Over baked

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I've lost my baking mojo. I used to get so excited about finding new recipes and choosing which one to try that week, or going back to old favourites. But lately, the thought of baking makes me feel ho-hum. It could be the constant distraction I know I'd get from Chanbe, but maybe I just need some new inspiration. I've poured over 3 recipe books, as well as my folder of loose recipes that I've printed out over the years, and nothing is exciting me that much.

And the reason I want to be excited about baking is, not only do I have mum's group this arvo that I'd like to take something along to, but we are also having people over for dinner tonight (more med students). They are bringing the main course and I said I'd do nibblies and dessert. And I'm kind of known around the med student traps for my baking, particularly chocolate-filled baking, so you know, no pressure or anything. So I'd really like to make something that would suit both occasions. Oh, and I've been given 10 fresh duck eggs from our friend's farm, and duck eggs are supposed to be great to bake with.

A couple that have somewhat tickled my fancy are:

1. Chocolate orange tea bread (a new recipe to me - it just sounds a bit boring, but it does make 2 "loaves" which would be helpful)
2. Rolled sugar cookies (an old favourite but VERY time consuming)
3. Some sort of chocolate sponge cake.


Some time for me and a funny dessert

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We've been back home (in Wang, just in case you get confused about where we live. I know I do...) for a week now, and we're slowly getting back into our little groove. Life is just looking up and up at the moment, and is continuing that trend which is unbelievably good for my soul. This is what I have spent the last solid half hour enjoying:

Leftover lasagne, a huge salad, a tall glass of water, and the internet. Oh, and a sleeping toddler. This is me time. This is time to catch up on my google reader, respond to emails, read about "Your Pregnancy: Week 18" and lust after my dream pram. I've had such a great week so far, and it's just going to get better. I hit the gym yesterday for some cardio while Chance had a great day in care, even sleeping for over an hour which meant he was a happy little camper when I picked him up!

Last night we got right back into having friends over for dinner which was really lovely. They were meant to come over for dinner tonight but their tutorials got switched (they're both studying with Hubs) so they were free last night instead, which I only found out at 4:30 in the afternoon, but I had everything I needed for lasagne and salad and garlic bread so we went ahead with that. Hubs came home and tidied our bomb-site of a house (I just didn't have it in me!) while I made dinner. I hadn't planned anything for dessert other than "something with strawberries" as they were on special at Coles for $1.60/punnet (I may have bought 6 punnets... and I may be planning on buying more today...) so instead of my usual choc-dipped strawberries, we had do-your-own strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Seriously, if you want an entertaining dessert, this is it. I melted a bowl of 70% dark chocolate and placed it in the middle of the table next to a huge bowl of the biggest strawberries in the punnets. And handed out napkins and little forks. It was the messiest, funniest dessert I've ever had. There was melted chocolate on chins, on fingers, and all over the strawberries, that got dropped in the bowl more than once. It was just hilarious, so much so that I was worried I was going to laugh chocolate and strawberries out of my nose.

The verdict? Maybe next time I'll use smaller strawberries. But an absolute winner FOR SURE! Super easy, delicious, and a great source of entertainment for all.

Being left behind

Thursday, August 23, 2012

(Quick update: We're back home in Wang! Woo!! It's cold and rainy. Boo.)

For the better part of the last year, I have been getting around to updating/upgrading/overhauling my blog. I have considered, a number of times, outsourcing this job to someone who has a clue, but then my stubbornness (read: poverty) gets the better of me and I figure, "it can't be that hard!" So I started playing around with a few ideas and in January, recruited my friend who is a graphic designer, to help me with my masthead, as graphic design is definitely something I have no idea about. And now that that's done, I've changed my mind about the name, which means more work to be done that I can't really do. Ooops. Plus I had to decide on who to host my domain name with (I don't even know if I'm saying this right, let alone doing it right!!) which Hubs helped me with. We set that up today.

And now there's lots of fiddly things to do that I'm trying to learn how to do. The thing is, I never used to be this useless. I used to know how to do things like edit photos, resize them and send them to people, and use programs like publisher, and I even did some intranet page designing in one of my jobs, but we don't have mainstream software (we use open source software) and I've really lost a lot of my skills, as I just don't practice often enough. Another problem is that we don't have a designated computer space that's ready to go at all times; ready for photos to be downloaded; ready for photos to be printed; ready for me to just sit down and get my sh*t sorted.

And I feel like the internet/blogging world is leaving me behind. It makes me sad. I feel like I have all this potential, but I'm treading water, waiting for all my ducks to line up before taking the next stop. The problem is, the ducks are in very real danger of getting run over as they sit in the middle of the road, waiting.

But today we set up the domain name. I'm hoping to do some tweaking on my masthead, and am hoping to be up and running in the next few weeks. If you have any tips for wordpress (where I'm moving my blog to) or having a .com, I'm all ears. I just keep thinking "surely it shouldn't be this hard!!!!"

Aw maaaaan!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's 11:46 pm and I'm sitting up watching the movie Good Will Hunting. I love this movie so much and committed to staying up til stupid o'clock to see the scene. You know the one. The "it's not your fault" scene with Matt Damon and Robin Williams. Only problem is, a few minutes leading up to this scene, the stupid digital reception started going all blippy and cutting in and out.

The scene? Ruined. The reception? Fixed itself up during the next lot of ads. I'm not even kidding. So gutted. But what are you gunna do?

Adults only

Friday, August 17, 2012

(I've been meaning to type this post for a couple of weeks!)

