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Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Top 6 ‘Granny Things’ You Should Try Before You Become One

I just alienated half of my readers with this blog title. All you dudes out there are saying ‘yawn, boring’. Sorry guys…I encourage you to try as many granny things as possible too. You never know, you might love it.

My beautiful Snoopy's Nanna

  1. Get up really early on the weekend, make yourself some tea and toast and watch an english murder mystery in your pyjamas.
  2. Sew your own quilt. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But cutting up material into shapes, then sewing those shapes back together to make a different one is VERY satisfying. Addictive even.
  3. Sit out the front of your house/apartment in the afternoon, when the weather starts to turn with a rug (or your homemade quilt) on your knees and watch the world go by.
  4. Make your own jam. (I’ve covered this in Its Blackberry Hunting Season).
  5. Try to crochet something. It’s a lot easier than I was ever led to believe. And if you come across an article saying this – “Be creative, become a hooker! Beginners welcome!”, you start to believe those crazy crocheters have a wicked sense of humour.
  6. Grow something. (I really haven’t mastered this one. I even kill cacti).

If you’re lucky enough to have any of your grandparents still alive, you might want to hang out with them and pick up some other awesome tips. Unfortunately I don’t have that luxury. But I do remember my grandmothers to be hell raising women with many interests and talents. They are an inspiration to me. And I think their legacy lives on through me. This one’s for you nannas! Love love.

The adorable Nikki's Nanna

Note: When my brothers and I were little, we didn’t know how to tell our grandmothers apart. The easiest way we could come up with was to name them after their dogs.  One had a dog called Nikki and the other had a dog called Snoopy. Nikki’s Nanna and Snoopy’s Nanna. I’m sorry nannas….I realise now how silly this must have sounded.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Holly Hobby

 

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Sweet Mother of Vegemite

Three things can be said of my morning breakfast rituals.

  1. I’m mad for toast.
  2. I now eat my toast in front of the computer while I do blog type thingy’s.
  3. Most days my toast is slathered with a thick layer of Vegemite.

I’m not sure how much my international buddies know about Vegemite so here’s the 411 courtesy of Wikipedia.

Vegemite  is a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits, and filling for pastries. It is similar to British, New Zealand and South African Marmite, Australian Promite and Swiss Cenovis.

What Wikipedia doesn’t tell you is that Aussie kids are pretty much fed the stuff from birth. Its put on soft white bread for babies to suck on prior to acquiring fangs. By the time you’re a 32 year old woman, you have developed a serious addiction.

There are two types of Vegemite eaters:-

  1. The slight scrape of just the tiniest amount over your toast.
  2. The heavy slather of rich dark brown salty goodness.

I am the latter. I’m also a salt weirdo. I love salt in all its saltiness. Don’t ask me to make you Vegemite toast if you don’t love it as much as I do.

This morning was very exciting for me as I got to open my 1kg pail of Vegemite. I was so excited thinking about how much I loved it that I grabbed the toaster to move it and put my fingers inside the piping hot bread receptacles. I have tiny little blisters on them now. Oh well.  And so I end my story with a haiku.

Vegemite my love

Vitamin B delicious

Give me that good stuff

I luuuurrrve you.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Liberty Bell, another Liberty Bell…

“One more and I’m a millionaire. Come on, Liberty Bell, please, please, please, please, please, please!”

Oh Homer, I know your pain. My workmates and I have a lottery syndicate going at the moment and every day we say the mantra…. “we neeeeed to win lotto.” In some weird way it provides me comfort knowing that if I keep playing the odds, maybe the odds will reward me for my patience. On the other hand, I am probably just being a world class chump.

I’ve had incredibly detailed, vivid hullucinations of what I’d do with all that money if I did win. Right down to little gift bags I’d give my loved ones as they were secretly whisked to remote locations for a surprise holiday. (Don’t you want to be my friend if I win??)

Once I almost did win. I was working next door to a newsagent and had bought myself one of those overly complicated scratchie tickets. I think it was a monopoly one. So you had to to scratch the dice and then move that many spaces. Over and over I did this until it revealed that I had won….$50,000.

