Ok, so this is my first ever carving and coming from the perspective of a true amateur this is how I carved our very first pumpkin.
I think on Facebook I saw a link to the Coles (supermarket chain in Australia) website with templates that could be used to carve your pumpkin, I downloaded & printed them out. I took Miss A to Coles on the Monday before Halloween and we bought a pumpkin and that afternoon we sat down at the kitchen table going…yeah…ahhhhh…..soooooo…..*crickets*…and I just went…ahh stuff this.
I scored a circle around the top of the pumpkin and then started cutting into it so I had a lid that could be removed.
Then scooped it’s guts out. Now I have a thing about having dirty hands and I used a latex glove on one hand so I could actually scoop the guts without getting my hands too dirty and had a bowl next to us to dump the guts into.
Then with all the guts removed, I used scissors to cut the template we decided to go with. Then those pieces were stuck on the pumpkin using a small piece of sticky tape.
I used a paring knife to score on the edges of the template on the pumpkin and then used a pumpkin carving knife that I picked up from Savers – it has a serrated edge but not sharp that it would cut my hand. Then I carved where I had scored the skin of the pumpkin and out popped the cut bits.
Once all the scored bits were cut I was able to put tea lights inside it and pop the lid on and taa daa. Our first carved pumpkin and without having to googling how to do it, I did it and it was dead easy. We put it out on Halloween and it looked awesome once it finally went dark. Right now that very pumpkin has been tossed into the very rear of our garden to decompose and feed the bugs!!
This Friday 31st October will be Halloween. It’s not big in Australia, although over the past few years I have noticed that there has been an increase of pumpkins / fake vampire teeth & Halloween related merchandise in the stores. I am much more of a sucker for Christmas but as a kid always wished we could do Halloween. I can’t do my planned Halloween post until after Halloween so in the meantime I thought I would post a scary story of mine.
I know there are believers and non believers out there but I am firmly in the believers group. Weird stuff that has happened to me that I simply can’t explain has me believing that there is something else out there so a spooky post for Halloween.
One of my odd encounters occurred in 1992. My parents had bought a new house in Seven Hills in a Sydney suburb in NSW, Australia. I was unpacking my boxes in my bedroom, the rest of the family were out enjoying the sunshine in the backyard. As I walked out of my bedroom on the corner of my eye I saw a little old lady with grey hair and a black shawl over her shoulders standing in my younger brothers bedroom.
I caught a glimpse of her and kept walking down the hall and then did the “what the”. I turned and walked back to the bedroom and nothing, no one. I thought that maybe my Mum was in that room and was mucking around with a black shawl over her shoulders. So I decided that I would walk back to my room and re-do what I had just done. In case stuff placed around my brothers room gave the appearance of a person with grey hair and a black shawl.
So I went back into my room, counted to 5 and walked out again and this time…a bright white bedroom with a few brown boxes on the floor.
I did what any normal teenager would do…I ran.
I ran so freaking fast out of that house. I shit myself (not literally…thank goodness!). I know what I saw, there was absolutely no reason at all for me to have even imagined a little old lady with grey hair and a black shawl on. I ran outside to tell my family and I was shushed and told to stop being stupid, for fear that it might freak out my little brother.
A few months later my brother and I returned home from school, it was a long and very hot walk home. It was February so still very much Summer weather and as I got to the front door and opened it I was hit with a wall of icy air. Our lounge room was freezing. My brother & I walked inside and I was being a bit of a dickhead and said out loud “Oh hi, it’s me, Alex and Matt. We are home from school now”. Just like that the lounge room returned to the right temperature and that very icy cold air was gone and instead it was warm & stuffy inside.
On a side note, my dog never ever went down the hallway in that house He would cower & whimper when we first tried to get him to come down the hall, it was our new house and we wanted him to have a sniff around and he was totally not interested with our bedrooms. We only stayed in that house for 6 months before moving to Melbourne so I have no idea if that old lady is still in that house. I believe that she was related to the previous owners but really…who knows.
I received a message from my sister in law who lives waaaay over the other side of Australia asking me to help out a friend of hers. This friend Miss Vivien Astaire is currently an entrant in the Miss Pinup Australia competition and as it turns out Miss Vivien Astaire (http://instagram.com/arsenicandoldlace) is someone that I intently follow on Instagram, because she is not only gorgeous but has the most gorgeously styled hair.
Miss Vivien Astaire – QLD Entrant in Miss Pinup Australia
I know from other vintage gals I follow on Instagram that Miss Pinup Australia is currently holding their state final events to find that gorgeous gal (or guy..I did see that there is a guy in there somewhere!). I think NSW is the remaining state.
