Perfect Lemon Syrup Cupcakes

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With a bowl full of lemons at home, it was time to get baking!  These are super quick to make and are delicious.

Perfect Lemon Syrup Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, softened
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup of castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of Best Foods mayonnaise

Lemon Syrup

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Icing sugar

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 190 degrees celsius and line a cupcake tray with liners
  • Cream the butter, lemon zest, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.
  • Sift flour and baking powder together and fold into creamed mixture.
  • Mix in the mayonnaise (having mayonnaise in your cupcakes means they last a little longer, as the vinegar in it acts like a preservative)
  • Spoon mixture into cupcake paper liners and bake for 15-20 minutes.  I would check them at 15 minutes and if a skewer comes out wet leave them in for another 5 minutes.
  • Whilst they are baking mix up the lemon syrup, I didn’t measure anything with the syrup, I juiced the two lemons which I used the zest from and added about 2-3 tbsp icing sugar, then mix and taste, you can adjust it to your liking.
  • Once the syrup is done, toast some dessicated coconut in a frying pan on the stove, keep an eye on it though as it browns quickly.
  • Once you take the cupcakes out, poke a few tiny holes in them then pour over a teaspoon of syrup (or more if you like) and top with toasted coconut.

Note:  I have chosen not to ice these cupcakes with a cream icing, I prefer them like this and my kids don’t need the extra sugar!  However, if you want to ice them you could always make a cream cheese icing to decorate them, they will be perfect for special occasions.

Source:  Adapted from the Edmonds Cookbook

Enjoy x

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Photographs – They capture a moment that’s gone forever.

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It just amazes me how far we have come with photography these days, from smartphones, digital cameras, SLR’s, to Instax.  The options are endless, I do wonder what will come next!

Photography has evolved so quickly, and the talent of people out there just blows me away, they are truly artists. I consider myself a photography enthusiast, I mean sometimes the way I angle myself and the camera to take a photo you might think I actually know what I am doing. But hey nothing wrong with taking a 100 photos if you can easily delete them. Time moves so fast all I want to do is capture as many memories as I can.

But I wonder, what do you do with the photos on your phone/camera?  Do you download them to your computer and are they stored in folders? I save our photos on our computer and then have them printed to put them in albums/photo books.  I have done so for years and do this every few months.  I am currently sitting with a folder on my desktop called ‘Photos for Printing’, which I have being meaning to finalise for a few weeks now.

My husband and our girls, every now and again, get all our albums out (there are a few!) and look through all our photos, the memories just come flooding back.  We even do this when we go to my parents house, I absolutely love it.  There is something about having a physical thing to hold and look at, compared to that of a slideshow on the computer/tv.

We are lucky there are so many online printing companies that we can use.  In New Zealand I use Snap Fish. However, I am always on the lookout for other options, so let me know who you use to print your photos.

So get snapping!

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud

Falling by Jane Green

I have read so many of Jane Green’s book’s they are such easy reads, and I’m a romantic at heart so love the chick lit books.

To me this book has your typical over worked young girl who left her birth country to look for greener pastures in New York, only to find it’s not all that great, so looking for a change,  Emma finds herself in Westport, Connecticut.  The way the lifestyle in the quiet beach town is described almost made me pack my bags, and move the family to Westport.

As I was reading the book, it became a little predictable, in that I knew what was happening before it did. It’s about Emma finding herself and where she fits in everything. The characters are great, and Dominic’s parent’s actually sound very similar to a typical Indian family even though they are not.

Without giving too much away, the ending left me SHOCKED!  I was sitting there, looking at the book (or kindle in my case) and thinking, did that just happened??  Are you serious?? Expecting the book to answer me back!

I really enjoyed the book even though it was a little predictable,it was nice to be taken away to Westport, and if you want something light and romantic then you should read this.

Happy Reading.

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer

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We own a Dyson vacuum cleaner and I know that anything Dyson creates is just bloody amazing and stands the test of time. So when I saw this I was over the moon until I did a bit more research and found the cost.  I feel like I need to sing Jesse J’s song Pricetag right about now.

Things you should know about this new hairdryer that will be hitting the shores of New Zealand in 2017.

