Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone

It's Christmas morning here in the Sleeping in Sydney household. Hubby is just about to get out of bed, and then the present giving will commence, yay!

Had a lovely Christmas Eve. Went to the gym in the morning, had a session with my personal trainer. She's a lovely lady who has become my friend as well as my trainer. She is a positive influence in my life, and I genuinely care about her. She gave me a singlet top for Christmas from the Lorna Jane shop, it says "Positive Energy" across the front. Very nice indeed.

Later that day, hubby and I were wrapping presents, and we were talking about the present my trainer had given me. Conversation went kinda like the following:

Me: I love the singlet top *trainer's name* gave me.

H: Yeah, it's good

Me: So glad she didn't get me the pants, most of them have Lorna Jane written in big capital letters across the arse. I definitely don't want or need some chick's name written across my arse.

H: Could be worse, you could have porn star written across your arse, I've seen that around too.

Me: True


Anyways, we finished up the evening watching "It's a Wonderful Life", our traditional Christmas movie that we watch. Such a lovely movie.

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Husband and I put up the Christmas tree today, the house feels more Christmas-y now.

I had a vague recollection of putting up the tree by myself in years past, but I couldn't remember why.

It became a little clearer when putting the Christmas lights on and it had to be redone as it wasn't distributed evenly across the tree. It became clearer still when were putting on the tinsel together and husband was rearranging some that I had just put on because "it wasn't quite at the right angle compared to the other tinsel". Which prompted me to say "You're about ten minutes away from me sending myself a gmail reminder for my calendar for next year, for why I should put the decorations on by myself". lol

Actually it was fun doing it together, and we felt even more Christmas-y due to putting on a Bing Crosby carols CD.

Here is the finished result for the tree:

Chicken Fajitas

Been a long while since I've posted a contribution to the Carnival of the Recipes, thought I'd put forward an entry this week.

Last night for dinner I made us chicken fajitas, yummy and healthy. I served it with my home made guacamole.

One of the first steps in making the guacamole is too remove the stones from the avocados. An easy way to do this is to get a sharp knife (make sure it is sharp, I can't stress the importance of sharp here), thwack it into the stone then twist and remove. If knife is not sharp there is a possibility that it will skip off the top of the stone and into the finger of the hand holding the avocado. I speak from experience from a few years ago. It was a blunt serrated knife, and I still have a nice scar on my right forefinger.

Anyways, here's the recipe for my fajitas, dead easy. I've also included the recipe for my guacamole, and hints on how to roast capsicum.

Chicken Fajitas

Serves 2


500g (17.6 oz) chicken thigh fillets
1 tsp paprika
30ml olive oil
4x wholegrain tortillas


Combine paprika and olive oil. Add chicken and mix it through, so it gets a good coating of the paprika and oil.

Cook over a medium heat on a chargrill pan for ten minutes. While that is cooking heat up the tortillas in the oven, making sure the tortillas are wrapped in foil. Temp for oven 180 deg C, heat for ten minutes.


Serve up the chicken and tortillas with the following:

Roasted capsicum, deskinned (instructions below)
Guacamole (recipe below)
Rocket (arugula)

People can then put as much they want of the chicken, capsicum, guacamole, and rocket into the tortilla, fold up and eat. Trick is not to put a huge amount in or you'll have trouble folding it up to eat.

Roasted capsicum

Get one red capsicum. Cut each side of the capsicum off so that you have four pieces that are relatively flat. Put under grill (temp about 180 deg C) skin side up until skin is blackened. Remove from oven, put in heat proof plastic bag, seal it, and leave for ten minutes. Remove from bag, then remove skin from capsicum. Chop into strips to serve with fajitas.



half a lemon (juice)
2 large avocados
1 small onion
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1 tomato
pepper (to taste)


Slice open the avocados, remove stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash up the avocados.
Add a grated onion.
Add a chopped up (diced) tomato.
Mix remaining ingredients through.

Refrigerate if not serving straight away. This makes a fair amount of guacamole, I usually make this for parties etc. With the fajitas you'll have some left over, great for using on sandwiches.

Enjoy! Any questions, feel free to ask.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Beth put up a Christmas Q & A and invited others to join in. So, I thought why not, I'm a sucker for a meme.

Rules are pretty simple:

Just copy and paste into a new post..Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

I think I can handle that :)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, we got sick of sweeping up pine needles

3. When do you put up the tree? No set time, but beginning-ish of December usually, not that we have yet this year. We plan to any time now though.

4. When do you take the tree down? Ah, I think it made it to some time in February this year.

5. Do you like eggnog? Made it once, found it very strongly alcoholic, no one else had any, so I didn't make it again lol. Eggnog isn't something you see in Aus really, not part of the tradition.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I still remember waking up one Christmas at some insanely early time of the day to find a bike in my room, I was very excited.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My personal trainer, what do you buy a personal trainer, who has also become a good friend? (although not such a good friend that I know what to buy them for Christmas!)

8. Easiest person to buy for? Husband, except when he decides to buy himself an early Christmas present that just happens to be the same as I had bought for him already!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope, not me, not religious at all

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Last year we didn't get around to it, but we have been known to mail out Christmas cards

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I'm still not exactly sure what it is. It was something you hang on a wall which had knobs on it, but the knobs were too big to put key rings on, and too close together to hang coats on ...

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Picked up a couple of presents a few months ago, when Borders had a sale on, majority of presents I haven't got yet though, must get to the shops!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope, I either like them too much, or wouldn't give them away.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Ham

16. Lights on the tree? Yep, for sure, preferably flashing lights

17. Favorite Christmas song? Little Drummer Boy

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We had plans to go up to the Gold Coast for Christmas, but they didn't work out, so home for us.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Nope, Rudolf, Prancer, Dancer, Vixen ...

20. Angel on the tree top or star? We've tried for a star, but it keeps wanting to fall off

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. Husband and I open one present at 12.01am to be exact if we can stay up that late, the rest when we wake up hopefully mid morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crowds in the shops.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I have to have a theme or colour? We've got all sorts of different ornaments/colours, so they get chucked randomly on the tree. And yes, we do spell colour the English way. ;)

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Being Summer for Christmas, I grew up having a cold Christmas lunch, rather than hot. So ham, chicken, eggs, pasta salad, potato salad, coleslaw, green salad, bread rolls, then fruit salad for dessert. Mum always makes trifle for dessert as well, but I prefer the fruit salad.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Same as I've wanted every Christmas since I was little, a horse! As I have lived and continue to live in suburbia, this is not likely to happen :)

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Gosh, out of my hundreds of readers *cough*, it's so hard to choose

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? People who don't read this blog :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hooray for Summer!

While it may be a tad chilly in Beth's neck of the woods, here it is the first day of Summer. Yay!

I'm sitting in my study, it's 9.17pm, and the temperature is 30 deg C in the room (86 deg F). Nice and warm. To be fair, it's not that temperature outside at the moment, the study gets the afternoon sun and being upstairs as well it is good at retaining the heat.

