#1582 Day 84 of getting there: Soon we’ll be found

It was Sunday night dinner-time, we were doing our usual youtube merry-go-round, and it was my time to pick a song.

I was over the same old, same old. We played the same songs repeatedly.

Hubbie would play The Weeknd, or the freaking Roses song. Oh if you haven’t heard it, look up Roses by SAINt JHN remix.

I ain’t putting it on here. I hear it too much already. It’s a great song, but you know when someone repeats something so much, they absolutely kill it for you?

That’s what Hubbie does.

The other song he had only rediscovered this morning was Don’t Let Me Down by Chainsmokers and Daya. It’s only a few years old, but he had forgotten about it, only to remember it all over again and play it again, repeatedly throughout the day. And again, check out the song on youtube… but this song gets bloody stuck in your head to the point that you’re like ARGH! Get it out!

Baby girl sways strongly between the two of us. She will put on a song Hubbie loves, or I love… or she’ll go and put on Dance Monkey which she was obsessed with ’til recently, or some Frozen music medley, which can sometimes go on for 20 minutes, so we force a cap of 4-5 minutes.

Me on the other hand, well you all know I am massively into music royalty at the moment, i.e. Queen. And I punctuate that currently with Madonna and Prince. But like I said, we’ve been listening to the same old, for too long, and I wanted my turn to be something different, something we hadn’t heard in a while.

Something slow. I was in a heartfelt song mood.

It then hit me.

“What’s that SIA song?” I asked Hubbie, the biggest SIA fan I know. “Where she sings “I’m tired, can we just sleep tonight…?”

He continued the song, catching the words before he said confidently “Soon we’ll be found” and started clicking away on youtube.

He brought up a 2008 performance on Letterman. Yes, David Letterman. I was stunned that a year before we had gotten married, this Aussie chick was heading over to the U.S and making her big American debut.

You go girl.

“Let’s not fight, I’m tired can’t we just sleep, tonight…”

It’s a great performance. She sings it better than she does the recorded version, and watching her hands perform is as mesmerising as listening to her voice.

She is uncovered, so this is truly back in the day. No hair to hide behind, no short blonde do that covers her eyes and nose just so. She is characteristic SIA, which is one of the reasons why we love her, and she is giddy with happiness when she finishes her performance, jumping up and down in joy which can only be interpreted as “I did it! I performed on Letterman!”

It is so wonderful to watch.

The performance begins after 1:10. The song is moving and takes you on a journey, and it fit my mood perfectly tonight.

My favourite line? “Let’s not fight, I’m tired can’t we just sleep, tonight?”

So beautiful. Enjoy, as we all did.

#1531 Day 33 of getting there: homemade sweet potato gnocchi

I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.

The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.

It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’t going out.

And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.

It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.

Nom nom nom.

You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.

I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.

So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.

It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.

So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.

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How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!

The instructions were all there.

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My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.

But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!

And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.

(All hail the dishwasher).

It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.

I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!

Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.

Ain’t technology just the best. 🙂

 

#1530 Day 32 of getting there: raw fish and tropical fruit

Who would even think about putting those two in the same sentence?

Sushi, with mango?

It’s the most random of combinations, and it could only come from the mouth of a child, as the comedic trio of Joe, Carlo and Andrew found out when Joe’s toddler uttered the words while running rampant one day.

Sooshi mango was born. And they have given us plenty of belly-aching, toppled-over, can’t-breathe-no-more massive laughing seshes.

I love these guys. There is nothing better than spending any free time devouring the videos they’ve posted on social media, and fortunately for us all in iso, they’ve been posting A LOT more.

They always make me laugh. At the moment bestie and I tag each other in new videos that come out, but I always end up watching so many more because I just can’t help it.

They mimic the ethnic background I, and so many of my family and friends around us have grown up privy to. Our parents and grandparents, talk and have talked in this abrupt, direct, no-fuss and mixed English kind of way, and a lot of the European descendants that hail from there, can relate to the sketches in their hilarious comedy.

Did I mention they swear? Yes they swear soooo much. And in the language of the people that came before us, it is even MORE funny. Even if you have a pole up your bum when it comes to foul language, you can’t not laugh at this!

(Ok, maybe you still might have a pole up your bum, but you might end up giggling just a bit).

