A couple of months ago whilst my cousin was visiting in Sydney we went to Yum Cha in Chinatown and had the most splendiforous dessert.

This is melon sago. Not only was it deliciously sweet and refreshing - like a coconutty bowl of mellony fun - it was also very pretty. 

My cousin has just informed me that she tried to replicate this but without success. So, sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant-future, we've agreed to attempt a replication. It was really hard to find a recipe for this - took me a good ten minutes of Googling, so I'm going to place it right here, safe and sound. And will try very, very hard not to attempt a re-make before my cousin-ly reunion!

Looks delicious hey? I found the recipe here.
To be continued.


admiring own self's nails...

Popsicle by Sportsgirl

Ummmmm, hello??? Any cooler?


Yesterday was a lovely day. I woke up to a sunny Saturday morning with not a single thing that I absolutely had to do. Mid-morning I decided to bake a cake for my visiting brother and his family, and my mum thought it would be fun to decorate the outdoor setting for an afternoon tea party, complete with roses from the garden and my Nanna's floral hand-painted China. The only way to drink tea!

Leaning tower of butter cake. Deceptively dainty...

This is what happens when you rip open the tea bag bag.

Rainbow cake - surprise!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


I sit in a prime position at the front of my office which pretty much enables me to spy on everyone who comes and goes.

There’s a guy in our office who has a long bob which he wears tied back in a pony but every Friday without fail he walks in the door with his bob loose and flowing in the breeze. It’s like his signal that the weekend is about to begin.

Besides that, the other great thing about my vantage point: watching people come and go for interviews. You can tell almost instantly who’s in with a shot and who should probably not get their hopes up. I could probably write an introductory help-book based on these observations. It would go a little something like this:

1. Boys, do wear suits. If only for the benefit of me. I think grey is good – formal but relaxed. Besides, no one else in the building is wearing a tuxedo, we don’t expect you to wear one.

2. Don’t stand outside the building forty minutes before your interview clutching a Maccas bag and reading a Harry Potter book and then slink in ten minutes before your interview and think that no one saw you. We saw you. We all saw you, and we knew exactly what you were doing. That was very un-stealth of you.

3. Arrive for your interview 5 minutes early. Employers do not like it when you show up any earlier, and they express this with eye rolls and exasperated groans behind the scenes. You do not want your interview to begin with an exasperated groan. You have immediately become a pain in the ass.

4. By all means, stake out the building early, but don’t come in. Circle the block seven times, or hide behind some shrubs and pop out at the appropriate moment. It will appear as though you have impeccable timing and fabulous navigation skills.

5. Bring something to do while you’re waiting – you are a busy and important individual. You could be sending an urgent business-related email… you could be playing Words with Friends  (still frightfully important) – it doesn't matter, the coffee table book really isn’t that interesting, and we think you look a bit silly pretending that it is.

Well that takes you right up to the reception area, the rest is up to you. If you follow these wonderful tips, and providing you can flash a few smiles and hold a conversation, you should be home an hosed!

And that concludes this report from The Swivel Chair. Bestest of luck with all your future endeavours.


On Tuesday I had a real hankering for some lemon butter. I'd never made it myself but I remember having it at others' places on the odd occasion and loving it. The thing that I really like about lemon butter is that it always seems to be home-made, well that's the only way I've come across it anyway. This batch is delicious, if I may say so myself!

Best enjoyed slathered on a piece of hot toast with a lovely cup of tea <3.

Try this delicious recipe.


Today was a pretty good day. A lovely client sent me a box of choccies, and a colleague who I am am not overly fond of resigned, and, promptly left! Ciao ciao!

These are a few of my favourite things! 
Parcels and surprises!



Herein lies my first attempt at a children's birthday cake - made for my brother on his 29th birthday! I was pretty pleased with Gerry, with the exception of his massive box-face implant, which could have been fixed with a little thicker icing.

