The one about the sky

I think the cat’s out of the bag, I am obsessed with the sky. 

Shape shifting clouds, the more than 50 shades of blue, and how the sunset throws pinks and oranges and slowly morphs to deep grey as it fades to black… OB-SESSED! 


On Friday morning before work, instead of just rushing inside, I stood in the alley behind my workplace, coffee in hand, and I looked up at the vast blue sky. It made me happy. 

Happy is a good way to start the day, don’t you think? 

Anyway, I could go on and on about the sky, or I could just let it speak for itself.

I headed to the beach last night to catch the sunset and it was SUBLIME. 



I decided to throw my sketch book in my bag… 

I love how these clouds look like someone’s dragged a fork through them. 

I was thinking about the way the sky never ends as I stood and took these photos, about how even if we’re far from people we want to hug with all our might, when they look up, it’s the same sky above us all. 

Are you a sky gazer? Got a thing for clouds? Seen any great sunsets lately? Know someone who needs a hug? 

Want to get happy?

Look up. 


Annette ☁️☁️


Kidspot Voices of 2014 Gala Awards

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Kidspot Voices Of 2014 Gala Awards, which was held at Sketch on Central Pier in Melbourne’s beautiful Docklands precinct.

Melbourne was looking glorious yesterday, we’re having a fabulously warm, sunny weekend.

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Melbourne’s Docklands

I confess I am befuddled by Melbourne CBD’s growth in that direction… how can there be more city than there used to be? Sheesh, I feel old! I have childhood memories of going into the city for lunch at the Coles Cafeteria with my grandma, and going to the zoo on a red rattler train. I think I need a good lie down.

Anyway, I digress… nothing new there.

The first thing to do when responding to an invitation to a fancy affair is to find a great +1/date. I signed up my friend Sharon from Sharon’s Bigg Life before I even checked if she was free, and lucky for me, she ‘cleared her schedule for me’ (yes, she actually said that!).

So the day arrived, and I was in a lather – quite literally, I’m blaming menopause for that – as I tried on outfit after outfit yesterday. Wrong skirt, too much leg, not enough something, aarggh! Enough, I said. Just be yourself. After I’d piled up loads of options on my bed, I settled on some great pieces I recently snapped up at ts14plus, and teamed them with my favourite shoes, also from ts14plus. Quite the poster girl, nay brand ambassador, am I! Ha.

Off to Docklands Sharon and I went, and before you knew it, we were swanning past a talking Ford Territory and into the gorgeous event space. And what could be nicer than being greeted by Pip Lincolne? She’s so ace.

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Sharon and Pip and I. 

Hooray for bubbly on arrival. Name tags secured, we checked out the space.

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That’s my kind of welcome. Thanks Kidspot!

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Sunset by Ford!

There were maybe only three or four gents in the room – lucky them – but it was the diversity of lovely lady bloggers that really made me happy. There were tall bloggers and short bloggers, mums, non-mums (what’s the ‘correct’ term for us? Anyone?), professional bloggers, hobbyists, up-and-comers, legends, young bloggers and more *ahem* mature bloggers (I count myself in that demographic), lean bloggers and rounder bloggers (me again), extroverted bloggers who worked the room, and bloggers who you could tell were a bit more introverted (that’s me too).

The buzz in the room was great, phones were out, selfies galore were being taken and the food and wine was going down a treat.

Sharon and I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending the gorgeous Rita, who is a Canadian sweetheart/firecracker who followed true love all the way to Melbourne, via Rome. You can read about that here on Rita’s lovely blog. Hey Rita, great to meet you!

I also got talking to Quett, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Olympus booth at #pbevent earlier in the year, and faster than you could say shutter speed, he whipped out his phone and was showing me his new blog! Hooray, another convert to blogging!

