From the monthly archives: December 2012
Time to reflect @ This Grand Life

Time to reflect @ This Grand Life

Perfect time (and a break from the # amonthof series) today as I reflect on the year and the concept of ‘me-time’…

One of the toughest things to maintain when life gets a little more tricky seems to be ‘me-time’.  Do you find that too?

I have scoffed at this more than once, as the notion that I would ever need to take time out for me seems kind of irrelevant.  Whenever I think of ‘me-time’, I picture ladies getting their hair set (bizarrely 1950’s I know) or getting their nails done while gossiping about inane, boring, meaningless topics… Seriously not me.

Yet here I find myself in serious need of some me-time, at the worst possible time, Christmas, when you are meant to selfless and giving, and well that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for ‘me-time’.

Why now? I guess it’s because this year, I have been

  • trying to take care of the health and welfare of my little tribe (don’t we all) we crossed the globe and settled into a new home,
  • trying to be a good sister and daughter we welcomes two gorgeous little cherubs, and navigated our way through the usual family shenanigans
  • trying to be a positive and engaged role model to my brilliant team in my professional world.

Add in finishing a Master’s degree, and trying to stay fit and healthy, and well, I am shattered!  Which brings me back to ‘me-time’ and the need to re-charge, which feels incredibly self-indulgent, and fills my heart with a motherload of guilt… and yet that is exactly what I would like this holiday season.

A little piece of ‘me-time’, to be selfish, recharge my batteries and prepare myself for next year.

Do you crave ‘me-time’?

Enjoy xx

T is for T-Rex! #amonthof

T is for T-Rex! #amonthof

One of the many fab things about being a mother to two little boys is the whole new world of interesting stuff they are into.

Top of the list is dinosaurs.  So in honour of our tribes love of all things prehistoric, todays entry in the #amonthof series is T is for T-Rex, king of the dinosaurs.

Know someone who LOVES dinosaurs?

Here’s a few fave dino-themed discoveries of our own.

  • If you live in London or have the chance to visit check out the Natural History Museum, it is a dino-lovers dream. Filled to the brim with models, skeletons, fossils and other cool prehistory, this place blew our minds.
  • Get a couple of cool dino books, we love this one and also this one (the artwork/drawings are beautiful – whether you love dinosaurs or not).
  • How about building your own dinosaur?  We’ve build this one, the t-rex (of course), and they look pretty cool!
  • What about throwing a dino-themed party? A fab friend of ours threw a great party a few years ago, where kids were presented with a ‘dig pass’ when they arrived, discovered some ‘bones’ in the sandpit/ site, and had a ball doing a dino-themed scavenger hunt…(complete with dino-trivia along the way)

Enjoy xx


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Saffron...a culinary con?

Saffron…a culinary con?

Have you ever used saffron in a culinary creation?

Was it really essential to the recipe?

Did it cost an outrageous amount of money for a tiny little smidge of yellowy/orange? (try $6 for o.5g… OUCH)

Would the recipe have been the same without the saffron? Could I substitute with something else (turmeric?)

All this raced through my mind as a I pondered making this recipe

What do you think? Is saffron an enormous culinary con?

Enjoy xx

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Today I got to thinking about music and one of the absolute FAVE bands, the Rolling Stones for my entry for ‘R’ in the #amonth of series.

This is probably a result of spending a LOT of time in the tour bus with the tribe (mine that is, not Mick and the boys, though am not sure which would be more chaotic).  The Mini-Fashionista is predictably loving 1D (that’s One Direction for all you old peeps not in the know, and a band I rate ever so slightly above Justin Bieber, eg mind-numbingly catchy boppy rubbishy tunes), Little L loves Nicki Minaj (seriously not age appropriate I know – and tricky to find some PG rated versions), Captain Jack is into folk (of Monsters and Men) and Flashdance is keeping it real with Daft Punk, and …the Rolling Stones.

The little champ has done us proud by embracing some old school cool, and donning my iPod in the car so he can listen to his tunes.

A little earlier in the year, I wrote about our fave tracks, and it is a constant ‘battle of the bands’ in the tour bus, one stereo + 6 unique peeps = disgruntled punters.

So for the letter ‘R’ I wanted to celebrate old school cool and give kudos to Flashdance for loving the Rolling Stones.

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Q is for Quiet via

Q is for Quiet via

When was the last time you enjoyed some quiet time?

Late at night once everyone is in bed?

An early morning walk?

On a plane by yourself?

It can be a pretty confronting thing at first. I find it takes time to adjust to the quiet, to enjoy the calm that comes with silence.

