Sunday, 27 April 2014

Goodbye old car...

You've treated me well over the past eight years.  I've loved you well and washed you little.  I'm sorry.  You've never broken down on me in 218,000 km.  You may have hit three kangaroos on separate occasions and left me stranded with a rather stoved in front half in the middle of nowhere at about 8pm one night but it wasn't your fault you were a roo magnet.

Note to self, when you hit a kangaroo and notice that your car temperature level is increasing dramatically, make sure you take note of approximately where you are so that when you call friends to come and rescue you and they ask that all important question, your answer is not a high pitched "On the side of the road next to a really big tree."  So helpful.

And hello new (to me) shiny sporty car!

Happily, mine and MR's idea of a good car for me matched up perfectly, right down to the colour.  Working three days a week does not create a budget allowing for sports car purchases so we bought it together.  Our first joint big joint purchase/loan! 

It's been a bit of an exciting week hooning driving this baby around.  It's a 2011 Subaru WRX.  It has leather seats and sat nav and cruise control and bluetooth phone hands free things.  I thought the air con was on crack because it kept stopping being cold but MR informs me it is actually just rather clever and has climate control so when it thinks the car has reached that temperature it stops cooling it.  

It's been on one trip out to country town home and it has got some quite powerful acceleration happening.  Overtaking is very easy and quick.  There wasn't really any speeding because of the double demerits I'm a responsible driver but I did have fun slowing right down and then speeding up to the speed limit on some straight empty country roads.  I took my sister for a drive and there may have been some mad cackling from both of us while on those straight country roads.  Mum declined a test drive...   


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Get fit

As you might have read a few posts ago, I've entered in the HBF Run for a Reason again this year, my third year of participation.  My sister is once again doing it with me and this year we haven't entered the walker's category as last year we were fast enough with mostly walking and a few 100m of jogging to reach a time that is in the next category.  This year we want to beat our time from last year.  So to motivate ourselves, we both got a fitbit.

That constant New Year's resolution of getting fit has finally reached a point where I really need to do something about it.  Not lose weight per se, although two or three kilos could be lost quite happily, but more get fit.  Fit enough to climb a flight or two of stairs without finding myself a bit puffed at the end of it.  Fit enough to go for a brisk walk with a friend and be able to talk fairly normally through it.  Fit enough to make it to the end of the 4km walk without falling in a heap.

I've done okay so far (for me).  My first week of owning it, I spent half of the time in hospital so we're not counting that one.  They say the average person should do 10 000 step a day.  My goal is 6000 but I've only met it twice.  Last weeks step total was 28512.  It definitely has motivated me to get out there and walk a bit more.  I've gone for three walks in the last week and a bit.  Not much, but that's three walks more than I would do in a regular week!  The only problem so far is, the day after going for a walk, I end up being that tired that I sleep in until 11am (it's school holidays) and then need a fairly quiet day to recover.  Ridiculous!  What happened to that theory that the more exercise you do the easier it gets and the more energy you have?  I haven't spotted that yet.  But I'm determined to keep going.  There's just over four weeks until the run and I have a fair way to go if I'm planning on jogging part of the way.

Do you own a fitbit?  Have you found it useful? 

And if you do, do you want another friend, one whose step total will be very easy to beat? Just leave your email below and I'll add you.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Buns in the oven

Happy Easter everyone!

This Easter I had my first two attempts at making hot cross buns.  The first lot I baked as a test run on Thursday and they were rather rock-ish so I ate (the inside of) one and threw the rest in the bin.  I think I just cooked them a bit too long.  The recipe did 30-35 minutes and I cooked mine for 30 but I think 20 would have done it to be honest.

My second attempt was on Sunday when MR was down to help me eat them.  I used a different recipe, this one from The Bookery Cook, after a recommendation from Nicole on IG except I just used powdered cinnamon and all spice, not all that lovely fresh stuff and I didn't have time to steep them in the milk so I just heated it up a bit and then let it cool off.  We had a bit of a time limit, we were due for afternoon tea with MR's parents who have retired and moved to Yanchep, a 40 minute drive from our house in Perth.

This time I watched my hot cross buns baking like a hawk and as soon as they looked like they might be browned enough I pulled them out and did the tap-tap-do-they-sound-hollow test and they did - cooked enough for me!  This recipe said 20 - 30 minutes and I pulled mine out at 17 minutes. 

Hot cross rocks in the top six and nice soft crumb filled hot cross buns in the bottom six

The recipe made twenty which really is a bit of an overkill, so we took some over to our next door neighbour (and returned with a slab on homegrown watermelon), some to MR's parents and ate the rest ourselves this morning for breakfast.

While up in Yanchep, we went for a little walk along the beach just as the sun was beginning to set.  After living in the country for 35 or so years, MR's Mum is so happy to be back by the coast (she grew up near the coast in New Zealand) and was excited to show off their little beach.  Their house is across the road and over a sand dune from the beach and there are lots of ocean views from their house.

