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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Running Wild

I have always been partial to a hint of animal print, as long as it's done the right way. I first fell in love with animal print stair runners after seeing this photo of Kristin Van Ogtrop, editor
of Real Simple Magazine.

Kristin Van Ogtrop
Ever since seeing this photo, I've stumbled across some amazing homes where the stair runner has been the focal point of the entryway. To me these stair runners add flair without tackiness and can turn quite a traditional space into an elegant contemporary feature.

Image Sourced from Here

Image Sourced from Here

Image Sourced from Here 
Image Sourced from Here

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

School Drop off Chic

My day starts at 5.30am with the alarm blaring and rushing to get Sadie to school each day. I always have and always will organise my outfit the night before. Most days I try my best to look as good as I can. There are days however where I look like a train wreck! The key for me is accessories. I have plenty of staples in my wardrobe that I tend to mix and match to which I then add accessories to make the outfit more interesting.

Here are some inspiration outfits I've put together...accessories being the key.

Top Shop Jumper, J-Brand Jeans, Jennifer Meyer Necklace, Tom Ford Sunglasses, Charlotte Russe Bangles & Old Navy Shoes 
Ganni Old Spice Dress, Etsy Necklace, Celine Audrey Sunglasses, Chloe Marcie Bag & Tory Burch Sandals

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Holy Guacamole

I've been told by a few people that my guacamole is the best they've had. It's not often I get a compliment like that! My secret to guacamole...sour cream. Very unconventional I know however the addition of sour cream turns up the dial a little, adding creaminess whilst also helping keep the guacamole looking and tasting fresh. The key to good guacamole is ripened avocado's, I only use Has and keep the texture of the guacamole chunky, you don't want to serve up what looks like pureed baby food.


Serves 4-6
4  ripe avocado's roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon Sour Cream
1/2 Red Onion minced
1/2 garlic clove minced
1 ripened tomato seeds and flesh removed, roughly chopped
2 table spoons of cilantro/coriander
1-2 red chili's seeds and stem removed, minced (you can also use dried chili flakes)
Salt and Pepper

Place roughly chopped avocado's in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon or lime juice immediately and gently mash the avocado's with a fork (remember to keep the guacamole chunky!). Add the remaining ingredients and gently combine. Make sure you add enough salt and pepper. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or vegetable crudites. If making in advance, ensure to place plastic wrap right on top of the guacamole to prevent oxidation. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Taylor Swift - A+ at the Grammy's

I'm running around today like a chook without it's head, so just a quick post today.

I love Taylor Swift's style. She nails that retro 1950s look and gets it spot on every time.

Without doubt she was my best dressed at the Grammy's this year. A lot edgier than her usual gowns but still very lady like with perfect hair and makeup. Taylor looks absolutely angelic. What stands out for me is the neckline detail on the dress, belt and sleeves, absolute perfection.

I'm hoping to be able to do some baking this afternoon so stay tuned for tomorrow's post!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Dreaming Of...a Gorgeous Bathroom

Happy Australia Day to all my lovely Aussie readers!

Today I have been daydreaming about bathrooms. I miss my beautiful big bathroom in our house in Melbourne. It's hard as an expat when you are renting a house. It's not like you can refurb your bathroom when the desire strikes. Bathrooms in Doha are caught in some kind of 1950s trance. Hideous tiles, bad plumbing jobs, showers and bathtubs combined. I've yet to see a nice bathroom in Doha.

We have been dealing with a leaking master bath for the past two years. Quick hatchet jobs have tried to fix the problem but to no avail. So imagine our surprise (not!) when on Friday night the ceiling caved in bring with it a heap of water, dust and sand.

So today while my bathroom is getting an overhaul I've been daydreaming about beautiful bathrooms, lots of bubbles, a good book and a glass of champs.

Enjoy these pics

Image Sources from Here

Image Sourced from Here

Image Sourced from Here

Image Sourced from Here

Image Sourced from Here

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hello My Name is Sarah.....and I have Hair Schizophrenia

Two months ago I chopped off all my hair. I loved it! I've gone back and forth between short and long hair since I was about 14 years old. I'm now at the point where I know I love my short hair so much more. I will never have long hair ever again.

