Monthly Archives: February 2012

When you realise cheese is evil.

I actually feel sorry for cheese. On one hand it’s so delicious, no one can resist it. On the other hand, it tries to kill you. I’m sure it feels torn between delighting you and murdering you.

I’m a self-confessed lover of cheese….love it. However I’ve been told dairy does NOT agree with my blood type. (Huh?) I’m sure when I look at a piece of cheese it’s not saying…

“Hey fellas, look! That chick has A positive blood. Wait until she takes a bite, then we’ll exact our revenge. Mwahhahahaaa!” 

Last night I was making dinner. (Monday night’s dinner is hardly exciting.) And as I was rushing around, I dumped a huge lot of grated cheese into my dish. “So?” I hear you saying. Well it happens my usual happy, let me delight you cheese had turned on me. It was peppered with tiny spores of destruction.

Don’t get me wrong, during my very poor London living days, I was known for scraping off tiny spots of mould on my bread to have some toast. And it didn’t kill me. But I figured I couldn’t really justify mixing it into my dish when I had a perfectly good fresh bag of cheese in the fridge. So I managed to remove said murderous plot from our dinner.

Despite its continual attempts at making me sick, grossing me out and letting me down, I still love you cheese. You will never turn my love for you.


Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure, Fire Up the Rayburn


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Moo Cow Flash Mob!

Just recently I held my first ever summer sunset photography sessions. Since we’ve had the wettest summer in nearly 30 years, I think I was being overly optimistic to expect good weather and a perfect sunset for the day I had chosen. We did get a huge storm just before it was scheduled to begin but I was lucky enough to get pockets of sunshine and a pretty interesting sky.

Me and my little pal, Felix. (Photo courtesy of Jason Shadie Photography)

Thinking it would make a great prop (we were at a farm) I brought along a hay bale. Well…cows don’t see something like that and say “Oooh, what a totally appropriate photography prop. Well done Jen” and go on with their day. They see it and say “Shazam! Hay for me to eat! Get outta my way camera lady!”. Nothing puts you off like 20 cows staring at you with hungry eyes.


Here are some more of my favourites from the day. Thanks to all for making it a huge success…including Dee & Jamie for the beautiful location and Jason…an awesome wingman. I’m looking forward to the next one!

Felix Loves Lemonade


Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Its Blackberry Hunting Season.

Today is Sunday.

When I woke up this morning, I opened the door and the air smelled impossibly sweet. Its times like that which make me wonder if I’ve ever really smelt the air before. And if I did, I’m sure it never smelt that good. It made me believe I could achieve anything.

Fast forward 5 hours and husband and I are lying on the couch in a boredom coma. So much for impossibly sweet-smelling high-achieving air! So we headed out to a friend’s place to pick blackberries for my jam. Now…here’s the lowdown on blackberry picking. Do not attempt if you are afraid of the following:-

  • Getting cut, scratched or embedded with prickles;
  • Spiders;
  • Long grass;
  • Long grass with the possibility of running into a snake;
  • Flying blackberries (Dan); and
  • Stained fingers.

If not, then you’re good to go.

Now everyone has their own jam recipe. This is my fourth attempt at jam making and each time my recipe has been different. It also depends on the fruit your using. And as some of my friends and I will be entering our jams in an upcoming show, I can’t give too many secrets away. But, I try to stick to natural ingredients (no sugar setting or artificial pectin), I use lemon pips in muslin, skim the scum as it rises during the cooking process and use the best quality fruit you can find (or buy).

If you really would like a recipe, email me and I’ll send you one.

In the end, it took us about an hour to pick 2.5kg of fruit. And then maybe a lazy hour of making the jam. I find skimming the scum very therapeutic.

My favourite part…putting little material hats on the jars at the end. They look too cute. Oh, and the eating the jam bit. Once you’ve made your own, the store-bought stuff just doesn’t cut it. If you’ve ever wanted to try making your own, give it a go. Its heaps easier than you think and your tummy will thank you for it!


Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Fire Up the Rayburn


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I want to praise you, fellow bloggers – Mk II

Firstly, let me just say I’ve just gone over 1000 views on my blog. And while that is probably considered small fry, I only started it less than 2 weeks ago so I’m going crazy about it right now. Thanks to all of you who have liked my posts, commented on those posts and even signed up to follow me. I tip my hat to you.

Secondly, the Blogger Praise this week goes to two people.

  1. Lauren from Viciously Sweet. Yes yes, I’ve mentioned her before but she was the first person I didn’t know who signed up to follow me. That gave me heaps of shiny confidence to keep going. So thank you.
  2. Jen from Sips of Jen and Tonic. You were the second person to sign up to follow me that I didn’t know. Plus you have an awesome name. And you also inspired me to this week create my own cards and send them to my dearest at random. See Jen’s New Years Resolutions. It’s a perfectly lovely idea. So thank you.


Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure, Holly Hobby


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Who do the voodoo like Cyndi do?

Two things have become very clear to me since I started my blog.

  1. I’m quite obviously obsessed with the 1980’s (I honestly did not realise this); and
  2. Cyndi Lauper is everywhere.

In my post about the Goonies, Cyndi was in my head singing “its good enough, its good enough for me oh why eye eye eye eeeeyyyeeee.” When I wrote about Girls Just Wanna… again, there was Cyndi. And then this morning I woke up with an intense need to watch another 1980’s piece of cinema – Vibes, starring the one and only, Cyndi.

Seriously only watch this film if you're a huge Cyndi fan

Oh Cyndi darling, is this some crazy voodoo spell you’ve put on me? Were you some sleeper cell, giving me subliminal messages via 80’s pop music over 20 years ago? So that one day I’d wake up, watch all of your films and even quite possibly purchase your greatest hits on iTunes? (I did just do this BTW).

I honestly think she is pretty awesome. She was bucking the trends way back then. I couldn’t be bothered likening her to some of today’s artists because well, I don’t feel the need to prove anything.

I love the funny little squinty thing she does with her eyes. So there you go, Cyndi, it seems your plan has worked and worked well.

PS Your song True Colours still makes me cry. Peace out C-Girl.

I'm not sure if Cyndi needs glasses but I think its endearing.


Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Tune In...


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Cocktail of the week – Between the Sheets

I mean, who names these cocktails? Seriously.

Despite the ambiguous name, this is a really delicious cocktail. Previously the COW’s have been long, thirst quenching drinks. That’s a technical name by the way “long drink”. So this week I decided to give a classic grown-up cocktail a go.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 1 nip white rum*, 1 nip brandy, 1 nip Cointreau, 1 nip lemon or lime juice. Shake! Strain into martini glasses. Garnish with lime. Drink. Be careful not to operate heavy machinery.

*I have to confess that I didn’t have any white rum, so I added coconut rum instead. It gave it a lovely holiday feel. I’m quite positive that using white rum would be just as delicious but not as exotic.


Posted by on February 17, 2012 in In the Liquor Cabinet


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Say my name, Jelly.

Ever had someone call you by the wrong name? Happens all the time to me. Mostly on the phone though when people mistake me for a Jan, not Jen. I solved that problem by always saying…”Its Jennifer speaking…”

Do I look like jelly?

When I was a kid I got Jenny a lot. I hated it. For a while I changed the spelling to “Jenni” because I thought it looked cooler. But it never changed the fact that it reminded me of jelly.

  1. I absolutely can’t stand the look, feel or taste of jelly; and
  2. Who wants to be likened to a big blobby, wobbly dessert? Not me.

So its either Jen or Jennifer. (Jennifer when I’m in trouble and/or on the phone).

In London I used to work with a guy that insisted on calling me Jill. He’d bring work out to me and say “Oh hi Jill, can you just type this up for me? Thanks Jill, that’s great.” Um, its Jen. Its Jen!!! Nup, for some reason I was immortally burnt into his brain as a Jill. Sheesh. In the end I thought two can play this game and started calling him Derk. His name was Derek. The thing was, he didn’t seem to mind. Maybe names aren’t really his thing. Whatever. Just don’t call me Jelly.

