Monday, May 30, 2011

Planking

What are your thoughts on planking? Its certainly polarising (I have noticed an increase in the use of this word and I'm putting it down to more people reading the FF blog) the masses and I personally think its the absolute height of stupidity. People are actually dying from planking!



Moving forward, and off my soapbox, I did think this picture of planking was worth sharing:


Too cute not to share

This photo of baby S in her sleep suit is just too cute not to share...






Isn't she just adorable? I think so but then I'm totally biased! She is rubbing Blistex onto her lips ... a total girly girl, she always finds my handbag and searches through it saying 'lip lip lip' for lipglass <3

We are the mighty Gold Coast Suns

S and I were due to join his sister and her fiancee for dinner Saturday night but she cancelled at lunch time so S and I were at a loose end and figured we'd stay in for an early night.

Like all best laid plans, ours went awry in the afternoon when friends texted me to offer corporate tickets to the Gold Coast Suns first AFL game in their new stadium against the Geelong Cats. Now I'm not into AFL but even I know enough to know this was a pretty exciting match given the new stadium, new team and the Cats' reputation.

So I called S who was quick to agree we should go and by 5:30pm we were setting off to Metricon Stadium. Arriving in a taxi was a bit of a disaster and traffic was very heavy but eventually we got through the gates and into The Lounge. Sponsored by Virgin Australia, we were greeted by hostesses (loving the new red and purple colour scheme) and ushered into a ultra modern space decked out with red and white couches, an enormous lit bar opening out to a private stand and BBQ terrace with second bar.




There was so much food on offer for guests (fresh oysters & prawns & smoked salmon, garlic prawns, mini salads, noodle box fish & chips, rice paper rolls, mini cheese burgers, golzeme, mini ravioli bowls, mini curries with papadums) and the drinks were free flowing from our hosts. Our seats were fantastic, right in the centre of things and quite close to the front of our section.



The stadium was pretty fabulous by any standards and I found myself really getting into the game, particularly in the first 2 quarters when the Suns were leading and Karmichael Hunt kicked a goal - this is rare apparently as he plays in the backline. I lost a little interest by the end of the third quarter when the Cats really kicked into gear but I managed to figure out the game (marks, getting caught with the ball and what not) and really could be an AFL convert ... just don't tell my sister or she might disown me :)







We finished the night with a ride home in this .... not really :)



Blues on Broadbeach

A random weekend was enjoyed by S and I.

It all started Friday morning when I arrived at work to realise it was Blues on Broadbeach weekend - setting up one of the main stages in front of our office gave it away! It got pretty crazy by the afternoon with people and noise as you can imagine and I found myself surprisingly enjoying it - usually its quite annoying and a hindrance as you can't hear yourself think let alone work or answer phones.

So in the afternoon, when my boss asked what S and I were up to that night and I replied we would be spending it either at the movies or on the couch (as poor S is working 22 straight days due to staffing issues), he suggested we join him, his wonderful wife and another couple in Broadbeach for dinner and Blues.

We had a fabulous time eating a leisurely meal (Veal Saltimbocca with prosciutto and boccacini for me and herb crusted chicken breast stuffed with brie and prawns wrapped in smoked salmon for S) and drinking a delicious St Clair Sav Blanc with the best of company - my boss and his wife are the best of company and know how to have a good time. So much so that it stretched into a 3 and half hour meal before we settled on a nightcap and home time.

Unfortunately the Blues music on the stage closest to us wasn't particularly great (a bit too grungy and not enough Bluesy) but the atmosphere made up for it - I haven't seen Broadbeach so busy in a very long time and every restaurant was full despite the cold evening.


Friday, May 27, 2011

The Husband Survey

How long have you been together: 3.5 years

How old is he? S is a ripe old 35


Who said I love you first? He did, he's the romantic one.

Who eats more? Definitely him... I eat super slow and usually end up full half way through a meal.

Who is taller? S is taller but that's no surprise, I'm shorter than everyone pretty much.

Whose temper is worse? We're pretty evenly matched on that one although I'm a bit more controlled yet more likely to fly off the handle about the small things.

Who does the laundry? Me! Would you really trust a guy to separate, handwash silk and run a delicate cycle?

