Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Go Mumma recommends: Dead Man Espresso

Dead Man Espresso
35 Market Street, South Melbourne



Early one recent Sunday morning I received a phone call from my darling mother. She asked what we were up to during the day and wondered if we might like to get together for a walk. I told her we had planned to try out a cafe that had been recommended to me in South Melbourne (St. Ali) and that she and her partner Dave were welcome to join us. 

On approaching St. Ali we quickly realised that this was not the place to visit with a big pram and a dog in tow as it was incredibly busy and there was no seating on the street. I pushed down my initial disappointment and we tramped down the street toward another cafe recommended by Dave. He is a coffee snob from way back and South Melbourne is his stomping ground so I felt confident he was leading us to green pastures.

Tucked away, set a block back from Clarendon Street, we found Dead Man Espresso. At first  glance, this place might seem like a run-of-the-mill cafe for the locals but once inside it is clear that these folks take their coffee seriously. Delightful timber walls and tables really warm up the clean, modern decor and an impressive balcony overlooks a few tables out on Market Street (for those of us who like the company of the four-legged variety).

I ordered my standard, a skim latte, but after doing a bit of further investigation I wish I had tried their pour over filter coffee. There is always next time. I did thoroughly enjoy my latte though- it was the perfect temperature, strong but not bitter. Dead Man's signature espresso blend is a gorgeous nutty Seven Seeds blend that leaves a lingering kick at the back of the throat. Seven Seeds coffee just melts me, so they had an advantage before I had taken the first sip. They definitely did it justice with the latte.

(I have been back again since this article was written and tried the aeropress coffee... I will be returning to my original order next time as I didn't really enjoy it. It tasted like basic plunger coffee. Am I missing something? Coffee geeks help a girl out and explain it to me!)

I didn't try the food however I did glance at some of the dishes being served and I am quite excited to return again for breakfast some time soon (hands up who wants to babysit!?).



We admired the lovely simple detail on the take away cup. These touches do matter folks! To aesthetically focused people like me, a little extra effort goes a long way.



To the right of the counter is a display of delicious looking hand crafted products. I assume this display changes as products go in and out of season (when I was there a few days ago it looked completely different to these photographs). This jam got me a little excited for my own jam making (we are in the midst of an apricot glut!). Such simple, pretty detail!)


Here is the delicious Seven Seeds blend made especially for Dead Man Espresso. Mum kindly shouted us a bag and it lasted only a few days. So delicious! I think it was about $13 a bag (trying to read the sign in the photo but it's too tiny and blurry). Well worth the money.


And yummy yummy rooftop honey!

All-in-all, I give a big thumbs up to Dead Man Espresso and I look forward to my next visit!

Thanks guys!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Go Mumma Recommends: White Rabbit Record Bar

Click the image above to be taken to White Rabbit's Website




White Rabbit Record Bar
176 Bellair Street, Kensington

It was only by chance that I happened to find myself eating lunch in the glorious sunshine outside White Rabbit yesterday. I had purchased some thongs (flip-flops, jandals...) from a popular deals website (sucker!) and, as I have heard happens quite frequently, the deal went sour due to the factory not managing the influx of orders. So I was refunded my "deal bucks" and it just so happened that White Rabbit Records in Kensington (only a few km from Melbourne's CBD and a one minute stroll from the station) was offering lunch and coffee or wine for two for exactly the amount I was refunded! Score!

I have never visited White Rabbit before... correction.. I have popped my head in to peruse their great selection of vintage and more recent records, but I have never ordered any food or drinks as I have been a very loyal customer of another cafe on Bellair Street, Fruits of Passion and more recently have discovered The Premises (Please see review by my friend Lauren over at The Footscray Food Blog) and have not wanted to deviate from the known goodness of these two places... as the old saying goes, "when you're on to a good thing...."

Anyhow, I expanded my horisons yesterday and boy am I glad I did! We had an absolutely delightful experience and felt very well taken care of by the friendly bearded/grandpa-hatted fellow who served us. We ordered a delicious grilled haloumi salad- a generous pile of golden, squeaky haloumi cheese on a bed of tender baby salad greens, tomato and thinly sliced red cabbage. It was lightly dressed with a vinaigrette and we happily gobbled up the lot. We also shared a smoked chicken and mozzarella toasted wrap which also came with salad and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Now, the point of the review?

