Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Tiptoe through the tulips....

Isnt this the cutest little house? I love the colour.  It is a house in the government gardens in Rotorua, New Zealand.  We went there on holiday in October and they had the most lovely tulips all over the place, it so brightened up the grey weather during the week we were there.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Wait watching

So after gaining a few extra kilos and being remotivated by two friends who are losing and losing and losing weight I have decided to go on weight watchers for the second time this year. Last time was a real success and I lost 5 kilos in about 2 months. Couldn't keep it off though and gained it all back plus an extra couple just to make me feel really bad about it.  It really is hard having self control. I wonder if alcoholics feel the same way about alcohol as I do about chocolate and biscuits . It really feels like an addiction sometimes.  I have to admit I eat them emotionally and then from there it's just a downward spiral of 'just one more' everytime I open the cupboard.  At times it helps me get through the day. 2 year olds are hard work you know. A nice cup of tea and a biscuit makes everything better. Well now its just the tea and if I'm a good girl one biscuit at the end of the day (because God knows if I had one earlier my brain would forget that one and demand another and another). Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Crafty stuff

It occurred to me today that I haven't shared any pics of my crafty creations on the blog yet, they are things I make for friends and family and are not for sale or anything, just for fun!

These are two I made for my mum out of jewellery that she had that she didnt wear and didn't like, add a few new beads and new design and voila new bracelets! nice bit of upcycling!

these are some embroidered felt brooches I made last year for xmas presents, Im getting better at them, I really enjoy making them, but not so sure people enjoy receiving them! oh well too bad!

thats all for now x

Friday, 8 June 2012

Send Me a Letter

How exciting - I have joined a handmade gift exchange through Craftaholics Anonymous Im rather excited and a little worried. what will I make? will I have the skills to create something that someone will like? I hope so, have had very little feedback on the things I have made for presents for people over the past year and am hoping that whatever I make will be liked by mysterious receiver of said gift.  I like the idea of receiving something in the mail from someone, just receiving mail at all these days is a novelty. When I was a young teen my best friend lived next door and we constructed a shoe box on string mail delivery system between our houses. It was so cool, we went to different schools so had alot to write about to each other every day, long winded notes about the latest american heart throbs - Beverly Hills 90210, Saved by the Bell, New Kids on the Block, Bathazar Getty, the two Coreys all featured in our daily rantings, as well as updates on other boys we had crushes on in real life, school work and other friends. It was awesome coming home to a note in the box, that little thrill you get when reading someones letter, their handwriting, their doodles, pictures cut from magazines and stuck on,  the way that kids write the way they speak.  We even had made up nicknames (based around said crushes - I think at one stage I was Mark Paul's Ski Poles (Mark Paul Gosselar from Saved by the Bell liked to ski apparently) soon to be replaced by Jords and Joes boxers when New kids became the obsession - those ones lasted a long time.  I miss those notes, maybe I just miss being young and all the frivolity that comes with it.
the Beverly crew

New Kids on the Block then and now, yes well lets be honest I would go and see them if they came to New Zealand, ashamed to admit. - somehow I very much doubt that will happen
Mark Paul  and Tiffany-  ah the 90's
One of our favourite movies. Corey Haim was so cute, its so sad.

Balthazar Getty
Balthazar in the teen idol days.

I love the way you start writing a blog entry about one thing, and it turns into something completely different - a nice trip down memory lane.x 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Thought for the day....

Salvadore Dali once said

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.

Strong words to consider today, after seeing some Dali work and various other modern artists at the Auckland City Art Gallery this weekend at the  Degas to Dali exhibition (on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland). It was a pricey entrance fee but worth it - wonderful to see contemporaries of each art movement in the same room together rather than just one artist alone. Inspiring to see people who were often working together and producing there own ideas within an art movement. For example the spider below, with the obvious influence of Miro, Calder makes it his own, turning an image into a sculpture then having it move, slowly spinning in mid air. very cool. 

