In A Few Weeks

In a few weeks we should be eating our first tomatoes - an exciting event in the life of any vegetable garden.  And I can hardly wait.

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It's Christmas time!

Christmas table inspiration...

Tudo na CoxandCox

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Olá, gente gelada! Aposto que já anda tudo de botas de neve! Aqui estou eu, ao pé do meu aquecedor, pronta para vos mostrar mais umas belezuras. E, como estamos a falar de frio, nada melhor do que darmos um passeiozinho até à Dinamarca, onde a senhora Anne Lassen cria estas coisas lindas. A minha obsessão mais recente são os serviços de chá vintage, por isso as peças art deco criadas pela Miss Étoile encheram-me as medidas. O curriculum da autora fala por si: designer, stylist, já explorou lojas de móveis, tendo igualmente trabalhado na secção de compras de cadeias de mobiliário e de acessórios de interiores. Este toque de Paris dos anos 30 em cada uma das peças faz-me sonhar...

Vejam o catálogo, vale a pena. E quem quiser fazer um abaixo-assinado comigo para que a Miss Étoile abra uma representação em Portugal, é só deixar um comentário! :-)

Credits: Miss Étoile

I everyone! Guess you are freezing! Well, here I am, next to my heater and ready to show you some more beautiful things. This cold weather reminds of the North, so let's take a trip to Denmark, where this lady Anne Lassen creates wonderful stuff. Besides having worked as a merchandiser of  a Danish furniture store, she also is an amazing designer and stylist, as these gorgeous art deco pieces can prove. Under the name of Miss Étoile, she creates beautiful clothes, furniture and home acessories, such as the ones that I'm showing above. Due to my last obsession with vintage tea services, I chose these pieces as they are the ones that called for my attention... Oh, I love Paris in the 30s!...

Check her catalogue, it's worth a visit. And for those who want to join me in a list  to ask for a Miss Étoile shop here in Portugal, please leave a comment! :-)

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BBC 100 Books Meme

I saw this meme on my friend Ben's Facebook page and thought I'd join in.  After all, I haven't done a meme in at least two years.  

Although I can't see any evidence for this claim on the BBC website, the BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books listed here.

I have read 70 (if you count most but not all of Shakespeare's Complete Works), which is quite good but I think could be better. Shamefully, there are some great classics such as War and Peace, The Heart of Darkness, Anna Karenina and Les Miserables that I haven't read.  I don't thinking that having Les Mis as my favourite musical counts, do you?  As an Australian I should probably have read A Town Like Alice, but haven't read that either, although I saw the Bryan Brown miniseries as a kid. 
I was pleased to see that there was only two books of which I have never heard, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.
Even if ths meme isn't authentic it's a lot of fun and gives bragging rights to bookworms.  Why don't you join in too?

I have marked in bold the ones I have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (most)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
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Family life

Este fim-de-semana fiquei por casa com as minhas filhas e a máquina fotográfica nova. Vou ter de tirar um curso para conseguir entender aquele manual de instruções - nem os mais de 40 exames que fiz na faculdade são tão difíceis! :-)

A Carlota vai ter provas para a semana. Passamos o dia à volta dos livros. Esta é ela, a pensar nas brincadeiras que gostaria de estar a fazer... 

E é isto que eu adoro na minha vida.

This weekend I stayed at home with my little ones and my new camera. I've been trying to read the instructions manual, but it's harder than all the exams that I took at college! :-)

Carlota has tests next week, so we spent the day around the books. This is her. Thinking about playing in the garden...

And this is what I love about my life.

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Soccer Medal

My young son is very proud of his soccer medal - even though everyone who played got one.

He gelled his hair for the awards ceremony but then his older brother squirted him with the hose, making his hair all sticky - and much flatter than planned.

Angelic cherub meets Norman Gunston.

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Vintage Christmas

Bem, hoje está um gelo!!! Será que um dia vai nevar por aqui e vamos ter um Natal branquinho? :-) Isto já sou eu a sonhar... 

Hoje vou mostrar umas fotos de umas coroas de Natal feitas com bolas e decorações vintage. Muito kitsch, mas eu acho-as encantadoras! Gosto daquelas bolas antigas e, apesar do exagero, não consigo deixar de ficar deliciada com estas peças todas misturadas... Lindas!! Eu quero uma!...

 Credits: Georgia Peachez

Today is freezing around here and I wish we once had a white Christmas! Will it ever snow in my city?... Well, this is me dreaming... 

