Friday, January 27, 2012

Recipe Post // Greek Lamb & Feta Patties

I love taking inspiration from friends and family when I’m thinking of new meals to make. Last summer I frequently spent weekends at a friend’s house, drinking raspberry mojitos and having BBQ’s in the sunshine. I loved how her and her husband always served the meat with lemon squeezed over, with feta cheese and pita bread on the side. My friend made these amazing feta-filled patties and while I didn’t get the exact recipe off her this one is inspired by hers.

You will need;

300 – 400g Lamb Mince (or beef mince)
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 t Oregano
1 piece of bread – toasted and cut into small cubes (I like multigrain)
1 t Cumin
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Egg
Feta Cheese – cut into cubes

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl.
2. Mix everything together with clean hands, or wear gloves.
3. Fold a small palm-full of mixture around a cube of feta until it is covered.
4a. Place on a baking tray and bake at 180°C about 15 minutes, or until just cooked.
4b. Cook on a BBQ until just cooked through. 

I serve mine in toasted pita bread, with hummus, salad and a favourite creamy dip. The lemon and feta add a nice freshness to what would otherwise be boring old BBQ patties!

What is your favourite Summer BBQ food?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life Lately // Laura & Cody's Wedding Part 2

So here’s part two of the wedding posts! You can read part one here. I managed to wake up pretty early on the Saturday morning of the wedding (thanks to the birds outside my window!) which meant I was in desperate need of a good coffee!

In the Hairdresser's chair!

We headed to the Hairdressers at 9:30am. The bridesmaids all had a chat about what we were going to do with our hair; Laura liked the idea of braids so we all rolled with that. The Hairdressers were really friendly and speedy – I swear my hair only took half an hour! The Makeup Artist met us at the hairdressers and did our makeup once our hair was done. We were all ready to go back to the house at lunch time!

My hair at the back 
My friends awesome side braid/bun thing!

My Mum and her friend came around to the house to see our hair and makeup and grab our cameras so they could take photos at the church later on. The Photographer arrived not long after so we all got dressed and helped Laura get into her dress! Once we were all ready we took some photos outside. We all hopped on the trampoline and the Photographer snapped some pics – it was so fun!

3/4 of the Bridesmaids after we got out of the car at the church
Us girls trying to remember when to walk in // Laura & her Dad about to walk down the aisle

The Maid of Honour drove the Bridesmaids car to the church, with Laura, her Mum and Stepdad in a separate car. It was so scary walking down the aisle first – I was so nervous as everyone was watching! Thankfully I made it to the end without tripping up (I’m usually pretty good at falling over) The ceremony was so sweet with the Bride and Groom reading their own vows and the Wine Box Ceremony at the end. It was nice to head out into the sunshine afterwards!

At the church

After some family pictures we headed off to get the Bridal party pictures taken. We went to a lookout overlooking Christchurch city where it was so windy! I’m pretty sure my hair will be doing some crazy Mohawk type-thing in the photos. We had a sneaky glass of wine and then headed further up the hills until we were overlooking Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour. The boys hit some golf balls out over the water while the Photographer took photos and us girls yelled out numbers from 1 – 10 rating their shots!

3/4 of the Bridesmaids outside the church // Andrew & I

We headed back down from the hills and were only slightly late arriving at the reception. Then it was time for eating, drinking and dancing! My Mum and her friend had done an awesome job of setting up the cupcakes and my friend had followed my instructions for the placment of the cake topper perfectly. A local Christchurch girl had made the cupcakes and top cake for the wedding and I got some really nice comments about the cake topper I had made. They had a photobooth there with props which was so much fun!

 The pretty cupcake tower!

After we had got rid of the Bride and Groom the rest of us headed back to the house we were staying at, opened another bottle of wine and jumped in the spa! A great end to an awesome day.

It was really fun experiencing a wedding from a Bridesmaids point of view! I’ve only ever been a guest before. I couldn’t believe all the work my friend and her family had put into the day, but it was well worth it and so organised – everything ran smoothly. I’m so glad I could help her celebrate her special day.

Have you been a Bridesmaid before? How did you find it? Did the wedding you were part of run smoothly? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life Lately // Laura & Cody's Wedding Part 1

 3/4 Bridesmaids after we got out of the car at the church

I thought I would split the events and photos from the wedding into a couple of posts, so here’s the first lot! I travelled up to Christchurch last Thursday with my Mum, one of the other bridesmaids (who I’ve known forever!) and her Mum. We stopped at the Rainbow lolly factory in Oamaru on the way up, as well as the Cookie Time factory just out of Christchurch. I bought some tiny jubes from the lolly factory which I have cupcake-related plans for!

