Monday, January 31, 2011

Musical Monday

This might become a regular part of Chicken and Bee land, it all depends on how motivated I feel next week.  To start us off, here's an oldie but one that I think is a goodie.  Paul McDermott and Fiona Horne, Shut Up, Kiss Me.  Enjoy!


What song are you discovering/remembing this week?

Today I am grateful for airconditioning. So, so grateful for airconditioning!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How To - Chocolate Ripple Cake House

So, do you want to know how I made the house?  Here's how!

First you get yourself some Chocolate Ripple Biscuits and a whole lot of cream.  Whip that cream to within an inch of its life. Just so you know, I whip the cream with vanilla essence and castor sugar, but I forgot to include them in the photo, oops!  Also, I ended up needing to whip another 600mls of cream and using another two packets of biscuits.  Moral of the story?  You can NEVER have too much cream in CRC.  More is most definitely more!

Spread some cream on each biscuit and stick them to the plate so they don't move about.

Then stack those babies up.  Spread cream between each one (I find it easiest to spread the biscuit with cream then jam it on the top), remember that MORE is more!  Some people are stingy with the cream, but THEIR Chocolate Ripple Cake is not the stuff of legends like mine.  Decide what sort of CRC you want!

Keep stacking them up.  As you go, spread cream on the outside of the piles, this makes sure that all surfaces of the biscuits are covered and will go soft at the end.  I also break biscuits in half and shove them down the spaces between the stacks.


Keep going until all the stacks are the same height. 

Then cover the top with cream.  At this point the cake is pretty much square, so your possibilities are endless.  I have used square ones to make 'presents' (just add a ribbon at the end) and as a simple birthday cake, it has a lovely flat surface that is great to write a message on.  You can also tint the cream whatever colour you like with food colouring. 


Now, it is roof time.  I had to enlist the spatial ability of Chyken.

Stack them up, cream between each layer like before.


This is the point at which I realised I would need another 600mls of cream. I whipped that up and then I covered the house.  Thickly.


Cover the whole lot in cream.  Lots of cream.  More than you think.  The biscuits absorb the cream, so if it's not thick, by the time you serve it there will be ugly brown patches all over your cake.

I chopped up extra biscuits for the door and windows and whacked 'em on the cream.  Then I put it in the fridge.  It is important that you chill it for at least 8 hours (or overnight, whichever is longer).  If you don't, I cannot be held responsible for how your cake will turn out.


You now have yourself the easiest and yummiest dessert known to man.  And woman. 

Slice it up and enjoy it!

Today I am grateful for leftover Chocolate Ripple Cake.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five Question Friday

One of my favourite blogs, My Little Life does this every Friday, so I thought I would get on board. If you go to her site there will be links to hundreds of other people's responses as well. She's on the other side of the world, so you might have to wait a couple of hours before the linky is up, but that gives you time to answer the questions yourself! Read em! You know you want to! Then perhaps you will join in the fun!

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?
The anti-cancer council.  If I can stop another family going through what we went through, that'd be tops.

2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
I am yet to experience one.  A bonus day on my couch sounds like something too good to be true though.

3. What talent did you wish you had and why?
I wish I was artistic.  Either musical or good at drawing or painting. 

4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?
I am a bit of a blogging junkie.  And The Twitter.  I love to watch.  Ha!

5. What is your favorite "cocktail"? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the "Cosmo" kind?! Anything flies...doesn't hafta be alcoholic!
Fruit Tingles!  om nom nom nom!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coming Soon

It's been a busy week in the Castle.  We had a combined Australia Day and Housewarming Party.  The first guests arrived at 1pm on Wednesday and the last ones left at 10pm on Thursday.  That's a LOT of party.  And not much sleep for me, as I worked today as well.

This is the Chocolate Ripple Cake I made for the occasion.

I took photos along the way, and I have a tutorial post coming.  Stay tuned!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Question Friday

One of my favourite blogs, My Little Life does this every Friday, so I thought I would get on board.  If you go to her site there will be links to hundreds of other people's responses as well.  She's on the other side of the world, so you might have to wait a couple of hours before the linky is up, but that gives you time to answer the questions yourself!  Read em!  You know you want to! Then perhaps you will join in the fun!

1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?
I met Chyken on an internet dating website.  We chatted via email for a while, then sent sms's and then graduated to phone calls.  The next thing I knew we went out for a drink and the rest, as they say, is history.  I don't think either of us knew it was love, but I think we both thought we had stumbled upon someone pretty special.  A year later we were engaged, two years after that we got hitched and now here we are living in our very own Castle.

2. What is your favorite room in your house Castle?
Our bedroom.  I love bed.  I love fresh linen.  I love sleep.  I love reading in bed.  Sometimes I blog in bed.  I love our mattress.  I love that we sleep under a picture of Paris every night.  I'm not so fussed on the yellow curtains, but they'll do for the moment.

3. Can you wiggle your ears?
I cannot.  I think it's creepy.  Not as creepy as oogley boogely men, but awfully creepy.

4. What is your evening ritual?
I do the usual stuff like brushing my teeth, but probably already have my pajamas on because I put them on at the earliest opportunity most days.  I also take my happy pill and then I usually play with my iPhone for a while, get arsefaced by Nutter, put earplugs in to try and drown out Chyken's snoring and then I nod off.

