Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Little Boys Went Out One Day...

Over the hill and... to the vet.

My two kittens went to the vet today to be desexed. I would normally have waited a bit longer until they were a little older but Billy is trying to dominate Roy by wrestling with him all the time now, as well as marking his territory inside the house, which is just unbearable.

So today was D-Day.

They went off happily enough, all cosied up in the cage together meowing merrily as I drove them to their doom the vet. But they have come home very woozy and sorry for themselves. They are very clingy but have no energy to follow me around so I keep finding them flopped in unusual positions or places.

Like Billy here...

 As I got closer, I saw he was really passed out.

And Roy wasn't much better off, though he was in a more comfortable spot:

Both boys are now completely passed out on my lap, Billy has just flaked it:

 While Roy is asleep with his eyes half open:

Hopefully they are back to their normal playful selves soon, 
but I'm enjoying the snuggles for now!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Op Shop Find!

In a trawl through the op shops with my sister on Saturday, I found an old beauty case like the one my grandmother used to own and couldn't resist buying it.

So I brought it home, cleaned it up and filled it...

It is the perfect size for all my nail polishes and mani/pedi supplies, though it is quite heavy now!

Isn't it cute?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 26, 2011


A couple of days ago I went to my lecture at Uni as normal but left early as my back was hurting. I decided to drop in and see grandpa on the way back to work as I had a few spare minutes. Turned off into the street where the hospital is and drove a few metres before realising...

He's not there anymore.

It hit me all of a sudden, and I felt so bad that I'd forgotten. Mostly though I just felt so desperately sad that he is gone.

I really didn't realise it would be this hard and that there would be just so much I want to tell him. I think about him every day and miss him terribly.

On Tuesday it is 5 months since he died, and it feels like forever since I last saw him but also feels like no time at all has passed as the pain is still so bad.

Does it ever get easier?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Repaint: OPI Eiffel For This Color

Another blackish burgundy purpley colour... I have quite a few of these! Love this:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yin and Yang

Beautiful boys

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Weekend Intentions

What a long week this has been! I have been busy with uni / work / bad back / life... you know how it is.

This weekend my intentions are:

1. Study for two tests - one is due Sunday night (online) and the other is mid-week.

2. Catch up on lectures I have missed - the most boring task of all.

3. Get out into the garden - it is meant to be a gorgeous weekend here, after a rainy week so I will be making the most of it.

4. Go out for dinner with hubby - or maybe just get some yummy takeaway and have a nice night in together.

5. Watch The King's Speech - I have been meaning to see this for ages but things keep cropping up to get in the way.

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Low-Carb Crunchy Nut Bar

I've made this slice plenty of times but the one I made yesterday was the best ever.

It is adapted from the recipe here: Healthy Indulgences

Crunchy Nut Bar
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tbspns xylitol
1 sachet powdered stevia
2 tspns vanilla essence
Pinch of salt

Chocolate icing
4 squares Lindt 85% chocolate
2 tbspns butter
2 sachets powdered stevia

Toast nuts and coconut until fragrant, and pulse in a food processor until all chopped up.
Melt coconut oil and almond/peanut butter in microwave and stir until smooth.
Add vanilla essence, salt and sweeteners to oil and stir. 
Pour into nut mixture and mix through thoroughly.
Press into a rectangle tray and flatten with a spatula. Place in freezer for 20 mins to set.
Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add stevia and mix through.
Spread over cold slice straightaway. Slice up and store in the fridge.

Enjoy! :D

Tunnel Vision

Billy and Roy love their play tunnel and spend hours playing in it... Or sleeping in it, like Billy is tonight.

Tuckered out after a day of playing outside with his brother!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Intentions

I am a bit late with my weekend intentions this week!  Due to a back injury and an impromptu trip away, I didn't really make a plan for the weekend, besides getting home and getting better.  There were a few things which I needed to achieve this weekend though, which were:

* Catch up on study for the Uni subject I am doing by correspondence and complete an online assessment.
* Try and get ahead by a few weeks on this subject by listening to the lectures and starting my assignment. 
* Tidy up my study and get it in a state that I can actually use for Uni work (we've been using it as a guest room).
* Write a meal plan for the coming week.

