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Monday, April 30, 2012

Recipe: Carrot Cake Muffins

A dear work friend gave me this recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins years ago and I came across it the other day and decided to give it a go. 

These muffins are so simple to make just mix and bake no fuss and best of all with real bits of carrot they're definitely healthy too!

Carrot Cake Muffins

2 cups finely grated carrots
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 & 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix it all together, put into paddy cases in a muffin pan and bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes
(If you want a cake bake at 180 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes)

Cream Cheese Icing
2 oz cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 oz butter
1 tsp vanilla
Few walnuts chopped

Mix ingredients together, ice muffins and sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top

These make perfect snacks for the lunchbox (if they last that long!)

Carrot cake is my absolute favourite it's a mixture of sweet and savoury.

What's your favourite cake or muffin - sweet or savoury?

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[All images my own]

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Flowers For Myself

No matter how many times I hint, beg and outright demand flowers from my lovely it has been too long to remember when I last received any. Not that he's not romantic, he just doesn't get the opportunity to go shopping which I understand.

So I've taken to catching a different buss home about once a fortnight so I can go along Beaufort Street and buy myself some flowers

That one bunch of flowers gets spread throughout the house ... some in the bathroom, some in the bedroom, and most in the living room for all to see. In vases, little jars, or even empty wine bottles make great containers for flowers.

Do you buy flowers for yourself?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Shoe Cupboard

My shoe cupboard has had a bit of an update and yes that does mean a few more purchases too!

It only took me 2 years but I've finally stuck a full length mirror to the inside door of the shoe cupboard for that final check that my shoes match my outfit. I seriously can't leave the house without checking myself head to toe - does anyone else do that?

I may have broken my own personal record of buying 7 pairs of shoes in 7 days last month (all on sale so thats ok). Lucky I have a rule 1 pair in and 1 pair out so have kept it down to about 70 pairs of shoes

My flats are now in single file stacked on top of eachother as they take up 2 shelves and that top shelf of empty space just kills me but sadly that's Pete's shelf so its out of bounds for me

With the doors closed you wouldn't even know a shoe cupboard existed behind there would you ... it's like my dirty little secret!

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[All images my own]

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: Ham On Rye By Charles Bukowski

My April Book Club read was Ham On Rye By Charles Bukowski

What a sad little read this book was, written about the childhood of the author's ultra ego Henry Chinaski. The writing was simple and childlike which I quite enjoyed. But the story itself and the life this kid lived was lonely, sometimes sadistic and I felt sad and depressed reading it. As Henry grew up in the midst of the Depression and into adolescence I didn't know whether to feel sorry for him or dislike him. I think I did both. But I really couldn't blame him for being how he was, he made me understand why he did what he did and instead I just felt helpless for him.

This is definitely not a book I would ever have picked out myself so I'm so glad that I joined a Book Club to get me out of my comfort zone and reading different stories. The author Charles Bukowski has written a few books in his time and he was a poet and artist too. You can read more about him on this cheeky website. I'm quite interested in the column he wrote 'Notes of a dirty old man' it's on my next read list.

I would recommend this book to 'all the fathers' as that's who the autor dedicates this book to. This book would suit all ages, male and female. I give this book 3 stars I wouldn't read it again, but I did like the writing style.

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

[Image via Booktopia]

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Bathroom Finishing Touches

There are still some finishing touches to do to finish off the bathroom reno and since the last of the big renos were completed at Christmas time I'm getting a little ansty to get this room finished! Here's some pics to refresh your memory ...



I still haven't picked out a mirror - I was going to go for twin mirrors so the mosiac strip down the centre wasn't covered over too much, but with 1 large mirror it will be easier for the 2 of us to stand at the vanity at the same time so I'm going to go for the practical choice, rather than pretty.

I've been eyeing off this Songe mirror from Ikea which is $189 but I'm not sure if the pattern around the edge will clash with the mosiac strip of tiles - what do you think?

