Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sometimes I suck, but sometimes it's blogger's fault

You may be thinking that I've been a bit slack on the blogging front lately. Not many posts. Not many comments left on the blogs that I follow.

Well it's true. Sometimes I suck. I get lazy and don't take the time to blog.

But the commenting thing. Sometimes that's Blogger's fault. Sometimes I get stuck on your comment form on an endless loop that keeps asking me to sign in to my Google account. I bet that happens to some of you guys too.

I'm still visiting and reading your blogs.

And when inspiration strikes, I'll be sure to write it here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My heart

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Winter sunshine and family. A weekend in the country. Fresh air and food and wine and the most beautiful country house in the world.

My heart is full!


This photo makes my heart smile. My two beautiful children, my brother's three beautiful children and my sister's three beautiful children. All is right in the world.



It was brilliant for Josh to have a weekend of unstructured time to just play!



Alana and the bigger girls got all artistic and created a fantastic picture of the farm.


Am I not the luckiest Aunty in the world? Feeling the love :)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

In which I talk about work and my desire to have a house cleaner

I bet you've all been wondering what I'm doing for work these days!

For two years, 2009 and 2010, I was busy studying for my Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship). In fact, my studies were what led me to start this blog. If you're feeling all nostalgic, you can click here and read my very first post!

All the while, I was working from home, tutoring high school students in Mathematics and teaching Flute and Music Craft (music theory).

Once I finished my Masters, I started looking for work in a library. So what's been happening?

I recently starting working casually as an Information Services Officer at a University Library near me. Yay!


This is actually the real library in which I work!

The job involves sitting at the Information Desk and waiting for patrons to come and ask questions. It's pretty much my dream job, apart from the fact that I'm only getting one shift per month at the moment and have to wait for someone to go on sick leave/maternity leave/long service leave to get more work. Should that happen, there would certainly be more involved than just manning the Information Desk, but it would all revolve around helping to connect Library users with the information that they need.

I also have a job interview on Monday for a year's full time (maternity leave) work as a librarian in a smaller academic library. So things are progressing on the career front.

What would be lovely would be for me to become securely installed in a permanent position so that I could stop looking. That would be a relief. I'd also love to give up the maths tutoring/music teaching. It's not that I don't love my students. It's not that I don't enjoy teaching them. It's just that my work hours are between 4pm and 8:30pm on weekdays and I just don't enjoy working at that time. Firstly, I find it hard, after being at home alone all day, to get myself motivated and excited to start work when it feels like everyone else is almost finishing.

Secondly, I'd like to be able to have dinner with the family and then enjoy the evening. As it is, our family is awfully busy after school. The kids have activities and of course homework to complete. I'd like to just come home from work and wrangle with kids activities and homework like a "normal" mum, rather than having students trooping in and out of the house and having to leave Chris to deal with the family.

I also have a confession to make. If I got full time work, I'd feel entitled to pay someone to clean my house!


I don't think I'd need a whole team!

Wouldn't that be just bliss! I'm not very good at housework and I don't take pride in it, but I would looooove to have a really clean house. I think it would be divine!

So what do you do for work? Are you in your dream job? And do you have a house cleaner?!?





Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Midwinter Malaise

Do you find that the weather has a big effect on your mood?

At my place it's winter, and I mean WINTER. It has been cold and miserable and it has rained A LOT. It hasn't been the cold that has bothered me particularly. I can appreciate a beautiful winter's day as much as the next person. But it has been so dark and wet! I need sunshine to feel my best.

So I'm going to blame my blogging slump on midwinter malaise.

Winter at my place hasn't looked pretty. There have been no postcard pictures.

THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN NOWHERE NEAR MY HOUSE

Winter at my place has looked grey and dreary.


This is the view from my front door. Notice the water pooling on the lawn.

All the rain has made it impossible to dry the laundry. I don't like to put clothes in the dryer if they are marked do not tumble dry. This means that I have wet washing EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME.



I do have drying racks, but in this weather the clothes take a LONG time to dry on them, even inside. I don't use heating in the house during the day, so not only do I sit around wearing cardigans, jackets and sometimes even scarves (!) inside the house, but my washing just hangs there, limp and damp, for days on end.

No wonder I've been escaping to the shops for central heating and to cheer myself up by spending money!

Also (while I'm having a whinge I might as well get it all out!) the cold, wet weather has been making me so hungry! I can't tell you how many cups of tea I drink during the day to keep me going, and I've been craving hearty, warming foods. A bit of sunshine would go a long way towards lifting my mood!

How's the weather at your place?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What I'm...

...wearing

Skinny jeans!


...reading

a brief history of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper.



...watching

Downton Abbey.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Fallen Novels by Lauren Kate


Some angels are destined to fall.
Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar...The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can't shake the feeling that she has...and with him - a boy she doesn't remember ever setting eyes on.
Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her - or destroy her?


