I have baked some shockers in my time. The worst I think was the Banoffee Pie of 2010. I'd overcooked the caramel, so what was supposed to be a silky smooth and soft filling turned out to have the consistency of a Werther's Original. It was like a cement pie. 

Kitchen failures are inevitable and I had one of those this morning. I made some Chewy Chocolate Cookies using the strangest biscuit recipe I've seen. No flour, butter or sugar; the bulk consisted of icing sugar and chopped walnuts. Failure #1: they stuck to the baking paper. The entire function of baking paper is to stop things from sticking to oven trays, so not too sure what the go is there. Failure #2: Not really a cookie, more like a fudgey glob.

I thought I'd hit the jackpot as I ended up with a bowl of leftover Reece's Pieces. But the problem is that they look like M&Ms but are lacking the magic serotonin ingredient. Reece can keep his pieces. 


A classic knees-in-photo shot

Had a lovely day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show yesterday. I love how they drive the award-winning pigs around the showground in a victory lap. Just thought I would share that. Saw Dr. Harry in the morning. And the sheepdog demonstration was a definite highlight. Made me want to quit my job and go be a sheepdog trainer. Did I mention I have over 400 emails at work to attend to? Probably 500 by tomorrow. It's not fun. Turns out I've started at the company's busiest time of year. I spent most of Friday in a (well-masked) panic. As grateful as I am for this job, at the end of the day it's not my destiny to be sat behind a desk. Maybe a few more years, then I'd like to say goodbye to the office world. I'm good at my job, but want to find something I'm good at and that I love. And be as excited as Buck the Sheepdog is to turn up to work.

[click to enlarge]

Back to the show. No showbags for me, but a couple of other cool little finds. First up, Alpine Berry Farm, home made jams and spreads. Yuurrrrrrrm. I bought the Dewberry Jam, on account of curiosity. Still have no idea what a dewberry is, but the jam is most de-lish.

I also found these swell Pipduck gumboots, perfect for socialising in the rain. Gumboots with pink lining you say? Otherwise known as the perfect unnecessary must-have. 

I haven't been to the Easter Show for a few years (I worked there for 5 years, back in the day, in the showbag pavilion... so I've been to the show about 60 times) and was so excited to see what they've done with the petting nursery. Chookies and lambs and goats just wandering about and free for patting. I was patting this teeny lamb and he let out a bleet, it was the cutest thing ever in the world, he nearly ended up in my backback. Also saw a chicken peeping its beak out of a crack in an egg. Amazing. Well done, Easter Show!

And here are just a couple of random photos from a little at-home lazy family Sunday lunch, with pomegranate champagne. 


Zooey Deschanel, New Girl. Not integral to the story, but a pretty pic all the same.

If you'd asked me last week how the new job was going I might have given you a little squeak in the way of a reply. Being the new kid on the block is tough work. Not only do you feel a bit out of place for those first few days, you literally feel as though you don't belong there, I mean, like you have breached security by coming and sitting at "your" desk. When I've started new jobs in the past I've often been lucky to start on the same day as other newbies. Fellow newbies are like instant work besties, a most excellent asset to have. Well, no such luck for me, the singular newb, but that's okay. Much as I do miss my old work buddies, I'm doing pretty well. 

Did a little desk rearrangement today. If you know me at all you could guess that my desk decor doesn't end with the complementary stapler and sticky tape dispenser. On the contrary, much thought goes into the styling of one's desk space. There are rules, though. When you first start at a new company, you have to allow a cooling off period before you can start throwing out the last person's leftover crap, and then you can steadily commence updating the stationery wardrobe. Imagine if I turned up on Day One with a potplant, my family snaps and a box full of stuff from Typo. Much as I would love to do that, I'm still in that cooling off period. I cleared some space today, but as it stands, the only element of my individual flair comes in the form of the fluro pink Post-It notes I brought from home.

