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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Recipe Recommendation // Gluten-Free Chickpea Chocolate Cake

This one is hard to stuff up. Like, you would have to really really try to make it go wrong. I've resorted to this recipe time and time since I discovered it at the beginning of 2014, when I made it for my mum's birthday (she is gluten intolerant). It was a hit, and has been every time. For my dad's birthday later that year, I divided the mixture and made them into muffins (just kept them in the oven for about a third of the time) and they worked a treat!

Once again, I often have all/most of the ingredients in the cupboard. Simple, effective, cheap, tasty, easy... ticks all the boxes. You'll find the recipe here.

PS. Don't worry, I promise you won't be able to taste the chickpeas!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 365 Project // Day 21 - 27

21st January: I went on a sewing frenzy and ended up chopping a Tigerlily dress into two - making this skirt and a top. I was quite hesitant to do it, because that dress ain't cheap and I was scared of screwing it up, but I kind of felt like the pattern was too 'busy' to wear as a dress, and I think I'll get a lot more wear out them now.

22nd January: I've barely taken this colour off my nails all January. 'Coral Crush' by Maybelline. (I somehow managed to break that teal ring about 2 minutes after taking the photo). 

23rd January: Went on a mini shopping spree at a local discount health food store. 

24th January: I love my mum's place.

25th January: Ishka are having a 50% off sale, only condition is that you sign up to be a member (free to do so). I bought these rings for $5 each, both made in the Philippines out of eggshells.

26th January: I've decided that I probably need to start working on reducing the level of grains in my diet. I love them, but my tummy just hasn't been the best lately, and I'm pretty sure it's a result of gluten. I made this porridge this morning, but substituted oats with quinoa flakes. I think I need to tweak a few things, but it was pretty yum (and no pains that day!). 

27th January: Brunch at Daniel Son cafe (more on this later). I want these lights in my house :P

Monday, January 26, 2015 Weekend Snapshots // St Kilda Coffees and Hangovers

Both George and I have been unwell this weekend. George is suffering from severe lower back pain (we think it might be a pinched nerve) and I was suffering from a severe hangover (so no sympathy for me). But that turned into a migraine which turned into an ear ache which turned into neck pain and a tooth ache (maybe just a lil sympathy?). So we're both drugged up on Panadols and peppermint tea, and have been hanging very very low this weekend (no loud noises allowed).

We did manage to leave the house for a few hours on Sunday morning. I had read this article about Endless Summer iced coffee, and was keen to give it a try. It turns out they use coffee beans sourced from a farm in Kenya that is located only about a hundred Kms from where George's grandma runs her own coffee farm, and so the makers and George had a lot to talk about :) And the coffee itself was beautiful (I think Kenyan coffee is the best... but I might be a little biased). Here are a few snaps from the day.. sorry about the crappy quality of the photos, I really do plan on buying a 'proper' camera soon!

The dog on the back of the bike is wearing goggles!! Made my day.. my week.. my life :P

And now I will return to resting my weary head. Hope you've all had a lovely one xx

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Recipe Recommendation // Whole Pantry's 'Vanilla & Almond Choc-Chip Cookies'

I have no intention of pretending I'm an awesome cook. I know that I'm pretty average, in the whole scheme of things, but I'm getting better. More and more I'm also coming to really enjoy the process of cooking. I find it to be quite a therapeutic activity - it distracts you, for a period of time, from whatever else is going on in your day or your life. It makes you focus on the production and creation of something, and hopefully ends in a satisfying reward. 

However, I'm still not confident in cooking/baking things without following recipes. I feel that if I try to experiment I'll stuff it up and waste ingredients - and I hate wasting food. And so I heavily rely on blogs, cookbooks and internet sites. I thought it might be a nice idea to share with you some recipe recommendations that I've gathered, suitable for anyone like me who doesn't feel wholly confident in the kitchen but are interested in trying new things. 

