Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A New Sense of Style

For the last 2 months I've participated in some daily style dares by Fox in Flats and Hilary Rushford (if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you would have seen the photos). I've been having a blast coming up with outfits each day (granted I have missed the odd day), the dares have helped me re-look at my wardrobe and try out different combinations. I've put together outfits I never thought I would ever wear, I even feel like my sense of style is really coming into its own.
I started my 1st dare in March as a way to help me deal with my recent miscarriage by trying to make myself smile at least once a day. It didn't take away the pain (as nothing can) but it did make the days a little easier as there was now a little element of fun to my day. I'm still trying to cope with my lost but it’s amazing how something as simple as a style dare can be answer to prayer and help in time of trouble – thank you Fox in Flats and Hilary Rushford you guys are amazing.
Since it’s now the end of April I thought I would share a few of my favourite outfits from the past 2 months I've worn.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Love is all around us

Today is my 400th post - wow! So I thought I would share something special and talk about LOVE!

Today 6 years ago I married my best friend, my soul mate, my better half, my prince and the love of my life.

I remember waking up that Saturday so excited and happy, the smile never left my face all day. I got to dress up in a stunning white dress and share my day with amazing friends and family.

We had a very handmade wedding - my mother made the cake, we made the invitations, the place cards, the order of service, the bridesmaid necklaces. We had mum's fake flowers in the church and my wonderful brother from England and my sister-in-law did my nails.

The amazing cake

We had a ball that day and everything went off without a hitch. The weather was amazing, I was getting worried as it had poured rain all week but God smiled down on us and the sun shined through.

My brother from England flew out just for me, which was the best. My Granny was well enough for the ceremony which was icing on the cake.

So much happiness and so much laughter and smiles. I love reliving that day over and over in my mind every year.

If I ever get to have a redo in my life - I know I will pick MJ again, nothing makes sense without him.

I never thought you could love someone the way I love MJ, it's so strong and tender all at the same time.

Love is an amazing thing, it makes you do funny things but it's the best feeling in the world - to love and be loved in return.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Recipe - Gluten Free/Dairy Free Giant Cookie

On Sunday we had Easter lunch with MJ's family - quite a few of his family are gluten intolerant so I wanted to make something everyone could eat and enjoy.

I took my usual choc chip cookie recipe and tweaked around with it and added a few more things.

Gluten/Dairy Free Choc Chip & Macadamia Giant cookie

  • 125g dairy free butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 & 3/4 cup gluten free plain flour
  • 3 & 1/2 tsp of gluten free baking powder
  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. 
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy, add egg and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
  3. Shift in flour and baking powder, add chocolate chips and nuts, mix until well combined. 
  4. I used a giant cookie mould for mine which I bake for about 15 mins until golden brown but you need to remove from oven let cool for 5 mins and turn it out and then place back in the oven for a further 5 -10 mins until fully cooked on the other side. 

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Moving – freer and lighter

For those of you that don’t know, my husband and I have just recently purchased our very first home – cue the confetti and balloons! No more renting for us, now we have a very own place where we call the shots. We are now in the process of sorting, packing and moving. It’s amazing what you can accumulate in a lifetime and in 6 years of marriage.

I'm talking 4 couches, spare dining room tables, cupboards, rugs, oh my gosh the amount of magazines, books, dvds, cds – so much stuff. I've given my craft supplies/books a massive overhaul. Donated so many books and sorted out what I do and don’t want. I'm yet to sort out my clothes, maybe a job for this weekend (that’s going to be a big job).

We've had to have a council clean up, overfilled recycled and rubbish bins each week plus parents helping out with the overflow in their bins. It’s been a big job but oh my it’s freeing.

We feel lighter, freer, not weighted down but our possessions. I never thought of us a materialistic in anyway but by freeing ourselves of the things that were not serving us there has been a sort of change, a shift if you will in our house, in our relationship actually – not just with each other but also within ourselves. We feel happier and more content with what we do have, yes there are things I’d like but I don’t really want them as much any more.

