Steve Clisby on The Voice Australia

My personal friend Steve Clisby is a contestant on The Voice Australia this season.

Steve is a very talented guy with a great work ethic, apart of being a pianist and singer Steve is also a great photographer. I have a great shot of Sydney which he brought as a gift to my house in lieu of wine one time when he came to dinner. Guests like that are always appreciated.

Steve really knows how to look after his health, being a person who does not eat meat and who does not drink alcohol or smoke. It shows in his face that he’s happy and healthy.

Dinner at home with Steve Clisby, Taj Mahal, Kester Smith and Larry Fulcher
Dinner at home with Steve Clisby, Taj Mahal, Kester Smith and Larry Fulcher
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Aldi Bauhn 9.7″ Wi-Fi Android Tablet Review

I purchased the Aldi Bauhn Tablet on 23 February 2013 (I also bought the Bauhn Tablet Case and Bluetooth Keyboard).

I had no expectations about the tablet. I just hoped it would work for me.

Aldi Bauhn Tablet Feb 2013

It certainly does. I’m impressed at the battery life 10+ hours suits me fine. The screen is clear – no issues there. The speed is very good, faster  than my cable connected laptop.

At the moment I’m using wi-fi from my home router for the internet connection. I don’t want a monthly plan so I’m considering the Savvytel $99.95 for 10Gig of data – 365 day expiry to get true mobile internet.


I declined to buy the $14.99 SanDisk 16GB SDHC card from Aldi, deciding to purchase a 32GB version for $21.20 on eBay. PS The 32GB card arrived in 2 days. Installed easily (it’s tiny), no problems with the slot cover, tablet picked it up immediately, so now I have 48GB storage.

Re the Bauhn Tablet Case and Keyboard (I’m using it right now) it works fine the bluetooth automatically disconnects after a while (maybe 5 mins) and reconnects when you hit a key. Sure it’s a bit bulky, but it does include the keyboard, like carrying a small book. No problem for me. The issue I have is that it’s obviously NOT designed to fit their own product (most likely suits an iPad better) because the cutouts to allow access to the on/off switch aren’t perfectly placed. The cutout for the rear camera barely makes it over the camera. You can’t access the volume controls at all, but of course you can via the keyboard. The $29.99 price is great, I’ve seen others which look just the same to me for over $80.

So all things considered I’m a very happy buyer. For $249 + $29.99 I’ve got a totally functional android tablet. Well done Aldi.

UPDATE:  With the help of a sharp craft knife my husband cut away sections of the case to make the buttons and headphone jack more accessible. Then I painted over the cut sections with black nail polish – looks just perfect.

UPDATE TWO: My original Bauhn tablet gave me some trouble – doing strange things like accessing apps without my input and then the battery said it was 100% charged one minute and zero charge the next. Once turned off it would not turn back on. I called the Tempo Australia support people who recommended I do a reset – you can do this procedure either from a turned off state or when it’s on – I did the reset and still had issues. I was told to return it (given a return authorisation) and they would check it.  I did return it to them – they give a Australia Post authorisation so I didn’t need to pay for postage. After a few days I called them to check progress and was told the unit was not repairable (I don’t know what went wrong with it) and they sent me a brand new one. The whole return process took a week till I received the new one. So no complaints from me about their service.

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Homewell Ice Cream Maker Review

Well, after my disappointing experience with the Aldi Ice Cream Maker I considered my options, should I a) give up and buy commercial ice cream? b) spend a heap more money to get the type of maker which has a freezing mechanism or c) try another brand of the (much) cheaper sort of ice cream maker (with the inner bowl you need to thoroughly freeze before use).  Given that makers of type c exist, I figured they must work, right?

I found a “Homewell” brand maker in a local shop, by accident when browsing, it only cost $19.95, so I thought I’d buy it and try it.  I’m glad I did. It works!

