12WBT | week 10 in review

It’s week 10 and I’m doing fantastically with my running. Apart from Tuesday’s Pump session, I run every day. I think I over did it a little because I’m so tight and sore from not stretching enough (I didn’t attend Friday’s Body Balance because I run in the morning instead). I take Thursday as my rest day.

Food-wise, I’m a little off. I eat out three times which is too many calories but I am making healthier choices and I don’t let my exercise slip. Surprisingly I still have a solid week on the scales with a loss of 1.2kgs.


This is what I ate:

Dinner: lamb cutlets with minted peas, feta & spinach

This is how I worked out:

4.7km walk/run: 2.7km brisk walk, 2km run


This is what I ate:

Dinner: leftovers; grilled chicken, veggies & salad

This is how I worked out:

Body Pump class at the gym. LOVE IT!


This is what I ate:

Lunch: Japanese Bento

This is how I worked out:

4.7km walk/run: 2.7km brisk walk, 2km run

Wednesday calorie expenditure


This is what I ate:

Dinner: proscuitto wrapped chicken with salsa (bearnaise on the side which I didnt eat)

This is how I worked out:

rest day


This is what I ate:

Lunch: grilled asparagus & cherry tomatoes with smoked salmon & baguette


4.4km walk/run: 2.2km brisk walk & 2km run


This is what I ate:

Big breakkie: eggs, beans, turkey, tomato & spinach

This is how I worked out:

SSS is 3 classes at the gym. Yep, THREE! Body Pump (7.30am), Body Balance (8.30am) & Body Combat (9.30am).

Saturday calorie expenditure


This is what I ate:

Lunch: sweet potato, cucumber, feta & pinenut salad

Apart from the above salad, I ate so poorly on Sunday – it was the Glebe street fair. I ate a pretzel, a spinach & feta gozleme and a chip on a stick (potato spiral cut and deep fried). Michelle would be mortified. I am mortified admitting that I ate a chip-on-a-stick. The only good thing is that I had cereal for brekkie and all that junk was lunch & dinner. Let’s move on.

This is how I worked out:

4.7km brisk walk.


Total Workout Time: 8 hours, 8 minutes
Total Calories Expended: 3253
Weekly Weight Loss:  1.2kgs

I’ve now broken the 10kg+ weight loss mark!!! Booyah!!!

12WBT | week 9 in review

In Week 9 I officially hit the last third of 12WBT Round 3 for 2011!

This week, what got me thinking were some words from Sophie Dahl (the English author, cook & model). Janine bought me her cook book Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights for my birthday & I think she’s absolutely fabulous (both Janine & Miss Dahl!).

Miss Dahl making voluptuous delights!

You may remember that Sophie came into the spot light amongst controversy – as a plus-size socialite granddaughter of Roald Dahl turned model. Over the years her weight fluctuated and then plummeted. She talks about finding that balance. Here are some of her words that really resonated with me;

“I have also come across many women who are self-restricted and miserable. There is something deeply joyless in a life consisting of restriction; even in the word itself. Starving is not sexy. It is bleeding gums, acrid breath, brittle bones, osteoporosis, infertility and complication. It saps and withers.

Sexy is inherent in a healthy appreciation for food, in having the energy to romp with your beloved, pick up your baby, cook dinner for your friends, go for a run or simply take a gentle walk to the market. Sexy is in feeling sated, having options and feeling alive.”

Sophie Dahl - before & after

What a wonderful view on food and health!


What I ate:

ham & salad sandwich
Dinner: Roasted mushrooms, grilled chicken & salad

 How I worked out:

Monday calorie expenditure

Running 1km solid then another 1km in intervals and 2.4km brisk walk.



Mish has introduced Accelerator Days which are simple-carbs-free days each Tuesday for the last 4 weeks of the program. I did forget at one stage and had 2 squares of dark chocolate. Whoops!

Brekkie: beans, avocado & tomato
Dinner: steak with beans, mushroom sauce & spinach

OMG the dinner was so yummy! The mushroom sauce was made from low-fat sour cream and Dijon mustard.


Tuesday calorie expenditure

The usual Tuesday morning Pump class. Super fun!



Breakfast: toast with spinach, egg & tomato
Salmon with griled broccolini, spinach & pan-fried tomatoes

This dinner was one of my faves so far. Although Im not sure what happened and I felt really sick later in the evening & ended up with my head in the toilet bowl. I think it was a combination of only eating 500 calories all day, then scoffing fish for dinner followed by a yoghurt & an orange; I curdled my tummy!


