Wednesday, 30 April 2008

A Day in Daylesford

We went on a day trip to Daylesford - spa county - on Friday and I have to say it was pretty much awesome! The weather was 21C which is about 70F, a perfect autumn day! My cousin (Sarah), her girlfriend (Krissy) and I drove the 1 and a half hour journey to the country and it was all worth it! Also, we were blasting loud music on the way so the journey didn't seem to take so long :P


Autumn has to be the most beautiful season on the planet. There was a myriad of colours everywhere you looked. Pinks and golds and copper adorned nearly every tree we saw. The trees sometimes formed archways so when you drove by you felt like you were driving under a golden bridge; it was simply magical :).


We stopped by at a convent to look around the garden and we weren't disappointed! Look how beautiful it is! They also had a beautiful art gallery inside which we didn't get a chance to look at.


Later, we ate at a local pub in Daylesford, had a look around and bought some gourmet cheese. Then, off we went to taste some wine in the Macedon Ranges. We came away with 3 bottles of beautiful red wine and a bottle of mandarin infused olive oil from Big Shed Wines which was quite frankly, to die for. Miranda, who owns the place with her husband Ken, is incredibly sweet!

We ended the day having dinner at my aunt and uncle's farm in Kyneton. On the menu that night was kangaroo roast which Krissy wasn't too thrilled about. The good news for her was my aunt overcooked the roast. The bad news was, my aunt pulled out kangaroo sausages instead. Apparently, Krissy's nickname as a child was kangaroo.

Our only regret is we didn't get to stop by the chocolate mill or go up to the beautiful gardens at Mt Macedon or visit the Hepburn Springs Spa as it was still under renovation. However, we all had fun and indulged in some wine, cheese and chocolate before bed. It was the icing on top of a truly decadent cake!

I'll leave you with a picture of Sarah trying to eat the farmhouse. Can you believe that we can actually have a conversation with my aunt when she's at the farmhouse and we're up there?


I seem to be posting as Michelle instead of Lovemichie on some of your blogs. I've figured out that this happens when blogger signs me out and I'm still signed in to gmail. How interesting. Hehe!

Till next time!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Andy McKee - Drifting

What's with my random disappearing acts? Sheesh! :D Okay, okay many things have been happening! I've been rushing assignments (nothing new) and I am getting a new laptop soon. I've also been working and going out so I feel like I'm in one of my busy periods again. Everything will calm down soon, I hope.

Anyway, I went to Daylesford on Friday. Will blog about it as soon as I get the pictures off my cousin's girlfriend.

Meanwhile, listen to this awesome music.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Winner of Giveaway!

I am pleased to announce that Heather of Twin Birch has won the pink gift bag. Heather, please email me (oatsandhoney[at] the address that you would like these goodies to be sent to!

I wrote down the names of everyone who commented on little pieces of paper and put them into a bag which I shook furiously. The idea was to pick 3 names then scramble them up again and pick 1. However, would you believe it, I picked Heather's name twice. Looks like you were destined to win, Heather! I do hope you enjoy your goodies!

Thank you everyone so much for participating in my giveaway! I enjoyed it and will be having more again in the future.

Happy bathing!

Monday, 21 April 2008

MnM Treasures

I was blog hopping one day and I happened to come across MnM Treasures on Pegasus Soaps blog! It was pure good luck that I did and I'm so glad! You can read Michelle from Pegasus Soaps' feature on them here.


They make collapsible wooden baskets that can fold cleverly to act as a trivet (hot plate). They also make belt buckles and other trinkets. The baskets looked so beautiful that I couldn't help but order a couple for my mum and a friend. Mike was very friendly and professional and provided excellent communication. He did everything to make sure my package arrived safely and on time and it did!


When the package arrived today, I was blown away. Absolutely beautiful craftmanship. So well-made! You can tell alot of care when into making these baskets. The pictures on their etsy themselves are gorgeous but they don't do the baskets any justice in real life.

I think it's an extremely clever idea. You certainly won't regret picking up one of these adorable wooden baskets for yourselves! Visit their etsy shop here.

Just a reminder that today is the last day to leave comments to be in the running to win the pink gift bag. The winner will be announced tomorrow!

Have fun!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Breakfast Basket

Hello, everyone! I've moved back to my aunt's and I still have tons of unpacking to do so soaping will have to wait :(

However, I was thinking of putting together a breakfast basket for a friend's birthday which is coming soon in May.

