Sunday, October 26, 2014

Emali Early Learning Centre/Recycling Part 4

Hi All,

I've decided to do my next Recycling piece on a local childcare center which my wife, Justine, works at.

They are a big believer of re-using unwanted goods and teaching the kids the value of recycling as opposed to buying something new. Over the course of this article I'll show the ideas they have put added to the centre - due to child protection though I won't be able to show any children in the photos.

So, the centre is called Emali Early Learning Centre which is based out at Broadview, South Australia. The centre is only about a year and a bit old but the staff in charge are extremely experienced and excellent to deal with.

Since my wife has worked there we've had discussions with the Manager, Rachael, about the value and fantastic things you can do with items such as unused Timber Pallets. Now the centre is not only creating new things with Pallets but they have shifted their focus to anything else they can lay their hands on to create new and exciting ideas.

The first photo I just love, and it isn't hard, or cost a heap to do. It's perfect for centre's or even at home!

This is a simple plastic container bought from anywhere like a cheap shop like Cheap as Chips, Reject Shop or even from Bunnings. Buy the longer one that is still relatively deep but with some soil added and the grass the kids can just reach in and play.

The centre basically bought the container, added a good two inches of soil and then bought a patch of grass from Bunnings. They're selling it there at the moment for approx $7 - $10 per patch.

The idea is basic, cost effective and brilliant, it can be used while its bucketing down during winter or too hot to go outside. It teaches the kids about the environment, gets their hands dirty and good thing - they can grab some scissors - cut off as much as they like and it will grow back! Brilliant!!

 Now onto a pallet theme, I love pallets!

This centre is excellent for pallets as they too see there is still life in the old work horse even after its spent years holding stuff like bricks, pavers and other heavy items - yet often to be left discarded on the side of a road!

We love nothing better than picking them up, sanding them back, fixing them up then applying some varnish to give them a new look.

Here's some examples of the pallet work the centre have added as well as some i've helped do. This one to our right is simple - can be used as a table, somewhere to sit or play on yet looks very loved and used alot by the kids!

Here's another example similar to the above photo however for this one, Rachael tidied this one up alot more giving it sides and legs!

This one has come up very nicely and tall enough for the kids to sit with their legs under and punch out some excellent art-work!

This one is simple yet effective, pallets and other recycled items have been thrown together to create an "Insect Hotel"!!

Here the kids can explore and learn about all the bugs our gardens have to offer - on top the centre has also included plants for them to help water!

As I move to the next ideas, Tyres, you'll see in the background some pallets we've bolted to the fence to add extra garden spots for the children to help plant with and water.

Here you can see different sizes and length pallets have been used

You can also see in the left hand side of the photo a "Pallet Boat", nothing major but Rachael added a sail to the base - the kids love it and spend hours pretending their sailing the seven seas!

Tyres, every childcare centre loves them (And if they don't they should!!!) I remember growing up in O'Halloran Hill where our Kindergarten had big massive Tractor Tyres, I used to love playing in them!

Rachael found an advert on Gumtree where someone was giving Truck tyres away for free, a quick phone call and within days the centre had approx 20 tyres of different sizes delivered.

Here you can see they've been added around the centre for the kids to climb, explore or simply sit and have a chat!

The kids can paint or draw on them!

Here a tyre has been added just in front of one of the pallet gardens, children can sit here and have a chat or sit and help plant!

Here's one my talented wife, Justine, came up with, she took some off cuts of pipe laying around in the shed and secured these to the pallet.

Too often these days the world ignores those things which die off yet when given a new life can be used to create wonderful things.

This hanging decoration is just that, using an old metal ring, some string and sticks the centre has created quite an interesting hanging piece.

You can't see in the picture but they have also tied pebbles and glass pebbles with fishing wire for added effect.

I'm extremely proud of this creation, my lovely wife Justine on a recent trek up the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley collected these large sticks to create a fun and inviting wall decoration outside her children's room.