Just like absence makes the heart grow fonder, do you think being bombarded with noise and chaos makes us crave a quiet moment?

I love my crazy, chaotic life nearly all of the time, but sometimes, I just want a quiet moment.

To think, to reflect, to daydream.

How about you?

Enjoy xx

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P is for Picnic #amonthof

Happy Sunday!

I love Sundays, apart from the fact its the weekend (hooray for weekends), it’s also traditionally the day in sunny Perth that you grab a picnic and hit the beach, park, river and enjoy being outdoors.

I’ve always admired this about our adopted home, that people love nothing better on the weekend than to hit the beach or river.

A result of the State refusing to embrace Sunday trading for many years?


So this morning, when I was wondering what to do today, I spotted the little scene above in Little L’s room, and thought, brilliant idea, picnic by the river it is!

What are you up today?

Enjoy xx

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O is for Oliver! trying out a 15 minute meal tonight @ This Grand Life

I’ve always had a soft spot for Jamie Oliver, from his first forays as a tv chef, to his crusade for healthy eating and to bringing cooking top notch food to the masses.

Then there’s his gorgeous wife, and gaggle of cute kids with kooky names.


So I am really excited by the lovely Mr Olivers latest offering.

It’s the 15 minute cookbook and cooking show.

Simple, and ready in only 15 minutes! Perfect!

Inspired by a talented foodie friend, who regularly regales me with tales of the delicious treats she has whipped up in the kitchen, I have decided I need to take to the kitchen to whip up a culinary creation of my own.

You know, rather than the stand fare. Not that there is anything wrong with potato bake, casseroles, and steak and salad (yes, yes, I know, very fancy).

I have been warned by my talented friend, who after two recipes from the book, scoffed ’15 minutes my a$#@ Jamie Oliver, more like 45!’

So tonight we are trying this recipe… I hope you aren’t leading me up the garden path lovely Jamie…

Wish me luck!

Enjoy xx

PS this is NOT a sponsored post, in fact if it does indeed take 45 minutes to cook this recipe, I reserve the right to re-gift my 15 minute book…

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N is for New Years Eve @ This Grand Life

I watched this movie on a plane, by myself, and just quietly LOVED it.

Why? Well because it’s all about one of my favourite nights, and it tells the different stories for different people for that one special night.

When I was younger, NYE was all about getting frocked up, heading out, and probably (make that definitely) seeing the new year in with one too many drinks…

Which brings me to now, four kids, lovely husband, but still a desire to drink champagne and reminisce about the year that was.

Sure there is very little frocking up nowadays (unless jeans and a ‘fancy’ shirt count), and there is no new fab venue, but there is home, and my little tribe and the lovely Big A to share the night with.

Do you love New Years Eve?

Enjoy xx

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M is for Muppets @ This Grand Life

One of my fave childhood memories is watching The Muppets with my sisters and brother.  Sure we didn’t get all the jokes, but we thought it was REALLY funny, and right up there with Fraggle Rock (remember that show? Gold!).

My little tribe is now discovering how funny The Muppets are. Driven by the awfulness of French tv this year (truly awful programming at times – sorry French amies), we have sought out, collected and watched the whole series. It is still REALLY funny, though now the kids get some of the jokes and I don’t!  Turns out the Muppets was a really cheeky show all round (watch an episode now and see if you can spot the innuendo aimed at the grown ups).

So here’s to the Muppets, including the independent, bolshy Miss Piggy, the long-suffering CEOof the crew: Kermit, and Animal with the crazy hair and wicked beats!

Enjoy xx

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L is for Labyrinth @ This Grand Life

Do you have a favourite ‘classic movie’? One of our favourites is Labyrinth.

From the lavish costumes, to the brilliant characters and dialogue, it’s a movie we can watch over and over.  Don’t even get me started on David Bowie and his hair, how good is that extreme mullet?

Plus even though it was made in the 80s it stands the test of time.

Other all-time ‘classic moves’ for my tribe include:

  • The Dark Crystal Oh the glorious melancholic tale of the gelflings, I remember crying when I saw this movie as a little kid for Jen the orphan hero who needs to save the world, totally enraptured in the world of the Urskeks, Skeksis and the peace-loving Mystics.
  • Stardust Robert De Niro at his finest, not to mention the divine Clare Danes playing Yvaine (a fallen star, *sigh*)… A brilliant swash-buckling adventure with a lot of heart.
  • The Princess Bride First there is the beautiful Buttercup, snatched away to start a war, then there is her lovable sweetheart, not to mention giants, pirates and some fantastic sword fights!

Do you have an all time ‘classic movie’? Or two? 

Enjoy xx

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