I live in one of the most beautiful places in Australia – according to ME. I have a job I love (most of the time), 3 beautiful girls, who are old enough now to be independent…but still need their Mummy. #1 is nearly 21, lives with BF, #2 is nearly 18, saving hard for a gap year in the UK and # 3 is 14, loves One Direction and the Hunger Games. Hubby and I have been married 21 years and I don’t know what I would do with out him.

I spend far too much time on the computer – often pretending to work, so when all my words with friend’s games are played and the gossip and news of the world read, I will BLOG.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas is over

Well Christmas is done and dusted for another year, we now have New Years Eve and all of it revelry to look forward to. *** the revelry will belong to others as I have an early morning on New Years Day, very early #3 needs to meet fellow scout members at 5 am to go to Australian Jamboree 2013 for 10 days***
This year for Christmas we broke with the tradition and went to Daughter #1's flat for lunch, she even broke away from our traditional food of turkey, ham and salad to cook us an Asian BBQ, she went all out and cooked, prawns, chicken and pork, all with different marinades and sauces. Asian style salads and cocktails. It was a great meal with none of the over eating usually associated by Christmas lunch. 

With money being a bit short this year not a huge amount was spent on each other, HWMBO will be getting his gift of a saw (a special type of saw) when it comes on special in January. #1 & #2 both understood they would only get something small after all they have celebrated milestone birthdays last month. #3 got her AJ2013 as her primary gift. They were all pleases with the tokens they got to open on Christmas morning....in fact they were all very pleased with their gifts.

Me I asked for a work station....we have a spare room - currently storing junk and HWMBO's work. I have located some timber that will be perfect for a bench - I am even prepared to share my space with his work. This will happen in the new year.

I was very surprised by HWMBO, I had seen a camera charm a few months ago and pointed out that I would like something similar only bigger (the one I saw was about 15 mm) he made me one 40 mm. It is a little different to the one I saw - you know the whole plagiarism thing. I soooo love this I have worn it every day and can't wait to show all my photographer friends.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Secret Santa

This year we decided as a family to do a Secret Santa gift, rather than buy a gift for everyone (thankfully this was decided before I realized how much money I would be spending with the 18th and 21st birthdays).

The rules to the family SS = simple and yet confusing

#1 Maximum spend $20
#2 gift had to be suitable for everyone (take in to account 2 children under 18)
#3 the gift had to fit into a box - all boxes were the same size and wrapped with the same paper
#4 you could not keep your own gift
#5 you could swap.

A family lunch at mine the weekend before Christmas, this was a good day lunch was a downsized Christmas feast, with turkey, ham and plenty of salad. (we usually have pork, chicken and prawns as well) desert was less than usual, I didn't make the standard pavlova - I found a great recipe for Mango Misu 

Seriously YUMMMO

The SS gifts work really well, with everyone wanting to swap for mine.

A DIY sundae kit, I saw something similar on Pinterest (mine was nowhere near as well done, but the family didn't know that

Getting in to the spirit of Christmas is very hard when you are broke with bills needing to be paid, so when I saw a post on Facebook inviting me to join a social network Secret Santa, I joined in. This was a huge amount of fun and I now have a few more 'friends'.

This is a link to the 'rules' 


I was linked to the organizer....OMG this created quite a bit of stress and panic, I had to impress the 'boss'. When I calmed down and thought about it I realized I was lucky, I had been following her blog for a few months and was already getting a feel for what she was like. 
Stupidly I didn't take a picture of the gifts, only after they were wrapped, I had my sister make a couple of coat hanger covers, I then brought a coffee cup with a blue wren on it - my favorite bird and a Christmas book mark and note book. 

I also had a not so secret Santa in Minnesota, she asked if anyone from Australia wanted to exchange gifts, I jumped at the chance and I am glad I did, she sent me some lovely local gifts. She stalked me well, so well she even sent me a tea bag holder with a hummingbird on it, I love hummingbirds and would love to have the opportunity to see one.

My other gift came from the south of Brisbane, she sent me a gorgeous camera strap cover among other things (this was my favorite) She either made a really good guess or has a DSLR and gets annoyed with the sweaty strap as I do. 

This has been a hugely fun experience, for a small outlay I have made new friends and received unexpected gifts.

