Who am I?

I’m a Kiwi girl who moved to Sydney a few years back. I live on the inner west lower north shore with my lawyer man (LM) and our fluff-bucket pooch, Bella. Every so often, we also have the company of an oft-grunting and funny teenager, too

Now in its third year, this is my ‘starter blog‘! Sometimes, I surprise even myself.

At the time I started this blogging caper, I was dipping my toe in the waters of things design oriented. I completed a couple of tours at the International School of Colour and Design here in Sydney.

And, I learnt a few things. Mainly, I learnt that I am not a designer. I just have a strong sense of what I like!

Along the way, despite protesting that this is not a food blog, my most popular posts – by a considerable margin – have been those about food. Perhaps I should have read between the lines…

I was lucky enough to grow up with a Mum who is a great cook. She experimented with new dishes. She was making her own taramasalata years before it became fashionable in wee New Zealand at the bottom of the world. And, she had some favourites – as a family, we still think her chicken liver pâté is the best. Every year, my sister asks Mum to make her version of Zuppa Inglese* at Christmas. And, speaking of Christmas, her Christmas mince tarts are widely acknowledged as THE BEST IN THE WORLD. (No bias here.)

Until I left home, I never really appreciated that not everyone ate like we did.

As a result, I have always appreciated good food. But, it has taken a bit of time, not to mention a reasonably circuitous road, for me to understand just how important food is in my life, and how much I enjoy cooking for those I love. Sounds a little hokey when I see it written down, but it’s true.

Here at Casa TSL, over the past year or so, we have been evolving the way we eat. This is the direct result of a few niggling health issues – mainly LM’s strong allergy to all things cow juice, and my intolerance to gluten. I have done a serious amount of reading in an effort to understand what it all means, not to mention how it happens.

And, you know what? – It takes work. Putting nutritious and delicious food on the table takes work. But, when you add the removal of all things gluten and dairy (like we do here at Casa TSL), it complicates the cooking experience further. And, dining out becomes MUCH more of a challenge.

The more I learn, the more I realise that these allergies to food are on the increase. They are not going away. So, rather than fight it any more, this year TSL is going to have a change in direction. The focus will be more towards food – both here at Casa TSL, and dining out in Sydney. I haven’t quite worked out what it all means in blog-terms, but I promise you’ll be the first to know!

I hope you’ll stick with me for the ride. Who knows where it may lead…

 

My Mum’s Zuppa Inglese is nothing like the linked recipe. But, hers is a safely guarded secret!

 

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104 thoughts on “Who am I?”

  1. Hi! I’m so pleased to have found your blog. I used to live in Sydney and I miss it so much. Now I can keep up-to-date with all the cool stuff going on… thank you! 🙂

    Like

  2. Hey back! I used to live in London, so same goes! I think your blog is gorgeous.

    Like

  3. We are almost in possession of a blue water sailing craft. Sydney would be a fabulous destination. It is on our dream destination list. Looking forward to your posts about Sydney.
    Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle.

    Like

  4. Thanks so much for following my blog – I hope you enjoy it! I love the theme you chose here – looking forward to the quirk factor! 🙂 ~ Shira

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  5. Hey there! Thanks a stack for following our blog and all the “likes”. It’s greatly appreciated – hope we can keep on inspiring! Had a quick gander at your blog – I really adore some of your past posts (you source the most interesting titbits and awesome-est products)! It always such a pleasure to meet new and like-minded WordPress friends! I’ll be watching you…;) As the locals here in South Africa say, “sala kahle”, stay well. – Marica @ The Design Tabloid

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    • G’day from Sydney, Marica – what a lovely message. Thank you. I feel the same about The Design Tabloid. I’ll be keeping an eye on all your lovely stuff. Totally agree with your sentiment on meeting like-minded blogging buds. Cheers, J 🙂

      Like

  6. Hey – thanks for liking my post! May I ask where you stumbled upon my website? Have a lovely day!

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  7. Okay now, you, my dear, have now been nominated! It’s the Versatile Blogger award and I have nominated you! Here are the details: http://inpursuitofmore.com/2012/03/04/finding-more-in-just-a-little-versatile-blogging/ Cheers! Shira

    Like

  8. Thanks for following my blog. Since I write about food from EVERYWHERE, I look for fun blogs from different locations. Yours looks to be a great Aussie/New Zealand blog. Looking forward to your posts.
    I just started in January and I am finding this blogging addictive. Hope you enjoy it as well….