Who sings better? Neither of us, its definitely not a talent we have so I can only pity our future child.

Who is smarter? Again, we are pretty evenly matched on this which makes for some pretty lively debates in our home.

Who does the dishes? S has to do them as I do the cooking - our rule is the cook doesn't clean. Although sometimes he leaves them for a night and it drives me mad.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me, apparently the left side is the only side S can sleep on... rubbish but it doesn't bother me either way.

Who pays the bills? I pay my bills and S pays the household ones and his :)

Who mows the lawn? The lawnmower man... don't know his name.

Who cooks dinner? Me... S wouldn't know where to start and had to ask how to make enchiladas the other night... from a box!

Who drives when you are together? S, because we fight as I am a maniac, a racecar driver and a tailgater according to him. Its easier to let him do it and it means I can always have that extra glass of wine :)

Who is more stubborn? Both of us are very very stubborn people but we are getting better at managing this.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Usually S ... I guess this means I am more stubborn?

Whose parents do you see the most? Its pretty even as I try hard to make sure we see both regularly.

Who has more friends? We are pretty evenly matched on close friends but I probably have a wider circle that I see more often than him and his extended circle.

Who has more siblings? Me, I have 3 to his 1.

Was it love at first sight? Looking back now, I'd have to say yes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stupid Blogger...

Grrr stupid blogger wont let me post comments on mine or anyone else's blogs! I apologise ... I am not ignoring your feedback!
Joanne... definitely off to Burleigh on Saturday for MOR suppl=ies - thank you for the tip.
KittyCate ... thanks for confirming my candle selection, even more excited to try it.
Mimi & Kitty ... I know, love Khloe too cause she's just so funny.

Congrats Kim K

In honour of her engagement (and that 20.5ct ring!), here is a post dedicated to Miss Kim Kardashian.

She is quite polarising to the masses apparently but love her or hate her, she's quite an intelligent young lady having built herself an empire by the age of 30 and not sinking into a Paris Hilton type obscurity (obscure by Paris standards anyway - I mean what does Paris even do now, we never hear about her thank goodness?).


Personally, I'm a huge fan of Kimmie... she seems absolutely lovely as a person from what I can tell watching KuwtK etc, she is incredibly stunning - very womanly super fit & toned, has enormous confidence when it comes to fashion, knows how to rock a figure hugging mini dress better than any other celeb and just seems like an all round great role model.


I like all the Kardashian girls but Kim is definitely my favourite and here are some of my favourite looks of her:


























Who is your favourite Kardashian?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wanted...

This week's wants...

MOR Indian Pomelo candle - smells indescribably divine


Grey Herve Leger dress with peplums - love that this is a bit funky


Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation - who am I to ignore rave reviews? Just a bit put off by having to colourmatch myself... responsibilities


Diamond huggy earrings - they are on my 30th birthday list so fingers crossed

A delicate gold necklace - I really want a pretty fine chain, not fussed about the pendant

A lime throw rug - for winter snuggling and to match my new green rug (or as S calls it, the putting green for hole 6)



Cube shelves in chocolate

Donna Hay's Instant Entertaining - because its gorgeous and filled with fabulous ideas



OPI polishes in their new 2011 'Nice Stems' range - specifically Play the peonies, Come to poppy, Be a dahlia


Hasn't a year flown

Looking back at my history of blogposts, I have discovered that this blog has existed for almost 1 year! I know, I'm totally surprised and didn't expect the longevity - I love to write but thought I would get bored with it.

To tell the truth, sometimes I do get bored with it in the way that I am totally stumped for topics to post about and worry about seeming boring to the lovely followers and readers I have. Other times I can't wait to share on my blog and tell you all about my opinion, purchases or just what is going on in my life.

To say thank you to all the people who take the time to follow, read my blog and provide me with your feedback, I am going to come up with a giveaway that will be announced in early June and drawn just before the 1 year anniversary of June 16 as I will be in Sydney for a wedding.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some weekend snaps

I spent the weekend managing my surf club's IRB team at a 2 day carnival on the Gold Coast. This involved an exceptional amount of soft sand walking back and forth in addition to a lot of concentration on minimal sleep.

These are photos from the weekend of my brother, brother in law and sister in law racing IRB.