Looking forward to next years exchange.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Fun Weekend

Although the weekend seems like a long time ago (it is Wednesday and I have had a busy few days at work) I had the best time last weekend. After a few hours work on Saturday I meet with some of my favorite photographers for lunch and a natter.

We checked in to an amazing hotel overlooking the Story Bridge, the room was booked for 6 people, there was a double bed, 2 singles, a fold out sofa and a trundle bed. We were tossing for beds and debating which 2 of us would share the double bed, I kept quite during the talk discussion, listening to the comments of ' I don't mind', 'I snore', 'I wiggle'.  It was finally decided who would share so I gave my reason for not wanting to share....I cuddle, I have been married for over 20 years, I have only ever spent a few nights away from HWMBO, the last time I shared a bed with someone not him (my mum) I snuggled all night. I got the the sofa bed!

We meet with more of the Jpeg photographers for coffee and planning of the night shoot. With no real plan in mind we followed the river walk for shots of the bridges of Brisbane - of course the sun set was a fail, it often is when I am with a group of people...my photo of the William Jolly Bridge was very bland - just plain boring.

After the sun went down the photos got better, Brisbane really is a pretty city
This is my post card photo....the view on all the postcards for Brisbane.

As night fell we walked to Southbank all of us looking for a 'different perspective' our photo challenge for the month, my different perspective...is more of a reflection - still a different view of the Brisbane Wheel.

I had to get a photo of the Lord Mayors Christmas Tree, it is so pretty. I tried to use the cut out for bokeh - I thought there was too much light, but later discovered I was doing it wrong. 

After hours of walking, we made our way back to the hotel, with grand plans of doing a light painted group photo in the botanical gardens...sore feet and a few glasses of champagne blew this plan out of the water. I took a few photos of the balcony - laughing at the girls who were scared of heights, something that has never bothered me - I knew I was safe (the rail was above waist high and I didn't put any of my weight on it - I know all about metal fatigue, thanks to HWMBO)

Playing with a cutout on my lens to create bokeh happy with the result, will try again - I have a plan

view from the room with 2 single beds

It is funny how when you get a group of girls together for a sleep over there is always late night games and giggling no matter how old we are - we had a ninja ghost stealing toes and taking sleeping photos for Facebook. (Which was removed as soon as it was discovered)

Early morning breakfast and walk around the markets before a trip to Woody Point, not ideal time for photos in the middle of the day, however the site has potential for late afternoon or early morning. I played a lot in photoshop with this result, which I love btw.

The end of year break up for the Jpegs finished my weekend, lots of food, people and photos at Bribie Island. Last year it was raining and I didn't get my camera out of the car even though there where Tawny Frog Mouths spotted in a tree near by. Not only did I find the tree the birds were nesting in I found two Tawnies awake and happy to have their photos taken. I was very excited and kept my find too myself until I got some photos.

Again the sunset was a fail....Andrew (the Mentor) kindly told me it is not my fault that it is my fault that the sunsets fail when I am around....which leads me to wonder how often people chase the sunset/sunrise when the conditions look perfect but mother nature takes away the magic. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Favorite photo

This months challenge is supposed to be an easy one....choose your favorite photo for 2012. Not as easy as it sounds. I picked a few I am happy with, then asked the family which one they thought was best. Of course they all liked different ones. In the end it was between two I took at this years Ekka. I chose this one.

I have had a crappy week or so, not much time at all for social networking, most days I am lucky if I get on Facebook. It is a busy time of year at work with University Graduations. I have Christmas break ups and people who want to catch up before Christmas and there was the birthday parties and celebrations. I have also had to contend with the hangovers from these parties and gatherings. I often plan not to drink, but when I am not driving one drink turns to 2 and 3 and 4.....

I have had a week of breakages as well, I dropped my iPad...I thought I was lucky and no damage was done, until I wanted to charge it, nothing, nada, zip. Apple couldn't have given me better service, it was out of warranty - yeah I know that, what happens now...they send it away and Apple says that it can't be repaired, so replace it with another one. Ok I am good with this, how much? $235.00. AND we will cut out the middle man and do it while you wait. This was the best result I could have hoped for. ***I was sure I would have to buy a new one*** 

Next to go was the microwave, the lights work, the turn table turns, but no heating. I am so used to having a microwave I forgot that I needed to cook my veges in a pan making dinner late for the last 3 nights. Small things, like defrosting a bread roll for lunch drove me insane. In the junk mail there was advertising for a 20% off for VIP Members at our local Good Guys today, after 5 days of no instant heat. Life in the kitchen has returned to normal.