  • Price tag – ok guys I would suggest you sit down for this, because it will knock your socks off, this hairdryer is going to retail for about $700 WTF!!!! The things I can do for that amount of money. I guess I’m not Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Hawkins!
  • It’s meant to be a much quieter hairdryer and dries your hair much quicker than your average hairdryer
  • It has a thermostat that measures the temperature 20 times per second reducing heat damage
  • The motor is in the handle and the accessories i.e nozzles are magnetic
  • It’s meant to last at least 10 years (wonder if I can use that as a selling point to the husband?…mmm…probably not!)

This hairdryer will be unbelievable but really there is no way I can afford this. However if there are demos at stores I will be going in with freshly washed hair to “try” it out 😆

X

 

Father’s Day

This year Father’s day in New Zealand fall’s on Sunday, September 4th.  In our household it always start’s of with the girls helping me to prepare breakfast for Adam.  It’s something I grew up doing with my siblings for my dad and I want my girls to keep up that tradition. As per the photo that was last year’s spread, french toast, with crispy bacon and caramelised banana’s, it is a Chelsea Winter recipe.  I’m gonna have to top that this year!

I know it’s always hard buying gifts for men, well I struggle.  With Father’s day it’s always cute when the kids make handmade stuff, I think that’s so special.  But there are other options, if you want to add to that.  There are a couple of websites that I usually go to when looking to buy gifts.

Red Balloon is amazing, especially if you are looking at getting something different like an experience of some sort.  I have used this site a lot for gifts in the past for Adam.

Not Socks is another good one with all sort’s of things you can buy.

Hope all the dad’s out there have an amazing day.

x

 

Essential Oils & How I Use Them

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For a long time now I have always used essential oil’s and when we were kids, I remember my mum used to get Eucalyptus leaves and put them in our hot baths! Using essential oils is not everyone’s cup of tea, I think people think it’s all very hippy or something, but I love them.

At the moment I am using the Thursday Plantation Oil’s and you can find about 100 uses for these oils that you can try at home.  Once these oil’s are finished I will be trying out a brand By Nature from New Zealand which is available at The Warehouse.

Here are some of the way’s I use these oils in our home:

  • Tree Tea Oil – whenever I wash our towels and sheets, I put in a few drops of this oil, it makes them smell good but it is also antibacterial
  • Lavender Oil – Once the new sheets are put on the beds, I always put a couple of drops on everyone’s pillow, and the funny thing is my girls love it and as soon as they know the sheets have been washed I catch them sniffing their pillows.  Also, if the kids had full on days or are really tired a few drops of this in the bath really helps to relax them
  • Eucalyptus Oil – this is my favourite oil, because my oldest daughter has really bad hay fever & asthma, whenever it is winter, she is just permanently blocked up.  I burn eucalyptus oil diluted with some water every night, and it helps with the sniffles and everyone breathes a bit better.  Also it does make the house smell amazing.  I also make my own kitchen spray with some water and Eucalyptus oil, and because of it being antibacterial, it’s perfect for the kitchen.

So there you go, those are some of the ways I use them. I would love to hear if you use them in your home and how.

x

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul

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We were pretty lucky that we went through most of winter without anyone getting sick…until now!  The 5 year old has been taken down!  At least it isn’t anything really bad, just high temps and that nagging freaking cough that wont go away, and apparently no cough medicine will help it either, why make cough syrup if it does nothing!

The last two nights I didn’t get any sleep, first night Chloe was in bed with me, bad idea!  She was moaning all night and I didn’t want her to get too warm so I was constantly pulling the covers away from her face! Last night, she was back in her bed, luckily no temps during the night but she felt the need to wake up a few times, one to try and sneak in my bed, didn’t work.  Second time, to tell me she sneezed on her cuddly (it’s a cat that she sleeps with), for fucks sake!!!!! So I woke up and cleaned her kitty and tucked her back in bed. Then the coughing started that kept both of us up. Lack of sleep and I do not mesh.