Using fishing wire and lots of coloured pebbles she as included individual photos of the kids for their parents to see!

The next couple of photos highlight other items businesses take for granted and throw away after use.

These big wheels are normally used for industrial items like wire. I'm not sure of their life expectancy but for kindergartens and child care centres they live on for many decades, the kids love playing on them, climbing etc.

Here just simple, its new use is a table, thrown together with some cut tree logs.

Below are a few more examples, wood or plastic - either will make a great table for the kids to use, rather than spending $100 on a new one!

So this brings me to the end of Part 3 of my Recycling article, I hope the above gives you some ideas for things you can do at home or even at a centre you work at.

It doesn't matter what the item is, there is usually a new home for it. Let your mind think outside the comfort zone and help teach the kids of today that life isn't just brand new things bought from Ikea and local stores. Recycling helps not only the environment but also the youth remember that reducing our carbon footprint will help generation after generation.

Emali Broadview are apart of a new trend of centers with Managers/Directors who are on the look out for this type of Recycling, its fun to do, easy to make and all centers and schools should think of doing this regularly. For more information on Emali you can go to:

Finally it must be noted the work Justine & Rachael do at the centre, on top of their very busy schedules and juggling a very busy centre - they have transformed their ideas from dream to reality and the children are benefiting from this. A very valuable partnership they have and I look forward to watching what else they come up with!!

I'll leave you now with some more examples below of items the centre have either collected or set up and used.


Pallet turned Bookshelf!
Wood off-cuts sanded back to now be used as building blocks!
The Storage Area!

Pallet turned Music Wall!

New Planter Boxes!

Nice area for a quick nap or relax

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Recycling Part 3

Hi All,

Been a while since my last post, sport and work seem to have taken up alot of my time of late.

Last weekend was the first "At Home" one we've had in some time, I wanted to make sure I didn't fall into the old ways of lazy weekend at home so let's jump on the PlayStation.

My wife and her child care centre are really getting behind the concept of building stuff with recycled materials such as timber pallets, so she asked if I wouldn't mind chopping up one of the pallets to be varnished and re-used as book shelving.

No worries at all! This helped me re-discover my old circular saw which has been hidden away for some time - I was delighted to find it still works beautifully! Out of the one pallet you can make 2 shelves, however there is enough left over for you to almost make a third, if you do attempt this it's good if you have a couple of pallets being used for the main task then one or two sitting by for spare parts... I chopped the two and a third up and sanded them down with my orbital sander.

My wife then applied the varnish (2 coats) and they look a million dollars!

Whilst sitting by my bench my wife also noticed a heap of scrap wood which was collecting saw dust, she asked if I could cut it all into different sizes for the kids at her centre to build with. Genius! Why didn't I think of that! So I cut down a heap, I think in total there was about 40 - 50 blocks but enough to fill this lovely bucket. I took the bucket full of cuts with some sandpaper and sanded down all the edges and the sides cut to make sure no nasty splinters for the kids.

Word is they received the bucket today and absolutely love it!

Our next project was to liven up the scrap pile which was semi-made for the chickens to get in, pick about the scraps and help turn a patch of soil into a lushish worm filled plot to be used for a veggie patch or for spare soil.

In one of the big storms we had late last year we lost our timber pergola out back, the storms were quite savage and as such knocked a tree branch right through one of the main parts, Being unable to fix I decided to pull it down and salvage the parts.

I went around to the local Bunnings and bought some metal rods the guys use when laying concrete, drilled a hole at each end of the timber poles and knocked the rod through to secure. That easy, and the best thing, we're utilizing recycled materials.

I then asked my lovely children to each give me a hand and we dug up the plot, turned it all over and planted Potatoes, Parsley, Celery, Brown & Red Onions and Carrots. Not art work but it at least makes this part look a tiny bit better.

Last but not least is an idea I've been keen to try for some time, the Potato Tower!! Using old wood in the shed and poles left over from the pergola I wanted to create the tower to plant potatoes. The theory I've read online is to start them low in the tower, let them grow up, then add more soil as the plant gets tall.

