Thursday, December 1, 2011

Summer

Well, Summer is officially here. I have a bittersweet relationship with Summer. If Summer were a person, I would spend my time avoiding her because I can't stand her in all her hotness. But inevitably I would end up at some party, minding my own business, when people all around me start exclaiming "Summer is coming! Summer is almost here! Ohhhh look! It's Summer!" Then Summer would arrive, and her adoring fans would get deliriously happy about how hot she is and I would grumble and groan because Summer is not, nor will she ever be, my friend. But inevitably, I would also get a little bit sucked in by Summer. I would laugh at her jokes and begrudgingly be psyched that she brought grapes and cherries and mangoes with her. My friends and I would inevitably create the kind of memories together that only Summer can bring. And while I will be the first person to ecstatically wave her off when she decides to leave the party, and I can get back to my love of all things cold and rainy, I can accept that Summer brings some pretty unique things to the party that nobody else does quite as well.
So these are the things that I am thanking Summer for:
- Christmas. The greatest thing in the world!
- Grapes, cherries and mangoes
- BBQs and salads
- Sunshine into the night (now if we could just get daylight savings like the rest of the world...)
- Public holidays
- Shorts, dresses and wedges
- No mud being trudged all over our white floor tiles!
- Herb gardening
- Iced coffees
- Chilling in the aircon
- Sun tanning (not that I ever get much, but, you know...)
- Date nights on the foreshore
- Icecream
- Brunch
- My birthday
- Cocktails

When Summer rolls around each year, these things get me through the sweating and the painfully hot car seats. Just. But talk to me in February and I'll tell you that I'm ready to smack Summer right in the mouth. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to enjoy a morning of eating grapes and decorating for Christmas!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Art of Remembering

Hi there! I've been pretty quiet on this blog lately, as people have started to remind me. Sorry! I think my 365 is starting to bum me out - I let it get soooo far behind that it's getting harder and harder to write about the photos that I took all those months ago. Depressing that at the tender age of 25, my brain is forgetting the very details of day-to-day life that I set out to remember by taking on this project! When I was a kid, we travelled to America a few times. Those were some of the greatest times of my life! My Mum got us in the habit of keeping a travel journal from day 1, but being a kid I'd sometimes go for a while without writing anything in it. Then weeks after the trip, I'd finally pick up my travel journal and start writing in it again - back-logging all of my memories and writing about each day as if it had only just happened. It didn't matter that a whole month had passed, I still remembered what we did, what we saw, what we ate on every single day. I still remembered the name of the tiny little towns we stopped in on our road trip, and I knew every event in chronological order, too. Crazy right?! A couple of months ago I noticed that I would come into work on a Monday, and someone would ask what I did over the weekend, and for the life of me I couldn't remember! I would have to think hard before remembering a hen's night, brunch with friends, dinner dates. I mean, wow. These things are the highlights of my days, and yet they escape my immediate recollection so easily. What's with that? Crazy cakes, that's what it is.

So those are the thoughts that I leave you with. I hope that you can relate on some level. Otherwise I'm clearly losing my mind!!!

Insanely Beautiful Shoes: Poetic Licence

For something completely different, I'm going to babble on about shoes. Recently I've discovered my new favourite shoe brand - Poetic Licence. Each one of their shoes is like a pretty little fairy tale for your feet. But I'll let them do some talking for themselves...


Two things I love: my dogs, and pretty shoes. Do you ever wonder if maybe a brand was designed exactly for you??? Love!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 264

I think you know by now that I'm a cold-weather fiend. What can I say? Nothing beats a wet, Wintery day!  I think that my values have influenced those of my little golden curly boy, too! Truthfully, Cupcake adores any opportunity to snuggle and the cold weather really lends itself to that purpose. This was one of the cutest snuggling moments of all time. What a baby...!

What I Did 365 - Day 263

Here we have it friends... photographic evidence that I shouldn't be left to my own devices and trusted to shop alone. I'm a chronic impulse buyer! Everything that you see in my shopping basket is an impulse purchase. I'm pretty sure that on the day I snapped this, I was just ducking into the shops to get some salad, but as you can see, I came out with strawberries, croissants, a baguette, crispy noodles... oh my. Delicious haul, but you can bet that I also would have forgotten the items that I originally sought too. Sigh. I should point out that I'm not normally quite this bad with impulse buying, hence my decision to deem it a photograph-worthy moment. Oh, and looking at this picture seriously makes me miss tights-weather, and also those pink shoes because they have since shredded themselves. First world problems.

