Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunshine Greetings

You know that excited feeling when temperatures reach over 90 degrees for the first time all season? Well we've been having a few of those days around here lately. Today the temperature soared well into the 100's and it had me thinking about those who are currently braving the oncoming forces of winter. Meanwhile I'm here sipping Pimms and complaining of the heat. How nice it would be if I could send a little sunshine from my corner of the world to yours.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wardrobe Diaries: Playing Favourites

If there's one item in my closet that I simply cannot live without, it's my humble turtleneck. In terms of versatility and comfort I'd say it's right up there with the white tee. In fact I'm even going to propose right now that we make this the official cold weather uniform. However unlike the ever popular white tee, the turtleneck gets a bad rap. It's pragmatic approach to dressing means it's rarely ever associated with being on-trend or fashionable. After all how many of the fashion world's most coveted items are also ever pragmatic (minus IM wedge sneakers)?

Whenever I wake up to a chilly morning, I automatically reach for my turtlenecks. It's one of those little wonders where after I've slipped into, I immediately feel 10x warmer and 10x more alive and ready to start the day. Kind of like that feeling when you sip piping hot soup on a cold winters day or jumping into a hot shower after a day in the rain. On a different note, how adorable is this leather skirt? The chiffon layer peeping out was too precious to pass up. Not to mention, the fact that being white leather means I literally could wear it all year long.

{ wearing : kookai turtleneck similar here . mossman leather skirt . zara tote . lucchesi cap toe pumps . peeptoe ring . panama hat similar here }

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Dear friends, 

There's a lot that I am thankful for this year (my heath, my family, my friends) but besides the obvious what I am really thankful for is YOU! Without you this blog would just be an empty space of ramblings from a delusional old lady. So thank you thank you for following along. 

Happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be and safe travels. Now go forth and embrace that food baby!

xx Jenee C. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Almond Crescent Cookies with Italian Hot Chocolate

'It's the most wonderful time of the year...'. Okay maybe not yet, but hey November is almost over which means we are officially in holiday season right? Gauging from that last sentence you can probably tell my level of excitement about the upcoming holidays. Christmas really is the best time of the year. What's not to love about a season that's associated with family, festivities, singing and general jolliness?

Today I thought I'd share one of my favourite holiday recipes with you. Note, the term 'holiday' is applied very loosely here given that I consume these cookies all throughout the year and rarely ever on the holidays. Vanillekipferi (or crescent/horseshoe as they are more widely known) is a traditional Austrian sugar cookie made with nut flour. These cookies have such an impressive history that they are even accredited to being the fore-bearer of the popular French croissant. The cookie was first introduced to Paris in 1839 when an Austrian Army officer founded a Viennese Bakery. It is said, the french chefs were so inspired by his Austrian fare that they re-created the cookie in a flakier form, creating the croissant.

Now, no cookie is complete without a piping hot beverage alongside. And what better to pair these almond crescents with than a decadent mug of Italian hot chocolate. Picture your regular hot chocolate but in a rich, thick, silky texture. It's such a luxurious drink, I'm not sure if I'd even still classify it as a beverage. Actually, Italian hot chocolate and I go way back. I always associate it with cold winters spent in University cafes agonising over design dilemmas (ah the glamourous life of a starving student). It's amazing how food conjures up some of our fondest memories. What will you be eating these holidays?

Traditional Almond Crescents

250g unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups almond meal
2 cups plain flour sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar to dust cookies

1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees, line tray with baking paper.
2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla till you get a smooth consistency.
3. Add the dry ingredients and fold till combined. This step can be done by hand with a spatula.
4. Let dough sit in a cool unrefrigerated place for 30 minutes. Cover with tea towel.
5. Shape cookies by rolling mixture into 1 inch balls, then slightly flatten. Holding dough between your index and thumb lightly squeeze until it takes on a crescent shape. Place on baking sheet and smooth over with fingers for an even finish.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
7. Once cooled, sift icing sugar over each cookie. Coat liberally.

Italian Hot Chocolate

120g bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp corn flour
dollop of cream

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add chocolate and a tiny bit of milk. Stir with wooden spoon till melted.
2. Dissolve corn flour in milk, then slowly add to chocolate and mix to combine.
3. Continue simmering over low heat until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon.
4. Add sugar to taste. Serve with a dollop of thick cream.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wardrobe Diaries: Jewel Tones

Taking my wardrobe inspiration today from the beautiful jewel tones littered all over the A/W catwalks and adapting them to casual warm weathered wear. A silky shirt in a loose fit paired with distressed boyfriend jeans was just what I needed for a lazy day in the sun. Add to that a fabulous pair of pumps and a structured ladylike bag to keep from looking too sloppy. When it comes to colour pairings, I'm a big believer in taking cues from nature. After all, when has mother nature ever gotten anything wrong (well, besides the ice age of course and sloths, those creatures are just plain weird). Blue and green is my all-time favourite nature inspired colour combo. The two colours together just scream a sunny day in the park. Don't you agree?

