Friday, March 29, 2013

Fun Friday Links

Long weekend, woo hoo! Well, I'm still on maternity leave, but for everyone else, woo hoo! I did try to give up chocolate until Easter, but that didn't go so well. There's just too much temptation - Easter egg chocolate, particularly the milk chocolate Cadbury variety is my weakness.

So, to get us started, the first link is about Easter eggs.

- 9 Ways to Enjoy Cadbury Creme Eggs. You're welcome. NUMBER THREE OMG.

- I haven't watched Veronica Mars in a loooong time, so this list of its now-famous guest stars was pretty cool.

- Flavorwire has compiled a list of the best break up lines in film.

- How to get that annoying earworm song out of your head. I ALWAYS get songs stuck in my head while I'm trying to fall asleep. Usually something annoying that I would never like, that I heard all of about three seconds of last week.

- Shoshanna from Girls cracks me up. Her million miles an hour, stream of consciousness chatter is hilarious, so please check out this Sh*t Shosh Says. Amazing.

- This has been floating around for a week or so: kids around the world with their most prized possessions

Happy weekend! Hope you don't (or do?) indulge in too much chocolate! Pin It

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Adventures in Cooking - Mini Jam Tarts

This is a recipe I got from my lovely cousin. She makes these for family get togethers, and they are little bites of crumbly goodness. I love a dessert that is small and easy to eat, but completely delicious and full of flavour, and these mini jam tarts tick all those boxes. 

Something else that's great for us is that they are egg free. We recently found out our (almost ONE YEAR OLD WHAT) daughter is allergic to eggs, so I am now always on the hunt for delicious recipes that are egg free to make for her once she can eat things other than mush.

250g butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 - 2 teaspoons of cold water
1 cup jam (approximate) - any flavour you like
icing sugar to dust

Preparation and cooking time: about 30 minutes.

- Preheat your oven to 180ºC (about 160º for a fan forced oven)

- Grease a mini muffin pan with some butter

- Chuck the butter, vanilla, icing sugar, and flour into a mixer. Beat until it's combined, and starts to resemble a semi-crumbly, dough like consistency. You may need to add the teaspoons of cold water now if the dough isn't sticking together.

- Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and place into the muffin pan. I made mine about the size of a golf ball.

- Make a hole indent into the centre of each ball with your finger. You can make the hole as big or small as you like. I personally like to make it a bit larger, because then you can fit more jam in, which mixes well with the shortbread-like taste. But make sure you don't pierce through the bottom, otherwise the jam will fall out, and we really can't have that.

- Spoon jam into each hole, making sure it's level with the top of the ball.

- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden.

- Cool tarts in the pans.

- Dust with icing sugar before serving.


Got any good egg free recipes or websites? Let me know in the comments! Pin It

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Morning Melody - The Lennings

I know, it sounds like The Lemmings, that computer game. But it's not. The Lennings are an American indie folk band and I hadn't heard of them until I caught up on season 3 of Parenthood this past week.  

Unfortunately, I can't embed the video here, but click and take a listen. It took me a couple of minutes to realise it was a really lovely acoustic cover of You're the One That I Want from Grease

Seriously, how beautiful is it? It sounds like a completely different song, and I just love it.

I have no idea why the clip is of a saucepan on the stove and making a cup of tea. Maybe that's why they don't want people to embed the video....Although, cheapest music video ever?

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fun Friday Links

I've been fighting a cold, so the Friday links are a Saturday edition this week! Let's get stuck straight into them, shall we?

- I loved this list of 22 of your Favourite Childhood Style Icons, Revisited. Besides the fact that it's kind of scary how much of this fashion is available RIGHT NOW in shops, I loved how spot on they are with all the characters. Especially Claudia Kishi. Although I think they left off the very important detail of stickers on her shoes, because I remember her doing that on at least one occasion. I think the book where she was accused of cheating on a maths test and the stickers were ocean themed and used on the day when she retook the test? I know, it's sad/amazing how much detail I remember about the BSC. Also, to this day, I still love Cher Horowitz's school wear wardrobe.

- This is from a couple of weeks ago, but it popped up a lot on my Facebook feed, so I thought I'd better post it. Harry Stamps was the dean of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and this is his obituary. You need to read the whole, thing. The last lines, in particular, are my favourite. I think in my obituary, I want to tell everyone to write to their member of parliament to ask for the repeal of blue coloured drinks. I just don't trust blue. It's not a flavour!

- This piece from NPR is interesting: Are romantic comedies dead? PLEASE, GOD, NO.

- Here is everything Carrie Bradshaw wondered throughout Sex and the City's run. Know what I wondered? How a writer with a teeny, tiny column in a tabloid newspaper could afford not to have any other source of income and still be able to have an apartment on the upper east side on Manhattan, and buy shoes that were $400 a pair. Right? RIGHT?

- Dog photobombs an apartment listing photos. Hilarious.

- Imagine a world without hate, prejudice, and bigotry. Kind of amazing, right?

Happy weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review - The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp

Title: The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp
Author: Eva Rice
Year of Publication: 2013
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Page extent: 320

I first discovered Eva Rice quite a few years ago, when I read her novel The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, which was a complete delight. You should go and read it right now. So when I heard she was FINALLY releasing a new novel, I was ridiculously excited. Even better was that my library actually got a copy of it straight away.

The daughter of a vicar, Tara Jupp is one of eight children living in a small village in Cornwall in the 1960s. Blessed with her late mother's talent for singing, Tara is more interested in secret horseback riding at one of the biggest estates in the village, Trellenack. When Lady W-D discovers Tara had been riding her horses, she agrees not to get her into trouble. Instead, she asks Tara to come to tea, and to bring her beautiful sister, Lucy, to befriend her lonesome daughter, Matilda. Soon Lucy and Matilda are inseparable, with Tara tagging along. As Lucy educates Matilda about boys, Tara spends her days working in the stables at the mansion, and singing in the church choir. 

