Monday, October 26, 2009

In this very moment...

I have been inspired by a blog that i just read to recreate her list of 'currents'. Lets have a see....

Listening to: A the moment US baseball because my husband has control of the remote while i have control of the laptop

Crushing on: I would agree with Miss Carly and say Chuck Bass from Gossip girl. I only discovered this serious during the school holidays just passed. I quickly consumed 2 seasons in 4 days...

Lusting over: This chair on
I would LOVE this chair, and it seems it comes in bright red... which i think would look FANTASTIC!

Consuming: My husband just heard the Home Ice cream truck and we brought a few things, one of which was a very sweet Callipo style ice block in raspberry flavour. Yummo!

Rocking: My mega comfy maxi dress. I love it as it looks good and is so simple!

Reading: As of yet nothing but i am anticipating i will read Matthew Riley's new book 'Five greatest warriors'. I do love his books, they are like an action movie with so many twists and turns!

Watching: Boston legal. I have some seasons downloaded on a hard drive that i watch every now and again. I love it's quirky characters.

Stressing over: What i am going to do with a particular class i teach. They are driving me up the wall!!

Scared of: Falling off the weight loss bandwagon. I really need to keep going this time.

Style i love: Beautiful decor often posted on some of my favourite blogs like &

Make-up essential: Mascara and under eye concealer

Wanting: A pretty but flattering summer dress that's below the knee... still searching

Loving: As always, my Husband. Although i also can't seem to get enough of my Nephew Lachlan. He has been on a roll with his talking and he is a crack up!

Hanging for: New Moon! I love love love Twilight. I know, it's like a dirty little secret, but it's oh so good!

Addicted to: Cooking in my Moroccan Tagine! I love sweet salty foods so i am loving using my glam tagine and cooking up something tasty dotted with nuggets of dried fruits and almonds served up with fluffy cous cous ...mmmmmm

So tell me... what are some of your currents?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Imaginary shopping spree

The latest blog this challenge is to spend an imaginary $200 on etsy. When i first saw this i thought.. oh god, where would i start. I lust over so many things from that beautiful site. There are just so many talented artists out there creating wonderful things!

So.. after careful deliberation here goes...

Chandelier Wall decal


I would place this beauty above our bed. I love the idea of these decals and have been lusting over them for ages, however it takes me a while to commit to something so for now i am just looking.

Amy butler fabric


I ADORE Amy Butler fabric. I have seen it featured on so many different blogs in varying DIY jobs and it always look eye catching and has beautiful harmonious colours. I would love to get some

fabrib and use it to made my window seat that i want to build (eventually).

Children's bunting


This would be a great gift idea i could use for any of my nieces and nephews. It is cute, but unique.

Ava’s Tea Party

$ 95.00

I would buy this beautiful print from Belle & Boo. Not only is it whimsical, it also celebrates the life of a beautiful little girl who’s life was tragically cut short. I would love to keep this one day for my own daughter (if i am so blessed), to remind me every day to cherish my little girl, because we don’t know the next turn life will take.

I have gone a TAD bit over in my 'spending', but hey, it's well worth it. So... what would you buy?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Product Review: Hillcrest Cafe Collection Vanilla Cupcakes

I found this cupcake pack at Aldi the other week and decided to try it out. I often like to make cupcakes myself from scratch, but it never hurts to have a pack ready to go in the cupboard in case you need to whip something up quickly.

What i really liked about this cake mix is that it comes with cupcake cases in the pack. This definitely makes it an all in one mix! It also comes with it's own frosting.

When i made these i did use extra light margarine and skim milk as they were all i had, plus i am trying to make some lower in fat treats! (Yes i am aware that is a complete oxymoron.. sigh).
I also baked 6 regular cakes and the rest as mini cakes. It makes quite a lot (at least 20) mini cakes, and that was only half the mix, seeing as i made 6 regular ones as well.

The cake itself is quite nice and fluffy, although without the richness of a homemade cake. The icing had a strong butter taste, although this could be because of the extra light marg that i used.

I would definitely say these are a great standby to have in the cupboard, and you really could play around with the base flavour and add anything you wanted to change it around a bit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Front garden plans.

