Sunday, 18 November 2012

Our Wedding - so far

I thought it was about time that I did a wedding post. I realised I still haven't outlined everything that has been planned so far and what I imagine our special day to be like, so here goes.

We are getting married on Saturday 12 January 2013 (a little under 2 months away!!!). 

The gorgeous staircase - Villa Howden
Venue: Our venue is the beautiful Villa Howden which is a luxurious boutique hotel located on Tassie's North West Bay. I am very confident in the venue and know that I can rely on the natural beauty of this place to make our day perfect and our photos amazing. The ceremony and reception will both be held at the hotel, I will be staying there the night before with my mum and Alex and I along with 19 of our guests will be staying there the night of our wedding. I love that there will be no mucking around with travelling or checking into hotels and that I can spend my entire weekend at the venue. They also have a conference room that will be our back up ceremony room in case of rain. The make-up artist and hairdresser will travel to the hotel to prettify us girls in one of the lovely suites, awesome!! Brian from Villa is brilliant and so accommodating and the food is something pretty special as well. The entrĂ©e and main will be served alternate drop, with the cake served as dessert. Canapes will be enjoyed in the grounds of the hotel prior to dinner. 

Bridal Gown: Obviously I can't say much at all about the gown! It is from Rayanne Bridal, who since I purchased has relocated to Launceston. I have heard mixed reports about Anne from Rayanne but I have to say she was a great help and gave sound honest advice. She even threw in my veil for free! She is the kind of person who is straight up and honest but so am I, so maybe that's why we hit it off. There was no hassle with her moving to Launceston, the dress came in around August, I paid for it and picked it up and spoke to the alterations person she employs who is located in Brighton. Around December I will give her a call and she will come to mum and dad's house (also in Brighton) to fit the dress! Easy peasy. I also got my bracelet (which I love to bits) from Rayanne Bridal.
Bridesmaid Dresses: The girls dresses are from Bridal Boutique in Hobart. The colour is a gorgeous champagne/latte colour. I love their dresses, they look beautiful in them. 
Groom and Groomsmen Suits: The boys suits are from Les Lees, which was perfect as some have decided to hire whilst others have purchased theirs.


One of Robyn's buttercream cakes
Cake: The cake is being made by Robyn from Heavenly Cakes of Indulgence. The cake took some thought as we are rather picky. We wanted a great tasting cake more than we wanted a traditional looking gorgeous wedding cakes. As our cake is getting served as dessert we really wanted it to be a tasty dessert cake. We did consider cupcakes but it seems silly when our cake is getting individually served on plates anyway. We both aren't fans of fondant icing (the traditional white icing) whilst it looks great, it doesn't taste very nice. It could have just been cut off before serving but I don't want to pay for something I am not going to eat. So instead we are having delicious buttercream which will be as smooth as Robyn can do. Under the buttercream will be chocolate ganache encasing a three tier raspberry and chocolate mud cake Mmm yum. There will be no flowers or ribbons as I like the idea of the entire thing being edible but there are some yummy edible decorations that Robyn is making! I can't wait to see it.
Music: We are having a string quartet for the ceremony only, Strings on Fire. A band will start after dinner around 8.30pm, the band, Ebeneza Good, took forever to find. I think we watched every band in Hobart and I am so happy with our final pick. The lead singer is confident and charismatic. I know now that everyone will be up on that dance floor dancing to a mixture of old and new tunes, just the way we want it. I have linked to a video of them their song list excites me I can't wait to dance the night away will my husband and family and friends!! 
Flowers: The gorgeous Ange from Harmony Flowers in Lauderdale will be doing our bouquets. We are having white lilies with baby's breath. I know at least two other brides who had their flowers done by Ange so I am really confident in her plus she is just so damn lovely and helpful. We are doing the boys bouttonneirs, the ceremony arch and isle and table centrepieces ourselves! 
Photographer: Our photographer is Al of Alastair Bett Photography. Again he was recommended to us by three different people and he is easy going and fun plus his photos are amazing! He will photograph us girls getting ready plus the boys (we will all be getting ready at the hotel) and he will stay well after dinner - perfect!

