Saturday, December 22, 2012


With Japan only 2 sleeps away (1 if you consider I might not sleep Sunday night), my excitement levels are rising very quickly. Sunday, we have a wedding to attend which has been at the forefront of our minds..considering S is a groomsmen.

Our itinerary looks like this: 

Arrive in Tokyo on December 24th - 2 nights. 
Hakuba, Nagano (skiing) - 7 nights
Tokyo - 7 nights

Also, whilst we are in Tokyo we are making a one night stop in Kyoto.

Since we were in Japan last year, we have a pretty good idea of what we would like to see and where we would like to go. Our biggest struggle last time though, was finding places to eat that we would both enjoy.

We are flying over on Jetstar Business Class (starclass?) and I am struggling with the decision of what to wear. It will be 25 + degrees here and only about 5 once we reach Tokyo. I had originally planned on tights and a tunic style winter jumper, but it will be way too hot in Sydney to wear that. Even worse at the stop over in Cairns where I can imagine it will be pretty muggy.

Have you been to any of these places?
If so, do you have recommendations for restaurants/bars etc?
What do you wear on a plane when going from one climate to another?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What else do you do...

When it is 30 degrees outside? I think it is well known that I don't cope in the heat (and if it wasn't before, it is now). When I woke up on Sunday morning, I went downstairs and let Teddy out to go to the loo and discovered how hot it already was at 8:30am.

S and I decided it was about time we headed for a beach day, so we caught the bus then ferry to Manly to meet with his brother, J. J lives close to Manly Beach, but we decided on Manly Cove since there are no waves and we could use the pool floats to relax and well...float around. 
For $10 pool floats (from the $2 shop), they certainly did the trick. We fell off a couple of times, but I think that has more to do with being uncoordinated than anything else... (for me anyway!).

Whilst floating around and watching the locals run by doing exercise, or walk by on their way to drinks/dinner/lunch, I made the decision that the beach is where I want to live. I tried to talk S in to my plans, though he wasn't as enthused as me. Something to do with hating sand..
I am still hopeful that one day living close to the beach is a reality because I love the beach. I find water so calming and being able to just walk on the beach when I felt like it would be amazing. 

Monday, December 17, 2012


My first Christmas party for the year was a couple of weeks ago at Sky Phoenix in Westfield. I didn’t take photos of the food, because no one who works in my office takes pictures of their food so it would have been a little weird.
A bunch of us decided that we would head to karaoke afterwards which I was somewhat dreading. I would liken my singing voice to that of one of those screechy cats and I was sure I would be told to sit down after an awful attempt at singing any song.

Well, I sang up a storm. Especially after a few beverages were passed my way. For three hours, a few of us sang our hearts out and posed for pictures in the blue lit room. The karaoke place is called Karaoke world and is on Elizabeth Street, Sydney. For Happy Hour, we paid $15 per person and had the room for three hours.
For the privacy of the other people, you only get a photo of me..
The second work Christmas party, for the whole of the Organisation was held at Waterfront which is near The Rocks, Sydney. We had a 3 course sit down meal and drinks. For entree I was served the tomato and goats cheese; mains - roast turkey and veg, and dessert - Vanilla Panna Cotta. 
Roast Turkey, Roast veg and Turkey Sausage
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Berry Coulis
I'm glad the location was amazing because it certainly made up for the food.  The entree lacked flavour, the main was dry and the turkey was like rolled chicken that you would find in a supermarket deli. The dessert was also a redeeming factor. 
The view from the Waterfront restaurant
Have you had any Christmas parties yet?
 Are there any embarrassing stories to share?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I made another dress!

Finally, after a 6 month sewing hiatus I got back in to it and finished a dress ready for my work Christmas party. Even though I stayed up until 11pm the night before, I am so happy I was able to finish it and somewhat tie it in to the Nautical theme of the party.

