I've just devoured this sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and almond praline, which I made from last year's Masterchef book. My pudding testers gave me ten out of ten. Being that they were my parents, we can't take such scores too seriously - but okay, it was pretty good, tehe. My only issue is that I didn't have the proper pudding moulds, and I think this photo looks a bit like a salmon rissole with gravy and toffee. Mmmmmmm.

Here's the online version of the recipe (which, by the way, is very simple).

The only problem is, I am now going to have to go on a 675 kilometre run tomorrow.

Tomorrow is tomorrow. For now, may as well keep talking about food.

In light of our Cookie Monster obsession, my brother emailed me the pic below. I don't know where he found it but I LIKE. I like how he starts off in control but gets all messed up at the end. I think cookie monster needs to be checked into rehab.

The next el cute-o thing is this breakfast of googly eyes - there is no explanation for this! A kid would find this breakfast so much fun (not me though : / ... I would find it mundane... ) Extreme choking hazards aside, this gets a big tick from me. I found the pic at Cute Stew. It makes me ROFLOL. << This is a sign that I am over-tired, and must be getting along to bed. Tata!


[This print is called 'Lemonade Storm' - I found it on Etsy. I am also liking the idea of a literal lemonade storm. Think about it! I'm thinking, sticky but fun, hehe.]

Yesterday when I overheard someone say it would be raining all weekend I was a little agitated, but actually, today has been the perfect rainy day. I stayed in bed til 1. Yes, ONE.

I then went out for a lovely coffee with my folks and Mum and I meandered around the shops looking for nothing and everything. I haven't done that in ages (there's usually at least one purpose) and it was great fun. Mostly we just stuck to Big W, as we are a fancy pair indeed. But we did all the relevant sections, including toys.

So, wanna see what I got?

Actually, before that, can I just say that Barbie is looking pretty hot these days? Yes, she's left the trailer park and can currently be found strutting about out in her 'Barbie Basics' collection, which features several stunning little numbers. I could probably pick out something to wear tonight (on my index finger). I'm thinking either fourth or seventh from the left. What do you reckon?

Moving along, we found all these little kitchen toys and I just HAD to buy one for my niece, Charlotte. I bought her a little toaster, but it's going in the cupboard for Christmas! They also have microwaves and cappuccino machines. Dreamy much? Yeah no feminists here, hehe.

And then we progressed to Sussan (local shops are limited in selection, you understand) - who currently have a dreamo collection of PJs and slippers. I had to talk myself out of those because there is only a certain number of slippers and PJs a girl can own before the situation gets out of hand. Instead I purchased something that was completely unnecessary but completely justifiable in light of its cuteness. Plus, my Mum gave me permission to buy it with her wise words, "If you want it, get it." OKAY MUMMY.

She has already been named 'Lilyan Ladybird'. If I look after it carefully (if you think these sound like the words of a mother, you are correct), when I am 87 years old I will be able to ask my husband to fetch me Lilyan, and he should know exactly what to do.

Some wise words from the fetching Nurse Margaret Kissack!

Anyway, I have to go befriend some socks and maybe some Shiraz. Hope everyone's enjoying their rainy weekend as much as me!


I MADE THESE to take with me to work today for a colleague's birthday. They're choc chip with added little bits of peppermint crisp. Yummmmmmmmmmy.

We're washed out, eating cookies & cake - they're going down well with the crew.

Here's the recipe:

125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 3/4 cups SR flour
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup milk choc chips plus extras for tops

Makes approx 34

(Hmm, I just wrote that list from memory - don't know whether to be proud or scared!)

Here's how:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C fan forced. Grease two baking trays.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Stir in beaten egg.
  4. Add vanilla essence, sifted flour, coconut and choc chips. Combine.
  5. Roll teaspoonfulls into balls and flatten slightly on trays. Add extra choc chips to tops.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Go to Spin class (optional).
Don't forget to add some crunched up Peppermint Crisps for this special version. I used two bars - they added a nice zingyness to the cookies.
And to take us out - some classic Cookie Monster. This clip was a favourite for my brother and I, back in the day. Children of the 80's, you know you want to!

If moon was cookie me think me would be
Happiest monster you ever see.
Me put on a space suit then up through the night
Me ride in a rocket to go take a bite.

Me take bite from here. Me take bite from there.
And pretty soon, me bite everywhere.
Me eat with both hands. No need fork or spoon.
Me chew it all up until there no moon.

