Friday Fling

So there’s this boy I like. Well actually, there’s two.

This is Ben. And this is Jerry.

They're so sweet.

Kind of want to live in this inflatable icecream house.

As much as I love Ben, and Jerry, I have to confess. I have been engaging in some shameless office flirting with an extremely delectable cup of hot chocolate. Being that it is a Friday and my work regimen generally consists of emailing friends, Googling the weather and discussing what’s for lunch (but also because I'm an overly competent individual who is on top of all my work) I decided to sneak passed the boss over to the take-away shop to succumb to my weakness and nab a couple of rainy-day beverages. My savvy and brainy colleague has a ridiculously large stash of marshmallows in her drawer, from which I plucked a handful of fluffy pink and white lovelies. Do I regret my decision to load up my hot chocolate with six marshmallows? Yes and no. On the one hand I’m pretty sure I’m sugar-drunk right now, on the other, there are few marriages that work so well as hot chocolate and marshmallows.

As the weather forecast for Sydney this weekend is looking somewhat damp (my bludging ways do serve a purpose, see) why don’t you follow my lead and go find yourself a good serve of HC & M. You won’t regret it.


If a green bag and a plastic bag were in a fight together, the plastic bag would be a quivering mess in the corner of the ring. If you still have doubts...

Enter: Celebrities Who Love Calico.

 Hugh Jackman loves his eco-friendly man bag. I like Hugh Jackman's eco-friendly-bag-carrying-device.

Jessica Biel wouldn't be caught dead in plastic. And her bag is very self-assured.

Julia Roberts either brings her own bags, or buys a whole new set every week. At least they're not plastic.

 No, you are not. Plastic bags are totes embarrassing (see what I did there?). No one wears plastic anymore.


Dear Electric Pink Vodka Cruiser:

Thank you for tasting like fairy floss and for making my brain like fairy floss. I like you, even though you make my teeth holey-like.

Love, Alex. xxx

I want this Fairy Floss van!

Dear Job That I Applied For:

Thank you for advertising yourself online again today, even though you interviewed me a week ago. You make me feel all kinds of special.

Love, Alex. xxx


I have a bone to pick with umbrellas, particularly ones falling under the category of 'Pretty and Girly', such as 'Specimen A' here, my new possession.

Specimen A.

Specimen A was purchased a couple of days ago  it lured me with its dainty and quirky persona, wrapped up all prim and proper in accordance with the laws of umbrella folding etiquette. The thing is, just like my freshly straightened hair on a humid day, Specimen A is sure to lose its polished edge at the first sign of moisture. Once those pretty frills have unfurled, it's all over, Red Rover.

As my mother kindly pointed out (after duly acknowledging prettiness of above purchase) these fold-up varieties tend to mess themselves in the mildest of weather conditions. Best to pop them away and surrender yourself to the downpour rather than risk embarrassment as you slide along the pavement with your pastel-coloured appendage  inverted into a cone and flashing its undercarriage above your soggy head.

If this does happen to you, at least rest assured in the knowledge you have made a hefty comedic contribution to the public spectacle that is Man versus Umbrella. There are few things in life that will brighten your day so much as seeing someone else's umbrella invert itself whilst on the job, or witnessing the carnage of dead brollies left abandoned on the street after a gusty downpour. (With such an attitude it is little wonder the guy in charge of umbrella-karma has a target permanently fixed on my forehead.)

Dead Umbrella

I'm yet to come up with a solution for my dilemma  the inability to resist acquiring pretty umbrellas even though I anticipate, no, expect, such serious engineering faults. On days of truly harrowing weather conditions I always envy those people (usually suited business-types) who calmly snap open their beach-sized accessories with an air of self assurance. However, I do wonder how they have come to be so prepared. Do they lug these things to work every day of winter, always on the ready for unexpected showers? Or do they stringently check the forecast every morning? Realistically, I'm not sure I could commit to hauling the equivalent of a crutch about town every day, on my person for situations of just in case.


