Counting The Minutes.


This last couple of weeks may well have been the slowest weeks of my life. I can guarantee as soon as Sephyroth arrives, time will speed up enormously and those 3 weeks will vanish before we know it.

The to-do list has been long. As mentioned here, I took this as an opportunity to do some serious spring cleaning. Every surface in this house has been cleaned in some way. We did a clean out of some old furniture which meant a dump run. I also did a clean through of my wardrobe – I have tried on every single piece of clothing and been quite ruthless in donating things that do not fit or suit me.

The chook pen was cleaned late on an afternoon last week. This is a job we usually do early afternoon but this time our weekends have been too busy with other jobs, so we had to do it after The Other Half finished work.


Our Grande Dame Rosie the Rosecomb was deeply unimpressed with us. She felt it was bedtime, and what were these idiots humans doing to her house? How was she meant to go to sleep? All that fresh new sand to explore, but Rosie did not even stop a moment, she went straight up on the bed perch.


We ordered a chicken feeder and waterer just to make life a little easier for my parents who will be visiting daily, feeding the cats and chooks. I’d been asking The Other Half to make me one of those PVC feed/water systems for a few years now, but there have been so many jobs on his to do list and this never happened. When it arrives and we have used it for a while I will write a post about it. :)

Those chooks want out of their pen to free range anytime they see humans and they are super sneaky, so I didn’t want to tempt fate by needing someone to go in there. They do have backup water and food within the coop that they will eat if all other options are gone.

In the chook pen we have 3 large water containers. Two are old icecream containers, and one is an old salad bowl of mine which is still functional but we lost the lid, so that made it a perfect chook container.

Water in a chook pen is tricky – you will get algae growing in the container, the chooks dust bathe so dust gets in the water, leaves and bugs get in the water, and the water itself evaporates so you need to refill them regularly and scrub out the containers. I usually do this job twice a week – the old water goes on the plants so it does not go to waste. Fingers crossed the new item will work as intended, but I will leave the other containers in there as a backup.


The lawn has now been mowed. The chooks have been having a great time with this longer grass and clover flowers because it is hayfever season and The Other Half gets sneezy when he has to mow the lawn this time of year. Hopefully this weekend we will be able to weed and feed it.


We bought a new container for the kitty litter tray. This is mostly to make it easier for my parents to scoop while we are away. However it has turned out to be one of the best ideas we ever had, because we got a 34 litre under bed storage container, so it gives them plenty of room. We were finding the other container often would have large clumps at the edges, because of where the cats would position themselves when they got in it.

Here on the blog, all the posts have been scheduled and are ready to go. I went through all the books on my tablet, removing the books I have no intention of reading and sorting them into alphabetical directories by author.

On the trip front, all the documents are together and ready. The itinerary has been finalised – with the flexibility of swapping days if the weather is Not Great. I put together a text file with all the addresses we will be going to ready for easy loading into the GPS.


I asked The Other Half which ride he would like to go on first at Dreamworld. He said he would like to wing it. I said no, that is not how going to a theme park works. You need to have a plan! And not just any plan but a plan specially designed to ensure you are doing the things people tend to do at the exact times other people tend NOT to do them. If you can plan it well enough you can shorten your queueing times considerably without the need to pay extra for “fast track”.

I watched Bathurst in preparation for our visit there. We’re planning to walk the entire track, plus drive it (slowly) a few times. We might also walk much of the track for the Gold Coast 600. Sephyroth is quite the car racing fan.

I took a final shopping trip last Friday. I knew it was a mistake to go when I did, because it was 10am on a Friday. We needed a few things and I thought I would pick up the last of the trip items while I was out, like travel sugar sachets, those small UHT milk things, just bits and pieces.

It was like shopping with zombies. We are so spoiled always shopping after 6pm on a weekend when virtually nobody else is around. I think I am becoming less tolerant of other people who are in my way than I have ever been before. By the time I got to the end of the shop I felt infected with the zombie virus myself, distracted, zoning out, and I actually forgot to put a bag of shopping in the trolley. Lucky they called me back, because that bag had all the cat food for the kitties while we are gone.


