Sunday, 30 June 2013

10 Minute Chicken Laksa

Living alone on a budget, sometimes I find it a little difficult preparing a meal for myself. Often, I will make a bulk meal of something, and stick portions in the freezer for lazy days where I don't feel like cooking. That way, I at least know I'm getting my nutrients on those "I just can't be bothered" kind of days. There are days when I run out of my freezer meals, or just feel like something different, however, and it is on these days which I turn to meals that are quick and easy to prepare, while still upholding some sort of healthy sentiment. That is where this 10 minute laksa recipe comes in!

I love spicy food, and this laksa can be made to suit your taste in just 10 minutes, which is exactly why I love it! It's quick, easy, cheap and tastes amazing, while still having a bit of veg in it, which makes me feel like I'm being healthy! This is the first time I've really made up my own recipe, so I hope you like it! Of course, you could make it with any meat, or add in different types of veg, to suit what you have on hand, but my favourite laksa is chicken laksa (next to prawn laksa, of course!). The recipe serves two, but if you're like me and you live on your own, just keep the extra serve in the fridge to have for lunch the next day! So delicious!

If you want to have a go at making it, you will need:

1 pack of two-minute noodles
1 tablespoon laksa paste
½ can of coconut milk
1 chicken breast
½ a carrot
Handful of snow peas
Chilli flakes, optional and to your taste

And all you have to do is:
1.     Heat a splash of oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Put a saucepan of water on to boil at the same time. Cut your chicken breast into bite-sized pieces while you wait for your fry pan to heat up.
2.     Julienne your carrots, and chop the ends of your snow peas.
3.     Cook the chicken breast in the fry pan, until it has browned. Add the laksa paste, carrot and snow peas and stir-fry until the laksa paste is fragrant.
4.     While stir-frying the chicken, etc. cook your two-minute noodles in the pot of boiling water.
5.     Once the stir-fry is done, turn off the heat to the fry pan. Drain your two-minute noodles, keeping just enough water in the pot to cover them, put back on the heat, add the flavor sachet and stir.
6.      Add the mix in the fry pan to the saucepan along with the coconut milk and chilli flakes, and toss it all around. Cook for a further minute or two, and then you’re done!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Quirky Snail Mail From Across the Seven Seas!

About two months ago, Jennifer from Grits and Moxie announced that she would quite like to host a post card swap with some of her readers, and was blown away by the response that she got! I contributed enthusiastically to the pile of eager replies that she received, and was so stoked when she decided to follow through with the swap! It would be no mean feat to co-ordinate such a massive swap on a monthly basis, and so I am very thankful to Jennifer for doing so!

This is the second time now, that I have participated in the swap, and day after day, I have been bounding down to the letterbox, eagerly awaiting my two post cards!  There is something so divinely quirky about receiving a post card in the mail, and I (sort of lamely) get so excited to see which post card my partner and Jennifer have chosen for me for the month! These are the two post cards I received last month in the swap:

The one with the peanut looking thing on it from Georgia, USA is from Jennifer, and the kitschy Ypsilanti post card is from my partner from last month, Courtney. Jennifer assigns a theme for each swap, with last month's theme being "where you live" and this month's being "art". 

Below is my interpretation of "art" for the swap. Some fantastical illustrated post cards from Hungry Designs, who are local to me on the Gold Coast. I love fantasy-type illustrations lately and was so pleased with the fast delivery and great service from Hungry designs! Plus, they threw in the girl with the antlers as a thank you card, and since I didn't order anything to keep for myself, I was delighted with this! I'm thinking of framing it and putting it in my bedroom as a quirky, little piece of art once I start decorating it. I'm going for a pastel theme in there, so it should suit nicely!

A close-up of each individual post card:

I really love the two pirate-y type post cards I picked out for Jennifer and Vicky, my partner this month, and I hope they like them too! They should be whizzing their way across the Pacific Ocean as I type, I daresay! When I showed these to Jake, he thought they were awesome, too, and suggested they'd make a great tattoo. To be honest, that is probably one of the things that drew me to them. I love tattoo art, even if I don't quite feel confident about covering my body in it (although I would like a few more!)

I should mention that this is not a sponsored post. I simply love the concept that Jennifer has put into action, and love the work that Amanda from Hungry Designs does and I would highly recommend that you all go and check out her Etsy shop! She has some wonderful, quirky shadow puppet brooches, and my favourite Day of the Dead Disney prints as well! Awesome stuff! Actually, come to think of it, Hungry Designs is exactly the type of small business I would love to work with some time!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Great Arcopal Haul of 2013!

