Friday, 30 September 2011

Feeling {Patent} Blue

OK.. I admit it - I've lost some of that positive energy I summoned during my smudging ritual.

In fact, this week has felt like an absolute drag.

Perhaps it's because the weather has been so uncertain (sunny one minute and pouring the next) or maybe it's because I'm just not feeling 100% as yet another nasty bug tests out my immune system. Whatever the reason, I decided to put my best foot forward today to lift my spirits and end my week with a little *POP* of colour.

Enter my awesome new shoes (which admittedly, looked MUCH better without stockings but it was just tooo cold to step outside today with bare legs.  p.s. this is a huge disappointment given I got myself a spray tan on Wednesday night)

 Anyway.. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Marilyn Monroe was a wise woman.

Thank goodness for the long weekend.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Drawn to Paris

I'm generally not a magazine buyer, but waiting in line at the supermarket the other day I was drawn to the cover of the September issue of Madison and flicking through I knew I had to buy it purely for this story on Kerrie Hess and her home in France.

I love the crisp white decor combined with the striking soft furnishings, sparkly chandelier and bold wall art. (Yep - that's a lot of adjectives...)

See for yourself - I think you would agree....



All images from the September 2011 issue of Madison

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Smudge This

My house has been on the market for 3 months. It's been a long and emotional process. So when someone suggested I try burning sage to 'rid the house of bad energy' after some initial scepticism I researched this theory (called smudging) and kept it in the back of my mind for several weeks until I was ready to give it a go.

Then late last week I figured it can't hurt, right? So on Friday, I went to a new-age crystal shop called The Eternal Spirit and bought myself a smudging stick..

Before I go on any further and lead you to believe that I've gone crazy, let me explain the theory -
Smudging is a ritual way to cleanse a person , place or an object of negative energies, spirits or influences. The smudging ceremony involves the burning of special, sacred plants and herbal resins, then, either passing an object through the resulting smoke, or fanning the smoke around a person or place. The spirit of the plant then purifies whatever is being smudged.
Read more here

My smudging stick was a combination of dried herbs, each with a different purpose in the 'cleansing' process:

Cedar (Libocedrus descurrens, Thuja occidentalis). 
This plant can also be used to purify, especially for negative emotions.

Sweetgrass (Hierochole odarata) 
This is one of the most sacred herbs used for smudging. This herb is used to bring positive energy in after negative energies are banished by using sage.

White Sage (Salvia apiana) 
This plant will drive out negative energies, spirits and influences. Use this as a smudge to purify people and places before any sacred ceremony. 

Lavender (Lavandula officianalis) 
This herb will restore balance and create a peaceful atmosphere. It will also draws loving energy and spirits.

I took a very casual approach to the smudging ritual and asked mum to assist me.. You know, because I'm sure Parental Guidance is Recommended!! After all, you set the smudging stick alight and fan the smoke into every corner of every room.

Anyway, following the smudging ceremony on Friday night, I realised that I've got a whole new outlook on the 'House Sale Process' - I'm now ready to see my house sell. Ready to move out and on to new adventures and somewhat at peace with the previous chapters of my life. I guess you could say that I have turned a corner.

Mum and I spent the weekend relishing in my new positive attitude. And come Monday morning I took my new positive outlook to work with me along with a brighter wardrobe away from my usual all black ensembles. (Miss Pip, you would be so proud of me).

So now let me share with you some Happy Tuesday images in line with my new positive attitude....

Images courtesy of Pinterest


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Thou Can't Help But Covet...

I bought a fancy camera last year.

It was a birthday present for myself.

..In November..

I played with it on automatic a little bit and vowed to do a photography course, but 10 months later I'm no closer to becoming a pro.. (It's on my list of things to do, promise).

Anyway... Miss Jodie recently introduced me to Sydney of The Daybook.

And I have been absorbed in her blog of witty writing and stylish fashion ever since.

You can see the original photos of Sydney rockin this outfit here
Then I saw this photo.. And noticed THAT bag.

It's a camera bag.
Sydney does photography.
So it would make sense that she carries her camera in a cute camera bag, right?

But have you EVER seen a camera bag THIS amazing ?!

I am in L-O-V-E

It's enough to make me grab my camera and get inspired again.

So imagine my disappointment when I discovered that THEIT only ship to USA or Canada.

Surely I can find a site to buy it from online ?

I'm off to find out.......


Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Stripey Addiction

It took a while for me to come around to the idea of stripes.

But now I am a shameless addict.

Those who know me in 'Real Life' know that my wardrobe is a collection of black. So don't be surprised that my new love of stripes is also monotone.

What I love most is how striking a black and white stripe can be. And it works for fashion and home decor. Ah-Mazing!

Here's a little collection of my fave stripey loves care of Pinterest.


Friday, 16 September 2011


What more can I say??

The weather forecast for Adelaide this weekend is devine - Mostly sunny and 27 degrees - So I'm looking forward to long lunches in the sun and casual walks on the beach with Miss Emmy.

