Wordless Wednesday – Mountains

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Mountains on Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, HI

Also, thank the deities, Duchess Kate seems ok. I was starting to get very worried, especially after reading this account of someone who suffered hyperemesis gravidarium at the bottom of this post.. it sounds awful and a lot worse than regular morning sickness. :(

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State Of The Snoskred

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With the Berry Chicken Auction coming up next weekend, things are in a state of preparation in Snoskred Land. Painting is going on. It was such a gorgeous day on Sunday that the painting went on outside in the sun.

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We are building a chicken tractor with coop for the new girls to hang out in – they will live in here for four to six weeks once they arrive. This is mostly for quarantine purposes because we love our current flock and want to protect them from anything the new girls might be carrying as a surprise, but the added bonus is, they will mow, aerate, and fertilise the lawns for us in allergy season when for us, lawn mowing is generally off the table for a bit..

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If you want to know more about quarantine, here is a great post about it by The Chicken Chick. Quarantine of Backyard Chickens: When and How – and after that, we will have to introduce the girls carefully. You can read more about how to introduce new girls into a flock here. How do I introduce new chickens into my old flock?

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During Quarantine they will be well protected with wire and a wooden coop section, complete with roost. We think the outdoor section touching the ground will be clear of wire at this stage, but we can always change our mind on that. We’re currently debating where the roost is and whether it might be too high with the doors closed, making it hard for the girls to get onto, so that might get moved downwards a little.

Each day, I’ll go out and sweep out the poop which will land on the floor under the roost, and pop in a large kitty litter tray of sand for them to dustbathe in. This tractor can be used long term, which is why I am painting it good. The coop and run have held up super well over the years with our undercoat and Taubmans Endure on top.

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In other news, there is a lot of fruit being added to soda water here at the moment. I bought some special ice cube trays from Avon some years ago which take a slice of lime or lemon in the middle. I found them in our recent de-clutter so I gave lime slices a try and found them to be amazing.

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The thing that is most amazing.. something happens with the water once you put it with the slice – every drop becomes lime flavoured. So the moment the ice cube starts to melt, you can taste the lime.

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I also have been trying some frozen fruits. They work incredibly well – they serve two functions, to cool the drink, and to flavour the drink. Mango is my current favourite but I have also been using blueberries and mixed berries.

My final piece of news today involves a lunch out with girlfriends on Friday in which I heard the awesome news that Karma has come back as a surprise to some of the work people who were involved in making my workplace somewhere I no longer wanted to go. One of them has been seriously demoted and is no longer a manager.

The other one has been seriously demoted and is no longer a team leader. I count this as a WIN for humanity, but it does not inspire me to return, as other things have gone down the toilet extremely quickly for my poor ladies who still remain there. :(

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On the way home, I thought I was going to run out of fuel – my Polo has a 45 litre tank, check out how much petrol it took when I got to the station! Two and a half months out of one tank of fuel was pretty awesome, the last time I filled up was at Costco back on 31 August.

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Shoe Sunday – Cole Haan Part 2

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The Cole Haan “Gilmore” Ballet Flat
Some colours are still available on Zappos for $99.99 a pair

The photos really do not do these shoes justice – they are a gorgeous bronze colour.

Previously I mentioned how Oprah told me to buy Cole Haan shoes, and I did, and the shoes were everything I dreamed they could be and more.

I will like to relate a little incident that occurred just after I bought them.

I had gone off on my own to Kipling and the Cole Haan store on one of our scheduled shopping up a storm days. The Other Half and my dearest friend Sephyroth who had flown in from Wisconsin to meet us in Hawaii had gone off to do Man Stuff. I forget precisely what kind of Man Stuff was involved but whatever it was, I am 100% certain it was not as Awesome as shopping at Cole Haan was for me.

We had arranged to meet by the ABC store at a certain time, which if you have ever been to Hawaii is like the most hilarious meeting spot given there are something like 81 of them in Waikiki alone. This time it was the ABC store near the stage at Ala Moana, so nobody got lost.

We were using a bag on wheels to carry all our purchases, so when I met up with Sephyroth I was handing some of the bags over, and he – very gallantly I might add – went to take my Cole Haan bag from me. But I was so not ready to hand it over – first of all, it had these awesome shoelaces as a handle and they were incredibly soft and comfortable in my hand, and secondly MY NEW SHOESES DON”T TOUCH THEM PLS!

I think, and I could be wrong, I might have growled like a dog and said in a very scary voice – “Not the Cole Haans!”