What I Did 365 - Day 262 *better late than never...?*

I can't tell you what I was cooking on this occasion, but I can tell you that it was obviously delicious - based on the amount of thyme I clearly threw into it. How great is thyme? It has such a... cozy taste! It's one of my favourite herbs to eat, and also to grow because you can neglect it for months and find that it's doubled in size! Yay thyme!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Today I got a day off work to drink cider and eat BBQ in the sun...

And I hear there was a horse race...?

PS I'm not naked, just wearing a strappy dress. You probably assumed that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

7 Days Of Dinners!

Ooops... so I haven't blogged in a week. Sorry friends! Smack on the hand! Here's this week's *hopefully* delicious meal plan...


Tuesday: Creamy Caprese Pasta with garlic bread (yeah, stolen from this week's plan. Chris was out this week so I made a quick and easy quiche)


Thursday: Chris is hosting a LAN at our house, so I'm spending the night at my parents'

Friday: Bisteeya (Moroccan chicken & almond filo pie) with salad
PLUS *maybe* Caramelised Strawberry Shortcakes for dessert because Hatti's coming over!!!

Saturday: We're out at an engagement party (nawwww!!)

Sunday: Chris is in charge, so who knows?

Hope you have a week of great eating too!

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Feature: 7 Days Of Dinners!


Hey friends! If you've read my blog in the last 24 hours, you know that yesterday I got super-excited about food blogs. One weekly feature I discovered on a couple of them is a 7-day meal plan. I plan my meals for the week in one hit anyway, so I figure why not broadcast it? It'll be a good record for me, and maybe it'll inspire some of you. I'll link to the recipes I'm using whenever I can. Hope you enjoy!

Monday: P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps (I believe P.F. Chang is a restaurant chain in the US)

Tuesday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup with garlic bread




Saturday: Chris is working at a gig, so probably vegemite on toast!

Sunday: Oven-bake fish and salad

Here's to a delicious week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 261

Don't you love those situations in life that involve long, convoluted tales about band mixing and late-afternoon job interviews and unplanned last-minute car swaps? They really keep you guessing! Chris surprised me one Thursday evening by arriving home in a Murdoch University Campus Security Van. You need to know that Chris is not on staff at Murdoch University, let alone part of the security team. So I had a lot of questions, namely "If you've got to steal car, why would you make it a burly security man's car?" Turns out he didn't steal it, and that through a long, complicated turn of events, he simply had to borrow it to race out to a job interview in Mandurah which he unfortunately never made it to (it's OK, he didn't actually want the job anyway, more the interview experience). We spent the evening returning the van and tracking down his car to take us back home. A fun little excursion indeed!

What I Did 365 - Day 260

They ain't pretty, but they're one of the greatest comfort foods out! On the Tuesday we headed home from Margaret River, stopping only to pick up a new shower head at Bunnings (thanks to our old one snapping off in Chris's hands moments before we left for our holiday down south!) and a small handful of groceries at Woolworths. Our meal requirements for the evening were:
1. Something delicious
2. Something comforting (after our long, harrowing road trip)
3. Something easy
Parmesan and parsley-crumbed lamb chops ticked all three requirements, and so while Chris got things in order around the house, I spent 20 minutes crumbing, cooking and salad making, and... voila! Delicious meal! We both adore lamb, so it was the perfect post-holiday meal.

Food Blogs!

 
Today I've had a rare day with Chris. Thursdays mark the start of my 'weekends' (don't get too jealous, I work all the way through yours!!) and Chris has fallen ill with that unshakeable cold that's been going around this season... you know the one, where you're sick for a week, then you're mostly better for a couple of weeks, and then you're hit again? Seems like a heap of my friends and co-workers have been experiencing this particular brand of sickness over the last couple of months!

Anyway, I've spent today rugged up on the couch with my sick husband. We've been watching movies, catching up on the latest How I Met Your Mother and Glee episodes, devouring Mi Goreng (the 2-minute kind) for lunch and other than a nice couple of hours when Steph dropped by to eat dinner with us and borrow a wig from me, we've basically been total slobs. I'm OK with that. In amongst all the TV-watching and noodle-eating, I've been glued to my laptop, hunting down recipe after recipe on Pinterest. Through this process I've been discovering a great number of food blogs, a couple of which I've added to my daily reads. So the purpose of my post today is to celebrate the wonder that is food blogs!

 
How great are food blogs? If you're not into any, but want to check some out, some of my favourites are:
And for every blog I've listed, there's another 10,000 equally amazing blogs that I'm yet to discover! I just LOVE the format of food blogging - every recipe tends to begin with a story or anecdote of some sort, there are multiple photos available of the process as well as the finished product, and there are comments readily available from people who have tried the recipes and have suggestions for making it even better!

