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Loving all stylish and wonderful things in life, fashion and interiors. I am English but living my life in the fabulous city of Melbourne in Australia. Welcome and please read on.... (contact me at sjstubbs19@gmail.com)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quick visit into the city

Had to make unexpected visit into the city of Melbourne today. Right into the heart of the CBD. I think it's one of my most favourite cities in the world - everything is at your fingertips. It was decked out for Christmas with stars and fluttering flags.

There's a very good transport system in Melbourne. Melburnians sometimes complain about the trains and trams but I think they are wonderful. Look at this rather jolly tram in yellow above.

Outside David Jones department store there was a 'live' stone statue of F. Christmas! I love David Jones. Went in there today and bumped into such a gorgeous girl - a friend of daughter's - she is working at the MAC counter. The gorgeous girl was on the same Make Up Artist course that my daughter attended when she was here in June, July and August.......

Oh and look ! F. Christmas himself. He was starring in the window of Myers Department store...

Along with these animated lily fairies...

a prince and a princess, (Kate Middleton take note - a good dress design for you perhaps?!)

and these gorgeous white horses.

All very pretty I have to say but I cannot for the life of me really feel festive when it is warm. I imagine it must be an ingrained thing having been brought up in the Northern Hemisphere where Christmas means cold short days and long nights, open fires, evergreen fir trees and twinkly ice and snow !!

It's a different kind of atmosphere here - still fun and lovely but one of a rather long party with warm days and short nights, outside living, barbeques, beach visits and plenty of cold fizzy champagne. Not that I'm really complaining, especially about the fizzy part!

As I was in the city I called friend S who works there and we met for a healthy sushi lunch. After that the healthy part stopped as she took me to a gorgeous little cupcake place for some

and we had such a

catching up and chatting. Have not seen her for a while.

The inside of the cupcake shop - so colouful... Look at all the boxes used as decoration on the left hand side wall.

And above - 3 little cupcakes...How cute? From the left chocolate marshmallow, then vanilla creme, and on the right strawberry shortcake.

So delicious! (I had the strawberry one).

Oh and I did do a teeny bit of retail therapy too which I will tell you about in a later post. All in all a very nice day off altogether and I now feel ready to face the rest of the week.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friends Of Mine

is the name of a new cafe opened up near us in Melbourne. I think it is a pretty good name and the place was busy, busy, busy when Mr SE and I stopped by there a few weekends ago for breakfast. The photograph below was taken after we had finished and were walking away - just look at the crowds milling around outside queuing up to get a table....! (Glad we got there early) This is the menu. Well, the menu is written on the other side. This is what you look down and see at your place when you sit at the table... quite a nice thing to read anytime, even if you don't feel it!

Above shows a photograph of the general feel of the place - quite dark, sort of industrial chic meets French salon. And it works...

Above - our table with a little lamp on it too. Cute.

My tea (on a board - what would my MIL say ? She does not like food or drink served on boards!)

Quirky touch above.

My delicious breakfast - Bircher muesli layered with vanilla scented rhubarb and yoghurt. Perfection in a glass.

Mr SE had poached eggs and bacon. He was impatient to get stuck in!

Love this arrangement for the glasses.
For more information on this great place look here : http://www.friendsofmine.com.au/
And that brings me very neatly to another 'Friend of Mine' - but not the restaurant. Friend C sent me this photograph below. Update on the dining table!! The boards have been fixed together and lightly sanded so far. The wine bottle in the middle of the table is to give the scale!! And it is sitting on two wood working trestles. Coming along nicely! And it is going to be a little bigger than originally planned.

Will keep you updated as it takes shape.
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No charmed life for us this weekend!

First of all thank you all so much for your Moving Day wishes... So kind.

We are in the new place and although not quite organised we are getting there.

Now, there are those who read this blog who accuse Mr SE and I of leading a charmed life and yes, I would agree with you that most of the time we do in a way, but not this weekend....!! Oh no.

We have spent all of Saturday (apart from 2 hours when I was released from duties - more about that later) and all of Sunday cleaning up and scrubbing our old place ready for inspection tomorrow when we hand back the key. Hence the non-charmed life this weekend and it's back to work tomorrow. Have to say though that Mr SE is not one to shirk housework and gladly gets stuck in too so at least we could toil away together. And that was exactly what we were doing when our friend C came knocking on the door - would I like to go to a Salvage Yard with him? Would I? - Yes please (and not just to get out of deep cleaning the bathroom!)

So off we went in the sunshine. I adore salvage yards wherever they are and I had some particular favourite ones in England too. This one was just as fun and had loads to rummage about in - just look at all the 'stuff' above and below photos.... You never know what you might find - half the fun.

Photograph below shows what we had mainly come to see and there was a huge selection happily. Gorgeous old pieces of wood - mainly old floorboards. Not that I am going to put any wood on the floor. Oh no, a much more exciting prospect. Dear friend C is going to make us a huge big dining table from old wooden floorboards and I am so excited! Mr SE is not quite as excited - he is not so into 'old things' and would rather like the idea of a nice clean new dining table I feel. BUT I'm sure he will love the table when it's finished.

We looked at all along the boards. Inspecting and discussing. Finally we found them.

These were the ones. Old Baltic pine - obviously had been a floor in a house once - lots of character and slightly bashed up. Nothing pretentious just good old honest boards. We picked the boards and I paid $100 for 10 - not bad for such lovely old wood. Coming back was fun - the boards stuck out of the back window of the car. C has them back at his house and in fact he has just called me to 'talk tables' - it's going to be around 3ft. wide and around 6ft 6" long (and in metric that is approx just under 1 metre by around 2 metres).

