Archive | January 2013

Playful seals and penguins at the Melbourne Zoo


I’m not sure if the seal pool has moved or I’d lost my bearings but it felt like it was in a different place than the last time I went to the zoo. They have built or upgraded the pool but I was disappointed. There is a much bigger underground viewing area where you can watch the acrobatic feats of the seals but up at ground level there’s not much to see. There were three seals. One of them was showing off on the rocks. I would have said he was sunbaking if he was in the sun. They are still very cute to watch though.



Just around the corner were the penguins. For some strange reason they were all huddled behind a bush. They looked so funny. I wondered who or what they were hiding from. It wasn’t cold so I couldn’t see why else they were huddled together. They didn’t move a muscle while we were watching them.




When we walked up to the giraffe exhibit we could only see the baby eating close by. He/she looked quite big and had to eat from the lower basket on the tree. We realised that there was an adult giraffe on the other side of the exhibit but he/she didn’t look that big. That was until he/she started walking toward us. Suddenly the adult loomed large and was walking straight towards us, almost as if he/she was saying “what are you looking at?”. When the adult reached the baby we realised how small the baby actually was.



Gorillas at the Melbourne Zoo


One of the funniest moments we had at the zoo was of the gorillas in the following two photos. The younger one was sitting in the shade of a cave. When he saw the older gorilla moving towards the cave, he quickly got out of there. He knew his place! A few minutes later another gorilla tried to move in there and the older one chased him away. When he caught him he gave him a quick clip across the ear. The younger one just sat and sulked. It was so funny and so human.







Australia Day fireworks


I just happened to be in the city at 9.30pm on Australia Day. We wanted to go up to the observation deck in Eureka Tower – 88 storeys aboveground. We didn’t know what time the fireworks were due to start and we didn’t want to wait so we went back down to the ground. We walked along the riverfront and that’s when we heard loud explosions. It was the first time I’d been in the city for fireworks. Some of them were let off from the top of the Eureka Tower where we had just been. Then suddenly more started going off near the Alexandra Gardens so I ran up the stairs to St Kilda Rd and got some great photos.





Meercats at Melbourne Zoo


Meercats are my favourite animal at the zoo. I would really love to hold one but I suspect that would be difficult as they are feisty little creatures. They are just so cute!




There are three different displays of Meercats at the zoo. One has young ones and they just seemed to lie around. Another exhibit had some very feisty ones. There were five young ones. One stood on top of the rocks ignoring what was going on. The other four were play-fighting. It was so funny to watch. They pulled off some great wrestling moves worthy of a spot in WWE.

Polly Woodside


The Polly Woodside is a piece of Melbourne’s maritime history. I first saw it when I was at Primary School. It seemed that every kid went there for a school excursion. It’s always held a soft spot for me.

It was built in Belfast, Ireland in 1885, named after the original owner’s wife and used for many sailing routes before coming to Melbourne to be used as a coal lighter. It was also used in World War 2 in New Guinea waters for use as a refueling barge for naval ships.

These days the area where it is docked is now part of South Wharf, an area that was in the disused western end of Melbourne. It sits outside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre so is seen by nearly everyone that goes there so it has become a very popular attraction.

Facades of Fitzroy


While I was walking around Fitzroy looking for street art I noticed that a lot of the facades of the buildings were peeling and in disrepair. However it gives the area a charm rather than detracting from the feel. Fitzroy is more of a bohemian area so the buildings wouldn’t look good all nice and newly painted.




Word of the week photo challenge: Weather


In March 2010, Victoria went through one of the worst storms we’d ever experienced. Some of the hail stones were the size of golf balls while others were as large as tennis balls. My suburb was one of the worst affected. My car had to be written off by the insurance company due to hundreds of dents caused by the hailstones. It was a mess. It was also a blessing in disguise because I’d been planning to get a new car soon anyway. My suburb almost became the new car capital of Melbourne, there were so many of them around. The photo was taken in the middle of the storm.

My house also suffered damage. The front window got smashed and the hail broke through the skylight in the family room. There was minor flooding in that room. The pergola roof got smashed over my entertaining area. Even now, three years later, I’m still finding little bits of the plastic from that roof. Around thirty roof tiles had to be replaced. It took around six months for everything to be as it was before the storm. A lot of plants in the garden were badly damaged as well.

If you want to read morea about the storm you can find it here:

If you would like to know more about these challenges, the original post is here

More street art: The many faces of Fitzroy


These photos are from the one piece of street art in a side street off Brunswick St. It is such an intricate design. It must have taken a long time to design it let alone paint it. It was so good I wanted to put them in a post of their own.








Even a tv dumped by the side of the road isn’t safe from being painted.

Street art in Melbourne: Fitzroy (part 1)


Last weekend I was itching to go somewhere and take some photos. I put out a call on Facebook for suggestions and one of my friends suggested I go to Johnston St, Fiztroy to look at the street art. That area is well known for it’s art. There are lots of small streets and laneways with plain brick walls that provide the perfect canvas for street artists. I love this kind of art. A lot of people hate it, calling it grafitti but it’s much more than that. These artists are so talented and are encouraged to paint in this area. There’s a lot of similar artwork in the famous laneways of the CBD.






Eating House, Rowville (Melbourne)


This local restaurant is a favourite amongst locals. It’s a good family restaurant with a touch of gourmet on the menu.

Above is a Moroccan Chicken Salad with mixed leaves, apple, caramelised walnuts, feta and mango aioli. It looked delicious but it was my friend’s meal.

My main meal was a Seafood Paella which wasn’t quite what I expected and a little heavy. I wished I’d ordered a salad instead.


