Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Serendipitous Sign Indeed

Image credit

Today, after dropping my 3 girls off at school, my feet decided they did not want to return home. Well, not straight away, at least. What was waiting for me at Casa de Whoa Mamma (dirty dishes, dirty laundry, sticky floors and smudged windows) could wait a little longer.

The sun was shining, warming my back as my black pointy-toed flats led the way. I wasn't sure where I was heading. I was wandering. Meandering. Destination unkown.

I love walking. I can (and often do) walk for hours. While I walk, I get lost in thoughts. I problem solve. I daydream. It relaxes me.

I walked through the park, friendly dogs approaching me, trying to lick my ankles. Birds frolicked in the trees. Joggers raced on by, followed by a whizz of cyclists. Calmness, serenity. I smiled at a group of elderly ladies all dolled up in their hot pink tennis outfits with matching hot pink lipstick shuffling off to their tennis club. 'I hope I'm that awesome when I'm 80', I thought to myself.

My feet felt the urge to turn left, so I followed. Meandering through the back streets and cobbled laneways of my neighbourhood. It's funny how you can spend your whole time growing up in a neighbourhood and yet discover streets that you never new existed.

This was my excitement for the day. The thrill of discovery. The thrill of exploring. I 'ooooohed' and 'aaaaaahed' over pretty little cottages with their pretty little gardens. Strangers walked by and we'd smile and say 'Hello'. I know we teach our children never to talk to strangers but it is always nice to share a smile and extend a bright and cheery 'hello'. It's good for the soul, I say.

The highlight of my walk was when I came across a house that featured a glorious cursive metal sign featuring two simple words: 'Hello, Beautiful'. What an impact it had. It stopped me in my tracks and filled me with delight. It actually made me feel beautiful. 'Aw, shucks. Thank you, House. What a lovely thing for you to say'.

I took a photo and posted it on instagram. One of my followers recognized the house as belonging to a friend of hers. I commented that her friend has a gorgeous house and must be a gorgeous person to feature a sign like that for all to see. She replied that her friend just likes to make people smile.

The world needs more friends like that, don't you think?

Do you ever wander or meander?
Where do you like to go to get lost in your thoughts?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Phoenix Rising

It has been a while since my last blog post. A long, long while.
'What happened to your blog?', they asked.
'Why have you stopped writing?', they queried.
I don't know.
Something inside me quietened and sought shelter deep within my soul.
I'm not sure exactly why, but suddenly I felt vulnerable and exposed.
I was sharing a lot about my life and my family and, although I very much enjoyed doing it, I suddenly felt the need to retreat.

A shy gal, such that I am, needs a bit of quiet time now and then.

My thoughts and my dreams hibernated in their safe place, swirling around with my list of Must-Do's. Sometimes it was quite chaotic in that little mind of mine. The clashing of Wants vs Needs. I needed the quiet time to re-evaluate my priorities and to put things into perspective. The past few months have seen me earnestly dedicating my time to my husband and children, creating beautiful moments with them, while my caterpillar-like soul snuggled in her cocoon.

I've had my rest and now I'm ready. The cocoon served its purpose. This butterfly is ready to spread her creative wings and take flight.

So many ideas are fluttering about in my head. So many possibilities. So many paths I could take. It's a little bit scary, you know? Unleashing your creative spirit. Especially since I've been holding it back for so long. It's like a wild, black stallion on a stampede. Dangerous and exhilirating. But I'm ready for the ride. Giddy-up!

Have you been holding back your creative urges?
What is your  soul crying out for? Are you ready to listen to it?
What's holding you back?
GO FOR IT!!!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ANZAC Deliciousness!

 Do you know the story behind one of Australia's most loved biscuits?

As most Australians & New Zealanders would know, the iconic ANZAC biscuit was developed by the women (wives, mothers, sweethearts) left behind by the Australian and New Zealander soldiers (ANZACs) when the armies set off for battle at the beginning of the first World War . These women wanted to send sweets to their loved ones, a little treat from home, but they needed something that would keep well on the journey.

