About Me

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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, January 31, 2011

Titfer: A hat (cockney rhyming slang: `tit for tat' rhymes with `hat').

Or, what do they say.... ? "If you want to get ahead, get a hat" or something like that but am not quite so sure how they work that one out!! Anyway, what I was sure about was that my old trusty hat (the very one that I am wearing in my profile pic on the blog) has started to look a little worse for wear and a little bit squished up to say the least... (see brim especially, in the photo above)

So, around a couple of weeks ago, I spied this lovely NEW panama hat when I was out and about on my travels and snapped it up without a seconds hesitation.....

Nice isn't it? And I rather like the colour too.

My old one was much "whiter" ( UK residents will know the quality when I say I picked up my old hat in, wait for it -Primark of all places. For those who don't know of Primark or Primarche as daughter has dubbed it, it's very inexpensive to say the least!!) However, it has served me well under the Australian sun. My new one was a little more expensive, but more than justified I feel.

Fashion experts must think the same as whilst reading the colour supplement from the newspaper here on Saturday, I turned the page and there was "my" hat !! Starring in a line up about the "Urban Safari" trend. How exciting.

Nice to be in first for once!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

Today is a national holiday - a patriotic holiday and a day when family and friends get together to celebrate all that is great about Australia - Australia Day....

There will be many a barbecue fired up (ours will be on later) and quite a lot of lamb will be eaten (sort of a tradition I gather to have lamb on Australia Day) although I am sure a fair amount of "Shrimps will be thrown on the Barbee" too!

So I got to thinking about this fair land which I love and is my adopted home and in particular about the beautiful city of Melbourne (see photo above) .....

These are things that I love about living in Melbourne, though in no specific order:
  • The architecture (the great variety - from the wonderful majestic, modern skyscrapers to the period weather boarded homes).
  • The green spaces within the city - the parks and in particular the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • The laneways and arcades.
  • The cafes (and especially the lovely breakfasts available).
  • The people - Meburnians are wonderful almost without exception - friendly, open and welcoming and almost all with a 'can do' attitude, as are I hasten to add most Australians I have met.
  • The art galleries and theatres, especially the open air concerts.
  • The beaches and coast line in general including the docklands area.
  • The coffee (consistently good). Melbourne has a great coffee heritage.
  • The markets - from fresh food to 'flea' and vintage.
  • The trams (and the transport system in general in the city).
  • The River Yarra
  • The sport on offer - both to go and watch and to join in with too if you feel so inclined.
  • The fact that there are distinct seasons in Melbourne - in fact, a common saying is that you can get all 4 in one day... Or "If you don't like the weather, wait a couple of hours"..... At least in winter it's cold enough to wear tights here!
  • The food - again, almost always of a good standard and what variety too!

A very Happy Australia Day to all my fellow country dwellers... and a "G'day" to you all wherever you call 'home'.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Most Perfect Cottage (with promised photographs)

First of all I warn you - there are quite a few photographs in this post - more than I have ever put on in one go....!So this is the gorgeous cottage where we spent two days this week - around an hour or so drive from the city of Melbourne in a small town called Daylesford. It's known as WHITE HOUSE and I am sure it won't come as a complete surprise if I tell you that it is owned by an Antique dealer and has been restored to feature as much of the past as possible.

The house is an original 1850's miner's cottage and all of the collections - the furniture, art etc. has been sourced from around country Victoria.

So.... welcome to what was our home for just a little time. Well, we could dream..... The view above looking down the corridor through the house from the front door.

On the right the first room was this bedroom featuring black and white toile wallpaper.

And to the left this one. Gorgeous French vintage linen.

Lovely small touches like the fresh flowers next to the bed.

And comfortable cushions. We chose this room as our bedroom for the stay.

Next room on the right was this petite library.......

The wall on the left features wallpaper printed with old books..... Real books adorn the wall straight ahead. There was also an open fireplace - a wonderful place for snuggling up in the winter I'd imagine.

In the library - this little white hare under a glass cloche. Could not resist a photograph - I love hares.

Next room down on the left the bathroom with a huge claw footed iron bath.

More fresh flowers ....

Cute medicine cupboard.

Then at the end of the corridor there was one large open plan room - again with an open fireplace. The doors at then end of the room lead to the garden where there was another studio - the garden room with another bedroom.... As we were only a party of two we could not get to this room but peeked through the window! Of course, as lovely as the rest of the house.

Cosy seating area with squishy linen covered sofas....

The painted dining table - decorated with globes....

And a close up - especially for you TNMA !!

