Sunday, January 31, 2010

tagged! 25 random things about me!

I've been tagged!

Tagged by Kelly over at Kellyansapansa to share '25 random things about me!'

Here I go!

1. I am left handed.
2. My Mum was born in Egypt, my Dad Australia.
3. My sister is 2 years younger than me, my brother 5 years younger, that makes me the eldest!
4. I passed my driver’s licence test on my second attempt. I can’t even remember how I managed to fail the first time but I did!
5. I unfortunately can’t swim, something I’m not proud of but I have never been able to get it!
6. I knew my Great Grandmother.
7. My mail is delivered to a post office box.
8. I own lots and lots of cookbooks, yes I’m addicted!
9. I have a subscription to the great food mag “SFI, Super Food Ideas”, yes I like to cook and need inspiration to satisfy the family.
10. I love spending time in the garden but lately have been neglecting it a little, it sure is time to get out there again!
11. I worked for the largest oil company in the world for 11 years.
12. I love eating out at a ‘nice’ restaurant.
13. I’ve always wanted to study Journalism, and now I am! I love news and newspapers.
14. I recently started writing for a monthly community newspaper and love it!
15. My goal is to get paid to work from home, writing.
16. I am fairly terrible at all things mathematical.
17. I’ve got my eye on a new camera, a digital SLR, the Canon EOS, saving my dollars for this one at the moment.
18. I drive a 4WD.
19. Family and friends are very important to me. I love the opportunity to spend time with both.
20. At the moment I’m reading Mia Freedmans’s ‘Mama Mia’
21. I got an iPhone in December and love it! I text and email a lot!
22. I take multivitamins and see a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner for all my ‘alternative’ therapy needs.
23. I’m a fan of ‘My Friend the Chocolate Cake’, I hear you asking who are they? They are a brilliant musical group based in Melbourne. Their music has an emphasis on piano and violin. Their acoustic style quite unique.
24. My dear friend Emma over at ‘Starting in Sweden’ introduced me to ‘Loobylu’ and the amazing world that is ‘blogging’, thanks Emma!
25. I created ‘life and the memoirs’ in October 2009, it took me until the 13th of December 2009 to ‘go live’ with my first post!

26. I had to add a number 26! My ‘baby’ starts school tomorrow, oh my :)

I'd like to tag the following bloggers to come up with a '25 random things about me!' list. I can guarantee it's not as scary as it might first seem :)

Engracia at "Lynwood Musings"
Thea at "My Year of Giving"
Amanda at "Homely One"

Hope you have fun compiling your list!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

working towards a deadline

I'm totally focused today on completing my stories for a community newspaper I've recently started writing for, my deadline tomorrow!

I'm relishing in the opportunity. Invaluable practical experience as I undertake completing a second degree, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism). This time around I'm studying from the comfort of home with the many distractions of my young family. I completed my first degree almost 20 years ago, the internet did not exist! I did not have a computer. I hand wrote all my essays. I can hardly remember the days before access to the internet, google, office and home computers. And now blogging! How times have changed.

I'll be back once I've hit the 'sent' button! That might be tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

living australian 2010

I recently became aware of AussieVault by the Australia Day Council of New South Wales.

The Australia Day Council of New South Wales is giving all Australians an opportunity to take part in new and exciting year long campaigns, a social history hub for all things Australian.

'AussieVault' is a chance to be part of history, an opportunity to share your thoughts on our nation's journey through various creative and meaningful campaigns.

'AussieVault' recently ran an online photographic campaign 'Living Australian 2010'. 1111 photographs were submitted across four categories, 'my heroes', 'my landscape', 'my life' and 'my sports'. To view these impressive images depicting 'Living Australian' click here.

Although the competition is closed, you can still participate in the 'Living Australian' campaign and share how you are' Living Australian'.

The winner 'Leap of Faith' by Kerryn Leworthy shown in this post.

Kerryn's photo for me, recalls my many happy memories as a child playing in the backyard under the garden hose and sprinkler with my siblings. Long before the days of 3A water restrictions.

Kerryn explains "This photo was taken in our backyard in November 2009. Due to high level water restrictions here in Queensland my five year old son had never played with a garden hose. We took advantage of relaxed water restrictions on this sweltering day and let the kids loose with the hose for fifteen minutes of fun. This image of my son Connor leaping into the blue plastic paddling pool toward his siblings conjures up many memories of the hours I spent with my sisters under the hose and sprinkler as children. To think of my own children never experiencing such pure, simple fun is unthinkable!"

The 1111 images picture the true Aussie spirit and way of life, enjoy! Happy Australia Day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

kindred spirits

Since starting this blog in December I have 'meet' many kindred spirits. Kindred spirit, "someone who feels and thinks the way you do".

