Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mahon Pool, Maroubra

Maroubra was never on my bucket list of places to visit.. all I knew of Maroubra was the Bra Boys and I guess it never left the best impression. We decided to go down on Saturday afternoon after I'd spent the day feeling sorry for myself (too many cocktails the night before!) and I was surprised at how nice the coast line along there was. 

I can't take any credit for these photo's - S took them while Teddy and I went exploring around the rocks. It is actually really beautiful down there, especially at dusk. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A picnic, cocktails and a hike

Friday night, S and I decided to go out for some drinks and before we went, we ended up sitting in the yard for awhile having a little picnic. We put on some nice music and just relaxed with Ted, some cider and food.

Afterwards, we went in to Newtown and went to The Black Sheep. I've been there before and had a great time but I suspect they have changed hands as the food was not as good and the cocktail list smaller. I ended up just drinking wine and so we headed to Kuleto's cocktail bar. The menu there is huge and they are always willing to make something to your preference. 

Spring Martini
I can't remember the name of this..but it was on fire.
On Sunday, S and I decided to go back to Maroubra to try and find the old Military Bunkers that were scattered across the bushland along the coast. The walk was beautiful and would have been better if we'd taken some water with us! We found the bunkers but were disappointed to see they had been shut off from the public. Not to worry though, the exercise was nice and it was a fun day anyway. 

There were a few bunkers that were totally underground where you can only see the door to get in and the rest of them are above ground, but well hidden in the shrubbery. I totally underestimated how thick the bushes would be and wore shorts...and came out bearing many scratches on my legs! It was a bit disappointing to see so much graffiti, but hey what do you do.

What did you do on the weekend?

Monday, February 18, 2013

365 Project

I know we're already seven weeks in to 2013, but better late than never. I decided to start the 365 project (I guess not 365 now!!) so that I would start using the camera more often and look at every day things in a different way. 

Since I only decided on the weekend to do this, most of these pictures are just iPhone. pictures as I didn't take my SLR around with me much last week. I don't claim to be a photographer by any means, but I do enjoy taking photo's and trying new techniques with my camera, so this is a fun little project for me.

Sunday 10th February
Apple cider and lemon sorbet from Badde Manors
Monday 11th February
Roses from my lovely neighbour
Tuesday 12th February
Sydney in the evening
Wednesday 13th February
Teddy at the park
Thursday 14th February
Coffee on Valentine's Day
Friday 15th February
We had a little picnic in the backyard on Friday night
Saturday 16th February
Mahon Pool, Maroubra

Friday, February 15, 2013

With these hands - Week Two - Garden

For our second ‘With these hands’ DIY project, Ash and I have chosen the theme ‘Garden’.
Miss Directions

The rules again if you wish to participate are:

  • No nail-art (because there plenty of girls out there who can do that better than us!)
  • Anything else goes really, whether it's as simple as a drawing or as complicated as a quilt so long as you can make/create it and it fits the theme it counts.
  • The project has to be started before the following Friday - but not completed if it's a big one
  • We have to blog about the project

The theme really is open to interpretation any way you would like to. You could make anything from a herb garden, to some art or even a floral arrangement.
If you would like to participate, let us know and we will see about having a badge made for you to put on your blog.

You can see Week one’s Valentine’s Day project here
And Ash’s here
Happy Weekend, friends.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

With these hands - Valentine's Day

Better late than never, here is my 'With these hands' Valentine's DIY project.

Originally, I wanted to make a love heart garland using felt. I started that project with hopes to put the final touches on tonight, but I was not loving the result, so instead I decided to make a card. We are not huge on Valentine's Day as our anniversary is in a couple of weeks so I knew anything I made would be appreciated but S would rather me not make a huge fuss.

I really love the look of tissue paper pom poms and I thought I would incorporate them in to the card. They can be tedious, especially with the size I was making them. When they are made well though, they look really pretty. 