The arrival of a handsome Spaniard, Raoul, disrupts things, as Matilda is convinced he's her future husband, while Lucy and Raoul, both fascinated by old estates, have eyes only for each other. They marry, breaking Matilda's heart; she loses her best friend, and the man she loves. Lucy and Tara are no longer welcome at Trellenack, and Matilda disappears from their lives. 

Fast forward a few years. Matilda is a successful model and reappears in the village to marry her famous record producer boyfriend, Billy. Tara performs a solo during their wedding ceremony, and her life changes forever. Billy whisks her off to London to cut a record, and Lucy accompanies them to catalogue a Victorian house set to be demolished. Tara is transformed into Cherry Merrywell, and is thrown into the recording studio with the temperamental songwriter Inigo Wallace. Recording music by day, and living fast and furiously by night, Tara experiences London in the swinging sixties from the second she arrives in town. 

However, life isn't as fun and frivolous as it seems. Tara and Lucy's relationship begins to unravel when Lucy's marriage hits a rocky patch, and Tara begins to push the boundaries being imposed upon her by Billy. Life as Cherry Merrywell isn't all it's cracked up to be, and Tara quickly learns that fame and fortune often come with a catch.

Rice's main characters are strongly voiced women, particularly Tara. At seventeen years old, she is thrust into the limelight in London, and her naivety often gets the best of her. Though interestingly, I often forgot she was only a teenager. Rice managed to create a character who conveys a girlish innocence and an adult determination simultaneously. Lucy, however, is aloof and distant, an nice contrast to Tara's openness. The sisters, and the extended Jupp clan have an hilariously flippant attitude to life in their village, and the cast of supporting characters in London paint a wonderfully detailed picture of London's socialites living life as fast and hard as they can.

The only flaw in the novel was the focus on Lucy and Raoul. I felt their relationship could have been explored in much more detail. The reader only learns about their struggles through Tara's limited observations, since Lucy is so closed off. I think Rice could have devoted a little bit more time to their storyline, and to the issues they faced. Their plotline sometimes felt like a cursory glance into married life, when there was obviously a deep love story that had developed.

Overall, the novel was a fast and fun read. The characters were a mix of quirky and everyday people, and Tara's life in London stops just short of becoming a cliche. Her desire not to fit into the mould of a sixties songstress is what makes her so utterly likeable, and this coming of age is written in sweetly understated style.

In a word: good.   

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Morning Melody - Snow Patrol

In honour of St. Patrick's day yesterday, here is a completely gorgeous song from my favourite Irish band, Snow Patrol. I've seen them live three times, which, FYI, is SO worth it, but they've never played this song. It's called You Could Be Happy, and it's the most beautiful break up song, and probably one of my favourite songs from them.

The music box chimes are the loveliest touch, and Gary Lighbody's lyrics are, as usual, perfect. Pin It

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun Friday Links

It's been a quiet blogging week. I had hoped to do a book review, but I haven't finished the book yet, and I want to attempt an outfit post, but I need to wait until someone other than my ten month old is home to photograph it, because she's reached the stage where she likes to see how hard she can smash things against her high chair tray.

But in the meantime, here are some fun links to keep your Friday entertaining!

- I do love remembering Very Special Episodes from the 80s and 90s. This clip is a montage of the very best worst very special episodes. Remember the Punky Brewster ep with the girl in the fridge? Drama!! Love it.

- Growing up, my sister LOVED to hire Return to Oz from the video shop, and I would watch it with her, but man, that movie is kind of messed up. The Wheelers? The witch with the different heads in the hallway? I can't believe my mother let us keep watching it. Anyway, here are 11 of the most traumatising moments from the film. Oh my God, the insane asylum at the start! I forgot about that.

- Please enjoy this fifteen minute clip of people falling awkwardly. I think my favourite is the Dad jumping on the mattress his baby is sitting on, and seeing the baby fly up in the air. Cracked my shit up.

- Vulture has the Ultimate Sitcom Smackdown happening now. Thoughts? I don't know that Sex and the City can be compared anywhere near Seinfeld, but that's just me.

Happy long weekend if you're in Victoria! And happy....regular two day weekend if you're elsewhere.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Morning Melody - Bruno Mars

I am really coming around to Bruno Mars. And it's because of this song. I think it's lovely.

It's so full of longing and regret. I think he really nailed the emotions through the lyrics. Pin It

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fun Friday Links

It's the first day of Autumn! The past two days have been cool, and it has been divine to go to bed feeling the need for a warm doona. Of course, fast forward about four months and I'll probably be moaning about the deluge of rain we'll probably have.

Here are your Friday links!

- Did you read Sweet Valley High in the 90s? Like The Baby Sitters Club, I never knew they were written by ghost writers when I was reading them as a teenager, so this interview with one of the ghost writers is really cool. Highlights here, full article here.

- Jennifer Lawrence is totally the media's darling right now. And why not? She's hilarious, adorable, and a brand new Oscar winner. So, here's Jennifer Lawrence being awesome at the Oscars in GIF form.

- Whether or not you enjoy the TV show Girls, this is an interesting piece on the costume designer for the show. I only have one comment - Hannah needs to stop wearing unflattering, high waisted shorts, PLEASE.

-This will fill in your Friday afternoon nicely - the 12 most strangely satisfying videos on the internet. I love the one of the chess piece being made. It kind of reminds of that clip from Seasme Street that showed crayons being made, which my sisters and I loved.

Happy weekend! Pin It