Monday, August 29, 2011

Tick-tock the life clock

Time is a precious thing for me and its speed is made more and more apparent as I look back at things I thought seemed so far away when I was a child.

For instance, when I was little, the thought of finishing school seemed like a never-ending journey. I think it was around the time I graduated from Year 7 that I thought “oh great, only another five years of school to go”. How I wish I could go back and cherish the simple things that I took for granted all those years ago.

I also vividly remember thinking that I would never own a car or a house (let alone a mortgage) because you needed to be super rich to have those things. And having a baby was just mind boggling… Those were all things that you did when you were a grown up!

Now I’m nearly 30 years old and these things are my reality – all the things I never thought I would have, all the stresses I saw my parents having to deal with are now mine, too.

All the responsibilities I never thought I would have, I have now. All the time I was at school studying hard and playing sport with my friends and going to the movies on weekends – life was so carefree and simple. It’s those times that I look back on and think about how those really were some of the happiest days of my life.

It’s funny looking through the eyes of your adolescent self – everything is so much bigger (literally) and scary (also, literally!) but at least back then, time was on your side. I was able to make mistakes and learn from them, I had the luxury of changing my mind (again and again) because I was in no rush to make my mind up. I could do stupid things and be young enough to get away with it… 

I am someone who gets excited by the future no matter how scary it once seemed – I love thinking about what’s in store.

But it’s as though now that I am deemed old enough to have my s*it together the pressure is on to make decisions, have a career, start a family, and carve out a life for myself and my husband… I no longer have the luxury of taking my time because people expect that by 30, your life should have a clear direction of where it is headed. I feel like I know what I want - but then how do you ever really know?

I can only hope that the direction I am heading in is a positive one – I’ll never forget the feeling of being over-awed about how hard it must be to be a “grown up” but at least I had time to figure out how to be one… where did all those years go?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cancer Council - Daffodil Day August 26

It's Daffodil Day today - Cancer Council's most important day of the year for fundraising to help find a cure for cancer.

If you think 1 in 2 people who get cancer is one too many, please buy a daffodil today or go online and donate - any donations over $2 are tax deductible.

The target to reach is $9.5 million for patient support and research - so far funds raised sit at $827,000.

Please get behind this worthy cause because every person is affected by cancer in one way or another.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing is worse than a BRIDEZILLA

As wedding season comes a knocking once again (referring to Spring time for the guys reading this) I am feeling kind of reflective.

We were married nearly a year ago (October 2) and our first year of marriage has really flown by. Soon, some close friends and even some family members will tie the knot and being involved in their preparations has also reminded me of the not-so-fun parts of organising the big day.

At the end of the day, I found I was getting frustrated by really minor things that at the time, seemed major.  

I know mothers and soon-to-be mothers-in-law and some over-bearing friends can get a bit hassling – but they are allowed to be (to a point!) as they are only trying to help because they love you!

What is important to remember is that you have to consider others in your plans (suprising to some of you!) so keep this in mind.  

I know people say ‘it’s OUR day’ and get all caught up in what they want and have this crazy tunnel vision that just focuses on them (lets not kid ourselves – it’s usually the bride referring to herself here and being totally selfish/unreasonable!) and I guess this happens with every wedding because the bride is telling herself it’s all about ME, wait… US!  

A wedding day is special because it brings together people that have been part of yours and your fiancée’s life – so just breathe and let other people offer you some help, even if you insist on not taking it. There is no need to cause fights just before your special day because someone has requested something and you have to change plans slightly!

If things don’t go to plan on the day guaranteed as the bride, you will be the only one who notices it. Everyone else is looking at you and your new husband and I can tell you they are just happy to be part of the celebrations.

If you get feedback afterwards that one of your guests has been rude and complained about food, the father-of-the-bride’s speech and even criticised your dress… well, that’s when you have cause to get angry!

This is spoken from a bride who has been there and (unfortunately) experienced some of these things (including the horrible things mentioned in the above paragraph!).  

So, my advice is this – YES IT’S YOUR WEDDING SO STOP COMPLAINING – organise it and be thankful that you have a wonderful fiancée that wants to marry you and that you have friends and family who want to celebrate with you!

Stop whining about minor things because at the end of the day, it should be the happiest day of your life for you and your new husband.

No one wants to hear your crap anymore because there is nothing worse than a Bridezilla!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Man-Flu - the facts...

A friend sent me this as there are a few viruses going around at the moment - one of which may be Man-Flu...

1. Man-Flu is more painful than childbirth. This is an irrefutable scientific fact*. *(Based on a survey of over 100,000 men).

2. Man-Flu is not 'just a cold', it is a condition so severe that the germs from a single Man-Flu sneeze could wipe out entire tribes of people living in the rainforest. And probably loads of monkeys too.

3. Women do not contract Man-Flu. At worst they suffer from what is medically recognised as a 'Mild Girly Sniffle' – which, if a man caught, he would still be able to run, throw a ball, tear the phone book in half and compete in all other kinds of manly activities.

4. Men do not 'moan' when they have Man-Flu. They emit involuntary groans of agony that are entirely in proportion to the unbearable pain they are in.