I've just been outside to look for the smiley moon, but alas it is nowhere to be seen, must be behind a tree or something. I got excited for a split second when I first went out, as two bright lights caught my eye, but it turned out to be a plane going overhead. Not quite the same ... lol. I'll try again later and see if I can get a photo.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trans fats in Australia

Came across an article this morning in the smh, regarding the fact that Krispy Kreme still uses trans fats in their doughnuts here in Australia.

Unfortunately, in this country, labelling laws don't make it mandatory to list if there are trans fats in the ingredients. So if the manufacturer doesn't put it on their labels, you have no way whatsoever of finding out if their products contain trans fats. This pisses me off no end, trans fats are nothing but bad, I have no desire to have food that has them in it.

Let me make it clear ... there is no safe level of trans fats that you can eat. No matter how little you eat of it, it is harmful. So much so, that "trans fats have been either gradually outlawed or restricted in Britain, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland and several US states"

And it's not like Krispy Kreme don't know that trans fats are harmful, they've had to overhaul their operations in places where trans fats are banned.

Hopefully at some point Australia will do something about this harmful substance.


Just been doing a little research to see what is being done at this point.

According to the Food Standards website for Australia and New Zealand, they have found the following:

"Australians obtain only 0.6 per cent of their daily kilojoules from trans fatty acids and New Zealanders only 0.7 per cent. This is well below the World Health Organization recommendation to consume no more than 1 per cent of your daily kilojoules from trans fatty acids and well below many other countries."

While I understand that this is a very low percentage of what we eat, if there are no nutritional benefits whatsoever, then surely a total ban is the only way to go.

And the part "well below many other countries" bothers me. Which countries? They don't say. These other countries may be ones where there is a very high level of trans fats. And really who cares if we are below other countries, surely this isn't a competition, surely the goal is health and wellbeing for ourselves, and regulating for ourselves, rather than comparing to other countries.

So what is being done at the moment ...

A group was formed in 2007 called "The Australia New Zealand Collaboration on Trans Fats". This group's aim is to help reduce the amount of trans fats in our food supply. They will report back in early 2009 with their result. While it is good to reduce trans fats, I don't believe this is enough.

A total ban is necessary. If this takes time, if manufacturers need some space to reorganise their practices, then in the meantime there needs to be an amendment to the food labelling laws to make it mandatory to declare the presence of trans fats in foods. That way, we can make informed choices about what we are putting into our bodies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Movember - Sponsor Me
Movember - the month of November sees more than your usual number of guys sporting more than the trendy amount of facial hair above their upper lip. It's an annual charity event where guys can get sponsered to grow mustaches, the money garnered goes to benefit men's health, specifically prostate cancer and male depression.

One of our friends has met the challenge head on (boom tish!) and has quite the mo now.

So, if you've seen quite a few mo's around town and been wondering if the 70s fashion had made a comeback or if there was a porn star convention happening, now you know.


Caltechgirl has a blog called Not Exactly Rocket Science, which I've been reading for years. We've known of each other's blogs and commented back and forth (not withstanding the blog droughts I go through from time to time) since back in my aussiewife days. Caltechgirl gave me encouraging support the time I found a lump, which meant a lot to me (obviously as I still remember it 3 years on).

Anyways, today she has tagged me for the following:

The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Tell 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag.

Here goes the randomness ...

1. I don't know why but it annoys the living crap out of me when people comment on me being left handed, as in "Oh, you are left handed?" It's not like I am right handed, but I am just writing with the other hand to give myself a challenge lol. Or another favourite, "I didn't know you were left handed!" Am I supposed to send out a memo making an announcement? It's not that unusual people!

2. My blood type is O negative which means I am a universal donor. Which means I can give to everyone, but can only receive blood from other O neg people. However, I don't give blood because the last time I did I almost passed out, and I'm a big sooky la la. Yes, I know, I should give blood, I have to suck up my courage and go back.

3. I don't have Panic Attack Disorder, which I thought I did. Apparently the official guidelines for it state that I wouldn't be able to work or socialise, both of which I do. So that's nice. While I don't have the actual disorder, I do have an over active anxiety response thing going on, which means I am susceptible to panic attacks, something I am working on with my psychologist.

4. I get very attached to characters in shows I love. I'm still pissed that Josh Whedon killed off Wash in Serenity and that we'll never know the whole back story for Shepherd Book. And that there is only one season of Firefly ... grrrr .. And if you don't know what I am talking about, check out the series Firefly, and the movie Serenity .. best .. series .. ever! Mind you, now that I have told you that Wash gets killed off, that might have spoiled it a touch for you ...

5. I'm going to see John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow in concert on Friday night, with my husband. First time seeing either of them, looking forward to it. There may be massive crowds in the area though, as I've just found out there is an Andre Rieu concert in the stadium next door to where we are going, on the same night. That smug smile of his tends to do my head in, smug bastard with his expensive castle.

6. We're planning to get in the Christmas mood this weekend. Plans are to put the tree up and decorate, get off our butts and write and send out cards for a change, and do some Christmas shopping. Add to that a spin class on Saturday morning, followed by morning tea with some of the girls from work, and I've got a fairly full weekend coming up. Must find some time to relax somewhere in there.

7. This song has set up camp in my head and refuses to leave. Just the chorus mind you, so shake shake, shake, shake, shake it is on a loop. I do spin twice a week at the gym, and the instructor plays this song each time. For the next few days it sticks. Had a quiet word with the instructor last night to plead her not to play it anymore, so hopefully this song will go bye byes sometime soon.

And now to pass on the tagging love ... to Helen, Bou, Beth, Melody, Harvey, Snoozen (please come out of blog retirement), and Shauna.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New blog to read

Beth over at She Who Will Be Obeyed has added a second blog, called The Farm at Castle Argghhh!!! (love the title). Looking forward to reading about all the goings on at the farm, particularly as a) I love anything to do with animals, and b) I've got a new found interest in growing veggies myself. Beth's entries are always entertaining, I highly recommend a read if you haven't been there before.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A simple meme

Helen over at Everyday Stranger posted a meme, and invited others to join in if they wish. The rules are simple: go to the 6th file of photos on your computer. Choose the 6th photo. Post it.

Here is mine:

It turned out to be a picture of me, Christmas 07. We had both families to our place for Christmas lunch, and this picture was taken fairly early on when I wasn't absolutely exhausted and wondering why we'd offered to have lunch at our place.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Role models

So the quest to discover and feel comfortable with myself continues. The blog has been quiet, I know, (by quiet I mean nonexistant), but I feel like I'm ready to write again.

I've been lucky enough to have some women come into my life that I can lean on, and go to for advice. I also have some other women that I look up to, that I'll probably never meet. By and large they fall into two categories, strong women that won't take any crap, and gentle women, that are very caring.

Both kinds are needed by me at the moment, to help me find my way.

A major influence lately, and this one falls into the category of role model that I'll never meet, is Jillian Michaels. She is the American trainer for The Biggest Loser, and she also, as I discovered a couple of months ago, has a weekly radio show on KFI AM, which has podcasts that I can download and listen to.