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I truly do love these shoes, both pairs, and they have gone a lot of places with me, and will continue to go places with me for many years. They are in great condition even after almost a year of regular wear, and easy to clean and look after.


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Roasted Red Capsicum & Potato Soup

I’m not one to follow recipes very often. Much of my cooking is inspired by a recipe and then I go forth and experiment. Such was the case with this soup which was inspired by this post – Chilled Red Pepper Soup with Yogurt and Herbs – though what I made was nothing like the recipe.

I also like my recipes to have “offramps” – points at which you can stop and tada, it is done. This recipe has a couple of offramps..

So here’s what I did, with pics. This is super simple.

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1. Chop and prepare 5 capsicums – any colour you like. I chose red today because they were on super special at Aldi. Peel some potatoes – amount is up to your preference, some people might like more potatoes than I used to roast but I knew I would be adding a couple more in at Slow Cooker Time.

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2. Check in with your Kitty Supervisor to make sure you have done step 1 correctly. Set the oven to 200 degrees C (400F).

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3. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on base of roasting pan. Smoosh the capsicum and potatoes around in the oil to make sure they are covered with olive oil. Layer your items thoughtfully in your roasting pan so they will provide each other with flavour.

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4. Get spicy! Add your choice of spices – you could use any you like, I chose paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, parsley and cracked pepper. Put this in the oven for 1 hour in a covered lid pan – you may need slightly longer and/or a lower temperature for uncovered pans.

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5. Remove from oven. Delight in the smell.

Offramp 1

Here, you could boil the kettle, prepare a litre of stock – chicken, veg, your choice. Add the roasted items and stock to a blender, whizz, add some cream, sour cream, or yoghurt, and your soup is ready. If not, continue on with the recipe as follows.

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6. Cut up one onion, one fresh red pepper, a few carrots. Saute and sweat these in a saucepan if you are planning to get off at the next offramp, or your slow cooker if you are in this for the long haul.

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7. Add in 1 litre stock of your choice, extra potatoes or other vegetables if you would like. Sweet potato (yams) would be wonderful in this. If slow cooking, set for 6 hours.

Offramp 2

If you are not slow cooking, simmer soup on the stove for an hour or until everything is cooked through and mushy. Remove from heat, allow to cool a little, whizz in your blender, add some cream, sour cream, or yoghurt, and your soup is ready.

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8. When your slow cooker beeps, remove the soup and allow to cool a little.

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9. Whizz in your blender, add some cream, sour cream, or yoghurt, cheese if you like it, stir well, pop it back on the stove to get the soup piping hot again, and your soup is ready

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Wordless Wednesday – Ala Moana

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A water feature at Ala Moana Shopping Centre, Oahu, HI

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Television Tuesday

This may or may not become a regular feature here on the blog. At the moment there is so much great TV playing in my house, I feel like I need a place to talk about it.

Coming up : a few words on Survivor season 29 – The Walking Dead season 5 premiere “No Sanctuary” – Homeland Season 4 – The Good Wife season 6 – Scandal seasons 3 and 4 –

Plus new shows – Madam Secretary & Gracepoint

I tested the read more tag yesterday with the mPress Custom Feed Excerpts plugin and it worked. There aren’t many spoilers but there are one or two, so to avoid spoilers if you have not seen these shows yet, you’ll need to click through to read my thoughts.. Read more »

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Quickly Testing A Thing

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So, with the return of The Walking Dead, I wanted to write a TV post or few, but I do not want to spoil anyone who has not seen the episodes yet.

I’m just testing a plugin that will allow me to put a read more tag in, so the entire post will *not* appear in the RSS feed or my emailed posts, and then you have to click through to read the rest, in order to avoid being spoiled.. Read more »

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Asian Laksa

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Last month our household got hit with one of the most evil flu viruses we have experienced. It was *awful* – neither of us had the energy or talent to cook.

I keep some chicken noodle cup-a-soup in the cupboard for these kinds of situations, as well as cans of baked beans, spaghetti and cheese, some other canned soups and pasta bake in a jar just add cooked pasta, chicken or tuna and bake type things.

On this occasion though, we ran out of cup-a-soup. When we went to Woolworths to stock up on this and a few other things.. I discovered Asian Laksa cup-a-soup.

I’m sure it has been on the market for ages and I am just late to find out about it. I bought a couple of packets of this Woolworths version as well as a Hot and Spicy Continental version.

