Zen Moment


When you have two kitties both of whom like to get up close and personal with, well, everything, finding a place to burn candles can be a bit of a problem.

This location is very high up and there are no places where the kitties can make their way up here, no steps to make a kitty ladder. In fact, it is probably less than half a meter from the ceiling. Tealights can be safely burned here, and this is the location where I burn my wax melts.


I also burn a tealight in the Dusk Spinning Butterfly tealight candle holder. It puts a gorgeous spinning golden glow on the ceiling which is somehow comforting to me. The thermals that the candle throws out magically turns the turntable and it spins. Depending on the candle you use and the heat given off, it can spin at different speeds.

I tend to use two brands of tealights – I like the assorted 50 pack from Dusk – and I love the extra excellent value tealight packs from IKEA. 30 tealights for $2.49, you really can’t ask for any better than that.

You might ask – why two different kinds of tealight candles? Well first of all, they have different burn times. The IKEA ones are regularly 4 hours or so, which makes them perfect for an evening burn eg 6pm-10pm. The Dusk candles are 6-8 hours which is a good daytime burn time. Combine the two and you cover the entire day – 10-6pm or so, then 6-10pm or so, and I can light them and forget them, because they will burn out before I have to think about snuffing them.

The spinning butterfly tealight candle holder can still be purchased from Dusk, though I do not see any purple ones or the teal green which I really wanted to get as well. I will cross my fingers that maybe our local store has one in teal when we next visit – we are nearly out of chicken, so we will be heading to Shellharbour and Warrawong next weekend. If no teal, maybe this gold owl version might come home with us.

Below I have put a couple of videos – they are just 10 seconds long each, you get a closeup of the spinning butterflies in the first one, and you can see the reflection the spinning holder puts on the ceiling in the second.

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A Truly Great Day

A Sparkly Cow

Last week I had the flu, and I spent a couple of nights staying up so the other half could get an uninterrupted sleep, so my body clock is all out of whack again. Even so, we planned a few things for Saturday. I wanted to go over to Berry to take some photos of the place I’m planning to go to in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, and I also wanted to drop into haven and space and Candleberries – two great shops you should not miss if you ever go to Berry..


First we dropped into haven and space where we picked up a replacement coffee mug for one we had broken, and two new designs. These mugs are gorgeous and they last a very long time. Priced at $4.95 per mug, they are also great value. The candles pictured were $4.50 each.


As it was past two, we decided to get a snack as well. We didn’t want too much as we were going out to dinner at 7. haven and space have opened up a cafe behind their new store called Sakana and I’d eaten there before when family was visiting, so we dropped in for a bowl of chips and a couple of iced coffees.


The iced coffees arrived in these magnificent tall glasses with my favorite colour blue around the rim. If you are reading this post here on my blog, see how that blue matches my blue background colour? :) ——> over there?


We dropped into Candleberries and picked up some wax melts and a new candle for The Other Half. Why yes, that melt set is scented salted caramel popcorn, and it does smell exactly like that. There’s also Home Sweet Home which will stay here and Black Cherry which will go off to my aunt in the next package along with the salted caramel popcorn. By the time she receives it, her cancer treatment will be nearly finished.

On the way back to the car we spotted these cows in a window. It is lucky the shop was not open, is all I can say.



We went out to dinner at our usual Chinese restaurant with my parents, my Uncle and his wife, and two other friends my parents know from work. When we arrived at the bowling club there was quite an impressive band setup including a sound desk and a proper drum kit which said “The Villains” on it.. Little did we know at the time what an amazing performance would come to us as a surprise.

The club was absolutely packed with people – I think it is the last weekend of School Holidays here and it is always packed in school holidays but not usually to this extent. My uncle reported back to us after one of his smoke breaks that he was talking to someone outside and that they had said this particular band had people coming from places somewhat far away – they had groupies following them.

Who knew Darth Vader was also a musician?