Wednesday calorie expenditure

Outdoor run repeating Monday’s workout with Harley. Jay is resting as he hurt his achilles playing footy on the weekend.



Wednesday night dinner leftovers for lunch
Cajun chicken with sweet potato wedges & rocket salad


I was supposed to go to Pump class, but Im really feeling the running and head out for another session. It’s super hot (ie 28° C at 7am) and I return drenched in sweat. I love that feeling! Jay doesn’t come because he’s still recovering from his achilles issue.

Thursday's workout calorie expenditure - only half recorded because my Polar was playing up!

Something special:

I had my monthly volunteering afternoon with the kids from the Marian Centre (a Mother’s Group Home/Safe House). We drew and coloured and played Wii. It was so much fun. My little friend Sandra made me a picture:

my beautiful present - artwork from 7 yo Sandra



Friday night pizza: potato, proscuitto, feta & rocket

Jay & I had an argument; he went to the pub with his mates and I stayed home and made comfort food – pizza and then ate a bag full of lollies. Obviously I am still struggling with my emotional eating.


Friday's workout calorie expenditure

I leave work early and head out for a run in the heat to punish myself. I’ve had a bad day. My shin-splints are playing up and I’m so tight in my legs/hips from all the running. Basically I’ve just had a shithouse day.



Saturday coffee

Jay takes me out for breakfast to make up for our argument. It’s a nice restitution! We also go out for dinner to my favourite pizza place Rosso Pomodoro that night. In terms of a calorie splurge, it’s not too bad, but I do down 2 glasses of wine.

margarita pizza


SSS calorie expenditure #1
SSS calorie expenditure #2

Not quite 1000 calories but close. Pump class and the Bay Walk. It’s super hot and I like working out in the heat!



dinner: pork fillet with beans & roast sweet potato


It was supposed to be my rest day, but I head out for an afternoon walk around the harbour with Harley.

The Summary

Weekly Polar Summary

Total workout time: 7hrs 20mins
Total calories expended: 3268
Weekly Weightloss: 0.8kg (1.7lbs)

Mummy, santa-fest & good food

This weekend my Mum & stepdad came to stay. Its Mums birthday next weekend but she’ll be spending it elsewhere so we had a nice premature celebration together in Sydney.

Here are my favourite highlights from the weekend;

· Friday afternoon drinks at a seeminly dodgy pub in Circular Quay that turned out not so bad
· Friday flowers  · Afternoon birthday cake with Mum, Col & Jay  · Amazing pizza for dinner at Rosso Pomodoro

Col & Mum
Jay & Melly
mmmmm, pizza

· Santa-fest at Darling Harbour

giant Santa!
city lights
giant neon tree (brightest in the southern hemisphere)
water fountain
Darling Quarter restaurants

· Ceasefire from the rain and sunshine!!!!
· Backyard BBQ 

steaks on the barbie
sausages on the barbie (the little ones are for Harley)
corn & asparagus
Sunday dinner

thanksgiving | 11 things Im thankful for

My BFF Gracie lived in the States on a couple of occasions over the past 20 years and her favourite American holiday is Thanksgiving. She’s tried to implement a Thanksgiving here at home, much to my lamented cries of “We’re not American, we shouldn’t celebrate their holidays!”

This year in the lead up to Thanksgiving, my friend Neen wrote this post earlier this week on things she’s thankful for. She challenged others to write their own list of things we’re thankful for.

I won’t be going so far as cooking turkey and pumpkin pie (although I’d appreciate any good pumpkin pie recipes because I adore it) but I do appreciate the sentiment and would like to share my (current) list of things I’m thankful for:

