Melbourne Mini-Break

There is nothing better than stepping out of your busy routine to escape to the ‘big smoke’ for two days of bliss with your bestie!  That’s exactly what Melissa and I did last Monday and Tuesday for our Spring Melbourne mini-break.

Our trip was perfectly timed with ‘The House of Dior – Seventy Years of Haute Couture‘ exhibition at the NGV.  Even though I grew up as ‘farm-girl-practical’ my Mum trained and worked as a Milliner and is a talented seamstress, so from a young age I was surrounded by beautiful fabrics, haberdashery and sewing.  Walking into the Dior exhibition was a heaven unto itself.

We ate beautiful food, shopped, enjoyed uninterrupted conversations and didn’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner.  I savoured the chance to wander with a friend and to be totally in the present moment.

I am so grateful for my supportive husband for this sacred time away, but I have now come down with the dreaded flu and have been in bed for three days!  Hmmmmpppphhhh!











Easter Boating ♥

Yet another lengthy gap in between blog posts for the poor Poppy Files!  I am finding it more and more of a challenge to devote the time needed to blog as often as I would like, which invariably requires me to import my photos, painstakingly pick and edit the best shots and then feel inspired to write in a captivating way.  It doesn’t help that I am a ‘Type-A perfectionist’ and sometimes it is just easier not to do it!!

However, I have finally collated the photos from our recent Easter break.  I’m only a month late, but we had the most divine boating trip to the East Coast of Tasmania this year.  It certainly helped that the weather was absolutely superb for the eleven days we were away – enabling us to really enjoy this beautiful part of the world.

We left Hobart in calm waters and enjoyed smooth cruising through the Denison Canal and Marion Bay before reaching Orford on dusk.  On Good Friday we hung out at East Shelley Beach, drenched in that feeling of knowing you have ten more days of boating bliss … to really feel the sand between your toes, to fish, to laugh, to play and to go to bed early to watch Netflix as you gently bob under a sky full of stars.

On Easter Saturday we ventured further North to the Freycinet Peninsula, where the stars are even brighter and the water is bluer!

We met up with our friends, Richard and Anna and their boys, where we enjoyed a couple of days together before they returned to Hobart.  Easter Bunny even found us at Bryans Corner and James literally ate his weight in Easter Eggs.

For the rest of the week, we synced into the beauty of this place through long walks on desolate beaches, kayaking on crystal blue water, fishing, beachcombing and spending quality family time together.  We ventured around to the other side of the Freycinet Peninsula to Wineglass Bay for three nights where Poppy celebrated her 6th Birthday.

Her celebrations included presents, a morning tea with new boating friends, jumping off the boat, frolicking dolphins and fish and chips for dinner!  What a perfect place to celebrate a birthday?

On Friday we returned back to our familiar Southern waters for one more night, after what was, a truly unforgettable time together.  Xx


1970 ♥

Bella Freud 1970

Well hi there!  We have had a busy summer with lots of boating to beautiful places, school holiday activities, a wedding in Queensland but most importantly – time with family and friends.  However, I have been very quiet on the blogging front, but I have missed writing and I look forward to firing up The Poppy Files for yet another year.

Today, I am loving my new Bella Freud 1970 jumper that I have finally sourced online from Grace Boutique in Melbourne.  I first laid eyes on this beauty worn by a very stylish make-up artist on a shoot I was working on last year.  Thank you, Blanka Dudas, for the inspiration.

Bella Freud 1970

Bella Freud, the great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud is an iconic designer whose quirky knits have an almost cult-like following:

While messing around on my photocopier I spied the date 1970 printed in the corner of a page of the book I was leafing through. Inspirited, I kept blowing it up, then cut it out and pinned it onto my black jumper. It had a rough charm that made me think of the early New York punk scene in the 70’s, and Patti Smith. A favourite with Kate Moss and Alexa Chung.

A perfect example is Laura Fantacci from Wearing it Today styling it to absolute perfection in the Alps:

Bella Freud 1970

I may not rock this jumper like Blanka, Kate, Alexa or Laura, but oh my gosh, I love it … and it is my birth year after all!  Xx

Bella Freud 1970 Bella Freud 1970 Bella Freud 1970 Bella Freud 1970 Bella Freud 1970


Hard Drive Dramas

Unfortunately I have had another hiatus from The Poppy Files due to an incredibly busy time in the last month and also combined with the very stressful fail of my external hard drive.

A drive that keeps my photos taken over the past 10 years (all 24 000 of them or 820 GB of data) nice and safe … or so I thought.  Nausea swept over me as I plugged it in one day and I saw a strange flashing light and my MacBook not recognising the remote disc.  What was that about keeping several backups on different drives?

Luckily I have a chap who is working on retrieving all of my recoverable data and until I have my files back in my hot little hands, I won’t truly relax.

So, until I get my IT groove back on, I am unable to download any of my photos, which are slowly banking up on my phone.  Until then, I can share some sassy items from the web that have piqued my interest of late.