A fantastic resource I also discovered today is Food Gawker - the most extensive and amazing collection of links to the very best recipes that have ever been blogged. If you're looking for inspiration for dinner tonight, breakfast on Sunday or just the perfect cake for that upcoming event you're planning, get browsing! My advice does come with a small warning tag: If you love food, you will become addicted to Food Gawker.

So, those are my thoughts on food blogs. I've always wanted to bring more of a foodie element into my blog, so maybe this is just the inspiration I need!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shoes For Every Occasion!

Hi guys. Umm, I love shoes. I've been thinking lots about shoes lately - mostly which pretty pairs to layby next at Betts! Hahaha. But I've been broadening my scope and have discovered Style Tread, basically the greatest shoe resource in Australia (with FREE SHIPPING to boot)! We are broke, and I'm having to hide my debit card from myself this month... but look who's tempting me! I could definitely imagine all of these shoes getting me through those critical moments in life...


Mae Orange by Ko Fashion - for Summer nights spent at the outdoor cinema

Roxie Black by I Love Billy - for shooting an AK47 in the Cu Chi tunnels of Vietnam

Abeeba Yellow by Siren -  for reading the latest issue of Frankie in the park

Girgio Bright Multi by I Love Billy -  for dates to the hardware store


Darva Multi Glitter by Lipstik - for cocktails (mojitos, specifically) with your sisters

Larkan Peach by I Love Billy - for weekly oil painting classes

Mae Aqua by Ko Fashion -  for fun trips to the dog park with your fur-babies

Malaga Black by I Love Billy - for strolling through the Fremantle Markets on a Saturday

Malbi Fuchsia/Orange/Purple by Ko Fashion -  for coffee and window shopping at the mall

Sheena Ice by I Love Billy - for girls' night out at an Italian restaurant.

How great would life be if I had all of those shoes?!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 259

Ohhhhh. Just looking at this picture is making me drool! Monday was our last full day in Margaret River, and we decided to spend the morning wine-tasting. Five wineries in, we were already feeling it (we're not really huge wine drinkers so our bodies were like whaaa???) Chris had a wine headache, and I was feeling totally blah. One thing we realised was that we were supremely hungry, and Chris had a major hankering for a brewery lunch. We'd already hit up the famous Bootleg Brewery over the weekend, and we weren't clambering to get back there in a hurry. Chris remembered that he'd seen a sign for Cowaramup Brewery out on the road, so we went exploring... and hit gold. Oh my. Bootleg doesn't hold a candle to Cowaramup Brewery! For a couple of tired travellers who had been driving through the rain, trekking through mud, starting to get their heads around packing up and going home the next day, it was the perfect comfort meal. Hot beef guinness pies with crunchy beer-battered chips. Mmmmm. Winter lunches should always be so wonderful!

What I Did 365 - Day 258

You know you're photographing a puppy when, 20 shots later, this is the best shot you've got! While in Margaret River, we dropped in on Chris's Grandpa Frank, and his lovely wife Marg. Frank and Marg have recently adopted this super cute little lady, named Layla. It was fun catching up with them while being reminded of the crazy puppy days that we experienced ourselves only a couple of years ago! Sadly we couldn't bring our boys for a play because poor Layla had a leg injury, but she still managed to have a good wrestle and play with Chris! Cuuuuuute!!!

What I Did 365 - Day 257

This is a car which we saw a lot of during our stay in Margaret River. We passed it every time we drove anywhere... just casually sitting at the side of the road. Eventually Chris realised that there was a 'for sale' sign displayed in the window, and he couldn't resist having a little perv! He has a thing for cars. He can name just about any type of car on the road - it's a weird talent that doesn't mesh with my non-car brain. He particularly enjoys old cars and quirky cars. Sometimes we'll be driving along and he'll murmur "Helloooo beautiful" - and he's not talking to me! He's spotted some old restored car, and spends the next little while drooling over it. Chris and I don't fit into every man/woman stereotype, but I will say that the man loves his cars the way I love my shoes!

Friday, October 7, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 256

When I look at this picture, I like to imagine that little Cupcake is crying out "Rooooooad trip!" in excitement.While I have blogged about Margaret River (aaages ago!), I've only just gotten this far in my 365. On this Friday morning, we set off excitedly on our first holiday in just over a year. We don't take a lot of them, so it was a pretty big deal to be taking a break. The road trip was fun, and filled with the anticipation of getting down south and just relaxing. While Dog always chooses to spend his time in the car lying across the back seat, willing away his car-sickness, Cupcake likes to get in between us with his little paws on the glove box, looking out at everything up ahead. It's kind of adorable, and he can be pretty good company when he's not shrieking and yapping in our ears!