When Hubs was visiting us from Melbourne, we took the opportunity to go out to dinner. Just the 2 of us. Being around the Redcliffe area, we weren't exactly spoiled for choice with places to dine on a Thursday night, so I jumped on to Google to see what I could see. Ahem. Not much. Then I mentioned the "R" word.


Hubs was suddenly a man possessed. It had to be ribs. And what restaurant was the most likely source of ribs? Hogs Breath Cafe. We weren't overly enthused to be honest - it wasn't really my idea of a romantic night out! But without any great alternatives, Hogs is had to be.

We arrived and were seated outside in a little, ah hell, let's call it "romantic" corner, and a few minutes later our drinks order was taken. We weren't ready to order yet so our waitress said she'd be back soon. Our drinks were brought out by a different waitress who promptly left us, so we just sat and drank and chatted for a while. After a little while, I said to Hubs "I think they've forgotten about us."

This triggered a series of "events" that really showed me that a) I need to relax and not be so concerned about time and what "should" be happening, and b) how different Hubs and I are when it comes to time and what "should" be happening. Hubs just kept saying "what's the rush? Do you have to be somewhere? Am I not interesting enough for you? They haven't forgotten about us. They'll be here." to which I replied "I'm not in a rush, I'm just saying, they've forgotten about us!" This went on for a while, and I said to Hubs that all I wanted was acknowledgement that they'd forgotten about us, and I'd relax. We made a deal that if the next table, who had arrived after us, got their food, I got to wave down a different waitress (ours was nowhere to be seen!)

Sure enough, 40 minutes later, we had not ordered so I was allowed to flag someone down. Turns out they had forgotten about us, and because of that, we got dessert on the house! So even though I was right, Hubs was also right about me not needing to be in a hurry all the time, and sometimes things don't go the way I plan, but they work out okay in the end - free profiteroles!

Oh, and the ribs were really disappointing!!

So here we are

Friday, August 10, 2012

We found out this week where Hubs, and therefore we, will be spending next year. And the winner... is...


We are really very happy with that placement. Even though we would have liked Cairns as our first choice, there were no positions left after the first round offers all went to Queensland med students, but once we considered Townsville as a possibility, we decided we would be very happy there as well. We have family and friends up there and when I told them the news, they were very excited which was a lovely feeling.

Hubs finishes up medicine (woo!!) in early November, and we're planning on moving up not long after that. The hospital is providing some moving assistance and accommodation while we look for somewhere to live which will be very helpful indeed. I've already started looking at houses up there and am really enjoying making plans,which is something we haven't been able to do for quite a long time.

I'm feeling really great about the move, and am glad we can get up there and settle in before Christmas, and set ourselves up before the baby is due at the end of January.

So here we are. We have an answer to our big question, we have plans to make, and time to dream about what adventures next year will bring for our family.

And all that Jazz

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A couple of my very talented friends invited me to the Brisbane Jazz Club Sunday week ago to hear them perform with some of their very talented friends. Among other things, there was a grand piano that was very grand; a lovely lass with an angelic voice; a saxophone with some deep tones; a cheeky bass; and 3 ukeleles played by 3 lovely ladies. And it was just lovely. Song after song, I was humming along. (Yes, I meant that.) They played 3 sets that were all very different from each other, and really kept the whole crowd entertained.

But the highlight for me was the 3 lovely ladies playing this song on their ukeleles, though it sounded (and looked) a little different!

Well said, Mitchell Watt

Monday, August 6, 2012

Well said.

"What went wrong?"

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I've been watching the Olympics a lot the last week. Not as much as I would like as I value my sleep, but I've been getting in some great couch time. I've so far been quite impressed with Channel Nine's coverage - they say what is coming up and they actually show that event, unlike Channel Seven's debacle in Beijing! I'm not even minding the ridiculous number of replays of the same races over and over again. My only issue with the whole coverage is the interviewing. The number of interviews are fine, and the quality of the questions are generally pretty good, except one question.

"So, can you tell us what went wrong?"

What does that even mean? Why is there an implication that something actually did go wrong? As my Mum says, not everyone can win. And it's okay not to get the gold. Sometimes a person does the best they can, or maybe they feel like they could have done better, but suggesting that something went wrong is such a cop-out. What answer are they expecting?

"Well I got a massive wedgie at the halfway mark and was so distracted I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing."

It's not a question that needs to be asked as there is most likely no answer, and I imagine it would just make the athlete feel like they weren't good enough. Like losing needs to be justified, or someone/something needs to be blamed for their "loss" instead of "well the person who beat me ran/swam/rowed/dove/kayaked better than me today."

Oh, and another one I just heard:
"If you had your time again, what would you do?
Answer: "I wouldn't do this interview."

6 months ago...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

... I wrote this post. This post was about changing a few things in my life that I felt were holding me back and getting me down. I had a good attitude and was motivated to make those changes.

2 weeks later, I broke my foot, and everything kind of turned to crap. I couldn't exercise, and I continued chewing my nails out of frustration and anxiety. The good news is, my hair is getting nice and long (which means I want to cut it off again!!!) and one of the "other things" that I was hoping would happen was that I'd be pregnant, which I am. The faith thing is still somewhere in the middle, but I'm getting there.

The only thing that I feel is still really keeping me in limbo, is not knowing where we'll be next year, but as I mentioned, we'll know that very soon.

I know I'm definitely in a better place with how I feel about my body, especially now that I'm in my second trimester. I feel stronger and (ever so slightly) fitter, and know that the more exercise I can fit in, in the next 6 months, the better my pregnancy and recovery will. I know it will also help me to prepare for our new life next year - the move, the baby, the settling in - our life certainly is never dull!

So. That was my last 6 months. Let's see what the next 6 months has to offer!