Feb 28, 2019

Lovin' Life 28/02/2019: Five Things.

This week's loves:

A large iced latte, casually enjoyed as I wheeled my trolley around Woolies.

The manicured greenery I encountered on the run I took immediately before enjoying that iced latte and trolley steering session above.  The places my running takes me often feel like different worlds connected merely by the strides I take as I heavy breathe between them.

A burst of colour on a grey day while I was out and about for work.  I was a bit nervous before I started this new role at work but it's come to be a highlight of my working week.  It's been refreshing to use different skills and gain a new perspective on the people I look after.  I realise how small a role in their lives my decisions and I often are. 

Grana's packaging and the clothing within.  This order contained a large number of undies.  They're amazingly comfortable in case you were contemplating a purchase.

And last but not least, a long-awaited new release sent straight to my Kindle.  The latest Dr Ruth Galloway will be eagerly read in bed this weekend.  I wonder what Ruth's been up to lately and whether things with DCI Nelson are any less complicated....

Feb 26, 2019

Tuesday Recap.

I'm settling into the rattle and hum of the school term and all its routines.  The weather's made it easier too.  When there's the silent menace of rain in the air and fits of howling wind annoying the trees, it's that much easier to stay in and get things done.

My current favourite weekend breakfast is a couple of slices of supermarket fruit toast (I get the 'Cafe' version that Tip Top makes because each slice is about the width of a volume of the White Pages) with lots of butter and homemade cinnamon sugar.  As someone who can inhale cinnamon on its own, my mix is close on 2/3 sugar to 1/3 cinnamon.....  I like how it all tastes like a cinnamon bun but without the tooth-aching sweetness of frosting to contend with.

In other news from the ranch, I have finally replaced all my overstretched and almost useless hair elastics with these rainbow coloured ones. Just in time for Mardi Gras.

The shallow cupboard above the stove is somewhat less chaotic now that I've sorted out the recipes that I store there by meal and main ingredient.  Don't you worry about that box of Haigh's.... it's got pride of place on the kitchen table and was not put into storage with the recipes.

From my newly organized 'work lunch' selection of recipes, may I present Layla's ( from Gimme Delicious) recipe for Healthy Roasted Chicken and Vegies.

It's a cinch to make and there's enough for four lunches.  Lots of vegetables chopped together with some chicken breast, seasoned and baked.  I added some rice to each bowl too.  Because of those tomatoes and the zucchini, there wasn't the dryness to the chicken that often happens to me when I attempt to meal prep with skinless chicken breast.

These colanders I found at Daiso ensure that everyone, even the snow peas, are relaxed in that weeknight dinner scenario that I normally don't handle as serenely as I'd like.  There's a 'tilt' to the base of the bowl so that you colander with one half and then sit the bowl in the opposite direction to keep your tabletop dry when you're done.

Beyond the kitchen, this print at a local poster gallery made me smile.  I'm not sure if this was taken of a building in Sydney but everything about it says so.

Lunch this past Sunday was just lovely.  One of Master SSG's favourite dishes is Hainanese chicken rice which I can't actually make.  We found this excellent version at Jim's Malaysian in the basement of The Galeries.

Just across the way at Boon Table is a rather fancy rendition of a classic pork banh mi.

From an aesthetics perspective, I love the contrast of that European kitchen feel with the array of Vietnamese ingredients on display.

I'll be back to sample the rest of the banh mi menu in coming weeks, I am sure.

Guess what?  The internet has found me a soul city for 2019.  There was a quiz on Timeout that I took because I couldn't get to sleep one night and it looks as if I need to get myself to Edinburgh this year.  Apparently, because I live for the 'gram and gave a lot of very middle-aged answers to the spicier questions in the survey.  A work in progress.

Parenting is all about confronting your own individual weaknesses to make both you and your child better people.  This week's challenge explored how I never actually did any geography at school.  A secondary theme that was explored was how I don't actually know how to use Preview to edit images.  Luckily, I discovered the magnificence of Google Earth.  Is really is an amazing experience to be able to map places on such a detailed and very real looking map.  All sorts of data sources were used for the final result including stuff from NASA and the US Navy.  The only problem for me was how to then print the map I made for Master SSG.  I ended up doing a screenshot, printing that and cropping the print with actual scissors.  We got there in the end.

Feb 25, 2019

Life This Week 25/2/2019: My Favourite Decade.

I won't lie.  I'm a tragic for the music and fashion from past decades that many would prefer to forget.

Image result for ABBA

Except for my love for ABBA, all the best people have that one song from Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid embedded somewhere in their working memories.  The tune that will forever have a life-defining moment attached to it.  The tune that will have the power to bring back memories so strongly it's as if they only happened yesterday.

Things get a bit controversial from there.

Image result for 90s pop

Pop from the 90s still features very heavily on my iTunes playlists.  Spice Girls and Britney, I'm looking at you all.

Image result for 90s pop

And the fashion.  Or perhaps that should be 'fashion'.

Image result for 00s fashion

Velour tracksuits, hipster jeans and lace-up butterfly tops, 00s you were a decade of extremes and I loved each and every one of your disparate fashion moments.

Image result for 2000s fashion
Possibly my most tasteful love from decades past is this look from the 1970s.

Image result for 1970s makeup

The minimalist makeup and natural hair are not looks I could every pull off myself but the overall look reminds me of the simpler times of my childhood when parenting wasn't as intense as it is now.

And look how well we all turned out?

But my most favorite decade is the one we're in now, the twenty-tens!

