Saturday, September 15, 2018

Birthday Tradition

Yesterday was my birthday and every year I take my "Birthday Photo" with my kids and 4 cupcakes.  We have been buying the cupcakes from the same bakery for 13 years for this photo with the exception of one year when they had sold out early and I had to purchase some cakes from the supermarket.  This is the 13th photo in this series and when the kids have grown up and left home they will still have to come home for Mummy's birthday photo.  Here is a blog post with the previous 12 years of photos starting when James was 2.5 and Sienna was 6 months old in 2006.  They both made me beautiful hand made cards and we went on a family BBQ so a lovely Birthday and it's all over for another year.

Here is the 2018 photo

Here are some outtakes

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Around here

Around here things are pretty much the same as usual with school and family life.  I have done some decluttering of the medicine box and lots of outdated paperwork which is no longer needed which felt good to get rid of and have some extra breathing space.

Last week I loved reading this book which is all about the laws of attraction and putting steps in place rather than just "dreaming" about things.  Denise shares her story how her and her husband won the 6 months all expenses paid Honeymoon Testers Competition which was out of 30,000 couples.  Remember the brilliant Queensland Tourism campaign for the Best Job in the World in 2009 and all that free publicity was a gold mine for Queensland and Australia.   Back to the story about Denise and her husband who at the time were living in London in a cold dreary flat with jobs they didn't enjoy and they put steps in place to win this competition and did.  They got through to one of the 50,000 couples then 1 of the 10,000 couples then 1 of 10 and won it knowing the whole time they would be the chosen couple.  It's a fantastic read and I borrowed the book from our local library and read it in 2 days as I loved it so much.  It's a great story and lots of take away thoughts for living your best life.  She also has another book that I'm reading as well which is equally as good.

Here's a few recent pics from our life.

Sienna bathed in golden sunset hour.

Local dam.

My soon to be in 3 months time 15 year old...very handsome if I do say so myself.

Loving finding all these shadows in the afternoon light inside our house.

More light and shade in the kitchen.

 I found these stripes really interesting...haven't seen that look before.

Some words above Sienna's desk...she is such a positive and happy girl.

So happy I threw out all the expired prescriptions and medicines.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Around Here

Around here things are travelling pretty normal and it's hard to believe that it is mid August already.  Only one month until my birthday where I take my traditional birthday photo with my kids.  Hand made cards and my birthday photo are the two things that are important to me and makes my day.

We had the family over for a pizza party last week which is always great fun.  The pizza dough recipe we use is here.

Pizza's made in our pizza oven like this one.

Some backyard Bocce with the family was loads of fun.

My niece entered an Australian Art contest and had her artwork selected as 1 of the 26 pieces to be displayed at the Gallery from the 220 entries.  There was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and she won the Directors Encouragement Award for a High School Student.  It's done in pencil and is a picture of her brother with water having been poured on him.  The picture was about anxiety and depression and how people who struggle with it feel like they are drowning.  I'm just pointing out that he does not have anxiety or depression, however it was the interpretation of the art piece she drew. As you know this is very big right now along with sustainability. Peoples minds and our planet.

Did anyone watch 60 Minutes last night about Penguin the Magpie?  This is the Instagram account and this is the blog page and can highly recommend you watch the 2 minute video.  The husband is a photographer and took the most incredible images and video of this little bird that saved their family.  They were holidaying in Thailand when the Mum leaned back on a railing and it gave way and she ended falling down a level onto concrete and severed her spine and is in a wheelchair.  It's heartbreaking and moving and the magpie is adorable.  The magpie is in the wild now but he turns up unexpectedly at their house on special occasions like one of the boys birthdays recently and there is a little video of on Instagram when he realized Penguin is home on his's amazing.  They are making this story into a movie at the moment. 

I recently came across this UK Thermomix Baking Blogger and she shares fantastic recipes if you have a Thermomix.

The Brisbane EKKA is on now and even though we won't be going it was nice to revisit some photos of when the kids were little and my sister and I took them in 2009.  OMG time goes so fast when you go back and look at old photos. This is a little history of the show.

The beauty of photographs is that it takes you back to a memory for you to feel it all over again.  So grateful I have taken lots of pictures of myself with my kids over the years.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens

On Saturday afternoon we went to the Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens for a wander around.  I haven't been there for about a year and it's such a nice place to look at the different trees, ferns, flowers, veggie patch and the beautiful Japanese Gardens.  The Gardens close at 5.00 pm and I will tell you that we were locked in at 5.10 pm and couldn't get out which is another story.  The entrance is being renovated so we went through the cafe and that shut at 5.00 pm.  It took a little while before one of the staff heard us and got a key to unlock the door so we could get out.  It all added to the excitement of our walk around the gardens.  We only saw half of it because we ran out of time so we will go back another day.  Here's a few pics from our afternoon.  The statues in the first pic are "The Butterfly Catchers" which were part of World Expo 88 in Brisbane.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Day in the Life - Brisbane Family Photographer

As you know I'm a huge fan of documenting our ordinary everyday lives.  Everyone documents special events, Easter, Birthdays, First day of School, Christmas and holidays however most people don't pay that much attention to the everyday things that happen at home which over time because treasured memories.  When you look at a photo of a family eating breakfast in their home you can tell by the clothes and the style of the kitchen which era it was taken in.  Wallpaper was a big hit in the 70's as was orange and brown kitchens. I can't even think this was fashion, however it was in the 1970's.