    Like

  9. larooblog said:

    great blog, my dear. thanks for introducing me to it! 🙂

    Like

  10. I love reading your blog – fun and interesting posts! That’s why I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award on day 128 of my creativity challenge. Keep up the good work!

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  11. thank you so much for liking my post..i love your blog and will follow and as a fellow novice blogger ( with the same theme it looks like) can i ask you…how do you get this comment forum happening?? i am such a blog gumby i am just working my way through it .. having said that i am beginning to get into a rhythm with my posts and aim to use my blog to showcase the best of perth from an interior design point of view….we have some fabulous things happening here just on a much smaller scale…..i work as an interior designer but really want to be a stylist….not much work here for that sort of thing….

    Like

  12. Hey I Me Mine – bless your cotton socks! The comments will come with a little time – promise! When you post something that resonates or that people like they will let you know.

    I thought your post was gorgeous and will be checking in again! May the force be with you! 🙂

    Like

  13. Thanks for liking my post because now I get to read your wonderful blog about Sidney. Beautiful! I want to visit someday with my husband -he has wanted to visit since he was a boy. All the best to you.

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  14. Hello there! Greetings from America! I’ve spent last 5 years in Sydney and have moved to States only last year! You recently liked my “Miles of Beauty” post on Sydney and I was Super delighted as it felt like someone from back home visited my place or something! Gosh! miss Sydney so much! I wish I could call Australia home.. sob sob! But you never know..I may end up in Australia couple of years later! In the Interim, I reckon I will keep on visiting “thissydneylife” for updates 😉
    Great work! Cheers.

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  15. Love the Clax! Can totally see LM pushing it proudly 😉 xxx

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  16. Hello! Thrilled you liked my blog post! Thanks so much for visiting! You have a wonderful blog-I enjoyed perusing your site. I will certainly visit again!
    Kristin

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    • Hi Kristin – I like your concept of grouping one theme into a number of images and I reckon’ you do it well! Very Happy we have a mutual blog appreciation thing going! See you again soon!
      Cheers 🙂

      Like

  17. Thank you very much for visiting 20 Lines a Day blog and liking my photos.
    I will stop by soon to stroll through your blog and enjoy your work.
    Lori
    x

    Like

  18. Like your blog – very nice 😉

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  19. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! You’ve got a lot of fun entries 🙂 I certainly wish I was living in Sydney. – Rebecca (@stitchemporium)

    P.S. – I love Rupert Grint, so thanks for sharing that clip!

    Like

  20. Thanks for liking my post! I really enjoyed your blog and look forward to perusing it thoroughly…makes me want to move to Sydney! (But I can’t fly.)

    Arooooo! Stuart

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  21. Great to stumble across your blog – I’m a Kiwi gal living in Queensland… always nice to connect with similar people 🙂

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    • Hi Lou – I’m actually at home with the ‘rents as I write this. Auckland is sunny one minute and teaming down the next… nothing changes!

      Great to have you pop in to say howdy. And, always great to have a fellow Kiwi drop by. 🙂

      Like

  22. You are such an interesting person, and this is just what I gleened from your ‘about’ page!
    your blog is so well done!
    Janis

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  23. Hi there. I just stumbled across this site while doing a little serch for heston blumenthal this morning and something made me click on your link and have a little nosy around… I’m guessing we live in a 15 minute radius of each other, so just wanted to say “welcome” to life in the inner west. Your photos are gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to reading some more of your creative reflections on life in Sydney and beyond.

    Like

  24. Thanks for liking my post at: http://simplecherishes.wordpress.com/. I am a new blogger and have much to learn. Yours is such a fun and beautiful blog.