By adding extra soil the plant then generates more potatoes. As this occurs I keep adding extra lines of the wood - thus creating a big tower filled with potatoes!! Here's a photo of the finished product, as you can see I've added two panels at the bottom and one about three up from there - just to provide a bit of stability to the frame.

It is truly amazing the things you can do when you open your mind to the world around, here's a couple of things my wife's child care has done recently.

Here in Adelaide its quite cold and wet whilst we're in the middle of Winter, so the childcare centre brought the lawn inside!!!

My wifes boss at Emali Child Care Centre (Broadview) created this gem by simply getting a container, then heading to Bunnings and buying a strip of pre-grown grass they have turned a boring old container into something the kids can play with and explore their senses by allowing them to touch and feel but also grab the old scissors out and trim it - best thing is, with a bit of water and the kids grooming, it continue to grows!

This probably isn't as exciting as the above but for me, I love it!

This once was an empty section of the room which has now been transformed into somewhere the kids can sit and play/draw, they've converted an old wheel that once held wire/cable and they've also added old tree stumps as chairs! Sanded down so no splinters this gives a lovely new area to sit and chat.

Good Luck and I hope some of you get a chance to try something like above or gain inspiration for recycling items for re-use rather than shoving into the waste!



Monday, June 2, 2014

The Mervy

Hi All,

A couple of months ago our family attended "The Mervy", this is considered a very prestigious and important day of the calender for our family, as it is a golf competition setup in honor of our nephew Jackson.

Jackson sadly passed away
during birth, this hit us all very hard - none more so than his parents. Family and friends banded around Dan & Bec, who with great strength and with each others support, pushed through this tragedy stronger than ever before.

Our family has always considered golf to be the pinnacle in measuring the "chief" of the pack and quite often we would get together to play off against each other.

Dan came up with the idea to make this an annual event in honor of his son, this was a brilliant way to remember Jackson.

In previous years we've played at different venues such as South Lakes down @ Goolwa as well as Clare Valley Golf Club, this year the move was to bring it to the city and it was decided to play at Adelaide Shores. This way family can stay over at the caravan park while a few of us who live locally can drop down.

My history in The Mervy has been good in my opinion, I won the "Naga" in the first year, this is awarded to the player who comes last. Since then i've moved to the middle of the pack and last year recorded my best result coming 2nd to Bec in a close game.

Some considered me to be a massive threat this year, I couldn't see this as since last years game I think I had played maybe 2 or 3 times...

This year my son Noah joined us to play in his first official Mervy, originally we were going to make a Junior Mervy however the rest of the juniors stayed at the caravan park. I was very proud of my boy for deciding to play, the lure of a water park and bouncy cushion is very hard to look away from but to his credit he didn't even think twice.

Noah is now 10 years old, he is the sort of boy that is very talented at sport - whatever the sport, he manages to pick it up very easily. Baseball this year he hit a staggering 0.904 batting average (that's 9 in every 10 At Bats for those not used to baseball). Football he has a raking left kick and is looking at a strong year. Golf of late he has started to hit more consistently and is already showing off his early power.

The Mervy kicked off like every other, the previous winner tee'd off to begin the festivities, Bec however this time snuck up without anyone noticed and smashed a long bomb up the middle of the fairway - Cudo's to her as teeing off with an audience is not fun haha.

I was partnered up with Noah, Simon, Uncle Graham and Dan - a very strong line up!

First tee off was terrible and I immediately thought, there goes my chances... Tee'd off with a huge hook to the right... into the water. I hit a 2nd ball with the penalty added and luckily it was right up the middle.

I managed to calm my nerves a fair bit after a few holes, Noah was the same, and we then both started hitting quite well. A noticeable difference for me was my chipping and putting, in fact my whole game was different. I didn't want to get ahead of myself and get too excited but a huge confidence began to grow through - this was to be my year.

