And just like that little Wren is one, the year has passed and I’m back from maternity leave. Here are a few shots from her first birthday cake smash. I love shooting these, they’re so much fun for everyone involved, so don’t hesitate to book one for your bub!
The little man celebrated his birthday last week. I can't believe it's been a whole year since his sudden existence as an independent little person. He's grown up so quickly and into a such a little character. There isn't a friendlier baby around.
If you feel like looking at approximately 200 screensaver-worthy landscape shots, a lot of sheep, us posing sheepishly and one shepherd, you'll love our snaps of New Zealand. Ps It's quite pretty there. And cold.
We did a road trip visiting Queenstown, Glenorchy, Fiordland National Park, Te Anau, Fox Glacier and Wanaka.
Doughnuts are super popular at the moment, I've seen doughnut wedding cakes and they've made a come back at parties as well. We'll just ignore the fact that they're pretty deadly in the calorie department and try not to have 17 at once. I've come up with some fancy pants doughnut ideas for those brave enough to make their own. By the way, it's definitely worth making your own, the mass produced ones just don't measure up.
This weekend is the last weekend of Vivid Festival 2015! Vivid has been running since the 22nd of May and the lights will go out on the 8th of June. The scope of the festival is much wider than last year with jellyfish chandeliers greeting you at Chatswood station and the University of Sydney spectacularly lit up. There are also several amazing music events to experience. Visit the Vivid Festival Sydney website for maps, events and what not to miss.
I've finally gotten around to writing down the recipe for this cake! Now all of you can have a taste, because it's DELICIOUS. I dreamt up this white chocolate chip cake with caramel filling, white chocolate Swiss buttercream and white chocolate ganache for a friend's baby shower.
The lovely Justine and Michael tied the knot at an elegant ceremony at the North Bridge Golf Club yesterday. Justine put her own stamp on the proceedings with an incredibly cool Kombi van as bridal car, the amazing Alaskan Poetry as wedding band and a gorgeous flapper-style reception dress.
This was one INCREDIBLE wedding! Corrine and Ali said, “I do” at a beautiful, intimate ceremony at St Joseph’s Guest House in the Hawkesbury river area yesterday. The clouds cleared and the sun shone for this amazing couple that have lived together their entire relationship. Corrine and Ali met while living in a share house at university. For the first year of living together they barely said a word to each other, mostly because Ali, who is originally from Iran, couldn’t speak English. After a holiday in each other’s company friendship flourished and four years later they’ve tied the knot.
I LOVE chocolate freckles! They're one of those childhood treats that you sort of forget about until you see them in a shop and then you just have to have them. You don't even care that they're overpriced.
For Christmas a friend of mine sent over the most amazing plate of Christmas cookies and sprinkled throughout were home-made freckles. Why hadn't I though of making them at home before? They're so simple to make and if you use good quality chocolate they're beyond delicious.
Located in the remnants of an old pie factory from the early 1900’s, The Grounds of Alexandria is an amazing collection of café, market stalls and gardens. On site there is a coffee research and testing facility as well as a café, set in a garden of organic heirloom vegetables. Run by creative entrepreneur Ramsey Choker and coffee guru Jack Hanna, The Grounds ensuring only the best coffee and wholesome home-style dishes are served. If you're planning on going for breakfast on a weekend make sure you're there early to avoid having to line up for a seat. Visit groundsroasters.com for more info.
Here are some photos I took on my phone when we were there :)
On the 1st of January 2014 I made a new year's resolution unlike any other. I wasn't planning on losing weight or exercising more, or any of the typical new year's resolutions. My goal for 2014 was to learn to do everything I've wanted to learn to do in the past but have always been too lazy or busy for. Ok, not quite everything, but 12 things. One for every month. This has been the only resolution I have ever managed to keep. In some cases I took classes and in others youtube was enough. I challenge you to pick 12 things you've always wanted to learn to do and do them in 2015. Here's what 2014 looked like for me:
I seem to leave everything for Christmas to the last minute (although this year I was super organised about gifts, high five me), and this year is my first year hosting. How crazy grown up am I? But hosting takes planning. Not something I'm good at. I tend to get stuck on the exciting stuff and completely forget about anything practical. For example, Christmas crackers, this year I wanted to make my own. No lame nail clippers for us! I got so distracted by this that I still haven't decided what glaze to make for the ham. There's just too many choices!
Terrariums are beautiful additions to the home which have reached new heights of popularity over the past year.
The trend for keeping terrariums started in 1842, when the botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, who had interest in observing insect behaviour, accidentally left one of his insect jars unattended. A fern seed grew, germinated into a plant, and the terrarium was born. The trend then quickly spread across Victorian England. This was known as a Wardian Case instead of a terrarium.
These little beauties have always fallen in the category in my mind of totally-unatainable-without-a-degree-in-pastry-sciences. Something this delicious must take hours of blood, sweat and tears to create. But then I thought about it (this possibly happened late at night at the same time as an intense urge to bake swept over me). Probably not, after all they're just sweet puff pastry bits. So I decided to bake some, and although they might not be the neatest little things they are truly, mouthwateringly delicious.
One of my favourite Spring weekend recipes is a roast leg of lamb. The reason for this is, aside from it being delicious it's also super simple (shhh, don't tell my hubby, I like earning wife points with this recipe), it only takes about an hour. This recipe is the result of improvisation. I'm renting and don't want to place my lamb directly on the "hot bars of the oven", nor do I want the lamb any where near my roast potatoes, because I want them super crispy and the meat juices will make them soggy. By the way, the secret to super crispy roast potatoes is in the technique below. I also love the combination of asparagus and prosciutto as a side dish.
So next sunday, when you want to earn wife/husband points make this roast!
My kitchen has windows all around. This sounds beautiful and idyllic, doesn't it? Well, in Sydney windows all around translates into "greenhouse" and "heatstroke". As a result I've developed a bit of an obsession: odd plants. These beauties love being boiled to death in a humid, glass box. They flourish by devouring the bountiful flies and myriad of bugs born of an Australian summer. True, my collection is now slightly out of hand with no less that 12 different types of pitcher plants competing for the aforementioned flies, but they're just so PRETTY.
So, I currently have -10 hours of annual leave all thanks to this trip we took in March. Yes, these photos are a bit late. Yes, no one (not even my mother) has seen these yet because I am that lame about taking the time to process holiday snaps.
The photos aren't in order, but I can tell you where we went: Phuket - mostly Kamala Beach (Have the banana and Nutella pancakes there, they are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.), Coral Island and Koh Phi Phi. Super touristy, I know, I'm embarrassed. But, what ever you do you should definitely visit Koh Phi Phi! And dive! You need to dive, or snorkel at the very least. We saw black tip reef sharks while snorkelling in water that wasn't even 1 meter deep at Koh Phi Phi. And round it all off with a mojito served in a bucket, a tattoo and a fire show in Tonsai.
Tonight is Halloween! And even if you live in a country that doesn't technically celebrate this totally awesome tradition it's no reason not to get in the spirit by drenching yourself in fake blood and finding some like minded people to party with. Here are some zombie pirates to show you how serious I am. Yes, the girl on the right who has been "feeding" (i.e. I had done so much make up for others by that point that I was just lazy) is me.