Quett’s blog is called The Subconscious Manscape, and here’s his blog’s first post. I think his blog is super cool. I was telling Sharon (and anyone else who’d listen) that Quett doesn’t have blood coursing through his veins, he’s powered by liquid enthusiasm. I love that! People with light in their eyes and animation in their voices, they’re my kind of peeps (and by the way, those people can be introverts or extroverts, neither has a monopoly on passion).

It was great to meet bloggers who I’ve only communicated online with, I’m looking at you Josefa, to share squeezes and chats with some of the awesome chicks I’ve met at other events, or through Blog With Pip. I even got my smiling face on the KidspotSocial Instagram feed. Woo-hoo!

I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the venue, the DJ (Stefanovic-esque ‘awards’ music notwithstanding), the awards, the people, and being served by friendly staff, who proffered bottles of lovely libations, and carried tray after tray of delicious morsels my way all night long. That’s the way to this blogger’s heart.

The ultimate highlight of the night was that it was about celebrating blogging in all its forms. I found it so inspiring to be in a room filled with people who share a common passion.That passion, whether we blog about style, motherhood, technology, photography, our lives or love of craft, is to get our words out there into cyberspace, hoping to find people who we can connect with, befriend, learn from, be useful to, share our observations about life with and inform and entertain. That’s the heart of blogging, plain and simple.

Well done Kidspot team! Thank you so, so much. I’m so glad that I got to be there last night.

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The goodie bag was so good!

Tell me a blog you love in the comments (not your own!). Why do you love it? How did you find it? Spill!

Annette xx


Week in review – Darth Muffins, an art gallery visit & a bloggers meet-up

I’m trying something new today, in the mode of Beth from BabyMac, Naomi from NaomiLoves, and plenty of others I’m sure, and presenting for your enjoyment a bit of a photographic week in review. (You’ll notice a lack of home styling, roses, amazing camera work and puppies and small children, that’s just the way I roll!)

On Tuesday night I went over to Green Park Dining in Carlton for a bloggers’ meet-up. There are plenty of groups for all kinds of peeps on Facebook, and I’m in a few blogging groups.

The fabulous, wine-loving Nicole from SeekingVictory organised this meet-up, and it was great to see some of my Blog With Pip pals, as well as meet some other local bloggers, and eat, drink and do what bloggers do best, talk, talk, talk! And yes, there were plenty of selfies…. you can check the happy snaps out on Instagram – #melbblogmeet.

I’ve been exploring the cafes around my new workplace, looking for the best coffee and service. I was quite surprised by this sign as I waited for my latte one morning…

I had no idea that Darth Vader was into baked goods! (Squint if you must!)

Darth Muffin!


Yesterday I fulfilled an Instagram wish I posted about seven weeks ago – back then I was daydreaming about having a bit of extra cash and declared that I’d spend it on undies and coathangers. Being on unemployment benefits means there’s often not enough cash left over after rent, food, bills, to buy even simple things like these. (That’s only one of the reasons why I get a bit cranky when people go on about ‘dole bludgers’ – those people have no idea how difficult it is to keep your head above water on less than half the minimum wage!)

Joy is found in small pleasures of life just as much as it is in big things, don’t you think? A great element of this year’s enforced frugality is that I have a renewed appreciation for small things – a ripe avocado, a great cup of coffee, new coat hangers and undies!

Now that some of my days are ‘work days’ and some are ‘days off’ I think I’m going to renew my practice the meditative art of the al fresco latte.

I’m in love with the colours here, the saucer, the table, the crema. Divine! And the sky was so blue on Friday. Lucky, lucky me.

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I am a huge fan of photography, and some of the images in this exhibition of Australian feminist photographers are so beautiful and arresting. It was lovely to sit in the quietness of the gallery, just drinking them in.

These are my favourites.

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Amazing, don’t you think? The photographer is Anne Ferran and the images were shot in the 1980’s, using Ferran’s daughter and her friends as models.

Something about these images is so enigmatic. These are the first two of five tableau-like scenes entitled Scenes of Death of Nature.

Today I’ve been enjoying a new creative pursuit of mine, painting. I moved my little desk into the window, and enjoyed a few hours lost in colours, water effects and just being in the moment. I’m calling this one Colours No. 1.

