Sunday, December 16, 2012

Let it Snow

Yesterday I became an enchanted little girl again as unanticipated snowflakes began to fall out of the Redding sky. Up here in Northern California snow is not uncommon on all the mountains, but it seldom snows in the city of Redding in which I live. As little white crystals began to float down from the heavens yesterday, I could not reign in my excitement and had to run outside and dance and twirl in the winter wonderland. The snow melted seconds after landing on earth, but it was magical nonetheless, and this southern-hemisphere born girl couldn't get enough of it. 
I've always dreamt of a white Christmas, and as a little girl, at Christmas time my mind would wander to faraway lands covered in white. Now that's proper Christmas. 
I'm still praying for a white Christmas this year, and after yesterday's little white gifts from heaven, it seems almost possible.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Frankie Gets Craftier

Innovation is the name of the game with Frankie Magazine, and I am loving their latest gift to the world, a darling little 'Gift Paper Book.' In the words of the creatives at Frankie:
need to pretty up some pressies or just introduce more papery goodness into your life? the frankie gift paper book contains 10 sheets of unique ‘50s-inspired designs printed on high-quality perforated paper ready for you to rip, fold, stick, craft and tape to your heart’s content. beautifully bound in a special protective cover, it’s a must for vintage lovers, paper aficionados and givers of awesome presents.
I don't know about you, but I am adding this one to my christmas wish list! (click here to buy)
{all images frankie.com.au}

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ramblings

Cabin fever is no urban myth. My weekend can testify to that fact quite auspiciously. The cause: my diligent over-achiever tendencies met with three lengthly assignments and a stormy weather from hell's armpit. The result: Not seeing the light of day for prolonged periods of time and cabin fever in it's purest form.
Now that the weekend is over and I've annihilated those assignments, I am ready for an intravenous shot of fun and all things light-hearted and whimsical. This afternoon as I slammed that final book shut in victory, I had to reward myself with inhaling some fresh country air, so I slipped into my combat boots, put on my fingerless gloves and my room-mates military jacket (I've demanded she leave this to me in her will), and took a lonesome stroll to my local Trader Joe's store for no reason other than to have thai curry samples and a tot of gingerbread coffee. There is such thing as a free lunch, apparently. 

It has come to my attention however that all work and no play makes Jess a dull girl and so this week, so help me God, I will have fun, whether it be in the form of a Settler's of Catan showdown, an O.C marathon, or a latte sipped across from a witty friend. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Oh, December...

December crept up so quietly that I didn't even hear a floorboard creek. A little frightening that the year's end is upon us, but after all the joy's it brought with it, celebration is the order of the day. Here's all the things I'm loving this December...

Homeland yearning. Trudging through snow. Chopping down Christmas trees. Warm apple cider. Top Deck sent from home. December decorating. Lights. Cranberry & Brie. Storms and gloomy skies. Countdown until overseas friends arrive at my doorstep. The season of gifts. Ribbons on parcels. Buttoned up blouses. Faux fur. Drowning in infinity scarves. Card games and coffee. Frank Sinatra's festive voice. The sound of rain on windows. Leopard-print pants. California road trip. Hunter boots and skipping through puddles. My umbrella investment. Imagining impossible things. The whistle of the wind through the windows. Singing do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si-do along with Julie Andrews. Empty benches in the park. The contrast of red on white. Piles of lifeless leaves only to be seen again in the spring. Rewatching the O.C, because I never need an excuse to dose up on Seth Cohen. Staying enchanted. Believing again. Hair-cuts. Plaid pajamas. The close of the finest year thus far. Etta James. Traditions. Huncal peppermint mochas. The sound of a best friend's laugh. The beauty in the Christmas carol's lyrics. Innovation, just because. Learning the lost art of hand-lettering. Doodles and sketchpads. When the sun and moon share the same sky. Glitter and glamor. Unwinding. Fireplace mornings. Seeing miracles with these two eyes. The choice, that is love. Jude Law in the Holiday, need I say more? Movie marathons and re-watching the classics. Shadows cast on brick walls. An unexpected doorbell ring. The resurfacing of friends' embarrassing teenage youtube clips. Embers. Saying little prayers for you. Pretending it's a previous era. Dreaming of a white Christmas. Tinseled trees that touch the ceiling. The way dads' eyes sparkle as they look at their little girls. Confetti. An OC new year's. High-cheek bones. Family portraits, done right. Burning logs. Assortments of home-made pies. Running through long grass at sunset. Doing small things in a great way. The dreamers, the crazy ones. Seeing friends who I haven't seen in years. Exploring California's coastline. The smell of the ocean's spray. Dinner parties and breakfast dates. Pine cones and walnuts. Antique sofas. A good book and the fetal position. Being merry and jolly and whatnot. Celebrating the birth of the one most important to me. 

