Thursday, 27 November 2014

How style and clothes have changed me‏....

For those of you that follow along on Instagram and Facebook would surely have noticed that I participate in style dares and I want to share with you all how I've have noticed that style and clothes have changed me - for the better.

It all started back in March this year just after my first miscarriage and I saw Fox in Flats post up her March daily style dare where you have a daily style prompt to work out an outfit. I thought to myself that sounds like a little bit of fun, I'll give it a go. After about 2 weeks of daily prompts I noticed that I was starting to look forward to picking out my outfits each day and I was smiling every time I got dressed, sometimes it was my only smile of the day. It didn't take away the pain I was feeling from losing my baby but it helped me through it by giving me one small thing a day to smile about.

So when March ended I wanted more and I stumbled upon Hilary Rushford's Style Me daily challenge. So I spent the month of April playing dress up each and every day. Finding new ways to view my clothes and putting together outfits I never dreamed possible - all with the clothes I already owned in my wardrobe.

As the year has processed the more adventurous and daring I've gotten with my clothes, one month I even did the 2 style challenges consecutively (which was so much fun trying to marry the prompts together). I've started to discover my own unique style, I even discovered that there are long pants out there that aren't jeans. I'm finding I'm wearing more of the clothes I own than I ever use to as I'd just put on the same clothes over and over again. I'm also putting together different combinations, different colours and feeling different everyday. 

Even after the second miscarriage in August and how traumatic that was to deal with, the clothes helped me. I felt like I had something else to think about, something else to focus on. I used it as a reason to keep going, to keep getting out of bed each day and dressed. In a way clothes saved me.

The biggest advancement I've found is not on the outside with looking different but it would have to be on the inside. I feel more comfortable in my skin, I've got a little more confidence, I feel like I'm discovering a new side of me, I'm surprising people and keeping them guessing. 

I've also meet some amazing people through sharing my photos on Instagram (well I've meet them virtually) and I've even become penpals with a few of them. None of this would have happened if I hadn't decided to take that first style challenge and do something to find a little happiness each day.

I'm going to keep doing these challenges and keep mixing it up with my clothes because I've seen how much it's helped me and how much I've grown over the past 9 - 10 months and I'm excited to keep growing and to keep changing.

They say clothes make the man but I say clothes help develop the man.

Have clothes changed you or something else has? What's made an impact in your life?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

DIY - Fruit Salad Notepaper

There's been a real snailmail revolution going on out there now and I think it's fantastic. It's so wonderful to head out to your letter box and find pretty/happy letters waiting for you inside that all colourful and filled with beautiful words.

Today I want to share with you a project I've been working on - Fruit Salad Notepaper.

What a colourful way to brighten up someones letterbox and quite simple to make too.

First off the things you'll need to create this project are:

- Coloured cardstock
- Ruler, pen, pencil, scissors and rubber
- Scallop punch
- Coloured string
- Double sided tape
- Assorted fruit templates to trace (I just did a Google search for shapes)  

First step trace and cut out your fruit pieces. For the banana and pear I drew a stork freehanded out of brown cardstock to attach. The strawberry I created a top freehanded out of green cardstock and also with the strawberry I used a heart shaped template as a guide. 

Next all you need to do is using the double sided tape join the pieces together.

Once you have joined all the pieces together to resemble the fruit, draw lines across to act as the lines on the notepaper. For the watermelon using the scallop punch on one corner to make it look like a hungry person took a bite before posting it.

You can stop here if you like but if you are a fan of Fruit Ninja you can take this fruit combo notepaper to the next level. 

All you need is some black cardboard and trace out a circle - I used my double sided tape as a guide. Next using some coloured string, attach a small piece to the back to resemble the wick. Then using a white pencil draw on some notepaper lines. 

And now you have your very own Fruit Ninja notepaper to send off to a very surprised penpal or anyone you like.

If you make this project please send me photos I'd love to see them. 

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Pinterest Friday - Thanksgiving Edition

I know, I know we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia but we have much to be thankful for in life so in a way we can celebrate it a little bit.

For those of you that celebrate it a lot, here are some ideas to get you ready for Thanksgiving 2014.

Don't forget to head over to my Pinterest page to find more creative ideas.

How to Make a Cornucopia | Lilyshop Blog by Jessie Jane
Original post here

Fall Leaf, Mason Jar Candle Holder | 35 DIY Fall Decorating Ideas for the Home | Fall Craft Ideas for Adults

Original Post here

Jenny Steffens Hobick: DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece | Roses, Mums & Broom Cob in a Pumpkin "Vase"

Original post here

How to make Turkey Cupcakes

Original Post here

Need an easy pumpkin pie recipe that you can depend on? This has been my go to recipe for years! Perfect for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving. We LOVE this pie!

Original Post here

You'll soon have your bird (and a recipe), but how long, exactly, are you supposed to cook it? Here's a handy guide.

