Monday, June 13, 2011

Giveaway comp on "Oh Happy Day": Trip to Paris.

Can you believe that the lovely Jordan from Oh Happy Day is giving away a trip to Paris?

Enter here: and don't forget to check out her DIY projects. Here's one of my faves: a make your own s'mores kit!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brrr, it's getting cold here!

It is finally getting colder in Brisbane.  Typically, we have a few months of cool weather and then we're back in shorts and skirts for the rest of the year.  We don't get snow and most people don't have heating in their homes.  This week we had a really cold day, see a report in one of our newspapers here. Ok, so the temps didn't even go below freezing, but it is still cold for us. After a year of Minnesota weather, this is the coldest I've been in a while.

So I thought this was a great opportunity to cook a slow soup. I took two recipes this one from Jamie Oliver and this one from Donna Hay (who used to be the Marie Claire Australia food editor).  The result was this soup.

I couldn't help putting my new recipe into a video. You can see the result of my efforts here:

I was feeling pretty chuffed about that until I saw this video by tiger in a jar on Vimeo: it is stunning!  I have a lot to learn before I can create something like that...not to mention, I need a video camera.  Oh well. I'm happy to muck around for now and will use the beautiful vids from "tiger" as inspiration.

Friday, June 10, 2011

ARGH! The trouble with possums

Yes, possums are really cute. We get some lovely curious ones visiting us at home. I have to say, the Australian ones are really nice looking compared to possums that you find in some other parts of the world - I'm biased though.

Today, I'm not feeling so charitable. After loosing all my herbs to the hungry possums, I wasn't doing much gardening. Then my lovely grandpa gave me a 5 year old chili plant. He's been growing them, cultivating them, and just generally putting a lot of love into it. I could tell he was really proud of that plant.

This morning we woke up to find that the beautiful big chili bush has now been reduced to a few twigs.  The possums are at it again!!

Do you have trouble with wildlife in your garden?  Any suggestions for how I can live with these cuties but not have every plant ruined?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

American BBQ in Australia

We went out for a special b'day tonight. The Smoke Room is the first and only American style BBQ to smoke all their own meats on the property.  I was disappointed to see no bacon and brown sugar baked beans but the rest of the menu was fantastic!  I had to give myself the day off from "Sweet Enough June" but it was worth it.

I ate way too many wings... oops.

My new (vintage) sewing machine

I really scored this weekend. My grandmother has passed her sewing machine down to me. It is a Singer (Graduate 287) and my grandpa bought it in Melbourne (Australia) in the 1970's.  The machine itself needs a service - I can't seem to get the tension to stick for too long and I'm having trouble with back stitching - but is is so nice to know that soon I'll have a machine in the house. I can sew whenever I like!

I'm also going along to a workshop on the 25th at the Stitchery Collective ( A group of graduates and academics from the Fashion department at the local University are hosting workshops to show people how to refashion an old mens shirt into a jacket or dress. Very exciting! I'll probably be the only beginner in the room, but I'm sure it will be fun.  What a great initiative!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet enough June is a bitter pill to swallow

Quick note to say that I'm struggling with Sweet Enough June. It was my mum's 60th on the weekend and it will be Brad's tomorrow. I'm ashamed to say it but I've eaten a fair bit of sugar. Argh!

I don't even think of myself as a sweet tooth...It has been really hard!

Link Crush

I'm a big fan of Martha's Not Martha blog. It is a fantastic collection of DIY, design ideas, beautiful things from the net, her own photos and get the idea.  I found out today that I've won a pack of soaps from her Blog Birthday giveaway. Yey!

Can't wait to receive them and then I'll pop a photo up!

The soaps are from:  I can't wait to try the soaps out and write about them.

Psst: Only read this part if you aren't my little sister:
I have also found another idea...something very sneaky for someone I love. I can't say much more because it might give it away but I can share this link (from this blog:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sweet Enough June

A friend convinced me to try going sugar free for the month of June. Today was our first day and here's what I ate.  I don't normally think of myself as having a 'sweet tooth' but today was a bit tough. I realized there are little sweet treats that creep into my normal day without me even noticing: A cookie from the jar at work, a little chocolate after dinner, and an occasional chai latte.  I think it is going to be harder than I'd originally planned.  Worst thing is that we're going away on a family holiday this weekend for my mum's 60th birthday.  How am I going to get through it without a few sweets or a slice of cake??

Porridge/oatmeal with cinnamon and sultanas.

My lunch

Dinner - a chicken curry

Tomorrow I'm going to a counselling course to refresh my skills. I'm really excited but a bit nervous about the food. I'm not sure how easy it will be to avoid sugar when I'm not even setting the and adventures again!

The 'retail diet' is going well.but I've just realized that there are some pretty important birthdays coming up. Can I really make or thrift something that is suitable for a b'day?