Sugar Free Chocolate and Date Madeleines


I am currently working a a food blog re-design job at the moment, and looking at all those lovely recipes, I couldn’t help but get a bit creative in the kitchen myself!
These are very yummy, if you don’t have a Madeleine tin, this recipe works fine as mini muffins, or even bigger as a cake, the larger you make it, the longer it will need in the oven.

You will need:
1 cups flour
1/2 cocoa
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups of stewed apple (usually takes 2 apples)- Alternatively use store bought apple sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chopped dates and choc chips


– First I make the stewed apple by peeling, cutting and boiling 2 apples then mashing them.
-Pre-heat oven to 180 Celsius
-Combine dry ingredients with apple
-Then add in milk, oil, syrup and vanilla
-Mix wel, then stir in chopped dates and choc chips
-Greece Madeleine tin, and pour into tin.

Bake for 10min.

You can also use mini muffin trays, but it may take about 15min to bake.

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Smile Brilliant- my teeth story plus giveaway


As a child I always had lovely perfect teeth, I never needed braces or any special work done. But as I got to my late teens early 20’s a few problems began to occur. Firstly my teeth started to become mottled and discoloured, due to fluorosis (from fluoride) and secondly my wisdom teeth began to grow come up sideways, pushing all my other teeth out of place. I got my wisdom teeth out, but they had already caused damage by then. I spoke to dentists about how to fix the problems, hey said fluorosis can not be fixed with whitening, and my teeth were not too out of place, so methods other than braces could fix them. So with all that in mind, I did my research and found veneers to be the best option. I used Glamsmile veneers, these are a little different to regular veneers, in that they put them all on together, rather than each individual tooth.

Now, after going through a pregnancy, in which my gums bled, and there was the odd occasion it was too painful to brush let alone floss, my veneers were not look after as well as they could have been. They were still good, but I could see the odd bit of discoloration. Particularly on one tooth (see picture below).  I had heard with veneers you can get them polished at the dentist. But then Smile Brilliant contacted me about trying out their whitening kits, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to clean and brighten my teeth up after their rough ordeal through pregnancy, giving me a fresh start again.



So this is my experience with Smile Brilliant.


Smile Brilliant first send a pack to create your own impressions for the teeth whitening trays. This cuts out the need to go to a dentist, saving you money, as you can do it all yourself, working directly with Smile Brilliant . The kit comes with two pastes (including spares if you make a mistake). You simply mix them together, push it into the trays and then take an impression of your teeth.




The kit comes with all the instructions step by step including images, so it is a very simple process, and very easy to do yourself.

Once your impressions are set, you pack them away in the envelope provided (postage paid for US customers, international customer have to pay their own shipping, as this varies greatly.)


Once received they will notify you they have them, and again let you know when the trays are ready and on their way back to you.

Of course you get to keep your trays, so you can use them as much as you like, just buy top ups of desensitizing and whitening gels, whenever you feel the need to whiten your teeth (great for coffee drinkers who stain their teeth often!)


If you have sensitive teeth, you first apply the desensitizing gel, leaving it on for at least 20min, then a quick brush before applying the whitening gel, for a max of 3 hours.





I found the hardest part was going 3 hours without food! hahaha. So its a good idea to time the application well. I found the ideal plan for me was after breakfast, brush, floss and put in the desensitizing gel while having a shower and getting dressed, then follow on with the whitening gel. Which meant it was all done around 11am, so not eating is easier in that time frame. So consider your day and plan a good time to use it.

Personally I found it quite comfortable having the trays in, so its easy to get on with your day while your teeth whiten. No sitting at the dentists, just continue on with life!


After only 3 applications, my teeth were looking much whiter and cleaner, a more even tone. It removed all the slight discolourings that had occurred since getting my veneers in. I was really happy with the results, and feel the confidence I first felt when I had my veneers put in. My husband could instantly see the improvement, and was quite impressed.



If you want to know more about teeth whitening and Smile Brilliant you can visit their website. Plus a few FAQ’s below;

How does teeth whitening work?

The tooth is composed of 2 outer layers that surround the pulp which is the chamber that inhabits the nerves. The outer most layer is called the enamel which is a clear and hard coating that protects the tooth from extreme temperatures and impact. The enamel is porous which means substances can seep through and stain the inner second layer known as the dentin. The dentin is a soft bone like tissue that rest on top of the pulp. Everyone’s dentin has a slightly different shade of white, off white, or in rare cases yellow. The color of our dentin cannot be altered from teeth whitening. When some consumers report that a teeth whitening product had no effect on the color of their teeth it’s usually because that person has an off white or yellowish colored dentin. As long as the bleaching agent was either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide it will remove all stains over time. You can learn more about how teeth whitening works and the difference between hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide by reading this article.

Is tooth whitening safe?

Yes, generally speaking teeth whitening is safe. The only real danger would be to ingest large amounts of the gel, however in order to do so you would need to be using 5X the recommended amount of gel during one application. Many customers ask questions such as “will it damage my enamel?” or “can it cause cancer?” Rest assured neither are true and there is research to back it. For more info read this article.