COFFEE!

I was extremely impressed with the quality of my latte. Always skeptical, it takes a pretty delicious brew to win me over but White Rabbit far exceeded my expectations! It was smooth and creamy, not extremely strong, silky milk, drinkable temperature. Ticking all the boxes so far! They score extra brownie points by using fair trade beans so all-in-all, Kudos to you White Rabbit!!

On another note, I wanted to thank the bearded waiter/coffee making fellow for being so pleasant and chatty to us and to our wee man. Those are the kinds of gestures that will make me a return customer!

Have you ever been to White Rabbit? You have?! Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Home made laundry liquid

In an attempt to further our frugality I decided to try making laundry liquid. 

Here is the recipe which I found at Frugal and Thriving. It works out to around 1c per load apparently (but I didn't do the calculation so you can either trust my second hand info from internetland or do the calculation yourself.. :P)


11/2 litres of water
1 bar of soap, grated (vegetable soap, homemade soap, laundry soap or lux flakes)
1/2 cup washing soda crystals (you will find it in the laundry isle)
1/2 cup of borax (also in the laundry isle)
  • In a saucepan, combine some of the water and the soap and stir over a medium heat until the soap is dissolved.
  • Add the washing soda and borax and stir until thickened.
  • Pour the mixture into a 10 litre bucket and then fill with hot tap water. Stir to combine. (It will become like egg whites)
  • At this point, you could add a few drops of your favourite essential oil for fragrance (eucalyptus or lavender are great).
  • When cool, store in a plastic container.
  • Use 1/4 cup per load

This recipe filled the three blue bottles, one Earth Choice bottle and half the nappy bucket!



I won't be needing to make any more for a LONG time! 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Go Mumma Recommends: Coffee snob series!


I am currently working on the first of a series of Melbourne coffee review/recommendation posts. 

I am a self confessed coffee snob and make it my mission to find decent coffee wherever I go!

Stay tuned!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Reversible sling bag... with tutorial link!

I have been looking for a quick, easy and super cute bag to make for Christmas presents this year but have been a little daunted by tutorials with loads of steps and processes so I was delighted to find THIS tutorial over at Crap I've Made.

This bag took me around two hours however I think I could probably halve the time next attempt now that I understand the processes. I am a VERY beginner sewer so I imagine most serious sewers could knock one of these up in well under an hour.

I made a rookie mistake when cutting my black & white fabric and ended up with four panels instead of two however I was able to sew them back together and carry on as planned.

The tutorial warned that you will wonder how on earth you will be able to manage turning the whole thing right way round via the small hole in the strap but to persevere gently as it will happen... This prediction was exactly right for me as I thought I had stuffed the whole thing up during this process but like predicted, it did happen eventually! What a relief!

Next time I will give the strap a little more length but all-in-all I am very happy with this bag! 

Now I need to go op shopping again for more lovely vintage sheets so I can make some more!

Thanks to Cintia at My Poppet for being a constant source of sewing and general creative inspiration!

Apologies for the crappy photos. It was very bad light. iPhone no likey bad lightey!





Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Zig zag crochet with video tutorial... so easy!

If you are a beginner crocheter like me you might like to try this lovely (super easy) project!

Here is my latest effort:



It's the beginning of a rainbow blanket. I could leave it like this as it is long enough to be a scarf however I aim to make it large enough to fit Molly's bed. 

I taught myself to crochet by watching youtube tutorials so I thought I'd share the fantastic videos I used to learn chevron (zigzag). I totally love this guy!








Monday, 31 October 2011

Home made bread... in 5 minutes a day!

Baking bread is one of those activities that, in years gone by has seemed like more effort than it's worth with all the kneading, rising, punching, rising again and then finally baking the darn thing! Surely popping down to our local supermarket is much easier!?

Easier, maybe... Cheaper?? No!... better?? Definitely not! Aside from the occasional expensive treat of a loaf of sourdough from the Warrandyte or Abbotsford Convent Bakery, the bread that our little family can afford is by no means up to the standard of a lovely home made loaf.

With frugality and flavour in mind I have been on the look-out for a decent EASY bread recipe and (praise the Lordy!) I have found one! This recipe makes a large portion of dough that can be used to make around 4 loaves and can be kept in the fridge in a lidded container for up to 14 days. We usually use the whole lot in a couple of days as we are greedy like that. One loaf is never enough!!