Celebrant: Our celebrant is Tom Payne. I really wanted a male celebrant (it just seemed more fitting to me) and Tom was celebrant to my brother's wedding so we have seen him first hand. This was a no brainer for me!

Hair: Jo from Shear Delite Hair & Beauty will be doing my hair, the bridesmaid's and mum's hair. 
Make-up: Karla from Sharkra Medispa will be doing our make-up as well as mum's. Karla has done my make-up already on two other occasions and I have been seeing her for 5 years for my facials every 8 weeks so she is just like a friend. She will doing our spray tans as well. Plus any other maintenance I may need *wink wink*. Karla and Sharkra were another no brainer for me.

Rings: Our rings are from Michael Hill which is where my engagement ring was purchased. We have these already and I just need to get my engagement ring rhodium plated in a few weeks.

Invitations: We made the invitations ourselves with cases and card purchased from Christina Re

The Prime Pool Villa at The Vijitt Resort!
Honeymoon: Sarah from Flight Centre, Liverpool Street organised our honeymoon with plenty of input from us. This was another plan that took us forever to reach a decision, we procrastinated for months. We really wanted somewhere tropical and relaxing but not too expensive. Sarah was really helpful and had plenty of experience and advice. We are spending five nights on Phuket at The Vijitt Resort in a prime pool villa with our own private pool and five nights on Phi Phi Island at the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Spa. I cannot wait for this but we did totally go over budget...oh well I am positive it will be worth it!! 

So I am pretty organised. I am so glad I documented this, it makes me realise how much I have done. Now we just have the final crafty stuff and embellishments to organise! 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Happy Birthday


OMG what an incredibly busy few weeks I have had.  I measure my life by my weekends (sad I know) and the last three weekends have been jam packed with my own birthday celebrations, my bridal shower and a hens night plus lots more! 

Me on the Pancake Train!  
My birthday is on 4 November and this year I turned 25.  My celebrations started with dinner with Alex and my parents-in-law at Dede Indonesian and Thai Restaurant in North Hobart.  I love Thai food mmm yum. The following day both Alex and I took the day off work and when to the pancake place at the Margate Train, we sat for a few hours eating pancakes and reading the paper, it was really nice and relaxing. Alex had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup whilst I had chicken with pancakes, we then shared the scrumptious chocolate and banana pancakes for dessert! We spent the rest of the day shopping and he bought me three beautiful dresses for my birthday, he says one is sexy, one is cute and the other is beautiful, I think they are all great!
Amazing Chocolate and Banana Pancakes

Out to lunch with friends
The following day we had lunch with our friends at Barcelona in Salamanca and then wandered through the Salamanca Market absorbing all of the wonderful stalls but I was a good girl and didn't buy anything.  I must go to the Market more, they have some great stuff especially for unique gifts and the atmosphere is infectious.


Birthday cake!
Presents!
My man making me pancakes xx
I told you he is gorgeous!



On Sunday (my actual birthday) I had to beg Alex to get up out of bed and make me breakfast, pancakes (again).  I love pancakes. Then we visited mum and dad for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.  My brother, sister-in-law and nephew joined us all for a lovely dinner.  Mum made me an amazing half white chocolate, half dark chocolate mud cake, it was delicious.  Well done mum.  My gorgeous nephew kindly decorated it for me.  It really was the best cake ever. 




As far as presents go,  I was utterly spoilt.  Mum gave me an awesome shellac nail polish kit and light, I love being able to do my shellac nails myself!  I received flowers from my boss, dessert plates from my parents-in-law, dresses and nick-nacks from Alex plus lots more from friends.  I was a lucky girl!  

Thanks to everyone for my birthday well wishes and for helping my have a fantastic birthday! 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

My Current Addictions

It seems since last time I blogged about my current obsessions things have changed a little and I have some new ones to share!  

BIG BROTHER 2012 - 
I was pathetically addicted to Big Brother in my teen years and dreamt of being a housemate one day! I was pretty excited when I heard it was coming back but luckily my dream of being a housemate is long gone.  I was just a little concerned that it had moved to Win and Gretel Killeen was no longer the host.  Alex told me if I watched that crap he would break up with me or something crazy like that (he often says things like this to make me stop doing embarrassing things but it doesn't work).  He is now sneakily watching it and giggling away too!  I didn't watch the beginning but am pretty seriously hooked now.  Even now as I search for an image I find myself watching extra scenes! I am hoping Michael or Ben win.  Are you watching Big Brother?  Who would you like to see win it? 