So far I've come up with this:

Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Soap
Hazelnut Coffee Cinnamon Scrub
Chocolate Vanilla Bath Muffins

I also want to add a nice whipped cream in but am stuck as to what fragrance to use. I thought maybe peach or apricot would be good but I'm still unsure.

What do you guys think would be a good fragrance for my whipped cream and still match the breakfast theme?

Keep those comments coming! I am also including a little surprise in my pink giveaway bag but the winner won't know what it is until they get it ;)

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


I'm having my first blog giveaway! Oh, I'm so excited! All bath and body products that you will receive have been hand formulated by me and tested on me and my willing human guinea-pigs. They include my family, my boyfriend and some of my more skeptical friends. So far, fingers crossed, reviews have been good :)

You will receive an avocado and yoghurt soap, carrot and calendula soap as well as a box of two chocolate bubble muffins in this pretty pink bag! The winner will be randomly selected.

I apologise that although my soaps are suitable for vegetarians they are not suitable for *vegans.

*The Carrot and Calendula soap and Bubble Muffins are vegan.

Ingredients and Description

*Avocado & Yogurt Soap
This soap is made with 60% avocado oil and contains real avocado pulp and yogurt. It is superfatted with one of my favourite oils, macadamia oil. Deliciously creamy and fragranced with Clean Cotton. Smells like fresh laundry blowing in the breeze! The golden green colour you see is a result of the natural green colour of the avocado oil. Perfect for spring!

Avocado oil, coconut oil, palm oil, macadamia oil, avocado pulp, yogurt, castor oil, fragrance oil, tussah silk.

*Some ash has developed on the top but I left it as it is as I thought it made a cool "topping".

Carrot & Calendula Soap
This soap is incredibly mild and gentle and is suitable for use on the face without drying it out! The smell is a very natual, fruity scent thanks to the Roman Chamomile essential oil. It has a very soft, creamy lather and feels wonderful on your skin.

Olive oil, fresh carrot juice, infused calendula in sunflower oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil, castor oil, carrot seed oil, roman chamomile essential oil.

Chocolate Bubble Muffins
These muffins will give you oodles and oodles of bubble fun! The cocoa butter and oatmeal flour (colloidal oatmeal) will leave your skin feeling soft and supple while you enjoy the deligthful fragrance of chocolate covered strawberries. To use, just pop one muffin (this stuff is potent!) into a tub of warm running water, get in and relax!

Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda), SLSA, Cocoa Butter, Citric Acid, Oatmeal Flour, Cocoa Powder, Cocobetaine, Fragrance.

Perfect for gift-giving or for keeping ;). Anyone can enter, anyone from anywhere in the world! And all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog until the end of the contest! The contest will end on the 21st of April. The winner will be announced on the 22nd!

Happy bathing! Start commenting now!

Satin Petal Soap Love

I received Judi's yummy goodies in the mail yesterday. I ordered her Vanilla Bean Orange Cream soap bon bon as well as her Chocolate Fudge and Honey Cream Bon Bon.

Look at what else she generously included in my package!

A sample of her Sweetest Lemon Raspberry Kiss Shea Butter Whipped Cream, Cafe Mocha Whipped Shea Butter Sugar Cream Scrub and Scrumptious Orange Vanilla Shea Butter Whipped Cream

I couldn't wait to try them so I rushed off to the shower with the Orange Vanilla soap and oh, my it is heaven! It smelled so lovely I just didn't want to get out! Topped it all off with the orange vanilla whipped cream. I wanted to use the raspberry lemon but orange vanilla cream goes with orange vanilla soap! So yummy yummy smelling! Wasn't overpowering and didn't have that overly sweet, cloying fragrances that some soaps have. In one word it smelled real. Also, it made my skin feel baby soft ;)

Judi, I've got a surprise for you. Will PM you soon. Thank you ever so much for the wonderful goodies. You rock! I think it's safe to say I'll be ordering from you again in the very near future!!! Just have to bring some back to Malaysia to share with my family.

You can read my previous feature on Satin Petal Soap here and why not satisfy your cravings and visit her etsy shop here.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Bubble Muffins


No, it's not edible :). Mini solid bubble muffins! Scented with Chocolate Covered Strawberries by Save on Scents. It really does smell like strawberry-chocolate confectionery! Wow, I love how the top lifted and cracked, just like real muffins!! Unfortunately, I only got three of them with that effect as I wasn't quick enough with the rest.


