Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cosy Winter Fragrances From Yankee Candle

We just love Yankee Candle’s new Aromatherapy Spa Collection. It's the perfect excuse to spoil and pamper yourself this winter. Made with a blend of enhanced natural extracts and essential oils, you can’t help but feel relaxed with these calming fragrances around you. Available in six essential oil blends there’s a scent for everyone to enjoy during the cooler months.

Relax with the comforting blend of Lavendar, Ylang-Ylang and Geranium. This fragrance offers a perfect blend set to calm your nerves and induce a peaceful sleep. Light a candle or drop some oil into a hot bath and enjoy the ultimate indulgence. The latest fragrance to join the collection is Lotus flower and; Sea Salt, a delicate sea-inspired fragrance with light floral notes that evoke peacefulness, tranquillity and balance.

Visit Yankee Candle

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wedgwood Jasper Conran Kilim Cup & Saucer Set


Jasper Coran's new range of Kilim tableware for Wedgwood is really something. Inspired by ancient Kilim tapestry rugs from the Middle East, it picks up their attention to detail and craftsmanship, while reinventing the designs for modern dining tables.

The result is a gorgeous range of homewares featuring colourful tapestry patterns, interesting shapes, and the excellent workmanship you’ve come to expect from all Wedgwood products.

Embrace the Kilim in your own home with this Teacup and Saucer Set. It features a teacup and saucer in both purple and in green, all made from bone china and lined with a platinum trim. They’re perfect for those morning teas with the girls, or just a Saturday morning cuppa with your loved ones.

Visit Peter of Kensington

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sticky Date Puddings

Spoil yourself this weekend with a fabulous Sticky Date Pudding dessert, and with this scrumptious recipe from Home Beautiful, you can even make extras to store in the freezer (perfect for a mid-week treat!)  

Buy Fresh:
- Unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 300ml cream
- 300ml thickened cream

Keep in the Kitchen:
- 200g packet Trident diced dates
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Caster sugar
- Self-raising flour
- Brown sugar

Makes 12

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the bases of a 12-hole muffin tin with baking paper. Put 200g Trident diced dates in a bowl with 1 ¼ cups water and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, then cool for 5 minutes. Put date mixture in a food processor with 100g chopped unsalted butter, 1 cup caster sugar, 2 eggs and 1 cup self-raising flour and process until smooth. Pour evenly into prepared muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.
3. To make caramel sauce, combine 300ml cream, ¾ cup brown sugar and 40g unsalted butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Serve puddings with sauce and whipped cream. 

Leftover puddings can be frozen in zip lock bags for up to three months. Thaw in the microwave on a medium low setting for about 1 minute. Caramel sauce will keep covered in the fridge for up to two weeks, depending on the freshness of the cream.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chunky Knits From Laura Ashley

As we are fast approaching the winter months it is the perfect time to introduce these chunky knits from Laura Ashley into your home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Ecoya is founded on the idea of creating home fragrance using only natural bases and the finest fragrance and essential oils. All Ecoya candles are hand poured and made from Soy or Palm wax and even the wicks are 100% natural, made from pure lead-free cotton.

Visit Ecoya

Monday, May 23, 2011

Caramelised Onion & Goats Cheese Pie

Savour the sweetness of slow-cooked onions, grilled capsicum and fruity kalamatas in this pizza-style pie from Taste.

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 55 minutes
Serves 4

1 tbs olive oil
2 brown onions, halved, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, halved, seeded
2 sheets (25 x 25cm) frozen butter puff pastry, just thawed
110g pkt goats cheese, crumbled
80g (1/2 cup) pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup fresh basil, torn

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add onion and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until golden and caramelised. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, preheat grill on medium-high. Place the capsicum, skin-side up, on a baking tray. Cook under grill for 10 minutes or until the skin is charred and blistered. transfer to a bowl. cover with plastic wrap. set aside to cool slightly. Peel and discard the skin. Cut the flesh into 1cm-thick strips.

3. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place 1 pastry sheet on the lined tray and spread with the onion, leaving a 2cm border. Top with the capsicum, goats cheese, olives and basil. Roll out the remaining pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface until large enough to cover the pie. Place on top. Use a fork to press the edge to seal and decorate.

4. Bake the pie on the lowest shelf of oven for 20 minutes. Transfer the tray to middle shelf and bake the pie for a further 20 minutes or until golden.

Step-by-step: How to prepare your caramelised onion pie: To caramelise, the onion needs to catch on the base of the pan, so only stir occasionally. Arrange fillings evenly over the pastry so it’s not lumpy on top. Leave a border for sealing. Place the larger piece of pastry over the fillings. Use a fork to seal the pastry at the edges.

