Category: music

Oxygenetix Rules

Oxygenetix Rules

Maths is Fun.

First of all, it’s actually not.

Secondly, I am nervous that my companion to getting through Chapter One of Statistics For Psychologists is a children’s interactive website called Maths is Fun.

Who knew that when you multiply a negative number with another negative number you get a positive number? That’s just plain crazy! Or that when you add things you have to add what’s in brackets before you add and you have to multiply before you add or subtract. Really? Why?

There’s even a song about it. Not as good as the latest Busta Rhymes song, Thank You if you like a bit of hip hop.

Finding a new foundation that acts as a poly filler while looking light and translucent on the skin…now that is fun.


Say hello to Oxygenetix, introduced to me by a dewy-skinned sensible friend: It was designed by a Beverly Hills makeup artist for a plastic surgeon to cover and even heal procedural scars.

Designed for doctors, Breathable foundation covers and treats a wide variety of skin problems: skin injuries, wounds, rashes, cracked, dry skin, acne scars, rosacea and other skin conditions. On post-surgical scars, patients are re-assured and impressed that after care includes safely camouflaging any evidence of surgery.

Basically, this is a healing cream that also just happens to be a banging good foundation. It comes in a variety of shades so you look like you. I use Beige which seems to be the most popular colour.  It also has an SPF 25 – ticking all the boxes.

It’s a small pump bottle and costs $85 here. I was recently in Beverly Hills (I know, I know…did a little damage in Melrose Ave…) and checked it out there thinking I would stock up cheaply, but in fact their price control is pretty standard so no need to hunt around  for hours online or travel to the States for it as I did. Do let me know if you find differently.

Also it lasts for ages and ages as you use a tiny amount for amazing coverage. I’ve had mine for months, use it religiously and there’s still plenty left.

I bought mine in Subiaco, Perth at Skin Evolution, conveniently located next to Jean-Claude Patisserie in Rockeby Road.

There’s nothing in this shameless promo for me, I still pay the $85 like everyone. Also, they are not likely to give free stuff to someone who has six followers on their blog, are they?

Now if someone could just explain interval ratio scales to me I will be content for the rest of the day.


Year Twelve Hurts More The Second Time

Year Twelve Hurts More The Second Time

That final year of school is tough: you have assignment after assignment to contend with. Pesky teachers on your back about ‘progress’.

Your parents just don’t seem to understand or remember how hard it is. You wish you could just cruise around in the car alone for once. You fantasise about solitary road trips to Margaret River to watch boys surf.

You never have time to read just for fun. The stress that gets dumped on you is almost unbearable. The tears, the lack of compassion from friends, the parties you have to either miss or leave early….


…why didn’t anyone tell me that Year 12 would be this hard the second time around?

I can only imagine what it’s like for my daughter, the one actually having to show up at school (most days); parents pretending not to be completely strung out, whispering to each other late at night about the logistics of taking an escape break somewhere without the kids. Mostly, stupid cruel parents making her to go to school. Every friggin’ weekday. And so it goes until 3.00pm November 28.

How to get through? Some lucky mothers have jobs to go to. Escape to there, make it your happy place. Those of us unemployed need other distractions. While I do wish ASOS wouldn’t keep doing their irresistible 20% off everything every second day, that has provided a little exciting spike in amongst the spiky angst. Thanks to some very stylish friends, I picked up some great biker boots the other day, it was the day before two quite big tests (Geography and French, I believe) so they were fairly expensive.

Then there’s yoga, only beware buying a ten-pass voucher and letting it expire past the extension you asked for because you just haven’t had a moment calm/alone/organised/motivated enough to get yourself to a class. It’s stress-loading yoga when you waste a whole pass, not stress-relieving.

Running – and talking about running – has probably been the greatest saviour physically for me. Alone with the dog, the wind in my hair, sometimes some music on my iPod. Below is what I listened to this morning.

Later I had coffee with one of my running pals, she of the fabulous red hair and extensive Lululemon wardrobe and we talked splits, tempo runs, mileage, races: it was like taking a short weekender losing myself in run-talk.

My oldest daughter has really good taste in music and she happily shares it with me. She has discovered the eighties (soundtrack to my life, sista!) and while I have done the right thing and put her in front of Sixteen Candles for research purposes, she has come up with some great stuff without any help from us, such as this little gem – a cover version by Ohio band Cobra Verde of New Order’s Temptation. They also do a haunting slow version of The Rolling Stones Play With Fire.

If I am completely honest my two daughters scare the living daylights out of me. They are much smarter, more determined and confident, savvy and beautiful than me. I’m not quite sure how it should all work, and I am quite tough under this soft (don’t laugh!) exterior so imagine how bamboozled my poor gentle peace-loving husband is. He lives in perpetual bewilderment.