{ j.brand boyfriend jeans . j.crew silk shirt similar here . tory burch mini tote similar here . elk necklace . zizi for florsheim pumps . tom ford aviators }

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday's Fancies

Happy friday friends! It's been a week of races (horse racing that is) here in this city. You may not know this, but it's kind of a big deal around here. Picture the Kentucky Derby with an Australian accent and it's very own public holiday! You heard me, apparently Australians take sporting so seriously that we've even created public holidays around them. Over here we call it the Melbourne Cup. I never did get around to placing a wager, but that was probably a good thing. Turns out the horse I was going to bet on ran slower this year because he put on a bit of weight. Ha, who knew horses could also commit gluttony. Aside from not attending Melbourne Cup, here's a few snaps from life this week.

An elegant and understated wedding invitation consisting of black ink on kraft paper with coloured twine and succulents. Just the look of this invite alone gets me excited. I love my friend's sense of style and can't wait to see all the details she's planned for her big day.  

My kids get in trouble big time when I catch them vandalising walls at home. I guess taking them around admiring street art probably doesn't help my cause. Maybe if their doodles resembled something like this then I wouldn't mind so much. 

Nothing says 'Australia' like pairing flip-flops (or thongs as we would call them) with everything. I think this photo pretty much sums up our approach to life i.e. relax and take it easy.

Would you prefer 1. green-tea cake with white chocolate ganache or 2. vanilla cake with elderflower icing and fresh strawberries or 3. lemon cake with layers of lemon curd and raspberries? These were just a few cakes my sister recently made for a cake tasting. Since I like to share so much, I'm going to steal her recipes to post on my blog. So tell me, which should I make?

My googly eyed, button nosed baby girl has officially graduated into a toddler. This week she stopped limping around like a zombie on stilts and now walks just like you and I. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Can't get enough of: Whimsical Hardware

Dear Anthropologie, don't ever change, ever. I mean honestly, where else can I go for brass wall hooks in the shape of animal heads? Your carefully curated household objects leave me wanting to redecorate my home again and again. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, these harvest themed bunny heads seem very appropriate. Right now they're housing pieces of fine jewelry but I bet they would look really good mounted on my front door with a fall inspired wreath dangling off it. Wait, forget what I first said... slashing your prices in half would be super duper nice, but apart from that don't ever change.
Get your bunny heads here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wardrobe Diaries: Easy Weekend Wear

Now that the weather's warmed up considerably it means more impromptu getaways and outings are in order. Like this past weekend which consisted of a spontaneous brunch at my favourite eatery in nearby wine country. I packed the kids into the car and off we went zooming through vast country roads flanked by luscious green fields as far as the eye could see while the sun happily shone on uninterrupted.

That's what I love about Melbourne Australia, because of it's relatively compact nature you are never too far from anything. One hour in one direction and you'll find yourself in wine country, one hour the other direction and you're on the coast of the big blue pacific. And if nature isn't your thing, then the hustle and bustle of the city center is always just a quick trip down the freeway. It really is the quintessential ski and surf all in the same day kind of place.

I know I'm going to miss these little trips when I return to Tennessee. The closest ocean is a mere 10 hours away not to mention it will be the height of winter. Suppose I'll just have to make the most of these next two months while I'm down under. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Giant Steps | Innocent Bystander Winery

{ wearing: j.brand khaki skinny jeans . country road chunky open weave sweater similar here . mossman pastel necklace available in skinny version . lucchesi chrome cap toe pumps . tory burch mini satchel similar here . karen walker anytime sunnies . nail colour nice is nice by essie }

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Colours

The sun shone a little brighter this week and all of a sudden the city seemed to have broken free from spring's endless showers and oozed sunshine and colour at every turn. People flocked to the green open spaces, women donned their bright floral frocks and suddenly colourful displays in all shades of the rainbow popped up everywhere. Here's a few pictures I managed to snap up before retiring myself into a lazy sun quenched lizard. While writing this post I can't help but think about the trail of destruction left behind by Frankenstorm this week. It breaks my heart to see so many deaths and damages. If you are like me sitting in the comforts of your home feeling helpless about the situation then here are a few ways you can help out.

- The largest organisation of its kind, the Red Cross is accepting donations here or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. They are also looking for volunteers to assist in shelters, more information here.
- Salvation Army is providing food and shelter to victims. Donate online or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
- New York Cares is the city's largest volunteer organisation. Click here to donate or sign up here to volunteer with the relief efforts.
- Global Giving has set up a Sandy relief that includes victims in the Caribbean. Click here to donate.
- The Mayor's Fund for New York is also accepting donations. Click here to donate.

City laneways bursting with overhead lightboxes and colourful signage all competing for a second glance from the bustling crowd. 

A display of the most beautifully made in Italy pinwheels. The sight of them is enough to bring out anyone's inner child. So far this week I have walked past this display twice and now my kids own 4 of these... soon they'll have enough to start a mini wind farm. 

Finally mixed and matched the perfect set of indigo crockery. Don't you think they make fine props for {camo meets couture} baking recipes?   

An oversized scarf has to be the most versatile item that ever existed. Here I'm wearing my leopard scarf as a cover-all for a day at the hot spring. Too bad they don't make kiddie versions.

Another week of friday's fancies and another yellow and blue colour inspiration. The more I look around the more I see this particular combo. I love these glazed blue subway tiles paired with the yellow lacquer. Plus a chalkboard this colourful is just begging for me to pop inside.

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