I suppose the conclusion here is that if you do purchase a purple umbrella with white polka dots and frills you are asking to be soaked and ridiculed. In light of these revelations, my mission for next winter is to become the proud owner of a sturdy umbrella. In the mean time, when it comes to pretty umbrellas, it might be best to stick to those varieties I know and trust. Done and done.



If I kiss you where it's sore
If I kiss you where it's sore
Will you feel better, better, better-
Will you feel anything at all?
Will you feel better, better, better
Will you feel anything at all.

Born like sisters to this world
In a town where blood ties are only blood

If you never say your name out loud to anyone
They can never ever call you by it

If I kiss you where it's sore
Will you feel better, better, better...
Will you feel anything at all?

You're getting sadder, getting sadder, getting sadder, getting sadder
And I don't understand, and I don't understand
But if I kiss you where it's sore
If I kiss you where it's sore
Will you feel better, better, better
Will you feel anything at all.

Will  you  feel  anything,  at  all.

Looney Ballooney

Last Monday morning I found myself marooned on the lounge under a tent of blankets at 4.30am, watching the World Cup grand final. Who gets up at 4.30am anyway? My attention started to drift at half time, and drift it did, over to Channel 7's Sunrise morning program where Donna Hay was busy making some white chocolate cups.

The soccer boys had officially lost my attention.

Do I have yours? These are white chocolate cups made from balloon moulds. This morning I successfully replicated said chocolate cups! Well... mine are a little more 'special' looking. We are having a family lunch tomorrow and my plan is to whip up some chocolate mousse in the morning to go into my delicious vessels.

On a somber note, I must confess I have just had white chocolate for breakfast (only white chocolate, not even white chocolate smeared on Weetbix) and feel like the little fat kid at a party who has no self control.

Anyway - you can find the recipe online and read my extra my hints below - from the experience of an amateur!

Tricky Tricks

200 grams of white chocolate will make about 4 cups. 

Cover baking trays with baking paper, sticking it to the trays with a smear of butter or cooking spray.

Donna Hay used water bomb balloons - I nearly fainted trying to blow these up (maybe because I skipped my Weetbix?!) - try regular balloons.

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Get two small-ish saucepans, once larger than the other. Pour about an inch of boiling water into the larger saucepan, which should sit on high heat over the stove. (Boil the water in the kettle first to save energy). Sit the smaller saucepan inside the larger one and place the chocolate pieces inside to slowly melt. Make sure you don't get even a speck of water in the chocolate - it will go grainy and be ruined. 

Make one cup at a time. Spoon the cup 'bases' onto the baking paper then immediately dip a balloon to avoid all the bases setting before you're ready.

Waiting waiting...



1. Everyone is smiley and happy. Even the guys at Customs, who shrugged their shoulders when we asked if they would like to scan our backpacks, smiled and said "If you want... where are you staying?"

2. The fact that you can have a three-course meal for twenty dollars. And that cocktails are about $5. Then you find a place where they're $10, but there's a two-for-one offer.

3. That you can beep your horn at anyone and everyone for whatever reason you like or no reason at all. That fifty horns sound at the traffic lights the split second the light goes green.

4. The cheap pirated DVDs. Not that I bought any... la la la...

5. That you can get a full-body hour long massage for $8.

6. That I can get twenty bracelets, bangles or necklaces for what you'd pay for one at Diva.

7. The great selection of restaurants and yummy food. Being a piggy because you're on holidays. And Maccas 24/7 delivery - more for the novelty of it than for the cold, floppy chips and non-chicken-boob nuggets.

 8. Getting around town on scooters - riding amongst the locals.

9. That a Bintang singlet becomes the unofficial uniform for tourists.

10. The simple lifestyle and the fact that happiness isn't about money.
When's the next trip?!

Graduation Girl

A couple of weeks ago I graduated - hopefully for the last time in a long time! What better way to celebrate than with a batch of brainiac shaped cookies from Sweet Art Factory? As the deserving graduand, feel free to get baking and pay me a visit.

Say what?

"These are more than funny vocabularies; they are tiny windows into the way other people live, and the obsessions that drive them."
John Walsh, The Independent, September 2005

Here are my favourite examples of weird and wonderful vocabulary from around the word. Use one in a sentence today.