Mine were not the best pom poms, but I am still happy with how the card came out. I could re-use this design and also alter it for Weddings, Birthdays etc. It really isn't just a Valentine's Day type card.

You will need: 

- Tissue Paper ($2 from K-Mart)

- String (I already had some on hand)
- A card or cardstock
- Glue (or tape if you ran out of glue like me!!)
You will need to choose a background colour and cut it in to a square smaller than the size of your card. Mine was about 8cm x 8cm. Glue or tape it down.
Choose three more colours, or any combination you want to. I chose dark and light pink. For the smaller pom poms, you will only need about 5-6 layers otherwise it will be too big and chunky. I cut my first square about 6cm x 6cm, the second one 5cm x 5cm and the smallest 3cm x 3cm. 

To make the actual pom poms, I followed this tutorial. When making them, be very careful as the smaller pom poms are easier to rip and a lot more tedious than the larger ones. 

Stick them on to the card any way you wish. I liked the look of the sizes getting smaller and so that's how I stuck them.

This is a very simple DIY but with more practice and some different ideas, it can actually look really good!
Check out what Ash made over at Miss Directions

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Weekend

I had this bright idea on Saturday to drive down to Mainabar (near Bundeena) so we could swim, S could get some footage for his little films and I could take photos. We took Teddy because well why should the dog miss out on a fun day? He loves swimming and so that was that....

Except that wasn't that. We got on to the road that takes you in and noticed there was now a toll to pay to get in. It is a National Park so we guessed it was just a new thing that they had implemented. I saw the sign that said no dogs but thought nothing of it as we'd taken Teddy there a few years ago and there had been other dogs there. We drove in, parked the car, got out and then noticed the sign leading down to the beach that said no dogs. So, in other words we drove for an hour and fifteen minutes to look at the sign...and for me to use the bathroom.
On the way home we stopped by Centennial Park because Ted was pretty cranky as he hadn't gotten out of the car for 2 hours. We went for a little walk to one of the ponds and had a play before heading back home. A very long drive to get to Centennial Park, I must say.

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet. We spent most of Sunday around the house catching up on Downton Abbey and doing Uni work.

How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, February 8, 2013

With these hands

With every New Year comes the motivation I need to ‘try new things’. This year, I have decided to try out more DIY and spend time on weekends being productive rather than watching TV or surfing the internet.

I was talking to Ash from Miss Directions the other day and we decided to start a series….
We also already have another person keen to join in - Sophia from Je m'apelle Sophia

The Idea: The idea is quite simple, really. Each Friday we will release a theme and then we have to make something DIY (with our hands) that incorporates that theme.

The  Rules: (There aren't too many)
No nail-art (because there plenty of girls out there who can do that better than us!)
Anything else goes really, whether it's as simple as a drawing or as complicated as a quilt so long as you can make/create it and it fits the theme it counts.
The project has to be started before the following Friday - but not completed if it's a big one
We have to blog about the project

The Theme: We've picked an easy one for week one, Valentine's Day

If you would like to join in, let me know.

You can also click on the links below to go to Ash's or Sophia's blog to see what they have made.

Miss DirectionsJe m'appelle Sophia

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tokyo Part Four - Kamakura and Asakusa

One morning, S had a bright idea that we would go to Kamakura and see the giant Buddah. So go to Kamakura we did. The train ride was about an hour long and when we got there, we looked for the ever faithful maps that we had become so accustomed to seeing around and we headed in the direction of the Giant Buddah.

About 2 hours later and still heading in the same direction, I wondered out loud if we were going in the right direction. I had a bit of a feeling we might have missed a turn somewhere. The traffic was thick and all heading the same way we were and so we just kept walking, thinking and hoping they were heading to the same place we were. After all, it was a few days past New Years and around New Years Japanese visit temples, shrines (and giant buddahs) to say their prayers and wish good fortune for the year.

