The Anatomy of a Cake

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My cherub recently turned 5. I remember all too well being the size of the average dual cab truck and weighing much the same as one too. Good God I was big with her! But now here it is 5 years later and I’m back to the size I was before I had kids. That doesn’t mean of course that I have or ever will give up CAKE!!!!

Here is the process I went through in order to make my Cheurb’s birthday cake, in pictures:



You don’t want to know the discussions that were had over who got to lick her nipple tassels off. Eww. (BTW nobody did. It was too disturbing a concept for me)

But the cake was delish :).


Happy Belated Mother’s Day

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A glimpse into the fun times at Sami’s house

Overheard conversation:

Princess:  Look, it’s an aeroplane

Cherub: Is it a Tiger aeroplane?

Princess: I can’t see. But if it was it would be full of tigers grrrr

Cherub: And if it was a virgin plane, it would be full of virgins.

(That’s not what I heard)

 After eating all of her spaghetti bolognaise:

Cherub: I ate it all up. Even the marshmallows!

(I put mushrooms in my bolognaise, in case you were wondering)

 Looking at the clouds:

Princess: Mummy, those look like serious (meaning cirrus) clouds.

Me: yeah, I heard they had no sense of humour

Princess: (blankly) No, that must mean something serious is about to happen.

(her sense of humour will develop over time, I’m sure)

 Exact conversation that took place between me and my four year old Cherub

Cherub: Do you want to play shops mummy?

Me: Ok, sure

Cherub: What would you like?

Me: (knowing what plastic food is available) I’ll have a banana split—that’s banana with ice cream on it.

Cherub: I can’t do that

Me: Then I’ll just have a plain banana

Cherub: Ok. Would you like ice cream too?

Me: I thought  you didn’t have… oh okay I’ll have banana and ice cream.

Cherub: Would you like chocolate or vanilla

Me: Vanilla

Cherub: I only have chocolate

Me: For goodness sakes. Don’t offer me something you don’t have! What kind of joint are you running?

Cherub: I told you I only have chocolate or vanilla

Me: And I want vanilla

Cherub: With your banana?

Me: Yes! With my banana. I want vanilla ice cream with my banana.

(Finally my meal is delivered. One banana with… a chocolate ice-cream cone. All day of this and people wonder why I drink)

And then it begins again with the drinks

Cherub: Would you like milk or juice

Me: Milk please.

Cherub: I don’t have any milk

Me: Can’t you pretend to have milk?

Cherub: Nope

Me: But you’re pretending to have juice

Cherub: Can’t pretend to have milk

Me: All right I’ll have some juice but when I drink it I’ll pretend it’s milk

Cherub: Nooooooo!

I will never understand the rules of pretend shops.



All I Want For Christmas


Sami’s wish list

  • No stress shopping, aka, an underground parking space when I need one, a trolley that is big enough for all my
    Sami's small but cute Chrissie tree

    Sami’s small but cute Chrissie tree

    purchases, and well behaved children. I actually had all this happen yesterday. Wow! Mind you I got to the shopping centre before 8am to get that parking space and the kids were only well behaved two thirds of the time. But two thirds is pretty good. And I was wearing great shoes.

  • For the kids to believe in magic for at least another year. Reading Princess’s letters to ‘Santa’ just makes me melt and want to hug her for being so sweet and innocent. I dread the day she becomes a cynical teenager and heaps scorn upon me for all the Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny related lies I’ve told.
  • Dappled sunlight and a light breeze on Christmas Day. We are staying near the house and near the pool thank you very much. But I still don’t want to content with 40 degree heat with a house full of people waiting to be fed. No thanks.
  • For everyone in my combined family to be gentle and kind to one another.
  • If I wrote a letter fo Santa it would be to wish we could trade in all the material things we think we want for that one thing we need more than anything in this world–for all our children to be safe in their schools, in their daycare centres, in their beds. Please, can’t we work harder for that? Please?
  • For all my readers and writer friends and online friends and followers and bloggers and book reviewers and publishers to have a Christmas that inspires fond memories in years to come. Let’s all make the most of what we have and appreciate time with family and friends for what it is—a necessary miracle.

