This is Our Rosebud

Okay, so not ours as in we own it. Or ours in the sense of how I was talking about Rosebud yesterday…but this is our Rosebud in that here in Victoria, Australia, down the Mornington Peninsula is a lovely little coastal town called Rosebud.

The Fashion Mister and I are fans of the Mornington Peninsula as there are some fantastic wines made in the region! Plenty of cool climate wines, Pinot Noir and Sauv Blanc and when you get to some of the flatter areas near Cape Shank and Rosebud, some really nice Shiraz too.

Originally called Banksia Point in 1850, the fishing village eventually became known as Rosebud thanks to the name of a shipwreck that was washed up on shore. After the locals cleared off all the booty from the ship, damask and household goods, the locals eventually stripped the ship of its wood to build many of the homes and buildings in town which lead to the area being called “The Rosebud” and eventually shortened to Rosebud.

Camping on the Rosebud foreshore during the Christmas and New Years holidays has become a multi-generational tradition for many Melbourne families. Some families have been camping at Rosebud for the summer holidays for four and five generations. It has become so popular that most reservations are made at least a year in advance.

So even though Rosebud may not be our Rosebud (the Fashion Mister and I), it certainly would seem to be plenty of other Aussie’s Rosebud!


What’s Your Rosebud?

Those of you who are younger probably won’t get the reference, so first a little explanation so you can share with me the answer to this question…”What’s Your Rosebud?”

Back in the early 1940s a movie called “Citizen Kane” was made. It was about the dying word of a very rich man who had become a bit of a recluse. The movie was about a reporter who was trying to find out more about the man Kane, by interviewing those who knew him. Originally, he was a poor boy living in a mining town in Colorado and as it turns out a lot of gold is found and that leads to him becoming a very rich man.

At the very end of the film, we find out the significance of “Rosebud”. Basically, it was a sled he had as a boy and represented the only time in Kane’s life that he was truly happy.

Citizen Kane - Rosebud

Citizen Kane – Rosebud

For many of us it is hard to understand going through a life of riches and most of the time being unhappy. After all, in this day and age we are driven to success and believing that money CAN buy happiness. At least my generation was taught to believe that.

I’m sure I believed it for a long time.

I don’t anymore.

I’m not sure if it is because of working in the Health Sector and seeing so many people who suffer from depression or if it is merely the result of my own aging process and learning that happiness can be found in so many other ways.

If I were to answer my own question, “what’s your rosebud,” it would be difficult because I don’t know that it would be one thing that represented my happiness. What I do know is that in the 10 plus years since I have moved to Australia, met and married the Fashion Mister and made my way closer to 50, I feel more content and thus somewhat happier every day.

I can describe for you those moments in time that I seem to be most content these days.

It’s usually when the Fashion Mister I are going for a drive on a sunny day. It doesn’t have to be warm because being in the car makes it that much nicer. The Fashion Mister is driving and right next to me. I have my face tilted toward the window and can feel the sun shining on my skin. As I watch the scenery pass by, there are rolling hills, flocks of cockatoo’s and gum trees everywhere.

Honestly, I would ride in the car for days looking out at Australia with the Fashion Mister at my side and the sun on my face.

To me, that is the happiest time of my life.

Are you surprised? Simple aren’t I?

But then like Kane, I come from gold mining country and spent 18 years in Colorado, so maybe it makes sense that I should find my happiness in such a way. Or maybe, I have just learned to be happy in the simple things.

So, I ask you…What’s your rosebud?


Second-Hand Rose

Drum roll please! As promised, today I am reveling in my status as Second Hand Rose and sharing with you the cool second boots I purchased over the weekend.

As luck would have it, the dress I chose to wear to the antique and vintage fair was not only a perfect match for the boots but also second-hand from an op-shop so the Fashion Mister and I took the opportunity for a little impromptu photo-shoot.

The Look: Well, it actually started with one of my op-shop finds – the Willow wrap dress in turquoise and brown. I had added some brown tights and was originally wearing my brown suede boots. And just for fun, I wore my hair the way I used to before I started letting the curl do its own thing. Predominately straight with bit of curl on the ends. Which meant blow drying my hair straight and curling the ends. I used to do that every day. However, I can’t be bothered with messing with it that much anymore so only occasionally do I fuss over it.

The Accessories: The star of this show is the pair of boots I found at the Antique and Vintage Fair. Not just a perfect match for the dress but a perfect match for me! Love that they are knee-high and have the very retro swirl pattern to the suede. My necklace is a vintage deco piece that I purchased on my last trip to the US but the rest of the accessories are newer items. Newer in the sense that I bought them new. I have had the Coach handbag for  about 4 years now and the bangles are just a mix of a great number that I own.

The whole point of the day was to keep everything in the brown and turquoise ranges. Luckily, the new/second-hand boots worked with that! They cost $85 and had absolutely minimal scuffing to the soles which either means they had been resoled or likely only worn once.

Did you notice they have a very disco silver/mirrored heel?!

