I kinda got nothing.

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Trust your Snoskred to schedule a pedicure for a day which does not exceed 14 degrees C. I struggle to wear flip flops on a hot summer day here in Australia. I parked as close as I could to the nail salon and walked as fast as I could.

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Going there was ok. While I was in there, the local August winds picked up. Walking back to the car was an icy adventure, made more difficult by the sun catching the sparkly in these toes and distracting me from the wind. It is amazing what nail artists can do now – this is a black base with a large, thin glitter applied which makes it look like black opal with highlights of teal, blue, purple, orange and pink. Photos do not ever seem to do justice to these things.

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I don’t usually do pedicures other than when I am going on holidays. This year I am going to make more of an effort to take better care of my feet – not so much the painted toes part, but a regular pedicure and I have a referral to a podiatrist. My feet have lost nearly 2 sizes recently and it has changed where my foot is developing the thicker skin so I want to get some advice on that.

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My past couple of manicures I have let my qualified nail artist do whatever she liked. It has been a fascinating experience, and I wasn’t really quite sure about this most recent artwork to begin with. I did not realise at the time she did this, but I’d had an outfit in my mind for a while and it was not until I put it on that I twigged – this matched my outfit perfectly! I like to think I mentally transmitted my outfit to her and she did my nails to match.

My mind is blank at this time. I’m going to blame the cold weather. I just want to huddle up wearing all the clothes plus beanies and gloves.

Fingers crossed my blog mojo returns and I can schedule some posts ahead of time again!

Fashion, sparkly, Vitamins

Whoops I forgot to blog!

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We had a super cold front blast through here yesterday and I had to go out and grocery shop in 6 degree weather. I’m sitting here with the gas heater on, a beanie, a hoodie, a rug, and many many other layers. And it seems I totally forgot to blog yesterday like I had planned. My bad! I will catch you up next week. :) Hopefully it will be warmer as it is meant to be spring soon or something.

blog housekeeping

Catching A Killer

thebill

When I was growing up, The Bill was huge here in Australia. We watched it as a family and we all loved the show – and thus a fascination with all things British policing was born.

Over the years there have been many great documentary shows on the subject – everything from Traffic Cops to Police Interceptors to Sky Cops to 24 Hours In Police Custody – the more of these shows you watch, the more you see how shows like The Bill got things pretty right. You could easily plop the cast of The Bill down into a real UK police station and you would not be able to tell the difference.

interceptors

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon Catching A Killer on the ABC here in Australia – you can still view it on iView (until September 16) and I highly recommend it. There are only two episodes of the show. For those not in Australia, you can currently catch these docos on youtube here and here.

To me the most fascinating part of the documentary is how the police use the ANPR system to track the movement of vehicles in the UK. In both episodes it is a crucial part of the investigation, especially in the second episode. They were able to take 5300 vehicles on the roads at the time and narrow it down to one vehicle.

Did you know that the UK has over 8500 cameras capturing the movements of vehicles across the country? These records are stored for up to two years in the National ANPR Data Center, which can be accessed, analysed and used as evidence as part of investigations by UK law enforcement agencies.

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The police can type in a numberplate and see every occasion that particular vehicle has been seen on camera, and they can track where a vehicle goes – the screenshot above shows a vehicle which the owner claimed was at home hitting various cameras across the UK where the green circles are..

They have a pretty decent CCTV network over in the UK as well, and watching them piece together the movements of cars and people of interest is a sight to be seen.

All this to say, if you have a spare minute, watch these documentaries. Especially those of you who enjoyed Line of Duty, this is like the real thing but without all the police corruption and major plot twists!

television shows

Finding Your Style

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I have been faffing about writing this post for over two months. Every time I would work on it, I would feel like a fraud of some kind. It took me a while to realise why I was feeling this way. The truth is, for the first 30 years of my life, I was extremely unstylish. Jeans and a t-shirt were my go to for going out, and track pants and a t-shirt or bike shorts and a t-shirt in summer were my go to at home. I owned very few – most likely zero for a lot of those years – dresses.

I was trying to figure out how and when this changed. My memory is somewhat hazy on this point but I have a feeling two things coincided – I was diagnosed with Aspergers and I began a new job around 2010 where two of the most fashionable people I have ever known worked. One of them was my best ever manager and I have talked about her here on the blog before.

And thus the Style of Snoskred was born, and it has been evolving ever since. Anyone who grew up knowing me would be very surprised at this turn of events. I spent most of my growing up years dressing to hide or dressing in whatever fit. There was very little style to be found in my world. I think my Mother is the most shocked of all, and probably not a great fan as I used to be her comrade in unfashionableness.