You can visit the original site (with extremely detailed instructions) at food.com HERE or you can stick with me while I give you my take on this beauty!


Picture from food.com (I would have included one of my own however we ate it all before I could photograph it... It looked a lot like this one)

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day


Ingredients
3 cups of luke-warm water (just warmer than body temperature)
1 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt (I have reduced this measurement as the original recipe was far too salty in my opinion)
6 1/2 cups unsifted flour (no need for bread flour, run-of-the-mill is fine. You could use wholemeal or mix some rye or spelt with plain flour if that kind of thing rocks your socks)

Method
Preparing the dough:
1. In a large bowl (lidded is good but not essential), add yeast to warm water and stir
2. Throw in the flour and salt and stir until uniformly moist
3. Allow to rest and rise for at least 2 hours before using a portion

Baking the bread
1. Grease a flat tray and pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees celsius (put a shallow tray of water on the bottom of the oven- this makes the crust extra crispy!)
2. The mixture will be sticky so dust the top with flour before slicing off a portion with a serrated knife. Place a quarter of the mixture (or more/less.. whatever you fancy really) on the tray and allow to rise a further 15-20 minutes
3. Dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash a couple of deep lines in the top (you don't have to.. it's just vanity) and bake until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the  (about 20-30 minutes usually)

Repeat this process whenever you want to bake some of your dough. The "older" the dough is, the more it will take on sourdough qualities.

Variations
I discovered this when trying to salvage my very salty batch of dough. When mixing the flour and salt in, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup warm honey. This really lifted the bread to the next level.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

YOU ROCK PHIL! Skinny Latte Strikes Back!: the skinny on the cosmo blog awards

My lovely Phil just won best health and fitness blogger at the Cosmo Blog Awards UK!!

Click below for more!

GO PHIL!


Skinny Latte Strikes Back!: the skinny on the cosmo blog awards: To quote Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, "oh, what a night!" :) Rather than keep you all in suspense (and this is why my novel is not...

12WBT week 6- belated video post



I forgot to upload this video. It was a couple of weeks ago now! I'll be sure to record and upload another soon!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My babes- family update..

I have been spending so much time focusing on the 12WBT that I haven't updated on my kidlets for a while.

We are all cruising along nicely now having just overcome a bit of a cold. Richie has been diagnosed with asthma and has some ventolin to take when his wheezing gets worse. The spacer and mask are so cute on him and he has figured out that it makes him feel better so he doesn't fight it any more and just grabs it as he knows it makes him feel better. 

He is 7 1/2 months now and is sitting, commando crawling, saying "mum-mum" and "ta" and is being generally cute. He is a great eater and can handle a whole variety of foods now. We didn't do a whole lot of purees but he much prefers chunks of food. We realised this morning that he ate more than me for breakfast! I ate a bowl of cereal with skim milk and he devoured a bowl of cereal with yoghurt, rye sourdough toast with cream cheese and half a mango! He boobs about 5 times a day too & is not showing any sign of dropping any feeds.

Here's a few recent snaps of the lad:



Oh yeah, he can pull up to standing too!

Molly is doing great and she has recently started school transition. She is growing so fast I can't believe it! She is developing some beautiful friendships with a few kinder kids, some who are going to school with her next year so I'm feeling really positive about her being a big school girl! Wow! How time flies!

We recently went the Collingwood College school fair (It was seriously good! Put it in your diary for next year!) and had a wonderful time browsing cake stalls, trash & treasure, their amazing kitchen garden, making flower garlands and eating wood fired pizza from the amazing permanent pizza oven in the school grounds. Molly brought her own money and chose to spend it on some ballet shoes and this giant ball of fairy floss.

Bigger than her head fairy floss!
Here's another pic of her being a doofus:

Anywho... I'm feeling a bit crappy today so I might leave it there. I would love to update this blog more often but am finding a bit hard to balance everything at the moment.

Hope you're all fab!


PS: CONGRATS to Phil at Skinny Latte Strikes Back For winning a Cosmo Blog Award! You deserve it honey!



Thursday, 29 September 2011

12WBT: Weeks 2 & 3 weigh-ins


WOO! 5kg lost since the start of the preseason!

I'm an 80s girl again!! 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

12WBT: Week 1- Weigh in!


