A very merry Christmas indeed!

water-2Summer finally decided to unleash its glorious but scorching self upon us on Christmas Day, and in full force! Christmas for me is a typically relaxed day spent with all the gorgeous people I love. The morning began with our annual ritual of present opening with my immediate family, and I have to say I scored…big time. Jinn was given the task of buying my present on behalf of the entire family and the poor thing was racking his brains so hard – I wasn’t exactly lacking in anything since only recently coming back from that very fruitful holiday in New York I keep mentioning! He’s also very bad at keeping secrets. So I thought I had it all figured out when I saw a shopping bag from one of my favourite stores (Atlas Divine in Leederville!) peeking out from under a chair when I got home one day. But honestly, nothing prepared me for the boom-bap-pow of those shiny gold Super Duper Strength sunglasses from Karen Walker’s latest Fantastique eyewear range that popped out from that unassuming little package with my name on it. All I can say is – Thank. you. I. Love. Them. And. I. LOVE. YOU. ALL. !.

What followed was a food dream filled with beautiful dishes definitely befitting the occasion (Jason served up five meats at his “little” Christmas barbecue, I certainly got my protein load for the next month or so). Thankfully there was time for a quick dip before Jason’s dinner to help get the digestive system going and burn off a few calories, and of course play with my cousin’s underwater camera! She usually uses it to photograph fish/turtles/rays/sharks when she goes scuba diving but we were more than happy to be the wildlife on this occasion. 🙂

There’s nothing quite like days like these that bring everyone together for the sole purpose of enjoying each other’s company and for sharing gifts, stories, hugs and laughs. I cherish every single moment and find that as I get older (wow, I’m not that geriatric!) they mean more and more to me.sarah presents opening-presents sa-sunnies food-2 garlic-bread food-1 tom rach-nat-hats nat-mouthmrs-cjeff gabs jinnwater water-1 water-3 water-4 jason-graeme-bone jasons-food jason-sab-graeme jason-tea

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May your days be merry and bright!

merry-christmas-silver-liningHope you all have a lovely, fun-filled Christmas, full of all the things that are dear and precious to you – from amazing gifts under the Christmas tree, eating great food til you burst, and sharing valuable moments with your nearest and dearest.

As this year comes to a close, we’d like to thank everyone for supporting us and reading this blog! It’s been so much fun and you can rest assured that you’ll be hearing a lot more from us in the coming year.

P.S. This will be our last daily post until we return in 2013. 🙂 See you all soon!

Christmas carols + camels!

nanson-st-jinn-camelEvery year the little church in our neighbourhood organises the most awesome street party for us all to enjoy! The promise of real camel rides draws many people, young and old, as well as the good ol’ sausage sizzle and Christmas carol sing-a-long. Our little section of street was completely closed off to traffic and the kids let loose upon the bouncy castles, face painting and very well behaved camels that good-naturedly carted bunches of clamouring children (myself included!) up and down. The experience is not quite like horse-riding – for one, they’re really really tall, and secondly their walking motion is a somewhat disconcerting swaying action! Not quite life-flashing-before-my-eyes material however, especially since one particular camel kept frequently stopping to sample the local foliage.

As the sun was going down, the appreciative and happy crowd gathered to listen and sing along to carols as the church band played. The day’s festivities ended with a resounding rendition of “Feliz Navidad” (I don’t know why but I love that song!) and my family and I settled down to a deliciously Mum-cooked meal of a Burmese chicken noodle dish called moke thee accompanied by my staple carrot salad. (Don’t worry, I got the recipe! And I promise to share it with you all soon!)

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Or any grand plans this year?

P.S. How cute is Nathanael? He’s my nephew and he turns five today! Happy birthday Nattynoonah!nanson-st-sa-benji nanson-jinn-nat nanson-jinn-nat-camel nansonst-camelnansonst-3 nanson-st-kids nanson-st-crowd2 nanson-crowdnansonst-schnooks-kids nansonst-1nansonst-2nanson-st-foodnanson-st-food3nanson-st-nat

Bits and bobs + it’s almost Christmas!!!

bobs-sa-icingbobs-creepy-shirtbobs-albumsbobs-freckle-confabbobs-postcardenbobs-rach-natbobs-gabriellebobs-schnooks-1The week before Christmas is always a tad “cray cray” (cue pumping Jay-Z and Kanye music). This year’s been a bit different as I’ve been working pretty much every single weekend this month, causing me to miss out on all the usual pre-holiday shopping rush, which means I’ve not even seen a single department store Christmas display (bristling with armies of Santas, Rudolphs and Frosties) or heard any carols on loop! (Silver bells…Silver beeeells…!) So it’s crept up on me really suddenly!

