Anatomy of a Birthday Cake III 0

July 2, 2015



I realised something last week. Now that the Tiger is here (and has turned one–yikes), I have the delight/stress of making birthday cakes twice a year. And unlike Hannah’s girls, who have birthdays in the same week (two years apart), my two are almost exactly on opposite sides of the year, giving me ample time to plan and research the absolute best birthday cake for whatever age whichever child is turning. Plus, one is an autumn birthday and the other a summer birthday (the very same as me and my sister; I will be commiserating with Little e if she grows to be jealous of her brother’s warm weather birthday possibilities), so I have the chance to make seasonal cakes if I so choose. Ahem. If the kids so choose.

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Food Styling. 2

June 24, 2015

Unless you’ve been avoiding all forms of social media and refuse to set foot into quirky gift shops with snazzy quotes in frames you will have heard this saying: Do one thing every day that scares you. It is a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady of the U.S. president (1933 – 1945), a humanitarian who fought for the rights of workers, children, women, the oppressed and poor and helped to found the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and establish the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Phew. Busy lady. Clearly that quote served Eleanor very well. And yet… Every day?? I struggle to do my laundry every day and remember to put on deodorant. Something that scares you?? Eek. But surely you shouldn’t completely ignore your instincts?

Um, can a quote have footnotes? How about disclaimers?




A few weeks ago a new friend, Bonnie Machell, from ARKADE furniture hire, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing some food styling. I’ll admit I was a bit confused. I had only just recently worked out that food styling was *a thing*, could be done poorly or really, really well and that food styling could actually be a job. This dawned on me after realising that most of the Instagram accounts I pore over are by food stylists. So I gently explained to Bonnie that I certainly wasn’t a food stylist; I wasn’t even a chef. I most often referred to myself as a “food enthusiast” – almost always accompanied by guffaws of laughter (my own). But Bonnie persisted. “I’ll be there too. And I think you could do it.” she urged (this, from the woman who had known me for five minutes).

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The Simple Things 2

June 17, 2015

It’s been hot around here.

I know, I know–those of you in the southern hemisphere are rolling your eyes right now. But I feel the teensiest bit of gloating is acceptable, given how eye-rolly I get when the other half of this blog posts about delightfully warm things in December and it’s been raining for three weeks up here and I can’t get the wet dog smell out of my house even though we don’t have a dog. So: it’s been hot and sunny and dry and when it’s like this, I crave salads. The crunch and juice and cold and quench. Some with dressing, some without. Leafy salads and potatoey salads and coleslaws and grain-based salads. Maybe a good baguette to accompany. Simple things done well.

So here’s what I made today, as Little e taught her family of rubber duckies how to build a block tower and The Tiger hypnotised himself with a slinky.


DSC_1187 cropped

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Dark chocolate, sea salt + lavender cookies 4

June 10, 2015

I have some obsessions. You may have noticed. Chocolate. Chocolate cookies. Chocolate paired with herbs. Chocolate with herbs and salt and made into a cookie! I’m imagining you tipping your head, in that Labrador puppy kinda way – “Chocolate and…herbs? With salt? That sounds a bit horrible”. I promise you, it’s all going to be okay. Have I ever lead you astray? Let me cuddle you in close and solemnly vow that this cookie is not horrible in the least. In fact, Matt today declared “Better than your afghans” which is a BIG statement. So, do you trust me….?


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Sweet Little Something 2

June 7, 2015

Hello! If you are new to Sweet Little Something, here’s how it works: one of us posts a picture from our week – a moment, something noticed, an image worth treasuring – and the other leaves a comment, haiku or link inspired by the photo. Leave your thoughts, notes or poetry in the comments below. We love to hear from you. H & R xo


From Hannah:


(A page from the brilliant ‘Soppy’ by Phillipa Rice)


From Ria:


Sleep positions us

to best hold each other

when we are least aware but most in need.