the week that’s been

What are you grateful for from this past week?

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I’m grateful for a long weekend away, for fresh air and gumboots and teeny tiny daisies, for white toblerone, for hugs with my husband, for the hilarity that is a competitive game of Taboo, for the cute dog snoring loudly under my desk right now, for whatsapp, for pedicures with dear friends, for rainy days, for long hot showers, for porridge and baked fruit, for new paints, for cute neighbours’ kids and for the promise of a new day.

Et toi?

Here’s some lovely things I’ve found around the place this week:

A gorgeous food blog.

Have you heard of Hotel Tonight?

My favourite place in Kenya thus far.

Genius tip for creating a photo or art gallery at home.

If you read just one long article this week: The Confidence Gap.

I finished this on the weekend – good, but maybe not as great as I anticipated?

How cute are these kids in their pyjamas. So very Wendy-Darling-esque!

What all the girls in New York are wearing, apparently. I need a pair of these.

Who wore it better? Mindy Kaling or the Duchess of Cambridge??

35 books to read before they’re 2014 movies.

On conscious coupling.

At the top of my wishlist.

A 3 minute yoga flow.

And Brisbane friends, our favourite cafe is now doing dinner!

#100happydays

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I first saw something about the #100happydays project on A Beautiful Mess, and then read more on the project’s site. I decided to start that very day. Very much along the lines of gratitude projects, the #100happydays idea is to take a photo of something that makes you happy, every day for 100 days.

I’m now almost a third of the way through, and taking a happy snap each day is adding a little more sunshine to my life. Once I’m finished, I think I may print them out through Prinstagram like I did with these photos. I love having snapshots of everyday moments to treasure down the track.

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Dreaming again, skype with my sister, meeting baby Lydia for the first time and the best chicken wings in all of Nairobi.

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Cuddles with Rum, a horned chameleon in the tree outside my window (!), brunch in the garden and wattle blossoms on our afternoon walk.

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Selfie, Michael Soi art work, Will with his latest photography work and a cool painting found in the basement of Aga Khan Hospital.

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Fluro coloured craft with the kids, Darfur reunion with these three, roast veggies and dinner outside.

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More Michael Soi (I love his stuff!), my first magazine cover (eek!), Rum guarding me while I nap, and a boisterous games night at our place.

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Skype with A + J, six bunches of fresh roses in my house, savasana in the afternoon sunlight and surprise kisses from my love via Whatsapp.

rosalind grace designs

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Rosalind Grace Designs is the most gorgeous collection of beautiful handmade hair accessories, from Canberra, Australia, and available on Etsy. Rosalind and I actually used to work together a number of years ago and I wore one of her pretty blossom hairpins at our wedding reception. I’d share a photo of me wearing it but it was one of the very few things that went undocumented that day!

We moved to Kenya less than a year after we got married. We left 99% of our wedding gifts in Australia as well as a lot of other lovely things. Even my engagement ring is hidden away safely at home. As a fairly sentimental newlywed I wanted to bring at least one pretty thing from our wedding with us, so I packed in my beautiful Rosalind Grace Designs hair piece. I’ve got it pinned up on the curtains in my study at the moment, and I’m waiting for a suitably fancy event here to wear it once more.

I love the attention-to-detail and vintage vibe of so many of Rosalind’s pieces. Here’s a few of my favourites – perfect for a pretty bride-to-be!

Stunning Rhinestone Leaf Headband

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Ivory Silk Flower Feather Fascinator

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White Lace Comb with Swarovski Crystals

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And if walking down the aisle isn’t on the near horizon for you, how about a pretty gold floral headband for a day at the markets or this stunning coral blossom halo for a garden party? There are so many gorgeous pieces to choose from.

Model photos by Lauren Campbell.

PS – Rosalind has a great blog as well!

the week that’s been

What are you grateful for from this past week?

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I’m grateful for fresh flowers. I’ve had six (six!) bunches of roses in our house this week because Will was taking some photos for a friend’s flower company. I got all the left overs and they’ve brightened a long week immensely!

