I am so proud of myself. I have tried making macarons before with a packet mix and from a recipe. But with Donna Hay's 10th birthday collectors issue magazine I have achieved the ultimate macaron. They say practice makes perfect.......
I have to share this gorgeous recipe but you will have to buy or download the Donna Hay app for all the tips
coffee macarons with salted caramel cream
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon warm water
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon brown sugar
cocoa, for dusting
salted caramel cream
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
To make caramel cream, place butter in an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the almond meal, golden syrup and salt and beat until combined. Place the mixture in a piping bag and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius (300 F). Sift the icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl and
mix to combine. Set aside. Place the coffee and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Place egg whites
and in coffee in an electric mixer and whisk on high for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and whisk for a further 10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Fold through the almond meal mixture in 2 batches until smooth.
Place in piping bag with a 1 1/2 cm nozzle and pipe 7cm rounds onto baking trays lined with non-stick
baking paper. Lightly tap the trays. Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until a 'skin' forms on the macorons.
Dust with cocoa. (oops I forgot to do that). Reduce temperature to 130 degrees celsius (260 F) and bake for 19-20 minutes or until crisp on the outside and moist in the centre. Cool completely on trays. Pipe the butter cream onto half the macarons. Dust with cocoa to serve.
photo my own
Have you perfected the macaron?
Thursday, July 31, 2014
We all need to take time out and have time to just sit, relax and wind down enjoying what we love. Over the weekend my daughters and I flew to Melbourne for my niece's 18th birthday celebration.
I suffer from migraines, particularly at that certain time of the month when your hormones are all over the place. I also suffer from neck pain and over the last 5-6 days my neck has been really painful. On the Friday we were in Melbourne I spent the day laying around as i had the bad neck pain with a migraine as well and my lovely sister organised a massage from me. (I have never had one before). It was perfection and oh so relaxing.
My favourite way to take time out is to read my magazines. I am a 'magazine aholic' although I have tamed somewhat. Subscribing to one and only purchasing others on a want/need basis.
Add a little make up and dress to make yourself happy are both little ways to have a little time to make yourself feel fabulous.
Watch a favourite TV show, I have been going to bed early to read and catching up with my TV shows online.
Read your favourite blogs while having a cuppa of your favourite hot drink/beverage.
Take yourself out for lunch or morning tea, go sit in a cafe and read your favourite magazine, brainstorm with an iPad or iPhone/notebook and watch the people walk past.
How do you make time to just be you?
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
As I have edged more and more into my forties I think I have evolved in my styling and fashion repertoire. I know what I love and what suits my body. Yes, I can still get it wrong but you do not know until you try. I believe once you know yourself and are comfortable in your own skin then you are at your happiest and although you are still critical of yourself you learn to do your best to let yourself shine with confidence and poise. Love yourself for who you are and look at how well your body has served you up until this point. Appreciate!
Identify your style - know what you love and what suits you. Try to be less judgmental on yourself and be comfortable with who you are. When you take more notice and have a positive outlook your thought process will change and you will not be as critical on yourself and you will form your own unique style.
As the lovely Lousie L Hay, the affirmation queen, in my eyes, if you have positivity in your everyday and promise yourself with daily affirmations you will see a change and positivity will reign in. This has helped me over the years and I have noticed many changes in my thought processes and thinking or reacting in a more positive way.
ALWAYS always feel comfortable in what you are wearing, if you are not comfortable, it will show as you will tend to fidget and spend the whole time adjusting or fixing yourself.
If you follow me along on instagram you will see that my #everydaystyle for the cooler weather consists of boyfriend jeans and skinny jeans + cargo pant with the occasional legging. I love stripe tops, scarves and my very reliable faux fur vest to keep warm.
Has your thinking towards your body changed as you get older?
Linking in with Kimba Likes for Wardrobe Wednesday
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Everyone has beauty especially through children's eyes. We all dislike something about ourselves - but seriously we need to get over what discourages us from being ourselves and be happy that we are alive to enjoy our wonderful and exciting world. Life is too short for dwelling on what we are unhappy about. So lets get out there and be who you are and live the life you were meant to lead.
Style is easy for some and hard for others. Inspiration is here. Today a gorgeous and stylish lady Nikki Parkinson launches her first book 'Unlock Your Style' today. You can read more about the launch and book on Nikki's blog 'Styling You' here.
I am always the worlds worst critique when it comes to photos of myself. Photos are priceless memories. So get out there and show the world how beautiful you are.
