Thursday, February 26, 2015

Letter to Bobbin - eighteen months

Hey there, Bobbin,

You are now one and a HALF. We all know the HALF is super important. And all of a sudden you just seem so grown up. A little girl; definitely not a baby any more. I look back at pictures from your rainbow birthday party and it seems so long ago.

We have so many nicknames for you: Bam Bam, Pocket Rocket, The Firey One, Miss Feisty, She Who Must Be Obeyed, Queen Bobbin and more.

Your vocabulary has EXPLODED in the last few weeks. You were always a talker, but now you will repeat every word said to you (or at least attempt to). Well over one hundred words and a few small sentences like "There it is", "I did it", "Bye, Dad", "Where Dolly?", "Tricky go" (as in gone to school, not go away - for go away it's "WAAAAAHAHALKDHAHAHAHAAAAAAARGH"). Actually, you don't shut up, so we have fabulous chats.

You have very eclectic tastes in toys and will kiss your dolls and your monster trucks goodnight as you put them to bed. The LEGO LOVER gene has been passed down to you, and you really enjoy building towers with your Dad and brother. You also enjoy knocking them down, much to Tricky's dismay. You have an obsession with crafty stuff; paint, playdough, gluing and more. If you had to choose one, you'd pick colouring in, though it has to be with textas - you cottoned on pretty quick that I was giving you crayons and pencils because they were easier for me to clean up. Quite a few fabulous art works  have decorated our walls recently... directly on the walls, at Bobbin height. Grrr.

Dressing up is one of your favourite things to do. Clothes, jewelry, hats, and especially shoes. Your favourite shoes are George Pig sneakers. OK, so maybe they're my faves, but you look adorable in them.

Actually, your favourite anything is whatever someone else has. Toys, food, drink bottles, you name it. Typical toddler. Oh, and drink fountains. You're obsessed with the ones at Tricky's school but you're not quite strong enough to press them yourself yet, but you can stretch up on tippy toes to take a drink if I do it for you. What is it about little kids and tip toes? So cute.

You have almost toilet trained yourself. I'd heard girls were easy, but I had no idea! We aren't pushing it, you are still in nappies for now, but you let us know with words and signs most of the time when you need to go. My washing load has dramatically decreased - thank you!

You like to play in your kitchen and create all sorts of fabulous wooden dishes. The only interest in real cooking you have is when I'm finished and there is something for you to eat.

Strawberries are your weakness and I must admit I sometimes bribe you with them. For a while there we thought you might be allergic to them but after doing all sorts of eliminations and what not, we figured out it was cow's milk. No problem though, because you're still on Mama's milk.

You are feisty, confident, outgoing, in your face, enthusiastic and adventurous. This means you're a bit of a handful, but, bloody hell, you're awesome.

Today I'm jumping on a plane for a whirlwind trip to Sydney for work and it will be our first night apart. Last night as we rocked together in your chair and you fed, I stroked your hair and told you I was going to be away. I don't think you minded because your only response was to stick your finger up my nose and giggle before nuzzling in and winding down for sleep.

Have fun terrorizing playing with your Dad and The Trickster while I'm away, I'll be back before you know it.

All my love,

Mama xxx

Monday, February 23, 2015

Rainbow First Birthday Party

As an indication of my terrible memory, my poor time management skills, and the time suck that is parenting, I forgot that I hadn't blogged Bobbin's birthday party. Worst. Blogger. Ever.

It only dawned on me as I was drafting her 18 month letter and went to link to it... but there was nothing there. So here we are, just shy of six months later and I'm finally doing it!

I had chosen the theme of the birthday before she was even born. Yes, I'm that pathetic. I have been obsessed with rainbow colour the last few years and it seemed only right that I force that upon my spawn. Also, rainbow things are easy to come by on a budget. Winning!

