I’m telling you, one day I’m busy and the next day I’m busier. This past weekend, John’s sister came to visit her mother for the first time at the aged care home she’s recently moved to. There was much anxiety about how she’d react as she’s not happy that she’s not living in her own home. Thankfully all went well-ish but I’m emotionally exhausted. I think we all were.
Again, I thought that I wouldn’t have anything nifty to share like all the others that post their monthly In My Kitchen posts over at Celia’s place at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. I looked around and then realised that I DO have a couple of things to share so I won’t be left out.
It was my birthday last week and John’s dad surprised me with a photography backdrop for portraits (head shots) that I enjoy taking. I was really pleased with it but there was more. He also gave me these nifty (albeit not horrendously expensive) umbrella flashes.
Then John said, “I’m sorry but your present from me is late.” I was very surprised when not more than five minutes passed and the doorbell rang. Surprisingly, it wasn’t for Charlie although he barked and barked because he just KNEW it was going to be his best friend. Everyone is his best friend and the doorbell is always for Charlie, just ask him. The man at the door gave me a package from Amazon. One of John’s presents to me had arrived.
This isn’t the book he went to Amazon to buy. When he got there and ordered the book he is sure that I REALLY want, he saw that this book was on my wish list so he bought that too. I’m still waiting for the book he’s sure I want. (he won’t tell me what it is)
John’s mother still enjoys reading, even though her retention isn’t more than a flyspeck long. Today I went to the op shops to see if they had some classics I could put in her room or their library. Who knew that on Mondays the books were half price. Win! I got a heap of them. I also picked up these cookbooks for me.
I also got this little jug that I thought might come in handy as a photography prop. You never know. I’m going to need a warehouse soon for all this stuff.
Finally, the cleaner was here this morning and just after I snapped the photos, I asked Charlie if he wanted some chicken because he’d been such a good dog and hadn’t bothered Danny. At our house all meat is chicken. I know we could have taught him meat but we started with chicken and now no matter what it is, it’s chicken. The look says it all.
Chicken? Seriously? You said chicken. WHERE is the chicken?? You have the camera, that’s not chicken!
Why not share what’s in your kitchen this month? All you need to do is link it to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and you’re in. It’s a fun group of bloggers and we are only missing you!
Gintare @Gourmantine says
Wow, so many nice things around you Maureen. I didn’t know you’re making a lot of portraits, any chance we’ll get a chance to them? 🙂
p.s. I have that cheese book on my wish list too!
I’ve had that book on the list for a long time. He never looked before. 🙂 I’m going to go and wish for some more stuff.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
What a great range of items Maureen! Photography equipment, books and props too 😀 Haha I’ll be sure not to mention the C word (chicken) around Charlie if I ever meet him 😛
First of all, let me shout HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! You should not keep these things a secret, I would love to be able to wish you Bday wishes on the correct day!
You are some serious photographer, I knew that already, but now I am feeling absolutely inadequate, umbrella flash thingies, I honestly did not even know they existed, and wonder what the heck they do! My ignorance is showing…
Charlie’s photo. I need insulin. Oh, my gosh that is too too too cute!
great post, glad you decided to play. I am sitting out, too much stuff going on, I will jump on it next month, hopefully….
Charlie has a flea today. I don’t know where he went but he’s on pills and we put a pour on today. Now to keep him out of the pool until it’s dead and all its cousins too. I know what it’s like to be too busy to fart. I need relief from old people. Who knew caring for the very elderly is more than a full time job? I love them to bits – I’m just exhausted. Someone told me the other day that at my age I probably need more than 5 hours sleep a night AND a day off occasionally. 🙂
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
And a Happy Belated birthday to you! I hope you had a wonderful birthday. :::sending cookies and cupcakes galore::: The umbrella flashes look like fun! I hope you enjoy a nice mug of tea while going through the new cookbooks. 🙂
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
Sounds like a pretty good birthday to me! I could use anything for photography because all I have is a camera. And new cookbooks. Oh, would I love some new cookbooks. All good loot, I think!
I still haven’t received “the one” that’s on its way. The three cookbooks I bought at the op shop at half price. There are incredible deals on cookbooks at the library sales and op shops. I look at them for styling ideas.
What a splendid birthday! I have such a difficult time saying no to more cookbooks, there are so many great vintage books to be found. I suppose the answer is another bookshelf! LOL
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Happy Belated Birthday! You got some swell gifts. Photography gear is always fun, and getting some nice lights is one of the best gifts ever. I like using umbrellas a lot for photographing people (I prefer softboxes for food, though). You have some really good stuff in your kitchen this month! Thanks for sharing.
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
Happy Belated Birthday! Love your presents!!
So many great items! Those cookbooks are indeed great props and WOW those umbrella flashes are a great gift. The dog is just too adorable:-)
Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says
Sounds like you had a wonderfully blessed birthday!! I have been wanting some of those umbrella flashes for a long time. You will have to let us know if they work well. So glad all went well with John’s sister. Those kinds of situations can be stressful sometimes. Charlie looks like such a sweetie!
