The 3 best ways to decorate with strawberries as a garnish

I love these three fantastic ideas to make with strawberries – this is food design at it’s very finest! Perhaps you too will be as inspired as I was when I first saw these ideas on the Blue Apron blog. The best thing is – that all three are really simple to do! Those who know me will appreciate that I am definitely no chef, but I’m sure I could pull these off with not too much trouble.

1. Strawberry Roses on Panna Cotta

How to make strawberry roses! | Food Design Inspiration

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These strawberry roses are going to be the highlight of any dessert! Impress your dinner guests and provide a fresh burst of flavor at the same time. They look so good, I want to eat them right off my computer screen.

2. Strawberry Santa Hats on Brownie Cupcakes

How to make Strawberry Santa Hats! | Food Design Inspiration

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This is a perfect Christmas idea to bookmark for when you have some plain cupcake mix to use up and a punnet full of fresh strawberries. Cream and white chocolate make the perfect fur trim for these little Santa hats!

3. Strawberry Hearts on Nutella Poptarts

How to make Strawberry Heart Nutella Pop Tarts! | Food Design Inspiration

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Nothing is cuter than hearts – and nothing is more delicious than Nutella-filled anything! This gorgeous idea can be used to create a very adult dish from a nostalgic favorite.

So – which one are you going to make first?

x Jess

Awesome Products : Cutlery covers perfect for your purse

Have you ever wanted to eat lunch on the go and hygienically carry your cutlery? Usually a packed lunch is fine on the way there, its just that after you eat, there’s nowhere to keep the dirty spoon, fork and knife. Here is an awesome product design idea I stumbled across on Pinterest recently – cutlery covers, so perfect for your purse!

Cutlery covers | perfect for your purse! Awesome! #product_design

I couldn’t find the link to the original product – can anybody help me out to find the source?

If I can find out where to buy these, I’ll take three, thanks!

x Jess

Awesome Products : A garden fork stool

Awesome Products: A Garden Fork Stool!


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I just stumbled upon this clever chair on Pinterest – thanks Richelle Plett for the tip! This is such a genius idea for avid gardeners – its a garden fork with a built in seat that becomes a very handy and stable stool. You can stake it anywhere you need to sit in the garden – or even use it to dig up the garden when you’re not resting! If anybody can tell me the original source or designer of this amazing product, I’d be incredibly grateful. This is a great example of combining two products into one to create a fantastic new product idea, a garden fork stool! Now – does anybody know where I can buy one?

Jess - A Designer Life

Awesome Products : Couch monster

I think I need a couch monster!

I think I need a couch monster!

This cute little guy AKA the “Beast Pillow” is handmade in Los Angeles by designer Debi van Zyl.

I can totally imagine coming home to him sitting on my couch, bed or chair. I would tell him my secrets, and he would keep them. My daughter would cuddle him and drag him across the living room floor, and my husband would use him as a pillow and fall asleep on him! We would try not to sit on top of him – but it might happen. Hopefully he wouldn’t be offended!

Each beast is made to order – and takes 2-3 weeks to produce. He’s a rather popular fellow, and you can get him right here.

I want one, now!

x Jess

How to have the best Mother’s Day EVER

How to have the BEST Mother's Day EVER | via A Designer Life

It’s been a year and a little bit since I became a mother, and oh what a journey it has been. On this beautiful Sunday, it is time to reflect upon the amazing sacrifices our own mothers made for us, so that we may not only survive in this world, but to grow and thrive. It’s only since I have birthed my first child, that I truly feel as if I understand the significance of this day, and the importance of recognizing the incredible (and often invisible) work that mother’s across the globe do.

On that note – I’d like to say, to all the amazing mothers, everywhere, that:



“You are doing the very best you can with the resources that you have. I know you are.”

These are words that I really need to hear myself. Not just today, but every single day.

So, beautiful mama, how can you have the best Mother’s Day EVER? What should you do?

The secret is…

You don’t have to DO anything. You just have to BE.

By JUST BEING YOU, whoever you are, wherever you are in the world.

When you just BE, let it go and let it BE, the truly wonderful mama that you are will have a chance to shine through. No matter how many times you woke up last night, how many crumbs are on the bench, how many dishes in the sink, how many dirty clothes in the laundry, and how many toys on the floor.

Just breathe, breathe in deeply, let it out, and know that what you are doing matters. It is the most important job in the world. A gift to humanity.

So this Mother’s Day – it’s important to indulge in a little self care:

  • Don’t do any housework – it will wait until tomorrow
  • Don’t cook dinner – order takeaway or get someone else to cook
  • Take time to reflect – on who you are, your journey, your story, how incredibly significant you are – even if it’s just ten minutes of quiet time
  • Pour yourself a cup of tea and sit in the sunshine

And – just in case anyone wants to know what the perfect Mother’s Day gift list looks like for the BEST Mother’s Day EVER? Well…

An uninterrupted night’s sleep, a leisurely long sleep in, breakfast in bed, a back massage, a few fresh blooms and a piping hot cup of tea would be very much appreciated on this Mother’s Day. None of has to cost any money – but I know that these things would make my Mother’s Day the best one ever. Spouses take note!

So, on this beautiful Sunday in May, I wish all mamas a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

x Jess

Awesome Products : Microfibre house slippers that dust, sweep and polish as you walk

Microfibre slippers that dust, sweep and polish as you walk! Genius! | via A Designer Life

These must be the most brilliant products ever invented for lazy housekeepers or busy mamas like myself who simply don’t have hours to dust, sweet and polish the floors. Microfibre house slippers that dust, sweep and polish as you walk. Genius, am I right?