Well, this post has certainly proved itself a struggle to write, hasn't it? I've had so much trouble with Blogger, first refusing to upload my pictures and then decided that it didn't want to save my draft, but finally, here it is! The Great Arcopal Haul of 2013!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will have seen my sneak peeks of today's haul, or perhaps just heard my whispers. Indeed, I got very excited last week when I headed out to a couple of op shops in my hometown and was met with the glorious sight of milk glass!

For those of you with no clue what Arcopal is (and here I must admit that a little over a week ago, I would have been one of you) I give you the following. Those of you who do know what Arcopal is, feel free to skip this next couple of paragraphs. I won't blame you :)

Arcopal France is one of the first brand names that had been launched by ARC International and has now been discontinued. The company is famous for other glass and dinnerware brands worldwide like the moderately priced Luminarc, the exclusive Cris d’Arques and prestigious Mikasa. Here is a little picture of the brands which ARC International represent today, off their website.

The Arcopal France dinnerware is a white opal, break proof, tempered glass which has a fire glazed finish. This material is 100% non-porous and is fully tempered to resist thermal pressure and breakage. The Arcopal France dinnerware is five times stronger than china. It is fully tempered break and chip resistant glass. The glass can resist thermal shock as well as impact and is completely microwave-safe, dishwasher safe and break and chip resistant. 

So basically, from what I can gather, Arcopal's milk glass is just the French version of Pyrex. Is is collectible? Well, yes, if you look on Etsy, apparently so. Is it pretty? See for yourself! I have somehow managed to pick up 6 different patterns, with one in three different colourways in the one trip to the op shop! All together, 59 pieces! Plus one piece of actual Pyrex, which I've lobbed onto the end of this post :)

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find names for the patterns which I have come into contact with, however I do know that some Arcopal patterns do have special titles. If any of you know the names of any of the patterns I have down below, please do let me know!

The patterns above and below are, on close inspection, actually different. There are 7 of those pretty bread-and-butter plates altogether, but curiously, only one bowl. I have no idea where the tea cup's saucers are!

These little daffodil tea cups are just so delightfully 70's! I love them! Again, they are missing saucers though!

This next pattern is again, delightfully 70's! Nothing says 70's, really, quite like the combination of brown, orange and floral!

The "Country Scene" pattern, as it is mostly referred to on the internet, is my favourite! I can just imagine a little girl sipping tea out of this cup at Grandma's, delighted that she was allowed to take part in such an adult activity, and feeling ever so grown-up!

And now we come to the pattern I have collected the most of, in three colour ways. Of the brown colour way, I have two tea cups, five bread-and-butter plates, two dinner plates, and seven bowls. Of the blue, I have three tea cups and saucers, and two bread-and-butter plates. Of the gold, I have just the one, lonely tea cup. I quite like the simplicity of this pattern.

Last but not least, I give you the Pyrex, which I have also been unable to identify the pattern of. It is marked PYREX (TM) Ovenware on the bottom, and again, any help identifying it would be greatly appreciated!

Well, there you have it! An Arcopal haul of epic proportions. Now I just have to figure out what to do with it all! Some will go straight into my cupboards, of course, even if I do feel guilty replacing brand new crockery with stuff thats about 40 years old! The rest, I'm not sure what I will do with. I mean, I hardly need 23 milk glass tea cups in my already overcrowded cupboard full of china! I just couldn't bear to leave any of this lovely milk glass behind! When I saw it, it unleashed a greedy, vintage-loving monster!

Pyrex and Arcopal spread over my floor while I decide what to do with it. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

I Said Hey, What's Goin' on?

Hi guys, this is just a quick update post to tell you all what I'm up to and why you haven't heard boo out of me most of this week!

I"m currently down the coast flitting between Mum and Dad's and Jake's place, because it's my uni holidays (huzzah!), I've been missing them, I'm avoiding house work and food shopping at home (mwa ha ha) and Jake's sister has come up from Gosford (which is about 8 hours away) with her new little bubba and so I have been playing aunty all week, clucking like a chook over how gorgeous she is, how good she is and how great Jake is with her. Those bloody hormones! I cannot afford a baby right now, uterus! Behave yourself!

