A little girl getting a whole mango to herself
As I have said before, sometimes I am a bit of a goldfish (meaning I forget things as soon as I see something shiny), other times I am a bit self-centred, and then there are the times I am just plain dumb. On very special occasions all three of these traits combine and I come down with have a full-blown case of up-my-own-ass-itis. This happened last week when I decided to behave as if I am more important that I actually am.
I thought that it was about time I shared a little tutorial on making push cakes. The process is no more complicated than making cup cakes for a party but the benefit is that these treats are already portioned out and wrapped in an airtight container for easy storage and transport. This batch had to travel in the heat for an hour up to the Hunter Valley on the weekend and were still as fresh as when I first made them.
Fox In Flats, a fabulous fashion blogger that you really should read, because she makes it all about the mummies, has been running a few dares of late. I have watched with envy as the gorgeous Fiona from Mummy Daze looked seriously hot in the red lipstick dare and the divine Gemma from My Big Nutshell rocked a full week of head gear, this week I decided I wanted in. The dare was perfect for me too – it was a colour dare, specifically to banish the black and grey and beige from your wardrobe for a week and wear at least 2 colours. I am known to live in head to toe black with the odd pop of grey so I was determined to break out of my bleak uniform and breathe a little brightness into my day.
Last Saturday I went to a BBQ, drank too much pink bubbly, ate my own body weight in dessert and spent more money than I had planned. Pretty average weekend fare in the land of Eat Play Bond, except this weekend I was doing it for a worthy cause – raising money for women’s cancer research at a Girls Night In event hosted by my Mother-in-Law. As I said here last week, she hosts one every year and despite having a smaller group this time around, we still managed to raise over $1000 in cold hard cash donations on the night! The biggest donation generator was the auctions held towards the end of the night (timing is crucial as people with a bottle of wine of more under their belt are more likely to pay $20 for a couple of balls of twine, as I did).
I am looking around my house right now and there is a mountain of things I should be doing, but rather than worrying about the dishes in the sink or piles of washing on my bed I just want to savour the contentment I am feeling right now and share with you what it is I love about being able to be at home with Skye. This morning was a pretty typical Monday morning for us, I intentionally have no planned activities on a Monday because it gives Skye and me a chance to reset the routine after the excitement of the weekend and I try to get on top of the admin and cleaning for the week. Today since it was so hot the last thing I felt like doing was standing at a sink of hot water so I took Skye out into the garden for a play on her slippery dip and her current favourite toy – a storage box half full of water.
Just like Katy Perry, I did something that I never thought I would and it was actually a lot of fun. So much fun in fact that I did it again the following week – I got my rant on! It seems that during my little bloggy break I picked myself up a pair of ranty pants and as it turns out, they are a perfect fit. I had no idea I was so opinionated.
I don’t have anything specific to rant about this week so here is a quick summary of the things that have come up on my rant-radar lately:
Hmmm, I could get use to this, consider this fair warning for future tirades about all things utterly pointless.
Well, I feel better, what made you feel a bit ranty this week?
I have no grounds for taking any credit for this delicious and simple cake except maybe to say that I discovered it goes amazingly well with cat poo coffee. I don’t know if Ms Hay would approve of the pairing, but I am confident it would make any of your favourite hot beverages feel a bit special. I found the recipe in a Sunday paper and managed to find a link here.
To keep things nice and easy for everyone I have also detailed the ingredients and method below:
Preheat oven to 160C. Place the water and tea bags in a bowl and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, add the sultanas to the bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well to combine. Add the flour, mixed spice and milk and beat until just combined. Add the sultanas and tea liquid and beat until just combined. Spoon into a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Serves 8-10.
Actually our weekend was great, my mum and dad came over and finished installing the lighting in the garage and carport, we caught up with many of our friends and Sunday afternoon eased into a relaxing session of hot chips and beers, but the best part for me was the chance to sample some of the exclusive Kopi Luwack (or cat poo coffee) at a friends house. Baby Crisis friend’s husband recently had a surfing holiday in Sumatra where the beans are produced which meant that the asking price was far cheaper than the $1400 per kilo tag it usually has here. Mr Bond wanted nothing to do with it, the whole concept totally grossed him out but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and I have to admit I was a bit taken in by the wanker factor too!
We all love to get together with our girlfriends and enjoy a few drinks and some great food, even better if there is as chance to buy a new handbag while you are there and the purchase of that handbag could help cure cancer. Pardon? Yes, buying a new handbag could help cure cancer. Is that not the best justification for getting tiddly and splurging on some impulse purchases you have ever heard??? It doesn’t have to be wine and handbags, it could be a book club night, pamper treatments, yoga or battling it out on Singstar, the choice is yours as long as you are raising money for women’s cancers with the Cancer Council’s Girls Night In.
This week for Maxabella Loves Saturday Grateful’s I am super excited to have purchased tickets for my first ever Big Day Out Music Festival. I have always wanted to go but have never been decisive enough to actually get tickets. This year I decided that since one of my all time favourite bands Soundgarden is one of the headlining acts and Skye is plenty old enough to spend a weekend at Nannie’s it was time to make it happen.
