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Bridesmaids: movie review

July 3, 2011 4 comments

Funniest movie of the year?

Bridesmaids was a great movie; unexpectedly so. I was anticipating Hollywood same-same, but what I saw was a more mature (and simultaneously, immature) group of fantastic comedy actors blitz a script and win over a cinema full of women. I counted only seven men in the audience. The humour was face-splittingly good (although, I would issue a warning about course language and crunchy blankets… Don’t take your son with you to see it. Might be awkward.)

So, what do you do when your life is falling apart, romantic relationships seem hopeless and your best friend gets engaged and asks you to be maid of honour? What happens when you’re thrust onto a bridal party of people you don’t know, who seem alarmingly weird (the bride’s future sister-in-law), competitive in a sociopathic way (the bride’s other, newer bestie) and are otherwise wrongly-wired in a more harmless way? Well? Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper made for the funniest bridal party.

I, for one, have been on such a bridal party (although, they weren’t intentionally funny). I’d bonded to the best of my abilities with people I’d never otherwise come across in life, through strip shows and arguments over dresses, heels, hair and makeup. The movie allowed me to laugh about it, in retrospect. Call it therapy. Every girl should go through it. It’s character building.

Annie (Kirsten Wiig), is asked to be Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) maid of honour. Annie is stuck in a sex-with-no-strings-attached relationship and is privately devastated that her best friend is getting married. However, she does her best to be supportive. Unfortunately, everything she does goes horribly, horribly wrong. Some scenes are dry-wretchingly reminiscent of American Pie. Everything the new, other best friend does, trumps poor Annie’s thrifty and well-intentioned attempts.

Being Hollywood, there is a happy ending. Go see it with your best girls.

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Categories: Life, Love, Movies, Review, Sex, Uncategorized

Global Corporate Challenge (and another day at the office)

May 22, 2011 4 comments

Teamwork is something that most offices aspire to. This week, teamwork has taken on a new spirit, with gazillions of suckers, like me, putting on a pedometer and logging into a teamsite to record daily steps taken as part of a 16 week challenge.

It’s a virtual walk-around-the-world gig, which raises money for Children’s Challenge, Footprint Initiative and the Foundation for  Chronic Disease Prevention. And, I suppose, it’s good for us. Let’s not mention the fun.

Some people take it very seriously. Others, have already been caught out shaking the pedometer under their desks, which can look like something much worse (there has been an increase in loud laughing at the office, of late).

I’m up against another team, whose members ride to work, have personal trainers and are otherwise intimidated (in the nicest possible way) by the super-fit former PE teacher on staff.

Being against gratuitous exercise, I was lucky enough to get my daily count up this weekend by jiggling away at a fabulous 40th birthday party which had an 80s band until midnight. For anyone out there, with my allergy to exercise, that’s my hot tip #1: dancing to 80s music counts. Who can resist bouncing up and down to the outlandishly positive sounds of the 80s?

So, for 16 weeks, watch this space, as I explore what it means to be a good office-mate and fit global citizen. I might even start to enjoy exercise that doesn’t involve being first at the mid-year David Jones shoe sale.

Parents and teachers, take a look at the Children’s Challenge site and see if it’s something your schools could benefit from (it’s free to a limited number of applicants).

Have a great week, and try not to lock yourself in the fire escape if you’re going with the stairs instead of the lifts. That would be my tip #2.

Cookery class: chocolate hot cross buns in 3 easy steps

April 13, 2011 6 comments

It’s almost Easter, so it’s time to share my latest seasonal treat.

How do you make chocolate hot cross buns in 3 steps (and 30 seconds)? I did this at the office, because someone donated the ingredients and someone else made a wise-crack about combining them. (I seem to have this face that says, ‘give me food – preferably with chocolate’.)

Start with a hot cross bun and some Easter eggs from the bottom drawer…

Fire up the office toaster…

Chocolate lava-centered hot cross bun… Tastes WOW.