Care To Support My Dream?

Lovely followers and blog readers,
Some of you know as per my previous 'Keep Calm and go to England' post, I am going to England next April. This is a real dream come true for me as I can hardly remember a time in my life when I didn't year to be under the grey U.K skies. 
I am not taking a vacation or a leisurely trip, but am going with a fiery missions team from my ministry school Bethel. Every year the school takes a team across the oceans to hugely impact the nation through the love and joy of Jesus. The testimonies from last year's trip were absolutely phenomenal and apart from ministering in churches and loving on people on the streets, the team was able to actually work with the police force and were able to minister within a brothel to some of the girls 'working' there. Overall, the team saw the craziest of miracles, people being completely healed by the power of God and many people come to know for themselves the love and saving grace of their loving God. This was a profound time for the nation, it's people and the team of radical students who have dedicated their lives to spreading love across the planet.
This year, I get to form a part of that team and get to live out my dream of seeing this beautiful nation fall in love with Jesus. I am a person who's life stands for something, and my dreams, visions and aspirations largely center around changing this world through love and the power of God which has been so undeniably evident in my own life and has shaped my personal testimony. I will give my last penny and my final breath to seeing this dream take shape in my lifetime. But, I cannot do it alone, and this is where I ask you to support my dream should you feel your heart stirred to do so. As a student I am needing financial backing in order to be able to get on that UK-bound plane with the rest of my team in April. There are a number of payment deadlines that I am needing to meet, starting December 7th and continuing until the end of March. The entire cost of the trip is $2200, and I have no doubt in my mind that as friends, family and believers in my dreams gather around me, I will see all the necessary components come together in the name of my dream being fulfilled.
So, should you wish to play a part, you can click on this link and donate towards my England trip. (all donations are tax deductible. Yay.)  https://missiontrips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/1379

Thank you in advance beautiful readers and I shall keep you posted in the weeks and months leading up to this exciting adventure.

xxx

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cards For My Loves

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here in the States. Everyone is starting to deck the halls, and our little apartment is feeling more Christmassy by the day. 
Anyway, every year I like to kick it old school and pop a bunch of Christmas cards in the mail to send across the seas to all my loved ones that are scattered across the globe. I've been trying to learn the lost art of hand-lettering, so this year I bought some plain cardboard, got out my marker pen and drew up some of my own Christmas cards and had the most fun doing it. Is there anything better than creating? 
So here they are, my little festive season creations

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Post by Lana Cruz

I am proud to announce that this is the first ever guest post that I have featured on my blog, and it's an honor to introduce you to Lana Cruz, the beauty and brains behind the fashion blog 'The Pink Thread.'
Lana has put together her list of 2012's Fall Essentials; items every girl's closet should not be without this season. Enjoy!

#1 Black Fur Vest
I love fur, it is a luxurious item that every girl should have in her closet this winter. And I love it in black because black is always classy and is a little more subtle than a grey or brown fur. So if you are new to the fur world, this color may be a little easier to transition into. I plan on throwing it on over a jacket or a black maxi dress for a chic look.
(Featured image: JC Penny)

This deep hue is perfect for this season. For some reason in colder months I want to dress in darker, richer colors and this one just feels like the holidays! I want to embrace this color in all ways this season, but I think a skinny jean is what I'm craving the most.
(Featured image: Zara)

Leather is such a great texture for winter and especially the mixture of materials, either within one shirt or a leather pant mixed with a chunky knit sweater. The leather is a sleek finish to an outfit, creating a classic look with some edge. It also adds to our collection of darker items to drape ourselves in in these cold holiday months.
(Featured image: Asos)

