givenchy glamour

beautiful fashion is a true art form.
it generates emotion & inspires.
these stunning pieces from Givenchy reflect such beauty.
and just a little bit of envy.

givenchygivenchy3givenchy2givenchy5givenchy6givenchy-fw0809-5a00090mgivenchy7Givenchy-Dahlia-Noir

food for the soul (and belly!)

Apologies for being so quiet for the last couple of months; life has been a whirlwind of moving house, weekend project deployments, catching up with family that are moving overseas, friends birthday celebrations, weekend adventures, starting bootcamp, eating sugar & grains (and not feeling bad about it, well maybe a little bad!) and generally just falling into bed exhausted each night with no time for blogging.

I’ve spent this past couple of weeks with some of the people who matter to me most; including a trip to the beautiful Kangaroo Valley in the Southern Highlands, small-bar hopping around my new neighbourhood, celebrating Raya festival and venturing out into the freezing early morning on my reinvigorated fitness regime. It’s made me appreciate winter while still longing for the not-so-distant spring!

Here’s a few pics of my recent adventures (taken from my instagram page, so excuse the low quality). I hope you’ve all been well and your life has been filled with great company, good wine and truffle fries…

New pad:

the building

the building

couch & artwork in the lounge room. plus Harley in a bowtie!

couch & artwork in the lounge room. plus Harley in a bowtie!

couch & dining room

couch & dining room

new bed; concrete grey linen

new bed; concrete grey linen

Kangaroo Valley with Jay, Jared, Pete, Mish & Sue

My good friend Mish is leaving Sydney to move to London. <sob> So we organised a weekend away in luscious Kangaroo Valley in the Southern Highlands; about 2.5 hours south of Sydney. ‘Roo Valley is pure Australian landscape perfection, and the holiday house we rented had a heated pool, wood fireplace, chef’s kitchen and was set on 2 acres with cows, horses, deer & all sorts of other Australian wildlife!

We drank, listened to music, talked, laughed, cooked, danced and made rackets of noise with no neighbours to complain. It was just what a weekend away with friends is all about!

Beautiful Kangaroo Valley

Beautiful Kangaroo Valley

the fields & resident cows

the fields & resident cows

Jay & I

Jay & I

lounge room in the house we rented

lounge room

Our group; Pete & Jay in the back, me in the middle at the back, Michelle on the left, then Sue and Jared

Our group; Pete & Jay in the back, me in the middle at the back, Michelle on the left, then Sue and Jared

Mish & I

Mish & I

family dinner!

Friday family dinner!

Saturday family dinner!

Saturday family dinner!

Pete's flaming zombie cocktails

Pete’s flaming zombie cocktails

my old fashioned cocktails

my old fashioned cocktails

Harley running the fields at dusk

Harley running the fields at dusk

making friends with the horses on the property

making friends with the horses on the property

Celebrating the end of Raya with the Williamsons

My friend Syaz is Malay-Muslim and wanted to introduce the festival of Raya with her new Aussie ‘family’. Think American Thanksgiving, but for Muslims as a weekend ‘open house’ to celebrate the end of Ramadan. It was a beautiful excuse to learn a new cultural holiday and hang out with old friends and make some new ones!

just some of the food Syaz made for Raya

just some of the food Syaz made for Raya

Erika, Syaz & me

Erika, Syaz & me

Small Bar Hopping

Having just relocated OTB (over the bridge) I have been feeling dislocated from my beloved Pyrmont. Although Crows Nest has a more suburban feel than Pyrmont, it still has a village vibe with lots of cute cafes & small bars…so we’ve been making our way through the list!

The Botanist

The Botanist

My new fave place! Located in Kiribilli this is such a cute & trendy bar/restaurant with a fantastic vibe, good cocktails and share food. We’ve been twice in the last month; first with Jared & Pete and then with Syaz & Brendon.

Foxtrot

Foxtrot

When I first walked past Foxtrot I thought it was a brothel!!! I had to google it to find out it was a funky hipster bar. I am in love. And Jay feels right at home.

my hipster husband Jay

my hipster husband Jay

The Small Bar

The Small Bar

Small Bar in Crows Nest is a sister bar to Small Bar in the City on Erskine St. It’s open late and has fairy lights and a good wine list. What more do you need?!

