Monday, 22 September 2014

Happy Monday

It has been a big week. There has been a lot of worry, a bit of busyness, very little business and a few exquisite moments that remind me why we keep battling on day after day. So, without further ado...

Things that made me happy this week:

:: A new word by one of the Shakespeares of our time: Conundrumified. If you have never read Eden's blog you just gotta. It can be hard-going, her younger brother committed suicide almost a year ago and she is grieving hard, but the way she writes cuts through so much of the fluffy fakeness in the world and deals the the stuff that matters. And she creates new words, or at least is influential enough that new words she uses may just become part of the Oxford dictionary. In the same post I saw this awesome new word, she shared this extraordinary little film by Shane Koyczan, spoken word poet, writer and performer. Another Shakespeare. Extraordinary people.

:: Warm jackets and cold nights and heading out when you really don't want to do anything more than curl into a foetal position and cry, but being glad you did leave the house because you are part of something, a new little fledgling group of like-minds and it makes you feel so bloody special.

:: The dog cave
By Michelle of Life Outside London

Isn't it exquisite!

She ripped off the door of a Harry Potter cupboard and created one of my favourite rooms ever.
I would give it a go except I store wine under the stairs, and Ted believes he is a 'people' so would probably just sniff derisively at the cave before heading upstairs to his dog-shaped groove on the bed.

:: Cupcakes. The definition of cupcakes should be "happy making cakes". Completely impractical, too high to eat easily and with an odd icing to cake ratio; yet they can make even middle-aged, cynical men (with a man-cold on board!) smile and reach for another. I made these for a co-worker about to go on maternity leave. Once they (the cupcakes) had finished cheering up the lunchroom (and curing man-colds), she took the rest home to her three-year old who was so delighted by them. One of the problems with this world we live in is that there are not enough cupcakes topped with shiny balls. The problems of the world can be helped by fandangled cakes people! Lets get onto it.

Happy Monday.

What made you happy this week?

Friday, 19 September 2014

10 tips on getting a dog

In the 2012-2013 financial year 49189 dogs were received by the RSPCA (this is their report). Of these, 17946 were reclaimed; leaving a staggering 31233 dogs to be re-homed, of which 10355 were euthanised. If you've ever loved a dog (or a cat, the statistics for cats are even worse) this is mindblowingly tragic.

I once had to re-home two beautiful spoodles; Ernie and Maisie. My long term relationship ended, he didn't want to keep them and I (financially) had to move into a share house. It was impossible to find shared rentals in (Brisbane) Australia that would allow two indoor (one highly challenging) dogs. It took time to find them homes and they both ended up with very loving owners. But I don't know if I will ever get over it. I am tearing up writing about them and still have dreams where I am trying to save them (often from a flood!?!). When I got Ted I committed to being his forever mum. One dog is much easier to manage than two and he has been treated and trained to be suitable to live anywhere I may need to. I am not making the same mistake twice and I don't want you to ever suffer the heartbreak I did so I put together this practical little guide. I am no expert, there are plenty of guides out there from experts; this is based on my own experience, research and time working with rescue groups.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Happy Monday

It has been a big two weeks since my last Happy Monday post. I think The Sweet Swap was a worthy diversion though (I am linking back the recipes as they become available so keep an eye out - if you want to get your inner child squealing with delight I suggest you make the Musk Sticks). I do enjoy writing my Happy Monday posts though. Do you enjoy reading them? Or are they just self-indulgent and dull? Someone commented the other day that bloggers are narcissistic, which is kind of sitting with me. I think some are, but the vast majority are pretty humble, empathetic individuals just striving to be a part of something- whatever that means for them. I met a whole bunch on Saturday and that is certainly the impression I got. Anyway, feedback appreciated :)

cherry blossom australia spring melbourne

Things that made me happy this week (well, fortnight really):

Friday, 12 September 2014

Brunch Art {Ascot Food Store Review}

I once did a course on Food Presentation. When I enrolled I thought I was going to learn how to make cakes look nice, I should have read the fine print, it was on food styling- I spent four weeks learning how to paint a raw chicken so it looks golden and roasted, and the best way to sprinkle coconut. I have never needed those chicken skills again and I like a natural approach to my coconut sprinkling (read as: I give myself about 2 minutes for food shots before I hoover it down- style queen I ain't). However, my lack of skill makes me appreciate those with the gift even more, so when I noticed plates arranged like artworks slipping into my newsfeed, there was no question I would be trying Ascot Food Store sooner rather than later.

I had read reviews on Urbanspoon about their excellent service and my experience was no exception. I showed up about 11am on a Monday and asked very awkwardly for a table for one (I never dine alone but it is something I would like to embrace). The waitress enquired if would I like somewhere a little quieter where I could chill out, and took me through to the cute, smaller back room. This was the first big tick for me, the previous house, turned Spanish deli, turned cafe has multiple dining areas which allows you a choice between large public area (and people-watching fodder) or somewhere you can tuck up and read a book, or, let's face it, Instagram your little heart out.
ascot food store back room