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We headed to Canberra for Xmas this year, to help people move house and to be with Bruce’s family. There are two vegans and a vegetarian in the household, so the menu for Christmas lunch was an array of delicious salads, some chicken and feta for us meat eaters, and fruit salad and pavlova for dessert. A deliciously healthy and filling meal that made for awesome leftovers!!!

potato salad
Potato Salad (vegan)

noodle salad
Crispy Noodle Salad (vegan)

Coleslaw
Coleslaw (vegan)

garden salad
Garden Salad with Olives (vegan)

vegan sausage roll
Vegan “Sausage” Roll. WAY better than the usual grey meat.

chicken
Chicken. I had to shred these BBQ chooks because noone else in the kitchen would touch them. I really don’t like stuffing or that ewie chicken jelly.

feta
Tasty tasty salty feta.

fruit salad
Fruit salad. Yummy Yummy.

pavlova with mango and blueberries and cream
Pav.

cards against humanity
That evening, those aged over 13 played cards against humanity…. interesting explaining to your bf’s son what “bukakke” is… But a super fun game!

A delicious Xmas. I’ve always had a salad based Xmas lunch – it’s the Irwin side of the family way – so really enjoyed this!

Om nom nom.

Oh and I got Diet Coke for xmas! Twice!

diet coke

#winning

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newcastle mirage blog meet

BLOG MEET!

moon boy Murrays beer

I love a good blog meet, talking “shop” with people who get that google analytics and referral terms are a thing that matters! A huge thank you to the Newcastle Mirage boys (did you know ZINES were still a thing???) for organising it and getting the beer from Murray’s Brewery for us gals to try!

being the little lioness

I may have kittied up, thanks to Kitten Cream and Kitten’s Playpen.

Murray's Whale Ale

angry man murrays pale ale

Mmm…. beer

common fix cold brew coffee

And COFFEE!!! Some gorgeous yums from Common Fix Cold BreW. Gorgeous team behind it and nommy coffee…. esp with VODKA!

four to the floor

Me and the peachy keen mumma!

Oh hello there Peachy Keen Mumma!!!

hello naomi bikkies

mmmm Hello, Naomi bikkies!

you're a mug mate

You’re a mug mate….

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Custom espresso

Organised a family brunch shortly before Chrissy at Custom Espresso, which is walking distance from my parents’ place and their new regular coffee joint.

custom espresso

We got to relax over some great food, and got to meet my sister’s boyfriend :)

custom espresso

custom espresso

custom espresso

custom espresso

custom espresso

Look at me eating eggs!!!!!

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delish dip
Friday evening!

Tried the Wattle Valley Delish Dips one Friday night with some cider, because they were on special at Coles, and because FETA!

The flavours they come in are

  • Baby Beets & Feta
  • Baby Spinach & Feta
  • Spicy Capsicum & Feta
  • Peppersweet & Feta
  • Roasted Pumpkin & Basil
  • Olive Medley & Feta

wattle valley deslish dips

I tried the Olive Medley and the (not listed????) Basil and Feta. DIVINE.

With $2 Jatz of course.

Moar please!!!

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OH MY GOD.

I went for sushi the other week, and what should appear at my feet, but a PUNCH A BALL, like the ones we bought from Jewel’s Supermarkets in the 80s and saw Miss Kim instruct the kids in on Romper Room!

punch a ball

You can buy them ebay!, but no Mister Doo-Bee printed on these….

punch a ball

ahh, memories.

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Underwire

Having another underwire stab me in the heart last week, it was time to hit up Best & Less for some new ones. Ones that fit properly and don’t try to kill me.

Best and less bras

Had success in the bra department, two boring beige and a pink! $15 each.

Best and less undies

Of course, how could I not get undies while I was there? Especially ones with pineapples or lollipops! (no they are not scratch and sniff unlike the range my sister had to remove from sale in girlswear at Big W last year…) $6 per pack of 5.

Best and less purple dress

The it was impulse buy time – a dress marked down to $10, which then scanned at $7 :)

Best and less bargain bin

We NEARLY made it out, but then there was a 98c bargain bin…. five pairs of socks and two more pairs of pink undies later, we emerged.

PLUS, most of this was paid for with a Visa gift card I got for Xmas! :)

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OMG this candle is delicious!

flicker flicker

(note to self – no drinking the wax. it will only end badly)

It’s called “Lemonade Stand”, made by AirWick, and when I was asked which one I’d love to try, I OBVIOUSLY went with the lemon one. Light and sweet and zesty and certainly brightens up the feel of the room when it wafts past! The gif above was auto-awesomed by Google for me after we took a bunch of pics of it alight last night :) Lazyweb!

I’m a little disappointed at the moment and really looking forward to a few months from now when I can get a whole bag of lemons for $1.50 rather than the $1.50 EACH I saw at Coles this morning while scoping out the fresh fruit and veg at the local. I’ll have to stick with the bottled lemon juice for now. (but $2/kilo for bananas had me buying!!) I’m also looking forward to the fruit ripening on the mango tree at the house my sister is renting! That’s gotta be worth extra rent I’m sure!