I grabbed some plastic rainbow bunting to hang around our patio area and a whole stack of pinwheels that I got for 25c each on clearance from Kmart to rainbow-ify the yard, but other than that, I made the food tables our "decoration focus" as much as I could.

I created seven vertical rainbow garlands using coloured cardboard, a two inch punch, fishing line and a sewing needle. I started with a different colour at the top for each strand to give it a bit of variety, and hung them up on a bamboo stick above our Queen Anne dresser (which we found on the side of the road and painted up). In front of the mirrors it made it look like there many more and that I hadn't stopped at seven, screaming I'M NOT MAKING ANY MORE OF THESE BASTARDS.

I snapped up some crepe paper from a Cost Plus store for $1 per colour and made a rainbow tassel garland to hang on the food tables either side of the dresser. They were so easy to make - scissors, sticky tape and fishing line - and they now hang in our playroom because they were too beautiful to throw away.

I reused the plastic milk bottles from Tricky's LEGO party and using the same two inch punch and coloured cardboard as the vertical rainbows, created name tags for all our guests. I punched a hole in the top, tied them on with string and voila. A packet of large straws, some spotty plates and some washi tape in rainbow colours to theme the water bottles and the drinks table was looking mighty fine.

I made the little food labels using Pic Monkey and GIMP, and styled them on (OK, pretty much copied) a design I saw on Pinterest. I themed some of the food too, because if you're going to theme, THEME EVERYTHING.

My rainbow layered jellies worked out fabulously (PHEW!), but sadly the rainbow cupcakes did not. I whipped the cream in to butter for starters, so then I had to make do with cream in a can and it just wasn't thick enough for the rainbow sour straps to stand up in. They all got eaten though, so they must have tasted OK.

On the main table I also had our guest gift bags (containing assorted crap obtained super cheap hehe), and I continued the theme on to them too. I bought plain white bags and used big paint dotters to cover them in "rainbow confetti". They were labelled using the same two inch punch on coloured cardboard and the circles attached with teeny pegs I had in the cupboard for craft from two Christmases ago. I had a few spare coloured circled so I randomly scattered them across the food tables.

I organized a few activities for the kids as most of them were Tricky's age and I thought they might get bored if eating and jumping on the trampoline were the only activities. Plus I didn't want to be cleaning up rainbow vomit, so I wanted to actively discourage the trampoline after the feast!

First up we had our DIY Fairy Bread Station. I had a loaf of white, buttered bread, a few varieties of sprinkles and a few sandwich/cookie cutters. The kids (and a few adults) loved being able to make their own - fairy bread hearts taste better, ya know? It's safe to say that there were sprinkles EVERYWHERE, but I figured the kids were just trying to theme the ground, yes? It was the first time a friend had tried Fairy Bread - she's Chinese and apparently it's an Australian thing? She was trying to figure out why we'd give our kids coloured sugar on white bread. Because it's AWESOME, Viv, that's why. To that she laughed and said "I eat chicken feet and fish heads, and I think THIS is weird". Ahhh, love her.

Next up we had DIY rainbow suncatchers. I stuck some rainbow templates to the table and had containers full of pre-cut crepe paper that could be laid on flat or scrunched up and stuck on to sheets of clear contact. I printed up some instructions and stuck those to the table too, just in case any of the adults were craft phobic. I forgot to bring out the cotton wool for clouds. Oops.

Finally we had some DIY rainbow necklaces because anything that looks pretty and is edible is fantastic in my books. In one container I had lengths of wool and in another, a pack of no brand "fruit flavoured loops" because I'm cheap. These two cuties didn't seem to mind that they were Faux Loops, and got busy creating necklaces and bracelets.

For the grown ups, well, they just had each other to talk to and food to eat. Because that's entertaining enough. Unless you count the tray of photobooth props I put out; that was pretty fun, too!

The birthday girl had so much fun running around, hugging people, and generally just being adorable with the two teeniest little pigtails there ever was. She also randomly carried around an empty peanut butter jar for half the day and I have no idea why, or even where she got it from.

