Sunday, 4 November 2018

Birds and Birthdays

I hosted a Wasband family lunch today that I decided on Thursday would be a good idea to do and like many people, I like things to be 'nice' for my guests.  Yesterday, the Cowboy and I cleaned, just weekly cleaning, vacuuming, bathrooms that sort of thing.  I planned my dish, a quiche, wrote a shopping list and did the shopping. By the time I got into bed last night, I was feeling confident that all was in order and all I had to do in the morning was get up, wrap gifts, write cards, make the quiche and set the table all nice. Oh, and make me look all nice. Organised, right?

Vintage Vibes - that sticker on the plant really irritates me though!
I came downstairs at 9am after having showered and made the bed. I opened the curtains and that is where it all went wrong. Horribly wrong. Dreadfully wrong. Sickeningly wrong. Lying under the coffee table, on the thick shaggy rug was a bird. A dead bird. In pieces. Big pieces. Small pieces. Feather pieces. Other pieces. The Cowboy had left earlier for a day of motor racing so he was of no earthly use to me. I didn't know what to do; I am terrified of birds, even dead ones, in pieces. I took the most sensible option I could think of and simply left the house. I went to Mitre 10 and bought coffee and a plant for the table and hoped that when I got home the bird would be magically gone, a mere figment of my imagination. Alas, no. It was still there. In pieces. What to do. I donned my bright green dishwashing gloves and carefully, avoiding looking at the carnage as much as I could, picked up the many remains of the dead bird. Then I scrubbed the thick shabby rug with disinfectant, every which way the pile went. I then sprayed a disinfectant spray. Everywhere. All over the rug and a pathway of carpet from the rug to the cat door in the garage. Might I add not a cat to be seen. Guilty! Then I cooked and set the table and did not get to make myself look nice. By the time the family guests arrived, I was very frazzled looking. Just normal really!
Anyway, in the end, it was all lovely. I hosted the lunch because it is Amah's birthday tomorrow, she is a Guy Fawkes baby and is a cracker! See what I did there - haha. I have talked about Amah before. She is the Wasband's grandmother making her the Princess's great-grandmother. She is called Amah because when the Wasband was a little boy he couldn’t say, Grandma, he called her Amah and it stuck. We all call her Amah; even my Mum calls her Amah.  Amah turns 92 tomorrow and she is truly remarkable. I have probably said this before as well! She has survived so many major health complications and she now has Motor Neurone Disease. Her social life is better than any of us, she still does cross-stitch, uses Facebook, texts better than most of us and can get a leg up, up I say, not over ;-) Amah has the best giggle, it's infectious and we all love her.

My birthday gift made by Aunty Eileen.
The back
Even though this lunch was to celebrate Amah's birthday, we had a bit of a backlog of birthday gifts to exchange.  I got my October birthday gifts from Amah and Aunty Eileen & Unca Neil.  I gave Aunty Eileen hers (we share our birth date) and the Wasband got his September birthday gift from Amah and Aunty Eileen & Unca Neil. It was a bit like Christmas with all the gift exchanging going on!
Lunch was divine, I made a Chelsea Winter Self-Crusting Spinach and Feta quiche, Eileen made Pasta and Smoked Chicken salad and Potato and Bacon salad and the Wasband brought along beautiful crusty bread.  We finished with a birthday cake made by Eileen, I can’t remember the name of the cake, a type of sponge cake anyway, with pretty icing. I'm not a big cake eater but it was really good.
The guests have now gone home, I've cleaned up, the Princess is studying (NCEA Exams) and the cats have skulked inside to their food bowl and are now sitting at my feet. Under the coffee table. The crime scene. Cruel, murderous little creatures!

Amah gave me this heart.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Leaders in Heels

Leaders in Heels
If you know me, you will know that I love planning and lists, so much that I blogged about it back here.

Part of the pleasure in the planning and list making process is, of course, having the just right diary, planner, journal or notebook to inspire the process. The just right book is such a personal thing and something I often agonise over at the end of each year, sometimes visiting several stores in my quest to find that just right book.

I recently spent a great deal of time online looking for an organisational system that would suit the many facets of my day to day life that when I came across Leaders in Heels.

It goes without saying that I was immediately attracted to the whole prettiness of the Leaders in Heels website and felt that Kasia, the owner of the site spoke to me directly through the motivational and empowering messages on the site. I really, really liked the layout of the planners, journals and notebooks, the different schemes available and that you can have your books monogrammed! That's right MONOGRAMMED, just like your towels and bed linens!
Phenomenal Woman Planner

I bookmarked the website, subscribed to the mailing list and started following Leaders in Heels on Instagram. Kasia posts the best motivational messages for women and uses the best graphics!

You couldn't possibly imagine my excitement, well maybe you could, when I found out that Kasia was developing an affiliate partnership programme just as I was ready to launch my online shop! I applied to become an affiliate and lucky, lucky me, my application was accepted.

Make Your Mark set

I'm really looking forward to using the Make Your Mark set, monogrammed of course darling!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

All about Carpet Bags

Velvet Carpet Bag
Yesterday I gave you a little history lesson on the origin of the word 'lingerie'. Today, to continue with educating you, you're welcome, here's a little lesson on Carpet Bags.