Noah also was impressing everyone, his drives off the tee block were awesome to watch. His approach shots were going well and he was enjoying himself, the one thing he hated doing was the putting..

My early thoughts was that Noah may upset the lot of us this year and win the comp, I knew I was playing well but he was on fire.

The highlight of the day wasn't from my side of golf, for me it was witnessing Noah drive a long bomb onto the 17th green and sit within a metre away from the hole. It was a Par 3 and yes easily hit to for an Adult. For a 10 year old to smash it and land on the green while the rest of the golfers were off the green or like his Uncle, in the trees... This was a massive achievement. Noah tried his hardest to get the birdie but sadly it just sailed past - he did recover though to record a massive Par! Made his father very proud.

By the time we reached the 18th I was extremely nervous but also confident I was close to winning, the game I played I couldn't have done any better if I tried. Usual shots from the bush or tree's which would take me 2 or 3 hacks to reach the green I was placing on with one shot. I knocked a couple of massive putt's also which saved Par. My approach shots and drives were good and when I did get into trouble I was able to get on the green without much problem.

In the end I finished with my personal best at Adelaide Shores with a score of 78, my previous best I think was 86. Noah finished with 106 which I think for a junior is massive.

We waited at the end to see how the rest of the players went, slowly each came off with "nah no good" or "not so bad".. I thought wow Noah and I could have a shot here.

As the players all headed back to the caravan park we each handed in our score cards and suddenly a wave of thoughts flooded through my mind, could this be the year?!? I started to stress then and question each player to see how they went and compare them to both Noah and myself.

Alot however will carefully guard their result just to further build the suspense...

We all converged back to the caravan park and proceeded with some drinks whilst we awaited the results, Dan and his Dad Phil took off shortly after the wave of Pizza's hit us and carefully worked out who would be this years winner...

Dan approached the party and called us all to quiet and began his speech, he touched on what it means to both he and his wife Bec and also why it is so important to everyone that we keep this tradition going.

First things First, the NAGA... we award this to last place, I've won it once and remember I would strive not to finish last again, the winner however, has had this honor on more than one occasion - Phil!

One by one the names were called out from Last heading up to first, neither myself or Noah had yet been called - my god, could Noah have won this?!?!

Dan ticked off some pretty decent handicapped players and proceeded to 6th place, Noah Rogers. I tell you I was stoked for him, he beat some really good players and managed to finish 6th in his first comp. He had his mind set and was determined to play a full 18 holes in the Mervy, even though the rest of the kids decided to stay in the water park at the caravan park, he looked past that, gave his all and played extremely well. He knows it, But I am extremely Proud of his effort and sad he didn't win the whole game.

My nerves had officially hit an all time high, whilst the scotch tried to counteract them... We moved to 3rd place and again my name was missing, Dan read out the final scores and I couldn't believe it, I won by a whole 3 points!

Never in my wildest did I think I'd win this comp, my family and extended family are good golfers - me, I'm a football and baseball lover, I occasionally hit the ball...

My speech was simple, I was proud I won, didn't think I would but I stood there prouder of my sons achievements than my own. I look forward to the day that he stands up here giving this speech as a winner of this prestigious cup.

So I hope you enjoyed this tale, this is a sad but happy story our entire family is involved with, we lost a family member who didn't get the chance to experience everything this world and life has to offer, or experience the love he would have received from us all - all of us have felt this pain in differing levels but none of us will forget little Mervy.

Its important to us all that we get together each year around Jacksons birthday and pay tribute to
him. I don't really know what happens after this life, but I would like to believe that when a person does pass they can still see the people left behind and pay witness to their actions, and I hope Jackson watches us each year and see what he meant to us all.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

School Holiday Fun - Adelaide Central Markets

Hi All,

The previous School Holidays arrived with a bang and the kids were busy either heading up to their nanna's for a holiday or at their Vacation Care - my wife also took off a fair bit of time too and whisked the kids away to the local swimming centres or movie's!