5. Full recovery from Man-Flu will take place much quicker if their simple requests for care, sympathy and regular cups of tea are met. Is that really so much to ask? Florence Nightingale would have done it.

6. More men die each year from MFN (Man-Flu Neglect) than lots and lots of other things (like rabbit attacks or choking on toast).

7. Men suffering from Man-Flu want nothing more than to get out of bed and come to work, but they are too selfless to risk spreading this awful condition amongst their friends and colleagues. In this sense, they are the greatest heroes this country has ever known.

8. In 1982 scientists managed to simulate the agonising symptoms of full blown Man-Flu in a female chimp. She became so ill that her head literally fell off.

9. Man-Flu germs are more powerful than He-Man, The Thundercats and The A-Team combined. They are too strong for weak, nasty tasting 'lady medicines' like Lemsip, so don't bother trying to force them on a victim of Man-Flu.

10. While it may seem like a Man-Flu sufferer is just lying around enjoying 'Diagnosis Murder' it is a commonly recognised medical fact that the exact pitch and frequency of Dick Van Dyke's voice has remarkable soothing powers.

Every minute in this country one man is struck down by Man-Flu. Women, all we ask is that each of you offers them a cup of tea, some kind words and your undivided attention and care. Then maybe, just maybe, we'll beat this monstrous disease together...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cash or the couch? That is the question.

King Furniture's Jasper Couch... le sigh

So as our house is rapidly (seriously, it’s going up so fast) being built my husband and I have been knuckling down and thinking hard about furnishings, appliances and pretty aesthetic things that will make our new home look faboosh!

It’s so easy for me to get carried away with the possibilities of furniture – I mean who wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of filling a brand new house with nice, shiny, plush furniture?

However, husband man has had to pull my head out of the clouds a few times now and has slapped me with the harshest word in a shopping-lover’s repertoire - “budget”.  I know we have to budget – we’re building a house for goodness’ sake, but I thought maybe we could splurge a tiny bit on the furnishing part…

The thing is, I know you can do things on the cheap, but my issue is that even though you might be able to buy a 32-piece furniture set for $3000 from Fantastic Furniture, doesn’t mean it’s going to last. 

It’s like buying a pair of crappy Supre jeans for $30 and expecting them to last as long as a pair of Levis…. Not going to happen!

So now our dilemma is this – how to keep a reasonably sound budget while still furnishing our home in stylish, modern and pretty things? Well I have found inspiration in a very good friend.

My friend Graham is amazing at doing things up – especially furniture. He can buy a $15 coffee table off eBay and strip it back, add some texture, paint and accessories and voila – you have something that looks like it came out of a Domayne catalogue. 

Oh, did I tell you that he also produces artwork? During my last visit to his house, I enquired as to where he purchased a gorgeous metallic three-piece canvas hanging on the wall of his sitting room. He nonchalantly said he made it – I was floored!

So I am taking a leaf out of Gray’s book because I think it will serve my purpose well – a mixture of quality store-bought furniture and appliances mixed with items that we have lovingly restored.

I mean we’re going to have a veggie garden as well, so if we’re growing our own food, we may as well refurbish our own furniture and make our own art?!

At least I still get to go shopping at some of my favourite furniture shops, but I think I can cut corners and make some savings too. Gotta love a win-win situation!

Hmm but I still think I'm going to pop into King Furniture and have a gander at the Jasper Couch...

Have been off board

I am back on deck now after having a week off! Sometimes you just need a break : )

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Something for dinner

My friend Helen gave me this recipe for her lasagne, which is so tasty and much easier than my more 'traditional' lasagne I usually make. The sweet chilli in it really makes a difference.


-Fresh lasagne sheets (enough to serve 6-8)

-500 – 800g beef mince

-1 large brown onion, diced

-2 cloves garlic, diced

-1 can tomato soup, condensed

-1 can diced tomatoes

-1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce

-1 bottle of passata or pasta sauce

White sauce

-3 tbs butter or margarine

-3 tbs plain flour

-700ml milk


-Brown the meat, onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a little olive oil.

-When meat is browned and fragrant, add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until sauce is slightly thicker.

-Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make white sauce by melting butter in smaller saucepan. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until flour is cooked out and is smooth. Gradually add milk bit by bit and keep whisking until sauce thickens. On a medium heat, this usually takes around 15 minutes.

Make lasagne by adding a small amount of meat sauce to the bottom of a large lasagne dish. Follow this with the pasta sheets, meat sauce, then white sauce and repeat. Finish lasagne with a layer of white sauce and a mixture of tasty, mozzarella and parmasen cheese.

Bake in a 180 degree oven (fan forced, pre-heated) covered for 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top is golden and bubbling.

Serve with garlic bread and a simple green salad.

Monday, August 1, 2011

This one's for you, Dad

1 year old me, with Dad
You have given me so much in my life and I will always be in debt to you (literally haha) but I couldn't ask for a better father, boss, friend and supporter. You have done so much for our family and you are so loved.

Happy Birthday, Dad xx