After dinner we could not get a seat out in the club, every seat was taken. We ended up in their function room off to the back, and we could see the band members in costume. They took to the stage a little after 8:30 and we all headed out into the room to see the band kick off with a performance of an Icehouse song called Walls which sounded more like a Pink Floyd song, it was just amazing. The sound setup was brilliant, the music was incredible, and the band was engaging and captivating.

The singer was dressed as The Riddler and he had a microphone stand with a question mark in it. I believe we had The Penguin as the keyboard player, The Joker as the bass player, The Devil as the drummer, and the most notable mention goes to Darth Vader as the lead guitarist. His costume must have been a total sweatbox, but he never removed any part of it, and he played in it for over 2 hours – with a short break in the middle. Plus instead of heading directly outside on his break, he took off into the crowd to let them pose for photos with him – and his lightsaber.

I have for you a short video clip of the Darth Vader guitarist. :) This was taken during Down Under by Men At Work. You will notice he is marching, despite being wrapped in much quilted fabric. This is some serious costume dedication right here.

When they took a break, we talked about leaving because one or two had an early morning the next day, but we all decided this band was too good to leave. And in the latter half of their show, even The Other Half got up and danced which happens so rarely I cannot recall another such incident!

I completely understand why they have groupies following them, and I could see myself doing the same thing. They are due back at our club in August and we will definitely be there. None of the videos on their website do true justice to this band. You have to be there in person.


When they left the stage we were among the very vocal crowd shouting for an encore, and they came back on with two band members in white coats and performed “She Blinded Me with Science” – a bizarre choice but we all loved it.

The final song they played was Underneath the Radar by Underworld, a song I have always disliked, but they made me love it. And that speaks many volumes. Most of the music was songs from the early 80’s and music I had on records, back in the days of records, music we played on Saturday mornings to clean the house, and music my friends and I used to create dances for.

They played music from bands like Depeche Mode, Madness, Split Enz, the ever wonderful and unforgettable “don’t you forget about me” by Simple Minds made famous by The Breakfast Club movie, and even a song from The Cure! It was one of my favourites too, Inbetween Days. There were a couple of newer songs, most notably Pretty Vegas which I knew from Rockstar: INXS and Mr Brightside by The Killers.

By the time we got home, I was so tired I went to bed at a reasonable hour for the first time this week. And can you believe, entry to the bowling club is free. We pay the tiny amount of $11 each year to be a member, and that allows the member many benefits, such as using the boat ramp, the courtesy bus, and various other awesomes.

General Chit-chat, Happy Snoskred, Home, music, Snoskred hearts

Food Obsessions – Potato & Egg


I love reading food blogs. Food blogs often make me hungry for very specific things and oftentimes these will be things I would need to go to a supermarket to recreate, so in general I’ll just bookmark a recipe to put on the next food plan..

In the past few weeks it seems like there has been a fried egg thing going on across the various food blogs. Somewhat unfortunately, I always have eggs in the house, so for lunches I went on a little fried egg spree.

Then one day, the stars aligned in the universe and I had a strange thought about adding an egg to that nights dinner as I was deeply craving a fried egg.. much deliciousness was the result. Now, I don’t know how I will ever eat this particular meal without one or more fried eggs on top.


Potato with bacon and onion has been in our meal rotation since I was a teenager, though my sister was usually the bacon and onion person and I would put on all kinds of exotic concoctions, from fresh cooked capsicum, mushroom and bacon, right up to bolognese sauce, chicken cacciatore or tuna mornay.

Recently we switched out onion for leek in almost every meal we use onion in. Trimmed leeks are available 2 in a packet from Aldi for $2.99 and we much prefer the flavour of leeks.

I still enjoy more exotic options on my potato and will usually add in things like mushroom at a minimum but the other half is all about simplicity and he loves bacon and leek.

If you have never made potato with toppings, here is my most recent recipe. :)

Potato with Bacon, Leek, Mushroom & Egg

I’m going to give you more than one way to do each step because that is how we roll here and I have prepared this a multitude of different ways.

Prepare The Potato –


My first choice would be – peel, chop and then boil the potatoes. You do lose some of the potato goodness this way.

