It’s all about the FRITTATA

A weighty issue...

A weighty issue..r

In a recent Blog post about a weight-loss competition among a group of girlfriends, I mentioned that I’d write at a later date some of the diet tips I used to lose those five kilos. Finally here, it is!

Before I go any further, let me point out that:

  1. I am NOT a dietician, so please consult a medical professional before taking any of my advice
  2. I am aware and sensitive to the issues of those with eating disorders and am by no means encouraging unhealthy or extreme weight loss, but am also aware that for those who ARE overweight, any help and encouragement can be beneficial.


Great, now the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s head into the kitchen!

Alinta at work

Alinta at work

Oh, just one more thing… I should point out that a lot of the credit for this recipe and the constant and positive support behind my on-going pursuit for better health and a better body are due to my personal trainer – the wonderful ALINTA WILLET. Anyone looking for a personal trainer should sign up with her immediately! (details below)

Here’s the three tips Alinta has given me that have made the biggest difference to the way I eat and drink:

  1. Start the day with a glass of warm water and juice from half a lemon. Wait at least fifteen minutes before eating or drinking anything else.
  2. Eat a protein-based breakfast and leave the carbs till AFTER training. (Yes, you must do a weights workout!) This is where the magical FRITTATA comes in.
  3. Ditch white wine and drink red instead. I know those who know me well will be shocked to hear I have pretty much given up my much-loved Chardonnay for a glass of Shiraz (or two) at the end of the day and it’s made a massive difference.

Now let’s talk FRITTATA.

Due to the fact that I work in breakfast radio, (tune in to SmoothFM 91.5 from 6am till 9am every day to hear MIKE PERSO and myself on the More Music Breakfast Show) I was a little disheartened when Alinta told me I should stick to a protein breakfast in the mornings. How could I cook up a bacon and eggs feast between news and traffic reports?

That’s when Alinta’s face lit up and she told me she had the perfect solution.


Yep, this is a magical concept that will change your life!

With this recipe, you can cook up a HUGE casserole dish worth of FRITTATA and divide it in to ten portions. That means – working Monday to Friday – you have TEN breakfasts prepared from just ONE cook up! You place each portion in a plastic container – eat four fresh and freeze the rest. It’s brilliant. Just a minute and a half in the microwave and it’s ready to go. It’s so filling, you won’t feel hungry for hours. And it’s a healthy start to the day.

There are several versions I make – one with chicken – and one just with veggies but I think I’ll start with the lamb recipe.


2 x 500g packs lamb mince
1 large onion
Spices: Cayenne pepper, Chinese Five Spice and Sumac (Sambel Olek is optional – if you like chilli)
Salt and pepper
1 punnet Perino tomatoes
1/2 punnet sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 dozen eggs
Dash of milk
Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Start by chopping up an onion and frying it in a pan with coconut oil till clear.

    Use coconut oil to fry one large onion

    Use coconut oil to fry one large onion

  2. Remove onion and place in a large casserole dish, along with a punnet of Perino tomatoes sliced in half. (uncooked) Sprinkle on salt and pepper.

    Tomato and onion

    Tomato and onion

  3. Fry up the lamb mince in two batches, adding the three spices – SUMAC, Cayenne Pepper and Chinese Five Spice as who stir. Add around 2 or 3 teaspoons of SUMAC, two dashes of Cayenne Pepper and two dashes of Chinese Five Spice for each batch. I also love to add a teaspoon of Sambel Olek (chilli paste) for extra spice.
    Frying the mince

    Frying the mince

    4. When the mince is browned, add it to the casserole dish on top of the onion and tomato.

    Putting the mince in the dish

    Putting the mince in the dish

    5. For extra substance and flavour – but this part is optional – fry up half a punnet of sliced mushrooms and add this on top, then pat the meat and veggies down into a firm base.

    Patting the mince and vegies into shape

    Patting the mince and vegies into shape

    6. Beat up a dozen large eggs in a big mixing bowl. (sometimes you need 14, depending on the size of the eggs) Add a dash of milk to pump up the volume, then pour over the meat and veggie base in the casserole dish. Sprinkle a light dusting of Parmesan cheese on top – unless you are being more diet-conscious – in which case, ditch the cheese!

    Pour the eggs and milk mixture over the mince then add a sprinkling of Parmesan

    Pour the eggs and milk mixture over the mince then add a sprinkling of Parmesan

    7. Bake in an oven at 180 C for roughly 40 minutes – checking after 30 minutes to see how it’s going. When it’s golden on top, remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes.

