February 26, 2015

PARIS | PHOTO DIARY






I am a homebody through and through. Track pants, cuddly jumpers, blankets and Greys Anatomy re-runs are my haven. Backpacking, living out of out of hostels and surviving off a loaf of bread and cheese for a week was not up my alley, however when Dan and I went backpacking across Europe I suddenly realised what it was all about. We visited some of the most beautiful cities that stole my heart, but in true cliché style I fell madly in love with Paris.

I didn't climb the Eiffel tower, or go inside the Louvre, we didn't pay for extravagant tours or go to fancy restaurants. It rained the entire time we were there, and we actually had a fight underneath the Eiffel Tower when we arrived (not exactly the city of love, right?). All this, and it was still one of my favourite places in the world. Why? Because of the little things.
 
Paris is a treasure trove of unique finds, secret passageways and quirky signs from the 1950s. Sitting on the metro (which is so much better than Sydney trains) and listening to people speak to each other in their incredible French accents, swoon.  The Parisian style, the elegance and the culture were so dreamy. Not to mention France is home to the greatest cheeses in the world, and don't forget the macaroons, the crepes, pastries and baguettes...  Hungry yet?  
 
 Have you been to Paris? What did you think?
 

February 18, 2015

BAKING: CINNAMON AND SULTANA TWISTS





CINNAMON AND SULTANA KNOTS: 

Ingredients: 
2 cups flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup warm water 
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter (melted)  

Inside the knot:   
3 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp cinnamon 
3 tbsp sultanas (or other dried fruit) 

1. In a large bowl, place the flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and warm water. Mix together with a wooden spoon until combined, and then knead for 6-7 minutes until smooth and elastic. 

2. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until risen. Roughly an hour. 

3. When ready, roll the dough so it is even and roughly 0.5cm thick.  Spread your sugar, cinnamon and sultanas (or other dried fruit you desire) on the top and roll again. 

4. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into roughly seven parts. Roll each into balls, and then into ropes. Make a knot out of it and place it on your baking paper. 

5. Brush the tops with melted butter and bake at 200° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 







January 31, 2015

FIVE THINGS | I’ve learnt in my 20’s.




I am almost twenty three, and it scares me. When I was younger I remember sitting around the swings in the park, listening to my friends talk about their goals in life while I clutched my pen diligently listing down my own. I decided if I was going to live my best life, I needed to start organising it. I called it my ‘life plan’ (creative name huh?) and I loved it. As much as I love spontaneity, I have always been a fan of lists and plans. They provide comfort. They provide direction. Not to mention the fact I had ‘Marry a man with a British accent’ on mine. What’s not to like? 

As wildly creative as my ‘life plan’ was, it is certain to say I haven’t stuck to it very well. I am not a model, an actress, nor have I been on Oprah. I am meant to marry by 23, have a baby by 25 and oh my absolute favourite, ‘save the world’ by 32. Yeah… I told you I was a creative little one. What I’ve learnt is that unfortunately life doesn’t always go to plan, but it does give you things you never imagined and teaches you pleeeenty along the way. Here are five things I’ve learnt so far. 

1. The world doesn’t owe you anything: You are not entitled to anything in this world. Put your head down, work hard and respect the people around you. Try and stay positive and be the best version of you that you can be, its the only thing you have control of and it’s the only way you’ll get anywhere. 

2. Don’t waste your time: Time is non-renewable. Once it’s gone, it’s really gone. Don’t waste your time on people or things that have a negative impact on your life. Forget the friends or boys that forgot about you, and cherish the good ones that hung around. People change, friendships fall apart but the ones that stay are keepers. You deserve to have people around you who love and support you, anyone else is a waste of your time. 

3. You’ll make your money go further: You’ll learn to do more with less. You’ll also learn that if you spend your weeks pay on a big night out you’ll get to enjoy baked beans every night for the rest. of. the. week. Great… Just great.

4. Life goes on: My Grandpa used to say ‘no matter what happened the day before, the sun will always rise the next morning’ which really put things into perspective. We all go through breakups, loss of jobs,  friendship meltdowns, the list goes on, but the world will keep spinning. Failure is part of life and there will always be other opportunities out there if you keep your eyes and heart open. 

5. Your parents are people too: In your 20’s they are no longer the totally uncool authoritarians you saw as a teenager, nor the all-knowing protectors you saw as a child. They are peers, just two people who are somewhat flawed like the rest of us, doing their best to help out in every way they can to give you the best life you deserve. They deserve a medal.  

What have you learnt in your 20s? Let me know! 





January 26, 2015

FIVE GO-TO PHOTO EDITING APPS.


Hands up who loves a good-ol’ photo filter? Everyone? Thought so. Gone are the days where you rely solely on Valencia on Instagram to give your photos that ‘oomph’. Today I thought I would dive on in and give you a list of the top photo-editing apps I rely on. Ready? Lets go.

Afterlight - It may cost you a penny or two but this little app is my go-to for the majority of my photos. It lets you frame your images, gives you adjustable filers and regularly update their content so you never get bored. All hail Afterlight!

FxCamera - This is a relatively new one I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago and I’m already in love. FxCamera lets you simulate different camera types making your photo look like it was taken with a polaroid camera, fisheye lens and the list goes on. Considering this app is free, its certainly worth having a look at.

Cymera - Admittedly I don’t use this one very often but it’s fun when you have time to play around with your photos as this nifty app offers you the ability to make your smile bigger, face slimmer, eyes larger. You name it, Cymera can probably do it.

Mextures - After paying for this app I instantly felt a twinge of regret. We couldn’t afford to splurge on ice cream this week but I could buy an app for $3? What. Was. I. Thinking. Then I opened it up and started looking at the incredible filters you could add to photos, and the rest is history. This app lets you mix and match your own filters, layering till you get the perfect photo, needless to say it was money well spent.

Piction - If you’re a quote lover like me you’ll love this for writing captions or text directly on your images. There is a large selection of fonts, styles and colours so you can personalise it to your taste. Be careful though, this app is pretty addictive after awhile…


What photo editing apps do you use? Let me know! 






January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Pinch and a punch for the first of the month and I hope you all have a very merry and wonderful New Year! Before I get into anything else I think I need to confess something… We’re getting quite personal now, are you ready?… I don’t have any resolutions for the year. I know, I know, I was pretty darn shocked too. See the thing is, I looked at my watch on New Years Eve and thought ‘Five hours left! That’s plenty of time to be hit with some Disney-like inspiration’ and then before I knew it, it was 11:59PM and there still was nothing.   

I have made New Years Resolutions ever since I was a youngin' and to be honest the first few years consisted of me saying ‘This year I’ll get my first kiss!’ which progressed to ‘this year I’ll get my first boyfriend!’ and you know what? It never happened. Then I stopped wishing for it and it happened. What I’m trying to say is I’m not a huge fan of the old ‘ New Year, New You Resolutions’ business because I hate the pressure, stress and time restraint associated to that. 

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2015. If they happen, thats amazing and I’ll feel kick-ass. If they don’t… well I’ll keep on trotting on and everything will be OK. 

- Learn (beginner) French.
- Enjoy the little things and take more photos to remember them by. 
- Be more tolerant of bad drivers.
- Live in the moment and stop stressing over things you can’t control.
- Develop a good morning routine. 


What are your new year resolutions or goals for the year?

I love reading what people have planned! 

xx







FREE PRINTABLE: 
 I also finished designing my very first printable monthly calendar which can be used for any year (handy huh!) and I thought I’d link it for free here. Please just respect copyright and don’t publish/share without crediting the calendar back to me (but I know you won’t do that anyway, you gooduns!)