You can never go wrong with Spag Bol!

If anyone here is reading this and thinking what on earth is Spag Bol?? It means Spaghetti Bolognese. It is late Monday arvo (afternoon) here in Melbourne – Labour Day, a public holiday – for those who are lucky enough that means getting a day off! I opened my fridge thinking about the silly mistake of not buying (gluten free) bread and not buying an onion when I was out food shopping yesterday and then thought… what on earth will I have for lunch? 

I looked at my ingredients that I bought intended for dinner and decided to have my Spag Bol for lunch instead! 

But the reason why I am writing about here is because this meal takes back me to a lot of memories. 

The first being in Italian class back when I was in Prep. We had been learning all about the different types of foods (Italian of course) Gelati, Spaghetti, Pizza… (that is all I can remember at the moment as a wonderful smell is coming from my kitchen…) and we had to do a class survey of our favourite foods. The majority of my peers said Gelati. I remember being one of the few who put their hand up for Spaghetti. Every time I went to a restaurant it was what I ordered. Every time my meal came out my parents or whoever I was with at the time would exclaim how big a portion I received and how they thought I was never going to finish it. I always managed to finish my meal. I perfected the noodle twirl with my fork and when I learnt it was more ‘proper’ to twirl pasta on a spoon I practiced that until I got it right. Although there is rarely a moment especially when I’m at home that I do this! 

The second is in all the times that I watched someone else cook it – my mother mainly, of course! For many years I would always recognise my mother’s spag bol for the way it tasted. If someone else cooked it, it was never the same. Sometimes it was not as nice… other times (sssh don’t tell my Mum) it was better… Sometimes like a lot of mother’s did she tried putting veggies (vegetables) in the sauce because me and my brother were I guess a little too fussy when it came to our veggies. It never worked though because she would put the veggies in the sauce as chunks. Not only could we see them but we could still taste them! The point is though that whenever there is spag bol there is family or friends sitting down together and sharing a bowl or plate. If you eat it alone those people are still somehow there… they are thought of even if actually not present. It cheers you up, fills you and you can eat any time of the year! 

When it has come to making it myself… I think this is one thing that I have learnt how to do by doing. Not by a recipe and with only a small instruction by my mother. Every time I make it I use slightly different ingredients but it always tastes great. It will always bring comfort and I just love it! 

The best thing is that since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease the only thing I have to do to make sure I can still eat is use gluten free pasta!! Easy! 

It is one of my favourite foods that I can still eat! 

🙂 

 

Love Actually… is a great film!

Love Actually (2003)

Around this time of the year as a small Christmas tradition my Mum and I sit down to watch “Love Actually”… late last night when the rest of the house was asleep and most of the street too… we did just that! 

This film never gets old. The charm, the quirky jokes, the love, the all things Christmas and the lobster in the nativity scene are all reasons why I love this movie. I have watched it that many times that I know most of the lines, the songs and story-line pretty much off by heart. 

I have a lot of favourite parts, that I just cannot mention one. But I think that the message that the Prime Minister gives at the start of the film

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” 

is a pretty good reason as to why I continue to watch it again and again! That even though this message is spoken through a film and the story that follows. It allows me to believe that it’s true. The world isn’t all that bad. That love and the sentiments that come with Christmas is out there in the world and with me through my family and friends. 

I hope those who are fortunate enough to have love remember what we have and are grateful for it! It is times like Christmas that reminds me of this! 

With that note… 

Merry Christmas!!

Signing off for the last time for this year! See you in 2014. 🙂 

 

HAPPY EASTER!

Happy Easter everyone!!

So far I’ve had a pretty good one!

I’ve been mostly enjoying my time to relax and not really doing much.

I think that it’s best when you get a long weekend particularly one that goes for four days to simply relax. It’s a rare opportunity to get time off that’s for more than 2-3 days and when we take it we should enjoy it.

Good Friday for me was simply a “me” day. The kind where you don’t have an alarm clock to wake you up, you’re in a pretty lazy mood all day and you even take it as far as staying in your pjs all day. Although I managed to get up at 7:30am which for me is actually a 2 hour sleep in – I still didn’t really do much. Except I did bake a upside down polenta plum cake.