I cannot wait. (OK yes, perhaps I agree - maybe a little bit of the 'charmed life' again - all I know is that I feel very lucky that we know someone who will make me the table of my dreams!)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Today we are moving. Not sure how long we will have the internet for here (the removal men are taking furniture out of the house around me as I am perched in a corner typing this!) I am also not sure how long it will be before it's all set up and working at the new place..... So, if you don't see me for a few days visiting your blogs that's the reason!

Hope to be up and posting again by the end of the week!

Au revoir.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bear Faced Chic

I have posted about these little fellows before - see HERE.

They are the most gorgeous, soft sheepskin Australian bears - they are one dimensional hence their name - 'FLATOUT BEARS'. I already own the two in the middle of this quartet and today have bought the koala one on the right to join the other two - three will look gorgeous on the bed.

Everyone in the family back in England LOVES them too. My sister now has a golden one and I sent my father a Koala one last birthday. (And no, Mr SE, I really don't think that they are just for children and that I am old enough to have grown out of such whims!). However, I have bought them to give as gifts to several new babies over the time we have been in Australia and they are always very well received. One baby girl we gave one to when she was born will not go to sleep unless she has her Flatout bear with her each night - she is now 2 and still adores it as much as ever. Another view below of the four furry friends together before the golden one (at the bottom of the four in this line up) goes off in a padded envelope to England. My mother wants to give this one to her sister, my Aunt, for Christmas and has asked me to buy one and send it to her.

I am sure she will love him. He has a particularly endearing little face - I had to inspect them all to pick out the cutest one.
Spreading the FLATOUT BEAR love......

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poppy Day (in more ways than one)

11th November - a special day of remembering....

I wore my Poppy to work today (see above photograph). It seems that not as many people wear them here in Australia at this time of year as they do in England but I do think it's important to stop and think sometimes about all those that have died in wars in years gone by and never forget the sacrifices made. Also of course about those who are are apart from their families fighting in countries far away. And especially about all those who have lost loved ones over the years through war.

As I said in the title of the post this is also for me a Poppy Day in more ways than one. My darling daughter, Poppy is 20 today. This is the first time I have not seen her on her birthday and I must admit to feeling more than a little sad as I sit here and type this.

Happy Birthday sweetheart.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yes, she's back!

Hooray! I have had this date earmarked in my diary for months....

Nigella Lawson is back on television with a new series 'Nigella's Kitchen' here in Australia. You can catch her tonight on the LIFESTYLE Channel at 7.30pm. It's her first full length series since 2007 when she recorded Nigella Express and I cannot wait. So looking forward to it.
Mr SE is out at some boring dinner or something in the City (he'll be sad to miss her, I know and not just for her cooking skills (!) but I will be kind and record the programme ). I am cooking myself roasted veggies with pesto and some pasta thrown in at the last minute. Large glass of red wine to drink too. What could be better?
How are you spending your Tuesday evening?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Perfect Day

Today was beautiful. A perfect Spring day in Melbourne - the temperature topped 23 degrees and the sun shone most of the day. Just look at the lovely blue sky with the little small wispy clouds. It was warm enough to be very comfortable but not overly hot - my absolute perfect weather.

Also perfect in that I had a day off and niece (Miss Sophs) came over for dinner this evening with her man - Mr Melbs. (I am ignoring the fact that the fly in the oinment is that I am working tomorrow - Saturday!)

Hope what ever you are doing you have a lovely weekend. What temperature / weather do you love the best and what time of the year? I have to say I think this is my favourite time of the year here in Melbourne.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Roses from two gardens

Here in Melbourne there is Cup Fever.

And, as the advertisements on the billboards around the City say, it's "The Celebration that stops a nation".... The Melbourne Cup is a famous racing cup and quite a few Melburnians will be either at the racecourse or glued to the television on Tuesday (it's a Public Holiday here in the Metropolitan area of Melbourne) hoping their horse romps home first!! The rest of us use it as an excuse for a lovely long weekend (or make sure that if they have a day off it falls on the Monday) so they get the weekend and Monday and Tuesday off too.... My niece, Miss Sophie from Regally Blonde blog is off to the races 'a la corporate stylee' - no doubt she will tell us all in a post in the next few days. She has bought a beautiful dress to wear too but quite frankly my daughter (her cousin) and I have a running joke in the family that she could wear a paper bag and still look stunning!! I worked Sunday but I have today and tomorrow off and Mr SE had a holiday today too. It was lovely to spend the day together. We did a little gardening and I picked this lovely bunch of roses (photo above and below).

And the rose in the photograph below is photographed from the garden of our NEW place. We move in a couple of weeks so as well as a little gardening we have done a LOT of tidying and sorting out. Mr SE and I rent a house here in Oz so if we feel like a change or feel that our house is no longer serving our needs we can 'upsticks' and search for another. Which is just what we have done. Liberating in a way. No mortgage and in a way, no responsibilities. Suppose this is weighed up against the thought that rent could be viewed as 'empty money' or throwing it away but we do get to live in a lovely neighbourhood here in Melbourne which we would never in a million years be able to afford to buy into. For the time being the only house we own (or half own with the bank!!) is our little cottage in England.

Anyway, I am very excited about the new place... It's in the same area as where we presently live but it is a little smaller in size and a bit more quirky - also there is more outside space and two large decks. And the outlook is gorgeous too. More photographs and information when we get there.

Wishing everyone a very good week.