5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
I'd like to think I need at least twelve (see question two!), but in reality most nights I get about seven and I'm not dead yet.

Today I am grateful for eggs.  Just because I love them.  A lot.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Post With No Purpose

I've started this post today at least eight times, then deleted my words.  I don't really know where to start.  I don't know what I want to say today, but I feel that as I have an entire night where I don't have to be anywhere, and I don't even have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work that I SHOULD be blogging.  Is that how this blogging lark works?  To become the effortless overnight sensation that I AM going to be, do I actually need to work at it? Do I need to have something to say?

Because at the moment, I don't.  I'm spent.  I think the manic Christmas period has taken over and now I just need to process it all in my head.  Christmas itself, the Anniversary, and all the other bits that I don't even want to think about today.

I'm rambling, this post makes no sense.  Sorry about that.  Here's a song I've been listening to a lot lately...

While I'm here, check out my other favourite thing.  A present from Chyken.

It lives on the dashboard of my car.  It's solar powered.  The leaves bounce up and down in a most happy way when it is sunny.  I love random presents.  I love bees.  I love Chyken.

Have you 'Liked' Chickens and Bees on Facebook yet?  You should!  It will alert you about new posts and stuff and make me feel special.  It's easy!  Just click on the button on the top right of this page. Also, I added tabs up the top left hand side in an effort to clean up the blog a bit.  Whaddya reckon? Good move?  Bad move?  De-lurk yourself!  Leave me some loving in  the form of a comment! 

On that note, I'm heading off to bed.  Apologies for the completely random post about nothing in particular.  Here in Chicken and Bee land we hope to have something actually worth reading sometime soon.

Today I am grateful for clean sheet day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bits Of My Weekend - Volume Nineteen

Ohhh man I love a good pool.  I spent most of the weekend in one of my favourites.  It belongs to one of my best friends parents and it was a lovely 26 degrees.  See that lilo on the left in the picture below?  I spent a LOT of time on it this weekend.  It was divine!  (Thanks AGAIN for inviting us down there!)

THE Pool!

On Saturday morning we picked strawberries.  I don't eat them, but Chyken assures me that they are delicious.  I did have some ice-cream and some strawberry wine and they were great!

Strawberry Farm

This weekend was spent with my oldest friends in the whole wide world.  A few were missing from the gang (Hi P, K, C, K and O!), but we soldiered on without them.  As it turns out, the four ladies who went were four of us who went to kindergarten together about a million years ago.  Please excuse my 'I only got out of the pool because there was ice-cream on offer at the pier' hair.  Thanks!

Kindergarten Buddies!

We ate ice-cream while watching a beautiful sunset over the bay...

Sunset at Rosebud Pier

On the Sunday we had lunch at the Portsea Pub.  We sat in the room up the top that you can see in the picture below.  It was beyond delicious.  Then we all began the long trek home.  It was great to be back in my own bed.  Nutter was extremely glad that we returned.

Portsea Pub

How was your weekend?  You should totally write a post about it and leave a link in the comments section below!

*All photos taken with my iPhone and edited using the Instagram App.

Today I am grateful for lifelong friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This Is Summer? Huh?

This weather is odd.  It is the middle of Summer and yet it is raining.  We do not live in the tropics.  Nutter is completely freaked out by the humidity, and who can blame her?  It's bad enough for me, and I'm not covered in fur!  She has set herself up in front of the fan and I think she will stay there until we turn it off.

Out street is flooded, but it is nowhere near as bad as what is going on in Queensland, so I won't harp on about it.  As far as we can tell there is no danger of it coming in our house.

Two great things hapened today.  I got my old early shift back at work.  It means earlier starts, but it also means I will be home earlier.  I can hopefully ramp the BSEP up to the next level!  Woot!

The other great thing is that I have a long weekend.  Starting now!  Well, actually it started a few hours ago, but you get the idea.  Chyken and I are off to the beach to catch up with some friends. The only real plans are to go to the Portsea Pub for dinner on Saturday night. The rest of the time will probably be spent by the pool or at the beach.  I know, not great weather for it, but I love water, no matter what the weather!

What are you up to this weekend???

Today I am grateful that I have a full-time permanent job that pays me holiday pay so I can afford to take time off to go away for the weekend. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


We have a cat in our Castle.  Her name is Nutter.  She is insane.

Last night she decided that I had not given her enough attention.  She came over to me and tried to get UNDER the stable table thing that my beautiful itty bitty laptop is on.  I lifted up the table,and she climbed in my lap.  I thought when I put the table back down she would run off, but she didn't.  She stayed there for half an hour, until I went to bed.

Bedtime is Nutter's favourite time, for this is when arsefacing happens.  To 'arseface' is when she tries to get into bed with you, and as she is getting comfy she MUST turn around twice and rub her arse in your face. 

Once she gets comforable it is not uncommon for her to clean herself.  During this process she likes to lick other things too.  Especially beards and freshly washed hair.

