March 4, 2015

Fresh + fast cookbook

I love a jumble book sale …you can usually find them set up in the middle of shopping centres, mini pop-up book shop and always when you are casually walking by with no intention of buying books.
But they always draw me in as I just never know what l’ll find!
I recently bought this ‘Fresh +Fast' cookbook, part of a series from
Marie Claire magazine and food editor, Michele Cranston - a $10 bargain!!! (hey that’s the price of 2 and half coffees ha-ha…)
Its actually a really lovely book – and at such a cheap price!
over 100 recipes and when you combine an intelligent fashion magazine like Marie Claire and beautiful healthy food styled in a gorgeous way, its pretty inspiring to eat well!

Its not just about food styling though...
for me its more about living and eating nutritious, real food
that seems to improve everything – my mood, my skin, my body!
You are what you eat after all....

We’ve been chatting in the office about motivating and edging each other on to
eat better and move more, sometimes we need that
'cheerleader team' behind us to get us going and keep going.

I think I’ll be opening this book often!

March 1, 2015

Summer's End

Goodbye Summer!
What a scorching weekend, we had plans for the beach today but after a late night and waking up to another steamy hot morning, the thought of sitting in the sun was not that appealing...instead we ventured out for a late lazy lunch and then hung out at home.
lucky! because this afternoon there was a wild storm that swept through the whole city...crazy winds and a downpour!
Hope everyone stayed safe.

This and that...
this afternoon the hubs and I watched 'Drive' (2011)  - I'm not a huge Ryan Gosling fan but he was very good in this, although the movie was quite violent, dark and gory.
I also loved 'The Place beyond the Pines' which also stars Ryan, so very sad.

I cooked this for dinner today, a real hit!

an interesting yet funny read  

these free printable sandwich wraps are colourful and fun - step it up on your next picnic outing or surprise the kids in their lunchbox!

Beautiful food styling 

This master bedroom makeover - Wow!! from scary to gorgeous!
have a great week ahead everyone!

Image - A Daytana Beach, Florida, 1954 by Berenice Abbott

February 27, 2015

Salted Caramel

I’ve been meaning to post this but time has gotten the better of me (as usual...)
Salted Caramel.  Could there be anything more delicious? comforting like a warm hug ...Caramel sauce is perfect but by adding salt, it takes it to a whole new level. yum!
.. recently,  I was lucky to get the chance to try some butter from 'Lewis road Creamery'  which is located in New Zealand.  Thanks to Lorraine from 'Not Nigella' blog and Liquid Ideas for the opportunity! Firstly, let me just tell you how much I love butter!
Love it!
I know it can get a bad rap but it’s a healthy fat, its fresh and real, tastes amazing and is
satisfying,  so a little goes a long way.
So when this gorgeous butter arrived, I knew I would have to make a few things…I asked the kids for ideas and of course they both wanted chocolate cake so I made a traditional ‘ chocolate’ cake with frosting, …
I then decided to make ta-da!!!
Salted Caramel!
which I served with plain vanilla ice-cream…
Caramel sauce is hands down my favourite sweet sauce and goes well with apples, pears, served on pancakes or crepes or just eaten by the spoonful...(yes, done that)

I followed Donna Hay's Salted Caramel recipe because Donna knows her stuff!

so good!

February 23, 2015

a girl called Clair....

I came across Clair’s wonderful food illustrations recently, and they made me feel like I was in the middle of a European Summer! delightful!
Of course I was curious to see more of her work, as I love discovering new illustrators.  Varied in subject matter Clair's illustrations are warm, and earthy and unique in illustrative style.
Clair’s colourful  'City Life'  illustrations of London (my favourite city!!),  for ‘Paper Rose’ Greetings are fun with so much detail!
I’m really happy to feature Clair on the blog today, as part of my Creative Girl series.
Welcome Clair!
Can you tell us what is currently inspiring you? 
I have a few illustrators that are particularly inspiring me at the moment- Nina Cosford, Amy Victoria Marsh and Yasmeen Ismail to name a few.
I went to a workshop recently, run by a lady called Mrs Bertimus. She collects so many beautiful little treasures, and lots of antiques. Just being in a studio surrounded by all those goodies I found really inspiring.
I’m always looking out for new ideas and ways of working, especially in bookshops. Needless to say, I love Pinterest - that’s where you can find a lot of my inspiration!