It was time to cut our centrepiece. I mean the cake that I'm damn proud of. A 3D rainbow pinata cake FTW!

What's a pinata cake? THAT'S a pinata cake:

It's one of those awesome cakes that looks harder than it actually is, which pretty much how I do most things in life. Enough effort to get an "ooooh" from those assembled, but not enough to warrant me being taken away to the funny farm.

As our guests left, the children were handed their gift bag and everyone received a pinwheel (or two or three) from the garden - some are still spinning to this day, in a lame attempt to keep the birds out of our veggie patch.

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to make it such a wonderful afternoon; to gorgeous Viv for taking so many pictures for us; the stunning Sonya for accidentally arriving two hours early, staying to set up and not once mentioning my pre-party leggings and stained top; my SIL Jen who helped set up and brought the balloons from her business Party In A Box; my sister Aunty Penny for stopping me having a meltdown; and to those who gave gifts or donated to Princess Margaret Hospital in lieu of gifts - you helped us raise nearly $300!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The reunion

Estrangement is a strange thing. It's right there, in the middle of the word so you don't miss it, and can't possibly forget.


I am not privvy to all the circumstances that led to the fracturing of my family, though, over the years, I have heard a few stories. Stories that have been, no doubt, warped by the passage of time in a Chinese Whisper that led to us all missing out on precious time together.

He said. She said. This happened. That happened.

None of it involved me. I didn't even know it was happening; kept in the dark, I was the last to find out anything. All I knew is that my Uncle Buck, as we called him, was no longer at any family events and was only spoken of in hushed tones.

When you have a tiny little family like I do, one person missing is really obvious. Especially someone as funny and larger than life as him.

A year ago I wrote how I would send him a birthday message every year, and the lengths that I had gone to to make contact with him. Creating new email addresses to bypass filters, using contact forms for his office, and even straight out emotional blackmail by including beautiful pictures of us from my wedding day. Anything to trigger a response. Some recognition. Proof of life, if you will. I had decided that last year I wouldn't send him another one because it was too heartbreaking to be met with silence yet again.

Then, this year, his birthday fell just a few short weeks after my Aunty Steffi (his sister) had run in to him (chased him down is more appropriate) and was working hard to reconnect, so I wondered if maybe the lines of communication were starting to open? Perhaps I could try again even though I was opening myself up to pain and disappointment. I decided to send him a birthday message.

I sent it after I knew he would have turned his phone off for the night, crossing my fingers he kept the same habit as he did five years prior. I wanted to send it and just forget, rather than sit by my phone all day, jumping every time it bleeped at me and getting disappointed if it wasn't him.

I woke up the next morning and my plan had worked because I had genuinely forgotten that I had sent it.

Then my phone bleeped.

It was him.

The first contact in over five years.

I was shaking and crying as I read his response over and over and over again. I must have read it fifty times. "Darling Glow, you can see me anytime you wish. So make it soon. I'm not getting any younger. Love, Uncle Buck x"

He called me darling! He said love! He put a kiss! 

A few weeks passed and we arranged to meet. I was sick with anticipation. I had googled him countless times and seen his most recent picture, but what would he look like in the flesh? Would he still sound the same? Would he still make me laugh the way only he could?

I was so afraid that I would be unable to speak and just spend the whole time crying. I played out scenarios in my head, acted them out in front of the mirror, and rehearsed in the bath. Nothing sounded right so I gave up and decided to wing it.

We pulled up in our respective cars at the same time, and greeted with a kiss on the cheek like nothing had happened, right there on the side of the road.

I had so many questions for him.

Where have you been? Why didn't you reply to my emails? My texts? Did you read any of them or just delete them straight away? Do you know I'm a mother now? I've had two children since you last saw me. Did you not like me? Did you not want to see me? Were you wanting to but didn't know how? Do you know it's been FIVE FUCKING YEARS?

