Miscellaneous

Mother’s Day: Presence not Presents

mother's day presence not presentsI was at the hairdressers this week for a Big Sort Out and, as usual, turned to Facebook to kill some time (my No1 guilty pleasure). Quickly though, my attention waned and I felt myself getting annoyed at all the adverts for Mother’s Day gift ideas. Buy… Buy and MORE buy!   So, in need of distraction, I ditched Facecrack and turned to the pile of magazines that had been left for my browsing pleasure.  Dumb idea: Enter pages and pages of Mother’s Day marketing – in every magazine.  WTF?  Has the build up to Mother’s Day always from the marketers always been like this? Or am I more sensitised to the day honouring a parent, given I lost my Dad last week…? (I sense the answer to the latter is affirmative!).

The thing is, when I think about Mother’s Day, I don’t think about what I want, I think about how I want to feel on the day. Thinking this got me curious: Is it just me?  Or are, in fact, Mums out there hankering after a Kitchen Aid/headphones/eyeshadow palette/car and I’m a bit, well, spesh?

This reflection lead me to do some crude research. I messaged fifteen friends and asked them “What would you like your Mother’s Day to be like?”.   I didn’t ask them what they wanted. I asked a much broader open question.

Their responses? Overwhelming they told me they wanted:

A sleep in. Breakfast in bed. Cuddles from the kids. A day of kids not arguing. A handmade card. To come out of my room and find the house has been cleaned by the fairies. (more…)

Flowers, Funerals and Curry

To say I’ve been overwhelmed by the messages received in the last day or two, would be the understatement of the year. Thanks so much to everyone who has reached out. We feel surrounded by love!

I can’t stop writing. I have this itch to write, write, write. I have no appetite to write about fluffy superficial matters. The same happened when my friend Kelly died last year.  It seemed utterly wrong to blog about lipsticks and recipes when the world felt like it had ground to a halt.  I will give in to the urge to write – I have no idea where it comes from, but you have to go with these things! The same urge was, after all, what lead me to start a blog! My blog is doing alright.

Yesterday, spent with Dad’s gorgeous partner Lenaire, along with The Boy, was frankly, one of the ‘strangest’ days of my life. On ANZAC Day we spent 11 hours at the hospital. Yesterday after Dad had passed we had nowhere to be and nothing really that we had to do. We organised Dad’s final outfit for his cremation. We slipped a comb and a toothpick into his pocket and we added personal notes too.  Then it was off to organise his ‘no bloody frills’ cremation (his orders). Ever the girl who wanted to make Dad happy, I rung around to get a good deal (!) and find the place that passed the ‘feels right’ test. Now, it’s all organised:  He’s getting cremated as I write this blog post.  We pick Dad up on Friday: He comes out in two urns, one for Lenaire, one for my brother and I.   My brother and I will go to Singapore, Dad’s favourite place. We’ll eat Dad’s No1 favourite dish, chilli crab, wash it down with Tiger beer and send our grumpy old Dad on his final way.  The other half of him will, I hope, go to Hobsonville Air Force base, another favourite place of Dad’s and where I spent the first few years of my life. Incidentally, does anyone know how we go about getting ashes scattered on the air field?!   Lenaire doesn’t fancy braving the barbed wire fence. (more…)

Jeanswest Curve Embracer Jeans

jeans west curve embracer

I did a shout out on my Facebook page on Wednesday saying I needed new jeans and asked:

“Where does a curvy midget go for jeans that a)  Won’t require taking up and b) Won’t require online shopping (poor track record)?”

I also relayed in the post that “I might end up at Jeanswest, again”, and that “I might get curve embracer jeans, again”. However, I also said I was open to new ideas. I was bombarded with brilliant suggestions! Thank you! Overwhelmingly though, I got told “go back to Jeanswest and get curve embracer jeans!”

I listened. I went yesterday. (more…)

Scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint

scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint I’ve been whipping up this dish, scrambled eggs with cumin feta and mint,  on the weekends for breakfast, or brunch, or lunch, for donkey’s years.  It’s quick, simple and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. It’s got enough wow factor to serve up to guests. That’s my kind of kai: Low key, tasty and impressive! (more…)

The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone – Book Review

The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone book reviewThe Secret Life of Luke Livingstone is a book that’s lead to two firsts for me….

First up, I was compelled me to dedicate an entire blog post to a book review (I’ve never done that, I usually lump these in with my monthly faves blog post).

