I've got the itch...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TO SHOP! I know this might sound insane coming from someone who has spent the last few months filling virtual shopping carts with goodies for our home and our precious Baby Bouw... but would you believe, Mumma Bouw has hardly bought anything for herself in the last 8 months! Truth be told, I just could not bring myself to buy maternity wear, so besides a bunch of maternity bras, I have only bought a few 'oversized' items here and there that I can potentially wear once I lose this baby weight.

And I think now that I have purchased everything we need for BB, paired with the fact that I am 8 1/2 months pregnant, I am seriously yearning to buy myself some new threads and to have my pre-pregnancy body back!

Sooo, last night I was browsing various online stores (even though I don't typically buy clothes for myself online) and ended up in the 'sale' section of the fabulous ASOS online store. I found myself shopping for dresses (that I can no way fit into at the moment) for no particular occasion. AND I stumbled on this...

I'm not even sure I would usually wear something this 'blingy' and have no idea where I would wear it... and who knows how long it will take me to lose the kgs to squeeze into this little number. BUT... I have the itch to shop... AND I have the itch to feel sexy again in my own 'now a little more stretched' skin... SO should I take the plunge and just buy it? Do you really think I can rock this look? Um, did I mention it is on sale for £46 (Less than $75.00 Aussie dollars)!!! 'Do it, do it' whisper the voices in my head...

If not, at least my wrists and face haven't really gained weight so there is always the fall back option of a new watch or perhaps some sunglasses...

I was slightly tickled by this Michael Kors Watch.

This Marc Jacobs one.

And these Marc Jacobs shades (only US$95)...
all three items from Shop Bop!

Ahh, the joys (and temptations) of online shopping! I will let you know if I make any of the above purchases!

Have a great day! x

Still obsessing over...

Monday, October 25, 2010

This image AND these Tom Dixon Copper Pendant lights! Since falling in love with everything about the above image, I have developed a huge soft spot for these pendant lights so much so, I would consider using them in a future home! So I just thought I'd share a few more images I have sourced whilst scouring the net...

Image via here

Image via here

Image via here

Image via here

Image via here

Image via here

Image via here

I have a vision of having a pair of these dancing above a kitchen bench or perhaps three suspended from a high ceiling above a dining table... am I alone in my love for these copper beauties? I'm not quite sure what it is about them that has me wiping the drool from my chin.

On a separate note, I hope you all had a great weekend! My plans for this week? Well, I have been 'nesting' for quite some time now, scrubbing our already spotless apartment, washing and ironing BB's clothes (how heaven is the scent of baby detergent!), buying (far too many) baby clothes and reading WAY too much info about how to care for a newborn! Talk about information overload. SO with only 26 days until BB's due date I am certain I will spend the next few weeks further preparing (as much as one can prepare) for what is sure to be the biggest and best thing that will ever happen in our lives!

Anyway enough about babies for now. I have another appointment this Friday (exciting!) so will fill you in next week with a 'Letter's to BB' entry.

Have a great day! x

Baking with Mrs Bouw

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When my inlaws visited in early September they came bearing gifts from back home. One of the goodies I received from my lovely Mother-in-law was the Country Women's Association 'Cakes' cookbook (see below). It is filled with tried-and-true recipes from all around Australia, many of which require ingredients that you will most likely already have in your cupboards! These recipes are so simple and also act as a great base to then revamp them by adding certain ingredients that you might prefer. When I was flicking through it I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake. I find it interesting how different countries around the world use certain foods for certain types of recipes. For example, in Australia pumpkin is mostly used in savory dishes, a good old personal favourite being oven roasted pumpkin served with a roast of your choice, or tossed through a salad.. YUM! However, in America (from what I have heard) pumpkins are mainly only used in sweet recipes such as pumpkin pie (which I have only ever tasted once in my life, and loved) and of course for hollowing out for Halloween. Given it is October and Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it appropriate to give this pumpkin recipe a try!