What I Did 365 - Day 255

I love little shared experiences with my sisters. We've been known to share sister-breakfast, sister-drinks, sister-op-shopping, and even sister-sunnies (we all got super cool matching sunglasses). Back in July, we decided to purchase sister-Scoopons and go get our sister-hair done. We raced out to Midland as soon as I finished work and made our appointments with seconds to spare! The Scoopons were amazing value - we ended up with cuts, colours and conditioning treatments all for $49! Bargain! Once we were all done, we decided to flash our hair around in the Midland Shopping Centre Food Court. Oh yeah, we know how to stop traffic.

What I Did 365 - Day 254


Bless my amazing sister Steph. Hannah's super great too, but I have to give Steph some credit for a) introducing me to Brands Exclusive, and b) doing so during a Raco sale. Raco! I scored a couple of big stainless steel frying pans at less than half their retail value! On this happy Tuesday in July, my exciting purchase FINALLY arrived! Since taking this photo, these fry pans have become my ultimate favourite pans ever. I love them! I know, I'm a dork, but good quality kitchen gear is so worth it, especially when you get it at a bargain price. Since this purchase, I've mostly just exercised my Brands Exclusive membership by purchasing various shoes. But I highly recommend joining up - I'm completely addicted!

What I Did 365 - Day 253

Back in July, I worked every Monday. It was definitely not a day that I considered to be dear to me. But the Monday after Steph's birthday (Monday the 25th, for those playing at home) a storm began brewing toward the end of the day. By the time I'd done a quick grocery shop after work, this happened. Sigh. Looking at this picture makes me all kinds of happy, especially now that we're warming up and getting lots of attention from Mr. Sun. I love storms. I love rain. I love staring out a window and being faced with the sight of thick grey clouds rolling in, knowing any second now that I'm going to hear and smell the beautiful rain. I love the gloomy, pre-storminess of this photo, because it brings all those feelings back to me. Mmmm Winter. You are a lovely lady.

What I Did 365 - Day 252

Welcome back to my 365! We're now in the month of July... hope you don't mind a bit of time traveling. In July, Hatti moved in with her friend Deanna (housemate match made in heaven!!!) This happy Sunday, she hosted a little house warming party and asked everyone to bring a plate. Oh, the food. The amazing food. There was so much to eat, and it was a lovely little gathering of some great ladies. I had a really great time, and the highlight for me was being told off by our friend Sara's little girl, Ella, because we were talking too loud over Strawberry Shortcake on TV. Nawwww. On the topic of Ella, it's amazing seeing your friends' kids growing up! I remember when Ella was a teeny tiny little newborn, and now she's a smart, chatty little girl. Just amazing.
Oh, and back to Hatti's new living arrangement - it's pretty great for the following reasons:
1. Deanna is cool!
2. Hatti is walking distance from the cafe strip in Vic Park. Brilliant!
3. Basically I don't need any more reasons to convince you. This is a winning arrangement!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Brain Is Fried!

I feel like I need to start this post by setting the record straight - yes, I was trying to look 48 in this picture. Definitely. I was poignantly drawing the contrast between the... uh... crazy young hair of my youth and the impending process of my aging. *OK but seriously do I actually look that old every time I close my eyes?!*

Anyway. My brain is fried, friends. This has been a giant couple of weeks! Work has been super busy, Chris and I have been nutting out the big decisions in life, and... I haven't been sick! Miracle! I have, however, started working weekends now and it's messing with my head like you wouldn't believe! To clarify, I don't mind working Saturdays and Sundays... it's not for the rest of my life, just a season, and I can deal with that just fine. The reason it's messing with me is that I can't get my head around what day of the week it is. Like right now, it's Sunday night but I legitimately thought it was Tuesday for like half the evening. I got the shock of my life to see that Postsecret had been updated. Ha!

Anyway, I just wanted to ramble and convey my confusion. But to avoid this blog post being a complete waste of time, here is a list:

1. I'm seriously jealous of girls with stick-thin legs. How delicate and great are super-skinny legs?
2. Clearing the air here: while I prefer not to cook with jar sauces and packet meals, I don't even slightly judge people who do. It's cheaper and easier and still tastes good. I just enjoy cooking and creating flavours, it makes me happy.
3. I wash my hair once a week. I know, I'm a beast.
4. I hate buying clothes/accessories that are black, so I avoid black things and tend towards colours. Yet at least once a week I get cranky over the fact that I don't own enough black stuff.
5. Moist is a word, people. Get over it ;)
6. I want to go out for cocktails.
7. Tomorrow I'm going to clean our extremely messy bedroom as a surprise, and Chris won't know until he gets home because he doesn't read my blog.
8. I honestly believe that I will never possess the ability to successfully keep goldfish long-term. Frick, they are so hard to keep alive.
9. Oh, but some people are so tiresomely tactless!
10. It's 11.30. It's time to stop rambling. It is.

