getting our yo gabba gabba on

man, sometimes life can really get away from you. all of a sudden you go to write a blog post and realise it’s been about four weeks since your last one (oops) – even then they’d been quite sporadic for the past few months – and then you realise that the little family event you wish to document actually happened three weeks ago (eeek). oh well… there’s no time like the present to start getting back on track I guess (for the next two weeks at least until baby girl makes her impending arrival).

so, on a lovely saturday afternoon three weeks ago our little family of 3.5 rocked up at the perth convention centre so see the spectacular that was ‘yo gabba gabba live’. for those that aren’t familiar with ‘gabba’, as it is known in our house, it is basically a completely psychedelic tv show created by people who I am certain were high on something more than life and aimed at preschoolers. the main characters are DJ lance (and for those interested, the ‘real’ DJ lance was in the show) and a bunch of monster toys who magically come to life and sing songs about brushing your teeth, eating your vegetables, dancing, loving everyone despite their differences, and forgiveness. i must admit that it took me a while to warm up to the tv show and i was slightly horrified by the revelation that thatcher liked it (however, my level of horror over thatch’s enjoyment of gabba is nothing compared to my ongoing disdain of his other favourite – in the night garden, do not even get me started on that turd of a show). now though, times have changed and I actually like me a bit of gabba and find some of the songs quite catchy. there’s a party in my tummy. so yummy, so yummy…

anyway, back to the show. after mandatory stops at the merch stand to stock up on t-shirts and glow sticks and at the bar for supplies, we took our seats. and all I can say is the show was amazing. as my sister described it, it was basically a toddler rave. a dark room full of flashing lights, loud music, glow sticks, bubbles and dancing and singing preschoolers. I may have even caught myself (on more than one occasion) dancing and singing along to the songs even when thatcher and rod were off in the bathroom. oopsy daisy.

suffice to say, we loved it. thatch loves wearing his gabba t-shirt and wants to wear it everyday, whenever we drive past the convention centre he asks if we are going to see gabba, the show is still a regular topic of dinner table conversation and there may still be a bit of dancing to gabba songs happening in our house on a daily basis. wiggle wiggle wiggle, go…

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^^^making himself right at home on the furniture display^^^

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20140628-080110-28870637.jpg^^^thatcher making a run for it. I sure am glad rod could keep up because I certainly cant^^^

 

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he said what…?

the other morning as I was laying in bed in that awful limbo state of being awake but not being ready to accept that reality I could hear thatcher reading in his room across the hall. i’m not quite sure which book it was as i wasn’t aware that we had a story about a duck and an ambulance who were saved from a perilous situation by an elephant just in the nick of time, but according to t, we do (or I could totally be misunderstanding the ‘quack quack, wee-aw wee-aw, quack quack, wee-aw wee-aw, mmmmmmmmmm, yay!’ i heard coming from his room).

it was super cute to hear and made it all the more easy to drag myself out of bed on that cold autumn morning (after I snuggled in for another five minutes to find out what happened to the duck and ambulance in the end of the story, of course). i am constantly in awe of the huge personality this little man has and the imagination he is developing – he is unlike anyone else I have ever met and i love it.

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luscious chocolate cloud cake

i have been making this cake for years and it is always a winner in this household. i first found the recipe in my absolute favourite recipe book, nigella lawson’s ‘how to be a domestic goddess’. i gave it a bit of a shake up by omitting the cointreau and orange zest from her recipe (we’re not huge fans of Jaffas over here) and it was so delicious i’ve been doing it the same way ever since.

what you’ll need
250g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids)
125g butter
6 eggs (2 whole and 4 separated)
3/4 cup of caster sugar
500ml thickened cream
a dash of vanilla essence

how to make it
1. pre-heat oven to 180oC (160oC fan forced). line and grease a 23cm round springform pan.
2. melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. once melted, add in the butter and let it gently melt into the chocolate. stir.
3. lightly beat together the 2 whole eggs, 4 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of caster sugar until well combined and sugar has dissolved. add to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
4. in a separate bowl beat the 4 egg whites until soft peaks form. gradually add in the remaining sugar and beat until sugar has dissolved.
5. to lighten the chocolate and egg yolk mixture, gently fold through one dollop of egg whites. once combined fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate in 2 batches.
6. spoon batter into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes until the cake has risen in the centre and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
7. leave the cake in the pan to cool. do not be alarmed, it is supposed to sink in the middle.
8. while you are waiting for the cake to cool, whip the cream and vanilla into soft peaks. spoon the cloud of cream into the well that has formed in the middle of the cake and garnish with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.
9. slice and enjoy.

this cake is perfect for making in advance as it only gets more dense and mousse-like after refrigeration. (just don’t put the cream on until right before you serve it). it may not be the prettiest cake you’ve ever made, but by golly is it yumm!

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^^the best part of baking, hey baby?!?^^20140409-202906.jpg

twenty four

thank goodness that last 24 hours is over. it has been just a little bit stressful to say the least. it started last night when thatcher threw a golf ball and hit me slap-bang in the middle of the forehead (hello egg), it was followed up by a call from the supplier of our bath to tell us that the bath is on back order and won’t be available until the middle of May at the earliest (our renovations start monday) so rod and i have spent all day trying to urgently source an appropriately sized and priced bath in stock somewhere in perth – a challenge easier said than done as we still haven’t managed to find one we love.