I am connecting with people all over Australia, in fact the world. What an amazing opportunity and experience presented to me. I find it ever so interesting, and enjoy reading the posts of blogs I have chosen to 'follow'. Catching up on the latest blog posts is fast becoming both an essential and regular part of my day. I look forward to reading the latest posts and anticipate what the 'blogger' will have chosen to write about today.

Blogging is opening up the world around me. It's inspiring to share information and experiences, the good and the bad. Blogs I follow are written by women, women who in general possess and nurture a love of writing, reading, crafting, sewing, photography, cooking, gardening, family, a love of life. Women desire conversation and support, blogging provides this. The encouragement to post comes from knowing 'someone' will read my words, they may relate, they may connect, they may find it interesting, they may leave a comment.

For me blogging provides a space to reflect, to write, to connect, to learn, to be inspired and motivated to achieve my goals. In a sense it provides a journey of self discovery, incredible support from 'kindred spirits' and a great knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the world in which we interface.

Thank you 'kindred spirits' and new 'blogging friends' for sharing and being part of this journey with me.

What inspired you to create your blog and what is your inspiration to continue?

happy mail exchange

Recently I found fat mum slim the great blog written by Chantelle. Today Chantelle had an idea, to organise a Happy Mail Exchange.

Happy Mail Exchange is going to be an exchanging of goodies in the mail. If you like getting mail, and sending lovely things, this is for you. You'll be given a random person to send some goodies off to, in return you'll get some goodies from a random person.

If you'd like to play along go to fat mum slim for further details and to sign up. You can live anywhere in the world to join in. Great idea! Should be lots of fun too!

this week's charity

Last week I introduced you to My Year of Giving the brilliant idea of Thea Smith, to donate $5 each week to a different charity.

This week's charity is Angel Flight. Living in Melbourne I had not heard of Angel Flight, a charity that co-ordinates non-emergency flights to help country people trying to deal with bad health, poor finances and daunting distance. All flights are free and may involve patients travelling to medical facilities anywhere in Australia.

I'm finding My Year of Giving is a great way to start my week. Knowing that in some small way I have helped make a difference to someone in need is very satisfying.

Friday, January 22, 2010

a day out

School holidays almost over, where did the last 6 weeks go? We made the most of our Friday by visiting the Collingwood Children's Farm in Abbotsford. What a great day! Walking around, feeding and patting the animals followed by a lovely lunch at The Farm Cafe.

I highly recommend those in Melbourne take a visit. It's hard to believe you are only 5km from the centre of Melbourne. It's a magnificent not-for-profit community resource.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

australia day

How do you plan to celebrate Australia Day next Tuesday? Do you follow an annual tradition amongst the company of family and friends? Do you see our Australia Day Public Holiday as a bonus of a long weekend in January, an opportunity to get out of town for a couple of days? Will you participate in the Australia Day People's March, will you watch the Australia Day Fireworks display or will you attend one of the other officially organised Australia Day events?

How will spend your Australia Day this year?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

music to my ears

This morning while checking out Engracia's blog Lynwood Musings I was introduced to the ever talented brother-sister duo Angus and Julia Stone. My immediate reaction upon hearing their acoustic tones, "where have I been!" How is it that I had never heard their music previously!!

The dynamic duo hail from Sydney's Northern Beaches. Angus and Julia released their debut album A Book Like This in September 2007. Their music is acoustic, folk, alternative, music to my ears. Have a listen here.

I'm now a fan and can't wait for their new album Down The Way to be released in March. I'll be updating my iPod today!

I'm interested, am I the only one who hadn't heard the music of Angus and Julia Stone before??

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I've planned to stay in this afternoon, to cook dinner and something sweet. The boys continue to complete the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle 'Stumped'. The illustration of Australian Artist Max Mannix.

Max is a self taught Artist, who left his home in a small country town at the age of 16 and went on to spend 20 years in the Australian outback working in mustering camps, shearing sheds, droving and fencing.

His vivid paintings depict life in the Australian outback, as he experienced first hand. Max "knows" every character he paints, he is totally inspired by his experiences and years in the Australian outback. Every painting has a story.

His paintings have a unique personality. What a wonderful illustration for the boys to be 'working' with. The colour and detail are so real, so unique, so Australian.

Monday, January 18, 2010

my year of giving

I have mentioned previously I am a novice blogger. Literally spending hours of late checking out blogs. I guess you could say I am slightly addicted to blogging at the moment. While clicking away, reading with interest many blogs I stumbled across My Year of Giving the brilliant and totally inspiring idea of Thea Smith.

Earlier this month while watching the Today show and a segment on Jane McGrath Day at the cricket Thea had an absolutely brilliant idea! Her idea, to donate $5 every week to a different charity for this entire year. What an awesome idea!