Anything sequins seems to be my weakness. I dream of wearing them to chic holiday parties and under the glimmer of city lights. I am so thrilled however that this girly fantasy is leaving the 4 corners of my mind and entering my everyday outfits. Whether it is a shirt, skirt or even a pair of pants, this material definitely dresses up an ensemble but if paired with more laid back pieces I think it can still remain in your everyday. 
(Featured image: Bloomingdales)

Another glitzy item to spice up this colder season. I love how a bold accessory can completely create a look. This is another piece that is great to pair with casual items, taking opposite styles to a create a uniform look that makes a statement.
(Featured image: Forever 21)

These are Lana's Fall must-haves, what are yours?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On strategies and such

Today I had a bit of a mind-map Monday. You know when your inspiration is at max capacity and for want of keeping your sanity, you just must jot down an interconnected web of ideas? No? Maybe It's just me then. Anyway, a good friend of mine and I sat across from one another today at the only available table in a claustrophobically busy Starbucks. We mostly planned to get up to speed with each other's life and times, but as it goes when two people with even slightest nerd tendencies get together, the conversation ended up in brainstorming and strategic plan development. Then, Starbucks suddenly appeared to be rather uninspiring so we sat in the Marketing section at Barnes & Noble for the remainder of our hangout. Said friend has been asked to help a brand develop their social media platforms, and seeing as though I eat this stuff for breakfast, he asked me for a bit of input. I could talk strategies all day. Although, due to not having a degree to back up my passions (yet), I often disqualify myself, but today I realized that the way in which I come alive when my mind is left to wander down certain avenues, definitely tells of the direction I'm headed. 

Right now, I am currently desperado to get my hands on some juicy reads in the digital marketing/social media/blogging categories, so let me know your favorite ones because I'm going to single-handedly fund Amazon in the weeks to come. 

Ps: For those of you that could relate to my "On Being Organized" post the other week, check out these great links for tips on productivity and time management that I found on the Creative Women's Circle blog.
- Become a Productivity Ninja
- Organize Me: Desk Space
- Start With A List...
{My monday night's activities}

Monday, November 12, 2012

Soul Food

It seems as if someone in heaven just quickly flicked the heat off and the air-conditioner on, because man, it's awfully chilly up here in NorCal.
I am a beach girl that grew up with salty hair and sandy feet, and life in the tropics was always a fine one. Where I come from, all the seasons blend into one and the only two temperatures we have are hot and not-so-hot. Every now and then when the temp dips slightly below 20 degrees Celsius, everyone dusts off their eskimo gear and acts as though they're about to die of frostbite. It's actually a hilarious sight to behold. 
Life over here in the northern parts of California is vastly different, here, not only does each season come with it's own unique weather patterns, but the entire landscape responds to the season by coloring itself accordingly. Then of course food, fashion and lifestyle follows suit. It's so fun and exciting, especially for a tropical kid.
Yesterday some friends of mine and I went skateboarding along the Sacramento river trail and it was gorgeous. The cold air bit our skin as we rode through it, and although it was a sunshiny day, the sun didn't do a whole lot to ward off the chill. We skated along the trail that was decorated with every shade of autumn, and as the river peacefully flowed next to us, I felt as though I was getting an intravenous shot of soul food with every inhalation. Nature does a whole lot to my spirit that four-walled confines never could. Usually my form of the great outdoors consists of golden sandy miles, waves and palms, but I've exchanged that for snow-capped mountains, rivers and forests of pine, and am learning to enjoy the beauty in each without making comparison to the other. Gosh, creation is simply inspiring. 
{A photo I took whilst hiking in the forest near the Whiskeytown mountains} 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Personality Flavors. What's Yours?

Human beings are a strange breed of animal and they fascinate me to no end. I analyze people like it's my day job and just when I think I've come across the weirdest and most wonderful, I'll meet someone that better deserves the title. Humans are also the most intricately woven, complex creations and they astound me in the way they love, communicate, serve, inspire, create, pioneer, lead and envision. Ever found yourself sitting on the outskirts of a crowd, engaging in some casual 'people-watching' {yes, that is a verb}, and wishing you could just peer through a person, past their clothing or facade and look straight into their being? Ever wonder what's really inside a person? Ever wonder how they function, or what inspires them to their core or how they think and process the world around them? Call me deep, but this is where my mind wanders off to in it's spare time. 

