Cinnamon pound cake

What is your favourite cake? For me it is most definitely the pound cake - rich buttery goodness that brings me back to my childhood every time. And of the many variations that the humble pound cake comes in, the one I love most is the cinnamon pound cake. Goodness me, how I love the way the kitchen smells while it's baking in the oven and of course, the taste of cinnamon with each velvety bite.

If you have a weakness for cinnamon too, this recipe is for you!

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
250g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cinnamon sugar sprinkle:
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease a 10cm x 20cm loaf tin.

2. Sift flour, salt, sugar into a large bowl and set aside

3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with milk, melted butter, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into the greased loaf tin.

4. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

5. Let loaf cool in pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.

6. Mix extra caster sugar and ground cinnamon in small bowl. Brush melted butter over top of the loaf and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the top.

Printer friendly version here.

3 ways to keep your house germ free

Hint: Don't ask your toddler child to clean!
It's taken nearly two weeks for me to shake off my recent bout of cold and it sure wasn't fun. Worst thing is, I had spread my germs to Alexander and he too became all sniffly and sick. There were nights he was all blocked up, so when he sucked his thumb to self soothe, he realised he couldn't breathe!

While I was combating sniffles, snuffles, coughs and sneezes, it occurred to me that the first battle is best waged on the home front. More often than not, it's the little things that count in the war on germs so I've been doing a bit of cleaning around the house to keep the germs far far away. I'd like to share them with you today...

1. Regular cleaning
Most of us enjoy residing in a clean home and have some sort of cleaning routine. But when it comes to germs, the ante needs to be upped a little. That means including the little things in your cleaning schedule, such as wiping over regularly touched surfaces like telephones, remote controls, keyboards and desktops. These are the areas that frequently come into close contact with grubby hands.

If you have small children, the perimeter of your warfront may be extended even further to include all those areas where little faces and little hands linger such as door frames, doorhandles, mirrors and low windows.

If the cleaning task is proving a little big, it might pay to call in experts such as Absolute Domestics for some regular cleaning help. Cleaning agencies can offer weekly, fortnightly or even once-off cleans to get you off to a solid, germ-free start.

2. Clean Your Cleaning Implements
It's frightening to know that sponges, cloths and mops can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure you change or disinfect them at least once a week. A good tip for your sponges is to run them through the dishwasher or simply pop them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes (not the metallic ones of course).

Meanwhile, either wash your cloths and mop head or disinfect them, making sure they dry thoroughly afterwards. Make sure you also regularly empty your vacuum cleaner and change the bag to prevent this becoming a little micro-climate for dust, allergens and germs.

3. Know Your Products
Not all cleaning products live up to the packaging claims they come with so make sure you are using the right stuff. Just because something is considered anti-bacterial doesn't mean it will kill all germs.
When it comes to germ killers, a good grade disinfectant hits the mark, as does bleach. Other products such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda also kill a number of germs. And there are even some natural items that are known for their germ warfare skills, such as lemon, vinegar, and tea tree oil.

It's important to remember that not all germs are a problem and no home will ever be 100% germ free. When it comes down to it, paying attention to the little things and using the right product for the job on a regular basis are your best tools in the battle against the bugs that reside in all our homes.

How do you prepare yourself and your family to ward off winter illnesses? Do share your tips with me!

DIY animal lid bottle

On my recent trip back to Singapore, I met up with a friend one day at Haji Lane, a trendy new shopping destination. It was lovely walking down the alley and looking at cute trinkets, hard to find knick knacks and the racks upon racks of vintage clothes. While I was there, I noticed in many of the shops, some adorable animal lidded jars painted in sweetest pastel hues and was tempted to buy a few if not for the hassle of transporting back home.

So here I am back home in Sydney and I still can't get those jars out of my head. So I decided to make my own. And guess what? It was easy as pie!
You'll need:

Spray paint (I used high gloss enamel)
Old glass jars/ bottles
Plastic figurines
Hot glue gun

1. Apply 2-3 coats of spray paint to figurines as per paint instructions. Allow to completely air dry.
2. Use hot glue gun to adhere figurines to lids of glass bottles. Screw on and use as storage bottles.

Rosehip Plus: Review and Giveaway!

Update: The winner of this giveaway is MichVee - congrats, you lucky duck!

Although I've tried many a great skincare product, there aren't actually very many that I get excited about.You know, the type of enthusiasm that makes one go around telling anyone who'd listen, "You MUST try this!!!!!" Well, recently I found a line of products that made me do just that so today I'd like to introduce to you a brand that I personally use and love - Rosehip Plus.
The magic ingredient in Rosehip Plus' products is rosehip (of course), but not just any. Theirs is cold pressed oil, organic and naturally sourced from the seeds of the amber berry-like fruit of the Rose bush which grows wild in the southern Andes in Chile. Rosehip oil is rich in essential fatty acids and high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and especially good for use on dry, sensitive skin, scars, lines and wrinkles.

Their 100% pure rosehip oil comes in a 30ml or 50ml bottle and a nifty 15ml roll on tube, which is especially useful for application on hard to reach areas like around the nose. I have been using a few drops of rosehip oil all over my face twice daily, followed by the Rosehip Plus day cream in the morning and the night cream before sleep and can't help noticing how much more hydrated and healthy looking my skin is (hooray!).


It's giveaway time! Today, Rosehip Plus is giving away one prize pack filled with the entire range of products. You’ll get the 30ml and 50ml bottle of 100% pure rosehip oil, the 15ml roll on skin boost, the hydrating day cream and the nourishing night cream.You'll have beautiful skin in no time!

For your chance to win, simply follow Rosehip Plus on Twitter or Instagram and tell me as a comment on this post why you'd like to try their range of products.

Giveaway ends Friday 22nd May, 5pm AEST and is open to Australian residents only. Good luck!

These products were supplied to me for trial and review however all opinions are my own.

In this moment

reading... I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. Re-reading this classic because (dare I say) I wasn't so impressed by it the first time. I think I just wasn't in the right mindset the first time and everything deserves a second chance...

excited about... catching up with really really REALLY good friend and Godfather to Alexander this weekend. He moved interstate last year and I have missed him deeply.

planning... a trip to visit above mentioned friend in October!

watching... Boyhood. I found it interesting and quite refreshing to watch the characters grow old. But I probably wouldn't watch it again.

listening to...  She & Him Classics. So in love with Zooey Deschanel's lovely voice crooning to this selection of timeless classics.

feeling... somewhat sorry for myself. I'm down with a cold and it' just not nice. And I accidentally dropped and smashed my phone. Aaargh.

wishing... for a non-dripping nose.

grateful for... friendships old and new. The most surprising are the ones forged online. Most of you I probably will never meet in person, but I feel your love and warm thoughts for me as if you were right here next to me. I take this opportunity to thanks blogging buddy Cindy, who sent me the loveliest, sweetest care package which brought a big smile to my face. Thank you sweet lady!

cooking... three minute noodles for lunch today, because I can't be bothered making anything else. Added an egg to make it nutritious though.

loving... the new wool/cashmere blend cardigan that Stu bought me on Mother's Day. It's keeping me warm this cold windy day.