JAMIE OLIVER - I know I am damn late jumping on the Jamie Oliver bandwagon but lately his British accent has been calling me.  I am addicted to his photos on Instagram of his scrumptious looking dishes and his gorgeous family, I can't help but watch his 30 minute meals show on Thursday nights whipping up amazing meals by literally just throwing ingredients together and his accent just gets me every time, I think he is brilliant!
(I can hear Jamie Oliver saying brilliant now)


BIRDY - So since Bella Ferraro auditioned on X Factor singing Birdy's version of Skinny Love, the song along with Birdy has hit big time here in Aus and I agree with the rest of Australia on this one, Birdy is amazing.  I have heard a few people bad mouth her as per usual but whether she is your taste in music or not how can you argue with a voice like that, she sings beautifully.  And at the age of 16 being able to cover songs and change the songs completely the way she does is pretty awesome in my opinion.  Her album will be on repeat for a little while longer in this house!



SONGPOP - SongPop is the current iPhone/iPad game I am addicted too.  You play against your friends or other music lovers by picking a genre from the list, a song will play for 10 seconds and you have to pick the artist or song name from the list provided, a total of 5 songs are played and then the challenge is sent to your friend, the person who gets the most right in the quickest time wins!  You play back and forth like this for a week before the scoreboard is reset.  Be warned it is time consuming and you need a quiet room when playing.

Unfortunately I am trying to read three books at once right now but am never actually reading them, so I can't report on the book side of things this time around.  I used to read so often but can never find the time these days!

What are you currently obsessed with?  I would love some more things to add to my list ready for when these ones die down!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

THE Invitation



Last Saturday was spent completely devoted to creating our wedding invitations.  I am lucky enough to be surround by some very giving and wonderful women who all pulled together to help me out.  My bridesmaids (minus Dani who was unwell) my mum, my mother-in-law to be and my best friends mum all chipped in to help create an invitation I am very proud of.

Image from Pinterest
My mum and I found the black lace-like Christina Re wallets on Pinterest months ago, mum purchased them but then spent weeks trying to come up with a design that would hold my invitation and other add-ins such as the RSVP.  It was a MUST for me to have a design that would encase all of the items to be included in the invitation.  We went from a card to a pocket fold until we finally came up with this pouch design.  It was a fair bit of work putting the pouches together but due to the intricate design of the case very little needed to be done to the inserts which made the overall task a little more manageable. 

Alex's auntie was able to match one of the details in the lace design which we used as a graphic on the invites to tie the whole lot together.  Mum sourced some very lovey stamps that I included on the RSVP cards which are designed as a post card so guests only need to fill it out and pop it in post box - easy peasy!


I jazzed up the envelopes with a little font changes and the job was done.  Overall I love the end result and people have been complimenting me on the design all week! The three on the right have different stamps because they have to go all the way to AMERICA!  Excitement!!!!!!!
Thank you ladies for all your help!  We make a great team.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Blogging

Argh I am so sorry I haven't blogged since April :(  I seriously considered no longer having my blog as I obviously can't commit the time I would like to but I do love it so I will continue to blog when I can.  I will try to move it up a little on my priority list though!

The reasons I haven't blogged over the winter break?  Well I have been seriously immersing myself in wedding planning like mad.  I have so many wedding updates to do it just isn't funny, invitations, centrepieces, dress shopping, accessories shopping, cake tasting, music listening, the list goes on!!!!  And with only three months until our wedding date I still have so much I would like to do.
I have also been completing Certificate IV in Business Administration, which I am 2.5 modules away from finishing!  Thank god!  Work is flat chat acting in a different position and being short staffed most of the time, I barely have time to go to the loo!  Not really we have plenty of fun but there is heaps of work to get through.  