My second choice would be – peel the potatoes first, roll them around in a little extra virgin olive oil, add a few herbs – Paprika is a must for me! – plus salt and pepper. Then bake potatoes in a roasting pan preferably one with a lid. This option mostly keeps the potato flavour and goodness within the potato. I do like to add a splash of white wine to this, as it will steam up when the pan gets hot and permeate through the potatoes for extra flavour.

My third choice would be – wrap potatoes in alfoil and bake. This definitely keeps all the goodness inside the potato however, if you do not like the skins you will have to remove them from a hot potato which is not optimal.

I’ve also done baked potatoes and then you open them up and take out the innards, mix the potato and fillings together and then stuff it back into the potato. This is fiddly and time consuming and to be honest, I am not a huge fan of potato skins. I would do this if we had people coming over and I wanted to make something relatively simple but special. But if stuffed potatoes is your preference, you’re eating it, so go to it and enjoy. :)

Prepare Your Toppings


First choice – chop bacon, mushrooms, onion/leek, add a tiny bit of butter to a a non stick frypan, fry toppings until cooked the way you would like them.

Second choice – chop bacon, mushrooms, onion/leek, add butter or margarine, cover, and microwave on medium heat until cooked to your preference – this usually takes approximately 3-4 minutes on 600w with my microwave

Third choice – chop bacon, mushrooms, onion/leek, in a saucepan put in some butter or margarine, half a teaspoon of garlic, add in the bacon, mushrooms & leek, stir about and allow to cook a little. Then add in 1/2 cup of white wine and an extra touch of butter, allow to simmer and cover the saucepan. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and it should be done.

Mash The Potatoes


Once the potatoes are cooked your way, add them to a bowl, add in a little butter and cheese, and smoosh them up some with a fork. We are not talking a perfect mash here, you want them a little chunky. Sprinkle a little cheese on top

Prepare Your Egg(s)


First choice – fry eggs in a frypan until they are cooked how you like them. Mine, I like to flip, but sunny side up would work too.

Second choice – poach your eggs in your egg cooker or poacher.

Third choice – soft boil the eggs. Peel eggs – this can be difficult with soft boiled eggs which is why this is a third choice.

Fourth choice – scramble the eggs. You can also add back in your bacon and leek with a little cheese. The only downside to this choice is – no gorgeous yolk to ooze into your potatoes.

Assemble Your Meal


Add your topping mixture to the potato mash, put the eggs on top, cut into the eggs with a knife and allow the yolk to ooze, and you are done.

It is time to eat!

Now bear in mind, you can take this recipe and make the ingredients your own. For protein you might prefer to use chicken, sliced beef, pulled pork. You might be out of bacon so you could use ham. You might have leftover turkey and so you might slice it and cook it in a frypan and then top with some cranberry sauce and you might use sweet potato or yam as your base. Some people like to put avocado, bacon and prawns or shrimp. You might want vegetarian bacon or no meat at all.

You might even want to use mashed cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, pumpkin, sweet potato, swede, baked mushrooms or even a combination of these instead of potato as the base. You might not want leek or onion – some people have a bad reaction to those.

You might have leftover pasta sauce which you can heat up and pour over some freshly cooked potatoes. As I mentioned above, I love to put chicken cacciatore or tuna mornay over potatoes.

The only limit is your imagination, ingredients on hand, and your preference of what flavours you prefer together.

Over to you!

What do you like to put over the top of potatoes? I’d love new ideas if you have any. :)

cooking, food, recipes, Snoskred hearts, yay

The Package


My excellent friend Sephyroth sent me an awesome package this week. Interestingly, it arrived just one day after I had been at the post office sending my own package – not to Sephyroth and on this occasion I would have much preferred to be sending it to him. I was sending a package to a very much loved Aunt, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer..

I had an idea that I could put together just a few things each week while she is having both radiation and chemotherapy. I can’t be there in person because she lives in Adelaide, but maybe I can put a small smile on her face each week and remind her that all the family here are thinking of her.

