Very happy to have “From where you live” featured as one of the Photo a Day Fab Four. Clearly, that Fatmumslim (not Fat Muslim, I think we’ve already established that) has taste.
Now, I stumbled onto this little number last season and I honestly can’t say how it’s any different to your standard cosmo. But do you care? Neither do I. Bring it.
30ml Cointreau, triple sec OR for a festive treat, Stone’s Ginger Wine. Everyone’s favourite bogan drink.
30ml Cranberry Juice
20ml Lime Juice
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Pour into cocktail glass and garnish with Lime peel, ginger stem or float the top with fresh cranberries (a tough ask in this sundrenched Christmas town)!
I am letting go. This year’s Christmas tree was brought to us by Scout’s “Disco Tree” concept, little bunches of disco ball ornaments concentrated in only one part of the tree. I like an aesthetically balanced tree and started to “educate” her about the mathematical concept of “balance” before I thought, F*ck it, this is joy. OCD to Joy.
Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday. Well, I had the best intentions of a Wordless Wednesday, but I opened up my keyboard pie-hole and just couldn’t stop. Happens to me all the time.
Just in time for the stupid season, here are some easy (and often cheap) ways to sass up an ordinary glass of sparkling wine:
- Wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup - you can get this in many liquor stores – Dan Murphys definitely sells it. The flowers open up when you pour in the bubbles – delicious tipple AND party trick in one.
- Sugar cube drenched with bitters – a classic champagne cocktail.
- Shot of Cointreau or orange curacao/triple sec.
- Shot of chambord. Freaking awesome, although not particularly cheap.
- Orange Juice. Pour half and half bubbly and orange juice for a Formosa. But don’t stop at just the humble OJ. There are so many juices on the market – try something exotic like mango, guava or apple, pear and strawberry (above).
- Liqueur randoms. Try this. Walk into a liquor store and go to the liqueur section. Close your eyes. Pick a bottle at random (being careful not to mow down the entire shelf. Apparently this happens when you choose liquor with your eyes closed). Add a shot of whatever you choose to your bubbles. No wait, if you choose creme de cacao, maybe put that back.
- Peach Syrup. This makes a brilliant Bellini. For the can’t-be-arsed mum who doesn’t want to blend her own peaches (who knew one of those existed?), drain a can of peaches in syrup and use that (of course, putting the drained peaches into your child’s fruit break, as we are all that organised).
- Blueberries and fresh basil. Sounds weird but is delish. Muddle the two ingredients together and top with bubbles for a lovely fresh drink.
- Candied fruit. Last year I made a massive batch of candied cumquats from the tree in our front yard. A piece of candied cumquat with some syrup made for an amazing little champagne cocktail.
- A strawberry. Simple but effective.
What is your favourite ingredient to add to sparkling wine?
November Photo a Day is DONE. Like George Hamilton on a Winter’s Day. Loved it. December Photo a Day list is here, if you want to join. Let the shutterbuggery begin!
For the next 4 weeks, Friday Cocktail Hour will be brought to you by a rather drunk elf. I can’t imagine the stress of being elf (aka slave to Mattel, Lego and Sony). Every elf needs a bit of R&R. Every elf needs to be as tipsy as f*ck on Christmas eve. Hell, Santa drives the sleigh – no need to go teetotal on the most festive night of the year.
This drink is one of my seasonal faves – pop it in your Christmas Arsenal (or, if you’re anything like me, your Christmas Arse). With a fair slurp of Cranberry juice, you can even convince yourself it’s a health drink.
15 ml ounce Cointreau
90 ml cranberry juice
Put the Cointreau and cranberry juice in a champagne glass. Stir and top with champagne. Merry Hicmas!
You know what I love about blogging more than blogging? Connecting with other bloggers.
I love social media, but when those connections spill out into the real world, it can be even more valuable.
It doesn’t always happen, of course. In the parenting blogger niche, just because two people are writers and parents doesn’t necessarily mean their characters or interests will be in sync. And it’s often an awkward proposition, meeting a blogger whose work you know only remotely. There’s that “I know you, but I don’t know you” element that can be disconcerting.
I find meeting new bloggers at once exciting and terrifying. Walking into a situation where bloggers have already split off into established sub-groups is overwhelming for me. I felt it at both Problogger and Bright Delight. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be my blog (as it is such a true reflection of me – to raise George Calombaris and see him one – “it’s me on a page”) and sometimes I feel like it is becoming larger than me if that makes sense. It’s much easier to chat to someone who you know has never heard of you – there is no expectation to live up to.
I often walk away from those real life situations feeling frustrated at my (self) perceived lack of social shesizzle. For someone who ordinarily has high self-esteem it is an uncomfortable place to be.