Firstly these fabulous Saint Laurent California High Top Roller Skates – if you have a cool $1239.00 laying around, you could whip them on for a skate along the promenade!

Secondly, on a more realistic note, a friend of mine wears (and rocks) these gorgeous Céline Marta Sunglasses in a sublime ‘Dark Blue Havana‘.  Dear Santa – yes please (would it be rude to copy you Bec W?)

Finally, on a totally different note, I am excited about all the options of amazing recipes in this new e-Book from Well Nourished – Sides and Salads.  It has so many great ideas that I am hoping to try out over the summer:

An e-book that makes the humble vegetable, sensational
The idea of this e-book is to make vegetables the hero of your meal! Most sources of protein (meat, vegetarian or vegan) when simply prepared are just delicious. So this e-book is designed to direct your time and effort into making the most important part of any meal, vegetables and salad, as delicious as they can be.

All of the salads and sides in this e-book, when combined with a source of protein, form a nutritionally balanced meal. All of the recipes are plant based and are gluten, grain and egg-free. I’ve also included alternatives for making them dairy- and nut-free.



Oh Hobart ♥

I love a good sticky-beak and what better opportunity where one that is encouraged and expected!

Open House Hobart opened the doors of many amazing buildings in Hobart last weekend, for you to have a little bo-beep.

Unfortunately we only managed to see two homes this year due to limited time and School Fair commitments, but both were great.  The first was a home in Boa Vista Road in North Hobart – an original 1940’s Art-Deco home, with its many original features in tact.

The other was The Barn, a converted stables in West Hobart that I just loved!  I could have moved in – albeit a little small for all of us!

This long derelict 1829 Georgian barn on the fringe of the Hobart CBD was once part of the stables of Goulburn Street’s Bull’s Head Hotel.  Made of local sandstone and convict bricks, it also features a 45 degree pitched roof-perfect for generous loft living.  The nine by five metre footprint was built for purpose and economy; the ground floor accommodated four stalls and the 45 degree pitched roof allowed for generous loft storage.  Although modest in size (a mere 62 square metres) the stable is rich in history, texture and olfactory delights.  The architects retained as much of the existing building fabric as possible and, where services and amenity were required, they provided ‘new insertions’.  It was important that, by doing so, all new work read differently to the existing and, as with any good relationship, the past and the present have space to breathe.  The architects used volume, outlook and a clear material strategy to define spaces and encourage variety and play.


30 Years

Grade 10 Leavers Dinner

Several weeks ago I attended my 30 Year Prospect High School Reunion in Launceston.  Can it really be that long ago?

I haven’t really kept up with any of my friends from High School due to the fact that I left Tasmania when I was 19 and didn’t return ‘home’ until 6 years later.  It was a little daunting walking into a room ‘full of strangers’ but after a few chats and a walk down memory lane, I really did have a fantastic evening.  It was so nice stepping back into a world that I had completely forgotten about.  I loved reconnecting with people that had such an influence in my life at that time and I laughed so much during the night – and even got home at 2:45 am!

The other poignant fact was that most of my peers had children who were well in their late teens, even in their twenties.  There were even three Grandparents!  I laughed as I told my old school buddies I had a three and a five year old!

Leading up to the Reunion, prompted me to delve into my cupboards and dust off the box of old photos.  Wow – the fashions have really changed, but these people are such good people and I relished seeing them again after all these years.  I really hope it isn’t another thirty years before I laugh with them again! x

Larni - 30 Years School ReunionLarni, Teena and ScottyJason & TeenaScotty, Rod and Murray Teena & Scotty PHS PHS PHS PHS PHS PHS PHS Athletics Carnival Athletics Carnival Athletics Carnival Athletics Carnival Freycinet Field Trip Freycinet Field Trip Freycinet Field Trip Freycinet Field Trip PHS Badgers Head Myrtle Park Myrtle Park Myrtle Park Grade 10 Leavers Dinner Grade 10 Leavers Dinner Poppy


A Snowy Boating Long Weekend


When Nick and I bought our first boat ‘Tagus’ in 2008, we would head away on adventures together and end up hanging out with his parent’s and all their boating friends.  We were always the youngest ones with the smallest boat.  We would have great fun but as the year’s have crept by and our own family has grown (1 dog + 2 children) we have upgraded to ‘Spellbound’ (a 36 ft Fairway motor cruiser) and have met a new bunch of ‘young’ boating friends.  We are now no longer the youngest ones with the small boat!

This Hobart Show Day Long Weekend was a perfect example.  Meeting at Missionary Bay on Bruny Island on Thursday afternoon, we were surrounded by our friends who now have their own boats and we even outnumbered the ‘oldies’!

Even though it was a little cold and wet this weekend, that didn’t stop us from having fun.  It is so fantastic sitting side-by-side around a fire with people from different generations, as you stare into the flames, dodge the smoke, turn your sausages and chat away, knowing you have one very special thing in common – boating to beautiful places in Tasmania.