For the first package, I made sure to include a few ginger treats that another good friend of mine swore by during chemo. There was also some Chai tea, some pawpaw lotion, some amazing mango scented anti-bac hand sanitizer that smells exactly like you just rubbed an actual mango into your hands, and a few other bits and pieces. I have already picked up a couple of items for next weeks package.

So what was in the package Sephyroth sent to me? Let us take a look.


Some shower gel and handwash from my favourite Bath and Body Works.


Some cup-a-soup and some loom bands.


Many chocolates!


These things are SOOOOO tasty! I love wild cherry flavoured things. :)


Some wax melts – I bought Yankee Candle two wax melts for my next package to my Aunt.


A lovely Wisconsin calendar!


There are actually 2 bottles of 265 antacid tablets. These things do not taste like chalk like Australian Quick-eze does.


A shoe bargain which we chatted about on the Kakao Talk while Sephyroth was in the Adidas clearance store near him.


Another view of the shoes.


Some potato chips of awesomeness.


And my Guaifenesin. :)

Thank you many millions my excellent friend! I will organise a package for you soonest, I already have some stuff put aside to send. :)

Happy Snoskred, Sephyroth, Snoskred hearts, yay

Before and After

So you might recall my clock post, and my paperweight post. Here is how the area looked before..


And here is how it looked after I used a table runner to cover the top of the cupboard. The golden sleigh was a Christmas present and I am going to use this to keep all my whiteboard markers and scissors in one place.


This is the area just inside our front door, and it leads into the kitchen. There is a large whiteboard which we probably need to redo from scratch as we made it back in the days we had other people living with us and we used it to track where everyone was going to be each day. what the meal was going to be and who was going to cook it, etc.

I still use the whiteboard for meal planning and we use it to write in things like appointments. I am a huge whiteboard nut, I love the things. I just bought my fourth one, which I will also share with you as a surprise shortly! ;)


The blue bowl I made myself in Ceramics a long time ago. I presently use it to hold the wax melts once I’ve used them in the oil burners several times but they still have some scent left, so I don’t like to throw them out right away.

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The Timer


I am a massive sucker for time management games, the kind you get on your iphone like Diner Dash and Hotel Dash and Wedding Dash. But when it comes to time management in real life, I’m not so good at that. So in 2014 I set myself the goal of becoming better at managing my time.

Last year I had a daily schedule which involved two focused 2 hour sessions – from 10am to midday, and 2pm to 4pm. In some ways this was great but in other ways I found it very limiting. I wanted to set myself a third session in the evening but there were always interruptions in my two hours which sometimes made focusing on a task really difficult..

Sometime in December I stumbled upon a site that mentioned using shorter timed focus sessions. This was actually a pretty revolutionary concept for me and getting annoyed with the limits of 2 x 2 hour sessions, I thought I would give it a try.

There are six basic steps to a short timed session:

1. Choose Your Task

What do you want to achieve today? It could be anything. I’ve set the timer for –

– editing photos
– writing blog posts
– feed reading
– surfing the web
– cleaning and/or decluttering
– household chores
– exercise
– organising the fridge
– cooking
– gaming – especially those addictive can’t walk away from games
– watching the chickens

The last two are especially important to set a timer for, because I can lose hours in a game or just watching the chickens be chickens out there in the yard.

2. Set the timer

I use my mobile phone timer but you can use any kind of timer you like.

I like to set a minimum of 25-55 minutes for most photo editing or writing tasks. You don’t seem to achieve very much in less than 25 minutes at those two tasks. For kitchen or chore tasks I might set 20 minutes with a seated 10 minute break to make a nice round half hour, and then I can catch up on my email in the break.

I am flexible with how long I set the timer for, too. If I have to leave for a appointment in 20 minutes, then a 15 minute timer with 5 minutes of getting ready time means I don’t waste 20 minutes waiting for it to be time to leave.

3. Focus on your task

And ONLY that task. Phones off. Email off. Internet off. TV off. If the doorbell rings, you don’t answer it. I find this freeing in so many ways, especially ignoring the doorbell. I know if it is the package guy because right after the doorbell rings, there is a beep from his scanning the package. That one I’ll get up for. Everyone else can come back another time. No interruptions.

