Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spring in Summer mode

The sound
(Note: The artists and songs below aren't necessarily fresh from this year - they're just who/what I've been listening to this spring and think that they're perfect for this season!)

Ingrid Michaelson
This is the voice you wanna wake up as well as go to bed to. Ingrid's music sounds so effortless, cheerful, warm and next-door-ish, and her voice is so raw and cute that they again make her so distinctive. I'm saying soon she's gonna become the female Jason Mraz. Maybe I should grab tickets to her upcoming concert in Sydney.
Recommended for: lazying in bed and a long brunch after
My picks: Giving UpYou And I (she's performed this song with Jason Mraz at a few concerts too, make sure you youtube it), The Way I AmMaybeBe OK

Florence + The Machine
Nomadic. Gypsyish. Indie. Golden afternoon sun, long wavy hair flying in the wind, running through fields. That's what pops up in my head when listening to Florence. Her grand voice and beautiful, theatrical style makes me feel alive. And jump around the place.
Recommended for: a windy, sunny late afternoon
My picks: You've Got The LoveDog Days Are OverRabbit HeartDrumming SongHowlKiss With A FistGirl With One Eye (which surely reminds me of My Chemical Romance's "Mama")

Mark Ronson
This name might not tell you too much, but if I tell you he's Samantha Ronson's brother, or that he produced Amy Winehouse's "Valerie", it probably rings a bell. I consider him as the Santana of pop: anything labeled with his name screams best quality tunes and collaborations, although he never makes any vocal appearances. Producing a highly dangerous and sophisticated cocktail of pop/funk/hip hop, this (very handsome!) man definitely knows how get the party started.
Recommended for: evening drinks and mingling with a bunch of cool people
My picks: Valerie ft. Amy WinehouseBang Bang Bang ft. Q-Tip & MNDRJust ft. Phantom PlanetOh My God ft. Lily AllenStop Me ft. Daniel MerriweatherThe Bike Song ft. Kyle Falconer & Spank Rock

Sam Sparro
How much fun is it to listen to this fantastically talented gentleman? Funky house beats plus amazing vocals guarantee a sexy time on the dance floor, even if it's just your living room during another house party. Such a shame that Aussie-born Sam isn't excessively celebrated at Aussie bars - but at least Nic Henstridge knows how to appreciate his music and plays his "Black & Gold".
Recommended for: good times shaking your booty
My picks: 21st Century LifeBlack & GoldCottonmouthPocketSickCan't Stop ThisSally

Other summerly spring songs:
Jason MrazAnything You Want
Angus & Julia StonePaper Aeroplane
Bag RaidersShooting Stars
BeirutPostcards From Italy
Empire Of The SunWalking On A Dream
Justin TimberlakeSenorita
Ne-YoSo You Can Cry

The food
Waking up to a sunlit apartment on a day off simply makes you want to lie in bed for another while to enjoy this soothing little luxury, and then indulge yourself with a big fat brunch after finally kicking the sheets off. You just have to admit that munching together from late morning until early afternoon in a warm living room is the nicest meal you could have this spring. Polly and I agreed the brunch we made the other day was the best we'd ever had - with ricotta pancakes, crunchy yoghurt trifle, toast with sunny side up egg, salami and vegemite (our current favourite!), apple mango juice and English breakfast tea.

The activities

Beach volleyball
You know how unathletic I am, but I do enjoy playing/trying to play volleyball down at the beach with my friends every now and then. It's not too hot at the moment, so the spring weather saves you from fainting after getting hit by a heat stroke and too many sun rays while playing, which would most likely happen during summer time. Also you can reward yourself after with the next activity.

Spring swim
You can't imagine how nice the sea water is in spring. Of course it is pretty fresh (especially around your legs), but the surface water is surprisingly warm; once you fail to escape a huge wave, nobody will be able to drag you out.

The magazine cover

It just caught my eye - the colours, the hair, the pose, Gisele's wonderful beauty. Although the colours are a little bit too cool for spring, the photo gives off this really vibrant, lively feel that is so rare on high fashion covers these days. Feeling the new spring glam.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chocolate, flu and sunnies

I love bakeries, and I love leaving a bakery with a bag full of goodies. Not just the pastry inside, but also the crisp paper bag that crinkles in your hands gives me this warm, homely feeling.
Last night after work I felt like treating myself to something chocolate-y, so I went to Guylian Café. I went home with a big peanut chocolate cookie for Polina and a chocolate pistachio muffin for myself, in two white Guylian paper bags, and felt like being little again.

My breakfast this morning - the choc pistachio muffin and a cup of green tea with milk, on my favourite magazine.