To be honest I didn’t think they were a real product until I saw these on Amazon. I thought that these were surely an example of Japanese Chindogu, of crazy, un-useless, yet noncommercial inventions.

I can see myself popping these babies on, turning the music up,  and waltzing around the kitchen, doing a blitz of cleaning while burning up calories dancing.

The come in a hot pink and a lime green (as well as other colors) with removable pads that have little microfiber fingers that catch hair, dust and dirt. This super clever footwear are supposed to be able to clean faster, easier and better, because the slippers can go where mops cannot reach, obviously. And they are way more fun than using a dull old mop, duh!

Here are a few other features:

  • A velcro pad that attaches/detaches the cleaning cloth from the slipper
  • No hard edges, so they are safe to use on all floor surfaces including wood, tile, vinyl
  • Machine washable; for use on dry floors only

The manufacturer says that one size fits most, but I wonder if they make them in kid sizes, so that the whole family can help out while having a dance party at home?!

You can pop over to Amazon and get a pair for yourself… or as a gift for your partner who needs a not-so-subtle hint to help out a bit more around the house.

x Jess

Disclaimer: Links may be affiliate.

Awesome Products : Optimist / Pessimist wine glass

Optimist / Pessimist Wine Glass | via A Designer Life

Is the glass half empty or half full? If you’re the Optimist, it’s half full. If you’re the Pessimist, it’s half empty.

The Realist explains that it all depends on if you only filled the glass up to half way, or if filled it to the top and then and drank half.

While they all were arguing… the Opportunist drank it all!

And me? I’m the Engineer who says – the glass is twice as big as it needs to be!


Whoever you are, this wine glass set will be the talking point of your next dinner party.

You can buy them over at Amazon.

x Jess

Disclaimer: Links may be affiliate.

The 52 Project 2014: 2/52

And here we find ourselves, frolicking through the second week of 2014 and nearly tripping head-first into the third, all from a mixture of road-tripping home from the Hunter Valley, sleep-deprivation, giddy New Years resolution-breaking, spending blissful long days with Nanny and Poppy visiting, little drives in Poppy’s truck to seek barista-made coffee, a walk up to Bunnings, a house full of chatter, a fridge full of veggies and spaghetti bolognase sauce, bookcase-moving and baby-gate installation. Oh yes, it’s a hive of activity around here!

Did I mention lack of sleep? Oh, that ol’ gripe again? Sleep has been a contentious issue around these parts this week. That is, not so much the lack of it (that too), but more the lack of continuity of it. And the preferred location of it. You see, Alira does not wish to sleep in her brand-new beautiful white wood cot with lovingly laundered vintage sheets. Despite our keenest efforts. No, no. She’ll take the biggest bed in the house, thanks. You’re welcome. I’m thinking I’ll have to invest in a spy-cam for nap-times to make sure there’s no mischief going on behind closed doors, in the absence of using a cot. A story for another day! So it is only fitting, now, that my 2/52 photo is of a peacefully napping infant.

For those of you curious about The 52 Project, I am joining in with Jodi of Practicing Simplicity. Pop over to her beautiful online space with a cup of herbal tea, and perhaps you will be inspired, too.


“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014.”

/ taken on 9th January, nap time is fleeting, and precious. Here she is on Mama and Daddy’s bed for an afternoon rest, on a day that’s an unusual cool snap for the middle of the Australian summer. She wears a very special hand-knitted jumper from Czech and striped tights from Marquise. Nanny and Poppy nicknamed it the “Where’s Wally” outfit. Taken with an iPhone 5, it’s true, the camera you have with you.

x Jess

The 52 Project 2014: 1/52

I fell off the bandwagon for The 52 Project in 2013. Thankfully, the start of 2014 offers a fresh chance to start anew and make an effort. And, I am a bit late for 1/52, but here it is, barely a day before 2/52 is due to be revealed! My, oh my, how this January has gone fast, in a whirlwind of road trips, family gatherings, fresh food shopping expeditions, and late summer evenings punctuated by the song of cicadas.

For those of you new to the idea of The 52 Project, I am joining in with Jodi of Practicing Simplicity. Pop over to her beautiful online space with a cup of herbal tea, and perhaps you will be inspired, too.


“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014.”

/ taken on the 4th of January, Miss Alira is a few days over 8 months old and has begun to slither… Whoops, backwards! No doubt aided by the lovely soft cotton dress (a special Christmas present) and the smooth floorboards at Nanna V’s house. We’ll be learning to move and navigate intentionally soon. Time to baby-proof the apartment!

x Jess

Awesome Products : Monkey Kit iPad holder

Monkey Kit Tablet Holder

Anyone else get a sore neck or wrist from using the iPad in bed? I know I do!

I think I may have just discovered the perfect product for exactly this problem.

It’s called the Monkey Kit: Flexible Tablet Positioning System – and it looks just like a Monkey Tail. This product was successfully funded on Kickstarter in February of this year and now you can buy it here. Definitely on my wishlist… it’s the perfect product for a lazy bones like me who takes my technology to bed. But I can see how this product would be very useful elsewhere as well, like at the gym, in the kitchen, out and about, or hanging off the back of the passenger car seat to keep the kids occupied in the back.