Our friend Laura (the Bride) had booked an amazing holiday house for all of us to stay at. It had a spa!! We spent the afternoon tying ribbon around programmes and tealight holders and writing a list of things to do for Friday. For dinner we went to a Moroccan restaurant down the street – I was in heaven! All the other girls ordered wraps, but I had to try a tagine – it was so worth it! I was full after eating only half of it. After a quiet glass of wine we all headed off to bed.

The incredibly cute programmes the Bride designed herself!

On Friday we went to the church in the morning for the rehearsal. We girls were all relieved to see the aisle was carpeted so our shoes wouldn’t slip! We practised walking in time to the music in our shoes. I had to go first after the flower girl! Once I remembered to hold my hands like I was holding a bouquet (about halfway down the aisle!) I felt much steadier.

A mo for every boy and lips for every girl...

 The Bride had this made. I want one for my cupcake market stall!

Straight after the rehearsal we went to the reception venue to set all of that up. Laura had made so many sweet little additions for the tables! I loved her lips and moustache straws. The place looked amazing once we had finished! After we were done there we headed to a mall to get our nails done, tick a few things off our list and have some lunch.

The tables looked amazing after we had set everything up!

The Maid of Honour cooked us all an awesome dinner that night and the Bridesmaids made a list of things to pack for the next day. Laura gave us a present each – some gorgeous earrings she had made for us to wear at the wedding, some perfume and matching clutch bags! I decided to write a quick poem to go in my card for the Bride and Groom – meaning I didn’t get to sleep until 2am! Whoops!

 Some of our Bridesmaid gifts - A black clutch, mini perfume, gel pads for our shoes & the 
earrings the Bride made for us!

 The awesome handmade earrings the Bride had made for the Bridesmaids

I’ll share what we got up to on the day of the wedding in another post. I had so much fun catching up with old friends, laughing, eating amazing food and seeing one of my closest friends marry her best friend. Amazing weekend!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life Lately // NY Resolutions - 20 for 2012

  Ah - A great example of what happens when car drivers toot at you because they don't understand why you're standing on the side of the road, eating a jelly tip iceblock and taking pictures of yourself...

I realise we are into the 3rd week of January, but in all honesty I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to think of some New Year’s resolutions until now!

I have gone for a list of 20 things I want to complete this year. 12 didn’t seem like enough! I could have gone with my age this year (I’ll be 26 at the end of April) but I was struggling towards 20 so it will do! “Twenty for twenty-twelve” has a nice ring to it.

I want to complete as many of these as possible. Some of them are simple and easy, but I think you need some like that to balance out the harder ones. Here we go!

1.    Go on an op-shopping road trip – For ages I’ve wanted to travel around both Southland and Otago visiting small-town op shops and finding clothing and furniture bargains. Good excuse for a couple of days off work mid-week?
2.    Set up my cake decorating studio – I need to get a table, another set of shelves, some more equipment, decorate…lots to do!
3.    Read 20 books – I’m keen to get back into reading this year. Currently I’m reading the Cross Stitch series (amazing!) further recommendations welcome!
4.    Wear more dresses – I really want a wardrobe full of dresses. They’re great to wear while I’m working at home – much better than trackies!!
5.    Use my sewing machine once a week – this means more handmade clothes, presents, things for my home.
6.    Learn to ski or snowboard – I’ve always lived 2-3 hours away from the ski fields and have never gone skiing!! This year it’s a must.
7.    Keep in touch with old friends – Means getting my Facebook on (we can be friends! Look up “Kasey Dewar” – that’s me!) sending a text or writing a letter.
8.    Make my house more homely – time to make/buy some art for the walls, get some pillows, paint some furniture and make it more me!
9.    Work on the marketing for Sequin Corner – Sorting a logo, brochures, website, menu, flyers, advertising in a local paper…
10.  Make some new friends – I’m so happy I’ve made some blogging friends over the last year. Here’s to more this year and maybe meeting some of them in real life!
11.  Get back to a size 8 all over – I’m an 8 on top, it’s time to work on the bottom half! (I’m only a size 10 on the bottom so it’s not far to go!)
12.  Learn a new skill – I’ve kept this general, any ideas are welcome.
13.  Get my full drivers license – I was eligible for this April last year – come on Kasey!
14.  Continue to build my self confidence – This blog has helped me so much with this already, it’s so nice to feel happy being me. I’ve realised its ok to not follow the crowd, take a compliment from someone I barely know (on the blog or in real life!) and “work” whatever I’m wearing.
15.  Make macaroons – I know my oven is a good one and I’ve bought myself a macaroon recipe book – now to make them…
16.  Upholster a chair – I know of some upholstery classes that are run in Invercargill, I really want a second hand chair covered in nice material for my dressing room.
17.  Have a market stall – I have so much research and email/letter writing to do before I can do this! But I’m so keen; it would be awesome for my little business.
18.  Take more photos of life – this means having my camera with me, taking pictures and capturing little things that make me happy, the places I’ve been and bits of my life.
19.  See more of New Zealand­ – I have friends all over the place in New Zealand now, I need to text them, see if I can crash on their couch and fly/drive/swim to see them!
20.  Get over my fear of being the odd one out – I have to remember – it’s ok if I’m wearing a maxi dress while all the other girls are wearing jeans, or everyone orders one thing for dinner and I get the opposite. We still have interests that overlap and its better I feel more like me then try to conform!!