Love and best wishes for the season,


Tell me sweet little lies

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I told a lie today. An outright lie, not just a twist of the truth or an omission. I was asked if I’d ever been to America. Althought I’ve been to the Romantic Times Convention twice, visiting LA and Chicago, I said no.

You see I have a day job and at that day job nobody knows anything about this Sami Lee thing that I do. For reasons convoluted enough that I won’t go into them here, the day job people becoming aware of the night job could cause all sorts of implosions I have no intention of dealing with if I can avoid it. So, for the past two years when I’ve traveled to the US, I’ve been ‘in Sydney’.

So am I a bad person? Lying on a regular basis is not generally considered to be a good quality. Neither is the ability to do it with alacrity considered a positive attribute in an individual. And I can lie pretty well without the blushing or stammering that might ordinarily accompany a dose of guilt, which I think means I’m good at it. I’ve had years of practice, you see. I used to lie to get into nightclubs when I was underage. I once had a job that required me to daily reinvent that old corker ‘the cheque’s in the mail’. I tell my kids there’s a tooth fairy and make up stuff for a living (at the non day job :)). So yes, I can tell a convincing fib when required.

For the record I don’t think I am a bad person, but I am pragmatic. I do what’s required to make my way through life, and sometimes that does mean putting the truth aside in favor of a lie. I’ve lied to protect my job, as mentioned. I’ve lied to protect friends, to save from hurting someone’s feelings. Aside from one shameful incident for which I will not provide details, I’ve never lied to intentionally hurt another person. I’m human. I’m imperfect. But I try to be good. When it suits me, anyway :).

So, what are the lies you tell—big or small? Or are you an ‘honesty is always the best policy’ person? And how come there’s such a thing as a white lie and not a black lie? What’s with that?


Diary of a Netaholic


I lost my home internet last week. Not just for a day last week but for almost ALL of last week.

Yes, things were that bad.

 Day 1 without Internet:

Changing over internet service providers, that’s all. No big deal. Service will be up and running again in a day

Day 2 without internet:

So, still no connection. Does this company know that a day is only 24hrs long? Are they counting the days in tortoise hours, where everything moves really, really slow? Oh well, I do have my smart phone so it’s not THAT much of an emergency. I can read tweets and check yahoo.

Day 3 without internet:

I’m getting a headache from constantly staring at the teeny-tiny screen on my phone. Beginning to realise how important checking twitter feeds and facebook posts and emails has become to me. Start to wonder if I should be concerned about this dependence. Vow to google question: “ how do you know when you’re addicted to the Internet?”—just as soon as I have access to the web again (irony? What irony?)

Day 4 without internet:

Dear Internet Service Provider Man,

I received your email inquiring as to whether I was satisfied with my recent service experience. I am responding to let you know that, sure, I’m happy. As happy as Katie Holmes during a Tom Cruise movie marathon, and by that I mean I’m not FUCKING HAPPY. You and me have what you might call ‘irreconcilable differences’. To clarify: You think you have hooked up my internet, but I am of the opinion that you have, er, not. So my recent service experience has entailed receiving no service at all. It has sucked dead dingoes dongers. I have no internet at my house. I have been staring at a 4 inch screen all week and everything else in the world is starting to look really, really big by comparison. I watched a movie on my TV last night and I thought I was at the fucking cinema. Which would be great, except I’m now dieting so that means no popcorn for me. Oh joy. No fucking popcorn and no fucking internet.

So in summary, get my fucking internet up and running ASAP. Or at least send me some fucking popcorn.


Sami ‘Do you realise I’m waiting on news from an editor?’ Lee

Day 5 without internet:

Who’s children are those? When did I have children? Oh well, no internet, so I suppose I can play with the children.

