work to get there and how hard she now works to earn money from it, I still regret that decision.  

Though I guess there's nothing really stopping me learning to build a tiny house from retired containers now (would have to be container as my full time work is as a supply chain manager - oh what fun!).  Well, apart from no where to build it.

All images from the gorgeous Small House Bliss 

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I'm always late to take up technology, but last year was the year of the upgrade for me - my 1994 commodore got swapped for a sparkly brand new car.  My non-touch screen phone was traded in for an S4 (the best and brand newest at the time, so unlike me!), and I discovered the land of Instagram and Whatsapp.

Despite this, and despite my friend L promoting it's features and encouraging me to just give it a go, I never got into Pinterest.

Last week, that changed.

Who would have known that folding magazine page corners is not the only way to be able to go back to beautiful images you want to refer to later for inspiration? (apart from everyone but me).  Insane.

So.. do you Pinterest?
I'd love to stalk your boards...

The only thing I'm not great at is making my own comments on each image. 

Does anyone do that?

And now, some of my favourite pins so far...

Perfect mix of earthy and modern.
(Have I mentioned I love interiors??)

Although M & I have done a lot of work on our back yard (there was nothing when we got here, well, there was a mud pit), we still have a long way to go.  I adore beautiful backyards that are not too structured and look as cosy as the inside of a beautiful home with little surprises and gorgeous places to sit and read a big or just get a new view of your property (this was done so well at McAlpine House in Broome where I stayed last year).  So many great gardens on Pinterest.

From childhood I have always loved sleeping close to the floor - mattresses on the floor give me the best nights sleep.
Sadly M thinks I am mad, so we do not have a mattress on the floor.

I'm a big fan of exposing either legs or arms in it's extreme form.  Nothing better than a tiny skirt or shorts and a jumper, or long, preferably loose-fitting pants and a cami.
I'm not super huge on style stalking but I loved this.

I'm a total loser and love reminding myself through prints that I really do have an amazing life and that nothing is all that bad.  

A few metres of sheer fabric and I could totally make this window covering.

Hope to see you on Pinterest and if not, I'm sure I'll be using a few of my pins here in posts to come..

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I'm trying to cut back on our pretty indulgent weekly grocery spend at the moment (blue cheese, good champagne and fresh fish were becoming staple items), and it's kind of fun! I love to cook so I get home every night, open the pantry and the fridge, and treat it like an invention test (or that Greek guy that used to call salt Harold Holt - who was that??).  Best way to learn more.. and last night I was pretty chuffed with my efforts and thought I might share it with you.  Healthy, vegetarian, and tasty - 

Clockwise from top left - 

Snow Peas.  Pretty self explanatory.  I always have 'something green' so this is my something.

Mexican inspired beans.  Fry up a brown onion, a de-seeded red chilli, a couple of tomatoes, a garlic clove or two, some smokey paprkia, some dried oregano, 1-2 diced fresh tomatoes, a can of well rinsed lentils and a can of well rinsed kidney beans and the finely diced roots of a bunch of coriander.  Fry for a while so the beans dry a bit and add vegetable stock (get some nice stuff or, failing that, some salt reduced stuff) or water to keep everything softening and serve once everything else is ready (I kept mine going on the stove for a good half hour - first on high heat, then low).

Leftover Cheese Sauce.  This is totally uneccesary and can be replaced with some grated mozarella/tasty/whatever you have in the house, but I had left over bechamel sauce from the night before (well, a healthy variation, as always - a little butter, some olive oil, some healthy flour, a little milk but mainly water and a little grated mozarella and parmesan).  I am not the kind to throw out food so I always try to use everything.

Home made flat bread.  People, stop buying flat bread.  A little fat, some liquid and flour and you have flat bread.  I used about a tablespoon of butter and half a tablespoon of oil for these (melted and mixed), a few grinds of salt, a dash of milk and flour.  I also added water to get the right consistency (recipes say to keep adding milk or more oil etc, but that's not for me).  Once you have a dough, knead knead knead!  At least for 3-5 minutes, then wrap it in cling filk and let it rest on the bench while you prep everything else.  When you're ready to cook it roll out little balls into giant flat rounds (the thinner the better in my opinion) and cook on a super hot non-stick fry pan.  So easy, so yummy and so damn cheap.  Flat bread in the shops cost a fortune for a bit of flour!  And sometimes a whole lot of chemicals (apart from Mountain Bread which I love, but again, not cheap).