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So that’s a few of the things I’ve done this week, working, eating and drinking, socialising, painting, appreciating the sunshine and rhythm of my days.

I hope you’re enjoying your days too.

What has the highlight of your week been?


Annette x




Jackets and landmarks and zebras, oh my!

Tuesdays seem to be my default day for getting out of the house – sometimes I’ve got errands to run, broccoli to buy, letters to post, and sometimes I pop out, just for a change of scenery. It’s my kind of nature walk – one that happens on wheels.

Now, I’m no style blogger – far, far from it – but I’ve been thinking that I could use really a new jacket, and with my tax return burning a hole in my pocket, and the ProBlogger conference only five weeks away, I’ve been scouring online shops and asking people for recommendations.

A few style peeps that I follow on social media had mentioned Dream Diva, and so off to Bridge Road I tootled (Fun Fact – you can tootle in a Barina or a VW or a Corolla, but not in a Porsche) where I was ably assisted by two friendly fashionistas. I think one of the ladies thought I wanted to buy ALL OF THE THINGS, but I was very self-controlled and only left the shop with ONE shopping bag.

And bonus, I got a park about 12 steps from the shop door, which is some kind of Bridge Road Miracle! AND I had the exact change in my purse to pay for 1 hour of parking, which I used approximately 52 minutes of. The planets were aligned I tell ya!

I figured, seeing I was so close to town, I may as well enjoy the sunshine and keep on trucking (you can’t do that in a Porsche either), so I cruised through the city, and past one of my favourite landmarks.



Non-newsflash – I love Melbourne! So many people out and about, scurrying back to the office after a quick lunch, visiting, exploring, enjoying a sunny but chilly winter’s day.

Past the Shrine of Remembrance I tootled, and by now I was thinking about lunch, so I decided to wander some more and check out Spilt Milk Cafe, which I’ve followed on Facebook for a while, but never visited.

Spilt Milk is a nicely decked out, cosy cafe in Carnegie. There are a handful of tables inside, plus a smattering of outdoor seats (with blankets thoughtfully provided). They have a really fun menu, with dishes like badger, toucan, wombat and sparrow. True!

I settled on the zebra (minus ricotta, plus a poached egg) and enjoyed the great coffee and eavesdropping on the friendly banter of the staff, who clearly get along well and enjoy what they do.



That got me thinking about work, and the thing I miss most of all is the camaraderie you can have with your colleagues. I miss that, and a pay check, and having something (hopefully more meaningful than mundane) to do – they’re my top three, but not necessarily in that order.

Do you notice that sometimes when you’re in a cafe or shop, the attitude of the staff can really put you off ordering a second latte?

It was a pleasure to be somewhere with friendly staff, prompt service and I’ll-be-back-for-more food. If you’re around Carnegie, Spilt Milk is worth a visit.

There’s no sponsorship to mentioning them or Dream Diva – if I stumble across something I like, I’ll happily share it.

So, I tootled, I shopped, I ate my first zebra and now it’s time to pop the heater on, think about what to cook for dinner and maybe check in on a couple of my favourite blogs.

I hope your week includes jackets and landmarks and zebras  – or the equivalent things that bring you happiness and a warmed belly.

Got any great local finds to share?

Where’s the best latte in your ‘hood?

Bought a great jacket lately? Maybe in a neon zebra print?

I think I’ll try the Sparrow next time I visit Spilt Milk, or maybe the Barracuda!









My date with Kate – how blogging has made me a serial blind-dater

As you know, earlier this year, I did the Blog With Pip course which enabled me to get I Give You The Verbs off the ground – yay! The next intake of BWP is coming up in May, so if you’re wondering, ‘should I?’, let me give you a tip – you should!

One of the unexpected, and very pleasing benefits of the course has been meeting some of my classmates in real life. I wrote about my first bloggy blind date here, and this week I went on my second. I’ve never been on a ‘real’ blind date in my life, but it seems blogging has me expanding my horizons, in more ways than one!

