Wednesday, 3 February 2016

covered in freckles


A half eaten packet of freckles;
and a craving for something sweet to dunk in my peppermint tea.

That's all it took to inspire my latest batch of cookies.

covered in freckles>> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES











F R E C K L E S   C O O K I E S


200g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Chocolate freckles

Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper.
Place butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Sift in flour and baking powder and mix to form a dough.
Roll dough into balls and place onto baking tray.
Lightly flatten, then press a chocolate freckle into top of each.
Bake 10-12 min or until lightly golden
Set aside on wire racks to cool.
Store in an airtight container.
Or eat them all... Whatever.



covered in freckles>> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


xx

Thursday, 28 January 2016

f e a r l e s s

Hello, my name is Andie

and I am Queen of the What Ifs.

You know - 

"Yeah... we could do that but what if...?"

I mean, I'm not running around town like Chicken Little 
(ie. screaming "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!")

But I am pretty thorough in evaluating all potential outcomes of a scenario, 
particularly the ones that could end in catastrophe.
I'm the girl who likes to have a Plan A and a Plan B.
Also a Plan C, D, E... 
Well.. You get the picture.

And so it is with great intrigue that upon choosing my word for 2016,
I started to see examples of it everywhere.

I hadn't even announced it to anyone yet.

But over the past few weeks, several people, in a variety of conversations about a range of topics have stopped me in my What If tracks and asked

A N D I E , W H A T ' S   T H E   W O R S T   
T H A T   C A N   H A P P E N ?

Answers to this question have varied depending on the scale of risk involved;
but the consensus is something like 
"I might look silly, but I'll get over it"
or 
"It doesn't work out... so then I move on".

I must admit -
even the worse case scenarios tend to be far over-shadowed by the excitement of potential of success.

And so, following on from my Word of the Year in 2015 - Balance - 

I am excited to unveil my word for 2016...

FEARLESS  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


Yesterday, at the end of my Hot Yoga class, the teacher spoke to us about... yup, you guessed it ... 
FEAR.
Specifically her recent fears related to meeting with someone she had matched with on Tinder.
Let's all take a moment to appreciate that despite their calming voices and ultra-flexible bodies, 
Yoga Teachers are real humans too.

What struck me about her story,
(in addition to an ego-driven "See? Perky blonde yoga teachers struggle to find decent men too")
was that fear is relative.

We all have different fears.

These fears are the result of our own stories.

The stories we tell ourselves are not real.

FEAR IS NOT REAL  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

So this year I am making a conscious effort to ditch the What If's.

This year is about being fearless.


FEAR IS A LIAR  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES




xx



Wednesday, 20 January 2016

what happens to me if i fail your test?


Connection [noun]
a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else.

Attraction [noun]
the action or power of evoking interest in or liking for someone or something.
a quality or feature that evokes interest, liking, or desire.

Trust [noun]
firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

 Love [noun]
a strong feeling of affection.


Being able to identify and experience these emotions is what makes us innately human...

.

.

.

Isn't it??


Do yourself a favour this weekend;
Pour a glass of wine, cook some popcorn and settle in for a movie night.

The movie?


E X   M A C H I N A


EX MACHINA >> starts with cupcakes


I'd never heard of it when I watched it and I'm thankful I had no expectations.


I don't want to say too much...

Even though I talked about it to anyone who would listen for days.

Hands down - One of the best movies I have seen in a long time.


And now I've learnt that it's up for a whole bunch of awards.


Critics Choice Awards
Best Original Screenplay
Best Visual Effects
Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie - WINNER

Oscar Nominations
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Golden Globe Nominations
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Alicia Vikander 


And when you've seen it - Let me know so we can chat.





xx


Sunday, 17 January 2016

dear universe


Things people have said to me in the past week that I refuse to believe :

"Living it and dreaming it is different"
- The response to my confession that I am a dreamer with big ideas and lofty aspirations.


"You've had too many holidays in the past few months"
- Someone who I have promptly eliminated from my life.


"It is what it is. There's nothing we can do about it."
- A colleague on going to work in a corporate office environment and clock watching from 9 til 5 Monday to Friday and working for the weekend.


- - -


I've long believed there is more to life than the daily grind of the corporate hampster wheel,
so in the spirit of the New Year and inspired by books, emails and certain individuals,
I am openly proclaiming to the universe that this is the year that I start to manifest my dreams.





dear universe >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES



D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?

It is estimated that 98 out of 100 persons who are dissatisfied with their world do not have a clear picture in their minds of the world they would like for themselves?

People drift aimlessly through life, dissatisfied, struggling against a great many things, but without a clear-cut goal.


So, Dear Universe, as the sun sets on another weekend; 
And I prepare for my second week back at work in 2016, 
Please hear me when I say that I no longer want to feel trapped by my reality.