My mind is now in an awesome place and I feel content with myself, this is awesome.  More on that to come.
I am sad to say I haven't lost any weight :(  I really am hopelessly reliant on food and comfort eating.  But I have bought a bike and ride 7.2km to and from work every work day, 4-5 days a week.  So I am content knowing that I am being active and am reasonably fit.  I will continue to try and gain control over my comfort eating.  


Today I am off to a Tupperware Party at my mum's house, my sister-in-law has recently became a demonstrator and today is her first party.  Good luck Annalese.

Talk soon.



Saturday, 28 April 2012

Recipe of the Week/Month

As the days are getting shorter and chillier and the need to watch my waistline has gotten stronger I have started craving healthy, nutritious, warm, toasty soups. So my latest recipe is my mum's ever famous pumpkin soup. I love this soup, it is one of my favourite winter comfort meals and is pretty easy to make. My only advice: if you can have a male peel and cut the pumpkin for you unless you're a pretty strong chic that is. Pumpkin peeling and cutting can be pretty hard.

Mum's Pumpkin Soup

1/2 pumpkin (I used a Kent), peeled and chopped 
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large carrot or 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp curry powder
100g diced bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
500ml chicken stock
200ml of carnation milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  1. Combine pumpkin, potatoes, bacon, onion, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper, parsley and curry powder in soup pot. Almost cover ingredients with cold water. Bring to the boil and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add 500ml of chicken stock, stirring so it doesn't stick and bring to the boil.
  3. Add carnation milk and reduce heat to low stirring until soup begins to bubble. If you would like your soup to be smooth, blend with a stick mixer at this point. 
  4. Turn off heat and stir through cream and further salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with cream, parsley and croutons.


Notes: if you would like a smooth soup but don't have a stick mixer, strain the liquid from the soup into a bowl after step one. Then blend the cooked vegetables in a food processor in batches and add liquid and vegetables back into the pot continuing with the recipe. Enjoy.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dating a New Aged Guy


Men can be thoughtless, trouble causing, annoying, ignorant, rude, mean, SARCASTIC and everything else. They cause us women such pain and torment but many of us just can't live without them. On the other hand they can be loving, sweet, romantic, giving, funny, SEXY, helpful, the list is endless. Of course all of these traits relate to both sexes. Men, as have women, have changed over time and it seems we are finally facing our first generation of male adults with computers and gaming as a leisure option. Of course many of our dads had access to our PC's or Nintendo but they didn't grow up with them, use of these devices didn't come natural to them. Many X and Y generation males have grown up with these devices and the gaming and Internet addiction has continued on to adulthood. I am not limiting computer gaming addiction to just males, many females enjoy a good game too, we all know about my Diamond Dash addiction and I once spent days on end exhausting all of The Sims games. I remember as a child before the invention of facebook, my parents spending most nights together on the couch watching TV and cooking tea together. Although dad always spent more time sitting down watching TV while mum ran around like mad in the advertisements. Their hobbies were crafts or outdoor activities and there was no way you could watch your favourite TV show illegally, you had to wait for it come on TV each week.

As a girl engaged to a 'serious computer game and all things nerdy' addict I thought I would share some tips to make life easier. After all we can't really base our relationship on our parents as there is nothing to go off and if you do you might become a nagging annoying partner and things probably wont last long. Alex and I actually split up two years ago and part of the reason was I think my inability to accept him as he is and his inability to understand how some of his actions affected me. We now have the perfect combination of everything and we manage a lot better. We live quite separate home lives, we each have our own computers in separate rooms and two TV's.  

RULE 1
So first rule, don't interrupt your man when he is gaming. Alex plays one particular game on his PC which runs for around 40 minutes. He wears his headphones and sometimes I hear him nearly screaming at the people he is playing with, he is intensely focused clicking away like crazy. If I interrupt during this game he ignores me and gets irritated with me. What I have to understand is that for him, any distraction during this game could mean losing the game. Yes some of you might think well that's just pathetic, a relationship should always come first, but I am pretty sure if I interrupted Alex with a life of death situation he would forgive me, however, everything else can wait 40 minutes. If I need to talk to him, I either go into the 'study' (which I have renamed 'The Magical Room', at least for Alex it is) and say come see me when you're done or leave a note on his desk. And sure enough every time he does and there isn't a problem. The sooner you can accept that this is your man's choice of hobby the better off you will be. Just do whatever you can to make it work. As long as Alex is pulling his weight around the house, has a reasonably healthy lifestyle with a job and a social life I really have nothing to worry about. We all have our choice leisure activities. This is just how much Alex pulls his weight around the house these days, cooks tea most nights and cleans up 50% of the time as well, folds towels, puts washing out or the machine on if I ask, puts all rubbish and bins out, mows the lawn (this one requires a fair bit of nagging), neatens the bed if I ask plus heaps more I can't even think of. That is way more than my dad ever did around the house. Tip: most men just require you to ask, they don't see the things needing doing.

