Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Missing in Action and Cumquat Cordial

I do return, it's been awhile since my last post and it's been killing me that I haven't had a chance to sit down at the computer and type away. Missing in Action can be fun but can also be stressful, mine's been a bit of both.

So many things have been happening, we bought a new car on Sunday (which is exciting) but it's been a stress and a half organising finance, trying to make sure we can make the repayments and get the right interest rates blah blah blah - what a headache. Also today at work some of us got show a new computer system that will decrease the amount of images that need to be processed by us what they didn't tell us but we all realised is - if there is less images to process then you'll need less people to process them, so we're all unsure what's going to happen next and cause we are all temps they don't need to give us notice of leave. Plus MJ's Nan had a really bad panic attack today, which worried us all - poor thing.

Anyway on a brighter note, I had a lovely day out on Saturday with a good friend to Luna Park (a post will follow), I've tried some new and different recipes (more to follow). But I will share one with you today.

The other week I was in our local fruit shop and for only a $1.50 there was a carton of Cumquats (also spelt Kumquat), they are this sour little citrus fruits and I thought what the heck I'll make something out of that. Now I didn't want to make a jam so I hit up Google (where would we be without it) and found a lovely little recipe for Cumquat cordial syrup (click here for the recipe).

It was so simple and easy to make, took no time at all and tastes wonderful. I was worried it was going to be too sweet from the sugar but with just a little bit in the bottom of a glass and the rest water, it's the perfect balance. Plus it made up quite a bit too, 2 full bottles worth, that's going to last us awhile.

All blitzed up

Sugar syrup almost ready

2 bottles of syrup 

End product

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Here's to another 7 days of happy!!!!

It's that time again - happy challenge catch up time.

Please tell me what you would choose for each theme, I'd love to hear your comments.

12. Flower

This was my wedding cake, I loved it, my mum made it for me. So bright and colourful, a very happy day that was.

13. Hairdo

My hair is dead straight, it doesn't hold hairdos very well at all, they just fall flat out again in seconds. But if I could have an awesome hairdo I'd want this one (image found here)

14. Creation

Creation is a marvelous thing, all the wildlife and landscapes and just so many pretty things to see. I had so much fun years ago when I went to Scotland and took way too many photos of squirrels (I'd never seen one so they fascinated me).

15. Walk

While on the subject of overseas, we walked everywhere and took many trails around gardens, castles, churches etc and saw so many wonderful things. It was happy memory our big trip (can't believe it was back in 2010). One of the best walks I did was up the Eiffel Tower.

16. House

Doesn't this adorable tree house just make you smile? I know it makes me smile, I'd love to live in it. Not sure where the original image is from but I found it here.

tree house

17. Holiday

I love going on holidays, they are one of the best things in life, getting away from the norm and just plain having fun. I thought since I've shared some other overseas photos from years ago I thought I'd continue the trend and share another one now.

This photo makes me laugh whenever I see it, it was a freezing cold day in Scotland and I forced poor MJ down to Loch Ness riverbank so I could prove the Loch Ness monster did exist. See my photo is proof that he was there.

18. Childhood

As a child I loved dressing up and I still do, here I am dressed in my Suzie Snowflake outfit when I was doing ballet. I loved this outfit especially the muff, I cried when I had to give it away to another ballet girl.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Friday was monthly cardmaking day and this month the cards we made just seemed extra special and pretty.

Let me know which one is your favourite - mine is the one with the black roses.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

7 Days of Happy

The month of happy challenge has been going great, it's been wonderful to reflect of the happier things of life, even among all the negativity that is out there in the world today.

Here are last weeks 7 days of happy. Let me know what you have chosen for each theme please.

Day 5 - Treat

These munchy muesli cookies are a yummy treat that make my tummy happy without an upset - yeah!!!!

Day 6 - Girl

My little kitty girl always makes me happy - even more so when she's sleeping peacefully.

