Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Weeeeee guess who's moving house soon!!
ME!!! I'm supposed to be packing when I have free time but this week I've been suffering from the plague and have been out of action. Today I feel better but my cup of tea and Pinterest is proving too much for me. Which brings us to our Thursday thought...

Taken from here

Hope you're having a healthier week than me and feeling a little more alive than I am!

Lola K xx

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Out and About

We went to see Silver Linings Playbook on the weekend. If you haven't seen it we definitely recommend that you do! Afterwards we went to the Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant for vegetarian burgers (with haloumi!) and black forest gateaux for dessert. YUM.
Wellington is apparently set for 10 days of fine weather, which is kind of unbelievable but we're making the most of it.


Good friends always elbow each other in the ribs



We would've posted a picture of the burgers but they were very quickly inhaled

Get out and see that movie!

Lola and Lola

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Art for Art's Sake

I spent the last week on a truckload of antibiotics which completely knocked me out of the park and made me take days off work feeling sorry for myself. Because doing nothing gets a bit tedious after a while I kept myself busy making art! I've heard it said that "art washes the dust from everyday life," but also it's just good for keeping yourself occupied...

I put together three pieces for my friend Gemma who was moving into a new flat....

For the "Follow That Dream" picture, click here

Can you believe the clever little lass took this picture herself?
It's in the Lakes District in England!
I just put it onto canvas, but the art is really her own work.


I also made a canvas piece for my friends who just got married...

I think no home is complete without a bit of art in it. Especially if it's home made with rainbows and love!

Lola K xx


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What's cooking?

I know, I know, another baking post (sigh) but I was just in the mood to share!



One of my best friends had surgery last week so I decided to whip up a little food parcel to make her feel better and to help with the recovery. It is no secret that she is a BIG chocoholic so I settled on making chocolate chip biscuits, chocolate brownie and fudgy cupcakes. Seemed appropriate. 

I put my ipod on, cranked it up and went to my happy baking place :)

I loaded up the icecream containers, made a card, tied a bow and popped over to her place yesterday afternoon. She just text me this morning thanking me again for the thoughtful gift and to tell me that her flatmates were also appreciative however she wasn't too willing to share: "I think I was a bit nasty- I said they could pick 1 brownie OR 1 cupcake, they weren't allowed both" I thought that was pretty cute. I reminded her that THEY weren't recovering from general anesthetic.

The cupcake recipe came from a recent addition to my cook book collection: Miss Melicious Cupcakes. She specialises in wacky flavour combos and describes the shop as "pink vintage with a quirky touch of awesome." I will have to remember to visit her cute looking boutique next time I'm in Auckland!
Instead of the fudge ones I thought I would share my favourite out of the ones I've made so far:


PB and J Cupcakes

125g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
peanut butter for filling
(All staple pantry items! Easy)

  • Preheat oven to 180 °C (160 °C fan-forced)
  • Line a cupcake pan/muffin tray with liners
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, almost 5 mins
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat well
  • Combine dry ingredients. Add to batter in thirds alternatively with milk. Begin and end with dry ingredients. Mix well after each addition
  • Fill liners two-thirds full and bake for 18-20 mins until tops spring back when lightly touched
  • Cool in pan for 5 mins, then remove and cool completely before filling and frosting
  • Before frosting, scoop a small hole out of each cupcake and fill with 1 tsp of peanut butter (I found this part challenging/messy!)

Raspberry Jam Butter Cream
125g butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp milk
4 Tbsp raspberry jam
a few drops pink food colouring
(FYI I halved the recipe and found it was enough but I hate cupcakes that are over-frosted)

  • Beat butter and slowly add sugar until crumbly
  • Slowly add milk, jam and colouring until the desired consistency is reached. Add more milk if necessary
  • Beat for 3-5 mins until light, fluffy and creamy, but still firm enough to pipe

Voila!! Yum yum yum
Lola J
xo

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Check out my crib yo!

A wee while ago when second hand shopping we stumbled across an old Downton Abbey style cot for $10bucks. My Mother quickly decided she'd have that thanks, so the Granddaughter would have somewhere to snooze when she came over for visits. Overly ambitious me agreed to restore it for her in exchange for a little monetary reward so this is just what I've been doing. 

My hair colour in the photos below is a dead giveaway that this hasn't been an overnight sort of project. I began all excited and enthusiastic for a DIY task I could do on my own... Then I realised just how much work was involved in sanding and painting all those stupid little rungs. I've been hating it ever since. 


To be quite honest, I think if my Mum had let me I would have given up way back at the undercoat stage and baby would be sleeping in a sort of half sanded, streaky white cot. I tried to tell her that I'm sure baby wouldn't care but no luck, I was forced to continue. I battled on and finally finished last week (and by finish I mean "I'm not doing another bluddy coat on that thing so that'll just have to do"). Yay completion!

My biggest take away lesson from the project was that sadly I am not destined to ever be a tagger or graffiti artist. Actually I think I can safely rule out any sort of painting occupation. 

Now I just have to wait 'til April when my niece arrives in the world to test drive it!

