Wednesday, October 31

snap it {hidden}

It's the old adage....the kids love the packaging more than the item.  Well, in this case I'm not a coffee table was ever going to excite them...but the box it came in sure did provide hours of entertainment!  I think it will become a permanent fixture in the backyard until it literally falls apart.  When hubby came home last night from work, he got a surprise....what was hidden in the box?

The best two little parcels of course!!

Find something hidden in your day?

Join in here....

Monday, October 29

Almond Apple Cream Cheese Cake

  • It doesn't take much to motivate me to bake.  I found a packet of Philadelphia cream cheese in the fridge the other day, picked it up and was determined to transform it into something delicious.  Well, this cake is delicious.  It's part cheesecake part apple tea cake...a combination that just hits all the right tastesbuds!  You serve it chilled, so it's a great cake to make in advance, pop it in the fridge for 2-3 hours and wow your family, friends or dinner guests with this beauty.  Those toasted nuts on top just scream decadence

Here is what you'll need... 

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1  250g pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 apples peeled and sliced 
  • 1/4 cup slivered Almonds


  1. Heat oven to 200C.
  2. Beat butter and 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour; mix well. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar in same bowl with mixer until well blended. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Spread onto bottom of crust. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon. Add to the sliced apples in large bowl; toss to coat. Arrange over cream cheese layer in a nice even pattern; top with nuts. Bake 10 min at 200C.
  4. Reduce temperature to 180C and bake cake 25 min or until center is set. Cool completely. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen the edges. Remove rim. Refrigerate for 3 hours.


Thursday, October 25

a change for less

I was getting a bit tired of my bed linen of late.  The subtle hues, the safe neutrals and the consistent way I would safely arrange each pillow on the bed. Every. Single. Morning.

Not anymore. In a light bulb moment, I realised that with a quick trip to Spotty and few hours spent in my sewing room I could transform the mundane effort of making the bed into a creative experience. Seriously, pillows are one of the easiest sewing project to tackle and you get more bang for your buck when you make them yourself!

Five new pillows, each reversible with a different pattern or fabric on each side makes this collection of pillows work twice as hard for minimum effort.  I made simple pillow slips, no zips and the little drummer cushion was once a skirt I adored but many moons ago and had little use sitting in my wardrobe.

I'm mindful I share this lovely space with a very adorable, but manly man.  I always think of him and his tastes when decorating our room.  Florals and girly-ness are always at a minimum but the quilt I made gets good use at the bottom of our bed to add some much needed colour.

All the arrangements you see above are the same pillows in each bar one...which is the Paris inspired print from Provincial Living thats in the first few photos. Having them reversible  means, whatever my mood at bed making time, I can go bright and bold, calm and tonal or a bit of each.  All for the cost of a couple of metres of fabric!

How do you dress your bed?
Do you love changing it up from time to time and adorning some colour combinations?
Joining in with a pile of creative folk here. 


Wednesday, October 24

snap it {fresh}

Enjoying the chance to plant some fresh produce in our wee little urban garden
Some lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and eggplant
A few carrots and cucumbers too
What grows at your place? 

Monday, October 22

{persian love cake}

At work the other day, my boss who knows I have a penchant for a good cake told be about this recipe.

The Persian Love Cake.

Seriously, the name of this cake is a good enough reason to love it.  Isn't just a divine title for a cake?

Anway, once I got hold of the recipe I knew I would love it.  Whats not to love about a one bowl (no fancy equipment needed) cake?  Plus the combination of almond meal and greek yoghurt sealed the deal.

My little apprentice and I baked it last night after dinner and it was as easy as pie...or cake!

Here is what you need...

3 cups almond meal
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup brown sugar
120 gm unsalted butter, softened or just zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds
2 eggs
250 gm greek yoghurt
1 tbsp grated nutmeg (I just used the masterfoods spice variety...lets not be too picky!)
1/3 cup of roughly chopped up pistachios

What to do...