1. Baking cupcakes (Unsuccessfully trying to do the “pro” looking icing on top. Any tips?).

2. Jinn’s new Creepy t-shirt from Ruck Rover. I bought this for his Christmas present but he clearly couldn’t wait a few more days!

3. Yet another obsession (What. Aside from vintage cameras, cacti, bow ties, coffee and things with chevrons on them?) – vinyl records. Newly acquired by Jinn, clockwise from top left: The Beatles – Hey Jude, Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend, Kimbra – Vows, The Fugees – The Score.

4. Rach showing us her awesome new business venture – check out Freckle & co’s Facebook and Etsy pages!

5. An early Christmas present/belated birthday present from a girlfriend! Apparently it’ll grow into a miniature garden if you place it on a windowsill and water it ever so often! Check out Postcarden here.

6. Rach and Nat – artistic flair at its best.

7. Gabrielle (I like to call her Yo Gabba Gabba, but no one else knows that yet. Do you think it’ll catch on?) – She’s growing so fast!

8. Schnooks relaxing after a long day of…relaxing.

Matcha do about a green cake! …The Silver Spoon #6

matcha-cake-6Ever since our honeymoon in Japan, I’ve been a huge fan of Japanese tea in all its forms. Sencha, genmaicha, houjicha…There are many different types with varying delicious flavours, plus they’re good for you, packed with lots of antioxidants! This cake recipe incorporates matcha, which is essentially the finest quality green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. It is traditionally whisked with hot water into a bright green suspension and served at Japanese tea ceremonies. I bought mine from the little Japanese Green Tea House in Subiaco, but it should be available at any Japanese grocery store. If you’re ever in Subiaco with a spare minute or two you must pop in! Tsutomo is the lovely gentleman who owns the store. He is very passionate about green tea and travels regularly back to Kyoto to bring back the high quality teas he sells us. He’s always more than happy to sit you down at the counter to taste a few different teas and teach you the correct ways to brew them. It’s highly likely you won’t leave empty handed!

There are varying levels of matcha quality but you only need the cheaper end of things as we’re just using it for baking, not drinking. I’ve used it here to add its distinct yet subtle flavour and of course its interesting colour to a fairly basic pound cake recipe. Really easy to make and goes down amazingly well with a cup of black coffee!

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g plain flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons matcha
  • A splash of vanilla essence

How to

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld beater.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add also the vanilla essence.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and matcha.
  5. Fold flour mixture into the batter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until cake skewer comes out cleanly.
  7. Serve to unsuspecting friends and tell them its mould! Nah, really it’s a gorgeous green colour with more punch and character than pistachio…! Enjoy!

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Look at that beautiful green inside peeking out!

The procrastinator’s Christmas gift guide!

christmas-mood-board-2012If you’re like me, you’ve done it again and left all your Christmas shopping to the very last minute! If you’re from Perth, these products are all either found in stores locally, or at least in Australia with the possibility for delivery prior to Christmas Eve. Eeks, that’s cutting it close…! Take a look – there’s something here for any lovely lady in your life, from stylish homemaker, chic fashionista, arts and craft enthusiast, and even the tech savvy babe!

Wish me luck! Still have to buy presents for my dad and my husband – guys are always the most difficult!

***1. Gorman Night Sky top, 2. Bananagrams from Toys ‘R’ Us, 3. Marimekko teapot from Angelucci 20th Century, 4. Printed tea towel from Kikki-K, 5. Neon bow earrings by The Bunny, 6. Hardwood iPhone 4/4S/5 cover by A Skulk Of Foxes, 7. Alphabet rubber stamps from Remedy

Burgundy + lace + flower

 

illuminites-outfit-4It was unexpectedly a bit chilly on Friday night for the Illuminites night market so I had to bust out some stuff that I had put into my “Winter” pile. In fact, the weather has been a bit temperamental of late, so much so that it barely feels like Christmas is near! To me, Christmastime is usually verging on swelteringly hot so to have to wear anything other than a floaty little dress is kind of odd.

Talking about Christmas, have we all done our Christmas shopping yet? I know I haven’t…But I’ve always been the kind of person to leave assignments/piano practice/exam study to the last minute – yeah, living on the edge…not…!

P.S. The vintage tooled leather bag was a find from Bluebird Vintage at the Leederville Carnival. To be honest, I was kind of “over” tooled leather bags, but this one caught my eye and I couldn’t let it go. 🙂

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***What I’m wearing – ivory lace top by Madewell, burgundy velvet skinny jeans by Anthropologie (similar), tan suede bow flats by Miss Albright (these are uber cute), vintage tooled leather bag from Bluebird Vintage (totally digging this one), dusky pink flower necklace from Pigeonhole (bugger, can’t find anything similar – but hey why don’t I artfully distract you by checking out this loveliness by one of my favourite bloggers, K is for Kani), pearl earrings a gift from Mum

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