I have plans for the rest though! I might actually do a giveaway in my next post, just in time for Mother's Day. What do you think?

Hehe! See you guys tomorrow!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

The Good News Is It Works

The bad news is I stuffed up.


This is my first attempt at solid bubble bath. As you can see, or probably not since I did such a horrible job of it, is that I attemped to do a swiss roll.


I should have let the mixture harden up a bit as it was so unbelievably squishy I had a hard time rolling the whole thing up. It was a struggle really but it was too late to stop once I started. And what's up with the colour of the second layer? It looks grey, yuck! It's a bit more pink in real life though but still.

The texture is sort of like playdough only a little firmer. You can break off pieces and crumble them under running water for the bubbles!

Ingredients: Bicarbonate of Soda, SLSA, Oatmeal Flour, Cocoa Butter, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Cocoate, Shea Butter, Cocobetaine, Fragrance.

Oh yes, it works! Lovely bubbles. I've yet to try it in the tub as I don't have one but I'm sending some over to a friend who will test it for me. I fragranced it with Black Raspberry Vanilla (BBW) from Save on Scents and it smells pretty good.

It was still a whole lot of fun making it! Will it ever look like this? Maybe not, but hopefully one day :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

So, did Judi's delightful, delicious and divine soap truffles make anyone crave chocolate? If the answer is yes, then I have something un-soaping related for you today. :)


Chocolate Chip Pancakes


2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg (or cinnamon)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups buttermilk

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (plus extra to grease skillet)

¾ cup mini chocolate chips

What to do:

STEP 1: Heat an electric skillet to 375 degrees F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and butter and whisk to combine. Don’t over mix. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.

STEP 2: When skillet is hot, add ½ tbsp butter to grease. Using a ¼ cup at a time, pour batter onto skillet in evenly spaced rounds. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until bubbles pop on top and edges appear done. Flip and cook for about a minute more, until golden brown.

STEP 3: Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack and eat as a midday snack. Really, they’re terrific cold.

Makes fifteen 4-inch pancakes.

I got this from Do visit the site! It's a cartoon cooking show run by the cutest octopus. Trust me you'll love it! Or your kids will at least :). The pancakes are super duper yummy especially with maple syrup and ice-cream!

On another topic, I'm moving next week. Moving in with my aunt, uncle and cousin and Dan's going back to his mum's. It's temporary until August or so as my parents are planning on buying a house but until then we made the decision to spend the rest of that time back at our respective houses. Rent is insane in Australia lately and the money that we save can go into our holiday fund.

It won't be easy especially since we've tasted "freedom" but we think our bank accounts will thank us in the long run. Wish me luck everyone! My exams are coming soon too in about 2 months *tears hair out*

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Satin Petal Soap


It boggles the mind how I'd manage to miss Judi at Satin Petal Soap on etsy. This lady is a creative genius and you only have to look at the pictures on her site to agree. Apart from that, she also seems like a very sweet and fun-loving person!

Here is what she has to say about herself:


My background...

Grew up in a crazy creative house! LOL! Projects going all the time :o) Piles of projects, tee hee!
I have 3 children...
1 Boy + 1 Girl + 1 Husband = 3 Children
I make jewelry, as well!
Hands always busy, busy, busy!

My passion is animals, I would have Noah's Ark if I could!

PhotobucketPhotobucketMy signature product is my Layered Soap Truffles, YUMMMMMY! They are the biggest Pain to make but boy are they worth it! Layer after layer of succulent suds! WOWza!

I was inspired by not being able to find the perfect gift for a woman...
I wanted to have the presentation be a gift in itself.
Truly unique, thoughtful, useful, affordable, and practical gifts that would be truly appreciated."

Here are how her layered soap truffles look like on the inside. She fragrances them individually so if you are hard-pressed to choose from the delicious array of her soap truffles, this is the one you are looking for! It's like having 3 or 4 different soaps in one, kind of like the sweets that change colour and flavour as you continue to suck on them. Judi, I tip my hat to you on this one, truly a unique product!


She also makes these fantastic whipped shea creams. Don't they look exactly like a yummy bowl of ice-cream? It's taking everything I have not to buy out her whole shop!!


She also runs a jewellery store on etsy here with equally creative and beautiful products. The pictures all link back to her listings.

