Friday, April 29, 2011

Polly Dolly- Wedding Guest 2.0

I feel like there's a bit of wedding fever overkill lately due to the Royal Wedding, but then again I'm a sucker for weddings so I don't really mind. If I were a guest at a wedding, here's what I would wear...


One shoulder cocktail dress
$368 - aliceandolivia.com

Nicholas Kirkwood stiletto high heels
605 GBP - brownsfashion.com

Gold clutch
399 EUR - veryeickhoff.com

Kendra Scott gold earring
$70 - zappos.com

Smokey Eyes Makeup
$50 - squidoo.com

Fake Bake 118ml Faux Glo
11 GBP - houseoffraser.co.uk





I'm cheating a little, as I've taken inspiration from what I wore to a wedding recently as inspiration for this week's Polly Dolly. Originally I was never really into that shade of purple, but when I tried it on I found that it suited me quite nicely. Some snakeskin heel for a bit of an edge, and some subtle accessories to finish it off.


If you'd like to play, visit the delectable Danimezza



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Winding Down.



The first thing I do when I arrive home from work (after giving the Little Lion a huge hug and kiss of course) is throw my boots off, chuck all my jewelery onto my bedside table and change into my singlet top and PJ pants. For some reason, denim tends to feel extremely uncomfortable the moment I walk into the door, and all I want to feel is that soft, cosy flannelet fabric. Bedsocks are optional, although if I am to wear them, the fluffier the better.

Once all that has been done, I feel relaxed and ready to spend time with my little family. My work persona has disappeared for the day, and I don't have to think about it until the next day. 


How do you wind down after work? Oh, and does anyone else think that Sussans has the BEST PJs? They rock!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Wilted Rose.




If you'd like to play, head on over to Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love



Monday, April 25, 2011

Baking Bliss #9- Flourless Chocolate Cake and Marinated Strawberries.



Being Easter, I wanted to bake something fairly rich, indulgent and full of chocolaty goodness. We were invited to the inlaws for a BBQ lunch, so I decided to make a flourless chocolate cake with marinated strawberries. I found the cake recipe from Exclusively Food and the strawberry recipe from allrecipes.


Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe from Exclusively Food

This cake is rich, soft and moist with a meringue-like crust. It is moister the day after baking.

Serves about 8.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules/powder
1 teaspoon hot water
100g butter
150g dark chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
4 large eggs at room temperature (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
170g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
200g almond meal (ground almonds) 

 
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

Grease the side and base of a 20cm diameter (inside top measurement) round cake pan. We use a springform pan for easy removal of the cake. Line base and side of the pan with non-stick baking paper.

Dissolve coffee in one teaspoon of hot water.

Place butter, chocolate, vanilla and dissolved coffee in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, taking care not to break the yolks. If any of the yolk gets into the whites, the yolk will prevent the egg whites from whipping properly. © exclusivelyfood.com.au

Using electric hand-held beaters or an electric mixer, beat egg whites with about half the sugar in a large, clean bowl. Beat until soft peak stage (when the beater is lifted, a peak will form and then droop over).
In a separate bowl, beat yolks with remaining sugar using electric hand-held beaters or an electric mixer. Beat until mixture is light, thick and creamy.
Gently fold cooled chocolate mixture into yolk mixture.

Break up any lumps of almond meal before gently stirring it into the chocolate mixture.

Spoon about one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and use a spatula or large spoon to gently fold the egg whites through the mixture until just combined. Fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to cool in pan.

Serve slices of the cake with whipped cream, berries, ice cream, chocolate sauce or simply dusted with icing sugar.

Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
© www.exclusivelyfood.com.au

Marinated Strawberries from allrecipes


Ingredients


  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and large berries cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Directions

  1. Place strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over strawberries, and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour but not more than 4 hours. Just before serving, grind pepper over berries.

This is the best flourless chocolate cake I have made so far, and it was surprisingly quick and easy to make. It's quite rich, so you only need a small slice. The strawberries were a lovely sharp, tangy contrast. I think I may have to have another slice for dessert...


I always love to see what other people have baked, as it gives me inspiration and ideas on what to cook next weekend. Each Sunday I'm going to post a photo of what I've created (whether it's a success or not!) and I would love for you to link back to your own blog and show me what culinary delight you've whipped up! Remember, it's not just limited to baking, show me your soups, casseroles, pastas.. anything you like!  







Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chocolate and Bubbles. Happy Easter!




As the Little Lion can't have chocolate, the Easter Bunny decided to have a bit of fun and buy him a Bubble Machine. The look on his face when we turned it on was priceless! One thing I am grateful for though- the Easter Bunny managed to recall that I was quite fond of Cadbury Crunchie rabbits ;)

Happy Easter everyone ♥

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Saturday Market.