Read this article 'Exposed by my children'. You just do not realise what others really think. Do not be so hard on yourself.
Have a fabulous Tuesday. V x
Monday, July 28, 2014
Meet Kassie mother of a cute little 18 month old boy. Owner/manager of Branberry and Interknit
1. Where do you reside?
2. What is special about where you live?
Melton is full of young families and it’s actually half way between work (Ballarat) and our family & friends (Melbourne)
3. How long have you had your business?
4. What is your favourite childhood memory?
Going to the botanical gardens in Geelong with my 4 other siblings, running around and having fish & chips for lunch.
5. What are some memories that you like to create for your children?
Quality family time.
6. Who inspires you and why?
My husband’s parents. They are so compassionate and loving. They will do anything for their children and now for myself and their grandchild as well. They try to help and give as much love and support that they can no matter what.
7. Describe your perfect day?
Spending the day with my family. Whether it’s just hanging out around the house or going out and about doing activities.
8. Favourite holiday destination?
Recently we have been going to Yarrawonga in the summer camping. My son loves being outdoors.
9. What are some of your favourite items that you could not live without?
iPhone and my car. I wish I had the time to use beauty products.
10. What is your favourite product for kids and why?
My son has a security blanket/teddy which is fantastic because it soothes him instantly whenever he is upset. And of course my Branberry blankets for him are wonderful as they are made from natural fibres and can be used all year round.
11. Your favourite children’s fashion label?
Cotton on Kids
13. What is your family’s favourite meal?
Roast meat with vegies.
14.What is your go to mummy uniform?
Jeans, plain black top & a cardi.
15. What is the best thing about being a mother?
Seeing my baby boy smile each day. It just brighten up everyday no matter what happens.
16. Favourite place to shop?
What are you loving right now? Honestly I don’t really get the time to shop but when I do I usually head straight to cotton on kids and bed bath and table.
16. To finish off would you like to add a favourite photo? Tell us why it is your favourite.
I love the photo attached because it’s just my happy little family. I love my husband and son so much and I just think this photo is a perfect reflection of how happy we all are, always smiling.
Thank you Kassie for letting us know more about you the face behind Branberry.
You can find Kassie on Facebook.
If you would like to be featured please email Vicki at styleonv(at)gmail(dot)com
Friday, July 25, 2014
Leggings are a favourite for the cooler season. Personally I think leggings are an essential in every wardrobe, BUT you have to know how to wear them. You have to find the right pair for you. I find the thicker ponte fabric quality a better fit and look.
Remember leggings are not pants!
Wear them with
- long button down tops adding a belt to emphasise your waist line and ankle boots.
- high boots and a long blazer or coat
1. Choose thick fabrics such as double knits as they tend not to emphasise the bulges.
2. Layering is key, if you think of leggings as tights rather than pants then wear them accordingly under skirts, tunics or dresses.
3. Wear long line tops, knits and jackets which help camouflage the stomach and derrière.
4. Wear with flats, boots or a low heel.
How do you like to style your leggings?
Where do you purchase your leggings?
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Miranda and her gorgeous son Flynn are one super stylish Mother + Son.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Here is the 3rd and final post on how to create your own signature style from 'the simply luxurious life'
Rebecca Moses author of A Life of Style describes how each of us has the potential to turn our lives into a style collage. After all, our style doesn’t end with what we wear; it blends into how we live and what we come home to every night as well.
Being conscious of how we live and doing so confidently is an expression of who we are on the inside as much as what we project to the world. In order to truly have a signature style, a strong sense of individuality must be paired with a healthy self-confidence.
Part one introduces you to where style comes from and how it can be found in your everyday.
Discovering what your signature style is is often the most difficult part, so be sure to check out part two of the series where six tips are shared to help discover exactly what stirs your inner passions. Once you know what causes you to feel giddy, what instigates an unconscious smile or what you could spend hours doing without every looking at the time, the fun part begins, which is how do you want to express yourself to the world?
Such an expression can be revealed in as many ways as there are people on this earth and can be demonstrated in all avenues of a person’s life – fashion, home decor, speech, movement, and behavior. So I’ve tried to share some examples today of how you might what to incorporate your very own signature style into your every day life. The key is to embody a style that is true to who you are, what you believe and penetrates beyond the surface.
