New styles, photoshoots, and awards!

Hard to believe we are through half of another year isn’t it?

Time seems to be flying by, and life with sorella & me has been a big part of that. We have been super busy and have so many exciting things to share with you in the coming months – the first of which is our photoshoot next Friday…. if you think this might indicate we are adding new pieces to the current collection, you’d be right!

Stay tuned for some behind the scenes photos next week for your first look of what’s coming!

Behind the Scenes - 2012 sorella & me photoshoot

Behind the Scenes – 2012 sorella & me photoshoot

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Get your velvet on – beetroot style!

Did you see Alisha’s post on the sorella & me facebook page yesterday in all its sugary goodness?

Alisha's delicious cup cake

Alisha’s perfect and delicious cup cake…. jealous much?

Right at 3pm – in all our dropped blood-sugar states – she thought she’d share a photo of a delicious cupcake.

What a bi-atch.

In my opinion, not only was it rude because it was at a time when a cup cake would have gone down quite nicely (I am cranky when I am hungry), but also rude because there are many of us who are trying really really hard to convert to a sugar-free lifestyle – and succeeding or not, we don’t need a reminder of what we are missing out on!

So I hit Sarah Wilson’s latest sugar free cookbook for some inspiration to compete with my now very real and very present sweet cravings. I have unapologetically pushed my love for Sarah on you numerous times – see here and here for examples – and it’s crises like these that support my reason why.

And whoalah! I found an option I knew would come close to providing some sort of cake relief – and I just happened to have a couple of beautiful organic beets in the fridge ready for the taking. Now…. be open minded to a vegetable based cake. No one likes a vege-ist.  And anyway, you like carrot cake right?

I present:

Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes – from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar – Chocolate Cookbook

(And double bonus – they can also be gluten and dairy free if you need…..)

Ingredients (all organic where possible peeps!)

  • 2 large beetroot – grated
  • 1 & 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder*
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder**
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup***
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Gluten free)
  • Pinch of Salt

For the icing – if you aren’t sugar free, you could do a normal icing.  If you aren’t dairy free you could do a philly cream cheese icing (aka banana or carrot cake).  If you are sugar and dairy free you could do a coconut cream or cashew cream icing (these recipes are also in Sarah’s book).

My variations:*

* You can never have enough chocolatey goodness – Call me crazy but I added an extra couple of tablespoons of cacao.  This meant I also needed to up the wet ingredients so added a touch more oil

** I can’t justify having vanilla powder in my cupboard – but open to invest in the future as many of Sarah’s recipes include it. So in this instance, it was a teaspoon of vanilla extract for me.

*** Taste the batter before you commit to the oven! If it’s not sweet enough add some more rice malt syrup. Everyone’s tastebuds are different and especially with the earthiness of the beets, you might want to up the sweet stuff to more easily convince friends afraid of a sugarless lifestyle and wary of your vegetables moonlighting as cup cakes.

The red-redness of the beetroot make this cake mix look more like a science experiment... but a delicious one.

The super pretty redness of the beetroot make this cake mix look more like a science experiment… but a delicious one.

Method:

Preheat oven to 170degs and grease a 12 cupcake tin. Blend together in a blender (or go crazy with a stick-blender, thermomix, food-processer…. whatever floats your boat), until nice and smooth.  Divide between the 12 cake tin and pop into the oven.

Sarah suggests baking for 40 mins (my non-fan-forced oven meant 160degs for me for just 25 minutes. BAM! That’s chocolate goodness in less time than an episode of Bold and the Beautiful…. I can’t believe Liam didn’t choose Hope by the way. Idiot.)

My little baby in all its red-guilt-free-glory:Sugar free Red Velvet cup cakesEnjoy!

~ anna

How to be a Good Wife: Anna goes to Marriage School

J1 (who opts out of a formal choice of religion) has generously agreed to my request for us to be married in a Catholic Church.

While I’m not a practicing supporter of the church itself, I do believe in God and I am a bit of a fan of spirituality more generally and what it can bring to your life. Like most “non-practicing-but-ok-with-God” people who have had an upbringing in a Catholic school, a few god-fearing grandparents to keep you on the straight and narrow, as well as perhaps a couple of failed attempts to ‘find something else’, here I am, still believing but slightly jaded by those at the top who run it. It’s like wanting to drink 7 cocktails without the hangover. You often can’t get one without the other, but you can sure as hell try your hardest to enjoy the best bits.

(Side note: Bring on Women Priests & Married Priests)

In deciding to proceed with the sacrament of marriage and wanting that to be carried out in a church, it became quickly evident that there were certain rules J1 & I would need to adhere to.

And I’m not talking about “NO RICE, CONFETTI, BUBBLES OR ROSE PETALS ALLOWED ON CHURCH GROUNDS” rules (kill-joys). I’m talking about attending 16 hours on wifery-perfecting for me (not to be confused with mid-wifery) and husbandry-perfecting for J1 (certainly not to be confused with animal-husbandry).

