Sunday, 30 March 2014

A week in photos

 Beautiful night, almost looks like we live in some sort of tropical resort, hah! 

We had a black-out on Saturday night. Since no one wanted to play monopoly with me (because they knew I'd win mwaha), we ended up compromising and enjoying a glass of semillon under candle-light. It also meant mum and I got to light all our many candles and chandelier, transforming our house into a romantic/gothic cathedral (under the protest of the boys).  

Sunday baking: Chocolate Fondant

During the short time I was an apprentice pastry chef making all sorts of cakes and pastries, I had never made a chocolate fondant. Which seems like one of the most popular desserts and one everyone is raving about so I thought I would give it a go at home.  A word of warning, it is a deceptively simple dessert.
I had been putting it off for a long time, which seems silly but yes, I am afraid of the chocolate oosy middle cake. Why? Well, aside from the fact it originally came from a kitchen mis-hap where the chef under-cooked the cakes but served them anyway, they are incredibly hard to make. One minute over-cooked or under cooked and it's a disaster, which I found out today. 
I made four of them and only baked one a time so I could get the timing right. The one I photographed was my fourth cake and my only hope. The first three were.... well, lets leave that in the past shall we.
I worked out that the baking time is exactly 13 minutes and you have one minute to get it out of the mould before it's over-cooked because it will continue to bake in its ramekin. 

Since it was my first time making a chocolate fondant, I followed a recipe I found on-line. You'd be surprised by how many completely different recipes there are on this "simple" little cake. I figured I would follow the direction of the food goddess herself,  Nigella.  (click on her name for the recipe)

Hope you're all having a fabtastic day. So question, Is there something you're afraid to bake/make?

Infinite x's and o's


Saturday, 29 March 2014

I adopted a kitten!

I thought I would make a post dedicated to my newly adopted Kitten, Aslan!  Although he's growing out of his kitten faze now considering he's already 6 months old.
After saying a sad goodbye to our eldest cat Hidy last year, my family and I decided we were ready to welcome a new member.
I knew that I wanted to adopt a kitten from our local shelter instead of buying from a breeder, just because it would feel like a good deed in a way, giving an animal a second chance at life and a new home.

We looked at every kitten there, they were all going crazily wild, playing with toys and hanging off walls (quite literally), except for this little guy. He was curled up by himself wrapped around his big fluffy tail.
I went to pat him and he walked straight up to me, looked me in the eyes and nose bumped me with his cold little pink nose. It was the cutest thing out. I fell for him instantly, maybe that was his master plan.

("Paint me like one of your french girls")

On the car ride home, he continued to nose bump me. It was almost like he had to make sure we all knew of his presence and didn't forget about him. At first I thought it may be because he's short-sited and has to get up close to faces to  be able to see them, but he sees perfectly fine, just one of his cute personality traits.

I decided to call him Aslan because growing up, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis were my favourite books and Aslan was my favourite character. Also because he has the same colouring and bravery.
He walks straight up to our dogs with no fear, he's not afraid of the vacuum cleaner (which frightens our big Staffy, sarcastically named "Butch") and he likes eating grapes and cheese. 

Every afternoon Aslan takes his little toy horse (which he adopted as his from nephews toy box) and sits on the back veranda to watch the tide coming in.  He also has a collection of leaves he brings in from outside and places them in a little pile near the sliding door, along with a few blue flowers from our Jacaranda tree. 

(The car ride home, I had to put him back in his carrier for safety reasons but also because he kept trying to kiss the driver.)

While you're on the computer he either will place his head on your arm or snuggle onto your lap. He still does this except he's now a tad bigger and if you would like to move your mouse, see the screen or type, good luck.

I'm not really sure what breed he is. On his paperwork all it states is that he's "mixed etc" so, he could be a mixture of anything. I think he may be part ragdoll, just by the way he acts and his fluffy tail.
He has so much character and is such a blessing to have, he adds a lot of comedy into my life.

Hope you're all having an excellent weekend!
Infinite x's and o's


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Miracles happen! A dose of hope to get you by

(Image from

You know how you read of people getting their groceries paid by the incredibly generous person in-front of them or about how a kind hearted man paid off a couples mortgage. Even someone receiving a free car just because they were really struggling and couldn't afford one. Almost seems like a fairytale... right?
Well, something that amazing happened to me.
A couple weeks ago I was having one of those really dull periods in my life, more like years actually.
One good thing would happen and then something doubly aweful would come along straight after.. I could write a list of everything that happened, but this post would probably be about fifteen pages long and one massive pity party (of one).
Basically I was feeling like nothing could go right for me and I had given up hope.
It was two weeks before I was about to start University as a first year student. I was totally prepared, had my laptop, books, pens, everything I needed. What could possibly go wrong? .... 

