Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It's About the Journey

I learnt a lesson on the weekend.

Nothing profound or earth shattering, but it was definitely one of those moments where I found myself thinking "ohh.. now I get it".

And it was totally unexpected.. which is perhaps why I remain in such a philosophical mind-frame a two days later.

In short, I decided to visit my Nan. She lives over an hour away but was released from hospital on Friday, having been admitted prior to Christmas.

The drive is never particularly difficult and given the right playlist or company in the car and the trip can be fairly pleasant.

But let's face it... Visiting Nan is more about the destination than the car ride to get there. Total car time for the round trip is approximately 3 hours, which is usually more time than I actually spend with her. But, being the good granddaughter that I am, I decided to make the trek on Sunday despite not being able to convince anyone to keep me company.

I think the 'lesson' I learnt is very much an extension of this post from August last year when I discovered that spending time with myself can be hugely rewarding. I learn new things about myself everyday.

OK, are you ready for it ??

Live in the moment. 

Yep. I know it seems incredibly simple, but I think it's a philosophy that is so easy to forget, particularly if you're anything like me and seem to be constantly worried about the past or the future; the 'what-ifs' and the 'maybes'.

So, I've now realised that sometimes (not all the time, because.. well, I want to be realistic here....) I need to remind myself to focus and enjoy the journey, to be more aware of my surroundings.

I need to be less concerned about the destination and more aware of the journey to get there.

And I made this 'profound' discovery whilst travelling to my Nan's house - convertible-style.

Travel In Style

BTW - I'm sorry for using the word 'journey' in this post. I am of the opinion that this word is greatly over-used, particularly by reality television contestants (think Biggest Loser) and it makes me cringe a little. And think of tacky drinking games where the key word is 'journey'. But in this case, it was entirely necessary. So drink up.


Monday, 23 January 2012

Girl Crush : Rachel Bilson

You know her from The OC..

But my appreciation of Rachel Bilson comes from her new show - Hart of Dixie.

Here's the deal - 

Fast-talking New Yorker Dr Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) graduates from college with dreams of becoming a cardio-thoracic surgeon just like her dad, but it doesn't work out quite the way she expected, so she accepts a job offer from a stranger to work with him at his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. Upon arrival, Zoe finds out the kind man has passed away and she has inherited half his medical practice. 
Zoe soon discovers that not everyone is welcoming to newcomers, particularly young females doctors with impeccable style....

And yes (on and off the small screen) the girl has style.

ohmigod - LOOK at her.

And of course, there's the requisite mantastic eye-candy ...

Wilson Bethel - aka 'Wade'

Yeah - I'm speechless too...

Scott Porter - aka 'George Tucker'

Get on board..

You can thank me later.


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Unleashing My Inner-Artist

Lipstick inspired art.

I found it; I pinned it; I made it.

And now it hangs over my bed.


So I was always a very creative little girl; Forever finishing one art project and moving on to the next. Painting, drawing, and yes decoupaging.. but over the years my artistic side has taken a back seat to more domestic projects like house renovations and gardening.

When I pinned this particular piece of art, I didn't really imagine that I would ever recreate it. But I got inspired to paint after Miss Pip started working on a project of her own.

And surprisingly (or not.. depending on how impressed you are with my painting skills) it didn't take me long at all.

Now that I have unleashed my inner-artist again, I'm in search of a new project. 


Friday, 20 January 2012

I'd Like You To Meet Someone..

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our Share House family...


She is a true foodie who currently lives on our dining room table.

Isn't she pretty ?!


(Gorgeous flowers courtesy of Miss Morgan. What a lovely surprise to receive a bunch of Cheer Up flowers when I'm feeling a little low!)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Project Healthy House : Raspberry & Almond Cake

Over the weekend, Mum cleaned out her freezer. This has resulted in a few meals of frozen soup and casseroles which were transferred to her place when I sold my house.

But more excitingly, she also gave me a few boxes of frozen berries.

My mind immediately began to think of all the berrylicious sweets I could make - Chocolate raspberry brownies, fruit smoothies, banana and berry bread...... Or even just icecream and berries - YUM!

But in keeping with the Project Healthy House theme, I decided to search for a recipe that would have the approval of my housemates.

(BTW - It's week two of Project Healthy House and since I've injured my shoulder and have to rest, making changes to my baking/eating habits is about as committed as it gets right now)

Anyway, back to the berries.....

I turned them into a cake.

raspberry and almond meal cake >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Raspberry and Almond Cake

A relatively healthy, light, sweet cake.

Wanna try it for yourself ?

I think you should.


2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed

6 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)

Yeah... That's it.  FOUR ingredients.

Super easy.


Preheat oven to 160°C. 
Grease a 22cm round springform cake tin. 
Line base and side with baking paper.
Place 2 cups raspberries in a bowl. 
Using a fork, mash to combine.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick and glossy. 
Using a metal spoon, gently fold in raspberry and almond meal, alternately, until combined.
Pour into prepared tin. 
Bake for 60 minutes or until golden and firm. 
Cool in tin for 10 minutes. 
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Top with remaining raspberries. 


Friday, 13 January 2012

Project Healthy House : Orange & Cranberry Muffins

Orange & Cranberry Muffins.

Perfect for a snackly treat at work. Goes well with an afternoon cup of tea.

Ideal for beating the 3pm munchies.

The original recipe is for Orange & Cranberry Bread in a loaf tin, and uses white self-raising flour, but I have used wholemeal self raising instead.