Correction! My goal for the 12wbt is 8kg.. not 6kg. Either way, am already almost half way there and I still need to re-assess!!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Video blog.. I burnt 1000 calories on Saturday!


Handy dandy baby rocker...


About a week ago I missed an Aus Post delivery.. I LOVE receiving parcels but I HATE missing deliveries! I usually think.. "If only I had bloody well been home, then I wouldn't have to traipse down to the post office with the kids in tow and try to wrangle an awkward parcel". I usually take Richie in the Ergo and hope that whatever I am picking up fits into the pram. Fortunately, this time John was home and we could drop in to pick it up on our way through to visit Dad so I could forget all my regular frustrations and just enjoy the parcel receiving!!

I was SO excited when the disgruntled post office employee (no.. really.. he was awful!) passed a big box over the counter and it was my much anticipated Fisher-Price Rock N Play from Nuffnang!

Aint it prrrdy?

John and his side-kick Molly rigging up the Rock N Play

John got to work assembling the contraption as soon as we got to Dad's. It went together very quickly and easily and it's handy-dandyness (aware that's not a word!) was immediately apparent! Richie seemed positively chuffed to be up off the floor and a part of the grown-up goings on. He happily sat in it for half an hour before starting to grizzle and wanting a cuddle. Of course, I got him up and we had a feed and snuggle and he went off to sleep. I transferred him back into the Rock N Play as soon as he was sleeping soundly and he had a decent nap in it.


 
Nawwww!

You can see in these photos above that it holds the baby in a semi-reclined position which Richie seems to prefer to lying flat on his back. It has a three point safety harness to hold the baby safely and I was able to do it up easily while he was sleeping without waking him up.

Here's a few "pros" I have identified with this baby-gadget..

  • It's really pretty! I can't stand bright and garish baby products with dangly, loud, annoying bits and bright flashing lights that would give folks a seisure. This product is in lovely muted pastel yellow, blue and green and it's a simple rocker without bells and whistles.
  • It has a pocket to pop little toys in.
  • It comes with a cute bunny comforter.
  • As I said before, it is semi-reclined which is good for refluxy babies and babes who don't like to lie flat on their backs.
  • It can be easily rocked with a foot or knee.
  • It is difficult to tip over. Molly is a very affectionate big sister and she can sometimes get a little carried away with her love. I was in the middle of telling her off for nearly tipping Richie over when I realised that the green stoppers on the bottom were doing a very good job of "stopping"  the rocker from tipping too far forward. I shut up and let her love him up (he adores her!). I then tried to pull the rocker sideways and it was extremely hard to tip it that way too.
  • It is very easy to fold up. You just press the buttons at the front and back and fold it flat!
  • It's super compact and could be easily pushed under the bed or behind the couch and can be taken on holidays if you don't do the port-a-cot thing.
There's only one real "con" that I can think of and it is that the sides are very high and Richie can't see over them which means that he sometimes doesn't last as long in it as he might if he could look around and see a little more of what is going on.


All-in-all, I'm really pleased to own one of these and I am sure we will pass it on to someone who will love it just as much once we are finished with it.

Big thanks to Nuffnang
Product talk by Nuffnang

Thursday, 1 September 2011

12WBT: Preseason task 6- The kitchen makeover.




We are certainly cracking through these preseason tasks! Number six was given today- The kitchen makeover! There is only two more tasks before kick off!!

The idea for task six is, you open your pantry and fridge and throw out any food that is keeping you from your healthy life goals and then go shopping and stock up on healthy basics (there is another shopping list for perishables and extras given at the beginning of each week). So I went into my kitchen, stood in front of my pantry all ready to clear it out, only to realise that there was actually only a couple of packets of wizz-fizz that my mum gave Molly and that was all. What an anti-climax! A good anti-climax, but one none the less. 

Oh well.. next!! I wrote a shopping list based on the recommendations given by Michelle Bridges, grabbed my shopping bags and zipped over to the new space-age Coles in Flemington (seriously good supermarket!). Richie happily sat in the baby trolley while I loaded it up with meat, good quality bread, eggs, veggies, herbs, fruit, yoghurt and several other yummy goodies. The thought went through my mind that this is actually how my trolley usually looks coming out of the supermarket after a normal shop. It's the after dinner supermarket runs for desserts and snacks (which are eaten straight away- hence the healthily stocked pantry), and the "treats" eaten out that have been preventing me from reaching my goals.