It doesn't help that Jake's sister has been really gracious with letting me help her with the baby, and I actually seem to be quite good at it. I mean, I know I worked with babies all of last year in the child care centre, but it just seems so different in an at-home setting, without strict rules and regulations and charts and what-not, and with the attentive mother and grandmother watching every move I make. She hasn't cried once while I've been holding her, or tending to her though which is awesome!

Okay, reigning in my uterus, what else has been going on?

The days aren't this light and airy anymore!

Well IT'S BLOODY COLD HERE for a start! Winter has finally arrived in full force here in Australia and I'm practically dying. I was not made for the cold, and winter has come as a huge shock in Australia this year. One day it's a balmy 23 degrees and the next - BAM! It's 12. Australia isn't very good with seasons. It get's pretty jumbled and confuses us poor Aussies so much! Thankfully, I have had copious amounts of tea on hand to warm my belly, and have taken up my winter tradition again for the year of reading the Harry Potter series over. I'm currently up to the fourth book (my favourite) and I swear I love it just as much this time as the first time I read it. So many emotions!

I also had an AMAZING (yes, all the emphases were required) day at the op shops the other day which I was hoping to blog about today. Just the cheer up I needed after having six phials of blood taken at the pathologist beforehand, as it saw me start a new collection, help a friend with her growing business and it could even possibly be the start of something new on the Little Foal horizon! Not saying any more at present, but vintage lovers be warned!

I was planning on doing a Friday's Finds post today to show off my amazing score, but I have a whole carload of stuff to show you, and it's pouring and gloomy and not a good day to be taking photos of things! I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to change the name of my finds post so it's applicable for any day of the week.

This is our cold face!

Well, I started this post at like, 1pm and now it's 6:40pm. I don't think I've ever taken so long to write a post! To be fair though, I spent the last 5 hours with my good friend, Alisha who I rarely get to see. We ate apple pie, drank hot Milo and whinged about the cold. All in all, a great catch up I would say!

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are, and hopefully over the next few weeks I will be spending a little more time at home, and will be able to get into some sort of routine or something. My new housemate is moving in on the 25th or thereabouts. She's a photographer, so I see some outfit photos on the horizon!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Op Shop Adventures With Trudie

On Friday, I was lucky enough to get to spend the day with a great blog friend of mine, Trudie from My Vintage Childhood, and her gorgeous daughter, Little V. Trudie has been a great supporter of my blog since it's beginning, and I have been anxious to meet her ever since moving to the Gold Coast, where I knew she lived. Despite the age gap, I felt right at home with Trudie on Friday. We chatted like old friends, visited a few of her favourite op shops and I got a tour of her office and a sneaky peek at all the stock she has ready for her Etsy store, which is coming soon and will be selling some very beautiful vintage children's clothes at affordable prices.

It was so great to finally meet a fellow blogger in person! No one quite "gets" a blogger like another blogger does and it was great to take our friendship out into the "real world" and chat about blog stuff, PR, vintage and all other manner of things which I couldn't really chat to my non-blog friends about. It was also great to have an op shop partner for the day! Not many of my real life friends are into op shopping or vintage, so it was great to have someone to chat with over the clothes racks, and to encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and try a few things on. Trudie is set on converting me to a colour-lover as far as my wardrobe goes, and she certainly did well on Friday with introducing some bright and funky prints to my wardrobe. Trudie is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to vintage, and I really look forward to learning more in future ventures with her.

Unfortunately, I only realised when I left her house late that afternoon that Trudie and I hadn't taken a single photo all day long - not even an outfit picture to post on the blog! Here I was all excited to meet a fellow blogger and I forgot all about doing what a blogger does best! Oh well, you will just have to use your imaginations as to what we looked like on the day! I'll give you a hint though - Trudie looked amazing in a flowy, red maxi which accommodated her growing, pregnant tum.

Now onto the day's haul! I did quite well at the op shops last Friday, if I do say so myself. Since moving to the coast, I haven't really found any op shops that I really liked. If Trudie didn't live right up the opposite end, I'd be half tempted to steal her secret spots ;)

This colourful dress is by The Dress Company. It's got a tapered skirt with pockets and sits beautifully when on. A bargain at $3.25!

This is the top part of a maxi-length night gown which Trudie found hidden in the rack at a Lifeline store. It's so beautiful ad soft with the delicate embroidery around the neck. I'm intending on wearing it as a dress. $8

The embroidery on this green chiffon blouse is gorgeous, as is the ruffled neck. Perfect paired with dark jeans for a dressy casual look. $6

Last but not least, the gorgeous Japanese vintage frock which Trudie gifted to me out of her personal collection. I absolutely adore this dress and have already worn it! It got so many compliments, that I couldn't help but to see the merits of broadening my pastel wardrobe to include a bit of colour.