No Saturday morning sleep in for this little duck.. I was ready and out the door by 7:30am to set up my stall for the market today. My town really turned on the weather today, gorgeous sunshine and blue skies which meant people were out in droves. Pretty successful day for me with orders and lots of interest. If you'd like to have a closer look at what I do, have a peek at my Facebook page and Made it Store

Happy Easter everyone!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Super Busy....

Busy Busy!

I was all set to do a nice long wrap up of the Melbourne meet now that Dani had posted some awesome photos for me to use, but last night I received an email from the co-ordinater of the Riverfront market held here Easter Saturday asking if I would like to have a Hummingbird's Song stall to showcase my blocks.

Of course, I jumped at the chance, so as you can see I've been extremely busy finishing orders so I can display them! Hopefully I'll finish the wrap up on Saturday or Sunday. Happy Thursday everyone, not long until 5 days off in a row! 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Lilac Notes.




If you'd like to play, head on over to Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sick Laptops, Losing my Bus Virginity and Hello/Goodbye Melbourne Pt 2.

After an unsettled night with Carter, I drag myself out of bed at 5am to get ready for my bus trip which leaves at 6:30am. It's absolutely freezing outside, and I'm half asleep as the Taxi drives me to the station. I'm quite happy to find that I've been allocated seat number 1, and even more happy that I don't have to share with anyone. Earphones in, ipod on, and I zone out to Angus and Julia Stone for the next couple of hours. 

My Saviour

After 4 hours, I'm over it already. The constant stopping is driving me crazy, and I can't get to sleep no matter how hard I try. I know, I know. I'm the biggest whinger on earth! I leave all my gear on the seat next to me and avoid eye contact with anyone who gets on the bus so they can't sit next to me which makes me an antisocial wench to boot. Crankiness is thy middle name.

Sit next to me if you dare.

Around 12:20 we finally make it to the Bendigo train station. I breath a sigh of relief at the thought of finally getting some lunch, but then I discover the train is leaving so it's a mad rush to jump on an find a seat. Unfortunately I get one of the hard little ones near the door. I discover a discarded muesli bar at the bottom of the bag and try to pretend it's a focaccia. The little bits of apricot aren't really helping.

A couple of hours later we arrive in Bendigo and my butt is numb, my knees creak and I can barely turn my neck. After some slight confusion and a call to Danielle, the delightful Sharnee directs me to the right tram and I lug my suitcase on board. New pet hate- travelling with a heavy suitcase on public transport. I curse myself for once again overpacking. Rahh! 

It may or may have not looked something like this...
Once in our apartment, I fling my suitcase in our room and just want to collapse on the couch. The next couple of hours are a blur of filing Dani's nails, eating MnM's, drinking Moscato and trying to get ready for the Hello Events Blogger meet that night. Blue and white polka dot dress, black belt, black boots, silver accessories and red lippy. Dani looks super cute in her black dress, black boots and purple tights. I meet Prue, who reminds me exactly of a friend of mine back home which means I love her instantly. Plus, she's wearing red lippy like me.

It's time to leave. We troop out the door and jump on the closest tram to take us to the Emerald Peacock, which I'll tell you about tomorrow....


Monday, April 18, 2011

Sick Laptops, Losing my Bus Virginity and Hello/Goodbye Melbourne Pt 1.

Oh Lordy. I'm not sure where to begin here. First off, let me apologise for my absence from cyberspace over the last few days. Let's just say there were a few hiccups and roadblocks in my way when it came to creating posts and sending tweets to my fellow bloggers out there. 

On Thursday morning I opened my laptop and set about doing my usual thing- you know, checking blogs, email, the weather, etc when I reach for my cup of tea. I watch in horror as I clip the edge and send it spilling into a mocha coloured lake all over my keyboard.

It short circuits and the screen goes black immediately.

The Culprit.

Panic. Panic, panic all round. I grab a tea towel and start mopping frantically. I remember something about sticking it in rice to absorb moisture then remember that a) that's for a mobile phone, and b) I don't have enough rice to completely submerge my laptop. Or maybe I do. Or don't. Or is it flour, not rice? No! My mind is frantic, and then I come to my senses and realise I should just take it to the computer hospital, ie. Office Everything.

I wrangle the Little Lion in the car, and when I arrive there I'm informed that the techie won't be able to attend to it until this afternoon, and that it will be a minimum of $99 just to look at it. Sighing, I sign the form and kiss my laptop (and cash) goodbye.

