Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bedroom Do-over

I've been doing a bit of work on Rosie's bedroom.

I realised the other day I had created a monster.  I'd had this visionl, you see.  This vision of vintage, thrown together with a bit of modern, a splash of colour here and there, nothing too 'planned', but rather a mish-mash of things that just happened to look good together.  Like all those styled bedrooms you see on Pinterest that the stylist has spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on and many many hours working really hard to make it look like they didn't...  Yep, that was my vision.  Without the hard work.

But instead, I created pink.  And pretty.  And vintage.  And more vintage.  And no modern.  Nope, not a scrape.

So I started again.

Well, I actually just bought some decals from Jacki at Wall Effect.  My friend Sarah of Ric-Rac and Retro convinced me to go with black, which wouldn't have been my first choice, but now that I've got them, BAM!  It works, baby!  Sarah saw my vision, and she nailed it.  Even my husband loves the dots.  And so does Lewis - 'pots' he says whenever he seems them.  But most importantly, Rosie loves them.

I love how the dots take the vintage look to a whole new level.  Modern vintage.  It's my 'thang'.

I also threw together a brightly coloured pom-pom tassel (or pong-pongs, as Rosie calls them) to hang by the window.

Aaaaaaannnnd, I've got a 'You've Got Mail' Wall Pocket (from Ayumi Mills' book Patchwork Please!) in the works to hang at the end of the bed.

And I feel like its on the way again...

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Breakfast | Creamy Bircher Muesli

Bircher muesli is not something we eat regularly, and since I've started cutting back on refined sugars/fructose, grains and dairy that has pretty much removed it from my list completely.


I do love the odd bowl of porridge, particularly in Winter, but with Winter still being somewhat well around the corner (ie. it's still stinkin' hot here) it's not really porridge weather, but Bircher Muesli?  Well that's a different story!

So Monday afternoon, while I was waiting for some overnight guests to arrive I decided I was going to make sugar-free, dairy-free Bircher Muesli.  Nothing like coming up with a new recipe at the last minute!

A lot of the Bircher Muesli recipes I have come across use apple juice as the main liquid, others use a combination of milk, cream and yoghurt, and then some just use water, but as I had an open bottle of coconut water sitting in the fridge waiting to be used, I decided to use that instead.  And then I had the brainwave of making it extra creamy by adding coconut cream.  And then I added a sprinkling of chia seeds.  And a sprinkling of shredded coconut.  And then another sprinkling of chia seeds.  And then a bit more coconut water.  Anyway, you get the gist of how this recipe came about.  Bit o' this, bit o' that, and that'll do it.

This recipe needs to be made the day ahead to get a really creamy mixture.


Creamy Bircher Muesli

Serves: at least 8

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tbspns chia seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
500ml coconut water
400 ml coconut cream
1 large apple/pear, coarsely grated
Extra 1/2 cup coconut water, to loosen the muesli the next day

Topping ideas:
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds with chopped medjool dates & toasted almonds
  • Chopped banana and blueberries with a sprinkling of pepitas
  • Sliced peaches with pepitas and toasted almonds
  • Mixed fruit salad
The night before:
Combine the oats, chia seeds and shredded coconut in a large bowl with the coconut water and coconut cream.  Mix well, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:
Remove the muesli from the refrigerator.  It will be very thick.  Add the extra half cup of coconut water and mix it through the muesli until well combined.  Stir through the grated apple or pear.  

Serve with your chosen toppings and an extra splash of coconut cream if you're feeling decadent. 


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

More Tendre Crochet / And life.

Meet Gudule.

She's a sweet wee thing, a bit shy and reserved, but ever so willing to snuggle up to you on a cold Winter's night.

See, I told you, I am head over heels in love with Sandrine's Tendre Crochet patterns!  They come together so beautifully - you can't help but be happy with the finished product.

I love that I also got to use some more of my favourite Japanese lawn cotton for her scarf, which you may remember from this dress, as well as the cushions above and previously seen here...  I'm nearly out of it, but I have a chunk left to do something with... one day... after I've made all the things I already have on my "Half done / Want to do" To Do list.  Gosh, that list is soooooo long!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I'm currently beavering away in my sewing burrow, readying things for the one market I do each year.  It holds a special place in my heart because I get to go home to Emerald see my family, which is a rare thing these days.  Since my Dad's passing Mum has had to work to support herself and it is hard for both of us to find the time and money to travel the distance to see each other.  