4. Timer Goes Off! Take a short break

If this was a seated writing or computer related task, save what you were working on before you turn off the timer. I’ve lost 55 minutes of writing thanks to a lightning storm before.

This step is *absolutely critical* – I cannot express to you the importance of taking the break the moment that timer rings. . I also recommend getting out of the room you were working in. You are giving your mind a chance to fly free and getting the blood flowing to your limbs again if the task was a seated one.

5. Take a longer break

You’ll find focused timer tasks can be quite tiring mentally. If you kept going for 4-6 hours at a time, not only will you get tired mentally but you’ll find it harder to focus.

6. Plan a reward

You’ve put in the effort so you deserve a reward once you’ve done at least 2 rounds of timed sessions then your break in a row. Your reward could be anything. Mine tend to range from playing a game to a snack to watching a tv show..

Group associated tasks together –

If I gave you 3 tasks that involved three different rooms, and you had to spend some of your focus time moving from room to room to room and back again, you’d find quite a bit of your time spent in moving about.

If you moved those 3 tasks into the same room, you’d save yourself a lot of time.

But only do one task at a time

You’d save even more time if you focused on just one task at a time.

The same goes for almost any task – it is quicker to do one task over and over than to switch from task to task. I find this especially true with things like image editing, writing, taking screenshots for my Breaking Bad episodes.

You can break tasks apart

I might break some tasks down into two separate timed sessions – for example – with the photo editing –

First session = 55 minutes of going through the photo folders, picking out images I want to edit and saving them into one folder

When the buzzer goes for the break, I get up and make a drink or have a quick walk around – my mind by this time has probably already moved onto how I want to edit those photos I have picked,

Second session = 55 minutes focused on image editing.

And even within this session I may break this down further. EG cropping all the images *then* making all the images the size I want *then* using tools to enhance the focus or colour *then* saving them all.

Because I have broken the two tasks into separate sessions, I find I get a lot more done.

About Snoskred, blogging tips, life lessons, Snoskred hearts, time management

My Paper Weight


During a family visit a few years ago, we went to this little shop called Global Contact in Berry. It is the kind of shop you’d recognise by the smell, which is a blend of sandalwood and patchouli and various incense scents..


You are either a person who loves that kind of shop, or you hate this kind of shop. My Mother is the only person I know who does not love a shop with incense, crystals, jewellery but I assume that there are other people who are not related to me who also may not like this kind of shop. :)


Berry is this quaint little country town with a shopping strip, all different kinds of shops. You can find everything from cuckoo clocks to sausages, from candles to teatowels, from artisan wool to artisan gelato. It is an absolutely delightful place to wander for an afternoon and window shop, but if you have some money to spend it is even more awesome.


For some reason I was drawn to this paperweight. Well, if you know me well enough you’d instantly know why I was drawn to it – because this thing marries two elements I very dearly love. Cobalt blue, and gold. You’ll note the blue is almost exactly the shade of blue which makes up the background of this blog.


It is not actually scratched. I had just cleaned it before I took these photos and I have gone back and double checked it since seeing these photos, and there are no scratches. Weird! But I do think some of the bobbles you can see here are caused by the liquid on the glass wipes I used.


Anyway, while I was cleaning this area I noticed that the top of this cupboard is stained from the whiteboard eraser which has sometimes rested on top of this cupboard. So, I decided to re-do this area and I’ll post about that another day. The photo you see below is after a *lot* of cleaning.


I’ll head over to Berry soon and take some photos and write an actual post, or even a series of them, because Berry is the perfect driving distance from Sydney for a day trip. You can also catch a train there, and the main street is a very walkable distance from the train station. Bring a tote bag in case you shop up a storm, though!

And to end this post on a weird tangent, Berry was the location for Village Vets Australia, which was a fantastic tv show on the Lifestyle Channel on Austar, and if you missed it, the episodes are sometimes on youtube for a couple of weeks, until they are taken down again..

