Christmas baking.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I have loved having a weekend so close to Christmas. Yesterday we spent the day baking and wrapping the last of our gifts. My husband baked the neighbours a beautiful loaf of bread, and prepared the dough to make crossiants for brunch today. Hamish and I made muesli and lolly drop biscuits. It was such a nice way to spend the day.

The wrapping of gifts and such.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas is almost upon us! The festive season is my favourite, but this year it has snuck up on me. It has been nice to spend the last couple of days finalising gifts and organising food. I love everything about Christmas. The music, the  decorations, the baking, the time spent with loved ones, and especially buying and wrapping gifts!
This year I have used brown paper, twine, black ribbon, and cuttings of rosemary and bay leaf. I was lucky enough to stumble upon some vintage postcards at a local school market, and they have added the special touch I was after. I have only allowed one postcard for each person, so I made some christmas tree shaped gift tags from some special paper and pages from an old book I saved from the recycling bin. I joined the trees together on the sewing machine, and I have used the cotton to tie the tags to the gifts. I'm very happy with the result.

Ten years.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ten years ago tomorrow we were married. Barely adults, but madly in love. Ten years have gone in the blink of an eye. Here's to the next ten.

I want to live in a house with a pink door.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Image via Pinterest.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

At 4am on Friday morning, a friend and I set off to the flower markets to buy flowers for her sister's wedding. I never enjoy the flower markets, but Friday's trip was the actually ok. The bride had asked for Australian natives and flowers that looked like they had been picked from the wild. We ended up with a lovely mix of natives and traditional english flowers. My favourites were the Flannel Flowers and Peony roses.
I spent Friday and part of Saturday putting the flowers together. Being a florist is hard work!

Activated Almonds.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Activated almonds have been a hot topic of conversation this week, after celebrity chef Pete Evans listed them as part of his 'My Day on a Plate' food diary for the Sunday Age magazine on the weekend.
Admittedly, his food choices aren't that of an average person, but I think people did over react.
I found his food diary intriguing, and decided to give activated almonds a go.
I did some research and found a great blog called Easy Peasy Organic, which explained activated almonds and how to make them at home.
In a nut shell (pardon the pun), nuts are full of enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from sprouting in dry conditions. By soaking them you trick them into starting to sprout. The sprouted form has nutrients that are more easily absorbed and digested, which means our bodies get more of the goodness out of the nuts.
Making your own:
I started with a cup of almonds to give it a go, but you can do it with as many as you want.
Soak your almonds (raw – not roasted or salted) in enough water to cover them for 12-24 hours. I soaked mine for about 12 hours. After you have soaked them they will look puffy and may even look like they are starting to sprout.
Rinse the soaked nuts under running water. You can use them as they are (I put some in my morning smoothie), or you can 'roast' them. If you want to flavour them, nows the time to do it. I left mine natural, but you could add sea salt or tamari if making them for a snack.
To 'roast' the almonds without damaging the nutrients you've activated, you can either put them in the oven at the lowest temperature, or use a food dehydrator, which is what I have done. This process can take from 6-24 hours depending on the temperature you're using. The nuts are ready when they feel dry. Try a few to make sure they're done.
You can use the activated almonds as you would normally use almonds. They last well in an airtight container. They can even been ground into almond meal. The possibilities are endless!

Market Day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I know it's been a week, but I thought I'd share some photos from our market stall at the Wild Ones Art and Design Market. We had a fun day at Hazelhurst, but we were very tired by the end of it! Having a market stall sure is exhausting. We loved seeing what other stall holders were selling. We each bought a polymer clay ring from Me We, and would have loved to have spent all our profits at the other stalls! Another favourite of ours was Hayden Youlley Design. Oh my goodness, that boy is a genius with ceramics! His wares will be on my Christmas list for sure!

Wild Ones.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My sisters and I will be selling our wares at the first ever Wild Ones Market at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery on Sunday! It's our first market in a while, so we are nervous and excited. We are frantically finalising our stock and getting ready for the big day. If you're in the area, come and say hi. I think it will be a good day!