I'm also loving the age decade I'm in now - the fabulous forties.

Shall I explain?

I think the two are interrelated.  My being fortysomething and loving the twenty-tens.

The world as it is now is by no means perfect but I've made my peace with this.

There's so much to love about living right now.

The technology (which can sometimes be a curse), the advances in medicine, the way the internet has made the world a smaller place.  The historic progress that has been made in acknowledging survivors of abuse.  The steps society has taken towards marriage equality.

Ironically, as a practically middle-aged person, the fast pace of the world right now suits me.  There's always something going on yet the more things change the more some things stay the same.  I have the benefit of hindsight and maturity (debatable) yet I'm young enough to still adapt or embrace if the fancy takes me.

And that's the thing.  It's all about choice as a woman in her forties in 2019.

And freedom.

And weightlessness from the expectations of others or from society.

And contentment about who I am and what I can do.  It's also contentment about who I am not and what I cannot do.  Or perhaps its acceptance in both instances.

In short, now is my favourite time to be alive.  The past has set me up to live the present and the present will set me up for the future.

As for fashion.  I'm happy flying under the radar of prevailing trends and remixing my favourites from decades past.

Do you have a favourite decade?  Of history or of chronological age?

Feb 19, 2019

Sugar Republic, Sydney.

Sunday afternoon is often adventure time for Master SSG and I.  The weather is almost always on board and living up to the 'sun' in its name, it's $2.50 all day public transport for me and $1.25 (I think) for him plus there's almost always something going on in the city.

Sugar Republic  is a ticketed exhibition currently taking place on sixth floor of Myer in the city.  To quote its website, 'Sugar Republic is a pop up sweets museum and house of fun'. Its Sydney season runs from February 10 - May 20 2019.  The original Australian presentation was in Melbourne with Brisbane and now Sydney each having a home for this riot of colour, fun and yes... sugar.

Tickets are $31 for kids and $37 for adults with a supplement of around $5 for weekend sessions.  Allow around an hour to attend the show and sample the sweets on offer plus (on the weekend we were there) a good half hour or so to line up for the final experience (spoilers ahead and remember your socks).

Staff are all very friendly and photography is encouraged as is sharing on social media.

There are photo ops everywhere

and very photogenic details abound as well.

Master SSG was in his element as a few exhibits demanded to be climbed and interacted with.  He climbed to the top of this birthday cake, posed and tossed confetti like a seasoned performer.

Staff filtered through the crowd (the organizers try to keep the numbers down by limiting tickets per session so that all who attend have a good chance of having reasonable access to each display) with trays of sweets to pick and mix for free.

Spinning the 'Wheel of Fruit'.
It was a world of colour, whimsy and fond memories.
Disco donuts and watermelon wedges.
I'm showing my age and devotion to a more boring life now when I say that I cannot understand how I managed to inhale the lollies and treats around me with such gusto when I was literally Sydney Shop Girl.  Where did all that sugar go?

Giant inflatable freckles.
Arnott's biscuits, however, don't just live on in my memory, they occupy a fair bit of real estate in my grown up pantry too.

All my favourites were featured in this house of Arnott's biscuits.

Inside the house, Master SSG busied himself with things that needed to be tidied and opened.

I could have sworn the licorish room smelled of licorish.  Or maybe it was the all sorts cushions that made me think this.

We posed with larger than life models of Australian ice cream legends - Paddle Pop, Bubble-O-Bill and Golden Gaytime.

Master SSG took great pains to remind me that the lollies on display at the shop were in fact for 'display purposes only'.  He was fascinated by all the opportunities to read things out to me.

Halo Top  is a low calorie 'ice cream' with cult status in the US.  It's hit Australia now and well ... I'm surprisingly not a fan.  For all my love of many, many American convenience foods, I just can't find the love for the Halo.

Halo Top was the ice cream on offer at Sugar Republic and on the day we visited, salted caramel, peanut butter and chocolate flavours were on offer.  Delish tell me that there are just under 50 flavours in the full range.

My problem is that it tastes low sugar and low fat. It has the consistency of cheaper full fat ice creams wihtout their taste.  I was left with a chemical aftertaste in my mouth after a single scoop.

I do like the creativity behind the Halo Top flavours and I could taste hints of the key flavours in my sample but h.  I'd rather go full cream and sugar once in a while than to be left a bit underwhelmed on a daily basis with empty calories that still have me craving 'the real thing' at the end of it.

Are you ready for the finale?

It was a giant pool of bubbles which we were invited to submerge ourself in.  Ten guests at a time and with our socks on.  Needless to say, chaos ensued.  I will say that if you are bringing young children, the wait for this room might be a source of frustration to them.  The temptation to leave the line and roam the other displays will be strong and given into.  Then lining up in the room itself presents the desire to just abandon 'good listening' and jump the queue and head straight for the pool.  Patience, grasshopper parents and carers, patience.  And your best 'firm but fair in public' voice too.

All in all, Sugar Republic was a fun way to spend Sunday afternoon.  I do think the ticket prices were a bit steep but this is clearly a labour of love that the founders are passionate about.  I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibition evolve in Sydney.  I wonder if there will be new exhibits for Easter / the later months of the run?

There's a small selection of quirky on theme gifts just outside the show.

So much iconic culinary Australiana!

And then it was over and we were back in the world of the Myer toy level.  Where I chanced upon this....

Why?  And No!!!!!.  Toilet paper, 'skid shot' and easy cleaning in the one toy?  I think not...


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