Since I didn't get any pictures of my outfit while I was with Trudie here is a quick little instagram of me wearing the frock that Trudie gifted to me. Thank you so much, Trudie for such a wonderful day on Friday. I really hope that we can do it again soon! 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

My favourite cake in the world!

I shared my favourite cake recipe in the world on Laura's blog on Monday. Click here to catch it! Hint: it contains a whole block of chocolate!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Cooly Rocks On

I was extremely lucky last week to have the largest 50's and 60's festival in Australia right on my doorstep, in the form of Cooly Rocks On! Now, as you all probably know already, I am a he-uge lover of all things vintage, retro, antique and kitsch so this festival was right up my alley and I was so excited to attend! The first 5-ish days of the festival, I just went about my daily business, and caught bits and bobs from the celebration as I happened across them. I caught some swing an jive dancing in the shopping centre, as I returned some library books and handed out resumes, I ogled pretty cars that lined the streets as I went about my business and I walked past the occasional lady in a 50's inspired outfit as I popped into the post office down the street. I really enjoyed these little happenings, but I didn't take things further and actually grace the festival with my presence until the final weekend, which I knew was the highlight of the whole 10 days!

Saturday morning I had my mum and sister visiting and we popped down the main street just in time for the annual Cooly Rocks On parade! Think old cars, LOTS of sponsor floats and big semi-traliers with representatives from some of the many, many rockabilly, swing and jive dancing clubs and schools on the back, dancing up a storm! It was a lot of fun to watch, and I got lots of photos, but in the interests of trying not to bore you, I will only show my favourites.

Yes, that is a little boy in a leather jacket driving his brother through the parade in a mini car!

"Clown cars" that my sister and I thought looked like toys!

And the dancers. Oh the dancers! I seriously want to take up dancing lessons now!

After the parade, it started raining, so my sister, mum and I ran back up the hill to my house to escape the stampede for shelter we knew was inevitable! As the day got on, the weather continued it's blearly performance, and we decided to give the markets a miss.

The next day was my first day at my new job, working at a local news agency in Coolangatta which is opposite the beach. Since the weather had fined up, I decided to walk to work, and set off brolly in hand (just in case) down the street past rows of shiny, vintage cars being polished in the street. I love, love, love vintage cars and have actually begged Jake to buy one before. I wanted a beautiful, old holden as my first car, but was worried about the price of petrol, and eventually decided not to buy it, even though it was sky blue and white - my favourite colour combination! Again, I took a zillion photos of the cars, but will just show you my favourites. Sorry I don't know what they're al called. I mostly judge them by their pretty shapes and colours.

Turquoise car! If any of you ever win the lottery and feel inclined to buy me a present...

Finally, after a very busy day of work, I took a stroll through the markets before heading home. Once home, I realised what a terrible blogger I was for not taking some street style photos on such a momentous, vintage fashion-rich occasion! So, feeling out of place in my jeans and shirt, I quickly changed into my most glamourous 50's inspired frock, put my hair in a simple 50's inspired style and whacked on some eyeliner and lippy before heading back down town. Unfortunately, my shyness got the better of me for the most part, and I only got photos of three lovely ladies who were all stall owners (or friends/family of stall owners) in the markets, as I was too intimidated to ask anyone else and thought I could give their beautiful stalls a little exposure in return for their picture. 

The only half-decent selfie that I managed to get in my rush to get back downtown after work.

The gorgeous Miss Elaine of My 50's Closet

Two lovely ladies from Rockababy Couture (who's names I forget - sorry ladies!)

My 50's closet was truly the most beautiful and reasonably-priced vintage stall I went into all day, and Miss Elaine was so helpful and friendly! Her hair was magnificent, as well although I didn't take a picture, and was adorned with beautiful flowers everywhere!

Rockababy Couture was also set up beautifully, and I saw many a dress I could have bought instantaneously if I'd had the money. Thankfully they are a local Gold Coast business, so when my photographer housemate moves in, I will be sure to grab a dress from them to style in an outfit post! You seriously have no idea how excited I am for my housemate to move in so I can pester her for outfit photos!

