Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Winter has arrived

Since moving to Auckland from Central Otago Ive tended to look down upon those wearing puffer jackets ("winter!!! you call this winter!!?? Im swimming!!"). I would loudly proclaim oh Auckland what winter, winterless North, Ill be in sandals till June, I swim everyday in the sea....etc etc  But oh how the proud do fall, IT IS FREEZING. Not literally, we are no where near freezing point but dam its cold. I can see my breath , I'm wearing tights and now that its raining all the time and our water tank is full Im back to spending my evenings soaking in the tub. I also have a slight sniffle that may turn into some sort of winter cold although I have not experienced one of these for many years it may just be hayfever. Its hard to complain though when my sister sends me photos of herself trudging through snow to lectures in Dunedin or my mum tells me she's added a fourth merino layer to her outfit down in Alexandra. The thing is though we are just not prepared up here, I mean my tights are 20 denier! more suited to a light autumn breeze than anything below 10. My lovely lockwood is a home more suited to the summer, sure once the fire is lit its like sauna in here but this week I am sans my man and while chopping firewood in the dark and torrential rain may appeal it some , it does not to me.

This brings my to the sort of point of why im writing.... HATS. The minute I put a hat on my body temperature soars, its like magic. Hats are life changing, well thats pushing it but they are super useful. Woolly hats are excellent but Ive found in Auckland a wide brim fedora is best because not only does it keep you warm, hide a bad hair day and look good but it totally keeps the rain of your face for those occasions when it rains 10 separate times in one day and the sun out of your eyes when the sun comes streaming out from behind aforementioned rain clouds.

Here are some goodies...

Cara Delevingne 

from Sartorialist

Hat instead of a top- why not?

Elisa in bejeweled wool

LM aka Man Repeller at her best
So frenchy 

Paris loves girls in hats 
Paris loves men in hats

In Amsterdam wearing clogs and....a hat!

So there you have it next time you're cold wear a hat, next time you have the shopping urge buy a hat! Better yet if your into knitting -knit a hat!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

I'm excited about

With a deadline looming on Friday I'm going to do what I did throughout my long uni life and PROCRASTINATE. I consider myself quite a calm person so at times I proactively seek stress out just to mix it up a bit, why complete something a week before its due when you can leave a teeny tiny bit to the very end? I know you all agree.

So anyway there are many lovely things to be excited about this week ...

1) The new baskets at Father Rabbit. Having these in a range of sizes would make even the messiest of us super tidy and organized.  I imagine all the lovely linen I am yet to buy from Father Rabbit would look very good indeed in one of these.

1b) Also the new Riess enamel ware from Father Rabbit . This stuff is super beautiful, would totally last for the rest of your life ( very good value per use) and Father Rabbit just makes it sooooo easy for me when it posts everything super quick and tied up in pretty paper and string.

2) The Auckland Readers and Writers festival. This event is super cool, I like to read a wide variety of literature from Vogue ( is this literature, i guess?) to Hunter S Thomson to Steinbeck, I even sometimes try to read financial type books the man leaves about the house, never with great success. 

The Readers and Writers festival truly HAS IT ALL! You can attend the gala night, lunch with the author type affiars, seminars, debates and more. One of the highlights for me is Poetry Idol where poets perform/read and have to make their way through to the final round by gaining votes from the judges. I'll be cheering on local poet Selina Tusitala Marsh whose work I've been lucky to hear a number of times most recently alongside the very very cool Sam Hunt. So if tickets are still available I would strongly suggest getting in quick!!

3) Its been a good 5 months since I went from long and straggly to short and choppy and I'm still excited about it, most days. Im now pro- short hair even if the man in my life has not quite come to terms with my lack of locks. I took in a photo of my beloved man repeller and was extremely happy with the result, more so than when I took in a photo of Bob Dylan when I was 21, no I dont know what I was thinking but it grew back thank god. I recently saw that another of my idols, Garance Dore, has cut her locks off in a similar fashion to mine, co-incidence ? I think not, she surely follows me on instagram!