The moving process will be a lot smoother this time round, as we now have less stuff to pack and we are armed with way more boxes then last time. It’s tiring moving every 18 months, I'm so looking forward to stopping and settling for a little bit but I will have to admit it’s always an adventure.

The countdown is on – only 2 weeks till settlement left.

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Easter Show

I have an Easter tradition - it's called the Easter Show

I love the Easter Show- not sure why but I just do. I love seeing all the animals, the free samples in the Woolworths Food dome, the arts and crafts, the wood-chopping (the best) and so much more. 

I went with my dad this year while my husband played in his local soccer team. It was lovely having a nice dad and daughter day out. Dad started taking me to the Easter Show when I was 13 and would take me every year, it was so nice to have memory with him. 

I didn't buy a showbag this year, as there wasn't really any ones I liked but I did buy rocky road and caramel coated nuts, but I do know that I have gotten old when I got all excited about buying a quilt cover set and sheet set for only $50 - ha ha. 

If you get time this school holidays and you are in or heading to Sydney, check out the show, it's so much fun. 

Now just have to wait for next Easter to roll round to do it all again. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Japanese Prawns

Last week I tried a new Nigella Lawson recipe called Japanese Prawns (now up to 13 out of 150 recipes - see here for more details).

I don't always remember to have a proper lunch when I'm working from home on Thursday/Fridays so I forced myself by trying a new recipe.

I was really looking forward to it, there was wasabi paste, cooking wine, garlic and lime juice - flavours that should pack a punch. I decided to serve the prawns with rice noodles, not only cause they're wheat-free but they only take 2 mins in boiling water to be ready (me so lazy)

I will have to say I was terrible disappointed with the result. There was no flavour and it tasted very bland. Maybe I need to put more wasbi paste in, or find other flavour to add. Not sure if I will try it again, maybe.

My review:

Title: Japanese Prawns
Book/Page: Nigella Kitchen #190
Date Cooked: 3/04/14
Review out of 5: 2
Eat again: No
Notes: No flavour - very bland.

This would be the first Nigella recipe I've tried that I didn't like, oh well plenty more to try and taste.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Book Review – The Happiness Project

“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin

I bought this book just before Christmas last year and didn't pick it up to read until February – it was 2 days before my operation and I wasn't in a very happy place. I saw The Happiness Project sitting on my bookshelf and it just felt right to start reading.

The Happiness Project is a memoir by Gretchen Rubin who one day while heading home on a rainy afternoon asked herself what she wanted from life and her answer “Well… I want to be happy”. So she spent a full year on strategies, theories and research of happiness and her findings were amazing.

How to change your life without changing your life.

Doing small changes that can make a big difference.

I found this book enthralling, I really felt like I was reading about a kindred spirit. Gretchen isn’t trying to say you have to travel overseas, give up your job (unless you want to) or earn lots of money to be happy – she uses what you already have and shows you ways to be happy and start from where you are in life.

Gretchen also debunks the theory that happiness is selfish – her words: “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”

Gretchen also acknowledges yes it’s hard to be happy it takes work and effort and sometimes you don’t feel like being happy – “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”

I would really recommend The Happiness Project for anyone to read. It’s broken down into 12 chapters for each month of the year and it’s such an easy read. I was reading it at work in-between doing my data-entry (shhh don’t tell my boss).

I have found there are some changes in my life already and I'm looking forward to reading her new book which I ordered and arrived last week called “Happier At Home”.

For more information on Gretchen and her books check out her blog www.happiness-project.com

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5.

This is not a sponsored review I just really liked the book and wanted to share my thoughts with you. 
Look out for future book reviews.

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Simple and Easy Easter DIY

Easter is coming up really soon and I wanted to make a cute little Easter gift for a friend of mine. 
I looked to Pinterest for some inspiration and this is my version of what I found. 
You'll need:
  • Spray paint (in your colour of choice)
  • Figurine to glue onto of lip (something small and not too big - I used a wombat) 
  • Empty clean jar
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Easter eggs to fill

Hot glue your little guy on top of the jar lid and allow to dry.

Next spray paint him in your choice of colour. He'll need a few coats for even coverage. Allow to dry.

Once dry make sure the lid still comes on and off the jar without sticking.

