Kitchen inspiration

Stu and I have decided that we will extend our house in the next couple of years, which means our current kitchen will get knocked down. So I've been compiling a little list of what we would love to have in our dream kitchen. When The Kitchen Place asked me to share this list with you, I happily said yes.  Read on if you're interested...

1. Marble benchtop for kitchen island. I love the look of marble, however, as it is very porous, it is not the most practical material for a working bench. Our compromise? A marble benchtop for the kitchen island to be used as a showpiece of that space, and stainless steel for the working benches where all food preparation takes place.
2. Bespoke tapware. I would so love something that looks old fashioned, is understated but offers a point of difference from all the commercial tapware in the market.
3. Walk in pantry. I've been dreaming of having more storage space for a very long time now (sad but true). Mine would have a combination of shallow shelves so everything is in view and allows for easy access, as well as deep shelves for open baskets.
4. Dark tiled splash-back. I'm loving the idea of a dark statement wall in the kitchen, which will also pick up on the dark tones on the marble island bench top and contrast nicely with stainless steel appliances and working bench tops. Best of all, it will be great for hiding stains!
5. Statement lighting. At the moment we have very discreet down lights in our kitchen which works well as the space is quite small. Ideally our future kitchen will be much bigger so it will be lovely to have a couple of hanging pendant lights that makes a bit of a statement without being too flashy.
What does your dream kitchen look like?

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by The Kitchen Place, one of Melbourne's most experienced kitchen, bathroom and laundry renovation experts who can bring your vision to life with expertise, creativity and professionalism.

In this moment

reading... catching fire. Watched the movies and now I'm into the books. So glad to finally be reading something other than parenting books.

excited about... my childhood friend visiting from Singapore. Lots of catching up to do!

ordering... a waist leash. Am going to try walking Frankie and baby together for a change. I've been told waist leash is the way to go as it will keep my hands free to push the pram.

planning... a short farm stay or a weekend by the beach. I need a quick escape.

watching... Modern Family season 3 on DVD. Still my favourite family on TV.

dreaming about... a clean house and more storage space.

listening to... Smooth FM. And being happily oblivious to what the latest trends in pop music are.

feeling... rested for a change. Bub slept in for 3 hours today!

wanting... to get my core strength back. I found a pilates studio with a creche so I'm back at pilates. Feels. So. Good.

grateful for... my lovely mother in law who minds Alexander once a week so I can have a break from mummy duties for a few hours!

loving... warm winter woolies and a crackling fireplace in the evenings.

Lemon lime tart

'Tis the season to be zesty, it seems. Our mandarin tree has finished fruiting for the year but various citrus-y goodness are still popping up in our neighbours and friends' backyard. And lucky for us, we were given some as there was an abundance. On the weekend, I decided to make some lemon lime mini tarts.

Oh boy, they taste so good. It has just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the sourness of the fruits and has a lovely burst of tang to it. Mmmm.
Ingredients ((makes four 10-cm tarts or one 24-cm tart)

1 sheet shortcrust pastry, thawed
Grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
Juice of 3 limes
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup caster sugar
150ml thickened cream
Icing sugar, dusting (optional)

Method

1. Grease and line fluted tart tin(s) with pastry. Trim excess pastry. lightly prick bases with a fork. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) and blind bake for 15 minutes or until pastry is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2.  Strain juice and zest of lemons and limes through a sieve and set aside.

3. Whisk the cream, eggs, yolks, sugar and strained juices in a bowl and whisk to combine. Skim off froth from the surface and pour into prepared tart shells.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool then, dust with icing sugar to serve.

Ten months

Sarah over at Chantille Fleur recently posted a gorgeous video of her wonderful life on the farm, complete with sheepdogs, chooks and little ducklings in bows. I was so smitten with her video, I decided to make one of my own. It was so much fun!

So this month, I'll let the video do all the talking. If you would like to see what ten month old Alexander has been up to, click play on the video below. Totally worth 49 seconds of your time....I promise!



Music: Heads up by Karen O and the Kids

DIY flower garland

Surely, you must know about my love affair with flowers by now and how I like to incorporate them in my craft work. So when the lovely people at Fresh Flowers Sydney asked me to share my latest flower project, my answer was an astounding YES!

Freshflowers.com.au offers a fresh perspective on flower delivery and offers a handy ‘Help Me Choose Wizard’ to assist customers in the process of selecting flowers for all occasions. They even have a free Reminder Service so you'll never get caught out for not remembering special occasions. As I was browsing their Facebook page (filled with lovely flower arrangements and behind the scenes shots) for inspiration, I had a bit of a light bulb moment.

This flower garland is incredibly easy to make and looks oh so pretty on the wall. It is perfect for when you have guests over, bridal and baby showers, parties or whenever you want something gorgeous to look at, really.
You'll need:

Flowers (I used sweet peas and carnations)
Needle and thread
Scissors
 Method:

1. Cut the stems off flowers.

2. Cut thread to desired length making sure to leave enough thread on either ends for tying. Then thread the flowers through.

3.Make a simple stitch on the last flower to hold in place. Repeat on flower on the other end.

4. Hang on wall, chair, door and enjoy your beautiful creation!
Tips:

- You can make this one day before the special occasion by spritzing flowers with water, placing in ziplock bag or plastic container and then store garland in fridge.

- Experiment with different varieties of flowers, or add foliage and herbs for interest.

- Use hardier flowers (such as carnations) so your garland will last longer. Or use flowers that dry well so you'll end up with a beautiful dried flower garland.

- This DIY also works really well with silk flowers, which provides the added bonus of lasting a lot longer!