Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Picnics in the Park

Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog!

Lately, because it's school holidays, my family and I have gone on quite a few picnics. We found a great picnic spot on the Brisbane River, which we have been to a couple of times now. Because its on the river, we have enjoyed watching all the boats pass by.

This one we found out was called the Young Endeavour.

I'm not sure what this one is, but it's interesting all the same.

The natural surroundings of the park were also something to enjoy. We loved looking at these columns, though were not sure of their purpose. I think they might be made of the wood of old jetty that had to be knocked down because it was falling apart.

They were so tall,  it was amazing.

We loved looking at the shore-line too.

Yesterday we went on another picnic, but this time it was to the North Pine Dam, also known as Lake Samsonvale, our source of water!

It was great to see the dam over 97.2% full because, as you may know, we recently had a drought and during this time the capacity of the dam dropped to 14%.



We had a great time picnicking -

But we had some uninvited guests...

I was quite disturbed to discover that we aren't the only ones who drink out of our dam. The many ducks, birds and even swans that inhabit the area use it as a water supply as well. I guess the water gets treated before we drink it.... I hope!

Well, I hope you enjoy your next picnic as much we did! Have fun in the great outdoors!

This post is linking with Outdoor Wednesday.

I hope your day is sweet,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My First Blogging Award

I got tagged! Michelle from Heart Search awarded me with the Pure in Heart award! Thank you so much Michelle!

The Rules: 

  1. Post about the tag
  2. Pick 10 bloggers who deserve this award
  3. Leave a comment on the blogs of the people you tagged letting them know they were awarded
  4. Answer the questions along with your post.

1: Apples, Oranges or Bananas?

2: How many siblings do you have? 
I have a brother, Big Al from Big Al's Books, Games and More.

3: How old are you?

4: Do you live on/in a prairie, woodland, swamp, city or other?
I live in a suburb.

5: Scissors or glue?

6: Describe your dream house.
A big house on a massive block of land. Everything would be extremely organised and the furniture will be French Provincial.

7: Is your room clean?
Always - everything has to be organised and neat. If it's not, I will have to make it exactly how I want it. You could say I am a bit of a perfectionist...

8: If you could be a movie character for a day, who would you be?
Princess Mia from the Princess Diaries movies.

9: Italy, Greece, France, Spain or England?
Greece - I think the country is absolutely beautiful.

10: Do you sleep with a stuffed toy (BE HONEST!!!!)
Yes, I sleep with a stuffed toy pug dog (and I am not ashamed of it).

11: Gum, chocolate, or jelly beans?
Chocolate, of course!

12: What is your favorite book?
I really like all the books of the
CHERUB Series by Robert Muchamore.

13: Favorite ice cream flavour?
I like all ice-cream, but I would have to say chocolate chip cookie dough.

14: If you had to eat one type of food for two weeks, what would that food be?
My favourite Asian salad.

15: What is your favorite Olympic sport?
My favourite Olympic sport would have to be gymnastics.

16: If you woke up and discovered that you had turned into Miley Cyrus for the day, what would you do? (note: I'm not a fan)
I would formerly apologize for all my mistakes, take singing and acting lessons, and put on some clothes!

17: Describe yourself in three words.
Opinionated, perfectionist and musical.

18: What chore do you hate?
I hate it when I have to stack the dishwasher.

19: If Elmo came into your room with a gun, what would you do?
I didn't know Elmo had a gun!

I am new to the blogging world so don't know many bloggers, but I would like to award the following -

Since I have just answered all these questions about me, I thought I would share a photo of myself and link up to the latest Kids Click competition theme, 'This is Me', and also iheartfaces, a weekly photo challenge.

Thank you for having me, Simoney!

Thank you for having me!

We went to a local picnic spot on the Brisbane River and the weather was beautiful and perfect for taking photos. I love the reflection in my sunglasses!

This is Me!
Image taken by me, Maddy, aged 13.

I also thought I'd share one of my favourite songs with you - Viva la Vida by Coldplay - and link up to my Mum's Sunday Song party. 

