Mini Models

My little girl, Olive Jean, has been modelling Alex&Ant for 5+ years. She’s no trained model, just a blogger’s daughter and pretty cute to boot. Olive’s 6th birthday was earlier this month so I thought it fitting to put together some pics from over the years. A retrospective if you like! Yes, it’s self-indulgent….but dressed in Alex&Ant, how can I resist?

Beach collage Baby Mooz

Rolling

6 collage

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BABY CLEMENTINE

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Clementine Collage

Where were you born and what is your heritage?  That is, where are your Mum & Dad from?

I was born at Mona Vale hospital (on Sydney’s Northern Beaches), as was my sister, two brothers and Mama! Dad is from country New South Wales

What would you like to do when you grow up?

To stop dribbling

What is your favourite animal?

At the moment, it’s Sophie the Giraffe

Do you have a pet? What’s its name? If not, what would you call your pet if you had one?

We have a cat named Indi Boo Boo

What is your favourite school holiday activity?

Walking in the pram, bath-time and laughing with my family

Who is your hero?

My Mum (of course!)

What is your favourite song?

Oh My Darling Clementine

What is your favourite movie?

My eyes don’t focus too well on screens, as yet!

What is your favourite colour?

I look good in floral

What is your favourite food?

M-I-L-K!

What is your favourite sport?

Kicking on my mat in the sun, without a nappy

What’s your nickname?

Clem or Tinee

What cities would you love to visit?

Siem Reap, Vancouver & Paris, but there’s plenty of time for that!

Describe ALEX&ANT in your own words, why do you enjoy wearing it?  Do you have a favourite piece?

Alex & Ant is fun & colourful.. .We love our ice cream onesie & our snakeskin boots! This summer I’ll be sporting a pair of embroiderie anglaise bloomers and matching hat!

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CHASE THE BLUES AWAY

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Winter blues

Oh my goodness, look at all of this divine prettiness! We know that Winter can bring on the blues, so we think these beautiful pieces are the perfect tonic. Whether you love our classic combinations of lace or tulle and jersey, or the fun and frivolity of top-to-toe bows, there is something for every personality in this AW 14 collection. The pieces pictured here come from our ‘About A Girl’ range and they are unashamedly charming.

On the collection as a whole from Caterina Samaha, Design Director –

“I wanted to create a stylish collection that while chic, is as comfy as we all yearn to be in winter – cosy, relaxed and able to play. While I do take some inspiration from the trends happening overseas and in fashion generally, I always put the comfort and practicality of being a child first. I know from first-hand experience that if they can’t climb a tree or jump on a trampoline in my garments, they won’t get worn! Nothing makes me happier than hearing my children laughing and playing happily, that’s what kids should do, and ALEX&ANT is designed with that in mind.

I love our applique detailed baby rompers, we do them every season and always add new designs, but I’m aware they’ve become quite iconic – people purchase them season after season owing to the comfort, great quality and cuteness. We’re so fortunate to have this following.

The ‘About a Girl’ range is very special – lots of frills, bows, lace and pretty pinks. Girly girls will love it. Then there’s ‘Come As You Are’ which features a beautiful floral fabric, some very interesting garment shapes and a yummy palette of pink, white, black and grey. ‘Soldier of Love’ has also been well received, employing camouflage print, rosy reds, khaki, white and special details such as sparkles and braids. We love our sparkly mouse shoes and fur lined mouse booties for the baby girls – they too are completely adorable. I really can’t choose a favourite piece, I’ll let customers do that for me!

Mostly what I love about this job is to see the delight on the faces of the retailers and mums who have become ALEX&ANT enthusiasts. There is so much joy in what we do.”

Winter blues 2

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GEORGIE

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Georgie & Alex

Welcome to our next instalment of Mini Models where we talk to our pint sized models about their busy lives. Georgie is a bestie to Alexandra, the label’s namesake and face of Alex&Ant (see our post on Alexandra). Georgie’s sun kissed hair and smattering of freckles gives her an iconic Australian look, and we adore her perfect smile.

