After almost three weeks abroad I’m back home and back to reality!
They say a holiday gives you a new lease on life and I can now attest to this. The time we spent away was everything I imagined it would be and more!!
Italy is a beautiful, busy extremely noisy country full of so much culture and history.
It really was a completely different place to be – nothing like Australia at all.
They drive like maniacs, they talk loudly with lots of hand gestures, they all look like they have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine and their food is just to die for!!
We were lucky enough to visit Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice (including the little islands Murano, Burano and Torcello ), Levanto and Cinque Terra.
I’m sure I have enough memories to last a long long time, and enough stories for several blog posts, but for starters here is a selection of some of my favourite shots.
Christmas is finally over what a relief!! Christmas Eve at mums was just lovely – I know I have probably already mentioned this before but I prefer Christmas Eve to Christmas Day and even though this year my gorgeous nephew was missing , we still had a wonderful night.
Christmas Day was wonderful too though, we got perfect weather and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The food was plentiful – in fact we had so much left over that I won’t need to cook for the rest of the week. The turducken I am happy to report was surprisingly nice and moist and even though I couldn’t really taste the duck, the turkey and chicken was nice so was the stuffing. My brother in law took photos of the Turducken he was really impressed with it. Christmas Day finally came to an end at 9:30pm. I was exhausted but very happy.
I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas too.
We are on the home stretch now, only two sleeps till Christmas!! Dare I say it I am almost ready. The house is clean, the presents all wrapped, the food has been brought. All that remains is some final tweaking and of course the cooking, but I am lucky to have my mummy and my sister helping me with all of that. We are having the traditional roast pork and roast lamb and just for something different I am also going to be roasting a turducken, which for those of you that don’t know, is a chicken wrapped in duck wrapped in Turkey! What I want to know is who on earth comes up with this stuff? Hopefully it will taste nice, who knows it may even become part of the Christmas tradition.
Easter is almost here and I’m feeling kind of bad, that I find myself looking more forward to the four day break than the actual celebration of Easter itself.
This year we are lucky in that both Greek Easter and Catholic Easter happen to fall on the same day. Bonus, one celebration for both. My mum is having us all over at Easter, for one of her famous, delicious, lip smacking, mouth watering lunches.
Still there is much to prepare before then. I still have shopping to do, eggs to dye (the traditional Greek way), a pile of laundry to tackle, housework that never seems to end. I could go on but I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
So for the time being I will rejoice knowing that work is four glorious days away, there is an obscene amount of chocolate in my house, and I have ahead of me four days of fun with my family as we come together to celebrate Easter.
Today I was lucky enough to have tickets to the hilarious comedy show “The Mutt’s Nutts” featuring international Dog Listener Tony Knight.
The event which was a dinner and show was part of The Melbourne Comedy Festival. Ticket sales were in support of The Golden Retriever Rescue Organization, so not only did we have an awesome time but we were supporting a great cause at the sand time.
Tony Knight entertained the crowd with his side splitting stories from the other side of the leash.
He offered valuable insight on how dogs think and act. Not surprisingly dogs behave a lot like humans we were informed as we are both pack animals.
I laughed a lot and had a lovely meal in a quaint little pizzeria. The company was great in fact the whole evening was my idea of heaven.
How hard is it to make toast??? Not very hard right? Even someone with limited cooking knowledge should be right with toasting a piece of bread. So how come no matter how much I try I hardly ever get it right?
It’s either so badly burnt that the smoke alarm is blaring, or undercooked so it tastes like a warmed up piece of bread. I have tried adjusting the settings of the toaster but that doesn’t help much, seems the only thing I can really do is stand next to the toaster and push the button every couple of minutes to make sure it is cooked right. But who has time for that? So I opt to take my chances kind of like a roulette and hope for the best.
Today’s toast was a flop. Again. My daughter was quick to point out that it had been over done and this was the second attempt, I’d binned the first lot. My son’s toast on the other hand was underdone.
I follow many food blogs that I love and despite how it may sound I’m not that bad of a cook, but toast has me beat. I wonder if there is a sure fire way to cook toast so that it is not overdone or under cooked? Surely I can’t possibly be the only person who struggles with this.
So I have been looking after my friends pets while she is interstate visiting her sister. One of her cats Nibbles a gorgeous tortoiseshell girl who is about 19 years old is suffering from kidney failure, which means she needs to take special medication everyday to help her kidneys function.
When my friend showed me how to give Nibbles her tablets it seemed easy enough. You put the tablet in the syringe looking thingy, hold the cats mouth open and pop the tablet as far back into her mouth as possible, you then hold the cats mouth gently closed for a couple of seconds while she swallows the tablet. Easy.
My first attempt was quite successful although I did struggle to operate that syringe looking thingy. But since then I just can’t get it to work. After several botched attempts yesterday, I gave up and just popped the tablet into the cats mouth using my hand. Today was even worse, Nibbles just kept spitting it back out.