The sheer wealth of knowledge this woman has for everything health and fitness is truly inspiring. She really really wants people to make better decisions as to what choices they make, in both nutrition and exercise, and if she has to open up a can of whoop ass to help people get to that point, then she is willing to do that too. lol

We've been downloading the latest season of TBL, and my god, Jillian is absolutely ripped this season! Her physique is what I aspire to, so every time I am struggling on the treadmill, I just picture her abs, and give it a bit more. Or I imagine that she is there watching me workout, and I don't want to let her down, so I give it a bit more. It helps.

On the nutrition side of things, I'm now at day 12 alcohol free, and I am eating healthier than ever before. Lots of fresh fruit and veges. Plus at least 2 litres of water a day, and more when I'm working out. Oh, and the plastic water bottles have been given the heave ho, I now have a stainless steel flask to drink out of, as toxins from the plastic can leach into the water, and from there into the body.

So, if anyone is still out there reading, stick with me, lets see how I go.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Joss Whedon (dude who did Firefly) has a new project! Yay! If you haven't watched the Firefly series and the follow on movie, do yourself a favour, it is unreal.

B touted the idea the other night of a parallel universe where there were like 10 series made of Firefly instead of just the 1. To balance it out only 1 series of Stargate got produced. Heh, sounds like a great place to me ... :)

Anyways, I was over reading at Caltechgirl's blog this evening, and lo and behold I find out that Joss (yes, I like to imagine I'm on first name basis with him) has a new project. It's an online mini series in 3 parts. The first part is available now, and has that guy who I'll always think of as the kid with the big head from Doogie Howser, even though his head looks more normal size now, and I never actually watched the show, and he's been in heaps of things since, Starship Troopers for instance. But I digress ...

More exciting, at least for Firefly fans that is, Nathan Fillion is in it. Yay again!

So go on, go watch (just click on the piccy at the top to get there). It took me a little bit of time to get into it, stick around to when they start singing, gets better from there. By the end, loved it, loved it, loved it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Populate or perish?

Ok, so being an atheist I probably don't have the most positive view of religion and the people who preach it, but this article pissed me off ...

"The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, today warned Western nations such as Australia to populate or perish ...No Western country is producing enough babies to keep the population stable, no Western country," he said."

This seems a bit rich to me, coming from someone who has made a personal decision to not have any part in producing a baby himself, but feels he is in a position to tell other people to go and do it. Or are Catholic priests no longer celibate?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bit quiet at the moment

Not much posting of late I know. Work is stupidly busy at the moment, and I'm finding it extremely stressful, so my writing has kinda taken a back seat at the moment.

I'm pretty down, I feel like there's a huge weight on me, with no end in sight. Which is a silly way to feel I know, as there's always an end to things, I'm just in a bit of a dark place self esteem wise.

I'm still around though, keeping up reading on everyone's blogs, just lurking in the background for want of something interesting to say.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spinach & Egg Gratin

This recipe was the second of two dishes we served for Snoozen and her family for brunch today. This recipe was learnt by B and I at a cooking school in our local area, called Urban Graze.

We amended the recipe we learnt very slightly by using baby spinach leaves instead of English spinach leaves, both are equally good, in my opinion. Oh, and there was supposed to be a pinch of nutmeg too, which I just realised now as I was typing it out . *ahem* oh well, it is fine without the pinch of nutmeg ....

Spinach & Egg Gratin

60g (2 oz) butter
60g (2 oz) flour
1 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
500 ml milk
50g (1.8 oz) vintage cheddar, grated
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
150g (5.3 oz) baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped fine
1/2 cup green onions (shallots), sliced fine
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 x small eggs
1/2 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs (found in asian aisle of supermarket)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Blend in flour using a spatula and cook for 1-2 minutes without the flour colouring.

Stir in mustard powder and cayenne pepper. Remove from the heat and using a silicone whisk (we just used a regular metal whisk), whisk in 1/3 of the milk. Use a spatula to get into the corners of the saucepan to make sure all the flour gets mixed in. When it starts to thicken return to the heat and add another 1/3 of the milk. Now whisk in the rest of the milk.

Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat. Continue to stir until sauce is no longer floury tasting (about 5-8 minutes) and season with salt and white pepper. Add grated cheese and stir until melted.

Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach in 3 separate lots so that it has time to wilt. Stir in the green onions. Squeeze in lemon juice to finish.

Divide amongst 4 brulee dishes and let rest for a few minutes.

Preheat oven to 200 deg C (392 deg F). Place brulee dishes on a baking tray.

Make a hole in the centre of the gratin and break one egg into the centre.

Dust with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Place in oven for 12-15 minutes.

Serve with toast.

Brunch with friends

Snoozen and family came over today for brunch to celebrate Snoozen's 40th birthday yesterday.

We cooked a couple of things, first course was a potato and leek soup, followed by a spinach and egg gratin. Both were served with fresh bread, either plain or toasted and cut into soldiers.

Can we see the recipes, I hear you say? Sure!

Here is the potato and leek soup recipe ....

Potato and leek soup

Serves 4

1 knob butter
2 leeks
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large potatoes, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup thickened cream
cracked black pepper to taste
dash of Worcestershire sauce

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add leeks, onions and garlic. Saute until soft. Add potatoes, stirring well. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer partially covered, for 30 minutes. Put in food processor and puree. Return to the pot, stirring well. Bring to the boil, let simmer. Add cream, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Serve

Here is what it looks like ...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock

B bought me the latest Madonna CD for my birthday last month, and I love it. I have been a massive Madonna fan for many years, and after listening to this CD, I've started to play my other Madonna CDs again. There's one in the upstairs CD player (Confessions on a Dance Floor), the latest one (Hard Candy) was played about 30 times in the car, now I've got American Life in the car, which has one of my favourite songs of hers "Die another Day" from the James Bond movie of the same name.

So the song I've obsessively listened to the most out of those .... 4 Minutes. It features Justin Timberlake (or JT as the young people like to call him), who I'm not a big fan of, but hey Madonna rocks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why do I care?

A post from Bou over at Boudicca's Voice resonated with me tonight. She was talking about how although she didn't know George Carlin personally, she will miss him, and is genuinely sad he has died.

For me, it's not George Carlin (I knew the name, knew he was a comedian, but that was about it, guess his work wasn't showed overly much here in Aus), it's Heath Ledger.

I remember reading about when he died, and I was just in shock. I kept looking at the headlines thinking "it can't be true, he's so young". I'd been quite the fan of him, loved his movies, especially "10 Things I Hate about you" and "A Knight's Tale". But since the day he died, I have been unable to watch his movies. I know that the movies that once were a source of enjoyment for me, are now tinged with sadness.

On a more sane level, I know this makes no real sense. I mean, I never met the guy, I never met anyone who had met the guy. For all I know, he was a real dick.

But I am sad that he has gone.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Things to work on

So, another visit to the psychologist this afternoon ... went ok I think. Trying to deal with issues with my self esteem and self worth is a hard slog at the moment.

I've found that I've been opening up to people more often, but that it is a difficult thing for me to do, as it leaves me feeling vulnerable and wishing I hadn't. So then the next time I see them I feel all awkward. My psych says that's natural, it's because I'm not used to doing it. That I need to push on, that the more I open up to people, the more they'll open up to me, the easier it will become.

