Tuesday, 24 February 2015

My Melbourne : Strictly Ballroom the Musical

Ok, so there are 3 things you need to know.

1. I was gifted tickets to a Melbourne performance of Baz Lurhmann's Strictly Ballroom The Musical by NuffnangAU

2. I LOVED, Strictly Ballroom The Movie. Actually, I've loved EVERY Baz Lurhmann movie. 

3. I have been known to wear sequins. A dazzling array of sequins.....whilst dancing on stage. 


Me - in all my sequinned and tap dancing glory. 
Maybe 1984.... ahhh the smell of cheap hairspray, bright red lipstick and lycra. 
It's just like Kendall's dance studio isn't it ? 



As I said, I was lucky enough to be gifted tickets to this performance 
by NuffnangAU and I was very excited.
 Seeing Strictly Ballroom The Musical was high on my wish list. 




Mum and I all dressed for the theatre.
Apparently, not everyone does get dressed up for the theatre these days ! 




Ok, all that sparkles aside, here are my thoughts on this adaptation of Strictly Ballroom. 

The dialogue is completely true to the movie (and I imagine, orginal play).
The costumes and set are amazing. Even the chairs are decked in sparkly material.
I laughed and did a fair bit of toe tapping, but I wasn't quite inspired to dance in the aisles or on stage.
However, I loved that the cast did dance with the audience on stage after interval and final curtain.

The Paso Doble scene is fantastic and I loved it. Quite often the stage felt too small, but not in this scene that was filled with passion and the beautiful dancing. 

This is not the most sophisticated musical or performance you'll see.

But it may just be the most sparkly, Australian, and FUN performance you'll see. 
Oh, it also most definitely the most unashamedly and fabulous CAMP performance you'll see. 

And for that I loved every sequiny shimmery moment. 

Have you seen Strictly Ballroom ?
Were you a dancing queen in your youth ? 
Thoughts on sequins ? 




Monday, 23 February 2015

Taking Stock.......seeya February- you sucked.

Oh February. Why you so mean ?? I'm not going to be sorry to see you the back of you !



So, let's take stock and look forward to March.....shall we ? 

Making : Coffee Pod Earrings. I love them and really happy that the idea worked !
Cooking : In this crazy weather....everything from salads to hearty pastas.
Drinking : Smoothies. Coffee and plenty of water. #febfast is on ! 
Reading: market stall applications. So many talented locals. 
Wanting: some decisions to be made and implemented by others.
Looking: forward to March. Has to be better than February ! 
Playing: with fabrics and buttons and trims as part of a new series of workshops I am leading.
Deciding: to hit SEND or not. I hit send. And then felt nauseous. 
Wishing: it had worked. 
Enjoying: not enjoying February. 
Waiting: For a resolution. Either way. Just get on with it !
Liking: Lady Gaga at the Oscars AND Julie Andrews !!! goosebumps ! 
Wondering: If we roll the dice, just one more time, will it work that time ?

Loving: my G. 
Pondering: selling a house. Buying a house.
Considering: all the options for the above.

Watching: The Oscars. I love Neil Patrick Harris and Patricia Arquette's speech was amazing. (actually, I've just re-read Patricia's speech and her press conference - I think equality for EVERYONE is required. Let's end the us/them attitude shall we?)
Hoping: we find another way.
Marvelling: at the beautiful, amazing and stunning artwork that my dear friend made just for us. 
Needing: a break.

Smelling: beautiful lillies. 
Wearing: saltwater sandals. Best thing my feet have worn in a long time.
Following: #qanda on twitter. 
Noticing: I think I've lost some weight during #febfast
Knowing: that all will be well.
Thinking: it might just take a while to get there ! 
Admiring: the strength of my G. 
Sorting: market stall applications.
Buying: A PUPPY ! She arrives tomorrow ! 
Getting: cranky. 
Bookmarking: craft tutorials on Pinterest. 
Disliking: the feelings of grief and helplessness and sadness.
Opening: ticket wallets. The good news is that a holiday is happening next month.
Giggling: at videos and photos of Ruby Rose.
Feeling: grief. 
Snacking: I was really good until 2 days ago. Then I bought chocolate. 
Coveting: that which we've lost.
Wishing:  well..............
Helping: a friend design a new logo. 
Hearing: meditation podcasts, actually many a podcast at 3am. 


So, yes, we rolled the dice once more and it didn't work.

But tomorrow our new puppy arrives.

Work your magic March, I don't want this year to be defined by February.



Monday, 26 January 2015

My Melbourne : International Street Food Festival

So yesterday we headed to the first Melbourne International Street Food Festival.