If you are reading this blog, I love you. Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shoes Shoes Shoes Shoes Shoes!!!!!!

Hahhhhhh. I'm on a massive shoe-high today after deciding that this Summer, I will have the most enviable shoe collection ever. I love shoes!!! And this season's wedges are so fun and colourful and wonderful... everywhere I turn, I see drool-worthy shoes. The spit is flying everywhere (thanks to my vigorous head-turning combined with my drooling)! Eeeep!
Things stepped up a notch today when I purchased these shoes I've been admiring from afar for the last few weeks every time I've passed a Betts store:
Well, I say I purchased them but actually I put them on lay-by. And only just. My brain intoxicated with the loveliness of my new shoes, I channeled Isla Fisher in Confessions of a Shopaholic... specifically that scene where she is struggling to pay for something wonderful, and she's scrambling through her wallet, begging the shop assistant to put through miniscule amounts on various cards... Upon realising I didn't have the funds available to pay for these babies in full, I did the wallet-scramble and managed to scrape them through to lay-by with a dollar to spare, thanks to a handy combo of a $10 note I found in my wallet and the $9.67 on my debit card.

Upon leaving the store, my pretty new shoes safely boxed and in the hands of the very helpful and patient store girl, I realised that my eyes were already wandering. And in a 7-second stroll to the door, I mentally picked out like 10 more pairs of shoes. Ha.

The point of this post is not to declare to you that I will be filling my wardrobe with Betts shoes this season... as much as I'd like to, we so don't have the money! But I do intend to source amazing shoes anywhere that I possibly can. I even made a shoe-plan with Chris tonight (bless a man who will spend a dinner date with his wife talking about shoes!!!) I have to sign a contract and there are strict rules (not even joking!), but at the end of the day I plan to be rolling in beautiful, wonderful shoes. Oh shoes. I love shoes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

From The Sick Bed...

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I know, I'm a terrible person. As more and more of you are beginning to point out, I am like 2 freaking months behind on my 365s. Disgusting, I know! The good news is that I've still been taking the photos (most days). The bad news is that a lot of the time, I'm forgetting the little anecdotes and details of many of my photos already, which is completely messing with the purpose of this project - remembering the little things. Grrrr.

Anyway, me-bashing aside, I am cranky as pants with my health at the moment. In the last month and a half, I've been sick a whopping three times! Three! And these are not short and sharp little head colds... they're hard-core, 9-day-long stretches of splitting head aches, the sorest of sore throats, congestion so severe it would protect my insides from a nuclear explosion (yep, just from my nose being totally blocked up) and the worst part, coughing fits that are so hard and so frequent they've reduced me to a teary ball on the floor. This is not how I've ever experienced sick before, and I'm wayyyyy over it. Thanks for listening to my melt down.

On a slightly less self-pitying note, I've been spending this weekend thinking about the future. I've decided to switch my uni degree back to primary teaching (I'm currently doing early childhood education) and I've been offered a more secure, permanent position at work which has me feeling more settled than I have basically all year since giving up my full-time status for a casual one. But this offer has brought a lot of things to the surface and I'm now trying to answer questions that I just can't - what do I want my immediate future to hold? A stable job? A baby? A focus on finishing my degree? Do I pursue the dream I've had for years, to open a cupcakery? Do I dabble in the event-planning path that's caught my interest lately? How brave do I let myself be? Bless my husband, who is waiting patiently for me to work these things out for myself.

I don't understand people whose lives are black and white - and I don't mean that in a negative way at all. I just don't get how someone can come up with the 'grand plan' that they then stick to for 50 years. Life would sure be a lot easier that way. I just change too much - my hopes, my dreams, my goals, my mind... it's all just constantly moving.

Anyway, my cold & flu medication is swirling through my brain right about now and my eyes are slowly being forced close, so I'll leave you with my thoughts and take a good, long sleep. I hope!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dad

I'd like you to meet my Dad! I've said a word or two about him before, but I feel like it's time you got a closer look at the amazing man that I look up to as my father. Recently my family has been sorting through boxes and crates of things we've been holding onto for years, and through that I've been flooded with memories of my childhood and the things that made it so sweet. To celebrate Father's Day, tonight we're gathering around my parents' TV and watching old family videos. So to go along with this theme of going back and remembering, I figured I'd introduce you to my Dad through the eyes of a much younger version of me!