If moon was cookie it wouldn't be fine
Because if me ate it then it wouldn't shine.
Me come to the window and look up at night
But no little moonbeams would give me their light.

So me not like to say it, but it clear to me
It lucky the moon is not a cookie.

Clag Glue & Porridge

Today I 'discovered' porridge. You have every right to be excited. I have never had porridge before until this morning. Why? It has the appearance of Clag glue mixed with insulation. But I was searching for a warming snack and chanced upon these Uncle Tobys Quick Sachets - with trepidation I prepared the Berry sachet and sprinkled it with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Result? It still looks suspicious but it tastes yum yum! I have found a new winter snack!

 Same Same
But different.


This latest 3D revolution is starting to bother me. It's possible I'm just resisting technology the way I resisted the upgrade from a Nokia 5240 (why upgrade - this pink brick works just fine, why would I ever need to send a 'text' message?) but I'm simply not ready to come to the 3D party.

I don't want to sit in my lounge room wearing 3D goggles. Quite frankly they're not very fetching and they're just a little too sci-fi, not to mention, kind of anti-social.  

Talk to the hand glasses 'cause the face aint listening.

This dress (Nicole Lindner on Etsy) on the other hand, is mildly spectacular and 'TOOT TOOT' > that was the sound of me jumping aboard the 3D train.

Much like this dress though, I find the 3D factor a distraction. If I'd been alive to see the evolution from silent movies to 'talkies' I might have been a similarly stubborn old stickler. The thing is, I feel fairly familiar with the human form so expecting my jubilation over three dimensional characters on a screen is a little bewildering to me. I predict a fad.

I don't want to disparage the whole thing completely, however, just like diamonds, some things have to be rare to remain special.

Whilst I'm having a rant, I can tell you that I'll probably be one of the last to befriend the e-reader fad. As an editor in training, I'm expected to be excited about this emerging technology (I was told so, last week) but SURPRISE, I am not. I've caressed a couple of e-readers and tried to imagine curling up in bed with a screen and it's not a happening thing for me.

I am one of those girls who will take a book into the bath and, yeah, sometimes the book will get dunked. By contrast, hanging over the bath edge clutching onto an e-reader would kinda be a mood killer. Nope, I like my books papery  papery to touch and papery to smell. Papery to absorb bath water. I think E-readers and printed books will be able to coexist  they both have merits and they can live happily together.

If you ARE looking for one  the Kobo ($199) is getting good reviews. It has a matte finish that is supposed to resemble paper  easier on the eyes than reading off this screen (some fancy shmancy technology they're using). It comes with 100 pre-loaded classics. Meanwhile my lovely paper tome is still fancy enough for me, its pages wrinkled and sharing page 33 with a Maggi noodle.

On a somewhat somber note, last week I heard that printed newspapers will die out in the next ten years. Good for the trees, but what a strange thought. I must confess though, I could count on one hand the number of times I have purchased a newspaper in my life.

Anyway, all this talk of technology is making me a little squeamish so I am going to curl up in my bed with my book in all its fragrant inky glory. (2 % excited by the ink, 98% excited about the juicy parts coming up in chapter six).

The End.

She keeps good company

Brrrr. What a chilly day it is. I am sitting here with three tops on, trackies, be-socked and under three blankets, yet my fingers are still cold. I think a cup of tea is in order!
Speaking of tea, my friend Emma is moonlighting as a teapot designer. Below is an example of her gorgeous personalised 'Sweethearts' teapot, which you can buy online at Quirky, cute and contemporary - what a lovely gift idea!

Whilst I'm being all embarrassing, I'm going to show off my friend Kirsten's website (Kirsten is a stylist). It's a good thing to be a fan of your friend! Here are just a few of my favourite pics:

(That's my niece Charlotte, bottom left, who popped in to lend KB a hand one day!)

Don't I have very talented friends? And this is just the tip of the iceberg!


I thought I would post some pics of my vegetable garden progress, since I have been going on and on about it for ages.

So here is a look at what we had to begin with. A patch of grass by the fence. You can dig garden beds into the ground or build a raised bed. I decided on a combination of both. I ended up digging about 25cm into the ground. That was more hard work than it may seem and involved many wheelbarrow trips, but I did it over a number of months whenever the inspiration struck, so it wasn't a chore.