I have completed the first one and made a start on the second one.  Thankfully today is a public holiday so my weekend is not officially over yet and I can get the other plans finished today. 

Join in on Weekend Intentions every Friday at Chocolate & Bubbles!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dessert Time: Toblerone Mousse

Last night I made Toblerone Mousse for the in-laws...

It is delicious! Creamy and chocolatey but with crunchy little pieces of nougat all through it. Yum!

Toblerone Mousse

300mL thickened cream
3 egg whites
300g Toblerone

* Whip the cream until thick and fluffy.
* Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
* Melt 250grams of the chocolate.
* Chop the remaining 50g of chocolate and set aside.
* Fold the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until combined.
* Fold in the beaten egg whites until the mixture is fully combined and fluffy.
* Pour into serving dishes and sprinkle with chopped chocolate. 
* Place in fridge to chill until set.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Repaint: OPI Have You Seen My Limo?

This colour looks quite different in the bottle. It has a real greenish shimmer to it, but when it is actually on your nails it isn't as noticeable. I quite like it for something dark but a bit different!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Flowers

One of my beautiful friends, Milly, is an amazing mum of gorgeous 1 year old twins, a boy and a girl.

The little girl has been very unwell, and in hospital for the past 2 weeks. We live at different ends of the state but I'm in their area today so dropped in to the hospital to visit.

My mother in law is a florist so I had her arrange a stunning bunch of flowers for them, that I knew Milly would love. She loved vintage style and classic colours, and this is what MIL came up with:

A beautiful mix of ivory hydrangeas, cream roses and jonquils.

Just stunning flowers for a Friday! <3

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trying something new...

I have decided to make a few changes around here.  I started this blog as something different from what it has become.  I planned to talk about home designs inspired by French country style, and to document the renovations to my home with that theme in mind.

Things change though. We have moved house, and the blog has evolved into something else. Change is good, and I am happy with where I am right now, so I am going to make the change, and introduce:

I hope you continue this journey with me!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Repaint: OPI California Raspberry

This polish is very sheer, I can see the whites of my nails through three coats. I think I will try one more coat and see how I go...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Horto's Caramel Slice

This is my workmate Horto. Say hi to Horto everyone!

Horto loves to cook and brought in a sample of his latest creation, his version of caramel slice. It was amazing! Creamy and crumbly and just delicious!

Here is his recipe:

Horto's Caramel Slice

200g macadamia shortbread
100g butter
1 tin condensed milk
1 handful walnuts

· Bring a saucepan of water to the boil then simmer.
· Remove label from tin of condensed milk and add tin to the simmering water. Leave for two hours with lid on saucepan.
· Crush shortbread into a reasonably fine crumb. For a more rustic feel, leave larger chunks of shortbread in the mixture.
· Melt 100g butter and add to crumb mixture, combine evenly.
· Press mixture evenly into the base of a medium sized container (approx 15cm x 15cm) and place in fridge for 30 mins to set.
· Once condensed milk has been simmering for two hours, remove from heat and spoon contents evenly over shortbread base. The condensed milk should have turned into a caramel with a much thicker consistency than condensed milk.
· Roughly crush walnuts and sprinkle over the caramel then sit in the fridge for a further 30 mins to set.

* Obviously shortbread flavour is to taste so could substitute with any flavour.
* Another variation of this which I just made up would be instead of the walnuts, maybe thinly slice some banana, spread evenly over the caramel and finish with some crushed peanuts. That would be awesome too!

Thanks Horto!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lush Low Carb Cheesecakes

On a low-carb diet there aren't a whole lot of sweet things you can eat without a whole lot of effort. One very popular dessert / snack with low-carbers is cheesecake! Cream cheese is very low-carb, and as long as the things you add to it are too, you can make a yummy dessert that is within your plan. Here are a few of my favourites:

Cherry Ripe Cheesecake (my favourite)
250g cream cheese (full fat)
1 sachet  sugar free dark cherry jelly crystals
1 Tbspn cocoa
1tspn coconut essence
3 squares Lindt 85% dark chocolate

Soften cream cheese in microwave and beat with electric mixer until completely smooth and lump free.
Dissolve jelly sachet in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add to cream cheese.
Add cocoa and coconut essence to cream cheese and jelly mix and beat until fully combined.
Very finely chop chocolate and mix through cheesecake mix. Pour into a bowl or individual serving cups and place in fridge to set.