  • I’m thankful for…my husband’s ability to pull me out of a bad mood. he makes me giddy and silly and light. I am thankful for him.
  • I’m thankful for…massages. I had one from the sports physio on Tuesday night and it was fan-frickin-tastic! My shin splints, tight hipflexors/hamstrings/calves are all so much better. I’m thankful for Elen’s strong hands!
  • I’m thankful for…coffee. I only have one a day. It has to be made by a barista. It has to be good, and when it is I’m in heaven. I’m thankful for Kaldi, the 9th-century Ethiopian goat-herder who discovered coffee.
  • I’m thankful for…my morning walks/runs. I live on one of the worlds most beautiful city harbours and this is what I get to see before I go to the office in the morning

    morning walks around Blackwattle Bay / Glebe Harbour
  • I’m thankful for…wireless and the interweb. what would I spend hour upon hours doing without you? how would I survive if I was limited by cables? I love that my hubby & I both work in ICT and that we have gadgets that make life easier and that our home has techno-gadgets like VoIP. super cool. I think I’m a closet geek.
  • I’m thankful for…Gracie who calls me every Wednesday to sing me “what’s your weigh-in, tell me what’s your weigh-in” in the tune of ‘What’s Your Flava’ by Craig David. She’s my very own Cheerio!
  • I’m thankful for…Harley. Although he sometimes drives me crazy, in my opinion he is the most beautiful, charming & intelligent doggy in the world. My day is instantly better with one lick! 
  • I’m thankful for…my baby bro Juzzy who texts me to tell me about the weather on the other side of the country, doesn’t know how to use a computer, is more of a clean freak than me, hasn’t changed his Facebook status for 2 years and sent me a lovely card & gift voucher a month after my birthday. I’m thankful that we get along so well when he lives 5000-kms away!
  • I’m thankful for…Macarons. I am thankful that they are a perfect little morsel of pure delectable sweetness that is only 87 calories! 
  • I’m thankful for…the steak sandwich from Mano cafe in Glebe. It’s a small piece of scotch fillet, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato & BBQ-sauce on toasted sourdough. It’s simple and delicious and comes with friendly service.
  • I’m thankful for…Lizzie. She’s coming to stay this weekend so we can celebrate her birthday. I love her and I’m thankful for my beautiful Mum.
  • I’m thankful for…trust. Between friends and family, trust is a special thing. The bonds of trust can take years to repair if they are broken and many people these days are not very trusting. So it’s a nice surprise when someone trusts you with important things; I recently met a new neighbour (just graduated from uni, moved in with flatmates a few doors up and about to start her residency at RPA Hospital) who also has a new puppy named Phoenix. Dr Sophie (as I like to call her in my head) met me once, spoke over email and text a few times and then gave me a key to her house so I could get her dog to play with Harley. It’s a nice (& slightly strange) feeling to know that someone who I just met would trust me enough to give me a key to their house. I’m thankful for the trust of strangers.
  • I’m thankful for…Michelle Bridges. The women of steel is an inspiration and a life saver. Literally. She helps thousands of people overcome their over-eating and weight battles and I am (slowly becoming) one of them. Through Biggest Loser and 12WBT she is changing lives (combines 200,000-kgs lost last year!) She is non-nonsense, call it as it is, very real and relate-able. Plus her body is rockin’. And the girl got style!

    Mish Bridges

So whatever you’re thankful for or feeling right at this moment, I hope you can be grateful that that you’re still breathing and that the sun still rises.

what’s on the box

Recently in response to a [post] where I reminisced about a 90’s band Color Me Badd, my blogging friend [visit his blog here] mentioned that the States don’t get any Aussie TV shows. That really doesn’t surprise me, considering the plethora of television shows in the US, but it is sad because if you haven’t visited Australia or done much research as to the country/culture/people etc you may be inclined to believe we all have a pet Koala, drink too much beer (maybe true), are constantly ‘throwing a shrimp prawn on the Barbie’ and have Kangaroos jumping down the streets. Aussie television and film are a great way to immerse yourself in our country’s diversity and cultural ethos.

So in the spirit of sharing and to hopefully encourage your Australiana education, here is my list of acceptable/good/great Aussie-made films and TV shows (set in and about Australian life) for your viewing pleasure!


  • Offspring [2 seasons; 2010-current] “Offspring is centred around 30-something obstetrician Nina Proudman and her family, as they navigate the chaos of modern life. The show mixes conventional narrative drama with flashbacks, graphic animation and fantasy sequences.” This is my favourite Aussie show; it’s funny & relevant and I love the cast. Read more here & here.

    the cast of Offspring
  • The Secret Life of Us [4 series aired 2001 – 2004] “The Secret Life of Us traces the lives of eight twenty-somethings sharing a Melbourne apartment block who are all looking for the same thing—love, sex, romance, success—and anything else that’s worth going after. The problem is they haven’t worked out how to get it yet—so they make it up as they go along.” Cast members starred some of Australia’s popular actors (Claudia Karvan, Anna TorvDeborah Mailman, Asher Keddie, Joel Edgerton, Samuel Johnson, Stephen Curry, Rhys Muldoon, Pia Miranda, Vince Colosimo, Damian de Montemas and Michael Dorman)  Read more of the show.

