Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas karma

Christmas must be coming...how do I know?  Because for the first time in over eight years of living here, a Christmas beetle came to visit us yesterday.  We found him on our front porch keeled over on his back trying to right himself.  We turned him over and marvelled at his beautiful metallic green colour before taking turns holding him in the sunlight when he suddenly took off into the blue horizon - go little beetle!  I hope it's a sign of good things to come - apparently beetles symbolise karma, spirituality and creativity.
Our Christmas beetle who came to visit (above)
I feel like I've been waiting a long time for Christmas this year as much as I have been busy right until the very end.  I have friends and family who are working until Christmas Eve and if this is you, then I am feeling for you.  I hope you've managed to buy all your presents and get yourself organised for the big day.

If you've had a good year, then it's time to feel very grateful and blessed for the opportunities that have come your way and all that you have.  If you are in good health, have a roof over your head, enough money to pay your bills and put food on the table and enjoy the love of your friends and family - then you are very lucky indeed.  My thoughts this year are with those in my circle who have lost members of their family, those who've battled life-threatening illness and one poor unfortunate friend who has had multiple woes on a number of different fronts - I think this has been her annus horribilis in the words of the queen.
As for me, I'm going to have a little break to rest, re-charge and re-set for what is looking like a very big year in 2017.  If you're into numerology at all, it's a number one year which marks the beginning of a whole new nine year cycle, which I like the sound of.  I wanted to thank everyone who reads this little blog of mine - readership is currently at an all time high as I've cracked the 10,000 page views mark.  While for me it's never been about how many people read Miss Rosanna but more about the quality of people who read this blog, it's been reassuring to know there are lots of thinking people out there - I hope you've found this helpful (and entertaining!).

I would also like to thank my sponsor this year, the lovely Nikki Ellis from Cinch PT who has recently celebrated her birthday.  Mr Rosanna and I have unfortunately fallen off the exercise bandwagon so will be back in her studio in the new year, if not before.  I will also be back in the new year with a brand new look.  After six years, I thought it was time!  I believe that's a wrap for this year people - have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2016

In a galaxy far, far away...

Mr Rosanna and I took the kids to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the big screen in 3D at IMAX Melbourne on the weekend and it was Awesome with a capital A!  While The Force Awakens was more a tribute to the past, this prequel story to the original Star Wars (A New Hope) was an entirely different thing incorporating another female lead, a truly international cast including our very own Ben Mendelsohn as one of the baddies, a very funny Droid as well as amazing CGI effects to join all the dots.  We loved it and may see it again at the movies while it's still on - something we've never done before.  If you're sci fi geeks like us, then you'll be in movie heaven.  If you do see it at IMAX, book discounted car parking online before you go in.
The other thing Mr R and I got up to over the weekend was last minute Christmas shopping and grocery buying at Leo's in Heidelberg.  We parked in Burgundy Street and grabbed coffees at Rocket cafe before going in to do a very big shop.  I noticed too that there's a new (old) cafe The Alleyway Heidelberg about to open - it's the old Green Orange cafe in between the Italian tailors and Cafe Matto (before the alleyway to the car park) which suffered fire damage a few months ago and is currently being renovated.
Leo's is more expensive than the other local supermarkets - I daresay because it has more gourmet and premium food offerings than our locals including beautifully packaged imported foods from far away places.  I got sucked into buying this Dutch apple spread (below) just for the container, which reminded me of Christmas - have I ever eaten Dutch apple spread?  No - but I made some of my fellow customers laugh in the aisle as I weighed it all up.  And in case you're wondering, it's actually a sandwich spread which tastes a bit like golden syrup but with a denser consistency.  Still, what about that packaging - hey?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Life is a circus

I'm slowly dragging myself to the finish line for this year and it's not over yet...I'm feeling pretty foggy today after a number of Christmas celebrations this week including dinner out last night at Red Spice Road (McKillop Street not QV) with a couple of my ex-Telstra work colleagues.  I'd been told to have the pork belly which was delicious and we also tried the prawn with coriander and lime starter along with bigger shared dishes that included the ocean trout and mixed greens finished off by sharing a mille feuille with banana and chocolate.  Needless to say, I staggered out close to midnight feeling pretty full.  It was loud and crowded when we got there around 7.30pm - I did love the David Bromley artwork and the retro soundtrack playing that included Simple Minds and Blondie.
I've had a much quieter day today including a visit to my hairdresser in East Kew.  It's a lovely little pocket if you're ever in the area and today I popped my head in to the relatively new homewares shop on the corner called Flatiron Melbourne.  I loved the Art Deco building that it's housed in and there were some lovely clothes and homewares for sale.
Image via Craft Victoria
There are a couple of other interesting markets on this weekend if you're still on the hunt for presents including the Take It Easy Christmas Market in Brunswick and the Craft Victoria Christmas market at 1000 Pound Bend.
Image via Santa's Break Down Under Facebook page
Meanwhile for something different my friend Matt Hills from Urban Cirque is involved with Santa's Break Down Under open air family circus show complete with food trucks at Coburg Velodrome, which starts tonight if you're a local.  There's not long to go and I hope you are getting there as well...
Image via Santa's Break Down Under

