Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas tree is here!

After our beautiful fresh tree last year, we decided that we absolutely need to get a fresh one every year! This year we ordered our tree through we ordered a 6ft tree and got an 8ft tree!!! A beautiful conical shape, and smells divine! So happy with it... After dinner we all decorated it, look great... So happy... I love Christmas!!!

Please excuse the jacked Instagram photos, I didn't get many!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Annie Frenzel tattoo tshirts and sketchbook...

Am a huge fan of Annie Frenzel, her tattoos and sketches are mind blowing! I bought Mark the sketchbook as a good luck for the Australian Citizenship Test gift, we both love it! When she put up that she was doing limited shirts, we grabbed one each... The box is cute too, and it's A4 so I might use it for important paperwork or something!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Equal Love Equal Rights Rally Victorian State Library

I went to the last one of these and decided that I will keep on going until equal rights are won for LGBT couples... Someone said 'I can't believe we are still protesting this shit', I agree, it seems archaic that these laws and views still exist... Fingers crossed it changes, love is love, really... It is a human rights issue that people who are consenting adults who love each other are not able to marry/be entitled to the same rights as straight couples... It will happen, just a question of when!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Funkoars $10 tees sale!

I jumped on this, love love love The Funkoars, and black tees and sales! Doesn't get better... Great girls cut, good designs... Happy to find an extra tee and Hilltop Hoods CD in the bag!

Friday baking: chocolate chip salted caramel cookie bar...

When I read this recipe on I was in, it sounded like heaven to me... Unfortunately it feels only okay... It had to cook for twice the time, was hard to get out (should have followed my instincts and papered the tray) and ultimately the cookie is hard, middle is gooey like the caramel has seeped into the cookie dough and it doesn't really push my buttons... But it is good to try different things, when I could happily have my caramel brownie week in week out! Won't bake this again... If you are game, here is the recipe

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
Yield: 16 cookie barsPrep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 30 minutesTotal Time: 45 minutes
Chocolate chip cookie bars with a layer of salted caramel. These gooey sweet and salty cookie bars are pretty much perfection!

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.

5. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

6.Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chadstone VIP Shopping Event

I am a big fan of these, go to them all the time, usually at 9am, never ever had any problems... Yesterday I was working so I thought I would drop in on the way home and check the Gap kids sale, big mistake is an understatement! It was the equivalent to Boxing Day sales... Car parks full - I zoomed to the furthest point and took one of the last 2 free parks, and by the time I left, it took 20 minutes to get out of the car park! It was backed up in every direction! Seriously crazy!!!!

The sales themselves were good, as usual... Gap was 30% off, so I stocked up on stuff for next size up for the kids... Got a few stocking fillers in the ABC shop, who have minimal sales, it was more a case of getting items without the children! Wish I had have had the time and money to stay, but both were being stretched...

Here is Marley in one of her new outfits, pink rainbow spot leggings and a flamingo top... I am learning to shop for a combination of her tastes and mine now, otherwise it is just a waste of clothes!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My first Wonder Woman book!

Got this tip off @emmerina on Instagram, I had forgotten how much I love Wonder Woman! This is a great little book, board with touch and feel, capitalising on the beautiful and magical things about her, just a delight to read... I can definitely feel an obsession coming on! And best of all, she doesn't wear pink!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Killers Victims pack!

When The Killers announced that they would be doing one side show at The Palace in January, I was over the moon.. Chances of getting tickets quickly deflated my joy, but I found out that if you joined The Victims fan group, you could get access to the only presale and this pack that has a tshirt, cd and double red vinyl, which wasn't a big deal to me, but anyway... I got it today, it took ages! It's pretty exciting, more the reminder that the show is coming up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dr Jays Fall sale delivery...

I have been looking for capris everywhere... Now that my tattoos are going further down my legs, I need shorts that cover them for summer... I checked Dr Jays and their capris were 60% off, plus an extra 20% with a discount code I had! So I ordered 4 pairs and a singlet, all under $100 delivered! Love that... They were a little delayed after Sandy hit, but I got them and love them! I'm always concerned with US sizing, but I guesstimated perfectly! Am a happy lass!

Nails did... Houndstooth mani...

I do love the ease of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects! The houndstooth might just be my favourite so far... Love them!

Friday baking... Caramel Twix brownies...

Woke up this morning in a bad place after Mace woke me up a lot in the night... I always feel bad about being grouchy about it because he really isn't that kid who wakes in the night, 6.30 sometimes, 7 most of the time, but 1.30, 5 and 6 very upset, maybe once or twice in his little life... So I got up at 6 and started baking... My BFF has been going through something and I deal by baking trays of brownies, unfortunately after they were made she couldn't get here to grab her tray, she's back in Brisbane today...

The batter is made for a bigger pan then mine so two times the ingredients makes 3 trays... So I made two trays with the caramel swirl, which made them quite pudding-y, and one tray without which feel a bit more like your usual brownie... The caramel swirl are definitely more rich, both are good!

From Two Peas and Their Pod

Twix Caramel Brownies
Yield: 24 browniesPrep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 35-40 minutes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped Twix candy bars
1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Place butter in medium saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add cocoa; stir until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir until combined. Stir in Twix candy bar chunks. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Drizzle caramel evenly over the brownies. Using a toothpick, swirl caramel into brownies. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool brownies completely in pan on a wire rack. Once cool, cut into squares and serve.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hilltop Market Saturday 17th November 2012 Mount Waverley

Even though I work from a church's gardens, I am not a churchy person, organised religion doesn't work for me, but this Christmas Market does! We went last year and it had some brilliant kids activities (magician, jumping castle, face painting), delicious strawberry sponge cakes, amazing Christmas chocolate houses (the main reason for attending), and a market... Not super interested in the market, but they do have a lot of stuff!

