Monthly Archives: February 2013

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

When I cook, I go all out. There is no such thing for me as having friends over and making frozen pizza (heaven forbid!). For Valentine’s Day I made J vanilla cupcakes with salted caramel hearts and chocolate icing. I used this recipe but replaced milk chocolate for dark chocolate for the icing and simply added a spoon of my salted caramel before baking in the middle of each cupcake instead of the berries in the other recipe.

J is French and I’m Australian so the frog and koala seemed so appropriate. And funny!

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

DSC_0065

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

Don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY here. Entries close on the 6th of March.

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GIVEAWAY! CONCOURS!

We are proud to announce our first Giveaway on Cleopatra’s Bling!

The piece we have chosen to give our lucky winner is a vintage bracelet that is very special and we believe will find a good home with one of you. This vintage Afghani agate cuff was made around 30 years ago by the Kuchi Pashtuns, a nomadic people in what is now Afghanistan. It is probably from the Logar region.

What can agate do for you in your life?

Agate’s most noticable properties overall are balancing yin/yang energy, courage, protection, healing, and calming. Historically it was placed in water for cooking or drinking to dispel sickness. The Metaphysical and Healing Properties Lore of any specific type of agate depend to some extent on the color of the agate, but all agates have certain things in common.

Agate is a stone of strength. It was used by on the breastplates of armor to give warriors strength and make them victorious in battle. Energetically, it is considered to give strength both and physically mentally.

Giveaway on Cleopatra's Bling

Giveaway on Cleopatra’s Bling

To be in the running you have to:

1. Like Cleopatra’s Bling on facebook

2. Tweet this giveaway post and follow us on twitter. (@Cleopatrasbling)

3. Comment on this post and tell us what your favourite stone is and why.

4. Follow us on instagram (@oh_la_la_livia) and repost the photo we posted announcing the giveaway and tagging us

5. Like our blog facebook page Oh la la livia.

6. Share the image post we posted on facebook with the link from your facebook account by clicking on “share” and leave us a comment telling us when you have done all of the above to go into the running.

WORLDWIDE ENTRIES WELCOME.

Good luck :)

We will then pull the name out of a hat. Winners will be announced on the 6th of March.

xoxoxox

Boulangerie at the marché couvert in the Batignolles

This boulangerie caught my eye because of the artisan feel and the fact that the croissants are still hot when I get them in the morning. When my hands are cold and I walk home to make a latté, there is nothing better than pulling apart a warm croissant and sipping on my coffee while pouring over the morning news. Yes, life in Paris is certainly wonderful when I take the time to treat myself in this way.

Their treats are baked freshly every morning and are completely homemade, which is quite rare. No frozen croissants here, folks. They even have sourdough bread (“au levain” in French). Yes you heard me.

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

boulangerie marché couvert batignolles

For fresh brioche, croissants, maracon, pain au chocolats and all sorts of cakes head to:

Marché Couvert des Batignolles
96 bis Rue Lermercier
75017 Paris

métro Brochant.

The boulangerie is just by the entrance of rue Batignolles.

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Pierre Hermé macarons

There is nothing better in this world than a damn good macaron. I ate mine accompanied by a cup of steaming hot crème brûlée tea from T2 tea. Do I need say more?

creme brulee tea

creme brulee tea

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

Pierre Hermé macarons

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Pink shades.

I already can’t wait for Spring so I bought myself these shades to welcome the first few days of sunshine here in Paris.

Pink

Pink

pink

pink

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DIY for Valentine’s Day

I adore making things with my hands and what better way to show your love for somebody than by making them a gift? Whether it’s a meal, a present, a card, a poem, a song, a garden or anything at all- aren’t homemade gifts the best kinds? J and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day because of it’s commercialness but also because for many years we were going between France and Australia and it sort of slipped through the radar. But I think it’s sad not to celebrate a day of love just because it’s commercial, don’t you? I mean, nowadays everything is commercial, so it’s not a really good reason in my eyes. I strongly believe that we don’t celebrate love enough. When we look at the news we see negative images, we complain about the government and the system, about each other, about our lives and situations. For too long we have been taught to complain, almost as though being constantly positive and happy is too close to gloating, therefore should not be done.

I am here to remind you that celebrating our lives and those we love is a great thing and does it really matter if it’s cheesy? Life is all about the nitty gritty details and the things we feel. So tell me, how do you celebrate love?

Here is a little gift I made for J for Valentine’s Day. (He is subscribed to my posts so he may see it before Thursday. If this is the case J, please pretend you didn’t see it and act surprised Thursday!)

It was so simple- I went to a photobooth and did a strip of photos with a blank piece of paper as a sign so that I could write what I wanted on it later on to make it look like a sign. And with my amazing stamp set from Germany I printed little hearts on the photo.