But I didn't ask any of them.

Not a single one.

Because the answers, in all honesty, just don't matter. 

The only thing that is important is that we are together now, as a family, moving forward.

We chatted, Uncle Buck, Aunty Steffi, Aunty Penny (lotta aunties there - Penny's my sister), and I, for a couple of hours. Sometimes Bobbin joined in, too. She was a fabulous buffer, as all babies are.

I didn't cry while he was there, much to everyone's amazement including my own, probably because I'd rehearsed this scene for the last four and a half years. But I did cry after he'd gone. A mixture of relief, happiness to see him and a lingering sadness from missing out on five years.

Where it goes to next, I don't know. But I hope one day it can be like it was. For now, I just keep going back to this photo we took the other day and smiling.

So good to have you back, Uncle Buck x

Slightly fuzzy photo because we were moving. It's OK, I look photoshopped :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gro-egg Review and Giveaway

It's been bloody hot in WA, lately. I'm talking record breaking hot. The temperature soared to a brain frying 44.4 degrees a couple of weeks ago. That's Celsius for my USA readers... because y'all are the only ones who would be thinking that was chilly.

The temperature has dipped slightly now, but it is still sweltering and the nights don't bring much relief at all.

I worry about the kids overheating on these hot nights so we leave windows open if there is a breeze, keep fans on and strip them down to thin PJs.

Which then makes me wonder if they will be too cold.

So I'll sneeeeak in and put a thin blanket on each of them before I go to bed.

Then I'll get in bed, put my blanket on, immediately overheat and walk down to the kids rooms to remove their blankets only to find they've kicked them off already, as both my children are averse to bed linen.

When The Gro Company contacted me I was really interested in putting their Gro-eggs in the kids rooms to see how they'd go. They are designed to give "peace of mind at a glance" by glowing blue when it's cold, yellow when it's perfect and red when it's too hot. Hot = Red glow. I can remember that because hot = red Glow, too.

They also tell you the temperature, but I can't actually read in the middle of the night when I'm bleary eyed and forgot to put my glasses on. But hey, it promised "at a glance" and even blind as a bat me can see the colour in the dark.

What colour did they glow here?


Bobbin's room after 10pm
All the damn time.

It even had a little frowny face.

So a Perth summer is perhaps not the best testing environment, but at least now I know I wasn't going overboard and turning their rooms in to ice boxes just because I feel the heat a lot.

Tricky's room after 10:15pm - I covered him for the pic because MODESTY
They are a great little night light, whether you're temperature checking or not, though. Combine a hot room with a GroClock and your kid will think they're in a police car. Bonus!

I have FOUR of these eggcellent (see what I did there?) Gro-eggs to give away, valued at $49.95 each. You can enter as many times as you like by answering this question in the area provided below: What should you never go to bed without?

This is a game of skill; the most creative/funny/weird/memorable/silly/eyerolly answer wins. Entries close 2nd March. For full terms and conditions see here.

Related: don't try to sneak around in your childrens' rooms taking photos, you'll wake them up. Ask me how I know.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I'm not hipster enough for the Fringe World Festival

I was super lucky to swing some free tickets to opening night of Best of the Edinburgh Fest at the Fringe World Festival last night. Map Guy and I left the kiddies with baby sitter extraordinaire, Aunty Penny, on a school night and headed in to Northbridge to check it out.

It was a beautiful but muggy night and it gave us a chance for quality, one on one time without the constant interruption of kids. So we used the time wisely and argued about where to park and which direction to take. We arrived a few minutes (fashionably) late to the Tent of the Unpronounceable Name, trod on some toes to get to our seats and settled in for the show.

First up was Chris Martin. No, not of Coldplay fame, a comedian - though, naming your kid Apple is pretty funny. Do you know how hard it is to sulk at a comedy show? It's almost impossible. I was trying to be all cranky pants but Chris made me belly laugh in a matter of minutes. 

