Friday, November 25, 2011

And the silly season begins...

This time of year is always insane. I shouldn't really blame it on my lack of blog posts but I'm gonna!

My weekend started with a sleepover last night with two four year olds and a two year old who wanted a serious piece of the action... 

After a fair bit of bed hopping, I eventually kicked my husband out onto the couch. This made room in my bed for my bubba who at 10pm was keeping the knackered girls from getting to sleep! Unfortunately for me, being kicked in the ribs, head, and basically everywhere else on my body makes for a bit of a grumpy mama. Bring on the barrocca and the coffee...

I'm now at the pancake making stage of proceedings, then ballet then I have to get ready for a function this evening. Here are some pics of what I would like/wish I could wear. enjoy x
An Olsen in orange 
A gorgeous orange lip

Gold maxi....amazing

Acne dress

Antik batik necklace


May be a little obsessed with this colour currently
the pants are pretty spesh

Willow dress. I REALLY want this one!

Sienna Miller's it

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Championing Chinese furniture

G'day all,

I'm a massive fan of replica Chinese furniture when placed deftly around the home. 

Let's face it, genuine antique Chinese furniture is now both hard to find and extremely expensive, so when we covet a beautiful armoire, dresser or medicine cabinet in our favorite color and design, we are definitely thinking 'replica' all the way baby... 

a beautiful blend of aged recycled wood - love it!!
the array of slats in different hues - ahhh.
The beauty is in the corners, in the color,  in the finish,  in the care, and it's in the workmanship.....

as long as you love it, you want it, you get pleasure from using it, looking at it and showing it off in your home, it doesn't matter. 

We love to have things in our home to display our precious things on, or put things in for functionality and aesthetics.....

the perfect storage cabinet for anything you want to display
Have fun looking at these cute ideas....and shop at 'In My Cabinet' next year for that special piece of Chinese furniture you just have to have - made with love and care by Chinese artisans, just for you.
rich in texture and color

Here's my new picture stand and dresser .....I keep looking at the cute feet, the perfectly vintage peeling paint that sooo tickles my fancy, the beautiful leaf shape of the drawer knobs, the centered Middle Kingdom circle motif...and I smile.
middle kingdom circle motif - simplicity and beauty

leaf design drawer knobs swinging happily

I love the little claw feet and clean lines - such a handy size too!

I was drawn by the richness of the green and Chinese shapes in this stand. 

Would be a cute addition in any room of your house.

traditional red - the prefect hallway dresser or vanity for your bedroom

I want this in my kitchen!!
a pop of color in any bedroom

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Work that wok!

Last Friday, a great group of friends and I went to a Chinese cooking class (to celebrate the farewell of our wonderful friend Nyree), nestled down a typical alleyway in Beijing.

A courtyard property oozing of old China, purpose built for the likes of us, i.e, excitable foreigners keen on learning the charms and bygone-tested recipes of the Middle Kingdom. 

check out that cleaver - serious stuff!
Armed with cleavers and all manner of funky looking condiments - white wine vinegar, dark soy, slightly less dark soy, lighter than light soy, we set to work making Beijing Style Braised Beef with Soy sauce and Spices (so scrummy!!), Sweet and Sour Pork/Fish (loads of flavour, go easy on the oil and vinegar and add pineapple), Spicy and Sour Green Bean Salad, (my new favourite way to eat green beans) and lastly, not for the faint-of-heart Water Chestnut Cake (gelatinous and unappealing to say the least, but hats off to those who gave it a crack!)

This culinary adventure was made all the sweeter by great friends, lots of laughs, perfectly in-tact fingers (despite many close calls !!)... and all washed down with Beijing's finest green tea, beer and's to you Nyree. I'm going to miss you girlfriend! "Go West!"

The beef and spices before being braised - so delicious

Love these ridiculously long beans

Trying not to burn my chillies - did not succeed!

Spicy and Sour Green Bean Salad
Margie focussing on her sauce
Chopsticks at the ready - used both as a stirring tool and to eat with
Sweet and Sour Pork served up by our wonderful teacher
work that wok!
Our beloved Nyree - farewell!
I'm going to share one of the recipes - it was so good!

