Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fishing Luck

Mr BC has a friend named Wally, that he goes fishing with. Wally is very lucky at fishing. He has a lot more luck than Mr BC.

The other weekend they where in the same boat, with the same gear, using the same bait. They cast off at the same time. Wally caught lots of fish, while Mr BC caught none. Mr BC even had Wally bait his hook but he still had no luck. Mr BC said that he was reduced to using his heaviest sinker and lowering it down in the hope that he might actually knock a fish out; still no fish. (Lucky Wally gave him some, he had enough to spare)

'Catch Wally's fish as they fly in the air!' Apparently this isn't funny.

So to be helpful, I googled for fishing luck and came across this information, from several sites: Bananas bring the very worst bad luck to any fishing endeavours. They will guarantee that you will not catch any fish. Even Banana Boat sunscreen, banana chips and banana lollies are considered bad luck by lots of fishermen. Bananas will cause your engine to stall, your rod to break and freak accidents to happen. It is customary to hide a banana on your opponents boat during fishing competitions.

But they where on special, so I bought a lot.


Sorry Babe. Guess you will take mandarins next time.

Other strange fishing superstitions include a lucky (or unlucky) hat; ensuring you break in a new rod at the 'right' place; 'holding your mouth right' whatever the hell that means; throwing the first fish back in for luck, or maybe that is throwing your luck away? Depends on who you listen to. Playing a guitar gently will bring the fish to the surface, but not a harmonica for gods sake because that will bring snakes; spitting on your bait brings luck; turning your pockets inside out is lucky.  And about a thousand more.

Are you superstitous? Do you have any tips for fishing luck?

xx

Friday, June 29, 2012

Today I am a guest poster!




Today I am sharing pearls of wisdom over here at Redcliffe Style. Do pop over and say hello!

xx

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chaos Notes - Picture Edition


$79 bought me a red trench coat, black drawstring pants, purple shirt with shoulder detail, a black wool cardigan and a pair of skinny jeans.
Mix Apparel sent me a voucher to trial their new online ordering system, and can I just say it was VERY IMPRESSIVE. The site was easy to navigate, It was easy to change my mind about what was in my virtual trolley, you can order from a specials page (so you don't have to feel ripped off that you missed out on the amazing sales instore) AND shipping is free on orders over $50. They told me delivery might take 5 business days, but it took 2. And the biggest bonus is that thanks to the sizing chart everything fit really well! I am loving the skinny jeans, and those black pants, when I was expecting them to both not fit properly. (Disclaimer - Mix might have given me a voucher to purchase clothing but these words and enthusiasm are completely my own)

High res camera phones are awesome at picking up every wrinkle detail, aren't they?
 I took Rachel's advice and went to Beautiful You for a proper haircut from a liscenced hair doctor. I was happy to cut my own hair but unless I removed my own head I wouldn't have been able to cut it properly at the back. I have since dyed out that grey. I mean I like Morticia and all but..
(Disclaimer - Beautiful You don't even know I am writing this, and I paid for my own haircut)


Sometimes I think that Australians watch the price of bananas like others watch the price of oil, or gold. Was it this time last year that Cyclone Yassi had wiped out the banana growing region and forced the price up to $12 per kg? The price above almost created a stampede!


Is there anything better than a proper coffee in a sea of chaos?
Sometimes it's just the thing.


Casa Chaos Laundry: and this was before the rain set in.
Oh look, there is my mojo; I knew I'd lost it somewhere.


These are the photos the high res camera phone is made for!
Rainbow Lorikeet on a Pohutukawa hedge.


Mr BC's signature pancakes, served in bed, after a sleep in.
Stand back ladies, he's mine!



Shenanigans at Hungry Jacks.
(Shortly after this, one of these children will vomit spectacularly in that play area, hastening our exit.)



Heading out to the Museum for a rainy day afternoon.



I only took this a week ago, and I miss the sun already.
See that beautiful sparkly ocean? Doesn't look like that now.
Piss off rain! It's the school holidays!

