Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mango, Raspberry & Passionfruit Trifle


This yummy summer dessert will be sure to satisfy the family…

Preparation Time – 2
0 minutes

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 300g fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed in juice
  • 2 tbs icing sugar, sifted
  • 300g madeira cake, cut into 5cm squares 1cm thick
  • 150ml sweet sherry
  • 2 large mangoes, cheeks removed, flesh cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 x 1kg ctn Dairy Farmers Thick Custard
  • 1 x 300ml ctn Dairy Farmers Thickened Cream
  • 2 passionfruit, halved, pulp removed
  • 120g fresh raspberries, extra, to serve 
 Method
  1. Place the raspberries and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Strain into a bowl through a fine sieve. Discard the seeds.
  2. Place the cake in the base of a serving bowl and drizzle with sherry. Spoon over the raspberry puree and top with half the mango. Pour the custard evenly over the mango.
  3. Use an electric beater to whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Strain the passionfruit pulp into a bowl through a fine sieve. Discard seeds. Add passionfruit pulp to cream and gently fold until just combined. Spoon cream mixture over the custard. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  4. Top with the remaining mango and extra raspberries to serve.
Visit Taste for more fabulous summer recipes…

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Reading…



Treasure Yourself: Power Thoughts For My Generation by Miranda Kerr

In Treasure Yourself, international supermodel Miranda Kerr offers her own view on how her generation and those following can achieve greater health and happiness. Miranda believes that one of the most powerful tools to facilitate change is positive affirmation and she has collected over 100 affirmations from some of the world's most inspirational authors, including Louise L. Hay, Wayne W. Dyer, Deepak Chopra and many more.The book begins with a lovely parable that teaches that sometimes, challenges and struggles are exactly what we need in our lives; that we should not see every struggle and challenge as a negative because just as a caterpillar has to struggle out of its cocoon, it can then open its wings and fly… I wish to share my inspiration with you, so that you will treasure and believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities, accept who you are and uncover your own unique gifts. We all have wings, but it is up to each one of us to have the courage to fly. My hope is that these words and the affirmations included will help empower you to reach for your dreams even in difficult times. With action, anything in life is possible

Available from Borders

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Summer = Swimming!


Most of us are probably on Christmas holidays now, and it's the perfect time of the year to head to the beach. Seafolly has a great range of swimwear for all shapes and sizes to keep you looking good this summer… Head to the Seafolly website to view the collection online.

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Monday, December 27, 2010

Polka Dot Vase

 
These gorgeous vases from Sharnell Dollar Designs are just so sweet – perfect for a pretty garden reception! 


Have a lovely day!… Anna





Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!…


The Bride's Diary Team extends our very best wishes for the Festive Season, to all our members and clients. We truly hope you have a merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year celebration.

We have absolutely loved working on our website and publications throughout 2010. It has been great to keep in touch with our members through the bridal buzz message boards and to receive your fantastic feedback. The blogs have also been successful, and we have enjoyed keeping you up to date with all the latest in weddings, fashion, home, parenting, travel and lifestyle inspiration…

Thank you for the many wonderful compliments we have received for our fabulous 2011 editions of The Bride's Diary. We love them all too!

We look forward to a wonderful 2011, and can't wait to bring you more exciting new additions to our publications and online features!

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in The Bride's Diary.

Once again, have a wonderful festive season.

Warm regards, The Bride's Diary Team

Friday, December 24, 2010

Only one more sleep!


Only one more sleep until Santa comes! Hopefully you are all ready to enjoy a wonderful day together with family and friends tomorrow…

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute Shopping

Westfield Parramatta will be open around the clock for 32 hours non-stop from 9.00am today until 5.30pm Christmas Eve, so if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet, don't despair – there is still time! Read on below for a few last minute gift ideas from Westfield Parramatta…

 For Her:

Bvlgari Sunglasses  | $500.00 | Sunglasses Hut


Nine West Handbag | $ 139.00 | Nine West 


Joico K-PAK Hair Miracle Pack | $49.95 | Price Attack

 For Him:

 
Leatherman Kick | $79.95 | Mister Mint


Havanna Cufflinks | $140.00 | Swarovski


Apple TV | $129.00 | Apple

Visit Westfield Parramatta

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

BD Christmas Party 2010



Well, we all had a great time yesterday at the annual BD Christmas party – tenpin bowling was a very fun activity indeed! Some of us excelled at bowling while others were not so athletically blessed, and there were a few rather unorthodox techniques on display, but we all had a great time and we shared plenty of laughs! We'd like to say a big thank you to the team at Highlands Tenpin, it was a great afternoon and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! 