Some of the names of the finalists are so well thought out, so it got me thinking what would my Pinup Girl name be. I have my ‘superhero’ name and that name is Gale Force (that’s my name everyone so back off and get your own superhero name..ok!) so I tried to think of a cool / cheeky / play on words type of name and the best I could come up with was Miss Candy Cane – another threat…back off everyone that’s my name so go find your own play on words name…or else!!.
Miss Vivien Astaire – QLD Entrant in Miss Pinup Australia.
I am a huge sucker for Christmas so Miss Candy Cane just works so well. Anyway…I could be a vintage crime fighting pin up girl…maybe…but those names are mine so bugger off…ok!
So if you have some spare time please please pretty please put in a vote for my Miss Vivien Astaire – she has some gorgeous pics on the Miss Pinup Australia site and every vote counts!!! Also check out their site – there are some amazing people pictured.
Miss Vivien Astaire – QLD Entrant in Miss Pinup Australia.
I struggle to find the right clothes to wear, I struggle to eat the right foods, I struggle to get to the gym…it’s one big 3 month long struggle. What’s worse is that it doesn’t even really get that cold in Melbourne. Sure it rains, it’s windy and the temperature can drop quite low overnight and first thing in the morning but there is no snow in Melbourne – well, ok maybe outer outer outer suburbs there is enough ice that it looks like snow and yeah so on those really cold days about 30mins drive from where I am there is a mountain and there may be snow there but not full on days on end of just white snow everywhere.
Today is the first day of Winter in Australia and that also means that we are coming close to the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year. Once that day is done I start to look up, it means we are heading towards Summer and longer days and more Sun. Much more glorious Sun.
Today it also rained for most of the day. It was dreary, foggy, wet & cold. We had an open fire at home and I thought back to our holiday in the warmer climate of Fiji. Then I remember I took heaps of pics of the gorgeous tropical flowers and figured that looking at those pics might cheer me up at bit.
So here’s to warmer weather & gorgeous sweet smelling tropical blooms!
My Husband and I recently celebrated our 10thwedding anniversary. We had decided on our honeymoon all those years ago that when we hit 10yrs we would have that 5 star spare no expense holiday to celebrate and that it would be just the two of us.
So we did it and we chose to go to Fiji. A decision we did not regret.
We stayed at the Intercontinental Golf Resort & Spa and stayed in a club room – which meant we had our very own infinity edge plunge pool.
Oh and we flew business class on Air Fiji!!
The only regret for us…we didn’t bring our kids. I know…child free holiday, not having to worry about naps & bed times and making sandwiches every other minute but yeah, we really missed our little people and have vowed to return to Fiji and take them with us.
The flight over was only 4.5hrs (but add the time it takes to pack, get to the airport, check your luggage in, go through immigration, wait for your flight to board, take off, fly, land, get your luggage, customs, immigration, transfers to your accommodation (phew) you are looking at about 10hrs of travelling (from Melbourne, AUS). But…it’s totally worth it.
The view from our room. It was about 6.30am when we arrived & although it’s overcast with drizzle it was very humid.
The Cleopatra bath that is located outside the room.
Just arrived in Fiji selfie.
It rained the day we arrived but it’s so warm that it didn’t really matter.We pretty much chilled out for the day and at 3.30pm we headed to the club room for high tea and we ordered tea and got our little plates of goodies. Every day from 3.30pm they serve high tea in the club room, from memory there was only 1 day that we skipped the high tea because we had a special dinner planned later in the evening.
High tea with a selection of goodies (we ate the sandwiches & then I remembered to take a pic).
Later at 5.30pm we were back at the club room for cocktail hour. There were about 6 complimentary cocktails to choose from and over the course of the week we tried them all. They also served us hot and cold canapés which we needed because we were hungry, although what would happen over the week was we would do the high tea and then the cocktails and all those little snacks would fill us and then come dinner we couldn’t finish whatever we had ordered.
My first cocktail in Fiji was the Natadola Beach – very very nice cocktail.
My Husbands first cocktail was a Mojito and he said is was “Fucking Excellent”. lol
Our cold canapés – Salmon & cucumber on pancakes, Banana smoothie, Soba noodles, Beef & avocado salsa on mini toast.
Hot canapés – BBQ Beef skewers, Tempura Okra, Meatballs with sweet chilli sauce, Fried fish (which we think was chicken?) Fish-chicken meh we’re on holidays!!
