Tuesday, December 16, 2014


To the person who goes by the name of China Dolls and Rocking Chairs - you've won the Kit Kemp coffee table book. Shoot me an email at annakemp86@gmail.com with your postal address and I'll send you your prize!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Even if you aren't a dietary fusspot like me, you'll enjoy this paleo and vegan take on the classic Rocky Road. As well as being utterly delicious, this treat is seriously fast and simple to prepare. All credit goes to Holistic Health and Life Coach Amelia Harvey for this genius recipe. To serve 6 (I doubled the ingredients in the batch in these pics), you will need:

¾ cup coconut oil
½ cup rice malt syrup
⅔ cup almond meal
1 cup cacao
½ cup chopped macadamias
½ cup dried goji berries
½ cup coconut flakes
Himalayan salt

Combine coconut oil, cacao, rice malt syrup and almond meal ( if your coconut oil is solid, liquefy first by placing jar into hot water). I recommend you use a bar mix, blender or the like to make the mixture smooth.
Stir through the nuts, goji berries and coconut flakes.
Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray or plate. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and berries and coconut if you have any left over. 
Place in freezer to set - it should only take about 10 minutes. Cut into chunks and store in the refrigerator.

Monday, December 8, 2014


How great is it to be living in Australia right now? Mangoes and cherries are finally in season. The neighbourhood is redolent of barbecue and freshly cut grass. Cicadas chirp first thing in the morning, letting you know that the day ahead is set to be a scorcher. Another fantastic thing about living in Australia this time of year (sorry international readers - next time, promise!) is that you're eligible to enter my Christmas Giveaway! How does a copy of A Living Space, from internationally acclaimed designer and hotelier Kit Kemp, sound?

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below. Tell me something about yourself I don't know. Or what you really love and really hate. Or maybe your favourite Christmas memory. Anything goes. The winner will be announced on Monday 15 December, so check back in case it's you!

Seeing as this is a Christmas post, I thought I'd show you some of the Christmas decorations I've put up so far. Firstly, a new tree filled with birds and other bits and bobs:

A striking wreath of faux roses:

And some critters to greet you when you walk through the door:

I'm still a huge fan of a real Christmas tree so I think I'll get a small, real tree for the dining table. Shall post a pic on instagram once I've decorated it. 

Looking forward to your entries/comments!

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Something which amuses my husband to no end is what happens to me when I am in any place which happens to sell perfume. He describes it as a "trance" - I fly through the store with the determination and narrowed focus of an Amazing Race contestant. Even a "can I help you?" from a sales assistant feels like a massive roadblock. Don't worry, I'm always polite if I need to decline their assistance - retail is tough enough as it is without having bratty customers inflicting their moods on you. But truthfully, I think perfume taste is so highly individual that what one person finds intoxicating, another thinks smells like fly spray (Chanel No.5, I'm looking at you!) Only we can know what we like and what we're comfortable with. Kind of like when I go clothes shopping and a girl with 7% less body fat and 10% extra length in her limbs than me tells me I should try on the same buttock-revealing shorts she is wearing because they're her favourite item in store right now. Half of me wants to hug her for thinking such an item might remotely suit me; the other half questions whether that is really even the case or if she's just egocentric. Now, I hope you'll not think that this very blog post is hypocritical; I'm not trying to tell you what's good for you; just that if you like the same kind of perfumes as me, you might like this one. At the moment all I care about is white flower fragrances. I am in my element because my gardenia bush in the backyard is (figuratively) on fire right now. The jasmine at the front of our house is about to swallow the whole neighbourhood, and I've got a big bunch of freesias blasting it's perfume around the kitchen/living/dining area. But the very, very best white flower fragrance in my life right now is Serge Lutens Fleurs d-Oranger.

Now, let's not pretend I am anything resembling a perfume critic, so I'm going to cut and paste the review from Lucky Scent, which I think captures the fragrance and its connotations perfectly:

"In a word: masterpiece. There is no other way to sum up Fleurs d’Oranger. This is truly a legend in the Lutens line, the fresh yet decadent scent of an orange grove in full bloom, blossoms falling like rain as a warm breeze swirls the petals in the air. The heady and sweet scents of orange blossom, white jasmine and tuberose are highlighted with a hint of citrus and enhanced with just the tiniest wisps of warm spice to create a perfume that is ever-changing and, once you live with it awhile, you begin to sense its ultra complex nature. Fleurs d’Oranger is a floral fantasy that is even more beautiful than any amount of flowery prose can hope to relay…it’s a rare fragrance that could be worn every day and you’d never tire of it. Gloriously feminine, Fleurs is not “cute” nor is it cloying or overpowering…it’s pure French elegance meets a wild romp in an orange grove, a dream of a perfume that will make you close your eyes, breathe deeply and just…smile."

What fragrances are you into right now? Tell me, tell me!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


... If you can remember Phil Olivetti, I am so proud!

If not, I'm just happy you're reading! If you follow me on instagram, you'll already know that I just had an extraordinary day last Friday. I was lucky enough to be invited to come along with James and some of his colleagues for an afternoon on a boat in Sydney harbour. The day could only be described as perfect. Perfect temperature, perfect blue skies, perfect wine, perfect seafood and perfect company - I know that sounds like such a lazy description but there's just no other way to put it... I don't think many days this summer will be able to compare!

Before I show you the onboard pics, let's discuss the Important Matter of Outfit Choice. I am very proud that I went with these flat shoes because I very nearly was going to wear some lovely but inappropriate wedges. Thank goodness I didn't because we would have had a man overboard situation on our hands before we even left the marina.

Top from here / Shorts here / Espadrilles here

I think James may have copied my outfit:

A couple of very unexpected things happened on the water that day. One was that a SUBMARINE casually  sailed by:

The other was that we were joined by dolphins on the way home. Sadly I didn't get to photograph that. I did get this lovely picture though:

And many more happy faces:

Some of the ladies and gents had come all the way from Quebec, so it was great to learn all about what life is like over there and how it compares to Sydney. One of the many things I learned from the girls was that apparently there are a lot of good looking men in Australia! How about that!

Thanks to Leanne and the team for such an awesome day!