4) Gay Waiheke Weddings. I dont know if I actually heard or read this statistic or made it up myself but I think that 20% of NZ weddings happen on Waiheke. Now from my spot on the hill I look down on a beach that has a particularly iconic shed on it. Every week throughout summer I watch hundreds of couples get their wedding photos here. My man and I spend much time ' wedding photo commentating'  its super fun, the 8 brides maids in various shades of pastel was a standout day. Needless to say we notice a distinct lack of individuality and style. Gay weddings will change this I know it, I cant wait to see the stylish and interesting grooms parties around the island , they may not head for the shed but my goodness I know they will do weddings with flair and style  and no im not picturing that wedding from Sex and the City 2 when I think style.

5) Knitting Night! many of my clever friends knit and as a non knitter I consider myself quite lucky to be invited to this. Ive knitted in the past but normally mum would finish it off, well start it too, and fix up holes along the way actually I didn't do much of it. Who knows I may turn a leaf and be one of those super crafty types featured in Frankie one day.. watch this space.

6) Winter coats. While its hard to justify spending a whole pay check on a warm coat that I may only wear one day of the entire North Island winter, it seems unfair to miss out on winter dressing just because its not really cold. Its hard in Auckland because it can get cold and what if you plan on travelling south of the Bombay Hills at any point? These are some of my favorites, ready to buy just incase the weather turns, the snow sets in and I finally pack my bikini away. 

KW Fantastique Magnifique Winter '13

Emanuelle Alt layering like nobodies business

The always stylish Garance

Camel is the answer

On a semi related note I fulfilled my dream of attending 2 yoga sessions this week and totally feel the better for it , now that I think of it was this a form of procrastination ? 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The shoe problem

I never thought I was a "shoe girl". I was wrong. I am, I soooo am. I'm a late bloomer but I have bloomed. I have looked high and low for the perfect loafer for so long that they have come and gone and come back into fashion and very well may be on the way back out ( so they're a classic, non?).  My only saving grace with shoes really is that I dont often find the perfect pair, I dont want something I like, I want something I love.

Unfortunately it was love at sight when I saw these...

dream loafer courtesy of miss moss

The shoes , not the dress but ok yeah the dress would go perfectly with the shoes.
Of course my dream shoe would be Acne , of course it would be Italian leather and of course yes I can ship them straight from Barneys to my door. 
If only I had not recently brought my new dream winter boot.... 


The thing is they are a classic and Ill wear them forever ( this is my standard argument behind buying anything over $200, my man no longer falls for this). I feel that the acne loafer would really truly be a wear it forever type shoe...tan= classic!
Another shoe that I do believe my lovely friend Emily Gilbert and I swooned over at the same time on instagram is the new Luna boot in mint.

I have to admit I've not been a past fan of the KW x Beaucoop collaborations mainly because I know for a fact the heels are not super comfortable. BUT the green is a dream and a high ankle boot is always a good idea.
Two more dream shoes and then I'm done dream'n.

This is one tiny sample of the amazingness that is del toro shoes

Ten & co shoes, these beauties are cut from vintage leathers and Moroccan rugs- interesting!

What is your approach to shoes and shoe shopping dear readers ( em , mum?) If I settle for second best and pick up the latest mi piachi has to offer will I forever dream of the acne tan leather loafer and what could have been or should I be more worried about global warming considering I got one arm semi- sun burnt at lunch time today ( mid May?!) .


Saturday, 4 May 2013


Ever since our recent trip to Europe where we spent most of our time in France eating I have been dying to try making pork rillettes. The stuff we would pick up at little traiteur's was amazing , melt in your mouth and not at all expensive. As much as I LOVE to cook these little traiteur's with their range of ready made delights were such a dream and definitely something I miss about not living in a big city. The range of food you could pick up was huge and they would often be open late into the evening. A variety  of potted meats like rillettes and pate along with salads and the most delicious discovery of all -what seemed to be fried balls of bread oh the goodness!