It will be interesting to look back next year and see which ones I have completed. Here's to a big year! What are some of your New Year resolutions??

Monday, January 16, 2012

Life Lately // Laura & Cody's Cake Topper

Today is going to be a long day!! I had such an awesome time at my friends wedding over the weekend. The 7 hour drive home yesterday was a mission though! Today I'm working in my pj's - I haven't got the energy to get dressed!

These are some photos of the cake topper I made for my friend Laura's wedding cake. She wanted her dragging her new husband Cody by the collar while he played on his iPhone. I'm so happy with how it came out - Laura loved it!! Her brother looked after it for me on the day and positioned it on top of the cake while we were all getting the Bridal party photos taken.

I'll post some photos from the day soon when I've searched through them all. Luckily my Mum came up to watch the ceremony too so she was able to take heaps of photos at the church. Mums rock! Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Outfit Post - Cornflower Blue, Golden Grass

I finally had a spare 5 minutes to rush off into the windy vineyard to take some outfit pics before I had to come home from my holiday in Cromwell. As I haven’t really been up that early over the summer holidays I had to wait until late afternoon when the sun was a bit lower to take some pictures. Unfortunately in Cromwell the wind ALWAYS picks up at this time so I ended up with some movement shots! I had fun spinning around and walking in front of the camera though. I just need to work on keeping me in focus...

Blue Dress - Dotti, Nude Chunky Heels - Kmart, Watch - The Warehouse,  
Rope Bracelets - Cotton On

This outfit is a great example of what I’ve been living in this summer. I’ve been keeping it easy and simple with a pretty dress and depending on the occasion wedges or strappy sandals. The ones I am wearing here are my new favourites – and they’re from Kmart of all places! I needed some nude shoes for the wedding I’m a bridesmaid for so I went shoe shopping with another of the bridesmaids. She found these awesome shoes and they are perfect – I was looking at wedges or chunky heels, these are so comfortable and sturdy and aren’t going to fly off my feet! Plus they’re surprisingly easy to walk in. Winning!!

What have you guys been up to over the holidays? Have you had a holiday? I’ve been back at work for a couple of days and Thursday I’m off to Christchurch for the wedding. It’s so exciting!! I’m just hoping the shaky ground stays quiet for the few days that I’m there. (might be wishful thinking!) Hopefully I’ll have some photos to show you guys next week!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Life Lately // Summer Dreaming

I took these photos while taking Hershey for a walk around the vineyard that backs on to the holiday house I stayed at for the last couple of weeks. I love Cromwell so much!

I spent my holiday playing fetch the stick with the dog at the lake, stuffing my face with the best cream donuts around from the local bakery and cooling down with (at least 3) Real fruit ice creams from the orchard down the road.

I went on a day trip to Queenstown for some retail therapy and scoped out the cupcake shop Cup & Cake which took a bit to find (hidden down a sneaky alley) but was worth it when I got there! I drove back to Alexandra and wandered around the shops. I found a cute little gift shop in Bannockburn with vintage glassware and gorgeous new serving plates and platters (I somehow stopped myself spending money there!) and found another in Clyde with so many cupcake and baking gifts I was in heaven!

Dinner was a BBQ every night, usually at around 9pm once the boys were home from golf. I love Summer evenings down south where it’s light until 10pm and the sunsets are so pretty and drawn out.

Now it’s back to reality! I have to make the cake topper for my friend’s wedding cake, work for 3 days and then I’m off to Dunedin on Wednesday night. On Thursday I’ll be road-tripping to Christchurch with my Mum, my friend Laura and her Mum for my friend’s wedding! Both of our Mums are going up just to see the ceremony and I suppose to see their daughters walk down the aisle as bridesmaids!

I'll try have some photos up from New Years soon. The hens night was so fun! Keep an eye on my instagram feed (my username is sparkleylining) and I’ll try and post some photos of the trip and wedding! I’ll be taking my camera too so hopefully I’ll be able to do a wedding post sometime next week. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Summer or Christmas break!!