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

We are all very excited in the office this morning as we have our annual BD Christmas party, and this year, the BD team will be trying their hand at ten-pin bowling! We have had such a busy year producing 6 fabulous editions of The Bride's Diary, so an afternoon of good food, good company and good laughs is just what we need!

Have a good day!… Anna

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden's Magical Day


We were so excited to see Nicole Richie and Joel Madden finally marry, and in true Nicole Richie style the wedding was the event of a lifetime! From a French-themed marquee reception to the elephant that welcomed her 155 guests to the black-tie event, the wedding was everything the happy couple had dreamed of. The beautiful bride wowed her guests with three different Marchesa creations, but the gown that stole the show was the Grace-Kelly inspired dress that featured a ball-gown skirt crafted from more than 100 yards of hand-draped silk organza and tulle petals.

For more details, visit Who 

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RSPCA NSW adoption costs halved in the lead up to Christmas


RSPCA NSW Shelters state-wide have hit capacity and are desperate to find homes for the influx of animals in their care. From 16th – 19th December, the not-for-profit animal welfare organisation is cutting adoption fees in half in an attempt to rehome as many animals as possible before Christmas. 

“Every year, we experience the same thing,” said RSPCA NSW Animal Wellbeing Executive Manager Susan Hill. “We become inundated with thousands of extra animals during the warm summer months. This puts us in a terribly distressing situation whereby we end up euthanasing healthy animals because we’ve run out of space.” 

In hopes of finding loving homes for as many animals as possible during this particularly busy time, RSPCA NSW has launched their ‘4days4life’ initiative. For four days only, animals at RSPCA NSW Shelters or the RSPCA Care Centre at Rouse Hill will be available for half the normal adoption fee. 
This applies to animals who are at least 4 months of age or who have been in the RSPCA’s care for at least 4 months. 

“Animals are a long-term commitment and should be considered carefully,” said Ms Hill. “But if people are ready to adopt an animal, we hope this initiative will encourage their decision to come to the RSPCA before going anywhere else.” 

For more information, visit www.rspcansw.org.au/4days4life  

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chain Gang Swarovski Crystal Necklace



Chain Gang Swarovski crystal necklace | £617.02
It's that time of year again with office Christmas parties and end of year functions… Accessorise your favourite party dress with a gorgeous necklace such as this stunning creation by Erickson Beamon. I just love the layers of gold and gunmetal-tone metal chains! Erickson Beamon's Swarovski crystal-encrusted necklace is sure to transform every ensemble – layer this statement style over an LBD to stand out in the spotlight at your next do!

Available from Net-a-Porter

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chocolate, Raisin & Hazelnut Pudding



Try this tasty twist on a traditional Christmas classic!…

Ingredients
  • 375g Sunbeam Raisins
  • 160g Sunbeam Sultanas
  • 90ml rum
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plain fl our
  • ½ cup self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 120g Sunbeam Dry Roasted Hazelnuts
  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC.
  2. Place raisins, sultanas and rum in a bowl and set to one side.
  3. Prepare 8 pudding basins – grease well and line base with baking paper circles.
  4. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift flours, mixed spice and cinnamon.
  6. Add breadcrumbs, finely chopped hazelnuts, chocolate, buttermilk, rum soaked fruit and butter mixture and mix well to combine.
  7. Evenly divide mixture between prepared pudding basins. Place basins into the
  8. baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to ½ fill the baking dish, cover with foil. Steam bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes. Serve cooked puddings in their basins with ice cream and a chocolate curl if desired.
Enjoy and have a lovely day!… Anna

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas with Royal Doulton


Whether it's a treat for yourself or a gift for someone special, make a lasting impression this Christmas with Royal Doulton… Below is a selection from the Royal Doulton Christmas Collection – be sure to visit Royal Doulton to view the full range…

 
Santa Sugar and Cream
All the joy, excitement and fun of Christmas are crammed into this exuberant range of Christmas characterware from Royal Albert. It manifests a sense of tradition that is bound to be guaranteed a presence at many Christmases to come.

