The Pursuit of Happiness: My favourite things

I’m on a bit of a holiday and my week leading up to it was quite manic so I didnt get to blog last week. And this week since I’m on a holiday and just need some serious relax time I thought I could do a bit of a picture blog of some of my favourite things that make me happy …

1. Would be of Lord of Loyalty and Logic only a murder might occur if I posted a photo of him here …

2. Her Royal Fluffiness

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3. Burleigh Heads

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4. Amazing Healthy Breakfasts

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5. Pretty hair accessories

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6. A good long lasting lip colour

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7. The Beatles

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8. Amazing makeup

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9. Fabulous hair

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10. Natural beauty

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Enjoy your pursuit of happiness until next week.
xxMelly

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The Pursuit of Happiness – Beauty soothes the soul

As many of you know I absolutely adore beauty, colour and fashion. But it must be done well! To suit a moment, theme, face and body with a lot of cleverness. I have my own beauty and fashion consulting business … Continue reading

The Pursuit of Happiness – In the kitchen

Nothing makes me happy the way home cooked meals do. So why am I not doing it myself I asked … then cooking wholesome, healthy and delicious meals became something I am currently trying to master. I have always enjoyed cooking, but I have never spent a lot of time dabbling in it. Plus the Lord of Loyalty and Logic (aka my husband) has always been a fabulous cook, so I have tended to rely on him and takeout with the very very occasional cooking dabbles myself.

Anyway more recently with being a lot happier in our new abode I have discovered a drive to expand and master my culinary skill. So the past long weekend where we remembered the heroes, that were our ANZACs, I decided on the meals we were going to have for each night and I set out to excel!

Before I share with you, the dishes I decided on and the end result of my little food expedition I just wanted to talk about my experience with takeout and why home cooked is always a better and happier experience!

Takeout for two always works out eating into your hip pocket. Even though it may be cheaper for the actual dishes themselves, I have found in other ways it can be expensive. There is always heaps left over and seriously reheated day or two (if you are really courageous) old takeout is dreadful and usually approaching disgusting! So I often end up throwing it out.

Quite often takeout effects my sleep and wellbeing the following day. There are obviously many ingredients used in takeout dishes unknown to me that make me restless, have nightmares, and quite literally have me waking up feeling like I am hungover. Plus I often feel as though I have oil oozing out of my skin making my skin itchy and irritated. It really can’t be safe for us can it so why do we allow takeout to be produced in this way? Does anyone know what these delightful ingredients might be that are obviously not in home-cooked food? I don’t ever remember having these kinds of reactions to home-cooked food.

So anyway my culinary creations included the following:

Lasagne sided with pan-fried chilli and turmeric brussel sprouts
(Never cooked Lasagne before and even made the mince myself from veal and pork fillets and a reasonably healthy cheese topping from ricotta, creme fraiche and parmesan)

Home made Lasagne and Sprouts

Beef Wellington sided with braised broccolini and pine nuts.
(My absolute favourite dish in the whole world and again never attempted before. I used a side of scotch fillet and chicken and cognac pate and made individual ones with filo pastry) (sorry it was so good I forgot to take a photo!)

Pan seared scallops in chilli and lemongrass on a bed of bok choy and organic soba noodles
(I could eat scallops until they came out my ears! These were particularly large white meat scallops from China found at my very local fish shop)

Pan Seared Scallops

The best thing about these dishes was that I made them straight from my head. No recipe and there were plenty of leftovers from the Lasagne and Beef Wellington that can safely be frozen and will be totally edible when reheated.

Another addition to things that I have found make me happy… for recipes for any of the above feel free to contact me.

Until next week in the pursuit of happiness.

xxMelly

The Pursuit of Happiness – Service with a Smile

Don’t you just get blown away when you are provided with outstanding service? I know I do. Mainly because it is such an in-frequent occurrence in Australia that I am just completely taken aback and feel completely spoilt.

A few weeks ago I had to spend a couple of days in my hometown, Brisbane for work. I had decided to stay in a hotel instead of visiting family as I just wanted some quiet time to myself. I almost ordered room service but wasn’t so impressed by the room service menu so decided to venture to the restaurant downstairs – Stone in Grey St, Southbank, Brisbane. And I am very glad that I did. Initially, it was a rocky start to dinner when I was asked by the waitress what I would like to drink. I’m not a wine snob by any means, but I do know what I like and what I don’t. So I asked the waitress if one of the 5 chardonnays on the menu was more oaky as I really dislike unwooded. She asked me what was oaky… oh dear. I explained to her there was usually oaky and unwooded and asked if she could find out for me. She returned a few minutes later saying it was unoaked. I informed her this was the same as unwooded which I don’t like and could she find out which of them were oaked in flavour. She again returned to tell me that by looking at the labels it didn’t look like any of them were oaked. I politely explained that this was very unusual and chose a pinot grigio. I then began to worry if I had done the right thing coming down to the restaurant, but the menu did really take my fancy. There was a large range of entrees that could also be chosen as tapas so I decided on three, a duck salad on won ton, a pork belly and peanut sang choy bao and seared scallops.