We packed everything a week ago. We had not intended to pack. We were doing a mock pack, to make sure all our stuff would fit in the car once we add the suitcase of Sephyroth. Fortunately I had a suitcase almost the exact same size here. I started out just making sure our toiletries would all fit in the toiletry bag and got sucked into the temporal packing vortex. One hour later and we were packed.

When it came to packing I was ruthless. I packed for 5 days of clothes, we are on the Gold Coast for 6 nights. I will do a wash before we leave and we’ll be set for our further 3 nights. I find if I pack well before we leave, I will remember everything I have forgotten to pack and be able to put it in before we leave. The day after our pack, I realised I had forgotten socks and camisoles. I have a last minute packing list, to grab all those items we will be using up until go time.

Chickens, kitties, Snoskred On Holidays

Awesome Tuna Pasta Bake


You might think – why is Snoskred posting a recipe for something so simple. In the past I would have used tuna bake sauce from a jar to make tuna bake. Then one day I had the idea to use the bottom layer of Fake Lasagne with things added to it instead. It turned out great so I kept doing it.

I have been trying to fuel the other half with better fuel, these past few months. He is a real meat and potatoes guy, because he actually has an allergy to quite a lot of fruit and vegetables where his throat will swell up. Off the top of my head, he can eat potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, brussel sprouts, cooked carrots not raw, cooked tomatoes not raw, capsicum / red & green peppers, onion, leek, cauliflower, peas, corn, spinach, lettuce, and I often manage to put zucchini into a pasta sauce but only by whizzing it up in the Nutri Ninja first.

For lunches he used to eat a lot of what I consider to be empty calories. AKA things I will not feed the chooks! He likes the most simple of things – a ham and cheese sandwich. If I did not make him a sandwich, he would have 2 minute noodles or grab a sausage roll from the lunch truck.

Nutrition wise, these things are Not Optimal. And he was feeling Not Great much of the time. I spoke to him about trying to add in more vegetables and make lunch healthier. He said he would give it a try. I came up with a plan.

Now, every Sunday I make his meal for the upcoming week. I have been rotating between five different things in winter. They are – Fake Lasagne – Tuna Pasta Bake – Healthy Chicken StripsChicken & Sweet Corn SoupVegetable Soup similar to this one. I will probably be dropping the soups in summer.

Most of these things have recipes already here on the blog, so I figured it was time to share the tuna pasta bake I have been making because it is Not The Normal Thing. It is basically a quiche. This is so simple, I make it in a large batch so it makes 6 serves, and it takes me maybe 20 minutes. 15 minutes of that is pasta cooking time.

I buy all the parts for this from Aldi, except the eggs which either come from our chooks or if they are not laying I use Manning Valley eggs from Coles. You may not have an Aldi so you might have to substitute with your own stuff.. I would usually put freshly chopped and slightly fried brussel sprouts in here however they are over for this year and I can only get frozen ones now. We are eating the frozen ones in dinners but I can’t cut them up small enough for The Other Half to put them into the tuna bake, plus there is a large element of danger cutting up frozen things.

You will need –

2 large tins of tuna
2 small tins of corn kernels
1 leek (missed it this time, whoops!)
600mls cream (I choose the UHT long life cream)
6 large eggs (or 8-10 small eggs)
500 grams uncooked pasta

Spices I use.

mustard powder, parsley, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric – you can add what you like.

You could add –

Other vegetables – carrots, pumpkin, potato or sweet potato, capsicum, zucchini, peas, spinach, tomatoes sliced and laid on top would be pretty awesome. I will try a few of these things over coming months to see if The Other Half likes them in this recipe.

You could modify this entirely and not use tuna and corn. Perhaps you want to use this as a quiche, so you could add in broccoli, bacon, ham, mushrooms, feta cheese, olives, all the things that are great in a quiche.

1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

2. Add in your pasta to cook.

3. While the pasta cooks, prepare your additions by opening the tins. I usually like to put the tuna on a plate and attack it with a fork so the clumps are smaller.


4. Place your eggs into a large bowl. Add in the cream. Add in any herbs and spices you might like – I usually put a touch of mustard powder, paprika, cinnamon, parsley, freshly ground black pepper and a little salt. Mix well.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and then place it into a large baking dish. I do not bother greasing it first, it always seems to come out of the pan well.