Up next was the very shouty Canadian, John Hastings. He was my fave. My face was hurting from laughing so much as he seamlessly covered everything from thongs to religion to asshole French waiters. His banter and dark sense of humour won me over. 

Closing the show was Carl Donnelly. He didn't really do it for me. He told one really long story in which he kept swapping between whether it was his story or his mate's, and had no punchline at the end. The lack of punchline was the punchline and I'm all "No. That ain't no punchline, dude, bring back the Canadian guy".

It was a great show, for a good two thirds of it at least (others were laughing at the third guy, so must have just been my sense of humour?) and I'd easily recommend it to people who like observational humour but don't want to pay a fortune. Tickets on sale here for around $25 if you're interested.

Afterwards, we cruised The Pleasure Garden (aka Russell Square in drag), drank Mojitos, took pictures of fantastically quirky things like the outdoor library and came to the realization that we are not hipster enough for Fringe. 

Even MG's impressive beard and thick glasses couldn't stand up to the flannel clad, spacer-eared, skinny jeaned, tattooed folk with no concept of bed time. 

Walking back to the car at a 8:45pm because it was almost bed time, a gorgeous young woman handed us a brochure for more shows:

"I'd absolutely recommend the show starting at 10pm and the one at 11pm is..."

"OH, sweetheart! I'll be asleep by then!" I blurted out. 

She looked confused at my interruption. Was it because I called her sweetheart? I don't think I've ever called someone I didn't know sweetheart before. Or maybe I had been giving off the aura of Hipster? Perhaps the pink hair threw her? 

"Maybe if we can get a babysitter another night" MG chimed in.

She understood. She gave us the sweet, pitying look that youngens give to the older folk. I know it because I've given that same look before. The look that said "ugh children, whyyyyyyy?". 

So I might not be hipster enough for Fringe World, but I've got pink hair and my kids think I'm fucking awesome. That'll do me just fine. 

Are you a Fringe fan?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Taking Command-o

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For full details please see my disclosure policy

The days are quickly ticking past in my self proclaimed year of being good to myself. The #33yearofme. Tick, tick, tick. I've made leeway in to some areas; I bought a chair I'd been wanting for years, started decorating the house a bit, written down something good about every day and placed it in a huge jar, and I've blogged more.

So yay for me.

But, one area I wanted to work on, my health and fitness, has seen no movement at all, quite literally. Because < insert multiple pathetic excuses here > . The only genuine reason I have is my chronic pain condition, but I'm on a new pain management plan now and I haven't felt this pain-free since before Bobbin was born... when I was doing weekly physio sessions, doing mild exercise and eating well. Funny that. Hrmmm. 

I'm not happy that I can't play with the kids like MapGuy can. I'm not happy that I sit out activities because I'm so unfit. I'm not happy that 18 months after throwing out all my "fat clothes" I have had to go and re-buy pants to fit. And I'm not happy that the lifestyle I'm currently living has giant big neon signs along the path saying DIABETES! HEART DISEASE! CANCER!

And yeah, I'm also a bit vain and want to look hot. Type two diabetes isn't known for being sexy.

Rather than just sit around and moan about how I'm not happy, I'm doing something about it. *fist pump*

I'm buying a bike next week so that I can ride to and from school with Tricky. I've been saving up for it for a while now and I'm so excited. But I don't think my motivation levels will just suddenly skyrocket with the purchase of a bike -  evidenced by the fact that so many people have almost brand new bikes sitting in their garages, becoming rather expensive cobweb display systems. I need something more.

I need GetCommandoFit (yep, that hot dude from TV), and a sense of accountability (that means you, internet).

The program started last year with three levels and it wouldn't have suited me then but this is Mission 2 and includes a new starter level, "Get Active", for the first time. It's the one for people like me who might be a bit unco and haven't done anything for a while, plus it doesn't require any equipment which is ace because I don't have any.