Duck Salad on Wonton Pork Belly San Choy Bao Seared Scallops
I was disappointed about the wine but was looking forward to these three plates! Shortly after the duck salad arrived a waiter came to chat with me. He explained that the waitress had asked him for assistance as she was not that familiar with wines yet and was learning and asked me to excuse her poor knowledge. He then told me that there was a particularly good oaky and buttery chardonnay on the menu and I asked about the other three. He was extremely knowledgeable and impressed as though he too rather preferred my kind of chardonnay. He then offered me a glass of the best one on the house. When he returned, he also brought a glass of another chardonnay which he had forgotten to tell me about. I was triple parked and feeling incredibly spoilt. My momentary consideration of a polite complaint vanished.

Triple Parked
But what was even more surprising was the incredible service didn’t end there. He came back a couple of times to check on my progress with the wines. I would have settled for the cheaper one, but the top one was divine! Anyway it turned out he had only recently had moved to Brisbane and had worked a good number years in some of the top restaurants in the Hunter Valley. This is where I got my taste for oaked chardonnay in the first place. Anyway her had put together a list of wineries, chef hat restaurants and people to ask for when I visit next. He also encouraged me to mention his name for a possible discount. I was amazed. It was such a lovely gesture. And as I had had so much wine already I couldn’t take him up on his offer of another.

But I definitely tipped and will definitely be back. I really do appreciate it when people recognise you are human too, and that you have likes and interests and that they can easily be generous. It makes me happy and want to be more generous and giving myself.

Have you ever experienced outstanding service? What is your idea of good service?

Another few steps on the pursuit of happiness.

Until next week

xxMelly

Quick Post: Fab Day!

Just a quick makeup post … I just love it when I can do my makeup quickly and it turns out perfectly … Today was one of those days … Natural Glamour look for work…

Good Makeup Day

Foundation: LaGlam Mineral Wet to Dry Malibu

Contour: Belle Pierre Mineral Bronzer

Blush: Belle Pierre Mineral Rose Suede

Shadows:

1. Gorgeous Cosmetics Suede over whole lid

2. Random mineral cream shimmer dust inner corner

3. Mecca Bronze cream shadow in crease and outer corner

Liner: Models Prefer Precision Black Pen

Mascara: Natio Precision Black

Lip: Loreal infallible 2 Step Timeless Rose 110

Another thing that made this a Fab day … Walking up Martin Place to work and was handed a free full size box of the Brand new Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Crisps – Sour Cream and Chives Yummy!

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The Pursuit of Happiness – First Steps

My husband (Lord of Loyalty and Logic), my dog (Her Royal Fluffiness) and I have just moved into a new apartment … we have lived in so many now I’m starting to lose count. But finally after many years I think we feel like this new place is somewhere where we can fully relax and be ourselves. We don’t enjoy moving to different places all the time, but I guess in our pursuit for happiness and with life events the past apartments, units, houses, and town houses have just not worked out. It finally feels like we have a home not just a place to live.

Why?

It’s not a particularly spacious or grandeur home and to be perfectly straight it is almost identical to our last apartment, mainly because we moved from the one directly above us. But in the short time we have been here (around 3 weeks) we have already done so much to make it our home. Probably because we felt we could and comfortable enough to. Her Royal Fluffiness is definitely more relaxed, we have put pictures and photos on the walls from our travels, we have dotted memorabilia from different events in our lives and with the changes we have made (small as they are) to the layout of our furniture it has really made a huge difference. I know very little about the art of feng-shui, but I believe we totally have it happening at our new place!! Well, it’s working for us.touches in our new home

I won’t go into the boring detail of our problems with the last place but let’s just say from two weeks after we moved in we were aware that the place was on the market and from then on we never felt like we could completely move in. The majority of our belongings remained in boxes and although we were there for just under a year in the end, I think we always deep down felt very unsettled.
It was a big job moving on our own (with no removalists I mean) even though it was just down stairs. We did have the help of the Lord of Loyalty and Logic’s father for one day which was brilliant with getting all the large items moved. We hugely appreciated that! But then it was all the little things that you just don’t know what to do with. However because of the great experience we had already so seamlessly had with our brand new real estate agent, and I guess combined with our desperate want to just get out of the rut we felt we were in with the previous agents and landlord; we had this great air of determination to just do it and get it done. And we did!
But we are happy with our new dwelling with a slightly different outlook on the world, a lovely big courtyard for Her Royal Fluffiness to explore and play in and a bigger feeling of comfort and orderliness for the Lord of Loyalty and Logic and Me.

Our pursuit, however, will continue even with these small first steps.

Till next week in the pursuit of happiness.

xxMelly