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Yesterday was my first day in my new uni course to become a primary school teacher. I had a fantastic day and I’m feeling really good about this direction I’m going in. I even made a few new friends and contributed some meaningful discussion! Yay!

I still found the time to enjoy the little things, like the sky and the warmth of the sun. The sky was so blue and there were these amazing clouds just rippling across like the texture of the sand at the beach. It was perfect. See?

I love the winter sky.

xo

Or rather, I’ve already baked three cakes. These were the cakes I baked and decorated for my sister’s 21st party a few weeks ago.

It was a cherry chocolate cake iced with chocolate butter icing, glacé cherries and homemade pink fondant icing. Well, it was supposed to be red, but it was impossible with the ingredients I had on hand. The cake recipe itself was quite simple but somehow I managed to break one cake in half as I turned it out of the pan but it was nothing a good lashing of icing couldn’t fix!

I liked the way the cake decorating turned out, but it didn’t exactly measure up to the grand cake I had envisaged in my head. I had imagined making a vibrant red fondant icing and rolling it out and cutting out beautiful crisp letters and making a big red flower out of various red food stuffs like fruit roll ups (I bought some but the red was really an anaemic pink), raspberry licorice (I ate it before I decorated the cake) and other sweet delights.

What I didn’t anticipate was the difficulty and fussiness involved in making fondant icing. I mean, it wasn’t too hard making the icing as such, but the colour was impossible to achieve with liquid food colouring! And when I finally rolled a sheet of the pinkish red icing out, after having it stick to everything, the lovely letters I cut out stretched horribly when I picked them up. So I made a compromise, I rolled out long sausages of icing and wrote on the cake with that.

I actually really like what I ended up with and the best part is, of course, is that my sister loved it and the cake tasted delicious on the day and there was enough for the 80 plus guests we had. All in all, despite a few hiccups along the way, a success!

This is one of the things that have kept me busy in the last month – my beautiful sister’s 21st birthday party. It was a beautiful, beautiful morning enjoyed by all, even my parents who were very busy! It was a breakfast party, we had croissants with jam or ham and cheese, fruit, scones, birthday cake, lollies, tea and sparkling apple and grape juice. No one was hungry after that!

Oh and the music! A few weeks earlier my sis, myself and a friend were enjoying our coffees at the West End markets and a lovely singer came and performed right there for us! Well, it felt like that anyway. We got her business card and thus discovered Luna Junction. My sister organised for her to come and play for the party and she brought a few friends along too. They were absolutely perfect. A mix of folk/gypsy/jazz/world music and they stuck around for a chat and a little extra jamming. I would seriously recommend Luna Junction to anyone looking for some music to give a gathering some extra life. Well worth the money!

So on to the photos! Enjoy the pure, unedited goodness. I had plans of making them even prettier in photoshop but I couldn’t bring myself to change them in any way – they illustrate the morning just the way it was! I am glad we brought the camera along.

These are just a few of many many beautiful photos. The theme of red really shone through!

To my sister and best friend, you are so beautiful and you have the world at your feet. I can’t wait for next year! I love you so much. xo

At the moment the West End Market in Brisbane is my absolute favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning. Everything about them is just lovely. I like getting up early and then trundling off to the markets. It doesn’t really matter if I need to buy fruit and veg or not, I still like to go. Just to wander along in the morning crowd looking at fruit and veges or talking to the lady who makes the coolest crocheted hats or buying a lovely floppy hat made of vintage fabric or buying flowers is marvelously therapeutic. Or if I feel like treating myself that week, I might buy some fresh goats cheese and some crusty bread. And then I always top it off with a coffee from the cute gypsy style caravan (cardamom coffee is my current favourite) and sit on a hessian covered plastic milk crate under a massive fig tree by the river. Oh, I could gush about these markets for such a long time. I have enjoyed them with family and friends alike. I’d like to show you. 

Looking back up towards the markets from my coffee spot.

 

Did I mention that there are some awesome buskers there? This one was awesome, she set up right in front of us and just started playing. This is her myspace. Folk/gypsy/jazz with voice, guitar, trumpet and tin whistle. You might be hearing more about her here soon.

And the final piece of awesome – the markets are right beside some beautiful community gardens. I highly recommend the West End Markets to any one, local Brisbanite or visitor. I hope these markets stay like this for a long time to come!

Does anyone have any cool markets or Saturday morning happenings they would like to share?