Surely there must a an easy way to give cats tablets or any medication for that matter, so I did some research and aside from the obvious crushing the tablets up and sprinkling them over the food ( which by the way is not recommended for all tablets so you will need to consult your vet if you are considering this option). There is the syringe looking thingy which I found out is called a Pill Shooter and although this is one of the preferred ways of administering tablets to cats, speaking from experience it is not all that user friendly. There were suggestions of wrapping the tablets in food such as luncheon meat, or hiding it in liverwurst but what I believe is the best idea is something called a Pill pocket.
These perfect size treats have a convenient hole in the centre for the pill to be placed and the treat is then moulded around it, so that your cat feels it is being rewarded with a treat when in actual fact it is merely taking its medicine in a happy, stress free manner. I guess hiding tablets in butter or liverwurst is kind of the same but these pill pockets are designed so that if the cat does spit out the pill it remains relatively intact.
Pill pockets are available for dogs too which is great and they are relatively inexpensive eBay has three 45 packs of pill pockets for $17 US. Not too bad for peace of mind.
I will definitely be recommending these to my friend when she gets back from her trip. Anything that reduces an animals stress I am all in favour of.
My baby is back from a 7 day survival camp and surprisingly enough he has returned in good spirits. Feedback from all the boys was that the experience was not as bad as they were expecting it to be. After last years 3 day survival camp which was a total nightmare, I think the boys were all bracing themselves for the worst, I know my son was.
We have heard many stories about the Year 9 survival camp. Many boys we were told do not make it through the seven days, but all of our boys did, and for that they should be proud. The thought process behind these survival camps is that they are meant to instil resilience in boys, and girls, I guess, so that later on in life if they are faced with a challenge they will be able to draw back on the challenges faced on the camp and trust that they are strong enough to overcome whatever hurdles may come their way.
I’m still not sure how I feel about these camps. But I am happy that it is now behind us, and I am thankful that my son didn’t get injured. I know that some boys were hurt, one had to be airlifted to hospital.
To celebrate my sons return home and also his birthday which was on Thursday when he was still at camp, the family went out to a lovely Italian restaurant where we enjoyed great food, nice wine and family bonding time.
Tonight I am a very happy mother, all my chicks are home safe and sound, and I got to spend the day with my family that I love more than anything else in the world.
The past few weeks I have been noticing that DT my beautiful cat appears to have lost a considerable amount of weight. At first I thought it was just that he’d shed his winter coat but lately I’m not convinced.
I picked him up the other day and it occurred to me that he felt so thin and bony, this is not like DT at all. Although DT is a Balinese cat which means very similar to the Siamese he is quite big for his breed and has always been a good size and weight. But lately this is not so.
The fact that DT is getting older could also be a reason for the weight loss, he appears to be acting normal, eating and drinking as per usual. So why the noticeable decrease in weight?
Nobody else seems to have noticed that DT has lost weight and even when I have pointed it out they merely shrug it off with the explanation that DT is a Siamese like cat, it’s in the genes for him to be thinner. Maybe they don’t realise the amount of weight loss because they are too afraid to pick him up, it certainly is more obvious then.
Unfortunately DT is a one woman cat, he does not take kindly to being picked up, or patted by others. Occasionally if he is in the mood he will let others pat him or pick him up but this is only on his terms.
I guess what scares me most is the thought that what if he has some form of kidney disease? Kidney disease is after all the largest killer of domestic cats. The only way to properly diagnose kidney disease is by blood test. So I guess it’s back to the Vet for us, ignorance is bliss but when it comes to my beloved boy I just can’t take any chances.
Wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It is a combination of a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Wellbeing is all about how you feel about yourself and your life. There are many factors in your life that will influence your wellbeing such as your relationship with family and friends, your career, your financial state, your diet, your mental health, your oral health, your sense of belonging the list goes on and on and on.
Wellbeing means a combination of different things to different people and depending on who you are and what you do, your perception of Wellbeing will vary, but the one thing that most people tend to agree on is that Wellbeing is associated with good health and good health ultimately leads to happiness.
There are many things that one can do to ensure optimum wellbeing, such as developing and maintaining strong relationships with family and friends, trying to find work that is rewarding and not just pays well, eating wholesome nutritious food, enjoying regular physical activity, becoming involved in activities or joining clubs that interest you, setting yourself achievable goals and trying to be optimistic and enjoying every day.
For me my Wellbeing is centred around my family and their needs, my goal is to ensure that I provide them with the best possible nutrition, quality education and that our home is a safe haven where everyone feels loved valued and respected.
One thing I learnt a while ago that has stayed with me is that you cannot always control the things that happen to you in life but what you can control is the way you react to said things. So smile and the world will smile with you.