And this little blog, which currently provides me with an escape, is the catalyst to this change.


The ability to blog when and wherever I want has made me look around at so many inspirational women who are successfully achieving their dreams.

So here's to taking baby steps toward achieving my dreams.

And toward the growth of this little blog in the next 12 months and beyond.

Because there's no such thing as travelling too much or being 'stuck' in a job, life or situation.



xx

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2016




Can you believe it's been a year since I wrote these words?!

*Insert cliched commentary about how 2015 was literally over in the blink of an eye; etc; etc.*

Actually, upon reflection 2015 was probably 

M Y   F A V O U R I T E   Y E A R   E V E R

I'll be the first to admit that I have the memory of a goldfish..
So it is at the end of the year (or beginning of a new one, as the case may be),
that I am thankful for this little corner of cyberspace,
where I come to write my thoughts and download my memories or moments.

Lucky I do.. 
Because it means I will never forget some of stuff that has shaped me; 
helped me grow;
and made a better person etc etc.. 
in the past 12 months.

Like the time;





(and has since surpassed me in her number of followers...)










So   T H A N K Y O U   2015.

And here's to 2016...

xx

Thursday, 24 December 2015

christmas is a time for cake

It's Christmas Eve!!!

How did that even happen?

I am completely unprepared for Christmas this year...

Presents? Haven't bought any..

Baking? Umm.. Sorry family, but I've got nothing for you this year...

I do however, have something I prepared earlier for you, lovely readers :)


A  C A N D Y  C A N E  C A K E

(Proudly brought to you by 2014 Andie who was obviously far more festive and prepared...)

candy cane cake >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


220g butter
220g dark chocolate, chopped
125g self-raising flour
125g plain flour
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
480g caster sugar
4 eggs
7 tsps vegetable oil
100ml buttermilk.


Preheat your oven to 160C.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan with 160ml of water
Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarb soda into a large bowl
Stir in the sugar
Add combined egg, oil and buttermilk
Then stir in the chocolate mixture until completely combined
Pour mixture into greased cake tin and pop into the oven

Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes

Frost with cream cheese frosting, flavoured with a little peppermint essence;
Sprinkle with crushed candy canes;
and poke a few in the top for decoration.


M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !


xx

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

goodbye 20's

Social media is flooded today with everyone making a big deal about it being the First of December.

Obviously, this is newsworthy because it's The First Day of Summer.

But for me it marks the end of Birthday Month.

Let's all take a moment of silence and let that sink in.


*

*

*


B I R T H D A Y   M O N T H   I S   O F F I C I A L L Y   O V E R


Oh.. And yes - So are my 20's.


F U C K 


goodbye 20's >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


Birthday month consisted of a carefully orchestrated series of events to ensure I didn't lock myself in my house, and eat my feelings in darkness, whilst wallowing in self pity and questioning every single decision I have made in my life up until this point.

I have had the most incredible month celebrating life with my favourite people.
aka Birthday Month was a HUGE SUCCESS.

Laying poolside with a cocktail in my hand and the Balinese sun on my body, 
I took a moment (just one...) to reflect on the last ten years.

This pretty much sums it up - 

goodbye 20's >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


So, without too much emotion (hopefully...) here's a quick list of 


T H I N G S   I   L E A R N T   I N   M Y   2 0 ' S



• It is impossible to find happiness by doing things just because everyone else is.

 Nothing superficial has the power to fill the void of unhappiness. Binge eating and manic shopping sprees are the emotional equivalent of putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound.

• It takes two to tango. But only one person to leave the dance floor.



• There is no cure for the Travel Bug.

• Family is everything. Get to know your parents. Like, really know who they are as a person, rather than just as 'Mum' or 'Dad'. Sit with them and share a bottle of wine. I guarantee you will learn something new about them every.single.time.

• You can make fairly accurate assumptions about a person based on their shoes.

• Having goals and ambition is imperative. Fear of failure is a waste of time.

• Negative self talk is an epidemic. Everyone has insecurities. There is not enough emphasis or energy put towards positive thinking or support of others.

• Moving house is a pain in the ass... Unless you consider it as an 'adventure' rather than a 'chore'.

• Ignorance is not bliss. It is important to have an opinion. About music. Current events. Icecream flavours.

• It is equally as important to be willing to consider others opinions. I am not opposed to judging them later.. but only after listening to their justifications and considering their perspective. 

• White linen in your home creates a feeling of opulence akin to a 5-star hotel.

• It is Murphy's Law that when you have booked a 5-star hotel, you will be out all night and never actually sleep in the bed or enjoy any of the luxurious facilities; but when you have 'settled' for a lower standard of accommodation, you will spend more time in the hotel than you anticipated.