The fan stopped working on the same day as the microwave....and this was a 32oC day, fortunately the weather gods have been kind and given us a few days of cooler temps and rain. (I picked up a new fan today at the sale)

My computer at work caught a random virus (not my fault) and everything needed to be reloaded, as this was done remotely a lot of my programs for work were not loaded, so for 3 days I could only do half my work. Then there was the catch up....

My baby girl Lilly hurt her leg, so she has been to the vet today. We are hoping it is muscular and will be better for some anti inflammatory medication will fix it. The other options are just too horrible to think about at the moment.

Today was the day to restore order to my house, I have a new microwave, fan and the puppy will get better after her trip to the vet. 

I have a big weekend with lots of photography and friends planned. So lots of photos soon.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The anti everything.....

I did it again.....I ruined a photography shoot

I finished work early, so checked in with RQQZY and AH to see if they had plans for a sunset shoot, the boardwalk at Caloundra had been recommended to them so this is where we met. I love this part of Caloundra, there is rocks and a winding boardwalk, views of the Glasshouse Mountains and surfers both young and old.
Everything looked perfect, there were light fluffy clouds, the tide was coming in, kids were playing, mums where reading, couples sharing a romantic walk, surfers riding the waves and even a few cargo ships coming and going. Then 20 mins before the sun went down, a haze hide the mountains and storm clouds covered the sun.

I have been blamed before when the sunset fails, the Mentor has asked me to join him a few times for a sunset shoot - every one a fail, I met with RQQZY last week for coffee and a sunset at Point Cartwright, all the makings of an amazing sky, but nothing....NADA.....ZIP.

I got to thinking about the some of other photo opportunities I have ruined, 

  • Coffee with the Jpegs at Caloundra last year - rain and gale force winds
  • Night shoot in Brisbane - rain
  • Camping at Yabbalumba - rain (for forty days and forty nights)
  • Sunset at Point Cartwright with the Mentor - no colour
  • Sunset at Moffet beach with Mel - high tide
  • The Christmas break up at Bribie - rain
  • Sunset at Moffet beach with Mentor - clouds blow away
  • Blue wren photos with Mentor - birds that were there for 3 previous days gone...without a trace
  • Sunset with HWMBO at Shelly Beach - Fail

It has been suggested that I preform some sort of ritual before going on a photoshoot with others....I wont tell you what was suggested. Lets just say it is not gunna happen.

This is all in fun, I know I am not at fault (i think), I always come away from every shoot with a photo I am happy with, even if it is not the one I planned. I get a bit of a kick out of the title and I wear it with pride, it is not everyone that thwarts mother nature. 

All jokes aside, I was happy with my photos from last night, not a magic sunset, but an awesome moon rise. Followed by a night photo at Bullcock Beach. 

Moon Rise looking towards Kings Beach

Couple taking a romantic stroll

Surf school

Mum waiting for surf school to finish....enjoying time to herself

the dark clouds roll in as the sun sets

Bullcock Beach night lights, families enjoying BBQ's and fish and chips

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Talent or lack there of

Working again on a Sunday....I don't mind, the event I am working is fun and everyone is having a good time. I am lucky really my job description is Events Co-ordinator, if I worked in the public sector I would have to work a lot of nights and most weekends, once or twice a month is not such a bad thing, especially since I demanded (because I am entitled) 2 days off in a row when working weekends, I think I am getting too old for split days off and 7 day working weeks.

While listening to a beautiful young lady sing and play the guitar, a work colleague and I were talking about her talent and how we would like to have a talent. This got me thinking... 'what is my talent?' does everyone have a talent?' I would be keen to know what other peoples talents are  - and what they think mine is.

