Tuesday, October 26, 2010

american adventures part one

I love to travel, I'm planning a big trip, when I will be able to take this, who knows. But I love planning and dreaming of places to explore. I actually think that is one of the best parts, planning and brainstorming with friends who have been on their own journeys. 
In 2008, I was fortunate enough to study and work in D.C for six months. It just so happened that it was one of the most amazing six months in recent political history. 

Politics aside, Washington D.C, is the most amazing city. It is culturally rich and the food and drink is world class. I remember going to my interview for my position in the Congressman's office and hearing all about the best burgers on the hill at Good Stuff Eatery. So i twisted my room mate's arm to meet me there one lunch break and man did we indulge in the amazing milkshakes, delicious hand cut chips, and of course the burgers. That was the beginning of the end really, Katie and I were there every second week and we never looked back! 

What is also amazing about D.C is the architecture, one of my favourite ways to spend a day was to walk around the National Mall and then pick one of the world class museums or galleries to loose myself in. 

D.C is world renowned for its galleries and museums, and when you are there it is easy to see why. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC has an amazing legacy. James Smithson, a British scientist gave America one of the greatest and most unexpected gifts in cultural history. Because of his generous donation, i was able to explore some of the most exciting and diverse museums and galleries in the world, all for free. 

“to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”

James Smithson, in his last will and testament 1826

The collections are so incredibly diverse. From one room to the next, from one level to another you are constantly in a state of flux. The quiet beauty of it all, its really remarkable. 

This boy stood in front of this installation piece for about ten minutes, watching the clips that are indicative of the state that  they represent. 

Then you leave this room and walk to the next section and you stumble across this.. Its hard to understand it all, and unfortunately my humble photos don't do this city or the galleries justice. 

This trip really began my love affair with Washington D.C. I'm really looking forward to my next adventure, not surprisingly I think it will be back to America. When this will be, I'm not sure. 

In the meantime I will continue to re-live my adventures through this blog. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

art adventures

Today I went to the most gorgeous art store in Subiaco. Gill-Hille Merchants, run by local artist Murray Gill and his wife Juanita Gill-Hille. You can expect to find some of the most unusual and exciting art utensils in this store.  

When I walked in today there was an overwhelming smell of turps, which was so nice as it suggests that this is not only an art store, but a working studio. Murray paints here during the day and it was so great to see him floating around, I was constantly wondering what he was thinking and what he would be painting next. 

The store sells seedlings out the front that are lush and green, inviting customers into to purchase a punnet of tomatoes or mint, they are then swept up in the excitement of giant manga textas and artisan pastel crayons. 

There is also a selection of twine and brushes for any mixed media experiments that you may have planned. You could even use them for decorating an empty space in your home.

The range of bespoke papers that Gill-Hille offers is enough to make the journal'ers heart race. 

This store was such a visual feast, everywhere I looked I wanted to squeal with excitement. I felt like a little girl on christmas eve, knowing that all my christmas wishes were about to come true. 

The fusion of old and new in this store is seamless and ever so harmonious I wanted to get lost in the store for hours. I did at one point when I went into the paint room. 

What was so wonderful about this experience was the feeling that the store had. It was like a candy store for artists. I would say that this would have to be one of my favourite places to visit in all of Perth. 

 For more information please contact the store on 08 9388 8882. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

new england style clam chowder

Have you been watching 'The Delicious Miss Dahl'. My mum gave me her cook book, Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights about a year ago and I love it. Recently her complimentary cooking show has started on the Lifestyle Channel and I'm hooked.

She has the most engaging and divine manner that could inspire even the most devout 'non-foodie'. On monday night she cooked 'New England style clam chowder' and last night I recreated it. 

I took a last minute trip to the fish market and picked up some flathead, I then went to the fresh market to pick up some essentials. 

I doubled the recipe as there were five hungry family members involved, but it was super delicious. 

