My Sunshiny Life











{October 28, 2009}   Halloween Pumpkin Works of Art

I snapped these fabulous shots of pumpkins whilst in New York recently. Those Americans sure do know how to celebrate the holidays. Fantastically sculptured works of art adorned shop windows all over town, much to my delight.

Sunflower Tower

Pumpkin Lady

Pumpkin Man

Pumpkin World

Pumpkin Warrior

Cheeky (kinda evil) Pumpkin Boy

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1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift



I absolutely adored Eat Pray Love and think that Elizabeth Gilbert is fabulous.  In this TED lecture she delves into the subject of creativity, how she is coping with the outrageous success of Eat Pray Love and the expectation around her forthcoming work. 

She poses the theory that perhaps it’s not the person that is the genius when they produce something extraordinary, but genius channelled through them to create the masterpiece.  To nurture the genius you have to show up and start doing the work.  It’s a good self preservation tactic if the work sucks as well, I was there but my genius never showed.  Note to self: Start showing up!



{October 23, 2009}   New York Night Life

If you need someone to show you a good night out then you can’t go wrong with Miss Adi.  My partner in crime from the good old days, now a mum, but still a party queen underneath it all.

We started our night with cocktails at Sushi Samba, moving on to sake (quite nice, could be my new tipple) with our sushi.  Telling the waitress to bring out what she thought we’d like was a good way to order and the food was to die for!

Sushi Samba Magic

Sake Kanpai

More Sushi Samba Magic

These shoes are not made for walking

These shoes are taxi shoes, not walking shoes!

From Sushi Samba we made our way to a fabulous bar in the West Village, I’ve no idea of the name.  There were a couple of things that amused/bemused me when we first arrived.  It was the seat hunt at the bar, which we excelled at, then it was the gigantic tip Adi gave the barman up front so he’d keep serving us! 

Our attentive waiter

Our attentive waiter after a big tip

The biggest thing though, was the amount of absolutely stunning girls in the bar and very average looking men.  The girls were still eying these men up, like hungry lions that haven’t eaten for a while.  We spoke to one girl, who we decided was the epitome of the single New York girl.  Stunning, high maintenance, confident and very very single.  While she was talking to us, her eyes constantly flicked around the room, settling on men, she’d scan them from head to toe taking in the quality of their shoes, clothes and doing a quick assessment of their bank balance.  Most amusing to watch.  Single guys, get over to New York, it’s a cherry picking dream.

Stunning and Single in New York

Stunning and Single in New York

Making our way to Buddha Bar, we watched as groups were turned away at the door, being told there was a minimum table spend of $350.  Ok, I was up for a big night, but not that big!  Adi assured me we’d be fine and hustled her way to the front, gaining us access with no problems whatsoever.  Work it baby!

Home time!

Fabulous night babe, can’t wait to see you back in Blighty! x



{October 18, 2009}   New York High Line

High Line New York

Whilst in New York recently I met up with Tom and Chloe for a fabulous brunch in their West Village neighborhood and they took me on a little tiki tour of the surrounding area.  We ended up at the High Line, which is a brilliant initiative to beautify inner city living.  Taking a disused overground railway line, the council (do they call them a council in the states?) has planted a magical garden and made it into a relaxing and enjoyable destination.  The first part of the line opened in June and the next part is due to open in 2010, which will span another whole ten blocks. 

Here’s what you can expect to see, viewing platforms over the road, pretty flowers, interesting wild grasses, sharply contrasting angles, city views, deck chairs and loungers.  You can just spot the Hudson river sparkling in the distance, but having seen that already while en route, I was more mesmerised by the angles, the greenery, the city scape and the people watching.

The High Line Wilderness

DSC05479

Wild Flower Railway Line

Police Car Parade @ High Line Viewing Platform



{October 13, 2009}   Momofuku Magic

When Tammy told me that pork was the latest big craze in New York restaurants I was impressed. What an excellent way to get piggy revenge for swine flu, if you can’t beat em, eat em!

So after a happy hour of drinking fabulous malbec with Tom at Morrells wine bar, and a quick visit to the Rockefeller Center, I made my way to Momofuku in the East Village.  

Pretty New York Skyline

Pretty New York Skyline

Tammy’s recommendation was spot on and she wasn’t kidding about the fact that pork was the menu flavour of the day either. This place is famous for their pork buns and for good reason. They are A.mazing! So was my waiter who remembered that I wanted my photo taken when they arrived. He was so good that he came back when my main arrived to see if I wanted another photo taken. Boy, you gooood! If you ever want to go on holiday with me you’re more than welcome. What more does a girl need, someone who is happy to take her photo and knows instinctively that every photo needs a seal of approval or a re-shoot.

A happy girl and her pork buns

A happy girl and her pork buns

My only very slight criticism would be that my main came out a little bit too soon after my entree. But what a main it was, so they were forgiven very quickly! I had Bev Eggleston’s Pork Shoulder Steak, which came with grilled eggplant, eggplant puree, beans, seaweed and of course melt in your mouth pork.  I meant to ask my waiter why Bev Eggleston, but I forgot. 

Bev Eggleston's Pork Shoulder Chop

Bev Eggleston's Pork Shoulder Chop

I didn’t think that I could possibly finish, but sometimes I surprise myself. A chilled glass of chablis helped and it all comes down to mind over matter. In a freak of nature way I fit far more food in my belly than I thought physically possible.   

A little dent made

A little dent made

You can do it!

You can do it!

Oh. My. God, I'm full!

Oh. My. God, I'm full!

