One year

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One year ago today I married my best friend.

We were so lucky to enjoy the most wonderful day filled with loved ones, sunshine and laughter. The weather was perfect, the gardens looked beautiful, the reception was stunning and the photobooth was without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever spent money on. Seriously, I spent most of the night in there.

And then of course there was Kevin, who looked the most handsome I’ve ever seen him decked out in his suit and tie and surprised me with the most beautiful wedding vows I could have imagined – even after eight years together he still has a few tricks up his sleeve!

A year on, there’s still not a single thing I’d change about the day. Well, other than remembering to eat more wedding cake!

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Blueberry & lemon baked doughnuts

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Berries are without a doubt one of my favourite things about this time of year – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries… whatever the berry, I’m all over it! Luckily for a berry-beast like me they’re also super affordable at this time of year – so much so that our veggie drawer is absolutely packed with punnets of them at this very moment.

While berries are great as a grab-and-go snack, they’re equally as wonderful incorporated into your favourite baking – and when you use them in homemade doughnuts? Well that’s pretty much as good as it gets.

That’s where these blueberry and lemon baked doughnuts come in – they are absolutely delicious. Seriously, it took all my willpower not to eat every single one! The combination of tangy lemon with delicious bursts of sweet blueberries is a match made in heaven – and one that’s super easy to pull together at this time of year.

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday – and a big happy New Year too!

What a beautiful it’s turned out to be, huh? Perfect for lounging around in the sunshine and enjoying all those wonderful things Kiwi summers have to offer – I know we have been!

I hope you all had a fabulous summer break and are feeling refreshed and ready to take on the year ahead – I’m sure 2015 is going to be an awesome year.

Whether today marks your first day back in the office or you’ve been diligently working through, here are five things to help get your week off to a great start…

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Merry Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful festive season so far and have managed to tick off all the Christmas baking you hoped to do. Luckily for me I finished my last piece of Christmas baking yesterday, so now there’s nothing left to do but enjoy the holiday – phew!

So what was the last item on my list? Edible Christmas scenes in jars, which are pretty much as cute as they sound. Each jar is filled with crumbled chocolate cake, lashings of vanilla bean buttercream and a little coconut ‘snow’, before being finished with a homemade marshmallow Christmas tree and mini gingerbread man. Cute huh?

Unfortunately time, life and bad-lightly got in the way of me pulling together a ‘how to’ post for these sweet little gifts this year, but I’ll definitely pop it on the list for next year.

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

Who else is SUPER excited that Christmas and the summer holidays are just three sleeps away? It feels like Christmas has just popped out of nowhere this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Fingers crossed the weather stays beautiful and sunny, and that we finally get the beautiful Kiwi summer we’ve all been hoping for.

Whether you’re at work or at home, here are five things to help get your week off to a great start…

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Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake

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Birthdays are great for so many reasons – you get an entire day to celebrate someone for just being themselves, it’s a good excuse for a party and bubbles, and it’s a great excuse to eat cake! Whether it’s my birthday or that of someone else, birthday cakes are a bit of a big deal for me – I love dreaming them up, making them come to live and (of course) enjoying the finished product.

It was Kevin’s birthday last weekend, and while I spent weeks teasing him that I couldn’t be bothered making him a cake, there was no doubt I’d make him something special. So while he spent the day lifting weights and being fit at a Crossfit competition (as you can tell, I clearly know all the ins and outs of the sport!), I got busy whipping up a special cake to surprise him with when he got home.

Like many people, Kevin’s BIG on chocolate – he loved it way more than I do! So it was a no-brainer that his birthday cake would be absolutely packed with chocolate. But that in itself isn’t particularly special, so I decided to work hazelnuts into the recipe.

The result? A triple-layered chocolate cake infused with hazelnut coffee, stacked and iced with whipped milk chocolate buttercream and finished with a halo of crushed toasted hazelnuts. YUM.

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

It really began to feel like summer over the weekend, didn’t it? It was so lovely having a couple of days to head out and enjoy the sunshine – well, around masses of Christmas baking! Luckily it all went well and we’re almost all set for Christmas day – the house is decorated, lights are up and there’s just a little baking left to do. Phew!

I hope you had a lovely weekend – here are five things to help get you through the week…

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Five Favourite: Christmas Baking Recipes

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Guess what? There’s less than a month left till Christmas!

That fact will do one of two things – leave you bursting with excitement that the festive season is almost here or fill you with dread as your mind leaps to the dozens of things you need to tick off the list before then.

Whichever type of person you are, this post is here to help. I’m a firm believer that home baked treats make perfect Christmas gifts – after all, who doesn’t love unbundling a parcel to discover delicious treats? But the trick with Christmas baking is to be organised and get onto it before the madness of December really sets in – yip, that means now!

Luckily there are lots of delicious treats that not only make great gifts, but are quick to prepare and can be stored without any problems – here are five of my favourite Christmas baking ideas to get you started…

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