And now...... the best till last - THE KITCHEN area (part of the large room)

Yes, that wall straight ahead is totally painted in black board paint - a really clever idea. I want to copy this kitchen next time I renovate a house (hmmm and I said we were not going to do any more renovations, ever!)

Mr SE above in mid-preparation of our dinner. We did not want to go out to a restaurant as we wanted to experience the kitchen and didn't want to leave the house for the evening!

A little corner of the kitchen next to the sink - photo below....

Well, there was one more photograph here - but in my heavy handedness I have deleted it -(sorry) it was a bowl of fresh oranges left for us to juice for our breakfast... We were also given a loaf of local bread, fresh eggs, butter and milk.

All in all we had the most wonderful time and if you wish to find out more about this lovely gem of a place then please click HERE.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tropical colours; Friday flowers

Back to work today after our little 2 day trip to the countryside just about an hour or so from Melbourne. We had a wonderful time and thank you for all your kind birthday wishes.....
At work today I recieved the bouquet above. Hand delivered too! And they were from the company I work for THE ARK ...... How lovely, and how nice to be remembered. Told you they are a lovely company to work for!
A happy weekend to all whatever you may be doing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Away to the country for a little celebration

Last July I posted about this new book of mine... And how much I was enjoying luxuriating in the images of the black and white interiors and especially this kitchen here below ....

I still absolutely love it and GUESS WHAT?
Tomorrow I am going to see this kitchen in the flesh so to speak. The kitchen belongs to a little house in the countryside of Victoria about an hour or so from Melbourne. Mr SE has booked a night and two days there at the little cottage to celebrate my birthday tomorrow... Its going to be ours, all ours for this time. I am so excited!
I promise many photographs at the end of the week. Now, I must go and decide what I will pack for our little visit.......
Au revoir.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out to lunch

About six months ago I took a photograph of this very table below at Jinks Creek Vineyard and Gallery and vowed that when the weather was better we would definitely be back - you can read about our last visit HERE. (And if you do check out and read about our last visit, scroll down to the end of the post and you will see the very same view that's in this photo but without any greenery on the vines!) Then it was just Mr SE and myself, but last Sunday we went there again with a larger party. Mr SE playing the host and pouring the (very delicious) rose wine....

A little plate of shared nibbles.

Here we all are.... From the right - going anti-clockwise. Myself, Beautiful Niece, her Lovely Aussie Man, then Mr SE, my sister and then her partner.

The photo above was taken by a very nice person at the next table. She had an 'all singing / all dancing' Canon camera with a very long lens so my sis. felt a bit embarrassed handing her a small digital auto focus pink camera with which to take our photo!! Nevertheless, she was very kind and said of course she did not mind taking a photo of us all. I think she took a pretty good photo. Maybe she was a photographer, who knows?

This was the view looking back to the restaurant up the weathered steps. Apparently it started life as a wool shed. I think it's such a gorgeous building.

There were some children at another table with their parents (one in the photo above) and before we ate BN and her LAM had a game of Boules near the vines... The children all came over and wanted to join in - BN and LAM looked like "Pied Pipers" So sweet.

As we left Mr SE nipped back and bought us another bottle of the rose to have at home later in the week. Sometimes he has the best ideas...!!
My sister has now returned to UK - she got there last night and we have so loved having them over in Melbourne for the last couple of weeks. The time went by far too quickly though.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Simple as ABC or 1,2,3

I just love the simplicity of these little white china bowls with numbers on them. They are perfect for olives, nuts, individual portions of jam etc. And I am a sucker for any white porcelain with lettering or numbers; especially when it comes with this simple font.

Couldn't resist them. In fact I just may have to go and get another set.

Happy weekend to one and all......

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Visiting some vineyards

As Monday was a holiday BN and I struck out of the city of Melbourne for a 'tripette' with my sister and her partner Steve... To the beautiful Yarra Valley - Melbourne's wine growing region. Mr SE and Mr Melbs (BN's other half) declined the invitation to vineyards. Mr Melbs had some work to finish but I think Mr SE just wanted a peaceful day watching the cricket. Anyway, no matter... He missed the tasting special of 4 types of sparkling wine at the first vineyard (top photo) and the cheese platter too...delicious.

Above. My sister (BN's Ma) at the vineyard.

BN was the designated driver so we let her get stuck in to the cheese platter whilst we concentrated more on the wines! Only fair.

Gorgeous views.

Second vineyard... love these trees.

And above a view over the lake at the third vineyard we stopped at.

Here we opted for vanilla ice cream (for the girls) - sister's partner Steve enjoyed tasting some more red wines though.

Such a good day just before I went back to work.
A great way to begin 2011.