How To: The Perfect Homemade Mocha ♥

Jul 31, 2014

The perfect hot drink can be made at home fantastically. Yes, thats right, I decided to experiment with the one and only classic winter comfort. Homemade mochas.  Theres a special announcement at the end as well, so read onwards :)



Ingredients:

1 cup
hot brewed strong coffee
(I used Moccona Classic)
2 tbsp
hot chocolate mix
1/4 cup
milk
optional: 
whipped cream
additional hot chocolate mix for dusting
candy canes

Method:
  • Stir together the coffee and hot chocolate mix in a large mug.
  • Heat the milk on the stove to warm -- it should be around 100 degrees or just hot enough that you can only keep a finger in it comfortably for a couple of seconds. Remove from the stove and froth the milk using an aerator. Alternatively, whisk vigorously by hand until the milk foams, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the frothed milk into the coffee. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and a dusting of hot chocolate mix.
  • For a peppermint mocha, stir the coffee with a candy cane.


Xo,
Renee.
Special Announcement:
After much um-ing and ah-ing i've decided to finally dedicate blog posts to Thurday and Sunday's (Melbourne time). This has been a long time coming, and will add a little more consistency to Renee Alexis. I hope you've had a wonderful week, if not Friday is only mere hours away, fear not! I love you all immensely 

This Week I....♥

Jul 28, 2014

//Collected a whole bunch of birthday presents for my Jessica / craziest / dearest friend.

One of my closest friends has her birthday flying around the corner at an incredible speed (August 5th to be exact) so gift shopping has certainly been a priority. During the past week-and-a-half-or-so I figured out just how difficult Emily is to buy for, oh my gosh. I think we all have at least one of those hard-to-buy-for friends, and boy when those gift seasons come around eventually its a stretch and a half just to come up with ideas. The photo above is a cheeky sneak peek :) p.s: if your wondering what the bejeebers "Jessica" has to do with this weekly occurrence its a teeny tiny inside joke that involves Em and this song which is a fairly odd one, haha.


//Felt photogenic.

Usually this isn't so, but lately i've been experiencing photo-addict-y needs (particularly this week though), strange right? I think taking a whole bunch of great pictures on the DSLR of the gorgeous landscape during my week away kicked me back into the spirit and just photography in general. P.s: Emily is the beautiful blonde on the left :)

//Have been divulging into the absolutely brilliantly written Becca's Fashion and Life.

This blog is one of my all time favourites. I have been scrolling through Becca's Fashion and Life ever since I began this little outlet of mine, which feels like forever. I frequent Becca's blog for its absolute individuality, quirkiness and that fabulous head of hair! 

//Bought a Full Bag of Malteasers.


This bag of goodness was wonderful to munch on, and even more wonderful when I opened it and to my delight it was full of actual Malteasers. That's right, not the usual half-air-and-half-food deal-eo, it was full to the brim. AND, it was only three dollars! #winning (sorry, not sorry) ;)

//Began a countdown for my permit test.


So homegirl is getting her L's and the countdown is now official since I even bought an app for it (it was free, but it still counts right?). Beware Australian drivers, I'm coming for y'all :)


Xo,
Renee.

Summer This & Winter That ♥

Jul 21, 2014


One of the most annoying things about living in the Southern Hemisphere, when it comes to the world of blogging and other social media what-nots, is the polar opposite seasons.

As most of you may be aware of I am currently resided in Australia, but although I adore my country to absolute smithereens, different seasons to the Northern Hemisphere can be a quite irritating at times. This is simply because many of you live in the top half of the world and sometimes I feel really unsure whether I should blog things relating to where all of you are instead of posts relevant to Australia.

I've come to the conclusion that maybe this could be great thing, especially for winter dis-likers (not haters though because hating winter would be absolutely dreadful.) like me, since seeing all of you posting fantastic summer related videos and blog posts actually makes me feel a little bit better about the chilly months.

Here are a couple of positive points i've whipped up :)

//Prior Inspiration For Summer.

There are definitely some gorgeous trends that come out of the US and UK in summer, so it's wonderful to take some fashion and beauty advice before the heat hits here. This is especially so when you're wanting to save some pennies for a lovely pair of shoes or funky romper spotted online prior to getting the chance to wear them.