It's a 13 week Mission, can be done individually or in a squad, includes meal plans made by a nutritionist, workouts, motivation, an expert health and fitness team, access to the community forums and more. Sadly, no personal visit from the man himself. Sigh.

It starts in FOUR DAYS.

I'm pumped and shit scared. But mostly pumped. I think. Argh!

Wanna join me? You can sign up to GetCommandoFit and we can be motivated, and ever so slightly terrified of that muscle bound hunk, together. But it's all about fitness and nothing to do with what he looks like, OK? NOTHING. Well, it doesn't hurt. Let's just say it's extra motivation and leave it at that.

You in?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The police knocked on my door...

Image via Creative Commons Rusty Stewart
... and I freaked out.

What makes it worse though is that I wasn't even home at the time. They left a business card in my door with a phone number to call.

I saw that little blue and white logo tucked in to my security door and started to panic slightly. Pathetic.

But wait, there's more. Yes, it gets even lamer: It wasn't even my name on the business card! It was some dude called Charles they were looking for. That's not his real name, I just didn't want to upset a man who might be a baddie by blogging about him.

Nevertheless, I was still anxious.

I immediately think I'm in trouble despite being a generally law abiding citizen (except for that time I went straight ahead from the turning lane and got a fucking $300 fine!).

I don't know if it is a left over Catholic guilt thing, a fear of authority, or just plain craziness, but I become tense any time I go through a speed camera, drive near a police car, have to call the po' po' or, as we've now established, get one of their business cards in my door. 

I rang the number provided and spoke to the detectives from the Major Crime Squad to learn they were investigating a homicide and they want to ask this dude Charlie some questions. Gulp. My address is his last known address. Double GULP.

They might want to talk to him as a witness, but straight away I think A MAN WHO LIVED HERE MURDERED SOMEONE. The police will want to search my house and yard. They'll find remnants from the dog's bone snacks and look at me all suspicious like. 


Because my brain is stupid. 

They'll shine a torch in my eyes and ask me where I was on the 5th of January ten years ago and I'll be all "I don't even know where I was last Tuesday, how am I meant to remember ten years?!" Then I'll do a nervous laugh and they'll be "why are you nervous?" and I'll say BECAUSE YOU'RE THE POLICE!!!!!!!!!!!

It makes sense. One of my dearest friends is a Detective. She was my bridesmaid! I'm not scared of her... much. 

Fuck, it's exhausting being me. 

Do you freak out for no reason a bit when you see police?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to make sure your partner gets wood this Valentine's Day

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Oh, behave, you lot! Get your mind out of the gutter, because I'm not talking about that wood, I'm talking about getting them one of the coolest watches I've seen in a long time, JORD wooden watches.

I have never seen anything like them before, they're a bit hipster, a bit cool, a bit funky and certainly a talking point. I mean, a watch made out of wood?

I chose a 'Sully' in Black and Maple for MapGuy as an early Valentine's present and he loves it. There have been many puns and bad jokes about getting wood ever since, hence the totally classy title of this post.

I bought him a watch for his birthday years ago and after it being sequestered away from the night stand by little fingers and dropped on multiple occasions, it was looking worse for wear. Half the numbers had come off and would rattle around when he moved. 

But not any more.

Would you look at that spunk! Thick rimmed glasses, ginger beard and a wood watch, posing like a pro hand model. Oh and soft focus flowers. My hipster dude. 

It's a generous sized watch but weighs next to nothing because, duh, wood. It's "splash proof" but to keep it looking good it shouldn't be submerged in water. You can use oils and waxes to keep it looking tip top if you want, though I'm pretty sure we'll do it once and forget. 

I'm excited to be able to give away one of these amazing watches to one lucky winner anywhere in the world.

