Archive for month: September, 2011

Flavours of Malaysia Festival & Master Class with Wanitha

29 Sep
September 29, 2011

I love Malaysian food.  I mean, what is there not to love?  Simple, honest food with spice.  Lucky for us Sydneysiders there are quite a few Malaysian foodie events happening over the next couple of weeks.

The Grace Hotel in Sydney is currently holding a Flavours of Malaysia Festival where award winning Malaysian chefs have been flown in to share the exotic flavours of Malaysia.  An amazing buffet of Malaysian delights awaits those wishing to head to the Grace for lunch or dinner.  They are also holding Malaysian Cooking  Master Classes with Wanitha Tanasigam.  It is this reason Josh and I find ourselves at the Grace on a rainy old Sunday in Sydney.  Read more →


R U OK? Some days I am & some days I’m not

15 Sep
September 15, 2011

When I woke up this morning I had no idea I would be writing this post, actually I am a little apprehensive about it.  Talk about bearing one of your inner most darkest secrets.

If you weren’t aware today is R U OK day.   A great concept, it starts conversation about depression.  Social media has been overrun today with people shouting out R U OK?  It is raising awareness and people are talking about depression.  This is fantastic in my eyes as 15 years ago nobody talked about it.  It was taboo, shoved under the carpet and most definitely not understood by the majority.

Depression has been a very close friend of mine, from about the age of 13.  So you could say we have been best buddies for about 30 years now.  I think most people that have a close and personal relationship with depression will agree with me, only those that have been there truly understand what you go through on a daily basis.  Yes those closest to you, that are passengers on your journey can relate, but they never truly understand.

So for me there is one little flaw in R U OK day.  If you were to turn around right now and ask a person who suffers depression if they were okay, I can guarantee you the response will most probably be “I’m fine”.

This morning I noticed a few shout outs on Facebook, letting friends know that if they weren’t okay to give them a ring etc.  Sorry to say this guys, but it doesn’t work like that, somebody that may be having a dark day is not going to give you a call and have a chat about it.  For most it isn’t that easy to talk about, you have to be in the right frame of mind to do so.  So when that friend is ready to talk, please be there to listen.

I know myself it took me many years to seek help.  My push to go and do something about my depression 16 years ago was my beautiful then three year old son.  He needed his mother around, alive and functional, Josh was my trigger for seeking help.  I sought help, my family and Macs’ family supported me 100% and were there for me in any capacity that could help me.  When I reached out to friends it was a bit of a different situation and I didn’t find the support I needed there.

From that experience until now I don’t talk about my depression with people outside of my family.  Actually I don’t really talk about it, I just deal with it on a day to day basis.  Even when I am having a terrible week I rarely reach out to Mac or my closest confident Ms Lily and say, “I am having a bad week”, I should.  I think the reason for this is I want to pretend I am fine, give the image I am a confident strong business woman/mother/friend.

I know that most of you that know me personally would have had no idea of my depression.  Well, I have put it out there now and basically the world knows.  I thought today was a good day to share with you guys.  Most of you know me as bright and bubbly with a smile on my face, you wouldn’t have had a clue.  I think this alone is a very important point,  you never know who is a sufferer.

I haven’t really gone in to how depression affects me, I didn’t want to go in to too much detail.  To be honest this has been interesting to write, a little hard, a little emotional, but I wanted to share that depression is more common than thought and it affects all sorts of people from all walks of life.

My advice, parents, know your children, talk to them, spend quality time with them even if they want to retreat to their bedrooms, watch for any signs.  They will most probably not come forward, they probably don’t even understand what they are feeling themselves.  For partners and friends, arm yourself with information, take the time to talk, understand, support and basically just be there.

For more information on R U OK day and to make a donation

Another fantastic annual awareness event is the Black Dog Ride or follow them on Facebook

If you need help or want more information about depression Beyond Blue is a long running supportive organisation

Promise next post we will be back to the subject of food.

Sara xxx






High tea with Stephen Twining a new Aussie blend

13 Sep
September 13, 2011

Exciting news, Australia finally has its own tea blend, Australian Afternoon Tea,  thanks to Twinings.

Earlier this year Twinings set a challenge for 40 Australian celebrities to create their own perfect Australian Afternoon Tea blend.  Blending packs were sent out and our Aussie celebrities blended away.  The final results were sent over to London for assessment by a Twinings expert panel.

The top five celebrity blenders were; Radio Broadcaster Alan Jones, TV Personality Kerri-Anne Kennerley and her husband John, Singer John Williamson, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Champion Surfer Layne Beachley.  It was then up to the public to vote for the winning blend, around 85,000 Australians ended up voting.

Stephen Twining

A high tea at the Observatory Hotel was the perfect setting to announce the winning blend, and Stephen Twining, 10th generation Twining Ambassador was in Australia to make that announcement.  It was for this reason I found myself sitting down for a friendly tête â tête with Stephen over a cup of Russian Caravan before the event.  The drawing room of The Observatory Hotel is absolutely stunning, very much the parlour for having tea. 

Stephen is the perfect example of an immaculately groomed English gentleman, with a manicure that puts my fingernails to shame.  Actually the manicure makes perfect sense, I am sure that every time he picks up a cup of tea people would be focusing on his hands. Read more →

New Mad Mex on George St Sydney & VIP Party

08 Sep
September 8, 2011

The 12th and newest restaurant in the Mad Mex franchise opens today.  A great location on George Street opposite Central Station in Sydney.  It should prove to be very popular with the local backpackers, UTS and Sydney TAFE students.

When I received the invitation a few weeks ago to attend the VIP opening party, it was pretty much a no brainer on us going.  Josh was keen and eager, especially after his victory over the 1Kg Mad Mex burrito challenge a few months ago. Read more →

The Apprentice – Weird Food Dinner

06 Sep
September 6, 2011

I think I generally have a pretty awes­­ome food radar.  I generally have my finger on the pulse and know what is going on around town.

Hmmm, *cough cough*, radar went down……….  Thanks to the Globetrotter, or actually a work colleague of the Globetrotter’s,  I found myself at the Weird Food Dinner held at The Apprentice.  A special dinner held as part of the Ultimo Science Festival.

Not heard of The Apprentice?  Firstly, no, you haven’t missed an important piece of foodie news.  Donald Trump has not started up a restaurant in Sydney manned by those that were fired from his TV shows.  The Apprentice is a licensed training restaurant for people studying Commercial Cookery and the Food and Beverage Certificates at Sydney Institute (TAFE). Read more →