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^^^even thatcher has started to feel my stress^^^

that’s sacrilege

what could be better than a giant blow-up Stonehenge in the middle of perth? Nothing, that’s what and as part of the perth festival 2014 that is exactly what our city got!

the weather wasn’t the greatest for it – jumping on a mound of plastic in the full sun on a 37 degree day, anyone? but it was all worth it in the end when the ice cream van rolled up…

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my spicy little son

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looking into my crystal ball, i am starting to think that perhaps thatcher is destined to be either a chef or spice merchant.

this morning when i woke up i walked out into the kitchen and was immediately greeted by the open pot of paprika (complete with the obligatory pile of spillage around it), a spoon covered in paprika and a very happy child sitting in the pile of paprika with paprika all over his face. this is not the first time that master arnold has done this to me. a few months ago it was a whole canister of ground cumin (i swear for the next month, every time i vacuumed the house it smelled like curry), last week it was a salad of white rice, brown rice and cous cous (obviously thatcher had heard that carbs are bad for you…) and of course, who could forget the cayenne pepper fiasco of late last year!

perhaps i should stop fighting his passion and just start doing some cooking with him. hmmm, what shall we cook first?

dear santa…

i know we have had a tumultuous past and our relationship hasn’t always been the friendliest (to be honest you scare the bejesus out of me and i think you’re kinda weird), but given that we are getting towards crunch time i was hoping we could put all of that behind us and you could still consider me for a spot on the nice list. here are the reasons why…

1. firstly, i rescued mum’s lady-gaga-inspired telephone bag from certain doom. let’s be blunt here – dad HATES this bag. always has. always will. I, on the other hand, appreciate mum’s quirky and offbeat fashion sense. so when, after four years of listening to dad complain about how ugly the bag was and how he couldn’t bear to be seen with her carrying it, she decided to put it in the good samaritans pile i just had to rescue that thing. like the speedy stealth machine i am, i snuck in and took the bag. the next thing anyone knew I was carrying it around like it was the best thing ever and no dad with half a heart would have taken that thing off me – i even made dad let me carry it to the shops. you can thank me later mum; although, come to think of it, that was a couple of weeks ago and the bag has been suspiciously MIA since…

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2. secondly, i am kind to all creatures great and small. i love Alfie. I love him in the morning. I love him during the day. I love him in the evening. I love feeding him my dinner (and my breakfast and lunch and snacks). I love going for walks with him. I love throwing the ball for him at the park. I love telling him to ‘sit’ and ‘stop’. I love chasing him around the house. I love it when he chases me around the house. I love squirting him with the hose. I love wrestling with him. I love cuddling him even though he always runs away when I try. I love practising hockey with him. I just love him so much – cue crazy cat lady dog baby references.


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and I guess the other animals aren’t so bad either.

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3. i am always willing to take one for the team and go to all-you-can-eat wings night with dad. wings are not the easiest thing for me to eat. I mean, I would gladly eat tomatoes, cheese, scrambled eggs and Oreos all day, but wings are a challenge for a little tacker. nevertheless, to save dad from the shame of dining alone, I played along. this may have also had something to do with the awesome crocodile drink bottle dad bribed me with, but that’s is a story for another day.

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4. and finally, bubbles. I really needn’t say any more than that. bubbles just make everyone happy and I am taking every opportunity possible to make mum make everyone happy. I make her blow bubbles at Christmas pastries. I make her blow bubbles at the Christmas pageant. I make her blow bubbles at Playgroup. I make her blow bubbles at home just for me. actually, where are those bubbles, I need just a little hit to get me through the rest of the day…

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so santa, as you can see, I have been a saint and deserve to be spoilt. dad has been talking about getting me a mini Audi Spyder for Christmas, but I say why stop at a mini one? I have clearly been so good that I deserve the real thing, so be good chap santa and get me one will you? i can make mum blow you some bubbles if you want?

kind regards

thatcher.

ps. the truce is off come midnight 26 December 2013. Bring it!!!

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purple people eater

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we have a mulberry tree in our front yard and every year, as soon as the weather starts to warm up, it gets absolutely loaded with berries. guess who just discovered it?

every morning for the past three days, thatcher has toddled off outside and quietly visited the mulberry tree. he has gorged himself on bright purple berries and eaten every berry within his reach (usually this means all of the berries that have fallen off the tree and onto the ground when either he or i have given it a good shake) and then waltzed stealthily back to rod and i thinking that no-one would suspect a thing.

well, i’ve got news for you little guy – you’ve been made…

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^^he made such a mess yesterday morning that we resorted to the paddling pool before i would even let him back inside. it’s a hard life isn’t it buddy?!?^^
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toddlers and cayenne pepper do not mix!

surprising isn’t it? i mean, anyone would have thought that toddlers and chilli powder were a great combination…

i’m still not quite sure how, but the other night T managed to get hold of the canister of cayenne pepper and spill it all through the house (considering it lives on a shelf about 1.7 metres off the ground – who knows how he got it). luckily for both him and i, i saw what he was doing just in time to stop him rubbing it all over his face and into his eyes. T may not have been particularly impressed that i threw him into the shower fully clothed, but given the fact that he didn’t spend the next three hours screaming in agony I think I managed to save him from the worst of it (I, on the other hand, had burning skin for quite a while afterwards.

little darling, please don’t do that to me again – next time, try cumin or coriander seed!

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^^^scrambled eggs are much better for facials than chilli^^^

a beautiful blue baby shower

mini fashionmaster

Imagea few Sundays ago, myself and my girlfriends had the absolute honour of throwing a gorgeous afternoon high tea for one of our dear friends.

our afternoon was simply beautiful with so much love for the mum-to-be and her baby boy. we played a few games including the ice cube game and a game of baby gift bingo (a few days before the party I made up lists of random gifts that I predicted might be received and everyone ticked the gifts off their list as they were opened). the winners received a baby bottle full of lollies…

i was in my element planning this party and making the decorations including random glass jars for drinking glasses and bunting. and I loved all of the blue cooking I got to do. I made blueberry lemonade (which ended up pink rather than blue, but meh), blue velvet cupcakes, luscious melting moments…

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