Friday, 31 October 2014

October Design Work!

If you haven't been keeping up with my latest design work on facebook, here is a round up of the design work that I completed during October.

Custom Blog Design for Ashlee from AshleeDel

Custom Blog Design for Eleanor from EJButcher

Custom Blog Design for Catherine from Catherine Sarah

Custom Blog Design for Sam from Miss Makeup Pixie

Custom Blog Design for Bethany from To Me, From Me

Custom Blog Design for Melissa from LissyRoseLoves



Custom Blog Design for Anke from Anke De Schuyter

Custom Business Card Design for Anke from Anke De Schuyter

I'm closing up shop for about a month and a half on the 21st of December (because of Christmas + moving) so if you're interested in working together before then, please get in touch as soon as possible as spots are filling up quickly. :)

 
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Monday, 27 October 2014

5 Lessons I could learn from my younger self.



Once upon a time I wrote a blog post titled 'Dear 15-year-old self' where I basically listed off a whole bunch of things that I felt I had been doing wrong at that time in my life. Don't get me wrong, it was a thoughtful and funny post, but it was also very negative - and as you'll know from Friday's post I am all about being positive from here on out. So after reading this post written by Aissa from Tea in January the other day, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of the things that I could learn from my younger self if I simply took the time to look for the positives rather than the negatives.

You are beautiful the way you are, because of who you are on the inside
I remember back when I was 13 years old and I was asked out on my very first date. I have picture proof that I was an oily faced, acne ridden, lipbalm only wearing teenager, but that didn't deter me in the slightest from saying yes and having a great time. I didn't feel the need to spend hours before hand making myself look 'pretty' - my only priority was showing up on time and making sure we saw a movie that we were both going to enjoy. Needless to say we ended up having a great first date and I even had my first kiss that day. We had a good time because that boy liked who I was as a person, and I will always have fond memories associated with that boy for this reason.

Be confident enough to be your own person
As I grew a little older I was often put into situations where it would have been easy to succumb to peer pressure and do what everyone else, or worse, what my close friends were doing. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but there were certainly times when I was labelled a 'goodie-goodie' for not wanting to engage in certain inappropriate or even illegal activities that my friends were doing at the time. Perhaps it was due to the way I was brought up, or maybe I was just wise beyond my years, but I never once hesitated to tell my friends "no" or to go one step further and tell them that what they were doing was wrong. As an adult I still don't normally succumb to peer pressure in this way (probably because there is a lot less of it since I started hanging out with the right people) but the important thing is that even as an adolescent I never felt bad about being a 'goodie-goodie' because this simply meant that I was being myself, and we should never feel uncomfortable about being ourselves.

Find it in your heart to be more forgiving
Sure, many of the people I forgave as child and teenager are no longer a part of my life (and for good reason), but if I hadn't have been so forgiving back then I wouldn't have been able to bounce back from certain situations as well as I did. I would have spent a lot of my younger years wondering what could have been and if I had made the right decision, rather than being young and carefree and learning from my mistakes as I grew older. As an adult I am far less forgiving, and far more thought ridden than I ever was as a teenager. If I could take any lesson from my younger self it would be to learn to let things go and not let them hold me back or weigh me down - I'm still yet to do this though.

Be conscious of what you're spending your money on
This is something I only truly rediscovered after finishing Uni and starting my own business, but as a teenager I was very money conscious and could easily have a much bigger savings right now if I had continued being budget conscious after I finished highschool. I was only ever on a measly part time wage back then (earning $20-$100 a week max), yet that didn't stop me from spending my money wisely. I could have easily blown it all on junk food and unnecessary new clothes, but instead I kept it in a savings account and invested it in furniture for when I eventually moved out of home (most of which I still have today). If I had continued along this path, even on a part time wage, I could have purchased a better car than the one I have currently and been on several overseas holidays by now. Instead I spent my money on alcohol (the one peer pressure I gave into for a few years as a young adult), a stupid amount of clothes and shoes (most of which I lost to mould and had to throw out anyway), and buying an excessive amount of presents for friends and boyfriends I don't even have anymore. I basically spent my "disposable" income on disposable things that mean nothing now, when I could have been saving it to spend on positive and life changing experiences.

Focus on the here and now instead of on the future
If I could go back to highschool as the person I am now, I would have had a date to my school formal, graduated with a top OP score, gone on to Uni to study graphic design, etc. because I would have meticulously planned each day out so that I was in a position to do all of those things at the appropriate time. Fortunately, however, I was the sort of person who dealt with life as it happened and made the most of potentially negative and confusing situations with the knowledge and experience that I had available to me at the time. Sure, life wasn't perfect, but I didn't know any better. I looked for the positives and grabbed onto them where I could, and found comfort in the fact that I had the rest of my life ahead of me and that it could take me absolutely anywhere (and nowhere in particular).

What are some things you could learn from your younger self if you really stopped to think about it? 