MAMIHLAPINA TAPEI Fuengian language, Chile -- A shared look of longing between parties who are both interested yet neither is willing to make the first move.

MATA EGO Rapa Nui, Easter Island -- Eyes that reveal someone has been crying.

BAKKU-SHAN Japanese -- A girl who looks as though she might be pretty when seen from behind, but isn't when seen from the front.

QUEESTING Dutch -- Allowing a lover access to one's bed, under the covers, for a chit-chat.

BUZ-BAZ Ancient Persian -- A showman who makes a monkey and a goat dance together.

FUCHA Portuguese -- To use company time and resources for one's own purposes.

O KA LA NOKONOKO Hawaiian -- A day spent in nervous anticipation of a coughing spell.

GRILAGEM Brazilian Portuguese -- The practice of putting a live cricket into a box of newly faked documents, until the insect's excrement makes the paper look convincingly older (a project for this weekend?!)

TINGO Pascuenese language, Easter Island -- Borrowing things from a friend's house, one by one, until he has nothing left (Bahaha).

LATAH Indonesian -- Uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.

XIAOXIAO Chinese -- The whistling and pattering of wind or rain.

DESUS Indonesia -- The quiet, smooth sound of somebody farting, but not very loudly.


I had my first cup of hot mulled wine at a nighttime Christmas carnival at South Bank along the River Thames. Mulled wine in London at Christmastime, outdoors, is as much a necessary heating device as it is a nice social drink. And a very nice social drink it is.

For those not familier, mulled wine is hot spiced wine.

It's not Christmas here, but it's winter here and it's mighty chilly.

Last week I found myself outdoors at Darling Harbour watching the World Cup until 6.30am, like a crazy person. They served mulled wine until 2am, but when the temperature dipped right before sunrise and all semblance of sanity had vanished, a nice hot cup would not have gone to the wayside.

I found a recipe for mulled wine and am going to save it for the next rainy weekend. This is not just any old version; it belongs to English royalty (Jamie Oliver). Jamie says it tastes like "Christmas in a glass". You can't argue with that.

Here's the recipe.

(FYI, with reference to the recipe, a clementine is a variety of mandarin.)

And now for the perfect accompaniment to your drink. Last week my sister in law served the most amazing brownies I have ever tasted. She was lovely enough to give me the recipe, and I must be completely nuts, because this is not the type of recipe you usually pass along, it's the kind you keep close to your chest so that everyone admires you and thinks you're Miss Masterchef World.

Thing is though, not sharing this would be like withholding the secret to happiness. I can't do that. So here it is...


125g butter
150g milk chocolate (we use Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate)
50g dark chocolate
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

125g plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour
125g white chocolate, chopped (we use Cadbury Dream white chocolate)
125g extra milk chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 170C (150C fan-forced). Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square cake pan.

Melt butter, 150g milk chocolate and 50g dark chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. ©

Combine plain and self-raising flours in a small bowl. Stir sugar and eggs into chocolate and butter mixture. Add flours and chopped chocolate and stir until combined. Spread into cake pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (according to the recipe, but 20 was enough!). Allow brownie to cool in pan on wire rack. When cooled, cut into pieces. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


IMAGE ONE: From an issue of Girlfriend magazine circa 1999... yes

Gonna take her for a ride

Here's a song.

Angus & Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane

She said "hello mister, pleased to meet ya"
I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her
She smelled of daisies, smelled of daisies
She drive me crazy, drive me crazy

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey

Be my lover, my lady river
Can I take ya, take ya higher

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey

Gonna hold ya, gonna kiss ya in my arms
Gonna take ya away from harm

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey


[Insert Static Revenger voice]

I'm really liking this outfit. Each bit of it separately, and all of it together.

From Happy red jacket is $19? I can't find it... but I have found some other things from Urban Outfitters. Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh oh oh oh (that is me singing, Beyonce style)

Quail Net Dress $230

Pleated Mary, $98

Shoe appreciation.

Surplice, $48. I'm thinking, with ankle boots...

