10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Summer

Canadian edition, as my seasons this year have been all over the place. But, nevertheless..


  1. Learning how beautiful lakes are, particularly glacier fed ones.
  2. Riding bikes, all day erry day. Anywhere and everywhere!
  3. Every weekend brings a new event to Whistler, from Crankworx to Wanderlust to the free outdoor concert series
  4. Smoothies and overnight oats for breakfast
  5. Grabbing the most delicious and healthy pad thai from the Farmers Markets
  6. The sun staying up until late, giving us long days to fill with activities
  7. Temperatures never reaching above 32 degrees
  8. Cider and beer on our front porch
  9. Menchies frozen yoghurt (I found a Tutti Frutti replacement, hallelujah!)
  10. Denim shorts and a singlet is considered appropriate attire almost everywhere in town

Thanks for an awesome summer Whistler, looking forward to next year already.

Let’s Catch Up

Everyday this place is feeling more like home. We live simpler, cheaper and easier, and I have to admit that I’m loving it!

The last couple of weeks have been busy, any time we’re not at work we’re trying to find something else fun to do. There’s a certain guilt that surrounds free time around here; there’s always a hike to be done, more riding to squeeze in, a new lake to hang out at… and therefore not much time for relaxing.

I think we’re managing a good balance between activities and binge watching Scandal though 😉

Here’s a little peek into our summer…


Lake hangs with Blake and Tash, just after the birthday girl celebrated 24!


Breathing in the summer evening air, watching Jose Gonzalez at a free concert; a bunch of mates and a flask full of whiskey included.


“You take chairlift selfies with your clients all the time, it’s my turn!”


Taking the kids to see the Train Wreck hike, and checking out the new suspension bridge for myself. We have big plans to hike Joffre Lake with these two, as soon as they return from their New York adventure!


Helping Chloe ring in her 19th birthday with incredible sushi and continuous sake shots.


And finally spending a day on Alta Lake with Crina and the generous Keith, who drove and brought kayaks for us all to use. Frolicking around the lake, jumping in for a swim, sun-baking on a pontoon, eating sliced watermelon and giggling with these two created the perfect summer afternoon! We finished up the day meeting Andrew for Crankworx action and even more sushi. If any of you come to Whistler and head to Sushi Village, you have to order the Nicole Roll. It’s not listed on the menu, but it will be the best thing you’ve eaten for a long time.

Life is sweet you guys.



Yeah, that last post was a little emo. Even if I didn’t mean it to be.

But, life has a funny way of turning things around…

So, I know I said I was loving my job. I think it was just the people and the perks I was loving. It wasn’t until we settled into the role that I realised I am so sick of admin. I’ve done my stint and in hindsight I knew that this wasn’t the job I came to Whistler to do.

After a particularly depressing day at work, I came home to a glass of red wine and found myself applying for a role at the best bakery in town.

The next day, I went in for a chat and trial, and got myself the job. I’ll be working as front of house, with potential for coffee making and hopefully see some of the baking side to things. I’m so excited, and feel that this is the right choice for me. I hate to give up and let people down, so this decision was a little painful, but this is the time to be selfish and try and live that dream!

I’m good guys… better than good. The riding is improving as well, after getting back to basics and starting fresh. The sun is shining today, I have a smile on my face and I get to go home to the most supportive guy in the world.

Happy Thursday kids!


Let Them Eat Cake!

So, I’ve been baking again.

And if you like chocolate, coffee, salted caramel, snickers or sugar and butter in general, you will LOVE these cupcakes.

Andrew’s Cousin (also Lucy’s bestie – Perth is too small) is getting married in under a month!!! We celebrated her kitchen tea this past weekend, and the bridesmaids asked if I could contribute my baking skillz.

I’m sure you all know by now that I will take any opportunity to bake, so this was a no brainer. Also, I found this video by Cupcake Jemma and was DYING to try it out. The name itself says it all: Salted Caramel Chocolate Mudslide Cupcakes. C’mon!!


First up, we’ve gotta make some Salted Caramel, which is so much easier than you think!
Pop one teaspoon of vanilla extract (essence is way better, but this is what I had) into 1 cup of double cream, and put to the side.
Put a tea towel down on your bench, you’ll be needing this very soon!