Jenny @ BAKE says
Happy Birthday! What amazing presents!
Thanks, Jenny! Lovely to see you.
Norma Chang says
Happy belated birthday, Maureen! I too have been curious about umbrella flashes, hope you will write about your experience.
You have a couple of very thoughtful men in your life. I love the little jug. Reminds me of a pottery chalice that I bought at a local ‘art in the park’ event. I have no earthly use for it but every once in a while I make hot chocolate and savour it in my chalice. 🙂
I vote that Charlie gets his ‘chicken’ tout suite.
PS: I just realized that I didn’t include a birthday wish in my actual post. I was sure I had. In any case, happy belated birthday from a fellow February birthday girl. Mine is Feb 7 … strange coincidence.
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
On Charlie’s behalf, where IS the chicken? Doesn’t he look handsome in his very professional portrait. Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Maureen. Sounds like you are going to have lots of fun trying out your new photography equipment. Also, can’t wait to see you put the cheese-making book into action!
Glamorous Glutton says
Charlie is so cute, I’d give him chicken. Love the look at your kitchen this month. GG
After Charlie, the cook books are the best in your kitchen this month. Can never have too many cook books! 🙂
Happy Birthday and many more. I will celebrate your special day the way I do with all of my Twitter friends on their birthday:
Lizzy (Good Things) says
John is such a treasure… love it when a man knows what his lady wants! Charlie is just way too cute! I can see you’re going to have a fun time with the cheesemaking book, as well as the photography equipment. Oh, and the jug, what a find!
He read my post and said, “Maureen, the photography stuff was from me and kinda from dad so he wouldn’t be left out. It sounded like I gave you a book and he gave you all sorts of nifty stuff.” I should rewrite the post 🙂
Dear Maureen, Happy, Happy Birthday!!!
What nice presents. Enjoy each and everyone with lots of laughter, fun and good food and company.
Give Charlie my love!
Blessings dear. Catherine xo
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
First, Happy Birthday…and then second…well, I wish I had some presents so enjoy! 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
I’m wondering what I can share this month too! I can imagine it must have been stressful having yet another of John’s relatives on the scene. They don’t seem to be giving you a lot of space! I love your new photography/lighting equipment. That will be so handy. And happy birthday. Love the image of Charlie xx
I love having company so it’s cool 🙂 Charlie likes it too
Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says
Wow, nice birthday. And especially love that photography equipment. I have one umbrella that I’m still trying to learn how to use.
I haven’t mastered it yet Lea Ann!
Aw, John and his dad are so thoughtful! Can’t wait to hear what the mystery book will be. And what cheeses you’ll try. Your Charlie is just the most adorable fellow!
Happy belated birthday Maureen. You got some thoughtful presents – the photography kit looks quite fancy. Charlie as always is the star of the post!
InTolerant Chef says
Happy birthday Maureen! You look like you were spoiled- as you well deserve 🙂
Mary @ Fit and Fed says
Have fun with the cheese-making book. That’s the kind of busy we can always find time for, right, more fun projects in the kitchen? And I guess you have one more birthday book surprise in the wings, too, hope it’s a fun one. Happy Birthday!
Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine says
Wow Maureen, you’ve had a lot going on in the last months. I don’t think I could keep up with it all as well as you do.
That was the most thoughtful gift from John’s dad, I said it before, he is such a sweetheart!
I’m ready for you to start making cheese, can’t wait! (just don’t cut it like you did that day when the priest was there – oops I probably should say that cause probably most of your readers think you’re quite proper 🙂 hehe)
LOL I’m sure even the priest will like my cheese. cut or uncut 🙂
Ah making cheese sounds so cool! I want to see a post on what you learn. Hope you had a fantastic birthday!
I’ve only ever made ricotta and feta so I’m looking forward to ripening hard cheese in my wine fridge. 🙂
Have you tried making cheese yet? This is one book I am keen to see reviewed.
Not yet, Francesca. Soon after my birthday we had rellies up to visit. I’m trying to catch up my work before I can play with cheese. 🙂
lizzie - strayed from the table says
Happy Birthday Maureen, your photo umbrellas make your place look so professional. Look forward to reading about your cheese adventures.
Nothing about me looks professional, Lizzie. I is what I is. 🙂
Happy Birthday gorgeous lady. Great things in your kitchen but none of them are as good as Charlie x
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Happy birthday Maureen! I’m really impressed with your photography set up – super professional! Lovely new books too and I am sure you’ll have fun with them (if only you can get some time to yourself…).
Maureen, your Charlie is gorgeous. I have cookbook envy and photography equipment envy at the moment. You are a very lucky birthday girl. Happy belated birthday.