So how did I get here, to this somewhat stylish place I seem to find myself in now? Here are a few thoughts which might help you if you are lost in the style forest.

Make Some Rules –

I am not talking about those old style rules like blue and green should never be seen. I am talking about making some rules for yourself in order to make life a little bit easier when it comes to shopping.

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Take Two Cold Shoulder Printed Rayon Tunic $19.95 from TVSN

Here is a good example of one current rule that I have – NO cold shoulder tops. Designers, I do not care how pretty the print might be or how much design you have incorporated into this top or dress. I simply hate this style and I refuse to wear it. Why would anyone think this is a feature I would want? I like my shoulders to be just as warm as the other parts of me.

At the moment that can rule out a large area of a shop when I walk in because this style is *everywhere*. I have no idea why. I know some people like it, but in my opinion it is the most inconvenient and stupid thing you can do to a piece of clothing, besides perhaps slashing it with a knife. Hey, that could be the next fashion trend! And hey, it *is* a thing, I saw it in a menswear shop just yesterday.

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Cold shoulder does not go with one of the major things I do a lot within my wardrobe – which is to layer. Try putting a mesh top under one of these cold shoulder things, it is a huge NOPE. Try putting a cute bolero cardigan over the top, NOPE. I do not own a single cold shoulder thing, nor will I ever.

Break The (Old) Rules –

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Blue and Green seen together tops from W.Lane (Abstract) (Ocean)

When I was a child there were all these sayings like blue and green should never be seen without a colour in between, there was one about pink and red, too. Blue and green is one of my most favourite colour combinations closely followed by pink and red. You want to wear stripes, wear them. You do not like stripes? Do not wear them.

Pick Your Colours –

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Tabatha Coffey always wears black. But within that colour she plays a lot with texture, mixed media, sequins, and she will very occasionally allow another colour in as long as black is the main colour.

The Duchess of Cambridge has made the shades of blue her signature colour thanks to her gorgeous engagement ring. She does not wear blue on every occasion but she wears it often enough for it to be noticeable. She has influenced me to add shades of blue to my wardrobe

Over the past ten years, I have leaned towards three most loved colours which can all be found in a seashell – purple, teal and pink, but I am not afraid to try any colour combination.

Decide What You Like –

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My family and friends could tell you whether or not something looks like I would like it. That is SO you, is something I hear a lot. My other half has a fashion style which I would describe as chaos. He does not like a stripe. He does not like a pattern that repeats. There are things I know he would never wear and I know better than to suggest them. I know exactly what he likes.

If I had to describe my current style in just one word, I would choose some of these words – surprising – unpredictable – eclectic – kooky – eccentric – weird – bizarre – sparkly.

The menswear seen in this post is from the Villains of Virtue range from Ed Harry. It is almost the perfect range for The Other Half, much chaos to be seen. The one thing he does not love are the big numbers seen on some of the outfits.

Nobody paid me to put these links here, these are just examples of what I was typing about, but I do love that ocean top and might have to go buy it for myself. ;) Sadly the other half says there is too much gold in the winged top because I do love it. I love the print of the cold shoulder but there will be no cold shoulder tops in this house ever. NEVER EVER! It is a fashion rule I have.

Do you have fashion rules? Let me know in the comments!

Fashion

I Listen To Things

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For many weeks here on Wednesdays I have been doing reviews of movies and television shows. We will return to that yet again in the future, I promise. This week I want to talk about The West Wing Weekly podcast, Google Chromecast, and various images.

For the most part I do not set up technical things up in this house. That task falls to The Other Half. So I mostly just accept the way things are, and when my old tv box which allowed me to watch things on the server began acting up, I inherited a Google Chromecast, or at least I think I did. I truly am clueless about it.

If I watch something on Netflix or on our server, when I am done with it if I do not switch back to Foxtel images begin to appear on my screen via Google Chromecast. Many of the images are quite stunning to look at and I do enjoy seeing them. There are NASA images of the day, images from Google Earth View, and images taken in national parks across America. The image up the top there, Turquoise Swirls in the Black Sea is one of the rotating images, as is the image you see below, which is – Lakes and Rivers Have Ice Too.

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Here are some of the Chromecast Backgrounds collected together beautifully for you to view, if you like. Here you can view some of the Earth View images. Here you can find the NASA image of the day and their archives.

It may not come as a surprise to you to hear this but a big phrase in my world is “I would like to know more about that” and I love that the NASA images can easily be found by typing in their title to your favourite search engine (eg Solar Evaporation Ponds Near Moab, Utah which you are about to see a part of below, click on the link for the whole photo and story) and you get a page with a story about the photo.