The difference between a true style icon like Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn and one of the millions of beautiful women in the world is that Sophia and Audrey have left an impression. An impression that goes beyond their appearance and encompasses how they choose/chose to carry themselves, how they treated others and how they contributed to the community around them.
Signature Style is unique to you -
First impressions are a very funny thing. The trick is to accept that they exist and embrace them and more importantly, understand what you want your first impression to be of whomever you meet on any given day. Stand up tall, walk confidently, but femininely, sit like a lady, keep your stomach in and be aware of your body, face each person you are speaking to, extend a welcoming hand or kiss on the cheek, be warm, but be aware of your personal space bubble, set your boundaries (everyone’s will be different), refrain from tugging at your clothing in public or touching your hair or face too often (hints at insecurity), and when you smile, do so with sincerity.
Choose a scent, one that you love, one that is of good quality and remain loyal. Or choose one for day and one for evening. Or one for summer and one for the chillier months. But whatever scent you choose, make it your own and wear it every day.
Mireille Guiliano shares that her signature style would be described as always looking pulled together with the help of two key accessories: scarves and necklaces. But for someone else, it may be beautiful earrings and fantastic heels. Take Ines de Fressange, she always looks pulled together, but her footwear of choice is predominately a pair of flats. Whatever you gravitate towards, keep Guiliano’s four universal basics in mind when considering your wardrobe:
(1) Dress smexy (never so too much, always keep a little mystery),
(2) Invest in “good staples” – quality over quantity,
(3) No one has perfect body, so accent the positive and camouflage the rest, and
(4) Learn to stay within the personal boundaries of your style
One piece of my signature style is something that is recognisable by past and present students, family members and friends, and in one instance my boss knowing I was in the same restaurant as he was simply because he heard my laugh from across the room. Those every day idiosyncrasies that we do many times subconsciously are very often what others observe and associate with our identity, so what mannerisms do you share with the world on a daily basis? Is it your laugh, is it your eye contact, your ability to truly engage in conversation with the person who is speaking to you no matter what is going on around you, or your curiosity to get to know those around you instead of speaking about yourself? Such mannerisms can say so much.
Modern, traditional and everything in between. How you choose to adorn your home’s interior is a process that is forever evolving, but as each of us continues to learn more about ourselves and evolve into our best selves, so does our idea of what decor within our home is the most inviting. While we can’t change our bone structure, we can rearrange our furniture, add wallpaper to our walls or tear it down and paint them. The home has a plethora of possibilities for each person to express their signature style and that is what makes it so exciting.
Make Your Mark
A woman’s signature style is her ability to bring her passion to the world, to express just enough of herself with others and to not give a hoot about their opinion. This is self-confidence. This is knowing and trusting yourself. Some women will make their mark with dramatic flair – Cher and Elizabeth Taylor come to mind, and others will do it subtly, but certainly – Grace Kelly and Anna Wintour. However you decide to make your mark, be sure it is stylish and impressive woman who does it.
What is your signature style?
What do you love and feel comfortable in?
What is your favourite scent?
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Be who you are. Don't forget that your body is not YOU. You are not your body. The essence of you comes from within -- from your mind, your personality, your heart. I often find it hard to remember that I am not what I look like, but, when I do recall this, I know that there is so much more
to me than appearance.
Cultivate a healthy environment. Put yourself in a healthier place. Keeping fresh fruits and veggies around, eating healthy, and exercising are great ways to love your body (and yourself!). And don't forget about your mental health. Consider meditation to get your mind in a calmer, happier place.
Dive into self love. Okay, so you're having trouble loving yourself. You look in the mirror and think, "YUCK!" Try looking into self-help books or blogs that encourage positive thinking about life and, more specifically, about body image. Sometimes reading up on loving yourself can really help you
put it into action.
Embrace your abilities. Think about what you do well. Your body is only a part of who you are. You might be a great writer, a great athlete, an amazing parent. No matter what you are, there is more to you than your appearance. Embrace what you're good at and spend more time indulging in these activities.
Forget about comparisons. Stop comparing yourself to others. No matter what you do, you probably will not ever look like Heidi Klum or Angelina Jolie. But that's okay! You are beautiful in your own way and you will always and forever be you. Accept yourself, love yourself, and stop looking to others to see what you should look like.
Get moving! I don't know about you, but when I get in a funk thinking about the way I look or how much weight I've gained, I don't want to do anything. I just want to lay around, watching E!, thinking about how pathetic it is that I've resorted to watching E! Break the cycle. Get off the couch and
use that awesome bod!