6. Onto the top of the pasta, evenly layer over your tuna, corn, leek, and any other additions you want to use.


7. Pour the cream mixture over the top. Mix the cream mixture and your additions through the pasta with a fork. Top with cheese, then bake for 42 minutes at 180-200C.


And here is the cooked version!


This might be super simple but it is tasty and full of awesomeness – protein from the eggs and tuna, dairy from the cream, there are carbs in there thanks to the pasta, and a couple of vegetables when I don’t totally forget to put them in.


And there they all are, packed and ready for the week, with one extra, too! I feel that this is better fuel than a ham and cheese sandwich. The Other Half feels a lot better. That pleases me. :)




I just say no to Halloween. It is Un-Australian.


The supermarkets will not miss an opportunity to sell us crap we don’t need, especially sugary crap. PS Coles the fact that you have to tell us which day Halloween is on, perhaps this gives you a clue? ;)


I find trick or treating deeply annoying, as well! Join me and just say NO to Halloween in Australia.


Lone Star Shellharbour


Loco cheesy land trout garlic bread & Amarillo cheese fries

We were so excited to hear Lone Star had opened at Shellharbour. Even though it is an hours drive away from us, we have many good memories of the old Lone Stars we used to visit years ago. We made a booking the day before our visit for the 6 of us. Lucky we did because the place was absolutely packed when we got there on a busy Saturday night.

We go to Shellharbour once a month or so but we had never been at night time. If this is the case for you, maybe you will wonder the same things we did – where do you park? Is the shopping centre open to walk through? You can park in the normal carpark near the food area which is open till 10:30pm, and part of the shopping centre near the restaurants is open – they have security gates locking off the non-open area. Kmart was open, as was Coles.

The atmosphere was brilliant. It was a little noisy. There is not much in the room to soak up the sound. The Old West theming of this restaurant is very well done with lots of wood and big wine barrel tables at the bar.

From the start our server Grace was constantly checking in with us, making sure we all had drinks and taking our order for entrees. We chose the Amarillo fries x1 and the hilariously named loco cheesy land trout (bacon) garlic bread x3.

While waiting for this to arrive I saw the garlic bread appear at another table and I began to be concerned we might have ordered too many as they are 2 slices in the serve but the slices are quite long.

We took a while to choose mains and Grace was very patient with us. In fact just as we finished ordering our mains, all the entrees arrived. The garlic bread was actually one of the best garlic breads we have eaten, ever. Smooshy bread, lots of flavour. We did not leave any behind. The Amarillo cheese fries were just as we remembered them, the ranch dipping sauce delicious.


Because we were late ordering our mains we did have a bit of a wait to receive them. We were right up the back of the restaurant near the food pass and it turned out this was a very interesting spot to be. There seemed to be a bit of confusion going on at the pass at times – I do not think that pass is big enough for a restaurant of this size when it is a busy night. All the other food going out past us looked great.


Our mains arrived and they were delicious. Absolutely no complaints, those who ordered steaks got them exactly how they wanted them, mostly medium or well done, they were cooked perfectly. I had the chicken which was yummy. I missed out on taking pics of two of the meals, sorry! ;)


We did not have any dessert intentions but Grace changed our minds by offering us a look at the dessert menus, and we ordered 4 to share between us. Raspberry cheesecake at the top, the chocolate brownie in the middle, and then pecan pie at the bottom. The pecan pie was served warm and was incredible, I had the cheesecake which was also great however once I tried the pie I had some order envy.

The bill was a little more $$ than we had expected, however two of our party were ordering some expensive beers. Food wise it worked out at less than $50 a head for entrees, mains, and dessert.

They still do the birthday clapping thing with the sparkler on the brownie, but the hourly boot scooting dancing was not seen. I kinda think that is a good thing in some ways. The staff have other things to be doing!

Oh, I nearly forgot, there was a magician named Jordan who visited our table, who did a card trick for us. We are still trying to work out how it was done. He was lovely.

The only negatives we experienced – no name badges for the staff, the wooden booths can be a bit uncomfortable for longer visits (BYO seat cushions!) and the plates for the mains are a bit too small and fancy and make eating a bit difficult because of the lip, especially with the ribs as they are longer than the lip of the plate.. I would say they are fine for entrees but a larger mostly flat plate would be better for mains in my opinion.