Original Post here

Apple and Pumpkin Beer Cocktails | | @jalanesulia

Original Post here

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Recipe - Summer Green Drink

The weather is heating up here in Australia and there's nothing I love more than finding a cool drink to have that's not water.

So I wanted to share with you today a cooling and healthy green drink I created. It's so yummy and refreshing.

First you'll need:

A banana
A stalk of kale
Handful of blueberries
A small cucumber
Handful of baby spinach

Next you'll need:

2 tablespoons of Coconut water powder (I find this a cheaper option to buying coconut water as you just add it to water and it stores in the cupboard)
2 teaspoons of Maca power blends (contains both Maca powder and Cacao powder)
1/2 teaspoon of Spirulina
About a cup of water or a little bit more if needed

Add all to a blender and blend - enjoy!!! 

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Recipe - Triple Chocolate Carmel Walnut Brownies

There's nothing like a good brownie - or that's what my husband MJ would say.

So I'm always on the look out for a new brownie recipe to try, well this time I decided to make my own recipe and combine two of MJ's greatest loves (beside me of course - ha ha) chocolate and caramel.

So please sit back and enjoy my "Triple Chocolate Carmel Walnut Brownies"

125g butter or margarine
200g dark chocolate (I like to use Cabury melts as it gives it a nicer taste)
110g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 & 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup crumbled walnuts
3/4 cup milk choc chips
1/2 cup caramel baking bits
3/4 cup white choc chips

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a square cake pan (around the 20cm mark)

Combine butter, dark chocolate and sugar into a large saucepan, stir over a low heat until melted. Allow to cool for around 10 mins.

Stir into the cooled melted chocolate mix the eggs, flour, walnut, milk choc chips, caramel bits and white choc chips until combined.

Spoon mixture into pan and smooth the top over.

Bake for about 20 - 25 mins. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Messages of Hope - Tear Australia

This is not a sponsored post I just wanted to share about Tear Australia. 

Christmas is coming up again and so is the time for "What do I want?" or "What do I get this person?"

Most of us have more than enough while others out there have hardly anything and that includes fresh water.

This year maybe think about bringing some hope to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Tear Australia has a great campaign called Useful Gifts - "Useful gifts for a better tomorrow".

These useful gifts are:

$30 for a health kit
$70 for safer birthing and infant care
$25 for safe water
$5 for pre-school classes
$50 for a goat
$155 for household electricity and many more

By purchasing a gift from the Useful Gifts Catalogue you are making a donation to the important work of Tear partners, who are working with communities around the world facing poverty and marginalisation. All gifts contribute to long-term community development programs and are not given on a one-off basis. So if you buy a chicken gift, it's part of an overall sustainable program that also includes training and support.

So if you would like to give a gift that keeps on giving, head over to Useful Gifts today and help bring a message of hope to others.

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Checkerboard Birthday Cake

As I shared with you the other day, MJ and I had a combined 30th birthday party and we had a very bright checkerboard birthday cake.

It was so simple to make that I wanted to share with you the secret of how it was made.

At first glance this looks like a plain birthday cake covered with buttercream and sprinkles.

But it is a disguise - for you see the inside is filled with colourful goodness. 

So how did I do it? Well I didn't cut up the cake into circles and place them back together surgically, I used a Wilton Checkerboard cake pan set I bought at the Cake & Bake Show this year. 

I used my trusty Margaret Fulton butter cake mix which I tripled the mixture for. I then separated the batter equally or close enough into three separate bowls and coloured each one a different colour. 

Then I followed the instructions as to which section you had to pour which batter into and baked. 

Once each layer was baked and cooled I could then start to decorate. I used a post-it note on each so I could remember which layer was which. 

Since it was so hot and I didn't have any room in my fridge I let the cakes cool overnight and decorated the following morning. 

I use a basic buttercream mix of butter, icing sugar, vanilla and a splash of milk - it's always a winner. 

I spread buttercream in-between each layer to help keep it moist and taste more delicious.

I then added on the top layer and spread buttercream all around the sides and top which I covered in different coloured sprinkles. 

So as you can see it's nice and simple but gives a great effect. 

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

#94 - Throw a combined 30th Party

This year my husband and I both turn 30!!! MJ turned 30 back in August and I've still got a few months left till December before I'm 30. So we decided to meet half way and throw ourselves a combined birthday party (plus it was on my 101 list).

It was a hot day last weekend with temps into the 30s (very coincidental) but we pushed through the heat and had a wonderful day with friends and family.

I loved sharing the day with MJ, who better to have share a party with than my best friend/husband.

We kept it simple with just salads and bbq meat, with cake and apple pie for dessert.

Everyone had a great time, MJ meet our newest nephew for the first time (only 10 days old) and we all just sat around and had a good ol chat.

I had fun making the checker-board birthday cake - which I'll share a post later on how I made it.

It was wonderful to spend the day with people that are special.


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