 
Dove
These Royal Doulton Glass Christmas Decorations are perfect for making your Christmas tree that extra bit special.


Father Christmas 2010
The Holiday Traditions Father Christmas makes a festive addition to any Holiday Ornament collection. Hand-painted and beautifully sculpted from fine china, it's the perfect reminder to stay off the 'naughty' list as Christmas Eve approaches!

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Friday, December 3, 2010

All I want for Christmas…


I am making my Christmas wish list at the moment, and I simply had to add this stunning Mimco creation to it! The Pearly Princess Neck is a fresh and modern classic, featuring a long profile necklace that can be adjusted by the satin ribbon. Layers of elegant pearls and Czech glass beads create simple, everyday glamour and style…
 
Visit Mimco for more details.
 
Have a lovely day!… Anna

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh Joy!…



Paper divas Oh Joy have added a new collection – Nature Wedding – to their already fabulous range of wedding stationery. This stunning selection of Oh Joy Designs wedding stationery features a wealth of sweet and delicate designs to accent the captivating style of your upcoming nuptials. If you are looking for charming designs full of style and grace, Oh Joy Designs wedding stationery is sure to please! 

Visit Oh Joy!

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oxfam Online Store



With Christmas fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about gifts for the special people in your life. If like me, you are full steam ahead for the rest of the year, then perhaps online shopping will make it easier for you to get organised in the lead up to Christmas. 

If you are considering online shopping, you simply must visit the Oxfam store – its virtual shelves are full of unique fair trade gifts and products. With a great range of homewares and decor, kitchen essentials, toys and games, food items such as coffee and oils (fair trade of course) and fashion accessories, there really is something for everyone! And what's more, buying gifts from the Oxfam online store means you are also supporting global fair trade. Oxfam Shop is making a difference and so can you by choosing from its exotic and exciting range of homewares and gifts. 

Visit Oxfam today…

Have a lovely day!… Anna


Monday, November 29, 2010

Create Milk



Your wedding stationery is your opportunity to introduce your guests to your wedding day style, and it is oh-so-important that your stationery makes a lasting impression. Set the tone for your special day with beautiful stationery from Create Milk and you can be sure that your individual style will be perfectly reflected in your invitations…

Create
Milk offers a great range of stationery services, including custom and standard invitations, menus, table seating plans, place cards, wishing well cards, RSVP cards, envelopes, and much, much more. What’s more, Create Milk also stock a fabulous range of stationery products in their online store. If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, be sure to contact Create Milk today as they are more than happy to try and make your vision a reality.

Visit Create Milk

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Friday, November 26, 2010

Spa Guide

With Christmas holidays nearly upon us, it's time to think about scheduling in a little pampering time for yourself while you are on your break from work. 

If time permits, why not book a girl-only getaway for some serious R&R for you and your girlfriends at Surf Haven Bali Surf Spa Retreat, Seminyak, Bali. Or, if a couple's weekend is more your style, then the Château Élan in the NSW Hunter Valley would be perfect - there's golf for him and a day spa for you!

Château Élan


With golfing for him and a fabulous spa for you, Château Élan is all about relaxation, rejuvenation and recuperation and only two hours' drive from Sydney, is perfect for a weekend getaway for the two of you… Whatever your reason for visiting the new Spa at Château Élan Hunter Valley, they are dedicated to your peace of mind and physical wellbeing. Behind the pilasters of the porte-cochère are the cool spaces of The Atrium, your gateway to 17 treatment rooms and a team that understands care, comfort and discretion. The spa menu is an Australian first and one that’s exclusive to our guests: much of it is drawn from the distinguished Terraké philosophy and uses French Thalgo products. It quite literally offers a world of treatments.

Château Élan Hunter Valley, Vintage Drive, Rothbury, New South Wales
Phone 02 4998 2500

Surf Haven Bali Surf Spa Retreat, Seminyak, Bali 

Surf Haven Bali is a luxury surf spa retreat for women, unlike any other. It offers a week long surf, yoga and wellbeing program, designed specifically for women of all ages and abilities who want to take time out for themselves and recharge their batteries in paradise. The results are magical with guests leaving feeling lighter both physically and mentally. With warm waters, the world's best surfing waves, delicious food, fabulous shopping and stunning beaches, Bali is THE best destination to experience a women's surf spa vacation and yoga retreat.