RULE 2
Secondly develop your own addictions or things you love doing. For me I have heaps of TV shows I watch, games I play, books I read so when Alex is gaming this is what I am doing. The only thing I try not to do is household chores when Alex is off doing his gaming thing, otherwise I do tend to get a little resentful but I am still working on this one. If you're really keen start playing the same games this will cancel out Rule 3 altogether. I am not that keen, although Magical Cards does look pretty interesting.

RULE 3
Thirdly, living these separate lives does mean we need to schedule time together and find things we love doing together. Unlike our parents who spent incidental time together watching TV or doing puzzles (yes my parents did puzzles) we don't often have these incidental moments. We do try and find a TV show we both like but we have to be committed to only watching it when are together. With TV at your fingertips these days (shh) it can sometimes be difficult to not just keep watching episode after episode. We have movie date nights, dinners and social nights with friends or sometimes just cuddle on the couch watching whatever is on but the difference is they scheduled.

RULE 4
Fourth rule, don't yell, scream, slam doors, cry, whine, moan etc. This will only make your man game more and you feel like utter shit, plus if he is wearing headphones he probably isn't going to hear you anyway. If you are worried that he is really getting addicted, sit down and chat with him calmly when you are both focused and feeling loving, yes it can take up to week to find a time like this! There have been times in our past where Alex has started staying up super late (or early) night after night and I have started worrying about his health and the affect it also has on our relationship and his social life, staying up late means sleeping until 3pm in the arvo. When I have spoken to him about like this he has really opened up to me and admitted that it can be hard to pull away from the computer of a night. Studies do show that the light of a computer screen can also mask your feelings of tiredness so you don't realise you're tired until you get up and walk away from the computer. Alex still has nights where he stays up to 5am sorting his magical cards or gaming. That's okay. I have been known to stay up reading or drinking with mates that late too. As they say, everything in moderation. At the end of the day you have to support your partner, be there for them, help them change only if they want to change and be honest with them. If they are doing something you really cant learn to accept, talk to someone try to accept it and if you can be honest about it. If they aren't willing to compromise you have a choice to make. No amount of nagging is going to help and will only waste time and deteriorate your own life further.

RULE 5
Lastly, schedule time for intimacy as well. I need more sleep than Alex so most nights I go to bed earlier than him while he games. This does mean we aren't often awake in bed together at one time so yes you know where I am going with this one. This is where date nights and scheduled nights come into play. You will be surprised how much scheduling these things can make your day that little bit exciting, as you know exactly what you've got to look forward to that night! 

I hope you can relate and it helps any of you ladies out there dating a gamer. What are your tricks for managing life dating a gamer? Oh and if you think Alex sounds addicted keep it to yourself, we are managing just fine plus that means less time for me to watch TV! Oh and I am sorry if I have majorly generalised in this post, this is just my take on these things!

How ironic, I just went into the Magical Room to ask Alex to proofread my post for me and he was playing the crazy click like a maniac game. I looked at the screen and saw that he has been playing it for 29 minutes so I will check back with him soon. He will probably realise I was after him anyway and come out when he is done - perfection :)

My Current Addictions


I thought I would introduce you to some of my current addictions. Check them out.

PINTEREST - I visit Pinterest usually a couple of times a day pinning pictures of interest and inspiration. Anything from recipes to try, to wedding ideas, fitness motivation and inspiring words. If you haven't yet checked out Pinterst I encourage you to do so especially if you are somewhat crafty and want some new DIY's to try. "Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests." Check out my pinboards here.