So I'm all set! The husbo is on board and is keen to drop a few kilos himself. Today I asked that if he wants food other than what is on the plan for me, that he put it somewhere else in the house where I can't find it (aka. hide it!). My willpower muscle will get stronger with use but right now, the 4pm munchies are often overwhelming and I end up scavenging around in the kitchen for something salty or sweet (often after a sleepless night with baby). So if it's not in the house, I'm safe!  John said he probably wont have any junk either as he wants to feel healthier anyway.

I remembered that my gym membership also gives me access to another (much better) gym a little bit further away. It's further but has so many more classes and I get 10 free passes. After they are used up I can get another 10 for $33. I have decided to do RPM and Fitness Fusion (a varied resistance class) back to back for my super Saturday workout. I predict I will burn around 1200cals doing both of these! This morning I did RPM and burnt 569cals which gave me a little boost and kept me on the straight and narrow with my food for the rest of the day.

So I am hoping all you other 12WBTers out there are having a smashing preseason. Please say hi if you pop in and read my blog. I'll be sure to come visit yours!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Video diary: Preseason task 5- Say it out loud!

The end of this week's video was cut off but I don't think I said anything that important. Enjoy!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

I'm doing round 3 of the 12 Week Body Transformation (12wbt)

Here is my first vlog:






And my second


And a list of excuses I use to justify not taking care of myself..



Internal excuses
  1. I'm too tired
  2. I've been up all night with the baby
  3. My body is sore
  4. I don't feel like it
  5. I can't go to bed unless John does
  6. I'm too big to do that
  7. I feel silly doing that
  8. That person will look at me
  9. My belly & boobs jiggle when I run
  10. I want to eat that thing I'm not supposed to eat because it's so yummy/it's the last one/no one is watching/I've had no other treats today/I feel sad, happy, grumpy, have pms/I need some energy etc etc etc


Solutions
1. Get to bed earlier and get up at 6am to exercise. Once it's done it's done.
2. Be gentle on yourself but do something. You don't have to smash it. Just do something.
3. If you move your body, the pain will ease. Active recovery.
4. Just do it.. You'll be glad you did
5. That's not true. Tell him you're off to bed & if he's not ready, just go.
6. If you do it, you're body will shrink
7. Why do you feel silly? Who cares?
8. It honestly doesn't matter. Get on with it.
9. Wear a decent sports bra and one piece swimsuit under your clothes to hold everything in place
10. Stick to the plan. You know the plan works. This will not make you feel anything other than crap emotionally and physically.

External excuses (within my control)
1. It's too cold
2. It's too hot
3. It's too expensive
4. I have both the kids with me
5. I don't have time
6. I have too much to do
7. I need to do the dishes/laundry/clean the house/cook dinner
8. It's ......'s birthday. Everyone is having cake.
9. We are all going out for dinner.
10. Richie will cry.
11. John is late and I have missed my gym class.


Solutions
1. Rug up and get it done, you'll warm up in no time!
2. Go to the pool or the gym where it's air conditioned
3. You have savings. If this is important to you, it's not too expensive. You don't need everything. Just the basics. Skip a cup of coffee a day and you wont notice the difference.
4. Go play in the park and run around. Molly loves going to the park to kick the ball. Richie can sit in the pram. Be an active mum and a god example to your kids.
5. You DO have time. You just need to be more organised with your time. Get on the bike while you're watching tv if you can't think of any other way to get some exercise in.
6. Again, this is about making it a priority and scheduling it in.
7. Most of this can wait an hour. Just get it done. If this is a consistent excuse, make it a priority to get up early before the day starts and get it done.
8. No one really cares if you don't eat cake (more for them!) and if they do, explain your goals again or just let it go.
9. This is not a good reason to eat crap. Suggest a place where you know there is healthy food and make a good choice.
10. If he is with his daddy he might cry but he will be OK. Make sure he's had a breastfeed and then go. Some babies are in childcare all day with strangers. You'll be home soon. He will get used to it and so will John.
11.Shame that you missed the class but you know how to train yourself. There are plenty of things you can do in the gym on your own.

