Monday, May 31, 2010

Dull Roar Beauty

Like all my approaches in life my 'beauty routine' is mainly aimed at not looking too scruffy without actually making much effort, spending much money or creating much waste.
I have been trimming my own hair for a few years now but not been doing a great job, luckily the length was always enough to distract people from the poor trim job. That was until last night- I tried these instructions for a "U-shaped trim" and took about 5 inches off my length. I am delighted with the results and the length (just below my bra back) makes my hair much more manageable than the straggly bottom length hair I had before.
Emboldened by this experiment I had been searching for a better hair removal technique for those hairs I didn't want so long ie legs and other places. I have been using "disposable razors" and used about four a year but if they are any good they tend to have strange gimmicks (lavender scented handles?) and much packaging. I seem to have been searching for hair removal techniques for most of my adult life! I have just finished "sugaring my legs" which was really just like waxing, i used an old popsicle stick as a spatula and paper bags which had held food from the bulk food shop instead of calico strips. I also made the sugar gel myself. It worked well and so I tried the traditional method of sugaring without the strips which definitely requires some refinement on my part. You can read about sugaring here .
I needed to "release some tension" after a particularly maddening day with noisy disobedient children so have been happily smashing up concrete preparing for the arrival of my hazelnut suckers and digging the ground to prepare for the apple trees. I appear to have stumbled onto the old loo pit (the loo used to be in the shed along with the laundry many years ago) and found over 40 beer bottles and other delights- most complete!
Our creche director has put up a little display on being "green" at "bubby school" as we call it and she was explaining to us that they were green in many ways but much of the food scraps had to be thrown out due to the wormery not consuming as much as was thrown out and we stepped in to save the day! I am delighted to be getting a big container of food scraps to add to our compost until we complete our planned chicken ark. It wasn't going to be worth our while having chooks as we get free range eggs very cheaply but if we have the creche food scraps the amount we would spend on pellets would be much less! Hurrah! In the mean time our compost heap is growing with food scraps, leaves and grass clippings and the birds around here are looking very content! A mutually beneficial arrangement for all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dull Roar Tea time: Pop a Woolly Hat on the Teapot and Reclaim the Cupcake!

I think I am going a bit potty bonkers...possibly thanks to small children who seem to believe it is their role in life to make noise and throw things at every available opportunity or perhaps the accountant who forgot to put over $67,000 worth of deductions in our tax (no wonder we had a tax bill!). Or perhaps it's the cold.
We has our first frost last night and by crikey is it cold here! I have ordered some bare rooted apple trees and hazelnut suckers for winter and I am having a great time trying to plan the garden now!
The aphids and white fly are reaching critical point so I am trying to learn about making more habitats in my garden to bring in friendly predators, the darling Husband is very keen on buying a box of ladybirds but we are unsure if the onset of winter is the best time...
The youngest son is most vexing at present and insists on removing his trousers and running around with fat little mottled thighs going blue in the chill!
I had a lovely day today with the boys at the local park which is a magnificent Victorian anachronism with fountains and a monkey display and big beautiful trees. We had vacated the house so hard working husband could work on some auto electrics( stereo dontcha know) without the shrieks of battling babies upsetting the soldering. Once we left the park I had a hankering for some lunch and happened on a Sushi train restaurant which I had never seen before. In what can only be described as a moment of madness I decided the boys might think it was fun.  They did BUT I would only recommend trying to sit on unstable bar stools and eat tiny Japanese food with chopsticks with a three year old on one side and a 20 month old on the other (both very... Ahem .. vigorous) if you are feeling particularly resilient yourself. As they say- that which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger (I do think I could feel myself having a minor cardiac event at one point though).
We had to buy a new teapot the other day as the very daggy glass one we had was developing some alarming cracks, with the cold weather setting in we thought it prudent to get a teapot which would not be so volatile with expansion and contraction of temperature changes. The new teapot is ceramic and once the chill set in we found we had to return to warming the pot and we really needed a tea cosy. I found on e*ay they cost upwards of $12.95 no matter how hideous which I was outraged by! I used to wear one I found in the costume room at college. It was great because the piggy tails would stick out the spout and handle holes and my head stayed warm in the cold theatre. on relating this story to the darling the husband he pointed out what should have been obvious- buy a woolly hat for the teapot; so I set off to the op-shop and picked one up that matches the teapot very smartly and was $2. Lovely tea now! 
I have been baking today (oven helps keep the house a little warmer!) and made cupcakes. Real cupcakes. Not these generic sickly fluffy paps of nothing topped with luridly pastel greasy butter cream but a solid little open crumb chocolate butter cake with an honest chocolate glace icing. Sort of like the Inspector Frost of cupcakes (OK... I am actually watching A Touch of Frost at the moment but I swear the cakes and he are very similar although he is not chocolate.. told you I was going mad). No wonder some people hate cupcakes now- the "Sex and the City" American style that is so "popular" at the moment is truly awful. I am most alarmed by American food in general actually- it seems that so much of it is not actually made of food at all! Please tell me I am not the only one to suffer from this brand of food racism!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Smashed Pinky and a Nigella Crush.

