Showing posts from September, 2011

Whoopie Pies

I don't get to make cakes and biscuits very often these days - I don't eat them since my weight loss, my DH isn't much of a cake eater and my son goes through phases!!  However I work with a group of people who loved home cooked food so occasionally I make something "bad"!!  This week I made Whoopie Pies which I have never made before and I was very impressed with the result.  They didn't quite look like the picture in the magazine, but they still tasted very good - full of whipped vanilla cream.
Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Whoopie Pies as they aren't Australia, but I am glad I found out about them as they are very good.  Here is the recipe: link 
What interesting things have you made this week?


In my part of Australia we are told not to plant tomatoes until after Melbourne Cup day - first Tuesday in November.  This is because we can still get frosty mornings in late October, however this means I won't get any tomatoes to eat until late December and that is just too long to wait.  So this year I have bought 5 tomato plants (below) and have been taking very great care of them.  During the day they sit happily on my front porch soaking up the sun  (or no sun as it was today) . . . and
. . . at night when the temperate drops to freezing, they come inside and sit in the bathtub!!  On the weekend I re-potted them into larger pots but continue to bring them indoor at night.  Yes, I know what you are thinking - I really need a little green house.  I don't have one and this works quite well.
With all this care they better provide us with a heap of tomatoes!!  I plan to buy 4 more tomato plants next month so I have enough to take us all the way through to Autumn.  I would reall…

Art Wednesday: Art during the Victorian age

If I asked you to describe the art of the Victorian age, what would you say?
Does it look something like the two paintings below?  Artists of the Victoria era have left us with a treasure trove of beautiful imagines of women sitting peacefully, happy families and joyful children frolicking in the garden. I have shared with you many of these paintings. BUT, these are an illusion of the Victorian age.  These were the paintings that were bought by the rich, but they did not show the real Victorian Britain.  These were the paintings the Victorians wanted around them, it made them feel safe and secure. They loved these paintings as much as we do now. Those artists who did paint what they saw - the "truth" caused shock and horror and their works didn't sell quite so well or at all. Who wanted a painting of a slum in their grand house. For the new rich, in particular the factory owners, they wanted to fill their homes with beauty and happiness - the factories which they owned wer…

Wearing skirts to work

I read an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald (link) that I thought I would share :

This week a UK study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that women who wear skirts in the workplace are more likely to make a good impression and get a promotion. Professor Karen Pine, who co-led the research, said that the results contradicted previous studies that suggested women should dress more like men to succeed in business. Scientists showed 300 people pictures of women dressed in navy blue skirt suits and pant suits. The clothing was identical in every way except for the bottoms. Within three seconds, the majority perceived that the women wearing skirts were more confident, successful and powerful than their trouser clad sisters. The results concluded that the option women have to wear such attire creates a competitive advantage within the workplace. Now, if this is the case, I will have no end of promotions as I wear skirts all the time!!  I think business…

Around the home: decorations

I'm not one for spending big to decorate my home .  .  . I like to do things myself, I like the personal touch.  Here is one of my little creations. I bought the red vase from eBay for a few dollars and decided it needed a little jazzing up with some flowers. The flowers are from the craft store. Can you see the little "lady beetle pegs" - I thought they were such a cute idea! A few of my treasures displayed on a small bookcase. The dutch children in the middle come from eBay, likewise the silver jug and the small pot on the bottom self. It is amazing what you can find on eBay that is inexpensive and in very good condition.  As you can see, like to go for things with lots of colour. A cheap little bowl from the dollar shop filled with seashells. The picture in the middle is a pop out card which I have placed in a shadow box that I bought at the hardware store. In summer I will stain the timber so it looks a little warmer in colour. You will notice that inside the shadow box …

When you thought I wasn't looking . . .

When you thought I wasn't looking you hung my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn't looking you fed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking you baked a birthday cake just for me, and I knew that little things were special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking you said a prayer, and I believed there was a God that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking you kissed me good-night, and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt - but that it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking you smiled, and it made me want to look that pretty, too.

When you thought I wasn't looking you cared, and I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking - I looked . . . and wanted to say thanks for all those things you did when you …

What did I buy?

What a lovely day I have had.  My friend (Gill) and I arrived at the book-fair at 10:15am and we left by midday when our trolleys were overflowing and our feet were sore.  We both could have bought far more, but there is a point were you need to stop and that is usually when I run out of room. So what did I buy?
These three are for my 18 year old (CR) - he loves anything to do with oceans and fish so he should be happy.  The one on oceans is a large hard-covered book with great photo spreads. The pasta book is for my 23 year old son, I own this cookbook and use it quite a bit, however TC wanted to "steal" it, so I was pleased to find a copy he could keep. My youngest (CR) loves mushrooms, so this cookbook should give him some ideas.  An art dictionary is always useful to have and the "Stolen Treasures" looked very interesting - it particularly looks at the art that went missing during the Second World War. Bill Bryson writes interesting books about "stuff&quo…

It is that time of the year again

It is that time of the year again - on Friday I am off to the Lifeline Secondhand Book-fair.  Twice a year (March and September) I have the opportunity to spend a few hours searching through 100 000's of books for those special ones to come home with me.  I dust of my "granny" shopping trolley, put on my walking shoes and get very excited.  There is nothing better than wandering (and touching) so many secondhand books - the variety is huge and it is all in one place, what more could I ask for!!  Of all the different types of shopping, buying books must be my favourite and the one I get most excited about.  I have to thank my parents for this love of books and reading. Thanks mum.
This year I am going with a friend and afterwards we are having lunch together, so it will be extra special.
However, before I go to the fair I always go through my own books to see if I have anything to donate.  This way I can create a little extra space for the books I am bringing home and Lifel…

Art Wednesday: Winslow Homer

Breezing up - A father and his three sons is one of his best known art works
To those who may be new to my blog, each Wednesday I profile a different artist - it maybe someone well known or someone lost in time, the art may be worth millions or done just for fun.  It is an opportunity to share artworks that I love or works that are just plain fun.   I always look forward to hearing your comments regarding the art I select - and I am never offended if you don't like the ones I have profiled as we all have different tastes.

Artist: Winslow Homer (1836-1910) Born: USA Landscape painter, best known for his nautical works
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1836, Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer, both from long lines of New Englanders. His mother was a gifted amateur watercolorist and Homer's first teacher, and she and her son had a close relationship throughout their lives. Homer took on many of her traits, including her quiet, strong…

Our days are numbered

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

I've often thought that if we knew exactly how many hours, days, years we had together, we might be more aware of how important each choice we make is.  But God has not chosen to let us know. At the end of his life, the apostle Paul was able to say, I have fought a goodfight, I have finished my course . . . there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:7-8).  Too often a woman approaches the end of life and inwardly laments, I've fought a mediocre fight as a wife.  I didn't run well in my race.  
From What's it like to be Married to Me by Linda Dillow

We are not given a million years to waste away, our days are numbered and the number of days are unknown to us.  Realizing that life is really very short, it is important to remember to use each moment of each day wisely. We cannot go back and reuse any of those days we have wasted. I don't want to be one of those women who,…