And on a slightly different note, I’m also very grateful for what this coming weekend represents. I am so grateful for Jesus and the way He has changed everything.

Here’s this week’s round up:

A life-size origami elephant?

When 8 million flower petals fall from the sky.

The most stunning clip. Take me to Iceland!

Counting down to August for this book to come out.

8 things healthy couples don’t do.

And still my favourite relationship advice.

Are you a giver, a taker or a matcher at work?

A peek into our life in Kenya.

Some yummy healthy Easter treats.

Who is your happiest facebook friend?

Exciting (paid!) overseas volunteer opportunities.

The sweetest slideshow projector for your Instagrams.

The only thing cuter than giraffe suede flats? Zebra suede flats.

Or flamingo suede flats? I can’t decide!

And lastly, this song to remind us what Easter is all about.

pork and pear

So this is our go-to recipe when we have dinner guests. It’s super easy, tastes amazing and feels just a little bit fancy.

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The recipe below is adapted from here and serves 4. Through trial and error we’ve found we prefer a brie or camembert. And baked is better and less fiddly than the fry/grill scenario.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 large pears, cored, cut into eighths
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 pork steaks
  • A small round of brie or camebert, cut into chunks
  • 1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the onion and pear in a bowl or a snaplock bag and drizzle with olive oil. Mix/shake to ensure everything is well coated, then transfer to an oven-proof baking dish. Pat the pork steaks dry with paper towel, place them in the baking dish, drizzle generously with olive oil and season with a little salt and a few good twists of pepper. Add the rosemary sprigs to the mix and put in the oven.

Coat the butternut pumpkin with olive oil, place on a baking tray and put in the oven.

Leave both the pork and the pumpkin to roast for 40 minutes, or until the pork browns and the pumpkin is soft with caramelised edges.

Remove the pork dish from the oven and drop chunks of cheese throughout. Put it back in the oven for another five minutes until the cheese has melted. (If you don’t eat cheese but want to keep up the level of fancy, add between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup of white wine to the pork right at the start. It adds something rather lovely if the cheese is missing.)

Serve the pork and pumpkin, and pile the pear and onions on top of the meat. The juices and gooey cheese make a delicious sauce you can drizzle over top. If you want to get really fancy, bake up some of these on a separate baking tray. It’s the best way to have potatoes, in my honest opinion!

PS – How to tell if a pear is ripe and mini pear pies, a perfect dessert for the cooler months.

Photo credit: Murky1 via photopin cc

miniature art

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This is a fun project for those of us who are time poor, but want to add a little creativity into our days – make a miniature art gallery! It’s quicker and easier than your average art diy, plus there’s the satisfaction of finishing a project in all of thirty minutes. I sometimes get overwhelmed with the thought of ‘Why start something arty if I don’t have time to finish it?’ but I’ve enjoyed just mucking around with these little works of art.

Materials:

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Method: Trace the outline of your matchbox onto thick brown paper, then cut it out with scissors. Use the stanley knife to cut a smaller rectangle inside your brown paper rectangle. This will form your frame.

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Trace the outline of your matchbox onto the white paper/card, and cut it out. Glue the brown paper frame onto your white rectangle. Then, use your stanley knife again to cut an even smaller rectangle in the centre of the paper. This is now your frame and mounting.

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Trace one last outline of the matchbox, again on the white paper. Cut it out. This will be your ‘art’ to frame. You can trace the inside of your ‘mounting’ card faintly on to this last sheet, to give you an idea of the borders of your art. Then pull out the textas and have a play. Perhaps a repetitive pattern? Or give a tiny quote a shot?

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Once you’ve finalised your ‘art’, trim it to size, dab some glue on the back of your frame and stick it down.

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If we had kids, I’d blue tack a whole collection of these little frames on the inside of their wardrobe door, or on the underside of the table. I love the idea of hiding miniature art galleries around the house for little people to stumble upon!