One night I was using my laptop and a tiny green dot appeared on the bottom right corner of the screen. I thought weird, that's never been there before. Just as I thought that, the entire screen was covered in them and having a massive spaz attack which ended in the entire screen turning white and me closing my laptop and running into the living room where my family was, thinking I was about to be part of a supernatural episode.

I called Apple's service line the next day to ask if they knew what was wrong and if it could be fixed. I spoke to a really nice guy on the other line and he told me it sounded like the graphics board was warn out (I think that's what he said, although I have the I.T ability of a block of cheese) and would probably cost around seven hundred dollars to fix considering it was no longer covered by warranty. I started to panic. Not only was my laptop probably not even worth that amount of money any more since it is an older model, I was saving to buy something I really wanted for an annoying amount of time (a motorbike ahem). He then asked me what I was studying and If I could afford to do the repairs on it. I told him I would be able to but It was a bit of a pain, considering I was saving the money.

I booked my computer In to be fixed at my local Apple store and dropped it off. Three days later I got a phone call telling me it was ready to be picked up and paid for.
I went in, had my debit card ready to pay, my laptop was handed back to me and I went to give my card over and the guy helping me said "No, you don't need to pay, it's already paid for".   "oh ok... wait... what?"
I asked him if he was sure twice and each time he confirmed and said "Yep, it says on here that it's already been paid. Either that or it's covered by consumer warranty" My Mum who was standing near me at the time, looked puzzled and went to ask the guy something. I knew any more questioning would lead to an investigation (too much ncis? Guilty.) I blocked her "Don't question it Mum, accept it, let's go, double time!" I thanked him, probably too many times, took my laptop and we legged it out of the store just incase he changed his mind.

Afterwards I started to wonder... who paid for it or marked it under consumer warranty? Was it the guy on the phone? The guy who helped me who must have an incredible poker face, apple inc? or was it just a random do-gooder?

Either way, whoever it was is an amazing person and made my day... week.. year a whole lot brighter and restored part of my hope. I'm hoping to continue posting these doses of hope in the coming months to restore a bit of your hope and inspire you. ( I feel like I've said hope too many times....   hope.) Do you have a story of hope to report?

Infinite x's and o's


Monday, 24 March 2014

Will you ever be truly happy with yourself?

Just think about that question for a moment.

I know I often think about this when I'm fretting about my hair, my make-up or when I'm working out. There seems to be this ideal that we all strive for and it can't always be blamed on society, although it has a lot to do with it.
I remember before I had lost a lot of weight after I left high school I said to myself  "When I'm thin, I'll  be happy". Of course when I reached the goal weight that I had set when I started my diet and exercise, I set another goal to lose just a few more kilos. "Just another 2 kilos and I'll be happy, I'll stop" was what I would say.

I partly blame becoming obsessed with my weight and appearance on harsh words that were spoken to me everyday in High school, I came to loath my appearance and desperately wanted to change it.
This kind of obsessing about my appearance and wanting to be "happy with myself"  led me down the track of becoming border-line anorexic. It's taken me almost two years to realise being happy with yourself is not being happy with your physical appearance, or being accepted by others, it's accepting yourself for everything that you are. Regardless of your weight, if you're toned or not, the unevenness of your eyebrows, if you're tanned or the shape of your nose.
I honestly believed that becoming thin would instantly make me happy. It helped with my self-esteem slightly, but those problems are emotional, not physical.

So how do you become "happy with yourself" ?
Well, it's a MUCH harder task than you think. It is not something that you can simply snap your fingers and think "Yep, just accepted myself. Go me."  It takes time and constant small acts of love for yourself. Cheesy, yes I know. Sometimes it will make you feel like you're being a total tosser.
One of the things I found the hardest to get past when I started doing these small up-lifting acts of love is knowing that you're not being up-yourself or conceited by trying to love yourself.
I was raised to put others before myself and to never, under any circumstances toot my own horn and rub my talents or achievements in other's faces.
By no means am I blaming my parents for raising me this way, I applaud it actually. I took this way of thinking to the extreme, where I hated to talk about my achievements, you would literally have to force it out of me if you wanted to find out and I would feel terrible talking about it later. Compliments, for me, are also hard to accept and made me feel quite awkward, but I never said "No, im not". Out of politeness I'd flash an awkward smile and say thank you.