    Like

  25. G’day and like all other comment-makers, I’ve just found and love your site. Especially yesterday’s post on the tapestries – Wow! Being an upcycling-upholsterer myself it’s given me great inspiration. Great work and I look fwd to following your site. Kate…

    Like

  26. Hi there! I also live in Sydney (in Ultimo/Pyrmont)…if you live close, we should totally catch up some time for a coffee and discuss the joys of blogging/ inspiration!! My email address is nixsheth@gmail.com.

    Like

  27. just read through your last few posts i love the art humour you find! Jealous about missing the lights show around syd at the moment i hear its wonderful, too far to swim from just over the ditch 😉 yet another follower from me, looking forward to the new posts!

    Like

  28. I’ve nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award! Great stuff you do!
    To accept follow the link: http://lifeinrelationtoart.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/484/

    Like

  29. Hi there, just wanted to say I’m lovin’ your blog .. as a Sydney gal, it makes me wish I was still there, not just visiting every once in a while! But then again, living not far from Byron Bay is pretty good too! Looking forward to your next posts 🙂

    Like

  30. Merhaba! As am admirer or your work, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award – pop on over to my page http://crazytraintotinkytown.com for details. Appreciate these awards involve some work, so please take your time or if you have received them before, my apologies but it’s still nice to know someone appreciates your blog. May your day be filled with sunshine

    Like

  31. Hi!
    We just wanted to let you know that the artMag team (http://artmagonline.wordpress.com) has nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award!
    Click here to find out what to do next: http://artmagonline.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/on-one-lovely-blog-award/ Good luck!!!

    Like

  32. Love your work & your approach – my favorite moment being “style” over “fashion”. I’m remodeling my links page at my own blog and am delighted to include TSL in the new wave! I’d recommend your site to anybody with an eye and half a brain. (To be fair I’d recommend it to people without eyes or brains as well, but you get the idea).

    Like

  33. Christine said:

    HI TSL I have seen your replies on my friend’s blog theGlobalgarnishgeek and as I am a Sydney girl living in England you have my attention, really pleased that you are also a poodle lover. I have a black toy. For the present I am going to stay on the sidelines and enjoy your blog

    Like

  34. Hello,

    I am Antony Makhlouf and I am inviting you to the opening of my show FORMULA tomorrow night at FIRE Gallery 22 Enmore Rd, Newtown from 6pm to 9pm.

    Below is a link to the event details.

    Would love you to come along and have a look,

    Regards,

    Antony Makhlouf

    http://www.facebook.com/events/384445311627839/
    antonymakhlouf.com/exhibitions
    artwhatson.com.au/antonymmakhlouf/formula

    Like

  35. I’ve noticed your fun comments on Out of the Birdcage all these months, and why I haven’t thought to click on your link before now is a mystery. You have a lovely blog as well!

    Like

  36. Hey there TSL, I’m one of your regular readers, though I have a Melbourne life! I really love how you are such a strong supporter of the arts and of creatives in general. I’ve currently got a show on in Melbourne at Anita Traverso Gallery and I would love for you to have a look (on line, at least!).

    Here’s a link or two, just to convince you!

    http://www.anitatraversogallery.com.au/
    http://www.artguide.com.au/features/recommended/tracy-potts/

    And much to my surprise (and delight!) the gals at handmadelife have written a spledid entry on their blog…

    http://handmadelife.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/show-of-week.html

    Cheers for now, and thankyou for the effort you put into keeping us informed on the wonderful things in the world!

    trace

    Like

    • Hey there Trace!

      Thanks for dropping by with your lovely comments. Always good to know I’m not just posting away to myself in cyberspace!

      I checked out all your links. Oh, wow! I think your work is just a m a z i n g. Go you. Sometimes, there are days I wished I lived in Melbourne. Today is one of them. I would love to see your work in the flesh (even handmade life says it has to be seen to be believed). Are you represented in Syders at all?

      I would love to do a wee post about you – can you perhaps send me a wee bio? I couldn’t find a website for you, other than your flickr site. I can download some of the images from Anita Traverso to show the TSL followers, but I’d love a bit more about you…?

