Hi everyone! Hope you're enjoying your last day of twenty-thirteen. My day so far has involved making these cookies, a splash in the pool with the boyfriend and then a drive down the coast to his place to move another load of my stuff (did I mention I was moving in? Small bit of info I may have missed =). We're currently phoning around to find a place for a NYE dinner for two, before we head into the night to party with some friends. Not a bad way to wrap up the year. 

In light of my food-related new years resolutions (to be revealed) I wanted to salute 2013 with one last sugary HURRAH! Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies -- how good do they sound? Well, I'm eating one right this second, and yep, they're pretty good. I found this recipe at Pickycook and have translated it into 'strayan for the locals. 

I hope that 2013 has been kind to you, and that 2014 will be even better. Thank you for visiting my little piece of the internet, and I hope to see you again in 2014. xx

1 cup plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon table salt 
200g unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg 
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
170g white chocolate, chopped (I used Cadbury Dream; you can use choc chips if you like)
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 170 celcius, fan forced. Grease 3 baking trays with butter.
2. Combine flour, baking power, baking soda and table sat in a large bowl.
3. In smaller bowl, beat butter and sugars with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
5. Combine butter mixture with flour mixture.
6. Add oats and choc chips and combine.
7. Roll into 1 tablespoon balls and line on trays. Press each ball down with palm and lightly sprinkle with flaked salt (a very small pinch).
8. Bake for approx 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on trays for a crunchier cookie or on wire racks for a softer cookie.

Makes 24. 


While friends in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying their White Christmases, we here down in Australia have been making the most of a beautiful and well deserved Summer Christmas, and loving it. x


Christmas this year was nice. Lindsay and I spent Christmas Eve catching up with some of our best friends. We went to his parents' place for lunch. Lindsay's Mum bought the best bonbons; each one contained a whistle numbered 1-8, and each played different notes. The pack came with a sheet of music and a conductor stick. I was the conductor. We had such a lot of fun with our band after lunch!

I went home to my fams in the afternoon for present opening.My favourite pressies were my record player from Lindsay, a red ukulele from my parents, and a reindeer print from my brother and SIL. Christmas night was spent with family and friends at home, with a big festive dinner for twelve.

Boxing Day was the best! The sun came out and we spent the day dipping in and out of the pool -- just exactly the way as every Aussie knows it should be.

Have you thought of any resolutions for 2014? I have two, and they're both related to FOOD! But I'll keep them under my hat til the 1st of Jan. Til then, keep enjoying your snow and swims. x


I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and happy Christmas with your family and friends! I want to post some Christmas pics soon, but for now, I have a dinner recipe to share that I think you'll enjoy, providing you're not in a ham/turkey/chocolate coma!

My Dad made this last week and it was  pretty delish. The recipe overlapping the top right side of this picture is glued on  ignore that! It's the recipe underneath that you'll need in order to recreate this breakfasty dinner.

Dad has a recipe binder with pages stuck in that he's ripped out from various places (Mum's Better Homes & Gardens mags) and I pinched this one to photocopy for my own collection. I have similar piecemeal books like Dad, but any recipe that's stuck in my book has to be tested and approved before it receives the honour of glue. Dad, on the other hand, glues anything that catches his eye, but you'll sometimes see a scrawled "GOOD" and a big tick for the successful ones. When I was little I'd sometimes add a score out of ten to his recipe pages, and constructive comments such as "less cheese next time".  Cheeky helpful little thing, I was.

Anyway, it's no garden salad, but it contains eggs (tick) spinach (tick tick) and... bacon (absolute tick).


Thanks to Anthea for forwarding me the recipe from Tidy Mom!  As soon as I clapped eyes on it, I knew I'd have to add it to the Alexsanta's Christmas Bakehouse collection. 

