Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, May 28, 2010

nn.pl fan•cies
1. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature.
2. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
3. A capricious notion; a whim.
4. A capricious liking or inclination.
5. Critical sensibility; taste.
6. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.

This Friday I fancy:

That I'm all packed (this pile of clothes ended up tripling.. oops!)

Bags are at the door...

Excited about four days where hubby and I are
going to do nothing but...

RELAX!!! Ahhhh :)

And of course celebrate my Birthday this Sunday!!! :)

That's all from me this Friday as we are about to run out the door... sorry there is nothing there to really tickle your fancy but it sure is enough fancy to keep me going for the next four days :)

I hope you all have a gorgeous weekend and I'll see you on Tuesday! x

Baking with Mrs Bouw

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Remember those deliciously moist, out of this world Chocolate Mud Cupcakes I posted earlier this month? Well consider this week's recipe to be a very close relation... perhaps an equally tasty and just as good looking older brother... a family, oops I mean recipe, enticing to almost anyone with good taste :P

I decided on this recipe for a few reasons. 1) Mr Bouw pleaded with me to 'get rid of the stash of chocolate' in the cupboard after polishing off a block of white chocolate in two nights. I tried to explain to him that it was suppose to be for baking purposes but that didn't stop him. 2) Seeing as BB has relinquished all my desires for chocolates and sweets, I thought I would make something that was practical for Mr B to take into work. 3) It's my birthday this Sunday!!! And what could be more perfect for a birthday than sweet, pretty cupcakes :)

And very sweet they are... if you love white chocolate and are a major sweet tooth you will adore these babies! They are so very easy to make and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and are also suitable to freeze (just make sure you bring to room temperature before serving). You know what this means... they can be made ahead of time, YAY! This recipe made about 16-18 cupcakes.

The chocolate, butter, sugar and milk before melting...

... And after.

Once chocolate mixture has cooled,
add the eggs and vanilla essence.

Combine your sifted flours...

Add chocolate mixture in batches...

Stirring until combined after each addition.

This is what your final mixture should look like.

Fill patty cases until about 3/4 full
and bake as instructed below!

YUM! So sweet right! And in more ways than one :)

White Chocolate Mud cupcakes
300g white chocolate (use Cadbury Dream white chocolate if you can)
200g butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
250g butter, softened
6-8 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 tablespoons milk
Food colouring is desired
- Preheat oven to 160°C degrees Celsius (145°C if your oven is fan-forced).
- Line your muffin pans with patty cases. I used normal paper patty cases that measure 5cm across the base and 8cm across the top.
- Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Once chocolate and butter have melted, remove from heat and stir (I use a whisk) until the mixture is completely smooth. Set aside to cool until mixture is at room temperature.
- Once cooled, add vanilla essence and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
- Combine sifted flours together in a large bowl.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and flour mixture in a three batches, stirring until combined after each addition and until mixture is completely smooth. This method will help prevent a lumpy mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared patty cases until ¾ full.
- Please note: these cakes will rise during cooking but will sink back a little once cooled.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Important note: This cake is designed to be super moist so if the skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not gooey batter) attached, the cupcakes are ready. If not, return them to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes before testing again.
- Once cooked through, remove cakes from the oven, then remove individual cupcakes from the muffin tins, place on a cooling rack and cover with a clean tea towel and allow to cool.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
- Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy.
- Gradually add half the icing sugar, then the milk and vanilla essence and beat for about 3-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (approx 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough or spreading consistency.
- If desired, add a few drops of food colouring and mix thoroughly.
- Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle (or nozzle of your choice) and top with whatever your heart desires!
- Enjoy!

I made Mr Bouw take a bite of this one,
I just couldn't stomach it this week...
do you think he was complaining?! :)

There you go my friends, another must have recipe to add to your collection! I'm rather excited today as you may remember me mentioning that Hubby is taking me away for my birthday weekend to a place called Pangkor Island :) Tomorrow is a public holiday here in KL so we are heading off quite early in the morning which means I can't promise I will be able to get a 'Tickle my fancy Friday' post up before we go... but I'll sure try my best! Oh and I must share that this weeks photos were taken with my new Digital SLR camera... an early birthday pressie, thank-you my darling! Have a gorgeous day and happy baking! x

Letters to BB: Entry #1

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I know this is a little 'left of field' compared to my usual posts... but I started this blog in order to express myself creatively, to share my love of all things beautiful, things that inspire me and to document little snippets of our life as expats. And, well, what can be more inspiring, a more beautiful creation than our own little Baby Bouw. This is a life changing experience for Mr B and I and I think above all else, absolutely worth documenting. So over the next 6 months, I will share with you, 'Letters to BB'.