Little do they know that amid spreadsheets and flat plans, PDFs and pagination, yada yada yada, I steal myself for a few seconds to think about all the bits of stuff that are slowly but surely going to make their way into my little nook. You spend 35 hours a week somewhere, you're gonna wanna have something else to look at besides computer cables and deadline sheets!

And that is where TYPO comes in...
Push It Real Good, Push Pins

Flip Clock (because PC clocks are so run-of-the-mill)

I really don't

Daily Shi*t Planner

Heart Pins

Nerd Glasses (promotion, here I come)

Lucky Lantern (too much?)

And over at Kikki K...

Desk Calendar

Sundae Pink Notebook

Cutie Patooty Photocards (to frame my nieces' pretty heads)


I made these as a little appetiser for Easter lunch yesterday. They are vine leaves stuffed with a lamb, rice and herb mixture. This is a tasty finger food that happens to be pretty healthy, too. My sister-in-law's mama requested the recipe, so here it is!


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium brown onions (300g) chopped finely
150g lean lamb mince
3/4 cup white long-grain rice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup water
500g preserved vine leaves
1 cup water, extra
1 tablespoon lemon juice, extra
3/4 cup yoghurt

1. Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until softened. Add mince, cook until browned. Stir in rice and pine nuts. Add herbs, juice and the water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is partially cooked. Cool.

2. Rinse vine leaves in cool water. Drops leaves into a large saucepan of boiling water, in batches, for a few seconds. Transfer to colander, rinse under cold water, drain well.

3. Place a vine leaf, smooth-side down on bench, trim large stem. Place a heaped teaspoon of rice mixture in centre. Fold stem and end sides over filling; roll up firmly. Line medium heavy-based saucepan with a few vine leaves, place rolls, close together, seam side down on leaves.

4. Pour the extra water over top of rolls; cover rolls with any remaining vine leaves. Place a plate on top of the leaves to keep rolls under the water during cooking. Cover pan tightly, bring to the boil; reduce heat, simmer over very low heat 1.5 hours. Remove from heat; stand, covered, about 2 hours or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

5. Serve with combined extra juice and yoghurt.

This recipe comes from a Women's Weekly cookbook, but here are my notes:

  • You can buy vine leaves from specialty fruit & veg grocers
  • I added a pinch of salt to the rice mixture
  • I used 2-3 teaspoons of mixture per dolmade instead of the recommended 1 teaspoon


In my humble opinion? Wait til it comes out on TV and order some Indian takeaway. A side of butter chicken would probably provide more of an enriching experience!

A slew of mostly positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes led me to tag along with the parentals to see this flick. Our general consensus was that it was "a bit slow, okay, not great" (though they gave slightly more generous scores of 5 and 6). Unfortunately the only good one-liners in this movie were used up in the trailer, and the plot didn't go much deeper than that. There were multiple story lines and themes going on, but they all felt surface deep. It did invite a few giggles, but there were also quite a few moments were I knew I was supposed to laugh, but it didn't quite happen, which is a bit awkward. There wasn't a character in this movie who I really liked. Their character traits felt forced, especially in the humour stakes. The "all star cast" is irrelevant when all of the characters are irritating. Redeeming features of the movie included a bit of a glimpse into Indian culture, although not having been there I couldn't really say. Not quite a "kill me now" movie, but personally, I couldn't recommend it either!


8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5/8 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder

3 tablesoons butter, softened
1 cup icing suga
1 tablespoon milk
2-3 drops vanilla extract
chocolate candy shell eggs

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and cocoa and fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon. Fill paper cases.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until wire skewer comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, combine butter and sugar in a bowl with electric mixer. Add milk and vanilla essence; beat until very light and fluffy.

Happy Easter <3


Here's the first page proof of my article that will be in the June edition of Living + Lifestyle. This is a new mag which at the moment comes as a supplement with Modern Home and Country Home Ideas magazines. Pretty excited about this, being my first published article! I might post the remainder once the mag is  officially out. =)


i do love a good flanno. which is why i was excited to see this one in the cosmo australia may fashion pages. $59.95 from zara. well if zara says they're ok...