Friday, October 26, 2012


Family is amazing, right?
I've got some amazing family, who are all very lovely and creative and inspiring.
I've got one sister who is particularly special. She is super lovely and super creative and she inspires me always.

She's just opened her own online shop selling her beautiful handmade collages! She cuts the images out of vintage magazines (and only makes a little bit of mess), and she puts them all together to make these wonderful images.

They're mostly all based on the sea, because she loves marine life (she's even got her scuba diving licence!). And did I mention she's only 17! Wowee.

You can see more of her prints at her Society 6 page. Go check them out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nearly there.

I'm coming into the end of the uni year and there are so many books to read and so many words to write. 
Listening to the Amelie soundtrack helps get me through though, as well as making multiple pots of coffee.

I can't wait until I can read for fun again! I've got so many novels lined up that need my attention. 
Soon, soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Song lyric tea cups.

Finally, Music and tea can be together! At last! It's like a match made in heaven.

I've seen this DIY around everywhere, on blogs and pinterest, and I really wanted to try it out for myself.
Plus, I'm always writing song lyrics down everywhere, so this was a good way to finally get them out of my head! (Although, every time I pick up one of these mugs, I start singing the song).

This DIY is super easy (and cheap! I got these mugs from K-Mart for $1 each. The plate is thrifted, too).
These instructions are from A Beautiful Mess. All you do is:
- write/draw whatever you want on your (clean, dry) mugs using a permanent marker.
- bake in the oven at 180C for 30 mins.
- leave to cool before using.
That's it! I did read somewhere that you should use porcelain mugs, though, not ceramic. And they're not dishwasher friendly (which is fine for me because I don't even have a dishwasher!).

I'd love to see what you make! x

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday I'm in Love: New things, last minute.

I think I must be the last person to own both these books, but I'm so glad that I waited so long to get them.
They're the first cookbooks published by two of my favourite bloggers; Joy The Baker and Orangette.
They're basically the blogs in book form, sometimes witty, always divine, they're the perfect addition to my ever growing cookbook collection.

Now excuse me while I go and make a peanut butter and jam milkshake...

~ A friend from my old job introduced me to Wolf Parade when I complained about needing new music to listen too. They're almost like a mix between Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire. I like it. ~

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A trip to warmer climes.


In February, Brent and I spent a few weeks in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast. It was warm and lovely and hardly rained at all while we were there! We kissed seals, drank lots of beer, hung out at the Surf Life Saving Club, and read so many good books. 

Now that the weather in Hobart is freezing, gets dark at 4.00pm and seems to rain everyday, I thought I'd share some photos from our trip, to make us all long for warmer times.

~This seemed like the obvious song to put with this post, but I couldn't bring myself to be that obvious, so I've gone completely in the other direction and included something entirely unrelated ~

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On excitement and kale chips.

I get excited by the small things. The small wins in life that make day-to-day living enjoyable. Finding the perfect pair of two-tone heels in a vintage shop, discovering a new musician and finding out that you love them and wondering why you hadn't been listening to them forever, working out how to use your new phone,   making kale chips for the first time.

I'd never seen kale in the grocery shop before, let alone cooked with it. But I kept seeing recipes with kale on some of my favourite blogs, and I desperately wanted to try it. Then one day I saw some Kale in my local deli. It was like a sign from some higher being, telling me that I should finally try Kale.

"Kale chips" it said, beckoning me towards the checkout, "Make some kale chips!" And I did. And it was good.

These kale chips are crispy, salty, crunchy, healthy, delightful. They're easy and satisfying, and make you feel like you are doing something good for yourself. Making kale chips is a small win in a week full of sameness.
And they only taste a little bit like lettuce!

Kale Chips recipe:
From Joy the Baker

1 bunch of kale
1 tbsp olive oil
Seasoning (salt and pepper; cayenne pepper; paprika; whatever takes your fancy!)

Preheat the oven to 135C.
Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Cut out the stalky middle bit, as this gets hard during cooking. Cut the kale up into smaller bits if you like (but not too small, as it shrinks a bit while cooking).
Toss the Kale with the seasoning and olive oil.
Arrange on 2 baking trays, aiming for single layers.
Bake for 15 mins. Remove the trays, turn the kale, and bake for another 15 mins.
After the 30 mins, turn the oven off but leave the kale in the cooling oven for another 30 mins, to dry out and crisp up.
Store in an airtight container. Joy the Baker says that kale chips will last for several days, but I ate all of mine in less than 2 days, so I can't guarantee this claim!

~I'm loving Fiona Apple at the moment. I've really been getting into my 90's singer-song writers recently, but this is my favourite song. Bliss. ~

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday I'm in Love: Terrariums.

I love terrariums! They're so cute and whimsical and lovely. My friend Steph and I have recently become enamoured with the idea of terrariums and we can't wait to make our own! We spent 2 hours in the city looking for moss and small plastic deer to include in our terrariums.