Here is an actual extract from my London journal dated 16 August 1999:-

What is more disturbing? That I actually thought this was worth journaling? Or that I knew exactly where to find it in my journal?

This post is dedicated to Christine. Or is that Kristy? Thanks my love. 


Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure


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Girls Just Wanna…

If you were a girl growing up in the 1980’s, you should remember the following to be the gospel truth:

  • Fluro clothes were in;
  • You made up dance routines (in the above clothes) to songs like Funkytown;
  • You crimped your hair and usually wore it in a side ponytail;
  • You had sleepovers at your friend’s house, watched Dirty Dancing (and hit pause when Johnny got out of bed so you could stare at his bum); and…
  • Sarah Jessica Parker had not morphed into Carrie Bradshaw and was not the definitive goddess of fashion.

In fact, SJP was just starting out and starred in one of my favourite terrible 80’s movies….Girls Just Want to Have Fun. If you’re not familiar with it, here is the plot synopsis in 10 words or less.

Awkward new girl is a great dancer and charms hot guy.

Ok, so that’s 11 words but the movie does go for 90 mins. Also gracing the screen is the rebellious Helen Hunt and the annoying Shannon Doherty. It has everything going for it, iconic 80’s fashion, dancing to iconic 80’s music and smooth moves from an iconic 80’s dude.

Despite the fact that SJP is of course, the heroine in this movie, I think I identify more with Helen’s character – Lynne Stone. I mean who doesn’t love a girl in a grasshopper hat??? No one, that’s who.

Um excuse me, have you seen my pet grasshopper?

So yes, I know it’s a daggy movie. But it brings back great memories for me. So either watch it and accept it for what it is or don’t. If you do, I guarantee you’ll be singing Cyndi Lauper for days.

Lynne, where is Hoppy? And why do you insist on wearing animals on your head?


Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Tune In...


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Don’t panic.

Today’s post is inspired by two people.

  1. My friend/co-worker
  2. My newly found international twin – Viciously Sweet. (I know, its a long story. And you’d probably need Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies to explain it anyway).

My friend returned from the corporate kitchen and proclaimed dramatically:-

“Don’t panic…..but I just made a cup of tea and there’s a milk shortage.”

Isn't that milk discrimination?

Ok, so I know it’s not even close to Lauren’s super awesome doodles but it my first attempt. And now I promise to never try doodling again. I swear it on milk shortages.


Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure


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VD – not to be mistaken for an STI

St. Valentines Day. It happens every year. Actually, its been happening every year in some form since 496 AD. But its only been since the 19th century that we’ve come to known it as a day of mass-produced, commercial  consumerism.

When I was 6 years old, our 1st grade class made letter boxes. We painted milk cartons, put our names on them and hung them on the wall. We were then all encouraged to write Valentine’s Day cards to each other. I distinctly remember getting a card from Joshua Hawes, a super cute little boy with sandy coloured hair. It completely made my day. But I also distinctly remember reaching across the table and getting stabbed by a HB pencil. The lead still remains in my hand to this day.

So why is it that we can either be uplifted upon receiving a gift on such a nominated day? Or receive nothing and feel like we were stabbed in the heart by a HB pencil? Beats the heck out of me. My friend posted this on my Facebook wall this morning:

“And what is a modern woman’s take on St Valentines Day? Agree/Disagree with the following statement – Thought Valentines Day was about love and romance? Well you were wrong. Valentine’s Day is a competitive sport and as’s resident dating guru David Wygant helpfully reminds us, it’s all about ‘making your girl look good in front of her co-workers’.”

My response was:

“I happen to agree with Mr Wygant actually. As a modern woman, I can admit that it’s not unusual for women to participate in one-up-ship. Therefore I graciously bow out of Valentines Day. I’ll leave it to 14 year olds with pre-pubescent hormones.”

Fast forward 3 hours and I’m humbly accepting a delivery of white roses. So getting back to the real meaning of Valentines Day, I really appreciate the time and effort my guy has gone to. Even though I expect it will probably never happen again. In the meantime, I’m basking in the glory of how good I look in front of my co-workers because of it.


Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure


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