Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Outfit Post - Colour Blocking. Pearls of Wisdom.

This is our attempt to colour block.

Yuck! My arm looks grossly chunky.
Yes, I tried to match outfits. Yes, we left the house like this (well I put a navy tank over my top). Yes, I looked crazy. But if you're going to look crazy you might as well go all out. That's my motto along with comfort when it comes to shoes is just a bonus, you can never have enough shoes, thongs are not shoes unless they're havaianas and have beads/sparkles, patience is for suckers, why do it now when you can do it later (applies strictly to chores) and why wait (applies to shopping). I'm sure I've got other pearls of wisdom but they won't get you very far in life.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Kitchen (Mis)Adventure - Marion's Kitchen Thai Red Curry

I normally make a really good Thai Red Curry using a recipe from this book

The original recipe is actually red curry with roasted duck and lychees but I use BBQ chicken instead as roasted duck is expensive and I would have to go to Chinatown to get one. Last night I decided to try Marion's kitchen Thai red curry with BBQ chicken and lychees.

Earlier in the afternoon I realised that I forgot to buy the lychees. I blame Bubby as he was getting bored in his pram with my frequent stopping and was whining very loudly so I rushed my shopping. I walked to the convenience store to grab canned lychees but it was out of stock. I looked at other canned fruits and contemplated whether canned mango or mandarin would do. I decided, probably not. So I went over to the Asian section to see what they've got (yes my little corner store has an Asian section, how awesome! I don't have to go to the Dodgy Shopping Centre for my Asian fix). I found canned longans. I've never had longans so I don't know what they taste like. I've never even seen one peeled before but they do look like lychees.

They sort of taste like lychees but not as sweet, at least the texture is the same. My husband was fooled so I guess it was close enough. Here's the finished product, the colour looks a bit bright but that's because of my dodgy camera.

The verdict? It was nice but I don't think it's as nice as my red curry. Maybe I should have added all of the dried chillies. The packet comes with 3 but I only added 1 as I didn't know how hot it would be, in the end it wasn't very hot. Maybe it was the longans. Maybe I should have let it simmer for longer to let the flavours develop but it was past 9 PM and I was starving. I think next time I'll try it with more chillies and with prawns instead of chicken. I'll save the BBQ chicken for my 'original' recipe.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Letters To Bubby

Once in a while I write a letter to Bubby as my FB status. Someone suggested to me that I put them all together. I had time in my hands today so I finally checked out FB's timeline and retrieved all the letters. Here they are:

My dear Bubby,
Thank you for:
*vomiting on your brand new cute white cardigan minutes before we were to leave the house
*vomiting on me just before we reached the car
*getting said vomit on my dry clean only pants which I didn't notice until I have driven to the end of our one way street
*getting said vomit on your pants which I didn't notice until we got to the shops, no wonder I could smell vomit wherever we went
*NOT getting your poo all over your clothes this time

My dear Bubby,
If you want to stay in the bath for a longer period of time perhaps you shouldn't pee while you're in it. Just saying.

My dear Bubby,
One secret to looking good at any age is to not spew on yourself. Take it from Mummy who turns 26* today who didn't spew on herself and therefore looks good.
xoxo Mummy

*I turned 26 some years ago. I liked it so much I decided to turn 26 every year for as long as I can get away with it.

My dear Bubby,
You look like you're having immense fun but please don't blow spit bubbles all over mummy's face when you have a mouthful of juicy mango. But I guess that's why I love you.

Dear Bubby,
3 AM is not the time to practise your vocal gymnastics at the top of your lungs. Also, why are you waking up every 2 hours again? Not cool.

My dear Bubby,
Mummy spent a long time cleaning the mirrors, windows and oven door. It's a chore she hates even more than vacuuming. She'd really appreciate it if you didn't practise your kissing skills on them. Oh, and you better not practise your kissing skills on anyone until you've graduated from university preferably with a university medal or first class honours will do. Oh, and your daddy expects you to go to Harvard.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

House Hunting Part 2.

*Sigh* another Saturday spent on the road. Here's my take on today's open inspections.

House 7
Eastern Suburbs. Federation, looks really charming from the outside. We arrived there early so we can measure the amount of noise (gotta love the iphone and all the apps you can download, hubby even used his iphone compass to work out which direction the house is facing because he didn't believe that a Science expert is right when she says it's facing West based on the shadow of the trees at that particular time). It's a really lovely street and if you were deaf you'd think it's a very quiet street just by the look of it. Lovely houses on one side of the street, Big Long Concrete Wall on the other. Beyond the wall is one of Sydney's biggest and busiest arterial roads. It was around 70 decibels max. We could still have a conversation and after all, who stands around outside their house for fun? The noise didn't bother me, I didn't think it was that bad but I deal with a lot of occupational noise in my line of work and also the fact that my workplace is located along one of Sydney's busiest roads too, I'm used to it. To me silence is deafening. No really, when it's silent I hear this very loud ringing in my ears that I need a bit of noise for destructive interference. Speaking of destructive interference, the road noise cancelled out the sound of a lawnmower. Ha! Of course, it's more likely that we couldn't hear the mower because the breeze was carrying the sound away from us. Sorry for the Science talk, that's just me oiling the cogs in my brain ready for my Return to Work.


