Friday, May 24, 2013

Fun Friday Links

People, it is nearly JUNE. That means WINTER IS COMING. That is crazy.

To distract ourselves from the impending misery of a Melbourne Winter, let's look at some links!

- You need to watch this man's conversations with his 2 year old daughter, as acted out between him and another adult. Hilarious.

- 15 reasons why Dylan McKay is the perfect high school boyfriend.

- The Buffy finale is TEN YEARS OLD. Take a look at 27 moments you'll never forget from the final episode.

- A teenage girl has invented a way to block spoilers on Twitter. She wrote the code by herself in ten hours, and it's just 150 lines of code. Well done, I say!

- Please enjoy this list of all of Kramer's jobs

- Then take this Seinfeld quiz matching now-famous actors to their guest parts on the show. I got 100%. YES.

Happy weekend, everyone! Pin It

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
Year of publication: 2009
Publisher: Orion
Page extent: 384

It's 1950 and Flavia de Luce is an eleven year old girl living in at Buckshaw, a formerly grand mansion in the small English village of Bishop's Lacey. An apsiring chemist, Flavia spends most of her time locked away in her fully functioning laboratory performing chemical experiments with frighteningly accurate results. The rest of the time she is being tormented by her older sisters, Daphne and Ophelia (aka The Devil's Hairball), or roaming the countryside and bellowing at the top of her lungs on Gladys, her trusty bicycle. The three girls live with their widowed father, Colonel de Luce, their irritating housekeeper Mrs. Mullet, and Dogger, a former prisoner of war and general caretaker.

Life at Buckshaw gets interesting when Mrs. Mullet finds a dead bird on the doorstep with it's beak piercing a postage stamp known as the Penny Black. A few hours later, Flavia finds a man in the cucumber patch and witnesses his last words and dying breath. Overcome with curiosity and delight at the forensic investigation that takes place at Buckshaw, Flavia begins to examine life at Buckshaw, and her father, in greater detail. When Colonel de Luce is arrested for the murder, he opens up about life at boarding school, the theft of a priceless item, and the apparent suicide of one of his teachers. Convinced that her father is innocent, Flavia's investigation of the murder intensifies, much to the annoyance of Inspector Hewitt at the police department, and she manages to solve the crime, though not without getting herself into a bit of hot water along the way.

I've had this book on my 'to read' list for quite a while, and when I finally got around to reading it, I was completely delighted. Flavia de Luce is an hilarious protaganist - intelligent, glib, and cheekily arrogant, she is the perfect mix of Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew. Bradley's cast of quirky characters that reside in Bishop's Lacey add an additional layer of charm to the story, particularly during Flavia's interactions with them. Her superior, couldn't care less attitude towards Bishop Lacey's who only hinder her attempts at clearing her father's name is quite amusing coming from an eleven year old girl. As she gets closer to solving the crime, Flavia's patience with the adults in the village wears thin, and her boldness and cunning tactics increase with equal parts hilarity and intensity.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a clever romp through the young adult murder mystery genre. Flavia de Luce embarks on her investigation with youthful arrogance, and quickly proves herself as a fearless super sleuth. Bradley's sharply written story is full of witty barbs and condesending observations about life in Bishop's Lacey seen through Flavia's eyes, and it's clearl she thinks she knows better than everyone else. It's a delight from start to finish, with a good dose of suspense dolloped throughout.

In a word: good

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Monday Morning Melody - Robin Thicke ft. T.I., Pharell WIlliams

Two weeks ago I featured another song with Pharrell Williams, and I can't resist featuring this one as well. 

Definitely one of the catchiest songs of the year, yes? Pin It

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun Friday Links

Yay, it's Friday! And Melbourne is being a saucy minx, teasing us with this this gorgeous, late Autumn weather. Ahhh, Melbourne. Just when we think you're plunging us in the depressing, gray days of Winter, you seduce us with blue skies, warm sun, and pink skies at dusk. You cheeky thing, you!

Anyway, let's enjoy some Friday links with our sunshine, shall we?

- The Pregnant Husband is an hilarious tumblr full of gifs to express what one man went through while his wife was pregnant. When I was pregnant, I must say that this one was something I worried about a LOT in the final weeks.

- And now that his wife has given birth, The Pregnant Husband has a new blog called Daddy Newbie. When we had a newborn and I had to brave the supermarket for the first time, this is pretty much how I shopped that day. Also, this? This is possibly the most accurate description of new parenting ever.

- If you love John Karsinski and /or Jimmy Fallon, you need to watch this lip-sync off between them. I love the cutaways to the band. Hilarious.

- 17 photos you need to look at to really understand. Seriously, you will need to look more than twice at a lot of these!

- Parisian twin sisters live as each other's mirror image. So interesting.

- Netherlands work safety posters that a super creepy. Be careful on a ladder or a devil serpant will vomit fire on you! If you get your arm stuck in a piece of machinery, you will be sucked in a portal of hell!

On that note, happy weekend everyone! Pin It

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures in Cupcake Decorating - Baby Shower Cupcakes

I made some cupcakes for a baby shower in February using fondant to decorate them, but I wanted to try some with buttercream. One of my best friends had her baby shower last weekend, so it was a perfect opportunity to practice using buttercream. I've been watching a lot of a show called Cupcake Wars, and they all use buttercream, marscapone, cream cheese, and meringue icings with piping bags, and it didn't look too difficult.

I don't have a lot of experience with piping bags - the few times I've used them the icing hasn't been very good, but this time I allowed myself a lot of time to really get the buttercream to the right texture. The secret, I think, is to let it whip for a really long time until it's very light and fluffy. 

I let the buttercream whip for about twenty minutes, and piped the swirls on really carefully, then sprinkled edible rainbow confetti on to it. I'm quite pleased with the results! The only downside was the patty pans - they were gorgeous rainbow patterns, but they were too thin, so because the cake was chocolate mud, when it cooked, the colour of the cupcake penetrated through the patty pans (which you can see in the top photo) and the colours were totally lost. Luckily the pack had heaps of extra patty pans, so I double layered them and all was fine.

I'm still working on how to get the cupcakes to cook in that perfectly round cupcake shape. I find that mine always go slightly too high in the middle, or a bit lopsided, rising more on one side, but overall I am super happy with how these turned out!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Retail Therapy

Oh, Myer. Despite your moronic CEO's comments about the National Disability Scheme hurting retail, I love your one day sales. The days when consumers can walk into a shop and feel confident that their suspicions that the regular retail price is jacked up so high it's not worth purchasing until it's "on sale" are right on the money.

Anyway, I have been looking for a pair of chocolate brown, flat, knee high boots for a couple of years know, but I have the blasted Curse of the Wide Calved Girl and usually find it impossible to find boots that zip all the way up to my knee.

But not this year!

These are Diana Ferrari leather boots and they fit like a dream. I don't love the panels of elastic, but alas, us large calved girls can't be too choosy when we find a boot that fits, am I right?

RRP $229.95
Sale price: $170ish. Pin It

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Morning Melody - Daft Punk Ft. Pharrell Williams

This song doesn't need any introduction.

Because it is AWESOME.

The end. Pin It