Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tangerine Semolina Cake

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If you are anything like me you have kids that devour certain fruits one day and can't stand them the next.. what is that all about?! I don't dwell to long on it as would turn me nuts but it does mean I am often looking for lunchbox idea that can use up the sudden excess fruit..

This week it was... TANGERINES..

I often manage to find a recipe but it has nuts in it and a sugar content that seems a little excessive so I have learnt to adapt.. for nut free and semolina is my friend.

If the nuts in the recipe are there for flavour you can just leave them out, if they are there for texture swap for cornflakes or rice bubbles to match the crunch. It is only when they are ground and being used as an oily element to keep something moist that you could have issues.

Sugar wise I often just use less than the recipe and swap a portion for rice malt syrup instead.

Anywho, cut to the chase.. I found and Orange and Almond Cake and made it into a Tangerine Semolina Cake.


What do you need?

3 large Tangerines (do not peel)
4 large eggs
160 grams sugar (I did 120g and a tablespoon or rice malt syrup)
200 grams semolina (if you don't need nut free you can use 200g ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free)

How do you do it?

Pre-heat oven to 180´.
Place your tangerines in a microwave safe bowl with some water and cook for 4 mins, leave to cool and remove pips.
Put mandarins in food processor and blend until smooth (in Thermomix it was 20 seconds on around 8/9)
Put the 4 eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk until well mixed (in Thermomix I added the butterfly did around 50 secs on speed 4)
Add the mandarine puree, the semolina and the baking powder. Mix until combined well.
Pour into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin, bake for 1 hour or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

The cake is not big and fluffy as semolina is dense but the citrusy taste is awesome, the house smells delicious and the kids loved it.. #forthewin

Do you adapt recipes much?
Any major fails I should be aware of before I make them too?! 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

California Dreaming..

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So I need some help and as a result I need to let out a secret we have been keeping for a little bit.. My little family might be moving to the U.S of A.

We are not 100% yet but we are close to it as long as that last interview results in them saying everything we need to hear and we agree to everything they want. We would be moving to San Francisco just not Downtown and I need advice from anyone that knows.




I have been researching for hours, or is that days?.. ok maybe weeks!!

My main worry is the kids. I want to make sure the experience is endlessly positive and given that we have our fourth baby Dexter to accomodate, live in a decent size home, have a gorgeous local school, sports fields everywhere, fab beaches , all their mates around the corner and a suburb you can leave your front door open all day to come home to it still just that (yes this has happened a few times.. oops) its not an easy ticket to fill.

The areas I have pinpointed as being affordable, safe, good schools and with the sort of accomodation I would be able to live with (far out CA has some serious retro stuff goin' down and I am not talking trendy retro.. just plain old) are.. sort of 4 zones..

Cupertino, Los Gatos, Campbell, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara 
- the way I see it this is a busier more happening neighbourhood but with some amazing track runs. We would be in smaller accomodation, likely not have a spare room and that would still be top end of our budget..


Dublin, San Ramon, Pleasanton 
- I think this offers us a more sleepy suburb with good schools but larger accomodation allowing us to have guests but will leave me far more cut off with the kids..

Tiburon, Mill Valley, Sausalito 
- this seems far more Swiss Alps feeling and a lot more cut off, lots less on offer to rent and still high on budget side but a much smaller community and the closest to San Fran we would consider.


Burlingame, Millbrae - Good Schools and apparently sorta posh (which might not be our thing AND comes with high house rental) but again close to San Fran and on the radar but last on the list 

I would adore advice from anyone who has lived there, does live there, knows anyone that lives or loved there? 

My little family are a tight unit and we want to use this couple of years away to just bond, spend as much time doing sport related things together, camping, skiing and road tripping. Hanging at home with family visiting and just generally sucking up the opportunity for all that it is and taking in as much of the US as possible before we come back to our true love Australia.

SO? 
Where would you go? 
Where would you live?
What would you prioritise? 





