Sunday, 22 February 2015

Curate Your Space

verb: curate; 3rd person present: curates; past tense: curated; past participle: curated; gerund or present participle: curating
  1. select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition).
    "both exhibitions are curated by the Centre's director"
    • select the performers or performances that will feature in (an arts event or programme).
      "in past years the festival has been curated by the likes of David Bowie"
    • select, organize, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge.

This week I had an enlightening conversation with a university friend. We were catching up on life, self-discovery and "curating your space". I thought it was a brilliant concept. Each of us, taking the time to select, organise & look after the items in our space. And by space I don't just mean our physical space. We also need to select what we let into our minds and who we let into our hearts.

As for me, I am working to surround myself with books, beautiful energies & art. One of the artists that I'm currently in love with is Michelle Robinson from CREATE.TURE. I'm not sure how I stumbled across her on Instagram, but I now have a wall covered with her prints and am hoping one day to have an original piece of her work. 

I love the detailed backgrounds, the colours and the strength and sensuality of the women that she paints. 

Dai by Michelle Robinson

I was inspired to make a cake, using the two images above. The cake itself has two layers of white chocolate sponge (click here for the recipe) and one red velvet layer (click here for a recipe), with caramel buttercream icing (click here for a recipe).

I recreated the painting using fondant shapes, cut individually. To say it took a while would be an understatement, but it was worth it to have the woman herself show her appreciation on Instagram. Maybe one day I'll get to bake for her in person!

Take the time to surround yourself with beautiful things that you love and that inspire you - curate your space;

Peace & Love

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Just chilling...

This weekend I had the luxury of staying at home, baking and generally pottering around enjoying my new surroundings. 

I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm getting kinda old but staying in is the new going out!

I promised that I would fill you in on my new adventures for 2015 & decorating my home is one of them. I got a pet cat last year & after realising that I am not a danger to living things, I decided to try my hands at plants. Now I'm not one to do anything by half so I probably have about 14 & I intend to get many more.

I'm going for a bohemian meets eclectic meets Scandinavia type look. Basically I'm making it up as I go along, taking everything that I like along with me!

Have a look at some of my pics, let me know what you think....

Peace & love

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

5 Ingredients for a Contented Life

If you're anything like me, you would have clicked through to this post looking for some easy answers. I'm pretty sure that every day I read some article promising happiness in a few short steps. I think I have tried most types of therapies, spiritual practices and philosophies and yet still haven't mastered the art of sustained  happiness (and by sustained, I mean longer than say, my menstrual cycle).

That being said, along the way, I have picked up a few nuggets of wisdom that I will graciously share with you. 

Here are my 5 ingredients for a contented life;

1. Peanut butter cake & forgiveness

"Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness." Marianne Williamson.

Learning how to forgive has to be my number one step for contentment. From the day you are born till the day you leave this earth, you will have cause to forgive someone. But even more than that, forgiving yourself is crucial. A wise friend once encouraged me to be kind to myself and to treat myself the way I treat others. That was a life changing moment for me and something I could go on about forever. Say nice things to, & about yourself, no matter what you've said or done or what anyone thinks of you. 

Forgiving yourself may be a new concept for you, as making peanut butter cake was for me. Providing you don't have a nut allergy, this cake is delicious and moist and a new favourite. Click here for the recipe link. 

2. Chocolate buttercream & gratitude

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are." Marianne Williamson

It's almost a cliche to speak about gratitude so I'll share 3 (of the many) things I'm grateful for;

1. Life. In January I lost my nephew (aged 12 months) & my great grandmother (aged 93 years). I am grateful for my life and my health. 

2. My children. I'm blessed to have two healthy beautiful boys that fill my heart. I am also an Aunty to many more beautiful souls that I get to see and love on regularly.

3. My access to knowledge. I love to learn and I'm so fortunate to be able to feed my insatiable appetite with the many types of learning that are within my grasp. 

With that in mind, I'm always on the look out for new chocolate recipes & I found another Joy the Baker special with her chocolate buttercream recipe (link here). It's literally everything. 

3. Chocolate Fudge & the dirty word 'should'

Should is my least favourite word. In fact, I find it offensive. Should is the cause of resentments, anxieties, disappointments, arguments, the list goes on. "I should have achieved x by the time I turned 30", "She should be like y." "He should do z." All rubbish. Do yourself a favour, banish the word and make chocolate fudge. Trust me. 

4. Golden Meringues & focus

"We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right." Marianne Williamson

Have some fun & change your focus. I'm not talking about avoidance because we have to feel what we feel. But staying in your funk is not the way. Do something that breaks the cycle of negative self talk, this weekend I made cookies with my nieces & nephews. It was hectic & exhausting & it made me smile. Watch comedies or hang out with friends or paint meringues with golden glitter. It's not the answer to your problems but it will give you some welcome respite whilst you wait for time to heal. 

5. Ferrero Rochers & giving back 

A note I received at work this week :)

"We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present." Marianne Williamson

Last but by no means least, do something for someone else. It doesn't have to be something big; a smile, a compliment, a cake topped with Ferrero Rochers. You get so much more by giving than receiving and you never know what people are going through. I've practically bought the affection of my niece with this cake, it was a small price to pay!

So there it is, sugar and contentment in 5 steps. Don't say I don't give you anything :)

Peace & Love

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