Alexander Calder, The Spider, c1935-c1937, Metal, painted

Joan MirĂ³, Peinture [Painting], 1925, Oil and black chalk on canvas

Peinture [Painting]

A few more of my  favourite works

Roy Lichtenstein, In the Car, 1963, Oil and magna on canvas

Jacques Lipchitz, Figure assise [Seated Figure], 1916, Bronze (1/7)

Vincent van Gogh, Olive Trees, 1889, Oil on canvas

Olive Trees

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

More interest in Pinterest

The controversy over Pinterest continues and to be honest I feel quite confused about the whole thing, and am hoping I don't get sued by anyone.  It also makes me glad I am not yet a mass pinner, with pins in the thousands like some people, as I think I am going to have to go through and make sure each and every one leads back to its original source.   Read here for some amateur advice on how to be a safe pinner posted by the Paper Mama.  All advice well received on this one.  I really hope the site continues, its so brilliant, addictive and feeds my inner voyeur of all things beautiful and cool!  As a hairdresser its great having an online inspiration board at my finger tips, saves rummaging through magazines and websites for that perfect hair image. Five minutes on Pinterest has me inspired to redecorate my house, wear my hair a different way, cook something new and dress totally different.  Love it.  What does everyone else think about this image privacy issue?? x

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Heaven knows I'm miserable now...

Time to share one of my new favourite songs 'Heaven knows I'm miserable now' by The Smiths. I love how the sound is uplifting but the lyrics are quite depressing, its such a contradiction. I spent my youth never liking The Smiths much because I thought they were depressing, now I find it uplifting and humorous, maybe its because my view on life is a lot more positive. The lyrics are just so true. love it. Morrissey is such a legend and he has quite a  nice quiff in this video.  According to my husband the guitar part is extremely difficult and complicated to play, probably why it sounds so good. Thanks dear husband for bringing The Smiths into my life again.

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I'm miserable now
I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
And heaven knows I'm miserable now
In my life
Why do I give valuable time
To people who don't care if I live or die ?
Two lovers entwined pass me by
And heaven knows I'm miserable now
I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
And heaven knows I'm miserable now
In my life
Oh, why do I give valuable time
To people who don't care if I live or die ?
What she asked of me at the end of the day
Caligula would have blushed
"You've been in the house too long" she said
And I (naturally) fled
In my life
Why do I smile
At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye ?
I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I'm miserable now
"You've been in the house too long" she said
And I (naturally) fled
In my life
Why do I give valuable time
To people who don't care if I live or die ?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Decadent Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Recently a friend who is a very healthy eater introduced me to avocado based Chocolate Mousse.  I perhaps would have been initially sceptical, had I not already eaten a few mouthfuls, and was quickly devouring the lot.  Its rich, very chocolatey and contains no processed sugar. I researched a few recipes online, all differing versions that seem to have epic amounts of honey, my friends version is a bit less honey, and uses dates instead to sweeten.   I like it, feel free to experiment  until you get it how you like it., you can add sugar too if you feel you need it (I would add small amounts of icing sugar tasting as you go).  This is a great dessert for kids and toddlers (over the age of 1) who wont eat avocado (don't tell them they'll never know!)

Avocado Chocolate Mousse
serves 3-4 
into a small food processor, or bowl to be mixed with a Stick mixer

1 Large ripe avocado - skin and pip removed
1/2 cup Cocoa (non sweetened)
3 T Honey
1 T vanilla essence or extract
2 fresh Dates - stones removed

For Chocolate Berry Mousse add a handful of berries (raspberries, blackberries or strawberries fresh or frozen)

Whizz until all combined and it has a lovely thick mousse texture. Refrigerate until cold (couple of hours), serve in little dishes, in small portions - its very rich with fresh berries. You can also sprinkle with coconut or icing sugar.

DEVINE! and best of all HEALTHY!! Hope you enjoy it.

Love LB x

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Oh Little Deer please be mine

One of my 2012 resolutions was to start buying things for our house, especially for the walls which have for the past 4 years remained fairly bare. The past few months I have been hunting out local artists whose work I love, I previously shared with you Ellaquaint  from whom I have just bought another fab watercolour of a Tui - isn't he gorgeous?

Today I wanted to mention someone else who has been on the handmade market scene lately.  Recently I commissioned a piece of work (a gift for a dear friend) from a wonderful artist, Odd One Out - an upcycler of vintage items and maker of quirky cute imagery.  My favourite pieces of her work are the vintage plates with cute illustrations on, but I am having trouble choosing which one I want,  I may just have to have them all.

Here are a few of my favourites...

Help I can't decide! They are all so beautiful! I love the designs and how they incorporate the plate patterns, its very clever and very unique! Check out OddOneOut blog and Facebook page for more plates and other cool artwork.

love  LB

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Take me to the River

Today I just wanted to share with you all the special place that is my parents holiday house.  It is in a place called Turangi ( south side of  Lake Taupo) and is a rentable house within the Tongariro Lodge.  What makes it special is it is right on the Tongariro river, with the most beautiful view at sunset.   The air is always crisp, the views always magical. Nothing but the sounds of Tuis and the river, brings a kind of peace.  When you live in a city, you forget how wonderful the sound of nature is.