Farewelling my favourite Aunt

My Dad’s sister Lydia is my most favourite aunty. She’s only 10 years older than me and has been my aunty/big-sister/friend/mentor/partner-in-crime for as long as I can remember. We’ve never lived in the same city, but she’s always dropped everything anytime I’ve needed her (she once caught a bus all night, 7 months preggers, from Brisbane to Newcastle to be with me when I told my parents that I got suspended from school for doing something naughty!).

So her and her American molecular-biologist husband have decided to move to The States to be closer to his family for a while and so have been doing the farewell roadtrip to catchup with family and say their goodbyes.

They stayed one Friday night, we had predrinks at our place and then headed over to House of Crabs in Surry Hills. It was loud, it was messy & it was very very fun.

House of Crabs Boil Board

House of Crabs Boil Board

HoC

 

Girls Night! (“Christmas in July Sleepover” that had nothing to do with Christmas in July)

What happens when 10 grown women get together for a slumber party?  Well, that’s for me to know and you to imagine!!!

lots of drinking & giggling

lots of drinking & giggling

Getting my move on!

I started boot camp. It’s cold. So cold. And painful. I begin Whole30 on the 8th September (no alcohol, grains, processed food, dairy, sugar) for 30 days. My Melbourne friend Narelle is a Whole30 veteran and is going to do it with me to support me for the month!

boot camp starts here 6am

boot camp starts here 6am

but at least I get this view of the city (harbour bridge & tips of the Opera House)!

but at least I get this view of the city (harbour bridge & tips of the Opera House)!

Phew! That seems like an extremely busy couple of months! But now that I’m settled I promise to get my blog on more regularly!

peace! love melly

peace! love melly

signature2 - melly xox

 

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| wednesday words |

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the adventures of melly; sans sugar

A year ago, if someone had suggested that I “quit sugar” I would have literally dropped to the floor and rolled around laughing. Me, the eat-a-full-bag-of-gummy-bears-maybe-two-in-one-sitting, quit sugar? Yeah right! But after reading Sweet Poison and being kinda obsessed with Sarah Wilson’s blog and books and instagram for a while, I thought it made complete sense to join her I Quit Sugar (#IQS) 8 week program (#IQS8WP) when it came on offer. When I say sugar I mean fructose. The evil stuff that effects and is processed bio-chemically the same in your body whether its from a can of Coke, a handful of peanut M&Ms or from fruit.

So, how’s it going? you might ask….

Week 1

Piece of cake, well not literally of course, is what I thought when I read the weekly newsletter that included all the details for the first week ahead; meal plan, shopping list and big Sunday cook-up. It actually was really enjoyable to have someone else plan out the week’s meals and they were damn good! I can’t begin to describe how delicious the Paleo Inside-Out Bread is. The Sunday Cook-Up was fun! So much food that I had to set up guard to save Jay eating it all! And the aromas wafting out of my kitchen…think whole roasted chicken, pumpkin & sweet potato puree, 2 loaves of paleo bread and paleo muesli.

The instructions were to gently & gradually wean myself from the sweet stuff; ditch sugar in my coffee (1 point for Melly; I dont take sugar in my coffee), eat a piece of whole fruit instead of drinking a glass of juice (1 point for Melly; I generally dont drink fruit juice unless Jay’s BFF comes to stay in which case I buy almost every version of expensive juice under the sun because that’s our Husbands-BFF-and-wife thing) and opt for whole-fat dairy instead of skim because manufacturers add sugar to low-fat dairy to create the same full-fat flavour. I know. Bastards! (0 points for Melly but ditching the skim I would go!).

my rendition of Sarah Wilson's Paleo Inside Out Bread YUUUUUM!

my rendition of Sarah Wilson’s Paleo Inside Out Bread YUUUUUM!

Week 2

This is where it got interesting. (1) No fruit for 4 weeks! To baseline our no-sugar-bodies so that we can reintroduce later. (2) Make better alcohol choices ie: a glass of red instead of my precious sparkling (WTF?!) and strictly no fizzy drink mixers like Coke or Lemonade (no issue there, yuck!) or dessert wine, which actually was harder to ignore than I expected as I went out to dinner with friends and they all shared a really nice, expensive bottle of champers AND dessert wine. Dammit.

