Monday, January 30, 2017

rocky road cake

what do you do when you ask your friends almost 11 year old the day before his birthday what his favourite cake is (so you can make him one obviously) and he replies "rocky road". what the actual heck do you do? where do you go from there? i'll tell you what you do... you make something up pronto!

one white wings chocolate cake mix (yes, i admit, i completely cheated. you know why? because i had one in the cupboard and it was getting close to the expiry date!) split between two tins and baked. when cool, a layer of strawberry jam and whipped cream between the layers...

chocolate icing (included in the box) made and spread on the top, with cream rosettes piped onto the top around the edge. then... the rocky road! i melted chocolate chips in a glass bowl over boiling water and then mixed with marshmallows, chopped peanuts and desiccated coconut before tipping into a lined pan to cool in the fridge. when cold, i hacked it into pieces and then made a very messy, uneven stack in the middle of the cake. i loved it,..

and so did the birthday boy! his face was priceless, he looked like he had won the lottery. turns out spending time in the kitchen is sometimes worth every minute! 

happy birthday zion, we love you! ♥

Saturday, January 28, 2017

a new year, same resolution

doug and i went to the 7am endowment session at the perth temple this morning and i loved being there so early... we had to arrive at 6:45 and although i am not at all a morning person (anyone that knows me can attest to this) i didn't mind it! it was such a lovely morning.

after the success of my new years commitment last year, the only thing that i could think of when the new year rolled in almost a month ago, was making another one i knew i could keep. so here we go again, with another year of attending the temple at least once a month. i know i can do it and will be blessed for doing so, so it seems a no brainer. 

january down, 2017, here we go! 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

i am australian

it's australia day today. the day in 1788 that the first fleet of 11 convict ships arrived and set up in what is now the state of new south wales. the day the union jack was raised and waved proudly in the air. the day our country was settled by people other than the original owners of the land.

i am a proud australian. my family did not arrive on convict ships, they arrived from england and scotland to begin a new life here and raise a family in what we know as the "lucky" country... and i am grateful every single day that they did. we are free! free to have opinions, live where we like, worship who we like and to learn and progress and grow. what a wonderful place to live! 

i love the words of our national anthem, which really explains it all:

australians all let us rejoice
for we are young and free!
we've golden soil and wealth for toil
our home is girt by sea
our land abounds in natures gifts
of beauty rich and rare
in historys page, let every stage
advance australia fair!

in joyful strains then let us sing
advance australia fair

beneath our radiant southern cross,
we'll toil with hearts and hands
to make this commonwealth of ours
renowned of all the lands
for those who've come across the sea,
we've boundless plains to share
in courage let us all combine,
to advance australia fair!

in joyful strains then let us sing
advance australia fair

with all the turmoil and craziness that is going on in the world today, with all the anger and biting from the world leaders even... i am even more grateful to be home and safe, in australia, the luckiest country! i am australian, born and bred... and so lucky to be so.

fun fact: the reason the kangaroo and the emu were chosen on the australian coat of arms is because not only are they animals found solely in australia, but both of them are unable to "walk" (move?) in a backwards direction. both are only able to move forwards, as was (and still is!) the hope for australia, to be a country that is always moving forward and progressing at all times.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

adventure world!

oh my goodness. the last time i went to adventure world i was about 13/14 years old, on a school reward excursion, so (giving away my age here) it was about 20 years ago. we went today as a final hurrah before we send bryan back off to america... and how it has changed!! they still have the go-karts, the pedal cars on the monorail, the sky lift and skull rock... but so many new things! amongst those is an insane new rollercoaster, the abyss... which was awesome! i'd say it was well worth the money that adventure world would have had to fork out on it, especially considering how weak the old one was!

we had a pretty relaxing day just chilling and riding the pedal cars around the top of park

and the chair lift across the pools and rest of the park...

even cruising past an old friend skull rock... 