REVENGE - I am a TV addict and my latest addiction is Revenge. It is thought provoking and interesting and I am always counting down the days to the release of a new episode. "The series follows the exploits of Amanda Clarke who under the alias of Emily Thorne, has returned to The Hamptons with one goal -- to seek revenge on those responsible for destroying her family".



THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE - The novel I am currently addicted to. I don't get a lot of time to read but this book has me squeezing in time to read in any spare minute I have. I haven't seen the movie and I expect it wont be anywhere near as good as the book as is the case with most novel to movie adaptations. "The Time Traveler's Wife is the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences".




DIAMOND DASH - My latest facebook game addiction. Yes I know a facebook game, really Simmone? but yes I love this one. It is fun and is even better playing on an ipad as that allows multi-touch. "Diamond Dash is the 60 second gem rush: click colorful gems, use magic diamonds and compete with your friends."

THE HUNGER GAMES - If you haven't heard of it you must have been hiding under a giant rock for the last two months. Alex and I went to the movies last week to see this film and it was really really good. A great movie for a girl and guy to go see as it has the girly sob story but the action side to appeal to a guy. "The story takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem, which consists of a wealthy capitol surrounded by 12 less affluent districts. As punishment for a past rebellion against the government, the Capitol initiated the Hunger Games–a televised annual event in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are selected in a lottery as "tributes" and are required to fight to the death in an arena until there is one remaining victor." Now as soon as I finish reading The Time Travellers Wife I will be adding The Hunger Games trilogy to my list.


What are your current (healthy or at least not destructive) addictions? I am always open to new suggestions and interesting things I haven't heard of. 

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Bridal Party Requests

So growing up with a scrapping mother who ended up running a scrap booking store meant crafts were a pretty big part of my childhood. I remember making dream catchers, embossing over the toaster, trying to learn to knit and crochet and I am familiar with terms like sizzix and cuttlebug, vellum, linen and one that cracks me up every time - bling!  I enjoy creating things and so once I was engaged I knew I wanted us to ask our bridal party to be attendants at our wedding in a special way. I searched online for a fun way of asking them and considered buying something special off etsy but just couldn't justifying paying for something that I could create myself. So after some Google inspiration I set to the task of creating a little something to post to our soon to be attendants. With the exception of the best man, they weren't aware of our requests until receiving them in the mail and on the back was a little invitation to a celebration at our place but only if they accept our request. Take a look. 


They became better as I progressed and if I could create them again I wouldn't have gone so heavy with the inking on the girls requests. I created the dresses from scratch and for the tuxedo's I printed the picture on the paper, cut out each component (jacket, shirt, collar of shirt, collar of jacket and tie) on paper and used these as my template to cut each component. I had to put it together with tweezers due to the ties and collars being so little. I am pretty proud of the end result and think it's a nice keepsake for the attendants.  Let me know what you think!

Recipe of the Week/Month

I was absolutely addicted this season of My Kitchen Rules, a few weeks ago we had friends over for a board game evening. I was feeling very inspired by Nick and Rocco's amazing desserts so thought I would make a reasonably amazing dessert of my own. For those who don't want to be so adventurous in the kitchen, just make the mousse and serve in a glass but for others who want to push themselves outside of their comfort zone try the whole thing. 

Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Sponge and Raspberries encased in a Chocolate Shell with Raspberry Coulis.

Chocolate Shell:
200g milk chocolate, melted
200g white chocolate, melted

Raspberry Coulis:
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup raspberries


Chocolate Mousse:
200g milk cooking chocolate
25g butter, melted
150ml double cream
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons caster sugar

To serve:
1/2 cup raspberries
1 plain sponge (I bought one from Woolworths bakery area)

