Harley the Pomeranian

On Wednesday April 2, I came home from work to find something fluffy with four legs wandering around my house. Earlier in the day, my husband had hinted at getting me an early Easter present: something to keep me company while he is working on the weekends. I had a feeling I knew what he was hinting at, I didn’t really think he would go through with it though.

I’m not sure how we will cope when the time comes to choose baby names. We really struggled to name him. I wanted something that would remind us of our wedding & honeymoon in America last year, so we finally settled on Harley (for the Harley Davidson my husband & his friends hired for the day).
Now comes coping with housebreaking (including toilet training) & the standard sit/stay routine. As this is my first dog (and first pet really, as fish & rabbits don’t need much looking after), I have no idea what I am doing or what to expect from Harley or my patience for that matter!. But I honestly think that toilet training will be the death of me. While I understand that plush carpet feels much better, it is an awful mess to clean up not to mention the possibility of stains & smells lingering.

Then there is the whimpering/yelps when he is alone in the laundry. Of a night & while we aren’t home, we put him in the laundry & shut the door. The first night wasn’t so great. I’m quite a light sleeper, it also generally needs to be dark & quiet for me to sleep. Since then, I have shut a few more doors of the house & can no longer hear him from my bed.

But how can I stay mad at a face like that? He is just so tiny & cute, I am worried that I might just hug the life out of him.

Quote Monday #1

 
This is a photo of a sticky note stuck on my computer at work. It’s my absolute favourite quote, which is why I have it on my desk at work. It comes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
I love it because it represents the fear of the unknown & that if you don’t try, you will never know.

Potato Bake

This is the best potato bake that I have ever had, although if I’m totally honest, I haven’t tried too many. The recipe came from a friend & I really do think she made it up. It is an absolute miracle when there are leftovers, somehow it tastes even better when reheated the next day. But whenever I make it everyone loves it & they are all disappointed when there is none left. It’s creamy, it’s a little bit tangy & best of all, it has bacon! I don’t know what could make it any better.

Temperature Tip

How many times have you had a recipe that states the temperature in Fahrenheit but your oven only has Celsius? Thanks to Pinterest, this has happened to me an more times than I can remember. But it’s not just Pinterest, many box mixes (especially cakes, cupcakes & muffins) that I’ve picked up from the supermarket list a temperature in Fahrenheit. What I find even more bizarre about this is that the rest of the instructions seem to use metric measurements, like grams & millilitres rather than imperial (which is what Fahrenheit is).

I have lost count of the number of times I have had to pull up a conversion website on my phone, tablet or computer just to check what temperature I need to set the oven to. Then one day I remembered I had an analog candy/meat thermometer that shows both Celsius & Fahrenheit. It was such lightbulb moment for me. Now I simply check my candy/meat thermometer each time I need to convert the temperature to set my oven to. I have honestly used it that much that I am actually beginning to remember what some of the conversion are!

To read the thermometer, I just look for the temperature the recipe calls for, then look on the opposite side of the line & it will tell me the temperature that I need to use. In the picture above, the recipe calls for the oven to be at 350°F. Using my thermometer (pictured below), I find 350 on the outside of the thermometer, for Fahrenheit, then the inside numbers show Celsius. So if I line them up, it tells me that I need to set my oven to approximately 176°C.

And really does anyone ever have the temperature spot on when baking? The temperature changes each time you open the oven door anyway!

Rolo Pudding

I had some friends over for dinner recently & wanted to make sure there was a dessert element to the meal. I’d seen some amazing crock pot desserts around Pinterest & was looking forward to trying one. My husband suggested to make something that was both chocolate & banana. Unfortunately, Pinterest was only able to provide recipes for crock pot choc chip banana bread.

Then I had a brainwave: Rolo Pudding. Rolo Pudding is a chocolate self-saucing pudding made with Rolo chocolate. This has been my husband’s all time favourite dessert since my mum made it for the first time. The recipe originally appeared in Super Food Ideas magazine in the July 2010 edition. My mum’s original copy is quite worn, it’s been used that many times.


 

Sift flour & 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into a bowl.

 
 

Add caster sugar, melted butter & milk. Whisk until smooth & combined.

 
 

Spread mixture into prepared pan.

 
 

Break chocolate into squares & press into mixture.

 
 

Smooth the mixture over the top of the chocolate.

 
 

Sprinkle brown sugar over mixture & sift over remaining cocoa.

 
 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t swift enough to get a photo before most of it disappeared. You have to be quick around here!!

RECIPE

220 g   block Rolo chocolate
¼         cup cocoa powder
1          cup caster sugar
125 g   melted butter
1          cup milk
½         cup brown sugar
1 ¾      cups boiling water

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C (160° C fan forced). Grease a baking dish.
  2. Sift flour & 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into a bowl.
  3. Add caster sugar, melted butter & milk. Whisk until smooth & combined.
  4. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Break chocolate into squares & press into mixture. Smooth the mixture over the top of the chocolate.
  5. Sprinkle brown sugar over mixture & sift over remaining cocoa.
  6. Carefully pour boiling water over the back of a metal spoon) over the mixture.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is just set.
  8. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Serve with ice cream

The Color Run

I had seen photos from The Color Run around the internet. So when I saw an ad for it on tv I knew I had to sign up. That was in 2012. I’m glad to say I was a part of the first Australian Color Run, which also happened to be the first in the Southern Hemisphere.
Unfortunately, I missed out on the 2013 event as I was in America at the time. I signed up for the Grand Prix edition (at Albert Park Lake, the Formula 1 Melbourne Grand Prix track) by myself. But was secretly hoping to find someone to do the course with.