I would like to thank Judi who graciously allowed me to feature her on my blog. Your soaps are absolutely delicious!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Basashi Ice-Cream

PhotobucketI hear there is a place called the Cup Ice Museum in Ice Cream City located in Tokyo, Japan where you can find some of the weirdest ice-cream flavours. Some of which include, hot spring water, miso ramen, seaweed, straw, potato, whale and of course basashi or horse meat icecream.

PhotobucketBasashi is often served raw as sashimi in Japan with soy sauce and thin ginger slices. It is said that if you can overcome your initial revulsion or prejudices, the texture is chewy and the taste, smooth and creamy.

The cities, Kumamoto and Matsumoto are famous for basashi although the consumption of horse flesh is not as popular as it once was. For more information, you can check it out here and here.

A friend who is currently visiting Tokyo has recently tasted Red Bull ice cream.

I've eaten some pretty weird stuff myself such as pigs' intestines and chicken gizzards. Do I see some people doubling over in horror? Hehe, in all honesty, neither of them has a taste per se. It's eaten for the texture mostly, kind of like escargot (snails).

What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

Thursday, 3 April 2008


Many soapers enjoy using silk in their soaps as it contributes to a silky feel and a silky lather. However, some of us out there are concerned by the way silk is cultivated. The cultivation of silk is called sericulture and it usually involves the killing of the moth by heat while still in its cocoon to allow the silk to be unravelled in to a single strand and dissolve the resinous gum that holds it together.

PhotobucketOver two thousand silkworms are needed to produce one pound of silk. That's two thousand silkworms killed by being immersed in boiling water, steaming or drying in an oven for just one pound of silk.

Luckily, there are vegetarian-friendly options if you love the feel of silk. Some silk known as Peace Silk or Vegetarian Silk are harvested from the damaged cocoons after the moth has broken free. Because the silk has been broken into many strands, it is spun like other fibers such as cotton instead of being reeled onto spools. It is not as strong and is slightly discoloured due to the alkaline solution the moth uses to break free of its cocoon.

PhotobucketThe silk I use is tussah silk from Mountain Spinnery and their claim is that no silk worms are killed in the process of cultivation.

It's important to ask the right questions when purchasing silk for what you believe is a more ethical and eco-friendly option. For more info, you can click here.

However, please be mindful that any silk is still not vegan as it comes from an animal. Definition of vegan here.

To use silk in soap, dissolve a pinch or no more than one gram of silk for a kilogram of oils in your lye and water solution. It won't dissolve straightaway so you may have to leave it to sit for a while. Give a final stir then use as you normally would.

Below are some companies that offer Peace silk:

Aurora Silk
Ahimsa Peace Silk
Near Sea Naturals

Mountain Spinnery
Treetops Colours Harmonies
Bright View
All Eco


Denise Bird Woven Textiles
Texere Yarns
The Silk Route

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Avocado, Yogurt and Melbourne Weather

The wind was ferocious today here in Melbourne. I had to literally fight my way to the bus stop! Weather warnings were issued all over victoria because of the gusty winds. I was on my way to uni in the bus and I kept spotting trees that had fallen over due to the wind. Suddenly, there was a loud BANG and the bus driver went "Whoa!" while all of us in the bus sort of nervously looked at each other. Apparently, a huge branch had broken off and bounced off the top of the bus and was now lying in the middle of the road.

So now, half of Melbourne has lost its power and I'm just glad that my apartment wasn't hit! Still, it's not as bad as the mini hurricane that we had in Malaysia once. Roof tiles were actually being blown off houses! As if this crazy wind isn't bad enough, we're having rain and there is a chance of a thunderstorm and hail later on. I love Melbourne but I do not love their temperamental weather :(

I forgot my key today so I was locked out for a bit but now I'm warm and cosy back home which is good :)


My new soap! Made with 60% avocado oil, pureed avocado and yogurt. I scented this with Clean Cotton from Brambleberry. It smells great! The soap on the bottom left is the prettiest. As you can see, I still have trouble with figuring out "thin trace". Next up solid bubble bath, wish me luck ;)

I noticed some of you like the blue in the previous post! I used the Blue Brites for CP soap from Aussie Soap Supplies. I think you can achieve the same effect with Brambleberry's Lab Colours.

Speaking of weather, for those of you in the USA, spring is around the corner isn't it? I hope you all enjoy lovely weather! Spring reminds me of colours, flowers in bloom and sweet smells.

Happy Soaping!