I really do love being Second Hand Rose in my second-hand clothes.

Do you like? Or too retro for you?

You Must Remember Lana-Rose

I’m sure you do.  When I tell you more I’m sure you’ll wonder how you may have forgotten.

So tell I will. Because you must remember Lana Rose.

Today the Fashion Mister and I stopped into an antiques and collectibles show held at the Mining Exchange. Predominately because an acquaintance of ours organized it and partly because as it’s in the first year we know how difficult it can be start-up something new in Ballarat so we wanted to support the effort.

It was so completely worth it!

I left with two purchases. One a gorgeous French Art Deco mirror that will go in our bathroom once the remodeling is complete (no, it actually hasn’t even started)! The other a fantastic pair of vintage suede boots from a shop called Lana-Rose. The reason I think you must remember Lana-Rose is because I have mentioned this great little shop in a couple of other posts. One on a killer pencil skirt and my two articles on Now & Later of a full-skirted dress. Both of those pieces were new pieces with retro inspiration. What I have not yet shared with you is that half the shop has fantastic vintage clothing as well.

I hadn’t expected to see any vintage clothing at this fair and when the one that was there turned out to be Lana-Rose, it had to be a sign! After all, just over a week ago I declared it Rose Month and here was Lana-Rose. Into the stall I stepped to have a look around at all the lovely vintage pieces. I asked the adorable red-head in her vintage navy blue dress if I could take some photos and started snapping away.

The whole time the Fashion Mister stood just outside the small booth with a funny look on his face. As I walked out to see what he was up to, I suddenly knew. There, right at the front of the stall, an amazing pair of 70s knee-high suede boots with a metallic silver high-heel. They were kind of swirly patch-work mix of blue, grey and brown and an absolutely perfect match for the wrap dress I was wearing.

“Oh my god, those are fantastic,” is all I could think and must have said because the Fashion Mister said, “I was wondering if you had seen them”? I picked them up to check the size and low-and-behold, they were my size – a 9! That is nearly unheard of in vintage. So I tried them on to make sure they would fit over my abnormally large calves…and they did!

So with a price of $85, I bought them!

You’ll actually get to see them tomorrow. I know, how evil of me to hold out on you!

Today, you get a few pictures of other items at the Lana-Rose stall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can just see the top of my boots in the pic of the brown velvet dress.

If you have a chance, check out Lana-Rose.



509 Warrenheip StreetBuninyong, VIC Facebook – Lana.Rose.Chic.Boutique

Once you check out this shop, you will always remember Lana-Rose.

Monday Macarons!

Okay, so I actually made them on Sunday but am writing about them for Monday…Macarons!

Interesting thing is, usually my favourites to make are made with Rose Syrup. However, my friend Mary has given me some Kaffir Lime leaves and limes so I had to use them. I love the smell of Kaffir Limes and once you infuse it into the creamy center for macarons…YUM!

So here’s how it went.

Finished Kaffir Lime Macarons

Finished Kaffir Lime Macarons

They actually taste far better than they look!

I like to get myself organized when making Macarons. Which means the egg whites need to be aged. Usually eggs bought from the store are aged enough but if you use fresh eggs, I like to separate the whites into a bowl and let them sit covered on the counter-top for 24-48 hours. This really gets the albumin in the egg white to get more firm and creates a lighter meringue. Other keys to prep would be using silicon backing mats or silicon backing sheets. Sarah gave me some lovely ones that are marked for piping but I still tend to use the plain mats. You’ll also want a small pinch of Cream of Tartar added to your egg whites to make them nice a white. Even if you are adding colour it just helps you get a more true colour.

The tiny Kaffir Limes are extremely fragrant and it is best to do this step the day before to get the most intense flavour from them. I have had equal success using this method with the leaves after bruising them and leaving them in the cream overnight before a gentle rise in temperature.

I finely grated the Kaffir Lime into a sauce-pan. Once I had as much zest as I could get from the tiny limes I just threw the limes in too! Then I poured in some double thick cream and brought it to a low and slow temperature rise. Once the whole house smelled of lime and the mixture had turned a bit yellow I removed it from the flame. I left it to set while I was actually making the almond meringues. This allowed it to cool a bit before I strained out the lime chunks and broke up a block of cream cheese into the mix. Then I used a mixer to whip it all together. This was set aside until after the baking was done and cooled.

Tant por Tant is simply half almond meal and half icing sugar. I put it in the Thermo-Mix to make sure it is well blended and extremely fine. If I start from whole almonds, I have to make that well ahead and then allow it dry out a little because otherwise the oil from the nut makes it too pasty.

As I mentioned, be sure to put a pinch of Cream of Tartar into the egg white to get a really white and glossy finish. Before adding the first of the caster sugar to the egg make sure you have gotten it to a nice foamy consistency. I add the caster sugar in three sections just to make sure it gets well blended into the meringue.

Because liquid is an enemy of meringue, I use dry/powder food colouring. It’s getting a little easier to find but the colours are limited unless you go to a specialty store.

