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With the warmer weather of recent weeks, we were able to take Evie for her first swim. A quick dip in the outdoor pool in our apartment complex seemed the easiest option. Probably not the best idea though, since the pool temp is somewhere in the low 20s and Evie is used to 35 degree bathwater.

At first she wasn't sure what to make of it.
First dip

Then it quickly turned into "I don't like this! Run me a proper bath people!"
not happy, jan!

She did get used to it though. And she sat happily enough with her feet dangling in the pool.
Evie's feet

I'm counting the outing as a success. While she didn't love it; she didn't hate it. It takes Evie a while to warm up to new experiences. My cautious little girl.
Underwater shot

More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

jess - 11th Nov 2011, 16:42 tags: evie kids nablopomo nablopomo11


TD turned 64 last week. Happy Birthday TD! We had our usual shindig at Mum and Dad's house to celebrate.

I made the world's biggest trifle instead of a birthday cake. I double the recipe I have so that it fills the trifle bowl that I own. There is usually heaps left over though. Enough for everyone to take a Tupperware full of trifle home. Next time I should probably just stick to the quantities in the recipe and just half fill the bowl. TD and Leo will be disappointed though. They love my trifle (what's not to love about custard, jelly, cream and cake?)
Birthday trifle
TD, Leo and Oscar

There is a famous Beatles' song about turning 64. The song has the lyric "grandchildren on your knee; Vera, Chuck and Dave". So here is TD with his grandchildren: Vera, Chuck, Dave and Vera.
TD and the Grandkids

jess - 10th Nov 2011, 20:24 tags: birthdays td kids nablopomo nablopomo11

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Recently I've been very lucky to be the recipient of some suprise macaron gifts. I know I bang on a lot about how much I love macarons on here and Facebook. My not so subliminal messaging must be working. Awesome!

When Caitlin dropped off some clothing hand-me-downs for Evie the other day she also gifted me with two delicious macarons from Baroque (I've decided that this is my favourite macaron store in Sydney). A wonderful surprise for afternoon tea. Thanks Caitlin!

Then, the other night at trivia Bel brought along a box of Adriano Zumbo macarons (or zumbarons as he's branded them) which she had bought at his new Pyrmont store. Thanks Bel! The girls shared the box of macarons and there were mixed reactions to Zumbo's weird and wacky flavours. Bel thought that one of his flavours reminded her of thai curry. Not exactly what you want in a dessert.

After hearing Bel describe Zumbo's new store at Sydney Casino, I knew that I wanted to go and check it out. It's just down the road from Mum and Dad so when Andrew and Dad were out whale watching one day, Mum and I walked over to the recently rebranded The Star (what a wanky name) to pick up some macarons for afternoon tea.

Just like his macaron flavours, the decor of Zumbo's new store is a bit wacky. The macarons that are available on the day are displayed in boxes marked "In case of emergency break glass", and other desserts are displayed in cases which remind me of lamps. At the other end of the store is a cafe which has a sushi train style dessert train. (It wasn't open when we went but has since opened.) The store was surprisingly quiet when we visited. We didn't have to wait at all, unlike at his Rozelle and Balmain outlets where the lines are ridiculous. I'm not sure whether this is because it was a Sunday or because people haven't discovered the new store yet.
Macaron display

On our visit we tried Raspberry Caramel; Tonka & Passionfruit; Cola; Milk Chocolate, Chili & Cinnamon; and Coconut, Green Chilli & Lavender. The specified flavours were definitely present in each macaron. So much so that I didn't like the chilli ones because they were too spicy for my wussy palate. The ones I liked most were the raspberry caramel and the passionfruit, but I'd take a vanilla macaron over either of those any day.
zumbarons Macarons zumbarons

So while weird and wacky is fun, I think I still need something traditional to wash it all down with. I think Zumbo needs to add a caramel or vanilla to his books permanently.

More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

jess - 9th Nov 2011, 22:00 tags: macaron explore_sydney nablopomo nablopomo11

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Audrey doesn't have any problems smiling for the camera. I captured these beautiful photos of Audrey the other day. Such a smiley, happy girl.

jess - 8th Nov 2011, 21:18 tags: audrey kids nablopomo nablopomo11

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Seeing Sue's photos from New York flash by in my feed made me nostalgic for our own trip to NYC in 2007. Almost 2008 because we visited New York to celebrate New Year's Eve. Since we're not going overseas anytime soon, I'm going to have to live vicariously through Sue's travels. On the last day of 2007 we walked over Brooklyn Bridge to have brunch with Caitlin in Brooklyn. After brunch and a quick walk around Brooklyn we caught the subway back into Manhattan.

I'm a bit of a bridge geek so I loved our walk across Brooklyn Bridge. It really is a very attractive bridge. We watched the Brooklyn Bridge episode of Seven Industrial Wonders of the World before visiting New York so we had an appreciation of just how much work went into building the bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge

To sink the foundations of the two towers beneath the East River, men worked in chambers pressurised to keep the water out. Lots of men, including the chief engineer, suffered from decompression sickness after they left the highly pressurised environment.
Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge

In that episode, we also learnt that there was dodginess with the manufacturing of the steel cables that support the bridge. Apparently, steel that was rejected as not satisfactory was still used. But it can't have been that bad because the bridge is still standing. The Brooklyn Bridge is nearly 130 years old making it one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world.
Brooklyn Bridge
More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

Our visit to Brooklyn Bridge was part of our trip to New York. We visited New York in December 2007 to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square style. We also did heaps of other New Yorky stuff. Other entries from this trip include: Aeroplanes in the night sky.

jess - 7th Nov 2011, 22:07 tags: travel pensieve usa new-york nablopomo nablopomo11

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