I’m not talking about bedroom fantasy’s, well, not unless like me your bedroom fantasy is to have a Walk In Robe concealed behind your bedhead and some kind of ensuite (any kind will do!). See I am realising that since having Skye my priorities have changed so much that even when I fantasise about my dream house, I am conscious of baby-proofing and stair gates. Once upon a time my dream home looked like this:
I don’t know about you but there never seems to be enough fruit in our house. Well, not enough for me to get much of a share anyway. Skye will pretty much choose fruit over any other food stuff offered to her (including Tiny Teddies) and it is normal for her to consume 3 – 4 servings of fruit over the course of a day. I am proud of her healthy and varied diet and put a lot of effort into ensuring that she gets a good balance of not just fruit, but vegetables, meat, dairy and whole grains while having a place for the treats too. I am sorry to say that my own diet does not enjoy the same level of fresh options.
Exercise is something that I am pretty passionate about. After beginning a regular exercise routine roughly 6 years ago I have enjoyed it not only for the physical benefits, but the mental benefits as well. The only time I really stepped back from it was while I was pregnant and in the first few months after Skye was born. I had been advised that despite my fitness levels, I would be best to take it easy during this time and due to some early scares with spotting I obeyed without question. I found it difficult to let go of the routine and there were times when I resented not having this release even more than not being able to drink alcohol, but the safety of my unborn child was my priority and I knew I would be able to resume my hobby soon enough. To maintain some kind of fitness I did go walking a couple of times a week but by the time I was 7 months along, even that put my heart rate through the roof.
Lets Get Physical? Lets Not. Image Credit.
I started writing this post before I knew “The Slap” was going to air and I actually didn’t watch it so I am not going to say anything on the matter of slapping other people’s children other than to state that I do not in any way condone an adult raising their hand to another person’s child. I also have no issue with the length of time a mother breastfeeds their child. Right, now that we have that out of the way I can get on with my actual post for today.
In my know it all, I have all the answers pre-children life I was certain that smacking would form part of how we would discipline our children. Luke and I have always felt that being smacked during our childhood did not have an adverse effect on us and in fact we believe it was a crucial part of us learning the respect that we both still have for our parents. There was a clear hierarchy within the family unit and while I would never say that my parents were strict, I knew that their decision was final and it was not open for debate.
I have a bit of a reputation with my friends for having a serious online shopping habit. It started off fairly innocently buying beauty products off strawberrynet.com – which I have since managed to earn the maximum loyalty discount on, and the odd piece of clothing etc off eBay. It swiftly progressed to the buying of new items of clothing, shoes and accessories, stationery, bed linen, floor rugs, vacuume cleaners, makeup, Skye’s bedroom furniture. In fact you name it, I have probably bought it online. It’s not just me though, Luke has a weakness for eBay that saw the first couple of weeks infatuation resulting in the phrase ‘I think I just bought something’ being said over and over again. I quickly taught him how to add things to his watch list to try and overcome this problem. The biggest purchase he has made is a trencher, but mostly he sticks to bike and fishing paraphernalia. Needless to say we are fans of “Add to Cart”.
If you blinked you probably missed it, but yes I took a bit of a bloggy break this week, and while I know some of you missed me, I am certain you all coped swimmingly without my daily rave. There wasn’t any reason for my absence other than the fact that I was feeling a bit ‘meh’ and since this blog is my happy place I decided to put it in quarantine until I got over it. It wasn’t just the blog that got the cold shoulder either, I pretty much avoided Facebook and Twitter too (oh the horror!) I just felt the need to have a little space and enjoy the Long Weekend fully focussed on my real life.
Here is the first in hopefully a series of Fix It Friday posts. This week I am focussing on making some adjustments to how I keep my recipes. Earlier this year, I bought this very pretty recipe binder from Typo. Super cute, lots of divider sections, a pocket for loose recipes and takeaway menus and a notepad for writing any special handed down recipes. But as sweet as it looked, it just didn’t work for me.
I must have one of those faces, you know, one that says, “I have no clue what I am doing, so please tell me how to do it properly”. It seems this expression is particularly clear to those who do not know me very well, if at all. When this happens I am usually able to manage being polite long enough to smile and nod until I can make my exit. The problem today was that I was trapped, for 2 hours, covered in hair foils and in desperate need of some reshaping of the ‘boof’. I had to sit, and smile, and nod through clenched teeth as the helpful advice was bestowed upon me.
I have a new favourite super lazy pasta dish. It hardly qualifies as a recipe but it had never really occurred to me to use a Latina pasta sauce on anything other than some stuffed variation of Latina pasta so I got excited and took some photos, which means I have to share.
All it took was boiling some spiral pasta, microwaving a little broccoli, peas and corn and stirring through a container of Latina Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta Sauce, too easy!
The sauce was so tasty all over the fresh broccoli courtesy of the Mother In Laws garden that I could have just eaten that on its own. I think this one is definitely a keeper.