External excuses (outside my control)
1. Sick kids
2. I'm sick
3. I'm injured
4. Something bad has happened to a family member
5. Emergency

Solutions
1. Do what you can & train before they get up
2. Take it easy if you're really sick but get back to it as soon as you start feeling better
3. Where are you injured? Can you train other body parts??
4 & 5. Do what you need to do.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

WOOGSWORLD and EDENLAND

Royalty-free Stock Photo: Best Cupcake Ever! Little Girl Portraits
I am this excited to be meeting all these great bloggers!! I love you like this little chick loves cupcake!



Now, I know that MrsWoogs and Edenland were not in Danimezza's Melbourne Blogger Photo I have been talking about however I recently saw them on TV and just HAD to go investigate these bloggers who I am SURE I should have known about!! 

How on earth did I miss Woogsworld and Edenland?? Huh?! Tell me!!!

Here is a gorgeous post from Mrs Woogs: The Shiny Vagina and other magical stuff

So, I just want to officially say HI to both of you!

Ash
xox


My Poppet - kids | craft | vintage | fun: How To: Yarn Wrapped Egg

My Poppet - kids | craft | vintage | fun: How To: Yarn Wrapped Egg

My Poppet

I LOVE My Poppet!!

This blog is a total feast for the senses! Cintia has created a wonderful space to blog about family, travel, making stuff, being mum, and running an online business (Poppet in the post). I will definitely be going to explore her blog and store further! Totally up my alley!

Squee!! New blogs!!

My hero!

Sass Bee from MooZoo Designs and Life of the bees has come to my rescue and fixed (and prettified) my blog. 

Just want to say a huge 

THANK YOU
XO

My blog layout is doing strange things!

I just popped in to do my next Go Mumma blog challenge post and discovered my sidebar content is all down the bottom of my page.

Not sure what is going on but trying to resolve it.

Apologies! Trying to fix it ASAP.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Hummingbird's Song

Check out this wonderful post  by Rhi at Humminbird's Song about how to take great photos of your kids. 

Rhi writes beautifully and her photography is just gorgeous. She is also a mother, and loves (from her sidebar) Painting, Boots, Novels, Family, Friends, Dancing, Laughing, Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Any Type of Chocolate, TV Series, Photos, Hummingbirds, Running, Sunshine and her life. 


Thanks for your blog Rhi. I am sure I am going to enjoy reading along into the future.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

ashleyecarr shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,
ashleyecarr just shared an Instagram photo with you:

view full image
"Baby in flannel"
Thanks,
The Instagram Team

Mands On A Mission

Mands On A Mission is a woman after my own heart! With a focus on frugality and smashing debt, Mands tackles her financial stresses head on. Here is a little blurb from her sidebar which describes her vibe perfectly;

It's not Mission Impossible ~ My Mission is to pay our down debt, stay on budget and enjoy a wonderful life! Join in, follow along and please tell us if any hints work for you. The Mission, should you choose to participate, can help you lower expenses, save money, build financial freedom
I am so excited to find this blog! 

Here is a fab post I love: 12 ways you can start saving today 

Thanks for sharing your blog with the bloggosphere Mands, it's great to meet you!

Sharnee @ Mannerfesto

I have been a-visitin'!

Sharnee over at Mannerfesto was my first port of call. I discovered that Sharnee of Mannerfesto is actually also Sharnee from Suck My Lolly and is an awesome and talented blog template designer who I have definitely crossed paths with in my years of blogging.

She has an honest, funny, unstructured personal blog and doesn't run ads or do sponsored posts. It's just not her bag. I really enjoyed taking a peek into her life and look forward to maybe meeting her at the next Hello Events Melbourne meet. Thanks for your contribution to the bloggosphere Sharnee!

Here's a post that sparked my interest:



The blogging community


Over the past eight years blogging has been a part of my life. I has been a way for me to record the happenings of my life and to connect with others at the same time. My blogging frequency and effort has ebbed and flowed but I have always felt secure knowing that there is a place to go and get my thoughts out with the added benefit of getting a word of support, wisdom or feedback from other bloggers out there.

I began blogging as a means of connecting with others who were, like me, trying to lose weight. All I initially wanted out of it was to journal my daily effort and results and have people cheer me on. People who understood the task I was undertaking. That's all I expected from blogging, but I got so much more! I realised that my support meant something to others, that what I had to share was meaningful and that there was potential to develop some real friends through this process. 