The dress pattern is Simplicity 2444 which I have reviewed before here. I chose this pattern again as I had it on hand and I love the way the dress comes in at the waist and has a nice full skirt. I love that style on me and find that it is very flattering. A lot of dresses out at the moment are those big flowy ones that don't give much shape and they don't suit me at all.
The dress has front darts to bring in the bodice and the skirt has pleats at the front and back. That is about as technical as I get when describing patterns/DIY clothes as I have no idea about the terminology. 

If you are looking for a dress to sew, I definitely recommend this pattern. The instructions are very clear and if you actually read them (I got the first three steps wrong because I thought I knew what I was doing, HA!) you should be able to put the dress together easily. The hardest part is the zipper, but that is nothing to do with the actual pattern. Zippers are hard to put in generally (Unless you are an awesome sewer, in which case I wouldn't bother taking any advice from me!).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas comes early

I love a little Christmas cheer and was pleasantly surprised to see my parent’s house decked out upon arriving for Christmas lunch on the weekend. All six of us kids, plus three partners and one baby all filled my parent’s house for an early Christmas lunch. For the very reason that the favourite child (A.K.A me) will be jet setting the day before Christmas.

I had big plans to wear a maroon dress I had been sewing the week before with a green bow tied around my waist. That is, until it came time to insert the zipper. Obviously that didn’t work so well, so I just wore shorts and a nice top.

S and I went and played with the animals whilst Mum and Dad cooked. The rabbit was friendly, it snuggled in to me and sat there while I was patting in to. Can’t say the same for the chickens, they aren’t much good at cuddling.
Then it was lunch time. Roast Pork, Roast Chicken, Roast Beef (or was it Lamb?), Roast Veg….everything except the ham which Mum remembered after we were finished.

I was on dessert duty and made delicious little rum balls which were a hit. The trifle was not so much of a hit, due to the fact that there was about half a bottle of coffee port in there. Steve, Mum and I enjoyed it though so I guess that counts. There is currently half still sitting in my fridge waiting for me to devour.

Have you had any Christmas celebrations yet? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas in the City

Christmas is not huge in Japan and since that is where S and I will be for Christmas, we are getting our dose now.

The past few days, we have taken to walking around the city on lunch breaks seeking Christmas and taking in the lights, decorations and joy that has been filled in to the city. The big Christmas Tree in the QVB has me in awe every year. I mean, a tree that spans three whole could you not be in awe?
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All throughout the city, the decorations adorn the insides of buildings. There is a common theme of happiness, no matter who you are. We don't all celebrate Christmas the same way or for the same reasons, but in the end; isn't it about being with loved ones? I know it is for me.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Living in the now

It is so easy to get caught up on the future instead of enjoying what is happening now. I am guilty of planning what is going to happen in 2 weeks, 6 months even 2 years away and quite often I forget to stop and really enjoy what is happening around me.

With the silly season well upon us (and only 17 days until Japan), life has been a whirlwind of work, study, exams, drinks, catching up with friends and family, preparing for a friends wedding and everything else that comes with the usual end of year season. Seldom do I ever take a moment to really look at what I am doing and immerse myself in that moment. To feel the moment and just soak it all in.

Tonight, we did just that. I cuddled Teddy as I do most evenings and Steve quickly found the camera to snap a few pictures. To capture that moment in time that would be so easily forgotten otherwise. I will look back fondly of these times, I am sure. A little family of Steve, Teddy and I and wonder what it was like.


We looked at pictures tonight from our Japan trip last year. One year ago. One whole year. I caught myself thinking out loud 'where did that year go?'. It seems like last week that we got off the plane, arriving back in to Sydney airport and now in two weeks time, we will be boarding a plane to head back there.

Then Steve sat down to study and I snapped a few pictures of him..because he is always the one taking photos. Plus, I don't like to look through albums that have only photos of me..

Do you ever stop to really take in the moment you are in?