Today I'm showing you some vintage ornament wreaths that I love (I love vintage baubles). They're kitsch and somewhat too much, but that's what I like about them -  I think they're gorgeous! Suzy  is also a pink ornaments lover, so I guess this is why these beauties called for my attention. I want one of these!...

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Those were the days...

Há imagens e desenhos que me fazem sentir saudades de um tempo que não vivi. Não sei como explicar, mas é um tempo que faz parte do meu imaginário, dos filmes a que assisti, da cultura e influência americana, das imagens de infância, dos livros... É um sentimento de nostalgia. Acho que nesses tempos os Natais eram mais quentinhos e aconchegantes. Se calhar, não eram. Mas na minha imaginação, é assim que eu os vejo.

A Rifle Paper Co. faz desses desenhos. E eu adoro. 


Sometimes I miss a time that I didn't live. It's hard to explain, but I guess it has to do with  my memories, movies that I saw, books I read, american culture and its influence, images that are in my mind from childhood times... It's a nostalgic feeling. I guess in those days Christmas night was warmer and cozier. Maybe it wasn't. But that's how I fell.

Rifle Paper Co. makes that kind of drawings and images. And I love them.

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It is so lovely, when it is softly raining after a heatwave, to open all the windows and let the cool, damp air in.

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Wrap me up!


Hoje vou memorizar aqui algumas fotos dos embrulhos para presentes que, neste momento, mais gosto. Peço desculpa pela falta de originalidade na fonte de inspiração, mas este blog é mesmo para eu registar e partilhar convosco as coisas de que vou gostando mais... e estas são umas delas!

Gosto destas ideias e, principalmente, acho que se consegue chegar lá, fazê-las- não são daqueles trabalhos manuais que demoram horas e que, às vezes, nem mesmo com muito tempo os conseguimos fazer bem! O esquema de cores também é dos meus favoritos: rosa, vermelho e branco. Adoro!

E vocês? Costumam arriscar e fazer os embrulhos dos vossos presentes de Natal ou optam sempre por pedir nas lojas (e, às vezes, esperar horas nas filas...)?


 Credits: Martha Stewart

Hi everyone!

Today I'm showing you some of my favorite gift-wraps - sorry for the lack of originality, as the source of inspiration is once again Martha Stewart but hey, this blog is just about it: to show and memorize some of the things that I'm enjoying the most each moment!

I really find this gift-wraps beautiful and doable - you won't have to spend hours around the wrapping paper and still find it difficult to achieve good results! And I also love the color scheme: pink, red and white, just love it!

What about you? Do you wrap your presents by yourself or do you prefer to have them wrapped up at stores (and, sometimes, wait hours in the line for it....)?

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Wang Wang and Funi

 A work training day held at the Adelaide Zoo gave me the opportunity to see the two resident giant pandas, Wang Wang and Funi for the first time.  I was very happy about this!

The only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere, Wang Wang and Funi have been brought here as part of an international breeding programme.

 While Wang Wang sensibly slept in his air-conditioned enclosure, Funi was very active.  Despite the extreme heat of the day, she walked around constantly, took a bath, and even climbed a couple of trees where food was hidden.   It was a wonderful sight.

I don't know how she did it, in that thick fur coat.  I was wilting in a skirt and tshirt (and heels, of course)!


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I don't want a lot for Christmas...

... there is just one thing I need...

Só preciso destas bolas para a árvore de Natal. Acho que estou apaixonada.


 ... there is just one thing I need... well, or two! Ok, only these gorgeous baubles that I think I'm in love with...
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Little china girl

Como acho que já deu para perceber, gosto imenso de cake-stands e pratos para bolos. Pois, e andava eu muito bem a vaguear pela net, quando me deparo com estas belezas, que não quero deixar de partilhar convosco. Só é pena os preços, senão era certo que a menina aqui ficava já a pensar em comprar uma coisinha destas... Lindos, não são? 

Eu acho que gosto mais do prato de 3 andares rosa e dourado, até porque é adaptável e dá para tirar a chávena e deixar só o pratinho... Adoro estas loiças antigas e tenho visto coisas maravilhosas! Eu vou mostrando por aqui.

E vocês, de qual é que gostam mais?

I think it's pretty obvious that I love cake-stands and dessert plates. While I was calmly browsing through the internet, I found these beauties and I would like to share them with you. Too bad  for the prices (they are unique pieces), or else I could easily imagine myself buying one of these... They are wonderful, aren't they?

I think I prefer the 3 tiered one, as it is also adaptable and I love pink with gold. I  really like vintage china and I have been seeing such lovely things that I will share with you along the way.