I saw on Better Homes & Gardens that if you build a raised bed directly on top of lawn, you can lay down newspaper which stops the grass coming through, or kills it, or something along those lines. Although I dug up the grass, I still didn't want it growing through from under my brick border so I used the newspaper trick.

This was a tedious little exercise. At first I tried to lay out the soaked newspaper inside the bed, but it kept falling in on itself.

Anyway, you can see the border that I built with some old bricks which I found around the side of the house. Originally I was planning on using railway sleepers but Bunnings don't cut them to size as the wood is too damp. Anyway I ended up saving over $100 by using these bricks, which I painted a nice shade of yellow to brighten them up.

Here is my second and more successful attempt at the newspaper thing. After giving the newspaper sheets a good soaking on the lawn I laid two sheets of newspaper so that the top sheet draped over the top of the border and therefore couldn't collapse inside. After filling the bed with soil I just tucked the newspaper down and covered it with dirt.

I can't remember the exact proportions, but I think it was about 5 parts organic soil to 1 part manure and 1 part compost. Times about three, because it took endless bags to fill this bed. This part was fun though.

As you can see this is one of my more glamorous hobbies!

Here's the finished fairy garden. I bought the wire borders from Bunnings for ten bucks each - a necessity as my dog Hannah had taken the garden 'bed' a little too literally and I'd caught her laying in the middle a couple of times, sunning herself. I made the little vegetable labels myself (which I posted in a blog a few weeks ago). The pavers in the middle were under two dollars each from Bunnings, and are of course in place for ease of gardening and access. The fairies along the fence were a freebie from work - they're actually glow-in-the-dark fairies, so they keep an eye on things when the sun goes down.

After sewing my seeds I scattered some plant food, along with some snail defender at the sign of the first shoots.

And here is the latest photo, taken this morning. As you can see the shoots are coming up nicely, especially after a fantastic dose of rain all yesterday. Growing at the moment we have carrots, parsley, shallots, lettuce, basil, oregano, coriander, dill, onions and marigolds (which ward off certain bugs). I will be planting peas and beans along the wire by the fence. It looks as though I planted a few too many carrots and lettuces and when they all come up at once I'll have enough to feed the entire street. Next time, half rows planted at intervals will be a better idea - but it's all about learning.

We were a little bit worried that I had picked a bad spot for a garden as it's close to the house, which, at this time of year, obscures the sunlight completely by 2pm. If I had planned it better I would have picked a spot that receives more sunlight. In spite of that, the seedlings are soldiering on nicely I think I can say at this stage that the vegetable garden project has been a success! 


It's been a long rainy day in Sydney and although I've heard a few complaints, I wouldn't have changed the weather - I like it - but it perhaps would have been better enjoyed at home in a nice pair of trackies, rather than at work.

I ran a half marathon on Sunday. I'm not a natural marathon runner and it was very hard work. I think I came about 8600th. I'm not even joking. The best part of the actual race was the first five minutes when all 10,000 of us were running as a fairly tight unit (with exception of the would-be-winners, who were already on their second lap) through the streets of Sydney in the crisp 7.30 air. I actually had a smile on my face at that stage - a morning run with ten thousand strangers was certainly a change to a solo jog along a bushy fire trail. I particularly enjoyed seeing two guys dressed in jeans and collared shirts, who'd clearly just decided to join in the marathon after a big night out. They were trying to pick up fellow joggers, which was pretty amusing. Anyway, basically my main tactic in this race was to run away from irritating people. Also people who smelt bad.

For all my efforts though, I have an injured foot. I am not sure what is wrong with it, it's not sprained or broken but it's very sore and I can't walk on it. The hot chocolate and choc chip muffin I shouted myself for morning tea is making everything OK.

It did amuse me how everyone in the office today turned into winter piglets. The first sign of precipitation and we took to the cafes and vending machines like bears storing up for the winter. My English manager even took a drive to Woolworths to buy himself a packet of oven-bake pork pies.

Tomorrow morning I have to take my beloved Vincent (A.K.A. "Vinnie" the VL Vacationer - my car) to the mechanics for a service. Born in 1987, he is getting on a bit, and sometimes bungs on a bit of an act to assert his stately age. Just this Monday, I started him up and he decided to have the wobbles. So we have been wobbling idle at traffic lights for two days and I am sending him off for some old man TLC.