I think all of Brisbane is dispairing at this weather. What are your suggestions for school holiday activitys that avoid the rain?

xx

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Home Made Chapatis

......................are easier than you think!

Mix togethor;
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic (or another flavour if you like)
  • 1 cup of water.
Knead for a little while, adding more water if you need to until the dough is smooth.
Cut into 8 pieces.
Roll each out on a floured surface as thinly as you can, no more than a few millimeters thick.
Pan fry in a very hot, dry (no oil) frypan, until puffed up.

Thats it! Eat with curry. Yum!

I know, I know - rice, chapatis AND potatoes. What, are you the Carb Police?

Suggestions for a family curry table;
  • Home made Chapatis (so impressive!)
  • Red curry vegetables with chickpeas
  • Mild beef and potato tomato based curry
  • Prawns or chicken sauteed quickly with some green vegetables and tumeric.
  • Chopped tomato salad with coriander or parsley
  • Chopped cucumber salad with mint and a sprinkle of mild vinegar
  • Rice pilaf
  • Poppadoms cooked in the microwave because I cannot deal with that much oil.
Place on the table and stand back.

xx

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Monkey Boy; tell us what you really think.

Monkey Boy is a delight. He is a delight when he dresses as Buzz Light Year for a trip to the supermarket and stays in character the entire time, with an encore on the travelators.

He recently asked for a ‘tooth pickle’ because he had something stuck in his teeth. Too cute!
One of his favourite DVDs is a cartoon of Hercules, with a theme song that sounds like ‘Her-KEW Leeees!’ which is interpreted by Monkey Boy as ‘Tur-KEY Leeeegs’. Adorable. But then we come to conversations like these;

Me – (to Mr BC) Do you think it is it going to rain? I have stuff to put on the line...
Mr BC – let’s ask Monkey Boy! He always knows what the weather is doing, he is the Weather Dude! Hey, Monkey Boy, is it going to rain? (side note: OK then, Crazy Man...)
Monkey Boy – No, it is not going to rain. Those clouds will just go away. You can put washing on the line mum.
(Later on, it rains all over the washing, but I give Monkey Boy a big hug anyway)
Monkey Boy – Mum! You hug too hard! You are making my muscles angry! Dad is much betterer than you!
Me – Really? Can he make nice dinners?
Monkey Boy – Yes!           
Me – Can he buy you chocolate after day care?
Monkey Boy – Yes!
Me – Can he do the laundry?
Monkey Boy – YES! You just leave it in the rain!!

Did you see what he did there? That conversation might be filed under diabolically cute, but the following? I am wounded.
Mum, your chin under your chin is just really big, like a pelican! Does all the food go in there?
Then he throws his head back and imitates a pelican eating.

Wounded, I tell you.

xx

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Date Night


Last night, Mr BC and I attended the Brisbane premier of Rock of Ages. This movie celebrates the great era of big hair rock, think 1980s rock gods such as Metallica, Poison, Van Halen - you know, my usual play list! The storyline is not challenging, but the array of big name stars coupled with some hugely enjoyable dance scenes and heartfelt anthems/ballads more than make up for it.  I laughed alot. Just sit down and prepare to have fun. If you love Glee, this will be right up your ally.

We where invited to attend by The PR Company, who work with Village Roadshow. They invited 150 odd other people through their facebook page, who all turned up and had an absolute hoot! We collected our 'back stage pass', a goody bag containing some hair product, stick on nail polish kits, a temporary tattoo,  and most importantly; a rock star wig. Which everyone put on immediately so they could run over to the hairdressing installation and get their locks seen to before having their photo taken with a cardboard guitar. All to the awesome sound of a live (wigged) rock band playing next to the snack bar. Awesome!! 