The inspiration for this blog post actually comes from a lecture we had in class yesterday entitled "How do you affect your environment?" We have been delving into the mechanics of leadership as a school, and inevitably we ended up on the topic of personality styles; learning yours, understanding others and adapting in order to positively affect your environment. I eat practical personal growth tools for breakfast and absolutely love this branch of psychology; simply fascinating. 
If you've never taken a personality test, they are about as numerous as the spots on a Dalmatian's back, and most of them have great insight into unpacking the wonder that is YOU. However, my personal favorites are the DISC test and the Myers-Briggs, and it was the DISC that we unpacked this week in class. I've never loved the categorical confines that certain personality tests hammer us into, perhaps that's why I am biased to the above mentioned two as I've found them to do the opposite, liberate not constrain. 
This week we had a lot of fun recognizing ourselves in the various categories, whilst finding it scary how predictable the given human being is and the ease with which our personality traits can be identified. I have learnt so much about myself through these tests, and I believe that one of the keys to success in life is understanding yourself, growing in the understanding and appreciation of others, especially those who seem to see the world through a different looking glass, and then learning to adapt well to your environment. 

The DISC Test as mentioned above stands for Dominant, Influential, Steadfast and Contentious. These are headliner words for 4 different personality flavors. Most people have all four of these to some degree but you can generally identify a person as operating most strongly in one of these quadrants. 
On the Myers-Briggs test, I am an INFJ and on the DISC I am a C/D personality with C being my strongest quality and D following close behind. The Contentious one is a task-oriented individual that is highly information bound, analytical, organized and has a high value for justice and doing the "right thing." A "C" is obsessed with details and has an innate eye for these, they value time immensely and where they spend it is of vital importance to them. They are generally internal processors, that take in the world around them, process it in the laboratory that exists within them and then once conclusions have been formulated will speak and communicate. A "C" is motivated by truth and needs security at all times. They generally do not like change as they have well established routines that they constantly improve for maximal productivity and effectiveness. A "C" generally views life from the perspective of the past and draws their conclusions in life based on previous experiences. They are learners, thinkers and if you are in an argument with a C, expect to be wrong, they seldom share something without first knowing it to be true. 
Then we have the other half of my personality type which is D for Dominant. These are natural born leaders, the ones who make the history books as pioneers and risk-takers. A "D" needs to win at all costs, they don't play for fun, they play to win, and as highly competitive individuals will often race against themselves in order to push the boundaries of where they have been before. They are driven by the thirst for significance and are constantly asking the question "what is the purpose, and what is the point." These are task-oriented visionaries who live for tomorrow, and their motto in life is "get it done." A "D" may be akin to a whirlwind, as everything they do, they do fast. "Ready, fire, aim." D's view people as a resource that can be used to fulfill one of their many visions and have been known to step over people in the name of winning or getting something done. They are list people, and are driven by the sense of accomplishment that they get from completing tasks. 
Combine these two fascinating categories of human personality and you have me. I will not go into the I or the S, although they are my favorite types of people in this world, and actually, all of my best friends fall into these I/S categories making them the exact opposite of who I am. Opposites do compliment. 

If you would like to take the free DISC and Myers-Briggs test online, just click on the links here and here. What is your personality type? I'd love to hear. 

Keep Calm and Go To England

An hour ago I received some splendid news in the form of a missions trip acceptance email. As some of you know, I'm at a ministry school in California as I'm deeply passionate about spreading the love of Jesus to the four corners of the globe. As a part of our year, some 2500 students are given the option of choosing missions trips worldwide, and come April, we get flown to our respective destinations to impact the planet through love and joy. Ever since forever I have dreamed of visiting England; my family tree traces back to the land and I do love the Brits so. As you guessed it, my application for the England missions trips was approved and I will be setting off to the wonderful land in a few months time. I am elated at the fact that I will get to love, honor and serve such a beautiful and influential nation and it's people. April, come quickly!
Here's to tea, scones and posh accents. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