It was a reasonably nice day Saturday, a miserable rainy day Sunday and huge surf to top it off with lots of boats flipping in the waves but our team did very well! We ended up in 4 finals and achieved a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

Oh Wow!

YSL is selling their own label of super 'sophisticated' cigarettes!



They now have their very own cigarettes branded and marketed throughout Asia and Russia and are sold for up to $44 per pack. Apparently they have actually been launched way back in 1989.

Check out the article here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1388730/Yves-Saint-Laurent-promoting-sophisticated-label-cigarettes-Asia-Russia.html

'Promotional script tells prospective buyers that the label's 'philosophy is to give their cigarettes a classic sophisticated look.'



It continues: 'Creating a sense of appeal to female vanity and thereby making the woman who chose to smoke Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes more attractive than one who smokes another brand or more attractive than a woman who did not smoke at all '

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1388730/Yves-Saint-Laurent-promoting-sophisticated-label-cigarettes-Asia-Russia.html#ixzz1N9F4mANw


I would definitely have to say that cigarettes are not classy, do not appear classy and certainly don't smell classy. The Vogue forums have a thread on this and I have to agree with the poster who said its a little hypocritical for a company that sells anti-ageing products to also sell tobacco products.

What do you think of 'designer' cigarettes?

Another purchase

Since buying my MOR Dolce candles, I have have become addicted to a beautiful smelling home and rooms. Not that this wasn't a priority previously (I have one of those AirWick auto spray things in the loungeroom and other freshners scattered throughout), I just wasn't interested beyond the room smelling good. Well, fast forward and I am now very interested.

After visiting Dusk a few weeks ago with my sis, I couldn't get the combination of their oil burner and melts out of my mind. K has the burner and melts and she swears by their functionality at beautifully scenting the whole home while looking great.

So yep, I'm a joiner and now the proud owner of a gorgeous Dusk burner and 5 melts ... love the melts.





The melts are so practical, they come as solids and cool back to solid when you finish burning eliminating all the mess of oils. They come in two ranges... aromatherapy and destinations. I bought the destination ones... Tangier, Vienna, Osaka, Bondi and another one I can't remember the name of :)

Check out http://www.dusk.com.au/ - I think its another new addiction along with Asos and dealsdirect.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rug decisions and other interesting news



I finally made a decision on a rug for our loungeroom and am super excited for it to arrive and be installed.



This was a decision not made lightly... polls were taken in the workplace, amongst friends and of course on the twitterverse. Which way did I end up going you ask? ... hang on, did I even post about my dilemna on here? Probably not, but in the interest of an efficient post, I will give you a brief overview.



I'm still loving the orange accents but reluctant to overdo them in our loungeroom, I started leaning towards green also. A limey type green for freshness was my theory. I then found an image of our exact lounge accessorised with bronze and green. Bingo! Green was on my list.





So, we have a brown rug doing the job quite well at the moment but wanting to jazz things up and move away from an overdose of brown, I decided we simply must have a shag pile rug in green or orange.



My sis and mother vetoed lime - this is because my mother is vehemently against green in any shade (could be a hangover from her mother loving all things green) and I think this strong dislike is rubbing off on my sister. S, being the very smart husband he is, told me the decision was all mine while while my friends seesawed between the two colours. Work collegues were actually the best contributors to my poll with one lady telling me to go green as she has a similar decor and lounge and accents with green for a fresh look.



So today I ordered this...




from dealsdirect.com.au with free shipping for just $99.95 - I will post pics and reviews when it arrives but I figure at least it didn't cost the earth if I decide I don't like green.


Drum roll please for my next announcement ... I also placed my first ASOS order today. Surprised? I am! I can't believe it took me this long to get around to it despite being an avid Vogue forums reader, I was severely lacking in speed for this trend. Probably a good thing though as I have now discovered it with a vengeance and have 10+ items saved in my 'for later' section. I ordered this dress to test things out (size, cut, quality etc) and am sure I will be back for more in record time...


5 random things about me

In truth, there are lots of random facts about me but today I will share just 5...

