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Dear Vegans, Thank you!

19 May

I feel the need to write on a topic that has increasingly been on my mind. Several people I used to love to listen to on the radio – Lindsay “The Doctor” McDougall and Marieke Hardy are both vegans. When they were hosting the breakfast show on JJJ they used to speak often about their vegan ways, including the fact that Marieke began her vegan journey because of her friendship with Lindsay. I recall them talking of bringing vegan cupcakes into the workplace for one another. I’m sorry – but the thought of anything tasty and sweet and vegan would make me cringe. How can something devoid of dairy or eggs be as wonderful as they raved?

Since then I have been overcome with the gorgeous treats of Raw & Peace a wonderful stall at Brisbane’s wonderful Northey Street Organic markets. Every Sunday without fail my brother and my friend S all make sure we don’t miss out on our weekly amazing treat from her stall. She makes our mouth water a night ahead of the Sunday markets – a sample of the wonders we’ve had: Vanilla Slice, Custard Tarts, Black Forest cake cheesecake and yesterday – Choc Caramel Tart! I just had a mouthful left over from yesterday so after my lunch I savoured each small spoonful.
Each Sunday the three of us can be found gushing over Ames and trying to decide which treat will be making its way home with us. Or not, as the case may be. Sometimes we just hurl our raw vegan delicious tidbit onto a plate and gobble it up.

Since discovering the wonders of vegan sweets I’ve come into contact with a few vegan peeps and I have developed an appreciation for them They have such a zeal for food and adapting common dishes to suit them. I don’t get the feeling that they are missing out – they are so imaginative and are constantly seeking fresh good clean food. Trawling through vegan blogs I find so many ideas I want to try.

Now now, it doesn’t mean I permanantly want to put down the t-bone steak and pick up the tofu, but I do have a whole lot of respect for these vegans now and their ways with food. And I admire so much the wonders they do with sweeties. Bring on the raw treats!

This article about Marieke’s veganism is fantastic!

Everyday I Write The Book

8 Feb

Welcome back! It’s been a little while. Sorry – downtime in Sydney. Which was absolutely loverly! And it has caused me to need some downtime in Brisbane. That’s the offset of holidays. Needing time to recuperate.

Sydney was swell. Last Wednesday started off extremely early for S and I, as our lift to the airport had to cancel last minute (and when I say last minute, I received her message at 3.24am!) and so we dashed to the airport earlier than expected with S’ husband. All the early morning rush was forgiven when we got on the plane, exhaled and waited for the descent.
Sydney was grey, cool and muggy. We were just relieved to find it cooler and less rainy than Brisbane. Yay.
We met up with M and the fun began! Wednesday we headed to the city after a refreshing cup of tea. Chinatown was the first goal for a big bowl of this:

Pork and wonton soup
YUM! Taste explosion! Especially coupled with extra chilli and Asian vinegar. Then onto getting brows sorted out at the Brow Bar in Myer. Gotta look good for Elvis!

Elvis Costello in lights

After a much needed  break at a cute bar near the venue, M and I made our way to the venue. Giddy with excitement we took photos of our excitement faces against the art deco glass doors, and made our way to our seats. What a great night! Elvis and band were fantastic. They played many of my favourites including Radio Radio, Alison, Indoor Fireworks, Pump it Up. And he ended with a devastating and beautiful version of She. The song that made me first fall in love with him. I’ve only heard it once before live and I think this version with just Elvis with his microphone, and Steve Nieve on keys was the most touching. I’m so glad I got to catch the Theatre show on this tour of Australia. It corresponded perfectly with my Sunday back in Brisbane at Sirromet Wines – the casual setting, the deck chair, and the ability to get up and dance. I loved both shows. Maybe the Wednesday Theatre show was a little more special. M and I have been fans of EC for ages and it was a thrill to go together, and to look across in the darkened theatre to my friend and find her smiling equally as big!

The rest of my time in Sydney consisted of lots of walking, iconic landmarks, shopping, eating, tea drinking, you know ultimate holiday-making. As always I am floored by everything that Sydney has to offer. There is just so much. And the weather dampened some of the sight-seeing we anticipated but it was more than made up with awesome food and tea! The fresh chai and the oolong were amazing!

Opera House
It took a number of days to get over the intense-ness of Sydney. What a visit – thanks M and S! I had a ball. Back into life and routine…

Edible Balcony: end of Week 1

6 Jan

Rowena's front hanging pot

Rowena's lettuces

Steph's front hanging pot

Mint and Basil
Rowena's back hanging pot

Some of the lettuces were a little frazzled with the sun and heat this week, but have a look that they might be recovering. There has also been some good growth in the basil and tomatoes – eeeeeek!!! 🙂

Journey to an Edible Balcony

1 Jan

I’ve always been pretty obsessed with plants and growing my own garden, either big or small. My next door neighbour, S and I have been talking about it for some time now. And then earlier in 2012 my friend J gifted me the book – The Edible Balcony by Indira Naidoo. It’s been inspiring. But just the last week I took the book out again and really had a good read through it. The suggestions on what to grow throughout summer indicated that Basil, Tomatoes, Mint and Lettuces would be a good start. So off to Bunnings we found ourselves on Sunday morning after organic markets and breakfasting. We returned with planter boxes and brackets so we could hang some of our containers off the side of the stairs, organic soil, plants, fertiliser, and tools of the trade.

