Monday, January 31, 2011

Move it to Lose it - Week 6

Move it to lose it - 12 Week Challenge

Starting weight: 75.2kg 
Previous weight: 74kg 
Current weight: 73.5kg

Yay!!! I finally have what I would call a decent weight loss - 500 grams this week! I went off the rails a bit on Monday and Tuesday, but then I thought to myself I am sick and tired of feeling flubby - so I buckled down and started to really watch what I ate and jumped on the Wii Fit 5 times. Obviously that paid off because I believe anywhere between 500 grams and 1 kilogram is the amount you are supposed to lose per week if you are hoping to maintain it. So I am very happy with myself and now I just need to continue with the hard work and hopefully I can lose another 500grams this week.

So this is how I did on last weeks goals...
  1. Eat reasonable portion sizes at every meal - big tick 
  2. Eat healthy meals - except for one dessert in the week - whoops I ended up having dessert 3 time 
  3. Drink at least 2L of water every day - big tick
  4. Use the Wii Fit 3 times - I actually ended up using it 5 times!! 
  5. Go for at least 2 walks with the girls - only went on one walk, it has been pretty hot here 
  6. Keep a food journal so that I can see where I am going wrong - big fail, I didn't record anything
And the goals for next week are going to be the same except I want to use the Wii Fit at least 5 times in the week.

So wish me luck in reaching 73 kilograms next week - once I reach that it will only be 2 more kilograms and I will be my pre-pregnancy weight!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

♥ Weekly Favourites ♥

Here is some loveliness that I have found this week...
snowy window

Since it is 42 degrees here in Adelaide today (107.6 F) I am loving this photo of a snowy day. I haven't even seen snow in real life yet - can you believe it?!

Dining Room
Image by Mina1801

I love this assortment of different pots and the cabinet that they are sitting on - very pretty.

Image by uydurrukcu

I would love a new work desk and I really like these ones, which I believe are from Ikea. Also love the moose head on the wall.

happy to be square

How cute is this fire place - I think I love everything about it, the mirror, the pot plant, the cute pillows and stool. But I especially love those crocheted granny squares - what a great idea!

Image by uydurrukcu

I'm loving this cute little kitchen, it looks so clean and fresh - I love the white table paired with those bright blue chairs.

Now for some link love:

♥ This extremely cute wreath over at Oh My Deer! (love the name by the way :P)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grace - 3 Months Old

I can't believe I am posting this already! Little Grace is growing up so fast it is just blowing me away. It seems like only yesterday I was coming home from the hospital nervous about how I was going to look after a newborn and a toddler, and now here we are as a little family - Zoe, Grace and I. There have definitely been some tough times, but I think overall we are going really well. Luckily Zoe seems to understand that when mum needs to feed Grace she will need to occupy herself - so Zoe will quietly play, and when it comes to putting Grace to bed, the dreaded television is switched on to keep Zoe happy.

This month Grace has turned into a super sleeper - it is rather strange for me because when Zoe was this age she was waking roughly three times a night and only cat napping during the day. Grace on the other hand generally has two decent naps and will then sleep from 10-12 hours straight at night. I love her for this. Grace is still feeding well and is growing very well - sitting at just over 7 kilograms now, which makes her very, very, healthy. She is also starting to discover her hands and feet, an occasional suck of the thumb and lots of wonderous looks at her feet - it is ultra cute. We are also starting to get happy times during the day instead of the constant whinge she was doing earlier - so it is lovely to hear those goos and gahs, and to see those huge gummy smiles.

And now for a few pics of my little lady...

Looking particularly gorgeous on her play mat from Pop and Liz.

Grace goes to the beach
Having a snooze in the baby carrier on her first ever trip to the beach.

Giving Zoe's art work on the fridge lots of gummy smiles.

Enjoying a bit of play time - this is something new!

Grace and Emma
Enjoying lots of cuddles with Auntie Emma.

Can't wait to see what the next month will bring!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Crafty WIP

Felt Scraps
I've decided that 2011 is the year for me to be a creative gal and so I signed up for the Valentine Craft Swap being put on by Becky at Strumpet's Crumpets and Amber at Hoot-n-Annie. So I have been busy designing a little pattern, buying materials, cutting up my material and now I am ready to get sewing. I won't say what I am making just yet, but it does look super yummy :P

I'm not the only one getting creative in this household either - check out the drawing Zoe did with her crayons...

Drawing of Mum by Zoe
If you can't tell it is a drawing of me. She has been very busy lately trying to draw faces - and she told me that this one was a drawing of mum. So super cute!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Etsy Picks

Here are a few lovely Etsy shops that I have found this week...