Where were you born and what is your heritage? That is, where are your Mum & Dad from?

Melbourne, Australia

What would you like to do when you grow up?

I’d like to be a gymnast & a famous model

What is your favourite animal?

A dog

What is your favourite school holiday activity?

Spending time with friends and family

Who is your hero?

Caterina (Alex & Ant founder and Creative Director) and Autumn Miller

What is your favourite song?

Best Song Ever

What is your favourite movie?

One Direction, This Is Us

What is your favourite colour?

Purple

What is your favourite food?

Mangos

What is your favourite sport?

Gymnastics

What country would you love to visit?

America

Describe ALEX&ANT in your own words, why do you enjoy wearing it?  Do you have a favourite piece?

Girly & fashionable – it makes me feel special.  I love the Alex&Ant dresses, especially.

Georgie winner

Thank you, Georgie. We all think the world of Caterina. Perhaps on our next shoot we can capture some of your champion gymnast ability – that would be so fun!

Enjoy ~

Fleur xo

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ALEXANDRA

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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We thought it would be lovely to talk to our pint sized models about their busy lives.  As the daughter of our designer, Alexandra has been there from the very beginning and delighted us for years. Her photos have become iconic images of the Alex&Ant brand and we’ve watched Alexandra grow into a charming young lady.

Where were you born and what is your heritage?  That is, where are your Mum & Dad from?

My Mum is from Italy & my Dad is Australian.

What would you like to do when you grow up?

I’d like to be a famous netball player.

What is your favourite animal?

Dogs and puppys, I’m their biggest fan!!!

Do you have a pet? What’s its name? If not, what would you call your pet if you had one?

I have a pet and his name is Devil. He is the cutest black Labrador and I love him so much!!

What is your favourite school holiday activity?

Pottery

Who is your hero?

Taylor Swift

What is your favourite song?

I have a lot but I really like the song ‘Party in the U.S.A’.

What is your favourite movie?

I like LOL.

What is your favourite colour?

Hot Pink & Purple

What is your favourite food?

Lollies

What is your favourite sport?

Netball

What’s your nickname?

Ally, Al Pal, Ally Bear and Sissy

What is your lucky number?

3 & 13

What cities would you love to visit?

New York and Paris

Describe ALEX&ANT in your own words, why do you enjoy wearing it?  Do you have a favourite piece?

I love ALEX&ANT because it has a lot of things that I love and it is makes me feel happy when I model and when I wear it.

Thank you, Alexandra. With an Italian Mum I’m so surprised that your favourite food is lollies! Too cute. Oh, and I’m with you on the lucky number 13, I was born on Friday the 13th so I can’t afford to be superstitious…spooky.

Enjoy ~

Fleur

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FEED ME FRIDAY~SPIDERWEB CAKE

Friday, October 29th, 2010

We’ve never been big on Halloween in our house, but the novelty hasn’t escaped our son Zac (4.5 yrs) so we’re getting in the mood.  It’s so much fun once you decide to run with it!  Still, I wasn’t prepared to bake with pumpkin so carrot will have to do.  I’ve been wanting to try this Bill Granger (who else?) recipe for a while and it’s very possibly the best carrot cake I’ve ever consumed. To give it a Halloween theme I simply looked up the Martha Stewart website (again, who else?!) and there it was – caramel cobwebs!  Not as difficult as they may first appear in writing.

Carrot Cake

200g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

200g grated carrot

250g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

250ml (1 cup) light-flavoured oil such as sunflower

100g sultanas

100g chopped walnuts (I did mine with a hand blender kit so the kids didn’t get chunks of walnut)

zest of one orange

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g (one packet) of cream cheese, softened

30g unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g (1 cup) icing sugar, sifted

Caramel Cobwebs

Unsalted butter, to spread on the baking paper

125g (I cup) sugar

Martha adds a licorice spider garnish but I added mine with a bit of photo wizardry!