    The finished result!

    The finished result!

    8. Slice into ten portions by cutting one row horizontally and four lines vertically. Then place each piece in an individual plastic container for storage.

    Individual dishes

    Individual dishes

    And voila! That’s ten brekkies cooked in just one hit! Unless you have to share with the family…

    Breakfast for ten sittings

    Breakfast for ten sittings

    It really is the best way to start the day! The Thai chicken version is pretty tasty too.

    Oh, and don’t forget, if you want to sign up with the lady who has million more wonderful tips on food and exercise, here’s Alinta’s details. Happy eating and let me know how the frittata works for you if you give this recipe a go!

    Alinta's business card

    Alinta’s business card







The Hardest Goodbye…

It’s hard to believe I took a break from Blogging more than a year ago to finish my book and now it seems timely to re-start the engine. While I do have some good news about my book, I’m going to save that for another day.

Instead, I want to pay tribute to my dear friend Rochelle, who we farewelled with a special service yesterday. The hardest goodbye of all…

To Rochelle’s family, to Russell – her partner of 19 years – and to all her friends, my sincerest sympathies. We all feel her loss so deeply.

Many subscribers to this Blog will remember Rochelle as the beautiful model who posed for any Fashion Posts we covered and I have so many happy memories of those times we spent together. I was also glad to have so many lovely photos of her that we could use for the service to remind everyone of her stunning smile that could light up any room in a flash.

Rochelle modelling evening wear

Rochelle modelling evening wear

Order of Service

Order of Service


Hundreds turned out yesterday for Rochelle’s farewell that was held at Brighton’s Baptist Church. So many people came that the church was overflowing with crowds spilling on to the street. She would have loved that.

Inside the Order of Service, Rochelle’s partner of 19 years, Russell, told of how much he loved Rochelle and how much he will miss her.

Russell's tribute and speakers

Russell’s tribute and speakers

The words below are from the tribute I read at the church. Along with several dear friends, we stood side by side to talk of our love for Rochy, shared stories, tears and many hugs.

And finally said Goodbye….


Writing is something Rochelle and I both loved. Telling stories and finding the right words to express ourselves. Which also meant lots of swearing and being outrageous. We even started our own writing workshop. A couple of other writers joined us. Some came, some went but we were the two main-stayers.

Which is why I have to apologise to Rochelle that this tribute I’ve written isn’t really up to scratch. That’s because I haven’t spent enough time on it. I had the time on the weekend. I could have spent hours. But I kept putting it off. And I know why. Because to write a farewell tribute to your dearest friend means they really have gone and that finality is something I still find so terribly hard to accept. Rochelle IS irreplaceable.

Rochelle and me

Rochelle and me

SO many shared emails which I now treasure and have spent hours collating so I can still hear her voice. At writing classes, teachers bang on about how important it is to ‘find your own unique voice’ Rochy had that instantly. A writing style that was direct and heart-wrenching with her own unique cutting-edge, wicked sense of humour.

Rochy spent several years working on writing her own book. Titled AnonyMS – it was a play on words that also incorporated the letters MS, as a reference to that disease which she so hated.

I went to hospital with Rochelle for the first of her monthly transfusions and shared the journey when she was on the road to being diagnosed.

It was a very painful time for her and one she documents in her book. I hope one day I will be able to, with Russell’s blessing, help collate the chapters we have together and have her book published in some form or another.

It was not long after her diagnosis in 2009 that I told Rochy I’d be going to LA and Vegas for a trip marking a film launch – a project I’d been involved in for some time. After going through such a rough patch – learning she had MS – Rochelle spoke longingly of how she too would like to visit those places.

When I look back on our friendship and see how much Rochy bought to my life, I will be forever grateful I was able to do at least one thing in return. Thanks to film producer Bobby Galinsky, we were able to make arrangements to include Rochelle on this trip and by God, it was indeed the trip of a lifetime.

With friends Chris Veitor and Krista Vendy in LA

With friends Chris Veitor and Krista Vendy in LA

We were both convinced we were MUCH better looking in LA, so armed with that boosted confidence, we took the town by storm and wreaked havoc. We teamed up with our good friend Krista and called ourselves the Three Amigos. So many adventures and great memories. As soon as we came home, we promised each other we’d do it all again.