This post in itself is difficult to write, it's hard to wrap words around emotions and feelings, but I need to figure out who I am, and how I can fit into the world.

I read back over this, and it feels awkwardly written .... ah well, stuff it, at least I'm trying to put it into words and work it through.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Well I guess it had to happen sooner or later ... I've been tagged for a meme, by the lovely Suze over at Frippery.

Rules are as follows:

Write a six-word memoir - my brain feels like it is going to explode ... nope that's nine words, will keep thinking ...

Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like - oh yes, as I am sooo creative *cough* not *cough*

Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogsphere. - Here's some linky love for my mate Suze

Tag 5 more blogs with links (or however many people you feel like annoying). - well I don't really want to annoy people ... but hey, let's see if Snoozen wants to play

Don’t forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play. - otherwise they might not realise they've been tagged, I get it ... :)

So six words ... six words ... 'my mind is a total blank' ... seems kinda depressing

'I saw Gordon Ramsay, Suze didn't' ... seems a bit too much like rubbing it in ... :)

Ok, here it is .... *drum roll please*

"Emotionally partially broken, getting better though"

This is a picture that was taken when B and I were on holiday up in Kingscliff last November. B is my husband and my best friend, who has stood beside me through all my issues and hard times, as well as all the good times.

Pain perdu with raspberries & ricotta

So, I went to Borders yesterday and bought the Gordon Ramsay book "Fast food". I had a look through it last night and there are some very yummy recipes, that's for sure.

Plus, I found the 3rd recipe that Gordon cooked at the Good Food and Wine Show on Friday. Here it is ...

Pain perdu with raspberries and ricotta

Serves 4

125g ricotta cheese, drained
125g mascarpone
2 tbsp caster suger
squeeze of lemon juice
200g raspberries
25g unsalted butter
4 slices raisin bread
3 large eggs, beaten
few basil sprigs, to finish
icing sugar, to sprinkle

Beat the ricotta, mascarpone, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl, then gently fold through half of the raspberries to get a rippled effect.

Melt the butter in a wide non-stick frying pan until it begins to foam. Dip the raisin bread into the beaten eggs, add to the pan and fry for a minute or two on each side until golden brown. Place each slice on a serving plate.

Spoon the ricotta mixture on to the warm pain perdu and tumble the remaining raspberries on top. Finish with basil sprigs and a sprinkling of icing sugar to serve.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Green Bean, Red Onion & Pecorino Salad

Another dish that Gordon Ramsay did today at the show (actually with this one his assistant did a lot of the work) was a salad that looked quite yummy. It's also in his book "Fast Food" ... starting to think this book might be a worthy addition to my collection, may have to go look at it in Borders.

Green Bean, Red Onion & Pecorino Salad
Serves 4

400g (14) green beans, trimmed
sea salt and black pepper
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
50g (1½ oz) pecorino, freshly grated
45ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon

Add the beans to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain, refresh in cold water, then pat dry with kitchen paper.
Put the onion in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 5 minutes. Holding the colander over the sink, pour on a kettleful of boiling water to remove some of the onion’s acidity. Drain well and pat dry.
Toss the beans, onion and pecorino together in a bowl. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad to serve.

Good food and wine show

I went to the Good Food and Wine Show in Sydney today with a good friend of mine, Kaz. The highlight for me, (apart from spending time with my friend of course) was that we had tickets to see Gordon Ramsay in a cooking demonstration/show/thing ... he was very charismatic and entertaining.

I meant to get a show guide as I know from past shows that they have the recipes that the celebrity chefs cook in their shows. However, 1) we didn't see anywhere selling them, and 2) I then plain forgot.

Trusty ol' Google to the rescue, I found the recipe for the soup he did today. Apparently it is from his book called "Fast food".

Butter bean, chorizo & red onion soup
Serves 4

250 g chorizo sausage, skin removed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely sliced
few thyme sprigs
2 x 420g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
sea salt and black pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
large handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Chop the chorize into small bite-sized pieces. Put the kettle on to boil.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onions, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes then add the chorizo. Stir over a high heat for a few minutes until the oil has taken on a reddish-golden hue from the chorizo.

Tip in the butter beans and pour in just enough boiling water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes.

Season generously with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter over the chopped parsley and ladle the soup into warm bowls to serve.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yes, I'm still here

Ahem, yes well, blog has been shamefully neglected, oops.

Didn't quite make my day by day blog of 30 days of Isagenix.

So, would I recommend Isagenix? Meh ... to tell the truth I wasn't hugely impressed. I did lose some weight (approx 2 kilos), and some girth (is that the right word? when the trainer uses the tape measure to record how many centimetres I am around neck, chest, ribs, stomach, right thigh, right calf, right bicep), but I did not reach my goal with my stomach.

My stomach, it annoys me. At one point I had lost 6cm around my stomach, but then on the final weigh in/measure in last week, that had reduced to having lost 3cm. It seems to fluctuate wildly, and I wasn't doing anything different with the diet, I stuck to it to the letter. My trainer also thought the cleanse part of it would make more of a difference to my stomach than it did.

Plus, having shakes two times a day instead of food, although I got used to it, I knew it wasn't forever, that I'd have to go back to real food at some point. I will wait and see if my weight goes back up.

But apart from the program, what I'm pleased about? 32 days alcohol free so far, and counting. Did I think I could do it? Not a chance.

Now that I know I don't have to have it to get by, I have to decide if it will form any part of my life moving into the future. That goes for caffeine too, but that's not such a big issue.

I also haven't had any tablets (ie disprin, nurofen, pill etc) since the start of the program. I'm no hero on that front though, I was lucky not to get any headaches during that time .... lol

And before anyone gets any ideas, no I'm not pregnant. Do I want to be? Yes, no, maybe ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Origin I

Heading off to ANZ Stadium shortly for the first State of Origin. It's going to be cold out there, so this is what I'm wearing:

long sleeved shirt
sloppy joe
polar fleece jumper

3/4 gym pants
2 pairs socks (one of the pairs are bed socks)

A beanie and gloves

Do I feel the cold? Yes, indeedy! :)

Yay! Blues won! Good game, excellent entertainment. Crowd of 76, 620 people, happy crowd, lots of fun was had.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 10 - nothing off my waist

Bit of a down day today. Second of four cleanse days of the program. I'm finding these are the days that my mood takes a downward spiral a bit, I'm a bit quieter, more insular. I'm guessing part of that is the hardly any food thing (I've had an apple, plus they give you these wafer snacks that you're allowed 6 of during the day).

However, mostly it's because I'm not seeing the results I went on this thing for. I wanted to lose fat from around my stomach. I had a workout with my trainer tonight, and she took measurements to compare with measurements taken at the beginning of the program. Nothing off my stomach. Nothing! At all. And my weight on the scales, exactly the same.

In my other measurements I did lose in other places, my neck (what's with that??), my chest, my ribs, my thigh. Not areas I needed to lose anything at all, I mean geez, I don't have much in the way of boobs as it is!

This is a whiny post, I apologise. I know that it's only day 10, there's a ways to go. Just disheartening that's all. My trainer is going to go over what I've eaten, and figure out what is going on, as she thought there'd be more of a difference after 10 days too.

