Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Visitors to Casa Chaos

A few weeks ago my father called to say he & mum would be coming to visit.

We will probably get there on Sunday said Dad.

Oh, great! But can you get here on Monday instead? I am going on a Girls Weekend Away & I won't be home until Sunday, & I will be all hungover & stuff, & I will need time to clean the house & do the laundry & get your bed ready & stuff.

OK, said Dad. Monday or Sunday.

So an hour after I got home on Sunday, guess who turned up? It wasn't that much of a drama, actually. It was lovely of them to drive all the way here, we really enjoyed having them around, & they had fun with the kids. 

Monkey Boy & his Grandpa bonding over bacon sandwiches.

My mother the Leo. Born performer. Imagine dancing in the supermarket??
I can't imagine doing that.....

We went op shopping a bit & I bought this $5 stoneware bowl, which I am in love with.
It is very generously sized & the tall sides make it very useful in the kitchen.

I really enjoyed cooking for the extended family, even though Mum & Dad both complained that I was feeding them too well. With so many different mealtime preferences/requirements, I have started to deconstruct meals & serve the components separately, so that everyone can custom make their own dinner. This was pasta, with optional pan fried garlic prawns, oven roasted tomatoes, rocket, avocado, shallots, mozzarella, chili sauce, & crumbly bacon.

I've been doing this alot, & so far it's worked really well with sort of asian (Malay pumpkin curry, Hoisin pork, vegetable noodles, pilaf rice, & a big plate of prawn chips & spring rolls to make it really seem like takeaway) & also a sort of Mexican dinner (nachos with homemade refried beans, spicy baked chook legs, more rice, green salad, avocado, cheese & pico de gallo salsa)

Monkey boy checking the curl on the piggy wig's tail
 A local park reopened after the council had re landscaped, so there was a mini festival with face painting, a jumping castle, a puppet show, a petting zoo, free popcorn & fairy floss. It was right next to the farmers market, so it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday.

The Gentleman, Goose Master. 'I don't know why you are so scared of geese, Mum, these are just delightful'

 For some reason, both boys thought the guinea pigs at the petting zoo where wonderful, amazing & fascinating - completely unlike the 3 guinea pigs at home. Do we have guinea pigs at home? Really?

Teenage Daughter with her Grandma. Happy to queue but neither would get on the jumping castle.
 I was sad to see the Olds drive off, but guess what?
The day before they left my mother in law arrived for 2 weeks!

Some books I bought at the second hand book stall. Nora Roberts books are a little bit of brain candy for me - soft core romance with a touch of the supernatural. Everyone has been raving to me about Terry Pratchett but I think they meant the Discworld series, oh well. The Gentleman is just getting into Dr Seuss, & this was in pretty decent condition. I bought Jemima Puddle Duck for a laugh because when Teenage Daughter was small, she called it Vagina Puddle Duck. Too funny!

Do you remember this chair?
I still don't like it.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shhhh, Mummy Needs a Rest.......after her girls weekend away

This last weekend, the much anticipated Girls Weekend Away, was the best weekend I have had in ages. Maybe forever. We laughed, we drank, we talked, we invented new swear words, we went out for dinner & breakfast, we shopped, we might have planked.
Mostly, we drank & laughed.

I will attempt to convey the hilarity through photos but it was tough to make a selection that where fit for the public eye - so I'm sorry but there will be no photos of boobies photo bombing, or anyone licking up a spilt cocktail off the counter, even if it was a Cock Sucking Cowboy.

The view from our luxury apartment on level 54  of the iconic Q1 building in the Gold Coast. I often joke that the Gold Coast deserves it's own CSI show because it is a hotbed of vice & debauchery, & then they made The Strip. I couldn't see any vice from our window, mostly because we were so high up, but there was a fair bit of debauchery in our room.

My friend J & I were lucky enough to score the single beds, which was great, because I was worried my tossing & turning would have kept her up all night. It didn't matter because my snoring kept her up anyway..sorry J. xx

After unpacking we quickly started drinking. We had bought a huge amount of alcohol & needed space in the car on the way home for the shopping..

After a few bottles of wine & about 8 shooters, I was laughing so hard that I actually did split my pants. Yes, that is my arse. But not my fingers..anyone?

Hangover Installation on the kitchen bench.

The next day we went shopping & I decided on a whim to get my hair cut. Chop it! I said to a hairdresser I have never seen. Thankfully, she did a brilliant job. Notice the watermark on this photo? Dannimezza took this when R & I popped up to level 62 to say hello to some friends at the Hello Blogger Event, who by some spooky coincidence where also staying at the same place on the same weekend. You can read about their weekend here, here & here. And another 8 other blogs if you want to blog hop around, they had a ball!