This recipe was super easy and baked to perfection... if I do say so myself :P Although I did have one hiccup along the way which resulted in me having to hand mix everything... yes, just like the good old days. As you can see below, one of the blades on my trusty mix master gave way :( I was more than happy to use a bit of elbow grease to mix the cake mixture, however, not having the electric beater for my creamcheese frosting was not pleasant... the consistency of the frosting wasn't quite as thick as usual so I couldn't pipe it on as I would normally do... but taste wise, it was it's usual sweet perfection :)

I could never quite justify spending the dollars on one of these babies whilst I had a perfectly good mix master... but with all the baking I do and now with my mix master throwing in the towel, an upgrade might be on the cards. There's only 65 days until Christmas... nudge nudge wink wink Mr B :)

Anyway my friends, I've rambled on enough... here's the recipe and a few pics of how it turned out!

Combine butter, sugars and zest...

And beat until smooth and creamy.

Combine dried fruits, coconut and pumpkin.

Sift together the flour and spice and combine all
three of the above mixtures.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

500 grams butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
4 large eggs
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup currents
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons orange juice

Cream Cheese Frosting
250g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups (500g) icing sugar

- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Grease and line a 28cm round cake tin (note: I had every size BUT a 28cm tin so I used a 23cm tin and instead didn’t quite use all the mixture).
- Cream the butter, sugars and zest until creamy and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the dried fruits, coconut and pumpkin.
- Mix in half the sifted flour and spices, half the milk, then mix in the remaining flour and milk.
- Stir in the orange juice.
- Spread mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 1 hour 40 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to completely cool before icing.
Creamcheese frosting
- For frosting, beat cream cheese using electric beaters until smooth. Add vanilla and beat well.
- Gradually add icing sugar, beating until smooth and creamy and of a thick consistency for piping.
- Spread or pipe on cream cheese frosting as desired.- Enjoy!!!

I sent most of the cake off to work with Mr B (I always keep a few slithers, ok more like big fat slices, for the two of us) and he came home last night with the feedback that it was a hit! And I was chuffed to hear that apparently my baked goods have gained quite a reputation in the office :)

I wanted to do this post yesterday already but got distracted when hubby bought home x5 parcels for me on Monday night... x3 Etsy orders and x2 packages of baby goods... exciting!!! So I have been distracted working and playing in BB's nursery. It's almost done (yippee)! I'm off now to tidy up the mess I have made!

Have a brilliant day! x

Ada & Darcy's divine online boutique OPEN at last!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

For those of you not already familiar with the talented Kellie Collis' beautiful blog Ada & Darcy, well then you probably also haven't heard the news that Kellie's stunning online boutique (of the same name) officially opened today!!! And possibly the best part... they offer international shipping! JOY :)

You must must MUST check out the Ada & Darcy Online Boutique NOW!

'Our online boutique allows our visitors to review our extensive range of home décor, homewares, bedding, cushions and throws, bathroom products, tableware, glassware, kitchen accessories, table linen, lamps and shades and beautiful furniture range.We also have a stunning custom range that is made to order and available at very friendly prices.' Ada & Darcy

Honestly, there are too many gorgeous products to list them all... but I thought I'd share a few of my favourites...

Is this bedding (and lamp) not heaven!

Beige floral bowl.

More stunning rosette cushions and bedding.

Blue floral teapot.

I adore these chinoiserie pagoda paper paper napkins.

Can you tell I am smitten with the romantic bedding!

For something a little more contemporary,
this block cushion cover in apple green.

How girly and pretty yet striking is this lamp!

And there are items for us avid bakers too...

Just what I've always wanted... an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie,
yellow polka dot... um ... oven mitt! :P

For all you animal print lovers!

And who doesn't love a pair of turquoise foo dogs!

Last but not least, this gorgeous Pagoda cushion!

That my friends, is only a snippet of what the Ada & Darcy Online Boutique has to offer! A huge congrats to Kellie on her amazing achievement... I wish her every success!

How was your w/e? After 15 days apart Mr B finally arrived home from The US yesterday (YAY) so I gave my Sunday baking session a miss and spent the day with him instead. So baking on this Monday afternoon it is! I'll be back tomorrow to show and tell :) x

Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, October 15, 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:

This "Josephine" hooded Missoni Robe...