But the fun didn’t stop here.  I broke through the pain barrier and walked through Momofuku Ssam to Momofuku Milk bar. I hate milk, but this place does amazing milk infusions. To be honest, I’d rather have a vodka infusion. But with cereal milk and other inventive creations on the menu I just had to have a look.

My stomach started churning at the thought of another food onslaught, but I whispered to my groaning belly that I wasn’t eating anything else, so it settled down long enough for me to buy some cookies for my breakfast. It would be more nutritious than the gourmet jelly beans I had yesterday!

Momofuku Cookie Menu

Momofuku Cookie Menu

The milk bar has some weird and wonderful dessert concoctions, as well as the famous pork buns.  There were crack cakes, towering banana cakes, milk infusions and some very strange soft serve icecream options.  I had a little taste of the salty cucumber soft serve.  Before I tasted it, other patrons warned me that it was weird and salty. They weren’t wrong, it was salty but quite pleasant. Weird and salty was an apt description.

Salty Cucumber Soft Serve Icecream

Salty Cucumber Soft Serve Icecream

So it’s 4.50 am New York time and I’ve tasted the cookies.  They are amazing.  My choices were the compost cookie which includes chocolate chips, pretzels, potato chips, butterscotch, and coffee grinds.  Strange, but it works!  The other choice was a cornflake (hey it is breakfast after all!), marshmallow and chocolate chip cookie – Brilliant – not quite as good as the compost cookie.  It’s the coffee grounds that make that cookie so good.  My last little taste is of the blueberry and milk crumb cookie.  Even feeling slightly sick from cookie overdose I think this cookie is fabulous.  If I had to rate them in order, it would be compost, blueberry and then cornflake, but it’s a close call!

Me Love Coooooookies! (say it cookie monster styley)

Me Love Coooooookies! (say it cookie monster styley)

Momofuku, I’m glad I made the trek across town – you have to go if you’re in New York.  I’ll be back.

Momofuku Ssam and Milk Bar

Neighborhood: East Village
207 2nd Ave
(between 12th St & 13th St)


{October 12, 2009}   Fabulous Cupcakes

No one does cupcakes like the Americans.  To be quite honest, I prefer the taste of the Hummingbird bakery cupcakes – it’s the icing that has the cream cheese in it, instead of the whipped confectionary they use over here. 

The American cupcakes win hands down in terms of inventiveness though.  Check out the pictures that I’ve taken over the last couple of days as I’ve indulged my cupcake fetish.  The place to see cupcakes in New York is the Chelsea Food Market, where you’ll find a row of bakeries offering an array of tempting and purty sweet treats. 

The famous Magnolia Bakery

The famous Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcake

Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcake

Scrumptious offering in the Chelsea Food Market

Scrumptious offering in the Chelsea Food Market

Obama Cupcakes

Obama Cupcakes

New York cookies and cupcakes

New York cookies and cupcakes

Cheeseburger and Fries Cake (yes, really)

Cheeseburger and Fries Cake (yes, really)

Cute Doggy Cupcakes

Cute Doggy Cupcakes

Almost too cute to eat, almost but not quite

Almost too cute to eat, almost but not quite



{October 11, 2009}   Buying kids off. It works!

Before hitting the town on Saturday night I had a play date with Adi’s kids, who I’ve never met before now.  It’s funny when you just know your friend from party days and now you see them in a totally different environment, as a responsible, grown up mum! 

It was fabulous to meet little Lachlan and baby William.  The monster trucks I bought for Lachlan were very well received and we played crash up derby races.  He is a most gracious little boy who kept fetching my truck back for me so I could keep close to my wine glass.  Chivalry in one so young!

I’ve learnt that in the past, buying kids off works really well so I was happy to see that he loved the present and it scored me a shy kiss when he went to bed.  William is too little to know any better so he just got a little soft toy, a cuddly sheep so he doesn’t forget his half kiwi roots.

Not quite sure...

Not quite sure...

Warming Up

Warming Up

We have a toy winner!

We have a toy winner!

Baby William

Baby William



{October 10, 2009}   Shumai Superstar

After working for the last three days in NYC I wanted to feel like I was on holiday.  Going away for work is totally over rated and I’d rather be at home in my own bed – but having the weekend in NYC was an upside of my trip.

Saturday afternoon was put aside to meet up with Tammy and J.C and to meet little Liam.  The last time I was in New York he was a little bundle swathed in blankets. Now he is a delightful little character that I’ve gotten to know through Tammy and J.C’s facebook updates.  He didn’t disappoint in person either.  Who can’t love a kid who is just as at home in Shun Lee, our dim sum restaurant – eating shumai and pork buns with finesse, as he is on the couch eating macaroni cheese.

Shumair Superstar

Shumair Superstar

The dim sum was ok, the company was fabulous and meeting Liam again was wonderful.  Liam’s verdict on Shun Lee dim sum?  It’s ok (said with a little shrug of his shoulders and the gesture below).  We were on the Upper West Side and the dim sum in China town is ten times cheaper and quite a bit better according to Tammy and J.C.  Next time I’m in town we’ll have to catch up there, I think I’d like them as Chinatown guides, as you could get it so wrong going by yourself!

It's ok

It's ok

Shun Lee Catch Up

Shun Lee Catch Up



{October 10, 2009}   Two old laydeeeeeees

Adi and I caught up last night at a fabulous Mexican restuarant and had a lovely time, but ended up going home before 9!  Two kids under 3 for her and me still being on London time, meant an earlier night than we used to have back in London town party days.  Back then, it wasn’t uncommon to be up when the birds started tweeting, only then did you think that perhaps it was bed time. 

So we’ll use last night as a warm up to tonight, where we have to stay out until at LEAST midnight, just to preserve our party street cred!

Ladies on the town, well until dark anyway



et cetera