I also couldn't resist ordering a new pair of Sabre shades on BrandsExclusive today. I got terribly sick (Polina also), so I spoiled myself a little, even though I still need to renew my health cover. Makes the process of getting better more exciting. Though I hope getting rid of this cold won't take as long as my sunnies to be delivered.

Way Kool.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spring fling

Yesterday I woke up at around 8 in the morning and the apartment was flooded with sunlight. We opened the windows and were greeted by a lovely warm breeze. I remember spring in Germany: fresh, green, flowers, but also wet, colds and runny noses. Here in Sydney, spring is the beginning of summer. I've been in such a good mood and can't wait until it gets really hot so that we can hit the water again.
A summerly spring day had to be started with a summerly spring breakfast, so we made ricotta pancakes and a brekkie "trifle", with layers of fruit (mandarin, banana, pear) and crunchy cereals, topped with organic yoghurt. It looked and tasted very, very summerly springish. I got this idea when I was craving for David Jones' food court yoghurt the other day, and I gotta say my version can definitely can keep up with it.

I went for a walk with Benny, and I got to say Manly is the first class summer beach, and we're really lucky to be living so close by. The water was in an unusual blue, and the sand was much whiter than most days. I just wanted to call sick at work and crash at the beach. Just kidding. ;)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday night at Manly wharf

As promised, I went to film Nic sing at the wharf tonight. I was a bit late but I asked him yesterday not to play Black & Gold until I come out so it was all good :) I just made it to his last songs as his amp battery was dying, and I, with my stupid habit of saving billions of photos on my memory card, only had 2 minutes of recording time left, so he said he would do a very quick version. Except for a few tiny off moments (stupid battery!), it was perfect.

I've been going to Nic's wharf "gigs" since Polly and I first moved into our apartment. I think we went groceries shopping one evening and I just didn't want to go home when I heard him sing. He has this amazingly unique voice, and knows how to add a touch of both melancholy and sexiness to the songs he plays. Plus he plays many of my favourites - with a little twist, so that sometimes you would have to try to figure out what song it is.
Make sure you catch him some time at Manly wharf or Circular Quay, and request for All You Need Is Love or Toxic. And tell him that I sent you. ;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Posh talk

I have a huge list of places I'd like to check out around the city, but without any specific reasons/occasions to go out I usually find my bum sitting around at home rather than anywhere else. But then something comes up and you end up at places you never really thought of going to... yet.

Mission: To go to Nic Henstridge's big gig
Location: Zeta Bar @ Hilton Hotel
Date and time: Friday 3rd of September, 6pm
Accomplice: Beautiful Sanam from work

We couldn't hear much of Nic's singing as there was no door between the bar and the balcony, and they were playing house inside - the music was nice though, but both at the same time just didn't work out. The place however is really cool: high ceilings, 2 bars with hot bartenders, sexy private booths with curtains and a funky fireplace. The combination of glass, white and dark coloured walls, a mirrored specials board and autumn leaves on the floor gives Zeta a sophisticated but not overdone look. Very posh indeed, but not overwhelming or intimidating like some other high end bars where you always feel like you're not dressed up enough. As in drinks - the bartenders mixed up some heavenly concoctions from an amazing cocktail list; everything sounded yum, looked yum, and definitely was.

My Passionfruit and Almond Rocks. My pampered soul is already begging for more.

Sanam's Rockmelon and Pistachio cocktail, with pistachio sorbet.

The cocktails were pure awesomeness, and the place is perfect for a fancy but relaxed night out; if you just received your paycheck and want to indulge yourself, you know where to go.

After Nic finished his "gig", Sanam and I went to Crystal Bar. (We wanted to go somewhere more "affordable"; Crystal wasn't exactly the case, but well.) She went to their Boudoir show that they have every Saturday night and loved it, so I wanted to see what that place looked like too. Located in the basement of the GPO building, Crystal is this vintage-y bar with stone walls, heavy curtains, large mirrors, private booths and dark red-pinkish lighting. The crystal wall behind the bar was hot pink, and the drinks that the bartender mixed up for us were pretty hot too. He offered to prepare something to our preferences as the menu was getting changed, and pampered me with this nutty (Frangelico), fruity (strawberry and raspberry) improvisation. It was named either Nicki Nutcracker or Knick Knack after me - I forgot which one got chosen. :)

The night ended a little less posh but not with less fun with me meeting up with Polly and her boyfriend Sakhil, who just came back from the States after a 6-week vacation. We all were in such good mood and spent the rest of the night looking for the place to party. After several locations and drinks we decided to go back home - there's nothing better than to chill at our place in Manly.

Love is in the air.