Thursday, September 29, 2011

Springtime in my Garden

The weather has been so weird today - clouds, wind and a thunderstorm (in which the kids and I got drenched walking back from the park) and now bright sunshine. I grabbed the chance to snap some photos of my garden.  I love the transition seasons and I'm so glad it's spring and the garden is coming alive again - now we just need the weather to make up it's mind!

I'd love to hear which is your favourite season.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jungle Party Birthday Cake - Lion

When my boy turned 5 (last March), he wanted a jungle themed dinner party.  I wanted to do a fairly easy cake so thought a round cake as a lion's head would do the trick.

Here is the cake I made:

I used lots of yellow and orange icing - I made it quite firm with lots of butter and iced the cake and then piped on the mane. The eyes are black fondant I had on hand and the nose and mouth is black gel icing I bought in a tube. The whiskers are spaghetti broken in half and the ears are mini ice cream cones just with their ends cut off.  The cake is actually a triple mixture of the chocolate cake I gave the recipe for here.

I'm posting this as when I was looking on Google images for inspiration for lion cakes there was hardly anything that looked good but was simple to make.

I hope you're all having a good week. It's school holidays here and we are enjoying some lazy days.

cheers Fiona

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bar Harbor, Maine - Gorgeous Architecture

I thought I'd share some of the photos I took of Bar Harbor, Maine. I was there for my friend's wedding which was spectacular and hugely fun. So much fun I broke my arm, so most of these photos are taken with my arm in a cast/sling and me on codeine. I'm surprised they aren't all crooked and blurry!

Fiona xx

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pasadena Arboretum

My friend's 14 year old son, Joel, took me to the Arboretum while I was in Pasadena. It was a lovely hot sunny day and we had a great time walking around and exploring. Below are a couple of my photos from the afternoon there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Great coffee, a cute cafe and a gorgeous boutique in Sierra Madre

I stand corrected. Before I left for my trip, I was joking about having to consume vast amounts of caffeine because it's pretty hard to find good Espresso coffee in the US.

However my friend Linda took me to a very cute little coffee shop in Sierra Madre called Bean Town. Ben (pictured below) sure knows how to make a great latte. They roast their own beans and also have a great array of cakes, slices and other temptations.
Linda, Joel and me (it's Linda's iced drink, not mine, I was sticking to the coffee!)
...even good coffee art
The cafe has a lovely ambiance - little tables or more relaxed seating on couches as well as the tables outside. One morning I went and there was a group of people sitting around knitting, drinking coffee and chatting. So friendly.

I loved this sign in the window.

Sierra Madre has such a nice little village atmosphere (no big chain stores)

Across the road from Bean Town is a gorgeous clothes boutique, Angels Everywear, owned by a lovely woman, Angel. This shop is a MUST if you are in the area. Angel has divine stuff and it's reasonably priced. I was able to buy some lovely end of season stuff as we are heading into summer in Australia.


Angel also has a facebook page so go and "like" her.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Having Fun Thrifting in LA

While I was staying in Pasadena, my friend Linda took me to a great thrift store (I have no idea where but about 20 mins drive from her place). 

I found some great items - some clothes for my daughter and a divine cream leather skirt that I'm going to make into a handbag once I have use of my left arm again. About $12 for those 3 items, so a great bargain and my girl is very happy with her clothes.

But the section I loved the most was the furniture.

I was wondering how to squeeze these pieces into my luggage:


and $20 

....when out of the corner of my eye I spied a nice shape.

I literally had to clamber over stuff to take a photo. You'd think they would have this in prime position. It was around $120 so expensive to do up and sell but great if you were buying for yourself.

By this stage, Linda was getting a little concerned and was telling me to get out of the furniture section!  I was busy contemplating moving to California to have access to gorgeous shaped furniture and Annie Sloan chalk paint!!

Linda managed to fill a whole trolley with bargains while I managed to just buy things that would actually fit in my bags.