Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Day After...

Welcome 2015... 

Is it the time for lists I don't know... but if you're up to it, today is the day to think about better things ahead.  Resolutions are not for me; I just don't remember to follow up on them!  But little lists, ideas, plans if you will, they make the weeks fly.

It's also the perfect time for a break around here... so the weeks will fly through the summer sun. 

See you soon.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a Happy New Year ahead.   May it be filled with Peace and Love, Happiness and Joy, Family, Good Friends and Good Health.

Whether you are dancing the night away at a black and white ball, or having dinner with friends, or staying up late to catch the fireworks...  ring in the new year in style...

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas to You and Yours...

Here's wishing you all a Safe and Merry Christmas; hoping you can enjoy all the festivities that the season brings with your loved ones near and dear, bringing your own brand of  sparkle, humour and good cheer to all.

A preparation day today for me, cooking, baking, tidying... in anticipation for a fun and food filled day tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Christmas Courting by John French

Beautifully wrapped packages... aren't these berry colours wonderful!

Dark Berry Trifle ... mmmm
Images 1, 2, 3

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Home Style... A Scandi Christmas

A little look inside another stylish scandinavian home with a touch of christmas just to keep it in the mood... Nothing overdone here as you would expect from the far northern hemisphere.

I'm enjoying a cup of tea after some wrapping of presents, and as I glance around the table it looks nothing like this gorgeous setting.  I had better get on to it.. packing up time and get ready for dinner.

Two more sleeps to go.. trying reminding a little one why no presents allowed to be opened yet!

Hope you are getting most of your preparations ticked off.

Via Bo Bedre

Sunday, 21 December 2014

In The Schedule

Aah, another week has finished up, with christmas lists ticked off, ornaments dangling, menu sorted, gifts wrapped (sort of)... that leaves just the food shopping to do.   This weekend has been quite relaxing, surprisingly, even allowing time this afternoon for a small picnic, and later, a quick bite out for some pizza.

If like me you're ahead of schedule, enjoy some downtime with a little bit of christmas inspiration with some links I found during the 'quiet times' these past few weeks...

+  Red, such a festive colour during christmas time.. and although I'd tone it down with some grey or black, or camel, you might find this editorial featuring Manon Leloup for Vogue Spain in shades of scarlet, fire engine, vermilion and just plain red, enough inspiration for christmas day... via pinterest.

+  Take a look at this cool scandi stylish home with a spot of Christmas cheer via Bo Bedre here.

+  Don't know about you, but I'm always happy to receive a little bauble for Christmas.. something colourful, bold and not usually what I would buy for myself... if you're listening honey!?  Here, Irena Nikolaeva in Vogue Germany with some precious little things for last minute gift ideas.

+  Or perhaps, a gorgeous coffee table book on baubles instead... here'a s list of 6 luscious jewellery books worthy of gift giving via French Vogue.

+  Some lovely table setting ideas from the pages of Home Beautiful here.

+  And lastly, for something to eat from that table... and because someone might want the recipe of my Christmas Boiled Fruit Cake that I posted about earlier in the week... here it is Ada...  this batch makes up to 4x mini cakes (10cm diameter x 5cm high) and 1x square cake (20x20cmx 4cm high))

250g butter
1 cup soft brown sugar
1kg mixed dried fruit (I used, sultanas, currants, raisins, glace cherries and mixed peel)
1/2 cup sweet sherry (I did 'splash' a little more to make it extra moist)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup apricot jam

1.  Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.  Line your cake tins with baking paper.
2.  Put butter, sugar, mixed fruit, sherry and 3/4 cup water into a medium/large pan and bring to boil.  
     Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the soda and cool.
3.  Sift the flours and mixed spice into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
4.  Add pineapple juice to the beaten eggs and add into the fruit mixture and combine.
5.  Pour into the well and mix well.
6.  Pour into your cake tins  - the mixture will rise so I filled to about a 1/5 from the top.
7.  Bake approx 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.   
8.  Take out of oven and leave to cool in tins for at least hour.  Meanwhile heat 1/2 cup apricot jam with
     2 tablespoons water until dissolved, and brush this on top of cakes while still warm to give it a 
     lovely glaze.

I have made this recipe as one larger cake in a 22cm round tin, and this makes for a high cake and takes about 1hr to cook.. although I would check it at 50mins or until skewer comes out clean.  

The verdict is, that they are delicious! 

Enjoy your weekend and baking & homemaking and special christmas events in the lead up to Thursday.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Home Style... Modern Subtle Grandeur in Melbourne

When I spy those terrace houses in the inner suburbs of Melbourne I often wonder what type of interiors are hidden inside those grand old entrances.

Well, this 2 storey terrace in local Brunswick eschews an urbane modernity in keeping with a beautiful renovated home bringing it into the present day.  The interiors were designed by Chelsea Hing, which include warm light grey walls, elegant rugs, darkened floorboards and modern artwork.

I love those glossy subway tiles in the kitchen and bathroom; and the verandah and front door are just as glamorous.  How beautiful is that marble fireplace and surround?  Rather than having the whole place modernised with complete white walls and ceiling and doors, it's a nice change to see it given depth and warmth with the layering of rugs, grey walls and a darkish palette throughout.

Subtle, eclectic, urbane, grand.  Totally modern too.

Photography Nik Epifanidis
Est Magazine
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