My favorite picks – come fly with me

1. 2011 IKEA catalogue. I have a terrible weakness for IKEA. 
2. Fornasetti wallpaper at Cole & Son. I ordered a sample of this to hang in my kitchen, but the pattern is so huge all I got was corners of four circles. All I wanted was a lady drinking from a cup. Is that too much to ask?
3. Quiet Life tablets. I rarely take medication. But I am a very, very, very nervous traveler. Me and planes don’t mix. I get worked up days before a flight, so for the first time I took something for my nerves. Available at most pharmacies, this completely natural herbal remedy relieves stress and worry. If you are a worrier like me, you should try this out. It’s very good.
4. Paul’s Boutique Molly Camo bag. Wherever I go, women manhandle this bag. It’s kind of really awesome. 
5. Skips. Fizzibly melty prawn cocktail delights, and I will not confess how many bags I ingested this week alone.

Concrete comforts

I attended the 100% Design London show on Friday, and I’m really glad I made the effort to make it to their annual show. It was amazing, and I spent well over 6 hours happily getting lost in design.
My only issue at the moment is how I should regulate the hundreds of photos I took while I rambled around the exhibit and schmoozed with designers and their amazing products. Since I tend to over organize things, and since the products I saw hold so much information and deserve more attention than being amongst a slew of other photos, I’ll show them in categories and I will stop typing now since that is boring.
First up was the m. bench by Bondi, based in Argentina. At first glance, these ottomans were elegant, beautiful, and nothing out of the ordinary. But once I reached down to touch their soft silky-smooth grayness, I realized these beautiful pieces were cold, hard, heavy and made of concrete.

I couldn’t believe the level of detail on these pieces, which attributed to their false sense of softness. The minuscule pattern within the flock gives depth and captures light in the pattern so well, giving a silky smooth texture. I would have never thought it would be possible to achieve such detail with concrete. Thumbs up, Bondi.

I passed by the Gray Concrete stall a couple of times, without their product completely registering with me. They had two large chesterfield sofas parked in front of their stall, and it seemed that people were just taking advantage of the available seating. It wasn’t until later when in passing I touched the armrest and yet again, realized it that these traditional looking couches were in fact concrete cast.

As impossible as it sounds, these couches are very comfortable – considering they have no give or flexibility. Each person who sat on the couches would initially sit down rigidly; your first thought is that they would be uncomfortable. Slowly, each person would wiggle into a comfortable posture and proceed to manhandle the couches. It really couldn’t be avoided.
One of my favorite details of these concrete chesterfield sofa’s was the loose change lost behind the cushions {seen in photo above, right}. Such a tiny idea, which would only be found once you’ve been sitting for a good while. The icing on the cake.

My favorite picks – get your eat on

Inspired by one of my favorite blogs, poppytalk, I decided to make a snippet blog summarizing items I’ve used or come across within the past week that caught my eye or invoked a memory – especially things I know I won’t get around to doing a full blog about. Maybe it’s something I’ll do once a week. A summary of my favorite parts of the week? I’m really not sure at this point. Maybe it’ll just be an excuse to mash a load of some of my favorite pics together.
This week, 3/5 of my picks are food related. It doesn’t help to blog when you’re hungry. Oh god I want pasta and shrimp now. Thanks, poppytalk.

1. Home made banana bread made by yours truly this morning. I use a really flexible recipe that is full of win. If you’d like to try it out, see the end of this post for my {ahem – my moms} basic recipe. 
2. Spicy Seafood Udon, from Yo! Sushi. I can’t get enough of this dish at the moment. 
3. Jamie Oliver pasta machineI love it and I try to use it at least once a week. Perfect for lasagna and linguine. 
4. Kitchen sink drama, September/October issue of House and Home. Love that sink. Plus hydrangeas …
5. Dark Horse cowl by Fringe. I really like the selection of cowls and shawls by Fringe. At the moment I’m knitting myself a cowl for my trip to London next week. It’s brown. Additional note: here it is completed!


Ingredients
4-5 bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
Raisins, walnuts and poppy seeds to your liking

Method

I typically just throw everything into a bowl and stir. The order will not affect it at all. It’s not fussy and turns out great every time. It’s very easy to substitute the ingredients as well {details below}. As long as your mixture is the same consistency as porridge, you can add and subtract whatever you like. Bake for 45 minutes in a bread tin at 180 degrees celcius.

Substitutions
You really can use whatever you like in banana bread. Yogurt – with or without fruit, walnuts, pecans, blueberries, raisins, honey, poppy seeds, and even mayonnaise. Hold on – yes, it sounds gross, but essentially you’re just adding oil and egg, which are two ingredients.

Banana tip
Instead of mashing new bananas, what I do is; once a banana has gone too bruised {to the point that I don’t want to eat the brown gooey bits}, I toss it in the freezer. The bananas will go black once frozen – but don’t worry. That’s perfect. I usually make banana bread once I have about 4 or 5 in my freezer and they’re taking up too much room. Defrost them for a couple of hours {I just leave them in the sink since they will leak}, and then unpeel them into a bowl. They’ll look really disgusting and resemble large dead slugs more than bananas, but they’re perfect in this form. Don’t be put off by their state, as they make scrumptious banana bread. 

Click here for a handy cooking calculator, should you prefer to measure in cups, mls, oz etc.