Monday, 31 March 2014

cheaters strudel

Last week I craved comfort food. And I happened to have some apples in the fruit bowl.
Apple pie seemed like too much effort, so instead I made a 'cheaters' version of apple strudel.
I call it the 'cheaters' version because I used store-bought puff pastry, which is not my usual style.
But none the less, my first attempt at strudel was delicious (although, as it turns out, not so photogenic*)

C H E A T E R S   A P P L E   S T R U D E L

Cheaters apple strudel >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Cheaters Apple Strudel

2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
Slivered almonds, for sprinkling
Icing sugar, to dust

Preheat oven to 190°C. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Add apples (raisons are optional). Toss to coat.

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pastry on a lightly floured sheet of non-stick baking paper. Dust the pastry lightly with flour. Spoon the apple mixture over the bottom half of the pastry. Roll the pastry into a large log. 

Place, seam side down, on the baking tray. Tuck the ends under the roll.

Combine the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush with the egg mixture. Cut several 2cm-long slits, 2cm apart, into the top of the roll. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack lined with baking paper for 30 minutes to cool (if you can wait that long..) Dust with icing sugar and serve.


[*Disclaimer : I may or may not have made, photographed, and eaten these after a glass (or two) of bubbles]

Thursday, 27 March 2014

little miss contradiction

con·tra·dic·tion  [kon-truh-dik-shuhn] 

the act of contradicting; gainsaying or opposition.

assertion of the contrary or opposite; denial.

a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous.

direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency.

I dream of conquering the world but I don't think I am smart/determined/motivated enough
I am a cat person who owns a dog
I love comfy pjs and twirling in skirts
My memory is terrible but I don't forget lyrics to songs
I have a 'don't mess with me attitude' but can cry for days
I am known to be 'girly' but my wardrobe is black
I love absorbing the suns rays but yearn to play in the snow
I will offer advice but rarely want to hear it
I want the freedom of travel but the foundation of 'home'
I want to prove my independence but long to be loved
I am strong and stubborn but vulnerable and emotional
I want to jump out of planes but I am scared of heights
I hate confrontation but am passionate about my beliefs
I drink green juices for breakfast and wine for my dinner
I crave uninhibited passion but fear for my heart
I want to snuggle all day and dance all night
I like structure but resent nine-to-five
I am quick to learn but slow to trust
I resist change but continue to search for something
I stress about finances but I have just quit my job
I embrace doing nothing and then worry about wasted time

I'm an organised list writer with a cluttered mind

That's me - a whole complex package


Saturday, 22 March 2014

why i can't settle

Sometimes starting a blog post is the hardest part. There are so many thoughts in my head that I struggle to communicate them to my fingers and type anything coherent.

Usually, once I have begun, the words flow from me with ease. 

And most often, the message I thought I was trying to convey in the beginning is not at all where it ends up.

But that's my point today. It's a new concept I am learning to understand, accept and embrace - 

It's OK to veer off path
It's OK to change your mind.

You have the freedom to reconsider any and all aspects of your life - from simple things like what you want for breakfast today, or which direction you're going to take on your morning walk; To larger plans like where you'll spend Christmas; To life changing ideas like where you want to live; work, play; and with whom you wish to spend the rest of your life.

In life, we stick with plans because we feel like we have made a commitment (either to ourselves or to others). Most of the time we are afraid to change our plans unless there is something terribly wrong so that we can justify our decision to anyone who dares question our motives to seek something new. But you know what? Just because it's a good, solid, plan - doesn't mean it's right for you, or right for now.

Occasionally, we stop to identify that the plan we thought we had signed, sealed and delivered turns out to be inadequate or less than desirable or maybe something just isn't right. In this moment, we realise we are missing a major component in our lives. Maybe we have become complacent? Maybe we didn't consider our options in the past because they just didn't seem possible?

When we refuse to change direction for any reason (fear being the most common) - 
We are settling.

And we should never settle.

Nelson Mandela

Why should live an ordinary life, when we are capable of being extraordinary?


Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Have you ever stumbled across a blog/website/instagram account and marveled in the beauty of such a simple concept that you think to yourself - 
I must shout my praise of this person and their awesomeness from the rooftops?