The show was awesome for so many reasons – I learned a lot of new things about cows. They did a rumen contents transplant on a cow which was absolutely fascinating if terrifying for a germophobe. But be aware the show does contain some surgery on animals, and some very sad moments, in among the great moments of which there are also many.

Australia, Berry, Happy Snoskred, Home, New South Wales, Snoskred hearts

Going Back In Time


I mentioned recently that an item on my to-do list was to go back through the oldest posts on the blog. I know there are plenty of dead links and videos which no longer work and I’m fixing them if possible – finding another video of the same thing, or finding a similar link which still works..

In my review, I stumbled upon – This message may come to you as a surprise.. – where one of my clocks had fallen off the wall while I was at work. I said in that post that I would love to get a clock like the photo above..


and I look up from the laptop and see this – it turns out, I did get one exactly like that – it has the same model name and everything! Not a floor clock like the one above, but the clock I did get was a smaller wall version of the floor clock. It was an insane bargain when the store decided to clear that brand out. I think it retailed for over $300 and I got it on clearance for $30 or even cheaper.


You probably are wondering what is that thing in front of it – tis a paperweight. I’ll write a separate post just about that item, where I got it, and what it means to me.

An interesting side effect is – going through my old posts is like going back in time through my mind. It also shows me how much I have learned about blogging, which is a post for another day. :)

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Wax Melts Sample

Snoskred received a free sample which any PINCHme member could receive as long as they answered the survey questions and qualified for the sample.

So let me say right up front.. Nobody is paying me to write any of this, though I guess that will become somewhat self evident as you read on.

PINCHme had a survey you could fill in to see if you would qualify for a “secret sample” – so I filled it in, and I got an email telling me I qualified and I would receive a sample of Glade Wax Melts.

So they were aware, from my answers to this survey, that I burn wax melts regularly, and that I have never bought their wax melts before. I looked at them when they first came out and there was a special pack with the burner but they were all sold out when I went to get one. I had picked them up and smelled them, and there were a couple of flavours I would be likely to purchase.

I was extremely excited about this sample because I am a wax melts girl. I love those things. Here are some of the Yankee Candle ones I brought back from Hawaii last trip..


I am now able to source the Yankee Candle melts here, though at double the US price. You can buy them too – most Spotlight stores now stock them. I’m here to tell you from a lot of testing these personally, they smell amazing, the scent lasts a long, long time, and there is a huge range of scents to choose from. The candles are awesome as well but not at all cheap.


I also brought back a bunch of Essenza candle melts and a bunch of Better Homes and Gardens wax melts. And even though I have been using them regularly I still have quite a few of these left.

With all that said, I like to mix it up and have as many different scents to choose from as possible – because who knows if I will be in the mood for Red Delicious or Black Coconut or Spiced Rum Cake.

So here was a chance for a new company I do not usually buy product from to win my regular wax melts business. They were sending me a sample! YAY! I was very excited.. but day after day went by, and no sample appeared. The date for me to give feedback on the sample was getting closer and I was starting to think I might not be able to leave any feedback this time. Then I got an email advising me there was a delay with the sample and it will arrive sometime in January.

And eventually, arrive it did.


And then I wondered why they even bothered to send me this stingy one little wax cube.


Glade, you are asking me to spend $8.99 for 6 wax cubes on an ongoing basis, while sending me one, tiny, little cube.


I think, perhaps not.

Samples are a great chance for company and consumer to try each other out, see if maybe a relationship can develop. I took the time to fill in the sample and qualify for you that I am a potential customer, and then you scrimp on the sample you sent me? Stingy much?

For your future reference, Glade. Fairy sent me 3x dishwasher tablets. Pantene sent me enough shampoo and conditioner for 5 washes. If you are going to send out samples, I think 2-3 squares in different scents is the minimum you should aim for.

Sephy you ought to get this – Better Homes and Gardens Wax Warmer Starter Set, Woodland Deer – next time you are at Walmart, if you can’t find an Essenza kit at Costco.

Here are some closer views of the Yankee wax melts.





aromatherapy, PINCHme, reviews, shopping, Snoskred hearts