Five hours and 7 km later (we stopped to take pictures, eat etc along the way) - at 3pm in the afternoon; the sun was starting to set. There was no sight of a buddah anywhere and my feet were starting to hurt. We noticed that there had been a train track that pretty much followed the path we walked so we walked up to that and had a look at the map on offer. We had walked 5 km too far. So, we hopped on the train; tired and exhausted and went the 5km back the way we came to see the Giant Buddah. 

By that time I was almost ready just to head back to our hotel, but I am so glad we jumped on that train to the Giant Buddah. It was absolutely breathtaking and I highly recommend seeing it. I would also recommend just taking the train and not trying to navigate your way by foot, but to each their own.

We really enjoyed our time seeing Daibatsu and joined the rest of those who were there in lighting incense and saying prayers for the year ahead. We also joined the many people drinking canned hot coffee from a vending machine in a meagre attempt at trying to warm ourselves. Kamakura doesn’t have many (any?) Japanese restaurants as it seems to be mainly a touristy area. We ended up stopping by a little Italian place and we had wood fired pizza for lunch. It was only 600Yen ($6.50) per pizza though, so we didn’t pay tourist prices!

The next day it was my turn to choose a destination. I was given instructions to choose something that was easy to get to and easy to get around. I had been to Asakusa when I went to Japan with school in 2004 and although I didn’t remember much of the place, I did remember it was beautiful.

We missed out on going to Kyoto due to bad planning and Asakusa was in a very small way similar to what I remember Kyoto being like. I knew S would enjoy it. When we got to Asakusa, we hopped off the train and headed towards Sensoji Temple. We got sidetracked at Nakamise; a popular shopping street that sells traditional souvenirs. The souvenirs are definitely overpriced, though there is a lot of interesting stuff and we spent a couple of hours looking through the different shops and choosing gifts.
Sensoji was quite busy but we were able to walk around the whole temple and get some good photos. We also saw a monkey show which was really impressive. That monkey was clever!
For lunch, we headed to the giant sperm Asahi beer museum. It was underwhelming to say the least. The restaurant itself was quite dark and dingy and the menu didn’t have too much on it. It was a definite tourist trap and we got sucked in!
After Asakusa, we decided to walk to the Tokyo Sky Tower that opened last year. I had no plans to go right up in it, since I’d already seen the view of Tokyo from quite high, but the shops in Sky Tree town were interesting to look around. We ended up here for dinner as well as we found a little Okonomiyaki restaurant and since that’s my favourite food, there was no way I could resist! I’d recommend Sky Tree Town as there is a lot to look at and a lot to do. Especially if you tack it on to a day at Asakusa. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Our weekend

Since our holiday ended, S and I have been taking it easy and staying in as much as possible. You don't make money by spending it, after all (and houses don't buy themselves)

Saturday afternoon was the first time we've been out for drinks since getting back and the occasion was our good friends Birthday. We were supposed to start at the Carrington in Surry Hills and then move along to Oxford Street, but when 10pm rolled around (after being there since 3pm) we were ready to call it a night and head home.
The Carrington has a really relaxed vibe and is a really fun place to go for drinks. There is a tapas style menu available and I am happy to say that I had the best hot chips I have ever eaten - and I have eaten a lot of hot chips in my life. They were cooked in paprika (I think) and they gave off a really beautiful wood fired taste. The sauce to accompany the chips was a capsicum/tomato one and it complemented the smokey flavour beautifully. The Carrington also has little slider burgers and other types of tapas that we didn't get a chance to try.
We realised we have hardly any photos together, so last night we got about 30
The night was a lot of fun (apart from almost getting stranded in the bathroom when the door wouldn't unlock!) and it was really great to catch up with friends with some drinks and good food.

Sunday we spent the morning doing groceries and tidying the house before deciding to head to Clovelly so S could get some footage. We got there and since it had been stormy and windy around Sydney for the past few days the waves were quite aggressive. 

How did you spend your weekend?