Tip for young players:

Don’t try this first time just before an important meeting with your boss, lest some of that chocolatey goodness should squirt out of your bun and all down your skirt. My director happened to come past in time for me to give her a big, brown grin. And I’m not at all being naughty.

Thanks to CS for the bun and YD for the awesome suggestion.

Categories: Australia, Craft, Life, Review

Hip new Italian eating – Vapiano

March 27, 2011 8 comments

Looking for a trendy Italian place to eat, in Brisbane? Something different? Faster than the usual restaurant experience?

Check out Vapiano on Albert Lane.

They cook your food as you order it, in front of you. This brings an element of theatre to your dining experience.

The setup is innovative, but it helps to plan your visit if you need to get in and out in a lunchtime. The place is buzzing until about 1:30pm on any given weekday.

You line up for pasta, pizza or salad - no table service, no mixed orders

A fresh fry pan for every order & fresh food, fast

Pasta, made daily, on the premises

Gluten-free gnocchi with chicken breast, onion, pesto, baby spinach in a cream sauce (Pollo e spinaci)

The food was luscious, the service, enthusiastic and the ambiance, loud and fun. There wasn’t a complaint to be heard.

Buon appetito!

Categories: Australia, Business, Review

Hug Mug & Chocolate OD

February 27, 2011 4 comments

I rather like chocolate, so I took it upon myself to try out a chocolate bar on the Gold Coast. My friends might be surprised to learn that I’ve never quite recovered. The photos might explain why.

Chocolate bar

While I was happily drinking my hot chocolate in a “Hug Mug”, I was thinking two things:

Dark hot chocolate, milk hot chocolate (skipped the white hot chocolate)

1. Isn’t this mug a great idea?
2. What does it remind me of?

Hug Mug (was a man standing up, or sitting down, when he thought of this?)

As if sensing my thoughts, Miss Six asked, “Mummy, why does your mug look like a men’s urinal?”

After that, nothing quite tasted right. Otherwise, I would highly recommend the nearest chocolate bar, though you might like to order a bit less than we did….

I've never met a chocolate thing I didn't like ...

Everything with its own chocky dipping sauce

Milkshakes in curious vessels

Just a tiny bit more? (Monty Python's man with the bucket comes to mind)

Brisbane City markets

February 26, 2011 3 comments

An unexpected delight this week – a fresh food market in the city!

Just some of the little lovelies …

L-l-lurvved the spelt fig pistachio bread!

Funkiest little finger limes, Aussie natives!

Beads of lime heaven, ready to burst in your mouth.

Extraordinary tomatoes - tasting as they should

I was too busy shopping and eating to take any more photos, but take it from me, it’s worth a visit. The stone fruit was the tastiest I’ve had in YEARS, ditto the apples. The French bread shop didn’t disappoint, either. My lunch break ran out before I could get to the cupcake stand, which leaves me something to look forward to for next week.

Wednesdays, top of the Mall – enjoy!

PS. Thanks to my ‘tour guide’, SJ.
PPS. Want to see more about the finger limes, check out Bagni di Lucca and Wild Finger Limes – citrus caviar. Amazing.

Coffee shop? Really?

February 13, 2011 6 comments

Imagine my surprise, when my new boss led me in between and behind old buildings and under a boom gate for our first team meeting over coffee. Coffee shop? Where? Is this some peculiar initiation ceremony for writers?

Squeeze through a little gap to get around it, or just go under it. All in the name of coffee...

What was even more surprising, was that we couldn’t get a seat. It was packed.

Wooden bench seats & tables inside and coffee machines screaming their own happy tune. Brisbane's hip new place for caffeine.

What does this say about Brisbane’s sophisticated coffee-drinking set? Would you like to get mugged with your coffee, or would you like your coffee in a mug?

Now that I’m back in the city working, after a long stint in the burbs, I’d appreciate any tips on places to go. Do you know of any cool places?

P.S. This place is somewhere around Elizabeth St Brisbane. Have fun trying to find it!