- My Dad used to entertain us for hours in the evenings with his stories of "When I was a little boy". We found it all so fascinating to learn about our Dad as a kid, the various animals that his family kept in their house, the way school used to be... everything. I remember us crowding around and begging him for more stories. It was so much fun!

- He built his own electrical contracting business from the ground up. His company cars were re-purposed ambulances (which I always thought was the coolest thing ever!) and as a teenager, I developed little crushes on various apprentices of his throughout the years!! He also hired me for my first ever job, to help him catch up with filing all of his invoices. I was the least committed employee ever... sorry Dad!

- When I was 10, I had a 'haunted house' themed birthday party. I don't remember much of that party, other than the spooky-themed treats that my Mum prepared... and the moment when my Dad, decked out in a full vampire costume (complete with fake blood drizzling down his face) surprised us all by jumping into the living room and chasing us around while we screamed! That ended up being one of my favourite birthday parties ever...

- My Dad knew everything - I was always gobsmacked by his knowledge, and the fact that he could answer every question that I threw at him. Whenever I asked how come he knew so much, his response was always "Because I'm a Daddy".

- How many Dads are ticklish? Mine is! It was always incredibly tempting to try and tickle Dad when he wasn't expecting it... of course, it tended to backfire because we were all ticklish too, and he was a lot stronger than all of us put together!

- My Dad has a super low voice, even moreso when he sings. Listening to old music in his car, he always sang along with the guy singing the bass part. (When Chris does this occasionally, it always reminds me of sitting in the car with Dad, listening to him sing).

- It was always incredibly special and exciting when Dad got home from work at the end of the day, especially when we were little.Just hearing the front door close at the other end of the house was one of the greatest moments every night.

These days, I still need and rely on my Dad for a lot of things. Even after I got married, I asked him to help me find a new car. He knows so much about things like cars, home maintenance and appliances, so I usually go straight to him for advice when something breaks down. I love him so much, and he loves me and my family. How blessed am I?? Happy Fathers Day Dad - you're amazing!!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 251

Like I said, shenanigans! The day after Steph's birthday, we woke up bright and early and headed to AQWA - the Aquarium of WA. When we were kids, this was the most magical place ever... and we still love it. There's just something so wonderful about sea life, it's something I've always considered to be intriguing and beautiful. After getting our dose of colourful fish (and after petting this super cute little manta ray that was clambering for attention in the touch pool!) we headed out to Hillarys Boat Harbour for lunch and a spot of shopping. Then, like the true women we are, my Mum and sisters and I drove out to Whitfords for more shopping! As you can see in the photo above, many hats were tried on. It was a really fun, happy day spent with my family! And in the evening I went out to Eat Greek with some friends for Kirstin's birthday, where we stuffed ourselves on the Greek buffet and watched the waiters break plates and dance in a ring of fire on the floor. Amazing!

What I Did 365 - Day 250

Not to brag or anything, but I kind of gave Steph the best birthday present out of everyone else. Who wouldn't want their very own "Down down, prices are down" Coles hand??


Hahaha. So anyway, Steph chose to have a family dinner on the night of her birthday, with a day of varying shenanigans the following day (post to come!) Our friends Jo, Sean and Helen all joined us too, which was a lot of fun. We grew up with Sean and Helen and enjoyed many dinners and outings together. Now we're all grown up, we don't get to see too much of each other, so for all of us to be available for Steph's birthday was really nice! Meanwhile, I can't believe that my youngest sister is 20 years old! Whaaaat...???

What I Did 365 - Day 249

Hmmm, Dog looks kinda like he's been super-imposed on this picture after my funky colour editing! So anyway, this is Dog. I know, you've met him before but he doesn't get featured on my blog anywhere near as often as Cupcake does! Dog's a little more camera-shy, and also a little less of an attention seeker - usually when Cupcake's doing the silly things that find me pulling out my iPhone camera, Dog's asleep on his usual spot on the couch, head hanging over the armrest like he's been knocked unconscious by Jackie Chan. I'd take photos of this, but we don't actually have a light-fitting in that room and it's just too dark to photograph anything! So anyway, Dog. I never pictured myself owning a blue heeler, but I love it! I love having him around because he is beautiful and gentle and loving, and he makes me feel incredibly safe when I'm home alone at night. Dog inhales his food and just the other night swallowed a chicken drumstick whole (for those not in-the-know, cooked bones are super dangerous, especially chicken drumsticks). When he wants a cuddle, he'll flop down right on top of us in a smother-hold. He goes into full attack-dog mode when faced with brooms, vacuum cleaners and hammers. He loves drinking water, and when it's dinner time he spins around in circles in sheer excitement. I love this guy to bits, and I'm loving learning his little quirks more and more each day.