Chocolate Shell (I promise to feature a post with step by step pictures in the near future)
  1. Cut two 30cm by 7cm rectangles out of transparent overhead projection sheets.
  2. Pour white chocolate in a squiggly motion over the plastic strip deliberately going over the edges of the plastic. Make sure the trickle of chocolate is thin by pouring it slowly but moving the jug fast.
  3. Move the strip to a chopping board so that the white chocolate over the edges is left and the strip wont set to the surface.
  4. Leave the white chocolate until set.
  5. Pour melted milk chocolate over the white squiggles. With a wide spatula press down lightly at one end of the strip and slide across so the milk chocolate falls in the gaps and completely covers the white. Fill in any gaps with milk chocolate.
  6. Leave for a minute then pick up and shape into a tear drop shape on a tray. 
  7. Scrape edges of transparent sheet with knife whilst chocolate is still soft to remove any untidy edges.
  8. Refrigerate until plastic begins to peel away.
Raspberry Coulis
  1. Place raspberries and sugar in saucepan. Heat until raspberries soften and the sugar dissolves and coulis begins to thicken.
  2. Strain into jug.
Chocolate Mousse
  1. Melt the chocolate, then stir in the butter until melted. (My advice: complete the next two steps first so that chocolate doesn't begin to set)
  2. Lightly whip the cream.
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until peaking. Whisk in the sugar.
  4. Fold the cream, then the egg whites into melted chocolate mixture, using a large metal spoon, until evenly combine. Spoon the mousse into prepared chocolate cases below.
To assemble
  1. Cut one sponge cake layer lengthwise and place the chocolate shell on cake, push down gently, using a knife to assist you so that the cake forms the bottom layer on the shell.
  2. Place a layer of raspberries inside the shell onto the cake.
  3. Fill the chocolate shell with chocolate mousse.
  4. Neatly place raspberries upside down on top of the mousse.
  5. Decorate plate with coulis as desired and place assembled shell on plate.
Tips
I have always melted chocolate in the microwave. Many people struggle with this as the chocolate can easily burn. Put the chocolate into a glass jug and place in microwave for two or three thirty second bursts stirring between each one. Continue with 10 second bursts stirring each time until chocolate is melted.

Enjoy

Friday, 23 March 2012

Psychology

Since being diagnosed with depression I have been seeing a psychologist around every 2-4 weeks. My appointments are slowly getting further and further apart as I learn to cope with things better on my own and my thought processes begin to change. A lot of the things I have been talking about are simple things, feelings of being stretched or overwhelmed and situations with people that I haven't properly reflected on to learn what I can do better. 

One of my major obstacles is my constant comparing and assessing against others. I want to do things right and this need to do things the 'right way' often overrides what I think I should do or what is right for me. I seek approval and justification in everything I am doing. If someone close to me makes a comment on my lifestyle I take their opinion seriously and stress about what they have said until I can fix it. On the other hand if I disagree with them I cause an argument constantly justifying myself. I desperately need to learn to care less about what other people think and say but also without trying to change their opinion. I need to stop judging myself through the eyes of others. One thing a lot of people including myself need to learn is that what works for one person wont always work for others, we should try to stop forcing our opinions on others or give advice when not warranted, we don't know what challenges the person faces everyday and so therefore what we think may make their life better could be wrong. We should care about the people around us and when they need us most we should be there for them ready to help them. If someone is acting destructively we can observe and think we know what would help them but they are never going to change until they are ready so all we can do is be there to help them and in the meantime lead by example.  Understanding this will help me to learn that what others do wont necessarily work for me and that I should do what feels right to me. There is no right way of living life, it is whatever works for you. It will help me to stop seeking approval and justifying myself. I will begin to understand that other people that judge how I live have a problem within themselves as they haven't yet learnt that everyone needs to do what is right for themselves. It will also help me to stop trying to change others and to be a supportive friend, I will hopefully have less arguments with my Dad too.

I know I am not perfect
And I don't live to be
But before you start pointing fingers
Make sure your hands are clean 
To fix my second obstacle of comparing myself to others is quite simple, I just need to be realistic and logical. There is usually some part of every persons life which is not getting the attention it deserves, some aspect is missing out. For example, an overweight person who has a loving family, a well cared for home and a good career isn't giving their body and health the attention it deserves.  While a skinny healthy looking person, with a great career and relationship may have a smelly, dirty, untidy house. All I really needed to do was to confirm what my main priorities are. There is never going to be enough time in the day to have all aspects of ones lifestyle working beautifully and smoothly, something will always be missing out. 