1. I was a Venturer Scout - so much so that I was even awarded my Queens Scout in 1997. Hard to believe but I loved camping, adventuring and all ... but always bought triple the amount of luggage and used two separate buckets of water, one for washing and one for my face :)

2. I hate bridges. They totally freak me out! I get all shaky having to drive over them and look straight ahead holding my breath as a passenger.

3. People used to pay me in high school to do their English, history and legal assignments amongst others. I wasn't a 'nerd' (not that there is anything wrong with being exceptionally studious), I just had a really good memory and better use of the English language back then.

4. I had never owned a bike until S bought me one for my 28th birthday ... I was just never really into them and as a kid, roller skating and go-karting were my thing. As you can imagine, it took me a while to get any semblance of ability and confidence, riding a bike at 28.

5. As a child, my dream job was to be the first female President of Australia - I was a precocious little republican in my early years (from about 7 to 15).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The little niceties

Between my ageing skin and my advancing years, I am becoming more mature, more thoughtful and more considerate I believe, Not that I wasn't thoughtful or considerate before, just that small courtesies seem much more important to me now than they did when I was 21.

Take the value of the 'thank you' card/note for instance. Nowadays I would never dream of not sending a thank you note for a gift received (I stressed about getting my wedding ones out in suitable time) but also, now sending a personal note for dinner invites and the like are just as important whereas in my late teens/early twenties this would have seemed strange to me. Back then I thought thank you cards were reserved for 'big' occasions like weddings, engagements, christenings etc.

Maybe my newly recognised consideration and thoughtfulness is not just age, but is also being inspired from blogs that I read. I think that FF and SydneyShopGirl give wonderful examples of modern etiquette for the modern woman (in addition to being fantastic bloggers) including the mention of the importance of thank you notes.

So with this in mind, I'm off to source some personalised stationery ... including thank you notes. Any suggestions on where to source from would be welcome ...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Week from Hell

Or should I say 2.5 days from hell! All office techical related


Monday started with our phones not working followed by the tech installer for our new front window flat screens not showing up at all followed by our entire network going down.


Tuesday was a slight improvement with the installer showing up but the new printers were an hour and a half late on top of the phone system going down twice in the afternoon and not coming back at all the second time. Fun fun and it meant I got to stay back till 6pm when the phone tech could attend and repair the network.


You would think that would be it would you not? Well of course it wasn't.


Following in the vein of Monday and Tuesday, I start my day at 5am for a business breakfast, arrive at the office at 8:30am to find our two main support/admin computers are down and can't get on the network, our upload system for the new flat screens hasn't been activated, the colour printer has damaged film and is marking print pages and oh yeah, the phones have gone down 3 times already and now we can't get them back up. The phone tech of course is unavailable for another hour and all of our clients think we are hanging up on them!


Thinking about going to the pub for lunch and not coming back today - what do you think?

ps, it just got worse! I clicked to publish this post and an error came up... thank goodness for auto save or I would not be responsible for my actions right now!

25 Questions Tag

To repeat the lovely so beacoup!, I tag everyone who reads my blog to answer these questions too!

Question 1: Do you have any pets ? No, we're not allowed to have pets in our complex but I do have a share in my mum's lap dogs... the aptly named Suki & Bella.

Question 2: Name three things that are physically close to you: My iphone, a growing pile of work folders and my computer.

Question 3: What’s the weather like right now ? Cold and getting grayer by the minute :(

Question 4: Do you drive ? If so, have you crashed? Yes I drive and no, lucky enough to have never crashed (taps wooden desk).

Question 5: What time did you wake up this morning ? At the ungodly hour of 5am as I had to be at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast - 5am looks like midnight around here, its that dark!

Question 6: When was the last time you showered ? I showered at 5:10am so almost 5 hours ago.

Question 7: What was the last movie that you saw ? S downloaded Just Go With It for me - looooooved it!

Question 8: What does you last text message say? 'Thank u darl' I had congratulated my FIL on a successful job interview.

Question 9: What is your ringtone ? Depends on who is calling... M & C have Cooler Than Me, sis K has Like its Her Birthday, mum has Your Song, little bro J has Time After Time (family joke), S has I've Gotta Feeling and everyone else has a bell sound. Makes it easy to screen calls this way :)

Question 10: Have you ever been to a different country? Yes and can't wait to go to more... S and I both love travelling.