Well having a business takes up so much time but I am pleased that this week things have been a wee bit quiet, it has allowed me to regroup and for us to re-evaluate the direction the business is going in, things are going to be getting pretty exciting again with high hopes and hard work ahead but we think it will pay dividends.
I smashed my pinky finger in the car door and much to my slighty queasy astonishment the nail has cracked across to the bed and looks like a nasty bruised zombie finger now. Quite fascinating but extremely painful and I am wondering how it will heal. The nail shouldn't pop off because the crack has allowed the blood that would normally build up and make the nail black to drain out slowly. I haven't posted a picture in the interest of keeping my band of followers.. it is quite hideous really! The blood kept flowing but didn't stop me from being part of a belly dancing performance at a 50th Wedding Anniversary party last night- I am getting $15 for it- I wonder if I can claim my costumes as a business expense?
The finger has made gardening a bit tricky but we have made a valiant effort planting beetroot today, I don't know if it will grow well but Sir Talks Alot wanted to plant some beetroot so there we go!
 We walked to a hardware shop today and I had an exciting time with two curious toddlers, the younger one causing semi deliberate chaos and the older being a wee bit clumsy which had the same result of knocking over various cyclamen on display for mother's day. The boys love the water features at the Garden centre and Sir Talks Alot is very interested in all things gardening and cooking now, choosing bananas and broccoli at the fruit shop and following me around the garden about 1 foot behind at all times. He understands about composting and improving the soil but unfortunately his little brother will not stay off the newly turned soil and both of them regularly fall over into the garden beds for no apparent reason- it is not deliberate but a bit exasperating anyway!
We have been doing a lot of walking lately, the littlest man in the pram with a scoot board attached to the back for Sir talks Alot and we are finding it easy to walk about and have some family time which is really cutting down on non essential car use and getting us some good old fresh air and exercise!
I think Sir Talks A lot has developed a bit of a crush on Nigella Lawson- he has previously told me that "Nigella is a weally nice lady" and that she is such a busy lady (this is said in a very admiring tone- I think he rates busyness very highly) Today he tells me that I don't need to listen to Nigella talking, after all the show is on for him- it is his special show...he was requesting to watch Nigella last night instead of In the Night Garden last night but the thing that has tipped me off is the fact that he claims Nigella loves him and told him so.. apparently when she was making Peaches Melba she said his name and told him she loved him! I don't know if this is the result of recurrent congestion in his ears or maybe Nigella is his imaginary friend... (a much better influence than that crooked Billy Bond, a wolf who comes down our chimney and then steals our telly, only to sell it back to us at the Royal Oak Pub...that wolf is a bad influence on our boys). I haven't the heart to tell him that maybe he is mistaken about being the object of Nigella's affections!