Once in the theatre, the band moved in an sang a few Bon Jovi numbers as well as a hard core rendition of 'Turn your mobile phone off'. They had the very excited audience dancing, singing, jumping and playing air guitar, and then they started handing out prizes for the most animated! The prizes where ipad shaped and I seriously considered flashing my boobs in true hard rock chick style, but then remembered my age and thought I stood more chance of winning if I kept the girls hidden. Also - this was date night, so lets keep it classy! So I sat there in my platinum bob thinking smugly how some people where such whores for corporate branding. (That was both sarcasm and irony, in case you missed it) 

After the movie, 150 odd happy but wig free people wandered out into the crisp evening air. We kept our wigs on though. We went to Hungry Jacks and ate cheeseburgers while sitting in the window, and laughed at people who did a double take. Awesome.

So many thanks to The PR Company, for providing a super fun evening out to a couple of old rockers. And thanks especially for the validated parking. But hey!! This wasn't a sponsored post, The PR Company doesn't even know or care that I am a blogger. I just had an awesome night and wanted to tell you about it! If you want to follow The PR Company on facebook you can do so here, maybe they will have another movie premiere in the future. I hope so!

Are you ready to rock laugh?




Dragging Crap Home

The other day I was out walking when I spotted an entertainment unit on the side of the road. You know those massive big arse things that everyone had to have in their living room 10 years ago, to house the big arse TV, the DVD player, and your DVD collection? It's a shame they are kicked to the curb, because sometimes they are very sturdy, nicely made pieces of furniture. I see them everywhere - no one wants them any more because your regular big arse flat screen TV can just attach to the wall. So when I saw this, I tried to drag it home. But despite being on casters, it was too heavy, so I asked Mr BC to go and get it for me.


I think this was just cheap pine with a bit of MDF thrown in. Apart from one of the hinges being broken it was very sturdy, but it didn't matter because I didn't need those hinges anyway; and it was pretty ugly, that stain is horrendous! It was a very simple upcycle, this is what we did.
  • Take off the back.
  • Remove the dividing slat in the bottom.
  • Cut around the top, leaving a bit of side structure.
  • Cut around completely at the middle shelf line.
  • Remove middle shelf.
  • Use one of the discarded side sections to create a new back.
  • Screw front doors on so that they stay closed.
  • Put in a few supporting slats across the back.
  • Add hinges.
  • Paint white.
And here is what it looks like!


Still not clear?



It's a toy box!

It is super sturdy, and there was hardly any actual construction involved. It is still on casters so is easy to move. I might paint it a different colour one day. I might even add some upholstery to the top.


But for now, it is doing a good job containing ALL the chaos!

xx

Monday, June 11, 2012

How to unslump yourself

via

“You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in the Slump.
And when you’re in the Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.


You know that feeling - you are tired, you are feeling a bit achy, a bit bored, a bit hopeless, a bit dissatisfied with yourself and everything you see? No?! Oh, not me either...Well, actually yes, me. This is what I do to try and restore the balance to my-own-world domination, when I need to Destress and Reorder my house. It mostly works. My list starts with my home, because that is the most important thing to me. If I feel like my home is in order, then my foundation is solid to move on to other things.