Back in July, I went blonde, slowly but surely I've been getting more blonde every month. Last week I went about as blonde as you can get...an all over bleach. I liked it but I didn't love it, it was too blonde.

Yesterday, I was skimming through Daily Mail online...as you do and I came across a photo of Anne Hathaway at the Sundance Film Festival. Now I love me some Anne Hathaway, she's my hair inspiration and we've pretty much got the same hair cut all that was needed now was to go back to the dark side...oh an loose about 1000kg to look anything like her.

So this morning at 8am, I found myself in the hairdressers chair for the 2nd time this week. My hairdresser just laughed at me. I asked her "Do you think I have Hair Schizophrenia?" she giggled again and said she loves having me as a client as she never knows what I'm going to ask for. So here I am, back to being a brunette. I love it...for now...until I want a change again!

I actually googled Hair Schizophrenia and it's not actually a real thing...but I've diagnosed myself with it anyway!

Does anyone else out there have hair inspirations or am I the only nutter?!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Kitchen Bliss - Marble and Steel

I love mixing old and new together. I love a home that has a traditional feel with contemporary elements, that's my perfect combination.

It's so hard living as an expat where you rent homes rather than owning them, it's hard to add my own touch to a kitchen I use constantly but that isn't really me. I miss my kitchen in Melbourne, we bought the house mainly because we loved the kitchen so much. I think about my kitchen in Melbourne all the time...is that weird? I know that if we do move back to that house, I'll definitely keep the layout the same but I might change the cabinetry and hardware.

Steel and marble used together in kitchens is a great way of mixing the old and the new, the traditional with the contemporary. Have you seen the movie "It's Complicated"? Meryl Streeps kitchen in that movie is TO DIE FOR! The marble and steel island bench in that kitchen gives it both a traditional country feel but also an industrial feel. Both even each other out.

Here is some more marble and steel inspiration.

Image from Pinterest

Image from Design Milk

Image from Luxe Interiors
Image from Pinterest

Monday, 20 January 2014

Broccoli, Lemon & Garlic Pasta Bake

Once or twice a week I like to cook a vegetarian meal for dinner....much to the Mr's dismay. I need to have a break from meat, load up on veggies and salad, it makes me feel fresh. Are you the same?

I also find that if I prepare a vegetarian meal, Lady Sadie has no option other than to eat all her veggies or risk going to bed hungry.

This pasta bake ticks all my boxes. It's filling, satisfying and the addition of the lemon zest adds so much flavour. I would also add some chili flakes if I was making it only for adults or some ham would also be great for a non-vegetarian option. I served this meal last night with a huge leafy salad and it was a hit. A meal that I'm sure will feature highly on rotation.

*Please note that to make this healthier, I used non fat milk, low fat cream and non fat cheese.

Adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly "Savory Bakes" Cook Book


200g penne pasta
500g broccoli, cut into small florets
3 eggs
1 cup cream 
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius. Oil a deep 8-cup ovenproof dish.
  2. Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water until tender. Add broccoli for last 5 minutes of pasta cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta and broccoli under cold water; drain, cool.
  3. Combine pasta, broccoli, eggs, cream, milk and cheddar in large bowl; season.
  4. Spoon mixture into dish; sprinkle with combined breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, rind and parsley.
  5. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until browned lightly and set.
  6. Stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

All Eyes on ...The Clutch

In every woman's wardrobe should be at least one classic black clutch and if you're able to add a couple more you should do so.

A clutch can absolutely make an outfit. Whether it's classic black or a bright colour to add to an all black outfit the clutch is the perfect accessory for day or night.

My belief is this...spend as much as you can on the black clutch, ensure you buy a classic style that you can wear forever, that looks great either for brunch or a special night out. Then if you're able to add more clutches to your collection, keep to the High Street brands where you can have more fun with colour and texture without breaking the bank.

My one pre-requisite for the perfect clutch is to ensure that it fits everything I need inside. I need to be able to pack more than just my lipstick!

My Clutches

Animal Print by River Island

The Classic Flap Mini Size by Chanel 
Neutral Hue by River Island

Clutches I'm Coveting

Pastel Perfection by Zara - Available Here

Perfect for Evenings by Witchery - Available Here

Fun and Flirty by Kate Spade - Available Here

Make a Statement with Kate Spade - Available Here

Add a Pop of Color with Gucci - Available Here

Classic Black by Tory Burch - Available Here

Thursday, 16 January 2014

JuJu Love

JuJu hats were a huge trend in 2013 and I hope they are here to stay. They add a unique look to any room and look great on their own or grouped together as a statement piece.