(If you don’t then go away). 😉

I have so many favourites… damn I just can’t choose.

Ethnic Mum Christmas food insults. OMG. I know women who act and talk like this (and even look like this!)

The Concrete.

Supermarket shopping done right at La Manna’s. Oh good God.

When Ethnics say goodbye.

Ethnic Dads in the garden.

Ethnic Dads playing cards.

Oh I just love them ALL!

Do yourself a favour and check them out their YouTube channel… or follow them on facebook and insta.

Oh what the hell. Here’s a taste.

(It took me double the time to write this post due to Sooshi Mango ‘research,’ and now I can’t stop grinning :):):) )

#1514 Day 16 of getting there: Kids yoga

I’ve got a really cool community service announcement today peeps.

Parents of young girls are gonna love me for this…

Frozen Yoga. ❄

😮😮🤩🤩

But wait, you parents of boys! Just wait!

Spiderman Yoga. 🕷

Oh yes. I just went there. This is going to save our arses during this lengthy isolation period.

I found out about this online sensation, incredibly through a work Zoom meeting. A fellow parent mentioned it was keeping his young kids busy, and even he was joining into this fantastic kids-themed yoga…

I made a mental note to tell baby girl.

But because, LIFE, I forgot.

But insert, today. Because while I was at the work desk, she ran over to me and said “Mum, you will never believe this.”

Yep. She found it.

The Frozen yoga.

The folk behind the idea are called Cosmic Kids Yoga, and you can check out their channel on youtube. They have SOOOO many videos, all based around popular kids movies, books, characters and themes.

Think dinosaurs, Star Wars, Minions, Christmas, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Wizard of Oz, and Room on the Broom, to name a few.

I praise the benefits of yoga all the time. Granted I don’t have the time to do it as much as I’d like, but I sure know how I feel after a session.

Balanced. Grounded. At peace. My mind, body and spirit aligned as one.

Imagine if our children had those same benefits and skills engrained in them from their young age? Imagine what they could accomplish?

Baby girl was engaged for the whole half hour. I even had to pop my head in at one point because I couldn’t believe she was interested in the same thing and doing YOGA for the entire time.

Yep, she was.

She even returned to it tonight to do yet another round, before trying out some Trolls-themed yoga… because, why not?

I’m actually going to do it with her next time. I am soooo jelly. I wanna do Elsa powers of Arendelle moves too… 😉 ✨❤

#1512 Day 14 of getting there: Like a Virgin in 1985

It was Sunday night dinner, so that also meant it was everyone-picks-a-song-they-want-from-youtube night.

When it was my time I threw a super curveball at Hubbie, as it was nothing I had requested before… “Can you see if you can find Madonna, Dress You Up, live?”

He found the original clip for the song, which was from her Like A Virgin tour as I’d wanted… but it was the official video, and so the studio recording was used as the audio, NOT the live concert version.

And I KNEW the difference.

I knew, because back when I was 12 years old, there was a 3 month period where my parents succumbed to cable TV. It was meant to stay at $30 a month, so when it went up by a few bucks after that initial period, they ordered me to call up and cancel… typical parents. 😉

But in those 3 months, I purged on as much extra channels as I could. I watched heaps of Freddy Krueger sequels… tonnes of C-grade teen movies… and the best find of all, was Madonna’s 1985 Like A Virgin concert tour filmed in Detroit.

I inhaled this doco. I savoured it. I taped it, and watched it again and again and again. I knew most of the songs already, but then I learnt some of her lesser known hits like the rock-grungy Gambler, and super-catchy Over and Over. 

I learnt the dance moves. I picked up the bits where her concert version deviated from the album recordings. I knew every single phrase and word uttered in song and to the audience, every –

“That goes for you too Grandma!” at the start of Holiday.

Her emotional – “I gotta talk fast ’cause I might start crying,” when she addressed the audience.

“Do you wanna hear some more? I said, ‘do you wanna hear some more?'”

To her “I don’t need money I need love!” declaration during Material Girl.

Tonight, as I eventually found the original LIVE version on youtube, I realised I had found so much more.

Because I had found the complete concert.

!!!!

It was all there, the entire hour set.