Fortunately there is the best relief of all – friends who have been there, done that and are undamaged enough to be able to recall the terror of seeing their own kids through the end of school and pass on words of wisdom or comfort, like “it only lasts a year per child” and “don’t attempt to give up wine or chocolate for Lent” and “there, there, it’ll be okay.” Seriously all anyone really wants is to know that someone else has trod this path, whatever path that may be, and gets where you’re at. It applies to pretty much any stress we encounter in life, big and small.

Sometimes we just need someone to cry with, even if there’s no actual crying involved.

I suspect things will be quieter as our son goes through this in two years time, but just for a laugh we have another daughter headed towards Year 12. Although not for another eleven years. Rob has suggested we use this time gap to regroup, travel a little, swim regularly, perhaps a little counselling.

Apparently there’s a maths assignment due tomorrow so I may just pop off now and have another look at that nail polish I was reading about the other day…

tshirt you dont scare me



Gosh there are some fun blogs out there.

I was cruising the ‘Net early this morning instead of making the kids’ lunches for school like it was a Sunday. God knows what they eventually went off with….probably all my money, again. I re-visited one that I haven’t seen for ages but am looking at now with new eyes: Buy Now Blog Later. What I love about her apart from how pretty and interesting she seems to be is her unashamed shallowness. This is her tagline:

“Just so you know this is a blog about shopping.
It doesn’t get any deeper than that.”

I’m throwing around words like “wisdom” and “inspiring” – even “sensible” – but I still want to blog that amazing tube-y mascara….so I’m embracing my inner shallow.

On that note, let me show you a few photos from a great party we went to on the weekend. I feel entitled to blog a party as they are – to be honest – few and far between these days. Perhaps now that everyone’s turning 50 any minute – not me thank God – there might be a few last gasps of frivolity to be had. According to my oldest teen, we may as well just roll over and die from old age right now. She can’t believe I can stay up beyond 9.00pm and lets face it, I rarely can.

The party was in the south west at a friend’s holiday house which was more like walking into a winery for its elegant beauty.  The theme was ‘festival’ so I channelled Kate Moss at Glastonbury and believe that no one could even tell the difference between us. I feel sure I will find this image floating around Google Images next time I google “kate moss”:

serena rob party

Rob channelled a hairy rock guru which was a mean, rockin’ look as he drove us to the bus stop in my mean, rockin’ Toyota Prius:

Rob Prius

Ali and I getting ready in the bathroom of the family holiday house, Le Crap Shack  (yes it is really called that):

serena ali party

The Hoodoo Gurus lit up the stage:

Hoodoo Gurus

And we danced the night away, despite my daughter betting we wouldn’t stay up past 11pm.

Next day called for a lot of food, so we headed to Eagle Bay Brewery for a great feed of burgers and salmon with some of the other rockers. I highly recommend lunch there if you’re anywhere near Yallingup/Dunsborough. We chatted to one of the lovely owners, Astrid, and discovered its owned and operated (“..and there’s mum on the till…”) by a third generation farming family and sits smack bang in the middle of their farm.

salmon eagle bay brewery recovery lunch eagle bay brewery eagle bay brewery burger

Now about that really great mascara….I’ve got a section on the blog called The Dogs Bollocks which is just cool stuff other people have put me on to. It talks a bit more about it there.


Balls, Peaches and Rock Stars

Balls, Peaches and Rock Stars

Late Saturday night nostalgia completely overtook me on the way to pick up my daughter and her friends from the Year 12 School Ball. The whole thing was also expensive, so nostalgia was followed closely by relief that we may be able to afford to eat again next week. I had spent the evening at Mrs Browns with the very girls I shared that night with almost thirty years ago at my own school ball. It was the year of dropped-waist dresses, silk taffeta, Molly Ringwald, INXS, Mondo Rock, Footloose, Bachelor Party…1984.

Oh I could write reams on this glory year, but ancient history needs to stay where it belongs, in the past.

This is her, the one who makes my heart skip a beat every time I see her image. I study her for clues to myself and am constantly bewildered by just how much she is her own woman, not mine.

Who would have guessed the song they danced hardest to would be Dexys Midnight Runners’ Come On Eileen? Hello again old friend The Eighties.

Year 12 School Ball "Befores" 2013
Year 12 School Ball “Befores” 2013

Sunday lunch was spent with my parents and our favourite priest Canon Frank Sheehan. I took a dessert I found while lying in bed in the morning instead of going for a run, letting the Internet take me carelessly from blog to blog. This one comes from The Londoner. I love her “anti diet” – a good one for mums to give their older teens who are worrying about weight, needlessly or otherwise.

The recipe’s been adjusted but if you follow the link you’ll get to the original:

Roasted Peaches

  • Some peaches (I had about 7)
  • butter
  • honey
  • black strap molasses (optional)
  • ground cardamom
  • mascarpone/creme fraiche

Halve and de-stone peaches. Put a knob of butter on each one on a baking tray. Drizzle honey and molasses (it’s a superfood you know), sprinkle cardamom and roast in a moderate oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Reserve the melted sweet butter after cooking. Serve with a big dollop of  mascarpone and a good few tablespoons of the decadent sauce.

prepared peaches


roasted peach with mascarpone
roasted peach with mascarpone


Finally a music recommend: Friday night my groovster live band buddy (Rob) and I went to see Father John Misty at the Chevron Festival Gardens and they were completely fabulous.

