Love: Two Things

I don’t complain very often, but this week has been a bit of a shitty week. I’ve only got two things I love this week…

1.

– Having my beautiful friend, Shan, back in town. This is an old photo –

2.

– Having LOTS of time to read… –

What are your favourite things for the week?

Alison

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Love: Pastel Casual

There have been a lot of harsh, bold colours around for a while, that my eye is now drawn to the softer, more pastel colours on the shelves. I adore Forever New fashions, and this outfit centres around the beautiful blouse in this spread – if you click on the link, and go to their site, you can also see the back of this blouse, which is different, and lovely.

1. Cue Contrast jacket in ink ($295)

2. Forever New Simone drape back blouse in print ($59.99)

3. Forever New Catherine metal sunglasses ($29.99)

4. Forcast Rhiannon necklace in beige ($24.95)

5. ASOS Nude quilted lock across body bag ($27.21)

6. ASOS Shine patent pointed court shoes in nude ($37.41)

7. Portmans Sateen cigarette leg pant in black ($79.95)

What do you think about pastels verses bold, block colours? Any exciting purchases you want to share this week?

Alison

Bake: Gingerbread, Pear and Almond Tart

One word to describe today’s baking item is YUM! I found this on my Donna Hay App and as soon as I saw it I was salivating like crazy – yes it got very messy indeed. So, off I went and made it and Husband (and I) devoured it so promptly, that I then had to make it again the following weekend….just to test that it was actually a winner. Verdict is…it’s a winner!

– Donna’s version: on the screen –

It was SUPER easy and was really just a gingerbread dough or pastry, with an almond meal and sugar lining, with (I used tinned) pears laid out on top and then the pastry pushed over the edges. The amount of work that went in was minimal, and the level of taste enjoyment that was experienced was maximum.

– The recipe –

Two things I did differently:

1. I used tinned pear halves (thank you to Bro and Sis In Law for regularly visiting country Victoria and supplying me with an excessive amount of tinned fruit) and,

2. I didn’t put any marmalade in (not a fan of the old marmalade). I just mixed the pears in the sugar and vanilla extract.

– My trusty Kitchen-Aide: I love you –

– Gingerbread pastry –

– Roll it out to a square-ish shape –

– Almond meal and sugar mixed together –

– Beautifully, carefully laid-out tinned pears –

– Ready to roll….or bake –

– Fresh out of the oven: YUM! There’s that word again –

Do you now want to eat this yummy tart? Have you made anything like this before?

Alison

Love: Book Review – ‘With My Body’

Husband asked me last night whether the novel I was reading had any sex in it. My reply was, ‘I don’t bother reading a book unless it has sex in it.’ I then became very curious and asked, ‘has your book got sex in it?’, he replied with a quick and defensive, ‘No!’ and I asked curiously,’If not for sex, then what does your book have in it?’, his reply, ‘adventure!’.

This brought me to my previous, yet recent, book completion, ‘With My Body‘ written by Nikki Gemmell. For anyone that is familiar with one of her previous novels, ‘The Bride Stripped Bare‘, you will know that this is actually considered soft porn by many readers – and boy, was it good! Gemmell has written quite a few others since then, one which I have read, ‘Shiver‘, that I also found very enjoyable (and full of sex).

– An arty shot of the book: I LOVE the cover design –

With My Body‘ is easy read, in the way it is laid out; in ten sections, with quick chapters and large, spaced-out type. On the other hand, it has elements that are more difficult to digest, as it is written in second person narration (you do this, you do that…). This seems to force the reader into the position of the main character who starts off as an unhappy housewife, locked in a boring marriage. Section two then goes back to when she was a lonely teenage girl, who is a bit lost, as her father is distant after he marries her step mother – who is quite blatantly, emotionally abusing her.

Each new chapter is a lesson, and there are 225 lessons in the book. It is not until section nine, that I felt I could relate, and perhaps empathise with the main character, as these last two sections are back to being written from an adult woman’s point of view. This  is when she finally begins to find herself and break free from that horrible teenager in her that she has been holding onto her whole life.

– 225 lessons: similar to chapters –

– Sections & quotes throughout the novel –

As you read through the book , you start to realise that perhaps what you’re reading, is in fact, what the main character has been referring to throughout the narrative – a ‘secret book’ that has many lessons about sexual endeavours and awakenings. For those of you who are a bit shy, be warned, there are quite a few FULL ON sex scenes described in quite some detail (I hear many ears pricking up). There are also many, many quotes throughout, and to be honest, a lot of these went straight over my head – no time for fancy quotes – get me some raunchy sex scenes please!

I noticed inside the front cover that it states, ‘Told in Nikki Gemmell’s distinctively lyrical style, this is beautiful, literary writing at its best. Exquisitely raw, emotional and bold, it is deeply resonant of the classic French erotic writings of Colette, Anais Nin and Marguerite Duras, but with a modern and provocative twist.’

I really enjoyed this book and would give it an 8 out of 10 – I’m now off to look up some of those French erotic writers.

Have you read any Nikki Gemmell? Do you enjoy a bit of sexy-time in novels? Or do you prefer ‘adventure’?

Alison

Bake : Easy Satay Slow Cooker Recipe

This is not technically a ‘bake’ post, but it’s along the same lines – it’s using my beloved slow cooker, or as the previous generations called them – the crock pot!

I found this Easy Satay Recipe over twelve months ago, when I discovered a great blog called Planning With Kids. It is a website by a lady named Nicole Avery. She is a planner – a woman after my own heart!!

It’s wintery, it’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s yummy.

– Add the chopped-up veggies into the slow cooker (this is the most time-consuming and labour-intensive part of the whole meal) –

– Fry off the meat in some flour and oil: seals in the flavours –

– Add the fried-off lamb (you could use any cheap cut of meat), sauces (including coconut milk) and mix together –

I forgot to get a photo of it after it had been slow cooking for about 7 hours (on low), so if you want to see the final result, click here.

I like to serve it with some rice, but you could also serve it with mashed potatoes – YUM!

Do you have a slow cooker (or crock-pot)? What is your favourite crock-pot meal? Please share.

Alison

Love: Question of the Week

I have recently had a few instances with fake nails. One instance was when I purchased a set of stick-on french manicure nails, just for fun and to see what they looked like. They were Press & Go Press on Manicure nails in Rock It – which is the french polish design. After I had applied them, I thought they looked beautiful. When I asked Husband what he thought, he replied with, ‘They look fake!’ The end!

Of course, with all the dishes I do, and cleaning around the house, they only stayed on for 24 hours, but it was a lovely 24 hours where I could pretend I had perfect (fake-looking) nails. There is something about a french manicure that I adore. If I could afford them to always look good, and if they weren’t so bad for your real nails, I would get fake nails, but for now, I dream (and buy shit fake ones to stick on for 24 hour blocks).

– Angle 1 –

– Angle 2 –

And the second instance was when I commented on The Made Up Maiden’s blog post, regarding her beautiful nails and manicure. She seems to have nails that look like they are fake, but when I asked whether they are real or fake, she was flattered to hear I thought they were fake, but in actual fact told me they are real.

This brings me to my question for the week…

Are fake nails supposed to look fake, or are they supposed to look real?

Alison

Love: Photo of the Week

I hope my beautiful friend isn’t annoyed with me for publishing her image on my blog – I was going to ask permission, but I just love this photo so much, that I was scared she’d deny me the honour. It was taken during our celebrations for selling our house last Saturday afternoon – thank you for being there for me, My Dear Friend – I love you dearly, you are always there when I need you, and I am so grateful xox

Alison