Strawberries and cream layer cake |

It is a well known fact that birthdays require cake. Birthdays and cake go together like strawberries and cream, so why not combine these duo’s to make something spectacular?

I normally don’t make my own birthday cake, my lovely housemate has taken to making me a cake every year. It’s super sweet considering he’s never baked anything in his life other than my birthday cakes! Seeing as it’s not actually my birthday yet, I figured that it was acceptable to have a teeny one of my own making. You know, in preparation for the main event! Kind of like training before a marathon, right?

This cake has long been a favourite of mine. It’s sweet and fresh and looks ever so pretty, without having to take the time to ice it properly.  I know you guys are into it. Layers and layers of soft cake sponge, silky cream and  the sweet tang of strawberries, why wouldn’t you want this all up in your face?

Strawberries and cream layer cake | www.highwallsblog.comStrawberries and cream layer cake |


2 cups of self-raising flour
1 tsp of cornflour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
200g of softened butter
2 cups of caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tbs of boiling water
1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 punnets of strawberries,
1/4 cup of icing sugar
300ml of thickened cream
125ml of cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease and line 3 medium round cake tins.

2. Combine the flour, cornflour and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and creamy (5 – 8 minutes).

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition. Add the water and vanilla and mix to combine.

5. Fold the prepared dry ingredients into the butter mixture and divide evenly into the cake tins, ensuring the mixtures are smooth and flat.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are golden and the top springs back lightly when pressed with a finger. Remove from oven and cool in the tins for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Meanwhile, place half the strawberries into a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool before using.

8. Whip cream with remaining icing sugar until stiff peaks start to form. Fold into cream cheese.

9. Place the first cake layer onto a plate and spread with cream, drizzle with the strawberry syrup. Scatter with sliced strawberries and place the next cake layer on top. Repeat for the remaining layers and drizzle the whole thing with the remaining syrup to serve.

Strawberries and cream layer cake | Strawberries and cream layer cake | Strawberries and cream layer cake | Strawberries and cream layer cake | www.highwallsblog.comStrawberries and cream layer cake |

FREE Gemstone and Diamond printable wrapping paper templates |

Is it weird that I whipped up a wrapping paper design for my own birthday? Whatever. Here are a couple of free wrapping paper templates for y’all to print out and use next time you’re in a gift giving mood! They are A3 size but can easilly be shrunk down to A4, like I did for the little gifts pictured. AND, because I’m really diggin’ the diamonds and gemstones, I’ve also included to option to download each as a phone background! Simply download template and adorn everything and anything with a bit of geometric sparkle! Enjoy!

Diamond | wrapping paper | iphone 5  | iphone 4
Gemstone | wrapping paper | iphone 5  | iphone 4

FREE Gemstone and Diamond printable wrapping paper templates |



ring | furoshiki | notebook | cutting board | lamp | brooch | clutch | ring | print

This week’s Oh Etsy collection is extra big this week as my birthday is coming up this weekend! Naturally, I have already started earmarking pretty things to buy with any (hypothetical) money I may be gifted. Window shopping online is always fun, but it’s a little more so when you’re celebrating something. Don’t you agree?

make over a bamboo display tray to hold your jewellery and knick knacks!

For my 21st birthday, a group of my friends pooled their money and bought me the most beautiful jewellery box. It even has a lovely inscription to mark the occasion. I keep all of my nicest jewellery safely tucked away within its compartments. My daily jewellery, ie: the stuff I chuck onto my bathroom sink every night, does not have a home as nice as that. So, in the interest of being organised (and stopping any hurt feelings on behalf of said jewellery) I gave a mini display tray a pretty makeover. Now my jewellery has someone nice to live, and as an added bonus, it gives the impression I am more organised than I actually am! You can see the full steps for this project over at Drifter & the Gypsy! Check it out!


make over a bamboo display tray to hold your jewellery and knick knacks!


Put your hand up if you are easily distracted by shiny things. Don’t worry, me too! I often find myself side tracked by pretty baubles, especially the wearable kind! But when you look at beautiful designs like these, can you really blame me?

01 | Love this bold lines on this geometric gem ring from Fruit Bijoux.

02 | These herkimer diamond rings (by xuanqi) are the perfect marriage of rough and clean finishes.

03 | Nothing quite like a set of geometric silver bangles like these by FORMA Jewellery.

04 | All of the bracelets from Belle Accessories  are beautiful, but this gold honeycomb design is my fave!


Don’t forget, you can browse these items and more like them over at our brand new curated Etsy Page!

Make your own marbled watercolor coasters |

Did you know you can buy loose tiles from the hardware store? and for peanuts! PEANUTS I say! While browsing the shelves of my local hardware store I discovered this fact and so, naturally, I stocked up. Then I got home and had no idea what to do with the damn things. They sat with my craft supplies gathering dust for months until I suddenly realised: with a simple nail painting technique and a bit of patience – I had the makings of some super sweet watercolor marble coasters at my fingertips!

I’m kind of obsessed now. Everything I own will soon be watercolored and marbled!

Make your own marbled watercolor coasters | Make your own marbled watercolor coasters |

Make your own marbled watercolor coasters |

Loose Tiles
Nail Polish
Plastic container
1. Take a plastic container just bigger than your tiles and fill it it room temperature water.