On the Island I normally buy Casta Miro's version at the saturday market so this is what i was modeling mine on. Those who know me know that pate is a favorite and I guess you could say specialty of mine.  Im no baker but man do I love to fry up chicken livers add a dash of sherry/marsala etc and whizz it up into a little pot of deliciousness.  So I thought how hard could rillettes be ... well not hard at all! Although I would not recommend trying to do slow cooked beef cheeks at the same time, there was also a thunderstorm going on that was shaking the lockwood like crazy.

A few days earlier I visited my local butcher who is super helpful and lovely and had a chat about where they get their pigs from and what I would need, turns out they were ' doing' a pig the next day and would set aside what I needed.

I have to say we are very lucky here on Waiheke to have the Village Butchery where they offer great advice and are happy to stop and have a chat about how best to cook what cuts, this is how I ended up with the terrific  beef cheeks, so cheap and done nice and slow totally melts in your mouth!. I recently discovered short ribs- another amazing cut that need hardly anything done other than to simmer away in the oven in red wine for a very long time - I first had these at Depot and they do them very well but I imagine Al Brown being impressed with mine!

Recipe is from  the book Pork and Sons By Stephane Raynaud. While reading this book you
may experience the desire to start your own pig farm and produce all manner of porky delights but that could have just been me.

Melting the pork fat, onion, garlic, thyme and white wine.

Lucky I had a cupboard full of Miro rillette jars.

The beef cheeks also deserve a mention and if you were wondering that is black potato mash, probably wouldn't do that again.

Digging in to the rillettes for Sunday lunch.

So voila! not hard, certainly not expensive and so worth it!


Friday, 3 May 2013

Im excited about...

The Great Gatsby is soon to be showing out our wonderful local cinema( June 6th). As with most book to film adaptations I'm feeling cautious (I watched Captain Corelli's Mandolin with my finger over Nicolas Cage's face the entire time - terrible casting, wonderful beautiful story and whoever thought they could fit The Time Traveller's Wife into a 2 hour film was crazy)

BUT if anything I am intrepid so I shall be heading along as soon as possible.  I'm a sucker for Leo, for anything created by Luhrman and I especially like Cary Mulligan. Joel Eggerton is not half bad either. The fact that Muccia Prada has created a number of looks in the film just adds to my excitement.
I was interested to learn the book had already been adapted to film, once in 1926 as a silent film which sadly has been lost, again in 1949 then most recently in 1974 starring Robert Redford.

I'm picturing Martini's before hand and possibly even dressing up (probably not in Prada). I really enjoyed this book and I won't attempt to review what has been called F Scott Fitzgearld's greatest novel but I do feel it is insightful of the wonderful frivolousness of a 1920's America and of course classic in its treatment of a flawed main character ( ooo 7th form English is coming flooding back).

An aside- its so exciting that the Waiheke community ( lead by the always charming John Hawksby) has pulled together to raise the money needed to buy the new digital technology for the cinema. Having played the most minor of roles by organising a movie night at school I have a terrific sense of pride in our community. I grew up watching films at The Paradiso in Wanaka , another amazing little space with couches, airline seats etc and its so important that we keep these independent cinemas going.

So great work once again Waiheke and if you want to attend the final cinema fundraiser I think you can still buy tickets for what is going to be a spectacular evening of fine food and wine at The Oyster Inn. Call them on 09 372 2222.

Oh and more exciting news for Waiheke residents as I looked for that phone number on their website I see they are continuing to feature Nathan Haines throughout May on Sunday evenings- thought I had missed the boat there!


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

swim fan - May

Part 1 of my plan/dare to swim each month through the winter began in earnest today. I say in earnest because really the weather is still quite warm and although I was the only one in the water it was surprisingly warm and I had no trouble moving from my spot on the deck 20 metres across the road to the beach.

The accountant and I cooked up this plan on our recent camping trip, details and small print are yet to be confirmed but something along the lines of a new deadly ponies bag should I complete the full 12 months or maybe I came up with that prize idea all by myself. Anyhow we shall see how confident I feel mid- July.