Monday, 19 February 2018

If you're a regular reader here, you'll know that instead of setting myself some specific goals for 2018, I decided to go for a Word of the Year instead. I felt that a Word of the Year would be better for me as it is a broad goal - which suits someone like me, who changes their mind constantly - but it's still something to aim towards. 


The definition of my Word of the Year is to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way. Whilst I still have so, so far to go to achieve that, I do believe that I have begun making small changes that are helping me get to the point I want to end up at. So, here are some of the ways I've been spending 2018 so far:

SPENDING MORE QUALITY TIME WITH DANIEL

Daniel and I are always together, even if we're not actually doing the same thing. We share an office so are always in each other's presence, but we have quite different hobbies so it's not often we're doing the same thing at the same time - except for eat, which we always do together. However, this year we've become a little movie obsessed and have had so many movie days and nights together! 

We've watched The Green Lantern (my new favourite superhero!), the Batman movies, the Men in Black trilogy, and a few Monty Python movies. I'm usually not a huge fan of movies as I have a short attention span, but it's been really nice to just stop and only focus on one thing at a time - especially when you get to do that with your best friend!

WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER LIFESTYLE

By "better" I mean more organised, calm, and making sure I spend my time on things worth doing. I've given myself the project of giving our house a huge reorganisation and declutter throughout 2018. As I'm writing this I have three bags of things that I'm going to donate to a thrift shop, and I still have a heap more things in mind that I'd like to donate.

I'm also slowly purchasing more storage containers to better organise our belongings, particularly in our cupboards. Everything is just so cluttered and gets full of dust and spider webs way too easily, which makes me really reluctant to regular clean everything and it's really getting to me! I'm hoping to implement a more consistent cleaning schedule once it's easier to get into all the nooks and crannies of our small space!



SLEEPING IN

Daniel is on holiday from uni until late February, which means we only have three days a week where we needed to be up early, and I have definitely been taking advantage of it! Daniel unfortunately still wakes up really early since he's used to his uni schedule, but since it takes me so long to fall asleep at night, I'm always able to sleep in pretty late. 

Since I had most of my blog content ready to post weeks in advance, I've been able to grant myself some regular sleep ins on my days off, and I've been loving it. However, I am also looking forward to Daniel going back to uni as I get so much done when he's at school!

TRYING NEW THINGS

I haven't done a lot of this yet, but I hope to do more in the future. The biggest thing that I've done for the first time this year would definitely be go on my first plane ride to Queensland with Daniel, but I've also been painting more often, which has been a lot of fun. I still have so many new ideas for DIY projects that I have never tried before, and I can't wait to share them all with you on here - if they turn out well, that is πŸ˜…

                                                                                                              ~

These are a just few, simple ways that I am beginning to make 2018 a well spent year for me. I still have so many things that I would like to achieve, but as much as I would like to, I can't do everything at once! I just have to take things one day at a time and try to always work towards being the person I want to be. How is 2018 going for you so far?

Until next time,
Indya xx
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Friday, 16 February 2018

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on what this means, visit my disclaimer.



Yep, we're back at it again with another sushi roll inspired post! I shared my sushi roll pillow not too long ago, and loved it so much that it made me think about what other things I could turn into sushi. I made Brit & Co's sushi cupcakes back in June, but this time around I wanted to make something that was the same size as sushi rolls, then it hit me: cake pops!

I had a lot of fun making those disco ball cake pops last month; I am so glad that I finally decided to give these treats a go after fearing them for so long. I still couldn't manage to find any gummy fish candies, which is what I would have liked to use, but I did manage to find some fish-shaped hard candies instead - and, as for the green candies, they can represent cucumber or avocado, depending on what sushi rolls you prefer πŸ˜‹ 

Also, just a little FYI, I just use a regular vanilla cake recipe in my cake pop pan instead of Bakerella's traditional recipe, simply because it's easier. Usually it wouldn't matter which method you use, but the reason I like my way for this recipe is because they don't rise to complete spheres. Instead, they have a flatter side, which is helpful for this recipe as sushi rolls have flat ends, which means the coconut and other decorations won't fall off as easily. Just something to think about!

                                                                                                              ~

Ingredients/Tools:
♡ Your favourite cake pop recipe
 Black fondant
♡ White chocolate melts
Fondant rolling pin
♡ Shredded coconut
♡ White royal icing
♡ Fish shaped hard candy
Cake pop sticks and stand




Directions:
1. Place white chocolate melts in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in 30 second intervals. Dip cake pop sticks into melted chocolate, then push into the cake pops about 3/4 of the way, and wait for the chocolate to set.