Lola J 
xo

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's cooking?

I've just come off night shifts and I'm trying to keep myself awake. I try and sleep only for about 4 hours after my last night shift otherwise I spend all my days off sleeping and all my nights awake.

Taken from here

To avoid this frustrating situation, I set my alarm for 1pm (and then accidentally slept until 2:30pm), got up and went to the supermarket. I had a recipe in mind that I'd found on Pinterest which looked super easy and cheap! All I needed to buy was lemons, plain yoghurt and blueberries - all other ingredients are staples in most homes. 

Lemon Blueberry Bread - wonderliciously delicious!

It's more cake-esque than bread I think. It reminds me of a syrup cake and is seriously so easy, albeit a little messy, to make.

Click here for the recipe.

Laura's coming over tomorrow for coffee so I'll see if she approves. I'm a bit nervous since she is a baking queen!

Lola K xx


Friday, January 11, 2013

Summer in the South: Part Three

This is the last installment of my South Island experience! It gives you a glimpse of Picton by daylight and some beautiful scenery driving around the Sounds. I've been here quite a few times since I was little but every time my mouth drops open with wonder as I try and take it all in. 









This area is a holiday hot spot for kiwis and tourists. On our short trip we encountered campervans, foreign accents, local accents and children and their parents playing outside tents in the sun. One thing that didn't escape me: Everyone was wearing a smile :)

Lola K xx

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What do you call a very fast llama?

A llamagini.

Bahahahaha!

I am quite the llama fan (and alpacas too). This has become a bit of a joke in my family because I have been trying to convince my Dad for years to buy a lifestyle block so he can get me a herd of llamas and I can become a Llama-Farmer. I only want to be one for the title. They are such funny looking creatures I can’t look at them without cracking up! So anyway, my Christmas present from my new brother-in-law was this:

I was over the moon. Best. Present. Ever. 


Any other unusual presents people want to share? I would love to hear about them :)

Lola J
xo

P.S- If you have some time on your hands I strongly recommend this website. Hilarious.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Life Lately

Spot my kitty cooling off in the shade!



So I’ve had a bit of an unexpected hiatus. Sorry about that! Wellington has really turned on the weather lately and I just sort of fell into holiday mode doing a whole lot of not much of anything! I forget how much I love this time of year once everyone calms down a bit after Christmas and the city turns into a ghost town after everyone has relocated for New Years.

Money has been a rather big stress issue for me recently so I’ve been lying low a bit more than usual, celebrating a few family birthdays, getting a few projects ticked off, spending a bit of time in the kitchen, doing (boring) grown-up organising stuff, catching up on some reading and movie watching. Can’t complain really. I’ll leave the gallivanting ‘round the countryside to Lauren for the moment (how amazing are those photos!?!)

Hope your New Year break has been just as enjoyable
Lola J
xo

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Summer in the South: Part Two

Driving from Blenheim to Kaikoura is an eyeful of hills and valleys and vineyards - Marlborough is one of the biggest wine producing regions in the country. The fire risk is high because of the dry heat and the grass on the hills is browning under the hot sun. Despite that, the landscape is dotted with evergreen trees which refuse to give in to the conditions and eventually you get over the hill to find the glittering sea with it's colonies of seals and strange, almost glacial blues.

Part two takes you first to my most favourite park in all the land - Pollard Park in Blenheim, and then to Kaikoura in all it's prettiness.





I love trees this much.










Part three coming soon!
Lola K xx


Monday, January 7, 2013

Summer in the South: Part one

Let me paint you a written picture of the Marlborough region at the top of the South Island...
3 hours from Wellington on the Interislander Ferry, it's a haven that feels so isolated yet so close to home. If you're blessed with a smooth sailing, you can stand outside on the deck and take in the Queen Charlotte Sounds, with it's lush forest, hidden coves and scattered houses which the owners can only get to by boat.
In the distance you see the tiny little town of Picton, "the gateway to the South Island." This is where the ferry stops. It's a quaint little village surrounded by hills, with a view all the way out to the sea you've just traveled over. 

New Zealanders know we live in a beautiful country, but sometimes we need reminding. I took so many pictures on my whirlwind trip so I'm doing this post in three parts. I'm making the pictures extra big because it's beauty on a grand scale and I want you to feel like you're there.

Come with me on my 24 hour trip through the top of the South Island, starting with my views from the ferry heading to Picton...








I love Marlborough this much.

Stay tuned for part two!

Lola K xx

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Snap!

It's been a busy week in Lauren Land. I went up to Waikanae to visit a friend for lunch and ended up impulse shopping up a storm. Last night I went to a gig where Jimmy Barnes and Gin Wigmore were playing. It was awesome apart from the fact that it was pretty much hurricane force winds (140kph, thanks Wellington) and I was wearing a skirt which I will refer to as...Flimsy (a.k.a. parachute). In my inbetween moments I've been working on a wedding present for my friends! I hope they like it...

As usual, I've been snapping some shots from the week that's been...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tomorrow I'm getting the ferry to the South Island for a whirlwind trip! Hope the weather stays fine.
 
Lola K xx