For the chowder you will need;

1 Onion, peeled and finely chopped 
2 stick celery, finely chopped
olive oil
knob of butter
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
1kg clams (I used white fish as the market did not have clams)
1 husk of fresh corn - kernels sliced off
1/2 litre chicken stock
300g red potatoes - chopped into pieces
100ml single cream
handful of parsley, chopped

for the thyme breadcrumbs
spelt bread (I used left over ciabatta) 
couple sprigs of thyme
olive oil
pancetta slices (if you like) - fried to a crisp 


  1. Fry the onion and celery in a little olive oil and butter until soft. Add in the bay leaves and a couple of sprigs of thyme
  2. While the onion is softening. Heat a pint of water in a large saucepan. When it is simmering throw in the clams, put the lid on and steam for about 3 minutes until all the shells are open
  3. Drain off the clams – keep the clam water to one side. Discard any clams that have not opened, pull out the clams from their shells and keep to one side.
  4. Add the fresh sweetcorn to the onions
  5. Add the drained clam water and the stock to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes to start softening the corn.
  6. Add the chopped potatoes to the soup pan and cook until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
  7. Add the clams into the soup, the cream and the parsley.
  8. Leave to cook for a few more minutes – season to taste.
  9. While the soup is finishing off – blitz the bread in a food processor so that you have rough breadcrumbs. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, fry the bread with the thyme and season with salt and pepper (in this instance I tore the bread into crumbs and left them large, it added it bit of crunch, which was really nice)
  10. Spoon the soup into bowls and sprinkle over the herby crumbs to serve. You can also add a couple of wafer thin slices of crisped pancetta to serve.
This will serve four people. 

We sat outside on the deck and enjoyed a glass of cider with the chowder. 
It was sensational, I'm looking forward to trying another of Sophie's recipes soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

davy crockett doesn't approve

Every Friday we have fish and chips with the family, it is a tradition that my grandmother started, she loves her 'hot chips'. I remember as a small girl, whenever we were over at her house, she would take us down to the shops and we would pick up milk and biscuits for our afternoon tea and of course, a box of hot chips. 

My granny introduced me to some of my favourite things, Pride and Prejudice (the  BBC series of course), cricket, cider, milk arrowroot biscuits with warm milk and sugar, eggs and 'soliders' with tea for breakfast, and how to read tea leaves.

So on Friday we had the best fish & chips, from Fish Tales in Nedlands. Marshall makes the best chips, crispy and salty. We enjoyed the evening with a glass or two of rose, not my favourite drink but I was eager to try this bottle that I had been given. The best part was sitting around and laughing my sisters and my parents, it was such a great night! 

I spent all Friday evening after dinner and most of Saturday watching the Commonwealth games, the swimming was on and Australia performed so well. It was so great to see the camaraderie and team spirit, the Aussie team looked like they were having such a great time, in and out of the pool!!

Saturday night, my friend Lucy had a Halloween birthday party, it was such a lark. She was dressed as Cleopatra and she looked amazing. I was channelling geek'dom and one guy was dressed as a lumber-jack. I personally thought he looked like Davy Crockett, he wasn't impressed with my interpretation and I was left to my own devices with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of pumpkin pie. 

Lucy had transformed her parents house into this amazing dark and gloomy cave.  

 It was so great to go to a party where everyone was dressed up and enjoying themselves!! I cant wait for Halloween this year, I'm already planning my outfit..   

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I have been attempting to write an assignment all week on leadership. In between that I have been working and catching up with friends.

I went to il Lido, for brunch on Saturday with two of my gorgeous friends. We loved the atmosphere of the place, however the service was rather terrible. It took twenty minutes for us to get coffees. I guess they were having a bad day?

The elusive latte

So in between waiting for our coffees and placing our order for brunch we were able to all share our desire to escape on a holiday adventure. We started to plan a possible road trip around America. Where we would like to go, what states we want to tour. It was all very exciting, as we all seemed to be on the same page! I must say that I’m a little excited to explore travel options it has been a while and I must say that I’m getting itchy feet.

After we left the terror that was the restaurant and the waitress finished rolling her eyes at us, we parted ways. I came home to continue my essay and here I still am…

The paper is due tomorrow, so I simply must delve back into this, but I thought that I would come up for air and check out what has been happening in the blog world…

I love this Tim Walker inspired pic from Design Crush, I love its broodiness..

I especially love this... It rings true for me.. My mornings are usually such a fluster as my mind is alive from the moment the alarm goes.. Its difficult to focus sometimes, even on what I want for breakfast.

This morning it took me two hours, but I finally stopped and had vegemite on toast.. it was amazing..