• Everybody has a story. Some people may never share it with you and that's their prerogative. Sharing your story with others is also optional.

• A self-preservation and/or self-development routine is imperative. Money well-spent on YOU is an investment. Facials. Gym memberships (if that's what you're into). Life coaching. Education. You are worthy of your own affection.

• Being in someone's wedding is not a contractually binding agreement that you will remain in their lives (even if it is your own....)

• Some of the most disastrous events/situations will make for a great story in a few minutes/days/months/years. Time heals all wounds. Eventually.

• Nobody else knows what they are doing either.

• Never say Never. Yes - I just quoted Justin Bieber. Watch this space for a new post all about my not-so-secret crush on this guy...





xx

Thursday, 12 November 2015

please don't leave me a voicemail...

I have a problem with voicemail.
And more specifically - people who leave voicemail messages.

But before we go any further, you might want to brace yourselves...
Because this is what I would describe is a Truth Bomb Post;
aka Harsh But Fair.

* * *

To The People Who Call My Phone and Find It Necessary To Talk To The Robot Lady Who Is Responsible For My Voice Mail,

(Her name is Samantha.)

My phone is always near me.

Like, rarely arms length away from me.

So if I don't answer -
It's because I literally can't right now;
or (much more likely) I DON'T WANT TO.


I sat down and wrote a list of all the times it is appropriate for you to leave a voice message -

1. NEVER^


If you are calling me, it means that you know me.
Which means I know you.
And you have my number.
So it's fair to assume that I have yours.
Stored right there in my contacts list.
So... When you call me (with the magic that is Mobile Phone Technology) your name comes up my screen.

If we're good friends - well... You should know me better than this by now... and I may start to question our friendship - and a photo I have carefully selected and assigned to your profile will also dominate my screen (interrupting my highly-likely Insta-scrolling) until you stop calling.
Which means if I don't answer, and by some miracle my phone wasn't visible to me in that exact moment -
My oh-so-smart phone notifies me of your missed call automatically.

If I don't answer your phone call -
P L E A S E   S E N D   M E   A   T E X T

I promise, I will read your text and respond IMMEDIATELY*.

But that little notification that tells me I have a voicemail?
Well... I can ignore that FOR DAYS.


I don't always check my voicemail...  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


Let's have a look at that in a pie chart...



reasons I check my voicemail >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

In summary - If I don't answer my phone, I am either dead or busy.

Don't bother Samantha^.

Send me a text. Summarise the reason why you're calling.

Seriously.....

"Hi! It's meeee... Call me back!"

That's annoying.


Yup... Russell Brand know's where I'm coming from -

russell brand voicemail >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES



xx


^Unless you sing to me. 

I'm totally OK with you calling to serenade Samantha and I.
It's lovely.
We appreciate it.


*Immediately.
Or maybe, like, in a few hours.
Definitely immediately if it's urgent though.
Promise. xx

Friday, 6 November 2015

paparazzi of our own lives

Earlier this week, a teenage girl whose name I no longer remember, got her 15 minutes of fame in mainstream media for admitting that everything she posted on social media to gain likes and followers was not a true reflection of her real life.

Apparently she feels like a fraud, and wants to call bullshit on the online charade.

This is the kind of 'news' that I would like to label -
A   S T O R M   I N   A   T E A C U P

Not because I don't agree with her new desire to empower young girls to live authentically;
Or because I don't applaud her new decision to use her position of power to speak truthfully to her followers;
Or because I, like several others, can't help but question if this was a clever marketing ploy to further her 'brand'.

But because it feels like we've just discovered that magazine editors use photoshop to enhance their images.

Or that reality shows like The Bachelor, Masterchef, (and dare I suggest it) Keeping Up With The Kardashians, employ an entourage of behind-the-scenes producers and editors to manufacture events and carefully manipulate situations to illicit more drama.

*gasp*



Social media posts are edited versions of reality.

That's a fact.

Photos posted by most #fitspiration accounts are no more candid than a carefully planned Lorna Jane photoshoot with strategic product placement and clever styling.

That's why we follow them.

It's why posts with hashtags like #inspiration; #foodporn; and #homedecor are in the millions.

Surely you too have taken countless near-identical shots before choosing 'the one' to post;
Added a valencia filter;
Or artfully cropped the image to showcase the best element?!

You won't find many terrible photos on my Facebook or Instagram accounts; 
And likewise, you won't find any framed and hung on the walls in my house.

Nobody wants to see my bedroom floor covered with the entire contents of my wardrobe because I couldn't find anything to wear to work 3 days in a row..
Or the state of my kitchen mid-baking, with dishes piled in the sink and the remnants of an icing sugar explosion across my bench top.


I publicly display the good stuff - ON and OFF line.


paparazzi of our lives >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES



xx
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