MOVEMBER

You either love 'em or despise 'em, but either way, there's no escaping the annual arrival of Movember. Males everywhere will be growing them, shaping them, trimming them, waxing them, styling them; this is serious business. Handle bars, Vikings, Capt' Hooks, Caterpillars, 007's, Connoisseurs, I expect to be spotting them all this Movember as proud males take to the streets sporting the latest facial hairstyles. 
I personally love Movember because it makes for a good laugh at the competitiveness of facial hair growth and the seriousness with which men take their upper lip. I also love the Movember incentive because it's actually aimed at generating support for prostate and testicular cancer, and the guys who run the organization have done a sterling job at creating a worldwide community all in favor of moutaches and helping fight cancer.  If you've never been to the Movember website, be sure to check it out here and enjoy their quirky graphics and great web design. So boys, get growing your Mo, and may the best man win.

Friday, October 26, 2012

List Love

Tomorrow my room mates and I are welcoming in the fall season by throwing a "Pumpkins, Pies & Spicy Chais" party at our house. I've made it my mission this year to really clothe myself in the holiday spirit and celebrate all the USA festivities as a true 'Merican would. So, on that note, today we went shopping for fall-themed decorations and all the most delish seasonal foods. I'm going to be making caramel apples and pumpkin cupcakes with cream-cheese frosting. I can't wait to get my apron on tomorrow and fill the kitchen with the odors of fall. When our friends arrive we will be carving pumpkins and gorging on all things pumpkin flavored whilst sipping on hot cider. The good life.
Here is the rest of my fall bucket list:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On being organized

Secretly, I've always wanted to be the that girl that floats around with chopsticks in her hair and paint stains on her hands that tell tales of late nights in her loft-apartment-turned-art-studio. You know, that girl that always looks oddly beautiful in her weird thrift store ensamble compromised of colours and fabrics that should never be within a 5 mile radius of each other. She's far too obscure to hold to a schedule of any sort, but blows where the wind does (or doesn't), she's never tied down, she walks to the rhythm of her own drum. 
Well, I'm the kind of girl that dances more on the edge of OCD than flower child. My brain functions in assembly-line format and even my thoughts are colour-coded (not really, but kind of). I do schedules, I do daily planners, I do time-management. I even plan for spontaneity. I'm that girl. And do you know what? I'm fine with that. I'm learning to love how I've been wired, even if at times I freak myself out. We can't all be the cool girl that wakes up one day and decides to buy a one way ticket to some Asian country that we've never heard the name of. Some of us are the girls that like to "get 'er done;" you know, the movers, the doers, the ones that have a black belt in checking off to-do lists. The ones that live their lives where no minute goes unaccounted for. Are we intense? Are we extreme? Yes. But that's why we're wonderful and we're saving the world one productive task at a time. 
Some wise guy who's name Google doesn't seem to know once said "Time management is self-management," and there you have it, the method to my madness.

Ps: If you read this and know you're on the nerd-girl team with me, check out Frankie Magazine's new journal for 2013, it will solve all your organizational issues one list at a time. Isn't it gorgeous?
{Buy online here. All Images courtesy of Frankie.com.au}

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend musings

On a scale of one to couch potato, my weekend has ranked scarily high on the unproductively scale. I've scarcely left the house, actually, if we're going with honesty here I've scarcely left my bed as I've succumbed to your standard change-of-season 'my body hurts, I'm tired and my sinuses need an exorcism' kind of common cold. I've spent the most part of my weekend horizontal, with a cup of tea in hand, book in the other and my bedside table looking like a chemist. Sometimes though, you've just got to let your body do what it's begging you to do; rest. And that's okay. One of my most thrilling activities of the weekend was finding some indie engagement photographs. I think it's actually ironic how 'hipster' was once a niche and now it teeters more on the edge of cliche. Whatever. There's always room in this world for another bearded bloke, right?
{Images found at Sincerely, Kinsey}