I think my talent is -------, I really don't know, I am a good photography - but there are others (lots) that are better, I am a good organiser - is that a talent? Is procrastinating  a talent? Coz I am very good at that.
HWMBO is easy he is a talented silversmith and handyman. I would like my talent to be photography.....yep I am going to go with that. ***actually I would like my talent to be mind reading***

I do have a talent for pissing people off - or maybe it is the other way around I have a talent for being pissed off. 
Shopping on Friday was one of them most unpleasant experiences I have had for a long time, I was having a good day, I was full of thoughts about what I was going to buy and where I was going to get it from (I am doing a secret Santa/gift exchange with  social network group....it is very exciting). BUT the shopping center was busy with lots of kids (that should have been in school) and older people and everyone was in a hurry or just rude. A 3 shops I had people push in front of me to get to the cashier first, I had one person snatch the trinket I was reaching for away from me (there was 5 of the same thing she must have thought the one I was closest too was best). When I decided enough was enough of the personal shopping I did the groceries...Big mistake....HUGE! The crowds followed me, they parked their trolleys in the aisles, they stood 3 abreast, they jostled and pushed me, one person rammed me with a trolley while I was waiting to get past a couple who where leaning on trolleys talking.

While I am not a rude person (most of the time) it was the final straw when I was waiting at the check out to have an older couple ask if they could go in front of me as they only had one thing. I snapped and said 'No you can't there is express and self serve check outs use them'. OMG you would think I slapped them. I had one lady call me a bitch, another stare like I grew 2 heads. I didn't care I was my right! ***Ok I did feel bad, but seriously if they were teenagers would I still have been called a bitch... I think not***

I finished shopping, sulked at home for a bit, then met with the friend for a coffee and a photo shoot, crappy sunset. Good conversation and fantastic people.

This morning puppy woke me up hours before I had to leave to go to work so I took a few photos in the garden. I really should do this more often, sometimes you need to look at what you have before searching for something else.

Lilly is now 5 months old and very cheeky

I love my frangapani trees

Friday, 16 November 2012

The FORMAL = Best dress in the world

Finally the night all teenage girls look forward to was Wednesday. THE FORMAL...

This week has all been about #2, she has had a week long birthday, her formal dinner, the after party, her actual birthday, the last day of school and now she has gone to schoolies week...
Everything has gone as so easy, I hope schoolies doesn't upset the rhythm
Shopping for the dress was a dream - 

  • 1 shop
  • 4 dresses
  • 1 hour

We both thought the dress was nice and stunning, just another pretty formal dress, NA AH. The compliments she got were amazing
'Best dress ever', 'Nicest formal dress I have ever seen' and from the 'IT' girls. OMG I am so jealous! The boys she has spent most of her school life with stopped for a second look, #2 is a bit of a dag, she is happy in jumpers and shorts, so to see her looking so stunning was a surprise to her classmates. 

The after party was an eye opener, I am only know what I was told....a few boys got very drunk very quickly - throwing up and passing out within the first hour or so, one of her friends drank more than she should have and #2 looked after her. I think it was an eye opener as my girls don't drink...it is not that they are not allowed, they chose not too. 

Today she is of to Rainbow Beach with three friends for schoolies week, I trust all of them to look out for each other...but I would not be a mother if I didn't worry a bit, I will stalk her facebook while she is away. - this is my job.




Running late

At the beach with Asti

wind and chiffon don't mix

Beautiful Girls

The transport

Beautiful girl
Saying goodbye to the teacher - trying not to cry

18 now first bottle of champange

the cake!

HWMBO and I have produced 3 beautiful girls.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Baby shows and movies

This week it is all about #2, she is turning 18, graduating from high school and had her formal and first big party with alcohol.
Soooo to share the love I took #3 to see the last Twilight movie on the day it was released (ok we all know it was because I wanted to see it!). We laughed, cried purred (rolls tongue with delight) when Jacob took his clothes off and we PHEWED when there was a twisted that I didn't see coming. I have read the books (and listened to them on audio book) so I was a bit surprised with the end of the movie. There was a bit of creative license by the producer. This is all I am going to say, I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

We got to the shopping center early, wanting to get tickets for the early session of the movies - I have a busy week (running around with #1). Central court was full of prams and babies and toddlers all dressed in frills and ribbons - A baby show.  Not that I have anything against thinking your baby is the sweetest, cutest most beautiful baby in the world (I know mine were). BUT do you have to parade them around like cattle in the middle of a shopping center. I had noticed a few particular mothers when we walked pasted the first time, after the movie and lunch these women (girls) were still there with their babies. 3 hours waiting around for some overweight and seemingly overbearing matron to give you a $5 trophy and a sash with 'most placid baby' printed on it. Seriously!