To my little sweetheart,

We are 14 weeks in (or there about) and I felt as though today would be the perfect day to start an official little log, more like letters to you, of our journey up until the day you arrive!

The last few weeks in particular have been filled with so much excitement and so many beautiful blessings since announcing to our family and friends that you are well and truly on your way! Finally being able to share the news paired with our last visit to the Doc has made it all the more real! You had grown so much since your 8 week scan and it was your Daddy’s first time hearing your heart beat. You should have seen the look on his face... He was SO excited that any feelings he was having about fainting quickly disappeared because he wasn’t going to miss it for the world... your Dad's not so good with hospitals you see. You were sound asleep when we began the ultrasound but within a few minutes you were awake, kicking your little legs and waving your arms showing off to anyone that would watch... it was the most magical thing I have ever seen. It was as though you knew we were watching you :) I am counting down the days to our next appointment in less than 2 weeks, longing to see how much more you have grown, hear your little heart pumping and of course to receive some more pictures of you... because I think you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. You are approximately 8 cm long this week... amazing!

(Image does not really appear to scale on screen)

You had been quite kind to your Mummy up until yesterday. I thought I had escaped the first trimester experiencing only nausea and fatigue... but just to remind me what you had spared me the last 3 months, yesterday you decided to show Mumma what real morning sickness (or should I say afternoon sickness) is like. Thank-you my darling, note taken, so no need to remind me again... pretty please.

I have been having fun this week reading ‘baby name’ books and a book that Uncle K & Aunty J were kind enough to post all the way from Oz. It’s called ‘Up the duff’ and is completely relevant and very humorous. This picture is taken from the week 13 chapter which is pretty much how Mummy feels at the moment... well my belly hasn’t ‘popped out’ yet but my two other lovely lady lumps went ‘boing boing’ right from the beginning! I can’t wait to start showing so that the rest of the world can see how much a part of me you are already... in more ways than I can put into words.

Anyway my precious little BB, I will wind up today’s entry and write again after our next appointment as I just know I am already such a proud Mumma and will want to share the pics with everyone!

I love you little one, so very very much...

Mummy xoxo

Angie Hranowsky Designs

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I was sorting through some of my archived images yesterday and stopped when I saw this one... it seems I have a colour crush on this pale fuschia, lilac, purpurly, dusty pink colour (I'm sure there is a correct name for it) at the moment. So much so that I have just introuduced a touch of it into our master bedroom!

This stylish entryway belongs to Interior and Graphic Designer, Angie Hranowsky. You may very well be familiar with her designs as they have been featured in too many styling magazines and blogs to mention them all. I remember admiring Angie's work quite a while back when I toured her gorgeous home online... I thought I'd share some of them with you.

Front of the house.

I love everything from the colour palette and
patterns to the feature fireplace!

Dining room... gorgeous right!

The master bedroom... again, so creative
with the colours, patterns and textures.

Her daughter's sweet bedroom...

And her son's... love the stripes!

To see more of Angie's work and to source some ideas for your home you can view more of her portfolio via her website Angie Hranowsky Design Studio. Enjoy!

I'll be back tomorrow with a little post that is a slightly 'left of field' from my usual blog posts. Have a great day! x

Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

nn.pl fan•cies
1. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature.
2. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
3. A capricious notion; a whim.
4. A capricious liking or inclination.
5. Critical sensibility; taste.
6. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.

This Friday I fancy:

That the Eames Rocker I ordered over a month ago
is due to arrive in the next week! I have wanted
one of these forever and had planned to put it in our
master bedroom but now can't think of anywhere
else more perfect than BB's nursery!
(above image via: Ish & Chi)

My first ever purchase from ASOS! I haven't exactly begun
maternity shopping yet but when I saw this oversized,
lightweight dress with it's gorgeous embellished neckline
(which by the way is not maternity wear),
I thought it would be something I can wear
with or without a baby bump!

This adorable pic I found on Kenziepoo's blog... sigh*

And this one! In both pics bubba is wearing
vintage onesies by Sammy Rose... SO adorable!

Starting the plans for Bubba Bouw's nursery...
I am very excited about this project!
(above image via: Decor Pad)

Starting a log of my pregnancy... and potentially
sharing the journey with you, my readers!
(above image via: Wolf & Willow)

Oh this Silvercross Balmoral Pram in snowdrop white!
I would never buy one as they are not really practical,
but that doesn't mean that I don't completely fancy them!

