Monday, February 29, 2016

How I remove dust from my camera sensor

This is a Fess, Little noses snot sucker. The idea is you compress the bulb, then insert into your baby's nose, release the bulb and suck out the snot.

It works awesomely for that purpose, to extract blockages up your baby's nose. It quite frankly grossed my husband out. He doesn't do snot, or poo. He's a fogging woos.

When you're a breastfeeding mum and you have a baby taking umpteen breaths just to have a feed, you do what you can. Especially if that babe is holding on to your nipple with it's teeth, as not to let go of the food source when they are taking that breath. You try ANYTHING!

I did use it. It's a useful thing.

Problem is it's been sitting in my junk draw for the last four years. It's only useful on little babies who can't blow their own nose.

It's not likely you will be able to get rid of it second hand in a hurry. Because SNOT.

I did however find a use for it. It's now in my camera bag. You see I had an annoying, annoying shadow on my photos. It was giving me the shits and after a google search(what else), I found it was from dust on my camera sensor. Before this day, I had no idea what the fog a camera sensor was. I thought it was just dust, or a mark on my lens.

I thought I was doomed, because there was no way I could replace a lens, let alone a Canon camera.

It was a relief finding out what I needed to do, but I didn't have a blower. We have an air compressor in the shed, which was highly recommended I didn't use. I did remember the sucker I had in the junk draw. Only I'd be using it in the reverse, of it's intended use.

The day I realised I had the blight on my photos, was a blustery day at the beach. Got great photos of the fam with our neighbours, but also ended up with a grain of sand, sucked into the camera body, onto the sensor.

I did a lot of photoshopping to get rid of the shadow on a heap of photos. It's inconvenient and sometimes not successful, depending where the blight is.

After putting the Canon EOS camera setting on manual cleaning (which lifts the mirror), I could see the tiniest grain of sand I couldn't see with the mirror in the way. Making sure I did NOT touch the sensor I gave the sensor a puff from the snot sucker, pushing air out as quickly as I could.

I saw the grain of sand disappear before my eyes. Make sure you hold the camera with the sensor facing down, so that whatever is blown out will fall out of the camera body for good. Turn the camera off and the mirror will go back into place.

I put the lens back on and took a photo. No blight. It was gone. Thank fog!

So the snot sucker is now an accessory in my camera bag, for the next time a foreign body finds it's way onto my camera sensor! I have learnt something useful, and it wasn't as scary to fix as I thought. Good old Google.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sky #fmy52weeksofmemories

I was on the ball this week and had the sky on my mind whenever I was out and about with the camera.
The weather was obliging and dealt some pretty interesting skies.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Roasted pumpkin and capsicum couscous salad

Cous cous is something I forget I have in the pantry. It gets pushed to the back, but I am always glad to see it when I go looking hard enough. It's like finding a long lost friend. I fondly speak to it, "Oh cous cous. Hello. Where have you been?". Yes I am a weirdo.

Here's what I did with my long lost friend. This salad is great warm or cold.

1 cup couscous
1/4 of a butternut pumpkin, diced
1 capsicum, chopped into large dice ( I used a bit of yellow, red and green)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 preserved lemon, finely sliced
A few finely sliced mint leaves

Place pumpkin and capsicum on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 180 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Put a cup of cous cous in a large heatproof jug. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the cous cous and leave for five minutes.

Stir the cous cous to break it up. Add in the pumpkin, capsicum, olives, preserved lemon, mint and stir to combine.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Heart #fmy52weeksofmemories

Walking down the road and photographing the beautiful sunsets we get is one of those things I always want to do, but never do.

I set off, well on the way to three sheets to the wind, down the road with my camera.

This made my heart happy. To be down there, taking photos of the sunset. I'd like to do this every night, just to capture the changing seasons. Not likely to happen though, with two kids who like stay awake until after sunset, and a hubby who gets up before sparrows even think about farting, to go to work.

The following day we took the kids to have a try at horse riding. Summer was way to confident for my liking. I don't like horses, they make me nervous. I went for a beach ride once and didn't like it at all.

The kids however, loved it. Last night while I cuddled Izzy in bed, she said she wanted to do lessons *eyeroll*. It was all Brett's idea. Happy Saturday mornings Brett!