I Love It - October

Tree-lined streets. Days were no morning alarm needs to be set. Sincerity. Cuff jewelry. Costume Parties. Morning breeze on the back of my neck. Laughing ourselves to sleep. Compliments. Father of Lights. The smell and feel of clean laundry. Helping a friend in need. People who treat everyone of equal importance. Watching freedom take place. Grabbing hold of a forgotten memory. Sitting at the feet of wisdom. Scented candles. Trying a new recipe. Eggplant and Ricotta stacks. Trader Joes' food samples. Dry humor. Being needed. New jeans. Hipster wedding invitations. Midnight patio picnics. Pumpkin flavoured greek yoghurt. Succulents. Thrift store jumpers. Distressed wood. Design done right. Bow ties. Hummingbirds. Smells of the forest. Mixed media art projects. International calls. Positivity. New book purchases. Frosting layer cakes. Solving puzzles. Being cared for. Black and gold. Studded collars. Sales. Fall decorating. Piles of lifeless leaves. Pumpkin carving parties. Being personally responsible for giving children sugar highs on Halloween. Sleeping with the windows open. Black tea. Victorious Mindsets. Using South African slang in America. Finding forgotten money in last week's pockets. Spontaneous trips down the I-5, San Francisco bound. Revisiting the 90's: Clueless, Blink 182 and Dawson's Creek. Men in boots. Kids with manners. People that have embraced individuality in some form. The Castle. A clean bathroom. Lengthly afternoon naps. The different shades of the sky at dusk. Watching Ben Howard caress his guitar. Flinging off my shoes after a day of productivity. Lone walks to nowhere. Losing myself in an infinity scarf. 
{Background image: FaveIm}

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Things I Know As A 20 Year Old

- Cereal tastes better at night
- Unforgiveness is masochistic in nature. By choosing not to forgive, you're only keeping yourself in prison.
- We are all products of our experiences
- I don't love talking on the phone
- We were made to need attention. The desire to be noticed doesn't shouldn't be swept under the rug of denial.
- It's perfectly okay to say no
- The more we learn, the more teachable we should become.
- Facebook is a black hole that devours time
- I was not made for big city life
- Few things excite me as much as handwritten surprises in the mail
- I'd very much love to fall in love
- It's of vital importance to live passionate and live inspired
- There are times when pajamas all day is not only acceptable but completely necessary
- There's hidden powers inside a smile
- When it comes to making someone's day, it's always about the little things 
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
- The dreams you have, carry with them the ability to be fulfilled
- Time management is self-management
- Every problem is just an opportunity in disguise
- The future belongs to those who believe. In people, in themselves, in their dreams
- The right font can be a matter of life or death
- How fast I run is directly proportional to the greatness of my playlist
- The future is now
- Listen.
- Wisdom is no respecter of persons or age
- I love change as much as I love routine
- Believing is not seeing, it's what takes place right before seeing 
-  Chivalry goes such a long way in my world
- Sometimes, a Venti is exactly what you should order
- There are seasons in nature. There are seasons in life. Embrace them. Dress accordingly 
- Revisit your childhood at least once a week, even if it looks like singing the rap to 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' or finding hidden pictures in the clouds
- Midnight often brings with it all kinds of inspiration. Flow with it
- Rest is of equal importance to productivity and making deadlines
- Surround yourself with relationships that are two-way streets
- Make-up and beauty have nothing in common
- Differences are for celebration not criticism
- Children are great teachers; qualified by their purity and sincerity
- Excellence, good. Perfectionism, bad
- That friend that makes you belly-laugh. Hold onto them
- Control has no place in love
- A good writer is simply a good reader
- The key to knowledge is in asking great questions
- Everyone's life contains lessons from which I can learn

The Best of Fashion Bloggers

I always admire the glamorous women of the world wide web that daily uphold a standard of fashion excellence and religiously document their unique trends in photographic form. These are the modern day trend setters, these are some of the best bloggers of our day (in my opinion), and they inspire me in more ways than one. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Frankie Five-Oh

Congratulations to Frankie Magazine and their brilliant team of creative masterminds on releasing the 50th issue of this divine magazine. Frankie is one of my favorite things about Australia, and what an inspiring, beautiful and brimming-with-goodness mag it really is. A huge congratulations to every person behind the monthly making of Frankie, and thank you for always upholding a standard of creative excellence, the world is a better place for it.
The team has outdone themselves (as always) with this 50th edition that comes with a special crafty embossed cover, and it's contents include "life advice from Beth Ditto, real-life magic tricks, progressive Swedish pronouns, a philosophy of stuff, lots of sarcastic '90s girls, a look at life on the farm, multi-coloured pigeons, famous people who flunked, musings on being 20-something with Tori
Amos and a bumper baking special that'll keep you in the kitchen making cakes well into next year."
If you are lucky enough tot get your hands on a copy, Frankie is best served with a cup of tea and an arm chair. Enjoy. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recipes: Tried & Tested (Part 1)

