Apr 2, 2020

Lovin' Life 2/4/2020: Rainbows On Notebooks.

Something simple, shiny and positive that made me smile when I first saw it at the shops and keeps me smiling as I use it daily at work.



I like the way rainbows are made as light reflects off its silver foil cover and I like the simple instruction stamped 'into' the rainbows, 'DON'T STOP SMILING'.

Don't.

Not even know when it seems that everything in our lives is changing to cause disruption, dislocation and distress.

Don't stop.

Even when the fear and uncertainty seems to seep into every aspect of our lives leaving us with endless additional responsibilities and decisions.

Don't stop smiling.

Smiles are infectious (in a good way).  They spread happiness and if smile hard enough you might just laugh a little.  And laughter is definitely something we all need right now.

Be well.

Apr 1, 2020

A Sentence (Or Two) A Day: March 2020.


It's been grim and dark.  Everyday life changed overnight for many if not all of us.  The little freedoms and liberties we casually took with life each day were taken away by new legislation designed to keep as away from and as far apart from each other as possible.


Media coverage, research and data have told us what to expect in the months to come.  It's going to be awful.  For me, the anticipation of this all unfolding is as bad as the events themselves.  But we do have some light helping to guide us 'down the stairs', so to speak.  We have each other and we have common sense.  I hope these both prevail.
  1. Family time and a quiet afternoon in.  Bliss and very much needed.
  2. It wasn’t a mad Monday for a change.
  3. Our humble home appears pandemic ready as of today. 
    It’s been a somewhat unsettling experience witnessing first hand the rapid emptying of the shelves of the supermarkets around Sydney. 
    But though it all, people have been so very kind to each other.
  4. What. A. Day. Started off badly but sheer willpower and the universe conspired to turn it around in the afternoon. 
  5. The rain felt cosy today.  I’ve got a cardigan on and am having buttered toast, a mug of tea  and a bowl of something hot for dinner tonight. 
  6. An uplifting chat on the phone.  Work issues tidily sorted.  I couldn’t ask for more on a Friday.
  7. Barely had a chance to breathe today!  But all the chores and odd jobs are done and tomorrow is going to be a day of rest.
  8. Master SSG has progressed in leaps and bounds since last weekend’s learn to ride session.  I won’t be holding onto the back of his bike for too much longer at this rate!  My back is grateful beyond words.
  9. It’s a school camp Monday night. 
    I’m enjoying an evening to myself with minimal adult responsibilities.  But it’s so quiet.  And I miss my little guy…..
  10. He’s home!!  Happy and healthy. We celebrated with sushi for dinner and some quality time building our new Lego train set.
  11. I think I’ve found a way to stop the cursor on my MacBook from disappearing.  I’ve enlarged it.  Image result for extra large cursorSeems to be working.  Wonder if the disappearance was more to do with my eyes than the laptop though….
  12. I love it when a weeknight dinner that delivers maximum taste and nutrition for minimal effort.
  13. Especially grateful today for our health system and more specifically the staff who are currently working so tirelessly and with such understanding in our facility coronavirus clinic.
  14. There’s an edginess in the air as we wait and try not to panic. 
  15. Information overload. So much to process from this avalanche of COVID-19 information.  
  16. Deeply appreciating the ‘normal’ things I did today.
    Driving my car, doing school drop off, running late for work, actually being at work doing mundane work things.  The world has been turned upon its head. 
  17. The little human interactions I had today with complete strangers in the midst of this  Covid19 crisis were another little thing it’s given me as so many other things seem to be taken away.  And, of course, this rainbow.  The gift of this rainbow as I went running this morning.
  18. Covid19 checkpoints at work started today.
    It’s like living a disaster movie right now. 
  19. It takes a village. Humbled at the support around me to help as many people as possible to keep working or to find new employment as the financial implications of the pandemic hit. 
  20. You know those days when you take your hit of ‘3 bits of bad news’. That was my Friday. Nothing major but together on the one day, they weren’t the best way to end the week. Onwards, upwards and about due for good news, like the entire world at this point to be honest. 
  21. Saturdays in. Our new normal. But at least there’s more food on the shelves at the supermarket. 
  22. On edge today as NSW’s near lockdown is announced. If you were at the beach on Friday thinking 'this is just another virus, we'll be right...' - you, and all of us who were at home being sensible, have been told otherwise in no uncertain terms.Image result for bondi corona virus
  23. This.
    A thank you to everyone working and serving together at our hospital.  Not just the front line staff but also those who work tirelessly and with such good humour behind the scenes. 
  24. So quiet. 
    Makes me feel more sad than scared.  
  25. Mat time. 
    One of my favourite times of the day.  Now more so than ever.  Namaste.
  26. 'The bad times don't last forever, but strong people do.'  I heard this quote on the news today and I'm carrying it forward in my heart.
  27. This new normal just keeps throwing us all curveballs and challenges, doesn't it?  But somehow, the universe provides and opens doors.
  28. I'm getting used to these slow-paced Saturdays.  Got stuck into some messy corners of the house today and it felt good.
  29. Happy Birthday, Mum!
  30. A mad, mad Monday at work.  But we got there in the end.  "7 hectic days on then 7 blissful days off..." is my current mantra.
  31. And we have survived the first month of COVID-19's near catastrophic impact on our health system, way of life, financial security and default mindset of how our isolation from the rest of the world keeps us safe, healthy and lucky.  
After a lifetime of living the good life, this month delivered a perhaps long overdue reality check.  And the opportunity to learn new skills and a new, simpler way of living.