And what about you, which one do you like the most?

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It's cold outside

Já se aperceberam que tenho andado em experiências culinárias, o que não quer dizer que este blog se vá tornar um espaço dedicado às comidas! Mas desde que a época natalícia entrou nos meus pensamentos que decidi experimentar umas receitas, pois acho que uns docinhos são sempre uma boa alternativa aos presentes que habitualmente compramos nas lojas. Inspirada em ideias para homemade presents da minha amiga Martha Stewart (acho que já lhe posso chamar assim!), fiz estas trufas de chocolate com licor de Amaretto. Vale a pena tentar soluções diferentes para as prendas de Natal, pois estes tempos de crise não estão para brincadeiras!

Com este tempo frio sabem mesmo bem umas trufinhas! Já agora, as cores da decoração têm a ver com aquilo que ando a planear para a mesa de Natal... depois verão o que estou a preparar!

Espero que tenham um óptimo Domingo!

Since Christmas came into my mind that I have been experimenting some new recipes - well, this blog won't turn out in another food blog, but the thing is, times don't allow us waisting too much money! So I have decided to try some different presents, based on the ever present Martha Stewart, and I think that homemade sweets are as good as some of the things we buy on stores. These are Amaretto truffles and I they can be a lovely present!

I love truffles and chocolate in the cold weather! The color scheme has to do with some of the choices for my Christmas decorations, but I will let you know later on what I have been planning...

Have a nice Sunday!

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Christmas details

Finalmente fim-de-semana! Que alegria!

Antes de partir para mais uns treinos culinários para o Natal, estive a inspirar-me em centenas de imagens de decorações natalícias - e é nos pequenos pormenores que se pode fazer a diferença. Nem todos temos aquelas casas maravilhosas que vemos nas revistas, com divisões amplas e cheias de luz. Às vezes vejo árvores de Natal fantásticas, mesas lindamente postas e penso: "Isto em minha casa não funcionava...não tenho espaço!". É preciso ter sempre presente as dimensões, pois corremos o risco de fazer decorações demasiado grandes e perde-se o equilíbrio nas proporções - o resultado final pode não ser o melhor...

E como os detalhes não ocupam espaço, aqui vos deixo algumas imagens que me inspiram.

 Credits: Country Living

Weekend at last! I'm so happy! 

Before starting over with some Christmas dessert training, I  looked  for inspiration in hundreds of beautiful Christmas images - and I think that it's in the details that we can make a difference. Not everybody has big houses, with large rooms and wonderful light, so sometimes I see all those amazing holiday decorations and I think to myself: "That wouldn't work in my place - I just don't have the space!". So in order to respect dimensions, we have to be careful with our decoration choices, because lack of proportion doesn't work at all. 

That's one of the reasons why I care so much for small details - they don't take that much space. I leave you with some of the ideas that inspired me.

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Laundry Room and Spooky Cellar Tour

At first I thought I would show you some photos of my laundry for Show Us Your Life Friday this week as I haven't posted any pictures of this room before.  Then I realised that the theme for the week is Playrooms, Bonus Rooms and Laundry Rooms, so I decided to share some pictures of our spooky cellar as well.

I'll start with our laundry room, or just plain 'laundry' as we Australians say.  This laundry is by far the nicest one I have ever had because it has so much cupboard space.  The only disadvantage is that there is not really a spot for the clothes dryer.  Since taking these photos I have moved the dryer out of the way - we don't use it at all during the warmer months anyway.
Looking towards the outside door; the room is fairly bland and functional and will stay that way for a while as decorating the laundry is very low on my list of priorities!
The pretty ceiling.

Finally, an essential feature of every Australian laundry: the outdoor clothesline.  We have such a hot, sunny climate there is really no excuse to use an electric dryer for most of the year.  And our electricity prices are rising at the rate of about 20% per annum at present, so using free sunshine to dry clothes makes a lot of sense.

To visit our underground cellar you go down these stairs.  You can feel the air get colder as you go down.
The cellar is built into the bluestone foundations of the house and would have been essential during extreme Adelaide summers in the days before refrigeration.  Since these photos were taken I have begun to store food down there - things like long-life milk and jars of home-made marmalade.
As I wrote in my previous post about the cellar, two of my children would like to use this room as a clubhouse.  However, my youngest really doesn't like going down into the cellar at all by himself because it is so cold and rather spooky.  Visiting children always want to hang out in the cellar.

I hope you have enjoyed my laundry and spooky cellar tour.  I hope you have a lovely weekend.

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