 Every now and then, I actually end up making something that I've seen on Pinterest, sometimes it's a hit, other times a miss, but this recipe I found was a definite winner worth blogging about. These little Hershey Kissi-Pies are not only the cutest little delicacies (I'm all about ascetics when it comes to baking) but they taste divine and area stupidly easy to make. I thought I'd share the recipe that I found at Picky Palate, especially with the holidays coming up, because these are the perfect little holiday treats; they look a lot like Christmas to me. I actually made my second batch of these tonight for a friend's birthday party, and they went down like a dream. 
Instructions:
{Preheat oven to 350F}
1.) Get out your ingredients of pie crusts and your choice of Hershey Kisses (I love the dark ones personally)
2.) Roll out your pie crust onto a surface prepped with flour and space the kisses out evenly
3.) Cut a circular shape around each chocolate (The size of the circle is dependent on how big you want to make them, your choice entirely)
4.) Fold the two opposite sides of the circle together
5.) Fold the remaining two sides together and press firmly until the correct shape is formed.
6.) Paint each kiss-pie with some egg
7.) Drizzle a small amount of sugar onto each 
8.) Space out evenly onto a greased baking tray and bake for plus/minus 20-25 minutes (until golden brown)
9.) Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and serve warm. Enjoy. 

{All images and recipe from Picky Palate}

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Current Status

You know you're an introvert when having the house to yourself on a Friday night is exactly what excites you. Cheers to silent nights and the first fireplace session of the fall. 

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

In keeping with my motto for this year of 'spending money on memories not material things,' some friends of mine and I hopped in the car for a some spontaneous San Francisco shenanigans last Saturday, and what a perfect YOLO day it was. Our mission was to see The Lumineers and The Head and the Heart play at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival at the Golden Gate Park, and by the end of the day, our mission was well accomplished. The park was crazy. We estimated maybe twenty thousand people in total between all five stages, and I was claustrophobic for a good portion of the time. It was a great vibe, and all kinds of weird and wonderful folk gathered to watch the bands play. I loved seeing the festival fashion (the good, the bad and the ugly) and the different styles that everyone was rocking whilst the autumn sun came out to play. 
We came armed with snacks and picnic blankets, sat on the outskirts of the madness and swayed arm-in-arm whilst we sang along to 'Rivers and Roads.' After the show, we watched the sun go down at the Golden Gate bridge, took all your stock-standard tourist photos, and then walked a portion of the bridge whilst night was starting creep in. The view from up there is unprecedented. 
To end off the night in proper tourist style, we went to the Fisherman's Wharf, had clam chowder bread bowls at the famous Boudin bakery before singing 90's rock songs all way home to Redding like you should do on long car trips. 
I'll only be young once. Making it count. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Ode to Autumn

The sound of dried leaves crackling under your boots. Auburn colours splashed here, there and everywhere. Tank tops give way to long sleeves. The air gets it's bite back. Pumpkin everything. 
The USA is the place to be this 'fall.' 

Lad & Lass Wedding Photography

I am loving all things quirky and creative that are coming out of South Africa at the moment, and Lad & Lass Wedding photography well deserves a mention. Emma-Jane (behind the blog Emma-Jane Nation) and her husband Dylan Harbor have recently renamed their photography business to Lad & Lass Photography and along with the name change has come a whole new exciting and innovative brand. As someone who strongly appreciates good and tasteful band conceptualization, I thought I'd share a few of their pics because I know that this business is going to boom. I am not only a huge fan of their brand but their product is excellent too, and I'm archiving them in my memory for when I tie the knot one day. 
 

A Whimsical Wedding

Although I am thousands of kilometers away from South Africa and will be for a little while, my heart still remains will all things 'local and lekker.' An incredibly talented blogger that I follow called Emma-Jane from the blog 'Emma-Jane Nation' has recently renamed her and her husband's photography business to 'Lad and Lass Photography' which used to go by the name 'Hello Harbour.' Anyway, during the time I was back in South Africa between June and August, I met a beautiful young lady called Deb who tied the knot over the holidays, and I just had to share her wedding pictures on my blog because they are all kinds of gorgeous. The photographic mastermind behind these pictures is of course Lad and Lass Photography, and I think they did a phenomenal job at capturing the whimsical essence of Deb and Mike's unforgettable day. I think the reason that I love these pictures so much is that they exude the Durban vibe through and through. Ah, I'm so proud to have been born and bred along these shores. Proudly South African to my core. 