Monday, December 12, 2016

Divide and conquer

Mr Rosanna and I actually went Christmas shopping together today - the first time in many years and I know couples who get their kids minded while they do the same together as a unit.  While online shopping can be a real boon especially for those who are time-poor, house bound or live in remote areas - I do prefer shopping in the real world when I have the time.  And while I'm not a big fan of shopping malls in comparison to markets - they do have their advantages and we're lucky to have a choice of Westfield Doncaster, Northland and Eastland if you live anywhere near here.  My hairdresser Vicky used to prefer Eastland before it was renovated as it was relatively quiet however I'm tipping it would be just as busy as the others now!
Speaking of online stores, the amazing blogger and fashionista Estelle Michaelides (above) has launched a new retail venture - the You are your style website and it has some fabulous things from local designers.  You can take the girl out of fashion but you can't take fashion away from the girl!  I hope she gets lots of people dropping by and I'm already in love with a few key pieces like the Imperial Kimono jacket and Mandala bags.
Image via Eltham Twilight Market Facebook page
Christmas is almost upon us - the Eltham Twilight Market is on this Thursday night while the Ivanhoe Makers Market is on this Saturday and the Heide Makers Market on Sunday.  The 2016 Carols by Candlelight Manningham are being held this Friday night while the Warrandyte Community Carols are being held on Saturday.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Are we there yet?

Almost but not quite...while I'm still having to concentrate on work, my body has started winding down and I don't know about you, but I've started to feel pretty weary.  Sickness in our household (thankfully not me this time) has curtailed some of our social activities but I'm actually glad as it's been quite liberating to delete things from our calendar at this time of year!
Image via Tarrawarra Museum of Art
Having said that there are some really lovely things on at the moment.  The Wizard of Oz at the Heidelberg Theatre Company starts today and I think it would be a great show for kids.  The Tarrawarra Museum of Art in Healesville is also holding its Open Weekend with free entry if you're interested in heading out there while closer to home Carols by Candlelight is being held tomorrow night at Ivanhoe Park.  I hope the weather holds given our school carols night was cancelled this week.
Image via Small Axe Kitchen
Besides work, I managed to catch up with my ex-client Pat Mackle from Avant Card earlier this week and we had a fantastic brunch at Small Axe Kitchen in Brunswick sitting outside sharing a couple of sardine and eggplant dishes which were delicious!
Image via Lonely Planet
I really should be finishing my Christmas shopping but have needed to get myself organised on the home front as well as just relax on the back of being quite tired.  Gift vouchers for experiences are always a great idea as well as some of the more arty gifts you can buy at the Heide Store, Montsalvat and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.  Bulleen Art and Garden are selling living Christmas trees which are a wonderful idea and also have a Christmas exhibition currently showing in their Bolin Bolin Gallery.  Lonely Planet also do some great kids travel books if you are hitting the road, seas or skies this Christmas.
Watermelon bow tie by OTAA
I'm working at the moment with a very stylish colleague Pio and he's given me a number of tips for the men in my life including a number of online men's accessories and bicycle brands including OTAA, Happy Socks and 4SHAW.  As well as this, we've also been buying business gifts from The Daily Edited.  I hope you may be more progressed along the path than me this Christmas!  Have a great weekend...not long to go.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A local story space

I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago by Jenni Mazaraki who I recently profiled on Miss Rosanna and her lovely post on me is now up on her blog - you can read about my local story space here.  It was an interesting experience to be the subject instead of the interviewer - something that I'm not completely comfortable with given I'm often the observer although I hope you can't tell in my story which is both online and available on Soundcloud as an audiocast. My thanks to Jenni once again for featuring me on her blog - look out for her name on the Creative Women's Circle blog, where she's just been appointed as a contributing blogger.
Local Story Space blog
With family birthday celebrations now out of the way, I've turned my mind to finishing my Christmas shopping.  The Ivanhoe Christmas Shopping event is being held on the 8 & 9 December, while the Sisters' Market in Brunswick is being held the 9 & 10 December with Markit@FedSquare on 11 December.
Markit@FedSquare image via Twitter
If you're in the mood for celebrating, the very popular Puesta del Sol (food, drinks & music poolside at sunset) at Montsalvat starts on 8 December while the Boulevard Lights in Ivanhoe start on 10 December - remember to avoid the Burke Road freeway exit while it's on.
Puesta del Sol image via Montsalvat
I'm now starting catch ups with friends and family in the lead up to the big day and I hope you are taking care of yourself at this time of year - it can be the most wonderful time of year if you're in a good place but a more difficult time, if things haven't gone so well or if you're not happy with where you're life is at.  Remember your own power, and part in things, and try not to compare yourself to anyone else.  In the words of Stephanie Dowrick - every day is a new beginning and not just limited to this time of year.