Greek Yoghurt.  Greek yoghurt is a staple in my house and apart from on a traditional dish of M's parents, I never use sour cream.  

Tomato Salsa.  Chopped fresh tomatoes (these little ones are amazing from my fruit market and only $2.99 a kg as they are small but as soon as I smelt them it was love!), the chopped up fresh coriander leaves left over from the stems used in the beans, a grind of salt and a dash of olive oil.  Doing this kind of thing works so much better if you mixed it all in a big bowl together first then throw it in a serving dish rather than sprinkling things on top.

We tore pieces of bread and piled beans, tomato, cheese sauce and yoghurt on top and it was super good and the beans made it so filling.  I'm not into eating heavy at night so I left most of the bread to Max and ate the different elements like a salad - also worked so well.

Nothing better than having someone you love love eating something you've cooked them.

Do you ever do random meals like this?

Just grouping whatever is in the fridge and going for it...

Happy Thursday & have a beautiful Friday!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Last weekend M took me out to Fitzroy for lusty furniture window shopping (I'm looking at you, Mark Tuckey) and finally eating at Jimmy Grants and trying Australia's best Gelato.  We also dude a huge amount of walking through the streets which I love as it reminds me of being on holiday. 

Nothing like exploring your home city as if you were a visitor.  

If I made this photo any bigger you'd see the extreme frown-lineage.
What IS that?
Stop concentrating so hard, Natalie.
I swear it's not usually there...
Hello, late twenties.

As an only-seafood eater (some say pescetarian), I got the prawn option.

Don't let this crappy photo fool you - it was amazing.
Does anyone have a recipe for the amazing kebab/souvlaki bread you get in places like this?

So good.

I had a sip of this as I never drink soft drink - it was tasty.

I was so distracted by the amazingness of eating the Gelato that I took only this photo.
You just have to go.

Amazing street art in and around Fitzroy.

Plus more proof that if you're looking for a fashion blog, you have come to the wrong place.

Melbourne has so many gorgeous little 'burbs.  I work right near Seddon and adore walking the streets there too.  One day I should snap it... maybe even with a camera rather than my phone (!!).

If you haven't tried Gelato Messina yet and you like ice cream, you HAVE to go.  If you have already been - what was your favourite flavour?

I got coconut & lychee and the amaretto and fig jam one.
M got white chocolate and salted caramel (which won our best of what we bought) and Bounty.

Monday, August 11, 2014


I won't lie, Vegas wasn't for me.

M has always wanted to see it and it made a great stop between New York & Hawaii, but I never wanted to go.  Vegas for me sounded like the place of the fake, the drunk and the loud.  I don't think I was far off.

We were there 3 nights and stayed at Aria (as far as cheesy hotels go, yep, perfect - clean, pretty good value, comfy bed.. like staying at Crown but not quite).  When we landed I couldn't believe how close the airport was to the main strip and thought the surrounding mountains looked so beautiful.  Plus, after the snow and freezing temperatures in New York, it was a beautiful, sunny 23 degrees. Score!

Once we checked into our room and had a shower (a must after a flight for us), we went for an explore.  So much fake.  Not just the buildings but the people (I'm sure they're lovely, but a lot look super plastic and the rest were just tourists).  

Then we tried to find something to eat and I went to a cafe and got a sandwich for $14 or something insane that was stale and revolting.  I was starving but I threw it out.  It was worse than the food on the plane (although Virgin America - highly recommend).

On the first night we saw the famous over-water Cirque Du Soleil show 'O'.  M went on and on about it before we went and we paid a small fortune for the tickets but it was amazing - I was totally enthralled and the show seemed to go for 20 minutes it just flew by!   Definitely worth a look.

