Kapow!

Luxury may be hard to come by these days but it’s still nice to dream. Tiffany and Co has launched its T1 range of rose gold (with silver to come) jewellery (pictured below) and I’m loving the bold design representing courage, strength and optimism – tres bling! I’ve also loved their more modern HardWear collection launched a couple of years ago, which symbolises New York – a place that is doing it hard at the moment but one I still hope to visit at some future point when life returns to normal.

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Like many people, I’m now staring down the barrel of reduced pay or hours (or both), which is better than losing my job altogether. Many people are struggling financially and otherwise and I’ve been making hard choices regarding which individuals and businesses to support with the money I have as I’m sure is the case with many of you too. International students are doing it particularly hard given the situation they now find themselves in with the government putting Australians first – it’s pretty dire for those missing out on any kind of support. Beyond the health crisis, the government and big business in particular will need to lead the way out economically on the other side. We are lucky to be thinking along these lines given how well we’ve been able to contain the coronavirus, buying ourselves time to prepare and plan. Interesting to see some of the opposition’s comments this week criticising the Chief Health Officer (which they’re fully entitled to do) but I do think now is a time for solidarity and political bi-partisanship and it’s not going to win them any favours. We all need to be playing for #TeamAustralia regardless of which way we normally swing.

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I’ve spent this week on leave de-cluttering my house. After 12 years in Rosanna, it’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate. It’s been good to distract myself and show something for my time off although there are no judgements here if you are spending your time just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s been challenging for many people who have children supervising their home schooling on top of working this first week of term 2. I still have more de-cluttering to do but I think the physical act of creating more space has been good mentally for me – it’s good to live light.

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I love linen bedset

I’ve also had a number of catch ups with friends and family – this week having a special Zoom session with over a dozen of my University friends – some of who are based interstate and overseas in Asia and Europe. It was like The Brady Bunch on steroids with each of us getting floor time to talk about ourselves – what we are doing now and how we are coping at this time. It was quite cathartic to share how we were feeling over two hours and as one friend commented, it almost felt like an outing. We will catch up again soon and it’s an incredible privilege to be in a position to do this.

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Mother’s Day is coming up and while I’m on the topic of indulgences, I am going to put linen sheets on my wish list – something I’ve never had but always wanted. I love linen do some beautiful sets and you can order free samples to check what colours look like in real life prior to making a purchase. I also bought some of Endota Spa’s Signature Blend hand and body lotion (pictured above) last year after having a treatment while on holiday and it’s been a great reminder of the spa experience using it daily at home.

A number of Melbourne’s fine dining restaurants have pivoted to takeaway including Di Stasio and Shane Delia’s Maha Go and if you have the budget, it’s a great opportunity to order delivery meals from places you wouldn’t ordinarily visit. Locally, Mercers in Eltham is also offering takeaway if you have a special occasion that you now have to celebrate at home.

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While I bought some hairdressing scissors this week and had a go at my fringe (with limited success!), my friend Jonno from Valiant Barbers in Heidelberg Heights has cautiously re-opened if you have big or little men who need a haircut and you’re prepared to risk it. Local florist French Blue Flowers on Burgundy Street has also re-opened and selling beautiful bouquets and tulip bunches. These beautiful dahlias from Club Creek Bulb Farm are also being sold for $12 a bunch (pictured above) at the Alphington Farmers Market if you’re looking for a pop of colour to cheer you up.

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For us, our luxury living in this part of the world is regular ‘forest bathing’ as a family in the secluded Banyule Flats (above) where you can still find yourself largely alone despite the number of people now visiting parks. Bliss…

To us

We celebrated our wedding anniversary this past weekend and while places like Attica and Brae are still on my fine dining wishlist, Mr Rosanna actually chose somewhere local for us to celebrate this time around.

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He took me to Mercers Restaurant in Eltham, which has been there for what seems like forever, and a place we nearly collaborated with when I was the publicist for the Light Factory Gallery for a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival food/art event that unfortunately never got off the ground.IMG_5774

Mercers is housed in an old weatherboard cottage and has a timeless, if not trendy, feel about it.  The food was excellent.  There is a degustation menu and you can choose from a two course or three course set menu – with two courses being the minimum if you eat there.IMG_5773

Mr R opted for the smoked salmon while I had the pea soup with prawns.  For mains, Mr R went the Middle Eastern-style slow cooked lamb shoulder while I had the barramundi fillet with scallops and mushrooms.  Although we barely had room, we also shared a dessert plate for two which was probably the only hit and miss – the lemon meringue and chocolate souffle were the picks of the bunch.  Having said that, the entrees and mains were something really special, beautifully presented and delicious and on par with anything I’ve eaten at fine dining establishments in the city.  There were lots of what looked like well heeled Eltham locals eating and the service, warm and attentive.  I can see why it’s so popular with nearby residents.IMG_5777

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We stopped in briefly at the Brougham Street Bazaar right next to the former Light Factory Gallery (and now Second Home Eltham cafe) on Brougham Street, which is always delightful.  I found a vintage bamboo tea caddy which is now holding my jasmine and oo long teas at home.  I hope you too had a wonderful weekend.IMG_5778