Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate

I love chocolate. I love it so much that I have my own chocolate business, Message in a Bottle. I’m always on the hunt for different mouth-watering chocolate recipes. Not just mouth-watering but easy to make and with wow factor for those I’m feeding them to. So I decided as I take a break from my business chocolate orders today that I would share with you some sure fire hit chocolate recipes that are not only extremely drool worthy but super easy and quick to make. Click on the below links to be taken straight to the recipe. I have made them all and I keep all these links saved in my favourites. They are all seriously easy and dangerously tasty.

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake.

This will give you the wow factor when entertaining. Be sure to have the recipe handy as everyone will be asking you for it.

5 Ingredients Chocolate Molten Cakes

5 ingredients, 10 mins prep time, 20 mins cooking time. So simple.

Chocolate Cake with Custard Filling

The recipe suggests using wood skewers to separate the cake but if your careful it’s easy enough to do with just a hot knife and a good eye. This one also needs a little extra time to set the custard before adding it to the cake.

Classic Choc mouse

I often add a splash of Baileys to my mouse too which is of course optional.

Quick Self Saucing Pudding

This is the one for after dinner during the week when you really feel like a sweet hit but haven't got a lot of time and want something super quick. I pour the mixture into separate little bowls or coffee cups and it cooks even faster.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Camping in Style

Did you go to Splendour this year and turn into a little green eyed envy monster looking around at other people’s camping set up’s? Or have you escaped up the beach lately and thought maybe it’s time for a tent up grade? Gone are the days when every tent looked just the same as the tent pegged up next to it. Why not stand out in the tent crowd and make a statement with a fun tent that is packed with personality. Another great thing about having a tent with a difference…. The ease of finding it amongst all the others and finding it when you’re coming back from the loo in the dark at night.
There are stacks of great tents out there to choose from. If you search around on the internet you will be sure to find one that will suit your personality and budget perfectly.
Here are a few that I like which I think would definitely make my next camping trip that little bit more exciting and fun.  Which tent would you choose?


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes

Now, although I have a great love for a huge variety of music of all different styles, my love is definitely growing stronger and stronger for the modern Rhythm and Blues, soul style music. Years ago I wasn’t at all fussed with big band soul style music but today there seems to be a talent for new artists putting a real modern spin on it and turning it into a really funky, happy sound that I’m loving.

I guess the love started when Amy Winehouse and her fifties style bee hive jumped up behind the microphone.  She had an old school sound that really appeared to me.  Not surprising really considering I’m mad for everything old school and way before my time. I really do believe I was born in the wrong era.

Then more recently, along came Lanie Lane and her soulful blues sound which again oozed with old school appear and showed me that blues music really is for me and not just something my parents use to listen to. Lanie Lane has that same old school Rhythm and blues sound but also hints of country and her own unique sound. Lanie is playing live on the Gold Coast next month and I was lucky enough to get a ticket. I’m really excited for what I know will be a truly memorable amazing night.

The most resent of my discoveries is Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes. Clairy Browne is a complete power voice leading her big band and shimmery dress wearing back up singers. I stumbled across the band when I was hunting for different versions of a song I love ‘Bang Bang’ (from the Kill Bill movie). I love that song and knew that a lot of people had done different versions of the song so I went hunting online to see what different versions I could find; and then there they were with their very own version of the song. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of them before.  I will definitely be keeping an ear out for their tour dates. This is a concert I will not be missing. From the reviews I’ve read and the videos I’ve watched they seem fun and full of energy with an amazing sound that I can’t wait to hear more of.

I’m loving the new sound of the ‘old school’ style music. If you haven’t heard of Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes or even Lanie Lane for that matter, may I strongly suggest turning down the top 30 hits and giving them and many other new big band, soulful rhythm and blues style music a go. Trust me you won’t regret it.
Here's the link to one of Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes killer songs:

Monday, 25 June 2012

Tassel Garlands

Over the weekend I throw a bridal shower for my super amazing friend. The bride has been busy making and buying lots of beautiful decorations for her big day and really wanted to have tassel garlands on display. Tassel garlands can be quite expensive to buy so as part of the bridal shower we decided to help her out by making some to be hung on the wedding day. Tassel garlands were made popular thanks to Confetti System and their beautiful designs.

Making garlands at the bridal shower.

They are festive, fun and super easy to make. If you want to purchase some ready-made I recommend Confetti System as they really do an amazing job but for those on a budget or prefer to do things the DIY way, here’s how it’s done.

Supplies -

· various colours of tissue paper (including metallic paper if you like)
· scissors
· glue gun or sticky tape
· cord

Open up your first pack of tissue paper and unfold the sheet. Now, fold the single sheet in half width-wise, and then fold it over twice length-wise.

Take you’re scissors and cut strips of fringe to your desired width along the unfolded short edge of your folded tissue paper. (Try to make them quite thin) You could use a ruler to make sure they are all even and straight if you like. Make sure you leave about 2″ of uncut tissue at the folded edge.

Unfold your two length-wise folds and cut the tissue in the centre, creating two folded halves.

Open your remaining half and lay it out. You should have a sheet of tissue with fringe on either side and a solid section down the centre.

Roll the tissue paper up from the solid centre section, being careful to keep the fringe untangled.

After the entire section is rolled, twist the centre tightly. Then curl it in on itself to create a loop, and secure with a small dot of hot glue or sticky tape.

Trim your ends if desired, and string your tassel onto your cord. Repeat the process until you have as many tassels as you like.

Here are a few examples of how great your garland will look.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Creative wrapping.

I use to work with a lady who always went to extra effort when wrapping gifts. She had a knack of always making any gift that little bit extra special by making the wrapping almost a gift in itself. Shop bought wrapping paper can be expensive and very boring and when you spend time and effort into getting a great gift the gift deserves to be presented in its finest glory, don’t you agree?
I use to remember receiving birthday and Christmas gifts from my work friend and getting inspired to follow her lead in creative gift giving and thinking how lovely she was for spending that little extra time and effort on me to show she really cared – and all of this was before I had even unwrapped the gift to see what was inside.
It really doesn’t take that much effort or time to create something special for your friends and loved ones and when you do I guarantee your gift receiver will love what you’ve created and the thought you’ve put into their special celebration.

Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you into creating your very own creative wrapping.
Sewing patterns & sewing off cuts.

Newspaper and ribbons.

Brown paper and coloured string.

Old maps.

Lollie Pops.

Flowers and greenery.

Buttons and colour.

Hearts and string.


Scrabble letters.

Pom poms, garlands and bunting flags.