Before that though we ordered entrees of Bruschetta and Tempura Battered Zucchini flowers stuffed with goats cheese and chives.



I’d had a fairly frustrating day at work so decided to shout myself a cocktail. There were a lot to choose from but I settled on a Mudslide. It was delicious. So icy cold and thick.


Word of the Week Photo Challenge: Illumination (2)


Earlier today I came across this photo while looking for something for another project I’m working on. I love this sculpture which sits on the Melbourne Riverwalk, just beside Federation Square in Melbourne. It fits this challenge perfectly so I decided to post it today. I love the way it is illuminated at night.

Details of the challenge can be found here:

Word of the Week Photo Challenge: Illumination


This is Flinders St station, one of Melbourne’s famous landmarks. It glows bright gold at night and is such a beautiful sight when greeted by it.

Details of this weeks challenge can be found here

Chicken and Zucchini Pasta


I came across a recipe that inspired me to cook this. I haven’t had any pasta for a while so was looking forward to it and I’d bought some zucchini the other day because it looked nice. I seem to be doing that a lot these days; buying ingredients to use as a base then finding a recipe to use them.

Instead of buying some pesto I decided to make it for the first time. It was very easy to make but turned out a little bit runny so next time I’ll put less olive oil in and test it to see if I need to add a whole cup.

The ingredients are simple: spaghetti, chicken breast, zucchini, capsicum, pesto. Fry the chicken, then add the zucchini and capsicum fry until softened, add the pesto and spaghetti and mix to coat the spaghetti.




Honey chicken with spring onions


Earlier in the week I had one of those dilemmas where I didn’t have much in my fridge or freezer so wasn’t sure what to cook. I found a few things and knew I had some chicken fillets so I googled the following ingredients: chicken, spring onions and capsicum. This is one of the reasons I love the internet. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, just google the ingredients. I now had so many choices. I settled on a stirfry called Honey Chicken with spring onions. What intrigued me was that the sauce contained Vegemite. I’ve probably turned off half of you now but I’ve never cooked with Vegemite so I thought I’d give it a go.


2 tsp oil
500g skinless chicken fillet, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic (I used it from a jar)
2 tsp fresh ginger (I used it from a jar)
1 capsicum (I used red)
3 spring onions, chopped into 3cm lengths
1/2 cup water
1 tbs honey
3 tsp vegemite
2 tsp cornflour
1 cup bean sprouts (which I didn’t have)
rice noodles to serve (I served on a bed of rice)

Method: (so simple)

Heat oil in a frying pan or wok, add chicken, garlic, ginger and stir fry until browned.
Add capsicum and spring onions and fry for 2 mins.
Stir in combined water, honey, vegemite and cornflour and stir until the sauce has thickened. (You would also add the bean sprouts if you had them). Serve with the rice noodles.

It’s that simple!

Now for my confession. I added some salt-reduced soy sauce to the sauce because I felt it needed some extra taste. I then had a very yummy sauce. I will make this again because it is so simple to make and is a good way of using up vegies. You could also add other vegies if you wanted to.


Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day


Each month I have great intentions of taking the photo of the day. Normally I lose interest after the first week or at about the half way point of each month. I decided to share the photos I took during the first week. I try to think outside the box but sometimes that can be a little difficult.

January 1. Today (Every New Year’s Day I go to a nursery to buy some plants for my garden)

January 2. Something new (iphone app fridge magnets. A Christmas present from a friend)

January 3. Heart (this was chosen as a photo idea to support a heart charity. Bearing this in mind I decided to find a recipe to cook that night from the Heart Foundation website)

January 4. The view from here (this was an extremely hot day in Melbourne so the only view I got was of my desk then my darkened lounge room. I decided to share a picture of some ice cream I ate at work that day)

January 5. Movement (fans walking to AAMI Park to watch Melbourne Victory)

January 6. Mine (some of the memorabilia I collected after the Swans AFL Grand Final win in September)

January 7. Street (my very quiet street, devoid of any playing children)

Full details of the challenge can be found at If you would like to join you can post your photos in your blog, on the FMS Facebook page or on twitter using the tag #FMSphotoaday.

Travel theme: Multiples (of mountains)


The view looking down from Mt Buffalo in northern Victoria, Australia. Much of the mountain is made of granite. In Summer it’s used for walking and hiking but in winter it becomes one of Victoria’s best snowfields, particularly for cross-country skiing. There are numerous vantage points to take in the magnificent views down to north-east Victoria. The town of Bright is near the base of the mountain.

Details of the travel theme can be found here:

Making flavoured yoghurt

raspberry yoghurt

A few years ago I used to buy flavoured Greek yoghurt from a shop in my local shopping centre. Unfortunately they are no longer there but when I came across a recipe for flavoured Greek yoghurt I jumped at the chance to make some. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I’ve now decided to experiment with different flavours using different berries. I can buy fresh berries because it’s summer here.

The one I made last night contains raspberries, honey, whey protein powder and chia seeds and some icing sugar. You simply blend all ingredients except the yoghurt then mix them in with the yoghurt. I don’t know what effect the icing sugar has on it but the flavour is almost exactly the same as the one I used to buy.

Do you flavour your own yoghurt? If you do I’d love to read what combinations you make.

Word a week photo challenge: Clouds (2)

Yarra Valley

Every December, a friend and I go to the Yarra Valley for lunch. Last year (it seems so weird to say that) we went (as we do every year) to Domaine Chandon to have a glass of wine and one course.

The view is one of my favourite. I love to just sit there and enjoy the view. I love this photo because of all the different layers. There’s the clouds, the mountains then the vines.

Details of the challenge can be found at