    The Secret Life of Us
  • Home and Away [1987 – current] I’ve never gotten into Home & Away but it is Australia’s second longest-running drama and most popular soap on TV. Apart from all the teenagers in the country, the folks in Ireland and the UK are obsessed. It’s filmed in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and over the years has been a nursery for Aussie actors who’ve made it big in Hollywood (Heath Leger, Melissa George, Isla Fisher, Julian McMahon,
    Chris Hemsworth, Simon Baker, Guy Pearce, Ryan Kwanten, Sharni Vinson and Naomi Watts). It focuses on the people of a (fictional) town called ‘Summer Bay’ and their lives which are very exciting for a sleepy beach-side town!

    current cast of Home & Away
  • McLeod’s Daughters [8 seasons; aired 2001-2009] Tells the story, trials & tribulations of 5 women who run a cattle station ‘Drovers Run’ in the outback of South Australia. Main story revolves around the sisters who are reunited after inheriting the cattle station. I loved this show for the first 3 seasons and then the cast started changing with the death of the principal character (Claire McLeod played by Lisa Chappell). With the amount of ‘daughters’ appearing out of the woodwork, old man McLeod was a total whorebag! Also starred Bridie Carter, Simmone MacKinnon, Rachael Carparni, Aaron Jeffery, Michala Banas, Abi Tucker and John Jarratt. Random fact is that my cousin in Germany watches this show! I wonder how it sounds with German voiceover…

    McLeod's Daughters
  • Neighbours [1985-current] This is Australia’s longest-running and most successful TV media export with it showing in over 50 countries. Hugely popular in the UK where it has the highest rating of any daytime show outside of the news bulletins. The show revolves around the residents of Ramsey St (a cul-de-sac in a fictional town called Erinsborough) and it’s surrounding area. Most notable cast members include Kylie Minogue, Alan Dale, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce, Ian Smith, Tom Oliver, Delta Goodrem and Natalie Imbruglia. I loved this show when I was in high school! They actually shoot the external scenes on a real street called Pin Oak Court in Vermont South, VIC. Visit the official site here.

  • Underbelly [aired in 2008*] Spanning the years between 1995-2004 this 13-part series is “the true story of one of the bloodiest crime battles in Australian history, follows the rise and fall of notorious career criminal Carl Williams who sought to be king of Melbourne’s underworld. The series, based on the factual book Leadbelly by John Silvester and Andrew Rule, is the compelling dramatisation of Melbourne’s infamous gangland killings that started in 1998 with the murder of Alphonse Gangitano.”  [*exception of Victoria who were under an injunction from the Supreme Court due to in-progress trails surrounding the real life characters] source 
  • Underbelly; The Tail of Two Cities [aired 2009] this 13-part series is the “account of the Australian criminal underworld, loosely based on events in New South Wales and Victoria between 1976 and 1987. The story revolves around the organised crime groups that stemmed from the Griffith-based marijuana trade, led by “Aussie Bob” Trimbole (Roy Billing) and “Kiwi Terry” Clark (Matthew Newton)” and their start up of the Mr Asia drug running trade out of Indonesia. 
  • Underbelly; The Golden Mile [aired 2010] this 13-part series chronicles the years 1988-1999 of the Kings Cross nightclub scene and the police corruption leading up to the 1995 Wood Royal Commission. The principal character is the well-known Sydney nightclub owner John Ibrahim (played by Firass Dirani) as well as shady characters in racing, drugs and politics. Let’s not forget the prostitute turned copper Kim Hollingsworth (played by Emma Booth). 
  • Underbelly; Razor [aired 2011] ” It was the 1920s, Sydney, Australia and the gutters were running with blood as the underworld exploded in violence. Vice in the harbour city was dominated by two powerful women — Tilly Devine, a sharp-tongued cockney who ran a chain of 40 brothels, and her bitter rival Kate Leigh, an Aussie battler who’d built an empire out of sly grog, thieving and cocaine. But there was only room for one woman at the top.” It’s based on the novel Razor by Larry Writer. Brilliant acting by the two real-life best friends Danielle Cormack (Kate Leigh) and Chelsie Preston Crayford (Tilly Devine). The premier episode was the highest rating drama in Australian history. source 
  • The Slap [mini-series, aired 2011] Based on the acclaimed novel by Christos Tsiolkas, the ABC is currently screening the mini-series. I read the book a couple of years ago for book club and didn’t really like it. It was definitely a conversation starter and we spent a good few hours discussing the book in great detail arguing our thoughts on the main story line which is at a BBQ a man slaps a child who he is not related to. The ‘slap’ divides family and friends and has shattering repercussions; there is court hearing, a verdict, discoveries of secrets & lies, infidelity, unhappiness, jealousy and racism. Each chapter of the book is an account of the life of and perception of the event by a different character in the story. The premise is brilliant, the writing is OK and you immediately either hate or love each character with their flaws, secrets and morals. I am thoroughly enjoying the mini-series. So much in fact that I want the DVD for Christmas! It has been brilliantly cast; to name a few actors Melissa George as Rosie, Alex Dimitriades as Harry, Sophie Lowe as Connie, Essie Davis as Anouk, Sophie Okonedo as Aisha, Julian Mineo as Hugo and Jonathan LaPaglia as Hector. Following the format of the book, each episode is from the perspective of a different character. The acting is excellent. Visit the official site here. 
  • Cloudstreet (2011) This mini-series is based on the book by brilliant Aussie author Tim Winton, who writes about relationship dynamics and self discovery set against the harsh Australian landscape (usually in Western Australia). “It chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth, over a period of twenty years, 1943 – 1963.” It’s poignant and beautifully acted & directed. Stars Stephen Curry, Essie Davis, Emma Booth, Kerry Fox, Geoff Morrell, Todd Lasance and Hugo Johnstone-Burt. Visit the official site here.