What I Did 365 - Day 248

Cherries! Sweet, sweet cherries! This is not a sight I'm accustomed to stumbling upon on my bi-weekly grocery shop for the office at the moment. At the time this picture was taken, we were in the middle of Winter. My eyebrows wiggled as I computed the fact that cherries = Summer. In fact, cherries are one of three things that I look forward to about Summer (the other two things are Christmas and BBQs, for the record). In general, I hate Summer but these red little jewels are a bit of an incentive for me to buckle up and sweat out the months between December - April (we have loooong Summers here in Perth). I was pretty delighted to find that I could have my Winter and my cherries all at the same time this year! They're imported from the USA, but some of the best things in life are (such as Hollywood movies, and my husband). Yum! Cherries!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finally... What We Did In Margaret River!

Gah! I can't believe how behind I am here (as I have been consistently, lately...) I've finally decided to suck it up, do some late-ish night photo editing and let you know exactly what we got up to in Margaret River a couple of weeks ago...


We stayed at Silver Springs Cottages and I'd highly recommend it... This is the big cosy bed that greeted us as we walked in the door post-3 hour drive!

Mmmmm... relaxing spa bath...

Our baby kitchen! We cooked a couple of meals here but... no oven!
In terms of what we did and saw...

We admired beautiful chocolates at the chocolate factory (and ate more than our fair share of free samples, as you do).

 Chris chased me with an axe... (side note, I once had a dream that resembled this scenario... eeep!)

We found beef cheeks at Margaret River IGA... my (now former) favourite cut of beef. I had no idea it looked this awful...! My stomach churns just looking at it- now yours can too!

I stared at pretty cakes at Provedore... yeah, I basically bought chermoula seasoning and porcini mushroom salt just so that I could get close enough to the counter to photograph these ;)
Chris got a little bit perv-y with this black 'beauty' - which was for sale!

Cupcake got into the snuggling big-time.

We had our socks rocked off with beef & Guinness pies and beer-battered fries at Cowaramup Brewery (funky bar stool eh?)

And did I mention there was plenty of snuggling for this little opportunist? (Dog snuggled too, but stayed away from the camera..!)

We grabbed some pizza at Good Fellas... I went with the Indian pizza, and Chris went with the Mexican.

Did I mention the pretty chocolates at the Chocolate Factory? Hmmm!

We got to meet Chris's grandfather and step-grandmother's new little labradoodle puppy, a wildly adorable little thing called Layla!

And as we drove out of Margaret River for home, she waved us goodbye with a pretty rainbow.

It was quite a wonderful holiday, and we came back home with a MASSIVE bounty of gourmet foods and wines. Hahhhh. Bliss. It was also really fun being able to bring our boys with us on holiday... we got a massive kick out of watching them exploring and racing through the bushland which surrounded our cottage.

Soooo can we go back now?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What I Did 365 - Day 247

A couple of months ago I posted this. And not so long after posting it I noticed a friend's Facebook post, a shout-out letting people know that Catch of the Day had a really excellent deal on a basic Pro-Tools pack, with recording software and a midi keyboard. Pro-Tools juuuuust happens to be the recording software that I learnt how to use when I did my Cert II in Electronic Music! So that day at 7.30am, when I should have been grabbing breakfast and getting ready for work, I was scrambling around for my credit card and purchasing this great package! Well... Day 247 of my 365 project happens to be the day that I came into work to discover that my beloved new keyboard and software had been delivered!!!! I haven't set it up yet, but I'm just so excited... I've been dreaming about purchasing Pro Tools since I started studying that Certificate a few years ago. Yay!

What I Did 365 - Day 246

I don't credit myself on beautiful presentation in my cooking, but occasionally things end up looking quite amazing! And really, how could a mess of luscious red strawberries not look gorgeous?? On this Sunday night we were having Chris's family over for dinner. I cooked a yummy chicken cacciatore with an antipasto flat bread, and that chocolate ganache tart topped with strawberries. It was a really lovely way to spend a Sunday night. There's something special about spending Sunday nights with people, and it's starting to become my favourite night for entertaining!

What I Did 365 - Day 245

Tehehe. Quite the T-shirt, no? We found it at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory in the Swan Valley. Oh what were we doing there, you ask? Just being the most giving sister and brother-in-law in the world, of course!! My sister Steph's birthday was coming up, so being the generous people we are, we draaaagged ourselves away from weekend chores and forced ourselves to go out to the Chocolate Factory to buy her a present! Steph is a little bit in love with a particular dessert sauce which they sell there, so we picked that up and figured while we were there, we might as well buy ourselves some chocolatey treats and sit down for hot chocolates and scones. But you know, we were thinking birthday thoughts the entire time. Definitely.