Surf Haven Bali
jl merta nadi no 11 Kerobokan kota bali, 80361

Hope this inspires your holiday plans, and have a lovely day!… Anna

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fletcher & Grace Flagship Stockist has Arrived!



The sparkly and utterly divine creations by Fletcher & Grace are now available at a new flagship stockist, Bella Emporio. Forget walking with your fingers or surfing online, check out the entire collection in one place, up close and personal. The sparkle and delicate design of these gorgeous jewels is truly beautiful.

Make your way to Bella Emporio with your bridal party and have fun playing dress ups and choosing earrings, bracelets, necklaces and hair pieces to embellish your look. Don’t worry, no appointments are necessary at this friendly boutique! What's more, be one of the first 20 customers to mention “New Flagship Store Special Offer”, when making a purchase, and receive a beautiful free gift.  Hurry, only while stocks last!  

Bella Emporio is less than 5 mins from the Sydney CBD, at 636 Darling St, Rozelle (open 7 days, ph 9810 2044). 

To visit Fletcher & Grace online go to www.fletcherandgrace.com.au 

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Royal Wedding


Photo: AP

After announcing their engagement last week, Prince William and Kate Middleton have set a date for their upcoming wedding. Confirming their intention to hold a spring wedding, they will marry on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey, the 1000-year-old church in Central London where Queen Elizabeth II was married and where British kings and queens are crowned. The date has been named a Bank Holiday by prime minister David Cameron so Brits will be able to enjoy a day off and watch the wedding. Again, we are excited in the BD office to see the wedding planning unfold, so stay tuned…

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

London Cab Company


Earlier this year we used a traditional black cab from the London Cab Company for our stunning couture shoot in the 2011 edition of The Bride's Diary Sydney. We were absolutely delighted with the result of the shot with the cab (see above) and thought the cab was the perfect accessory for Johanna Johnson's gorgeous The Cosmo dress… 

In fact, the BD team was so impressed with London Cab Company that our art director Tracy has booked two cabs for her upcoming wedding (which is just perfect considering she was proposed to in London!).

Available for weddings, formals and other special events, London Cab Company has five original, fully restored London cabs, each with leather interiors and air conditioning. To complete the London cab experience, each cab comes with a professional chauffeur! 

So, if you want to add a touch of old-world charm to your special day, London Cab Company is simply perfect! Visit London Cab Company to view their online gallery…




Have a lovely day!… Anna

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Visual Feast: Ralph Lauren in 4D



It was a ground-breaking fusion of fashion, art and technology that saw the Ralph Lauren runway hit the street and the surrounding buildings in New York and London. Ralph Lauren transformed its Madison Avenue and Bond Street stores into a 4D fashion experience through the magic of cutting-edge technology, including architectural light-mapping , 3D imagery and digital sound effects. Images of Ralph Lauren-clad models strutted across balconies, while images of iconic Ralph Lauren products like ties, belts and polo horses galloped across the facade. Even scents from Ralph Lauren fragrances were diffused during the spectacular.

Watch the videos above to witness the Ralph Lauren buildings disappear and transform into an innovative fashion experience. 

Visit Ralph Lauren for more about the 4D experience.  

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eat Healthy in a Hurry

As the year continues to fly past (it's almost Christmas!) and the days are get busier and busier, it's so tricky to eat well when you have so much to do… Here are three fabulously healthy, time effective vegetarian recipes from Australian Women's Health that will ensure you eat a balanced meal without sacrificing too much of your precious time.


Seven Vegetable Salad
Hand on time: 20 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4
  • 4 medium asparagus spears
  • 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 4 witlof leaves
  • ½ medium red capsicum
  • 10 sugar snap peas, strings removed, or green beans
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbs goat’s cheese
  • ½ cup alfalfa sprouts
1. Shred the asparagus, carrot and zucchini in a food processor. With a sharp knife, thinly slice witlof, capsicum and sugar snap peas.