Air Wick Silhouettes Amber Mandarin Glow

I’ve had a vanilla AirWick candle before and it smelled delicious, and filled the room with a subtle (not too overpowering, I can’t handle that!) scent, and I’m sure the mandarin one would too. The multi coloured glow jar candles are pretty cool too :) The colour changes seem almost magic.

multicolour-silhouettes-french-vanilla-150g

To enter to win three of these wonderful scented candles – Lemonade Stand, French Vanilla, and Mandarin Orange Glow – just comment below telling me which of the fragrances are your favourites or which you’d love to try most – or which one is clearly missing from the range and needs to be created STAT! Then don’t forget to fill out the Rafflecopter to confirm your entry :)

Australian addresses only, closes midnight Monday February 9, AEDST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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No, Tony Abbott, you can't dismiss social media as 'electronic graffiti'

By Collette Snowden, University of South Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement of a knighthood for Prince Philip on Australia Day sparked both a mainstream and social media storm. But Abbott’s response to this backlash, when he casually dismissed the public expression of incredulity at the knighthood, only served to create another social media story. Abbott said:

Social media is kind of like electronic graffiti and I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media.

You wouldn’t report what’s sprayed up on the walls of buildings and look, as I said, social media has its place, but it’s anonymous. It’s often very abusive and, in a sense, it has about as much authority and credibility as graffiti that happens to be put forward by means of IT.

This was not the first time Abbott has described social media as such. And while he is is partly right, he is mostly wrong. Social media is indeed electronic graffiti, but the big mistake is not in paying too much attention to it, but in paying too little.

As a former journalist, Abbott should know that everyone who writes in public writes to be heard. The evidence is found not only in contemporary case studies, but in the role of graffiti in social and political life through the ages.

Like all forms of human expression, graffiti – including its electronic form – has a wide range of quality. Abbott’s narrow view of graffiti seems to confuse the banality of “X woz here” with graffiti as a tool of subversion and a medium for the expression of political criticism and social outrage.

While most now associate the term “graffiti” with tags or drawing “sprayed up on the walls”, it was originally used to refer to the casual writing and drawing found on the walls of Pompeii, Rome and Egypt. Graffiti is found throughout the world on buildings, in public and private locations, on natural landmarks or sacred temples, and in and on the objects of daily life.

Everywhere humans go they leave graffiti. Ancient tourists scrawled on the walls of the pyramids. Long before that they drew cave paintings such as those on Australia’s Burrup Peninsula to record life and events in ancient human societies.

The development of writing allowed people to produce inventive graffiti to make jokes, defame their enemies, boast about their sexual prowess, profess their love and express dissent. Graffiti may have been anonymous but it could be powerful. It has certainly been a medium that subverted and challenged the status quo and presented new ideas. What graffiti artists write about, in any age, can be significant as an expression of public focus, attention or concern.

Political graffiti is frequently a sign of inequality in a society. This is a form of media that allows the disempowered or unrepresented to have a public voice. Some of the most potent public political statements today begin as graffiti. One of the most successful contemporary artists, Banksy, is a graffitist. Social media transfers graffiti from the street and amplifies its power and impact by rapidly increasing the audience.



British graffitist Banksy frequently references politics in his public artworks.
EPA/Will Oliver

Graffiti employs the writing genre of the epigram, as popularised by the Roman poet Martial, Marcus Valerius Martialis, who was known for his obscene and insulting language and astute self-promotion. He understood, with the canny sense of an entrepreneur, that short-form writing was more appealing to a general audience. He targeted politicians, celebrities and anyone he didn’t like.

Martial would love Twitter. Here’s some examples of his work.

A drop of venom, a little bit of gall. Lacking these, my friend, your epigrams lack all.

The rich know anger helps the cost of living. Hating’s more economical than giving.

Your little dog licks your mouth and lips, Manneia. I am not surprised — it always enjoyed eating shit.

Martial was a celebrity in Ancient Rome, but his work became a kind of gold standard for Western literature when rediscovered in the Renaissance. He influenced a wide range of writers, including Ben Johnson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Lord Byron, as well as many European writers.

It’s not surprising that the language of social media uses the brutal brevity of the epigram. The short, concise and clever language produces the best, most powerful graffiti and, not coincidentally, the most entertaining text messages, tweets and social media posts.

To dismiss an outpouring of scorn and criticism on social media as lacking credibility is to ignore public opinion that is unfiltered and at its most honest – even if it’s disagreeable, and possibly wrong. Where and how people express their views is not as important as what they say.

Every prime minister should pay as close attention to what is being said by the electronic graffiti artists on social media as they do to focus groups and opinion polls.

The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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Coffee machine

I got sent a Dolce Gusto Circolo towards the end of last year to have a play with. I’ve previously reviewed the one that looks like a penguin here….

So, even though I don’t actually like the milk pods (I would use them in an emergency, but most of the time I just use fresh or microwaved milk if I don’t have a frother) I like the ease of use of the machine, and the flavours are nice, and, as you can see, it can all be done ONE-HANDED, in the video below of me making an ice coffee :)

It clearly needs more liqueur to make it into Australia’s favourite, the Esperesso martini…. Honestly, I could keep this on the bench if I had space just for random coffee shots and for making Friday drinks….

But here is my own martini recipe – the Caperberry Martini

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So.

We went to get a blue slip for the trailer… a 35 year old home made trailer, so it needed some updating to pass…

But, it was a little weird. The cross on the sign, the “Ieusous Zao” on the lettering.

The scripture on the office walls. and desk….

And the quote….

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Corinthians? Jesus is God?

Thoughts? I was a tad…. uncomfortable….

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