Thursday, December 31, 2009

Less than 6 hours to go...

Cannot believe that right now, at this very moment, there is less than 6 hours left of the wonderful year that was -- 2009. Soon fireworks will be going off in style all over the nation and in various parts of the world to welcome another year. 365 days seems like such a long time but it really isn't enough. Hopefully 2010 will be the year that brings peace, happiness, prosperity, love, laughter and good faith to guide each of us on our ways. It has truly been a wonderful year writing this blog, sharing my thoughts and dreams with you so thank you once again for your readership and support. I wish you a magical New Year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Once more the countdown begins...

Hi everyone, guess who's back in the blogging world? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break! Did Santa Claus pay a visit to any of you? What about those of you who (like me) went to Boxing Day sales - did you pick up any bargains? I can't wait to share what I found!

In the meantime, now that Christmas is over, I guess we need to start preparing for 2010 and also reflect on the past 12 months. For me it has truly been an amazing year with so many achievements and goals reached both personally & professionally. Adding to that is the promise of even more to come in the next year, which I'm very excited about.

I'm also thrilled to share with you a little project that I've been working on over the last few weeks.

Starting Jan 2010, I will be launching "e-letters" that I've designed especially for you - think of it as a little token of my appreciation for your readership and friendship. I know many of you already subscribe to my RSS feed but this is different because I've worked very hard on a layout and design that will be different each time and hopefully make you smile. Because who doesn't love receiving a pleasant email every now and then? I know I can always do with one filled with lovely things and links... especially when the week seems never-ending. So what started off as a personal goal to teach myself web-design has evolved into an obsession to collate the most delightful bits and pieces around. Just thought I'd share and spread some happiness. So sign up if you love surprises; sign up if you don't want to work on that assignment just yet. I promise I won't spam you!

Add yourself to the mailing list by clicking here. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

That's all from me for now... regular posting resumes tomorrow so I'll meet you back here then!

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happiness, love and good faith

Vogue Spain Nov | Model: Iekeliene Stange | Photographer: Michelle Ferrara
Edited by from Why, that's delightful!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Morning Beauty

Model: Anja Rubik | Photographer: Alex Cayley via FGR

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In Celebration of 100 Posts

... could never tire of eating these lovely gems, or looking at them, for that matter...

Etsy Love: Time travelling and Rose Cottages

With 5 days remaining until Christmas, things are really starting to get festive around my place! Today I went out armed with my shopping list and bought all my groceries for the coming week. Lots of fresh fruit and baking supplies for the desserts I have planned. No doubt the next few days will see me spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and preparing, but at the end of the week I get to enjoy myself and spend time with my friends and loved ones. Best gift in the world, hands down.

For those of you looking to get yourself Christmas presents, you are in luck! There are so many beautiful goods out and about at this time of the year especially over at Etsy. I found so many things I wanted! But these ones topped my list for their cute-factor:

'The Traveller' print by munieca
: for those of you (who, like me) love travelling and seeing the world

Baby Rudolph silver plated fawn and garnet necklace by dreamyvintage
: a simple but adorable accessory to dress up any outfit and it comes beautifully packaged which is a bonus!

Bear 2010 Wall calendar by TheSisCrew
: a must-have for your study or your room - especially if you are yet to buy one!

Bon Bon the Blushing Squirrel plushie (right), made-to-order by sleepyking
: "instead of playing with the other squirrels in the giant oak tree, Bon Bon spends most of her time baking acorn pies and doing crossword puzzles." ADORABLE :)

Little House Pouch by suezybees
: perfect for those small gadgets or even loose change. I want to live in that house!

Camera pendant with hand-stamped antique brass tag by japonicas
: so very nostalgic and beautiful. I love that it's encrusted with honey crystals!

Lovebird bowls by PrinceDesignUK
: because I simply heart all things birdy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Run, run as fast as you can!

... you can't catch me, I'm The Gingerbread Man!

An old woman was baking one day, and she made some gingerbread. She had some dough left over, so she made the shape of a little man. She made eyes for him, a nose and a smiling mouth all of currants, and placed more currants down his front to look like buttons. Then she laid him on a baking tray and put him into the oven to bake.