You know when things happen and you just feel it was meant to be, I feel this way about how I just happened to find Thea and her brilliant idea. It was meant to be. I immediately joined Thea in her pledge to donate $5 every week to a different charity. I love the idea. We live a fortunate life, it feels good to support those less fortunate, those needing some support. What is $5 a week? To me $5 a week is one less coffee I indulge in during my week, plus some small change.

Three weeks into January and Thea and instigated donations to the McGrath Foundation, St Vincent de Paul (supporting Cate Bolt and her family) and today the Australian Red Cross (supporting the Haiti Earthquake Appeal).

$5 a week isn't much, it is however better than nothing, every single dollar counts. Each Monday Thea announces her charity for the week on the blog My Year of Giving she has created to track this totally inspiring idea.

Does anyone feel inclined to join us? Collectively we can make a difference.

Well done Thea!

Friday, January 15, 2010

nuturing friendship

During the week a girlfriend of many years and I arranged to catch up for dinner and a chat. Women seem to do this more than men. Women generally like to talk, about whatever is on their mind at the time. We couldn't recall the last time we'd caught up like this, although we had spoken regularly over the phone. We hadn't seen each other since at least mid October, so long ago now it seems. Having known each other for more than 20 years we are able to connect easily, regardless of time. Time doesn't alter the quality or nature of our friendship. How often are you able to catch up with special friends?

We live our lives, knowing the other is only a phone call away, when the other needs to vent or simply someone to share 'news' of the day with. Having such a fine friend is very special and something to treasure, never to be taken for granted.

We enjoyed a delicious meal at Santorini in Glenferrie Road Hawthorn. Our waiter Julian, a visitor from France, here in Melbourne for a short time, spending time to improve his English. A Frenchman in a Greek restaurant, now that's something I hadn't experienced before. A a true Frenchman, oh so charming and handsome, with such a delightful accent.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

a lovely letter

In only 17 days our 'baby' shall be starting school. He'll be leaving my side to spend the most part of his day without me. He will be joining his big brother so the transition for him hopefully will be a comfortable one. It is the start of a new phase in our lives, one I wished at times couldn't come soon enough but now I'm not so sure. The pre school years are over for us. How did we get to this point in what seems less than the actual 5 years? I remember vividly a mid wife walking us to our room from the birthing suite, he was simply so beautiful and still is.

Today he received a letter from his Prep teacher, how nice. Reminding him he will soon be starting school. Mrs A wrote she is looking forward to seeing him again and hearing the stories of how he spent his holidays. There will be a tub in the classroom with his name on it and a hook to hang up his school bag.

Life for us will 'change' on Monday the 1st of February 2010, too precious are the days and weeks ahead.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

here comes the rain

With rain and cooler days ahead I decided to bake this afternoon, my Best Ever Banana Bread. The fruit bowl was looking very limp after the heat, this is a great way to use up those ripe and browning bananas. This would have to be one of my easiest recipes, I guarantee all will enjoy!

2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons golden syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour
pinch of salt

Heat oven to 180 C.
Grease and line the base of a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, mash bananas then add golden syrup. Add sugar and stir in. Add egg, sifted flour and salt and lightly mix until well combined.
Pour into loaf pan and for 30 minutes or until a skewer is inserted into the middle and comes out clean.

Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool.
Enjoy it warm straight from the oven or lightly grill and enjoy with butter melting on top.

Tip: It's a great one for the school lunch box!
You can make variations to this by throwing in a handful of chopped dates just before pouring into tin to bake or you can add choc chips to make a choc banana bread.


Monday, January 11, 2010

hot and bothered

Approaching 4pm in Melbourne, the temperature has reached the forecasted 43 degrees! Going outside is like walking into a hot house, stiffling, every breath you take is a hot one. It doesn't feel 'natural' to be so hot. The air con is on, after awhile it seems ineffective, that's until we step outside and quickly realise it is actually cooler inside.

Our dear old border collie who lives outside, never venturing indoors, needed to escape the heat, she found the perfect spot to rest, the cool kitchen floor. She's even managed to nod off occasionally, I wish I could.

We haven't done much with our day, other than eat, drink and relax - what else can one do on a day like today? Relief in the form of a cool change isn't expected immediately, we'll keep on doing as we are until then.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

totally inspired

I finally resisted the temptation to purchase Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion. I've had my eye on this book with its cloth cover since it hit stores towards the end of last year. A book sale justified to myself the time was right for me to purchase the book I had spent months drooling over. I'm enjoying flicking the pages, making a note of recipes I'd like to try. They all look so good!