Lunch at The Ivy with Krista in LA

Lunch at The Ivy with Krista in LA

Rochelle even wrote a poem about it:

I know our trip was one from the vault

The parties and fun times

We had were a jolt

From reality of the every day shit

To living the high life with the filthy rich.

Not so different to where we are now

But our journey continues, to that I will vow

If I ever make it somewhere better than here

You’ll be at my side grinning ear to ear

Friends take each other from bottom to top

And I’m so glad we’ll be each others

I like that a lot xxx

There was so much we had in common that bound us together – as Rochelle described in an email, we were ‘besties’. Although another time, after seeing the musical, AVENUE Q, she described me as her BAD Ideas Bear, meaning I was the one who led her astray. Yeah, maybe, but I think she liked it.

Rochelle modelling for the Blog

Rochelle modelling for the Blog

Our common interests included a love of Rose gold jewellery and clothing, fully-oaked chardonnay, movies, Oscars, music, writing, books, karaoke, singing and champagne. It was Rochelle who named our favourite bubbly Moet and Hansen in my honour. I will forever call it that.

Rochelle was my biggest supporter of anything I did. She was one of only a few friends who’ve read the book I’ve written. She also came to Women Of Letters in the audience to support me when I delivered a challenging speech last year. She even presented me with a hand-written letter on the day, where she described me as ‘the bravest girl in the room.’

Not so brave today…. But how wonderful to have a friend who gives such positive and unconditional love and support.

Other friends of mine who met Rochelle – who are here today – like Sam, Julie and my sister Jill – also loved getting to know Rochelle – each saying the same thing – because she’s such a genuine person and doesn’t judge people.

Rochelle was so talented on so many levels. Her writing and her sharp wit for starters. Beautiful too – inside and out. She was a regular model for my Blog and shone in all the photographs – some of which you will see in the photo tribute shortly. What a smile and so photogenic.

She was a superb singer – the only one in the room when we had a karaoke night that people would actually stop talking for and listen to her sing – she was brilliant.

I saw the movie PAN on Sunday with my daughter. Peter’s mother leaves baby Pan on the doorstep of the orphanage with a note telling Peter to never lose faith, that she will see him again ‘In this world or another’

Rochy WILL always be in my thoughts in this world and I know later, when it’s my time, we’ll see each other in that OTHER world – wherever it is – a land where they only serve charonnay; where Tim Curry is singing at a Vegas-style party amid cats and laughter.

In one of her recent emails to me Rochelle finished up with saying ‘Love you dear friend of mine, till the end of time.’ Ditto my darling.



Why Feb Fast is super annoying…

Send Grog on a holiday

Send Grog on a holiday

Leading up to the beginning of the month, I was REALLY looking forward to starting Feb Fast. Along with Fletch, we both decided we’d had a pretty indulgent festive season and it was time for a healthy kick-start to the year. Time to give up the grog for a month. I was enthusiastic and ready for the challenge.

Now I KNOW Feb Fast is a great concept – especially because the money raised goes to helping young people and families who are tackling serious alcohol and drug issues – BUT I’ve discovered…


For many reasons. Which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

It started out really well. I felt energetic at the gym, was writing more, meeting my deadlines and waking up fresh as a daisy. If you’d like to get a clearer picture of all the benefits, just check out this graphic put out by the Feb Fast group. Of course, some of the statistics also relate to the other things you can give up in February if you’d rather keep drinking grog – like coffee, sugar and social media.

Benefits of Feb Fast

Benefits of Feb Fast

But that self-satisfied smug feeling about saying ‘NO’ to alcohol and being strong wears thin by about Day Four. After a crap day when it’s getting close to dinner time, all you can think about is wanting to crack open that lovely chilled bottle of chardonnay tempting you from the fridge.

So you say ‘NO’ to yourself and go back to sorting through emails or getting on with domestic chores. Then you sit down to watch some TV and again you can hear the chardy singing your name.

Saying 'No' to alcohol

Saying ‘No’ to alcohol

Still you say ‘NO’ but remark to your husband that you might be missing your wine. Just a little. Is he missing his beer? ‘No, I don’t think about it, really,’ he says, smiling. Shrugs nonchalantly. Of course, it’s easy for him. I’m just being silly.



And I think ‘not drinking’ makes me a little irritable. Just a teeny, weeny bit. After 6pm anyway. It makes me cranky to think about that famous quote from Frank Sinatra – ‘I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.’