Friday, November 30, 2012

A girls night

When the cats are away, the mice will play. Or something like that. I had very big plans with my couch last Friday evening, since S was to be away at a Bucks weekend. Then D (S's sister) came home and declared it was drinking time for the ladies.
Pretty D
So drink we did. We started off with a Rekorderlig Winter Cider. Have you tried that? It isn't too bad. I prefer mine cold, over the warm option. 

The plans were for a cocktail or two, light dinner and then home time, since D was working the next day. We went to Black Sheep, Newtown and were pleasantly surprised that not only did they have fantastic live music, they also had a quaint little table available. Black Sheep has always looked busy when I have walked past, but when you look past the mass of people watching the live music, tables are usually available at the back. 

First drink was my choice and I chose the Hendricks, Rosewater and Vanilla martini. Decadence at its best.  I am happy to say the cocktail exceeded my expectations; a strong alcohol taste with a beautiful vanilla taste. The floating flower was an added bonus.
Hendricks, Rosewater, Vanilla martini ($18)
To go with the cocktails, I chose a dip and bread board. Something light, yet substantial for our empty stomachs. We ate the bread before the dips and bits were finished and the wait staff were happy to provide us with more so we could finish the dips.
Bread and Dips plate ($12)
Next up, was D's choice. She came back with a bottle of red, which went down nicely with the rest of the aforementioned bread and dips.

You would think after a cider, cocktail and half a bottle of red each we would call it a night and go home? No, we went out looking for a dance. And dance we did. The Marly Bar (Malborough Hotel) also has live music, to which D danced up a storm. I watched from the side and awkwardly moved from one foot to the other, as you do.

And then finally, it was bed time. Sweet, sweet bed time.

A baby is born

Ash from Miss Directions was in Sydney last week on business and we had plans on Thursday to meet up for lunch. I was really excited as I have spoken to Ash a few times away from blogging and I was excited to meet my first 'blog friend'. Plus she is really sweet - who wouldn't want to meet her.

Little Nephew was due on November 30th. That is today. I got a text from my Brother (J) last Tuesday to say that Sister in Law's (S) waters broke and she would be being induced the next day, Wednesday. Great timing, Little plans are off!

So, S was induced the next day and spent the day labouring before having an emergency Caesarian at 10:30pm. 

I met him the next day and he is the cutest little boy ever. I may be just a little biased.

Little Nephew, you are so very gorgeous. Welcome to this world! I can't wait to feed you lollies while your parents aren't watching! Haha, just kidding...I wouldn't do that.
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

A bit of a hiatus

I haven't had time to read blogs lately let alone update my own. I have exams next week so I have been spending plenty of time in my little workspace.
So friends, see you in a week or two. Hopefully with some fun blog content!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Something to be excited about

In Japan, Steve and I will be heading to Hakuba (near Nagano where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held) to go skiing.

On Monday, Steve entered a competition predicting the date the ski slopes would be opened for the season. He said the 24th November, which was about 12 days from when he entered the competition.

I was dubious considering this is what we saw when looking at the snow cams.

Yesterday, a friend we met in Hakuba last year posted on my facebook wall to let me know it was snowing. I thought it would just be a light cover that would melt away. I didn’t have time to check the cameras, so when I got home I had a look.

This is what I saw.
So Steve, perhaps you will win that competition afterall.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Date Night - Pasha's Turkish, Newtown

After a drive one hour away recently for Steve to try on a suit for his best friends wedding, we were less than enthused to cook dinner when we got home. Driving through King Street on a busy Saturday night, we drove past Pasha's Turkish Restaurant. I had wanted to try their food for a long time so I gave them a call, booked a table, went home and parked the car and was back at the restaurant within half an hour.
The atmosphere inside is vibrant. Plenty of chatter, nice music and colourful decor. We were seated at a table near the front of the restaurant and were given 'cushions' to sit on, which are actually low seats with cushions on top.
 We both felt like dips and meat of some sort, so for entree we ordered the Karisik Meze Platter ($26). It consisted of 6 different dips with fresh turkish bread. Apparently enough for 4 people and I would agree.
 For mains we ordered the Lamb Sis which was Char grilled thick carved lamb sirloin skewers marinated with aromatic Turkish spices served with traditional almond rice and garnished with spoon salad ($24)
We also ordered the Turkish Delicate meatball plate - Char grilled grass fed beef mince flavoured with spices and fresh herbs shaped into to oval balls served with traditional almond rice and garnished with spoon salad ($22)