I was rapt. :):):)

I sang and I danced. I gasped that I was still able to remember lines and conversations. I sang along as we finished dinner, I washed the dishes, and then I worked some more on our 1000 piece puzzle (yeah we were wrong when we thought it was only 500 or so… double that!)

It made me soooo happy. It took me back to my childhood. It took me back to a simpler time.

And oh, the 80s! What brilliant fun that was! Seeing the fashion, the hair, feeling the iconic music…

HOLIDAY!

I can’t believe it, I remembered it ALL.

“I went to New York, I had a dream.

I wanted to be a big star.

I didn’t know anybody.

I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing,

I wanted to do all those things,

I wanted to make people happy,

I wanted to be famous 

I wanted everybody to love me,

I wanted to be a star

I worked really hard

And my dream came true.”

BANG! That is her Like a Virgin concert opening monologue and that all came from my head! BOOM! Word for word it is imprinted in there.

And just because, 80s music can save us all, here is the opener…

 

#1483 New and old memories with best friends

It’s always a great time when you catch up with loved ones, but it felt extra awesome tonight when bestie and her hubbex came over.

It really has been too long. It made everything all the more sweeter… the conversation, the music youtube shares, the d&ms, and all the pet talk about those furry friends of ours that we love.

Baby girl decided she had new ‘owners.’ LOL. I feel safe and secure when she selects people who are dear to me, to add to her special list too.

But perhaps the funniest and weirdest moment came when bestie remembered something from our childhood years… I’m still trying to come to terms with it and remember it, but the visual she gave me is stirring some deep memory from within, and maybe, just maybe, I CAN remember.

What I had forgotten, for apparently my whole life, is that when we were in primary school, WE HAD OUR OWN BOOK CLUB.

Oh-em-gee.

We would take our books and sit in the inside of this massive playground tyre, six of us, and share what we had read. We had diaries too that we would write in after.

!!!

I was freaking out over this fact. Firstly, I would love to now be in a book club, but sadly don’t think it’s the right time for it, for where I am in my life… but I used to be in one… when I was about 9?

I would bring with me, wait for it…my The Babysitters Club books. I was spinning out even more, because that is SO me. Was so me.

I loved the recollection, because it told me that even though there are things we can’t remember, there are others who have memories of things that we have forgotten.

Also, the knowledge that I was doing such book-related stuff before I even remember wanting to write seriously for a living… double wow. Some things are just meant to be.

And thirdly… well friends. Having this lifetime of knowledge between old friends, with experiences that are constantly gained, and memory upon memory added… well, it is something special. Truly special.

#1430 Home made pizza

I’m trying to set a good example for baby girl whenever I can.

A massive part of that example is teaching her what I learnt growing up…

Home made is best.

She already tells me that my gingerbread and banana bread is better than any bought variety, and just recently even said she loved my pasta sauce… and she doesn’t even eat that much of it.

What I bake and make doesn’t have to receive world-class awards. If baby girl can see that what I made in our kitchen tastes better than anything commercially bought or packaged, my job here is done.

Learning this is a life-long task though. I still fall into traps of buying things that I think might be okay, but then I end up terribly disappointed afterwards. That’s why I’m always teaching, always talking to baby girl about what is good and healthy for her.

I don’t like to be preachy, or all “Don’t eat that!” with her. Rather like today at the shops, I asked her if she wanted me to buy some watermelon, and she said yes. I then threw in the info that they have lots of water and are naturally sweet, and much better for you than sugary treats and chocolate.

😉

But it wasn’t just watermelon on our shopping list today. We were buying pizza-making ingredients, because baby girl asked for us to make a pizza!

Before I get too excited over my good influence on her, it was TOTALLY NOT MY INFLUENCE.

I know because she told me… she had watched her favourite doll role-play channel on youtube and the dolls had made their own pizza with green peppers and brown onion and pepperoni and that’s why she wanted to make it!

Well what do you know? Youtube is actually teaching something.

So we went on a shopping trip. To buy green peppers (I told them in Australia we say capsicums), pepperoni (only to go on Hubbie’s side of the pizza once she realised they were spicy) and some other delicious and fresh toppings like ham, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.

FRESH MOZARELLA! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

At home I chopped it up and she helped me top the pizza base… the best bit.

Before…

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And after

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It smelt so good coming out of the oven, and we had created it ourselves!

The only modification for next time…

Make two. We smashed that ‘one’ easily.