We learnt however our local Vacation Care was to be shut for a considerable amount of time over the Xmas break, in fact not re-opening until the 13th of January - which majority of you will understand this is not helpful for working parents...

So we decided I would apply for leave for three of the days in January before the centre opens again to help out.

I was a bit apprehensive of what to do, the obvious was already decided for the Thursday - The Ice Arena at Thebarton - this is a family favourite, my son who is now 10 loves ice skating and is really quite good at it - he was even thinking of taking up Ice Hockey... My daughter who is 6 has only been two times but wow - what a natural! The first time she spent a bit of time on the learners rink but within 20 minutes was pushing for a go on the big rink - she now skates just as well as her brother and is now asking for us to put her in figure skating...

I still had one other day to come up with an idea, the Wednesday.

With a flash of genius I thought, how about a Treasure Hunt! I know I know its a game that has been played for 1000's of years but I couldn't think of a time I'd ever created a hunt from scratch for the kids.

So I decided to take them to one of my favourite places in Adelaide, The Central Market. It is full of everything food wise you could hope for - and and awesome chance to teach the kids a bit about unusual foods which they've never seen or tasted before.

For a while there a friend and I would walk to the markets at least once a week on our lunch break, takes about 5 minutes to walk there - we don't always buy stuff but its just fun to walk through and look at all the different fruit, small goods and seafood mustered in one building!

So I printed off a Map which was available on the Central Markets website:

The thing I love about this website is the detail they've included, very professional site. For example, click on the above link and it will give you a map of the markets, best thing is - you can hover over each stall and it will highlight and let you know the name of the stall holder, if you want more information including some photos click on the stall and it will take you to a mini intro for the stall holder.

Ok I'm getting excited, for locals its probably not as used but for tourists and visitors this is perfect for someone researching a trip to the markets for the first time, or even to work out where they bought an item they loved on their first or second trip and can't remember who it was!!

I started coming up with a list of ideas and items the kids could hunt for, sure its easy to give them a shopping list and say go but where is the fun in that? One of the main aims for me was to get them to work together to get the job done, most parents will agree siblings don't always see eye to eye nor always prefer to work with each other to get the job done...

Ideas came flooding in as I remembered stalls as we walked through them, such as mud crabs, macaroons, pig's heads (i know grose..) and all the exotic fruit we've often walked past and thought "wonder what that taste's like".

So I came up with this:

The night before I charged their cameras, had a bag and a water bottle ready and put in their bag a Map each and Hunt Questions.

I told them on the way to the markets where we were going and what we were up for and gave them each a chance to look over the questions - instructions were though, no discussing before we get there. The Questions were loaded with cryptic messages packed in with Dares and photos required.

The kids were quite enthusiastic and we began our hunt well, the Minion Banana question was quite easy, I should have watched Despicable Me 2 first... But easy ones thrown in are good as some were quite difficult.

Most parents will say they have smart kids, I'm the same, we have somehow combined to create two of the smartest kids around, sometimes can be lazy but what kids aren't! I wanted them to use their brilliant minds to problem solve. Worked well - almost too well, most of the ones I expected to be hard even for an adult the two were knocking them off in quick succession..

Tragedy though, the famed Pigs Head which is usually at O'Connell Meats was not there.... Every time I walk through the markets there is a pigs head proudly displayed in the window - someone buys one each time, not sure I would but its funny to look at. The dare for this was the kids to take a selfie with the pigs head - something their mum would not be too keen on haha.

Sadly there were no Mud Crabs either, not sure if out of season or what but like the pigs head, mud crabs are prominent each time we go to the markets.

To top it off the awesome macaroons I planned to get the kids to try were all out of stock in the first isle, but we still managed to try some at another shop near the coles.
Somehow, my family is no big fan of seafood, yet I absolutely love it... so getting them enthused with some of the riddles involving them going into the fish markets were hard at first due to the "fishy" smell "dad!"... but once we headed around to Samtass Seafoods that all changed, so much better presented and that fishy smell my youngest was complaining about was completely absent. Here they managed to find the famed nanigui, or Red Snapper as its also known as. They were both fascinated by the rich red colour of the fish but also its massive eyes - they each took a photo for their album and we pushed on. A quick "who wants to try an oyster" didn't go down well as they both proceeded to bolt out of the shop.