Yesterday was also good because the day itself was quite similar. Then last night myself and a few friends went out for dinner and a movie. We had crepes at a place that makes gluten-free crepes – which were delicious!! Then we went to watch “Hyde Park on Hudson”. A very funny movie set in the 1930s about a woman called Daisy and her “relationship” with President Roosevelt in the time where the King of England was trying to convince America to go to war with them. A good movie and one that I would recommend.

Today I woke to find that the Easter Bunny delivered to my door a large chocolate bunny and eggs to go with it.  A very lovely surprise to wake up to!

I’m now slowly getting through emails, eating toast, drinking tea and awaiting a skype date from my Aunty!

All in all – I’m very happy with how these Easter holidays have been. On that note

HAPPY EASTER!!!

I hope we all enjoy it!

🙂

Back into baking

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I got so excited when I saw the cake tin for these cakes, I honestly couldn’t let them go and had to buy them.

In my quest to get back into baking I thought that I would try making these cakes but with a cake mix. I haven’t done a lot of baking for a while and although I’m pretty good at cakes I thought it best to ease myself into them.

In creating these cakes I knew that I was getting myself into something more than just a simple cake. The process was straight forward… I mean cake mixes are sinch! But as I was doing so I was delving into an array of childhood memories… I had these Babushka dolls when I was a little girl. I remember they had elements of red in them and flowers of some kind.

I remember opening the big doll then the next size up and so forth until I had all the dolls lined up in a row. The trick was getting the dolls back inside and having the pattern perfectly lined up so they didn’t look sloppy and so they closed properly.

I don’t know where mine are anymore which I believe to be sad because if I did then I know I would still have them. I would still keep them as a treasure. I might even on the odd occassion play with them as I did when I was a child.

On the night of my 21st birthday my older brother gave me another set of these dolls. Except these ones were of a teacher. So totally his style. Inside the smallest of the dolls was a butterfly necklace that had purple gems on the wings. It was a beautiful gift. I still have the doll and necklace and although it’s not quite the same as the pretty red one with the flowers, it’s still such a lovely thing to have.

Then sometime last year I caught up with a friend as the days were creeping closer to Christmas. Here in Melbourne we have beautiful arcades in one of them there is a shop full of these dolls. Now my friend here loves these dolls more than me so we had to go in. There were so many different kinds!! I couldn’t believe it, it was incredible. My friend and I started sharing our Babushka doll stories and I learnt more about them then if I had simply googled…

They’ve also become a bit of a trend so I wasn’t all that surprised to find a cake tin that meant you could have Babushka doll cakes but it was still felt pretty good to see them sitting there in the shop.

The icing details may not be perfect but I’m pretty happy with my little creation.

So tempted to have one before dinner but I know that I shouldn’t… 🙂

Signing to be soon be enjoying these delicious sweet looking cakes!

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Just having a good time

As usual this year I didn’t make a news year resolution. I don’t believe in them. Mainly due to the fact that by February they get broken. But also because I believe that the new year is simply the passing of time. I know that for many people making a resolution is like saying you have a fresh start.

To me each day is a fresh start. It’s new, it’s yours and you make it how you wish. Each morning I wake and say to myself “it’s a new day!” Whether I had a great day or not, it doesn’t matter I have a new day to do things, organise things, to work, to plan or whatever it is that you do.

Although I do want to have more fun this year. I know that for sure. I find myself to be someone who is too serious. If I get stressed then I get stuck in that moment and can’t seem to enjoy myself. I can’t seem to simply go with the flow and have a good time.

For the past two weeks I have been stuck at home recovering from a throat infection. At first it started out like the flu but progressively it got worse. It was so bad that it felt as though I had a rock stuck in my throat and I was wearing jumpers when the weather was hot because of my tempreature. I was miserable. I soaked up a lot of tv and ate a lot of home delivered food because I didn’t want to go outside – due to symptons becoming worse.

By finally managing to go to my doctor I was prescribed anti-biotics and finally feel like myself again. Tonight I went out with a friend and came home feeling great!

