because: bloody christmas

So it’s bloody Christmas already and I’ve turned into one of those people that say:

‘Oh, I just can’t wait to have a break!’

It’s not like I’m working an 80 hour week or volunteering at an animal shelter, I’m just eating, drinking and being merry! 
I erected my $29 optic fibre Christmas tree that I purchased from Big W (what a bargain!) and decorated it with non-traditional coloured baubles. My mum has always insisted on a colour pallet of red, green and gold. You’re not even allowed to place your presents under the tree unless the wrapping paper also adheres to these guidelines. So this year I’ve got my own tree (for the first time ever), and I decorated it however I liked! When I informed my mum that I had used baby pink, blue and silver baubles on a fake tree there was a deafening silence on the other end of the phone and then these four icy words:

‘You’re dead to me.’

But even that couldn’t dampen my Christmas spirit 🎄🎅👍🏻

I’ve been to a couple of Christmas lunches, my end of year work ‘do’ and will of course be hitting up the pubs in Ballarat on Xmas eve, waking up so hungover my hair hurts on a couch or a garden setting.

I’ve been playing Christmas carols on YouTube in the morning as I get ready for work (because Spotify hates me) and I always just end up listening to the same song on repeat.

I’ve been avoiding most of my life admin and any kind of nutrition and I’ll be doing cartwheels out of work on Friday afternoon because I just can’t wait to have a break!

My favourite things about Christmas that have also contributed to me now being one of those people that say: 

‘I just can’t wait to have a break!’

Easing into Christmas

Yesterday I ate a spit roast, two kinds of potatoes, garlic bread, beer bread, pasta salad, and a normal salad for lunch as a warm up for Christmas dinner. And then an hour and a half later I ate a combo meal from Red Rooster. I couldn’t tell you how many Christmas themed cupcakes I’ve had! And that gingerbread frappuccino with whipped cream and a side of heart attack from Starbucks the other day almost tipped me over the edge. I mean, there is easing into Xmas and then there is falling right off Santa’s sleigh! #eating

Secret Santa

I love a secret santa because I always seem to get great presents. One year I got an iPod shuffle… And I’ve probably used it twice, but still a good present. This year I received the infamous hand painted tin duck/rosemary plant named Henrietta and also a stable table for my lappy. Both great presents because I’m currently writing this blog on my couch with a gin and tonic and a sprig of rosemary in hand! #drinking

Watch the Gavin and Stacey: Christmas Special

If you think Carpool Karaoke is hilarious then you have to see James Corden in the best thing to ever come out of the UK… apart from scotch eggs. You might need to watch series 1 & 2 of Gavin and Stacey first to fully understand the LOLs, but basically it’s a British version of The Castle at Christmas! #beingmerry
Merry Christmas xox

because: evolution of domestic goddess

After I moved into my inner Melbourne suburb flat last year, and promised my Dad this would be the last time he had to help me move, I was quick to feel the disappointment of these adult responsibilities: cooking, colour coordinated homewares and life admin.

life admin / ly-f-ad-min noun
1 Refers to one’s personal day-to-day chores that are of an administrative nature. This includes tasks such as personal banking, making appointments, paying your bills, responding to personal emails. Example: Sorry I can’t today, I have too much life admin to take care of.

I had lied about the amount of stairs in my building and I only pretended to help. And once I had finished unpacking all of my worldly possession in my freshly painted shoebox I discovered I needed so many life admin items. Plates, bowls, glasses, cutlery, mop, broom, dust pan, vacuum, duster (… I’m still yet to get one of those) and then all the cleaning products. Also you need to know what to do with said items and Google can only help you so much before it will start being judgemental and asking you in a condescending tone if you meant: recipe for potential kitchen disaster or recipe for scones..?

A few months ago I was appointed scones, as my “bring a plate” item to a Grand Final day barbie. I felt very nervous about having to serve something edible to humans, but I remember my Mum making scones with lemonade instead of butter and I thought to myself: how hard can it be?

I found a recipe online and saved it to my camera roll then I made my way down an unfamiliar aisle of the supermarket and started to load up my basket: Flour, cream lemonade, baking tray. A sieve? I didn’t even know how to spell sieve until I sent this text to my Mum:

‘Mum, do I need a siv (sic), to make scones?’
To which she replied.
‘*Sieve …Who dis?’

I purchased the sieve despite receiving no parental confirmation as well as all the ingredients and I carried them home in my eco-friendly calico bag (I use this item on the daily #adulting). I follow the recipe carefully and mix the flour, cream and lemonade together. But when I get to the bit where you have to put the dough on the baking tray I realise I don’t have a bloody scone cutter. Luckily it’s only the dress rehearsal! So I just roll the dough up into balls and whack them in the oven and hope for the best. I take them out of the oven after 12 minutes and to be honest they look shithouse but, they are perfectly golden. And I’d probably have been more excited if I hadn’t missed Home and Away and didn’t have to still do the dishes.

I take the dress rehearsal scones into work the next day for some constructive feedback. After the initial shock of hearing that I had been baking in my spare time my colleagues were happy to let me know the scones were a little dry but the more cream and jam you added the better they tasted. And once my Mum finally understood it was actually me who had sent her the text about the sieve, and it wasn’t some kind of practical joke, she also informed me that instead of a scone cutter you can just use a glass dipped in water. On the day of the barbie I wake up at 7am to re-stock my ingredients and start baking. I apply the feedback and new information re: scone cutter alternative and everything goes to plan.