The shopping center I frequent is in a low socioeconomic area (it is the closest). The population is predominantly overweight with a high percentage of teen pregnancies. After the baby show yesterday I counted a group of  14 mums with young babies there was at least 8 girls under 18, they all had tattoo and the whole group was smoking (this was outside the shopping center near the banks) As I was waiting for #2 to join us I sat and watched this group for a bit. Some doted on their babies, some ignored theirs completely, this was not a mothers group like I attended - sharing tips, getting advice, talking with an other adult and socializing our babies, this was a group of school girls who all set out to have babies so they could leave school and get government payments.

I am not being harsh or generalizing I listened to their conversations and overheard a 'grandmother' yelling that she would not look after the F##ken baby while 'YOU slut around and get the government money'. I feel sorry for the babies, they are going to grow up thinking this is the way it is so they wil have babies while they are still babies and the cycle will continue.

Oh well, I know my girls are loved and have a happy, healthy home life. We talk everyday and I know what they do - good, bad and ugly. 

#2 has opened her presents and is ready for the last day of school - not that is a day, she has a BBQ in the morning, a talk about the big bad world, then parents watch as the whole school claps and send them on their way.

#1 is coming to spend the day with us and will help me prepare the birthday dinner. 

Photos from formal coming soon.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The last week of school

The last week of school - EVER is pretty special for every year 12 student, #2 daughter has reached this milestone this week and it is super special for her as she turns 18 on the very last day.

There is never much work done in this week, exams are finished assignments marked. This week is all about getting ready for 'Formal' on Wednesday night, booking the hairdresser, the nail place and the friend for make up. Then there is scheduling it all so Mum (me) get plenty of time to take 'Formal' photos at the beach. Thursday is a recovery day with no school, when #1 graduated they had to go to school on the day after Formal, they were all taken to the the beach to swim out the hangovers from the after party. This year common sense prevails and the year 12s get the day off to recover. ( I heard a rumor that there is the worry about kids still being over the limit and driving to school)

She kicked of her week with a party on Saturday night, very low key with her besties and a jumping castle. It rained all night so they spent more time talking then jumping. (All but one of the girls all left at 9:30pm which I thought was very strange - I like to think it was the rain the sent them running not our party)

The kit kat lasagna was a hit, one girl described it as a bowl full of awesomeness http://rozzy35.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/kit-kat-lasagna.html
Because I poured hot melted white chocolate over the honeycomb layer it slightly melted into this yummy gooey mess full of mini marshmallows and smarties.

Not many photos from the night - it was raining after all. Cameras and rain are not a good combination.

Sunday was very windy and an extremely lazy day for all, I was the only one out of bed at 9am (I got up at 6am to let the puppy out)  the jumping castle was blown up and everyone had a play before it got taken away.
***old ladies like me should not be allowed on jumping castles....boobs go flying and there is that fear of no bladder control - made worse by the laughing, my time on the castle was short and any plans I may have had of getting on a jumping castle when alcohol was involved are gone (I always thought it would be a heap of fun when drinking)***

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Death by Chocolate

Kit Kat Lasagna

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook, a kit kat lasagna...it looked wickedly decadent, totally fattening and delicious. Daughter #2 is having her first 18th birthday party on Saturday. I figure she has booked a jumping castle, there is no alcohol and all girls this would be a good birthday cake.

I turned all this

into this

Maybe not all of it....the dish was as big as I thought it was, there was almost half of everything (except the chocolate melts) left. I didn't use the maltessers ***these are my favourites, they have been saved for when the chocolate fairy visits me***

Layer 1

Wafer biscuits - I could have used kit kat but didn't think the extra chocolate was required

Layer 2

Crushed chocolate honeycomb, using a zip lock bag and a meat mallet is the quickest and cleanest way of crushing anything I have found.

Layer 3

Melted white chocolate (this is to represent the cheese sauce)

Layer 4 

More wafer biscuits

Layer 5 

Mini Marshmallows

Layer 6

Melted milk chocolate 

Layer 7


Layer 8

More melted chocolate

 Layer 9

Pop rocks  (A Heston Blumenthal favourite)

Final layer

Kit Kat

I am hoping none of the girls go in to a diabetic coma after eating this - I will be sure to give them a piece to take home with them - only so it is not left in my house! I have just lost 15kg....I don't plan on putting it back on with one desert!