I found some friends that had also signed up & we agreed to go in together. After some deliberation about costumes, we decided on wearing onesies. My brother had a monkey onesie from a onesie party last year & I am sure he would let me borrow it. But the day before the event, my friend found some cheap white leggings for us instead. The colour would look great on the white & it would save my brother’s poor monkey onesie from being destroyed.

There were no sleep ins in my house that weekend because I still had to get in to town & pick up my pack before the race start at 9am. My friends picked me up at 6 on the dot & I changed into my white leggings in the car. We found a great free all day parking spot then made our way to the start line to collect our pack.

I was surprised to see the set up for the Grand Prix was already well under way. The barricades were already around the track & the were stands taking shape. After picking up our packs & putting on our race gear we walked back to the car to drop off jumpers & bags.
When we got back to the start we lined up straight away hoping to be in the first wave of people released onto the course. By this stage we had already walked about 1.5km going to the car & back. It was exciting to start at poll position. We didn’t have to wait around too long either.

Once the event had started there were a lot of people still arriving. I knew they there were just arriving because they were going in the opposite direction! A little way down the track there was a huge water truck spraying water over the road & everyone went under it. Around the corner from that appeared to be the first colour station. There were a few flags & about 10 people with what looked like commercial weed killer packs on their back spraying people. After going through that my white clothes had a slight blue tinge when I had been squirted. I began writing a letter of complaint in my head. Thinking that was how they had to do the colour because it was on the race track. Perhaps they didn’t get permission to use the coloured powder like normal.

Bring on the colour

Luckily it wasn’t long before I was able to scrap that mental complaint letter & skip through the pink colour station. Blasting Katy Perry, it was all fairy floss & lollypops.

Next up was the blue colour station, remember that 90’s song Blue by Eiffel 65? I came out the other side looking like half a smurf because they only squirt colour at you from one side.

This time I decided that I would run through the yellow colour zone on the other side to give myself an even coverage.

I got a nice free orange fake tan in the orange colour zone. There were a lot of people that rolled on the ground to cover themselves in orange. I decided against it because I didn’t want to be in anyone’s way.

There was another zone that really surprised me: the bubble zone. It was quite magical & I think everyone slowed down to walk through it. There were so many bubbles & some of the photos turned out fantastic.
From the bubble zone to the finish line was quite a bit further than I anticipated. It was nice running up to the finish line with a stack of spectators waiting to see people they knew cross the finish line. Its just a shame they weren’t cheering for me like you see on tv. I was handed a water bottle & a colour packet after crossing the finish line. The colour packet I got was fluoro green.

Finish Festival

After I found my friends & we colour bombed each other with our colour packets we headed over to the stage for the finish festival. Not being close to the stage I wasn’t expecting to see much when they did the first colour throw. Boy was I wrong! I think some people near me had a colour packet or two because I got drenched & probably closed my eyes & mouth just in time. It looks incredible though.
After the first colour throw we decided to get out of there. It seemed like a long walk back to the car after that. I fell asleep for a little while on the way home. I was home in time for lunch & still had the rest of my Sunday to enjoy.

RELATED: 2014 Melbourne Colour Run

Heat Pack Tutorial

As I make crochet bunnies for the babies when I am invited to a baby shower, I decided I should also make something for the mum to be.

The design is essentially a small scale pillowcase.

2014 Resolutions

Starting a blog has been on my mind for a little while, I have finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.
It’s fitting that the first blog post is about new year’s resolutions. I created these in the first week of January but am yet to share them with anyone. They started off in point form but I have expanded them since those reading this know absolutely nothing about me.

Personal

  • Wear jeans less often – I feel like I always wear jeans, they are my go to. I feel like I’m known as the person that always wears jeans.


  • Read 100 books – I love to read & have been keeping track of the books I have read since 2011.


  • Create a blog & possibly a youtube channel – ta da!!


  • Seriously consider further study – I feel like I should be looking to improve my career & branch out a little.


  • Run 2km in 10 minutes – This was also on last years list too. I have managed a new personal best this year.


  • Run/jog 5km without having to slow to a walk – I don’t think I can call myself a runner if I have to slow to a walk because I am out of breath or have a stitch I can’t call myself a runner. Silly, I know.


  • Write a letter to my nan at the end of every month – My nan lives about 3 hours away & I only get to see her a few times a year. It’s also hard to make the time to pick up the phone. So I can update her on my life through letters.

Household

  • Start saving – I’d like to start investing & would like a little nest egg to start off with. It also doesn’t hurt to have some funds available in case of an emergency.

 

  • Garden more – I find weeding quite rewarding so I’m sure I can find something else to do in the garden that makes me feel the same way.

 

  • Move the office into a bedroom – Again the office space is not very functional where it is at the moment.

 

  • Continue to experiment in the kitchen with both sweet & savory foods – This was on my list last year & I did really well with it. I really like to experiment in the kitchen. I also think that some of my best recipes came out of just making it up as I go.

 

  • Meal plan – I’m tired of getting home after work & realising something needs to be organised for dinner. I hope to sit down once a week or so & plan what is for dinner. Then I can make sure we have the ingredients on hand & we know what’s expected at dinner.

 

  • Stop using credit cards to pay for things – I don’t want to rely on credit cards to pay for larger things like car registration & rates.

 

  • Clean out the spare bedrooms – We have been in our house for one and a half years now & still have a ‘junk room’, I’d just like the rooms to be more functional.