If you are in the area, it's on from 9-2 on Saturday... I can't wait to choose our chocolate Christmas house, they are amazing, and reasonably priced!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

iPad mini...

I never thought I would be the parent buying her toddler/preschooler an iPad each, but the mini is perfectly suited to our needs as a family... Firstly, we get our iDevices back! The kids have a long battery life with access to their free play games, music and tv shows, perfect for long drives, sick grouchy kids, quiet time or a longer coffee session! In all honesty, they really don't use them loads, but when they do, I am guaranteed some quiet, they are happy, we are all happy!

We did have a leap pad for Marley, but the ridiculous battery life, actual batteries, 8 AA's for 2 hours use, was too much, and there are limited games at crazy prices, it would have been a further $350 to catch Mace up in his leap pad when for around that we got the mini, and I already have all of the apps, TV and music, so no further costs... And to make it even better, we got almost $200 for the leap pad on eBay last night! I am a happy lady!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Grug - Ted Prior... Book and old friend...

Today in quiet time I brought out these books... I had been saving them for a time that they would be appreciated, today was the right time... Mace went crazy for Grug, Marley insisted I read them over and over... I used to love the Grug books, he is a character that sticks with you, and generally speaking, books are great!

When Mark woke up from his snooze, he looked stumped 'what is Grug?', luckily I bought the first book!!! I'm pretty sure we will collect these, as we have other series, as the stories are simple enough for Mace to sit through, with enough pictures for Marley to talk to me about what's happening and also learn some letters... Am very happy with these books reemerging into my life!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Baking Peanut Butter Rolo Blondies (think snickers brownie)

Sometimes I bake with my desires in mind, sometimes I bake with Marks, today this is definitely a Mark recipe... And on finding out that my best friend was jetting to Melbourne for a crisis, I made an extra tray for her... I don't eat peanut butter, satay, etc, even though I enjoy the occasional peanut, but I have to say that these are surprisingly delicious!!!

From the Two Peas and Their Pod website:

Peanut Butter Rolo Blondies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Rolo candies, unwrapped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, until creamy and combined. Set mixture aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the peanut butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in the Rolos.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove blondies from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baking Chocolate pudding with caramel chocolate chip cookies...

I saw the new caramel chocolate chips at the supermarket and bought them without really knowing what I was going to do with them... 2 days later Mum pulled the pin on Childcare last minute, so I thought I should bake for my extremely awesome friends Kelly and Chris for covering for us last minute, so that we could enjoy the Melbourne Victory game...

I was inspired by the two peas and their pod recipe for banana pudding cookies, but I altered it to suit my needs... Everyone who tasted then loved them, that's always a bonus!

Chocolate pudding with caramel chocolate chip cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package chocolate instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet caramel chocolate chips (could have done with more!)

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line trays with baking paper

2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the caramel chocolate chips.

3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Liknuts with support by Onyx at Prince of Wales Bandroom November 2012

The idea of seeing this show was ridiculously exciting! We got tickets immediately, booked Childcare and waited patiently... Unfortunately my aunt's funeral was on the day of the show, but I was determined to power on and have a good night... On arrival I was an empty shell of a human, devoid of emotion, full straight face, so I decided to drink the pain away... I thought it would be drunk (haven't been drunk in years) party girl, or drunk crying girl... There was a bit of a compression session backstage so I inadvertently got dizzy, and then, after many acts, hours later then expected, Onyx came on... They were the support, but having missed them in the past I was crazy excited to see them AND THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!! Dudes have energy, skill, professionally killing it!!! Rocked me to the core, I forgot it could be that good, and that I could actually do almost front row again!!!

I'm not going to say much about the LikNuts, they were okay... Didn't kill it for me, like because there were more of them, they didn't have to give as much...? Juju was my favourite thing about them with some crazy facials and his funny/charming/scummy charisma... Otherwise I would have been happy for it to be called an Onyx show and pay the same just to see them, not a bunch of crappy support acts and the LikNuts...

Thursday 01 November, 2012, 08:00PM
Prince Bandroom
Prince Of Wales Hotel
St Kilda, VIC

Friday, November 2, 2012

Baking... White chocolate brownies and chocolate fudge brownies...

I got both of these recipes off two peas and their pod... Baking this week was for my Aunt's wake, so I made 3 trays with two types of brownie, the chocolate fudge batter makes two trays, working out perfectly for me!!! The white chocolate, chocolate chip brownie was Mark's favourite, the chocolate fudge was mine, seriously rich and delicious!

It has been a busy, sad and stressful week with the loss of an exceptional human... I'm still struggling with the idea that she will never sit around the table with us all again... Blegh... Drank very quickly to drown the pain last night, it worked, I am paying for it though...

Ker Plunk

Being an only child, I didn't have many games at home, even though I had my cousin next door to play them with... I always wanted Ker Plunk, and now I have it!!! Well Marley and Mace have it, haha... Having extreme tiredness today I busted this out at 1.30pm for the first time ever, and 3 hours later had to pry them away to go to Nanna's house... What an awesome way to spend the afternoon! Helping Marley with her turn taking, Mace has a long way to go!! In any case this is a great game to play with a 3 year old, keep it in a cupboard for a rainy, or tired/no frills day, it's a keeper...