I had a girl, Donna was her name

Last weekend my Mum produced an orange and poppyseed loaf, recipe courtesy of Donna Hay. Ordinarily I wouldn't get excited enough about a loaf (what a word) to want to share a recipe, but believe me, this one is fricken delicious. Besides which, as far as the food pyramid goes this baby ticks all the right boxes. Fruit? Tick. Dairy? Tick. Grains? Tick tick. We'll stop there.

The brilliance really comes down to the orange syrup that you pour over at the end, which simultaneously oozes into the cake, and forms a scrumptious sugary crust on the outside.

In lieu of pictorial evidence (we attacked with haste, Loafy never stood a chance) I enclose this picture of a pile of poppy seeds to whet your appetite.

No? So fussy. Alright, I'm going to have to resort to stealing. Here is a deliciously moist looking version found at Pink Stripes that should do the trick.

Try not to lick your lips. Alright, ready?

* Never allow Ms. Hay to accuse me of reproducing her recipe sans permission. I have altered the ingredients ever so slightly. I'm positive you will not be able to spot the change.*

You will need...

125g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2.01534 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup milk
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
orange syrup
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 orange thinly sliced

And away we go...

Preheat oven to 160C. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually add eggs and beat well. Add poppy seeds, orange rind, milk and flour. Beat until just combined. Spoon into a lightly greased 5-cup capacity loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.

For the syrup, place the sugar and water in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the orange slices and cook for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Donna says to top the loaf with the orange slices and pour the syrup over. Personally I wasn't fussed about the orange slices on top (I picked mine off, like a child) but I suppose they make for good presentation.

And now! A bit of Richie Valens 'Oh Donna' action from La Bamba. Dreamy.

I had a girl
Donna was her name
Since she left me
I've never been the same
'cause I love my girl
Donna, where can you be? Where can you be?
Don't worry 'bout Donna. Have some L O A F. xx


Today is Bunny Appreciation Day. I just decided  this is the way it's going to be, and present to you my comprehensive Rabbit Manual.

...Haaaang on...
Hmph. According to 24CarrotLane it turns out there's already an "official" Rabbit Appreciation Day on August 24.

Official o-shmicial, I'm appreciating early this year.

Easy-Sew Bunny Kit from Dumpling Dynasty, on sale at Lark. You can make your own bunny. You... or the kiddies, whoever... dum de dum...

Halloooooooooo Bunny. I love you.
[I mean, the post could just end here.]

"Once upon a time there were four little rabbits,
and their names were Flopsy,
Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter.

They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank,
underneath the root of
a very big fir tree."

From 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' - Beatrix Potter, 1902
* * *

'Miss Potter' (2006) - Set in London, the movie depicts the life of children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Through her unprecedented professional success she broke the mould of social expectations attached to women in the early 20th century. A warming movie that appeals to the child within -- we all know I have one of those, I could watch it again and again.

The Rabbit Family from Sylvanian Families (well, derrrr). I still have mine tucked away safe and sound - revival pending.

Bunny Cookies. Sinfully shiny! Good Things Catered tell you how to make perfect cookie icing.

Remember Phoebe's sock bunnies? One could get creative and breed one's own!

For only 19 Aussie dollars including postage (what the?) I am giving these gloves some serious eyes. You know when something is so cute you get a bit aggressive? (Akin to say, Squeeze-the-Baby Syndrome? I kid, I kid...) Anyway, with Miss Earth saving the planet one oil heater at a time, a pair of fingerless gloves is just what these blogging fingers need (seriously, they are like icicles).

P.S. They are hand made in Australia (double tick) and you can buy them from MadeIt. But not before me, you can't!

C' C' Come on Everybody! I will never get over Jive Bunny. I have him on CD, on my Ipod, and in vinyl. There's nothing else to say. I LUV J.B. 4EVA.

And now... the cutest freakin clover-eating bunny I've ever seen. Ogled by me at the Girls Called E.


JUST KIDDING. I could never ever!

I love bunnies, don't you know?

One last thing. I know this isn't real, but it still makes me laugh. :)