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

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On Saturday we are going to go to the Pont de Arts and put on our lock next to all the other lovers…. do you know this bridge? Here is a good image of it that gives you an idea. Oh la la, how romantic.

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Kale Soup

Winter time calls for soup time. This simple recipe is something that you can make very quickly at home and is perfect for a light meal with melted cheese on toast (oops!). This soup is just so easy, see for yourselves….

Here is how I did it:
a bunch of kale
a cup of lentils
vegetable stock
a bunch of spinach

I use organic green lentils and cook them up until soft. You’ll need to then drain the water and put new water in as the base of the soup and add the vegetable stock and any herbs or spices that you wish to use. For this soup I use some garam masala and herbes de Provence. The rest is simple: add in the kale and spinach and when the soup is cooked down and soft, blend it and serve it with a dollop of crème fraîche and the zest of a lemon or lime. Yum!

our apartment

our apartment

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup


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In other news, be sure to like my boutique facebook page Cleopatra’s Bling as we will be announcing a competition this week to win a gorgeous piece of jewelry!

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Sunny Saturday Carrot Cake and Latte

I think it’s important to do things that are good for our spirits, even if it’s simply to make ourselves feel good. My beau was away on the weekend and I was at home staying warm and doing homework, so I decided to make myself one of my all time favourite cakes: Carrot cake. It’s sweet smell filled up my apartment and I felt good baking and then indulging. However, I am careful not to over-sweeten my cakes and I use alternative flours a lot of the time so that it’s not as heavy and it stays relatively healthy.

For me, carrot cake should not be refined. I go with the idea that it’s more of a loaf, something I can eat for breakfast and not feel ill.

Here is how I do it:

1 cup almond meal
1 cup self-raising plain flour
1/2 cup quinoa
4 teaspoon mixed spice (I use cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, pepper, vanilla)
1 cup brown sugar (or any unrefined sugar- makes the cake so much richer and gives a taste of caramel)
2 1/2 cups of grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts (half of these to put on the icing)
2/3 cup of either coconut oil or ghee
3 eggs, lightly beaten
150g of natural yoghurt

For the icing:
250 g cream cheese
1 rind of lemon or lime
honey

What next?
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 19cm cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.

Sift flour, almond meal, quinoa and spice into a bowl. Add sugar, carrot, chopped walnuts, coconut oil/ghee, natural yoghurt and eggs. Stir to combine. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean (cover loosely with foil if over-browning). Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing mix the cream cheese, grated rind and honey to taste. Spread over cake. Decorate with walnuts. ENJOY

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake and morning latté

Carrot Cake and morning latté

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

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A Spicy Sunday Afternoon Coffee

When I make coffee in my Italian stovetop, I like to add some spices to give it a small kick!
I added in a spice mix I got in Bremen, Germany. It contains cinnamon, cardamon, dried orange peel, star anise, nutmeg.
Here is what I indulged in yesterday as my afternoon coffee. What do you think?

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Afternoon coffee

Carrot cake

Carrot cake

Afternoon Coffee

Afternoon Coffee

Afternoon Coffee

Afternoon Coffee

Afternoon Coffee

Afternoon Coffee

Lovely Sundays

Lovely Sundays

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Nest of the Bluebird

Genevieve from Nest of the Bluebird started creating when she checked out a stack of books from the library on ethnic adornments from around the world. African tribal beadwork, Oaxacan embroidery, Hmong Hill Tribe needlework, the colors used by the Morrocan Berber, the brightly hued silks of India. They all coalesced in her mind and what emerged was her current collection of designs. She started making these pieces based on her own desire for a bold pop of colour to enhance her often neutral wardrobe. She wanted something lightweight and comfortable even when the pieces are larger in size.

Her process begins with her favorite part, the selection of colours. Much of her day is absorbed with care of her impish 2 year old daughter Vivian, and as they play with blocks or she watches her play at the park, her mind is a flurry of colour combinations. She finds inspiration everywhere she goes. Textile prints, nature, children’s books, art, and photography. When she finally lands on the “right” colour combination, it’s like she has written a little melody that she just wants to keep humming. Each colour arrangement has the ability to evoke a particular mood or emotion.

She loves the process of creating something handmade and then sending it out into the world. She hopes the wearers of her creations feel energized, confident and maybe even a little sassy. Perhaps they will feel the good vibes infused into them by her hands as she happily created them. She has so many ideas for future creations so stayed tuned!

What a great message to pass out to you before the new week starts. Isn’t it lovely to hear that there are people out there that love what they do.

Vintage Ganesh painting

Vintage Ganesh painting

Our home

Our home

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Vintage Ganesh print from India

Vintage Ganesh print from India

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

Nest of the Bluebird necklace

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