  1. Clean and declutter. I actually like clutter, but it's like the ocean, you can't turn your back on it or it will swell up like a giant wave and dump on you. Be ruthless, and get rid of it!
  2. Make all the beds. Some households make their beds as soon as they get up, but not the Chaos family. We have a persistent bed wetting co-sleeper on our hands, (pray for me) so the beds are normally in a state of disarray. maybe it's just me and my situation, but freshly made beds make me happy in my special place.
  3. Sort the laundry, and put a load on. Even if you don't hang it out until tomorrow, just starting this task will eliminate mental stress.
  4. Dust. This could have come under clean, but I like to do a special dust when the house needs a bit of order. I sprinkle Lavender oil and Eucalyptus oil on a micro fibre mitten, the one that looks like a sea creature. It will pick up the dust, sanitize germs, and deodorise the air. The hippy in me also believes that it dispels negative energy. Don't laugh! Give it a go.
  5. Shine my Sink. Just like the Fly Lady says, clean your kitchen bench tops, wash and dry (and put away) anything in your sink, and then clean your sink until it gleams. Eliminates that grody feeling from rooms away.
  6. Swap stuff out. Move around some furniture, change the pot plants, change the lamps or cushions. Changing stuff around seems to change my perspective a little bit, but it doesn't have to be major. One of my favourite (and simplest) things to do is use a different fruit bowl. The fruit bowl sits on our dining table and is viewed about a million times a day, so a different one makes a big impact.
  7. Oil Burner. Or scented candle if you prefer. Use a fresh, happy scent to lift your spirits. Sometimes I put some lavender in to match the Dusting, sometimes I get my inner aromatherapist on and put in Rose (calming) and Orange (instills happiness).
  8. Something nice in a vase. Clip something from your garden, it doesn't have to be flowers. Sometimes I clip a few small branches from an orange tree, sometimes a bit of honeysuckle or jasmine. Even ivy would work.
  9. Cook something nice for your family. Get the slow cooker going, put a casserole in the oven, bake a cake or some biscuits. Minestrone is easy, healthy and delicious. Whatever you cook doesn't have to be from scratch, cookie dough from the supermarket will have the same effect. It will make you feel domestically in control, and your family will be happy with something yummy in their tummy. This will have the effect of making them less prone to fighting and whinging, and hopefully, in the case of small children, sleepy. Win-win!
  10. Get everyone into warm, clean clothes. This might not be valid to you, but in a house of mostly male monkeys, it's imperative. My boys are happy to tear around in daggy, ripped and/or stained clothes with only their body heat to keep them warm - which means that while the neighbours are wondering if they should call the authorities the children will get sniffly noses and sore throats. Bribe them into something warm, and throw away the raggedy clothing. Feel free to adjust this point for seasonality, but keep the idea of throwing away anything raggedy.
  11. Fresh Towels in a clean bathroom. Not a novelty, but lovely. Just lovely. Put a little vase of greenery in there too. Get rid of bath toys, or store them in something pretty so you don't have to look at them.
  12. Sweep or Vacuum. Or both, if your house requires it. If your house is like mine it will need a steam mop as well, but don't do this until the children are asleep or there is just no point...
  13. Read something inspirational. Head to your favourite blogs and read some lifestyle hacks so you can at least feel like a fulfilling life is just around the corner. My current favourite is A life less frantic.
  14. Make some lists, one for each section of your life that needs attention. Health, Finances, Projects, Gardening, Home Reno's, Blog, whatever your poison. Now empty your head of all of the things that need doing into their appropriate list. Stop them swirling around creating stress and get them out! Just the act of writing them down is therapeutic, and it also forms a springboard to get them from being a nebulous 'item' to being 'an action point'. Once they are in black and white your brain has permission to put down the burden, move on, and to start thinking up a plan to get them done.
  15. Go for a walk. Breathe some fresh air, get a different perspective. Clean the cobwebs out of your head and get the circulation going. It's excellent for your mental health and invigorating to your body. If you can, walk near water, it is very soothing.
  16. Finish your day. Come home to your lovely, inviting, clean house, and have a shower in your beautiful spa like bathroom. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine, eat a lovely dinner with your family. Snuggle up and read something happy together. Bribe your partner with sex to mop the floor, then pop into bed with your laptop/ipad so you can buy yourself a little something online while you wait.
  17. Pretend to be asleep if you want. It's your list!


Do you have any hot tips to add on unshlumping yourself? What would you buy online? Most importantly, would you pretend to be asleep??

xx 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lullaby

What song do you sing to your little ones to send them off to sleep?

When Teenage Daughter was a baby, I sang The National Anthem, my old school song, and Summertime, in my best Ella Fitzgerald lament. Cheery!

When The Gentleman was a baby, I sang Eternal Flame, by the Bangles, because it starts with the line 'Close your eyes, give me your hand, Darling.." I also sang Science Fiction from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, because it had a lot of words that I could remember. When he was a little older, he also requested Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

When Monkey Boy was a baby, I continued on with Science Fiction and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but I dropped the Bangles, I never knew all the words anyway.