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The Hot And Spicy version cleared my sinuses out so fast, it was amazing but be aware, the Hot and Spicy is exactly that – Hot and Spicy. It is nice to have this as another tool in my sinus clearing cupboard though, as I usually use Wasabi for that and I only like to eat Wasabi with Sushi, which means a drive to the shops to get Sushi, and that isn’t possible at 3am.

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The plain version is very mild and yet flavourful. For those who steer clear of Laksa due to not liking the taste of coconut, there is no need to worry here, there is no lingering coconut flavour and checking the ingredients list there does not seem to be any coconut in here. The flavour that does linger is vegetables.

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Snoskred verdict? Look how many of them I bought when they were on special for $1, this might be a clue that I absolutely love these cup-a-soups.

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I am fairly confident the Woolworths and Continental cup-a-soups are made by the same people, but I could be wrong. I’ll be buying whichever one is on special.

I was not sponsored to say these things, I just really like this stuff. :) You’ll find me talking more about the Woolworths Select range over coming weeks because I have found some products I really love in that range, including their amazing Salted Caramel Dessert Sauce.

I have a story about how I almost set the house on fire trying to heat it up in the microwave.. stay tuned for that one!

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Shoe Sunday – Sparkly Slides

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These are some of the most beautiful shoes I own.

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Sadly, they are also some of the most *uncomfortable* shoes I own. Plus there are my toes, exposed for the world to see and apparently step on. Because whenever my toes are out on display, I can guarantee someone is going to pick that day to accidentally step on my foot.

I’m not a big toes out on display person in the first place – not that there is anything wrong with that, I just feel naked when my toes are naked. But when you add in the step on thing.. generally it is a no for me.

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These shoes only get an outing on the following occasions –

1. If I am not going to be walking very far.

2. If it is a super hot day and some glitz on my feet is required.

3. Preferably, I have had a manicure.

The wedding of the best friend of The Other Half fit the first two of the three, so they got worn. And guess what, people? You are about to see my *actual* feet, in photos taken years ago, when I had no concept that I would ever be posting shoe posts here on my blog. We were trying to capture the sparkliness of these shoes, and if you look close, you can see spots of green, orange, and white fire..

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They are very pretty, but why must they also be so uncomfortable? :(


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My Living Space

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I suppose I am a little odd. Not everyone has a full size plastic skeleton hanging out in their lounge room. I know, that is totally unbelievable, right? Why doesn’t everyone have a Carter? But, we had some people drop by the other day and we are so used to Carter neither of us thought to warn our visitors they were about to encounter him. They were a little freaked out when they spotted him.

My recliner is the chair with the blue rug. Let us take a closer look.

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Tissues, laptop, tv remotes, water glass, all within reach.

This space used to be cluttered, but I have streamlined, and also did a little re-organising, so all the things that would clutter up this space are now re-organised.

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Hand cream, nail clippers and Sally Hansen Hard As Nails which I swear by, nail polish remover, cuticle tools, dental floss, general body care items that you might need in the course of a day are now living together in this cute basket I got from Hot Dollar.

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This is what I see from my recliner. There are my trusty cordless headphones. There are my cotton buds. There on the floor is the pair of socks the little kitty picks up with her mouth and runs around with, then throws them on the floor and attacks them. They must have done something really bad to deserve this treatment! ;)

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Here’s a look at my remotes, and my clipboard. That might contain a project I am working on – at the moment I have printouts of my blogroll, because I am trying to drop by and say hi to everyone on it. Other times, it might have todays To Do list on there.

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It is blank right now, because I Got All My Shiznit Done! YAY!

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Oh, why do I have a copy of the alphabet printed out there? I seriously am terrible at alphabetizing things. If I do not have that piece of paper, I do the mental abcdefg thing in my head, and that takes up more time than I would like, so I just printed it out and I keep it there, it works for me.

Next week on Friday I will be sharing my daily routine with you. I am really Getting Shiznit Done here, people, and it is all thanks to my set routine on weekdays. 4 hours each day of solid writing or chore time.

The post you are reading today, I wrote this on the 16th of September. On this blog I already have some blog posts – like the Wordless Wednesdays – scheduled out to December already. No kidding.

On the Rewatch Breaking Bad blog, I am writing the post for Season 2 episode 2 today. I’ve upped the posting schedule to twice a week and even so, that blog is already scheduled out to the end of September and this week, I am planning to write one post a day over there. If I can do that for 2 weeks, I’ll be scheduled out to the end of October very quickly.

Happy moments all around!

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