Happy weekend everyone.


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Time to Sparkle

As the weather warms up, I'm starting to dream of fun Spring outfits.

Brace yourselves... I'm imagining outfits that won't have me wearing black from top to toe. *GASP!*
As you know, I am easily distracted by shiny things.. These gold sequin heels are no exception and I think they look devine paired with some fun pink accessories.

I am especially loving this outfit, because I'm a jeans and tank top kind of girl, but who says this combination has to be boring ?! (Any outfit can be glammed up a little with a hot pair of heels....)
Call me crazy, but I think this is the perfect outfit for a Sunday Brunch.

Time to Sparkle


Cake Boss

I have recently been introduced to the TV Show 'Cake Boss'.

Yes.. I know what you're thinking -
"Geez, Andie! Bit behind the eight-ball AGAIN aren't you?!'

But in my defence, I don't have Foxtel so I'm a little uneducated when it comes to amazing TV Shows about cakes.

Anyway, the cakes designed and made on this show are serious works of art.

I am totally inspired.

I have never worked with fondant before. And as you know - I'm all about the cupcakes.

I'm thinking that easy designs are probably a good starting point..

And then I can work my way up to something more fun.. Like a teaparty cupcake.

And this one's just for Jodie

And this one's for ME!

Love Love LOVE it!

Don't they all look delicious?!


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I'm Learning..

I am learning that it is OK to take time out.

I am learning that sometimes if I don't want to get out of bed and face the world, I don't have to.

I am learning that it is important to take the time to appreciate and celebrate the small things in life.

I am learning that the day after a complete emotional meltdown I feel invincable because I survived.

I am learning that I am stronger than I ever believed imaginable.

I am learning that bright pink lipstick and a stack of magazines can improve my mood any day of the week.

I am learning that I am surrounded by family and friends who love and support me.

I am learning that it is OK to live in the moment and do things that make me happy.

I am learning that I still have a lot to learn.


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Help

Have you heard about a movie called 'The Help' ?

Perhaps I've been living under a rock these past few weeks, because when a friend suggested we see this book turned film at the movies on the weekend, I hadn't heard a thing about it.

Here's a synopsis for those like me :

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon,  “The Help” stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s,  who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed —even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times.

Can I say, it is exciting to sit down with a choc top and popcorn and watch a movie about which you have no preconcieved ideas.

However, I was certainly not prepared to be confronted by the racial, sociological and historical issues raised throughout the duration of the movie. I laughed. And I cried. But above all else, I bonded with the characters. It was an unexpected but welcome way to spend my Saturday afternoon.

As for the cast - There were a few familiar faces.

Like Anna Camp as Jolene. If you're a True Blood fan, you'll remember her as Sarah Newlin or "wife of the Reverend" from the Fellowship of the Sun church Jason Stackhouse gets involved with in season two.

And do you recognise this guy ?

Yep - Chris Lowell (who was Dell in Private Practice) plays Stuart. And was a great choice for the role.

I'm certainly no movie reviewer and I must admit that lately I have been spending my time watching carefully selected films of the light hearted variety, so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this thought provoking movie and I would encourage you to see it for yourself.

Now I'm off to get the book..


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Pretty in Pink

Today I am dreaming of pink.

This could be directly related to the amount of pink fairy floss I have consumed in the past week due to my numerous visits to the Royal Adelaide Show.. Or it could just be because at heart, I really am a pink kind of girl..


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Being Happy

Things that make me happy :

Miss Emmy

Freshly cleaned sheets on my bed

Thick sliced toast with butter and peanut butter

Warm cookies fresh from the oven

Sitting on the couch under a doona with the airconditioner on

Getting a text message

Singing in the car


Wearing a new outfit and getting compliments about it

Catching up with a friend and talking for hours


Sunday afternoon baking

Freshly manicured nails

Listening to my iPod on shuffle

Frozen coke

Taking Emmy for a walk in the sun - Not knowing where we're going, just walking..

People watching in airports

Bonding with someone over a TV show (especially True Blood, because I can gush about Eric for hours..)

Wearing a dress or skirt that I can twirl in

Watching rain through a window

Laughing so hard that I'm no longer making any noise, but am gasping for air

Swinging on a swing set

Spending time with family

Bubble baths

Eating icecream out of the tub

Driving in the car with the windows down

Fairy bread

New shoes


Logging into Blogger and seeing that someone has commented on one of my posts  :)


Image Sources : Happy Print;  Emmy;  HugsIce-CreamTwirl;  Bubble BathShoes

Embracing Stripes

Hello, my name is Andie and I'm a stripe-oholic..
Shocking, I know.
I take back anything I have ever said about hating stripes and never introducing them into my wardrobe.
After much persistance by Miss Pip I gave stripes a go and now I am in love.
Here's my latest outfit of choice :
Embracing Stripes


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Cupcake Travels

After yesterday's post about fairy tales and the next chapters in my story, I thought I would begin a series of posts about all the possibilities ahead of me.

Remember how I blogged about this book here ??