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and lightly grease & line a 24cm springform cake tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir in the carrot (I grated mine straight into the bowl).  Make a well in the centre.

Whisk the sugar and eggs in another bowl (or your Kitchenaid bowl) and slowly whisk in the oil.  Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the sultanas, walnuts and orange zest.

Pour into the tin and bake for approx 1 hour or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. My cake was ready after 45 mins so make sure you check at intervals.  Leave in the tin for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.  Spread over the cooled cake.

To make the cobwebs, lightly butter two large sheets of parchment paper and set aside.  Prepare a large ice water bath and set aside (in a large lasagne dish worked best).

Pour 3 tablespoons of water into a medium heavy-bottom saucepan and add the sugar.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, untilt he sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear.  Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup comes to a boil.  Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush two or three times during the process, to prevent crystals from forming.  Let the syrup boil, gently swirling the pan occasionally, until it’s amber in colour (medium amber).

Immediately remove from the heat and set the pan into the ice water bath to stop the cooking.

Working quickly, drizzle caramel with a spoon onto the buttered parchment, forming something resembling a cobweb.  It takes a few to get them looking realistic!  If the syrup is thin and runs too quickly, let it cool a few seconds longer.  Alternatively, if the syrup is thick and hard to work with, reheat it gently.  Let stand until cooled and hardened.  Place on the cake!

Zac just happened to put his ‘bat’ pyjamas on, so I couldn’t have planned the photos any better.  The cake got the two thumbs-up from everyone and I was so impressed with the textures.  Success! Ha, ha, haaaaa.

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FEED ME FRIDAY~HAM LASAGNE

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I’m sitting here watching ‘Food Safari’ and the lovely Maeve is immersed in Egyptian cuisine. I’ve always preferred eating with with bread instead of cutlery…alas, I’m the offspring of a New Zealander & an Australian of English decent, so I have no traditional dishes to share (with any merit). Now Luke Nguyen is preparing an amazing Pomelo salad with fresh mud crab and dried shrimp. I shouldn’t watch SBS when all I have to offer is a simple lasagne!

Still, this is the perfect dish for Spring. It’s prepared without bechamel sauce so it tastes really fresh and light for a meal that is normally quite heavy. You MUST use fresh lasagne sheets or please cook another dish. Once you’ve tried fresh you’ll never buy dried again, no matter how authentic the brand. ‘Latina Fresh’ make fresh sheets and they’re stored in the fridge section of your local supermarket.

3 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

500g cherry tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt

600g fresh lasagne

12 thick slices top-quality leg ham

750g (3 cups) fresh ricotta

450g fresh buffalo mozzarella or baby (bocconcini), torn or sliced

100g parmesan cheese, grated

fresh pepper

extra olive oil & basil leaves to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Empty the tins of tomatoes into a saucepan with the cherry tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 25-30mins. Add the garlic, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, then cook another minute.

Cut the lasagne sheets to fit a 25 x 35cm dish (10 x 14inch) ovenproof dish. Lightly grease the dish with olive oil and spread with 3 tablespoons of the tomato sauce (it doesn’t look like much). Top with the lasagne sheet(s) and then approx one eighth of  the sauce. Tear and scatter an eighth each of the ham, ricotta and mozzarella over the sauce. Repeat the layers until the pasta, sauce, ham and cheese have been used. Sprinkle parmesan, salt & pepper over the top and drizzle with the extra olive oil.

Cover the lasagne with foil and bake for 20 mins. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 mins or until brown. Scatter with basil leaves to serve.