I almost didn't go, because, boring! But I tagged along, just to take photos of course. Guess what? There were hearts. Prompt done and dusted! I did take photos of Izzy, but of course, I was hungover and well the camera was on night time settings. The photos were way too bright. That'll teach me.

Valentine's Day morning I wasn't hungover. Just in a rush to make the kids next door some pressies. The boy next door is going to marry Izzy apparently, and the younger boy is quite smitten with Summer too. Ooooooooh!

Them being Superhero mad, we made suitable cards and even one for their sister for being such a cool friend. With nothing prepared earlier they got a piece of oat slice each, with a heart stuck on the packet. My printer is my saviour. I borrowed and downloaded the Greeting Card Maker software from the library once. It has been invaluable for birthdays and other occasions.

Home is where the wine heart is

It was all his idea.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Elaine's Oat Slice

This recipe comes from an extremely ratty cook book I own, The Beachport pony club family favourites. 

It's from the eighties I guess, and I picked it up in reasonable condition from a garage sale eons ago. It's been well used in that time and hasn't fared well. I still make recipes from it, like this oat slice. 

To be honest, its the first time I've made this particular slice. I usually make a chocolate slice from this book, everyone loves it. With the second week of school about to begin, I got my bake on because the cupboard was bare. It had all the ingredients for this one, so I went with it.

The recipe was supplied by Elaine Marshall. It's a good'un.

Oat Slice

120 grams butter
2 cups rolled oats
1 dessertspoon golden syrup
1 small cup coconut
1 small cup sugar

Melt butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and pour in the melted butter mix.

Stir well until combined.

Spoon mixture into a greased and lined slice tray, and smooth out.

Bake at 170 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Slice into squares when still warm.

I let it cool in the tin, then melted 100 grams of chocolate in the microwave. I then drizzled the melted chocolate over the top of the cut slice. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Flower #fmy52weeksofmemories

I always throw the camera in the car when I go to Pelican Point. There's so much to take photos of, like flowers on the side of the road. Only me.

I actually pulled over to take photos of the blue bath in the stockyards a Bobby Duck Hole. I couldn't get quite close enough, because long grass and barbed wire. I did try to climb up on the rails. Freaked myself out a bit when I saw a brown snake crossing the road about 100 metres up the road, after I left. Not the best place to be rummaging around with longish grass and thongs!

There is an old blue tractor just up the road I wouldn't mind taking some photos of too. I just have to pluck up the courage to ask the farmer if I can go out in his paddock, hoping the big cows don't come anywhere near me!

On to a different sort of flowers, my two little flowers. Who, turns out, and big fat tomboys! Husband couldn't help himself but to buy Izzy a motorised go kart, even after I thought of just about every excuse as why they didn't need one.

Izzy loves it, and Summer loves riding with her dad. The kids next door love having a turn with him too.

We went to Pelican Point over the weekend with friends and it had a run on the beach. It was a beautiful day down there.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Roses to plant to with Iceberg roses

I just love to pick my roses and bring them inside. One of my favourite roses to use as a filler is Iceberg roses. These delicate white roses create a softness, and look so romantic with Pinks, Mauves and Apricot colours.
These are suggestions to plant in the garden with White Iceberg roses for beautiful romantic, billowy flower arrangements for your home.
White Iceberg roses with Apricot Nectar rose

Pierre de Ronsard rose with White Icebergs, would have to be one of my favourite combinations

Cubana and White iceberg roses
For pink roses try Pierre de Ronsard, Queen Elizabeth and Seduction.

For apricot hues plant Just Joey, Cubana and Apricot Nectar.

For mauves plant Angel Face, Blue Moon, Blue river or Charles de Gaulle.

A photo posted by Alicia O'Brien (@aliciaonemotherhen) on

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Outside #52weeksofmemories

Well it's my second day of total bliss. I can get on with what I need to do during the day without the distractions, fighting or constant requests from my two lovely girls. Izzy's back at school, and Summers has kindergarten a few days a week. Have I told you it's bliss?!

Although I got side-tracked from what I was originally going to do, I still got stuff done. Like clean the dunny and bathroom, and make jam. I faffed on Facebook, and went outside and took photos, picked peaches and brought in the wheelie bins.

There may come a time when I become bored as hell, but at the moment I am savouring the time to myself.

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