Sunday, 29 November 2009

The new layout

Yes, I changed my blog layout today! Hope I didn't startle you too much:)

There were two main reasons for the change:

1. whilst I had changed the background colour to pink in the font/colour tab of blogger, for some reason it appeared as blue on everyone's computer but mine - strange!

2. I tend to think 2 column blog layouts look more appealing cause there is less white space on the sides when you scroll down the page to read earlier posts.

Hope you like it!

Will and I are off to buy yummy pizza ingredients to make homemade pizza's. We have been dying to try out the dough hook on my new KitchenAid, and today just happens to be the day!

Image - if this is your image please let me know and I will credit it to you, I seem to have lost the details of where I got it from but couldn't resist sharing it with everyone. Sorry!

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Amy Butler Love

I am such a sucker! I have been desperately wanting a sewing machine for some time now, but haven't bitten the bullet and made the purchase. The thing is, there are so many to choose from and I want to make sure I make the right decision.

Consequently I am still sans sewing machine :(

I have managed to convince my husband to buy me one for Christmas, now I just need to make the decision.

Back to the sucker part... despite the fact that I still don't have a sewing machine, I can't resist buying scrummy fabrics (like the Amy Butler Love collection in the pic). I buy them, wash and iron them, and then they sit on the shelf, looking adorable (but completely useless)!
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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Brown Button can you help?

I recently purchased a selection of these gorgeous flowery painted metal tumblers from Brown Button Trading.

Now I have seen these and I want them too!!!

Brown Button can you help ?

Image from Joyful Living Blog (go check it out!)
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Mastering the Art Of French Cooking

That's what Will and I are planning to do this afternoon/evening!

Not sure how it will go, but I'm sure if we involve a nice bottle of French wine it won't be too bad.

Reports to follow, I promise...

What have you got planned for the weekend?

The weather is just glorious here today, planning on making a few Chrissy cards this morning, taking CoCo and her brother Ari to the park and then commencing our foray into french cooking this afternoon.

Have fun whatever you are up to!

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Weekend Flowers

Something a little different this weekend, PURPLE flowers! Not my usual/natural choice (you know how much I love pink!), but nonetheless, aren't they pretty?

The peonies have finally opened up and are looking as gorgeous as ever.

Happy weekend to you!

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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

It's going to be a longgggggg day. I have Supplemental Witness Statements due today and then two (can you believe two!) farewell parties tonight, on a Wednesday night!!!!

Our dear friend Emma is leaving the daily grind of lawyering behind to go travelling around the globe for 6 months (half her luck!), and our other dear friend Damo is also leaving, although he won't be putting his lawyering pen down so fast. He is off to Singapore to start a challenging new role, which, being Damo, I am sure he will kill.

It's so sad to say goodbye to good friends. This is definitely one of the BAD things about living in HK - it's such a transient place and people are always coming and going:(

Image from here
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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

My [not so new] lamp

Now you can see why I want the pink antique Chinese stool - it would match perfectly with the [not so new] lamp my lovely husband gave me for my Birthday this year.

You see, the lamp should be fairly new seeing as though my birthday is in September, but the problem was he bought it a while before my birthday and couldn't resist giving it to me early...ok, so the truth is, I couldn't let it sit in the cupboard any longer and convinced him that I could have it early. You can see why though can't you?
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I am totally coveting this pink antique Chinese stool which appeared on Anna Spiro's fabulous blog a while back.

Living in Hong Kong you would think I would be able to lay my hands on one (just one!), but do you think I have been able to find any!! We have millions of the blue and white ones (which I confess I may already own), but none as pretty as this. Think I might have to print a pic and get my sources onto it.

It would go perfectly with my lamp - ohhh - I haven't shown you a picture of my lamp yet have I? Let me do that right now.

Monday, 23 November 2009

New goodies

Last week I was super excited when my order from Papertreyink arrived. I had been admiring Dawn McVey's gorgeous Vintage Ornaments and Signature Christmas stamp collections for a while, so I bite the bullet and bought them!

I couldn't believe how gorgeous the packaging was - aren't they so sweet?

I promise to put them to good use and share some pretty Chrissy card pics soon.

Happy Monday everyone - hope your week goes fast!

Lots of love
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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Birthday gal

Yesterday was our very dear friend Zoe's Birthday! We spent the day together celebrating in style, a little dom in the morning, a yummy roast beef for lunch (Zoe's favourite), a long afternoon with friends, and a party last night.

Happy Birthday Zoe - hope you had a fabulous day!