This beautiful book provides loads of information on how to plant, grow and harvest 70 plus vegetables, fruits and herbs. The pages transform fresh produce into appetising meals, over 250 recipes to admire and motivate.

I'm feeling totally inspired to get out into the garden to start planting our own harvest. This will have to wait for a cool change to reach us. Tomorrow our city is expecting a very hot, hot 43 degrees!! I'm looking forward to an anticipated cool change, expected to reach us by the middle of the week. Tomorrow we'll be taking it easy, indoors.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I remember vaguely when 'we' became aware of Facebook (I think it was around the start of 2007). Facebook has become the phenomenal social networking utility allowing 'us' to connect and share with people in our lives. Millions of people all over the world are using Facebook daily to keep in touch. I'm not a user but it seems 'everyone' else around me is. It's how 'they' communicate.

I was interested to read today that on Monday a new social networking website will be launched. HatchMatchDispatch shall allow the posting of birth, engagement, marriage, death and funeral notices. Users will be able to send their congratulations or condolences and at the same time purchase and send flowers or a gift. Traditionally a print classified ad has been placed in the daily newspaper for notices of this kind. We placed a classified when our children were born. I remember is was relatively expensive for the few lines - $100 plus I recall.

Would you use this free site to post your 'notice' or would you stick with placing the traditional print classified? Do you think HatchMatchDispatch will take off like Facebook? I'm not sure, but I know I didn't see the phenomenal Facebook would become.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

in the trees

Hanging clothes on the line this morning, enjoying a beautiful sunny morning, listening to the delightful chatter of birds, I looked up into the trees to find a striking lorikeet. The exact subspecies of lorikeet I'm not sure, he was so colourful, maybe he was a rainbow lorikeet? His sound was charming, his feather colours so impressive.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

early days

I haven't long been blogging, less than a month in fact with this post only being my 9th! I'm not crafty like my mother so I won't be able to share with you my sewing and hand made delights. I've spent literally hours jumping from blog to blog reading and viewing the most amazing things many of you are spending your days making. I love your work and only wish I was so inclined to join you. From hand made toys to quilts, it is all so beautiful.

'Life and the memoirs' is place for me to write and reflect on life. I'm one of those people who finds it difficult to relax (probably not a good thing but a fact). I'm a thinker, a reflector, a reader and in some capacity an evolving writer. If you stop by please let me know you did, I'd love to know you visited.

In time I plan to post more photos. Whilst at school, just on 20 years ago, I studied Media Studies as part of my VCE. I loved photography then. I have continued over the years to enjoy photography both as an amateur photographer and as an art form. I'm hoping it won't be too long before I'm in a position to upgrade my camera to a Canon EOS, it's a Digital SLR. I think the Canon EOS will be my SLR camera of choice. I can't wait! For now I'm using a Canon PowerShot A85, it's a fab little camera which has captured some great shots and memories over the years for me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


We've spent much of the past 2 days cleaning bedrooms. What a task this has been, one I'm glad to see the end of. On the surface I was aware this was a job needing to be done but once we started chipping away it became quite a project. Literally hours of sorting and more sorting. We've filled many a bag to be donated and collected by Diabetes Australia later this week. Diabetes Australia collects the goods which shall later be sold at a Savers Store. Savers - The Recycle Superstore, there are 6 stores in Melbourne.

All that we have donated is still in very good condition and I'm sure will be enjoyed by its new owner. I like the idea of recycling, it makes sense that someone else use what is still in near perfect condition only outgrown by its current owner. We can now find things with ease and enjoy using what we have.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the joy of being home

I'm feeling very relieved knowing my work roster has finally reverted to my usual hours following the lead up to Christmas and aftermath of the Boxing Day and Stock Take Sales. There is nothing like working in retail at Christmas time. With a huge sigh of exhaustion I'm looking forward to 3 days off! That's 3 days off in a row!! It must be over a month since I have enjoyed such a luxury. What will I do? Simple. Enjoy being at home with the family. Get the house in order. Cook. Maybe I'll even be inclined to pull out some study or work on my next story for the newspaper. Won't matter what I actually do, I'll be very content to be home!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

a new cookbook

I have a great love for cookbooks. I find it very difficult to resist the temptation of purchasing a book which catches my eye in the bookstore. After reading an editorial about Monica Trapaga (television personality for over 20 years, you may remember her from ABC TV's Playschool or Channel 7's Better Homes and Gardens) recently published She's Leaving Home, I was on the hunt to find this book.

Yesterday I found it! This is no ordinary cookbook. Monica began this book 2 years ago when her 21 year old daughter Lil decided to leave home. It is beautifully illustrated with drawings from artist Meredith Gaston. The presentation is divine. Monica shares her love of food and many treasured family recipes and stories. I can't wait to start cooking from this beautiful book.

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