2. Place a single tile into the water with the surface facing up. Allow any bubbles that form to dissipate.

3. Carefully, drip nail polish onto the water surface; the first few drops will spread out across the water. keep dripping until you have a few different levels of colour on the surface.

4. Using a toothpick, swirl the nail polish until you are happy with the pattern.

5. Very delicately, dip your fingers into the water along the rim of the container and pick up the tile, lifting so that the nail polish coats the surface as you bring it out of the water.

6. Set aside and allow to air dry completely.

7. Before using, glue a square of felt onto the underside of each tile.

Make your own marbled watercolor coasters |

- Practice a few times prior to starting. It will take a few tries to get the hang of it.

- Change water in between colors of nail polish.

- If you don’t like the marbled effect on a tile you can easily remove the color with some nail polish remover and a cotton ball.

- For darker patterns, instead of putting the tile into the water, leave it out and place it face down onto the water surface after adding the nail polish. This is slightly easier, but this method wont yield patterns as soft as those pictured here. (See below for a coaster made with this method)

Make your own marbled watercolor coasters | highwallsblog.comMake your own marbled watercolor coasters | highwallsblog.comMake your own marbled watercolor coasters | Make your own marbled watercolor coasters | Make your own marbled watercolor coasters | highwallsblog.comMake your own marbled watercolor coasters |


- Not gonna lie: I may have downloaded every version of this printable succulent download over at Sugar & Cloth. It is now adorning almost all my digital devices!

- These works by artist Todd Baxter and his wife certainly do invoke the same feeling of familar nostalgia as Wes Anderson’s visual style; and as such, I love them!

- Loving Corrina’s  summer cocktail illustrations

- Professional photographer Jame Clauss when faced with nothing to do, staged a baby photo shoot for Snuggles the Jack-Russell Terrier. Hilarious and adorable!


5 Minute Recipe: Herb & Cheese Pull Apart | high walls

It’s been a sugar overload around here lately, so let’s take a beat and instead have something a little more savoury. Let me introduce you to your new best friend: the Cheese & Herb pull apart. It’s quick and easy and can be made with whatever you have floating around in your fridge. Isn’t that the best kind of recipe?

Like many things in life, this recipe is best enjoyed with friends. Not casual acquaintances, actual friends. The kind that  you will feel comfortable calling out when they try to steal that bit of cheesy, herby goodness you were eyeing off seconds before they reached for it. Everyone will have their paws all over this meal. There will be mess. There will be greasy fingers. But don’t worry, because it will be awesome.

As far as cheese and herb combinations; feel free to use whatever you have or whatever you like the most. The best part about this dish is that you really can’t go wrong! Try different cheeses! Top with diced up meats! sneak in some spices! The power is yours – go crazy!

5 Minute Recipe: Herb & Cheese Pull Apart | high walls 5 Minute Recipe: Herb & Cheese Pull Apart | high walls


1 loaf of crusty bread

Cheese (your choice)

Herbs (ie: basil, parsley)


Olive oil

1. Using a bread knife, slice into the top of the bread: cutting a cross hatch about 3/4 of the depth of the bread. Leave around an inch in between each cut.

2. With a long knife or spatula, generously butter the inside parts of the bread in between the cuts.

3. Roughly chop your choice of herbs and stuff into the cuts in the bread and across the top. (I used parsley and lemon thyme because that’s what I had)

4. Grate your choice of cheese and stuff half deep into the cuts in the bread. Scatter the rest across the top, I used jarlsberg cheese and added extra tasty and parmesan cheese on top.

5. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and place in the oven, preheated to 180 degrees celcius. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

5 Minute Recipe: Herb & Cheese Pull Apart | high walls 5 Minute Recipe: Herb & Cheese Pull Apart | high walls


It’s late at night and I’ve started noticing that the later it gets, the more my Etsy browsing has slowly devolved into dark and moody picks. Moons and stars and dark patterns. There’s not even a full moon tonight so I can’t blame it on that! I don’t know what has brought on this bought of brooding browsing, but I’m totally into it.

1 | Crazy about this striking Landscape Painting by Studio. Zoe, which you can also buy as a print!

2 |  In lieu of  a real full moon, I could use this Trip to the Moon Sticker from Moonlight Fantasy

3 | My couch is screaming for this Maya Lumbar Support Pillow from Chanee Vijay Textiles to live on it forever.

4 | Everyone loves a good tote, but this Constellation Tote Bag by Sleepy Dreamer is just that little bit extra classy!

 Ombre Citrus Cakes - in lemon, lime and orange! | www.highwallsblog,com
Hey! Guess what! Today marks the 4th anniversary of this blog! Way back when I started this blog in 2010 we had a different name, a different format and the only person who read it was me! Look how far we’ve come! 4 years isn’t exactly one of the big milestones, but why not celebrate with cake, right? There’s always room for cake!

Let’s talk about cakes and the pressures of making a cake look ‘perfect’. With the amazing talent showcased on Pinterest and food blogs, it’s easy to feel like your cake needs to have that perfect frosting, be perfectly even and always look ready to be splashed across the pages of a magazine. While I am a perfectionist of the highest degree, I gotta say: there’s something kind of special about a messy cake.

Ombre Citrus Cakes - in lemon, lime and orange! | www.highwallsblog,com Ombre Citrus Cakes - in lemon, lime and orange! | www.highwallsblog,com

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