Sail (me) away

I could tell that a lot of people had, like me, been glued to their television screens today awaiting the return of Jessica Watson, the 16 year old Australian who circumnavigated the globe. I could tell, because when I ducked up to Woolworths after coverage finished, every man and his dog was there (to witness my holey grey trackies in all their glory!)

What an inspirational girl, this one. I must admit, I'd paid no attention to her voyage until today, but since this morning have started reading her blog since the start - I'm hooked now, it's a great blog.

She made me want to get out on the high seas, and funnily enough, who should call me tonight but my old London housemates Olly and Alyssa, who are at this moment living in the Greek Islands, chartering yachts. They want me to come over in September for up to a month's sailing. My bank says no, but I say YES!

Today has been semi-productive. 2 1/2 hours of Bushcare this morning was followed by hours of Jessica-watching and then the baking of an epic apple pie which I just happily devoured with my family. Here he is.

Tomorrow I'm running in the Sydney Half Marathon. The nerves have been hanging about for a couple of weeks in the form of butterflies whilst I run. Now I am kind of excited, but still a little scared. I not an athlete, that's for sure. More than anything, I am worried about being bowled over by jocks in little shorts. Nonetheless I'll just give it a shot and that is that. Unfortunately I have to be seated on the freezing cold train at 6am for the 7.30am start, which means I should be fast asleep in about 15 minutes... hmm.

Usually I am pretty careful with carbs but today I have been happily stockpiling, on the advice of several websites (which is how all serious athletes get their nutritional advice). A couple of them told me not to load up on vegetables - nothing too fibrous, without getting into it all. I was happy to oblige when it came to the broccoli, but you'll note I had no problem letting the apple pie slip onto the menu... tehe... so not an athlete.

Wish me luck!

Oh! Hark!

[F do do, ba da ba ba...]

Once again I leave my grave
Dirt and daisies hit the pave
No sooner than I have turned
I hear the devil cooking up a new storm

My world ends on a regular basis
Yeah I fed quick and lonesome places
No sooner that I am dead
I feel the ravens tugging at my hair...

Oh! Hark!
Do you a hear a voice like velvet through the night sky?
Do you hear the fickle hand of fate at my side?
And all those that goddesses with hope in their stride

And watch out
Watch for them camouflaged and crouched in the shadows
Oh they couldn't hold a candle up to you
But they stand as tall as you in broad daylight too
Oh! Hark!

Once again I leave my grave
(do da do do / do da do do)
And dirt and daisies hit the pave
But no sooner than I am dead
I feel the ravens tugging at my hair

Once again I leave my grave
Like a bird out of its cage
No sooner that I have won
I feel the storm clouds plotting against the sun
Plotting against the sun
Plotting against the sun

Oh! Hark!
Do you a hear a voice like velvet through the night sky
Do you hear the fickle hand of fate at my side
And all those that goddesses with hope in their stride


Too Far Gone

I like the little Lisa Mitchell too.

F Am G Am

A million thoughts rushed through my head
I took one glance and you were there
G     Am
Should I sit this next one out?
Am    G  Am
Would you be better off instead?
I wonder if you dig me too
Am    G  Am
Was it meant to be me and you

Cause I'm already
Too far gone
Oh no, no, no
I'll catch the next train
C                   G
Don't wait too long
Despite the blackness
I feel the dawn
Yeah, yeah

Dm              C       G
I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone

So me and you have quite a vibe
There's something there I can't describe
No matter what they all might think
That was no ordinary wink
Yeah, we'll show them, lead the way
This isn't an ordinary day

Cause I'm already
Too far gone
Oh no, no, no
I'll catch the next train
Don't wait too long
(Oh no, no, no, no, no)
Despite the blackness
I feel the dawn
Yeah, yeah
I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone

I'm too far gone
I'm too far gone


Any garden fairy with street cred would wanna hang out here. <3

Presenting my own vegetable marker creations! A little while ago I found some ceramic varieties on Etsy - I'm still besotted but needed to find something on the cheap - and am not the type to settle for plain white plastic markers.

I found some wooden sticks at a craft shop shaped like pretty bugs. [ P e r r r r f e c t ! ] I painted them with outdoor acrylic paints, wrote on them with an enamel marker and gave them a few coats of gloss varnish to make them weatherproof.

N e a t o !