lazy sundays at home: brunch, books, beauty, #butfirstcoffee

During the week, I barely pause to breathe.  I rush between home and work by bike, try to squeeze in a workout or catch up with a friend at lunch, go straight from work to blogging events or legal seminars and networking events, and then try to get home in time to spend time with Blair and/or walk the dogs.

Frequently, Blair’s away during all this (for example he just went to London for ten days twice this month).  On the rare occurrence that we get to spend the whole weekend together, we’ll often go away (to Matakana, Kumeu, Waiheke or to visit family and friends in Christchurch).

Recently though, he’s been away 3 weekends a month, and I’ve been perfecting my lazy Sundays at home.  It’s amazing what it’s done for my coming week’s organisation, blog planning (which has taken over wedding planning), and even my stress levels, to spend the whole day at home.


This is a non-negotiable, and even on a lazy Sunday, I need to feel caffeinated.  When Blair’s here, we usually go out for brunch (though I’ll often have my first coffee before we go), and when he’s away and I’m spending a lazy Sunday at home, I’ll have Nespresso.  He was the one who was dead-set on buying the Nespresso machine, which he uses all week, and I take full advantage of at the weekends.


brunch, Josh Emmett style
This week Nespresso hosted a panel interview, with Jesse Mulligan speaking to well-known kiwis about their morning routines, over a beautiful brunch designed by Josh Emmett.  I know, totally unfair (but at least I can share the recipes below!)

We started with an oat smoothie, complete with a shot of coffee (never thought of doing this!); before moving onto an emmental and ham buckwheat galette and an almond-milk chia pudding to finish.  I’ve tested out the recipes for all three now, and they’re very much easy Sunday brunch meals to prepare.  I love brunch so much, I actually wrote an article this week on organising a brunch wedding – these smoothies and chia puddings can be prepared the night before, which would be ideal.


If I’m not writing, I’m reading, and I’ve been trying to spend more time on the latter because it’s such a great escape and way to relax and beat stress.  I’m often between 5 books at any one time, and often don’t finish books, but rather enjoy the time spent reading them anyway.

Grit by Angela Duckworth is a non-fiction book I’ve recently started (and am about half way through) which has been my go-to when I need to regain focus on building my business, staying passionate and persevering.  Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success. You can watch Angela Duckworth’s Ted talk.


In other non-fiction, my inner tween is obsessed with Lauren Conrad, and I think I’ve skimmed every page of her new Celebrate at least three times, and read almost all of it.  Of course, hosting friends for meals (i.e. a delicious brunch!) is exactly what I love to do, and LC has an impeccably way of making every occasion one to celebrate in style.

For more incredible brunch recipes, A Year In My Real Food Kitchen is the stunning second book by Emma Galloway, a feast of new and seasonal vegetarian and gluten-free recipes.  The book is set out to follow the seasons, making the best of what’s available, and creating healthy, hearty meals from scratch at home – something I’ll only do on Sunday, and I love to do with Emma’s recipes.

Sunday is definitely a day for lazy hair, no make-up, and a little TLC if possible.  I start Sunday morning with a hair mask (Kerastase, always) and frequently end it with a face mask too (Manuka Dr or Bobbi Brown), and always keep my skin fresh and natural.  I’m using a mix of really natural products like Trilogy, and scientific based products from Murad.  Trilogy’s ultra hydrating face cream, and its other rosehip oil range are perfect for a lazy Sunday: I’ll apply both generously throughout the day, and massage the rosehip oil into my cuticles too.

For general skincare, I’ve been using Murad’s white brilliance range, which I truly love, and have just added Murad’s professional eye lift firming treatment into my routine.  Murad is a professional-strength level product range, so this product contains hyaluronic acid which plumps skin and smooths lines.  I like that some of the products I use are totally natural, and others are professional scientific formulas, life’s about balance right?

do try these at home

Buckwheat Galette with Champagne Ham and Swiss Cheese (I subbed for salmon and feta, and broccoli with feta and pine-nuts)

Josh says “Weekenders enjoy a lazy breakfast over a long coffee, so I think galettes should be compulsory if youre starting the day this way. Relax and ease your way into making this delicious treat and take some care over putting the galette together; its all about the presentation. A perfect way to start the weekend for the whole family.”

Makes 2 portions

  • Ingredients
  • 60g buckwheat flour
  • 3Og plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 250m1 milk
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 8 slices Champagne ham
  • lOOg Emmental cheese
  • Italian parsley, picked
  • Knob of butter

1. In a measuring jug combine the buckwheat flour, plain flour, one egg, milk and sea salt. Mix well with a whisk until completely combined.

2. Heat a large non-stick pan and brush with oil. Pour in enough mixture to spread and cover the base of the pan.

3. Once the galette starts to cook, sprinkle the entire base generously with Emmental cheese. Make a ring with the ham layering it around and leaving space in the centre. Crack an egg in the centre. Once the cheese is melted and the egg is half-cooked, fold in all four sides of the galette, leaving the ham and egg exposed.

4. Add a knob of butter to the pan and the place under the grill or in the oven for a few minutes until done. Finish with sea salt, parsley and black pepper.

Arpeggio Coconut and Chia Seed Pudding with Blueberries and Pistachios

Josh says “Fantastic for those who like to exercise in the morning – if you’re a Mover, grab this and go. Its a fast and healthy hit that can be prepared the night before.”

Makes 2 portions

  • 1 1/2 Cups coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • Half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, or to taste
  • 209 mixed nuts including pistachios
  • Coconut shavings
  • Plus, a 25ml ristretto shot of an Arpeggio Grand Cru in the morning

1. Place the coconut milk, chia seeds and agave syrup in a scalable container. Mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

2. In the morning extract a 25m1 ristretto shot of an Arpeggio Grand Cru, stir it through with a touch more coconut milk, if needed, to achieve the desired consistency. Then add the blueberries and nuts.

3. Serve in a glass with extra blueberries and nuts on top.