Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (of your life!)


I know I've got your hopes up high now, but honestly this is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever come across and I feel it suits all cookie types.

It's chewy and soft of the inside, and can be crunchy on the outside.
(If you don't like crunchy on the outside just take it out sooner rather than later)

I must warn you that these are extremely addictive... And oh so... un...healthy.
Let's pretend they're not so bad for us... And secretly cry inside knowing.

Here we go!


Serves 10 (approx. 40 cookies)

Preheat oven 160 C (320 F)

1. Add to the bowl:
125g butter (melted)

2. Mix in until dissolved:
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar (white sugar)

3. Mix in:
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla essence

4. Gradually add and mix in (option to sift):
1 cup self raising flour*
3/4 cup plain flour*
1 tsp baking powder

*I use whole wheat flour and still turns out perfect!

5. Stir in:
1 cup dark choc chips (I add more... sometimes...)

6. Spoon small dollops onto baking sheet on a tray.
Make sure to leave good space between cookies because they will melt down and spread out a bit.
I make a dollop of about a tablespoon, and that spreads out to approximately 6 cm (2.3 inches) diameter cookie.

DO NOT flatten out the dollop. I used to do this all the time, but do not with these! Trust me, if you follow the recipe they will spread out perfectly on their own and will not rise up.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes
Let them cool for 3 minutes and eat!


So simple, so delicious. You can thank me later :) or hate me because they're so darn good :p

Good luck!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

It's All About The: Hair!

Welcome to the Series of "It's All About The:"

This post - HAIR!

I have decided to give my bridesmaids different hairstyles, as I am leaning towards having them all in the same attire.

Here are a few of my favourites, and ones that I will most likely have them wear.

Please comment if this is yours.

Let us number the above photo 1 to 12, left to right and then down. As if you were reading.
My favourites are numbers 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12.

Braids are such a beautiful thing that can look so different and amazing. They really add something to the hair. Definitely feminine, neat, and classic (and quite easy to do on yourself if you're on a budget!)


So beautiful and effortless. Gives volume and therefore is flattering to the face. And the ability to add flowers or other embellishments to the hair is a nice touch.

Please comment if this is yours.

LOVE this! So simple, but oh so elegant. If your bridesmaid has long hair, you just can't fail with this style to show it off. 

Please comment if this is yours.

My number one favourite option for my Bridesmaids. This is THE photo. The one that inspired me. I first wanted this on all my bridesmaids, and then I found so many more gorgeous styles as I've shown you now. But this one is just so simple, beautiful, effortless, and I love it so much. 

As you can maybe tell, the trend with my Bridesmaids hair is to include a braid of some sort, and to be an updo whether a bun or ponytail.


And last, but certainly not least.

This is it ladies.

My hair.

I'm going with a waterfall braid, and nice big voluminous curls.

What styles are you going for?

Comment below!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bridesmaid's Gifts

I think it is a lovely idea to save something special to give your Bridesmaids on the day of the Wedding.

This is what I have decided to give mine...

And yes I have bought them over a year in advance. Don't judge me... I got excited, ok.

Monogrammed Rings

Above picture is what I received. A tiffany blue gift bag, jewellery pouch, cardboard box with foam insert, and the monogrammed ring in a plastic ziplock bag. This all came with each ring I ordered which is fantastic because it already looks so pretty for me to give my Bridesmaids.

Another look at all the rings with their boxes.

Here is a close up of all of the rings.
In order of left to right:
My 4 Bridesmaids.

The initial in the center of the ring is the person's last name, then on the far left is the initial of their first name, and on the far right is the initial of their middle name. 
This can be tricky if you have more than one middle name. I got one for myself, and I was lucky to have my first and last name with the same letter so I chose to have my two middle names on either side. 

I decided to get my Bridesmaid's and mine with our maiden name. See this however you will as all my reasons range from "feminist power!", "so we remember who and where we came from", "because mine is my maiden name and first name so I needed to make ours all the same", "because there are two lots of sisters and it just looks nice".... and I'm sure there could be more reasons.