If you are not concerned about participating in Project Healthy House, these would be absolutely delicious with choc chips instead of cranberries... mmm...

orange and cranberry muffins  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Orange & Cranberry Muffins

Recipe adapted from here

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease muffin tray.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. 

Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended.

Stir in cranberries. Divide mixture into muffin tray.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from tray; cool completely. 


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Fly Away To Paris

Oh Paris, how I wish we could meet.

Fly away to Paris

Divide of The Cool Pod

The Cool Pod
Collective Noun
1. Pod of desks positioned in the middle of the office; occupied by awesome women who are amazing at their jobs.
2. Particular group of women; ladylike; and totes ah-mazing.

I've mentioned The Cool Pod in passing. But I don't think I've ever really expressed how much it means to me. 

The Cool Pod is more than a seating arrangement at work. The original members - Jodie, Pip and I - are more than colleagues or team members. These girls are the reason why I get out of bed and go to work most days. They are the reason for my laughter and they have also witnessed my tears. Jodie and Pip have watched me struggle through the hardest year of my life and if it weren't for them, I can't imagine how I would have survived that last 12 months at work.

'Sister Jodie'
 Jodie is a super hero. A full time worker; amazing mum to Luka and supportive wife to Dane. And as if that's not impressive enough, she's built a successful business in LukaMish which can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

'Pip the Walrus'
 Pip cannot be adequately described in words. She is crazy and unpredictable, and often she'll come out with the most random comments that will leave you laughing and wondering "Where on earth did that come from?!"
I have learnt that it is impossible to make assumptions about Pip because her actions will always surpass your expectations.

Both of these women are incredibly smart and inspiring. There is rarely a day that goes by that we don't help each other with our work; brainstorming ideas or analysing problems.  

But due to our "excessive talking" The Cool Pod has been divided. 

Physically; but hopefully not literally.

Jodie has described the situation well. I too feel sad and lost. It's a terrible feeling to know that I have to go to work when the vibe we once created no longer exists. 

I know I should be thankful that I still work with such amazing women, even if our communication is now limited to email as all talking is monitored, but I still hope that one day the flock might be reunited.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Monday, 9 January 2012

Home Made

As with most awesome discoveries of late, this one is from Pinterest.

It's a cookie stamp.

Such a cute way to personal your cookies.

Available here.

Admittedly, I have created my very own cookie stamps in the past, to stamp hearts on a batch of melting moments for my sister's wedding gift, but this little gem is a little more professional-looking than my homemade effort.

Melting Moments Wedding Gift

Jillian Leiboff has included instructions on her blog to help you use this little tool to create a gorgeous batch of double choc cookies.

Home Made Cookie Stamp - From here

Don't they look delicious?!


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Project Healthy House : Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Project Healthy House is going full steam ahead this week.

We gave ourselves a New Year grace period last week but now it's time to focus on a healthy lifestyle, which includes making a conscious effort to bake healthy options.

Today I baked a pumpkin loaf cake. Adapted from here.

Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive about the use of pumpkin in a cake, as I have always been a firm believer in cakes being sweet not savoury.. But, the pumpkin is a very subtle flavour and this particular recipe is very similar to a banana bread (and if I was not dedicated to Project Healthy House, this would taste amazing with cream cheese frosting or served warm smeared with melted butter........)

pumpkin loaf cake >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Pumpkin Cake

The original recipe uses white self-raising flour, but I have used wholemeal self raising instead.


650g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded
100g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease base and sides of a 6cm deep, 10.5cm x 20.5cm (base) loaf pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends.

Wash and cut pumpkin into 4cm pieces. Place pumpkin in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 3 to 4 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Set aside to cool. Drain and place cooled pumpkin in a food processor. Process until smooth (you should have 1 cup).

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in pumpkin.

Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves over pumpkin mixture. Stir gently to combine. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth surface.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Lift onto a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

(Told you I can have my cake and eat it too...!)

And Miss Emmy was always nearby clean up incase anything landed on the floor...


Friday, 6 January 2012

Decorating with Frames

I often post pretty photos of ideas I have for my future home. Wishing.. Hoping..  Dreaming.. about my next house and all the amazing things I would do to make it mine.

Until I buy my very own place, I have one room in our share house to play with, and have had fun creating a gallery wall of IKEA frames.

I've shared my love of frames here and am now very proud to show you all my first attempt which incorporates my wall mirror and is on the wall I look at while I'm sitting in bed.

Black and White Gallery Wall

I've attached the frames to the wall with those awesome velcro 3M strips so the frames and be taken down and the images replaced with ease.

The pictures in the frames are currently a work in progress, as I find cute greeting cards in store or pretty pictures on Pinterest. And of course, there are a couple of photos of Emmy.

What do you think ? Any thoughts on the black and white frame combination ? I was originally apprehensive, with my preference for them all to be white, but most of them came from my old house so I recycled and worked with what I had.. and thankfully, I am loving the result.


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Beach Therapy

Day 3 of work for 2012.

At the end of Day 2 I needed to go for a long walk, so I made a bee line for West Beach after work and spent some quality time with the sun and the sand.

This is my idea of pure bliss.. 

Counting down til 5 o'clock so I can go back there again today.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

He's Deep

R Patz

Robert Pattinson

aka Edward Cullen from Twilight

I know he's not everyone's favourite vampire (actually.. he's got nothing on Eric Northman); but I recently found this quote from him which makes me swoon just a little...


"If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads."

Who knew he could be so deep?

This also gives me more incentive to make a start on the mountain of books that's sprouted next to my bed.. And this months book for the new bookclub I've joined.

Note to self : Make more time for reading.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...