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Stacey's Baby Shower

This weekend a very good friend of mine had her baby shower. Not being a mummy yet myself (well except to little CoCo that is) I couldn't quite get my head around buying her a breast pump, rear view baby car mirror or any of those very useful (but quite strange baby necessities). Instead, I bought her a voucher for a foot massage (every mummy needs pampering after all), and made her a set of little baby announcement cards.

I can't wait to meet the little one in a few weeks time!
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Last weeks roses

Remember last week I bought those gorgeous pink roses? They smelt divine all week, so when I was in the market on Friday night I couldn't resist buying another 2 bunches. You don't often come across beautiful scented roses these days, so when you do, you should make the most of them, right!

Anyway, I wasn't ready to part with the old bunch so I ripped off the petals and had myself a very rosy bath.
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Weekend Flowers

Sorry I am a bit late posting this weekend. I haven't stopped since Friday night!

I did get a chance to pop into the market and grab my weekend flowers, and aren't they divine! I just LOVE peonies, don't you? As the weather is getting a little cooler here, we are starting to see some of the gorgeous winter blooms come into season.

I look forward to sharing many more peonies with you in the coming months!
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Friday, 20 November 2009

Divine Intervention

I don't know if it was divine intervention (I think god knew I couldn't handle another brownie failure), or just plain luck, but yesterday morning when I arrived at work there was an email in my inbox notifying me that the cake bake had been cancelled. Can you believe it!

Consequently I got to spend my evening finishing off some card projects (I have a friends baby shower on the weekend and another friends birthday) with no stress, tears, or tantrums! Fabulous.

I know this image has nothing to do with divine intervention, cake bakes, or brownies, but I just wanted to share it with you because I love it so much. I wish I could spend my weekend lazing about on that bed in the middle of a big green paddock.

Image from here
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Thursday, 19 November 2009

I'm at it again

Baking that is!!

You may recall me briefly alluding to a brownie incident in a previous post. Well I'm about the spill the beans.

When I first started working at my firm, in fact I had only been there a couple of months, we had an office cake bake. Whilst I am the first to admit that my cooking abilities lie much more in the savoury section than the sweets, I would have considered myself up until this time, a fairly competent all round cook. I set out to impress my colleagues with none other than Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Brownies. How hard could it be!

To ensure success, I bought the very best ingredients I could find (very best also equalling expensive). Having not attempted to cook brownies before, I also decided to add a packet mix of cookie dough to the trolley as a bit of a back up plan in case the brownies didn't work...

As I had gotten home from work late that day, I enlisted the help of my husband who was quickly set to work pounding the walnuts in the mortar & pestle. I was busily melting chocolate and making the batter (which looked divine I might add)! We added the nuts to the chocolate mix, and just as the last crumb was coming out, I noticed that Will (being the muscle man that he is...) had smashed the mortar & pestle with tiny flakes of stone speckled throughout the lovely gooey chocolate mix. OMG!!! I panicked. I couldn't strain the mix cause it was full of nuts, but I wasn't about to give up. In hindsight I am not sure why we made this decision, but we decided to press ahead with the brownies, stone and all.

Next comes the cooking part. We were at the time living in our old apartment where we were using a bench top (cheap) oven. Whilst it served a purpose, that purpose certainly wasn't cooking brownies (well at least that's my story and I am sticking to it)! The top cooked quicker than the bottom, and the whole thing went to pot! Basically they were burnt on the top and soft on the bottom (and not the gooey, oozy soft that brownies are supposed to be)! Attempt No 1 - failed!

I decided to turn my hand to the cookies, now who couldn't make these (so I thought)! I decided that I would make giant cookies (so as not to appear stingy to my colleagues) and set to work mixing the dough, rolling the balls etc. I don't know if it was the tiredness, the stress of the whole brownie experience, or just my crap luck - but I didn't leave enough space between the cookie balls, which resulted in me producing 1 tray sized rectangular cookie (all the dough had fused together and covered the entire bottom of the tray)! Attempt No 2 - failed!

I was by this time beside myself, at which point I think Will intervened and ushered me off to bed. I am sure I had tears in my eyes!

The annoying thing is, I couldn't accept defeat and turn up to the cake bake empty handed. I was on a diet at the time, and in an unusual act of self restraint, insisted that Will test the brownies to see if they were salvageable. Being the adorable husband that he is, he couldn't bring himself to tell me the honest truth - i.e. the brownies tasted like crap. Instead, he managed to convince me that despite there appearance, they were the tastiest brownies he had ever eaten! What did I do, I believed him, and took them to work!

All morning people commented on my brownies (we hadn't yet had the morning tea), with one colleague in particular remarking that she was going to spend all of her cake bake money (we were raising funds for charity) on my brownies because brownies were her favourite thing. You can imagine how I felt, knowing that my stone clad burnt brownies were never going to live up to her expectation... AND THEY SURE AS HELL DIDN'T!