Gone with the Wind.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A while ago Phoebe and I were in the mood for an epic film, the kind that would fill in a lazy afternoon. So we headed to our local video shop to hire Gone with the Wind, only to be disappointed when they didn't have it. We hired something else and forgot all about Gone with the Wind until I bought it for Phoebe for her birthday. I had seen it years ago, but couldn't remember the finer details, so when Phoebe said she had watched it and enjoyed it, I thought I might read the book before I watched the movie again. The book was wonderful. It was long and descriptive, but easy to read.
Once I finished the book I sat down and watched the movie. The book is so much better. The movie is amazing, considering it was made in 1939, but it is a rosy, watered down version of the book that misses crucial elements of the story.
The book is gritty and sad. The story of war, loss and self discovery. It would be interesting to see a modern adaptation. I think people would be shocked.
Oh, and Rhett, I love you.

Home grown.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I love having a vegetable garden. There is nothing more satisfying than cooking and eating something you've grown yourself. We only started growing vegetables/herbs last spring, so we are still amateurs, and doing everything by trial and error. We have had some successes and some disasters. Last summer our cucumbers and basil were amazing, but our tomatoes and zucchinis were terrible. This winter we planted broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. I'm still waiting for the cabbages, but the broccoli and cauliflower have been sensational! It's funny to think of how proud I am of a mere cauliflower plant!
We have planted some seeds in half toilet rolls, and then transferred them to the veggie patches once they have sprouted. This seems to work really well, so I'm looking forward to our summer crop of beans, carrots and corn.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I haven't dyed anything for ages! It's always seemed more trouble than it's worth and I was never sure I liked the end result, but this said, I did a little dying on Sunday. I managed not to dye my hands or clothing, so that's a plus and I'm actually pretty happy with the result. I dyed some cotton to screen print onto, as well as a plaited necklace I've started. I think I might even do some more dying in other colours!

Phoebe and Shannon's wedding on Style Me Pretty!

Friday, September 28, 2012

My sister Phoebe's wedding has been featured on Style Me Pretty Australia today!  It's very exciting!
Where it all began: Year 3, 1992: Shannon set eyes on Phoebe as they were being teased by the school bully. Love at first sight. Later that day: Phoebe's walking home from school when she's yelled at by two boys from a bus window, one of them being Shannon. A friendship was born. Fast forward five years: Shannon finally plucks up the courage to ask Phoebe to be his 'girlfriend', she says 'of course'. He buys her gifts, they talk at her front gate, they kiss, a while later it ends, she cries. Fast forward 14 years: They meet, he says 'I love you, marry me', she says 'of course, I love you too'.
After she said 'of course', we went into full wedding planning mode. They were engaged last November, so we had three and a half months to plan everything. I remember sitting down and starting a 'to do' list about 5 minutes after they announced their engagement.
We did pretty much everything ourselves. Made bunting and decorations, collected jars and crystal to put flowers in, made pom poms and picked plums from our parents plum tree and turned it into jam (to give away as gifts for the guests). 
My Mum made the wedding dress, as well as the bridesmaids and flower girls dresses. We had the lace that I designed made for Phoebe's dress by a local lace maker (Fullerton Design), it was full of little things that mean something to her: a teapot and tea cup, a book, a ball of wool, a skull (her favourite TV show is 'Bones'), and a locket with a 'c' in it to represent the surnames of the bride and groom. We tried to put a personal touch on everything. My Dad even married Phoebe and Shannon!
It was a massive effort, but I did love it! 
Be sure to have a look at all the photos on Style Me Pretty!

The Healthy Chef.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm trying my best to be gluten free and as healthy as I can. I don't have a severe allergy to gluten or anything, but I know I feel a lot better when I'm not eating wheat products. I think the easiest way to stick to it is by being prepared. I find if I have my meals planned and snacks made, I'm less likely to be tempted by food I shouldn't eat.
I have been cooking recipes from The Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter. Everything I have made so far has tasted great. I must admit that I have had my doubts about some of the recipes, but they always turn out really well. Some of my favourites are the Gluten Free Banana Bread, Apple + Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies, Healthy Carrot Cake and Chilli Con Carne. The recipes even come with a breakdown of how much protein, carbs, fat etc. in each serve. The recipes are generally butter, sugar and wheat free – they do taste good I promise!
As I've got more confident I have even made some alterations to some of the recipes, like the breakfast cookies, for a bit more variety.
The first photo is my Gluten Free Banana Bread with blueberries, the second Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins.