In all I think we all had a great day, although my boy isn't a massive fruit and veg fan he still had fun learning new things and exploring the markets - hopefully experiences like this will help his phobia of good foods. My little one is the opposite and loved the markets too - it was a good family experience and a nice way to kill 3 or 4 hours!

Hindsight I think I should have not given them all the questions before we got there, I think if we do this again I might print off the questions individually then give them once each one has been answered - this way they both have to read it together and not have it pre-known in their minds before they arrive.

I encourage anyone with children, and, who is keen on fresh produce and teaching the kids new things to give this a go - head to the Central Markets Website (, print off a map and start exploring. You don't have to even make it based around riddles - just go up and down all the lanes!

If you do attempt it with your children I would suggest though to add little ideas like the quiz or even a list of stuff they have to find so you can buy - if not that amount of time they may get a little ratty by the end :)
Please if you do try this please comment and let me know your experience!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Top 10 Burgers in Adelaide - Part 1 - The Stanley Tavern

Hi All,

About a month or so ago the local newspaper in Adelaide, The Advertiser, posted an article showing "The Top 10 Burgers in Adelaide"... (

Being a lover of a decent Beef Burger I decided I wouldn't mind checking out a few to see what each one was like.

For me the best burger needs a multiple of inclusions, it can't be one element that decides its fate - all needs perfect balancing. The burger roll and patty needs to be large, no point offering a burger costing over $10 if you're still hungry at the end.

  • The Patty needs to be seasoned to perfection - right now my wife makes the best tasting patties around, i'll argue it til i'm blue in the face and these burger bars have alot to live up to!
  • Pickles... has to have pickles, not everyones cup of tea but for me the option of having a handful of crunchy pickles is to die for.
  • Tomato Chutney - For me, has to be Tomato Chutney - just stunning and the taste is 2nd to none - Ketchup and Tomato Sauce just doesn't have the flavour.
  • Garlic Aoli - Just stunning, when included with tomato chutney it brings the burger to a whole new level
  • Lettuce & Tomato - A generous portion is required, can't eat a burger without a bit of healthiness added!
  • Egg - For the Burger to be complete a runny egg sweetens the deal (not too gooey but just a little run to it)
  • Bacon - Who doesn't love a nice helping of nicely smoked bacon!
  • Onion - For me its gotta be cooked, with a little bit of crunch!

We were sitting home one weekend with not much to do so we thought we might take a drive up to the beautiful Adelaide Hills and visit the lovely town of Hahndorf. Its fun for a family to make a day trip from the city and has loads to offer everyone, from family activities like the Hahndorf Farm Barn ( which boasts a huge variety of animals to get up close with and even feed, theres also the famous Beerenberg Strawberry Farm ( where not only can you purchase some of the best Jams and Sauces around but you can also venture down to the Strawberry field and pick the best tasting Strawberry's you will find in Adelaide!

For the Wine lovers there are also a nice selection of wineries around, from Boutique wineries such as my favourite Hahndorf Hill Winery ( who make the best Rose wine I've ever tasted!, or a crowd favourite such as Maximillians (

For the traditionalists who love a good German Pint or German Food you can't go past The German Arms ( or the Hahndorf Inn (, each show true their German heritage and offer old fashioned German meals and beers for you to try!

For our family the day was set out, a trip to the Farm Barn, head off for lunch then back to Beerenberg for a big punnet of Strawberries!

Lunch was decided, we would try the famous Stanley Burger at the Stanley Bridge Tavern ( located in Verdun just a 5 minute drive from Hahndorf. Its nestled on a beautiful street, if you haven't booked and it was a stunning late Summer day like we did on a Sunday then parking and getting a table may be difficult so I would suggest you book in advance.