What I Did 365 - Day 244

I *love* clouds. Taking this picture was actually really difficult and, um, maaaaaybe also COUGHillegalCOUGH. I may or may not have taken it while I was driving home on the freeway on a Friday after work, in peak traffic. We were bumper to bumper, the car wasn't moving when I took it but... yeah. Anyway! To me this picture portrays the perfect Friday evening... clouds rolling across the sky and bringing with them the promise of a cosy, rainy evening at home. There are some things in life that will give me an instant buzz, and the thought of snuggling up on the couch with my man and my dogs, watching TV and listening to the rain pattering outside is one of those things! Have I mentioned lately how much I looooove Winter? Heh.

What I Did 365 - Day 243

Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! I DREAM of welcoming a sexy Kitchen Aid Mixer into my kitchen someday. And at almost $800 a pop... it's a pretty rich dream. Ha. But on a Thursday night, when Chris was spending some man-time at JB Hifi and dreaming about computers, I couldn't resist having a perv on these magnificant machines at Kitchen Warehouse. Oh, I love them. But do you want to know an embarrassing secret? I yearn for a Kitchen Aid Mixer for two kind of amateur, lame reasons:
1. They come in stunning colours
2. Everybody else wants one.
Yep, I'm nothing if not a victim of consumerism and good marketing. Ask me how much research I've done on these babies (zilch). Ask me how many online reviews I've read about them (none at all). And ask me how many of my friends have a Kitchen Aid Mixer and have given me their firm recommendation (again, zero). Basically my dream is based on some of the most shallow desires in the book! But I soooo don't care. I still want one really badly!

What I Did 365 - Day 242

This semester at uni, I had to make a sacrifice. Because I'm doing a day of prac placement each week, I've only taken on one class instead of the four that would make me full-time. This means I'm only at uni for 2 hours each week, first thing on a Monday morning. So what's the sacrifice? That would be the beautiful and wonderful George's Kebabs! George's has an insane following of kebab-hungry Curtin students (and former students!) and I was first introduced to it by my sister Hannah when she was studying Nursing at Curtin, and I would come and meet her for lunch sometimes. My order never changes - I always get a chip roll with chicken salt, cheese and lettuce. I can't possibly explain the amazing-ness of this simple meal. Anyway, this is all irrelevant because I'm now on a George's detox for this semester, thanks to my timetable. Luckily I had to attend a prac seminar the week before uni started which ended at lunch time, and I managed to indulge one last time. It was actually the best George's I've ever eaten - and made by George himself - and there could not have been a more perfect send-off for me. Sniff.

What I Did 365 - Day 241

I'm here to admit that I spent $6 on a small punnet of strawberries. Cringe. I just got so excited at the grocery store when I saw that the strawberries were huge and juicy looking, and had started dropping in price slightly. My regard for a reasonable price to pay for strawberries went out the window, and I snagged that over-priced little punnet essentially to be slightly disappointed. Early season strawberries are obviously not the way to go. They were fine, but not amazing, and definitely not $6 amazing! Oh well. They look pretty sexy all plated up with that decadent Gu Chocolate Pudding. I hope you're drooling! This was a somewhat over-the-top lunch dessert I had at work on a Tuesday. Sometimes you just need to do things like this.

What I Did 365 - Day 240

Black carrots! I mean... black carrots! Can you see them there? I have never seen black carrots in my life, but on an indulgent trip to Tony Ale (my favourite grocery store in the WORLD) I spotted these and had to take them home for experimentation's sake! Here's what I learnt about black carrots that night:
1. When you cut them open, they go from black, to a pretty purple middle layer, to a crisp white core
2. They taste exactly like orange carrots
3. According to one of my sisters, they are credited as being good for prostate cancer (?)
So there you go. Beautiful, shiny black carrots. Great in a stir-fry, FYI.

What I Did 365 - Day 239

Awwwww. How cute are my magnets? (And do you see me in my cool purple pyjamas reflected in the fridge there? Tehehe). My Mum is the reason that I love crafts. Not only did she foster my creative gene and gave me countless crafts and mediums to play around and experiment with as a kid, she's also big on craft herself! Lately she's been making sweet little cross-stitched magnets as gifts for friends and family (and keeping a few favourites for herself too!) So far I've acquired the cute bird house and, at family dinner recently, the pretty watering can to start my collection off (how great is that button??) My fridge definitely has room for a few more! *wink wink*