I've stuck to the program to the letter, so maybe my body is just slow to get going, we'll see.

P.S One more sleep to Origin I, let's hope the Blues can get up tomorrow night.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 9

Well, I've made it to Day 9. I now have no qualms about making it to day 30, if I can make it this far, I can make it to the end.

Doesn't mean that I don't struggle with it still sometimes though. The having two shakes replace two of my meals each day is doing my head in a bit. I miss having actual food, and no matter how nutritious it is, a liquid meal just doesn't cut it for me. But, I'm in it for the duration, so I'll just suck it up (literally, lol) and get through it.

Weekend was good. Started off a bit rough though. As I was saying in a previous post, B and I went to watch the Eels play on Friday night. Not their best game to say the least. Convincingly flogged by the end of it. *sigh* They just aren't playing well this year.

Saturday morning jogged to the gym, then did a workout, was pleased with that. Did some shopping after that, we had received some book vouchers for our birthday, so we paid a visit to Borders ... usually a very costly exercise for us, so the vouchers were very handy.

Back at work today, stupidly busy, quite stressful, but the day went quickly so that's good.
Went and did 30 min on the treadmill after work, ran out the stress.

B will be home shortly, will watch an episode of Survivor, fans vs favourites, then off to bed.

Ni ni all, sleep well.

P.S two sleeps to Origin I ... go the Blues!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 6 plus other stuff

People at work got pizza for lunch today, only my favourite food ... grrr

I ended up getting a salad from Sumo Salad at Castle Hill, which was really good actually. It was only 360 calories though, and I'm supposed to eat 400-600 for the meal where I get to eat real food. So I had a handful of almonds after, that will have to do.

I've got a calendar on the fridge, where I'm marking off the days as I go, can't believe after tomorrow I'll have completed my first week.

Eels play the Roosters in the NRL tonight. We've got season tickets for the Eels, so we'll probably be going, depends how B feels when he gets home as he has been a bit under the weather. If we don't, we'll watch it on the telly at home, either is fine with me.


Picked up some registered mail today, and it was tickets to the Good Food Show. Hooray! I'm a real foodie, love the growers markets, love all that sort of stuff. Last time I went to the Good Food Show it was on at Homebush, which was excellent. Quite a few years ago now. Now it's at the Convention Centre in the city, so will be interesting to see what that is like. I'm going on the Friday so hopefully there'll be less crowds.

They have celebrity chefs put on shows, and I managed to get tickets to see Gordon Ramsay, very excited. They had to put on more shows, as the first lot of tickets to see him sold out. So I was very happy when I scored tickets for it. I know some people are put off by his swearing, but he just cracks me up.


Finally, hooray it's the weekend! Hope you guys have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I was going to do a blog day by day for my cleanse nutritional thingy, but if there isn't much to report, I won't bother, just give updates from time to time.

One thing I have noticed though, is that I actually feel different, I feel in better health, my body seems happier. It's a nice feeling ... much better than going to work with a hangover yet again.

The habit of drinking in the evening for fun and relaxation is hard to kick, but getting easier. That's the thing about habits I suppose, when you stop doing them you feel a bit lost for a while.

I can't feel half my tongue

Just got back from the dentist. Normally I avoid the dentist like the plague, but on my birthday last week I was eating lunch and crunch, there went a bit of one of my molars. Nice birthday present.

So I had to go to the dentist, no choice. The last few days it's been sitting on my mind, like a big obstacle I couldn't really see around. And tonight, I went, and did the right thing, and got my tooth fixed up. Phew! A couple of minor panic attacks while I was in there, but got through it, so pleased with myself. Turned out that a filling had come off, wasn't actually anything wrong with the actual tooth. Still, took 45 minutes of lots of fun drilly sounding tools to get a new filling. They had a TV on the roof for you to watch, but 1) no sound, and 2) the big light thingy they have above you, obscured half of the picture. Still, nice thought.

And ... I know this will make me sound old, but when did dentists get so young?? The dentist herself looked like she was about 21, and dentist assistant guy looked no older than 16!!

Still, they were professional and friendly, and I've booked an appointment in for a regular checkup .... as I haven't had one for over a decade ... ahem

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 4

Doing better today, starting to get the hang of it all, plus no where near as tired as I have been, so that's nice.

I'm staying strong when people bring food into work too. The team I am on is notorious for always eating, always bringing things in for treats, like tea buns, choccys, lamingtons etc. And if someone makes a special effort to bring something in, like someone did today, I feel bad when they offer me something and I say no. But what can you do, you can't please everyone else and leave yourself hung out to dry.


Had a meeting with my manager today, we do quarterly reviews to see if we are on track for our big yearly performance review. Last year's review was just shit basically, I got a much lower result than I felt was fair or deserved. The meeting went well today though, I've put in some improvements on the database I administer which will make it more efficient to use, and my manager assures me that so far I am on track for a better rating this year.
Not a fan of performance review ratings, they say not to take them personally, but what else can you do when they are judging your personal performance for the year?!?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 3

Turns out that Day 3 is actually Day 1, what I thought was day 1 and 2 was just pre-cleanse days, and today was the first day. Yeah, whatever, I'm not changing my day count, it will just go up to Day 32 now.

So first cleanse day turned out to be interesting. You don't have any food if you can help it, (I had an apple, which apparently is ok if you have to have something), drink a heap of water, and four times a day drink a cleansing drink which is 'berry' flavoured. I'm telling you, those berries must be off!! The stuff smells like Perkins Paste!

Oh, and what my trainer now tells me, is that 1 in 20 people get what's called a niacin flush. Basically soon after you drink it, you go bright red. Lucky when you have to go to a customer meeting, and look all professional. I was looking at my face in the bathroom under the fluoros (never a flattering kinda light) and it looked like I'd been out in the sun for too long (say 10 hours or so). So I'm freaking out thinking something is not right, and I look like a loony. However by the time I get to the meeting it has gone back to normal colour, and tonight I find out it's quite normal, and all ok. In fact it is a good sign, that the toxins are on their way out of the building.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 2

Well, I'm hanging in there, but finding that I'm getting quite hungry during the day. Needs some fine tweaking of what I can have, as apparently between the shakes for breakfast and lunch, and between lunch and dinner, I can have things like an apple or an almond.

Tried that today, still very hungry. The other thing my trainer suggested was half a chicken sandwich for morning and afternoon tea, will give that a go.

No alcohol is the main thing I'm having trouble with though, when it becomes such a habit, to go cold turkey is interesting to say the least. I'm irritable, and restless (a complete joy to be around ... hehe). And waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat aint no joy either. But you know what? That just tells me this is something I really need to do.

I will try to put in some other posts apart from the joys of detox, just finding it hard to think of much else at the moment.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

30 days of fun - Day 1

My trainer has convinced me to do a 30 day cleanse thing, called Isagenix. Two of my meals a day are being replaced with health shakes, and one day a week I have a cleanse day where I eat nothing but have cleansing drinks that they provide.

Sounds like fun right?