Question 11: Do you like sushi? Its growing on me ...

Question 12: Where do you buy your groceries? Coles, gourmet deli and farmers markets.

Question 13: Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster? Not that I recall.
Question 14: How many siblings do you have ? The eldest of 4 so one little sis and two younger brothers.

Question 15: Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop? Sand I have an iMac, a netbook and a laptop (not sure what brand as S uses it, not me).

Question 16: How old will you be turning on your next birthday? The big 3...0 - kind of dreading it but have told S to get planning on a big surprise party lol.

Question 17: Do you wear contacts or glasses ? Neither - good eyesight to date.

Question 18: Do you colour your hair ? Not regularly and if so, only a darker brown.

Question 19: Tell me something you are planning to do today: work and complete all on my to do list, install some new potted plants at home, sis in law's bday dinner at my parents then bed.

Question 20: When was the last time you cried? I'm a total softie - last night watching the GG finale ... so as not to spoil it for anyone, all I will say is that it was a Chair moment.

Question 21: What is your perfect pizza topping? My specialty ... mozzarella, basil, cherry tomatoes, proscuitto and boccacini.

Question 22: Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger? The cheeseburger - cheese is my weakness.

Question 23: Have you ever had an all-nighter? Way too many over the years - for study and for socialising.

Question 24: What is your eye colour ? A chocolatey brown S says.

Question 25: Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? How could you not tell the difference. I'm definitely Team Coke!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ageing skin

So there's no getting around it, my skin is getting old.



Sadly this means my face is starting to show the wear and tear of almost 30 years of abuse - excessive sun exposure, makeup, sleeping in makeup, alcohol consumption and all those other fun things we do throughout our teens and twenties to damage our looks.



I have tried all sorts of cleansers, toners and moisturisers from high end Chanel and the like to good old Cetaphil and everything in between.



Without doubt, my worst cleansing routine would have to have been Clinique's 3 step program. My face never actually felt clean, it never removed all the makeup etc and it didn't do anything for the tone and appearance of my skin.



My favourite was Dermologica right up till recently, I loved the special cleansing gel, the toner and active moist. My face always felt clean without being dry and breakouts were rare. The only thing that got to me was the expense at times - thank goodness for Strawberrynet.



To date, (after I ran out of Dermalogica and needed something rightaway rather than wait for postage), I decided to give good old Cetaphil cleasing gel a try with my Lush Tea Tree toner and Lush Vanishing Cream for day and a Garnier nightcream. I also incorporated my sample bottle of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and an eye cream I can't remember the name of.


Love love love Cetaphil... cleansing but not drying and two washes removes all makeup traces.


Well, in the past three weeks since using these products, I have been amazed at the compliments my skin is getting. Indeed, one girlfriend even asked if I could be pregnant after commenting on my glowing smooth even skin - she meant this as a compliment and nope, not pregnant much to my mum's disappointment.



I am all set to place a Strawberrynet order for a big bottle of EL ANR - not cheap at $160ish but considering a tiny sample bottle has lasted me 3 weeks of twice daily use and has at least another week and a half to go, it seems to be decent value and best of all, its getting results along with my cheapie products.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lack of inspiration

I love to cook but often struggle with what to cook on a week night.

This afternoon was no different and I went in search of dinner on taste.com.au and donnahay.com.au, specifically looking to make the most out of stock I know is at home.

I was leaning towards open steak and haloumi sandwiches with bacon and salad - all I need is the bread (sourdough or turkish). But the weather doesn't feel right for this menu so I am going to go with option 2, Chicken Cacciatore Risotto from Taste.





S and I both love a good risotto so I'm hopeful this will be a hit ... and leave leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.


Edit to add: the risotto was delicious and there was enough for my lunch today!

A Typical Married Couple

What do married couples do on Sundays?

S and I are fairly new to the marriage club but I think our Sunday was spent as a very domestic couple.

After a bit of a sleep in (not a big one mind you as baby S stayed over with her parents and was up at 7am), we ate some breakfast and then proceeded to clean out the garage before my wonderful papa called in for coffee and to do a big tip run for us (plenty of junk to dump including an old desk and BBQ that had been bugging me). Cleaning out garage was harder for me than S as there is a big box in there of all my mementos (my Australian champion surf club cap, letters from friends, cards and other little treasures that are important to me) that S wants me to cull but I just can't face the thought of throwing any of it yet.