He’s right. It’s even worse at social events. Especially because just when you think you’re doing fine and enjoying yourself, someone notices you are NOT drinking alcohol, and wants to talk about it. Really annoying.

Problem drinking

Problem drinking

Then you get some people who look at you strangely when you tell them you’ve given up the grog. They listen for a bit and then nod sympathetically, and throw in a little comment or too that suggests the real reason they think you are doing Feb Fast is because you have a drinking problem.

Seriously? Some people can be VERY annoying. Like it isn’t possible to just want one month of healthy living?


But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Well, halfway through the tunnel in fact. Fletch has decided to buy himself a ‘leave pass’ this Friday night when we go out and celebrate Valentine’s Day. YES!!!! Well, I can’t let him drink on his own, can I? That will still make it TWO WEEKS without drinking which is more than I think I’ve done in about ten years. And we’ll go back to Feb Fasting on the Saturday right through till the end of the month.

Right now I’m feeling quite smug again as it’s the middle of the day and I can feel proud of myself that I’ve lasted ELEVEN DAYS without cracking. But I’m still dreading that witching hour at about 6pm when my mind drifts toward the fridge. Or back to when we were on holidays by the pool and I had this AMAZING passionfruit mojito…. Ah, memories.

Passionfruit Mojito

Passionfruit Mojito





A new month and a new diet… using Willpower.

Hello February!

Hello February!

Don’t you just love the first of the month? A fresh start, a new beginning, new resolutions and in my case, a new diet. It’s also the month that has thousands of Australians taking up the FEB FAST Challenge. Which usually means giving up alcohol. (although you can choose to give up coffee, sugar, caffeine or even digital screens as alternatives.)

Fletch and a few of his Neighbours mates are taking up the alcohol option. He’s already had some generous donations pledged from some lovely friends. If you’d also like to show your support, here’s the link.

Feb Fast

Feb Fast

I’m not quite so brave. I am doing a pathetic half-arsed version of the challenge by ‘saying’ I’m doing Feb Fast without signing up… There’s a good reason for this but I don’t want to go into details. Suffice to say I might have to head overseas soon and if that happens, well, yes OF COURSE I’d be drinking! And I want a practice run before fully committing next year.

I’m curious to see how I’ll go. And Fletch. I’ve heard lots of good things, so I’m actually looking forward to it.

Apparently you lose weight (YES!) and generally achieve a bucket load more in life, so I’ll keep you posted and let you know.

God knows I need to kick start the diet thing again after falling off the wagon MASSIVELY over the Christmas break. Getting on the scales right now is downright scary.

My juice selection for Day One

My juice selection for Day One

Some of you might remember me banging on last year about a diet I put together myself because I wanted something that was realistic to manage, simple to implement and easy to stick to. I called it the FIT FIX Diet, and yep, it really worked. If you’d like an overview, you can refer back to this blog to see the food plan for the first three weeks.

This time I’m still going to stick to the FIT FIX Diet Plan rules with the extra kicker – NO ALCOHOL. Plus some strategies from a book I mentioned in the last Blog, called Willpower.

Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

It’s worth a read. Although I do think there are some contradictions in the chapter about dieting. Basically, the authors say there’s no point attempting to take up special diets because they never work. But at the same time, they say certain ‘rules’ can be effective. Like no sugar. If sugar isn’t an option at all, then you don’t waste time and energy deciding whether to eat the stuff, you just say ‘no’ and be done with it.

But if you implement a new ‘rule’, then you are in effect, creating a new diet anyway, aren’t you? Hmmm…



The best tip though, is the ‘not now, but later’ theory. The idea is that you never say to yourself, ‘I can’t eat that yummy chocolate ice-cream tempting me from the freezer.’  What you are meant to say to yourself is, ‘I won’t eat that yummy chocolate ice-cream now, but I will have it in two hours.’ Or tomorrow.

And you probably never will eat it, but psychologically, you feel less deprived. Those who do this lose more weight and keep it off.

There are lots of fascinating stories about case studies and psychological tests on groups of people to support this theory, so I’m going to give it a go.

Tapiz Chadonnay

Tapiz Chadonnay

So there you have it. The new diet means no alcohol, sticking to the FIT FIX Diet Plan and using tips from the Willpower book. All sounds good, doesn’t it? But damn, I’m going to miss my chardonnay…

Are you giving up anything for February? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments section too.




