Hello from renovation central! The whir of drills and welding tools has become my regular wake-up call each morning as the tradies (tradesmen) transform our home.
To block out the muddy horrors outside our back door I've been focusing on the inside of our house, collecting soft furnishings to take the edge off Melbourne's winter chill. It's been a long time since we first moved in, but I am just catching up on personalising it.
My Australian hair and makeup stylist Fotini (Hatzis) has learned candle making as a hobby and organised a girls' night in so we could all have a go. As the soy wax was melting away on the stove, we were choosing our vintage glassware we purchased from charity shops to fill with wax and fragrance. A scented candle is one of my favourite ways to make a house feel cosy when it's cold outside.
On another note, all the girls in the UK must be fluttering their lashes! From what I hear, Boots sold out of ModelCo Fibre Lash on the first day it went on-sale in the UK. I wish I was there to check it out the in-store buzz, I am loving receiving emails and tweets from people saying, "I can see you and your eyes everywhere!"
The proofs of my My Style book arrived in Melbourne this week from Simon & Schuster in London. We jokingly called this first draft 'The Book' – it made us giggle thinking of 'the book' from 'Runway' magazine in The Devil Wears Prada.
I can't describe the anticipation, the oohs and ahhs over the beautiful layouts, it's all coming together. During Ethan's day sleeps and once he's down for the evenings, I have been glued to the laptop until my eyeballs are burning. We have made tones of amendments and sticky notes are now stuck over all the pages with suggestions. We want it to be perfect.
With the Aphrodite tour in town, Ethan had plenty of time to catch up with his Auntie Kylie and he had a lot of fun backstage with his grandparents and his cousins Charlie and James. Kylie even gave them shout-outs from on stage, pointing to an imaginary watch and asking little Ethan, who was on his Daddy's shoulders after 10pm in the front row of the Splashzone, "How can you still be up?".
Ethan's first birthday is fast approaching and planning is reaching fever pitch. We've ordered a giant cupcake as a birthday cake and I can see a face-dive happening in that one. Me, not Ethan, obviously!!! Monique from Cupcake Queens in Melbourne says giant cupcakes are super-popular for kids' parties this year so I got her to recommend a recipe with us along with some baking tips (below).
Giant cupcake recipe:
500g butter, softened.
2 cups caster sugar.
4 teaspoons vanilla essence.
5 cups self-raising flour.
1 1/3 cups full cream milk.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease your giant cupcake tin with baking spray.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine.
Add half the flour. Stir to combine.
Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Pour mixture into the Giant cupcake tin. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Stand in tin for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Decorate and serve
1. Fresh eggs (make sure they are at room temperature, not refrigerated).
2. Butter - we prefer unsalted.
3. Full cream milk - never low fat.
4. Pure icing sugar (not an icing mixture).
1. Go easy on the food colouring (you can always add more!)
2. Make your cupcake your own by using sweets, coloured sprinkles, edible sugar flowers or edible glitter to make your mark!
Things I've learnt this month:
- A sunny morning on a winter's day makes me smile.
- Vantage magazine in the UK did an article on me and Tabs entitled 'Design Divas'...and WE LOVE that! Whooooooooooo and thank you from Project D!
- Bubble machines are for big kids too.