The appeal of this American recipe was the unique ingredient list, including a packet of cake mix and cream cheese (this combo harks from a traditional St Louis Gooey  Buttercake) which are not things that you typically come across in ol' fashioned Aussie biscuit recipes. The recipe says that the raw mixture will be tough; mine was actually quite SLOPPY, but it worked. My cooking time was different, too. I took these to work as an office treat and made them again for a party on the weekend; a few of the girls have asked for the recipe, so I've converted it to Australian measurements  and have altered the directions to match what worked for me. You can view the original recipe here.

I reckon Santy Pants might be extra kind if you leave him one of these tomorrow night. TWO MORE SLEEPS!

Happy Christmas Holiday Baking! xx


1 packet White Wings Red Velvet cake mix (found in Woolworths; did not find in Coles)
230 grams cream cheese, softened (not the 'light' one, silly gal)
1/2 cup butter, softend (butter butter, not fake butter)
1 large egg (or just a regular egg... they all look the same?)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or essence, or whatever you have in the pantry)
1/2 cup white choc chips (Woolies was sold out, so I chopped up a Milky Bar)
1/2 cup icing sugar

  1. Heat oven to 180 Celcius (160 fan forced).
  2. In a large bowl, using the high speed of an electric mixer, combine butter and cream cheese until fluffy (will take about a minute)
  3. Add egg and vanilla, mix until completely incorporated, then add packet mix and continue beating until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Place icing sugar in a small bowl.
  5. Form one-inch dough balls and roll into icing sugar to coat.
  6. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart onto trays lined with baking paper. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until centres are set (they will still be wobbly when you take out of the oven initially)
  7. Cool on trays. (Original recipe says cool on wire racks, however this mixture is wetter, so I used trays. The biscuits will have a cakey texture, kind of similar to Subway cookies.)
  8. When completely cooled, lightly dust with icing sugar through a sieve.


 I don't know about you, but I'm getting really excited about Christmas! Well, more accurately I'm just enjoying the season and everything that goes with it... (not being at work) and, OF COURSE, our annual gingerbread house!

Mum and I didn't have a game plan for decor but had a lot of fun inventing along the way. This year's architectural  features include:

 Fir trees made from upsidedown icecream cones covered in chocolate icing and shards of Peppermint Crisps; heart-shaped windows made from hand-cut leftover gingerbread dipped in sprinkles; wafer shutters; and a gorgeous front and back garden with climbing flowers made from leftover peppermint crisps and hear-shaped sprinkles (Mum's creation!)

Fellow gingerbread house builders: if you use Peppermint Crisps for trees, I recommend keeping the trees in the freezer until presentation time (Xmas Eve for us) because the shards will turn a bit gooey and melty if left out in the open. 


These are my few little presents for the Kmart Wishing Tree; this is Australia's largest gift appeal and has been running for the past 26 years in conjunction with the Salvation Army to assist charity groups to deliver a little Christmas cheer for those in need. 

"Remember, being kind not only helps others but helps you too. It makes you feel good, which boosts your immune system." - Ricky Jervais' Facebook status today!

There's still time to pop into Kmart and drop off a pressie before the big day. I was looking through the #kmartwishingtree hashtags on Instagram last night and came across this very cute photo of some little boys delivery their presents. What a great way to teach children about the gift of giving.  #teacupballet. x


This year my Mum wanted to do something a little different and get a family snap to send off with her Christmas cards. So one afternoon late in November when we (my brother, SIL, nieces, folks and bf) were all home we filed out to the backyard for our super professionally styled family portrait. It felt like a bit of a Modern Family moment; it was quite fun and after a few takes we got an acceptible one!

I'm obliged to offer a disclaimer about my gentleman friend's moustache sitch'. He was in the throws of Movember at the time... but I think he carried off the redneck look quite stylishly :)

So -- Merry Christmas from Us!



I made these mini jams as a teeny holiday gift for my workmates. I went with the Spiced Plum & Port  nice and Christmassy with sweet/spicy flavours and a splash of festive port!