Name 3 things you couldn’t live without right now? 
Quink ink, Empress Grey tea (which I’ve only recently discovered!) and my little vase of fresh flowers which sits at my desk and keeps me cheerful.

Can you define to us your personal style? 
I think my personal style is happy and quirky. I like creating work that makes people smile and I feel that is the purpose of my work in many ways. As well as illustrations for children, I also do a lot of food illustration. This has a slightly more organic and wholesome feel to it.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on some travel themed artwork which is something quite new for me. I’m enjoying the challenge of making something completely different, and I hope that I will continue to be pushed in new directions as I move forward.

Do you have a favourite colour or colour combinations?
I love autumn colour combinations, and at the moment I have a bit of a thing for dark turquoise. It’s just lovely!
What about a favourite Smell or Fragrance? 
My mum’s freshly baked Victoria sponge cake!

What do you love about your City/Town?
I love the fact that I’m not too far away from London, which is full of inspiration and could be explored endlessly. I only graduated in 2014 so have spent the last three years in Falmouth, Cornwall. I have a special place in my heart for that town! It has a beautiful harbour, lots of beaches and countryside and so many lovely friends live there.

Do you have a favourite quote you'd like to share with us?
I have too many to choose from! This is one that I especially love, Proverbs 31:25, ‘She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.’

thanks so much Clair, its been great to learn more about you - to connect with Clair,  head on over to her Website
Etsy Shop * Facebook
Tumblr  * Pinterest and of course

February 20, 2015

Fresh and Invigorating: Super easy marinade

Oh my goodness - I love love this easy chicken marinade!
its so refreshing, zesty, smells and tastes amazing...If you need a simple dinner idea, then this is it!

All you need is
a bunch of corriander (stems & leaves),
2 cloves garlic, juice of a lime or lemon and a handful of baby spinach and a glug of Olive oil.
Blitz it all up in a blender and smother over your chicken fillets (or chicken breast).  Wrap your bowl in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 2hrs.

Bake or pan fry the chicken and serve with a garden salad.
and healthy!

February 17, 2015

Scent of Summer

It feels like our Summer has been extended for like ever! not that I'm complaining, its awesome!
I love the sunshine, the extra hours of light in the day especially when I get home from work and I have a ton of things I want to do.
Summer always makes me feel good.  Alive!
I also love Summer scents.  The nose is a powerful tool...scents bring up memories and can transport us, make us feel and remember wonderful things...
My favourite Summer smells are jasmine and honeysuckle - these floral scents always remind me of Cyprus which is one of the worlds Sunniest islands!
...of course salt water and the smell of the sea, fresh herbs in salad, lemon and coconut for a tropical twist. What are you favourite Summer scents?

Some gorgeous Summery scented candles found on Etsy - for that Endless Summer!

Top image by Chris Warnes for Home Beautiful magazine
Candles from top  Jasmine Breeze Soy Candle by TokyoFactory * Fresh Mint & Lime triple wick Candle by Black Arrow Candles *  Watermelon soy Candle by Blue Tapestry * Lychee & Peony Candle by Maison Blanche

February 11, 2015

if I had a British accent.... this week the British accent got voted as the worlds most attractive...
that was according to some (silly/fun) poll and hey, it even beat the French accent which was a surprise for many romantics!
I think the British accent is a definite winner but then again I've always had a fascination for all things British...
Some of my favorite foodies are British…Yes! I’d be happy to listen to Nigella Lawson all day long.
I used to read her Vogue column back in the day before she hit our TV screens and her use of the English language to tantalise us with food ingredients is something I admire so much!
Even Jamie Oliver, the crazy, playful and highly energetic celebrity chef we all seem to love is delightful to watch and listen to.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with ‘Great British bake off’ and the soothing, calm voice of baker extraordinaire Paul Hollywood
There’s no surprise that most of my favorite male actors are British.
Colin Firth …hello!! 
I was hooked on him ever since I watched the BBC series, ‘Pride & Prejudice’ - I've loved him ever since. Hmmm...
Hugh Grant in ‘Notting Hill’ was amazing too, he has not done much lately, but can you remember how great ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was? everyone was talking about that movie for so long
… both Colin and Hugh in ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ - hilarious…
Ralph Fiennes in the English Patient (and everything else he has starred in)
...and the whole mix of fine British actors in ‘Love Actually’ - one of my favourite British flicks ever.

* Top print image
via Lu Green