Monday, January 27, 2014


What would my “natural” sleep order look like?

I love an afternoon nap. I actually think that it benefits me. Others do coffee, read, play virtual games. I like to sleep. No, I didn’t use the word nap though I do like to nap too.

Nap vs sleep
Less vs more
Keeps things at bay vs restorative
Nanna vs hedonistic
Daydream vs dream
Cheeky vs carefree

Anyways – I think if I didn’t have external constraints such as children and work I’d sleep at least 2 hours every afternoon anytime from 3pm onwards. Even if I’m able to commitment wise,  I often don’t cause I’m worried about it being too late and how it will affect my slumber that evening. Of course, this leads on to thoughts of what would my daily patterns be if my work was flexible and I didn’t have to factor in my children.

I don’t think I’d wake til 9.30/10 am. I like then to have a walk and run errands in the morning then graze my way through to the afternoon with a vino or two, some reading, some arting then naturally time for a nap before pottering around to do dinner. After dinner I’d socialize or get down and dirty art-wise til maybe 11pm then shower and time for bed. Sounds good to me!

Of course, work and kids and other people don’t necessarily follow this schedule – ah,well..

Transplanting myself into another place wouldn’t work as I’d be too busy exploring it to settle into such a schedule. This is not a question easily answered but that's okay.

Below is an interesting link. I particularly relate to 'late sleeper' prejudice. This website is very interesting in general. Lots of ideas to mull over. Have a look if you have time.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I love my local day spa.

 It’s so close and they provide you with a glass of wine. They have the cutest cat whose name is Coco…’s my house.

Last week I had thought that as a part of Mandypalooza I would indulge myself with a manicure, pedicure, facial etc. Well..let’s just say that the extended heatwave certainly sorted the sauna bit of the day spa experience.
I gave myself a manicure easy enough finishing with a rather fetching shade of purple polish. Pedicures require longer arms or greater flexibility than possibly I have though……

Hair colour – I’ve done this plenty of times. It’s relatively easy and waaaay cheaper (my particular brand of choice is only $10 from Kmart).  I even have no issue trimming my hair which is easy enough on long straight hair. Whilst my hair colour was brewing – time for a facial mask.

You might be surprised of what beauty products you find if you open your cupboards. All you need is time, which I had as part of Mandypalooza and the two weeks I took off work.

I’m certainly not against indulgences with beauty professionals and I’m sure they use good quality products. In fact, I love receiving vouchers for such services. My point is , you might be surprised at how many appropriate products you have in your cupboards already. Bring them out and plan your own day spa. If needed, you can buy quite good quality stuff from your local shops, even your supermarket or chemist these days.

Spend your money in the way you choose - professional or personal indulgence – just indulge and enjoy – it’s Mandypalooza afterall….

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I've had some interesting discussions with various people lately about how we get described and how we would describe ourselves. At times, I've had words thrown at me that were meant to be an insult and I've readily and happily taken them on with my response of "yes, yes I am!"

Now I'm not saying that these below all apply to me. 

Negative                            Positive

aggressive                         assertive
stubborn                            determined/willful
aloof/stand-off-ish              independent
impulsive                           spontaneous
lazy                                  knows how to relax/take things easy
pedantic                            relaxed
hedonist                            knows how to enjoy life
cheap-skate                       thrifty
bossy                                good leader
easily distracted                 open to new ideas
messy                               eclectic design sense
glutton                              gourmand

I'd love to add to the list

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Currently I'm being forced to rest up whilst recovering from being a tad unwell. Now this does give me a great chance to plan "Mandypalooza" - my birthday festival. I can't take credit for the fabulous title - my delightful partner was the brains behind that one. In fact, he's already done some excellent scheming bringing plans together and I'm very chuffed about that.

I'm thinking coffee out with friends, manicure, pedicure, lunch out, take away in front of movies, pre-dinner cocktails, lavish romantic dinner....and more.

Someone even suggested that one's birthday festival should last as many days as one is old. Whilst I'm not going to that extreme, I am having at least 16 days of Mandypalooza.

The first step was to take two weeks off work, having already worked extra shifts over Christmas/New Year period the finances would be okay. That way I will have plenty of time to fit all my Mandypalooza activities in. Planning is integral so as not to double book - making sure I allow plenty of time for sleeping in and naps of course.

So anyways... Mandypalooza starts... NOW!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Life is very very good.

So I know that I haven't posted in a while but I've been taking it really easy just eating and drinking and sleeping in and a spot of shopping the sales with my daughters - so yeah, all the good stuff in life.

My partner and I have a list of all the places we want to visit to eat or drink or other. He's new to Melbourne so we are enjoying our time exploring the city - him for the first time and me anew. I'm sure you all recall the "personalised tour" post..... I am actually a big fan of our special Melbourne weather. It also helps that I'm a jacket aficionado...(in joke there about our famous four seasons in one day Melbourne weather).

I generally have worked in hospitality and sales all my life so I'm not really used to having time off at this time of year. However, I could get used to it. When the biggest decision in your day is whether or not to have a nap, you know that life is good. As I sit here on a gorgeous sunny afternoon, having walked this morning and achieved enough housework to alleviate any guilt I can sip my chilled white wine knowing that I can either pick up my book or nod off for a while. 

Life is not only good. Life is very very good.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Some of you will think I’ve finally gone too far and some of you will think I’ve come just far enough. 
Peanut Butter Brownies….

No, it’s nothing quite as simple as swirling some peanut butter through your standard brownie mix…oh no!

First you make the almost sickeningly rich fudgey brownie base layer, then when that has cooled you whip up a butter creamy peanut butter layer and smooth that neatly (?) over then once that has set to some degree in the fridge you drizzle over chocolate ganache and sprinkle chopped peanuts.

Oh, I should have mentioned don’t try and achieve anything else that day. Between the dishes created, the time spent gathering your ingredients at the supermarket, measuring, baking then cooling and you sneaking a taste at every stage it pretty took up the bulk of my day – though perhaps I should mention that I didn’t get out of bed till noon.

The point is this – I’m on holidays. My time is my own. If I want to waste a day making a recipe that has caught my eye some months ago but I can’t justify making as I’ll probably only have a small piece of as it actually even reads too rich for my blood – then I will!

At this point, it’s almost 6pm and it’s setting in the fridge.  Maybe, I should start thinking about what to do for the kids for dinner. For myself, I couldn’t touch another thing. My senses have been satiated by the mere act of cooking that dish, and if I’m to be honest, which I am, all the sneaky little tastes along the way.

This evening I look forward to browsing another half dozen cookbooks I picked up recently from the library. Who knows what will happen next?

Here’ s an abbreviated version of the recipe. The odd quantities come from the fact that I translated it from an American recipe.

1/Melt 250g butter + 285g dark chocolate together.
Whisk 1 cup white sugar + 1 cup brown sugar + 3 eggs together
Combine sugar and chocolate mixes together.
Stir in 1 cup plain flour + 1/3 cup cocoa powder (both sifted)
Bake for 30 min @ 180 degrees in a 33cm x 23cm lined tin then cool
2/ Blend 185g butter + 1 cup smooth peanut butter(just short of 375g jar)
Then add 2 cups icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and mix till creamy.
Spread evenly over cooled brownie base (smooth with the back of a spoon heated in hot water) then refrigerate.
3/ Heat 1/3 cup cream and whisk in 115g chocolate bits and stir. Drizzle artistically over peanut butter layer and sprinkle with ½ cup chopped peanuts..

Ta da!