The first time I met a fellow blogger was in 2003. I’d only been blogging for about a year and got to know Kat online through her knitting blog Pinku. She also lived in Tokyo at the time so we invited her and her then boyfriend over to our little apaato for a beer. Poor Kat (sorry Kat) was nervous and a bit shit scared that we were going to be serial killers. She’s still alive, so fairly good odds that we’re not (just in case you were wondering). We consequently spent a lot of time in Japan getting pissed on chuhais and singing bad karaoke. She and Daz have now moved to Melbourne with their little boy and we are friends to this day.
In 2003, the blogging world was relatively new and there was no natural blogging community to fall into. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram. I thought my Tuka mobile was the BOMB because it flipped open. So young. Now I’m constantly hit over the head by ways that bloggers can connect in real life. For me, I’m a one-on-one kinda gal. I love me a pahtay, don’t EVER get me wrong, but if I’m meeting up with someone for the first time, one-on-one is easier. Not as intimidating. Less option for distraction (read: they can’t just run away when I start rabbiting on about the good ol’ days).
This week I had coffee with two wonderful local bloggers, Ros from Sew Delicious and Lily Mae from Berlin Domestic (not at the same time). More than being engaging bloggers and artisans, they are brilliant people. I feel like my life is just a bit richer because I met them. I feel like that a lot – not just with other bloggers, but with people in general, whether they read my blog or not. But I love that I can write some random shit on a website, then squeeze more random shit into 140 characters linking to my other random shit, and with a sprinkling of social media fairy-dust, I can make a friend. The Twitter is not always so magical for me (that’s another story), but the odds are still good.
And I’m a betting woman.
My Wordless Wednesday today is a collage of Days 17-24 from Photo a Day as it’s captured my week pretty well.
Linking up with Bree from Twinkle in the Eye for Wordless Wednesday.
… until I walked into Northcote Social Club looking like a parakeet.
I still don’t know what I was thinking. It was Saturday night. In a grungy pub in Northcote. I walked into the pub, headlong into a sea of muted greys and hipster black and was painfully reminded of the fact I hadn’t set foot in a proper pub for at least 2 years.
Clearly I thought the grunge factor would be welcomingly counterbalanced by a bright green parrot shirt, aqua pants and red shoes. Ahem. Not. I could feel the pitying looks of the patrons burning a massive collective hole in my back. But did I hold my head up high? HELL yes. I worked that parakeet like I would never step foot in a pub again. If the fashion police had a say, I probably wouldn’t.
It was not unlike a scene from a National Geographic documentary. A lone rosella mum, all puffy with egg-bearing duties and too many sugar-coated worms, leaving the nest momentarily, only to stray into a murder of territorial crows and magpies cawing, “Fashion faux pas. 3 o’clock”. I was half expecting a flurry of brightly coloured feathers to fall softly into their Coopers Ale bottles as I walked through the bar, my plumage massacred by the voice of the Melbourne people. Oh, overdramatic, you say? Indeed, but I deal best in extravagant hyperbole.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a willing slave to black, grey and denim. But sometimes I get as bored as batshit with the daily uniform and yearn for COLOUR in my wardrobe. I probably picked the wrong time and place for a rainbow display, however. Perhaps I should have saved it for the circus. Or the Zoo.
This multi-tasking business is most certainly rubbish.
It became stunningly clear to me yesterday when I decided to make Muesli Bars for Scout’s play-lunch AND Butter chicken for dinner at the same time. Clearly, I am in need of counselling.
I went to add cinnamon to the muesli bar mix and instead I flicked in a dash of dried chilli flakes from the bottle that was idly minding its own business on the kitchen bench. “F*CK”, was my first thought, quickly followed by “COOL”, let’s make some ADULT shit (and yes, I had to swallow the impulse to add brandy). Scout wouldn’t eat it, “Too spicy, too spicy” she whines, like it was the end of the free-world. Inky chowed it down like she’d never eaten anything her whole life (actually, she eats like that all the time).
The result was magnificent, proving that busy mums are indeed going to take over the world. This basic recipe (originally from Taste.com.au) has evolved over time, but with a bit of an after-kick of chilli, it’s the bomb. The mums and dads at Playgroup approved. Check it.
Accidental Muesli Bars (with Chilli)
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup dried fruit of choice (I like a mixture of sultanas, currants and dried cranberries)
- 125g butter
- 1/2 cup honey or other liquid sugar (maple syrup, rice malt syrup, golden syrup etc. whatever is in the pantry!)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- A dash of dried chilli flakes
- Grease and line a large baking pan with baking paper.
- Toast oats, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels and pepitas in a frying pan over medium heat until they are golden and start to smell brilliant. Place mixture in a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Stir in dried fruit and chilli.
- Dissolve butter, honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, for about 4 minutes. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, without stirring, for 7 minutes or until mixture forms a soft ball when a little is dropped into ice-cold water (this is a really important step – it means that the muesli bar will set well and not be too crumbly).
- Add to dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Spoon mixture into pan and press down firmly. Allow to cool. Cut into squares. Store in a foil-lined airtight container for up to 7 days or wrap individually and freeze for lunchboxes.