I attended weightloss blogger meets and met bloggers like Cinders, The Candid Bandit, My dear friend Philippa, Nicky, Cat, Shawnte, Kate, Brooke and loads more (please don't be offended if you're not on the list and we have met.. Trying to find all your blog addresses was taking me forever!) and I have made some true friends in the process. I really got so much more than I bargained!

With the rise in social media over the last few years, I have noticed a decline in blogging and commenting (by the average blogger- not the super mummy paid bloggers- Hi, if you're one of them!!) and I feel a little bit sad about that. I am definitely guilty of tweeting a quick thought now instead of thinking things through and blogging and I have been challenged recently while looking back at my old blog posts and reading other amazing blogs to try and get my blogging mojo back.

Some of the fab women from my old blogging community have closed down their blogs or no longer blog very frequently. I do miss them but understand that there are seasons in life for things like blogging and for some of them, the season has passed. I, however, would like to get back in the bloggosphere and have decided to set a challenge for myself.

After visiting HELLO EVENTS and reading about the blogger meets that have been happening, I have been inspired to check out some more blogs and meet some current bloggers. It's almost like deciding to get back on the dating scene!! I'm nervous! 

My challenge will begin with visiting the blogs of all the women in the Melbourne Hello Events blog meet photo and doing a little review post, adding them to my sidebar and then hopefully attending the next Melbourne event. 


Next stop Sharnee at Mannerfesto

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hubby's wordsmith ways... an ode to The Beatles (and the Richmond Tigers)