The House
We were lucky enough to stay for a week this time, although the 5 hour drive from Auckland is tough with a toddler, it was well worth it.  On our last night we had dinner from the lodge (gourmet dining!) brought to the house and we ate on the deck while watching the sun go down (photos further down!). Heaven.

The Mighty Tongariro River - great trout fishing!
My Dad is a trout fishing addict, he loves being able to walk out the front door, go across the grass and step into the river. For him it doesn't get much better than that.

pretty fields of purple wild flowers

The Turangi bridge is just a short stroll up the river from our place, and leads to the town which do great fish n chips, you can even a get a deep fried mars bar (although I wouldn't recommend it!)

more wild flowers

My little one with room to run!

Ah the sunset look at those colours.
Breathtakingly beautiful!
I hope you all have somewhere beautiful to go to when you feel like a break from real life!


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Chocolate Banana Bread and Butter Pudding Oh Yeah.

While in Sydney I purchased this beautiful tin, which inside contained Panettone, it was on special and being as it was a few days past Christmas I had low expectations for the food within but was more interested in the tin itself. Beautiful.  Now what to do with the stale Panettone??? it smelled amazing but tasted dry (apparently that's just how it is) however, an idea struck. I struggled to find a version on the internet of this recipe, so this is my written version taken from watching Ray on TV, so apologies if it differs from the original.

Chocolate Banana Bread and Butter Pudding ala Ray McVinnie. Genius.


Butter as needed
Sliced Stale french stick/raisin bread/ brioche/sourdough/croissant/ Panettone! enough to cover your square baking dish two layers worth.(I used about 1/2 a Panettone loaf)
2-3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups choc chips (dark is good!)

For the Custard:
4 eggs
500ml milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla (essence or the real deal)

Preheat Oven -  Bake 180 degrees C

Layer 1
Melt your butter in a pot on low heat or in microwave (just slice off a bit and melt it you can always do more, depending on your surface area on your bread you may need more or less). Grab your baking dish (I used a square 20x20cm dish but you can alter the above measurements to fit whatever you have).  Brush the melted butter on to one side of your sliced bread and lay these in the dish buttered side down to cover the bottom. You can overlap them  a bit to make them fit, small gaps are ok.

Layer 2
Sliced bananas all over the top

Layer 3
Evenly sprinkle over 1 cup chocolate chips

Layer 4
Another layer of your bread this time buttered side up (overlap these ones a little to make the top look good)

Final steps
Mix all your custard ingredients in a bowl and whisk together till mixed, then carefully pour over the bread layers - filling in the gaps with custard mix, once all in gently push on the  bread so the mix soaks into the bread - leave it for 10 minutes or so for the bread to soak up the liquid.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup choc chips on top and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Bake 45mins, serve with cream or vanilla icecream.

Beware its very sweet! but very addictive! Enjoy!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Music du jour

Everybody go ooh and aah.  New for 2012 the beautiful and striking Lana Del Rey. Love it. Little bit Kate Bush, little bit Adele, little bit Joanna Newsom. Her videos are a feast for the eyes and ears. Gorgeous. Check out Lana Del Rey asap and love it!

Monday, 9 January 2012

A New Year 2012

So I have been a bit preoccupied with Christmas and New Year (had a fantastic weekend in Sydney, got my Target and Ikea fix!) and so haven't had time to blog.  But here I am now finally getting to it, it will be short and sweet today as I have just spent two hours drooling over beautiful imagery on Pinterest, which if your not on there you should check it out.  As a hairdresser I am a very visual person so this forum thrills me beyond belief! It's like an edited version of google image search. Love it. check out my link on the right to see my pin boards so far. I have been searching for inspiration for tiling my bathroom, alas so far I can only find the tiles I like in the UK. Aren't these amazing???

and I just like the colour of this bathroom, I would happily sit in there for hours.

As for New Years Resolutions?? I don't usually make them as they tend to only last a day or so and then I am back to my old ways. (the usual lose weight one...blah blah blah)  I think this year I am going to give our house a bit of attention, making it reflect the style I love a bit more. Vintage, creative, colourful, shabby chic. Goals for the year - make some cushion covers, do more craft and learn more craft, and sell some things I have made at a market stall!oh and try to spend a bit more time with my husband x x

I will leave you with some inspiration from Princess Lasertron's advent month - I really wanted to participate but just didn't find the time on a daily basis, maybe next year.  They are words to live by. Happy New Year.xx