what an awesome place for the kids adventure world is though! we didn't take ours today, but there is a "kids cove" with heaps of awesome, bright, low impact rides, pools and a water playground... we'll take them next time, i am sure they will love it!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

the pinnacles

western australia is full of weird and wonderful things... many of which i have not yet seen, but this afternoon we took a (long) road trip up to the pinnacles, 2 hours north, just before cervantes. was it worth the four hour round trip? it so was! yes it's a bunch of rocks in a desert area, but it's actually really cool! just follow wanneroo road north and north and north and then follow the signs until you get the pinnacles. it's very clearly marked. $15 per car to enter the park... have your money ready if you are there during park hours, there is a drop box for after hours... we packed a picnic and made an afternoon/night of it.

the new crew playing with the camera self timer. yes we are losers, but we had fun!

selfies are much easier on a phone with someone holding the camera

yep. still losers.

bryan and niques decided to let me take some shots of them all loved up. they have only been married for 3 days after all. there were a lot of cute ones, but this is by far my favourite.

some more losers haha

a pretty amazing landscape to sit and look at hey! we spent hours just sitting around and looking. yes. at rocks. yes, still maintain it was worth it.

the husband and i, with some rocks

and oh look. more rocks!

bet you thought there was going to be photos of things other than rocks didn't you!

the boys...

and my newest brother in law. i guess i like him a bit.

we stayed right until the sun started to set and it was amazing... watching the colours change at the edge of the sky. we had originally planned to stay until night so we could take some photos of the clear night sky with no light pollution and get a clear shot of the stars. alas, it was not to be, but we will be back and i will make it happen here, or somewhere else!

definitely take a drive out to the pinnacles, it's a pretty amazing place to see. just allow yourself a lot of time. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

d e m k e w e d d i n g

it's finally happened. after the last thirty-five days of crazy planning, we pulled it off and bryan and dominique got married today! who knew it was possible? but... to be honest, all it's done is make me realise what i am capable of if i have more than a month haha

dominique looked so beautiful in her dress and as you can see, was blissfully happy, so it made all the hard work worth it ♥

it is such a blessing to know that our marriages as members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints are for not only this life, but for the life to come and will last throughout the eternities. that being said, i'm glad that niques has made a good choice in marrying bryan. he is great fun and has fitted into our family perfectly, as though he has always been here, we kind of like him a lot.

the complete kendall family!

the best man and i, showing up to grace the wedding as the maid of honour. i love love love the suits and ties the boys ended up choosing (from roger david) and my dress was ordered from asos... i was so thrilled with it, took a chance on the size and it arrived during the peak christmas period from london, in just four days! hooray for asos!

my favourite father in law and husband

dominique and i. how lucky i felt to be beside her on the biggest day of her life. i love you girl!

niques and her mum. i love this photo, it made me crazy happy.

the pinkall crew outside the temple after the sealing. i love this shot too. there are some people that become family, and this right here, is family. ♥

it was the most perfect day for it, it had been so hot over the last few weeks, and then all of a sudden it died down today and after a disgusting start to the week, we had a beautiful 26 degrees!

my beautiful friend jamie-lee took over my camera and snapped these gorgeous pictures for me while i played bridesmaid, it was a nice change to being behind the camera for once.

our little family. how i love them!

and my little flowergirl, in a dress lovingly made for madeline by her insanely clever nanna. who also spent hours adding sleeves to dominiques dress. we are so lucky to have her.

such a beautiful girl, so glad her day was perfect!

we are waiting on professional pics, but will try to wait calmly while they are done... i will certainly report back once we have them, with pics of the decor and reception venue etc. but these will have to do for now. but it's done! she's married...

congratulations mr & mrs demke 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

final touches

wedding is tomorrow... and we are all sorted! we have just delivered this awesome seating chart to the venue, which i spent a few hours stamping names onto yesterday. it's a blackboard that hangs on our wall, which until last week still had the menu from my friends wedding printed onto it from the last time i loaned it out. with some chalkboard pegs attached with a little blu-tack and some pieces of scrap booking paper cut in half, we were ready to go. easy as!

a close up... simple yet effective!