Day 7 - Boy 

Well I'm going to say boys - these two boys light up my life and bring me so much happiness. My husband and my little nephew.

Day 8 - Read

Inspirational quotes. They just make me smile, especially funny ones like this.

Day 9 - Colour 

PINK!!!!!!!! One of the happiest colours out there!!!!!

(can't remember where I got image from been on my Ipad for ages)

Day 10 - Condiment

Can I count the buttercream tomato sauce on this cheeseburger cupcake?
Oh please can I as it was ever so nice!

Day 11 - Movie

The Little Mermaid - no more needs to be said

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Birthday Party - Part Two

Today is part two of MJ's birthday party (see part one here).

It was a beautiful Sydney day with clear blue and wonderful temps just perfect for a family BBQ. I love having both mine and MJ's families over to celebrate birthdays.

MJ really enjoyed his party and didn't mind sharing it with his dad, cousin and brother's girlfriend.

We started the day off getting presents from me. I bought him a Star Trek Klingon Bird of Prey model, Angry Birds T-Shirt and Big Bang Theory Season 5 DVD.

We started setting up for the party, I went with a bit of a blue theme and bought blue balloons, blue napkins, blue streamers and a blue bunting. Plus the best of all a soccer ball pinata full of Freddo Frogs and bouncy balls - which went flying through the backyard once the ball was cracked open.

Our sweet little 4 year old nephew bought his uncle Angry Birds slippers cause he thought Uncle MJ would like them - which he did.

We had so much food but thankfully a lot got eaten and people took some of it home to for lunches.

Everyone loved the cakes and cheeseburger ones seem to be the winner. 

The pinata got smashed to bits.

The main birthday cakes were loved by all.

Everyone was so tired by the end from all the fun and laughter. Can't wait for the next family get together, we need to do them more often.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Birthday Party Cooking

Wow what a day, today was MJ's 29th birthday so we had a family BBQ to celebrate. Full on day of fun, so now I've got my feet up and resting.

I'll share the day over 2 posts, I'll first share yesterday - the 11 hour baking and decorating marathon. I started baking at 10am and turned the oven off at 4pm but didn't stop decorating till 9pm at night, but it was worth it, to see the smile on MJ's face when he saw his Sydney FC cake was priceless.

August is a very busy birthday month in our family, on my side there is my brother's on the 2nd and his girlfriend's on the 7th and then on MJ's side - his is the 11th, his dad's the 12th, his cousin's the 13th and then his brother's girlfriend's on the 19th. So wow lots of birthdays and I wanted to make sure everyone felt included so there were 4 birthday cakes today to cover MJ's side of the family. My brother's we celebrated last week.

We had dairy free Star Wars cookies, dairy free chocolate Candy Crush cupcakes (MJ's brother's girlfriend's - a huge candy crush fan), Cheeseburger cupcakes (his cousin), Tour De France cake (for his dad) and a Sydney FC cake (for MJ). They all went down a treat - awesome.

The cheeseburger cupcakes were found via this Youtube channel here (so many awesome cake ideas there) and the others I made up out of my head. 

I bought the Star Wars cookies cutters at my local cake decorating shop. But I've seen them on Ebay before too (check here).


So much washing up

Mmmmmmm Cheeseburgers - oh so good

Sydney FC Cake

Mmmm Good these cookies are - Yoda

Monday, 5 August 2013

A Month of Happy

Well August is upon us which means a new monthly challenge is here. This month it's a month of happy!!!! Yeah!!! Everyone needs a month of happy.

I'm going to do what I did last month and have a weekly roundup post for each theme unless I feel it really needs it's own post. 

So here are the first 4 days of a month of happy.

1. Place

My happy place - mmmm - I've got a few happy places, my cozy bed on Saturday mornings, MJ's hugs, the couch waiting TV with my kitty cat curled up with me, sitting in the sun with a good book, spending time with family, laughing with friends, bubble baths, there are so so many happy places thankfully in my life I've just got to remember to look for them. 