The reason I'm doing it? Well, a couple of reasons actually. One, I want to shift the fat I have around my belly. Two, it will be a good thing not to drink any alcohol at all for 30 days, my body can really use the detox.

I'm already finding it hard, as the shakes don't taste that nice, but it's only day 1, so I'll stick with it and see how I go.

One of the things they suggest is to hang some clothes you don't fit into on the back of a door somewhere, so you can see your goal. I bought some 501 jeans a while back, and to fit into them I need to lose 4 inches around my waist. I would have normally gotten a bigger size but I was told that Levi were no longer making 501s, so this was pretty much the last pair in stock. And I love 501s, I've worn them since I was around 17.

Is it possible for me to lose 4 inches? We'll see

Monday, April 14, 2008

Super powers!

Standing in line at the supermarket this evening, the check out lady called next for me to get served. I walked up to the counter, about a metre or so from where I'd been lined up, put my groceries on the counter for her to scan, and she says to me "Oh, you snuck up on me whilst I was blinking!"

Not much you can come back with for that is there ...

So not only am I very, very sneaky*, I must also be lightning fast to be able to move a metre in the space of an eye blink! lol

* does anyone know what movie that line is from?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Song number one

I made up a CD of songs for Everyday Stranger the other day and the instant I posted it I thought of songs I wished I'd put on instead. lol

The only criteria I put on it was classic Australian music. The first song is my favourite Powderfinger song (Baby I've Got You) On My Mind. Basically, it rocks!

And on a happy note, on Friday I was able to buy tickets to see them at the Enmore Theatre in a couple of months time! :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Still here ...

Yep, I've been mightily neglecting my blog yet again, time to get serious and start writing again.

I went to the psych last week and talked through some more issues. Last Friday work had a function at North Sydney bowling club. I didn't want to go, for two reasons. North Sydney was further than I had driven before, and I didn't want to face Friday afternoon traffic. But I didn't want to not do it (I think that double negative works), as then it would be another thing that I was afraid of that I'd avoided. When you start on the avoidance trail it can be a very quick downward spiral. I sometimes think I'm just a few steps from being a full fledged agoraphobic, in a cage of my own making.

So, I went. Success! The trip there was ok, until I got to the Gore Hill freeway. Never been on a freeway by myself before. Was only on it for a little while, managed to get off at the wrong exit, but I did it. Tick! Proceeded to get hideously lost in North Sydney, which seems to be a suburb made up of no right turns. Finally got to the function, another tick in the box for me!

I think I did ok at the function, sometimes socially I'm not so great. And when I play sport (we played lawn bowls in teams) I tend to get a bit vocal, cheering people on etc. Sometimes I worry that I'm too loud, that I've made a fool of myself. I guess all I can do is be myself.

Drive home was good, didn't get lost, and traffic wasn't bad either.

So sum total is I am proud that I did it! Nice to have personal best for distance travelled by myself too.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Some fine dining to go with the culture

Before going to the play on Saturday night, B and I went to dinner at 'Guillaume at Bennelong'. Yes, it is as fancy schmancy as the name sounds, big time restaurant that has won many awards.

B and I had been wanting to go for ages, and this was the perfect opportunity. Saturday was an anniversary for us, we'd been together for 16 years!

B and I both think it was good, but not a place we'd absolutely rave about. The waiters were pretty snooty, they seemed to be in a hurry to get us out of there.

The food was nice though, for entree I had blue swimmer crab on a bed of avocado with cucumber, coriander and capsicum coulis, and for main barramundi with Kipfler potatoes, capers, olives, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. I like capers, but this had what looked like 2 cups worth, so most of those stayed on the plate.

B had for entree atlantic salmon cold smoked in house served with crème fraîche and toasted brioche (yes, I am copying and pasting from the menu) and for main fresh ink spaghetti tossed with blue swimmer crab, tomato and coriander.

The place was full, and we had a spectacular view of the harbour and the bridge.

For a rating, I'd give it 3 out of 5 for the food, 2 out of 5 for the service, and 5 out of 5 for location.

And I give B 5 out of 5 for taking me out for a romantic dinner at a swish restaurant! :)

I got me some culture!

B has been hanging to go see some Shakespeare at the Opera House for ages, and last Saturday we finally went.

I had mixed feelings about going, but I wanted to go because B wanted to go, and, well, it truly wouldn't hurt me to broaden my horizons.

My pick of a fun night out is going to a movie, or going to the footy, or staying in watching DVDs or reading. Never been to opera, or ballet, and it was a couple of years ago that I went to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Christmas show, I was in heaven when they did The little Drummer Boy).

It's not that Shakespeare is foreign to me really, I studied it at high school, and I love the movie Much Ado about Nothing. But I don't tend it understand it right off the bat, it is something that I have to study.

So when we bought the tickets I decided to study up, so I'd understand what was going on. We got tickets to "As you like it", one of the comedies. Prior to the show I read the play, along with some cheat sheets, and had a good understanding of it.

And it was a good night. And a tough night, personally, for me.

Many years ago we went to a play in the city and it was a very small theatre where everyone was crammed in. Lots of panic attacks for me, I felt very claustrophobic, and I ended up not remembering much of the play. Since then I've been wary of going to the theatre. I don't like going to places and sitting in the middle of rows where the seats fold up, as I feel hemmed in, trapped in place, because if I did have to get out, the entire row of people between me and the aisle would have to stand up, hence me putting them out and them being annoyed at me. Do I overthink things ... naaaah

I've been getting much better at stuff like that, places like the footy don't faze me now, people are getting up all the time anyway, to get drinks, go to the bathroom etc.

But I still had the nagging fear of the theatre, of plays. But, I kicked in my never give up, never surrender attitude and off I went to see Shakespeare at the Opera House.

The theatre, called the Playhouse aptly enough, is a small theatre tucked down the side of the Opera House. Yep, a small theatre .... where the seats fold up ... and we were dead in the middle of the row. Oh ... and the air con wasn't working overly great, so it was warm and stuffy (brilliant for panic attack sufferers ... not). So, I kept telling myself you can do this, you can leave if you have to, all the while panic nipping at the edges of my mind.

The play started and panic attacks ensued. Bad ones. I gritted my teeth. I didn't want to let me down, I didn't want to let B down. I even didn't want to leave because I didn't want the actors to feel badly, like I was judging them or something.
I've let B down so badly before, and it is never a good thing, for him, for me, for us. At one point I said to B I can't do this, and he replied to leave if I had to, but I hung on. By my fingernails at some points, but as the play went on, I gradually got better.

Intermission came, and I hadn't passed out, thrown up, lost the plot, insulted the actors, or pissed off the people in my row. B was very proud of me, we celebrated with a glass of champagne. Second half was much better, and I got through to the end.

During all this, I did watch the play, and understand it. And I did enjoy it. Don't know that it will ever be my most favourite pastime ever, but it's good to experience different things, and some of it was really good.

I was disappointed that I suffered the panic attacks in the first place, but I take out of it that I didn't give in to them. I did really well.

So, hooray for me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

60 things thingy

Nicked from Caltechgirl

60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
A suit jacket, a casual jacket, some half empty water bottles.