Love never dies...
It took Lucinda an eternity to find her beloved angel, Daniel. But he waited for her. Now they are forced apart again, to protect Luce form the Outcasts - immortals who want her dead. During their separation, Luce learns about her mysterious past lives. But the more she discovers, the more she suspects that Daniel is hiding something.
What if Daniel's version of the past isn't true? Is it really their destiny to be together? Or is Luce actually meant to be with somebody else?

I absolutely love the cover art used on these books! I must admit that it was a major factor in my decision to buy them. The blurb further intrigued me so I was sold.

The premise of Fallen fascinated me, but the execution disappointed me. I think that the author had a fantastic idea and that she could have done so much better with it. I know, I'm not an author. I have no idea how hard it is to write a novel. Obviously this book has sold a lot of copies. People love it. But for me, Fallen failed to live up to its potential.

I enjoy reading fantasy. A major factor in my enjoyment is the author's ability to create a setting and mythology that results in a fully realised world in which the action takes place. While reading Fallen, I couldn't help feeling that the author had not successfully communicated her vision of the world in which Lucinda and Daniel live. I felt that I had to join a lot of dots myself. In fact, I had to use my intuition so much that I sometimes wondered if the author herself had actually thought it all through. There's nothing that dampens my enjoyment of a book more than wondering if the author actually knows what's going on while I'm reading!

I'd already bought Torment, so I soldiered on. And was pleasantly surprised. Torment was a big improvement on Fallen. I actually felt that the author had gotten her act together and knew where she was going with it!



Passion is due to be released June 14 2011. I'm tempted to buy it simply because I already have the other two and it will complete the set. However I usually only buy books that I really love, and I've got to admit that buying Fallen and Torment was an impulse and a mistake. What to do?




Friday, June 3, 2011

Sweet Treats


Click the button to visit Brandy and play along!

Current weight: 66.5 kg

Goal weight: 57 kg

9.5 kg to go!

I only lost 0.4 kg this week, but that's ok by me. Now that I'm getting closer to my goal, I understand that my weight loss rate will slow down. As long as I'm still losing I'm happy!

I've been really enjoying my cooking lately. I think it's because I'm focussing on eating fresh fruit and vegetables and protein sources such as fish, lean meat and chicken. I'm not relying on processed or packaged foods which are generally "too expensive" in terms of WW points. I'm enjoying experimenting with different ways to prepare vegetables and salads, using herbs for flavour and trying new combinations.

I've also been making some desserts. It's nice to be able to have a sweet treat now and then, and at least if I make my own from scratch I know exactly what has gone into it and I can count the points accurately.


This Chocolate and Meringue Torte is a WW recipe. It only had 5 points per serve! I enjoyed flexing my cooking muscles a bit separating the eggs and beating the meringue until it was glossy :)



This Pear and Raspberry Bread was not a WW recipe but it was a real hit with all the family. Delicious served warm with some custard!

Have you been cooking differently since you started on your weight loss journey? What have been your most successful recipes?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bad Weather and Spending Too Much

It's been raining an awful lot at my place, which I know is nothing compared to the tornados that some of my blogging buddies have been suffering. But I have been feeling a bit housebound and the wet washing has been piling up!

I escaped the house to engage in a little "retail therapy" today. For me, shopping is only fun if I'm spending money. The more the better. Boy do I love spending money!

For a while now, Josh's bedroom has been a complete disaster area. Chris and I have decided to try to address it by getting him some new bedroom furniture.

This is the bedroom suite we have ordered for Josh, except we have chosen to get it in all white. We've also ordered a small wardrobe with some hanging space and shelves. We are getting it on an "interest free plan". I'm well aware that you must be very careful with these plans; you pay nothing up front and have small monthly repayments and it all feels so easy. But if you don't pay off more than the minimum monthly repayment you get into trouble when the interest free period ends and suddenly you're being charged a bajillion per cent on the balance owing. Lucky I'm so sensible and this will not happen to me :)

We're also going to repaint, so we've allowed Josh to look at some paint charts. He likes the look of a high voltage orange called "Energy". Believe me, this boy does not need anything that looks like Fanta in his bedroom! We already have trouble getting him to go to sleep before us at night. Seriously, Chris and I are having trouble finding "special mummy and daddy time" because I'm usually asleep before Josh is.

We're also letting Alana pick some colours to repaint her room, especially after she told us that she felt like "the less favoured child" when we were picking out Josh's furniture.

I love picking out colours, but Chris has long given up on the idea of me actually doing anything helpful like painting. But it's super fun to look through paint charts and I tend to get a bit over-excited and imagine buying all new bed linen and curtains and lamps and throw cushions and... you get the idea!

I may also have "accidently" bought myself a couple of books. And visited the library to borrow a few more. What can be better than curling up with a good book when it's cold and rainy outside?

I couldn't resist Charlaine Harris' latest Dead Reckoning today.


It's the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series which has been re-imagined as the True Blood TV series. Speaking of which, I believe it's only 23 days until the new series starts! But who's counting...

So, how's the weather at your place?

Done any shopping lately?