The carpet bag was invented as a type of baggage light enough for a passenger to carry, like a duffel bag, as opposed to a wooden or metal trunk, which required the assistance of porters. It was a good travelling companion: in 1886, the Scientific American described it as old-fashioned and reliable: the carpet bag "is still unsurpassed by any, where rough wear is the principal thing to be studied. Such a bag, if constructed of good Brussels carpeting and unquestionable workmanship, will last a lifetime, provided always that a substantial frame is used." Its use implied self-sufficiency: in Jules Verne's 1873 novel Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg and Passepartout bring only a carpet bag as luggage, which holds a few items of clothing and a great deal of cash.

Carpet bags used to be made of Oriental rugs or the Brussels carpet referred to above, meaning one with "a heavy pile formed by uncut loops of wool on a linen warp". Carpet was the chosen material because it was a popular domestic accent piece and the "remainder" pieces were easily bought. In a sense, the carpet bag was a sustainable invention because it used remnants of materials which otherwise would have gone unused.

Carpet bags sometimes also served as a "railway rug", a common item in the 19th century for warmth in drafty, unheated rail-cars. The rug could either be opened as a blanket or latched up on the sides as a travelling bag. From Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey in the CĂ©vennes (1879): "... my railway-rug, which, being also in the form of a bag, made me a double castle for cold nights." Wikipedia

I first read about carpet bags in my most favourite book "Gone with the Wind" and have loved the name and bags ever since. My Mum has a gorgeous carpet bag which I think she bought in Turkey. I secretly covet her bag, shoosh don't tell her!

Now not only do I love carpet bags but I love velvet, no history lesson on velvet today though, disappointing I know. So, carpet bags and velvet, velvet carpet bags. It was a given that when I found a supplier of velvet carpet bags I would stock them in my little boutique. Not only have I got carpet bags but also the most stunning velvet totes. My uni friends might remember I had a chartreuse velvet tote that I absolutely adored. Sadly the supplier didn't have bags in chartreuse. Chartreuse, such a beautiful description for a colour!

Anyway, there lies today's history lesson. Pop on over to and check out my velvet bags, a carpet bag included, they are simply divine!

Thanks for stopping by!
Rachael xo

Monday, 10 September 2018

Vintage Lingerie


The word lingerie is a word taken directly from the French language, meaning undergarments, and used exclusively for more lightweight items of female undergarments. The French word in its original form derives from the old French word linge, meaning 'linen'. Lingerie as a word was first used to refer to underwear and bras in 1922. Wikepedia

I love vintage lingerie. Actually, let's be real here, I love more than just vintage lingerie. Vintage lingerie though, it's feminine, it's pretty, it's olden day womanly.

You know, set hair, drawn on brows, Coty powder and red lips and then the lingerie, light, soft, silky, floaty.

Not at all like the anything goes today look. Not at all like my t-shirt and undies to bed look.

Perhaps I should be leading a more authentic vintage life, let me just go and powder my nose, let you just go and check out my lingerie...

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

BREAKING NEWS!!! online store has just opened its virtual doors.

Stocking gorgeous jewellery.

Stocking Mavala, Switzerland Eyelash & Brow Serum.

Stocking Mavala Switzerland nailcare products.

Gorgeous Halfmoon bags, rattan bags, straw bags and boho clothing due mid-September.

Pretty vintage clothing and linens available this week.

Thanks to the Cowboy for building my online store and to the Princess for her support and encouragement.

Please, please go and have a look...

right here, right now!

Rachael xo

Saturday, 1 September 2018


She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbour:

"Winter is dead.”

 (A.A. Milne)

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Lightning Chicken Recipe

If you have read my recent This and That blog post or follow me on Instagram you will know that I have set myself a weekly 'cook a new recipe' challenge.

One of my lovely ex-mothers-in-law, don't judge but I have had a few, suggested I try Chelsea Winter's Lightning Chicken as it is quick, easy and delicious.  She was right on all counts.

So without further ado, here is the recipe!

Lightning Chicken With Thyme Cream

Why "lightning" chicken? Because it's as quick as lightning to prepare! The trick is to make sure you get a good golden colour on the thighs when you sear them, because it's that colour that creates the flavour of the sauce - Chelsea Winter

Prep time: 5 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6


  • 1kg chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless, skin-on or skinless)
  • Neutral oil, e.g. grapeseed, for frying
  • 25g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¹∕³ cup white wine
  • ½ cups cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

To Cook:

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper, being quite generous.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a fairly high heat. When very hot, add the chicken (skin-side down if it has skin). You may need to do this in two batches – don't crowd the pan or the chicken might start stewing.
  3. Leave the chicken to fry without turning until it has turned a deep golden brown colour on one side. Turn over and brown the other side. You can turn the chicken back over a couple of times to get it looking browner and crispier. Also, the more crusty brown stuff that builds up in the bottom of the pan, the better.
  4. When both sides of the chicken are lovely and brown, set aside on a plate or roasting tray.
  5. Tip any excess oil from the pan and replace over a medium heat. 
  6. Add the butter and garlic and swish it around for 30 seconds. 
  7. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and let it bubble rapidly for about 30-60 seconds to evaporate the alcohol – it should reduce by about half.
  8. Stir in the cream and thyme, then add the chicken and any resting juices. 
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-high and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced down to a nice consistency – not too thick; it's quite a rich sauce. If it becomes too thick, simply add more cream and simmer again until you're happy with it. 
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve with steamed greens and mash, new potatoes, pasta, bulghur wheat or rice.
not the nicest plating but everyone was starving so it was a quick serve!
I didn't quite have a full tbsp of fresh thyme but aside from that, it was delicious. The Cowboy and I loved this, the Princess liked the chicken but not the sauce. The recipe made enough that the Cowboy and I also had it for dinner last night.

I sourced the recipe from here.

Rachael xo