But my face looked thinner and I felt less bloated. And the paleo muesli….oh the paleo muesli…..

beautiful little clusters of deliciousness; paleo muesli

beautiful little clusters of deliciousness; paleo muesli

Week 3

Okay. So I might have had a little slip. Maybe a big slip. My darling best male friends, King & Dobbo, have been feeling a little stressed about our upcoming separation from them (you’d think we were moving countries and not just a little apartment move 15 minutes away), so they’ve been saturating themselves in our company. We had a Friday night out dancing (champagne), Saturday dinner out (more champagne and I may have had a scoop of icecream floating in a shot of Frangelico),  mid-week dinner at their place to help them choose a feature wall paint colour (yet more champagne, this time a fancy bottle of Perrier-Jouët that they had been saving to give me on my birthday in October) and then breakfast on Sunday which was more like brunch which involved a brioche beef burger. Grains AND sugar. Save me Jebus.

my fave men; Dobbo, Jay & King

my fave men; Dobbo, Jay & King

That gets us to Week 4…

Today, quite literally, I would murder my own grandmother for a giant gummy python. Let’s put it down to me coming off an epic crash from last week and the fact that week 4 includes a 5-day detox from all that is good in the world ie: no fruit, coffee, alcohol, grains, and did I mention no coffee??? Did I also mention that today is Day 1 of Week 4? Did I mention no coffee or alcohol? Oh, how will I survive…

On the upside, this is what I had for breakfast – jealous?

paleo bread with avocado & feta smash and a poachie

paleo bread with avocado & feta smash and a poachie

So, this week, amongst the stress of packing, moving, going to my night course and preparing for some upcoming weekend project changes, I will be getting back on track. No grains (yay for Happy Paleo Melly!), no caffeine, no fructose & no debauchery of any kind.

Hope you have a great week too!

my delightful IQS book

my delightful IQS book

 

 

sorry not sorry

I don’t know about you, but this ad rings so true for me.
it’s time that we women stop apologising when its not required.
confidence and ownership is the takeaway.

autumn camping | wollondilly river

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Wollondilly river

There is something so remarkably satisfying about immersing yourself into nature. All that fresh clean air, lack of technology and being in the outdoors simply refreshes and recharges our souls.

On Saturday we woke at the crack of dawn to head out of Sydney, a couple of hours south in the Southern Highlands near Mittagong, to spend the night camping with a few friends.

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the road trip south

The six of us rallied for breakfast at a cute little cafe called The Shaggy Cow in Mittagong, before a quick shopping trip to the local Big W for last minute supplies before heading into the wilderness.

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Tunnel mushroom bruschetta at The Shaggy Cow

The “road” to Wollondilly River Station is barely a dirt lane, big enough for one car, that snakes precariously around a mountain range down into a lush green valley. I’ve never felt so yuppie city slicker in our little camping convoy with two silver Audi’s and a new Jeep Cherokee, but we had so much fun and didn’t miss the comforts of home too much! Neen & Jared had never camped before, while Ian & Pete are seasoned veterans, Jay loves the outdoors and I dug deep into my childhood camping repertoire and managed not to whinge once! We all had the most wonderful time setting up our camp site, meandering along the rocky banks of the river, sitting by the fire mesmerised by the flames, flitting between chatting & sitting in comfortable silence, cooking on the open flames, toasting marshmallows, drinking hot apple cider and making up stories about the crazy Station owner!

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our little camp site

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the fire pit

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the boys; (L-R) Jared, Pete, Jay & Ian

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relaxing around the fire

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Harley & his new camping buddy Max

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view over the valley

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red cliffs

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rock face

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view over the valley

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Harley by the fire

After 36 hours of sun, fire, nature, camp-fire cooking, mulled wine, no running water or showers, giggles, good company & pit toilets we returned back to the land of mobile coverage & internet! Vowing that next time we’re going for a few extra nights!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

humpday

Happy Wednesday!

Delighted to wake up early and head out the door with my little furry shadow, Harley my overexcited dog, we went for a jog around Blackwattle Bay.

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Sunrise over Blackwattle Bay and ANZAC Bridge

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One of my fave Morton Bay Fig trees

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Palm trees & the moon…

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Takeaway coffee from Mano Espresso in Glebe

Hope you have a great Wednesday!