Unfortunately all the attendees of the barbie get so boozeled that my scones are forgotten about. The full tray is returned to me the following day, none of the scones have been eaten. Except for one… which someone has taken a bite out of and then put it back.

Since then I have embarked on a wide range of domestic activities including the following:

Cooking

My Grandad used to get recipes from the Royal Auto magazine. They were sometimes terrific and sometimes terrible but he really enjoyed getting an automotive magazine in the post every month if only to try something new for dinner. Now, I do not own a cookbook and I’m not the kind of person to follow a recipe but I recently discovered I like to watch Better Homes and Gardens when I get home from work on a Friday. Once I even wrote down (I mean, I typed it into the notes section of my phone) one of the recipes as I watched and then went straight to the supermarket in my thongs and a denim shirt to get all the ingredients. I’ve even attached the recipe here:

Recipe: Grilled Zucchini and Pomegranate Salad
Ingredients:
Zucchini – thinly sliced and grilled
Kale
Pomegranate
Green olives
Capers
Lemon juice
Method:
Guess how much of everything you need.
Chop all ingredients.
Remove Pomegranate seeds in bowl of water as the seeds will sink and the pith will float (great tip… I know)
Chuck in a bowl and stir.
Serve!

Sewing

Well, I did a button repair for a guy at work who had to rush out for an important meeting. And I used the sowing kit I keep in my desk drawer for such button emergencies. I also soaked my white linen dress in NapiSan overnight… Does that count?

Indoor plants

In the last 12 months I have successfully killed a tomato plant, a herb garden and an orchid. I’m not sure if it’s because I have zero air flow in my apartment and it can reach up to 150 degrees (Celsius) in the summer. Or if it’s because I drown them..? Maybe a combination of both. Just this week I received a rosemary plant in a Secret Santa gift and I’m told it’s very hard to kill rosemary. So I turned to the World Wide Web for advice:

Caring for Rosemary Plant:
1. After the plant flowers, remember to trim the plant.
2. For fresh rosemary in the winter, grow the plant indoors in a pot. …
3. Prune regularly so that the plant won’t get lanky.
4. Water the plants evenly throughout the growing season.
5. Be sure to get cuttings or divide the plant for next season.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

My evolution to domestic goddess has been very evident in the last few months and some people have even suggested to me, that the improvements I have made are due to my hidden inner desire to become a home maker. I don’t know if that is accurate but I’m happy to indulge the idea even just so I have something other than tinned tuna and dust for lunch for the rest of my life.

But if anyone is thinking of getting me a personalised scone tin for Christmas… Don’t.

baked-by-abbey

*References
1. Life Admin – Urban dictionary definition 2. Zucchini and Pomegranate Salad c/o Better Homes and Gardens… and Pomegranate tip from Mr Finley Brentwood 3. Caring for Rosemary plant – http://www.almanac.com/plant/rosemary

because: yoga

I really don’t actually enjoy going to the gym. Like, I am not even going to pretend that I walk out of that place filled with endorphins and a new found life motivation. I kind of wish I was one of those people that said: ‘Once you go, you just feel so much better!’
… I believe they are lying not only to you, but also to themselves.

Anyway, I pay my membership and I plan to go to the gym every day but the reality is that I might go twice a week… Or maybe once a week. Ok, I go once a week. Once.

Of late, I have been enjoying far too many Uber Eats and $3 pies from the 7/11 so the boyfriend and I entertained the idea of doing boot camp together. But neither of us were thrilled with a 6am start or the idea of being verbally harassed into our dream summer bikini bodies. It is one thing to start your day peddling a stationary bike while reading a romance novel and quite another to be yelled at by a tattooed middle aged man who Googles, daily, the words: French Foreign Legion and Michelle Bridges. The next option I was presented with was CrossFit and I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about that, but I was sold the idea by use of my favourite nine-word sentence:
‘You could get a blog post out of it.’

*I fear I may have also agreed to go camping, for the first time ever, because these words were also used in a bid to convince me three days without a shower isn’t so bad!*
Fortunately the CrossFit bloke never got back to us about scheduling an intro session so by we decided to just go to yoga instead. I was a little nervous about participating in a hot yoga class considering my normal low blood pressure and the heightened chance of me fainting in a warmed space. I have the same feeling when I get on the tram and it’s over 23 degrees. There is always the chance I will faint, have a seizure and shit myself all at the same time. So the 10 minutes before the start of the class when you just lay there and adjust to the room temperature is really for everyone’s benefit. And they are not kidding about it being hot yoga. It is V hot!

I do cheat on half of the breathing exercises and it’s going to be a long time before I can successfully stand on my head. But, so far, I’ve made it through without incident and have since cancelled my gym membership and am planning my life around yoga classes. It kind of matches my wine allergy and maybe by the New Year I’ll have become a vegan? It’s for sure better than psyching yourself up for the gym and then never going.

(insert video Boasty tagged me in)

Even though I’m no closer to rocking all my belly tops this summer I don’t even really care, to be honest. I just like that I’m sweating while lying on my back with my eyes closed.

The best thing about this whole yoga experience is after the class we go for dinner. And we walk straight past the place with overpriced Vietnamese noodle salad and the organic chicken restaurant with gluten free/dairy free/no fun Snickers bar (I’ve never had one but the internet told me so) and go and get burgers.

Big fat dirty delicious burgers.

I didn’t feel guilty at all, not even when I order a beer or dipped the whole burger in mayo. And all I can think about is going back this week to try the southern fried chicken burger.
This probably indicates I won’t become a vegan anytime soon… or a full time yogi.

Namaste.

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