I've got big plans for this market - both for the stock and for the styling of my stall, but I tell you, this baby I'm cooking ain't makin' it easy!  For the last week I've felt certain that I must be growing something really important like a brain stem or something.  Soooooo tired.  Some days I feel great and I power on getting enormous amounts done, but those are often followed by days where I feel I can hardly lift a limb.  Ah well - at least I'm not leaving it 'til the last minute...  Just gotta keep going!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

My current addiction

Just in case you don't know, a Punny is a cross between a Pear and a Bunny ;)

Have you seen the Pears around Instagram lately?  They're all inspired by this amazing book, Tendre Crochet by Sandrine of the blog Tournicote.

Sandrine makes the loveliest crochet items, and her patterns are easy (except they require translation from French to English.  So I'm basically fluent in French crochet terms now!).

I am currently addicted to this book.  Several evenings of late have been spent on the couch next to my husband with the lounge room light on (much to my husband's disgust - he hates watching TV with the light on - but really, he gets my presence so that should balance things out ;) crocheting my little heart out.

So this little Punny is simply a combination of the pear pattern, Pirum Parum, and the ears from the pattern you can see on the book's front cover.  I lengthened them slightly, just to make sure they had the right amount of 'flop' to them.  And then, of course, I added a pom-pom tail and a bunny nose.

Oh, what a wabbit!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Wife-made's Melomakarona Cakes

With regards to food, I don't really feel deprived of treats or like I'm missing out anymore.  When I was still very much addicted to sugar (it was very much apart of a number of hours of every day before I began to make changes) I definitely felt like cutting out sugar was the pits.

But one thing I do miss is being able to indulge in the Greek sweets I was brought up on.  I really do miss them, although I can't really say if its the pure enjoyment of eating them so much as the feelings and memories they evoke.

Rolling out the dough for Sweet Koulouria... brushing filo pastry with butter while making Baklava... stirring Risogalo for an hour over a hot stove...  sprinkling icing sugar over Kourabiethes...

I have a lot of memories of my Dad coming into the kitchen, after Mum was halfway through baking a tray of Baklava and taking over the layering of the filo and the nuts.  Because it had to be just right - not too many nuts, spread right to the edges, and then, of course, the cutting of it into perfectly shaped diamonds was an art form which my Dad had down pat.

So I felt I absolutely had to act on this idea I had to make a cake version of my favourite Greek sweet, Melomakarona.  In their original form, these sweets are actually biscuits which are shaped into ovals, filled with nuts and dunked in a honey syrup.  Delicious, but definitely not paleo-friendly, or sugar free, or dare I say it, healthy!

My version has all the same spices and nuts, and is still dunked in a syrup at the end, but they are dairy, grain and sugar-free, so can definitely be indulged in every now and then ;)  And, if I do say so myself, they taste just like the real thing, except cakier.

Wife-made's Melomakarona Cakes

Makes approximately 15 cakes.


1 1/2 cups rice malt syrup or honey
1 tbspn lemon juice
1/2 cup water

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and boil for 5 mins.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.


450g finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tspns cinnamon
5 tbspns syrup (recipe above)

Combine the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix well.  Set aside.


3 cups almond meal
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 1/4 tbspns baking powder
1/3 cup rice malt syrup or honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 tspn ground cloves
1/2 tspn nutmeg
1 tspn cinnamon
3 eggs
juice of 1 large orange
1/2 cup almond milk

Preheat your oven to 180˚C (fan-forced).

With electric mixer, beat honey and oil together.  Add the spices, eggs and orange juice and beat until combined.  Add the almond meal, flour and baking powder and mix until combined, slowly adding the almond milk.  Mix until combined.

Using paper cases in muffin tins, place a tablespoon of batter in each case.  Top with a generous spoon of filling and top with another spoonful of batter, ensuring the nuts are completely covered.  Don't overfill your muffin cases!

Bake for 20-25 mins until cooked through and golden brown.  Remove muffins from hot muffin trays immediately, to prevent sweating.  Allow to cool completely, then carefully remove the paper cases.

Bring the syrup to the boil again and remove from heat.  Dunk each cake into the hot syrup, turning a couple of times to ensure the entire cake is covered and to give it a bit of time to soak up some of the syrup.  Don't leave it in too long or you'll be left with a soggy mess!

Top with the remaining filling mixture, and enjoy!