A few years ago, both boys moved into the same room. Mr BC reads Monkey Boy a short story, while I read The Gentleman a short story. Then I sing to the three of them;

There's a light, (over at the Frankenstein place), from Rocky Horror Picture Show. It sounds creepy, but the words are lovely;

In the velvet darkness
in the blackest night
burning bright
there's a guiding star
no matter what, or
who you are

there's a light (over at the Frankenstein place)
there's a light (burning in the fireplace)
there's a light, a light
in the darkness
of every body's life

the darkness must go
down the river
of life's dreaming
flow morphia slow
let the sun and light come streaming
into my life
into my life

There's a light (over at the Frankenstein place)
There's a light (burning in the fireplace)
there's a light, a light
In the darkness
Of every body's life


This is Richard O'Brien, writer and creator of pretty much the entire Rocky Horror Picture Show, performing an acoustic version of Over at the Frankenstein Place. (I don't use a guitar.)

Then, I allow myself to get a little bit country and western with the basic version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. If I try the extended version, The Gentleman's eyes will spring open and he will say Mum....sing it properly. So I don't do that.

And then all three of them are asleep.

xx

Friday, June 8, 2012

House Obsession

I am a little house obsessed. One of my favourite things to do is cruise around realestate.com.au, and fantasise about the possibilities of various homes. Think about how I would decorate them, change them, extend them. Who would have what bedroom, how the gardens would look. My style of decorating is individual and eccentric eclectic. I don't like houses that look like the showroom of freedom furniture. I really value the quirky.

I have a very strict criteria for this game of house fantasy - the houses must have at least 5 bedrooms, a pool, be spacious and near the ocean. Recently a particular moment of weather had me reminiscing for Pittwater Waters, in Sydney's Northern beaches. I grew up near here and between my dad's fishing and my grandfathers boat I spent many childhood hours peering into the cool clear depths of this beautiful area.

This house is a corker - a large ugly duckling, waiting for a fairy godmother to wave her wand in a mixed metaphor of fabulousness. Also - I have been in this house, almost 25 years ago! On the day I met Mr BC, I had planned to go to a party that night, with a friend. Mr BC was also invited but didn't plan on going, until he found out I was going...This house had been divided up and was rented out in sections, and the party was in one of these sections.. It was a large, loud party, but I do remember kissing Mr BC under the stars, in front of an incredible view..


17,000 Square metres in the middle of Pittwater. Unbelievable. Minutes to the beach, about 45 minutes to Sydney. Most of the property seems to be untouched bushland, and although it is being sold as a development possibility I know that the local council is extremely unhappy about trees being cut down, so good luck with that.



I would render the outside, and re landscape this garden area in true Sydney tropicalissimo style, keeping the fountain of course, and the tiles. The house was built in 1974, for "American Psychoanalyst and traveller Dr Victor Himmelwright". It has 14 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. If those walls could talk, I wonder what they would say?


I think this might be the back entrance, with another lovely water feature.
There is a three car garage out back, and a parking court in front for 6 cars. 
I have a vague memory of falling into a taxi in front of this water feature.



Don't you think a bit of render and some re landscaping would make a major difference? It seems a shame to demolish such an amazing house, I hope whoever buys it shows it some love, and reinvents it's former glory.


Most of the bedrooms are connected by these walkways, which seems a bit hotel like. What if it is raining and you have to make a mad dash to the kitchen? I don't like the idea of plastic cafe curtains, and shutters would shut it up and make it dark. Still, it might keep the kids in their room after bedtime. Maybe just live with it? I like that lawn..


Nice! I would add water, for a start. That building to the right is the male and female change rooms.