How I chose the colour and size of the ring:

It was late one night and I Facebook messaged all of my Bridesmaids asking what colour jewellery they prefer. I already had a good idea of what their answers were but wanted to double check before spending the money. Luckily they all replied instantly. Then I asked them what their middle names were because Facebook profiles didn't give me my answers (don't you just hate those failed stalking moments?). I didn't mind by this stage if I was clueing them in, because it is not until over a years time that they will get these. So I'm banking on them forgetting. I also then asked if they knew what size in rings they were... I know. really giving it away now... And again they answered. You can see they make good Bridesmaids already not daring to make the Bride wait haha! (jokes)

And Voila!

Ask and you shall receive... answers! I placed my order, waited patiently and was so happy when I received them.

I am SO in love with this style of Monogrammed rings. Both the silver and gold look amazing. 

Such a nice personalised touch that my ladies will love and wear forever.

What are you getting your Bridesmaids? - My sister gave me and her other Bridesmaids perfume with individualised scents. I still have the bottle!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

When Should You Have Children?

I have a secret.

One that I feel no one else could possibly understand. But I'm wrong - I'm not the only one.

There may be a lot of you out there who will read this and will have no understanding or ability to put yourself in someone elses shoes, or even try to understand where I, and others like me, are coming from.

And you know what? We are all entitled to our opinions, and should not try to change someone elses mind or make them think that they are wrong. Of course, do not use this sentence against me as there is a certain time and place for that kind of a sentence to be right... but it is not in this case, so bear with me.

I am in my early 20s. A child of the early 1990s. And for over the past 4 years I have been struggling every day with the desire to be a mother. When I say struggle, I mean struggle. I'm talking heart wrenching, tearing my hair out, complete and utter desire to the point that I can cry uncontrollably from the pain of the emptiness I feel by the constant reminder that I am all alone... These words even now do not come close to or begin to try and explain my want and need. I want a child. I want children. And I have been wanting them for so long.

But I know I shouldn't just yet.

Then I think, but why the hell not?

And this is my daily struggle... those two thoughts right there. The opposing ends that tear my heart apart.

So why can't I get pregnant now? Why should my career and not being married stop me? I am a grown woman, and I know what I want. I know I am capable.

I was a bright child who from as early as I can remember was very aware of myself, my surroundings, my thoughts, and understandings of my world. I have always been quite mature in my thoughts and actions.

I always imagined that I would be married and having kids at 20. Only a few years past that and I have disappointment that little girl so much. Dramatic - I know...

But this is how I feel. I am not exactly where I want to be in life. And the only way I can get through this is saying to myself that the universe, fate, God, whatever you want to call it, they have a plan for me and it is obviously just not my time yet. But this doesn't mean that I don't struggle with wishing, hoping, dreaming, wanting, craving it every day.

I am quite intelligent. In this little girl's dream, right up to my standards as an adult woman, I have always wanted to do the 'right' thing, follow tradition, and make sure that I am married first before having a child. I'm proud to say that I am currently doing this - being engaged that is. It is actually really important to me that I am married first. I know it is very old school thinking. Come on - it is 2014! Times have changed dramatically. Women are getting pregnant by themselves and doing it all on their own and on their terms, what with sperm donation with some finding lack of a decent man to be a father, so heck why not just do it yourself?! I admire these women so much. I even made a promise to myself that if by 30 I was not with someone I too would go on that journey alone, and quite happily so.

But of course I want to share the joy and blessing of having children with someone I love.

Thankfully I 100% believe that I have found that special person, who is perfect for not only me but I know will be a brilliant father to our future children.

This is the only thing I find comfort in, and also that he wants it just as much as I do. But we both want to wait until we are married first. (July 2015 cannot come soon enough!)

The reason it is so important for me to be married first is not for anyone else but myself, my future husband, and our future children. I want to have that solid commitment from him and I want our children to know that too. I also think with being married your children always know that they were planned and wanted. I fear that those children who were conceived when their parent/s were very young, single, and/or not married, may figure out that they were an 'accident' and therefore unwanted. I know that this is not necessarily the case, but you need to remember how children can think. So keep that in mind of how you will talk to your child about that. I do not judge those who had teen pregnancy, and/or pregnancy outside of marriage. You just to need to try and think outside of yourself, and understand from a perspective of ours who work with children that their minds are so much more than we ever realise at times. It's what makes them so amazing.

