Sunday, June 27, 2010

The colour purple.

I'm obsessed with the colour purple. This has been my favourite colour since I was a fourteen year old. Before that it was black, a dark period where I wore nothing but black, which is not really a colour at all, but a shade. Before that it was pink, of course!

I was curious about what this colour choice said about me. Here's what I found...

Purple people are:

Highly individual (a diplomatic way of saying 'strange'?)
fastidious (annoying?)
Witty (I like this one)
Sensitive (highly emotional?)
Temperamental (...really?)
Artistic (I wish)
Aloof and sarcastic when misunderstood (this keeps getting better)
Unconventional (again, strange)
Tolerant (great)
Dignified (excellent)

What colour are you?

Pink: Maternal, delicate, fragile, charming and gentle

Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate, caring and suspicious

Green: Gentle, sincere, sociable, self-effacing and modest

Yellow: Happy, irresponsible, outgoing and adventurous

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Woman on top.

What an amazing day for Australian women!

After the 26 who came before her, Julia Gillard has made history today becoming Australia's first female Prime Minister.

I think it's terrific. Finally, a women in the top job.

I do have to wonder about the stability of the Labor party though. It's quite shocking how quickly this has happened.

It's also an historic moment for Kevin Rudd (aka Kevin07 - K-Rudd) who will also go down in history, for less pleasing reasons, as the first Prime Minister ever to be dumped by his party in his first term of gaining power!

What are your thoughts?!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blogs in honour of babies.

Yesterday I stumbled across an amazing blog dedicated to a baby. It was written in diary form with beautiful photos and heartfelt words that catalogued every precious moment.

The first blog begins with the mother (author of the blog) discovering she is pregnant, right through to the birth and month-by-month accounts of baby's milestones.

I was was flawed by the beauty of this tribute, which will no doubt be a treasure to the baby boy as he grows up.

Recently I submitted an article to a parenting magazine on the emotional health benefits of keeping a diary. Research by leading psychologists pointed to significant increases in happiness and satisfaction with life in those who expressed themselves through words.

Perhaps this is why we blog. I know writing has always been a passion of mine. A pastime that is cathartic in a way that nothing else compares.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slow cook saviour.

It's possible that I've been living under a rock, because I've only just discovered the true nature of the slow cooker.

In my mind, the slow cooker, by its very name, suggested a long, laborious process of preparing a meal. I've always been more of a cook it fast and get it on the table quick kind of person. This became even more necessary when I had my daughter, who was not the easiest of babies to say the least.

So when a friend of mine told me that she didn't have to worry about making dinner that night because she had the slow cooker on I was a little confused. Did she have a personal chef? When she explained how this amazing appliance worked, that all you had to do was throw all of the uncooked ingredients in, switch it on and leave it until dinner time and bing! dinner's done, I was in awe.

I had to get my hands on one. And so I did. For just $50 - 30%-off sale at Myer - I now have my very own 5L slow cooker.

I've made one very memorable meal of chicken stew and it was all taken care of by 11 am. In the bliss that follows making such an excellent, time-saving, sanity-saving discovery I told another friend about the slow-cooker's greatness - to which she replied, 'yeah, I use mine all the time'!

As always when your focus is drawn to something you're not usually aware of, I've been spotting slow cookers everywhere! Slow cooker recipe books jump out from the supermarket shelf, and just the other day I saw an ad for a book by newsreader Juanita Phillips called 'A Slow Cooker Saved My Life: How to Have It All, Do It All, and Keep It All Together - a guide to juggling the work/life/children balance as much as it is a recipe book.

It's slow-cooker pandemonium.

Here's the next great recipe I'm going to throw at my slow-cooker.

Butter Chicken by Lisa Kremer at

Serves 4

4-6 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil

Stir fry chicken, onion and garlic in frying pan on medium heat until the chicken has some color and the onion is translucent. Then pour entire contents of pan into crock pot. Then add:

15 green cardamom pods (can be strung together with needle and thread - I always do it this way, and then a friend informed me putting it in some cheesecloth would be easier...good thinkin')
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp curry paste (like Patak’s mild curry paste**)
1 tsp cayenne powder (optional) It’s really hot if you add this
2 tsp tandoori masala*
1 tsp garam masala*
1 can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 5.5 fl oz can of tomato paste
Salt to taste

Mix gently and cook on high heat 4-6 hours or low heat 6-8 hours.

Serve with basmati rice and warm naan bread.

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blog identity issues.

It seems my blog is having a crisis of identity...

When I first started my blog, I rushed with full enthusiasm into setting it up without giving it too much thought. Lately I've started to realise that this is a little bit like how I approach most things in life - a trait I'm desperately trying to overcome.

I'm not sure how many different names I've given my blog, but I don't think it would be a stretch to say at least half a dozen in less than a year. I'm also quite a lazy blogger, only giving it thought when the mood strikes, in between playing with my delightfully demanding two-year-old daughter, organising dinner, keeping a clean and tidy house (this might be a bit of a stretch too!), working on my next feature and the myriad of other tasks associated with being the stay-at-home carer.

There are times when I wish for the simplicity of a 9 to 5 job that begins when you sit down at your desk at 5 to 9 and switch off when you log-off your computer....anyway, I digress!

The new blog name 'Life on Venus' is not at all original, I know, but it seemed like the best way to sum up living as a women in a world that sometimes feels a little bit alien.

I've been a mother now for two years but sometimes I still look at my daughter, the housework, the new life I'm living, and feel like I'm living on another planet. One that's wonderfully rewarding and one that's also full of conflicting priorities. So this is my new blog, for now!

I'll try to be consistent - but who knows how I'll feel next week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Around the world at 16!

I'm still completely in awe of sailor Jessica Watson who at just 16 sailed solo around the world! It really is inspiring. When I think back to when I was 16, things like figuring out what to wear on the weekend or finding the right shade of hair colour seemed like an achievement.

In my nightmares I'm often surrounded by enormous waves in the middle of the ocean and I wake up in a cold sweat. I struggle to comprehend setting sail in the knowledge that all that danger lies ahead - how courageous. And just 16.

I have to wonder though, if I were her parents - would I have been able to let her go? Probably not. In fact, my daughter's just 2, but I'm pretty sure someone would have to drag me away kicking and screaming if she were to ever wish to attempt something so terrifying.

But, how amazing. What a fantastic role model. ;)