By the morning she was back to her bubbly self, but with a cough!  Gave her a bit of a massage with some Vicks before school drop off.  Which brings me to chicken soup.  Can you believe I have never made it before, and I can bet you the kids are going to moan about dinner tonight, but this soup is loaded with so many good things, I’m hoping to bribe them with something.  If it doesn’t work, Adam and I will be having soup for the next few nights.

You can find this amazing recipe by Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar here.

Give it a try x

 

 

Back on the Smoothie Bandwagon

Once upon a time, I jumped on the very fast bandwagon that was called smoothies!  I remember last year I saw all these post’s and photos popping up of these delicious looking smoothies!  So it didn’t take me long to convince Adam to buy a Nutribullet!  To this day smoothies are still ever so popular.  I have made a few now, some were incredible and others, well let’s just say I made a smoothie once that tasted like grass clippings mixed with banana and milk.  It was disgusting!  With the weather starting to get a little warmer, time to start blending these up again.

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This smoothie was one of my favourites, I used mixed berries, 1 scoop of protein powder and unsweetened coconut and almond milk.  The thing I realised with smoothies, is you have to be so careful because these can actually pack on the calories if you are not careful with what you are putting in and how much of it.  Also when most of the summer fruit are out of season I buy the frozen mix from the supermarket.

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Right here, is a green smoothie from Dr Libby.  It has spinach, pineapple, banana and coconut water.  It was yummo!  And last but not least my Pina Colada smoothie which has, fresh pineapple, banana, coconut milk and a bit of coconut water.  Now if you want to live dangerously you could add a little coconut cream!

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If you are short on time, I have recently come across a company in New Zealand who deliver fresh ready to blend smoothies to your door!  All you need to do is add your milk or water.  I’m sure there are other companies doing this, but this is the one that I have found.  I am yet to order some, but will let you know how it goes when I do! So check out Real Smoothie Co

If you do have time, then Bite has load’s of recipes that you can use.

Happy blending x

 

The K Bar Chocolate

I was pretty excited when I saw that Whittakers had some new limited edition chocolates out. To be honest any new chocolate and I’m all over that! 

So to accurately give you my thoughts on the chocolate, I had to taste it a few times, yes it took more than once! 

Last night we tried the Pineapple first up and it was okay, I couldn’t really taste the pineapple, I think I was expecting more of a pineapple lumps flavour. The Raspberry was even worse because it was dark chocolate (I’m not a fan of dark chocolate) and the chocolate was so overpowering I couldn’t taste the centre!  The Lime by far was the best, the lime flavour really came through and there was definitely a zing to it. 


Today I took another approach which involved eating more chocolate. This time I placed them in the fridge for a bit and it actually tasted a bit better because the texture of the centre filling was more chewy. The flavours I believe could have been stronger. All in all they are good chocolates but I wouldn’t say these flavours where amazing, I was certainly not wowed! 

To all the chocolate lovers out there go forth and give it a try! Let me know what you think! 

These are just my opinions on it and I’m sure there are lots of people that love it. 

Note: This product was not gifted or sponsored to me. I bought it. 

Cheese Heaven

Now that the weather is somewhat getting warmer, I thought it would be fitting to share with you a place which we visited a couple of months ago.  It was much cooler when we went, but in summer it will be amazing, so make a note to visit the Puhoi Valley Cafe & Cheese Shop

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Spoilt for choice!

What we loved about visiting Puhoi Valley is the great playground they have for the kids, which is fully enclosed, so there will be no escaping kids!  Besides the playground the grounds are huge so plenty of room to run around and picnic too.

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There are two sides to the grounds either side of the little river

The cafe is fantastic, the kids loved looking at all the cheeses in the cellar (you can’t go in though, you can only look through the glass).  My favourite part was tasting all the samples they had out, my favourite being the Matakana Blue Cheese…mmm.  At lunch time it gets pretty busy, and your orders might take a little while, but it’s worth the wait.

Adam and I ordered the Seafood Chowder and the kids got mousetraps, with bacon and oh so much cheese! You would expect a pretty good amount of cheese coming from a cheese place.

It’s somewhere we would definitely visit again, when it is summer time. But if you are ever heading up North from Auckland, I would recommend making a detour to this little gem.

x