I spend the rest of afternoon and most of Friday chewing on my bottom lip and waiting ever so patiently for OE to call and (hopefully) that all will be OK. Luckily I had bought my work ipad home so I had the internet there if I really needed it, but it's just not the same. Seriously. Finally, I find out that my laptop has dried out, I don't need to shell out $$$ for a new one, my bank account gives a sigh of relief and $150 later it's back home. 

However, I have no time to blog.  I have to pack and get ready for a 5am start Saturday morning.  I'm off to Melbourne on a whirlwind trip to attend a Hello Events Blogger meet and hang out with my cyber twin Danimezza. And, for the first time, I've decided that due to astronomical flight prices where I'd practically have to remortgage my house just for a one way ticket, I'd go by bus. 

Pleeease morph into a flight ticket....

I don't think I'll be doing that again for a Very. Long. Time. I'll tell you why tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Fallen Rose.




If you'd like to play, head on over to Faith, Hope and a Whole Lotta Love



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Letter Blocks Easter Special!

At the moment I'm school holidays (although my darling Little Lion still insists on waking me up at 7am.. goodbye sleep ins, I miss you!) and right now I have more than enough time to complete block orders. 

What are block orders, you ask? Well, if you're new here, you might not know that I have a madeit store, and I create personalised letter blocks to spell any name or word you like. Here are some examples:










If you'd like to see more, either click the 'madeit' tab at the top of my blog, or visit my facebook page

Up until the 27th of April, if you place an order you will receive 10% off the total cost! 

If you're looking for a beautiful personalised gift for a child's room or nursery, or maybe just something special for yourself, these letter blocks are perfect. 

For any enquiries, email me at hummingbirdssong@live.com, or visit my madeit store.

Cheers! 





Monday, April 11, 2011

Point and Shoot #33- Yellow Dress.



I have a friend who is fabulous to take shopping with. Being an ex-fashion designer (she now teaches with me) she always has her eyes open and takes note of things that I would normally sweep past. Take this Grace and Hart dress for example. I had a brief look at it on the sale rack, and dismissed it almost instantly. Margaret picked it back up and pushed me to the change room. And, wadda you know? It fit. Perfectly. Even better? It was $50, down from $310. It's my new favourite dress. Now I just need somewhere to wear it!

If you'd like to play, head on over to Sunny and Scout

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baking Bliss #8- Carrot and Spice Teacake Loaf.



I had a whole stack of grated carrot leftover from making the Little Lion's lunch, so I thought I'd look up a carrot cake recipe. I discovered one on Taste.com with a bit of a twist- the Carrot and Spice Teacake.

Now, I'm a sucker for a teacake, and when I saw this one was a variation of a carrot cake I just had to make it!



Carrot and Spice Teacake:

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 1 quantity cinnamon teacake (see related recipe)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Butter, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced oven. Grease a 6cm deep, 9cm x 19cm (base) loaf pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, leaving a 3cm overhang on all sides.
  2. Follow step 2 of cinnamon teacake, adding carrot, cinnamon and ginger with milk at end.
  3. Follow steps 3 and 4. Serve.


Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 65g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Cinnamon topping

  • 10g butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 4.5cm deep, 20cm round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together for 2 minutes or until combined. Stir in half the flour, then half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Level top.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Turn, top-side up, onto a wire rack.
  4. Make topping Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Brush hot cake with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Cool. Serve.

This is a lovely light version of a carrot cake that would go beautifully with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Next time I think I'll double the mixture, as it turned out quite a bit smaller than I anticipated. See you next week!



I always love to see what other people have baked, as it gives me inspiration and ideas on what to cook next weekend. Each Sunday I'm going to post a photo of what I've created (whether it's a success or not!) and I would love for you to link back to your own blog and show me what culinary delight you've whipped up! Remember, it's not just limited to baking, show me your soups, casseroles, pastas.. anything you like!  

 



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Polly Dolly- Trench

Better late than never... here's my contribution to this week's Polly Dolly- The Trench coat.

Trench

Trench by Rhi* featuring ray ban shades
V neck tank
$1,971 - reissonline.com

Sweater
$60 - topshop.com

All Saints trench jacket
$350 - allsaints.com

Clutch
$90 - endless.com

Ray Ban ray ban shade
$159 - mytheresa.com

MAC 'Sheen Supreme' Lipstick
$15 - nordstrom.com

Cheryl Eyelashes
5 GBP - missselfridge.com


I'm feeling like embracing leather and something a little more edgy this week. I adore the shoes, and I'm wishing I had a sparkly top similar to the one pictured. Now it's time to head off for drinks in the city...


If you'd like to play, head on over to Danimezza


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