25 May 2010

Trends: Whoopie Pies

Even though I still adore making them, cupcakes are getting a little tired as King of party foods. I thought that macarons might have given them a run for their money (see article here), but they aren't the easiest thing to make. But I am quite excited about a new (for us Aussies) potential party food winner.... the whoopie pie.

Whoopie pies are an old fashioned treat in the New England and Pennsylvania areas of the US and are essentially a cake cookie - vanilla cream filling sandwiched in a fluffy chocolate (or sweet spiced pumpkin) cake bun. Less fiddly than a cupcake, and a lot easier to make than a macaron, the whoopie pie has a more rustic, handmade look. I can imagine a huge heaping pile of them being wolfed down at a kids party, or different flavours perched casually on a cupcake stand. And maybe some spiked cream whoopie pies for the adults. Totally droolworthy, and doable!

I've been seeing whoopie pies everywhere online. And a quick search shows an article from the New York Times last year proclaiming "Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It's Having Its Moment". Whoopie pies were believed to have orginated in Pennsylvania, where they were baked by Amish women for farmers’ lunchboxes (who proclaimed Whoopie! upon finding them).

Here are a few recipes on Taste.com.au and Epicurious for whoopie pies using a marshmallow filling but I'm more tempted by this buttercream filling recipe from The New York Times. You can buy a Whoopie Pie packaged mix and cooking pan from Williams Sonoma in the US (as well as several other large US kitchen supply stores). And here is a great article from Not Quite Nigella about them.

I can't wait to make them. Have you tried them? Or made them?

20 May 2010

Rebecca Manning Swimwear

It's totally the wrong time of year to get excited about swimwear (unless you're off on a tropical holiday or living in the northern hemisphere), but I had to share with you these fabo togs from Brisbane designer Rebecca Manning.

I discovered Rebecca's glamorous swimwear through *that* Mum at swimming classes. You know the one... with the fabulous figure and year-round tan and collection of flattering and chic swimming costumes. I just had to ask about the gorgeous blue and white floral print swimsuit with tiny charms that she wore one day (Luella Full Piece pictured above in pink) and was thrilled to find out that Rebecca is a local and this piece is from her first collection (proudly debuted at Brisbane Fashion Week last year).

I love all the pieces in Rebecca's collection (especially the black structural Sienna Bikini Double Side bikini, also above) which is made in Australia using Italian Lycra and works well with the Saskia detachable skirt. You can find Rebecca Manning swimwear in the online store (great time to get sale pieces at the moment!) and at stockists in Queensland and New South Wales.

17 May 2010

Flirty Bird girls hair accessories

Well this post is certainly a long time coming. I've been meaning to write about the fabulous kids hair accessories from Flirty Bird for ages.

Michelle from Flirty Bird has been obsessed with hair accessories since she can remember and makes each piece by hand with love. The Flirty Bird range includes headbands, bobbies, barrettes, rings, snap clips, ponytail holders, mirrors and brooches.

I had fun picking out my favourites from the online store including the comfy ribbon headband, the adorable felt green apple clip and the very chic black and white fabric-covered headband, proving that even little sweeties with less than a full head of hair can have fun with Flirty Bird.

You can find Flirty Bird in the online store and at stockists around the world. Stop by the Flirty Bird blog to find out about new accessories as they are released and some fun competitions.

Check out Bondville Kids for more great Australian kids fashion. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Images: Flirty Bird

14 May 2010

Moving To Sydney

Big news here at Bondville... we're moving to Sydney! We've had a great couple of years in Brisbane and it's time to head back to the big smoke for a while. And, we're taking a few weeks off to head overseas today, so things will be a little quite here, although I will pop my head in from time to time. And I'm supposed to be on maternity leave! But sometimes I just can't resist sharing a little something with you.

So it's been go go go around here, and we're doing our best to take baby steps and ensure a smooth transition. I'll miss all the fantastic Brisbane markets (especially the brisStyle markets - you go girls!) but looking forward to exploring more of Sydney. See you all down there soon!

Images: Steph Bond

11 May 2010

Cool Websites: Easy Peasy Organic

How yummy does my parfait look!?! My dear friend Amanda and I made these delicious meringue, mascarpone and berry parfaits for dinner last week with leftovers from the fridge. I have an ongoing goal not to waste ricotta, mascarpone, cream and other goodies from the back of the fridge that always seems to be thrown away, and Amanda is my go-to gal for ideas.

In fact, Amanda has recently launched her own website full of great recipes for using leftovers and ideas for a practical, affordable organic lifestyle. It's called Easy Peasy Organic, and it's my favourite site at the moment.

After getting cancer at 32, Amanda wanted to make her family's life as toxin-free as possible, without spending a lot of money. With categories like Upcycling, Little Helpers, and Saving Money By Using It Up, Making It Yourself and Thrifty Living, there should be something there to inspire you! Please pop over and say Hi. (and if you're in Brissie, make sure you check out Amanda's companion site Organic in Brisbane).

Image: Steph Bond

2 May 2010

Stylish Kids: Brusselsprouts

Happy Mothers Day Mums! Here's something I thought you would like. Nanna and Pops came back from the Peregian Beach Markets last Sunday with the most gorgeous skirt for Sophie - red and white chequered yoke with adorable skirt featuring little French boys and girls. I had to find out more. The designers are the very clever Victoria and Kay from Brusselsprouts - a great kids clothing label based in Kalgoorlie, WA.

I found a range of divine clothes on the Brusselsprouts website - lovely designer fabrics fashioned into sweet pieces for boys and girls. My favourite are the pieces incorporating crochet pockets and edgings and the to-die-for crochet cardigan. LOVE! (oh, and if you loved the Alice in Wonderland movie as much as I did, you'll adore the Alice In Wonderland Pinny!)

You can find Brusselsprouts clothes in the online store, the madeit store, as well as at markets mentioned on the Brusselsprouts blog and stockists across Australia, the Netherlands and Singapore.

Check out more great Australian-designed clothes for kids on Bondville Kids. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

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