That’s right, Marriage School.

I went to Marriage School and passed. (I have a certificate to prove it).

I went to Marriage School and passed. (I have a certificate to prove it).

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“I cannot believe I still have to protest this shit”

Earlier this week we saw the US president inaugurated and get started on tackling another term.

And what we heard him say, among many things (war, security, blah blah blah), was the need to focus on a couple of key issues that (it would be fair to say) a large majority of people – US citizen or other – to this day have ignored.

Gay equality. Climate change. Equal pay for women.

Obama speaks during the swearing-in ceremoniesImage by Reuters

Obama speaks during the swearing-in ceremonies
Image by Reuters

The point that seemed to immediately cause ringing in my ears was was when Obama stated:

“For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.”

But my immediate reaction was not of joy. I did not experience relief that The US President is asking the world to be fair, to give me a break, as a woman, with an equal right to any male for equal pay, opportunity and conditions.

My reaction was mostly disappointment.  Disappointment that it had to be said at all.

"I can't believe I'm still protestng this shit" image via twitter @alsboy

“I cannot believe I still  have to protest this shit” …… Me either. (image via twitter @alsboy)

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40 ways out of trouble with Fashionista’s Australia

We got lots of great feedback (and sighs of relief) when we posted last weeks round up of the best Christmas gift guides. But there has been one more guide pop up this week we just have to share because a) we know you will love it, b) these girls know what they are talking about when it comes to beautiful things, and c) we are certain it will save you those likely headaches over the next 5 days trying to figure out what your sister really needs as opposed to what she is telling you she wants….

Fashionista's Australia - www.fashionistasguide.com.au/

Fashionista’s Australia – http://www.fashionistasguide.com.au

Emily Power and Antonia Acott are Fashionista’s Australia (a must read site to subscribe to by the way!) and they have put together an (aptly named) Last Minute Gift Guide covering everyone on your list, in every price bracket. Continue reading

No one likes a dud Christmas present.

4 years ago my friend woke up on Christmas morning to a glistening diamond and a proposal for marriage.  By wake up to – I literally mean poked and prodded at the crack of dawn to a handy-cam in her face and before she had time to wipe the sleep from her eyes, her besotted boyfriend was on one knee asking for her hand. (Asking if she wanted time to wake up first prior to asking her to be his wife probably would have been helpful, but he was excited, and bless him he just couldn’t wait).

She said yes, of course. What a happy Christmas…. But this poor guy is going to find it hard to top that gift for sure!

There are just 12 sleeps left until you and your loved ones wake up to a gift that will either provide swoon worthy attention at Christmas lunch from your jealous siblings, or cause you to hold back tears until the point (quite likely after too much festive cheer) you finally burst with disappointment about the Dustbuster he bought you. He thought it would make things easier for you. You think it stinks.

With that in mind, don’t be a bad-gift-giver this year. Don’t risk getting it wrong, because no one likes a dud Christmas present. That old saying It’s the thought that counts” is bullshit.

We have you covered with a number of gift guides from people who are in the know when it comes to gifts. No tricks here – we can happily endorse these people and their lists (because they have proven to consistently have their crap together throughout 2012, and have quite frankly, got me out of binds on various topics before).

Pour yourself and cheeky G&T and leisurely scroll these lists knowing you have a good chance of winning the best gift-giver competition this year.

For your mum, sister, bestie, and nana

First up, do a good deed by supporting Australian designers whilst also spoiling your love one.

Lady Melbourne’s annual gift guide is out and fabulous! Featuring local labels, Lady Melbourne is a pro when it comes to finding unique pieces. And yes, of course she has included sorella & me in her guide, and has featured our organic lounge wrap. But because you are a regular sorella and since it’s our official best seller, you already knew it was a great gift idea didn’t you?

sorella & me organic sleepwear bag (image by Lady Melbourne)

sorella & me organic sleepwear bag with our cosy lounge wrap inside!  (image by Lady Melbourne)

Get more bang for your buck and check out her fab list from last year while you’re there which again, is chock-full or lovely ideas. Continue reading

I quite fancy the idea of being Nigella Lawson’s sister!

Nigella Lawsons new Book Nigellissima

Nigella Lawson’s new Book Nigellissima

It was my birthday yesterday, and my fiancé had no chance of winning the gift giving competition when my friend handed me a copy of Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook signed by the Queen of Cookery herself.

I LOVE being Nigella's 'sorella' (sister)

I quite fancy the idea of being Nigella’s ‘sorella’ (sister).

The message was as sweet as I expect her Nutella chocolate cheesecake will be (page 175).

There has been alot of discussion about the inevitable demise of physical books from our lives. Page-turning is a dying pastime and instead, more and more of us are finding ourselves giving up and joining the masses in tablet reading.  Even my future mother-in-law has recently acquired an iPad – and this paper-page turning aficionado has confessed that she loves it. It will only be a matter of time before we see a Kindle in her hands. Continue reading