a snowy winter wonderland…
Posted in amsterdam, photographers January 31st, 2010 by pia

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While I’ve been sunning it up down under, I have been missing out on what has most likely been the prettiest winter in Amsterdam for years. In the last couple of months it has unusually snowed in my new hometown countless times, leaving a nice thick blanket over the cobblestoned streets, parked bicycles, canals and houseboats, creating incredible picture-perfect scenes…

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To say I’m envious of all who have witnessed these snowfalls is an understatement. I adore snow – always have and always will (I’ve survived a number of Quebec winters in my younger years and loved each and every freezing moment) – and to know that I have missed something so unique and spectacular is fairly heartbreaking. Of course I know that so much snow and slippery ice brings chaos to such a city but still, it’s one of those natural phenomenons that continually manage to surprise and delight me. Unfortunately the snow has stopped falling and the Amsterdam that I will go back to in a week’s time will most likely be the rainy, dark, and very cold one I’ve come to know so well.

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But the good news is that my dear friends have been taking the most beautiful photos of their outings when the snow appears and emailing them to me. Their photos make me smile every time so I thought I’d share some with you…

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All these gorgeous images are courtesy of photographers Cath Conroy and Alan Jenson. Thank you so much Cath and Al! You are both super lucky to have had this experience, and your first ever winter in Amsterdam to boot.

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Stunning. Hope you’ve all enjoyed these images as much as I have. Cath and Al, I promise to pack a bit of sunshine in my suitcase for you.

xx

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impromptu meet up & booksigning: berkelouw books, newtown!
Posted in (blog)house news, paris: made by hand, sydney January 27th, 2010 by pia

IMG_3374.JPGphotograph of berkelouw books newtown cafe by the fat belly club

I have less than two weeks left here in Sydney and I really wanted to meet as many of you as possible. So, I’ve organised an impromptu meet up & booksigning next thursday february 4, between 5:30pm-7:30pm at the new and gorgeous newtown berkelouw books ! Anyone can come along, you can buy your own refreshments at the cafe and we can just chat, or if you have a paris: made by hand you would like signed bring it along, or if you’d like a brand spanking new one for a friend or yourself, berkelouw books will have a nice fat stack, just for the occasion…

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I’m thinking it will be a small affair, nothing fancy, just a nice location to mingle and get to meet. What do you think?  Please pass the word along on your blogs if you are based in Australia or Sydney, and I really hope you will come along. Don’t be shy (I’m shy too, so that will make at least two of us!). Email me if you have any questions. And a big thank you to Newtown Berkelouw Books for having us.

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Save the date: Thursday,  February 4, between 5:30pm-7:30pm Newtown Berkelouw Books. See you there!

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Posted in books, food, stylists, sydney January 27th, 2010 by pia


Do you remember English lass Rachel Khoo? She’s one of the young and talented food stylists I’ve featured here in the (blog)house kitchen many moons ago. I met Rachel in Paris in 2008 when she was studying at Le Cordon Bleu. Back then she was flitting around Paris as a food stylist for the likes of Elle à table and Galeries Lafayette,  creating fun workshops in the gorgeous little bookstore La Cocotte, and regularly cooking up a storm of new recipes.

Today, I am very happy to hear she’s coming to Sydney this March to host one of her  fabulous “underground” culinary evenings with her food + design writing friend Frankie

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From penal colony to gold rush eldorado, to sun and surf mecca, British gals Rachel and Frankie interpret the tastes and influences of past and present Australia over a six course dining experience.  Rachel has been hosting a few of these underground dinners in London and Berlin over the past year with great success, and she’s super excited to be coming to Australia.

The edible immigration tales will be told for 3 nights only (Friday 12th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th March) in a secret Eastern Suburbs Sydney location. It will be 6 courses paired with wine and a recommended donation of $75 pp will be very appreciated. Seats are limited.  In order to book you can email Rachel and Frankie directly or click here for more details.

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In more R.Khooks news (geez I love to hear about my (blog)house guests incredible achievements!), her first and super gorgeous book has just been released today. It’s called muesli et granola maison -which translates as “homemade muesli and granola” – and is published by marabout, with photography by akiko ida and beautiful prop styling by elodie rambaud. Here is a rather exclusive sneak peek inside…

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miam, non? I love muesli and making anything muesli related, especially muesli bars. And with that perfect touch of french style, who can resist.

Congratulations Rachel! Have a fab time in Sydney (and try not to get too many colours like I have done, it’s really not so pleasant).

xx

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yesterday…
Posted in australia, personal, pia's photos January 27th, 2010 by pia

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…french boy and I swam in the ocean, bayside; sipped champagne; played crib in the shade of a eucalypt tree; ate chocolate; watched boats decorated with australian flags pass by; got muddy feet from walking through a small mangrove forest; and got colours, albeit a little too many.

Yesterday was my birthday. I share it with Australia. But sometimes on my birthday, I like not to share at all.

xx

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author: kate morton…
Posted in library January 23rd, 2010 by pia

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I’ve never been that much of a fiction reader, nor have I ever really been a follower of an author, but now, I am both. I’ve just finished reading both of Kate Morton’s books – The Forgotten Garden and The Shifting Fog (a.k.a The House at Riverton) and thoroughly enjoyed them. I am eagerly awaiting the release of her third book.

Kate’s a great story teller. Her writing style is so visual and descriptive without going overboard (nothing worse than an over-described inanimate object like a hairbrush or blade of grass, in my opinion). My favourite of the two is The Forgotten Garden. I was also pleasantly surprised to read that Kate is Australian, and this particular book is partly set in southeast Queensland.

If like me you love period settings and antiquated interiors then you will probably immerse yourself in these books as much as I did – perfect holiday or “down time” reading.

Enjoy!

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