A feel-good story involving wine and validation

My friend, Bronnie, contacted me after I ran a story last week – ‘The BEST Chardonnay in the World’ – to say she’d ordered a case of the Tapiz wine and was LOVING it.

The BEST chardonnay in the world!

The BEST chardonnay in the world!

Phew. I was relieved, because, YES, I did make a pretty big statement, saying it was the BEST Chardonnay in the world. I’m no wine expert, but I am an experienced chardonnay drinker so felt compelled to share my discovery – especially because the story involved tracking down the liquid gold from London to Argentina to Melbourne.

But when friends take your judgement on board and invest in a case of wine, you feel a huge sense of responsibility. What if they hate the stuff and blame you for promoting it? What if you start losing friends by the droves and making enemies? Taste is highly subjective, after all. Awkward… Thankfully, in Bronnie’s case this didn’t happen and the story she shared made me feel doubly good about running this story.


When Bronnie went to sample her first bottle, she couldn’t find a corkscrew. And yes, the Tapiz chardonnay is sealed in the old-fashioned way, with a cork. So she asked her next-door-neighbour if she could borrow one, and in doing so, offered her neighbour a glass of wine.

As they both savoured their first mouthful and Bronnie declared it a winner, her neighbour asked where she got it. Bronnie said it had to be ordered and it wasn’t cheap – it was $27 a bottle.

‘I don’t give a f***. I’m ordering a dozen!’ her neighbour declared.

(I’m not allowed to swear in my Blog – my Mum reads it…)

What's left in the cellar...

What’s left in the cellar…

SO THERE!! At least two people in the world agree with me that this is one very special wine. I’m just a tad concerned that Victor and Sylvia haven’t ordered enough in their first shipment. I mean look at what’s left in their cellar? Now that the word is out, this lot is likely to go in a jiffy.


Which reminds me, I’d better get on the phone right after posting this so I don’t miss out!

If you’d like to try the Tapiz chardonnay, or any of their other varieties, just contact Red Barrel Importers of Fine Wine by email at 

OR the company’s new website will be operational shortly at

OR phone Business Manager Sylvia Scalia on 0407 881 188.



Hunting down the ‘BEST Chardonnay in the WORLD’!!

The BEST chardonnay in the world!

The BEST chardonnay in the world!

It took five months and a journey half way across the world to find it, but my mission is complete – I have tracked down the BEST CHARDONNAY in the world.

My extraordinarily patient husband has long endured my obsession with chardonnay. Now, I’m not talking about ‘any old wine’ here – but a beautiful, finely tuned, buttery-oaked, liquid gold piece of perfection. An excellent wine, to me, is nectar from the gods. And I abhor Sauvignon Blanc – EWWW, let me spit to the ground right now with contempt.

So at many a function or restaurant when I can’t find a decent wine, Fletch will give me ‘that look’. You know, the ‘Don’t have a hissy fit, shut up right now and don’t complain,’ look. I give him a LOOK right back. The one that says ‘Sure, I’ll suck it up but I’m NOT happy.’ I won’t say it ruins the evening, but it becomes a less fabulous experience…

I truly wish I liked beer. Life would be so much easier.

But in balance, when I DO find a decent chardonnay, the joy is extreme. I thank the people who picked the grapes, the talented wine-makers who spent years perfecting their craft and the restaurateur who had the good sense to stock the stuff.

Such was the experience last year when Fletch and I were spoilt rotten, and taken to the uber cool GAUCHO CITY restaurant in London, by Channel Five. (Thank you, Greg Barnett!)

Goucho City restaurant in London

Gaucho City restaurant in London

As you can probably guess from the chairs swathed in cowhide, it’s not a venue for vegans. Specialising in Argentinean steaks, guests are invited to choose their own particular cut of meat from a well-presented tray that’s brought to your table.  And while I also enjoy a rich glass of red, (and did with my steak), I opted for a chardonnay to have with our entree.

One sip and I was hooked. ‘WOW. WOW and WOW!’ I declared to the table, ‘This is the BEST chardonnay in the world!’ Okay, that may have been ‘slightly’ over-stating it, but such is my excitement when I make a NEW chardonnay discovery. So good it was, that I knew I’d want to track it down once I returned to Melbourne, so I asked our waitress to write down the wine’s name and vintage on a business card.

Tapiz winery, Argentina

Tapiz winery, Argentina


TAPIZ is the name of the winery and it’s located in Mendoza, Argentina. ‘Tapiz’ means ‘tapestry’ in English – appropriate given the fine tapestry of flavours it affords the palate.