2. Shoes

My ugg boots on a cold winters night. 

3. Blog

I love reading blogs and so many of them put me in a happy mood. Here is list of some of my favourites.

4. Drink 

I recently bought some Choc Chip Chai tea from T2 and I love it. It's oh so yummy and just makes me feel so peaceful when drinking it.

Share with me your happy moments and places. I'd love to see them.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Be Determined!!!

A tear fell down her cheek, she wasn’t really sure why she was crying she just felt so alone and so full of fear, so sad. She feels selfish as she has such a lovely family, a loving husband, her health and a roof over her head, what does she have to be sad about? Selfish girl, well that’s what one counsellor told her, just like the other one laughed at her when she said she had voices inside her head. Attempts to end it were made but never successful. She’s scared not knowing who to turn to or who will help her. Most people would just say the feeling will pass don’t worry about it, but she had felt like this since she was a little girl. Always picked on, always bullied, punched, teased for being poor, teased for being different, always rejected by peers. She left school early to get away from it but it still followed her through work life, church life, so called friends etc. She trusted no one, kept her guard up, even when a beautiful boy fell in love with her and she with him, she still was careful just in case he too rejected her. Herbal medication helped a little, at least the voices left her alone, but she couldn’t use them forever due to other medications she was on. The silent battle continued, not many understood. Now many years later she’s back on herbal medication and feeling a little relief and coping a little bit better thanks to understand counsellor (finally). She has her good days and really bad days still but she just keeps going as I am one determined bitch to beat this.

Depressions sucks (literally), it sucks the life right out of you, it sucks pleasure, sucks energy, it just plain sucks. What sucks even more, it’s becoming far too common in our society now, mental health is one of the biggest expenses and worries in our country and world today, but it is still very misunderstood. Depression isn’t just people feeling sad about something (yes that can be one thing but that usually doesn’t last long) depression is the feeling of worthlessness and such pits of despair that you can’t see the light. Everything is an effort and you feel no motivation to do anything at all as it just too much.

There is help out there, you just need to muster up a little effort to find out. I’ve been to plenty of counsellors and lots of them were useless and just made things worse but I finally found a good one in Suzie and she’s fantastic, I love her and what she’s done for me, even if it’s only a listen ear while I carry on about something or nothing all at once. I’ve just started back on St John’s Wort and I’m noticing a little difference, I’m coping a little easier with things and even getting out of bad days a little quicker too. It’s still there though sitting there waiting for me but I won’t let it win and neither should you. You’re better than you think you are, you are awesome, you wouldn’t have been put on this earth if you weren’t awesome. We are all here for a reason and I want to find out mine.

I hope my story has helped shed some light on this dark world of depression and maybe helped someone out there. You can do it too, be a determined bitch too.

Image from here

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Cockatoo Island - Item #38

A few weekends back I got to cross item #38 off my 101 list - visit Cockatoo Island.

My friend and I have been trying to get over there now for about a year or more but every time we planned the day something went wrong, twice it rained and once she was sick. So finally fourth time lucky we planned and made it there but not after missing the ferry due to the annoying ferry guy and then being on the wrong wharf and running to catch the next one. It was a beautiful Sydney day - fantastic weather, I really enjoyed the ferry trip over.

We arrived on the island and processed to leave only 40 minutes later as there was nothing there of interest to us, I don't know why we even went now. It was something my friend wanted to do and I just went along for the ride. I think we might have stayed longer if we had of listened to the audio tour but neither of us really wanted to listen to it and I find audio tours are full of too much information and I just get lost in it all.

There is a lot of history on the island and if you are a history buff I'm sure you'll love it. I don't regret going as it was a fun day out with great company and awesome weather. After we caught the ferry back to Circular Quay we headed over to The Rocks markets for a wander around. Plus we planned our next city trip - we are going to walk across the Harbour Bridge and wander around Luna Park and then walk back over and back home. Looking forward to it.

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