Day 6 without internet:

What? A service person is coming around to the house to fix the problem with the internet? Hmm, just when I was getting into the Tinkerbell game and playing I Spy. And here he comes with the questions. ‘What sort of splitter cable do you have?’, ‘What’s your usual bandwidth?’, and ‘What’s your user key and passcode?’. My shoulders are starting to hurt from all the shrugging. My feminist ideals shrink to the size of a pea when I’m forced to declare, ‘My husband usually does all this stuff’. Germaine Greer would be so proud. It was probably apropos that I was wearing fluffy slippers and herding kids like cattle when he came to the door. Ah, the little woman, doesn’t have a clue about this technology business. *head pat*

But what do I care what he thinks of me? My ignorance compelled the man called Brian to fix it all for me, didn’t it? Hubby said I should play dumb more often.

It’s so cute that he thought I was playing.



(Who’s just glad to be back online)

Mum’s the Word


It’s my Princess’s birthday today—she has graduated from being Princess 6 to Princess 7. My oh my how they grow up fast. I was writing a post the other day about how motherhood has changed me and it ended up getting all deep and meaningful, with some sad stuff in there because sometimes motherhood can be oh let’s just say trying, shall we? But as it’s my eldest baby’s special day, I thought I’d turn my focus to the good, the great and the beautiful.

5 things about being a mother that rock:

  1. Being able to go to the cinema to see an animated movie without being looked at like you’re weird (this holidays Ice Age 4 and Brave, here we come)
  2. It’s taught me tolerance—tolerance for other people’s children when they’re throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket, tolerance for pain (before my root canal it was described to me by someone I work with [note: a male someone] as the worst pain he’d ever experienced. I had my root canal and… meh. It wasn’t pleasant but, dude, I was in labor for 17hrs then I had to have my uterus cut open and a small human being dragged out of it. I then had to try and breastfeed that human until my nipples bled, all without anything stronger than mild Panadol so I didn’t drug my newborn. Your root canal? Gimmie a break)
  3. Having your 7yr old ask you stuff like this, with complete ingenuousness: “Mummy, if my wobbly tooth falls out on my birthday, will I get an extra super special surprise?” So cute 🙂
  4. Getting to make up the tooth fairy’s rules to suit your situation. “Maybe, sweetie, but don’t try and pull it out. I’m pretty sure the super special surprise wouldn’t count unless the tooth falls out by itself.”  [The tooth fairy is dealing with a super special birthday cake bake-a-thon and a fairy themed afternoon tea for 10 7yr olds this week. She does not need the added pressure of a super special surprise to deal with]
  5. Having your gorgeous daughters make little crafty things for you that say things like ‘you are the best mum in the whole wide world’. I’m pretty sure she’s biased, but I’ll take it.







A Day in the Life of… You


So today I was plugging away at my day job, wistfully wishing I were home writing and I had a profound thought. Day jobs suck. Yes, profound I said.

The best movie about office work EVA

Don’t get me wrong, mine is actually pretty good, as far as jobs go. By that I mean I’ve had way, WAY suckier modes of employ in the past. Oh, God, so many terrible bosses out there. So, so many crummy menial tasks that some poor sucker has to perform. I’ve been there, I’ve done menial and the job I have now is a big improvement. My current boss is reasonable, the hours suit me, the atmosphere is usually cheerful and I get paid a lot better than I used to for tending bar all those years ago, which was much harder on my feet. All in all, I have it pretty decent.

Still, there are days like today when I just don’t want to be there. Not the greatest thing to say in the current climate where so many people would love a job like mine, so guilt does abound. But that didn’t stop me spending the majority of my day checking twitter and yahoo on my phone, which was surreptitiously concealed beneath my desk.

And I got to thinking: I don’t know what anyone else’s day job is. When we’re in Romance Land, we just want to be in Romance Land, so rarely do authors or reviewers or readers discuss that other place that takes us away from where we’d, in a perfect world, be spending every single minute of our time. Right? So tell me everyone… What do you do for a crust? (Oz-ism lesson number 43. Translation: How do you earn your living?).

Do we have any lawyers, doctors, police officers, sanitation experts or tap dance teachers among our readership? Stay at home mothers (the hardest working women in the world), stay at home dads (rarest gems in the human kingdom), or budding authors?

Please tell me how you spend your time away from Romance Land!



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