I was worried when I read the reviews before we went, however I did have a feeling that most of those complaints were due to teething issues as the restaurant was quite new and staff training issues. It seems they have heard the feedback and taken it all on board, because many of the previous complaints mentioned on the web did not appear for us – eg missing cutlery and napkins, not checking in about how the food was, checking we were ok for drinks, all of that stuff went great for us.

We loved it and we will be back, for sure

Here is the menu which is presently unavailable online. You can visit the Lone Star website here.







food, reviews

What Plant Is This?


This plant in the chook pen has grown as a surprise to us. The chooks have left it alone, which is strange. Most plants do not get past the seedling stage before a chook eats them.


We have absolutely no idea what it is.


Clearly it grew from seeds which likely arrived from a plant the chooks were fed. But they get so many treats, and I do not recognise this plant at all. Recently things with seeds that they have had include pumpkin, tomato, zucchini, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and likely more treats I have completely forgotten about. If something is on special at Aldi and it is something they like and it is ok for them to eat it, chances are it will jump in the trolley.


I never see bees inside the chook pen, so I suspect this plant will not bear any fruit. Maybe it isn’t anything good – maybe it is just a weed and I should pull it out?


Over to you – Got any idea what this might be? ;)


Cat Tales


The Kitties have been fighting over the best spots in the house, as usual.


Grumpy often wins. If she does not win, she might arrive to sit on my lap.


I love watching the Tinykittens feeds. Usually I have one running in the background so anytime I feel the need, I can flick over for a kitten fix.


If I am going to be there for a while, I usually hit the full screen button – highlighted above in the image – as I find the chat and chatters can be somewhat annoying at times, especially when they start talking politics. Hey, these are kitties, look at them, forget Combover Man! There is an option to hide the chat but it pops up little boxes with new messages which is even more annoying.


My favourite cat in recent times has been Skye, she is just such a character. She loved the sink in her room and spent a lot of time sleeping in there. Once Skye was spayed and had raised her kittens, she went off to a lovely new home. They have a Facebook page!


Right now they have a cat who they believe is a sister of Skye called Starling. She has the most gorgeous blue eyes and is coloured like our Grumpy. I saw her kittens born live on camera. I saw their eyes open. Two of the kittens are grey, orange and white like our Grumpy and every day they get more and more beautiful.

Bear in mind, I am not the only one watching Starling and her kittens when they are on my screen. Grumpy can see them and will quite often park herself on my lap – I tilt the screen to the right place for her position, and she watches kitten teevee. Sometimes my lap is not close enough to the screen for her, and she tries to sit right in front of my laptop, planting her paws on the mouse pad or keyboard, pressing random keys as a surprise to my computer.

You – and your cats, dogs, chickens, or other pets – can watch the Starling live stream here. You can visit the TinyKittens Facebook page here, and also you can read more at the TinyKittens website.




The list of things to prepare for Sephyroth to visit is LONG. Here is what we have achieved so far.

House Preparations –

– Move office of The Other Half out of spare bedroom
– Order new mattress
– Put bed together
– Set up bedroom
– Move all my shoes into another spare bedroom
– Move all my scarves onto another door
– Get alarm system serviced
– Purchase and install new HD security cameras
– Install new lighting in kitchen
– Wash bedclothes and towels

So the top photo was my shoe cupboard before. Here it is after!


Upcoming house preparations –
– Clean & tidy spare bathroom so it is ready
– Clean, clean, CLEAN.
– Clean chook pen


Packing has begun – I have picked out the shoes, begun to pick out the outfits, begun to put the items into ziploc bags. As our apartment has a kitchen with dishwasher, I have packed dishwasher tablets. As we have a washing machine, I have packed washing powder. As we have a LONG drive, I have packed sugary treats.

This week I will be working on scheduling some posts for while I am away. I am going to share with you some of my parents Canada and Alaska photos from their trip in July. They took a lot of photos, some excellent, some very bad. :) I will be sharing some of my favourite travel photos from my own trips as well, with some memories of those times.

I also am trying to get back in the habit of taking photos of things on my phone. At some point in the past year I managed to get out of the habit. Here is a photo of my scarf bar, moved.


Of course, I will be sharing all about our trip here once we return!