Make-ahead tips: To freeze: Wrap the uncooked pie on a tray in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To cook: Unwrap the pie and discard plastic wrap and foil. Bake from frozen, increasing the cooking time by 5-10 minutes if necessary.

Visit Taste

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vera Wang Wedgwood Grosgrain 5-Piece Place Setting

Vera Wang has teamed up with Wedgwood, to create her very own range of elegant tableware and her Grosgrain fine bone china tableware is our favourite. Some of the pieces in the range feature a heavy border of deep black lines. Others have a thinner border, featuring single black line with dots. Combine the two to create something entirely your own.

Visit Peter's of Kensington

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Ultimate Guide to Beds

You spend one-third of your life in bed, so why not make your bedroom the best it can be? Choose the right components and you'll experience a rejuvenating rest that makes your days as blissful as your nights. Better Homes & Gardens have created a guide to find the right bed, mattress, and bedding for your room.

The platform bed is the oldest style, but it's one of today's more modern choices. A platform bed is generally low to the ground, providing a cooler sleep environment than traditional designs. The simplest styles have no headboard or footboard. Platform beds are a popular choice for a clean, uncluttered look in the bedroom.

The soaring posts make a dramatic style statement, helping the bed create a visual center in a room.

Daybeds have split personalities. They are dressed for use as a sofa by day but include a twin-size mattress for sleeping at night. Daybeds look at home in a family room or den as well as in a bedroom.

The most important element of a restful night is a quality mattress. Most experts recommend replacing your mattress every five to seven years. Finding the right mattress depends on the individual, so it's important to know the ins and outs of the different types available.

Dressing your bed is what makes it your own. A beautiful palette, a variety of textures, and attention to detail are the ingredients to success for a beautiful bed.

To increase the life of your sheets and ensure equal wear, you should have three sets: one on the bed, one in the linen closet, and one in the wash. Bottom sheets and pillowcases should be washed twice a week and top sheets every week. Wash bed linens separately from other laundry and always use the gentle cycle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sticky Date Pudding

With winter right around the corner, a sticky date pudding seems like a timely idea!

Ingredients (serves 8)
250g pitted dates, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups White Wings Self-Raising Flour, sifted

Caramel sauce
1 cup brown sugar
300ml thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g butter

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 7cm deep, 22cm (base) cake pan.
2. Place dates and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, fold through date mixture and flour until well combined.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn onto a plate.
5. Make sauce Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Pierce pudding all over with a skewer. Pour 1/2 cup of warm sauce over warm pudding. Stand for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with remaining sauce. 

Visit Taste

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Decorate Your Home With Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley have everything you need to decorate your home, from bed linen to furniture, even light fittings! Browse their online store for great pieces for your home. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mustard, lemon and rosemary roast chicken

When the days are short and the nights are cool, there's no place better than a table spread with tasty comfort food. So warm up your families hearts with this mustard, lemon and rosemary roast chicken from Taste.

Ingredients (serves 10) 
1/3 cup Maille Dijon Mustard 
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup rosemary leaves, roughly chopped 
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped 
1 garlic clove, peeled, sliced 
1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced 
2.2kg chicken pieces (drumsticks, thigh or breast on bone), skin on

1. Combine mustard, oil, rosemary, parsley, garlic, lemon rind and 1/3 cup lemon juice in a small food processor. Process until well combined. Pour into a large ceramic dish. Season with salt and pepper. 
2. Add chicken pieces and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
3. Preheat oven to 190°C. Place chicken pieces on a roasting rack. Spoon over remaining marinade. Roast for 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Place on a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Visit Taste

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Smalll Space Decorating

Living in a small space is tough, especially when your decorating options are limited by rental rules and space. Let these ideas from Better Homes & Gardens inspire you to make the home you want.

It's tough to maintain openness in a crowded apartment room, but choosing armless furniture helps create an airy, unfettered look, giving the illusion of more space.

Prevent crowding on less-than-roomy kitchen counters by looking to the walls for storage.

A small apartment requires you to get serious about organizing, starting with space-consuming paperwork.
Visit Better Homes & Gardens for more ideas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Decorate With Botanicals

HomeLife show you how botanical prints and the serene colours of the Australian bush can work wonders at home.

By incorporating the grey blues and greens of eucalypts into your walls, table linen, sofa covers or rugs, it's easy to introduce an accent colour, such as the golden yellow of wattle or the coral orange of one of the new breed of waratahs, with confidence.