1. Turn on the oven to 180C and prepare and 26 cm springform pan with baking paper and butter the sides. Combine the almond mea, sugars, butter and 1 tsp salt int a bowl and rub or stir in the soft butter until you have a lovely crumbly mixture.  Spoon HALF of this mixture into the spring-form pan and with your fingertips press to cover the bottom evenly.
2. Add the eggs, yoghurt and nutmeg to the remaining crumb mixture and give that a good stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.  Pour that over your base and scatter the pistachios around the edge and bake until golden 25-35 minutes.
3. Serve with more yoghurt.

Perfect to bake for someone you love...

What's your favourite cake name??

Wednesday, October 17

snap it {admire}

Admiring three gorgeous boys at play
who meet up each school holidays
have a ball 
and then look forward to the next holidays
to do it all again

Monday, October 15

a lesson well learnt

This parenting gig is full on at times.  Oh who I am kidding.  It's full of most of the time if not all the time.  A little while ago I was presented with a situation that I had not yet had to deal with as a parent (of a school child) in particular.

On collecting my son from school, I got the look from his teacher that alerted me that I was not to escape without discussion.  Yes.  I was approached by said teacher and the details explained before me were to the effect that my son who was standing oh so innocently beside me, had in fact decided not to complete his comprehension work that day "just because".  As a way of protesting further he had written clearly in block letters on the top of this page  "NO NOT TODAY"

We had homework.

I had to take that work home with me, and he had to complete it.  hmmmm......

I thought on the short walk home - calm and collected brenda, calm and collected. 

As my kids sat side by side at the kitchen bench eating an after school snack I got out uncompleted work and directed my son's attention to it.  We completed it with little fan-fare and minimal agitation from me.  done.  but not really.  A lesson had to be learnt from this.

Later on I crept into the bedroom that is my sons domain and spoke to him about what had happened and what he thought he should do.

"Oh mum, I know I should do my work in class, I have to say sorry to Ms Dunn"

"Yes you do"

"But I don't want to say it, I think I could write it."

"Ok, that's fine"

So he popped up to his desk and wrote the sweetest apology and as a tear trickled down my cheek I realised that making the mistake isn't so bad if there is a lesson well learnt at the end.  And said apology note snapped on the iPhone as reminder before we took to school the following day.

What lesson has your child had to learn recently?  Did it make you proud?

Saturday, October 13

I'm grateful for {girls}

I have a confession.  I've never been on a 'girls weekend'.  nope. never.

And it doesn't bother me.  I don't feel like I've missed out, it's just never held that much interest to me, even though I can see the appeal.

But this week saw me and my girlfriend pack the car and our respective daughters and headed off to a small country town for a sort of girls weekend (mid week and with children!).

There was giggling and dancing, laughing and playing. We had good old fashion fun, spent next to nothing and the girls were just delighted playing in knee high fields of grass.

This week I'm grateful for...

1. Girls - spending a few days with a houseful of girls is just awesome.  I love being a girl.  Gee we know how to have fun.

2. Toblerone - when the girls were off to the land of nod each night, we popped on Pride and Prejudice and got stuck into the toblerone.  Oh life is good.

3. Giggling - the sound of two little girls giggling will always be one of my favourite sounds.

Happy grateful day.

Join in at Village voices. 

Friday, October 12

a different way..

A few days before the end of Term 3 my daughter asked if we ever could go a different way to school to pick up her brother.   As we trod the same concrete footpath, and past the same houses down the same street and across the same road, I pondered her question.  The next day I grabbed my camera, put on her boots and took her down the long lane way filled with cobblestones, puddles and wonderful new sights for both of us to see. She ate snakes and made sure Dora didn't fall in the water, letting me snap away.

When we picked up her brother she told him all about her new adventure.

Ever make a simple change to add spice to your day?

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 2

simple living

After a busy morning taking the kids to the indoor pool and then a trip to the library for Italian story time, a quiet afternoon was required.   The sun was shining and we spent a lot of the time outside enjoying the spring air (ice-cream and strawberries) and reading books in the shade...  I also made headway with a few other projects.

Images 1 & 2 - old cloth nappies being cut up and edged in binding I made up last night to make some re-usable wash cloths for around the home
Images 3 & 4 - roasting some almonds while tonights dinner (mushroom tart) was baking away
Image 5 - stitching an array coloured thread on some fabric that will soon be turned into napkins for the family.

How have you spent your day today?