I don't know what April will bring but even if I can't rise to its challenges, I will be able to accept and live with them.

Mar 30, 2020

Life This Week 30/3/2020: Chocolate


I don't think there's ever really a bad time for chocolate.


It heals and it goes with practically everything.  Including Jatz crackers and a cuppa.



It lends itself splendidly to dramatic chocolate fountains at ritzy buffets


and it can also express its artistic side as a medium for chocolate art.


Chocolate is enjoyed all over the world, these marzipan Mozart chocolates are one my of favourite food memories of Berlin.



It can also be enjoyed at altitude in the plane.  En route to even more countries where chocolate is adored.



Chocolate is an obvious ingredient with which to bake and frost.


It also serves as a simple yet effective way to make your homemade cake look a little bit special.






There's treat chocolate and there's everyday chocolate.  Merci chocolate fingers make it into my trolley every time I visit Aldi.



But my all-time favourite chocolate is Old Jamaica Rum'N'Raisin.


What's yours?

Mar 26, 2020

Lovin' Life 26/3/2020: Homemade Fried Rice.

This week, I'm loving homemade fried rice.




Usually, a dish made on autopilot from leftovers in the fridge and freezer plus a few fresh eggs and specially seasoned rice (I add enough soy sauce and sesame oil to give my rice glisten, a rich brownness and that intoxicating fragrance of sesame oil) - this week's batch served as barometer of the hoarding craziness that's hit our city in light of the pandemic.

And the barometer says that for groceries, at least, and for this week - the craziness has turned it down a couple of notches.

I was able to find....



rice (albeit organic and $6 for a 500g packet),

Image result for egg carton
via Wikipedia

eggs (I always fry up at least half a dozen per batch of fried rice (3 cups uncooked rice),

Image result for woolworths rotisserie chicken
via The Daily Mail
chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is my favourite protein to add to fried rice),

Image result for frozen peas
via Google images
frozen peas


and lettuce all on the one trip to the supermarket.  To explain about the lettuce - it's for rolling up the fried rice to eat sang choy bow style.

Seeing all my ingredients lined up and ready to go gave me some insight into how it must have felt for those trying to survive during wars with rations and food shortages.

I whipped up my fried rice with a smile on my face and serving it for dinner made me feel that at least some things are still okay and right in this world.


Especially seeing as I was able to enjoy this batch of fried rice with lashings of some special Masterfoods blended ketchup and sriracha as well as a generous sprinkling of fried shallots.... 

It just all comes together on the plate.  Trust me.

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