White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake
250g cream cheese (full fat)
1/2 Cup cream (full fat)
1 block Blues Sugarfree White Chocolate with Strawberries
1/3 block Blues White Chocolate
1 tspn strawberry essence

Soften cream cheese in microwave and beat with electric mixer until completely smooth and lump free.
Add cream and beat through.
Melt the block of strawberry white chocolate and half of the white chocolate. Stir this and the essence through the cream cheese mix.
Very finely chop the remaining white chocolate and stir through cheesecake mix. Pour into a bowl or individual serving cups and place in fridge to set.

Strawberry Cheesecake
250g cream cheese (full fat)
1 sachet sugar free strawberry jelly crystals
1/2 punnet strawberries

Soften cream cheese in microwave and beat with electric mixer until completely smooth and lump free.
Dissolve jelly sachet in 1/2 cup boiling water. Beat jelly into cream cheese.
Chop strawberries and mix through cheesecake mix. Pour into a bowl or individual serving cups and place in fridge to set.

You can make low carb bases using almond meal, butter and sweetener, but I prefer not to add the carbs. You can make easy cheesecakes just using cream cheese and sugar free jelly, and these are delicious. I like tweaking the mixes though for yummier flavours!

Herbal tea

Loving herbal and flavoured teas right now.

I've just made this one to enjoy in the sunshine. We have to make the most of all the sunshine we get in Hobart!

I've been addicted to chai tea for a while and also like green tea on occasion, but have been trying fruit tea lately and am just loving it.

It would be perfect to make iced tea with, but hot tea is so much nicer when it has been so cold here.

Have a great Sunday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Delicious Low Carb Sugar Free Pancakes

I've been getting sick of eggs for breakfast so I decided to try my hand at making some low carb pancakes for breakfast since it's the weekend and I have some more time. I altered a recipe I found online and was so happy with the result!

Delicious Low Carb Pancakes

1 Cup almond meal
2 eggs
1 tspn vanilla essence
1 Tbspn xylitol (or equiv other sweetener)
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 cup soda water (or cold water)

Mix ingredients together until fully combined.

Spray a frypan with oil and bring to medium heat.

Pour in 1/4 of the mixture and allow to cook on one side. This takes a few minutes.

Carefully flip pancake to other side and allow to brown.

When browned on both sides, flip onto a plate and continue with the remaining mixture. Keep the cooked pancakes somewhere warm until all are done.

Top the pancake stack with butter and sugar free maple syrup.

Enjoy! I did!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Intentions

Gorgeous Ali over at Chocolate & Bubbles has started Weekend Intentions:

"I'm sure most of us do it.. At the beginning of the weekend you have a list of things you are going to do over the next 2 days. You know, to make the most of your days off. Somehow, Monday comes along and you didn't do any of it. I know I do this. And once Monday shows its ugly face, I tend to feel like I wasted my weekend.

So, I thought I'd start 'Weekend Intentions'. The goal is to list at least 3 things that you want to do over the weekend. Whether it be to catch up on the TV shows you've taped during the week or paint that wall you've been staring at for 6 months. Link it back to here & then on Monday share how you went with completing that list."

So, here goes:

My Weekend Intentions:
1. Plant the new flowers I have bought and do some more garden tidying
2. Tidy my study and get stuck into some Uni work, including studying for the test next week!
3. Get up to date with both the ironing and the shows I haven't caught up on, preferably at the same time!
4. Get to the gym *at least* once
Join in by posting your Weekend Intentions on your blog, and sharing the post back at Chocolate & Bubbles!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Repaint: OPI Japanese Rose Garden

Another new OPI colour, Japanese Rose Garden. I bought lots of pinks this time so there will be a few similar coloured posts coming up!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cute and Cuter

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone