Thursday, 29 October 2015

When plans fail

When the chicken mince you defrosted for sausage rolls is off, use the already-soft puff pastry sheets to throw together some last minute mini quiches. When your car is out of rego and won't pass another check, take it to the wreckers spur of the moment, empty every account and buy a second or third hand car off a work mate to see you through. That's how life works. It doesn't always go to plan as we all know but in the times when everything seems hopeless you just have to trust that the universe has something better for you. Everything for a reason. We didn't get what we wanted, the sausage rolls, but we did get bacon and egg quiches for lunches tomorrow. We lost our car and got a replacement in one day; not ideal and it's best not to think too far into the 'what ifs' but we are not without an option. I knew the car issue was coming but there wasn't a single thing I could do about it so I chose not to let it upset me.

That's life! You have to deal with it one day at a time, leave the things you can't control, and chill.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Loop-di-doo

I whipped this up over yesterday and today for someone I know who is expecting a bub soon. Actually I don't know her personally, but hubby works with her and I love making people presents so it was a good excuse. This is a nifty free pattern you can find at Herbst Handmade. The first one I made was from the pattern (my son loves it, it's one of his favourite toys) and from there I just make them up as I go. Coincidentally this one turned out a tinsy winsy bit on the large side but it's still adorable, and I'm sure it will still be loved.
 If you would like me to make one for you just pop over to the shop via the Facebook button to the right there and ask :-) I have plenty of these yummy colours just sitting around waiting to be turned into something.

Xx

Monday, 26 October 2015

Fibi Fox

Finally, another crochet project completed off my seemingly never-ending 'To Make' list! Introducing Fibi Fox by Lalylala. Made with a 4.5mm hook and Bendigo Woollen Mills' 'Bloom' wool. The colourway was beautiful and I wanted to use it for something special; Fibi was perfect! All crocheted except for the scarf which I knitted up using 10mm needles and 8ply acrylic.
I have other colours of Bloom that I'm itching to work up into more Lalylala dolls!! I'm utterly smitten.



Saturday, 24 October 2015

Sour Cream Cake

A heavenly moist, sweet, light sour cream cake with fresh dates!
Yes! I baked another cake. That's two this week, and don't my thighs know it. Actually I tend to put weight on first around the middle, it's a sexy look. Who the fuck cares, cake is fantastic. Today I delved once again in my miraculous Country Women's Association cook book and pulled out a gem; sour cream cake! I had some sour cream that needed using up and coincidentally a bag of fresh medjool dates (I blame you for that addiction Rebekah). One thing is definitely for certain, once you bake with fresh dates you will NEVER use the dried kind again. The bake up so deliciously moist. Yes, moist. I don't understand why that word makes people uneasy... I've only ever used it and heard it in reference to food stuffs. Curses on you, internet-slang, for ruining a good word. MOIST is for cakes! MOIST. 

Sorry. 

Anyway, this one actually turned out perfectly first go which given my baking history is a bit of a miracle in itself. Or it could be that the CWA know what they're on about and I should just learn to read instructions in a little more detail. 

Sour Cream Cake 
Country Women's Association Cookbook '70 Years in the Kitchen' 17th Edition 

Ingredients
175gm butter (I used unsalted) 
1 cup of soft brown sugar 
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup of chopped fresh dates, pitted
1 cup of sour cream
1 3/4 cups of self raising flour OR 1 3/4 plain flour sifted through with 1 tsp of bi-carb soda 
2 tsps of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground ginger

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and have a greased and lined loaf tin ready before beginning.

Cream butter and sugar together until mixture is light in colour and the gritty texture is gone when rubbed between fingers. Beat in the eggs thoroughly one at a time, then add in the sour cream. Stir through chopped dates. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and ginger, and gently fold through the butter mixture using a wooden spoon.

The book says to bake for 45 minutes but mine took an hour before it was cooked all the way through. It depends on the height of the tin used, a larger tin will result in a flatter cake ergo less cooking time.

Consume with gusto! 

In preparation for cake creating. My ingredients sat on the bench for some time until I had a free moment to put them together

Going with a loaf tin this time rather than a cake tin

Toddler-approved cake batter! He cleaned up the spatula and the beaters for me. Lucky boy! 

Master B is bemused by the whole cake making process

Ah! The source of such delicious spiced scents throughout my house


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

CWA Chocolate Cake


The story behind this was that I was going to bake a chocolate cake for my visitors I was expecting last Saturday afternoon. I don't feel comfortable with having visitors unless I have something yummy to offer them. The first one I tried to bake on the Friday failed MISERABLY after it took me all day to get the mixture in the oven around the kids. Apparently when a recipe says to use a large cake tin, it means a large cake tin, and not just an average one with the intention of 'she'll be right'. It came out more like a bundt cake; totally and utterly squish in the centre. I'm also getting to know a new oven so it was going to be touch and go as it was. With the smell of burnt cake and my brown squishy disappointment sitting on the counter top I gave up for the day.
The next day I dug out the ingredients from my ridiculously impractical new pantry (you have to sit on the floor to get anything out of it) and gave it a second go, this time splitting the mixture between two cake tins.

It all seemed to be going well until I screwed up the ganache. Usually when I make ganache I heat the cream in a bowl over a simmering pot on the stove to just before simmering point, then I add the chocolate stirring to melt it through. For some reason I completely forgot what I was doing and ended up melting the chocolate on the stove, heating cream haphazardly in the microwave and then combining the two. Evidently my cream to chocolate ratio for ganache was an tinsy-winsy bit *ahem* skewed. Ergo I ended up with a runny mess which kind of ruined the cake I was initially trying for. I solved this problem of inadequacy by adding Maltesers. TA DA! Everything is better with Maltesers. So yep, apparently baking isn't something you should attempt when you're getting stuff all sleep each night and you don't have 15 minutes to throw batter together and bake a damn cake.

We ate it anyway of course.

Baking is not a strong point of mine.

Recipe is 'Delicious Chocolate Cake' by the wonderful Country Women's Association


Monday, 19 October 2015

Hello Monday

Hello to week three in my fabulous new house...

Hello to getting my crojo back!!

Hello to making time for tarot studies

Hello to hubby coming home this week

Hello to new photography props in progress

Hello to going for a walk with the kids every day

Hello new look blog!


Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Elise Shawl

Of life I have nothing much to report other than hubby is away at the moment (he'll be back in a week fingers crossed), I'm still ecstatically happy in the new house, and stupidly, stupidly behind on my tarot studies BUT of crochet, I have this for you! The (finally) completed (minus blocking) Elise Shawl! Isn't she a beauty? Made with KnitPicks 'Chroma' in colourway Lupine fingering weight roving, and a 5mm hook. I used two balls for this project at $13 a ball from the UK and it was SO worth it.
Finishing of this project has left me with that forever sought after sense of completion that will fuel me along until I start something else...which I may have already done. It was a short-lived feeling ;)
I'll leave you to bask in the glory that is this shawl now because I have a chocolate layer cake to frost for my visitors this afternoon. Cake is good. Good cake. Everything is better with cake.

P.s This week I also got addicted to Dexter. It takes me years after a series comes out to actually remember to start watching it,
Tash Xx

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

We have finally moved! Hello new house

Hello world!
I am coming to you LIVE (ish) from outside. Yes, outside. In my new yard. A glorious place where the ground is flat and level, there aren't large disgusting spiders lurking in every corner, there isn't a crappy multi-leveled unfenced deck for my toddler to fall off repeatedly making it damn near impossible to let him play. My new yard, where we can see the traffic going by (my son is fascinated by this), see the big storm clouds rolling in from the sea, and where I can actually sit, relax, and blog and let my toddler play while the baby plays in his rocker AT THE SAME TIME without fear of major injury. Yes, my new yard is a glorious place full of wonderment and joy. I have Moods of Meditation playing and if I had a hot coffee I'd be in utter bliss.