I need to do that more. Not just want but need. I honestly 100% feel like this is a real need.

It was just a simple evening with dinner, dessert and lots of talking but it really was great.

I think with being a natural home-body and introvert I can get too comfortable with spending time at home. I’m never bored when I’m home because I’m always doing one of many creative hobbies. Which does make me happy.

But everyone including me needs to interact with other human beings and have fun. It doesn’t have to be a big night or day. But just something that allows us to have a good talk, laugh and try new places to eat.

Plus being a coeliac I have a bigger reason to not get stuck with the same old places simply because I’m secure in knowing the food is gluten free. In 2013 I know there are more and more options for us with dietry requirements. I don’t see why we have to miss out because we can’t eat certain foods.

It’s a new year, same me but more fun! Lets do it. 🙂

“The greatest sweetner of human life is friendship” Unknown Author

This post is dedicated to my friend who will be remembered tomorrow on her birthday.

Happy Birthday to my AWESOME friend,

You may not be with us anymore but the gift of who you are, most certainly is.

Lots of love, light and laughter,

Emma xoxo

Love:

To me love is forever. It doesn’t go away because that person is longer here.

We remember them for they are forever in our hearts.

Light:

There is always light where there is darkness.

Sometimes we feel we will never find light again, because we are lost through our

dark thoughts… but it’s because we live on in hope that we know it’s there no matter what.

Laughter:

In honor of the truest cliche I know – laughter is the best medicine!

It can pick you up even when you are feeling your most down.

It’s even better when shared!

Here is to friendship and to a true friend whom I still love and always remember.

You’re everywhere to me

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(http://abscenes.wordpress.com/tag/andrew-brown-landscape-photography/)

BY THE BOAB TREE – LYRICS:

Sing and I will hear you
No matter where you are
A song to light the darkest night
And guide me from afar

And I will never be alone
Now I know you’re somewhere
You’re everywhere to me
You’re the colour in the sky
A reason to believe
And when the rain falls down
You tell a story
And I will hear you
Always near you
By the boab tree

Lay your arms around me
Like the falling rain
Let the feeling drown me
And life begins again

And I will never be afraid
Now I know you’re somewhere
You’re everywhere to me
The warming of the sun upon
The earth beneath my feet
And when the rain falls down
You tell a story
And I will hear you
Always near you
By the boab tree

Oh you are somewhere
You’re everywhere to me
You’re the colour in the sky
And you’re the earth beneath my feet
And when the rain falls down
You tell a story
And I will hear you
Always near you
By the boab tree

I listen to this song whenever I need reminding that even when loved ones have left this earth – they are still here in some way or another. A week from today two years ago I lost a dear friend – in fact there were many of us that lost that person. I know though – that there is one thing for sure, her love was never lost and never will be…

I’m writing this now because I know that next week it will be harder to do so…

Dearest Amelia,

You’re everywhere to me
You’re the colour in the sky
A reason to believe
And when the rain falls down
You tell a story
And I will hear you
Always near you…

Forever and always you are in my heart.

Ems xoxoxo

I wrote a poem inspired by the song and of the love for my friend…

Called Love and Allhttp://songbirdwriting.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/love-and-all.html (found here)

Safeway, Movies, a Wonderful Friend and the Perfect Easter!

As Good Friday rolled round, my bags were packed and I was ready to go.  There was no exact plan in my trip to Kyneton to visit my friend Mia except that I knew that I had decided to get the 10:35am bus to Sunbury which would lead me to a train arriving at Kyneton station at 12:30pm…

It felt great… to get up and leave. Leave my home work, my cat (being looked after by house-mates), any potential dishes or laundry behind and go see a friend!

The first stop was the station to buy my ticket – which I happened to do so nearly two hours before my bus left – oops, but better than being late…

As I had time to spare, a trip to the coffee shop was quite appropriate. A cafe latte and flourless lemon and poppy-seed cake – ordered, I was pretty happy in being early… a leisurely wait for my bus meant that I had enjoyed my early start and didn’t feel rushed! It was great.