Fill jar with mini Easter eggs - I also put in some torn up tissue paper to give it another effect. All done.

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Monthly Cardmaking

Last Thursday was meant to my monthly cardmaking class but only 2 people were booked in so I was asked if I could come on the Friday to be combined with a different card class. Thankfully I didn't have anything on Friday so off I headed over to the store.  When I got there the teacher apologised for moving me around and told me I could do today’s class as well for no extra cost – how nice is that!!!

Below are the cards I made in my 2 for 1 card class. I love the little slice of cake box and the pink card would make a lovely wedding invitation (both are made with dyecuts).

Which ones are your favourites? Mine is the thankful card. 

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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

How to stay motivated with healthy living

Last week I participated in Meat Free Week to help raise money for Bowel Cancer. Did you know one of the leading causes of bowel cancer is the over consumption of meat? Now there is nothing wrong with meat at all (I actually quite like meat - especially chicken) but we are consuming up to 3 times our daily recommended amount.

So this got me thinking – how do we stay motivated to eat a healthy balanced lifestyle?

I pitched the question on Facebook the other night and I loved what My Yellow Heart came back with "meal planning mostly, and not letting my husband anyway near the supermarket. He buys ridiculous amount of naughty food!". Yes I think most husbands are like that, I know MJ can’t go past chicken chips on sale or blocks of Cadburys on sale. But yes menu planning is a really big help.

I know I know, you've all heard it before – menu planning, but it really does help. Every Wednesday night (cause I do the food shopping Thursday mornings) I sit down with a pen and paper and write up the shopping list for the week. Down one side of the paper I write up the days of the week, check my calendar and see what’s coming up the following week and then I work out what to cook for dinner for each night. This way I'm using up what’s already in the cupboard, freezer and fridge and it’s helping me only buy what we need, also after a tiring day at work I don’t need to think about what to cook as I already know.

Another way is to not deny yourself the occasional treat – at least once or twice a week I will eat a chocolate biscuit or 2, or I'll share a block of chocolate with my husband while watching a movie, or have a bowl of ice-cream. There is nothing wrong with treats when you have them as treats. If you deny yourself you are more likely to overindulge and binge. So have a few treats here and there each week, you'll find you enjoy them even more when you treat them as special.

Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up – we all do it, even the most health conscious people out there have a bad day, week or month. All you need to do is recognise you've slipped up and start again. If you are hard on yourself you will slip into guilt and eat worse and most of the time more. 

Don’t judge of other people - healthy looks different on everyone. Just because they drink green smoothies and the thought of one makes you want to puke – that’s fine. Just because they’re vegetarian or vegan and you love a nice piece of steak - that’s fine. Health comes in many different shapes, sizes and food lifestyles so get ideas and inspiration for others but don’t compare and judge yourself against others.

The one thing that keeps me motivated is reminding myself of how I feel when I eat poorly. It doesn't always work – take today as an example – I was in the lunch room at work and saw a chocolate cream biscuit, without a second thought I took it and ate it, but within 10 mins I wished I hadn't as I got a sugar headache which I always get when I eat those biscuits. If I had of taken the time to remind myself how I feel when I eat those biscuits I would have remember I feel poorly and my eyes hurt. 

You feel better when you eat better, you feel lighter, have more energy, can focus more and think clearer.

So just remember to be kind to yourself and treat your body with love and respect and you'll notice such a different.

Do you have any tips to share? What do you do?

I thought I’d share with you a recipe I made last week during Meat Free Week (original recipe found here)

Vegetable Curry 


450g par-cooked potatoes, cubed
2 tbsp plain oil (not olive)
1 onion, chopped
450g frozen or fresh peas
225g green beans (I used frozen corn and board beans instead)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½-1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
125ml/generous hot water
1. Par boil the potatoes. Then heat the oil in a large pan and lightly fry the onion.

2. Add the spices and fry in lightly for a minute.

3. Add the potatoes, peas and vegetables and fry for a few minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

4. Add the salt, sugar and the hot water.

5. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are cooked, adding a splash more hot water if required. Serve hot.

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