It was a 30 degree day, nice breeze coming through the trees and the tavern from the get go looked very warm and inviting. We went through the old rustic main door and were immediately impressed by the structure of the building itself, its been maintained extremely well and all its old features are a definite plus.

We were lucky enough to score a table out in their garden on a rustic wooden table, set up for the kids was a game of bocce and totem tennis. I think the main feature for my children though was Benny the Jack Russell which moved freely through the restaurant and mingled with the guests.

My wife and I decided to each go with the Stanley Burger but were amazed at the amount of mouth watering options available - Ribs, Steaks, Pies etc. To the order we also added a small serving of their Benny's Ribs.

A bottle of Apple Cider to accompany and I was set for a very enjoyable afternoon. Justine and I chatted away while the kids ran off and played, but unfortunately as time went by the kids became more and more irritated and edgy as we waited a very long time for the food to come out. I think in the end the kids meals came out, just before the entree, after a solid hour and a half waiting... by that time we were all over hungry and a bit over the waiting... Our mains came out about 10 minutes after and began we did...

First on the agenda, try these stunningly presented Ribs, I was interested to try the sauce which included Honey, Spices and Blasted in the Furnace with Hoi Sin, Orange and a Sesame Seed Sauce... My lips were watering thinking about it.

The sauce delivered just like I hoped, it was stunning - beautifully sweet with a hint of spice but not enough to overpower you. The ribs were massive but unfortunately mostly bone, each were separated from the rack but just didn't have heaps of meat on there to get you overly excited. The downer for me also was the ribs appeared to have been cooked for a while earlier but mine were cold when they came out - almost appeared to be re-heated but just not enough. It was yum but 6 definitely isn't enough while also sharing - fork out and get the 9 or 12!

The massive winner though was the sauce, it was so good we all spent ages afterwards mopping it up with our chips!

The Stanley Burger, was definitely impressive to look out when it first came out. Accompanied by a big bowl of curly fries I proceeded to crack the egg and see how we go.

Nice - egg flowed just perfectly!

The burger was nice, not brilliant but nice, the Pattie was nicely made, good helping of smokey bacon on the top, nicely melted cheese and cooked onion, tomato and lettuce. I love a good burger and I think this was ok but it just didn't have the wow factor I was looking for. Notable exclusions from the burger was Chutney, Garlic Aoli and the most important feature for me.....Pickles... I love pickles with my burger - even if its an addition...

The Tomato Salsa advertised with the burger wasn't the best for me, took the taste away from the patty and hit the wrong note - a beaut chutney from local Beerenberg would have been spot on!

Overall I think I'm going to have to give this burger a 6.5, Probably could have scored higher but the long wait and exclusions brought me down some.

I would definitely order it again, I did like it and the Stanley Tavern is a great place to go to but I just can't push it much higher on the day.

I invite you all to check it out for yourself, personally if I was to rate the venue, staff and an overall experience and not take into account the long wait on that occasion I would give the Stanley Tavern a 9 - its setting in the heart of the Adelaide Hills and all round rustic appeal makes it a fantastic venue to sit down for lunch or dinner. The menu is extremely appealing to all taste buds and the Kids Menu is very good also (Picture of the Kids Cheese Burger opposite!)

If you do try the Stanley Burger feel free to give your rating as feedback, I'm keen to see what everyone else thinks!

So - 1 down, 9 to go. They rate these the best 10 burgers in Adelaide, I'm going to try them all and give my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recycling Ideas Part 2

Hi All,

Welcome to Part 2 of my recycling ideas, as I mentioned before some are my ideas and some are "borrowed", here is one I came up with and just finished!

In the past 6 months or so i've loved the idea and keenly watched new and impressive ideas for using old timber pallets, as you would have seen on an older article I, with the help of my children, turned an old timber pallet into a garden feature.