My bus arrived at 10am giving passengers plenty of time to board it and as I had a magazine and Harry Potter 4 –  I didn’t mind at all…

Before we knew it, we were already in Sunbury – most of us passengers got of the bus and headed straight for the train, we were wrongly directed for platform 2, luckily though we quickly realised this mistake and headed back to the right platform where our train was already waiting… back to the world of Harry Potter and a chapter later, the train had left…

It was such a quick journey that before I knew it I was greeted by the lovely Mia… we stopped by in the town of Kyneton for a bit of baby present shopping as a friend of hers was having twins – yikes…!! Hard decisions were made, but as I have since been told that the soon to be mother loved the present – I think the right ones were made…

We then headed towards her house via IGA – where we bought some much-needed lunch supplies…and some other things for later. Once we arrived to her place, there was many things to decide – like what to watch on T.V or what movie to pick for that night… ahh well life is tough when you have the weekend off…

After lots of chats, T.V watching and consuming of lunch and many hours later – it was now time for dinner… GF pasta with bacon and chicken and a cream sauce… which meant that we both sinned…oops…next year I’ll be good and eat fish… but then again some people say it’s more of a catholic thing and techniquely I’m anglican…so it should be all good right…

Yes so back to the weekend…

We decided on watching Easy A as our dinner movie…which I must say surprised me as it was really funny and I loved Olive’s parents. They were played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson – couldn’t you imagine them being your parents?!?! I mean – they were just brilliant… quirky, honest, fun…allowing their children to make mistakes etc and in their own way…or however way you want to describe it… was just great to watch. 🙂 Also the outfits that Olive wore when she was dressing as a “slut” was just so creative. ah… good film.

After Easy A, Save the Last Dance was on – another good film…with the dancing, the love, the ballet meets hip hop, how the girl had to live without her mother, etc – all caught up in one cool story…great film…

Saturday had slowly crept up and I woke with a sore throat…which I thought I could ‘nip in the bud’ or however the saying goes…

That didn’t quite happen…although I did try…

Our friend Jenna who had come home to visit her family from living in Canada came round after lunch and another trip into town – except this time to Safeway… where I picked up some lemsip, honey and a few other bits and pieces…

and we chatted and chatted and chatted… after not seeing another good friend for a really long time it was hard not to chat as we did… the afternoon soon turned into the evening… Jenna went home and Mia and I decided to pick up some Pizza… she got Honey Chicken and I got Greek Souvalki (as in the toppings were ingredients you would find in a souvlaki)…

More movies and some episodes of Sex and the City it was shortly time for bed…

Sunday rolled round… and it was time for me to check the train timetable… except neither of us wanted me to leave…

so instead an extra day…

This day was filled – with you guessed it – movies…plus a trip to Woodend – to have a look at the shops and just to have a drive… then another trip to Safeway cos we needed dinner – an indian beef curry with rice…

but before all this cooking an

EASTER EGG HUNT… we had about 20 – so I hid ten and Mia hid ten and we had fun hiding and finding and teasing each other while we did it and don’t forget the old ‘hot and cold trick’ – except I added sizziling and boiling just to spice things up…

Lots more chatting, TV watching, curry eating and now chocolate egg consuming – with a bit if not a lot of laughter later and before you knew it was time for bed…

A sleep later, the checking of the timetable… packing my bag, showering and getting dressed… it was time for me to say goodbye to Mia and Kyneton…

It was early Monday arvo – really cold as it had just rained… my throat wasn’t quite yet better and I was back on another train…this time though it took a lot quicker as there was no waiting time for the bus back to Melbourne…by 3:30/4 I was back at home, pumpkin soup in microwave and a bit more tv watching  to be had…just to finish off my Easter…

This morning I woke – to rain and cold, a walk to a neighbouring suburb and home for homemade chicken noodle soup to sooth my sore throat and reflect on what a great break this has been… tomorrow I will be back to the grind of study…

at least there will be plenty of chocolate to keep me company!

Signing off as I slowly start winding down for the night – prehaps maybe with some Harry Potter…

sorry no lesson of the day… unless you want to know the goodness of friends and movies – I think I’ve said all that and trust me even if with this cold I have now… it’s still safe to say that life right now can’t get any better… 🙂