So we sat there, listened to the traffic, measured the decibels, spent some quality time (you take it where you can get it) while waiting for the open inspection. La di da, la di da. The time of inspection came and went and it just didn't happen. Hubby called the agent, left a message and he still hasn't called back. We were definitely there at the correct time according to Domain. So annoying. So from there we rushed to House 8.

House 8.
Eastern Suburbs. Extended 2 storey Californian Bungalow? Despite the very bright fence and Balinese flag that said Open Inspection I managed to walk right past this house. I walked through the gate then couldn't figure out where the front door was. I suppose that's good if you want to keep out burglars. Meh, I can't even be bothered to go on and honestly I don't remember much else after I found the front door.

House 9
Eastern Suburbs. Beautifully renovated Californian Bungalow. I love this house. It's bright and airy, lovely entertainment deck, nice backyard with pool. The whole house is very nicely done. A bit on the expensive side and might prove to be out of our price range anyway come Auction day.

And that concludes this week's open inspection marathon. I'm just waiting to win the next $30M Lotto so I can buy my dream home, a Victorian mansion in Centennial Park. Bubby will be clever enough to attend Sydney Boy's High School so he can walk to and from school. Hubby can also walk to work but he will probably drive his dream car instead. And I will buy my pink Nissan Micra or why not a light pink VW Beetle cabriolet since I have $30M to spend after all. I'd buy a Maserati but it's a bit show-offy and just screams I'm an Eastern Suburbanite and I have money to blow. Plus, they're like so everywhere nowadays. I saw three of them today but I didn't see a single VW Beetle cabriolet in light pink, or any other colour for that matter.

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Blog Formerly Known As The 3 AM Feed.

I was reading previous posts and on this one I wrote that I hope I would be able to change the name of the blog in the future. Well we have travelled forward in time, folks. The future is here! One dares to hope that this is permanent but after a whole week of sleeping through the night there is a good chance we're in for some restful sleep at least until the next Wonder Week.

Isn't this just a wonderful sight?
 I want to thank Faux Fuchsia for mentioning that her Bubby clutches a bear to self settle so I gave my Bubby a comfort blanket which he cuddles, waves around and sucks to self settle and it's now become part of his bedtime routine and sleep cue. Although, lately he's started to suck his sleeping bag instead so now he can only get one or two wears out of them before they need to be washed.

While we're on the topic of sleeping babies, how is this position comfortable?

This seems to be Bubby's favourite sleeping position. Once he's stopped grunting, growling or just chatting to himself I go into his room to check on him and most of the time this is how he falls asleep, head wedged in the corner and bum up in the air. Whatever floats his boat so long as he puts himself to sleep and stays asleep I'm happy. Can you count how many SIDS guidelines I've broken here?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Horrors of House Hunting


So, if my days aren't spent chasing, feeding, playing with and putting to sleep a little baby, it's spent cleaning and stressing over house hunting. Saturdays are full days of house inspections. You are filled with anticipation before every inspection only to be disappointed, sometimes horrified. Here's a rundown of the houses we've viewed so far (hopefully there will be no more by the end of the week!)

House 1
Northern Suburbs. Nice suburb. Nice house with lovely features, hubby doesn't like it though. Massive leafy backyard but mostly unusable jungle. Too far. Owners want too much for it.

House 2
Inner West. High Federation. Big house. Big block. I love period homes but there was something about this one that didn't feel right from the first time I looked at it on the domain website. However, I kept an open mind. It was in need of a facelift and had the oddest floor plan. Four self contained living spaces. By that I mean four bed/living room with bath and kitchen. It seemed there was a kitchen in every corner and, well, there was. It was being used as a guest house. Nevertheless, it was close to my work, close to a school we might send Bubby to, walking distance to a train station and it's an easy distance to the city. I did wonder if it was under a flight path. That question was answered as soon as we arrived. Once inside, I felt like the walls were closing in on me. The facelift I thought it needed quickly changed to knocking down walls and a redesign of the space. It wasn't going to be a simple renovation. There are 4 kitchens to rip out including the main kitchen which was very old and tucked away at the very back of the house like a cell. My favourite feature is actually the four bathrooms. Pity they will have to be ripped out. One bathroom was in the corner of what was originally the living room but was divided into a bedroom and a tiny living room with a plasterboard wall. This bathroom was Elevated. The whole layout was very much 'WTF?'. There was a real estate disclaimer stating that the bathrooms were not approved by the council. Which makes me think that it was an illegal guest house. There was a lot of interest in this house though. There must have been 60 people there that day. It will be interesting how much it sells for.