Ode to Lella.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's time to change. Lella is still my sister, still my muse, still my best friend, still my love, but no longer my fellow blogger. I miss her witty posts. I miss the 'Lella' part of 'Lella and Zee', but it's time to just be 'Zee'. Maybe Lella will drop by from time to time with her impeccable taste and ability to know what's what. I love what we started and what we were and what might come.
Lella these ponies are for you. x.
Image via We Heart It

Happy birthday Lella.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy birthday Lella. I remember the night you were born. I remember your fierce passion for leopard print bike shorts, your bath time musical numbers, your uncanny ability to know the words of songs you'd never heard before and your unique style when it came to sunglasses. Thank you for the last twenty five years. You make everything better.

Everyone's Waiting.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It was a cool tropical night, we were on a picnic blanket in an open air amphitheatre waiting for The John Butler Trio to perform, and then I heard it – the beautiful voice of Missy Higgins. It was love at first sound. Ever since then her music has been a favourite of mine, songs I listen to for a sort of therapy. Music that brings back memories of my days in the tropics, of being a newlywed, of living away from home, of being younger.
When I heard Everyone's Waiting, I felt all those memories wash over me and it was lovely. It's a beautiful song and one of my favourites at the moment. Missy, I'm glad you're back.

Etsy love: River Luna.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I am in love with River Luna's feather watercolour paintings. I think I need one...or two.

Weekend interlude.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

For Mother's Day I asked for a pair of slippers and a DVD. I got both and was extremely pleased. I also got a surprise weekend away! I hate surprises, so I must admit I wasn't very gracious when I received a note to say I needed to be waiting with my bag packed on Friday afternoon. I still hate surprises, but it was a good one. My husband had organised a 'girls' weekend in Wildes Meadow (near Bowral) – no boys, 3 or 30. He booked a cottage and arranged for my lovely friend and sister to pick me up. We spent the weekend eating, shopping, talking and planning. We explored the Southern Highlands and bought homemade jam and antiques, ate beer flavoured ice cream and built a fire without the help of boys. The slippers and DVD are great, but the gift of time and memories is precious.

In the kitchen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What is better than Sunday afternoon cooking? I find it so relaxing. Today I decided to make a tomato relish from some over ripe tomatoes I had in the fridge. I searched for a recipe online, and ended up combining a few to come up with a relish to suit me, and suit me it does! Not only did it make the house smell delicious while it was cooking, it will be the perfect sauce to go with our turkish bread mushroom burgers. I also think it would be wonderful on a bacon and scrambled egg roll. Oh the possibilities. Here is the recipe:

Spicy Tomato Relish
1 tbs olive oil
1 small brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp hot chilli flakes (you can add more if you want it hotter)
1/2 tsp all spice
Pinch of dried herbs (I used oregano)
500g tomatoes, diced
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs white vinegar
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly. Add garlic, chilli, all spice and dried herbs and cook for 2 mins or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until they break down. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened a bit. Remove from heat and cool in saucepan. Add the fresh thyme.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Sewing and such.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's been a long time since I've put the ole' sewing machine to use, so when we got our new 'big' bed on Saturday I decided it was time to get it out and make some new cushions. 
We have recently painted our bedroom black, so I'm all about decorating to match the new colour. I made one cushion out of lovely checked wool and another out of hessian. I stitched a wool cross on the hessian one to make it a little more interesting. Both the cushions were super easy – I made envelope cushions, so they don't have any buttons or zips in them. I was a little rusty, so I did a search on YouTube for a tutorial. It took me a bout an hour to make both.
I think they look lovely with my favourite Pony Rider cushion.

The days gone by.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's been a while. Autumn is well and truly here. The nights are cold and the mornings crisp. April has been full of birthdays and moving and changing rooms. We've pulled up carpet and painted walls black. We've lay on picnic rugs, eaten chocolate and laughed until its ached. Life is wonderful.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Images via ffffound.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

"You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?"
I have never felt more anxious watching a movie. At one point the anticipation was so much that I felt physically ill. I was sitting on the edge of my seat saying 'I can't take it'.
It's a dark and brooding movie and you're never at ease while watching it. Ryan Gosling is of course glorious. On one hand I was worried about his character, and on the other I was totally freaked out by him.
If you love a good indie thriller this movie is for you. Don't expect a lot of talking though.
I loved the way it was made and the weird sort of 80s vibe the titles and music had.
*Mum, this movie isn't for you – there's a scene involving a hammer that I don't think you'd enjoy.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

'Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind'*.
We laugh together and cry together. We yell and get angry. We sit quietly together. We talk and share together. We dream together. We support and encourage each other. We love each other.
My Family = my everything.
*Quote from Lilo and Stitch

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