Shortly after the cake bake, I was walking past the reception when I heard her telling another colleague "Oh my god, those were the WORST brownies I have ever tasted - they were disgusting and had really hard chunks in them"! Being the kinda gal that she was, she wasn't satisfied sharing it amongst a few, and before long, the whole office knew how crap my brownies were. My reputation was destroyed!

Needless to say I have NEVER attempted to make brownies again, and the brownie story has gone down in the firm history books (only to be re-told EVERY subsequent cake bake, to my complete horror).

Well, I am about to re-write the history books and impress my colleagues with perfect brownies at tomorrow's cake bake (don't worry there are some newbies who I will be able to convince to try them)! I told you that I have a new KitchenAid and a proper oven, so there really are no excuses...

Wish me luck!!!


Image from here
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

I also wanted to tell you...

I am feeling much much better today! After a rather productive day in the office yesterday (and a splash of shopping at lunchtime) I took myself off for a massage last night, came home and ran myself a nice long bath, was on the couch by 9, and consequently this morning I have woken up feeling a lot lighter and happier! yah

Two posts for you today, so make sure you scroll down!

Image from Mary Ruffle (totally addicted!)

My big project

As you may know, we moved into a bigger apartment a few months ago and I now have a designated "craft" room (Will thinks it's his study, but that's just because the decorating hasn't started yet...)!

Herein lies my dilemma. As I am starting from scratch with the decorating, I have a clean palette to work from. Whilst this is great, I can't seem to commit to a design/layout/colour etc.

Consequently, I now have an empty craft room which I haven't been able to use for 3 months! In fact, my dining room table is currently hidden under crafting supplies which I haven't managed to put away since the weekend. And you can imagine how impressed Will is about that, especially given the fact that we got a 3 bedroom apartment for this very purpose!

I think I am steering towards white furniture - I have been looking through millions of pics on the web for inspiration and the ones I love all seem to be white. I think it's because it's such a clean palette and it really highlights all the colourful crafty things that will be shoved in there. This is a little bit of a change for me as our house is full of timber furniture and I naturally thought that the craft room would be too. Now I am thinking that timber is too dark, and I want the space to be light and colourful.

I also want to ensure that the set up is as user friendly as possible. I want to be able to access all of my supplies quickly and easily - although I don't want it to look messy. I was tempted to go for cupboards with doors, but then I wonder if this will be a pain when you want to grab something quickly... I also want to make sure that all of the things I use frequently are in arms reach - hmmmm.

I know it's a nice dilemma to have, but it is really frustrating and I want it to be over ALREADY! I just want to be able to walk into a perfectly fitted out craft room and start crafting.

Anyone have any good ideas?

Image from here

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

It's cold outside...

and I'm still not feeling 100%. All I want to do is curl up inside under my doona and rest.

I would of course have to have a cup of this gorgeous cocoa to keep me warm cause it's getting cold outside in Hong Kong now!

Image via It's Mary Ruffle
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Monday, 16 November 2009

It's Christmas Time

I finally got a chance over the weekend to make a few more Chrissy cards. I haven't been feeling to inspired this year as the task of making 80 Christmas cards seemed too daunting. I know 80 sounds like a lot, but it's important to me (living overseas) to let our family and friends know that we are thinking of them (particularly at this special time of the year).

Anyway, I think I have knocked over about 1/4 of them and plan to get the majority completed by the end of this week (perhaps a little ambitious)!! Then I need to start on the gift tags, decorations, shopping, wrapping, and Christmas baking. Such a busy time of the year.

Don't you just LOVE Christmas!!
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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Yummy new fabric

Isn't this Riley Blake fabric Just Dreamy! It arrived in my hot little hands on Friday (oh boy, don't you just love getting parcels), and I have been admiring it ever since. I can't tell you what it's for yet [sorry it's for a pressie] but I promise to show you the finished product once it's done and dusted [and in the hands of the recipient].

Another thing I have been admiring all weekend - my dark pink roses. Seldom do you get a bunch these days that open up perfectly and smell adorable. Well, I struck it lucky on Friday and those little buds are blooming fantastic and smelling a treat! I can't walk past them without stopping to smell the roses - he, he - it's true!
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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Weekend Flowers

Last night on my way home through the markets I couldn't resist the beautiful pink roses. I also bought a bunch of sunflowers, which I wouldn't normally cause they aren't one of my favs, but I did on this occasion cause they looked so bright and cheery!

The apartment is now full of fresh flowers, which is just the way I like it!

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday.

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