If you have recently watched the TV show on the ABC "Back in time for Dinner" it is truly a trip down memory lane of decor, style, food and inventions.  Right now, looking back, it's easy to see this however when you are in it, the everyday you think these things are no big deal and it's normal life.  If you haven't watched this series I can highly recommend it.

Documenting my "Week in the Life" for the past 10 years is very similar in that it's a snapshot of how we live our life in any given year.  These memories will become more nostalgic with time.

I have loved photography since I was 17 years old when I bought my first Canon AE-1 film camera and spent 6 weeks wages to buy it.  Similar to "Week in the Life" is "Day in the Life" where you document a snapshot of your day.  I had the pleasure of photographing Kelley and her kids for a Day in the Life session before her family packed up to move to Cairns for 2 years.  Here's a link to my photography page with a blog post of some of the pictures taken that day.  Click on the "read more" of the first post.

Don't you love the dog with it's back to the camera. I love this photo the most because lets face it, it's real life with pets and children.

There you go...such a good model and is facing the camera with Kelley, Em and Oscar.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

After reading Meg's post about her recipe for Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding we made this for dessert the other night.  We make things from scratch however before the school holidays Green's had their Self Saucing Puddings for half price at $1.20 so I bought a couple of packets for the holidays.  We made two of them and then I decided to make a real one and it did not disappoint.  This recipe is Matt Preston's recipe and delicious and rich.  Here's a couple of pics I snapped before we devoured it up.  I can highly recommend giving this a go.

  • ·        1 cup (150g) Self-Raising flour
  • ·        1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • ·        1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
  • ·        60g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • ·        1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • ·        1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ·        1 egg
  • ·        Vanilla ice cream, to serve

1.   Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease an 1.5L (6-cup) capacity ovenproof baking dish.
2.   Sift the flour, 1/2 cup (110g) sugar and 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa into a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and egg. Gradually pour into the well, then fold to combine.
3.   Spread mixture evenly into prepared dish. Combine remaining 1/2 cup (110g) sugar and 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa and sprinkle over the top of the pudding. Carefully pour 2 cups (500ml) boiling water over the top of the pudding.
4.   Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is firm. Stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
5.   Dust the warm pudding with extra cocoa and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Holiday Activity

Last week we went to Surfers Paradise to go to "Skypoint" which is the 360 degree Observation Deck of Q1 Tower.  It was $58.50 for a family of 4 through RACQ and a bit of a treat for us.  I haven't been up that way for years and years and years as we usually visit our good friend who lives at Cooloongatta/Rainbow Bay.  There is airport scanner as you enter the building to keep everyone safe and then once in the lift, it takes 42.7 seconds to get to the 77th floor.  If you look up to the roof of the elevator there was clear glass so you could see the lift going up in the lift shaft.

Once at the top you can see the immediate views all around and they had huge glass windows from floor to ceiling all the way around.  They have a cafe and lots of lounge couches around the place for you to sit and enjoy the view.  It was really interesting seeing the canals from high up because it's not something I've ever really seen.  If staying in a Gold Coasts high rise building you are generally facing the ocean and beach so it was interesting seeing the canals and Gold Coast Race track from up high and the beautiful surrounding mountains.  They also have special climbs up to the spire which is a separate cost and activity sort of like a Bridge Climb Adventure.  Here's some interesting facts:-

The Q1 Spire

The Q1 Spire is one of the world's longest at 97.7m. It commences at level 75, is made up of 12 sections and weighs 87.2 tonnes. The oval shaped spire starts at level 76/225m high and extends 47m above the glass fin. Powerful arc lights illuminate the spire which can be seen from 200kms away.

The Q1 Building Gold Coast

  • The Q1 Building is taller than the Chrysler building in New York City.
  • Q1 is one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.
  • Q1 is 322.5 metres high.
  • SkyPoint has one of the World's fastest elevators taking you from ground to Level 77 in 42.7 seconds.
  • Australia's only beachside Observation Deck .
  • Offers stunning 360 degree views of the entire Gold Coast, from the surf to the hinterland and beyond.
  • SkyPoint is 230 metres above sea level.
  • There are 1331 steps from the ground to Level 77.
Here's some photos from Level 77.