So, to date number two: Kate is a BWP classmate from Brighton, England and we clicked early on in the course. When I heard she was visiting Melbourne I thought it would be nice to see if we could meet up. Plus, I LOVE showing visitors around my home town, it’s kind of a sick lifelong obsession of mine. I love this city!

Kate and I texted, Facebook messaged, and emailed back and forth, working out what day of her short stay would suit her best, where she was staying and only getting as far with specifics as that  I could pick her up from her hotel. When I looked up the address of her Melbourne digs, I knew it rang a bell with me. Sure enough, the secretarial college that I attended in the mid-1980s is now a hotel! Kate was likely sleeping in a (hopefully modified) room where 30 years ago, I struggled with basic accounting, or blitzed shorthand. I’ve still got mad shorthand skills, FYI.

I was running early, a lifelong habit, so I idled illegally behind Federation Square, where I noticed a giant kangaroo. Do you see it?

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A few minutes later, I pulled up outside Holmes Secretarial College Kate’s hotel and after a moment of scanning the crowded street, Kate’s smiling face appeared in my window, she jumped in the car, I made a lame joke about Pip going to a lot of effort to start an international white slavery ring, and we were off!

We decided to drive across to Fitzroy, and after taking an inordinately long time to find a carpark, we went for a wander, stopping to take photos, and chatting easily about work, where we live, this and that. I think I was a bit nervous, because I regaled Kate with stories about my dad’s predilection for wearing really loud orange socks, how I suspect Our Tone is doing the Locomotion on the global stage and other weird things, things I drove home thinking why did you say that?, but hey, I’m a newbie at this dating game!

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I guess if I was really dating, I’d be pleased as punch that conversation flowed freely, we chatted about how much we had enjoyed Pip’s course, had other things in common, and both stopped to take lots of photos. It was an easy, relaxed afternoon, and Melbourne turned on a pretty nice autumn day, phew!

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How beautiful is this building? A bit neglected, yet its beautiful craftsmanship is standing the test of time, and the faded, almost illegible sign-writing on the sides of buildings like this – I’ve definitely got an architectural crush on this city. Click, click, sigh, click.

We popped into Arcadia for coffee, and treats. As evidenced below by the mandatory food shot for Instagram, it was a Portuguese tart for me, something for Kate, and a brownie for Kate.

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When we’d all introduced ourselves at the start of the Blog With Pip course, Kate had mentioned books she’d written, so I knew she was on an upward trajectory in her career, but I confess I didn’t ‘look her up’ again prior to our date – to me she was my writer-y classmate Kate, not an extremely successful author, with books on the best-seller list.

It’s funny how we associate people with the way we meet them, if I’d gone out with ‘Kate the author’ I think I would have been a bit of a wreck, but because I went out with Kate my BWP pal, I was able to be myself, and enjoy pointing out great buildings, parks and other landmarks as we meandered around to funky Fitzroy.

I’d call my BWP blind dates a real success, I think I’ve made some ongoing connections by stepping outside my usual comfort zone and meeting new people. There’s another meet-up for Melbourne BWP chicks in my diary, and I got to show a groovy bit of my beloved hometown off to a first time visitor. I’m proud to say Melbourne had bewitched Kate by the time she’d been here half a day, so I’m sure my tales about my dad’s blinding sock collection haven’t completely undone her fondness for my favourite place.

So, thanks Kate, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your Australian visit. See you online again soon, and now that I’ve met you in person, I must get my hands on one of your books, maybe this one? And upon reflection, I’m glad I googled you after our date, not before, or I could have made a real nitwit of myself! You’re lovely, it was a pleasure to spend an autumnal afternoon with you.

For those whose curiosity I’ve piqued, I think you’ve probably heard of this one of Kate’s books.

If I was a gambler, I’d say the odds are 5:2.


Thanks Melbourne, you’re still my one true love.