Sunday, November 2, 2014

Girls Night In 2014

The total raised so far is $1000.

It is time again for the Girl's Night In, to raise money for the Cancer Council. This year was again a low key event compared to previous years, and have invited a few close girlfriends came around for afternoon tea. Everyone who offered to bring something was taken up on their offer and we had a lovely selection of cakes and savouries to share.

I set the target again at $1000. We came fairly close last year, and I was hoping that this year we would make it

A Sunday in October saw us celebrate in style. My friends were happy to bring along tasty treats and we all shared them over a cup of tea or a glass of punch. Goodies this year included fabulous chocolate and strawberry layer cake, quiche, assorted sandwiches, spinach and ricotta rolls, chocolate and macadamia brownies, chocolate and coconut slice, caramel slice, lemon muffins, lemon cheesecake, chai cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes.

Miss M had fun at the party too, and she had fun playing with friends as they all ran amuck outside.

You can check out my fundraising page or have a look at the photos from last year.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I was slow to embrace technology. I love books! The weight of a book in your hands, the smell of the paper, the use of random objects as bookmarks... I have come to accept however that books take up space, and asked my family for an eReader for Christmas.

For 12 days I explored my new toy. I read books, and delighted in the ease at which I could get my literary hit. Instant fix! Multiple novels in the one light package. No travel to the bookshop. No wait for a parcel to be delivered. No frantic search for space in my bookshelf, piling up of books and hiding books behind books.

Then carelessness. My eReader dropped from my hands. I tried to carry too many items. Distracted. I was left with an L of unchangeability.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Girl's Night In 2013

The total raised so far is $975.

It is time again for the Girl's Night In, to raise money for the Cancer Council. I have decided that this year will be lower key than previous years, and have invited a few close girlfriends for afternoon tea. Everyone is bringing a plate to share and I am sure that it will be a spread to see!

I chose not to organise a raffle this year, so I decided not to try to beat our total from last year and set the target to $1000. We're pretty close so far, and there are still a few pledged donations to come in, so hopefully we can make it!

Last Sunday saw us celebrate in style. My friends were happy to bring along tasty treats and we all shared them over a cup of tea or a glass of punch. Goodies this year included an awesome cheese platter, chicken sushi, a herb and vegetable tart, quiche lorraine, vegetable quiche, assorted sandwiches, two chocolate cakes (!), chocolate brownies, gingerbread men, chocolate and coconut slice, fruit salad, banana and sultana biscuits and vanilla cupcakes. Yum yum yum!

This year Miss M was able to participate in the party, and she had fun playing with new friends as they all ran amuck outside.

You can check out my fundraising page or have a look at the photos from last year.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sleeping like a baby

After the arrival of Little Miss M, it was interesting to see how our priorities changed.  Sleep became one big concern, and I was determined to do as much as I could to ensure that Little Miss M picked up some good sleep habits from the start.

There are so many different philosophies with regards to babies and sleeping. It can be very confusing for the first time parent, and lots of conflicting views. We opted for the FEED, PLAY, SLEEP routine as recommended by the government and other resources. It has worked reasonably well for us.  Our day is somewhat unpredictable as Miss M's naps are of variable length, however at six months old she is napping three times a day and sleeping reasonably well at night.

Luckily for us, Little Miss M has seemed to know her night from day, and from the start she slept longer during the night, settling back to sleep straight after a feed when she woke up. I read that some babies may wake up wanting to play during the night, and it can be tricky to get them back to sleep.  Thankfully we have not had to deal with that just yet!

Bed time routine
We established a bed time routine as soon as we got home from the hospital.  Miss M's first bath was in a tub on the kitchen bench!  This position was not particularly comfortable for either C or myself so baths were moved to the more conveniently sized and height laundry sink.
We would bath Miss M, dress her for bed, I would feed her and then (attempt to!) put her to sleep in her bassinet next to our bed.  During the early days I got into the habit of going to bed when Miss M went to sleep.  I was so exhausted that it helped me to get the extra sleep that I needed to recover.

Sleep cues
At the hospital, the midwives swaddled the babies.  Miss M seemed to be happy with this so we tried to do the same.  We swaddled Miss M for about three months, and then we worked on transitioning her to a sleeping bag. Swaddling was great for us.  We would swaddle her and then cuddle her to sleep, and at some point she learnt how to self settle. I have no idea how, but I was thankful that it wasn't harder than that. I had visions of cuddling a toddler to sleep every time and it didn't really excite me.
Our first night home our technique was terrible, and we really didn't know how many clothes to dress a baby in or for that matter how to put a nappy onto a baby!  After we changed her nappy, bedclothes, outfit, swaddle for the second time we gave up and brought her into bed with ourselves and spent a restless night, paranoid that we would roll onto her and suffocate.  At least she was warm and slept well!  The following day one of the midwives came to our house for our follow up visit and showed us (again!) how to swaddle Miss M.  We never quite perfected the art but it was good enough to keep her warm and snug and get her to sleep in her own bed.

