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.

Bathroom messiness

Our second bathroom is in the process of being renovated. It has been a slow process, but the tiler finally came and started to make it look normal again.

It is a work in progress, and I will post some before and after photos once it has been completed.

Once we are finished we will have replaced everything except the bathtub and the window!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Queen of hearts at Koko Black

After our exhausting shopping efforts at the Upmarket last Sunday, E and I went in search of sustenance! E suggested that we try Koko Black in Claremont**, and I thought that sounded like a splendid idea! Koko Black is recently opened here in Perth, in the brand new Claremont Quarter building.

It was lunchtime and I was a little unsure as to whether we would be able to find anything savoury at a chocolate salon! They luckily had a couple of sandwiches on the menu and we combined those with a Queen of Hearts high tea.

E went for a chocolate chai. It needed to be strained and was so thick that she could not pass it through the strainer! I was concerned about a sugar overload and stayed conservative with a pot of English Breakfast Tea.

Our stack of loveliness included roasted vegetable sandwiches, mini tomato tart and leek tart, and a selection of sweet bites. My favourite was the creme brulee. Nice top that you cracked through to get to the runny vanilla centre. Bliss!

The Queen of Hearts was $37 for two people, including the drinks. We were very impressed with the spread and I thought it was great value for money. We may just have to hang out in Claremont more frequently...

** E and I were debating whether or not Claremont was a "Tourism Precinct". The majority of the shops, including Coles, were closed and so we concluded that it was not. Over here in Perth we have regulated shopping hours, and Coles and Woolies are not allowed to open on Sundays and late nights (except Thursdays). Last year our government introduced "Tourism Precincts" to certain suburbs in an attempt to slowly dissolve those regulations. It has been a slow process.

A cupcake class

On Wednesday night BakingN and I made our way to The Home Provedore in Fremantle to take part in their Cupcake Class! We were not sure what exactly to expect. We have made the odd cupcake or two before but thought that it would be fun to see another perspective.

The class was fairly simple and we watched as chef Brittany talked us through her Vanilla Cupcake recipe. Once the batter was made, she split it into four and showed us how she changed the flavours by adding different ingredients. The flavours were vanilla, coconut & lime, pear & white chocolate and chai. I was impressed by the chai flavoured cupcakes, and next time I go to a supermarket I am going to look for the chai powder. Brittany was happy to answer any and all questions that we asked about cupcakes and baking in general.

Whilst the cupcakes were baking Brittany showed us how to make buttercream icing and demonstrated some basics with the piping bags. It was then our turn to swirl small blobs of icing and try and master the technique.

The cupcakes that we tried were luscious and moist and it was difficult to remember to leave enough for the rest of the class to try. Yum!

For more detail on our evening click here.

The (pleasant) surprise for me was that we all got to take four cupcakes home, one of each flavour. They had been previously baked and hidden from in boxes at the back of the room. Brittany had piped icing on two of them and we got to practice our skills again on our own cakes. No prizes for guessing what two cakes have my piping efforts on the top!