Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Place & Yours... Bedsides

I've been reading Meet Me at Mikes for a while now, but only recently became a follower. So when I saw her post about My Place and Yours pop up in my email, I thought it was a cute idea and decided to join in. I missed last weeks, but not this weeks.

So... here is my bedside

Hmm, what to say about my bedside???

Well, its a little dusty and in hindsight, I probably should have dusted before taking the pictures, but hey, whaddya gonna do.

Of the four books, I have just finished reading the bottom two and only purchased the top two yesterday. There's some tissues, for early morning hay fever, a lamp for late night reading, a glass that I use at night when I'm thirsty, earrings and a necklace I wore to work one day this week, my trusty pot of blistex lip balm and my old faithful pink teddy bear (he's not so pink anymore, but at 27 years old, he's looking pretty good).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Silly Old Bear...

I squealed with delight when I opened my inbox this morning. I had an email from Borders telling me all about the new books that were being released soon - and there it was, "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood", written by David Benedictus, an authorised sequel to the AA Milne classic stories about one, Winnie the Pooh...

Why did I squeal with delight and draw attention (in the form of some weird looks) to myself at the office?

Because, as a child, I was mesmerised by the Winnie the Pooh stories, obviously due in part to the Disney cartoons (that I used to watch back in the eighties), but my Mum used to read to me from the books as well. I was so obsessed with the stories that I gave my Dad and his army buddies nicknames depending on what Winnie the Pooh character they were most like (my Dad was Winnie the Pooh of course).

My Mum also used to read to me from AA Milne's poetry books, especially "Now We Are Six". My favourite poem was "Sneezles" which is about when Christopher Robin gets sick. I used to know it off by heart and even today when I was googling it, I found myself remembering some of it.

Christoper Robin
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled him
His bed.
hey gave him what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.
All sorts and conditions
Of famous physicians
Came hurrying around
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, "If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle
May easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go."
They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said "If he freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
May even ensue."

Christoper Robin
Got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky,
"Now, how to amuse them today?"

(Sneezles, by AA Milne, from Now We Are Six)

Ahh, the memories... I wish I could live in the Hundred Acre Wood... Maybe I'll just buy the books instead...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Footy Finals Fever

The Grand Final of the 2009 NRL competition was last Sunday.

Every year for a while now, my Dad has hosted an end-of-season and footy tipping competition party at my parent's place for his work mates. They all put in money throughout the year to buy food and drinks and also usually bring along a plate of food to share with everybody. Since my boyfriend and I were going along this year, I decided I would make a cake to take over for dessert. Easy!

Then I got to thinking, wouldn't it be a good idea to take over some cupcakes (as I love making them and everyone loves a cupcake). The cupcake idea then rolled into football themed cupcakes and then football shaped cupcakes. I thought I would use a friand pan to get little cakes that were oval-shaped, which I would then ice to look like little footballs.

I used a vanilla cake recipe from an old Australian Women's Weekly cookbook and then chocolate buttercream icing and fudge icing for the piping (which I'm not very good at by the way).

For some final touches, I printed out the logos of all the teams in the NRL competition, plus the NRL corporate logo and the premiership logo, stuck them on mini-skewers and topped the cakes with them. I also took a photo of some gree
n grass, printed it out, cut it to size, laminated it and used in on the serving plate so that the little footballs looked like they were sitting on the football field (you can't really see the grass in the photos).

I think they looked great and they went down a treat with all the guests at the party. I've supplied the recipe for the cakes and icing after the photos.

For the Vanilla Cupcakes

You will need:
125g butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 & 1/2 cups Self-Raising Flour, sifted

1/2 cup milk

Preheat your oven to around 190-200 degrees Celsius. Cream b
utter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time, until combined. Stir in half the flour and half the milk until combined and then add the remaining flour and milk. Pour the mixture into your tray (I used a friand pan to make the football shapes) and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

For Chocolate buttercream icing

You will need:
3 tbsp butter
1 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp cocoa powder


Mix the icing sugar and butter together (I use an electric beater to make it cream better) and once mixed, add some milk to make it creamy. You may need to add more butter or more icing sugar depending on the consistency of the icing you were after.

The fudge icing was ready-made in a tube, that I found in the baking aisle of the supermarket.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Attack of the killer handbag...

My handbags attacked me today
Tumbling out of the wardrobe in a mess of sequins, snakeskin and patent leather
Maybe they didn't like how they were stacked
Maybe they wanted to be used instead of the comfy cardigan I was really after
Maybe I have too many
(Don't tell my boyfriend I said that)