  • Little Fish (2005) “How do you learn to love again when the pain of the past won’t let you go? When you’re 32 with a troubled history and a doubtful future, it’s a question that isn’t so easy to answer. And for Tracy Heart it’s a question she can no longer ignore. A story about families. About lies. And about learning to love again.” see full review here. Starring the incredible Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill and Hugo Weaving
  • Wolf Creek (2005) “Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive.” (IMDB) The situation is seriously scary and even more so because it’s based on a true story. Just like hundreds of American movies have taught me never to go on a road trip in the back ends of the country (aka Psycho/Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Deliverance), this movie warns you never piss off the locals in an outback town and then take their offer of a lift once your car has broken down! 
  • The Castle (1997) “A Melbourne family is very happy living where they do, near the Melbourne airport. However, they are forced to leave their beloved home, by the Government and airport authorities. ‘The Castle’ is the story of how they fight to remain in their house, taking their case as far as the High Court.” This movie is Australian lore. There are so many quotes from this movie that are quintessentially Aussie colloquialisms and part of our everyday language. It stars Eric Bana, Michael Caton, Sophie Lee, Bud Tingwell and Stephen Curry. “Straight to the pool room!”
  • Chopper (2000) “Chopper tells the intense story of Mark “Chopper” Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, “From the Inside”, upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.” (IMDB) Starring Eric Bana in a fricking legendary role that garnered him praise in Australia and got Hollywood’s attention.
  • Storm Boy (1976) This movie, based on a children’s book by Colin Thiele, came out before I was born, but I watched over & over when I was a kid. It’s beautifully and simply written and directed, using emotions more than dialogue to convey the story of a reclusive man and his young son (Mike aka Storm Boy) who finds 3 pelican chicks when their mother is shot, names them Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival, raises them and then returns them to the wild. The boy’s loneliness is abated when Mr Percival returns. But tragedy soon strikes when poachers come.
  • Two Hands (1999) “A 19 year old (Heath Ledger) finds himself in debt to a local gangster (Bryan Brown) when some gang loot disappears and sets him on the run from thugs. Meanwhile two street kids start a shopping spree when they find the missing money. Rose Byrne co-stars as a country girl, who Ledger starts a romance on his trip.” (IMDB)
  • The Man from Snowy River (1982) “A story about Jim Craig and 18 year old who has recently lost his father in trying to capture ‘the colt from Old Regret’ has to win the respect from the men of the high country to run his fathers farm located near Mt. Kosciusko. After his father’s death he is forced to work on the low lands for Harrison whose brother is good friends of Jims. While working on the farm Jim falls in love with Harrison’s daughter Jessica. After Harrisons’s prize colt has disappeared a roundup of the brumbies in the highlands is going to be conducted with Clancy of the Overflow in the lead.” (IMDB) The cinematography is beautiful.
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) “A cock in a frock on a rock!” This movie is ostentatious, theatrical and over the top. I love this film! Stars Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terrence Stamp as a band of drag-queens who raise eyebrows touring the outback in their awesome bus. 
  • Animal Kingdom (2010) Bloody brilliant acting by Jackie Weaver (in her Oscar nominated role), Joel Edgerton and James Frecheville in a story about a “seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.” official movie site here
  • Australia (2008) This epic Baz Luhrmann film “centres on an English aristocrat in the 1930s, played by Nicole Kidman, who comes to northern Australia to sell a cattle property the size of Belgium. After an epic journey across the country with a rough-hewn drover, Hugh Jackman, they are caught in the bombing of Darwin during World War II.” Critics caned this movie but I liked it. I know Nicole Kidman sometimes over-acts but the landscape, the little boy, Hugh Jackman shirtless….I loved it! official movie site here
  • Romper Stomper (1992) The disturbingly confronting film centres around the “exploits and downfall of a neo-Nazi skinhead group in blue-collar suburban Melbourne” starring Russell Crowe in the lead.
  • The Black Balloon (2008) Thomas is a normal teenager, with normal parents, normal dreams, and a brother called Charlie. When we let go of our differences, We discover who we are. Normality is relative. Starring Toni Collette, Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward, Luke Ford
  • Dead Calm (1989) Tom Cruise apparently fell in lust with Nicole Kidman after watching her in this film about “A mass-murderer kidnaps and seduces a young woman after leaving her husband to die on the vessel whose crew he’s just slaughtered.” This thriller also stars Sam Neill and Billy Zane. Directed by Phillip Noyce
  • Beautiful Kate (2009) this is one of the best Aussie movie’s I’ve seen. The harsh outback landscape mirrors the emotional turmoil and inner void that the main character (played by Ben Mendelsohn) feels. “A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While back home, Ned starts having memories of his beautiful twin sister and himself when they were children. These memories awaken long-buried secrets from the family’s past.” (IMDB) Introduces Sophie Lowe as Kate and also stars Bryan Brown and Rachel Griffiths. Directed by Brown’s wife, actress Rachel Ward 
  • Candy (2006) Starring Abbie Cornish as a beautiful poet who falls in love with a heroin junkie artist played by Heath Leger. Their love heartbreakingly beautiful & disturbing and their dependence on each other is only surpassed by their addiction to heroin.  
  • Lantana (2001) directed by Ray Lawrence (who also directed Jindabyne) this movie is based on the play Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell and stars  Anthony LaPagliaKerry ArmstrongGeoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey. It won 7 AFI awards. “Set in suburban Sydney and focuses on the complex relationships between the characters in the film. The central event of the film is the disappearance and death of a woman whose body is shown at the start of the film, but whose identity is not revealed until later. The film’s name derives from the plant Lantana, a weed prevalent in suburban Sydney.” (IMDB)
  • Muriel’s Wedding (1994) this is one of the quirky films beloved by millions of Aussies. This funny and charming story tells of Muriel (played by Toni Collette) who was always the outsider and an embarrassment to her politician father. She loves ABBA and dreams of a big white wedding. Along with her crazy best friend (Rachel Griffiths) they defy the bitchy social norm and make their own life. It’s an Aussie classic, complete with quotes like this gem “The truth? I tell the truth too. Nicole’s having an affair with Chook. Muriel saw them fucking in the laundry room on your wedding day. Stick your drink up your ass, Tania! I’d rather swallow razor blades than have a drink with you. Oh, by the way… I’m not alone. I’m with Muriel.