We'd seen the posters, got excited and then bought the tickets for cheaper than the regular admission price on Living Social.


Ok, so two things I want to say before I share my thoughts on yesterday's event.

The first is that running events is HARD work and expensive to do.  And new and exciting events should be encouraged and supported.
The second thing is that Melbourne is a city that fully embraced the street food, food truck, market going food vendors trend.
Which is why, despite my first point, I was a little disappointed upon our arrival.

The problem is that on many a Melbourne street  these food trucks can be found. There are endless cultural festivals with a vast array of food from the food. There's a permanent food truck park set up in one of Melbourne's hippest suburbs. And what do all of these have in common ?
NO entry fee !

Yes, there were probably around 100 street food vendors with a wide range of food on offer, almost all from $7-$14 per serve. Again, my issue was, it felt like we'd seen and tasted most of them before.
With NO entry fee !



However, re-name this festival as Melbourne International MUSIC Festival or Australia Day Cultural Festival or even a concert by The Cat Empire and I am not at all disappointed !

Great venue with plenty of seating and grassy picnic spots, bunting fluttering in the breeze, AMAZING live music by one of Australia's great bands AND a plethora of food options. Throw in a craft brewery or two and you have my ideal afternoon and great value at around $30 per person entry.




The pork belly and utterly delicious black sesame with salted caramel ice cream boas from Wonderbao were by far our fave food picks at the festival.




So, that's my two cents worth. We had a great time.
Would be go back.....? Depends entirely on music or entertainment line up.

What about you ? Festival lover ? Fan of The Cat Empire. Eaten a great food truck snack recently ?

Happy Long Weekend,

Dee



Saturday, 24 January 2015

My Melbourne : Guide to beer geekery in Melbourne, Australia Day


We interrupt our self imposed blogging break to bring you an important guide : 

Where to find the best beer in Melbourne this long Australia Day weekend.

It occurred to me last night as I was scrolling through Instagram that we are indeed spoilt for choice when it comes to great, locally made and locally poured BEER. It'd be a shame to drink anything but the best....wouldn't you agree ???

TWO BIRDS : Two local Melbourne gals making great beer. Need I say more ? 
You can find Two Birds in many a good bar and bottle shop, but why not head to Spotswood and visit the brewery and tasting room. 



Carwyn Cellars : One of our favourite local Thornbury haunts, Carwyn Cellars is not just a bottle shop with exceptional fridge line up, but also great bar with over SIXTEEN taps of awesome craft beer. This long weekend, the lads even have two brews brewed just for them (and for our drinking pleasure) by the motley crew of brewers below. 


Summer in Melbourne to me, is the tennis, cricket, Midsumma, crazy weather and embracing the tennis watching crowds at Rod Laver and Fed Square. Conveniently located amongst all of this is Beer Deluxe with it's exceptional craft beer list, outside tables and live music. 



Taylor Swift controversary aside, it wouldn't be Australia Day without Triple J's Hottest 100. The annual countdown of the best songs of the year as voted by the listening public. A very local haunt and home of Northern Regards, Northcote Social Club will have the countdown and 3 Ravens in the fridge to keep you hydrated with a very tasty brew. 



Did you know that Triple J is not the only Hottest 100 happening on Australia Day ?? For months, craft beer lovers (geeks) have been voting on their favourite brews. All will be revealed at The Local Taphouse StKilda with a bbq (of course) on Australia Day. My tip is that the very drinkable Hop Hog may just take the top spot again. 


Our favourite beer garden in town and (almost very) regular Sunday haunt, The Alehouse Project has TWELVE taps of rotating beer goodness ! Seriously, we've never been dissapointed by the line up or great service. And they love Wogan.



Slightly cheekily, I've left this last reccomendation to last, even though it's on TODAY. But you see, I really don't want everyone rushing to The Rooks Return tonight and risk the keg of (one of the best beers EVER) Barrel Fermented Hop Hog running out before we get at least two pints each. 
Selfish ? Yes. Worth it ? Yes ! And now you know where to find us tonight........


So, there you have it. My guide to drinking exceptionally good beer and enjoying this beautiful long weekend in Melbourne.

Hope you have a great one whatever you are doing. And the hope the beer (or wine, or even cider) is cold and locally made. 

Cheers....(literally),
Dee 


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

And just like that...it's NYE !

So the Christmas tree(s) are down and the calender declares that it is December 31 - New Years Eve.

Although, if at any minute, Ashton Kutcher runs in and screams
"PUNKED ! It's only July 31st"...........I will believe him!

This year has gone SO fast.

Listen up 2015, if you could just slow down a bit, that would be great. Thanks.