We have fond memories of Mum making all sorts of crazy birthday cakes when we were little. Little Miss Muffet, a big pink elephant, a jewelery box and, of course, the dolly-in-a-cake dress, were all among my favourites. For my brother - robot and computer cakes were a common theme. Mum always did a wonderful job, but I distinctly remember you were not allowed in the kitchen whilst the cake assembly was taking place, as this was a very tense time indeed.

With the appearance of Gerald Giraffe I hope to have ignited a new trend in Ryan-family birthday cakes. I don't know how it will catch on, but with my own birthday coming up soon I did give my mum a few hints whilst we were looking through the party cake books - e.g. "I want that bunny one for my birthday". Subtle, but hopefullly effective. If I get just a circle I will be one disappointed party girl.


Today Tonight does occasionally have a purpose. Parent A, Parent B, and Offsping B (myself) caught wind of one of last night's stories - 1 of the 750 diet-related stories they broadcast throughout the week - this one being all about the "hidden" sugars in foods and beverages, and that it's this sweet, delicious culprit that actually makes us little fatties.

The story wasn't exactly revolutionary, but they were talking about how many teaspoons of sugar there are in certain things and that in turn caused me to Google how many grams are contained in one teaspoon of sugar, to put things in perspective - afterall, food labels (assuming of course that you ever read them) give it to us in grams, not teaspoons.

Drumroll please... the magic number is about 4.2 grams per teaspoon.

That's a freaking lot. I sized up a punnet of low fat yoghurt in our fridge this morning to find that it contains 26 grams of sugar per punnet, which is about 5-6 teaspoons. That's a heck of lot. And is particularly humourous considering that I sometimes balk at having a teaspoon of sugar in my tea, yet I'll slurp down that yoghurt thinking I'm all like Jen Hawkins and stuff. For some reason those granules just appear more threatening in raw form.

Today Tonight talked about the hidden sugar in stuff like beer and juice. Those are quite obvious ones, but I'm sure they really made heads spin when they mentioned chocolate bars among the list of foods with possible hidden sugars. Mmm, yeah, totes, sooooo many sneakily disguised sugars in my Mars bar, how was I ever to know?

Anyway, I raise this not to be a killer of all that is good and yummy. But it's good to have a number, you know? For those 10 out of 365 days per year when we actually decide to stick to our diets.

Image: One. Two.


One would think that in a corporate workplace we'd have all well and truly left our days of petty childish jabbering and retaliation behind us.

Perhaps more to the point, you'd think we'd all know how to use the toilet. Apparently not.

You go into the ladies bathroom at my work and the place is full of handwritten commands and instructions. Refill this, replace that, don't leave that there, don't do that on that. I never realised I needed so many instructions to go to the bathroom. And you always know when someone's snapped because the nature of the message gets noticeably sinister. If it's written in caps with permanent marker you know someone has just had a really bad experience in the toilet. I'd be willing to bet that the mens toilet isn't filled with hints and tips on how to use the facilities, even if they did need them.

Someone snapped in the kitchen a few months ago. No one saw it happen, but we all noticed the new sign - a picture of a microwave with arms and legs and a very unhappy face. He warned us in no uncertain terms that if we splattered in the microwave it was our responsibility to clean it up and that whoever left the mess last time is a completely shit person. That sign has been there for months, but something mysterious has happened overnight. Someone has cut the letters 'W T F' out of a magazine and stuck them on the notice. I kid you not. I wish I was kidding. I work at a magazine publisher, so, I know we do have the advantage of being able to write shitloads of ransom notes, but to be pushed over the edge by the angry microwave sign? Wow, just wow.

Corporate office, orrrr, daycare for adults?!


I want this top, from RomWe and featured on Bleubird Vintage.

I also super, super, super, super love this flower arrangement, again seen on Bleubird.


I went on a date today with my mum and dad to see Bridesmaids, after several friends had recommended it. I freaking loved it! Lots of laughs and great characters, and plenty of bite-your-lips-to-keep-from-crying-and-looking-stupid moments, too.