I'm not sure if I could keep a real one alive, I always forget to water the plants that I have already, so I really like the idea of 'Faux' terrariums, full of fake moss and  toy animals. (Rabbits! Deer! Squirrels! All the woodland animals!).

So here's some terrarium inspiration for this cold Friday.

[Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4]

~ I'm sure you've heard of Best Coast. They're all summery and beachy (if that's a good way to describe them!). This song, Boyfriend, is from their album "Crazy For You." ~

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's very ok.

Just a little reminder for myself and for everyone else who needs encouragement. It's ok to be brave! It's very ok.

Don't be scared. Try wearing a bright lipstick, or your fancy high heels that you're saving for a special day. Talk to someone you wouldn't normally talk to. Make something special for dinner, even if it looks tricky. Put yourself out there! Life takes courage, just keep just keep reminding yourself.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Birthday flags.

My sister had an impromptu picnic for her birthday earlier this year. So I made her an impromptu lemon cake that was picnic appropriate. I guess all cakes are picnic appropriate, but adding some paper flags to this bright yellow cake made it seem a bit more festive.

Somehow I've turned into the birthday-cake baker in the family. But every cake I've made this year is nothing compared to the rainbow cake from last year. I'm going to have to make something amazing to beat that! One day, one day...

P.S. My sister's Happy Whale collage is going to be on Avant Cards. Keep a look out for it! 


This song is by First Aid Kit, a Swedish band, and is so dreamy and nice!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Strawberry sauce and leopard print.

I never thought of myself as being the kind of girl who wore leopard print. I thought it was reserved purely for Rockabilly chicks and old ladies who are hanging onto their youth. But then I started seeing leopard print things in the shops. All the shops. Everything you could think of came in leopard print: shoes, scarves, cardies, tops, bags, everything. Everything! 

And then one day I decided that I loved leopard print. I really loved it and I couldn't wait to get my hands on something leopard print. Every shop I went into, I gravitated straight towards the leopard print things. I touched them all, and tried them all on.

You know what doesn't look good? A whole leopard-print outfit: jeans, cardigan, shoes, hat, scarf... You just can't wear them all together. It's a fashion disaster, trust me. So in the end, I bought a head scarf and a beret and I was finally happy! Now I wear them with everything, all the time. Mixing prints? That's the best part! I love a good leopard/cherry/stripe combo. And I love it even better when I'm stirring something in the kitchen. Something a bit like strawberry sauce.

We had some amazing strawberries over the summer. Normally I like to just eat them raw, straight out of the plastic container. Just greedily shove them all into my mouth. But at the end of the strawberry season I decided that I would turn them into something a bit more long-lasting, so I made strawberry sauce.

I'm not sure if you know this (you probably do, you're pretty clever), but strawberries aren't very high in pectin, which means that they don't set into jam very well. If I'm being honest with you, which I should be, I was actually trying to make jam, but the strawberries didn't set as well as they should have, so I called it sauce and was happy. 

This sauce is pretty sweet, but it's got a bit of bite from the lemon. You could get really outrageous and throw in some vanilla bean if you're feeling decadent (but I think that would make it extra sweet). Next time I make this, I would up the lemon and cut the sugar. But make sure you have some vanilla ice cream on hand to spoon this sauce over. It also makes a killer milkshake syrup. Oh, the possibilities!

Strawberry Sauce
Adapted from Word of Mouth

Makes 4 medium jars
2kg ripe strawberries
1.7kg sugar
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Before you start, put a saucer in the freezer (to test the sauce on later).
Top the strawberries and cut any big ones in half. Put in a wide, heavy-bottom pan. 
Add the lemon juice, zest and a tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil.
Boil for 15-20 mins until thickened. Stir occasionally and test the sauce for checking point in the last 5 mins by putting a teaspoon of sauce onto the cold saucer and push your finger through it. If the sauce wrinkles and doesn't slide straight back together, then it is done. But remember that it is sauce, not jam, so won't be very thick.
Skim off any foamy, pink scum before pouring the sauce into hot, sterilised jars. 
Clean the outside of the jars, put the lids on, and turn upside-down until cool (this creates a vacuum which helps seal and preserve the sauce).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Secret lives of dresses.

My Life has been full of study lately. I've just finished a semester, and thought I should get back into the blogging jive! I've been trying to not cook too many sweet things, because I was putting on weight from eating all the brownies and cookies! And putting on weight meant that I couldn't wear all of my lovely vintage dresses. So since I've been cutting back on the sweets, I thought I would share my outfits from the last couple of weeks. Maybe this will get me back into blogging a bit more regularly. And make me more motivated to cook, because I've been really lazy lately, making things like omelettes and stir fry for dinner. But I always want to cook lots of amazing things!

All these photos were taken on Instagram (my fave!) If you're on instagram, you can follow me at @ursula_apples.
I've got a couple of recipes up my sleeve, so I'll share those with you soon! I'm really glad to be back. I'll leave you with this lovely song that I just discovered by an American band called The Neighbourhood...