Sweet and Sour Green Bean Salad


  • green bean 250g
  • dry chili few pieces
  • Salt  3/4 tsp.
  • Light soy sauce, 2 tsp.
  • Sugar 1/2 tsp
  • white vinegar 2tsp
  • dark aged vinegar 2tsp
  • sesame oil 1/2 tsp

1. Chop green bean into 6cm long sections. Put into boiling water, when water boils, cook for 1 minute. Take out, rinse with cold water, put in a bowl.
2. Put all seasoning onto the green beans.
3. Cut chili into sections, cook 2Tbsp oil in wok, when oil begins to smoke, turn off flame, put chili inside. Deep fry chili until turns to a light brown colour (this only took 10 sections or less for me - very quick!). Pour oil with chili onto green bean. 
4. Mix well and voila!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bring on summer Melbourne...

This is my two year old having a great old time at the beach this morning. I was pretty stoked with the fabulous weather that Melbourne decided to grace us with today and couldn't resist a walk (and play) on the beach. 

I'm one of those people that manages to find something that I have to have, whether I'm out shopping up a storm or quite simply going for a walk. Roadside finds mean just as much to me as forking out too much for a great pair of boots. Yesterday's bike ride with my adventurous and for want of a better word, 'spirited' four year old left me running out of a protected park area with some branches that had "fallen" off a tree. Not sure what the tree was called but the pretty branches found a home in an old apothecary bottle in the kitchen. 

P.S Excuse the constant change of out header logo! I have just discovered how to do all these things and I'm having a bit of fun. I'll try and leave it alone for a while whilst I go and learn about the other hundreds of things a blogger should know!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Split-pants and more - out and about in Beijing.

menacing looking fruit

loving orange everything this season

street life

ready to ride

the girls testing out the public exercise equipment

something scary on that skewer!

market delicacies

leaves glinting in late autumn sun.
local fruit stall 

a tasty Chinese lunch, baozi, jiazi and mifan (dumplings, buns and fried rice)

the bustle of the street corner vendor

temple ceilings in the park ooze colour and history

dumpling stall

cheeky autumn leaf thrower!

at the exercise hang out

gorgeous autumn colours

haw fruit skewer

sweet fruit candy stall

Hi In My Cabinet'ers,

The kids and I have been having a ball today out and about on the bikes in our stunning Autumn weather. Talk about constant inspiration through it!

First stop - our local and glorious Ritan Park, where we always expect the unexpected.

Toddlers waddling about with glee in the latest in split-pant fashion (oh yes, have seen it all, from denim studded bumless wonders to the warmer Winter-weight padded trewsers)...these little cuties MUST be feeling the crisp autumn breeze these days! Time for some nappies please parents!

Fruit stall goodness... bursting with colour and crazy shapes, they just scream - eat me!!!!

new friends 

 Old-timers (and us!) bending, stretching, scratching, twisting, swaying and flexing on the public exercise machines in the park. What a brilliant idea. So social. I chatted away in my faltering Mandarin to a lovely lady who knowingly predicted tomorrow would be "feicheng leng" (in other words, freeze your .... off cold!)

Starting a community autumn leaf fight with our "very newly" acquired friends and starey ex-pat gazers. (cue: a LOT of long lense cameras at the ready to catch the crazy loud Kiwi kids dousing each other with crispy leaf goodness!)

Street-side snack food, Beijing-style on the offering...aromas floating down the fulou (side road) to entice us closer. mmmm yummo, what to choose? Noodles in every possible combination imaginable, jiazi (dumplings), baozi (pork buns), skewered fruits glazed in a sweet hardened candy, sweet corn cobs..keep it comin'!

A cluster of wrinkled and happy friends huddled in a circle heartily belting out a traditional folk song, complete with perfectly-timed sashaying moves and accompanied by a Chinese flutist.

Lily on her favourite climbing tree
We stopped and soaked it all in. The kids were, as usual, mesmorised, even after two years of being here and seeing such scenes as part and parcel of our daily life in Beijing, we are still moved, still fascinated, still challenged to cast aside our Western preconceptions and social restrictions and embrace the often startling and unique Eastern point of view.

Wonder what tomorrow will have in store for us....till then,