Etsy Picks - Berkley Illustration
Berkley Illustration for adorable animal portraits - of course my favourite is the buck.

{ Pictured: Buck Print and Cheetah Print }

Etsy Picks - Zen Threads
Zen Threads for lots of cool printed tees, totes and scarves. I love the Alice in Wonderland tote - especially since that was my favourite movie as a child.

Etsy Picks - United Thread
Beautiful watercolour prints by United Thread. I am totally digging watercolour at the moment and I am actually hoping to get into a bit of it myself!

Etsy Picks - Memi The Rainbow
Memi The Rainbow has a lot of cute necklaces, brooches and stamps, amongst over gorgeous things. I am seriously loving that Little Red Riding Hood necklace - it is just too cute!

Etsy Picks - fric de mentol
fric de mentol has some really interesting gocco and watercolour prints - I'm totally digging on this twig couple, and I've secretly always wanted a gocco - but I just don't have the funds for it *sigh*.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

20 Sweets in 20 Weeks - #8: Strawberries and Cream Tart

Strawberry and Cream Tart

 Stop the press. I think I have found a new favourite dessert. I have always called lemon cheesecake my favourite dessert, but now that I have tasted this divine strawberries and cream tart - I think the cheesecake's days are numbered. The texture of the filling is so light, smooth and creamy, and then the strawberries on top covered in sweet sticky jam perfectly finish off this tart. I would have to say that it is a perfect summer dessert (and yes it is summer down here in Australia :P).

Now because I am true and honest blogger I have something to tell you, and well, this is hard for me to say, but... I used a store bought tart case. I know there is no excuse for not making the pastry myself, but this week has been a bit chaotic and quite frankly I just couldn't be bothered. So there is my dirty little secret. And now that the secret is out I feel a lot better. Also if you are feeling lazy like me that makes this the perfect dessert for you - just buy a tart case, quickly whip up the filling and top with strawberries and jam. Couldn't be easier!

Strawberries and Cream Tart (from
Serves 6 
1 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
90g butter, chilled, chopped
1 egg
250g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon rum (I used 1 teaspoon of honey instead)
500g small strawberries, hulled (I used large strawberries hulled and cut in half)
1/4 cup strawberry jam, warmed
  1. Process flour, caster sugar and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg. Process until pastry just comes together.
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth. Press into a 10cm (diameter) disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Place a baking tray into oven. Preheat oven and tray to 200°C. Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a 5mm-thick round. Line a 3cm deep, 19cm (base) loose-based tart pan with pastry. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
  4. Line pastry case with baking paper. Fill with raw rice. Place onto hot baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are light golden. Remove baking paper and rice. Bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes or until pastry case is light golden. Set aside to cool.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream, icing sugar and rum until smooth. Spread mixture in cold pastry case. Top with strawberries. Brush with warm jam. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. Serve.
Tart Case

Me cheating with a store bought tart case.
Tart Filling
Add the filling.

Cut Strawberries

Cut up the strawberries.

Strawberry and Cream Tart

Arrange the strawberries on top of the filling.

Strawberry and Cream Tart

Finish by brushing with warm jam - voila!

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    20 Sweets in 20 Weeks - Voting Time!

    I am going to post up the Strawberry and Cream Tart recipe tomorrow, but in the mean time why don't you take a moment to vote for next week's sweet treat...

    C is for Cookie..

    Slice and Bake Cookies!

    Glazed Lemon

    Cranberry & White Chocolate


    You know what to do - get voting!

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Move it to Lose it - Week 5

    Move it to lose it - 12 Week Challenge

    Starting weight: 75.2kg 
    Previous weight: 74.2kg 
    Current weight: 74kg

    Seriously this is getting funny. Another small loss of just 200 grams. Oh well at least it is still going down, which is actually quite surprising since I have felt a little off this week - really light headed and dizzy so I have been avoiding the Wii Fit. Also little Miss Grace has been difficult to get to down to sleep at night so I really don't feel like exercising at 9:30pm and the stress of it all has made me eat ice-cream a few times. Naughty Alicia! Oh well this is a new week and hopefully I can finally keep on track this week.

    So the goals for next week...
    • Eat reasonable portion sizes at every meal
    • Eat healthy meals - except for one dessert in the week
    • Drink at least 2L of water every day
    • Use the Wii Fit 3 times
    • Go for at least 2 walks with the girls
    • Keep a food journal so that I can see where I am going wrong
    I want to lose at least 500 grams this week - lets see how I go!