Once the junk was gone, S decided we should go to Bunnings for new pots and plants ... we have almost killed our poor peace lilly from too much sun exposure, our cane palm was burnt and my basil plants had morphed into mini trees - I'm sure you're picking up that I really don't have much of a green thumb. I was a bit down on the Bunnings idea but with nothing better coming to mind I aquieseced and we set off.




I find once I'm at Bunnings, I'm quite happy about it and find a billion things that we simply must have for the home, its just a matter of getting me there in the first place. Maybe its just that I love shopping, any kind of shopping?

In the end, on my hunt for 'full sun' plants suitable for courtyards/pots/balconies, (should have checked this the first time we went plant shopping) S let me convince him we needed new pots, a Tahitian Lime tree,



a mandarin lime tree (very cool tree that fruits mandarins that taste like limes - sounds perfect for my summer vodkas I think),




a new peace lilly (to go with the dying one in their new SHADY front courtyard position),



and fresh herbs - basil, Italian parsley and rosemary to join the still surviving chives




I also have some more potted front courtyard donations coming on Wednesday from my parents including a healty red cordyline and some others I don't know the names of.

Sunny Saturdays

After an exceptionally busy Saturday meeting first thing with a local councillor friend for advice on a future (and very exciting) campaign I will be running with my sis for someone very close to us, followed by some homewares shopping with my sis then shopping and coffee with another good friend, this is what my afternoon looked like:



Sipping a Sav Blanc on the patio and enjoying the winter sunshine with C while watching baby S run up and down the sandy shore chasing ducks, making sandcastles and splashing in the water.

Could it have been a better day? I think not.

Cards for all occasions

Shopping with my sis K on the weekend, we popped into the most gorgeous homewares/gift store (looking for orange or lime cushions and a clear tray with sides - don't ask).


We found a display of gift cards with witty sayings and blurbs including this one which was our favourite:



So tempted to buy it and keep for my next friend who gets engaged.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nurseries

So... nope, I'm not pregnant but S and I are very open to the idea of this happening in the near future and in the interests of preparation (and daydreaming) I have been considering what type of nursery we might have.

Now, if we have a baby girl, her name may be Arissa ... this is a name we learnt on our honeymoon in Japan (when I was told by our host to pray before the baby Gods lol) and it means 'from the land of cherry blossoms'. Beautiful we think and also significant to us.

So if we call our daughter Arissa, it makes sense to have a cherry blossom themed nursery. Me thinking this is a bit of an original idea, googled 'cherry blossom nursery' images and came up will a zillion matches.


There are a few bits that I like in each of these but would add a bit more of a modern touch (extras like pink moroccan pouffes):




For the home

Lately I have been obssessed with all things 'home'. I just feel like our space needs a bit of an overhaul and a few more interesting touches to prevent it from being too bland and neutral.

I have installed orange cushions in our lounge room although 2 are a little bright for my liking - tangerine rather than the warmer look I was going for - but I am on course to replace them this Saturday with burnt orange sequin patterned cushions as spotted by my MIL (I have had everyone on the hunt). I am feeling though that the orange needs a lift and am considering introducing some patterned lime green and/or chartruese cushions also.

I also came across these moroccan pouffes on Tied with A Bouw (if you don't read this blog, you are totally missing out) and I think one in orange and one in green or two in the same colour might be ideal if I can convince S to get rid of our enormous brown leather ottoman that takes up way too much space for my liking!






Speaking of getting rid of things, I also want a new rug... something like this




And a new bedspread from Urban Outfitters as I love all things ruffled... (another find on Tied with a Bouw)




I am also seeking a gemstone world globe (in Bahama blue). I spotted these in Vegas at Caesar's Palace and am still kicking myself for not buying one to this day:




While we're at it, I added a couple of cookbooks to my list - Donna Hay of course (Instant Entertaining in particular), a nice glass pouring jug for drinks on a hot day and some pots and plants for our front courtyard (citrus trees or hydrangeas).