Obviously more a movie for the ladies to relate to, but with more than enough grose bits to entertain the boys, should you have one tagging along to the cinema. It is made all the more special for the girls with the casting of Officer Nathan Rhodes. I don't know if it was his accent, or the uniform...  no, it was his personality hands down. Naaw, vom. And his habit of sharing carrots. Embarrassing character crush. I have no shame.

Can't wait to "buy it on DVD"!


When I was a little girl there were a few animated children's movies that scared the bejesus out of my sensitive little self. In particular, the parts of The Little Mermaid featuring Ursula, or even just any scene with rough and stormy seas - very scary. Do not even get me started on Beauty and the Beast - the bit where Belle's dad and the horse are lost in the woods, and the bit where the Beast loses his temper on Belle's first night in the castle?! Not exaggerating when I say it was the stuff of nightmares.

I downloaded (by downloaded, of course I mean, I ... purchased, with money) Rango last weekend when I was in one of my animated movie moods. I speak of frightening animated movies because this was the most scary I've seen, despite having been in double digits for some time now. I watched this on a laptop - if I'd watched it as a child, on a giant screen, I'd most likely have become a cute little mute (just because, mental disorders are probably cuter when you're a child).

Besides the scare-factor, I actually struggled to get through this; in fact I had to watch it in three sittings and was pleased when it was over. Which is pretty much a fail in my books! There were a few giggle moments at the beginning and the animation and cinematography were obviously very clever. The movie has been critically acclaimed, ra ra ra, but I'm not a Box Office, and it wasn't my cup of tea. If you're into your animation and you're not made of cotton wool, which at times I suspect I may be, then perhaps the little green lizard might be to your liking.

What definitely was to my liking though - Rango and his Hawaiian shirt. Reminded me of Hawkeye Peirce.


It’s f-f-f-f-freeeeezing today!

We’re a quarter of the way through July, sigh, which means there’s still a significant stint of winter to get through before spring and summer happiness once more! I complain, but I am grateful that our winters here in Australia are fairly short-lived compared to other places *cough* London *cough* and even though it's cold, the sky is still blue and the sun is shining. I'm already thinking about amazing hot summers and it makes me happy! But whilst stuck here in winter, I've been thinking about Happy Cold things.

1. Polar Bears. Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm, any cuter???

2. Doonas! That feeling of being snuggled and bundled up all warm and cosy (especially in the frosty morning hours) is very hard to beat. Even horses know how good doonas are.

2. Bubble O' Bill. Hello Bill. I like your hat, and your nose.

3. Waterslides. Except for the Climax at Waterbom Bali. Coz that shit’s just scary.

4. Serendipity Icecream. Hallooooooooooooo, ice cream. This stuff is local to Sydney (Marrickville) and the company runs on 100% green energy. I’ve never tried it before, but they’ve been in business since 1966. A friend road-tested it and sang its praises on Facebook though, so this summer I plan to track some down.


Every so often I need to drift back in time and settle into a good ol’ wholesome kids' show. The mood struck this weekend and I decided to give the 2010 movie adaptation of Yogi Bear a try. I really wasn’t expecting much at all, but was so pleasantly surprised! I watched this one alone, and I still LOLLED on more than one occasion, and that’s the best indicator of all. At the end of the day it is a kids' movie - I don’t think it pretends to be as sophisticated as some of your other Disney/Pixar films – it’s just plain, simple fun.

My only real gripe: Ranger Smith’s tannage. Ranger Smith wasn't uber tanned in the original, so I'm not sure what happened here, but it appeared as though the actor was dipped into a vat of fake tan before shooting.

Favourite bits: Yogi’s fashion sense, the flying pic-a-nic-basket napper, and the endangered turtle-frog.