So back to the intelligent part. Yes I was going somewhere with that.

Here is a list of things I believe you should have sorted out before having a child:

- a stable job, and paid maternity leave if possible
- a stable house
- a support network; family, friends, community services
- good health; no smoking, no drinking - be physically and mentally healthy
- know the kind of parent you want to be; methods and techniques to benefit you and your child

These seem like the real basics to me. As long as you have those covered then everything else will fall into place within that structure.

Notice how my list did not detail income, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, education, social status...

Some of you may think 20 is too young. And you are right. But not all 20 year olds are the same. I am someone who has a university degree, a great job, a partner also with a great job, who is saving to buy a house, who is getting married, and who has logically considered having children. I know someone who is 20 that still lives at home, is stumbling through uni, parties every other night of the week, does drugs, is having one night stands, and who knows what else. So do you think we are the same? No? That's what I thought.

Don't forget that a woman's body is actually designed to have children from her late teens, and the chances of falling pregnant dramatically decrease the second we turn 30.

I have considered this topic with both my heart and my brain. It is not something that has come up because I went to a baby shower and was suddenly 'clucky'.
It is something that I have suppressed, and in those moments thought thank goodness I got over it and can finally move on with my life in a normal, streamlined way... only to have it creep back up on me in a split second... for over the past four years. every. day.

We all have our internal struggles. This happens to be mine. I know it is coming. I know it is so close in my future. I am so grateful I am in a position to have this opportunity. But we can't help what we feel sometimes. And we need to let those feelings out, because bottling it up really hurts.

Having a child is a huge commitment.

This is a person. A life. It is precious, and just as important as anyone elses.

They have human rights from the second they are conceived. The have a voice, opinions, and the right to all the experiences that our world can offer.

I cannot wait to experience having children.

I know it is the greatest thing I will ever do in my lifetime. My family is my number one priority. I am proud of this characteristic, and I am going to be the best mother to my children.

A message for my future children:

I love you so much.
I wish I had the words to explain to you just how much I love you.
I have dreamed, craved, and wanted you for so long. I hope you know how special you are to me. You are my world. You are the best thing I have ever done in my life. I am so proud of you. 
I cannot wait for you to know just how much I have loved you from the very beginning, just when you were a thought in my mind when daydreaming about our future. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.
Forever, Mummy xxx

I hope you've enjoyed this tear jerker of a blog post.

Comment below your thoughts on this and your experience.

And remember you teenage boys out there... if it's not on, it's not on!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Questions To Ask Your Photographer

Here are the questions you should be asking your photographer:

Number of weddings photographed?
Experience, portfolio, references...

How many weddings will you shoot on my day?
You'd be surprised by how busy they can get. If there are more than just yours then make sure there is plenty of time in between - and a backup plan never hurts...

Get your understanding of price and deadlines for payment...

Cancellation policy?
Who knows why, but you need to know...

Ever photographed at my venue?
If yes then they should have a good idea of some great spots, if not then ask if they could please check it out before the big day...

Preferred style of photography?
Traditional, artistic, natural light, scenery, photojournalism, quirky, props, posing...

Can I request images to be taken?
Make sure you detail what you want and if they are capable of meeting those desires...

Do you bring lighting?
They should say yes, but if not make sure they explain...

Do you have a list?
Check out my post on Tips for You and Your Photographer which should look similar to their list and if not then give mine to them...

Hours included in package?
Read the fine print and make sure you know how long they will be there, if they will tell you when time is up on the day, and how much extra it will be if time goes over...

Number of images?
Make sure you understand what you are getting including raw and edited and if you get a choice of which ones are edited...

Time period on photo proofs?
Find out when you get to see them...

Find out the cost if extra for prints and if an album is included...

Will my photos be used for advertising?
Most photographers will get you to sign a waiver which gives them the right to use your images however they want so make sure you read what you sign and make it known if you are ok with this or not...

What will you wear?
Sounds strange and odd but imagine you are from a conservative family, having a conservative or religious wedding, and the photographer turns up in a crop top, or singlet with tattoos of the devil staring into your poor old grandma's soul! ... or on the flip side you are totally casual and relaxed and the photographer turns up in a tux - awkward... 

