Monday, 26 July 2010

Make your Monday sweeter with Panda Appreciation ...!

These photos were taken in   Beijing  at the Panda Reserve.

OK mum, you can come and get me down now!!

Look deep into my eyes... you are feeling sleepy...

Forgive me Father for I have sinned...

Kung Fu Panda...bring it on

On the count of three, lift!

Does my butt look big on this log?

Hiding in plain sight.

Peek a boo!


me sleepy..... zzzzzz

Wasn't me, I didn't steal this bamboo shoot, it was just sitting here!

Panda aerobics...and 1 and lift!

Please, sir, may I have some more? (Oliver Panda)

stop it stop it stop it stop it stop it

But I like chocolate better.

What do you people do all day in there?

I'd like some alone time please.

Naughty Panda, time out corner.

Ha ha ha ha!!

Panda Tai Chi

Romeo oh Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?

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Friday, 23 July 2010

Swimwear that makes you feel gorgeous!

There has rarely been an occasion when I have worn a nice swimsuit and gone "that is so pretty". In fact I can't say that ever would until I finally got my first Alisi Swimdress to take away on a mid-winter break. I am now convinced that there is a range out there designed for women to enjoy buying a swimsuit.

I had been watching the designs each season since its launch and I really wanted to try something soon.  So I raced over to see the guys at Alisi - Noele (designer extraordinaire) and Nev. I chose a swimdress - mostly cos' I have never owned one before and I wanted to test out the Italian Carvico lycra (also used in competitive bikewear and racing swimwear with a higher life span and sun protection). 

I chose the Luxury of Life swimdress - mostly because I loved the 'cover up' value of the length and the modesty of the cleavage. A lovely halter neck (not what I would usually buy) but the guys were right, it was flattering on the decolletage and the 'girls' were safe!  I went swimming in a pool with this on, dove in and splashed about for a few hours. I did not need to adjust or refasten once. There is an in built shelf bra which without being restricting kept everything in remarkably well in place!  I could afford to have gone down a size but despite the extra size, the dress was comfortable and flattering. If you were lounging or watching the kids, the fact that you could jump straight into the water if you wanted to is really appealling.

Luxury of Life

I teamed the dress with a pair of 50s brief which are really comfortable, provide decent coverage and don't ride at all.  I normally wear Speedos for training and found the sizing in the Alisi range allowed for comfort and they don't skimp on fabric at all. Remarkably when the swimdress floated around there were no embarrassing moments and I didn't have to hold the dress down while I swam around.

Because I was feeling a little decadent I also invested in the silk Domino Dancing kaftan. This is gorgeous poolside if you are staying somewhere lovely and equally, as I wore it, out to dinner that night with a pair of Insalata wide leg pants and RMK patent peeptoe heels . Understated comfort and elegance. The sequined neckline creates a plunging neckline that is flattering rather than tawdry.  I like filling my suitcase with practical functional garments like this! Especially when they are so beautifully made.

The range at Alisi provides great comfort, flattering styles and accommodation for bust sizes up to DD. The fabric is delicious and the styles are glamorous and decadent.  Waifs need not apply as sizes start from 12 (my sister is pouting over this but having some 'junk in the trunk' will mean there are two pieces that will really appeal for the lower end of the size scale).  This coming seaons 2010/11 range is looking spectacular and should be stocked by retailers by September. I have already put in my order!  The colours are divine in this collection so given how great I felt in my recent choices I know I will need to get something for our summer holidays. Hey its about you feeling good right?  If your regular store isn't stocking a range that is as lovely as then you need to tell them. Its Australian made by a small business that is determined on giving Australian women beautiful items to feel gorgeous in!

 All images courtesy of Alisi Swimwear. I paid for all of the garments mentioned in this post and I was not asked to review them. They were from last season's collection and are available from the Alisi Swimwear online store and in limited quantities through Trixan Body. The new seasons collection is due to hit stores in September.

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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Explorations, conversations and degustation #VietTUB

This post is a joint effort with Frances Jones – you can find out more about our day’s exploits at

Explore any of Sydney’s suburbs and you’re bound to find pockets of migrant communities.  Along with them they bring the rest of the community an opportunity to tantalise taste buds and explore the joys the of living in a multi-cultural Australia.

Our first jaunt #VietTUB to Cabramatta was great fun so we were delighted that our next jaunt to Bankstown attracted such a fine group of people eager to spend the afternoon sharing and exploring together. The great thing about Bankstown (which Frances has beautifully captured in her post) is that it is a double-whammy when it comes to experiences. Highly visible communities include the Vietnamese and Lebanese. 

A tasty Vietnamese lunch was had at Bun Bo Hue Gia Hoi and there was much conversation around the table ranging from every topic.  It was invigorating, captivating and delightful.  I was superbly satisfied by the salt & pepper squid, spring rolls, grilled pork and vermicelli dish, finished with a most delicious coconut juice.

The day’s festivities concluded at Sweet City a specialist Arabic dessert & sweet diner.  Our request for a selection of “most traditional sweets on offer”  started with a sweet milky concoction known as sahlab, topped with coconut & cinnamon it proved popular with young and old (Read this great entry about the drink from Sydney blogger Anna of “Morsels and Musings”). We were then presented with plates of delectable delights with wonderful names like “Ladies Arms”, basmah, sweet rice (cheese), cream filled Turkish delight, rosewater syrup (pour from a squeezy bottle), ftirah (versions with custard and cream), of course mixed baklava, and knafeh. Cheese featured among the desserts with various consistency (Akkawi or Nabulsyya cheese) – one a haloumi-like chewier version and a creamy whipped style very much like ricotta.  Washed down with hot dark coffee, though not for everyone I find it the perfect accompaniment to cut through the syrupy sweetness of the desserts.  You can sample the French influence on the Lebanese culture from the window of cakes and petit fours at Sweet City as well.

Having lived in a predominantly Greek neighbourhood since moving to Sydney I am fascinated by the voyage of ingredients across the silk route.  The use of rosewater, sugar syrups, honey syrups, pistachio, almonds, cinnamon and semolina.  Different combinations of the same ingredients creating regional delicacies.  Had a lovely conversation with CafeDave and KDragon on the subject. And am now inspired to whip up some Indian sweets soon – time to master the technique!

If you want check out Bankstown as well head along to the Bankstown Bites Food Festival on 31 July 2010

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Saturday, 10 July 2010

RX 450H, RX450H, Hybrid SUV - Lexus Australia

I saw one of these on the M5 yesterday morning and I was so impressed at how it was handling and looked (makes the Mazda CX7 look like a squashed scorched almond) I insisted we follow it! Yes a little extreme I know but after seeing the Death of the Electric Car years ago I am still a firm believer in seeking out solutions with contained environmental impact (so hard to reconcile with my love for a decent motor!).

Am curious to see how this one measures up and perhaps I need to book in that test drive?! It will have to be after I win the 2-day test drive of the BMW 125i convertible!

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