Wednesday, 8 June 2016

What I am doing more of these days....

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I have always known I loved helping others get through challenges they have in life by using my mistakes or triumphs to speed up their process.

I do it in my personal life as well as my work one.. I just think 'Why wouldn't you?'.

I do understand how business people can feel they don't want to give away their knowledge and possibly feel that why should they spend years learning and making mistakes only to tell everyone else how not to do so and save them all that time and money? BUT that is just not me.

I do have the ability to be selfish (I don't like to share my food) and I can easily be foolishly inconsiderate of others feelings (ask those I love the most) but it appears that on the business and life lessons side I am a total sharer. It makes me feel good, so maybe that is my selfish touch to it, but the gift it offers others is just me paying it forward from the people who have always made the time to chat with me along they way.

As a result I have been presenting at a host of different events more and more. I don't LOVE being centre of attention but I do love having people ask the questions that have been troubling them for a while and being able to give them the answers..

Now I am not here to tout for business (but if you want to get in touch for any then I won't be knocking you back) I thought I would share my next gig..

I will be at CELEBRATE  'a business bash for party makers and confetti shakers'.

I will be there with a few of my fave people (see below) and its at a stunning location (ahem.. above)..


Do you share your failures in life? 
Do you only share the success? 
You in the party industry and coming to play?

Monday, 6 June 2016

This weeks Giveaway on Instagram

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We love to share the love.. its just a thing we have done since day one and like to feel it shows how much we value our customers and the community we are surrounded by.. this weeks giveaway on

Insta is live and you can see it here..

To win this stunning print from 4 the love of Paris, follow @downthatlittlelaneshop . Regram this image and tag it with #DTLL4theloveofParis. Comp is open to Australian residents only and the winner will be announced Monday. This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Can be everyone's perfect..

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I am not all that old.. (yep I am as grey as the hills are old but I am only 40) but I have done a huge amount in my little lifetime. I have been in lots of very polarising scenarios over the years and had to work with, contend and mix with all sorts of personalities.

The one thing I have learnt the hard way is you can't be everyone's perfect.

Each and every person has their own set of situations. No two people are the same whether it is their family dynamics, their financial situation or even their mental health. In the last 5 years I have had all those AND all at the same time.

I lost someone I thought would be a best friend for life as I wasn't able to give her enough time - I had to work and it was building DTLL from the ground up on my own.

Depression set in as the stress of trying to be there for the kids in school and build a new business on a budget took more than I had - something had to give and I am only human.. my mental health buckled big time.

Family has to be the toughest and I have one member of mine that continually seems disappointed in me as I am not Thankful enough or thoughtful enough or.. well I am sure I could go on but we live different lives in every scenario and basically I am just not cut from the same cloth and that makes me an inferior version.

The thing about all these stages is you can let them get you down or you can find a way to grow from them and for me it has taught me to look at what means the most to me and nurture those things.

These days I concentrate on my relationships that are natural and fluid. I have a feeling as the years pass my circle of friends will get smaller and smaller but each and everyone that remains will be that much more important to me.

I know that my husband and kids mean more to me than anything, more than my work and more than my own time. I want to be there to support them whilst I can and if that means me taking a bit of a step back at work and having to budget a bit more with less income then so be it.

The most important thing is that I accept I cannot be everyones perfect and I don't need to be. I shouldn't feel judged by someone else just because they live their life a different way. We all make our own choices and we all have different priorities and my priorities are just as valid as anyone else's whether they are polar opposites or not.

It is not about thinking you are perfect and everyone else has got it wrong it is about accepting the cards you have been dealt and being happy with what hand you are playing.

I question so many of my actions and I will often reach out to my girls to see what they think but at the end of the day as long as my kids and my husband agree I am all good..

It's ok not to be everyones perfect as long as I am perfect as I can be for me...

Do you try to be everyones perfect? 
Does it wear you down?