Monday, 28 April 2014

Organising the End!

I feel like I am forever going on about the end of university.. BUT IT'S ALMOST HERE!!! It's a big deal to work hard for something for three years and see it come to fruition. I love uni. I love the subject (Creative Advertising), the craft, the idea generating. It's challenging but that's what makes it so satisfying. 

I think it's quite a big thing to say (and to mean it), that I love and enjoy a subject I picked when I was eighteen and have spent so much time immersed in. Uni has taught me so much on so many different levels. The experience certainly is crazy. With work, classes, social activities, church, my church calling and my boyfriend, there's a lot to consider when it comes to my time. Especially when it's a guarantee that all nighters will be pulled as deadlines approach. 

Throw into that all the creative competition deadlines I had, the upcoming shows, graduation, and there's even more to remember and be on top of. With so many dates to remember it caused me to feel overwhelmed and stressed, so I devised a plan. To pinterest I went hunting down cute, free, printable calendars. I can't remember the exact source of these, but luckily there are lots of lovely bloggers and designers out there who have made many!

I printed from the current month at the time to August and started marking them up with colour coded references, so I could look at it and within a glance I would understand what I had to do that day. These are now old photos and since then they have so many more scribbles, colours and all sorts! I thought putting it all down on paper would make me feel less stressed, but if anything it freaked me out more! How ironic. So under August I stuck a beautiful photo of Jesus Christ and a letter, both of which the lovely Sister Missionaries had given me. It helps give me peace and remind me that all will work out. 

I have a plan of what I'm going to do following uni and I'm pretty darn excited! Having this schedule is massively helpful :) not only does it add more colour and a cute element to my uni bedroom, but it helps organise my life!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Home of Lewis Carroll | Exploring Oxford

As a uni student I only get three holidays a year and during this Easter break I took the trip to Oxford to visit my lovely friend Becca. We've been friends for seven years and while we spend time together at home. She's made the effort to come visit me at uni all the way in northland and I had never visited her! Until now :). 

The city of Oxford is absolutely beautiful. While I've been there a fair few times with my family, this was the first time I've spent the day aim aimlessly exploring. I'm such a sucker for traditional architecture and love the rich aesthetic of our country. 

The famous author Lewis Carroll called Oxford his home for many years and wrote the fanastical Alice in Wonderland novel there and part of the Harry Potter movies were filmed there. There are so many quirky nooks and crannies hidden amongst the grandeur to be explored. Travel and visiting new places or simply those not as well known to me always brings out the simple childlike joy and wonderment. Life is such an adventure. 

We visited the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, where we paid to climb to the top and gain access to the views across Oxford. At first the climb seemed to be a maze through various rooms until we reached a stone passage. Entering into a teeny tiny stone cut spiral staircase we made our final ascent. It was flipping scary! There was only a handrail on one side and it got so steep as we climbed, I felt like I was practically crawling. Getting to the top was exhilarating, albeit very scary! It lead to a narrow balcony that circled around the steeple. The balcony itself was cut from the stone and only really allowed us to stand single file. As we circled and became slightly more comfortable with our narrow platform we realised to return down we had to go back the way we came! Which had gotten pretty busy. Navigating our way across people trying to take photos and fit into such a small place was not an easy task! 

While there we spent some time seated in the chapel of the church. There always seems to be something special about traditional chapels. I love the Holy Spirit we can feel there. In Sweden I spent a lot of time visiting traditional chapels. Personally it helps me gain a testimony of how much God truly loves all his children regardless of their religion (or none). 

During this academic year I've only had one official night out clubbing, it seems as my degree has progressed my partying has declined. Night clubs have greatly lost their appeal and I really don't appreciate drunk people accidentally spilling their drinks on me. (So frustrating!) However due to my lack of antics, Becca felt duty bound to take me out. And I honesty had the best time! I love dancing so much! We went to a tiki style bar and I had non-alcoholic cocktails (although they were out of the best ones) and it felt so much like being on holiday again! Luckily it wasn't too busy and it was simply a lot of clean fun! 

I am so grateful for our friendship that has developed along with us as we've gone through these life experiences. We both graduate from our respective degrees this summer and while Becca is off to travel Asia, I'm so excited to hear all her stories and see all the photos when she returns!     

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Creme Egg Brownies

Easter is absolutely one of my most favourite holidays of the year!!! And one of the reasons why is of course the CHOCOLATE!!! There is just such a childlike, gorgeous novelty of eating chocolate shaped as an egg. Once a year the seasonal delights that are Cadbury Creme Eggs appear!! Last year I saw a beautiful instagram/filter-esque image of creme egg brownies on the Cadbury facebook page and have only just gotten around to trying them out! The original recipe can be found here. Mine look like a hot mess but they are delicious!!

200g Cadbury milk chocolate
185g butter
85g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder
3 eggs
275g caster sugar
6 Cadbury creme eggs (fridge cold)

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC

2,Whisk together the eggs and sugar until white, pale and resemble a mouse texture.

3. In a separate glass bowl melt together the butter and the 200g of chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water.

4. Combine

5. Sift in the flour and coco powder. Mix together. 

6. Line or butter & flour a deep baking tray and pour in the mixture. 

7. The original recipe states cooking time as 15-20minutes but mine took 30mins due to how thick the brownies were. At this stage you want them about 2/3s of the way cooked.

8. While the brownies are in the oven, use a big sharp knife to cut the creme eggs in half. This can take a while. 

9. Remove the brownies from the oven and gently place the chopped creme eggs on top. Return to the oven to cook for a further 10mins or until completely cooked.  

10. Remove from oven, cool, cut and serve. 

Creme eggs look and taste better the shorter amount of time they are in the oven :) Some of mine were 'overcooked' causing the creme to evaporate, crystallise and harden slightly. Knowing how long your brownie needs to cook is key :). 

Try mini creme eggs for smaller brownie pieces. 

Edit: The ones below are an instagram photo of the batch I made for my family over the easter weekend. :) I used a bigger tin and forgot to put the creme eggs in the fridge, which I actually think worked better as they melted across the brownies more.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Expanse of Life

"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early." Psalms 46:5

It's only just hit me that in a few short weeks I can no longer say the words;

"I'm a student."

What do I then say instead?

"I'm a graduate." 


It seems so much of our lives is defined by tiles or roles. While it wonderful to fit in the dynamics of the universe. Can we not ever simply be?

To be one self.

That is, after all who you carry with you on this journey and experience we call life. To revel in the joyous state that is to know yourself and to know who you are. The wonder that is forever changing in a flurry of emotions, sights, sounds and states. To be at peace with the very essence of oneself.

You are of divine and infinite worth. Irregardless of your defined role.

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;" Doctrine & Covenants 18:10 

While the wide expanse of forever stretches out in front of me, I am full of hope as the adventure of life continues.

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