Thank you for having me, Mum!

Coldplay is an English alternative rock band that was formed in London in 1997. The group consists of Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion.

Viva la Vida is Spanish for 'Live the Life' and the lyrics to the song contain many historical and religious references. The song has inspired a great deal of debate about its meaning and people have claimed that the song may be about various subjects, such as the French Revolution. No matter what its  meaning, Viva la Vida is an inspirational song and it contributes significantly to my love of music. Let me know what you think of it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Well, thanks for visiting! It is school holidays know (YAY!!!) so I can post a bit more often, so please come back soon!

I hope your day is sweet,

Friday, June 18, 2010

Curry Night

Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog!

It was curry night last night at my house and we made an Indian butter chicken curry with a few delicious side. We had papadums, paratha bread, an eggplant dish called Baingan Ka Bharta made by Mum and palak paneer (spinach and paneer cheese) made by me. Today I am joining Foodie Friday for the first time and I would like to share a recipe for palak paneer.

To make palak paneer you will need -
  • 200g (7 ounces) paneer cheese
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (chopped)
  • Approximately 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
  • 300g (11 ounces) finely chopped spinach 
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Vegetable oil (as needed)
For a bit of spice, add green chilli paste to suit your taste. My 10 year-old brother Big Al (from Big Al's Books, Games and More) doesn't like 'spicy' food, so we didn't add any chili, but Mum tells me it would make the dish even tastier. Also, you may like to use frozen spinach (we did) instead of fresh.

Firstly, heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan, on a medium heat. Cut the paneer into small cubes or rectangles and place in pan to fry until slightly golden, stirring occasionally. If you are using frozen spinach, heat the spinach while the paneer is cooking, either in the microwave for 3-5 minutes or in a separate pan on a medium heat for 5 minutes.

You will then need to add the onion, tomato, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, salt and Garam Masala powder. This is also where you would add the green chilli paste. Stir through and cook until the onions are soft.

After this, add the spinach and stir through. If you used frozen spinach, leave to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you used fresh spinach, leave to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After this, place the palak paneer in a suitable dish and add the butter. Stir through and serve with rice and a curry of your choice.

We made a butter chicken curry to go with this dish. Also, Mum made an eggplant dish called Baingan Ka Bharta. For the recipe for this dish, please visit my Mum's blog - 5 Minutes Just for Me. I hope you your next curry as much a we did!

This post is linking with Foodie Friday.

Thank you for having me Michael Lea!

I hope your day is sweet,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Photo from a Budding Blogger

My mother called me a 'budding' photographer the other day after I showed her my photograph of an Evergreen Magnolia.

I guess mother's can be funny....sometimes!

Today's post is linking with Outdoor Wednesday.

I hope your day is sweet,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Bond to Music

Hello and welcome to my blog!

It is a long weekend here in Brisbane so that means I can really relax - no school on Monday!

As you may or may not know, I love music. I play the cello and piano and I also sing in my school's choir. I am also in a string ensemble at my school. In about two years the top music groups at my school will be going on an overseas tour, but they haven't told us where yet. I am already excited - I hope I get to go!

I love listening to orchestras and I especially love listening to Four Seasons by Vivaldi. But one of my favourite string groups is Bond. This contemporary group is made up of Tania Davis, Eos Chater, Elspeth Hanson and Gay-Yee Westerhoff.

Bond was formed following a conversation between music producer Mike Batt and promoter Mel Bush, after Batt suggested to Bush that they should put together a string quartet consisting of "four beautiful, talented musicians". Bush pushed ahead with the idea some time later, recruiting producer Gareth Cousins to help choose the line up and define the band's sound. Eventually, Bond was formed and the group has now sold over four million records and been described as the best selling string quartet of all time. Explosive: The Best of Bond is the group's latest album.

Bond is best known for their electric playing style and their modern twist on classical music. I absolutely love all of Bond's songs, but one of my favourites would have to be Explosive, which I will share with you today as my entry in my Mum's (Natasha from 5 Minutes Just for Me) blogging party, Sunday Song.