When we returned home in September, I began the task of tracking Tapiz down in Australia. I tried the obvious first – Dan Murphy, Vintage Cellars and the local bottle shops, with no luck. Then I went on to a few wine websites – again nothing. How could this be? How could a wine so extraordinary not be available to the masses? The only solution seemed to be to contact the winery direct in Argentina.

I found the TAPIZ website, but that was of no use whatsoever because it’s all in Spanish. If only I was fluent… Nevertheless, I dashed off an email in the hope that someone in their office might be able to translate and help.

Tapiz Chadonnay

Tapiz Chardonnay

Sure enough, a week later I received a reply explaining that the winery had just made arrangements with an Australian wine importer to bring Tapiz to our shores. In just a couple of months, I could contact RED BARREL Importers of Fine Wines to purchase my much sought after chardonnay.

When I learnt Red Barrel had another business – Cosi Duci Gelati in Ivanhoe – I knew we’d get along fine. If I were ever to specialise in food and beverages, I couldn’t think of a better combo than wine and gelati! Owners Victor and Silvia Scalia and I were definitely going to be kindred spirits.

Red Barrel also scored a big, fat gold star for such a prompt follow-up after my initial query. Just two weeks after receiving their first shipment of Tapiz, Sylvia arrived on my doorstep from completely the other side of town, to hand deliver two bottles of their finest for me to sample. She also invited us to a ‘tasting’ at their premises so we could learn more about the full range of Tapiz wines.

It was then, when I held that long-sought-after bottle of wine in my hands that I began to have doubts. Was this wine really going to be as good as I had remembered it all those months ago in London? Perhaps my perception was coloured by the seductive ambience of the lush Gaucho restaurant and the fine food? Maybe this had been one long wild goose chase?

Was it going to be as good as I remembered?

Was it going to be as good as I remembered?

Needing a second opinion and validation, I saved that bottle until I caught up with my fellow-chardy expert and sister-in-law, Penny. Down at their home in Anglesea on a sunny, summer’s afternoon, we finally cracked it open.

Kapow! Yes, there it was! That fine, golden liquid delivered on it’s promise. It was indeed worthy of a blog to share its greatness with the world.


Silvia and Victor Scalia, Red Barrel Importers of Fine Wines

Silvia and Victor Scalia, Red Barrel Importers of Fine Wines


The second validation came after meeting with Victor and Silvia Scalia at their Red Barrel premises. They share a passion for quality wine, which is why they began their importing business in the first place. Victor visits Argentina at least once a year and was disappointed he couldn’t find the best of their wines in Australia. The best solution – import it yourself!


The Red Barrel range of imported wine

The Red Barrel range of imported wine

Red Barrel is now the exclusive importers of both Tapiz and Granata wines for Australia. They’ve already made inroads in Melbourne’s restaurants – notably Piqueos in Rathdowne Street, Carlton, Othello at Southbank and  a new restaurant called Buenos Aires Steakhouse which is opening soon at 189 Lygon St, Carlton – plus they sell direct to the public. Prices range, depending on amounts and variety, between about $21 wholesale and $27.

A fine feast - cheers Tapiz!

A fine feast – cheers Tapiz!

Fletch had to film Neighbours on the day of the wine tasting at Red Barrel, so I took my Dad along instead. I think I inherited my love of fine wine from him, after all! Sylvia laid on a fine feast and I was again delighted to sample my now-favourite chardonnay. Although Victor and I disagreed on one thing. He’s convinced the Malbec is the best of the Tapiz range. It’s a mighty fine and mellow red, but I’d still opt for the chardonnay.

You can make up your own mind by sampling this wonderful wine for yourself. Just contact Red Barrel Importers of Fine Wine by email at 

OR the company’s new website will be operational shortly at

OR phone Business Manager Sylvia Scalia on 0407 881 188.

















New Year’s Resolution Update – plus a drinking debate


Sometimes I wonder why I do it to myself. WHY? Why would I tell you I’m going to post weekly New Year’s Resolution updates? How stupid. Does anyone actually stick to their resolutions? I must say, with a couple of those declarations, I DID add the disclaimer – NOT during holidays, so I can let myself off the hook until this week, but seriously, I am NOT doing well so far.