 
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Friday, 24 October 2014

You can't live a positive life with a negative attitude.



I don't know if you guys have ever noticed this or not, but I tend to be a bit of a downer sometimes and focus on the negatives rather than the positives. It's not like I set out to do so, and yet it happens more often than I'd care to admit. That is until now..

I recently attended a local networking breakfast hosted for small business owners, and our guest speaker for the morning was a semi-famous artist who has managed to make a decent living working for himself from his office at home. Rather than selling us the usual story about constant hard work being the key to success, he instead shared that his secret to personal and business growth was as simple as adopting a full-time positive attitude.

You're probably thinking "yeah right! positivity achieves nothing without hard work", and you're absolutely right. However, I'm learning that if you want to be successful in all aspects of your life you really can't have one without the other.

Our guest speaker was surprisingly a huge advocate for the law of attraction, and he spoke about how each and every morning he wakes up with the attitude that good things are going to happen. He told us countless stories that backed his belief that a positive attitude attracts positive circumstances - so much so that I was completely inspired to adopt this belief myself.

I now believe that every day has the potential to bring me happiness. That every day is a chance to learn, to grow, and to find peace among the uncertainty.

If I wake up believing that good things are going to happen today, then good things will happen. I just need to find the positives in the every day. :)

 
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Currently.



Reading:  'Gone Girl', well, kind of. B and I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I downloaded a preview of the book on Kindle as soon as we got home but have yet to purchase it to read the rest. I'm thinking I might buy it in hardcover instead and then give it to my Mum and Brother once I'm finished it. :)

Watching:  'Veep' (at the recommendation of Lauren). I'm not going to lie, I literally only started watching it because Anna Chlumsky is in it, but it is seriously so good! I'm also getting back into 'Castle', 'Modern Family' and 'Criminal Minds'.

Listening to:  A playlist of old 90's hits that I made up recently. I don't listen to the radio anymore to stay up to date with the latest and greatest, so 90's music is where it's at for me.

Smelling:  Nothing at the moment, although this prompt has reminded me to start using up some of our candles before the move.

Thinking about:  What I'm going to do this afternoon once I've finished my design work for the day. I'm also wondering what I should have for lunch, and hoping that dinner tastes okay. I think about food a lot. :P

Wishing:  That it was Christmas already. I am super excited to give everyone their gifts this year, but I am mostly excited to see everyone before moving to Townsville in January. I'm also wishing that we had a bit more money to help make the move a little bit easier for us. At the moment we may not even be able to afford to fly up and view the house before we move into it. :(

Working on:  Design jobs, packing, visiting as many friends as possible before the end of the year, and trying to get back to regular blogging.

Loving:  How supportive everyone has been about the move. I was expecting to feel a lot of guilt about moving so far away, but most people are just really excited for us.

Anticipating:  Seeing lots of friends and family over the next two months, B's end of year graduation Ball, Christmas, Mine and B's 6 year anniversary, and of course moving. Words cannot describe just how excited I am about the move!

 
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe.



Okay, so I know I'm not the best food photographer ever (not by a long shot!), but the important thing for you to know is that this recipe kicks arse regardless of how the finish product photographs. :P

Unlike most of the recipes I post this one isn't particularly quick and easy to put together, but if you read the recipe through a few times beforehand and pre-prepare certain elements, it's really not too difficult at all.

Ingredients:

Chicken Marinade
800gr diced chicken breast
1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt

The Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 small red capsicum, finely diced
12 cashews
1 tbsp kasoori methi
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
3 cloves (finely ground)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup thickened cooking cream

Method:

1. In a large metal bowl, combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade, and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
2. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place chicken and yoghurt marinade into a large baking dish, and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
3. Start preparing your onion and capsicum, and combine all of the powders/spices etc. into a small bowl to prepare for step 6.
4. After about 20 minutes, add a few drops of oil to a (preferably) non-stick frying pan and start frying off your diced onion and capsicum. Once the onions are starting to brown, throw in your cashews and continue to fry for another minute or two. Note: You may want to add your rice to the stove at this point if you're planning on having rice.
5. Move the fried onion/capsicum/cashews to a food processor and blitz into a puree.
6. Using the same frying pan that you used a moment ago, add 1 tbsp of butter, and then once the butter starts to melt you can add all of the powders/spices for the sauce and saute for a couple of minutes.
7. Add the onion/capsicum/cashew puree back into the frying pan, and continue to saute for a few more minutes.
8. Add in the tomato paste and cream, mix well, and continue to cook until the timer goes off on your oven.
9. Add the roasted chicken and all of the remaining marinade into the frying pan, and mix around until the chicken is completely covered in the sauce.
10. Serve with rice or naan, or both!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As with most curries, this is one of those meals that tastes amazing the first day but even better the next day, so don't be afraid to make enough for leftovers. This recipe in particular makes enough for 4 generous helpings, but that's only if you can control yourself. Enjoy!

 
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