I can tell you that you can pretty much spend $50,000 in roughly 3.6 seconds. Well I did anyway. I was throwing a wild party, paying off my debts and buying a new wardrobe. The newsagent was just about to close so I jumped up, ran over to some co-workers waving the ticket in their faces, breathlessly mumbling about winning $50k. I had wild eyes. Wild, wild eyes.

Bursting through the newsagents doors I exclaimed “I think I’ve just won $50,000 on a scratchie!!”. The owner looked skeptical. He ran the ticket through the little machine and my heart stopped. The machine made that “no, you’re a loser” sound and my dreams were shattered.

The moral of that story is…don’t tell anyone you think you’ve won anything. The entire next day I was approached by co-workers saying “Jen, I heard you won some money yesterday!!”. I had to sheepishly admit to them I’d made a mistake. Albeit a very dramtic one.

I could give up all of my lotto winning dreams. However, my friend once said, if you stop dreaming, you die. I plan on living for a while yet… so come on Liberty Bell!!!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Pump Up the Jam (Drop)

Just a quick one today. I feel a sudden lack of postal inspiration. I’m not sure if my unfocused ramblings are really the way to go. But maybe they are….and here I am, debating it, with myself. Stop talking now Jen.

On Sunday I was scheduled to do my second round of summer photography sessions. But it was raining. I don’t like to curse the rain because Australia suffered a horrendous drought a few years back and we were begging for it. In saying that, we’ve had devastating floods the last year or so too. It seems we can never find a happy balance. Anyway…getting off track much?

The sessions were cancelled which meant a free afternoon for me! Yay! I put a stew on to cook which would bubble away for the next several hours. I made a whole bunch of cards to send to people (just because) and I decided to make jam drops using my homemade jam.

So here is the recipe which is super easy and the result is somewhere between a melting moment biscuit and a jam donut. I had to beat my husband away with a stick to save them from being eaten in one go so I guess they were ok.

JAM DROPS

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • Small amount of any firm set jam (if you use a runny jam it will bleed all over your biscuit. Ewww)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (170°C fan). Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Use an electric beater to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Sift flour over the butter mixture and stir until combined.
  2. Use lightly floured hands to roll teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place on the prepared trays, about 5cm apart. Use a lightly floured finger to make an indentation in the centre of each ball. Spoon 1/2 tsp of jam into the centre of each biscuit.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until the biscuits are cooked through and light golden. Remove biscuits from the oven. Set aside on trays for 30 minutes to cool completely.

Excuse the grainy picture but like I said, I used one hand to beat back the hoards and the other to take a quick snap with my iPhone. Life in a bakers kitchen can be brutal friends.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Fire Up the Rayburn

 

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More Lovin’ – 7×7 Link Award

Last week was a huge week for me. Out of the blue I received two blog awards from ladies that rock the blogosphere. Getting this award from Jen was like a big virtual fist bump.

7×7 Link Award

THE RULES:

  1. Thank the person who gave it to you.
  2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  3. Share 7 of your worthy posts under the following headers: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful, Most Popular, Most Controversial, Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated, and Most Pride Worthy.
  4. Nominate seven other bloggers and notify them.

THE THANKING AND THE PRAISE:

I accept this super great award from Jen who is the creator of Sips of Jen and Tonic. I feel like if we met in the real world, we’d be instant friends. She’s tres awesome and has been a huge supporter of my blog. She’s also deathly afraid of breaded meats. Why don’t you check out her shiz….you’ll love what you read.

RANDOM FACTS

  1. I absolutely will not accept sultanas in any meal other than breakfast cereal. I have been known to pass up perfectly delicious things because they contain sultanas. And no, I will not just pick them out. They leave a sultana residue that cannot be avoided.
  2. After a crazy night of mayhem prior to Christmas 2011, I can no longer look at or smell jagermeister and red bull. Gag.
  3. I can recite the phonetic alphabet on request. Oscar Hotel, Yankee Echo Alpha Hotel!
  4. I once high-fived Marcia Hines at a concert. (If you don’t know who Marcia is, here is some info). I’m pathetic around any type of celebrity.
  5. Once I managed to do a burn-out in an old Ford Transit ex-postie van. If anyone has tried to do a burn-out in an automatic car, they’ll know what a skill this is.
  6. I own a ukulele that I’ve never learnt to play. I plan on remedying this immediately.
  7. I am 32 years old, been told I look 25 years old and sometimes act like a 10 year old.