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    ♥ Weekly Favourites ♥

    Here is some loveliness that I have found this week...

    Cupcake Cases

    A big jar full of pretty cupcake cases, which reminds me that I am quickly running out of cupcakes cases myself. I think I must rectify that shortly!

    Dutch Canal House

    Image by sbrederode

    How cute is this little house for kids? I know that Zoe would adore it, and she would totally get into that giant chalk board as well.

    Rainbow Corn 1/99

    Image by Camila Pink 

    I think all kids would eat their vegetables if they looked like this - we need rainbow vegetables now!

    round & round & round & square

    Some very pretty granny squares - my inspiration for me to learn to crochet.


    Love this image.

    Now for some link love:

    ♥ This tutorial by Dottie Angel really plays on my heart strings

    Making a custom day planner (part one of the series) with kyla roma 

    ♥ These amazing looking caramel popcorn cupcakes by 6 Bittersweets - drooool!

    ♥ A tutorial to make Scrabble tile magnets on Atypical Type A (can you tell I have a thing for magnets?)

    Saturday, January 22, 2011



    If you are a fellow Aussie you know all about lamingtons and how awesome they can be - but if you live else where you may not have experienced these little wonderful cakes. Just imagine mini sponge or butter cakes dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut - seriously one of the best flavour combinations of all time.


    Lamingtons (from the Australian Women's Weekly - 100 Favourite Cakes)
    Makes 24

    4 oz unsalted butter, softened
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3/4 cup castor sugar
    2 eggs
    2 cups self-raising flour
    pinch salt
    1/2 cup milk

    Chocolate Icing and Coconut Topping:
    1 lb icing sugar
    1/3 cup cocoa
    1/2 oz unsalted butter
    1/2 cup milk
    3/4 lb shredded coconut

    1. Grease and line a lamington tin (11 in x 7 in). Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
    2. Beat butter and vanilla together until white, add sugar, beat until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    3. Fold in sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk. When all the ingredients are added, beat mixture lightly until smooth.
    4. Spoon mixture into lamington tin, bake in oven for 30 minutes. Cake is done when firm to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool slightly before turning the cake out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
    1. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into heatproof basin, or into top half of double saucepan. 
    2. Add softened butter and milk, stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly.
    3. Stand over hot water, stir constantly until icing is of good coating consistency.
    4. Keep icing over hot water while dipping lamingtons. If icing becomes too thick, add a little extra warmed milk or water. 
    Putting it all together:
    1.  Thinly trim brown top, base and sides from cake. 
    2. Cut cake into 24 even pieces.
    3. Hold each piece of cake on a fork. Dip each cake in chocolate icing, then toss in coconut.
    4. Stand on wire rack until icing sets.
    Butter Cake batter

    The butter cake batter ready to bake.

    Butter Cake

    The baked cake.

    Cubes of cake

    Individual pieces of cake.


    Delicious lamington!

    Why not give it a try? I promise you will love this one!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Zoe - 27 Months Old

    It has been a very long time since I have posted about my gorgeous little Zoe - I think the last time was way back in February 2010 when she was just 15 months old! Now Zoe is 27 months and quite the little lady. She loves talking, jumping, dancing, wearing pretty skirts and dresses, singing, cuddling and kissing. She is quite simply gorgeous! Don't get me wrong she can also be a handful, but in general she is a very well mannered and lovely little lady.

    Zoe has had a very exciting month this month. Not only did we enjoy her third Christmas we also had family staying with us - my sister (otherwise known as Em) and my dad (otherwise known as Pot, since Zoe has decided that pop is too hard to say). Zoe had an absolute ball having so many people to play with - unfortunately she is stuck with me now :P

    Here are some photos of what the little lady has been up to...

    Zoe and em at the beach

    Going to the beach with Auntie Em.

    Zoe drawing

    Doing a gazillion crayon drawings.

    Zoe counting

    Constantly counting.

    Zoe with pop and em

    Chilling out with Em and Pop.

    Zoe and em do play dough

    Getting into the play dough with Em.

    Can't wait to see what the next month will bring us!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Etsy Picks

    Here are a few lovely Etsy shops that I have found this week...

    Etsy Picks - Paper Sparrow

    Paper Sparrow for extremely cute art work, prints, jewelery, stationery and more. I think I am in love with the little foxes having their jam - soooo cute!

    Etsy Picks - Cathy Peng

    Cathy Peng makes the cutest tees, accessories and stationery for kitty-cat lovers like myself. I especially ♥ the clever kitty - geeky kitty-cat lovers unite!