Honorable Mentions

  • Looking for Alibrandi (1999) another high-school curriculum novel turned into a movie this “teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. These include her difficult relationship with her single mother, the unexpected return of her long-lost father, the disapproving nuns at her strict Catholic school, the acceptance of her schoolmates,and romantic dilemmas over two very different boys.” (IMDB) 
  • The Wog Boy (2000) written and starring Aussie comedian Nick Giannopoulos “Steve liked Celia from the moment they met. But following a clash with her boss, Raelene Beagle-Thorpe, Minister for employment, he finds himself on national television branded as Australia’s biggest dole bludger. Now Steve has to prove to Celia, to himself, and to the whole country, that there’s more to him than meets the eye. With a little help from his friends, he might just do it.” (IMDB) It’s hilarious! 
  • The Heartbreak Kid (1993) hello Alex Dimitriades! I had a 15 yo crush on him in this film! Based on a play by Richard Barrett, it tells the story about a teenage boy and his romantic relationship with a teacher at his school (played by Claudia Karvan). 
  • Garage Days (2002) directed by Alex Proyas, this film stars Pia Miranda and Kick Gurry as the two leads. The tag line reads “What if you finally got your big break and you just plain sucked?” It’s a story of a garage band in Sydney trying to make it big. Random fact, when I lived in Potts Point I would always see Pia Miranda at Kings Cross Coles supermarket!
  • Crocodile Dundee (1986) this movie was probably one of the first to make it big at the overseas box office. It launched Paul Hogan’s movie career and caused controversy (when he had an affair with his co-star Linda Kozlowski). The best line is “That’s not a knife. This is a knife.” Again a quote that is colloquially Aussie. 
  • The Dish (2000) “tells the story of how the Parkes Observatory was used to relay the live television of man’s first steps on the moon, during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.” (Wikipedia) 
  • Paperback Hero (1999) starring Hugh Jackman as a rural truck driver who writes a romantic best-seller but is embarrassed and uses his friend’s name as the author, played by Claudia Karvan. It’s a romantic comedy. 
  • Kokoda (2006) based on true accounts of the battle between Australian and Japanese fighters in WWII along the gruelling Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. 
  • Hating Alison Ashley (2005) This film was based on the book of the same name by Robin Klein.  This book was also part of the high school English curriculum. Starring Delta Goodrem and Saskia Burmeister
  • Rogue (2007). Horror film about a giant human-eating crocodile. By the same team that made Wolf Creek. Starring American  Michael Vartan and Aussie Radha Mitchell
  • Newcastle (2008) Set in my hometown this tells a story of a bunch of surfers who deal with a tragedy. Stars Xavier Samuel
  • Young Einstein (1988) this movie was directed and stars Yahoo Serious (yep, that is his name!) “Albert Einstein, the son of an apple farmer in Tasmania in the early 1900s, splits a beer atom with a chisel in order to add bubbles to beer, discovers the theory of relativity and travels to Sydney to patent it. While there, he invents the electric guitar and surfing while romancingMarie Curie. He invents rock and roll and uses it to save the world from being destroyed due to misuse of a nuclear reactor under the watchful eye of Charles Darwin.” (IMDB) 
  • Strictly Ballroom (1992) I think this was Baz Luhrmann’s first movie. It’s a romantic comedy starring Paul Mercurio, Gia Carides and Tara Morice about competing at the Pan-Pacific Ballroom Dancing competition. 