Homewell Ice Cream Maker

I got everything as cold as I could. The inner bowl had been in the freezer for a week. I think it’s found a permanent place there. I chilled the outer bowl in the fridge, I even put the paddle in the freezer. Then I placed the ice cream mix (recipe below) in the freezer for 20 minutes, just to ensure success (given that it’s summer here and quite hot). Within 25 minutes the mixture thickened up and the only issue I had was that I heard a clicking noise and didn’t know what it was until I removed the ice cream from the bowl.   A quantity had frozen very hard against the inner bowl and the paddle was scraping against it. All up I let it mix for about 35 minutes.

The resulting consistency was good, and definitely “ice cream”.

The simple no egg recipe is as follows:-

  • 300ml of milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar – I used caster sugar
  • 600ml of thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon of best quality vanilla essence
  • Place milk in a bowl, add sugar and mix until sugar has dissolved (no need to heat)
  • Add thickened cream and mix, add vanilla essence and mix.

Ice Cream!

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Review Aldi Lumina Ice Cream Maker

A few days ago a local current affairs program had a story about the chemicals and artificial junk which goes into commercial ice cream.  I have known about this for a while and have not bought much ice cream because of the issue. Of course there is the natural gourmet variety available, but it’s usually prohibitively expensive so I haven’t bothered to buy any at all.

Well… given that it’s summer here the odd ice cream treat is very welcome. So I thought I’d give making my own a go. Aldi had an ice cream maker on sale last week so I bought one. It is the kind which has a inner bowl (double walled and filled with some kind of liquid) which needs to be frozen for 8 (per the instructions) to 12 hours before use. So when I got it home straight in the freezer it went. I checked out the recipes in the accompanying instruction booklet and decided to try the lemon sorbet. I made up the lemon sorbet mix per the recipe and left it in the refrigerator while the bowl was in the freezer. At 1.30 in the morning I attempted to make the sorbet.

Aldi Ice Cream maker

It was a total failure. Absolutely no freezing of the sorbet mix at all. So, I placed the freezer bowl back in the freezer and tried again at around 11.30 the next morning. Same result, no freezing at all.

So I hit Google and tried to find a solution. The only answer seems to be the bowl wasn’t cold enough. So I checked the setting on my freezer and made it the coldest possible. I waited another 10 hours and tried again. Same result, NO freezing of the sorbet mix. Very disappointing. I gave up and just froze the sorbet mix in a container in the freezer.

I really wanted to make my own ice cream so I tried again with another recipe – this time for ice cream. I made up the ice cream mix per the recipe, chilled it in the freezer this time, and of course the freezer bowl was still in the freezer (on coldest setting). So hours later, I tried again. The ice cream mix was actually starting to set before I placed it in the ice cream maker bowl so I thought this time would be successful, but NO, I was wrong. The mixing process actually liquified it more (considering there was some setting from being placed in the freezer). So TOTAL FAILURE.

I called the support number and got a call back from their technical people, who could not offer any additional tips. So I took up their suggestion that I return the product and get my money back, which is exactly what I did. I’d be very surprised if Aldi does get a stream of people returning the unit. I’m not sure what the problem was. Wrong type of liquid in the double walled bowl? Not enough liquid? I don’t know, but I’m very disappointed as I wanted to be able to make my own ice cream and it’s not as if I didn’t try.

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Writing

I haven’t been writing many blog posts lately as I have been writing three non-fiction books and fiction books I’ve published on Amazon since March. Please take a look at the book titles listed above – each has it’s own page.

I’m just about to publish my second fiction story and I’m in the process of working on two more. Yes! two different stories I’m writing at the same time. Very different storylines.

If you need some tips on self-publishing (i.e. for Amazon Kindle) send me a message – check out my contact information page for my details.

Sorry you can’t leave comments here, the spam just got too much!

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Dior J’adore – The Perfect Commercial?

Is this the perfect commercial? Stunningly beautiful imagery. Surprise. Great catchy music. Very few words.  Advertising at it’s best.  You WANT to see it again.

New J’adore movie , filmed exclusively in the ‘Galerie des Glaces’ at the ‘Château de Versailles’.

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring Charlize Theron and digitized movie goddesses
Music : Heavy cross by Gossip

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