A big thank you to all who organised Cooly Rocks On! I can't wait for next year to roll around, and hopefully by then I'll have a proper rockabilly outfit to wear, have perfected victory rolls or pin curls as well as winged eyeliner, and am part of some sort of swing/jive dancing club. Yep, that certainly would take my involvement with the festival to a whole new level - but perfecting victory rolls? Right now, it's definitely a dream!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY with Mamma Nene from Serger Pepper

Today I'm handing over the reigns of my blog to Mamma Nene of Serger Pepper to share her first ever guest post with you all! I'll be posting over at The Dusty Attic today, if you fancy a little more reading, but until then I hope you enjoy this wonderful tutorial which Mamma Nene has put together for you all! 


Hi everybody!

I'm MammaNene from Italy and I'm writing my first Guest Post (exciting, uh?)

 First of all I'd really like to let you know me a little bit: I'm a 30-something working Mom (who in a little will be a 40 something, but: who cares?) of a 4yo little girl (LilPotato) who is my first fan :-)

I love to sew and, starting from this, I decided to start a bilingual blog sharing my passion, writing tutorials and giving away free patterns, always looking to sustainability and refashioning every time I can.

And that's what I'm doing now: I know that Sunae's blog is not a sewing blog, and I've been thinking a lot if it was the right post to share here ... then I decided to do that... basically, if you don't like the topic you can simply skip it and, if you like it, maybe you can discover something new!!!

By the way, this is my tutorial for you:

sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

What you need: 
  • old bed sheets... or fabric, obviously! Two pieces about 60 cm x 120 cm
  • a little piece of elastic of about 15 cm
  • scissors, pins, sewing machine, thread, ruler, a pen, iron and iron board
  • my measure scheme:
sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Let's start:

    Take your old bed sheets (already cut with measures above) and fold them in half and then in half again, like this:

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    You now have a 30 cm x 60 cm rectangle!

    Cut out two fabric squares (ehm, rectangles, in fact) like on the scheme and, unfolding, you'll obtain a strange shape, like this:

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag
    Repeat on the other bed sheet scrap (outer)

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Now put the two pieces (main and lining) right sides facing and sew around the center hole, like I did (you can leave 1 cm of seam allowances, or sew leaving the feet edge as a seam allowance, like I did: it's not rocket science, you don't have to get mad about measurements!) including on the seam near one of the corners a piece of elastic you'll use to keep folded your market bag:

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    When all sewn, on corners, clip fabric until you reach the seam, BUT without cutting it!!Then turn inside out and press with an hot iron all around the seam.

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Now the fun part:

    We have to roll one side of the market bag inside one of the handles, in order to sew together the main and the lining fabrics, ride sides facing, like this:

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Let's sew, starting from one side seam, finishing to the other side seam (two 90∞ angles to sew and clip on corners, like we did on the center hole), then turn inside out, taking fabrics out with your hand: ta-daaa:

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Press everything nicely and repeat on the other side (rolling, sewing, turning and pressing, do everything twice!)

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Let's close side and bottom seams of both outside fabric and lining in one seam, right sides facing (remember, you have to leave a gap on the lining bottom, so we can reverse everything inside-out).

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    You can stop here or, if you like some boxy shape, proceed squaring corners on each one of the 4 angles, like this:

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    When you've turned inside out your bag, you can stitch the gap by hand or, like I did, with a straight machine stitch (lazy girl, I didn't change the thread color, but it's on the lining, who cares?)

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    Your Lined Foldable Market Bag is done.

    sergerpepper - my lined foldable market bag

    You can change measures if you like it higher and thinner,  you choose, this tutorial is ok with any measure!

    If you're still reading this: Wow, thank you!

    If you're sewing one or one hundred of these, please share them on my flickr group
    If you want some more tutorial: please come to visit Serger Pepper and, maybe, let me know you discovered me thanks to Sunae from Little Foal!



    Thank you so much Mamma Nene for sharing this tutorial on my blog! Bet you didn't know that Little Foal actually started out as Because I Said Sew and used to be a sewing blog ;) 
    I Really hope you all enjoyed this post! Be sure to pop over and check out the other awesome tutorials that Mamma Nene posts on Serger Pepper. She is one very clever and thrifty lady!

    Mamma Nene is kindly offering on lucky Little Foal reader the chance to win 2 months 250x250 ad space on her fantastic blog! I have thrown in one month's space on Little Foal as a little bonus, as well and you can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. 

    Best of luck! xx

    a Rafflecopter giveaway