We moved house last week, it's been something we'd been trying to do for 6 months prior and it finally happened. The move itself was hectic and stressful as they always are but now it is done, we are here, and we are so happy. I think my kids can sense the shift in my mood and are like different people. That alone is enough to make this worth while. I was well aware how much our previous location was tearing pieces from me. There is a crazy new sense of freedom I didn't have before. I know there is a bus that runs every half from a bus stop nearby that will get us all the major shopping centre, the library, and our dr. There is a play ground just up the road which I can walk to whenever I please, and a nice big grassy oval right across the road where we can take a ball to kick around. I was inside nearly every day for a number of reasons, but since being here we've been outside every day. I have an amazing little spot to sit under cover when it rains that I can't wait to decorate with my wind chime and dragonfly solar lights. Sure I'm sweating like a pig, covered in flies and have mosquitoes from last night's rain nibbling on me, but who cares! I could get used to this being happy thing :-)

And you know what else I want to say? I want to say a big F*** YOU to those people who told me that moving wouldn't solve any of our problems. Yes, you, I'm giving you the finger. Of course it hasn't solved all our problems, but you know what? Things are a shit load better than they were before and I am SO DAMN HAPPY.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Shadow Work October ~ What is my biggest fear?


Sometimes my tarot deck scares the shit out of me with how accurate it can be. No, with how accurate it IS. I've had two of my main decks charging under some selenite and clear quartz for most of the day and they seem to better for it and have given me a crystal clear reading (ironically!). I will admit that our recent move has rattled me a bit, and events have snowballed over this past week leaving my nerves in tatters once again so when I walked by my cards and felt the urge to let them speak to me I hesitated big time. I walked past them a few times before I worked up the courage to pick them up and sit down with them. Then it took every stitch of will power to breathe in all those stresses and worries, gather them into a ball of light, and breathe them back out. After several breaths I eventually fell into my calm, centered self and let my intuition take over. Just an FYI to my future self, reading the cards when you're flustered, tired and zoned out takes A LOT of work, and I don't like my tarot readings to feel like work.

BUT, after all that, they told me precisely what I needed to know. I'm here blogging this particular read because it shook me to the core and I need it to be someplace other than my journal. I suppose I want others to see this. It was a big thing to ask, it's very personal, because I am a tangled mess of emotion most of the time and I was honestly terrified of what might come to light.

What is my greatest fear?
From the Wild Unknown: Strength followed by Five of Pentacles. That's the Wild Unknown telling me how it is as always. From Shadowscapes (because I felt I needed to): Six of Wands. This is my 'dream come true' deck. What I want in my heart, it knows and it will show me what I seek. This is actually why I like to use these two decks together; one is to the point, straight up, honest, practical, stable, dependable, responds to what I ask, and the other is whimsical, longing, dreams, truths from the heart and soul, emotional and if it feels it needs to it will ignore my question and send me a message in answer to something bigger that has been on my mind without my knowing it. This is both good and bad, but it takes two sides, two parts, two points of view to make up the whole. Balance.

Achieving strength. Achieving mastery of my own will power, of my own self control, of my compassion, of my emotions, and KNOWING myself. Really KNOWING myself. That is my biggest fear, that I will never do that, that I will never master my inner self or understand myself. I need to make sense, I seek it constantly and it drives me insane 'not knowing'. I find myself feeling so lost, worried, anxious, stressed all the time in one way or another and it's not only taking me over, but it's causing me harm. All those things are going around in a big circle, I feel them, then those feeling cause more of those feelings, then the situation that caused those feelings gets lost, and I'm stuck in a repetitive cycle of self destruction. I absolutely yearn for self-mastery and I feel it every time I fail. I struggle with finding that central focus, and with finding and more importantly achieving that sense of inner peace knowing that I've 'worked myself out'. I asked what was my greatest fear, and the cards have shown me what it is, why it is, and that I want to conquer it. What it has not shown me is HOW to conquer it. I feel like if I drew another from Shadowscapes I would have my answer but I'd like to mull this over a while first. Six of Wands has influenced this read in a HUGE way because it's shown me what I want. Reaching that goal would be the ultimate triumph for me!