Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear 2012, Goodbye and Good Riddance.

For 2013.

I decided.

I'm giving up chocolate.

There, I said it. Most people who know me will be familiar with my weakness for all things cocoa. Work colleagues know that if I have breakfast in the office it's usually Nutella on toast/a bagel, afternoon snack time stems from the candy/chocolate aisle at Woolies and if there's an open packet of chocolate in my house, I will not hesitate for a second to have it for breakfast.

I know, I have issues.

Impending withdrawal headaches aside, as well as giving up chocolate, I'm also going to use 2013 to work on myself (as cheesy/cliche/corny as that sounds). After the onslaught of ups and (mostly) downs the latter half of 2012 brought I really do think that I need to make choices for myself.
I need to not overload my plate and be a people pleaser.
I need to not let the actions of other people affect me.
I need to learn to say no/back off.

Although, Facebook's '2012 in Review' feature did point out that I did some pretty cool stuff during the year: I went to DISNEYLAND!! (in Hong Kong, but still..), I jumped out of a perfectly good aircraft at 14,000ft, I went to Spain, Morocco, Portugal and Dubai and I completed 30 continuous days of bikram yoga classes. But the most important was realising what a great support network I have and that my girlfriends are amongst the best you can get!

I'm also a little excited to be finally spending a NYE at home with friends! 2012 I was in Macau, 2011: the Philippines, 2010: Bali, 2009: on the tarmac at Melbourne airport and on the airplane crossing the Vic-SA and SA-WA borders :P

Hope you all have a fantastic night and a great start to 2013 <3

I'm now off to stuff my face and make the most of the 6 hours I have left of chocolate-y goodness!

Looking back. Something I've promised myself to no longer do.
"Don't let nostalgia cloud your judgement" - Stolen from BMorfett :)


See what I did there? I know, I know...

Anyway, Mum and I made a getaway to Darwin (Nothern Territory, Australia for those of you playing at home) for a few days and I was certainly surprised by what I found.

When you're there you forget it's a state (sorry, Territory) capital and it has more of a large country town feel about it. Since the wet season started early this year it was also a heck of a lot greener than I expected it to be, given that when you drive through the North West area of WA it's all low lying scrubland and dry.

We did an all day tour of Litchfield National Park stopping by giant cathedral and tombstone termite mounds, Wangi falls (closed for swimming due to the heavy rains and croc potential) and finally got to take a dip at Florence Falls which was well deserved after Mum and I trekked to the top of the Wangi falls (1.7km) in the midday heat! 
We also did a second day tour to Kakadu National Park (which is world heritage listed) to have a look at some Aboriginal rock art and take a cruise down the Yellow River for a spot of croc watching. At first I was like 'meh, crocs, whatever..' but there's something about when a crocodile ever so slowly surfaces from under the water and eyes off your boat like a free buffet that made it a little more exciting.

It was a good (but hot and humid!!) break, but it's good to be back home just in time to celebrate New Years Eve :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tomorrow when the sales began.

I'm currently writing this and staring at my half-filled cabin-sized suitcase and swearing that it's more difficult packing for a 3 and a half day domestic holiday than it is packing for a 3 week international one. Procrastination queen right here. Waking up in another 5 hours is not going to be fun at all.

Today was unbelievably hot, and I didn't even venture outside! So props to everyone who stormed the shops for some Boxing Day bargains, risking heatstroke in the process. I opted for some online retail therapy from the comfort of my bedroom and purchased a lime green hard case luggage set in preparation for my Contiki trip next May (squee!) and also some in-ear headphones to finally replace the ones I left behind somewhere in Morocco a few months ago (again, procrastination queen). I've been living vicariously through everyone's posts on my Instagram and Facebook feeds showing off all the goodies they picked up. Oh well, there's always the New Years' sales when I get back :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

Because what would Christmas be without a little Home Alone? And what would Christmas in Australia be without a trip to the beach/other body of water to escape the heat?

We spent the morning at the gorgeous Yanchep Lagoon nomming on sweet summer fruit before the heat got to us and we retreated back to the house for naptime, tv and air conditioning.

I hope you all had a fantastic day wherever you are and whoever you spent it with.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Get Baked: Gingerbread Men

What would Christmas be without gingerbread men, honestly? Well.. just a day that we overeat and give gifts really, but that's beside the point.

I whipped these up the other day using this recipe and in the spirit of Christmas, gave most of them away to friends (mostly so I wouldn't eat them all myself!)
This is probably the best gingerbread recipe I've used so far, and next year I'm definitely going to attempt a house from scratch :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Get Baked: Adriano Zumbo salted caramel macaron mix review

 So the other day I finally tested out the Adriano Zumbo macaron mix that's been sitting in my pantry for about 6 weeks. From memory, they are easier than the Donna Hay mix I've tried before (just add water!... and maybe a bit of butter) and definitely more 'beginner/lazy person friendly'.

In the box: salted caramel mix, almond flour mix, icing mix, cardboard ring for tracing and 2 piping bags. This is definitely a big plus in my books- the one pain in the ass thing about making macarons is getting them the same size to be able to pair them up, so marking out the sizing on baking paper and being able to pipe them out instead of dolloping them out using a spoon makes this a heck of a lot easier.

I had a bit of a giggle at the fact that Adriano knows that there will be some screw ups. The instructions say that the mix will allow you to pipe at least 40 cases.... then pick your best 30 and pair them up. I was like screw that, these things are so delicious I'm pairing up the crappy ones too.

The first batch I put in the oven looked pretty good aside from the fact that for some reason (probably the heat distribution from the fan... or whatever) that the cases only developed 'feet' on one side. Also, looks can be deceiving; I baked these for 14 minutes since I didn't want to burn them (instructions say 14-18minutes) but after letting the cases cool and attempting to remove them, half of the filling was left on the paper and I had 2 batches of almost hollow shells (oh well, more room for that sweet, sweet icing).

Below is what happens when you pipe out your cases, remember you have to go have coffee with someone, put them in the fridge and then pop them in the oven over 2 hours later. They don't rise evenly, and basically turn out looking like mini volcanoes. So I don't recommend doing that. But again, so tasty it doesn't matter.
Finished product above. All in all I think I made about 20 or so (including all the misshapen ones). They are super tasty and keep well in the fridge for a few days (not going to lie, I've been having these for breakfast). Again, they get big points for the sizing ring and piping bags included and I'll definitely be trying these again in the passionfruit flavour. Yum!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lazy girls' guide to holiday decor.

If you're like me [read: lazy] and got to the week before Christmas without putting up a single bit of holiday paraphernalia [and considered not putting any up altogether since you'd just have to rip it all down in the next week] then this one is for you.

I'd left holiday decorating too late and didn't want to put up the full tree because that means taking down a full tree later. I'm calling this a modern, minimalistic approach to Christmas decor *cough*.

Step 1: Find a cool looking branch and spraypaint it white [or whatever colour you choose].
Step 2: 'Plant' your branch in a pot with enough sand so it doesn't tip over.
Step 3: Decorate with baubles.
Step 4: Step back and take in the awesomeness that is your DIY tree :)

Perfect for smaller houses/apartments without the room for a ginormous fir, and slightly better looking than a tabletop tree made entirely of tinsel.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting in the spirit

While browsing the interwebs the other night I came across this tutorial and since I'd already painted my nails red and silver for the holidays I figured I'd go (jingling) all the way. It's more fun anyways.

Just in case you can't tell what they are from my terrible attempt at photography this morning, there are some santa suits and a mish-mash of red/green/silver/gold designs.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Last night's behind the scenes antics at the LegitimatePerthCity tent.

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