What is your plan if you fall sick or there is an emergency where you cannot make it?
I repeat - a backup plan never hurts...

Hope these tips help you so there is no stress or confusion with possibly the most important person there to help you capture your special day, forever.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tips for You and Your Photographer

Here are the absolute basics that your photographer should be doing with photos on your wedding day.

Make sure you read through this and even print it out with whatever additions or changes you may want or need so that the photographer knows. You want everyone on the same page. Remember this is all in one day so if you make a list now then you wont have to worry about it on the day.

*Quick tip - give your photographer or maid of honor (give someone this job) a list of the names of family etc you definitely want in photos. That will make it easier for them to scream out the names and gather whoever they need...

Photos you need:

Before the Ceremony...

- dress, veil, garter, bouquet, wedding rings
- getting ready photos 

*tip - get the photographer to do the groom first in a faux getting ready, then the boys can undress and relax while the photographer goes to you and follows you to the ceremony...

groom with groomsmen
- solo of the bride
- bride with bridesmaids

At the Ceremony...

- outside shot
- guests arriving
- bridal party walking down the aisle
- groom waiting for his bride
- father giving away bride
- first kiss
- throwing confetti etc

*tip - if you are wanting a photo of that special moment when the groom first sees his bride, then ask your photographer to have the camera on him first to capture that split second moment... you will look stunning the whole walk down the aisle with plenty of time for photo ops...

At the Reception...

- newlyweds greeting guests
- toasts
- father and daughter dance
- first couples dance
- wedding cake
- table photos with newlyweds
- guests dancing
- getaway car
- send off

Formal Photos...

- full-length solo bride
- bride with parents
- bride with bridesmaids
- groom with best man and groomsmen
- groom with parents
- bride and groom together

Hope all these tips rested your mind. They seem so simple, yet so easy to forget about sometimes.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Pictures I Want On My Wedding Day

The pictures on your Wedding Day will be cherished forever and looked upon numerous times for many years to come. It is important to understand and know what you like and what you want. Be sure to scour through the internet (I recommend Pinterest) and start saving those pictures that you are drawn to. Most likely you will find a pattern of styles you like. There are some fabulous ideas out there for you to peruse thanks to many very clever and creative people. Here are some of my top favourites...

Now this is a different angle to your standard kissing photo. I love how it just looks like a piece of art. Well done to the photographer.

Julia Nikonchuk Photo

This makes my heart melt. What a perfect picture. An alluring photo that tells its own story and really shows off all your guests and their happiness (hopefully)

Daniele Del Castillo

Because who doesn't want a dramatic dip! You can feel the air whisking you away in this absolutely romantic yet very sweet photo. Beautiful. I love it. I applaud you AJH Photography.


Now this may be a bit controversial for some but I am really intrigued and interested in getting some boudoir style photos. Not Playboy Bunny style... I don't think I'll ever be that comfortable. But something like this - A little bit sexy, but still classy, respectful, and lady like. Done in a very tasteful manner. Feminism art, if you will.

Jose Villa

Rain is no longer the bad guy on the wedding day (well it may be if it is an outdoor wedding) but look at this amazingly creative and adorable photo you can get! My personal favourite rainy day photo of them all from the amazing White Pearl Photography. 


What a lovely idea as a gift for the Father-of-the-Bride. I think I may just make my dad cry with this one. One to be cherished forever.

Found on blog.jenneferwilsonphotography.com

Hilarious. Just hilarious. If you want something fun and quirky then maybe this is more your style. Ever having a bad day?... just whip out this photo. You'll laugh and laugh and laugh and eat some cake or something.

Plum Tree Studios

And for the big finale. I'm not one who enjoys the arm tunnel send off by the guests (especially seeing as my fiance is over 6'2") I don't think I'd enjoy awkwardly crouching for that long...smelling dem pits. But a send off we must! And I just love sparklers. So I love this. And what a magical photo it makes.


There are my favourite arty farty photos that I will be recreating best to my ability on my special day.

*Quick Tip: create a Pinterest board for your Photographer to follow that is dedicated to photos you like so they have a clue.

Share yours below!