Monthly Archives: January 2013

No frills

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When we went looking for somewhere to hold our wedding reception, there was no question that it was important to us to choose somewhere with warmth and ambience.  I am not a fan of overly decorated rooms or anything too frou frou, and I wasn’t interested in somewhere that needed to be ‘dressed up’.  I’ve always loved restaurant receptions (probably my favourite wedding was one held at a winery restaurant down south in Yallingup overlooking the Indian Ocean – complete with a cheese buffet to fuel the late-night dancing).

Our guest list (while not particularly long) eliminated for us some venues that were plainly not going to be large enough.  In other venues, there were features that immediately didn’t suit (bright blue carpet in one, a non-responsive function coordinator in another).  In the end, we settled on the first place that we visited, an intimate restaurant at the bottom of a hill right on the river.  We haven’t decided exactly how we want it to look (and my fingers are crossed that it’s not a sweltering December night), but right now I’m liking the sound of some exposed light bulbs and long tables lined with thick linen and low, loosely-arranged posies.

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Just a minute in … January

I’ve decided to take part in the Just a minute meme, following on from the examples of Daydream Lily and Aprons and Birds, to name but two.

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Drinking … my daily morning coffee from Venn on the walk into work.

Listening … to the Triple J Hottest 100.  I think this year’s list was amazing, and I still can’t get enough of that Parachute Youth tune now, months after it came out.

Loving … the name of this little store (above) on Glyde St, Mosman Park, snapped by me during a little drive down to the river yesterday afternoon.  Oh, and the Australia Day public holiday.

Wearing … my engagement ring, and no other jewellery.  I kind of don’t think I’ll ever like another piece of jewellery more.

Looking … forward to a little Melbourne sojourn in a couple of weeks (purportedly for work, but I’ve got a few personal items on my agenda as well).

January 2013, you’re already just about gone.  This year is going to fly.

USA – In pictures

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I’ve finally got around to uploading and reviewing our massive haul of photos from our trip to the US over the holidays. I have Mike to thank for braving the bitter cold (and sometimes, the snow) to take the vast majority of these snaps, while I kept my hands warm inside my gloves. Over two weeks, we visited San Francisco, New York City and Las Vegas (with a side trip to the Napa Valley). These are a small selection of images from our album.

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We stayed with Mike’s family in San Francisco.  Rajah and Wael were the most warm and gracious of hosts, not only welcoming us into their home, but also being our own personal tour guides of their wonderful city. My favourite experiences in San Fran were, in no particular order: our drive through the Napa Valley on a gorgeous, sunny Californian winter’s day; our first all-American In-N-Out burgers (our first Stateside meal, in fact); shopping at midnight (it was just before Christmas); the view of the Golden Gate bridge from the top of a hill with the city lights in the background; my first basketball game.

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To New York – one amazing, diverse, surprising, exhausting and unforgettable city. We walked what felt like the entire length and breadth of Manhattan, taking in the sights and stopping wherever looked interesting.

We found an amazing rice pudding shop (of all things) in Nolita, Rice to Riches, that we frequented three times in the space of 48 hours. I could live anywhere in the West Village (I loved Marc Jacobs’ own bookstore, Bookmarc, just opposite Magnolia on Bleecker in the Village). I experienced one of the best meals of my life at Marea on Central Park South.  And we had a pretty romantic Christmas day ride through Central Park.

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The New York Public Library had one of the more beautiful Christmas displays that I saw (and we saw some cracker Christmas trees). We witnessed both classically elegant and innovative architecture all over the city, including at The Guggenheim, Grand Central Station and St Patrick’s Cathedral (where we visited on Christmas day).

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We capped off the trip in Vegas, where we rang in the New Year with a huge tapas dinner and fireworks out on the Strip.  Vegas was a crazy, over-the-top city, and such a jarring departure from New York City.  The panoramic view of the canyons from our hotel suite was stunning, and sat in complete contrast to the bright, artificial light of the tourist district and the colourful, outrageous decor in the hotels.

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This little trip was such a great way for Mike and I to round out 2012 and welcome in this new and exciting year. I’ll forever hold close my memories of our Stateside experience, and we have already promised each other that this trip won’t be our last.

Come to Mama!

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Along with a few friends from work, I visited Mama Tran this afternoon for this lovely big bowl of goodness.  Gemma (below) recently introduced me to Mama Tran’s poached chicken Pho (which I highly recommend) but today we both opted for the vermicelli chicken, which you will see from the photo below was slightly bigger than Gemma’s head.  Gem and I already have quite a few traditions that we like (including but not limited to: attending vintage fairs, going for frozen yoghurt and making up code nicknames for people), and I have a feeling Mama Tran will soon become a new one.

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Late on Friday night, Mike and I made a pit stop at 50mL in Leederville.  While he did a lap of the block I ran in to pick up the little lovelies above – carrot cake and a gluten-free chocolate brownie.  Awkwardly, I was the only one who ate my way through these during the course of the weekend.

Little white dress

On Saturday, I took my Mum along to my first wedding dress appointment.  The store was empty except for the two assistants and us, and it felt luxurious to have my own personal dresser helping me get into and out of a series of beautiful gowns.  I didn’t find the winner, but I am closer to finding a style that I love and more sure of the styles that I don’t love.  For now, here are a few images of gowns that all seem to have been made for their wearers, and all appeal for very different reasons.

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On paper

Deciding on an engagement of just over a year’s length means there is plenty of time to meander our way through the dreaming and planning needed for the Big Day. We’ve made a few decisions already, without any fuss. I’ve enjoyed collecting images of other people’s wedding days from all over the web, images that I squirrel away into a virtual folder that sits on my desktop.

I’ve especially enjoyed researching paper goods. I am secretly a little bit happy that having a wedding calls for a suite of stationery – invitations, thank you cards, place cards, menus…really the list goes on. I love Follow Paper Co., Bella Figura, and Ruby the Fox at the moment. I’m particularly drawn to letterpress stationery, because of the traditional method used to create it, and because the three-dimensional quality of the thick textured paper carved with ink feels and looks beautiful.  Here are some favourites from Follow Paper Co.:

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