If your home is a little sleeker, try one of the covetable hand-blown glass vases around -many come in delicious transparent colours. Pop some well-chosen seed pod branches in and watch your room come to life.

If you lean towards the old, a rustic timber farmhouse kitchen table will be made all the more beautiful when topped with a handmade ceramic vase or earthenware pot overflowing with colourful natives.

Team grey green of a eucalyptus leaf with the fiery red blooms of flowering gums and waratahs, the golden orbs of just-blossomed acacia, the deep grey of banksia cones or the bright shock of an Australian blue sky on a clear summer's day.

Visit HomeLife

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Casserole

Full of country-style French flavours, this creamy dish from Taste is casserole cooking at its best. It will defiantly be a winner during the colder months! 

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 80 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
8 (about 2.2kg) chicken thigh pieces
1 tbs olive oil
250g rindless bacon rashers, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, pale section only, washed, ends trimmed, cut into 2cm-thick slices
400g button mushrooms, halved
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs plain flour
250ml (1 cup) salt-reduced chicken stock
250ml (1 cup) white wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
Mashed potato, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat a 3L (12-cup) capacity flameproof, ovenproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken, reheating the dish between batches. Use kitchen paper to wipe the dish to remove excess fat.
2. Heat oil in the dish over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, leek, mushroom and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until well combined. Add the stock, wine and thyme, and bring to the boil.
3. Return the chicken to the dish. Cover and bake in oven for 1 hour or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.
4. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate. Transfer the remaining leek mixture to a medium saucepan. Add the cream and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
5. Divide the mash among serving plates and top with the chicken. Pour over the leek mixture to serve.

Freezing tip: Cool the casserole at the end of step 3. Transfer to an airtight container. Label, date and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 180°C. Reheat. Continue from step 4.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Wall Sticker Company: Curio & Curio Designer Range

When The Wall Sticker Company was looking for a guest designer to release a new range of wall stickers for living spaces, Clair Wayman was the perfect choice. Clair is an interior stylist, decorator, former Melbourne Style Editor for lifestyle magazine “Real Living”, and creator of Curio & Curio home wares. So when it comes to creating beautiful rooms, Clair knows what works.

The new Signature Range by Clair features 16 designs including bold wallpapers and quirky, colorful motifs. “I like the idea of having large, eye-catching designs on the wall in beautiful shades. I've included a lot of natural, animal themes because I love the idea of bringing the countryside indoors. Some of the designs are quite tongue-in-cheek and humorous. As the designs are temporary, you can be bolder than usual.” Said Clair.

Priced from $55 to $130, Clair’s designs will bring a lighthearted, whimsical feel to your home. The range is available online at The Wall Sticker Company

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Complete Book of Modern Classics

The Complete Book of Modern Classics by The Australian Women's Weekely, is the essential reference for cooks and food lovers and the perfect gift for your mum this Mother's Day. Food has changed so much that now all sorts of dishes that were once considered exotic have become classics. Thai food, Middle-Eastern food, salads, low-fat dishes, fast food – this is the food we eat today. Along with more than 400 Triple Tested recipes and beautiful photographs, there are star classics, the recipes everyone loves, with step-by-step pictures explaining exactly how to make them

Visit Cook Books to get your copy today.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fabulous Outdoor Fireplaces

During these colder months add warmth and ambience to your outdoor room with a fireplace. We love these great ideas from Better Homes & Gardens

Keep It Portable
While outdoor fireplaces can be big, beautiful, and elaborate, they can also be quaint and easy to move, such as this copper fire bowl.

Soften the Stone 
Fireplaces are often made from stone and can be cold and harsh in the landscape. Soften yours with container gardens full of bright colours or vines that climb on the structure. 

Add Privacy 
Use a large fireplace to make your patio more private and cozy. This one acts as another wall, making the patio feel like another room.

Add to a Retaining Wall
Don't let a plain old retaining wall make your yard feel drab. This fireplace beautifully dresses up a hillside. The fireplace wont block any views or take up too much valuable space.

Keep It Simple
You don't need to go overboard with an outdoor fireplace, especially if you have a great view or a small outdoor area. A low but stylish fire pit still creates plenty of ambiance.

Dress Up a Deck 
This deck and pergola combination creates a comfortable outdoor destination all its own, but adding a grand fireplace is the finishing touch. It's a perfect way to make your deck cosier.

Tile in Style 
Embellish an outdoor fireplace with a ceramic tile. The wide variety of sizes, and colors allows you to personalise your fireplace and match the overall feel and look of your landscape.

Include Seating 
Raising the fireplace brings the fire within better view. Built-in ledges have space for plants and double as extra seating, just add some cushions.