2014..my year that was

Well given that 2014 started with a bang…especially in terms of this blog and has then had a few bumps and hiccups…both life and this blog it is time I think to get back into the swing of things.

So here’s what my crazy, somewhat hectic 2014 looked like.

In a nutshell I moved from Country Town at the end of 2013 and moved to Country Town 2.0 during January.  Before that though I managed to meet my favourite footballer as well as a great chef or two and sweat at the Australian Open.

I learnt about the drought and what life is like for farmers and had the luck of getting bogged after not a huge amount of rain…it’s all the drought’s fault and I experienced all the animals that the bush provides, even when they’re inside your house or right outside your front door, and managed to only flatten a couple, including a massive lizard.

I travelled around Australia a bit, up and down the eastern states with the drive from Melbourne to Country Town 2.0 and then holidays in the Gold Coast for the AFL and then on to Cairns flying over a cyclone to get there…well that was a slightly bumpy ride, then the Gold Coast and Brisbane for the next one to catch up with friends and then to go to the rugby union and Sydney for the next one to see The King and I at the Sydney Opera House and see Strictly Ballroom as well as to go to the Robbie Williams concert as well as the Justin Timberlake concert before coming to Melbourne for Christmas, as well as a trip to Sydney for a night to go to the rugby union…as one does.

I went back into the classroom full-time with a class of my own and they taught me plenty.  I learnt about pigging, I learnt about bulls and poddy calves and bull-riding and they gave me plenty of laughs as the year went on.  I also learnt that when I’m told “Miss he said the K word” that they actually meant the C word…but hey, who am I to argue with that???

I worked, I studied, I watched a bit of tv…and blogged about it, who knew that me writing my views on reality tv would be so popular, but hey…people seem to like reading about Masterchef, MKR, When Love Comes to Town and all that sort of stuff…not that I’m complaining at all.

But now it is time to bring on 2015, thanks for the memories 2014.

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Christmas gifts

So I was reminded the other day that I haven’t been posting often…strange how life gets in the way, between teaching and studying there hasn’t been much time left for anything…but there is just a month until the school year is over here in Country Town 2.0 and then it is the Christmas holidays.

That brings me on to Christmas…I like to think I’m easy to shop for, however if I want something I will buy it.  Simple as that.  I find it easy to shop for most others.  Actually I managed to get my Christmas shopping done in under an hour from the comfort of my couch late one night between uni readings…nothing like being easily distracted…and yes it was done online and delivered thanks to Australia Post.

But I’ve also been having discussions about extended family and Christmas and gifts.  Now I’m pretty basic when it comes to Christmas…give me a great dessert for breakfast, yes it is not normal, but I am in no ways normal and I’m happy.  Offer me roast turkey, a massive glazed leg ham or a huge plum pudding and I am in no ways happy.  Sorry but I’ve tried turkey and didn’t like it, ham and I are never going to be friends, only passing acquaintances and as for a massive plum pudding, give me one without a huge dose of alcohol and without peel and I may enjoy it.  As for gifts…what the heck to you buy a person you haven’t seen in 10 years, or only seen once in 10 years, or never met???  Gift cards sound good…well if I can spend them during the Christmas holidays then I’m happy, otherwise not overly…if they’re iTunes gift cards I definitely won’t complain.  As for magazine subscriptions…well my iPad has too many different magazine subscriptions on it from around the world for me to probably admit to having.

Anyhow…here’s what I think are some good Christmas gift ideas…and in saying that they’re not necessarily things that I would want for myself…actually some of them are things that I already have.

Donna Hay – The New Easy…the signed copy is currently $39.99 at her website – click on the image to go there…seeing as I love Donna Hay I have this, as I do many of her books and it is as spectacular as you would expect

The Kitchen Starter kit from Donna Hay – currently $129.75 on her website – click on the image to go there…I somehow won this set at the start of the year and LOVE it!

Dessert Divas cookbook by Christine Manfield – image from penguin.com.au – currently $62.99 at bookworld.com.au – click on the image to go there

framed coral seafan from Raw Treasures – priced from $76 up depending on the size – click on the link to go to the webpage…I have one of these in a white frame and LOVE it!!

Glasshouse Fragrances candle – Montego Bay – Coconut Lime – from their website – click on the link to go there. This size is $39.95…now I’m not a floral type person at all, but love the freshness of this candle

Kikki-K cute small gift pack $29.95 from their website – click on the image to go there

Spineless Classics poster – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory full book text on a poster – $75.00 – click on the image to go to the website…I got this for my birthday and LOVE it!!!

T2 – T24U Tea Kit – $18.00 from their website- click on the image to go to the website…they have so many good teas…the creme brulee tea is especially great!

All it’s cracked up to be…

Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.

Gee Daily Prompt I could be really superficial here and say well the meal I planned worked out perfectly…or I went to the cricket and it didn’t rain and we won…well I wanted those things to happen and they did and I’ve written about them to some extent before.

Christmas breakfast...pavlova roulade, made to perfection.

Christmas breakfast…pavlova roulade, made to perfection.

Boxing Day test...no rain and Australia won.

Boxing Day test…no rain and Australia won.

 

I could be really deep and meaningful and serious and that the 4,200km (2,610 miles) drive from Country Town to Melbourne went as perfectly as I hoped…I mean the car had nothing happen to it, there were no flat tyres, I made it as planned and enjoyed it as well as can be expected.  But I’ve written about that a few times before…here, here, here, here and here.

Without sounding facetious or completely stuck up and making it sound like I’m perfect there are a number of things that happen in every day life that turn out exactly as you hope.  Big things and tiny little insignificant things.

It’s all about how we deal with them and more importantly how we deal with the things that don’t work out perfectly and what we do to fix and change those things.

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Christmas Day food

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Yes I know Christmas was a few days ago…but hear me out.

I’m not a huge fan of Christmas food!!! I don’t do turkey, I don’t do huge chunks of Christmas ham, as for prawns (well I am Australian after all) well I don’t do them if I have to peel them myself, too messy for me.

However in saying that I do do a delicious sweet Christmas breakfast.

In the past few years I’ve done Heston’s popping candy cake that I found here on Chubby Hubby’s blog, but slightly changed as I made one large cake and not smaller cakes and I’ve done Nigella’s chocolate raspberry pavlova and lemon meringue cake.

This year I settled on a peach and raspberry pavlova roulade recipe from the Coles website.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of pav…yes I know I’m Australian, but still…small doses I don’t mind it…but huge big supermarket bought pavs don’t interest me.  Pavs made using Pav Magic don’t interest me.

This is Pav Magic…I have a friend who swears by it…but seriously it’s not hard to make a pav!!

But the pav roulade was interesting and a challenge…making the pav was a breeze, rolling it…oh my goodness well that was rather interesting.

However the photo at the top was the finish product, complete with honey macadamia nuts on top and peaches and raspberries in the middle.  If I say so myself it was delicious.

Song of the day…Kelly Clarkson – Silent Night

Merry Christmas!!!

Today’s song is Kelly Clarkson with Silent Night.

Song of the day…Bucko and Champs – Aussie Jingle Bells

As Australia should be sweltering for Christmas…even though this doesn’t always happen today’s choice of song is an Australian one…the Aussie version of Jingle Bells.

Song of the day…Muppets – Joy to the World

Keeping with the Christmas theme…I bring you the Muppets…or more correctly the muppet chickens

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