  • Gallipoli (1981) I first watched this film in year 9 or 10 English. It stars a young Mel Gibson (when he still had an Aussie accent). My Dad actually worked on the door at a club in South Australia where the actors would go to drink after the day’s filming. Dad said that Gibson was a bit of a cocky tosser even though he wasn’t a major star yet. He is brilliant in this role as a soldier Sprinter in WWI. It’s a story of Aussie mateship and camaraderie. Directed by Peter Weir. 
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) directed by Phillip Noyce. “A touching tale of an appalling chapter in Australian history, told with great sensitivity if not great depth.” (full review here
  • Somersault (2004) premiered at Cannes Film Festival and won 13 AFI awards, this movie stars Abbie Cornish as a 16 year old who runs away from her home in Canberra to the ski slopes in Jindabyne and starts a relationship with an emotionally stunted boy (played by Sam Worthington). 
  • Jindabyne (2006) Premiered at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals to critical acclaim. Stars Gabriel Byrne, Laura Linney, Deborah-Lee Furness and John Howard. This is a thoughtful and haunting story of moral indifference when a group of men go fishing, find the dead body of an Aboriginal girl and then decide to continue fishing for the weekend instead of heading back to report the body. The impact of their misdeeds shocks their friends and family and ripples through their relationships. 
  • Evil Angels (1988) this movie was known as ‘A Cry in the Dark’ outside of Australia. Based on the true story of Lindy Chamberlain who’s baby Azaria was taken in the night by a dingo at a camp near Ayers Rock. She was later charged with the baby’s murder and served 4 years in prison before the life sentence was overturned due to new evidence and better DNA testing. I actually went to school with the older kids and was friends with Aidan in high school. The movie stars Meryl Streep as Lindy and Sam Neill as her husband Michael. This story ignited the imagination and conversations of Australians for years. To this day people have strong beliefs as to whether Azaria’s disappearance was murder or not. It’s fascinating. 
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) Directed by Peter Weir (showing his age) The book is an Australian literary legend. “The film relates the story of the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic to Hanging Rock on Valentine’s Day in 1900, and the subsequent effect on the local community.” (Wikipedia) The movie is eerie and it’s one of those stories where you don’t know if it actually happened or not. Proves that if you have great direction you don’t need a huge budget and special effects to give people goosebumps! 
  • The Sum of Us (1994) Wikipedia describes it as “a meditation on the enduring strength of love, both familial and romantic, in the face of adversity”. Based on a play of the same name by David Stevens, this is a story of a father (played by Jack Thompson) and his gay son (played by Russell Crowe). 
  • Ned Kelly (2003) The movie that sparked the love affair between Heath Leger and Naomi Watts tells the story of Australia’s most notorious outlaw. The movie tag line reads “When the law tried to silence him a legend was born.” It’s a great representation of the legend! Also stars Orlando Bloom and iconic actor Geoffrey Rush
  • Sleeping Beauty (2011) written & directed by Julia Leigh this film received critical acclaim at this years Cannes Film Festival. It stars Emily Browning as young student who performs a special type of erotic service to pay her way through university. It’s a long way from Lemony Snicket to the character she plays in this film, but she’s brilliant – she captures the fine line between erotic innocence & sexual deviance perfectly. Rachel Blake plays the ‘madam’.