I was lucky to be lent a few books on sleep and settling. The best one by far was a booklet from the South Australian Government, called Settling Your Baby.
Some useful sites include:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Times they are a-changing

It has been a while since I felt inclined to blog about the happenings in my life.  So many things have changed!  It really coincided with my change of workplace.  I changed from my CBD office job - with great public transport options - to a site office, that I had to drive to.  I really didn't enjoy the drive.  It was a 45 minute trip as a minimum, each way, dependent on traffic.  Roadworks were a constant fixture of the journey.  I was fairly tired by the time that I got home, and work was also pretty full on (I replaced two men, both more senior than myself, go figure!) and so documenting my thoughts in a blog seemed unimportant.

So, since I last wrote there has been quite a lot happening.  In short, we have built a house, moved into it and sold our previous residence. Many, many pots of tea and pieces of cake have been consumed. 

Most importantly, we have welcomed a baby girl into the world and she currently is the centre of my world!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Girls Night In 2012

The total raised (so far) is $2086!!!

It is time again for the Girls' Night In for the Cancer Council. Money raised goes towards raising awareness and funds for prevention programs, support services and world-class research into women’s cancers

This year (again) we had a sumptuous afternoon tea.  I set the challenge to improve on our fundraising tally from last year, of $1094, and my friends and family have not let me down. Our total currently stands at $2104.

I was tardy taking the photos, and so you will have to imagine that the plates are full, and especially the one in the front that contained profiteroles. Yum!
Tasty treats included sandwiches, spinach & ricotta rolls (MotherC), sausage rolls and party pies (KL), carrot cake (MotherH), a gorgeous strawberry layer cake, profiteroles (BakingN), a selection of tasty slices (AC), mocha brownies, chocolate chip cookies (E), and twisties (PH) alongside my vanilla cupcakes and chai cupcakes. E also concocted a fabulous punch and there were pots of tea to go around.

I was a little less adventurous in my baking efforts this year, but thanks to my fabulous family and friends there was more than enough to go around.

We ran a raffle again this year, and it was even bigger and better, with four prizes. Thank you so much for the generous donations!

You can check out my fundraising page or have a look at the photos from last year.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Girls Night In 2011

The total raised is $1094!!!

Yesterday saw my annual Girls Night In afternoon tea. The Girls Night In is a fundraiser for the Cancer Council. The funds raised go towards Cancer Council's ground breaking research, prevention and support strategies for ALL women's cancers. It is also about raising awareness for gynaecological cancers that sometimes get overlooked.

I have been holding an afternoon tea for the last few years (maybe five!) and I enjoy putting the afternoon together. This year promised a bumper turnout and I was hoping to beat our $600 donation total from the previous two years.

Our total so far, from online donations and raffles, is $803, with a few more pledged donations!

I had originally planned to hold it outside, but the numbers and threatened thunderstorm (I am still waiting) meant that I elected to hold everything indoors.

Mum and my sister E kindly leant me all the bits and bobs that I needed to cater for the numbers, including chairs and drink dispenser from E, and cake forks and teacups from MotherC.

A HUGE thank you to all who came and ate and also to those who were not able to make it and still donated.

This year C's cousin JR kindly donated a pamper pack of Sebastian hair products and we ran a raffle on the day. She put together a basket of some fabulous styling products and I am sure that the winner KL will be looking super extra gorgeous in future.

The menu this year was varied. Kind thanks to all who helped with the catering.
We had pink macarons and white macarons (BakingN), coconut macaroons (BakingN), carrot cake (MotherH), chocolate cake (MrsP), a selection of sandwiches (MotherC), fruit tarts (BakingN again!), fairy pikelets (KL) alongside my vanilla cupcakes, gingerbread, chai cupcakes, chocolate cake and apple and cheese tart. BakingN did a lovely job of making the beautiful pink flowers adorning my chocolate cake, as well as the pink lilies and assorted flowers on the buffet.

I also forgot to serve Mum's spinach and ricotta rolls... although maybe I forgot on purpose so that I could keep them for myself!

My sister E did a fabulous job of styling the tables and ensuring that the teapots were primed and ready to go.

Thank you to EB for being a superstar collector of donations and writer of receipts.

The Girls Night In would not be the fabulous day that it is without the support of so many wonderful friends and family. Thank you!

You can check out my fundraising page or have a look at the photos from last year.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

BUILD: The skeleton of a kitchen

It feels that the end is in sight for the completion of our house build! This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago and shows our new kitchen - sans appliances and overhead cupboards. The benchtops were also missing in this photo, with templates in their place.

The benchtops were installed last week... well, at least they managed to get the tops in for the bench under the windows - it was in two parts. The island bench is, apparently, 500kg and the installer could not get it into the house! They're going to come back again once the steps are built at the front of the house and hopefully they will be able to get it in place.

I am very excited about our new kitchen - and of course the whole house! There will be room for all of our kitchen items and shelves above the fridge for my cook books. I cannot wait.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Boldly going...

...where no legoman has gone before.

I thought this was so cute! The billion dollar spacecraft that has just been launched to probe Jupiter is not completely unmanned - it has a crew of lego men!!!