 

#1296 A new season of Self-care

Spring is the beginning of many things.

Growth. Renewal. Sunshine. Greenery.

It just so coincides with a decision I made only yesterday, on the first day of it, to do something new.

To look after myself.

I’ve been on a bit of a journey, a spiritual awakening of late. My normal awareness of mind, body and soul has skyrocketed to another level.

In turn, I come to the conclusion that, like my Mum always says “you are your own doctor.”

I am my own doctor.

We know, intuitively, what we need. No one else can really tell us that. Even if we do learn something from an ‘authority,’ really, something inside of us has been trying to tell us that all along… give us worldly signs… throw our body off-kilter so that we take notice…

Even, send us dreams.

There is always something there, something trying to get through.

It’s just whether we are allowing ourselves to listen or not.

I’m not going to do anything crazy. I just have a heightened awareness, and in order to nourish my body, in making mindful food choices and trying to be more active, I will also be doing things for my mind, and my soul.

Yoga.

Meditation.

Music – I find it so therapeutic, and I am actually going to be singing/dancing on my own for at least 5 minutes a day. TRUE STORY.

Laughter – nothing makes me happier than when I find a new comedian via youtube, and I sit there almost crying for about 5 minutes straight.

Nothing crazy. Nothing unattainable.

Most of it, free. 

I am going into this realistically. There are days I may not be able to do much on my list. I will forget and let go of those days.

Then there will be days that I smash it out of the park. Those are the days I will use as fuel to push me on and keep me going on my improvement pursuit.

Just tonight I sat down, for like 2 minutes because that is all I had, to do some yoga moves…

Baby girl found me.

And she saw the book I was working from, and wanted to do yoga too.

They actually do yoga in her class. I wish I was in prep again.

So I let her. Old me would have been slightly annoyed to have lost my ‘me time,’ but new SmikG said ‘let go’ and breathed in and out as deeply as I could.

Watching her do the ‘cat-cow’ as we both went on all fours, made me smile.

It threw me off my yoga focus… but I was laughing. Relaxed. Wasn’t that the point?

Yep. It sure is.

#1287 Saturday night passionate convos

Tonight was a great catch up with Best man and fam. Overdue, because they missed baby girl’s birthday last week.

Late, but in some ways maybe better, because we got to catch up with them and them only, and get really intimate on stuff.

In amongst the kids playing some pin the horn on the unicorn (because I still had the poster up on the door) and the egg and cup game around the house, us parents were, you know, chilling on the couch, having turns picking different songs on YouTube to watch.

And it was all good, all cruisy. Dinner was followed with my home-made brownies, some coffee…

And then suddenly, the conversation turned.

Because we started talking about something Hubbie gets really passionate about – MUSIC.

Singers and songwriters, to be specific, and who gets (more) credit.

Oh my. Soon we were shouting out artist names, getting noisy, pointing fingers and yelling “you’re wrong!”

And then we roared with laughter.

Although we seriously, very seriously got onto the topic of ideas and credit and performers, we all gave each other the space to speak, no one got cranky with the other for their ideas, and after some very passionate speeches, all went back to a balanced equilibrium.

And, it was soooo refreshing. Being in company where we could be as honest as we liked, even shout at the other person… then go back to hugging them a moment later.

If only we could all give each other the space to be as honest as we wanted, without finding offence or reason to tear each other down.

It’s hard to find people like that.

I guess that’s why they are, Best man and fam 😉

#1280 Unicorns and face painting for grown-ups

Because acting like a kid is fun, let’s face it.

And when you are at a kids party, you are given full licence pretty much to act like a child.

Eat lollies.

Encourage play.

Play pin the horn on the unicorn.

Get painted.

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I was thoroughly impressed at the number of adults who went glittery and crazy for baby girl’s birthday party today. I looked up, and sitting in the make up chair more often than not were adults, both men and women alike!

❤️

And of course there had to be cake. I was very happy with my ‘creative efforts,’ and baby girl was rapt, so let’s be honest all I needed was that ok…

But if I ever meet Rosanna Pansino, American YouTube cake-making sensation, with a 2 billion audience, I will tell her –

“My buttercream did NOT spread so easy!”

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🤷🏻‍♀️🎂🦄

It tasted good though!