      Anyhoo – I do hope the exhibition goes swimmingly.

      Cheers from me

      Like

  37. TSL, thanksSO much! I’ve copied below the text from Dylan Rainforth, written for the recommended/ features section of Art Guide Australia. I don’t know if it’s too formal? Let me know if so and I can write up something more personal.

    By Dylan Rainforth

    Birds’ nests are commonly woven together from materials found in their habitats. As “natural” environments have increasingly been shaped by human intervention these nests have come to incorporate artificial materials, such as plastics, newspaper, wire and metallic objects.

    This is also true for the work of Tracy Potts, whose work gathers a diverse array of materials that are then assembled using a range of improvised, yet skilful, techniques. Anna Briers, in the catalogue essay for I Am Your Exotic Bird, says that “Potts’ practice unashamedly elicits the inner magpie. Embracing embellishment, the canvas picture plane is bejeweled with candy-coloured sequins and gleaming gold beading that refracts the light, creating points of interest.”

    At the same time – and this is where any ornithological metaphors are destined to fall down – Potts is actively engaged in representation. Totems, figures and quasi-structural forms proliferate across the series; narratives are created and coded and, within a woven framework of memory and personal histories, the interwoven materials act as mnemonics.

    The artist herself has described the series as a thinking-through – and a contestation – of the notion of “feminine space”. (It is certainly worth reflecting here on traditional – yet never neutral – theoretical alignments between natural/feminine/crafted and cultural/masculine/artistic spaces.)

    Potts began to think about “feminine space” after reading, and being perplexed by, a fellow artist’s declaration that her own work reflected such a thing. Elaborating, Potts talks of being troubled by a childhood friend’s bedroom that was “all pink and lavender and frilly… Her mother had made her into a girl, no doubt about that. I was just me. Very puzzling, indeed.”

    By contrast, Potts maintains the right to shape her own environment and world, one she will craft improvisationally (with full awareness of the gendered connotations):

    “Throughout ponderings on this topic,” Potts says, “[though] I would often forget to focus on the topic of feminine space, I was teaching myself to release – to break away from pre-conceived thought, to let go of planning my artworks. To learn a new control – no control… It was a very exciting and discomforting process. Wrestle, release, wrestle again.”

    And an excerpt from Anna Brier’s essay..
    “Unconventional and eccentric!

    ‘In an age of Guerilla Knitters, Craftivists and Stitch’n’Bitch circles – aligning craft making as the cultural output of tea drinking Nannas or bored housewives is tantamount to living under a rock…Not that the artistic practice of Tracy Potts could strictly be confined by such narrow definitions…In fact the visual language of the artist is a complex mesh of idiosyncratic decorative tendencies and contradictory historical reference points. Potts’ work evades being pigeonholed into any particular artistic canon and this is what makes it so engaging.’

    There you go! As I said, if you think it’s unsuitable for your blog, let me know what you would like and I’ll see what I can muster up!

    Here’s some links to my work…

    http://www.anitatraversogallery.com.au/Artists/TRACY-POTTS

    http://www.artguide.com.au/features/recommended/tracy-potts/

    Like

  38. Lovely to meet you today! Thanks for popping into our Eclettica shop. Alexia & Tania

    Like

  39. Hello! I’ve nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award! It’s up to you whether you want to join in or not, see my blog for details. 🙂

    Like

  40. Happy New Year TSL! Thank you for sharing so much amazing design and creative works, you’ve opened my eyes to so many beautiful and funky things (if only I could afford them all). Wishing you a fabulous 2013 and to kick it off I’ve nominated you for the Blog of the Year Award 2012, you can read about it here: http://twoblackdoggies.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/roll-out-the-red-carpet/. Feel free to accept or ignore, I know how much time these awards take up and I won’t be offended 🙂

    Like

  41. Love your blog. Thought I’d let you know of an exhibition I’ve got coming up in Sydney. It’s going to be a great night and perhaps it could be something you might be interested in talking about?

    https://www.facebook.com/events/431414713600034/

    Like

  42. Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Inspiring Blog Award! I love your blog and find it to be very inspirational! Check out more here…http://myskyisthelimit.wordpress.com/

    Like

  43. Hi! I just found your blog and absolutely love it! I’d love to send you an invite to an arty event happening at Name This Bar, Oxford Street that I think you would be interested in. What is the best way to invite you/send details? Thanks – Jo x

    Like

  44. Dear This Sydney Life,

    I stumbled across your blog today and was super excited to see your post on the 29th of November last year regarding the Tokyo Milk Kabuki Hand Cream. Thank you for your feedback!