After a little while, she heard something rattling at the oven door. She opened it and to her surprise out jumped the little gingerbread man she had made. She tried to catch him as he ran across the kitchen, but he slipped past her, calling as he ran:

"Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

She chased after him into the garden where her husband was digging. He put down his spade and tried to catch him too, but as the gingerbread man sped past him he called over his shoulder:

"Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

As he ran down the road he passed a cow. The cow called out, "Stop, gingerbread man! You look good to eat!" But the gingerbread man laughed and shouted over his shoulder:

"I've run from an old woman
And an old man.
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

The cow ran after the old woman and the old man, and soon they all passed a horse. "Stop!" called out the horse, "I'd like to eat you." But the gingerbread man called out:

"I've run from an old woman,
And an old man,
And a cow!
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

He ran on, with the old woman and the old man and the cow and the horse following, and he went past a party of people haymaking. They all looked up as they saw the gingerbread man, and as he passed them he called out:

"I've run from an old woman,
And from an old man,
And a cow and a horse.
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

The haymakers joined in the chase behind the old woman and the old man, the cow and the horse, and they all followed,him as he ran through the fields. There he met a fox, so he called out to the fox:

"Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

But the sly fox said, "Why should I bother to catch you?" although he thought to himself, "That gingerbread man would be good to eat." Just after he had run past the fox the gingerbread man had to stop because he came to a wide, deep, swift-flowing river. The fox saw the old woman and the old man, the cow, the horse and the haymakers all chasing the gingerbread man so he said, "Jump on my back, and I'll take you across the river!"

The gingerbread man jumped on the fox's back and the fox began to swim. As they reached the middle of the river, where the water was deep, the fox said, "Can you stand on my head, Gingerbread Man, or you will get wet." So the gingerbread man pulled himself up and stood on the fox's head. As the current flowed more swiftly, the fox said, "Can you move on to my nose, Gingerbread Man, so that I can carry you more safely? I would not like you to drown." The gingerbread man slid on to the fox's nose. But when they reached the bank of the river, the fox suddenly went snap! The gingerbread man disappeared into the fox's mouth, and was never seen again.

When your whole house fills with the aroma of gingerbread, you know Christmas is near. Less than a week to go in fact!

Today I want to share one of my favourite cookie recipes at this time of the year. It's so very decadent and easy to make! And they are always a hit :)

You will need:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
200g of high quality chocolate
Ice cream, to serve

1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Makes: 24

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened for about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar and beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate and turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick. Seal with wrap and refrigerate until firm (takes approximately 2 hours).

Heat oven to 185 degrees C. Roll dough into 3cm balls; place 5cm apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

5. Eat on its own or serve with icecream. Make mental note to prepare a double batch for next time ;)


PS. While we are on the topic of gingerbread men, check out these ABC Gingerbread Cookie Cutters. So cute!

Rifle Paper Co.

If you love stationery as much as I do, then you are sure to love the selection of goods from Rifle Paper Co. Created by Anna Bond and her husband Nathan, this lovely stationery brand and design studio sells cards, prints and invitation templates that are whimsical, nostalgic and beautiful. Here are some of my favourite items from their online boutique:

Animal chart card, available as a single card or boxed set of 8.

"Uh Oh" Print

Happy Birthday balloons card

Anatomy of Love print

Shaggy Dog card

Spoon recipe cards

Circus birthday card

My favourite item is the Anatomy of Love print - I would love love love to have this sitting on my desk!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Attention to Detail: black is back

When it comes to decorating the house, black is not a colour that I use a lot. Lately though, I have seen many interiors with little touches of black here and there and it makes me realise that the effect created could be rather striking as opposed to dull and dark. Today I have only chosen my favourites to showcase, the ones that made me do a double-take...

1-2: this is glamorous; 3: avant-gardenist via d16;
4: melanie acevedo; 5: desire to inspire; 6: otis & frank;
7: lonny mag; 8: magnus selander; 9-10: laura resen;
11: metropolitan home

I don't know if I'm daring enough to paint my doors black yet, but I've certainly been inspired to use a lot more black frames around my house and even ditch my current bedside table for a black one. Most of all, I just love the way those shoes are presented in the glass dome! Ultimate perfection...

Vogue Russia: She's A Doll

In celebration of Russian Vogue's 10 Anniversary, some of the world's top designers were invited to design dresses for the traditional Russian doll - the matrioshka. Standing at 50cm tall, these dolls are all handpainted based on the designer sketches and were auctioned for charity. Which one is your favourite? See if you can guess the designers -- hover over the link below each picture to check!

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