2. Once the chocolate has set on the sticks, pick the cake pops back up and dip the entire thing in the chocolate melts. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, then stand your cake pops up on your stand while the chocolate sets. It may be a good idea to put paper towel down to catch any more drips.

3. Roll out your black fondant and cut it into thick strips. Wrap the strips around each cake pops, pressing the fondant down as you go around so that it sticks to the pop. If your fondant doesn't seem to be sticking the pops, lightly brush some water on the side that will be touching the cake pop to make it stickier.

4. Whip up a small batch of royal icing that isn't too thick or too thin. Spread a small amount on the top of each cake pop, then sprinkle with the shredded coconut. Add the hard candy before the icing sets so they have something to stick to.

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That's it! How super simple are they to make?! Much easier than real sushi πŸ˜œ  although not quite as healthy. Do you like sushi? What's your favourite kind to get? I'm going to admit right now that I usually just get California rolls, so I'm not sure if you can even call me a true sushi fan πŸ˜…

Until next time,

Indya xx
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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Happy Valentine's Day! You guys didn't think you'd get away without me writing a post about my lovely boyfriend, did you?! Clearly you don't know how cheesy and in love I am πŸ˜œ  I ran a poll on Twitter on what this post should be about, and "future plans" won by a landslide! Whilst Daniel and I don't have the exact years set out for when we would like to achieve these goals, we do have a rough idea. For now, I've just listed them somewhat in order from soonest to latest!



FINISH UNI, EARN HEAPS OF MONEY.

Financial stability is a huge priority for the both of us as we both grew up in a single parent household where money was limited most of the time. We're very driven to get good jobs and earn good money so that we can give ourselves the lives we deserve, so that is our first goal. Daniel's already into his second year of school, whereas I am hoping to start at the end of this year. 

I am confident in our ability to reach this goal as we are already really good with money (just think of how much better we'd be if I didn't like to shop so much! πŸ˜…) and seem to be far less stressed about it than a lot of other people our age. Whilst money certainly isn't the most important thing in life, it is essential to achieving to some of our other goals!

TRAVEL OVERSEAS.

As much as I just want to buy a house right now, I am hoping we'll be able to travel overseas a few times whilst we're both in school, as it seems like the perfect time to do so. Neither of us are going to get a full time job while we're studying, so we have plenty of time to travel whilst we're on holidays. Once again, this just comes down to how well we manage our money - and when we finally decide to get off our butts and apply for passports!

GET MARRIED.

I am unsure whether I want to get married or buy a house first, but it will probably be get married, as that will be a lot cheaper and easier πŸ˜‚  As I've already said, finishing school and getting good jobs is our first priority, so it will still be quite some time before we get married. In fact, it will probably be close to our 10th anniversary! 

I know that seems like so long to wait, but since we met so young and are having our fifth anniversary when I'm only 21, it's definitely the right thing to do. Whilst we could engaged at any time (if I ever find a ring that I like!), I am perfectly happy waiting until we're fully-fledged adults before actually tying the knot!




BUY A HOUSE.

Ahh, our biggest goal! Neither one of us thought we would ever own a house as the people around us while we were growing up never did, but we are determined to beat all odds. I'm sure you've all heard that our generation is buying houses less and less, but I honestly don't think anything could ever compare to the stability of having our own house after a lifetime of renting. Plus, I can't wait to renovate it and decorate it however I want! That is going to be an amazing time in our lives, and I won't give up until we have reached this goal!

GET OUR FIRST PET TOGETHER.

I cry pretty much every day over one animal or another. I am dying for a pet, but we can't have one where we are living right now, and we have agreed that we should wait until we have our "forever home" before we take on a responsibility like that. We don't plan on having kids, so getting a pet will be like our last piece of the puzzle - except for the fact that I want so many! We both want a dog each, and we've got to have at least one cat, but there's still so many others that I adore! However, with a house full of collectibles, I am really not sure how that is going to go πŸ˜…

                                                                                                              ~

There you have it: mine and Daniel's plans for the future! The timeline and the minor details of things may change from time to time, but our end goals will always remain the same. I already love our life together more than I ever thought was possible, and I can't wait to slowly cross these goals off our list and truly live the life we've always dreamed! Happy fifth Valentine's Day to my perfect other half, there's no one else that I would rather tackle life with than you! πŸ’ž

Until next time,
Indya xx

Monday, 12 February 2018

I know this isn't something that you're supposed to brag about, buuuuut... I'm a quitter. There's no denying it; most of my life stories begin with "I used to". There's very little things that I have continued to do for a long period of time. Some of the few things that I do still do include read, write, love and genuinely enjoy being around Daniel - and I have worked at the same place for three years - but that's a very short list. 



