Autumn in Wang

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I took these photos over the last few months and have only just gotten around to sharing them with you. I love love LOVE Autumn in Victoria.

The only downside to Autumn, is that it's closely followed by Winter. And Winter in Mt Beauty?? Well, it's going to be interesting...

Hubs' birthday cake (one of them anyway!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I don't have a lot of spare time at the moment, so I'll just give you a quick run-down on the cake. I wanted to do another layer cake, but didn't want to have to spend the whole day making it, so I made 2 cakes - one vanilla cake (double the recipe) and a chocolate cake (a Green's Choc Mud Cake with an extra block of chocolate thrown in for good measure.)

I then divided the vanilla cake up into 4 equal (ish) amounts and coloured them. And then I put big blobs of the cake mixture into the cake pan. (I used a brownie tray for this cake.)

I then attempted to smooth the top down. Rainbow Paddlepop anyone??

Once it was baked and cooled, I put it in the fridge overnight for 2 reasons. 1. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. 2. Cakes are much easier to work with (icing etc) when they are cold. So the next day I got it out of the fridge and cut it into 2 layers. The colours were lovely!

Next time I must remember to give the tray a good bash before baking the cake, to get rid of the air bubbles! I then trimmed all three cakes/layers so they had square corners and straight edges. Then I iced in between each layer with the vanilla bean icing from the vanilla cake recipe.

I then iced the outside with the same yellow frosting.

I knew I wanted to put the ganache on top again, but wasn't sure how. I looked outside at the crappy weather and then it hit me: Drizzle!! HA HA HA!!!

I was very happy with the overall effect. And the taste? Well I'll let you make one for yourself and you can decide. But here's a hint...

Yum yum yum yum yum yum!!!

Happy 30th Birthday Hubs continued

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

After Hubs' exam on Friday, all the med students in his year based at Wang (15) headed back to one of the students' houses to be greeted with this:

It was officially time to party! We had a nice afternoon with yummy treats, cold beers, and of course, tasty tasty caaaaaake!

(More info on the cake to come)
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday dear Huhhhhhhbssssss,
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu!

(Oh okay. Here's a sneaky peek!)

And of course, being Friday, Hubs and Chance had their best Friday shirts on!

And so continues Hubs' birthday month!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Jett Alexander

My dear cousin Amy and her wonderful Hubs Andrew had a beautiful baby boy on the 16th of June. Everyone is doing well and I got to have some lovely new baby cuddles. Congratulations guys, and I look forward to the day that Jett and Chance get to play together! I'm sure they'll be great friends.

Happy ??th Birthday Hubs

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Since Hubs is celebrating a bit of a milestone this year, we're having a birthday month! It started on his actual birthday, last Thursday (the 23rd of June, for those playing at home.) I had planned to give him a big sleep in, brekky in bed, and present opening to follow. What actually happened, is that Hubs was the one who gave me a sleep in! That's just the kind of Hubs I have. An awesome one. Once I got up and showered, I did make him brekky - bagels with cream cheese and we ate together on the couch. Then it was time for prezzies! Unfortunately, it was also time for Chanbe's nap time. So once he was settled, the opening commenced!

He received some lovely cards from family and friends in Brizzie, as well as a package from his Mum that took him for a lovely trip down memory lane. He also received...

... as well as...

... and then there was this!

Hubs had asked me a month or 2 ago if I could make him a jacket. The thing is, he thinks I'm much more clever on the ol' sewing machine than I actually am, so I enlisted the help of my dear "Aunty" Heather (who is one of my Mum's besties, as well as my brother's Godmother) who is a wizz on the sewing machine, and after running all around Brisbane to find the right material, Aunty Heather did an amazing job turning Hubs' ideas into reality!

Rather dashing if you ask me! After a leisurely morning lazing around home, we popped down to our favourite coffee shop for a celebratory coffee and cake.

We then had a lovely evening at home, as Hubs had an exam the next morning that he had to prepare for. And I had a party to prepare for! More details to come!