Josh Tillman of Father John Misty
Josh Tillman of Father John Misty

We went on the back of only having heard a single song of theirs and loved loved loved the whole set.

Slow Burn 1980’s Nostalgia followed up with brightly coloured loud Up To The Minute Cool: Perfect weekend.


Children of the Corn

Children of the Corn

Not one sensible friend joined Rob and I last night for the spectacular St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in the Perth Cultural Centre. If I find out anyone was instead playing Bridge or lawn bowls that’s it; you’re de-friended.



Alt-J who everyone went wild for.

Laneway 2013

Laneway Fossils
Laneway Fossils – Selfie

Here is a song from one of the artists (you won’t be able to click on the link if you’re reading this via email, you have to open it in your web browser). It’s young Sydney DJ Flume with Holdin On:

Those who were at the beautiful Leeuwin Estate picnicking with singer/songwriter Carole King are exempt because no matter who is playing at Leeuwin, it’s a glorious evening of wine, food, music and friends.

Unlike the crowd at Leeuwin Estate Winery, we never saw another soul our age at Laneway. As the sun went down to the tunes of Alt-J, with beautiful young things pumping fists in the air, I shouted in Rob’s ear, “Do you feel like we’re in a scene from Children of the Corn and we’re the only people who make it to middle age?” Next year I am buying group tickets for my 40years+ MSF’s.

Speaking of Children of the Corn, I smugly sent mine off to school on Friday with a (lightly steamed) corn on the cob instead of an apple, just for a little variety. I just this Sunday morning emptied lunch-boxes and there was the corn. One had a little tiny bite out of it. I will keep trying. One sensible friend actually grows her own. Right here in the ‘burbs in her organic back garden. Her kids just dust off the dirt and eat it right out of the ground. But hey; she wasn’t at Laneway last night so I still win. Alright, she wins.


Two Picnics

Two Picnics

Two picnics down by the river on two consecutive evenings? It must be summer holidays. Of course yesterday was Australia Day so we were picnicking with sensible friends and about a million others (many not nearly so sensible) who flocked to the Swan River to see fireworks accompanied to Absolutely Terrible Music. What a come-down from what was in my opinion the hottest Hottest 100 ever. The fireworks crew even played 99 Red Balloons as part of the mix; disgraceful. The fireworks were pretty and apart from nearly getting arrested it was a lovely evening.
photo from:

Alright, not “nearly getting arrested” – we each had opened a Corona and immediately a half dozen police swooped down and made us tip them onto the grass. I was extremely bold and took a little swig before tipping mine out.

Back to Hottest 100 for a moment. Here is a version of Matt Corby’s Brother (which everyone knows) from Like a Version. This version is by an Australian hip hop band called Thundamentals whose lead singer also releases songs under his own name, Tuka. They dwell in the Blue Mountains.

I am a little surprised Tuka’s song Die a Happy Man didn’t make it into the list. It’s so damn catchy:

This evening the family got together down at Chidley Point for Picnic Number Two which included stand up paddling and fishing. We even had a visit from a photographer trailing a bride in seven inch heels and her new husband all in military whites and a beret (army, apparently). The kids caught clear jellyfish but we made them treat them with kindness, unlike back in the seventies when they were shredded with sticks and smeared over rocks the poor creatures.

Rob and Juliet SUP-ing
Rob and Juliet SUP-ing
Picnic at dusk Mosman Park
Picnic at dusk Mosman Park
Fishing for Blowies
Fishing for Blowies

I took what promised to be lovely little chicken rolls to tonight’s picnic – shredded roast chicken with cashews, homemade date paste, and rocket in hollowed out french stick – but they just didn’t work; they were mushy and boring. We did take great biscuits we keep making over and over thanks to one of my favourite food blogs. It’s a fabulous recipe Juliet (6) and I made without screwing up thanks to Lottie and Doof. They do them in 100s&1000s but I love the taste of them rolled in sesame seeds or coconut:


Sugar Saucers (from Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen)

  • 4 cups (600g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (225g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • rainbow sprinkles, for decorating

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for about a minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the oil, and then add the two sugars, the eggs, and the vanilla. Make sure to stir well after each of the additions. Slowly add the flour mixture, about a quarter at a time. Mix just until the flour disappears. The dough will be soft. Refrigerate for at least an hour before proceeding (up to 3 days).

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop (or up to a 5 oz scoop), divide the dough into balls. Roll each ball in rainbow sprinkles until thoroughly coated. Place them on baking sheets with enough room for them to spread (if you are making giant cookies you will probably only get 4 per sheet). Use your fingers to flatten each ball slightly.

Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on the size. Bake until the edges start to turn golden. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


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