Now, let's take a look at some of the things that I have started, and ultimately quit, over the last 21 years:

- Tap dancing.
- Aus kick.
- Swimming lessons.
- Judo.
- Setting myself monthly goals.
-  Beauty school (althoughmy campus closed down and relocated to the city, so this one wasn't entirely my fault).

-  Singing lessons.
-  Going to the gym.
-  High school (once again, a bit more complicated than just "I quit", but still).

The first thing that is blatantly obvious from looking at this list is that I dislike anything that involves much physical activity, but also that I lack discipline. I find that quite ironic as I lived in a very strict household; I was never grounded or ever in that much trouble because that just wasn't an option in my house. 

Fear was a greatly used tool, and it made me realise very early on that I never wanted to find out what the "or else" meant in the phrase "don't do this or else". I do wish that I was forced to go through with some of the things I decided to take up as a child, though. I might have been really good at those activities by now, instead of being embarrassingly unfit, and still scared to be in even semi-large bodies of water.

The fact that I know myself, and know how often I quit things, makes me not want to try new things anymore. I don't have the drive to go through with things that don't give me instant gratification, and I know how problematic that is, so I am using this knowledge of myself to make better decisions. I know now not to make snap decisions that can affect me long-term, as I do tend to change my mind a lot.

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Self realisation is a wonderful thing. Over the last few years I have learned a lot about myself, and realised that the way I saw myself was completely different to how others saw me. I think a lot of people struggle with this as it is very difficult to know how you're coming across to people if no one tells you, but I am going to use this small piece of information about myself to hopefully work towards bettering my future self - and my first step towards a better me is this: I officially quit quitting. 

If I choose to start something, anything, from now on, I am going to try my damn hardest to see it through to the very end. Even if I hate it, I know I will learn something from it, and that will make it worth it. Who knows, perhaps I'll become so great at finishing things that I'll even go back to the book I started reading in October 2016 and finish that, too. Only time will tell.

                                                                                                              ~

Tell me: are you a quitter, or do you push through and finish things, even if you hate them? Do you have a reason for why you are either of those things? I'd love to know I'm not the only quitter out there, and to get some advice on how to quit quitting.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 9 February 2018

At this point it seems like I am not going to stop until I've turned cookies into every other food or item on the planet, but I just can't help it! I love decorating cookies, and even more, I love eating them πŸ˜‚

I have acquired quite the collection of different coloured fondant at home, and I was looking at them all trying to think of what to make one day, when I was reminded how much yellow fondant looks like cheese (case in point), and it hit me: I should make cookies that look like little pizzas!



Whenever I make pizzas at home - which I do quite a bit as I don't like pizza made by anyone else, with the exception of Costco - I always make mini ones because I'm a sucker for miniature sized anything. 

Granted, my pizzas don't have pepperoni or anchovies on them, but I still think these cookies turned out super cute. Also, w
hilst I never need an excuse to whip up a batch of cookies, today IS the perfect day to make these ones as February 9th is National Pizza Day! Let's get onto the recipe so you can whip up a batch of these cookies for yourself πŸ˜‹

Ingredients:
♡ Your favourite sugar cookie recipe
♡ Red fondant
♡ Yellow fondant
♡ Black fondant
♡ Brown chocolate melts
♡ Fish-shaped hard or gummy candy

Directions:
1. Put your chocolate melts in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Use a butter knife or angled spatula to spread a ring of chocolate around the edges of each cookie; this will be our crust. Put the cookies aside or in the fridge until the chocolate is completely set.


Share this recipe on Pinterest!


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2. Roll out your red fondant and cut out circles that are a centimetre or two smaller than your cookies. I used a circle cookie cutter that was smaller than the one I used for the actual cookies for this step. Once you've got your circle, place it in the middle of your cookie and gently knead the edges with your fingers until it you can't see any of the plain cookie anymore.