House 3
Northern Suburbs. Quiet street. It's a lovely, quaint little house. A bit on the small side and the kitchen needs to be renovated, no biggie. The backyard is big and beautiful. Lovely big old trees, very leafy and green. A bit of a drive to work and the city but could be manageable if we left early enough to avoid peak hour traffic. I used to leave the house before 7 AM anyway so I'm no stranger to early starts. Still, not sold on this one. Oh, but it is a beautiful backyard. Father in law points out that we won't be living in the backyard. True.

House 4
Inner West but a bit further out than House 2. Victorian. Gorgeous house. Beautiful house. I love this house. Five double bedrooms. Very inviting. Lovely extension. Amazing pool. Neighbourhood is a bit ghetto. There are three very dodgy looking block of flats surround the house, across the road, the side and back. The 'garage' is really just a storage space. We might be able to get the car in it but we won't be able to open the doors. There is a view of the garage on google maps streetview taken before the house was put on the market and the garage door had graffiti on it and there were abandoned mattresses against the wall. Such a beautiful house, such a pity.

House 5
South West but really just on the wrong side of a river to be considered Inner West. Federation with an extension. Lovely neighbourhood, close to river parklands. Big house with some minor work needed. Has a pool we don't like. There are lots of room. There 5 bedrooms plus study, 4 living spaces. Original period features were maintained and continued through to the extension of the house. We're not in love with it but it could work.

House 6
Lower North Shore. Jacaranda tree lined street. Lovely Californian bungalow but small (3 bedrooms plus study) however nicely renovated. Big Block of land. Beautiful garden and Big backyard. Our ideal suburb. It's about 15 minutes from the city CBD and it's not a bad drive to work for me either. It needs new shower screens but that's about it. Our view is to knock it down and build our dream home although I would prefer to extend and maintain the period features or in 5-6 years buy further down the road should we find ourselves with an extra $3M-$4M. Ha ha! BUT it's a bit close to a main road. If only it wasn't so close to the main road but then if it wasn't it would be about $1M out of our budget just like the houses further down the road. It's kind of like how the Speedy is an entry level LV, this is an entry level house to a sought after suburb. I am really hoping that this is the last house we've inspected. Hopefully, we'll know by the end of the week.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

To Hell And Back

Bubby has recently discovered his voice. He also discovered that if he yells and screams loud enough he'll get attention. He also discovered that he can yell even louder if he takes a very deep breath first. We have entered the world of The Tantrum. And he's got it down to a T. It's actually the tantrum that was the catalyst for the dreaded Cry It Out. I used to think that every time he'd cry the way he did he was distressed. Until one day he stopped abruptly when he heard my footsteps, he listened and waited. When I didn't come he resumed his wailing. Ha! He's been playing me all along. That's when I realised I need to put a stop to it. He will continue to throw tantrums every time he wakes up at night (which was every 3-4 hours again). I still felt like the world's worst parent for letting him cry. But if he stops crying every once in a while to play or lay still and talk to himself, things can't be that bad. I was getting so little sleep that I have started to waste away despite eating my own body weight in food and was run down physically and mentally. The first night he cried for 45 minutes. It probably wouldn't have lasted as long if I hadn't walked in to comfort him. It just made him scream louder. The next time it took 15-20 minutes, then 5 then 2 then last night he slept from 7.30PM to 6AM! He grizzled a little bit at 2am but didn't wake up. It was nice to wake up to him talking to himself rather than crying. I fed him when he woke up and he slept for another hour. Nice. I am hoping it continues tonight.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Dress Codes. Frugal February Fail.

Now, I'm not much of a snob or anything, I accept that people have different styles and outfits reflect someone's personality or maybe just the weather and the fact that it's summer and it's hot out there hence short and skimpy. I wouldn't be caught dead looking like a ho, not that there's anything wrong with that, not everyone can be doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants etc. Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, dress codes, in shopping centres. Now before you ask who made me Joan Rivers/fashion police, I'm not asking that people wear gowns to get milk and egg. I know my local is no country club that blazers are required. All I'm really asking is for people to wear a shirt (any shirt), pants and some sort of footwear even thongs will do. I saw a guy today who was wearing retro shorts and by that I mean shorts à la NBA circa 1980's. 


Not only was he wearing indecently short shorts he was also shirtless and shoeless. Seriously, clothes are not that expensive that one has to go without and it's also never that hot. In the spirit of Frugal February he could have picked up a $5 top from K mart and there is even a Havaianas vending machine.

Speaking of Frugal February if there is a bandwagon that involves shopping I'm on it (which kind of defeats the purpose of being frugal). After the Wardrobe Cull I'm on the market for white tops. I spotted a basic white t-shirt at Target last week for $18 but seeing as it wasn't on sale I waited. It's not a lot of money but I hate to buy things that are not on sale. It's just the way I'm programmed. Finally, it went on sale and was down to $11 but they no longer had it in my size. I ended up buying one in beige pink. I also scored a dress from Coles for $5. How's that for frugal? They're cheap as chips but I guess I didn't really need a pink top or a dress. I just spent money on things I didn't need for the sake of frugality. That's what the kids call Fail.