I found this 'Vanilla & Almond Choc-Chip Cookies' recipe from the Whole Pantry app. They also have a cookbook that I really really want but haven't purchased yet - it's on the list! They focus on mostly vegan and gluten free recipes, but in a really accessible and non-intimidating way ie. you won't need a fuckload of ingredients to substitute for an egg. The app costs a few dollars, but I think it's worth it. Not only for the recipes, but the app itself is beautiful (follow the link and you'll get an insight into what I mean)!

The cookie's are so easy and quick to make, and I usually already have most/all of the ingredients in the cupboard. I substitute cacoa nibs for chopped up dark chocolate, and I use vanilla essence instead of vanilla extract (it's just what I had in the cupboard and it's much cheaper). They're sweet, but not too sweet. And super light. Perfect with tea :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 365 Project // Day 20 "Zine lovin' "

20th January

I received a copy of Miso's latest Zine in the mail today, and it is breathtakingly beautiful. It's called Six Studios, and looks to capture the creative spaces of six unique female artists. I had to refrain from photographing every single page, they're all stunning, and so these are just a random selection. It's only $22, available from her Big Cartel, and if you needed any other additional incentive, all the profits go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre :)

365 Project // Day 19 "Outfit: Tree of Life"

19th January

The ease of online shopping is a beautiful/evil phenomenon. I made these two purchases from Tree of Life online last week, and they arrived in the mail today. Ya know how the more time you have, the more money you spend, even though you don't necessary have more money to spend? Yeh, well I'm at that stage of the holiday break xx

Tara Skirt - $45 
Festival Top - $29.95

Monday, January 19, 2015 365 Project // Day 17-18 "Weekend Snapshots: Shopping, Markets and Nostalgia"

17th January

On Saturday we went shopping. George desperately needed new pants for work, and new shorts for summer. In Bing, Harris and Co everything was half price, and so we managed to score two pairs of chinos, and two pairs of shorts for $144. Bargain, considering the good quality. 

In the arvo we visited Dairy Bell, an icecream warehouse around the corner from our place. It's been around forever, and when we were kids it was a ritual to visit there at least a few times over the summer holidays. We hadn't been for years, but it was in the paper recently that they've decided to close their shop at the end of February. And so my sisters and I decided to visit one last time. It was amazing to see that absolutely nothing inside the shop had changed. They still had the same pictures, the same flavours, the same signs and the same prices! It sounds kind of ridiculous, I know, but it made us incredibly nostalgic.

18th January

On Sunday morning we headed to Prahran market. That place is magical. I think next time we'll go with a shopping list though, because we were a tad overwhelmed by all the options and all the sales and went a little nuts, spent far too much money, and I don't know how we're going to get through all this food before it goes off. But it's a darn nice feeling to have a fridge stocked with beautiful fresh produce. I also bought coconut sugar. I don't really know why, the jar just looked cool. Now I have to figure out how to use it..

When we went for a walk later that evening, we found this wheelbarrow and a 'FREE PLUMS' sign. Don't things like this just warm ya heart a lil?

And lastly, sorry Georgio. But I had to...

365 Project // Day 15 - 16 "Learning Swahili and all of the coffees"

15th January

About six months ago I decided I wanted to put more effort into learning some Swahili words and phrases. George is from Kenya, and so Swahili is his first language, and it's actually kind of redonk how little of the language I know, considering how much I hear him speaking it to his friends and family. And so I bought this chalk board from a cheapo shop up the road, and every now and again I get George to write down a few Swahili words and the English translation. Let's just say that I'm not really a natural when it comes to learning languages, but I do think it has helped a little bit. On the board at the moment are lyrics from this song, by a popular band in Kenya at the moment called Sauti Sol. Apparently it's an expression used to say that you really smitten with someone? Go figure :P

16th January

I caught up with a friend after he finished work on Friday. We went to a place called Queen Street Rescue for iced coffees and beers. It's a cute cafe/bar, with friendly staff and a relaxed vibe. We're making an effort to not always go to the same places. While it's good to have your old favourites, in Melbourne ya can't help but feel that there are lots of new favourites that are waiting to be discovered xx