Once the meringue forms nice firm peaks you can begin to mix in the tant por tant. Again I do this in three parts so I don’t end up with clumps. Then it is important to macronize/mix well without over-mixing. If the meringue/dough is too firm you want to get that lovely smooth outer shell it will hold too much shape. However, if you over mix, you lose the air in the meringue and your cookie/biscuit is too flat. (Mine ended up slightly over-mixed).

Place your silicon mats onto baking trays, then pipe the mixture onto the silicon mats, remembering to leave a little room between each one because they will spread a little while waiting to go into the oven. Try to be as consistent with the sizing as possible.

To get that nice crunchy finish it is important to let the macaron mixture that you have piped out, sit for 20 minutes before putting them into the oven.

I set my oven for 160 C and usually bake for about 12 minutes. You can test to see if they are done by gently touching one of the macarons. If you can move it with your finger tip it needs to bake longer. When there is no give to a the tiniest of pressure they are ready to come out and cool.

We have stone counter-tops so I slide the silicon mats off the baking sheets to allow the macarons to cool quicker. Once they have cooled they are easy to remove from the silicon mat. As I am removing them I match them size wise into sets…mine are never all exactly the same size but I am getting better. I used to have a sheet of baking paper underneath marked with circles for the piping but as I have gotten a bit better I have stopped using it.

The Kaffir Lime mixture gets piped onto the middle of one of the two halves and then you gently rotate the other half on to make sure you get a perfectly filled and even center.

I find that if I stick them in the fridge and keep them cool that they hold up better in the warmer months.

Sometimes I add cocoa powder and chilli flakes into the Tant por Tant and do a ganache filling, or occasionally I do a jam middle of Feijoa if the tree has bloomed.

Be creative and enjoy is my motto with macarons.

Now I didn’t give you a recipe because there are three styles of making macarons, French, Italian and Spanish. They all have their slight variances. Plus there are a million recipes online. I really just wanted to make sure you knew some of the helpful hints I learned because many of them are NOT on the internet!

That’s it for Monday Macarons!


No Yellow Rose of Texas Here!

No, not in any way is there a yellow rose of Texas here.

In fact, I don’t like to wear yellow. Mustard, yes. Butter, lemon or sunshine yellow…not for me! However, I did use the thought of the yellow rose of Texas to inspire today’s look. AND I did select a scarf with a small tiny hint of yellow for the connection. However, that is pretty well where the yellow rose stops.

The reference to Texas on the other hand…that is a little more prevalent.

The Look: You may remember this skirt from my posts last year about the gypsy look or my ever-growing collection of maxi-skirts. Well now that the cold has rolled in, this skirt will be back on high rotation. I love the colours, red, orange and a watermelon blend of sixties print magnificence. Someone took the time to make it at home (I can tell from the seams and lack of tag – plus I did work in clothing manufacturing long enough to tell a factory garment). I love that this long skirt gives me a longer look. Cause you know in my mind, the longer (taller) I look then the easier it is to trick your eye into thinking I am leaner! With the sun out and a hint of blue sky today, I opted to wear one of my many cardigans, this one in a watermelon shade, as a shirt to go with the skirt.

The Accessories: I’m pretty sure you have seen all these accessories before. If not, then you are new, because I L-O-V-E each of these items and find MANY opportunities to wear them. My well-worn red cowboy boots. Definitely a staple of the winter months. My red Furla handbag, purchased while shopping in Spain. A little orange, double-wrap watch, purple “gator” bangle, one of my vintage scarves tied a-la-country around my neck, large rose-gold drop earrings and a thin orange belt at the waist.

I have pulled my hair to a low side pony-tail to finish off the tribute to Texas and the country theme.

If you are wondering about the setting, it’s the old cattle yards on the edge of town. Well, not quite the edge of town anymore which is why they have moved.

Even though my look is country inspired, I hope there is enough chic in it to keep it from being too much Country Girl. No yellow rose of Texas here please!

What do you think? Too many rose colours? Or just too girl from the sticks?

A Classic Rose

I’m sure many of you already know her…she’s a classic Rose.

Mary Rose Byrne (born 24 July 1979) is an Australian actress.


Byrne made her screen debut in 1994 with a small role in the film Dallas Doll. In 2000, she played a leading role in the Australian film The Goddess of 1967, which brought her a Venice Film Festival award for Best Actress.


Since 2007, she has played Ellen Parsons in the cable television series Damages, which has earned her two Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations. She continued playing this role until the series finale which aired in September 2012. Along with Glenn Close, she appeared in all of the show’s fifty-nine episodes. In 2011, she starred in the critically acclaimed and financially successful films Insidious, X-Men: First Class and Bridesmaids.

Rose Byrne

Rose Byrne

Just in case you don’t recognize this Rose beauty, here are a few more.

I need to stop finding all these amazing Australian Roses or I am going to develop a SERIOUS problem with my self-confidence!

However, you have to admit…this one is a classic Rose if ever there was one.


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