 {All images: Lad and Lass Photography}

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Slavery Isn't Over Yet

Have you ever wondered what the rest of the world was doing while thousands of Jewish people were fading away inside the concentration camps that stole their freedom? Or where the helping hands were when slaves were being held captive and abused during the American Civil war? Where were the freedom fighters? Why didn't people help the cause of the ones that were powerless to save themselves?
Surely if we had been alive at such an hour we would have stood for freedom, we would have fought for a cause bigger than ourselves, we would not have been the passive ones pretending it wasn't a reality.
Did you know that today there are 27 million people enslaved in the sex trade globally? This is more than double the amount of Africans slaved during the Trans Atlantic slave trade, and over 100 000 of these slaves are children prostituted right under the nose of US citizens.
It appears that the dilemma of slavery did not go down with history but has been growing with every passing generation. Our predecessors were not the passive ones, we are.

Today I was privileged enough to sit and hear the plight of a powerful woman named Erica Greve who is the founder of a non-profit organization called Unlikely Heroes that is dedicated to the abolition of sex slavery and exploitation in the USA and abroad. Erica has devoted her life to seeing slavery put to death in our generation and with her team and supporters of Unlikely Heroes, they are leaving their thumbprint of freedom on the planet.
As Erica passionately shared with us today, she told stories of a trip Philippines, where her and the team rescued 11 young girls who had been kept in rooms in the back of a grotty bar and forced, night after night to give their bodies to men for as little as $1 per night. In November of 2011, Unlikely Heroes opened their first restoration home for girls previously in the sex trade, and have been changing the lives of once hopeless girls ever since.

This is their vision  "Unlikely Heroes wants to see child sex slavery ended worldwide. Our vision is every boy and girl, who has been sold for sex in America and internationally, to have access to protective shelters and specialized services needed to stop cycles of victimization and to provide them with the therapeutic treatment, education & opportunities they need to move forward into recovery."

Erica took a stand for slavery when nobody else was, but now thanks to her, people like you and I are able to partner with an existing organization in the hope to save lives that would have been doomed without our willingness to intercede. The question always is, how can I help? and I think that the biggest deterrent for people lending a helping hand is the lie that they cannot make a difference. Well, the truth is that you are the key to someone else's freedom and something as simple as donating one dollar could aid in saving a life. Unlikely Heroes is in desperate need of financial support in order to fund their projects and increase the scope of the women and children that they are able to rescue. If you are able to partner with them financially, you'd be making a life changing investment. 
Click here to find out more about how you can help or visit the Unlikely Heroes website here
Let us be the generation known for collectively taking a stand for freedom and humbling ourselves enough to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Thank you for your support. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I was a bit late on the deadmau5 train if I'm honest, but with this song on repeat on my workout playlist, I'm swiftly making up for lost time. Enjoy. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bohemian, meet Bridal.

A friend of a friend got married recently and I accidentally came across her wedding pictures on Facebook. When I saw them I gasped saying "where on earth is that dress from!"
She had the most elegant white lace gown cascading down her body and it defintiely didn't look anything like your run of the mill wedding dress. It was classy, with a free-spirited boho feel, and topped off with a headband of roses, she looked like an etherial being.
The creative culprit behind this dream of a dress was the Australian online bridal store 'Grace Loves Lace,' and after hitting up their website, I was greeted with pictures of similarly stunning dresses to the one I'd originally fell in love with.
Grace Loves Lace makes ready-to-wear gowns from the finest French laces and silks and whilst each dress is not only utterly gorgeous, it successfully avoids all bridalwear cliches and 'seen-that-befores.'
I expect that every bride that floats down the aisle in a Grace Loves Lace gown will definitely leave her groom and guests speechless and unable to take their eyes off of her elegance. 
Visit the Grace Loves Lace website here.
{All images: Grace Loves Lace}
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