    MU Australia are the Australian distributors of Tokyo Milk and if you want to have a look at http://www.muaustralia.com or email me at carly@muaustralia.com I would love to send you down a sample of one of the other products. You mentioned the other products were hard to find here but I can now help you satisfy your Kabuki craving 🙂

    I look forward to hearing from you and thanks again!

    MU Australia

    Like

    • Hey Carly – Thanks so much for stopping by! It might interest you to know that as a result of that particular post, I received a few Tokyo Milk items in my Christmas stocking. Yummy!

      Like

  45. HI, was just talking about your blog to my photographer friend Reiner Spliedt. I like your quirky style. I know you’re a fan of all things arty so want to invite you along to his photography show opening. It’s called Bluescapes and showcases Sydney’s disappearing industrial heritage. Opening night is 18 May 5-8pm at INDE Artspace, Lv 4 119 Kippax St, Surry Hills. You might also find the venue in itself quite interesting. Anyway, check out http://www.inde.com.au if you are interested. This show is one of the fringe or ‘associated’ shows in the Head On Photo Festival. If you want to make a gallery crawl out of it I can suggest 3 other shows to check out in the same area. The show is on till 2 June. Let me know if you’re keen to come on opening night. I hope so! Kirsten

    Like

  46. Good site!

    Like

  47. Hi there. I found your blog via your liver post. I am a Sydney adoptee too. If interested in eating liver in a restaurant, I noticed that the City Tattersalls (old lady club in Pitt St) had it on the set lunch menu in their Zest restaurant over the weekend.

    Like

  48. Congratulations on “Using Media like a Pro!” http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/embedding-media-shortcodes/

    Like

  49. I am so glad I found your great blog….I do too have many strong allergies…such as metal from mines….nickel….tungsten…but also gluten….and I recently began a raw alkaline diet….I look forward for your new posts.
    Xx
    France

    Like

  50. Hi,Thank you for the hart warming blog .i saw your reply on paleocollegestudent.worldpreess.com blog you said you know how to get rid of blastocystis hominis. Please Help .How can i get rid of blastocystis hominis.
    Thank you in advance.

    Like

    • Hi Arthur – I resorted to antibiotics via an infusion after herbal meds did not work. The biggest takeaway is that parasites most often take hold in a compromised gut. So, when you have eliminated the Blasto’, you need to immediately undertake a protocol to heal your gut. I recommend working with a naturopath or functional doctor AND strictly managing your diet – I was already following the Autoimmune Protocol but I also went sugar free, too (no fruit). I was taking bone broth and homemade sauerkraut daily, too.

      Good luck!

      Like

  51. Absolutely composed written content, Really enjoyed looking through.

    Like

  52. Trish Ranieri said:

    Hey there Joanna. Just letting you know I tried the no tomato ragu with Kangaroo mince. Trying to economise on the AIP. I put in bacon instead of speck and did not add any other meats. Really , just in case it was a flop. Next time I can put the livers. Its so yum . I have it with sweet potato noodles and spiralised parsnip. Cheers

    Like

    • Hi Trish

      Thanks so much for taking the time to post about your tomato-free ragu experience. I love hearing stories like this.

      ‘Roo mince is an inspired choice. If it was available at my local farmers market (where I buy all my meat) I would do that, too! So glad it worked well – and, please do add those livers next time. They are SO good for you!

      Do head over to joannafrankham.com where you’ll find the This Sydney Life recipes and a whole lot of new content!

      Like

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