Above image via: We heart it

And lastly, I fancy that it is my birthday next weekend! I never
really used to like celebrating my birthday but as each year passes,
I actually look forward to it more and more! Especially when hubby
has planned something special! Last year I had my Mum and
sister visit us in Dubai and this year, Mr Bouw and I will be
spending four blissful days at a place called Pangkor Island :)

It's hard not to notice that today's post is all baby related! But hey, it's been so hard keeping all this cluckiness to myself that I need to get a little of it out of my system now so that I don't bombard you with baby related posts everyday for the next 6 months :P Today's Fancy Friday post comes a little later in the day than usual but that's due to the fact that Mr Bouw arrived home this morning after being in India all week... and it is such a perfect day here in KL... the sunshine and the park was calling my name and I just had to get out there to enjoy some of it! Anyway, we have a fairly low key weekend planned but intend to enjoy every second of it... I hope you intend to so the same. Have a gorgeous weekend and I'll see you next week! x

Baking with Mrs Bouw

Thursday, May 20, 2010

After Tuesday's little faux 'Baking with with Mr Bouw', I thought I better share an actual food recipe with you this week... although I do think Tuesday's post is my best work yet :)

Not only has Baby Bouw been kind to Mumma Bouw so far and spared me any major morning sickness, but bubba seems to have our best interests at heart (and my waistline :P) because I have experienced hardly any cravings for chocolate... um well, besides those amazing choc mud cupcakes I posted a few weeks back... I'd be crazy to say no to one of those! AND this last week I have been craving fruit, fruit and more fruit! I'll have you know that in the last 4 days I have eaten a whole pineapple, a whole bunch of bananas, 3 punnets of strawberries and half a rockmelon! So, today's recipe is for the precious little person living in my belly and just so happens to feature my two favourite fruits... bananas and strawberries! These banana and strawberry muffins are super easy to whip up and such a yummy and slightly healthier option to cupcakes... although if you were feeling a little naughty, you could throw in some white chocolate chips for that extra something! This recipe will make 12 muffins with each one being the perfect size to hit your sweet spot but not too big that you will be left feeling guilty about eating one, ok maybe two (or three?) of them :)

Before whisking the brown sugar, egg, vanilla
essence, milk and mashed bananas.

And after.

Adding the diced strawberries to the sifted flour,
baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and salt.

Adding the wet ingredients to the dry
ingredients after ensuring the strawberries
are coated with the flour mixture.

This is what your final mixture should
look like after gently combining all ingredients.

Spoon into patty cases and pop into
your pre-heated oven...

... And less than 30mins later you will
have your delightful muffins! Yummo!

Strawberry & Banana Muffins
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

- Preheat oven to 180°C (or 160°C if fan-forced).
- Line 12 holes of a muffin pan with patty cases. I used normal paper patty cases that measure 5cm across the base and 8cm across the top. If you do not have patty cases at home, you can simply grease you muffin pan with butter or a vegetable spray.
- Melt the butter in either a small saucepan or microwave in a microwave save bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk and mashed banana. Add the melted butter to the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine.
- In a separate large bowl combine the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Gently fold in the strawberries, ensuring they are coated with flour. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Over mixing the batter will result in touch muffins, minimal stirring will result in light, fluffy ones!
- Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups (it’s quite sticky so you may want to use one two spoons to assist). Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Place on a cooling rack and cover with a clean tea towel and allow to cool.
- Enjoy! :)

Too easy my dear friends! Who know's what BB will be craving next week! Although you'll be happy to know the pickle phase (cliche I know) has already been and gone :) Have a great day and as always, happy baking! x

Dare I attempt this DIY?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In one of our guest bedrooms we have a perfectly good, extremely comfortable double bed... but it just isn't anywhere near as nice as our bed in the master bedroom or the queen bed in the other guest bedroom. For a little while now I have been toying with the idea of attempting a DIY headboard and was reminded of this again yesterday when Jen from Made by Girl featured a tutorial of a DIY upholstered headboard on her always amazing blog.

The below image of this gorgeous 'Rubie Green' upholstered headboard has been floating around for a few years now. You might remember I featured Rubie's fabrics in one of my 'Tickle my fancy Friday' posts last month! I am thinking a glamorous but fun fabric like this one might be perfect for the guest bedroom. But the question is... dare I attempt this DIY project?

Upholstered in Rubie Green's 'Marilyn' fabric.

Above image via: Made by Girl

All of the following images come with DIY tutorials of how they were made. I wouldn't say they look overly difficult although they do look quite time comsuming and here in KL, it might take while to track down all the materials...

Above: Otomi fabric headboard
tutorial available via Designsponge.

Above: French inspried fabric headboard
tutorial available via Centsational Girl.

Above: Fabric headboard tutorial via All Things Thrifty.

What do you think, do I attempt this DIY project or do I just cheat and have one made by a professional? :) I admit, if I did complete such a project and it turned out as well as the above, I would be rather pleased with myself. Have have you ever attempted anything similar to the above? I would love to hear whether it was a success and whether you would recommend giving it a go! x


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