While we where at a restaurant, J walked out of the Ladies with a metre of toilet paper tucked into her pants. Um, is that supposed to be there my dear? asked a sweet old lady. Of course! said J, sweeping it over her shoulder like a scarf & returning to our table. She is a goddamn Rock Star!

 Lucky we where all laughing ourselves silly, because the food was a bit ordinary.
Whatever! Back to the hotel for more drinking!

Mojitos are so yummy, & minty fresh.
Is there anything in my teeth?

S modelling some of her day's shopping haul.
After this R & I popped up to say hello to the bloggers & returned to find grown women, in their pyjamas......

on 8 foot tall vases!

We all had a go at planking on a step ladder, & then
decided that it was more sensible to create a plank stacker.
Fuck, what a laugh!

Just what my core muscles needed after all the planking, another eggs Benedict. 

This photo isn't blurry because of my camera, it's actually my eyes this time.

Best. Weekend. Ever.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Fine Family Adventure & other Stories

When my sister visited us recently with her hubs & kidlets, we went to Sea World for the day & had a truckload of fun. It was cheaper for us to buy annual passes than regular entry tickets, as there was only 1 month left on the theme park calendar. This meant we could cram as many theme park visits as we wanted into that month. Oh, happy day!!

So, at the next available opportunity we where off on the 90 minute drive to Warner Brothers Movie World! Giddy up! Teenage daughter is learning how to drive, so it was a great opportunity for her to get some freeway practice in. So with Mr BC acting as driving instructor we set off, while I controlled the monkey chaos in the back seat.

Teenage daughter did really well, hardly losing her cool with the shenanigans at all. Even though it was raining. We drove into the car park with a sense of gleeful anticipation at a fun family adventure..


...(building suspense here).....


And then before we had parked the car, a lady drove through some give way lines right into the side of our car.

No one was injured, although there was quite a bit of stressful drama. The lady & her friends immediately jumped out of the car & asked after everyone's well being, then apologised about a thousand times. Everyone assured Teenage Daughter that is really wasn't her fault, & really, it wasn't.

So 30 minutes later, after details had been swapped & insurance companies called, we set off to try & enjoy our day anyway. Both cars needed to be towed, & the tow truck that our insurance organised was about 1 hour away. So, off we went!

We went on every ride we could, & I really think everyone had lots of fun. Here is The Gentleman & Monkeyboy, pumped to be in a photo with the Batmobile. This was during the daily parade of characters that inhabit Movie World. They come out & do random stuff during the day & then dance up & down main street for an hour at 3pm. While I was waiting for coffee, Wonder Woman arrived & beat the crap out of 2 masked bandits, for example. Which was awesome, because I am all for Grrrl power, bring it on!

Actually, who I would most like to bring on is Batman. I have a bit of an uncool middle aged woman crush on the caped crusader, much to my families amused embarrassment. Every time I see him I shriek 'Baatman! Batman!' like a demented loser, but he never responds. One year he turned his head (just his head) 30 degrees to glance at me over his shoulder, nodding  once. Once!! NO smiling.  Totally dissed by the Batman, every fricken time. *sigh*

This visit, the Gentleman was finally tall enough to go on the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster, & boy was he excited! Before the ride even finished he was bouncing up & down in his seat, ready to go again. So we did!

I have never met a roller coaster I didn't like, but I especially love this one because of the decor in the waiting room/dungeon. It is full of amazing gargoyles & fountains spilling dry ice smoke. These beautiful (to me) features where used in the movie Scooby Doo, which was filmed in QLD.

Seriously, I need this for my front yard.

So after a long long day of excitement it was time to go home, & after a 30 minute period of annoying confusion our insurance company came up with a taxi ride home. Which they paid $360 for. Yay!
It was really lovely to be back home is our safe, dry little house.

Other Stories

So I made these biscuits but cannot remember where I got the recipe from! I think it might have been from The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site, but maybe not...the recipe said it made 2 dozen, but actually made 6 dozen. Oh, for shame! :-)

  • Cream 250g butter with 1 cup of brown sugar & half cup of raw sugar.
  • Mix in 2 eggs & 2 teaspoons of Vanilla
  • Combine 1 & a half cups of wholemeal flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, & a pinch of salt. Mix into butter sugar mix.
  • Stir in 3 cups of rolled oats & 1 cup of choc chips.
  • Drop rounded tablespoon fulls onto greased cookie sheets & bake at 350 f. Let cool for minute before transferring to a wire rack.

In the Garden...

I have planted some beans & beetroot.