Hideous! That light box thing would be goneski's quick smart. I've got a feeling that behind that wallpaper is some empty space, I would love to find out. I would also change out the cupboards, but keep the tiles and the butchers block. Gleaming white cupboards, with glass fronts above and solid below. I would change the splash back to white subway tiles because I love them, even though they are so hot right now. Maybe remove those returns to open up the space? Or enclose it completely to make a butlers pantry. This would mean moving the appliances...I'm keeping those floor tiles though.


Begone, mangy carpet! Can the fireplace hood be removed to leave a straight mantel? Hope so. I love an open fireplace, and I love those arches, and the ceiling. And I love that everything opens onto the veranda and walkways. There are views of Pittwater out to the Pacific Ocean from all of these walkways..


Quick, render stat!! I do NOT like open brickwork, especially inside. That mantel needs replacing, too. Obviously new window furnishings and a different carpet, this one is going off to the skip, with it's odour of a thousand spilled bongs.


More mangy carpet, with a butt ugly pelmet. But so much space! *swoon*
I'm not sure if this is a bedroom or the dining room.


Which bathroom is uglier? This one?


Or this one?

I've got a feeling that there is mouldy chipboard under those tiles, ready to collapse from the weight of them. That wallpaper and the variety tile is making me feel a bit itchy..and check out the cabinet in the first bathroom!

I'm sorry, I cannot show these bathrooms any love.


A view, one of many. Heavenly.

What would you do to this house? Renovate or detonate?
(I think it needs a tennis court.)

You can more here, or if you have a spare $2.5 mil (plus that again to renovate) go ahead and buy it, but please invite me over for a drink.

xx 

Friday, June 1, 2012

à manger en Mai

Maybe it's been the cold weather but manger (to eat) in May indeed.


Cinnamon Scrolls

I have been wanting to cook Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Scrolls for ages (just for the cliche factor!)but could never remember to scald the milk and let it sit for an hour, and the other steps..it's not difficult, just involved. Then I found this recipe and they where on the table within 30 minutes! Super easy, and very delicious. I love that everyone wanders into the kitchen saying mmmm, cinnamon! I did add some maple syrup to the icing just for that special P-Dub touch.



High Tea

I had never been before, and it was for charity, which is what I said to  myself as I ate these divine little tartlets. Little being the operative word, they where tiny. Where. Gone now.



Pancakes with Chocolate Sauce.

Made by Mr BC, they where a goddamn treat! He was making them with the boys, but the boys disappeared and left him to do all the work. They did help with the eating, though.




Salt and Pepper Squid

In a fancy restaurant! You can tell it's fancy by the lovely peach satin table cloth. I wasn't expecting my old favourite to be prepared so differently, but once I got over it the change was good. Lots of fresh onion, capsicum and herbs to partner with small pieces of peppery coated squid. Change is good.



Sanity Prevails.

My special mental health lunch - salmon sushi, diet coke and a shelter magazine. Served with no conversation for at least one hour.



Vegetable Soup, embellished.

Simmered whatever is in the fridge veggies, in this case pumpkin, onion, carrot, kumera, zucchini, shallots, peas and celery. Simmer in chicken stock with garlic, then puree with the stab blender. Very healthy, until you garnish with a drizzle of sour cream, cooked, crumbly bacon and sliced shallots. Tastes so much better! 



Hamburger Sandwich

This is Mr BC's second favourite lunch (Subway, if you must. I know!) Because he works from home a lot he is lucky that I make this for him. It is a hamburger patty, cheese, onion, sauce, lettuce, tomato and on this day, an egg. Sometimes there is beetroot or avocado. Depends on the moods of the chef. The key is to serve it on toast. That's my signature, ha ha!


Biltong

I thought Coles had started selling dried up cow poo, but in this month's Feast magazine there is an article about a lady who makes Biltong, a type of South African beef jerky. The monkeys love beef jerky, so I thought I would buy some for them to taste. The nice lady behind the counter at Coles talked me into trying a sample, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it tastes for something that looks so horrid. I'm not even a jerky fan, but it's good to try new things.


What do you think about trying new things?

xx
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