My homemade mini jams can be bulk purchased as wedding/event bonbonniere within Sydney/Illawarra and surrounds. They make a sweet table gift and are available in a large range of flavour combinations, with customisable labels and caps. For more info visit the LITTLE BOW THIEF facebook page here. SPREAD THE LOVE follow me on Instagram #littlebowthief x


My dress style is pretty simple at the best of times which suits me fine, and I tend to give trendoidy fashions a wide berth, mostly because I don't know what to do with them, or sometimes, like in the case of beetlejuice pants, because they're a bit hideious IMHO. Having said that, I'm liking the fluoro, also known as fashion that makes your eyes hurt.  I think this goes back to the happy times in childhood spent in fluoro clothes, and as a child of the eighties, there were many such outfits.

here are some i stalked...

and thanks to a lunch break find, I now own the neon orange version of number four.

one fashion tag blog two marsden shift dress three ice cream sunday dress four white fox dress five fashion tag blog

as for those childhood brights...

accessorising a fluoro cozzie with a fluoro tank and a fluoro parrot... and clearly loving it

my rad brother, rocking the neons in fiji

mini me in qld

i loved this fluoro pink dress, right up to the sleeve buttons. check out our children-of-the-eighties guilt-free tans! jealous of eighties self.



I made these bikkies to take on our camping trip. I baked them while also throwing together a potato salad  the bikkies did not end up with dill or bacon in them  hence, they are very easy to make. They were also well-received at the campsite so I knew I was onto a winner!

The bases are simply butternut snaps that are heated in the oven for a few minutes and then pressed into little bowl shapes (cheat baking!) The caramel is made from scratch. You will get a solid arm workout from stirring, but other than that, easy peasy. In the past I've had a bit of trouble with caramel, insofar as being able to tell when it's cooked. I recall with horror the Great Banoffee Pie Disaster of 2010. These days, I judge by the colour and I act with caution. For these, I was aiming for a safe Jersey Caramel colour.

18 butternut snap biscuits
395g can sweetened condensed milk
60g butter, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup (75g) packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 160 Celsius (140 fan forced).
2. Place one biscuit over top of 18 pan holes; bake about 4 minutes or until biscuits soften. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently press softened biscuits into pan holes; cool.
3. Stir condensed milk, butter and sugar in small heavy-based saucepan over heat until smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring, about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and dark caramel in colour. Remove from heat, stir in juice,
4. Spoon caramel into biscuit  cases. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.

These can be kept in either fridge, pantry or esky!


little buddies playing "tv watching" in the cabana! 

On Friday after work myself and a group of friends  loaded our cars and headed down to our favourite National Park camping spot.

We enjoyed a typical camping weekend of lazing, talking, eating, food prep, eating, washing up, eating and drinking. I tried, not so successfully, to fly a kite; the big and little kids played cricket and we took some walks along the beach. I loved taking my nieces for walks and swims and seashell collecting escapades. Lindsay decided to practice handstands on the shore, so he and I spent a good ten minutes doing that (my first handstand since I was 12.). I gave up after five minutes and then sat on the sand and gave Lindsay marks out of 10. He assisted my collecting of shells to make the simply stunning necklace you see in the photos below. Unfortunately the rain came this morning, and although it was nice to lie in the tent under the pitter patters, it caused a hasty retreat by all (after a mandatory brekky of shaker pancakes on the gas stove). We are SO lucky to live close to such a beautiful outdoor getaway and have lovely friends to share it with.

Here are just a few snaps...

darling princess niece, growing up SO fast.

note: one stunning shell necklace made by yours truly

the divine miss three, can do NO wrong. xx

On a side note: Lindsay and I invested in an OZtrail self-inflating mattress (aka 'leisure mat'... not being funny, that's what it's called) and we're beyond happy that we did. No more dealing with blowing up air beds in the dark with busted pumps and punctured mattresses, then waking up at 3am flat on the ground with a rock in your back. This was heaven to sleep on and very easy to set up and pack away. I sound like an infomercial because I had such a great sleep!