A Pinot from NZ would go well with this dish. Now, there’s a reference to my heritage! Enjoy~love Fleur

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SAVOUR IT SATURDAY~BLUEBERRY PIE

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

When I was young, apart from Barbie I was right into Strawberry Shortcake.  Part of the debut collection was also Blueberry Muffin, her blue-haired friend.  What many of you may not know that Strawberry Shortcake’s nemesis was named ‘Perculiar Purple Pie Man’ and he was far too scary for most parents to purchase!  I’m not sure what I did to persuade my Mom, but he was a part of my collection in addition to his female side-kick, Sour Grapes, and the whole collection of dolls may still be in Mom’s garage (waiting for me to sort out).  I wonder if they still smell sickly sweet!  Although NOT sickly sweet, this pie pays (a strange?) homage to my childhood toys.  Mom, I promise when I’m in Perth in November I’ll go through all of my things before Olive outgrows them!  AND I’ll cook you this pie if blueberries are on special.  NB: it takes 4 punnets of blueberries which can make it an expensive dish if they’re at full price ($7-$9).

Blueberry Pie

pastry~

500g plain flour

60g icing sugar

pinch of sea salt

360g unsalted butter

130ml sour cream

 

filling~

500g blueberries

115g castor sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cornflour

2 medium egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 tablespoon white, demerara or raw sugar to sprinkle

to serve~

pouring custard or double cream

To make the pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine then add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Add the sour cream and pulse until a dough ball forms.  Of course, you can do all of this by hand if you prefer.  Divide the dough in half, shape into balls and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 mins before using.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Unwrap one pastry ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 4mm thick round.  Use to line a 23cm pie tin, lightly pressing the pastry into the corners, then trim the edge (leave a 2-3cm overhang as the pastry will shrink).  Tip:  use your rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry into the pie tin.  Roll out the other pastry ball to a similar round and place on a board, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.  Meanwhile, place the pie tin lined with pastry in the freezer for at least 15 mins.

For the filling, toss the blueberries with the castor sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and cornflour.  Scatter evenly on the pastry base.  Brush the rim of the pastry case with egg yolk, then lay the pastry round (from the fridge) on top to cover the pie.  Trim and press the pastry edges together firmly to seal, then crimp the rim with a fork dipped in flour.

Brush the top with egg yolk, sprinkle with sugar and make 5 small incisions in the lid.  Stand the pie tin on a baking tray and bake for 15mins, then reduce the heat to 170 degrees  and bake for a further 35mins or until golden.  Allow to cool before serving.

As you can see, I’m no baker but anyone can get away with a ‘rustic’ version of a pie!  Love Fleur X

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SAVOUR IT SUNDAY!

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Yes, it’s getting later every week….who’s idea was it  to design our blog around certain days of the week?  Oh, it was mine. I thought this structure would afford me some discipline and routine in the scheme of a week raising two precious children and running a household.  Never mind, there appears to be only one follower who catches me out (you know who you are, Fiona!) and I’m not sure how on earth she knows what day it is when her Bella is still breastfeeding 3 times per night, she has another bubba under 2 AND she’s gone back to work!!!  Rather than give you the recipe I mentioned earlier in the week – our oat & chocolate cookies – I want to offer Fiona and all of the other stretched Mum’s out there, the best replacement take-away meal. It literally takes around 10 minutes to prepare, it’s absolutely delicious and the whole family will enjoy it, I promise.  This recipe will also only cost a few dollars since most households have the sauces already on hand.

Stir-fried rice noodles with chicken & (snake) beans

450g flat or rice noodles (most supermarkets carry “rice stick” noodles in their Asian aisle)

2 tablespoons mild-flavoured oil such as sunflower

600g chicken mince

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g snake or green beans, topped & cut into 2cm lengths (small for the little’uns)

60ml sweet chilli sauce

50ml fish sauce

60ml dark soy sauce

60ml light soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

handful of Thai basil or standard basil leaves

Prepare the flat rice noodles according to the packet instructions. Normally this is boiling them for 6-8 mins.

Prep the sauce – combine all of the sauces and sugar in a bowl.

Place a wok or frying pan over a high heat and add the oil. Brown the chicken mince, stirring frequently, then add the garlic and beans. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add the sauce & sugar mixture and stir well. Add the prepared rice noodles and toss to combine.

Remove from the heat, stir through the basil and serve in bowls. For some great kiddie fun, serve in noodle boxes with chopsticks.

Love Fleur x

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