three in happiness

The things that you can give to me
I can feel it when your holding me close
You’re like one of those “i wonders”
I know I’m going under
Come see that I’m ready for this
And you’re so good for me
You’re my true joy
You make me wanna say

Through strength I found love
In time I found myself in happiness with you

Happy Anniversary!

Mum & Col on their wedding day

– lyrics from Alexis Jordan Happiness

22 things that make me happy

  • cutting through a perfectly poached egg; the golden yellow yolk oozes everywhere and it’s pure joy!
  • Tweeting. want the world to know your most random thought instantaneously? sure! I am obsessed. 
  • a blow-dry that lasts days
  • colour block fashion
  • that first ‘aaaaah‘ sip of a great coffee
  • blueberries; my fave low-cal snack 
  • finding my running groove; falling into that comfortable pace where there’s no aches and you feel you could run for miles
  • lemongrass soap; smells so fresh & clean
  • lamb cutlets; my current Sunday night dinner obsession
  • Harley after a bath; he’s so fluffy and happy and he smells divine. And when he just hangs out happily 
  • the fact that Jay won’t eat anyone else’s cooking because “only one woman feeds me”!
  • my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tab (best birthday pressie ever from hubby) 
  • fresh flowers on a Friday

    Friday flowers
  • the download fairies that work their magic while I’m sleeping
  • Dinner Club with the Jacksons; we’re approaching our 22nd monthly dinner
  • doggie play dates; I just met a new neighbour Dr Sophie who has a little 4 mnth old poodle-x named Pheonix. This Sunday Harley & Pheonix are going to have a play date!
  • Jay’s handyman skills
  • drinking out of the bottle straight out of the fridge. It’s naughty and I’m an adult so I get to do it!!! (doesn’t stop Jay telling me to get a glass though!) 
  • Glee. it is as it reads and I smile all the way through the episodes
  • the petrol fairies that sometimes strike and fill the tank before I run out 🙂
  • the fact that there’s no sleeps til I see Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt1 (tonight in GoldClass)! Bella & Edward GET IT ON! 
  • Singing the Muppets Theme song 

what I ate for lunch today

I keep thinking about my lunch that I thought I’d share the obsession.

Delicious and nutritious tastes just like chicken! (not really, but that’s a quote from the animated movie Fern Gully that I always say)

grilled asparagus & strawberry tomatoes with baby spinach and smoked salmon

only 196 calories (+ pane di casa bread for 239 calories)