James in my black hole bag James and a dolphin Missionary Bay Missionary Bay Sauso's Harry and Pops Harry and Pops Missionary Bay New generation James being pampered Missionary Bay Missionary Bay Missionary Bay Missionary Bay Missionary Bay The Girls at Missionary Bay Indy and James James Bruny Island Dinghies Faye and James Dinghy's Spellbound Marshmallows Marshmallow Marshmallow Marshmallow BBQ Cool dude James Cool dude James BBQ Campfire Nicko Barb & Amanda Simpsons Bay Poppy Simpsons Bay My family Stacks on Maisy Pancakes Spellbound and Mistraal Mistraal Apollo Bay Barb's platter Dam building James, Maisy and I Muddy feet Highfield Dinghies Rainy bbq Hail strom at Apollo Bay Funny Faces Funny Faces Funny Faces Funny Faces Funny Faces


Rafting – The Franklin River

I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, as it is exactly 10 years ago to the day (Hobart Show Day) that I embarked on a 9 day trip down the famous Franklin River.

It was 2006 and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to raft the river with my work at TasTAFE (or Drysdale Institute back then).  This was the last trip for the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students for the year and there was a spare seat!  As an added bonus, I got to experience this majestic place with my teaching colleague’s – Marcus Morse, Tanky (Shaun Clement) and his wife Anna Fealy.  All very experienced guides who had spent countless commercial trips on ‘The Ditch‘!

I have had many bushwalking adventures in the Tasmanian wilderness over the years, but after experiencing this rafting trip, I gained a new found love and appreciation for our wild places in Tasmania.

The below quote from commercial operator – World Expeditions, sums this trip up beautifully:

There are few great frontiers left in the world – the Franklin is one of them. Free of pasture and any human habitation, it is a veritable feast for the intrepid explorer. Rafting down this superb river is the only way to truly appreciate its wild beauty. It is acknowledged as one of the most spectacular and challenging river trips around, attracting adventurers from all over the world. The opportunity of an expedition-style trip, rather than merely “thrills and spills” makes this the ultimate wilderness experience. At times on the trip, like all great expeditions, there will be times when patience is required. However, you will be one of the privileged few to have experienced this relatively untouched wilderness area – one of Australia’s most scenic and prized destinations.

I was so inspired by this majestic place, I even wrote a poem whilst on the river:

The Journey

An impending adventure

Surrounded by mystique and intrigue

A true wildness

A fight to save

A beauty beyond words

Forest like no other

Fluid, churning, meandering.

Rapids with descriptive names such as The Corkscrew, The Churn and Thunderush

Conjuring up anticipation and in some cases – fear.

Relaxing, drifting rafts

Bright red, contrasting with forest green

Camaraderie and team work

Loading, unloading

Lining and portaging.

Sleeping under snowy tarps,

Stars and a silver moon.

This journey down the mighty Franklin

Evoking emotions, challenges and wonder.

Rationed tea bags

Sandy bivvy pads

Cameras clicking

Smiles widening.

This journey of ours … down the mighty Franklin!

I will get back down there again one day – hopefully before another ten years pass!  Xx

Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River

Anna Fealy


Unite in Yellow

Unite in Yellow Lunch

I am blessed with amazing friends in my life and through Poppy, I have met even more amazing women who I love spending time with.  We have  children who are similar ages, who all go to the local schools in our area and where we bump into each other at school drop-off, Pilates, coffee catch-ups and play dates.

On Friday, a bunch of these gorgeous friends donned their heels, frocked up and caught the ferry out to Mona to attend the Unite in Yellow Lunch for Cancer Council Tasmania.

Unite in Yellow Lunch

Same Cause.  New Colour.  Yellow is the new Pink!  This event remains focused on raising awareness and funds for women’s cancers.  Donate to the Yellow Daffodil – our symbol of hope – ensuring all funds stay in Tasmania to support Tasmanians.

Denise Scott will be bringing the laughs this year. MONA will again serve up the finest gourmet food and wine in Tasmania and we are working on providing the best items for you to peruse in our famous silent auction.

We enjoyed a beautiful lunch, laughed at Denise Scott’s wit, raised money and caught the ferry back, where we continued on at Grape in Salamanca.

We stayed out way past our children’s bedtimes and it was such a pleasure to be surrounded by a group of women that are so lovely, supportive and truly beautiful.  Xx

Mona Ferry Mona Ferry Mona Unite in Yellow Lunch Unite in Yellow Lunch Unite in Yellow Lunch - Denise Scott Unite in Yellow - Em & I Anna, Em and I Mona Leaving Mona The Girls Mona Em The Girls The Girls Mona Anna, Em and Amy More bubbles Grape Anna and I Too many laughs! Alice, Anna and I The Girls The Girls Grape Furry Em


Open Day

We donned our stripes, popped the bubbles and celebrated the Opening Day of the 136th Yachting Season, on the Derwent River on Saturday with Nick’s family.

After saluting the Governor of Tasmania on a gorgeous Spring afternoon, we continued on to anchor at Nutgrove Beach, for an afternoon of food, festivities, friends and family.  Xx

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