Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kickin' goals and pointing toes

Last week saw me climb the heights of my top wardrobe for the search and reunion with my ballet bag. Yup, after roughly 8-plus years since thinking I'd tied these ribbons up for good, I took the step (nervously) back into my ballet shoes. In all my late-teen-wisdom, right before my final exam, I decided that I'd give up the good thing. It's been a long time coming but I've finally made the return to the floor to get this one last ballet exam done with.

Holding my own hand, there I was trying to settle these nerves that had just about suffocated me with anticipation for what class would present; the biggest fear was to be let down by my body’s failing attempts at translating what my brain knows it can do. Surprisingly, it wasnt all bad. You know what? Tackling fear never felt so good! Limbered up and a few plies later, those nerves I was talking about made a quick stage-right exit. Being back in a black floored, black walled, barre-lined space saw that sneaky, all consuming wave of artistic freedom sweep fiercely through my veins. I'll hold back from rambling, but I can't help sharing (quickly) the beauty in 'that thing' that exists for each one of us; if we all look hard enough, we can find a little something in our days that makes us tick with the power to burn a low wattage way up high! For me, 'that thing' has everything to do with the discipline in manipulating my own body to a perfect turn-out, a satisfaction in proudly stumbling my aching, bruised feet off the floor and digging deeper into stretching out my ability.

Righto...with that rambling over with, I'm off, butterfly-filled-tummy, pointed toes and all to wish everyone a great mid weeker.

iphone instagram edit of our rehearsal (see below)

P.s. It must have been the week for artistically wondrous happenings. My girlfriend (aka super talented flute lady) made her way to stand by my piano as we went back to our roots and re-introduced our lives to a love of the classical kind. Together, we've clocked up some years of serious music studies, travelling to Europe together with the stuff and all. Giving life to our instruments again left us in a state of ridiculously giddy, girlie excitement wrapped loosely within a sense of absolute soul-satisfying calm. Lot's more fun to be had. Hope you're all giving life to and enjoying your very own little soul-ticker, whatever it may be!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

To have and to...sweeten

via here and here

My friend's wedding weekend is over and I'm struggling with the thought that the sweet stuff has come to an end! Thankfully, Pinterest came to the rescue when my call went out for the need of comforting goodies to be at arms reach. This food snap has left me drooling over a slice of the baked goods! Not only did I want a good excuse to post this delicious looking pic, I realised Shade of Whim lacks the recipe-type post and figured it's never too late to get a good thing started. What better way to introduce us (and my blog) to a recipe post than with Blueberry Cheesecake Bars. Don't those three words just belong together?

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars


Butter, for greasing
2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries


For the Base:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and firmly pat down with the bottom of a glass. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set.

For the filling:
Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to the food processor and pulse until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and then sprinkle with blueberries. They will sink slightly but should be half exposed.

Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before Refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars.

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bright spark

I'm usually spotting and wanting all the interior dressings my pennies won't necessarily stretch far enough for. Fair to say, I was throwing a few air punches when I stumbled over this clever DIY geometric light fitting. Good news for us, Weekday Carnival (the blog with the goods) tells us how to get all arty-crafty and make our own...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Make sure it's remarkable

image source / I'll get that posted ASAP...

Sometimes hanging up the "back in 5-er" is much needed; in my case it seems I've flicked it over on my blog without realising. I won't be long, but I will be taking a little break from the regular posts and blog visits to sort my energy as we (my family) take this time to be by my grandpa's side. It's difficult not to let  that sting of reality get you, but we maintain a balanced perspective on the direction his road has taken - after 3 weeks in hospital, critically ill. It is somewhat comforting, though, to know that this mellow pace we (family) are travelling to can be lifted by a shift in focus to the remarkable story that is my grandpa's. Not to mention his cheeky humour, gappy-grin, love of family and strength in his beliefs. He has injected an everlasting and unmatched streak of happiness and strength in each of our lives ...

Hope to see you when I get back into the swing of things. I'm not sure how long it will take for consistent posts to make their way back but in the mean time I appreciate your patience! Maria x


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