This butterfly coat rack...

And these Swarovski crystal pencils... just because.

All three items can be purchased at top3 by design!

This Luxe Lock Tote Bag from Mimco...
Hmmm, another potential nappy bag?!

Oh how I fancy this room! The glass panels, the floating
stairs, wall paper and Tom Dixon pendant lights... heaven!
I have been gushing over it for weeks now ever since my
bloggy friend Sal from Once.Daily.Chic shared it on her blog!

And lastly, I fancy having my husband home! Mr B has spent the last 2 weeks at the University of Michigan completing and intense Executive program. With BB's due date now being only 36 days away, I am pleased to say I am putting hubby on a strict travel ban!

Happy Friday my friends! Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week! x

Jump into bed with Kate Spade!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I was just over at Shelterpop and was very excited to read that Kate Spade New York will be releasing a new bedding and bath collection in 2011!

The article was a bit of a tease as they only gave a sneak peak at three different designs! Here they are...

I don't know about you but I love what I see so far (especially the first design which is the "Garden Grove" collection) and can't wait to see more!

In the meantime, the Kate Spade website is totally worth checking out! Bags, shoes, accessories, clothing, stationary, baby items, homewares... need I say more?! Happy browsing x

Australian Designer of the Year: Congratulations Zuster!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back in April I did a feature on Australian contemporary furniture designer, Zuster. Well, this week Zuster were named 'Australian Designer of the Year' at the 2010 Home Beautiful product of the year awards as well as 'runner up' in the 'outdoor living' category! A HUGE congratulations to the girls at Zuster (especially my super talented Managing Director sister-in-law, Fleur) on their amazing achievement. I am so very happy to see them getting the recognition they deserve for providing Australians with such brilliant designs and high quality products!

To read the full article and to check out Zuster's amazing range of furniture and homewares you can visit their website here!

Happy hump day everyone! x

Baking with Mrs Bouw

Monday, October 11, 2010

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty uneventful and very similar to the one before. A walk in the park on Saturday morning followed by shopping, lunch and a movie. And Sunday consisted of more shopping for BB, a trip to the bookstore, some groceries, more online shopping for BB (I know I know, I am a typical 'first time parent' and going completely overboard!) a gym workout and finally, some baking!

This recipe is by no means a 'wow recipe' but it is SO simple and oozes home baked goodness! It is a favourite on Mr B's side of the family and one that his Grandma is famous for! Grandma V passed her recipe on to me a few years ago and I made a few small additions to it by adding walnuts, some vanilla essence etc. Served with a smidgen (more like a great big smear tee hee) of butter, this Date & Nut Loaf is the perfect thing to serve up whilst chatting over a cup of tea or coffee. You've gotta love a good old fashioned favourite!

Place dates, sugar, butter, vanilla essence
and bicarbonate soda in a bowl.

Add boiling water...

Sift together the flour, cinnamon and
then add the chopped walnuts.

This is what your mixture should look like
before pouring into the prepared tin.

A good old fashioned favourite at it's best!

Date and Walnut Loaf!
125grams butter, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dates, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup boiling water
1 egg, well beaten
1 ¾ cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

- Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c if fan-forced).
- Grease and line your loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Place the dates, sugar , butter, vanilla essence and bicarbonate soda in a bowl.
- Add boiling water, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cinnamon and add the chopped walnuts.
- Add the beaten egg to the cooled mixture and mix well.
- Combine both the wet and dry ingredients into the one bowl and mix well.
- Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. (Please note: if you loaf is browning too much on top but is not yet cooked through, place a sheet of foil over the top to stop any burning).
- Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to stand in tin for about 10mins before turning out.
- Turn out onto wire rack and cover with a clean tea towel to cool completely.
- Slice and serve with butter (the butter is ‘optional’ but in my opinion is a must)!
- Enjoy :)

Yum yum yum! Just make sure you have plenty of people to share it with otherwise I can guarantee it will disappear slither by slither and before you know it you will have eaten the whole loaf yourself!

This weekend I plan to try a recipe I haven't baked before... if all goes well I will share with you next week! Happy baking! x


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