Secondly, I messaged the author, Charity Norman, through Facebook, to let her know that it was her fault that Tuesday morning’s makeup prep involved Clear Eyes and a bold lip to distract from my tired eyes. Why? I was up until stupid o’clock reading as this book. It was good there could have been a 5.5 shake and I’d have not noticed. I didn’t even care that my husband was snoring,  despite his man cold finishing last month (FFS). I’ve never emailed an author before with positive feedback.  Guess what? She replied. I did a little fan girl dance!  Turns out she loves cats too. Cool.

Here’s my The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone book review which is, no contest, the best book I’ve read this year.  I loaned it to my colleague Amanda, a fellow bookworm. She devoured it over one afternoon/early evening and concurred that it was “super”. I wonder what her kids had for dinner that night. 

(more…)

New World Little Garden Collectables

little garden new worldThe lovely peeps at New World sent me a five of their newest collectables, New World Little Garden, to celebrate the start of spring.   I was pumped.

Aw, this is just too cool and that’s super high praise from me, as gardening is up there with decorating cakes. The boy and I were utterly enchanted with this promo, even before we’d even planted these seeds.  As a Mum, I was especially delighted. Why? A supermarket collectible that: Is sustainable, educational, edible, non-plastic – and, best of all for this Mumma: There’s nothing in sight that can get sucked up the vacuum cleaner, put through the wash, get lost in a school bag. Bonus points too for not needing to traipse along to the supermarket for ‘Swap Days’ and get lost in the supermarket vortex. Spending time on Facebook to see who has number 69 is also not required. Happy days!  (more…)

Mulled Wine Recipe

mulled wine recipe
Check out that retro heater and those retro glasses.

This winter will go down as the winter of mulled wine for us. I’ve been obsessed – both with the taste and the cooking smell that fills the kitchen. If we get invited over to a mate’s for dinner, I rock up with some.  Nowhere to go? No worries, hubby and I will share a batch. Oh yes, I have all the hallmarks of a good pisshead.  I’ve tried to give up alcohol but I’ve decided life is just too short and, frankly, I won’t bother again. I’ll try my best with moderation.

The thing with mulled wine is that you don’t really need to follow a recipe. I mix it up every time using whatever cheap (but grunty) red plonk I’ve found on sale.  I’ve added bay leaves, cardamon powder, substituted mandarins for oranges, used lime instead of lemon. See? You can absolutely play around.  On the note of cheap plonk, don’t dip into your bank account for a top shelf red – think cheap.  I’ve also been playing around with the abundance of spices I have in my pantry.  I’ve even added port (boom – it’s good) and on a different day, cider: I reckon you’d have to try pretty hard to go wrong (for Pete’s sake, touch some wood if you are a kitchen disaster).

The first time I had mulled wine was when I was 19 years old, living in the UK. I spent my first Christmas in London with four Aussie mates who were house-sitting. We were left in charge of a gorgeous home on the strict understanding that we were “not to break anything”. My mate Kate whipped up a batch of mulled wine and poured the boiling hot delicious concoction into beautiful crystal wine glasses… Which instantly shattered. She did this not once, but twice: Some would say she’s not a fast learner.

What happened? We spent Boxing Day trawling High Street Kensington searching for replacement crystal wine glasses (which turned out to be a wedding present…). As good bitches, we agreed to split the cost of the replacements between us and, of course, Sod’s bloody law, we couldn’t find exact matches, so we had to buy 12 new ones to replace the whole set. I can’t remember how much we spent, but, on account of earning £4.50 per hour in retail at the time, I ate two minute noodles for about a month afterwards coz I was so skint!  Luckily I went on to live in Germany not long after: My sole experience with mulled wine was improved drastically and happier memories were lodged! (more…)

Weight Watchers – Reclaiming my shrinking jeans

3 monthsfrom now (1)_editedI outed myself on Facebook as having joining Weight Watchers a  month ago on account of being a tad too curvy-licious to fit into a lot of clothes in my wardrobe and feeling, frankly, bloody miserable about my expanding waistline.  Since then I’ve had a few people message me to see how I’m getting on and to ask: Would I recommend Weight Watchers?  This is a blog post answering those questions – and more.  

Firstly,  I want you to know that I’m paying my own hard-earned cash for Weight Watchers. Therefore this is a (non-sponsored) blog post with my own opinion. Usual story: Some will disagree with me, some will think Weight Watchers is a bunch of nonsense, equally Weight Watchers evangelists may get a bit snippy with me for my constructive criticism. Cool as! We are all entitled to our own opinion: This is mine. (more…)