I think that jug is gonna be a winner, Maureen! 🙂 ela
Happy birthday! I can’t wait to see all the cheese you make! And hear what that cookbook is that you REALLY want. 😛
Kitchen Belleicious says
oh how amazingly sweet was that of him! I cant believe he did that- so thoughtful and to leave you with the umbrella flashes is even sweeter! You are so blessed. Love and want all those cookbooks you got and that jug looks perfect and would fit so nicely in my kitchen! HINT HINT! LOL!
Must say I think I need a John too! I don’t have a Charlie but I do have a Macie (cat). She cares only about her food and my affection!
The cheese book is not on my wish list…probably for a good reason, someone else can surely do it better than I and I want to be free to taste their endeavors without bias!
Bam's Kitchen says
Happy belated Birthday Maureen! It looks like the hubby has been spoiling you with some awesome gifts. Those are some amazing umbrella flashes and love all the new cook books. I really need to get some more props and photography aids here too. Hey where’s the “chicken”? He is the sweetest little puppy and I am sure he waits patiently for any little piece of chicken to fall to the floor. He is part of the professional clean up team for the orgasmic chef. Take Care
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says
Happy Belated Birthday Maureen – those umbrella flashes are super swanky – cannot wait to see your photos using them!
LOVE that photo of Charlie! And that flask too!
It was your birthday! And I don’t think I can think of better presents! Happy Birthday Maureen. Yes!!! I HAVE to do one of these in my kitchen posts!!
Eva Taylor says
Happy belated birthday my dear friend, I hope you were rightly spoiled! What a lovely new set up for your photos, my photo set-up is rather barbaric and I’m embarrassed to share it, but perhaps one day I too shall participate in this lovely forum In my kitchen. I really must get on to visit Celia too, not sure what has kept me away so long, she seems like a wonderful friend and blogger.
That photo of Charlie is fantastic! Your story of chicken reminded me of a great You Tube posting, I’m sure you’ve seen, but I’ll include it here: http://youtu.be/nGeKSiCQkPw it’s my GO TO cheer up video, always makes me laugh.
PS nice score with the books too.
Krissie - Pearls of Style says
Happy Birthday Maureen! Sounds like it was lovely and spent with your nearest and dearest. Can’t go past that darling little doggie face!
Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au/
Happy Belated Birthday Maureen…you sure got some nice gift…
Charlie is so cute…I love the look that he has.
Have a wonderful week my dear 😀
Vicky and Ruth @mayihavethatrecipe says
Happy Birthday! Great presents, your picture are already great can’t wait to see what you create with your new umbrellas!
John did good!!! 🙂 Nice lights too. There’s no way I could even fit one of those in my kitchen. LOL Of course the new place is going to be something else. Oh the joys of learning where I’ll have to drag my food to take pictures of it. Charlie is too cute for words.
Ansh Dhar says
Happy Birthday, Maureen! Your man sure is a Good man. He knows what you want! Tell him he did good.
and charlie .. I will give you lots of chicken ! You are just too cute!
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Happy birthday Maureen! I’m really impressed with your photograph set up and hope you get some time to relax and work through those books 🙂
Happy belated birthday, Maureen! You got flash umbrellas! Even if you don’t use them, they look so cool! Can’t wait to see what you make from the Artisan cheese book! And how cute is your Charlie! 🙂 xx
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Ah now I see the lights!! That’s awesome! I’m still struggling to use the lights to take pictures (my photos obviously look fake light, instead of natural light…), but started to use for videos so I now don’t feel that I wasted money. =P I hope you show us how to make cheese at home one day! 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day and wow Maureen, true!
Hope you also enjoyed your birthday and LOVE the umbrellas…well done John!
Thanks for this month’s In My Kitchen view!
Happy Belated Birthday. You got some lovely presents!! I loved seeing your photography set up. I like seeing how everyone photographs there food. 🙂 Enjoy it all.
Happy birthday Maureen!! Since you’re still receiving gifts birthday wishes are still on time. 🙂 What great gifts! The men in your house know you well. Thanks for sharing!
OH OH OH your Charlie is just SO SO SO cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀
Fiona @TIFFIN bite sized food adventures says
Another delightful photo of Charlie! I’m very impressed with the set up for your photography – that’s why I’ll never win any awards – too laissez faire! Thanks for the tour Maureen. xx
Oh Fiona, I just need to learn how. I’m not there yet and I’m not even close. 🙂
Laura @ Family Spice says
Charlie is adorable! I just returned to the kitchen this month, after boycotting it for almost two months. I have developed a love-hate relationship with cooking and cleaning!
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, I can’t imagine the emotional ups & downs you’ve been through during these “transitional times.” Bravo to you for balancing them with your kitchen creativity — a sanity saver that yields sustenance — win/win! I just have to tell ya — Charlie is the cutest pup! I got to the end of your post and broke into a grin (with an audible, “awwwwwww!”) and I’m still smiling. Happy Valentine’s Day!