I have mixed feelings about NYE. Like any stationary nerd, I love a new year and a brand new diary, but the actual night leaves me a bit cold.

Ever since I was a kid, I've felt that post-Christmas let down and the pressure to 'do' something.
Pressure that only intensified as a teen/young adult.

I LOVED the years that I worked in hospitality. I would quietly volunteer to work, confident in the fact that triple pay and drinks paid for the boss were definitely the best place to be.

I was once dumped by my boyfriend (yeah, I know.....maybe he knew something I didn't) at 10 PM ON NEW YEARS EVE !!!! At a party with all of HIS friends. Yep.

And then, it's the anniversary of G's charming father's passing. I never meet him, but I feel the loss and I see G suffer through this day every year. A day that everyone else persists in making a big deal out of !

So, here we are. I am quite pleased to tell you that I sit here with a very nice glass of Prosecco and am in my pjs. I'll make it to 12....but only because I never go to bed before 12.

NYE does bring with it a brand new sparkling year. One full of promise, fresh starts and hopefully a continuation of all that was good in the previous year.

And it's that sparkling new year that I am keen to see. Keen to see where it takes us.
What adventures and lessons it has in store for us.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to refill my glass, grab my crochet and reflect.

Happy New Years Eve and may 2015 bring you an abundance of health, happiness and Prosecco.

Dee x

 





Sunday, 28 December 2014

And so that was Christmas.....

Gosh, I do really love Christmas. 



We had a fabulous Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family.

Loads of laughs, good food, good wine and thoughtful presents. 



So many laughs ! 

I know that I am incredibly lucky that our Christmas is laid back, only the one family to visit (G's family are all in the UK making it a bit of a stretch to visit them on the day) and genuinely liking each other. Most of the time ! 


Presents were given and received. I really noticed this year that there was less money and more thought. A simpler Christmas. I like it. A lot. 

We drove down to my parent's place on Christmas Eve for dinner and Carols by Candlelight watching. Last minute gift wrapping and Mum waiting til we were all in bed before she put the presents under the tree ! 


I must be getting older.....it was 6.30 am before I jumped out of bed with a 5 year old's excitement. Santa outfit on and Christmas carols singing....I was off. Waking everyone up and proclaiming that IT'S CHRISTMAS !!!

Eventually (!) everyone was up. It was decided breakfast must be had before presents (WHAT ???), scrambled eggs, corn fritters, bacon and champagne cocktails. 

THEN IT WAS PRESENT TIME! 

After the turkey was stuffed, basted and roasted, we loaded up the car. 5 adults, one dog, two eskys, one roast turkey and a partridge in a pear tree ! And headed to my Aunt and Uncle's. 

Our arrival saw the popping of more champagne, seafood platter, catch ups and "Merry Christmases".



We don't like to do things in a hurry ! Lunch/Dinner was served at 4.30pm this year....a new record. 
After that, there's the annual cricket game and then plum pudding. 



The goodbyes and "we haven't taken the family photos yet" take a little while but are worth it ! 

Driving home is a combination of chatter, snores and Christmas carols. Mum drove - bless her. 

Boxing Day. An early morning start as G declares, a quick Christmas is a good Christmas and has the car packed quicker than I grab some turkey leftovers!

And then it's all over for another year......



Things to remember for next year......
Britt doesn't like cauliflower either (put her portion on my plate) and none of the 'kids' like the tomato and onion pie. 
Lunch should probably be served before 3.30pm 
Custom made pillowcases were a hit. 
Funny Face cards were hilarious (in the interests of protecting my family - you're not seeing THOSE photos!)


So, tell me, did you have a lovely Christmas ?
Got a funny story to tell.
Overindulged like I did ?
Spoilt with beautiful presents like I was ?

However you spent the day, I hope it was with people you love and there was plenty of fantastic food. 
Now.....can I start planning for next year.....?


It's the most wonderful time of the year....

***This was a scheduled post....which didn't actually schedule. So here it is now....but no one is tired of Christmas posts yet....right ???***

It truly is my very favourite time of the year !

I love the lights and Christmas tree(s). I had lots of fun creating new "trees" by making and upcycling. The house glowed with Christmas lights, and in my humble opinion, looked beautiful. 




I love the making, baking and wrapping. 
I always attempt to make or buy handmade for most of the presents we give. This year there were many baked goods and crochet goodies wrapped up under the tree. 


 



I love the summer entertaining ! Dinners and drinks on the back deck. Wine, cheese, laughs. 
All these make me very happy ! And pineapples. 




And I love Christmas markets and catchups and gift swaps with fabulous friends in the lead up to Christmas.




The big is ALMOST upon us and I can't wait !
Have a very Merry Christmas.

Dee x