7 WORTHY POSTS

Hmmm, please bear in mind I haven’t been doing this very long and may not have enough posts to cover this part…but I’ll give it a red-hot go.

Most BeautifulI Say Darling, Remember When? (It brought tears to my eyes and Ambers…so yeah)

Most Helpful – Cocktail of the Week – Salty Dog! (Helping people all around the world getting their buzz on).

Most PopularCare Bear v She-Ra! (Everyone loves a female super hero!)

Most Controversial – Apparently I haven’t reached any level of controversay…but I’m working on it.

Most Surprisingly SuccessfulJust Because… (A 5 min post about two of my fav things and my stats went nuts. Oooh, I was surprised.)

Most UnderratedDon’t panic. (And I know why…poor illustrations, lame jokes.)

Most Pride WorthySay What? Did I just have a weekend? (I’m impressed that I did all those things and still had time to blog about it.)

NOMINATIONS

I’ve just started this whole gig so I’m not sure I’ll have seven. Plus, I just nominated 5 for another award. So to save adding everyone I just nominated again, here are just a couple of others. (I hope I don’t get black listed for breaking the rules).

Baker Bettie – because I love food and photography and she is hella good at both

Eat, Sleep, Television – because I wish I had the commitment to actually watch and write about this much tv

Thanks again Jen….(fist bump)!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Cocktail of the Week – Mojito

Ok kids…its Friday.

The sun kissed our cheeks for the first time in weeks...

And what do we do on Fridays? Well I’ve been giving you cocktail recipes to try over the weekend. However this week has been mega busy and I simply haven’t had time to try any new ones out.

This afternoon the sun was shining its glorious magic. So my girls and I decided to have cocktails on the front lawn of the very grand old Carrington Hotel. Perfect mountain afternoons are hard to come by so I couldn’t think of any other way to spend it.

So, here is a picture of me, enjoying the sunshine and my mojito.

There are a thousand recipes out there for mojitos…but basically its lime, vodka, mint and soda water. And some sugar syrup. It helps if the barman is impossibly cute and loves to ham it up while shaking your mojito furiously.

Enjoy!

Mmmm mmmm, mojito madness.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in In the Liquor Cabinet

 

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Blog Luuuurve! TMI Blog Award

I had a little brain meltdown yesterday. I was nominated for my first ever blogging award. I had to sit quietly for several moments taking it all in, wondering if this was some crazy blog prank. But here’s the thing, it wasn’t. It is all perfectly real.

THE TMI BLOG AWARD

The TMI Blog Award honors those blogs that discuss everything in detail and do it well. These bloggers aren’t afraid to discuss their most awkward, embarrassing and intimate experiences with honesty, humor and little to no filter. 

THE RULES

  • Thank the person who presented you with award.
  • Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  • Share an awkward, embarrassing and intimate in 100 words or less.
  • Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  • Present the TMI Blog Award to 5 – 10 deserving blogs.
  • Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

THANKS A BUNCH!

So, I am humbly and graciously accepting the TMI Award from the gorgeous Lauren from Viciously Sweet. Not only was she the co-creator of the award, she made the hot award badge (I’m assuming the girl in the shower is based on her??). Thank you Lauren!

THE PATH TO AWKWARDNESS

Um…this took me ages. Deciding on which awkward story to share was hard as there are so many. And how awkward do I go? I decided on a little story that may help to paint a much larger picture. This is typical me.

Several years ago I worked in a big, fancy hotel. I was the Business Centre Secretary. I sat at a little desk and customers of the hotel would come to me for their business needs. Typing, photocopying and general secretarial type activities. One day a VIP came to me for such aid. She sat in the comfy chairs in front of my desk whilst I typed her blah blah blah up. She kept a keen eye on me.

Typing is thirsty work, any typist will tell you. So mid sentence, I took a very large sip of hot tea. Have you ever taken a large sip of any drink, only to get a little bit of it go down your windpipe? Uh huh. So I couldn’t swallow it because I was choking. And I couldn’t spit it out because, well, we live in a civilised society where people just don’t go around spitting hot tea over everything. I sat there for a few seconds deciding what to do. My cheeks swollen with tea and my temperature rising. Well sorry civilisation…it was spit out my hot tea…OR die. I spat it out all over my computer monitor, in front of the VIP, with dramatic flair. I made a very dramatic noise too. That ppppffffffffftttttt noise.