JuJu hats originate from the West African nation of Cameroon and were worn by the royal Bamileke tribe.

For me they add a bit of fun and frivolity to any room. I would love one in my master bedroom but I've yet to find them for sale in Doha. I'm thinking a trip to the Table Tonic store in Sydney is a must when I'm home in July!

Great for a teenager's homework area

Multiple JuJu Hats to brighten up the living room 
I love this neutral living area

Louise from Table Tonic's Dining Area = JuJu Love 
A beautiful pop of colour livens up this space

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Pea and Mint Soup

This soup holds a very dear place in my heart. I have stolen the recipe from a good friend. I met Ange a little over two years ago here in Doha. We became fast friends. We had the same sense of humour, we loved a good glass of bubbles and we would spend hours giggling away like school girls. Ange was also my hairdresser. Every month I would go to her home where she would cut, colour and feed me Pea and Mint Soup. Ange has since moved back to Australia and while I miss her terribly, I know that a good bowl of this soup makes her feel a little closer.

Olive oil
1 brown onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups of chicken/vegetable stock
1kg frozen peas
1/3 cup mint leaves chopped
Sour cream (optional) (I use low fat sour cream)

1. Over medium-high heat gently cook onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until soft and transparent.
2. Add stock and bring to the boil.
3. Add peas and mint, bring to the boil, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Set soup aside to cool slightly
5. Blend soup until smooth (I do prefer mine slightly chunky, it's up to you)
6. Reheat soup in saucepan
7. Serve soup hot and garnish with sour cream and a mint leaf.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Golden Globes 2014 - Hits and Misses

I absolutely, positively love awards season in Hollywood. I'm a huge fan of film and television. Every year I sit glued to the TV watching both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. I think though that "Who are you wearing?" has taken over from the actual awards most of the time and a bigger deal is made of the red carpet than anything else. 

Best Dressed Goes To...
I've never seen Cate look bad. She nails her look each and every time. She always takes a risk without jumping off a ledge. 

Cate Blanchett in Armani

Hits of the Red Carpet
Lena Dunham in Zac Posen
Lupita Nyongo'o in Ralph Lauren
Michelle Dockery in Oscar De La Renta
Margot Robbie in Gucci
Naomi Watts in Tom Ford
Taylor Swift in Carolina Herrera 
Vintage Queen, Zooey Deschanel in Oscar De La Renta

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy
Played it Too Safe

Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad

Reese Witherspoon in Calvin Klein 
Misses of the Red Carpet

Amber Heard in Atelier Versace
The dress is superb but the hairstyle ages her beyond belief! 
Emma Thompson in Vintage Lanvin
This vintage Lanvin is divine. I absolutely love it and Emma has a rocking body however the hairstyle is so ageing on such a beautiful woman.

Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuiller
Drew is glowing, her hair and makeup is superb but I"m not sure what's going on with this dress. It's the capped sleeves I don't like very much. Had it been strapless I think it would have looked a lot better.

Emma Watson in Dior
This is too dressed down for me, not glamourous enough. There are too many things going on with this look with the dress, blue shoes and then the trousers underneath. I kind of feel like this is a bit to try hard.

Heidi Klum in Marchesa
The fabric is atrocious and the necklace is very 1990s!

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
I love Jennifer Lawrence, I love everything about her. She's the reason I chopped off all my hair recently. I'm not digging this dress though. It looks like a petticoat and she forgot to put the actual dress on. 

Julia Roberts in Dolce and Gabana
Julia's hair and makeup is gorgeous but I feel like this dress has been done before. It reminds me of the Valentino dress/shirt combo that was last season.

Tina Fey
She's hilarious, I love her but this dress is a shocker. I think though that she does this on purpose every awards season. I think she actually likes getting on the worst dressed list.

Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung
I've not heard of this designer before. There is too much going on with this dress. Zoe is a beautiful girl  but this dress does not do her any justice.

What were your hits and misses from the Red Carpet?