I also have mixed feelings about a very positive step I took today. I’ve signed up with a new personal trainer – Ross. He’s a lovely man – very encouraging and patient. I know he’s patient because I promised to email him last SEPTEMBER with my health background, with the view of starting way back then… But I’m lazy. And life happens. Work commitments and travel got in the way, and then I injured a glute muscle trying to climb over rocks in the Grampians, so I kept putting it off – until today.



So I AM proud of myself that I had a meeting with Ross this morning and am booked to begin on Friday. All good. What’s NOT so good is Ross’ take on my resolutions. He clearly thinks I’m appalling when it comes to alcohol consumption. He’s happy with my sugar-free mission, but when I proposed that MY RULES also allowed me to drink wine four nights a week, he practically choked on his whistle. Eyes popping, ‘Four?’ he gasped. ‘You drink FOUR nights a week?’


‘Well that’s what I’m aiming for,’ I said. ‘I think three alcohol-free days is pretty good, isn’t it?’ Clearly not. Ross needs to meet my friends.

‘No,’ he said firmly. ‘Have you any IDEA how much sugar is in a glass of wine? You should only drink ONE DAY a week.’

ONE DAY? Is he kidding? But then, Ross gave up alcohol eighteen months ago – purely as a health challenge – and he likes being pure so much, he’s continued. I don’t think that’s on my agenda. I enjoy wine – especially chardonnay. A good chardonnay is like liquid gold to the palate – in moderation, of course.

Hmmm…. this could be a challenging relationship. Our views on drinking are dramatically opposed. But, maybe – just maybe – this is what I need?

Next stop - Dan Murphy

Next stop – Dan Murphy


Regardless, I didn’t tell him my next stop after the gym was to pop in to Dan Murphy’s to buy a present for my hairdresser (Grey Goose Vodka) and to refill Fletch’s beer supplies. Friends often pop in at our place and there’s nothing more embarrassing than an empty fridge. Oh yes, I also picked up a couple of bottles of chardonnay…

But let’s get back to that resolution update. Here are my pathetic results from last week:



(1) Sugar free challenge (apart from wine) – to stick to the ONE LINE RULE diet. (Which means not eating anything that contains more than 5% sugar.)
This is the only resolution I ALMOST get a tick for. While the THREE alcohol-free days rule doesn’t apply during holidays, I still managed two alcohol-free days, so I’m feeling okay about this one. Ross might not be impressed, but I am.

Yoplait yoghurt

Yoplait yoghurt


I did, however, have one major disappointment with this resolution, and it was by accident. I was helping myself to a serving of yoghurt for afternoon tea, when half way through, I thought I should ‘double check’ the sugar content, even though I was sure I’d already done that and I was fine.


BUT, this flavour – apple pie – comes in a six-pack and I discovered the sugar content I’d read was for ANOTHER FLAVOUR!!! Damn!! The apple pie yoghurt ended up being 7.4% sugar, so inadvertently, I’d stuffed up.

SO I get a cross for this resolution this week, but I will persist.
(2) Not to play I-Phone Games

I get a big, fat cross here too, because I played Baker’s Game – a form of solitaire – on my I-phone one night when I was finding it hard to get to sleep. It’s a bad habit I know – relying on an I-phone to get to sleep – but I blame Fletch. He won’t let me read (even with a reading light) while he’s sleeping because he says it wakes him up. Very selfish of him really, so I say it’s all his fault. But yes, I still get another cross…

(3) To tidy my office before the end of March

This is an easy one. I have weeks ahead of me to get TICKS till the end of March! I am making progress though. Albeit slowly…

(4) To go to the gym at least 3 times a week
This is a tricky one as the disclaimer on this resolution, was “except for when on holidays”. Overall, I was NOT on holidays for half a week, (last week)  so it’s awkward to assess… I DID do a spin class this morning, but no, that’s only one visit to the gym for the whole week, so really I probably deserve a CROSS. Damn. It’s hard with the kids on holidays to find the motivation…

(5) To NEVER smoke another cigarette again

I get a tick here too, although I did willingly chase the smokers outside last night to stand near them and inhale their second-hand smoke. But I did NOT actually smoke a cigarette. Second-hand fumes don’t count. Another tick, thank you!

Overall, checking the scorecard, that’s only TWO out of FIVE. A poor result.I am taking myself off for time out in the naughty corner. I will attempt to pull my finger out next week. Promise. Surely with Ross on side I can do better? How are you going with your resolutions? I’d love to hear stories from someone else who’s finding it tough!