How do you recover from that? It’s easy, you don’t. You just wipe everything down and keep going.

SPREADING THE LOVE

Here are my nominations. I hope it turns your day into a kick ass one like it did for me.

barelypoppins

@Grumpy Comments

findingravity

Just Rambling…

Ramblings and Rumblings

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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And…what about me Rachel?

I generally had a pretty good time at high school.

Of course there are always always the embarrassing stories, this IS me we’re talking about. Like the time it was raining and I ran out of class to save a seat for all my peeps under the awning. And as I came around the corner I tripped on some plastic webbing, did a huge army roll (I wish it was that coordinated) and came crashing down in a crumpled heap. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was all played out in front of the ‘cool’ guys. Die. Amidst the laughing, I picked myself up, dusted the gravel from my knees (yes my pants had torn) and lamely limped over to claim my seat. Meh? It was all forgotten the next day.

So besides having the occasional disagreement with my feet (they always went in a different direction to what my brain was telling them), and saying mildly inappropriate things in public forums, I managed to be friends with pretty much everyone.

But its funny how we see ourselves back then to how others may have seen us. Take this for example. Its 8th Grade…English. Back in those days we sat at desks joined together to make a big U shape. I was at the end of a long table of girls. One of the more popular girls, Rachel (yes I remember you Rachel), sat staring at us with a bemused look on her face. Oh this was going to be good.

Rachel: “It’s funny isn’t it?” She announced loudly.

Me: “What is Rachel?”

Rachel: “Well, I’m just looking at all of you and everyone is like, beautiful in their own way aren’t they?”

What? Could this be a public compliment from Miss Rachel?

Me: “What do you mean?”

Rachel: “Well, Megan has a beautiful smile. Natalie has beautiful eyes. Kristy has beautiful hair….” she sounded off down the line for each of the girls.

She stopped when she reached me.

Me: “And….what about me Rachel?”

Silence. Paused for thought.

Rachel: “Well….you’re really funny Jen.”

Back then I felt wounded and embarrassed that I was the only one who wasn’t recognised for having beautiful physical feature. I was just considered funny. But now I’m actually grateful to Rachel. Besides her recognising a trait in me I adore in other people, she gave me excellent material for this post.

So thanks Rach…you have a beautiful way of giving backhanded compliments.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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It’s alive! Weird Science that is.

Continuing on with my nostalgic trip down 80’s pop culture lane, this week I bring you – Weird Science (1985).

If you can get past the fact that two adolescent boys actually create a ‘perfect’ woman from a Barbie doll and magazine pictures fed into a computer (how do you even feed a computer?) then you’ll be fine. If you can’t, then don’t bother watching this film.

This was the time when seemingly implausible plots were the norm. And they didn’t feel the need to provide an explaination in any way. Something which I quite like. Of course its perfectly normal that two geeks create a woman with super human powers and a rockin’ body from nothing but a bit of plastic and a seriously underwhelming computer (I guess they did hack into a government mainframe for extra power).

Its stars Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace. Michael Hall also starred in Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club (Breakfast Club yes please, Sixteen Candles not so much).

The perfect woman they create is played by Kelly LeBrock (model/actress). I guess she certainly looks the part. I mean, get a load of those lips people….and this was before Botox.

So why do I like this movie? If you’re waiting for an amazing insight….you’re probably reading the wrong blog. I’ll only ever disappoint you. I like this movie because I watched it at a time in my life which was all about fun. And this movie is fun. I’m pretty sure I also had a crush on Michael Hall, probably cause he was the weird one. I did watch him several years ago in The Dead Zone as a real life grown up man, and yes, this time the crush was real.

If you’re looking for a bit of escapism and fun, why not give this movie a go? What have you got to lose besides 94 minutes of your life?

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Tune In...

 

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Just because…

…I love both of the things in this picture.

  1. My first edition of Gone With the Wind; and
  2. My glasses.

That is all. (Oh and did I mention it won first place in a recent show? Oh I did? I’m so forgetful sometimes.)

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Holly Hobby

 

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