Well, as expected, when the book arrived in the post I fell in   L - O - V - E

In recent weeks I have been dreaming of travelling and have wistful thoughts of Pastries in Paris and Tastings in Tuscany.

I always thought Europe was my destination of choice...
But now I'm strongly considering a trip to the US of A.

Mostly so that I can visit this store in San Francisco :

Images courtesy of Bakerella

It would all be in the name of research.

One day, I will open my own cupcake shop. Just ask Jodie! (I'm glad someone believes in me!)

Until then, I will dream of travels in search of the sweetest treats and the tastiest temptations.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Once Upon A Time..

"When I was a little girl I used to read fairy tales. In fairy tales you meet prince charming and he's everything you ever wanted. In fairy tales the bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is." - Taylor Swift

In fairy tales, the Princess doesn't have to worry about making the right decisions or choosing the right career path and she certainly doesn't question her direction in life. In fairy tales the story line is simple - Meet man of your dreams, fall madly in love and occassionally break into song whilst dancing through a forest.. (There's always a forest in a fairy tale).

Now, I realise that it would be terribly naive of me to believe that real life is as perfect as a fairy tale, but I must admit that it has been difficult to accept that life does not magically become 'happily ever after' the moment you say 'I Do'.

In fact lately I have found myself analysing the possibilities in my life since my story took a swift turn following a very sudden 'I Don't'.

The 'D-Word' doesn't exist in fairy tales. Princesses don't have to divide up the furniture and sell their castle. And admittedly, these are two things I never would have imagined myself doing, which gets me thinking about where I thought I would be in my life in my mid-20's. (Here's a hint : Separated from my husband was never on the list).

Many of my friends have reached their mid-20's and decided it's time to settle down. Some are engaged to be married and others have started their own families. And here I am writing my own fairy tale, which starts well after most stories end.

The question now is what will happen in the next chapter? Where will the next scene be set? The Princesses in traditional fairy tales didn't have to worry about their careers or their life decisions, but the uncertainty is what makes life exciting. I'm living my own 'Choose Your Own Adventure'.

And, I guess I need to remind myself that not all fairy tales are perfect.. I mean, Snow White lived in a house with seven men and Sleeping Beauty married a perfect stranger just because he kissed her while she was asleep.

But Taylor Swift is right - It would be really helpful if the bad guys in real life wore a cape, so you knew to stay away from them...


Words with Friends

Do you have a word that you love to use ?

Or is there a word that when you say it, you can't help but smile because it makes you happy ?

I do.

Mine is Swoon.

I don't use it often, but when I do, I can't help but smile.

It's such an emotive word.


As with most friendship groups, members of the Cool Pod at work have recently discovered that our vocabulary and daily phrases are contagious (including, but not limited to certain swear words that shall not be blogged).

Granted, some of these words are used more often than others but we compiled a list and find ourselves laughing at each other when we use them in general conversation.


Even more recently, I have been considering the importance of (arguably) my most used words - Awesome and Ah-Mazing. And I've decided that Ah-Mazing (and yes, that's how it's spelt because it's all about the pronounciation..) trumps Awesome.

As in : "OMG - Eric looked Ah-Mazing in True Blood last night" (not just awesome.. coz he is soo much more than that....)


Monday, 5 September 2011

Chocolate Baby Cakes

Hello my name's Chocolate Cake Recipe..

You might remember me from such things as this bundt cake post and the recent baby shower...!!

Ingredients :
220g butter
220g dark chocolate, chopped
25g coffee granules
125g self-raising flour
125g plain flour
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
480g caster sugar
4 eggs
7 tsps vegetable oil
100ml buttermilk.

This time, I iced the cupcake with a cream cheese frosting which I could have eaten out of the bowl..

227g cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
Mix in icing sugar, one cup at a time.
Mix in cocoa powder.

Just a quick note - if you plan on piping this frosting onto your cupcakes, go easy on the icing sugar! I merrily added the entire 4 cups before it dawned on me that I would not be able to pipe the mixture, hence the 'choc-top appearance' of my cupcakes (definitely not the look I was going for..) But it was delicious all the same.


Friday, 2 September 2011

White Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

More Baby Shower Recipes

Today's recipe is bought to you by the letter T for Tart. 

White Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

white chocolate raspberry tarts  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

These were soooo easy. And the end product is soooo cute.

Give them a try if you ever need to take a cute little dessert to an event. These little treats are sure to impress.


165g butter, softened
1/2 C icing sugar
1 + 1/2 C flour
283g white chocolate, melted & cooled
1/4 C thickened cream
227g cream cheese

How to make them ??

First, prepare the pastry.

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and icing sugar until light & fluffy.

Gradually add flour; mix well.

Press into an ungreased tart pan.

Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool on a wire rack.....

TART CASES white chocolate raspberry tarts  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chocolate and cream.

Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.

Spread (or pipe) into individual pastry cases.

Refridgerate for 30 minutes.

Arrange raspberries over the filling.


white chocolate raspberry tarts  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


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