I had a horticulturalist from Sydney Water come and visit the other day. It was part of a service where you pay $33 for a Sydney Water horticulturist to come and prepare a tailored watering plan for your garden.

The qualified horticulturist looks at:

  • soil type and quality
  • position of plants and trees
  • type of lawn
  • how much sunlight and shade your garden gets
  • slope of your lawn and garden.
and then give you recommendations on what are the best plants for your garden, how often you should water it and other great tips.

I really enjoyed the visit. I had previously believed our soil to be very poor quality but he told us otherwise. We were advised to use some river sand in parts where we have some clay soil.

What excited me the most was that he told me that the front of our house has perfect soil and sun/shade that we could pretty much grow anything, in particular a cottage garden with a native twist.

I have lone coveted a cottage garden in front of a house near us. I was given some cards with descriptions of different types of gardens (Native, Cottage, Sub Tropical and Courtyard) which has some information on it, as well as a link to their website, which contains more information on a large variety of plants.

I have now set to work planning our front garden. I would love a cottage garden, but also lie the idea of having some natives, particularly as we have a large gum in our front yard. After a bit of browsing i am looking at the above plants for the front garden. They are a mix of shrubs, ground covers & flowering plants. Of course i haven't priced these yet. I am hoping they won't be too expensive.

I would defiantly recommend you look up this service if you are a keen gardener, especially if you are beginner like me. It was a really interesting and informative experience!

Now lets make like Mary quite contrary and see how MY garden grows...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tell us about your your guilty pleasure, why you love it so much, where, when, how and what!

Oooohhh what is my guilty pleasure? I think we all have those smaller ones, like a piece of chocolate (i like mine dark and creamy...).

I would say mine is coffee and cake.. I LOVE going out for coffee and cake. My Mother and I used to go quite often when i was in high school. If we went out shopping we would stop for a coffee and cake. Sometimes if we wanted lunch we would share a sandwhich.. then share a cake. I definitely inherited my insatiable sweet tooth from my Mother!

Then when I met my husband some of our early dating revolved around coffee and cake. I would often meet him after work and we would head to a cafe to share a bit of cake. We would talk for hours as other patrons came and went.

The guilt comes from consuming the calorie laden delight. I tend to gravitate towards chocolate concoctions or tangy lemon varieties.The pleasure comes from the company that this is shared with. This is truly a guilty pleasure that is best shared. You talk and talk between mouthfuls of the sweet treat and warm brew.

I don't have this guilty pleasure as much anymore. Life gets busy and it is hard to find that time to grab. However, when i really want to be decadent and have a great chat, my go to is always a bit of cake.

As a matter a fact... i think i may just head off to have some guilty pleasure today...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fluffy Cupcakes with Strawberry Marshmallow Icing

It is school holidays for me and i have had a very serious urge to bake. I saw a recipe on Not Quite Nigella, where she added soft drink to the cake mixture. I decided i would give this a go. Originally i thought i had some creaming soda like the recipe stated, however i realised i did not.
I made a few alterations to the orginal recipe, such as using diet coke (i figured there was enough sugar in the recipe as was) and i also used self raising flour (i didn't have any bakinbg powder) and i also used extra light butter and skim milk (In a bid to make it lower in fat and see the difference).

Fluffy Cupcakes
  • 125grams softenedextra light margerine
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups self raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup diet coke

Pre heat oven to 180
Cream the butter an sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add one egg at a time, beat until combined.
Alternate between addin flour and the milk, 1/2 each time.
Add the diet coke, mix until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases. Bake in moderate oven for 15 min or until lightly browned.

Marshmallow icing

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 tablesoppn strawberry jelly crystals
  • 2 egg whites

Cook sugar and water until the sugar dissolves.
Turn the heat up to boiling and using a candy thermometer bring to 160.
Take off heat and sprinke jelly over the top. Mix in well
Beat the egg whites together until they form soft peaks.
Pour the hot sugar into the egg qhites in a slow steady stream while still beating.
Beat for approx. 10 minutes until thick and glossy.
Ice immediately.