Have you ever been guilty of food theft? I have, several times. I feel compelled to confess.
The earliest incident I can recall was when I was about seven years old. My parents owned a newsagency at the time, and sometimes I liked the job of refilling the confectionary (of course I did). The boxes of lollies and chocolates were kept underneath the counter. On the night of the incident it must have been late and near closing time, because I remember my Dad was running the vacuum over the floor at the back of the shop, and was the only other person around. Thus, presented to me was an opportunity for The Perfect Crime.

I, the perpetrator, was in perfect proximity to the treasure, with the only potential witness being kept at bay by the tell-tale whirring of the vacuum cleaner.

It was the fastest I’ve ever gobbled a Caramello Koala.

Seeing as though I’m still telling this tale 20 years after the incident, I am not sure if the sense of remorse fitted the crime.
However, that brings me to my most recent tale of food theft, for which I feel no very little guilt, whatsoever. I. Love. Rum Balls (of course I do). What’s not to like? It’s all chocolate, and rum, and condensed milk, and coconut, nomma-nomma-nomma. So, I was at work today when the computer clock struck 11 and a wave of tiredness set in. It’s that awkward time when, yes, you have managed to get through a significant portion of the morning, yet there is somehow still a RIDICULOUS amount of time to kill before lunch.
Feeling sick (of my desk) I strolled upstairs to carry out the urgent task of washing my teacup, when, low and behold, I swung open the communal fridge door only to be greeted with a sumptuous looking platter of snowy-capped rum balls. I am usually loyal to the idea of consuming my beloved rum balls only at Christmastime, but presented with such a breathtaking display, what was a girl to do?

I noted that this platter of rum balls had probably already served its intended purpose because half the items were missing. Clearly, the creator was now offering the remainder of the batch to all and sundry. The trouble is, my pride got in the way and I didn’t want to be "that girl". The one who is meant to be sitting at her desk but instead can be found shuffling from the kitchen with a fistful of rumballs and sprinkling coconut down the halls. Being a pro-active problem solver (that’s what my CV says, may as well put it to use) my penchant for food theft set in and without missing a beat I did a quick scan out the kitchen door for potential witnesses, and deftly transferred not one, but two, delicious rum balls straight into the secure confines of my freshly cleaned teacup. Then straight back to the desk with my fresh cup of “tea”.
I am expecting a call from the scriptwriters of CSI any minute.


This morning I watched Super Size Me for the first time. Yes, I know I'm a bit behind the eight ball with this one, but having only recently been taught the ins and outs of torrents, seeds and leechers (impressed... no?), I have been catching up on filems; those which I was interested in, but not interested enough to pay $17 to see.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this docco but was a little troubled that it didn't have the anticipated affect. I expected to be disgusted and to never want to touch the stuff, ever again, to be reformed and purified, Eat-Pray-Love style. Not so much... whilst it did leave me with a feeling of disgust, and fear, that was coupled with an unsettling craving for a cheeseburger and fries.

I think I liked the idea of a Last Supper. To rid myself of this ridonculous idea and piss-poor excuse for acquiring a Happy Meal, I took myself for a good hour-long bushwalk and contemplated the amazing fresh berry and yoghurt smoothie I was going to make for lunch. My bottom and thighs were particularly excited with this notion. Unfortunately, the bag of fried potatoes I later came home with bore little resemblance to a punnet of strawberries. Whilst I realised at that moment I may possibly have a problem, I was actually pleased, nay, absolutely thrilled, to report that the small cheeseburger meal tasted like absolute tip and I only wished it were a fresh, delicious and nutritious fresh berry smoothie.

In summary, I think that Super Size Me did have the intended affect, there was just a little time delay, wherein the totally unimpressive meal was able to seal the deal. Having failed to impress me today (Edit: Shivers... I think I quoted MasterChef without even realising... add that to the list of problems, please] I think  me and the triglycerides (word of the day, Wiki it) will be parting ways. It's time I fossicked me some berries*.
*Berry-fossicking fail. Please try again.