Indulge in what you love. Don't overdo it, but every so often, let yourself eat or do whatever you wouldn't normally. I'm sure you've read this a million times, but if you completely cut yourself off from something, you're more likely to go nuts the next time it comes along so let yourself indulge every once and awhile.
Join something fun. Joining a group (or even starting a blog, which feels like joining something) can really help you with your image of yourself. You meet new people. You try new things. And, bonus!, you can have a lot of fun. Being happy in general can make you happier with how you look so check
out some groups you can join.
Keep thinking positively. Ah, my favourite! Keep thinking positively -- no matter what. So you gained 5 pounds. So you got an terrible haircut. So what. Keep thinking positively! No matter how bad you feel about yourself, there is always something good. Focus on the good, the positive, and push the negative from your mind.
Let go of your past. You were a size two in high school. Sure, that's super, but you're not in high school anymore. Remind yourself that this is where you are now. You may have been something else in the past -- thinner, prettier, more muscular -- but here you are now. In the present.
Love who you are right now.
Motivate yourself. You are the best motivation tool you have. Other people might encourage you, but only YOU can really motivate yourself. Do whatever you have to to remind yourself how great you are. Read books. Get off the couch. Talk to friends. Do whatever you have to to motivate your inner desire for self love.
Never say never. You're looking in the mirror moaning, "I will never lose this weight." You know what? You're right. With that attitude, you won't make any changes at all. You'll settle, thinking there's no hope, and you'll be unhappy. If you believe you can change something, you can. Never say never.
Open up to new ideas. Try something different. If you're not in love with your look, try something new. New clothes. New makeup. New workout routine. Experimenting with new things isn't going to solve your body image issues (that comes from within), but you can give yourself a little boost by trying out something new.
Put on your best outfit. Sometimes just a change of clothes can change your perspective. Don't stay in sweatpants all day. Don't settle for average or blah or you will feel average and blah. Dress up. Put in the effort and you'll feel a lot better about yourself.
Question your perception. You look in the mirror. You see ugly, fat, tired. But is that what's really there? As I talked about in my last post, your mind can really distort your thoughts. Sometimes what we see isn't what's really there. Keep the positive thoughts in the forefront. Avoid looking for the bad and try to keep a positive outlook.
Remember what you love. You hate your stomach, but your love your eyes. You hate your arms, but you love your thighs. Focus on the good parts of you. We often spend so much time obsessing about what we don't like about ourselves that we forget to spend time thinking about what we do love. Make a list of your favourite parts of you.
Stop judging. You are your worst critic. You are judging yourself much, much more harshly than anyone around you is. Stop it. Stop it right now. There is absolutely no good reason to critique yourself in a harsh or demeaning manner. Love yourself and the world will love you too.
Take time for you. Your body is the only one you have. Take time to pamper yourself. Do whatever you have to do to get some quality alone time. Take a bath. Take a walk. Take a vacation. Whatever you take, take some time to be alone with yourself, to rejuvenate your body (and your mind).
Understand your needs. What do you really need? What makes your body happy? When you exercise and eat healthy foods, does your body feel better? When you get plenty of rest, do you wake up refreshed? Think about what your body asks for and give it what it needs. The better your body feels, the better you will feel about it.
Vacate your mind. Sometimes we become prisoners in our own minds. Sometimes we obsess about our looks and our appearance to the point that it's unhealthy. If you're doing this, get out. Get out of your mind and free yourself.
Watch what you say. Are you always saying to your friends, "Ugh, I'm a fatass" or "This make me look fat"? If so, think about what you're saying. The more negative things you say about yourself, the more you will start to really believe what you're saying (and others might too). Try, just once, saying, "Wow, I look great!"
X-ray your desires. Think about -- I mean, really think about -- why you want that piece of chocolate cake or that new handbag. Will external things make you feel better? You bet! But the feel-good feelings are only temporary. Lasting happiness comes from within so give some thought to what you really want.
Yank yourself out of your routine. Routines can be deadly. They set us in patterns that feel old and tired, that make us feel as if we are old and tired. Some routines are good and necessary, but what routines do you have in your life that aren't good? What can you do to change them, to make them more positive experiences?
Zap any negative thoughts. Last but certainly not least! Getting rid of negative thoughts about yourself and your body is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Whatever you need to do to do this, do it. Read books. Go on a retreat. Get rid of negative people in your life. Whatever you do, be positive about you!