I hope you like this song to. Let me know what you think! 

Well, thank you for visiting my blog! By the way, I finished The General! It was fantastic and I highly recommend it! 

I hope your day is sweet,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Not all Cherubs are Angelic...


I have finished all my homework so it's blog time! I always look forward to this time of the day as it relaxes me after my hectic school day. I have just finished my block assessment period and can blog most days, but when we head into the next block period I probably won't have time. Thankfully that is a while away...

Today I am going to tell you about the CHERUB Series by Robert Muchamore. This is currently my favourite series (as you can see by my Shelfari Bookshelf and the photo below) and I highly recommend it to anyone, boys and girls, aged 12 and above. 

CHERUB is a top-secret branch of the British Intelligence Service that recruits children from orphanages around the world. They train these children in espionage and once they pass basic training (a tough 100-day training course) they qualify as CHERUB agents. CHERUB uses children as agents because 'CHERUB agents have one crucial advantage: adults never suspect that kids are spying on them' (quote from the blurb of all CHERUB books).

The series follows the lives of James and Lauren Adams (Choke in the first book, The Recruit), starting from when they were first recruited and ending when the are too old to be agents. The lives of their best friends are also followed, but in less detail. Each book is based on a mission they are currently undertaking and there is always a training exercise for the agents. I won't give away anymore information so you'll have to read the series for yourselves!

One of the reasons CHERUB is such a great series is because Robert Muchamore tells it like it is. In most books, there is only one complication, thus there is no reality in the book. In CHERUB, on the other hand, there are many complications, so readers can relate to each situation. Muchamore is very successful in making his stories seem real and this reality makes you feel like you are really there.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I am currently reading the 10th book in the series, The General. This book is mainly about a massive training exercise that James, Lauren and their friends are doing in Las Vegas. They are fighting in an urban warfare training exercise for American troops fighting in urban wars like the war in Iraq. You will have to read the book to find out more! Over the upcoming school-holidays I plan to read the 11th book, Brigands MC, and then I will be all ready to read Shadow Wave when it comes out in September of this year. I can't wait!

As I mentioned before, the CHERUB Series is for anyone aged 12 and above. This is because the series is not suitable for younger readers (as stated on the back of the book) due to swearing, and advanced themes and concepts.

Overall, I give the CHERUB Series 10 out of 10! The only negative about the series in my mind is that one or two of the books start off slowly, but I guarantee that you will be gripped by the end! All the books are must-reads for both boys and girls.

Today's post is linking with Kids' Picks at 5 Minutes for Books.

Thank you for having me!

Well, thanks for visiting! I am off to keep reading The General - I have nearly finished it!

I hope your day is sweet,

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Daily Walk Turns YUCK


Thank you for visiting my blog!

This year my brother (Big Al from Big Al's Books, Games and More), my Mum and I decided to go on a walk around our neighbourhood on most afternoons after Big Al and I have finished our homework. I love taking photos and I am aspiring to become a good photographer, so I always bring my camera and take photos of all the flowers and beautiful things that surround us. 

I loved the flowers shown above SOOOO much that I took a couple of close-ups and used one of them for my Profile Picture.

It is, however, sometimes hard to capture the beauty of all the flowers when the streets are littered with extremely YUCKy things, like cigarette butts.

Also, many gardens are left unattended and end up looking very YUCK indeed.

But the epitome of all things YUCK is graffiti.

Graffiti on Telegraph Pole

Image taken by me, Maddy.

I absolutely HATE graffiti. It is disgusting and tacky and ruins the appearance of everything surrounding it. I really hope that more is done to prevent it and that pre-existing graffiti is cleaned up.

Today I am participating in a blogging party called 'Kids Click', hosted by Simoney from the blog Kids Click Fun. This week's theme was YUCK and I believe you would all agree with me that graffiti is indeed very YUCKy.

Thank you for having me Simoney!

Well, I am off to read The General, the 10th book in my favourite series CHERUB. My next post will be all about this fantastic series - I can't wait to tell you about it!

I hope your day is sweet,