I have.

So I am.

May I introduce to you...

In the interest of full disclosure – Yes, this little marvel is brought to you by a very special friend of mine. BUT I didn’t know that when I first came across it in its infancy.

The sheer simplicity of this project is what makes it so damn special.

"It might only be a small thing, 
but One Such Thing is something to someone."

Let us marvel in the beauty of our daily lives.

Let us take a moment to appreciate just one thing in our world, for which we are truly grateful.

Sandy Toes

I've shared my One Such Thing.. Have you?


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

redefining success

I have been sitting on this post for several weeks now. Jotting down my thoughts and spending some time letting my own self judgement swirl around in my mind, letting my opinions form, then change, then reconsidering my previous assumptions.

So here I am. Ready to talk about the definitions of 'success' and 'failure'.

I have posted about feeling like a failure in the past. But today I ponder failure of a more general kind. 

Life failure.

What does it actually mean to fail? In exams, it’s black and white

and easy to understand.

But in life ... it’s ambiguous because success is 

often about meeting a set of criteria created by a person or a 

group of people whose opinions differ from your own.


If the opposite of failure is success, then what exactly does that mean?

If you ask society to determine if you're successful it is easy - 

On paper, I was 'successful' in my early 20's.

Uni Degree  ✔️

Job  ✔️

Husband  ✔️

House  ✔️

Dog  ✔️

Tick; Tick; Tick.

But back then, I was (unknowingly) living a life with blinkers on, like a Clydesdale horse - focused on the path ahead, blindly heading from 'here' to 'there'. 

Yes, I was ticking the boxes and yes, I was feeling satisfied that I was succeeding. But in hindsight, these goals were self imposed priorities that were previously determined by societal expectations and I didn't really stop to wonder if I was on the right path for me.

You know why?

Because I was 100% focused on being who I 'should' be.


Those who know me in 'real life' know I have been challenging this concept for months. 
If you know me really well.. you know I have been quietly struggling with this concept for YEARS!

But I have come to a life changing realisation that is - 

Failure is what happens when you feel disconnected from who 

you really are.

This means (in a very harsh and judgmental way) that I had failed more than a marriage by the ripe age of 25.


[Edit: After a conversation with my sister about this very topic, I have acknowledged that I know I haven't failed at life, but I was definitely doing all the things I was 'supposed' to do rather than figuring out who I am and what I want. As a 'wife' I made sacrifices because that's what I thought marriage and compromise was all about. Happily, I now know that if/when I ever choose to become a 'wife' again, I will not lose myself in the process. HIGH FIVE!]
Sidenote - I think I have come up with a new blog topic - "Thing that my marriage and subsequent breakdown taught me".. 
But I'll leave that for another day!

So now I am focused on a brand new kind of success.

I am throwing out the rigid and inflexible concept of the word and embracing a new theory.

Success is love.

Self love first and foremost.

Love yourself. Love what you are doing. Love where you are. Love where you have been.

And if you don't - then make a change.

Because your life should not be spend striving for someone else's ideal of success.

~ ~ ~

I'm not done with this topic. I still have a long way to go.

It's not easy to challenge society. And it sure as hell isn't easy to challenge yourself.

I am currently fighting my own internal dialect Every. Damn. Day.


Monday, 3 March 2014

what i know

There are lots of things in life that I don't quite understand - 

Like death - or more specifically what happens after death?

And why an hour spent on Pinterest is gone in the blink of an eye, but feels like 5 years when you're waiting for that call, text, email...

Or why it's always an annoying song that gets stuck in your head, and not one of your favourites.

But what I know is that the beach is the perfect place to hang, no matter what your mood; 

Some friends are irreplaceable and even if you don't get to see them often, they are definitely worth their weight in gold; 

Sometimes, even after a week of healthy eating (or maybe especially after a week of healthy eating) a margarita is the best idea;

Lying on the grass, staring at the sky, is the best therapy;

Nothing beats a kick-ass playlist on a long flight;

And when in doubt - ask dad because his no nonsense advice is second to none.


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