Uncle John

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rest in peace Uncle John. You were loved by many and will be missed by many more.

Pictured here with his beloved wife and mother.

We're in Brizzie

Friday, June 17, 2011

So Chanbe and I arrived in Brizzie on Wednesday, and unfortunately my little guy is sick sick sick. Just a cold, but a nasty one with a horrid cough that's been keep me him (okay, both of us) up all night. Not much to be done other than give lots of fluids and lots of cuddles, which there are plenty of both.

Anyway, just wanted to touch base and say hi and if this post is a bit random, you can blame the lack of sleep. Also the fact that blogger has changed the layout of posting and it's messing with me a bit. Just something else new to learn... Oh! And my dear cousin Amy had a little baby boy the last night. SO EXCITED!!! Can't wait to meet the little man. Congrats Amy & Andrew on the arrival of Jett Alexander x x x

Starting young

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

30 hours

Monday, June 13, 2011

In the last 30 hours, as well as having 7 (interrupted) hours of sleep, I have been busy in the kitchen making the following:

Shepherd's pie
Lamb stew (slow-cooked)
Chicken stew (slow-cooked after the lamb)
Pasta bake
Orange polenta cake

Oh yes. I'm taking the next month off cooking. Maybe not baking though. I may whip up a batch of either chocolate or oatmeal cookies tomorrow, depending on time. I still have to pack for Brisbane, as well as send a few emails and run a couple of errands, and spend time with Hubs before we depart early Wednesday morning. Unlike last time, we will drive from Wang to Melbourne airport. The thought of all the "legs" was too much this time around, and I'm relieved about that decision.

So much to do! But right now, it's sleepy time. And by that, I mean I'll be sleepy while Chanbe keeps me up :-)

The Cake

Step one: find an awesome vanilla cake recipe

Step two: mix ingredients and choose colours

Step three: bake first layer, which happens to be blue
Step four: break layer when getting it out of pan

Step five: be sad about this

Step six: be happy about your new hair cut and colour! (where applicable)

Step seven: watch as the other layers come out wonderfully!

Step eight: make your ganache and frosting, and colour to your heart's desire!

Step nine: start layering

Step ten: keep layering!

Step eleven: frost the outside of the cake (be generous with this "layer" of frosting)

Step twelve: whack the ganache on top.

Step thirteen: take a cute photo of your son.

Step fourteen: decorate your cake as desired. Don't tell your friends, or whomever you're eating the cake with, what's inside, and enjoy their oooohs and aaaahs!

Yum yum yum yum YUM!!

Any questions? I'll be happy to help if I can. (I got most of my help from the internet.)

Also, there's 14 steps because I can't stop on 13. And I noticed I have 13 followers on my blog. This is not sitting well with me. Maybe someone could help me out? :-)


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why thank you for all the compliments for the cake! I really had a great time making it - that's the good thing about Chanbe going to bed around 6pm. I get the evenings to bake and cook to my heart's content while Hubs plays studies on his computer. Tonight I spent 2.5 hours cooking meals to put in the freezer so Hubs has a few things to eat while I'm away, and so I don't have to cook for a week (more like a month!) when I get back from Brisbane and we have to move.

Oh yeah, did I mention Chance and I are going to Brisbane for a week on Wednesday? I thought it would be good for Hubs to get some solid study and sleep done in preparation for his exams. The next month is going to be absolutely chaotic, with my trip to Brizzie, Hubs' birthday (guess how old he's turning!?) (and I'll give you a hint - it's not 23!), Hubs' first 2 exams, our garage sale, (I'm SO EXCITED about that!), then some full-on packing needs to start, then Hubs' third and final exam (yay!) then more packing (and culling I hope) and then we move the week of the 4th of July. That's only 3 weeks and 1 day away. Yikes! I want to be "settled" in by that Friday - that's the plan anyway. The thought of it all is giving me a massive headache, and I don't know if and when I'll have time to blog in the next wee while, so I'll just have to play that one by ear. I'm glad I got my 500th post in though!