My hubby writes for Collingwood FC's skipper Nick Maxwell as a blogger on his website www.nickmaxwell.com.au. I love this most recent post. I think it's really clever and thought I would share it here with you.
A Hard Year’s Plight
By The Holy Boot
*This article is 80% fictional and all “quotes” are artificial.
It’s been a long cold lonely winter.”
These words, penned by the late George Harrison, the ‘quiet’ Beatle, have been bouncing around my head in relation to Richmond’s season thus far, as the ‘winter of discontent’ has settled upon Punt Road once more. Below, I have combined two of my great loves- it’s the Richmond Football club’s season in the words of the “Fab-Four!”
After a promising and lively start to the season, a period where Tiger fans really got to see how they runthe ball from defence when they’re up and about, the season has truly become a long and winding roadfor the Tigers. With interstate trips to Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Perth grinding our campaign to a halt, the ultimate test was a  Magical Mystery bus tour home from Sydney after all Tullamarine-bound planes were grounded. When asked how the team was holding up through this tough period of travel, all that captain Chris Newman was able to mutter was ‘I’m so tired’, before curling up in a ball for some hard-earned kip.
Of course the media began to circulate, casting a critical eye over Tigerland. One scribe stated that “this past month has seen Richmond play toe-jam football, Miller is playing like he has feet down below his knees, and Riewoldt has been flying for the most ridiculous of marks when completely out of position. It was rumoured that he asked Ty Vickery to “help me get my feet back on the ground!” at one stage.
Mitch Morton fell out of favour at the selection committee, defensive coach Justin Leppitsch commenting that “Suddenly, he’s not half the player he used to be.” Morton responded that “Everybody seems to think I’m lazy, but it’s just my running gate that makes me look that way! The club decided that this was best settled behind closed doors.
Luke McGuane’s discipline has also been called into question, with a record number of 50-metre penalties conceded so far this season. When the media quizzed coach Hardwick about the issue, he informed them this was because  McGuane “always shouts out something obscene, but he is getting better. Look with Lukey, half of what I say is meaningless!”
Injury has also plagued Richmond’s season, prompting assistant coach Wayne Campbell to comment that “It’s all too much!” The match in Sydney claimed promising youngster David Astbury, who dislocated his knee with an awkward twist and shout of agony! “I will return” Astbury later confirmed, a steely determination in his eyes.
A more public injury was in round 2 against St.Kilda, when Jack Riewoldt came down upon his head. Jack pleaded with Doctor Robert. “Doc, it’s only a scratch, I’ll be better as soon as I’m able.” But he wasn’t allowed back on due to a concussion, and was subbed off, the doctor telling him that “You might not feel it now, but when the pain cuts through you’re going to know”.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has endured a frustrating period since the clubs win in the Dreamtime at the ‘G match against Essendon. “Don’t let me down!” Hardwick was heard to plead at three-quarter time against Port Adelaide, his plea clearly audible to media covering the match.
He was later seen in the rooms, long after the players had left, spending some quality one-on-one time with the magnetic board, pondering Richmond’s defensive struggles. The focus at training that week was onfixing a hole where the ball gets in, with skipper Newman, a general down back saying that sometimes it seems they’re trying to plug “four thousand holes!”
Pushed further on why the defence lacked cohesion, Newman was at a loss. “The communication was good on field, we were talking about the space between us all, but the opposition was still able to find a way through!”
But coach Hardwick is calling for patience. To the Richmond faithful, who are as restless as a wind inside a letterbox, he pleaded “Wait, you stick around and things might show some real improvement, andit won’t be long before you can celebrate anything you want!”
Yet after another embarrassing loss to Gold Coast in Cairns, a crowd of people turned away. “Here come the Suns” read the headlines in the dailies. Hardwick became more philosophical, informing journalists that “When we get to the bottom we go back and we play for some pride. Look, there’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long, but we’re taking the long term approach with this footy club.” Dimma then posed his own question to the media throng. “Have you got a good reason for taking the easy way out? No, this club needs a long term approach. We’ll sit down at the end of the year and say look, everybody had a hard year, and everybody needs to pull their socks up.”
The coach maintained that moral within the playing group was still high, and revealed some of the techniques he’s been using to keep the players up. “Look I just tell them to get back to basics. Sometimes we strip back and simplify the game plan, and I’ll just say the only words I know that they’ll understand. All the boys are talented footballers, but sometimes we just need to remind them that there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. And for the young guys still learning the ropes, there’s really nothing they can do but they can learn how to play the game, it’s easy.”
It has not been all doom and gloom however, with many positives coming from the season so far.
Matthew White, in his sixth season has purely been instructed to run for your life, and has busted his gut up and down the wing. Lively forward Robin Nahas has taken his game to a new level, no longer anchored to the forward line, he is now running everywhere at such a speed.
Daniel Jackson has remodelled his aggressive game style due to a series of suspensions. “Man he was mean but he’s changing his scene and he’s doing the best that he can” Hardwick said of his number one tagger, while when asked about Trent Cotchin, Hardwick paused, a glimmer in his eye. “There’s something in the way he moves, he’s just a special talent.”
New Tiger Bachar Houli has also had a standout year across half back, and has relished Hardwick’s direct coaching and simple game plan. Speaking about his time at Essendon, he responded “The teachers that taught me weren’t cool, filling me up with their rules!” However, while Reece Conca has had an outstanding debut season, skipper Chris Newman was concerned about his ego, after hearing a radio interview in which Conca was heard to say “They’re gonna make a big star out of me!”
A tough pre-season is in store for young Reece” Newman said bluntly.
The club has had nearly as busy a year off the field as it has on, with the Fighting Tiger Fund launched to eradicate the clubs debt, the Punt Road redevelopment and the opening of the ME Bank Training facility. The club has really come together under C.E.O and former player Brendan Gale, who had been away so long he hardly knew the place.
“Gee it’s good to be back home.” he mused upon his appointment in 2009. Gale has a simple philosophy on where the club is at. “Money don’t get everything it’s true, but what it don’t get, we can’t use.” Gale sees it as imperative that the club no longer should carry the weight of debt that it has since the early 1980’s, and has asked members and supporters to dig deep, so that the Richmond footy club can be competitive in the future.
Usually at this point in a season, we Richmond supporters are busy preparing for the barrage of jokes about finishing in position number 9, number 9, number 9, year after year. However, it seems even our traditional ninth-spot is beyond us for season 2011. I am now resigned to a lowly finish on the ladder, however the breaking point for me was after a loss to Essendon, having led at three-quarter time. In frustration I blurted out “you could find better things to do than to break my heart again!” But once I regained my equilibrium, I looked to Dimma Hardwick, in whom we trust, and feel that the future still looks good, and we’ve got time to rectify all the things that we should.
*This article is dedicated to the day that Richmond’s Bruce Lennon lined up on Collingwood’s Jason McCartney in round 14 of 1993! Also, there are 54 references to Beatles songs in bold, some well-known, some obscure!
The Holy Boot
These thoughts and opinions are those of the author and are not necessarily aligned with those of Nick Maxwell or the people at nickmaxwell.com.au
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