    Etsy Picks - Pop Pop Portraits

    How cute are these watercolour portraits by Pop Pop Portraits? You can even get a custom portrait painted, I think that would be a fantastic present or maybe it would be good to just have one of yourself.

    Etsy Picks - Golly Bard

    I am really loving the gorgeous colours Golly Bard uses in her artwork - I think they would look fantastic hanging up in my future study :P. It is also inspiring me to learn the art of watercolour - seriously beautiful work.

    Etsy Picks - Penguin and Fish

    I think the embroidery patterns by Penguin and Fish are just adorable and would look fantastic in a nursery - now I just need to learn how to embroider - it is on my 101 in 1001 list! I'm also loving those cute lion kitties - marew!

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    20 Sweets in 20 Weeks - #7: Banana Cream Pie

    Banana Cream Pie

    I have been dreaming of eating banana cream pie for some time now. I think I have only had it once before and that was in 2006 when I visited Hawaii (which was great fun by the way). I really think that America seems to be the place to be when it comes to pies. Australia's pie selection just seems so boring in comparison - we seem to do apple pie and lemon meringue pie and not a hell of a lot more. 

    Funnily enough I actually got this recipe from an Australian cookbook and it turned out pretty well. I like the banana cream filling and of course who can complain with loads of whipped cream on top. But I did have some issues with this pie. First of all working with gelatine for me was a nightmare! It made the cream filling go incredibly lumpy and I ended up having to heat the whole cream mixture using a double boiler to get it back to a smooth consistency. For a while there I thought I would have to throw out the whole thing, there may have been some foul language at that stage. The second issue I had was the pastry, I may have over worked it, but I found it incredibly hard - when what I was after was a nice flaky crust. Other than that the pie is good, maybe even better than good - lets just say there was very little conversation at the dinner table while it was being consumed. 

    Banana Cream Pie

     Chocolate Banana Cream Pie (adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly - The Great Dessert Cookbook)

    90g unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup caster sugar
    1 egg
    1 1/2 cups plain flour
    2 tbsp ground rice (rice flour)
    1/4 tsp baking powder

    30g unsalted butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
    2/3 cup water
    1 1/4 cups milk
    3 to 4 bananas (I used 3 smallish bananas)
    1 tbsp gelatine
    2 eggs
    2/3 cup cream
    dark chocolate (approximately 150g)
    lemon juice
    extra whipped cream (I added a little bit of caster sugar to mine)
    shaved milk chocolate, to decorate

    1. Cream butter and sugar; add egg, beat well.
    2. Sift flour, ground rice and baking powder, work into creamed mixture, knead well until smooth.
    3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    4. Roll out pastry on floured surface to fit lightly greased 23cm pie plate. Decorate edges with trimmings, brush with water. Prick well with fork on base and round sides.
    5. Bake in hot oven (375F) for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden (took my oven 20 minutes); cool.
    1. Combine butter, sugar and half the water in a saucepan; cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly, stir in milk.
    2. Soften gelatine in remaining water, dissolve over hot water; cool. Blend into milk mixture. (This is where my mixture went lumpy and gross - if this happens to you, pop the mixture into a double boiler and stir/whisk until the lumps disappear).
    3. Separate eggs, add lightly beaten egg-yolks to milk mixture; allow to cool.
    4. When beginning to stiffen slightly, fold in lightly whipped cream and softly beaten egg-whites. 
    5. Optionally at this stage melt the dark chocolate and spread over the base of the pie case. (Looking back I would probably put a layer of ganache on the base instead of just straight chocolate).
    6. Slice bananas, dip into lemon juice; reserve some slices for decoration (I didn't reserve any). Arrange remainder on base of cooked pie case.
    7. Pour cream mixture over carefully; refrigerate until set.
    8. Just before serving, decorate with extra whipped cream and reserved banana slices (I decorated with shaved chocolate instead).
    And now for some pictures of the process. The uncooked pastry case...
    Pastry Uncooked - Banana Cream Pie

    Pastry case cooked and fresh out of the oven...
    Baked Pastry - Banana Cream Pie
    Cover the pastry in melted chocolate...

    Cover in Chocolate - Banana Cream Pie

    Top with slices of banana...

    Cover with Bananas - Banana Cream Pie

    Pour over the cream mixture and refrigerate to set...

    Add Cream Filling - Banana Cream Pie

    Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, cut a slice and enjoy...
    Banana Cream Pie