My Husbands 2nd cocktail was the Club View Martini
My 2nd cocktail was the Club Exotic Martini.
The most stunning sunset to enjoy while drinking our cocktails.
Still a bit of light in the sky while we waited for our dinner at Toba Bar & Grill.
Still not finished with the drinks, I ordered a Nova Breeze – it really wasn’t my thing.
So I had to order another drink, this time it was a Pina Colada. I think I described it on the night as coconut oil in a drink version. Ha.
We got to spend heaps of time just hanging out poolside and because the ocean was a short stroll from where we were sitting I got to have a swim in the ocean…a first in about 10yrs. Australia is surrounded by water but we are so far south that it’s like bloody ice water so I NEVER go in. When we have gone up north near Cairns there are stingers in the water and the odd crocodile doing laps near the beach – yeah so I NEVER enter the water up there. So to finally walk into the sea and the water is the perfect temperature and it’s clear – so clear that I could see fish…FISH swimming up close to me.
The view we woke up to on our 2nd day! Spectacular and it was so warm outside.
The main pool and the ocean – the Pacific Ocean with all it’s ‘warm like bath water’ goodness.
I believe the resort was built on land that used to grow sugar cane. These are the railway tracks that would move the cane when it was picked.
Sneaky sneaky…is that water or Vodka & Gin? hmmm.
My Darling Husband enjoying a swim in our private infinity edge plunge pool.
I posted this pic on Instagram, there are bollards all around the resort and this one reminded me of Elvis. There was another that looked like Angus Young from ACDC.
In case you are wondering, yes I did my hair, makeup and dressed the way I always do every day. I got heaps of compliments which is always nice! The only time I changed was when I was returning from a swim & I would have my Mauritius sarong on.
On one of the nights we decided to go to the resorts ‘fine dining’ restaurant Tobu and had a wonderful dinner – we were there for about 2hrs but it really felt like about 30mins – good company & food I suppose! No pics because it was so dark, only a little tea light on our table.
A shot of the Mai Tai I ordered at the Navo Restaurant.
I also got the benefit of a massage or two. The first massage I had was on a nice day so I was a little reluctant to have to go indoors and have a massage but of course once I was in there I didn’t complain. They ask you to arrive 30mins before your treatment and I wondered why they asked you to be there so early – well that’s because they have this steam room that you sit in for 5-7mins, rinse off then go into a spa bath for another 5-7 mins and then you go into a cold room – it’s very cold, with a basin filled with crushed ice to rub over your body and then the ice shower. It’s cold and I did it on both visits but kinda ran through like a scaredy cat. Finally they get you to change into your robe and head into a waiting room where you are served a herbal tea – lemongrass, ginger & vanilla bean & a slice. The first massage my slice was an oatmeal & honey slice. The second slice was a sesame & honey slice. No pics but use your imagination…!
My massages were fantastic and I just wished I could have them go on an on but I have to pay for them so yeah…just 60mins both times.
During my second massage a huge…huge ass thunderstorm passed overhead and there was heaps of thunder and rain. It was awesome and really relaxing but to be honest I would have loved to have sat outside our room watching that storm roll in. A few times we got to see some amazing lightening shows courtesy of mother nature out in the Pacific Ocean, but still it was hot & steamy so a bit of rain didn’t ruin our holiday at all.
There is a storm brewing out over the Pacific Ocean. Still very hot & humid.
The sunset after that epic storm – every sunset was just sensational.
Last drinks. A selfie from the Club room during cocktail hour and watching the most amazing sunset & cloud formations.
Post storm sunset clouds. Just breathtaking!
I think this pic was taken day 3 or 4 at Cocktail hour another Mojito & the green cocktail was the Toba Float.
Poolside selfie. This was taken the day we were leaving.
Pic taken from the car as we were travelling back to Nadi Airport.
It was hard to leave our luxury holiday but we were both keen to see our babies and give them all the goodies we bought for them. It will be a few years before we get a chance to go back & I am sure our kids will really love it.
If you read lots of blogs and like to keep up to date with posts then I highly recommend you use Bloglovin’. I use it and get sent an email once a day to let me know which of my favourite bloggers have posted to their blogs. It’s super easy to keep track of all those sites that give you a bit of inspiration!
My name is Alex and I am really passionate about fashion, music & cars from the 40’s & 50’s. So I figured, why not create a blog where I can document my clothes, hair styles and anything extra that takes my fancy.
I also make cocktails every now & again so I will certainly post some recipes & pics of my creations!