Both of the mains were delicious. The meat was perfectly cooked and there was the right amount of vegetables to accompany such a meaty plate. The cost was very reasonable for the amount of food we were given.

I had no complaints about Pasha's at all and will definitely go back in the near future.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Luna Park, Sydney.

Luna Park – Just for fun.

This certainly rings true for me. I went to Luna Park this past weekend with my family and my Brother, Jayden’s girlfriend, Renee and her family (still with me?).
I woke up bright and early and was dropped off at the train station by Steve to meet my family and catch the train to the city who were really excited. Turns out catching a train is the second best thing to Christmas.

Not much had changed from the last time I went to Luna Park, 4 years ago. Except for the fact that I am now 4 years older and I can’t do rides like I used to!
The first ride of the day was the Wild Mouse roller coaster. Whilst lining up, my 16 (almost 17) year old brother Jye insisted we should go in the same carriage. I told him we probably wouldn’t fit, but he insisted so I obliged. It didn’t take long to figure out why. ‘Oh my god, it’s too high’, ‘Argh, it’s going down’, ‘Too fast, I’m going to fall out’. Poor boy, he was scared of the little roller coaster.

Haha, look at his face
It got better though, the rest of the day everyone laughed at Jye and his screams. I would have paid to go to Luna Park just to see his face and hear him scream like a little sissy. To his credit, he did man up and go on his last ride of the day by himself. Of course, it was accompanied by the screams we had heard all day, but at least he tried.
Lunch consisted of the usual funpark type food of chips, burgers etc. The prices weren’t as bad as I was expecting, which is a plus. $9.50 for a ‘Lunabox’ which consisted of chips, 4 nuggets and a fruit popper is not too steep at all.

Luna Park is no Disneyland but it still provides plenty of entertainment.

Have you been before?
What did you think?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Selective colour

My DSLR has a colour select mode which has been really fun to experiment with lately while I've been staying in more.

Basically, there is a tool for the user to select the colour they want to be picked up in the pictures and everything else is shot in black and white. It is a really interesting effect and can bring something interesting in to an otherwise boring photo.

And so, I leave you with some colour select photography
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Monday, November 5, 2012


Not much has been happening around here. Between studying for Uni and saving for our holiday, our weekends have been quiet. 

Saturday Steve and I spent most of the day around the house before he went to be fitted for a suit for our friends wedding. Sunday we spent the day cleaning and doing Uni work. Exciting, I know..

 We got our first lot of Japanese Yen. Only 48 days until our trip and we are pumped!

 There is a cool t-shirt shop in Newtown called Monster Threads. Steve had a few drinks at work and after I picked him up he was in a buying mood. So he bought me this shirt
And these shorts.
 Warm weather always sees me wanting to try new cool beverages. This one tasted like Devon. The meat. Eww
 Rekorderlig is perhaps my most favourite cool beverage. Ever.
 I have been trying to embrace my natural curls lately. They look good when in the process of drying and by the end of the day I have a frizzy mane. Sigh.
We love our long weekend walks. Teddy loves the car.
 This afternoon we had a doggy play date with Teddy's BF, Bobby. She is still a pup but towers over Teddy now. It is hilarious to watch!

I am going to try and change up the font around here. I think the one I use most of the time is way too small!

I have a busy couple of months coming up, so I hope that means some more interesting things to blog about because even I am bored of this little blog here!