The probe is named Juno, after the Roman wife of Jupiter, and the lego figurines are Jupiter, Juno, and Galileo Galilei.

Read here for some more information.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Searching for the Sun

On a raining Friday lunchtime last May, C and Slice picked me up from the office and we headed north on our adventure. The goal was Exmouth, although starting at 1245 on a Friday meant that we would stop overnight for a sleep and continue in the morning.

As we headed out of Perth we left the rain behind. We travelled up the Indian Ocean Drive, so new that our GPS thought that we were travelling off road and kept trying to direct us in different directions! It was a fairly quiet track, and it was nice to catch the occasional glimpse of the ocean.

Travelling on the open road

Our bed for the night was at Nanna's house, 110km north of Geraldton and part of the Riverside Sanctuary. It was an old farmhouse, with enough rooms and beds for the seven of us and a piano as well for us to practice our hidden musical talents. The setting seemed very peaceful however since we arrived and left in darkness it was a bit hard to fully appreciate.

Saturday saw us complete the journey and head through Carnarvon to Exmouth. I had forgotten how peaceful the outback can be. There are miles and miles between stops and not too many people on the road. I was struck at how people could fall in love with it very easily and I would feel this way several times during our trip.
Carnarvon = bananas

Our final destination in Exmouth was the Osprey Holiday Village, where we separated into two self contained villas. The villas had two bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs, with kitchen and open plan living, plus a loft bedroom upstairs accessed by a squeaky spiral staircase. There was a second shower and toilet outside, and in our villa that was quickly nominated as the room for number twos!

The boys spent most of the days fishing, and I did a little bit of exploring. C and I headed to the Cape Range National Park for a day trip and snorkeled on the Ningaloo Reef. Mudcrabs were also involved along the way, as was eating fresh tuna sashimi and lots of fish!

Coral Bay


View from the Lighthouse

Bundegi beach

The view at Oyster Stacks

Yardie Creek Gorge

Shothole Canyon

Devouring mudcrabs!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Arial Bauhaus Courier

I finished my second teacup today. Cross stitch teacup that is.

The teacups have now been put to one side and I am embarking on a lovely alphabet sampler. I purchased a pattern from Fox & Feathers for a sampler with each letter in a different font! E helped me to pick out some lovely threads and I am looking forward to it taking shape, one letter at a time.

For some inspiration and advice on cross stitch I referred to this tutorial. I shall take heed of the notes and start as close to the middle as I can manage.

Now I just have to figure out how to keep my spare threads from getting tangled...


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Princess Bride

In order to combat the lousy day time offerings I have dug into my DVD collection. To be honest I do not have overly many DVDs, and what I do have is mostly Doctor Who box sets! Hee hee.

One awesome movie that I do own is The Princess Bride. I remember first watching it when I was in primary school and being surprised and pleased by the story. It has become a favourite and it never fails to bring a smile to my face when I watch it.

It is so witty! Funny! Clever! Such a simple story that has been well crafted and brought together for a great romp.

My favourite line is that of Mandy Patinkin's character. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Yup, simple and straight to the point.

Do you have a favourite line? What might that be?


Friday, July 15, 2011

An Inuk Snood

E and I headed to Made on the Left last Sunday. I nearly didn't make it - my cold was making me extra grumpy - but I really wanted to go and check out the new venue at one40 william. It was a pretty cool space - all exposed ducting and walls and concrete. There were a fair few people there and I think that the market was larger than normal.

E and I were a bit shopped out after our efforts at the Upmarket and we contented ourselves with a single purchase each. E bought a baby rattle from Anna Hadwin and I bought myself a sage green SNOOD from Inuk Designs. It is made of organic cotton and is very soft and comfortable. I even wore it to work on Monday ... the one day that I made it into the office this week.

When you have a cold it is very important to keep your neck warm.


Honey and lemon

I have had a cold since last week and am feeling sorry for myself! I have spent the last four days at home watching bad day time television. Sixteen channels of nothing! Even ABC News24 repeats itself after a while. Thank goodness for Poirot and Midsomer Murders. Woo.

Today I forced myself to leave the house in search of honey, as I had managed to drink all that we had. There is no shortage of lemons here thank goodness as there are still several hanging off the tree outside. I was disappointed to find that our regular store had sold out of honey, and the closest supermarket only had the supermarket brand and some other dodgy honey. Luckily the IGA that I drove to had a large selection and I also picked up some cappucino ice cream while I was there.

I love my lemon and honey drink when I have a cold. It is so simple - fresh lemon juice, honey and boiling water. C was nice enough to juice several lemons for me this time around, so that I had a jug of juice ready to go.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Trialling cupcakes

Today I made the cupcake recipe that BakingN and I received from the cupcake class last Wednesday. I restricted myself to making two flavours, vanilla and chai.

I am looking forward to tasting one tomorrow. Hopefully I have been able to do the recipe justic!

Instead of piping a soft serve icecream style of icing as we were shown on Wednesday, I attempted to replicate the rose as seen in this educational video. I am definitely in need of more practice.