May 31, 2010

Five weeks notice

As I mentioned a few days ago, it's due time I start taking some risks. A risk I have been pondering for some time now is whether I should leave my full time job to make time for learning skills in other areas. So after many months discussing it with Reid and a few pros & cons lists of staying/going, I decided to give my five weeks notice starting today. I plan on spending the next six months doing some study and working on my own projects as much as I can in the hope of progressing in a slightly different direction. Thank you to those who have been supportive of my decision, especially Reid. It's you who lifts me up everyday and who shares a vision of greater things.

Illustration above by Kareena Zerefos.

May 29, 2010

Herriott Grace

The story behind Herriott Grace is really sweet. The online shop is the creation of a father daughter team with a love of similar things. Living 4600 kilometers apart they don't see each other that much so send packages to one another. Father Lance began to send his daughter Nikole hand-carved spoons and one day she posed the idea of sharing them with others. After some thought Lance agreed as long as they were sold to people who understand the time and effort that went into them. And so begun the creation of the little shop Herriott Grace.

The pieces are beautiful and the range consists of spoons, cheese boards, rice paddles and mortar & pestles to mention a few. Nikole also has a blog called forty-sixth at grace filled with beautifully styled shots using their little wooden and delicious looking creations. Found via The Bedlam of Beefy.

Curl up on the couch

Today was a drizzly day here in Brisbane and the perfect day for curling up on the couch. I'm having a bit of a healthy week as these shorter days have made it harder to feel like going for a run after work when it's dark and I've been consuming a few too many sweets lately (muffins, oops!). So today involved cooking a pot of Italian Style Lentils du Puy and then watching a movie until I dozed off. I love days like that. The lentil recipe I found on Poppytalk. I added a sprinkle each of cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger and a handful of chopped parsley for a little extra flavour.

Italian Style Lentils du Puy

• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
• 1 jalapeno, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
• 1 cup French lentils du puy, sorted & rinsed
• 1 tsp oregano
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 2 cups vegetable stock
• Sprinkle each of cumin, ground coriander & ground ginger
• Handful chopped parsley
• Salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft and starting to brown. Stir in jalapeno, garlic, lentils and oregano and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in tomato sauce and stock. Add extra herbs, spices & parsley. Allow to simmer uncovered over med-low heat for 40 minutes or so, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve with buttered bread.

May 28, 2010

Lost in my thoughts

I have been really slow on the posts this week I know! I haven't had an overly busy week but I think I have been quite lost in my thoughts, which isn't out of the ordinary for me. Again I'm questioning where I'm at in life and where I see my future heading. A good friend sent me a link to an article about the period between ages 28 and 30 and it being a phase where you question your needs and desires and the urgency you feel to accomplish everything you've ever wanted or planned to do. Another good friend said it's called a quarter-life crisis which basically sums it up. I think I've been going through a quarter-life crisis for the last year!

I've decided to stop wondering and pondering my thoughts and I think it's due time I start taking a risk here and there. As Danish philosopher, theologian and psychologist Soren Kiekegaard said - To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.

Photos above by Serena Mitnik-Miller. Found via Lushlee.

May 23, 2010

Lazy afternoon treat

Inspired by Sol Breads Raspberry & White Chocolate muffins, I decided to have a go at making some myself. I'm not exactly sure what they put in theirs but I combined a couple recipes and came up with these. They were so moist, chocolaty and perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins

• 2 cups (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
• 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 cups (225g) frozen raspberries
• 1 cup (175g) chopped white chocolate
• Extra 12 whole pieces white chocolate and 18 fresh raspberries - to push into the top of muffins prior to baking. You could use frozen raspberries.

Preheat oven to 180˚C (355˚F). Line 6 x 3/4 cup-capacity (185ml) moulds with non-stick baking paper, making sure the paper is 5mm above the top of the tin. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and desiccated coconut and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, lemon rind and oil and whisk together. Stir through the flour mixture until just combined. Carefully fold in the frozen raspberries and chocolate and spoon into the lined moulds. Press 3 raspberries and 2 pieces white chocolate into the tops of each muffin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Makes 6.

May 21, 2010

Alan Jensen

Nice portfolio of work by photographer Alan Jensen. Alan used to live and work here in Brisbane but has since moved to Europe to pursue his passion for innovative design and interiors. Not only do I really like his interior work but I love his journal of photos. They use negative space beautifully.

May 20, 2010

Adeline Adeline

Every saturday for the past month I have been getting up at the crack of dawn, going for a run then making my way to the markets to do some early morning shopping. I love it. The thought of getting a bicycle has entered my mind but I'm still a little unsure as the roads here can be a little dangerous to ride on. I found Adeline Adeline this morning and think I would love one of these. Their range is so cool and they have the baskets and helmets to suit. Found via all the mountains.

Romina Shama

Beautiful photographs by Swiss photographer Romina Shama. Her work is raw and cinematographic and she only uses natural light. I love the grain in her images and her ability to capture models in a really natural and uncontrived way. Found via all the mountains.

May 19, 2010

Inspiration boards

Another blog I've fallen in love with and added to my growing list of favourite links (thanks Pia!) is a thing for... by Maritza Teodoro. Her blog is filled with beautiful moodboards of images that inspire her. Her ability with colour and composition is amazing and I'm very envious.

A cabin with a view

How nice would it be to escape on weekends to a cabin with a beautiful view like the above! Pippi from My Scandinavian Retreat created her very own summer cabin escape and has decorated it beautifully. I think I could wake up in that bed and stare out the window for hours. Found via Pia Jane Bijkerk's blog.

May 18, 2010

Tine K Home

Stunning interior pieces and styling by Denmark store Tine K Home. Found via Bliss.

May 17, 2010

The Jewels of New York

I love it when I come across a food site I haven't yet seen that combines all my favourite things - delicious food, beautiful photography and nice design. The Jewels of New York definitely makes me feel like throwing on my Donna Hay apron and whipping up something yummy in the kitchen. The talented creators Diana Yen and Lisel Arroya cater for events and have also collaborated with Sunday Suppers as guest chefs and featured in numerous magazines, blogs and tv programs. Definitely a site I'll be visiting regularly. Found via {frolic!}.

May 16, 2010

Heaton & May

I think it's so refreshing when you come across stores like this that are filled with sweet little stationary, accessories and home wares and reflects the personality of the owners. Featured on the rabbit and the duck, Heaton & May established by Carol Fortune and Karen Dyson, is located in Olinda Victoria and houses an eclectic mix of products by local and international designers. As they say on their homepage 'Artisan integrity and creativity makes everyday objects gorgeous and meaningful'. Very true.

New e-magazine

Cute new e-magazine filled with beautiful photography and styling ideas for the home and little one. Found via 100 Layer Cake.

May 14, 2010

You Must Create

I struggle to find clothes that I love and too often buy clothes that I never wear. I stumbled across English brand You Must Create (YMC) today on {frolic!} and really like their collection. The pieces are really modern and stylish and I like the interesting cuts to their garments.

May 13, 2010

On display

One day I plan on having a nice big cabinet displaying rows of unique crockery like those shown above. Every meal you serve up would feel and look special. I think I'm more excited about having a beautiful crockery cabinet than a wardrobe filled with shoes! Images found on (oh, hello friend.) you are loved.