3. Roll out your yellow fondant and cut out a circle that is even smaller than the red one you just cut out. Place that on top of your red fondant. Don't worry too much about the shape as the cheese on pizzas always melts and spreads out anyway. If you're worried that your yellow fondant won't stick to the red fondant, lightly brush the red fondant with a little bit of water to make it sticky, then place the yellow fondant on top.

4. Go back to your red fondant and pick up tiny pinches of it with your fingers. Roll those pieces into small balls, then flatten them and place them on the yellow fondant to be your pepperoni. Once again, you can dab these with a tiny amount of water if you're worried they won't stick to the yellow fondant.

5. Gently press your fish candy or gummies into the yellow fondant so they don't fall right off. You could also use edible glue, icing, or even melted chocolate to adhere them onto the fondant if you wish.



TROUBLESHOOTING: As you'll be able to tell, I worked far too slowly on these cookies since I was making them up as I went, and the yellow fondant started to become dry and crack once I began pressing the smaller pieces into it! If you work quickly, you shouldn't have this problem πŸ˜Š

6. Pick up tiny pinches of your black fondant, roll them into tiny balls and flatten them between your fingers. These are to present olives, so you can leave them just like that if you wish, but since I always add sliced olives to my pizzas, I decided to add a smaller dot of yellow fondant on top to make them look like they had holes in the middle - of course, you could actually poke a hole through them if you like, I just apparently didn't think of that!

                                                                                                              ~

And there you have it! Delicious cookies that look like tiny pizzas, what could be cuter?! Tell me: where do you stand on the whole pineapple-on-pizza debate? Are you for it, or against it? Let me know in the comments, but remember to play nice with those who may have a different opinion to you πŸ˜‰

Until next time,
Indya xx

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on what this means, visit my disclaimer.

I'm back with another "That Pink Door" inspired post! You all seemed to enjoy my sugar cookies, and I've been trying to bring you more DIY projects as requested, so I decided to make another pillow since I had so much fun making my first one!



This is honestly a really simple project, especially since I made mine quite small. I think mine is about 30cm long, but you can make yours as big as you'd like! It's so cute, and I love the pop of colour it brings to the room. Let's get onto the tutorial!

Materials/Tools:
♡ Pink fabric of your choice
Sheet of pink felt
♡ Sheet of grey felt
♡ Fabric glue
♡ Scissors, ruler, and pencil/pen
♡ Pillow stuffing
♡ Sewing needle and thread (pink would be best, but all I had at the time was white πŸ˜…)
♡ Sewing pins

Directions:
1. Lightly sketch a rectangle onto your pink fabric and cut it out. Use that piece as a stencil and trace another rectangle onto your pink fabric and cut that one out as well.

2. Pin the edges of your two pink rectangles together to keep them in place, then stitch 90% of the edges together, leaving a small hole to push the fabric through so it's inside-out, meaning the stitch marks are now on the inside.



3. Carefully fill the pillow with stuffing, then sew the remaining hole together.

4. Rule and draw 18 identical squares onto your pink felt, cut them out, then glue them onto your pillow with a small amount of fabric glue. Note: You may want to alter the amount you have depending on how big your pillow is, but that's up to you!

5. Cut out a small strip of grey felt and glue it onto your second and third last squares on the right side of your door. I decided to place it there as the handle on the actual door is quite low down.

... aaaaand you're done! That may have been the quickest DIY project in the world πŸ˜‚  but it has such an adorable result. I have honestly fallen in love with making pillows, but don't worry, I won't bombard you with too many pillow projects! I'm still very new to sewing, but if you have any requests for sewing-related DIY projects, leave them in the comments below and I'll see what I can do πŸ˜Š

Until next time,
Indya xx

Monday, 5 February 2018

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on what this means, visit my disclaimer.

Decorating the space we live in, and filling it with things that promote happiness, is one of my favourite things to do. It's crazy to think that 90% of what Daniel and I own right now we have acquired in the last 20 months, but it's been so much fun to fill our tiny little place with things that make us happy. I'll say "us" and "our" a lot, but it's probably going to be quite obvious that it's me who buys most of our decor pieces, but Daniel doesn't care what the rest of the house looks like as long as he has his office area - which is actually pretty cool, I'll have to share it on here sometime.

As soon as you enter our house you'll notice that I clearly have some themes going on, as many of my decor pieces are shaped like donuts, ice cream, or rainbows. I love colour - and I have a huge sweet tooth - so of course I am going to represent that within our decor. Rainbows have been the most recent obsession of mine, and I actually picked up a few more rainbow items yesterday, so I thought it'd be fun to put together a list of some of my favourite rainbow items to hopefully inspire others to bring more colour into your life. Enjoy!