2. When was the last time you threw up?
A while ago now, one of the pluses from cutting back on drinking too much!

3. What's your favorite curse word?
Me curse? Never .... :P

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
Hubby B, a friend at work, and my dogs (they count as people, right?)

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Getting ready for work

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Surfing the 'net.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Probably watching telly

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
"See you tomorrow" when I left work ..

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Vanilla! It's the finest of the flavours!

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?

12. What are you wearing right now?
Work clothes - top and skirt with stockings

13. What was the last thing you ate?
choc chip cookie

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

15. When was the last time you ran?
Last Friday at the gym

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Watched a little bit of cricket on telly the other night

(what happened to 17????)

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
Client for work.

19. Ever go camping?

20. Do you have a tan?

(21??? 22???? 23????)

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Here we call it soft drink, and nup, no drinking from a straw from me, I'm not that civilised!

25. What did your last IM say?
no idea, very rarely on messenger

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Last I heard I was B's best friend

27. What are you doing tomorrow?

28. Where is your mom right now?
Probably at home

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
Billy dog.

30. What color is your watch?
Don't currently have a watch *cough* hint *cough*

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
Maybe, but only for repairing disfigurement from an accident or something

33. What is your birthstone?

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Go in.

35.How many kids do you want?

36. Do you have a dog?
We have two!

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
My brother

38. Have you met anyone famous?
Can't think of anyone

39. Any plans today?
Not much left of today, some reading, eating, watching telly, sleeping

40. How many states have you lived in?

41. Ever go to college?
If uni counts as college, then yes.

42. Where are you right now?
In front of my computer, silly!

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
Work is pretty annoying

44. Last song listened to?
I think it was a Foo Fighters song, on the way home from work


46. Are you allergic to anything?
Nope, but I am a little intolerant of fatty,creamy foods

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Colorado casual shoes

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Not telling

(49????? Come on PEOPLE!)

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
pffft ... yeah right

51. What time is it?

52. Do any of your friends have children?
Most of them

53. Do you eat healthy?
I try to, succeed a lot of the time

54. What do you usually do during the day?

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
No, people I have hated in the past are no longer in my life (I didn't do away with them or anything, just moved on lol)

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
More often hi, or hiya


58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
32. 35 :(

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
As I haven't heard of it, I'm gonna say no

60. How did you get one of your scars?
I have a scar on my stomach from when I had my appendix removed when I was 13.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stuff of nightmares

I've always been a dreamer, in that I dream most nights, and tend to remember my dreams for a little while after. Not a long while, but an hour or so the next day. What goes along with that is that sometimes, the dreams, they are not so nice. The not so nice ones I remember for a bit longer.

Nightmares for me tend to be variations on a theme. The major one is that there is a bad man, and he is trying to kill me. I think this may well be a side effect from reading a lot of Stephen King as an impressionable teenager. The bad guy from The Stand springs to mind quite readily. These days I tend not to read horror books or watch horror movies.

Last night I dreamt (hmm that's not a word ... dreamed maybe?) I was home alone. Except it was a home that doesn't look like the one I actually live in. I'd walked home and there was a guy in navy work clothes in a navy van along the way. Then I was home looking out, and the same guy was walking past with another guy and as he walked past he nodded towards my house, as if to say, this is the one. Somehow I knew that they wanted to kill me (fun dream huh?). I called the police but they said there wasn't enough to go on.

Next I remember is the guy ringing the door bell. I talked to him through the intercom, he wanted to wash the windows. I explained I wasn't interested (feeling of terror pervading dream at this point). He kept on insisting, I kept on saying I wasn't interested, then it was like I could see through the door, I saw him pull a gun out. I think I mostly woke up at that point, and made up the rest of the story while I was awake, that I called the police and they came and got him. I woke up all the way after that, and it felt like adrenalin had been pumped through me, I still had a sense of dread.

Gave B a hug and went back to sleep eventually.

Guess it is a good thing I'm seeing a psych huh!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I have a life .... just

Harvey over at Bad Example put up a post the other day about how he'd heard supposedly if you've seen more than 85 movies, you have no life.

The list is posted below, with an x for ones I've seen. From the list I've seen 83. Mind you, there are a couple hundred not on the below list that I have seen .... lol. Plus, I didn't count ones that I started watching and fell asleep during.

()Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x)Pirates of the Caribbean
() Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
() Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
() Blazing Saddles
(x) Universal Soldier
() Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
() Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
() KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
Total so far: 8

() A Cinderella Story
() The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
() Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
() Halloween
(x) The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
() Flubber
Total so far: 10

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
() Ghost Ship
() From Hell
() Hellboy
() Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 14

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
() Child's Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 19

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
() Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
() The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total so far: 30

(x) Independence Day
() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
() War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 35

() Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She's All That
() Calendar Girls
() Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks!
(x) Event Horizon
() Ever After
() Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 43

(x) X-Men
(x) X2
() X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
() Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
() The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
() The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
(x) Shrek 3
Total so far: 54

() Swimfan
() Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
(x) The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Kippendorf's Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old-virgin
Total so far: 55

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 61

() Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
() Elf
(x) Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 63

() The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
() Shaolin Soccer
() Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
() Shaun Of the Dead
() Willard
Total so far: 66

() High Tension
() Club Dread
(x) Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
() Hook
(x) Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
() 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
(x ) Waterworld
Total so far: 69

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
() Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
() The Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 71

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 77

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
() Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
(x) Hannibal

Final total: 83

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger dead at 28

Arrived at work this morning to the news that Heath Ledger had died. So very sad.

Like many others I loved his movies, I've watched "Ten things I hate about you" and "A Knight's tale" countless times. So young to die, such a waste.

I feel so sad for his young daughter too, only 2 years old and she's lost her Dad.

It doesn't seem real that he's dead, just really unbelievable news. Hard to imagine we'll never see that cheeky smile again.

* photo comes from website Rotten Tomatoes

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New email address

I've created myself a new email address for this blog if people wish to contact me. If you don't want to leave a comment but would like to send me a message, just click here

Comfort food

Back in my aussie wife days I used to be an occasional contributor to the Carnival of the Recipes. I haven't contributed as yet in my new blog home, so thought I would this week. Problem is that it is now 10:53pm Saturday CST, and the recipes were supposed to be in by noon Saturday ....

Ah, what the heck, I'll submit it anyway and see if it gets in.

So the theme this week is comfort food. I had a fair think about this, as there were a few I could choose from, as I do love me some comfort food. I gave B a short list, and let him pick which one would be blogged today.

And the winner is .... Cottage Pie.

This is a recipe that I have made time and time again, and for me is very much a comfort food. I've made it for B and I, for friends when they came over, and for friends and family who've just had a baby and don't have much time for cooking. And it tends to get good reviews.

The recipe itself comes from a recipe book called "Family Circle Popular Potato Recipes" which is a little book that I bought at a checkout at the supermarket.

Here it is ... enjoy!