Then, combine 6 tablespoons of tap water with a cup of caster sugar and bang it on the heat (that was a bit Jamie Oliver wasn’t it?). Now here’s the tricky part: leave it on medium heat for around 8-10 minutes. Do not touch it. No stirring, no whisking, no sloshing around. Let it do it’s thing.

When it looks like this:


Take it off the heat, and add in your cream. AND NOW YOU GET TO STIR. Please don’t stop stirring while you pour the cream in steadily until it’s all combined. It will then smell unbelievable and look like all your caramel dreams. Which is when you add in a teaspoon of good quality sea salt flakes and set the jar aside for later on.


Now, the actual cupcake part.
Make a dry ingredient bowl: 350g plain flour, 60g cocoa powder, 370g caster sugar, 1 teaspoon bicarb soda, a pinch of salt and 150g chocolate chips. Mix it up!
Then a wet ingredient bowl: 240ml cooled coffee (I made two cups that morning, one for the cupcakes, one for Hanbel), 240ml buttermilk, 210ml vegetable oil and 3 large eggs.

Add the dry into the wet and combine, simples!


Pop them into cupcake cases, and then into a 180 degree oven for 22 minutes. While they’re cooking and getting even more delicious, move onto the icing.

Start by beating 300g soft unsalted butter until it’s light and fluffy (I use a hand mixer, but a standing mixer is perfecto). Next up, 540g SIFTED icing sugar is added in two stages. I say SIFTED in CAPITAL LETTERS because I didn’t sift mine, and had piping bag issues later on. It wasn’t the end of the world, but life is easier with sifted icing sugar.
Add in half of the salted caramel we made earlier (around 150ml) and whiz away.


These bad boys come out of the oven, and it’s time for the sneaky part.


Using a chopstick, or something similar, poke a decent hole in the top of each cupcake. This is where the rest of that amazing salted caramel goes!


Frost your cupcakes however you like, piped or spooned on, and you’re almost good to go! I had a little of the salted caramel left over, so I drizzled that over the top. As per Jemma’s suggestion, I had also frozen mini snickers bars ahead of time, to chop up and place on top. Because these cupcakes didn’t have enough chocolate in them already…

There you have it, the final product:


So dense, soft and delectable (I’m avoiding the M word, but you all know it). I went a little light on the frosting, but as these were very sweet and rich, I think it worked out well.


Go on, give them a go. You know you want 24 of these puppies to yourself…




Workin’ 9 to 5

So that’s it my friends. Almost four years at my job, coming to a close.

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, and I promise to report back with more details, but I can assure you that life is damn good.

Today is my last day in this office that I have spent far too many hours in. A place where I have come close to tears, laughed way too loud, made dear friends and pissed off so many people. A place where I’ve had to bite my tongue when people chew too loudly, to hang up the phone on idiots too many times and put up four lots of Christmas trees.

I feel like I grew up a lot working here, and definitely learnt the most from any job I’ve had. While every day hasn’t been perfect, and the last year has definitely been the most difficult for this industry, it has been an absolute pleasure.

My highlights include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Having a PR Guide Dog visit the floor, after we decided to sponsor a puppy

guide dog.png

  • Go-Karting with our clients
  • Tequila shots with other clients


  • Getting to visit our site near Karratha, wear high vis and experience donga life


  • Having a tour of our vessel, a once in a lifetime opportunity for an admin gal

2016-01-29 09_42_52-Hannah Bell _ Hanbel (@hanbel) • Instagram photos and videos

  • Way too many beautiful presents and Tiffany necklaces from my boss


  • Working in the heart of the city and sourcing Perth’s best coffee with my caffeine addicted work bestie
  • Meeting George Calombaris


  • So many cupcakes
  • The most extravagant Christmas parties in which we deliberated over the “Hot Wife Award”
  • The people.

God, I would stay for the people in a heartbeat. I think that’s why I stayed a year longer than I should have. There are some damn good souls in this place who put up with more than they should, give the best advice, encourage and support one another and who I will miss seeing every day more than I even want to think about right now.

It’s been real, but it’s time for something new.

Peace out.