After getting back from our visit we headed out for dinner and to see the new Captain America movie.  We went Gold Class and when we were given our tickets we were told we would be receiving a complimentary Easter sundae for dessert during the movie to celebrate Easter Sunday.  How lovely is that? 

I hope your Easter weekend was just as lovely as mine :)


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Next New Beginning

At the end of the year / beginning of next year (all things going to plan health-wise) I will be moving back out to the country.  Three hours east of Perth. 

MR's parents have retired and moved to the coast and he is currently back at home running the business with his brothers.  And we are renting his parent's house from them until I move back at which point we will buy the place off them.  Yes, that means we are currently running two households and yes it is a terrible, terrible idea.

Our new home is such a well thought out building.  MR's dad built it 20 years or so ago and they designed it themselves.  It is north facing so lots of beautiful natural light (unlike our current home which has the north side featuring the laundry, bathroom and one of the spare rooms and has verandahs on all the other sides of the house so is so dark inside) and it has an elevation in the ceiling with windows all along it into the kitchen and dining area which is on the south side so that it has just as much natural light as the north side.  It has a super huge kitchen with a walk in pantry.  It is very open throughout the kitchen, informal dining area and living room.  They were very ahead of their time.  It really is a beautiful home.

And home is the key word.  This house we are in currently was never going to be home.  I knew we would be moving back to the country eventually, although it is sooner than I imagined, and I just didn't know enough about house choosing to be aware of high on the list of importance natural light is to me.  I like bright, airy spaces. And they are in abundance in our new place.

Even though we're renting, we have the green light to start changing things we want.  MR's parents haven't really updated anything from the original style so there is a lot of 80's style bathroom things happening and the kitchen could use a new oven and new benchtops.  Bathrooms and kitchen renos are a  bit out of our price range at the moment though so we need to start small.  A lick of paint throughout the house and some new curtains in the master bedroom (which is currently featuring some lovely peachy floral numbers, eek).

Ideally, I would love to paint the master bedroom or a feature wall in the living room this Easter long weekend but we have left it a bit late I think.  I'm in Perth and have just got some paint cards to look through.  MR is not in Perth, is actually in the middle of driving a truck back from Port Hedland with his Dad and then will be out bush and I don't know that me emailing paint colour ideas to him and him choosing them online and me not seeing how they look in the natural light of the home is really going to work.  So I'm thinking maybe we I just need to ease back a bit from this full throttle urge to do all of the things right now and maybe just get MR to pick a couple of colours and get some sample pots to take up and explore with.  A little bit more sensible, right?

And while we are deciding there are an awful lot of wallpaper border strips on the bedroom walls that need removing...

What are your tips for painting and freshening up a room on a small budget?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Run for a Reason 2014

This will be my third year entering the HBF Run for a Reason.  My sister and I have got ourselves fitbits and are trying to be inspired to get out there, get training and get a bit fitter and hopefully knock a big chunk of time off last year's effort of 37 minutes 21 seconds (for 4kms).

If you have a few spare gold coins lying around and can see your way to sending them my way, I would be ever so very appreciative! 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Things that happen when you watch too many movies

MR and I are often found of a weekend on the couch watching a movie. We have 4 drawers full and overflowing of movies and 2 shelves of TV shows on DVD.  MR likes to watch movies to unwind after a busy week working way too many hours and I like to feel like I am efficiently and productively multitasking by watching TV and crafting at the same time.*

While we may or may not be as bad as some when it comes to movie quotes making up a part of your everyday conversation, we do have a few we use on a regular occurrence.

I'm not going to tell you what they are right away, but I will put them down the bottom.  It's always nice to have a guess and feel excited if you know what movies they are from.  Well, I think so anyhow.

"Aziz, light!" or just "Aziz!" (mainly when I don't turn the bedside light off because I'm not ready to sleep but MR is.  And it is ALWAYS me who is never ready to sleep.)

"Llama face"


"Uno mas"

"Iiiice" - this one originated whilst in New Zealand and was shouted by the first person to spot the latest ice capped mountains of the day/hour. Needless to say, it got a lot of use in the South Island during our October holiday and caused much hilarity. 

I don't actually use this one but it is my all time favourite movie quote: "I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!"

And MR, his brothers and friends have a habit of quoting Team America sayings to each other as greetings on the phone. I haven't seen it though so it loses a bit in translation.

So how did you go?  Did you recognise any of the movies?  Are any of them your favourite movies as well?

"Aziz, light" - The Fifth Element
"Llama face" - The Emperor's New Groove
"ChickUN" - The Fifth Element
"Uno mas"  - Shangai Noon
"Iiiice" - Cool Runnings
"I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!" - Ever After

What movie quotes make it into your everyday conversation?

* I've somehow almost completely fooled myself that TV watching and craft doing simultaneously does equal efficient productiveness so please don't tell me otherwise.