What if you experience tooth sensitivity?

66% of all users experience tooth sensitivity to some degree. For some it will be very mild and for others it will be unbearable. For more info read this article.

Tobacco, nicotine, and other severe stains:

It’s important to note that if there are stains on your teeth, the Smile Brilliant product will absolutely remove them. Some stains are more difficult than others. The average person who wears their trays for 3 hours a day or sleeps with them over night will have removed all the stains from their teeth after 5-7 applications. However more sever conditions such as teeth with tobacco stains, nicotine stains, or dental fluorosis may require as many as 20-30 applications.



If you would like to win a teeth whitening kit, to try yourself at home, this is your chance to win one! You could have sparkling white teeth in time for Christmas! Contest open for US, UK, AU, & CA readers.

Enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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10 years on- school reunion


On the weekend, I had my school 10 year reunion. It got me thinking about how our lives have changed in that time, and what I have done and achieved. Because back when I was 18, I would dream about what I might be like by then, and now I’m here.

So what I have done:

– Started my own business
– Studied both Fashion design and Graphic design (2 diplomas)
– Got married
– Had a baby (who is now 1)
– Started my blog
– Moved to Sydney, then Bathurst, now Orange
– Bought a house
– Been on a plane and traveled interstate (I had never traveled on a plane when I was 18)
– Done a market stall (At finders keepers)
– Have shown my work at a few exhibitions
– Had my work published in books
– Illustrated a children’s book
– I had a few different jobs pre-business, including at an icecream shop, spotlight (fabric store), and a few fashion and graphic industry jobs.
– Learned how to code ( I had no idea how to code before)

There are probably more things I have forgotten too, seems so much has changed since school!

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Henry’s ‘outdoor adventurer’ first birthday


















For Henry’s birthday, I decided that instead of a big party (which a lot of people would find hard to get to anyway, as we are hours away from family), I thought long and hard about ‘what would Henry want?’ because one year birthday parties are a bit more about the adults really, as a one year old doesn’t really understand what it is all about. It occurred to me what he really wants all the time, is our full attention and time as well as playing outdoors. So I decided the best thing for him, was to dedicate a day to him. No cooking, no cleaning, no computers. Just all about him. And then later I came up with the idea of going on a park crawl, as he loves running around outside. So after playing with presents in the morning, we headed out and went to 5 different parks over the day, I started a the furthest away park, and walked there while he had his morning nap, and then slowly worked back towards out house. He loved it!! And by the last park was covered in dirt, sign of a good day I think.



After we got back home, we had his cake and sang happy birthday and played more with his birthday toys before bedtime. It was a big day, but I think it made him one very happy birthday boy.

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henry’s first birthday cake



It’s Henry’s first birthday tomorrow, so I have been busy all day getting this ready for his special day. Which included creating this cake for him. I spent months pondering what type of cake I would make, thinking about what he likes, his personality etc. As you can’t really ask a 1 year old what sort of cake they want. But for ages nothing felt ‘just right’, until one day it hit me, and I knew what I was going to do, and I knew it was ‘THE ONE’.

Henry LOVES the outdoors, he points to the door all the time asking to go outside, and when i bring him in, he has a tantrum, He just adores running around in the grass, being wild and free. Ever since he learnt to walk he just wants to roam around in the great outdoors.

So that was it, I decided to make an ‘outdoor adventurer’ cake. Because it really suits his personality, he loves his freedom, loves the outdoors, loves animals (often chases birds and cats). And since I made him a tee pee earlier in the year, which he loves, as he seems to like cubby houses, it all seemed to tie together perfectly. He is a wild little boy at heart, and I wanted to make him the perfect cake.

It also happens to be sugar free, yet oh so tasty, so I will let you in on how I created this little birthday wonder…

The cakes (I made 4 mini cakes, but only used 3 for my final cake- who doesn’t love a spare to try)


2 cups flour
1 cup porridge oats
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cups of stewed apple (usually takes 3-4 apples)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tsp vanilla


– First I make the stewed apple by peeling, cutting and boiling 3-4 apples (depending on the size of the apples), then mashing them.
-Pre-heat oven to 180 Celsius
-Combine dry ingredients with apple
-Then add in milk, oil, syrup and vanilla
-Mix well
-Greece tin, and pur into tin, allow a bit of room at the top for the cake to expand.

Using the small tin it takes about 20min to cook each cake.


Between each layer I spread apple puree. But jam could also work well here.


Once all layers are on, I pushed two wood skewers through the cake, to give it stability.




1/2 cup milk powder (I used infant formula)
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs coconut oil (melted)
2 tbs milk (can add more if you think it needs it)

Mix all together, until it reaches a smooth silky consistency. Then ice the cake!!

This icing has a nice vanilla and maple flavour, you would never guess its not made with sugar or butter.

Then to decorate, I add green food colour to dessicated coconut, sprinkled it on top, and added on my little handmade teepee (from sticks, twine and fabric) a baby bear figurine and a number 1 candle.



Well I’m off to bed, ready for a special day tomorrow xx

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