American translations in brackets

Cottage Pie


1 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
500g beef mince (approx 1lb ground beef)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 x 440g (15.5 oz) can tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
1 beef stock cube, crumbled (bouillon cube)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
4 large potatoes (1.3kg/2.9 pounds), peeled and chopped
either milk or 1/4 cup sour cream
freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to moderate 180 deg C (356 deg F). Heat oil in a heavy-based pan; add onion. Cook over medium high heat until soft. Add mince. Cook 10 minutes or until well browned and almost all liquid has evaporated. Use a fork to break up any lumps of mince as it cooks.
  2. Blend flour with a little reserved tomato juice until smooth. Add sufficient water to remaining tomato juice to make up 1 cup. Blend into the flour mixture with crumbled stock cube.
  3. Gradually add liquid to mince mixture, stirring constantly over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, peas and carrots. Mix well. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  4. Cook the potato until tender. (The recipe in the book at this point says to cook them in a large pan of boiling water. I steam them instead. Basically do them whichever way you like, whichever way you cook potatoes to make mashed potatoes.) Mash potatoes well. Recipe in book now says to blend in sour cream and pepper, I use milk and pepper, whichever you use, mix in until smooth. Place the mince mixture in a deep, ovenproof dish. Top with potato, using a fork to spread it evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Any questions, feel free to comment.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Never give up, never surrender

So it turns out that B spending the night away from me is not the end of the world as we know it! :)

Last night and yesterday went really well.

I really didn't know how I would go. The two nights before B went away neither of us slept all that well, I think I averaged 2-3 hours sleep each night.

Yesterday he was up at 5.15am, as he needed to get ready and over to the airport for an early flight. There were quite a few hugs and kisses before he left, and I stayed strong, no tears or anything. I really wanted to show him I could be strong and how much I love him, by not restricting him from things he wants/needs to do.

So he left, and I went back to bed, thinking there was no way I'd be able to sleep. There were a few moments when panic attacks threatened, but I kept it at bay. I read for a bit, then to my surprise I fell asleep and slept till my alarm went off to get ready for work. Good sign that, I thought.

The day at work was kinda tough, my emotions have been all over the shop this week, and quite frequently I felt close to tears. I have a good friend at work, and she has been so supportive this week for me, and told me to call anytime I needed to, she'd be there for me. Which Snoozen also did, which was also great.

I hadn't told Mum and Dad about my fears with B going away, as I thought Mum would tell me I was just being silly, as she has for some things in the past. But when I got home from work, I thought what the heck, I'll let her know. I didn't go into great detail, just how we'd never been apart, I was a bit nervous, but hoped I'd be ok. Then I went to the gym.

My trainer is great. We had a good workout and a good chat. Looks like we will have a friendship as well as a trainer/client relationship. How nice is that! She empathised with my feelings about being alone during the night, and promised to work me hard so I would find it easier to sleep.

Workout done, I headed home, to the part I had been dreading, spending the night alone. When I got home, I checked my emails and Mum had replied with a lovely email saying she totally understood what I was going through, and that she had made up my old bed at their place, so if it got too much I could go sleep there. I really had underestimated her. That email, combined with B, work friend, Snoozen, and trainer friend really really helped me.

I called Mum and Dad, spoke to them for a bit, then talked to B for a bit. By then it was 1opm, too late to watch a movie or anything, so I decided to head to bed and read for a bit. Read for half an hour, then straight to sleep! Woke up a couple of times during the night, but not for very long at all, pretty much slept throughout the whole night.

Woke up this morning feeling pretty proud of myself. While I don't think I'll ever really like it when B goes away, or get away from the feeling that it is just odd to wake up alone, I know now that I can do it when needs be.

Never give up, never surrender ... my new motto.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Home alone

For the first time since B and I moved in together, I'll be home alone tomorrow overnight. B is going to Canberra for work tomorrow, is staying over, back home Friday.

And quite frankly I'm scared. I feel very vulnerable. I didn't sleep much last night, as I'm filled with a sick dread. Who can I turn to if I have a panic attack while he's gone? It's not like he can come back home in the middle of the night if I lose the plot, as he is flying down there.

I tell myself that I can do this, that other things I've been scared of, that I've lost sleep over, I've been able to get through, and get through well.

I worry that I won't be able to sleep. When I was little I was afraid of the dark, and while I'm not now, dark thoughts do seem to be more prevalent at night time.

So fun times for me at the moment, I'm sick of being an "I can't do this" person, but how do I force my mind and body into believing I am capable, I can be strong.

I've booked myself a gym appointment with my trainer from 7-8, and she wants me to do 20min on the treadmill before that. I'm hoping to wear myself out. After, I'll come home, cook myself dinner, and watch a movie, or play on the computer. Then, I'll call B, tell him I love him, and go to bed.

Fingers crossed it all goes well. Any positive thoughts you can send my way, would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Touching base

So, I'm doing ok. I haven't been drunk since that horrible time between Christmas and New Years. I haven't stuck to the no drinks whatsoever most nights, in that I'll usually have one or two after dinner, but it's an improvement.

Exercise side of things has also improved, working out about 3 times a week now, and I'm starting to notice some definition in some of my muscles, so happy about that.

I'm feeling a bit flat at the moment, been very tired this week. Combination of things, late nights, early wake ups, that time of the month ...

Today I didn't work hard at all at work. Instead of beating myself up about it (which I have been known to do), I see it as just a day when I was very very tired, tomorrow's another day. Had a session with my personal trainer after work, that went well, proud of myself.

Off now to watch Amazing Race, then bedtime for me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Gym today

This won't be terribly exciting for readers, but I want to keep a log of my exercise.

Wed 2nd Jan:

Stretches for ten minutes.
X trainer for 30 minutes on level 7, Hill (Around the World setting).
Distance achieved: 5.01 km
Highest heart rate got to: 195 (ouch, gotta work on cardio obviously)

Where to from here ...

I haven't written for a while. Partly due to the craziness that is Christmas time, partly because when I have coherent thoughts I'd like to blog I'm driving or doing something else, and when I actually sit in front of the computer my mind is a blank.

So, what have I been up to, and how have I been?

Christmas - quite frankly went better than I expected. I was dreading it in a way, the idea of having everyone over was a bit daunting. But people chipped in, and it turned out to be quite a relaxed affair. People have told me since that they really enjoyed it, so I take that on board, and am quietly pleased.

Plus, B told me that a present I gave him was the absolute perfect present for him, he really loved it, so hooray! Win for me!

Things haven't been all good though. One day between Christmas and New Year I drank way way too much, had an argument about drinking way way too much, then drank some more. The next day was not a positive day after that, partly because I was so sick from the day before, partly because I knew I'd let myself and B down abominably. Lowest point right there.

So I've had to face the fact that only I can do something about this. Not that I expected anyone to do anything before, but I guess I thought it would magically make itself better. Nothing like sticking your head in the sand, right?

My New Years resolutions (in no particular order) are:

  • Most days, alcohol free.
  • Days I do have a drink, restrict to no more than 3 standard drinks.
  • Exercise regularly, not just the one session a week with the trainer.
  • Eat better, make sure fruit and veg are a major part of the diet, not just a side.
  • Spend more time with friends and family.
  • Be kind to myself.
  • Reject negative thoughts, turn them into positive thoughts.
  • Be adventurous.
  • Be brave.
One day at a time, I can do this.