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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Outdoor Furniture – No need to spend big bucks

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blue painted folding chairs

blue painted folding chairs

We are just getting ready for Spring here in Australia and once again our thoughts are turned to outdoor living and entertaining. It wont be long before we have to dust off the outdoor furniture for the warmer weather or perhaps you are looking at buying some new furniture?

Outdoor stores are filled to the brim with beautiful options to choose from but you don’t have to spend big dollars to jazz up your outdoor area.

There are so many options for upcycling and giving a new lease of life to some existing or second hand furniture even indoor pieces can be used to liven up the space. Even a cote of colourful paint will cost a lot less than a new suite and have loads more character.

Check out some of the following pics for some inspiration….

side table upcycled for outdoor use

side table upcycled for outdoor use

powder blue adirondack chairs

powder blue adirondack chairs

wine barrel side tables

wine barrel side tables

red painted cane outdoor

red painted cane outdoor furniture

Ikea’s Expedit Shelving Unit

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Expedit unit

Ever wondered what the most popular homeware product in Australia is? well probably not but I will let you know anyway.

The Ikea Expedit shelving unit in white which retails for $169 is by far and away the most popular furniture product in Australia.


Ikea put this down to the products versatility and you really can’t argue with that. It can be used as a display unit, room divider, bookcase and the list goes on. It is available in a number of colours but white seems to be most popular.

A number of times I have rang Ikea to enquire about a product and no sooner have I gotten out “Hi, I’d like to find out whether you have…” the customer service person jumps in with “Expedit unit?” so you can only imagine how many calls they must get regarding this popular piece on a daily basis.white expedit

Who would have thought that something so incredibly simple could be as popular as it is.

What are your thoughts? a fan of this product, or has it become too popular?

brown expedit


Dark Chocolate Crepe Cake

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Darkest Chocolate crepe cake

I am just in awe of this cake. I cannot fathom making it myself because I am not the most patient person but you have to admit it’s pretty impressive and for that reason was worthy of sharing with you all.

There are a number of parts to this recipe for the Hazelnut filling, chocolate glaze, candied hazelnuts so not a simple recipe but well worth the wow factor.

If anyone attempts it, please let me know how you get on.

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut cream
  • Pinch of salt




  • 9 hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. STEP 1

    Thread each hazelnut onto tip of a long wooden skewer; set aside. Place a cutting board along the edge of a countertop; set a baking sheet on floor next to edge.

  2. STEP 2

    Cook sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides with a wet brush to prevent crystals from forming. Let boil until syrup turns light amber, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand until slightly cooled, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. STEP 3

    Dip 1 skewered hazelnut into syrup, coating completely and letting excess syrup drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure end of skewer under cutting board, letting caramel string drip over edge onto sheet. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. Let stand until caramel has hardened, about 5 minutes. Break strings to about 4 inches. Carefully remove skewers.



  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus melted for pan
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Hazlenut filling
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • Candied Hazlenuts


  1. STEP 1

    Bring 1/4 cup water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until completely melted. Set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla in another medium bowl. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Add chocolate-butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

  3. STEP 3

    Lightly coat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with melted butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove pan from heat; pour about 2 tablespoons batter into pan, swirling to cover bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook, flipping once, until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.

  4. STEP 4

    Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat process with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed. Crepes can be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day.

  5. STEP 5

    Place a crepe on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with about 3 tablespoons hazelnut filling. Top with another crepe. Continue layering with hazelnut filling and crepes, using about 32 crepes and ending with a crepe on top. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

  6. STEP 6

    Spoon 1/2 cup glaze on top of the cake, spreading to edges. Spread remaining glaze around sides of cake, coating completely. Refrigerate until glaze is firm and set, about 20 minutes. Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Garnish with toasted and candied hazelnuts.


 Recipe from