That’s a Wrap 16/12/18

Our frangipanis are out!

So I missed wrapping up last week. I spent last weekend and most of last week in Sydney – we had a 60th birthday party to attend and, given that we’re staying in Queensland for Christmas, some family pre-Christmas catch-ups to do. Plus it was about time that I showed my face in the office for a few days. As much as I have this whole remote working from home thing down pat, it is still good to connect – we say words like “connect” in the workplace – with my colleagues.

It was also a good opportunity to see some city Christmas cheer – which is quickly forgotten when fighting the crowds in Pitt Street and George Street at lunchtime.

Anyways, we’ve got a couple of weeks to catch up on, so without further ado, let’s wrap this thing up.

What inspired me…

If you follow me on Instagram you’d know that most mornings hubby and I walk the Mooloolaba beach path down to the end of the rock wall. Return it’s about 5kms and we reward ourselves with coffee on the beach afterwards.

There’s this woman that we see running the path at least 3 mornings a week. I remember when she started back in the winter. Back then we could hear her labouring and coughing before we saw her, but she’d be back the next day and then the next. You could tell that it didn’t come easily, that every part of her must have been hurting, but still, she’d show up day after day.

Now she runs more easily and she’s looking great. I stopped her the other day just so we could tell her so and so we could tell her and a huge grin spread across her face. She thanked us and kept running.

Now when she sees us she smiles and wishes us good morning – she’s come so far she can breathe, talk and run at the same time. Amazing. Seriously though, she’s super inspiring. It would have been so easy for her to give up yet she didn’t and she hasn’t.

What I learnt…

That the collective noun for a group of toads is a “knot”. What else? That the snowdrop used to be used to treat headaches and is now being used in dementia drugs. The wonder of nature…

What I’m pleased about…

That I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping for the year. I needed to have it finished so the pressies could go under Mum’s tree. Let’s just say that we pushed those Jetstar luggage allocations to the absolute limit.

What I’m watching…

Christmas cooking specials on Foxtel. I just love them.

Where we ate scones…

At Aimee Provence up in Buderim Village. Sometimes you just need tea out of a proper cup and a proper scone with proper jam and proper clotted cream served on a proper cake stand. Also sometimes you just need to treat yourself and hubby to all of the above. I was feeling completely trashed when I got back from Sydney and this was the perfect antidote. I was still tired, but much happier.

What I cooked…

Given that I’ve been away, not much. There were these Christmas crackles that I saw on The Annoyed Thyroid’s website. They went down a treat with the staff at Neighbour’s Aid and even made it into the newsletter that I write each week for the day job.

I also made these star-topped tiny mince tarts. The mincemeat is made mostly from cranberry with some orange, port, and a few other dried fruits, and the pastry has orange juice in it. I’m not a fan of mince tarts, but hubby is and he’s given these bite-sized pieces of Christmas the tick of approval. It’s based on a Nigella recipe that you can find here. Just how gorgeous do the cranberries look? And no, I couldn’t get fresh ones, but this is a Nigella recipe and it’s okay to use frozen. Really.

Where I lunched…

I caught up with a friend who was visiting from Sydney – which gave me an excuse (as if I needed one) to pay a visit to Rice Boi at Mooloolaba. This visit I tried a couple of dishes that were new to me. One, the eggplant, I’d heard lots about but as I’m not a humungous eggplant fan – and nor are my family – I’d never ordered. What a revelation! Crispy eggplant chips with black vinegar caramel, wasabi sesame and spring onion. Yum.

What I wrote…

Again, not much. I’ve been spending some time doing a couple of modules on an Advertising For Authors course. I’m hoping that it will help me navigate the minefield that is Amazon and Facebook advertising.

I did, however, have the blinding flash of a new bright idea, but am reminding myself that I have to finish the last 2 books in my chick lit series before I can indulge myself in anything new.

The characters – and their story – have jumped fully formed into my brain so I’m making copious notes in the hope that I won’t forget about them between now and February. It’s a Christmas novel and the 2 dogs will be called Nigel and Nigella. I even have a title. Naturally, I have another book to write before I get to it, but hey…

What I blogged…

On this site, there was something about our Christmas tree, something about Christmas songs, something about Christmas cookbooks and something about a Christmas reading list.

And on Brookford, I’ve posted some new recipes:

Okay, that was my week and a bit…how was yours?

Author: Jo

I write, I bake, I chase sunrises.

21 thoughts

  1. Those fruit mince pies sound like my thing – the inclusion of cranberry and the citrus in the pastry sounds delicious!

    Wishing you a safe and lovely Christmas in Queensland.

    SSG xxx

  2. That snowdrops fact is fascinating. When I get a chance, I might investigate more. I think rats are also a knot (or I might have just invented that from the King Rat thing…?) Have a very wonderful holiday and a happy xmas!

  3. You packed a lot of fun into your week and everything looks beautiful and delicious. It’s fantastic that you already have solid ideas for your new book, way better than having writer’s block. Have a joyful week!

    1. Thanks Natalie. I have a whole list of book ideas & not enough years to write them all, but this one just leapfrogged the others to the top of the list. Have a fabulous week.

  4. I love your catch up posts Jo – you lead such an interesting life and it’s great getting little insights into what you’ve been up to (not sure how you fit it all in – do you have a Wonder Woman outfit under your civvies??) Anyway have a great Christmas and I wanted to say right back at you for all the support and lovely comments throughout the year – it’s what makes blogging so special isn’t it? Happy Christmas and I hope you have some time off over January (I have 3wks from this Wed thru to mid January – BLISS!!!)

    1. Thanks Leanne…and lol re the wonder woman comment 🙂 I’m taking 2 weeks off from the end of this week and I can’t wait!

  5. So much goodness in one post – those mince pies look ace as do your crackle Christmas puds. I’m so pleased they went down a treat! I was drooling over those scones and especially the clotted cream which is so hard to find down under. I love the idea of your new Christmas book – I’m virtually adding it to my 2019 Christmas reading list – will you have it finished by then?!

  6. It’s always such a joy to read what you’ve been up to Jo, and I’m so glad you stopped the lady and told her how fab she was doing. That’s so kind of you! Your mince pies look amazingly delicious too by the way. All the best with your writing, I just mentioned your book in my latest post by the way 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for that Debbie. It’s been great to connect with you this year & I look forward to more of the same – maybe even a real-life cuppa at The Nest if I’m in Tumba.

  7. We so often feel self-conscious about praising strangers or worry about saying the wrong thing I think it’s great you spoke to the runner. I’m impressed that you guys walk 5km each morning. At the moment I’m struggling to get out of bed at 9am. (Though I usually wake earlier and am still tired so stay in bed.) Of course I have no Vanilla Diet Coke to lure me out of bed. Normal DC just isn’t doing it. I’d give it up if I was braver.

    I love that you have another novel idea… your commitment and motivation continues to blow me away. You are such an inspiration. xxx

  8. I am saying g’day to strangers more these days…in a good way! I am loving seeing little tots dressed for their Christmas pics too. Love your wrap up posts! And love that you are having a Qld Christmas.
    Thank you for your connections & comments on #lifethisweek in 2018. It has been fun and I welcome you back in 2019. Next week’s optional prompt is “We Made It”. The last one in 2018. Denyse x

    1. Thanks for hosting this year. I enjoy the linkup & seeing what’s going on in everyone’s lives. It’s a great group connection.

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