For someone that didn't want to get a cat, Chyken has surprised me with how much he loves her, and she adores him!

For your enjoyment, here are a few more photos...

Checking her Facebook... (yes she really does have her own page!)

Nutter the day she joined our family.

Stalking her friend Mister Magpie

Scary Nutter!

Practising her shadow puppets

Waving to her fans.

Nutter was a shelter cat.  We got her from here.  If you are in the market for a new addition to your family, and you live anywhere near Melbourne, please go and see Ingrid. 

Today I am grateful for being safe and dry, unlike so many others in my wonderful country at the moment.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gratitude in 2011

I want to thank you once again for the lovely messages, they mean a lot.  Please don't worry about me though, I'm feeling OK most of the time, but unfortunately I seem to post here more often on the days when I am not feeling so great... Going to make a big effort to celebrate the good! 

Despite feeling like crap, I have been cracking on with the BSEP. I am soooo unfit! I'm currently aiming for one episode of Friends, at least three times a week, and so far am hitting that target! Hopefully we'll see the results at Weight Watchers this week.

In other news, I made a Facebook page for this little blog.  Over on the right hand side of this page is a button that will take you to it, please click it! If you don't a fairy might die.  Do you want to take the chance? No, didn't think so!

I have decided to copy adopt something that one of my very favouite bloggers is doing this year... Gratitude in 2011. Katie is adding a short line to the bottom of all her posts telling everyone what she is grateful for that day.  It will take me five seconds, and will hopefully remind me of the good, not the bad!  Sometimes I might explain why I am thankful for it, other times I may not.

Today I am grateful for Chyken, who is working so hard to make our Castle our Home.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


My heart races. I feel my breathing getting sharper. My stomach churns. I've spent the previous day in bed with a migraine and most of the night in the bathroom. Tears well up in my eyes.  My world feels like it is about to cave in.

Must. Get. Away.

Away it is barely any better. My mind races. I think about it almost all the time. I'm so angry. Angry with them for doing this, angry at myself for letting them. I'm sick of being blamed for it all. I don't want to feel this way.

I don't know how to make them see they are breaking me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Year that Was 2010

Aunt Becky did this meme, and then she said I had to as well.  I don't like to argue with her.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Lots of things! Some good and some bad.  Buried my Dad, built a house, joined Weight Watchers, started this blog!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make them.  I'm not calling it a resolution, but in 2011 I aim to be happier and healthier.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yup.  One of my bestest mates, Kells, had a beautiful baby girl and called her Ruby.  She is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Technically it happened in 2009, but I'm gonna say yes to this question.  I miss you, Dad.

5. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More happiness.  More holidays.  More Money.  A new car.

6. What countries did you visit?
Just this one, the best one, Australia.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:
January 4th.  Funeral.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Building the Castle. Getting help for my PTSD.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Falling off the Weight Watchers wagon towards the end of the year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder reared its ugly head again.  Chyken was hospitilised with pneumonia.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The Castle.  And the new couch.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Chyken's.  Seriously, this husband of mine is amazing!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No comment.  Those who need to know, know.

14. Where did most of your money go?
On the Castle.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our Castle.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Time To Say Goodbye

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner (a little bit!  Yay!!)

iii. richer or poorer? Poorer, but a homeowner!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Dude, Meme, Christmas is over.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Yup, with my husband, all over again.

23. How many one-night stands?
Not enough.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Escape To The Country

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a very strong word... But, no, I hated them already.  :-)

26. What was the best book you read?
I re-read The Pillars Of The Earth

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Tooth Jazz!!!

28. What did you want and get?
A Castle.  And eventually, a Bertie Beetle.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Despicable Me

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to Echuca for the weekend and ate too much and went for a ride on a paddlesteamer with great friends.  I turned 33.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More cake.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Extremely similar to 2009, but with more vests.

34. What kept you sane?
My Chyken, my sister, my friends and my cat.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I find it best not to get involved in politics.

37. Who did you miss?
My Dad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Kristen and Brian. 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
There is always help available, you just have to ask! 

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
'Whatever gets you through the night... It's alright, it's alright'

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Hot New Year!

We have just returned from a very hot couple of days in Mildura.  The temperature reached 43 in the shade and I almost melted, but we had a wonderful time.  The heat and insects got too much for us, and although we were booked in to stay for four nights, we packed up on New Year's Eve and headed home, eventually arriving at 3am to welcome the new year in from our own new house. I think that will be a good omen for the year ahead.  Hopefully 2011 will be a huge improvement on the shit that was 2010. 

Here are a few photos from the trip.

Junction of the Darling (the muddy one) and the Murray Rivers, Wentworth.

The Author, trying to keep cool!

The Murray River in the Olden Dayes.

The orange train at Orange World.

The Author and her Chyken

I'm not a resolutions kind of girl, but this year I aim to be happier and healthier. 

I hope you had a great time welcoming the new year, however you chose to spend it. I hope that all your dreams come true this year, and for all the years after that as well.  I look forward to having you read my blogginess again this year.  Who knows, I might actually write something worth reading in 2011!!
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