This spiky looking plant is 'Perpetual Coriander'. Regular Coriander bolts to seed so quickly around here so it is nice that this one doesn't. It is a bit spiky though, only the leaves are edible. To the left of the Perpetual Coriander is some Parsley, & behind is some Rocket.

Do you see these little eggplants? Too cute! They are next to some Silver beet, & in front of them both is Stevia, the natural sweetener. I am growing this to put into iced tea next summer, instead of sugar.

We painted our front door a nice Fung Shui red! I love it. It really contrasts well with the light & dark grey we have painted the house. Hopefully it will attract all sorts of good luck.

When choosing the red I went for one with an orangey vibe to it, because I have planted a lot of orange flowering plants in the front yard, to attract happiness. This Orange Trumpet Vine grows really well in this area, we are training it to grow over the transformed carport loggia. This is the first time it has flowered, pretty exciting! Also planted are Ixora & Clivia.

Even when everything is on the rocks life will still prevail..

Image from here

Wait, what is this image doing here??
3 little words ....


Ladies, start your engines!!


Friday, June 10, 2011

meat safe to bathroom cabinet without marraige counselling

After we renovated our bathroom, we ummed & ahhed about some sort of storage for towels & other bathroom paraphernalia. It was a smallish space so we needed something specific. We  considered a built in cupboard but really wanted a piece of furniture - it took ages but eventually we bought this old meat safe off Ebay. It was the perfect size, & we knew it wold be a cinch to strip & make over. he he.

This is what it looked like after I spent a day going at it with a paint scraper, I knew it would need an actual paint stripper but wanted to get any loose material off first. I was prepared for a few coats of paint, but this lovely meat safe had a lot; plus, it had that white plaster base coat they used in the 40s. I have encountered this before & it always gives me a sinking feeling because it is an absolute bitch to get off. It fills in cracks & gives a wonderfully smooth surface to paint over, but it is impervious to paint stripper & needs some real muscle to get rid of it. Occasionally it will be the only thing holding a piece together, but this seemed fairly sturdy.

Finally, stage 2: Chemical Paint Stripper. Actually, this was supposedly all natural, & smelt like Cointreau. I was tempted, but I didn't taste test, obviously!

Pour a little bit into an old tin first, & then top up as you need, then if the tin gets knocked over you will still have some left.
Slather it on carefully, because you don't want to get any on your skin! It really burns!

Waiting, waiting.
Pull up a chair to watch the stripper do its work, & get a bit high off of the fumes.

I did feel a bit woozy from the delightful orange scented fumes,
but I don't remember Bono dropping in.
Hi, Bono! Elevation, right?

See how the paint is all bubbly?
I love this stage, because that means it is ready to scrape off!!

It is very satisfying, getting rid of that paint. I highly recommend it.
(Do you see that white plaster behind the paint? Not at all concerned with the stripper)

It falls in a satisfying heap on the ground, showing your progress.
If it falls on paper then it is easy to clean up later.
This scraped off paint is stripper infused & can still burn, so make sure it doesn't get on your skin.

OK, as enjoyable as it was it was time to bring in the real muscle.
That undercoat was killing me.

I knew Mr BC would get through this if it took him all night.

I'd like to say it was a family affair, but we already know that the paint on the stripper stage has passed, so the Gentleman is clearly hamming it up for a photo. Busted!! Teenage Daughter took all the photos, which was very nice of her & constitutes real work, unlike dressing up in safety goggles.

Mr BC breaking out the sander in the long shadows of the afternoon.
Go you good thing!

The meat safe in all its naked glory.
They used quality pine in the olden days, no 'charachter kots' here.
It is almost a shame to cover it up..

Here is the first coat of stain. You will notice the disgusting orange tint of Jarrah Stain? What I won't go into was the almost urgent need for marriage counselling when that hideous stain continued to be applied to our new heirloom furniture....needless to say, there was a bit more sanding to be done.

Making sure all the bits & pieces got sufficiently stained with Dark Chocolate.

I was a bit puzzled on what to replace the mesh inserts with. Bunnings kept trying to give me fly screen, & the Internet directed me to bronze or copper screening - beautiful but at $340 per panel a bit out of our budget. In the end I got the smallest gauge chicken wire I could find & spray painted it lightly in gold, which worked really well.

Voila! The finished meat safe bathroom cabinet in it's new home!

And from the side..

Lets take a closer look at the side panelling, not garishly over glitzed at all!

Filled with towels - it holds them all perfectly.

We loved it so much we stained this old clothes hamper to match.
(moments later a small child will sit in this hamper to hide, & all of the seams will rip)

Ta da!!
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