Mar 22, 2015

Election, What Election? Domino Deals.

So much for my thinking I was a switched on and informed resident of New South Wales.....

I only just discovered on Saturday night that the state election is on this coming weekend, on Saturday March 28!  I honestly don't know how it's taken me this long to find out.  I've read at least the front page of the paper most days of the week, I listen to the news on the drive to and from work and I've got quite a few news sites on my twitter and Facebook feeds.

I'm making up for lost time by reading as many election round up articles in the paper as I can.  None of which have helped me much so far.  What I have found useful though, is a website a friend on twitter pointed out to me -   It's address is pretty self explanatory and the information on it to to the point and based on facts and figures that aren't too rubbery.  It may well be your most useful resource for election day....

I'm planning to vote early if I can this year and wouldn't you know it?  My local early voting centre turns out to be at a place I know rather well - Top Ryde. 

Wanting to make sure I knew exactly where to be for my early vote, I dropped in this morning to orientate myself to where the library / voting area was.  It's a pity it's so grey today because normally, this open air section of the centre is filled with light.  A Cuban food festival was being set up as I walked through and I'm a bit disappointed I couldn't stay for its opening because there was a Cuban coffee stall.

In lieu of that Cuban coffee, I found myself a cup at Cafe Albero instead.  They currently have my vote for best coffee in the centre.  If you're a Top Ryde regular, do you have a favourite place for coffee there?  Do you also wonder how it's even possible for the one shopping centre to even have the twenty something coffee outlets they currently have?

I needed that coffee for a variety of parent related reasons.  Most of which I will not bore you with today except to day that Woolworths' Domino Stars are kind of a big deal for my parent friends and I.  None of us are sure who's having more fun trying to get the complete set of 44 but us parents are definitely the ones putting in the hard yards and negotiations to make that complete set happen.

The quest for Domino Stars doesn't just involve buying extra groceries from Woolies that you possibly didn't need in the first place.  There's the added challenge of what to do with any doubles or triples that you may get along with your fifth tin of toddler milk powder.  Enter the power of Facebook and Gum Tree.  Local area buying and selling groups are full of people trying to arrange swaps or swapping meet ups.

And then there's the rest of us who are swapping via posts on our personal Facebook pages.

Three friends and I have just finished some trades involving lots of zip lock bags, Facebook messages, letter box drop offs and a final trip to the post office to seal the deals.

Rainy day baking - over ripe fruit and Lindt chocolate.  What more could you need?

It's also been the ideal weather for staying in and baking.  I made a batch of white chocolate and pear muffins using a recipe I Googled from Vaucluse Primary School.  It turns up as a PDF when you Google so I'm sorry I can't provide the actual link.  They based their recipe on a Donna Hay basic muffin mix.

I went all out for the white chocolate and used a block of Lindt instead of chocolate chips.

The batter ended up looking a lot like potato and egg salad...

I used my Daiso patty cases which have their patterns printed inside the case.

They look lovely but were just a little too large for my mini muffin trays.

I got 42 mini muffins out of the recipe with muffins baked in the Daiso cases being larger than those baked in my supermarket mini patty cases.  These are a light and sweet muffin.  I'm going to add some cinnamon the next time I bake them to give the sweetness some character, I think.

Todder SSG could smell them baking and couldn't be kept out of the kitchen as they cooled.

If you're looking for more fun and easy things to do at home with toddlers, especially when they're having to be cooped up indoors because of the weather, I've just discovered a new (to me) website called Hands On As We Grow.  You can subscribe to regular emails filled with ideas for play at home and there are also activity planners which you can download.  I've started using some of Jamie's quick ideas for keeping kids busy when you've got a zillion things to do yourself.  The multiple uses of pom poms and egg cartons should never be underestimated.

The can of baked beans and some rubber bands activity is proving to be a bit of a challenge for Todder SSG right now.  But he's not giving up on it yet.

Hope the weekend is treating you well.


  1. Weekend has been fab so far but some would say too much sport ( & that would be our girl muttering under her breath about her brother's sports. She loves him dearly but the great hot choccie & bacon & egg roll sometimes aren't enough) especially as we like a few others left the soccer field to drive straight to the cricket semi final game yesterday.
    Cricket finishes at midday on Saturday & was followed by day 2 today! Exciting for the boys but not so much for the Sisters. They made it into grandfinal next week. Boys & I should also say parents are excited. Sisters not so much!
    Came home after cricket, and got ready for a christening which was a wonderful family event.
    You inspired me to make some pear muffins & I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the top. Just have to do ironing for school & make lunches before weekend over.
    Love cafe Alberta, my fave at top ryde. Some think it's like a fish bowl but I love the sun and the light that it is bathed in all day.
    I've got 10 domino packets for toddler SSG.
    Have a wonderful week. Den xxx

    1. Busy weekend! We need to catch up again soon - at Alberta perhaps?

      Take care and have a great week too!

      SSG xxx

  2. Cuban food festival!!
    This post has taken me out of my grumpy torpor xx thankyou xx


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