We did underestimate the amount of soil we needed, and we were short a few pots, but after a second trip to Bunnings we are set. My brother bought some pots and flowers to brighten the front of our little unit too. It’s now all planted and positioned for what we hope will be a optimum results.

Step 1 of the process

Step 1 of the process


The suspects

The suspects


Empty tubs


The result

The result


Let’s hope 2013 is a good year for produce! I’m super excited to see how much food we can yield!!

Hello WA!

3 Dec

It has all been top secret for such a long time but finally the secret trip is a secret no longer! WA is the destination. I’m back in the southwest in the Parental home. Yesterday was a big day of travel, excitement, screaming, laughter and a few incredible reunion moments, including one with one of my bestest friends, Em and both lots of parents. Her parents had no idea!! Em was a little worried that she was going to give her mum a heart attack but despite a massive shock for both her parents they were ecstatic!! Ditto for my other friend A whom Em and I surprised at a dinner later that evening!!!! Best day ever!!


16 Sep

There has been much talk between myself and long-time friend Michelley about starting a Liver Cleanse. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned buddy system to keep you motivated. Then came the wonderful idea by Michelley to blog about our cleanse – all the recipes we try, and the foods that are keeping us interested and free of temptation.

And now I’m pleased to present – Rinsky and Michelley Cleanse the Day! You can find the blog and all the details here. I hope you can visit!

Gigs, Books, Drinks and Admissions

8 Sep

The week of relaxation continues. Thursday night was the Brand New Heavies gig at the Hifi in West End. My crew got to the venue very early indeed but the wait time wasn’t too tedious at all. In the end there was quite a few that joined us and we ended up with a really good position, dead centre, front row. I love that kind of nearness to the action. Although sometimes when you realise the musicians can see you clearly it can be a little gruelling to maintain eye contact.
I love that the band is just a bunch of people trying to make a living doing something they clearly love. They were having fun on stage, despite the issues they were having with sound. You could also see the exasperation on their faces as well. I still had a great time. Especially laughing with my friend S about the glam rock member of the band, Simon Bartholomew on guitar. He looked a little out of place but was clearly loving every moment of it, especially to show off his T-Rex moves and great 80s hair. We danced the whole night and got involved. It was a great night out.

Yesterday I got to the Writers Festival after some detours at about 11.30. The State Library was buzzing. You had to fight to get yourself through the swarms of people. I had a look through the bookshop – too much to tempt me there. Then I realised the line for my first session was already growing steadily – so I joined the queue. First up: As I Was Saying with Robert Dessaix. When I read my program back in July he immediately peaked my interest. A charming man, very humble writing about the ‘ordinary’ things in life is how he describes himself. I’m now eager to get my hands on some of his writing.
I ducked to West End in my break for Vietnamese soup and a beer which was a lovely interlude, and then back to the action. Lining up for Books to Box Office – a large panel discussion with publishers, an agent, screenwriters and producers. It was an intriguing discussion – particularly hearing the publishers pitch two books each to the producers. I was just about to leave that and go track down a coffee, but instead as we exited the room there we were presented with a table full of drinks and later free food. So I stuck around. In the line for Books to Box Office I got talking to the guy in front of me. He told me he had written and published a book and he was eager to talk to some of the producers about getting it on screen. Amongst other things he told me he had split from his first wife and after the pain had gone he realised he had been so stressed out that he was constipated and after the stress left him, he returned to normal. It’s not what I was expecting to hear. TMI buddy.

So today – I have two sessions I want to get along to: Why I Read What I Read as I’m always interested in hearing what inspires authors. And Welcome To Normal with Nick Earls. Nick is just so charismatic and funny I love to get along to anything he is involved with.
Tonight my brother and I are going to The Great Debate – Reading The Bible Is Good For You. I can’t wait to see Germaine Greer and Bob Katter on the same side of panel!

Big Week

3 Sep

This week is going to be HUGE!!!

What I have booked in so far: Tomorrow is my last working day of the week.  Tuesday evening I won a free double pass to go see a documentary as part of the Israeli film festival ‘Incessant Visions’. Wednesday I get to hang with good friend S which will involve a nice lunch and some pampering. British funk band Brand New Heavies at the Hifi on Thursday night. Friday Saturday and Sunday are set aside for Brisbane Writers Festival immersion.  It’s going to be packed to the brim with goodies. Waaaaahhhhh!!! I can’t wait!

Here’s To Feeling Good All The Time!

21 Aug

I’ve referred to liver cleansing on previous blog posts. Every now and again I like to get into them, set myself the goal of a strict eating plan over eight weeks. The first few days are usually torture but pretty soon you realise why you loved doing it so much. You feel better, healthier and you have heaps more energy. Last time I started the journey I had a real sense that I would like it to continue. And when I say continue, I mean make it a way of life.

So I did the eight weeks, and then allowed myself two weeks to gorge myself on all the things I had been going without . The plan at that point was to plunge right back in and then start afresh. Unfortunately that was a bad plan. I failed. So it’s been quite some time between cleanses. This time I have cleanse buddies – two good friends. S, who is my next-door neighbour. And M who is currently living down in Sydney.

It’s perfect having cleansing buddies. I feel so much more inspired and less likely to break! So day II is now over and despite having 3.30pm sugar cravings really bad all things are on track. So far the things that are inspiring me to keep going are avocado, and hummus with carrot sticks. Store-bought hummus will never cut it again. I have been blending up my own and it’s amazing!

Elegant quaffing

19 Apr

Oh how much this wine label cracks me up! Creamy and acidic?