2. In a large serving bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add all the vegetables and cannellini beans and toss until thoroughly coated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
 
3. Pile the salad onto four plates, dot evenly with goat’s cheese and sprinkle with alfalfa sprouts.  

By Dr Arthur Agatston. Per serving: 795kj, 10g fat (2g sat), 20g carbs, 160mg sodium, 6g fibre, 8g protein


Asparagus Bisque
Hand on time: 10 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes | Serves: 4
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup low-fat powdered milk
  • 2 tbs chickpea flour
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • 500g asparagus, chopped
  • 2 wedges light cheese spread
1. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in a 180°c oven for 5 minutes. set aside. 

2. In a large saucepan, mix powdered milk and flour. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes.
 
3. Whisk in tarragon, salt and cayenne. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender (or use a hand blender) and puree until smooth.
 
4. Return to the pan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve sprinkled with almonds.
 
per serving: 791kj, 6g fat (2g sat), 20g carbs, 559mg sodium, 3g fibre, 14g protein


Almond & Chickpea Burgers with Chilli Mayo
Hands on time: 15 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes | Serves: 4
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp minced green or red chilli (deseeded) or to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cos lettuce
  • 1 tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 4 wholemeal pita breads (15cm)
1. In a small pan of boiling water, cook garlic for 3 minutes to soften. When cool enough to handle, peel, transfer to a large bowl and mash with a fork.
 
2. Meanwhile, in a frypan, toast almonds for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Pulse on and off to grind almonds into a fine meal (be careful not to turn them into a paste).
 
3. Add chickpeas to garlic, mash with a potato masher or fork until no whole chickpeas remain. Add almond meal, parsley, cumin, coriander and salt to taste. Stir to blend.
 
4. Add egg and mix well. shape the mixture into 4 patties. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. add the patties and cook until browned and crisp on the outside and heated through, about 5 minutes per side.
 
5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend mayonnaise and chilli. Spread each burger with 1½ teaspoons chilli mayo.
 
6. Divide half the lettuce and tomato evenly among bottom halves of pitas, add a burger, then top each with remaining lettuce and tomato.
per serving: 1616kj, 21g fat (2g sat), 44g carbs, 465mg sodium, 16g fibre, 17g protein

Visit Australian Women's Health for more great recipes and meal ideas.

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Donna Hay General Store



Food stylist, magazine editor and publisher Donna Hay has recently opened her online General Store, stocking the virtual shelves with fabulous kitchen items, stationery, and styling pieces galore. 

I am so excited that I can shop the great Donna Hay range with a simple click of my mouse, and with Christmas fast approaching, the store has opened just in time! I just love the gorgeous Christmas puddings, and the gift hampers are a fabulous Christmas gift idea. What's more, if you are having trouble deciding on the right gift, you can purchase a gift voucher so your special someone can browse the store and find exactly what they want. Perfect!

 
 

Visit the Donna Hay General Store and start shopping today!

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Royal Engagement



After a very long courtship indeed, Prince William has finally asked his long term girlfriend, Kate Middleton to marry him. Proposing to her in Kenya last month with the late Princess Diana's diamond and sapphire ring, the future queen of England happily accepted the Prince's proposal. 

The happy couple will marry in the British spring or summer next year, and the wedding is set to be the biggest royal event since Prince Charles married Diana almost 30 years ago. It will be a wedding watched by many, and the question we are all asking here in the BD office this morning is… what will her wedding dress be like?! With Kate's sophisticated and demure style, we are sure the gown she will choose to walk down the aisle in will be nothing short of pure glamour. 

The Bride's Diary would like to wish the happy couple all the very best for their engagement, and we look forward to seeing the plans for the royal wedding unfold over the coming months.

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Moi Moi Launches in Perth



Moi Moi Fine Jewellery has opened its first interstate store in Perth, in the CBD's Carillon City.

Outstanding value, fine craftsmanship and impeccable service is what you can expect from Moi Moi. Each Moi Moi piece is designed with passion and crafted with flair and distinction. All set in 18 karat gold or platinum, Moi Moi jewellery is of heirloom quality and will be cherished by generations to come.

It is this commitment to Moi Moi's high standards that has made Moi Moi Fine Jewellery one of Australia's most sought after jewellers. 

Be sure to visit Moi Moi's new Perth store to see beautiful Moi Moi creations for yourself! You can also shop Moi Moi online

Have a lovely day!… Anna