I also like this Cruz mirror from Freedom which is similar to my hallway mirror but at $399 its a bit more than I wanted to spend
The other thing we desperately need is Towel Rails so I can stop using the over the door hanging rail as you can't actually close the door with this thing on - good thing it's just the 2 of us living here and showering with the door open or someone might get an eyeful of nakedness!

This is the Mizu range from Reece which matches our bathroom tapware - the good thing about the rail is it allows the towels to dry better and there is nothing worse than drying yourself with a half soggy towel if you ask me!. But the downside is those few feet I'd have to step in the cold dripping wet to reach my warm fluffy towel Brrrrrrrr
Or we could have a few of these Mizu hooks on the wall closest to the shower which would be within arms reach of the shower, which means less time standing around wet and cold and less water for me to clean up off the floor which is always a good thing. But the downside is I don't think the towels will dry as well Hmmmm

So I'd really like to make a decision on the mirror and towel holders in the very near future - like this weekend! Remembering my 2012 word decision, it's time to make some!

Sharing with linky parties Savvy Southern Style and 52 Mantels

[Images 1 and 2 my own, Image 3 Ikea, Image 4 FreedomImage 5 and 6 Reece] Pin It Now!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today's Etsy Art Find

I'm needing a bit of get up and go at the moment ... this little bird saying always makes me happy.

I've been eyeing off these posters on the clever Esy shop - Studio Mela but I can't decide on the colour combo I like the most. 

I think it would look really fun in the kitchen something I could smile at while enjoying my morning coffee

They are having a buy 2 get 1 free at the moment so I'd better hurry up and make a decision!

Which colour combo do you like?

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[All images via Studio Mela]

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garage Walls Are Up

Since my last garage extension update the garage walls are up and the new garage is really taking shape

Once we removed the neighbors fence, a trench was dug and wooden supports ready for 2m3 of concrete footings to be poured

Once the concrete footing had set for a few days we were ready for the brick work. We bought 8 packs of 132 limestone look bricks to match our existing bricks, a load of brickies sand and hired a scaffold. Our superstar brickie then got to work and every day of the 5 day Easter break he lived off strong coffees and tim tams and started to build the brick walls to the garage.

The old fireplace in the living room which had been covered and plastered over was removed because it was taking up wasted space in the garage. The brickie knocked all the bricks out of the fireplace and knocked down the chimney from the roof. The movement of the bricks cracked the living room wall so we'll need to repaint it but I guess it can't really be avoided when your knocking out bricks.

Pete and I had to lay another new concrete footing for the new brick wall to be built where the fireplace was removed. We couldn't start until after 6pm and by then the sun had gone down so we were mixing 5 wheelbarrows of concrete and pouring it into the footing by torchlight ... aren't we romantic. The hole in the wall from the old air conditioner we removed was also bricked in so it looks like one straight wall.

The ceiling panels of the carport had to be removed as well and unfortunately this was asbestos so we had to be careful - Pete wore a full suit, mask, gloves, etc hosed it down with water to stop the fibres from getting airborne and then wrapped it up in plastic, labelled it and took it to the asbestos disposal centre where we were charged a rate of $105 a tonne - our load cost $65. I think the local council should offer a free service to dispose of asbestos, to make sure people do the right thing and dispose of it properly if people have to pay you'll probably end up with people that don't want to and just dump it.

So that part of the extension is done - the walls are up and you can make out the shape of the store room that will be at the back of the garage

The next stage is the roof which will be extended across to the brick wall

You can read more about the garage extension to do list here

[All images my own]
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Friday, April 13, 2012

The Perfect Coffee

We were spoilt a few weeks ago and given as a house gift this kick ass Breville coffee machine

Once I figured out how to use it I've made countless coffees for tradies, friends, family and of course myself and the Mr

I've come a long way from my days of instant milky sugary coffees .... For the last 4 years I've been using a stovetop espresso moka which makes a perfect short black

But it's been quite an adventure using a proper coffee machine - you need to grind the coffee beans, fill the coffee holder, wait for it to pour the coffee into the cup, froth up the milk, and then finally finally you can sit back and enjoy your cup of deliciousness

How do you have your coffee ... instant, moka or machine?

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