M wanted to see more shows but I wasn't keen so we did the famous buffet at Caesar's Palace (I think it's called the Buchanel buffet?).  It was worth going to just to watch the amount of crab legs people could eat.  It was a freak show, but t
he food was pretty average, I didn't get the fuss at all.  Standard all you can eat fare but a huge selection.
If you ever go give them a tip when you arrive - we got changed to better seats overlooking the whole restaurant after throwing in a $20 tip and we got amazing service.
(In fact this was the case throughout America whenever we tipped).

The rest of our time in Vegas was spent walking around the shops, doing the outlets etc.  The strip is super long to walk so take comfy shoes.

Vegas is exactly what Vegas sounds like it'll be.  I'm glad I saw it, I guess, but as a woman who isn't into going out clubbing or getting drunk (club promoters 10 times a day would tell me how they could get me 'sooo drunk' for free.. no thanks?  Certified prude here!), and likes her food (the food here was mostly just plain bad), I won't be revisiting Vegas.

Boys week away?  Sure, they'd love it.

M was a fan, thought everything was 'impressive'.

...It didn't help that on the first night I was woken at 4am by our hotel neighbours being violently and loudly ill next door.  Really gross.  The hotel was booked out so we couldn't move rooms.  So not OK.

Also, as soon as we got into our hotel room in Vegas and I turned on the TV, reports of flight MH17 started... not good for a phobic flyer who just landed in the windy Vegas airport!  With M apologising to the passenger next to him saying I am a nervous flyer and him going, 'Well she ain't gonna like this landing!'.  Hah.  No, Mr. Suave American Business Man, I did not like the landing.

And so this is Vegas..

M thought the Bellagio fountain shows were amazing.
By that I mean M wanted to watch every single one ever.
It was 'impressive'.

Such long walkways they need to help you out.

Inside Aria.
So many empty upper-end stores (Chanel, Harry Winston etc) completely empty with bored-as staff waiting for someone to have a big win.

So excited to watch more fountains....

Our travel agent was really apologetic that she couldn't secure us a room with a view of the strip.

I was not disappointed at all.. we could see the mountains in the distance and the hundreds of helicopters a night flying by.

We were meant to do a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon which we'd pre-booked, but when we got there M learned that the site led him to believe it would be just the two of us but we'd actually be in a group of 4 or 6 with strangers and some people would be in middle seats.
This only further escalated my extreme anxiety about getting in a helicopter and he called the company to see if we could get a refund.
It was a super busy weekend (I think it was Nascar weekend?) so they gave us a full refund (it was over a grand so we were relieved!) 

Strangely I bought more in Vegas than anywhere else.
I put it down to shopping being the most entertaining thing in Vegas for me.  The last thing I wanted to do in New York or San Fran was sit in shops when there was so many awesome places to explore.
I can shop any time.
 (M likes to take photos of me either pulling up my undies or grabbing my love handles - can't quite tell?)

This was trippy I have to say.

This duck was so perfect on it's fake grass (yeah, there is fake grass and trees and rocks in the streets.. not to mention the chirping birds in the trees that are actually speakers..), that I thought perhaps he was a fake duck.
He waddled like a real duck so if he was fake I will say that's impressive.

I look exhausted and gross in all the Vegas photos as I was so hot from being in the sun all day and had usually been walking for hours.  This was after walking for 6 or so hours and I was totally done for and just wanted sleep.  This is my super impressed face at yet another one of these billboards...

Trying to enjoy it!

Leaving you with M, overlooking his beloved fountain.
He hates being on the bloggy so don't tell him...

So Vegas, I doubt we'll meet again, but it was nice knowing you for a super short while (3 nights was definitely enough).

Have you been to Vegas?  Did you love it?
Do you think I am a giant prude now?  I don't care!

When I headed out at night in Vegas I really felt like I needed at least an inch more make up, way more hairspray and a boob job (seriously, could not stop staring at some of that super-on-show perkiness).  Oh and some insane platform shoes.  I didn't even begin to fit in in my jeans, nice top and pointy flats (practical holiday shoes).

If you want a perve, Vegas is definitely the place to be.

Next up, Hawaii!