//Hearing About The Exotic Locations

Sunny Chile, the one and only Hawaii, beautiful Tahiti and so many other stunning places are all over the internet at this time of year. I adore reading blog posts reminiscing travels and beautiful summer vacations, for me it's strangely heartwarming. 

//The Winter Dreadful-ness Is Eased

In all honesty i am certainly not a winter person. Growing up with the sun in Queensland has probably got a great deal to do with this influence, but I just don't enjoy winter. at. all. Seeing summer things everywhere on the blogosphere makes it that much more bearable.

//All Of The Enviable Photos

This post has basically been me telling you all how much I love your  summer pictures and the happiness that they all bring me. I can't explain how badly I miss summer, and sun bearing photos make all the difference. 


Xo,
Renee.




The Sunday Edit: Travelling & Coffees ♥

Jul 13, 2014

The most organic looking sugar pot.




The cakes are all homemade and deliciously beautiful.

Full to the brim with tea cosy's, cups and simplistic home wares.

The museum's barn made completely of natural materials.



Flying bicycles of Deni.

Hello all! I really hope you've had a wonderful week and an even better weekend to follow.

I felt like doing something a bit out of the ordinary with this post, so taking inspiration from Hello October, a Sunday Edit post seemed like a sensible choice.
Today my dad and I decided to take quite a long walk into the town of Deniliquin, where we'd ventured for work related stuff. Bracing ourselves for the cold, we ditched the brick walls of the hotel room in search of some much craved caffeine. I had about six layers of clothes on, it was so incredibly cold!
When we arrived at this little coffee shop called The Crossing Cafe, I really didn't want to leave it, it was unexplainably inviting. The staff were all lovely and the atmosphere was definitely warmer than outside, not to mention their mochas were sensational! As you may be able to tell in the photo above, the cafe has a few bicycles hanging for the tree right beside it, dad and I found it profoundly amusing. Definitely worth a photo or two.
Timber filled and carefully decorated this place is seriously a little slice of heaven itself.

Sitting cosily beside The Crossing Cafe was the town museum which showcased a peek of the history of Deniliquin. There was even buildings outside that were replicas of old barns. The whole exhibition was worth having a look at, especially with a fantastic cuppa in hand.

XO,
Renee



What I've Learnt Along The Way ♡

Jul 6, 2014

Blogging is a wonderful thing. It allows people to have that extra unique creative outlet that is relatively easily accessible & fun for a whole bunch of readers and writers globally. But if one thing is for sure, it's that blogging also has the potential to become rather daunting & challenging at times, especially with so many fabulous blogs around us. It's easy to lose that sense of being completely individual, hell I know it happens to me at times. 

I've been the proud momma of Renee Alexis for around a year and a half and although I am no where near experienced in the world of blogging, I have picked up a few tips myself that I really feel the need to share with you all. So I have compiled my three main pieces of advice for myself, and maybe even you. But don't take my ramblings here as gospel, this is just what I've discovered for me and my little blog along the way. Discussion, as always, is welcomed with open arms :)

Blogging has certainly been one of those things that is build-able as time goes on. Like most things practice makes perfect (no more cliche's I promise, haha). I have had dozens of days where I wanted to write blogposts, but couldn't actually write a blogpost. This usually consists of staring at a blank word document for god knows how long which really isn't ideal. When I was new to the blogging scene it seemed easy enough, but then I lost sight of why I had a blog.  What was the purpose of it all? Asking myself this ultimately has pushed me back on track and I love it all now more than ever before. Renee Alexis is purely a space for me to share my ever-growing thoughts with the world, having a bunch of people wanting to read it all is truly mind-blowing and i'm so grateful and blessed to have you all support me. 