L- R: Ely in Black, Delmar in Green, Sully in Cherry and Maple, 94A in Cherry, Fieldcrest in Maple
The winner can choose from five styles; Ely $129, Delmar $149, Sully $139, 94A $159 and Fieldcrest $120, in range of different colours and wood finishes. To check out the entire range head to 

To enter, leave a comment below telling me which glorious watch you'd choose (example: Fieldcrest in Zebrawood and Maple) for yourself or for a loved one and why. Enter as many times as you like across the blog, Facebook and Instagram. The best answer across all platforms will be the winner. For full terms and conditions check the disclosure policy here

Monday, February 2, 2015

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo Review

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What on earth is a chick who doesn't drink coffee doing reviewing a coffee machine?

Well, it's pretty simple. I have friends over a lot. Mothers require play dates for sanity, and play dates require caffeine. Again, for the mothers' sanity. Whenever I previously had friends over and offered them a cup of tea, they would inwardly scream that they'd kill for a coffee, force a smile and say a glass of water would be fine. 

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo - try saying that three times fast
Over the years I've bought a couple of jars of the instant stuff and it's usually begrudging accepted by guests, not because it is necessarily a bad product, but because it has been there so long it's now fused in to one gigantic cylinder of coffee that requires a pick axe to break up. The only ones that are happy to see that bronze boulder in a jar are the ones holding their eyelids open with toothpicks after a particularly rough night.

So I thought I'd try out the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo so I could (a) give my guests a nice drink, (b) stop keeping a pick axe in the kitchen (totes unsafe) and (c) try the Hot Chocolate capsules.

For a household that doesn't generally drink cawwwfee, we've gone through boxes and boxes of the Dolce Gusto capsules because people have figured out that I now have good coffee and keep coming over. 

There has been a mixed reaction:

My aunty was not a fan of the Cappucino capsules; but she is more of a latte gal and I didn't have any of those at the time. Try as she may, she didn't finish the cup. 

My SIL was drinking the Cafe Au Lait every morning while she stayed with us. When it ran out she made do with the Espresso capsules and added some warm milk. She was jet lagged and suddenly living with two screamy children. She worshipped that machine.

My mum and dad both thought it was nice; they have a Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolini so they have the same capsules at home. It tasted better at my house apparently! I've got no idea if it was our local water or the fancier machine though. Or maybe because when someone makes something for you it automatically tastes better.

My neighbour was just happy she didn't have to BYO coffee any more when she pops over for our kids to play together. This way she won't leave her cup behind. Win!

I liked the way the machine, which is manufactured by long time coffee folks De'Longhi, was ready to go within a few seconds of turning on, that it held enough water that you don't have to refill it after every single cup, and that the amount of water coming through was variable. 

What I wasn't particularly fond of was the size of it. It's bloody huge for a machine that just heats up water. It looks awesome because FUNKY and RED, but it takes up a lot of really valuable bench space. You'd want to have a stack of room to get something this big. Other big machines that I looked at - because I actually did research for this! - had milk frothers and the like. This baby is slightly taller and wider than my Thermomix, though not as deep (intellectual?) - for something that makes one cup at a time, that seems bloody excessive.

That's it sitting next to my Thermomix for size comparison
My only other issue is that it is sooooo hard to find the Hot Chocolate capsules. Everywhere sells all the different coffee varieties but I'm hanging out for more of the choc goodness! I have tried so many stores, I guess it just isn't as popular as the coffee so they don't stock it - it can be bought online, but I'm not a fan of paying postage that costs almost as much as the product.

The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo retails for $229 and can be bought in most department stores. Capsules (except for the hard to find Hot Chocolate!) are approximately $8.50 per box and hold between 8 and 16 serves.

I'm trying my hand at printable art lately, so I had a play just for more practice and made a coffee printable for you. Here's a free printable "but first, coffee" chalkboard. I'm just a beginner, but this should print as a 4x6. I'm not even sure I'm meant to just whack it in here or link it or what?!

Do you drink cawwfee? What is your favourite type?


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