And so, with a mixture of rolled oats, dessicated coconut, and golden syrup as the signature traits, the humble ANZAC biscuit was born. They were usually packed lovingly in tins, a message of love and courage tucked away inside, sent with a prayer that these sweet, nourishing biscuits would reach these embattled soldiers, hopefully alive and as well as could possibly be expected.

The other week, ALDI Australia had kindly invited me to visit the The Modern Baking Co, a fabulous bakery that produces their wonderful ANZAC biscuits. I was so excited at  the invitation because:
          a) I'm a real baking afficionado
          b) I was always fascinated by the history & tradition of the ANZAC biscuit
          c) I could leave domestic drudgery behind for an afternoon
          d) and (of course), COOKIES!!!!!.

I was greeted by my lovely host Erin who took me on a tour of the bakery. The scent was delicious!

Look at the size of those ovens!!!

I skipped my gypsy earrings and leopard stilletos  and traded them in for sensible shoes, a slicked back mamma bun, tres chic blue hairnet and glamazon fluorescent orange overcoat to venture onto the bakery floor to see where the magic happens!

Factory floor chicness! 

One of the magic ingredients, rolled oats! Tonnes of!
Welcome to cookie heaven!

The coconutty, golden syrupy, oaty batter goodness is dolloped out
like little soldiers marching in lines. 

On their way to get baked! 

Plaque on the oven dedicated to former RSL President, Bruce Ruxton
Did you know that 4% from the proceeds of sales of ANZAC biscuits are donated to support the wonderful community work of the RSL (The Returned and Services League)? This initiative was started by former RSL President, the late Bruce Ruxton in the 1990's.

The lovely staff at The Modern Baking Co pack, pack, packing the ANZAC goodness.

Millions of ANZACS packed and ready to be eaten! 

 Which brings me to the extra special commemorative tins....


ALDI Australia, in collaboration with The Modern Baking Co, has created an exclusive, limited edition Unibic ANZAC Biscuit tin, commemorating 100 years since the start of World War 1.
The tin, entitled “The Ancient Tombs of Giza”, honours the nearly 20,000 Australian servicemen and 300 members of the Australian Army Nursing Service who left for training camps in Egypt in 1914.
Endorsed by the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), the limited edition “The Ancient Tombs of Giza” and “The Victoria Cross” Unibic ANZAC Biscuit tins are available now across ALDI stores nationally for $9.99, until stocks last.

ALDI 100 Year Commemorative Tin
"The Ancient Tombs of Giza'' (1914-2014)

ALDI ANZAC Biscuit Commemorative Tin
"The Victoria Cross"
 Whether you're looking forward to dipping into a cup of tea, or making it into a sandwich with Nutella (highly recommend!) don't forget to pop into ALDI this week to pick up an extra special commemorative tin. A percentage of proceeds from each sale will be donated by ALDI Australia  to benefit the wonderful work of the RSL. On top of that, ALDI Australia will also be donating an extra $20,000 to the RSL to provide welfare assistance to members and their families. Very generous indeed!

***** GIVEAWAY!!!!! *****

ALDI Australia would like to offer 5 of my readers a special ANZAC treat.
I have 5 gift packs of of the Exclusive ALDI ANZAC tins to give away!
(That's a delicious amount of ANZACS, enough to share with the rest of the family!)

To enter, all I want to know is:

"What is your favourite way to eat an ANZAC biscuit?"
So easy!!!

Leave your answer in the comments below!
Entries close 6pm, Friday 25th April 2104 (Melbourne Time)
*Sorry, giveaway only open to Australian residents xxx

*This is not a sponsored post. 
*I was gifted (and tempted by) super yummy cookies in order to help ALDI Australia raise awareness and funds for their ANZAC/RSL fundraising campaign

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