My three priorities for my life are:
  • Relationships
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health


You're probably thinking 'OMG what about her housework or career' but to be honest as much as these things complement my lifestyle they are not the most important things to me. Although I love living in a clean and tidy home as it settles me and makes me feel at home, I do tend to hate cleaning. I also enjoy going to work and love a challenge but I can't wait to be a mum and a wife one day and know this will be my true calling. For me, one day when I am laying on my death bed I will know that I have put everything I could into the relationships in my life that are important to me. I think a lot of marriages end in divorce because people are too busy to give their relationship the focus it deserves. I look at life and consider it to be pretty crap without the beautiful people around me so I must focus on sustaining these relationships. 

Looking after my mental health will make me a better person with more patience and love to give. This is a pretty fun one to have on my list as it means I can relax or do things I love, knowing they are contributing to better mental health.  And if my house gets so messy that it makes me stressed well then I have to clean it as otherwise I wont be looking after my mental health. 

Lastly, taking care of my physical health will mean I am a generally happier person, with more energy and will hopefully live longer. Who wouldn't want that on their list?

So if you visit me and the lawn isn't mowed or you think I could try harder at work, you know what? I don't really care :P Go mow you're own lawn. I might just be thinking 'well my lawn may not be mowed but at least I have a loving relationship, or at least I am not a constant crabby bum'. Be careful, when you judge others you open up your own world for judgement and no one is perfect.
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. 
What are your life priorities and why?  Have you known these all along or struggled before realising them? 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Welcome Back Sim

Okay so I have been unbelievably neglecting my blog and therefore neglecting myself, but I am back! And I am back with plenty more to report on.  Last week I was lucky enough to be part of my best friend's wedding and will give you all the details about that soon.  I hosted a hens party the weekend before and have attended a couple of psychologist appointments learning a lot about the mind that I can't wait to share.  


As far as my weight loss mission has been going...well it hasn't really at all.  I have been going to the gym about twice a week on average but I really need to eat healthier.  Unfortunately it didn't take long before I couldn't be bothered taking salads to work any more and now I buy my lunch everyday but I am not worried about that as I usually buy a salad sandwich, a wrap or sushi which is all pretty healthy.  It's my chippies addiction and need for food when stressed that is my downfall.  I seem to always feel stretched to the limit with too much to do. My weekends fly by with a Sunday evening to do list as long as the previous Friday's to do list.  I often feel like I am not getting anywhere hence always feeling overwhelmed and eating like I am going to run out of food.  It just makes me feel better and more in control.  I even schedule relaxation which begins to feel like a chore and everything is all about the clock and time.  I wish I could just forget about the time and do what I want when I want but there aren't many days like that.  I am beginning to think my comfort level for stress and busyness is pretty low, I look at others and feel I have nothing on my plate compared to them but I still feel the busyness and pressures of life.  Even fun things like meeting up with family and friends sometimes annoys me because all I want is time on my own.  I just have to come to terms with the fact that this is my comfort level and learn to say no without worrying about it.  So my goal is to say no more, even to lovely sounding things like dinner with family, unfortunately for me I just need plenty of time to myself! I am going to continue with at least two gym sessions a week at the least and try to cut out some of that mindless stressful eating.  


Today marks one year since my lovely man proposed to me, which leaves 10 months until our big day and boy do I have a lot to do.  I will update soon on where I am with my wedding plans.  With plenty more to share, talk soon. I will do my best to update more regularly!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Wedding Gown Inspiration

I thought I would share with you some pictures of my favourite wedding gowns.  Yes this could be a little against the rules because then people will get an idea of how I will look on the day but I haven't tried any dresses on yet so who knows what I will pick.  They do say that the dresses you think you love might not suit you or a style you thought you hated ends up looking beautiful on you.  I will start trying some on very soon, as soon as I shed a few more kilos so that I feel more comfortable with myself.  I actually have my eye on a particular dress, which I have seen in store and am happy with the price so I hope it just looks awesome on me and that will be the end of my wedding gown shopping experience!  I don't want to drag it on trying on millions, I know what I can compromise on and what I can't and would be happy to just try one on and love it!
Love, love, love!

Large View of the Harlow Bridal Gown





Large View of the Mirabella Bridal Gown
  
Large View of the Harlow Bridal GownLarge View of the Harlow Bridal Gown