There is something I do want to share in the mean time. Last week I was going through some of my posts on this blog, reminiscing and reading about our adventures, when I stumbled upon this one. I looked up the movie I had mentioned, The Expendables, and Hubs and I ended up watching it last night.

It was awesome.

I do love a good action movie, and the best thing about this movie? One of the scenes had Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and... wait for it... Arnold Shwarzenegger!!! I'm not even kidding! Where else can you get Bruce, Sly and Arnie teaming up like this! It was a thousand times better than The A Team movie (2 thumbs down from me) and just a whole lot of fun. 2 thumbs up if you want mind-blowing action and a star-studded cast.

I'm falling asleep at the keys now, so I'm going to call it a night. Looking forward to seeing a few of you while we're up in Brizzie!

Happy 500 posts Wifey

Friday, June 10, 2011

What better way to celebrate, than with delicious vanilla bean cake!

Delicious vanilla bean cake with vanilla frosting, topped with ganache!

Delicious vanilla bean layer cake with vanilla frosting, topped with ganache!

Does it get any better than this? Happy posting to meeeeeeeee!

Music gets the best of me

Monday, June 6, 2011

(I love that Sophie Ellis-Bextor song)

If (when) you come to visit us, you'll notice a few things: 1. There will often be the smell of freshly-baked goods in the air; 2. I will probably apologise for the chaotic mess that will greet you; and 3. There will be music playing. Nothing loud or fancy, just something playing in the background to add a little ambiance and atmosphere to the place.

Why am I talking about this? Besides the fact that I needed a 499th post (the next one's the big one!) we have been to a couple of social events lately that have been okay but really could have benefited from some background music. Music is the ultimate ice breaker and helps to lighten any mood in any situation. This is definitely one of those things that Hubs and I can't understand why other people don't think the same way as us.

I've even been at people's houses and suggested "Hey do you want to put a CD on?" Is that rude? I'm not saying that these events have been awkward or boring, I'm simply saying having music on as well can make a social situation even better. Like adding a spoonful of milo to your coffee, or putting butter on your corn. It just adds that little something that makes it extra good.

That's pretty much all I have to say about that. And now, to keep you excited, here's a fun video we took of Chanbe on Saturday night (oh yeah, we're party animals) feeding himself. And my voice is in there as usual, laughing my guts up. Oh, and see if you can pick the song/band playing in the background!

Enjoy! And I'll see you soon at number 500!

Wifey's Angels

Friday, June 3, 2011

My mothers group

I cannot begin to describe the amazing, supportive role these women and their babies play in my life. Many other mothers have said how they only really click with one or two women in their mothers group, but ours is made up of the best chicks a gal away from home could ask for. We all get along ridiculously well, and I feel a real bond with these women. There's no judgment, no bragging, and no "one way of doing things." It's an opportunity that we get each week, to talk about the highs and lows, the challenges and milestones of being a mum.

In the absence of family, these women are the best stand-ins I could have ever asked for. We meet at a different mum's house each week where we sit around in a circle with baked goods and coffee and put the kids on the floor in the middle to play with each other. We can just be ourselves. We don't have to straighten our hair (or even wash it. Or even shower for that matter!), or put on our best clothes and pretend that motherhood is a breeze. Cos it ain't. Some of us meet up and walk there in our trackies and caps, covering the hair we haven't washed in a few days. Some of us have bags under our eyes from sleepless nights, others on the day are full of energy from (finally!) a good night sleep.

We ask each other and share advice about anything from nappies to introducing solids, to breastfeeding, to constipation (the babies, not us (-:) Out of the 9 babies, we have 8 beautiful boys and one gorgeous girl. We don't claim to know everything, yet we share what we do.

I cannot tell you how much I'm going to miss our weekly sessions when we move. This is the biggest thing I'm going to miss about living in Wang. I just hope I can come back from time to time to visit, as I know I can just rock up and pick up where we left off. They're just that type of group.