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

A few more items that are worth noting:

♡ This rainbow cloud tape is one of my favourite things on my desk..
A rainbow shaped towel may be slightly inconvenient, but it's so cute I wouldn't care.
♡ I need to add this rainbow clutch to my collection.

♡ I really want to buy a hundred of these rainbow erasers and scatter them around the house.
♡ For those of you who like to do puzzles then display them, this rainbow popsicle puzzle is perfect for you.

                                                                                                              ~

Some of these items are things I actually own, but most of them are things that are on my home decor wish list - so, you know, if you're feeling generous... Just kidding 😜  I know life isn't all about physical possessions, but I do love being able to fill my world with bright, colourful things that never fail to make me happy. How do you like to decorate your house? I'm always looking for inspiration!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 2 February 2018

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on what this means, visit my disclaimer.

Surprise, surprise - another cookie recipe! Didn't I just post one just last week? Yep, and I have another one going up next week too! They are just SO much fun to make and decorate, I can't help it! 



Hopefully you'll be able to forgive my cookie obsession for now since these are the perfect cookies for Valentine's Day! I've been dying to do another batch of quote cookies since I had so much fun making the SpongeBob ones back in October, and I finally thought of an excuse to make some more: love song lyrics for Valentine's Day!

You'll notice that this is the first time I have dyed my actual cookies a different colour, and I honestly want to say it'll be the last time because I hated it so much, but I also love how they turned out, so I know I'll attempt it again in the future. 

Since I only had liquid food dye instead of gel, I had to add so much of it for it to actually make the dough a nice pink colour, and it still didn't turn out as vibrant as I wanted it. Learn from my mistakes and make sure to use gel food colouring when you colour your cookies!

I could have chosen lyrics from typical, world famous love songs, but I didn't. I chose a couple of my favourite love songs, including Love by Lana Del Rey, Him & I by Halsey and G-Eazy, Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rett, and more, but you can choose whatever songs speak to you for your cookies! 





Ingredients/Tools:
♡ Your favourite sugar cookie recipe (that won't lose their shape when cooked!), unbaked 
♡ Pink gel food dye
Rolling pin
Circle cookie cutter
Letter biscuit stamps
♡ Your favourite love song lyrics!

Directions:
Step 1. 
Put a few drops of food dye onto your cookie dough and knead until it's all mixed in. 

Step 2. 
Roll out your cookie dough and cut it into circles.

Step 3. 
Now it's time to add your quotes! Whilst the letter stamps come with a tool that you can slide the individual letters into and then stamp altogether, I prefer to pick up each letter one by one and stamp them onto the cookies, but that's just my preference. If you'd prefer to use the holder to ensure a straighter line, then go ahead and use it!





Take your time when adding your quotes as it can get confusing since the letters are backwards, but also don't take too long as your cookie dough might start to dry out, which will cause it to crack when you stamp your letters into it! As you may be able to tell, that happened to a few of mine πŸ˜…  That's just proof that I am still such a beginner when it comes to baking, and still have heaps to learn!

I also recommend stamping the letters quite deep, but not deep enough that you go all the way through. If you don't press them in hard enough, the cookies may rise too much and cause the words to disappear. Once you've added all your quotes, bake your cookies for the recommended time and you're done!

                                                                                                              ~

I actually just went back and read my Valentine's Day cookies post from last year, and can't believe how far I have come in such a short amount of time! I honestly can't believe that was the first time I had made cookies from scratch, and now they are my favourite thing to make! 


I also talk about making both buttercream and royal icing too thin so they didn't hold their shape in previous recipes, which I have since learned to do properly, as shown in these fairy floss-filled cupcakes, and Christmas sugar cookies

Heck, even my photography has improved a lot! Although it still has a long way to go. It's nice to actually see some proof that I am getting better and baking, and blogging in general. I love doing what I do on here, and I can't wait to see where the future takes me, and The Small Adventurer.





I honestly adore these cookies, they are definitely one of my favourite things that I have made. I love the idea of making a batch for your partner - or even your friends - and including lyrics that remind you of them on it! How sweet would that be?! 

Tell me: what's your favourite love song? Is it a typical, classic kind of love song, or is it a more modern one that you feel represents your situation better? Leave me some recommendations!

Until next time,
Indya xx