The latest in my series of summer fro-yo popsicles, mango-coconut, aka MANCONUT. I think it could catch on. Mangos are my favourite summer fruits, along with cherries. Simply combine 1 cup natural yoghurt, 2 sliced mangos, 1/2 can coconut cream and a tablespoon of honey in the blender, pour in moulds, freeze and ENJOY the healthy yumminess!



Wollongong Twilight Markets run on the first Friday of every month on Flagstaff Hill, from October through to March. Last Friday I decided to take a half day and get down to le boyfriend's place [that's us below in yellow and white] and head to the hill. It was a beautiful summery evening and such a treat to spend it on the bright grassy hill overlooking the ocean. We enjoyed a couple of bottles of wine as the sun set, listened to live music and sampled the yummy market food. 

A shout out to the lovely Ness [...get it...] whose birthday we celebrated. x


Workplace Secret Santas can be tricky to shop for. But more importantly, it's embarrassing to be on the receiving end of a seriously crappola Kris Kringle gift. You have to turn into an actor and make pretend happy faces because the gift giver is definitely spying you from the corner of the room to gauge your reaction to their shit present. At the same time it's damaging to your reputation if you have to pretend in front of your pals that the thing you're holding is cool when it's so not! Last year I made this Secret Santa for Gentlemen cheat sheet, and this year I have lists for both chaps and ladies. You can buy any of these pressies, all from well-known Australian outlets, for less than ten smackeroonies. Don't be a shitty Santa!

For the ladies....

1. Santa's Lip Scrub Lush $9.95 2. Compact Mirror Cotton On Body $4.95 3. Ginger Sparkle Hand Cream The Body Shop $9.95 4. Feather Ornaments Freedom $9.95 5. Mini Desk Calendar Kikki K $4.95 7. Ollie Owl Shakers Typo $9.95 8. George & Simpson Plum Pudding Myer $3.95 9. Coolsack Chiller Bag Myer $8.95 10. Sandy Santa Scrub Lush $6.50 11. Mooloola Fruit Bowl Keyring City Beach $5.09 12. York Coasters Freedrom $9.95 13. Tropica Decorations Domayne from $9.00 14. Salt&Pepper Tree Plate Myer $9.95 15. Eye Mask Cotton On Body $4.95 16. Mooloola Canvas Bag City Beach $3.99 17. Elroy Mug Freedom $9.95 18. Nail Enamel Cotton On Body $2.95 19. Measuring Spoons Robert Gorden Myer $9.95
#3 Blogger Tested
#12 #18 Blogger Owned
#10 #11 #13 Blogger Envied

For the gentlemen...

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation DVD JB Hifi $6.50 2. Dirty Shaving Cream Lush $9.95 3. Ring for a Beer City Beach $4.99 4. Superman Bubble Bath Coles $3.95 5. Coolsack Chiller Bag Myer $8.95 6. Waterbomb Pack City Beach $4.95 7. USB Can FridgeKmart $10 8. 100ml Grass Shower Gel Lush $9.95 9. Shower Radio Kmart $10 10. Caravan Shakers Typo $9.95 11. Apple Pen Cup Typo $9.95

#2 Blogger Tested. My boyfriend had the 'Dirty' body spray and I can vouch for its fresh and summery manly scent. Think... lawn moving cross cologne. Understand?

#4 #5 Blogger Bought. My KK will be unwrapping these this Friday!

#7 Blogger Regret. I wish I'd found this first! The USB fridge plugs into the USB port on your laptop and chills your can without you having to leave your seat. Amaze le balls.

My Secret Santa wrapped and ready...


Dear Santa: I hope you've noted I've been a veree VEREE good girl this year...
Over Christmas present discussions this morning, my pal directed me towards this beach throw/blanket on DEESEE. Head over heals. My friends and I are doing a Secret Santa this year, valued at $50, so I told Mel to slip my Secret Santa a note.
How pretty this is, as a blanket or a light late spring/summer throw.
Thanks Santy Pants.