Now to the small acts of love, this can be anything, BUT it must be positive.
So, instead of saying " Good. God. What kind of harsh underworld has my hair been dragged through".
Say " Damn, I'm really rocking this whole bed-hair trend".  Own your small flaws, because they are what make you who you are. Such a cliché quote, but it's true.
Comparison is the worst thing you can do for your self-esteem, trust me.. I was stuck in that cycle and you don't come out loving yourself at the end of it. You will never be good enough if you compare yourself to the models you see in magazines or the film stars on tv because even they don't look like that. They have four hours of hair and make-up, personal trainers and photoshop. In-fact some models and actresses even pay-off photographers to only have their "perfect angle" published. Hence the no up the nose shots, double chins or in their sweats with no make-up.

My challenge to you is to at least start, with one act of love to yourself.  Write yourself a "love letter" listing all the things you love about yourself. It doesn't matter if you ever struggle to write one good thing about yourself.  Think about the positive things people have ever said about you. Do you have a nice smile? are you kind-hearted? Are you a good baker?
Every single person has multiple amazing things that are incredibly loveable about themselves, but sometimes we get so stuck in the comparison mode, which is what I will call it that we can't see the good, only the bad.
Break out of that comparison mode and start on the road to becoming happy with yourself.

So will you accept this challenge?

Infinite x's and o's


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My new favourite necklace

Lately I've had a slight obsession with pendant necklaces, there's something simple and elegant that I love about them. I've seen this necklace around on Ebay and other online shops for quite a while. I don't really believe in love at first site, but in the case I think I do. For whatever reason I still hadn't bought it yet and the other day my Mum left a package on my bed. Sure enough, I unravelled the million layers of bubble wrap and this sparkly beauty was staring back at me . I asked her if she knew I wanted the necklace and she said she had no idea, she just liked the look of it.  If that's not fate, I don't know what is.  

The design is absolutely gorgeous, angel wings wrapped around a ruby heart. (not a real ruby ofcourse, but one can always pretend haha)  The chain is fairly long so it doesn't really sit right at your neck, it's more a fashion necklace. I'm thinking of buying a smaller gold chain so it can sit slightly higher up.
Hope you're having a wonderful day and if you'd like the link to purchase one of these stunners, Click here

Infinite x's and o's,


Monday, 10 March 2014

BYS Glitter Creme Review

If you're a fellow Aussie, you either absolutely love BYS products or you won't even look at them.
If you're not in Australia and have never herd of this brand, basically they are more or less the Australian version of NYX cosmetics. In price and sometimes in quality. 
I personally have a love/hate relationship with BYS, leaning more towards the love side.  Some products can be totally spot on, but others will miss the mark completely. Considering the price and the fact you can actually walk out of the store with more than just one product for $50, I'm definitely not complaining.I was at BYS today and saw something glittering in the corner of my eye and made a bee-line towards it. Why had I never noticed these glitter pots before!?
Obviously I was obliged to buy one. It took every ounce of self-control I had not to get one in every colour.
The Glitter Creme pot is one of the products that hits the mark. I purchased it in the colour 'Two tone' which is silver and gold combined.
It has amazing pigmentation and creaminess. The packaging is pretty cute too and seals really well, which means it won't dry up any time soon. The only problem I had was getting it out of the pot with my finger because of my long nails, someone with short nails wouldn't have this problem though. I suppose it's almost forcing me to by hygienic, well played BYS. The staying power is also pretty amazing considering it was only about $4. 

(Please ignore the terrible under the dirty nail shot, loook at the glitter, the glitteerrr. That's it.)

Over-all I really like this product and will more than likely being going back and getting every colour.*grinch grin*. I decided to create a smokey eye with my new two tone glitter creme on-top.

I started with a black eyeliner and smudged it out with a bit of dark brown eyeshadow. (mac pro palette) Then I started dabbing on the glitter with an eyeshadow brush (doesn't really matter what brand, whatever you have, I used my urban decay brush) I then lined my eyes using revlon colorstay eyeliner in black. To finish Off I applied some maybelline falsies mascara on my top and bottom lashes.

Hope you all had a wonderful start to the week and continue to have a great week.

Infinite x's and o's,