and our "wishing well" or in this case, a bird cage to put cards for the love birds. as you'll see eventually, there are a lot of bird cages going to be used at the reception, so it fitted in perfectly with the theme.

i am so excited to see it all set up and ready to go... one more sleep and it is wedding time!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

wedding favours

warning, wedding sneak peek! if you are lucky enough to have been invited to the wedding of the year (haha) and don't want to know what the wedding favours are going to be, then look away now!

i wanted to make the place cards and the favours one thing, so had settled on these gorgeous natural card boxes available here, which were conveniently located locally, so we were able to collect them (a necessity with our short time frame!) and as we received each rsvp, i hand stamped them with my alphabet stamp set (available here) and tied them off with navy ribbon from spotlight. easy done!

only thing is, with just days to go until the wedding, my plan of making brownies and cutting a large piece for each box fell by the wayside, when i sat watching our household devour a box of coles ultimate white chocolate chip cookies, to which i suggested having those in the boxes might be a better idea? it was met with such enthusiasm that i called the local coles, who were only too happy to make us a bulk order, which we collected the next day and boxed up ready for the wedding. coles for the win!! seriously, our local is amazing!

so there you have it, favours complete, and the countdown is on! 

p.s. if you live in australia and haven't tried these cookies yet, do yourself a favour and get into coles asap and try them, you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

countdown is on

these monkeys are counting down the days until aunty's wedding, especially miss maddie who absolutely can't wait to get into her flowergirl dress! 

preparations are going full steam ahead in the kendall house, with vases, flowers and seating charts in a pile ready to go... we are all very excited.

i sat and beaded the sleeves on the dress this evening, here's a sneak peek... shhhh.

it looks amazing on her and i cannot wait to see her rocking it in just a few days! ♥

Thursday, January 12, 2017

aveley pirate park

just last year, a new park in aveley opened (this is not huge news, as there are hundreds of parks throughout ellenbrook/aveley) but this one was a park with a difference, as it is pirate themed and fully gated, making it safe for kids who have a tendency to do a runner... although this isn't an issue for my kids, i was still keen to check it out and see what it had to offer and then forgot to take pictures of the actual park because i am useless, but did snap this cute pic of madeline and her friend brooklyn as they played about and had a great time, however, you can check out someone elses pics in an online review here

it's a great park, with lots of soft areas to play on, foam whales, starfish, a plank to walk, seesaws, swings, a pirate flag on a pole and even a treasure chest! we will definitely be going back, it's so cute! 

 located on cashman avenue 

Monday, January 9, 2017

wedding invitations ♥

now seems as good a time as ever to show off these amazing wedding invitations i managed to get for bryan and dominiques wedding, which is inching closer by the day! obviously we were on a pretty tight schedule time wise, so i needed to find something that was ready to go, could be personalised quickly and that we could print ourselves. dominique and i had a look on etsy in the hopes we ccould find something we were happy with and came across something that was absolutely perfect, right here

a few tweaks to make it exactly what we wanted and we had this by the following lunchtime, ready to print and send off! we were so thrilled with how quickly the girl was able to have them done for us.

as they were from an american etsy seller, they were set up to be printed front and back, with the invite and the striped page, but as things here don't work like that, i had an idea do them a little differently and print the striped page on sheer paper so that it was a top sheet... and it looked exactly how i hoped it would!

and as an awesome added bonus, we were able to have the rsvp cards changed to an invite to attend the temple . winner!

they are so perfect and we are so thrilled with them. long live etsy and officeworks with their print while you wait option! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

singin' in the rain

i received a wonderful birthday present from doug this year, that i got to cash in today, when we attended the stage production of singin' in the rain at the crown theatre. i have loved the movie for years and was absolutely chuffed when i opened my birthday gift...

he had even gone above and beyond and invited my parents to attend with us! it was such an awesome show and so much fun to watch, it even rained on stage!!!! there was a downpour at the end of the first and second acts and watching the cast dance and sing about in it as the first few rows got drenched with it flying around in the "splash zone" was hilarious. 

i loved it so much, if you are in perth and have a chance to get tickets, then go for sure!!