Sadly a week of over 40 degree days killed my plants in there but once we get over the heat I'm going to replant this with fresh plants!

The new idea was to turn one of the timber pallets which had a flat plywood top into a mini table on wheels with the top turned into a chalkboard!

So, we found these pallets at the local carpet shop. I bought a new orbital sander and thought this would be perfect to test out on.

I gave the whole pallet a good sanding with some grade 60 sand paper, curved off all the edges and removed any splinter causing areas.

Adding castor wheels at the bottom gives the ability to move it around easier, these ones also have brakes so if you don't want it to be moved or children moving it while using it just flick it into lock.

This design was made purely to be placed in a child care centre, I wanted to come up with something that children could easily sit at and play, or put their legs under if they want.

I was able to buy a litre of black chalkboard paint from our local Bunnings for approx $15, I applied two coats to the top and has come up a treat!

For the sides and bottoms we decided to go with left over Pink paint the centre had left over, as their main colour for the centre is Pink we thought this would be fitting. The paint left over was a high gloss which was previously used on the doors, two coats of this and the pink really came out nice and shiny.

That's it, as simple as that. Now, not all pallets come with a plywood top, these are rare so if you see one grab it! If not Plywood isn't that expensive so if you find a good pallet you can easily fit a plywood top to it for added height.

Now the finishing product, Personally I'm really happy with the way this came out and reckon it looks awesome, from all reports the kids loved using it also with big chunky pieces of chalk! For child safety reasons I'm not allowed to show the kids using it but heres a photo of the finished product.

This is also easy enough to enlist the help of your kids just get them to wear some gloves until after the pallet has been fully sanded, choose a colour or multiple colours and paint away! The blackboard paint also comes as a green also.

Please try this at home, took me a couple of nights to do and all you need is the pallet, castor wheels, sander (my orbital worked really well), Chalkboard Paint and another Paint for the sides and bottom.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Movember 2013

Hi All,

That wonderful time of the year when Movember returns and peace is restored across the galaxy....

Due to popular demand I have decided to alter the Mo design slightly as we move towards gaining more sponsors, a few designs came into mind but two stood out for me.

The Mini Mo, this is where I will grow my normal over the lip but then have a smaller one etched in under my bottom lip without touching the other.

But the one which got the vote this year and makes me think of Star Wars all over is..... The Dual Mo. Every time I think of the name Dual Mo it makes me think of the epic Star Wars battle between Qui Gon, Obi Wan and Darth Maul. The soundtrack to this battle was named "Duel of the Fates".

The Dual Mo is just that, two mo's instead of one, here's an early photo. I've carved one in the normal spot and another underneath my bottom lip.

So far its been received with mix reactions, majority from my work are shocked but hey - I'm not doing this for approval, this is for charity!

This year I've started off a little slow as I was interstate for the first week until now, so all my normal emails pleading for donations went out rather late and subsequently my donations tally isn't looking healthy at the mo.

I'm confident though of it moving towards the $1k mark, I've been participating in Movember now for 8/9 years and in all that time I think I've missed raising $1k only once. So it makes me proud that I've been able to raise approx $7k to this fantastic charity, one which is growing in popularity at a rapid rate. When I first started Movember then was in its infant stages, not many knew of the charity - now its all over the media and expanding all over the world!

Looking on the website the Movember event started with as little as 30 people back in 2003 and has propelled into a massive 1.1 Million participants in 2012. Back then the idea was born but no real funds raised, in its first real fundraising year, 2004, Movember raised a total of $54,000... Compare this to a staggering $141.5 Million in 2012 and you have yourselves a massive event!

So, with those stats now comes my plea. As I mentioned I've raised approx $7k in the history of my Movember, This isn't enough and I aim to push towards $10k and beyond. I do this for the charity only, no personal gain - One month a year of having a Mo which most will laugh at is a small price to pay for this great event.

Please, hop online by clicking this link: This is the link to my Mo Space, please check out and donate anything you can - remember everything over $2 is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.