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I do not love that the images for Digital Globe have no backstory attached and the images really can’t be found so much online. Most of them just have a location and if you type that location into your search engine of choice, you are going to get all kinds of odd unrelated stuff and I don’t always know what it is I am seeing. I will say though, I did NOT need to look at the location to know when I was looking at Oahu from space partly because I have spent so much time looking at it on Google Maps, and partly because of the natatorium shown.

I was surprised to find that I never listened to any of The West Wing Weekly (TWWW) podcasts. I’m not a big podcast person to be truthful with you. I listened to the Breaking Bad Insider Podcasts and deeply loved every single one of them, I recently enjoyed the Better Call Saul Insider podcasts, and somehow I stumbled onto TWWW. I have been binging like an addict. The good thing is, I know the episodes so well I do not have to watch them, so I can just put my cordless headphones on and enjoy the podcast.

While I am listening, Chromecast is throwing these gorgeous images onto my screen, which I did find distracting to begin with but now I have seen all the images and it is cycling through them, I can just enjoy the beauty of them. The earth is such an amazing and gorgeous place especially when seen from space.

television shows, The West Wing

Fruchoc Me

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Those of you in South Australia can think yourselves lucky. And you are incredibly lucky, but maybe you do not recognize it the way those of us who are formerly South Australian know and understand it. Yes, we can sometimes get a Vili’s pasty. In fact I buy boxes of 12 pasties at a time, from a local cash and carry type place.

Yes, Farmers Union Iced Coffee is available in other states now, even in a 2 litre container in the supermarket. Yes, some Beerenberg products can be found by us on various shelves around the place from time to time.

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But the list of things we cannot experience unless actually present in your state is long. I would love a proper Vili’s sprinkled donut SO MUCH. I miss the soup of the day at the Vili’s Cafe. I miss my Barnacle Bills. Crazy as it might sound you cannot get anything comparable here in NSW. My go-to was the two in one snack pack. Fishettes, I miss you! And those sweet, juicy prawns.

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Until a year or so ago, I could easily get a Fruchoc here. But with Coles recent booting of many items from the shelves and other stores revising their ranges, it became harder to find them. One recent weekend I tried everywhere I could think of, only to fail. The reason I was looking was because I had found a site with a recipe for Fruchocs and I was hungry for them, but not hungry enough to actually make them myself. Or so I thought.

Once I failed at finding them on the shelves, I had no choice. I had to make them. But even that was more difficult than I expected. The recipe called for dried apricots and pears. Dried apricots are somewhat easy but I did not want ones from Turkey as I find them to be flavourless, I wanted Aussie dried apricots and not a single store I went to had those. Dried pears seemed to be an absolute impossibility. I tried Aldi, Woolworths, IGA, Coles, the local fruit and veg shops, nothing. Though I did find some yoghurt covered fruit bites at IGA which satisfied my craving momentarily.

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Imagine my surprise when the answer to all my searching was the Berry Treat Factory. Like many unexpected answers it arrived as a surprise in a local group where someone was looking for some pickling salt, and another member suggested to look in the downstairs area of the Berry Treat Factory.

That’s funny, I thought. I did not know they had a downstairs area. It turned out after over 10 years of living here I had never been to the REAL Berry Treat Factory which is off the main street and hidden away behind the train station, at the very back of some commercial units.

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Did they have Fruchocs? No, that would have been too much to hope for. They did have a lot of chocolate covered items like sultanas and nuts. Most importantly in the famed downstairs area they did have Aussie apricots AND dried pears, which I had almost feared I would never find anywhere. They also had a huge range of all kinds of awesome treats. We will be going back, time and again.

This recipe seemed easy but it is the most difficult thing I have ever made. There are no photos of the process, I was too busy! I need a better food processor. I need something that can chop up dried fruits without needing liquid added. I ended up giving up on my food processor and using a blender. Unfortunately this did not work especially well, even with melted coconut oil added. I tried adding water to get these two ingredients to blend together and all that happened for the most part was the dried fruits soaked up the water. This was a happy accident to be honest because the end result is so deliciously juicy. I would definitely add water to the dried fruits again!

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I also used Nestle dark cooking chocolate mixed with some Aldi dark chocolate with sea salt, melting the two together to make an unbeatable combination of awesomeness. Next time I would double chocolate coat them. And once we were done coating fruchocs, we coated some caramel peanuts and some of my Wasabi and Seaweed Macadamia nuts which turned out great.

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It would have been easier and probably cheaper to just order some Fruchocs and have them shipped to me. It seems you can now get them in a dark chocolate coating and that would be my pick I expect.

I did once try to enquire if it would be possible to purchase some Barnacle Bills prawns in a frozen state so I could cook them for my mother, for her birthday. Nobody ever replied to my email. This is probably a good thing because if I could get them I would order several trucks worth.

recipes