Monday, 30 November 2015

The Wiggles Big Show! plus CinderEmma

SPOILER ALERT - the last part of this blog post does tell you what happens in the show so if you're about to see it, don't read any further than the marked section! :D

We're very fortunate as a friend has occasional access to a corporate box at the Entertainment Centre and every now and then we get to join in the fun.

My personal woo-hoo when it comes to the box is not the seats, the food or the drinks (all of which, in case you didn't know, are paid for separately from the corporate box fee so these jollies are not entirely free for the host). It is the combination of corporate box parking AND the corporate box entrance.

Why is that such a boon? Not only do you not have to turn up an hour or so early BUT you also completely bypass the merchandising. I'm the original tight-fisted parent and even Master 4-almost-5 realises that I'm not going to be parted from my hard-earned. Not having to see it at all makes me really happy!

Although we're veterans of a few Wiggles concerts we've never seen them at the EnterCentre so the big arena experience was a new one for us.

These guys are consummate professionals and in the big arena the production is much more slick than the smaller shows we've seen. There is still a ton of audience interaction - with space at the front of the seating for children to dance, and Captain Feathersword, Lachie and Emma all got out in the crowd.

As we now watch more ABC3 than ABC4Kids I wasn't across some of the newer songs (makes me think of the Regurgitator song "I like your old stuff better than your new stuff" ...) but the old standards (if you will) were all there.


The first half was the Wiggles doing all their songs and after interval they returned to perform CinderEmma. Last time we saw the Wiggles (at the Marion Cultural Centre - an excellent, intimate venue) they performed a version of Sleeping Beauty. This time, the beautiful CinderEmma worked hard while her wicked sisters, Celine and  Dion (Captian Feathersword and Simon) went to the ball. The fairy godfather (Anthony as Elvis) magics CinderEmma a ball dress and off she goes to capture the Prince's heart.


As always, the team put plenty of humour into the production so adults are well entertained.

I'm a big fan of the Wiggles and while, when we left, Master-almost-five was pestering me about seeing them again, I won't be surprised if this ends up being our last Wiggles concert and that's just a little bit sad.

Huge thanks to my friend for her generous hospitality too!

PS I'm not 100% sure if I'm allowed to post/share my video of the end of the concert - I'll take it down if I'm told to!

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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Skin Physics Pore Away Overnight Perfecting Cream

I picked this cream up from Priceline at 50% off. It was marked down to just $30 from its original $60 and I snaffled (I guess) the last tub.

I've not used Skin Physics products before and, in my mind, the brand has a pretty good reputation. The Dragon Blood line seems to rate quite a few mentions. So I had high hopes for this cream. Skin Physics products are made in Australia and that's something I'm always on the look out for.

Sadly, that's mostly where the love affair started and ended. The cream itself actually did a good job of night time moisturising and hydrating - so it definitely gets a big tick on that point. Whether or not it minimised pores - I can't say (which suggests that if it did any pore minimising it was only a little bit!).

However, there were a couple of real downers with this cream. Firstly, while I generally love creams that come in pots, as this did, the Pore Away was so loose it was almost a liquid or lotion rather than a cream. When the pot was full, this meant I had to be careful opening it, because it was too likely to spill out otherwise!

The other thing I really disliked was that this appears to be 'fragrance free' which is fine in and of itself but not great when it actually translates into 'smells decidedly average, verging on off'.

In terms of functionality, I loved that it was so light. It meant it went a long way, it was easy to put on and my skin absorbed it quickly. As I've mentioned, it also did a great job of moisturising.

I suspect that this product has actually been discontinued as it's no longer listed on the Skin Physics website. I'm not surprised - for me at least if I'd paid $60 for it I would have been disappointed. If only because when full so much of it ended up on the bathroom bench!

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Mr Fothergill's Cottage Garden Mix

poppies in the background and ... I'm not sure in the foreground ... 

It's been a billion years since I posted here and it's a similar thing (although not quite such an extended hiatus) over at Best Beauty Buys. I've decided to combine both here into much more of a lifestyle blog.

Actually, it will be more of a diary than 'lifestyle blog'. You are unlikely to find beautifully composed and lit photos of some magical life I'm living - though I'm happy to post a photo of our sitting room floor covered in Lego if anyone's interested.

Anyway, I am finally getting some control over our garden. Some. Not a lot.

As I've been doing a lot of garden writing for a magazine I now count gardening time as professional development. Interviewing people (and seeing some amazing gardens) has also given me a ton of inspiration. While many of the gardens have been very structural and designed, many others have been much more organic which gives me some hope.

Over time I appear to have amassed quite a collection of seeds so I'm busy using them up as best I can. Many of them are past their 'use by' date which is fine - I'm using them anyway and seeing what happens.

I received a pack of Mr Fothergill's Cottage Garden Mix a couple of years ago now but have only just opened it. We've got quite a few pots around so I filled one of the more attractive ones with potting mix and dumped a load of the seeds in it and sat back to see what would happen.

As you can see, I sowed quite densely and I haven't bothered thinning out but I think that this has worked well. I emailed Mr Fothergill's to find out what is typically in the mix to help identify the flowers. After all, if I particularly like something I might want to source it again - and maybe even work out a mix of my personal favourites. They quickly came back to me with the usual contents, which includes the following: matthiola incana (stock), papaver rhoeas (poppy), ageratum houstonianum, antirrhinum majus maximum tetraploid (snapdragon), centaurea cyanus (cornflower), cosmos bipinnatus, linaria maroccana and nigella damascene.

The linaria maroccana is quite tall and spindly. It is native to Morocco and it's also known as Moroccan toadflax. Planted densely it might look might striking but I think in this mix it looks a bit anaemic.

The poppies (papaver rhoeas) are lovely though and I'm now getting some other flowers starting to appear.

This mix was insanely easy to grow - in a pot it was just a case of actually watering it. Plants magically appeared and flowers ensued. With enough care and in the right spot, it's probably much the same in an actual garden bed - providing you don't have to fend off snails. What I enjoy about pots is that I can move them around so that they avoid harsh sun on stinking hot days (the mercury's already cracked 40 and it's not yet summer!) and also give them pride of place when they start to flower.

As flowering takes 8-14 weeks to kick in (and, from my hazy recollection of when I actually planted these, that sounds about right) if you get your timing right you could also plant in cute pots and use as either presents or decoration for special events.

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