My first piece of advice is; don't count. That's right, don't worry about the digits associated with your blog. Pageviews, the number of followers your blog has, how many posts you've published, these all come in time and are perks of blogging. What matters is what you're posting and your love for it. These numbers shouldn't determine the way you're running your corner of the internet. Frankly, I did late last year, i'd constantly be watching all the numbers and for me it really blurred what I was actually writing on my blog.  My personal writing style & even the photos associated with Renee Alexis (which at the time was called Delicate In Pastel) didn't actually reflect me. Once I realised I wasn't enjoying myself like I used to I decided to step away from my blog for a while. When I returned a month & a half later it felt very different, in a fantastic way! Fresh minded and all, it seemed that starting a fresh new slate was sensible, this is when Renee Alexis as you know it was born. After both a blog name change and massive blog makeover, I felt truly ready to start blogging again, but the right way. My way. The lesson here was well & truly just be yourself, don't worry about how large your audience is, or what you think they want you to say. Blogging is like having a bundle of your personality on the internet, if you're you the audience will come in time simply because they appreciate this :)

Which brings me to my second point, individuality. This is what pulls people in, in the first place. Don't be afraid of having different opinions or style, hell even a different hair colour! These are the things that define our blogs, it's the foundation and it's beautiful in every way. Being slightly or even utterly unique is what creates that special touch to all of our blogs, even personalities too. The incredibly quirky & eccentric blogs are the ones that I frequent constantly and can recite off the top of my head. So be outrageously you! :)

And my third major lesson I have come across over the past 18 months or so is quality over quantity. So many of you say it, because, well it couldn't be truer (is that even a word..?) It's a lot more enjoyable to read a blog with with wonderful photos and written posts that are relatable who only post one a week or so compared to one that posts every day with average content similar to many others. The general rule of thumb is the more effort you put in, the more love you'll receive for it. Also, you will appreciate not only your blog immensely, but the effort fellow bloggers put into theirs. :)

Sorry about the essay-length post guys, but hopefully these tips may come in handy for you lovely people! Blogging brings with it such an enjoyable, supportive and fabulous community to be apart of, thank you again for involving me in it all.

XO,
Renee

The Most Scrumptious Vanilla Cupcakes Ever ♥

Jul 1, 2014

This morning I decided to do something somewhat productive to kick off school break. So naturally I whipped up a batch of vanilla cupcakes. I was originally going to make a dozen chocolate chip muffins but of course, when I started combining everything without really thinking it though, I realised we were out of chocolate chips.. *note to self: check pantry stock before mixing ingredients together* Not that this was a massive problem or anything, because this recipe is literally the best vanilla cupcake recipe i've ever used, definitely a blessing in disguise. The mixture is incredibly light weight and moist even after having some resting time.


Here's what you'll need to make your new favourite cupcakes.
-CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS-
115gm softened butter
1 cup of caster sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 cup of self raising flour
1/2 cup of milk
-SIMPLE LEMON WATER ICING INGREDIENTS-
2/3 cup of icing sugar
1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
*optional: grated lemon zest*
*optional: food colouring*

To make the cupcake mixture
~Firstly preheat the oven to 170°C (fan forced) and line your muffin tray with paper cases around the same size. 
~Then in a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
~Afterwards, in a separate bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Add small amounts of this mixture to the butter and sugar and beat well after each addition.
~Sift flour into the bowl and gently fold through.
~Pour in the milk and mix gently with a wooden spoon to form a smooth batter.
~Distribute mixture between the cake cases. If you plan on adding frosting or icing to your cupcakes afterwards, fill the cases up around halfway, they're a lot easier to ice afterwards.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they're a nice light brown on the top.

To make the simple lemon water icing
~Make sure your little cupcakes have completely cooled down before frosting them.
~Sift the icing sugar into a medium sized bowl.
~Gently and gradually pour in your fresh lemon juice and mix until smooth. If its clumping up, add a few drops of water, and if too runny add the necessary amount of icing sugar to thicken the mixture up.
~To intensify the flavour, add your lemon zest.
~Add your food colouring when icing is smooth and glossy. Spread evenly over cupcakes.


This particular recipe makes around 12 standard muffin sized cupcakes and should be stored in an airtight container. It's definitely best to eat them within 3-5 days after making them and if you choose to ice your lovely cupcakes keep them in the refrigerator.


 Let me know if you give this recipe a try! :) 
XO,
Renee 



© Renée Alexis. Maira Gall.