Port Antonio cocktail

Happy Friday! Please regale me with some of your exciting weekend plans as I will no doubt be spending the majority of mine with brush in hand, craning up to 26 linear metres of cornice. Whatever your plans, there’s always time for a Saturday night cocktail, yes? I’ve shared this sweet/tart one over at Polka Dot Bride today.

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Birthday giveaway winners

Congratulations to readers Harriet, Brittney, Maria, Georgina and Kelly! You have each won an Akimbo stationery mixed bag. I’ll be emailing you to get your delivery details. If you missed out, you can order your lucky dip pack here. Thanks so much for your kind and helpful feedback on the birthday post. You’re keen to see more of:

Most of this is exactly what I love to write about so it’s great to know it’s resonating with you too. The only thing I don’t plan to increase is cross-promoting my stationery business but those interested (thanks!) can follow over on the Akimbo blog.

Thanks again for reading and here’s to another big year ahead!

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This post is sponsored by Origin Energy.

Winter Warmers stew

With just a few days til the beginning of winter the days are getting cooler and shorter here. My favourite part of winter has to be cooking (and eating!) all of the hearty food that the season has to offer.

Despite the cooler weather we’ve actually still been cooking outside a fair bit as The Man and I much prefer the results from gas cooking. Not just snags and steaks, mind you, it’s our go-to method for cooking things like stirfries and paella too, which end up a soggy mess on the electric cooktop in the kitchen.

Winter Warmers stew

Winter Warmers stew

Last night I fired up the barbecue and tried my hand at this new recipe for beef & vegetable stew.

I used fresh beans instead of frozen and served it with couscous, sour cream and parsley. It was a hit and will go on our winter meal rotation for sure.

Like all of the best stews, it had a long cooking time, but once it was set up I left it to its own devices for a couple of hours with only the occasional stir. Easy.

The perfect warming and homely finish to a busy weekend.

You can find this and other winter warming recipes for your gas cooker here. I’m trying the choc orange honeycomb mousse next!

Free printable retro menu

I made these cute retro drinks menus for our 30th party a couple of weeks ago. In true Mad Men style we had to include a couple of cocktails. Now I want to make mojito punch for every party.

You can download and customise your own retro drinks menu over on Polka Dot Bride.

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This post is sponsored by Target

Target festive celebration

What’s the best part about this time of year? Opening up your home to entertain friends and family, with no further excuse required to crack a bubbly or whip up a cocktail at any time of day.

If you’re off the hook for hosting Chrissy lunch this year, perhaps (like me) you’re thinking about throwing a bit of a party this Christmas / New Year period.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a little shoot to inspire your upcoming festive celebration.

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Get the look from Target: wreath, hurricane lantern, square lantern, tree decorations, cushion, ceramic trees, polka dot flutes, polka dot tumblers, drink dispenser, black platters, dress, ring, necklace.

Thanks to The Man for helping with the photography since yours truly is in some of the shots.

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GIVEAWAY

I have a $30 Target gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment and tell us your favourite way to celebrate the holidays and the best answer will win!

Competition closes midnight Wednesday 18th December and winner will be announced on Thursday 19th December. Sorry, open to Australian residents only.

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Hot chocolate jar homemade gift with free printable label

My latest project is up on Polka Dot Bride.

It was designed as a sweet wedding favour, but without the wedding-specific label it would make a great idea for homemade Christmas gifts.

Check out the full post!

P.S. Don’t forget about the free blog event I’m speaking at tonight at Woodcroft Library! Meet some likeminded people and ask some local lifestyle bloggers about why they blog and the future of the industry. Hope to see you there!

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confetti party

 

Yes, I’m still alive! I know I’ve missed a few days of posting recently and have practically dropped off the social media planet and for that I apologise.

There has just been so much going on with the business and other projects that there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to actually work on any house projects, let alone blog about them.

To distract you from that fact, I am going to show you CONFETTI and CAKE!

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On the weekend we went to the first birthday party of a good friend’s little girl and it was the cutest party ever! (No surprise that it was so well styled, since she runs the beautiful gift store Table Mantle Pantry.)

How adorable is the mini cake? There was a matching big version too.

 

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Hope your weekend was full of good things too!

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Spending an entire afternoon enjoying a lazy meal with friends and family is one of my favourite simple pleasures. It somehow feels so much more indulgent doing this at lunch not dinner, don’t you find?

It’s been a while though, so when some interstate rellies announced they were visiting this weekend we thought it was the perfect chance to have a relaxing Sunday lunch. The weather doesn’t look like it will be quite nice enough to eat outside but we might at least crank the barbecue for the first time this season (whole fish? roast lamb? can’t decide).

So this weekend, why don’t you enjoy a Sunday long lunch?

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With our bathroom having been in a state of mid-renovation chaos for the last few weeks, entertaining friends hasn’t been on the cards.

Now that it’s fit for use again, I’m itching to have some friends over and bust out the bar cart I set up earlier in the year.

Not only does it free up valuable kitchen cupboard space, but you can keep all your entertaining essentials together so there’s less preparation to do when you have guests over for a spontaneous martini.

So this weekend, why don’t you set up a bar cart?

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It seems winter is trying to make the most of the last couple of weeks of the season and give us day after day of dreadful weather.

Still, all the rainy days mean it’s perfect weather for baking!

I tried my hand at this citrus mud cake with, shall we say, mixed success. Only halfway through the cooking time it was well and truly browned so (after a quick skewer test) I deemed it ready. Unfortunately it was totally undercooked in the middle. It was very tasty though!

Happily, I had more luck with the cake topper. You can find the tutorial today over on Polka Dot Bride.

Thanks to Little Sweet Styling for lending me the beautiful cake stand.

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Pie buffet

With the public holiday on Monday this week has simply flown by, which means it’s time for another Polka Dot Bride project.

I’ve already shared the cherry pie and pumpkin pie recipes, so here’s how to pull the whole look together.

Click to read the full post.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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